Tag Archives: video

Takeshi Kitano’s nearly impossible-to-complete videogame

File:Takeshi_no_Chosenjo_boxartThanks to Tweeter Paul Weedon, I was last week alerted to the existence of Takeshi no Chōsenjō aka Takeshi’s Challengethe ill-fated 1988 venture into the world of videogaming by indefatigable (and consistently surprising) Japanese media polymath Takeshi Kitano.

“So what?”, I can sort of hear you mutter. Well, by all accounts, it turns out that the game (released only in Japan on the NES) was inspired more by Takeshi’s hatred of video games than anything else, and was almost impossible to complete.

I won’t go into too much detail, but here are some hilarious potted highlights from the game’s Wiki:

The plot and origins

The game’s plot, where a despondent salaryman seeks to find a hidden treasure on an island, is introduced as having been created by Kitano while he was drunk at a bar; however, Kitano himself explains that the plot was solely the result of an hour-long talk at a cafe near his production company

The gameplay

Completion of the game requires several unorthodox uses of the Famicom system, such as using the second controller microphone to speak while playing pachinko, or not touching the controls for an hour. The player must also maneuver a hang-glider to complete a side-scrolling shooting game, made extremely difficult because the controls do not allow the player to move upwards on the screen.

More gameplay

Minor details such as not quitting the salaryman job, not getting a divorce, or not beating up the old man who provides the treasure map, can prevent the player from reaching the ending.

Apparently the game frequently crops up on ‘Worst Ever’ lists, but I for one would certainly love to give it a shot.

UK non-cinephile viewers might know Kitano best from the lunatic gameshow Takeshi’s Castle, an infinitely more dangerous version of It’s A Knockout, which was voiceovered in characteristically cheeky style by Scouse comedian Craig Charles. However, Kitano is one of Japan’s most distinctive cinematic voices, not to mention one of the most important figures in my film education as a younger person. I remember when Film 4 did a short season of his best work (including Violent CopHana-Bi and Sonatine) and I was astonished by the jarringly expressionistic manner in which he used editing in the presentation of violence, and the haunting combination of deadpan comedy and serious emotion that seemed to seep through every scene.

But, yeah, enough of that. Here’s a typically berserk commercial (starring Takeshi) advertising the game itself:

Some guys made a real-life version of Streets of Rage. It’s amazing.

After comparing Gareth Evans’ The Raid to my all-time favourite childhood game Streets of Rage 2 in my recent review, I had a bit of a YouTube session devoted to it. Look what I found. The music, the SFX, the little details, it’s all there. Amazing. What must passers-by have thought?

All credit to YouTuber TheStreetStupid.

The best disco song featuring Kevin Kline on vocals you’ll ever hear…

Cristina – ‘Disco Clone’ (ZE records, 1978)

Whatever the long-absent Sophie’s ChoiceA Fish Called Wanda and, erm… Wild Wild West actor does next, let’s hope he injects the same level of hammy lugubriousness into it that he did in his little-known appearance on the above “mutant disco” oddity. Oh, and fair warning, it features one of the most irritating, ingratiating choruses of ALL TIME.



Super committed YouTube guy does 75 years’ worth of Best Supporting Actress impressions

Wow. Click HERE for a staggering vid of one guy rattling through 75 years’ worth of Best Supporting Actress impersonations, from Hattie McDaniel to Anjelica Huston. Credit to blogger The Lost Boy for the spot, and YouTuber  for actually pulling this shit off. Hilarious.

Fucking hell…

Here’s three-and-a-half minutes of four furious, tattooed men slowing down to accommodate a confused Elliott Gould lookalike. Oh yeah, it’s directed by the man behind Black Swan aka The Fame That Rocks The Cradle. What’s going on?

Arnie quotes

As you might have guessed, PPH is pretty busy at the moment, so in lieu of a proper post here’s a couple of my favourite vids, in fact probably the best two vids on YouTube; Arnold Schwarzenegger quote heaven. Watch, and watch again. (All credit goes to the redoutable hh1edits). Normal service will be resumed next week.

The music video for ‘Family Man’ by Hall and Oates – an exercise in the inexplicable

"Turn the central heating off!" "No YOU turn the central heating off!"

On record, the Philadelphia popsters’ ‘Family Man’ is the potentially harrowing tale of an ordinary Joe sorely tempted by the advances of a voracious lady of the night (“Leave me alone / I’m a family man / And my bark is much worse than my bite / Leave me alone / I’m a family man / If you push me too far I just might”).

So how did the pair choose to represent this noirish tale on video? With shadowy streets, Edward Hopper-esque cafes and an alluring femme fatale?  No. By taking the lead from St Bob Geldof (who commemorated the 1979 San Diego school shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer by arsing around in a classroom with his band of merry men The Boomtown Rats in the video for ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’) and making one of the most inexplicable music promos known to man.

Immediately, something’s up. An agitated Hall breaks the fourth wall as a pair of cheaply rendered computer sprites fill in for the song’s anti-hero and his tormentor, while Oates and crew are jiving around in a pastel-coloured house, sharing nothing approaching a dress code. Before long, a catastrophic mistake is made as a host of dancing Jedward-haired children are drafted into the whole unholy equation and a bizarre game of familial relations are played out as a Lego-headed dad (presumably the Family Man of the title) descends into a ghoulishly-lit, desperately creepy TV underworld. It doesn’t help that Daryl Hall is taking none of this remotely seriously.

From a visibly clean shaven Hall deciding to shave anyway, to an extended dance sequence involving some of the whitest moves of all time, none of this makes the blindest bit of sense. In particular, parents worldwide should cover their eyes at the moment when a session guitarist, legs akimbo, fretwanks manically over a bed full of cowering children in a darkened room.

Finally, the promo dissolves into horror, as hordes of family members  look on in disgust like statues at the television which is playing… the video for ‘Family Man’ by Hall and Oates!?! Apart from the mindbending nature of their choice of viewing, it is never made clear what has upset them so much. Dad’s decision to nearly, but not quite, go with a hooker (Did he tell them??)? The frightening guitarist on the bed? Oates’ moustache and braces-with-T-Shirt combination? Answers on a postcard.

Insanity? A treatment written on the back of a cigarette packet? Or latent genius? Fuck knows. They simply do not make them like this anymore. Watch below for five minutes of madness that would give David Lynch sleepless nights…