Monday, November 10, 2008

Film Review: THE OCTAGON (1980, Eric Karson)

Stars: 4 of 5.
Running Time: 103 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Chuck Norris, Lee van Cleef, Richard Norton, Art Hindle, Ernie Hudson
Tag-line: "In a world of choices, for one man, there is no choice...he must face THE OCTAGON."
Best one-liner(s): "Oh my God! Ninja... nin-ja... ja... ja..."

MYTH: THE OCTAGON is set in space. FACT: Though the poster clearly depicts a galaxy emerging from Chuck Norris' chest, this film actually takes place in... um. Well, references are made to Central America, Mexican food, Paris, Los Angeles, Canadian diplomats, Egypt, and Japan. It takes place in one of those locations, probably. My best guess is a French-occupied city in Mexico near the California border?

MYTH: Only highly attuned viewers with some degree of ninja training will be able to hear Chuck Norris' thoughts throughout the movie.

FACT: Norris' voiceover is embedded on the soundtrack, but the amount of echo and the clarity of his speech depends on your ninja training.

MYTH: This movie is called THE OCTAGON because people talk about this ninja school called the Octagon all the time.

FACT: It is kind of obtuse; the ninja school has an octagonal building in it, but the word "octagon" is not uttered once.

MYTH: Chuck Norris only plays characters whose last names could also be first names. FACT: This is not always true. Though it could be true if someone would name their kid McQuade. Norris' character in this film is named "Scott James," and he enters the pantheon of other great two-first-named Norris characters such as "John T. Booker," "Matt Logan," "Sean Kane," "Josh Randall," "and "Matt Hunter."

MYTH: GYMKATA's Richard Norton plays one role. FACT: He plays two.

MYTH: The filmmakers were cool dudes. FACT: The documentary reveals that they are pretentious d-bags who think THE OCTAGON is hard-hitting socio-political commentary.

This concludes my empirical analysis of THE OCTAGON, and I didn't even get to mention Lee van Cleef's earring.

Here's four ninja throwing stars or whatever.

-Sean Gill

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