So, why am I insanely excited to see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance tonight? One word: Crank....or Three Words: Crank: High Voltage. For my money, the greatest bit of exploitation of the last twenty years is Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor's Crank 2. Never has a film existed so manic, so vile, so beautiful, and so utterly insane. Don't believe me? Check out this madness:
5. Chev's Alleyway Stump Fight: From the first film, the moment I knew Crank was something different from the goofiness of The Transporter films...something special. Chev and Efren Ramirez battle it out with the younger Verona brother in an alleyway behind a Chinese restaurant. Chev chops off Verona's hand, but the beast keeps coming smacking him with his stump. Chev picks up the severed hand that still contains his .45 & splatters Verona's brains all over Ramierez. Bug Nuts.
4. Chev Gets Jumped: Jason Statham Lives! After falling hundreds of feet to his inevitable doom, Chev Chelios wakes up in an underground chopshop hospital. Chinese gangsters have removed his heart and replaced it with a robotic valve. Now, instead of adreneline to fight off the first film's toxin, Chev craves electricity to stay alive. After having crashed his car, flown through the windshield, and bodyskidded along the asphalt, Chev asks a couple of low rider banditos to give his Strawberry Tart aka Pumper aka Robo Heart a jumpstart. One clamp on the nipple, one clamp on the tongue. Vroom Vroom--STATHAM EXPLODES FORWARD TO VENGEANCE!
3. Sausage Nigels Dog Collar Chev: Fleeing from an LAPD donut beatdown, Chev stumbles upon two men in the park bickering over how to properly train their dog using an electro-shock collar. Chev snatches the collar off the dog, saying he's from PETA, and straps it to his neck. He bullies the two men into shocking him, he's barking, farting, screaming, charged and ready to go. One cop nearly catches up to Chev but the dog attacks and munches down on his private bits.
2. Poon Dong: He's 100 years old and more god than man. David Carradine is the man with Chev's Heart. And he's using this new found life to pickup 20 dollar hookers in Chinatown. Sucky Sucky. Despite only being on screen for a couple of minutes, Carradine is amazingly vile as Poon Dong; watching him flick his tongue at ladies makes me nauseous, but in a wonderful way.
1. Chev's High Voltage Godzilla Transformation: Remember in John Carpenter's The Thing, when the monster separated its head from the rest of the body, scuttled away, and Palmer said "You've Gotta Be Fucking Kidding Me!?!?" Well, that was my exact reaction when this scene happened in the middle of Crank: High Voltage. After chasing Johnny Vang into the bowls of a power station, while Troma's Lloyd Kaufman watches, Chev takes on the entire power of Los Angeles transforming both men into giant Kaiju monsters. The Two Beasts battle it out Godzilla style, the punches are both slow-mo and flying. It's gotta be one of the strangest sequences to ever occur in an action film and must be seen to be believed.
And I didn't even mention the Robot Head, The Ferret, The Horse Race Sex, Bai Ling, the Luke Cunard Show origin, Lemon's Stip Sequence, Dwight Yaokam's Doc Miles, or a dozen other mindbenders. So yeah, that's why I'm dying to see this weekend's Ghost Rider. The first film was an utter bore, but mixing Nic Cage's Mega Acting with the insane vision of Neveldine & Taylor? If the stars align properly, there's a potential here for a great Mondo Marvel movie.