Great Moments in Synth (sorta): Barry Goldberg’s “Best of the Best 3”

Not the Best of the Best of the BestAs you may have surmised from the recent post on King of the Kickboxers, I’ve been wading through tons of B-movies from the ’80s and ’90s as of late. There are actually some real gems in there if you know where to look. One well known B-movie action series is the Tae Kwon Do propaganda vehicle, Best of the Best. The original starred James Earl Jones, Philip Rhee, Chris Penn and Julia Roberts’ brother. But by the third and fourth movies, the only remaining character was Rhee (it was his showcase all along, after all). It is worth mentioning that Philip Rhee is/was actually Loren Avedon’s martial arts instructor in real life (Avedon being the star of the aforementioned King of the Kickboxers).

The movies are cheesy, weirdly paced, and full of violent action scenes. Rhee’s pants are consistently too tight and his shirt is always tucked in, further accentuating his obscene T-shaped body (guy looks like a filet mignon, ya dig?). He’s just too hunky to be true. As per usual, the themes are the crazy action baloney of a ridiculously good-natured person with killing and maiming techniques taking out scores of one-dimensional hate-mongers (wouldn’t a malicious person inspired to learn killing techniques be more effective than a moral person? Hrmm, I wondaz…).

But, in bizarre B-movie fashion, there is a pretty rockin’ soundtrack! I sometimes wonder if I’m not just some B-movie weirdo who likes crappy low-budget stuff like some snobby lo-fi indie rock twerp, or a creepy giallo horror buff. But I have bigger philosophical quandaries to solve, so I pay little attention.

The theme song this time around is by Barry Goldberg, infusing some swaggering Nashville country rock with a smoky blues vibe. Nice! I thought the soundtrack it was so cheesy and intolerable the first time I saw this movie a number of years back, but I think the aesthetic is really cool now. The movie still sucks unbelievably hard, but hey — almost every movie does that and has nothing admirable to show for it.


~ by chaosrexmachinae on October 16, 2009.

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