Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Countdown to Seagalogy: Day 3



The Countdown to Seagalogy continues today with another aspect of DTV era madness. It was recently mentioned by Fangoria that Steven Seagal’s upcoming film Last Night would involve a battle against vampires who have taken over a hospital. Naturally Seagal is tapped to lead a strike team to take care of the problem. While I was ecstatic to see such a novel turn in the Seagalian formula, my enthusiasm was checked by the nagging suspicion the plot will get reworked in the editing room. You may recall in my reviews of Attack Force and Submerged that the modification of story is a common trend in the DTV era. Attack Force for example originally called for Seagal to take on alien invaders. Somewhere along the line, but well after principal photography, the aliens became European gangsters. Unfortunately all the crazy weaponry and physiology remained without explanation. So I wondered if the same fate would befall Last Night (let’s all keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t).

The reason I bring this up is because I noticed yesterday that Amazon has posted the details on the most recent DTV Seagal film Kill Switch . . . and it smells suspiciously of one those infamous editing jobs. I could be completely wrong (and hopefully I am), but there’s one aspect of the description that has a funny ring to me. Here’s the official synopsis:

“Detective Jacob Stillwell (Steven Seagal) is one of the most celebrated homicide detectives in the country. His brutal delivery of street justice is legendary among the men and women of law enforcement. But on this latest case, he may have finally met his match Lazerus, a cunning and perversely violent killer who is on the loose and terrorizing the inner city. Stillwell’s desperate pursuit of Lazerus takes him into the dark, depraved Memphis underworld of street sex and senseless violence.”

There’s no overt references to the supernatural I’ll grant you, but the naming of the character Lazerus (gotta love that oh so clever misspelling of the Biblical figure’s name) suggests the possibility of bodily resurrection. And the notion of Seagal meeting his match sort of ratchets up this guy’s standing beyond that of a traditional villain. I could be way off target here, but it just sounds fishy! I do love the fact that Stillwell is a “celebrated homicide detective” whose trademark is the “brutal delivery of street justice.” I’m not sure that’s something to necessarily celebrate, but okay.

Don’t get me wrong though, there’s no question that Kill Switch is still a must see, and I have no doubt I’ll enjoy it thoroughly. I’m particularly interested to see how it plays out given how terrific the last two Seagal releases were. I just hope it isn’t the product of some crazy editing job that will end in a confusing mess . . . especially given that he’s been on a roll lately. Maybe we can find out more on this latest development during our Vern Q&A on Saturday night – I’m betting he’ll have some thoughts on this!

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