Thursday, June 4, 2009

R.I.P. David Carradine

So like any other typical North American dipshit I sat my ass down this morning and checked my e-mail. As I opened up tha' net I was greeted by a headline that gave me a bit of a shock: Actor David Carradine found dead at age 72. I suppose you gotta leave this toilet we call Earth sometime. But he wasn't just found dead. Oh no. Ol' David "Frankenstein" Carradine was found hanging in a luxury suite in Bangkok, Thailand. Talk about greasy.

I had heard rumours that Carradine was a career on-and-off alchoholic and had struggled with various drug addictions. Perhaps his demons finally caught up with him in his twilight. Carradine was one of the last graduates of the old school "work for your money" actors and was in many ways a stately product of a gritty, exploitation film environment. We here at Cr02 figured his passing deserved observation.

Personally, I've always loved Carradine for his role as the crazed, sadistic Frankenstein in the 1975 automobile slaughterfest Deathrace 2000. DR2K was one of the very first cult flicks I ever saw, and did so at a very young age. Lurid scenes of bodies flying into the air after being pulverized by demonically souped up cars had my young, tender sponge of a brain enthralled. It may have been low-brow and low-budget but Paul Bartel's gas-driven, violence drenched vision of the future struck a chord with me and led to a pursuit of like mided films that carries through to the present day. And let us not forget Carradine's character Frankenstein. A leather clad motor-murderer extrordinaire with one of the most vicious on-screen rides ever seen since Phantasm's '74 Hemicuda rode out to Morningside.

The irony-tinged retro fascination that our culture seems be in the grip of gave a bit of a second wind to Carradine's career in the years leading up to his apparent suicide. Most of that is due to his major role in the Kill Bill franchise. Personally, I've always found Tarantino and his big-chinned work pretty fucking irritating, but I admit it was sage of him to toss ol' Carradinus Maximus in the mix as the remorseless badass villain.

Rest in Peace old boy. May you rack up and endless score of mangled pedestrians and children in heaven!!! Ride on! --Slimer

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