Fist of Further Reading: Lost Video Archive

Seth over at Lost Video Archive is truly a god among men. Not only does he write hilarious reviews of hidden-gem genre films, but he also uncovers incredible VHS box art that runs the topical gamut from self-defense to worm fishing techniques to instructional billiards. While I'm sure he's seen more Godfrey Ho films than he might care to admit, his Honky Ninja content demonstrates his acute affection for the chopsocky genre. Don't sleep on his work over at Paracinema either!

Q: What is a first-time reader most likely to notice about your writing style?
A: I’m sarcastic, cynical and probably over think things. Lots of people disagree with my understanding of movies, even the cheap shitty straight-to-video action flicks as somehow political in nature. “It’s just a movie they say” and that’s true if it’s all you want to see but I don’t. I don’t blame people for just wanting to be entertained without all the acute social baggage, but it’s still there whether you try and ignore it or not. I simply think it’s important to check the ID’s before it comes in the mental gate, I have nothing against being entertained by it. In fact I think it’s more entertaining when you can see all the silly (and sometimes insidious) shit these movie-people are trying to pass off as “fantasy.” That’s how I try to write, humorously with an eye towards the political implications. Sometimes it even works!

Q: Which of your posts or ongoing features will give readers the best feel for your site and movie fandom?
A: These questions are tougher than they first appear. I’m most consistently interested in Vietnam movies and movies about ‘Nam vets because I’ve studied late 20th century US politics so much, and so many wonderful explody-shoot-from-the-hip movies came out afterward. Still, I’m pretty fascinated by the buddy-cop thing too…

Q: What was the first martial arts movie you remember seeing?
A: Another tough question, the first thing I can distinctly identify was something with Seagal in it. I remember him dislocating someone’s elbow and that made me sick until I realized it was a fake arm. So I watched it over and over after that, it was funny to watch these people pretend to be mad and hurt each other. It seemed so asinine and childish and I loved it. But I never really got into action flicks beyond the more traditional Chinese wu xiu stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the unintentional humor of a Billy Blanks or Leo Fong picture, but not quite as much as Lo Lieh.

Q: Steven Seagal or Jean Claude Van Damme, and why?
A: Even tougher question, maybe the latter because he seems more ‘legitimate’, but the former is such a shill, he’s hard to pass up. Yeah, there it is, Segal because he seems so invested in his persona that I imagine a pretty entertaining conversation. I had a chance to see his blues band a couple of years back, but I passed it up. Regrets, I’ve had a few.

Q: You've encountered a gang of mean dudes in denim jackets and Zubaz pants in an empty warehouse. You can arm yourself with a samurai sword, nunchucks, a baseball bat, or whatever is in the mystery box (no guns). Which do you choose and why?
A: No question about it, the mystery box because it holds the most potential for humor. What if it was empty and I had to fight them off with a wrinkly, soggy cardboard box? Does anyone answer otherwise?

Breathing Fire
Expect No Mercy
TC 2000
Tough and Deadly

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