Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Cool Ass Cinema Book Reviews: Bone Breaking, Ass Kicking Edition!
SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL
Softcover; 512 pages; no pictures; editions: 2008, 2012 (updated and expanded edition)
Of the many big screen action heroes to emerge in the 1980s, arguably the most news worthy would have to be Steven Seagal. At times coming off as lacking even the slightest hint of a personality, Seagal has nonetheless maintained his place in the industry in one form or another; whether being challenged by a group of champion martial artists, a long running war of words with Jean Claude Van Damme, a sexual harassment lawsuit (dismissed, it was), launching energy drinks and other products and his environmental endeavors, Seagal is six feet deep within America's pop culture iconography whether you like it or not. Having moved comfortably into the direct to video wasteland in recent years, Seagal's fans can catch him at least once or twice a month on the small screen in an increasing resume of productions. All that's needed is for someone to document them all.
Vern, the single named online critic and author of this book, has done that very thing in this expanded and hefty 500+ page tome amassing everything the man, the martial artist, blues guitarist, environmentalist and Louisiana police officer (huh?!) has done up to this point. Vern, obviously a huge fan of the actor, shows a good degree of dedication towards the subject matter and treats it in an honest manner. He also has an interesting way of approaching Seagal's career making this much more than merely a rundown of the films plots and a critical analysis. It's really an epic book on a subject you wouldn't expect to see over 500 pages written on it. Vern's style is an easy read and keeps things moving along nicely which will entice Seagal's fans and easily rope in those who aren't necessarily partial to the actors movies.
In addition, there's also a section that covers unproduced projects involving Steven Seagal. One of the most curious of these is a paragraph that covers Seagal's long time dream to essay the role of historical tyrant, Genghis Khan. Apparently the John Wayne fiasco from 1956, THE CONQUEROR, has been forgotten, and for all our sakes, will hopefully never be repeated. Vern's overpowering adoration for Seagal's repertoire is at times perplexing. You may find yourself wondering if the author is indeed earnest in his assertions, or if it's all meant to be taken less than seriously. Both comprehensive and comedic, a good time is had by both poking fun and paying tribute to one of Hollywood's most curiously quirky personalities.
You can buy this revised, expanded edition of the book at amazon HERE.
You can read more about this updated edition of the book and also purchase it from Titan Books HERE.