DEATH GRIP Channels ’80s Action Films

by Liam Jose

Death Grip

I have a secret love for goofy, direct-to-video action flicks, much like the “secret” love Criminal Complex editor Jimmy Callaway has for me (thanks for the crocheted love heart, buddy – I know it was you). As a juvenile delinquent, I whittled away days going through the racks of terrible videos at the local movie shoppe, picking out anything that had the word “death,” “ninja,” or “starring Christopher Lambert” on the cover.

Luckily, with the advent of DVDs and cheaper production costs, the stream of bullshit DTV movies has only increased. One of the more promising of these is Death Grip, the punch-baby of Eric Jacobus (Eric Jacobus presents an Eric Jacobus joint, written and directed by Eric Jacobus, starring Eric Jacobus). Jacobus has thrown a clip online of one of the fight scenes, and it’s stab-ariffic! Martial arts and knife fights go hand-in-hand like me and Chuck Liddell in the dreams I keep having where he’s my dad.

Jacobus obviously has a feel for choreography, and is an excellent fighter. The clip looks tight, fun, bloody – and most importantly, for these kinds of DTV actioners – inventive. Death Grip concerns Jacobus as a caterer who has to get the coin of Judas back from a cult who have taken his brother for some reason, but really, the plot isn’t the key here – it’s how much fun do I think I’ll have? I’m pretty sure that that the amount of fun I’m going to have is, uh… (carry the eight… divide by four…) a LOT. I mean, for fuck’s sake – he’s fighting a cult! The coolest (and most vastly underutilised) enemies possible in anything, ever! It’s probably going to be Martha Marcy May Marlene, only with more nunchaku, i.e. almost certainly better.

Checking out the flick’s website, it seems everything about the design and pitch of this one feels like they’re trying to mimic those awesome old ‘80s flicks – from the synopsis, to the style of the trailer (cheap, over-the-top, awesome), the non-sensical inclusion of words like “death”, and my favourite, the poster.

Now that is a thing of beauty. The only thing that seems odd about it is the facial expression of co-star Nathan Hoskins – he looks like Paul Giamatti pretending not to fart. And apparently they like this image of him so much, they also use it on the otherwise-completely-different cover for the DVD. Maybe they just needed a contrast to the sheer-badassery of Eric Jacobus, who wears an expression that seems to say “I’ll punch your cat, I don’t give a fuck.”

“Not Princess Dandelion!”

Hell, the more I look at that face, the more I get it. I only want to look like that from now on. Try it – it’s addictive. Now make the face while giving a “Death” prefix to everything.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to Death Walk to the Death Kettle, and Death Drink some Death Earl Grey Tea.

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About Rebecca Ahn

Writer. Producer. Editor. Warrior. And one Tough Cookie!

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