Monday, September 26, 2011

Chuck Never Runs

I was reading over one of the lessons Rory and I did for the martial-arts-for-writers online class, and came across a reference I stuck in about the idea of unbeatable martial artists. I thought it might amuse some of my readers, so ...

I once wrote animation for the tube, and worked on a show that never made it, Chuck Norris’s Karate Kommandos. Mid-to-late eighties, as I recall. Reaves and I wrote a couple episodes, but the show, after a five-episode miniseries, didn't get picked up. We got paid, but our episodes weren't ever aired.

Such a terrible loss to humanity, that.

I had a scene in which Chuck’s ‘vette was trapped by bad guys who chainsawed and dropped trees onto the road. Chuck hops out and there are like eight of them. So Chuck–in my scenario–takes off, leads them on a merry chase, and slows now and then to take them out one-by-one. A strategic retreat leading to victory.

Came the notes from the producer on the script:

Chuck never runs.

I laughed. Yeah. And Chuck is gonna be pushing up the daisies if he doesn’t. Those movie face-offs with ten guys only work because each guy takes a number and waits his turn to attack.

I got around it, though. I had the same scene, but when Chuck hops out of the ‘vette, he sees a group of children playing nearby. So Chuck doesn’t run, no, he leads the bad guys away from endangering the children. Looked exactly the same, but it was, you know, like ... totally different. 

They had no problem with that.

Welcome to Hollywood.


Joe said...

1.)Chuck never runs.
2.)Bad guys seldom carry guns.
3.)Bad guys who do carry guns are really bad shots.

Chuck Norris was my original MA hero, and because of him I started TKD as a teenager back in the 70's. 30+ years later (in a different style) I practice at the dojo 3X a week. I still feel that I owe him.

Steve Perry said...

Back when I moved to L.A., in the sixties, Chuck wasn't a movie star -- he still had a school, in Redondo Beach, as I recall. (And Bruce Lee was still doing his one-inch punch demo at Parker's Nationals.)

I was looking for a place to train, and I went to check out Chuck's school because he was a sparring champ and featured in the magazines. Went to several schools, including Jimmy Woo's kung fu place, in Hollywood.

I wound up studying with the guy who taught Joe Lewis (Chuck's nemesis at a lot of those tourneys) the back crossover sidekick.

That was Lewis's big gun, and he was a straight in/straight back fighter. His other weapon was a backfist, and that was pretty much it. Sidekick, backfist, but he was really strong and he blew through blocks.

Norris could circle around, and did.

Chuck fought middleweight, Lewis was a heavyweight, and Chuck usually outpointed him for the grand champion face offs. But the guy who was one of Lewis's teachers, Gordon Doversola? His people hit a lot harder.

Plus it was way closer to my apartment to train there.

Joe said...

My kids recognise Chuck from his Texas Ranger TV days, they know Bruce Lee but won't sit through his movies, and they've never heard of Joe Lewis.

You were training in the heyday of Norris, Lee, and Lewis - whoa, they're legends to me.

Best regards,