Gun Fu: Last Man Standing

Finn: I guess you’ll just have to kill me.

John Smith: It’ll hurt if I do.

Last Man Standing (1996)

 

Last Man Standing (1996) directed by Walter Hill is one of my favourite films, combining as it does many awesome ingredients: set in 1931 during the Prohibition, a former mob enforcer on the run from Chicago winds up in a Texas burg under the thumbs of two feuding bootlegger gangs and starts playing the two groups against each other – cue lots of mayhem. We get a period setting with top actors including Bruce Willis as “John Smith,” but also Bruce Dern, William Sanderson, and Christopher Walken, cool vintage props including gats, suits, and haircuts, and an ace score by slide guitarist Ry Cooder. The familiar story about a loner playing two parties of bad guys against each other to his own advantage is credited prominently to Ryūzū Kikushima and Akira Kurosawa’s Yōjinbō (1961), which is ironic considering that their screenplay was based heavily on Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest (1929), a novel about a Prohibition-era agency detective who plays several gangs against each other …

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Book Review: The Cthulhu Wars

Kenneth Hite & Kennon Bauman, Osprey Publishing, 2016

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The Cthulhu Wars ‒ The United States’ Battles Against the Mythos is an awesome book by H.P. Lovecraft grognard Kenneth Hite, author of relevant works like GURPS Horror (2011), GURPS WWII: Weird War II (2003), and Trail of Cthulhu (2007), and his co-author Kennon Bauman. This is not a game supplement, however, but an alternate history book in Osprey’s Dark History series. Following Hite’s earlier effort in that line, The Nazi Occult (2013), the book is written as if its subject matter were real and both authors were actual Mythos investigators; in a clear Lovecraft spoof, Hite is even presumed dead after a fire gutted his library … Read More

Tactical Shooting: The Sopranos

Two pricks with 9-mms. My self-esteem is non-existent right now.

– “Tony” Soprano in The Sopranos #1.13 (1999)

 

The Sopranos (1999-2007) is one of my favourite telly series. James Gandolfini as Anthony “Tony” Soprano led a cast of awesome actors playing interesting and believable characters in an organised crime set-up that guarantees drama, action, and dark humour. Combined with many innovative storytelling elements and a perfect score, this show could hardly have been any better.

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There is relatively little shooting throughout, but most of those scenes are carefully choreographed and usually reasonably realistic. The shootout I want to discuss here in GURPS terms is a central scene in the first season, the attempted hit on “Tony” Soprano in The Sopranos #1.12. Read More