Knight 2000 Turbo Boost Launcher

Sometimes you don’t even have to ask. I never asked for Kenner’s Knight 2000 Turbo Boost Launcher. Grandma just gave it to me for Christmas. But I loved it just the same.
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The Turbo Boost Launcher imitates KITT’s turbo power, which was demonstrated on just about every episode of Knight Rider. It was fairly simple to operate. You put the Matchbox-like KITT car in the launcher then pushed it forward as hard as you could go. KITT would come screaming out of it and careen across the room. There wasn’t much else to it, but isn’t that enough?
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It’s going to be hard to find this one. There aren’t many active ebay auctions for it, and I could only find these few pictures. But I had it at one point in time, and it was almost as great as the show.
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Breakin' with Turbo

Breakin’ with Turbo

To get your Monday off on a positive “spin” (pun intended), I present to you two most radical dance scenes from 1984’s Breakin’ and its sequel, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. (Yes, both films were released in 1984.) Both of these dance sequences star Michael ‘Boogaloo Shrimp’ Chambers as “Turbo” and they will best demonstrate Breakin’ with Turbo.

First up, from the original Breakin’, is Turbo’s famous “broom dance”:

Although I don’t remember seeing them back in the day, on DVD — and yes, I own this film on DVD — you can clearly see the strings holding up the levitating broom. Although Turbo’s dance moves appear to defy gravity, it appears that brooms cannot (at least not without some Hollywood trickery).

This scene also introduced me to the band Kraftwerk. The song playing is called Tour de France. Probably the day after I saw Breakin’ for the first time I ran out and bought the soundtrack on vinyl, and I remember being pret-ty disappointed that this song did not appear on it.

Right before this clip begins, Ozone (Turbo’s dance partner) asks him, “Who are you anyway, Fred Astaire?” The reference is not incidental; Turbo’s dance scene was influenced by (and an homage to) Fred Astaire’s appearance in Royal Wedding, in which Astaire dances with a coat rack.

In the Breakin’ sequel, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, Turbo once again steals the show with yet another incredible dance sequence.

This scene, even more than the broom dancing scene, is a direct (but updated) reference to another Fred Astaire dance sequence in Royal Wedding in which Astaire also dances on the ceiling.

Since those two films were released, if you’ve seen a breakdancing robot in film or on television, there’s a pretty good chance Michael ‘Boogaloo Shrimp’ Chambers was inside it. Some of Chanbers’ roles have included the Urklebot from Family Matters and “Good Robot Bill” from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. As himself, Chambers has appeared in several music videos including Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long,” Chaka Khan’s “I Feel For You,” and Sugar Ray’s “Fly.” Chambers was even used as the animation model for MC Scan Cat, dancing opposite Paula Abdul in her video “Opposites Attract.”

Rumors are a script for Breakin’ 3 is being shopped around Hollywood, so let’s hope Chambers still has all his moves and we can soon all be Breakin’ with Turbo again. And hey, if you’re out there Mike … I can do a pretty mean moonwalk. Just sayin’ …

Amazon Link: Breakin / Breakin 2 Box Set

A Thorough Look at Rambo the Animated Series’ S.A.V.A.G.E. Island

**One Monster’s continuing mission to explore strange new (old) cartoons. Shows he has never seen! Watched in small segments and reviewed immediately. No research! No rewinds! No shame! Join me as I embarrass myself for your reading pleasure. This is Full Moon Reviews!**

This week’s review…Rambo The Animated Series: S.A.V.A.G.E. Island.

Friends this week I’m taking on a subject that, if anything, I am even more clueless about than normal. Rambo The Animated Series! I watched The Rambo Movie…the first one…once. I remember almost nothing about it. Sylvester Stallone was oiled up, had long hair and a banana. I think he might have shot a bazooka or maybe a flaming arrow. I think he was in the desert and a vaguely remember him cauterizing a wound with red-hot metal (an arrowhead?) and that’s about it. I am aware that the other films, however many there are, exist but I never had any desire to see them. I know that not being into Rambo makes me a little less manly than I could be but if you’re just catching on to my lack of manliness, then you have never read any of my blogs.

Part 1:

Wow…off to an interesting start. We’re on a ship at sea, we get a little bit of military boredom banter and then right away the ship gets attacked by another ship. The animation is sketchy at best. Like a terrible cross between GI Joe and Captain Planet…I have noticed that we get some nice GI Joe laser bullet action though. So these pirate type guys are led by an evil looking dude with a German accent and an eye patch. Original!

And it looks as though they are trying to steal a giant rocket….which they do. They then sink the entire ship and the camera pans out to show that each and every member of the crew got out safely onto life boats.

After the sea adventure we get our very first shot of our hero, Rambo! He’s driving down a dusty road in a super manly jeep. He’s having a phone conversation with someone who looks exactly like GI Joe’s Flint and sounds exactly like Rambo. In fact the voice is so identical that if you weren’t actually looking at the TV you would think he was talking to himself. He gets his orders (the rocket was a stolen, warhead going to be used to nuclear blackmail!!!!) Rambo goes to the army base and proves that he’s a rebel…a loose cannon…by not waiting an hour for clearance before crashing through a checkpoint. I bet he wouldn’t even wait 30 minutes after eating, to go swimming.

So in a scene of pure action, he drives down the run way, stands up and grabs onto a flying jet leaving his weapon-filled jeep to continue driving and probably crash into an orphanage or something. Rambo gets into the jet, sits down and buckles up flying next to his friend, totally shirtless, like you do! They fly surveillance over a scary looking jungle island but are hit by a security system and the jet is forced to crash land.

Part 2:

His buddy (apparently “Turbo”) gets crushed by an entire flying tree trunk and Rambo who is superhumanly strong now lifts it off of him and throws it. On his way to the evil military base Rambo swings on a vine and karate kicks a giant crocodile in the mouth. He then climbs inside a hollow tree trunk and rolls down a rocky cliff. After landing he flexes (he seriously flexes) to make the log explode so he can get back out.

Now my hero Rambo beats up a puma (pronounced Pyuumah). Strangles it and ties its mouth shut. This dude is unstoppable! Some random woman shows up to help Turbo out and she gets attacked by a snake. His massive internal wounds now totally healed, Turbo picks up the snake, wads it into a ball and throws it away. Then together they begin to fix the jet. (I don’t trust this chick I’m gonna bet she’s secretly a bad guy.)
The Germans, (the patch eye guy apparently also has a mechanical claw hand) have captured Rambo and are carrying him with his arms and legs tied to a stick (like you’ve seen a million times).

Rambo gets tied up in the interrogation hut…I’ve been to that club, it’s a little bondage-y but nice! About 10 seconds into being threatened with a whip, Rambo kicks the assistant evil German across the room and then flexes, breaking the giant steel chains. He then does some interrogating himself, asking what Gripper’s plans are….yeah. The dude with the eye patch and the giant claw is named Gripper!

Rambo escapes and continues to do his jungle parkour around the camp, causing trouble and wrecking stuff. He overhears that the nuclear launch is imminent and finally starts taking this crap seriously. Then we get that famous Rambo, prepare for action montage where he ties a string around his pants, puts his knife in his knife sheath (I don’t know where it was prior…did he find a knife?) and puts on his red bandana…which he was already wearing a second ago so he apparently took it off to tie it back on more dramatically. He creates an explosive diversion and then, while they are launching the rocket he grabs on and holds onto it with a bear hug while it starts to launch.

Turbo and random woman get the jet fixed (maybe she’s not evil after all), and they fly up to shot the nuclear missile down before it can hurt anybody but they can’t fire! Because there is of course a shirtless imbecile hanging on the stupid thing.

They tell Rambo how to turn the nuclear warhead off (there’s an off button) and then how to guide it back toward the bad guys camp…yes, there is actually a dial on it to manually steer a missile, as if people ride on them cowboy-style all the time. He jumps from missile to jet in midair and then the warhead hits its target, blowing camp evil to smithereens! (no fatalities)

They fly over the islands that were the first target of the missile and Rambo gives an awe inspiring speech about freedom. “Freedom is one gift ya can’t keep…unless your willing to share it with everybody” Um…good speech Rambo! (pssst, I think he hit his head jumping into the jet. Let’s get him to a hospital)

Recap:

That was interesting to say the least. The animation was bad and the writing was even worse. However, it was so bad that it becomes unintentionally hilarious. I would enjoy watching this cartoon with a group of people and riffing on it. I guess it does hold some fun nostalgic elements. Probably more so if I had actually been a Rambo fan as a kid. After all, nostalgia isn’t um…free unless you shared the memories with those …who mean the most?
Yeah. I totally coulda written Rambo.

Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo

It was my wife’s birthday, and my gift to her was tickets to Step Up 3D, a movie she’d been wanting to see for some time. Now Step Up 3D is a dancing movie, a movie that features a lot of dancing scenes. And it is fairly modern, I guess, not just as far as its release date but also as far as it’s content; it reflects what is happening in the world today (or at least what is happening in somebody’s world today; not mine, but presumably somebody’s). However, as I watched this movie, I was reminded of another, far less modern movie, a movie called Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.

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Like Step Up 3D, Breakin’ 2 is about dancing. To be specific, it is about breakdancing and the breakdancing lifestyle. As suggested by the 2 in its title, it is a sequel to a film called Breakin’. Now I had never heard of Breakin’, and I don’t think many kids in my school had heard of it, either. We all heard of Breakin’ 2, though. It played at our local multiplex and was somewhat popular, not popular enough to cause any of us to take up breakdancing, but popular enough that many of us wanted to and did see it.

I myself saw Breakin’ 2 not at its initial release but a few months later; I saw it on HBO at a friend’s house after an afternoon at the mall. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much about it; all I can recall is it featured a character named Kelly who went by the street name “Special K” and a breakdance fighting scene. So the movie must not have been that memorable. More important than the movie itself, though, was the affect it has had on culture. It affected the culture at the time; it was a flagship of the breakdancing trend that was sweeping the nation back then, a flagship that both spread that trend and capitalized on it. Not only so, but it is still affecting the culture today. The phrase Electric Boogaloo has become a common phrase, one that is used to describe any movie sequel that is silly or unnecessary. It’s been used this way hundreds of times; the latest I’ve heard is Snakes On A Plane 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Now when we got home, I discovered that Breakin’ 2:Electric Boogaloo was on Netflix Instant Watch, so my wife (who had never heard of it for some reason) and I decided to give it a try. When we did, we discovered that Step Up 3D reminded me of Breakin’ 2 for good reason: they are almost the same movie. Both use the plot contrivance of a need for money to save a building (in Step Up, it is $100,000 to save a loft in New York, while in Breakin’ 2 it is $200, 000 to save a community building in L.A.) as a set-up for elaborate dancing scenes. So it is truly a case of “what was old is new again” or “what goes around comes around” or something like that. Ridiculous as it may be, we’re still dancing the electric boogaloo.