Sam Strange Remembers: THE OCTAGON

Sam Strange recalls the time he made the world unite in laughter at a sad, delusional man.

Chuck Norris was this delusional hick who appeared in Hollywood one day wearing a white robe and claiming to know karate. He'd somehow smuggle himself onto movie sets and try to kick things while spouting retarded nonsense about how he had to save some princess. Or some days it was, "I must kill the pirates." Other days it was, "Jesus isn't safe here."

Anyway, his humorless confidence struck everyone as especially hilarious, and a group of us started making movies around his desperate ignorance. Basically, sets would be erected and actors would be hired, and some stupid plot would get thrown together, and a clueless Chuck Norris would enter and think it was real life. Chuck is a Christian, so he doesn't watch movies. As a result, the joke is still going to this day.

I made one of these Chuck Norris movies called The Octagon. Taken straight, it's a horrible piece of shit. Seen as a long-form practical joke on delusional idiots, however, it's got some so-so comedic value to it.

So let's see. The Octagon... You can't talk about it like a normal movie, because it's much less than that. I'm just going to spitball this one. Here's ten things I remember most about The Octagon:

1. The Octagon is a movie called The Octagon. And yet, there is no octagon, not even a stop sign. You might expect the film to feature some kind of martial arts tournament, possibly held in an octagonal shaped ring. There's no that either.

2. Since Chuck Norris is not an actor and only says what he wants, he often fails to say anything that makes sense. He does, however, stare off into space a lot. Therefore, we added a lot of heavily whispered voice-over to represent his thoughts. They're echoed because his head is empty. The space where his brain should be is shaped like an octagon. So that's why the movie is called The Octagon.

Here's a sample. While sitting in a tree we hear his head say:

Chuck Norris' Head: Aaaa.Jayayay. Iffff Iiii Couldtradddde placshshshesss withu... whyiii?

This translates roughly as: A.J. If I could only trade places with you. Why?

You can't understand it. Whether you can understand it or not.

3. A rich guy we don't know and a handful of his plain clothes-yet armed-servants are gunned down at the beginning of this film. The people who did it are referred to as terrorists, but Chuck Norris thinks they're ninjas. Lee Van Cleef tells him that's impossible because being a ninja is illegal, and even killers must obey the law.

4. It turns out they are both wrong and right. It's ninjas who are training terrorists to be Ninja-Terrorists. Terrorists in this film are just a bunch of fat dudes and black chicks.

5. Ninjas in this film always wear black-hooded robes. Even if it's daytime. Even if they're standing in front of a white wall. We tried to use some more subtle ones at first, but Chuck Norris couldn't find them.

6. Chuck Norris goes through three girlfriends in this film. We specifically hired women to have sex with him, but that was totally unnecessary. With each girl, there's a moment where Chuck Norris gently caresses her hand, even if they just met. I realized that this was Christian code for sex. When the third girl takes her shirt of and kisses him, that's Christian code for marriage, which is why she's the only one who doesn't die.

7. Speaking of actresses, not only were they willing to have sex with Chuck Norris, but they also had to be really good at improv because one never knew what would come out of his mouth. It didn't always work out, though. For instance:

Lady failing to seduce Chuck Norris: Well I had hoped to entice you into taking a personal interest in things.

Chuck Norris: That's an insult to both of us. It makes me stupid. And you a whore.

Lady: Well, perhaps that's why I'm glad in a way it didn't work.

Chuck Norris: I'm glad you're glad. And goodbye.

Lady (stumbling for words): Well don't forget your integrity. Without it you come very close to being a rockheart.

See? And then there's this strange exchange:

Lady: I have something to tell you I don't think you'll like.

Chuck Norris: Well I'm waiting.

Lady: I can't find A.J. He's supposed to meet me and I think he's left to find Sakura.

Chuck Norris (suddenly shouting): WHAT!?

Lady: Dammit, don't accuse me.

Chuck Norris: I haven't had the time.

Lady: I am not to blame. Well I am and I'm not. I inadvertently fueled a fire, but I didn't start it.

Chuck Norris: The whys and wherefores don't matter. You wanted a man for this mission and now you've got one.

And then there's this last bit with Lee Van Cleef, whose tendency to wax poetic about nothing went really well with Chuck Norris' non sequential speaking process:

Lee Van Cleef: One thing I like about the Oriental way of thinking: It's a double-edged sword. Example: take no action is an action.

Chuck Norris: Don't you ever get tired of prodding me?

Lee Van Cleef: Yeah, I hate the hell out of it. But I know my limitations.

It helps the effect if you read it like beat poetry.

8. We also hired guys who didn't mind getting hit in the face, but they were unnecessary as well. As you can probably tell if you watch the film, Chuck Norris aims all his kicks and punches about six inches from his target for some reason. If he had ever actually hit something, I think his hand might have broken. I picked him up once and he only weighted about twenty pounds. The guy's got Tweety Bird bones.

9. Ernie Hudson shows up just to talk about how much he respects Chuck Norris and how badly Chuck Norris would beat his ass if they were ever to meet up. This was supposed to foreshadow a big fight, but we couldn't get Chuck Norris in the same room as Ernie Hudson because he's scared of all black people who aren't Louis Gossett Jr.

10. The big secret in this movie is that the guy leading the Terrorist Ninjas is Chuck Norris' brother. As an experiment to see how far this could go, we went ahead and hired a Chinese guy. And yes, Chuck Norris treated him like a brother anyway. That means Chuck Norris thinks he's Chinese. Chuck Norris is a Communist.


(three stars)