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The Suburban Samurai and the Adventures of Jeff

Summer 1996 and Spring 1997; 34 minutes; cast and crew of 4; approximate cost of $0; rated PG.

Synopsis

This is a combination of two originally separate movies, so it makes sense to talk about the two parts of the movie separately.

Legend of the Samurai

The Suburban Samurai is a dubbed (on-site) parody of foreign fighting movies, owing much inspiration to the works of Jackie Chan. The plot: thugs are rampant (one thug beats a man named "Anonymous" to death with a tennis racket) and it is up to the Suburban Samurai to stop them. His battle will lead him to dangerous places and he will have to fight powerful opponents, but he is successful. That is... until he meets Jeff.

Story of the Idiot

The Adventures of Jeff is a completely improvised work revolving around the life of a complete loser. Little can be said about this pathetic individual other than that he fights "brown sea monsters" in the toilet, plays with action figures, and stalks around his house searching for the Holy Grail. He has no life to speak of. Well... until he meets the Suburban Samurai.

When the two plots converge, the Suburban Samurai teaches Jeff the ways of the Samurai. Jeff shows some progress but, his physical agility far worse than that of a three-year-old child, he accidentally strikes his master with a pole and kills him. Thus Jeff becomes the new Samurai, and it will be up to Jeff (though he may not be capable) to bring the heavy hand of justice down on the ruthless thugs.

Characters

  • the Suburban Samurai, played by Clark Kirkman
  • Jeff, played by Aaron Hemphill
  • Anonymous, played by David Benjamin
  • Thug, played by Aaron Hemphill
  • Punk, played by David Benjamin
  • Crime Lord, played by Jeff Parker
  • Referee, played by Aaron Hemphill

Influences

The Suburban Samurai is influenced largely by Jackie Chan's older dubbed movies as well as such slapstick sources as the classic series Police Squad! There are also little scenes from The Fugitive and National Lampoon's Vacation worked into the movie. As for The Adventures of Jeff, there are the obvious Holy Grail movie influences, and there might be a little Mr. Bean in the character Jeff.

Method

The Suburban Samurai was dubbed on-site; for example, when Clark was on camera, I provided his voice from behind the camera. It was "written" on the spot, as was The Adventures of Jeff.

Firsts

  • Not counting Huck Finn, in which voices were provided for puppets, this is the first "dubbed" Tokugawa movie. I would like to do a full-length movie with true post-production dubbing at some point.
  • First time we've blown actor Clark Kirkman's hair with a fan (this was later done for Fuzzywhumple Resurrection, in the scene where he is transported to Fuzzywhumple Land).
  • First time the lead character dies... oh, nevermind, I guess we have done that before!

Lessons learned

I don't think we learned anything from this.

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