Episode #247 – Collaboration with Jeremy Lesniak from Whistlekick on the Ladder Fight from Jackie Chan’s First Strike and Like a Hood Ornament 7 – Cliff Fights a Giant and Survives!


This week, Jeremy Lesniak from whistlekick.com rejoins the show as we do another fight scene analysis of the famous ladder scene from the film, First Strike.  You can listen to a similar version of this episode on Jeremy’s show as episode 497.


It’s a great example of the use of everyday items that can be used as weapons of self defense.  There’s a little scene in The Thirteenth Hour interlude, Empty Hands, that discusses this very idea:

After we’d finished for the day, I eyed the wall of weapons.  Frankly, I wasn’t especially attached to any of them.  Not the way Aron was to the sickles or Lance to the sword.  In fact, the idea of cleaving someone open with a bladed weapon and seeing their tortured expression was nauseating.  I’d grown up around bows, since they were tools to put meat on the table, and while the Army ones were nicer and more powerful than the rough ones people in my village had used, I didn’t think of them much differently than, say, rakes or fishing poles.  The only one I’d taken any interest in was the sling, and that was only really because in order to use it, we had to go hunting for smooth stones to use as ammunition.  The stones reminded me of one of my favorite pastimes as a child – skipping rocks over the water – though my accuracy was so horrendous that I might as well have thrown the damn things. 

The only weapons exercise I actually enjoyed didn’t even involve weapons in the traditional sense.  It was a weekly session jointly taught with the wizards where we were given random objects from daily life, like umbrellas, gardening rakes, toothbrushes, and in one case, potted plants.  We then had to defend ourselves from a partner coming at us with a haymaker or an overhand sword strike (supposedly the two most common attacks we would be facing).  You could use whatever orthodox unarmed or magical techniques you wanted to defend yourself … or you could think fast and come up with a creative way to jury rig the household item you were given for your defense.  I was only fair with the unarmed stuff and horrible with magic, but coming up with a new way to use an ink bottle or a folding chair for self-defense was probably the only fun I had in our combat training.  However, that was a very small part of the curriculum, and before long, it was back to more repetitive drills with the sword or spear.

Speaking of a long weapon like the spear, how would you use a ladder if that’s all you had?  Would you spin it around, unfold it, throw it, etc?  Interesting thing to thin about as you watch the clip.  Speaking of which, let’s get to the clip!  We’re watching this scene at 1/4 speed, starting at 3:17 (should load at that time by clicking on the link below).  You can follow along in real time by clicking below:


This little animated .gif is, of course, from the point in the movie where the Rocketeer, not above a little self conscious vanity, asks how he looks.  Peevy, not above a little blunt honesty, says “Like a hood ornament!”  The Rocketeer blasts off for the first time, Peevy gets blown backwards into the hangar, and I get a name for this part of the podcast!


This week’s Like a Hood Ornament section is also a fight scene analysis of a short altercation (plays not long after the .gif above) in the 1991 film … starting at 1:00 in.  As before, the clip will be playing in the background with commentating occurring in real time.  Cliff loses his weapon (in this case, a Mauser C96 pistol) and has to improvise – in this case, using his rocket pack to accelerate his flying tackle).

Stay tuned for more Rocketeer talk next week!  Stay safe!




There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!


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