Joe Bob Chats With Ice-T About The Most Dangerous Game
In 1932, Fay Wray co-starred in the first of many versions of the story of a bad guy, bored with hunting animals, who decides to hunt down humans instead (Most Dangerous Game, made back-to-back with King Kong, with most of the same human cast). In this version, Ice-T plays a homeless man tricked into being the prey of high-rollers at a secluded woodsy resort. In one of Joe Bob's favorite scenes, Ice-T discovers past trophies: human heads in jars! Just the previous year, director John Woo's version of the story, "Hard Target", came out in theaters, but did Joe Bob want to show you that one? Not with Ice-T in the hood. So if you missed last week's MonsterVision feature, read on as Ice-T remembers "Surviving The Game," with Rutger Hauer, Gary Busey, F. Murray Abraham, Charles S. Dutton of Alien 3, John C. McGinley, and Jeff Corey. 96 minutes, rated R before TNT's high sheriffs got ahold of it. Directed by Ernest Dickerson. Now here's Joe Bob Briggs:
"Surviving The Game" Intro
"Week 4 of Joe Bob's Summer School and it is Black Studies Night. Joining me in just a minute will be Ice-T, the original gangster himself. And we'll be showing one of Ice-T's many films, "Surviving The Game." But for those of you who are actually trying to earn credit this summer, you will now pay attention as Professor Joe Bob presents, in 3 minutes, the complete history of bigotry in America.
First, we had some British bigots. They hassled the Puritans, didn't like em. So the Puritans went to Holland and became Pilgrims. Then some Spanish bigots threatened to hassle the Pilgrims for not being Catholic, and the Dutch bigots in Holland agreed with the Spanish bigots, so the Pilgrims moved from Holland to Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Then the Pilgrims became bigots. The Indians noticed this right away. Then the Pilgrims became Puritans again, and they moved their big-time bigot act up to -- Boston. In 1692 they executed some witches. People didn't like that, they said lemme outa here, I can't take living with these bigots. So to escape these bigots, people fled to Rhode Island, which became the free-est government in the history of Man; you'll notice it is our smallest state. These people became Baptists, who are among our biggest bigots today.
Now here is where it gets complicated.
The English bigots started fighting with the Dutch bigots over which form of bigotry would be used in New York City. But some other English bigots established a bigot capital down in Virginia, and they started hiring professional Portuguese bigots to bring slaves over from Africa. Now, Africa has some of the biggest bigots in the world. They got Hutu bigots, Tutsi bigots, down here [pointing to world map] Zulu bigots.
So whichever bigots were most powerful at the time, they would fork over the weaker tribe to collect that bigot money. Now this is the point where bigotry enters a more civilized stage because it becomes legal. You see, the French bigots, they thought they were being left out. So they killed a bunch of Indians right up here [pointing to map], and they took over Canada. Now, I'm not even gonna go into Canada, except to say the Frogs are still there, they live in Montreal.
Oh yeah, the pioneering bigots. These were people who started starving in Ireland and Scotland, because the governments were full of bigots who didn't care what happened to potato farmers and cattle clans, so they came over to America, they slashed and burned their way West, killing Indians all the way, and they formed what is known today as Texas.
Alright, next we have some of those pesky Catholic bigots. They're trying to slip back up into California here. Fortunately, they were pushed out of the western states by the Mormon bigots. Now there were so many bigots in America that people had to have some place to go. They went to Chicago, to escape the Polish bigots over in Europe, to escape the Irish bigots, the Czech bigots, the Greek bigots, the Aytalian bigots. They were able to form these entire ethnic neighborhoods, in Chicago, and be bigots all together, right?
Then the Massachusetts bigots and the Chicago bigots, they beat the Southern bigots in a big war, and this created a new class of people called Freed Slaves. Well, that made the Southern bigots so mad, that they became worse bigots, and we're skipping ahead here, just a little bit, they eventually drove many of the freed slaves to Detroit. Now, every once in a while, we would need somebody to work at Dennys, so we would open up Ellis Island, and we would let people in who were escaping from bigots, so they could come into America. So by the 20th century, bigotry in all its wonderful forms was so well established, that we started classifying bigots in more sophisticated ways.
So we had racist bigots, religious bigots, sexist bigots, and a dazzling array of university courses in the various forms of bigotry. Finally, there were people who devoted their entire lives to identifying bigots, defining bigots, fighting bigots and pointing their fingers at various types of bigots. These people are called Professors. We now have bigots who hate bigots whose job it is to hate bigots. Thank you.
[fading] And now, Ice-T stars in "Survivng the Game." Is Ice-T in the house? Hey Ice! Welcome to Time-Warner, Man!
"Surviving The Game" Commercial Break #1
The original Gangster, the only artist I know of in fact, who has been publicly condemned by two different Presidents – Bush and Clinton, so we already like him here at MonsterVision. And... and one of the few people on the planet who knows more about black exploitation movies than I do. Author, musician, rapper, Grammy winner, businessman, collector of Porsches, raconteur, Mr. Ice T.
Ice: Wow, thanks for having me.
JB: Now, you’ve seen 9,000 movies, right?
JB: You know the plots.
Ice: I know em
JB: You guys are remaking “The Most Dangerous Game,” in this movie. The title even sounds the same, “Surviving The Game”
JB: And you’ve probably seen every other version of that, including “Hard Target,” which came out the year before
Ice: And you know, when we were making “Surviving The Game,” they knew “Hard Target” was coming out too, and they were like, “Hard Target is another similar plot, but once the movie companies decide that they’re going to make the movie, you’re on with it, you know? And it was an opportunity more for me to play with people like Rutger Hauer, Gary Busey, and, you know, different... F. Murray Abraham, and I was just game to do the movie, period.
JB: You got a great cast, there. Now you do a show over in London that’s a whole lot, I was just talking to you about it, it’s called “Ice-T’s Bad-Ass TV.” Right? Originally it was gonna be about exploitation movies, but they kind of changed it up over there. How did you get into that?
Ice: Like you said, I had a show over here that was going to be called “Ice-TV” that was gonna be similar to your show, where I was going to try to walk people thru different black exploitation films. But it never happened. In England, they saw the early tapes of it and they gave me a show. But my show over there is more of a variety show. Where you can stand on your head and gargle peanut butter, and we had people like Long Dong Silver...
JB: You had Long Dong Silver on the show?
Ice: Yeah, we had video footage on him because we had our own crew that would go out and find the stories. And I told you, Long Dong Silver’s was fake.
JB: I did not know that. Long Dong Silver was a prosthetic, right?
Ice: So we can all get some sleep at night.
JB: Alright. Well, I’m gonna have a lotta questions for you tonight as we watch Surviving The Game, and then Cleopatra Jones. Are you a fan of “Cleopatra Jones?”
Ice: Most definitely
"Surviving The Game" Commercial Break #2
OK. Gary Busey, making one of his great psycho speeches, about that pit-bulldog. Gary’s a little off-center, isn’t he?
Ice: Yeah. Gary Busey’s a crazy man, but he’s real cool. I got to hang out with him. It was funny, we did this, a scene coming up in the film where we have to fight, and there’s a knife involved, and they had this big rubber knife. And Gary said, “We don’t need that rubber knife. Ice-T, let’s do it real.” I’m like, “OK...” We made sure we got it in one take. But you’re going to see this blade
JB: Cause you used a real knife.
Ice: Yeah, there’s a blade that shoots past my face, like quick. And it’s a big Bowie Knife, yeah.
JB: Well, we’re not quite far enough into the movie yet where I can ask you any good questions about it without giving a little plot away. So I wanna ask you about some other flicks. What do you think is the best blaxploitation movie ever made?
Ice: Oh wow... I think, me personally, I like “The Mack” (1973)
JB: “The Mack,” I agree
Ice: Yeah, Max Julian. Has the most crazy philosophy in that stuff. That was a good movie. And I think running a close second would be Superfly with Ron O’Neal.
JB: Alright. I’m gonna give you some names and you give me your instant reaction to the name; free association: Jim Brown
Ice-T: Don’t mess with him
JB: Pam Grier
Ice: Fine... still
JB: Bryant Gumbel
Ice: Who? (laughter) Bryant Gumbel has never seen a black exploitation movie. Bryant’s the guy who put that word exploitation into these movies. To me, they’re just black films, they’re just movies. They were what people were doin’ back then. Let’s move on from... that guy... A cool brother that’s into sports
JB: Tipper Gore (Vice President Al Gore’s wife has attacked the language in rap songs)
Ice: Gag order. Remember? You realize once Tipper got into office, I mean when the President’s got in there, that somebody told her to shut up.
JB: It’s true! I hadn’t thought of that.
Ice: You haven’t heard from her. That’s the great thing. They made it to the White House, now she has to shut up
JB: Quentin Tarantino
Ice: Good man, deep man
JB: Clive Barker
Ice: Another good, deep man. I love scary
JB: Bruce Lee
Ice: Dangerous man, bad. For his weight size, the most powerful man in the world
JB: O.J. Simpson
Ice: Another dangerous man (laughter)
JB: Very good. OK. Ice-T is settling down for a good night’s rest at the hunting lodge in Oregon, as “Surviving The Game” continues. Roll it
Heads preserved in jars. The movie’s getting pretty good (laughter). This is a pretty athletic role you took in this film, right? Which is no big deal for you cause you did four years in the Army.
Ice: Yeah, but I wasn’t ready for the... I wasn’t ready for... you know. You do, like, smaller budget films where they do it, they just actually do it. It was like, when Stallone did “Cliffhanger,” he was never more than ten feet off the ground. In a movie like “Surviving The Game,” you’re like, “Well how’s he going to make me look like I fell off the cliff?” And they just (motions off and down) "Surviving The Game" Commercial Break #3
The first movie I ever saw you in was “Breakin,” which was your first movie, right?
Ice: First movie, yeah (1984)
JB: First of all, whatever happened to Shabba-Doo Quinones, and Boogaloo Shrimp, stars of “Breakin”?
Ice: I don’t know. But, I seen Shrimp. Shrimp has been in Japan, dancing. He still dances. He’s over there, and he’s a big star, he’s trying to get back into actin’ ... I don’t know, I have no idea what’s up with Shabba-Doo. I don’t know. I was not really even an actor in the film, I was just...
JB: You were the hired rapper, right?
Ice: Yeah, well what happened was when they went and made the movie, they walked into an actual club. Producer said, “These will be the rappers, this will be the breakers.” That’s how it happened, they didn’t cast us, they just found us, and made a movie around a scene, and they just said, “Rap.” So I was just rapping, in the background
JB: And then your first real acting job was New Jack City (1991), which I think is the finest thing Mario Van Peebles ever did. And, you played a cop in that. Now, was that a stretch, for you? Did you have a problem with that?
Ice: Well, it wasn’t so much a stretch, but just coming from music, and takin’ a role like that... I was concerned, with whether my audience would think, what they would think. But I played the role, and I realized from that role that, when you’re acting you’re acting, and people will accept you as whatever role you play, if you can pull it off as an actor
[fading] OK. Well, we’re gonna talk more as the movie continues. But right now let’s get back to "Surviving The Game." Over that cliff.
Ice: Yeah. What they did is they used a thing called a descender, it’s like a big fishing reel. And they connect it to your back on a harness, and as you jump, it slows you down. So they can get a camera angle of you falling into the...
JB: So they don’t show you land
Ice: No, it catches you, it catches you. But you still... that’s like, 180 feet (18 stories high), you’re still steppin off of a ledge, with a wire behind your back that you can’t see. It takes bungee jumping to another level.
"Surviving The Game" Commercial Break #4
That was a Hell of a stunt, really. But, now, you do know all that karate stuff, right? You have a belt?
Ice: Yeah. I been takin karate since I was in High School, but I never got into fights. Kind of like, once you get off into martial arts, you tend not to fight
Ice: So it’s kinda cool, it’s cool. I can defend myself
JB: Realistically though, when you were growing up in South Central, does karate and kung fu give you any advantage on the streets? Do people know you know that stuff?
Ice: Well, no. If people know you know it, they shoot you (laughter). So, no, it’s not something you want... you know, the first thing they teach you, anybody who ever studied any Art, is: never jump into a stance, in a street fight. Don’t do that, you know? You kinda let it happen, but you never jump back. “Oh, you know that? OK, let me go get this piece of wood!” No, but, it mentally gets you prepared, and you just tend not to get into as many altercations. You just, mellow out. Cause you know you can take the guy out, see, you just tell the guy, “You don’t wanna do this.”
JB: Alright, well, you said something in this book that I said on this show last year, so I agree with you, so I’m gonna repeat it cause I agree with you. But you basically said, that you think racism would end, if we just went for the obvious solution, and just intermarry like crazy until we’re all the same color, right?
Ice: Right, yeah
JB: You believe that, right?
Yeah, I believe if you have two races involved, and a relationship that... it’s hard to hate, you know? Like, my girlfriend’s Mexican, and we have a little baby. How could I hate anybody Mexican? You know? My son is part Mexican, you know? I think most people in the United States are racially mixed, they just deny it. And people need to get over that
JB: Well, this is Black Studies night, so I’m gonna ask you, cause you mention in the book that you have some French blood, maybe some Creole blood...
Ice: Yeah, my mother was Creole, so that means my grandmother was potentially, like, French and black
JB: Right, which means she was white. So, what really makes you black? Cause a kid doesn’t think of himself as white or black, so what caused you, growing up, to think, “I’m black.”
Ice: That’s the way the game is set up in the United States, you know? People who set up the rules in the United States say that in order to be a white child, you have to have two white parents. And that’s a very arrogant position to take. But that’s one of the major fears of the racist people out there, is if we do get along, you will systematically eliminate the white race, cause there can’t be no white people if only whites and whites... if whites are having babies with asians, blacks, latinos, it will systematically eliminate... it’s fear of a black planet...
[fading] JB: It might confuse Bryant Gumbel
Ice: As long as we don’t all become one sex, I’m all right
JB: OK. We’re gonna watch more of “Survivng The Game,” so roll the film
"Surviving The Game" Commercial Break #5
When you started, as a rapper, it was a pretty small business. And in the last two-three-four years, we read all this stuff about how the East Coast rappers killed Tupac, and the West Coast rappers did a hit on the East Coast... Since you’re the original gangster, where do you fit into all that, when all that stuff is comin down? You gotta have people who tell you what’s goin on, right?
Ice: What happened with Notorious BIG and Tupac, was they engaged in a real personal battle, and it was a little deeper than just music. I mean, competition on rap records, rap is the only music that can be compared to a sport. You know? I get on the mic and I say I’m good. The next guy gets on the mic, says he’s better, plus he was with my sister. And I reply back to him, and the DJ, my DJ is better than yours, and we compete, and that’s all healthy. But when you get into a situation where I’m seriously mad at you and I don’t like you, and then we engage in this battle, on records, and it gets to the point where I’m really talking about killing you, and it’s serious, it’s very dangerous considering I got a million fans and you got a million fans. And I just write it down as rock & roll. I mean, when you’re involved in rock, things get out of hand, you start getting a little carried away.
Been a lotta deaths in rock & roll, this is an unfortunate thing. I don’t think it will ever happen again in rap, I think it put a lot of kid’s heads right, you know, that this is real. If people feel that Big mighta had something to do with Pack’s death, and then he walkin in the streets, and there’s a lot of people who love him, and it’s almost like with me... When I was in, back with the Cop Killer thing, I was so much afraid of the police. But I could have walked into a bar, and somebody could have been, had a father who was a cop, and then decided they wanted to have a real conflict with me. And I could’ve been in a situation where I got killed, or I had to defend myself. And you gotta be careful. Some things you say have ramifications
JB: I want you to stick around, after this movie, cause we’re gonna show Tamara Dobson in “Cleopatra Jones” (1973)
Ice: That’s gonna work, in the prisons... I don’t think the guys right now are really watchin... there’s no women in this one
JB: A little different kind of movie, but filmed in your home turf, L.A.
JB: OK, back to the film
[final segment missing, my videotape ran out]
"Surviving The Game" is available on DVD from Amazon.com
With foxes harder and harder to find, not to mention foxhunt protesters, the latest craze in England is “Drag Hunts.” A human quarry drags or drops a sweat-soaked rag at the starting line, then runs cross-country. The hunting dogs are released, followed by hunters on horseback in traditional foxhunt garb, and everyone’s happy. The runner rewards the dogs by tossing dog biscuits when they catch him. Not exactly the nasty ending suggested in “Hound Of The Baskervilles,” based on a legend Arthur Conan Doyle heard once about a servant girl hunted down and killed on the moors.
Original transcript on TNT was erased with the MonsterVision website. Blame any mis-spellings on this here one on Bill Laidlaw.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Ice-T ............. Jack Mason
Rutger Hauer ...... Burns
Charles Dutton .... Walter Cole
Gary Busey ........ Doc Hawkins
F. Murray Abraham .... Wolfe Sr.
John C. McGinley ..... Griffin
William McNamara ..... Derek Wolfe Jr
Jeff Corey ........... Hank
Bob Minor ............ Security Guard
Lawrence C. McCoy .... Hotel Clerk
George Fisher ........ Taxi Driver
Jacqui Dickerson ..... Taxi Passenger
Victor Morris ........ Homeless Father
Frederic Collins Jr. .... Homeless Child
Steven King ............. Mercedes Driver
Filmed in Wenatchee National Forest, Washington State
"I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her." Ellen Degeneres
In 1870s San Francisco, a streetgang led by a thug named Muldoon controlled the waterfront. A local newspaper started a campaign to end it, but was afraid of naming him in print, so they spelled his name backwards and changed the first letter to "h" and refered to it as the Hoodlum Gang. Within a few years, all streetgangs were refered to as hoodlums, and has now been shortened to simply hoods. At least that's what I heard in the 'hood.