saturday night’s alright for half-naked fighting

so a good friend and myself went and watched 300 last week, and enjoyed it (because people got stabbed to death violently) even though it was very sad (because elephants died and looked very sad doing so, which makes janklow feel a little bad) and even though the Persians had a cave troll. fucking Lord of the Rings, now EVERYONE has a cave troll.

ANYWAY, prior to viewing this film, we were informed by two mutual co-workers that it’s “gay” for two men to go see a movie together, even if both men are straight and even with the requisite buffer zone of seating between them. however, it’s apparently totally straight for one man to watch a bunch of nearly-naked men grapple and stab each other. hell, these guys even defend THE most homoerotic fight scene in all of cinema, the final fight in Commando: you want to put the knife in me, and look me in the eye, and see whats going on in there when you turn it, thats what you want to do, right? yeah, that shit ain’t right.

so we spent the next hour or so after the movie eating and discussing the greatest half-naked fight scenes in movies. here are the ground rules: a) the movie’s setting has to pre-date 500 AD; b) weapons should be involved; c) at least one combatant must not be wearing a shirt; d) those leather bondage straps people “wear” for some reason don’t count as a shirt. and now, the list!

06. Troy

in the past i have dismissed this film as badly written, directed and acted; filled with inaccurate crap; and being part of this movie-for-women-disguised-as-a-movie-for-men conspiracy. however, i will overlook all that and point out that the opening fight where Brad Pitt kills some huge half-naked dude is alright by me.

05. Jason and the Argonauts

i know, i know, this is sort of cheating, but none of those skeletons that Jason was fighting with were wearing shirts.

04. Spartacus

i admit i haven’t seen this movie in something like 10-15 years, but it definitely has one weird but decent fight in the early going. however, this scene will mainly be defined for me by that episode of the Sopranos in the third season (i want to say it’s “He Is Risen”) where Ralph is watching Spartacus and bitching about Kurt Douglas’ haircut.

03. Gladiator

much to the disgust of everyone i know, i don’t really like this movie. there’s a lot of little things about it that rub me the wrong way, but it’s at least better than Troy. regardless, i can’t remember if anyone is outright SHIRTLESS in the chariot-fight scene, but someone is shirtless in the big Maximus-versus-Tigris fight, which also reminds me of the bullshit involved in guys just shrugging off leaping tigers.

02. 300

i would be a little at fault if i didn’t throw 300 a bone and comment on the fact that it’s pretty excellent when the Spartans actually start fighting people (and thus justify their near-nudity up until this point). if i was forced to decide on one scene, well, forget the elephant murder, let’s go with the Immortals … because, after all, they had a cave troll.

01. Rome

anyone that’s seen the series probably knows where i’m going with this: that ridiculously awesome (and bloody) gladiator fight that occurs near the end of season one where limbs get chopped off and Pullo yells “13” constantly. this is also the scene in which i realized that the ancient Romans, much like the Persians, also had a cave troll. i would like to include the more recent tongue-biting incident from this current season, but everyone appears to be dressed.

i admit this list is a little light by my general standards, but i don’t think i’ve watched a ton of scenes in this vein. but that’s my fault, so drop any suggestions you’ve got.

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