No. 198 – Downlode To Go

Downlode[1] “gun sharks” (hitmen) Finnigan “Finny” Sinister (left panel, left) and Ramone “Ray” Dexter (left panel, right), together known as Sinister Dexter, created by Dan Abnett and David Millgate, here drawn by Simon Davis for the cover of prog 1061 (1997) v hitmen Vincent Vega (John Travolta, right panel, left) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson, right panel, right) from Quentin Tarantino’s classic Pulp Fiction (1994)

The fictional chain of Hawaiian-themed fast food restaurants, Big Kahuna Burger, is a running gag of sorts in Tarantino’s films, and has also cropped up in Reservoir Dogs (Miramax Films, 1992), Four Rooms [Tarantino’s segment, Penthouse – The Man from Hollywood] (Miramax Films, 1995), From Dusk Till Dawn (Miramax Films, 1996) and Death Proof (Dimension Films, 2007).

Similarly, Sinister Dexter stories enjoy satirising the fast food industry with restaurant chains named Pitta Party, Jacket And Thai, Pad Thai [pun slightly undermined by the current spelling of “phad thai” ผัดไทย], Meat Lolly, Tofu To U, Get Freaky Tzatziki, Steak Out, Dutch Oven, Harissa Explains It All [harissa: north African hot chilli pepper paste], Deli Belly, Bite Sighs, I Love Sushi, Chow Bella, Gobchutes [gob: Irish slang for “mouth”], Munchbox, The Snackers Yard, What Sup, Get Stuffed, The Gastronomicon, The Cake Hole[2], Grill Power [presumably a pun on “thrill-power“], The Good Burgers of Calais, Intant Korma, the “Tec-Mex” chain Chicken Itza, and our personal favourite, Burger Me Senseless.[3]

Notes:

  1. Fictional mega-city engulfing most of Europe; essentially a European Mega-City One, ranging at the very least – although the boundaries are never clearly delineated – from Spain to eastern Europe
  2. There are in fact two food industry-related Cake Holes in the UK: here and here
  3. It’s not so much that we didn’t get all of the slang terms or double entendres, it’s that we’re just not touching some of them

No. 141 – The Avenger

Patrick Macnee (pictured here in 2000) image courtesy IMDb.com

Frederick Begley from prog 2050’s (2017) Sinister Dexter drawn by Steve Yeowell vs. Patrick Macnee (1922–2015)

Daniel Patrick Macnee was a British film and television actor, best known for his role as secret agent John Steed in the British television series The Avengers (1961−69, ITV/ABPC/Thames).

In 2007 The Avengers was ranked #20 in TV Guide’s “Top Cult Shows Ever”.

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No. 103 – Sinister Cassidy

Greg Staples’ cover for prog 1153 (1999) featuring Irish hitman Finnigan “Finny” Sinister of Sinister Dexter vs. Irish vampire [Proinsias] Cassidy (right) from Preacher (Vertigo Comics), created by Garth Ennis and here illustrated by Glenn Fabry

No. 87 – Enter the Ninjas

Prog 1192’s (2000) Sinister Dexter cover by Jason BrashillBruce Lee [born Lee Jun-fan, Chinese: 李振藩] (1940–1973) in a still from Enter the Dragon (1973)

Considered one of the greatest martial arts films of all time, Enter the Dragon was released on 26 July 1973 in Hong Kong, six days after Lee’s death. Lee himself is widely regarded as a pop icon of the 20th century, and is credited with changing the way Asians are portrayed in American films.

Lee also developed his own hybrid martial art known as Jeet Kune Do (or Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do, after Lee himself), “The way of the intercepting fist,” based on the Wing Chun[1] [Chinese: 詠春] concept of interception or attacking when one’s opponent is about to attack.

  1. A traditional southern Chinese Wushu [Chinese: 武術] Kungfu (an umbrella term for Chinese martial arts) form of self-defence utilising both striking and grappling in close-quarter combat

No. 71 – Heat

Prog 1055’s Sinister Dexter cover by Simon Davis (written by Dan Abnett) vs. theatrical poster for Michael Mann’s Heat (1995)

Television producer, screenwriter, actor, former Chicago policeman and personal friend of director Michael Mann, Charles Fredrick “Chuck” Adamson (1936–2008) was the inspiration for Al Pacino’s character Lt. Vincent Hanna, and the officer who tracked down the real-life Neil McCauley (portrayed in the film by Robert De Niro), a calculating criminal and former Alcatraz inmate, with whom – as reflected in the film – Adamson did in fact have a civil cup of coffee after a chance meeting, and eventually killed in a shoot-out in 1964.

No. 69 – Lake Placid

Simon Davis’ Sinister Dexter (written by Dan Abnett) cover for prog 1026 vs. theatrical poster for Lake Placid (1999)

There are in fact five Lake Placids in the United States – three in Florida alone, one in New York and one in Texas – and none in Maine, where the film is set, and where none of it was actually shot.

The tag line, “Death Fish!” is likely a nod to Michael Winner’s Death Wish (Paramount Pictures/Columbia Pictures, 1974) series of films, starring Charles Bronson (1921–2003).

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No. 68 – Murder on the Suleiman Express

Prog 1443’s Sinister Dexter cover by Simon Davis vs. Richard Amsel’s (1947–1985) theatrical poster for Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

An elegant example of satisfying the “Likeness Clause” in the contracts of film many stars whereby the size of a given actor’s likeness must be equal to all other actors featured in the advertising campaign

paramount.com

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