Thursday, June 4, 2009

RIP David Carridine Kwai Chang Caine from Kung Fu

By now I think everyone who cares have seen the new that actor David Carridine was found dead in a hotel in Thailand. The details are sketchy and the investigation looks to be a clusterfuck. Was his death a suicide or something else. Either way my heart goes out to the carridine family.
I can remember my first days of watching Kung Fu. The little known show from the early 70's that catipulted David Carridine from journeyman actor to star. The show was basically about a fugitive shaolin monk who travels thought the old west in search of his half brother, armed only with his knowledge of Kung Fu. The show alternated from his current adventures to his dreamlike memories of his training in the shaolin temple with Master Po.
As far as action shows go this one was actually pretty lame. David Carridine knew very little Kung FU but that was't the appeal of KF at least for me. It was Caine's zen like demeanor and of course his ability to defeat any combatant using his skills. He also was a cool motherfucker. That was one of the traits of David Carridine that transcended the confines of a simple early 70's action television show.
Think about it that quiet unassuming guy who didn't want any trouble and was always pushed to fight against their wishes but kicks ass that was David Carridines personality and it was that gave Kung Fu it's appeal. Anyone who has watched more than one Shaw brothers martial arts film owes a debt to Carridine and Kung Fu for helping to make the reluctant, spiritual fighter a mainstay that it was for many action films. If you only know David Carridine from Kill Bill or that god awful second version of Kung Fu go to you tube and take a gander at some of the old Kung Fu episode clips.
RIP Davind Carridine aka Kwai Chang Caine from Kung Fu.

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Writer, librarian, citizen of the world.