David Carradine's Tai Chi Workout
United States - 1993
Director - David Nakaharaa
Goldhil Video, 1993, VHS
Run Time - 58 minutes
Not long ago a friend of mine came over with a new cache of VHS tapes he had recently acquired. Among them was something that I hadn’t seen before; David Carradine’s Tai Chi Workout. As my friend and I were watching the tape I began wondering what Carradine’s uniformly leotarded extras were thinking. They seemed unenthusiastic, distracted and uncharacteristically deadpan for an exercise video (I’ve seen more than I wish to admit.) Were they silently lamenting the hideous color scheme of their outfits, or irritated by the tinny fake “Asian” music in the background? Perhaps they were trying to keep from laughing at Carradine’s thinning bowlcut and twig-like arms. Frankly, they looked storied, unstimulated, as if they’ve seen it all before. Just like any other job, I can picture them bitching about work and talking behind the boss’s back. Were they just going through the motions to collect a check, did they exchange war stories, sabotage each-other’s work?
Read more of my analysis and breakdown of the exercise home video boom, including a handy diagramatic family tree at Paracinema.net.