Raw Deal

I am a big fan of 1980s action movies, and as a kid, I used to idolise Arnold SchwarzeneggerCommando, Predator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day I think I would have seen about 50 times or more.  Well, recently, I was looking up some 1980s music tracks on YouTube and I came upon the track “Kaminski Stomps” from the 1986 Schwarzenegger movie Raw Deal.  This is one of Schwarzenegger’s lesser-popular movies from that era, and I had only seen it a few times, many years ago (watched it in the theatre when I was in school, and then later on on VHS, and on TV).  So I rewatched it a couple of days back, and while not up to the standard of those other movies, this was pretty fun.  That inspired this drawing –

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Raw Deal - Drawing by Karthik AbhiramThe drawing was done in ballpoint pen mostly.  I used a bit of red gel pen to add the blood splats, and the gun was done with a black marker pen.  Nothing that fancy.  I scanned the image and then added a paper texture to it, and then the text, in Helvetica Neue font.

You may notice that the title of the movie is different in my poster – it says Triple Identity.  That was one of the working titles for the movie, before it got retitled to Raw Deal.  I thought that sounded stylish, so I used that instead.

The movie stars Schwarzenegger as Mark Kaminski, an ex-Federal Agent working as a Sheriff in a small town (doesn’t this sound very similar to his 2013 The Last Stand?), after a legal case forced him to resign.  He is approached by the FBI’s Harry Shannon (Darren McGavin) to infiltrate the gang of Chicago mobster Luigi Patrovita (Sam Wanamaker) and take the whole operation down.  Kaminski enters the gang posing as the criminal Joseph P Brenner, and what follows is a fun outing as he carries out what he was asked to do.

I’d rate the movie overall a 7/10, as the action quotient is a bit less here, but one thing to enjoy are the one-liners.  I also liked the music by Cinemascore (which I guess is an umbrella term for the people who contributed music to the movie – Chris Boardman, Tom Bahler, Albhy Galuten).

In-progress Drawings

Here are a few in-progress shots as I was drawing this.  These were all taken on my phone (Micromax Canvas HD) camera and processed in Snapseed.  The collage was made with the PhotoGrid app and I finally posted both of them on Instagram.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in RAW DEAL - Artwork by Karthik Abhiram - In-ProgressThis below picture I call “Kaminski Stomps”, after the name of the track that inspired me to do this entire drawing.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in RAW DEAL - In progress artwork by Karthik Abhiram


You can find music from the soundtrack uploaded on YouTube.  Below are two of my favourites.

“Kaminski Stomps” – this is the track that plays during the end credits –

“Brains & Trains” – this is the track that plays during the opening scene of the movie –


The movie is good fun.  Nobody Gives Schwarzenegger a Raw Deal!

The Raid: Redemption

In the previous post, I mentioned that I did a new drawing.  Well, this is it – it’s a drawing based on a movie called The Raid.  You can click on any of the images in this post to see a larger version.

The Raid is an Indonesian martial arts / action movie, written and directed by Gareth Evans.  It is about a SWAT Team that enters a building to capture a drug lord.  But once inside, the team find themselves trapped – and the crime boss has given free reign to all the thugs and gangsters inside the building to kill the cops.  The cops must fight to survive.

The movie stars Iko Uwais, the lead from Gareth Evans’ earlier film Merantau, and for the US release of the movie, it has a music score by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Joe Trapanese.

Everything I have seen (trailers) and read about the movie indicate that it is going to be an amazing 100 minutes full of violent action and incredible fight choreography.

That is what inspired me to make a drawing of this movie.  As with many of my other drawings, it is based on screenshots from the trailers.  It was done in pencil on my A5-size sketchbook (pencil mostly, the blood splats were done with a red gel pen), scanned and then coloured in Photoshop Elements.

Below are a couple of “behind the scenes” images of the drawing.  First is the original scan without the digital edits –

And here is a photo of the sketchbook along with the pencils and the pen used to draw it –

The drawing didn’t take me all that long to do – probably around 30-45 minutes to draw, and editing may be another half an hour.

Those of you who are following me on Facebook and Twitter would have seen me sharing links about this movie for the past two or three months.

It all started with this incredible (red-band US) trailer –


I was hooked the moment I saw this.  Fast, furious violent action, awesome music track by Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese (I downloaded the clip from YouTube, converted it into an MP3 file and have it on my phone for listening whenever I want).

This is what led me to follow articles about it.  Reviewers who have seen this movie screened at film festivals have written that it really does live up to the hype and that the action scenes are really as good as they seem to be, from the trailers.

A couple of days back, the US trailer showed up (the movie will be released on March 23 in the US, with the title of The Raid: Redemption).  This one has some new footage and a different music track.


There is also an Indonesian Trailer (which is basically the same as the US version, but with a different music score and a few extra seconds at the end).

Apparently, there is a sequel to The Raid being made, and that will be called Berandal (Indonesian word for thug).  However, that will be released in the US as The Raid: Retaliation, and there will be a third film too in the future (what will that be called, I wonder – The Raid: Retribution?).

All this is well and good, but after seeing all this awesome stuff from the movie, I was wondering whether we in India will get to see it on a big screen.  After all, the powers that be DID release the following films in theatres in India – Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, Josh Trank’s Chronicle, J J Abrams’ Super 8.  But on the other hand, David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was denied a release due to censorship issues.

Martial arts / action movies shouldn’t be tough to sell in India, and The Raid does not seem to have nudity in it (which is a problem for our censors).  Violence is OK – I remember that scenes of throat slashing were cut out from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, but martial arts stuff should pass through I guess.

Rather than just take a guess, I tweeted Sony Classics about it –

One person retweeted this, mentioning Gareth Evans and Merantau Films as well –

And then imagine my surprise, when I actually got a reply on that tweet from Merantau Films –

That’s pretty awesome isn’t it?  Another person on Twitter tells me about the Indian distributor for The Raid – 

If they do in fact release the movie here, it’ll be great.  I just hope they don’t make too many cuts, and that they don’t dub the voices in an Indianised English accent (like what has been done in the past for TV versions of Asian movies).

If the film doesn’t get released here then we have to purchase it on DVD – the Indonesian DVD it seems will have both the Mike Shinoda music score as well as the original music track from the Indonesian release.

There are a couple of articles I read yesterday about the title.  First is an article from TwitchFilm, and the second is a post from the horse’s mouth – from Gareth Evans’ blog.

It seems that the title The Raid wasn’t available for them to use in the US, so that’s why they tacked on the Redemption at the end.  I guess it makes sense also, since it’d set up a franchise nicely.

(The same could be said for the Vin Diesel movie Pitch Black – which was subsequently marketed as The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black after the release of the sequel.)

As Evans says, perhaps it’s wise not to focus too much on the title, which would appear on screen for maybe five seconds, and better to enjoy the 100 minutes of ass-kicking in the rest of the film!

But the film, it is still the same film we screened at festivals and all I hope is that you all read whatever part of that 5 second titlecard you want to when it pops up on screen, forget the rest and enjoy seeing my good friends beat the shit out of each other for 100 mins.

Here’s the movie’s page on IMDb.  The Indonesian title appears to be Serbuan Maut – I wonder what ‘maut’ means – does it mean ‘death’ as it does in Hindi?

So there you have it – I hope I will be posting a review of the movie on my blog at some point of time not too far in the future!