FOUR weeks into my business trip to Saudi Arabia, I’ve been watching hotel television and have noticed that most of the channels are Islamically-correct news or sports channels.
Not that I was expecting X-rated channels. Far from it. But out of the 60 channels I currently have in the cheaper hotel I’m now staying at in Jeddah after leaving the Crowne Plaza, 50 per cent of them are football channels, 30 per cent are Arabic news channels, while only 20 per cent of them are movie and entertainment channels in Arabic and English.
The Fox Movie channel seems to specialize in films from the late 1980s and early 1990s that no one watched in movie theaters when they were initially released, but do watch now because they’re on a free channel and because there are scant other choices.
Being a captive in a hotel room means that I have been watching snippets of channels that I would never usually watch. The other day I watched a Turkish soap opera dubbed into Arabic that featured a pretty young woman with long dark brown hair being chased around Berlin airport by two Arab-looking men, until she managed to escape onto a flight to Istanbul. Lurking in the shadows of the airport was a German-looking man who it seems was the boyfriend of the pursued woman.
Another night I caught a Pakistani movie from the late 1960s that had a ridiculous romantic storyline but featured the best mod clothes and hairdos that I had seen in a long time. Of course, in between the channels that I watched were plenty of other ones offering the usual endless parade of Egyptian movies featuring characters shouting their heads off and trying to pull off what they think are comedic acts.
On Dubai One I caught Rosie O’Donnell being interviewed on the Tyra Banks Show. Her face looked so weird, her mouth frozen in a strange way, that I swore she had Botoxed herself to hell.
The best movie I’ve seen so far in my hotel stay was the 1991 Brandon Lee and Dolph Lundgren film Showdown in Little Tokyo. Lundgren is police detective Chris Kenner, an American who grew up in post-World War II Japan, and whose parents were brutally murdered in front of his eyes by a member of the Japanese Yakuza. He’s paired with Lee, who plays a biracial cop who does not know much about Japanese culture despite having a Japanese mother.
The best line in the movie is when Lee tells Lundgren that his penis is the biggest one he’s ever seen: “Just in case we get killed, I just wanted to say you’ve got the biggest dick I’ve ever seen on a man.”
“Thanks, I don’t know what to say,” Lundgren replies. Watch the clip above.
Unfortunately, parts of the movie were so mutilated in order for it to be shown on a family-oriented TV channel, that I was not able to see much of Lee's or Lundgren's bodies in the Japanese bath scene. The scene where they are both bare chested while being tortured with electrical jolts while strapped down to metal bed frames, is deliciously sexy, what with Lundgren's tight jeans and Lee's abs.