Double Dragon and 8-Bit Pale Ale

Before I was even eight years old, two video games left an indelible impression on me, Contra and Double Dragon. The local grocery store, had a Contra cabinet near the front entrance. Every time I went to the store with my parents I was hypnotized. Just watching the play through of the first level, or others playing, it was unlike anything I had ever seen. I begged, pleaded, and negotiated for a quarter to no avail. Until one day my mom broke down, coughed up a quarter and I pressed start. And immediately died. My first game I’m sure could be measure in seconds. But I was hooked.

Nestled in the corner of The Razorback Roller Rink’s arcade was a Double Dragon cabinet. It was the closest machine to the rink and anyone skating would pass it every time around. Maybe I was interested in Double Dragon because the characters were in blue and red just like Contra or maybe it was music (which is fantastic). Whatever it is Contra and Double Dragon and their sequels, are the two game franchises I’ve replayed the most.

Tallgrass Brewing in Manhattan, Kansas started in 2007. It wasn’t until 2010 the company decided to exclusively can their beers. The 8-Bit Pale Ale is and American Pale Ale that adds Galaxy Hops before canning. The packaging for this beer is like a heat seeking missile for anyone that ever touched a controller in their life.Check it out:


Double Dragon was the second movie based on a video game to be released. And at age ten I knew to stay away. I don’t recall seeing Super Mario Bros. in theaters but I knew something wasn’t right for the Lee brothers. The game is straightforward. There’s no pipes to crawl through, no magical flower that shoots fireballs, and no hidden staircases. In a cut scene girlfriend Marian is kidnapped by some no good punks. And it’s up to Billy and Jimmy Lee fight through every gang in the city to get her back.

Now the movie Double Dragon takes place in the year 2007 in a city called New Angeles. After a massive earthquake gangs rule the night while citizens are kept inside under a strict curfew. A vigilante group of teens calling themselves Power Corps is taking back the streets one night at a time. Billy (Scott Wolf, yeah him!)  and Jimmy (Mark Dacascos) Lee are annoying karate brats who end up with half of a mystical dragon medallion. Robert Patrick calling himself Koga Shuko plays the villain who possess the other half of the medallion, and won’t stop stop until he has both halves and unlocks ultimate power. Oh, and Marian (Alyssa Milano) the kidnapped girlfriend? She’s the leader of Power Corps and is the daughter of the chief of police who formed an uneasy alliance with the street gangs. And she doesn’t even get kidnapped. Got all that?

This movie is a hot mess. And not in a fun campy kind of way like Mario or Street Fighter. So many bad choices were made. I understand that Super Mario Bros is not something that can be easily adapted. But Double Dragon is so simple. Why make it a futuristic, mystical family movie? I’m not saying this movie needed to be a gritty affair. In fact a lot of the stuff can work. The future? Ok, fine. Dragon medallion? That could work. But have some damn fighting in the movie! There’s car chases, foot chases, even a boat chase? Why is nobody getting kneed in the face and then thrown off a platform? Why not hit somebody with a steel pipe? Where’s the gang of chicks in corsets with whips? Have Marian get kidnapped. She’s kidnapped in like every game! The movie should have written itself. It is a chore to watch. There’s a lot of weird cameos from the likes of George Hamilton, Andy Dick, Michael Berryman, and Al Leong, who was in every other movie in the 80s. Also unlimited power comes in the form of sleeveless studded karate gi. I can imagine how annoyed parents must have been seeing this in theaters in a time before beer concessions at the multiplex.

The Galaxy Hops used in 8-Bit, I feel, have a pine flavor to them. While the hops dominate the first taste the malt balances out about half way through. I drank straight from the can as one should. All Tallgrass products come in 4 packs of 16 ounce cans. Drinking four in under two hours is not pleasant. The hops dry out your tongue. May want to keep a glass of water handy. But if you’re going to watch this movie you’ll need all 32 bits.

With picking this movie I had two viewing options, pay $2.99 for a rental on Youtube. Or watch for free on Youtube with Romanian subtitles. Which were off by a good thirty seconds or more. The only way to watch this turd.





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