Harold “Odd Job” Sekata
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6th Apr 05
A paranoid, leisure-suit-wearing conman/gigolo named Matt Stone seduces lonely women, steals their savings via an investment scam, then kills them. Absolute must viewing for William Shatner fans!
Review Impulse just may be the most must-see film you’ve never heard of. If you HATE William Shatner in all his cheesy glory, don’t read any further. If you, like all of us here at eatmybrains.com, LOVE the Shatner then please, stick around. I have something very important to tell you.
I recently won this massive-box VHS format on eBay. Even though I had never even heard of it, I had to get it because a) Shatner was in it and b) Harold “Odd Job” Sakata is also in it. The very fact that he is officially billed as Harold “Odd Job” Sakata on the video sleeve made this worth owning. That was enough for me. But wait. It gets better. Sekata’s character is called ‘Karate Pete’. With credentials like this I didn’t expect Impulse to be any good. The word ‘good’ just doesn’t seem to fit Impulse. It’s essential.
The story opens with a sepia flashback – a young boy witnesses the rape of his mother and subsequently samurai-swords the nasty man in the stomach on impulse. Cut to present day. The opening titles roll as Shatner is enjoying a front-row seat at a belly-dancing club. The belly dancer is paying a lot of attention to Shatner, and by God he loves the attention. I’ve never seen Shatner like this before. Next, the smooth devil is getting off with her in the car, the sight of which upsets his current ‘official’ lady friend. Upon calling his belly-dancing bit on the side a “tramp”, Shatner acts on impulse again and strangles her. Wow. I’ve never seen Shatner like this before.
In Impulse, Shatner’s character is called Matt Stone. Pretty solid name eh? M-A-T-T S-T-O-N-E. Well yes, but for the purposes of this review he’ll be known simply as Shatner. The smooth chain-smoking devil is a con-man who seduces women, rips them off with an investment scam, then vanishes and moves on to his next target. He’s a nasty piece of work with serious issues. And he really is quite the ladies man. The main bulk of the story revolves around Shatner ‘dating’ a pretty young widow called Anne. She has a young daughter called Tina who knows that Shatner is not all he seems. She also misses her father terribly and doesn’t want him replaced just yet, especially not by the Shatner. Without giving too much away, Tina is the sole witness to Shatner’s murderous actions and no-one (including her mum) will believe her. She’s scared shitless and we’re scared for her. Eventually, the truth comes to the surface, if a little too late.
When Shatner is dating Anne, its clear to us that he’s a nutcase. For a start, he explodes in rage when a balloon-seller (see picture) at a fun fair accidentally brushes her balloons across his face – his reaction to this is one of the many reasons you have to see this film. He pulls the most outrageously disturbing faces you can imagine and says things you can’t believe, and all over a balloon or two. He’s acting on impulse again. I’m beginning to understand how this movie got its name. Why Anne doesn’t figure out there’s something very wrong with him is anyone’s guess. It’s time to start shouting at the TV again.
Harold “Odd Job” Sekata’s (from Goldfinger, just in case you really do know nothing) role in Impulse is small but noteworthy. His character, Karate Pete, is an old acquaintance / colleague of Shatner’s, who turns up out of the blue and demands a cut in Shatner’s game. Shatner, being the complete shit that he is, decides to kill him in an excellent sequence involving a noose and a carwash. When you’ve heard Sekata speak in Impulse, all will become clear as to why his only words in Goldfinger were “Ah Ah”. He doesn’t exactly exude vocal authority with lines like “You’re all the time horny” but as I’m sure you’re already beginning to understand, it only adds to the essential nature of this movie.
Even though Impulse appears to have been marketed as a horror picture, the only real horror here is Shatner’s wardrobe. There are some nasty elements to this film, both psychological and physical, but the end result veers more on the side of ‘Thriller’ in my humble opinion.
If there was only ONE reason to see Impulse, it’s the Shatner. His acting, his hair, his clothes, his standard ‘halting’ - line delivery and the fact that he's playing this type of character fulfil necessary criteria to make this a must-see. At various points in the film he is prone to what can only be described as episodes where he almost goes into ‘little boy’ mode with headaches – where the hell he learnt to act like this is anyone’s guess. As Matt Stone, he’s trying to play a deeply disturbed man and the result is truly hilarious. His clothes range from pimp suits, complete with hat (see picture) to suits made from old tablecloths and they ALL provide the very best in comedy value. You really won’t believe your eyes. He also runs like an idiot. I’ve never seen Shatner running like this before.
Overall, the story is good, as is most of the acting, Shatner aside. The ever-brilliant Ruth Roman is excellent as Anne’s ill-fated friend who is first to realise that he’s more than he seems. Kim Nicholas as Tina, the little girl, also turns in a blinding performance for a youngster, even if her repeated line “But it’s the truth!” gets a little annoying at times. But all in all, see this movie for Shatner. We love you, the Shatner.
When the demons of evil take over all powers of reason, only Impulse remains!
As mentioned, you can only find this one on VHS if you’re a very keen eBayer. Just keep looking. Patience is a virtue…
Versions a.k.a. Want a Ride, Little Girl? and I Love to Kill