Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer: Writings on Bruce Willis, Badass Cinema and Other Important Topics

Tuesday, June 01, 2010 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer is a big book written by Vern. In Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer Vern writes about “Bruce Willis, Badass Cinema and Other Important Topics”.

I think a more appropriate title for this tome could have been “The Tao of Vern” or “The way of the Blunt talker and straight shooter: Who covers a lot of films but doesn’t quite give the films of Bruce Willis as many pages as you would hope seen that his name is in the title of the book".

But first some background:

From Yippee ki-yay, motherf*cker!

Catchphrase used by Bruce Willis in all of the Die Hard films. It only has context in the first movie but he says it in all of them. The reason the phrase has context in the first one is as follows:

Main terrorist Hans: Mr. Mystery Guest are you still there?
John Mcclane: Yeah I'm still here
Hans: Who are you exactly? Someone who watched too many action movies as a child and thinks he's John Wayne, Rambo, Lewis Stevens?
Mcclane: Actually I was kind of partial to Roy Rogers myself. Always liked those sequin shirts.
Hans: Do you really think you can stop us Mr. Cowboy?
Mcclane: Well, Yippie-Ki-Yay MotherF*cker!

Vern is one of the more colourful contributors to AICN or Ain't It Cool News, arguably the best movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news site on the web. I discovered AICN around 1997 a couple of months after it was launched and was pleasantly surprised that it had a lot of news across a broad spectrum of films in one place. It’s a model that has been copied many times since but there was nothing like it at the time. Although I visited AICN from time to time and become familiar with the contributors and founder. I stopped being a dedicated regular reason for 2 reasons:
  1. I had some sort of technical issues trying to sign up to forum so that I could contribute and I never received a response to my emails regarding the issue. On a side note I tried to register again a couple of years ago, had the same problem and never received response to my emails.
  2. As much as I loved reading the news from other passionate and dedicated film fans the constant exposure was killing the surprise of plot lines developing on screen consequently my enjoyment of films was suffering.
But I digress. Freeze Frame! Rewind! “one of the more colourful contributors to AICN..?” I hear you query. Well, Vern is a self proclaimed tough guy and from what I can gather has had some run-ins with the Law, he also has a penchant for action films.

If you’re interested in more detail I’m pretty sure you can found out more information on AICN or Vern’s own site Anyway the point being that Vern is a bit of a character himself and his reviews and contributions reflect his character. With Vern’s reviews not only does he analyse a film and put it into context of its genre' Sometimes Vern goes that little bit further for his readers by framing the film in the context of contemporary society and you get the added insight of how a particular film is entwined with events in Vern’s life or from the soci-cultural landscape, with more than often hilarious results.

Somewhere between Vern’s contributions to AICN, his first book Seagalogy: A study of the ass-kicking films of Steven Seagal, which I haven’t read but is presumably about the ass kicking films of Steven Seagal and Yippee Ki-Yay, Vern introduces us to concepts such as “Badass Juxtaposition” and “Badass Cinema”- a niche genre of action film and the philosophy of “Don't Be Ellis” Vern’s line of merchandising based on a character from one of his favourite Badass films.

Which brings us to Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer , a collection of approximately 85 or so of Vern’s film reviews that are loosely categorised into the following: Warriors, mixed live & animation films, animated films, 3D films, high action flicks, films of a philosophical nature, reviews that Vern spun off on a tangent, good & bad summer films, films about issues, art house films, miscellaneous, sleaze, horror, Badass Cinema and finally (my favourite) a chapter based around his favourite actor: the films of Bruce Willis.

It’s worth noting that I have paraphrased the section titles for the sake of brevity and section titles may not necessarily reflect the films covered. A comprehensive list of the book’s sections and films covered can be found over here at But wait that’s not all, because Vern is a good guy he also includes; a page on his theory of Badass Juxtaposition, The Badass 100 list, which is a pretty good list of Badass films albeit with the noticeable absenteesim of Tombstone (I'm just saying) and a touching personal story entitled Man Stuff – Clint, Bruce, and Urodynamic Evaluation. Which I thought was pretty good and I hope leads to more Vern fiction. I’d buy it (even if it was for more than a dollar).

Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer is entertaining stuff and I laughed out loud on various occasions, you may not agree with all of Vern’s reviews but you’ll enjoy reading them. I skipped a couple (Holy Mountain & Waking Life) but I’ll read them after I have seen the films. Vern refreshed my memory of some films that need to be watched again, introduced me to me or that I should see, as well as warned me off some duds that clearly need to be missed.

Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer is an entertaining as well as a good resource for future reference. While I’m waiting for Vern’s next book I’ll be picking up Seagalogy: A study of the ass-kicking films of Steven Seagal.

Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer: Writings on Bruce Willis, Badass Cinema and Other Important Topics

Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer is available in all fine book stores in the UK as well as directly from Titan Books.