There’s a dream recurrent amongst the brethren of Jean Claude Van Damme – that subculture oft-overlooked by sociologists and census nazis, shunned off to corners untouched by light and made to endure mock rhetoric orchestrated by those too high-strung to acquire mirth from shoe-face collisions. The dream has the dreamer deliriously enchanted by a field in which runs every film ever blessed by the presence of Jean Claude Van Damme. On one bump of verdant unfolds the winding narrative of Kickboxer, another sees heroic postures interlinked with Dolph Lundgren’s vectorial oomph. A land of grace where the dreamer oscillates between orgasmic dizziness and pulsing delight, a place where inhibitions are shattered, crumbled to sand swept away in a gust of bicep.
It’s when the initial flood of joy and fear reach harmony, when guilt and insignificance are erased from the dreaming mind that corrupt forces puncture the idyll. Surging over the horizon suddenly appears the towering scowl of M. Bison, Van Damme’s opposite number in the opera that is Street Fighter.
This titan casts his glare onto each and every filmic grain scuttling its way across dense serpentine pastures of Van Awesomeness. Screens are instantly annihilated, scenes ceased incomplete, stolen from eyes and ears, replaced by blackened voids. Insensitive to the pinnings of the distressed dreamer, Bison rises from the holocaust, gleaming fragments of glowering lips cut the sky in two, and he exits into the firmament. The few seconds before the dream elapses entirely has the dreamer sight the carnage from afar, the turbid aftermath ringing out in the air, screams of deceased fisticuff denouements fading into silence.
Psychologists have yet to arrive at a conclusive theory as to the cause or meaning of this nocturnal disturbance. Freud was baffled at the illusion of grace offered by the pastoral canvas; Jung failed to traverse the spectral appearance of Dolph Lundgren; Lacan wafted to preoccupations concerning the dreamer and the dreamer’s dreamed self; Laing spent twenty-minutes dividing a promotional photo of Bison, then left the room.
The dream erupts at the core of the sleeping Van Fan in patterns yet undiscovered. Its variations remain nil, uniformity upheld in buzzing consistency. Some rumours point to the viewing of Street Fighter as an instigating element, a film widely known for its cresting of affect. Chances for the criss-crossing bodies and cross-cutting narrative of said motion movie to wedge themselves in the subconscious are abundant – that this is the case exists as a strong probability.