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 The Bizarre death of Dr Kananga in Live and Let Die (1973)

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PostSubject: The Bizarre death of Dr Kananga in Live and Let Die (1973)   Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:06 am

This thread is designed to discuss a very specific area of the debut Roger Moore James Bond film Live and Let Die where the villain of the piece, Dr Kananga, as played by Yaphet Kotto is made to swallow a shark gun compression pellet and thus expands to roughly the size of a barrage balloon before hitting the ceilng and exploding in a rubbery bang accompanied by a loud farting nouse.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this scene and its links with the similar, yet more graphic scene that showed something similar happening to Milton Krest in Licence to Kill (uncut version).

Was this scene a step too far into comedy and the bizarre or did it fit the overall campy tone of the film LALD?

As always, I'd really love to hear your views on this one...

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Perilagu Khan
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PostSubject: Re: The Bizarre death of Dr Kananga in Live and Let Die (1973)   Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:30 am

I'd never associated the deaths of Kananga and Krest, but you're right, there is an overall similarity. Krest's death, however, was much more grotesque because realistic, and you hear Krest pleading for his life and enduring the agony of his death. I think Krest's death is also unscored.

Honestly, I never had a huge problem with the death of Kananga. Yes, the special effects are quite dodgy, and the notion that Kananga would have bitten the shark pellet hard enough to rupture it is, shall we say, hard to swallow, but it somehow just works within the context of the film. And I'm not one of those Bond fans who soils his nether regions over a lack of realism in the films, anyway.
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tiffanywint
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PostSubject: Re: The Bizarre death of Dr Kananga in Live and Let Die (1973)   Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:54 am

SILHOUETTE MAN wrote:

Was this scene a step too far into comedy and the bizarre or did it fit the overall campy tone of the film LALD?
No I think it was just right. The bastard Kananga had it coming. He was due a spectacular death. His demise fit the camp/danger tone of the film, much as Krest's death jived with the more brutal, less camp tone of LTK.
I do prefer my LALD over LTK though. Screen Bond works best IMO as dangerous escapist camp adventure.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bizarre death of Dr Kananga in Live and Let Die (1973)   Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:35 pm

Perilagu Khan wrote:
...the notion that Kananga would have bitten the shark pellet hard enough to rupture it is, shall we say, hard to swallow...
Indeed, but that's only because you're assuming he bit it. Sharks aren't expected to bite the capsule either.
If you may recall, after firing one pellet into the couch where Whisper was sitting (demonstrating what the pellet can do), Kananga starts fiddling with another.
"Don't - pull the pin out," Bond warns, "The air in here is foul enough already." (thereby establishing that the pellet can be activated manually - for whatever purpose.)
During the fight in the shark pool, Bond takes the pellet out of his mouth, almost fiddles with it, then stuffs it down Kananga's throat. Kananga swallows, then starts puffing up.
My question is, why did being inflated with CO2 cause Kananga's body to rise up out of the water? CO2 is a heavy, easily compressible gas, unlike hydrogen or helium (which might have floated a body, but not likely). I suppose the prolonged fart noise was supposed to indicate the form of propulsion that forced him ceiling-ward, only wouldn't the excess gas more likely escape out his mouth?
Obviously it doesn't bear trying to figure it out. Let's just accept that it was a cool effect, leading to Moore's first pithy kill-quip.
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General Yuskovich
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PostSubject: Re: The Bizarre death of Dr Kananga in Live and Let Die (1973)   Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:23 pm

Yes, best not to read into this one too much - it doesn't stand up very well to scrutiny from physics or biology. It is highly bizarre though, which is what I think sets LALD apart from some of the safer entries in the series.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bizarre death of Dr Kananga in Live and Let Die (1973)   Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:03 am

Kananga must have been kicking himself that he didn't think to open his mouth.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bizarre death of Dr Kananga in Live and Let Die (1973)   Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:06 am

Or his anus.
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