Dubious violence at the double

Teri Fitsell

THE two terrestrial channels are back into violence in a big way tonight. Take your pick between watching Jason, the Friday the 13th killer, slash his way through more nubile young things, or watching Gary Busey behead Hell's Angel types in Eye of the Tiger.

Ignoring both, and tuning into Jasper Carrott's off-beat brand of comedy in Canned Carrott (STAR Plus, 10pm, 1.40am and 5.30am) sounds a far better idea.

HOW'S this for a familiar plot? An ex-con, who was wrongly jailed of course, returns to his home town with the intention of starting over in the bosom of his loving family.

But it's a case of ''infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me'' when he runs foul of the corrupt sheriff who put him away, and a gang of sadistic bikers who proceed to murder his wife and harm his little girl.

Bring on the heavy armoury as said ex-con goes on a one-man crusade for revenge.

About the only surprising thing about Eye of the Tiger (Pearl 9.30pm, Original Running Time 90 mins) is that Charles Bronson doesn't put in an appearance. Instead, it's Gary Busey (Point Break ) who's playing vigilante in this spectacularly violent venture.


THE 1980s was the decade of movie sequels, but even so, ''part VIII'' seems excessive, particularly when you're talking about the Friday the 13th series, those ultimate slasher movies.

These gory creations - all made between 1980 and 1989 - attracted a massive teenage audience, presumably taken with the idea of watching their nubile screen counterparts meeting horrible ends at the hands of the masked hockey player.

Ironically, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (World 9.30pm, ORT 100 mins) is actually better than most of its seven predecessors and as an added, er, attraction, it's the first one in which Jason speaks . . . not that he's got a great deal to say.

Rob Hedden wrote and directed the film, which despite the title is not actually set in Manhattan but on a cruise ship to the city, conveniently filled with shapely students with no means of escape.


How about screening The Muppets Take Manhattan instead? MTV continues its special programming in support of Michael Jackson's ''Dangerous'' tour which kicks off in Bangkok tonight. VJ Nonie daily asks viewers to Dial MTV (9am and 10pm) and request their favourite Jacko video, while late tonight the music channel's showing Michael Jackson: From Motown to our Town (2.30am).

The half-hour special traces Michael's career from those early Motown days with his brothers in the Jackson 5 through his multi-platinum release Off the Wall to his astounding deal with Sony Music.


The interviews may be dated, but the archive footage of those Jacksons a-groovin' is sensational.

THOSE intrepid Eye on Hong Kong (Pearl, 7.20pm) teamsters take a look at the strange sport of ''soft sumo'' this week, a pastime for sumo fans who have no wish to gain the necessary pounds to take part in the real thing.

Soft sumo contestants wear padded suits and then have lots of fun trying to push each other out of the ring. To spectators it must look like the marshmallow man from Ghostbusters takes on the Michelin Man.


There are also reports on the efforts of 25 international photographers given little more than a week to capture the essence of Hong Kong on film, and a look at a colourful revival of the ancient Chinese drama Journey to the West.

Gloria Wu journeys into music history with the upbeat sounds of Shanghai from the glamorous 1920s and 1930s.