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The Badasses of Vietnam: Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, Platoon... and The Big Lebowski

Written by Don P on . Posted in Challenge #3

(Reading time: 1 minute) - Vietnam

The Vietnam war was hell for everyone, but thanks to Oliver Stone, Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola, The Coen Brothers and your father's screams of terror in the middle of the night, we got to experience the carnage from the safety of our living rooms in 7.1 dolby surround sound.

To put this in perspective without giving a history lecture, Vietnam was the Kevin McCallister to the Marv and Harry of the United States: secretly hiding and out-booby trapping the fuck out of U.S. troops every step of the way. Seemingly the soldiers who were fortunate enough to make it back home alive forgot to bring their sanity back with them. And goddammit, if that didn't produce some of the best badasses we've seen on the silver screen, I don't know what will.

  • - Sgt Hartman

    Sgt. Hartman

    While not actually going to Vietnam himself, Sergeant Hartman prepares his group of "maggots" for war by utilizing his two favorite weapons: volume and profanity. He doesn't release his unrelenting barrage of insults on his recruits because he gets off on it. He's treating them like worthless piles of shit because he actually cares.

    Just a little advice: stick to the first half of the movie and stop playing the DVD once Hartman is shot to death. The second half completely sucks. The best part about the second half of the film was the Vietnamese prostitutes; and that's saying A LOT since we don't see a single one of them naked.


    • Profanity-laced insults.
    • Determining the difference between "queers" and "steers".
    • Making people choke themselves... with HIS hand!


    • "Charlene" — Private Pyle's rifle.
    • Not applicable.
    • Not applicable.

    Best Quotes

    • "Private Joker. I admire your honesty. Hell, I like you, you can come over to my house and fuck my sister!"
    • "Bullshit. It looks to me like the best part of you ran down the crack of your mama's ass and ended up as a brown stain on the mattress."
    • "Five-foot-nine, I didn't know they stacked shit that high!"
  • - Captain Willard

    Captain Benjamin L. Willard

    Captain Willard has been sent home once, but failed miserably at integrating back into society. Unless you consider getting shitfaced and dancing in your underwear all alone in your hotel room as being integrated back into society. If so, then he nailed it! But he can't wait to get back to the jungle. I mean he's already admitted to killing at least six people at close quarters, so why not knock off a few more to round that number up to a solid 10 and satisfy his OCD? Soon he's given a mission where the objective is to hunt and kill renegade Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, who has gone insane.

    Just a little advice: Watch the original version, not the REDUX version. The redux version added 49 minutes to the already 153 minute original film. In my opinion, the original was perfect. The entire focus was not on the overall war, but on one man's search for a traitor.


    • Shooting to death the only woman alive to prevent any further delay of his mission.
    • Crossing into Cambodia.
    • Hacking a demi-god to death with a machete.


    • Broken mirrors.
    • Chef's severed head.
    • Insane photojournalists.

    Best Quotes

    • "Saigon... shit; I'm still only in Saigon... Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle."
    • "Charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets in the Indy 500."
    • "My mission is to make it up into Cambodia. There's a Green Beret Colonel up there who's gone insane. I'm supposed to kill him."
  • - Private Taylor

    Private Chris Taylor

    Young, bright, and full of ambition, Chris Taylor dropped out of college and volunteered for combat in Vietnam, figuring why should only poor kids go to Vietnam? He tries to hold onto as much humanity as he can, even breaking up the attempted sexual assault of a villager by the hands of his own platoon. Eventually he goes a little "Joe Pesci" when he harasses and taunts a one-legged boy by shooting his rifle at his feet and demanding that he dance. War puts a man through many changes.

    Just a little advice: Definitely watch the movie. If you thought William Dafoe was crazy before, you have a deeper respect for him now. The movie overall shows how insane and ruthless the Vietcong fought, and the shell-shocked state left with so many departing soldiers.


    • Making a one-legged man dance using a hail of AK-47 bullets.
    • Stopping a rape.
    • Determining traitors by the look in their eyes.


    • Crying on the helicopter home.
    • Sergeant Barnes.
    • Falling asleep during night watch.

    Best Quotes

    • "Dance one legger! Dance! Dance motherfucker!"
    • "Die you, motherfuckers! Die!"
    • "I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy was in us."
  • - Veteran Sobchak

    Veteran Walter Sobchak

    If you want to really learn about Vietnam, look no further than short-fused, firearm enthusiast and Vietnam veteran Walter Sobchak. Every facet of your life can and will be related back to a story or non sequitur spouted loud and violently from Walter's mouth. His knowledge of 'Nam is only rivaled by his outstanding ability to "roll" — or so we think because we never ACTUALLY see Walter bowl. Remember though, don't go over the line!

    Just a little advice: Although The Big Lebowski isn't a movie that's truly about Vietnam, you'll probably learn more from Walter's point of view than all the other movies combined. Of course you have to first get past the White Russians, nihilists threatening castration, and rug urination. Oh, and Tara Reid (the hot version of her from the American Pie days) offers to suck cock for $1,000 dollars.


    • Giving a shit about the rules.
    • Showing people what happens when they fuck a stranger in the ass.
    • Urn negotiations.


    • Ex-wife Cynthia.
    • Pomeranians.
    • Watching his buddies die face down in the muck.

    Best Quotes

    • "Shomer shabbos!"
    • "That rug really tied the room together, did it not?"
    • "Shut the fuck up, Donny!"
  • Sgt. Hartman
  • Captain Benjamin L. Willard
  • Private Chris Taylor
  • Veteran Walter Sobchak


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