I don’t know why, but I have this bizarre fascination with following the non-career of Jean-Claude Van Damme. It’s not that I actually want to watch a new Van Damme movie, it’s just that seeing him fail is somehow exciting. I can’t explain it. I don’t have anything against him, but in some strange way his plummet to irrelevance is well… funny.

So here’s the latest on the status of Van Damme as a punch line. Moviehole has picked up a story from VanDammeFans.net which says that his new movie The Smashing Machine has been cancelled. I have no idea what it’s about, but based on the name alone I’m disappointed. I don’t care whether or not it’s any good, that’s a DVD cover I want to own. Even better if the “Smashing Machine” in question is a fellow formerly known as the muscles from Brussels.

Apparently Van Damme does still have standards, because the site says the film was cancelled because he thought it was going to suck. Alright, he actually uses a bunch of nice language like “short-changed”, but suck is what he meant. I guess he was afraid he’d disappoint his fans, assuming he has some. If he does, these are people who’ve stayed with him through the likes of Street Fighter, Maximum Risk, Double Team, and Universal Soldier: The Return. Disappointing fans that loyal would take the cinematic equivalent of a nuclear explosion. A movie that bad, with a name that cool, really deserves to be made.

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