I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Posts Tagged ‘Roddy Piper’

R.I.P. Rowdy Roddy Piper

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

tn_roddypiperI was shocked and saddened today to stumble across the news that wrestling legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper had died. I didn’t see this one coming. I thought he was gonna be one of the ones that gets to grow old.

I know some of you are serious wrestling fans to this day. That’s not me. But I’m one of the millions who was obsessed with WWF wrestling in the 1980s. It was a time when pro wrestling stopped being seen as a lowbrow fringe activity and was allowed to intersect with all parts of culture. Andy Warhol went to a Wrestlemania. Cindy Lauper and Alice Cooper became wrestling managers. A more experienced manager, Captain Lou Albano, played Lauper’s father in a video. Wrestlers released terrible albums, which I bought on vinyl. On Saturday mornings there was a cartoon called Hulk Hogan’s Rock-n-Wrestling, and every fourth Saturday Night NBC showed wrestling in place of SNL. When one of these Saturday Night’s Main Events took place in Seattle I was there. I was thrilled to see Andre the Giant in person (although he didn’t wrestle) and Brian Bosworth in the crowd. I was [undisclosed] years old and witnessing these larger than life individuals – cartoons of good, evil and awesome sculpted out of muscle and fat and encased in colorful spandex – was like catching a glimpse of the Greek gods. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Important Book Alert #2: THEY LIVE (DEEP FOCUS #1) by Jonathan Lethem

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

tn_theyliveOne day several years ago I was waiting for a bus near a book store, and in the window there was a book about the philosophy of THE MATRIX. There’s more than one book like that, and I can’t remember which one it was that I saw that day, but it got me thinking: there should be a book like that, except it’s entirely about THEY LIVE.

There’s a long-running series of books called 33 1/3, little pocket-sized book length essays about classic albums. I have one for Stevie Wonder’s Songs In the Key of Life, for example. And I’ve long thought there should be a series like that for movies, and I should write the one about THEY LIVE.

Well, too late, buddy. Soft Skull Press is starting a series just like that, although if I understand correctly they’re all gonna be written by novelists. #2 is on DEATH WISH, #4 is gonna be LETHAL WEAPON. THE STING, HEATHERS and THE BAD NEWS BEARS IN BREAKING TRAINING are also coming up, but it all starts with THEY LIVE by Jonathan Lethem, author of the novels Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude. His approach is very different from what I would’ve done/could still do some day, but it’s an interesting, quick read and makes plenty of points that I hadn’t thought of before, making it a good first book about this particular subject. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Back In Action

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Yesterday was Roddy Piper’s birthday. I’m celebrating late with the Piper/Billy Blanks picture from 1993, BACK IN ACTION.

Script-wise, I gotta say, this is a half-assed affair. They got the maverick cop (Roddy Piper), the ex-soldier who is back in action on a one man mission of justice (Billy Blanks), standard issue evil druglords, damsel-in-distress sister and also the female reporter love interest always looking for a good story but who ends up trying to help (see also DARKMAN 2, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER). Also some obvious one-liners that I guess I got a laugh from, like when the bad guy thinks (let’s face it, naively) that Piper won’t kill him because of his Miranda rights. Piper stabs him and says “You have the right to remain silent. Forever.” (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

They Live

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

THEY LIVE is one of my favorite movies ever. It is probaly the very best version of a rare type of movie I love: the badass action movie that also works as a political statement. BILLY JACK may be more political, but it seems so self important and it has no sense of humor. THEY LIVE is kind of saying the same thing THE MATRIX is saying about a society brainwashed by media and advertising, but it’s saying more than that. It’s about the America of the Reagan years, when everything was geared to help the rich at the expense of the working class. Which for some reason seems awfully familiar today. Huh. Weird.

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper plays Nada, a drifter who walks into town with tools and a sleeping bag on his back. (Hey, what happens to that sleeping bag? I think it disappears.) This is a hero who not only doesn’t drive a sports car, but doesn’t have a car at all. Or a house. Or a job, at first. The plants are closing, the jobs are drying up, that’s why he’s on the move. But he happens to get a construction job, where he meets Frank (Keith motherfuckin David from THE THING) and finds out about a homeless encampment near a church where some nice people serve food for the homeless. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.