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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Laughlin’

R.I.P. Tom Laughlin

Monday, December 16th, 2013

tn_tomlaughlinWell, we lost some cinema icons today. Peter O’Toole of course. I’m not the guy to write the definitive tribute for him, but here’s a piece I wrote when I saw LAWRENCE OF ARABIA in 70mm a couple years ago. And one on THE STUNT MAN. And, uh, SUPERGIRL.

Also Joan Fontaine from REBECCA and SUSPICION died, so there will be some good tributes to her. She was 96.

But me being who I am I want to write a few words about Tom Laughlin, whose family announced today that he died on Thursday. He was 82, a year older than O’Toole! I was surprised to read that. Laughlin was an actor, writer and director who occupied a unique corner in the history of Badass Cinema and independent film and I don’t think alot of the young people know about him. So put your learning pants on.

“Put your learning pants on” and related phrases and merchandising are © 2013 by Vern

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The Born Losers

Friday, February 11th, 2005

I always dug the Billy Jack pictures. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re low budget independent movies about a half white/half native ex green beret badass with hippie values. He and his wife (the director and producer of the movies, respectively) run “The Freedom School” where they teach kids to be themselves and stand up for minorities and strum guitars and crap. Billy Jack lives one of those lives where, you know, he’s always out trying to ride a horse or a jeep or something, just minding his own business, but inevitably he’s gonna see some racist assholes picking on an indian or some rapist assholes picking on a girl or something along those lines. And he’s gonna walk over quietly and interject himself into the situation. This sometimes means beating some ass, but also sometimes means getting his own ass beaten and ending up in jail. But the important thing is he stands up for the downtrodden. That’s his primary interest and hobby, I guess. He stands up to rich kids, corrupt cops, even the energy industry in the last one, Billy Jack Goes to Washington, where he becomes Senator Billy Jack and makes his stand in an exciting filibuster climax.

(if you REALLY haven’t heard of Billy Jack you probaly assumed that last part was a joke, so I should make it clear that it is not.) (read the rest of this shit…)

The Master Gunfighter

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

First of all I gotta thank my man with a plan Jeremiah for sending me a screener of this movie. Unfortunately Jeremiah is no longer able to send me free porno dvds, but he has more than made up for that unfortunate situation by sending me this very enjoyable obscurity in Badass Cinema.

Now some of you may know, but I sure didn’t, that Tom Laughlin made one non-Billy Jack movie after the success of BILLY JACK. And it was this. He wrote it under a pseudonym and apparently the director is his son Frank. It’s a western, but with much of the cornball liberal action movie tone I loved about the BILLY JACK pictures. It is about to come out on video and I think dvd for the first time ever. (read the rest of this shit…)

Corruption Fun featuring Tri-State Crematory, hit and run driver, Enron, 9-11 coverup, and our hero Billy Jack

Friday, March 1st, 2002

Wow, is this really my first VERN TELLS YOU WHAT’S WHAT AND DOESN’T TAKE NO FUCKING SHORTCUTS of the year 2002? Or whatever this column is called. I can’t believe I’ve been neglecting my baby for that long. Jesus, I feel terrible. That’s what they call a “deadbeat.” Imagine – if instead of not Writing a column I was not fixing a broken crematory, and if instead of it being for 3 months, it was for 15 years, and instead of just not having anything here to read the end result was having hundreds of dead bodies pile up. Then this would be just like that thing in Georgia!

And that’s not even close to the scariest thing going on in the news today. 300+ dead bodies piled up – that’s comic relief! Just like that nurse’s assistant who accidentally hit a homeless man with her car, breaking both of his legs, then (not sure what to do) parked the car in her garage, leaving him there for 2 days until he bled to death, occasionally coming in to apologize. (More on why cars suck in my upcoming unabomber manifesto length review of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS.) (read the rest of this shit…)