Friday, June 14, 2013

Filmzilla Reprint: Top 5: Favorite things about Red Dawn

Filmzilla is gone. The store is closed, the movies have been hauled away and its somewhat neglected blog has been wiped from existence like a victim of Newspeak. I posted some stuff there on occasion. Those posts still exist, proof of what once was. I've decided to reprint them here.

I hope you enjoy...

Red Dawn is 80s Americana at its most pure. It is paranoid, ridiculous, vicious, over the top with its violence, awesome as fuck, and hopelessly locked in an eternal struggle of ideology with some of the best bad guys ever, those dirty pink-o Commies bastards. It is completely unaware of itself, a truly unapologetic product of its time. It is the most beautiful piece of jingoistic American propaganda ever made, hands down. On the plus side, it is also the first time that we, the audience, were treated to seeing the pairing of two stalwart cinematic legends: Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.

My Top 5 favorite things about Red Dawn

5. The Kids

This film is loaded with young stars in a way that America would not see again until the advent of Dazed and Confused. It is a veritable cornucopia of burgeoning 80's talent. Sure, it's no St. Elmo's Fire, but what is, am I right? But would I say that there is a plethora of stars in this film? Oh, yes, El Guapo, there is a plethora. Allow me to break it down for you. There is the aforementioned giants of stage and screen and sexy dancing, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. There's also a man named Charlie Sheen and someone you may remember from a little film called Casual Sex? That's right, it's Lea Thompson. Also, she was in Caroline in the City, just FYI. Who else is there? oh... how about Mr. Ponyboy Curtis himself? Mr. C. Thomas Howell. Is that not enough? Are you not entertained? Well guess what? There's even more, people.

Let's discuss them.

4. Powers Boothe

Powers Boothe plays Lt. Col. Andrew "Andy" Tanner. When he first comes falling out of the sky, right away you know two things about him.

1. He's an Eagle driver.
2. He's bad ass, he obviously knows how to get the job done. After all, he did get three of them before they managed to shoot him down.
3. He's also a fun guy, laid back, y'know? You want to call him Andrew? No, no, no, no, my friend. It's Andy, pal, just Andy, his nickname, which is convenient, because Andy is short for Andrew.

In the film, Lea Thompson's young character is so hot for Lt. Col. Tanner, she could warm a bowl of chili between her thighs, but guess what? Even though he could have her, he doesn't, y'know why?

1. Because he's a God damn American hero, that's why.
And 2. Much like Max Power, you don't cuddle with Powers Boothe, you strap in and feel the G's!

3. The Beautiful Brutality

Simply put, this film is Cold War poetry.

There is a scene early on in the characters' guerrilla war against the dirty rat-bastard invaders where they descend from their mountain holdfast in a screaming, frothing rush, dressed in their rotted Mall-bought finery with their dirt-encrusted faces, and bludgeon to death a trio of Soviet soldiers who are out for a day of sight-seeing and friendly companionship. Those dirty rotten commie bastards' sublime and relaxing day trip to the mountains ends in horror and blood and screams, their skulls smashed to slippery bits as they are stabbed to death with crudely carved weapons hacked from rock and tree by the once suburban, now feral children of Calumet, Colorado--a name that means: A North American Indian peace pipe.

Ha! Irony! Take that, you Commie bastards! America!

In your face, Russia!

2. Harry Dean Stanton

Everything is better when you add a little Harry Dean Stanton (see: Avengers). Here, he plays a father, a father who just wants to look at his sons (played by Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen), who remembers them as... so damn little... and one who might have been a little rough on them, but that was only because he loved them and he wanted them to be tough, to do what they have to do. And what do they have to do? They have to avenge him. They have to avenge the hell out of him.

And man they do.

1. Wolverines!

"What is this... Wolverine?" says an evil Russian guy. You can tell he's Russian right off the bat, because of his hat. He's also dumb, because he is not familiar with the local high school athletic club's mascot, but he finds out, oh yeah... he finds out... you bet your ass he finds out...

And you bet your ass we have this in the store,
(Well... not anymore...)

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