If you thought The Wrestler was simply the wrestling version of Rocky, after reading this post you’ll think differently. The immense amount of similarities between 1988’s Homeboy and 2008’s The Wrestler make them more suitable companion films. The Wrestler, came 20 years after Homeboy, but both star Mickey Rourke and are filmed in New Jersey. Now join me at ringside as we pit boxer Johnny Walker vs. former wrestling superstar Randy “The Ram” Robinson…
Both The Wrestler and Homeboy’s New Jersey setting and stirring cinematography transported me directly into their respective main character’s agonizing world. While The Ram was your typical beefed up bleach blonde babyface who has seen better days, Homeboy’s Johnny Walker had shorter hair, and a western flair, but they were both equally beaten down, fading athletes.
Randy the Ram was grappling with his own demons and masking his pain with drugs, but Johnny Walker put himself in danger when he merely stepped into the ring. Walker also continued to align himself with an underhanded promoter prick only out for the purse, Christopher Walken’s Wesley Pendergass. It was easy to feel bad for a weathered, wandering cowboy who was being manipulated by a sleazy low level crook. As Pendergass, Walken is so Walkeny that you’d think he’s doing an impression of himself. This is classic Walken.
During the making of the two films, Rourke had more difficulty adjusting to training to become a wrestler since he had previously been a boxer for several years before pursuing acting. His bio on Wikipedia reveals that he suffered at least two concussions during his early boxing matches. His ring experience in real life clearly lent authenticity to both roles. Rourke even used Guns n Roses “Sweet Child o’ Mine” as his entrance music in his boxing bouts, while Randy “The Ram” Robinson chose to use the same song in the last match against The Ayatollah in The Wrestler.
In 1997 singer Paula Cole begged to know “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?” Homeboy might not answer that question precisely, but after watching the film it’s obvious that all the cowboys slash boxers have gone to Asbury Park. Considering that Rourke wrote the screenplay for Homeboy (under his nom de plum “Sir Eddie Cook) and that he went back to boxing after his declining movie career, Homeboy becomes even more poignant. Although there’s many differences between boxing and professional wrestling, there’s almost no separation between Rourke, Johnny Walker, and Randy “The Ram” Robinson. Throughout his own boxing career, in addition to concussions, Rourke suffered a number of injuries such as broken bones, a compressed cheekbone, and short term memory loss. All that plus accusations that he was washed up as an actor fueled his performances in these films.
*Currently Homeboy is streaming on Netflix
Here’s a Halloween themed meme started by our friend Becca at No Smoking in the Skullcave. Visit Becca’s blog and shop when you’re through here! Feel free to join the meme and answer and post on your blog!
1. What is the worst treat to get when trick-or-treating?
For me, the worst was any hard candy or stuff that stuck in my teeth. I especially hated when I got sugar daddies that were hard as rocks.
2. What character from any horror film would you most like to play?
Sammi Curr, and even though it’s not truly a horror film, Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
3. Would you rather be a zombie, alien, or psycho? (why)
Definitely a Psycho…because there’s probably less work to put into it. Not a lot of makeup or costume shopping involved. Psychos are usually low maintenance!
4. How many Halloween, Friday the 13th, or Nightmare on Elm Street movies combined do you have on DVD?
Hmm…let me think. I own every NMOES including Freddy vs. Jason as well as F13 part 1,2,3,4, and 6.
5. What is the scariest movie you have ever seen?
I don’t get scared easily since I started watching horror films when I was about 4 or 5. My parents were cool with it. How can you tell a kid who loves Freddy Krueger that he can’t watch the movies? My friends weren’t allowed, but I was!!! I am more creeped out my psychological and atmospheric thrillers and horror films with less blood and gore and more mindf*cks. I’d say classic films like The Shining, 1984’s Nightmare on Elm Street, The Exorcist, Poltergeist and newer stuff like The Blair Witch Project and Lake Mungo.
6. Lamest costume you have worn on Halloween?
For my first Halloween my mom dressed me up as one of Santa’s helpers, but that was completely involuntary. I wish I could go back in time and tell my mom that it was totally the wrong month for that.
7. Favorite Halloween treat?
A king size Snickers. To me, that was the grandaddy of all Halloween treats. And actual Reese’s cups, not the fun size ones.
8. Friendly-faced jack o’lantern or scary one?
SCARY!!! The more sinister the better!
9. Have you ever had nightmares about a scary movie character chasing you?
If I did, I don’t really remember. I was never so scared of a horror movie character to the point where I’d dream about them chasing me.
10. Best thing about Halloween?
The weather, the atmosphere, the jack-o-lanterns, horror movies, the costumes, the parties, the house displays/decorations, and the memories.
11. Strangest Halloween custom you’ve heard of?
Plenty of people I know basically ignore the Halloween season altogether. That’s not fun at all.
12. Person in your family who most likes Halloween (not counting yourself)?
Believe it or not, no one in my family really loves Halloween like I do, of course my little niece and nephews like it because of the candy, but not so much the haunting aspect of it. So, I’d definitely say my girlfriend since she loves it and she’s definitely part of The Sexy Armpit family.
13. Are you superstitious? If so, name at least one superstition of yours.
I always seem to say that I’m NOT superstitious but I think we all are a little bit superstitious. There have been countless times that black cats have ran across the street in front of my car while driving, probably more often than most people. Oh, and I DO have a rabbit’s foot and I love the Stevie Wonder song, so I guess I actually am superstitious.
Wal-Mart is more satanic than Hell could ever be. In fact, even in this time of economic despair, I was on a hunt for some cool little trinkets to throw in my niece and nephew’s Easter baskets. Wal-Mart is a slimeball salesman, hair greased back, with a shit eatin’ grin. Walking through the aisles of Wal-Mart is like stopping by a garage sale that you had no idea was even going on. I don’t need anything at that garage sale but for some God awful reason I walk away from it with a handful of junk I didn’t need or even knew I wanted. What was intended to be a quick trip to the store for Easter candy turned into a rapid free fall into a hellish vacuum of consumerism.
I sacrificed watching Entourage last night to check out A&E’s The Two Coreys. In sum, Haim is really dysfunctional and Feldman is totally whipped by his raspy voiced, domineering, vegetarian girlfriend. Watching them at a total opposite point in life than they were in the ‘80s actually makes me hope for the best for them. Haim talked to the audience about their “comeback” and sadly their second coming probably isn’t happening anytime soon. Hold on a second though, none of us thought Rocky could come back and stand a chance against Mason The Line Dixon now did we? Stranger things have happened in Hollywood especially from one half of the Frog Brothers and the guy with frosted hair who had a risqué Rob Lowe poster on his wall.
As I watched Transformers in the new AMC theaters in Linden, NJ I couldn’t help but feel like it reminded me of an ’80s movie. Not for any glaring reason but for a subtle vibe running through the film, after all it’s based off of an ’80s toy line. It definitely wasn’t blatant but consider the mainstream schlock that Michael Bay is typically responsible for. When making such generic blockbusters it’s not hard to make a movie that gives the impression that it could have been made in a different decade. The main reason why I got that ’80s vibe was surprisingly Shia LaBeouf’s kick-ass performance. You could pick up on his versatility and his comedic timing was dead on. Here’s where you’re all going to abruptly jerk your steering wheel to the right to dodge the oncoming unexpected comparison to yes…Corey Haim and Corey Feldman: the two guys that the entire world may tie back to. I’m in no way saying that we can compare a rising star like Shia LaBeouf, the guy who’s already starring in Indiana Jones 4, to “washed up” guys like the Two Coreys. What I am saying is that people should think twice before completely lambasting them.
So what, they got caught up with drugs and bad reality shows. They are human, and they just so happen to have been the same guys who probably would have been cast in Transformers if it was made into a live action movie in 1987. It might pain you to think about it, but it’s true. Nothing that LaBeouf did was new. We could have easily taken either of the Coreys circa 1987 and inserted them in that role and they would have been equally as comedic and considering inflation, equally as successful at the box office.
Perhaps they’ve had a run of bad luck, but America is never satisfied with the abundant amount of nostalgia that gets spat back out at them. Once you think you had it to the gills with the Surreal Life, Flavor of Love, and Scott Baio programming it’s time for more! Knock the Coreys all you want but clearly there is a demand for them. You might try to consider the impression that movies like License to Drive and The Lost Boys left on you. Let’s not forget movies like The Goonies, The Burbs, and Dream a little Dream. The Coreys were on magazines and wallpapered every girls bedroom at the time. And to the guys: don’t act like you didn’t think Corey Feldman was friggin‘ hysterical in every movie he did. He was definitely a guy who we could all relate to. Think of him in Friday the 13th part 4. How many of us were exactly like that when we were young? How about Haim in License to Drive? It’s his best role and evokes very similar feelings we all had when we hit 17 and were about to hit the road with our new licenses. All I’m saying is back off already! The Two Coreys contribution to the world has been solidified a long time ago. If producers, advertisers, and public demand deem it necessary to supply us with another dose of the Coreys, then so be it!