DID YOU READ

10 Hilarious Moments in Professional Wrestling

wwe

Posted by on

The recent scare involving our beloved Jerry “The King” Lawler’s nationally-televised heart attack has prompted a lot of us to remember everything that made him famous. Aside from his storied career in and out of the squared circle, we can’t help but recall that surreal time when he and comic legend Andy Kaufman were befuddling people everywhere by selling their wrestling feud as a completely legitimate beef in every public forum they could – most notably, “Late Night with David Letterman.”

But as much of a milestone as that moment is, if you scratch the surface of the pro wrestling world, you’re going to find a hell of a lot of surreal comedy. I mean, we’re talking about a theatrical profession that, until relatively recently, was absolutely dedicated to not letting people in on the fact that it was a theatrical profession, and that in itself provides ample opportunity for guys like Kaufman. Nowadays, however, the cat is out of the bag, which often means they can be even crazier. So let’s take a look at this particular calling with these ten hilarious moments in professional wrestling.


1. Jerry Lawler VS. Andy Kaufman on Letterman

We’ve got to start with this one. Andy Kaufman was a comedian who loved to frustrate audiences with abrasive characters he would never break. Some people got the gags, but many others did not and wound up hating the man, which was a reaction that he thrived upon. It makes perfect sense, then, that he would want to be a “heel” (i.e. “bad guy”) wrestler, because this was an entire industry based around building up that kind of character, and then supplying the “babyface” (i.e. “good guy”) hero to beat that heel up. Lawler was one of the most popular wrestlers at the time, and in this much-talked-about clip, his quick wit and his mental encyclopedia of one-liners is on full display: “I couldn’t warm up to this guy if we were cremated together.” Kaufman played the weasel-hill to the hilt, and, in a world where everybody involved with pro wrestling from the grapplers to the fans still insisted it was unscripted and real sporting competition, history was made.


2. Crazy Promo Master: “Macho Man” Randy Savage

It’s impossible to pick one interview of Savage’s that stands out as the funniest, because his entire character was this amazing amalgamation of insanity, intensity and menace. His constantly growling voice, his use of prop comedy and his willingness to not only go over the top but live over the top made him a master of “cutting the promo.” You hang on his every word, because you never know what the heck the next word is going to be, but he did it with a unique style that’s just a highly amusing delight to watch.


3. Crazy Promo Disaster: The Ultimate Warrior

The flip side of the wild and weird coin is this guy – a burly, steroidal hulk of humanity slathered in face-paint, bright rainbow colors and an absolutely domineering incomprehensibility. He barreled his way into every match and won the hearts of fans everywhere with his high energy, awesome entrance music and superheroic look, but that connection never quite lasted when someone put a microphone in front of him. Whereas Savage could balance the strange with the grounded enough to live in the moment and have a conversation, the Warrior was naught but delirious ranting about outer space and divine conversations. That hallucinogenic madness extended to his actual life, as he’s become a strange right-wing zealot in his retirement who has legally changed his name from Jim Hellwig to Warrior.


4. The Debut of the Shockmaster

Fred Ottman had made a splash in the World Wrestling Federation in the early 1990s as Tugboat, ally to Hulk Hogan wearing a red stripey shirt and a sailor hat and making foghorn noises as his gimmick. You could still do that back then. He then became known as Typhoon when he turned heel and became a tag team champion alongside Earthquake as “The Natural Disasters.” However, he eventually signed on with World Championship Wrestling, which would become the WWF’s most tenacious competitor. In 1993, however, Ottman had the misfortune to have one of the worst debut s in wrestling history. The identity of “The Shockmaster” was already sketchy, as it was just a Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet painted silver and glittery atop a big vest and jeans, but when he was introduced during a Ric Flair interview segment, his botched entrance became the stuff of infamy.


5. Degeneration X Invades WCW

In the mid-1990s, the long-reigning WWF had a problem in that WCW was raiding them of all their big-name talent, such as Hulk Hogan, Savage, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and more. Not only that, but their marquee shows were both on the same night, and WCW was winning in the ratings. On April 27, 1998, both WWF Raw Is War and WCW Monday Nitro were taking place in Virginia, only 19 miles apart, and this was well into WWF’s “Attitude Era,” wherein most of their “faces” were more like anti-heroes, and the rude, crude, rabble-rousing stable of wrestlers known as Degeneration X were the highest profile of them all. The WWF had a history of never acknowledging that any competition existed, but that all changed when DX got suited up in pseudo-military gear, got a jeep with a big cannon on it and drove right over to the arena where WCW’s show was set to begin, attempting to invade their show with the power of hijinks. The Monday Night Wars were on.

Continue to next page >>
Trump Funny or Die

Art of the Spoof

Watch Johnny Depp, Jack McBrayer, Patton Oswalt and More in Funny or Die’s Donald Trump Biopic

Johnny Depp just got very classy.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Funny or Die

We’re barely halfway through February, but this year’s Too Many Cooks Award for the most bizarre comedy project is already a lock. Blindsiding the world with greatness without any warning, Funny or Die released a 50-minute Donald Trump parody starring an unrecognizable Johnny Depp as Donny.

Ron Howard introduces this “lost” 1988 TV movie adaptation of Trump’s how-to manual The Art of the Deal produced with the retro quality of a Wendy’s training video. Along for the big hair and shoulder pads flashback are Patton Oswalt, Alfred Molina, Todd Margaret‘s Jack McBrayer, Andy Richter, Rob Huebel, Jason Mantzoukas, Paul Scheer, and Michaela Watkins as Ivana — as well as many Reagan-era surprises like a cameo from that loveable cat eater ALF and a theme song by Kenny Loggins.

Much like Eric Jonrosh of The Spoils Before Dying and The Spoils of Babylon fame, “Trump” writes, directs, and narrates his own epic tale of real estate wheelings-and-dealings. Check out the trailer below, and head over to Funny or Die to watch the full Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal movie before the real Donald sics his army of lawyers on Will Ferrell and company. (For more bizarro Johnny Depp characters, be sure to catch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this month on IFC.)

Five incredibly creepy “Pet Sematary” scenes

100812-pet-sematary

Posted by on

They really just don’t make them like Mary Lambert’s 1989 Stephen King adaptation “Pet Sematary” anymore. From the extended use of flashbacks, the dreamy (sometimes bordering on soft-focus) look of the film, to the overwrought dialogue and scenarios, the film is a product of its time. It’s also really quite awesome – sometimes in a that’s-so-silly-I-love-it way, but more often in a holy-hell-that-still-scares-the-pants-off-me way. This Tuesday marked long-awaited Blu-ray release of “Pet Sematary” and the results are great. It’s easily the best the film has ever looked and a nice little assortment of bonus material makes the disc a must-buy for any horror fan.

What’s even better is the fact that the Blu-ray release gives us a chance to run down some of the creepiest scenes in the entire film. Sure, there are plenty of dated elements and silly, over-the-top moments in the film (we’re looking at you, Ellie Creed), but “Pet Sematary” actually holds up quite well, especially in its ability to frighten.


The Day Timmy Baterman Came Back

The first time that Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) asked Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne) if anyone had ever buried a person in the Micmac Indian burial ground above the Pet Sematary, Jud scoffed and looked at him as if he were crazy. Well, turns out he was lying a little bit. Many years prior Bill Baterman had buried someone up there (his own son Timmy who had died in service during WWII). The results were, well, horrifying. Timmy came back from the grave like a zombie out of one of Romero’s classic films. Next thing you know he’s walking around digging up bones to chew on, tearing his own face off, and scaring the neighbors. Timmy wasn’t quite himself, so they had to burn him alive, but not before learning their lesson that “Sometimes dead is better.” The scenes with Timmy Baterman are some of the coolest (and creepiest) in all of “Pet Sematary.”


The Achilles Cut / Jud Crandall’s Death

The death of Jud Crandall at the hands of little zombie Gage Creed is enough to turn your stomach, but it’s the manner in which old Jud bites the bullet that really makes this one of (if not the most) memorable scenes in the entire film. While searching through his house for the recently undead Gage, Jud kneels down next to his bed to look under it. The next thing he knows, Church the cat is in the room staring at him with his big green eyes and hissing just long enough to distract the old man while little Gage slips a hand out from under the bed and slices Jud’s Achilles tendon! If you’ve ever seen the film and you try to tell me that this moment didn’t make you physically gasp the first time you saw it, you’re probably lying. It’s an act that you can literally feel as a viewer and one that has kept me checking under just about every bed I stand next to for the past two decades.


Sleepwalking with Pascow

The first truly creepy moment of “Pet Sematary” comes courtesy of the runner with the massive brain injury, Victor Pascow. Treated for his injuries by Louis (and ultimately dying on the table under his care), Pascow grabs the doc and promises to come to him with a message of warning. Little did we know the grotesque ghost meant that very night. In a very unnerving scene, we see what appears to be a dream sequence where Louis follows Pascow into the woods and through the gates of the Pet Sematary. It’s not just a leisurely walk though. No, no. Pascow is there to warn Louis to never go beyond the place. “The ground is sour!” he warns Creed. And sour it sure is. The creepiest part of this scene, however, comes when we get back to the Creed house and Louis wakes up to find his feet covered in dirt and mud. Woah! So it wasn’t a dream all along. Creeptastic!


The Kiss

If you’re not completely grossed out by the film’s final moments, then you’re a better man than I. It’s not so much the kiss shared by Louis and Rachel that gets me. No, it’s the disgusting ooze of puss that falls out of Rachel’s eye socket seconds before Louis starts swapping spit with her. And he doesn’t just go in for a quick peck; he dives into that kiss tongue a-blazin’. Sure, I get it. Louis is completely off his rocker by this point in the film so a little shared bloody ooze is nothing after knocking off his own son and burying his dead wife in an Indian burial ground. And, yes, I know a little zombie lovin’ never hurt anybody, but there has to be a line, right? Well, Louis Creed not only crossed it in this uber-creepy scene but he also paid the ultimate price for it. Oh, Louis… you should have learned the first time!


Zelda

I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say that I don’t think there’s anything creepier in the history of cinema than Rachel’s sister Zelda in “Pet Sematary.” More than anything else in the film, Zelda scared me senseless as a kid. It wasn’t so much her illness, her deformity, or the fact that Mary Lambert hired a male actor (Andrew Hubatsek) to play the part. It’s just the general creepy-crawly-ness of Zelda that sticks in your brain. That first flashback scene where Rachel is feeding Zelda and then she spins her entire head around, choking herself to death is really frightening, but it’s the later dream sequence that really empties my bladder. Zelda standing hunched over in a corner suddenly springs to life and runs toward the camera (and us) with the creepiest smile on her face that you’ve ever seen. I’ve got the chills just writing about it. You can have your Dracula, Wolfman, and Frankenstein; Zelda is, in my mind, the scariest monster in horror history. “Even now, I wake up and I think, is Zelda dead yet?” says Rachel at one point in the film. You and me both, sister. You and me both.


“Pet Sematary” is available on Blu-ray now.

Top Five Time Travel Movies, from Arnold to Willis

terminator-attack

Posted by on

Looper, which opened at an over $20 million box office take on its opening weekend, is already being hailed as one of the great time travel movies of all time. Time – pun intended – will tell.

What about time travel? The time travel film genre is quite broad, often involving travel to the past and sometimes, especially in action films, involving jumping forward into the future. In both instances, films under the influence of time travel almost always exhibit over-the-top art direction buttressed with convoluted storylines involving conundrums of the time-space continuum. Time travel films are a wonderful excuse to be bombastic and smart to the point of confusing at the same time. Here is my short list for fantastic time travel films:


1. The Terminator

Talk about convoluted storylines! The Terminator involves both the past and the future — futuristic technology, to be exact, leaping backwards in time. James Cameron defined the bombastic and smart combination in this time travel film, heavy on action, but with a script interesting enough to attract people who are into well-written movies. And Arnold – pre- (and, evidently, post) 60 Minutes revelations – embodied every bit the unfeeling cyborg assassin. The original film launched three sequels, a brief television series and the career of James Cameron. The film also significantly raised the expectations forever afterwards for big box office action films.


2. Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness, one of the greatest of cult films, is the final installment of the ingenious Evil Dead trilogy. Written and directed by the great Sam Raimi, Army of Darkness works primarily because of the complicated story, equally, at times, funny and suspenseful, as well as the innovative art direction. The film travels backwards – to 1300 AD – but it is an unrecognizable, thoroughly dark magical Raimi-ish look into the past. The story, quite innovative for its time, is at the forefront of this unforgettable film.


3. 12 Monkeys

Terry Gilliam, like Sam Raimi, can do no wrong. The most important element of a time travel movie is the story and, after that, the direction. In both of these, Terry Gilliam excels.  Acting, in many ways, is secondary to the special effects in this genre. How the director conveys the time shift (the art direction) – as well the story are what make a great time travel film. In this film, however, the performances of Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis as they dance around the question of possible madness, is as important an ingredient to the success of this film as the special effects and the story. The great special effects, in this case, are lagniappe.


4. Donnie Darko

This DVD cult hit may just be the strangest movie ever made. Donnie Darko makes Army of Darkness look like a traditional Hollywood film. And yet … it is impossible to look away. To call Donnie Darko just a time travel movie is like calling The Terminator just a romance. But time travel is certainly the central theme running throughout the whole film holding it together. It is a time travel film that doesn’t really involve time travel. Netflix it if you haven’t already.


5. Groundhog Day

Is there any time travel movie that is only just a time travel movie? It seems to me that the time travel genre is the ground-of-being for other, more established genres – action, romance, suspense, comedy and/or thriller. And Groundhog Day, heavy on the romance and comedy angles, is, hands down my favorite time travel movie. Groundhog Day contains Bill Murray – and isn’t that really enough reason to love it? – trying to solve one of the oddest time continuum problems of them all. How does one move forward when one cannot? Murray, literally, keeps repeating February the second. Murray, metaphorically in this film, is timeless.


Honorable Mention: Time After Time

This 1979 film is a must-see of fans of the time travel genre. The special effects, by today’s Looper standards, are here thin. But the story is razor sharp. This film involves a jump into the future – Jack the Ripper’s jump into the future, to be precise, after stealing HG Wells’ Time Machine. The suspenseful film involves a century-long chase between HG Wells and Jack-the-Ripper (played, with icy precision, by A Clockwork Orange’s Malcolm McDowell) over a beautiful young woman. More Honorable Mentions: The Time Machine (1960), Back to the Future and Planet of the Apes.


What is your favorite time travel movie? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Powered by ZergNet