Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Toe is me

I can't say whether the whiskey was suggested, though I would not advise against it. Rocks, courtesy of John Boorman's Point Blank.

Re: Whiskey:
Like, Ikea has these great 4-cube ice trays that make huge -- really, huge -- cubes of ice, perfect for a highball glass and whatever else you put in it.

Re: Boorman:
A savage, wielding images like blunt objects swung in a visual beatdown, one given with the knowledge that you -- hey, viewer! -- don't mind getting smacked around a bit, that (well, ok, sometimes) you like it like that. There's violence aplenty on offer, on-screen, but the real roughstuff's more keenly felt in the editing. The clap!-clap!-clap! of Walker's footsteps as he Monte Cristos his way back to his old life in an early montage are, as some have pointed out, unforgettable. Marvin's great -- relentless as Caine in Get Carter, just wivvout da shocking Cockney.

Little did I know that this little anarchic neo-noir dreamscape would prove such a comfy bed of odd connects, nor that lying next to me in that rumpled boudoir, I'd find Dean Wormer. And Doogie Howser's pops. Bedfellows is strange!

Let's two-step together through meandering thought:
  • Lee Marvin plays a character named Walker.
  • I have a friend named Walker [after Percy].
  • I brought the film home partly to show my friend named Walker a film with a protagonist named Walker.
  • Walker [not Lee Marvin, not Percy] first hipped me to John Vernon's brilliance as Dean Wormer in Animal House.
  • I never tired of hearing, "You'll get your chance, Smart Guy!" shouted at opportune times by Walker [again, not LM nor P]. Try it. It's quite enjoyable.
  • At the very same moment I realized that Vernon's traitorous character Reese was the Dean himself -- naturally compelling me to shout "YGYC,SG!" excitedly at the screen -- Vernon's character said "Smart Boy!"

Didn't I just blow your minds? Take a breather, compose yrselves.

So...on this February 1, the sad one-year anniversary of John Vernon's death, we celebrate him, first with Animal House's wry nod to metonymy:

Listen to Dean Wormer put his foot down!

On Point
In Point (teehee), Vernon's FIRST FILM (!), he fashions a matchless sneer that borders on parody, an air immortalized in famously suggesting to one portly collegian that fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life. Point's Reese is perpetually repulsed by his underlings, disgusted with ineptitude in general, and gets what people who betray Lee Marvin deserve: to be thrown mercilessly from the terrace of his own penthouse apartment, naked and whimpering.

A short, no-so-secret JV history: Born Adolphus Raymondus Vernon Agopsowicz on February 24, 1932 in Zehner, Saskatchewan, John Vernon was, yes, a Canadian (Whassup James? Post up on this block already!). After his duplicitous turn in Point, he played the heavy in the western One More Train To Rob (1971) and the John Wayne crime drama Brannigan (1975). Then, Eastwood. In Dirty Harry (1971), Vernon played the preening, pandering, PR-conscious mayor of San Francisco. Vernon then hammed it up as a sadistic Confederate commander in The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), and in a casting masterstroke, he played warden of a woman’s prison in Chained Heat (1983). You may know the rest -- Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) and I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) -- and if you don't, get familiar please.

Right, and Doogie Howser's dad (James B. Sikking) plays an assassin. Really, find this movie. Then toast one to your ole Dean.


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