5- “Suburban Commando” #52PickUp 2017

I’ve already come across the worst movie that I’ve ever seen for this year’s #52PickUp (hopefully) – and it may even be the worst of both years combined – but I re-watched a childhood “favorite:”

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And I love Christopher Lloyd…

Yeah. Suburban fucking Commando. This film is god awful, and it has VERY FEW redeeming qualities. I’m sorry, but it was hard to get through this again.

I really did love this film as a kid. It stars Hulk Hogan as Shep Ramsey, an inter-galactic Space… Ranger? Cop? Bounty Hunter? as he attempts to save the Galactic President from the evil General Suitor (What is this, The Bachelorette?).

Well, Shep blows up the ship, killing Suitor and the President. Shep’s ship is damaged while exiting the blast, and he has to find a place to recharge his batteries at a low enough level to avoid tracking devices. And so, his commanding officer tells him to use these six weeks as a vacation of sorts, because “the old Shep would never let the President die.” Whoops!

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Then kill me! Before I kill another!

Shep lands on Earth (he hates Earthlings), and hides his ship to begin the long road to recharging. He walks the streets and random dumb shit happens to him. Some little girl (Elisabeth Moss) loses her cat up a tree, so Shep pulls the branch down, but somehow, it’s not her cat. What the hell, there was only one cat up in that tree. Shep sends the cat flying.

Anyway, a lot of unimportant junk happens to Shep. Then we meet Charlie Wilcox (Christopher Lloyd); he’s a spineless putz who won’t dare ask for a raise because he likes to follow the rules. We see this in a thinly-veiled analogy when Charlie competes in a daily commute to beat the red stoplight. He’s the only one who doesn’t run the yellow and let’s the light stop him, every time. Riveting.

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“I was FROZEN today!”

His wife, Jenny (played by Shelley Duval), worries about their monetary income, so she decides to rent out the back room as an apartment, and Shep is the only one to respond. Charlie scopes out Shep and finds a powerful gun under his mattress.

The gun goes off, blowing a hole through the wall and landing at the douchey neighbors’ race car, exploding it instantly. This use of the weapon, gives an approximate range of star systems of which Shep is hiding to the dreaded Bounty Hunters, who were ordered to kill him.

Charlie then follows Shep to his ship and uses his gear to save a woman once Shep leaves. This usage gives away his precise location, and the bounty hunters show up.

Blah blah blah, Shep defeats the bounty hunters with Charlie’s help, Charlie gets frozen, etc.

Fast forward to the end: General Suitor is alive, he’s followed Shep to Earth, and his true form is a rip-off of The Creature From the Black Lagoon.

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Or an anorexic Swamp Thing.

What’s the franchise like?

THANKFULLY, there were no sequels, but here is an insane video game adaptation of it for the PC.

Where/ when did I first see it?

I’m pretty sure that I watched this at Gigi’s (the babysitter), but I’m not really sure. So in 1993-94.

How does it hold up?

HA! Ha ha. Very funny, past Jamie. You sure knew how to pick them!

A few things to Note:

One of the bounty hunters was Mark Calaway, none other than The Undertaker himself. Hogan recommended Mark before he was signed on to wrestle for the WWE (he was a free agent just out of WCW). So they shot this film, and by the time the movie was released, The Undertaker and Hogan had an already established feud.

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SUBURBAN COMMANDO, from left: Tony Longo, Mark Calaway, 1991, © New Line

Larry Miller was always the best jerk boss (like he was in The Nutty Professor), and this is one of his first cracks at the archetype.

The two kids in this film were barely used. I’m thinking this was due to the long shoot schedule, for they had to work around Hogan’s extremely busy wrestling career, and reportedly Suburban Commando was shot over two years.

The Joker:

The joker this time would (I guess) have to be Shep Ramsey himself.

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Such a natural.

Lessons Learned?

  1. If a wrestler that’s NOT named Dwayne Johnson stars in a film; RUN.
  2. If you hire kids for the family, make sure to use them.
  3. Yeah, that’s all I got.

Where can you see it?

Check out Suburban Commando on CanIStream.It? Not on there. Search iTunes, VUDU, or Amazon if you dare wish to see this atrocity.

-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)


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