Sunday, October 18, 2009

Big Fan: The Interview

A few weeks back, while scouring the nerdnet for websites related to our current Connections series, I stumbled upon, an exhaustive and entertaining place for all things Commando. It's a treasure trove of quotes, trivia, and fan-created art all linked to lil Arnie Schwarzenegger's greatest acheivement. The website was created and is currently maintained by a nice chap named Andrew. In honor of this week's Classic, I conducted a brief interview with Andrew hoping to get to the bottom of this man and this movie. What prosperous fruit could be stolen from the grocery cart of this man's mind? Let's watch!

--When was the first time you saw Commando?

I was 19 years old, and in college (circa 2001). I had always been a fan of Arnie's work in The Terminator and T2, but had never delved into his earlier movies. I picked up Commando on DVD at Wal-Mart one day and gave it a watch. It was one of those magical moments where I knew that I was seeing something special. I immediately went onto and started chatting with other people similarly afflicted with Commando-love. When I created the website, lots of those other posters came over and started posting on our message board. It kinda just grew organically. People just found the site and were hooked immediately. 500,000 visitors later, it's still a lot of fun.

--How many times have you seen the film?

I've officially lost count, but well over 100 times.

--How far does your Commando obsession extend (beyond hosting the website of course)? For example, do you own any seasons of either Charmed or Who's the Boss?

Ha, I never got into Alyssa Milano, but I've tracked down and watched several other classic films with Vernon Wells; i.e. Max Max 2, Weird Science, Fortress, Innerspace, Circuitry Man, and several MacGyver episodes. I own autographed photos of Schwarzenegger and Vernon Wells, press kits, lobby cards, scripts, posters, magazine articles, production stills, the soundtrack, and of course I run the Commando Fans website. I've met several message board members around he world and we've had drunken Commando viewings. We were able to track down Vernon Wells, who recorded a brilliant introduction video for the website. I've also corresponded with Director Mark Lester via e-mail. Very cool stuff.

--What is your favorite color??


--How would you rate Arnold Schwarzenegger as a governor?

I don't live in California, so I can only go by news reports and friends who live there. I think he's done as best as he could with the system that's in place. California has an insane constitution whereby the people can change the law with a majority vote on initiatives. They basically bypass the Governor and State Legislature. I've heard it said that California is "ungovernable", something repeated by both Democratic and Republican administrations. The jury's still out, but I'll always feel that he belongs on the silver screen.

--In your opinion what would be the best Commando-themed attraction, if Universal Studios decided to build one?

Probably a dark boiler room where an oiled up Austrian bodybuilder launches steam pipes through an animatronic RoboBennett. Either that or a Canoe with Wings. Literally.

--Why is there not already a Commando-themed attraction at Universal Studios?

True action films are less in fashion now, plus studios are always looking to attract families to their parks with CGI penguins and other bullshit. Commando has a huge cult following, but I'm guessing the majority don't visit theme parks. This one doesn't.

--Should we write Congress and/or Universal demanding a Commando-themed attraction?

I doubt it would do any good. However, we DID get the Director's Cut DVD through an online petition. We were even included in the special feature credits! So sure, write your congressperson. Tell them to finish healthcare first though. And maybe work on the economy too.

--If you could have the ability to fly or be invisible, which would you choose?

Being a guy, I should naturally choose invisibility due to the incredible opportunity to spy on naked women. However, I think I'll go with flying. Sully thought he could fly. He thought wrong...

--What is your favorite line from Commando??

"Welcome back, John. So glad you could make it!"

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