Tag Archives: cowboy

Vigo From Ghostbusters II Died Ten Years Ago! (…and Other Things You Didn’t Know About Him)

By Andrew Blumetti

“Vigy, Vigy, Vigy, you have been a bad monkey!”

Dr. Peter Venkman

Amen brotha Billy… in fact you don’t even know the half of it.

Vigo the Carpathian, main antagonist in 1989’s summer-comedy spooktacular sequel, Ghostbusters II, was a 17th Century Moldavian genocidal tyrant, so horridly sadistic and blood-curdlingly malevolent, he earned a shopping list of not-so jolly nicknames, including but not limited to:  “Vigo the Cruel”, “Vigo the Torturer”, Vigo the Despised” and “Vigo the Butch Unholy”.

That concentrated evil is all just Hollywood magic of course.  When director Ivan Reitman yelled “Cut!”, the loathsome, murderous former-painting Vigo took off his mustard-y armor plated threads and was nothing more than an ordinary 20th Century human– German-born actor, Wilhelm von Homburg.

Wilhelm von Homburg?

True, a name that certainly doesn’t organically ring that familiar bell the way Tom Hanks or Brad Pitt does upon first listen.  While Fabio  Tony Little-lookalike, Vigo, was a celebrated villain to millions of movie fans, poor ‘ol Wilhelm was far from the definition of household of names, especially here in the United States.

Don’t mistake that last statement for a boring life though.  On the contrary in fact.  In spite of his unfamiliar foreign moniker and assumed one claim-to-fame, blondielocks lived quite an enthralling life to say the least.

So, kick back, unplug that dancing toaster, hop in the Statue of Liberty’s crown and let’s take a walk down memory lane.  When all is said and done, you’ll be rather surprised to learn of the roller coaster-ride of the life of the man who played the painting who tried to steal the baby to come back and kill the men who captured ghosts for a high fee.

“Suck in the guts guys, we’re on some dumb blog.”

———————

CLEAN SWEEP!

“Mop up all that pink slime or we’re calling Immigration on you. NOW.”

Not one to be pushed around in the film, but during the filming of Ghostbusters II, the Vigmeister lost a bet on the Cleveland Browns and had to clean up after those sloppy Scoleri Brothers.  No easy task- those paranormal fatties dropped Devil Dog crumbs EVERYWHERE.  We’d all like to think perhaps the whole cast pitched in to help.  Somewhere there has to be a photo of Rick Moranis accidentally dropping his glasses into the men’s room urinal while changing the cakes.

——————–

“LET’S WRASSLE!”

Bust out them singlets!

In the 1950’s, he wrestled in the United States with his father under his birth name, Norbert Grupe.

Due to people incorrectly pronouncing his last name, “Groupie”, he changed his name to the much more roll-off-the-tongue, “Wilhelm von Homburg”.  A few years later, he’d switch over to a different kind of ring, as boxing came calling his “impossible-to-pronounce-without-sounding-like-you’re-in-the-SS” name.

————————-

PUT UP YOUR DUKES!

“I’ll knock out Annie Potts and steal her French-bread pizza any day of the week.”

From 1962 to 1970, Homburg found a career as a successful boxer, nicknamed “Prinz”, a grand stage-name chosen in order to create a sense of royalty surrounding him.

Unofficial nicknames given to the pugilist were “The Boxing Beatle” thanks to his moppy mane, and the slightly less popular, “The German Answer to Muhammad Ali” thanks to the obvious resemblance.

He ended his career with a record of 29 wins, 11 losses, and 6 draws.  But to be fair, half of those victories came against Slimer.

In 2002, a documentary about Homburg’s life, entitled The Boxing Prince, was released.  This was later renamed to The Artist Formerly Known as the Boxing Prince… then eventually just a symbol.

———————————

JUST YOUR AVERAGE AWKWARD GERMAN TV INTERVIEW

The day after a lost boxing match against rival Oscar Bonavena in 1969, Homburg appeared for a television interview on a German talk show.  He sat silent and smirking for the entire 10 minutes as the interviewer tossed snarky comments about Homburg’s boxing loss and his flashy lifestyle his way.

It still had twice as many viewers as any episode of Joey though.

To be fair, he’s still the second-most popular “Matt” from friends though.

————————–

YEE-HAW!

Vigo’s years in the Bloods were spent constantly throwing the wrong hand symbol.

Despite his most prominent role as the adversary in Ghostbusters II, Homburg also had a minor acting career, appearing in hit movies starring Carl Winslow, such as Die Hard, and non-hit movies without Carl Winslow, such as Diggstown, and John Carpenter’s 1994 horror film, In the Mouth of Madness.

“Go ahead, call me Cee-Lo Green ONE MORE TIME.”

——————————–

VIGO’S ACTION FIGURE?  TERRIFYING.

Nice mullet.”- Skeletor

To properly showcase Vigo’s mighty shoulder pads, a Janet Jackson “Rhythm Nation” doll was just painted over to achieve the look.

—————————-

VIGO’S “TO CATCH A PREDATOR-ISH” VOICE?  DUBBED.

“Dan Aykroyd said I couldn’t borrow his hair straightener.”

Bill Murray first dipped his gut-busting toe into the world of more dramatic roles in Wes Anderson’s 1998 charming classic, Rushmore.  Just five short years later, his brilliant performance as Bob Harris, an aging actor trying to find himself in Tokyo in 2003’s Lost in Translation made him a frontrunner for the first Academy Award of his career.

One textbook self-righteous Sean Penn acceptance speech later, and Murray’s trophy night never came to be.

Fret not specter-catching fans– While we can’t say Ghostbusters II included an Oscar-winning actor, at least we can say Bill Murray has good company with another Academy Award nominee in the film.

Max von Sydow, a Swedish actor, best known for playing Father Lankester Merrin in the horror landmark, The Exorcist, and appeared in Hannah and Her Sisters, The Diary of Anne Frank, and most recently, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, provided the few voiced lines of Vigo the Carpathian in the film.

“For relaxing times, make it Vigo time.”

————————

VIGO THE CONVICT

It wasn’t all fun times in the ring and bro-down pow-wows with Dan Aykroyd for Homburg though.

The persistent paparazzi hounded him, following the actor’s descent into the darker corners of his life.  Homburg’s life became filled with drugs, drug dealing, pimping and extortion, even spending a chunk of time 1%’ing it up with a Hell’s Angels chapter.

After many run-ins with Johnny Law, he spent five years in jail for charges on the previously mentioned bevy of charges.  Which was a major pleabargin from his initial sentence of being sprayed endlessly with gooey pink slime.

————————–

ADIOS ‘OL VIGY…

Unfortunately, after a troubled and turbulent life, Homburg passed away almost a decade ago, to the day, on March 10, 2004 from complications from cancer.  And with him, we said raise our proton packs, give an ‘ol 21 “not crossing the streams” salute and say goodbye to the second-greatest Ghostbusters villain to grace the silver screen.

Wait, let’s make sure of this…

1. Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

2. Vigo

3. Walter Peck

4. Zuul

5. the old lady ghost in the library

6. Jack Hardemeyer, the mayor’s assistant

7. Female Gozar (who actually should count as Stay Puft as well…)

Okay, silver medal sounds good enough.

“I’ve worked with better, but not many.”

Dr. Peter Venkman

Advertisements

21 Comments

Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Humor, Movies, Pop Culture, Retro, Sports

The Truth About Danny from Hey Dude… Dead or Alive?

By Andrew Blumetti

Anyone who knows relatively anything about anything knows that teen s-kicker sitcom, Hey Dude, is the best television show to ever grace the boob tube.

Well, maybe not exactly the best show ever, but if you grew up a healthy diet of late 80’s/early 90’s Nickelodeon fare, you’re no doubt as big of a fan of the western cowboy-comedy as I was.

The plot was your classic fish-out-of-water:  A nerdy New York City accountant purchases  the “Bar None Ranch”, an Arizona dude ranch smack dab in the barren desert, and brings his Hypercolor shirt-wearing son with him.  Throw in a teenage staff of cowboys, Indians, and textbook white-boy slackers, and you’ve got yourself a Nick home run, and I don’t mean Swisher.

“Who you calling a fish out of water?!?”

————————

There was goofball troublemaker Ted, and his on-again, off-again love interest, Brad, a rich girl with a boys’ name who was nowhere near as attractive as she was made out to be.  Rounding out the bunch was goody two-shoes lifeguard Melody, Brendan Frasier-wannabe drummer Jake, pretty-boy cowboy Kyle, Lucy- the one actual adult who worked there, and last, but not least, Danny Lightfoot, a Hopi Indian who had a larger denim vests collection than Ernest P. Worrell.  Lightfoot also was graced with a deep, spiritual kinship with the anhydrous desert land, the way Hollywood assumes all Native Americans do.

Danny (fourth from left) was peeved in this episode, as everyone put their money on him to go first in the “Hey Dude death pool”. 

After the show’s cancellation in 1991, the teen cast mostly fell into adult obscurity.  A few cast members kept their inconsequential relevance– protagonist Mr. Ernst (David Brisbin) did some minor acting on episodes of shows such as Seinfeld and ER, Ted (David Lascher) went on to co-star in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, and Melody (Christine Taylor) most prominently became known as Mrs. Ben Stiller.

The parched tumbleweeds blew across the Duders world for years until an ordinary 2004 afternoon, when it was reported (albeit unconfirmed) that Joe Torres, the actor who played Danny, had passed away from liver failure.

This story could’ve been an immature internet hoax, or it could’ve been true, and that’s the sheer bloody genius of it.

Report that Brad Pitt jumped off a bridge or Kim Kardashian fell into a shark tank, and skeptical people will call shenanigans from the get-go.  Report the quiet demise of an obscure actor from a nearly 20-year old kid’s cable show, and it becomes a lot harder to disprove.

Also, the longer the rumors went invalidated, the more believable the actor’s doom-and-gloom fate became.  Was he still vertical?  Or did the man-eating jack rabbits and killer cacti finally take Torres down?

(Yes, apparently Danny was a big Guns ‘N Roses fan.  …but did he ever get to experience the forgettable phenomenon that was Chinese Democracy?)

————————–

Finding information on Torres is about as difficult as you’d imagine.  Over the years, on his IMDB page, help was sparse at best.  Mostly a bunch of occasional message board nerds doing message-boardy things, such as disputing his fate, discussing his mullet, and who saw him doing what, and where (not necessarily in that order).

Internet hearsay is absolutely worthless though.  For all we really know, he was out playing darts with Elvis, country line-dancing with Tupac or maybe he was abducted by martians who were mistaken Clarissa Explains It All fans instead.

There were also stories that Torres packed his dusty bags and ended up on the East Coast.  Some speculation pointed to him living in Tarheel country in North Carolina.  Or maybe it was more plausible he simply dropped the “s” at the end of his last name, blew all of his Hey Dude savings at the plastic surgeon, then managed the Yankees to four World Series titles.

One man, four rings?  Perhaps all those years of dealing with hothead Ted on the show prepared him to deal with Roger Clemens on the field?

Another possible theory was that Torres was still alive and working at a Toyota dealership in Runnemede, NJ.  Any links on the website to his existence are gone, and this was the supposed picture of him from his shirt-and-tie job:

“He was known as ‘Sells’em Camry’ in used-car circles.”

Another theory that seemed to have legs was that Torres was still alive and kickin’… at a bar nonetheless.  Some had claimed to see him frequent the World Famous Golden Nugget Tavern in Tuscon, Arizona.

Word on the sand has it that Torres is not someone you want to meet up with on the felt, as he’s quite the pool shark (just without his own week on cable every summer).  This seemed to be more likely than the other scenarios, seeing as the Southwest was Torres’ old stomping grounds when Hey Dude filmed out there during its run.

————————

After many failed attempts to find any contact source to help with Torres’ mysterious story, the simplest solution was get in touch with the Golden Nugget to see if they could shed any light on this Dude-er dilemma.

Following an inquiry to the establishment, I received a very helpful email from Tim Donaldson from the Golden Nugget.  Donaldson kindly told me that Jose (Joe) “is alive and well”, thanked me for my message, and said he would pass it along to him.

Hey Danny, you’re alive!  Don’t look so shocked.

————————–

So my fellow Nick fans, may this news make your late-summer week a little sweeter.  We can all breathe a “yippe ki yi ya!” in relief that the rumors of the demise of Danny from Hey Dude, were just that- rumors.  A bunch of speculative hogwash– no liver failure and no job selling Snooki a souped-up Corolla at a Jersey car dealership.  Turns out our very favorite Hey Dude-er is just a former actor looking to kick back, sink the 8-ball in the corner pocket of his past, and enjoy his billard-loving privacy.

…unlike Sponge from Salute Your Shorts.  We all know he’s really dead.

???

13 Comments

Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Humor, Pop Culture, Retro, Television

Tarantino’s Wuss Pack

By Andrew Blumetti

Quentin Tarantino (tærənˈtiːnoʊ), noun One of the most prolific, controversial and popular film directors of the past two decades.  His over-the-top smattering of grindhouse ultra-violence, 70’s throwback nostalgia, dialogue-heavy scenes and non-linear story telling has captivated movie goers from east to west and north to south, and back to east again.

Mr. Tarantino’s given us quite the array of characters in his seven (or eight if you split the Kill Bills) major motion pictures.  Unsavory, immoral, and entertaining as the night is long, their bigger-than-life personalities jump out from the screen, grab us by the scruff of the neck, and demand our attention.

…and I wouldn’t like to run into any of them in a dark alley any day (but to be fair, I wouldn’t want to be in a dark alley anyway.  It’s a breeding ground for puddles and gum to get stuck on the bottom of your shoe).

Lucky for me though, the way the world works, things often balance out.  For every Mr. Blonde, Pai Mei, or Hugo Stiglitz that makes us wet our collective britches in fear, there’s gotta be some lightweights shuffling around in Queint’s flicks… and I’ll take my chances with them in a dark alley anytime.

I now present, “The Top Ten Tarantino Non-Toughies I Could Probably Take in a Fight”

(much like old sour cream in the toasty July sun, the following is NOT spoiler-free)

1. Mr. Blue (Reservoir Dogs, 1992) portrayed by Eddie Bunker

The ‘Dogs resident seasoned vet with that impressive ‘stache and psycho gleam in his eyes.  Now, he’d probably have me eating red-hot lead within seconds, but considering I was 12 when this movie came out, and he was old then, I think he may be the only one of the colored-named criminals in the bunch I could’ve held my own against.

————————–

2. Brett (Pulp Fiction, 1994) portrayed by Frank Whaley

One of the four clowns who decided to screw over Band-aided crime kingpin, Marsellus Wallace, Brett is actually a whiter guy than me, which I never thought possible.  His ability to get rubber-mouth under pressure, and the fact that he eats cheeseburgers for breakfast sure puts the odds in my corner.

—————————–

3. Buck (Kill Bill- Vol. 1, 2003) portrayed by Michael Bowen

The creepy orderly in the hospital who had a gross on-the-side business dealing with coma patients.  This immoral entrepreneurial weirdo met his eventual fate from a fresh out-of-coma patient with dead legs, so that’s gotta put me in a good spot.

——————————–

4. Warren (Death Proof, 2007) portrayed by Quentin Tarantino

In a film full of mostly tough adrenaline-seeking women who’d whoop me in a heartbeat, I had to find one of the few fellas in the latter half of Grindhouse to pick.  Now, if I couldn’t at least go toe-to-toe with a cornball bartender (played by Quentin himself) who pushes a drink called “Chartreuse”, then it’s time to hand in my man-card.

—————————-

5. Master Sgt. Wilhelm (Inglourious Basterds, 2009) portrayed by Alexander Fehling

Guten tag!  A German soldier given the night off to celebrate the birth of his son, Wilhelm’s crap timing finds himself smack dab in the middle of a firefight inside a Parisian pub.

Sure, he’s a Nazi, and sure, he’s experienced with heavy artillery, but the guy and his fellow soldier comrades seem like sloppy drunks, like Jersey Shore-ish drunk.  And if there’s one time Andrew can successfully pull off a strike, it’s when battling against the very inebriated.  That’s why I’d be so good at fending off zombies, they’re just like decaying cannibalistic drunks.

————————–

6. Larry Gomez (Kill Bill- Vol. 2, 2004) portrayed by Larry Bishop

I do feel bad putting anyone on this list who’s been in Kung Fu, Laverne and Shirley and The Dukes of Hazzard, especially someone who made me laugh so much in the second Kill Bill installment.

He spent his lone five minutes in the film snorting coke with a trashy exotic dancer and chewing out Michael Madsen for being late to work, so outside of those five minutes, he’d probably beat the everloving cake out of me, so strike when the iron is hot.

I bet he’d enjoy my Sylvester Stallone article though, seeing as he kinda looks like him.

——————————

7. Mark Dargus (Jackie Brown, 1997) played by Michael Bowen

I’m really banking this list on the fact that Michael Bowen’s got a glass jaw, cause otherwise, I’m toast.

————————————

8. “The Gimp” (Pulp Fiction, 1994) portrayed by Stephen Hibbert

This leather wearing, zipper-mouthed freak basically went down in one stealth hit by a just-out-of-a-car-accident Bruce Willis.  Despite his creepy mask, “The Gimp” doesn’t necessarily instill much fear, seeing as he was tethered on a leash the whole time, and I’m highly suspect that Jim Belushi is actually under that costume.

—————————

9. Francesca Modino’s poodle (Inglourious Basterds, 2009)

Here we have the prissy dog of the prissy Francesca Modino (Julie Dreyfus), the French-to-German interpreter to Head of Propaganda in Germany, Joseph Goebbels.  Naturally, fighting animals is a big no-no (I really don’t want PETA getting all huffy and puffy, protesting to shut down my blog and toss red paint over computer screens nationwide),  but I’d put the over/under at me beating this dog at a foot race at about 65/35.

————————————–

10.  Billy Crash (Django Unchained, 2012) portrayed by Walton Goggins

Cowboys are the true classic American-definition of “manly”.  They’re gruff, tough, and I’m guessing their sweat smells like a leather couch from Crate and Barrel.

Billy Crash may have been quick with the six-shooter and wore a pretty sweet hat, but he was all talk, with nothing to back it up when push comes to shove.  Basically he’s kind of like a slavery-era cowboy version of every single stupid bully in every single stupid after-school special that ran in lieu of Duck Tales.

Man, I hated those.

2 Comments

Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Humor, Movies, Pop Culture