Posted in Wednesday Warriors

John McClane

“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.” ~Hans Gruber

Welcome to the first article in the new Wednesday Warriors series where testosterone doesn’t take a day off, and guys wearing their hearts on their sleeves is an anathema. At least in the beginning—I’ll eventually have to talk about American Beauty’s Lester Burnham, but for now, let’s start it off with a bang.

Bruce Willis as John McClane
Bruce Willis as John McClane

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is a practical cop. His no-nonsense approach comes in handy when he visits his wife (Bonnie Bedelia) during her new company’s Christmas party. He just came off the plane with a lump in his throat. He never did like flying. One of the other passengers gives him a coping mechanism: walk around barefoot while curling your toes. Advice that comes in useful later on, yet for now, he can’t even find his wife in the company registry. Not until he searches for her under her maiden name Holly Gennaro does he find her.

John McClane
John McClane

Once at the gathering, the real party starts. Walking around barefoot, enjoying terra firma in his room, a team of terrorists takes over the building and holds the partygoers hostage—including Holly. John makes a mad dash to the upper floors of the building where he’ll plan his response. He must be kidding himself. How could he possibly beat a well-armed squad of killers barefoot? Yes, he didn’t have enough time to put on his shoes when he had the genius idea of leaving the confines of safety.

Which brings us to the inevitable statement the Die Hard series created—John McClane is the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nothing prepared him for what was about to happen next.

Hans Gruber (Harry Potter Professor Severus Snape‘s Alan Rickman), the leader of the terrorist group, sends a hit squad to eliminate their thorn in their side, John McClane (Roy Rogers as John so eloquently introduces himself with the series catchphrase). You probably know what I’m talking about without my repeating the words, of course.

When the supposed terrorists catch up with John, he manages to handle the situation his way—by the end of the barrel of a gun. This prompts the terrorists, who survive John’s onslaught, to march from an elevator while Holly looks on:

Ginny: [Karl smashes a table of glasses in fury] God. That man looks really pissed.
Holly: He’s still alive.
Ginny: What?
Holly: Only John can drive somebody that crazy.

If only the terrorists knew who they were dealing with, they would quickly make a beeline for the exits. This does not happen.

The conclusion sees all of them dead as John McClane emerges soaked in their blood while Beethoven‘s Ode to Joy plays in the background and the building burns to the ground—as with all true 80’s movies.

On a personal note, I don’t think a Christmas has gone by without Die Hard or Die Hard 2 making an appearance during the holidays. They’re that good. And why not? With the protagonist transforming himself into a reluctant hero, what’s not to like? He is a teacher to those who don’t know what to do with a bad situation.

His solution? Make it work.

[Author’s note: In celebration of the new Wednesday Warriors series, I’ve changed the header color to reflect the cool winter season. What’d y’all think?]

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.

What do you like about John McClane? Which Die Hard movie is your favorite?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Classic Films Zombie Style III

Jurassic Zombieland, Star Wars: Attack of the Zombies, Zombies of the Lost Ark, Zombienator XVII, Planet of the Zombies, and Close Encounters of the Undead Kind are all movies I’d love to see in the theater. The problem is no one’s made them—yet. But wouldn’t it be nice?

Alien vs. Zombie
Alien vs. Zombie

Classic Films Zombie Style has become a fun feature for Monday Mayhem. You can read the other parts to this series here: I & II.

How does it work? Well, I pick a film everyone ought to recognize, then I add a few zombies, amp up the violence, throw in a generous splattering of gore and voilà, you have yourself a zombie classic. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Let’s see what Part Three of this series holds for us adventurous hunters of the undead.

Alien vs. Zombie—A meteor crashes into the arctic shelf triggering seismic activity in the region. A group of scientists travels to the North Pole to investigate the source of the earthquake. When the scientists arrive, they find an abandoned town and underneath it, a tunnel leading to the center of a complex maze. Inside the labyrinth, acid-blood pumping aliens sent to complete a mission, pick off the scientists one by one. But humans are not the aliens’ target. Humans are in the way. The aliens’ target appears from the sides and attacks the humans, transforming them into the enemy—zombie. Time to break out the popcorn; this is going to be a heck of a mess to clean up.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Zombies—After failing to heed warnings not to return to Hogwarts, Harry, Ron and Hermione investigate a series of attacks directed at the school administration and students. A brutal trail of body parts leads the trio to an underground chamber where they discover a horde of zombies has made it their home. The discovery propels the kids on a quest to secure the chamber and deal with the undead themselves. But in the midst of the Avada Kedavra killing curse, one of the zombies escapes and bites Harmione on the wrist. Faced with the inevitable loss of their friend to the undead, Harry and Ron have to decide the fate of Harmione. Will she become one of the crowds or will Harry have enough time to save her?

Die Hard Zombie—The Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles becomes the scene of a zombie apocalypse. The undead have taken over and floor by floor, they hunt for humans to satisfy their insatiable appetite. Trapped among the potential victims is John McClane, a New York cop with the knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. His wife Holly needs his help. He has to get to the horde from the top of the tower before the horde gets to his wife. Time is running out and his only weapon is a clip away from being empty. If he doesn’t save her, he might as well ring the zombie dinner bell himself. Will he make it?

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

What movies would you like to see rebooted zombie style?