Suburban Commando (1991)
You won’t regret going Commando
October, the scariest month of the year has come and gone, so now it is time for the hairiest month of the year. Movember, formerly known as November, is a wonderful time of year when men let their appearance go to hell in the name of charity. That’s not to say that all moustaches look hideous. Particularly not the moustache that stars in the film I will be taking a look at this week, Suburban Commando.
Hulk Hogan and his moustache star in the hilarious and thrilling science fiction/comedy/fish out of water/action/Bollywood romance/adventure tale Suburban Commando. Hogan portrays Shep Ramsey, an intergalactic warrior who crash lands on Earth after his latest battle. Ramsey must bide his time while his space vessel recharges, and ends up renting a room from suburbanites the Wilcox family. Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future) and Shelly Duvall (The Shining) star as the heads of the household, Charlie and Jenny.
Charlie is instantly suspicious of his hulking new tenant, who displays amazing feats of strength, but very poor social graces. For example, Ramsey encounters a mime, and not familiar with Earth customs, attempts to free him from his invisible box by punching through what he believes to be an invisible force field. The poor street entertainer is knocked out cold. Ramsey also picks up a sofa when he is told to take a seat in a waiting room. It is scenes like these two that really make me think Hogan missed his calling. Sure, he had a great career in the wrestling business, but I really think he could have become a big deal in the comedy world. His moustachioed face could have been up on comedy’s Mount Rushmore with Bob Hope, Groucho Marx, Bill Cosby and Carrot Top. As great as Hogan is in the film, it is hard to believe he was not the first choice. The film was originally written for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. Thankfully, it worked out for everyone (except Arnold and Danny) in the end. Lesson learned – whatever the job is, Hulk Hogan should always be offered first crack at it. I called him last week to see if he wanted to drywall my basement. He declined, but I could tell he appreciated the offer.
Charlie eventually discovers that Ramsey is not from France as he initially claimed. In the process of his investigation, he ends up alerting some bad apples from a planet far, far away as to the whereabouts of Ramsey. Mild-mannered architect Charlie Wilcox must tag team up with the seasoned soldier Shep Ramsey to lay the smackdown on a gang of space villains in order to save not only the Wilcox family, but Earth as a whole.
Suburban Commando is a terrific film that, if not for typical studio politics, would have enjoyed a bigger legacy. Personally I feel that it is a better film than Star Wars, but 22 years have passed, and no sequels or prequels have been produced. I also have yet to see one child wearing a Shep Ramsey backpack.
Perhaps the film will experience a renaissance during this Movember season. I assume that most people, like me, plan to watch nothing but movies featuring moustachioed men in the lead role all month long. If that is what you are planning, then for your first viewing of Movember, please watch this film. You will not regret going Commando.