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December 18, 2010

Movie Review: The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special (2002)

Day 6 of the David Hayes 12 Days of Christmas Crap Review-a-Palooza is in the books and I just had to take a break. I couldn’t wade through anymore holiday dreck and so I thought I’d expose y’all to a little comic book-inspired awesomeness.

On the sixth day of Christmas, the Head Cheese gave to me… six fraggin’ bastiches!
For those of you who are unaware, I am a HUGE comic book fan. Personally, I think it is the perfect medium. You don’t have to deal with diva actors and giant budgets. If I want to blow up Jupiter, I can blow up Jupiter. If I want a zombie attack in the middle of the Battle of Gettysburg… I get what I want without any issues. That is why the comic book is so freaking cool. With that said, the comics I tend to read are a little, well, they are equally as off as I am. In the 1990s and early 2000s, though, no other character took root in my heart like Lobo. The last surviving member of his race (because he killed the rest), professional ass-whooper for hire and all around hip psychopath. Originally a part of the Omega Men series, Lobo found a home in L.E.G.I.O.N. before he proved far too popular, and got a revamp by writer/artists extraordinaire Alan Grant and Keith Giffen. Lobo’s solo comic book debut was in a single issue one-shot called The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special.

Buy the Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special #1 Comic Book!

I read that book from cover to cover, face-splitting grin from ear to ear. You see, Lobo, being the biggest bad ass in the universe, is hired by the Easter Bunny to take out Santa Claus. There is one simple reason for the contract, Santa is a facist. He runs his Christmas Corporation with an iron fist, dominating all competition and ‘taking out’ anyone he sees fit. The Easter Bunny wants a little bit of that Christmas marketing dough, but Santa’s got it all locked up. So, the Bunny is left with only one choice… hire the Main Man to take out the Jolly Elf. Un-filmable, I thought. I also thought that about The Lord of the Rings, but I was wrong. You already know that.

So, since the rest of the world doesn’t care too much about Lobo there are no big budget feature film adaptations in the works. What there was, though, was a couple of seniors at AFI, the American Film Institute, that needed a thesis project. Being comic book fans themselves, they shot a version of The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special and, in my opinion, did a damn fine job. The story has been truncated, the film is a short, but the production value is very high and, best of all, Lobo looks gooood.
Directed by Scott Lebrecht and produced by Sam Esmail, the 13-ish minute short is very (considering the $2000 budget) faithful adaptation. The set design is gorgeous, it is lit like a Christmas nightmare and the camera work is competent. The acting, even for a graduate student film, is very, very good. Lebrecht and Esmail went the professional route and hired real actors with real resumes. The Main Man, though? Who played the fraggin’ bastiche of all bastiches? None other than Andrew Bryniarksi, the ‘new’ Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series.
So, as a special little gift for you, The Cinema Head Cheese (via the embed function) presents, in it’s entirety, The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special. Enjoy.

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