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Posts Tagged ‘WWE Films’

WWE Films produces violent remake of ’70s sitcom: ‘Lobo With a Shotgun,’ starring Jerry Lawler

March 28th, 2012 2 comments

No need to pull the strap when you've got a loaded shotgun.

WWE Films continues its stranglehold on Hollywood B-movie-type fare with the announcement today of a modern-day remake of the late ’70s sitcom “The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo,” which starred the late Claude Akins as the scheming lawman of Orly County, Georgia. WWE’s “Lobo With a Shotgun” will star RAW announcer and Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler in the title role of Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo, with his base of operations moved to Daytona Beach, Fla.

WWE Divas Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres co-star as undercover bikini-clad deputies working with Lobo to break up a drug ring on the famed Florida beach led by Kharma (Kia Stephens) and The Big Show (Paul Wight).

Central casting: Horror. Gore. Half-naked women. These are a few of Lawler's favorite things.

Unlike the TV comedy, WWE’s version will be “a re-imagined, sexier, more violent take on a camp classic—fun for the whole family,” promised Stephanie McMahon, executive vice president, creative.

OK, not really, but you have to admit that concept sounds better than “The Marine 3.”

The above pic of the King is actually a publicity photo for the upcoming “Girls Gone Dead,” a horror film in which Lawler co-stars as Sheriff Jackson Cole.

The film, which also features porn legend Ron Jeremy playing himself, is about a group of six ex-high school cheerleaders who are stalked by a killer with a medieval war hammer and battle axe during their first spring break from college.

Sounds like a tongue-in-cheek ’80s horror throwback concept. (Based on a true story.)

In addition to his recent cameo in the Dick Tracy comic strip, this has to be another item to scratch off Lawler’s bucket list, as he’s a big fan of the horror-movie genre–not only the classic Universal movie monsters but also slasher films like the “Friday the 13th” series and “Halloween–he even contributed to Fangoria magazine in the early ’80s.

(All one has to do is look at the Ghosts of Memphis Wrestling’s Past to see Lawler’s affinity for outrageous pop-culture characters.)

Laying down the Lawler

Lawler later formed a friendship with Tom Savini, the makeup-effects master behind such splatter films as “Friday the 13th” “The Burning” (which starred a young Jason Alexander as one of the victims) and “Maniac.” Savini, a huge wrestling fan, eventually appeared as a heel on “Jerry Lawler’s Memphis Wrestling” a few years ago, sending in various movie monsters to gain revenge for the late Andy Kaufman, his “old Hollywood friend.”

In the clip below, Lawler explains how he wound up in the film…and explains his weapon of choice if he were a horror slasher.

 

WWE Films to shoot the Gorgeous George story

May 6th, 2010 1 comment

Star F**ker: Vince McMahon's Gorgeous George biopic could be the most significant WWE Films production since "The Marine 2."

Nikke Finke’s Deadline site is reporting that Vince McMahon’s WWE Studios/Films has made a mid-six-figure outright buy to acquire the 2008 John Capouya book Gorgeous George: The Outrageous Bad-Boy Wrestler Who Created American Popular Culture as source material for a biopic about the infamous wrestler. (What…you thought the timing of Gorgeous George being inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame was coincidental? Now it’s the true story of “WWE Hall of Famer Gorgeous George.”)

Deadline reporter Mike Fleming writes “…WWE Films has committed to a 2011 start date for a film about a journeyman wrestler who remade himself into a preening, vamping villain and became a national TV star at a time when there was little on the boob tube but wrestling and Milton Berle. WWE Films has set John Posey to write the script for a film that will be the last of nine features WWE will generate in less than two years. The fourth, ‘Killing Karma,’ is shooting now. While early WWE films were schlocky action showcases for its spandex stars, WWE Films head Mike Pavone said the company has morphed into a family film factor with better scripts that draw actors like Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover and Parker Posey to work alongside ring fixtures like Triple H, The Big Show and John Cena. Each film costs around $7 million after rebates for location shoots in Louisiana and Pavone said they save about $1 million for each film by never really wrapping production. Crews get a couple weeks rest after each film completes its 20-25 day shoot, and then the next one gets going. A Gorgeous George film was McMahon’s idea, an exception to his unwritten rule not to make pictures about wrestlers. Pavone said George’s flamboyant persona not only set the tone for future stars like Hulk Hogan and The Rock, but also helped Bob Dylan come out of his shell and influenced the likes of Muhammad Ali, James Brown, and Liberace.”

Actually, I believe “Classy” Freddie Blassie influenced Ali more, but for simplicity’s sake, the boxer often credited “Gorgeous George” instead as he was the better known of the flamboyant bleached-blonde wrestlers. At any rate, I’d say this is a positive direction for WWE Films–then again, after “12 Rounds” and the family friendly classic “See No Evil,” there’s nowhere to go but up. George’s story is a true slice of Americana (to use an overdone McMahonism), a rag-to-riches-to-rags story that should garner significant interest from mainstream media and the general public…if they get it right. Using the acclaimed Capouya book as source material shows that McMahon realizes the opportunity here to make a significant film and earn his movie division credibility. Henry Winkler’s “The One and Only” was supposed to be a Gorgeous George biopic, but the rights were tied up; instead, the Carl Reiner-directed film featured an out-of-work actor turned flamboyant pro wrestler.

Not to be outdone, Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey today announced announced plans for a reality series featuring “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin and a cross-dressing wrestling bear.

Gorgeous George headlines a May 1958 card in Memphis; he won by disqualification over Angelo Savoldi, who was disqualified for striking his foe with his opponent's perfume gun.

My buddy (and occasional KFR guest columnist) John Keating took this photo of the headstone marking the gravesite of Gorgeous George, who lies alongside the likes of Curly Joe Derita, Oliver Hardy and light-heavyweight champion boxer "Slapsie" Maxie Rosenbloom at the Valhalla Cemetery in North Hollywood.

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