“… except for eight kids called the Wolverines.”
Isn’t it about time someone produced a remake of Red Dawn? In this somewhat (convoluted) new version, the Chinese will be invading the United States.
Judging from some of the casting news, I’m comforted in the fact that the remake will feature the same type of top-notch talent that make the original such a classic.
All this Red Dawn excitement reminded me that four years ago I had worked the movie into a piece I wrote for the Denver Post about a survivalist shop near my home (no link available).
Speeding south on Broadway recently, I spotted a compelling storefront sign. It read “Don’t be scared, be prepared!” The slogan made so much sense that I decided to investigate Farris Survival in Englewood at some future time. I am now a devout survivalist.
Years ago, profoundly influenced by the classic 1984 flick, “Red Dawn,” which detailed the invasion of Colorado by, yep, the Nicaraguan and Cuban armies, I swore I’d be prepared for the worst. My heroes, those defiant Wolverines, battling the commie tanks and helicopters on horses with BB guns. (Tagline: “The invading armies planned for everything – except for eight kids called the Wolverines.”)
Was it Patrick Swayze’s masterful Jed Eckert or the perplexing Matt, played by Charlie Sheen, that made “Red Dawn” so realistic and prophetic? I simply don’t know. But just read the paper. Some of the international players may have changed, sure, but the peril is real. North Korea has nukes. Russia has a yen for the good old days. That
thug in Cuba is probably still planning a Colorado invasion. Yet, it turns out, survival is tricky. My homeowners association won’t allow me to paint my own house, so I can only assume that a request to construct an underground high-protection shelter in my 200-square-foot “backyard” will be pending indefinitely.
What’s more, the wife stubbornly maintains that recruiting my 3-year-old daughter for a well-digging project is idiotic, immoral and almost certainly illegal. Would C. Thomas Howell be deterred? Of course not. Somewhat disappointed, there is no peevish bearded fellow silhouetted by confederate flag. No cranky Vietnam vet flipping through an underlined copy of “The Turner Diaries” at Farris Survival.
There is, nonetheless, a gracious young woman named Shantel Farris. “How ya doing? May I help you find something?” she asks. Well, I’m going to need some food. Shantel directs me toward the Chicken a la King No. 10 can, which weighs 2 pounds and has a 30-year shelf life. With a family of four and an obese cat, I’ll probably need a few thousand cases. They go for $32.10 a pop. Maybe the “Just In Case Unit,” which includes 28 packages of freeze-dried meals – pasta primavera, beef stroganoff with noodles, turkey tetrazzini – is more my speed. It’s on sale. (If the packaging on this stuff is any indication of the taste, it’s going to be a long nuclear winter.)
“My father-in-law, Bob, started this place two years ago,” Shantel explains as I examine a gas mask with a gas filter and a PVC hood. “He’s a survivalist, but he’s not paranoid or anything.” But what about reading material? You have to get “Total Resistance: Swiss Army Guide to Guerrilla Warfare and Underground Operations,” written by Major H. von Dach. The book is full of tactical information that remains “invaluable even today.”
One Amazon.com reviewer writes that the book is “useful against oppresive (sic) tyrants everywhere.” I also should grab a copy of “The U.S. Armed Forces Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Survival Manual” and “Nuclear War Survival Skills” for some supplementary educational reading. Before I head out, Shantel wonders if I might be interested in some potassium iodide pills, which are protection against radioactive water poisoning. No? High-powered binoculars? A knife? Wait, is that a machete? Wow. All of this surviving is a remarkably expensive. Is it worth it?
Well, remember this poignant moment in “Red Dawn,” when Powers Boothe grunts to a Wolverine: “You think you’re tough? You eat beans every day? There’s a handful of scarecrows left in Denver give anything for a mouthful of what you got.”
Think about that when you make fun of my Luggable Loo.