Thursday, August 02, 2001

Well, the last little update on My Life As An American Gladiator was about Clamato, so I think it's only fair that today's be about everyone's other favorite topic: German or possibly Swiss actor Jurgen Prochnow. Someone with even more time on their hands than me has created The Jurgen Prochnow Watchdog Society. This is an impressive list of the movies Jurgen has appeared in. In case you don't know who Jurgen Prochnow is, you may have seen him in The Seventh Sign, a somewhat diverting apocalypse movie starring Demi Moore which I am ashamed to say that I actually kind of like. It's a hell of a lot less bizarre than The Rapture, and has a lot less Mimi Rogers in it, which may or may not be a good thing. The Rapture, by the way, features Agent Mulder in naughty sex activities which should be good news for all you X-Files nuts out there. I am aware that the actor's name is David Duchovny, but to be honest every role I've seen him in besides Mulder he was kind of terrible, so I'll just call him Agent Mulder.

Anyway, why bring up the chill spectre of Jurgen Prochnow once more? Well, he's just so damn entertaining. He's in a ton of movies, some of them good, some of them exceptionally goofy. Oh and he has weird skin which can supply movie viewers with hours of debate. "Is that acne?" you'll say. "I think he's burned" your movie buddy will say. It's all part of the mystery that is Jurgen Prochnow. Hell, maybe he's half iguana. I don't know. It's all part of the fun! I happen to really like the movie Dune. A big part of what made it so enjoyable was Jurgen as Duke Leto Atreides. He gets to have a poison tooth installed in his mouth and say inspirational things like "The sleeper must awaken!" I just waatched this again the other night and was struck by the weird look he gets in some of his scenes with Paul. Actually it's pretty much the same as the look he has when he surveys his troops in Das Boot.

I was so inspired seeing Dune again that I was compelled to buy The Keep on video. This is a really interesting flick about An Ancient Evil (oh yes, it's the capitalized kind of Evil) locked up in a mountain Keep in Transylvania. Locked up, that is, until some silly Germans show up and start messing with everything. Pretty soon, everything devolves into really ludicrous special effects and Holy Flashlights of God and other such delights. But, the important thing is that our pal Jurgen is featured as a good hearted German army captain. Another similarity between Dune and The Keep: they feature ethereal soundtracks by synthesizer bands. Dune gets the treatment from Toto, and The Keep is all Tangerine Dream, baby. As far as the quality of the film: some neat ideas, especially the interchanges between Prochnow and Gabriel Byrne as an SS commander. Unfortunately, the whole thing sounds like it was recorded in a men's room, probably because it was a straight-to-video release originally and then they dredged it up for theatrical release after the director, Michael Mann, worked on Miami Vice.

Another Jurgen highlight: In The Mouth Of Madness, starring Sam Neill, who continues to show up in films that I like despite the fact that I think he is not a real good actor. You'd think he would have a little more common courtesy. Oh well. In The Mouth Of Madness also features Sam Neill being chased down a hallway by Old Gods like Cthulhu, who is actually pretty spry for being thousands of years old and all. Jurgen gets to play the insane writer who is planning the end of days.

I know this entry wasn't all that hilarious or anything. Consider it a public service for those who don't know enough about Jurgen Prochnow.

In case you're keeping score at home, that's Clamato: 3, Jurgen Prochnow: 3. If there is any change in score, you will be immediately updated via the Clam Signal, which is kind of like the Bat Signal, but looks marginally more like a clam. Keep watching the skies!


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