The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Red Dawn & Patrick Swayze: We shall never forget

    Less than a quarter-century ago, Americans of all persuasions would nervously gaze to the sky wondering if the end of the world was about to rain down on them. Nuclear holocaust always seemed moments away.

    Of course, the Cold War ended and 9/11 happened, meaning Americans now were forced to gaze everywhere to try to catch a terrorist bent on destroying them.

    But now the prodigal enemy has returned as Russia begins to flex its impressive geo-political muscles. But as the U.S. attempts a “Freeze or we’ll say Freeze again” diplomatic tactic, the general public - perhaps overloaded by the complexities of living in a post-9/11 world - seem unconcerned at the possibility of a new Cold War and the possibility of nuclear destruction.

    As mere words and facts seem to make no dent in the psyche of the impervious, there is but one way to snap everyone back to a reality where nuclear devastation is always moments away - We must look back to 1984 and the film “Red Dawn*”

    Red Dawn

    – Soviet Union suffers worst wheat harvest in 55 years.
    – Labor and food riots in Poland. Soviet Troops invade.
    – Cuba and Nicaraugua reach troop strength goals of 500,000. El Salvador and Honduras fall.
    – Greens Party gains control of West German parliament. Demands withdrawal of nuclear weapons from European soil.
    – Mexico plunged into revolution.
    – NATO dissolves. United States stands alone.

    2:00 - 2:45:The tranquil Colorado town of Calumet. A statue of Theodore Roosevelt. The inscription on the statue reads:

    “Far Better it is
    to Dare Mighty Things
    than to take rank with
    those poor, timid spirits
    Who know Neither
    Victory nor Defeat.”

    2:45: Patrick Swayze drops off brother Charlie Sheen and friend Arturo at high school.

    4:30: Russians invade, begin takeover of vitally important geo-political town of Calumet.

    5:25 - 6:45: Communist Bastards murder affable history teacher. Begin radical communist plan of winning U.S. hearts and minds by slaughtering high school students.

    6:46: Patrick Swayze and pickup truck rescue brother Charlie Sheen and friends including C. Thomas Howell at high school.

    6:58 - 7:06: NRA members see their worst nightmare come true as the owner of a truck with the bumper sticker “You can take my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” on it lies dead on the road. A Communist Bastard comes by and pries the gun from his cold, dead hand.

    7:50: While escaping from town in their truck, Swayze and crew drive past Arturo’s father. Roughly 75 Communist Bastards attack Arturo’s dad simultaneously. Arturo is bummed.

    8:00 - 9:00 C. Thomas Howell’s 80-year-old dad runs a roadside gas station that doubles as an armory. Swayze and crew load up and escape to the hills, stopping once so Swayze can shame the youngest of them into pissing into the radiator.

    C. Thomas Howell Mood watch: Terrified.

    11:30 - 13:00: Communist Bastards blast the shit out of everything. Cuban commie Colonel Bella - a combination of Che Guevarra, Fidel Castro, Stalin and Dr. Phil - shows up and advises the stupid Russian commies how to better kill Americans.

    14:30-16:15: One of Swayze’s crew declares that as the high school Student Body President, he has decided that they need to turn themselves in. Swayze’s natural leadership skills come to the forefront as he beats up the cowardly young politician.

    Money Quote: “It’s World War III down there. People. Are. Dying,” says Swayze, taking total dictatorial powers over the group.

    18:30-19:15: C. Thomas Howell kills his first deer. Swayze and Sheen shame him into drinking the blood of the animal. Howell totally digs it.

    C. Thomas Howell Mood watch: Bloodthirsty.

    20:30 - 22:45 Swayze decides he and his rag-tag group need to go back to town for supplies and information. The group is agog at the town’s transformation and discover that the dirty communists want them dead. They find out that many of the citizens of Calumet are being tortured in a prison camp.

    25:00 - 28:20: Swayze and Sheen find their dad, Harry Dean Stanton. Stanton can’t resist an “I told you so” to his sons, who now understand why their Dad was such a prick when they were growing up. But then Stanton changes gears, delivering a heart-warming speech, shouting to them as they leave “Avenge me! Avenge me!”

    Harry Dean Stanton Mood Watch: Galaxy Questian.

    28:30 - 33:00 The Swayze Gang visits an old friend who gives them more news about the evils of communism. He tells them C. Thomas Howell’s dad is now dead, and then gives them two heirlooms to take - Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey.

    Money Quote: “Things are different now,” opines Lea Thompson.

    35:00 - 39:00: Swayze’s Gang goes on the offensive, killing four communists who were out site seeing. Swayze cements his heroic leadership role by shooting an unarmed, injured communist in the head.

    40:00: Following Swayze’s now famous “We can never go home again,” speech, Sheen acts like a sexist dick to Thompson. Thompson won’t stand for it. Sexism is solved at Camp Swayze.

    41:45 - 43:00: Colonel Che Castro Dr. Phil Stalin interrogates the Mayor of Calumut, who is also the father of the Student Body President. The Mayor gives up everyone, yet again proving that politicians are weak-willed traitorous Hitlers.

    44:00 - 45:30: Communist Bastards slaughter dozens of townsfolk’s who were singing “God Bless America.” Among the dead is Swayze and Sheen’s father, as well as Arturo’s father, who really had a shitty World War III.

    46:00 - 47:00: Swayze takes charge of his emotionally stunned group, ordering them to turn their sadness into uncontrollable hate. C. Thomas Howell is feeling it.

    Money Quote: “Don’t you ever cry again, as long as you live,” says Swayze to Arturo, who has now seen his father get the crapped kicked out of him, and then murdered by communist bastards.

    47:00 - 50:00: Swayze’s Gang, now insurgents, kill the hell out of a bunch of Communist Bastards.

    Money Quote: “Wolverines!!!” - Arturo

    50:15 - 50:30: Colonel Che Castro Dr. Phil Stalin is angry and jealous and looks back fondly at the times when he was a rebel insurgent rather than a communist bastard.

    50:45 - 52:00: Jennifer Grey blows up a “Soviet-American Friendship Center” right in front of Russian General Boris Badenov. Colonel Che Castro Dr. Phil Stalin advises Gen. Badenov to adopt a “win hearts and minds” policy but Badenov tells him to screw himself.

    52:20 - 55:00: Months pass. The Rev. Jim Jones - an American fighter pilot - gets shot down right next to the Wolverine camp. Swayze debriefs Jones. Swayze is unaware that he’s rapidly morphing into Colonel Kurtz.

    55:10 -57:00: Jones tells the kids that a large part of the U.S. has been obliterated and 400 million Chinese are dead. The Wolverines learn that all of Europe except England has turned their backs on the war and that the U.S. was invaded by illegal immigrants. Lou Dobbs replays this part numerous times.

    58:00 - 60:00: The Wolverines kill some more communist bastards.

    Money Quote: “Your Momma’d be really proud,” Jones to Swayze/Kurtz after the Wolverines finish off killing Communist Bastards.

    61:00 - 62:00: Jones tells the Wolverines a campfire story, letting them know that starving Americans are resorting to cannibalism.

    C. Thomas Howell Mood watch: French.

    62:20 - 62:50: Lea Thompson takes a shine to Rev. Jones.

    63:00 - 65:00: Wolverines continue rampage, destroying Russian prison camp. Colonel Che Castro Dr. Phil Stalin tells Gen. Badenov that the revolution grows with each Wolverine attack. Badenov is totally sick of Colonel Che Castro Dr. Phil Stalin’s shit.

    69:00 - 72:00: While watching a little war action, a Russian tank sneaks up on the Wolverines. When the dust settles, Arturo and Rev. Jones are dead. Lea Thompson is totally bummed.

    75:00 - 76:00: Sheen and Swayze/Kurtz have a brotherly chat. Sheen still a dick.

    76:10 - 78:00: Gen. Badenov brings in a bad-ass Russian commando who promises to exterminate the Wolverines.

    79:00 - 81:30: Commando tracks Wolverines down, begins extermination. Wolverines repel attack take hostage, torture him.

    82:00 - 84:00: Swayze/Kurtz discovers that the School Body President has screwed them and is working with the Communist Bastards. Swayze/Kurtz beats the crap out of him. Swayze kills the Russian but can’t bring himself to shoot the student body president. C. Thomas Howell murders him without a blink.

    C. Thomas Howell Mood watch: Criminally insane.

    86:25 - 87:15: Swayze/Kurtz breaks down and cries while alone. Swiftly turns the tears to hate.

    87:15 - 87:45 : Wolverines fall for the old “box of food falls off the back of the truck” trick. Jennifer Grey flirts with Swayze/Kurtz. Inspired screenwriter begins to write “Dirty Dancing.”

    88:00 - 90:00: Communist Bastards spring trap, unleashing attack helicopters on Wolverines. C. Thomas Howell are killed in the fight.

    C. Thomas Howell Mood watch: Dead.

    95:00 - 97:00: Jennifer Grey, injured by the attack helicopters, martyrs herself by sticking a grenade under her supine body. Communist Bastard falls for the old “grenade under dead girl’s body” trick. Bad-Ass Commando not pleased.

    100:00 - 102:00: Remaining Wolverines plan final attack. Sheen ceases being a dick. His death is imminent.

    Money Quote: It’s hard being brothers, isn’t it?” Swayze/Kurtz to Sheen.

    103:30 - 104:15: Colonel Che Castro Dr. Phil Stalin writes poetic letter to his wife, is interrupted as the Wolverines attack Russian stronghold in Calumet.

    104:00 - 105:15: Swayze/Kurtz and Sheen boldly take on entire Russian force. Kill lots and lots of Communist Bastards, including Gen. Badenov.

    107:15: Bad-Ass Commando shoots Sheen. Swayze/Kurtz gets jump on Bad-Ass Commando but, being American, needs to have a catchphrase before he shoots him. After warning Bad-Ass Commando by saying “You lose,” Swayze/Kurtz kills the Bad-Ass Commando, but takes a bullet for his catchphrase.

    107:30 - 108:00: As Communist Bastards run around shooting things, Swayze/Kurtz carries Sheen away from the fighting. Colonel Che Castro Dr. Phil Stalin has a clean shot at the Wolverines, but, seeing them as kindred spirits, lets them get away, again proving that all communist bastards are traitorous at heart.

    109:00: Sheen dies in Swayze/Kurtz’s arms.

    110:00: Lea Thompson and kid who pissed in radiator get away.

    111:00: The war eventually ends. A plaque is placed on the rock where the Wolverines would write the names of their dead. The plaque reads:

    Partisan Rock

    In the early days of World War III, guerrillas, mostly children, placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives “so that this nation would not perish from the Earth.

    The End.

    Never forget.


    * Soon to be remade with Islamofascists!


    Originally posted on Aug. 14, 2008 at William K. Wolfrum Chronicles


    When I mock the newly dead, I like to make fun of their looks. Or their drug habits. Or maybe, their family. Things they have no control over.

    But their art? Wow, man. 

    You're hardcore.

    I dunno, Quinn.  I think this post displays a love for Red Dawn that was previously unheard of.

    Bravo! Hilarious. Don't listen to the cranky Canadian; it's a fine homage to Mr. Swayze. I'll take his monotone righteous freedom fighter over his monotone repressed lover any day.

    And I confess to loving Red Dawn when it came out. Age 13 is ideal for adolescent war fantasies. Commies or terrorists or giant alien cockroaches--it doesn't matter as long as teenagers get to shoot things in the name of heroism. The end of the Cold War was a sad day in the history of cinematic menaces. Now all we've got are evil wizards and vague terrorist organizations and mean guys with British accents.

    Speaking of which, did you know that there's a remake in the works?

    Speaking of which, did you know that there's a remake in the works?

    I'm guessing you didn't read Wolfrum's asterisked footnote… ;)

    Bloody Genghis didn't even READ the Wolfman's piece, Nebton.

    Apparently, he got a role in the remake. I think he's evil Commie Muslim #3. He gets to bite the head off a Kansas farm-girls' pet chicken, "Cluckles."

    Don't worry though. He dies when he decides to participate in a local Tractor Pull at the County Fair. It's pretty humourous.

    Does his radioactive shirt collar get a cameo?

    Wolfman wrote a piece?

    Actually, I play Cluckles the pet chicken. The Commie bites my head off after I destroy a tank convoy with four hand grenades and a can of baby artichokes. You should hear my bloodcurling cluck.

    Nintendo games in the 80s were often predicated on exactly the premises you describe.  It was always communists or aliens or occasionally even alien communists.

    I am thoroughly impressed with your obviously intense love for one of the finest films of the 1980s.

    Swayze was cool.  He made a lot of fun movies, most of which were pretty campy, but not in a way that made you want to run from the theater or power off the VCR.  He liked to dance and fly airplanes and managed not to be a total douchebag in his public life, unlike some of his comteporaries.  And he made Roadhouse.

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