Bennett

“It’s actually wool. I know, crazy right?”

As part of my best man duties last year I took it upon myself to try and track down some celebrity well wishers for my mate Dan’s wedding. Part of this was because he managed to snag an autographed photo from tall and handsome millionaire Peter Jones for my wedding the year before, and part was just due to the fact that even if my speech was a dud, who’s going to remember when faced with a good luck message from the French policeman off Allo Allo (who, believe it or not, wasn’t really French)?

I drew up a short hitlist of targets to approach, based mainly on silly in-jokes, bad films watched (and re-watched) and musicians you’d only admit to liking among polite company.

Commando was one such inspiration. The tale of Arnie trying to get his daughter back from his former comrade and the General of possibly the worst army this side of Walmington-on-Sea, left a colossal imprint. Whether you enjoy it for the ‘plosions, or the plot holes, it’s a film that keeps on giving. So getting a message from one of the cast was a must. And there was only one real choice.

Commando’s villain, Bennett, is an eternal paradox. He’s supposed to be in peak physical condition, as befits a man going against early career Schwarzenegger, but seems to break sweat scaling fences that wouldn’t trouble Warwick Davis. He’s also supposed have been a part of the almost unbelievably hetero sounding fighting force ‘The Unit’, but with his leather pants, weird pseudo chainmail vest and large moustache, he seems better suited to the kind of combat that happens between consenting male adults, and rarely leaves permanent physical injury.

On one hand, Bennett claims to hate Col. John Matrix (Arnie – though I doubt I have to explain the plot machinations of Commando), but he’s also completely obsessed with him, and even turns money down for a chance to “get his hands on him”.

When people mention 80s films that feature the wrath of scorned lovers they always mention Fatal Attraction, but I’d argue Commando is a better example. For one, aside from the villain, only a rabbit gets killed in Adrian Lyne’s film, but in Commando, an entire country’s worth of metaphorical rabbits get boiled in a pan (not to mention shot, blown up, impaled and have their heads sawn open).

Of course you could argue that Commando’s protagonist was not a willing participant in the affair, but if you’re going to have a go at Michael Douglas for fucking something he shouldn’t you might as well lecture a fish for being wet.

Largely pointless digressions aside, I contacted Vernon Wells’ agent and got the following reply.

vwells1

Awesome! I wasn’t expecting such a friendly, positive response (mainly because Vernon wore assless chaps in 2 of the 3 roles I’d seen him in).

Preconceptions to ventilative legwear altered, I forwarded Dan’s phone number and an address and waited. Eventually I asked him if he’d had an ‘interesting’ phone call. He hadn’t, so I sent Vernon another email.

vwells2

But that was the last we ever heard of Vernon.

Part of me can’t help but think that perhaps Bennett and Vernon aren’t so different after all. He’s got Dan’s number, so maybe he’s just waiting for the day when he can kidnap his daughter, call him up and taunt him.

Although he probably just forgot.

Anyway, I’d consider getting an email from the great man an achievement in itself. And I did manage to get some reserve autographs.

Pics below:

Duncan 'Stop' Bannatyne

I see your Peter Jones, and raise you one dour Scotsman.

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Dominic West aka McNulty from The Wire. Best message ever.

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James Gandolfini aka Big T. He wrote this on vacation and his assistant Fed Ex’d it to get there on time. What a trooper.

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