Suburban Commando (1991)

PG | 91 mins | Science fiction, Comedy | 4 October 1991

Directors:

Burt Kennedy, Gary Davis

Writer:

Frank Cappello

Producer:

Howard Gottfried

Cinematographer:

Bernd Heinl

Editor:

Terry Stokes

Production Designer:

Ivo Cristante

Production Company:

New Line Cinema
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HISTORY

According to the 18 Dec 1988 LAT, actors Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger were originally cast as leads in the film, tentatively titled Urban Commandos, to be produced by John Davis in 1986. The project was postponed due to the actors’ salary demands. Before negotiations could resume, both DeVito and Schwarzenegger were hired to star in Twins (1988, see entry). On 4 Aug 1990, Screen International announced wrestler Hulk Hogan for the lead role in Urban Commando, the first of three pictures he was to make for New Line Cinema. Production was expected to begin in autumn 1990. The 20 Sep 1990 Long Beach Press -Telegram “People” column reported that actor and television host Richard Belzer declined the opportunity to costar with Hogan. During a 1985 appearance on Belzer’s television show, Hogan demonstrated a wrestling hold that left Belzer “unconscious and bleeding.” Belzer stated, “The reason I turned down the part had nothing to do with the fact that he tried to kill me.”
       Principal photography began in Los Angeles, CA, on 24 Sep 1990, as noted in the 2 Oct 1990 HR. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the Del Amo Elementary School in nearby Carson, CA, was among the locations.
       A full-page advertisement in the 29 Sep 1991 LAT announced the picture’s 4 Oct 1991 Los Angeles opening. Critics found Hogan appealing, despite a weak screenplay.
       End credits include the following statements: “Footage from the Marsha Winfield Show courtesy of Kline and Friends, Inc./Back Burner Productions”; ... More Less

According to the 18 Dec 1988 LAT, actors Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger were originally cast as leads in the film, tentatively titled Urban Commandos, to be produced by John Davis in 1986. The project was postponed due to the actors’ salary demands. Before negotiations could resume, both DeVito and Schwarzenegger were hired to star in Twins (1988, see entry). On 4 Aug 1990, Screen International announced wrestler Hulk Hogan for the lead role in Urban Commando, the first of three pictures he was to make for New Line Cinema. Production was expected to begin in autumn 1990. The 20 Sep 1990 Long Beach Press -Telegram “People” column reported that actor and television host Richard Belzer declined the opportunity to costar with Hogan. During a 1985 appearance on Belzer’s television show, Hogan demonstrated a wrestling hold that left Belzer “unconscious and bleeding.” Belzer stated, “The reason I turned down the part had nothing to do with the fact that he tried to kill me.”
       Principal photography began in Los Angeles, CA, on 24 Sep 1990, as noted in the 2 Oct 1990 HR. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the Del Amo Elementary School in nearby Carson, CA, was among the locations.
       A full-page advertisement in the 29 Sep 1991 LAT announced the picture’s 4 Oct 1991 Los Angeles opening. Critics found Hogan appealing, despite a weak screenplay.
       End credits include the following statements: “Footage from the Marsha Winfield Show courtesy of Kline and Friends, Inc./Back Burner Productions”; “Special Thanks to Henry Holmes, Peter Young, Donna L. Bascom, Michael De Luca and especially Gertie.” Marsha Warfield’s surname is misspelled as “Winfield.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
2 Oct 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 1991
p. 11, 15.
Long Beach Press-Telegram
20 Sep 1990.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Dec 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
29 Sep 1991
p. 12.
Los Angeles Times
7 Oct 1991
Calendar, p. 7.
New York Times
6 Oct 1991
p. 56.
Screen International
4 Aug 1990.
---
Variety
14 Oct 1991
pp. 245-246.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
New Line Cinema presents
A New Line/Howard Gottfried production
From New Line Cinema
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
2d 2d asst dir
Dir, addl photog
1st asst dir, addl photog
2d asst dir, addl photog
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
"B" cam op
1st asst "B" cam
1st asst "B" cam
1st asst "B" cam
2d asst "B" cam
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Rigging gaffer
Still photog
Dir of photog, addl photog
Dir of photog, addl photog
Dir of photog, addl photog
"B" cam op, addl photog
1st asst "A" cam, addl photog
1st asst "A" cam, addl photog
1st asst "B" cam, addl photog
1st asst "B" cam, addl photog
Key grip, addl photog
Key grip, addl photog
Best boy grip, addl photog
Best boy grip, addl photog
Grip, addl photog
Grip, addl photog
Grip, addl photog
Gaffer, addl photog
Gaffer, addl photog
Best boy elec, addl photog
Best boy elec, addl photog
Elec, addl photog
Elec, addl photog
Elec, addl photog
Elec, addl photog
Elec, addl photog
Elec, addl photog
Elec, addl photog
Grip and elec equip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dept coord
Art dept asst
Storyboard artist
Graphic artist
Prod des, addl photog
Art dir, addl photog
Art dept asst, addl photog
Art dept asst, addl photog
Art dept asst, addl photog
Art dept asst, addl photog
FILM EDITORS
Addl ed
Assoc ed
Assoc ed
Post prod supv
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Set dressing asst
Model maker
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Const coord asst
Lead carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Welder
Lead scenic painter
Lead scenic painter
Scenic dept
Scenic dept
Scenic dept
Scenic dept
Scenic dept
Scenic dept
Const dept driver
Set dec, addl photog
Lead on-set dresser, addl photog
Set dresser, addl photog
Prop master, addl photog
Lead carpenter, addl photog
COSTUMES
Cost des
On-set ward
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus supv
Mus rec and mixed by
Addl rec by
Addl rec by
Addl rec by
Mus preparation
Mus contractor
Mus clearance by
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Cable
Addl voices
Sd ed
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Foley ed
ADR supv
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff prod by
Spec visual eff by
Visual eff supv
Visual eff supv
Opt supv
Cam op
Cam op
Eff animator
Motion control FX cam
Motion control asst
Pyrotech
High speed photog
Asst cam
PMP eff prod
Runner
Miniatures by
Modelmaker
Modelmaker
Modelmaker
Modelmaker
Addl models by
Addl models by
Addl models by
Addl models by
Creature eff created and power suit crafted by
Prod coord, Steve Johnson's XFX crew
Lead tech, Steve Johnson's XFX crew
Tech, Steve Johnson's XFX crew
Tech, Steve Johnson's XFX crew
Tech, Steve Johnson's XFX crew
Tech, Steve Johnson's XFX crew
Tech, Steve Johnson's XFX crew
Tech, Steve Johnson's XFX crew
Tech, Steve Johnson's XFX crew
Tech, Steve Johnson's XFX crew
Mech eff by
Mech eff coord, B&B Special Effects
Mech eff co-coord, B&B Special Effects
B&B Special Effects crew
B&B Special Effects crew
B&B Special Effects crew
B&B Special Effects crew
B&B Special Effects crew
B&B Special Effects crew
B&B Special Effects crew
B&B Special Effects crew
B&B Special Effects crew
B&B Special Effects crew
Video/Graphics prod supv
Visual eff asst
Spec eff by, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Spec eff tech, Reel EFX, addl photog
Power boots des by, addl photog
Main titles des by
Main titles des by
MAKEUP
Key hairstylist
Asst makeup/Hair
Key hairstylist, addl photog
Key makeup artist, addl photog
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Prod exec
Exec-in-charge of post-prod
Creative consultant
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst to the prod
Prod controller
Business affairs liaison
Contracts admin
Casting asst
Extras casting
Frozen wrt
New Line pub
Post-prod supv
Loc mgr
Loc consultant
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Promotional lighting
Promotional lighting
Medic
Craft services
Welfare worker
Security
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Key prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc mgr, addl photog
Power boots des by, addl photog
Animal trainer, addl photog
Animal trainer, addl photog
Craft service, addl photog
First aid, addl photog
Prod asst, addl photog
Prod asst, addl photog
Phone systems by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Addl voices
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
“Almost Like Paradise,” performed by Robert Jason, written and produced by David Michael Frank & Robert Jason
“Ramsey,” performed by The Next Big Thing, written by Harold Bronson, courtesy of Rhino Records
“It’s A Nice Place To Live (But I Wouldn’t Want To Visit),” performed by J-Rock, featuring Hulk Hogan, written and produced by David Michael Frank and Robert Jason
+
SONGS
“Almost Like Paradise,” performed by Robert Jason, written and produced by David Michael Frank & Robert Jason
“Ramsey,” performed by The Next Big Thing, written by Harold Bronson, courtesy of Rhino Records
“It’s A Nice Place To Live (But I Wouldn’t Want To Visit),” performed by J-Rock, featuring Hulk Hogan, written and produced by David Michael Frank and Robert Jason
“Do You Want To Party?” performed by KC and the Sunshine Band, written by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch, courtesy of Rhino Records
“Black Book,” performed by Rank and File, written by Chip and Tony Kinman, courtesy of Rhino Records
“Freight Train,” performed by Nitro, written by Jim Gillete and Michael Angelo, courtesy of Rampage Records/Rhino Records.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Urban Commandos
Urban Commando
Release Date:
4 October 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 4 October 1991
New York opening: 5 October 1991
Production Date:
began 24 September 1990
Copyright Claimant:
New Line Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
23 December 1991
Copyright Number:
PA547616
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Otto Nemenz camera and lenses
Duration(in mins):
91
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31197
SYNOPSIS

Somewhere in outer space, the megalomaniacal General Suitor attacks a planet and holds its leader, President Hashina, hostage. Intergalactic warrior Shep Ramsey destroys Suitor’s mother ship, but is unable to save President Hashina. Zanuck, Shep’s commander, considers this failure to be the result of overwork and orders the warrior to dock at the nearest planet to “recharge” for six weeks. Shep obeys the order and heads for Earth, despite his aversion to its inhabitants. In Van Nuys, California, architect Charlie Wilcox is advised by his wife, Jenny, to demand a pay raise from his unappreciative boss, Adrian Belz. However, Adrian anticipates Charlie’s request and distracts him with token praise for his hard work and dedication. Adrian shows Charlie the company’s collection of crystalline trophies, assuring the architect that they are more valuable than money. Meanwhile, Shep lands in an abandoned Van Nuys nightclub and charges his spacecraft with a high-voltage cable. On the street, Shep’s exotic uniform and muscular physique attract attention as he performs random good deeds. He notices a leaflet, posted by Jenny Wilcox, advertising an apartment for rent and makes his way there. Charlie arrives home from a frustrating day and seeks refuge in his backyard workshop, but is infuriated to discover that it has been converted to an apartment, and rented to Shep. Later, while Shep is out, Charlie searches the apartment and finds a gun that fires a destructive ray. Although Charlie is uncomfortable with Shep’s presence, he is too intimidated by the warrior to ask him to leave. The following afternoon, Shep saves Charlie’s son, Mark Wilcox, from being struck ... +


Somewhere in outer space, the megalomaniacal General Suitor attacks a planet and holds its leader, President Hashina, hostage. Intergalactic warrior Shep Ramsey destroys Suitor’s mother ship, but is unable to save President Hashina. Zanuck, Shep’s commander, considers this failure to be the result of overwork and orders the warrior to dock at the nearest planet to “recharge” for six weeks. Shep obeys the order and heads for Earth, despite his aversion to its inhabitants. In Van Nuys, California, architect Charlie Wilcox is advised by his wife, Jenny, to demand a pay raise from his unappreciative boss, Adrian Belz. However, Adrian anticipates Charlie’s request and distracts him with token praise for his hard work and dedication. Adrian shows Charlie the company’s collection of crystalline trophies, assuring the architect that they are more valuable than money. Meanwhile, Shep lands in an abandoned Van Nuys nightclub and charges his spacecraft with a high-voltage cable. On the street, Shep’s exotic uniform and muscular physique attract attention as he performs random good deeds. He notices a leaflet, posted by Jenny Wilcox, advertising an apartment for rent and makes his way there. Charlie arrives home from a frustrating day and seeks refuge in his backyard workshop, but is infuriated to discover that it has been converted to an apartment, and rented to Shep. Later, while Shep is out, Charlie searches the apartment and finds a gun that fires a destructive ray. Although Charlie is uncomfortable with Shep’s presence, he is too intimidated by the warrior to ask him to leave. The following afternoon, Shep saves Charlie’s son, Mark Wilcox, from being struck by a car, and Jenny shows her gratitude by inviting Shep to dinner. Afterward, Shep walks to the abandoned nightclub, unaware that Charlie is following him. When Charlie is alone in the building, he discovers a robotic suit of armor, which he dons to defend a girl who is being molested by two “punks.” After rescuing the girl, Charlie accidentally leaves behind a gun that temporarily freezes its targets. Meanwhile, the armor sends a signal into space that guides General Suitor’s bounty hunters, Knuckles and Teeth, to Van Nuys. In the morning, Shep learns of the bounty hunters’ approach and notices his freeze gun is missing. Using a tracking device, he and Charlie locate the gun at a bank, where all of the customers and employees are frozen while the two punks rob the vault. Shep wrests the gun from the robbers and subdues them, but not before Charlie is frozen. When the bounty hunters arrive on the scene, Shep makes a narrow escape and takes Charlie back to the nightclub to thaw. As Shep readies his ship for departure, a power surge damages the engine, which can only be repaired with forty pounds of crystal. Charlie suggests using Adrian Belz’s trophy collection, and takes Shep to the office building, where a cocktail party is underway. Adrian’s secretary, Margie Tanen, takes an immediate liking to Shep, but he cannot be distracted from his mission. As he and Charlie make their way to Adrian’s private offices, Shep laments his lack of a personal life because so many planets need saving. As Charlie and Shep gather the trophies into a bag, Margie holds them at gunpoint, demanding the items be returned. The bounty hunters land on the roof and confront Shep, while Charlie and Margie take cover. After considerable damage to the building, Shep dispatches his adversaries and prepares to leave Earth, believing his presence may endanger the planet. Charlie returns home to find his family held hostage by General Suitor, who forces the architect to lead him to Shep. Suitor demands Shep’s surrender, or he will kill the Wilcox family. Shep activates the self-destruct mechanism in his spacecraft, then promises to surrender if the earthlings are set free. Suitor complies, but as the family escapes, Charlie is unable to abandon Shep and goes to his aid. As Shep is struck by gunfire, Charlie dons the robotic arm and crushes Suitor’s genitals. Suitor transforms into a monster and knocks Charlie unconscious, and Shep electrocutes the general with a high-voltage cable. Seconds before his spaceship explodes, Shep carries Charlie to safety, and tells Jenny that her husband single-handedly defeated General Suitor. Jenny is proud of Charlie, but promises to kill him if he ever tries anything like that again. In the morning, Charlie quits his job, believing he deserves more money and respect from his employer. His family gathers on the roof of the Belz building as Shep departs in the bounty hunters’ ship, accompanied by Margie Tanen. As they say goodbye, Charlie jokes that he may become an intergalactic warrior, while Shep jokes that he may become a family man. Later, Charlie drives to work and wins the admiration of his fellow commuters by shooting an inconveniently placed traffic light. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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