Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vince McMahon's Top 5 McBlunders

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) owner Vincent Kennedy McMahon, aka Vinnie Mac/VKM/Mr. McMahon, is a millionaire. He could buy and sell most of us for a tenth of the cost and still make out with a profit. He has been an international marketing juggernaut for the last 30 years. He has balls the size of grapefruits. We can all agree on those comments, but we can also agree that some of his innovations have also been financial flops, such as the XFL (which I personally enjoyed) and the WBF. No matter how many financial gains he receives from his extended business units, such as movies WWE Films and WWE Games, McMahon’s bread and butter will always be his wrestling empire.

On July 17th, McMahon let CM Punk walk out of the Money in the Bank PPV in Chicago with the WWE World Title, thus doing something he has not done in about 6 years. He gave the hardcore fans exactly what they wanted and appeared to be seamlessly shifting the company’s focus from the laughable PG product back into a more adult-oriented format. That could change at any moment for the stubborn Vince, but let’s try to give him the benefit of the doubt for now, shall we?

Vince personally inserting himself into the “Attitude Era” angle with CM Punk over the weeks prior to the Money in the Bank PPV was another of the many home runs Vince has hit in the past. On the flip side - for all of the money he has made, for all of the popularity he has gained and for all the times he has entertained the fans with some engaging moments throughout WWE history, the Mc-“Man” has laid just as many smelly rotten eggs as well. For every “Austin vs. McMahon”, there were dozens of McBlunders, like the “Kiss My Ass Club”. That is what we are going to discuss today.

Last time, I listed 5 terrible wrestling moments with The Miz*, but this time I have listed five of the most terrible angles Vince physically inserted himself into that failed miserably. Along for the ride this time around is none other than the man who walked out of Chi-Town with Vince’s belt, current champ CM Punk**!

Me: “Hey, hey, hey the real Champ is here! What’s up, Punk?”

CM Punk: "This is going out on the internet? I’m huge on the internet! Wrestling nerds one and all are helping us out!"

Me: “Yes Punk, we nerds and geeks rule the world like Sid Vicious. Let’s have some Diet Pepsi and start the ball rolling…”

 McBlunder # 5 – The new ECW

In 2006, McMahon tried to live on the glory of the defunct ECW wrestling promotion by expanding it into a WWE brand alongside RAW and Smackdown. The only problem was that it was Vince’s vision of ECW and not the hardcore company loyalists grew to love and respect throughout the 90’s. Scheduled to air weekly on the Sci-Fi Network, the episodes featured ECW originals, like Sandman and Sabu, battling creature gimmick wrestlers, such as The Zombie (pictured) and The Vampire Kevin Thorn. Eventually, the original ECW talent like Sandman, Rob Van Dam and Sabu were replaced by up and coming WWE talent until ECW became nothing more than a D-level bastard stepchild brand extension of the WWE. Thankfully the plug was pulled in recent years and put out of its misery. The only good thing to come out of the new ECW was Kelly Kelly stripping and…well my guest CM Punk!

(show property of WWE and courtesy of Stoyns619's YouTube channel)

Punk: "Do you know what it’s like going through life better than everybody? It’s hard."

Me: “Wow. Conceit doesn’t run in your family. You have it all in yourself.”

McBlunder # 4 – The Higher Power

In late 1998, The Undertaker turned heel and created a faction with Paul Bearer called The Ministry of Darkness. For several months thereafter and many televised live events, the group expanded to include Farooq and Bradshaw of the Acolytes, former “Hog Farmer” Mideon, former “Mabel” Viscera, and the Brood which included Gangrel, Christian and Edge. This group was stock-piled. The angle was created around Undertaker wanting to overthrow Vince McMahon and control the WWF, but answered to the mysterious “Higher Power”. Speculation and build-up to the reveal of who in fact was the Higher Power went on for months. Along the way, Vince’s daughter Stephanie was kidnapped and almost forced to marry ‘Taker and Vince’s Corporation member Big Bossman was hung by the neck from the top of a steel cage post-match. In a surprise turn, Vince’s son Shane aligned with ‘Taker to create what became known as the Corporate Ministry in order to take over his father’s company. After all of this hype and build-up, after all of the detrimental involvement of the McMahon family and after all the money and time fans spent to see the angle against Vince McMahon come to a head…the Higher Power finally revealed himself on national television. The looming, hooded figure walked out to the ring and removed his cloak to reveal that the “Higher Power” was none other than Vince himself. “It’s meeeee!” he exclaimed to a chorus of boos from the disappointed fans. The angle’s payoff did not make any sense no matter how much dialogue Vince spit out to explain why he did what he did. Something must have been planned that fell through at the last second, right? Who knows? I’ll go with my gut and call it a McBlunder. Anyone who has been shoving Super Cena down the fans’ throats for the last several years could very well have tried to get away with lazy writing even back then.

(show property of WWE and courtesy of WWEFanNation's YouTube channel)

CM Punk: "That was the longest run-on sentence I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Did you even take a breath in between words there?"

Me: “Give me a break! I summed up about 7-8 months in one paragraph. It was a terrible angle with a lot of terrible points to cover. I have to get through these recaps as soon as I can for the readers, Punk. Let me guess, you don’t know what a drop rate is on a website, do you?”

McBlunder # 3 – The Death of Vince McMahon

Vince tried to permanently kill off the “Mr. McMahon” character in an elaborate fashion on a June 2007 episode of Monday Night RAW. During the closing moments of a special tribute/roast of the Mr. McMahon character, Vince walked to the ring in a heavy daze, bumbling like a tired old man going senile. He went to the back, passing the entire roster along the way, and headed into his limo waiting outside. Once he shut the door, the limo exploded. Yes I said exploded…literally bursting into flames. It was cheesy to the highest cheese but more obvious than the grass being green that it was an angle. Believe it or not, a lot of people and many media outlets thought this was real. Again, this was in 2007. Tsk, tsk. Not only was it reported on mainstream news outlets, but the WWE went as far as to stage “shoot” testimonials for the deceased McMahon on their live programming, much like they did on their live TV airings when the real deaths of wrestlers like Owen Hart and Eddie Guerrero occurred. The only difference is that the tributes to Hart and Guerrero were sincere and respectful and these were “worked shoots” on someone who was still alive essentially negated the sincerity of how the WWE honored their deceased performers in the past. The whole thing was beyond classless. Matters hit rock bottom when Chris Benoit’s murder-suicide occurred shortly after this angle began and Vince had to scrap the whole idea. They had a dedication night for him the night following his death…but the Chris Benoit story is a whole other deal for a different time.

(show property of WWE and courtesy of WWEFanNation's YouTube channel)

CM Punk: "All your heroes are dead! I killed them!"

Me: “No, Punk. You were not going to be named as the mastermind behind McMahon’s on-camera demise. Purportedly, it was going to be revealed that Linda was the one who would take the fall. Not you. And lastly, he is nowhere near being in the league of my ‘heroes’. He's actually kinda creepy and looks like Mr. Roper from Three's Company nowadays.”

McBlunder #2 – Million Dollar Mania

After the limo angle was a complete and utter disaster from both a business and personal standpoint, McMahon tried to kill off his character once again a year later. This time around, he did not do it to increase the WWE’s popularity. He selfishly did it to not shrink his bank account. For several weeks on RAW, McMahon was giving away parts of one million dollars as a ploy to increase ratings. It didn’t draw nearly as much as he hoped the concept would, so he staged an accident just before he was about to award a lucky fan 500,000 smackers. The stage fell apart was made to look as if Vince was hit by a crumbling piece of the set. Wrestlers and emergency crews tried to dig Vince out from under the piling, while Vince went out of character by calling out to his son-in-law HHH by his real name, Paul. It was yet another painful, eye-rolling moment for the WWE and fooled no one this time around. The lesson here is if you promise your fans something but it is not as lucrative for you as you imagined, don’t ruin your integrity and disrespect your paying audience.

(show property of WWE and courtesy of WWEFanNation's YouTube channel)

CM Punk: "He just hit himself in the dinger with a rubber."

Me: “He did more than that. He upset a lot of the WWE’s longtime fan base and never really recovered their trust until this year. If you promise the fans something, you have to deliver. The whole way he avoided giving out the rest of the dough to fans who anxiously tuned in to RAW and prayed that their phone would ring was just plain slimy.”

McBlunder #1 – The Invasion Angle

This being the number one selection should not be a surprise to any wrestling fan from the Attitude Era. The booking of the Invasion angle was the most unforgivable sin to many of the loyal wrestling fans in the WWE Universe. It was so horrendous that even if you multiplied the previous four McBlunders by a thousand, it would still not be as bad as The Invasion angle. After Vince McMahon bought out WCW and already absorbed a majority of the best talent from the original ECW main roster, the story was written as having Shane buy WCW from under his father’s nose and use that roster to overtake the heel McMahon’s WWF. During one of the attacks on WWF stars, the former ECW wrestlers under contract by the WWF turned to join forces with WCW. It was something out of a wrestling nerd’s biggest fantasy: WWF vs. WCW vs. ECW. How could anything possibly go wrong? Leave to Vince Jr. to do the impossible.

The whole angle was a fail from the beginning. For one thing, it became less about the brands fighting each other as much as it became McMahon versus McMahon for the umpteenth time. That brings me to the next factor that sank this angle: the inclusion of Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie running ECW could very well be the stupidest idea since the Gobbedly Gooker and more sacrilegious to the wrestling fan as burning a cross would be to a Christian. In all fairness, public enemy number one for the Invasion failure was the lack of talent from the other brands. The WCW did not have Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sting, Lex Luger, Mongo (just kidding!) while ECW’s main stars, missing guys like Shane Douglas and Steve Corino, had been in WWF so long that the ECW edge seemed to have been rubbed off them. To compensate this void of heavy hitting talent, WWF guys like Steve Austin and Kurt Angle were given leadership roles in the WCW-ECW Alliance and took the attention away from those brands’ real stars like DDP, Buff Bagwell, Tazz, Rhyno, and RVD. Not even Paul Heyman could elevate the proceedings no matter how awesome his promos were.

Vince did the unthinkable and delivered the three brands fighting amongst each others not in a war of ratings, but in a war of the ring. Then he also did the unthinkable by ruining it in the worst way possible. He gave all of the pro wrestling fans a wet dream and then doused them with a cold shower before things even got started. That is why this is undoubtedly the number one reason why this McBlunder sails high above the rest.

(show property of WWE and courtesy of TKOGNB''s YouTube channel)

C.M. Punk: "There's one thing you're better at than me though, and that's kissing Vince McMahon's ass."

Me: “How did anything I have just written remotely be seen as kissing Vince’s 80-year old behind? I’m sure he would not be flattered by any of this verbiage at all.”

Thanks for reading the top-5 McBlunders. Even though the Invasion angle is the worst abomination in pro wrestling history and the alpha example of being given the best fantasy storyline ever served on a silver platter and then dropping it on the floor, Vince won in the business arena over his competition. Now matter how bad the Invasion angle was, the world watched every week and the ratings soared for the next couple of years or so. Of course, maybe I should reserve that #1 McBlunder spot until I see what direction they go with your character, CM Punk. You are the only legitimate thing wrestling has to being in the mainstream. Dropping the ball with your character bringing the pro wrestling universe to the next level would not only be a waste…it would be tragic.

CM Punk: “I'm still fixin' to take over the world. Because it's mine god dammit.”

Me: “Right now, yes it is. Congratulations Champ and thanks for swinging by the Man-Cave.”

CM Punk: “I'm going to no sell your mother giving birth to you.”

Me: “Well that’s awfully kind, and extremely demented, of you.”

* this was parody and not the real Miz. Documented quotes from Miz on the Internet were used for his comments. No copyright infringement of the WWE or WWE creative property is intended.

** this is parody and not the real CM Punk, obviously. Documented quotes from CM Punk on the Internet were used for his comments. No copyright infringement of the WWE or WWE creative property is intended.

Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. Usually being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fright Flick (2010)

A killer is slaughtering the crew of a horror film in this whodunit horror satire.

Horror satires are a dime a dozen, especially since 2000, so the premise on the surface looks about as tired as a 90-year old woman after running a 10K. Thankfully, director Israel Luna takes us on a little bit of a different route with his fifth feature entitled Fright Flick.

Flick is the story of a production crew shooting a third installment of the "Fright Flick" horror film franchise when they start getting picked off one by one in imaginative fashions. Again, it’s a very familiar formula but Luna mixes in some comedic elements to keep things fresh and watchable, although one is not sure if all of the generated laughs are due to the intentional comedy on display.

As you get further into the film, you begin to see the satire shift more and more into homage territory, which proves Luna is a genuine genre fan. Not only does he provide the audience with some gory kills, but he also delivers multiple twists towards the end when the “big reveal” comes into effect. All of which are then topped off by a re-creation of the final scene from the end of another legendary slasher franchise. Even that is done as a direct homage while somehow coming across as bizarrely hilarious if you get the reference, which is pretty obvious.

The cast is doable for this fare, especially considering the characters are satirical exaggerations of typical characters in the usual slasher subgenre. The funniest being the buxom blonde at the film’s beginning and the homosexual who makes comparison jokes the entire time. It is also good to see Chad Allen still getting work after all these years.

Final Verdict
This is my first exposure to Israel Luna, although I have a copy of Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives sitting on my shelf impatiently waiting for me to watch it. I have heard that Flick is not as good as Trannies, but I’ll be the judge of that obviously. The film and formula is very familiar but it works as a part-satire/part-homage. This was entertaining, not great, and is good for one viewing. So I will recommend to rent, not buy.

Even though his performance wasn't Earth-shattering, I needed to mention Chad Allen, since he provided one of the biggest F-U’s to the audience of TV series ever. Even though I have never watched an episode of St. Elsewhere, I do know that the closing seconds of the series finale explained that the entire series was all in the head of Allen’s autistic character who was always looking into a snow globe. 



2.5 out of 5 Drunken Dogs


Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. Usually being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Defiled (2010)

In a post-apocalyptic world, a cannibalistic mutant, his baby and an uninfected female roam the wastelands in order to survive.

Is that some premise or what? A zombie-esque cannibal and his family are traveling together across the countryside when they are killed off by some unseen military force, sans the family’s alpha male Yar (Brian Shaw) and his newborn baby. They wander across the decimated wasteland until Yar finds two other mutants with an uninfected blonde woman Janice (Kathleen Lawlor) in tow as a prisoner. It should be noted that Yar still seems to maintain some sense of humanism and compassion while the others of his type are full blown sadistic savages at this point. He saves the woman, whose maternal instincts begin to urge her to care for the child and the three form a special bond. She still sees the remaining compassionate human aspect of him and is very grateful for being rescued, while he struggles to see her as a person and not as his next value meal deal. 

This film is an interesting and bold experiment from director Julian Grant, but ultimately falls flat. Unfortunately, I had to stop the film about fifteen minutes in just to go online to find out what in the heck was actually going on. My take was that the world had been ravaged by fallout and that our beastie family was a pack of zombies resulting from said fallout. Now zombies ruled the world and feasted on the remaining humans. Survey Says: WRONG! 

Here is the plot synopsis according to IMDB: “In a post apocalyptic world, science and technology have backfired leaving unfathomable destruction and a permanently diseased planet in its wake. A virus is mutating the human race turning innocent survivors into mindless cannibals.”  If you have to go to IMDB to learn the plot of a film, there is a serious translation problem. Perhaps a scrolling title card, although that technique is completely played out, explaining the virus and the fact that these are not reanimated corpses would have been helpful.

One positive for this film is that the choice of utilizing black & white did not come across artsy or pretentious. Rather, the black & white tone really set the mood of the film by providing this new world a look of despair and ruin. Another positive was the acting, because I can’t even imagine how hard it is to express emotion without being able to use any real verbal capabilities. Besides screams, moans, scoring, and a handful of minor sound effects, this is a silent film. There are not even “dialogue captions” like they used to have back in the old silent film era to show a character's dialogue. For an actor at any talent level, that has to be extremely difficult. I would like to particularly give a major shout out to the lovely and sexy cougar Kathleen Lawlor (and I use the term “cougar” with the utmost and sincerest flattery) who had to work with facial expressions alone and without any makeup to mask anything. I think she did a fine job.

The major sin of Grant’s work is the length, running long at over an hour and forty minutes. When you factor in no dialogue and slow pacing, it feels like three hours. The Defiled maintains an interesting premise and its meaning is not a shallow one, but the negatives hamper it down and any piqued interest fades away after the first thirty or so minutes. 


2 out of 5 drunken dogs

The Defiled Official Site
The Defiled Facebook Page


Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. Usually being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grinning Faces Review

Oh sweet Jesus, where do I begin with this thing?  I give the creator credit for giving a (slight) nod to one of my all-time favorites, The Twilight Zone, but instead of an introduction by Rod Serling, it was a bodyless head that reminded me a bit more of Captain Spaulding from House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects.  The short film is the story that follows three characters: a deranged young man, an author and a woman, who I’m pretty sure, was supposed to be a prostitute. About halfway through, I realized that the room where the author and the young man talk isn’t real. It was an online chat that was acted out, although the young man’s computer seemed to be straight out of 1993. You can see where this is heading. If the viewer can’t tell what’s happening, you’re doing it wrong.

Hi, I’m NOT Rod Serling.  I really like bacon…
It was really close to being respectable, but just happened to be missing a few minor things like character development, a plot, or anyone who has acted before (is she laughing or crying?).  During the credits, you’ll find that the makeup was done by none other than George Tomatosauce.  This helps to explain why everyone looks like a meth addict.  One thing it DID have was a couple of sex scenes that would have made David Carradine blush.  Also, there’s a lot of unnecessary bleeding.  Sooooo, we’ve got that going for us?

I made it a few minutes into the film when suddenly my computer actually froze. This should have been a clear sign to just stop watching then. At one point, our main character literally just stumbles down an alley, gives a homeless man some money that he seemingly found in his pocket, and just goes home. That’s a scene in this movie. Really? REALLY???

I understand what the intent was with the film.  There are a lot of scenes that don’t take the typical route that you’d see in most movies.  I respect the alternate route that was taken in a lot of the scenes, although there’s a reason that we see the same thing in most movies and doing the opposite just doesn’t work. For example, Character A finds out he’s destined to meet Character B.  He then approaches Character B, but instead of making him explain why they’re meant to be together, she just says “Are you him?”  It just doesn’t work that way, which is why EVERY other movie has done it that way.  On a related note, the ending… ugh. I won’t spoil anything and I would normally call this type of ending disappointing, but considering the preceding scenes, eh, it’s kind of expected.

I really don’t recommend watching this film unless the other half of your ultimatum involves a noose and a chair that’s missing a leg. Hey, maybe we can make a drinking game out of it. I could be on to something. Let’s drink every time there’s a scene that doesn’t make sense or would make an average man throw up.


One gigantic punt to the nuts

Chad is a part-time blogger, full-time dabbler in all things awesome.  He's a home-brewing, comic book reading, professional hang-gliding instructor, who may or may not have made one of those last things up.  He has always had a problem with procrastination and swears actually grow up someday...when he gets around to it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Art Review: Nicholas Hyde's Harshness

One of the best things about blogging is the perks, especially when the perks are cool warez I can use to decorate The Man-Cave's hallowed halls. So when someone sends me something to review that is both unexpected and has the ability to totally rock my face off, that is even more satisfying. Enter one Nicholas Hyde, the young artist behind the studio known as Harshness. His specialty prints consist of sci-fi characters from films like Star Wars, X-Men, Ghostbusters, and Lord of the Rings with some exaggerated spins on their personas. I have never reviewed any art pieces before, but I am up for any challenge. I am not really sure why he reached out to me of all people (Breathtaking writing skills? Charming personality? Fellow Belgian beer enthusiast?), but boy I am honestly glad he did.

The awesome Nicholas sent me an equally awesome print entitled Darth Fader. He must have read a previous comment of mine where I explained my weird obsession with puns. This print sports a laid back Lord of the Sith sporting sunglasses, a bottle of Jack Daniels and a smoke as he is getting “faded”. Who would’ve ever thought that Anakin was a Jack man? This is truly a wonderful item that you cannot get at your local comic book store that is as hilarious as it is creative. Take a look...

Thug Life, pimps!
Darth is not the only one who Nicholas gets down with “hood life”. His studio also offers prints of Han Solo as Han Cholo, Obi Wan Kenobi as OG1 Kenobi, Boba Fett as Boba Phat, and Chewbacca as ChewPAC. He has a lot more of the gangsta-fied Star Wars characters in his portfolio, but these are my personal favorites, with Mr. Fader at the top of the class. He has created some hilarious location artwork for Star Wars’ luminary bodies such as the Death Star, Tattooine, Hoth, and Alderaan.

As I mentioned before, his creativity is not limited to the Star Wars universe. Besides making Frodo and Gandalf all funkified, he also offers artwork of characters like Gremlins’ Gizmo, Ghostbusters' Stay Puft Marshmellow Man, and Goonies’ Chunk as bloodthirsty vampires. Do you like the X-Men films? Ever wondered what Hugh Jackman as Wolverine would like as a custodial engineer or how Halle Berry as Storm would look as a poledancer? Well if you do, Nicholas Hyde has you covered.

Don’t take my word for it and check it out yourself. Wait a minute, I’m writing the review…definitely take my word for it. Nicholas calls his stuff simplistic and fun, but I call it geniusly clever...and very affordable for the quality of work provided. Come on now, where else are you going to find a picture of a bloodsucking Stay Puft at?

You can check out these pieces of artwork and a great deal more from the bad ass and bizarrely incredible mind behind Harshness studio by clicking on any of the following links:

In the meantime, I need to get this Darth Fader sucker in a frame and onto The Man-Cave's wall STAT before he chokes a bitch! Thug Life!

Geof is a boy genius who launched this site all the way back in 2009. When he is not tasting new beer or reviewing movies, he's busy playing video games or developing a master plan in his fortress of solitude. Usually being fueled by yet another raging Dr. Pepper buzz. Also a contributor at the Italian Film Review

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Interview with veteran actor Frank Vincent of Chicago Overcoat

The Man-Cave recently conducted an interview with Chicago Overcoat scribe and producer John Bosher, in which we discussed the film from the viewpoint of script to screen. Today I am honored to have actor Frank Vincent, who plays the lead Lou Marazano, on my site to discuss the film from the thespian perspective.

Containing an impressive resume longer than the Declaration of Independence, Vincent is an excellent character actor who you will immediately recognize from his roles in some major Hollywood blockbusters. His most popular roles include Billy “Now Go Get You’re F*****g Shine Box” Batts in Goodfellas, Phil Leotardo in The Sopranos and Frank Marino in Casino. Of course you may also remember him as Salvy in the classic Ragin’ Bull. Like I said, Vincent is a real heavy hitter with an extremely impressive CV who has worked with legendary director Martin Scorsese on more than one occasion. Today, he has dedicated time to answer my questions for my readers, so let’s not keep the man waiting any longer.

Please welcome to The Man-Cave, veteran screen actor, Frank Vincent!

The Man-Cave (TMC): It is a real pleasure to have you on my site to discuss Chicago Overcoat, Frank.

Frank Vincent (FV): Thank you for having me on.

TMC: As one of the best character actors in the business, I was thrilled to see you in the lead role once I popped Chicago Overcoat in my DVD player. Like I mentioned in my introduction, your resume is enormous and you have played some extremely memorable characters, so am I correct in saying that your part as Lou Marazano is your first lead role?                                                                

FV: I had the lead role in another one or two films prior, but nothing as prominent as for this film.

TMC: What enticed you to take on the part of Lou? Was it the character, the story or a combination of both?

FV: Essentially, the script was sent to me and I loved it. It was the character and the story. I liked it and went ahead and did it.

TMC: Was it fun to wield an old school Tommy Gun and fire off a massive amount of rounds?

FV: It was terrific. That machine gun was actually a real gun brought in from California. The arms guy who brought it in was very careful with how it is handled because it is a relic. We rehearsed the scene and I got to shoot the gun. It’s a real big, heavy gun. It brought back a lot of memories of watching the old movies taking place back in the bootleg days where people killed each other with tommy guns. It was a very exciting moment and something you don’t get a chance to do too often.

TMC: Well you looked like you were having a good time out.

FV: I sure did. I was having a great time. I was killing everybody (laughs).

TMC: You had the pleasure of being directed by one of the all-time greats, Martin Scorsese, on several occasions. How was working with Brian Caunter at the helm of his first full length feature?  

FV: Brian is really a fine director with a good vision for a young guy. He’s got a great future ahead of him. There was never a problem, we had a good understanding, worked really good together, and had a lot of fun.

TMC: As a seasoned vet of mobster genre films, what is it about Chicago Overcoat that separates it from other films of its kind?

FV: I think the story is very unique. It’s about a guy who is over the hill who has kids and he wants to provide them with financial security. It’s something he dreamed about doing but never did because he was a killer and there are no insurance plans in that line of work. So he woke up one day and decided he was finally going to take care of his daughter and grandson. The story is unique and different in that it looks at the personal life of this type of character. No doubt about it, Lou was a killer, an assassin, so to see that side of him was very interesting to me.

TMC: In all honesty, you were probably the only reason I actually made it through the last season of The Sopranos. Phil Leotardo was an awesome baddie, and I mention this to you because it seemed that mob films seemed to vanish once The Sopranos finally came to an end. Film genres seem to garner popularity in cycles, so do you see a revival of the crime/mobster genre on the way back in the near future?

FV: Boardwalk Empire is up and running, so the revival is coming back. Going back to The Sopranos for a second, when there is something as popular as that show, it is very difficult to follow that kind of act and compete with the memory of that show. Right now, The Sopranos is still being heavily shown in syndication, so it will probably never fully go away and will always be in the main eye of culture. However, the genre itself has always been very strong so eventually something will take its place. The genre has been around for several years, much like westerns and sci-fi, so Chicago Overcoat will eventually find an audience on its own merits because of Armand [Assante], Mike Starr, Stacy [Keach] and myself. We have a little bit of name power and people like the movie overall, so that is all important in the end.

TMC: What other kinds of films do you personally enjoy watching?

FV: I will watch anything that’s good. One of my favorite films is True Romance and I recently just saw a film by Clint Eastwood, whose work I truly enjoy. Spike Lee is another film maker who work I really like. I’m really not the kind of person who dedicates time to sit down and watch a movie. Usually, I’ll just watch a film and if I like it, I’ll keep watching, or I will turn it off if it is not catching my interest. I’m a fan of overall well-acted films with great plots.

TMC: If there is one “role of all roles” that you would want to play, what would it be?

FV: I’d love to play a cowboy! I’d ride a horse and act. It’d be fun!

TMC: To add onto that previous question, who would you want to be your director in your cowboy movie? You can’t say Scorsese, haha.

FV: (jokingly) I don’t think Scorsese can direct a cowboy film, to be honest with you. No, seriously I’d like Clint Eastwood to direct me.

TMC: What projects are you currently working on?

FV: I have a film in the works called Fickle. We’re re-doing the script now and should start shooting by the end of the year. It’s a romantic comedy and that’s all I can really tell you about it at this point. There are also a couple of other projects being worked on right now, so there are a lot of things cooking.

TMC: Frank, please use this time to promote anything else, the floor is all yours.

FV: Yes. I have a website,, where you can purchase photos, memorabilia and even a “Go Get Your Shine Box” t-shirt along with t-shirts for other characters I have played such as Billy Batts and Phil Leotardo. There are also “Mob”-ble head dolls [like bobblehead dolls] of my Billy Batts character that states three of his lines from Goodfellas, including “Go Get Your Shine Box”. 

I’m also involved with the Las Vegas Mob Experience (LVME) at the Tropicana as one of the gangster guide hosts along with guys like Mickey Rourke and James Caan. With the help of Disney Imagineers, the LVME is like a multi-million dollar theme park attraction that highlights the history of how the mob helped famously build and run Las Vegas. Everyone should check out the website for more information to learn more details about it.

TMC: From both a personal and professional level, I appreciate your time for our interview. You are the first A-List celebrity to appear on The Man-Cave, so for that I thank you. Good luck in all of your future projects and I’m sure I’ll see you on the screen again real soon.

FV: It was a pleasure meeting you too as well Geof and thank you.

If you have not seen Chicago Overcoat yet, you can pick up a copy from one of the links below. I encourage you to check out a film that breathes new life into the stale genre, Chicago Overcoat by Beverly Ridge Pictures and watch Frank Vincent work his craft as well as a loaded old school automatic weapon. Thanks to MTI for distributing a film that unrightfully sat on the shelf for way too long.

Also make sure to check out these links: