Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Eat Lead Slackers!

Me and James Tolkan

James Tolkan , famous for his role as the nasty principal Strickland in the Back To The Future movies, joined the happy DeLorean owners for DCS 2006 in Chicago. Hilarious as can be, he started off the celebration by climbing up on stage and telling us that he saw a bunch of slackers driving Corvettes outside. The crowd erupted in cheers and applause.

Afterwards I ran over to his table so that I could meet this awesome guy and have my picture taken with him. When we learned he was about to celebrate his 75th birthday on June 20th, I realized just how long it has been since Mr. Strickland made that first impression on me back in 1985. Wow, what a mean dude.

The famous scene from Back To The FutureYou might remember how mean Mr. Strickland was, yelling at Marty "You've got a real attitude problem McFly, you're a SLACKER!" With Marty's sarcastic reply, the nasty Mr. Strickland leaned in closer. "...No McFly ever amounted to anything in the history of Hill Valley!"

This made such a strong impression on me as a 10-year-old kid named Marty. Strickland was so mean, and so great! The anger was so real you could taste it. What is it about the mean dudes that we just love?

But it has to be the second instalment of the Back To The Future franchise in which James uttered his best, and possibly most memorable line. In the alternate future 1985, Hill Valley is ruined and overrun by greasy punks. Strapped with ammo, the Ramboesque Strickland returns fire on his machine-gun toting assailants in style, shouting "EAT LEAD SLACKERS!"

Yay! Strickland calling ME a slacker!I've always felt a strange connection to the Back To The Future movies, and therefore the actors involved too. I was dying to ask Mr. Tolkan to poke me in the chest and call me a slacker. With the name Marty, it just seemed so right. But I couldn't build up the courage to do it, even when, during dinner, he came by our table, patted me on the back and asked how I was doing.

When Suz and I told James we were from frosty old Canada, he seemed a bit surprised, as nearly everyone present was American. He told us about all the Canadian cities he has filmed in, and how much he liked our country. What a nice thing to say, for a nasty, evil principal!

He has also had roles in many other famous movies like Top Gun and The Amityville Horror, as well as 'Commander Cyrus Quinn' in one of my most favourite, most underrated, short-lived TV series ever: Nowhere Man. If you think James Tolkan rules, check out his long career. I put an easy link there for all you slackers who can't be bothered to look stuff up on your own.

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Blogger Ham said...

Just amazing.
Speechless, I am.

1:14:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

I'm sorry I did that to you. Your writing (and possibly your speaking) is so funnily, creatively and super-awesomely worded.

1:46:00 PM

Blogger redheaded said...

i remember him best in top gun and absolutely loved the role he played. did you tell him "hi" for me?

2:53:00 PM

Blogger Chana said...

your enthusiasm jumps off the page and i love it..glad you got to meet him, take your picture with him and chat...congratulations...

(btw, i don't think if i would have noticed it at all before reading your blog but yesterday at Chinnook mall i saw an orange DeLorean..)

7:06:00 PM

Blogger SJ said...

I am too much fo a slacker to click on that link you could have pasted the contents here...

11:54:00 PM

Blogger Princess Lo said...

ha ha martini love the pic with you in front of the tv!! love it love it!! sorry i have been so scarce i am trying to do better!

10:55:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Ellie - yes, I said hi for you and he said he'd call you later tonight. :)

Chana - thanks! Painted DeLoreans are rare and unusual.

SJ - what can I say? You are the epitome of slacking. If I had the authority, I'd crown you the king.

Princess - Lo(ri), geeeeez you sure have been busy. Glad you could find the time to stop by.

12:43:00 PM

Blogger Rowan said...

*laughs* loved your slacker friendly link comment htere at the end! Brilliant!

I was a little younger than you when Back to the Future came out (I was 6) but I also loved the principal and I must say he stood out for me as one of the most predominant chars in the films.

I've never met anyone famous, so I am quite jealous of your opportunity.

2:07:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Well, keep your eyes open for further posts then! Because I also met two other medium-sized Back To The Future stars.

6:23:00 PM


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