For those who aren’t aware, the long and diverse Steady Leak articles of the old days aren’t dead, but in the interest of speed and keeping the column breathing heavy most of them will come out in this format from now on. If there’s stuff you miss (News Attack, If CHUD Ran, etc.), please send a Leak Letter to let me know.
Plus, I’m always looking for stuff to run in the letters column positive, negative, or otherwise.
Onward with the Leak…
One of the things that I think defines a reader or writer of this site is an appreciation and respect for those people in the film business who probably don’t get enough love, whether they be actors, effects artists, composers, or scorpion wrangler. That goes double for stunt performers, because a trained eye will start to recognize these folks and it makes watching a film that much more fun. For example: When you see Al Leong appear onscreen, you can just salivate knowing that a squib, explosion, or knife to the sternum is in his near future. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Holy shit, Al Leong just got trampled by Cthulhu!
It’s as reliable as the moon coming up after the sun and the Soleil Moon jiggling in a windstorm. The man who is easily my favorite these days is Marc Macaulay, a guy who I used to refer to as the Elseworlds Michael Ironside but now recognize as a wonderful stunt performer who first won my heart with his slow motion midair pond based death in the grossly maligned Fair Game and who proceeded to redefine the word "awesome" as he took bullet hits, crashed cars, and had a romantic interlude with Charlize Theron in Monster.
In a business filled with bashers and hard men, he’s the coolest. Seeing Marc onscreen means someone will soon be leaking. Bodies will be rendered useless. Faces will contort. Shit will be left in wasted pants, a last surprise for the medical examiner. I think it’s some kind of special reward to see one of these fellows get their moment in the spotlight whether it be the landing of a franchise role like Jason Voorhees or David Hemmings’ eyebrows or an honest-to-goodness role that doesn’t require a life cast or padded suit.
It hasn’t happened yet, but I was astounded to see Mr. Macaulay in Miami Vice last week in a role as an air traffic controller who didn’t get himself deleted from the cultural database. I kept waiting for a plane to smash through the window or some rabid muskrat to pop on his shoulder from an air duct but it never happened. Marc came, saw, and survived. A part of me was born anew. If you’d asked me before, I’d have told you ten times out of ten that if he showed up onscreen, his character was a few moments from having boat drinks with the Charon. I don’t care if he was playing Bill Cosby in The Bill Cosby Story, at some point the sweatered comedian was going to walk into a seafood restaurant and a taxidermed sailfish was going to shimmy off the wall and impale his forehead.
Miami Vice has changed all of that and I think it’s high time Marc Macaulay got the love he deserves. Marc, if this little action project I’ve been asked to write gets made and I have any say in the world there’s a juicy role in it for you. You’re not a stunt performer and you’re not some sloppy seconds helping of Michael Ironside. You are a legend.