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Dissecting Actor Michael Pare!

09.15.2015by: Jake Dee

ACTOR MICHAEL PARE!

This just in, Michael Pare is a cinematic pimp. Anyone disagree? Didn't think so. In addition to being one of the most underappreciated leading men we've ever seen, Pare has been one of the more prolific character players over the past 30-35 years or so. I mean, when you tally well over 120 big and small screen credits since 1981, yup, you're doing something right. Whether it's a low-budget genre piece or a high-profile prestige picture, Pare is always bringing the A-game in a way that immediately ups the entertainment value. Hell, this guy's worked with everyone from John Carpenter and Eric Red to Roland Emmerich and Uwe Boll. From Walter Hill to Sofia Coppola. Now that's some range!

But that's just scratching the surface. So join us as we do something long, long overdue. Let's go friends, it's high-time we pull out the paring knife and begin Dissecting the genre career of Mr. Michael Pare!

BEST WORK

GET STREETS OF FIRE HERE

Personally speaking and now nostalgically pining, I must say STREETS OF FIRE will always be my first and most dearest introduction to the Pare. Look, it's no easy feat stealing scenes away from the great Willem Dafoe, but in the wild and rollicking 80s punk-rock-biker revenge pic STREETS OF FIRE, that's exactly what the top-billed Pare does...and does with ease. If you've not seen the flick, drop what you're doing this instant (well, finish the article first of course) and go cop a look. I swear, you'll thank us!

Co-written and directed by the great Walter Hill (THE WARRIORS, 48 HOURS), STREETS OF FIRE finds Pare as the ex-boyfriend of a rock and roll chanteuse. When she's taken and held captive by a greasy and grimy biker gang, it's up to Pare's character to not just locate the poor girl, but exact brutal revenge on her behalf. And what's great about this flick, and Pare's performance in it, is just how otherworldly the entire experience is. The aesthetic mash-up of 50s idealism and anarchic 80s regalia calls to mind stuff like BLADE RUNNER and the like. Of course, the fine ass Diane Lane always classes up the joint, and Rick Moranis is always worth a few laughs. Make no mistake though, this is Pare's show, and in one of his first true leading roles, our man shines like the bright star he's continued to prove to be over 30 years later.

WORST WORK

Two words. Uwe Boll. Yikes. I do believe it all began in the year 2001, when Pare decided to partake in a little movie called BLACKWOODS. Then in 2002, he reunited with Boll for the flick HEART OF AMERICA. Well, whatever Pare saw in the director of that Columbine like school shooting drama, it forged an unlikely bond between he and yes, German schlock-hound Uwe Boll. The two must have hit it off, because that same year Pare was cast in Boll's awful videogame adaptation of BLOODRAYNE. The bond only strengthened with time, and in 2007 Pare appeared in Boll's POSTAL and in 2008, flicks called FAR CRY and 1968 TUNNEL RATS. That's right y'all, the Boll/Pare pairing begins rivaling that of De Niro/Scorsese, Bergman/Von Sydow, Depp/Burton. Lifelong mutual muses!

Thankfully for us, not every Boll and Pare film amounts to a heaping pile of pure dreck. Nope, in 2009 Boll actually surprised us all with a solid flick called RAMPAGE, again starring our boy M.P. I just wish the man who actually exacts the titular rampage was Pare himself instead of younger Brendan Fletcher. Still, to see Pare once again flash the badge of sheriff is quite a delight, as few men onscreen exude such a bona fide air of authoritative masculinity. Pare's a boss, believe it!

TRADEMARKS

After a quick IMDB perusal, it's kind of obvious that Pare has portrayed his fair share of law enforcers over the years. Detectives, sheriffs, deputies, patrolman, lieutenants...no matter the rank...Pare has donned the badge and donned it well. No real shock though right, the dude oozes a menacing presence and power of authority like few others. Part of that has to be due to his physicality, a 6'1'' badass with chiseled physique and a deep raspy voice that indicates unparalleled authority. But beyond that is something mentioned above. It seems Pare has the ability to maneuver in and out of different types of movies and types of characters in a way that very few can. Bit part in a huge movie or leading role in a tiny movie...Pare can do both and every combination in between, and do it with a believability that never seems false or forced. I know he's done more than a few bad b-movies and indie-action joints, but you know what, I've never really seen Pare give a bad performance. Have you?

HIDDEN GEMS

GET BAD MOON HERE

Color us a homer if you shall choose, but there's a pair of underrated horror gems of Pare's that we'd be remiss to fail giving some love to. And yes, both come from AITH godfather Eric Red. The first is the iniquitously under-watched werewolf yarn BAD MOON, and the other is the effectively moody and vengeful haunted house piece 100 FEET. Check it...

BAD MOON from 1996 is Red's enthralling take on the age old lore of lycanthropy. And damn it, he gives a plum role for Pare to feast upon. In the flick, Pare plays Uncle Ted, who slowly morphs into a flesh-starved werewolf while jogging under a full moon at night. It's a demanding role, no doubt, with Pare forced to play both pre-transformed regular Joe who must interact with his sister to the tormented post-morphed blood-beast out for fresh meat. And part of the reason it works so well is the actual transformation, right there only behind perhaps AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and THE HOWLING for most frighteningly effective ever done. I love this flick and wish it were easier for us all to watch, be it on cable, Netflix or even a goddamn Blu-ray. There's no way a movie this good should remain so buried in the annals of cinema. But don't take it from me, have a look at what Pare's on record saying about the flick (via IMDB):

[on Bad Moon (1996)] I was living in Holland and I happened to be in L.A. and I got a call that Eric [Red] wanted to meet me. So I met him on the Warner Brothers lot and it was with his producer, I think. And I had read the script a couple times... especially the transformation sequence, you know, in the Blue Room or whatever that restaurant is on the lot. And I told him I loved it, I loved the story and I'd love to be in a werewolf movie. I then went on specifically about the transformation sequence and he's like, "Yep, yep, uh huh. We shoot in Vancouver." And so I said, "Okay, what's the next step, what do I have to do to get this?" and he said, "Just say yes."

GET 100 FEET HERE

Yes he indeed said, as he did a dozen years later to Red's unheralded 100 FEET. Please tell me you've seen this one. If not, why not? It not only stars Pare, but it also features our very own John "The Arrow" Fallon in a touching turn, and a cameo by our own Eric Walkuski. AITH through and through, this one!

100 FEET is one of the first movies I remember reviewing professionally, and one of the very best at that. Starring Famke Janssen as a shut-in, house arrested victim of domestic abuse, things grow awfully daunting for her when the haunting spirit of her dead husband (whom she murdered in self-defense) comes a knocking at the door. Of course, Red deliciously gives Pare the part of the ghost (after the werewolf of BAD MOON), and coming as a shock to no one, Pare crushes it out the park. What's great about the premise is the house arrest angle, effectively rendering our heroine as a sitting duck unable to agilely evade her murderous assailant. Great idea. Tense, claustrophobic scenes inside the house with Pare's apparition viciously teasing and taunting poor Famke work so well they tend to transcend mere genre convention. There's a heart to this picture in places you wouldn't expect there to be, and a lot of that has to do with Pare's performance.

NEXT PROJECTS

As per usual, Pare remains one of the more in demand actors in the biz. High brow, low brow, blockbuster, TV series, starring role, bit part...no matter...if it's in production, chances are Mr. Pare's name is somewhere on the call-sheet. Seriously, we count some 19 assorted projects he currently has in various stages of development. As always, we'll clue you into the more genre appropriate, including a movie he made with our very John "The Arrow" Fallon called THE SHELTER. Peep it...

Written and directed by John The Arrow Fallon, THE SHELTER is founded:

On a star filled night, as widower and homeless man Thomas (Pare) finds shelter for the night when he falls upon a vast two story house with the lights on and an inviting open front door. Alas the next morning he finds out swiftly that the premises won't let him depart. The doors are all locked, and the windows puzzlingly cannot be opened or broken. Destiny has brought Thomas to this place. Will he survive the ordeal?

Pare also has wrapped production on Darren Lynn Bousman's new horror joint, ABATTOIR, in which he costars with the great Lin Shaye. Here's the basic one-liner:

An investigative reporter works to solve the mystery of a haunted house constructed from rooms of the deceased.

Another promising horror pic Pare recently completed a starring role in is called EVIL WITHIN. Pare plays:

Detective Lancaster, works to solve a string of ghastly murders that plague a quite neighborhood, as an ancient evil corrupts the lives of an unsuspecting couple.

Last for us but certainly not least is SICILIAN VAMPIRE. Pretty self explanatory I think, but here's the breakdown for that one:

Equal parts Goodfellas and Dusk till Dawn, Sicilian Vampire tells the story of reputed mobster Sonny Traficante who was hoping to get away to the family hunt lodge for a little rest and relaxation and create some memories. Instead, what he got was a night he will never forget. Once there, Sonny is bitten by a bat released from a container of bananas they brought up to the lodge. The bat takes a vicious bite of Sonny's neck and then flies off into the night. From that moment on Sonny is entrusted with powers beyond that of any mortal - supersonic hearing, enhanced sight, and superhuman strength - even the ability to speak to the dead. Because of these heightened senses Sonny now feels a responsibility to right the wrongs in his life, and protect those he loves. At first, he resists these new found powers but in the end he welcomes his fate.

If that wasn't badass enough, Pare will costar with a who's who of 80s icons including Eric Roberts, Daryl Hannah, James Caan, Robert Davi, Robert Loggia, Paul Sorvino and Armand Assante. The flick is written and directed by Frank D'Angelo.

OVERALL

No joke. From 1981 to 2015 and beyond, Michael Pare is one of the most efficient utility players we've had the fortune to be entertained by. Real shite, this dude's the MAN! Whether it's STREETS OF FIRE, VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED, BAD MOON, 100 FEET, RAMPAGE, MOON 44, or even upcoming stuff like THE SHELTER, SICILIAN VAMPIRE, EVIL WITHIN, ABATTOIR and many, many others...there's only one Michael Pare. Dude's a unique American treasure. Here's hoping you make another 120 movies Mike, we're watching!

Extra Tidbit: What's your favorite Pare flick or role?
Source: AITH

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