RIP Jan Michael Vincent

Post Script: Rest In Peace Jan Michael Vincent. He was the young hot headed upstart of the 1970s. Whenever the studios needed a young tough for a role, he was their go to guy. Some may remember him as Stringfellow Hawk from the TV show Airwolf, or as Charles Bronson’s protégée from The Mechanic or Burt Reynolds upstart competition in Hooper. The role he is best remembered for is as the former pro surfer now addicted to drugs and alcohol in The Big Wednesday.

Sadly, life imitated art in Jan’s case. He passed February 10, 2019 of cardiac arrest at the age of 73. His death didn’t become public knowledge till almost a month later. A memorial service was done at the beach on a Wednesday to honor him. In attendance were actor Gary Busey and director John Milius among others. It had to been quite the send off.

This author wishes to maintain his secret identity goes by the name of his favorite comic book hero Iron Fist. When he’s not collecting comics from his childhood, watching action movies or raising his three kids, he works a a police officer, trains Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do, Kali and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Needless to say, he takes poor martial arts or sloppy gun handling skills personally. And he lives and trains in Chicago.

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  1. It wasn’t a cheapie production (its reported budget ranges from $8M to $15M – so nearly as much as STAR WARS did, or half again as much!), the cast was overqualified given how it turned out, and while director Jack Smight may be the true Worst Director Ever (his filmmaking style was akin to directing traffic) studios loved him and his movies were largely successful. The original screenplay by Lukas Heller hewed far closer to the original novella (which Zelazny described as “a straight action yarn written after reading Hunter S. Thompson’s HELL’S ANGELS”) than the complete rewrite by Alan Sharp which removed everything that made the source material interesting.

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