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for 30 April 2001. Updated every WEEKDAY.


Hogan's Run


Leave The Conniving To Us
If the Web really is, as AOL honcho Ted Leonsis loves to claim, "a collection of gravesites," dancing on them (rather than reading them) may be the most inspired move yet.
Five years ago today in Suck.

Braveheart, Gladiator, Memento. You don't have to be living in the dream time to see that the addition of an Australian actor playing other than Aussie turns any movie into an instant masterpiece. Guy Pearce has no worries, mate. Maybe the other cop from L.A. Confidential hasn't found his own William Wallace yet, but we have no doubt that one will eventually be forced upon him.

With Pearce's future Oscar assured, and Gibson's and Crowe's already dusty and propping open the doors to their home theaters, there's one lingering question we ask ourselves time and time again: What about Paul Hogan? Where's his Oscar? The man who blazed the trail from the Outback to Beverly Hills continues to be ignored by the Academy. Is it because he's constitutionally incapable of playing Scot, Latin, or Yank? Is it because Crocodile Dundee's status as America's Mr. Australia — a comic-but-intrepid visitor from Down Under who talks to the animals, dispatches stateside muggers and drives a Japanese car — has been causing the slow burn of collective melanoma in his sunny homeland since the mid-eighties? Maybe. But maybe there's another reason. Maybe it's because big-budget filmmakers subconsciously realize that adding Paul Hogan to any picture would vastly improve it, and can't consciously admit the negligence of their casting agents.

The empty theaters greeting Hogan's belated return to his signature character in Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles prove that the American public also feels too guilty to give Hogan the recognition he's earned. Sure, Hogan's exposé of American filmmaking has the twilit, face-lifted, apes-in-the-ruins feel of a cri de coeur shouted in a post-apocalyptic wilderness to rival The Road Warrior's. But that doesn't mean we can't dream about what might have been. The handy list below will prove our thesis. After all, if Abbott and Costello could meet Frankenstein, why can't Paul Hogan meet Erin Brockovich?

Hannibal — Dundee to Lecter: "You call that a knife?" With that riposte, Mick Dundee slices off the top of the redoubtable flesh-eating doctor's head and throws his brain to a croc. Years later, a double sequel appears, The Silence of the Marsupials. Dundee is running a tourist excursion boat with Clarice Starling (Rachel Leigh Cook) on the outskirts of Alice Springs (Tara Reid). Lecter, his head wrapped like the Invisible Man's, his brainpan a wound that never heals, arrives in Australia to slip into a position as dramaturge at the famous opera house in Sydney. Tony Scott, Ted Demme, Peter Weir, whoever — take it from there.

Traffic — "G'DEA, mate." Crocodile Dundee has assayed laugh-filled adventure in New York and Los Angeles, but culture clash has never been funnier when Dubya appoints Dundee drug czar and the snake-handling hunter who swaggers through the Outback like a sudsy Tarzan has to negotiate the swampy byways of Capitol Hill. When Hogan takes over the role from a departing Michael Douglas, stunt-cast drug lords (George Hamilton, Mike Tyson, Paul Rodriguez) from Santa Monica to Cincinnati and Sonora snivel in their loafers, turn themselves in to the authorities and distance themselves at the premiere. And here's a wife-swap we'd all like to see: Crocodile Dundee and Alligator Douglas exchange Linda Kozlowski and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Good Will Hunting — The rumor that Elliot Carlin-lookalike Gus Van Sant had cast Paul Hogan as a disgraced Australian priest set adrift on the highways of rural America is untrue. That role, after protracted talks with Brendan Fraser's agent, went to Ted Danson. Still, as this piece proves, it takes little imagination to see that a coming-of-age walkabout in the Outback with a mentor like our man Dundee would have done more for Matt Damon than endless sessions on the couch with Robin Williams.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon — People who think Paul Hogan can be gently shoehorned into the epic feng shui of this post-Leanian legend have another thing coming. In this case a complete overhaul is in order. In Crouching Dingo, Hidden Kangaroo, Chow Y.-f. is eschewed in favor of J. Chan, and Meryl Streep plays Hogan's wife. Inevitably, a teenage girl carries the action, and if Kate Hudson gets tangled up in blue at the mention of the name "Paul Hogan," what the hell, Alyssa Milano — God bless her — still looks presentably nubile when photographed from certain angles.

Chocolat — "It's Australian for chocolate, mate." Although a straight-up version of Chocolat with Paul Hogan replacing Johnny Depp sounds uncomfortably close to a remake of Boogie Nights, and although Crocodile Dundee kissing Juliette Binoche could beat the Courtney Love-Jim Carrey smotherfest from Man On the Moon for the title of most squirm-inducing clinch in recent screen history, we can rest easy knowing the presence of Dame Judi Dench would save this romance from Ernest Goes to France-hood.

Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace — Paul Hogan, Liam Neeson; Australia, Tattooine. Maybe they can explain the difference on A&E Biography.

Pitch new Paul Hogan vehicles in today's Plastic discussion

courtesy of Slotcar Hatebath


pictures Terry Colon

Slotcar Hatebath

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