ill LYTeracy: I Want to be in GHOST RIDER 2, So Let's Get This Thing Viral!

Perhaps you missed it in the flood of Comic-Con related posts, but Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man and whoever else need to take a backseat right now. Because an announcement was recently made that heralds what will inevitably be THE Marvel-based movie to Rule Them All.

Nicolas Cage, a.k.a. possibly the greatest living human being to regularly appear in front of a camera, is returning as Ghost Rider, in a movie that will be directed by the team of Neveldine/Taylor, who are so awesome that they don't even need first names...or even individual names. Like the Podrace announcer from THE PHANTOM MENACE, they are simply one hyphenated entity (though I still don’t know if that li’l f**ker was named Hexen Rexen or Fode/Beed).

GHOST RIDER 2: Your Ass Will Be Owned.

And you probably think I'm kidding.

I'm not. I know that all the cinema snobs on the east coast with their receding hairlines and Woody Allen glasses think that Nic Cage stopped being cool right about the time he signed on for CON AIR, but they can take their depressing-ass LEAVING LAS VEGAS Cage, or whatever the hell he did in MOONSTRUCK, a movie I plan on not seeing. It's because of people who liked those movies that Cage thought he could do CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN, and look how that turned out.

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No, the Nicolas Cage I worship at the feet of is the one who bugs his eyes out as wide as Mantenna's, the Cage whose accent can veer from bad Al Pacino impersonation to Elvis to redneck drawl to high-pitched whiny laugh...all within the same scene. The Nicolas Cage who can talk endlessly to interviewers about his method acting process, then plays every role more or less the same, by waving his hands around wildly and randomly varying the volume of his voice.

And let us not forget the hairpieces. Oh, such hairpieces. And bleached teeth...I can't even tell if those are real or not, but it doesn't matter.

I've been ahead of the curve on stuff like this before. Back in college, me and my friends worshipped at the shrines of Shatner and Walken. The fact that I don't even have to tell you their first names says something: the culture at large caught up to the point that everyone started doing impressions of them, and then the actors themselves got wise and started becoming impersonations of themselves. That made it less fun.

Now, Cage may say, after the fact, that he knew THE WICKER MAN would be funny, but it rings about as sincerely as Tommy Wiseau's contention that THE ROOM is meant to be a comedy. Point is, Cage still takes himself very seriously, even though this a guy who named himself after an African-American superhero, and called his kid Kal-El (oh, for the Cage SUPERMAN that never was! It would have been remembered way longer than the Brandon Routh version will). This is part of his awesomeness.

Cage1 And then there are Neveldine and Taylor, two cinematic geniuses who have never gotten their proper due, in large part because many critics have never even seen their movies. Mostly released by Lionsgate, none of their stuff has ever had advance screenings for the press, and many reviewers, who tend to turn their noses up at action movies anyway, probably figured the CRANK flicks were just more generic Jason Statham ass-kickers.

So, so wrong. The first CRANK quite expertly puts the viewer into the head and mood of Statham's character Chev Chelios, as he constantly pumps himself full of stimulants to his heart racing fast enough to beat a poison in his system. The storyline is like a GRAND THEFT AUTO game gone nuts, but the mood is one of highs and lows, effectively duplicating not only the hyperactive rush of drugs and all-nighters, but the comedown periods too, where things start to bob and weave and go into slow-motion. And the ending offered a genuine surprise.

CRANK 2 just flat-out repudiated reality completely, with talking severed heads, and a fight scene where the two participants suddenly become Godzilla-sized. As insane as it was genuinely diverse, CRANK 2 is the kind of movie critics would declare a new masterpiece if it came from a foreign country and were in a language other than English (look at the praise Takashi Miike gets on a relatively consistent basis, despite the fact that most of his movies were not as good as CRANK 2).

I'll even stand up for Neveldine and Taylor's less-liked movies. PATHOLOGY, the only one not shot in their trademark hyperkinetic style, nonetheless has a similar sense of humor, with an over-the-top storyline about medical students who set up elaborate murders and challenge their colleagues to discover cause of death. Someone over on another message board called it “stupid,” but I think that's the wrong word – everything I've read from Neveldine/Taylor suggests that they know exactly what they're doing, and are smart about it. If you don't like it, that's fair, but they aren't dumb.

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And GAMER...well, either you liked the random musical number near the end, or you didn't...I LOVED it. And I think the folks who made DESPICABLE ME may even have been slightly influenced – the hacker's main pad in GAMER looks not unlike villainous Vector's place.

So, having established that GHOST RIDER 2 will very likely be top 10 of the year material for me when it comes out, let me get to the point.

I want to be in GHOST RIDER 2.

I'm not asking to be the villain, or anything. I know I am a character actor rather than a lead. Although I have been a lead once...

Yes, that is an actual feature and not a fake trailer. Being shopped to distributors as we speak. And I'm sure no-one who saw WICKED LAKE will ever forget my turn as a masturbating redneck named “Half-Idiot.”

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What I want is simple: I want to appear in GHOST RIDER 2 as a featured extra who gets punched by Nicolas Cage.

This is my headshot. I think I look like the kind of heavy that Ghost Rider might encounter, en route to fighting more serious evils.

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I actually think I have a shot at this, for a couple of reasons. One is that I know somebody who has worked with Neveldine and Taylor. The other is that if some actor I never heard of before named Donald Glover can get people talking about why Spider-Man should be black, I can get traction on this if everybody spreads it around.

Yes, I have created an official online petition. Please sign it and pass it on. Why, you ask?

Because I am one of you. I'm that ten-year-old kid who watched TOXIC AVENGER on my grandmother's Betamax, never dreaming that one day Lloyd Kaufman would buy me dinner. The 15 year-old who watched HEATHERS at a small art-house theater in Roanoke, Virginia...and celebrated my 30th birthday with screenwriter Daniel Waters. I'm the guy living out some of my dreams, and also the dude who never got a serious girlfriend until this year, in part because my love of all things geek tends to scare people.

If I can make this happen, it will be proof that dreams can come true for anyone. And it's a modest dream, y'all. I've been living in Hollywood for over a decade now, and dammit, I want to be in a movie that is truly awesome, in any and/or every way.

I'll even let Nic punch me for real, which he might want to do if he's sensitive about my hairpiece comments above.

I know somebody who reads this will know someone who knows someone that can make this a reality. And I promise not to do stuff like this often.

Luke Y. Thompson MUST be in GR2.

Luke Y. Thompson is an actor, writer, and film critic living in Hollywood.

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