Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Dante's Inferno02/10/01: Lobo Means Wolf

It seems like you can't swing a dead cat without hitting somebody talking about wrestling these days. And it's rarely being viewed in a good light.

The most prevalent news story has been this little tidbit which has also brought an unwanted focus back on our fave dysfunctional state: "A 13-year-old boy was convicted today of first degree murder in the death of a 6-year-old girl, as the jury rejected defense arguments that the girl died accidentally while the boy was imitating professional wrestlers' moves. Lionel Tate, who was tried as an adult, faces life in prison without parole. [Tyffany Eunick] died of blunt trauma injuries sustained when she was playing with Tate at his home in Miramar, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale. The girl suffered a fractured skull, lacerated liver, broken rib, internal hemorrhaging and cuts and bruises. Defense attorney Jim Lewis based Tate's defense on the boy's enthusiasm for professional wrestling, and in particular Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He was denied in his request to have Johnson and other pro wrestlers testify during the trial."

Lobo Fuerte of Los LuchadoresOh, wouldn't that have been a sight?! A parade of defense witnesses including The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and (we can only hope) Big Dusty Rhodes defiling the American justice system by testifying that they lay those moves on one another almost nightly without anyone ever getting killed. Just don't bring in Greg Hart or Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka.

Of course, who can forget the debut of the XFL, the new "football" league financed by Vince McMahon's WWF and ratings-hungry NBC. While NBC's marquee shows continue to take a beating from trashy reality shows (both 'The West Wing' and 'Friends/SNL' lost out in the key 18-49 demographic to 'Temptation Island' and 'Survivor 2' respectively), the Peacock network did score surprisingly huge numbers for last week's Saturday night XFL unveiling.

Unfortunately, it was a whole lot of nothing: none of the cheerleaders disrobed, locker room and sideline access led to nothing of consequence, and the football was mediocre at best. Then again, if ratings and public interest start to slip we might get to see a double-homicide ON the field instead of off it like those pussies in the NFL keep offering up!

So, with kids killing their neighbors by laying the smackdown on 'em, and McMahon serving up another carny freakshow masquerading as "sports entertainment," you'd think networks would have better sense than to launch a Saturday morning wrestling-superhero show aimed squarely at kids. Well, you'd think that... and you'd be wrong.

Maria Valentine of Los LuchadoresLast week, FOX Kids (oh, that explains it) launched 'Los Luchadores,' a cartoonish live-action show featuring a trio of masked wrestlers that fight colorful villains in and out of the ring.

There's Lobo Fuerte, the show's hero who puts the "square" back in squared circle. His "teammates work together" speeches are a throwback to the 1960s 'Batman' show, and he gives lots of "thumbs up" signs to Turbine, his young sidekick. Straight out of the Burt Ward/Robin mold, Turbine's young, dumb and full of, um, vigor.

And, what would a 21st century superhero show be without a comely lass wearing a bippy shirt?

That'd be Maria Valentine, the show's anorexic, crimp-haired hussy. Then again, for all the dads and two-mommy families out there – not to mention older brothers and emotionally-retarded zine editors – she's a more than welcome piece of eye candy for a Saturday morning. It was admittedly kinda pathetic getting worked up over the evil Jessie on 'Pokemon'!

And, of course, it's the villains in the show that get all the good lines and moments. In fact, I can't remember one other superhero pilot – no matter how campy – that had the balls to unveil an evil, talking chihuahua bent on world domination as its lead villain. Step aside Joker, The Whelp is here!

For all of you that are aghast at the idea of children imitating Lobe Fuerte and Turbine every week, don't get your panties all in a bunch! Lobo and Co. tell kids as the credits roll – guaranteeing an audience of literally tens of viewers – that pile-driving their sister/brother/six-year-old neighbor into the dining room table isn't a good idea and even ask them to take something called the "Los Luchadores Pledge." I can't wait until FOX tries to use that in court.

Remember gang, soberbrothers.com – your pop culture outfitters – is now open for business. Inventory is a bit thin, but we're adding stuff as fast as we can!

Until next week...

Our eBay Store

The ER Blog

The Hungover Gourmet | Food, Drink, Travel, Fun

Site Meter


E-Mail Us Home Reviews Guide to Klaus Kinski Features Interviews About Contribute Contact The ER Blog