Monday, 27 October 2008

Dalton Trebeck: The Early Films

You may wish to know about Dalton Trebeck's early years. While there are biographical details available, date of birth, early jobs, they are unfulfilling. I would like to imagine Mr Trebeck born moments before entering the cinema as a full-grown action star.

Yet there are early films, before he made his name and entered the mainstream in the urban crime trilogy: Bullet In My Brother's Gut, Swimming From Nicaragua and Burn My Hated Demon's Heart, made by the producer/director Jummy "Sphinx-boy" Rainer, who would then go onto make the Dalton mega-hit Die Hard riffs Head Rush (hospital siege, no guns, just fighting and inventive use of drugs, more John Carpenter influenced than Die Hard) and Spine (NASA and terrorists, killer satellites, surprisingly tense and emotive). Hack Dick Freeburn made Totem, the Die Hard on an Indian reservation (yes the finale was in a Indian burial ground). It was during the shooting of that film that Jummy Rainer, prepping the yet unnamed Dalton 3-d Ghost movie, died in a car crash.

It was never the same after that. Spook-Game was the name of the ghost film, was not in 3-D, was heavily re-written to have a serial killer sub-plot (post-Seven craze) that made no sense with the ghost aspect. There were also a lot of spies and it was a horrible mess. Dalton avoided publicising it nor was interested in making a film for two years after that bomb, returning to a few lacklustre action films, such as Gem (jail thief film obviously, but had yet another serial killer), Switch The Ditch (bank heist, double crosses, felt DTV) and Dial D For Detonation, a bomb squad film without suspense (If Dalton is looking at two wires, you think he's going to chose the wrong one? There are five of those scenes.) The bomb squad film, his publicised come-back, was such a disaster that it was all over for Dalton theatrically. This was the first film that Gabriel Van Dyke and Dirk Michael Wheatley appeared, as his buddies. So he went to Japan.

So there are a few early films where he was not the star, made before he was plucked to be brute Sean Santiago in Bullet In My Brother's Gut.

The first one was a vampire henchman in a low-budget, for many years unreleased Cannon flick Hunger Slash, a honest to goodness made in Israeli lesbo vampire flick. Yes, this was so bad that even Cannon wouldn't release it, even with lesbian sex scenes. It was meant to be Europe but no-one tried to hide that it was shot in Israel. You watch it kind of hoping that someone points out that the main vampire is obviously Jewish and try and make that old testament aspect interesting, bring in some Palestinians and Muslim faith but no such luck. She's meant to be a good Catholic girl, seducing many people of various genders for no explained reason. Dalton has the David Bowie part but doesn't die apparently. He simply is there and then is not in the second half. Must have died off-screen.

During the making of this film he was spotted as something interesting by Cannon and placed as second lead in the Delta Force rip off SEAL Squad, a film not as bad as Navy Seals. (Yes, Cannon would rip-off their own movies). His natural charisma dominated the alleged star Jonathon Likie and the film was a minor hit on video, is always on late-night TV.

Next came the Cannon Charles Bronson flick Domino Twelve, where he was the doomed partner, dying at minute twenty. He had three scenes but there met Jummy, who was the writer. Jummy hated Bronson, saw Dalton as a star in the making, and on that film vowed to make a film with Dalton as the lead.

The funding was raised while Dalton played a doomed boxer in Euro-pudding Box For Glory. Dalton plays the supposed villain who drops dead in the ring at the end, ruining the hero's chance at glory. The lead was some Irish git that no-one remembers. It was an awful film. It could have ruined Dalton if the funding hadn't been raised for Bullet In My Brother's Gut.

During this time Dalton also did a small role in an unreleased and reportedly unfinished Godard film Spring Notre, a film about crooked elections. Apparently Godard called Dalton "a very nice man."

That is all that there is to say about the early years of one Dalton Trebeck.

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