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The 411 Douchebag of the Week: The I Come in Peace Christmas Edition

December 24, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
I Come in Peace

The 411mania Douchebag of the Week

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The 411 Douchebag of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.

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I Come in Peace, also known as Dark Angel, is a lowish budget sci-fi action flick starring Dolph Lundgren that hit movie theaters in the United States in late September 1990. Directed by Craig R. Baxley, a stunt-coordinator turned movie director (before I Come in Peace he directed the classic Action Jackson starring Carl Weathers and, of course, after I Come in Peace he made the also classic Stone Cold starring Brian Bosworth), I Come in Peace was not a hit at the theatrical box office. According to Wikipedia, the movie made around $4.5 million, which was slightly less than its $5-$7 million production budget. On home video, though, the movie was a hit, as it was everywhere (it was also on cable quite a bit. The Movie Channel played the movie constantly back in the day). Home video is where I first saw the movie, renting it from a now very long gone video store on Long Island. I loved the movie immediately, believing then that it was a classic sci-fi action flick starring Frank Castle, the Punisher. I wasn’t too enamored with the love story between Lundgren’s Jack Caine and medical examiner Diane Pallone (Betsy Brantley), but the movie was chock full of action, explosions, shootouts, and it had a gigantic alien drug dealer named Talec (the immortal Mathias Hues) that stole people’s endorphins from their brains and had a handgun that could blow up a car with one shot. How was I going to hate I Come in Peace with those elements at play? It was never going to happen.

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For years, I Come in Peace was unavailable on Region 1 DVD. The movie was eventually released by MGM Classics Collection on a manufactured-on-demand DVD and then, in 2013, via Shout! Factory’s Scream Factory label on Blu-ray. However, both of those home video releases were under the movie’s Dark Angel title. As far as I know, I Come in Peace as I Come in Peace has never been released on home video beyond the VHS and Laserdisc releases from the early 1990’s. And that’s a damn shame because, to me, I Come in Peace is an awesome movie title, maybe one of the best ever. It’s insane to me that it’s never been released under the I Come in Peace title. It still shows up on TV every so often under the I Come in Peace title, but it’s also been on TV under its Dark Angel name, too. I don’t know if I’m in the minority on this but, again, I Come in Peace is the better title, and that’s the one it should always appear under.

Basically, I Come in Peace is about a badass Houston cop, Lundgren’s Jack Caine, who teams up with a nerdy but resourceful FBI agent named Larry Smith (Dream On’s Brian Benben) to take on a local drug gang called the White Boys (the White Boys are sort of yuppie assholes who deal drugs and kill people with machine guns while wearing 3-piece suits. You know, they’re classy drug dealing assholes). However, in the midst of doing that, an alien drug dealer shows up (that’s the Mathias Hues character) to attack people and steal their endorphins using a sophisticated wrist spike thing. An alien cop called Azeck and played by basketball player Jay Bilas also shows up to take out Mathias Hues. So Caine and Smith end up taking on both drug dealing outfits, with massive damage and carnage ensuing. And while all of that is going on, the FBI is looking into capturing either one of the aliens or the alien technology so it can be used for new weapons systems and research and shit. You know, the thing that the government always wants to do when aliens show up. Take their shit and use it to, maybe, one day, use it to blow shit up.

I Come in Peace is also a Christmas movie, as it takes place at Christmas, continuing the fine tradition of having action movies take place at Christmas for some reason (perhaps it’s meant to be funny that, at a time when people are supposed to be enjoying peace and harmony and whatnot because of Santa and Jesus’ birthday, they’re killing one another and blowing stuff up and whatnot). I always thought it was weird that I Come in Peace takes place at Christmas because it seems so arbitrary, but then, again, it is an action movie in the wake of Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, so having it take place at Christmas is sort of expected. You know, it’s just what you did back then.

So who is the top I Come in Peace douchebag? Read on to find out!

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The 411mania Douchebag of the Week: The I Come in Peace Christmas Edition

But first, this week’s honorable mentions:

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Special Agent Larry Smith: As played by Brian Benben, Agent Smith is an uptight, smarmy, by-the-book FBI agent who can’t stand not playing things by the book. Agent Smith is also incredibly deferential to his boss, Inspector Switzer. He’s constantly quoting “the Switzer manual,” which is allegedly a real thing that FBI agents can read and internalize if they choose to. When he meets Jack Caine, he thinks Caine is a scumbum idiot and lazy cop who refuses to follow any rules. Caine isn’t an idiot but, yeah, he’s a bit of a scumbum cop and he does play by his own rules. Anyway, as the movie progresses, Agent Smith seems to lighten up and not be so by-the-book, but it’s all sort of a ruse because, in the end, he’s working for Inspector Switzer and he’s all about getting Switzer access to alien technology. Thankfully, Smith eventually comes around and realizes that Switzer is a douchebag piece of shit (Caine told Smith to watch out for the old “breaking a few eggs to make an omelet” speech that Switzer would no doubt break out, which is exactly what Switzer did right before trying to shoot Smith dead). Benben rocks hard in this part and in this movie, and I still think it’s a shame that he didn’t get more buddy cop action movie stuff to do back in the 1990’s. Those movies were still getting made then.

Warren: As played by the great Sam Anderson, Warren is one of the leaders of the White Boys drug gang. He’s an unrepentant sack of crap that revels in the practice of making money and making a profit while selling drugs and whatever else the White Boys are invested in (I’m assuming that they have legitimate business interests since they work out of a high rise in downtown Houston. I seriously doubt that they’re openly running a drug dealing scheme out of a big building in a major city. That’s just asking for undue scrutiny). His biggest worry, though? That the carpet in the boardroom might get ruined if someone is shot dead on it. I guess blood is hard to get out of carpets like the one in the boardroom. Of course, he could just get a new carpet for the room in the event something like that happened, but then he seems to be cheap, too. Yes, yes, I know, it’s not good business to spend money you don’t have to, but with the kind of kickass cars that are outside the building, I doubt that having a new carpet installed in the boardroom is that big of an expense.

I’m pretty sure Warren also signed off on the “blowing up the police building with the evidence room” scheme that opens the movie. Blowing up a building with a bunch of cops and other people in it is not cool at all. It’s messed up bullshit.

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Victor Manning: As played by the great Howard Sherman (he started going by Sherman Howard by the time he made I Come in Peace, but, to me, he’ll always be Howard Sherman, “Bub,” from George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead), Victor Manning is the smarmy White Boys leader that’s talking with Caine’s partner Ray (Alex Morris) during the big hooha undercover drug sting operation inside the night club at the beginning of the movie. Manning is all about education and what sort of standing education can give you in society right before he orders his men to shot Ray dead because he knows that Ray is a cop. And then, later in the movie, he sends Caine a photo of himself in Rio surrounded by topless women with the message “I wish you were dead.” What a douchebag.

I wonder if a sequel had been made immediately if it would have had Caine heading to Rio to take out Manning (of course, a new alien drug dealer would have shown up there, too, to fight Caine and kill people to steal their endorphins, etc.).

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Talec- the Bad Alien: As played by the immortal Mathias Hues, Talec is an alien drug dealer that kills humans so he can take their endorphins. He uses heroin to make his human victims high, then jams a spike device into his or her forehead to take what he wants. He also has a gun that can blow up a car with one shot and a metal disc thing that looks like a CD but is, in reality, a weaponized super magnet that is attracted to the electrical charge inside a human body. And while he’s causing all sorts of carnage and killing people he keeps saying, over and over again, “I come in peace!” What nonsense. Talec doesn’t come in peace at all. Killing people and blowing shit up are not the actions of a peaceful being.

I love Hues in this movie and in this part. I hope that the sequel that gets mentioned every so often actually happens one day so Hues can get a chance to play a drug dealing alien again. It’s what the world needs it.

And finally, this week’s 411 Douchebag of the Week: I Come in Peace Christmas Edition goes to

Douchebag

IComeinPeaceInspectorSwitzer

Inspector Switzer: As played by David Ackroyd, Inspector Switzer is exactly the kind of “fed” that everyone hates, and for good reason. The man just oozes smarm and arrogance, actually walking around and telling people that his job is “to know things.” He enjoys wielding his apparent big deal position in the FBI, and he has that fucking “Switzer manual” that Agent Smith talks about constantly. Is Switzer really that good of an agent to have his own manual on how to be a top notch FBI agent? I doubt it. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Switzer got to his position in the bureau by being a cutthroat asshole and ass kisser. He also apparently has connections to people in the military technology world, which is never a good thing. I mean, how often do feds, in search of alien technology, turn out to be good guys?

And then there’s the whole “can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs” speech. It’s horrible, it’s mean-spirited, and it’s a massive fucking cliché. And then on top of that, Switzer was actually going to shoot dead Agent Smith, the guy that brought him the alien gun and likely gave him the info on where the alien disc weapon was being held. What kind of fucking douchebag tries to kill the one person that gives him what he needs and wants and talks up his fucking manual?

Man, I wish Caine shot Switzer in the head. That would have been great to see. Switzer would have deserved it. Fucking douchebag. Or, better yet, too bad Talec didn’t shoot him up with heroin and steal his endorphins. If there’s someone in the universe that deserves having a spike jammed into his forehead, it’s Inspector Switzer.

**

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Well, that’s Douchebag of the Week: The I Come in Peace Christmas Edition. I hope you liked it. Thanks for reading.

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