Posts Tagged ‘movie’

Without further ado, here is the official theatrical trailer for Spandex Sapiens, the movie about Yours Truly that comes out in Finnkino theaters nationwide on June 17 in Finland.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for a huge feature article on the movie and myself, appearing soon in Finland’s largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, and there will also be a separate video segment with me on their website.

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Be sure to go out and see the movie on the premiere week!  Let’s make history in the Nordics, and from here, spread it to the rest of the world!

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For over a century now, professional wrestling has given spectators and fans worldwide a platform to voice their opinions and choose their idols and heroes, and conversely, choose their villains and anti-heroes.

For anyone who has ever seen the A&E channel’s “The Unreal Story of Pro Wrestling” piece from the late-’90s, there is a quote in there about the psychological impact of pro wrestling as a catharsis for the average person in modern society, offering a conduit to purge the soul through the role of the “face” or “heel” counterparts in any given wrestling match.  Pro wrestling is the last bastion of living folklore in a world that has arguably forgotten their heritage and roots, especially in the day and age of multi-culturalism, TV and film.

In pro wrestling, the viewer or fan is compelled to pick a side, living vicariously through the protagonist as they battle against the antagonist, and thereby being able to dispel any possible antipathies or angst that they might have.  It’s one of the last, great open forums of unconstrained and uncensored debate in today’s increasingly politically correct environment, where free speech is being drawn back and slowly, but surely, eradicated.

World culture and the media slant these days pushes the message hard that we must all be tolerant and “just get along”, as has been seen in Europe of late with the mass influx of refugees flooding the continent, along with current hot topics, such as transgender toilets in public schools and other institutions.  This same pitch has also crossed moral and ethical boundaries, with the gay rights and LGBT movement aggressively moving forward through Hollywood and TV culture at large, where formerly-noted minority groups are now not only given a regular platform, but they are pushed into the faces of everyone at large, whether you agree with it or not.  And you, regardless of your personal beliefs, are supposed to simply stand there and “accept” it.  Be tolerant.  Silently agree.  But don’t you dare publicly disagree!  Because if you do, the masses, who have largely been programmed by the media at large to think a certain way, will blackball you and ruin your good name!  Yeah, this is the paranoia and spirit of the day that we have arrived at.  People are damn afraid to speak anything that isn’t in line with the generally-accepted thought of the day.

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Jessica Love, seen here, representing the transgender community at Helsinki Pride

The great thing about pro wrestling is that we all don’t have to simply “just get along”.  No, if you have a differing opinion than the person sitting next to you, you are free to voice that opinion loud and proud.  You can boo and cheer who you want!  You can freely choose a side to stand on.  Whatever resonates with your values system, you can pick that side and roll with it.  Let the warring parties fight it out in the ring and back whichever one tickles your fancy!

The “babyface”, or “face”, has traditionally been the good guy in pro wrestling jargon.  They represent the noble, honorable virtues and morals held to be true.  The “heels”, on the other hand, represent the bad guys.  They have traditionally been the unscrupulous bastards, who are only in business for themselves and they use the collective sentiment of the given day as their personal roll of toilet paper.

Now, all this brings me to a promo that I held yesterday at Helsinki’s Pressa Club during FCF Wrestling’s Wrestling Show Live! event, after transgender fan favorite Jessica Love and Finnish wrestling veteran Stark Adder proved victorious in a tag team outing.  I took the mic and proceeded to cut a verbal message to Jessica Love, who is my counterpart in just about every conceivable way, and also happens to be my main antagonist in this summer’s theater release of Spandex Sapiens, the movie about my life and pro wrestling travels around the globe.  While Spandex Sapiens is not a wrestling movie in and of itself, showcasing a much wider array of topics and meat on the bone besides pro wrestling, it does serve as a very open platform over the polarizing discussion of modern, overt liberalism vs. old school, conservative values.

StarBuck promo by Marko Simonen

My controversial promo at Wrestling Show Live! yesterday (photo: http://www.markosimonen.com)

This morning, when I opened my Facebook, I saw a private message for a certain wrestling fan asking why I opted to go heel yesterday.  I simply sat back, amused at this estimation.

Since when did standing for traditional values become a negative thing and something to be frowned upon?  Since when did being a real man, in the most traditional sense – standing for solid, unmoving principles – become a heelish thing to do?  Maybe I’m the one missing the boat here, but I just don’t get it.

I have not changed my views, opinions or message during my entire pro wrestling and media career.  Since 1999, when I first began getting media exposure to a larger degree, I have kept the same image and approach, regardless of what has been “in”, “hip” or “pop” at any given period in time.  I have stemmed the tide, stayed the course, and been consistent.  I have not wavered or changed my tune because of deriding opinions or attacks on my character.  Even back in 2006, when my Stoner Kings band released our Fuck The World album, I/we got blasted by certain medias and people, who completely shat all over our piece of business, but even then, I stood my ground and stood tall.  Nothing has changed.  In my estimation, this the measure of a man.  Say what you mean, and mean what you say.  Stand for what you believe in, regardless of who is against you or whatever is the popular consent of the day.

Spandex Sapiens horse

In the last Rambo movie from 2008, Sly Stallone’s John Rambo character summed up the message of the film in one, single, iconic line: “Die for nothing, or live for something.”

Me personally, I have done just that.  I have stood for traditional, masculine values in an ever-changing world and vastly convoluted age.  I have offered the iconic view of masculine forte, for better or worse.  It’s been the kind of prototype that kids could look up to, as I have heard several parents attest to.  I believe the man is the head of the household, the one that leads the dance with the girl, the one that takes charge and carries his own responsibility and stands like a rock for what he believes in.  Take it or leave it!  I make no apology.

So therefore, I come back to my promo regarding Jessica Love and the theater debut of my story, Spandex Sapiens, on June 17 this summer across Finland and Sweden.  Yeah, right up here in this neck of the woods, where PC thought reigns supreme and the gospel of tolerance of all kinds is espoused over and beyond reason.  And I find it peculiar, that my movie comes out just before Pride Week in Finland, where the exact demographic that “heels” on my kind of beliefs and traditional values will have it’s annual day in the sun.

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Jessica Love represents everything that Pride Week is about.  Jessica is the perfect posterboy/girl/person for the LGBT community and exudes the liberal sentiment of our current state of society, especially here in the Nordics.  In pro wrestling, especially for fans in the southern, capital region of Finland, along with a plethora of Swedes in cities like Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm, all find Jessica Love to be a sympathetic “babyface” to rally behind.  Indeed, you would be hard-pressed to find a more complete opposite of myself than Jessica Love.

So this summer, take a stand.  Choose a side!  If you believe in the man being the head of the house, and still believe that a man must be king in his own home, leading the charge and taking responsibility, standing where others fall, then I welcome you to my side.  Stand with me and represent classic, traditional masculinity!  If the Russel Crowe movie The Gladiator rang bell with you, then my call goes out to you!

If you vehemently oppose my train of thought or simply cannot stomach traditional societal roles, then I welcome you to join the opposing side with Jessica Love, where the colors of the rainbow shine brightly.

If being a real man in the classic, iconic, traditional sense makes StarBuck a heel, then so be it.  I have no misgivings and no regrets.

Get your tickets to Spandex Sapiens around the country at Finnkino theates HERE.  It all starts on June 17!!!

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On Friday, June 17, the day that Spandex Sapiens hits Finnkino movie theaters across Finland, there will also be a huge pro wrestling one day festival outdoors in downtown Helsinki in front of Tennispalatsi Finnkino theater.  Matches will start at 12:00 noon, with a series of three matches at the top of every hour, until 20:00 when the main event and apropo theme of the Spandex Sapiens movie takes place, as I wrestle against Jessica Love in the last slot of this eight-hour-plus action extravaganza!  Plus, remember folks, outdoors it’ll be free to the public!

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StarBuck vs. Jessica Love — LIVE on June 17 outdoors in Helsinki at Tennispalatsi @ 20:00

There is history in the making here in Finland currently, as we speak.  A very ambitious effort is underway, in the form of a film project named Rendel, which will be the first-ever Finnish superhero movie and in the same breath, the first-ever action movie out of this country also!

Slated for a late 2016/early 2017 pending theater release, Rendel is the vision of writer/director/producer Jesse Haaja, who heads up an advertising agency named Haaja & Arwo Design Ltd. out of the city of Mikkeli.

StarBuck Rendel movie

I was signed for a key role in Rendel, after being approached by Haaja to play the part of a Russian mercenary, who is enlisted in the film to snub out the lead hero.  The filming of the movie is in its final stages now, and one week ago, I traveled up to Kajaani to lay down my parts in the film.  I have to say that I had an absolute blast, especially doing the fight scenes, which were a breeze to pull off!

I really believe that movie goers will be totally blown away by the visual dynamics in Rendel, as Jesse Haaja has assembled some of the most talented people in the Finnish film industry to collaborate with on this landmark project.  The genius of the camera angles, the cuts and the color scheme of the movie is on par with anything out of Hollywood from the same superhero genre, if not better and more intriguing.  Take a look at some of these movie stills from the production process by photographer Juuli Aschan to better understand what to expect…

The one thing that I really have to credit Jesse Haaja and the other producers of Rendel for is the fact that they chose to cast a completely new set of faces for the line-up of this movie, in lieu of the same old names that seem to pop up in nearly every Finnish movie that comes out.  Haaja and Co. went after new talents, people like myself, Renne Korppila, Sami Huhtala, Kris Gummerus and Rami Rusinen, in addition to newer international faces like Bianca Bradey of Australia, Sheila Shah from the USA and Johnny Vivash from Ireland.

Take a look at this stunning teaser trailer for the movie and try to hold your breath in wait afterward!

After over six years since the initial shooting began for the trek that would become my story on the silver screen, Spandex Sapiens finally had it’s grand world premiere in Helsinki this past Thursday!  And to be honest, what better place to hold the premiere than here in Finland, as the movie was funded with Finnish money and tells a tale about the pioneer of Finnish pro wrestling?  Rather apropos. I would wager to say!

Today, I heard the good news that Spandex Sapiens had won the “Audience Favorite Award” at this year’s Night Visions film festival in Helsinki, which ends today.  People genuinely seemed to be touched, moved or otherwise stirred by the movie, as I was witness to myself this past Thursday night, as I shook hands with movie goers after the premiere.

Having now seen the movie myself on the big screen, I must say that it truly is a powerful piece of cinema.  Several people have told me the same thing, “It was much better than I initially expected”, which, after so long of a time in the making and having so much money put into it, shouldn’t be too much of a shock.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

I was especially proud to stand at the end of the movie, on stage with the producers, my family and a host of FCF wrestlers, for an open Q&A about the film itself.  Viewers presented a plethora of questions, and one that that was directed toward my father, Taimo, specifically had an impact on me.  Or moreso, my father’s answer to the question presented stirred me, as he said: “Michael said at one point that he wanted to become a role model for the young boys and teenagers of today.  Not some ambiguous figure who wants to be half male and half female, but a true embodiment of solid masculinity.”

That statement, in and of itself, also spoke volumes of the movie itself, and the impact of my personality and character in the film.  I was truly humbled to receive such high adulation from my own Dad in front of a host of strangers, acquaintances and friends alike.  It felt like I had done something right in my life, especially the following day afterward. when I ran into an online article about a 100% increase in gender role confusion amongst today’s children.

All that said, I have seen a clear change in the social consciousness of our modern age, where the lines of clear gender roles are being stealthily erased.  It is no longer accepted to call a spade a spade, or to have clear, dauntless black and white principles.  The world has become a melting pot of grays, or perhaps thought otherwise, a mixture of all of the colors of the rainbow, as it were.  Solid absolutes are being done away with, as people look to justify everything about their lives through relativism.  The only problem is that when absolute truth is done away with, the foundation of one’s society ultimately crumbles.  So there you have it, my brief moment of social commentary in the midst of this milestone of celebration.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

On the night of the movie premiere, following the Q&A, we had an afterparty wrestling show at Gloria Cultural Arena in Helsinki, where I faced my counterpart from the Spandex Sapiens film, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love.  It was a damn good match, too, which was building to a classic, when the Musta Aukko (Black Hole) contingent of King Kong Karhula, “Executioner” Petrov, their manager Mr. Tapaturma and female cohort Julia Kyy all interfered.  As the heels beat down Jessica and I, Karhula took the mic directly thereafter and spouted something about being sick and tired of seeing my face in the spotlight, and in addition, having no regard for Jessica Love, who Karhula boasted he had beaten to a pulp on countless occasions.  Karhula blasted that now was his time, and that didn’t seem to sit all too well with his teammates.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

Jessica and I took advantage of the confusion amongst our foes’ ranks and laced into them with a counter assault, sending them out of the ring.  I stepped up to the proverbial plate and challenged Petrov and Karhula to a tag team match right then and there against Jessica and myself, to which they eagerly accepted.  What followed was a donnybrook that saw Jessica Love pin King Kong Karhula with a double-arm DDT after a timely superkick assist from Yours Truly.  We put aside personal, philosophical differences to fight a common enemy and we came out on the winning end, which brings to mind something I have long held to be true: “I don’t have to like you to be able to do business with you.”

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

FCF afterparty wrestling show at Gloria, Helsinki, Finland.

Spandex Sapiens’ world premiere was just the beginning.  From here, the film is sure to hit various international film festival stages and then get an official theater distribution release in Finland, come the spring of 2016!

All photos by Marko Simonenwww.markosimonen.com

What a ride it’s been!  Over the past six years, since the summer of 2009 to be exact, film producer Oskari Pastila (whose last film was the acclaimed Knucklebonehead in 2013) has been busy shooting my story, which he entitled Spandex Sapiens.

Spandex Sapiens movie banner

Originally carrying the working title Babyface, Oskari went for more of a Marvel Comics approach and thus dubbed the work Spandex Sapiens.  We’ve been filming as far away as Japan on a couple of occasions, in addition to Germany, Sweden, The Bahamas, USA and even footage from Romania, in addition to Finland.  This thing has been shot on three different continents, for Pete’s sake!

My movie rival, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, looks on at the filmed segments between takes with writer ilja Rautsi and director Oskari Pastila.

My movie rival, transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, looks on at the filmed segments between takes with writer ilja Rautsi and director Oskari Pastila.

Now, after much delay and much wait, the official world premiere of the movie is at hand on Thursday, November 5 in Helsinki, as part of the Night Visions Film Festival for 2015, slated for a showtime of 17:45 at Maxim theater (located at Kluuvikatu 1, Helsinki).

It’s been quite a journey!  One that features a tale of love lost and love found, falling out with one girlfriend only for me to find the girl that would become my wife.  It features a scintillating theme of Yours Truly, as the prototypical throwback to the conservative retro kind of caveman from yesterday vs. the all-accepting, liberal values of my antagonist counterpart in the movie, Europe’s only transsexual wrestler, Jessica Love.  It also features the price of the path less traveled by the lone wolf, who makes a way where there is no way, to create a legacy.

Sound engineer Svante Colerus puts the final touches on Spandex Sapiens.

Sound engineer Svante Colerus puts the final touches on Spandex Sapiens.

In short, Spandex Sapiens has a lot of meat on the bone, and something on tap that will touch every viewer in some way.  This movie is not politically correct, nor does it pander to the prevalent social conscience of our modern day.  It’s a film that will divide viewers straight down the middle.  You’ll either love it, or you’ll hate it, simply due to the vivid clash of values that are presented in the film.  I am sure the critics will have a field day with this one!

Mark the date down in your calendars, folks.  November 5, 2015 – the world premiere of Spandex Sapiens!

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On the same night, as an afterparty for the movie, FCF Wrestling and Night Visions will feature the Spandex Sapiens Afterparty & Wrestling Show at Cultural Arena Gloria in downtown Helsinki, with a showtime of 21:00.  I will be grappling against Jessica Love on that show, in honor of the main theme in the movie.  Also on the card, a plethora of other top matches, and fans who bought a movie ticket to the film premiere the same night get 5 Euros off of the ticket price at the afterparty wrestling show.

The past couple of weekends have been great wrestling extravaganzas here in Finland, featuring strong cards of internationally-flavored excitement and action.

On October 3 in the western coastal city of Rauma, I wrestled the UK’s top grappler Doug Williams (ex-TNA/ROH/NOAH star) in a truly classic, catch-as-catch can pro showdown between two vets of the game.  I have to say, that I heartily enjoyed working against the ultra-talented Doug Williams, who is without question one of the premiere talents in Europe today in all of professional wrestling.  Our match was technical, complex and very trying.  In the end, Williams beat me fair and square, hitting his “Bombs Away” top rope kneedrop on me for the pinfall win, as I failed to kick out before the fatal three-count.  I have no qualms in losing to a man the caliber of Williams, as this match could have gone either way, but on this night, Doug walked away with the victory and all my respect goes out to the man as a stellar athlete in our game.  Check out these stellar pics of the match taken by FightSport magazine photographer, Marko Simonen!

StarBuck vs. Doug Williams StarBuck vs. Doug Williams StarBuck vs. Doug Williams StarBuck vs. Doug Williams StarBuck vs. Doug Williams

This past weekend on October 9 in the city of Lahti, FCF Wrestling featured the official warm-up for the 2015 edition of the gigantic Nordic Fitness Expo, with a night of wrestling action at Ace Corner Finland.  The motorcycle-themed restaurant setting was a truly special and unique, intimate place to hold the gig, as the spirit of Americana was alive and well in the confines of Ace Corner, which is part of the Finnish Motorcycle Museum (unique in the world, featuring the only Harley-Davidson ever produced in Japan, the Rikuo model from the first World War era).  At this event, I was scheduled to face The Beast from Sweden, who is the reigning Swedish pro wrestling champion, a man whom I trained earlier this year.  However, The Beast pulled out of our match – a true low blow – refusing to defend his title against me in our scheduled match, citing supposed restraints imposed on him by his sports supplement sponsor.  In his stead, Gothenburg’s Steinbolt came to Lahti to face me in a Sweden vs. Finland encounter, which was spirited to say the least!  After Steinbolt trash-talked the Finnish people and downplayed our country in a pre-match promo, I promised to make him scream for his life and tap out.  And tap out is what he did, after I finally managed to lock him into a sharpshooter, after I thwarted his dropkick off the second rope, and thus I was able to pay homage to another great Canadian wrestling hero, Bret “Hitman” Hart.

StarBuck battles Steinbolt in Lahti in a battle of Finland vs. Sweden!

StarBuck battles Steinbolt in Lahti in a battle of Finland vs. Sweden!

I have to say that I am truly excited about the next Finnish wrestling event, upcoming on Thursday evening, November 5 in Helsinki.  This special weekday gig will be in conjunction with the world premiere of the Spandex Sapiens documentary drama movie, telling of my wrestling career and persona.  This movie has been five years in the making, filmed on three different continents, across seven countries, and finally it is here.  After much delay, the Night Visions movie festival in Helsinki will feature this slamming world premiere on the evening of November 5, after which the Spandex Sapiens Afterparty & Wrestling Show will take place at Gloria Cultural Arena in Helsinki.

Night Visions 2015 poster by StarBuck

By the way, the artwork on this year’s Night Visions poster was done by me!

In the Spandex Sapiens film, my main counterpart and antagonist is Finnish transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, who represents the liberal, free-thinking spirit of our modern age, while I represent the traditional role of conservative masculinity and black and white absolutes.  It’s a major clash of ideals and values, in addition to personas, as Spandex Sapiens is set to really rattle a few cages and I am sure that the critics will have a field day with the powerful viewpoints expressed herein.  But hey, it doesn’t matter what they say about you, as long as they get the name right!  On the evening of November 5 as the wrestling action heats up at Gloria Cultural Arena, Yours Truly battles it out one more time with Jessica Love to honor the elements of the movie itself.  Make plans to be there for this historical evening!

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This autumn, the 28th installment of the annual Love & Anarchy film festival will be held in Helsinki, Finland between September 17-27. Love & Anarchy film poster I was asked to be one of the actors in the superhero spoof film trailer/mini-movie for the festival, which you can see in the video below.  My character is like a cross between He-Man and Mad Max, named Muscleman!