‘Ever Seen That?’ – The Shadow
Growing up, I was a gigantic Batman fan with the ’89 film being on a TV in my house constantly. Because of this, my folks would look for movies that they could sneak into the VCR without me saying “Batman?” One of these films turned out to be 1994’s The Shadow, which I absolutely love to this day.
The film is based on a radio show from the 1930s, on which the man character was actually voiced by Orson Welles. In it, we learn about the exploits of Lamont Cranston played by Alec Baldwin, who is a wealthy New Yorker that has a dark past, which allowed him to hone his ‘mind skills’ if you will.
The first 15 minutes or so of the film is a bit of an origin story for Cranston beginning in Tibet. The mind skills he’s able to tap into allows him to cloud the minds of his adversaries so that they can only see his shadow. Young me loved this film because of the similarities to The Caped Crusader I’ve already mentioned. Cool, rich guy with a dark past that beats up bad guys.
What The Shadow has that I also liked were two big ass, shiny hand cannons which he isn’t shy about using. As the aforementioned lead, Baldwin is great. He’s broody for sure, but Baldwin brings a real craziness to the role. Like…whenever The Shadow shows up to beat up the bad dudes, he seems to always let out this psychotic laugh. Like this dude knows he’s gonna fuck you up, and he’s just laughing about it.
That’s the thing about Cranston we learn early. He’s got these dark almost instincts that led him down a blood-spattered journey until he’s placed on the right track. Deep down, he’s got that villain in him – he’s just trying to use that dark place for good. Speaking of villains the ‘big bad’ is Shiwan Khan played by John Lone. He is a descendant of Genghis Khan and is looking for world domination.
The two play mind games with each other once Khan shows up in NYC, leading to a tense climax that challenges the body and mind of The Shadow. Along with a supporting cast including Penelope Ann Miller, Peter Boyle, Ian McKellen, Tim Curry, and Jonathan Winters, there really is a lot to like across the board. Add in some superb set design, costume design and music giving us a real forgotten gem from the 90s.
John Mosley is the independent wrestling and TV aficionado of the SoBros Network. He graduated from ETSU with a degree in Radio, TV and Film along with a minor in Film Studies. Since graduating he’s done pretty much nothing but watch, film, edit or commentate for local wrestling promotions and is the current color commentator for Resolute Wrestling. #Preds #Titans #DefendOrVacateConor. Follow on Twitter: @SoBroMose