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Clark: ‘Red Dawn’ shows truth is stranger than fiction

Whoever came up with the supermarket “impulse buy” had a sucker like me in mind.

I can’t stand in a checkout line without grabbing a candy bar or a tube of lip balm or another box of mints from the goodies that have been put there to tempt the weak and simple-minded.

That’s how I wound up owning a copy of “Red Dawn,” the documentary about Spokane being invaded by North Korea.

It was in a box of “previously viewed” DVDs that was located suspiciously close to my checkout line.

A few minutes later, I was $7.99 poorer and cursing my lack of willpower.

See, I made a point of boycotting “Red Dawn” when it hit the theaters late last fall, and here’s why:

While the movie is supposed to take place in Spokane, “Red Dawn” was actually filmed somewhere in Michigan.

I take civic insults like that to heart.

Then the other day I gave in. I decided that since I already own it, I might as well watch the damn thing.

And I’m glad I did. Whoever made this even-worse remake of a bad ’80s movie (the original was set in Colorado) has completely misrepresented our Spokane way of doing things.

Here are some observations I made while watching “Red Dawn” so that you can see just how screwed up this movie is.

MOVIE – It opens with kids playing football for a local team whose mascot is the Wolverines.

REALITY – It should’ve been the Cougars, but too many WSU players have been arrested to field a team.

MOVIE – A massive blackout occurs when saboteurs cut the power.

REALITY – An Avista spokesman promises to restore power just as soon as customers agree to the company’s latest outrageous rate hike.

MOVIE – Spokane citizens wake up to the sight of thousands of North Korean paratroopers floating gently down from the sky.

REALITY – The invasion turns out to be flying carpenter ants that have matured all at once due to unseasonably warm weather.

MOVIE – Enemy aircraft meet almost no resistance.

REALITY – Fairchild Air Force Base would surely mop up any invading aircraft. As long as that new casino doesn’t get built, that is. If that happens, we’re pretty much hosed.

MOVIE – The young heroes try to find out what is happening by turning on a radio.

REALITY – No matter what emergency it is, KXLY radio talk host Rick Rydell will blame liberals who are trying to grab our guns.

MOVIE – North Korean military leaders turn the football field into a prison camp.

REALITY – County Commissioner Todd Mielke quickly offers the Spokane County Raceway Park since it has more space and is rarely used.

MOVIE – “North Korea?” says one of the actors in a confused tone. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

REALITY – Actually, it makes more sense than going to Michigan to make a movie about Spokane.

MOVIE – The freedom fighters set up camp in a dark dirty cave.

REALITY – The Ridpath Hotel would be the perfect hideout since it looks like it’s already lost a war.

MOVIE – The “Wolverine” heroes steal weapons and ammo off dead enemy soldiers.

REALITY – In the event of war, I’m raiding Domini Sandwiches for pastrami and cheese.

MOVIE – The middle section of “Red Dawn” is so slow that I actually doze off for 15 minutes.

REALITY – I did the same thing once during a Council meeting.

MOVIE – The Wolverines engage in rooftop gunbattles.

REALITY – Any war in Spokane will be waged in the skywalks.

MOVIE – Soundtrack features Creedence Clearwater Revival.

REALITY – A Spokane movie without Bing Crosby is like “Celebrity Apprentice” without Donald Trump.

MOVIE – Enemy forces take over the Spokane police station.

REALITY – The Police Guild already owns the Spokane police station.

MOVIE – With North Koreans finally on the run, the Wolverines vow to keep fighting for family, freedom and the American Way.

REALITY – I say let the North Koreans take over if they’ll promise to get all the potholes filled.

Doug Clarkcan be reached at (509) 459-5432 ordougc@spokesman.com.


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