Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Who Is That Guy!?": Will Walker

As Fingers in The Driver

How can you not give love to a guy who played a character nicknamed "Jism Jim"?! Seriously. This skinny, blonde, pasty-looking dude showed up in several fairly high-profile late '70s productions, but since 1979's Hardcore in which he essayed the aforementioned role, Walker's film career has been silent.  Did Walker follow the path of his Hardcore character into the world of hardcore pornography?  Who knows?  

In Hardcore, he is one of two actors to have their way with the underage daughter of strict Calvinist Jake Van Dorn (George C. Scott) in a porno short. When Van Dorn sees a reel of the offending film, he has a memorable tirade in which he moans, nearly foams at the mouth, and yells at private eye-cum-projectionist Peter Boyle, "Turn it OFF, turn it OFF!!!!"  Surely writer-director Paul Schrader did not intend this bit to be funny, but despite the seriousness of the onscreen action, some snickers are inevitable.  From this point on, Van Dorn is intent on revenge and he finally gets Walker's "Jism Jim" when he masquerades as a porn producer casting for a new film and Jim comes to audition (there's also an audition with a large black man with the ridiculous moniker, "Big Dick Blaque"). Needless to say old Jake still has some fighting moves and Jim is no match...

In addition to getting his ass kicked by a disguised George C. in Hardcore, Walker was one of a gang of hapless crooks in Walter Hill's The Driver, appeared in Deathsport and The White Buffalo, and episodes of Baretta, Starsky and Hutch, Emergency!. Anyone know what Walker is up to today? 


Dean Treadway said...

HARDCORE does have some strangely funny moments all throughout...Scott and Dick Sargeant seem to have walked into another movie (which, of course, their calvinist characters certainly did). Peter Boyle and Season Hubley, especially, are quite lively in it, and all the supporting perfs--especially during the audition scenes--are really fun. Good post!

Ned Merrill said...

Yes, this is a movie that seems to want to condemn the porn industry while also reveling in the sleaze and making the moral crusaders look foolish. This is one to enjoy more for the all the now-vanished '70s details, the pre-AIDS attitudes, and the fact that Hollywood would never today make a film that contains so much matter-of-fact depictions of the sex industry and the griminess and "neon slime" around it. A good double-bill with the excellent VICE SQUAD also starring Ms. Hubley, as underrated an actress as you will find.