Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, we examine what our landscape might look like had something in the past gone terribly wrong.
The backstory behind 1998’s Six-String Samurai is a Russian nuclear victory over the U.S. in 1957. There aren’t many places left that can support life, but one of them is a place called Lost Vegas. Wouldn’t it figure that post-apocalypse life in America would be centered in the remnants of Sin City? The whirlwind story focuses on Buddy (Holly?) as he travels across the desert to try and become the new King of Rock and Roll, after the death of King Elvis.
Like a topping on a dessert, the soundtrack is performed by the Red Elvises, a sort of Russian rockabilly outfit you may have seen in one small Los Angeles club or another back in the mid-’90s.
Buddy’s mission sees him hindered by car trouble, cannibals, a vicious bowling team and a rival guitarist named Death in a seemingly endless series of setbacks. It’s the bowling team that scares me the most. For reasons I do not recall, I spent time in bowling alleys decades ago in southeast Texas – in the lanes, in the bars and even back where the pins were reset – and I remember the ladies league play during afternoon hours being particularly dicey times.
Anyway, no spoiler alert here – you’ll have to watch Six-String Samurai yourself to find out who claims the King’s thorny crown.
The wine pairing for Six-String Samurai could easily be the Austrian Rockabilly Riesling, but they probably haven’t gotten their container ship back, so procuring it may be a problem. Let’s look at Canada’s Nostalgia Wines and their Rockabilly Red – they also have Boogie Woogie White and Pink Cadillac, if you find yourself so taken by the marketing effort. Rockabilly Red cannot possibly be worth the $27 it costs, but hey, it has a nice label.
1979’s Mad Max began what was to become a popular and critically acclaimed franchise. The movie spawned sequels, video games and comic books – er, graphic novels. The setting is Australia, devastated by war and crippled by shortages of life’s staples. During the pandemic, some likely recalled this film as they stared at empty supermarket shelves, devoid of toilet paper, bottled water and good, moderately priced Champagne.
The story is a gritty one, detailing a former cop’s life as he wanders the Outback after avenging his family’s murder by a biker gang. Mel Gibson used his role in this film (and two sequels) to springboard to stardom.
If it’s Mad Max, you’ll want a fortified wine, preferably one from Australia. Harkham Wine sells a Mad Max vintage Port from Hunter Valley. Of course, everyone knows that you don’t call it Port unless it was made in Portugal – this is a Port-style wine. The wine is not kosher, but neither is cultural appropriation.
The Road Warrior is the name given to Mad Max 2 in the U.S. The setting stayed in the Outback, but the Western template showed our hero helping a community fight off the roving bands of bad guys. If your nickname is Mad Max, it’s a foregone conclusion that you are either a helpful road warrior or a person shouting at unseen entities on the street corner. Sometimes both.
Since we were thinking of Port, let’s have the genuine article. Warre’s Warrior Port has been in continuous production for some 270-odd years. It is British by way of Portugal, it tastes really good, and the empty bottle could come in handy if any roving bands of bad guys show up at your viewing party.