When Alamo programmers Zack Carlson and Greg MacLennan heard that Jean Claude Van Damme was going to join the already stellar cast of the well-aged action stars of The Expendables 2, they knew a special celebration was warranted for its release at the Alamo Drafthouse.
"It's like a celebration of all of your favorite heroes together on the screen," explains MacLennan, who regularly hosts the Alamo 90s nostalgia series Bangarang! "The best part is that a lot of them are 50 or 60 years old, but they've still got it."
For such a momentous occasion, this couldn't just be any old Alamo party. This one needed to be so awesome it could put a fist directly through some unsuspecting dude's head who accidentally walked into the shot, do a back flip and then roundhouse a truckload of trained ninjas.
By combining the names and punctuation of their respective series — ZZANG!!! and Bangarang! — Carlson and MacLennan will birth the first ever ZZANGARANG!!! on Wednesday, August 15 at the South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse. For obvious reasons, they're naming their illegitimate offspring Van Dammage.
Celebrating the cinematic majesty of Mr. Jean Claude Van Damme himself with over 400 minutes of violence and indecipherable accents, this action-packed evening will feature a curated collection of "dudes beating the shit out of each other" in Van Damme's impressive filmography, followed by the exclusive premiere of The Expendables 2, which hits theaters nationwide two days later.
Before the all-out nostalgic hero worship begins, Carlson and Maclennan are gathering a collection of three of Van Damme's greatest masterpieces that are guaranteed to amaze and delight long-time fans of the bipolar Belgian Bloodsports-man. "It was really hard to narrow it down to just three," says MacLennan, "but I can say that not all of them have been seen in theaters before. There are a bunch of surprises that I know people are going to love."
Of course, it wouldn't be a true Alamo action movie marathon without themed food and drink specials, pre-show physical challenges and trailers from each and every one of the 72 action stars appearing in The Expendables 2.
"I'm going into [The Expendables 2] completely pure as well," MacLennan states with excitement. "But I do know that this one is going to have more balls-to-the-walls action and dismemberment. You can't have a Best Picture with all of those guys in it because they all deserve equal screen time. There's just something life-affirming and heart-warming about seeing them all together, a pure unadulterated joy from childhood that comes from watching these guys destroying each other."
In order to get the show off and running and get you back to your day jobs the next morning, the nine-hour high-fiving nostalgia party starts at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Tickets are still available, but going faster than an angry fist seeking vengeance.