APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 7: Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (1978)

Mordecai Richler, the author who wrote the book that this Canadian kid movie is based on, sounds like the kind of name someone would get when they go to WWE or a robber baron or both.

Speaking of pro wrestling, the bad guy in this, the Hooded Fang, was once a grappler but now he runs a prison for children. Children that he hates.

Look, Canada doesn’t care if you’re a child, they’re going to destroy your brain with their demented movies.

Our hero, Jacob Two-Two, is “two plus two plus two years old, has two brothers and two sisters, and has to say everything twice just to be heard; odd numbers aren’t his thing.” Jacob doesn’t fit in at home, even adults make fun of the fact that he says things twice and soon he ends up in that aforementioned jail as when you have a lawyer named Mr. Loser, you know what to expect.

So the judge sends our protagonist to the medium house and Emma and Noah.m his siblings, show up as lawyers that strike fear into the judge’s heart. It’s too late to appeal, so they give Jacob a jewel tracking device and if he sees any children hurt in prison, he is to contact them.

Somehow, Master Fish and Mistress Fowl seem similar to the people that watched as Jacob was railroaded in a store, so Canadian kids get to learn that conspiracy is real way early. All the kids in the jail are gray and the Hooded Fang despises them all, because one kid was all it took to defeat his gimmick, taking him from frightening to funny.

Then there’s Mister Fox, who steals the jewel and has the mission to ruin toy stores. How did Canadian kids not live in mortal fear all the time? And Hooded Fang keeps trying to make Jacob afraid of him, even threatening to feed him to sharks, a fate that Emma and Noah believe has already happened.

Look, Alex Karras actually was a wrestler once. Sure, we know him as a Detroit Lion, as Mongo in Blazing Saddles and Ma’am’s husband on Webster (and in real life). But after getting suspended for betting — NFL players were not paid well at all in the early days — and went back to pro wrestling, a sport he tried before playing pro football. To get the most out of his name from football, he was booked into a feud with Dick the Bruiser, who got heat on the angle by going into Karras’ bar, the Lindell AC Bar, started badmouthing Karras and then fought nearly the entire bar, including several cops. This would not be the only time that the Bruiser caused a riot, as he turned an appearance at Madison Square Garden — teaming with the even more volatile Dr. Jerry Graham against Antonino Rocca and Édouard Carpentier — into a riot that injured 300 fans and took sixty cops to stop. It’s one of the reasons why kids under the age of 16 could not attend the Garden wrestling shows until way into the late 70s.

Richler said, “I think it was a very bad job, very very bad job.” It was remade in 1999 with Gary Busey as the Hooded Fang, Mark McKinney from The Kids In the Hall as Mr. Fish, Miranda Richardson as Miss Fowl and Ice-T as the judge. People hated that version way more than the first movie. There was also a 2003-2006 cartoon series.

The 1978 version was directed and written by Theodore J. Flicker, who also made The President’s Analyst and the TV movie Playmates.

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