Henry Thomas: Footloose and Fancy-free


[photographic evidence coming soon]

Hitting a Henry Thomas dry-spell is a terrible, terrible thing. I was shaking in my boots, considering he hadn't appeared in a movie since January of 1996. Had little Lone Star dropped off the face of the earth? Was the end of my Hank worshipping days drawing near? Of course not. Somehow I've been blessed with keen luck concerning the on-screen performances of my muse.

Oh, Henry'd been busy all right. Busy making low-budget videos for his band, The Blue Heelers, and popping-up on local cable access shows. I'd been tipped off by a couple Texans that Henry could be found on the Austin airwaves. It no time at all, a videotape containing the evidence was in my hot little hands.

I'm guessing that you're familiar with the structure of the typical cable access show-random shots, talking with people you don't know or care to know, jokes that fall flat, zany non sequiturs-stuff like that. "The Hondo Show" easily falls into this category. I must admit I didn't really watch the full half-hour, I just paused on the H.T. bits interspersed throughout. What I figure the deal to be is a party at someone's apartment and Henry happens to be one of the guests in attendance. The camera butts into various groups of people and drunken conversation is exchanged. Some girl does a sparkling Fran Dresher impersonation, tattoos and navel rings are exposed for the camera, and then there's Hank and co. on a porch.

Truth is stranger than fiction. All my worst fears were confirmed in a mere matter of minutes; Hank Thomas Jr. is a grade A tard. No character he's ever portrayed, however creepy or demented, prepared me for reality. I think I'm still suffering from the aftershock. Watching the tape makes me physically ill. It's impossible to show it to friends for more than ten seconds before my hand involuntarily hits the stop button.

All that really happens is some inebriated banter amongst Henry and a couple frat-boy pals. Granted, I'm probably about as funny as a rubber crutch when I've had a few too many, but I don't pull out a cell phone and make pretend calls To David Geffen, go on and on about Copenhagen chew, sing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in a falsetto, get giggly talking about "mammaries" (though I do have a frightening knack for peppering the conversation with various word combinations using the term "pussy") and being generally unfunny. O.k. none of that is a crime, but it's not the prettiest sight either.

The sad thing is that even if Henry kept his mouth shut or I'd muted the tv, there would still be his personal appearance to account for. All along I've been attributing his poor sense of style to the movies he's been in or the characters he's portrayed. Now I know that Henry's not acting, he really looks like that, or even worse than that. I can appreciate the whole anti-fashion sentiment, but this doesn't appear to be a conscious decision. Though it was Hank's un-Hollywoodness that got me in the first place, this is a hard pill to swallow. It's fine and dandy to be casual, especially in a party situation. But casual doesn't equal homely-fuck-up-from-1987. Listen to that, I can't believe I just called my boy a homely fuck-up.

I suppose this is the part where I'm supposed to admit defeat, see the error of my ways and move on with my life. Right. If you think that one gruesome video is all it takes to shut me up, you're nuts! If anything I'm even more determined to find all there is to know about that rapscallion, Henry Thomas. If he'd just be civil and acknowledge me in even the tiniest way, (like sending a 20 postcard with "I hate you" scrawled across the back) I might consider giving up. But as long as he's a dork (I love ugly dorks) who won't stop making bad movies (I love bad movies) I'm going to do my best to dig up the dirt and fight the good fight I will continue to use tired cliches until Henry admits what a fool he's been.


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