Ahh, William Shatner.
Perhaps you know him as the charming-yet-cunning white supremacist in The Intruder (aka Shame), B-movie director Roger Corman’s only “serious” film that tackled racism and integration in the South.
Or maybe you recognize him as the ne’er-do-well who falls head-over-heels in love with a succubus in Incubus, the only full-length feature film ever shot in the artificial language of Esperanto.
During an impressive career that spans nearly six decades, the 77-year-old Canadian-born actor has also withstood The Devil’s Rain, suffered a Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, faced his own worst enemy in White Comanche, survived a visit to The Kingdom of the Spiders, upstaged James Spader in Boston Legal, swept crime off the streets of L.A. in T.J. Hooker, and made sweet, sweet love to Big Bad Mama.
And, oh yes, he also played some guy named James T. Kirk.
Angelenos have two upcoming opportunities to bask in Shatner’s glory.
First, the Shat will be signing copies of his latest memoir Up Till Now: The Autobiography at Book Soup this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. As might be expected, the book digs into Shatner’s lengthy career, but it also explores his personal ups and downs, including the horrific death of his third wife in 1999.
Then, for Memorial Day weekend, Machine Project is presenting what may very well be the most exciting and important cultural event to occur in Los Angeles’ 227-year-old history. For two days, Machine Project will loop Khaaaaaan!, a 15-minute work by artist Daniel Martinico that takes “the very best of the very best installment” of the Star Trek movie franchise, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and boils the narrative down to its most pertinent and dramatic moments.
Whose apex is, of course, Kirk’s gutteral scream of his foe’s name.
More dramatic than “Shane!,” “Stella!,” and “Adrian!” all rolled into one, Shatner’s gut-wrenching delivery will embed itself in your brain and never, ever leave.
You’ve been warned.
Photo: Still from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982, Paramount).