Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

The Tournament: Teenage Battle Royale Participants, Continued!


Yesterday, we laid out the rules of our Battle Royale style tournament and introduced the first bunch of our 40 entrants. Today, we'll be revealing the rest of the field, starting here with a group that includes a government grown teen spook, the prototypical frenemies, and a gang that once promised to stay friends forever. Here we go!

(#11) Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio, The Karate Kid)

Larusso is a skilled martial artist with a knack for finding renewed strength in the face of overpowering adversity. But he's never witnessed the kind of carnage that awaits him in Battle Royale, not even in Okinawa. Trained and combat tested, Larusso should fair well against this contest's many roughnecks, but his generally pacifist nature makes him vulnerable to less experienced and less ethically burdened opponents.

What's in his backpack? A bonsai tree. Because a last man standing fight to the death is no excuse not to practice your meditation, Daniel-san.

(#12) Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst, Bring It On)

This stereotypical peppy cheerleader is more than just a pair of pom poms. Her training in the encouragement arts at one of the nation's top institutions provides her with extraordinary agility, athleticism and endurance. She's also a gritty and determined competitor. Shipman should have no trouble evading fellow combatants... if she ever gets the chance.

What's in her backpack? A megaphone. Not an electronic one; the big stupid ones that cheerleaders carry around.

(#13) John Bender (Judd Nelson, The Breakfast Club)

If Bender is as tough as he claims, he's going to be a hard out. Detractors question the legitimacy of many of Bender's boasts, and suggest that deep down he's more class clown than legit bad boy. Regardless of his physical faculties, Bender is a cagey button pusher and instigator. Supporters' hopes of a potential team up with fellow ne'er-do-wells Desario and Kelly rely on the slackers channeling a drive that has eluded them so far in their adolescent aimlessness.

What's in his backpack? A baseball bat. Finally, he can do all the damage he wants without worrying about detention.

(#14) Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Cruel Intentions)

What private school queen bee Kathryn lacks in physical skills is more than made up for in her psychological profile. This pheromone oozing manipulator is exactly the kind of amoral person that could go far in a cutthroat fight to the death… as long as she doesn’t have to do any of the fighting. Kathryn could play the crucifix wearing priss or the outrageously horny seductress; whatever it takes to get her hooks in one of Battle Royale’s meatheads.

What’s in her backpack? A make-up kit. Got to keep herself looking fresh.

(#15) Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack, Say Anything)

Written off by some as better suited to gentle assaults on a young woman’s carefully constructed emotional barriers than actual assault, Battle Royale prognosticators would do well to remember that Dobler is more than just a hopeless romantic. He’s also an amateur kickboxer and, if holding up that stereo is any indication, he’s got a ton of upper-body strength.

What’s in his backpack? A boombox equipped with Peter Gabriel’s hit single “In Your Eyes” and the volume knob stuck at MAXIMUM.

(#16-17) Regina George & Cady Heron (Rachel McAdams & Lindsey Lohan, Mean Girls)

The original frenemies, George and Heron are well versed in playing dirty. But their high school paybacks and snobbery may not do them much good in the killing fields. George is a predator, but not used to getting her hands dirty, and Heron is more comfortable observing feral behavior than participating in it. If they can maintain their fragile friendship, they may surprise some people but only if they're able to avoid serious violence.

What's in their backpacks? Regina comes equipped with dossiers on the rest of the combatants. Cady has a pair of binoculars.

(#18) Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell, The Outsiders)

As a member of wrong-side-of-the-tracks street gang the Greasers, Ponyboy is no stranger to violence. He's not their biggest or toughest member, but he's not known to back down from a fight either. Where the Battle Royale puts Ponyboy on unfamiliar turf is that he'll have to do it alone. Some analysts predict he'll latch onto Sodapop and Darry surrogates early on. Only time will tell if that will be his salvation or undoing.

What's in his backpack? A switchblade. It's the weapon of choice for stabbing Socs, but will it keep Ponyboy gold?

(#19) Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar, The Wonder Years)

Cooper is one of the biggest underdogs in the entire field. She essentially has no skill set to fall back on. She's a middling JV field hockey player. Her mini skirts make pubescent boys flush, but she's not a skilled seductress. And even if she lucks into some heavy artillery, she's probably too much of a goody-goody to actually use it. Her only hope may be to seek out some similarly disadvantaged competitors in hopes that an alliance might pave the way to survival.

What's in her backpack? Dynamite. The jury remains out whether a bag of volatile explosives helps or hinders her chances of survival.

(#20) Hanna Heller (Saoirse Ronan, Hanna)

Trained from birth by her government spook turned woodsman father, Heller just might have the skill set that best suits this particular competition. She's familiar with wilderness subsistence and hunting, and she is skilled in both armed and unarmed combat. On top of that, she was genetically altered to be some sort of super soldier. What stops her from being a clear favorite to survive? The fact that underneath all that, she's a confused and lonely 16-year old.

What's in her backpack? An encyclopedia. Because otherwise she won't know what anything is.

(#21) Doogie Howser (Neil Patrick Harris, Doogie Howser, M.D.)

“First do no harm” is the Hippocratic Oath Doogie Howser swore when he was like 14 years-old. That philosophy won’t do the doctor any favors in this competition, although his unique skill set just might. With his medical expertise, Howser is himself something of a commodity. It’s possible that he could manage to stay alive by stitching up the real fighters, all while using his genius level intellect and eidetic memory to concoct a long-term strategy.

What’s in his backpack? A first aid kit.

(#22) Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey, Dirty Dancing)

A spoiled brat more interested in slumming it in dive bars reeking of stale beer and grinding on locals, Battle Royale is certainly not going to be the time of Houseman's life. But she's got hungry eyes, and this competition is kind of like a corner. And nobody puts Baby in a corner.

What's in her backpack? Ammo, and lots of it. This might make her a target for those carrying firearms (especially if they're not preloaded).

(#23-28) The Bayside Six (Cast, Saved by the Bell)

Bayside High’s most powerful clique is fully represented (except Tori, obviously). The gang has hatched dozens of schemes over lunch at The Max, but none with stakes as high as Battle Royale. Will these Bayside Tigers be able to function as a unit? Or will long festering resentments and love triangles cause them to fall apart quicker than Zack Attack?

What’s in their backpacks? All of The Bayside Six have been given Buddy Bands ™ outfitted with homing beacons. Additionally, Jesse Spano has a bottle of extremely potent caffeine pills and AC Slater has a loaded gun.


OR, if you're done studying up the field of 40, proceed to our online survey and enter your predictions!

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4 Responses »

  1. You've got to think that, in classic battle royal tradition, some strange alliances would form here. And frankly, I see Doogie Howser as being very valuable as a friend in a big cluster f*ck fight. Who wouldn't want to have a medical genius as your sidekick, stitching up your battle wounds as the violent melee progresses? While John Bender might be the anti-academic and seemingly at odds with Doogie, I could see the two of them bonding over something they both agree on (MEDICAL marijuana, perhaps?), and essentially becoming one helluva a tag-team.

    Or, perhaps it will be Daniel Larusso who opts to side with Doogs. History (meaning, the climactic act in basically all Karate Kid movies) proves that Larusso knows and appreciates the value of medical knowledge (albeit non-traditional and involving Miyagi hand claps).

    Indeed, there's nothing to say that a three-way alliance between Bender, Larusso, and Doogie could not happen. And I would see that as a very tough team to beat. Just ask the Cobra Kai!

  2. I like how you think.


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