The Green Hornet, Dennis McCarthy, and K&N Filters Connection

 
 
Dennis McCarthy was in charge of overseeing the creation all 29 Chryslers' used during the filming of the Green Hornet movie.
Dennis McCarthy was in charge of overseeing the creation all 29 Chrysler Imperials' used during the filming of the Green Hornet movie.
At the top of Los Angeles-based mechanical engineer Dennis McCarthy's resume it lists his profession as "Transportation Department/Stunts." If at all feasible, McCarthy's description of what he does for a living may even be more cryptically understated.
Imagine staring down these twin Gatling type hood guns at this 1965 Chrysler Imperial in your rearview mirror.
Imagine staring down these twin Gatling type hood guns at this 1965 Chrysler Imperial in your rearview mirror.


"I got into this business about ten years ago, I had a hot rod shop in Burbank (California) since 1990, I built a few movie cars here and there, and ended up being hired to stand-by on set one day, and that turned into my current job."

The first job McCarthy was asked to hang around the set for was a Universal Studios film called Dragonfly back in 2002, and things have panned out pretty well for him. Since then he has stamped his mark on so many big-screen blockbusters that he needn't be anything but minimalist about his job depiction, his filmography speaks for itself: Fast and Furious, Frost/Nixon, Death Race, The Kingdom, Redline, Dreamgirls, Fast and the Furious-Tokyo Drift, Jarhead, Meet the Fockers, After Sunset, and Bruce Almighty (he has also put his mechanical touch on many popular TV shows).
To ensure that the Green Hornet and Kato always succeed in their tireless pursuit of villains, McCarthy says that of course he equipped the 1965 Chrysler Imperial (Black Beauty) with a K&N filter.
To ensure that the Green Hornet and Kato always succeed in their tireless pursuit of villains, McCarthy says that of course he equipped the 1965 Chrysler Imperial (Black Beauty) with a K&N filter.


On all these films McCarthy worked as "picture car coordinator." "Basically my job as picture car coordinator is to source and oversee every vehicle that is used in the movie. Like I did with Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Universal hired me early on at the scripting stage and left me to fill in the blanks for all the hero cars. On top of that there is the casting of all the other background cars that are involved in the film, whether it be cars competing in a race, cars sitting on the side of the road, or even a 10-ton truck driving down the freeway," detailed McCarthy. In the movie Tokyo Drift alone that oversight included over 200 cars.
Green Hornet's Seth Rogen and his new ride.
Green Hornet's Seth Rogen and his new ride.


For the movies Live Free or Die Hard, Herbie Fully Loaded, and Batman Begins, McCarthy contributed as a stunt driver. McCarthy earned his high-speed driving chops from competing off-road for over 20 years.

"I have always used K&N products in my race cars. When I had my shop, K&N was really the first in the performance air filter business that I knew of, and I have always used their products on customer cars, my personal vehicles, as well as all my movie cars."
The Green Hornet's Jay Chou as the karate-chopping Kato.
The Green Hornet's Jay Chou as the karate-chopping Kato.


Which brings us to the Green Hornet part of our connection; we spoke with McCarthy as he was just returning from Brazil. "I'm currently finishing up Fast and Furious Five, and I just got back from Rio, which is the setting for the film," said McCarthy. He is indeed a very busy man these days; McCarthy flew to Rio immediately after leaving the SEMA show in Las Vegas last week, which is where his latest mega-movie car, the Green Hornet's Black Beauty, was a huge draw.

The Green Hornet was one of the first masked costumed crime fighters, making his radio debut on January 31, 1936 - seventeen days before The Phantom appeared in newspaper comic strips and roughly six years after The Shadow came to radio. His crime fighting efforts weren't exactly up-to-snuff by police standards, who viewed him either as a meddling amateur or outright criminal. This of course is precisely what made him compellingly edgy and exciting for fans.

The Hornet was the invention of Fran Striker and George W. Trendle, the same team that brought us The Lone Ranger exactly three years before the Hornet. The similarities though go one step further, in that the Hornet was the secret identity of newspaper publisher Britt Reid, who was the Lone Ranger's nephew Dan Reid's son. Anyway, Reid's trusty sidekick in the crime-busting biz is his faithful butler/chauffeur Kato.

In the Green Hornet TV series which ran from 1966 through 1967, Bruce Lee played the infamous Kato and it spring boarded him into super martial arts stardom. The series itself was way ahead of its time by most accounts, which is why the new Sony Pictures version of the Green Hornet is expected to fair extremely well this time around. In this latest incarnation the Green Hornet is played by Pineapple Express' Seth Rogen, and Kato is reenacted by up and coming actor, Jay Chou.

The crime fighters prime means of transportation, the 1965 Chrysler Imperial named Black Beauty, remains the same, although it does have a great deal more visual bite, thanks to McCarthy's "picture car coordinating."

"The weapons include twin Gatling type hood guns, suicide front door-jam machine guns, eight front and rear rocket launchers, a front mounted flame-thrower, front rubber-ball guns, a rear oil slick squirt gizmo, and a trunk mounted machine gun. I think that's all," says McCarthy.

"The entire drivetrain was replaced on 14 of the 29 cars used for the movie production, starting with GM Performance ZZ454 engines, Turbo 400 transmissions, nine-inch Ford rear differentials with 4.56 gears/Detroit Locker, disc brakes from GT500 Mustangs, Speedway Engineering sway bars, JAZ fuel cells, Holley fuel systems, MSD Ignitions, Coyes Wheels, Good year tires, and of course K&N air filters." McCarthy adds "For the most part all the gadgets worked, but only specific ones on certain cars."

"I'm hoping to take off a month or so," says McCarthy "Then I'll see what comes up next." We suspect that cars and blockbusting movie making will have something to do with it. The Green Hornet hits theaters January 14, 2011.

Find K&N products for your vehicles using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer near you.



See What K&N Makes for Your Car! Get the K&N Newsletter! Visit K&N on HyperLink Facebook  or  HyperLink Twitter

Printer Image    Email This Story
 
Did you like this story? Select 1 to 5 stars to rate it.
 
K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.

K&N News Home