Baron von Raschke film shoot tonight at Walker needs extras

The Walker Art Center is looking for wrestling fans -- or anyone willing to act the part -- for a film shoot with pro wrestling legend Baron von Raschke tonight.

Raschke will be speaking with his son, McKnight photography fellow Karl Rashcke, and film director Phil Harder about the Baron's career in the wild world of professional wrestling at 6 p.m. Then they plan on filming a scene with fans in the open field of the art center. Walker Art Center staff ask that anyone attending dress in seventies clothes.

Rachel Joyce says the film is an "Errol Morris-style docudrama" focusing on Raschke's life and career. In the scene being filmed tonight, Raschke will greet fans as a narrator talks about his career.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Baron, he was a real wrestling star in high school and college, grappling for the University of Nebraska under Olympic wrestler Bill Smith, Mickey Sporano, and Bobby Mancuso in the late 1950s.

He became a teacher after graduation until one day he was introduced to Minnesota promoter Verne Gagne, who trained him to be a professional wrestler. In 1967, Mad Dog Vachon convinced him to become the villainous Baron von Raschke, a goose-stepping German.

Raschke's career took off as promoters asked him to wrestle for their companies across the country. He squared off against famous stars like Bruno Sammartino and The Crusher for every major promotion, including the WWF. He basically retired in the mid-1980s, wrestling only occasionally, and was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in Iowa in 2002.

The event is from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Open Field, hosted by the Walker Art Center. Just don't ask the Baron to put you in "the claw." His famous finishing hold really hurts.

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Walker Art Center

1750 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403


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