Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Doug Giles, Alphalfa Male

It's been quite a long time since we've checked in with Muscular Christian Pastor Doug Giles, the man whose sermons about the godhead come with a side of dickhead, but all good times must come to an end, so...
HEY, WUSSIES: Quit Asking, ‘How Many Are The Enemy, But Where Are They?’
I’ve been reading Steven Pressfield’s musings on warriors and warfare and this quote struck me like Ike Turner punching Tina when she fell flat while singing, “Rolling On The River”.
The rule in comedy is "always punch up, not down," but Pastor Giles is a confirmed contrarian and likes to take the opposite tack, in this case, literally.
“The Spartans do not ask how many are the enemy but where are they.” - Plutarch, Sayings Of The Spartans
Yes, the Spartans were manly, but unlike most men, they'd stop and ask for directions.
And that, my friend, is one of the big differences between a warrior and a wuss.
Or to put it another way, a wuss spends less time slathering on olive oil and wrestling in the nude, and more time learning how to use the Waze app on his phone.
A wuss, you see, looks for an excuse to run 
Which is why the biggest wuss in the world is Usain Bolt.
but a warrior looks for the opportunity to throttle the enemy.
Especially if she's a girl singer who's having pitch problems.
The strange thing is that nowadays, in our aggravated state of pussification
Wait -- are we wusses or pusses? I don't meant to question your testicle weight, but it seems to me a real man would dither less about his consonants.
one would call the inquirer of how many foes are arrayed against them “a wise calculator of the risks involved” and whether or not they are able to contend with what they have at hand or if they should retreat. When, in reality, such questions, often times, are nothing but cowardice masked in some shrewd sounding horse-crap that doesn’t make one sound like a scared quail.
Exactly. Custer eschewed bean-counting cost/benefit analyses and asked only the Spartan Question, and look how well that worked out for him.
That mindset afflicted an old friend of mine from Cali who was way smarter than I 
Smart enough at least to know we don't call it "Cali."
...when it came to books and business, who would always talk himself out of startups and personal goals because he always viewed how “insurmountable the obstacles were” rather than how he could possibly tackle his mountains. This attitude equated this brilliant, book-smart buddy’s being a stay-at-home dad versus an alpha-male butt-kicker.
Yes, why would any seemingly intelligent man settle for living life on his own terms and spending time with his children when he could let himself be browbeaten into disastrous investments and needlessly violent confrontations by a guy who works one day a week as the pastor of a pop-up church and spends the rest of his time shooting at tame ruminants on canned hunts using guns and ammo bought with cash skimmed from the collection plate?

I thought you said this guy was smart.
How sad.
I completely agree, although probably not for the same reason.
Politically speaking, I wish those who “represent us on the Right” would take this warrior mindset to heart versus rolling up in the fetal position and wetting their massive Republican diaper once they’re faced with the teeth of the liberal beast. 
What Doug calls "the teeth of the liberal beast" we call "the vagina."
The Left zealously sports this “die or be killed” attitude as they approach our culture wars, whereas those on the Right are mostly/merely butt-smoochin’ wind-testers, 
Point of order: if you're within smooching distance of the butt, do you really have to test the wind? It seems like it could only be coming from one direction. (I'd think tasting the wind would be a bigger issue...)
From an ecclesiastical standpoint, don’t even get me started on how this lame spirit has taken possession of the brethren’s craven soul.
I'm not sure I want to get you started on any ecclesiastical issue, Doug, since your clerical bona fides are based on leadership of a congregation which materializes, Brigadoon-like, in Ballroom A of the Ramada Inn, and your sermons -- judging by the care and thought you put into these Townhall columns -- probably consist of you standing at the pulpit, firing two cap pistols into the air and hollerin' like Yosemite Sam.
To say that the church has become a toothless lion to cultural corruption would be akin to saying Hillary Clinton sort of lies. Fortuitous, we are not. Unlike Jesus, most pastors would rather fly than fight; and I hold them primarily responsible for the coarsening of our culture because I believe the state of our nation is due largely, in part, to the “holy nation” within unwilling to make principled stands when holy writ and common sense demand a throw down.
So the next time you see tits on HBO, send a thank you card to Garner Ted Armstrong.
Here’s the bottom line, folks: if anything is worth doing it will be fraught with sick hurdles. 
Also diseased stumbling blocks and infectious pitfalls.
That’s life, Dinky.
Listen Doug, I think you should at least see me in the shower first before you start throwing around pejoratives like that.
The sooner we take on the warrior mentality, the quicker we’ll be talking about great victories. So, from now on, talk yourself into the battle instead of how you can get out of the battle.
I'm forced to agree with Pastor Giles -- although again, not for the same reason -- since I also think "tak[ing] on the warrior mentality" would be a great victory, allowing us to bring our fanged vulvas home by Christmas and easing the burden on our landfills, which are currently choking on massive Republican diapers.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Porn Spam From Ed McMahon!

Our usual Monday Morning Movie review is going to be a bit delayed this week, thanks to a back injury that's making it even more difficult to sit through an already difficult to sit through film. In fact, I could barely skim my email this afternoon; but one missive did catch my eye, from Publishers Clearing House.

Like Kentucky Fried Chicken and various rappers, PCH goes only by its initials now, because that's just how cool it's become. Gone are the days when it arrived in your mailbox -- a thick packet of newsprint ads with a smiling TV sidekick on the envelope -- and was primarily a delivery system for Franklin Mint merchandise and McCall's subscriptions. No, the new PCH looked at the rise of the Internet and realized that nowadays, the real money's in Unfortunate Innuendos.

Now I know some of you guys are scratching your heads and saying to yourselves, "They wanna sell me a 'Full-Size Hose That Fits In The Palm Of Your Hand!'?  Talk about coals to Newcastle!"  This impression is perhaps strengthened when you notice the product is called the "Pocket Hose," (I'm ignoring the "Ultra," because I think that part's probably just boasting.)  But here's the thing -- the tubing is upgraded (and don't even pretend you haven't degraded your tubing over the years, especially that one time in college), and most important of all -- No More Tangled Hoses! Granted, I've neither seen nor experienced this issue myself, but maybe it's a problem for gay dudes on a really busy Saturday night.

Anyway, the instructions say to "Just Turn the Water on -- Grows to a FULL SIZE HOSE!", so apparently it works on the opposite principle of those erections you wake up with when you've got a full bladder.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Happy Birthday, Keith!

I thought I'd wait until this headache went away before starting the party, but clearly it intends to stick around, at least until all the booze is gone, so you might as well don your conical chapeaux and blow your foo-flounders, while I go grab the cake, which was lovingly baked and decorated by some of the city's finest bigots. (Or so I assume; it was only recently I learned that bending over a table all day, squeezing a gooey substance from the tip of your piping bag as you whimsically inscribe and filigree pastries and baked goods in various shades of sugary pastels was a job for rugged he-men who are offended by the slightest whiff of gay stuff.)

Anyway, it's the natal anniversary of our good friend, and valued member of the World O' Crap writing staff, Keith.  So please be sure to sign the card, then join us in the Conference Room promptly at 2:45 for cake and a delightful punch Fran in Accounts Receivables made from Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail and Diet Squirt (she says the secret ingredient is a pinch of cardamon and a lot of love! Shhhh!)

In the meantime, please join me in wishing Keith the very happiest of birthdays. And of course...Sexy Birthday Lizard(s)!
Why do I always get stuck making small talk with this guy at these office mixers...?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

After You, After Earth

It's like Battlefield Earth meets Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, and goes on a 10K Fun Run!


After Earth (2013)
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writers: Gary Whitta, M. Night Shymalan (screenplay) Will Smith (story)

Will Smith is having a crappy day. He's on a space ship that appears to be in trouble, because oxygen masks have dropped from the overhead bins and his son Jaden is being a total puss about it; then the fuselage rips open and explosive decompression sucks him down the cabin toward Economy; and to top it all off, he's in an M. Night Shyamalan movie. But that's nothing compared to the uncontrolled skid our day's about to take, when we cut to Jaden lying in a field of clover after the crash and waxing poetic about what a paradise Earth used to be, and realize that Daddy's Little Diminished Return is our narrator.

Jaden rolls some grainy TV disaster footage, and in a mush-mouthed monotone explains that human beings ruined Earth by failing to convert to Scientology in time. Fortunately, a thousand years ago the Ranger Corps was formed to keep Mankind's few remaining picnic baskets safe from bears. They also led us to a replacement homeworld, Nova Prime, but our new alien neighbors, concerned about property values, spliced up a batch of legally blind monsters to prevent us from building tacky McMansions in the Delta Quadrant. The Mr. Magoo monsters don't need to see, because they can smell our fear hormones, but they were no match for "The Prime Commander, Cypher Raige" (Will Smith) "the original Ghost." It seems Ranger Raige is Daredevil, The Man Without Fear, and because the monsters can't smell his hormones, he can just saunter around and chop their heads off. "This phenomena is called 'Ghosting,'" Jaden explains, not that we asked him. At least, I think that's what he said; thanks to the mumbly, unintelligible way Jaden delivers the back story, he sounds less like he's narrating a sci-fi action movie and more like he's in a dentist's chair, counting backward from a hundred while the sodium pentathol kicks in.

Three Days Earlier. Space Cadet Jaden gets called to the office of head Space Ranger, Rocky Jones, who tells Jaden that he's tops in all his classes at the Academy and so darn awesome that it's actually kind of hilarious, but he hasn't achieved a state of "clear" yet, so he's going to hold him back for a year. Jaden is heartbroken, but he would never use the fact that his father is The Prime Commander in order to get special treatment, until he realizes that it worked pretty well getting him the lead in this movie, so he whines and says his dad is coming home tonight so he has to be a Ranger. Rocky Jones is unmoved, probably because he starred in a mid-50s kids show and hates the little bastards.

Prime Commander Cypher Raige has no fear, but plenty of rage, and when Jaden mumbles about flunking out, he screams at him for being a puss, stopping just short of punching him in the face and quipping, "Welcome to After Earth!"

Mother Raige reaches into the Movie Motivations Rolodex and pulls out the old "You're a Great Man but a Bad Father" speech. Will decides to take his son to the planet Effetos, where Jaden will presumably seem butch in comparison to the native Effetes.

Will and Jaden climb into a giant metal stingray and fly off into space. They've brought along a huge, mysterious tandoori oven containing one of the human-slaughtering Magoo monsters, but TSA drew the line at Will's cuticle scissors and 12-oz bottle of conditioner.

Suddenly, Will presses his high school class ring against the bulkhead, because he's sensing an asteroid storm. Sure enough, the Good Ship Stingray suffers "graviton expansion," which is bad, because it's nearly swimsuit season, and they get pelted with asteroids (me, I'm not a vengeful person, and would have settled for overripe fruit). Will orders the pilots to jump blindly into a wormhole, and through the wildest coincidence ever, it just happens to drop them off within convenient crashing distance of Earth. Which is where we came in.

By another amazing coincidence, Will and Jaden are the only survivors. But Will's legs are broken, and the tail of the ship, containing the distress beacon, is a hundred kilometers away, so his puss of a son is their only hope. Even worse, the puss wants a hug. Like I said: crappy day.

Will tells Jaden that they're on Earth, "where everything has evolved to kill humans," then hands the kid his personal weapon, a tubular Magoo chopper with multiple settings like a Swiss Army Knife, or a Vegematic.

Jaden walks through one of those fern-filled forests from a relaxation video. But when he's suddenly charged by a troop of enraged baboons, Will saves the terrified boy by quoting from a Zig Zigler motivational tape ("Recognize your power. This will be your creation...").  Jaden's creation is to run like a ninny until he falls into a river and gets bitten by one of those rubber cockroaches you stick on the refrigerator at Halloween, then go into anaphylactic shock. He manages to reach his epi-pen in time, but with this sequence Shyamalan has established just how dangerous Earth is to Jaden, and I fear that long before our hero reaches the tail section, he'll accidentally eat a Snickers and get felled by a peanut allergy.

During all the running and falling, Jaden breaks his asthma inhaler, and his dad says playtime is over, and he has to come in early. But Jaden is irked because he had to watch a Magoo kill his sister in a flashback, so he jumps off a cliff and turns into Rocky the Flying Squirrel. He glides around in front of a green screen, making pretty good time until he gets plucked out of the sky by one of those giant eagles from Lord of the Rings and wakes up in a nest among its hatchlings. He hasn't done much right so far, but one thing you can say for Jaden, he managed to be too big for a bird devour and vomit him into the mouths of its young. Let that be his epitaph. Please.

Jaden builds a raft, then floats downstream and hallucinates his dead sister, who tells him it was okay that he hid like a puss when she died, but he still feels guilty so he recites Moby Dick at her (I've found this is actually a good way to end most any argument. Not win, necessarily, but end). Then he suddenly comes down with hypothermia and starts freezing to death because even though the Earth is covered in jungle vegetation, the whole world ices over every night. I'm not sure how that works, but it's probably the reason humanity evacuated the planet, because I assume most people are like me and too lazy to put rubbing alcohol in their wiper fluid.

Fortunately for everyone concerned except us, the eagle who found Jaden unappetizing finds him again, and builds a nest to keep him warm, then freezes to death in his place. So everything on Earth has evolved to kill humans, unless Will Smith's kid is involved, in which case they'll happily commit suicide. I totally believe this, because I'm starting to feel the same way.

Jaden discovers the tail of the space ship and finds some more asthma inhalers in the junk drawer. He also comes upon the broken tandoori oven -- so the Magoo is loose. This is even worse than the Juice being Loose, because for one thing, it doesn't really rhyme. Jaden tries to contact Will, but he's in a dead zone and can't get a signal. Damn AT&T. The distress beacon won't work either, but by another amazing coincidence, the volcano from the cover of Dianetics is right next door, and Jaden realizes if he can just reach the top, he'll be able to call his personal assistant.

Sadly, Jaden's pussiness is also reaching a peak, and rather than "ghosting," he's overexcited and breathing hard and raising a cloud of pheromones so thick it's like the mosh pit at a One Direction concert. He tries to be stealthy by creeping into a lava tube, but the monster catches up with him in Shelob's lair. Will is watching all this somehow -- maybe the director sent him a screener -- but he doesn't seem any more interested in it than we are.

It's about time for one of those famous Shyamalan twist endings; perhaps the audience has been dead the entire time, and this movie is just proof that Hell exists. Instead, in an untwisted non-surprise, Jaden finally learns to "ghost," which seems to mainly involve playing dead, so I don't know why we didn't just fight the monster invasion with some well-trained Golden Retrievers.  Anyway, the Magoo can't find him. Jaden wields hisVegematic, and he and the monster play a weird game of "Marco Polo" to the death. Then Jaden notices that he's got full bars, and calls home. A rescue ship picks them up, and medics slave over Will as he bleeds out on a gurney. But when he sees his son, he insists on standing up on his two broken legs and saluting him as a Ranger. But the puss just wants a hug.

Really crappy day.

The End.

So, what have we learned from After Earth?  Never let them see you sweat, because your enemies can smell your fear, but fortunately, L. Ron Hubbard is like deodorant for your mind.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

There's Not Enough Wild Turkey in the World to Wash This Down

Hey guys, it's been awhile since we've checked in with defrocked Psycho Therapist (and Chris Vosburg's secret girlfriend) Robin of Berkeley. As you may recall, in the past she's been tormented by liberals, bicycles, lesbians who gave her hard looks, and a homeless guy who stepped on a bug, completely putting her off her Pinkberry. Well, now it's roving gangs of feral turkeys, which are taking over the town much the same way liberal academics have taken over the gown. 
The Wild Turkeys of Berkeley 
There are a whole lot of turkeys in Berkeley. No, I’m not being snarky.
I took that for granted, Robin, since "turkey" hasn't generally been deployed as an insult since the 1970s, and even then you often had to go to experts, like Huggy Bear or Earl Holiman from Police Woman, to hear it used properly in a sentence.
We have real, live feral turkeys all over the place, in people’s yards, the streets, and public parks. Before you think, “Oh, how cute,” let me tell you that these creatures are problem children. They poop all over the place; they squawk at all hours of the day and night. And even worse, they have come to rule the roost by blocking traffic.
This may not pose more than a minor inconvenience to the average citizen, but I bet it's a huge pain in the ass for Dracula. Just imagine how difficult it is to create the proper atmosphere for your guests if the "children of the night" are not wolves, but turkeys, and the "beautiful music they make" sounds less like souls howling in torment, and more like an ice cream truck playing "Turkey in the Straw."

Face it, uncompromising diversity initiatives by the Berkeley municipal government have led directly to policies that are anti-vampire (a clear case of class warfare) and objectively pro-turkey.
These wild turkeys cause near car accidents every day, as they obstruct traffic, refusing to back up even if cars come close by. With menacing looks, the turkeys will block in drivers, even attack cars. I’ve seen drivers try to back up, while turkeys move towards them, barricading the poor driver in his car.
Apologies to PETA, but if you're being intimidated by a thuggish turkey standing in front of your car, an obvious solution presents itself, and it doesn't involve backing up.
Once I saw a female driver so locked in by turkeys outside of my house that I ran out to help her. Wielding a broomstick, I gestured and yelled at the turkeys. They eyed me aggressively before finally flying away. 
When I was a kid I was a big fan of Magnus, Robot Fighter...
...but even those two-fisted, action-packed yarns don't hold a candle to the pulp-style heroics of Robin, Turkey Tackler!
The woman, by then scared to death, thanked me profusely and added, “I’m from out of town. How do you live like this?” (Something, by the way, that I ask myself everyday.)
See, this passage works on two levels, because Berkeley is infested with turkeys and also liberal university professors, and they both poop on the hood of your Audi.
Now, the burning question is why are these “wild” turkeys no longer wild? Why is the only wild thing an older woman (me) hollering like a maniac outside of my house?
Well Robin, I'd say that's not a question that requires an answer so much as a diagnosis.
Why have these turkeys become so brazen in an urban area? 
It's an old story, Robin. How're you gonna keep 'em down on the farm now that they'd seen Berkeley? Turkeys of yesteryear may have been content with the barnyard and the Thanksgiving axe, but the instant they hit the big city they begin rouging their knees and rolling their stockings.
The critters have obviously been coddled and protected for so long, that they are in charge, not the humans. 
We brought this on ourselves.
Now, my story of the Wild Turkeys of Berkeley is not only a true tale, but a metaphor.
I dunno, Robin. Based on past performance, it's probably not the former, and if you have to tell us it's the latter, then it's either not a metaphor, or it was damaged in transit.
 Because the turkey example applies not just to animals, but to many humans around here — and most everywhere — who have lost their natural, inborn fears. People, just like creatures, act in anti-social ways partly because they are allowed to.
Freed of the civilizing effects of phobias and inhibitions, man returns to a state of nature, sounding his barbaric gobble-gobble over the rooftops of the world, blocking legal parking spaces, and defecating fearlessly into the Assorted Snuggle Remnants bin in Jo-Anne Fabric.
Since anything goes around here, teens will curse and act unruly in public even if grown-ups are nearby. 
But Robin, conservatives like you have been trying to turn back the clock to the 1950s since the Reagan Administration, so I figured you must be in favor of juvenile delinquency. Don't tell me it's just the quiz show scandals and segregated drinking fountains you're nostalgic for.
Since Berkeley (and the nearby cities) promote Question Authority, some of the kids, like the turkeys, think they are top dog.
A turkey that thinks it's a dog doesn't sound like a social problem, it sounds like a Far Side cartoon.
 Calling one’s mom or teacher the “b” word makes perfect sense in an area (and a culture, via the sick and twisted media and music) that promotes disrespect for those in charge.
As Robin points out, turkeys have filthy mouths -- especially the "jive turkeys" (you know the ones she's talking about) -- but since opportunities for disadvantaged fowl are few, and most of them know they'll wind up behind chicken wire, or dead, you can see why so many are drawn to the nihilism of rap music.
But I don’t just want to blame the children. There are plenty of manchilds and womanchilds who do their own thing, regardless of whether the behavior is legal or appropriate. Laws are flaunted; police are screamed at; people unabashedly walk Fido into stores, defying the conspicuous signs that read, “No Pets Allowed.”
Dogs and cats, shopping together! Mass hysteria!
And it’s certainly not just Berkeley. We can see people doing their own thing all over the US — as well as beyond. Like the Wild Turkeys of Berkeley, scores of people have lost their inborn fear.
What made the Greatest Generation so great? Each of them -- man, woman, and child, and manchild and womanchild -- were yellow-streaked scaredy cats who were terrified of their own things, and so only did the others' things. That's how you beat Hitler!
So if people now think that they are just wild beasts, why not act like one?
Good question. A better question might be why so many people are choosing the turkey as their spirit animal. I don't claim to be an expert on Native American theology, but perhaps it just makes for a more efficient vision quest if your totem not only embodies the essence of your power, but also tastes delicious with giblet gravy.
 If there is no meaning to life, then anything goes. And most importantly, if there is no God, then there are no consequences, both in this life and beyond.
So atheists can double park and litter and the cops can't touch 'em! Laws only apply to religious people, although strangely, you never see cops pounding on doors of believers, yelling, "Open up in the name of the Lord!"
When we were a country steeped in faith, most citizens had a healthy fear of sin, and Judgment Day, with the very real possibility of hell. It would be hard to beat up a little old lady or start a riot if ultimately it means eternity tortured by the fires of hell. But with a good chunk of the populace not believing in anything outside of themselves and this one life, anti-social behavior and mayhem are out-of-control, particularly around here.
The casual observer might glance at this paragraph and see a flaw. To wit: both the rates of crime and regular church-going have been declining in this country, nearly in parallel. But as Robin would probably say, that's just anecdotal evidence. It doesn't actually become empirical data until you factor in the influx of wild turkeys.
Tragically, the world resembles those pre-Christian, pagan times, with its barbarism. From what I behold every day, it’s hard to know anymore who are the humans and who are the wild beasts.
In that case, I think neither you nor Dick Cheney should be allowed to go hunting.
Notes:
(1) I heard of a survey that the SF Bay Area has the fewest people in the country who go to church. And yet there is widespread anti-social behavior, riots, hellish schools, and astronomical crime. Hm. . .could there be a connection?
Sure, the crime rates in San Francisco have dropped since 2000, but that's just inside the actual city. Inside the city inside Robin's head, it's Thunderdome! Hm...could there be a connection?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fool's Day!

Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! Just a crappy movie from the Eighties!

April Fool's Day (1986)
Directed by Fred Walton (the Walton boy nobody said Good Night to)
Written by Danilo Bach

We open on a dock somewhere in New England, as a group of twentysomething serial killer fodder goof around with a video camera as they wait for the ferry to Slasher Island. If this were ten years earlier, they'd all be bit players getting eaten by a shark in a much better movie. Alas, we're deep into spiral perms and popped polo shirt collars, so these are our stars, and they've elected to spend Spring Break running from cutlery in their underpants.

Meanwhile, on Slasher Island, Deborah Foreman from Valley Girl is struggling to shift a mannequin from one side of her basement to the other while telling her middle-aged housekeeper to take the weekend off, because -- no offense -- she's got cellulite and chin hairs and nobody wants to see her die in a camisole.

The crusty old ferryman docks his crusty old ferry, and our cast of aspiring corpses scamper aboard and spend the seemingly endless ride to the island establishing what passes for their characters. First up is Chaz, the videographer, who's played by that one guy who was the spiky-haired, Sunglasses at Night type in a variety of 80s teen flicks. He tells every male he sees that his fly is open, and tries to get the repressed, hairband-wearing blonde to ditch her copy of Paradise Lost and read his raunchy stroke magazine because he's a smooth operator, and can't die fast enough. There's also Biff from Back to the Future, who's paired up with Tatum O'Neill's Brother and playing a manly game involving a switchblade and yoga stretches. Then there's Bland Blonde, Sarcastic Blonde, Big & Stupid Blond Guy, Southern Fried Guy, Richard Marx Guy, and many, many more. It's like looking at a farmyard full of strutting, gobbling turkeys just before Thanksgiving.

Biff and Tatum O'Neill's Brother get in a squabble and Biff impulsively throws the switchblade, impaling TOB, who topples into the water. Everyone dives in to save him, because they apparently forgot the title of the film they're in. It's actually just an elaborate prank, which sets up the film's theme of reality versus illusion, and makes us doubt everything we see. I'm beginning to wonder if this is a mid-80s slasher film, or if it's really a drawing room drama about the Bronte sisters, and at the end everybody will pull off their acid-washed denim and reveal sausage curls and Empire waists.

Everything's fine, except Big & Stupid Blond Guy insists on staying in the water until he gets crushed between the dock and the ferry, although in a weird way -- he's totally fine except one eye is dangling out of its socket and he won't stop screaming. Which just goes to prove that some April Fools are just April Morons.

Constable Potter is pissed, and immediately commandeers Valley Girl's boat to take Blond Guy and his Clacker-like eyeball to the mainland, leaving her and her friends stranded on Slasher Isle. However, the house where they'll all be staying until they're dead is lovely. VG says, "On a clear day you can see the Kennedy's," which I assume was a sequel to the Barbra Streisand musical and probably failed because it was just two hours of pasty white Irish people passed out on stage, which would seem to limit the opportunities for high-stepping dance numbers.

Cut to suggestive close-ups of wieners and beans, as Sarcastic Blonde reads aloud a Cosmo quiz about orgasms (it's multiple choice, so you don't have to have one if you don't want to).  They all gather in the formal dining room to eat beans, sip Cold Duck, and humiliate each other with Whoopee Cushions. All except Tatum O'Neill's Brother, who feels guilty about turning Blond Guy's eye into a testicle (we can tell he's tortured, because every time the camera cuts to TOB he's drinking and performing a selection from Fifty Great Monologues for Young Actors).

Now let's settle in as our cast of wannabe worm food is pranked one by one. Sarcastic Blonde finds a dog collar and leash in her dresser. Repressed Blonde finds a tape recording of a crying baby in her armoire. Biff finds a complete set of intravenous drug user paraphernalia in his medicine cabinet. It's like TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes (specifically the classic episode where they tricked William S. Burroughs into cooking his heroin in a dribble spoon). Meanwhile, TOB wanders into the dark boat house and gets scared by the creaky floors. Then a stage hand throws a cat at his face, which happens so often when one walks into a dark scary room that our cat has asked that we just keep the lights on, because he's tired of spending so much time as a projectile.

The next day, the cast has a pick-up soccer match that's even duller than the touch football game in On a Clear Day You Can See the Kennedys, and those people were all unconscious.  Valley Girl has a second personality that apparently emerged during the night, because she's gone from a fun-loving, prank-pulling co-ed to a lugubrious creep who talks like Mrs. Danvers from Rebecca and dresses like a sister wife. Meanwhile, Bland Blonde and Richard Marx go have sex in the boat house, but her mind wanders and she peers through the floorboards just as Tatum O'Neill's Dead Brother floats by on a door. Naturally, they all run into the woods to search for him, even though he was last seen on the water, because nobody said they were smart.

Well, we're almost an hour into the film, and so far the only action we've gotten is an eyeball that swings like a pendulum do, and a cadaver on a raft. But things perk up mildly when Biff steps in a snare and dangles upside down while a rattlesnake repeatedly head-fakes him. Then Sarcastic Blonde falls down the well and finds TODB's and Biff's disembodied heads bobbing in the water, because as we all learned in school, the most buoyant part of the human body is the skull. Then, while Sarcastic Blonde is flailing around in clear violation of the No Horseplay rule, Repressed Blonde's body floats to the surface. This is particularly sad because it's only now, in death, that she's ditched the matronly sweater sets in favor of a form-fitting tank top that's really quite flattering.

Bland Blonde goes snooping around the mansion and freaks out when she discovers a photo of two little girls. Just so we get the point, Valley Girl sneaks up and creeps all over her. Meanwhile, Southern Fried Guy pulls a revolver out of his luggage and prepares to exercise his Second Amendment right to be the sole survivor. Since he's struck out with every girl in the cast, he's probably a virgin and therefore qualifies.

Sarcastic Blonde decides to pack up and leave. She'll die, of course, but so far everybody has been killed off camera, and she's heard that -- like drowning -- it's one of the most peaceful ways to go. Chaz tries to talk her of it by putting on a leather bondage mask, but she leaves the room for just a moment and wouldn't you know it, he suffocates and has his penis stolen.

Richard Marx and Bland Blonde find a weird diorama in the attic, and realize Valley Girl has been playing Ten Little Indians, except with Barbie dolls (as you'd expect, Midge was the first to die).

Richard and BB scream at a cutaway of some blood which implies that somebody is dead, then they find that Southern Fried Guy has been lynched, in a twist that eerily reminiscent of The Twilight Zone, or Far Out Space Nuts ("I said lunch, not lynch!")  They run down to the boat, but the Constable, and the keys, are missing. Fortunately, the screenwriter has left behind a note explaining that Valley Girl is actually her evil twin sister who's been in an institution for the past three years, and if anyone wants him he'll be at the bar in Boardner's, pounding down Fuzzy Navels.

Richard accidentally locks himself in a closet just as Valley Girl goes after Bland Blonde with a machete, and is reduced to screaming "I love you! RUN! I love you!" BB narrowly avoids getting her head chopped off and stumbles into the living room, where the entire cast, alive and with their heads re-attached, are chattin' and chillin'. Meanwhile, Big & Stupid guy, his eye still dangling, somehow teleports into the closet behind Richard and kisses him full on the mouth.

Back in the living room, everyone yells, "April Fool!" Apparently, Valley Girl was test marketing her idea for a chain of Who Dunnit? dinner theaters, nobody's actually dead, and it's time to party! The cast showers each other with champagne while Three Dog Night's "Mama Told Me Not To Come" blasts on the soundtrack, and Chaz celebrates getting his penis back by simulating oral sex with one of the decapitated heads.

Well! Okay, then. Shall we join the screenwriter at the bar? It's been 29 years, but I have a feeling he's still there.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Face Made for Radio, a Voice Made for Verbal Abuse


Quick bit of self-abuse promotion: I'm on the latest edition of the All-Star Summer Jamboree podcast, with the great Jeff Holland (otherwise known as Ike from the old Mike and Ike show), who explains it thus:
Jeff is not happy about the state of movie making and he spends most of this episode complaining, except when he’s getting yelled at by Scott for enjoying Jupiter Ascending
He also explains why Ryan Reynolds is so important to the future of film making.
Also, there's a speed-cello rendition of Live and Let Die.

Click here to listen to ASSJam Episode 59 : “Grumpy McGrumpnuts Goes to the Show” (I'm not sure, but I think I'm Grumpy McGrumpnuts in this scenario.)

Update: I've just been informed that no, it's Jeff who's Grumpy McGrumpnuts. I remain beloved Kellogg's spokescoot,  Grampy McGrapenuts.