Monty and Morgion 042: Patriotism

19Apr03 (Monthenor): Yes, I know it's not funny, but I really did spend all my comic time drawing up the railgun blueprints. Oops.

Part of the blame must also be placed upon the sudden excess of movies that demanded my attention. Wednesday evening was filled with The Manchurian Candidate. Filled to overflowing, actually. Despite being #63 on imdb's best list, it is definitely the product of a bygone cinematic age. What created tension and suspense forty years ago is now boring and silly. The Cold War has ended and network TV has warped our fragile minds into hyperactive mush...and The Manchurian Candidate suffers in the transition. Not even my unhealthy fascination with all things Lansbury could save the film.

Thursday had a double whammy of Bulletproof Monk and Subterano. Bulletproof Monk turned out to be just another American kung-fu movie: the camera couldn't keep still during fight scenes, and it went out of its way to be stupid. Not cheesy, mind you, but plain ol' stupid. Subterano was a different beast altogether. It takes place entirely in an Australian underground parking garage, and there's something about an oppressive government and virtual reality. I dunno. It was way too hard to understand what the actors were saying. Cathy Gross, Karon Messina, and Martin Pashley should never be let near audio equipment again.

Friday was Good Friday, so naturally we went to go see House of 1000 Corpses. I cheated a bit for this one and read some online reviews. See, it's the Rob Zombie film that was finished about three years ago. It's been "delayed" (in much the same way that the Titanic is "behind schedule") because of a) too much gore, b) studio squeamishness, or c) IT'S DAMN BORING! Yes, sadly this shock-gore-slash "fest" is extremely unfocused and tedious. It doesn't even have all that much gore. However, if you go in with exceedingly low expectations it can be quite hilarious. Rob Zombie's cover of The Commodore's "Brick House" is almost worth the price by itself.

So right now I'm watching this anime on Tech TV called "Silent Mobius", and there is a character called Labia. I shit you not.

The Spork is in the Eye of the Beholder
04.19.03 (Morgion)

I warned Monty that posting directions for a railgun on the Interent would bring The Patriot Act-weilding Man down on our heads… well, his head. That's why I'm not in this comic—so I can bail him out… or something. Heh.

It seems clear that Monthenor's "cheating" was detrimental, and tainted his experience of the Rob Zombie new classic (no affiliation with AMC… yet) House of 1000 Corpses. Not that I didn't cheat and read a few reviews (if the scatter-brained monkey-typing of IMDB pre-teen, bubble-gum princess reviewers can be termed anything but a hyper-hyphenated debacle, that is). However, I tend to keep a more open mind about a movie than Monty. He has a problem with that whole "suspension of disbelief" thing.

"But Morgion," you say, "you've already thrashed your cinematic pallet with a veritable Chinese buffet of celluloid crap! You can't be a connoisseur of films!" Well, I'm an American; with the "Chinese buffet" rationale, my mere presence in the country that created Malibu's Most Wanted (Google Malibu's Most Wanted—it's entertaining for different reasons; click on the Sponsored Links… all of them) and The Real Cancun (sensible IMDB comments!) should have eliminated me at square one, so we'll ignore that theory.

Second, I do know that the bad films I take people to are going to be bad. That's the point… they're so bad they're funny, vis-à-vis MST3K. We laugh in their faces during the show, and afterwards we get to go to Perkins (or now IHOP) and groan over how bad they were, and generally have a good time. Sometimes, the film exceeds my expectations, and is far crappier than anticipated. I'm not (still) apologizing for 13 Ghosts; "a house powered by the dead" was simply too good to pass up.

In this specific case, I think Monty was asking too much from H1KC (no, that's not leet for "hick"… although the coincidence is disturbing). Anyone that goes to it knowing that Rob Zombie directs his own music videos (and was a production assistant on Pee-wee's Playhouse) and was not expecting it to have a lot of split-screen, mirrored, negative-image… um, charm… was either deluding themselves or on crack… bad crack. Also, if you were expecting more gore and violence… duh! Why do you think they were picking at it for all these years? So they could leave in all the gore but artfully off-set it with some nice puppies and fuzzy bunnies?

Now, going to H1KC in the mindset of bad funny movie is the ticket. The quirky character acting makes the film "enjoyable" (it's a special kind of amusement). Sid Haig's career (IMDB) includes appearances in the classic THX 1138 and Wonder Women, aka Women of Transplant Island, but don't let that fool you. He does a stunning job at plausible exposition, and spends nearly all of the film in clown face paint… "Goddamn! Motherfucker got blood all over my best clown suit!"

Rainn Wilson (Bill : guy with glasses) and Chris Hardwick (Jerry : guy with, then without, hair) are dorky misfits gawking their way through life with a dynamic that reminds me of the proverbial college roommates; strangers, thrust into each others lives, much to the chagrin of one and the buffoonish obliviousness of the other. If I was in a room alone with their characters, only one of us would be coming out alive. It works out for everyone; it's their purpose in life to die, and I really want to kill them. The roles of their girlfriends are rather lackluster, until they are captured by the crazies. Then they whimper, scream, and run around in a daze, just like the best horror-movie girlfriends—which is to say, poorly—until they die.

In closing, go see House of 1000 Corpses as a comedy that happens to involve psychotic murderers and zombies. Don't pay more than matinee price, and bring a friend so you can torment each other later. And if you think H1KC was bad, remember this; Rob Zombie was going to direct The Crow 3. You may now begin trembling uncontrollably.