Friday, January 20, 2012

Oh-Em-Gee!!


Tch, Polytheism is so much more fun.
The movies are fun, even when they're cheesey.
And it leads to the comics industry, which leads to more fun movies, it's just...well, it's been said, it's more fun.

But, I guess I gotta give a balanced ticket, so, let's do *long eye roll* *slumps* Monotheism.


The Ten Commandments


The film-

All right, so get this, this'll just crack you up if you've managed not to see this.

So, there's this invisible, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent intelligent force in the universe, right?

It's in charge of all the galaxies, and black holes, and quasars, and nebulae, and dark matter, and dark energy, everything.

But...get this, apparently, of all the octillions of little cosmic specks of dust....it has a FAVORITE speck of dust!

And there are teeny bits of animated matter on this speck of dust, and get this...this God-thing...has a FAVORITE batch of bits of animated matter!

And of this batch of favored bits of matter, it has a FAVORITE-EST bit of matter called "Moses", that it loves so much, it gives him an array of inconsistent illogical wizard-powers, and makes him boss of the other little globs.

But just this particular little herd, "God", doesn't care as much for all the other squiggly little globs.
Fuck them, they can all die horribly.
Why? Just cuz.

And also, apparently, not little globs that have female plumbing, cuz he never makes them boss, or gives them wizard-powers.
In fact, their life in this very-special-God-society ends up being an open sewer for several centuries.
Yep, this giant cosmic incorporeal being clearly cares an awful lot about pee-pees.
So much so, this gender-less being likes to be called "he".

*Snickers into hand* it's like the diary of a madman!

And young Hollywood was apparently so hard up for ideas, it made a movie of this shit.
Can you fucking believe it?

I dunno, when it's John Travolta, and "Battlefield Earth", people can see the crazy.
*Shrug*
Go figure.

Anyway, Chuck Heston is able to give this pile of frothing desert-madness verisimilitude, which is why he became a star, and then he went on to do his morbid-ass Dystopia flicks, which I love, so I forgive him.

And, the effects that were pioneered in this, and other Bible epics, were used in Star Wars, so there's that.

The history-


As for the commandments themselves, no one breaks 'em down better than George.




The Bible: 
...In The Beginning

The film-

The prequel-of-sorts to Moses and his little gang.

So, in this little horror anthology, we get the (discredited by every episode of NCIS/CSI ) Genesis story, we get the Adam & Eve debacle, which led to women getting the shitty end of the stick for all those millennia, we get the Cain and Abel incident to show this whole "favoritism", defect has been a part of "God's", character from the start, and we get Noah's Ark, where God commits genocide, not just on the people that pissed "him", off, but on millions of innocent children, and animals.

Say, couldn't an all-powerful God just make all the assholes have simultaneous spontaneous heart attacks, or something?
You would think.
Or , heck, teleport 'em into the sun, and atomize 'em.
No smelly body cleanup that way.

Nope, apparently, drowning everything in lots and lots of water is more "dramatic", or...something.
This omnipotent entity, who shouldn't even give this much of a shit about humans in the larger scale of things, cares about impressing people.

And, nice of him to leave the traumatic nightmare of all that cleanup to Noah and his kids.
Imagine finding a bird-pecked child up in a tree when you go apple picking.
Now imagine a present like that every day.
Whee.

Also, we get the whole Sarah/Hagar deal which we shouldn't give two fucks about, except it's the big diverging point between Judaism, and Islam, and we get the Tower Of Babel which tells us God made people different as a punishment for "hubris", so, that excuses nationalism, and racism, and then there's Soddom and Gomorrah, which has been the historic basis of all homophobia.

Not listed on the poster, is the Abraham and Isaac story, and I already gave that one a good drubbing here.

Yep, Creepshow pales in comparison to this shit, kiddies.
That the censors, and ratings boards, and parents groups, were typically religious, and let you see this shit as kids, tells you all you need to know about taking them seriously.

Anyway, dodgy morals aside, does it deliver as a flick?
Eh, I guess...*wavey hand*
But again, if you're a rational person, best to laugh it off as a horror-comedy anthology.
If you get "inspiration", and "reverence", out of something like this...fuckin' yikes.
Wear bike reflectors or something, so I can see you coming.

The history-

As said above, they let us see this shit, didn't they?


Samson and Delilah


The film-

So God randomly favors another pee-pee wielding protozoan, and (also randomly) gives him super-strength.
Which, being in the bronze-age, he naturally uses to mass-murder.

His Kryptonite is having a haircut, which is the stupidest weakness ever, and he blabs it to his girlfriend, who proceeds to fuck him over in more ways than one.

This tableau seemingly has no moral message that we can discern today, except perhaps "bitches is trouble".
Which um, yeah, isn't very enlightened, to say the least.
And, we get enough of that in other Bible tales, so this one is simply worthless.
It's shit like this that always makes me suspect of people that dip into the Old Testament for their alleged morals....

Anyhoo, as we can see, this is another Cecil B. Demille, the feller what brought us Moses.
So, yeah, that.

So, I dunno who came first, Samson, or Hercules, but someone was ripping off somebody.
The ancient world took the notion of Copyright about as seriously as China does today.

The history-

This was the only thing like superheroes that the Bible had on offer, so, when you went over to your religious friend's house, this was about the only non-boring thing you could talk about.
Which, got pretty fucking boring, pretty fucking quick.

It's interesting to note, that Paramount made its bones on flicks like this, and then, look at what kept them on life-support in later years...
(Ch-ch-ch, ha-ha-ha)


King of Kings


The film-

So, to sloppily paraphrase a Christopher Hitchens speech, after 100,000 years of God sitting idly by while humans are ignorant, and rotten to each other, it's only in the last 2000 years when he gets up, and says, "okay, now it's time to do something!".

And his brilliant plan, is to become a carpenter, one Mr. Josephson, in an obscure ratty part of Palestine, claim to be the son of himself, piss off the local authorities, get himself nailed to a stick, die a little, and come right back to life, and then vanish.

And then, to sit right back again, and wait for this bullshit story to spread across the planet.
All the while, innocent people suffer in its name, and other innocent people who've lived a good life, but never received word of it, go to a lake of fire.

Yeah....

Anyway, Jeffrey Hunter plays this horse-pucky off with verisimilitude, and later becomes Captain Pike in Star Trek.
So, there's that...

The history-

Ditto "The Bible".


The Story Of Mankind


The film-

Wow, look at that cast, everyone's in it, and it does what it sets out to, it tells you the story of mankind.

With the framing device of Secular Angels sitting in judgement over whether to let humanity blow itself up or not, by judging if it's worthy or not, by looking at the good and bad in human history.

I naturally side with Vincent Price's character of The Secular Devil.

His indictments of human stupidity and weakness make my black little heart soar.

The history-

Other than that, it's a snorer. I've been literally knocked out cold twice attempting this thing on TCM.
Well, its heart was in the right place...


It's A Wonderful Life


The film-

One of God's demi-god minions uses time-travel to make a suicidal depressive once again cherish banality and mediocrity.

All of this occurs on/around the occasion of the ceremonial birthday of the temporarily-demised Mr. Josephson from "King of Kings".
This is supposed to add significance somehow.

The history-

As I said about the Rankin/Bass specials "you're kidding, right?".


Bedazzled


The film-

A fucking riot.

If sincere Bible epics are the price I have to pay to get satire like this out the other end, I guess I'll pay it.

Dudley Moore and Peter Cook are an incredible comic duo, this one is right up there with the Python stuff.

For whatever reason, the powers that be have made this one just a bit hard to find.
Good luck.

Anyway, the plot, Moore befriends The Devil (Cook), and sells his soul to him to try to win over this girl he's too shy to talk to, and The Devil gives him 7 wishes to pull it off with, and they all go hilariously wrong.

As usual, and you can hear it coming, fuck the remake.

The history-

Cable.


Brother Sun Sister Moon


The film-

And, back to the mawkish sincerity. *Eye roll*

The (sugar-coated, and air-puffed) story of St. Francis of Assisi.

Watch this with an un-protected mind, and you're maybe gonna be all like "ohhh, what a great guy St. Francis was! Why can't religion be like that! Ohhh, la de da de daah! I'm gonna give my life to Jesus!".

Yes, yes, the Roman Catholic Church high-mucky-mucks are to this day a bunch of piggy-eyed, thuggy,  gilded, fatted, ego-fevered, entitled, little monarchs in everything but name, as they were then, and as is depicted here...

BUT....the real Francis was a foaming fucking nutbar.
All the saints were fucking nutbars, that's how you get to be a saint.
This movie is a fucking fairy tale.
Well, like all the others on the list so far...
Don't get fished in.

This was to lure hippies over to The Jesus Cult.
"See? Francis was a hippie!".

Nuh-uh, no, bad medicine!

"Godspell", and "Jesus Christ Superstar", were the other two prongs of attack.
These, and heroin, were how the counter-culture ultimately fell apart, and why we still have Republicans.

It's a dirty trick, run!
Ruuuun, children!

The history-

Cable.


Oh, God!
Oh, God! Book II
Oh, God! You Devil


The film-

So, the deity from all the above films finally manifests, and it's as George Burns.

First flick, he hangs out with John Denver, and it's kinda cute, and it's directed by Carl Reiner, so it's got that "2000 Year Old Man", kind of humor to it.

Second one, he hangs out with a little girl, and rides a motorcycle, and....that one sucked.

Third one...something about him and Satan competing for some musician's soul, and I have the "I've got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere..", song stuck in my head forever from that.

Sonovabitch...

The history-

HBO.
Especially three.
Three they played...well, they must have wore down a couple copies of the tape, cuz...holy shit....


Heaven Can Wait


The film-

So, here, the Invisible-Sky-Daddy's Cloud Kingdom is portrayed as an inept bureaucracy, on the model of the DMV, as Warren Beatty dies when he's not supposed to, and then gets cremated, so they can't send him back, so they try stuffing him into various freshly dead carcasses to re-incarnate, and wacky shenanigans ensue.

Tch, nope, it pees in religion's eye, and I still don't like Warren Beatty.

The history-

Cable.


The Exorcist


The film-

First, see here.

Now, I didn't wanna get into the spotty theology of this flick at the time, but, fuck it, now's the time, here goes.

William Peter Blatty was/is a Jesus-freak, and he said his motivation for writing this fucking thing, was to rebel against "scientific modernity", and just...(how did he say it?) something to the effect of, he can't bring himself to believe that "all there is is this ballet of atoms, that's just obscene to me".

This is a key feature of the religious "imagination", that gives me no end of consternation.
You don't get to fucking decide what the laws of reality are based on your feelings.

If brute fact says it's atoms, and that doesn't settle with you too fucking bad.

In what other sphere of life is this appropriate behavior?
If a doctor diagnoses you with terminal cancer, do you get your affairs in order, and do the shit you love in your remaining time...OR, do you pretend it isn't happening because "it just doesn't sit well with you"?

And...what's "obscene", about atoms?
What a tremendous lack of imagination that shows.
What, are there supposed to be atom-fairies keeping them going with fairy dust?
How can reality lack something it never had, and therefore never fucking needed?
This is more thumb-sucking baby shit.

So, Blatty, to me, is a fuckin' dunce for saying that.
Sorry, it's that cut and dry for me.
Call me ruthless, whatever.

So, anyway, Blatty's God is a total cockbag in this, and it's no fucking wonder.

He watches a girl literally get violated by a demon, and what is he doing?
Jacking off in the corner, and sobbing?

What, you have to pray hard enough to get this invisible ass-munch to get off his ass, and do something about supernatural forces he loosed upon the planet in the first place?

Oh, and they gotta be the RIGHT prayers, by the RIGHT religion too.

So, yeah, humans have to mop up God's spilled milk, apparently.
Nifty.
What a message of "hope".

And that's how this bullshit was intended.
If there's a Devil, there's a God, so, if we can sell you this visceral scare-tactic demon-possession shit....therefore, Jesus!

And it worked, a lot of dumb people were converted by this crap, and the Catholics ate it right the fuck up.

Now every 5-10 years, we get another shitty rehash possession movie.

Um...people....it's a fucking MOVIE.
It's play-pretend!

Wake the fuck up.
Helloooo? McFly?

Anyway, that's a pattern I notice, every time a God movie is written by his actual real life fan club, he comes off as a total scumbag piece of shit.

The only time he's the least bit likable as a character in fiction, it's when it's by irreverent satirists.
Every fucking time.

All of this said, I do actually dig the film as straight ahead horror.
Really.

The history-

Again, see here.


Exorcist II: The Heretic


The film-

The director of this one hated the first one, and probably for the reasons it makes me uncomfortable, so, it's probably why...it's more of a sci-fi thriller than a supernatural horror.

A weird fucking movie, especially as a followup to Exorcist.

But, over the years, its grown on me.

So, "Satan", becomes "Pazuzu", here, and we get a lot of weird 70's pseudo-science going into the alleged mechanics of everything, and in the uncut version, we get some Linda Blair titty.

We also get James Earl Jones being a badass, which is always peachy keen.

It's a flawed film, that has its charms.

And, we get a finale that actually does kick the demon's ass, instead of the crummy draw from last time.

So, again, what's up with that?
The believer gives half the scoreboard to evil, and the secular guy slam dunks it for goodness?
Weird.

The history-

Cable.


The Exorcist III


The film-

A better crafted film than 2, but, we're back to Blatty's batty bullshit.

Here, God is a total limp-dick, and evil gets to do whatever the fuck it wants.
Up to, and including, indiscriminate unhindered murder.

Well, gee, Billy, a God that impotent may as well not exist.

So, it's back to the atomic ballet after all, and it's a good thing your evil spooks aren't here to assfuck us.
Shit, Catholic Priests are bad enough for that shit, why do we need demons?

See, this is why monotheism tends to depress me.
It just can't behave.
Even in a dumb ol' movie.

The history-

The theater.
Another goddamned disappointment.


History of the World: Part I


The film-

Another irreverent send-up, another gem.
"The Ten Commandments", gets a swift kicking at the beginning. 
Thank you, Mel Brooks.

The history-

Cable.


Monty Python and the Holy Grail


The film-

Funniest movie on the planet.

God's an ass here, but a funny blithering ass.

The history-

Own this baby.


Monty Python's The Life Of Brian

The film-

Goes after the old Bible Epics with a fuckin' sledge hammer.
They had it coming.

There are STILL churchy people that hiss over this one.
Good.

The history-






Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life


The film-

I dunno, I like this one in its way as much as Grail, I think.

Pretty sure The Churchies weren't too happy with this one either.
*Puts thumb on nose, and wiggles fingers*

The history-






The Blues Brothers

The film-

C'mon, it's Blues Brothers.

Ackroyd's God doesn't make me sick.
All he wants to do is stage a kickass concert.
Nothin' wrong with that.

The history-

Cable.


Wholly Moses!


The film-

Eh, s'okay.
Dudley Moore is back in the saddle.

And this one, like Brian, is a direct taking-on of the Bible Epics.

This ain't as good as the Pythons, or Mel Brooks, but it has some good parts.
(See below)

I pretty much picked this one so's I could end on an up note.

The history-

John Ritter Devil!




Up next, more of these....


1 comment:

NothingGirl said...

Very nice. I enjoy your writing.

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