Inside My Head

the literary rantings of Angie Frissore

SMSC Reader’s Choice

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February 1, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | | Leave a comment

Angie’s Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema: Blood Diner (1987)

a20blood20diner20dragon20dvd20This week’s sketch fest is, perhaps, the perfect example of the delicate balance needed to create, what I feel to be, the sketchiest of sketch cinema. So come, laugh with me, cry with me, get nauseous with me, as we sit down to a heaping helping of sketch, Jackie Kong’s 1987 masterpiece, Blood Diner.

A killer is on the loose in anytown, USA, and the latest victims happened to be the local Happy Times All-Girl Glee Club. As young tykes Mikey and Georgie amuse themselves while mom runs to the store for “God-damned tampons”, the front door is suddenly smashed in much to the robot-like, unimpressed children.

Enter Uncle Anwar, covered in blood and wielding a meat cleaver, who is instantly subdued at the sight of his nephews. Knowing he is running out of time (as the sounds of sirens grows closer), he presents the boys with two necklaces which he claims to be ancient ‘Lumarian’ relics, dating back – get this now – 5 million years B.C.

That’s pretty old. At this point, I knew I was in for a cinematic extravaganza.

After the uncle’s predictable demise, we fast forward twenty years.

Our little boys are all grown up now, and long for the company of old Uncle Anwar so badly that they dig him up in his grave, crack open his skull, catch his brain (which was launched from the skull fifteen feet into the air), pickle it, and place a spell on it. This is, of course, after bashing the eyes out of the timid graveyard security guard.

The boys take the skull, which is now alive, has eyes (that’s right – a brain with eyes attached), and has a completely different voice than the previous Uncle Anwar (I suppose twenty years underground will do that to a man), back to their vegetarian diner.

I could go on and on with this in great detail, but I can’t, and I won’t. I cannot spoil the goodness involved in this journey of sketchy wonder. But I can, however, offer a few non-plot-related tidbits that are crawling in sketchy perfection.carlcrew2

Nude Cheerleader Aerobics. I’m not kidding – there is a scene, as random as it may be, where a bunch of cheerleaders are doing aerobics with only bikini bottoms on. See, the only connection to the plot line here is that one girl, Connie, does not attend this little exercise session (which is being taped ‘on cable coast to coast’), making her the target ‘pure’ girl.

Random bouncing of the bouncer. The boys are outside of a club, trying to force their way in, when a bouncer tries to stop them. Mikey tosses the bouncer into the street – right into the path of an oncoming car which is bouncing with hydraulics. Long story short, what should be a horrible scene to witness provides laughs for all passers-by.

carlcrew1Running Down the Biker. Georgie is out for a drive in his van, when he happens upon an old, fat biker dude who is in the street after breaking down. Excitedly (and to some mambo song), he plows the van into the biker and takes off. But the biker isn’t dead. Georgie sees this, and proceeds to reverse and hit him again. This process is repeated about a dozen times, as the biker keeps on getting up. Later we find out the biker actually dies from a heart attack.

There’s a wrestling match. An honest-to-goodness wrestling match. Enough said.

Through it all, our townspeople are feasting on the diner’s new menu…which contains the bits of many of the town’s ‘tramps, sluts and whores’.

So with that, I urge you to feast on this Sunday sketch-o-rama and take in the cheesy, oven-baked goodness of Blood Diner. The gratuitous nudity, blood, and lack of seriousness to the acting will have you begging for seconds.

carlcrew4And now, for this week’s Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema quote of the week:

Brain of Uncle Anwar: “The first ingredients we need are two stomachs from a couple of tramps.”

February 1, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | | Leave a comment

Aaron’s Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema: Hamlet 2 (2008)

poster-hamlet2-lgSo, for my inaugural contribution to SMSC, I have chosen a comedy (of sorts) by the name of Hamlet 2.

Released in August of 2008, Hamlet 2 tells the tale of Dana Marschz (played by Steve Coogan). He is an effeminate, clueless, naive high school drama teacher who remakes popular movies into plays with disastrous results. After finding out the the drama department is being dropped due to budget cuts, he decides to go out with a bang and produce one last show. This show is a sequel to one of Shakespeare’s best known plays, and appropriately dubbed Hamlet 2.

With a group of students ranging from a young man confused about his sexual identity, a good girl secretly wanting to be bad, and a gang of Latino ruffians who took the course just for the easy credit, Mr. Marschz sets about putting his vision onto the stage. In the process he pisses off more and more people as they object to the content of the play, but continues to push forward despite it all to see his vision realized.

Hamlet 2 starts off pretty slow, and while there are pockets of amusement it’s a mixed bag for much of the film. Coogan’s portrayal of the bizarre teacher is funny at first, but the cluelessness and whininess starts to grate about halfway in. The movie hits a lot of the typical “underdog fighting back against those who wronged him by following his hamlet_2_3dream” notes, and wavers between low-brow comedy and trying to be a bit heartwarming. It plays a bit with racial stereotypes, pokes fun at other “teacher trying to reform the tough kids” movies, plays a bit into the teacher’s messed up personal life, and tries to jump all over the place as it builds up to the unveiling of the play. There are laughs throughout, or at least chuckles, but it never tries to rise above the mediocre level of comedy it hits early on and holds at. With the exception of the teacher and a few students, most characters are just archetypes that aren’t really fleshed out (surly principal, brain-dead roommate, bitchy wife, etc), and it’s obvious early on that your focus is meant to be on Coogan’s character and his small cadre of students.

That is, until towards the end, when the play Hamlet 2 finally hits the stage. While there is a lot going on (an attorney defending the play’s legal right to be shown, townspeople picketing outside), the movie does show a lot of the musical. Featuring such soon-to-be-classic number like “Raped in the Face” (sung by an actor portraying Albert Einstein) and “Rock Me Sexyhamlet2 Jesus”, when you’re watching the play-within-the-movie it all comes together and makes the last hour or so worth the wait. As Jesus and Hamlet go on adventures with their time machine, not only is the play hilarious but the reactions of the audience are funny as well (like a parent who is horrified, but also states that he can’t look away).

Is it worth seeing? Probably, as long as you’re easily amused and aren’t looking for high art. There’s enough funny to keep it moving along, and the play itself (what they show of it) is amazing and entertaining and nonsensical wrong in so many ways. It’s not the greatest comedy in the world, but it’s hardly the worst. It’s a lot like the main character: a bit of lost, but with lofty dreams, and it all comes together in the end.

Hamlet 2‘s sketch cinema quote?

Mr. Marschz (as Jesus in the play Hamlet 2): When my father finds out what I’ve been doing, he’s going to crucify me.

February 1, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | | Leave a comment