Saturday, June 16, 2007

Surf’s Up

Twice in my life I have laughed out loud at a movie trailer that wasn’t supposed to be funny.

Exhibit A: “The Postman.” In a post-apocalyptic world, Kevin Costner’s troop-rallying cry (think Mel “Braveheart” Gibson in blue face paint) goes something like this: “We will deliver the mail!” At first I thought perhaps Costner had signed on for an “Airplane”-type spoof of his infamous flop, “Waterworld.” But no, “The Postman” was, in all seriousness, using mail as a metaphor for social order. I’m pretty sure that by the preview’s end, the entire theater was suffering a collective hysteric fit. (Now that I’ve moved to the 60625 ZIP code, where mail delivery is a daily crapshoot, I bow to the visionary genius of Kevin Costner.)

Exhibit B: “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” Where to begin. Oh yeah: Silver. Surfer.

I know nothing about this movie except that I have no intention of seeing it. Admittedly I am not into comic books, but even if fan boys argue that the Silver Surfer has a back story to rival that of Batman, or even The Joker, I don’t care. The concept, to the uninitiated, and that would be a huge percentage of potential moviegoers, sounds—and looks—stupid. Surfers say things like, “Dude, that wave was gnarly.” (At least I imagine that’s what they say. Living in the Midwest, I don’t run into a lot of boarders.) Surfers have shaggy hair and wear baggy shorts. Surfers are slackers and stoners and if they’re not riding waves, they’re thinking about riding waves. Surfers are not villains. Surfers are not diabolical. Surfers, even silver ones that appear to be molded out of special effects left over from “Terminator 2,” are not scary.

I don’t expect much from summer’s crop of movies. ‘Tis the season for mindless fun. But ‘tis also the season when George Lucas introduced us to the fiercely evil Darth Vader. (And I mean the original James Earl Jones version. I do not acknowledge the existence of the Star Wars “prequels.”) Or when Steven Spielberg had us cowering in our seats at the sight of a shaking glass of water—the T-Rex is coming! The T-Rex is coming! In this illustrious company, the Silver Surfer plays like a joke.

Now, if Hollywood is looking for the sort of bad guy to truly inspire fear and loathing, my husband and I would be willing to part with the following idea--for a price: As inspired by my recent head cold, ladies and gentlemen, I give you…The Green Snot.

Laugh if you will, but think about it first. A lean, mean mucous-spewing machine. One of the biggest clichés in all of moviedom features one character defiantly spitting in the face of another. In the right context, it can be more disgusting and shocking than a gunshot. Now imagine the exponential horror if that bodily fluid weren’t spit, but snot. If I saw this guy—or gal—coming, I’d definitely run in the opposite direction of his—or her—nasal cavities. And don’t think you can kill it with a shot of Nyquil. The Green Snot is a virus—completely impervious to anti-biotics and anti-histamines. He has no kryptonite.

Call me crazy, but some movie studio executive bought the Silver Surfer.


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