With a Jolt, My Mind Awakens…Chapter Sixty-Six: Perfection

Good morning, Mr. Bassett…

Perfection (Ode to “Tremors”)

In 1990, monster movies moved in a new direction –
specifically, underground, in the little town called Perfection.
This sleepy little tract of land was dust and splintered dreams
but underneath this quiet land, nothing was as it seems.
The natives of the terra firma were bloody hungry worms;
The origin of these squirming nasties? Classified and unconfirmed.
They wreaked havoc upon Perfection because New Jersey was too uptight,
Perhaps they didn’t like the stink along the Jersey ‘Pike!
They ran ol’ Edgar up a telephone pole to his eternal rest;
Sadly, he was quite unable to outrun the infernal pests.
He was found by Valentine and Earl, on their way to Bixby,
who were weary of the ‘fix-it’ life and off to the big city.
The doc said Edgar sure was spooked but couldn’t offer why –
Val and Earl paid their respects and made a quick goodbye.
They passed by hermit Fred’s sheep farm, his livestock cut to shreds,
And found the farmer in the ground, revealing just his head.
“What the HELL is goin’ on?!” said Val, who wanted to footloose;
Earl, without the right stuff, just wanted to vamoose.
Back into the truck around the mountain on their ride –
Two repair guys meet the enemy, good luck ain’t on their side.
Val and Earl meet Rhonda, grad student with a plan:
to measure the seismic punk rock that’s been wobbling through the land.
They’ve got a major theory ‘cuz there’s something ‘neath their truck,
A slimy tongue? A tentacle? A snail that’s run amok??
Walter Chang sees dollar signs and offers up them some money
for photo ops with that slice of Graboid – “c’mon, SMILE, Honey!”
The shopkeep’s tempting fate with this scheme to get-rich-quick,
played by Victor Wong, vet of John Carpenter flicks.
We also meet survivalists Burt and Heather Gummer;
For them, governmental presence is a really major bummer.
(Three cheers for the casting director responsible for this scene:
The hippie dad from “Family Ties” holding an M-16!?
Reba McEntire as the girl who’s armed for war,
apocalypse, return of Christ, or Zombiefied Uproar!)
That night, the doctor and his wife enjoy a peaceful sky
When the generator runs south and the doc lets out a cry.
The doc becomes an evening snack, but one with a medical degree –
Smartest cookie the monsters ate, wouldn’t you agree?
Val and Earl pay a visit, but it won’t be a social one:
“Hey, Earl, where are those golden oldies coming from?”
Away they ride on horseback to warn the folks in town
and a Graboid introduces himself by taking one horse down!
Val and Earl are on the run as the Graboid picks up speed,
A leap across a concrete wall, exactly what they need!
The Graboid bursts through concrete and ends up Sloppy Joe’d
Val and Earl triumphant, but it’s a long and rocky road,
for Rhonda’s readings indicate 3 more of the Filthy Four,
time to run as another Graboid wants to settle the score!
Our heroes are trapped on residual boulders but pole vault to their freedom –
Deux ex machina’s always there when you really need ‘em!
At Walter’s store, the troops re-convene and develop a plan of attack,
They can’t reach out for help because the radio’s out – of – whack.
The freezer screeches murder, and the boys try to unplug it,
but a Graboid hears the furor – that’s his jam, he really dug it!
Bursting through the floor, it targets Walter and takes a bite,
because Chinese take-out hits the spot any time of day or night!
The shopkeep’s gone, but the worms ain’t done satisfyin’ their sweet tooth
“They’re under the ground!” says Valentine, “Git up on your roof!”
Mindy with the pogo stick brings the worms’ attention,
but she doesn’t become a feast thanks to Valentine’s intervention!
Shift to Burt and Heather, in their rec room, taking stock
of their ammunition for the impending Ragnarok!
Enter stage right, antagonist: Graboid with Death Wish,
Brother, are YOU in trouble, because Burt and Heather’s favorite dish
is Open Flame Grab-Shish-Ka-Bob, surely a fitting tomb
for the Graboid who broke into the wrong goddamn rec room!
(Burt Gummer: king of badass, Atlanta Hawks fan, Man of the People,
The producers surely loved this scene, screaming: SEQUEL! SEQUEL! SEQUEL!)
The Gummer-nators lock and load, but the Graboids bust their wheels;
Perfection’s going under, and Valentine’s on his heels
running for a semi-end to hitch to a bulldozer
while Nestor’s trailer starts to reel and Graboids tip it over,
“the tire’s no good, Nestor, get high or you’ll get eaten!
Nestor, get up on your – *CHOMP* well, hope they like the taste of cretin…”
The dozer’s up and runnin’ and they all head for the range,
hoping that their situation will dramatically change.
Burt and Heather defend their home, but the Graboids have clearly won;
The best line in the movie sums it up:
“You didn’t get penetration with the elephant gun!”
A pit-trap’s dug in the bulldozer’s path – them Graboids got real smart!
The denizens scramble frantically to the rocks so they can start
their explosive wormageddon to end the Graboid threat,
let those squishy bastards know that they ain’t quite done yet!
One Graboid mistakes a Gummer’s Special for a kosher frank,
and slimy entrails fly through sky, lovely but so rank!
Another bomb is thrown and quickly taken by the wriggler,
who promptly spits it out because he thought it was a Twizzler!
The bomb lands in the rocks, so Perfection’s Finest scatter,
most of them to safety but three may yet be splattered –
Rhonda, Val, and Earl are stranded, placed directly in harm’s way,
But Valentine’s got one more plan to use to save the day!
He “stampedes” the final vermin to the cliff to death unholy –
At 60 MPH, you’ve got Graboid Guacamole!
And so ends a day historic for the people of Perfection,
as Earl suggests for Valentine some quiet introspection –
the motherhumpers have been killed and they surely won’t be missed,
so go and find that college gal and give her a big kiss!
You know the rest – Val and Rhonda started their romance –
Earl, he rested comfortably, knowing there wasn’t a chance
that the earthbound infestation would soon be resurrected;
well, not soon, but in ’96, Earl was quite corrected.
But that’s a story for another day, so I won’t get ahead;
Good night, little Graboids – brush your tongues and go to bed!

I may go on the road with this nonsense…Requests, MB fans?!

Friday Night Flix: Phase 7

phase7-1Welcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.

How does one classify a movie like Phase 7 (Netflix, Hulu)? Generally speaking, killer plague + goofy mustaches = horror comedy. But is Phase 7 horror at all? There’s very little gore (see below), zero scares, and only a hint of suspense. Black comedy might be appropriate, but despite the end-of-the-world vibe it’s not really all that dark. It’s actually kind of optimistic and compassionate. Maybe that’s why I like it so much.

Vague character motivations and silly action scenes notwithstanding (Why do some countries  struggle so mightily with movie gun fights? It’s because America rules and is awesome, isn’t it?) Phase 7 is a heterogenous mix of funny, serious, and shocking moments, all barreling toward a surprisingly emotional coda. For example: at one point a bunch of neighbors calculate how many “real” people live in their building, not counting cleaning ladies or Asians. Har har. A little while later, these nice folks decide to forcibly relocate a lonely old man, which is somewhat less funny. Then, out of nowhere, this happens:

phase7-4To be fair, the exploding head gag is an isolated incident. Phase 7 isn’t anywhere near the End Times splatterfest its hazmat-suit-and-shotgun box art suggests. It is, however, quite the survivalist fantasy. I am not a doomsday prepper but that is only because I lack the time, energy, and disposable income. Also my wife would divorce me if I started stockpiling munitions in our comically small apartment.

The thing about those crazy preppers is they’re going to be right eventually. Even if it’s four billion years from now, the world will eventually end. And in the interim there are bound to be plenty of catastrophes significant enough to merit a hearty “I told you so.” Imagine if you spent your entire life being mocked for your apocalyptic beliefs. When said apocalypse finally hit, I would cruise around in my armored car, laughing at the unprepared masses as they shambled by with their skin dripping off like the guy at the end of Robocop.

phase7-2

Added bonus: toward the beginning, army men in gas masks drop a giant tarp around an apartment building. That has to be a dig at [REC], right? Way to take on a beloved, homegrown franchise! Maybe eventually they’ll listen and stop churning out disappointing sequels. (Probably not.)

Cool Thing You Can’t Buy #4,080: Monty Python & The Holy Grail LEGO Sets

I haven’t played with LEGO in something like 20 years. But if I could get my hands on these? Reset that clock! My wife would come home and just find me in the middle of the floor, cardboard boxes torn asunder, little plastic bricks everywhere, reciting lines from the movie at my cat. “Look what you’ve married. LOOK AT IT!”tumblr_lwwsbqbqVU1qhl2u3o1_500
2013-08-28 16_55_55-LEGO 79093_ The French _ Flickr - Photo Sharing! 2013-08-28 16_56_08-LEGO 79091_ The Black Knight _ Flickr - Photo Sharing! 2013-08-28 16_55_40-LEGO 79094_ The Trojan Rabbit _ Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Via Flickr magician Rifiröfi’s account via The Brothers Brick.

More after the jump!

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