Sunday, December 26, 2010

So what hath The Dug and K wrought this year? "Eclipse" and "Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny"

Twilight: Eclipse

A lot could be read into Stephanie Meyers' seemingly anti-introspective creation of the Twilight "Saga" with Meyers-cipher Bella Swan at the center of the mess.  And one could raise an eyebrow at what equates to a smashingly successful (financially) look into some version of an adolescent power/victim fantasy that blissfully surrenders the right to snark at what media studies classes sneer at as "adolescent male power fantasies" with this movie (are we at the dawn of the ineffectual victim fantasy genre?).

I can't imagine navigating this Mary Sue celebration of passivity and bad decision making without the power of RiffTrax and Bulleit.  Bad FX, a 22 minute plot strained out over two hours, a lack of direction more than bad direction, stale and stilted line delivery passing for acting...  it all makes for terrific fodder for the RiffTrax guys who guided us through the last two Twilight installments.

At the movie's finish, Jamie informed me that the final book (Breaking Dawn) will actually be split into two movies. When one considers how thin the plot was for Eclipse, a title which seemed to mean nothing more than "hey, that's a Moon-related word", its kind of mindboggling to imagine HALF of that plot smeared like too little cream cheese over two enormous bagels of movie

Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny

Were RiffTrax not to exist, its difficult to imagine why anyone would ever watch this movie, or, indeed, why this movie was made or how it was distributed.  But exist the movie does.

As near as I can tell, Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny was a promotional film intended to draw people to now-defunct Pirate's World, a Florida-based amusement park which opened an unfortunate handful of years prior to Walt Disney opening the doors of Walt Disney World a few hours' drive away.  Sort of how Uncle Walt staked out network time each week with the Disney Movie of the Week, which he'd introduce and use that time to plug the parks, perhaps the drunken buccaneers running Pirate's World believed they could create a similar vehicle to success in the greater Florida area.

Unlike Disney, however, how made his bones by synching sound with 1928's Steamboat Willie, this 1972-ish movie has a complete lack of synch sound, comedy, joy, production value or common sense. Its the true rare, utter failure of vision and competence.

And so, Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny follows what happens when Santa crash lands on a beach near Ft. Lauderdale and his reindeer, complete bastards all, abandon him on the beach and head home.  Santa lacks any sense of agency other than to telepathically summon neighborhood kids to make them solve his problem, which they fail to do (even after employing a guy in a gorilla suit).  Inexplicably, this leads Santa to tell the story of, as near as one can tell from the movie, a girl going to Pirate's World (which looks like a cross between a county fair and the lobby to the DMV) where she, in turn, hears the story of Thumbellina over a PA system.

Its not clear what any of this means, but the movie ends sometimes after Santa finishes telling about how the girl heard the story of Thumbellina at the DMV, the kids run off and return with the freakish and terrifying Ice Cream Bunny (a guy in a bunny suit who, in costume, drives a literal truck full of unbuckled kids down a bumpy road, occasionally swerving off the road and losing at least one kid.  I am not kidding), who saves the day by giving Santa a ride.

Loses a kid off the moving truck at:  4:35  (you can see his feet hit the ground as they go around the curve)
Almost hits dog around:  4:52
drives off the road at:  8:45
Generally freaks my shit:  duration of the video

Its a really, really good RiffTrax, and I can't recommend enough, if that sort of thing is your bag.


You have your holiday traditions, we have ours. It was great seeing Dug and K, and god bless Dug-less for bringing only the finest in awfulness to my TV each and every holiday.


Paul Toohey said...

I've never had a nightmare...if I do because of this video I'm going to be upset...

...or was this VIDEO my nightmare?

Dug said...

Good holiday times indeed. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good nightmare!