Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Bear Necessities

"Wow," I thought at Best Buy two years ago,"Chilling Classics has A Bucket of Blood, Driller Killer and Bad Taste. Some other cool shit too, it seems."
"I hope this doesn't have as many shitty things on it as Drive-in Classics," said Leza in the check-out line.
"There's a lot of good stuff on Drive-in Classics."
"I guess you're right," said Leza.
When we got home, I eagerly opened up the new box of weirdass cinematic treasures. Over time I would find about twenty six of these to be kinda watchable. At that moment, however, Slashed Dreams caught my eye.
"Hey, there's a rape revenge thing with Robert Englund," I said.
"That sounds really unplesaant," said Leza. So we watched Bad Taste instead. But of course, the next time I was home alone, I had to check out Slashed Dreams. I thought perhaps my brain would come oozing out of my ears. What the hell? Preppy college students going to visit their hippy friend? This is the film? I was pretty pissed off. I got over my disappointment to try and show it to Leza. We didn't watch it. Not until a couple weeks ago. I laughed my ass off, Leza fell asleep. But not before telling me she hated me for this.
When I told Leza that Jordan had suggested Slashed Dreams, she was a little bit irate, but, I argued, it was certainly strange and offputting and we shouldn't just review movies that we think are super cool. And this was as far from a movie we thought was supercool as we could get. But then, I noticed something. When the protagonists of the film prepare to visit their friend on the mountain, they go to a general store. At the general store, they encounter Francoamerican singing sensation Rudy Vallee. Suspicious, sketchy, eager to sell them a knife or make them eat gross candy...this man was awfully sketchy in that Lynchian kind of way in which a person is horrifying that doesn't need to be horrifying. He acts like the gatekeeper of a whole new realm of menace, the man who warns them a la Crazy Ralph from Friday the 13th, that they are about to leave their whitebread world and enter a realm of terror. They should have bought that knife. They should have taken more candy. They should have followed the rules.
. A few minutes after the college kids start traveling up the mountain, the scariest thing in the film occurs. They are menaced by a bear. The bear seems innocent and cute, but at the same time, he wants to get in their way, to deprive them of their lifeforce. I had to wonder what this bear symbolized, until suddenly, it struck me, the bear was Rudy Vallee. And he had taken their snacks since they were not willing to take his or to stand up for themselves with the knife he offered to sell them. I thought perhaps this might be a bit critical of their bear protocol, so I had to consult my friend Bizarro author and bear expert Mykle Hansen, author of The Rampaging Fuckers of Everything on the Crazy Shitting Planet of the Vomit Atmosphere. I asked him five questions and here is how he responded:

1. If a bear wants your snacks, should you relinquish them or should you fight for them?

You should definitely fight for them if you are in a horror film. If you are in a
sensitive romantic date film, you should just hand over the snacks, allowing
your eyes to meet the bear's briefly, furtively, exchanging unspoken promises.
If you are in a film about being raped, you should close your eyes, bend over
and think of Werner Herzog.

2. What do you do if the bear doesn't like your snacks?

Sometimes bears are picky eaters. It helps to arrange the snacks in
an eye-pleasing manner, perhaps on a "Smøegma" bamboo-veneer serving
platter from Ikea, or, alternately, a log. Also, be aware that some
bears have food sensitivities. For instance, urban black bears
may prefer rotten food, whereas the polar bear only eats animals that
scream and thrash about when bitten. If the bear "turns up its nose" at your
snack offerings, try not to take it personally. You might consider
letting the bear rape you instead, as a way to reduce awkwardness.

3.What if the bear is actually singing sensation Rudy Vallee?

First, determine whether you are dealing with an immature
Rudy Vallee "cub" or with a full-grown adult. The former can
be discouraged with a sharp whack across the snout with a
tenor saxophone. The latter will not be discouraged by anything
smaller than a baritone.

4.Could Rudy Vallee play saxophone in bear form?

It is a widely-held misconception that bears cannot play the
saxophone. Circus animal trainers have in fact taught these clever,
versatile creatures a panoply of legitimate job skills including
woodwind and brass instruments, piano, tympani, unicycle,
swordfighting, balancing on a ball, dancing in a tutu, and raping
and dismembering a circus animal trainer.

5.Do you think Rudy Vallee controls his transformation like Apache Chief or a Viking berserker can? Or is it some kind of curse?

Excellent question! As you know, Rudy Vallee is a man of
many moods -- many of them documented in his breakthrough
1947 album "The Many Moods of Rudy Vallee." In fact,
moodiness was a cornerstone of Vallee's unique "crooning" style.
If one of Rudy's moods is a transmogrifying-into-a-rapist-bear
mood, or even a morphing-into-a-towering-robotic-saxophone-
and-humping-the-Pompidou-Center mood, can he be blamed?
Certain modern phrenologists define all "moods" to be mild forms
of mental illness, a disease to be cured by pills with names like
"Friendlax" or "Mediocra"; call me old fashioned, but I prefer to
be swept away in the moment. So I cried during the trailer for
the Karate Kid remake -- does that make me "sick" or
"dangerous" or a "lycanthropic sex-beast?" Sure, okay, I may
have raped one or two children afterwards, but it's not like I do
that every day. I may have "moods," but they don't control me.
Besides, all Girl Scouts are sluts.

But anyway, I guess the honest answer is "yes and no."

So, you see? Mykle Hansen, author of Eyeheart Everything cottons to this theory and we all know from the world of academia that if you can quote somebody on something it becomes empirically true. It's a moment of sheer terror as the heroes see the price for violating the covenant with the bear. They stumble blindly, traumatized by the loss of snacks and then there's some unpleasantness with a local frenchman and Robert Englund offers them tea. So, if you want to see dreams slashed by the talons of nature's vengeance, see Slashed Dreams.

Or don't, because I'm completely bullshitting you. This is the dullest movie ever made. Even if Rudy Vallee had shapeshifting powers, he wouldn't use them for this movie. The only thing you can get out of this is a halfassed rape scene, a couple halfassed nude scenes and a halfassed hatchet attack, which I didn't even think was possible. And then there's a halfassed epiphany after Robert Englund comforts the halfassed heroine of this halfassed movie over tea. I'm just lucky that I got over watching this movie with a cup of herbal tea and a little help from my friends.


  1. Oh, I neglected to mention, Mykle Hansen is author of an article in The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction#1 as well, which contains the first of my Jimmy Plush stories, which I would have to posit was the magazine's sole bear content. I couldn't for the life of you tell me why Mykle Hansen knows so goddamn much about bears.

  2. Garrett, you're right. After meditating on it all night, I decided there is a definite Rudy subtext (subplot?) going and I just didn't see it. I believe the soundtrack really turned my mind into hippie mush and I neglected to see the sinister, Lynchian, bear-inspired Vallee aspect of this "film"...

    Now I'm wondering if I should watch it a fourth time. You think Leza would like to join me?

  3. Dude: "bear"-itone!
    Get it?
    OMG!!! i kill myself!!! LOL HAHAHA ROTFL no really I do!! watch this URKK!