Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Willies

Today's movie came as a recommendation from the same friend that suggested Sorority Row, so I braced for the worst. I mean it's got Donkey Lips and some other names I recognize in it, but the box looks cheesy, so it seemed like a good idea to brace anyway.

Our film begins with some kids (including Sean Astin, aka Sam, the true hero of LotR) sitting around a campfire, one of them telling some gross out jokes that I'm used to hearing in the form of dead baby jokes, like "what's grosser than 10 dead puppies in a garbage can? One dead puppy in ten garbage cans." One of them tells us a story, which we see enacted, of some fat woman ordering chicken at a KFC parody and getting a deep fried rat. The way it's filmed, and the way they act in the enactment, reminds me a lot of the original Toxic Avenger film. In fact, the guy behind the counter even kinda reminds me of pre-mutated Toxie.

After this story we cut to an old guy who I swear I've seen in like a hundred movies, including Home Alone the other day, as he's going through a haunted house ride thing, but he dies of a heart attack from fright! This is also a story about how the theme park had to tone down the haunted house. Please tell me the whole film isn't like this.

We cut to another story, an old woman washes her puppy in the sink next to a microwave, and before I can finish saying "She's gonna microwave it," she microwaves it. For some reason though, the poodle doesn't blow up until a few seconds after the microwave's done. It's odd thinking back favorably to fucking Urban Legends. Thankfully the prologue finally ends with one kid saying his next story will give them... the title screen!

The story begins with some dorky kid getting bullied... inside the school by some kid with a mullet and his goons. They tie him up to the ceiling with a firehouse, rip up his prize winning drawing, and put the prize ribbon in his mouth... in the middle of the school hallway. What horrible school is this? By the way, believe me on this, Rudy, the main bully? His goons are called Frick and Frack. I'm not kidding. Lucky for the kid, he gets saved by a kind old mustachioed janitor.

So, the kid's doing a test on fractions when he suddenly has to use the bathroom. The teacher's hesitant to let him go, but the class votes on it and lets him. Once there he finds the janitor's cart is blocking him, so he checks the stalls for him, only to find a crappy monster in one! Shock! He runs back to the class, tries to tell the teacher about it, but the bully points out he peed himself. The teacher promptly mocks him for this, in front of the class. She -insults- the kid. Then sends him off to clean himself. He goes back to the bathroom, and there he finds... a body suit of the janitor. Shock! The janitor was a monster all along, and is trying to use the bathroom, but the kid just won't let him for some reason. Seriously kid, let the monster take a crap.

He runs back to the teacher to tell her that the monster killed the janitor, and shock, she still doesn't believe him, and is still being a complete and total cunt. Shockingly, the janitor's door is now locked, the stall is now empty, and she continues insulting him. Cue the monster... dropping down, she hits it in the head with a book a few times, he pulls her up and then kills her. Surprisingly, for a film this immature, there's actually some blood!

Anyway the kid leads the three bullies to the bathroom to show them he's not lying, an that it ate the teacher, and they decide to follow him in there for some reason. They aren't too bright. Once in there he pushes over the drinking fountain to prevent them from leaving, because obviously the best revenge against a bully is to have them die a horrible death. Cue the monster killing all three bullies offscreen while the nerdy kid just walks away to happy music. Happy music just feels odd when it's set to three children dying. We get a shot of someone walking into the bathroom and finding the bloody mess before it pans up to reveal what was already obvious to begin with: The monster is putting on the janitor's body as a suit.

Well, the janitor moves to another town after this, according to the narration, and gets a job at another school as a janitor. The principal and the older woman from Hatchet, the one who went on the tour with her husband (the Jump to Conclusions guy), come up to the janitor and ask if he's seen Jordan, some kid who is apparently a bully at this school too. As soon as they walk away, he pulls out a torn kid's shirt to use as a washrag, complete with dramatic music to imply that that was Jordan's shirt! And that's the end of that story. So, this continues as an anthology, then? I was wondering why the pacing was so god awful.

The next story begins at Gary Spivey's place, the father of that kid that got poison ivy at Camp Grenada. He's apparently some farmer/scientist guy! Well, Donkey Lips from Salute Your Shorts waltzes in and steals a jar of his manure, but as he's trying to run off the farmer goes crazy and tries to shoot him. But Farmer Spivey, if you kill him now, who will Budnick befriend? Well, Donkey Lips turns out to be a no good kid in general, as he later goes into a pharmacy just to shoplift some nail polish remover. He also tries to scare a cat into traffic, but a car swerves to miss it, almost hits an old lady... and instead a big plastic bug from the car falls off the roof and scares her. That was... silly.

It turns out Donkey Lips is doing all of this because he has a weird fascination with flies, and we're shown a scene of him examining them and feeding them all to some... oddly pretty music. Because when you look at Donkey Lips, you think insect loving classical music fan. Well, maybe not, as we then pan over to some dioramas he's made of a castle, a diner, and a church, each one with flies glued to them. So he raises flies just to glue them in a small scale representation of Barf's Diner? Moments later he and his dysfunctional parents are sitting around eating friend chicken and watching the local news station: KORN (I'm not joking) where the farmer, who is being interviewed by KORN, reveals that his special manure makes things grow. So what, we're gonna get giant flies killing Donkey Lips?

What is it with kids movies and furthering the whole parents suck and school is hell theme? There's also the recurring thing about how kids with odd interests need to be punished, and how horrible it is to not have a social life... and there's even several films I've seen where a kid is at fault for not dating, and it just kinda blows my mind. Want to have your mind blown? Later that night Gordy (Donkey Lips)'s watching TV, and he changes the channel to fucking Growing Pains, where Mike Seaver seriously kills flies and says he's saving them for Gordy. I'm not joking. Also if we wanna talk about crazy, Donkey Lips in this film is far less crazy than Kirk Cameron in real life, just wanna go ahead and say that. He wakes up from this nightmare, only to find himself in a bed covered in mealworms. Why is it movies typically use mealworms instead of maggots? Well, that's also a dream, and he wakes up in his normal bed.

The next day at school, Gordy sits down with some girls at lunch where he tries to get one girl just to try talking to him for once. Well, turns out she shouldn't show any pity for him, as the second she does and takes a bite into an offered cookie he made, we find out it was covered in flies. Still less crazy than Kirk Cameron. He gets sent home because of this, and the last we see of the girl she's being checked out by the school nurse for some reason. I mean eating a fly sounds disgusting, but I can't imagine the nurse being that necessary.

On his way back, the creepy farmer guy tries acting friendlier to him, and gives him a huge jar of the suped up magical manure. He goes home to find that his mom has already heard about the whole cookie thing, and has thrown away everything related to his hobby in anger. Luckily for him, his mom's kind of absent minded and managed to miss a flystrip, so he gets to keep three flies in the jar of magical manure! Predictably, that night, this makes the flies gigantic and angry, and they attack Donkey Lips! They seriously look like Power Rangers villains here, which made me think back to Bulk of Bulk & Skull instead.

His parents hear the noise and go into his room to fin that the flies have ripped off Gordy's arms, leaving hm crying in a corner with two bloody stumps. They turn around, see the flies come out of the closet wielding his arms, and then the lights go out as they scream, and the farmer watches from outside smiling. Gordy wakes up the next morning in a hammock, leading to a false "all just a dream" scene again as the camera zooms out to reveal he has hook hands now. I couldn't not laugh my ass off at this scene. I figured at first they were going to imply that he was glued to it and it's all a big diorama, but no, it's just a hammock.

We cut back to the wraparound story where the the kids argue about how the stories couldn't have happened, when the light suddenly goes out. The main storyteller's dad (apparently the uncle of the other two kids) comes out to check on them, and the kids ask him to prove the janitor story wasn't fake. ...so he predictably takes off his mask, revealing that he was the monster from that story, and judging by the silhouette as the camera moves outside the tent, probably kills the kids? Or not, I don't know, they're related somehow...

Overall, this movie was about on par with some of the better Goosebumps episodes, like How To Kill A Monster, but not as good as Werewolf of Fever Swamp. If you grew up on stuff like Are You Afraid of the Dark, Goosebumps, etc. and enjoyed them, I'd recommend digging this up and giving it a view.

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