Archive for December, 2012

Some movie heroes should have just stayed in bed and let things work themselves out. Look, making a bad situation worse may help the plot along, but it’s not so great for your stress level, you dumbass movie hero.

Goddamned moron.

Not that it isn’t entertaining to watch someone throw themselves right under the Crazy Bus. The following so-called protagonists didn’t just worsen their own problems; without them, the problems never would have existed in the first place.

6. Bowman and Poole, 2001

The main dramatic point in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey revolves around the AI known as HAL 9000, which completely controls the systems of the spaceship our heroes reside in. HAL states to protagonist David Bowman early on that he is infallible and incapable of error, so you know things are going to turn out great.

After HAL erroneously diagnoses a fault in one of the ship’s components, Bowman and crewmate Frank Poole get a little sketchy, since their asses are in the hands of the supercomputer. They shut themselves in an airtight pod and have a little discussion; if HAL fucks up again, they’re pulling the plug. They’re confident HAL can’t hear them, and it can’t- but it can see them.


They have this conversation in full view of the sentient, super-powerful machine, which simply reads their lips and decides that it’s humans vs. computer at this point. It doesn’t take long before things start getting deathy. Multiple deaths that could have been avoided if Bowman and Poole had taken the simple extra precaution of covering their fool mouths.

Bowman and Poole cock everything up.

5. Ashley J. Williams, Evil Dead II

In Evil Dead II (which is absolutely not just a higher budget remake of Evil Dead, that’s just ridiculous) the trouble starts when Ash and his friends decide to smoke some dope and play some tunes. OK, so that’s not quite accurate. They decide to smoke some dope and play a reel to reel tape of someone reciting passages from the goddamn Necronomicon, which may sound like a good time, but we assure you it is not.

Unless this is your idea of a good time.

You’d think Ash would have learned from the events of the first movie, because this is a sequel, not a remake, dammit, but before long all manner of crazy bullshit is breaking out all over everywhere, Ash is cutting up his dead killer zombie girlfriend with a chainsaw and literal geysers of blood also make an appearance.

In fact, judging by the end of the movie and the entirety of the next, Ash has a pretty bad habit of causing his own problems. Good show, Ash. You guys probably should have just listened to Abbey Road or something.

Ash blows it hard.

4. Nick Rice, Law Abiding Citizen

In the underrated 2009 thriller, Jamie Foxx’s prosecutor Nick Rice decides to cut a deal involving two thugs who murdered the family of nice guy Clyde Shelton, imprisoning the less-guilty of the two on the testimony of the super-guilty one. Happens all the time, right? Gotta break a few eggs to reverse-engineer a chicken, or whatever the saying is.

However, it turns out Clyde is not so nice- he’s a government trained killing machine, and he’s not a big fan of the deal. In fact, his specialty and trade happens to be subterfuge, mindfuckery and killing people while not even in the same area code, and he thinks Nick Rice is a real asshole.

And he’s gonna bring the hunky pain.

Nick might should have pursued the truly guilty party a little harder- it seriously would have turned out way better for everyone involved, guilty party included. We’d prefer six life sentences to what happens to that guy.

Nick buggers himself.

3. Captain Kirk, “Star Trek – Space Seed”

In the original “Star Trek” episode “Space Seed”, several questionable decisions are made with regard to the super-soldier Khan- not the least of which is to thaw him out in the first place, and to allow him valuable alone time with an impressionable, easily manipulated female crew member.

Would you leave your woman alone with him?

While this almost results in the Enterprise’s destruction at the climax of the episode, the next and possibly worst decision- to drop the fucking charges against Khan and exile him instead of putting him on trial- endangers the ship and its crew again decades later, after Khan has had plenty of time to stew in anger and plot his revenge.

In the tellingly titled 1982 film Star Trek II – The Wrath Of Khan, the crew happens upon Khan, who doesn’t waste any time with pleasantries before ear-bugging Chekov and fucking up Kirk’s shit so hard that he wails Khan’s name in anguish. Those are, like, the only two parts of that movie anyone remembers, right?

Anyway: fuck a duck, Kirk, why didn’t you just kill the guy? Totally should’ve killed the guy. Who are you, Batman?

Kirk, under the authority vested in him by Starfleet command, ensures a giant clusterfuck for everyone decades hence.

2. Evan Treborn, The Butterfly Effect

The ostensible hero of The Butterfly Effect is a textbook example of this trope; Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) is a walking, talking This Trope. Literally everything he does leads to a different problem that he has to fix; then, his solution to that problem leads to an even greater problem that he has to fix; and on and on ad infinitum. Which sounds like the bumbling antics of a loveable doofus like Kutcher, only in this movie it leads to one abjectly horrifying situation after another.

At least Kelso couldn’t warp reality.

If you haven’t seen the movie, then hey, spoilers: Evan himself goes from mildly screwed up but pretty well-adjusted kid, to prisoner, to double amputee, and finally to inmate in a psych ward. His girlfriend becomes a junkie hooker, his mom gets lung cancer, his best friend goes crazy… all while Evan insists to himself that his next leap will be the leap home, and Dean Stockwell calls him a stupid asshole.

We may be remembering this wrong.

At any rate, depending on the version you watch- theatrical or director’s cut- it all leads either to a tidy wrap-up of all the bullshit Evan spent the whole movie causing, or an incredibly dark non-ending. We’ll let you guess which is which. (Hint: watch the director’s cut.)

Evan fucks up…

Incredibly badly.

1. Tommy Jarvis, Friday The 13th Part 6: Jason Lives

In the opening scene of the sixth entry in the venerable Friday The 13th franchise, whackjob Jason-killer Tommy Jarvis has a terrifying nightmare in which he is Corey Feldman. And that’s not even the scariest part: he witnesses Jason rising from his grave, in the middle of a dark and stormy night, pissed off and ready to get stabby.

In order to ensure that it was just a nightmare, Tommy drags a dumbass friend who should really know better out to Jason’s grave in the middle of a dark and stormy night and freakin’ digs him up. Stay with us; that’s not even the second-stupidest thing Tommy does in the first five minutes of this movie.

Pictured: a fucking genius compared to Tommy Jarvis.

Tommy uses a machete, Jason’s weapon of choice, to hack on the corpse for awhile before symbolically throwing a symbolic goddamn hockey mask at said corpse. OK, that is the second stupidest thing Tommy does in the movie’s first five minutes.

What’s the stupidest thing, you ask? That would be impaling Jason with a giant metal pole from the cemetery’s gate. Made of metal. In a thunderstorm. And what do you suppose happens next?

Someone never got around to watching this one.

If you answered “freak bolt of lightning”, then congratulations, you’re much smarter than Tommy. The electrically reanimated Jason equips himself with the hockey mask and machete that Tommy conveniently supplied for him and figures he woke up just in time for the killing spree. And hey, whaddya know- he’s right!

He has a bit of a one-track mind.

Fun fact: Jason Lives had by far the highest body count (18) of any Friday The 13th movie to that time (until Jason X topped it in absurd fashion with 28). All deaths that could have been avoided if Tommy had been less of a wussy about his nightmares. Nice going, champ!

Tommy fucking blows it.


5. Rage Against The Machine Bassist Rages Against The Stage Props

At the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, Rage were nominated for Best Video for their Michael Moore-directed “Sleep Now In The Fire”. They lost to some bullshit by Limp Bizkit, and bassist Tim Commerford was not pleased.
In his defense, very few members of Rage are ever pleased about anything.

While the Bizkits were onstage accepting their award, Commerford suddenly materialized on top of the stage dressing, rocking it back and forth while audience members urged him to jump, because of course they did. Nobody seemed to be sure if it was a planned stunt (it wasn’t), the other band members were mortified, and the NYPD thought Commerford was a crazy fan and promptly arrested his ass when he came down.

This effectively ended Rage for a long-ass time; lead shouter-atter Zack De La Rocha quit the band a few days later. We just wish that if Commerford had to kill his band to make his point, he would have at least managed to squash Limp Bizkit while he was at it.

4. Sinead O’Connor Pisses Off Every Catholic In The World On SNL

For her 1992 performance on Saturday Night Live, Sinead O’Connor had a little surprise for everyone. She sang a powerful acapella rendition of Bob Marley’s “War” and your first hint that something was wrong was her changing of the word “racism” in the lyrics to “child abuse”. She also seemed… well, increasingly agitated as the performance progressed, and at the end it became apparent why.

While singing the word “evil”, she produced a picture of Pope John Paul II, then tore it to pieces as the song ended. There was absolute dead silence in the studio (sadly, the one guy who was supposed to shout “what the fuck?!?” must have missed his cue) and a quick cut to commercial.

Obviously, nobody had been warned of this beforehand (she had held up a picture of a starving child during dress rehearsal) and SNL producer Lorne Michaels, probably after changing the underwear he had just rage-crapped in, sprang into damage control mode.

Not that it did much good; NBC was flooded with telephone calls and angry letters, tabloids everywhere jumped all over it (with headlines like “HOLY TERROR!”) and suffice to say that nobody invited Sinead to do jack shit on live TV ever again, pretty much. Joe Pesci tore up a picture of O’Connor on the following week’s episode, saying he would have “given her such a smack”, which would have scared us more than the combined anger of all the nation’s Catholics if we were Sinead O’Connor.

3. PiL Thinks American Bandstand is A Joke, Acts Like It

When American Bandstand invited Public Image Ltd. to appear in 1980, they apparently did not read up on the band or realize that its lead singer was John Lydon, the once and future Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols. AB required bands to lip-sync, which went over exactly as well as you’d expect:

Lydon wandered around the audience, pulled people up onstage, engaged in idle conversation, banged his mic on the podium- everything he could think of to do except what he was supposed to be doing, which was pretend to sing. The rest of the band was likewise uninterested in pretending to play, but Dick Clark- ever the good sport- dutifully did his post-song interview and even had the band “perform” another number, which again consisted of Lydon wandering around the set like he was at a cocktail party.

Despite not cooperating in the least and potentially making a gigantic fiasco out of the airing, there were at least no expletives or overtly assholish remarks from Lydon, and the clip has become a regular part of AB’s highlight reels. Tom Snyder would probably say they got off easy.

2. The Stranglers Act A Fool On Dutch TV

English punk band the Stranglers were invited to perform on the Dutch music showcase “Top Pop” in 1977. And oh, they performed, all right, in much the same way that circus clowns do.

Singer Hugh Cromwell is obviously not singing, drummer Jet Black is even more obviously not playing (at one point even facing away from his drum kit) and the whole thing just generally looks like a bunch of Ritalin-addled toddlers pretending to do music stuff. But apparently nobody told the keyboardist; he proceeds to nail every pantomimed note perfectly, which is somehow the funniest part of the whole thing.

1. Billy Joel Stops Song To Be Huge Smartass At 1994 Grammys

A strange thing happened during Frank Sinatra’s acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement Award at the ’94 Grammy Awards. Frank was disappointed that he hadn’t been invited to sing, and yes, maybe he was going on for a bit; we don’t know how we would have dealt with it, but we’re pretty sure it wouldn’t have been the way the producers did- they cued the exit music and cut to commercial in the middle of his damn speech.

For some reason, this didn’t sit well with rock legend Billy Joel, who was performing his song “River of Dreams” next. There’s a slight pause in the middle of the song by design, but this time, Joel brought the number to a full stop, nonchalantly looked at his watch and intoned:

“Valuable advertising time… going by. Dollars… dollars… dollars.”

He let the producers sweat it out for what seemed like an eternity before mercifully launching his band back into the song. A textbook rock and roll moment, all in defense of Frank Sinatra, who famously didn’t much care for rock and roll.