© 2005, 2006 Static and Feedback
All rights reserved
By JIM CAROLUS
STATIC and FEEDBACK staff writer
As anyone who regularly reads this site knows, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. It wasn’t entirely wasted time since
I was in Arizona visiting Old Tucson studios, filming location of such classic westerns as Rio Bravo, El Dorado,
Rio Lobo, Death Wish (sort of), The Outlaw Josey Wales and Mario Van Peebles’ immaculate masterpiece,
Posse (perhaps the finest film to come out the week it came out).
Anyway, look for more Western reviews coming soon. It’s an under-appreciated genre that has (with the
exception of elements of Sin City and Kill Bill) all but died out at the multiplexes…it’s time we revisit some of the
best. And we will.
But first, I have a little complaining to get out of my system. I’ve decided to model this tirade in the style of the late
Hunter S. Thompson, just for craps and chuckles. Maybe it’ll stimulate some new reviews out of me, maybe not.
In any case, the bitching will be fun, regardless of its effect on my literary output. I’ve never respected prolific
writers anyway – I get the sense they masturbate more than the less prolific ones. That can’t be healthy.
Anyway, I recently saw the movie Sin City. I was amazed, astounded even. It gave me the sort of thrill I got when I
first saw Star Wars and Indiana Jones when I was a kid. Even my precious Kill Bill didn’t quite excite me as
much as SC. As I left the theater, I said to myself, “This is solid news, this movie will be a HUGE hit and studios
will finally realize what audiences want…movies that push the medium in creative (and bizarre) directions.” I
didn’t say these words aloud, of course, because people would have found me weird, or at least pretentious and
overly outspoken. But rest assured, I thought them internally.
And I was right…for about a week. Then, the Matthew McConaughey “beefcake with a flashlight,” movie Sahara
opened. Encouragingly, it was rated PG-13. Trailers looked awful. Super Bowl commercials were worse, all but
spoiling the big game. The movie itself looked piss-your-pants, take-a-shit-in-your-theater-seat-but-still-get-up-
to-burn-down-the-theater bad. Penelope Cruz looked good, but seemed poorly lit, and with women of that
nationality, lighting is everything.
Imagine my surprise when Sahara was #1 at the box office TWO WEEKS in a row, knocking Sin City off its one-
week spot at the top. Hell, even Fever Pitch, a film for true sportsmen if I’ve ever seen one, beat Sin City by its
third week! What the hell was going on, could audiences in these morally victorious times really be afraid of R
rated movies? Had I gone mad, slowly becoming obsessed with violent, sex-laden, immoral works of filth until
there was nothing but perversity clogging up my feverish brain?
Perhaps so, I thought, but when has that ever affected the intricacies of national commerce? I was quickly
coming to my senses.
No, no. Something else was afoot. But what? Then, I remembered the question.
That damned question. Like a pin in my brain, or a set of car keys in my ass:
“Are you 17?”
I wasn’t asked it this time, of course, but I had been in the past…and not long in the past either…hell, only 4
years in the past. I was 20, mistaken for 16 — or was it younger? My god, it was!!!
Dirty, rotten, scum-sucking, lily-livered bastards! Well, they’ll get theirs someday. Rest assured. When I am King,
those iron-fisted, ticket-taking, totalitarian peasants will be in a cinematic hell watching Kate Hudson roll her
eyes in soulless romantic comedies for all eternity — I will make sure of it.
But in the meantime…spirit-crushing memories of gross personal humiliation…MY humiliation! And at that time,
long, LONG ago, I didn’t like it one bit.
Nasty memories started flooding back, egged on by more facts: “only a 21-year-old can ‘accompany’ those
under 17 to a movie like this.” What about older brothers and sisters (the lynchpin of any self-respecting, rule-
breaking adolescent)? Pretty much out — unless of course your parents decided children are things that should
come along every seven to ten years…but such thoughtful and considerate folk are few and far between.
This was getting ugly.
I suddenly understood the brutal significance of this reality with one horrible blast of hideous terror, it chilled me
to the bone. All the young kids, the ones who SHOULD be making Sin City the long-lasting hit it deserves to be,
all those young tykes just begging to be intoxicated by the sheer, exuberant fun of cinema, they were seeing this
movie all right…and loving every minute of it. They were basking in the ebullient joy of Sin City’s visceral
cinematic brew…and it was changing their lives.
But at the end of the day, as those happy, smiling children left the theater, the stub they threw into the waste
basket wasn’t for Sin City, the last film produced by Bob and Harvey Weinstein before leaving the iron-fisted,
mouse-eared, fascistic corporation known as Disney.
Oh no, it was for a much less esteemed movie.
A movie directed by none other than Breck Eisner, the son of Disney’s chief, mouse-humping, business tyrant
himself, Michael Eisner.
A movie, named Sahara.
HELL, I tell you. HELL!
And they’ll ALL be damned to it! It will be awful, I promise. A Hell consisting of far too much mayonnaise on every
chicken sandwich, countless and unceasing Amityville remakes, movies with Matthew Lillard and Freddie
Prinze Jr., the new Louisiana-set Kate Hudson horror movie, and of course the House of Wax remake with Paris
Hilton. My GOD, that one looks bad. Now that I think of it, MOVIES look bad! It must be the cursed liberal
elite…they’ve all got us thinking politically again. Clearly, the few remaining members of that dying organization
must be eradicated using nefarious chemical agents. Our President would surely agree. He and I are brethren
in this sense.
But not to worry, there IS a solution, a definitive one. I heard it on the Fox Cable News Channel this morning:
Disney stock — buy low, sell high. Tell them Michael Eisner’s son sent you.
I’m going to blow up the Earth.
The gone-but-not-forgotten ghost of Hunter S. Thompson