Episode 52 – Danger 5: Series 1 (2011)

or “Glorious Bastards”

Featuring: Sean James Murphy , Amanda Simons , David Ashby , Natasa Ristic , Aldo Mignone

Director: Dario Russo

Writers: Dario Russo & David Ashby

Origin: Australia

Sequel: Danger 5: Series 2

Review_____

“As always, kill Hitler!”

Australia… Shit. I’m still only in Australia.

Oh well. While I’m waiting for my dimensional transport portal to [REDACTED] so I can continue on with the World Tour de Farce 2015 (i.e., I’m still waiting on the DVD for the next movie to come in the mail…), let me scratch this writing bug bite that’s been gnawing on my fingers by telling ya about a little show I discovered down under called “Danger 5”.

Not to be confused with the terrible twos, these questions three, the Fantastic Four, Eve 6, Ultra-7, the Hateful Eight, Session 9, Perfect 10, or 7-Eleven, (yes, that should pad my search result click-throughs nicely…) Danger 5 are an international quintet of elite Nazi fighters brought together to stop the more “ambitious” plots of the Third Reich. Oh, and if they get a chance to, kill Hitler. Provided he doesn’t leap out of any conveniently placed windows nearby and escape to cause trouble in the next episode… which he always does. Uhm, spoilers? Oops.

D5’s members are Tucker (Sean James Murphy) – the uptight, by-the-books Aussie-in-command of the group, Claire (Amanda Simons) – the proper British Cambridge graduate who majored in lady spy stuff; Jackson (David Ashby) – the overflowing bucket of “shoot first and fuck the questions!” American testosterone; Ilsa (Natasa Ristic) – the hard-as-ice (and twice as cold) Russian vamp; and Pierre (Aldo Mignone) – the cool and charismatic “European” party guy who’s always quick with the cocktails and even quicker cocking the ladies’ tails. These allied powers operate under the leadership of their head honcho, Colonel Chestbridge (Tilman Vogler) – a well-dressed chap with a BIG BALD EAGLE HEAD!

No, I didn’t drop acid into your oj while you weren’t looking (yet). Yes, the remaining paragraphs of this review will contain some of the craziest shit your eyes will ever lay sight upon. Now, Danger 5 ASSEMBLE!

  • Episode 0 – “The Diamond Girls”

    A prequel episode originally presented on YouTube (good luck finding it now, though… buncha dongas), we’re introduced to Tucker, Johnson, and Pierre as they’re on assignment undercover at Hitler’s favorite beer hall The Black Dog. Despite the name, there’s not a single Meatloaf or Randy Travis cameo to be had.

    After 3 months of work, the trio finally gets their opening to assassinate the man who ruined little square mustaches forever, but are foiled by Der Fuhrer’s newest evil creation: Nazi she-wolves with impenetrable black diamond skin!

    Unable to stop the fortified frauleins with simple Allied firepower, the boys are sent packing. Having failed the mission, Chestbridge chews their butts out like he’s looking for grubs and mocks their stories of unkillable uber-fraus. The Colonel then brings in two new operatives to babysit the lads on their next attempt: the lovely, lethal ladies Ilsa and Claire. Claire immediately puts Tucker in his place regarding military strategy, while Ilsa picks a fight with Jackson over his comment about how they never would’ve been beaten by regular women. And so we have Danger, Party of 5!

    From here there’s a diamond heist, our heroes disguising themselves as members of the clergy, an example of how weird German TV shows are, a car chase with some Italians (“How do you know they’re Italian?” “They’re all immaculately dressed, and the driver keeps checking his hair in the rear view mirror.”), along with the establishment of all kinds of tropes the series would go on to blow up in bigger and better ways. Not as good as the episodes that would follow, but a good pilot nonetheless to lubricate us in preparation for the madness to come!

    The production design is based on a 60s tv show motif. It’s something of a re-mix of “The Prisoner” and “Thunderbirds ”, including brightly colored uniforms and sets, models/toys used for vehicles and buildings, and the occasional talking dog puppet for good measure. Though I side solidly on the McD’s side (I’m lovin’ it!), I can understand detractors who would say it tries too hard and pushes the joke ad nauseum. Go into it with that grain of salt under your tongue and gauge your interest appropriately.

    Favorite line: “All these programs seem to be about corrupt police dogs.”
    Favorite moment: Ilsa shoots a Nazi agent in a way that defies all telecommunications logic, proving the advantage of hardwire phones over cellular ones. I suspect she may be a disguised cartoon character, not unlike Judge Doom.
    Moral of the Story: Not all precious gems are the same. When it comes to bulletproofing your bodyguards, diamonds are a megalomaniacal dictator’s best friend.


    I feel like I should be really offended by this, but that might be my “politically correct liberal guilt” that racist white people like to insult non-racist white people with.


    That moment you realize your friends put LSD in your Harvey Wallbanger while you were at the jukebox.


    “Though I think you fill out that nun getup nicely, you shouldn’t make a habit of dressing that way… Yeah, that’s the look I was expecting you to make.”

    ————————————-

  • Episode 1 – “I Danced for Hitler”

    As we join our courageous crew (already in progress), they’re casually cooling off in their cozy cocktail lounge compound. Pierre is regaling Ilsa with the story of how a dying friend taught him the secrets of making perfect mixed drinks. Tucker plays chess with a waving Lucky Cat statuette named Maneki. Having no working appendages with which to move the pieces, the golden feline instead uses his telekinetic powers, accompanied by the classic screeching sound effect made famous by Ghidorah in Toho’s Godzilla movies! As for Claire, she’s her usual stick-in-the-mud self until Jackson uses his pistol to fire a lit cigarette into her mouth. James Bond levels of smarmy cool guy stuff, that.

    The D5’s downtime is interrupted, however, when Colonel Chestbridge storms in to give them their latest assignment. Nazi Prime Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, has the Third Reich misappropriating various national monuments from around the globe so he can assemble the ultimate tribute to the big H! Meanwhile, female Allied agents are being kidnapped to perform a stage show for Hitler’s birthday! It’s up to Danger 5 to infiltrate the festivities, liberate the absconded tourist traps, put a spanking on the Reich’s merrymaking and, as always, KILL HITLER!

    …You know, provided Ilsa can get over her jealousy about Hitler getting a boner over Aryan stroke fantasy Claire.

    In addition to ramping up the absurdity levels from their initial pilot, Episode 1 introduces a couple of the maiden series’ most memorable trademarks. Namely, a soon-to-be repeatedly used clip of Hitler escaping capture by jumping through a window, and ancillary characters sharing their perfect cocktail recipes with Pierre as they die in his arms. That explains why his bartending expertise is so extensive! That guy has watched more friends die than Toki Wartooth.

    Favorite line: “You know what? The world doesn’t need national monuments to remind people why they shouldn’t kill themselves.”
    Favorite moment: Jackson uses a robotic decoy disguised as Hitler’s dog (who all the Nazis recognize, for some reason) to seduce a guard dog and incapacitate it with knock-out gas. Later, it self-destructs to take out a room full of goose steppers after asking them to light her cigarette.
    Moral of the Story: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned… also, Hitler loves swans.


    Wow. I have been gravely mislead about how sexy things are in Siberia, then!


    Believe it or not, I’ve had worse last call hook-ups…


    Still not as offensive as “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”.


    Oh Hel! You know when a German lays under a glass top coffee table that things are about to get messy. Like, “Let’s go see that Paul Blart sequel!” messy.

    ————————————-

  • Episode 2 – “Lizard Soldiers of the Third Reich”

    Nazi super dinos are munching on Allied GIs (who love each other “like a lover”) along the Western front! These beasts come in two flavors – classic full-sized dinos (like a T-Rex with a big ol’ swastika banner across its back) and humanoid thunderlizard soldiers (like a pants wearing pterodactyl-man with a hard-on for helpless civilians). Danger 5 are called in to help (after a rather tense bit of drama at HQ), and after narrowly escaping a hungry Tyrannosaurus and a Triceratops with machine guns mounted on its horns they discover strange crystals being used to control the ‘saurs. Further research determines that the crystal are only found in Antarctica, so our intrepid Axis battlers (*cough*Golden Ax joke*cough*) are off to the South Pole to stop the bad guys!

    The sinister Krauts have set up shop in a prehistoric tropical paradise hidden in the frozen wastes (a la The People That Time Forgot), where Josef Mengele plays Dr. Moreau with his army of Triassic terrors and Jurassic jerk-offs. Jackson, Ilsa, and Claire are all captured by Mengele’s forces, with the former pair forced to fight for their lives against the mad doctor’s mutants in the arena of death. Claire is forced to fight for her virginity against the sweaty meat sack that is a horny Dr. M. Elsewhere, Tucker and Pierre wind up captives of the indigenous “savage” women (who of course wear elegant gowns). If they hope to save their captured comrades and bring down Hitler’s saurian super soldiers, T & P (heh, “TP”) must unite the fallopians with their mortal enemies – the jazz club ape men!

    Ever since Idiocracy, I’ve wanted someone to delve more into the prehistoric aspects of Hitler’s schemes. You’ve given me just what I wanted, “Danger 5”. I will break my “no reproducing” rule in your honor and name the bastard Danger Five as my tithe.

    Favorite line: “I think we can all agree, that was an interstellar goulash!”
    Favorite moment: Ilsa takes a tug off her flask and screams a stream of flames at her enemy.
    Moral of the Story: Learn to play the bongos. When Planet of the Apes happens, your skills with the skins may just save your life.


    There’s really nothing I had planned to say about this scene. I just thought “Sensible Chuckle” was the greatest name for a magazine since “How To Kill” in Dominion: Tank Police.


    Ever since dinosaurs were given the right to vote, our entire political system’s just gone to shit.


    After the success of 50 Shades of Gray, Hollywood decided other risque housewife spank-lit should be adapted for the big screen. First up: “Pumped By a Pterodactyl“!


    “Something about its mushroom-like shape fills me with unease…”

    ————————————-

  • Episode 3 – “Kill-Men of the Rising Sun”

    Allied fighter pilots around China have been taking a spanking, courtesy of one-sided dogfights against Japanese Zero planes piloted by some very familiar faces. Namely, their own Allied MIAs! In possibly (guaranteed) related news: the entire island nation of Japan had disappeared! What are those wacky Nazis up to now? Danger 5 will find out!… after Jackson and Tucker resolve their staring contest… and Ilsa puts her panties back on. Sorry, I can’t finish typing this until the massive boner blocking my view of the screen goes away.

    Where was I? Oh yeah, Danger 5! Their mission: capture a Zero pilot to uncover their secrets. Also, find Japan while they’re at it! Oh, and like every other time, KILL HITLER!

    Emperor Hirohito (portrayed here as a moping wiener in a cheap suit) has devised a method of brainwashing captured Allied prisoners into robotic kamikaze pilots turned against their former sky brothers-in-arms! If he can get over his relationship issues, the wet blanket genius leader of the Rising Sun nation will help serve China up to Hitler on a silver platter… along with a sculpture of Godzilla wrestling a Gundam, made entirely of schoolgirls’ used underwear. Danger 5’s investigation leads them to the coast of China, where they discover a strangely Japan-looking island that shouldn’t be there. They end up shot down and divided…again. These guys split up more than Scooby and the Gang!

    Tucker’s befriended by the local welcome wagon, who take him back to their…luxurious spa-resort?! Here he meets other Allied “prisoners” who are soaking up the hospitality like a sponge soaks up spilled bourbon and hooker blood. Ilsa follows to keep an eye on her teammate and investigate the spa further. Elsewhere, the others have been taken captive by Japanese girls with machine guns (no, Cramps fans, they were not wearing bikinis), but at their “Burmese” opium den our heroes find the ladies’ leader to be none other than Pierre’s longtime pal, Hans Chang! Like Pierre’s other amigos seen throughout the series, Hans knows the mustachioed smooth talker by a different alias. Yet another example of the show’s 100 yard dash humor…in that it’s a running joke…keep up, kids, or I’ll dump you off at the next dingo den and tell your family that you ran off with some cannibal in drag who claimed to be Mitzi Del Bra.

    Will the Danger 5 lose a member (or two) and have to get all new business cards and uniforms? Will Hitler finally take over the world with his unstoppable robotic kill-men? Will Hirohito’s heart mend before his head is blown apart like an overripe cantaloupe? What the fuck is going on in Joseph Stalin’s mustache!? Find out for yourself when you watch “Kill-Men of the Rising Sun”!

    Favorite line: “You always were a joking man, Glen! A man of jokes! Hahaha!”
    Favorite moment: In a bid to distract Jackson during the opening scene’s staring contest, Ilsa slips off her panties and tosses them into beard-o’s face. When this doesn’t do the trick, she starts crossing and uncrossing her legs…my penis is in love.
    Moral of the Story: Love conquers all. Unless it gets me Ilsa’s panties, I don’t give a dry fuck.


    “The doctor told me I wouldn’t get so many nosebleeds if I’d just keep my finger out of there… I COULDN’T KEEP MY FINGER OUT OF THERE!”


    I see Australia has their own James Franco!


    “Because it’s MY birthday and I REFUSE to pay for everyone else’s dinner AGAIN this year!”


    Ah! I see Australia has their own Nick Offerman too! Good for them. Every continent needs one.

    ————————————-

  • Episode 4 – “Hitler’s Golden Murder Palace”

    Uncle Adolf has established a Nazi casino in Morocco, where he’s mass producing golden semi-automatic rifles (that HATE crotches like Nazis hate Jews) to give his men the perfect advantage over the Allied troops! Speaking of the Allies, big time operative Agent Gruber was sent in to case the joint, but has since gone missing. It’s up to D5 to infiltrate the golden murder palace, recover Agent Gruber, and find out what der Fuhrer has planned…after they finish their Mousetrap knock-off game Fu Manchu (“You can’t just keep yelling the name of the game, Pierre! That’s not how it works.”). Then Colonel Chestbridge eats that spider off his shoulder.

    Jackson and Claire (and technically Tucker, though nobody cares what he says) have different ideas of how to go about their mission, so they…come on, you got this! They…come on…it rhymes with “slit cup”…Yes! They split up! Good girl! Have a ram chip. Anyway, Claire and Tuck work to take out the submarine guarding the casino from the bay, while the rest blend in with the gamblers inside to get their iron sights on Hitler himself. Will they be able to get past head manager (and Ilsa’s ex-husband) Erwin “The Desert Fox” Rommel? Or, will Jackson (under his card trick slinging alter ego, John Baccarat)’s jealousy jeopardize their chances to finally put a bullet in Hitler’s brain box?

    Favorite line: “I’ve been married to things a lot scarier than Nazis, my friend!”
    Favorite moment: Any time Tucker vocalizes his disgust for Italians.
    Moral of the Story: Italian imagination is a VERY dangerous thing! Maybe it’s all that coffee they drink?


    Test footage from the 1979 Ghost Rider film that Marvel would like you to forget about. Four stuntmen died before production was halted… after the first day.


    A gold-plated hotel with their logo brazenly splayed across the front? Finally, a political party Donald Trump can relate to!


    If you think those kebabs look hot before they go into you, just wait till you see how they feel coming outta you.


    Everyone always says you’ll grow hair on your palms and go blind if you masturbate too much. The truth is almost as bad.

    ————————————-

  • Episode 5 – “Fresh Meat for Hitler’s Sex Kitchen”

    After this episode, I may just change my name to Conrad Turbo: Fist Machine.

    The Nazis (wearing cool-ass shark hoods for some reason) have taken over The Palomino: a Swiss whorehouse hot spot for Allied troops looking to “lighten their load” while on R&R. They’ve replaced all of the usual working girls with corset clad Aryan prostitutes, and suddenly all of the customers are trading in their home colors for the black and red swastikas of the Stepfatherland! How are they doing it and who’s going to stop them!? I think you know…

    At least you should by now. We’re five episodes into the series and there’s only one left after this!

    After losing Jackson and Ilsa to the Krauts on the train ride over, Tucker, Claire and Pierre have to infiltrate The Palomino to rescue them. With the help of a former employee of the equine-titled bordello (whose sister was killed by the goose steppers), the trio don disguises to sneak into the cathouse: Tucker dons an SS uniform, Claire is disguised as one of the blonde bombshell strumpets, while Pierre (who doesn’t look enough like a Nazi) is also gussied up like one of Hitler’s dream girls.

    I feel there was a missed opportunity to revisit that “F-Troop” gag where Agarn refuses to wear a dress only to end up wearing a dress in that old timey sitcom way. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go watch “F-Troop”. Or, just watch this “Freakazoid” clip (http://youtu.be/YmIaL2BK1Zk) from the Candlejack episode explaining it. Oh shit…I said his name didn’t I? Fuuuuuuu—-

    If this initial premise doesn’t sound outlandish enough for a D5 adventure, rest assured that there’s also an ominous castle, a fountain that spouts some kinda Nazi voodoo H2Whoa! and a colorful occult sequence that’s straight out of an Argento flick. It’s packed with more flavors than a Double Down™ or Most American Thickburger™! But not quite as much flavor as the Pizza Crepe Taco Chili Bag™ ((https://screen.yahoo.com/taco-town-000000333.html)). That’d just be like stuffing every random moment of weirdness from the entirety of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” into 20 minutes – an unwatchable clusterfuck.

    Favorite line: Tucker (while looking for Jackson and Ilsa): “One of them looks American, the other looks volatile.”
    Favorite moment: Tucker gets into an extended machete fight with a Swiss gangster named Gordon, who wears fingerless gloves and has a big tiger head.
    Moral of the Story: The king of whiskey tastes like petrol. Also, Sin City‘s Yellow Bastard is apparently Swiss! Also also, money is the antidote for Nazi black magic, hence why Capitalism won World War II.


    Scary as their ceremonial “spooky ghost” attire may be, the KKK’s got nothing on the Nazis’ “pissed off shark men” hoods!


    Pierre’s got that “something about this just feels so right” look about him.


    You mean putting your hands up in a non-threatening way, stepping aside, and saying “It’s none of our business!” before turning around and walking away, whistling to yourself all the while to drown out the sounds of victimization going on behind you?


    Gross. That’s why you never let Goldmember finish on your face. Good luck washing that off. Blart!

    ————————————-

  • Episode 6 – “Final Victory”

    And now, the grand finale!

    For the swan song of Series 1, Hitler has created a posse of invincible giant monsters to crush the Allied forces! With the good guys on the verge of losing WW2 against these killer Kraut kaiju, what can Danger 5 do to save the world!? We’ll have to wait till after their doubles game of ping-pong finishes before we can find out.

    An Atlantean (yes, as in “from Atlantis”, not “from Atlanta”) named Gibralter has telegrammed Allied Command (using a Homing Porpoise, perhaps?) with news that the sub-aquatic populace has developed a weapon capable of defeating the Reich’s super beasts! All they need is enough refined Allied Uranium to power it, and the Axis will be defeated once and for all. *Sniff*Sniff* Do you smell something fishy? Yeah, it’s not just the shiny silver underpants of Gibralter’s submerged henchwenches. I won’t tell you exactly what happens, but Hitler shows up with one of the most convoluted schemes yet and the episode ends in a MASSIVE Ultraman/Power Rangers model city mashing fracas. If you’re gonna go out, go out BIG!

    The Series 1 end episode also introduces Danger 5’s cartoon canine cohort Killroy, whose cheap animation and stoner personality will either nudge your funny bone or chafe your taint. Consider me amongst the latter. I get the joke, but one key moment aside, I needed a mouth guard to keep from grinding my teeth into shards whenever Killroy popped in. On the plus side, at least Hitler hired someone creative to design his daikaiju. Tank Demon is easily my favorite of the trio. His body looks like a bad cosplay of Decepticon Brawl with a tank gun in his chest and a tiger’s head. Magical? Super califragical.

    Though I’m sad to see the adventures of die Gefahr von Fünf come to a close, stick around after the finale’s cocktail party credits sequence for a teaser of Series 2. As someone who’s already seen it, believe me when I say it’s a log flume ride through ever rising waters of even greater insanity and chicanery.

    Favorite line: “Betting on a table match is an unbreakable bond!”
    Favorite moment: In the final fight against Hitler’s big black knight of the Third Reich, Der Fuhrer unsheathes his ultimate weapon: a Jet Jaguar-size flame-throwing chainsaw!
    Moral of the Story: When the sit-down gun comes out, you sit down and SHUT UP!


    Next time you get into an argument with a Republican online, just show them this pic and they’ll be too busy masturbating themselves to sleep to bother you further.


    Killroy – the Scrappy-Doo of Danger 5. Like his namesake, he “was here”. Now go away.


    Ultraman villains as created by the Chinese toy company that makes those horrible knock-off comic book hero action figures sold at every corner Dollar Store in New York City.


    Germany’s way of telling Godzilla to “Keep the fuck OUT!”.

    ————————————-

    Though this is my first (new) review for a TV show on Tomb 2.0, I couldn’t have gone with a better pick. Scanned during a typical “spend 45 minutes on NetFlix looking for something to watch, only to settle on NOTHING TO WATCH before giving up and doing something else” trek, the concept and preview still were just enough to get me to sit down and donate my time like so much precious precious blood. Blood that I can’t donate, as I’m on enough pills to choke the eponymous Ursa from Grizzly.

    As I said, the 60s retro elements being parodied here are brilliant. I loved every minute of it. From the pulp inspired episode titles to the re-used tropes of every outing (the team get divided, someone(s) needs rescuing, someone(s) is brainwashed by the enemy, somebody from Pierre’s past knows him by a different name, Hitler escapes out of a window, etc.) to every episode ending with a commercial for a fake product and all of the characters from the episode having a cocktail party. Speaking of, today’s episode is brought to you by “Tough Actin’” Tinactin™! Remember, Tinactin™ only acts tough because deep down it just wants to be loved. So show your love and BUY SOME FUCKING TINACTIN™, YOU EMOTIONALLY STUNTED PRICK!

    It’s amazing the amount of violence and, well, Nazi shit that Dinosaur (the production company) got away with in “Danger 5”, given Australia’s stick-up-the-ass policies on censorship. Even in a comedic sense, the graphic violence comes as a surprise. Maybe the Aussie big wigs (yes, some Australian judges still wear court wigs!) just hate video games? I won’t go into it, but if you want to learn more about Australian video game politics, you can find out more at your local library by using one of their computers to view the following article – http://www.techly.com.au/2014/09/26/australias-ridiculous-instances-video-game-censorship/ … or, you could just do it from the device you’re currently reading this review from. Whatever floats your U-boat.

    There you have it – “Danger 5”. I can’t recommend it enough for the right niche crowd. I love it, my Evil Dead Bride loves it (Ilsa’s her new hero/life coach), and I’m sure there are untold thousands out there who would also love it if they’d seek it out. Here’s to hoping this review brings it to light for a few dozen of those thousands.

    On a final note, though it will never happen, if there was ever a Danger 5 movie, Chris Pratt would be the perfect Jackson. Just sayin’.

    Auf Wiedersehen!

    ———————————————————
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    Anubis will return next time in
    “What Fight Through Yonder Window Breaks?”

    Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

    All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

  • Episode 51 – The Babadook (2014)

    or “Scary Stories to Tell in the Outback”

    Featuring: Essie “The Matrix: Reloaded” Davis , Noah Wiseman , Daniel “Fell” Henshall

    Director & Writer: Jennifer “Monster (2005)” Kent

    Origin: Australia

    Review_____

    “I am the parent and you are the child, so take the pill.”

    Hey strangers! Long time no see! It’s been a rough couple of months. But, not unlike a boomerang, this man-dingo (not to be confused with Mandingo) comes back sooner or (in this case) later! Despite being forged of mithril, it turns out my otherwise invincible laptop wasn’t waterproof OR whiskeyproof. Since I lost all of the original graphics and write-ups I’d made for the World Tour reviews, today’s episode will be the debut of my new, lazier format! No teasers about the next stop, no comedically morbid trivia about the origin nations, and no customized images. Instead, here’s my immensely slothy banner. Now get reading!

    Charlie, Charlie, were the people who “summoned” you (before you were revealed to be a viral marketing ploy for yet another shitty “found footage” ghost movie) just gullible dip shits who would better serve the world as a new Taco Bell menu item called “the Soylent Grande”?
    Yes.

    Charlie, Charlie, would this gag have gone over better if I’d published this episode two months ago, when I originally started writing it?
    Yes.

    Charlie, Charlie, did you see the trailer for The Babadook and think you were on the cusp of Australian cinema’s “next big thing”?
    Yes.

    Charlie, Charlie, were you as disappointed by The Babadook as I was?
    Yes.

    Unlike when I’m masturbating on the toilet in the dark after waking up from that Barbara Crampton sex dream I’m always having, right now it’s nice to know I’m not alone…

    The writer-director of today’s feature is Jennifer Kent. Jenn’s other credits mostly consist of minor acting roles, so my biggest fear was that The Babadook is the result of yet another person in front of the camera getting sick of being told how to utilize the trauma of their childhood dog being hit by a car to force tears, and vowing to prove to everyone that she can do “their job” better than “they” can. The initial trailer promised me something a little more conventional in the game of supernatural hauntings, which I was more than happy to welcome into my home given the scads of pathetic “found footage” spook-show garbage that’s run rampant through the genre for the last however many years it’s been since the first Paranormal Craptivity planted its hooks into theaters and laid eggs from its oozing, inflamed orifice.

    If you haven’t scanned the trailer for yourself, pop in yo’ peepers and get to jeeper creeperin’:

    At first glance, we’re promised what looks to be a traditional tale of childhood torment, as a boy and his mother become the hosts for a phantasm released from a children’s fable book. Right? Kinda yes, kinda no.

    Amelia (Essie Davis) is a single mother. Not an uncommon thing. I know several single mothers. This isn’t even a setup for one of those “I support single mothers” t-shirts with the image of a stripper on a pole. I legit know a few single mothers. Hell, my own sister/mom Isis had to do the single mom thing after poppa Osiris ended up six feet under the Fertile Crescent. Amelia’s got it harder than most mono-matriarchs though, not only because her qualification for MILF dating sites is due to her husband’s untimely demise, but because her boy Samuel (Noah Wiseman) is a problem child. Well, I guess the politically correct term for it these days would be bi-polar or “dissociative personality disorder” or whatever the poor kid’s got rattling around in his junior skull bucket. Speaking of, the Junior Skull Bucket™ at KFC now comes with sugar-frosted coleslaw and one of twelve moderately racist toys based on the hit film A Haunted House 2, for a limited time only! Get your glow-in-the-dark “Shawn Wayans fucking the doll from The Conjuring” plaything with no-slip kung-fu grip TODAY!

    As I was saying, Sammy’s the kind of kid that Hank Hill would redneck psychology diagnose as “that boy ain’t right”. As a result of his issues, he has recurring night terrors about being stalked by a monster. Like any kid, he’s convinced that said monster is fer realsies and will one day pop out of his closet like Howie Mandell in Little Monsters (you know, the movie that Pixar ripped the fuck off to make Monsters Inc.), only instead of taking Sam on a wild adventure through an ’80s punk-pop dreamscape and teaching him lessons about friendship and being yourself, it’ll just wear the boy’s dismembered face as formal dinner attire while it goes on to eat his mom’s head…what, you’ve never had that dream? Pffft. Liar.

    To prepare for said imagined assault, Sammy proves himself quite the Kevin McCallister-in-training, assembling a dart firing crossbow, a back-mounted personal catapult, and all manner of DIY ballistic devices in their basement using nothing but pieces of scrap wood and the kind of basic doodads you find in those $5 “Made in China” toolbox sets. On top of that he’s also an aspiring Copperfield, but practicing his magic tricks (George Bluth Jr.: “Illusions!” ) for mom only garner the slightest of parental recognition. The kid’s got the potential to be a damn genius, but rather than encouragement he gets scolded by Amelia for always fucking stuff up, causing trouble at school and generally being annoying. Even when he reaches out and hugs mom in a much needed embracive moment of bonding, she violently pushes the lad away and yells at him for lingering slightly too long beyond her comfort zone. Women react like that to me all the time, but it’s usually because they catch me trying to undo their bra or drifting slightly too south of the Equator. That’s our Anubis! [canned audience laughter]

    Amelia defends Sammy’s eccentricities to his detractors and insists they see him as an innocent child instead of just some pint-sized pain-in-the-ass. Though your first reaction (like mine was) may be that she’s just trying to save face in front of people so they don’t label her another shitty mom who should’ve just swallowed, Amelia does seem to do her best to show the kid as much love as she’s capable of. Not just out of guilt, but because her own emotional problems don’t allow for anything more. It can be hard to understand for those lacking in empathy, but I view depression like rape – if you blame the victim, you’re a piece of shit and I will personally split your uprights with a fire-ax if you bring any of that Faux News bullshit around my tomb.

    While Sam’s in school during the day, Amelia works at a retirement home/geezer palace/grandparent dumping ground, and surrounding herself with cranky old farts doesn’t help her tightrope walk of sanity over the gaping maw of madness that is her life. Her co-worker Robbie (Daniel Henshall) is a nice enough guy and is clearly interested in turning their working relationship into, well, a working relationship. He covers for her at work and cheers her up when she needs it, but never expects anything in return. He’s either the sweet would-be boyfriend our lady deserves or total Friend Zone material, depending on your perspective. Though she could use a visit from Dr. Tube Steak (the Double A’s in her battery-operated boyfriend would agree), Amelia prefers to either be ashamed of her situation or play martyr by not wanting to drag anyone into the personal hell she’s built for herself. Good for her there’s always Convent-sized 200 packs of Energizers on sale at G’Day-Mart!

    One evening, when Am’s ready to read Sam his nightly pre-bedtime story, the lad brings her a tome from their bookshelf that she’s never seen before. It’s a strange adolescent grimoire of the pop-up variety called “Mister Babadook” – a dark fairytale similar to something out of the old school Brothers Grimm collections. A lot less like Disney and a lot more like Tim Burton and Clive Barker’s nightmares making a litter of Eraserhead babies. She refuses to finish the tale, which infuriates Sammy and sends him into a fit. In the days that follow, the kid starts ranting about Mr. B (naturally *wink*wink*) haunting them, which only makes everybody else wish the kid would fall down a flight of stairs more so. Mom’s attempts to hide and destroy the book prove futile, as that ominous red cover continues to find its way into their home. Every time it returns, with new chapters serving as sinister portents of horrors-to-come…

    As far as movies go, The Babadook is certainly well made. The visuals are clean where they should be clean, dark when they should be dark and a wide awake nightmare when they should be a wide awake nightmare. The eponymous specter himself is done is this weird “static shadow” animation style that’s unnerving without going so over-the-top that it’s goofy. Mr. Dookie resembles a silent film era Slenderman. He looks like something that escaped from Dr. Caligari’s wardrobe, a unique homage to villains of the oldest of old schools of animation. With his ominous top hat, demented face and long black trenchcoat of a body, Dooker’s a perfect candidate for stalking Betty Boop from the inky shadows of an ominous alleyway. Bad guys were all very predatory in that rapey sort of way back then.

    I give props to the cast, too. Essie Davis does the besieged mom thing like she’s had personal experience, while Noah Wiseman’s just creepy enough looking that when he goes into his screaming freak out panic attacks, he looks suitably disturbed/disturbing. If he were my kid, I’d put him in a cage and lock him in his room until he calmed down, but I guess that only serves as an abutment to my decision to raise pets rather than rugrats! Everyone else in the cast is serviceable in being selfish cunts to help the audience sympathize (or empathize in the case of we childless viewers) with Am’s plight, while the one or two supportive people around her help keep it from turning into a complete “all against one” pity party.

    Unfortunately, my biggest problem comes from the production company’s sales pitch on this one. Whereas the trailer promised me a more traditional supernatural horror experience, Babadook‘s dark fantasization of Amelia’s personal anxiety and the emotionally painful relationship with her son skew it much heavier into the “movie with a message” category. That message is bludgeoned over our collective skulls like a gas-powered shillelagh for an hour and a half until the final parting scene. It’s a heart punching manifestation of severe parental depression to be sure, but as someone just looking for something to watch and NOT a suffering parent looking for an understanding perspective, it just makes me shout “YES! WE GET IT! SHE’S SAD AND THE MONSTER IS A METAPHOR FOR DEPRESSION! MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN OR GET TO THE FUCKING CREDITS!”. It makes an otherwise well done movie feel like you’re Daniel Craig tied to a chair with a hole cut out of the seat and Jennifer Kent’s going all Mads Mikkelsen on your undercarriage. Or, as they call it at Guantanamo, a “Cheney Handshake”.

    All that being said, if you’re the kind of person The Babadook strives to give a voice to, give it a viewing. If you’re the kind of person that has a metaphorical titanium plate in your head that helps prevent such heavy handed allegory abuse from turning your patience into applesauce and can just enjoy the flick as sensory stimulus, by all means, jump on Netflix and have a ball. If you’re me? Well, you’re not, so anything I say about that is irrelevant. Be happy about it.

    Charlie, Charlie, we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well through the course of this review, and I feel comfortable enough now that I think I can ask this without offending you.
    Yes?

    Charlie, Charlie, if you’re supposed to be a Mexican ghost, shouldn’t your name be Carlos?
    …White kids – what are you gonna do?

    Until Children of Men happens? Nothing, Charlie. Nothing. Blart.

    See you next episode, boils and ghouls!

    Moral of the Story: I’m never having kids. Ever. This may have been the last push I needed to finally get that vasectomy!

    Screenshots_____

    “Mommy, is it true what all the kids at school say? Was my father really an albino goblin?”


    The cast from A Bug’s Life looks a lot creepier when you watch it in HD.


    Kid, I believe you when you say there’s nothing up your sleeves. Believe me when I tell you that if you’re still doing that shit in ten years, you won’t have anyone in your bed either.


    “I don’t know, Sammy. I still don’t think it’s normal for a boy to want his mother to read him schematics for homemade explosive devices before bed every night.”


    Children, if something that looks like that is trying to be your friend, run out the back door of your house and don’t stop running until you’re at the police station.


    I haven’t felt so awkward reading subtitles since I watched that closed captioned copy of Last Tango in Paris… you know which part I’m talking about… yep, the scene with Marlon Brando’s Amish Astroglide™.


    “Every day Mr. Harris asks me to pull his finger and every day I fall for it! Damn it!” (a little callback for any “Roseanne” fans who might be reading this)


    Hence why Donald Trump pulls such high polling numbers.


    Look kids, it’s footage of Jared Leto’s Joker from the latest “leaked” Suicide Squad trailer. Whoop-dee-fuck.


    I see no one ever taught the Aussies how to bathe properly. It’s the 21st century and they’re still doing it like the French during the Golden Age of Ballooning. (a little callback for any “Flying Circus” fans)


    She sleeps with that violin every night. Rednex fiddler Ace Ratclaw signed it for her at a 2012 show in Budapest! (a little callback for anyone who’s ever used Wikipedia to look up the members of Rednex)


    A bad night for most women, sure, but a GOOD night for one of Charlie Sheen’s girlfriends! (a little callback for people who still think Charlie Sheen’s cool and domestic violence is hilarious [also, go fuck yourself with a bayonet])

    ———————————————————
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    Anubis will return next time in
    “Glorious Bastards”

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