Sunday, January 11, 2015


THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN UNDER CLOSE DISCUSSION FOR A WEEK, LADIES, ever since an operative brought the remade (2007) Wizard of Gore to my attention and we watched it in a committee meeting with some of the girls from R&D, with representatives from Northern and Southern Circumpolar, East Tropical and West Subtropical Conspiracy Zones all luckily able to attend.  I can easily understand the film's cult status.  For the Naked Ape viewer, it offers a parade of nekkid women, psychedelic mindfunk, blood, guts and mayhem, all zipped into what Montag the Magnificent (as played by Crispin Glover, pictured above) would no doubt call "an exoskeleton of whodunit."  The filmmakers made a point of skating rings around the human need for things to be logical and to come out making sense at the end.  And they did a really good job of it -- the more human the viewer in the committee meeting, the more strongly she agreed with me on this.  That factor will draw in a lot of human viewers who don't even like horror pictures.

And for the fish viewer?  It offers a phantasmagoric vision of Piscatorial Love, viewed from so many conflicting angles that I came away feeling a bit mindfunked myself.  Incredible stuff.  I think this may be the closest parallel to what Naked Ape females feel after a perfectly-tuned romantic film.  (I used to be a Naked Ape female before I started changing into my true Clarias bratrachis self, and this really brought the old days back to me.  Did it ever.  Wow!)   Featherless biped females go staggering out of the theater after watching a romance story, half in love with the male lead, wishing it could be them up there folded in his arms as he leans in for that hour-long kiss.  They walk away convinced all over again that there MUST be someone that perfect for them, and they'll get out there and find him if only they can pry themselves loose of that vision of the guy in the lead role... (It never crosses her mind that he might be a Moray Eel.  But where do you think they got the phrase for the Sinatra song?  "That's a Moray!")

Whoo.  Memories.  Am I ever glad I'm a fish!

The movie even helps explain the need human filmmakers have to frame a romance between a human and a fish as HORROR.  The usual rationale is that because H.P. Lovecraft first framed it that way, all others have simply followed in his footsteps.  There's a great deal to be said for that framing -- there is a lot of Lemming in the human character -- but this film stands to remind us all that they really do see it as a traumatic loss when one of them is KILLED and EATEN, or when they forfeit a Naked Ape vision of white picket fence, kids and a dog in favor of falling madly in love with a Trout or becoming a militant Carp.

I really loved the way Glover's character did a stage routine centered around Shark bites, using those toothy leg traps used by Shaved Monkey hunters to simulate the attentions of a Shark toward a recruit.  That is just the way a human sees it, you see, when not sufficiently prepared for a life in the sea.  "Help!  My leg's gone!" and all that panic.  And you know how Sharks are.  No nonsense, no sales job.  When they see the perfect recruit, they bring her home to meet the folks, and that's all she wrote.  And just as in the movie, that signals the typical Naked Ape onlooker, not to throw a congratulatory wreath of flowers into the surf, but to call emergency services.  A major supporting character, named Jinkies (I suspect that's in honor of Velma from the kids' whodunit show, Scooby-Do), is an employee of the coroner's office, trying to figure out a string of killings that remarkably resemble Montag's stage routines -- working with a guy dressed like a private detective in a noir film.

And the question they ask together?  "Was it really a Shark?"  They may well ask.  

I can't tell you anything about the Herschel Gordon Lewis original Wizard Of Gore; that one came out in 1970 and might be utterly different for all I know.  But this one -- released in 2007, directed by Jeremy Kasten and starring Kip Pardue, Crispin Glover, Bijou Phillips and Brad Dourif -- is destined to find its way into every fish's home film library.  GET IT.  WATCH IT.  THAT'S AN ORDER.


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