How We Hurted Ourselves

So my pal Dave had always hosted the crapfests. Dave is an inveterate tinker; starting with a fairly primitive LCD projector we snagged from a failed business venture, he eventually worked his way up to better model, a nice big screen that unfurled from his ceiling, a nice sound system, a media computer platform – all on the cheap, all in an apartment. So when he and his wife finally bought a house, we expected… well, I have no real idea what we expected. But this time he had an opportunity to rig something from the ground up, instead of gradual layers.

So, with his wife out of the country for a week, we decided to break things in with the first crapfest in a while. Of course, there had to be a period while they settled into their new house. Dave is a handy guy, and was performing repairs while also setting up his system in a very oddly shaped room, employing SCIENCE! We were also out of practice in planning the damned things, apparently. Wires got crossed, schemes went awry, blah blah blah.

A goodly portion of our core group was involved in a production of Shaw’s The Doctor’s Dilemma at Main Street Theater, and would be absent for most of the event. Reveling in his newfound freedom, Dave had decided it was to  be a Marathon of Mediocrity. My own personal scheduling woes dictated my attendance Friday and Sunday only; Paul interpreted that as Sunday only.

Hearing that Dave now had a back porch on which to operate his grill, Rick went nuts – or to use his terminology, “batshit” – and hauled in enough meat to feed a small army – or, really, just the three of us to bursting. Not to mention his housewarming gift to Dave of a case of Mexican Cokes, the types with actual sugar instead of high fructose corn crap. Dave spent the next fifteen minutes hugging the case and doing his imitation of Daffy Duck in that Ali Baba cartoon.

Okay, bit of a trip to get to the reference there, but as with all things Daffy, totally worth it.

My first selection was to be the final fight scene of the Thai action movie Chocolate, but again, wires got crossed, and there was a lot of going in and out to tend the charcoal in the grill anyway. Somehow, everyone managed to be in the room during the fight scenes, which are amazing. Particularly that last one, conducted across four floors’ worth of exterior ledges and an elevated train trestle. Just stunning stuff.

As the food was finally prepared, Dave decided he really needed to have a movie that went boom to work out his sound system. He’d already done this for me a few weeks prior with an impromptu double feature of Shoot-Em-Up and Tropic Thunder, but Rick had not yet experienced this. Being who we are, we also had to torment Rick, and so we put in GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Dave was the only one who  hadn’t seen it. I had been lucky enough to see it with a 12 year-old. Rick had seen it alone, and hated it. Having it be ten times louder did not change his opinion. The screams were incredible.

Dave’s final verdict: “I didn’t hate it.” Rick’s: “Why? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY??!!”. Dave also pointed out that, unrealistic as the action scenes were, they were also how they would have played out on the bedroom floor with the action figures.

Having applied some painkilling drugs to ourselves in the form of Dr. Vodka, Dave decided it was time to unleash his choice for the evening. He made us hide our eyes while he loaded it. And what unfurls before our eyes but something that claims to be Starcrash II. The veracity of this claim is immediately put in doubt when we note that title is not in the same font as the rest of the credits. In fact, it appears to have been literally made with a Dyna-Tape Label Maker.

I wish I was joking about that.

The movie’s major claim to that name is the fact that they seem to have bought all the spaceship FX from the actual Starcrash and are determined to use it all. The plot is about a princess named  Belle Star who is escaping some bad guy whose name I’ve totally forgotten because I named him Disco Beard.

Eventually I give up and poke around the IMDb on my smartphone and determine that what we are watching is actually something called Escape from Galaxy 3. Belle Star and the Fake Marjoe escape Disco Beard and are supposed to search the universe for something to defeat the bad guy… I think… because  they stop on some primitive out-of-the-way planet to effect repairs on their ship. Of course that planet happens to be Earth. I was fearful they were going to land here in the year 1980, just ahead of the Cylons, but no, there’s been an atomic war and everyone’s back to tribalism and wearing Greco-Roman disco clothes.

This is also the Cinemax planet, as BellStar and the Fake Marjoe learn how to make love on this planet. We slowly find out they’re immortal and don’t know about things like sex, drinking or eating. They also develop superpowers, without warning,  at convenient times. Disco Beard is defeated by such powers in less than a second – though this seems to have something to do with the fact that BellStar and Fake Marjoe now know how to make the Beast With Two Backs. Cripes, I don’t know. They go back to Planet Cinemax, to live out their now-mortal lives. Which, considering that the natives alternated between loving them and wanting to burn them at the stake, probably won’t be too long.

My major contribution is pointing out that every time BellStar and the Fake Marjoe exit their craft, they are shown walking down the trail leading from it – that’s across the entire screen one and a half times – in real time. And they do it a lot. That probably added five minutes to the total running time.

And that’s a thousand words. I’ll inflict more of our adventures into awfulness on you tomorrow. And trust me – we haven’t hit the low point yet.