August 3, 2014

THE RAY BRADBURY THEATER: THE TOWN WHERE NO ONE GOT OFF


Exploitation Movie Review (EMR): So, our good friend Barry Cinematic invited us to take part in his Goldblum-a-thon. You can travel here to find out more about that, and to read some of the good work that Barry himself is doing.

There was some to’ing and fro’ing here at the 2G1Q torture box as to what we should review. Eventually we settled on an episode of ‘The Ray Bradbury Theatre’ called ‘The Town Where No One Got Off.’ I know an extremely limited amount about this show, but the title really makes it sound like it’s gonna be some freaky porn with a twist. I hope it’s not, because the first thing I’ve seen is this old guy in a room full of crap and it seems like he’s getting off on looking at Jack the Ripper dolls and pictures of dead sailors or whatever. He says it’s for ‘inspiration.’

Yeah, whatever, buddy…

AKA, Salt Lake City

The End of Summer (TEOS): Though I am and will remain a life-long devotee of Ray Bradbury, even I’ll admit the man’s acting skills leave a lot to be desired. He certainly doesn’t have the “OH MY FUCKING GOD!” response usually reserved for Stephen King’s scenery-chewing and primate teeth gnashing, but he also doesn’t share the Playboy robe sophistication of Alistair Cooke. Granted, this is only the corny intro stuff preparing us for the “feature” soon to come, but holy October Country, Bradbury, get back behind your typewriter with your grandma sweater and start making me cry again with your prose instead of your halting annunciation. (This will be the last bad thing I say about Ray Bradbury during this diatribe, and probably ever. I actually feel a little ashamed. But, it had to be said. RIP, BTW.)

EMR: You know what I hate about Stephen King? Right at the end of The Dead Zone, some girl sees John Smith having a psychic fit and says some shit like, 'He's tripping out like that girl in that book, Carrie' and I'm, like, 'Fuck you Stephen King.’ If I wanted self aggrandising, I'd watch a Tarantino movie.

Anyway, we're off and Goldblum’s on a train, locked in a class battle with some asshole in a suit who reckons he’s got Goldblum pegged for an unpublished writer because he made some comments about the charms of rural America. Turns out this asshole is kind of right though, because Goldblum is all of the unpublished writer.

What a complete and utter suit-wearing, train-riding asshole.

TEOS: Yeah, the last time I saw someone THIS old and THIS pompous AND wearing a suit, I’m pretty sure it was Mr. Ptt in “Seinfeld.”

Whoa, did you see Goldblum briefly lick his lips as he was rebutting Asshole Suit? I sure did. And I got just the littlest bit hard.

"Uh, uh...Jeff...finds a way."

EMR: Okay, okay, here we go: the conductor has just told Goldblum that no one gets off at the next town. Goldblum’s totally into this and he is so getting off.

TEOS: I love that the whole catalyst for Goldblum ending up in Danger Town is strictly to spite this old fucking suit man who pretty much dares him to get off at the next stop and ogle the “beauty” Goldblum seems to find in rural America.

Let’s pause for a moment of out-of-context dialogue:

“Are you sure you want to get off?”
“Absolutely!”

EMR: Is that out of context? I thought that was the whole point of this episode: Goldblum RISING to the challenge of the town where no one gets off? You wouldn't let me make a fool of myself and totally get the wrong end of the stick in front of everyone, right?

TEOS: I--oh, right. Boners.

EMR: This town doesn’t look that rural to me. To be honest, it looks like Baltimore minus the murder and needles. Don’t fuck with me, ‘Ray Bradbury Theatre.’ I’ve seen ‘The Wire.’

TEOS: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Old stew bums are pretty fucking gorgeous to me.

EMR: No one in this town wants anything to do with Goldblum for some reason and they’re all being pretty rude about it.

Wait a second, do they hate Goldblum because he’s Jewish? Is this a Nazi town? Because I KNOW there are people who get off on that, so I don’t know why the guys in this town can’t.

TEOS: I’m digging the scene where Goldblum looked ready to inquire about the nearest watering hole to this old bummy looking guy, then decided it would be better to pat his invisible son on the head and wander away like he hasn’t a care in the world.

At least an invisible son is easier to explain than
his black daughter in The Lost World.

EMR: This motherfucker who’s been following Goldblum since he stepped off the train looks like Crazy Ralph from Friday the 13th.

TEOS: He’s just part of all the beauty.

So far, again, I have to say that I find this town pretty fucking sweet. How many people have you counted so far? Two, right? And ONE of them was sleeping. Sign me up - this place sounds like heaven to me. No one screaming about the World Cup, no one walking by using their totally useless speaker function on their smart phone other than to remind all the other earthlings that, yeah, they have a smart phone. God, I want this place to exist, and me to be there. You can come with me if you want, but you have to live in the barn with the dogs.

EMR: I like dogs. Barns are okay. Despite all of this, it seems like a shitty deal.

TEOS: What about all the foliage and blowing leaves? Nothing? Am I just super gay?

EMR: For leafy, billowy, New England towns, yes. Yes, you are. It's so gay that I think Robocop was filmed especially to combat how gay it is. It's so gay that even the Westboro Baptist Church couldn't picket it successfully.

You know who hates Robocop? The Westboro Baptist Church.

Crazy, stupid fucks.

TEOS: Yo, this isn’t just the town where no one gets off, it’s the town where Goldblum can’t catch a break. Bed-n-breakfasts won’t rent him a room; stores flip over their open signs as he’s approaching. Then again, Jeff Goldblum kinda looks like a salamander in a cheap suit with crazy Patrick Swayzee mullet hair, so, maybe we can’t judge this town too harshly.

EMR: Oh shit, here we go: murder knives. Now we’re REALLY gonna get off…

TEOS: No bullshit, this episode is disturbing me. I think in the way it meant to. That...seems like unfamiliar territory for us. Since when do we watch stuff that’s good...on purpose?

EMR: Shit. I hadn't thought about that. Oh, man I don't feel very well. Everything's going to be okay, isn't it? I mean, we're not going to get into trouble for this, are we?

TEOS: Maybe we should check in with our mothers...just to make sure everything’s okay at home.

EMR: Hang on, how the hell did we get onto this conversation? How do you jump from chatting about your hometown to divulging your deepest, darkest murder fetishes without even once mentioning the shitty customer service you received when you called your internet provider about their equally-as-shitty broadband coverage?

(Disclaimer: I may or may not have been having problems with my internet provider.)

TEOS: I think it happens in old age. That and a lot of pants-filling (with your own shit) and screaming at the mailman (while covered in shit that may or may not be yours).

“WHAT’CHOO GOT, BRUNDLE??”

EMR: This...this is a dungeon. This isn’t just ‘his place,’ this is a snuff movie dungeon and Goldblum’s just fucking running with it like it’s the most natural thing in the world. I know Goldblum’s pretty laid back and everything, but gee whizz...

TEOS: The last time some old man invited me into his dungeon for a “quick nip,” I managed to block out from my memory what actually happened. (I hope it was Christmas.)

EMR: My 'Sexual Miscreant Santa' costume works every year.

TEOS: This old man has been talking for so long about how insane he is, and saying really troublesome things that in his head make perfect sense to him, I can’t help but wonder he’s destined for a career in the Tea Party. If I weren’t such a tree-hugging liberal, I have a feeling I’d really support his Rum-Stained Overcoat policies.

EMR: Speaking of politics, you know what really broke my heart? Clint Eastwood talking to a fucking chair. I love Clint Eastwood so much that I'm taking a day off work when he dies. And then this is how he repays me: by talking to a fucking chair.

TEOS: I’ll always love Clint Eastwood for Escape from Alcatraz and Dirty Harry, but I still haven’t forgiven him for Mystic River. Or, yeah, for that chair thing. I know all tough guys are Republicans (Stallone, Willis, Norris, Arnold [kind of]) and Eastwood’s as tough as they come, but why do they have to all be fucking nuts, too?

Yo, speaking of old dudes with one foot in the grave of whom I'm a little afraid, I can only assume my future is closely aligned with this man’s present. We both like: solitude, a lack of people, whiskey, and fedoras. And stabbing.

EMR: Oh, shit! What a switch. Goldblum’s doing the old ‘finger in the pocket’ trick and I don’t mean he’s masturbating stealthily. He could be, though. This is the town where no one gets off and what better way to stick it to the man than to really get off?

TEOS: This has been the least Jeff Goldblum performance I’ve ever seen from Jeff Goldblum. It contained all of his eye-buggery, but none of his idiosyncrasies. It seemed familiar...yet entirely foreign. Like beating off with my non-dominant hand.

EMR: Do you think we've made too many ‘getting off’ jokes?

TEOS: More like not enough.

Kudos to the director of this episode, Don McBrearty, whose name is impossible to pronounce without sounding like you’ve been kicked in the head by the Eddie Murphy donkey from Shrek while bathing in Mountain Dew.

Aaaaand...end of episode. Would you be ashamed if I confessed I have no fucking idea what actually happened?

EMR: Nope! Because guess what? Neither did I. My inaugural exposure to Ray Bradbury and Ray Bradbury related media has not been a positive experience.

Let’s do a little recap: Goldblum's a writer with preconceptions of rural America more befitting of a 17-year-old than a 35-year-old man, who gets off a train in the middle of fucking nowhere on a dare from an asshole in a suit, to find a town full of surly dipshits and a guy who's spent the last 20 years jerking off at a train station to the thought of murdering a stranger.

TEOS: That, my friend, is Manifest Destiny in a nutshell.

EMR: I'm not getting off to any of this.

...

Wait, you know that 'eye-buggery' means sexing in someone’s eye holes, right?

TEOS: Oh, get off.

Bob Hoskins out.