The Threatdown (Parts 1 – 3)

The Spoony One | Nov 5 2008 | 

The Twilight Series

Twilight

AUGH. I can’t– I just…My god. This is…

This is the cinematic equivalent of an asteroid about to hit the fucking Earth, people. It’s huge, it’s ugly, it’s horrible, and if you have any sense at all you should run shrieking away from it as quickly as you can. And like any apocalyptic abomination that’s about to destroy culture and the last vestiges of what make humanity worth preserving, there are some mad, frothing maniacs who embrace the rapture and worship the coming doom. We’ve been fortunate enough so far to avoid a real Twilight fan invasion, because I’ve been on other message boards and you’ve not seen such a pack of rabid, snarling jagoffs so willing to engage in bitter, pointless flamewars over this.

It’s a perfect storm of co-mingling fan-worship, too. You’ve got the teenage girl demographic, infatuated with this…fucking vapid, vacant pasty-faced asshole, with that face you just want to ram into a men’s room doorknob until his teeth litter the ground like bloody chiclets. It’s not that he’s a pretty boy– we hate John Cena enough for that, I guess– it’s that garbage vampire-chic aura, that godawful brooding intensity, that mysterious “I’m the biggest, sexiest mistake you’d ever make, ladies, because I’m fucking dangerous” scowl that makes all the women drool.

It’s got all those goth-heads hooked, too. Some people just never get tired of it. I promised myself I wouldn’t use the term “emo” unless it was absolutely necessary, but what else do you call an entire genre based around a pale, dreary bore who always drones on about his own existential angst, his eternal torment, his alienation from human society, and the constant struggle to contain the beast of his infinite rage forever crawling in his skin, lest it surface and harm those he loves? Come to think of it, what is with all of this vampire worship, anyway? Vampire stories are lame, and they were lame even when Anne Rice shat her oversexualized Mary Sue fiction all over bookstores. After that, we had to endure fucking Anita Blake, and now this?

It boggles my mind to even imagine that, as bad as the Anita Blake stories are, Twilight is far, far worse. And all I did was read a sample chapter online. It’s so bad, that even hearing summaries of the plot can evoke snorts of derision. My mom used to watch daytime soaps that had less ham-handed melodrama and less-disturbing sexual liaisons. This madness has to stop, and if you don’t believe me, just keep watching. The Twilight movies are coming, and people, you are going to see some sad, depraved motherfuckers buying enough tickets to keep it at #1 in the box office for months.

The Legend of Zelda Series

Legend of Zelda

Oh, fuck you.

I’m tired of this shit. I’m all about retro-gaming. I’m nostalgic. I love going back and remembering old stuff and how great it was. I even bought Mega Man 9 and was hopelessly charmed by the memories. But this has got to stop.

All I remember hearing when the Wii was coming out was “Twilight Princess is gonna be awesome!” and the only game for the Gamecube anyone ever mentioned was fucking Wind Waker. Game of the Year awards all around. People raved about the graphics, the cel-shading, the controls, the story, you name it. Zelda’s always been huge, and it’s only gotten bigger.

And I fucking hate it.

Oh, I’m not going to sit here and tell you they’re not good games. They are. All of them. They’re very good. They’re part of the foundation of gaming itself. I’m not denying their place in history. Twilight Princess was a terrific game…when it was called Majora’s Mask…or Ocarina of Time. There has never been any appreciable evolution in the Zelda games. Every game is almost literally a carbon copy of every other Zelda game with slightly different maps and puzzles. The plots have never even attempted to tie together to form a coherent canonical plotline, and attempting to make sense of them is an exercise in futility. They’re all basically parallel-universe stories, all of which involve a mute elf brat in a green hat saving a blonde from a fat goblin.

“But Spoony!” you whine, “AC/DC still rocks, and they haven’t changed in 35 years! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?”

Yes, AC/DC does still rock your mother, but the difference is that AC/DC didn’t just keep releasing the same album over and over again with slight variations on the core melodies. They wrote new stuff but managed to maintain their unique, kickass style. The only real change you could count on with the Legend of Zelda series was a graphical facelift whenever a new console hit the store shelves.

I hate fucking Zelda fans, and all the people who used to write me asking if I picked up Twilight Princess, or the Minish Cap, or any one of the dozens of other indistinguishable games out there. Reality check: there’s no story, there’s no innovation, there’s no evolution. You’ve been playing the same goddamn game for twenty-five years. Zelda 2 for the fucking NES was the most unique game of the bunch.

And that’s truth.

Zombies

Zombies

Zombie films used to be on the fringe– edgy, trashy, nearly plotless cinema that people pretended was cool. That’s not the case anymore; zombie flicks are springing up all over the place, because any idiot with a load of Karo syrup and torn clothes can make one, and they’re all basically about the same thing. I participated in an independent film festival, with zombie short films in vogue. They fit in nicely with most young filmmakers’ sense of rebellion, being bleak, nihilistic, cheap, and it’s a genre where broad and hideous acting is not only forgivable, it’s desirable.

Zombie media is everywhere, and not just because the YouTube generation is armed with cheap DV cameras. Comics, literature, and games have latched onto the zombie meme like the undead’s jaws on your ankle. The fad has been ridden into the ground, piledriven six feet under, dug up, fucked, decapitated, had its neck stump fucked, and re-buried under a load of fanboy spooge. The “Marvel Zombies” have risen at least three times with no end in sight, the “Walking Dead” comic is serviceable, but should have ended two years ago, and there are more comics arising all the time. Dead Rising kicked off the mall-survival fantasies of gamers everywhere, and even now, all the people at your local Gamestop will talk about are the upcoming zombie games.

There’s nothing more annoying than zombie fans. Honest to god, I’ve rarely seen such pretentiousness over such fucking awful movies in my life. They’ll act like you just don’t get it, like Romero is some kind of a fucking genius for jackhammering metaphors into his films about the stupidity of humanity, the horrors of mass conformity, and man’s inhumanity to man. Sure, I’ll grant you that Romero represents the best the zombie genre has to offer, and is probably the most intellectual of the bunch, but there’s only so far you can ride that shambling corpse. Romero’s last two films were absolutely abysmal, and yet all I could hear about how deep and penetrating Romero’s insight into humanity is.

Let’s get this straight, okay? Zombie films suck. They’ve always sucked, and they’re meant to suck. They’ve been mined for every conceivable metaphor. The tabula rasa that is the zombie’s blank, expressionless stare has been thoroughly shat upon and smeared on every media. It’s done. The only real innovation to come to the genre was Danny Boyle’s “speed zombie,” and of course, I know a ton of zombie fan dickheads who will be quick to point out that the 28 Days Later creatures were “infected” and not “zombies.” It makes me want to jam those quotation marks right up their smug asses.

Look, I don’t care if you enjoy zombie flicks. More power to you. But let’s not pretend it’s because you admire the subtext. You like violence, you get a chuckle out of dismemberment, and if there are titties in the movie, that’s bonus points. It’s garbage cinema. Drive-in fluff. Completely brainless. The genre is completely played out.

It’s over.