[Continued from the 2011 Thanksgiving Turkey!!!]
The trembling tachyon tremors of non-temporary temporal time continued to lamely stretch, to Flynn's near ambivalence, not to yet another Dinner Theatre but to her own front door... where an unknown, probably thoroughly loser-ish fist just happened to be knocking on her door.
|J.C. Mašek III|
The World's Greatest Critic!
This was strange to Flynn for a couple of reasons. Firstly, she lived in the far, far, far future during a time in which she was the only human being left alive on the planet Earth. As if that wasn't enough of a reason, the second provocation for strangeness recognition came in the form of her realization that anybody else who might have showed up on the planet would probably be important (or self-important) enough to just bash the door in and walk on through... especially the only people she had been acquainted with for the past several years.
Carefully, Flynn picked up her Westinghouse brand Red Rider, Two-Hundred Shot, Range Model Ray Rifle, approached the door like the scholar she was (whatever the hell that means) and kicked the door open to reveal the green wilderness that surrounded her hovel. But standing before that greenery was the apparition of probably the LAST person Flynn ever wanted to see again (and Flynn didn't really want to see anybody these days).
"NAGAS!" she growled through clenched teeth and fired a blast straight through Nagas' chest. But he didn't fall.
Instead, he continued to just stand there in his (now shinier) red and white armor in that stupid looking pose, which he copied from the cover of Superman #1 (the good one from back in June 1939, not the bullshit "New 52" crap). Nagas actually thought he looked cool like this.
"Hello there, Flynn. I appreciate the warm, warm, warm greeting, but I'm afraid that laser blasts cannot harm me, nor can bullets, nor sticks, nor stones... not anymore."
"Oh, geez. What happened now, you asshole?" Flynn asked with an eyeroll. "The last thing I read... about seven minutes ago... was that the Time Tender and you had fallen back through the timestream and vanished from all reality. That's what I called a Happy Ending."
"Then you've never been to many Oriental Massage joints." Nagas sneered... He was about as clever as he was cool-looking. "You see, I have become a being of pure Tachyon energy now, barely held together in time by my own consciousness. Please allow me to come in. You're going to want to sit down for this one!"
Flynn shrugged her shoulders, annoyed as fuck, and pushed the door wider for Nagas to stagger through. "That brings up an interesting question, why did you bother knocking, anyway, if you're going to force your way in?"
"That's more interesting to you than the whole 'being of pure Tachyon energy' thing? That's weird."
Flynn shrugged her shoulders again and led the way to her old-style living room area. "Sit the fuck down, I guess."
Nagas did... then continued. "Yes, when we were pulled out of time at the Major Kira Nerys Memorial Dinner Theatre, which is a completely Zagat-underrated joint, I must say, we lost our corporeal forms and fought our way through time... barely able to reform our bodies into anything resembling our former selves. It may have been seven minutes for you... but for me it has been hundreds or thousands of stupid years! At last we became ghostly projections, able to observe time, but not interact with it. It is only in this far future place with so much less energy interference that I can find myself somewhat whole."
"Sucks to be me." Flynn muttered, pulling her knees up to her chin and letting her toes dangle off the edge of the chair cushion.
"Yes." Nagas agreed and bowed his head, slightly. "So, yeah, technically I should be able to just walk through walls and materialize inside, but for some weird reason it doesn't work on doors, so I had to, kind of... knock."
"That's stupid. I thought that only related to vampires"
"I know, I know, I know. Who makes these things up?" Nagas shook his head, bemused. "But I have come to tell you a story... one that you will never believe or truly comprehend."
"Hey, I'm smarter than you are."
Nagas nodded his barely-corporeal head again and said "Yeah, that's... that's true. But first, let me tell you this real quick. Last night I had the weirdest dream that I was hanging out with my dad and we went to this mall, but, no, wait, not really a mall, but a grocery store that, the farther you went into it, the more things it had available, like this one part had a haberdashery."
"That's even stupider."
"I know. Let me finish. So I decided I wanted a cowboy hat and so I was trying all these different stetsons on and nothing was quite right, and my dad was just, like, bullshitting with the sales guy, which is what he'd always do, you know, wasting their time and shit. Finally I found this one black cowboy hat with a skull on it that looked just like the one Ian Astbury from The Cult wore in the video for "Fire Woman"? Yeah, and it was great, but when my dad came back out he was like 'I think that's too small.', and he was totally right... it barely fit on my head, which sucked, so I started looking through all these other damned hats until I found another one with the skull on it, tried that and asked how that was and he's all 'That's better, that's the size you need.'"
Flynn yawned audibly.
"So I was all happy, until I looked in the mirror and said 'Aw, man, is this a brown hat? I needed black!'. And Dad and the sales dude agreed that it was brown, so I said 'Damn it, and I liked that hat, too. I guess I don't really need a hat today after all.' And before long... I woke back up."
Flynn just looked at Nagas and finally said "That's it? That's the most boring story I have ever heard!"
"Then why tell it to me?"
"To prepare you for this... The true, true, true tale of ... THE 2012 THANKSGIVING TURKEY!"
"Oh yes... I'll begin now..."
And Nagas told her:
Because the 2011 Thanksgiving Turkey had been such a shocking event, what with not one but TWO Time Fugitives showing up in the middle of a dinner theatre, seeking revenge, Kneumsi and company apparently went for a more low-key farce of a feast. and back to Salvation Alley they went (having apparently never learned their lessons).
Who am I talking about? Former Gangster Ricky Richardson and his former pursuer and now roommate Lieutenant Roger O'Malley from... I can't remember, some stupid police department or other. I know... what the hell keeps bringing them back? O'Malley wanted to arrest Kneumsi for killing Ricky, right? And Ricky's only alive again because of my Time Travel Machinations, which he's still not used to.
What? Yes, I know you know, Flynn, I'm catching the readers up.
One by one, the victims and guests from the previous Turkeys, Corpses, Land's End, Jaws 4, Troll 2 (which I, Nagas, had picked out, if you remember), Robowar and, of course, the awful, awful, awful bad Plan 9 From Outer Space from the previous year. Yes, that was the one that almost killed me.
Let's see, you had that idiot James S. Schroeder, cousin of that other idiot Percy Stone, with the weird-ass voice, they both came even though they only have anything to do with this bullshit because I hired them that one time. Some of the other so called "actors" from the Nerys even accompanied them. Are these people stupid?
Other inexplicable attendees included Jeni, who was at a few of them, if you read carefully, and then that one cop, the construction worker, the Indian Chief, the leather biker dude, a gathering of Kneumsi's ex-girlfriends, Weaz, Kidd, that Soldier guy, Ricardo, that one cowboy! Oh, hey, no way, I just realized something! If you really pay attention the entire Village People are in the audience, man!
Oh, you know that? Okay, sorry, I won't mention The Village People again!
That little dog Jack was there again, as was the hot chick from Halloween Night, the exercise instructor, the butcher, baker, candle-stick maker, the Kitchen Sink, lots of independent film directors and actors, Jade Duboir, Alex, Suzanne, the entire cast of The Light Side Heavy... there was barely room for all of these fuckers.
Yeah, some new folks, too... which makes more sense than the old hats at this. I can't explain their returns... they were either kidnapped by Kneumsi or, I'm thinking, Stockholm Syndrome or something.
Little did they realize that I, Nagas, was there, too! Non-corporeal, unable to take the revenge that I... you know, I probably no longer deserve it now that I think about it, but who cares... I could only watch, not touch.
Kneumsi's friends began to hand out the McDonaldland plates and many of the "classic" attendees breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that last year's Christmas Turkey had been Mac And Me. With Kneumsi not prone to repeating himself, they felt pretty safe from that abomination.
The fixin's, including that obnoxious "grass and booger" casserole that I can't BELIEVE people still make, were all piled on every plate with careless ease and the people, most of whom now knew each other and were sharing their Miller High Life (in Champagne glasses) and passing the gravy around with huge-ass smiles.
Little did THEY know...
At last... Kneumsi took the stage, dancing around and singing one of the more offensive songs from the musical The Book of Mormon. Grabbing the mic, he Mooed out a big "Hello, every Smurf!"
Believe it or not, he actually got applause. Yeah, I know, people line up trying to find out where these events are going to be... They're naive. You'd think the people who've survived these would know better... But fuck it.
"Welcome back to the... what is it?" He actually started counting on his fingers, if you can believe that. "... 8th Annual, I think... THANKSGIVING TURKEY Perhaps bad memories erupted because the applause were lighter after that.
"Okay... without further ado... here comes... THE MAIN COURSE!"
And he flipped that stupid switch again and with an air-flow whistle the mangled corpse of a once-proud bird fell, platter first, onto the middle of the long, long, long table.
"Any questions before we dig in?" Kneumsi asked, sounding like an evil Mister Burns?
I floated above the roast beast and observed what the guest/ victims were trying to process... it was like some strange combination of different turkeys, burned on one side, glazed elsewhere, honey baked toward the back, even deep fried in one place. Through the center was a long, silver bolt that I couldn't discern the purpose of... the bolts just stuck out on either side.
The Cop dude, still somehow sitting next to his Indian Chief buddy nudged the Chief and snickered "Hey, man... why don't you ask him... HOW... he made the Turkey that way!" and then dissolved into laughter.
The Chief had endured all he could stand and, without looking, punched the Cop sideways in the chin, laying him out. He then looked up at Kneumsi and said "Since he's out, can you tell me... um... the method by which you made this weird-ass Turkey?"
"All in good time!", Kneumsi laughed, knowingly.
Ricardo raised his hand and asked "What's with the bolts, there? Did you run some electric current through it to cook the damned thing?"
"Now we're getting warmer!" Kneumsi smiled. I froze in my astral form. I believed I knew what was going to happen next!
Ricky chimed in and asked "Do we get Showgirls yet this year?"
"No, Rick, we don't." said Kneumsi. "This year we get something very foul for our fowl... it is, in fact... sort of a... Frankenstein movie! Hence... the Bolts!"
Audible relief filled the room. One woman I didn't ever catch the name of said "Thank God!"
Another laughed "There's no such thing as a bad Frankenstein movie."
O'Malley called out, mockingly "So, are you really getting soft on us and going easy now, Kneumsi?"
"Oh, but there is a bad Frankenstein movie! And, this one will be harder than ever to endure!"
The biker made a sour face and said "Have to disagree with you there. They've all got their foibles but they're all something cool. You really can't go WRONG there."
"Oh, really? Well somebody DID go very, very, very wrong with this one."
The Cowboy dude stood up and slapped both hands on the table and demanded "Is it Son of Frankenstein!"
But before Kneumsi could answer, Rita, the Corbomite Maneuver fan, erupted with "No, that one is actually okay. Please tell me it's not that silly-ass Bud Abbot and Lou Costello meet Frankenstein!"
One of the waiters, I don't know who, blurted out "You don't get comedy, lady, that one was a classic, too! The only REALLY bad Frankenstein flick is that... No! You don't mean!"
Recognition flashed across most of their faces and it clicked for me, too.
Kneumsi had an expectant, goofy look on his face. "No, we're not watching Warhol's Flesh for Frankenstein, though I admit that one SUCKED... But, see, it was a Video Nasty, so I reviewed that one back in the Fall of 2007... and at least that movie had some NUDITY!!!"
"What then?" the crowd all asked in an inquisitive unison, surprising even Kneumsi, whose eyes got wide.
"Okay... That was weird!" he said. "Tonight's affirmation of abomination is none other than the 1965 atrocity known to trauma psychiatrists the world over as... Frankenstein meets the Spacemonster!!!"
"OH GOD! I FORGOT ABOUT THAT ONE!" screamed Rita (a retired meter maid).
"I did too!" shouted the now trembling Biker dude. "I never saw it and I hoped I'd never have to until the day I died."
Several people hollered "Fuck this!" and began to shuffle to the doors, but found them locked and made their dejected stagger back to their seats.
And each person was given a carved off piece of the Turkey, Kneumsi said "Yes, we will all be enduring THIS one together, folks! Dig In!"
The lights died down and the unevenly strung up bedsheet was soon illuminated by the pathetic picture.
"What the hell?" shouted someone I couldn't see (the lights were off, you know), "The movie company is called 'Futurama'? Is this a joke??
Kneumsi pointed and hissed "Shut up, you! Watch the damned movie!"
Some hope was felt when the name "James Karen" lit up the screen until Kneumsi dashed that hope. "Let's not forget that, while James Karen was always a really good actor, his presence in any movie was no sign of quality! He had no qualms whatsoever about appearing in Hardbodies 2, Hercules in New York, Return of the Living Dead Part II or Charles in Charge!"
"Aw, shit, that's RIGHT!" moaned the Cowboy.
"Bob Loblaw!" the exercise instructor cried.
But the film, and this nightmare, was only beginning!
We all watched as this hook-to-the-eyeball played out before us and we hated it. Although I couldn't see him, I silently hoped that the Time Tender was also here, so that I could have the comfort of knowing that he, too, would be enduring this mental massacre.
The paralyzing plot dealt with some dumbass Martians in a lame-ass Flying Saucer or something bitching about just about everything. Their leader is this silly head-dressed chick named, seriously, Princess Marcuzan (played by Marilyn Hanold), who wasn't all that bad looking, but, still, Leia she ain't!
She also has these dorky, obviously made-up henchmen in bad latex, the main brain-trust of whom is named fucking Dr. Nadir! Yes, veteran actor Lou Cutell actually played a character named "Nadir" and he actually worked again.
I'll never forget that name, either, because that business-suited dude, Guy Suity, had to ask "Who the hell is that supposed to be, fucking Nosferatu?"
"No." answered Kneumsi. "That's Nadir."
Predictably, the crowd passed around the words "IT SURE IS!", followed by unnecessary snickers. What's that? Yeah, I said it too. Nobody heard me.
"Where the HELL is Frankenstein? Or Frankenstein's Monster, I mean." that Biker dude asked.
"Here he coooooomes.... riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight... there!" and Kneumsi pointed at the screen.
We were all stunned. It was just an ordinary guy in a US Air Force uniform, sitting around a NASA conference room table while this stupid meeting about flying up to Mars.
"What the fuck?" demanded that guy Connie. "Are you serious? They just called him Colonel Frank Saunders!"
"Yep, Yep, Yep, Yep!" Kneumsi laughed. He's played by Robert Reilly! He played some Dick in an episode of Flipper"
"Really?" asked Ricky. "So he's this film's version of 'Doctor Frankenstein'?"
Kneumsi responded, slowly, "Um... noooooo, he's the monster."
"But he looks like an underwear model!" Rita cried. "He's the MONSTER?"
"Well, yeah, he's one of them. He's the 'Frankenstein' part... there's that other weirdo 'Spacemonster' thing. But wait, hang on, watch what happens to him."
And we did... and just as "Frank" was giving this enormity of a shit-eating smile, he froze.
"AW WHAT THE HELL?" someone shouted.
"Seriously? What happened?" demanded another.
"This isn't even convincing... they just froze the picture. Everything around him is frozen." someone else barked.
"Why the hell did he freeze. Please tell me it's flaw in the print!" yet another person whinnied.
"Nope. Filmed that way. You'll see why in just a moment.", Kneumsi was holding his stomach in intense laughter.
To all of our annoyance, we soon saw this Frank guy's scalp pulled back like Commander Data to reveal not a positronic net, but a bunch of silly transistors and vacuum tubes.
The audience cried out in annoyance.
"Now hang on, now gang, hang on... it gets weirder."
And before long, Frank is on his way to Mars, see? But coincidentally, the Martian Alien Invasion ship is floating in the atmosphere of Earth, they think Frank's rocket is a missile to blow them up (although nobody knows they're there) and so Frank crashes into Puerto Rico and is then... disfigured by another martian's ray gun.
Right about then someone in the audience said what I was thinking, almost verbatim. "You can't make this shit up. Somebody DID... but damned if anybody would believe it was made into a movie."
"Hey, why does that OTHER martian with the bad makeup look like Marty McFly's dad?" the Chief asked, bored.
Kneumsi laughed. "Good eye. That's because he's played by Bruce Glover, Crispin's daddy! No relation, that I know of, to Danny."
Most of the crowd didn't seem to care. Equal apathy followed when we were first introduced to Mull, the title "Space Monster" (or Spacemonster), in spite of the fact that Kneumsi jumped up and down, shouting some shit like "And Mull is no relation to Martin... but he IS also played by Bruce Glover."
"This is dumb." was the only response, coming from a tired-voiced Jeni.
What followed involved The newly re-dubbed "Frankenstein" terrorizing the countryside of Puerto Rico, because he is now "an astro-robot without a control system"... which, for some stupid reason, means he becomes a capable murderer. "Kind of looks like The Toxic Avenger doesn't he?" muttered Kneumsi, whose patience was also finally appearing to be tried... to my great pleasure.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity, but was actually about 27 minutes of screen time, the real plot of the movie was revealed.
"What the hell?" cried out the Chief, causing the Cop on the floor to stir.
The Soldier dude shook his head. "Did they just say Nuclear War caused their population to die and now they have no WOMEN?"
"How misogynistic!" Stephanie moaned.
"Why just the women?" shouted Rita.
"And isn't this just some lame-ass rip-off of Mars Needs Women?"
"No, actually." Kneumsi said, laughing gleefully again. "Mars Needs Women hit theatres in 1966. This film was released in 1965, making it as groundbreaking as they come. But, yeah, the whole thing is about Martians wanting to kidnap hot Earth women to repopulate their lame-ass planet."
The Cop rose up and took his seat again. "What'd I miss?"
The Chief responded "The first half-hour of the movie."
"And you're lucky." Kneumsi added.
The cop looked up at the screen and said "Well, here's a prize worth catching."
On the screen was a beautiful girl in a bikini, sunbathing and running around like something out of a precursor to Baywatch.
"Oh, yeah!" Kneumsi said. "Probably the best, most attractive aspect of this movie... the "Blonde Surf-Bather". Lovely girl, isn't she?"
The crowd agreed, as did I. Kneumsi countered with... "Yes, the prettiest part of this movie went uncredited. Her name is Susan Stephens and she was even on some of the posters... and we had to wait until the advent of IMDB.com to find that out."
"Why wasn't SHE top billed?" growled the Cop.
"Because the world is unfair." the Chief muttered, looking again for an empty seat to move to.
And the torture played on... again. Inexplicable British Invasion-style pop ballads droned over scenes of James Karen's Dr. Adam Steele as he rides a silly scooter around with his co-worker whose name was, no shit, Karen (Nancy Marshall), in spite of the fact that they are supposed to have a professional relationship AND they're supposed to be on a serious mission to find "Frankenstein".
"What's with this horrible 'To Have And To Hold' music?" asked Connie. "Could this get any more incongruous?"
"Horrible, isn't it?" agreed Kneumsi. It makes me so happy to see his plans backfire.
The song made more sense than a lot of the movie, though. The movie wasted more time than the GOP Debates. Long, Alien 2-esque driving and walking sequences padded out the film horribly, while unconvincing aliens stalked a gaggle of fully-American English-speakers throughout Puerto Rico. Inappropriate musical breaks were interrupted by the silly score by Ross Gaffney, while a plethora of beautiful women are captured by these cornballs from Mars.
By the way, I know that was Ross Gaffney because Kneumsi asked the crowd what they thought of the music. Everybody groaned and somebody said "Can't stand it. How did he get the damned job?"
Kneumsi sneered "Probably because the director's name was Robert Gaffney!
"The Republican Politician?!" the Soldier exclaimed.
"Almost certainly not." Kneumsi responded. "And will you all chill out and watch? There's only 20 minutes left!"
"Twenty?" shouted Jeni. "But we've been watching for four hours."
"Less than one." Kneumsi advised. "Less than one."
A dull, guttural groan filled the room, sounding like one giant, tired, vaguely angry puppy dog.
In my astral form, I did the same. The "film" was like a series of barely connected vignettes with the approximate continuity one might experience when flipping through the channels on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Every once in a while the cast would actually come across a Puerto Rican. None of them were treated with any more sensitivity than the women, of course, but, hell.
Most every attempt at "action" was an experiment in "almost", most every attempt at humor was an experience in "falling flat".
Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough, when the title finally comes to fruition and "Frankenstein" finally does meet "The Space Monster", there is less than five minutes of screen time left... including the closing credits! Not that it was worth waiting for. They should have called it something like "Dick from Flipper eventually runs into Grandpa McFly in a Vampire Chewbacca Costume" for all the accuracy there was.
And when those closing credits did roll (over more idiotic, incongruous moped scenes with Karen and Karen to the tune of that same lame love song) the audience was practically zombified.
Kneumsi carefully took the stage and asked "Okay... any questions?"
The uproar was instantaneous.
"What the hell did Nancy Marshall mean when she said that the rampaging Frank would be like 'A Frankenstein' when he became a murderous, deformed Zombie?"
Kneumsi tried to explain "They had to make the title make some sense, I guess."
"But this had absolutely nothing to do with Frankenstein."
"I know, I know, I know."
"Was the Princess getting it on with any of the Martian dudes to help repopulate their stupid planet?"
Kneumsi considered for a moment. "No, I'm pretty sure the Princess was a Lesbian, considering how long she took 'inspecting' Susan."
"Well, that's not very sensitive!"
"None of the movie was sensitive. But how did you like it?"
A scornful cacophony of disgust filled the room and the guests started throwing their (commonly still full) dishes at Kneumsi and the screen).
"What? You didn't like any of it?"
A loud "NO!" followed, along with another barrage of McDonaldland China and silverware.
"But the budget, for its day... don't you think it was pretty good in the makeup and effects categories... really... for the budget?"
More screams of "NO!" and tosses of foodstuffs proceeded, until Guy shouted "The "effects were almost all stock footage, you jackass! And the MAKEUP was terrible!"
"Well what about the beautiful women?"
"Not enough to make up for the rest!" came Connie's scream as he frisbeed his plate toward the Cop's helmet where it shattered. This Thanksgiving celebration was fast becoming a massive food fight, with me barely existing above the fray... creamed corn passed through my essence.
"Not even a twist on an old classic? Maybe? At least it was unique!" Kneumsi pleaded, clearly realizing this was getting out of his hands.
The Cowboy started to approach the stage as the riot and ration wasting continued "No, Kneumsi! We're in control now. You should never have brought us back, dude. We've had more than too much of this. We know damned well what these Thanksgiving Turkeys REALLY are! This is WorldsGreatestCritic.com, where a "Turkey" is... a DOG!!!"
With this, even little Jack turned on Kneumsi and started to bite his leg (possibly out of anger, possibly just because he was now covered in Thanksgiving food which is... damned yummy.
"Well, yeah, sure, Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster is a DOG, but isn't that what this is all about? The fun of bad movies?" Kneumsi continued to plead.
"WHAT FUN?" O'Malley cried and threw a drumstick at Kneumsi's head. "I should have arrested you when I had the chance."
"OW! Quit it! You never had the... Jack, STOP!"
Whatever nasty Revenge plan Kneumsi had been working on since he let everybody go since last year was clearly not happening. Even his friends and family had joined in on the unruly food fight, rioting and freaking their shit like the Lakers had just won the Pennant or something.
Jeni screamed out "Quick, get his keys so we can get out of here before the tryptophan puts us all into food comas."
"The movie almost did that by itself!" agreed Ricky over the fracas.
Someone, I couldn't tell who, held Kneumsi down, while someone else stole his keys from his pocket and once the door was open they all marched out, still throwing food at each other, still yelling and screaming in anger, disgust and shit like that.
Kneumsi just stood there, covered in pelted food and yelling out "You come back here. I fed you. You owe me. I had plans! Big plans. Somebody throw me back my keys, dammit. I have to drive home. Come on, man!"
When he stepped off the stage to follow them, he slipped in some Stove Top Stuffing (instead of potatoes) and fell into an even bigger mess.
Even though Kneumsi is my enemy, this was just too damned much to watch. I couldn't help it, the guy just looked TOO pathetic. Since the door was open and I couldn't watch any more, I got the hell out of there. It was really, really sad.