(Release Date: July 17, 1987)
But that wasn't all.
They had also found the bodies of a series of other criminals that various law enforcement agencies world wide had been looking for, all dead on that same island, all with the same type of beak wounds. On a tree, scrawled in blood (or Tang, O'Malley was still waiting for the lab results) right above what was left of Ricky's head, there was written a foreboding word. "Kneumsi", it read, threateningly like a "Croatoan" warning. O'Malley had made it his duty over the past year to follow that one, slim lead.
"Kneumsi". There was no such record of that name in any police file. He had even pulled every string he and those who owed him money could pull to get to the Interpol files... nothing. Then, casually, one day he plugged that name into his favorite search engine and slowly clicked "Search".
Jackpot. "No, I did NOT mean to search for Numis!" he hissed before browsing through the results. A film critic! Could it be? A film critic with some penchant for writing sarcastic reviews for each Holiday outside of Arbor Day. Then again, "Reviews" were hardly the right word. These things came off more as vanity pieces to showcase this Kneumsi guy's limited humor and adventures. Still, it was the lead he needed and O'Malley was determined to follow it.
First, O'Malley rounded up a ton of Independent film makers. Most of them indicated that this guy took forever to review their films and when he did he wrote more about himself than he did about their films. Some of them said they had been waiting nigh on a year for their reviews. Then he rounded up Independent Film Maker James Ricardo, whose name appeared a few times on that Kneumsi website, egotistically called WorldsGreatestCritic.com. There was even a video of Kneumsi comparing the suspect to the actor who had played Captain America in the late 1970s. Helpful. But Ricardo was unresponsive to the interrogation admitting only this: "I never met the guy... in person anyway!" He then demanded to know if O'Malley was going to charge him with anything, then to know if he was free to go. O'Malley threw his hands up in frustration and Ricardo left, but not before scratching a match on the palm of his own hand, igniting a cigarette and saying "What are you going to do, arrest me for Smoking?"
Basic Instinct references? What sort of Trail was O'Malley on?
Finally O'Malley followed the trail to Orange County, California, namely to the one place that this Kneumsi character had actually copped to have spent time on numerous occasions... the Rehobeth Hall... HOBA... the House of Blues in Anaheim.
"Look, I ain't seen that guy in... " started one of the bouncers. Then he looked up with shocked eyes, turned his back and walked back inside, slamming the door after himself.
"I hear you're looking for me, Mr. O'Malley!" came a low voice from behind him.
"You are under-"
Kneumsi laughed a cold laugh. "Arrest? On what charge? Having my name written by some lowlife bird food?"
O'Malley spun about and gasped. He had been expecting a fat guy. "I have to know... I-"
"You want to know what happened to Ricky and the rest last year? You have more investigation to do! Are you ready to unlock the secret of... The Thanksgiving Turkey?"
Slowly O'Malley nodded. He had to know. He just had to. Suddenly everything went blank and he found himself inside a dark space. He backed up and heard a screech, lost his footing and fell to a seated position in the chair he had nearly knocked back.
Kneumsi's voice filled the loudspeaker... "Welcome all! It's Thanksgiving... time for the TURKEY!" The lights in the room slowly began to rise and O'Malley's eyes eventually focused on the small group of people at the table around him. "Where am I?" he asked.
"You said you wanted to know the truth. Are you ready for it? If not, you can get the fuck out of here!" Kneumsi said.
O'Malley looked around him and noticed that at the end of both sides of the hallway was a door leading to the street. This meant they weren't inside the HOBA. Standing at one of the doors was a young woman whose description he recognized as that of Michelle Bond, along with a taller woman who held Michelle's hand. At the other door was none other than the laughing James Ricardo, surrounded by three women.
"It doesn't look like I can." O'Malley said.
"Compelled? Yes, yes you are."
Kneumsi sprinted to the stage and grabbed the microphone. "Welcome to our feast! Ladies and Germs, Boils and Ghouls... it is time to... get served!"
Independent Film Makers, Friends and Family Members of Kneumsi filed around the table, lining up McDonaldland plates, plastic forks and knives and cow glasses all over the table before each guest. Then came the Smashed Tomatoes, Grass and Booger casserole, Cranapple Sauce, Wavy Gravy, a yellowish watery substance that may have been intended to be a cheese sauce and a tossed boiled medley of Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Seeing nobody else moving, O'Malley reached for the Gravy Spoon and found his hand slapped, hard, by one of the servers.
The Microphone produced feedback and static as Kneumsi shouted "Now... BRING ON... THE TURKEY!"
With that a trap door opened in the ceiling and a long tray fell with a slam and a bounce on to the long table. But it wasn't a turkey.
It was long and gray with wide, round, black eyes and sharply jutting fins.
"Ha, ha, ha!" shouted O'Malley. "Talk to your Grocer, Kneumsi, this is Seafood, not a Turkey!" He was wondering why he still went with this charade. He should be arresting this screwball.
"Ah, now that's where you're wrong, my friend. What you see before you may look like a fish, it may taste like a fish, it may swim like a fish... but I assure you, that is no fish. That is a Turkey!"
Kneumsi's friends and family laughed in a chilling cacophony. "Yes, you see, tonight you've all been invited to my Dinner Theatre where we will be watching a sequel to the ultimate Sea Monster Movie!"
"Jaws 2?" one woman asked, loud enough to be heard.
"No, Jaws 2 was pretty good!" said Kneumsi.
O'Malley laughed again, confidently, "Well then, I guess it's Jaws 3-D, then. I saw that movie, it was all right, man! But where, oh where, are our funny glasses?"
"No glasses... we're not watching 3-D... Tonight... or any other night!"
"Worse... just watch!" Kneumsi said. Then the familiar sound of rolling sprockets filled the room and Kneumsi seemed to glow and flicker as the film began... then he left the stage saying "Oh, how rude of me... Eat! Eat!"
They did. Though none of the Fixings seemed to go well at all with Shark Meat.
A watery seascape appeared before them and the words "Jaws: The Revenge" filled the screen in huge, red letters.
The diners groaned in shrill unison at the words. O'Malley now remembered there had been a fourth Jaws movie. He hadn't seen it. He had heard it had sucked piss. But O'Malley was tough. He was going to see this one through, then nail this Kneumsi to the wall! Besides... he liked the third one.
As the character of Ellen Brody took the screen Kneumsi's voice came again, saying "Ladies and Gentlemen... Lorraine Gary!" It was really her. This could be good. In fact, O'Malley could have been mistaken, but he thought he had seen the names of Michael Caine and Mario Van Peebles in the opening credits.
"Good thing she's in it, since Roy Scheider passed on appearing, huh?" It was Kneumsi's voice. He had leaned his head between O'Malley's and that of the lady who sat next to him.
"I'll say!" the lady said.
"Yeah, really. Hey, O'Malley, aren't you glad that you're not going to have to worry about them padding out the film with archival footage of Scheider as Martin Brody?"
O'Malley swallowed hard. The way Kneumsi had said this meant clearly that they would indeed be dealing with just that! "Yeah!" Kneumsi laughed... "But FIIIIRST:"
To his horror, O'Malley witnessed as Ellen Brody addressed another character as "Sean"! "No... No, that's not Sean Brody!" O'Malley called. "Sean's not a cop in Amity, Sean's a Marine Biologist at Florida's Sea World. I saw the third flick! He's played by John Putch! Who the... Who the hell is this?"
O'Malley carefully spit out what he had been chewing on into his napkin.
"Yep, he's a cop. He's never left Amity... no matter what the third movie said."
O'Malley waited for the appearance of Dennis Quaid. He'd save the day. O'Malley couldn't remember having seen Quaid's name in the cast list, but he'd be there, he was sure. He had to be. Oh, Dennis. But before that could happen, the fakest of the fake sharks he had ever seen popped up out of the water and ate first Sean's arm and then the rest of him.
"ARGH!" the audience shouted in unison, not at the horrific scene, but at the lame-ass way the scene was executed.
After a few minutes they calmed down, wondering what was next. They announced then that Michael Brody was going to be flying in, not from Florida, but the Bahamas. Okay... Marine Biology could work there, cool! But it wasn't Dennis Quaid... it was... OH NO!
"LANCE GUEST?" O'Malley shouted, standing up, along with four or five of the other spectators.
"Now what's wrong with Lance Guest?" someone else demanded.
"Well, nothing, I guess, I mean, he was in The Last Starfighter and all..." O'Malley said, "But he's like, what, six years younger than Dennis Quaid, and this movie was, what..."
"Four years after Jaws 3-D!" Kneumsi answered.
A woman at the right end of the table said "Why the hell does he look like Richard Dreyfuss from the first flick?"
But the woman rose to her feet... "I'll have you know, Joseph Sargent also directed 'The Corbomite Maneuver', so you just watch your mouth!"
"OH YEAH?" Kneumsi shouted, his eyes gleaming with life, like the lead singer of the band The Dregs of Humanity (a favorite of O'Malley's). "Does anybody else in here want to defend Joseph Sargent? HUH? Look at the job he's doing here!"
The biker guy spoke up. "Look, I'm sorry, lady, I love Star Trek and all, but this is an ocean of piss here. The producer should have fired his ass!"
Kneumsi jumped and slid across the lenghth of the table at the biker and hissed "EXCEPT... Joseph Sargent WAS the Producerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!"
Again, the crowd screamed in annoyance, as if the movie actually itched.
If only it had gotten better. It didn't. O'Malley and the jury of his peers who were trying so hard to swallow this fishy turkey witnessed as the story unfolded before them, revealing that this shark was not randomly dining on the bathers around Long Island, but was actually there with a... personal (ARGH!)... vendetta against the Brody Family that it meant to damn-well carry out. Sean was only the beginning. It was soon to follow Ellen, Mike and Mike's wife and daughter (Karen Young's Carla and Judith Barsi's Thea) to the Bahamas to finish the job. This had to be a joke.
"Kneumsi, I think we've been had here. It's obvious this isn't really a movie Universal released, you just threw this together as a joke, didn't you?"
"Oh, did I? Look! There's Micheal Caine!"
It was true. Michael Caine was on the screen flying around in a little twin engine plane, quipping and trying to look cute, calling himself "Hoagie". What bet had he lost to be forced into this kelp deposit?
"Oh, and here... wait for it... waaaait for it! THERE! Mario Van Peebles! Yep! There he is, playing Jake!"
One woman actually screamed!
The film went on with inane dialogue and idiotically contrived situations as the Shark actually showed up in the warm waters of the Bahamas and started eating people as Jake and Mike catalogued snails instead of anything cool. Every time that damned Shark came up, O'Malley, and the rest of the crowd, got angrier. He had once taken the Universal Studios tour of the Back Lot, and one of the scary features was a model of Jaws jumping out of the water at the Tram. The shark in this movie looked less realistic than that thing! In fact, when O'Malley had been a kid, he had a toy shark he played with in the bathtub. It looked vaguely more realistic than the shark in this flick!
"WHOA!" shouted a man in a business suit. "I just saw metal struts. Is this shark swimming around inside an aquarium or something?"
"Nope!" laughed Kneumsi. "That's the rig they towed the fake shark around with. They didn't even bother hiding it! Oh, look, watch this scene as ol' "BRUCE" tries to eat Lance... Watch it... THERE! Did you see that?"
The lady next to O'Malley groaned. "You mean the rusty pivot sticking out of the Shark's rubber under-belly, holding it up? My brother could see that and he's blind!"
"Yep, let's just call it 'Sharky's Machine!' Folks, Sargent just didn't care!"
"I'm gonna be sick!" O'Malley sighed.
"Not yet! Watch!"
"AW!" the Biker called again. "It's just hovering over the water, taking its time eating somebody... Sharks can't do that!"
"They can't roar, either!" said a woman in personal trainer's gear. "Yet there it goes... roaring like one of those fake-ass monsters in The Mist!"
"I hate this movie!"
O'Malley looked around to see who had said that, only to discover it had been Kneumsi himself!
The film seemed to take forever, with characters doing nonsensical things, totally out of character from what has already been stablished. Obviously dead characters miraculously surviving and...
"Oh, here comes the ending! HERE IT COMES!" Kneumsi cooed in glee.
Yet another flashback to Roy Scheider took place before... "AW, what the hell just happened?"
"The same thing that's happened at the end of EVERY Jaws flick!" the Biker answered O'Malley.
The Personal Trainer sniffed. "No way, man. this is insane. There's no way that could happen!"
The woman next to O'Malley said "I don't even know what happened. It was hardly very clearly filmed."
"None of it was!" agreed Kneumsi. "Hey, look there, you can see a rectangular hole filled with wood and insulation in the shark's belly riiiiiiiight... THERE!"
Another long groan.
And then... the credits rolled. O'Malley was glad to be alive. But he knew he could never eat Sea Food again!!!
The room erupted with questions, most of which needed no answer!
Kneumsi patiently tried to answer.
"Well, that was the worst movie ever made!", uttered O'Malley, standing up.
"Don't you want Dessert?" asked Kneumsi.
"No, I'm afraid we've all lost our appetites! Now it's time for you to finish this up. What happened to Ricky? Is now where you show us the door and we all find ourselves as so much Shark Food?"
"No. In fact, you're all free to move on about your business. This isn't Brother Kneumsi's Dinner Theatre... this is Salvation Alley!"
"What?" O'Malley pondered. Salvation Alley was the San Diego House of Blues. How had they gotten there? How?
The other guests left, angry that they had ever arrived. "This just leaves you and me, then, Kneumsi. I'm afraid I'm going to have to arrest you."
"No, I'm afraid not, Mr. O'Malley!"
"OFFICER O'MALLEY!" he corrected.
"Oh, I'm afraid not. You see, you're not a cop. You're a mental patient in the Sunnyvale Home for the Criminally Insane." With those words, Ricardo laughed heartily.
O'Malley reached for his gun and badge and found them to be dime store plastic. "No!" he said. "What have you done to me?"
"Nothing! In fact, you're not even here eating this Thanksgiving Turkey! You're in Sunnyvale now, in wrist restraints. You've just spent too much time on the internet and you've constructed this whole scenario in your feeble, warped mind!"
And the room started to dissolve, revealing the sterile, white Formica walls of his own room. The nurse entered. "Ready for your Meds?"
"I guess so.", he said. "So, it was all just a dream?"
"What was?", asked the nurse.
He recounted as much of the story as he could.
"Oh, yes. But be sure to tell your Doctor all about that tomorrow. That's fascinating!"
He sighed and swallowed his pills. No Kneumsi, no Thanksgiving Turkey, no Jaws: The Revenge! It hadn't happened. None of it! It was all just a dream!
Then the nurse said, "Oh, this DVD just came in the mail for you. Should I put it on?"
"Okay." he signed. She did and... A watery seascape appeared before him and the words "Jaws: The Revenge" filled the screen in huge, red letters!
All just a Dream? OR WAS IT?
The Nurse began to Cackle. He then saw her nametag. It read "Michelle Bond"! OH NO! He learned only too late not to cross the JIVE TURKEY, this close to THANKSGIVING!!! He Crossed Kneumsi and he paid. His Turkey this year... WAS A DOGFISH!
But have YOU yet learned YOUR lesson? This is the third year there has been a new THANKSGIVING TURKEY, and each year we have lambasted and broied a new horrible movie for your viewing terror... never forgetting that on WorldsGreatestCritic.com a Turkey... is a Dog, be it Fish or Fowl. As always... we will continue to need dinner guests...
Eat THIS too, TUrkie!
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