"Where are they?" came a raspy voice from the well-lit darkness.
"Don't worry, they'll show!" came a second voice not unlike that of an angry clown with a Helium addiction and a chest cold. "There is no way in Heaven, Hell, Heck or Limbo that they could miss out on getting this vital package. Not after what they put us through to get it!"
True to the Angry, Keyed-up and ailed clown's word, four shadowy figures emerged from the twisted, beaded, braided, thorny brush and posed dramatically as quartets of mysterious silhouettes of dangerous men tend to do more often than not. As their rousing orchestral entrance theme faded one of the four struck a match along his thumbnail and lit a king dope fucking stogie, briefly illuminating the four.
First Nagas came into view in his white-on-red armor, still posing like the cover of Superman #1. Next, the match-lighter materialized with a sneer. It was Lieutenant Roger O'Malley, squinting with anger against his smoldering cigar and glaring at the two kidnappers. To his left was a young, but hardened man in a worn, pin-striped suit and one of those lame-ass sticky nametags that read "Hello, my name... RICKY!", seemingly completely oblivious to the fact that it was missing the word "Is". Lastly, just before the round glow of the match died, the kidnappers could see a grim visaged woman looking to the side. She wore a grey cape and hood, pulled back to reveal her brown hair and a futuristic breath mask hung unused around her neck. Had they looked very closely they might have seen the nameplate on the mask read "Flynn" in a rather charming font.
"Man, you guys are WEIRD looking!" said the first kidnapper.
"Thanks." muttered Nagas. "Have you our query?" he then said in a lofty, demanding voice.
The second kidnapper laughed. "You didn't sound that dorky on the phone, man! You're Nagas, right?"
With those words, Nagas realized that he must have been "doing that thing" again. This made him straighten up self-consciously and dust his scratched armor off, just to have something to do. "Yeah, and I guess that makes you Scrotum?"
The brigand looked annoyed. "No, that's 'Schroeder', not 'Scrotum'."
"But he gets that a lot!" the other kidnapper guffawed, showcasing his drawl as he did.
"No, I do not... Damn it... Okay, this is my cousin Percy-"
"Call me 'STONE', that's my-"
"Shutup, it's Percy!"
Nagas looked even more uncomfortable, if that was even possible. "Meetcha." he muttered. "Have you got the package or not?" He resisted the urge to add "with your punk ass!"
Schroeder smiled and shined his flashlight to the clearing to his right, illuminating the figure of a man tied to a wooden kitchen chair with a charming floral pattern on the cushioned seat. The man's head was bowed and his face was covered with a burlap sack. "Is that what you're looking for?"
"Show me his face." Flynn said flatly, but with the subtle allure of a woman in the full flower of early middle age. You know, poised and confident. "I need to know."
Flynn looked at Nagas inquisitively. Nagas narrowed his eyes, studying the face. "He's fifteen years older than when I last saw him!"
"That's him, trust me!" said O'Malley.
"Really?" Ricky asked. "The guy I remember was really fat."
Kneumsi darted his gaze toward Ricky and made up a sinister looking face. "Ricky, isn't it? Yes... I remember you like the Ghost of Thanksgiving's Past! Tell me... how did you escape those crazy uccelli assassini?"
"What?" Percy asked.
"It's Italian.", Flynn answered. "It means 'Killing Birds'!"
Ricky gulped and turned away.
Kneumsi continued. "Then that must make you O'Malley. Ha. Say, shouldn't you be arresting Ricky, then?"
"Eventually.", said O'Malley. "But you first!"
"Whoa-ho-ho! As I remember, you tried that once. Last time I saw your forlorn frown you were being fed meds by a psyche nurse on a crappy mental ward. How'd that work out for you?" Kneumsi laughed and looked to the armored man. "Now you, I'll never forget... I never forget a face... Mister... Nagas! How's your momma and them?"
Nagas rolled his eyes.
"But you!", Kneumsi said to the woman. "I don't know you! Clearly if you're with these idiots you have me at a disadvantage. So... are you, busy later, maybe we could, um..."
"Please put the bag back on his head!" begged Flynn. Percy complied.
Nagas cleared his throat and growled out his most authoritative "Let's get this party started."
"Not so fast, Future-Man!", said Schro-Schro. "There's still the little matter of our payment."
Nagas nodded. "Of course. Flynn?" As Flynn walked forward with a locked, metal briefcase, Nagas' curiosity got the better of him. "I have to ask... how did you manage to capture the Elusive Kneumsi?"
Percy scoffed. "Easy! We pretended to be Margi Newton and sent him a message on Facebook!"
"That's brilliant!" Nagas agreed, taking the case from Flynn. "Not sure why nobody else ever thought of that. Anyway... here you are!"
Schroeder opened the case as it rested on Nagas' hands and forearms and his eyes widened to the approximate size of DVDs. "At last!" He opened the binder inside and flipped through page by page of plastic-held trading cards. "The complete Garbage Pail Kids. I can die happy now!"
"Bubblegum cards?" Percy, Ricky and O'Malley demanded in Unison, almost drowning out Kneumsi's own exclamation of "COOL!"
"Nice doing business with you gentlemen... and Lady!" Schroeder said and ushered Percy out of the clearing and home to discuss the relative merits of "Punchy Perry" versus "Luke Warm"!
As they departed to follow their adventure, at once uber-nerdy and pathetically outdated, Flynn stepped forward and shook her head in disgust. "Shall we get this revolting business over with now?"
Kneumsi's muffled voice agreed from beneath the scratchy-ass cowl which so recently had held some really tasty russet potatoes.
O'Malley jerked the burlap hood from Kneumsi's head once again to give him a really cold-ass look.
Nagas joined O'Malley and spoke in his best, most booming voice to Kneumsi "I suppose you're wondering why we had you dragged here this cold November morning."
"I don't like him." Flynn mumbled.
Nagas paused, pensively. "Fifteen years ago by your timeline, you sent me back to my own time, only to find that my very future was changed by your nightmarishly evil machinations."
"I don't remember that!" Kneumsi said.
"Shut up, you!", Ricky shouted, clearly realizing he hadn't said anything in like three minutes.
Nagas continued. "But what you didn't realize is that even in the dystopia you trapped me in I was still able to re-invent both Marinara-flavored Schnapps... AND... THE TIME MACHINE!"
"Bullshit!" Kneumsi laughed.
"Okay, you got me, another time-traveler showed up and I bonked him over the head with a crate of Ham Dingers." Nagas admitted. "But that's not important right now. I had to instantly travel back to the past. My thoughts were of nothing but porn, blue cheese malt shakes and... REVENGE! REVENGE against you. The only question was... what form must that revenge take?"
"Unfortunately he had travelled forward in time first." Flynn said.
"Well..." Nagas paused again. "Yeah, I didn't really know how that machine worked. I mean, history had been all mushed up, and all. Anyway..."
"Anyway..." Flynn continued. "That's how he met me, Earth's last guardian after you helped fuck the planet up."
"I did? No!"
"Yes. And together we realized that with the technology that Nagas had stolen and with me explaining to him how the damned thing worked-"
"She's smart!", Nagas conceded.
Nagas added. "That's not even mentioning The Executioner, part II!"
Suddenly Kneumsi looked indignant. "Dude, that one was YOUR idea!"
"We knew we had to stop you and we knew just the day to do it, too!"
"Thanksgiving!" said Ricky in a tone so often reserved for words like "Supplemental Tax Invoice!"
O'Malley matched Ricky's voice, saying "The Thanksgiving Turkey!"
Nagas paced before the trapped Critic. "But what form should the revenge take? Why in the form of yet another Turkey, of course. To this end, Flynn and I rescued both Ricky and O'Malley from the timestream and brought them here, now, tonight to celebrate, all of us, together and to bid you farewell as you drown in your own medicine, my hated enema, Kneumsi!"
Kneumsi frowned. "Please tell me you meant 'Enemy'!"
"You see," continued Nagas, "We've read your reviews and we know that there are certain films that can hurt even you... and after much scrutiny, dunning, vetting and bloodletting we think we've found just the film to torture you with."
Kneumsi shook his head. "You can't torture me with a movie. You could shoot me off into space and show me bad movies every day, but all I'd do is take the special parts of the ship and create robot friends to entertain me and help me make fun of those movies and-"
"That's been done." all four enemies said at once.
Nagas bowed to Kneumsi's eye level to continue. "Besides, we DID find the perfect film for our little experiment!"
"Good luck! Trying to torture me with a bad movie is like throwing Br'er Rabbit into the briar patch! Never happen." Kneumsi sneered, looking MUCH more like The Joker than that Ledger kid ever could have. Then, directing his gaze directly at Nagas, he added "You Sheep Pimp!"
"Funny, that's exactly what O'Malley and Ricky said.", Flynn said, still looking every bit the cynic.
Nagas quickly added "About not being able to torture you with a bad movie, not about me being a Sheep Pimp! Ricky, O'Malley, let's do this thing." And as the Gangster and the Cop grabbed Kneumsi's wooden chair and dragged him through the brush and dust, Nagas continued with a scientific glee. "Yes, we've found a film that is so vile it is reviled the world over as one of the worst ever made!"
His reverie was interrupted only by his chair bumping over the threshold of some busted-ass building in the middle of the woods, equal parts Blair Witch cabin and Nightmare On Elm Street 2 Concrete Factory.
"We're here." Flynn advised.
"Thank you, Flynn. No, Kneumsi, you won't be having any such fun today. Ha ha ha! Far from it. In fact this is a film so putrid, so cancerous, so malignant that even YOU have avoided it."
"Is it now? Does the name 'Claudio Fragasso' mean anything to you?"
"Well then, how about... Wait, did you mean 'No, the name means nothing to me, Nagas, you handsome man!' or did you mean 'NO, anything but that, I'm filled both fear and revulsion, you sadistic time traveler!'?"
"Um... the latter one... mostly."
"Right then! How about the name Rossella Drudi?"
"Oh no, NOT HER!"
"And if I added to the mix a little Sun Dried Joe D'Amato?"
Kneumsi's voice was barely over a whisper as he said "No... please, no!"
O'Malley stepped forward and hissed "Yes! For years you've been torturing audiences year after year on Thanksgiving... NOW you will see how it feels with a movie even you have avoided like Gay Porn! NOW the tables are turned!"
With a JERK, O'Malley turned Kneumsi's chair to the opposite wall where there hung a tattered bedsheet, pulled tight to receive the projection. But what caught Kneumsi's eye were the other spectators there around the screen, not looking to where the movie would be shown, but staring straight at Kneumsi himself. Most of them had been Thanksgiving Guests from previous years. A few had been ex-girlfriends and then there was...
"Ricardo! What the hell are you doing here?" Kneumsi asked in shock.
Ricardo shrugged. "I told you we had only one take to do the blood splash in Guillotine Guys, but you cracked up anyway, man. Do you know the setup that went into that scene and you cracked up as soon as the blood hit your face, man? I'm sorry, I'm just pissed."
"Aw, man. Dick Move."
Ricardo shrugged again. "Oh, and they want me to tell you what the movie is, too, because they all want to see the look on your face, too!"
"Well, the joke's on them, dude... I've seen all the Fried-Green D'Amato, Fragged-Asshole, Dootie movies ever made." Kneumsi's obnoxious, cheek-bone rich grin fell quickly to a pout as he added "Haven't I?"
"I don't know. It's... It's Troll 2!"
Kneumsi's eyes widened again with a look that implied a deep, yet growing Nausea! "Troll 2? No, not that one! Dick Move! Well, still... Fragasso, D'Amato, Drudi... surely there will at least be something worth while... um... visually!"
"Sorry, dude." muttered Ricardo, flatly. "I checked IMDB... no nudity."
"NO NUDI-? Dick Move!"
Nagas pointedly responded "Yes, you see we did investigate deeply to give you the one film that would be the most painful! You've counted on only nerds and lonely European expatriates reading your idiotic website so that you can torture the guilty with horrid films... but we suffered through your terrible writing, misspelled words and obscure references to calculate that the one film that would truly violate your brain like a former Kabuki Drag actor in the shower at a Men's Prison!"
Ricardo added "Yeah, especially the misspelled words and... Nagas, you're starting to sound like him."
Kneumsi sadly nodded. "This is true... I mean look how long this damned thing is and we haven't even gotten to a review yet!"
Nagas laughed. "Well, then! ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE! Ladies and Gentlemen! Safety goggles!"
Kneumsi watched as his villainous captors applied light-locking eyeware and stuffed plugs into their ears. Ricardo shrugged again, forewent the safety gear and started the film.
"TROLL 2!!!" shouted Nagas with GLEE! And with that... the film started.
Kneumsi was aghast and he had one of those really annoying itches on the back of his scalp. You know the kind that only seemed to come up when one had one's hands tied behind one's back to a wooden kitchen chair? Which, for Kneumsi, was happening a lot more than one might expect.
Kneumsi's first shock came when the MGM Lion appeared on the screen. "There is no WAY that MGM had anything to do with this!" Kneumsi screamed, but was met only with silence. As the lion's roar faded to just as much silence the world Filmirage took the screen and Kneumsi sighed "Oh, Filmirage! That's more like it!"
The film continued to unspool before him and the minor hope that he received by seeing that the film was credited to a "Drake Floyd" was quickly dashed by the memory that Drake Floyd was one of many, many pseudonyms that Claudio Fragasso had used over the years to cover up the fact that he was, in fact, Claudio Fragasso, filmdom's version of the drunk waiter who can't get your order right.
The next moment was a shock to Kneumsi in the way that any number of reported injustices can be major shocks to innocent people as they read about them in The Economist! Laura Gemser was credited as the costume designer. "Laura Gemser? The incredibly hot erotic actress who has appeared in porn and soft-core porn alike is the costume designer in this thing? She's always naked and she designed the costumes... in a movie with no nudity?"
Nagas laughed. "The credits aren't even over yet and you're already suffering? You know she did do the costuming in La Casa 5, too, you know."
"Yeah, well it was a cruel joke then and it's a cruel joke now."
"But you haven't even SEEN the costumes yet!", Ricky laughed, remembering how Kneumsi had tortured him years before with The Birds II: Land's End, before nearly killing him.
Kneumsi winced as the costumes did come into focus. Costumes that might only be designed by someone who rarely wore clothes. A Goblin Hoard paraded across the screen in burlap clothes, not unlike Kneumsi's own scratchy hood and rubber masks that kept the same frozen expression that any given rubber Halloween mask might have. "Oh good LORD! She doesn't know much about clothing, does she?" He tried not to think of the douchebag who was somehow dressed up like Robin Hood.
Even more painful was the scene that unfolded next concerning said Goblin Hoard turning said Robin Hood clad fucker into a plant with a magical serum... simply because they wanted to eat him and they were vegetarians. This is in spite of the fact that the scene takes place in a woodland area with plenty of plants all around.
Kneumsi looked to Ricardo and asked to be killed.
Nagas laughed, absently.
Kneumsi glanced at an apparently working clock on the wall and was shocked to see that he was only five minutes into the damned thing. This fact was made all the worse by the fact that the idiotic story was almost immediately interrupted by some douchebag grandpa reading this story to his douchebag grandson in a pathetic ripoff of or tribute to The Princess Bride. Worse it turned out that even though Grandpa Seth (Robert Ormsby) was reading the stupid Goblin story to Joshua (Michael Stephenson), Grandpa had died a while back and was now either an imaginary friend or a ghostly presence. Who cares, though, anyway?
As soon as that horrible moment was revealed Kneumsi was given the reprieve of Joshua's older sister Holly (Connie Young) in her tiny little workout gear. "Nudity or no Nudity, I've always had a 'thing' for '80s style chicks in '80s style workout clothes! This might not be so bad after all!" Kneumsi said.
"Yes it will!" Nagas advised. "Watch!"
And with that, Holly's Douchebag boyfriend came in through the window with his even dorkier friends. Kneumsi always hated that horror trend of pairing up hot chicks with dorky guys! "What was that intended to enhance the horror or what?" he asked into the ether! The expository scene between Sweet Holly and her lucky, yet idiotic beau gave Kneumsi the ridiculous expository scene that writers Drudi and Fragasso clearly felt the audience needed. Apparently the family is on his way to a getaway vacation to a nowhere town called "Nilbog" and that she was dying for her stupid moron boyfriend to come too.
Then the film did something shocking and revealed that the boyfriend didn't go. "Oh LORD!"
It didn't take a genius (or even a mid-level retard) to figure out that Nilbog is "Goblin" spelled backwards and that ghost grandpa had been telling the truth about all of these monstrous, yet poorly dressed creatures in his stories. Joshua figures out quickly that his family is destined to be turned into plants and, thus, eaten... because apparently plants that were once meat are better than eating either plants or meat.
"I hate this movie." Kneumsi muttered.
"YES!" shouted Nagas!
Things went from bad to worse as Kneumsi witnessed such horrible scenes as Joshua urinating on dinner because he was sure it was tainted with that crap that turns people into plants, Holly's boyfriend and his crew following her to town only to become veggie burgers for Goblins and a literally "Corny" sex scene between the dorkiest of the dorks and an erstwhile attractive witchy bitch named "Creedence Leonore Gielgud" (Deborah Reed)!
The rest of the film would have been predictable if there weren't so damned many surprises about how incredibly low the film could get. Bad jokes, horrible acting from Joshua's dad Michael (George Hardy) and mom Diana (Margo Prey) and everyone else, horribly contrived character names, like Sheriff Gene Freak (Gary Carlson) and some of the worst lines ever written.
Kneumsi ran some of the lines over in his head and found them to be the textual opposite of Excedrin:
The credits finally rolled and Kneumsi felt ill, especially as the ending had been seen a thousand times in other, better films.
"Well? How do you feel?" demanded Nagas.
Kneumsi looked up as if roused from unconsciousness after being beaten up by Ralph Nader. "Well, let's see... a gene freak named Gene Freak, lines so bad a Coke Addict wouldn't snort them, a wardrobe designed by a nude model, special effects by the completely inept and more rip-offs in one film than in an entire documentary series about Velcro? Not even to mention that there was no connection to 1986's Troll and no actual mention of even the word "Troll" in the entire film! Well, I don't feel very good, Nagas. I don't feel very good at all!"
"And, of course... Joe D'Amato and friends."
"Ugh!", said Kneumsi. "That sounds like a cartoon show for satanic children!"
Nagas laughed. Had he really finally prevented the future he so feared? "You look broken! Defeated! Enraptured by intellectual anguish!"
Kneumsi paused and cocked his head. "Well it did suck more ass than a donkey pelt vaccuum cleaner and, yeah, I'm hurting in a lot of places I didn't even realize I actually had... but, you know... that was a lot more funny than painful!"
Nagas growled. "Wha- wha- WHAAAAAAAAAAT???"
"Yeah, man, like I said, you might as well throw Br'er Rabbit into the briar patch than torture me with a bad movie." And with that, to the horror of Ricky, Nagas and O'Malley, Kneumsi effortlessly stood up and glared at the trio! The rest of the crowd gasped in shock.
"See, folks, I've been preparing for Troll 2 for some time now." They backed away nervously as Kneumsi advanced toward them. "Fragasso... Drudi... D'Amato... there is no bad movie you can throw at me that I can't thrust right back at you in a most malicious way. Thanksgiving Turkies are MINE, kids. Mine!"
The three men recoiled in horror at their backfiring plan. "But, boss!" said Ricky "We still got our Ace in the Hole, right?"
Nagas opened his mouth to speak, but felt his jaw drop open instead as he saw Ricardo walking up behind Kneumsi with Flynn at his side.
"Ricardo, we ready?" Kneumsi asked.
"Yep. Once I figured out-"
Flynn cleared her throat angrily.
"I mean, once Flynn showed me how the time machine worked, everything fell into place!"
Nagas was in shock. "Flynn, you were with them all along?"
Flynn shrugged. "I was on the fence, but there's no changing History. Besides I don't want to lose my job as Earth's Last Guardian and all."
"Besides, I'm charming!" said Ricardo.
The crowd screamed and scattered like mad. Mattei was a magic word that meant Evil in the language of film.
"And YOU TWO!" Kneumsi addressed Ricky and O'Malley. "Arrest each other... Kill each other... but remember... you'll see me again on any given Thanksgiving!"
They ran away as well, hand in hand like a pair of star-crossed lovers.
Nagas attempted to follow suit, but was stopped by Kneumsi. "I'm sorry, but it's important that you finish this experiment!" Kneumsi said to Nagas.
Nagas sighed and his shoulders slumped. Then he nodded.
"What are you going to do? Kill me?"
"Not exactly, Nagas, not exactly. See fifteen years ago you showed me a bad movie and you caused this... all of this. Now you take 'revenge' on ME because of what YOU did? That makes almost as much sense as the Lesbian Sex scene from Pervert! but massively less pretty! No, I think it's time you took a good look at yourself and got a taste of YOUR own medicine."
Nagas sank to his knees and dreaded the future.
He was dragged to the very time machine that had caused all of this, abandoned by Flynn who subsequently returned to her own time to defend Humanity from its own decline while Ricardo went back to finish up his latest crazy action short film.
And Kneumsi... Kneumsi had the next Christmas Turkey to plan. After all, Troll 2 had more than lived up to its reputation as a true Troll Turkey or, as they're called on WorldsGreatestCritic.com... a Dog! Could he ever find a worse movie? Who knows... Only time will tell.
Back in Time, Nagas stood up and shook his head. He knew he had been abandoned in time again, but where and when he didn't know. What he did know, however, was that he still lived and could, thus, come back again as he had before. All he needed was a helping hand and he would be back in the timestream once again! Up ahead in the distance, he saw a shimmering light. His head grew heavy and his sight grew dim... he knew he'd have to stop for the night.
By his foot a newspaper blew by. Had he stooped down to look at the date he would have seen that it was November 24, 2005... Thanksgiving Day. Confident in his survival, he ignored the paper, walked forward and knocked on the door before him and it immediately swung open.
An overweight man was there to greet him with a big smile stretching his red goatee. He said "Oh, hello! Welcome to our home. You remember Suzanne... and, of course, Alex. Hugs and kisses all around. Alex, please take our guest's coat and hang it up. Thank you, sweetie! We're so pleased that you could spend this Thanksgiving with us."
Thanksgiving? THANKSGIVING? Then Nagas realized he had heard all of these words before. He now realized the punishment Kneumsi had meted upon him. He was, and had always been, the unseen guest at the table of the first ever Thanksgiving Turkey, the incredibly bad movie called Corpses! A film that, in Nagas' own time, had been used as a BIO WEAPON.
He had come full circle. He had been retconned. He was now a slave to the Thanksgiving Turkey! He had been beaten.
He couldn't beat Kneumsi at this game. He had learned his lesson!
But have YOU yet learned YOUR lesson? This is the fifth new THANKSGIVING TURKEY and each year we have lambasted and broiled a new horrible movie for your viewing terror... never forgetting that on WorldsGreatestCritic.com a Turkey... is a Dog, be it Fish, Fowl, Corpse, Executioner or even TROLL. As always... we will continue to need dinner guests... And Kneumsi holds the Invitation List!
The end. And the beginning.
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