Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sound of Muzak

Pictures we'd like to see dept.

Scene opens to Julie Andrews and Charlton Heston enjoying a quiet stroll together on the planet Smerf. Suddenly, Julie notices an infinitesimal movement beneath her feet. "The Hills are Alive!" she screams, "run for it!", then stops to watch the gruesome spectacle of her co-star being swallowed alive by geography. There's a moment of terrible suspense while the audience wonders whether Heston will manage to change his facial expression, or whether continental drift will get there first. Eventually Heston is gone, and while the Hills are still trying to chew their way through all that rubbery meat, Julie makes her escape, flying away on the special umbrella that she will later employ to such devastating effect in Mary Pop-off - that thrilling saga of a deadly assassin disguised as a children's nanny.

End of scene. Roll opening credits

(Director's note: That opening shot has nothing to do with the rest of the movie. It's only there so the people who show up late don't miss anything)

Scene opens on the Jedi monastery on the planet of Nabu. Julie Andrews is Maria, a young Jedi warrior who's considered too flighty and is therefore being sent on a mission to the planet Psolaris, where the gravity is stronger. She is to be accompanied on this journey by the Captain, a melancholy Russian scientist still mourning the death of his wife, and the Captain's seven children, who were initially all clones of each other, but having been brought up in Russia have since fallen prey to varying stages of what is either malnutrition or radioactive decay or lithium poisoning. The Captain's eldest daughter's boyfriend, a young man named Hans Luftwaffle, will also be on the trip.

After a fairly uneventful take off (marred only by the mutterings of the orchestra, who were told not to play Also Sprach Zarathustra, but don't understand how you can have a movie set in space without it) the group is on its way. It seems, however, that before they left, Junior, The Captain's youngest son, accidentally swallowed a frog. (Junior claims the frog was in a piece of chocolate he ate, but this is obviously a lie. No one puts crunchy frogs in a chocolate. What's next - lark's vomit?). At any rate, the frog is inside Junior, growing at an alarming rate, and one day in the galley Junior croaks and the frog explodes out of his chest and proceeds to give all the others a terrible tongue lashing. The others are unperturbed by this, but run screaming in terror from Maria's cooking. Soon the crew has scattered randomly through the spacecraft, thus making it easier for the monster to snack on them, and an atmosphere of gloom, despair and mournful pipe music fills the ship. From now on, another crew member will turn up missing every ten minutes or so (mean 583 seconds, standard deviation 42), each macabre death marked by a place where the fiend's tongue has wiped the walls spotlessly clean.

Meanwhile, The Captain has sunk into a dreamlike reverie, the ship having restored his dead wife to him, or something that looks exactly like her. The Captain isn't sure if she's real or some kind of shape shifting ectoplasm, which makes him wonder if he shouldn't use two condoms instead of one. Maria isn't sure that this wife-returned-from-the-dead is real either, but she knows that if you kill her she keeps coming back, and that whatever it is that she's made of, it tastes really good when cooked with lemon juice and a touch of paprika.

Eventually, after all the crew members except her and Hans have been killed by the Monster Frog, Maria makes the incredible deduction that Hans is really an android (it always puzzled her why he constantly needed to be close to a plug point; plus there was the way he kept running out of blades). It transpires that this whole mission is an evil plot hatched by the Nazis from Spiegelman's Maus to diversify into other life forms. "Forget the Aryans", Hans tells Maria, before she peels the label of his back, thus invalidating his warranty, "Frogs are the new master race. Just look at Herr Goering."

Alone and afraid, Maria decides to turn to the Mother Superior for help. Buzzing up Yoda on the Transgelitenic screen (which is really Gene Rodenberry's old 15' TV from college, blown up by extreme camera focus) Maria asks her for advice, to which Yoda replies "Every mountain. Climb you must." - a singularly unhelpful suggestion to someone who is a) on a ship in deep space with nary a mountain in sight and b) has a deep-seated fear of mountain ranges (see! this is why the first scene was required - it's the 21st century, folks, you can't make a movie about a superhero without providing the pschyo...errr...physcio...errr...seiko...err.. the background). Left to her own devices, Maria eventually stumbles upon a blueprint of the ship and sees something called the "Escape Pod", the first part of which, she feels, might be an important clue.

Arriving at the Escape Pod, Maria discovers the Monster Frog lying in wait for her. Fortunately, she has changed into her Princess Leia Gold Bikini (TM) so that the Frog is distracted for a moment. This gives Maria the chance she's been looking for, and she immediately starts to teach the Frog the degrees of the diatonic scale. Trying to sing along with her, the Frog soon discovers that its tongue, though incredibly adept in other ways (for instance, in touching the tip of its nose) is entirely incapable of singing 'Fa' and the despair of this causes it to leap from the spaceship and take its own life [1].

The final scene shows a triumphant Maria sitting down to write a letter to her agent pointing out that now that she's saved the world from certain destruction, it seems only fair that she be allowed to play the lead role in My Fair Lady, instead of that Hepburn hussy.

Fade. Roll Credits. Orchestra, needing to be mollified for Zarathustra snub, plays that other great Strauss tone poem, Till Euthanasia.

Musical highlights include hit numbers 'How do you find an acronym for an aria' 'Nothing comes from nothing, but existence precedes consciousness' and that powerful, moving ballad 'A dull voice'. (you know the one - "A dull voice, a dull voice, every morning you greet me", etc. etc.)

Tag-line: In space, no one can hear you yodel.

[1] Or at least so it seems. The real reason the Frog killed himself was that he found Ms. Andrews accent too annoying. But you won't find that out until the sequel, when this startling revelation will become the inspiration for a heroic attempt to wipe out the entire population of the Frog planet using only Ewan McGregor's voice.

Categories: ,


km said...

That's it, young man. No dropping acid till New Year's Eve.

(Though you should hope the writers for "Family Guy" are reading this post.)

Anonymous said...


dude, i sprayed coffee on my keyboard

Cheshire Cat said...

It all made perfect sense to me. Now I'm worried.

If there's a quibble, it's that frogs (and frogs' legs) are French, not German. Vichy, perhaps?

meditativerose said...

you outdid yourself with this one .. f*ing brilliant!!

tangled said...

A dull voice.

Crp said...

Funniest thing I've read in a while - this one's a Hall of Famer. My cream coloured pony was laughing like a brook, and so was I.

Anonymous said...


(hope holst peeps into the background score somewhere...)

Anonymous said...

Now I know how I can have some fun imagining wild stuph when m forced to appreciate the 'classics' with my folks... :-)
Good one... Reminded me of H2G2... :-)


Anonymous said... was 'ok''it was funny perhaps but not 'funny funny'...

Mary said...

Christopher Plummer not Charlton Heston

Jabberwock said...

I eagerly await the day when technology will allow us to use mental projection to show other people the movies we've made in our heads. Home entertainment will get a brave new definition then.