It’s winter. It’s cold. It’s dark. The ankle-deep snow and the boots and the pencil skirt make it increasingly difficult for me to stumble to the train every day. Everything leaks and stinks and drips and pools and soaks and is misery in its filthiest, most staining form. The dog is suffering from the Hot Monster Sharts which we’ve just discovered is a gastrointestinal parasite which causes urgency, diarrhea, and dog gas that is so bad you will have to burn your house down to get the smell out of the curtains, and while you’re standing there with your sick dog watching the house burn, you’ll wish you were inside letting the flames eat your flesh and clear your sinuses of the stink. So it’s a week- to two-week course of “treatment”, which is squirting chalky stuff down the throat of a struggling, scared, 60lb dog who just wants you to love him and gives you his WHY YOU PUNISHING ME? face the whole time. And then there’s the black helmet of clinical depression because my brain is fucking broken and won’t make enough of one chemical or another, and I’m eternally Vitamin D deficient even though they have me taking it twice a fucking day now, and I am STILL no fun to be around because all I do is stare at the TV and say things like “Her eyeballs are weird” and “I bet he’s such a fucking bitch in real life.” And a key part to fighting depression without brain-numbing, creativity-killing medication is to get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day, which is literally the worst fucking thing anyone could tell you to do while you’re depressed, so cut to me at the gym every goddamn day, running on a treadmill in front of a gigantic television that only ever seems to show episodes of Duck Dynasty and that one show where poor people beg for money so they can develop their stupid ideas and sell them in a commercial at 4am. Except for that one time when the TVs were playing something different, one was a commercial for the Time-Life Johnny Carson Collection that played on loop, one was a documentary about mobsters with a lot of close-ups of the blown-apart heads and faces of gunshot victims from 1950s crime scenes, and one was some bitch with weird eyeballs eating french fries in front of her computer screen and talking into a headseat about hacking.
Glad we got that out of the way. What’s up with you?
Holiday Film Review, Part 2*
*I’ve been reminded that you maybe shouldn’t read these if you want to watch these movies and be surprised by stuff that happens in them. I believe that is called a “spoiler alert.” However, in my opinion, these movies are spoilers themselves, in that they spoil all that is good about film, and about the world in general. They will spoil your life. So there is your spoiler alert: these movies will make everything awful. Nothing in any of the movies I write about will surprise you if you go in with the knowledge that I hate everything and everything about the movie is horrible.
The Taking of Deborah Logan, 2014
What Netflix says happens in this movie: “For her Ph.D. thesis, Mia decides to film a woman’s Alzheimer’s battle, but when symptoms turn strange, the family suspects something more sinister.”
What really happens in this movie: Apparently when you get to medical school, they ask you to pick a disease out of a book or they spin a wheel and throw a ball that lands on one and then they make you go and figure out what it is and why it is. They also let you pick how you want to do that. For instance, if you want to make a stop-motion movie using some Play-Doh or old Ninja Turtles to teach people about Lou Gehrig’s disease, that’s cool. Apparently that is how we know everything we know about medicine. I for one am glad it works that way because if it wasn’t for that type of medical education, we would not have all of this excellent found footage, and plus nobody would have ever been able to get the devil or an evil spirit or anything on film! MEDICINE! It’s not just for taking at parties, y’all.
So this medical student wants to make a medical movie about Alzheimer’s because nobody knows anything about it or has ever seen it or studied it up close. I mean this movie takes place on a planet where we are totally in the dark about that stuff. So they hook her up with two camera guys and the three of them find a nice lesbian with an alzheimey mother. Mommy Skinflute’s symptoms so far have been a combination of forgetting things, wearing Ann Taylor clothes, and turning into a cartoon skellington. Daughter Lesbian is at her wit’s end because there’s bills and shit to pay on the farm and hospice care has been expensive and somehow the medical student has also been given money to pay whomever lets her attempt to film Alzheimer’s in motion. Maybe she’s just retarded and her parents are rich and they’ve given her some money and made her think she’s in medical school? Thus begins the greatest medical documentary of all time!
Mommy Skinflute is not cool with having a film crew and a nosy student in her house. Also she’s dealing with the fact that she’s totally dying of this disease and it’s making her do weird stuff and she’d rather not have it all caught on film. She’s right to feel that way because every time shit starts popping off, they run into her bedroom and she’s all naked and floating around or standing in the dark and slamming windows with her mind and shit. The student isn’t real sure but she’s thinking maybe this is not Alzheimer’s, and if it is, that’s messed up and also really cool that we got it on tape! Anyway, they’re getting a lot of embarrassing footage of Mommy Skinflute and the next day they insist on filming her while they show it to her, saying things like DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU TRIED TO PEEL YOUR FACE OFF, MOMMY SKINFLUTE? DO YOU REMEMBER THAT? and she’s fucking terrified and confused and also her face is half peeled off so she’s not feeling great. The medical student is like “We don’t want to be in the way” but naturally about 75% of the footage is taken through a window or peeking out from behind a door while Skinflute and Lesbian have a private conversation. “We will just be hiding behind the drapes here, filming you guys. Act normal.” So naturally Mommy gets mad and kind of annoyed with everyone because, let’s just pretend we’re dealing with a real Alzheimer’s patient here, I don’t think you’re supposed to follow them around and scare them and film them spacing out and then show that to them and be like “See how much your brain is deteriorating? Sad, huh?” But this is just for pretend so we’re going to do whatever we want.
So Mommy Skinflute goes for a brief stay in the hospital because of the flying around and growling and face-peeling. The doctor is like “Shit, guys, I don’t know what is going on here but clearly it’s probably the Alzheimer’s and it’s probably really aggressive. That’s probably what it is, maybe. Also, it’s totally fine if you want to film all of the goings-on in the hospital, including this private doctor/patient conversation, because HIPAA is not a big deal.” But of course, Mommy Skinflute can’t stay in the hospital, because more creepy things will happen at home, so home we go! Into about the third night of horror, Daughter Lesbian starts opening up about why she wears baggy jeans and flannel shirts all the time, and the answer isn’t because she’s a lesbian: it’s because her mom shamed her for being a lesbian! Oh no! Now the bitch is upstairs fucking spinning around on the ceiling! She also divulges that Mommy used to run a switchboard business to support her daughter’s flannel shirt habit and also there was this one guy who used to live in town who killed a whole lot of young girls? And threw them in the river out by the abandoned quarry? But he vanished years ago. Some say he moved to France and some say he is buried in Mommy Skinflute’s yard and his ghost haunts her brains and some say the whole thing was made up for the plot of a movie called The Taking of Deborah Logan. But sorry–what were you asking? What brand of adult diapers we buy for her?
So they keep catching Mommy digging in the yard at midnight, or sitting in front of her old switchboard, naked as a jaybird, jamming the plug into the same switchboard number over and over until the damn thing explodes. She goes back into the hospital because of the explodey switchboard burns and begs to be killed, but everyone is like “Nope, we can’t, we have to film you doing stuff until you die.” One of her old buddies tries to grant her wish and a TV flies off the wall and smashes his head, but it’s cool because they put him straight into surgery and juuuuuust before he goes under, he tells Daughter Lesbian that Mommy Skinflute is harboring the spirit of the Little Girl River Killer! OH NO! IT’S NOT ALZHEIMER’S AT ALLLLLL. WHICH IS INTERESTING BECAUSE APPARENTLY POSSESSION HAS THE SAME SYMPTOMS?! But the show must go on, regardless of the change in diagnosis. Daughter Lesbian and the student filmmakers are now on a quest to find and destroy a bag of murder bones. They figure out that Mommy Skinflute murdered the killer when she found out Daughter Lesbian was going to be his next and final victim, and threw his bone sack in her yard. They go looking for it and realize that the bitch went out and dug it up a few nights ago and hid it in the attic. You know, when she was possessed by him, she hid his bones from herself. Make sense? I didn’t think so! Mommy Skinflute, you are henceforth required to tell us who you are at any given moment!
They find the bag of stink bones up in the attic and then watch a documentary about how to properly dispose of a serial killer’s bones. I think they got it on Netflix. Anyway, the whole burn-them-in-the-fireplace operation does not go well. The fireplace explodes and throws them all across the room and one of the camera guys is like, “Fuck it, this is so dumb, I can’t be in this stupid movie anymore.” Everybody smiles nervously and they’re like “uhh you mean you’re not going to help us make this medical footage that is totally real heheheh?” and he’s like “No like I’m not going to be a part of this Millenium Entertainment/Eagle Films movie. You guys should leave too, this is the dumbest thing ever. I will drive you into town right now if you stop being in this movie.” You think you’re going to find him hanging in the woods behind the house later, you know, like nobody gets away that easily! but you’re wrong. He really did leave. He just straight up bailed on the entire thing.
Meanwhile, Mommy Skinflute is in the hospital repeatedly abducting a cancer child. She puts the kid into a trance and the two of them wander around the hallways into the Abandoned Part of the Hospital, which every hospital has, and if you didn’t know, now you know. They keep having to go get them and put Little Cancer Trance back to beddy-bye and strap Mommy Skinflute back to her bed. But! They didn’t think about the fact that Mommy Skinflute isn’t necessarily attached to her skin, and can remove it like a sock, and will do so in order to get out of hospital bed restraints. She can, and she does! Off they go, Cancer Girl and a skinless Mommy Skinflute, skipping up the mountainside to…duh duh DUHHHHHH…the Abandoned Quarry!
There are a lot of abandoned things in this town. If it were my hometown, all of this scary shit would be taking place in old Wal-Marts. At least this town has some cool things to abandon. The quarry is at the top of a hill in the woods and it’s flanked by some old lean-tos and boards. Scary boards! Our filmmaking medical student, her last remaining cameraman, Daughter Lesbian, and now some cops take off up the mountain after the hospital escapees. Of course, the first thing that happens is that Mommy Skinflute rips out the throat of one of the cops and instead of fucking calling for a helicopter with 20 guns on it and some tanks and RPGs like any other cop in the United States would do, the lady cop is like “I’m going to need your camera guy to take my cop buddy down the hill while we continue to track this elderly woman and mostly-dead kid through the woods.” So the camera guy is like “OMGOD, Medical Student! You have to film the rest of the movie!” She protests at first because she’s either being polite or she’s like me and she just honestly didn’t understand why, in this situation, first priority is making sure we get all this on film. They waste a bunch of time talking about “you haaaave to” and finally she takes the camera and the movie continues. There’s lots of running through the woods and climbing through shit in the quarry and screaming and stuff. You can pretty much fast-forward all of that. Just imagine some girl going OH MY GOD WHAT WAS THAT OH SHIT OH SHIT OKAY IT WAS JUST A LARGE FERN.
When you get to the part in the quarry where Daughter Lesbian and Medical Student crawl through a long rock tunnel, you better fucking play that shit because your mind is about to get blown all the fuck over the place in ways you never saw coming. Holy hell. I cannot even tell you what they’re about to find around that corner, but I am definitely going to tell you what they find around that corner, because I have never cracked up so hard in my life. I almost fell off the couch and banged my head against the floor laughing. Because apparently, Little Girl River Killer has not only inhabited Mommy Skinflute’s body out of revenge, he also intends to finish the ritual he started 30 years ago. He is also part snake. And it is the snake part that is now inhabiting Mommy! So, of course, Mommy is attempting to fucking eat. the. cancer. baby. like. a. snake.
I have to say that I just started clapping at this part. Motherfucker unhinged her own goddamn jaw just to eat this scrawny kid. That takes talent, and finesse. It’s sad, though, because clearly Mommy Skinflute is very hungry, and has been this way for the entirety of the movie, and what do these assholes do? They freak out and scream and make her barf up the kid’s head and bang some sticks together to chase her off into the quarry. It’s so fucked because you’re not really supposed to go out into nature and start messing with stuff. Who gave this medical student the right to go out into the wild and interfere with the circle of life, i.e., stop a nice lady who is possessed by a snake spirit and a murderer from eating what will likely be her only meal for 4-6 months that is something nobody will really miss because it was just sitting around in a hospital anyway?
Ugh, God. The movie ends with Mommy Skinflute in the nuthouse because the snake DNA scrambled her brain. What’s lucky though is that someone had the smarts to turn all of this helpful medical footage into a movie about a murdering snake spirit! Yay! And the movie ends with the little barfed-up cancer girl, who is no longer a cancer girl, but a totally normal girl who turns to the camera and glares like she’s saying “pssst: the murderer snake lives in me now.” I don’t know how that happened, but they will probably explain it all in a grainy 2-minute clip from an old documentary about murder snakes in the next movie. And there has to be a next movie because we never found out if having a snake mommy cured Daughter Lesbian of her flannel-shirt-and-Carhartt-pants addiction. Also we didn’t get to see our medical student “graduate,” meaning we didn’t get to watch her walk through her living room in her mom’s bathrobe with a square of cardboard on her head while her dad hummed “Pomp and Circumstance.” We need Part Two, dammit!
Any time Netflix has a movie that came out during the current year, I fucking watch it, because that trash knows no bounds. Especially if it’s some kind of supernatural trash. More trash! Keep bringing me trash! I want to put it all in my trash holes!
What other people are saying: “Very good scary movie and I am a pretty tough critic. This made me stop it at least 3 times to get my bearings and revisit it and didn’t finish the movie until the next day.” Maybe before you pressed play on this, you should have made sure you were not a GIGANTIC PUSS.
What HBO says happens in this movie: “In a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world in which people are grouped within distinct factions based on their character traits, one girl stands apart. Shailene Woodley stars in this first adaptation of Veronica Roth’s best-selling book trilogy as the ‘divergent’ teen whose uniqueness makes her a threat to the conformist society in which she exists.”
What really happens in this movie: I’ll tell you what happens in this movie, Shailene Woodley happens in this movie, and she’s just like a big old baby face with a bunch of lip gloss smeared all over it. She lives in this world where nobody’s special, and everybody’s pre-destined to be whatever it is they’re going to be, and as if you didn’t already fucking know what was going to happen: she finds out in the first 10 minutes that she’s the EXCEPTION to all of this! She’s the most specialest in a world full of gray-and-navy colored dummies! She’s got all the courage and all the brains and all the heart and all the who knows what the fuck else because I wasn’t paying attention anymore to how their Future Society was broken down. It’s like watching the head cheerleader pull up in her new Mustang with her hot boyfriend and then get crowned Prom Queen and react like “oh my god, what? Me? Who knew it would be me?” Because, fuck off, of course it’s going to be her. The beginning of the movie is just a shit bucket full of Shailene Woodley looking at things like she’s thinking really sweet thoughts and then people saying “You’re so beautiful and wonderful, how did you get to be so beautiful and wonderful and also humble?” So she goes to take her futuristic Meyers-Briggs, which is done with needles and brightly colored serums in the future FYI, and the test administrator is like WOW you are all the things, a divergent (which is, oddly, the title of the movie??), go hide somewhere because everyone is going to be jelly of you and want to kill you.
So right about the time you’re totally fucking sick of her shit and wishing she’d shut up, it’s Job Fair day, when all the kids of a certain age go down to the auditorium and decide what group they’re going to join for the rest of their lives. It means they have to move out of their parent’s house and get real jobs, so everybody’s real sad. They can choose to go to the Math & Science Academy where apparently everyone wears blazers that go down to the floor because what’s more intelligent than accidentally peeing all over your own clothes every time you go to the bathroom? They can also decide to join the Borings, who are actually two different clans of people: one group of them never looks in the mirror because they’re scared of ghosts or something, and the other ones are always picketing for world peace and handing out oranges, yawwwwn. Then there’s the group that always tells the truth about everything and of course nobody likes them because they’re always going to weddings and stuff and saying things like “I’m so happy for you but your invitation was the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.” Finally there’s the Axe Body Spray club and these assholes just wear a lot of leather and run around jumping off shit and throwing collectible dragon knives they bought off the Internet. That’s pretty much all of your choices, unless you count the choice that nobody really wants, which is that you can just join nobody’s club and walk around on the streets all day with a bunch of mentally ill people. Not our girl! Not our specialest special!
Shoehorn Woodley chooses to join the Leather Daddies because they’re not scared of anything and she wants to show them what’s up. She also is quite fond of swishing her long beautiful hair around everywhere and wants everyone to see how great it looks when she’s jumping between concrete piles. Unfortunately, she finds out the first week that she has to shoot a gun and learn how to punch people and also piss and shit in an open bathroom area right next to everyone’s bunks. She was NOT expecting that. She gets the crap beat out of her a lot, but in a sexy way that doesn’t bruise up her face too much because nobody loves you if you’re busted. Mostly she gets beat up by this one bigger girl who is a total fucking bad ass at fighting but also is not very physically attractive because you can’t be both unless you’re Shinybean Woodley. On the bright side, they let her choose a new name for herself and she’s excited about that because she’s always hated being Sherbet Woodley and wants a new cool Axe Body Spray flavor for a name. She chooses “Tris” which I think is just about the biggest waste of a free name change I’ve ever heard of. You’d think she would go for Roboslop or Bangorn the Destroyer or at least Princess_Choppy117 or something. Nah, she shoots for the forgettable, because it’s not like she ever had the chance to get a degree in marketing, you guys.
Luckily, Twats doesn’t get banged up too bad and the hottest dude, who’s also kind of her training boss, starts to leave little notes in her locker and wink at her and stuff. He also notices that she’s a Divergent-type person and tells her to cut the crap or she’ll get herself killed. All the Leather Babies have to take these tests where they do a hit of acid and go running around in their own brains, which are hooked up to TV screens so everyone can watch everyone else deal with their worst fears, which is boring shit like getting attacked by birds and dealing with chronic IBS. Twats is, of course, the best at handling this scary stuff because she always remembers she’s on acid and remains level headed and is also perfect and beautiful and smart and aces the test every time and is then like “oh, what? What was my score again? I didn’t hear the announcement, I was busy being humble.” Fuck. But she has to knock that shit off and start faking bad test results because “Nobody’s ever scored that high!” of fucking course and it will look suspicious. You’re TOO GOOD, Twats! Simmer down!
Hot Leather apparently doesn’t care that she’s a stuck up asshole, because I guess her hair is SO pretty, and starts to hang with her on a daily basis. Some guy who’s jealous of her tries to throw her off a cliff, but Hot Leather saves her, and next thing you know he’s like “want to see all my tats” and she’s like ummm okay but this has nothing to do with me though? And his tats are all on his back so he has to take off his shirt and guess what! Now he’s shirtless and they’re making out and there’s NO RULES in this place, and he’s hot, and rarin’ to go, and I am sitting there screaming YEAHHH FUCK HER FUCK HER at the TV with popcorn chunks spraying across the room…but this fucking bitch pulls the plug because “I don’t wanna move this fast.” I could not believe my eyes because WHAT’S THE USE OF HAVING GREAT HAIR AND WEARING LEATHER ALL THE TIME AND LIVING IN A PLACE WITH NO ADULT SUPERVISION IF YOU CAN’T DO SEX ON HOT DUDES.
Hot Leather has a heart of gold and puts his cock away and puts his shirt back on and is like “oh no totally I wasn’t even going there, are you kidding? I just want to watch you sleep because nice dudes have no sex drive, just like good girls, you silly.” He puts Real Housewives on the TV and respectfully sleeps on the floor whilst Twat spreads out in his king-sized bed and turns that thing into her own personal fart pocket. She leans down to look at him on the floor and coos “Who’s special? You’re special!” and taps him on the nose “boop boop boop!” before going to sleep. His dick falls off and rolls under the bed and by the time he finds it in the morning, it’s so covered with dust bunnies he doesn’t even bother putting it back on.
This movie could have ended right there, in my opinion. I figured if they were going to make everyone share a big wide open bathroom and watch each other poop and stuff they would at least talk about how everybody’s climbing into everybody else’s bunk all the time for a little bed spring squeaky-squeaky action. But it’s like there’s some kind of unspoken moral code that everyone’s following which is: be nice and tender to girls when they get their lips busted in combat and also NO FUCKING. But Twats and Hot Leather are destined to be together because they are BOTH divergent! What could be better than a pair of fuckfaces with all of the talents in the known world?! Oh god, just blow this shit up. I want this movie to be over with. It’s not, though. There’s a whole lot more to it. They hook Twats up to the acid machine again and this time her worst, deepest, darkest fear is…getting date raped by Hot Leather! What a fucking joke. Dude basically rolled up his penis into a little ball and put it in a Silly-Putty container the second she says ‘no thanks’ and she’s STILL such a fucking slice of baby cake, that’s her worst fear. Someone fucking tried to throw her off a cliff! She survived attempted murder and everyone around her has a gun or a knife and what’s she scared of? Rape. Because, women! Sex crime victims 4-ever!
Kate Winslet shows up and reveals that she is not Kate Winslet, she is the leader of the Math & Science Academy. She comes in and everyone ignores the pee smell emanating from her floor-length white drape business jacket, and urine stains aren’t all she’s got up her sleeve! She also wants to give all the Leather Daddies a hit of acid laced with a mind control drug that makes them go out and shoot all the members of the other clubs. She does just that, but it doesn’t work on Twats because I don’t know if you know this but she’s SPECIAL and so is Hot Leather. So the two of them are running around during the zombified melee like “what do we do?!” and it never occurs to them to get the fuck out of there and just go somewhere less fucked up and live on an island and have a million perfect children. They want to FIGHT. So this big war starts and Ashley Judd gets gunned down and then Twats’s dad gets blown up, but she manages to save Hot Leather and reverse the bad acid trip and save a bunch of Borings from extinction. Her brother shows up after being in the bathroom in the library at the Math & Science Academy this whole time and they all get on a train and ride away to some other shit hole beyond the giant fence that surrounds the city, where they’ll probably sleep in hammocks and poop in a hole in the ground and jerk off a lot because EVEN THERE you’re not allowed to screw. That’s the real tragedy, followed closely by the fact that there’s a second movie on the way, and it appears as if the main issue in that one is that Shingles Woodley’s hair has gotten caught in some kind of machinery at the hammock factory, so she has nothing left to shake defiantly at her challengers.
What other people are saying: “Dramatically, Divergent wanders, but over rich philosophical soil.” Oh give me a fucking break. Know what makes soil so rich? Poop.