Freaking Out Squares

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

She's Got To Be Somebody's Wookiie

A few weeks ago, my friend and occasional opera date the Pirate (a.k.a my friend in the Bronx, but the Pirate is snappier and just as apropos) ever so kindly burned me a copy of of perhaps the worst film ever made, The Star Wars Holiday Special. How bad is it? Well, the plot centers around Chewbacca (at this point, Ruth exploded, "Oh, Christ! He's a Wookiie!") and his attempts to get back to his home planet and his wife, child, and father (who never thereafter are heard from again, in any sequel or prequel) for Life Day. Still with me? Okay, the first fifteen minutes of the movie are in Wookiie, without subtitles; there's a scene at the famous nightclub featuring Bea Arthur singing a torch song; and the film wraps up with a "very embarrassed looking" (cf. the Pirate) Harrison Ford, an in-between-operations Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, joining Chewy for the Life Day celebration, capped off with Carrie Fisher singing the Life Day song. Yoicks.

I have not yet watched the movie, but the Pirate's snidely horrified description was enough to convince Ruth to actually volunteer to watch this thing with me. Since she's in the middle of moving, I may have to go out and draft someone else in the meantime (anyone? Bueller?) because ain't no way in hell I'm watching this thing without another sentient being and a case of beer present.

If you really, really wanna hook this flick up yourself, your best bet is eBay, because it exists only on bootleg. According to the Pirate, reaction to this movie was so swift and horrific that George Lucas had all the negatives burned, and no one involved in the project will answer any questions about it. At all. So if you happen to run into Harrison Ford at Hogs 'n Heifers and just for shits and giggles, you ask him about that Star Wars Holiday special, expect nothing in return save a blank stare. No, not even a sock in the face.

Oh, yes--I neglected to mention that, in the grand tradition of absurd Lucasian nomenclature, Chewbacca's father's name is Itchy. Yeah.

*** *** *** *** ***

Fortunately, VH1 has recently been showing a film at the other end of the spectrum (well, not quite, but according to the Pirate, the Star Wars Holiday Special makes Plan 9 From Outer Space look like Citizen Kane), Cameron Crowe's Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I missed out on all the fun, being born in 1976. Just think, if I'd been born ten years earlier, I too could have gone to a high school with Pat Benetar lookalikes and lusted after Rick Springfield sans irony! (Actually, I probably would have been the snarly girl in the corner with the Joy Division T-shirt, and I probably would have wished I'd been born in 1956 so I could have gone to high school in the days of Altamont and Watergate. But that's neither here nor there, since I got stuck going to high school in the fucking grunge era with a bunch of emotional subdwarves who claimed to feel Kurt's pain, man. Oh, the very memory of it makes me want to throw daggers.)

Anyway, not for the first time have I noticed bewildering characteristics and inconsistencies about this film. Since I'm sure Cameron Crowe and Amy Heckerling both have me on their XML feeds, I shall direct my questions to them:

1. Why does the stereo salesman who deflowers Jennifer Jason Leigh take her to "The Point" to accomplish the task? He's 26, right? Doesn't he have his own pad? Or does he still live with his parents because Ridgemont rents are too high for a stereo salesman's wages?

2. Speaking of parents, where the hell are they? Why are teens in these movies always running around wild? Yes, I know, the excuse "they're away for the weekend" is always given, but come on. Do you know how confusing this was for me as an only child? I thought that staying alone in the house was my birthright as an adolescent. Imagine my shock when my dad went to Arizona on business when I was sixteen and he flew my grandmother in to babysit me! Was this just an '80s thing? Did some report come out in the early '90s warning parents against the dangers of leaving their kids home alone for the weekend? Did they get hip to John Hughes flicks? Or was my dad just a total lameass?

3. Did all high schools in the 1980s have, like, 3000 students? And out of these 3000 students, why are only two of them black?

4. I realize this movie is set in SoCal, but why are they playing football in February? Come on! Even in SoCal, that's basketball season!

5. A biology classroom that has a caged monkey. Who? When? Where? I wanna go to that school!

6. How does a teenage boy become a scalper? Come to think of it, how does anyone become a scalper? Please forgive me--I was nudged unequivocally toward a career in the arts, which didn't leave me much room for exploring sketchier options. (Shit, my lameass dad wouldn't even leave me alone for the weekend!) Well, unequivocally, excepr for my guidance counselors, who were, I believe, trying to nudge me toward an exciting career as an admin assistant for the PA State Legislature. Assholes.

That's about it. Oh, except for the age-old, as yet unanswered question as to why all teenagers in these movies are thirty and look it. Well?

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