Monday, October 31, 2005

A Swashbuckler, a Sprog, and a Horse's Ass

Don't look now, but I think the nag's in the Teamsters
Oh God, they've done it again. They've made a sequel to The Mask of Zorro, and they've bunged in a sprog. As if it wasn't going to be awful enough.

An Spailpín Fánach was quite a fan of The Mask of Zorro when it was released - it was old style movie swashbuckling, and it was the big screen break of Catherzine Zeta-Jones, whose pre-Raphaelite beauty, those gorgeous cascading raven tresses of hair and, if I may make so bold, that top-notch chassis, lit up the screen the way it hadn't been lit up since the glam glory days of Jane Russell or Ava Gardner. But what can I tell you? That was then, this is now, you can never go back because there is no there there anymore.

Your faithful narrator will not be darkening the door of the Savoy for this one - his heart remains broken after going to see the sequel to The Mummy, The Mummy itself being one of the best bad movies of recent years, and seeing that they bunged a sprog into that one to - no doubt at the behest of some squarehead in the Morketing Department, who doubtless had demographic charts to back up his monstrous plans. He might have turned a buck, but he'll port in Hell for exposing the frayed nerves of the cinema-attending public to one more blond-haired, blue-eyed child with a cursed lisp. And rightly so.

There was only ever one correct use of a child in cinema in recent years, and it occured in a movie that most of you have not seen. An Spailpín hasn't seen it in years, but he remembers every frame of this classic scene as if it were yesterday.

The movie was released nearly twenty years ago. It is called Warlock, and it stars Julian Sands, Richard E. Grant and the appalling Lori Singer. The story is this: Sands plays a warlock, a practitioner of black magic, about to be burned at the stake in 17th Century Boston who escapes to 20th Century Boston, and has a cut at destroying the world from there. Grant is the warlock hunter who goes through the time portal after Sands to catch him, and Lori Singer is the token skirt.

After much good business, Singer and Grant are pursuing the escaped warlock, Sands, across the United States. Sands is a good piece ahead of the pursuit, but he's lost his wheels and he's stuck in a small town in some midwestern state. Sands is stumping around, wondering what he's going to do now, and he gets talking to this portly young child, swinging on a swing. It's been years, but as I recall it, the conversation goes something like this:

Well, says the Warlock. Well, says the young fella. Quiet round here, says the warlock - where is everybody? They're at Church, says the young fella. And how well you're not at Church, says the warlock. Nah, my folks don't believe in that kind of stuff. I've never been, says the young fella. Close up on Sands, who's suddenly beaming.

CUT TO Richard E and Lori Singer, who've caught up with the warlock's wrecked wheels. We have him now, exults Richard E - the only way he'd be able to get away now would be if he made a flying potion! A flying potion, says Lori, how would he make that? He can't, says Richard E, the eyes popping out of his head, unless he can get the fat of an unbaptised child!

CUT BACK to Sands the Warlock, flying through the air just like Superman, smirking like old Henry Divil.

He must have boiled up the young fella and drained the fat with a ladle. Now that's cinema.