Ridiculous Cinema

25
Friday

The 50 Most Ridiculous Moments in Cinematic History
By Michelle Collins
JOHNNY M 1123.jpg…All taken from the same movie. The movie known as Johnny Mnemonic.

On a hunch, I rented this 1995 film starring Keanu Reeves, the inimitable Ice-T, some random woman who was never in anything else, Henry Rollins, and, most importantly, star of He-Man Dolph Lundgren. But it wasn’t the stellar cast that drew me into renting this film. Rather, the thrilling plot. Johnny M is a guy with an internal memory of, wait for it, 80 whole gigabytes, who somehow uploads something insane, like 300 gigs of data, into his brain. And — you guessed it — the added memory could make his brain explode. Anywho, the Yakuza wants what’s in his head, and they hire a goon — Dolph Lundren — to find our beloved Johnny, kill him, and steal his brain. But if only Johnny had the password to download the memory himself! That’s where Ice-T comes in. He’s the head of the “Lo-Teks”, or “The Goth Gang.” He tells Johnny that he knows just the guy who can untangle all that “information” he’s got bottled up inside, a guy by the name of Jones.

That’s about all you need to know to enjoy the following presentation: The 50 Most Ridiculous Moments in Cinematic History. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS IS WHAT THE FUTURE LOOKS LIKE.

1.

JOHNNY M 13.JPGHere’s Johnny

2.

JOHNNY M 331.JPG And, of course, Dolph Lundgren as Jesus

After the cut, the emotional rollercoaster of 1995’s best worst movie continues.

3.

JOHNNY M 5.JPGHere’s the scene where they went to The Viper Room.  

4.

JOHNNY M 25.JPG Ice-T, with hair that is anything but “Lo-Tek”  

5.

JOHNNY M 38.JPG Some sad news: Apparently, in 2021, the “Internet” is going to look like a Dire Straits video. 

6.

JOHNNY M 24.JPG The future’s resident fierce tranny. 

7.

JOHNNY M 9.JPG Here’s Keanu trying to escape the Yakuza by dressing up like Yoko Ono. 

8.

JOHNNY M 32.JPG Remember Jones? The guy that could crack all the codes? HE’S A F**KING DOLPHIN. Or, to quote Keanu, “He’s a fish?” 

9.

JOHNNY M 21.JPG Overacting Goons. 

10.

JOHNNY M 26.JPG OMFG. This guy is the BEST. You might remember him as the mansion owner in Ace Ventura. Whatever happened to Udo Kier?  

11.

JOHNNY M 7.JPG The props, courtesy of your “Broken Atari Game Console” 

12.

JOHNNY M 27.JPG Again, these are not stills from Passion of the Christ. THIS IS DOLPH LUNDGREN. 

13.

JOHNNY M 40.JPG Oh Hai Henry Rollins! 

14.

JOHNNY M 30.JPG Moving along… 

15.

JOHNNY M 28.JPG SPOILER ALERT: In 2021, humans have this horrible disease, evidenced by this woman passing out. Of course, the cure is bottled up inside Johnny’s brain. 

16.

JOHNNY M 8.JPG A little light bondage with your breakfast, sir? 

17.

JOHNNY M 50.JPG This guy again… 

18.

JOHNNY M 29.JPG The very same face he makes when Coco breaks wind. 

19.

JOHNNY M 17.JPG Get it? He’s a genius. Ice-T is skeptical: 

20.

JOHNNY M 31.JPG 

21.

JOHNNY M 18.JPG OH! THE FUTURE ALSO HAS AMAZING LASER LASSOS. 

22.

JOHNNY M 10.JPG And other futurey things. 

23.

JOHNNY M 23.JPG Angelina Jolie, this could have been you. 

24.

JOHNNY M 471.JPG Never Forget. 

25.

JOHNNY M 39.JPG BEHOLD: THE FUTURE. 8-BIT GRAPHICS! 

26.

JOHNNY M 49.JPG Now would be a good time to point out that Jones, the code-breaking dolphin, was played by the same animatronic puppet the entire film. And he basically had only one expression: Super Psyched. Didn’t matter what was happening, this dolphin was grinning ear to ear. Above, an example. 

27.

JOHNNY M 11.JPG Seriously, you kill Udo, you kill the best actor in this movie. 

28.

JOHNNY M 37.JPG Tuckin Frenzy! 

29.

JOHNNY M 42.JPG Oh dear God no, the laser lassos!! 

30.

JOHNNY M 43.JPG They’ve cut Udo in half. Literal :”( 

31.

JOHNNY M 6.JPG Nothing unusual here…. 

32.

JOHNNY M 521.JPG My new wallpaper 

33.

JOHNNY M 351.jpg 

34.

JOHNNY M 531.JPG My new wallpaper, part 2. My laptop actually started sparking when this scene happened, that is how electric it is. 

35.

JOHNNY M 14.JPG Don’t you understand? HIS BRAIN IS FULL OF MEMORY PEOPLE! 

36.

JOHNNY M 15.JPG And it hurts 

37.

JOHNNY M 16.JPG Cigarette? 

38.

JOHNNY M 48.JPG Loving Life. 

39.

JOHNNY M 13.JPG Busting a capillary in his ass. 

40.

JOHNNY M 22.JPG A proud graduate of Token Asian University. 

41.

JOHNNY M 461.JPG Now, round 2 of our favorite gameshow “What’s Dolph Smashing?”!!! 

42.

JOHNNY M 45.JPG Answer: A cryogenically frozen hand. 

43.

JOHNNY M 41.JPG R.I.P. Udo Kier: Minute 00:16 – 00:58 

44.

JOHNNY M 12.JPG Someone’s feeling ~emotional~ 

45.

JOHNNY M 36.JPG At least 18 of you are really turned on right now. 

46.

JOHNNY M 511.JPG No no no, don’t speak. Don’t speak! 

47.

JOHNNY M 55.JPG Bad News: You will still be using AT&T calling cards in 13 years. 

48.

JOHNNY M 20.JPG The pre-reach. 

49.

JOHNNY M 54.JPG Too… many… screenshots…. 

50.

JOHNNY M 441.JPG Goodnight everyone.

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The Nail Man

Which one was it
that held the nails
and then hammered them
into place?

Did he hit them
out of anger,
or a simple
sense of duty?

Was it a job
that had to be done,
or a good day’s work
in the open air?

And when they
clawed past bone
and bit into wood,
was it like all the others,
or did history
shudder a little
beneath the head
of that hammer?

Was he still there,
packing away his tools,
when ‘It is finished’
was uttered to the throng,
or was he at home
washing his hands
and getting ready
for the night?

Will he be
among the forgiven
on that Day of Days,
his sin having been slain
by his own savage spike?

-Steve Turner

20120905-150838.jpg

Record Box

One of the first things I remember is my sister’s first husband shipping out to Viet Nam when I was four or five–this would have been either 1972 or 73.  I’m not sure.  Jerry got off fairly easy, in that he didn’t have to fight.  If I remember correctly, he was a clerk of some kind, or a driver, much like Radar on M*A*S*H.  The only reason I remember it, I think, is that before he left, he gave my older brother Tim a box of 45rpm singles in a battered cardboard box that was secured by a chrome clip.  I remember how shiny the clip was, and it seemed not to fit with the box, which had a black top, and some random pattern of colored squiggles on the sides.

The singles were all oldies, ranging from 50’s artists like Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry (I used to know all the words to his masterwork of innuendo, “My ding-a-ling”), and many others, to early 60’s music, like Dion and the Belmonts, and Tommy James and the Shondells.  The original version of the song “Last Kiss,” by the Cavaliers that Pearl Jam would later cover was in there, too, along with another car crash anthem “Tell Laura I love her.”

My brother would play them for hours on end, in the room we shared, with the door closed (I was only allowed to enter when it was time for bed) and I grew up with the sound of oldies in my ears, along with the country my mom would play (it wasn’t until much later I would be introduced to rock by my older sisters).   Yet while I heard these types of music it would be pretty fair to say they went in one ear, and out the other, without making much of an impact.  At least at first.  They were just pleasant noise.

I’ve mentioned on several occasions the difficulties I’ve had over the course of my childhood with my brother, but in all fairness, he’s pretty much responsible for helping me through one of the toughest times of my life, as well, and I’m fairly certain he doesn’t even know he did it.  What happened was that I was always a scared kid, jumping at shadows, and almost anything else.  I would watch the tamest cartoons you could imagine–mostly because they were funny, but also because they weren’t scary.  I knew there were darker, more adult forms on intertainment out there, but I was most definately not interested, at least not until a little before my ninth birthday.

Sometimes my sister’s would spend the night at my house–mostly for holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.  One time they were there, and watching a movie on TV in the living room–a rebroadcast of The Exorcist. I remember walking into the room just as the camera zoomed in on Linda Blair’s dessicated-looking face and yellow, demonic eyes. 

It scared the crap out of me, but it was also somehow fascinating.  I think that was my first look at anything in the horror genre, which to this day both repels and excites me.  It was maybe a few months after that I read a Stephen King short story called “The Boogeyman,”  which terrified me to the extent that I could no longer go to sleep at night without first inspecting my closet for demonic, child-killing monsters.  And then I couldn’t close my door.  Like the people in the story, I had to leave it open–just a crack.

I began to read other stories along the same vein, and they were all scary, but it was The Boogeyman that stuck with me the most, and very soon I began to develop a very serious case of insomnia.  What happened was that every time I would begin to fall asleep, I would see (or think I saw), my closet door begin to swing open, and a slimy, clawed hand scratch its talons along the surface.  The first couple nights, I just lay there, too afraid to sleep.

The third night, I crept into the kitchen, figuring that I could find something with which I would be able to defend myself from the claws–somehow, a kitchen knife seemed like just the thing–hey, I was a kid!

So while I stood in the kitchen, searching the silverware drawer for a weapon, I heard my brother’s voice curse softly from the garage (his main hobby when I was little was buying junk cars, fixing them up, and selling them. He did this from when I was 8, until I turned 18).  Then another curse, and silence.  A few seconds after that, Del Shannon’s Runaway began playing on the record player’s single, battered speaker. 

I found a chef’s knife that looked reasonably well-edged, and sat in the chair by the door to the garage.  I listened to Runaway, and then Chuck Berry came on after a couple seconds more cursing (those little adapters for the 45’s were a bitch) by Tim.  I ended up sitting there listening to music, and my brother’s swearing at various car parts for the better part of an hour, and eventually went back to bed, falling asleep softly humming Ricky Nelson’s Garden Party to myself.

The next night, I crept into the kitchen again, and took up my position in the chair, listening for about an hour, and eventually going back to bed, singing softly to myself, and once again falling asleep.  And again the next night.  And the next.

After about a little less than a week, I was able to procure a small transistor radio from my dad’s collection of junk that I would play quietly next to my bed when I hit the sack, and after only a night or two, I didn’t even look at the closet anymore.

But it all started with those old records in the garage, and listening to my brother’s cornucopia of profanity.  I didn’t even know I liked music before that.   And while I will always have some degree of difficulty with my brother, I will also always be grateful to him for helping me find music, and stop worrying about the boogeyman.

It took another 20 years or so for me to stop reading horror novels.  And I still have to remind myself I don’t really enjoy them anymore…sigh….

Verse of the day

Actually, psalm of the day would probably be more accurate.  From The Message:

Psalm 51

 1-3Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
   Scrub away my guilt,
      soak out my sins in your laundry.
   I know how bad I’ve been;
      my sins are staring me down.

 4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
      it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
   You have all the facts before you;
      whatever you decide about me is fair.
   I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
      in the wrong since before I was born.
   What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
      Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

 7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
      scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
   Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
      set these once-broken bones to dancing.
   Don’t look too close for blemishes,
      give me a clean bill of health.
   God, make a fresh start in me,
      shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
   Don’t throw me out with the trash,
      or fail to breathe holiness in me.
   Bring me back from gray exile,
      put a fresh wind in my sails!
   Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
      so the lost can find their way home.
   Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
      and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
   Unbutton my lips, dear God;
      I’ll let loose with your praise.

 16-17 Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
      a flawless performance is nothing to you.
   I learned God-worship
      when my pride was shattered.
   Heart-shattered lives ready for love
      don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

 18-19 Make Zion the place you delight in,
      repair Jerusalem’s broken-down walls.
   Then you’ll get real worship from us,
      acts of worship small and large,
   Including all the bulls
      they can heave onto your altar!

Articulation is…..

So I noticed another problem I have on Saturday night.  In the grand scheme of things, held up to my other quirks and idiosyncracies, this one is probably not as glaring as some, but it was nonetheless something important, I think.  Something I needed to know about myself.

It’s difficult for me to articulate my needs.  Very difficult.  Maybe not so much when it’s something like a pepper shaker, or a glass of water.  But otherwise?  Very difficult, indeed.

There was this meeting for a ministry I’m involved in, and when it came time to talk directly to the leaders about not only their “performance,” but what we’d like to see from the ministry and them, and how we could possibly improve on our own areas that needed improvement, I clammed up for a few minutes.

One of the other team members had spoken shortly before that about asking God for help in improving the ability to deal with conflict in a workplace situation.  That was like a light going on in my giant head.  I tried to do that while I was sitting there, and the thought just sort of came to me to “just say it,” as in just say my need.

So I did.  And it was awkward, and it came out a little rough, but it came out.  Whether or not that need is fulfilled by the leaders remains to be seen.  It just made me wonder, though, why it was so tough to tell them (and anyone, for that matter) what I needed, or wanted, or even hoped for.  I don’t know.

Is it because I feel like they weren’t listening, and wouldn’t help me even if they were?  Possibly.  Prior experience with this couple had not left me feeling particularly heard, and being heard is one of my “things.”

But that didn’t feel like all of it.  Is it also because deep down somewhere, I still feel like when I ask someone for something I really, really need, I don’t deserve help?  Maybe some of that, too.

And in that way of thinking, is that something I believe of God as well?  That I don’t deserve his help?  Well, it’s hard to argue the truth of that one–I don’t.  Nobody does.  But isn’t the truth that you don’t help those you love because they deserve to be helped–you help them because you love them.  And if I believe in my heart that I am loved, whether it be by God, or my friends, it should not be so difficult to ask for their prayers, or to tell them what I need from them as friends, or leaders.  It should not be so difficult to articulate me needs to the Lord.

Anyway, I guess it’s a lot of things.  It gives me plenty to pray about, for sure.  And it lets me know where a few more places are I need God’s light shed on, places that are in need of healing.  So I guess it’s good I went to that meeting–I didn’t want to.  My first instinct was to say “screw it,” and walk away….