- Man 1: But I'm not Gay!
- Man 2: Yeah, but if you WERE. Thor or Loki?
- Man 1: but I'm not!
- Man 2: IRRELEVANT! THOR OR LOKI!
- Man 1: honestly?
- Man 2: THOR OR LOKI!
- Man 1: probably Iron Man.
- Man 2: SERIOUSLY? TONY STARK?
- Man 1: yeah. I'd love to be Robet Downey Jr's bitch. God, that man....
- Man 2: ooh I know what you mean. how would he proceed?
- Man 1: well we'd be having dinner and he'd have his hand on my leg and he'd whisper in my ear and tell me exactly what he was going to do to me.
- Man 2: oh yeah..
- Man 1: and then his hand'd go further to the top of my leg and start grasping my-
- Random Woman: EXCUSE ME THERE ARE CHILDREN ON THIS TRAIN.
- *awkward silence*
- Man 2: ...and you said you werent gay!
Astron 6, a five-man film-making zord from Canada, and Troma Entertainment, the long-running independent film company who birthed Trey Parker, James Gunn, and The Toxic Avenger into the world, have teamed up to make what initially seems like another entry in the irritating faux-grindhouse genre. Father’s Day deals with a one-eyed man named Ahab chasing down a psycho geek named Chris Fuchman (pronounced with a K for that H) who has for decades been raping, killing, and eating people’s dads. Ahab is joined on his quest by his impossibly hot sister, a young priest, and a teenage rent boy called Twink. If you’re not looking for the exit as soon as you see a blood-soaked, naked, fat dude noshing on a severed penis, you’re gonna have an awesome time. This happens in the first two minutes, so at least you’ll know pretty quickly where you stand.
Machete and Hobo With A Shotgun are called to mind by Father’s Day’s visuals, so I might as well fuck them off real quick. Astron 6 don’t have the budget or the Hollywood connections to turn this film into a game of Celebrity Soggy Biscuit like Machete, so you’re spared the sight of a handful of once-great actors and FHM pin-ups sleepwalking their way to the bank. The OTT tone and constant one-upping of ridiculous plot contrivances can often turn a faux-grindhouse film into a boring sit-down queue for the end credits after the first hour, but the sheer insanity here keeps those eye-boners going right to the end. Astron 6 never let the story slip into scenes of mindless shooting and consistently smash traditional B-movie story beats into tiny bits before going off on some batshit crazy tangent. Watching Father’s Day is what I imagine a road trip with Mel Gibson would be like; you get in the car and you’re immediately horrified at how drunk he is but before you can get out he’s driving down the wrong side of the road, ramping speed bumps, and then, once you’ve started laughing yourself silly, he rolls down his window and starts shouting at Jewish people and you wonder if you should really be associating with such a bell-end.
Whereas the Tarantino-Rodriguez Grindhouse project never seemed more than a slew of cameos and lazy references with little to back it up, Father’s Day is an engaging, imaginative, and darkly funny film that does everything Grindhouse set out to do in half the time. The key ingredient: balls. (The balls often take the shape of cocks; there is more male nudity than female.) Troma is famed for their extreme violence and goofy humour and Father’s Day gives classics like Poultrygeist and Terror Firmer a run for their money. Rather than coasting by with dirt layers and overbearing music and hoping that the concept alone will see them through, Astron 6 have hacked out a genuinely surprising story that starts with mutilated penises and just gets weirder. It’s a dick-munching, dad-raping, sister-fucking good time!
Father’s Day is out on DVD in June, but Astron 6 have a short film collection out if you want some other crazy indie shenanigans to tide you over. One of their shorts is called Lazer Ghosts 2: Return to Laser Cove. If you buy this DVD, please let me borrow it! - Martin Smith.
That was one kickass movie. Highly recommended!
Joss Whedon posts at Whedonesque on May 9th.”
Well, it’s been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can’t wait! But before I become blinded by this “emotion” experience, there’s a few things I’d like to say. Well, type.
People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting. I think — not to jinx it — that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of “the Avengers” gross, I can afford to buy… [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] …a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of “Air Bud” that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)
What doesn’t change is anything that matters. What doesn’t change is that I’ve had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of — I’m not even gonna say fans. I’m going with “peeps” — that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I’ve had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y’all. A lot of stories have come out about my “dark years”, and how I’m “unrecognized”… I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I’m ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much. I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I’ve yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I’ve thought, “maybe I’m over; maybe I’ve said my piece”. But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y’all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you’re probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I’m an alien, not a robot.) So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You’ve taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go “I told you so”, to those Joe Blows not in the know. (LAST time I hire Dr. Seuss to punch my posts up. Yeesh!) Point being, you deserve some honor, AND you deserves some FAQs answered. So please welcome my old friend and certainly not-on-my-payroll reporter/flunky, Rutherford D. Actualperson!
RDA: So good to see you, young Joss! is it possible you’ve gotten more attractive since we last spoke, and less fungal in odor?
JW: Thanks for noticing. Let’s talk.
RDA: “the Scavengers” is a huge success! Does this mean you have changed the very fabric of existence?
JW: Dude, it’s just a movie. Also, yes.
RTA: I’ve seen a lot of a talk about “the Availers” vs “the Dark Knight Rises”. How will you feel if you’re eclipsed by Nolan?
JW: I’m glad I made you ask that. I will feel sad. But let’s look at the bigger picture, and I can’t say this enough: THIS IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME. Our successes, whoever has the mostest, are a boon to each other. We’re in the business of proving that superhero movies aren’t just eye-candy (they’re eye-TRUFFLES!). People seem intent on setting us against each other, and though I’m proud to be Woody Strode to Nolan’s Kirk Douglas, I think they’re missing the point. Whatever TDKR does on its first weekend, the only stat that matters to me is the ticket I’M definitely buying. Nolan and Raimi INVENTED the true superhero flick, yo. (Special mention to Jon Favreau and James Gunn.) Happy to be in the mix.
RTA: What does this mean for your upcoming slate of tiny independent films/Internet shenanigans? Will they fall by the wayside?
JW: There may be new ideas realized — I always leave myself open to that — but my commitment to Wastelanders and Dr H.2 does not waver. Those stories bubble on my stove.
RTA: And TV?
JW: TV is my great love. To tell stories with that alacrity, intensity, and immediacy… Nothing quite like it. I imagine it’s not dissimilar to the feeling great poker players have: “Here’s what I got, here’s where I’m going… How to trick everybody into thinking I know what I’m doing?” [Full disclosure : Joss hates poker. He is probably talking about bridge. But it should apply nonetheless.].
RTA: What message would you give fans of “the Lavenders” who are not so familiar with your previous work?
JW: “Cabin In the Woods”: still in (some) theaters!
RTA: Is ‘the Ravengers” a perfect movie? It did get an A+ cinemascore…
JW: There are very few perfect movies. “The Court Jester”, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, “Godfather” I & II… The list does not go on and on. “The Avengers” is notably IMperfect, which makes its success mean so much more to me — because it’s striking a chord that matters MORE than its obvious flaws. Like the team, it appears to be more than the sun of its parts. Boo-yah!
RTA: What do you feel is the greatest achievement of “the Avoiders”?
JW: Getting “mewling quim” out there to the masses. Also, Hulk.
RTA: Anyone in particular you’d like to thank?
JW: [Reads from notecard]. I couldn’t have done this myself. Part of this Saturn Award belongs to Jeremy Latcham, Kevin Feige, and the fine Marvel folk… But the secret ingredient is my closest peeps: J-Mo, who did uncredited punch-up work (carrier battle, yo!), Z-bro, Drew “I am Loki only taller and foppier” Goddard, and Kai, all of whom worked the story with me. Without them (and Jeremy), I’d still be figuring out how the Wasp fits in to this, and where to put Red Hulk.
RTA: What’s next for Joss “finally got it right for a change” Whedon?
JW: Can we not call me that?
RTA: Just deal. Whut up?
JW: I really think we should discuss that nickname, but I’m finishing “Much Ado About Nothing” this month. If you liked “the Avengers”, you’ll love… I can’t. It’s Shakespeare. And not in the park. I hope it gets watched.
RTA: Any message to your precious “Whedonesk?”
JW: I’m not aware of that group.
RTA: Didn’t they know you when?
JW: I’m not sure who you mean. I’m discarding my old fans so I can concentrate on fame, Euro-trash guy-jewelry and my precious “Air Bud” reboot. But, dude, don’t print that!
RTA: You have my word.
So, that’s our post! Hope you enjoyed it. Hope you’ll continue to carry the banner even though other people may have joined the parade. (Kind of a gay pride/Newsies vibe: sentence accomplished!) Hope you understand how I feel. Cliff notes: grateful.
“Here’s to us. Who’s like us? Damn few”
— Stephen Sondheim, “Merrily We Roll Along”.
“It took a dog playing Jai Alai to teach us humanity!”
—Me, in that awesome film I’m gonna make.
-j., 5/9/12” —
Joss Whedon - Whedonesque, May 9th.
I request the highest of five.