There's something compelling about well crafted horror movies. Sphincter-puckering, goose-bumping vicarious titillation is to be had in anticipating the grisly misfortune awaiting gormless innocents; where the evil can reach out from the screen and figuratively touch us. But we know, really, that we're safe. We are, aren't we?
Demonic deeds, grotesque protagonists, macabre netherworlds of satanic malignancy, the supernatural, spooks and psychopaths, freaks and monsters challenging our complacent sense of normality;it all gives a rush of adrenaline with no physical risk involved. The occasional heart palpitation excepted.
Good old-fashioned ghost stories (The Others), occult classics (The Omen, Rosemary's Baby) through to the dark humour of Bad Boy Bubby and the believability of crime/horror fusions such as Wolf Creek and Silence Of The Lambs drag the audience in as passive extras enthralled by the certainty of horrors that are to come.
There's a sense of relief as the lights come up and the credits roll, but we tragics can't wait for the next shock and horror production. And so we have LNP III.
Part 3 of the LNP franchise was not expected to make it into production. It was saved by a huge injection of cash from a dodgy investor with the expectation that he'll recoup his money from the merchandising. A promotional campaign copied from the US studio's successful marketing of BLOTUS - Revenge Of The Blobulous Mango ensured LNP III's release.
LNP III is a confused melange. Part horror, part farce, part black comedy its absurdist style is somewhat reminiscent of Mel Brookes's Young Frankenstein but with a far more malevolent cast of characters and with a broad-sweeping menace.
Missing from the latest in the series are two main villains - Tony Clown-shoes Abbott previously cast as The Wrecker in a bow-legged tribute to Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight and Peta Credlin in her thinly-disguised reprise of Cruella DeVil. The suggestion of sexual tension between these two was too much even for the hardest of stomachs and a likely contributory cause to their absence from the current cast.
The part of Igor is again filled by the vastly over-rated Barmy Juice, an idiot savant (just without the savant bit) whose stuttering delivery of ad-lib gibberish has seen his role downplayed in the new fillum. Juice's delivery is too cartoonish to be taken seriously even in a horror-comedy as far-fetched as this one.
To replace the diminished Igor as a plot device the sterotypical evil scientist is introduced. Doctor LeNumbers is played by Well Done Angus Taylor, windfarm cancer survivor and vexatious litigant whose acting skills have been refined by pretending that up is down and black is white.
The lead role is carried over from LNP II - ScumMo The Clown (Scooter Morrison - best known for previous starring efforts in The Knifing Of Michael Towke and Where The Bloody Hell Did He Come From?). The whole plot of LNP III evolves from ScumMo and his morphing from hectoring hardman and torturer of children to daggy dad to practitioner of witchcraft and the occult at the close of LNP II. There were distinct allusions to Rosemary's Baby through miraculous conceptions and appeals to a prosperity-dispensing supernatural force to reward his deference with riches and power - perhaps the most credible and most chilling part of that production and one that is built on for III.
Peter Spud-Dutton delivers a masterful rendition of evil incarnate, carrying over his
nightmarishly effective role as J Edgar Tuber, fiendish head of a private police force, the Gestapotato, tasked with rounding up dissenters and feeding them to his Gulags. The scene of him laughing maniacally while machine-gunning drowning children was perhaps a bit of over-reach - Spud-Dutton, for all his mastery of evil menace, cannot convincingly carry off laughter.
SPOILER ALERT. The plot for LNP III is a rehash of parts I and II. A cartel of evil capitalists rape and pillage the planet, the economy tanks, ScumMo and his cherubic mini-me Joshy Friednburnt are shanked in the ribs by Tuber's minions, Tuber assumes control with closing scenes of black-uniformed goon squads goose-stepping down Canberra's Northborn Avenue to the sound of blaring trumpets and flapping banners. A lone, hairy figure in a red g-string cycles slowly into the sunset through the thick smoke from a burning planet.
While the Cohen brothers would love the black comedy in LNP III, and George Miller would appreciate the Mad Maxian dystopia, the audience is being taken for a ride. LNP III is disturbing rubbish and will likely not complete its run. But thank the gods it's fictional.
J Edgar Tuber - from FDoTM, Guardian Australia
* * * * *
No time for wusses After six years of calamitous Tory incompetence and nastiness and following their campaign of lies and misinformation, there is no way I will accept this current claque as legitimate.
Feline Metathesiophobia. Congratulations Australia! You cowering clowder of fraidy cats have capitulated in the face of a blatant fear campaign and negative, deceitful sloganeering.
Horror Movie - Skyhooks, 1975
Watched a horror movie, right there on my TV Horror movie, right there on my TV Horror movie, right there on my TV Shockin' me right out of my brain Shockin' me right out of my brain
You think it's just a movie on a silver screen And they're all actors and fake old scenes Maybe you don't care who's gonna lose or win Listen to this and I'll tell you somethin'
It's a horror movie, right there on my TV Horror movie, right there on my TV Horror movie, and it's blown a fuse Horror movie, it's the six-thirty news Horror movie, it's the six-thirty news
The public's waitin' For the killin' and the hatin' Switch on the station, oh yeah They do a lotta sellin' Between the firin' and the yellin' And you believe in what they're tellin', oh yeah
It's a horror movie right there on my TV Horror movie right there on my TV Horror movie and it's blown a fuse Horror movie, it's the six-thirty news Horror movie, it's the six-thirty news And it's shockin' me right outta my brain