Who’s Watching the Watchmen? Evil Monkey

Evil Monkey:
Another snarling dead dog of a night, even during the day. The city’s like a wretched softball team of spectacularly goitered children. Blood pooling in the calves of old people. And right here, in the gutter, another puking, puling lump of humanity…

Jeff:
Hey, watch it! I’m sitting right here on the couch.

Evil Monkey:
Banal evil speaks its name. Crushing the dreams of the righteous.

Jeff:
Are you okay? Why are you wearing that trenchcoat and that ski mask?

Evil Monkey:
Someone had killed the comedian. Someone had killed the joke. I had to find out who.

Jeff:
Okay, I get it. You saw Watchmen. Welcome back, Rorshach.

Evil Monkey:
Rorshach’s dead. I’m his apprentice, Mo Rorshach.

Jeff:
So, did you like the movie?

Evil Monkey:
Big Blue was cool. But wish he’d worn the codpiece the whole time.

Jeff:
You must’ve seen the European director’s cut. Everybody’s nude in them foreign films.

Evil Monkey:
I missed the giant squid. They discarded the squid like it was just calamari.

Jeff:
Yeah, I was heart-broken about that.

Evil Monkey:
Er, just a quick question. No particular reason for asking. Why’re you wearing latex?

Jeff:
It’s spandex. All I could afford.

Evil Monkey:
Either way–why?

Jeff:
I’ve thought about fighting crime lately. I too have seen Watchmen.

Evil Monkey:
What kind of crime?

Jeff:
Oh, I dunno. I think bullies get a bad rap. Maybe I could help bullies beat up school kids. Or if that doesn’t work out, I could show up any time genre subdivides and prevent the mitosis.

Evil Monkey:
…..

Jeff:
Well, I didn’t say I really had a plan, per se.

Evil Monkey:
What did you think of the movie?

Jeff:
I kept getting the bends. One minute it was great. The next minute it was kinda weirdly lousy. Like, you get one wonderful Blue Guy Mars scene and then you get another where it looked like they dangled a golden Christmas ornament over the red dirt of an Alabama rest-stop and said, “Okay, that’s a wrap!”

Evil Monkey:
I liked it when Mr. R bent people’s bones backward and Kool-Aid came out.

Jeff:
I hated that. I liked it when Mr. R stopped reading from his diary.

Evil Monkey:
I hated that. I liked it when they showed Blue Buddy’s back story. Super-cool!

Jeff:
I liked that, too. But I hated when just finding out that X was Y’s father (“Don’t resist the Force, Luke!”) and Y’s reaction to that news changed Blue’s whole philosophy of life. It was too sudden. It was like the sudden of “Hey, honey, how about ice cream?” Honey: “No, I don’t want ice cream.” Me: “You sure?” Honey: “Actually, I think I really want ice cream.” Not the sudden of “I’m gonna let yer whole planet turn into ash and wipe my ass with what’s left” that then becomes “Actually, I like butterflies and puppy dogs and will walk in the park in slow motion with you, laughing and skipping.”

Evil Monkey:
Sometimes the babble of the city overwhelms me. Disgusts me with its decadent dry-humping of the language of oppression, corruption, and disease…

Jeff:
That’s just the cat nudging your leg, dude.

Evil Monkey:
…my vision blurred by the blood of the legion of savage savants of decadence that burn in the puss-ridden hell of their own sordid maggot-like glottal imaginings. Is that a tic tac?

Jeff:
What?

Evil Monkey:
Is that a tic tac on the floor?

Jeff:
Um, no. It looks like a bit of kitty litter. What else did you like?

Evil Monkey:
I loved the tiger-thing with the antenna that came out of nowhere. It looked like the kind of tiger you’d find in a swinger’s pad circa 1972. I think it was supposed to be in Hellguy 2, but got cut, so they stuck it into Watchmen.

Jeff:
Now, see, if the damn squid had been left in, the double-damned purple tiger would’ve seemed…”the kind of tiger you’d find in a swinger’s pad circa 1972″??! Wha…?

Evil Monkey:
No comment. I also liked the fact there was very little slow-mo. For me, slow-mo killed 300. I wanted 300 sped up. I think if 300 had been about forty-five minutes long it might’ve been awesome. Instead, it was about ten hours. All pecs and no brain. All decadent Eastern satraps with fetish issues and no Gregory Peck or Alec Guinness. So that was good. The slow-no and the CGI were toned down.

Jeff:
When they give you what you should have anyway, don’t thank them.

Evil Monkey:
I didn’t like the lack of monkeys.

Jeff:
I didn’t like the dynamic that had almost-raped-woman-sleeping-with-almost-rapist later. It didn’t make any sense on the screen.

Evil Monkey:
I didn’t like the lack of monkeys.

Jeff:
I didn’t like that scene with owlman and yellow latex I-could-never-actually-fight crime-with-my-costume-half-way-up-my-ass woman with Halleluhah by Cohen playing. I have to admit I cracked up. Because we ain’t seen enough of both of them to care whether he needs viagra or not. And, er, in the context of world destruction, seems like a male writer’s fantasy that this subplot could seem anything other than kind lame.

Evil Monkey:
I don’t think I even remember that. I did like Mr. R screaming out, “You’re in here with me mofo’s, not me in here with you!” Man, he was a scrappy little bastard. Like Scrappy Doo. But, er, meaner.

Jeff:
I didn’t like the music. IT’S NOT OUR WORLD. DO NOT USE OUR MUSIC. Use stuff that sounds like the time period but isn’t. Fer chrissakes at least have Dylan redo Hendrix and have somebody cover the Simon and Garfunkel song. And, er, NEVER use 99 Luft Balloonies. For anything.

Evil Monkey:
Hey, I grew up on all 99 of those Luft Balloonies. My auntie used to hum that to me to get me to sleep. Along with Flock of Seagulls. I didn’t mind the music. You must’ve loved the opening, though. The credits sequence?

Jeff:
Um, yes and no. It was masterful editing, but it set the wrong tone. For Mr. R to open up with his nihilistic rant against humanity, we’ve got to see a world significantly more debased than our own, and the intro should’ve shown us that. We needed “the city” to be grimier and more dangerous-seeming. And it wasn’t. Also, we didn’t get enough strangeness in the opening sequence. We needed more strangeness, in the form of squid or something, to give us more of a sense of this being a radically different reality. Then the purple tiger could’ve pranced unicorn-like to its heart’s content.

Evil Monkey:
Fault of the movie or fault of the original?

Jeff:
The problem with a scene-by-scene faithfulness (although it isn’t exactly scene-by-scene) in the movie is that it doesn’t acknowledge the difference between a movie and a graphic novel. Or that certain conventions of the noir and superhero genres on the page do not translate exactly to film. It would be like doing a literal translation of a Russian masterpiece into English and the main character uses a swear word that in Russian is endearing but in English literally scans as “FUCK YOU” in all caps. Mr. R’s rants are just fine on the page. To the ear they sound off-key.

Evil Monkey:
So you hated the movie?

Jeff:
No! It was often breathtaking. It was often strange and beautiful and fey and showing us things we’ve never seen before.

Evil Monkey:
Like how blood blurts out when you break someone’s arm in half?

Jeff:
Well, I could’ve done without some of that. But only some of it.

Evil Monkey:
See enough of it in your daily life?

Jeff:
No, none of us do, and that’s why I don’t think it should’ve gone. I would’ve wanted it to be more realistic, actually. Our problem is that we watch Watchmen and we think, “that’s ridiculous, that level of violence,” and yet every war has that level of violence. Every time someone gets gunned down somewhere, it’s not pretty. One of the great strengths of a movie that is willing to look at that straight-on is that it reminds of a reality we like to forget actually exists. That we think doesn’t belong in our fiction, for example.

Evil Monkey:
Whatever, man. This filthy, naked, disgusting city writhes in the mind-feces of its own rotting corpsicle of a prison bloat moist stink dirt bath bloviated pork mass–

Jeff:
Now you’ve just gone totally off the tracks. I’m going to go back to reading this book, if you don’t mind.

Evil Monkey:
One last thing I’ve got to clear up first. Why is your costume pink and pea-green?

Jeff:
Is it pink? I thought it was more petunia-ish.

Evil Monkey:
Maybe they’ll hire you for the musical version of Watchmen.

Jeff:
Really? You think so? Squeeee!

Comments

  1. says

    OK, there needs to be a corollary to Godwin’s Law to whenever anyone mentions the words “Scrappy Doo,” the listener/reader has to assume all that follows is teh suck.

  2. says

    I´d never diss Scrappy Doo – and I´d sure as hell shit myself if I bumped into Evil Monkey in a dark alley at night.

  3. Evil Monkey says

    Fabio: In this pulsating piss-drenched hellhole of a pitstop on the way to the devil’s outhouse, it wasn’t hard to find you. Look over your shoulder…and I’ve brought pie!

  4. says

    A lot of your issues seem to be with the source material, too. I don’t say that to undermine in any way, but just find it interesting. I had similar reactions, seeing it on the big screen. Perhaps it’s because it feels like it was produced this year, so we think it should have been written to this year’s social and cultural needs, rather than approaching it knowing it is twenty years old (however visionary) as one might with the graphic novel.

    Or I might just be full of shit.

    Regardless, I liked this take on the Mars scenes:
    http://nonadventures.com/2009/03/07/mars-heeds-women/

  5. says

    Watchmen, the movie, had some great moments, but in the long run, they neutered the graphic novel and turned it into a action film, thinking they’d left enough of the original source in to keep it ‘intelligent’. That, and, well, blaming Manhattan instead of the giant alien squid-thing? That’s Hollywood.

    The actor playing Rorshach, and the actor portraying the Comedian too, did great work with what they were given.

  6. Becky says

    The rape scene / rape victim going back to rapist later scenario was really hard for me to take too. It didn’t work on the screen, like you said, and it was just plain hard for me to watch a violent scene like that. I haven’t read the graphic novel but it seemed like in the move, the other fellow watchmen easily glossed over the fact that the Comedian was such a scum bag and I also found that hard to believe.

  7. says

    I’m notably bad with detecting sarcasm, especially on the internet, so I’m just going to assume that you were being sarcastic with the “Dylan redoing Hendrix” bit, and not merely horribly confused about which of them wrote “All Along The Watchtower.” Really, I have too much respect for you to assume otherwise. That would be a devastating lapse.

    Also, in case it isn’t clear, this post is tongue in cheek.

  8. says

    Nice review :o) I pretty much felt the same way about it. It often felt brilliant, and it often felt underwhelming. It’s an easy film to enjoy, but I didn’t expect its flaws to be so obvious. I was hoping Snyder’s bluntness in 300 was due to the source material, but this proves it’s just him. Full review on my bloggy blog.

  9. jeff vandermeer says

    Jimi wrote it in Watchmen’s world and Dylan covered it. Jimi wrote Times A Changin’ too. Dylan had an amazing band back then, never met a stratocaster he didn’t like. hated those folk feebs. Hendrix didn’t go electric until 80 when he did that duet with Stevie Nix.

  10. says

    If it were a true bizarro world, we’d have Dylan covering G’n’R’s “Welcome to the Jungle.” I still think Dylan ought to sing that in concert, as payback for Axl butchering “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” all those years ago.

  11. kellys says

    This sure beat another traditional review!

    >>And, er, NEVER use 99 Luft Balloonies. For anything.

    I respectfully retort: Except in Alfred Molina’s amazing “Boogie Nights” scene.

  12. says

    1. glup

    the dried cotton mouth gunk built up around the lips or sides of mouth. dried lip boogers. gunk built up on mouth piece of pipes.
    after smoking that blunt, billy wiped his mouth on his sleave and saw a smear of glup.

    2. glup

    2. (n) A serving spoon full of food or a scoop of ice cream.
    Just give me two glups.

    3. glup

    to drink large quanities of liquid
    dude, she gulped that one

    From The Urban Dictionary

  13. Jeff VanderMeer says

    Kelly–the exception that proves the rule! And yes a truly amazing scene.

    Marty–thanks for that. I think. ;)

  14. says

    At first I thought you told Google to call the library, and it did, and that blew my mind.
    Then I realized that you actually called the library, and my mind became unblown.
    I’ll get back to work…

    If you ask my opinion about this topic I really like. Thank you for sharing your friends. Hope to see you another day.

  15. says

    At first I thought you told Google to call the library, and it did, and that blew my mind.

    Then I realized that you actually called the library, and my mind became unblown.
    I’ll get back to work…

    If you ask my opinion about this topic I really like. Thank you for sharing your friends. Hope to see you another day.

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