Friday, October 24, 2008

My Secret Vice

Neil, the male half of the Veggiebox twins, has launched a meme over on their blog. Unlike many, though, this is a single, simple question: What's your Secret Vice? (Neil admits to soap operas--in particular one I've never heard of.)

Well, that's easy. Dumb movie parodies, in the vein of Airplane. I think many of these are better than people think, because buried beneath the silly jokes and gags, they often show a real understanding of the craft involved in different film genres. Plus, I like dumb jokes and gags.

Airplane is not by any means my favorite, though. I suppose I'd have to go with Top Secret, Val Kilmer's first (and finest) film. (Kilmer is an amazing singer and dancer--talents he doesn't often display, but showcases in this film. Though, come to think of it, he did a pretty good Jimmy Morrison in The Doors.) Top Secret is a gorgeous mess--half Elvis-y rock movie, and half intrigue behind the Iron Curtain...exccpt that the Eastern Europeans all seem to be WWII Nazis, and the partisans trying to overthrow them all seem to be members of the French Resistance. Oh, and the movie Blue Lagoon somehow gets wound into the plot, too. My favorite interchange:

Dr Flammond: I am a prisoner here, just like you. A year ago, I was close to perfecting the first magnetic desalinisation process--a process so revolutionary, it was capable of removing the salt from over ten million gallons of sea water a day. Do you realise what that could mean to the starving nations of the earth?

Kilmer: Whoa....they'd have enough salt to last forever.

But there's some runners-up. My nephew Zack, who had the best cinematic taste of anyone I've ever known in the 12-14 age group, insisted I watch Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the 'Hood, a fine parody of the conventions of the gangsta movie, and Zack and his sister Dar dragged me along to the more recent Not Another Teen Movie, which had some hilarious moments (and had Jamie Pressley in it, and she's always funny). The first Scary Movie had some good things about it, too.

I know. Silly, puerile, unsubtle. But funny. And even if three-quarters of the stuff in any given movie misfires, they move along so fast there's something coming along to amuse me soon enough.

Sad, but true.

Oh, and what the hell: here's a clip of an impossibly young Kilmer singing Tutti Frutti in Top Secret.

11 comments:

Creative A said...

I want to be the mature adult and tsk tsk at your taste in film, but I'm guilty myself...Airplane I & II, Date Movie, Scary Movie II, Napolean Dynamite, etc, etc....

Sigh.

-CA

David Isaak said...

Hey, Creative, nobody needs to apologize for liking Napoleon Dynamite.

Some of the others are guilty pleasures, maybe...

Matt Curran said...

David, I must agree with your taste of guilty pleasure. For a long while, Top Secret was up there with Evil Dead 2. I still laugh until I cry at the random sight of a small horse singing "Hard Days Night", Peter Cushing talking backwards/Swedish, and the degradation of Omar Shariff with the phoney dog-poo. Genius.

Sarah doesn't share my sense of humour though. She thought it was just plain daft.

Jen Ster said...

True confessions time: My guilty pleasure is the TV show, "Son of the Beach." Particularly the episode where the Malibu Adjacent crew ends up hunting Osama bin Loyden (different guy, if just as unfriendly) and Chip Rommel decides to get circumcised, leading lifeguard leader "Notch" Johnson to exclaim, "I didn't mean to cut you off!" Oh God, it's so bad. Joan won't even be in the room when I'm watching it. Remember, kids, ride the big one!

Alis said...

One of the funniest things I've ever seen in a film is the moment in air plane where the pilot says 'assume crash positions' (or something like that) and all the passengers just throw themselves around the cabin as if there's just been a crash. Don't ask me why I find that so amusing, but it's even making me chuckle as I type.

Roger Morris said...

I love spoof movies too. The dumber the better.

I have to confess, my secret vice is watching America's Next Top Model.

David Isaak said...

Hi, Matt--

I can't argue with Sarah's point that it's exceedingly daft.
For example, the singing pony scene you mention (>>Cough cough<< "You'll have to forgive him--he's a little horse.") really makes no sense and doesn't add one whit to the story. But FUNNY...

Oh, well. You're having kids. It's probably good to have at least one adult in the family.

David Isaak said...

Hi, Matt--

I can't argue with Sarah's point that it's exceedingly daft.
For example, the singing pony scene you mention (>>Cough cough<< "You'll have to forgive him--he's a little horse.") really makes no sense and doesn't add one whit to the story. But FUNNY...

Oh, well. You're having kids. It's probably good to have at least one adult in the family.

David Isaak said...

Hi, Jen--

As Frank Zappa used to say, you've gone beyond the fringe of audience comprehension. I've never heard of the show you're talking about.

Sounds thoroughly messed up, though, which is promising.

David Isaak said...

Hi, Alis--

Yep--ridiculous and funny. Not to mention the silly "That's when I developed my drinking problem" joke...

David Isaak said...

Hi, Roger--

Raymond Obstfeld, a novelist and teacher I know, advises his class to watch "America's Next Top Model" to grasp the the concept of deluded, unreliable narrators.