Friday, November 5, 2010

ST. ELMO’S FRIDAY, PT. IX: The Sh*t H*ts


Kirbo’s snowboarding right off the edge of sanity continues to get a cheerfully nonchalant treatment in this scene:

KIRBO: Get off the phone and open this door!
JUDITH: Are you the maniac that's been trying to cut in on my line? Ah, I should have known.
KIRBO: Where's Dale?
JUDITH: She. Went. Skiing!
KIRBO: What do you mean? Where?
JUDITH: Why should I tell you?
KIRBO: Because I'm not responsible for what I'll do to you if you don't!

Again, that last line that seemed cool back when we first saw this film, but now seems so wrong on so many different levels that it seems reckless for the filmmakers to even try to pass it off as a moment we should cheer for. Seriously, what would you do if you were a woman alone at night and some wingnut in a tux who isn’t F. Scott Fitzgerald is standing under your window directly threatening you? This does not work in real life and we have the police reports to prove it.


The ugliness continues as we switch over to our pair of wild children Jules and FuckFace, who pull up in the alleyway in Jules’ Jeep. Like true substance abusers, they don’t wasn’t the party to end. You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here, folks… A perfect petri dish for date rape. It’s even hinted that FuckFace and Jules have gone horizontal at least once before.

FuckFace is really in rare form in this scene, first asking Jules – who is obviously shaken and a bit damaged – “What you got on underneath that skirt?” Such a gentleman. After a awkward and depressing stab at making out, Jules tries to back out and Mr. Face responds with uncommon tenderness and understanding: “Come on. Don't save it for your boss.” Any remnant of a romantic mood is completely atomized in a million shards when he tells her: “You wouldn't have so much to say with me in your mouth.” And that’s not even the most offensive thing he says (or does) in this scene! When Jules finally kicks him out of the jeep, she lays a pretty good line on him: “You break my heart. But then again, you break everyone's heart.”

Ouch. She leaves him in the cold dark alleyway as the door to his house opens and there stands Felice like a Russian peasant mother, clutching their baby. Up with mournful, Kenny G-like sax break. Truly a low moment.


*[For this semi-pivotal scene, we'd like to try something a little different this week: Imagining how a specific scene would play out if directed by someone other than Joel Schumacher.]


We see various black and white shots of the cold and forbidden wintry landscape. Over this comes the sound of someone knocking politely on a door.

CUT TO KIRBO’s fist knocking on the door to a private cabin.

GUY: Who is it?

KIRBO: Ah, yes. Is Dale Biberman there?

GUY: Who wants to know?

KIRBO: Ah, it’s a medical emergency…

GUY opens the door. He’s a rugged-looking DOCTOR-type wrapped in a bearskin rug.

CUT TO Kirby standing on the front stoop wearing a golf outfit: white shirt, white shorts, white socks, white golf shoes, tan golfing gloves – all despite the below-zero temp. He is leaning on a nine iron and smiling politely.

GUY: Who the hell are you?

KIRBO: I’m sorry to disturb you at this hour, sir.

GUY: (noticing KIRBY’s getup) You’re a long way from the sandtrap there, fella.

DALE appears next to GUY, hastily putting on a robe.

DALE: Kirby! What are you doing here?

GUY: You know this guy?

KIRBO: (smiles, waves) Hi Dale!

DALE: Uh, yes…yes…he came into the ER last month when one of his friends got hurt…

GUY: (to DALE) Is there something I should know?

DALE: No, Guy. He’s just a friend from college…

GUY: A “friend”? Well your “friend” says there’s some sort of medical emergency.

KIRBY: (shivers) Yeah! Frostbite!

GUY: Dale, this guy is crazy…

DALE: Kirby, please. Come inside.

GUY: What?!

KIRBO: No, it’s OK. I'll stay in the car.

GUY: See? It’s OK. He wants to stay in the car.

DALE: He'll freeze!

KIRBO: Well, I do have some snow chains in my trunk. (to GUY) If you wouldn't mind...?

GUY: (sighs) Fine.

CUT TO inside the cabin a brief time later. The TV is on, running a NASCAR race. We hear the muffled sound of someone breathing heavily. We slowly pull back from the TV image to reveal KIRBY, sitting in a new pair of pajamas and eating a bowl of popcorn. We hear moaning and KIRBY’s head turns, annoyed at this interruption.

KIRBO: Look, I know you guys are falling in love over there, but could you keep it to a dull roar?

CUT TO the full living room of the cabin: GUY lies on the floor, trussed like a turkey with Kirby’s snow-tire chains. His face is a destroyed, bloody mess. He is obviously dead. The bloodied nine iron sits propped up against the wall behind the body.

KIRBO: My clothes should be dry in a few hours. Thanks for letting me use your pajamas. Nice and snuggly!

DALE sits tied up and gagged naked in a chair directly facing the wall. She has a crudely made dunce cap on her head and her face is scrawled in lipstick with Annie Hall-related graffiti: “Mashed yeast,” “Marshall McLuhan,” “Sorrow and the Pity,” “escaped lobsters.”

KIRBO: Look, it’s okay Dale. I understand that we weren’t meant to be. And I just want to tell you I’m fine with that. Really, I am.

DALE, her eyes bleary and watery, just moans at the wall. KIRBO yawns and stretches.

KIRBO: Welp. I don’t know about you but I’m beat. Time to hit the hay!

He gets up and puts on his bloodstained golfing gloves. He slips on a pair of safety goggles. He hefts an electric drill in his left hand.

KIRBY: We'll talk in the morning.

He hits the ‘ON’ switch and walks out of the shot. We hear the sound of the drill biting into something and DALE screaming though her gag.


Herein we find out how creepy Kevin and Kirby's apartment really is -- even without Kirby around.
Leslie has decided to spend the night here and we see how she starts to sort of regret it with a halting deer-in-the-headlights look on her face and her terse noting of the more disconcerting elements of Kev's "woman trap" and how they all seem to be wrapped around one theme: "Is that a coffin?" "I thought girls would think it was sexy."; "When did you win these writing awards?" "Oh, never. They're more effect to impress young ladies." Then Leslie finds a mountain of photos of herself and yet still doesn't get creeped out and flee this subterranean man cave.

True to how characters act in this film -- no logic whatsoever -- Leslie stays and both her and Kev get their liquor on. This leads to a a Bushmill-soaked confession session between our wounded love warriors. They are affected in differing ways: Leslie gets more self-absorbed; Kevin gets more goofy and wimpy. He is the sensitive "emotional (man) friend" who loves a girl so much he's willing to become the confessee to her whiny complaining about a "bad boy" who treats her like shit. He can't even bring himself to trash Titmouse for his abominable behavior: "Whatever we say about Alec we'll regret tomorrow."

But finally, he reverts back to junior high school and the sexy singer with the Karen Carpenter pipes whom he pledged his love to whilst drunk: "Well, I think I hang around you guys so much, personally...because, well, you're all I think about."
KEVIN: And I think that the reason I'm not interested in other women and why I haven't had sex in so long is because I am desperately, completely in love with you. We won't even remember this tomorrow, huh?
LESLIE: Kevin. It is tomorrow.

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK: More of this pointlessness.

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