Title: Cool As Ice
Summary: A rapper gets stuck in a small town and falls for a local girl whose family is in witness protection. (This feels shamefully underdeveloped.)
Note: God damn this movie is hard to find. I almost had to resort to checking it out from my local library – while wondering why the hell they have a copy on DVD – just to watch it. [JC: This may or may not be applicable at any given time, but as of this very moment, it’s available on Tubi. Having said that, dear God I implore people not to watch this movie unless they really hate themselves. Or watch the RiffTrax version instead, which is also currently on Tubi. (For the unaware: RiffTrax consists of some of the MST3K guys, basically doing that, but without the bots/silhouette gimmick. In other words, pretty much what we do here, but in audio/visual form.)]
[Dove: You want dedication? Raven and I paid for this atrocity. We paid £3.49 to YouTube to rent it. I’m willing to bet we’re the only people on the planet who did that. Also, it’s now in my algorithm, so thanks for that, bat!] [Raven: Worst investment EVER.]
[Wing: I paid for it, too, though I had digital credits and only paid $.50. That was still too much. I didn’t see the note about Tubi until after the fact.]
Hello and welcome to yet another round of “No one seems to have learned to say no to bat!” I have slipped some real doozies of films into recent group recaps and none of my friends have learned their lesson. So let’s go one more round with this 1991 feature film that was developed as a “vehicle for Vanilla Ice”: COOL AS ICE (ice, baby!)
Ah, 1991. I was much more into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than white boy “rappers” created by the music industry [Raven: Not like the Turtles, who were famously discovered busking in a New York subway station.]. Ironically, my best friend at the time, was the target demographic — well, okay, probably not the foremost target demographic; that was teenage girls, right? — and thought he could totally be a rapper like Vanilla Ice. He could even bend his fingers/hand to make the weird hand sign thing. It probably also didn’t help matters that he was more obsessed with TMNT than I — hardly possible, but true — and the summer of 1991 saw the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (a terrible title but eh) which — you guessed it — featured Vanilla Ice. By “featured” I mean dude showed up to lip sync the single written for the film during the BIG BOSS BATTLE near the end of the film. Look, 1991 was weird. You had MC Hammer rapping about The Addams Family (I am not making this up; I can still sing this song, I had the single on cassette tape) and Vanilla Ice rapping about Ninja Turtles. ALL OF US RECAPPERS LIVED THIS THIS ERA. IT REALLY HAPPENED. IT WASN’T A MASS HALLUCINATION.
Damn, I just overdosed on parachute pants watching those videos.
[Wing: To this day I will sometimes sing the Ninja Turtles song, or at least part of it. The only two Vanilla Ice songs I remember hearing are this one and that ice ice baby one they played at school events.]
What to say about the eponymous star of this film? It’s not like people now don’t remember or know him; Robert Matthew Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice (who was born on Halloween??? Damn.) [Wing: Born on Halloween and his last name was Van Winkle? He missed a trick not going into horror.] never really left entertainment. He just found various new ways to reincarnate his career. There was that home improvement DIY show in the early 00s, he still raps (apparently), and multiple arrests for various incidences kept him a mainstay on the TMZ website. I really don’t know anything about him. I mean, through pop culture osmosis sure, but not anything I could use in Trivial Pursuit.
I don’t want to read the wiki or the IMDb page on this film. I want to go in cold and be surprised. Does anyone commenting have something to add?
[JC: Ooh, I have a horrifying true crime Vanilla Ice connection! Paul Bernardo, the male half of the so-called “Ken and Barbie killers” (his wife, Karla Homolka, was the female half – they were these total pieces of shit serial rapists/murderers in Canada in the early ’90s) was obsessed with Vanilla Ice. This piece of shit wanted to be a rapper just like him, styled himself after him even long after Ice was no longer relevant, and forced some of his victims to give him feedback on his terrible, terrible rhymes. . . . This is why you keep me around, right? For the horrific true crime anecdotes?] [bat: Yes. Yes it is.]
I will leave you with the trailer, in case, dear reader, you want to know why our eyes and ears began to bleed shortly after beginning to watch this film:
Please note: there is HEAVY USE of strobe lights in this film and I highly recommend if you are sensitive to them, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE. Or sensibly fast foward past the strobe light scenes.
[Dove: I had no real initial thoughts on this, other than it might be like Buddy’s Song, which is a guilty pleasure of mine that I will be recapping at some point. Buddy’s Song is a coming-of-age drama featuring music that was on trend for the moment it was written, before the singer/star/movie was immediately declared a flop and nobody involved ever worked again. (Except for the guy who was in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.) There’s nothing really wrong with Buddy’s Song, it’s just not terrific, and I like the music. So I assumed this would be the same kind of thing, since they both came out around the same time, both featuring a one-hit wonder, and have been forgotten to the annals of time. All I can say now is that I was super-generous in my assumption.]
[Wing: My only initial thought is that bat’s terrible movie choices make me far fonder of the way Dove brought me into recapping Sweet Valley. In comparison, that experience is a joy and delight.]
Oh man, Universal Pictures distributed this? Damn.
Wow, the titles for this are awful. Like, I can’t even describe how bad this clip art bullshit is.
Uh, we cut to combat boots walking through reflective puddles? Then we’re in a warehouse where people are slam dancing and busting moves? And a woman is singing? Okay. Is this some weird pseudo-conceptual underground night club? Or what Universal Pictures executives imagined a night club would be like?
I guess this is all to set the mood that this is a RAPPER MOVIE. I think the singing woman is supermodel Naomi Campbell? Why?? How desperate was she to be paid to show up in this film? But it doesn’t matter because we’ve gone alt-reality 8 Mile and here’s VANILLA ICE rapping/singing.
Fun fact: I’ve never watched 8 Mile.
Can someone explain why the tag is still on his hat? Is this some weird tribute to Minnie Pearl? Also, who the fuck cast the dad from Family Ties and Dody Goodman in this!? Oh, they just added a credit card for “Special Appearance by: Naomi Campbell”. I REALLY HATE THE GRAPHIC DESIGN OF THESE CREDITS. THEY’RE AWFUL. THEY ARE EQUIVALENT TO THAT HORRIBLE THING WE ALL DID AT ONE POINT ONLINE WHERE WE CAPITALIZED EvErY oThEr LeTtEr! [JC: Gonna hit these all in one comment: 1. The tags on the baseball caps was a status symbol in certain circles at the time. It was kind of like showing off a designer label today. [Raven: Yeah, this is still pretty common in the UK in a certain subset of society.] 2. You say the dad from Family Ties; I say Burt Gummer from Tremors. [bat: Touché. How could I forget he was in a film with Earth’s Greatest Hero, Kevin Bacon.] [Raven: “Broke into the wrong goddamn rec-room didn’t you, you bastard!”] [Wing: One of my favourite creature features.] 3. I still do the weird every-other-letter-capitalized to convey sarcasm. Typically right before smashing my face into the keyboard. As in, “SuRe, BaT, i’D bE tHrIlLeD tO cOmMeNt On ThIs ReCaP! wHaT a GoOd IdEa! SuReLy WoN’t ReGrEt ThIs, NoPe!” *faceslam*] [bat: ASK JC ABOUT HOW I BROKE HER BRAIN WITH THIS DELIGHTFUL “FILM”!!] [JC: I’m fine. Finefinefine, yep!]
Did I forget to mention this film is rated PG?
Did… did he just sing “All the gays are amazed?” I DON’T HAVE CAPTIONS AND I CAN’T KEEP UP WITH THESE RHYMES HE’S SPITTING. [JC: GAZE. Not gays. Although how anyone is supposed to figure that out without looking up the lyrics is beyond me. Also, I’m more concerned with the lyric, “Ten and twenty, you come by the droves, don’t be scared to take off your clothes.” Sir, please do not be asking ten-year-olds to get naked with you, that’s very very illegal!]
Well, this just keeps going. And going. And going. There’s no story, no plot advancement, we’re just SHOWING YOU VANILLA ICE RAPPING. Oh and some break dancing. There’s that.
Oh, oh, now he’s singing into one of those caged light bulbs used for automotive repair work. Nope, that’s over, he’s back to one of those giant 90s microphones. Ugh, please stop with the strobe lights. This is overkill.
Did he just sing “Girlies on my tip”? DAMN IT, MY KINGDOM FOR SUBTITLES OR CLOSED CAPTIONING. [JC: Yes. “Girlies on my tip like white on rice.” God save us all.]
[Wing: I had closed captioning on. It wasn’t much help considering by six minutes in, I was nearly dealing with vertigo from all the damn lights and camera work.]
I think the blonde is Bobbie Brown, who was married to the late singer for Warrant, Jani Lane.
Over five minutes in and NOW the sprinklers come on and I wish it was that scene from Blade so much right now. Because this is boring AF. OH IT’S FINALLY OVER!
Directed by David Kellogg. Who, as far as IMDb tells me, only directs commercials, music videos, short Playboy videos, and other short form junk. THIS WAS HIS FIRST AND LAST FEATURE FILM, PEOPLE. [Raven: He directed Inspector Gadget in 1999.] [bat: For some reason, that was left off the list I consulted… weird.]
It’s post… whatever the hell that was… and Ice and his crew are wandering round the “this is so not a set, ha ha, this is a nightclub!” set while hooting and hollering and Naomi Campbell is there. Wow, I can’t get over the multiple layers of clothing they’re all wearing.
Monique (Bobbie Brown) catches up to Ice while his crew look on. They all groan as she pulls out a piece of paper and writes her name/number on it and slips it into the breast pocket of Ice’s coat. HAR HAR HAR. (I kinda wanna do my hair like hers. Not the blonde part, the hairstyle.) The crew exits and we see EXTREME CLOSEUPS of parts of motorcycles before we see them zooming through the darkness down a deserted road. OH NOW WE’RE DRIVING THROUGH THE CANYONS! WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA!
But of course Ice’s bike is an obnoxious bright canary yellow. (Like, the poster shows this.) It is a 1991 Suzuki GSX-R750M, if anyone cares.
This is visually fun but also very choreographed, bikes riding through the twilight desert. Like, yeah. Okay we went from canyons to… farm country? White fencing abounds, bounding lush green fields. I mean, if you’ve never been through the parts of California where they grow massive quantities of produce, well it’s certainly something to see. If you’ve been to farm country or live near it, times it by ten.
Wow, that closeup of… grass? was just *chef’s kiss* I think this is to imply that Vanilla Ice and Crew are no longer on home turf and are wandering through “you really don’t belong here” land. Or something.
Oh yeah, they’re not wearing helmets. California’s helmet requirement law did not pass until 1992, so that explains that. [Wing: There are still so many places you can ride without requiring a helmet, including in Missouri with certain limitations. The debate around them is far more interesting than this damn movie.] Also, this allows for Ice and his Crew to chat. Which they do, when Ice (god, what is his “character’s” name?! Wing and I have had awful trouble with movies not giving character names this year.) calls forward his buddy. I do believe buddy’s name is Jazz and his bike is decked out in an eye-splitting pattern, which I half love but also my eyes hate me right now. Also, the puffy jackets are killing me. I can’t stop laughing. THIS IS ACTUAL 1990S FASHION, PEOPLE.
Okay, there was no reason for – fuck it, his character name is John “Johnny” Van Owen, WHAT A STRETCH – Johnny to call Jazz over. Jazz instead points to a woman riding a horse. OOO WHAT AN ODDITY FOR CITY FOLK. Johnny drives over and rides along the fence line, matching his bike speed to the horse’s stride. Oh god everything just went slow-mo, WHY. [JC: Because we have 90 minutes to fill but only 45 minutes of footage?] Johnny and mystery girl stare at each other IN SLOW MOTION. Suddenly Johnny speeds up, drives back onto the pavement, then turns and JUMPS THE FUCKING FENCE WITH HIS BIKE okay no. There was no visible ramp, no fucking way. [Raven: Absolute bullshit. I’m already over this film.]
As soon as the bike lands, Johnny revs the engine, spooking the horse, which throws the woman. She falls to the ground and rolls to a stop on her stomach. YOU ARE A FUCKING ASSHOLE, SIR, AND I HOPE THE HORSE KICKS YOU LIKE THAT HORSE IN JOHN WICK 3. (God, I love that scene. I know, the John Wick series is nothing but gratuitous violence but sometimes those are the best popcorn movies where you turn your brain off and watch for fun.)
Johnny has had time to park his bike and run over, which he does, asking if the woman is okay as she struggles to her feet. She gets up and immediately punches him in the stomach. Okay, I like her. I’m sure this will change but that’s the exact reaction I was hoping for. [JC: I laughed. It was the last time. Not the last time in this movie; the last time in my life. All the laughter has left me after being subjected to this.] [Dove: I appreciated this as well. There is nothing more infuriating to horsey people than asshole drivers.] [Wing: He could have killed her. He deserved far more punches and in worse places.]
Back on the road, the Crew is reacting to Johnny’s absolute dickish behavior appropriately. Then they start laughing. “DAMN!” Johnny is shocked and immediately asks what the hell is wrong with the woman WHOSE HORSE GOT SCARED AND THREW HER BECAUSE HE’S A COMPLETE DICK. She asks the same of him. “Nuthin, til now!” is his smart ass retort. Oh god, I have a feeling I should put up a “How many times will bat call Johnny a dick?” counter now. [JC: Just don’t turn it into a drinking game, or you’ll kill us all. Actually, scratch that. I’m going to start drinking right now and never stop.] [bat: I thought we were already all dead from that other drinking game I “created”.]
“You hit pretty good for a girl,” Oh Johnny, you are not going to win friends among the recappers. Basically, Johnny and mystery woman fight with words and insults, as she mounts her ride and leaves. In the background we can hear the Crew laughing. Johnny just smiles (like the dick he is) as mystery woman gallops away. “Yep, yep, she likes me,” Johnny assures himself.
We are not even 10 minutes in and if I didn’t hate Vanilla Ice before, I really do now [Raven: I quite liked Vanilla Ice going into this, in a nostalgic way. I remember buying Smash Hits while at college, and memorising all the words to Ice Ice Baby (I can still make a decent fist of this some thirty-two years later). But these decades of goodwill were smashed to pieces within ten seconds of this utter spam-cleft opening his fucking mouth.]. Look, I have a thing for asshole-type characters; I know it and accept it and usually do not try to defend their actions. JOHNNY IS JUST A GODDAMN DICK AND THAT’S THE CHARACTER. [Dove: Yeah, but asshole characters usually have charisma. Like Top Dollar from The Crow. He’s got Vaudeville style with his evil (and he likes snow globes). Vanilla Ice is just a garden-variety gobshite, the kind you can find pretty much everywhere you go in life.] [bat: But that’s because Top Dollar is portrayed by our beloved Michael Wincott, so that’s an unfair advantage, because he’s always an excellent villain.]
This is going to be a long recap.
Else where down the road, there’s a man in a bush hacking off pieces of it to shape it. I mean I get it but it looks weird. [JC: I’m not sure bat has properly conveyed the absurdity of this. This man is standing in the treetop of a very triangular tree like a goddamn Christmas ornament, clipping the needles(?) around himself. I had to look twice to confirm I was seeing what I thought I was seeing.] [bat: I have added a screenshot, so readers know we’re not making it up.] [Dove: Raven and I cried in unison, “What the fuck is going on there?” at the sight of it. This movie is just baffling on every possible level.] [Raven: Also, the bowl-cut trees look like butt-plugs.] Also, can Johnny be impaled on those hedge clippers? That’s the version I would enjoy. The four motorcycles roar down the main street of a small town, Johnny asking Jazz where they’re at. I don’t know what the reply is, there’s no captions and I can’t hear what’s said, but I can hear Johnny say “HA HA” in reply so apparently someone made a joke?
Jazz’s bike begins to have problems. “MY BIKE IS TRIPPIN!” he yells as they come to a stop at the intersection and block traffic. OH NOES. What a flimsy reason to be stuck in a town where clearly they are fish out of water. Did someone just say to Jazz he’s put too much weight on his bike? Wow, we’re going for body shaming, too? WHAT A WONDERFUL FAMILY FILM.
Um, they just fucking parked their bikes IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET, blocking all traffic in one lane. WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? An older lady in the car behind them looks at her watch, as people begin to honk their horns. The other members of the Crew, one of which is a woman but I had zero idea until now, inform Jazz he’s not getting his “big butt” on their bikes, the other male complaining about Jericurl dripping down Jazz’s bike. Johnny is inspecting the “trippin'” bike and piles on with a joke about the Jericurl dripping down into the engine. Lord. [Dove: Urgh. This moment. I live in constant fear that I will inconvenience someone by mistake. And here these assholes are just inconveniencing an entire town deliberately. Fuck them.] [Raven: I assume that one bike broke down, but not wheeling the bike to the kerb before checking it out is mid-tier scummery that becomes god-tier when they have the fucking gall to hard stare at the people beeping their horn with (righteous) indignation. I hate this film.]
Random angry white man leans out his window with a scowl and honks his horn. He continues to do so until Johnny and the Crew turn and stare at him. He hastily returns inside his car, pulls down his hat, and “hides” from the “angry Black people”. OH REALLY, THIS MOVIE IS JUST WONDERFUL.
[Wing: I’m shocked that people didn’t immediately start driving around them. Even small town people won’t let that shit fly most of the time. And fucking hell, good times with the racism.]
Oh no, it’s a montage. Two Boy Scouts, a white man in glasses carrying bowling ball cases, a white man on a riding lawn mower, all stare as Johnny tows Jazz’s bike down the road. [JC: These townsfolk have never seen a Black person in their lives, judging from the “comically” incredulous double-takes they all do.] Johnny stops to point out a “crazy whack house” and I agree it is a very different looking house. Please see the screen cap. [Dove: JC, I know you’ll get this. Every time they do the shots where all the normies stare at the awesomeness of Vanilla Arse and his mates (it happens more than once), it feels like that bit in The Left-Right Game where they’re driving down the suburban street and everyone’s the same and just staring at them. Like, I’m not getting “look how cool our lead character is!”, I’m getting “RUN! THEY’RE POD PEOPLE! YOU’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! RUN!”] [Wing: Ahaha, yes, that’s an excellent reference.]
I tried to find more info but IMDb was unhelpful, only listing Glendora, CA as the filming location. Whatever. It’s probably not there anymore, anyway. As Johnny and Crew survey the house, an older man in overalls starts yelling and runs over. He says they’re late, insults Johnny’s bike (it isn’t hard to, really) and he wouldn’t give him $500 for it. EVERYONE IN THE MOVIE IS AS CONFUSED AS I AM. Johnny says he doesn’t want anything. Old man calls Johnny a negotiator. Help me. Old man screams for Mae (Dody Goodman) who comes running over and tells her to haggle with Johnny, damn it! Roscoe, the old man, tells Mae he talked Johnny down to $600 but Mae calls him out and tells Roscoe the bike is worth more than their house. Um, I highly doubt that, knowing land values in California.
[Dove: I spent most of the movie trying to figure out what I knew Roscoe from. I got stuck on him being in Friday 13th, but that was wrong. This guy has been in two of my favourite films: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (which I can only watch every few years or so, hence not recognising him immediately), and Lady in White, which is a Halloween staple for me. Imagine being in something as respected as Cuckoo’s Nest… and this.] [bat: You do know, Dove, that Cuckoo was set/filmed in the state I live in, yes? SEE I CAN TAKE YOU THERE, IF YOU EVER VISIT ME IN THE FUTURE. Not that having you comment on atrocious movies such as this is going to make you want to visit me…] [JC: To be fair, Brad Dourif was also in Cuckoo’s Nest, and while we love him, you know he’s been in some atrocious movies.]
Roscoe gives up on buying the bike and tells Johnny they work on bikes. Johnny asks if they can fix them. Um, I’m pretty sure that’s what he just said, Johnny. Johnny points out Jazz’s bike needs fixing and Jazz is all HELL NO NOT THE CRAZY OLD DUDE WORKING ON MY SNAZZY BIKE. Mae ignores Jazz and invites Johnny and the Crew inside, saying they’ll have the bike fixed in a jiff. [Raven: This is so fucking random I can’t even.]
Next shot is Mae and Roscoe reading an motorcycle maintenance manual. Sure. If this is the comic relief, I can only imagine how much worse this film will become. They’ve also changed clothes. HOW MUCH TIME HAS PASSED? WHAT IS CONTINUITY?!
In the house, Jazz is making a Peter Pan peanut butter and pickle sandwich, while (I’m taking a stab at this) Princess is poking some painted green eggs displayed on the table. The house is wildly and creatively decorated, which I’m sure is supposed to show how fucking eccentric Mae and Rosecoe are. Oh, Jazz is adding canned sardines to his sandwich. I will now vomit in the corner.
As if I hadn’t already lost my appetite, Johnny is in the driveway, practicing his dance moves. Shirtless, under his puffy coat, wearing spray painted design jeans that make my eyes bleed. Why did I pick this film to recap? I HAVE FINALLY FOUND SOMETHING I HONESTLY REGRET and I am the person who didn’t regret recapping Rock’N’Roll Nightmare. [JC: Oh, how I long for Thor and his leather spiked thong.] [bat: This movie could have used a penis demon or three.]
This whole montage is just a “welp, we don’t know how to fully fill the 91 minute run time so fuck it, here’s a weird bunch of shit that isn’t really relevant to the plot but GOSH DARN IT, IT’S SO FUNNY!” And now Jazz is putting yellow mustard and a pineapple ring on his sandwich, oh god, my stomach. [JC: Sir, we do not defile pineapple in this manner. You are in time-out until you are ready to apologize.] [Raven: I’m all for courage in the kitchen, but this is just silly, forced wackiness.]
Now everyone is napping and snoring while they nap! How silly! Princess is in a chair [Dove: And in a frankly weird choice, her outfit matches the colour of the chair perfectly. Why?], the… other guy (I don’t have a name for him? Thanks, movie!) is passed out on his bike. Jazz is on the red leather couch that is outdoors, sleeping off that horrible sandwich. Roscoe and Mae have apparently stripped Jazz’s bike down to the frame? WHY?
And Johnny? JOHNNY IS STILL DANCING. (Forever dancing…)
A white Corvette rolls down the street. Johnny, STILL DANCING (can that even be called ‘dancing’? Commentators, thoughts?) and Johnny sees PONY GIRL (I am not being given names to use!) is in the passenger seat, while a yuppie-looking preppy dude drives. Neither take note of Johnny and his mad skillz. But the Corvette pulls in to the curb (on the wrong side of the street, wtf?) and stops. The passengers exit. I am not shocked to see mystery woman wearing a babydoll dress. Because 1990s! It’s real unflattering when she gets out of the car, though, good lord.
Shall I mention that no one character, save mystery woman, has been likable up to this point? And I’m pretty certain I won’t like mystery woman by the end of this? FUN FACT: Gwyneth Paltrow was forbade by her father, actor Bruce Paltrow, from accepting this role because dear old dad knew it would RUIN her career before it even started. He was right to stop her, but now I wonder if that would have spared us GOOP? [JC: I can’t think of a single thing Paltrow has been in that I’d be devastated if it wasn’t her. Let’s figure out how to use time-travel to get her this role!] [Dove: Um, not to be an arse, but if we figure out time travel, can we just skip to around 2025 first, then get shot of GOOP-woman?]
OH. OH! HER NAME IS KATHY! Finally, movie. Kathy and Yuppie Guy are talking about somewhere “farther than here”. Huh? Oh, okay, they’re discussing how couples break up when they go away to different colleges. Okay. Yuppie dude is guilt tripping Kathy by saying if that’s what she wants, a couple of girls will be happy to hear he’s single. Okay, dude’s barely been on screen for a few seconds and already a toxic, manipulative asshole. Yay.
Well, Kathy, now you have to choose between an emotionally manipulative boyfriend or a dick on a motorcycle.
Kathy has a snide reply for the Yuppie but immediately backs down and says she’ll think about it. About breaking up? Huh? THIS IS A POORLY WRITTEN MOVIE. [JC: I think she meant she’ll think about going to the school he’s going to, but if this movie expects us to care enough to fill in the blanks it left in the script, well . . . nope.]
“I love you,” says manipulative yuppie, just as we hear “Yeah yeah yeah,” off-screen. OH IT’S THE MOTORCYCLE DICK, strutting up with his bare chest under jacket display, twirling a rope?
“WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?” Manipulative Yuppie says and OH MY GOD THAT’S MY FAVORITE LINE (so far) IN THIS FUCKING FILM. I DOUBT IT CAN BE TOPPED. I also cannot get over the fucking brick wall shaved into Johnny’s hair. Like, the other side is some sort of zigzag which isn’t making my brain hurt, but the brick wall is just… what the fuck… it reminds me of ICE in Hocus Pocus, to be honest. [Wing: Why would you make me think of a movie that is so much better? It only makes this one worse.]
The fact Kathy says “Don’t ask.” and starts smiling is confusing. Is she already in love with Johnny?? Or does she just love the fact that Johnny makes Yuppie uncomfortable and confused? I would bet on the latter.
“How you doin’?”
“An da horse?”
“Since when do you care?”
WOW THIS IS STUNNING TRUE LIFE DIALOGUE. Yuppie is so confused, I love his expression during this exchange. Yuppie seems incredulous that Kathy is acquainted with Johnny. She says no, Johnny says “yeah”. WHICH IS IT, KATHY? Johnny is super happy to know Kathy’s name now. He immediately shortens it to Kat. Dick.
Kathy draws Yuppie onto the porch, stating they’re wasting Johnny’s time. No, he’s just coolin’. (DOES HE MEAN CHILLIN’ AND JUST ISN’T GOOD WITH WORDS??) [JC: Maybe he read a lot of R.L. Stine’s books where he insisted on making his characters say they needed to “cool out” like it was a real expression?] [bat: Is this like trying to make fetch happen? BECAUSE IT ISN’T HAPPENING.] Kathy corrects herself and says Johnny is wasting their time. OKAY I REALLY LIKE SASSY KATHY HERE. Johnny touches her arm and says if she needs him, he’ll be right over there. Uh huh. Yuppie jumps in to state she won’t. Kathy smiles. Johnny says they’ll see.
“Oh yeah, Kat, words of wisdom: Drop that zero and get with da hero!”
LIFE WISDOM RIGHT THERE, Y’ALL. [JC: I cringed my soul right out of my body at this line. Like, I knew it was in there, and yet it still murdered me.] [bat: I told you, I found the movie that broke JC. RIP, JC. You didn’t learn from that last terrible film I asked to comment on and I went on to find one even worse.] [Wing: STOP SMILING AT HIM, KATHY. S T O P.]
“Excuse me?” Yuppie asks as Kathy smirks. “See ya later, dick!” Johnny walks away. TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE, DICK. “It’s Nick!” Yuppie counters. Oh god, this script is so painful. Johnny finally leaves and Nick wants to know what that was all about. “Forget him, I already have,” Kathy tells Nick. SOME HOW I DOUBT THAT. [Raven: The dialogue throughout this film feels like it was written by a fucking algorithm. It’s penned by aliens who have only had the concept of communication described to them by a deaf-mute polar bear.]
The Greek chorus have moved inside, Jazz flipping channels on the TV while the others sit around. Johnny wanders in. Princess asks where he’s been. With Kat, he informs them, “the chick who drives the horse!” [JC: Drives. The. Horse. DRIVES. The. HORSE.] [bat: I cannot wait for Dove to chime in on this line. *gets popcorn*] [Dove: Sorry, guys, I’ve got nothing. The line speaks for itself. I think it perfectly explains this whole movie.]
Jazz is all great, you have her name. But that’s not all! Johnny stole her planner! He’s a goddamn thief! [Wing: I would cut a bitch for taking my planner.] Johnny can’t talk without rhyming, this is fucking annoying. [Dove: Also, when? We didn’t see this. Or did we and I wasn’t paying attention.]
We have another weird montage. The picket fence gate swings in on the house Kathy entered. Inside, through a fish-eye lens, her father and mother rush to greet her and Nick. Her mother brings a big vase of flowers out and sets it on the table before taking out dishes for dinner. THIS IS ALL SPED UP WHY I DON’T KNOW THERE WERE 91 MINUTES TO FILL. She sets the table. A younger boy rocks in a rocking chair, then we zoom over to the TV, before the young boy runs in front of the camera and does the Running Man (?) before the mom does some weird “dancing”, we get more of the boy “dancing”, then the dad keeps doing shit with the newspaper before the mom brings him a glass of iced tea. He sips it and then they kiss. The camera whirls around (DON’T LOOK, WING!) before the boy falls over on the floor. [JC: Did I just have a stroke? I feel like I just had a stroke.] [bat: WHY DO I SMELL BURNING TOAST?] [Dove: *punches screen*] [Raven: This is poorly-conceived vignette after poorly-conceived vignette. Eyes, meet fork.] [Wing: SO. MUCH. WHIRLY. CAMERA. I am going to die.]
Then shit is back to normal. Young boy announces “It’s on!” and everyone shoos him from the couch before taking a seat on it. Oh, it’s a news report done on Kathy, because she’s goin’ places! She’s a high school senior with a 4.0 grade average – this is spoken as footage of her and the horse is shown – “double 800s on her scholastic achievement test – okay we break away from that…
…to go back to the weird house. Jazz is still flipping through channels when he alights on the news report about Kathy. “YO SHE’S ON!” he calls to Johnny. Johnny immediately focuses on the report.
Back at the other house, Kathy’s parents watch as she says ON TELEVISION that it’s typical for teenagers to hate their parents but she doesn’t. “THAT’S BECAUSE THEY DON’T HATE YO ASS!” Jazz snaps at the screen [Dove: Only relatable moment.]. Kathy shuts her eyes and cannot believe she said that aloud and on film. She continues on that people can grow up to be whatever they want as long as they’re willing to work. JOHNNY GETS REAL QUIET AT THAT. (I am fucking distracted by his damn eyebrow; is anyone else having that problem??) Kathy’s dad shows up in the news report. We move to a bar (?) where some guy at the bar yells for the bar tender to turn up the sound. Considering it was on mute, that’s something.
Gordon (that’s the dad) mumbles behind his hand (who the fuck didn’t stop and make him put his hand down!?) [JC: He’s not super-obviously trying to hide his face from the camera, no sirree!] that he can’t take all the credit for Kathy’s success in life. Guy at the bar is shocked, he apparently recognizes Gordon. Johnny is still staring and I can’t tell if he understands or doesn’t, but he suddenly smiles. The report ends and Kathy’s family congratulates her. I say it must be a fucking slow news day in that town. [Dove: My feeling: “Uh… was she just on the news because she’s… nice?” It felt like the only reason it was in there was because the plot required it. They put no effort into it. I mean, she’s got a horse, maybe she could have been the youngest person to win at a show or something? Like, that’s feeble too, but it’s better than “behold this teen who does not hate her parents”.] [Wing: I can see them doing a report about some big scholarship she’s won or she’s off to some fancy school that they name, but this was not that. Maybe they just didn’t show us that part.]
Back at the bar, in a shadowy hallway, dude at the bar is shouting into a phone. “DO YOU KNOW WHO I JUST SAW? I DON’T KNOW!” Whomever crafted this script, you are a failure.
Son tells Gordon he doesn’t look like a geek on TV. (Where have I seen this child before? *checks IMDb* In several things, apparently, but The Sandlot is the only one worth mentioning.) Mom clocks Tommy with the dish towel as the landline phone begins to ring. Gordon answers but no one answers back. Mom does a weird turn towards her husband and acts fucking dramatic for yet-unrevealed reasons. Gordon shrugs it off and hangs up the receiver.
Like I am completely incapable of describing these twists and turns where the movie goes from emotion to emotion like a ping pong ball on crack.
The phone rings again and Gordon answers, but this time someone is on the other end of the line. MOM IMMEDIATELY RELAXES. I WONDER WHY SHE’S SO ODDLY PARANOID ABOUT STRANGE PHONE CALLS. Gordon agrees with the caller that his daughter is “even prettier in real life”. Uhhh. [JC: So, is that just a roundabout way of saying she looked like hot garbage on television? Negging ahoy!] Gordon asks the caller if he had previously called. Um, that’s awkward and weird. Of course the answer is no. [Wing: Wait, in the days before caller ID, if you had a hang-up and then a call immediately after, did you never ask if that person was the caller both times? I did, and I didn’t realize it was weird.] Gordon shrugs off the awkwardness. OKAY WHY THIS IS FILMED AS AN 2/3RDS UPSHOT IS GIVING ME A HEADACHE.
Kathy and Nick and Mom finally stop chatter to the point where Kathy asks Gordon what’s wrong. Gordon whips up a quick lie, saying the caller Charlie wants to know why his daughter can’t be more like Kathy. Wow. Kathy says Tracy thinks Kathy should be more like her. Will we ever meet Tracy? DO WE EVEN CARE?
Oh my god, Tommy is playing Super Mario Bros. 2 in the fucking background, I KNOW THOSE SOUNDS.
Gordon wants to eat dinner. Mom asks if Nick is staying. He “promised his parents” (??) so he can’t. Um, did someone just forget half the line in the script there? WAS THIS IMPROVISED?? Tommy jumps up and wants his ride. Nick says another time. “You always promise!” Tommy whines. “What a dick.” WOW, IT’S A FUCKING EPIDEMIC OF DICKS IN THIS FILM.
Nick pulls on his sports jacket and asks if Kathy wants to go to the Sugar Shack (???) tonight. He kisses her cheek goodbye and says he’ll be by around 8pm. PLENTY OF TIME FOR JOHNNY TO INTERFERE, AS WELL AS ATTEND DINNER, I’D SAY. Nick politely calls goodbye to Kathy’s parents before leaving. SOMETHING I DOUBT JOHNNY WOULD DO. Why am I even team Nick, he’s a dick, too.
Fuck, I wanna go play SMB2 right now instead of recapping this fucking movie. [JC: I kept procrastinating on watching this in favor of playing Animal Crossing. That was the right choice. I should have stayed with my gut instinct there. Not to mention, I am in debt up to my eyeballs with Tom Nook.] [bat: I distinctly remember telling you to stay as blissfully ignorant about this film for as long as possible, JC.] [Dove: I played Animal Crossing throughout watching. Just to keep me functioning.] [Raven: Team Nick, Team Johnny… can I Be Team Turn This Fucking Shite Off?] [Wing: I’m on Team Raven then.]
Kathy sees Nick out, then grabs her bag and starts to rummage through it. She becomes more and more frantic. She needs her date planner! Tommy says it wasn’t him. This is fucking important, because it has all of Kathy’s scholarship “stuff” in it. Tommy tells her to retrace her steps. Kathy does so. All you need to know is Kathy says she “didn’t touch it at Nick’s house” and Tommy giggles like the child he is. I also suspect JC giggled, but maybe not, since her soul left her body a few paragraphs back. [JC: Damn. I was so dead inside by this point, I completely missed that line. Would I have laughed? I guess we’ll never know.] [Dove: Tommy is the only character I don’t want dead. I usually loathe kids in movies. I mean, I cheered when Robin drowned in The Poseidon Adventure (the book, sadly he survived in the movie).]
Anyway, Kathy realizes exactly where (and with whom) it is. And she knows how to get it back. WHAT, BY DRIVING YOUR HORSE OVER AND HAVING THE HORSE KICK HIS SMUG FACE IN???
Over at the weird art house, Johnny is chilling on the couch with Princess, flipping through the planner. Princess asks if “she” is going to hook V up with lessons. UM, HIS MOVIE NAME IS JOHNNY, PRINCESS. A big racket draws almost everyone’s attention and Jazz decides that’s it, he’s going out to see what’s going on.
Johnny and his chorus go outside and pose in a group shot, asking where Jazz’s bike is, not realizing the stripped frame and bare wheels are totally his bike. Or what’s left of the disassembled parts. Mae repeats that Roscoe is totally a genius while Roscoe asks how much time they have to stick around. Mae adds they’re welcome to stay as long as they like. This is so stupid my eyes and ears have begun to spontaneously bleed. The camera pans over to show all pieces, frame, etc of Jazz’s bike carefully arranged. OF COURSE KING DICK AND THE OTHER TWO BEGIN TO LAUGH THEMSELVES SILLY WHILE JAZZ IS STUNNED SILENT.
Get new and better friends, Jazz.
Roscoe announces you can’t put anything together until you take it apart. Um. Even Johnny and Co are stumped by this profound statement. Johnny asks Roscoe is he can reassemble the bike with “quickness”. That’s what Roscoe intends to do. If he’s successful, that is. LOOKS LIKE IT WON’T BE READY UNTIL TOMORROW!
Somewhere…. not in this small town, two men are parked on the side of a road. One leans on the fancy black car while the other fucks around with a paper map. PRE-GOOGLE MAPS, PRE-GPS, KIDS! WE SUFFERED TO FIND OUR DESTINATION. Wait, is map guy bar guy? I think so? Weird. Anyway, he’s found the town and circles it with a pencil. Other guy pulls a revolver out of the front of his pants with a POP sound effect, what the ever living fuck why. He’s rambling about getting food while bar/map guy asks if he ever thinks about anything else. Let me guess, these bumbling assholes are the bad guys slash comic relief of this film? Don’t we already have comic relief in Mae and Roscoe? In Johnny’s Greek chorus? WHO LOOKED AT THIS SCRIPT AND SAID SOLD THIS WILL TOTALLY BE A VEHICLE TO JUMP START VANILLA ICE’S ACTING CAREER WE’LL MAKE MILLIONS??? [Raven: At least these pricks are Harbingers of Actual Plot, rather than the rest of the cast who appear to be Avatars of Bimbling Randomness.]
Why the fuck is gun asshole repeatedly spinning the barrel of the revolver?? [JC: Because it’s his first day handling a gun? Not only is that a great way to ruin your gun, but his trigger discipline sucks, too. I’m surprised he hasn’t accidentally shot his own dick off by now.] They discuss how this was unthinkable but they’re totally going to fix things now. OKAY FUCK IT, THEY’RE GOING TO GO TRY AND KILL GORDON. I DON’T KNOW EXACTLY WHY YET BUT IT’S STUPIDLY PLAIN. SOMEHOW THEY MESSED UP BEFORE AND NOW THAT THEY’VE FOUND HIM, THEY’RE GOING TO FINISH THINGS.
How many fucking plot-subplot-sideplots does this make? I’VE ALREADY LOST TRACK. [Raven: One. This makes One. Everything else is fucking tinsel.]
Back at Roscoe and Mae’s, Mae is reading a manual while Princess and *checks* Sir D. (?!?!) sit around, waiting. Roscoe is pounding something metal with a metal hammer and making a racket. Mae wants to call it quits for the day. Mae still hasn’t figured out what part is actually broken on Jazz’s bike. Great.
Johnny wanders into the shot in an outfit that makes my eyes bleed even more. He announces he’s “outta here”, to cross the street to, “sch-ling a sch-long”. I wish I was making that up. I also wish I never had to type those words in a recap. [JC: How dare you make me read those words with my very own eyes. It was bad enough having to hear Ice say them.] [Raven: I lived in the Nineties, and I’m 100% sure that NO ONE from back then would think that Johnny would be an aspirational figure.] We cut to Johnny walking up to Kathy’s parents’ house, I can’t read all the shit on his jacket, but he’s lost the baseball cap so we can see his haircut (oh god) but in the background is that black car we just saw else where. APPARENTLY THEY DRIVE REAL FAST. Bar/Map guy points out Johnny. Uh oh. CAN I HOPE HE GETS CAUGHT IN CROSSFIRE??
Yeah, I totally want an oversized black leather jacket that says DANG on the fucking lapel. [JC: His jacket is like a Ouija board for douchebags.]
Johnny walks up the walk and smashes his fist against the door, once. Apparently this is how cool people knock. Dick. He steps back and waits. The door slowly opens. Johnny greets mom, who looks absolutely appalled at the flashy dick standing on her porch. Tommy comes running in to gawk and be shock&awed. Johnny announces he’s looking for Kat. “We don’t have a cat,” mom shakes her head. HA HA HA GUFFAW HA HA HA. Johnny clarifies he’s sniffing around their daughter. Both mom and Tommy are fucking shocked by this turn of events. DUDE, SHE WAS JUST ON TELEVISION NEWS.
Tommy is still in awe of Johnny, who calls Tommy “Slick” and shakes his hand. Mom informs Johnny Kathy isn’t home. And no, they don’t know where their daughter currently is, like most useless movie parents. Tommy pipes up that Kathy is at the Sugar Shack, with Nick, her boyfriend. “Imma have to check that out,” Johnny replies. Sure. You do that, Johnny.
Mom finally succeeds in shoving Tommy inside. Johnny wanders off to continue stalking Kathy at his leisure, while mom stares. Johnny walks back to the street and finds the two very incompetent hit men sitting on the hood of the car. This extremely important exchange takes place:
Johnny asks them where the Sugar Shack is. Hit men want to know why Johnny wants to know. “Because I wanna know!” WOW THIS DIALOGUE MAKES MY CIRCA 2001 FANFIC DIALOGUE LOOK LIKE A FUCKING MASTERPIECE. [JC: In the movie’s defense, this is absolutely how this fuckwit cockwomble (am I doing British insults correctly? Dove? Raven?) would talk. +10 to authenticity.] [Dove: A+ for the insults. Double thumbs up.] [Raven: I agree with your insults, but not your premise. This is not like ANY-FUCKING-ONE would talk.]
Also: with all his accumulated “street cred”, how is Johnny unable to identify these guys as NOT LOCALS? Like, damn it, this movie is fucking terrible. WHY DOES HIS JACKET SAY “DOWN BY LAW” ON THE BACK AND FEATURE AN IMAGE OF A BRICK WALL THAT MATCHES THE DESIGN SHAVED INTO HIS HAIR? [JC: Douchebag Ouija Board!]
When editing a movie, isn’t it better to let an exposition scene PLAY OUT before jumping in with cuts to different scenes? I’M PRETTY SURE THAT’S FILM MAKING 101 LEVEL BASIC KNOWLEDGE. But no. We randomly cut to mom informing Gordon that “some boy” was at the door and Gordon putting shit in his briefcase, before slamming back to Johnny looking confused as the two hit men give him real bad fake directions.
Gordon chances to look out the window just then, seeing Johnny talking to the hit men. The hit men finally stop talking, Johnny shakes his head and calls him “schmucks”. He walks away and the hit men laugh. THEN ONE SPITS OUT HALF CHEWED FOOD FOR NO REASON WHAT THE FUCK THAT WAS DISGUSTING. The bar/map guy tells him he’s a slob. They decide to leave and return to pay Gordon a visit after dark.
WELL WE’VE ARRIVED AT THE SUGAR SHACK AND IT’S DARK NOW. My, how time flies. It’s an old warehouse-type building, with a gravel parking lot, some teenagers hanging out on the old loading dock. Wow. Kind of a step up from the last place Johnny and Co played, I guess? Currently onstage is a band no one in the crowd likes, with twin members dressed identically while some much older dude “sings”. Back by the wall, Johnny and Co snigger and roll their eyes. Okay. Kathy is there, talking with three girl friends, who are commenting on her big time television debut.
On stage, the singer pumps his pelvis in the air. Princess remarks that this is “fun”, sarcastically. [Raven: I literally hate everyone in this film. Even the incidental characters can suck my balls.] Johnny moves onto the dance floor, but Jazz and… what was his name, D? they head for the turntables because Johnny’s got “business” to attend to. Yes, continue stalking THE GIRL WHO DRIVES A HORSE. I should mention that EVERYONE has stopped to stare in disbelief or awe at Johnny’s getup. Everyone else is dressed like it’s 1961, in skirts and floral print dresses and Letterman jackets. What the fuck.
Johnny looks around and we cut to Kathy laughing with her friends as Nick walks up to the group. He offers everyone a drink and Kathy orders a Diet Coke. THAT’S NOT WHAT NICK HAD IN MIND. He totally brings out a bottle of booze and oh god, are we gonna have a “JUST SAY NO” message in the middle of this?? Kathy reminds Nick he’s driving; Nick counters he’s a “big boy” and totally thirsty. (Yeah, I’d say thirsty for something else, but.) Kathy’s mood drops 100% as Nick swigs from the bottle (I can’t read what it is; whiskey? [JC: I don’t give a fuck what it is; he needs to pass it over here so that I have the strength to make it through the rest of this assault on my existence.] [Wing: I think it is whiskey.]) and comments how great the band is. Just then, Kathy flicks her gaze…
…to a pair of flashy John Paul Gaultier sunglasses and a bad haircut, it’s Johnny! Looking decidedly out of place in the Sugar Shack. This is normally a trope that works on me, but the fact it’s fucking Vanilla Ice is making my stomach turn. Kathy has a bit of a smile on her lips. I can’t even begin to know what to label Johnny’s expression, so here’s a screencap:
[Dove: I feel like the director’s advice was: “Ok, look pensive. It means thoughtful. Um. You know when you think? … No? Um, can you do determined? Um… you’re doing kissy lips. Uh… sure. That’ll do.”]
Nick asks Kathy to dance, even though she’s clearly having a stare-off with Johnny, while I hear The Police’s Every Breath You Take softly playing in my mind. Someone moves in front of Johnny and/or the camera and Johnny disappears. Kathy is still staring as Nick waves a hand in front of her face, asking if she wants to dance or do homework in her head all night. Oh, Nick, she ain’t doing homework in her head. Kathy snaps out of it and moves to the dance floor with Nick. [JC: Homework – Johnny’s new nickname.]
BUT WHO CARES, we’ve cut back to Gordon answering the door as the hit men ring the doorbell obnoxiously. He clearly recognizes them as they greet Gordon, complementing him that he looks great. Gordon insists they’ve made some mistake and his name is Gordon Winslow and tries to shut the door, but they persist long enough that mom shows up. GRACE. HER NAME IS GRACE. Fucking movie, not giving me names and making me look up the wiki. They greet Grace using a different name, Sarah, and she looks stunned to see them. “OKAY!” Gordon snaps. “Okay what, Jim!?” Bar dude snaps back. Apparently they aren’t hit men? They want $500K as their fair share. Instead of saying Gordon/Jim has TWENTY FOUR HOURS, the spitting asshole says Gordon has “until this time tomorrow”. The dialogue is going to be the death of me.
BUT WE SMASH CUT BACK to the Sugar Shack where Jazz has commandeered the turntables and Johnny SUDDENLY GETS AN IDEA. He reaches up and pulls the overcrowded plug, cutting the power to the instruments and microphones. The audience literally turns and audible gasps. The singer looks around as Johnny swoops in and says “YEP” into the mic as Jazz begins to play on the turntables.
Oh god, is this a musical number? IS THIS MOVIE CONSIDERED A MUSICAL???? [JC: I’ll just leave this right here without comment:
] [bat:…. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK.] [Wing: WHAT. THE. FUCK. And I even love musicals.]
“Drop it!” Johnny commands as an especially nerdy fellow drops his glass of orange soda, which breaks and spills all over the floor. Oh god, it’s a musical number. The song is entitled “The People’s Choice” AND I DID NOT CHOOSE THIS, THIS IS BEING FORCED UPON ME BECAUSE I CAN’T STOP MYSELF FROM PICKING AWFUL FILMS TO RECAP. The audience moves back as Johnny and Sir D move onto the dance floor and begin to dance. Some guy sleeping on a table wakes up to watch the action. A woman covers her mouth in shock as Johnny waggles his crotch in the air. We see Kathy smile in amusement as we continue to plot how to time-travel to insert Gwyneth Paltrow into this film.
Uh, I’m familiar with the hanky code but can someone explain why Johnny has a big ass white towel hanging from his right back pocket? JC? Wing? I think it’s hilarious the source I used for this says that indicates “loves stroking” but, I know there’s no across the board universal color definition. [JC: I was too numb with existential horror to even notice that at this point. Maybe it’s there to wipe up the shitstain that this movie is?]
The dancing continues as Johnny announces he’s going to drop some “funky lyrics”, which just confuses the audience, because based on their “reactions” to seeing Black folks in their town, I’m guessing they are wholly unfamiliar with rap music. [Wing: That’s okay, Johnny’s wholly unfamiliar with rap music, too.] “Played out like polka dots.” Wow, much deep, very learned. Oh and there’s “girls on my tip”, because that’s what this is all really about.
[Dove: This was played so painfully straight. It reminded me of those music videos like Lily Allen’s Not Fair or Sia’s Cheap Thrills, where all the normies are having a terrible time at a dance party until some NEW PEOPLE come in with their hip new music and dance styling. Except the music videos are having fun with it and their music is good.
If this was a YouTube video, it would have a click-baity title like “30 year old hears rap FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!! YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!!“]
[Raven: I really hate that the only palatable sections of this fucking film are the musical numbers. And they’re shit too.]
Kathy is fucking into this. Nick stares at her in disbelief. Well, all of us recappers and Nick are staring, because we are. It’s bad enough this fucker stole from David Bowie and Queen, now he’s out there ripping the entire chorus of Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) by Sly & the Family Stone, only he’s pronouncing it properly. FFS, someone strangle him with that towel already.
Soon enough, Johnny walks over and pulls Kathy into the middle of the dance floor, as Nick and her friends look on incredulously. As soon as Johnny lets go, she starts to walk away but he grabs her and I wouldn’t say he successfully gets her dancing, but she stays put this time as he dances around/at her. Ugh.
Nick watches, looking angry and jealous, as one of Kathy’s friends tugs on his arm and says they should leave. Suddenly, Johnny has Kathy laying on the dance floor as he grinds on her, rapping away. God damn, this was the 1990s, kids! Now they’re back up and Kathy playfully shoves Johnny away, smiling, as her friends and classmates watch this stupidity continue.
My god, how many times do we have to watch Johnny air hump Kathy? [JC: Too many. Once is too many. This was infinity too manys. Don’t try to make sense of that statement. There is no sense. There is only the void and my mind launching itself into it.]
Kathy suddenly develops sweet white girl dance moves (??) and “dances” around with Johnny just before the song (blessedly) ends. Well, that’s three minutes I will never get back. How many times do I have to watch Johnny make fake duck lips at Kathy? Nick watches Johnny cuddle and dip Kathy, moving in for a kiss which she doesn’t allow to happen. Nick is gonna do something bad, isn’t he. Johnny and Kathy circle each other like cats in heat before complimenting each other on their sweet fucking moves and rapping skills, respectively. Is anyone else imagining how cardboard Paltrow would be in this role? Like, beyond the cardboard she already kind of is?
Kathy laughs and admits she was thinking; Johnny asks about what. I’m staring at Johnny’s hair wondering how much hairspray was required for that to stay up and in place. Kathy removes his sunglasses and informs Johnny he has twenty four hours to return her planner just the way he found it. Pardon, just the way he “stole it” or she will call the cops. (Fuck, with the way they’re throwing around twenty four hours, I wish Jack Bauer would show up and put a cap in Johnny’s ass.) [Wing: At least she knows how to say 24 hours. Also, the cops aren’t going to give a fuck. It’s a planner and he’s white.]
Johnny takes back the sunglasses and asks if all she wanted was the planner, why’d she dance with him? I dunno, you took her fucking hostage, Johnny? Kathy counters it was to show Johnny she could dance. What. Kathy walks away and Johnny has a very sarcastic response to a girl who has a brain and isn’t a full on dim bulb. I mean, dude, she socked you as soon as she got up from being knocked off her horse, what do you expect?
You know how you think to yourself, oh this is a bad movie, I’ll laugh my way through it? This is just plain bad and isn’t laughable. It’s like when I saw Spice World in theaters and about five minutes in my friend and I were like, wow, this is terrible and we can’t laugh because it’s so fucking terrible. (Or like the time we saw The Wedding Singer and there were all these allusions to Billy Idol, whom my friend was obsessed with at the time, then he (23 year old spoiler alert!) showed up looking old, haggard, and very plasticized, and my friend practically shit herself in horror and we had to sit through the credits to make sure it really was Billy Idol. It was great, for me.) [JC: I’m now imagining this movie with present-day Vanilla Ice in the role, and laughter has re-entered my life as I imagine all of you now imagining that, too. There’s a distinct possibility that I am both a masochist and a sadist.] [Wing: Luckily I don’t know what he looks like now, and so I am spared this monstrosity.]
The Greek chorus are amused and note that Kathy has totally diss’d Johnny. Kathy returns to Nick, who looks kind of drunk and angry. He grabs Kathy harshly by the arm and drags her from the dance floor, in front of her friends, who do nothing. Nick berates Kathy, telling she embarrassed herself for nothing, as he drags her towards the exit. Once outside, Nick continues to drag Kathy as he lectures her about how she made a complete fool of him (no, that was already the case, Nick) and Kathy immediately apologizes and says that wasn’t her intention. Nick isn’t having that! He goes so far as to say she’s acting like a slut, which is where Kathy tries to break his grip on her arm but Nick yells in her face and holds on tighter. He repeats that she was acting like a slut with “whatever his name is” and she doesn’t drink so that can’t be her excuse for her behavior.
I can see the smoke pouring out of Wing and JC’s ears right now. [JC: There was a very brief moment in which I was prepared to sympathize with Nick. Yes, dry humping some random dude on the dance floor when you’re in a monogamous relationship is pretty disrespectful to the person you’re with. I’ll give a hypothetical version of Nick that much. The Nick we see in the movie, however, took it WAY too far, and I hadn’t even had a chance to fully think the sentence, “Well, sure, he’s within his right to be upset,” before it changed to, “Oh, FUCK YOU, Nick. And double fuck you for daring to have the same name as my lovely fiancé, light of my life, fire of my soul. Is that last part even a real expression? Fuck you, it is now!”] [Dove: This is so 90s. For some reason I seem to have absorbed this kind of scene over and over (maybe it’s in a lot of Point Horrors), that some girl flirts with her not-boyfriend and the actual boyfriend goes immediately nuclear, way beyond any justificiation he had with his hurt feelings. Urgh. Why does this scene exist in so much media?] [Wing: I would argue that dancing (…”dancing” here) is not disrespectful, though the way she keeps flirting with her face might be. Even if it was, though, his response is far too over the top and that’s before he gets into the slut shaming and attempted assault.]
Nick finally releases her, allowing Kathy to put on her jacket as he leans against his car door. WHY THE FUCK SHE DIDN’T SLAP OR PUNCH HIM RIGHT THEN AND THERE AND LEAVE is anybody’s guess, also this was the 1990s, and I dunno. There’s no excuse. Nick wags a finger and says he’s willing to forgive Kathy, who is stunned and silent, before he gets in her face and grabs her arms, repeating his offer of forgiveness. C’MON, KATHY, IF YOU CAN PUNCH JOHNNY, WHY THE FUCK AREN’T YOU PUNCHING NICK??
Kathy doesn’t reply as Nick puts her between his car and himself, announcing it’s all forgotten. He tries to kiss her and Kathy finally comes to, pushing him back and telling him no. She finally shoves him off/back and roars “Don’t!” which Nick yells that’s all she says lately. “Maybe that means something!” Kathy counters.
“Maybe you’re saving it for some frat guy or your freak friend inside,” Nick sneers. Okay, it’s a pity Nick won’t die in this, but I hope he gets severely injured in some way [Raven: Is that an option? Can’t we just have everyone die in a grease fire?]. Kathy announces that Nick really is a dick! HUZZAH, there’s the girl who drives a horse! Kathy walks round the car and starts off towards the street as Nick demands she get in his car. Nick shouts and pounds on the car, demanding she listen but Kathy just leaves. GOOD FOR KATHY. [JC: When we develop the time machine, can we also write in a horrific death scene for Nick? Something that involves some sort of grind-y farm equipment, or a woodchipper, or being ripped apart by hyenas?] [Wing: I VOTE HYENAS.]
Although why she’s walking in the middle of the street as a water truck sprays down the street, stopping the spray only to not get Kathy wet, before continuing on, I have no answers for that. Kathy continues walking down the middle of the street but we can see a car behind her, its lights on, driving at a snail’s pace. Kathy feels she’s being watched or followed. She glances over her shoulder at the car, which continues to advance. It’s not Nick the Dick; he drives a convertible. It’s the dumb ass extortioners, but it doesn’t matter because suddenly Johnny zooms in and cuts in front of them! OH AND HE’S HAD TIME TO HAVE A SORT OF ACCESSORY CHANGE!
“Get on! Hurry up and get on!” He demands Kathy, who hops on the back of his bike. With a swirl of smoke and burned rubber, Johnny peels out. Oh, and the stunt man does a wheelie. Because there’s no fucking way that’s Vanilla Ice driving that motorcycle. [JC: The stunt person for Kathy is also very clearly a man in a terrible wig. They really didn’t count on people watching this 30 years later in 4K. (Just kidding. Who the fuck would release this in 4K? I watched it for free, with ads, on goddamn Tubi.)] The extortionists sit in their car and watch Johnny drive away with Kathy. Because I guess why follow them? I MEAN YOU HAVE A GUN, YOU COULD HAVE SHOT THEM AND DONE US ALL A FAVOR, YOU ASSHOLES.
Ahem. I’m good.
Johnny drives the bike to a stop in front of Kathy’s parents’ house and immediately asks her “who the hell” were those guys. Kathy assumes they’re some jerks. Well, she’s not wrong. I GOTTA ASK THO: WHERE THE FUCK WAS JOHNNY WHEN NICK WAS BEING ABUSIVE IN THE PARKING LOT? Yet he somehow magically finds her walking down the middle of a street and saves her? Ugh.
The porch light turns on. Kathy says she has to go. “What’s up wit to-mor-row!” Johnny asks. My god, is he trying to act or just be his persona or is this really him? Kathy mocks him. Johnny still wants to know what they’re doing tomorrow. Fuck, all the guys you like and/or date are pushy fuckers. Kathy reminds Johnny she’s waiting for (“me?” he asks) her planner. She walks towards the front door while Johnny apparently just stares (probably at her ass.) He then sits there, staring at fuck all, while the camera circles him. I am so fucking distracted by his eyebrow, I want to use a damn eyebrow pencil and fill it in. Then the fucker leans back with a smile on his face and I’m so confused. “This again,” he laments with a sad smile and a shake of his head. DO YOU STALK WOMEN AND STEAL THEIR PLANNERS ON A REGULAR BASIS, JOHNNY? [JC: Judging by the shit he pulls a little later on, stealing their planners should be the least of our worries.] [bat: Well, that sounds real fucking foreboding.]
In the house, Gordon/Jim watches from the window, behind the lacy curtains. He greets Kathy as she enters. Apparently Grace/Sarah is also there, sitting on the couch. Gordon asks who the fuck Johnny is. Well, in more polite terms, of course. Kathy explains it was a guy who gave her a ride home. Sure. She lies and says she doesn’t know Johnny’s name, which kind of kicks Gordon and Grace into studied silence. Kathy is confused. (So am I and I know more of the plot than she does.)
Kathy asks what’s going on and both she and Gordon sit on the coffee table. NO ONE TURNS ON A FUCKING LIGHT. Wow. Gordon tells his daughter to never take rides from strangers from now on. [Dove: Love the way that’s a brand new rule. C’mon, people. Stranger danger is not a new concept.] Kathy attempts to explain, like you just lied and said you didn’t know Johnny’s name, how are you going to explain NOW? But Gordon assures her it’s okay just don’t do it again.
Without any further explanation, Gordon tells her good night. LIKE YOU MIGHT WANT TO MENTION WHY YOU’RE SITTING IN THE DARK AND GETTING PARANOID OF A WHITE BOY RAPPER BUT NOPE. Kathy gets up, wishing her parents a good night, but still looks bewildered. Gordon half chuckles in a nervous fashion, again reassuring her to not worry, that everything’s fine. LIAR.
Johnny has driven back to the Sugar Shack. We can hear a smashing sound in the background. Johnny drives the bike into the parking lot and witnesses a bunch of white dudes with bats beating on the Crew’s motorcycles! OH NOES. IT’S NICK AND HIS COLLEGE FRIENDS! Johnny strolls over and asks what’s up, fellows. Nick stops breaking shit for a minute to turn to Johnny and say, “A little batting practice on your bike.” GUESS WHAT, DICK, JOHNNY’S BIKE IS OVER THERE WHERE HE JUST
PARKED LEFT IT. Johnny points out it’s Sir D’s bike. WHOOPSIE DOODLE! Nick doesn’t know who that is. “My homeboy,” Johnny replies. “Well HOMEBOY THIS!” Nick takes a swing with the bat at Johnny, who ducks. Johnny grabs the bat and sends Nick flying into a parked car face first. Nick falls to the ground. We then watch a slow-motion, extremely choreographed “fight” between Johnny and the other college idiots.
The fact that they don’t all ATTACK AT THE SAME TIME means this is movie bullshit. [JC: Who am I supposed to be rooting for? Because I want all the cars in the parking lot to spontaneously explode and kill them all.] [Wing: The sound effects. THE SOUND EFFECTS.]
Nick gets up long enough for Johnny to grab him and… what the fuck? Did he slam his open palm into Nick’s nose? That was a weird move. Effective, but weird, and I think it’s the fight choreograph that makes it look so weird. Nick is back on the ground!
Having finished off the three (four?) idiots, Johnny claps his hands together and calls, “See you, Dick!” before walking off. SO HILARIOUS. [Raven: Why the fuck is Johnny a combat ninja? And the whole fight was so amateurish… I get that Vanilla Ice isn’t an actor, but you’d think they’d at least crack into Chapter Two of Cinematic Combat before filming the bloody scene.]
Up in her dark bedroom, Kathy stares at JOHNNY’S DRIVERS LICENSE PHOTO. SHE FUCKING SWIPED HIS LICENSE. WHAT THE FUCK. Great, when two kleptomaniacs fall in love. I did not see this plot twist coming. Kathy clearly has issues that are being covered up by her studious facade.
Also, that license looks fake as fuck. Geez. It probably is a fake ID. [JC: McLovin, is that you?]
Kathy hears her parents arguing downstairs and sits up in bed. Who wears a giant white oversized button down dress shirt to sleep in? We get another weird fucking montage of Kathy laying in and on her bed, listening to the muffled fighting of her parents, cuddling a stuffed animal, turning her lamp on and off repeatedly, BUT THEN IT IS SUDDENLY MORNING AND SUNLIGHT IS STREAMING IN HER WINDOW.
Fuck, this movie is awful on every level. THEY COULD HAVE CONDENSED IT INTO A FOUR MINUTE MUSIC VIDEO AND IT WOULD STILL BE TRASH. [Dove: Hey, you know “Still a better love story than Twilight“? This is the movie that fails the meme. I would watch the whole Twilight saga with great enthusiasm before I picked up this movie again.] [JC: This is what I said in the group chat and then forgot to include here! Behold, we have found the movie that fucking Twilight is a better love story than!]
Kathy slowly comes awake, blinking as a hand moves into the shot and drips/shoves (what I fucking hope is) ice water into her open mouth as a voice whispers, “SHHHH WE DON’T WANNA WAKE UP MOM AND DAD.” Kathy stares and wipes her lip distractedly yet somehow suggestively while she chews on the ice. OH GOD I HOPE THAT’S ICE.
Oh fuck me. Ohh fuck. Considering I started the above paragraph and wasn’t paying attention, then saw the water on her lips and was like, hey, wait, what? THEN REWOUND THE SCENE AND HOLY SHIT IT GOT SO MUCH WORSE SO FUCKING FAST.
Yes, Johnny is laying beside her, on the bed, thankfully fully clothed. Fucker’s wearing his shoes on the bed though, so that’s an automatic red flag. NOT DISMISSING THE FACT THE DICK IS IN HER ROOM SHOVING ICE INTO HER MOUTH, I MEAN THE RED FLAGS HAVE BEEN RAINING DOWN SINCE THE HORSE SCENE BUT OH MY GOD THIS IS FUCKED UP.
I don’t care; why isn’t she screaming? Like, if I liked some guy and he “magically” was in my room, on my bed, when I awoke, I’d be fucking screaming and trying to flee, because NO. [JC: I TOLD YOU WE HAD BIGGER THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT THAN PLANNER THEFT! I WARNED YOU! Seriously, if I woke up to find some guy I barely fucking knew in my room, shoving ice into my mouth and telling me to be quiet because we don’t want to wake anyone up, I would be 100% sure I was about to be raped. This shit is not cute, Screenwriter.] [Dove: Urgh. This movie, dudes.] [Raven: What the actual fuck? Is this written by an actual human?] [Wing: Twilight comparisons just a few paragraphs ago and then we get this.]
Kathy manages to sit up and ask what he’s doing there, while Johnny stretches out like he’s King Shit of Fuck Mountain. Ugh. He claims she asked him. Um. Then he pulls out the planner, because yeah, “just like he found it, excuse me, stole it.” WELL AT LEAST JOHNNY PAYS ATTENTION AND RECOGNIZES HIS CRIME. [JC: One of them, at least. Since I guess the breaking and entering/criminal trespass is supposed to be “romantic.”]
Leaving the bed with the planner in her hands, Kathy asks “Who’s Monique?” and Johnny is all WHO? Kathy says he has Monique’s phone number. I AM DISTRACTED BY THE LINE DRAWING OF THE BARE ASS ON THE WALL IN KATHY’S ROOM, WHAT THE FUCK. DID HER PARENTS PUT THAT UP? BECAUSE IT SERIOUSLY THIS BEDROOM IS A FUCKING MISHMASH OF UNICORNS AND WHITE VIRGINAL BED CLOTHES AND A DOLL HOUSE AND A STUFFED HORSE ON THE FLOOR THEN YOU LOOK UP AND BAM, LINE DRAWING A BARE ASS ALL FRAMED AND SHIT ON THE WALL. It’s like the set decorator was like “FUCK IT no one’s looking at anything but Vanilla Ice!”
Anyway, Kathy whips out the drivers license for JOHN VAN OWEN, aka Johnny, who immediately is all give that back! He starts to chase her around the room, over the bed, this is stupid. [Wing: So much for not wanting to draw attention to his presence.] Kathy teases him by asking if they should call Monique. “Don’t tell me, she’s your sister!” she taunts him. Johnny points out the hypocrisy of Kathy stealing his shit after he stole her planner. She did it to make sure she got her stuff back, she counters, before teasingly pulling it out of reach twice before Johnny snags it.
The rest of the scene is fucking awkward. It involves dialogue gems such as:
“I’ll see you later.”
“You’re seein’ me now.”
And some other random shit, like Johnny basically daring Kathy to change in front of him. But here’s Tommy, barging in just as Kathy unsnaps her PJ top. Tommy STARES at Johnny, announcing his surprise at Johnny’s return, clearly innocent of the connotations of this dick in his sister’s bedroom in the early morning. [JC: Just wait sixty seconds.]
Tommy immediately asks if Johnny is Kathy’s new boyfriend. Clearly for his own selfish purposes. Kathy demands Tommy leave but Tommy wants to know if the motorcycle is Johnny’s. “Yeah, you ever been on one?” Johnny asks, then says soon. Soon Johnny will give Tommy a ride, and hopefully throw him off a cliff. [Wing: Tommy’s mad at the shitty ex because he always promised he’d take Tommy for a ride in his car but Tommy’s totally fine with this weirdo saying the same damn thing?]
“AS SOON AS YOU’RE DONE MAKING SEX?!” Tommy chirps. [JC: There it is. Tommy totes knows about making the sex.] Johnny laughs. Kathy screams at and shoves Tommy out of her bedroom. And that’s when Johnny announces he’ll be outside, as he exits through the OPEN WINDOW. Kathy falls onto her bed, giggling. I puke and die more inside.
In the yard, Johnny pauses to turn his baseball cap backwards and adjust it JUST SO to make sure it doesn’t crush his hair. He starts to snap up his douchebag Ouija board jacket when — this is my second favorite scene – the sprinkler system turns on and the spray hits him full force. It’s kind of ironic that the large LUST on his jacket has just been sprayed down with cold water. Johnny spins and jerks around, fleeing the back yard. [Wing: What, are you afraid you’ll melt like the Wicked Witch? PLEASE PLEASE MELT LIKE THE WICKED WITCH.]
As he hops the fence, and his bike, HE IS NOT WET. NOT AT ALL. CONTINUITY DOESN’T EXIST. He wipes the “water” from his face and smiles, before getting on his bike. Before he can start it, Kathy exits the front door, wearing her most 1990s outfit to date: a sunflower print baby doll dress with a jean jacket. She walks down the walk and exits the gate, walking over to the bike. Johnny tells her where to put her foot and helps her climb aboard. He then helps her put her arms about his waist as the music gets all upbeat and fast tempo.
We see Kathy smile in slow motion as Johnny pulls his shades from the inner pocket of his douchebag Ouija board jacket. She even tosses her hair in slow motion, as Johnny starts the bike and off they zoom, IN SLOW MOTION. [JC: I’ll take “How to fill 90 minutes of movie when you have 20 minutes of story” for $600, Alex. (RIP)]
More slow motion as they ride past the whack house, where Jazz sees them, as Princess and Sir D wave the billowing smoke out of their faces, because clearly Roscoe blew something up. Johnny and Kathy laugh. We get a weird ass montage of homes in Glendora, CA (a town I’m sure is SO PROUD to have been a part of this goddamn nightmare) as Kathy waves at friends (who stare and point) and don’t watch this, Wing, it’s real shaky. [Wing: Too late. I had to spend some time with my eyes closed after it triggered the vertigo. Did I pause the movie? Of course I fucking didn’t.]
For SOME REASON (that will be revealed shortly) Johnny takes Kathy to a construction site. A machine pounds a metal plate into the roadway. [Dove: At this point, I just thought it was a really unsubtle foreshadow to their boning happening during this awful montage.] [Wing: It made me think of Tremors, and I wanted something to come out of the ground and eat them all.] A porta potty sits forlornly by the side of the road. Kathy points and Johnny parks the bike. They sit together on unfinished construction and ask awkward questions of the other. JOHNNY CAN’T UNDERSTAND HOW SOMEONE CAN LIVE THEIR WHOLE LIFE IN ONE TINY TOWN. He also doesn’t know what it’s like to have parents, a brother, all that stuff. It’s nice, Kathy informs him, they’re dependable. What. [JC: I assume Johnny hatched, fully grown, from a disgusting, slimy, Alien-style egg.] [Raven: I mean, why bother giving him a backstory when you can just make him a fucking pancake on a motorbike?]
Whatever Kathy was going to ask, she refuses to now. So we move to else where on the construction site, with Johnny having stripped down to his Stussy t-shirt and overalls, while Kathy suggestively straddles the back of his bike. Johnny says he’s from “around”, which Kathy can’t accept as an answer because it doesn’t tell her jack shit. Johnny insists it does. I agree with Johnny.
“It ain’t where you from, it’s where you’re at, anyway. And right now I’m here wid you, Kat!”
Well, okay, that’s a point. A very tiny point, but a point indeed. IT DOESN’T SAVE THIS FLAMING SHIT PILE OF A MOVIE, THOUGH. Oh shit, another montage. Now they’re chasing one another around and through the construction site. All I can think of is the fact I owned a Stussy shirt back in the day. Not that one, but an actual Stussy shirt. I don’t even remember why.
Also: DON’T GOOF OFF AROUND OR IN CONSTRUCTION SITES, KIDS. IT’S DANGEROUS. [JC: Also also: these morons are basically playing hide and seek in a house with no walls and only exposed beams. The stupidity is tempting my soul out of my body once again. Also also also, I hope they got all the splinters.] [bat: And required tetanus shots for all the nails they stepped on.] [JC: Oh. FUCK. That’s the first thought I had while watching this – “I hope Johnny scratches himself on a nail and fucking dies from tetanus.” Well, that was actually the second thought. The first was, ANOTHER GODDAMN MONTAGE WHY?!]
When they’ve finally had enough stupid, Johnny asks what people do for fun around there, calling Kathy “college girl”. Kathy reminds him there’s nothing wrong with working hard. Then we get more slow motion clips of goofing off as Kathy asks what’s important to Johnny.
He mumbles something about being true to yourself or you aren’t true to others. And living for someone else isn’t living. “STRAIGHT UP FACT.” he adds. The fact he has ICE tattooed on his arm and it’s designed to look like a block of ice… was this a real tattoo or just a temp for the movie? I don’t want to google this, I don’t want that on my search history.
Kathy tells Johnny she wants to do something “really wild” because she never has. “Why don’t you?” he asks. She just kisses him. Well, that’s probably considered wild and reckless by 1991 standards? OH GOD DID HE JUST SAY “MMM” WHILE KISSING HER? Lord, spare me Vanilla Ice. The camera spins around and around them faster and closer and I may puke.
OH GOD NOW SHE’S TAKEN HIM TO VISIT A HORSE. He initially runs away in a comic fashion, then mounts the saddle backwards. Uh huh. You’re not humanizing him in any form or fashion, film. He rides for a bit, then he’s back on the ground, throwing his hat in the dirt, what? The horse is trotting away from him BECAUSE THE HORSE IS SMART. RUN, HORSE, RUN! [JC: I know we’re not supposed to be thinking about this too hard or anything, but the “comical” bit with him backwards on the horse is supposed to convey that he’s bad at horsing, right? But like, wouldn’t it be far more difficult to mount the horse backwards? How is this backwards mounting supposed to have happened? I am ded from stoopid.] [bat: Dove will explain all, as our resident horsing expert.] [Dove: I’m here. First of all, I think Mr Ice has ridden horses before. If you look at how he’s holding the reins, that’s not something you do by accident, and it’s correct. Even young kids in lessons don’t like holding the reins like that because it feels weird. I speculate (and, like bat, I don’t want to google Vanilla Ice), that he has at the very least had lessons for the movie. Like JC says, it’s hard to mount backwards because it flies in the face of natural human logic and you have to lift your leg over the neck, rather than the rump, which is higher. So yeah, this lolzy scene just says to me that Robert Van Winkle’s had a few riding lessons before this was filmed.] [bat: Mr Ice… I love that, but I digress… was born in / lived in Texas before he moved to Florida — explains so much for so many reasons — so it makes sense that he has ridden a horse before this film and had proper training. So I would say you are spot-on 100% correct in your speculations, Dove.] [Wing: I am not going to go back and look at what I missed while I was vertigoing, but if Dove says the reins are held correctly, I’m not sure that’s something he would have picked up in Texas unless his family was rich enough to pay for fancy lessons. You don’t really hold the reins the same in English versus Western.]
Oh god, why do we keep changing locations? First it’s some weird random construction site, then it’s a field for horse riding, now it’s like they’re out on salt flats! AND NOW JOHNNY IS SHIRTLESS. PLEASE STOP. Everything is bathed in a golden light as Johnny helps Kathy onto the bike, then like strokes her thigh as she tries to drive the bike. WHILE THE SONG NEVER WANNA BE WITHOUT YOU PLAYS AND IS SO DISTURBING AND DISTRACTING UGH. Dude, stick to fucking “rapping”, this slow-motion love song is bullshit.
Kathy manages to steer the bike and drive it a ways, but we return to Johnny driving with his hands in the air and Kathy leaning backwards, because safety third. Then oh god, it’s another fucking montage of clips; they’re riding that poor horse together [Dove: Romantic? Maybe. But no, that’s two adults on a horse. Just because it can carry you both, doesn’t mean it should. FFS.], now we’re back at the construction site and Kathy has stolen a hose and is spraying water into the air while Johnny wanders around shirtless AGAIN, now they’re fighting over the hose and spraying one another, yeah this is TOTALLY how TWRUE LUV WORKS, guys. [JC: I believe this may have been the point where I screamed in the group chat, “WHY ARE WE HAVING ANOTHER MONTAGE? WHY IS THIS MOVIE WHY DOES THIS EXIST?!” Although honestly, that could have been at literally any point during this movie.]
I wanna kiss your lips, hold on tight to your hips
Press your body real close, closer than most
Now they’re making out on the bike in the salt flats, [Wing: Is this a reference to Top Gun? I feel like it is.] this montage is the worst, it just keeps going. If I was out in the sun like that, I’d be red as a fucking lobster in five minutes [Dove: If you go back to the chatting scene when Mr Ice imparts his “I’m here now” wisdom, Kathy’s chest is bright red. She got burned.]. Now Kathy is stripping off her jean jacket as the wind blows in slow motion over the tall grass and the horse is MIA and now Johnny is tackling her in the grass, now Kathy’s putting on that stupid hat. NOW WE’RE BACK ON THE SALT FLATS AND JOHNNY IS SHOWING KATHY HIS DANCE SKILLZ. I can’t imagine the director’s directions: “Yeah, like hang on him, and pull on him and half hug him while he stands there shirtless with his mouth hanging open.”
Oh god, now it’s awkward sexy hip swinging dancing. My eyes bleed. My soul is trying to leave my body. [JC: You know, it’s funny. Dove and I have been trying to come up with a movie to punish bat with after the delightful Rock N Roll Nightmare, but I think it’s now a moot point. bat is punishing herself more with this movie than with anything I could come up with. Well done!] [bat: Aww, you two discussed ways to punish me? How sweet! You should always know, I punish myself far worse than anyone else ever can. This movie is WORSE than the kidney stone and infection that nearly sent me into sepsis last week.] [Dove: Occasionally we manage to talk about something other than Animal Crossing! And mostly it’s you and your terrible movies. But she’s right. Why are you doing this to yourself? bat, we’re worried. Forgive yourself and stop this.] Now he’s like got his legs around her and pushing his crotch closer to her hands but we cut away to a close up of Kathy talking and laughing, now it’s his weird face and distracting eyebrow and my god his skull is a weird shape.
NOW WE’RE SPEEDING ACROSS THE SALT FLATS IN THE NEAR DARK WEARING ALL OUR CLOTHES AGAIN. Thank gods the “date” montage is over. Johnny zooms the bike down the street, where the shitty extortionists are sleeping in their car, still parked outside Kathy’s parents house. The noise from the motorcycle awakens them, of course. Johnny parks in front of the mailbox; a letter or something is sticking out of the slot. They climb off the bike, and Johnny races ahead to open the gate for her. Um, why is there a BRIGHT FUCKING LIGHT SHINING ON THEM FROM A WEIRD DIRECTION?? ARE THEY ABOUT TO BE ABDUCTED? BECAUSE THAT WOULD MAKE THIS MOVIE BETTER.
Reaching the porch, Kathy smiles and says, “Well, thanks.” FOR WHAT. A HORRIBLE MONTAGE I HAD TO SIT THROUGH AND DESCRIBE WITH WORDS? Johnny asks for what. “Everything.” They share a weird look. Like, Johnny and his damn looks. For some reason, Kathy puts a gold ring in Johnny’s palm, which is to help him tell the difference between Kathy and Monique. Huh. ISN’T IT A LITTLE EARLY FOR THIS LEVEL OF COMMITMENT? CAN JOHNNY EVEN UNDERSTAND MONOGAMY? Apparently he can, because he replies that it’s the difference between Kathy and everybody else. Sure. [JC: This scene is absolutely baffling. Maybe Johnny mistook it for a cock ring?] [bat: I was gonna guess an earring but your theory makes more sense?] [Wing: I was going to say it’s awful small for a cock ring, but then I realised what I was saying and about whom and I had to go pour bleach into my brain.]
They’re kissing when the front door opens and Gordon sternly calls his daughter Katherine and reminds her they haven’t heard from her the whole day. MOM IS FRANTIC, DAMN IT, THIS IS BEFORE CELLPHONES. Kathy’s all, sorry, didn’t know. “YOU DIDN’T THINK!” Gordon tells her sternly. Well, she was out with a shirtless delinquent discussing life and love, of course she wasn’t thinking. Gordon says Kathy could have called. “She couldn’t! She was out with me! No telephones around!” Johnny pipes up, being a real great help.
Like I said, a real big help, because now Gordon is all, where TF were you? Kathy just stares. Johnny jumps (I typed ‘humps’ at first, lord) in and says she was on the back of bike and they were just cruisin’ around. Gordon states he knows, he met Johnny’s “two friends” in a tone of voice that carries the earlier “OH MY GOD BLACK PEOPLE ARE IN OUR TOWN?!” message loud and clear.
Johnny and Kathy are confused. Apparently I was, too, because Gordon actually means the INCOMPETENT EXTORTIONISTS! He saw Johnny with them so he’s inferring that Johnny is with them. HA HA HA HA HA. If it’s even possible to have characters more one-note that Johnny here, it would be those two. “Get out and leave my daughter alone!” Gordon demands.
Kathy cries that Gordon doesn’t understand but Gordon says Nick ended up in hospital and Johnny put him there. WITH RIGHTFUL REASON. DO YOU KNOW WHAT NICK DID TO YOUR DAUGHTER, ASSHOLE? Kathy asks Johnny if it’s true. “Yeah, whack head tried to play baseball with my homeboy’s bike!” Well, that’s certainly an answer and I can hardly disagree with the name calling, since I’d call Nick worse names than “whack head”. [JC: When you’re a rapper but you have to keep your disses PG-rated.]
Gordon demands Kathy go inside so he can handle Johnny. HA HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. When did this become a comedy? [JC: From the scholarly journal, Wikipedia: “Cool as Ice is a 1991 American romantic musical comedy film.”] So much for Kathy doing “wild” shit. She goes inside while Johnny says he’ll see her tomorrow. He walks off the porch, followed by Gordon, who tells Johnny he doesn’t want him near her tomorrow or “any day”. What. Johnny says it’s Kathy’s choice. Gordon tells Johnny to get the hell out of here. How stern. Johnny calmly struts down the walk and out the gate. He climbs on his bike and zooms off. Okay.
In the house, with the still terrible lighting – lighting crew, you are fucking fired – Grace looks apprehensive while Gordon stares at something off screen. Grace implores her husband that Kathy needs to know what’s going on, they need to tell her the truth. Gordon doesn’t seem totally against the idea but we cut to the glowing, spinning globe in Mae and Roscoe’s yard. The Greek chorus are in the yard, watching Mae “dance”. Johnny wanders in and takes a seat.
BUT WHO CARES, because we’re back in Kathy’s bedroom watching a bunch of fish swim around in a too-small bowl and I would scream about improper fish husbandry but this movie clearly does not give a fuck about animal welfare. [JC: I’ll scream about the animal abuse! There are, what, like a dozen? fish swimming around in an approximately one-gallon bowl. That bowl is not suited for fish to actually live in, and one gallon of water is the absolute bare fucking minimum for one fish. Honestly, the “one gallon of water per inch of fish” rule of thumb is extremely flawed and should be taken with a HUGE grain of salt and evaluated on a case-by-case basis (size of fish; number of fish; type of fish, etc.). All of those poor fish on set probably died from this treatment.] [Dove: This now makes me sad because the fish were literally my favourite thing in the movie. I said as much to the other recappers in our private chat.] [Raven: Poor fish! First forced to be in this piece of shit film, and now this?!] Once again, there’s no real lighting in the room, so everything is in terrible shadows or blue tones. Gordon sits on one side of the iron bed frame, Kathy on the other, as Gordon explains (I will summarize, because this is stupid and boring and the whole movie is pinned on this bullshit) that his real name isn’t Gordon Winslow, but James “Jimmy” Anthony Hacket, mom’s name is Sarah; he was once a policeman and when he and Sarah were newlyweds, Jimmy’s partner Walsh was a crooked cop. Internal Affairs wanted to nail Walsh, so Jimmy helped. Three cops – Walsh and two others – were convicted. Jimmy received death threats. Sarah was pregnant with Kathy, so they were placed in witness protection. In a week they were known as Gordon and Grace, given all new papers, and Gordon was given a job selling insurance. They landed where ever “here” is, Kathy was born, and that was that.
I don’t know how witness protection works but I don’t think it works as swiftly as this movie is trying to make it sound.
Gordon reveals he was identified by the two clowns sleeping in the car outside (HOW HAS GORDON NOT NOTICED THEM SITTING OUT THERE??) and saw Johnny with them, how they’re trying to extort him for money, and everyone needs to be careful. Gee, for being told everything she’s known about her parents is a lie, Kathy is handling this too well. Gordon’s message really boils down to STRANGER DANGER when it comes to Johnny. Oh good god. Kathy doesn’t buy that Johnny is involved. “If you knew him, you’d know that, too!” Yeah, that argument isn’t going to work on Gordon, honey. Kathy then points how she knows her dad, but should she trust him? ESPECIALLY AFTER A LIFETIME OF LIES??
OOOO GO KATHY! (I should note this is sarcasm, since it doesn’t translate well in text.) Gordon insists it wasn’t lying, he was protecting his family. He also says the same can’t be said about Johnny. Considering Kathy’s point of Gordon not knowing Johnny, I’d say Johnny > Gordon right now. AND THAT’S THE DUDE WHO STOLE KATHY’S PLANNER AND PUT ICE IN HER MOUTH AFTER CRAWLING ILLEGALLY INTO HER HOUSE. [JC: This whole thing is so stupid. My brain hurts. I thought they were coming after him for money they somehow thought he owed them, not really extortion, but in no way is any of this clear. Also, it’s been twenty-four hours, but for some reason they will not come after him until the next night, forty-eight hours after they gave him twenty-four hours. Movie doesn’t know how time works.] [bat: HOW DOES TIME WORK. HOW DOES LOGIC WORK. HOW DOES JOHNNY WORK.]
Gordon pulls the biggest guilt trip out of his sleeve, saying he loves Kathy so much he gave up his life to give her a new one. Dude, she wasn’t even fucking born, this is some bullshit. [Dove: *blinks* Wow. Just wow.] [Raven: THIS MAKES NO SENSE.] Gordon moves to leave and Kathy begs to know if he really believes Johnny is involved with the… what are we calling them now? Les incompétents sounds good. Fucker doesn’t answer; just tells Kathy to stay away from Johnny, for the sake of the entire family. On the one hand, I totally agree. On the other, YOU JUST TOTALLY MADE HER WANT HIM MORE, AND SHE EVEN GAVE JOHNNY A RING ALREADY, SO WE KNOW HOW THIS IS GOING TO END.
Kathy flops on her bed, broken-hearted, ignoring all those dying fish in that tiny glass bowl, thinking only of Johnny. [JC: The placement of this bed makes me irrationally angry. I could deal with it if it were coming diagonally out from the corner, but it’s so off-center even from the corner that I just don’t know what anyone was thinking here and I hate it.] Oh shit, it’s the next day suddenly! BECAUSE WHAT IS TIME!? How many days have they been there now? 3? 4?? [Wing: I think this is day three.] Kathy comes out the front door, carrying her planner and a binder. Johnny calls out to her, Kathy looks stunned to see him. Johnny announces he was “chillin’ in the hood” and wanted to see if she’d like to go for a ride. Well, he apparently went back to the whack art house, because his hat is gone, along with the douchebag ouija board jacket, though the pants are nearly the same? But now they’re a dark indigo stripe instead of white. Maybe he just painted the white stripe while bored at home?
Kathy quietly approaches and says she already has a ride, thank you. Johnny knows she’s not okay. HE LITERALLY LETS HIS BIKE ROLL BACKWARDS TO KEEP UP WITH HER. Is that good for the bike?? [Wing: It’s in neutral, it’s fine.] He tries to say he’ll see her in the evening. “No,” is her shaky-voiced reply. “Not tonight, not tomorrow, not anymore!” You gave him a
tiny cock ring, Kathy! Johnny is still rolling his bike backwards and says he gets it, she’s too busy doing what needs to be done. NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE.
Johnny suspects someone put her up to this behavior. He only wants to know one thing: who Kathy is being true to. Good god, I get the message but this is as bad as a My Little Pony ‘n Friends cartoon when they tackle a moral message and fail miserably. We get a weird stare off (??) before Kathy confesses she thinks she knows Johnny but she just met him. Johnny slowly nods and my god his skull shape is so fucking distracting and the hair doesn’t help. [JC: He looks like a shitty reddit artist drew him as an angry anime boi.] [Dove: It’s a rhombus. That’s oddly pleasing. Though there are better characters with trigonometry for a face.] She says he makes her feel special but is it just her or everyone he meets? Is she just another Monique in another town? Oo snap.
“Is this you or your old man talkin’?” Johnny quips. Kathy insists it’s her but she’s lying. “You know something you don’t know? YOU DON’T KNOW ME! YOU DON’T KNOW ME AT ALL!” Johnny cries.
*pause to celebrate hitting the ’30 minutes left to go’ mark*
Johnny zooms away and Kathy stands there, torn. But who fucking cares because we have to have ANOTHER MONTAGE TO FILL THE SUCKING VOID OF THESE LAST 30 MINUTES OF FILM REQUIRE. Johnny riding his bike at high speeds through tunnels and around hills, past traffic, SOMETIMES AT REGULAR SPEED, MOSTLY IN HIGH SPEED (look away, Wing!) while Crazy by Daisy Dee plays because we had to go from super sad to high speed run away from our romantic problems fast paced get up and DANCE, BITCHES. Or something. Now Johnny is doing donuts on the salt flats, HE’S SO MAD, YOU GUYS.
Now the camera is circling Johnny as he poses on his bike in silent contemplation. Sure. We return to Kathy, who is riding in the back of a convertible with all her girl friends from school. THEY ARE LITERALLY SAYING SHE’S DONE IT THIS TIME AND DON’T KNOW IF NICK WILL TAKE HER BACK. How dare Kathy not go see Nick in hospital. She didn’t even call! “Who do you think you are anyway!?” “It’s not too late if she’s cool about it!” “You think he’d forgive her after humiliating him like that?!” OKAY KATHY, THESE ARE HORRIBLE “FRIENDS” AND YOU NEED TO DITCH THEM. PERMANENTLY. YOU NEED TO JUST JUMP OUT OF THE CAR WHEN IT STOPS AT A RED LIGHT AND GET AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE. [JC: SET THEM ON FIRE! DANCE AROUND THEIR ASHES IN TRIUMPH AT THE VANQUISHMENT OF YOUR ENEMIES!] [Dove: Note to self: do not upset JC.] [Wing: Why? Why are “friends” always so terrible in these stories? W H Y?]
Okay now we have to suffer between clips of Kathy being miserable and clearly thinking about Homework, er, I mean Johnny, who is still riding his bike all dark and manly, as the girls keep barraging Kathy with how she needs to apologize and tell Dick, er, Nick how much she loves him.
THIS IS A SHITTY MOVIE IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE.
Now we get a weird montage of the porch swing in the yard, tulips in a blue vase in Kathy’s room, the bowl of suffering fish, sunlight through the trees, Johnny flopping on the red leather couch, Johnny being pensive, Johnny being anguished (my god, it’s nothing but Blue Steel) before we hear Kathy call “Johnny?” He turns but it’s actually Tommy, who is standing in the yard with a motorcycle helmet. He waves and points at his hair, which has been cut and styled to look like Johnny’s. Oh god.
Johnny smirks, “It’s fresh, man.” Tommy proudly announces he did it to himself. Welp, Johnny’s influence has spread, time to leave town. [JC: “Johnny’s influence”? Is that what the kids are calling chlamydia these days?] Johnny asks what’s up. “You mean Kathy?” Tommy is astute. “When ever I talk about you she tells me to shut up.” HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON? WHAT IS TIME? DOES TIME EVEN FUCKING EXIST IN THIS FILM?? WHY DOES EVERYONE SET ARBITRARY DEADLINES IF NO ONE FUCKING FOLLOWS THEM BECAUSE TIME ISN’T MEASURED IN THIS REALITY? [JC: Yes, goooood. Let the capslock rage flow through you!] [bat: Okay, Empress Palpatine.]
Anyway, Tommy ditched little league to fuck up his hair and pester Johnny about a motorcycle ride, which Johnny did promise. No, sorry, Johnny is “busy” being moody and pensive. Tommy hangs his head, dejected. Never mind, Johnny is up and they’re off on the bike for a ride! Jazz’s house of cards – which we have never seen before – begins to fall apart. Is it a metaphor or just a visual? WILL WE EVER KNOW? Sir D is throwing a paper airplane off the roof. Jazz swipes his arm through the card house. Roscoe fucks up the bike he still hasn’t rebuilt, sprays Jazz with sparks from a grinder, Princess “dances” with Sir D in the street, shit this YET ANOTHER FUCKING MONTAGE.
Movies should be made up of (coherent) scenes NOT FUCKING MONTAGES. [Raven: Montages are for training sequences, not for plot.]
Tommy and Johnny sail through town on Johnny’s bike. Tommy gives the finger to DickNick, who is sitting at a stop sign, his face plastered with a huge bandage over his broken nose. He stares at Johnny and Tommy. Mean while, Mae and Roscoe are starting to reassemble Jazz’s bike. It’s a fucking montage. You know how hard it is to describe these in words when everything keeps cutting back and forth because plot/subplot/sideplot/noplots? [JC: I had given up counting how many montages we were up to by this point. I was reduced to simply repeating, “Why?”, “Please stop,” and “Oh, NO,” over and over.] [Dove: I used this montage to completely erase every path on my Animal Crossing island.]
Tommy doesn’t get to go to the construction site to “play hide ‘n seek” or out to the salt flats to zoom around shirtless, or anything fun. Well, I guess flipping DickNick off is fun but anyway. Johnny pulls up outside the Winslow house of LIES and oddly, les incompétents are missing. Did a cop finally come by and tell them to move along?
Climbing off and removing his helmet, Tommy thanks Johnny, “that was the coolest!” He offers to show Johnny his room. Johnny makes a non-committal noise. Yeah, no shit, all you’d need is Gordon to find you in his young son’s room, Johnny. Tommy volunteers that it’s okay, Kathy is off attempting to pick up Tommy at little league, where Johnny notes Tommy is currently supposed to be. Tommy points out it’s Kathy’s fault he has to sneak around to see Johnny. DID NO ONE IN THE SCRIPT DEPARTMENT THINK HOW THIS MIGHT LOOK?? [JC: Bold of you to assume there was a script department. Or a script.] [bat: I realized after I typed that sentence that there’s no way there was a script. Let alone an outline of “events”.] [Dove: OMG, this happened in Sweet Valley Twins. In Boys Against Girls, the boys had to put on a play, but spent all their time fucking around and doing “cool” stuff, so the end result was just a bumbling mess that nobody could understand. Those boys grew up to make this movie, I’m sure of it.]
Tommy runs up the walk but before he can reach the door, Johnny calls to him and says he’s out of here, “just like yesterday”, which apparently means for good. Sure. There’s still 25 minutes of film left. PLEASE KEEP LYING TO ME, JOHNNY. Tommy calls, “Later, homie.” to Johnny and goes inside. Johnny looks around pointedly, before dismounting his bike, running to jump the fence and into the backyard where Kathy’s window is. HE LITERALLY OPENS THE WINDOW AND CLIMBS IN, LOOKING AROUND POINTEDLY LIKE HE’S SOME SORT OF FUCKING SPY WHAT THE HELL WHY IS THIS FILMED FROM SO FAR AWAY BEFORE THE CAMERA ZOOMS IN?
Oh god, it’s JC’s favorite fishbowl again. [JC: JUSTICE FOR THE FISHIES!] Johnny takes the
tiny cock ring off his pinkie finger and tosses it in the fish bowl! No wonder those fish probably all died. Then we’re watching him zoom away on his bike.
Tommy is playing Nintendo in the living room, a football game, when he hears a strange noise. Thinking it’s his sister, Tommy abandons his game and wanders through the house, before a door down the hall opens and les incompétents enter. They seem surprised by Tommy’s presence. This whole scene is so fucking awkward. They basically pepper Tommy with questions, having known he’d be at little league now, but insisting they’re friends of Gordon’s, as Tommy is backed into the living room, demanding to know who they are and what they’re doing in his family home.
Grabbing the phone, Tommy announces he’s calling the cops. The asshole with the gun tells Tommy how to call 911, literally, then makes weird sound effect noises as he grabs the phone cord and yanks it from the wall. Tommy screams about America’s Most Wanted. (Wing, look away, this is horrible shaky camera bullshit.) [Wing: I had to spend nearly half of this movie with my eyes closed and yet it was all still a terrible experience.] Gun asshole starts chasing and grabbing at Tommy, who runs around in Kathy’s room, but they’re so far apart from one another there is no way this is anything but a film. Bar dude has disappeared, but as soon as Tommy escapes Kathy’s room and runs to the stairs, bar dude is sitting on them and grabs Tommy. This is just as dumb as it sounds.
OH MY GOD THEY EVEN SLOW MOTION TOMMY BEING KIDNAPPED AND DRAGGED OUT OF THE HOUSE THIS IS FUCKING RIDICULOUS.
The front door opens – who the fuck knows how much later, because HOW DOES TIME WORK in this film! – and Kathy enters. We only see her from the waist down. She drops her planner and binder on the table and wanders into the living room, where Tommy’s video game is still on the TV. Kathy calls for her little brother before kicking the power button on the TV. OH SHIT IT’S MONTAGE TIME AGAIN. [JC: Look, I get that this director had mostly done music videos and behind-the-scenes Playboy documentaries before this, but this is fucking ridiculous. WE MOCK MONTAGES FOR A REASON, DAVID KELLOGG!] [bat: He has a writing credit for “Playboy: Farmer’s Daughters”. You can’t make this shit up.] [Dove: For context and balance, the director of The Crow had only done music videos. And yet it’s a fucking classic.]
Sad Kathy sinks to the floor in the living room. Now she’s pacing her bedroom, NOT NOTICING THAT IT WAS DAMAGED AS TOMMY WAS BEING KIDNAPPED, grabbing ahold of the murderous fishbowl and finding the
tiny cock ring in it. Removing her sleeve, she fishes it out. WHY DID THIS FISHBOWL BECOME SO IMPORTANT? WE DIDN’T EVEN SEE IT UNTIL THE FILM WAS ALMOST HALFWAY OVER. Kathy is so upset, yo. She puts the ring back on her finger and drapes herself over the table, staring into that stupid fishbowl, the fish screaming out in silent horror as they’re dying. [JC: The Deep (aka Fucking Kevin) from The Boys does not approve of this wanton fish torture, and neither do I!] [Dove: Fucking Kevin. *nods firmly*]
Over at the whack house, Roscoe and Mae have finished reassembling Jazz’s bike. He’s sitting on it, playing with it, as Princess announces to Johnny they’re leaving for good now. Johnny announces he’s fine to go. “He’s bugging!” someone says, before Princess decides Johnny is totally hooked. Johnny gives her a look and asks if they’re leaving or not. “Not till you go say goodbye!”
Lord, JUST KEEP DRAGGING THIS TRAIN WRECK OUT WHY DON’T YOU.
Kathy still hasn’t noticed the damage in her room or that the phone in the living room is missing. She’s sitting on a metal stool and being dramatically upset. Johnny declines. We get more of upset Kathy. Princess insists, saying they don’t want Johnny wondering if he didn’t. Or something. The whole chorus agrees, Johnny must go make peace before they leave. We end that shitty montage on Kathy putting the
tiny cock ring on different fingers.
The door opens and in walk Gordon and Grace. Grace is concerned by her daughter’s behavior. Gordon just asks where Tommy is. “I thought he was with you,” Kathy explains, still playing with the
tiny cock ring. Grace fucking WHINES at her daughter that she asked Kathy to pick him up at little league. THESE ARE SHITTY PARENTS IN SO MANY WAYS. [JC: I mean, it’s not like two incompetent homicidal crooked cops/extortionists gave you until last night to pay them off or else, and you didn’t do it and now they’re even more pissed or anything. Nope, nothing like that happening here!] Kathy says she tried but he wasn’t there. Grace and Gordon share a concerned look. Kathy admits she didn’t check Tommy’s room. [Wing: Why would she check his room when she thought he was with their parents? Come the fuck on, Grace.] Gordon goes running upstairs as Grace throws the bag of groceries on the table. “He’s not here!” Gordon calls.
Outside, Johnny comes up the steps onto the porch and takes a letter laying on the steps. Pounding his fist once on the door, he waits. [JC: I hate this one pound on the door as a knock bullshit. I would not register that as someone knocking. I would either think someone was trying to kick my door in and got distracted; or some poor bird had suicided into my window.] Gordon comes flying downstairs, opens the door, takes on look at Johnny and reminds him that he was told to stay away. “Yo I gotta talk to Kat.” “She’s not here,” Gordon says as Kathy appears behind him. “You wanna talk or what?” Johnny asks her. Kathy is silent. Gordon moves to close the door. Johnny points how Kathy is still obeying her father’s orders. Johnny hands Gordon the letter and leaves.
“What is that?” Grace demands as Gordon tears it open. IT’S A FUCKING CASSETTE TAPE?? I did not see that coming. Putting it in a bright yellow (why is everything YELLOW or BLUE or WHITE in this movie!?) cassette player, the family listens to Tommy read a hostage statement. The camera zooms in on each family member respectively as they react to Tommy’s kidnapping. Once again, les incompétents gives the family 24 hours to meet their demands (which I’m still not entirely clear on.) [JC: They want like half a million dollars because . . . reasons. Either Jimmy/Gordon (JIM GORDON? COMMISSIONER GORDON?!) [bat: Does that make Kathy Bat Girl?] prevented them from collecting that amount through nefarious deeds when he turned them in, or he screwed them over and stole it from them, which was my impression, but certainly not the story he told Kat.]
Kathy is crying on the stairs. Gordon immediately berates his daughter, saying he told her Johnny was a part of this. Kathy insists otherwise. “Jesus, Kathy, you think he came to see you?! He was here to deliver this!” Gordon snarls. Wow, this is so awful and bad and horrible and all the other negative adjectives I could add. [JC: I have no idea why Gordon thinks Johnny is involved. He would have been a toddler when the initial shit went down; how exactly does he think he’s connected to two disgraced dirty cops and their convoluted revenge plot? Of course, Johnny did himself no favors by just handing Gordon the envelope and telling him, “This is for you.” Wouldn’t a normal person say something more along the lines of, “This was on your porch,” or something? I FUCKING HATE misunderstandings that could be solved with like three words.] [Raven: He saw them through a window, and he was handed an envelope. THAT’S IT.]
Gordon announces he’s calling the police. Grace cries for him not to. Gordon insists Johnny and co are just down the block and they know something. THE DOORBELL RINGS. Gordon answers the door. It’s DickNick in his nose cast. He greets Gordon, who stomps off, leaving DickNick to wander inside, confused. Grace cries and clutches Gordon. Kathy tells DickNick that “something” has happened to Tommy.
DickNick insists he just saw Tommy headed down town. THAT WAS HOURS OR DAYS OR WEEKS AGO. Gordon asks who Tommy was with. “The guy who jumped me at the Sugar Shack. Tommy looked really scared.” YOU FUCKING LIAR. Kathy insists DickNick is wrong, which he is. God, can we find a wood chipper or maybe that guy standing in the bushes trimming them, and do away with DickNick? Gordon demands to know why Kathy says DickNick is wrong. “I trust [Johnny]!” At this point, he’s the only fucking reliable person in this movie, which is saying something.
Gordon decides this whole charade has gone far enough and he’s involving the police. Grace is freaking out, thinks les incompétents will do something if they know cops are coming. Gordon tells the police it’s an emergency. DickNick berates Kathy for trusting Johnny. Kathy screams NO and grabs the tape from the cassette player. That… that was real odd. Did anyone else notice how odd that scene was? [JC: As opposed to the well-thought-out and competent scenes we’ve had previous to this?] [bat: I’m sorry I’m asking too much of this film.]
Kathy runs from the house as DickNick just sits there and lets her, Gordon yelling as he goes after her. Back at the whack house, nope, Johnny and the chorus haven’t left. They’re sitting around listening to music. HOW DO THEY MAKE MONEY TO LIVE ON? Kathy comes running up but no one thought to turn the music down before she barely yells her line, which I assume is she needs to talk to Johnny. He casually looks at her as Jazz finally turns the music down. “You need a psychiatrist,” Johnny snarks and immediately loses all goodwill with us recappers. [JC: If I had any goodwill left, he would have lost it. He used up all the benefit of the doubt I was willing to give him when he crept into a near-stranger’s room and shoved ice in her mouth while she slept. I would have stabbed him in the fucking eye.] [Wing: I went into this with no goodwill.]
Holding out the tape, Kathy begs Johnny to listen to it, explaining Tommy has been kidnapped. JOHNNY’S JAW DROPS. And now we have to listen to that stupid hostage statement yet again. Well, part of it. Everyone in the chorus manages to look appropriately concerned. Johnny rewinds the tape, focusing on a noise he hears in the background of where Tommy is being kept. IT’S THAT METAL POUNDING MACHINE AT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE! [JC: This movie has sucked my will to live so severely that I can’t even make a sex joke about the pounding at the construction site. If you’ve read any of my recaps/commentary before, you know how serious that is.] [Dove: Don’t worry, I got you. I made the comment.]
Putting their single brain cells together, Johnny and Kathy realize the “thumpin” sound is at the construction site I just mentioned. Now we’re all at the construction site, the chorus on their bikes, Kathy on the back of Johnny’s, and it’s dark. They’re riding around looking in the street for Tommy. But they’re turning up nothing. Duh. Now we get shitty “through a pair of binoculars” POV, where les incompétents are watching the posse gather in the dirt street. “The martians have landed!” bar guy announces. I call them les incompétents for a reason.
They have Tommy in one of the finished houses, bound and gagged. Down below, Johnny notes that just because they can’t hear (the machine) doesn’t mean les incompétents and Tommy aren’t nearby. LOOK AT YOU USE YOUR BRAIN CELL, JOHNNY. Kathy shakes her head and acts hopeless, telling Johnny to forget it and leave. [JC: Kathy always wanted to be an only child anyway.] Up in the house, les incompétents are asking Tommy about Johnny being the lead martian. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK WERE THESE SCRIPT WRITERS DOING. They keep waving around flash lights and shining them through the window but apparently no one sees it.
Johnny and the crew drive away. Bar guy tells Tommy that if Gordon fails Tommy is going to be on a milk carton. Um. He continues by asking Tommy if he knows what that means, then explains that if his “pretty friend” doesn’t get what he wants he gets angry. The pretty one barks at Tommy and confirms he gets real angry. They’re still waving the fucking flashlights around, assholes. Bar guy says when this is over he wants to get himself a “joint like this”. I think he means the unfinished house. [JC: A joint is not enough. I’m going to need several blunts to recover from this shitshow.] [Wing: Maybe next time I’ll do that before I watch a bat-suggested movie.]
“What was that!” Bar guy yells, after no one hears anything. Suddenly Johnny’s bike crashes through the drywall and sort of knocks over les incompétents, soon followed by Jazz and the others. Kathy yells for Tommy. Johnny gets in a fist fight with the pretty one. NO ONE CAN SEE ANYTHING BECAUSE THERE ARE NO LIGHTS, THIS IS FUCKING AMAZINGLY STUPID. Kathy runs over to Tommy and takes him outside as Johnny and the pretty one fake box. Sir D and Jazz trip up the bar guy and drag him over to be, I guess, tied up? Oh my bad, they run him head first into another drywall wall. Johnny slams his elbow into the pretty one’s face and we hear a bird tweeting sound effect as he falls to the ground.
THIS FUCKING MOVIE. [JC: We need something even more intense than capslock, because even BOLD ITALIC CAPSLOCK does not convey the rage this movie induces.]
We get an EXTREME CLOSEUP of a swirling police light. Grace clings to Gordon, sobbing and wanting Tommy to come home. They are standing in the yard of the whack house as cops surround the place. Mae and Roscoe tell an officer that her “grandson” is gone, back to “Harvard”. Oh god. Roscoe adds that the “grandson” is a chem major and has a big final tomorrow. He’s also minoring in “modern dance”.
THIS FUCKING MOVIE. [JC: Better, but still doesn’t fully get the point across!]
Suddenly there is a commotion on the street, as Johnny and the chorus drive up slowly, honking their horns. Kathy jumps off Johnny’s bike and pulls Tommy – now wearing a safety hat because safety third! – off Jazz’s bike. Princess drove the black sedan with les incompétents tied to the hood. “Tommy!” Grace shouts in a weirdly unenthusiastic tone as she walks over to greet her returned child. “Mom, chill!” Tommy demands as she hugs and kisses him.
Grace immediately thinks Johnny and the chorus fucked up Tommy’s hair. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, WOMAN. Johnny announces, hell no, he did it himself. Gordon has been talking to Kathy but we never saw any of it. He tells her he’ll be right back, as Kathy crouches down to hug Tommy and Grace.
Johnny sits stoic and silently on his bike, watching the scene. Cops are actually investigating les incompétents tied to the hood of the car, who are insisting they won’t talk to anybody until they get lawyers. Or at least I’m assuming that was what he said. Gordon approaches Johnny. “Thanks.” He holds out a hand and Johnny shakes it. “Doesn’t really matter,” Johnny replies.
Oh for fuck’s sake.
We cut over to Kathy, who turns around and greets her parents (??) while Gordon says they’ll see her later. I’M PRETTY SURE THIS IS NOT REALITY BASED WHAT SO EVER. Grace practically giggles “Not too late!” at her daughter before Kathy walks over to Johnny. [JC: “Have fun banging the white rapper, honey! Use protection so you don’t catch Johnny’s Influence!”] Johnny tells her he’s still out of here. Then asks what she’s gonna do, calling her a “college girl” like it’s some derogatory thing. Kathy laughs and says college doesn’t start tonight, smart ass. WHAT.
I guess she wants to do Homework.
“Then let’s g-o!” Johnny puts on his shades, Kathy climbs on the back of his bike, but not before DICKNICK screeches up in his convertible. He demands to know if Kathy knows what she’s doing, as he gets out of his fancy car. “I hope not!” Kathy smiles. “I hope you like being a biker chick (?) because you’re not going to see me or my car again!” DickNick threatens.
FINE. THAT’S ABSOLUTELY FUCKING FINE WITH ALL OF US.
“Imagine that!” Johnny smirks as he zooms off and pops a wheelie, Kathy screaming. Or, the stunt man in the bad curly wig does. DickNick stares in anger. “Hold on!” Johnny tells Kathy, he forgot something. Pulling a u-turn, Jazz, Princess, and Sir D all get the same reaction shot time before Johnny jumps DickNick’s convertible. Um, there was no ramp. Also it was filmed so darkly and with so many cuts, how stupid. Everyone stares. Kathy looks over her shoulder and smiles. The picture cuts to black. [JC: Gee, yeah, that’ll show him. I was fully expecting there to be some damage to DickNick’s car, something to really OWN him, but nope. He literally just . . . jumped the car. Okay, calm down there, Fonzie.]
Suddenly the image returns. Kathy in a fancy nightclubbing dress, in a crowd, clapping. A bunch of random shots of club kids and dancers. Jazz at the turntables. A woman singing. The crew dancing on stage before Johnny runs in wearing a seizure-inducing ensemble as Get Wit’ It plays. [JC: Me, screaming, “WHY IS THIS MOVIE STILL HAPPENING?!”]
I will never again complain about the five seconds Vanilla Ice is in TMNT II, because it is nothing compared to the pain of watching a whole fucking film starring Vanilla Ice.
WHAT’S WORSE: ALL THE MONTAGES OR THIS MUSIC PERFORMANCE? [JC: The fact that I still have use of my vision and hearing despite the gallons of bleach I’ve poured directly into my eyes and ears, trying to erase this movie from them?]
There’s some lyrics about how Kathy is his only woman now, complete with shot of Kathy in the crowd with a big old poofy pompadour beehive hairstyle. I don’t know, I’d be embarrassed to be in the same room as Johnny, let alone dating him. Then he writes a song about how you got together? Ugh. [JC: Yo, my name is Johnny V and I’m here to say/I’m a sex pest in ev-er-y way!/Girlies on my tip like white on rice/Yet I creep into their windows/n fill their mouths with ice!] [Raven: *applause*] [Wing: Oh. my. god. This really did break JC. She’s writing songs for Johnny.]
Oh god now we get more air humping crotch thrusts. MY EYES CAN’T BLEED MUCH MORE. [JC: Do you want my bleach?]
We cut to scenes of Johnny and Kathy, Kathy pulling down his eyesore of a jacket, they’re standing in a spotlight, as he lifts her in the air. Now she’s over his shoulder as he spins around in circles and the fucking song ends and the screen reads
You know the phrase, “hoist with his own petard“, which basically means poetic justice?
YEAH I GOT SERVED WITH POETIC JUSTICE BY PICKING THIS FUCKING FILM TO RECAP. I AM SUFFICIENTLY PUNISHED FOR MY SINS. [Wing: NOPE. We watched this too. You will never be sufficiently punished.]
Seriously, though, I had no idea this film was this bad. My Demon Lover was actually more coherent and had a fucking plot compared this this piece of trash. I am at a loss for words on what else to say other then AVOID THIS FILM EVEN IF YOU THINK IT’S FUN TO LAUGH AT BAD MOVIES.
[JC: WHY IS THIS MOVIE, WHY DOES THIS EXIST?! The director disowned this movie and went on to direct a silly amount of commercials, music videos, and something called “Lusty Liaisons II.” This movie is more embarrassing than Lusty Liaisons II, y’all. I just . . . I have nothing more to say, other than to point out the fucking stupidity of appearing on television when you’re in Witness Protection, or unofficially in hiding? I know the description says Witness Protection, but shouldn’t they have some sort of agent/handler they could call if that were the case? Like, what was ANY of this bullshit?
Oh, also, Vanilla Ice won a Razzie for worst new star that year. So there’s that.]
[Dove: This was utterly awful. My Demon Lover was fun and it had Lin Shaye. Rock N’ Roll Whatever was impossible to understand because the sound levels were awful, and this was soooo boring. I didn’t care about anything. bat, why do you keep doing this to us? Are you testing us? If so, I promise we’re you’re friends, you don’t have to push us away to make sure we will stay. And if you’re punishing yourself, forgive yourself. Whatever you did, it can’t be as bad as these movies. We love you, bat. On the plus side, the blue fish were adorable. Though tragically in a too-small bowl.]
[Raven: I thought I could objectively sit through anything, but I was fucking wrong. This was incoherent shite from start to finish. I hated it so much, I actually had trouble commenting on it. This was a fine, fun recap, but the subject matter behind it had literally NOTHING to hook onto. The whole film was surface flimflam. Nothing really connected to anything else. I can honestly say that this was the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Not “film”… “thing“.]
[Wing: I have never in my life been glad to have vertigo UNTIL NOW. I still had to hear this damn movie but at least I had to close my eyes for huge chunks of it. Of course, the room was spinning and I nearly fell out of my chair because of it, but I still didn’t have to look. I still couldn’t look. GRATEFUL.]
It seems I pretty much broke everyone with this recap and probably will have my recap suggestion privileges revoked for picking this. Oh well, I need the time off, anyway. Off to have a laser beam destroy the rocks in my kidney! Until… whenever, I guess.