Let me ask you this- what would the movies Fight Club, Southland Tales, and Unbreakable be without the music of Pixies, and by extension the bass guitar (and voice) of Kim Deal? Hell, it’s worth linking the “Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf)” scene from Richard Kelly’s batshit magnum opus, now that it’s rapidly becoming reality:
For those of you who don’t know, Southland Tales is like Zardoz; upon first viewing, it seems like lunatic nonsense, but if you give it a couple more chances, suddenly everything makes perfect sense. On the surface, these are two terrible movies, but that’s because they are so fully committed to the illumination of unusual ideas, they devote no time to acclimating the average viewer. They practically demand repeated viewings. Also, Southland Tales is funny as shit. Like, did you watch that clip? What do you think The Rock is doing? Would you believe it makes sense in context? And those weren’t people who resembled Jon Lovitz and Cheri Oteri; that was them. Yes, Jon Lovitz plays a dead-eyed racist cop with Johnny Unitas hair. I know, right?
Dude, you could be watching Southland Tales right now and laughing your ass off. Imagine an absolutely insane allegory told by someone on a shitload of drugs who peppers the story with prophetic truths. I don’t even like Donnie Darko; I firmly believe that Richard Kelly went for broke when he hit paydirt, and made a movie that literally no one else could make, something I greatly respect. Plus you can probably find it for like two dollars. Before anyone says anything, yes, there is a brief scene of two cars fucking, but what no one tells you is that it’s an ironic parody of a pretentious car commercial. Whether or not it works is up to you, but the fact remains, it’s like the 6000 SUX from Robocop, as far as contextual application.
(And as far as Zardoz goes, I’ve seen it enough times to tell you that even its title makes sense in context, but if I explain it, I would be spoiling it in a manner akin to revealing the meaning of “Rosebud” in Citizen Kane. I will tell you that if you tough it out, and pay attention like it’s something you’re made to watch in class*, you will eventually understand it to some degree. After three complete viewings, you will become immortal, to paraphrase Protoclown.)
*It’s John Boorman, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
So we’re at the point in the Bands I Useta Like strip where I’m literally talking to myself. This is Year 23, which I point out because I can’t believe it either. The bit in the third panel about “Debaser” is an inside joke which I detailed (along with technical details about the evolution of the strip) for my patrons. Look, shit’s serious now. This is how I make a living, along with selling toys. The silver lining in a year of misery and confinement is that all other options for gainful employment were nullified, so I stuck with what I do best (generally speaking).
The dealie with the Last Splash CD stuck inside it that appears in the first two panels is an “anti-theft” device, which I don’t think was in play yet in 1993. If I recall correctly, the CD came packed inside a longbox, which was a 12″ x 6″ x .75″ cardboard sleeve that (for new releases) was a colorful (if extraneous) extension of the album art. It also made the CD incredibly easy to shoplift. Thus, in 1994, corporate ordered us to trash every single longbox, place the unwrapped CD inside into a floppy pre-gummed baggie, and click each CD into its own anti-theft device, then put it back on the shelf priced $17.99. Before you ask, yes, that place went out of business. If you’re curious, their name rhymed with “Mockmuster Busic”.
Not to keep bringing up Southland Tales, but I wish I could find the old Agony Booth article on it. It was a roundtable review, and the guy who got the part where the cars fuck completely flipped out. Holy shit, it was easily one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.
Oh what the fudge, I’ll just link the scene for you. It’s not even the funniest or weirdest scene in the movie, and if you can think of a better way to sell a Saltair Treer, I’d love to hear it. Don’t watch it at work or around minors.
I don’t know how to end this article. I hate myself and want to die. Kurt Cobain said that. Happy New Year.
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