Friendship is a wonderful and restorative thing when it is in its good and proper form, a life-affirming and sometimes simply life-sustaining state that few people or cartoon animals can do without.
Thing is, there are very likely people in your life that are present there more in the way certain bits of detritus snag on to a tree’s branches on a windy day, brought together by mindless, elemental forces, tossed about by nothing more than the law that states that things simply get tossed about. Â There are those people who are there because they enhance the freakishly terrible, freakishly wonderful bubble of self awareness that interrupts our usual state of being nothing but nothing, and then there are, well…the detritus types that hang about because either you haven’t shaken them loose or they haven’t died yet.
Well, my fellow real-time travelers, there is a way to clean things up a bit, dust yourself off and find yourself just a bit lighter for the absence of people who really shouldn’t be weighing down your time machine, and that way…is TROLL 2.
Chances are you’ve already seen Troll 2, own it on dvd, or have it in some form or another in your possession. If you do, you’re alright, but I still hate you.
The rest of you pay attention.
Remember that scene in John Carpenter’s version of The Thing, the one where everyone is tied to the couch while Â MacReady tests their blood to sniff out who among them is the badass, shape shifting alien that isn’t at all CG, is occasionally a dodgy puppet but generally badass? Certain movies are like that, capable of weeding out the rubbish contaminants in your immediate world, only it’s not a test to see whose blood flees from a hot wire but it works just about the same.
Everyone’s personal battery is specific to their person, of course, but there are a few movies that are pretty much universally (that’s right, I did research) regarded as litmus tests for the validity of a friendship, Troll 2 being one of them. Here’s a small sampling of a few others that have acted like beneficial forest fires in my experience: Â Riki Oh: The Story of Ricky, The Evil Dead series, Dreamcatcher, a selection of Takashi Miike films, and pretty much anything in a box I keep out of sight for fear that someone might anticipate my springing its dubious assortment of cinematic contents on them to make sure they deserve to eat my snacks
Sure, the characters in The Thing weren’t good friends as much as co-workers brought together by employment, but the heart of the test remains almost unchanged from your predicament of wanting to ensure the person tied to the couch with you isn’t some hideous abomination, albeit in this case a hideous abomination that would question why you think guy having his head broken apart like a soft Halloween pumpkin! The second the title “Ichi the Killer” surfaces from a puddle of hot semen, your friend is either going to turn to you with tears in their eyes, tears of joy at what you have decided to share with them, or they’ll fly up and stick to the ceiling, their eyes bubbling from their warping heads, the incompatible monster revealed as they shriek obscenities and start texting their awful friends who probably talk with pride about how wasted they got last night and oh my god so and so totally had to hold my hair back while I puked out all the fun I was having about what they’d rather be doing.
It works the other way, too, of course! I’ve cut several ill-conceived associations short after a night’s viewing of a movie or two someone sat me down with. One such time that’ll live in infamy was the day a lady I was in the early stages of wooing decided to share with me two of her favorite films, films that I now imagine she celebrated in poster form plastered all over her walls. Those films? A heaping helping of steaming Boondock Saints followed by the burning demon scat known as Death to Smoochy. At the start of the evening life was a perfectly pleasant melange of the anticipation of new movie input and the appreciation of attractive company. By the time Smoochy was nearing its end the veil of glamour had been cruelly ripped from my eyes, tears of blood drawing a boring red map of woe down my face as I beheld my companion in her true form, an unspeakable thing of innumerable mouths screaming impossibly inward, enveloping all in its vacuum of dreadful, hollow agony, sucking it away into its mad core where nothing can exist and yet never dies. Â That was the end of that.
It was at this point that I began to understand the power and efficacy of the test, and that pretty people are usually awful husks of things.
J.R. Goldberg, a person with a cat, once told me a similar story about being on a date and showing some jerk Riki Oh and having to not load up the shotgun when his only reaction to the movie was to call it “disgusting”. Â Not “disgusting” followed by a high five or anything, just “disgusting”. Â Some fourty years ago, I recall sitting Goldberg herself down to share with her that very same movie, and the high fives were ridiculous. Â By the end of the night I had broken both her arms from incessant high fiving and mine were severely sore. Â I wore iron gauntlets in those days. Â “Disgusting” indeed. Â I hope that guy is dead.
Maybe you think it has something to do with the number of years a person has behind them, and that maybe I just shouldn’t care so much about silly little differences like that, and a bit of that could factor into it. Surely, at my advanced age, 65, I feel I haven’t the time to waste on the nonessential things in life like people that don’t laugh when a character in Riki-Oh says that when Oscar shows his tattoo he HAS to kill! Culling those bastards from the landscape, it’s a form of personal terraforming born of desperation and the awareness of how much you Â have behind you and how little precious time Â you have ahead! It could be that, but you’re off the mark if you think it’s just a thing for the elderly!
You guys out there with your diapers and your newfangled hairstyles that are pretty much just copies of your parents’ hairstyles only now it’s not shocking, your youth guarantees you only a smoother corpse after the bus that could hit you any day now fails to brake because the driver was texting like an asshole trust fund girl in her enormous SUV and the last thing you see is an 80 year old man pointing and laughing at you feeling utterly victorious for outliving you. You’re going to wish hadn’t spent time on that couch or huddled in front of that computer choking down someone’s beloved copy of Twilight in hopes that maybe they’ll want to go with you to get tacos afterward because you don’t want to go alone because oh god you’re so lonely. BE LONELY and feel glad that you’re not mucking up your hideously lonely life with some jerk that doesn’t think Dreamcatcher is one of the most brilliantly awful movies ever committed to film, a person that doesn’t almost die from laughter when Duddits, for whatever reason, mutates into a space lizard and explodes.
Look…this is just my way of letting you know that Troll 2 is on Hulu now, and there’s no excuse for you, those of you who have access to Hulu anyhow, to watch it. Those of you outside of the Hulusphere do what you can to get your hands on it and start losing some friends right away, yeah?