A very insistent ringing of my phone woke me up. I never answer, because I hate the damned thing. But whoever it was was kind enough to leave a message.
“You wanna know what’s the biggest turkey? Have you seen the list of late fees & non-returned rentals that group of yours has racked up? On YOUR account? Take your pick!
The only turkey still available here is Yor, Hunter from the Future. It’s atrociously cheesy. Dinosaurs, aliens, barbarian tribesmen. Looks like something the stoner kids in town would film out in the woods.
Don’t come back in here until you’re ready to settle your tab, Doc. I’m serious this time.”
Damn. Not a voicemail I wanted to wake up to this morning. Okay. Looks like I need to take up a collection and get these things back to Mike.
I wandered down to the viewing room and grabbed the couple of movies I had (which were not late, I’ll have you know.) There’s actually no telling how many rentals are hiding here in the Bunker, so I dropped them into the extra-large tote that Mike gave me the last time we had this conversation.
Crystal Dawn’s room was just a little ways away, so I figured she’d be the easiest to pick up from. Also, I was going to need a ride into Town to drop things off and make nice with Mike.
I knocked on her door. “Crystal Dawn?” I asked quietly. “You in there?”
The door swung wide, her smallish frame seeming to block the entire doorway. Didn’t matter; most everything was blocked by a couple of dressing screens.
“Whatchya need, hoss?” she drawled.
“Mike’s on to me about late rentals and fees and I’m just here to collect. And to see if you’d give me a ride up there, maybe?”
She disappeared for a few, mumbling to herself as she dug around in something for her rentals. Mike mentioning “biggest turkey” got my gears turning earlier. And now I had a question burning between my ears.
“Say, Crystal Dawn, what’s the biggest turkey of a movie you’ve ever seen?”
There was what can only be described as an angry squeak that emerged from behind the screen, followed by dead silence. A very visually perturbed Crystal Dawn, tapes and discs clutched to her chest, stalked back towards the door.
“Why do you do this to me, Doc?” she hissed at me through clenched teeth. “Dear Lord, why? I had almost nearly pushed Wing Commander completely out of my mind!” She was getting louder with each word. “Maybe, if they hadn’t focused so much on making it visually pretty and gave their cast some fucking acting notes, it might not have been an abject failure 100% of the way around. Critically panned. Dead box office. I swear, the money it actually did make was from folks who just wanted to see the Star Wars trailer! Augh!”
And with that, she threw the rentals at me and slammed the door in my face. I glanced down the hallway, but not a soul seemed to be curious what all that was. As I gathered her returns and popped them in the bag I heard her muffled, “Be ready to go in an hour.”
Good. At least I wasn’t going to have to walk.
I dropped by Richard’s room next. Honestly, I probably should have dropped by before checking in with everyone else while he dug his stuff out of God knows where. But, I stood stoically in the doorway as he rooted around. I asked him the same question.
“So ‘some asshole’ told me ‘Hey Richard, you should watch the Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and Street Fighter animated series!’ I knew that you were historically terrible about recommending shit like that, but as much as I had a love for fighting games, I had to give it a shot. Instantly regretted the decision to attempt to binge, as MK had casted Ron Fucking Perlman as Stryker, and Luke Perry as Sub-Zero, and the animation for Street Fighter was just fucking too bad to actually try to watch. Fuck you, Doc”
He managed to produce about 3 videos. I really hope that’s all. I knocked on Baylie’s door next. I’m really not sure if she ever rents from the video store, but I’ve got to ask.
Of course, she says she doesn’t rent. But I asked about the Biggest Turkey.
“Huh?” she asked. It took her a second and I was about to explain when she continued. “Oh! I really wanted to like Long Shot, because Seth Rogan is funny and Charlize Theron is bomb. But, like, it just kinda….existed? I mean, the story had potential, but even the expected tropes fell flat. 2/10, never stream this.”
Smart cookie. I was going to hit Bella’s room next, but… I just can’t. I think I’m just going to take what I have to Mike and figure out what’s left to return. Maybe I can just send her an email to drop her stuff off soon? Also, is it unmanly of me to have hugged the wall opposite of her door as I drug my bag full of vids back to my office?
I did need to make sure those who didn’t live inside these hallowed halls [why did I just have a shiver run down my back?] didn’t have anything of Mike’s, either. As I said, I loathe the phone, so I sent texts.
Brrappaa responded first.
“Okay, so… Suicide Squad (some of you down there are gonna hate on this, but whatever) was the BIGGEST piece of trash I’ve seen on the big screen since I started in radio. I had a promo pass and wanted to ask for a refund. I’ve gotten into comic movies lately (but not the comic books, you know, can’t be that nerdy after all) and kind of wanted this one to work after seeing the premise. But then I went and got popcorn and wondered what the hell I walked in to when I came back. The story had so much potential, and I loved the casting choices. I guess one day, maybe, those at DC will let someone who knows the characters write them.”
Stronger views than I would have assumed out of Brrappaa. Color me surprised. Also just made a note to see if I could convince him to do a review or two for me.
Aiofe’s response came in while I was reading Brrappaa’s.
“It was to be a return to great cinema – a new tale set in the thrilling universe of the Alien franchise. Ridley Scott was to show us the beauty and the horror of how life on Earth began. I speak of none other than Prometheus. The cast was fantastic. Hopes ran quite high. But what we received was pretty, moving pictures with little substance – a veritable host of trope upon trope that left me, and many others, feeling like we had been duped. There was nothing new and exciting in this. To use your parlance, Dr. Camp, it was an utter flop. It was much too derivative of the first Alien film to stand as good cinema on its own, much like the recent Star Wars films.”
A touch stuffy, maybe a little over the top, but definitely a well thought out answer. I can tell Aiofe has some strong feelings about the Alien franchise. I decided I could ponder exactly how I could exploit that passion on the trip up to Town. Hopefully, it will occupy my brain well enough to not pay attention to Crystal Dawn’s driving.