The Zone Wars
Indeed, Zone War was the common cry, and global fiction and film artists had picked up their symbolic swords to fight. Unfortunately, however, despite the fact that the dread allegorical Zone Wars were now being waged 237, and despite the best wishes of outraged, disappointed, depressed and alienated young audiences, STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI was another huge financial success for Lord Stinkious, despite not being a critical or popular success. For everyone went to see the film in order to complete the Classic Trilogy and to assure themselves that Lord Stinkous was indeed an insidious and duplicitous Lord of the Shit Sith Hits. An assurance that that film and its infuriatingly cutesy Ewoks provided all too well. In fact, viewers felt as betrayed by STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI as they had been by the TZ disaster and the news that Lord Stinkious was working with Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg on INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, and were now convinced that Lord Stinkious was indeed as evil as Folsey, Kennedy, Landis, Marshall and Spielberg.
Indeed, fans were so angry and despondent, that the news several months after the release of STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI that Geogre and Marcia were getting a divorce no doubt pleased many, as it implied that Marcia was as fed up with Lord Stinkious as the average outraged viewer. It turned out that Marcia had been having an extramarital affair in the San Francisco area while Lord Stinkious worked in London on STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI. This affair was partly due to the fact that a distance had grown between Geogre and Marcia years earlier, after Marcia stopped editing the films of Lord Stinkious and began to edit the films of Scorcese in order to escape from the shadow of her husband. Marcia had also wanted to start a family, but had been unable to do so due to the lack of interest of Lord Stinkious. He insisted that his lack of interest was due not to impotence but to the fact that he wanted to first establish himself as a film artist and create his Skywalker Ranch film facility before he started a family. However, the Dark and raging fear of incest that haunted the Classic Trilogy made one wonder if a real life fear that he would succumb to the lure of incestuous relations with a daughter had also influenced his decision to delay starting a family.
Indeed, in support of that implied fear, Geogre tried to mollify Marcia by strangely insisting on adopting a baby daughter named Amanda until they began having their own children. As the couple were capable of having children, this decision to adopt a child no doubt hurt the feelings of Marcia as it implied that Geogre did not want to have children with his wife. As noted, the decision to work with Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg on INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM while refusing to publicly talk about the TZ disaster also no doubt upset Marcia, convincing her that Lord Stinkious and the three people most responsible for the TZ disaster were uninterested in the fatal tragedy and only interested in fortune and glory. Thus, Geogre and Marcia no doubt quarrelled like Han and Leia in STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and Steve and Laurie in MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI, with Marcia wanting to stay and have a family, and Geogre wanting to advance his film career at the expense of love and the support and admiration of peers and audiences.
And so Marcia responded by finding solace in the arms of Tom Rodriguez, a lover and stained glass specialist who was among the army of workers transforming the Bay area dream of Skywalker Ranch into reality. And so the success of the Classic Trilogy and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK brought a private film retreat for Geogre, but led to his divorce from Marcia in September of 1983. And so Lord Stinkious emerged as Skyrocker and then was struck down by the Great Divorce of 1983, a divorce that reputedly cost him fifty million dollars. And so Lord Stinkious lost his love to another man, like Doniphon lost Hallie to Ransom in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, a curious reminder of the 1962 Ford classic that linked the Great Divorce to the Great Crash of 1962. For Lord Stinkious, life had truly and ironically imitated art (Maxford, pp. 114-5).
Not surprisingly, the Great Divorce also joined Dark and Twilit Forces with the TZ disaster to thematically dominate the post-1982 film art of Lord Stinkious. However, as the Great Divorce happened while filming on the next Indiana Jones film was almost complete, the TZ disaster naturally overwhelmed and overshadowed Lord Stinkious and Emperor Palpaberg’s twilit and Ozian themed sequel, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. Indeed, one could hear the influence of the TZ disaster even in the name of this Indy sequel, for Temple of Doom had the same number of letters and a cadence that was similar to Twilight Zone. The film’s title also summed up the circumstances underlying the film, for the TZ disaster had turned the exultant triumphs of Lord Stinkious and Emperor Palpaberg in the Temple Theatre into a Temple Theatre of Doom nightmare for the two writer/producer/directors. As for Badham, after being one of the last film artists to release a film before STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI crashed and burned in the Temple Theatre, Badham also became one of the first film artists to release a film after the infuriating and embittering betrayal of the Force when he returned to the Temple Theatre on June 3, 1983 with BLUE THUNDER composer Arthur B. Rubinstein and the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced film, WAR GAMES (1983), a fittingly entitled film, given that the dread allegorical Zone Wars had implicitly begun, and one of the first created in the months after the TZ disaster between August-November 1982.
Significantly, like BLUE THUNDER, WAR GAMES was one of the first allegorical films to implicitly doubt and challenge the belief that computers and CGI enhancement would solve the problem of the TZ disaster, warning film artists in general and Catmull and Lucas in particular that replacing people with CGI would destroy the humanity of film art. Literally, for it was the decision to replace soldiers who manned the nuclear response bunkers with the HAL evoking War Operations Plan Response (WOPR) aka Joshua that proved to be the big WOPR of a mistake that almost led to the destruction of all life on Earth in a global thermonuclear wargame that began to be played for real when Joshua was hacked by the GALAGA loving and implicitly Stinkious linked teen hacker, David Lightman-played by Matthew Broderick-a war that Lightman managed to prevent with the help of Joshua’s programmer, the implicitly Gilbert linked Doctor Stephen ‘Millenium’ Falken-played by John Wood and the Leigh resembling Jennifer Mack-played by Ally Sheedy. Curiously, the film’s implicit pro-humanity and anti-CGI message clearly resonated with audiences despite the deaths of Chen, Le and Morrow in the TZ disaster, given the success of WAR GAMES.
As for Springsteen, how appropriate that the title track of the Springsteen recording, BORN IN THE U.S.A. (1984), released on June 4, 1984 should also lament a brother who died in Khe Sanh, Vietnam during the Vietnam War. For it reminded us that Morrow was a brother film artist who died on a recreated Vietnam War set. A link made allegorically implicit by Khe Sanh, for the location reminded us of KSAN, the San Francisco rock radio station that figured prominently in GIMME SHELTER, the notorious rockumentary that Lucas and Murch worked on in their struggling young years...making one wonder if Springsteen was implicitly lamenting the death of Morrow, or the symbolic death of Lucas, in ‘Born in the U.S.A.’. At any rate, Springsteen’s moving and musical mediation on the Vietnam War was the perfect soundtrack for the infuriating return of Landis to theatres on June 8, 1983 when he teamed up again with Akroyd, Bernstein, Folsey jr., Nadoolman, Oz and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON editor Malcolm Campbell and director of photography Robert Paynter and frantically attempted to soothe theatregoers with the twilit and allegorical film, TRADING PLACES (1983).
Not surprisingly, the film saw Akroyd’s implicitly Landis linked Louis Winthorpe III turn the tables on and triumph over the duplicitous, scheming and President Reagan and Vice President George Bush resembling and implicitly Warner Brothers linked brothers, Mortimer and Randolph Duke-played by Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy, respectively-with the help of Ophelia, the hooker with a heart of gold, and the implicitly Folsey jr. linked homeless rascal Billy Ray Valentine-played by Jamie Lee Curtis and Eddie Murphy, respectively-after the insidious scheming of the wealthy, powerful and dastardly Duke brothers cost Winthorpe his job, wealth, status and fiancée, implying the hope of Landis that he and Folsey jr. would also triumph over the twilit adversity that upended their world in reality. Unfortunately, and infuriatingly, Folsey jr. and Landis would briefly do just that, for the film was a surprise hit. Significantly, however, Folsey jr. and Landis did not have long to enjoy their success, as the day after the release of TRADING PLACES Glen sent Moore’s Bond to India to hunt down and kill the implicitly Folsey jr. linked Kamal Khan and the implicitly Landis linked Gobinda-played by Louis Jourdan and Kabir Bedi, respectively-for all of their twilit sins when Bond returned to the Temple Theatre on June 10, 1983 in the twilit and allegorical film, OCTOPUSSY (1983).
How fitting that the eponymous Octopussy-played by Maud Adams, who played Andrea Anders in the allegorical Guy Hamilton film, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974)-resembled and was perhaps implicitly linked to Bigelow, for the sight of the fearless, wily, beautiful and curvaceous Octopussy and her army of equally fearless, indomitable, beautiful, curvaceous and acrobatic Amazons attacking and defeating Khan’s male security force, in the end, reaffirmed that a new age of equally fearless, wily, indomitable and beautiful female film artists were indeed storming the Temple Theatre and making it their own, at last. At any rate, Bigelow and the rest of the emerging female film artists were best to take close heed of the film’s concluding message, for ‘Professor’ Bond ably and openly demonstrated that lusts for blockbuster fortune and glory inevitably led to deadly blockbuster bombs, in the end. Speaking of Prof. Bond, how also grimly fitting that the film alluded to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and Dr. Jones, given the allusions to THE SPY WHO LOVED ME in that film, and given that Jones would also turn up in India-actually, Sri Lanka-in the next Indy film.
Curiously, Lester implicitly agreed with Glen, for the implicitly Kubrick linked Clark ‘Superman’ Kent-played again by Reeve-flew into the Temple Theatre on June 17, 1983 to defend the Hollywood status quo yet again by defeating his twilit Dark Directorial Side before confronting and defeating, firstly, the computer obsessed and implicitly Meyer linked Ross Webster-played by Robert Vaughan-and his beastly blockbuster plans to control the world with his sinister computer complex and, secondly, the despondent and implicitly Landis linked Brad Wilson-played by Gavan O’Herlihy-Lester implicitly took on and took out both Landis and the TZ disaster and the danger that developing CGI so as to prevent future film set disasters could lead to the brave new CGI world created in STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN overwhelming the world of film art and taking its humanity in the twilit, CGI enhanced and allegorical Lester super satirical film, SUPERMAN III (1983), in an implicit attempt to nip the dread, allegorical and often CGI enhanced Zone Wars in the bud before they broke out in earnest. An implicit attempt to prevent the break out of the dread Zone Wars that was swept away a week later by the release on June 24, 1983 of the twilit and allegorical Dante, Landis, Miller and Spielberg film, TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1983).
‘Did you ever watch
the TWILIGHT ZONE?’
Not surprisingly, given his nightmarish situation, Landis returned with Akroyd, Allingham, Campbell, Folsey jr. and Nadoolman and continued to address the TZ disaster in TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE and confirm that he was doing so with his choice of actor in the opening prologue he wrote and directed for the now notorious film. Significantly, though, Landis first deliberately linked the beginning of his prologue and of the overall film to the beginning of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. Indeed, the sight of a lonely rural highway in the gathering dark and the sound of CCR’s ‘Midnight Special’ (1969) immediately evoked the darkening and rolling moors of northern England and the sound of CCR’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ (1969) playing at the beginning of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, linking director and audience initially to the last high flying and good year of film. This link to the Last Good Year was reaffirmed by the actor who played an unnamed and Belushi resembling driver driving through the dark and spooky rural highway, for Albert Brooks wrote, directed and starred in the allegorical film, MODERN LOVE (1981).
Soon the car’s tape player ate up the CCR tape that the driver and his hitchhiking passenger-played by Akroyd-initially sang along with as they cruised through the twilit darkness. This was the first manifestation of the obsession with mechanical problems to appear in a post-TZ disaster film, preparing viewers for a malicious and machine tampering gremlin that would arrive later in the film, and to the snafu and fubar filled films to come. Soon after the passenger transformed not into a lined and blue skinned witch, attacked and killed the driver, which perhaps implied that Landis was ruefully admitting that his career had been effectively killed by his Dark Side.
Curiously, after the murderous prologue, the film went off into an title sequence that openly evoked the opening of the original TWILIGHT ZONE series. This link was enhanced by the fact that it was voiced by Meredith, the four time original TWILIGHT ZONE champ, confirming that his appearance in CLASH OF THE TITANS, MAGIC and the ROCKY films had indeed been twilit and ominous. After a Serling-like introduction that set the scene which was also voiced by Meredith, the film than moved into the first episode, the twilit and allegorical Landis telefilm, ‘Fender Trap’, which revolved around Morrow’s belligerent and cranky William ‘Bill’ Connor being punished for insulting Arabs, Asians, blacks and Jews at the Fender Trap bar after work like a depressed and despondent Dean Wormer of Faber College in ANIMAL HOUSE. The main difference was that Connor was punished for his remarks by being sent to the Twilight Zone, where he suffered the nightmare of being Jewish in Nazi occupied France, black in the KKK terrorizing South and Viet-cong in American held territory in the Vietnam War.
Curiously, a German officer-played by Remus Peets-who harassed Connor in Nazi occupied France resembled John Cleese of Monty Python. This reminded us that Cleese co-starred in TIME BANDITS, a film that also featured madcap little people and one boy bouncing from one time in Earth’s history to the next, rather like Connor. This implied that William Connor symbolized Gilliam Terrence, and that Landis was roasting him and TIME BANDITS in this episode…At any rate, without the redeeming footage of Connor saving the kids due to its being seized by TZ disaster investigators, Connor was last seen imprisoned by the Nazis on a train car and sent with a group of morose and silent Jews to a concentration camp, making Connor’s end as final and as tragic as the real life experience of Morrow on the Landis set. And, on that grim and sobering note, the film slowly dissolved into the beginning of the twilit and allegorical Palpaberg telefilm, ‘Kick The Can’-made with Kahn, Kennedy and Marshall-the second episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, and the last episode to be created after the tragedy.
Significantly, ‘Kick The Can’ was the first of many post-TZ disaster Emperor Palpaberg films to liberate children from the Twilight Zone, underlining how haunted the Emperor was by the disaster and how eager he was to get back in the good books of his youthful audiences. In fact, Emperor Palpaberg confirmed that he was using his episode to desperately come to grips with the TZ disaster by his choice of allegorical remake of original TWILIGHT ZONE episode. For, with his initial choice, ‘The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street’, about a mob of equally desperate people rising up to find, attack and kill the alien invader they believed had infiltrated their neighbourhood now altogether too much like the real life audience uprising being directed at him over the TZ disaster, Emperor Palpaberg not surprisingly chose instead to direct an allegorical remake of the more soothing allegorical, George C. Johnson written and Lamont Johnson telefilm, ‘Kick The Can’ (1962), from the third season-updated by Johnson, Matheson and Melissa Mathison, screenwriter of E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL, under the protective pseudonym of Josh Rogan.
Significantly, we soon met an elderly man named Mr. Conroy-played by Bill Quinn-trapped in the Hollywood cadenced Sunnyvale Rest Home and as unhappy and as disconsolate as Connor in his train car. Unlike Connor, however, Emperor Palpaberg implied that Conroy was an unhappy viewer who no longer believed in the magic of filmmaking due to the TZ disaster. Indeed, the fact that Selma Diamond’s Mrs. Weinstein had played Lil in the allegorical Benjamin film, MY FAVORITE YEAR (1982), confirmed this segment’s interest in the twilit and disastrous events of 1982. So cranky and disconsolate, that Conroy peevishly turned down a chance to be transformed back into a child, along with a group of his fellow elders during a magical game of kick the can, by a mysterious new senior named Mr. Bloom-played by Scatman Crothers. For Bloom returned childhood and its effortless magic to Conroy’s fellow retirees in a way that allowed Emperor Palpaberg to bond with child actors and reach out to and reassure audience-particularly young audiences-that he could be trusted with children in the angry and disaffected years after the disaster.
Mr. Bloom also gave his elderly associates the chance to stay in childhood and relive their lives. However, all of the seniors except one turned down the chance, preferring to die quietly as adult viewers with youthful minds instead of being trapped as children in the Twilight Zone Neverland forever like Chen and Le. This decision implied the hope of Emperor Palpaberg, Kennedy and Marshall that after kicking the film can for a while and releasing their outraged fury and frustrations about the TZ disaster, audiences-particularly youthful audience members who were so angry about the TZ disaster-would also come to their senses, calm down and get on with their lives like the majority of the elderly citizens of the Sunnyvale Rest Home. And the hope that fellow film artists would quickly release their fury and move on to, for Martin Garner’s Mr. Weinstein evoked Coppola, and Peter Brocco’s Mr. Mute evoked Lucas.
Significantly, only a nattily dressed, English and implicitly Clayton linked senior named Mr. Agee-played by the all too fittingly surnamed Murray Matheson-took up the chance to remain a child and lead his life again, fleeing happily into the night, implying that Spielberg wished that Clayton would go away too. Leaving a disappointed Conroy-who suddenly decided that he wanted Bloom to make him young again when he saw the young and gleefully high spirited Agee at the end of the game of kick the can-behind in his elderly concentration camp. Curiously, soon after completing this last episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, Emperor Palpaberg, Kennedy and Marshall also fled into an England linked twilight, leaving behind the U.S. and all its reporters and TZ disaster investigators and heading to England to attend the royal premiere of E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL soon after filming the episode-with Marshall noticeably not returning until after the TZ trial was safely over, thus saving Emperor Palpaberg, Kennedy and himself from any incriminating revelations in court.
Curiously, the sweet sight and sound of Mr. Bloom briefly allowing seniors to become innocent children again evoked the more sinister sight and sound of Mr. Dark transforming adults into children and young men and women in SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, implying the possibility that Palpaberg decided to reply to that film when he found out that Disney had decided to create it after the TZ disaster-or did Disney decide to create SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES when they found out that Palpaberg had decided to make ‘Kick The Can’ rather than ‘The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street’ his episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE? At any rate, the similarity of ‘Kick The Can’ to SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES linked well with the film’s third episode, which saw Dante team up again with McCarthy, Miller, Rob Bottin and Michael Finnell-special f/x man and producer, respectively, of THE HOWLING-on the twilit and allegorical telefilm, ‘It’s A Good Life’.
For this episode saw Kathleen Quinlan’s earnest young teacher, Helen Foley-whose surname implicitly affirmed her implicit status as a symbol of film art via the foley sound artists who recorded everyday sounds like closing doors and footsteps for films while also curiously linking the episode and the film openly to SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES via the old and young versions of schoolteacher Miss Foley (played by Mary G. Canfield and Sharan Lea, respectively) in that film-befriend a strange boy named Anthony-who resembled and was implicitly linked to King given the episode’s allusions to ‘The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrill’ and ‘The Crate’ in CREEPSHOW, and played by Jeremy Licht-after hitting him with her car and damaging his bike as she backed out of a roadside diner-one of whose patrons was Bill Mumy, who played Anthony in the original TWILIGHT ZONE telefilm episode.
Driving him home to his isolated Bates house in her Volkswagen Rabbit with the twilit license plate LVK 273, Foley discovered that Anthony was another lost boy like Agee. And an Anthony with the twilit power to Force his captive surrogate family-most of whom had roles in the original TWILIGHT ZONE, including McCarthy’s Uncle Walt, affirming the episode’s twilit intent-to live in a surreal and violent television cartoon Neverland of his own troubled imagination. Of course, while implicitly linked to King, Anthony and his out of control cartoon reality also evoked Landis and his equally out of control films and disastrous sets, a link underlined by the fact that Foley’s surname evoked Folsey jr., the longtime older producer of the films of Landis.
Thus, by charming and relaxing Anthony and coaxing him out of troubled and twilit Neverland and back to sane and responsible reality over the course of the episode, Dante and Foley reached out to heal the irresponsible Landis as much as King and free him from his wild and childish Dark Side-and reassure audiences that Landis and other equally wild New Hollywood film artists like Wild Bill Friedkin had been sobered by the TZ disaster and would strive to be better directors with safer film sets from now on-freeing Agee from Neverland by this liberation, and bringing episode two as well as three full healing circle. But not for long, for wild disharmony initially ruled the stormswept skies and drove Lithgow’s William Gibson resembling and implicitly linked writer on digital subjects and anxious airplane passenger, John Valentine, stark raving mad in Miller’s twilit and allegorical fourth and final episode, ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet’, based on ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet’ from the original TWILIGHT ZONE.
Significantly, the punk rocker with the ruby red mohawk and the elderly woman in the headband and Olivia Newton John exercise gear seated behind Valentine ironically recalled Wez and the pretty blonde Dorothy of THE ROAD WARRIOR, hinting that this telefilm would also feature a desperate fight against a blockbuster beast. The plane and its passengers underlined the link, recalling the school bus in the Oillium convoy at the end of the second Mad Max film. Thus, it was not too surprising when the battle began, as Valentine fought with his own fears of flying and plane crashes, his conviction that there was a gleefully mischievous blockbuster beast of a gremlin-played by Cedar-on the sinister left wing that had to be stopped before it destroyed the engines on that wing, and the alarmed fellow passengers of the plane who fought an equally desperate and ironic battle with him to prevent him from crashing the plane he was fighting so frantically to save from the gleefully destructive beast, a desperate mass uprising that recalled the audience uprising against Emperor Palpaberg, Folsey, Kennedy, Landis, Lord Stinkious and Marshall and the TZ disaster.
Clearly, Miller was all too aware that audiences were angry with Landis-and perhaps even with him, given the many dangerous stunts in MAD MAX and THE ROAD WARRIOR-and sympathetically allowed them to allegorically vent that anger in this episode. Indeed, the fact that John Valentine shared the first name of John Landis and that his surname evoked Murphy’s Valentine in TRADING PLACES implicitly affirmed the implicit intent of the episode. Miller also implied in the episode that he sympathized with his fellow film artists too, who, like Valentine, were going to so nervous about fatal TZ disasters happening on their sets for the first few years that they too would be nervous wrecks long before they got on set, like Valentine before the flight even started. Miller clearly urged everyone to be calm and work together to get through this turbulent passage of film, like the passengers and crew of the fateful flight, so as not to bring down the film art they were trying to save, symbolized by the airplane. So that one day, no doubt with the help of CGI, the TZ disaster would have faded away and diminished in importance, disappearing like Valentine being driven away to a psychiatric hospital at the end of the telefilm.
Indeed, Miller's choice of Lithgow to play Valentine underlined that implicit interpretation of 'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet’, for Lithgow had played a transvestite named Roberta in the allegorical Walter Hill film, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP (1982), a film forever linked to the TZ disaster for it was released later in the day of July 23,1982, linking Lithgow forever after to July 23, 1982, as well. Thus, the sight of Lithgow’s Valentine fading away in the end literally symbolized the hope that the disastrous and fatal events of July 23, 1982 would also fade away, allowing TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE to recapture some of the wholesome harmony it had picked up with the end of ‘It’s a Good Life’ and end on a bit of a harmonious note.
Unfortunately for Miller and audiences, Valentine’s round, rimless spectacles, his three syllable surname and his fear of flying linked him to Emperor Palpaberg. Indeed, Jerry Goldsmith’s music for this episode evoked the JAWS theme, reaffirming Valentine’s implicit link to Emperor Palpaberg. A fitting link, as the nightmarish flight evoked not just the TZ disaster, but all of the earlier fearful meditations on flight and planes in the films of Spielberg, from the deadly plane spinning out of control on the tarmac of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, the wild plane flights and crashes of 1941, the ghost WWII fighter planes of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, and the film long riff on the NORTH BY NORTHWEST crop dusting plane in DUEL. Thus, it was all too fitting that Valentine was driven away in an ambulance by the Landis linked and monstrous Akroyd after the damaged plane landed safely at the airport. For this left Palpaberg/Valentine as trapped in the Twilight Zone as Connor/Landis, reminding us that Palpaberg was not an innocent in the twilit and disastrous events, and setting the stage for the TZ disaster obsessed films from Emperor Palpaberg to come. Haunted and guilt ridden allegorical films that Marshall often co-produced with Kennedy, making it grimly fitting that Marshall had a cameo role as an airplane mechanic named Franco who inspected the gremlin mauled plane after it landed at the end of the telefilm.
Not surprisingly, audiences hated TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, but did approve of the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Emperor Palpaberg roasting Lewis Teague film, CUJO (1983), inspired by Cujo, when the film arrived in the Temple Theatre on August 12, 1983. For the sight of Mrs. Donna Trenton-played by Wallace-frantically fighting off an initially lovable and then rabid and out of control Saint Bernard named Cujo in order to save her Luke Skywalker resembling son, Tad-played by Danny Pintauro-implicitly summed up only too well the reality that the blockbuster profit dream of E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL had become a twilit and blockbuster nightmare for Palpaberg. Indeed, the choice of Wallace to play Mrs. Trenton affirmed the implicit Palpaberg roasting intent of CUJO, for she openly linked the film to E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL via her role as Ms. Thomas in that film. For their part, and on a grimly amusing note, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas implied their belated hope that the healing and harmonizing Ozian elemental Force would be with us in ’83 in their twilit, CGI enhanced and allegorical film, STRANGE BREW (1983), released on the equally fateful anniversary day of August 19, 1983.
‘He saw JEDI seventeen times, eh!’
Indeed, the sight and sound of Robert ‘Bob’ and Douglas ‘Doug’ McKenzie-played by Moranis and Thomas, respectively-teaming up with the Han Solo and Princess Leia evoking Jean LaRose and Pam Elsinore-played by MacInnes (who played Gold Leader in STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE) and the fittingly surnamed Lynne Griffin, respectively-and, with the help of the forlorn and implicitly Landis linked ghost of John Elsinore-played by Eric House-Hosehead the dog-played by Buddy-and Mr. Shakespeare, triumphing over the twilit, insidious and implicitly Dante, Morrow and Palpaberg linked trio of Ted, Brewmeister Smith and Claude Elsinore-played by Brian McConnachie, Max Von Sydow and Paul Dooley, respectively-implied the hope of Moranis and Thomas that Lord Stinkious and Marquand would break free from the mind control and steely grip of Morrow and Palpaberg and bring peace, health and harmony back to angry and alienated audiences, film art, film artists and the Temple Theatre with STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI. Indeed, this implicit Lucas toasting intent was affirmed by the film’s allusions to the Classic Trilogy and THX 1138, and by the fact that the title of the film evoked the allegorical Cream tune, ‘Strange Brew’ (1967), from the soundtrack of MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI.
For his part, Kasdan gently mocked the fact that the death of Morrow and the downfall of Landis were not being talked about in public by some of the main film and literary artists of the day in his twilit, satirical and allegorical film, THE BIG CHILL (1983), when he returned to the Temple Theatre on September 30, 1983. For the group of aging ex-Sixties rebels, including the implicitly Kennedy, King, Lynch and Tom Selleck linked Meg, Michael, Nick and Sam Weber-played by Mary Kay Place, Goldblum, Hurt and Tom Berenger, respectively-and the Bigelow evoking and resembling and possibly linked Karen Bowers-played by Williams-who gathered at the Skywallker Ranch Main House evoking house of the implicitly Stinkious and Palpaberg linked Harold and Sarah Cooper-played by Kevin Kline and Glenn Close, respectively-to mourn the suicide of their implicitly Landis linked friend, Alex Marshall-played by Kevin Costner-mostly talked about everything but Alex throughout the film. The sight of these ‘friends’ leaving behind Marshall and returning to their lives with more hope and passion after spending this time together after the funeral also implied that Kasdan believed that Bigelow, Kennedy, King, Lynch, Palpaberg, Selleck and Stinkious would quickly leave behind Chen, Landis, Le and Morrow and the TZ disaster and go on to other things-an implicit prediction that was completely wrong. Indeed, the inclusion of such popular hits as the allegorical Sam & Dave tune, ‘Gimme Some Loving’ (1967), and the allegorical CCR tune, ‘Bad Moon Rising’ (1967), on the soundtrack implicitly affirmed the interest of Kasdan in addressing Landis and the TZ disaster, as the tunes had already been heard in THE BLUES BROTHERS and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. Speaking of songs, the arrival in October ’83 of the sad, wistful, elegiac and allegorical Cyndi Lauper song, ‘Time After Time’, from her allegorical recording, SHE’S SO UNUSUAL (1983), perfectly summed up the mood of the year. How fitting that the title of the song was taken from the allegorical and implicitly Cronenberg and Sir Scott addressing Meyer film, TIME AFTER TIME (1979), openly linking the tune to film.
Unfortunately, one of the finest films of the year was dismissed when it arrived in the Temple Theatre in early October of ’83 by outraged and scornful audiences, the twilit, prescient, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and DERSU UZALA evoking allegorical Carrol Ballard film, NEVER CRY WOLF (1983), which implied that Ballard shared the uneasiness of audiences over the decision of Stinkious to support Palpaberg. For in the betrayal of Smith’s implicitly Stinkious linked field biologist, Tyler, by Samson Jorah’s implicitly Palpaberg linked Inuk hunter, Mike, while Tyler was studying wolves in the Canadian Arctic for the Lupine Project, Ballard implicitly warned Lord Stinkious that his decision to stick with Emperor Palpaberg and work with him on INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM would also lead to his downfall.
For his part, Kershner had Connery’s surprise reincarnation as James Bond triumph over the implicitly Palpaberg linked super baddie, Maximilian Largo-played by Klaus M. Brandauer-in the twilit and allegorical film, NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1983), when Bond unexpectedly returned to theatres twice that year on October 7, 1983, an implicit intent affirmed by the film’s allusions to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, JAWS and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. As for Kaufman, he did his best on his return to the Temple Theatre on October 21, 1983 to reassure audiences-particularly young audiences-that film artists would be inspired by the TZ disaster to create safer film sets and even use CGI enhancement if necessary to rise determinedly upwards to greater and more magnificent cinematic achievements and heights without sacrificing the vital and quirky humanity of film art like the equally human and quirky first U.S. astronauts were inspired by the notorious Apollo 1 (AS-204) command module launch pad fire on January 27, 1967 that killed a twilit trio of astronauts led by the implicitly Morrow linked mission commander, Lieutenant Colonel Virgil A. ‘Gus’ Grissom-played by Ed Ward-to inspire them to create safer and more human supporting spacecraft to make it to the moon on July 20, 1969 in the twilit and allegorical film, THE RIGHT STUFF (1983). Indeed, the return of Cartwright as Mrs. Betty Grissom affirmed the twilit ambience of the piece. The sight and sound of the astronauts being inspired by the sound barrier breaking exploits of the lone and implicitly Kubrick linked indie jet fighter pilot, Charles ‘Chuck’ Yeager-played by Sam Shepard-also implied the hope that indie film artists like Kubrick would lead the way into a bold new indie film art era that would win over outraged audiences and bring them back to the Temple Theatre.
Significantly, Cronenberg also returned to theatres on October 21, 1983 with his first implicit salvo in the dread allegorical Zone Wars, the righteously furious, despondent, wistful and implicitly Lynch addressing film, THE DEAD ZONE (1983), based on the allegorical King bestseller, The Dead Zone (1979), and linked to the twilit and disastrous July of 1982 via Sark’s use of the phrase ‘…dead zone’ in TRON. Significantly, soon after the release of THE DEAD ZONE, King implicitly transformed Landis into a pitiless and beastly blockbuster werewolf when he returned to book stores and libraries with his equally and implicitly twilit, righteously furious and allegorical novella, Cycle Of The Werewolf (November 1983). Indeed, the novella’s allusions to AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON made implicitly clear the link of the Reverend Lester Lowe and his lycanthrope Dark Side to Landis. The fact that the implicitly Lucas linked boy, Marty Coslaw-his surname an anagram for ‘Lowcas’ in an affirmation of his implicit link to Lucas-initially fought off the blockbuster beast in July reiterated that King addressed Landis in the novella recalling the July 23, 1982 date of the TZ disaster.
The fact that Coslaw shot down the beastly blockbuster werewolf as the New Year was rung in at the end of the novella also implicitly affirmed that King was reaching out to everyone who had horrified by the TZ disaster and trying to triumph over Landis and exorcise the TZ disaster in an effort to ring in a Zone free year in Cycle Of The Werewolf, making it fitting that the novella was published soon after the release of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. Unfortunately, soon after the publication of Cycle Of The Werewolf, Landis returned on December 2, 1983 with Ackerman, Allingham, Baker, Bernstein, Campbell, Folsey jr., Nadoolman and Paynter, this time on the small screen, with the allegorical Michael Jackson music video, THRILLER (1983). Unfortunate, indeed, for after transforming Jacko into a werewolf with the help of Baker, Landis then reoffended most everyone by having undead corpses crawl out of graves, crypts and sewer to perform a lurching and swaying dance with the equally undead MJ. Making it grimly fitting that Carpenter returned to the Temple Theatre on December 9, 1983 to close the year with the twilit and righteously furious allegorical film, CHRISTINE (1983), inspired by Christine.
Significantly, the film began with the sight of the rotoring propellors of a ceiling fan in a Detroit auto assembly plant to the tune of the allegorical George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers hit, ‘Bad to the Bone’ (1982), affirming its implicitly twilit intent from the outset. The film then had the implicitly Landis linked and troubled Rockbridge, CA teen, Arnold Cunningham-played by Keith Gordon-transformed into a homicidal blockbuster beast by his obsession with Christine, his sentient and equally homicidal blockbuster beast of a ’58 Plymouth Fury, implying that Carpenter believed that the obsession of Landis with becoming a blockbuster film artist had led to the deaths of Chen, Le and Morrow on the fateful night of the TZ disaster. Thus, the sight of Cunningham’s friends, the Akroyd evoking and Kevin Bacon resembling Dennis and the Nadoolman resembling Leigh-played by John Stockwell and Alexandra Paul, respectively-triumphing over Arnie and Christine in the showdown at Darnell’s auto yard, in the end, implied the hope of Carpenter that the film art career of Landis was over and that CHRISTINE would help exorcise him from the Temple Theatre so that audiences, film art, film artists would leave behind him and the TZ disaster and start again in 1984. Thus, CHRISTINE wrapped up a twilit trio of years for King, after releasing Cujo and Roadwork in 1981, and four other books as well as writing and co-starring in CREEPSHOW in 1982, and seeing CUJO as well as THE DEAD ZONE released already in ’83, feverish activity that linked Screamin’ Stephen to the Last Good Year of film, the year of the TZ disaster, and the first year of the dread Zone Wars.
Last but not least, Eastwood also returned to the Temple Theatre on December 9, 1983 and perhaps best summed up the righteous fury of audiences and film artists that year when he had the living implicit embodiment of wronged and vengeful film art, painter Jennifer Spencer-played by Sondra Locke-hunt down violent and rapacious Evildoers in San Francisco and San Paulo implicitly linked to Folsey jr., Kennedy, Landis, Lucas and Marshall in the implicit form of Alby Jennings, Ray Parkins, Mick, Kruger and George Wilburn-played by Matthew Child, Audrie J. Neenan, Paul Drake, Jack Thibeau and Michael Maurer, respectively-and gun them down one by one much to the surprised but grim approval of the implicitly Peckinpah linked SFPD Inspector ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan-played by Eastwood-in his twilit and allegorical film, SUDDEN IMPACT (1983).
Then the 1983-84 Christmas holidays came and went, and in the Spring of 1984 the dread Zone Wars exploded in a full Force conflagration so fierce and uncompromising, the allegorical warfare turned George Orwell’s year of Big Brother into the Year of the Zone. But not an entirely grim and angry year, as in one of the first films of 1984, Howard did his best to dispel the twilight gloom a little. Indeed, in the sight and sound of the implicitly Palpaberg linked Allen Bauer and the Backlinie evoking mermaid, Madison-played by Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah, respectively-not giving up on their love for each other despite the trials they suffer for that love caused by the Wicked and implicitly Landis linked Walter Kornbluth-played by Eugene Levy-Howard implicitly urged Palpaberg not to give up on his love for magical film art when he returned to theatres on March 9, 1984 with the twilit but light hearted, Ozian themed and allegorical film, SPLASH (1984), an implication affirmed by the film’s allusions to JAWS and 1941, the return of Di Cicco from 1941 as Jerry and the implicit link of Allen’s brother, Freddie-played by John Candy-to Hitchcock. Curiously, the sight of Bauer and Madison swimming away to a beautiful underwater city glowing with lights, in the end, also set up audiences for the beautiful and golden lit underwater city of the Gungans in STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE.
Curiously, Mark L. Lester also implicitly sympathized with Emperor Palpaberg, for the embattled but feisty and mentally indomitable Andy McGee and his pyrokinetic daughter, Charlie-played by David Keith and Drew Barrymore, respectively-were linked to the equally embattled Palpaberg and his film art throughout the twilit and allegorical film, FIRESTARTER (1984), inspired by Firestarter, when it was released in theatres on May 11, 1984, as expected from a Universal release. Indeed, Barrymore implicitly affirmed the film’s interest in rallying to the pyrokinetic support of Palpaberg, as she had played Gertie Thomas in E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL. As for the hated and insidious Emperor Palpaberg himself, he soon reappeared with associate producer Kennedy and Marshall-the latter co-executive producer with Stinkious, and now also second unit director-when Burtt, Catmull, Ford, Kahn, Roach, Sheard, Slocombe, Williams, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck-who co-wrote the screenplay of AMERICAN GRAFFITI with Lord Stinkious-Doctor Akio Mitamura-who played a submariner named Ashimoto in 1941-head stuntman Vic Armstrong-from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK-and Robert Watts-associate producer of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK-allowed themselves to be dragged into the infuriatingly stupid, bizarre and incoherent fiasco known as the twilit, Ozian themed and CGI enhanced allegorical film, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984), a film released on May 23, 1984 that audiences again flocked to despite the fact that most audience members hated INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM long before they had entered the Temple Theatre to experience the film and just wanted to shower their scorn on the film as they had done with POLTERGEIST.
‘I should say you look rather lost’.
And with good reason, for the film was indeed a lost and confused fiasco from start to finish. A lost and confused fiasco that began with the lone mountain logo of Paramount Pictures dissolving into another mountain, this time one that was significantly reduced in size as if humbled by the TZ disaster and on a silver gong. The silver gong was in a club in Shanghai that was the scene of a prologue adventure, evoking the prologue adventure in South America that kicked off RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Intriguingly, this Shanghai club evoked the Club of the Sons, a club for upper world sons seen at the beginning of METROPOLIS. One of those upper world sons was Freder, the son of Metropolis head Joh Fredersen, a son who went on to save the children of the underworld from rising flood waters at the end of METROPOLIS. This link prepared us for the sight of Jones saving his two companions and himself from flooding waters at the end of the film, and also reminded us of the many allusions to METROPOLIS in the Classic Trilogy and THX 1138.
Of course, beginning in Shanghai in 1935 also linked the film to Asia and Asians, immediately evoking Chen and Le and the TZ disaster. A bad move, for this irritating reminder of the disaster increased audience outrage when the camera pulled back from the Paramount gong and an exuberantly care free and Old Hollywood musical evoking song and dance number of the allegorical Cole Porter tune, ‘Anything Goes’ (1934), began in the club. For this blasphemously and infuriatingly light hearted song and dance number was as out of place and out of touch with the righteously furious and sombre mood of the times as the Ewok ‘Mug Wug’ stomp that ended STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI. Indeed, it immediately increased the black and angry mood of audiences, for it implied that Emperor Palpaberg, Kennedy, Lord Stinkious and Marshall were unconcerned with, and making light of, the TZ disaster and audience outrage.
It did not help that the number was led by an archetypical vapidly smiling and vacuous Hollywood blonde, Wilhelmina ‘Willie’ Scott-played by Kate Capshaw. Nor did it help that her nickname ‘Willie’ evoked the name Schlock received from Schlock’s unrequited love, Eliza Garrett’s mostly blind Mindy Binnerman, when she mistook him for a dog in SCHLOCK-and the pup that Brett and Charity Camber bought to replace Cujo at the end of Cujo-linking her to the film art of Landis, the literary art of King and out of control blockbuster beasts, and, hence, the TZ disaster. Curiously, this link to King was reaffirmed by the fact that Scott resembled a younger version of guilt stricken murderess Aunt Bedelia in CREEPSHOW and had a name that also evoked Wicked Wilma-who urged all to call her ‘Billie’-openly linking Scott to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982. A link to the TZ disaster confirmed by her surname, which evoked Sir Scott and BLADE RUNNER, openly linking her and the film to the twilit and disastrous July of 1982.
It didna help that the song and dance number also evoked the big USO dance number and interservice/zoot suit riot to the tune of the allegorical Glenn Miller instrumental, ‘In the Mood’ (1940), in 1941, a film that replied to ANIMAL HOUSE and featured a cameo by Landis. Indeed, the fact that Scott broke the fourth wall in idiosyncratic Landis fashion by staring deep into the camera as she sang and danced through ‘Anything Goes’ implicitly reaffirmed that the film was coming to grips with Landis. The sight of the gleefully Evil and perhaps Kurosawa linked Chinese gangster, Lao Che, and his two sons, Kao Kan and Chen-played by Roy Chiao, Ric Young, and Chua Kah Joo, respectively-watching Scott at their table in the club also affirmed the link to 1941, for their appearances evoked Japanese submarine Commander Mitamura and his crew. Of course, the names of Lao Che and Chen also evoked Le and Chen, making them a twilit trio indeed and reaffirming that Kennedy, Marshall, Palpaberg and Stinkious were using INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM to deal with the TZ disaster.
Indeed, they quickly underlined that point shortly after the again implicitly Friedkin linked Jones, foolishly played again by Ford of his own free will and tarring his reputation, an actor who was now and forever quick visual shorthand for the month and year of the TZ disaster via his role as Deckard in BLADE RUNNER, and the year of the release of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE via his role as Solo in STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI. Significantly, Jones descended a spiral staircase into the Shanghai club, a sight that evoked Solo's descent into the Mos Eisley cantina in STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE, thus returning the Wester narrative to a Lucas film and preparing us for the violent mayhem that would soon erupt at this club. In fact, Jones’ friend Wu Han-played by David Yip-had a name that evoked Wuher, the cantina bartender in STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE and Ravenwood’s Nepalese cantina accomplice Mohan in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, confirming that violent mayhem was on the way.
Not surprisingly, Ford’s dapper, tuxedoed and Bond evoking Jones was soon dying of a poison administered in his martini after passing on the dusty remains of a Chinese Emperor to the lousy Lao Che, leading to a desperate and tragicomic Western brawl between Jones, Scott and Wu Han and Lao Che, his sons, the rest of their gang of Chinese thugs and frantically fleeing fellow club patrons as they desperately attempted to capture the precious vial containing the antidote to the poison and a precious diamond that Jones was given for the Chinese Emperor’s remains amongst the wildly rushing feet on the club dance floor, a frantic and desperate and tragicomic struggle that was supposed to affirm that the Comedy narrative had returned to a Lucas film but only angered audiences more as they could not believe that Kennedy, Marshall, Palpaberg and Stinkious could dare joke around with a dark and twilit cloud hovering over all of them less than two years after the TZ disaster.
Of course, this desperate struggle evoked not just the wild melee that erupted on the USO dance floor in 1941, but also the desperate struggle of Kennedy, Marshall, Palpaberg and Stinkious to survive amidst the chaos that had broken out since the TZ disaster. Indeed, this jewel and the vial clearly symbolized the fortune and glory and the health and harmony that the Feckless Four had lost with the TZ disaster. This search for the antidote and diamond amongst tangled feet also recalled a similar scene in MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI when Steve and Laurie searched frantically for Laurie’s wedding ring amongst the rushing feet of a crowd of student Vietnam War protestors fleeing a THX 1138 police charge at a college in Modesto, openly linking the scene and the film to the Vietnam War and reiterating at the outset that this film was about Landis and his deadly direction in the Vietnam War village set on his episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE.
The huge silver gong with the Paramount Pictures lone mountain logo soon also recalled 1941, for when Jones liberated it from its moorings it rolled across the dance floor like the liberated Santa Monica amusement park ferris wheel rolled down the Santa Monica pier at the end of 1941. The rolling gong also provided covering protection for Jones and Scott from the machine gun of Lao Che’s surviving son, Kao Kan, allowing the two to run along behind it and leap to safety out of a window and escape the twilit madness. Significantly, the drop to the pavement saw them fall past the club’s sign-Club Obi-Wan-reminding us how far Lord Stinkious had fallen since the release of STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI. Curiously, they were saved from death by a diminutive and New York Yankees baseball cap wearing Chinese orphan named Short Round-played by Ke Huy Quan-who caught them in the back seat of a waiting white convertible below, reminding us that Munchkins were always the first people met after falling down to Oz. Curiously, the white Thirties convertible evoked a car Aunt Bedelia drove up to the Grantham family mansion at the beginning of ‘Father’s Day’, evoking Bedelia and CREEPSHOW yet again.
Of course, while having Short Round driving the getaway car was supposed to continue the Comedy narrative, this Asian boy instead reminded us again of My-Ca, Renee and the TZ disaster, reinforced by the fact that Short Round was played by the Vietnamese born actor, Quan. In fact, seeing Jones and Scott team up with Short Round created a twilit new trio of one female and two males, openly evoking the one female and two males that were killed in the TZ disaster. This turned Jones, Round and Scott into a symbolic Morrow, Le and Chen trio, battling to break free from the Twilight Zone. The fact that Round wore a baseball cap like Palpaberg throughout the film also implicitlyu affirmed his link to Emperor Palpaberg. The fact that Jones drank the antidote to the poison as the TZ disaster linked trio were chased through the streets of Shanghai by Lao Che and his pursuing mobsters also reaffirmed the desperately healing Ozian cadence of the film. Unfortunately, however, Jones lost his gun again during the car chase, as he did to Belloq at the beginning of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, also linking the film to STRAY DOG, THE NAKED CITY and THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS, and forcing him to still seek healthy harmony and virility throughout the film, despite being saved by the poison.
Luckily, the trio still made it to the airport ahead of the baddies, escaping on a waiting plane as at the end of the prologue adventure of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Unfortunately, the ominous presence of 1941 headliner, TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE bit player and staunch Landis friend Akroyd as an English airport official named Art Weber openly linked INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM to Landis and the TZ disaster, enraging audiences again as much as implicitly reaffirming that the film was coming to grips with Landis and the TZ disaster. The fact that the name of Weber evoked a Weber whose name was called over the public announcement system of Tyrell Corporation at the beginning of BLADE RUNNER also affirmed the film’s interest in the twilit and disastrous events of July of 1982.
This link to the TZ disaster also implied that the flight to safety of Jones, Round and Scott was headed straight into the Twilight Zone. Thus, not surprisingly, after the flying escape first whisked the trio off to Ozian lands of adventure like a flying carpet in Stinkious fashion, Palpaberg stepped in and had the Lao Che paid Chinese pilot and co-pilot-played by Mitamura and Michael Yuma, respectively-abandon the plane by parachute while the trio slept in the Hoth evoking mountains between China and India-mountains that evoked the mountains that Poseidon, in the guise of a seagull, flew through on his way to Mount Olympus at the beginning of CLASH OF THE TITANS. This abandonment sent the plane hurtling out of control without gas or working engines into a mountain in a way that evoked the out of control helicopter of the TZ disaster. As such, it was lucky for the twilit trio that they were able to escape the out of control plane inside a falling, Yellow Brick Road coloured life raft before the explosive NORTH BY NORTHWEST crash of the plane.
This falling life raft reiterated the desperately healing Ozian theme of the film, falling from the sky like Dorothy’s house, while also evoking the freefalling beginning of MOONRAKER. This dropped the twilit trio down onto a new Oz, this time the magical land of India. Here a sombre and elderly holy man played by D.R. Nanayakkara-who looked like Pratt in ‘They’re Creeping Up On You’, the final story of CREEPSHOW-awaited them, though, instead of the usual mischievous Munchkins. A poignant absence, for we quickly discovered when the trio returned with the holy man to his village that the Munchkins were gone. Indeed, all of the children of the village had been kidnapped one fateful night by Evil men, and taken far, far away. The village itself had also been ruined and laid waste during the assault, and its guardian Shiva lingam shankara stone-the film’s ruby red power object-taken from it, making the Shankara village as scorched and desolate as the mock Vietnam village after it had been laid waste by special effects explosions on the Landis set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE.
This link was not surprising, as the whole sad tale of kidnapped and missing children reminded us that Chen and Le were led away by Evil Landis film set crew members to their doom, linking the Evil kidnappers of the village children to Evil film artists. This implicitly affirmed that INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM was being desperately used by Kennedy, Marshall, Stinkious and Palpaberg to come to grips with the disaster. The mystery of the lost children also began a tradition of concentrating on murderous mystery in the post-TZ disaster films of Emperor Palpaberg and Lord Stinkious. The problem, however, was Chen and Le were not missing but dead, and that Jones decided initially to concentrate on the fortune and glory of finding the legendary Shankara stone rather than finding and freeing the kidnapped children, preventing a higher minded Journey of Self Discovery from happening in the film and reminding us that a blind obsession with blockbuster fortune and glory had led to the TZ disaster.
However, this reminder infuriated audiences even more and made them even more angry with Kennedy, Marshall, Palpaberg and Stinkious. Of course, even if Indy had immediately agreed to find and rescue the children the tainted film artists were still in trouble, as the rescue of the children would come off as a desperately and infuriatingly silly and see through manipulation of reality that would try to convince audiences that Chen and Le were okay because the Indian children were alive and well. Significantly, however, the time in Shankara village also recalled a similar sequence in GANDHI that saw Gandhi visit a village in India devastated by the economic policies of the British Empire, and, moved by the situation, successfully persuade the British authorities to accept a few concessions that alleviated the poverty and hardships of the villagers.
The film’s setting in British imperialist India was also a problem, as was the revelation that the missing children had been taken by a revived and evil thugee cult. For the British Empire was linked to the side of Good in the film, which implied that empires-whether in reality or on film-were Good and just, confirming that Lord Stinkious had indeed become a new insidious tool of the Emperor. The link of the thugees and their murderous cult to film artists also implied that the thugees’ insistence on ritually strangling travellers to death in order to prevent Kali-the goddess of creation and destruction whose name linked the film, the thugees and their Temple of Doom to Kalifornia-from roaming the Earth symbolized not an unplanned and fatal accident but premeditated murder by Landis and his film thug crew on the Vietnam War village set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE.
Indeed, the murderous film thugees were soon linked to a massive and sinister statue of Kali with four main, helicopter rotor-like arms at the hidden and underground Temple Theatre of Doom below a Palace in Pankot-a region of India mentioned in GANDHI in an open link to that film-when Jones, Round and Scott eventually went looking for the children, underlining that Kennedy, Marshall, Palpaberg and Stinkious believed that the TZ disaster deaths were deliberate and premeditated and not accidental, as was being claimed by Landis and his co-accused. This in turn implied that the Feckless Four believed or actually knew that Landis had deliberately planned and carried out the snuffu murders of three people on his set that fateful morning, and that they had fled the U.S. to create INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM in England, Macao and Sri Lanka to avoid revealing that fact at the TZ trial and hurting their careers. And that their guilty consciences forced them to reveal what they knew or suspected in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, confirming the angry suspicions of viewers and causing them to treat the film and its creators with even more fear and loathing than before.
Fear and loathing increased by a small skeleton idol dedicated to Kali that evoked the risen corpse of Grantham in CREEPSHOW and was decorated with bloody and severed fingers that Jones, Round and Scott discovered while on elephant back heading to the thugee linked Pankot Palace, and by an equally grisly dinner at the Palace that also featured dismembered body parts such as eyes floating in soup bowls and decapitated monkey heads and their chilled monkey brains also disgusted viewers, evoking the severed heads and torsos of Le and Morrow and the body of Chen floating in the Santa Clarita river after the TZ disaster. An ominous sight indeed, and one that set us up for a truly twilit attack after that grisly dinner. For while wondering if an amorous liason with Scott was going to happen in a wan return of the Romance narrative to a Lucas film, Jones was soon attacked by a film thug while in his room, and was forced to fight a desperate battle to prevent himself from being strangled to death.
Significantly, the film thug wrapped his strangling cord on Jones from behind at night, reminding us that the out of control helicopter had decapitated Morrow from behind in darkness. An open link to the TZ disaster helicopter that was quickly made, for the film thug was soon pulled up to his death by the whip of Jones into the room’s ceiling fan, a fan whose two crossed and rotating arms evoked the rotors of the helicopter of the TZ disaster. Clearly, Jones, Round and Scott had indeed crossed into the Twilight Zone when they entered Painkot Palace. Indeed, after taking care of the film thug, the new twilit trio found themselves walking through deadly and insect swarming corridors and subterranean catacombs beneath Peter Pankot Palace, a labyrinth that again evoked ‘They’re Creeping Up on You’, the insect swarming and Great Oz linked final story of CREEPSHOW, linking the film again to 1982.
This new underground world evoked the subterranean corridors of THX 1138, the Death Moon, Cloud City and Jabba’s palace, bringing us back down deep into the troubled subconscious of Lucas. Of course, the underground passages also evoked the passages of the hidden Temple Theatre at the beginning of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. This link implicitly affirmed that the film thugs’ secret and labyrinthine Temple of Doom hidden beneath Pankot Palace was indeed a Saturday matinee theatre gone way, way bad, and that the TZ disaster had destroyed the healing nature of the Temple Theatres for Emperor Palpaberg and Lord Stinkious. This twisted and Evil transformation reminded us that the Hollywood as a City of God working in harmony towards higher goals of film art was replaced by the nightmarish and Evil underground City of Molech, a city seen by Freder in a Dark vision when he explored the worker’s underworld of METROPOLIS in another allusion to that film. A Molech that returned in this Temple Theatre of Doom in the form of the huge statue of Kali with its four rotoring side arms and two outstretched arms, a statue that curiously evoked the equally huge statue of Thetis-played by Maggie Smith-in CLASH OF THE TITANS.
Significantly, the Wicked Cali’s high priest and head flying monkey had a big horned headdress and blazing eyes that made him look like Fluffy, the part Nikko and part Cowardly Lion monster in ‘The Crate’, the fourth story of CREEPSHOW, and a Romero evoking and ironically moral linked name of Mola Ram-played by Amrish Puri-implying that he was linked to Romero and that the film was also roasting Romero on one level as well as Landis, hence the film’s allusions to CREEPSHOW. However, Mola Ram also looked like Calibos in CLASH OF THE TITANS, implicitly linking him to Davis. At any rate, Puri had played a businessman named Khan in South Africa fighting for equal rights with Gandhi at the beginning of GANDHI, openly linking INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM to GANDHI and 1982. The sight of Puri reminded us that Roshan Seth, who played Pankot Palace Prime Minister Chattar Lal-a name that evoked the surname of first assistant director John Allingham, one of the five defendants in the TZ trial-had already linked the film to GANDHI via his role as Nehru in that film. These links to GANDHI implicitly reaffirmed that Emperor Palpaberg and Lord Stinkious were using the film on one level to also come to grips with Landis and the twilit and disastrous events of 1982. In fact, given the abuse Lal and Ram received in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, it was even possible that Emperor Palpaberg had agreed to the use of Puri and Seth to strike back at Attenborough for taking Academy Awards from him and E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL with GANDHI.
Just as significantly, Ram was observed by Jones, Round and Scott sacrificing a live male victim to Kalifornia. This sacrifice involved ripping out the heart of Nizwar Karanj’s Stinkious evoking male victim-implicitly affirming that the TZ disaster had been indeed a shocking experience for Palpaberg and Stinkious-and then dipping him still alive by descending cage into a chasm filled with a swirling red vortex of primal, uncontrolled and fiery male energy, a sacrifice scene that evoked the sacrificial victims of the cavern dwelling dragon in DRAGONSLAYER, in a primal red light that evoked the red light that blazed when Fluffy made his ferocious appearance in CREEPSHOW, all to the chanting and drumming delight of a crowd of mesmerized male followers on the other side of the chasm who evoked the crowd of revellers that watched the TZ disaster unfold from the other side of the Santa Clarita River. The primal and out of control scene recalled the sight of Fay Wray’s Ann Darrow-her surname evoking evolution defending lawyer, Clarence Darrow-being sacrificed to King Kong in the original KING KONG. This was a favourite film of Landis, and inspiration for AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and SCHLOCK-and a film that was implicitly also alluded to with the monkey headdress of Mola Ram and the monkey brain soup in the infamous dining scene-implicitly reaffirming that Landis and his favourite film were being blasted in the film.
The painted faces of the lesser priests who helped Nikko Ram sacrifice the male victim to the Wicked Kali were also significant, preparing us for the painted face and junior priest status of Ray Park’s Darth Maul and all of the many allusions to INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM in STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE. Indeed, echoes of the music that Maestro Williams composed for the Temple of Doom scenes would return in the ‘Duel of the Fates’ piece that he would compose for STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE, openly linking the two films together. The sacrifice scene also recalled the sacrifice of victims to the Helirancor down in its pit in STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI. Clearly, the volcanic chasm was the latest rancourous Kid monster, a swirling vortex of out of control male energy that reiterated that sexual disease had a part in the TZ disaster.
Of course, this sacrifice scene implied again that the TZ disaster was a deliberate and planned murder and not an accident, infuriating viewers once more. This fury was increased by the sight of Raj Singh’s Dalim Zingh, the implicitly Great Oz linked lost boy maharajah of Peter Pankot Palace with the Stephen King and Twilight Zone cadenced name that had a ‘Landiz’ hid amongst its letters to implicitly link him to Landis and who was under the control of Mola Ram and watched the sacrifice approvingly amongst the crowd of delirious male onlookers. Significantly, the implicitly Palpaberg linked Short Round also watched the sacrifice with Jones and Scott. This implied that Palpaberg had not only known of the decision to illegally hire Chen and Le, but had been amongst the crowd of revellers that had watched the disaster that morning-as had been rumoured since the early morning of the TZ disaster (LaBrecque, 76)-a guilt stricken implication that caused audiences to turn even more furiously against the film. And with good reason, as this was also not the last time that a character implicitly linked to Emperor Palpaberg watched or participated in a deliberately violent act-sometimes involving children-in a post-1982 allegorical Palpaberg film.
Audiences were also upset by the fact that even after almost dying of poison at the beginning of the film and watching the evil sacrifice, the implicitly Stinkious linked Jones was still more obsessed with discovering the village’s lost stone than rescuing the children, or with health and harmony, yet again preventing a more higher minded Journey of Self Discovery from happening in the film. For he had come to realize that the stone was one of the legendary Shankara stones of India, a stone that would bring him fortune and glory within the archaeological world like the Oscar brought fortune and glory within the world of film art. Of course, this ruby red glowing stone was the ruby red slipper linked power object of the Ozian themed film and also symbolized the reckless quest for cinematic and movie tie-in fortune and glory that had led to the TZ disaster. Indeed, with Jones still more interested in the Shankara stone despite watching the horrific sacrifice, Emperor Palpaberg and Lord Stinkious implicitly affirmed that they too had been blinded by a lust for fortune and glory prior to the TZ disaster.
Fortunately, after liberating the lost Shankara stone and two of its mates from the skull eyes and nose of the huge rotoring statue of the Wicked Kalifornia in the sinister Temple Theatre of Doom after the sacrifice-a statue whose rotoring four arms also recalled the Nutzi swastika of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, pointing the way to further Nutzi escapades in the next Indy film-a chilling and haunting cry led Jones behind the statue. Here he discovered the lost boys and girls of the stricken village in chains and forced by lashing whips to work in a hidden mine as slave miners for the film thugs. For the twisted thugees were digging behind the temple for the last two lost Shankara stones, under the belief that a conjunction of the five supernatural stones would give them the evil Fifth Elemental power to take over the world. This excavation linked Mola Ram and the film thugees to Belloq and the Nazis of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and their filmmaking linked struggle to capture the lost Ark of the Covenant and use its supernatural powers to take over the world, a link that reiterated that the thugs were indeed Evil film artists and that the four arms of Cali did evoke the swastika flag.
The five stones also anticipated TZ trial developments, as five defendants-Allingham, Folsey, Landis, Stewart and Wingo-would soon be ordered to stand trial in the TZ disaster case. This implicitly underlined that the evil Temple Theatre and the mine symbolized the Landis film set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, and that the evil thugees were Evil film artists. A chilling revelation, indeed, making viewers hate the film even more, a hatred increased by the fact that, as feared, the film then degenerated into a bizarre, infuriating, sad and pathetic attempt to assure audiences that Chen and Lee were all right and bring harmony back to the Temple Theatre by saving and liberating the lost boy and girls of the Shankara village.
First, however, Jones was captured and forced to drink a mind controlling liquid from a skull cup by Mola Ram and his film thugs. This drink also briefly turned Jones into an eager devotee of Kalifornia, mindlessly aiding the sacrifice of Scott. Helping the thugees evoked Henderson’s brief association with the Pharoahs in AMERICAN GRAFFITI, reaffirming that Jones primarily symbolized Stinkious in the film. Indeed, Mola Ram’s elaborate headdress and the sight of Lal beside him reminded us of the bumbling Modesto Moose Lodge pair of Gordon and Henderson in AMERICAN GRAFFITI. Seeing Dr. Jones in an unblinking trance chanting Kali Ma with the rest of the brainwashed thugees also reminded us of the eerie trance that overcame Dr. March every time he was taken over by that evil and aroused alien brain, Gor, in THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS. This brought another good doctor under alienated and evil mind control, reiterating that Jones primarily symbolized Stinkious in the film.
However, Jones was soon snapped from his trance by a fiery torch wielded by Round. This allowed him to fight off Ram and his thugees and save Scott and film art from being dunked in the swirling vortex of primal male energy, a sacrifice of Wilhelmina that evoked not just the sacrificial victims of the dragon in DRAGONSLAYER but the sacrifice of the equally beautiful, young and blonde Andromeda to the dread four armed blockbuster Kraken at the end of CLASH OF THE TITANS, implying again that Palpaberg and Stinkious were really roasting Davis in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. Significantly, Round was also forced to beat up Zingh when the boy Maharajaha was spotted hurting Jones with twisted stabs to a voodoo doll as the liberated Jones tried to save Scott and beat off Ram, Lal and the pernicious priests of Kali, twisted stabs to a voodoo doll that evoked the sight and sound of Billie-played by King’s eldest son, Joseph ‘Joe Hill’ King-hurting his comic book hating father-played by Tom Atkins-with stabs to a voodoo doll sent away for via an ad in the CREEPSHOW comic at the end of CREEPSHOW. This beating freed Zingh from his own Cali Gor trance and, hence, implicitly free Landis from his Twilight Side. Freed from the Twilight Side of Kalifornia, Zingh in turn helped the twilit trio flee the hidden mine and the Temple Theatre of Doom after liberating the lost boys and girls of the village from the control of the evil film thugs.
This flight to freedom involved a wild rollercoaster-like escape from the underground labyrinth in a mine car along a rickety old track pursued by flying monkey thugees in their own mine cars, reminding us of the mindless pursuit of THX 1138 and Skywalker by robocops and Imps at the ends of THX 1138 and STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE. The twilit trio also had to escape a Kansas tornado-like wall of water from an huge, overturned water cistern that chased the trio out of the labyrinthine tunnels of the subterranean temple. This wall of water reminded us of the aroused and pursuing Death Moon boulder that chased Jones out of the hidden Temple Theatre at the beginning of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. This wistfully evoked the Last Good Year of film, and reaffirmed that the TZ disaster had indeed chased the two men out of the healing Temple Theatres. Of course, this wall of water also evoked the rising reservoir waters at the end of METROPOLIS, as well as the bucket of water used to kill the Wicked Witch of the West at the end of THE WIZARD OF OZ.
A prophetic link to the dread Witch, for the tunnel exit led first to a cliff, and then to a suspension bridge high above an alligator filled river. Significantly, this suspension bridge evoked the suspension bridge at the end of THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, in the middle of SORCERER and in ‘Journey to Oasis’, the second episode of the second season of BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY. This allusion created a bit of suspense, for the Stinkious linked Dravot died after being forced on to the bridge by natives who were so angry with his attempt to be made king of their realm that they hacked down the bridge, causing him to drop to his doom. Luckily for Jones and Stinkious, it was the Wicked Kali’s head flying monkey Mola Ram and most of his priests that fell to their doom like the fateful helicopter fell into the Santa Clarita river and died in water like the Wicked Witch of the West after Jones successfully hacked down the suspension bridge in a way that saved Scott, Round and himself. Curiously, the deadly fall of Mola Ram was accomplished by way of a reasonably realistic injection of CGI, which implicitly affirmed that Emperor Palpaberg and Lord Stinkious were indeed committed to developing CGI so as to kill people realistically on film without actually killing them on film sets.
Significantly, Nikko Ram and his falling monkey priests were also gobbled up by alligators in the river in a way that underlined that Hook and his pirates had been defeated, and that the twilit trio and the lost children had escaped the Neverland of Peter Pankot palace. Thus, the Wicked Kali, her head flying monkey and her flying monkey thugees were defeated, Davis or Romero was implicitly killed, Landis was implicitly liberated from his Twilight Side, and Emperor Palpaberg and Lord Stinkious and Spielberg implicitly freed themselves from their Dark Sides and exorcised the TZ disaster. In this way, healing Ozian harmony supposedly returned to the film and reality.
Indeed, the once desolate village was found to be rebuilt, reborn and brimming with health, vitality and happy children when Jones, Round and Scott returned to the village, in the end. Curiously, even Jones was reborn and brimming with health and harmony again despite still missing his gun. Indeed, he now had the power to give back the village’s Shankara stone, underlining that a gun and a legendary relic were no longer needed for virility as his battle to free the children had taught him that higher goals than fortune and glory were necessary for true health and advancement. This desperately implied that Emperor Palpaberg, Kennedy, Lord Stinkious, Marshall and Spielberg had learned their twilit lessons as well, and looked to higher goals like a good, harmonious and moral life in their post-TZ disaster lives. To emphasize this desperate point, Jones even forgot his reluctant embrace of Ravenwood at the end of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and exuberantly lassoed Scott in with his trusty whip for a big smooch, allowing the dumb Journey of Self Discovery and the wan Romance narratives to ridiculously unite with and triumph at the end of with the unfunny Comedy and not so wild Western narratives-a ridiculous smooch that presciently prepared us for the marriage of Spielberg and Capshaw after his own Great Divorce to actress Amy Fisher in 1989.
Not surprisingly, the kiss was hated, the ending with its healed villages and happy and healthy children was hated, the sight of a benevolent rather than Evil British Empire was hated, the violence and the dismembered body parts decorating idols of Kali and in the dinner at Pankot Palace and Mola Ram and Dalim Zingh and the film thugees all of the dire implications of twilit wrongdoing were hated, and everything else about the film was hated. This furious dislike was increased by the ridiculous and insulting attempt to redirect the reality of the TZ disaster and pretend that the liberating events of INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM had saved the TZ trio and that they were as alive and well and as triumphant as Jones, Round and Scott and the village children, in the end.
All of which convinced most audience members that the TZ disaster, the resounding failure of STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI and the Great Divorce had indeed unhinged Lord Stinkious and transformed him into an insidious and simpering Dark Lord redirecting reality for the sake of his Emperor, Palpaberg. Indeed, most audience members probably agreed with Leone’s implication that Folsey jr., Kennedy, Landis, Marshall and Palpaberg were all a bunch of equally murderous and thuggish gangsters running amok in the twilit and allegorical film, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA (1984), released on June 1, 1984 soon after the release of INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. For his part, Walter Hill was more generous, allowing the implicitly Stinkious linked Tom Cody-played by Michael Pare-to save the day and his ex-squeeze, the Marcia evoking but Bigelow resembling Ellen Aim-played by Diane Lane-from the brutal and pitiless blockbuster Bombers motorcycle gang before fading to black at the end of the twilit and allegorical film, STREETS OF FIRE: A ROCK AND ROLL FABLE (1984), also released on June 1, 1984.
As for Nimoy, he implicitly warned audiences not to be too hopeful about the genesis of a new age of film art with the arrival of CGI, an age that could prove to be the latest film gimmick like 3D that disappeared as fast as it arrived, when his twilit, CGI enhanced and allegorical film, STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK (1984), arrived in theatres on June 1, 1984. This cautionary message was implicitly symbolized by the destruction of the new world created by the Genesis bomb after it aged prematurely, due to faults in the Genesis project-a destruction that swept away the brave new CGI world but left the humanity, friendship, love and courage of the crew of the USS Enterprise alive and well. As alive and well as the reborn Spock-whose indomitable spirit haunted the film like the equally indomitable spirit of Bowman would haunt a soon to be released sequel to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY-in a moving rebirth that brought some daylight back to the twilight. Then frantic redirection of reality and infuriating implications of twilit wrongdoing continued when Dante teamed up again with Finnell, Goldsmith, McCarthy, Miller, Robby the Robot-who had a small but memorable cameo appearance at the end of HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD-and Kenneth Tobey-who played a police officer in THE HOWLING-and fused cutesy E.T and Ewok dolls with MONSTER aka HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP and ‘The Crate’ for the twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and Kennedy, Marshall and Palpaberg executive produced film, GREMLINS (1984), released on June 8, 1984.
‘The creatures are making it look like an accident.’
Significantly, the dismal film began with a chubby, easy going and snafu plagued inventor father, Rand Peltzer-who looked like a cross between Akroyd and Camomile, and whose surname evoked Heidi Von Beltz, a stuntwoman paralysed from the neck down after a car pileup on the full throttle and allegorical Hal Needham film, CANNONBALL RUN (1981), linking Peltzer and the film to the Last Good Year of film, and played by Hoyt Axton-buying an unusual Christmas present for his implicitly Landis and Scarecrow linked son, Billy Peltzer-played by Zach Galligan-from the money lusting Chinese grandson-played by John Louie-of a mysterious Chinese grandfather-played by Keye Luke-who was the owner a curious Curio Shoppe in a generic Chinatown. This unusual present, a real live cute and cuddly teddy bear called a Mogwai that was a fusion of an Ewok and E.T., was promptly dubbed ‘Gizmo’ by the elder Peltzer. Unfortunately for the elder and younger Peltzer, the cute and cuddly nature of Gizmo belied an implicit link to Dark Forces the TZ disaster.
Indeed, Gizmo was kept in a small wooden box that evoked the various crates containing the Ark of the Covenant after it was liberated from the Well of Souls in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK as well as the crate that contained Fluffy in ‘The Crate’, immediately affirming that Giz was not quite as cute and cuddly as the teddy bear seemed to unknowing eyes. In addition, the three hundred dollars in cash paid by Rand to the mischievous grandson evoked the surreptitious three hundred dollars paid in cash to the parents of Chen and Le before they were led away to their doom on the Landis set on the night of the TZ disaster. The implicit link of Gizmo to the TZ was reaffirmed by the three warnings governing the care of Gizmo that the grandson gave to the elder Peltzer before they parted company. For keeping Giz away from bright lights and water and never feeding him after midnight reminded us that a very bright, powerful and explosive fireball set off after midnight around 2:20 am in the morning of July 23, 1982 downed the Huey helicopter on the night of the TZ disaster, leading soon after to the deaths of Chen, Le and Morrow in the water of the Santa Clarita River.
Significantly, the implicit link of Gizmo to the TZ disaster was reaffirmed soon after Rand brought Giz back for Christmas to the Peltzer home in the generic American town of Kingston Falls, USA. For Billy’s friend, Pete-played by Corey Feldman-foolishly ignored the warnings and spilled water on Gizmo, causing Giz to give asexual birth to five Evil and malicious Gremlins who openly linked the film to the TZ disaster as they evoked the lone gremlin on the sinister left wing of the airplane in the fourth and final Miller episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. As the five Evil Gremlins evoked Landis and his four co-defendants in the TZ trial-Folsey jr., first assistant director John Allingham, special on set effects supervisor Paul Stewart and helicopter pilot Dorcey Wingo-the implication was that the five Gremlins were implicitly linked to Landis, Folsey jr., Allingham, Stewart and Wingo. The implicit link of the five Gremlins to the Twilit Five was reaffirmed by the fact that their leader, whose white Mohawk led him to be dubbed ‘Stripe’, soon conned Billy into feeding the five after midnight, giving them the fuel they needed to follow Stripe after he dipped himself into a local pool and created a mob of out of control Gremlins and join Stripe and the malevolent mob on a rampage through Kingston Falls that evoked the rampage of the humanoids through Noyo at the end of MONSTER aka HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP, gleefully tampering with and destroying all of the town’s machinery in a way that evoked the out of control helicopter of the TZ disaster to reaffirm their implicit link to that disaster.
Indeed, the fact that the Gremlins were constantly popping up out of nowhere and objects were often unexpectedly tossed at actors from Gremlins behind the camera throughout the film was also significant, for these were favorite Landis techniques seen throughout ANIMAL HOUSE and THE BLUES BROTHERS especially that were designed to provoke a ‘real’ surprised reaction from performers, reiterating the implication that GREMLINS was addressing Landis. An implicit intent that was reaffirmed by the way the rampaging Gremlins killed the Wicked Widow Witch of Kingston Falls, Mrs. Ruby Deagle-played by Polly Holliday. For the Wicked Widow with the Ozian and Tolkien evoking name-Deagle sounded like ‘D. Gale’ and Smeagol’s Deagol-was a miserable old Potter of a woman who owned most of the town of Kingston Falls and was only interested in money, likes Kennedy, Marshall, Palpaberg and Stinkious before the TZ disaster.
As a result of this obsession with money, the Gremlins blasted Deagle on the electric chair that transported her up and down the stairs in her house and smashed her through an upper window of her old cat filled ‘animal’ house like a broomstick riding Witch to affirm her implicit link to the Wicked Witch of the West. A true animal house, for the sight of the Wicked Deagle flying through the air evoked the sight of the ominously decapitated and dismembered clothing mannequin that was thrown through a top window of Delta House and which landed at the feet of Dorfman and Kroger at the beginning of ANIMAL HOUSE, reiterating the implication that the film was addressing and exorcising Landis and the TZ disaster.
Interestingly, the chaos in Kingston Falls was followed on radio over the course of the film by Rockin’ Ricky Rialto, the unseen and implicitly Great Oz linked and Wolfman Jack evoking DJ of the film, played by the real Don Steele, who had also played the Palpaberg linked tv announcer Junior Bruce in DEATH RACE 2000. The link to DEATH RACE 2000 reminded us that Landis had a bit part in that film, reiterating that GREMLINS was coming to grips with Landis. Rialto’s surname also reiterated that GREMLINS struggled to come to grips with Landis and the TZ disaster, for the helicopter rented for the Landis episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE came from a firm located in Rialto, Kalifornia.
Thus, the sight and sound of the implicitly Landis linked and Good Billy and Gizmo fighting off and defeating the implicitly Landis linked and Evil Stripe and his malicious minions, in the end, implied the hope of Dante, Kennedy, Marshall and Palpaberg that Landis would defeat his Dark Side at last and never cause any fatal disasters on his film sets ever again. Indeed, the fact that Billy’s sweet girlfriend, Kate-played by Phoebe Cates-helped Billy succeed in his quest reaffirmed his implicit link to Landis and the implicit point of the film. For Kate evoked both Katie in ANIMAL HOUSE, and Deborah Nadoolman, the wife of Landis. The choice of Cates to play Kate reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in allegorically confronting and exorcising the twilit and disastrous year of 1982, for Cates played Linda Barrett in FAST TIMES AT RIDGMONT HIGH.
Significantly, the first Gremlin to run rampant soon killed Kingston Falls high school biology teacher, Mr. Hanson-played by Glynn Turman-as he tried to lure the creature out from under a desk with a Snicker’s bar, the perfect bar for a snickering and sneering Gremlin. The tragicomic scene once more reiterated that the flying high E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL dream of Palpaberg had turned into a falling Temple Theatre of Doom twilightmare, for the scene was a violent reversal of Elliot’s successful luring of E.T. out of hiding with Reese’s Pieces in E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL. The biology class setting affirmed that implication, for it evoked the famous frog dissecting biology class scene in E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL
This tragic and twilit reversal of fortune was also implicitly affirmed in the department store showdown at the end of the film, for at one point Billy walked through the toy department looking for Stripe and passed by a shelf containing an E.T. doll. After he passed, the doll trembled and was pushed aside, revealing the sneaky and cunning face of Stripe. This was the most open implicit admission in the film that the E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL dream had become a twilit Gremlin nightmare for Emperor Palpaberg, and that his madcap dreams of movie tie-in fortune and glory had blinded him to the possibility of disaster on the Landis set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. Indeed, the fact that Lord Palpaberg was seen in a cameo as a guy in a wheelchair with a broken leg while the elder Peltzer called home from an inventor’s convention implicitly affirmed that Palpaberg was also using the film to cope with the TZ disaster.
There was also a strong implication that the rampaging Gremlins that followed Stripe and his four co-conspirators implicitly symbolized Lord Palpaberg’s fears of alienated and furious fans taking to the streets and attacking him and the rest of the New Hollywood film world in revenge for the TZ disaster. This additional implication was affirmed by the explosively climatic scene of GREMLINS, which took place in the sole movie theatre of Kingston Falls shortly before Billy and Giz triumphed over Stripe. For the rampaging Gremlins took over the theatre, implicitly affirming that the TZ disaster had turned the heady E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL dream into a Temple Theatre of Doom nightmare for Palbaberg.
This riotous occupation of the town theatre also led to shots of the riotous Gremlins in their seats staring into the stage, and, hence, the camera. While supposedly showing the raucous gremlins watching SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS from the POV of the theatre screen, the shots actually gave the impression that the Gremlins were staring out into the human audience. Thus, furious fans implicitly stared back into a bizarre Gremlin funhouse mirror distortion of themselves, implicitly affirming how afraid Dante, Kennedy, Marshall and Palpaberg were of audiences-particularly young audiences-and their ability to end the careers of film artists by avoiding their films. Indeed, the raucous crowd of out of control Gremlin viewers also attacked the movie screen, ripping it to shreds with their claws when they saw the shadows of Billy and his girlfriend running behind the screen, confirming that implicit fear of audiences.
Intriguingly, the three appendaged hands and feet of the Gremlins recalled those of the Rancor and Yoda as well as E.T., reaffirming that the quest for movie tie-in fortune had gone nightmarishly wrong for Emperor Palpaberg as well as for Lord Stinkious after the TZ disaster. Indeed, the fact that this Gremlin rampage took place in a small town over the course of an ultimately healing and Ozian December night evoked AMERICAN GRAFFITI as much as 1941, affirming that Lord Stinkious had been pulled into the Zone as much as Kennedy, Marshall and Palpaberg. Of course, the three appendaged hands and feet of the Gremlins also anticipated the equally three appendaged hands and feet of the rampaging CGI raptors and tyrannosaurus rexes of such later twilit and allegorical Spielberg films as JURASSIC PARK (1993) and THE LOST WORLD (1997), as well as the CGI martians of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005). Indeed, GREMLINS openly anticipated JURASSIC PARK and THE LOST WORLD, for the five Gremlins initially hatched like birds and dinosaurs-and even pod people-from egg-like cocoons soon after being fed after midnight, before Stripe multiplied their numbers with his swimming pool dunk and the full Gremlinoid kid monsters from the deep subconscious began to terrorize the town.
All of which gave viewers even more reasons to be upset with GREMLINS. For on top of its violence and many annoying paens to product placement, the film provided viewers with as many reasons as INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM to suspect that Kennedy, Marshall and Palpaberg-and perhaps even Dante-knew more about the TZ disaster than they were letting on. Indeed, the deliberate and premeditated murders carried out by the Gremlins over the course of the film outraged audiences as much as the film thugee sacrifice of the male victim in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, for they implied yet again that Chen, Le and Morrow had been deliberately killed on the Landis set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. Thus, the darkened Temple Theatres of escape had turned into the dark and troubled Temple of Doom minds of Directos.
And viewers let Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers and theatre owners know all about their angry discontent, rising up in outraged and righteous fury to complain about the violence in GREMLINS and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM so much that the Motion Picture Association of America decided to placate them by creating the PG-13 rating. This rating, advising adult accompaniment for children thirteen years of age and under due to graphic sex and violence in a film, exists to this day. However, the MPAA did not understand that viewers were not raging against violence in film or interested in new film classifications to protect children, but were raging against the violence of the TZ disaster and the guilty implications of wrongdoing seen in GREMLINS and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM.
The MPAA also did not realize that viewers were furious about the refusal of Dante, Kennedy, Marshall, Palpaberg and Stinkious to talk publicly about the disaster, despite all of the implicit talking and wailing that was going on in their twilit and allegorical film art. Indeed, all five of the film artists should have been called in to testify at the TZ trial, and legislation should have been passed in the US making film artists more accountable for injuries and deaths on film sets, and for ending or dramatically reducing the use of film art and telefilm art as filmmercials and telefilmmercials to promote movie and tv tie-in merchandise. At any rate, and not surprisingly, the same outraged audiences, appreciated the much needed and tension relieving humour of the twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and POLTERGEIST evoking Ivan Reitman film, GHOSTBUSTERS (1984), released like GREMLINS on June 8, 1984.
Curiously, Reitman implied that he understood that audiences had turned against special and visual f/x loving New Hollywood film artists like Lucas and Spielberg and implied his hope that less f/x obsessed indie film artists would free audiences, film art, mainstream film artists and the Temple Theatre from the TZ disaster and its haunting twilit trio and return harmony to Hollywood in GHOSTBUSTERS. For the film saw the implicitly Cronenberg and Tin Man linked Doctor Egon Spengler, the implicitly Friedkin and Scarecrow linked Doctor Peter Venkman and the implicitly Cowardly Lion and Lynch linked Dr. Raymond Stantz-played by Ramis, Murray and Akroyd, respectively-exorcise the Evil spirit inhabiting Weaver’s implicitly film art and Dorothy linked Dana Barrett-her name evoking Dana Freeling of the similar POLTERGEIST in an allusion that implicitly affirmed the film’s interest in the film art and twilit and disastrous events of 1982-and the implicitly Allen and Toto linked Louis Tully-played by Rick Moranis-and face down and destroy the implicitly Wicked Witch of the West linked Gozer-played by Slavitza Jovan-in her horrific manifestation as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and the implicitly Landis and Nikko linked Walter Peck-played by Atherton-thus returning harmony to New York, in the end.
Significantly, despite being as ironically fond of special and visual f/x as the film art of Lucas and Spielberg and openly and shamelessly promoting its movie tie-in merchandise-jubilant bystanders were seen waving blue GHOSTBUSTERS t-shirts in the celebratory crowd after the Ozian heroes merged their elemental energy and triumphed over the Stay Puft marshmallow man at the end of the film-GHOSTBUSTERS was a huge success, rating high on the PKD evoking PKE meter. Fittingly, given the prescient warning Huston had given Stinkious in THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING that his skyrocking dreams could easily turn into hellish nightmares, it was Huston who implicitly summed up how far Lucas had fallen in his allegorical and Lucas bashing film, UNDER THE VOLCANO (1984), released on June 13, 1984.
For the sight and anguished sound of Albert Finney’s implicitly Stinkious linked, recently divorced and despondent ex-British Consul, Geoff Firmin, stumbling drunkenly around the Mexican town of Cuernavaca on El Dia del Muerto 1938 summed up the equally despondent and divorced depths Lord Stinkious had fallen into by 1984 from the Skyrocking and married heights of 1981. Significantly, Firmin was gunned down by three Mexicans linked to Folsey, Landis and Palpaberg-the latter two played by Ramiro R. Ramirez and Mario Arevalo, respectively-in the end, strongly implying that Huston thought that Folsey, Landis and Palpaberg were just as guilty of murdering the reputation of Stinkious as they were of possible murder in the TZ disaster. For his part, Nick Castle implicitly reached out sympathetically to Lord Stinkious and fused EXCALIBUR with STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE in his twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced film, THE LAST STARFIGHTER (1984), released on July 13, 1984.
‘Up to your old Excalibur tricks again,
Indeed, Castle implicitly gave Stinkious the benefit of the doubt that his decision to work with Kennedy, Marshall and Palpaberg was an unfortunate momentary lapse of sanity and affirmed that the CGI enhanced era of film art was on schedule by having the implicitly Stinkious linked teen ace Starfighter pilot, Alex Rogan-played by Lance Guest-pilot his Gunstar spacefighter to a memorable Death Blossom triumph over the Wicked and implicitly Palpaberg linked Xur-played by Norman Snow-the implicitly Landis linked Lord Kril-played by Dan Mason-and the CGI deck fighters of the flying monkey evoking Ko-Dan armada in the world’s first CGI enhanced space battle at the end of the film. The sight and sound of an alien Zando-Zan assassin-played by Marc Alaimo-killing the lookalike simuloid beta unit-also played by Guest-that covered for Rogan at home at the Starlite Starbrite trailer park on the brave new CGI world of Earth while the young Starfighter fought in space for the freedom of the galaxy reaffirmed the implicit Stinky forgiving message of the film, implying the hope of Castle that the momentary lost and ‘fake’ Stinkious would also disappear and be replaced by a transformed and ‘real’ Stinkious who would lead the way into a brave new world of CGI enhanced film art. Alas, the appearance of Gary-played by Geoffrey Blake-marred this new hope in yet another eerily prescient memory of the future.
For his part, Wolfgang Petersen had Barret Oliver’s possibly Palpaberg linked young action viewer and ardent reader Bastian fused with his alter ego, Atreyu-played by Hathaway-as he read The Neverending Story and killed a monstrous and Landis linked Wolf before defeating the twilit malaise of Nothing that threatened the land of Fantasia in order free film art from the Twilight Zone-symbolized by Tami Stronach’s Childlike Empress-and bring peace and harmony back to the Temple Theatre-and used his newfound imaginative powers to triumph over a twilit trio of school bullies implicitly linked to Folsey, Marshall, and Stinkious-and played by Darryl Cooksey, Drum Garrett, and Nicholas Gilbert, respectively-at the end of the sweet, gentle, optimistic and twilit allegorical film, THE NEVERENDING STORY (1984),a film released on July 20, 1984 that came across as a boy version of the ‘Taarna’ episode of HEAVY METAL: THE MOVIE. Neal Jordan also expressed interest in children’s stories and implicitly affirmed in July of ’84 that he was now only too well aware of the twisted and beastly nature of the company of film artists that he had joined and was now implicitly worried that if he remained amongst them he would turn into a remorseless and violent wolfman in his twilit, surreal and haunting allegorical fairy tale within fairy tale, THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (1984), a film that alluded to AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, BLADE RUNNER, BOY AND BICYCLE, DEMENTIA 13, THE HOWLING and NEVER CRY WOLF to affirm its implicit intent-indeed, Brian Glover from AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON returned for another small role.
Significantly, the creation of a CGI enhanced time-warp zone during a 1943 naval radar cloaking experiment gone awry that led to a desperate battle to liberate first a US battleship and then the world from its all devouring maw strongly implied that Stewart Raffill was warning film artists that an all too eager embrace of CGI to solve the problem of fatalities on film sets could destroy the humanity of film art in the twilit, CGI enhanced and allegorical film, THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT (1984), which continued the cautionary approach advocated by BLUE THUNDER, STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, TRON and WAR GAMES-indeed, the film openly alluded to WAR GAMES-when it arrived in theatres on August 3, 1984. Tragicomically, one of the most unpopular films of ’84 was the twilit, allegorical and CGI supporting Jeff Kanew film, REVENGE OF THE NERDS (1984), which arrived in theatres on August 10, 1984.
No doubt because the two leaders of the embattled, jock plagued but ultimately triumphant nerds of Adams College, Lewis and Gilbert-played by Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards, respectively-were implicitly linked to Landis and Folsey throughout the film. This link made the ending triumph of the twilit Trilambda Fraternity over their main beastly, blockbuster and implicitly Emperor Palpaberg linked jock adversary, Frederick W. ‘Ogre’ Kowalski-linked to the dominant college fraternity as in ANIMAL HOUSE, and played by Donald Gibb-an implicit triumph for Folsey and Landis that few would accept in 1984. Significantly, another film that did little better when it was also released on August 10, 1984 was the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced W. D. Richter film, THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE EIGHTH DIMENSION (1984), perhaps due to the fact that the film was so exuberantly eccentric, iconoclastic and resistant to categorization.
For film saw the Doc Savage evoking and implicitly Cronenberg linked Buckaroo Banzai-played by Peter Wellers-and his Fabulous Five evoking and hard rocking Hong Kong Cavalliers desperately battled to save the brave new world of CGI enhanced film art-symbolized by the CGI linked oscilliation overthruster-from the infidious perfidy of Lithgow’s exuberantly diabolic and implicitly Bertolucci linked, Dr. Emilio Lizardo, and his Evil alien friends, the Lectroids, from Planet Ten. Evil alien friends linked to TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE via Lithgow, and by the fact that they had all taken on the first name John in an attempt to fit in on Earth while disguised as humans. One of the Johns was played by Vincent Schiavelli, who affirmed the film’s interest in the twilit and disastrous events of 1982 via his character Carl in the allegorical and implicitly Landis and Palpaberg bashing Howard film, NIGHT SHIFT (1982). For his part, Joseph Ruben fused SCANNERS and THE DEAD ZONE and tried to heal the rift created between Cronenberg and Palpaberg when he appeared in the theatres on August 17, 1984 with the twilit and allegorical film, DREAMSCAPE (1984).
Indeed, a Cronenberg linked and scanner evoking ace psychic named Alex Gardner-played by Dennis Quaid-was called back into ‘dream runner’ service to enter the dreams and troubled nightmares of fellow Americans. This ability to enter the inner dream world of other people recalled Smith’s psychic ability to enter the past and possible future lives of other people in The DEAD ZONE. Unlike Smith, however, Gardner was not only able to enter the dreams and twilightmares of other people, he was also able to intervene, change and even exorcise those dreams and twilightmares. Intriguingly, Gardner helped one boy-Buddy Driscoll, played by Cory ‘Bumper’ Yothers-and Eddie Albert’s Palpaberg linked President of the United States rid themselves of twilightmares of a monstrous Snake Man. This insidious Snake Man was introduced into their twilightmares by Gardner’s rival, a Landis linked evil dream runner named Tommy Ray Glatman, played by David P. Kelly, linked to 1982 forever by way of his character Luther in 48 HOURS.
Significantly, while created by Glatman, this Snake Man was actually played by Cedar, who had played the rampaging gremlin on the left airplane wing in the Miller episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. Thus, the return of Cedar as another twilit blockbuster beast implied that with the defeat of Glatman by Gardner and the President, Ruben was putting all of the blame for the TZ disaster on Landis, and freeing youthful audiences of fears of Palpaberg while healing the twilit rift between Cronenberg and Palpaberg. Curiously, the fact that another heart was ripped out of a big eared and thus Lucas evoking male train conductor-played by Ben Kronen-by the ubiquitous Snake Man in the President’s final twilightmare at the end of the film, linked the film to INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, affirming the film’s implicit interest in Emperor Palpaberg, and making for two heart ripping films in 1984. The film’s INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM–style poster and the return of Capshaw as dream researcher Jane DeVries reiterated the film’s link to the Indy sequel. Curiously, more implicit Landis bashing took place in the twilit and allegorical Milos Forman film, AMADEUS (1984), released on September 19, 1984.
For AMADEUS began with a valet played by Schiavelli desperately knocking on the locked door of F. Murray Abraham’s despondent, suicidal and Franklin and Palpaberg linked Salieri, before heading off into a film long confession of the aged Salieri to a Stinkious linked Father-played by Peter Frank-which saw the once famous but now forgotten composer insisting that more insidious and Palpaberg linked machinations had led to the quick rise and fall of the Landis linked Mozart. Indeed, Mozart’s link to Landis was implied by the fact that he was played by Hulce, who played Pinto in ANIMAL HOUSE, and by allusions to ANIMAL HOUSE, SCHLOCK and TRADING PLACES in the film. Curiously, this was not the first time that Forman celebrated the vengeful triumph of the jealous, mediocre, conservative and uncreative establishment over the brilliant, fearless, creative and idiosyncratic directors of New Hollywood, as he had done the same thing with the equally vengeful triumph of the conservative and uncreative establishment of an Old Hollywood linked asylum over Nicholson’s independent, rebellious and New Hollywood evoking and perhaps Coppola linked patient McMurphy in his allegorical film, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975)-curiously linked again to Schiavelli, who played a fellow patient named Fredrickson in the film.
Just as curiously, Schiavelli’s John O’ Connor and Yoyo-Dyne Propulsion Systems, the spoof company that housed the secret headquarters of the Lectroid invaders in THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE EIGHTH DIMENSION, were both the final memories of the future that presciently anticipated the reappearance of Cameron. For John Connor, saviour of film art and a future Earth ruled over by Evil, pitiless and twilit blockbuster machines and implacable Cyberdyne Systems cyborg terminators featured prominently when Cameron finally returned to theatres after all sorts of omens of his coming a week before Hallowe’en of 1984 with his righteously furious and determinedly Zonebusting sophomore allegorical film, THE TERMINATOR (1984), a film fittingly produced and reluctantly released on October 26, 1984 by Orion Pictures, linking the steadfast and determined Cameron to the equally steadfast and determined Orion the Hunter.
Curiously, despite the fact that Landis was responsible for the TZ disaster, Schwarzenegger’s huge, relentless and time travelling Cyberdyne Systems-101 Terminator cyborg evoked not just the pursuing android gunslinger in WESTWORLD but the equally huge, relentless and mechanically enhanced Vader, implicitly linking the Terminator to Lord Stinkious. This was an ironic link, given that Schwarzenegger’s Conan had tracked down and killed the Lord Stinkious linked Thulsa Doom in CONAN THE BARBARIAN in 1982. However, Schwarzenegger’s link to the film art of 1982-a link to 1982 reaffirmed by the film’s allusions to BLADE RUNNER-openly affirmed that Cameron was addressing the twilit and disastrous events of 1982 and roasting Stinkious in the film-perhaps for helping fuel blockbuster lusts with the robot filled and CGI enhanced Classic Trilogy and for working with Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg on INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. Indeed, the film ended soon after a line of dialogue from the gremlin menaced Miller episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE when Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor used some fittingly callous machinations to finally crush the remorseless CSM-101 Terminator from the future-trying to kill a twilit trio of Sarah Connors living in the L.A. area so as to prevent one of them from giving birth to J.C. film art messiah John Connor-in the early morning hours of May 14, 1984, the fortieth birthday of Lord Stinkious. A fitting link to the birthday of Stinkious, for it reminded us that CONAN THE BARBARIAN was released on May 14, 1982, the thirty-eighth birthday of Stinkious.
The fact that the Terminator ripped out the heart out of a young punk-played by either Brad Rearden or Brian Thompson-who looked like Hamill shortly after it arrived from the future at the beginning of the film reaffirmed that Lord Stinkious and his Classic Trilogy were being furiously roasted in T1-and made for a truly twilit trio of heart ripping sequences in the Zone War films of 1984. The sight of the Terminator pursuing Connor on a motorcycle at the end of THE TERMINATOR also reaffirmed the Terminator’s link to Stinkious, reminding us of the two pursuing robocops on motorcycles at the end of THX 1138. And how fitting that the film’s baddie should be a biomechanical cyborg, reminding us that with its photogenic actor surface veneer hiding the machinery-whether film cameras, microphones, lights, generators, wind machines, editing machines, stunt vehicles, film projectors and speakers-that was hidden beneath the surface film imagery, making film art a biomechanical cyborg creation, as well. And that the robot frame would be guided by a computer brain seen churning away in its POV shots-evoking similar shots from the POV of the pursuing android gunslinger in WESTWORLD-making the Terminator, along with the baddies of TRON, one of the first digital blockbuster beasts of film art-a digital link affirmed by the digital font of the opening intro and titles.
However, a gun shop owner played by Dante and Roger Corman regular Miller also implied that Cameron was engaged in some serious Zonebusting in the film, as Miller had played the owner of a roadside diner in the Dante episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. A line from the Miller episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE was also heard late in the film. The surname of Connor also evoked Morrow’s Bill Connor in the Landis episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, openly affirming the film’s interest in Landis and the TZ disaster and implying that Connor symbolized the film art of Landis. Indeed, the name of John Connor openly linked the film to Landis, for John Connor was a cameraman on the Landis set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE the night of the TZ disaster. The numerous times that she and Michael Biehn’s TechCom Sergeant Kyle Reese stared into the camera over the course of the film reaffirmed the film’s interest in the film art of Landis, as Landis was famous for breaking the fourth wall in his film art. Curiously, though, Reese was more likely implicitly linked to Lynch, implying that Cameron used the film to warn Lynch that he would not succeed in his quest to exorcise Landis and the TZ disaster and kick off a sunlit new era of film art with his next feature film. A sentiment that clearly agreed with audiences, as THE TERMINATOR was the unexpected box office smash of the year. Much to the surprise of Orion Pictures, who disliked and dismissed the film so much that they only advertised the film for a week before its release.
A Zone War not without a literary component, as literary artists continued to launch salvoes. McCammon led the way in October of ’84 with a furious and dismissive roast of Kennedy, Marshall, Palpaberg and Stinkious in Usher’s Passing. However, perhaps the most memorable salvo came from Herbert, who stopped complaining publicly about Lord Stinkious and the resemblances of the Classic Trilogy to his Dune books and weighed in on the trilogy in his aptly entitled allegorical novel, Heretics Of Dune (1984). Indeed, while exploring the different types of wood used in the old Imperium, Herbert sarcastically noted that
…pilingitam (was) a wood of steady currency, always valued by the supremely rich. From the most ancient times, the knowledgeable had preferred to surround themselves with fine woods rather than with the mass produced artificial materials known then as polastine, polaz, and pormabat
(latterly: tine, laz and bat). As far back as the Old Empire there had been a pejorative label for the small rich and Families Minor arising from the knowledge of a rare wood’s value. ‘He’s a three P-O’, they said, meaning
that such a person surrounded himself with cheap copies made from declasse substances (Herbert, 322).
As for Norman Jewison, he used an investigation of a murder on an army base in Louisiana during WWII to imply that he felt that foul play was at work in the TZ disaster when he returned to the Temple Theatre on November 2, 1984 with the twilit and allegorical film, A SOLDIER’S STORY (1984), perhaps inspired by the similar allegorical Edward Dmytryk film, “CROSSFIRE” (1947).
Indeed, Denzel Washington’s Pfc. ‘Pete’ Peterson was linked to Steve Spielberg throughout the film, complete with rimless round lensed glasses and a link to Hollywood. This was an ominous link, given that Peterson was revealed in the end as the murderer of Adolph Caesar’s moody and sometimes tyrannical Sgt. Vernon Waters, whose irascible demeanour evoked Morrow, and whose name evoked Dean Vernon Wormer in ANIMAL HOUSE, linking him to Landis. Significantly, in the pivotal fist fight between Peterson and Waters that was partly to blame for the murder of Waters, the Sarge threw sand in Peterson’s face prior to inflicting a vicious beating on him. This evoked the sand that Jones threw in the face of the huge German mechanic in their fist fight in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, confirming Peterson’s link to Palpaberg. Wings Hauser’s Lt. Bird also looked like a young Lithgow, evoking Lithgow’s performance in the Miller episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE in a way that reaffirmed the twilit intent of A SOLDIER’S STORY. As for Alex Cox, he implicitly roasted Landis, Lord Stinkious and Palpaberg when he arrived in theatres in mid-November ’84 with the re-release of his raucous, satirical and Ozian themed first allegorical feature film, REPO MAN (1984), affirming his implicit intent with allusions to AMERICAN GRAFFITI, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL, THE BLUES BROTHERS and The Classic Trilogy.
It was a perfect time for the re-release of REPO MAN, for the sight of Emilio Estevez’s angry, young, and Cameron evoking Otto Maddox joining a group of older, jaded and indie L.A. repo men and beating a secretive and Palpaberg linked government UFO agency to a mysterious ’64 Chevy Malibu linked well with the equally angry, young and indie film artist Cameron beating the New Hollywood establishment with T1. And not surprisingly, the dismissive anti-Lucas fury stoked by INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM not only led to REPO MAN finally finding an audience, but also led to Lord Stinkious being roasted yet again in conjunction with the release of REPO MAN in November of 1984. For Lord Stinkious decided it was a perfect time to prove himself to be unbelievably blind to the righteously furious tenor of the times by trying to soothe audiences more troubled about the TZ disaster and his decision to work with Kennedy, Marshall and Palpaberg on INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM than when he returned to the small screen and Ewok filled Endor on November 25, 1984 with Davis and the twilit and allegorical John Korty telefilm, CARAVAN OF COURAGE (1984).
Needless to say, with furious audiences convinced that Lord Stinkious was a Sith Lord, of all of the horrifically wrong things he could do at this time, setting a limp and listless allegorical STAR WARS telefilm on Endor and having Wicket-played again by Davis-and his fellow Ewoks bumbling around again was without question the worst. The disastrous situation was not helped by the fact that the film saw Wicket and his woeful pals rescue a Kennedy and Marshall linked married couple-Catarine and Jeremitt, played by Fionnula Flanagan and Guy Boyd, respectively-who had crash landed on Endor from the dreaded Gorax, a truly twilit and blockbuster beast that was a curious fusion of the Beast from KRULL, Chewbacca, King Kong, a Klingon, the Rancor and Stripe, characteristics that evoked Landis, Lord Stinkious and Palpaberg, and which fell to its doom in the end like the Emperor, King Kong and Mola Ram. For the infuriating implication was that this rescue tried to symbolically free Kennedy and Marshall from the crashed helicopter and pin all of the blame for the TZ disaster on Landis and Palpaberg-this despite the fact that Lucas had just come to the support of Landis and Palpaberg and put all of the blame on the TZ disaster on Allingham and Folsey in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM.
The fact that the two Chen and Le evoking children of Catarine and Jeremitt, Cindel and Mace-played by the all too fittingly surnamed Aubree Miller and Eric Walker, respectively-who had briefly left the spaceship crash site and gotten lost in the Endor Zone, were also found and freed from the Zone by Wicket and his Ewok pals before being saved in the end with their parents from the cavernous and Temple of Doom evoking den of the Gorax, also spelled doom for this wretched telefilm. For this ridiculous ending was clearly another bizarre, frantic and desperate redirection of reality that saw Chen and Le miraculously alive and well again as at the end of INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM-and the skyrocking spirit of ’81 returned, as Cindel looked like the pretty young blonde Dorothy in THE ROAD WARRIOR. The fact that the name Gorax could be transformed into Xoarg, evoking Georz, the ultimate blockbuster beast at this time-a link to Lord Stinkious increased by the large ears of the Gorax, which evoked Stinkious as much as Stripe the gremlin-also did not help this dismal telefilm or Lord Stinkious.
Significantly, however, CARAVAN OF COURAGE did have three elements that anticipated future film art. One was the first appearance of a male character named Mace, who anticipated Mace Windu in STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE. The second was the arrival of an extraterrestrial Tinkerbell who helped the two lost children and the Ewoks defeat the dread Gorax and escape the Endor Neverland Zone, a character who anticipated a Palpaberg film about Peter Pan to come. The gigantic Gorax with his three appendaged hands also anticipated future Palpaberg dinosaur films. As for Hyams, he joined Besson in LE DERNIER COMBAT in implicitly reaffirming on December 7, 1984 that a twilit new film era had begun in his twilit, CGI enhanced and allegorical film, 2010 (1984), a film openly linked to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 as it was inspired by the presciently twilit and allegorical Clarke novel, 2010: Odyssey Two (1982).
Indeed, the second sun that emerged from the imploded mass of Jupiter and turned the Earth’s night into a permanent twilight implicitly made that point clear at the end of 2010. The sight of the Russian spaceship Alexei Leonov narrowly managing to escape the explosive fire of the twilit new sun reaffirmed that one era had ended and another had begun, for this ending evoked the sight of the Millenium Falcon narrowly managing to escape the explosive fire of the Deathly Moon at the end of STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI. The presence of Dullea’s implicitly Morrow linked Bowman, Scheider’s implicitly Lucas linked Floyd, Bob Balaban’s implicitly Catmull linked Dr. Chandra amongst the American members of the US-USSR mission to Jupiter to solve the mystery of the U.S.S. Discovery I and of Helen Mirren’s implicitly Kennedy linked Tanya Kirbuk, Vladimir Skomarovsky’s implicitly Landis linked Yuri Svetlanov, Oleg Rudnik’s implicitly Marshall linked Dr. Vasili Orlov, and Elya Baskin’s implicitly Palpaberg linked Maxim Brajlovsky amongst the Soviet members reaffirmed the implicit intent of 2010. Curiously, however, the same crowds that flocked to the twilit and implicitly Lucas toasting 2010 soon rejected Lynch’s twilit and visionary allegorical film, DUNE (1984), and all of the mystic film’s similarities to the Classic Trilogy, when the film arrived in theatres on December 14, 1984.
However, despite this rejection, Kyle MacLachlan’s messianic and implicitly Cronenberg linked extraterrestrial boy scout, Paul ‘Maud’dib’ Atreides, and his faithful fremen in their bio-mechanical stillsuits were the ultimate alienated action viewers, rising up from the sands of Arrakis to avenge the deaths of the twilit trio and the blockbuster betrayal of film art and cleanse and bring harmony back to the film universe and the Temple Theatre by overthrowing the blockbuster loot and power obsessed and implicitly Kershner linked Emperor Shaddam IV-played by Jose Ferrer-and his Imperial legions. Significantly, an uprising and cleansing of the film universe that also saw the machine hating Fremen defeat the technology of the evil Empire, a triumph of the natural world over technology and its CGI that implied that Lynch was also warning film artists not to let CGI triumph over the humanity of film art, as in TRON and WAR GAMES. In fact, Lynch implied that his hope that Maud’dib and himself would end the Zone Wars with DUNE, for he ended the film with the words ‘…where there was war, Maud’dib would now bring peace. Where there was hatred, Maud’dib would bring love’.
Significantly, the rejection of the strange and mystic DUNE combined with the successes of AMADEUS and T1 to signal that the world had turned away from heady Skyrocking in galaxies far far away and back to a more hard nosed and down to Earth reality. This hard nosed, cynical and angry new era was underlined by the fact that AMADEUS received 8 Academy Awards, pointedly one more Oscar than STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE had received in 1978. Not surprisingly, this hard nosed new era continued when Coppola also returned to the Temple Theatre on December 14, 1984 just in time for Christmas with Domino, Gian-Carlo, Fishburne, Garfield, Malkin, Puzo, Roos, Waits, Cage-who played Smokey in the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Lynch roasting film, RUMBLE FISH (1983)-and Lane-who played Sherry ‘Cherry’ Valance in THE OUTSIDERS and Patty in RUMBLE FISH-and struck back in outraged fury at the TZ disaster in the twilit and allegorical film, THE COTTON CLUB (1984).
‘I thought your specialty was killing kids.’
Significantly, the film began with jazzy instrumental music accompanying the opening titles and then a dance on stage in the famed and Hollywood cadenced Cotton Club in Harlem in 1928. Fittingly, the dance was a strong, sensual and sassy number by female dancers of African descent in elaborate costumes, reaffirming that female artists, particularly film artists, would be playing a larger role in film art in the post-TZ disaster era-how fitting that a cigarette girl appeared later who resembled an older Bigelow. Then the opening titles ended and the scene shifted to the Bamville Club, where we met the implicitly Lynch linked Michael ‘Dixie’ Dwyer-played by Richard Gere-playing cornet for the band while the implicitly Coppola and Stinkious linked brothers, Clay and Dalbert Williams-played by Maurice and Gregory Hines, respectively-tap danced along and the implicitly Palpaberg linked mobster, Dutch Schultz-played by James Remar-and his people and beautiful brunette Vera Cicero-played by Lane-and her girlfriends appreciated the scene.
Soon Dwyer saved Schultz from a hit by two goons disguised as police officers sent by the implicitly Morrow linked rival gangster, Joe Flynn-played by John Ryan-the law abiding cornet and piano player was dragged into the mobster’s life. Accompanying Cicero on piano for Schultz at a party thrown by another gangster, the Hitchcock resembling and implicitly linked Owney Madden-played by Bob Hoskins-owner of the Cotton Club, Cicero and Dwyer witnessed an out of control Schultz brutally stab Flynn to death as the horror of everyday gangster life broke out once more in a Coppola film. Significantly, as this murder happened under a chandelier that evoked one seen in ‘Eyes’, Coppola not only affirmed the implicit link of Schultz to Palpaberg, but also implied his furious belief that Morrow had been murdered and that Palpaberg, as the man in charge of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, was responsible for that murder.
In addition, the sight and sound of Madden ordering his men to gun down Dwyer’s implicitly Landis linked gangster wannabe, Vincent ‘Mad Dog’ Dwyer-played by Cage-for supervising a mob hit on a public sidewalk that also lead to the Chen and Le evoking deaths of an innocent boy and girl-the latter played by Domino-also implicitly affirmed how angry Coppola was with Landis and the TZ disaster. Indeed, the sight and sound of Larry Marshall’s Cab Calloway performing the allegorical Calloway, Clarence Gaskill and Irving Mills tune, ‘Minnie the Moocher’ (1931), live onstage at the Cotton Club with the Cotton Club Orchestra in the next scene implicitly affirmed that Landis had been taken out in a symbolic hit, for it reminded us that the real Calloway had performed ‘Minnie the Moocher’ live onstage with the Blues Brothers Band at the end of THE BLUES BROTHERS-and reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in Palpaberg, as the scenes at the Cotton Club evoked the big dance scene to the sound of a live big band orchestra in 1941. Last but not least, the sight and sound of another rival gangster, Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano-played by Joe Dallesandro-then ordering a hit on Dwyer’s boss, Schultz, at the end of the film also implicitly affirmed that Coppola was outraged by the TZ disaster.
Curiously, however, Coppola also implied again his hope that Stinkious would leave behind the troubles caused by his association with Palpaberg. For the closing hit on Schultz was intercut with the final tap dance of ‘Billy Dee’ Williams at the Cotton Club, allowing art to triumph over Evil, before the film ended with Williams married to the Afro-holo dance girl of his dreams, the Fisher resembling and implicitly linked Lila Rose Oliver-played by Lonette McKee. As Dalbert was reconciled with brother Clay prior to that dance, Coppola also implied his hope that he and Stinkious would be reconciled and maybe even work on another film together, which they in fact soon did. Significantly, the sight and sound of Dwyer leaving behind the Cotton Club and New York by train, perhaps for a new career in Hollywood as a leading man, with Cicero, in the end, also implied either that Coppola felt that Lynch should leave behind brutal and nasty Hollywood and return to his indie art films or that Lynch should stick with making film art with Hollywood. At any rate, Coppola did his best to win audiences back to film art for, despite the horrific violence of everyday gangster life, THE COTTON CLUB was a very exuberant, colourful and music and dance filled film. Alas, more real life death haunted THE COTTON CLUB, for a lust for gold lead to the murder of co-producer Roy Radin on May 13, 1983.
Significantly, Lean also returned to theatres on December 14, 1984 and tried to leaven the gloom-for Landis at least-when he shifted from a clannish and implicitly Hollywood linked town in British occupied Ireland during the Great War in RYAN’S DAUGHTER to a clannish and implicitly Hollywood linked town in British occupied India after the Great War in his twilit and allegorical film, A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1984). For Lean implicitly likened the furious uproar in Hollywood caused by the TZ disaster and the attempt to put all blame for the fateful and still not fully explained disaster on Landis to the uproar in Chandrapore and the attempt to put all blame on Victor Banerjee’s implicitly Landis linked Dr. Aziz for the bloody and disheveled state of the implicitly L.A. linked Adela Quested-played by Judy Davis-after a fateful and never fully explained trip to the Marabar Caves. An attempt that ended in failure and the release of Aziz at the conclusion of the subsequent trial, implying that Lean presciently predicted-or hoped-that Landis would also go free at the end of the TZ trial.
And so the dread allegorical Zone Wars did indeed reign and rage in the year made famous by George Orwell in the allegorical novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Indeed, the Zone Wars reigned o’er all so much, even the film inspired by the Orwell novel, the allegorical, THX 1138 evoking and implicitly Stinkious addressing Michael Radford film, NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR (1984), which also arrived in North American theatres on December 14, 1984 after first appearing in the United Kingdom on October 10, 1984, was an implicitly twilit two hour hate. A two hour hate that implied that Radford believed that Stinkious had trusted but been betrayed by Palpaberg, given that the implicitly Stinkious linked Winston Smith-played by Hurt as an adult and Rupert Baderman as a boy, respectively-trusted, but was betrayed, by the kindly and Palpaberg resembling and implicitly linked shop keeper, Charrington-played by Cyril Cusack. Leaving Lord Stinkious, in the end, an unperson trapped that double unplus good year…in the Twilight Zone.