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, audiences-particularly young audiences-were so angry and disappointed in 1983 they furiously rejected the sweet, gentle, twilit and allegorical Disney and Jack Clayton film, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES (1983). A film which saw the implicitly Morrow and Folsey linked pair of Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade-played by Vidal Peterson and Shawn Carson, respectively-successfully free themselves from the seductive temptation to join the twilit and evil company of the implicitly Landis linked Mr. Dark-played by Jonathan Pryce-and his Pandemonium Carnival. Despite this lack of popularity, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES was a fitting choice for the first Zone War salvo from Disney. For the Ray Bradbury scripted film reminded us that Mr. Dark in his black suit evoked Rod Serling, the Halloway surname evoked Hollywood, and Jimnight Shade had the same cadence as Twilight Zone, implying that Bradbury was already exploring the Dark struggle between Hollywood film art and the bodysnatching TWILIGHT ZONE series on television decades before the TZ disaster in his eerily prescient and twilit novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962).
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. (Curiously, and as with the success of AMERICAN GRAFFITI and STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE, the success of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK inspired numerous imitators.
One of the best was Woody Allen’s bleak but sweet allegorical tragicomedy, THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (1984). While set in the Dirty Thirties, the film could be seen as a wry and ironic look at the public’s retreat into fantastic films like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK to escape the ‘downsizing’ and widespread economic depression of the Eighties.
Not surprisingly, given the bitter Star Director Wars that had already been raging for years and the fact that film artists of the world had been just as shocked and outraged by the TZ disaster as audiences, a shocked outrage was already on open display in the allegorical films of 1983. Curiously, one of the first directors to unleash an allegorical salvo in the Zone Wars was Landis, who, after the TZ disaster, quickly worked with Akroyd and Folsey to make the twilit and allegorical film, TRADING PLACES (1983), in the winter of 82/83. This was clearly done so as to release the film in early June of 1983 in a desperate attempt to reach out to and soothe audiences prior to the release of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE in mid-June of 1983.
And clearly try to use film art to manipulate reality, as TRADING PLACES saw Akroyd’s implicitly Landis linked Louis Winthorpe III turn the tables on and triumph over the duplicitous, scheming and implicitly Lord Stinkious and Emperor Palpaberg 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 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. Indeed, Landis implicitly affirmed that he was blasting Lord Stinkious and Emperor Palpaberg in the film a year before the release of INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM by choosing Denholm Elliot to play Winthorpe III’s equally sympathetic and helpful butler, Coleman, as Elliot had played Marcus Brody, the college colleague of Indiana Jones, in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Clearly, Landis was hoping that he would also be able to triumph over Lord Stinkious and Emperor Palpaberg in the end like Winthorpe III, despite the odds. Unfortunately, he would achieve just that. For not only was the film an infuriatingly surprise hit that did amazingly something to restore his reputation, but sympathetic fellow citizens would, like Ophelia and Valentine, eventually rule in his favour and find his fellow defendants and himself not guilty of manslaughter at the end of the TZ trial. By choosing Murphy to play Valentine, Landis also achieved another milestone with TRADING PLACES. Namely to use an actor-or actor/director-like Murphy who had appeared in a film released in 1982-in his case, as the convict Reggie Hammond in the allegorical Walter Hill film, 48 HOURS (1982)-as quick visual shorthand to confirm that a film was addressing the twilit and disastrous year of 1982.
Not surprisingly, given his nightmarish situation, Landis 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 Albert Brooks, who played an unnamed driver driving through the dark and spooky rural highway, by way of the allegorical film he wrote, directed and starred in, MODERN LOVE (1981). Thus, the sight of Brooks’ Belushi evoking driver being unexpectedly killed after the equally unnamed passenger-played by Akroyd in another appearance in a Landis film for 1983-he had picked up along the way transformed not into triumphant Winthorpe III but into a lined and blue skinned witch implied either that Landis was ruefully admitting that his own high flying career had been effectively killed by his fateful and disastrous trip into the Twilight Zone, or just as ruefully lamenting Belushi’s failure to shake his drug habit. However, the monstrous attack made us wonder if the Dark Side of Landis was really being killed-or released...Significantly, this deadly opening prologue also saw the car’s tape player eat up the CCR tape that the two men initially sang along to 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 soon to arrive, and to the snafu and fubar films to come.
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 to set the scene also voiced by Meredith, the film than moved into the first episode. Not surprisingly, ‘Fender Trap’, the entirely original and Landis written and directed first episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, 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. Of course, 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.
Curiously, this last glimpse of Morrow actually segued well into the beginning of Spielberg’s ‘Kick the Can’, the second episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, and the last episode to be created after the tragedy. For in this allegorical Emperor Palpaberg episode we quickly 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 and Landis 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. 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. Not surprisingly, the sight of the young Agee happily leaping off into the magical night and fleeing old age and the Sunnyvale Rest Home to be a wild child again implied that Emperor Palpaberg felt that the TZ disaster had outed Landis as an out of control Lost Boy now trapped forever by his immature recklessness in the Twilight Zone. An ironic implication, for soon after 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-setting us up for another English Lost Boy in the Emperor Palpaberg films to come.
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 George C. Johnson written and Lamont Johnson directed allegorical 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. It was also possible that Emperor Palpaberg used ‘Kick the Can’ to defeat the anti-Landis fury of SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, which was released around the same time as TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. For both ‘Kick the Can’ and SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES featured mysterious men with one syllable surnames-Mr. Bloom and Mr. Dark-who had the power to transform wistful older people back into children.
Intriguingly, the sight of Agee fleeing into the Twilight Zone linked well with the film’s third episode, which saw Dante help exorcise Emperor Palpaberg’s haunted mind and liberate Agee, Landis, other out of control New Hollywood film artists and Chen, Le and Morrow from the twilit Neverland in ‘It’s a Good Life’. For in this episode, Kathleen Quinlan’s earnest young teacher, Helen Foley-whose surname implicitly affirmed her status as a symbol of film art via the foley sound artists who recorded everyday sounds like closing doors and footsteps for films-befriended a boy named Anthony-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 original Anthony actor Bill Mumy in a cameo. Driving him home to his isolated Bates house, 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. The episode implied that violent cartoons had made Agthony violent, continuing a rant against violence in film and television-and even video games-already seen in THE HOWLING.
Of course, Anthony and his out of control cartoon reality evoked Landis and his equally out of control films and disastrous sets, a link underlined by the fact that Foley’s surname evoked Folsey, 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 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 John Lithgow’s airplane passenger John Valentine stark raving mad in Miller’s fourth and final allegorical 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 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 another cameo role as an airplane mechanic who inspected the gremlin plagued plane after it landed at the end of the telefilm.
Infuriatingly, while Dante wrapped up TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE by directing the closing prologue, Landis actually had the last word in 1983. Indeed, he reoffended most everyone by directing Michael Jackson and company in the music video, THRILLER (1983). For this horrific video brought the dead back to life to dance with Jackson, a macabre phenomena that did little to please or appease the families of Chen, Le or Morrow, or young audience members around the world. A conviction that the victims were being hurt again that King shared, as months earlier in the Spring of 1983 the master of the weird tale of allegorical horror had implicitly and furiously roasted Emperor Palpaberg and his beastly and insidious lusts for blockbuster fame and fortune in the form of Arnold Cunningham, a naïve and foolish teen who proved to be not so cunning as his surname suggested, when he allowed himself to be taken over and possessed by his twilit, evil and murderous blockbuster beast of a car in his allegorical novel, Christine (1983), his first salvo in the dread Zone Wars-a salvo that made it abundantly clear that literary artists were just as angry about the TZ disaster as film artists, and that the Zo/ne Wars would be as literary as they were cinematic.
Indeed, while roasting Palpaberg in Christine, King implicitly transformed Landis into a pitiless and beastly blockbuster werewolf in his equally righteously furious and allegorical novella, Cycle of the Werewolf (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 Lucas linked boy, Marty Coslaw-his surname an anagram for ‘Locas’ 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. The publication that same year of McCammon’s equally outraged, despondent, haunted and moving allegorical meditation on the TZ disaster, Mystery Walk (1983), made it abundantly clear that indignant writers would contribute literary salvoes to the dread Zone Wars.
An anti-Palpaberg sentiment shared the same year by Lewis Teague in his allegorical film, CUJO (1983), based on the allegorical but Lucas roasting, Cujo. The latter was another eerily prescient pre-TZ disaster novel that had mentioned the TWILIGHT ZONE and Miller, in the context of MAD MAX rather than the last episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, early in the novel. The film continued the roasts of film artists, for CUJO implicitly affirmed that the blockbuster dream of E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL had become a twilit and blockbuster nightmare for Emperor Palpaberg, in the symbolic form of Cujo, the lovable St. Bernard that slowly transformed into a rabid blockbuster beast. Indeed, the appearance of Wallace as Mrs. Donna Trenton, the frantic mother who fought off the beast, implicitly affirmed Teague’s allegorical intent, as Wallace had played Mrs. Thomas, the single mom watching over the E.T. befriending Thomas family, only the year before in E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL. Lamont Johnson, who directed eight of the original TWILIGHT ZONE telefilms, agreed with King and Teague, implicitly roasting the insidious Palpaberg in the form of the similarly cadenced and Evil Overdog-played by Ironside-while doing his best to break film art free from the Zone in the allegorical film, SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE (1983). Kershner also implicitly agreed with Teague, having Connery’s James Bond triumph over the Palpaberg linked super baddie, Maximilian Largo-played by Klaus M. Brandauer-in his allegorical and anti-Palpaberg indie Bond film, NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1983), and underlined his implicit intent by alluding to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, JAWS and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK in the film. Significantly, however, Glen implicitly disagreed with Kershner, sending Moore’s Bond to hunt down and kill the implicitly Folsey linked Kamal and the implicitly Landis linked Gobinda-played by Louis Jourdan and Kabir Bedi, respectively-for all of their twilit sins in his allegorical Bond film, OCTOPUSSY (1983). Indeed, the Victor Morrow cadence of Maud Adams’ eponymous Octopussy reaffirmed the twilit intent of the film.
But seasoned film artists had more to worry about than Emperor Palpaberg, Folsey, Kennedy, Landis, Lord Stinkious and Marshall in 1983. For unexpected newcomer Luc Besson made it clear with the use of original TWILIGHT ZONE evoking ‘twilight for twilight’ black and white film stock that he understood that film artists were trapped in the embattled Twilight Zone at the moment and fighting desperately to reconnect with audiences, film art and themselves in order to get out in his excellent albeit sombre, depressed, and A BOY AND HIS DOG and THE ROAD WARRIOR evoking first allegorical film, LE DERNIER COMBAT (1983). Taking place in a post-apocalyptic world where the few human survivors could not speak, Besson also implied that he understood that the TZ disaster had been so shocking that it had left audiences and film artists alike inarticulate with confused rage in a shocked, confused and post-apocalyptic new world, indeed. He also implied that he shared the conviction of young audiences that Lord Stinkious had revealed himself to be a Sith Lord, a Sith Lord who must be replaced by a new film messiah. A new film messiah that Besson implicitly wanted to become, for this grim and combative silent film featured an unnamed main character played by Pierre Jolivet who looked enough like Besson-and James Franco!-to affirm that Besson wanted to replace Lord Stinkious with himself in the affections of audiences and take a leading role in the film art of the post-TZ disaster apocalypse era.
Like the unnamed hero, who defeated all of his foes-including a huge and nasty Dark Knight played by Jean Reno, who wore the same rimless glasses with round lenses as Emperor Palpaberg, linking him to the Emperor-allowing him to take over a post-apocalyptic gang with two members who looked like Lord Stinkious, and triumph with Christiane Kruger’s pretty and film art linked girl, in the end. Thus, Besson implied that he was hoping to be the new messiah with a first film that strove not only to connect with audiences and break free from the Zone, but was implicitly and ironically also a metaphor for the opening film battle that had to be fought and won to establish oneself as a filmmaker. And a filmmaker who, like Cronenberg and Gilliam, was linked to Old Hollywood rather than New, as Besson learned his art on the film set and in the school of life as he had no film degree. The success of the film, despite its low budget, stripped to the basics and effects free nature, also implied that film artists at that time had to avoid the big budget and effects filled films that had led to the TZ disaster, and start over and battle for the respect of viewers again in the post-TZ disaster apocalypse era with more modest and effects free film art.
An excellent and memorable opening salvo from a neo-Old Hollwyood film artist that made it appropriate that Gilliam also relieved the angry tension with his excellent and amusing ‘Crimson Permanent Assurance’ contribution to the otherwise dismal Jones directed allegorical ‘comedy’, MONTY PYTHON’S MEANING OF LIFE (1983). A reassuring contribution indeed, for the aging business veterans who rose up and threw off their younger and profit obsessed managers and went on to become free and independent pirates on the high seas of finance continued the anti-commercial theme of Gilliam’s film art and paved the way for more TZ disaster related anti-commercial rants in his indie film art to come. With its many allusions to the Classic Trilogy and THX 1138, and with archetypical Canuckleheads Bob and Doug McKenzie-played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, respectively, who lacked film degrees like Besson and Gilliam-triumphing over the insidious and Lord Stinkious linked Brewmeister Smith-played by Max von Sydow-in the end, Moranis and Thomas implicitly agreed with audiences that the creator of the Classic Trilogy now stood revealed as a Dark Lord of the Shit Sith Hits in their equally hilarious allegorical romp, STRANGE BREW (1983). Indeed, the title of the film evoked Cream’s ‘Strange Brew’ (1967) from the soundtrack of MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI, in an open link to Lord Stinkious. For his part, Coppola started over, reached out to Emperor Palpaberg and Lord Stinkious, rallied the rest of the New Hollywood brat pack directors and fought off the X gang, mainstream Society harassment, the TZ disaster and his own 1982 disaster, his allegorical flop, ONE FROM THE HEART (1982), with troubled outsider teens who symbolized the sudden outsider status of the New Hollywood in his twilit and allegorical film, THE OUTSIDERS (1983)-a logical choice, as the equally allegorical S.E. Hinton novel, The Outsiders (1967), that inspired THE OUTSIDERS, may have be an allegorical tribute to the young Rebels of New Hollywood and their opening battles with Old Hollywood.
Curiously, and despite all of the good reasons to be pessimistic, at least one film artist had high hopes for the latest Indy collaboration from Emperor Palpaberg and Lord Stinkious. For the triumph of the Lucas linked Prince Colwyn-played by the ironically surnamed Ken Marshall-and the Spielberg linked Princess Lyssa-her name beginning with an ‘l’ and ending with an ‘a’ to confirm that she symbolized the film art of L.A., and, hence, Hollywood, and played by Lysette Anthony, whose own initials were also fittingly ‘L.A.’-and their motley crew of X gang evoking rebels-which included Neeson’s Kegan-over the Landis linked, Trevor Martin voiced and alienated blockbuster Beast and its twilit film crew linked Slayers and the liberation of planet of Krull in the twilit and allegorical Peter Yates film, KRULL (1983), implicitly symbolized the hope that Emperor Palpaberg and Lord Stinkious would triumph over Landis, the crew of his set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE and the TZ disaster and bring peace back to film art and the Temple Theatre of planet Hollywood with INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. John Badham underlined that the TZ disaster had exposed the shakey moral foundations of the X gang due to their love of wild and explosive on set special effects and murderous video games in his sobering allegorical film, WAR GAMES (1983).
Indeed, the subversive love of hacking computer sites that almost caused Matthew Broderick’s Landis linked David Lightman-his name also evoking David Bowman-to ignite WWIII when he broke into the HAL evoking War Operations Plan Response (WOPR)-aka Joshua-the war game computer of NORAD, and asked it to play what he thought was simply a game called Global Thermonuclear War, reminded young audiences that they were not exactly innocent of wrongdoing in the TZ disaster as their enthusiastic attendance of films with dangerous on set effects-particularly in the film art of Landis and Miller-had contributed to the exuberant recklessness that led to the TZ disaster. The presence of Ally Sheedy as Lightman’s surprisingly-and, at that despondent and outraged time, infuriatingly-bubbly and upbeat girlfriend Jennifer affirmed the film’s implicit interest in the TZ disaster, as her name and appearance evoked Jennifer Jason Leigh, the daughter of Morrow. Intriguingly, Lightman calmed Joshua and prevented World War III with the help of John Wood’s Dr. Stephen ‘Millenium’ Falken, allowing the X gang and the Boomers to briefly work together to achieve post-TZ disaster Temple Theatre harmony with a man with a curious name that evoked Kubrick, Palpaberg and Stinkious. Most likely Kubrick, given the many allusions to DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY in the film, implying the hope of Badham that Kubrick would return to theatres soon with another memorable artbuster that would restore the faith of audiences in film art.
Significantly, WAR GAMES was one of the first allegorical films to doubt and challenge the belief that computers and CGI would solve the problem of the TZ disaster, warning 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 Joshua that proved to be the big WOPR of a mistake that almost led to the destruction of all life on Earth in that global thermonuclear war. A pro-humanity and anti-CGI message that clearly resonated with audiences despite the deaths of Chen, Le and Morrow in the TZ disaster, given the success of WAR GAMES. A pro-humanity and anti-machine message that was echoed by Lester, for Reeve’s Superman also fought off out of control blockbuster computer beasts and the fear that too much CGI would destroy the humanity of film art in the twilit and allegorical sequel, SUPERMAN III (1983). Superman’s determined triumph over his personified Dark Side also confirmed that Superman symbolized Palpaberg, which hurt the success of the film as young audiences did not accept that Emperor Palpaberg was a good person at the time.
Like SUPERMAN III, Badham’s other 1983 film, the Ozian themed and twilit helicopter obsessed allegorical Western, BLUE THUNDER (1983), was not quite as sobering or successful as WAR GAMES. For its attempt to soothe young audiences and help them leave behind fears of twilit and murderous helicopters by having a sleek, sexy and hi-tech black biomechanical blockbuster beast of a helicopter piloted by a good pilot-Scheider’s Frank Murphy-triumph over a bad helicopter piloted by a bad and Landis linked pilot-McDowell’s Colonel F.E. Cochrane-in the traditional Western shoot-out in the end that saved L.A. and Planet Hollywood and freed everyone from the Zone was marred by the name of the film, which evoked the BLUE HARVEST codename for the U.S. location shoots for STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI. The film’s implicit intent was also marred by the name of the good pilot. For the name evoked Frank Marshall, turning the film into outrageous propaganda for the Marshall cause. The fact that the love of Murphy’s life was named Kate-and played by Clark-confirmed that dire implication, for her name evoked Marshall’s love, Kathleen ‘Kate’ Kennedy. The names of Frank Murphy and his co-pilot Jeff Lymangood-played by Daniel Stern-also underlined the attempt at a healing Ozian structure for the film, for the names evoked Lyman Frank Baum. Significantly, an inability to win back the X gang to the side of a high technology loving New Hollywood was a problem that also plagued Kaufman’s twilit and allegorical film, THE RIGHT STUFF (1983).
For the film, which was basically a hi-tech version of THE OUTSIDERS, linked the rebellious, determined, idiosyncratic and technology loving directors of New Hollywood to the equally rebellious, determined, idiosyncratic and technology loving astronauts of the early U.S. space programme, a link that furious audiences refused to accept in 1983. Indeed, audiences were no doubt enraged by Kaufman’s attempt to assure outraged filmgoers that New Hollywood would be inspired by the TZ disaster to use computers to develop CGI to ensure that no one would be killed on film sets again, and rise inexorably upwards to greater and more magnificent cinematic achievements and heights, like the first US astronauts, who used the notorious Apollo 1 (AS-204) command module launch pad fire on January 27, 1967, that killed mission commander Lt. Col. Virgil A. ‘Gus’ Grissom-linked to Landis and played by Ed Ward in the film-Lt. Col. Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee, to inspire them to create safer spacecraft and make it to the moon on July 20, 1969.
Unfortunately, one of the finest films of the year was also dismissed 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 Stinkious linked field biologist Tyler by Samson Jorah’s 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. Cronenberg also returned to theatres in November with his first allegorical film to address the TZ disaster, the righteously furious, despondent and wistful 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.
Of course, the horrific nature of THE DEAD ZONE linked well with the allegorical Tony Scott film, THE HUNGER (1983), which implicitly likened the fatalities Landis had been instrumental in causing on his set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE for the sake of Hollywood fortune and glory to the life essence draining murders that David Bowie’s John Blaylock committed with Catherine Deneuve’s callous and Hollywood blonde linked vampiress Miriam Blaylock for the sake of her voracious immortality. Or was the younger Scott just blasting LIQUID SKY in THE HUNGER given the similarities between the two films? At any rate, continuing the horrific theme, Carpenter then closed the year with a big success with the release of his twilit and righteously furious allegorical film, CHRISTINE (1983).
A success no doubt assured because he followed King’s lead by linking troubled teen, Arnold Cunningham-played by Keith Gordon-and his obsession with Christine, his sentient, homicidal and blockbuster beast of a car, to the blockbuster beast lusting Emperor Palpaberg, allowing audiences to triumph over the Emperor with the triumph over Christine and the blockbuster beast obsessed Cunningham, in the end. The film’s allusions to the black and Palpaberg linked monster blockbuster beast of a car in THE CAR reaffirmed Cunningham’s link to Palpaberg. The fact that Cunningham bought Christine from Roberts Blossom’s George LeBay also affirmed Cunningham’s link to Palpaberg. For the name of George LeBay reminded us not only that Lord Stinkious lived in the Bay area, but that Emperor Palpaberg had been inspired to lust for blockbuster E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL movie tie-in merchandise profits by the STAR WARS gear of Lord Stinkious, sending him down the reckless and money obsessed road to the TZ disaster. Indeed, Carpenter implicitly underlined that CHRISTINE was obsessed with the twilit and disastrous events of 1982 by kicking off the film with George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers’ big hit of that year, ‘Bad to the Bone’ (1982). Closing up three big and twilit years for King, after releasing Cujo in 1981, and four other books as well as writing and co-starring in CREEPSHOW in 1982, 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.
Activity from King and many others that implicitly affirmed that continued had the dread Zone Wars in 1983, a shocked, sad, confused, bitter, angry and despondent year perhaps best summed up by Kasdan’s sombre and pensive allegorical film, THE BIG CHILL (1983), which had a group of aging ex-Sixties rebels linked to New Hollywood film artists mourning the suicide of a friend-Alex, played by Kevin Costner-linked to Landis, and then returning to life and film art with more hope and passion after spending some time together after the funeral. Indeed, the inclusion of such popular hits as Sam & Dave’s ‘Gimme Some Loving’ (1967) and CCR’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ on the soundtrack implicitly affirmed Kasdan’s interest in addressing Landis and the TZ disaster, as the tunes had already been heard in THE BLUES BROTHERS and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. Cyndi Lauper’s equally sad, wistful and elegiac song, ‘Time After Time’, from her October released recording, SHE’S SO UNUSUAL (1983), also perfectly summed up the mood of the year. Indeed, the title of the wistful song was taken from TIME AFTER TIME, openly linking the tune to film.
Curiously, Martha Coolidge was one of the few courageous or crazy dissenters. For she implicitly hoped that Landis would succeed again with his film art and win over audiences to him like Nicolas Cage’s Landis linked Randy, the Hollywood Hills outsider, succeeded in winning over Deborah Foreman’s Julie in her Landis supporting and allegorical film, VALLEY GIRL (1983)-itself based on the equally allegorical play, ROMEO AND JULIET (1595), by William Shakespeare. Then the 1983-84 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 Orwell’s year into the Year of the Zone. Indeed, the TZ disaster even transformed the twilit and allegorical Michael Radford film, NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR (1984), with the hated figure of John Boswall’s Emmanuel Goldstein suddenly evoking the even more hated figure of Emperor Palpaberg. Kicking off the fighting in 1984 was the twilit, Ozian themed and allegorical, Lord Stinkious and Marshall executive produced, Kennedy associate produced, and Emperor Palpaberg directed film, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984), a film that audiences again flocked to as they had with STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI in order to heap their outraged scorn on the unfortunate film. Indeed, most audience members hated INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM long before they had entered the Temple Theatre to experience the film.
Significantly, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM 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 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 Emperor Palpaberg and Lord Stinkious kicked off the prologue with an exuberant and Old Hollywood evoking song and dance performance of Cole Porter’s ‘Anything Goes’ (1934). For this blasphemously and infuriatingly light 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 Kate Capshaw’s archetypical vapidly smiling and vacuous Hollywood blonde, Wilhelmina ‘Willie’ Scott. 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 and out of control blockbuster beasts, and, hence, the TZ disaster. A link to the TZ disaster confirmed by her surname, which contrarily evoked Sir Scott and BLADE RUNNER, openly linking her and the film to 1982.
However, while troubling, shocking, infuriating and disappointing, the song and dance number also evoked the big USO dance number and interservice/zoot suit riot to Glenn Miller’s ‘In the Mood’ (1940) in 1941, a film that replied to ANIMAL HOUSE and featured a cameo by Landis. Thus, Emperor Palpaberg, Kennedy, Lord Stinkious and Marshall ruefully evoked the out of control excess and blind vainglory that led to 1941 and the TZ disaster, immediately affirming that they were using INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM to cope with Landis and the TZ disaster right at the beginning of the film. 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 Evil 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 Mifune’s submarine Commander Mitamura and his crew. Of course, the names of Lao Che, Kao Kan and Chen also evoked Le and Chen, making them a twilit trio indeed and reaffirming that Kennedy, Marshall, Palpaberg and Stinkious were also using INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM to deal with the TZ disaster.
Indeed, they quickly underlined that point shortly after 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 preparing us for the violent mayhem that would soon erupt at this club. In fact, Jones’ friend Wu Han, an accomplice 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. Indeed, Ford’s dapper 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 struggle between Jones, Scott and Wu Han and Lao Che, his sons, the rest of their gang of Chinese thugs and frantically fleeing fellow patrons as they attempted to capture the precious vial containing the antidote to the poison and a precious jewel that was paid for the Chinese Emperor’s remains amongst the wildly rushing feet on the club dance floor.
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 jewel 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 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. This implied that Jones was linked to Lord Stinkious instead of Landis in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, suggesting that the Indy sequel was heading off in a new direction. An insidious new direction indeed, as linking Jones to Lord Stinkious transformed him into a character as Evil as Lao Che and his sons, stripping him of his status as Hero. An insidious direction that also sent Jones and Scott falling down to the uncertain new land of a post–TZ disaster Oz, confirming the desperately healing Ozian cadence of the film and transforming Jones and Scott into a hopeful new Scarecrow and Dorothy pair searching for respect and acceptance by angry audiences. Indeed, a diminutive and New York Yankees baseball cap wearing Chinese orphan named Short Round-played by Ke Huy Quan-caught them in the back seat of a waiting white car below, reminding us that Munchkins were always the first people met after falling down to Oz.
Of course, this Asian boy 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. Significantly, the presence of the orphan Round also established Jones as a surrogate father, reminding us that Georz had persuaded Marcia to adopt a baby girl named Amanda not long before the Great Divorce of ‘83. This implicitly reaffirmed that Jones primarily represented Lord Stinkious in this sequel, coming to rescue a symbolic Emperor Palpaberg. Indeed, Round wore a baseball cap like Palpaberg throughout the film, affirming his implicit link to the Emperor. 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 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 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 Dr. Akio Mitamura, who played a Japanese submariner named Ashimoto in 1941, and Michael Yuma, respectively-abandon the plane by parachute in the Hoth evoking mountains between China and India while the twilit trio slept. 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. 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 all too aware of the TZ disaster-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 Skywalker Ranch evoking 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 was an obvious allusion to Chen and Le and how they were led away by Evil men to their doom, linking the Evil kidnappers of the village children to Evil film artists. This confirmed all of the film’s links to 1941, MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, THE WIZARD OF OZ and TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, and reiterated 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.
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. This link reminded us that Gandhi was linked to Lord Stinkious thoughout GANDHI, strengthening the implication that Indy symbolized Stinkious this time around in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. The problem, however, was that Jones decided initially to concentrate on the fortune and glory of capturing the legendary Shankara stone rather than finding and freeing the kidnapped children. This was done to remind us that Lord Stinkious was no saintly figure like Gandhi, and that 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, for audiences were more interested in the plight of the children. Of course, even if Indy had decided 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.
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, 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 film INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM 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 filmmakers with even more fear and loathing than before.
A small idol dedicated to Kali and decorated with bloody and severed fingers that Jones, Round and Scott discovered while on elephant back heading to the thugee linked Pankot Palace to find out more about them and the missing children, and an equally grisly dinner at the Palace that also featured dismembered body parts such as eyes floating in soup bowls also disgusted viewers, evoking the severed heads and torsos of Chen, Le and Morrow floating in the Santa Clarita river. An ominous sight indeed, and one that set us up for a truly twilit attack after that grisly dinner. For 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 evoked ‘They’re Creeping Up on You’, the insect swarming and Great Oz linked final episode 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 arms.
Significantly, the Wicked Cali’s high priest and head flying monkey with the Folsey evoking and ironically moral linked name of Mola Ram was played by Amrish Puri. This was a significant appearance, for 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. 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 Indy symbolized Lord Stinkious and that he was using the film to come to grips with his links to 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. 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 Lucas-and then dipping him still alive by descending cage into a swirling vortex of primal, uncontrolled and fiery male energy to the chanting and drumming delight of a crowd of mesmerized male followers who evoked the crowd of revellers that watched the TZ disaster. 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. The scene also reminded us of all of the allusions to simians in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM-from the monkey headdress of Mola Ram, to the monkey brain soup in the infamous dining scene-that underlined 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 Great Oz lost boy maharajah of Peter Pankot Palace with the Twilight Zone cadenced name, who was under the control of Mola Ram and watched the sacrifice approvingly amongst the crowd of delirious male onlookers. As Zingh had an English accent, the boy reminded viewers of the lost English boy Agee in Emperor Palpaberg’s own episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, implying that he was Landis. Indeed, a ‘Langiz’ hid in the letters that comprised Dalim Zingh, affirming Zingh’s implicit link to Landis. The fact that he was under the control of Ram also reminded us that Landis was supposedly under the control of Folsey the fateful night of the TZ disaster, reaffirming that Ram symbolized Folsey and that Zingh symbolized Landis. Significantly, the 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 viewers to turn even more furiously against the film. And with good reason, as this was also not the last time that an Emperor Palpaberg linked alter ego would watch or participate in a deliberately violent act-sometimes involving children-in a post-1982 allegorical Palpaberg film.
Viewers 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 Stinkious linked Jones was still more obsessed with discovering the village’s lost stone than rescuing the children, or with health and harmony. 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 confirmed 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 escapes 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 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 filmmakers. A chilling revelation, indeed, making viewers hate the film even more, despite the desperate but determined attempt of Jones to take on all the film thugs, liberate the children and right the wrongs of the TZ disaster singlehandedly over the course of a single healing night as in AMERICAN GRAFFITI. Alas, he was captured and forced to drink a mind controlling liquid from a skull cup by Mola Ram and his film thugs.
The success of this twisted scheme reminded us that Luke had successfully resisted Vader and the Emperor’s attempts to control his mind in STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI, reiterating that Jones mostly symbolized Lord Stinkious coming to the rescue of Emperor Palpaberg in the film. 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, again reiterating that Jones symbolized Stinkious in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. 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. Significantly, Round was also forced to beat up Zingh when the boy Maharajaha was spotted hurting Jones with twisted stabs to a voodoo doll that evoked the action figures of the Classic Trilogy, as the liberated Jones tried to save Scott and beat off Ram, Lal and the pernicious priests of Kali. This beating freed Zingh from his own Cali Gor trance and 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. The sight reminded us of the pursuit of THX 1138 and Skywalker by robocops and Imps at the ends of THX 1138 and STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE in further links of Jones to Lord Stinkious. 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 and ‘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 himself. 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, Folsey was destroyed for allowing Landis to go ahead with his outlandish plan to use Chen and Le on his set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, the film thugs who had gone along with Folsey were also destroyed, Landis was liberated from his Twilight Side, and Emperor Palpaberg and Lord Stinkious and Spielberg had 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. Ironically, despite his link to Lord Stinkious, 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 stress 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 Journey of Self Discovery and the Romance to ridiculously triumph at the end of a Comedy and Western brawling filled film-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. An ironically prescient loveplay, given Indy’s link to Lord Stinkious and the fact that the marriage of Stinkious had ended by the time the film was released in late May of 1984.
In fact, pretty well everything had ended for Lord Stinkious by the time audiences had finished watching INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. For the kiss was hated, the ending with its healed villages and happy and healthy children was ended, the link of Jones to Lord Stinkious 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 all of their implications of twilit wrongdoing were hated, and everything else about the film was hated. This furious dislike was fuelled by by the fact that all of the blame for the disaster was being pinned on Allingham and Folsey rather than Kennedy, Landis and Marshall-and perhaps Spielberg-and 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, turning most people against Lord Stinkious.
Thus, it was fitting that Allen would roast RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK that year in his twilit and allegorical film, THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (1984). It was also fitting, 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, that it was Huston who summed up how far Lucas had fallen in his allegorical and Lucas bashing film, UNDER THE VOLCANO (1984), released shortly after INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM. For the sight and anguished sound of Albert Finney’s 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. Sergio Leone agreed with the murderous thug depiction, implicitly dismissing Folsey, Kennedy, Landis, Marshall and Palpaberg as a bunch of equally murderous gangsters in his twilit and allegorical film, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA (1984). More disturbing and infuriating questions were raised about Emperor Palpaberg by the allegorical Kennedy, Marshall and Palpaberg executive produced Dante film, GREMLINS (1984).
Not surprisingly, for this dismal film from Warner Brothers, the studio that released TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, revolved around a Christmas present given by a tragicomically inept, accident prone and Great Oz linked inventor named Rand Peltzer-played by Hoyt Axton, who looked like Camomile, the unfortunate special effects technician who set off the explosion that downed the helicopter in the TZ disaster-to his unsuspecting and Scarecrow and Landis linked son, Billy-played by Zach Galligan, who dressed like Landis throughout the film, confirming his link to the directo. Significantly, the present was a lovable little creature called a mogwai that looked like a cross between E.T and an ewok. This mogwai-named Gizmo, a name usually shortened to the Vic evoking Giz by Rand-was surreptitiously purchased with cash by Rand at the beginning of the film in a Chinatown curio shoppe, evoking the surreptitious cash payments to the parents of Chen and Le for the use of their children and the Shanghai beginning of INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM in a way that confirmed that this film would also be coming to grips with Landis and the TZ disaster. This link to the TZ disaster was implicitly affirmed by the fact that Giz did not like bright lights or water, and could not be fed after midnight, reminding us that the TZ disaster was caused by a bright light causing explosion, happened after midnight on July 23, 1982, and led to a helicopter and Chen, Le and Morrow floating dead in the Santa Clarita River at Indian Dunes Park.
Gizmo’s link to the disaster was reaffirmed when the Landis linked Billy ignored these warnings, causing Gizmo to give birth to five mogwais who soon transformed into evil and insanely destructive gremlins who were linked to out of control film artists and sets throughout the film. Indeed, a film in a high school biology class played as one of the first gremlins hatched from its pod person evoking cocoon, openly linking the five gremlins to film from the moment they appeared in GREMLINS. Five evil and insanely destructive gremlins who went maliciously beserk, destroying every machine they came across and deliberately and pitilessly killing every person they could over the course of a nightmarish Christmas Eve that evoked the bleak Christmas of 1982 in the Peltzer’s Hollywood cadenced hometown of Kingston Falls. These deliberate and premeditated murders 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. This infuriating implication was increased by the fact that these five gremlins not only openly linked the film to the TZ disaster via the lone gremlin on the wing of the airplane in the Miller episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, but also evoked Landis and his four co-defendants in the TZ trial. Thus, the sight of Stripe, their insidious and domineering leader, leading the other four gremlins on a deliberately murderous and machine tampering rampage implied that Dante, Kennedy, Marshall and Palpaberg believed that Landis had also led his four co-defendants on a deliberately murderous and machine tampering rampage on the fateful night of the TZ disaster-an infuriating implication, indeed.
The fact that Peltzer’s surname evoked Heidi Von Beltz, a stuntwoman paralysed from the neck down after a car pileup on Hal Needham’s allegorical road race film, CANNONBALL RUN (1981), also reaffirmed the link of the Peltzers to film and the film’s sentimental affection for the Last Good Year of film. The two swords crossed like helicoptor rotor blades that hung just inside the front door of the Peltzer house also evoked the deadly and falling crossed rotors of the out of control TZ disaster helicoptor, increasing viewer unease and reaffirming that GREMLINS was about coming to grips with the disaster. Indeed, soon after the gremlins hatched, Billy used one of the swords to cut off the head of a gremlin attacking his mother, Edwina-played by Frances L. McCain-evoking the decapitation of Morrow and confirming the film’s link to the TZ disaster. 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 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 up and through an upper window of her old cat filled ‘animal’ house like a broomstick riding Witch. A true animal house, for the sight of the Wicked Widow Witch of the West flying through the air not only confirmed the film’s Ozian theme, but also 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 Kruger at the beginning of ANIMAL HOUSE, reiterating that the film was addressing and exorcising Landis and the TZ disaster.
Significantly, the gremlins were able to kill the Wicked Deagle and torment most of the other residents of Bedford Falls due to the fact that Stripe had been able to give birth to dozens of other evil and malicious gremlins by jumping into a swimming pool, the water causing him to multiply like the water that had been spilled on Gizmo earlier had caused the cute Mogwaikin to multiply into the five TZ trial gremlins. This allowed hordes of gremlins to attack the town and its machines, knocking the brakes out of cars and tampering with intersection lights to cause accidents in a way that evoked the falling helicopter of the TZ disaster again as well as the attacking clouds of birds in the furiously allegorical and Kubrick and LOLITA thrashing Hitchcock film, THE BIRDS (1963). Interestingly, the chaos in Kingston Falls was followed on radio over the course of the film by Rockin’ Ricky Rialto, the unseen Wolfman Jack 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.
Intriguingly, the three appendaged hands and feet of the gremlins recalled 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 Ozian night evoked AMERICAN GRAFFITI as much as 1941, underlining that Lord Stinkious had been pulled into the Zone as he had been in reality. 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 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 gremlin mob began to terrorize the town.
Significantly, around this time in the film the house of the Tin Man linked Peltzer neighbour, Murray Futterman-played by Dick Miller, who openly linked GREMLINS to TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE again via his diner owner character in the Dante episode-was broken into by a gremlin driving Futterman’s snowplow, and that when last seen the snowplow was being driven at Futterman. As this was happening, the elder Peltzer was seen calling home from an inventor’s convention as Robby the Robot and Palpaberg in a wheelchair with a broken leg moved past the camera. This juxtaposition of Peltzer, Robby, Palpaberg and Futterman linked Futterman with the hapless inventor, forbidden Id monsters, the troubled director and the Kid monster chaos in Kingston Falls. This link reminded us that Murray Futterman’s name had the same syllable cadence of Steven Spielberg, and that Futterman was the first to talk about gremlins in the film. Thus, the implication was that the gremlins were TZ disaster related fears of mechanical accidents linked to dolls partly springing out of the troubled mind of Spielberg via his cinematic alter ego, Futterman. There was also a strong implication that the rampaging gremlins were Spielberg’s fears of alienated action viewers, 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 sense was underlined by the climatic scene of GREMLINS, which took place in the sole movie theatre of Kingston Falls.
For the rampaging gremlins took over the theatre, openly affirming that the TZ disaster had turned the heady E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL dream into a Temple Theatre of Doom nightmare for Spielberg. 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-a Disney film that reminded us of the L.A. theatre playing Ben Sharpsteen’s allegorical and Disney celebrating film, DUMBO (1941), in 1941-from the POV of the theatre screen in the film, the shots actually gave the impression that the gremlins were staring out into the human audience. Thus, alienated action viewers stared back into a bizarre funhouse mirror distortion of themselves, underlining how afraid of audiences and their ability to end the careers of film artists by avoiding their films that Dante, Kennedy, Marshall and Palpaberg had become by 1984. 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 fear of audiences.
Significantly, Billy and his Dorothyish girlfriend, Kate-linked to Nadoolman, the wife of Landis, and played by Phoebe Cates, who linked the film to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 via her character Linda Barrett in FAST TIMES AT RIDGMONT HIGH, already alluded to in the form of Dana Barrett in GHOSTBUSTERS-were running out of the back door of the theatre when they were seen because they had opened a gas pipe in the basement of the theatre and lit a small fire. This led to a huge explosion that destroyed the theatre and killed all of the gremlins except Stripe, who had already fled the building in search of candy in a store across the street from the theatre. Occurring in the early hours of Christmas morning, this explosion recalled the explosive early morning TZ disaster again. The sight of gremlins burning in the inferno that raged inside the theatre also recalled a similar fire that killed a number of werewolves trapped inside a building of the Skywalker Ranch linked Colony at the end of THE HOWLING, linking the gremlins to Lord Stinkious in a way that reminded us that righteous audience fury over the TZ disaster had been fuelled by equal outrage over the STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI disaster. This brought Dante back into the picture, reminding us that he had argued that graphic sex and violence in film and television turned its makers and its viewers into monsters in THE HOWLING and his episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. However, the link was ironic, as in this case it was the real violence of the TZ disaster that had transformed audiences into righteously alienated action viewers and avengers of Chen, Le and Morrow.
Curiously, it was the Landis linked Billy that ended our GREMLINS rampage. For he followed Stripe, the last of the gremlins, into a department store and defeated him there after a pitched battle that involved many department store goods, some tossed out of nowhere at him in Landis fashion. Indeed, at one point Stripe had almost decapitated Morrow again by hurling circular saw blades at Billy’s head, Frisbee style. Significantly, while evoking the TZ disaster again, the circular saw blades were important for another reason. For the flying blades reminded us that Morrow broke a teacher’s prized jazz record collection to pieces by throwing them against a high school classroom wall in his first film role as troubled teen X gang leader Artie West in BLACKBOARD JUNGLE. This in turn reminded us that the first gremlin to emerge from its cocoon actually did so while under observation in the high school biology class of one of Billy’s teachers-Glynn Turman’s Mr. Hanson, whose name fittingly evoked Jim Henson of the equally mischievous and madcap Muppets, and who linked the film via his character Preach to Michael Schultz’ equally riotous and Lucas roasting allegorical film, COOLEY HIGH (1975)-while a biology film was being shown to the class. Thus, gremlins were linked right from their first appearance in GREMLINS to film, high schools and Morrow.
Significantly, the first gremlin to run rampant soon killed Mr. Hanson as he tried to lure the creature out from under a desk with a Snicker’s bar, the perfect bar for a snickering 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 underlined the tragic link, evoking the famous frog dissecting biology class scene in E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL This tragic reversal of fortune was also underlined in the department store showdown, 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 admission in the film that the E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL dream had become a gremlin twilightmare 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.
Curiously, Dante and Palpaberg had not lost all hope, an optimism that was revealed after Stripe tried to kill Billy with a chainsaw in an attack that evoked the allegorical Hooper film, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974), and his work with Palpaberg on POLTERGEIST in 1982. For the wonderful Giz soon showed up to open a window blind just as Stripe was going to shoot and kill Billy. The soothing and natural sunlight quickly destroyed the disharmonious and unnatural gremlin leader with vampiric precision, melting him down into protoplasm in a way that underlined that he was the film’s Wicked Witch of the West figure. And so the Light Side of Landis triumphed over his Dark Side. And so the dawning of a new day swept away the wicked influences of the night, and healing Ozian harmony ruled the film as at the end of AMERICAN GRAFFITI, DEATH RACE 2000, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, 1941, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and THE WIZARD OF OZ. And so Keye Luke’s elderly Chinese curio dealer soon showed up at the Peltzer home to take away Gizmo in his tiny and elemental Ark-no doubt in order to get it ready for THE FIFTH ELEMENT. This sight underlined that the same out of control Kid monsters that had ruled 1941 had been bottled up again as at the end of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and supposedly implied that Dante, Kennedy, Marshall and Palpaberg had relearned their lesson.
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 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 like good alienated action viewers in a 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 talking that was going on in their allegorical fillm art. Indeed, all five of the filmmakers should have been called in to testify at the TZ trial, and legislation should have been passed in the US making directors more accountable for injuries and deaths on film sets, and for ending or dramatically reducing the commercialization of film.
Significantly, while GREMLINS and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM received all of the attention in the Spring and Summer of 1984, four other films released during that time turned out to be more significant in the long run. For the creation of a CGI 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 his allegorical and Zonebusting film, THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT (1984). This continued the cautionary approach advocated by TRON and WAR GAMES-indeed, the film openly alluded to WAR GAMES. A point reiterated by Nimoy, incidentally, in his twilit and allegorical sequel, STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK (1984), where he warned 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. This cautionary message was 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 Light back to the twilight.
A pessimism that was not shared by Nick Castle and Universal Studios in their allegorical and Landis addressing film, THE LAST STARFIGHTER (1984)-the second significant small film of the summer of 1984. For the sight of Lance Guest’s implicitly Palpaberg linked teen gamer Alex ‘Raygun’ Rogan-the film’s many allusions to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL, POLTERGEIST and the Palpaberg episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE affirming Rogan’s implicit link to Palapberg-being unknowingly trained to be a gunstar space fighter weapons systems expert by the Starfighter arcade videogame he was addicted to and rising to the defence of Earth and the rest of the intergalactic Star League by defeating the Wicked and Landis linked Xur-played by Norman Snow-and his evil and flying monkey evoking Ko-Dan space armada in the world’s first CGI space battle at the end of the film implied that Castle understood that CGI could be used to defeat and prevent further film set disasters-a lifesaving CGI whose importance was now understood by other film artists. In fact, as the name of the Ko-Dan armada evoked the then successful Kodak celluloid film company as much as Landis, the victory of Rogan paved the way for the triumph of digital film over celluloid film. Unfortunately, the film’s upbeat and implicitly Emperor Palpaberg supporting message proved to be unpopular, and the film was as unsuccessful as THE RIGHT STUFF, despite its great early CGI.
The twilit, allegorical and CGI supporting Jeff Kanew film, REVENGE OF THE NERDS (1984), was also unpopular that year. No doubt because the two leaders of the embattled, jock plagued but ultimately triumphant nerds of Adams College, Lewis and Gibert-played by Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards, respectively-were linked to Landis and Folsey throughout the film. This link made the ending triumph of the twilit Trilambda Fraternity over their main Emperor Palpaberg and blockbuster beast linked jock adversary, Frederick W. ‘Ogre’ Kowalski-linked to the dominant college fraternity as in ANIMAL HOUSE, and played by Donald Gibb-a triumph for Folsey and Landis that few could accept in 1984. Despite this lack of acceptance, Reitman implicitly agreed with Castle and Kanew in the fourth significant film of the Spring and Summer of 1984, linking innovative CGI to the innovative technology needed to trap and exorcise the ghosts of 1982 in his twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and POLTERGEIST evoking film, GHOSTBUSTERS (1984).
Curiously, and unlike REVENGE OF THE NERDS and THE LAST STARFIGHTER, GHOSTBUSTERS was a huge success, rating high on the PKD evoking PKE meter. This was perhaps due to the fact that two of the film’s main good guys, the Tin Man linked Egon Spengler and the Scarecrow linked Peter Venkman-played by Harold Ramis and Bill Murray, respectively-were implicitly linked to Cronenberg and Reitman, and the film’s main baddie, the Dark Lord Gozer-played by Slavitza Jovan-was implicitly linked to the Dark Lord Georz Lucas. This success allowed the film to save film art-symbolized by Weaver’s 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 for the movie tie-in merchandise that audiences had abandoned after the STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE debacle, as GHOSTBUSTERS was an exuberantly shameless filmmercial for its gear.
Indeed, bystanders were even wearing GHOSTBUSTERS t-shirts in the celebratory crowd after four Ozian heroes merged their elemental energy and triumphed over Georz and the Stay Puft marshmallow man-that nightmarish blockbuster beast!-at the end of the film, making it implicitly clear that Reitman was ready to relieve you of your money. Its implicit CGI supporting theme was also eventually fulfilled in time in the allegorical and CGI enhanced Reitman sequel, GHOSTBUSTERS 2 (1989)-implicitly busting Milos Forman in the symbolic form of Wilhelm von Homburg’s ghostly and ghastly Vigo-and the equally allegorical and even more CGI enhanced Paul Feig film, GHOSTBUSTERS (2016). Of course, the chilling fun of GHOSTBUSTERS and the fact that one of its heroes was linked to Cronenberg linked well when Joseph Ruben fused SCANNERS and THE DEAD ZONE and tried to heal the rift created between Cronenberg and Palpaberg in the latter film in his twilit and allegorical film, DREAMSCAPE (1984).
For in this Ruben film, 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 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. Interestingly, while not interested in twilightmares, a DREAMSCAPE and SCANNERS evoking interest in psionic people did return in the allegorical and lacklustre Mark L. Lester film, FIRESTARTER (1984), inspired by Firestarter. Unfortunately for Lester, 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 film, 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.
However, as rallying to the support of Palpaberg was not a good idea in 1984, particularly with a dismal film like FIRESTARTER that was nowhere near as good as the novel, the film was as unsuccessful as REVENGE OF THE NERDS. Curiously, an interest in twilightmares did return in the presciently gloomy, twilit and allegorical Craven film, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984). For it was noticeable that Robert Englund’s Kruger linked, and hence John Landis evoking, dreamkiller, Fred Krueger, triumphed over Heather Langenkamp’s Nancy Thompson-who looked like Morrow’s daughter, Leigh-and dragged her into his twilightmare, in the end, implying Craven’s conviction that film art was now trapped forever in a twilightmare. Neil Jordan also added to the twilightmare and confirmed that he was now only too well aware of the twisted and beastly nature of the company of film artists that he had joined in his twilit, surreal and haunting allegorical 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.
However, all was not gloom and doom in the world of fantasy in the summer of 1984, as 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 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 linked to Folsey, Marshall, and Stinkious-and played by Darryl Cooksey, Drum Garrett, and Nicholas Gilbert, respectively-at the end of Wolfgang Petersen’s sweet, gentle, optimistic and twilit allegorical film, THE NEVERENDING STORY (1984),a film that came across as a boy version of the ‘Taarna’ episode of HEAVY METAL: THE MOVIE. David Lean also tried to leaven the gloom-for Landis at least-when he went from a clannish Hollywood linked town in British occupied Ireland during the Great War in RYAN’S DAUGHTER to a clannish Hollywood linked town in British occupied India after the Great War in his twilit and Landis supporting allegorical film, A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1984). For Lean likened the furious uproar in Hollywood and the attempt to put all blame for the fateful and still not fully explained TZ disaster on Landis to the uproar in Chandrapore and the attempt to put all blame on Victor Banerjee’s Landis linked Dr. Aziz for the bloody and disheveled state of Judy Davis’ L.A. linked Adela Quested after a fateful and never fully explained trip to the Marabar Caves. An attempt that led in failure and the release of Aziz at the end of the subsequent trial, implying that Lean presciently predicted-or hoped-that Landis would also go free at the end of the TZ trial.
Ron Howard also leavened the gloom a little and urged Palpaberg not to give up on his love for magical film art-or was that hoped Palpaberg would just disappear?-in 1984. He did this by having Tom Hanks’ implicitly Palpaberg linked Allen Bauer not give up on his love for Madison the magical and beautiful mermaid-played by Daryl Hannah, who ironically linked this light film to the dark and disastrous July of 1982 via her role as Pris in BLADE RUNNER-and swim away with her in the end-an ending that curiously presaged the marriage of Capshaw and Palpaberg again-when Howard fused Hans Christian Anderson’s allegorical tale, The Little Mermaid (1837), with BARBARELLA, LIQUID SKY and THE WIZARD OF OZ in his heartwarmingly twilit and allegorical film, SPLASH (1984). Indeed, Madison’s links to the implicitly Hollywood film art linked beautiful blonde female swimmers in the prologues of JAWS and 1941-both played by Susan Backlinie-the return of Di Cicco from 1941 as Jerry, and the fact that Allen was the middle name of Spielberg implicitly affirmed the film’s interest in Palpaberg. The sight of the Wicked Walter Kornbluth-who resembled Landis and whose name evoked Tsukerman, and played by Eugene Levy-coming around to the cause of Bauer and Madison and helping them succeed with their love, in the end, also implied that Howard hoped that Landis and Palpaberg would reconcile in time. 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. The good humour of SPLASH continued late in August in the even more madcap, twilit and allegorical W. D. Richter film, THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE EIGHTH DIMENSION (1984).
Indeed, madcap was the word, as 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). Curiously, Schiavelli also linked the film to the two big films of the fall season. The first film was the twilit, allegorical and Landis bashing Milos Forman film, AMADEUS (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.
The second big film that Schiavelli was linked to was just as important as AMADEUS. For the name of 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 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, 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. The fact that Connor was openly linked to film art when she was attacked by the Terminator in the Tech- Noir nightclub-a nightclub with a cinema evoking ticket booth at the entrance-while on her way to a film also linked her to film art in general. The treasured polaroid of Connor from the past that caused Reese to fall in love with her in the future also linked Connor openly to photographic film art. Thus, all these allusions to film art in general and the film art of Landis in particular cheekily suggested that in the desperate attempt of Reese to travel back from the embattled and beastly blockbuster machine dominated future to rescue Connor from the Terminator in order to ensure the birth of John, the film was coming to the rescue of Landis and his film art and putting all of the blame for the beastly blockbuster mania that led to the TZ disaster on the slight shoulders of Lord Stinkious and his Classic Trilogy.
Indeed, Reese’s name supported that cheeky implication, as Kyle Reese was an anagram of Kesler, evoking the doomed Kessler of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. Reese’s nightmares of the pitiless and blockbuster machine dominated future-a dark and ruined future Earth that evoked the equally dark, ruinous and Kansas linked planet of Morganthus in GALAXY OF TERROR-reaffirmed that implication, for they evoked the nightmares that plagued Kessler after being mauled by a werewolf at the beginning of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. Particularly the Reese nightmare where a Terminator played by Schwarzenegger’s buddy, Franco Columbu, infiltrated and shot up a hidden underground human base evoked the Kessler nightmare where Nazi monsters shot up his family home, openly linking Kessler to Reese. At any rate, Cameron also implied his determination to use THE TERMINATOR to draw audiences away from Folsey, Kennedy, Landis, Lucas, Marshall and Spielberg and to himself, a determination heard in Reese’s terse ‘…come with me if you want to live!’ spoken to Sarah as he saved her from the Terminator in the Tech Noir nightclub. Indeed, the sight of Connor terminating the Terminator after Reese died fighting it at the end of the film evoked the ending of the short allegorical Cameron film, XENOGENESIS (1978)-available for viewing on Youtube-which saw Margaret Undiel’s Laurie use a manned exploration vehicle to defeat a huge killer robot after William Wisher jr.’s Raj was taken out of the fight at the end of that film, implicitly affirming that Cameron also wanted THE TERMINATOR to help advance his own cinematic goals. 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. Interestingly, Cameron’s dismissive assessment of Lord Stinkious was shared by Alex Cox, who also dismissed Landis, Lord Stinkious and Palpaberg-and underlined that sarcastic dismissal with all sorts of allusions to AMERICAN GRAFFITI, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, E.T., THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL, THE BLUES BROTHERS, and The Classic Trilogy-albeit with less violent fury-when he arrived a few weeks after the release of THE TERMINATOR with his raucous, satirical and Ozian themed first allegorical feature film, REPO MAN (1984).
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 that led to REPO MAN finally finding an audience 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 ever with the release of an allegorical STAR WARS telefilm directed by John Korty that was set on Ewok filled Endor of all places and that was insanely entitled, 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 both 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. Elements that did not dispel furious disillusionment in Lord Stinkious, a furious disillusionment that was soon confirmed again shortly before Christmas of 1984 at the Stanley Theatre in Vancouver, when the viewers that flocked to the Lord Stinkious bashing T1 rejected Lynch’s twilit and visionary allegorical film, DUNE (1984), and all of the mystic film’s similarities to the Classic Trilogy.
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 implicitly Kershner linked Emperor Shaddam IV-played by Jose Ferrer-and his partners in crime, the implicitly Morrow linked Baron Harkonnen, the psychotic and implicitly Folsey linked Beast Rabban and the implicitly Landis linked Feyd Rautha-played by Kenneth McMillan, Smith and Sting, respectively. 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 he hoped that he and Maud’dib had actually ended 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-and its noticeable lack of CGI, which already made the film dated given the exuberant CGI of THE LAST STARFIGHTER-affirmed that ordinary people and the everyday world were indeed rising up to triumph over the enfant terribles of the New Hollywood brat pack, just as in AMADEUS, as life imitated art yet again. Indeed, DUNE combined with 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. For his part, Coppola also returned for the holidays and had James Remar’s implicitly Palpaberg linked Dutch Schultz order his men to gun down Nicholas Cage’s implicitly Landis linked gangster wannabe Vincent Dwyer for supervising a mob hit on a public sidewalk that lead to the Chen and Le evoking deaths of an innocent boy and girl-the girl played by Cage’s cousin, Sofia Coppola-in the twilit and allegorical film, THE COTTON CLUB (1984), reaffirming the hard nosed and vengeful spirit of the times. Significantly, the implicitly Coppola and Stinkious linked mob head pair of Owney Madden and Frenchy DeMange-played by Bob Hoskins and Fred Wynne, respectively-then ordered their men to gun down Schultz, making it implicitly how angry film artists were about the TZ disaster, in the end. In his Christmas contribution, Hyams joined Besson in LE DERNIER COMBAT in reaffirming that a twilit new film era had begun in his allegorical film, 2010 (1984), a openly linked to the twilit and disastrous year of 1982 as it was based on the allegorical Arthur C. 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. For his part, Norman Jewison 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 in the twilit and allegorical film, A SOLDIER’S STORY (1984), no doubt inspired by the similar Edward Dmytryk allegorical 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. A wartime film to round out the Year of the Zone that made it clear that the world’s film artists were indeed attacking each other in full force fury in an all out and dread allegorical Zone War.
A Zone War not without a literary component, as literary artists continued to launch salvoes. McCammon led the way 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).
How appropriate that the title track of the Springsteen recording, BORN IN THE U.S.A. (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.’.