Today, as I was idly flipping through the channels on television (something I find I’m forced to do quite frequently, just to escape the worst of the modern advertisements), I stumbled across a TV edit of The Lost World, sequel to Jurassic Park. As I watched the film unfold, I got some more ideas for my continuing “Movie Land” series.
In Movie Land…
- …the black guy dies first.
- …if a black guy is unavailable or has already bought the farm, the valley girl dies next.
- …after she’s taken care of, the bald white guy dies.
- …next comes the bespectacled guy with two lines in the entire film.
- …then it’s the South American guy’s turn.
- …then the African guy.
- …and finally, the comic relief guy.
- …if anybody is killed near a river, the water will always flow dramatically red moments later.
- …the hero drives a classic car, almost inevitably a muscle car. No exceptions.
- …any intellectuals still manage to be cool somehow. None of them are ever pasty, physically frail or unfit, or any of the things intellectuals often are.
- …the fat guy will always be stuffing his face. It’s never a glandular thing.
- …a black guy with an afro is there for comic relief. No serious black character ever sports a ‘fro.
- …if you’re in a city, and a disaster breaks out, expect a sudden rash of fender-benders, most often involving police cars and taxicabs.
- …if the heroes are being pursued by the police, somehow, they will coax the squad cars into running into one another.
- …though the hidden traitor amongst the heroes’ ranks is always very obvious (often sporting a sinister moustache, or inciting ominous music whenever he enters a room), the heroes remain oblivious to his/her presence.
- …the villain gets his/her just desserts. No exceptions.
- …in the same vein, white-collar criminals usually meet their demise in flames, no matter how sheltered their corporate lives.
- …these same white collar criminals usually die this way because they also have a passion for high-tech weaponry/high-powered rifles/dangerous chemicals/fast cars/helicopters.
- …nobody ever has a heart attack while running from the bad guys. Not even the middle-aged “mature hunk.”
- …Elvis impersonators live very brief lives and meet very painful ends.
- …the hero will have his/her revenge against the villain, even if this requires an impractical or impossible plan.
- …impractical and impossible plans are the only ones ever considered. Nobody ever says anything like “I don’t think it’s a good idea to go out there…it’s swarming with ninjas. Perhaps if we wait a while they’ll go away. Or maybe we could negotiate with the ninjas?” Even if such a plan is proposed, nobody ever listens, and the person who proposed the plan dies in short order.
- …the “prophet of doom” at the beginning of the film will always be right, especially if they are predicting a disaster.
- …the “prophet of doom” will never be believed until it is too late.
- …and the people who did not believe the “prophet of doom” are the first to die. Apparently one can survive even the worst natural disaster simply by agreeing with the hero.
- …in a jungle, at least one person will fall down a very long slope, tumbling until they slam into the ground below. This slope will usually conveniently deliver them to the baddies’ feet.
- …the Evil Overlord’s minions are expendable. You never hear “Taps” playing in the baddies’ camp.
- …when attacking a very large ship/plane/spacecraft, there will always been one of the hero’s number who sees it wise to make a noble Kamikaze sacrifice. Often, their death is in vain, since the heroes end up having to save the day with their own dramatic scheme.
- …gangsters (especially black and Hispanic ones) usually have intimidating nicknames like “Julio the Killer” or “Skin-Eatin’ Travis.” You never see the hero walk into the gangster’s establishment and say “Hey! I need to speak to Charles.”
- …a cut never gets infected, unless this would in some way be “challenging” or “dramatic” for the affected character.
- …it’s not really a disaster until a hundred-foot wall of water washes through New York, overturning taxicabs.
- …an Asian character is usually the villain, and usually has either a very cheesy fake accent, or sounds like a professor of economics.
- …any female villain’s heart can be melted by a suitably studly male hero.
- …if you hear a sound, don’t walk up to the window. The source of the sound will usually smash through it in short order.
This one was so big I had to give it its own list:
…nobody — especially the hero — ever considers the long-term implications of their actions:
- …no amount of radiation exposure is cause for alarm. Don’t even bother getting checked for cancer or leukemia, especially if you’re a main character.
- …if you contract a virus, don’t worry, the hero will find a vaccine just in time to save you and/or the man/woman he/she loves. And don’t worry about long-term effects.
- …even though a long-term coma requires some kind of brain damage, don’t worry, as long as you’re in Movie Land, waking up entails instantaneous recovery.
- …the hero can blow up half the city in an attempt to stop the supervillain, and will still be commended for his/her actions.
- …disaster recovery is always very quick. There’s never any looting or anything like that. I mean, come on, that’s just not human nature, right?
- …you can breathe in all the dust and smoke you want and not so much as cough.
- …being shot, stabbed, burned, shocked, thrown out of a car, hit by a car, beaten to within an inch of your life, hit with a baseball bat, or any other such injury requires only a few weeks’ recovery, and there are no lingering effects. Cane shops in Movie Land tend to got out of business rather quickly.
- …whatever caused that menacing scar on the villain’s face, he/she suffers no long-lasting effects from it.