Here is the trailer for a movie whose existence is solely predicated on the fact that the Twilight franchise has made roughly 87 trillion dollars. You'd think they'd be a little kinder.
While previous generations of young people were concerned with weighty issues like the Vietnam war, women’s rights, and the military industrial complex, the youth of today have ushered in the present with their own set of worries, namely:
1. Is Bella gonna fuck Edward?
2. Is Edward gonna fuck Bella?
3. That wolf dude has great abs. How does this enter into the equation?
Well, who can blame them really. Who wants to worry themselves about wars and politics and genocide? That shit is BORING. They’d much rather chill with Bella and the boys, watching them play baseball while covered in glitter, or whatever it is that fake vampires do in their spare time. Moping about important shit is no way to go through life.
Right away, we meet our Bella replacement, Stella Ennui, who explains her situation in voice over. She notes that her mother died of “committing suicide disease”. I laughed at both the Ennui bit of her name (vaguely clever, I would say), and the suicide disease bit. Not because the line is necessarily that funny, but because she uses air quotes to describe the disease, despite her voice over being an interior monologue. It’s a cinematic joke you don’t usually see in movies this stupid, more often reserved for the likes of Frank Tashlin or Mel Brooks.
Immediately, we are supposed to sympathise with the filmmaker’s disdain for Kristen Stewart’s aloof acting style. I admittedly haven’t seen the Twilight films, except for parts of the first one, but am somewhat of a fan of Kristen anyway, having seen some of her other work. She shows an interior intelligence and ephemeral honesty, coupled with an exterior apathy and disdain of craft. I, for one, wish more young actors would take this route. Usually, you get something like: “Hey, look at me! I am full of confidence! I took a bunch of acting classes and workshops and stuff! I CAN EMOTE!”. Hey professional thespian…shut the fuck up. Characters are usually, first and foremost, PEOPLE, and not showcases for how confidently you can utter lines and stomp your feet. I heard people complain that, during the Oscars, Kristen sat slumped in her seat, bored with the empty spectacle in front of her. I applaud it. Caring about shit is overrated, I say. Also, she’s pretty hot, but that also ties into the apathetic moping thing as well. If she had a big perm and wore loads of makeup and had a bubbly confidence about her, I probably wouldn’t be licking the screen everytime Catch That Kid pops up on cable. I’m kidding of course. Really I am.
Normally, a spoof like this only works if it can repeatedly string together funny gags. Airplane isn’t great because The Concorde…Airport ‘79 is retarded (and lordy is it retarded), and the Zuckers have the courage to point this out, and both filmmaker and audience can nod in agreement. Airplane is funny because funny shit happens throughout; no more, no less. Pointing at a film and saying it’s stupid is a waste of everybody’s time. It’s just an inanimate object, after all. As Jean Luc Godard said, “the best way to criticize a film is to make another film”. Saying something sucks fifty different ways is not “real” criticism in the way that creating a better version and having the other pale in comparison is. I didn’t find very much to laugh at here, but keep in mind, I’m no Twilight groupie, so maybe there’s a bunch of obscure references that I missed, all of which I'm sure were brilliant and witty and tubular and shit.
Apart from the opening monologue. I also liked the line where the fake Edward says “I’m not of this mortal coil”, because it’s a clever approximation of what one of these goth emos might actually say, and also doubles as a reference to an awesome band. Speaking of which, the fake Edward mugs horribly throughout the film. It’s another way of pointing and laughing at the real Edward’s performance, which apparently involved a lot of moody furrowing of the brow and what not. It’s the sort of thing that seems funny when a bunch of drunk frat fuckers get together and make fun of something, but sits there dead on the screen when actualized. After all, when a bully points and laughs at some nerd wearing a Legend of Zelda baseball jersey, he may be enjoying himself at that moment, but it’s because he has declared himself superior to something. Anybody standing around watching is not likely to chortle at the situation, except as an accessory to the bully’s meathead insecurity.
I also liked that there’s a guy that seems to be doing an Emo Phillips impersonation, although I’m not sure if that was the intended idea. I think it would’ve been hilarious if they actually got Emo Phillips to play the part, with the characters acting as if he’s just a normal teenager. It would be inexplicable, yes, but funny as balls. After all, inexplicable Emo Phillips is always funny. Other than that, this movie can lick my taint. They should put that on the poster. Oh wait, it’s direct to video. Never mind.
Now, I agree that vampires sparkling and moping around is fucking stupid, but replacing this with pointing out that vampires are sparkling and moping around is not any less stupid, if you follow me. I guess my generation’s equivalent to Twilight would be something like The Lost Boys, I movie I loved as a kid and continue to enjoy. Say what you want about this MTV vampire opus with the Coreys fighting the undead against all odds, but at least shit actually HAPPENS during the film. I don’t quite get how you can write three books about a girl maybe or maybe not fucking a vampire dude that doesn’t even do any cool vampire shit, like sucking out a hooker’s neck before crashing out of the third story window of a cheap motel, flying onto a motorcycle and revving away into the night. Any asshole can play baseball.
Here is another movie with the word “taint” in the title (the other being Tainted Image) that is not, as of this writing, listed on IMDB (not including porn, of course). That may be the narrowest film genre in all of moviedom. Unfortunately, both taint movies have left me down, discouraging me from seeking out further taint related cinema. Strangely, whenever I see the word “taint”, I think of the Mr. Show sketch, featuring an up and coming male porn star and a character based on Larry Flynt. However, instead of a giant cock, this guy has an impressive taint (I’m not quite sure what qualities one compares when judging taints, however). I guess the image of Scott Aukerman spread eagle has never quite left my subconscious. I’m no homo, mind you. Really I’m not. Well, I’ll just point out that his meteoric rise inspires the creation of a magazine called “Under Your Balls Quarterly”. Now THAT is some fucking comedy. To try and explain why that’s funny and most of Taintlight isn’t would just ruin everything, so you’ll just have to figure it out for yourself. Such is the enigma of humor. However, this sketch is not without pathos, what with tragedy inevitably striking in the life of this pseudo Larry Flynt. Specifically…CAPTAIN TRAGEDY!!!