Day Eleven of the Two-Week Torturefest
Could switching to GEICO really save you 15% or more on car insurance? Could John Travolta star in a movie that even chloroform can’t take care of?
Directed by: Roger Christian
Written by: Corey Mandell and J.D. Shapiro
Based on: the novel “Battlefield Earth” by L. Ron Hubbard
Terl: John Travolta
Jonnie Goodboy Tyler: Barry Pepper
Ker: Forest Whitaker
Also Starring: Christian Tessier, Earl Pastko, Kelly Preston, Kim Coates, Michael Byrne, Richard Tyson, Sabine Karsenti
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Produced in English by the United States. Runs 118 minutes. Rated PG-13 by the MPAA–sci-fi violence, infrequent profanity.
Battlefield Earth was watched on January 1, 2013.
“Crap-lousy ceiling! I thought I told to get some man-animals in here and fix it.” –Terl (John Travolta)
It is the year 2000.
A college professor enters a lecture hall, forty-five minutes late for teaching a creative writing course at the Global University for Those who Will Undoubtedly Lack a Future.
“Sorry I’m late,” says the professor. He looks up and is met with a blank stare from his class, a flood of drug addicts, nymphomaniacs, and recent lobotomy patients.
“Okay then, let’s get started.”
Silence…broken by the faint sound of saliva hitting the floor.
The professor clears his throat. “Um, today, you will be writing a prompt.”
An uproar of expletives and death threats. The professor frowns slightly, recognizing that he experiences this on a daily basis. He writes a sentence on the board. The sound of his marker ricochets off the walls of the auditorium, and, in turn, off two snoring students in the back.
The professor turns around.
“Can everybody read this?”
A loud, unanimous groan of the drug addicts’ “Nuhhhh,” the nymphomaniacs’ “Nuhh…uhh…,” and the lobotomy patients’ “Could you please explain how to do what you just interrogateded…ededed me to do?”
The professor explained, “The board says–”
“No!” shouted someone from the audience, standing up powerfully. “The board does not say! The board is inanimate!”
“Whatever. The board reads: ‘Write as many questions as you can as you ponder over what Earth will be like in the year 3000. Be as creative as you want, because after all…this is creative writing.'”
“But I don’t wanna think about my future!”
“Not your future, the future!”
“I don’t wanna think about that either!”
“Just do it!”
For the next hour, the professor experienced blank, neurotic stares from the entire class. The stench of marijuana and rotting brain cells was murdering him. Finally, he asked, “Are you all too self-conscious for me to be here?”
The professor couldn’t tell if they’d nodded or just done “the wave,” but he wanted to get out, so he went with the former. As soon as he had left, there was a loud, “Coast is clear!”, followed by shuffling feet, followed by the incessant screaming of “What did you write down?” After this one’s over, thought the professor on his way home, I think I’ll flee this hellhole and accept that offer Harvard sent me a while back.
That night, the professor graded the responses. He noticed only one difference among them all: handwriting. Needless to say, the one response, whoever had originally written it, was abysmal:
– Will there be a planit called Psychlos, where its leeder trys to blackmail the earthlings?
– Will John Travolta be a hippie bad guy dood with dreadlocks?
– Will John Travolta’s best bad guy friend (“best bad guy”–alliterination, man, see what I did there?) have dreads, too?
– Will it be like after the end of the world type thing you know kind of like that movie with Harison Ford back from you childhood?
– Will the rich guys have long fingernales?
– Will hunter-gatherers reappear as the majorority?
– Will humanity be Earth’s minorority?
– Will there be no more Internet?
– Will shopping malls look like they do today?
– Will the rulin humanoids talk real smooth in their rockin Mel Gibson accents?
– Will there be any technology, like the kind that shines and you can touch it and make it do things for you?
– Will people know how to speak fluent Japanese, but only use it when reading radar?
– Will Earth be a battlefield? I’d like that, man.
– Will gaol cells be green during the farawaycamerathingys and blue whenever we get to see that gy from that won dance movie back in your childhood?
– Will special effects be real? Sometimes, at least? Can they be like freakin awesome special effects? Can we ask Presidint Clinton if he can inishiate this change? What about Gor? He’ll definitly win the election this November, man. Unless of course Rosevelt comes back for an ass-kickin reelection.
– Will people speak in echo?
– Will people be known as man-animals? Will they have cat-animals and dog-animals as pet-animals?
– Will we still have to worry about geometry?
– Will there be citys with like freakin awesome skyscrapers everywhere and like twenty Umpire State Bildings and like UFOs?
– Will there be horses instead of cars? That way I wouldn’t have to worry about losin my keys. By the way, coud you give me aride home today? Meye dad found the weed stash behind my closet door, so he took meye kees away. Ownly a proffesor could do such a kind deed.
– Will we get to say “no” with those extra “o”s, kindof like they do in the movies?
– Will we laff when we succeed, and then make people laf as that stair down at us you no?
– When we flie thru citys will we see vidio gaims in front of us?
This only grew stranger when the plot appeared in a film called Battlefield Earth, which was released just short of three weeks later, the entire class associated. The moral of the story is, when you feel tortured watching Battlefield Earth, a film where unnecessary visual effects makes it a slightly watchable experience, just think of the professor, who could have stopped it altogether.
Note: this is a work of fiction. If you are a college professor, and you teach students who disregard their future for “now,” and they know how to work a camera, don’t inspire them in the least bit. If need be, take evasive action.
One for the Money – not run for the money.
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