Epic Movie (2007) (part 8 of 11)
Cut to Lucy, Susan, and Peter walking through the woods. They’ve changed out of their “Just Came Out of the Wardrobe” outfits, and are now in their “Narnia Native” outfits. Collect them all! Then… the movie cuts back to Swallows and Penn. I’m sure there’s a basic filmmaking reason why that shot of the other three was inserted, but I just don’t care. I reject your attempts to orient me as to time and space.
Swallows and Penn approach a pirate ship tied up to a dock, full of pirates loading it up with supplies. The ship looks great. It’s got full masts and rigging, which is probably why the directors rented it. Extras run around playing with the ship’s ropes, which must have driven the real owners crazy.
They board the ship and Swallows, swinging his arms, breaks a bottle against the head of a pirate. It’s a somewhat funny callback. Enjoy it while it lasts, because in just a few seconds, Hammond will launch an all out nuclear first strike on the audience, the likes of which has not been seen since Joshua realized that the only way to win was not to play.
It starts innocently enough. Penn marvels, “Wow, a real pirate ship!” Then he asks the question that will kick off every nightmare I’ll be having for the rest of my life. “What’s it like being a pirate?”
Swallows replies, “Let me break it down for you.” And then a beat kicks in. I strongly suggest that young children and sensitive adults leave the room. And the state.
A title card comes up over shots of pirates at work. It says, “Captain Jack Swallows”, and then three words which will forever change the fate of a nation, “Lazy Pirate Day”.
First of all, let’s assume for the moment that the video that follows is going to be good. What in the name of Apophis is the point of spoofing “Lazy Sunday”? The short aired on SNL as comedy—itself a satire of rap songs. It was also incredibly funny. There’s no possible way this could be funnier. There’s also nothing to poke fun at. Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell were already in on the joke. They never asked us to take them seriously in the first place.
The only possible angle to exploit here is the fact that people who saw “Lazy Sunday” think it’s easy to sing about their day and make it funny. And guess what? Steve Carrell and Rain Wilson already did that on The Office. “Lazy Scranton” was shown to new employees in an episode that first aired in November of 2006. That was two months before Epic Movie was released. (And “Lazy Sunday” was first shown in 2005.) So, again guys, before putting in a reference to a fleeting aspect of pop culture, it pays to spend two minutes on Google seeing if someone’s already done it.
Without further ado, here comes “Lazy Pirate Day”.
Swallows starts by declaring, “Yo, yo, yo, check this out. Lazy pirate day, set sail in the afternoon.” A photo of Bob Denver as Gilligan pops up on the side of the screen. These pop-up photos are going to become a “thing” in this video, and it makes about twice as much sense as most of the other “things” we’re about to see.
Three pirates inform us, “We got these dope-ass grillz from melting doubloons.” They show off their yellow teeth, with mouth hardware that says “GRILLZ”. Who on earth gets a grill that actually says “grill”?
Swallows points over the side of the boat and explains, “I named my ship Fantasia after the American Idol winner.” A picture of Fantasia Barrino takes up half the screen. His crew disagrees. “You should have named it Studdard.” The lead pirate is holding a human heart (which I guess is a Davy Jones reference), and a picture of Ruben Studdard drops down to take up the entire shot.
Then Flava Flav dances around on the deck, with his trademark Viking helmet and oversized clock. He agrees, “Yeah, yeah, boy, that’s one big brother.” And the most amazing thing about this is that it’s not even Flava Flav. It’s a lookalike. How could they not afford Flava Flav?
All the pirates yell, “Seacrest out!” under a picture of Ryan Seacrest. Just remember, this movie made 87 million dollars.
Now all the pirates sing, “We are the Pirates—what—of the Caribbean!” Then there’s a shot of a sexy woman covered in soap suds, and wearing that swimsuit Paris Hilton wore in that commercial. Some pirates sing, “Yes, the Pirates—word—of the Caribbean!” The one pirate waves the human heart around and they briefly flash a picture of Captain Crunch. You know, I honestly don’t think Captain Crunch was a pirate.
Now there are several hot women dressed as… I guess the costume box would say “Sexy Pirate Wench”. The song continues, “You love us Pirates—what—of the Caribbean!” Then the girls are gone and the pirates sing, “Pirates, Pirates—what—of the Caribbean!” As the lyrics end, a big, gay older man in a Speedo washes himself and winks at the camera. That was so incredibly necessary.
It is at this point that the boundaries between dimensions break down, and all things that are possible start to happen, in some sort of quantum mechanical epileptic seizure. The music doesn’t stop. Instead, it gets slower and dance-y. A pirate breakdances alone on the deck for a second. Then Captain Swallows (or rather, an obvious stand-in) does several impressive back handsprings. And then the pirates are gone, and three pirate whores are dancing in the middle of frame. The lead whore is former Knicks dancer Jill Latiano, while the rest are pretty much all Playboy Playmates.
Jill, who’s actually had some real acting jobs, does a little Britney-style choreography and advises, “Check me out, boys, I got real big [bleep]. I know all you pirates want to [bleep] me.” And I should point out that I’m not censoring the lyrics here. They actually are bleeped out in the movie. Yes, even in the so-called “unrated” version, too.
They show a Playmate slapping a foot-long hot dog into a bun. Jill continues, “And you’re thinking about putting your [bleep] in my [bleep].” At the first bleep, they show the big, gay bear splashing soap suds again. At the second bleep, a Playmate splashes us.
I have now become certain that, some time ago, I contracted malaria.
Jill sings as her two backup dancers dance, and the Playmates do whatever you pay Playmates to do. “I know you’re getting [bleep] when you [bleep] in my [bleep bleep].” All of the girls moan, “Ohh yeah,” as a picture appears of Isaac the Bartender from The Love Boat.
Jill continues, “Take out your swords and [bleep bleep bleepity bleep bleep].” A picture of Pirate’s Booty corn snacks pops up. “Lick [bleep bleep bleep bleep].” A pirate whore licks a cannonball. “And suck [uncountable bleeps].” Two pirate whores almost kiss. Fake Flava Flav wags his tongue and makes those honking breast gestures with his hands. Captain Stubing’s picture appears, and hey, come on! You guys already referenced The Love Boat!
The infinite improbability drive starts to slow down, and things begin to return, slowly, to normal. Or at least, what this movie considers normal. Now we’re back to the refrain where everybody sings, “We are the Pirates—what—of the Caribbean!”
Everyone we’ve seen already gets a quick cut. Heart-holding pirate has a can of Chicken of the Sea tuna superimposed next to him. Faux Flav shares the screen with a black and white shot of John Belushi from Animal House. I don’t know why. Then it’s just everybody—Darrell Hammond, Flav, models, everybody—singing the last two lines.
Swallows ends by declaring, “Word to the Kraken.” He points to a man’s butt, with his crack peeking out of his pirate pants, which I guess is this movie’s “Kraken”. There’s a gunshot and then everything goes black.
I realize you’re never going to believe any of this happened, just on my say-so. So I implore you to watch for yourself as the very concept of comedy is assaulted to within an inch of its existence:
For your consideration…
I have only one thing to say: Sartre was right when he said hell is other people. Those other people? Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg.
Cut to Swallows pretending to play with the ship’s wheel. He asks Penn, “So where’s your family, eh?” Word to the Kraken: Penn doesn’t know, but he takes a guess: “They’re on their way to the ancient table!” For some reason, the stone table where the orphans meet the lion is referred to as the “ancient table” in this movie. But he’d have no way of knowing that’s where they’re headed. The last time he saw them, they got diverted to train with the Kid in the Hall.
The White Bitch suddenly walks into the frame. She laughs, “God, you’re easy,” and tosses Swallows his payment. And she just steps into the frame, too. How could Penn not have seen her walking up the dock, boarding the ship, and walking towards him? Why, movie magic, of course!
Swallows laughs at Penn, telling him that they’re not even on a real pirate ship. The camera pulls back, and suddenly there are several dozen tourists milling around, a mildly amusing joke.
The White Bitch tells Bink to summon the troops to fight the three orphans. “If it’s a war they want, it’s a war they will get!” Didn’t she know this already? There was a whole prophesy about it. She killed the orphans’ parents just to disrupt it. The troops should already be together and, in fact, should have been training for quite some time already. Let me tell you, this Bitch has some horrible planning skills.
The Bitch proves her commitment to war by stabbing Captain Swallows. It’s always important to double-cross your allies; I think that was in the Tao Te Ching.
Swallows falls against the ship’s wheel, losing consciousness rapidly. He wildly overplays the line “I’ll get you for this, you, you, you …” Then he stops to fix his hair before ending with, “bitch.” He’s out for a second before opening his eyes, wriggling his fingers, mouthing “bitch” again, and flopping back again. As he does so, a tuba plays “Wha whawha wha whooooo” as if this were the Bugs Bunny cartoon the directors were watching in their heads.
Also, since her name is actually “Bitch”, I don’t see how calling her “bitch” is an insult.
Whatever. Cut to the other three orphans walking into the lion’s camp, at the stone table. The camp looks… just terrible. It’s really, really awful. It’s two rows of about ten Renaissance tents, with a twenty-foot avenue separating them. And the entire camp is populated by maybe fifty people. I guess a movie like this can’t afford extras; they are extra, after all.
Remember in Lion, Witch & The Wardrobe when the children walked into Aslan’s camp, and all the fanciful creatures stopped and bowed to them as they passed? This is like that, only instead of fanciful creatures, it’s a few friends of the writers in really cheap costumes. And after several shots of RenFaire people bowing, we see James Bond (the Daniel Craig version, of course) posing with a gun and then bowing. Then the entire Wonder Bread racing team (long defunct) tips their hats, and then a Wookie with an M-16 bows. I made none of that up.
And now the three approach the tent of the camp’s leader. They hear a mighty lion’s roar, and we learn that the leader’s name is “Aslo”. Yep, that’s their take on “Aslan”. It doesn’t mean anything, it’s not satirical in any way, it’s just… Aslo. Take a drink.
As they enter the tent, they hear the sound of a lion purring. They see a large, round bed with gold, satin sheets, and there are two shapes on the bed. Peter squints and asks, “Aslo?” This causes a hot woman (nude in the unrated version) to jump out of bed and run away, leaving just one person in the bed:
Fred Willard is Aslo. He’s got a large golden bouffant, and a ridiculous amount of gold chest hair, but otherwise it’s just… Fred Willard.
Now, Willard has, in his very long career, occasionally been funny. On Fernwood 2 Night, and especially in the Christopher Guest movies, his character of the clueless buffoon has cemented him as a comedy legend. But Willard has just as frequently shown an unflinching willingness to appear in anything. Since 1966, he’s been in 179 movies and TV shows. That averages out to more than four per year. Nobody is funny enough to work that much without occasionally just phoning it in, and this is one of those occasions. Willard just shows up here, pretty much.
His first line sets the tone for the scene, when he calls after his girl, “Where you going, dollface? I just took my Cialis!” Dollface? Even funnier: in the unrated version, Aslo has a huge boner poking up underneath the sheets. Oh, is that what Cialis does? Now I get it!
Peter asks if he’s really “Aslo, the lion”. Willard corrects him: “Li-man. Half-lion, half-man.” He throws off his sheet to reveal that his entire bottom half is covered in golden fur. And frankly, it looks like they just had Fred wear a pair of fur pants.
Aslo explains that his father, Siegfried, “boinked” a lion, “but, you know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” First of all, this is the movie’s second joke about a character being the product of bestiality. Second of all, the “what happens in Vegas” joke stopped being funny, oh, roughly two weeks after people first heard it.
Aslo pours himself a martini, and guesses they’re the children from the prophesy. He notices that one person is missing. This prompts Susan to validate, “Yes, our brother, Edward!” That, in turn, causes Lucy to repeat, “Yes, our brother, Edward!” Do the Razzies have an award for Most Inconsistent Character Trait?
Aslo states confidently that Edward betrayed them. Wasn’t that beaver-thing supposed to run ahead and tell Aslo all of this? So should we really be impressed that he knows this? Apparently, the orphans are.
Aslo says, “I’ll help you get your brother back.” He twirls a lock of hair seductively [?] and adds, “But there’s something you’ve got to do for me!”
Can you guess what we see in the next shot? If you said Lucy and Susan are now in bed with Aslo, both with their hair messed up and swooning with sexual fulfillment, you’re only half right. If you said Peter is there, too, you’d be three-quarters right. If you guessed Peter is violently unhappy, even though that’s the exact opposite of what would make this joke funny, you’re entitled to a nice prize. Send us a self-addressed stamped envelope to claim it.
Aslo farts. He yells, “Dutch oven,” and brings up the sheet to trap everybody inside with the smell. This is a very close approximation of how it feels to be stuck in a theater showing this movie.