Leonard Part 6 (1987) (part 9 of 15)
Cut to Leonard’s car careening down a dirt road, heading towards the International Tuna factory. While the camera is pointed at the sky, there’s a big clatter. We pan down to see a big hole in the factory’s chain link fence, which we’re meant to believe was caused by Leonard driving straight through it. Strangely enough, I have my own theories about how this shot was achieved.
Inside his car, a TV monitor shows Leonard the front doors of the factory with a target diagram over them. Leonard pushes a button on his joystick, causing a superimposed cartoon missile to shoot from the car’s turret and explode against the front doors. And when I say “cartoon missile”, I mean it’s like we’re watching an unfinished outtake from Roger Rabbit.
And the editing is really haphazard here and they cut away way too soon, but it appears that this explosion accomplished nothing, because the doors are still intact. So Leonard fires at the door with two more cartoon missiles. “Humorously”, this doesn’t make a dent in the doors either, but one shell does come bouncing back, where it blows off the car’s turret. And I swear that with the poor editing, it looked like Leonard was firing at three totally different sets of doors.
Inside, Medusa is laughing her ass off in a rotating chair. I don’t know what it is about rotating chairs that inspires maniacal laughter, but I dare you to spin around in an office chair without cackling like a lunatic.
Medusa spins until she’s directly viewing a TV monitor of Leonard in action. Leonard’s gotten out of his car, and is now running around a field of obligatory random barrels. Wheelchair Andy once again cries, “Kill him!” before letting out a much called-for belch. And then he drops two tablets of Alka Seltzer in a glass (remember that for later!), while Medusa says she plans to do just that.
But Medusa wants to kill Leonard “one wing at a time. Just like a fly!” Ohhhh-kay. Whatever, crazy lady. You’re the supervillain, so I guess it’s your call. And I know you can’t see me making the big finger circles around my ears as I write this, but trust me, that’s what I’m doing.
And now, from the makers of Leonard Part 6, here comes a senseless, overproduced, soul-deadening spectacle, as Leonard tries every weapon in his arsenal to blow down the door! The 1812 Overture blares as Leonard jumps over a small dirt hill and tosses one of his wafer-thin grenades. This explosion accomplishes nothing, so he does it four more times, which also accomplishes nothing besides giving us lots of cool ‘splosions and stuff. Meanwhile, that overture blasts like it’s never blasted before.
Then Leonard jumps inside a giant tractor tire [?] and fires his bazooka at the door, which also does nothing. At long last, he shoots off his very funny underarm rockets, which cause yet one more massive explosion.
The blaring overture finishes with Leonard standing there staring at the door, which still doesn’t have a scratch on it. “Thick door,” Leonard says, still looking bored.
Inside, Medusa cackles once again, and now orders her men to just let Leonard in. What? Just… let him in? So all the explosions and blaring overture nonsense was for… nothing? Why did I even bother recapping any of that? Look, lady, you can be crazy all you want, but now you’re wasting minutes out of my actual life. You’re cutting into precious Me Time, lady, and now the gloves are off.
The doors slide open, and Leonard creeps into the dim, foggy, steam-jet filled warehouse, which is full of the sound of random howling. In front of a big industrial fan, a buzzard flaps its wings (thank you, Blade Runner!) and makes that buzzard noise. Is it called cawing? Squawking? Chirping? Buzzarding? Who knows. Regardless, the bird obviously detected the stench of failure and showed up as quickly as it could.
Spotlights pass over the warehouse floor, and soon Leonard spots a zebra trotting away from him in slow motion. Well, why not? Maybe this is really a deleted scene from Lost and Kate is the only one who can even get close to the zebra. Then an anteater [!] walks past. Yeah.
By the way, no animals were harmed in the making of this motion picture, but lots of careers were.
Unbeknownst to Leonard, a device descends from the ceiling. It’s a globe with cameras poking out all over, and now Leonard is back on Medusa’s TV monitors. Like any good supervillain worth her inexplicable wealth, Medusa gets on a microphone to taunt him. And interestingly enough, Medusa knows Leonard by name, which again suggests he never got the memo about the “secret” part of being a secret agent.
As Leonard makes his way through the factory, he hears Medusa’s voice bellowing that she intends to “part the seas, thrash the fields, inflame the skies!” Cut to Bill Cosby, looking bored. She asks if he’d like to meet her “vegetarians”, and that sound you hear means we’ve come to the lamest scene in the movie. It’s so lame that I may not even be able to properly make fun of it, but I’ll try my best.
The “vegetarians” turn out to be a costumed cast of fey dancers who couldn’t cut it on a production of Cats at an Omaha dinner theater. They’re all wearing leotards and tights, and the best part? They’re also all wearing animal heads.
Leonard looks around (bored, of course), and sees one guy with a bird’s head wearing a red cape and spinning around, while another guy with a bird head rides around in a big wheel last seen in Duran Duran videos. Other guys appear with buzzard masks and metal gloves with claws. It’s like I’ve died and gone to hell, and hell was designed by a big fan of The Wiz.
There’s a shot of three pairs of feet tap dancing sideways on a support beam, kicking up sparks. And as always, I’m just describing what I see here.
Medusa proclaims that her vegetarians are “thirteen perfect physical specimens”. Possibly. Or possibly this movie belongs in a specimen jar.
There’s a random shot of a guy in a bird costume using his feet to pedal a sharpening wheel, while other guys in bird costumes sharpen their claws on the wheel. I apologize, but when it comes to trying to say anything funny here, I’m just drawing a blank. There are moments in movies that are way out there, but this is just way, way out there in a way that’s long past being even unintentionally funny.
Medusa proudly proclaims that her vegetarians were raised in the jungles of Sumatra, “pampered by screeching things [?]”, and none of them have ever eaten meat. Is that supposed to sound threatening? Because that would indicate they’re not really cut out for this particular mission. What do vegetarians need those sharp claws for, anyway? To slash the throat of a rutabaga?
After more shots of feet tap dancing sideways and kicking up sparks, and more shots of actual buzzards, Medusa yells, “Bring on the dancers!” Which are the four words you never, ever want to hear in a supposed action comedy.
Suddenly, we’re trapped in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s worst nightmare, as a bird guy on stilts opens his cloak and several dancing bird men spin out. Good god, they got the choreographer from the Satan’s Alley show in Staying Alive, didn’t they?
The bird men dance around a confused (and bored) Leonard, slashing at him and knocking various weaponry off his uniform. Falling to the floor are his ballet slippers, grenades, and a previously unseen chainsaw, ho ho.
They continue slashing at him, coming right at the camera with all their freaky bird costumes. They subdue Leonard and knock him to the ground, and then, to finish him off… Well, actually, they all retreat, and return back underneath the main bird guy’s cloak. Interesting choice of strategy there. Up in Medusa’s lair, Andy, who I’m starting to identify with more and more, shouts, “Kill him!”
Leonard is still sprawled out on the factory floor, appearing to be down for the count. But magical harps magically glissando as he sees Nurse Carvalho’s ballet slippers nearby. He crawls towards the shoes, which now have a colored sparkly effect around them. As he does this, The Nutcracker Suite plays once again. Of course.
Meanwhile, Medusa provides one of those too-weird-to-make-up lines when she cries, “Mango me!” A goon then puts a mango in her hand, which she proceeds to shove in her face. “Mango me.” Holy crap. Not even the Oracle ever said anything that badass.
And then it’s back to Leonard, now wearing the ballet slippers, and desperately trying to stand on his toes. Pointedly (hah!) in this scene, we rarely see Bill Cosby’s face and his feet in the frame at the same time. He finally gets up on his toes, but goes tumbling out of the frame, where (of course) crashing noises are dubbed in. He runs back into the frame, grabbing onto a support beam.
“Clever,” Medusa proclaims, “But dumb!” Hey, I’m not gonna have any jokes left if the characters keep reading my mind.