Red Zone Cuba (1966) (part 6 of 9)
Then it’s back to the Junior College Annex. The guard with the guitar is idly noodling while the other guard stares through his binoculars at nothing in particular. Inside, El Presidente is still sitting at his desk and smoking a cigar while he scribbles on a legal pad. I guess he’s still trying to figure out if this whole “communism” thing is going to work out. Then it appears as though the Binocular Guy spots the Bum Brigade up on the cliff, so he yells out to Fidel. We see Fidel, his beard, and some other men come out of the Annex with their guns at the ready.
In the background, we hear the Latin American equivalent of watermelon, watermelon noises, which I guess you would have to call Guatemalan, Guatemalan noises. Fidel and some other guys all pile into a jeep and take off, and the driver of the jeep quickly shows off how the vehicle doesn’t have power steering.
Meanwhile, up on the “eighty-foot” cliff, one Bum Beret hands out rifles, and the men run aimlessly across the dirt for a while, then they all decide to crouch down in the dirt while in plain sight. The lead guy waves them forward, so they continue running. They get to a wooded area where they all hide behind some trees, which, hilariously, are some of the thinnest trees you will ever see. Yes, Cuban soldiers, pay no attention to the two arms sticking out of that tree!
Anyway, they all make their way up either side of a dirt road. Suddenly, an enemy soldier jumps out of nowhere and takes out one bum. Please, please let that be Cook. The Bum Brigade quickly returns fire and the enemy soldier is soon dispatched. The lead guy goes over and looks at his fallen comrade for 0.0001 seconds before the men all shrug their shoulders and quickly continue up the road. I know that seems cold, but if you think about it, back in the city one of the bums would have taken the guy’s shoes, so actually they’re being quite respectful here.
They continue running through the weeds and the dirt until they come to some enemies. See, we can tell they’re enemies because the Americans all wear helmets, while the enemy all wear those flat cloth Castro-style hats. Except for Cook, who’s busy forging his own path with his Savino cap. Anyway, the two sides engage in a really pathetic firefight for a little while.
Then we see Griffin, Cook and Landis wandering around what looks like an outhouse. Suddenly, an enemy soldier appears from inside the outhouse and yells at them in Spanish, and all three men quickly drop their rifles, remove their helmets, and take off their ammo belts. Well, at least they’re good at one thing: giving up.
Then the Three Amigos put their hands on their heads. I swear, the enemy soldier only said about four words to them in Spanish, and somehow that prompted them to do all of this. I never knew Spanish was that economical of a language. The enemy soldier marches the three of them off, and then for no reason we get a random shot of some American soldier lying on the beach. I guess he’s supposed to be dead. If he’s not, he’s going to wish he was after the horrible sunburn he wakes up with.
Next we see the three hobos marched into what I’m pretty sure is Camp X-Ray. When they enter, El Presidente’s jeep drives up, stopping long enough for a female soldier to jump out. She stands in front of the three new prisoners and directs them into a shack.
Another Cuban soldier jams the muzzle of his rifle into Griffin’s back and yells something in Spanish. All three men march inside the shack and Griffin checks out their new digs. He sees a couple of other guys crashed out on the floor, namely a Sancho Panza look-alike and a dead ringer for Philip Michael Thomas. All three hobos sit on the floor in front of a wall bearing grafitti slogans like “VIVA CUBA” and “FOR A GOOD TIME CALL CHÉ”.
Landis lights up a cigarette [?]. Hey, you can’t invade Cuba without the creature comforts, am I right? They all pass the ciggy around, and then we get a brief glimpse of El Presidente wandering around with some of his men. We then cut back to Griffin in Camp X-Ray lifting up his pant leg to reveal that he’s secretly got a gun in an ankle holster. Suddenly, Sancho Panza Look-alike opens his eyes. Then, he closes them again. Actually, that sounds like a pretty good idea right about now.
Griffin stuffs the concealed gun into his jacket, and then it’s back to passing the ciggy around on the left hand side. Outside, the chick soldier continues to pace. Then, it’s back down to the beach, where suddenly a dozen helmeted US soldiers are marching forward. I guess this is supposed to be the “invasion force” that Joe mentioned, but it’s not like we’ll be seeing them again.
Over at the Junior College, we see random Flat Hats running around. Then, since we haven’t had a nonsensical random image in a while, we see a stereotypically Cuban woman emerge from a hut while cradling a baby [!]. She covers the baby’s head with her hand and runs off. And, no, as a matter of fact she won’t be seen again. Why do you ask?
Then, it’s over to the inside of a jeep for a little while, until we cut back to Camp X-Ray. Griffin takes the cigarette out of his mouth and blandly says, “Bay of Pigs.” I’m assuming Griffin is the reason they put “Pig” in the name. Then we cut to an extremely out of focus shot of Landis. Meanwhile, Philip Michael Thomas is still asleep. After random shots of the Three Amigo Hobos just sitting there, we see Philip Michael Thomas start to wake up.
As if by magic, Chastain materializes in the POW shack, and staggers over to the Three Hobos. We get a brief shot of Philip Michael Thomas that reminds us he has absolutely no purpose being in this movie. Then, in a great moment, we see Cook’s eyes roll to the back of his head, and his head falls back. And with that, we fade out.
When we fade back in, we see a Flat Hat open up the door to a different POW shack and order a soldier out. Griffin and Cook, watching from the window of their shack, see this and Cook says, “It’s Joe!” Oh God! Not Joe! We see some guy in a dorky Gilligan-style hat digging Joe’s grave as the Cubans put Joe in front of a wall. Then someone shouts the Spanish equivalent of “Ready! Aim! Fire!” and several soldiers shoot him to death. Either that, or somebody stomped on a ketchup packet, because all we see is some dark fluid spattered across Joe’s bald plate.
Then a soldier who looks like Kevin Spacey is the next contestant on the firing squad. We cut to Griffin lighting a cigarette as Cook tells him, “You never know who’s next!” That’s what makes it so exciting and fun! Then Gilligan Hat drags Joe’s body off and throws it in his grave, which is followed by a lengthy shot of Gilligan Hat shoveling dirt onto Joe’s body.
Next, we see a priest walk into the POW shack where the Three Hobos are being held. He calls out Philip Michael Thomas’ name and the guy rises to his feet. Then he says the name of Sancho Panza Look-alike, which prompts Sancho Panza to pull a painting [!!!!] out from under his blanket and hand it on over. If there was ever a moment to say “The hell?”, this would be it. The HELL?
Philip Michael Thomas stares at the painting, which is a portrait of a mother and child who (and this is a really, really wild guess) might just be the same mother and child we saw running out of that hut a few minutes ago. The priest stands over him with a Bible, and they both do the sign of the cross, Suddenly, someone off-screen yells, “Vamos! Vamos, Philip Michael Thomas!” Philip Michael Thomas walks off as the priest looks at the ceiling and lets his head roll back in a Cook-ian fashion.
Philip Michael Thomas is marched over to the wailing wall, and a Cuban soldier gives him one last drag off a cigarette. Then it’s time once again for the Spanish “Ready, Aim, Fire” as Cuban soldiers raise their weapons and fire on PMT. They couldn’t even afford the fake blood this time, so PMT just crumples to the ground. We then get one final shot of PMT looking up at the sky, probably wondering why Sonny Crockett wasn’t there to rescue him in time.
Then we cut to Chastain and his giant teeth as he examines a wound in his leg. He yells at the Three Hobos, “Would someone please get me a doctor?” And a diet soda, too, please? Cook looks at him and says, “No doctor comin’ here. You’ll have to sweat it out!” And walk it off! Hey, I think Cook just might be my high school nurse.
Griffin crawls over to look at Chastain’s leg wound, then pronounces that Chastain “won’t last 24 hours” because he has “gangrene”. He recognizes it from his time in prison, saying that some guy in prison croaked because a “doctor couldn’t get to him in time.”
Outside, Kevin Spacey is marched to the wailing wall and the soldiers do the “Ready Aim Fire” all up on him. He melodramatically crumples to the ground and Gilligan Hat comes over to drag his body away.
Then we cut to a little later, and despite the bright sunlight streaming into the shack, we hear Griffin say, “It must be midnight.” Apparently, he’s learned that they “change guards at midnight”, which is odd, considering they’ve only been there for one day. Sure enough, we see the guard change happen. Meanwhile, Gilligan Hat comes along with a pick axe to start breaking ground for a new shopping mall. Or maybe he’s digging a new grave. Actually, come to think of it, it’s probably the second thing I said.