The Lord of the Rings (1978) (part 5 of 11)
Soon, we’re seeing Herman and the hobbits travel for a while, heading for Rivendell as Alvin originally planned. During this, Sam treats us to an unfunny one-liner which I won’t bore you by repeating. At one point, Alvin is able to look off in the distance and see the Black Cheerleaders following them [?]. So he snuggles up to Herman for comfort. Dammit, the guy’s not your daddy! Cut that out!
Next comes probably the most disturbing scene in the whole movie. Our Heroes are camped somewhere (Weathertop, I think, going by Jackson’s version), and Herman is telling them a very moving love story, and when he says the line “he was her love, but also her doom”, Sam puts his hand on Alvin’s chest [!] and they smile longingly into each other’s eyes [!!]. I’m not kidding here, guys.
Unfortunately, the tenderness is interrupted when the Black Cheerleaders show up and rudely spoil the moment. Hey, can’t you give them some alone time? I bet Sam was just about to come out to Alvin! Herman jumps up to investigate the noise of the approaching Cheerleaders, whereupon everyone suddenly changes into live, tinted actors with bad wigs. Aaaaand… they switch back again a few seconds later.
The Black Cheerleaders appear, and have mysteriously become both tinted and semi-transparent. I don’t remember hearing anything about that ability before. Alvin is tempted to put on the Tap Washer of Doom, so Herman yells at him not to do it, prompting Alvin to put it on anyway, purely out of spite. I guess he’s decided to finally rebel against authority for a change.
Immediately, he enters this weird, tinted world (not psychedelic, sadly), where there’s no-one but him and the Cheerleaders. In slow-mo (can’t get enough of that!) he makes a pathetic attempt to fend them off, but is stabbed in the arm. Yeah! Although, for some reason, the Cheerleader who does the stabbing is kind enough to catch him as he falls over, letting him gently drop to the ground.
Herman, still in the non-tinted world, somehow chases the Cheerleaders away. Alvin manages to take off the Tap Washer, and he reappears lying sprawled on the ground. Then, the blade of the sword used to stab him vanishes. Which is all very well and fine, but it actually makes a little zing! noise when it disappears, exactly like one of those old Street Fighter games.
They travel on, and we hear Alvin moaning about how cold he is. Sam stupidly asks what’s the matter with him. Uh, dude, he got stabbed with a blade of eeeee-vil. What do you think the matter is? Oh, sorry. I just used the word “think” in connection with Sam. My bad. Herman explains that Alvin was stabbed with “an eeeee-vil knife”, so I guess he read my mind.
A little later, Sam finally shows concern for the love of his life, ostensibly by whining about how Alvin “can’t go no further!” Herman responds crabbily, which is exactly what I would have done. They hear someone coming, and a few seconds later we meet… Legolas the elf! Who looks incredibly goofy, with big alien eyes and a face like a schoolboy. Did I mention he’s played by Anthony Daniels? Well, he’s played by Anthony Daniels. Make of that what you will.
He and Herman have a happy reunion (Herman grew up in Rivendell among the elves, and he and Legolas are old friends). When Alvin tells Sam “that’s an elf”, Sam completely forgets Alvin’s suffering and pulls a face like his birthday has come early. As mentioned before, Sam has incredibly bad teeth, and his gap-toothed grin here only makes him look stupider. Then he adds to the “hilarity” by letting loose with his girlish giggle again. Thanks a lot, Mr. Bakshi.
They travel on with Legolas, and Sam starts copping an attitude with Legolas about how Alvin needs to rest. Legolas just sneers at him, so Sam bashfully adds, “Just for a while.”
Legolas puts a hand on Sam’s shoulder, which is probably the most exciting moment of Sam’s life to date, and patronisingly tells him that resting won’t help Alvin. And also, the Black Cheerleaders are still after them. “Do you understand me?” he adds, which is probably a wise move. I guess all this complaining from Sam is supposed to show how loyal a friend he is, but in fact he just comes off as whiny and irritating.
They reach a riverbank, and are immediately found by the Black Cheerleaders. This makes the background go all weird again, and we watch Alvin on horseback being menaced by a single Black Cheerleader for an interminably long time. Finally, an echoing voice (of eeeee-vil) tells him that the Cheerleaders want to take him to Mordor, the bleak realm of Sore-on. Because the décor is amazing, I tell you. And they have catering!
Alvin’s horse tries to run off, but then falls over for no reason. So Alvin pleads pathetically for Gandalf the Mister-Fix-Everything Wizard to save him. Unfortunately, this is only the first of many such occasions.
The background finally goes completely to blazes, because now there isn’t even any ground for people to walk on. Now they’re moving against a clouded, tinted live-action sky. If you find this confusing, well… join the club.
After some really lame “scary” stuff, we hear a voice shout “go back!” And I swear it sounds exactly like Whoopi Goldberg. The Black Cheerleaders get all nervy, and then we hear Gandalf’s voice magically shout, “Run, you fool, run!” Ahh, our old pal the bullying wizard. I missed him ever so much. Didn’t you?
Alvin’s horse starts running off on its own, which makes me wonder if Gandalf was actually talking to the horse, because Alvin sure as hell isn’t doing anything. The Black Cheerleaders then pursue him for an insufferably long time. And by the way, the animators have decided to one-up themselves, because the horses now have glowing red teeth.
Alvin takes the reins and rides off. Meanwhile, I have no idea what happened to everyone else. But he runs into two more Black Cheerleaders, who have suddenly just shown up. Amazing how they do that, isn’t it? Must be more of that Middle Earth teleportation technology.
Alvin crosses the river (which appears to consist of sewage, judging by the colour), and yells feebly at the Cheerleaders to leave him the hell alone. One of them makes a gesture which somehow magically knocks Alvin out. Hooray! No, wait, why couldn’t they have done that before chasing him all this bloody time? The Cheerleaders start coming to get him. Sadly, before they can kill him and put him out of our misery, the river surges crazily. The waves magically take on the shape of horses, and wash all the Black Cheerleaders away.