WTFAW: The Lion King (Pt. 2)

Dave: Hey, I’ve found an interesting theory.

Is that so? Well, forgive if for not leaping for joy. Bad back, you know…

Dave: It’s funny you should make that reference, actually.

What? Oh no! No no no, don’t tell me it’s about The Lion King!

Dave: That’s right! The theory is that Mufasa and Scar aren’t brothers!

I’m sorry… I think I my ears stopped working for a moment. What was that, again?

Dave: Mufasa and Scar are not brothers.

Right. Mufasa and Scar are not brothers. I see… Mind if I ask you a personal question, Dave?

Dave: Sure, I guess?

Are you feeling alright?

Dave: What do you mean?

I mean, are you feeling alright? Things in your life are going well? You don’t feel a bit gloomy or depressed? No recent tragedy or heartbreak?

Dave: Uhm… no. No, everything’s fine. Why do you ask?

Well, I’ve told you before that The Lion King is my favourite movie of all time. I love it with a passion, and I make it a point to watch it only once a year. I do that, specifically so I don’t get sick of watching it, because it’s such a precious, important and valuable part of my childhood.

With that in mind, can you imagine why I might be a bit concerned about your mental well being?

Dave: Well, no, I’m not really following…

See, since you already know all that, and still decide to bring me a theory like this, I can only assume that you are performing some elaborate suicide attempt!

Dave: What? No, it isn’t!

Ok, so if that’s not the case, would you please explain why else would you do something so absolutely mindnumbingly insane, before I lose my selfcontrol and beat you to death with your own spine?!

Dave: It’s because this theory actually makes sense.

Now, I know that it won’t. But since I am actually curious how the hell it managed to convince you, I’ll humour you, Dave.

Dave: Well, there was an interview with the producer and director, where they discussed the possibility.

Right. And what did they say?

Dave: I have the quote right here.

[While making the movie] we talked about the fact that it was very likely [Scar and Mufasa] would not have both the same parents. The way lions operate in the wild…when the male lion gets old, another rogue lion comes and kills the head of the pride […]

Is that all?

Dave: No, it continues:

There was always this thing about well, how do you have these two [male] lions? Occasionally there are prides that do have two male lions, in an interesting dynamic because they’re not equals [since they don’t have the same parents]. One lion will always kind of be off in the shadows. We were trying to use those animal truths to underpin the story so we sort of figured Scar and Mufasa couldn’t really be from the same gene pool.

Ok, so let me get this straight… this whole theory is based on that interview?

Dave: Pretty much.

Ok, let’s start off with the fact that they are discussing the idea of using animal truths to underpin the story. They talk about how “in the wild” lions operate in this and that way. But there’s a slight issue with that idea.

Dave: What’s that?

In the wild, animals don’t fucking talk!

Keeping it accurate to real life kinda goes out the fucking window at that point! In the wild, there aren’t “lion brothers”. There are also no kings! When a lion gets born in the wild, a mandrill doesn’t come and hold it up for other animals to see! Lions don’t have birds as majordomos! If we’re bringing real life into this movie, THIS MOVIE WOULDN’T FUCKING EXIST!

And if Scar isn’t Mufasas brother, why do they refer to one another as brother? Why does Simba and Scar refer to one another as nephew and uncle?  Zazu refers to Scar as “the kings brother”. He then notes that there’s one like Scar “in every family”. 

Scar himself mentions the differences between them, that while he got the brains, he’s “in the shallow end of the gene pool” when it comes to strength. The detail about the gene pool  line doesn’t make a whole lot of sense unless they are siblings!

Scar also states that were it not for Simba, he’d be “first in line” to the throne. In fact, it’s clear that Mufasa’s father was king before him, as shown during the scene where Simba and Mufasa look up at the stars.

In case it’s not really clear yet, that is called a line of succession. You know, that thing which DOESN’T FUCKING EXISTS AMONG LIONS IN REAL LIFE!?

It’s almost like real life doesn’t really apply here or something!

Not to mention, of course, that from a story perspective, they HAVE to be brothers! The movie is a loose adaptation of Hamlet, with Simba betrayed by his uncle, who murdered his father to claim the throne.

It’s also highly reminicent a story in egyption mythology, wherein Osiris is killed by his treacherous brother Seth, who in turn is defeated by Osiris’ son Horus.

The story REQUIRES them to be siblings.

Dave: But… Scar murdering his brother and attempting to murder his nephew is really sad.

Yes! Exactly! That is the fucking POINT!

Originally, they WEREN’T supposed to be brothers. Scar was just supposed to be a rogue lion.

But then the writers realized that it’d be much more interesting if they were brothers. It’s what makes the betrayal that much worse. The villain in this movie isn’t the grand vizier, or a “mistress of all evil” who can turn into a dragon.

It’s a member of the main characters FAMILY. A person ruthless enough to be willing to murder his own brother and nephew to seize the throne.

It’s what makes Scar that extra bit evil.

And it’s also what makes his defeat all that more satisfying. And the greatest part is, he isn’t killed by being stabbed by a magic sword or falling into lava or anything like that. Simba doesn’t kill Scar. He defeats him, but he’s not what gets Scar killed.

Scar dies as a result of trying to save his own neck, hoping to shift blame on his own allies, the hyenas. Then when he is defeated by Simba, they come back and kill him as revenge.

He becomes a victim of his own treacherous nature. Betrayal got him the throne, and betrayal then got him killed.

Dave: But… that quote…

That quote was to explain why there’d be two male lions. That’s a problem which doesn’t even exist, since it’s a fictional story anyway, and we can suspend disbelief to accept that! All this theory does is make the story less impressive.

And of course, if you just google Scar, you’d find out that Scars mother and father are called Ahadi and Uru. And wouldn’t you know it?

They’re also Mufasas parents.

But hey, it’s not like that’s easily available information that required all of 20 seconds of effort to find…

Oh, and there’s this final problem with it.

Let’s say that you are right. That we are going by real life lion rules. That would mean that all the female lions are Mufasas mates, right?

Dave: I suppose…

And logically, the father to all cubs?

Dave: Yes, he would be, but…

Including Nala.

Dave: Oh…

Oh” is fucking right.

You have brought me a theory that suggests that, in my FAVOURITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME, the main character ends up having a kid with his fucking sister.

What is wrong with you, you sick, braindead moron!?

Dave: …Is this the point where you tell me to “run away and never return”?

No, this is the point where, if you don’t get out of my sight right now, I will shove your head up your ass. Now get out.

Dave: So you’re saying I’d “never see the light of another day”.

OUT!

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Shock Treatment

Here’s a question for you… Can one detail ruin a movie for you?

About a year ago, I wrote an article about the noted cult classic musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show. More specifically I explained my issue when it comes to peoples apparent glorification of the villain, Dr. Frank N. Furter.

I mention this, because it’s part of the reason I want to talk a bit about its slightly lesser known… I suppose you could call it a spinoff of sorts: Shock Treatment.

And this is going to be a bit tricky, because I haven’t actually seen this movie. I have read a synopsis, seen a review and listened to some of the songs. (Unsurprisingly, the songs were very good) but I have never actually watched this movie. To be more precise, I haven’t seen past the beginning.

But before you rage at me for talking out of my ass, and critisizing the movie, let me explain.

You see, the issue I’m going to write about is actually the reason I could never watch past the opening.

Like I said, this movie is a parallel movie to Rocky Horror, and we follow the continued misadventures of Brad and Janet, who have married and are disillusioned by their lives together.

And that, right there, is my issue with the movie.

Why are Brad and Janet in this movie?

We spent all of TRHPC getting to know Brad and Janet, where they decided to marry, we saw their innocence, their naïve, adorable awkwardness, and then their gradual, staggering descent into the mad world of Frank N. Furter. And in the end, they are left shocked and battered, but alive, having survived an insane alien scientist and his servants in a flurry of sex, death and rock’n’roll.

Then we see this movie, and nothing suggests that these events had any impact on the characters here. Brad has gone from somewhat dweeby to socially closed down, and Janet is no longer sweet and innocent, instead being cynical and frustrated.

And over the course of the movie, we find that the main villain of the movie is in fact Brads evil twin brother Farley, who wants to take over the town of Denton.

Now, researching this movie suggested that the events of TRHPS are actually non-canon in regards to this movie. But that just reinforces the problem.

Why are Brad and Janet in this movie?!

It’s possible they’re here as a sort of every-couple. But to me, it doesn’t really work. If anything, this is something that hurts the movie.

Because we KNOW these characters, their history, their personalities, and I can say from personal experience: their addition actually alienated me from the movie.

You can make all the claims you want that the two movies are unrelated, but that idea is sabotaged by the simple fact that you used the same main characters!

My reasoning while watching it went something like this:

They’re married here, and they got engaged in the first movie. Logically, this movie is set after the first movie. So why does nobody bring up the fact that these people watched as a mad scientist bestow life and sentience to a previously dead body, watched said scientist murder another man with an axe, were almost raped, again by said mad scientist, were tricked into eating the CORPSE of the man murdered with an axe, turned to stone, brainwashed, watched another three people die and getting indisputable proof that ALIENS ARE REAL AND WE ARE NOT ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE!? Why is nobody acknowledging these things ever happening?! What the shit is going on!?

And at that point, it took me out of the movie so much, I couldn’t watch it anymore.

As I’ve said before, I know I’m not a writer. I can only ever voice an opinion, and make speculations as a consumer of media. But if I may offer the very humblest two of my cents, there is actually a very simple solution to this problem. And the fact that it’s so simple is just another thing that is frustrating.

Just change the names of the characters!

It really is that simple! It doesn’t have to be Brad and Janet! In fact, they’re pretty much the only two characters who shouldn’t be the main characters, for all the reasons I just outlined! The actors are different, the personalities are different, their dynamic is different… there’s no reason why their names couldn’t be different as well.

And the thing is, you could do that, and STILL have the connection to the previous movie!

You simply make the main characters Ralph and Betty Hapschatt!

As in the couple who got married at the beginning of the previous movie! It was right after their wedding that Brad and Janet got engaged!

Making this movie a sidequel, with THEM as the main characters would solve every last problem! You could play around with their past, instead of retconning Brad into having a lost twin brother (effectively removing his every-man status), you could write their characters any way you want to suit the plot, without confusing people about continuity, since we don’t know anything about them beyond “excited to be married“. Also, you wouldn’t have the constant Frank-shaped elephant in the room…

You wouldn’t even need to scrap a single song, and really only change one line in “Bitchin’ in the Kitchen”. Call me an optimist, but Richard O’Brien is an excellent songwriter. I pretty sure he can find a subtitute for rhyming “Brad” and “Had”.

And of course, instead of making Brad and Janet some strange magnet for crazy occurences, first facing aliens and mad science, and now lost evil twins and the comercial madness that is Denton, you’d pretty much establish that weird crap like this happens to everyone, because the entire world they live in is simply insane.

Obviously, if you can overlook this issue and enjoy this movie, I wouldn’t dream of stopping you. Like I said, I can only share an opinion.

I’m not calling the movie bad. I am not saying that you are stupid and wrong for liking it. It’s just that I can’t disassociate this movie from the previous one, and I cannot watch it as a result.

It’s just how my mind works. It’s one of the many, many issues and personal idiosyncrasies I vainly refer to as part of my charm.

WTFAW: Harry Potter (Pt. 5)

Seeing as it’s been a while since I’ve had a crippling headache, that can only mean it’s time to shake the cornucopia of crazy that is Harry Potter fan theories again, and see what horrors fall out.

Dave: I’ve three theories for you today.

Three theories… Dear god… Very well, let’s do this. I suppose it’s better to tackle the madness in diluted waves rather than being slammed by a concentrated tsunami of idiocy…

Dave: The first theory is that George Weasley is Willy Wonka.

Well, so much for the ”diluted madness” plan… OK, explain the reasoning.

Dave: It’s established that Fred’s death had a devastating effect on George. Suppose it was such a trauma, he got himself a Time Turner and traveled to another time and place, to create a paradise for children, in memory of his brother?

Right. And what is there to support it?

Dave: For one, Willy Wonka’s candy seem to have very magical qualities. Ice cream that never melts, everlasting gobstoppers and especially gum that turns people into giant blueberries. That sounds a lot like the candy Fred and George sells. Also, Wonka says he’s hard of hearing. George lost his hearing during the seventh book. And they’re both ginger!

Oh, so we’re just focusing on the 1971 movie. I’ll be honest, considering how bad things got the last time I wrote about Willy Wonka, this could have been a lot worse. That said, this theory still doesn’t work.

First off, you say that George traveled back in time, changed where he lived and changed his name.

The problem with that is that we know what happened to George. He got married and had two children, one of whom was a boy named Fred.

THAT was enough of a tribute, not making an enormous chocolate factory in another fucking time period! And speaking of the factory. A “paradise for children”? Did you forget the part where, with the exception of the five children, NO CHILDREN are allowed to enter the factory? What kind of a paradise is that?!

As for the candy having physical effects, that’s true. But you’re forgetting, not only that ALL wizard candy has weird properties, but also that with Fred and George’s candy, the physical effects was the point.

When the bubble gum made Violet swell into a blueberry, that was a SIDE EFFECT, because the gum wasn’t finished!

And then there’s the part with Wonka being hard of hearing. First off, he says that to Mike Teevee, and tells him to “speak louder next time”.

Thing is, Mike is ALWAYS SHOUTING. That’s the joke! Wonka isn’t hard of hearing. He’s being sarcastic.

Second, even if he was hard of hearing on one ear, he’s pointing at his right ear. George injured his left ear.

(said ear is also turned away from Mike, again suggesting he’s being sarcastic…)

And then, even IF he wasn’t pointing at the wrong ear… He’s pointing at one of his ears.

As in that thing George doesn’t have two of! George didn’t “lose his hearing”. He lost a FUCKING EAR! So how can Wonka have two ears, if he lost one of them when he was young?

And finally, there’s a major issue with this theory. And it can be summed up with this one word: Why?

Supposing (wrongly) that it is true, why go through all that effort? He gets a time turner, turns it however many thousand times you need to travel to 1971, change his name, identity, home country… for what?

Dave: To deal with the trauma of losing his brother!

So he lost his brother, and to deal with that loss, he leaves his family, friends and everything he knows, to travel to another time period. Doesn’t that sound a bit… backwards?

And think about what this theory says about George, He wasn’t the only one who lost friends and family during the battle at Hogwarts. And yet, his pain is so much greater than everyone else, to the point where he has to reject everything he has ever known?

I’m sorry, Dave, but you are not giving George nearly enough credit.

However, I WILL concede that they are both ginger. So that part of the theory is correct. Sadly, the rest is all nonsense.

Next theory.

Dave: Ok, you know in the first book, the trio has to go through a number of challenges?

Yeah?

Dave: The theory is that those challenges are foreshadowing the later books!

Right. Interesting. The first room is obviously for the first book. So what does the giant plant mean?

Dave: The Devils Snare is a giant plant. In the second book, Harry and Ron have a run in with another big plant, the Whomping Willow.

That’s… incredibly flimsy. After all, the whomping willow is more relevant to the plot of the third book… Anyway, what about the room with the flying keys?

Dave: Here they have to fly on broomsticks. In the third book, there’s a quidditch match where Harry is attacked by dementors.

But… the only connection is that there are broomsticks. It has nothing to do with quidditch or dementors! And let me guess, the giant chess set is a game, much like the tri-wizard tournament?

Dave: No, of course not! When they arrive in the room, they at first confuse it with a graveyard. In the fourth book, Harry ends up in a graveyard and witnesses Voldemorts return.

It’s sad that my interpretation makes more sense… What about the troll?

Dave: The room with the troll could be a reference to Grawp, appearing in the fifth book.

Yes, because Grawp was a giant troll too… Oh wait, no. He’s a giant.

Giants and trolls aren’t the same thing, you racist. Also, Grawp wasn’t knocked out at any point and he wasn’t an obstacle.

I hesitate to ask, but what’s next?

Dave: The sixth chamber is the potions riddle, set up by Snape, the eponymous Half Blood Prince, and much of that book focuses on Harry using Snapes old potions book.

That’s it? You’d think there’d be more focus on the horcruxes or something like that. That said, it does make more sense than the previous one… And that leaves the final chamber.

Dave: Yes, Harry’s showdown with Voldemort, which of course takes place in the seventh book.

That’s hardly foreshadowing. The main, overarching villain of the series appears at the end of the book, much like he does at the end of the series…?

See, this is another of those house-of-card type theories. All parts have to fit for the theory to work. The problem is, most of them are too vague and flimsy to support it. It’s like the theory about Snape’s supposed hidden message, in that it’s just confirmation bias. You’re looking for a connection, and will accept anything, no matter how loose, to support you. In my experience, that’s a surefire way to make a bad fan theory.

What else do you have?

Dave: Ok, so the last theory is that Credence Barebone is really Voldermorts father!

Great. Another theory where one character really is another character?

Don’t get me wrong, credit where it’s due. At least these characters are from the same universe.

Of course, I spot an obvious problem, in that we know that Voldemorts father was Tom Riddle Sr, a muggle who lived in England with his wealthy family before he was coerced into a relationship with Merope Gaunt thanks to a love potion (Still no idea why those aren’t illegal). At the time of the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Tom had escaped and lived with his parents.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Please elaborate. I’m sure you have plenty of arguments to support this.

Dave: Actually, on second thought, how about we just call it a day?

No, wait. Let’s not. I want to know the arguments. I know it doesn’t make sense, but I am curious.

Dave: Uhm… Well, Credence Barebone died in December 1926. Tom Marvolo Riddle was born in December 1926…

OK…? What does that have to do with this? If anything, that’s an argument AGAINST the theory. What else do you have?

Dave:..Nothing…

Excuse me?

Dave:…Nothing, ok! I got nothing else! I just saw the setup and thought it was interesting!

…What? You’ve got nothing? Not one solitary scrap of support? No easter egg or background detail or throwaway line to support the theory… You have nothing…?

Zilch, nada, inget, fuck all?!

Dave: Nope.

That… is amazing. You have brought me some terrible theories. You have brought me convoluted, ignorant, insane and ridiculous. But THIS is officially the worst theory I have ever seen! Hell, it’s barely a finished theory! The only way you could have come up with that, is if you never read the books, and were too lazy to look it up on google before you wrote it all down!

What the actual fuck, Dave?! Did you panic? Did someone slam you in the face with a shovel? I’m not being snarky when I’m saying this: You can do better!

Dave: I told you we should have called it earlier.

Yes, if only we had, I would have been spared this brainfart of a theory. That was awful, I think I have become dumber from having read it, and if you ever bring me something this badly done again, I will kick you in the balls with a golf shoe.

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