"Cranky"

2009
Apr
22

The work of a writer of funny is sometimes a grim business. Particularly when what you’re supposed to be making fun of is so ridiculous that it defies any attempts to be funnier than it. Of course, we saw that many times during the George W. Bush administration (making me wonder if some of his totally-over-the-top malaprops were an intentional distraction). I think that’s why Keith Olbermann, who IMO is most watchable when he is being snarky or silly turned SO DAMN SERIOUS. It wasn’t really that what the Bushies did was so heinous – giving themselves the power to go totally sadistic on anybody’s ass and then only using it on a few Afghan goatherds and one guy who was an even more sadistic @$$#¤¦£ than Cheney – they could’ve done much worse (and part of me is still baffled why they didn’t). But when you can’t top the comical stupidity of the CEO President (that self-description of Bush’s is so much more appropriate today), all you can do is look into the camera and arch an eyebrow or shrug. Letterman and Jon Stewart could do that. Olbermann can’t.

But what I really want to blog about is a less world-shattering piece of ridiculousness – the movie “Crank: High Voltage”. Tom Brazelton’s webcomic “Theater Hopper” describes it best (and what more can you do BUT describe it?).
crank
(Click to see the full comic with more setup to the punchline)

The makers of that movie (note to self: don’t call it a ‘film’; it gives it way too much legitimacy) had a thankless job: to make a sequel to something that was notable only for its outrageous premise, frantic pace and extreme violence and avoid hearing “the sequel pales in comparison to the original” for the rest of their lives. Well, they succeeded (also setting new standards for “what you can get away with from the MPAA on an R rating”).

Another webcomicker, “Hijinks Ensue’s” Joel Watson explained the difficulty in dealing with such subject matter in specific terms:

Making fun of “Crank 2” is like making fun of a movie where a guy has his heart removed (for some reason) and replaced with a robot heart that runs on a laptop battery which must constantly be recharged through a series of escalating violent and sexual exploits.

But he did come up with one way of getting funny with the “Crank” franchise:

WHO WANTS TO PLAY “CRANK MAD LIBS”?
In “Crank 3,” [group/ethnicity/organization] steal Jason Statham’s [body part/penis] and replace with with a [noun] that has to be [verb]ed every hour or it [someting bad]’s all over the place.

BTW, I believe in supporting webcomickers, but I currently cannot afford (or find space in my closet) for new funny t-shirts, so may I recommend this new one from “Theater Hopper”
spoiler_alert_wide
or this unspoiled movie parody from “Hijinks Ensue”
hiji-groverfield-sm
via the one-stop funny shirt shop at TopatoCo (Jeff Rowland is a better businessman than webcomicker but not so hot at naming his company). I receive no renumeration for the linkage (and if Rowland reads this, I never will).

BTW. Crank 3 MadLibs?
Girl Scouts of America, Spleen, Box of Thin Mints, eaten, stands at the supermarket entrance begging.
AARP, prostate, water balloon, refilled, makes the kids get off his lawn.
a medical group with several dozen doctors, appendix, another appendix, replaced, prescribes Viagra.
MPAA, brain, exact copy but with DRM, pay royalties, accuses the makers of “Crank: High Voltage” of plagiarism.

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