Monday, October 3, 2011

Episode 36, Part 2: Doug's Nightmare on Jumbo Street

Everyone is going to see The Abnormal. "Nothing can describe its horror! Nothing can stop its terror! THE ABNORMAL!" Skeeter says he heard that Skunky Beaumont was so scared when he saw the movie, he didn't blink for 3 whole days. And you know Skunky. Solid as a rock. Nothing scares him. Unfortunately for Doug and Skeeter...

...Roger sneaking up, putting his hands on their shoulders and saying, "boo" is enough to make them scream in terror. After Roger and his goons have a good laugh, everyone files into the theater. It's time for The Abnormal.

Inside the theater, Roger and the goons continue to try to scare everyone. They form a multi-armed silhouette on the screen, scare Connie (and Doug), so Roger can say she's the biggest scaredy cat in school. Well, obviously, if you just made her scream by casting a shadow on the screen. It's hardly something to brag about to scare the person that's easiest to scare. Roger's problem, aside from rickets, is that he doesn't challenge himself. Make the crazy kid do something crazy. Scare the girl that is easily scared. This is just lazy and unsatisfying. Anyway, the movie is starting.

Most of the theater is already a little scared. Everyone is hunched over because the anticipation is the only really scary part of any movie. As a dog, Porkchop does not have the mental capacity to understand anticipation, and so he is not scared by the movie starting. He's just enjoying his gummy bunnies. Relaxing.

The movie begins and we only see a few scenes of it. A doctor and a police officer (presumably) are inspecting a building that has been destroyed. The doctor asks what could have done it, and the other guy gets really specific about it being a shape shifter from another planet here to collect humans for its zoo back home. The doctor asks how he knows all these things and the guy's all, "because, Doctor, I am...ABNORMAL!" Then his shadows shifts into something else and the doctor screams. The next scene has a nurse checking the doctor's blood pressure and she says, "doctor, your blood pressure is...ABNORMAL!"

So, The Abnormal is basically The Thing, but he landed in a city and is collecting humans to put in the zoo. He's got a doctor and a nurse now. Job well done, I say.

Roger complains that you never actually get to see the monster, only its shadow. His friend tells him you have to wait until the end. How did Roger not know this is how horror movies are supposed to work? Someone needs to brush up on his movie cliches.

The next scene is finally where the monster is revealed. I think this scene is a reference to the 1953 War of the Worlds. Some man and some woman see a farmhouse where the alien ship has just crashed and the guy says he's going in after the Abnormal. While inside, he gets distracted by a cat and the Abnormal has a chance to sneak up on him, and we're finally going to see the monster but then...


I feel it is necessary to mention that there are frequent shots of the kids in the theater being scared by their anticipation of the monster. Porkchop however is reading a comic book or licking a sucker. Dogs couldn't technically watch movies projected on film anyway.

Doug says he couldn't stop thinking about the monster. "It was the scariest thing I had ever seen, and I didn't even see it!" He has his first nightmare about it. He's riding bikes with Skeeter when he warns him about the shape shifter. Right after Skeeter points out that it was just a movie, this happens.

His handlebars transform into arms. The shape shifting alien has taken the form of a bicycle! The weirdest thing happens though, as the alien-bike throws Skeeter off a cliff.

If you'll notice, the alien-bike has thrown itself off the cliff as well. The arms do come back, and the alien's shadow shifts into the shadow from the movie and it chases Doug around.

The next day, Doug asks Mr. Dink about nightmares. Mr. Dink says he used to have them all the time. They were about his fear of heights. He fell off a tree when he was a kid and started having nightmares about falling all the time. Finally he went back to the tree, climbed it, fell again, hit his head and hasn't had a dream since. And that explains everything you ever need to know about Mr. Dink. Seriously.

So Doug takes Mr. Dink's advice and decides to go see the movie again. Unfortunately, as he gets to the end where the monster is revealed, he again averts his eyes.

Hiding behind a box of gummy bunnies has to be the most pathetic thing ever. There are two kids sitting behind Doug that are younger than him, wearing The Abnormal t-shirts and loving every second of the movie. Outside Doug overhears them talking about how it's even better seeing the monster for the seventh time. Doug is utterly humiliated.

He has another nightmare.

So now the movie theater has been taken over by The Abnormal! Actually, everything seems to have been taken over by the Abnormal.

Even Porkchop.

The Abnormal Porkchop actually speaks here, giving a Johnny Carson/The Shining reference before Doug wakes up, screaming at his dog. For the rest of the night, he can't sleep.

So, for now at least, we can add insomnia to the list of contributors to Doug's psychosis. Doug really thinks he's playing cards with his dog all night.

At the mall, everyone is talking about the monster. Excitedly. Everyone's talk makes Doug feel like a loser, since he's apparently the only one that didn't see it. Even Connie says she was shocked because she was expecting it to look more like a giant lobster. Why, Connie? Are lobsters known for their shape shifting abilities? The shadow never looked anything like a lobster. Connie, this is why you're not allowed to speak very often.

Skeeter asks if Doug thought the monster was awesomely horrible or good queasy nauseous. Doug says, "both," leaving everyone dumbfounded as he walks away. Fair enough. It was a shitty question anyway.

Doug goes back to the theater, finding that today is the last day they'll be showing The Abnormal. Tomorrow, they're starting a Smash Adams movie called The Sting of the Asp. Doug doesn't want to wait for the movie to be released on vhs, so he decides to take this last chance to see it. As it comes to the scene with the reveal, Doug says, "ok Porkchop. Whatever I do, don't let me shut my eyes. Got it?"

Tying his hands down might work, but what about the eyelids, Porkchop?

Good. Finally. It's finally time to see this monster that's been causing all these crazy nightmares and keeping Doug awake.

...that's it? Doug is surprised by how stupid it is. He also points out the zipper in the back of the suit.

Fucking pathetic. This is supposed the be the scariest movie of all time. Skunky Beaumont didn't blink for three whole days! They can't even hide a zipper?

That night, Doug has another dream about the monster, only this time he points out that the Abnormal's zipper is showing. He unzips the suit and what's inside?

Hollywood is evil.

The next day, Doug is laughing and telling everyone in the park about the zipper. Apparently no one else noticed it because they also got too scared to look at the screen while the monster was there. Even Roger.

There is one last monster though.

Judy needs her beauty rest, and Doug is playing music too loud. Turn that shit off!

Doug really isn't that crazy in this episode. He learns to confront his fears. That's pretty good, I guess. Unfortunately, he paid to see a movie three times, and instead of realizing he just enjoyed it as it was intended to be enjoyed, he ruined the movie forever on the third viewing. It's hard to say whether he's better off. He'll never be able to enjoy that movie again, and he's out all the money he spent on tickets and gummy bunnies, because of course he bought gummy bunnies every time he saw the movie. He also bought tickets and gummy bunnies for his dog, who can't technically watch the movie, and probably has problems digesting the gummy bunnies. Overall, I give this episode a "Doug should not have done that."


  1. "Dogs couldn't technically watch movies projected on film anyway."

    Wait, really?

  2. Dogs have a higher flicker fusion rate than humans. At the rate film is projected for us, a dog would see the still images flashing on the screen and the black spaces in between that we don't see. It would be more like a really fast slideshow than a movie.

  3. This episode is a perfect example of nightmare fuel turning into nightmare retardant.

  4. The ironic thing is that, if this were real life, The Abnormal would've been rated R. So there's no way Doug and his friends would've been able to see it without their parents.

    Plus, I would've thought Doug would be more excited about the new Smash Adams movie...

  5. The ironic thing is that, if this were real life, The Abnormal would've been rated R. So there's no way Doug and his friends would've been able to see it without their parents.

    I guess we can blame that on the writer not knowing kids aren't just dumped into theaters like they were doing back in the 50's (the kiddie matinee syndrome), if only because of how different things were by the 1990's that I'm sure most 30-40-somethings weren't thinking of!

    Also, given how much Doug spent on the whole thing, that's practically $30 down the drain (taking into account how much a matinee may've cost in '93, let alone tickets and snacks for two and all that). Probably a little more than that, but that's the best I can go from with this experience (no doubt movie prices have tripled in the past 20 years since I bothered to notice admission prices).

  6. @Porkchop Wow, I actually learned something from this blog!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.