Published in The Voice, Bloomsburg University's student newspaper,
on September 8, 1988.
Coming to a theater near you
What with the rising costs of education and declining wages for arch-criminals, I realized that I needed to come up with a few million dollars in the near future. The easiest way to dig up that much lolly is obviously through the movies.
It apparently doesn’t take much to make a hit movie. For an action-adventure flick, all you need is a hero who can run within inches of exploding mortar bombs without suffering so much as an earache from the concussion. If it’s a comedy you’re after, you can use the same plots (and much of the same dialogue) that television sit-coms have been using for thirty years and no one will notice except maybe the reviewers.
You don’t even have to pay to advertise a movie anymore. If you choose a topic that is controversial enough, the newspapers will be filled with debates about whether or not your film should be banned, even before filming begins. The free publicity will guarantee capacity theater crowds for even a bland, poorly-made film.
The best idea, money-grubbing-wise, is to take components of previously successful movies and combine them into something truly banal. I’m now working on the scripts for “The Data Processing Kid”.
This is the story about a young teenager who is constantly teased by the fraternity computer nerd athletes because he doesn’t have any computer skills. He then meets an old Japanese computer analyst, who teaches the kid the ancient ways of I-Biem-U.
Various warm and sensitive scenes portray the two preparing for a big computer programming match, held in Malibu during monsoon season under Soviet supervision.
“Now!” shouts the old Japanese programmer, “Use the default parameters, young Toad!”
“I can’t!” cries the boy. “It’s too hard, Master!”
“You must learn to control your fears. Make your soul one with the math co-processor. Use your inner eye to control all those expensive special effects. Press the ‘escape’ key.”
“I can’t!” moans the kid. “It’s still too hard!”
Then we proceed in the film to where a freak accident in the nuclear laboratory next door sends the two back in time to meet Jack the Ripper, but while returning in a home-made sports car the kid and the old master enter a black hole and switch bodies. Plenty of laughs when the master, stuck in the kid’s body, has to go to school and the kid in the old man’s body tries to trim his bansai trees.
Things have straightened out by the final scene, due to the interference of a bungling detective/mercenary/ninja/wizard, and the Data Processing Kid wins the programming competition in Malibu just in time for the bikini-judging contest and an invasion of fun-loving aliens wearing hockey masks and carrying chainsaws.
It’s a real family picture. I hope you’ll go see it when it comes to a theater near you, so I can finance my next film: “Bikini-Clad Warrior Maidens from Rhylanor Seven, Part III”.
The content on this page was written in 1988
Last updated: June 11, 2016