“joseph campbell”

I was watching Bart Ehrman debate some dude, forgot who, and he mentioned the non-canonical early Christian text, Apocalypse of Peter (never read it). The text describes heaven and hell, with descriptions of hell being far more creative than those of heaven. Point being, as Ehrman explains (paraphrasing): “there are only so many ways to describe eternal bliss”, while the imagination on eternal damnation knows no bounds.

It’s not really a revolutionary observation, I know, but that’s true in all our storytelling: “heaven” is a place of temporary stability before “hell” comes along and propels the plot forward. Therefore much of the creative energy behind a story lies in the “hell” of it all.

In other words, story is conflict.

But I think Ehrman’s statement is also a reflection on the nature of language. I’ve always found that imaginative descriptions of dread, anger, depression, anxiety, etc. to be far more creative and rewarding than depictions of bliss. Heaven, beauty, bliss, etc lie in the realm of the sublime, and therefore transcend the possibilities of language.

However, that might just be a reflection of my own deranged mind.

Whatever dude, shit’s boring.

ac/dc

It’s never a good idea to drop acid around Halloween. But definitely make an exception for Highway To Hell (1991)

Is it funny?

Not really.

But then again, I’ve never laughed before.

Yet where Highway to Hell lacks in being funny, it makes up for in imagination. It’s certainly a more enjoyable journey through hell than say What Dreams May Come. (Hellraiser II slams as well)

Honestly, I don’t remember the plot. Something to do with Kristi Swanson getting kidnapped by a cop from hell and her boyfriend attempts a rescue. Ben and Jerry Stiller make an appearance. So do Lita Ford’s boobs.

But what makes this movie stand out (other than Lita Ford’s boobs) is it’s eclectic mix of genres and lack of fucks given.

The special effects are mostly shit, but who cares? Obviously they were trying and they get an easy A for effort.

Kids forget, but there was a time when people actually tried to make memorable films. Even when they are clearly taking the piss out of you it’s a more engaging experience than most Oscar bate that’s trotted year after year nowadays.

Hell, modern schlock sucks too. Just a bunch of dorks behind a computer throwing “special effects” on the screen like that’s supposed to be impressive. They don’t care anymore. As long as it makes $11 trillion at the box office, everything’s fine.

So shout out to Highway to Hell (and to Lita Ford’s boobs)

a shot at the title IV: shooting blanks

When Kathrine arrived on set, she was pissed.

“Why are there elves, knights, zombies, elephants, strippers, piñatas, ghosts, conquistadors, clowns, aliens, hot air balloons, ninjas, and Mel Gibson here? What happened to the Nazi storm troopers and decaying dead bodies? I thought that this was a film about the atrocities of World War II?” she asked.

“We wrote another draft,” I said. “It’s now a fantasy film set in the Middle Ages. I thought Dillon told you.”

“That’s it!” she replied. “I’m pulling the plug on this project.”

“But you already spent $430 million on advertising costs alone. The studio will be pissed.”

“James, you listen here,” Kathrine continued. “Do not go behind my back again. I will put you back on the streets.”

She stormed off. I walked up to Pee-Wee.

“What’s on the schedule for today Pee-Wee?” I asked.

“Today we’re shooting the scene where the hero and villain are jousting to save the princess…with their penises.”

So I grabbed a coffee before I started the morning meeting with the cast and crew. Dillon showed up strung out and agitated.

“I got to talk to you about the script,” he told me.

“What’s up?”

“When the princess says ‘you saved me’, the hero has to blast ropes all over her right then, or else he’s just blowing his wad too soon.”

“Dillon,” I said. “We talked about this. The hero has to blast ropes all over the villain. That’s how he defeats him. Or else the script just doesn’t make sense!”

“Well I can’t direct this film if you’re not giving me the creative freedom to do my job?”

“So are you walking?”

“I’m walking.”

And just like that, Dillon was out of the picture. The cast and crew stood around, waiting for direction.

I looked over to the two male leads.

“Welp, Bill (Shatner) and Chris (Pratt),” (But not THOSE Bill Shatner and Chris Pratt). “Whip them dicks out! We’re behind schedule!”