I pose you this riddle: “Are you serious?”
I am talking about the trailer for this film, which, I am lead to believe is: a) a horror movie, b) called Smiley, and c) not just a prank which will make Joaquin Phoenix’s descent into beardville look half-assed.
First, I suggest you watch this trailer:
If you’re anything like me, and you’d be dashing and brilliant if that were the case, your first thought, when the trailer first started was: Oh good! Keith David! We love Keith David!
Keith David is the second best part of John Carpenter’s The Thing (the first being Norris’s unattached head scuttling away into the hall) and he’s brought tears of joy, laughter, and apoplexy to our eye-stalks in films as diverse as Armageddon and Something About Mary. I will be very happy to see him work his magic tonight, in fact, in Cloud Atlas. This, my friends, is a working actor. A stalwart and true thespian of myriad abilities. Seeing his face is a welcome omen of good tidings.
Alas, the talisman of Keith David’s smiling face is spoiled ALMOST INSTANTLY by a giant blatting fart of noise. It is, in case you’ve been living in a cave with shitty reception, Hans Zimmer’s lilting and delicate score to Inception.
Now, as I’ve mentioned before, sometimes they use music from other films to score trailers, as the actual score for the movie being advertised has not yet been recorded. Other times, like this time, when the film is ALREADY RELEASED, one must wonder: have the producer’s brains been eaten by hungry limpets? Are they hoping you will not remember Inception? I mean, hardly anyone saw it…
Keith David—obviously playing some sort of law enforcement official—confronts a youngish woman. He says, “You called in to report a murder, maybe two, you don’t know.” Then he pulls a face that says, “Are fucking kidding me?” This, I posit, is where the trailer should end. It goes on though.
There’s another Zimmer fart. Some generic knifey stuff that was all the rage when Alfie Hitchcock wore short pants appears to happen. Some stalker-like stuff gets intercut. A title card appears: “Un film de Michael Gallagher” (except it’s not in French).
And here we pause, as this title card, “A film by” is the way a director claims a film as a child of their brain. It is to say, “While other people—cinematographers, actors, financiers—may have worked on this picture, it is mine. I am the auteur, the author of it.” You see this on, say, “A film by Roman Polanski,” or “A film by Woody Allen,” where regardless of who else worked on the film, there is a sense that without the director the essential style would not exist. So, Mr. Gallagher; what do you have for us?
Something that is, potentially, the funniest joke ever pulled. Except it appears Michael Gallagher is singularly lacking in any sense of humor whatsoever. He is so painfully not funny he is hysterical. Like Richard Nixon on Laugh In.
The killer in this picture is Smiley. Some guy—supernatural or otherwise—wearing what looks like a smiley face made out of scarred skin. He will, we presume, happy us to death. No wonder Keith David seems skeptical.
Our heroine mumbles something incomprehensible along the lines of “bladda bladda just killed someone and I just killed someone!” and then two fairly generic scruffy dudes say, in quick succession, “You called Smiley and he came!” and “Something’s been awakened, like something’s been born!”
Oh. Wait. Hold on one second.
(Looks in mirror) Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman. Candyman.
Nope. Still here. Anyway. Moving on. The trailer, too, continues. With what is possibly the most frightening line of dialogue ever uttered by a semi-intelligent life form or actress.
He chased me and he caught me and he ripped my shirt!
Then, this semi-intelligent life form, shows us: Her shirt is indeed ripped. Ipso facto, post hoc ergo propter hoc, SMILEY IS REAL!!!!!!OMG!!1!LULZ!??CATLAZORZ!
At this point, one must wonder, “Is this real? Or am I watching an Onion clip?” Am I, in fact, in danger of looking like some pathetic internet busybody that reports on a joke news story as if it were actually serious? Is this actually a movie at all?
So I poke around and find reviews of this movie, from people who have actually seen it, to verify that I am not the asshole here. (Spoiler alert: the reviews are not good.)
Indeed, if you look on Wikipedia, and you should, you will find that someone has described the plot of this film for us. It is one of the funniest things I have ever read. I am now seriously considering seeing this movie because it sounds unbelievably awesome.
First off: there is a character whose name is Proxy. Second of all, the way you “summon” Smiley is by commenting on someone’s web video, “I did it for the lulz.” That is awesome because I wrote the above about CATLAZORZ before I bothered to read the plot. I have, unwittingly, summoned Smiley on myself! Oh the irony! The ignominy. The idiocy. Ahem.
The trailer continues with a bunch of painfully generic scenes that look like they were filmed by seven different people making twelve different movies. One is a sitcom. One is hip-hop video. One is a commercial for anti-fungal toothpaste. Through the snippets of dialogue and “acting” we are led to believe that our heroine’s investigation into this Smiley character is indeed what is bringing Smiley to life!
Then, blessedly, it ends.
So. Will I see Smiley? While I would love to say that I will, the truth is that I am going to Italy and I’m not sure the film will be playing there. Perhaps it would be better overdubbed in Italian? I think instead I will just watch Minesweeper: The Movie.