Friday, June 29, 2007

A Parody Now: The Best Apocalypse Now Parodies

TACO LIPS REDUX – This episode of “Son of the Beach” begins with an homage to APOCALYPSE NOW and PLATOON before becoming a courtroom drama.

APOCALYPSE OZ – A nicely-produced parody that combines THE WIZARD OF OZ with APOCALYPSE NOW, this Ewan Telford film would make Joseph Campbell proud in its comparison of the “heroic quest” myth. Here the Wizard/Colonel Kurtz (M.C. Gainey) is a man behind the curtain that Dorothy Willard (Alexandra Gizela) must encounter and defeat. The use of Kilgore (Kevin Glikmann) as a stand-in for the Wicked Witch of the West doesn’t work as well as it should but the hybrid dialogue induces chuckles.

PROJECT: TIKI PUKA PUKA – This second chapter in Jay Wade Edwards’s “Monster Trilogy” mixes cornball ‘50s sci-fi with Marlon Brandoisms, pulling inspiration from both APOCALYPSE NOW and THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU. After all, aren’t Brando’s Colonel Kurtz and Doctor Moreau characters two coins in a fountain? They’re isolated madmen in search of perfection.

APOCALYSE POOH – A stand-out from the golden age of VHS trading, this mash-up of dialogue from APOCALYPSE NOW and images from THE MANY ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH might only be trumped by RAGING FRED (a combination of RAGING BULL and “The Flintstones.” What APOCALYPSE POOH lacks in technical prowess (definitely a VCR-to-VCR edit job) is made up for in brilliant juxtaposition.

HEARTS OF TWILIGHT – An out-of-control director working on an ill-conceived project. No, that’s not Francis Ford Coppola. It’s a very Jerry Lewis-like director working on his very DAY THE CLOWN CRIED-like project. Like Coppola, “Mr. Director” (Paul Rugg) is running over budget and can’t find an ending to his opus. It’s up to Dot, Wakko, and Yakko to cross the Universal studio lot and lower the hammer on Mr. Director’s spendthrift ways and rampant Froynlaven.

CHOCOLYPSE NOW – This comic mash-up by Dave Milloway, Matt Wood, and Stephanie Freese puts Willy Wonka at the end of the chocolate river with Charley on a mission to terminate the command of the crazed confectioner. In his Loompa Land refuge, Wonka is lord and master of hordes of loyal Oompa Loompas. Where Colonel Kurtz quoted liberally from T.S. Eliot, Wonka is known more for spinning likes like, “Are the fires of hell a’glowing? / Is the grisly reaper mowing?” Will Charley stop the chocolypse and learn the secret of the everlasting gobstopper?

A PACK OF GIFTS, NOW – You’ll never see a better claymated Jerry Ziesmer than the one in Corky Quackenbush’s parody of Rankin & Bass’s X-mas special. Along with THE GODFATHER, GOODFELLAS, and other classic cinema, Quackenbush has had Rudolph the Red-Noised Reindeer and friends in some terrific tributes. This claymation short has Rudolph on a mission to kill The Claus. This mad ruler of the North Pole is having visions of trains with square wheels. “The Ho-Ho-Horror.”

PORKLIPS NOW – Ernie “Ford” Fosselius is best known for his parody of STAR WARS, the short film HARDWARE WARS. However, his take on APOCALYPSE NOW is just as good, if not more admirable in its outright weirdness. William Gray (bearing a remarkable resemblance to Martin Sheen) stars as Dullard, a literal errand boy sent by butchers; not to collect a bill but to, you know… The butchers aren’t too happy with their competition that’s slashing prices with a straight razor, “Mad Man” Mertz (Ernie Fosselius). Holed-up in Chinatown, Mertz babbles non sequiturs (“I was sad because I had no shoes. Until I met a man... who had no socks.”), threatening to bore Dullard to death. Recalling the trouble production of APOCALYPSE NOW, Fosselius (as Coppola) breaks into the proceedings to give audiences multiple optional endings.

1 comment:

WiseWolf said...

I've seen nearly all of these and loved A Pack of Gifts Now and Hearts of Twilight, which also spoofs Hearts of Darkness (the part where the director messes up a take because he swallowed a bug). But my favorite is Chocalypse Now, which sadly has been taken down. I'm glad you included it. It had a scene where Wonka asks Charlie if he's an assassin, and Charlie responds, "I'm a grocery clerk."

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