There are certain types of films that exist for one purpose and one purpose only: to be enjoyed on a purely visual level, preferably muted with White Zombie's "La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One" playing at full blast while doing lots and lots of drugs in the midst of a Hellfire Club style orgy. Suckerpunch is that kind of movie.
But since I quit doing drugs and don't own an mp3 player to smuggle into the theater, I was forced to watch this film with its original soundtrack and storyline fully intact. This is not the recommended method. And that's not to say it's not a good movie, it's just not White Zombie and drugs good.
The point is, fuck the plot. So she has weird zombie-killing, dragon-slaying rape asylum fantasies. That's cool, I don't judge.Okay, let me back up. It's not a good movie. You're going to read a lot of bad reviews on this for one simple reason: the plot is retarded. And no, it's not that I didn't get it, I did. It was just… you know what? Fuck the plot. It takes hundreds of people to make a movie, and everyone in the cinematography and effects departments earned their fucking paychecks on this one. So here's what you should do: buy the DVD when it comes out. Watch it on a big screen television. Mute it. Turn on the stereo. Invite some strippers over. Get really high. BAM. Best movie ever. If you watch it any other way, I can't be held responsible for your reaction.
Just add drugs.
So the movie goes like this: some chick gets thrown in the nuthouse by her step-dad because he's a dick. The nuthouse in question is The Lennox Institute for the Mentally Insane, which by some awesome coincidence is full of hot girls. Crazy hot girls. But just regular crazy, not really asylum crazy. Actually now that I think about it, they were all pretty sane. Sort of like the people who ran the joint were just talent scouts, and they didn't want a bunch of ugly chicks from the special-ed class lowering the tone of their super-hot goth chick asylum. Imagine Tim Burton directing a women-in-prison sexploitation flick, but without all the tit shots and shower scenes. And yes, I'm deducting points for the total lack of shower scenes. But hey, lots of artsy softcore implied rape scenes. You know, if you're into that.
It only takes about fifteen or twenty minutes to cruise through the strictly objective reality portion of the plot (which is good, because reality is boring), and then the main character starts to drift off into the world of make-believe in a dream within a dream. So because being stuck in an asylum is apparently pretty dreary, she imagines that it's also a whorehouse run by a sinister sleazebag. From that point on, the whole asylum takes on a strange burlesque/strip joint quality. Which is pretty awesome. Then again, in my mind no one was talking except for Rob Zombie as he sang Black Sunshine. So I guess that helped.
Fuck the plot.
But here's where it gets odd. The main character, Baby Doll (oh yeah, and they all have stripper names. Let's just go ahead and throw that out there. Baby Doll, Rocket, Sweet Pea, Blondie…yeah. Stripper names) rolls up in the dance studio (asylums have those, right?) where the Russian madam (asylums have those too, right?) forces her to dance as the other girls watch. This scene lays down the foundation for the whole goddamn plot.
Basically it's like this: in reality, or at least half-dream reality where's she's still trapped in the asylum but it's now also a swanky brothel, she's doing some sort of strip tease (minus the actual stripping). They never actually show her dancing, only the enraptured reactions of everyone watching as they drift off into a hypnotic trance. I can only guess that it's some type of un-filmable Lambada that causes a reaction akin to seeing the Ark of the Covenant, but with the face melting replaced by furious masturbation.
Anyway, that's what she's doing in reality. Dancing. Or the half-dream, whatever. What she's doing in her mind (the full-on dream sequence) is killing orcs and zombies with machine guns. And all the important details of the escape plan to follow are directly linked to these little "exotic dancing" routines. And the plan, with its video game simplicity (collect the special items), just has to work because, you know… she's such a good dancer. In fact, the whole thing is pretty much just a bullshit lobotomy dream anyway, so fuck it. That's just the plot being an asshole. If you ignore the plot, it will go away. Shit, I own a copy of The Cell. You know why? Because I used to eat a lot of acid, that's why.
The point is, fuck the plot. So she has weird zombie-killing, dragon-slaying rape asylum fantasies. That's cool, I don't judge. I've known some kinky chicks in my day, that's not too far out.
And that's when it hit me: this is what strippers think about when they're giving old fat guys private couch dances.
So let's forget about the rest of the movie for a moment. What we have here is a film about the Zen art of going to your happy place when life becomes difficult. But because it's the fucked up version for strippers with severe daddy issues, that happy place wants you to dress up like Sailor Moon and fight robots.
Once again, awesome.
But this got me to thinking… does she solve all her problems like this? What about something less epic than escaping a mental institution while maybe pretending to go-go dance while definitely pretending to slay dragons while actually stabbing people?
Baby Doll is two months late on her light bill. She walks into the local power/utility building. She approaches the front desk. CLICK, CLACK, CLICK, CLACK. She makes puppy dog eyes at the receptionist as a single tear streams down her cheek. The receptionist sneers and says, "Sorry Baby Doll, but if you can't pay the bill we're just going to cut off your power. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" The girl stands in silence, looking around the dreary greenish-blue room. Harsh fluorescent lights flicker overhead. A dying moth spirals to the ground in slow motion with extra loud flapping wing noises. WHOOSH. WHOOSH. WHOOSH. It hits the ground, probably full of dramatic metaphorical symbolism and/or foreshadowing. THUD. The receptionist idly picks her teeth, glaring. The manager creeps in the background, waiting. Lurking. Baby Doll takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. She begins to sway with the music as the intercom speakers start playing Bjork or something. Close-up of the dead moth. Everything fades to white noise.
Enter the dreamscape:
Everyone in the room is a samurai Nazi werewolf. Baby Doll, dressed up like an anime whore at Comic-Con, pulls out her katana and an Uzi. Everything explodes into an orgy of kung-fu and gunfire. Ten clips and fourteen backwards twirling cartwheels later, the building is a crimson bloodbath of werewolf gore.
Back to reality:
The building is still a crimson bloodbath, minus the werewolf part.
And she never got another red notice on the light bill again.
-Grocery shopping on double coupon day
-Christmas shopping at the mall
-A heated game of Monopoly
-A trip to the dentist
If Zack Snyder doesn't feel like writing the sequel, I'll do it. I like my version better. At least the soundtrack won't suck.
White Zombie or GTFO