Episode 705- Escape 2000
Movie: I love Dablone.
Be that as it may, it's spring cleaning in the Bronx! In this poorly and partially dubbed Italian film, squads of militia men in silver sauna suits are roaming the Bronx very politely asking everyone to please leave the Bronx, gently urging them on with bullhorns and guns and flamethrowers. Everyone is to be relocated to the lovely Southwest, but, in actuality, everyone's being killed. It's all part of a plan to create a utopian New York, "a perfect ordered civilized metropolis," by eliminating urban blight and undesirables and putting up a lot of Starbucks. This is all engineered by the evil GC Corporation, which is in cahoots with the mayor of New York to develop the land and make a shitload of money in some shady dealings. (Yes, my friends, it was the filmmakers' cynical 1980s view that by the year 2000 government and big business would be corrupt. How sad.)
The "Leave The Bronx" campaign is headed by a ruthless, nasty Henry Silva as Wengler (who could have played the guy who played Bo in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) who refers to the project as a "de-infestation", perhaps a satirical comment on corporate-speak used to mask the most heinous of actions. But perhaps I give the movie too much credit. I love Dablone.
But they didn't count on Trash. The Bronx is controlled by street gangs and Trash is a leggy, long-haired Gino Vanelli-Valerie Bertinelli crossbreed who refuses to leave the Bronx. The militia find Trash's parents -- who also refuse to leave the Bronx -- in their dilapidated, rat-infested apartment building (what? and leave all this?) and toast the parents but good. After Trash discovers what's left of his parents, he heads underground to a secret lair of the lusty, livin' large, phat Dablone (aka Toblerone) and his assortment of "Fame" dressed characters living on the fringe of society. These theater majors plan to kidnap the president of GCC with the help of a feral looking reporter who they hook up with.
Since Trash is in way over his head, he has to subcontract out to a guy named Strike. Strike has an adorable, ruffian 6-year-old child who's a munitions expert. I love Dablone. The movie hints that Strike and Ferret-lady have had a previous relationship, and when they're on screen together you can just feel the electricity. No, wait, I'm thinking of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall -- no, wait, I'm thinking of Leona and Harry Helmsley.
Anyhoo, during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new hospital, the gang creeps up out of the sewer to kidnap the president of GCC. Ferret gal gets mortally killed during the shootout. Meanwhile, Wengler is still trying to get the Bronx de-infestated and during another confrontation, the president guy escapes. In a shocking plot twist, Wengler finds him and shoots him. Turns out it's all a big dirty double-cross, and Wengler was hired to kill the president by the vice-president of GCC. Wengler goes a-spreeing with weapons in hand, and finally it's a showdown between Wengler and Trash. The wily, street-smart Trash blows up Wengler's van, and peace is finally restored to the Bronx. If there's anybody left alive, they no longer have to leave the Bronx. Strike and the kid urge Trash to come back underground with them, but Trash, in a touching gesture of his faith in humanity, declines. I love Dablone.
Prologue: Crow has an auction to raise money for a good cause -- really sad kids with hurt puppies or the hungry rainforest. The first item on the block is a penny, which fields no bidders. Crow finally sells a dollar for seventy-five cents.
Segment One: Crow tries to burn an ant with a magnifying glass with the sun at just the right angle with a pile of oil rags nearby. The SOL bursts into flames and Gypsy -- good ol' Gypsy -- puts out the fire while the rest go into the theater. In Deep 13, Dr. Clayton Forrester has had to put Mother Forrester into a home. It's a really little home right in the middle of Deep 13 itself.
Segment Two: After the mayhem of the fire, Crow tries biofeedback, which Servo dismisses as a bunch of hooha. Crow's tension melts away, and the biofeedback machine shorts out, igniting several spontaneous fires on deck.
Segment Three: Men's night on the SOL. Crow is thoroughly flummoxed.
Segment Four: On the SOL, Servo is feeling a bit under the weather. Forrester has decided the show needs an adorable kid to boost ratings. Paul Chaplin is brought in as Timmy Bobby Rusty. The ratings plummet instantly.
Segment Five: Servo helicopters in while Mike reads letters. Down in Deep 13, it turns out Dablone lives right next door and he comes to whisk Mrs. Forrester away.
Stinger: Dablone spits. How I love him.
Reflections: I love Dablone.
There was a time when we actually read letters at the end of the show. That convention gradually trickled away and none of us missed it. The letters were difficult to write around and got in the way of having any momentum in the last sketch.
Having lived in New York for almost a year at the time of this writing, I watched this film again through a new prism. I feel quite strongly that they should rather de-infestate Soho or the Upper East Side or Staten Island. I also loved it when all the militia are on a city street and they go down one of those metal cellar doors in the sidewalk that are storage cellars for businesses up above. Those cellars are stocked full, so there's very little room. I imagine those guys packing down the stairs, trying to get out of the way as more of them keep piling in, in their bulky silver suits, after some poor bodega owner finally agreed to let them use it to shoot their silly movie.
I loved Dabone, and I don't care if the whole world knows it! Ah, but that was a time in my life when I had a thing for big, fierce, brown-eyed, curly-haired, lusty, kind of scary marginalized Bohemians with sexy accents. Do you know how hard those are to find in Minnesota??
Mary Jo Pehl
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