Friday, January 06, 2006

Published ... sort of

A missive of mine to local "columnist" of film "Alan Smithee" has been published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The accompanying headiness is giving me the vapors.

The email that I sent concerned an eerie similarity between the high-profile stinker "The Island" and the low-profile stinker "Parts: The Clonus Horror". Much of my youth (and not so youth) was wasted watching really bad movies in the afternoons on television B-movie theatre shows. And, although I often forget the names of my children, the plots of most of those movies are still lodged in my cranium, ready to be disgorged upon the slightest provocation. So it is with "Clonus", which is so obscure that even the omnivorous Smithee hasn't seen it.

As my lovely wife noted, that wasted time watching bad movies has finally, minimally, paid off.

Here's the text of the email that I sent:
Dear Master of Cinematic History,

I recently sat through "The Island" on a cross-country airplane trip and, while the film was not as bad as I had expected based on reviews, I didn't go out of my way to watch it during the next flight. It did not seem the type of movie that could stand up well to the scrutiny of multiple viewings.

However, I was convinced that I'd seen it before. I vaguely recall as a youngster watching a movie on a Saturday-morning B-movie television series that had the same or a similar plot. The title was something like "The Clonus Horror" and it was about clones being manufactured for parts and kept in the dark about the whole thing until one of them found out. I don't recall details on who played what part and how it came out in the end, but the plot is suspiciously similar to the "plot" in "The Island."

Surely the massed expertise of America's movie critic community did not overlook this potential plagiarism?

Yesterday, I received the following response via email:

Your letter has been selected and will appear in the Friday, Jan. 6, edition of ASK ALAN SMITHEE in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Movies & More section.

This means you have won prizes. All we need to know now is where you'd like
your prizes to be mailed.

Again, congratulations. And keep reading ASK ALAN SMITHEE.

You'll have to read the article to see the marvelously entertaining response. Salient points are that I was refered to as "Eagle Eye" and was presented with a lovely prize of a Brokeback Mountain T-shirt. I can only hope that it is actually a belly shirt so that it fits the movie's popular stereotyping.

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