Feb 15, 2011

Great Scott!

About a year ago, not long after we first starting rehearsing The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco (this week snubbed by the Matilda Awards for theatre by the way, a travesty against socks on cocks and exploding butt pumps), I suffered a near mutiny by the cast after confessing I'd never seen the Back to the Future trilogy.

"Great Scott! There's one person alive who hasn't
seen how adorable you looked in 1985, Michael!"
My goodness, what a to-do that was. I may as well have owned up to running a drug smuggling operation using orangutans as mules (as opposed to drug smuggling rings that use mules as mules).

Somehow my entire ability to direct a play that incorporated a fair number of pop culture gags was called into question. My lame attempt to get some favour back by making a crack at a "flux capacitor" joke was met with violent outcries of "Oh you don't get to SAY that, because YOU haven't seen the movies!" I can't even remember how I got everyone back on track. Probably threw out a bait of "Hey, let's discuss the glow-in-the-dark genitals scene" to distract them all (again, snubbed by the Matildas. You decide, people. Bioluminescent junk - cheap B-grade titillation or art?)

So, spurred on by a spectacular deconstruction of the films by international man of mystery Tom Salinsky, I have spent the past week or so watching the Back to the Future trilogy.

Are they great movies? Absolutely. Superbly plotted, well-acted, charming without being cloying and with lots of juicy history gags to keep nerds like me giggling. I can see why people have so much affection for them.

Am I a fool for not seeing them before now? Maybe. But then, I do have a lot of history documentaries and British comedies to rewatch. I mean,  I still can't quote Blackadder entirely off by heart - what kind of a nerd does that make me?

Anyway, I'm very pleased to finally be able to cross Back to the Future off the list of "Famous Trilogies I Have Never Seen". That just leaves The Godfather, Superman, Die Hard, The Bourne Series, Mad Max, Toy Story, Terminator, Aliens and those George Romero zombie ones.

But come on, I've seen almost all Jane Austen TV and movie adaptations a bunch of times. That's, like, a whole lot of trilogies! Right?


  1. Interesting that we think of certain films as cultural touchstones, perhaps the way that certain books were 50 years ago.

  2. The Back to the Future trilogy is FABULOUS. Congrats on seeing such a wonderful work of fiction, haha. I'm not sure I condone all of the other trilogies you 'need' to see but: Die hard (now a quadrilogy), Mad Max and Aliens (also a quadrilogy + 2 Aliens vs. Predator) are absolutely worth the watch. Terminator doesn't get props for the trilogy - but 1 and 2 are necessary!

  3. O M G.... Terminator??? Aliens??? It's good that you've crossed off back to the future, but it sounds like you've still got work to do :)

  4. Now you gave to come to Supanova this year and meet Doc.

  5. Also while the fact you haven't seen these movies before is horrifying, British comedies are like visual gold so I can understand the choice. Jane Austen though... Is it the version with zombies?

  6. Now you can participate in conversations about the paradoxes and continuity errors in the films. Here's a very popular one from the FAQs. [Spoilers]

    Q: In I885, when Marry tells Doc they're out of gas; why don't they just go to the Delgado Mine, dig up the DeLorean where Doc hid it and get the gas out of it?

    A: There are two logical answers to this one... 1) The car mechanic's answer: As anyone who has stored an automobile for a long period of time can tell you, you always drain all of the fluids out of the car before putting it into storage. Doc most certainly would have drained the gas out of the DeLorean if he was going to leave it hidden for 70 years.

    At the 1955 drive-in, Doc specifically says "I put gas in the tank" indicating that the DMC must have had an empty tank when they found it in the mine. 2) The time travel theory answer: Even if Doc had not drained the tank, he still would not have gone back into the mine for fear of creating a time paradox by accidentally damaging the DeLorean, the mine, or who knows what. After all, since Marty is now back in 1885, Doc's plan obviously worked, and worked perfectly.

    But what if Doc were to go back into the mine and accidentally cause a cave-in that causes even more damage to the DeLorean? What happens to the future of that DeLorean, when it's unearthed in 1955? And what might that do to Marty and the undamaged future DeLorean now in 1885? As an analogy, imagine a time traveler going back in time, finding himself as a child, and cutting off that child's hand with a meat cleaver.

    What happens to the adult time-traveler's hand? That would definitely risk a time paradox, and we know that Doc would never go out of his way to risk such a thing for fear of (in the worst case scenario) unraveling the fabric of the space-time continuum and destroying the entire universe.

  7. Seen the "Evil Dead" trilogy, Nat?

  8. What's with the Boycott American Women dude? What's with that? Can't be healthy, surely.

    Thanks all for your comments.

    Sam - I've seen Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness, and have been reliably informed that's perfectly fine.

  9. Last year, I sat down and watched the "Matrix" trilogy (back to back) in order to understand what the hell some of my Engineers Without Borders SEQ colleagues were banging on about, when they talked about red pills v blue pills. One of my friends has delusions of Morpheus.

    Rest assured, I will be boycotting American Women. I may boycott American men as well.

  10. Technically, there are more than 3 Die Hard films.....

  11. Yeah, well done. Now when are you doing Romero?

  12. Yes, Michael J. Fox was adorable...
    and he is so still today despite (no, WITH) the personal Future he has to face!

    Kudoes to Michael for being classy beyond belief, and kudoes to you for watching the films.

    An American Woman

  13. Evil Dead 2 is a remake of Evil Dead, really.