March 15, 2004

The Frodo Baggins Picture Show
Now that all three Lord of the Rings movies are out, and Peter Jackson has been properly rewarded, the time has come to honor these films like any good cult movie, and send it up for laughs.

Ever since "Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring" hit theaters, the fans have been pondering "Drinking Games" and other Rocky-Horror-like audience participation activities to have a bit of fun. For example, "Whenever Legolas the Elf is zoomed in on, but has no line, take a drink." (With each movie clocking in at over 2 hours, we're talking about some serious intoxication potential.)

On the local scene, my friend Justin has provided Rocky-like quotes that have spoiled certain scenes for us permanently. For example, when the hobbits are running out of a field, and all we see is this scythe over the corn, Justin says "They're stealing crops from the Grim Reaper?!?" Also, in a close-up scene showing Frodo handling the ring, he whispers "Frodo...Stop biting your nails!"

To these I've added my own, but my additions are more mental, not being spoken aloud. If people turn around and give you nasty looks because you're laughing at an inopportune time, you're doing it right.

First, instead of the tear-jerking, Oscar-winning "Into the West" by Annie Lennox playing in Return of the King's end credits, think about Johnny Cash's rendition of "Ring of Fire." (I fell a burning ring of fire, I went down, down, down, and the flames grew higher...)

The idea for my Second item came from my mother-in-law, who said she'd have to close her eyes during the "Shelob the Spider" scene in Return of the King. I thought about that scene with just the dialog an music and smiled. Try it: Close your eyes during this scene and just listen to the dialog. It may paint QUITE a different picture of what's going on:

Frodo: Oh, I don't want to go in there...
Gollum: It's the only way! Either go in or go back!
Frodo We can't go back. All right.
Gollum: Yes, Yes....
Frodo: Agh! What's that smell?
Gollum: Orcs come in here sometimes.
Frodo: Eww! What's this? It's sticky!
Gollum: You will see, you will see... (evil laughter)

Melissa and I did this on our last viewing and were absolutely shaking with laughter, while Craig was giving us a confused stare and asking what was so funny.

And to tie up the idea of ruining the LotR movies for fun: In London, the town where absolutely anything will be made into a big-budget musical (even the craptacular "Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang"), The Lord of The Rings is set to be adapted into a stage musical. One can only imagine that this was a stipulation in order to secure one Ian McKellan for the casting.

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