Escape From Tomorrow (Part 3)
Some Jerk With A Canera
December 25, 2015
Escape From Tomorrow (Part 2)
The Haunted Mansion (Part 1) With Count Jackula and The Horror Guru
(We open to black with the caption:)
Announcer/Jerk (v/o): Previously, at Tomorrowshank State Penitentiary...
(We cut to a clip from "Shawshank Redemption." Warden Samuel Norton goes to the Raquel Welch poster in Andy Dufresne's cell. He pulls it away to find the time vortex and theme song from "Doctor Who.")
Announcer/Jerk (v/o): And now, back to the escape attempt!
(We cut back to the movie)
Jerk (v/o): So, Emily Dickinson (Emily White) takes their son (Elliott White) out of the movie, while Jim (White) takes his ex-employer's advice and takes his daughter (Sara White) on Soarin, which somehow has a more tolerable line than "Buzz Lightyear," and then... (Jim sees a beautiful, half naked woman flying on the screen) What?
Fantasy Woman: Jim? Where are you, Jim? I've been waiting for you.
(Cut to Jerk next to the Cine-Kyle, played by Kyle Kallgren.)
Cine-Kyle: (Robot voice) Hie euphoric mind set inspires dreamlike imagery of sexual gratification and troubling objectification undertones.
(Jerk looks pleased as the theme for Cine-Kyle plays.)
Fantasy Woman: (Her breasts show, but are censored with pictures of Spazz Master's head) I have something to tell you, Jim. Soon, Jim, you will be mine. You'll be all mine.
Jerk: Wow, Soarin really is going international.
Jerk (v/o): After the ride, he sees the gathering of the juggalos (Sophie and Isabelle) again and one of them (Sophie) actually approaches him and they (Jim, Sophie, and Sara) ride Spaceship Earth and...
(The bottom of Spaceship Earth explodes, causing it to roll around and cause havoc and a bigger explosion, but it was actually another daydream of Jim's, it's still back when he meets them again.)
Sophie: (To Jim) s'il vous plaît, allez!
(Cut to Jerk by a parking structure.)
Jerk: Oh, for God's sake, I was just there!
(Cut to him back with the Cine-Kyle.)
Cine-Kyle: His subconscious gave him a premonition that abandoning his family in futile pursuit of youth would be disastrous to his Spaceship Earth-shaped testicles and his subconscious is directed by Michael Bay-ay-ay-ay.
(Jerk looks pleased as the theme for Cine-Kyle plays.)
Jerk (v/o): So then, as if to illustrate his subconscious’ point, I guess, one of the girls (Sophie) actually does approach him and gives him that choice.
Sophie: Come with us!
Jim: (Stammers) Uh…, no.
Jerk (v/o): Okay, so Jim is finally showing some maturity. His family is crumbling apart, but rather than embrace the chaos and follow into the hedonism he thought he wanted, he makes a firm decision to pick up the pieces…
Jim: Well, I’m afraid if I come with you, something bad is gonna happen.
Jerk (v/o): …Because, while the allure of…
Sophie: Bu, if you don’t, something will.
Jerk (v/o): (Clears throat to not be interrupted again) Because, while the allure of youth is tempting, it’s also fleeting, and only by acting his age and being a responsible family man, can he hope to…
(Sophie, not taking the rejection well, spits at Jim (in slow motion). We get a parody reaction of getting spit on as we cut to a clip from “Jurassic Park ,” where Dennis Nedry gets gunk spit in his face by a Dilophosaurus.)
Jerk (v/o): And he’s rewarded with spit in his face and he can’t find his daughter (Sara) and then two tennis instructors (Really henchmen for the Siemens Corporation, we’ll find more about that in a sec) tase him in the dick; sure, why not?
(The film then cuts to black with the caption “Intermission” with waiting music from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”)
Jerk: You know, movie, I can’t help but notice that every time I try to get a beat on you, you steal that beat away from me and shove it up your ass, thus surrounding it in all the shit I don’t give. I know you’re trying to keep me guessing, but your deathly allergy to both character traits and basic story structure has robbed me of my incentive to guess, which leads me, unfortunately, to this scene.
(We cut back to the movie; Jim wakes up, strapped to a chair, in a white room with computers and scientists.)
Jerk: This scene comes sooo the fuck out of nowhere and has so little to do with absolutely anything, I’m genuinely concerned that actually watching it might actually damage the mental health of my viewing audience. So, instead, I’m gonna show clips from it and describe the scene to you. Keep in mind, I am not making any of this up.
Jerk (v/o): (Describing very fast to Benny Hill chase music) Jim wakes up to a spinning chair in a room underneath Spaceship Earth, which looks like something out of an early 70s, dystopian sci-fi flick, but with more pictures of naked people. Then this scientist guy, who works for the Siemens Corporation and talks like a cross between Christoph Waltz and Tommy Wiseau, constructs a miniature Spaceship Earth around Jim’s head that scans his imagination, claiming that Siemens only wants to monitor his imagination while Disney want to control it. Apparently, the French girls (Sophie and Isabelle) work for Siemens, Siemens shut down “Buzz Lightyear,” and Siemens told Jim’s boss to recommend Soarin’, all as part of some elaborate conspiracy, that we, the audience, never learn anymore about, 'cause the director would rather show us ejaculation imagery. Then, the scientist gets decapitated and it turns out that he (the scientist) was really a robot!
(Cut to the fried egg-brain on drugs PSA.)
Announcer (v/o): Any questions?
(Cut to Jerk next to Cine-Kyle. Jerk, confused by that, press the button on the remote for Cine-Kyle.)
Cine-Kyle: Siemens kind of sounds like semen, get it? The ambiguity of the subversion is…System error, system error, system error, (Faster) error, error, error, error, error…(Slowly) Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer…(His head becomes a bluescreen of death from a PC)
Jerk: I disagree.
Jerk (v/o): I’ll give the scene this much, it’s not boring. Hell, somewhere in this tangled mess of plot threads is something intriguing if the movie focuses on it.
(A caption pops up, saying ”The movie immediately abandons all of it.” We hear the voice of Iago from "Aladdin.")
Iago (v/o): WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED?
Jim: (To the scientist as the miniature Spaceship Earth forms around his head) You work for Di(bleep)ney?
Jerk: (Pissed) What?
Jim: You work for Di(bleep)ney?
Jerk: (calls out) Gary!
Gary The Guerilla Gorilla: What?
Jerk: Why did they bleep the word “Disney?” What could possibly be the point of bleeping the word “Disney” at this point?
Gary: Uh, creative choice?
Jerk: No, a creative choice would be not saying it in the first place!
(Cut back to Jim at the Germany pavilion)
Jim: It’s Disney World! (Cut back to the Siemens scene) You work for Di(bleep)ney?
Jerk (v/o): Unless he’s asking if the guy works for Beatrix Kiddo, this had to have been a paranoid legal decision to cover their asses, but they only covered half their asses by half-assing it! (Shows clips of the movie with Disney characters) So, apparently no one will notice this, but the word “Disney” is strictly forbidden, except when it’s not.
(Cut to a clip from an episode of “South Park” with Mickey Mouse next to a poster for a Jonas Brothers concert film.)
Mickey Mouse: If we make the posters with little girls reaching for your junk, then you have to wear purity rings or else, Di(bleep)ney company looks bad! Ha-ha!
(Cut to a clip from “Saving Mr. Banks ”)
Walt Disney/Tom Hanks: Well, for crying out loud, when does anybody get to go to Di(bleep)neyland with Walt Di(bleep)ney, himself?
(We then cut to the 2015 logo for Disneycember, but the “Disney” part is covered with a big, red “X.”)
Gary: I don’t know, maybe this movie just sucks and nobody knew what they were doing! Remember when you bought your first camera and they made you fill out that competence exam?
Gary: ME NEITHER! (Sighs) Now I’m depressed. I’m gonna go prank call Jane Goodall. (Leaves)
Jerk: THAT’S YOUR SOLUTION TO EVERYTHING!
Jerk (v/o): Anyway, after escaping from this Daft Punk reject (The Scientist), Jim runs around World Showcase, frantically looking for his daughter.
(Cut to a clip from “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”)
Ian Malcolm: Sarah!
(Cut to a clip of the end of part 1 of the Disney World episode of “Full House,” with the caption “To Be Continued.”)
DJ Tanner: Michelle?
Kimmy Gibbler: Michelle?
Stephanie Tanner: Michelle, where are you?
Jerk (v/o): Pfft! I wish!
Jerk (v/o): And after he sees Doctor Meinheimer here (The Man on scooter), gnawing on a big old emu leg, Jim thinks to check Emu Lady’s hotel room, where, sure enough, he finds his daughter, sleeping in a bed of roses. Christ, has this fucking movie been a Kevin Spacey fantasy?
Jim: (To Emu Woman, dressed as the Evil Queen from "Snow White" ) You don’t just take someone’s kid!
Emu Woman: I always bring them back.
Jim: “Bring them back?”
Emu Woman: Some people don’t even notice!
Emu Woman/Jerk (v/o): Once, I kidnapped an Olsen twin, it took them three whole seasons to notice.
Jerk (v/o): Then, budget Amy Sedaris here (Emu Woman) puts Jim in a trance with her roofie necklace and explains the one thing I know you’ve all been patiently waiting for this movie to finally explain: her own backstory. Well, thank God! Apparently, she used to be a Disney Princess (No one from any of the movies), until one fateful day, when she accidentally hugged a little girl too tightly and killed her! That’s right, puny Earthlings. Legendary filmmaker Randy Moore has created a world where hugs are dangerous, and he expects us to voluntarily visit it!
Emu Woman: Bad things happen everywhere!
Jerk (v/o): Yeah, but last I checked, they don’t usually happen in hugs! At least, that’s usually my experience. But, hey, maybe there’s someone watching somewhere yelling:
Red Neck/Jerk (v/o): Yeah, I never did trust them damn hugs. I never got them as a child neither and I’m better for it. TRUMP 2016! (We see Donald Trump with his Electoral logo with the slogan: “Say no to hugs!”)
Jerk: You know, maybe I just need to do more research on the director. Maybe if I learn more about the lunatic who made this Rubick's Cube of a movie, I could find some sort of a cheat code. (Takes out his phone) Okay, I am Googling Randy Moore. (Sees the first results) Wow, this is fascinating. Apparently, Randy Moore is a blonde, female porn star. That does explain an awful lot. Thanks, Google! You know, (Goes back on his phone) I should watch some of Randy Moore’s other films, just to get broader sense, just to be…safe search off…Ooh, “Sex Therapist.” How alluringly redundant.
Jerk (v/o): Meanwhile, back at “Mouse Mingle...”
Emu Woman: I hate happy endings!
Sara White: (In Jim’s arms) “Hate’s” a bad word!
(Sara then pulls the necklace off Emu Woman’s neck, it falls to the ground as the gem on it shatters.)
Jerk (v/o): So, the wicked Witch is defeated? She doesn’t seem too devastated by the loss of her source of power. Do you care? I don’t. Whatever ends the movie quicker. (Jim and Sara leave Emu Woman’s hotel room) Jim takes Sara back to the Hug box hotel (His family’s hotel room) with EPCOT shutting down for the night.
(Jim is in his hotel room’s bathroom, puking in the toilet)
Jerk: Yeah, I’ve also ridden “Journey into Imagination.”
(Jim pukes up hairballs)
Jerk (v/o): Oh, God, he’s suffering late stage pretentia!
(Jim is now sitting on the toilet, with diarrhea.)
Jerk (v/o): You know, it just occurred to me that I haven’t really discussed the acting in this film, and at the risk of damning the actors with faint praise, they are easily the best part about this movie. Even the child actors are good, which is very rare. You can tell everyone’s doing the best they can with this hideous, fucking material. I mean, (cut back to Jim on the toilet) look at this guy. That’s a real person playing this thankless part. His name is Roy Abramsohn, and before he auditioned for this rigmarole, he was just one of thousands of struggling LA actors, taking whatever crumbs of screen time Hollywood threw his way (He’s mostly done guest roles in TV shows). And as much as I hate this movie, I don’t blame Abramsohn at all for taking this crumb. Most actors never get to play the lead in any feature film. And as much as (cut back to Jim on the toilet) this, THIS ends up being his greatest contribution to the ages, he’s still giving it his all.
Jerk: in fact, around the time this move came out, I actually got to meet Mr. Abramsohn and he was kind enough to do this.
(Jerk pulls in a footage of Roy Abramsohn that Jerk filmed.)
Roy Abramsohn: Hi, there, this is Roy Abramsohn from “Escape From Tomorrow,” the movie that just came out today, and until the lawyers find out about us, you’re watching “Some Jerk With A Camera!”
(Jerk throws the footage away)
Jerk: Shame I can’t ever use it.
Jerk (v/o): Anyway, the next morning, dawn breaks on EPCOT and this happens.
(Emily goes in the bathroom to find Jim, dead with cat eyes and a big smile. We then hear the laughter of Vincent Price as we hear the end of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and the caption: “Directed By John Landis.”)
Jerk (v/o): Yes, cat flu has taken the life of the Man Who Fell To Spaceship Earth, here. Because, apparently, the French girl (Sophie) he got it from was immune to it, and young Willem Dafoe here (’D’ Team leader) implants the memory (With some sort of telepathy powers) of Jim’s son (Elliot) riding the Florida Buzz Lightyear, even thought they were on line for the California one.
Gary: To be fair, hybrid!
Jerk: (not amused) Fairness is for the weak.
(The ‘D’ cleans up the hotel room)
Jerk (v/o): Say, while I’ve got you guys, any chance you could implant a memory of me doing anything but watching this movie? I’m not picky, it could be a memory of me getting a root canal, or me visiting the Holocaust museum, or me getting shrunk to the size of tapeworm and burrowing trough the intestines of a diseased yak, or me being held down by enormous bodyguards while a naked Dick Chaney rubs his pale, leathery scrotum over my face for 90 minutes. (Yells) ANYTHING! Anyway, the Mice in Black here (’D’ Team) move Jim’s corpse out of the hotel.
Jerk: Presumably, they cut this scene out.
(We cut to a black and white clip from “Fawlty Towers,” Basil Fawlty and Manuel are trying to get a corpse out of the hotel by hiding it in a big basket.)
Basil Fawlty: Now, into the basket.
Basil Fawlty: Come on, come on!
Manuel: Mr. Fawlty, I no want to work here anymore!
Jerk: And with (checks phone) two minutes to go until closing credits, guess now’s as good a time as any to ask: “Is Disney going to do anything evil (beat) in your movie about how evil Disney is?”
Jerk (v/o): Think about it. None of the bad shit that’s happened has been Disney’s fault. Disney didn’t cause the cat flu, Disney didn’t kidnap Jim, Disney didn’t fire Jim, Disney did fire the woman who roofied Jim and kidnapped Sara, and according to Siemens-3PO here (The Scientist), Disney didn’t even shut down “Buzz Lightyear!”
Scientist: We even had to shut down the “Buzz Lightyear!”
Jerk: What’s the worst Disney does do in this movie?
Jerk (v/o): Clean up after a dead guest, fire a woman who killed a girl, neuralize a kid to make his trip better, sell a dead bird as a different dead bird, and they may or may not be forcing princesses to have sex for money against their will, which is evil if true, but the film takes so microscopically little stock in how little these women actually feel about it, it only even counts if you have a knee opinion that (does impression of Mr. Mackey from “South Park”) "All sex workers are bad, m’kay?" (Normal voice) And, allegedly, Disney wants to control imagination, according to a company that kidnapped a man, so who the fuck do you trust? There is so much satire you could make about Disney and how they treat us all like idiots while selling us inferior, sanitized copies of our own childhoods back to us at increasingly exorbitant prices, but this movie would rather blame the fat, stupid people (i.e. the Man in the Scooter) who, for some reason, enjoy it anyway.
Jerk: So, the way I see it, now that this movie has failed in attempted subversion, it basically has two choices here at the home stretch. It could pull some sort of a desperate, last ditch, Hail Mary attempt to redeem this whole boondoggle, or it could pull an even more desperate, completely nonsensical twist ending that has nothing to do with anything, just to completely obliterate whatever brain cells the audience might still accidentally have. (Jerk pulls out a quarter and flips it) Call it, movie. (Cut back to the Big Thunder Mountain guillotine) Heads it is.
(We cut to the front of the hotel Jim was staying at as a fancy car pulls up to the bellhop)
Bellhop: Checking in or…?
(We see the guest in the car is Jim or the “Real” Jim. He is joined by a different daughter and wife who is the fantasy woman from Soarin’)
The “Real” Jim: That we are! (Kisses his wife)
Jerk: (Looks at the screen and is shocked, screams) WHAAAAAAAAA...!
(Cut to black and the caption “50 years later.” Jerk is still screaming, he now has long white hair and a long beard, flying cars from “The Fifth Element” fly behind him. We then cut to black with the caption “100 years later.” Jerk, now a skeleton, still screams as a T-800 from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” steps on his skull. We then cut back to the film, we see Sophie and Isabelle flying, dressed as Tinker Bell, as the caption “The End” appears as the film cuts to the end credits. We then cut to Jerk, confused, with Cine-Kyle.)
Cine-Kyle: (Regular voice) I’ve got nothing!
Jerk: Oh, come on! I paid “How much” for you! (Shoves him into the closet) Get back in your damn closet!
Jerk (v/o): (Trying to understand the film) I can’t…what? I…I don’t…I wait…why? Why? Did-- he would…(mutters gibberish for a couple seconds, then yells) DID HE HAVE A TWIN?!?! A TWIN WHO JUST SO HAPPENS TO BE CHECKING INTO THIS HOTEL ON THE SAME DAY JIM CHECKED OUT, AND JIM HARBORED A SECRET CRUSH ON HIS BROTHER'S WIFE AND FANTASIZED ABOUT HER ON SOARIN’, AND MEANWHILE, HIS TWIN WAS THE SON’S (Elliot) REAL FATHER, WHICH EXPLAINS THAT "SMALL WORLD" SCENE?!?! I MEAN, FORGIVE ME FOR LEAPING TO SUCH MUNDANE CONCLUSIONS ON ZERO EXPOSITION, “MY DUMM BRAIN TINK LIEK REGOOLAR PEOPLESH!!1” But, no, this probably IS Jim, isn’t it? Retroactively, reincarnated, alternate timeline, high concept, “Cloud Atlas,” Mr. Nobody, horseshit Jim! Only now, he’s happy, 'cause he has a hot wife, 'cause women are basically prizes, am I right, ladies? She even lets him kiss him public for a whole half a second there, whoopty shit! And the French girls are Tinker Belles, because... Jim is Peter Pan and he gets to stay in his 40s forever, having permanently "Escaped from Tomorrow"! Yay, eternal prostate exams!
Jerk: WHAT IN HOLY GOD’S NAME WERE WE SUPPOSED TO GET FROM THAT FUCKING ENDING? HOW ARE WE EVER TO…?!
(Jerk is then interrupted by a man, Trevor McCune, sitting on a nearby bench.)
Trevor McCune: It’s Heaven.
Trevor McCune: It’s supposed to be Heaven.
Jerk: Who the hell are you?
Trevor McCune: I’m sorry, where are my manners? My name is Trevor McCune, and I played the bellhop in that scene.
(Cut back to film)
Bellhop: (Smiles then says to “Real” Jim[??]) Allow me to help you with my luggage.
Jerk: (Now sitting next to Trevor) Oh, yeah! So, what did the director tell you?
Trevor: Not much.
Trevor (v/o): He (Randy Moore) just told me to smile, like I knew something the other characters didn’t.
Trevor: I don’t know what I knew; I don’t think he did either. At one point, he described my character as a gatekeeper. So, I asked, “Am I like Saint Peter or something?” and he just smiled and said, “Very good. Keep that in mind when you’re saying your line.”
Jerk: So, Disney World is in both Heaven and Earth, and when Jim dies, he goes right back to where he started (Trevor nods like “Yeah, the movie wasn’t very thought out”) and his wife is, what, the first of 72 virgins? (Yells) THAT STILL DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!
Trevor: I know. I brought my girlfriend and parents to the premiere and they had to sit through 86 minutes of cluster-fuck just to see me have two lines in the end.
Jerk: (feels bad for him) Damn. You know, I actually wasted an additional 90 minutes of my life, listening to the DVD commentary of this shit. I was so desperately hoping for some minuscule grain of explanation of what it all meant.
Trevor: Let me guess, they spent the entire time talking about how they shot the film and not one word why?
Jerk: Did they even have a “why?”
Trevor: You’re asking the wrong question. Disney World, Heaven, those are just the “whats” and “whys,” when you should be asking yourself “who.” Who has enough free time to find deeper meaning in a script that was so obviously cobbled together at random?
(We then cut to the end of the “Shrek 4D (Part 2)” in black and white. Jerk finds the DVD and as he touched it, the screen turns to color, so they reversed it)
Trevor (v/o): When we left that DVD for you at City Walk, we hoped you might be the one, the key to unlocking this mystery wrapped in a riddle, inside an enigma,…
Trevor: …seasoned on a taco, wedged in a glove compartment, eaten by two dead emus, and left to rot in their God-forsaken carcasses! (Gets up, takes off his coat, and puts on a chauffer-like hat) I’ve seen your show, Jerk, and if you don’t have enough free time, no one does.
(He walks away, to the strains of Ben Folds' "Belinda". Jerk then turns to see Gary The Guerilla Gorilla)
Jerk: How come you don’t have that kind of insight?
Gary: All my scenes were cut!
(Cut to earlier in the film, Jim and Emu Woman are having sex and Gary’s with them.)
Gary: Oh, yeah, baby! Oh, yeah, I’m so glad I talked us into this three-way! Oh, yeah!
Jerk: (Shocked) I’ll never be clean again.
Gary: I’ll clean you!
Jerk: Go away!
Gary: Come on, I’m hungry!
Jerk (v/o): I can only imagine the discussions that must’ve happened in the Disney corporate boardrooms after this movie made headlines.
Jerk: I imagine some of the executives wanted to sue it into oblivion and they probably made arguments to the effect of “Uh, it violates our copyright” and “It diminishes our brand," etc. But, I imagine the prevailing counter argument went a little something like…
(Cut to the stand-up comedy of Bill Hicks. A caption underneath him reads “William Hicks: CEO of Disney, Bizarro World”)
Bill Hicks: (Makes noise for people to be quiet) Du-du-du-du-du-du-du, you’re just confused, you’ve forgotten how to judge correctly. Take a deep breath (does so), look at it again. “Oh, it’s a piece of shit!” (Audience laughs) Exactly, that’s all it is.
(Footage of the movie is shown as we go to closing thoughts)
Jerk (v/o): Sweet... God... All... mighty, is this ever a piece of shit. Half of it bores me, half of it confuses me, and all of it pisses me off. It's not even pretentious, you need ambition to be pretentious! This is just fucking inept. It is such a turkey, it would confuse itself for an emu if it had a leg to stand on. I'm not the least bit surprised Disney didn't feed this troll. They would have Streisand-effected themselves into a laughingstock if they'd given half a shit about this glorified whole movie, provoked into holy disastrous existence by, literally, "Some Jerk With a Camera" [Randy]. And I shit you not, to my knowledge, the closest that jerk ever came to explain why he did what he did to that poor camera was...
[Jerk uses the article "Five Questions with Escape from Tomorrow Director Randy Moore" from Filmmaker Magazine website to prove his point.]
Randy Moore/Jerk (v/o): I used the word “post-modern” to describe the film because apparently some people were confused by the story. So I’d say: "oh, well, it’s post-modern," and they’d just stop asking questions.
(Disappointed, Jerk pushes the button on his remote. Cut to Cine-Kyle in the closet)
Cine-Kyle: (Robot voice, again) Um... Wow. That's just... fucking stupid. Post-modernism is an extremely broad term covering a thousand smaller movements in art, film, literature, architecture, music, and pretty much every other medium, covering such themes as concept over content, deconstruction of narrative and identity, and celebration of intertextuality. It can be applied to everything from Madonna, to Quentin Tarantino, to Adult Swim, to the Internet in general, including this very web series. Using it as an all-purpose explanation for nonsense is as cynical a deflection as saying "I'm speaking English and that should explain everything," you fucker.
Jerk: (Amazed) How did I ever live without this thing?
Jerk (v/o): But, even the post modern, non sequitur, zip-a-dee-dada might’ve been still intriguing, maybe even, dare I use the word, FUNNY, if it wasn’t so goddamn joyless. This isn’t even gleeful nihilism, this movie is fucking bitter, and beneath all the arbitrary, budget Lynch-ian, cryptic gobbledygook, it is more style over substance than the cheesiest Main Street parade. It has nothing insightful to say about the dark side of escapism that wasn’t said better by a 32-year-old Chevy Chase comedy (“National Lampoon’s Vacation”). Hell, this film (“Escape From Tomorrow”) was outclassed by the fucking REBOOT of the 32-year-old Chevy Chase comedy (2015’s “Vacation”). But hey, (yells) AT LEAST IT’S NOT A BEN STILLER COMEDY!
(Cut back to the interview on the Ferris wheel gondola.)
Randy Moore: It’s not a Ben Stiller comedy.
(Cut to Jerk in a similar Ferris wheel gondola.)
Randy Moore/Jerk: You see, people…oh, what’s that word? It’s that thing I never do. Um,…. Like! People like Ben Stiller comedies. That’s not what I’m going for!
Jerk (v/o): So, what the ever-loving crap in a coonskin cap was it going for? Well, based on scenes where stuff happened for reasons, I think it was trying to make a comment on forced happiness. Theme parks do have an annoying habit of trying to shove joy down your throat at all times, and that can be alienating if you’re not in the right mood for it. Emily Dickinson (Emily White) spent the whole trip hiding her true emotions, not very well, but that’s another story. And when tensions finally rose to the surface, they erupted very loudly. (Hence her slapping Sara.) I think we’ve all at least witnessed outbursts like that. It’s not always violent, but sometimes, people just can’t take anymore, and what better setting for it than the so-called Happiest Place on Earth?
(Cut to a clip from “National Lampoon’s Vacation”)
Clark Griswold: (to his family) We’re all gonna have such fucking fun, we’ll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles! You’ll be whistling “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” out of our assholes!
(Caption pops up, reads “Toldja”)
Jerk (v/o): This can be done right, I swear to God. There are good movies about characters who try and fail to deny their own depression. (Examples are “Happiness,” “Melancholia,” “Young Adult,” and “Inside Out.”) But, just because these characters hate themselves doesn’t mean the writer has to follow suit! If you can’t see your own characters as anything more than, “Uh, he’s (Jim) a pervert, she’s (Emily) a scold, the kids are just kids, who gives a shit”, then what fucking chance do we have to empathize?!
Jerk: Then again, maybe in this case, the empathy is retroactive. After all, I now know exactly how it feels to pay good money for a theme park-related diversion, and then try my damnedest to enjoy myself, as it becomes more and more of an inexplicable nightmare with every passing minute! GAAAAAAAA--!!!!
Jerk (v/o): There was more than enough screen time to inject a little humanity into this, to teach us more about these characters, to give us something, anything beyond the basest of sitcom stereotypes, and it wasted that time telling us what we already knew. This movie has so little regard for basic human connection, IT DEPICTED A HUG AS LETHAL! And that was the precise moment this went from being just another bad movie to an evil movie! But, for a hot second there, it didn’t matter. This movie didn’t need to live or die on its merits, you see. It had false scarcity going for it! Every think-piece about it, fixated solely on how bold and provocative it was to shoot at the Disney parks without permiss-
Jerk: Guess what? Not impressed.
Jerk (v/o): (mocking voice) BUT, OH, NO!! THE EVIL BOOGEYMAN LAWYERS WILL NEVER LET THIS COME OUT!! Better see it now before they seize every copy and throw it in the deepest recesses of the Disney Vault between Song of the South and The Sweatbox. (normal) And now it's available at Target and no one gives a fuck. So, its distributors have had to resort to other sources of revenue like... claiming monetization of my review...of a movie they shot at Disney World without permission. And the specific scene they singled out as evidence of my copyright infringement was the "It's a Small World" scene.
Jerk: God forbid anyone else tried to make a dime off the intellectual property THEY stole fair and square, right? You know, I've been doing this show for almost five years now, reviewing primarily Disney crap. In that time, you wanna know who's NEVER come after me? Disney. Yeah, after all the footage I shot on their property without a scrap of permission, and after all the completely unlicensed clips from Disney movies and TV shows and promo videos and God knows what else that I have used, as of this recording, not a single "evil boogeyman Disney lawyer" has even once so much as try to claim monetization. But the makers of Escape From Tomorrow did, after part one of this review was on YouTube, unlisted, for less than a minute. So, thank heavenly God Almighty that it was all for something other than a measly Ben fucking Stiller comedy! At least then the director might have blown up.
(Cut to a clip from "Tropic Thunder." Director Damien Cockburn steps on a land mine and explodes, blowing him up. We then cut briefly to an interview with Randy Moore)
Randy Moore: Please go see Escape From Tomorrow.
Jerk (v/o): NO! (A fist comes from the last and punches the clip out of frame) Damn corporate whore shilling his useless product!
(Cut to Jerk at Santa Monica Pier)
Jerk: You have no idea how much I really, REALLY wanted to like this movie. I mean, yeah, sure, I was a little jealous that Randy Moore was getting all this attention and I wasn't, but in a way, I was THE target audience for this film. I am so intensely familiar with its surface-level gimmick-- in practice, mind you, not just in theory-- that I was very easily able to look past that gimmick and examine this movie as a movie.
[Cut to One Movie Later where Jerk covered the same film]
Jerk (v/o): I wanted to like it so much that the first time I saw it, I was half-convinced I was the problem, like a victim of an abusive relationship.
Past Jerk: I just didn't get it. And I'm sure that's a dismissive claim. Admirers of this film will lobby against me as, "Oh, you just didn't get it." Well... you're right.
(Cut to Jerk walking at the Pier)
Jerk: And in a way, I guess I still don't. But in spite of absolutely everything, I am still glad this movie exists. I don't recommend it, but I'm glad it exists. Because I want it to be held up as an example, even if only a cautionary example, of what just about anyone can do nowadays. I want more people to attempt what he did, only better, and use places like Disneyland as a canvas, because... (with a shade of wistful honesty) it's a pretty fucking good canvas.
(Cut to original footage of Disneyland)
Jerk (v/o): And that's not an accident. For better or worse, Disneyland was the first place to bring the manipulative eye of the filmmaker to an amusement park, to make its guests feel they've magically stepped inside a movie. In fact, had it failed as a theme park, Walt's Plan B was to turn it into a studio backlot.
(Jerk is shown at a beach)
Jerk: And now, thanks to little beauties like this (takes out his his flip camera), it's both.
(The poster of the movie, as well as more footage, is shown, as well as various Disneyland trip videos on YouTube)
Jerk (v/o): Drew McWeeny (of Hitfix.com) said "It is not possible that this film exists," and he couldn't have been more wrong. This film wasn't just possible, it was inevitable. No matter what some soulless YouTube bot on the wrong side of history may tell you, no one needs anyone's permission to make stuff anymore. We never did, really, we just thought we did because they had all the resources. But now, we all have HD cameras in our pockets and worldwide distribution in our fingertips. And the very existence of "Escape From Tomorrow" means more symbolically than its content ever could, but its content is downright unwatchable, like a less-racist Birth of a Nation.
Jerk: And that's the tragedy of all this. This movie could've and should've been nothing less than a watershed film for the YouTube generation. It could've been a massive "fuck you" to the copyright Nazis on behalf of the common man. Instead, it was a "fuck you" to the common man and common sense and the concept of entertainment. (Comes to a realization) That's all Disneyland is, really, when you get down to it. It's a venue of entertainment. It's called the Happiest Place on Earth, but...happiness is an illusion. At best, it's an occasional side effect of the human experience, but it's never been the default setting. And that's why...we divert ourselves. We escape, if you will. It's the reason why we sit in a darkened room full of strangers and stare at a glowing rectangle. It's the reason why we crack open bound collections of dead tree slivers and interpret the...the symbols imprinted therein as a story. And, yes. It's the reason why, even as childless adults, we still visit make-believe fantasy kingdoms, not because we think they're real, but because we know they're fake. That ability to escape, to embrace the power of imagination over boring, horrible reality...it's what makes us human. Don't you agree?
(Cut to an interview with Randy Moore)
Randy Moore: I think it's because I just really wanted to explore that feeling that people have, and that mania, where you just see the mania of people just coming in, almost like they're going off the cliff together.
(Jerk is stunned at what Moore said)
Randy Moore: Almost like they're going off the cliff together.
(Jerk is not amused and disappointed at what Moore thinks. As the song "On a Real Good Day" by Robbie Fulks plays [or "Disneyland" from the Broadway musical Smile in its later reuploaded edit], we see Jerk standing and thinking at the beach. He brings out the DVD cover of the movie and takes out the disc. After a long moment of thinking, Jerk silently begins to throw the disc into the ocean, but can't, so he just tosses it and the case behind him in the sand. Jerk then slowly walks to his car, gets in, and starts to drive a long way, which is depicted in fast-motion time. Jerk's long driving journey is shown as the credits roll. After the credits, Jerk's car is shown arriving at his destination at a parking lot. Jerk is then shown back at Disneyland, standing at the entrance. He walks inside the park and begins walking around Main Street. He eventually stops in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle and stands there as the camera pulls back and the song reaches its close. It is greatly assumed that Jerk's love and faith in Disney has been restored permanently, and things can go back to normal.)