Thomm Quackenbush, author

RED EYE For The Straight Guy

Cillian Murphy looks like a poor man's (homeless man's) version of Tom Welling from WB's Smallville. Rachel McAdams looks exactly like Jennifer Garner, dimple and all. I imagine the casting of Red Eye more creative than the actual making of the film, as moviegoers who caught the preview mistook these actors for real stars, and thought they were paying to see a real movie.

Wes Craven should have rolled over and played dead after directing Scream. But some fool gave him more money to make more crap. Crap which isn't nearly as funny as his best worst film in which a psycho suits up in leather gimp costume (before Pulp Fiction made gimps cool) and blasts away with shotgun at an intruder in his house in People Under The Stairs. Losing brain cells to Red Eye, I almost forgot Wes Craven wrote and directed Nightmare On Elm Street, one of the world's finest horror movies to date. These days Wes is just into making horrid movies.

The opening follows the theft from someone's home of a wallet printed with the initials "JR." Who shot JR?! No one. But throughout this film I wish someone would shoot me. I knew as soon as Jen Garner's clone got on the phone with her father that my lactose intolerance would be put to the test trying to enjoy the following cheese. Lisa cabs to the airport interacting with the real star of this film. Not her dad, played by Brian Cox, but the telephone. As I was just imagining all the crappy student screenplays this festering pink eye fungus reminded me of, I realize I'm watching Brian Cox, who ironically played Robert McKee, the famous script doctor in Adaptation. This brilliant actor hides his current shame under a beard, telling his daughter, "Your room is just as you left it!" as he enters her closet and flips the switch to reveal something resembling creepy cheerleader shrine, pom-poms and all.

Lisa meets the ambiguous Jackson in line at the airport under lighting that makes it abundantly clear he is not a WB Superman heartthrob. Murphy, however, starred in a different comic-book-turned-film as The Scarecrow in Batman Begins. And he didn't look half bad out of his Scarecrow sack. But Batman was shot under merciful lighting. The sterile, harsh lighting of Red Eye was so damaging to Murphy's career that one thought kept crossing my mind: If the kid from Mask had reconstructive surgery he would probably look like Cillian Murphy.

Elephant Man invites Cheer Squad for nachos and like any waify, aspiring actress hoping to get out of Wes Craven movies, she declines. But Lis spots Psycho at the bar all alone and joins him anyway. They play a Baybreeze/Seabreeze guessing game and he seems to stiff her with the check for froo-froo drinks and appeteasers. As he rudely walks away she lights up as though realizing, "Gee! I totally didn't like him until he treated me like shit!"

With grotesque plugs for Dr. Phil's books, Starbucks and even Grapenuts, I felt like I was on that airplane with them receiving sample servings of barely edible crap. The two characters end up seated together (naturally) and after takeoff Psycho confesses he's got a hitman sharpening a knife outside Lisa's dad's house. Unless she uses her hotel management for EVIL instead of her usual GOOD, Lisa is warned, "You bury your dad in a closed casket."

Which could be for the best considering Brian Cox probably doesn't want to show his face after this resume downer anyway. Nacho Breath swipes Cloney's credit card and puts her through to the hotel via airplane phone with instructions to move a top politician to a particular room for an assassination. When Dimples tries to trick him, Hitman takes action. HOLY HEADBUTT, BATMAN! For a movie that made me crave a ninety-minute coma, I cannot deny enjoying this twit getting knocked out with an ugly man's skull. She wakes later to head pain and the return of that pesky Dr. Phil book. Oh, the humanity!

No need to bring in the back-up clone, as McAdams not only survives but REALLY shows her range in the lavatory, flailing about, crying and rubbing all over the things most of us use a tissue to touch. Just as I'm imagining this actress working herself up pre-scene in hopes of an Academy Award, she rubs her face all over a filthy toilet, threatening to throw up. At that point, I could finally relate. Goatman forces his way in and roughs her up some more. The best part is post-beating when a stewardess mistakes their ruckus as initiation dance into The Mile High Club. Freshly seated (and no longer bleeding), Stewardess leans into the couple and declares rather than asks with open garbage bag, "TRASH."

This movie's got it all! Saucy stewardesses! Security check! A dozen holes in the plot! Brian Cox in a cheerleading uniform! (I wish.) And just when I think it can't possibly delight me more (or at all), some foreshadowing hits. A punk-ass kid who can't wait to get home and masturbate in his sister's closet loses his Frankenstein pen and can no longer doodle aliens and titties. Dun, dun, DUN!

Upon landing, Lisa tenderly recounts the tale of her mystery scar from ex-attacker to now-attacker. It's cool. Her new attacker's not the jealous type. But like any guy, he makes a fuss over having a Frankenstein pen shoved through his jugular. Instead of making a break while her next ex pulls pen from his throat (and accentuates it with a nice, silk scarf), Lisa jumps from the plane and practically stops off for a latte. For a moment I deem Wes Craven sexist, striving to make women look stupid. Then I realize Wes makes everyone look stupid.

Red Eye made me wish I had NO eyes. And it could very well instigate a no-more-Frankenstein-pens-on-planes rule too. But I'm sure Red Eye won't slow down anyone's career, especially Jen Garner's clone, Rachel McAdams. We all know Ben Affleck's effect on JLo's career post-split. If Ben's toxic engagement ring works the same magic on Jennifer Garner, Jen should find her name all over bad perfume and out of the headlines in no time! Put down that cheerleader uniform, Rach, you lucky little clone, and get out your cheese grater! (Cillian, I'm sure you'll be great in Mask II.)
Angie is wearing a kick-ass custom-made t-shirt. Email her for details and YOU could be wearing one too!
Angela Lovell, writer extraordinaire, can kick your ass with a well placed word. Her writing can also be found at Sugarzine, Tickingboxes and WHOREscopes. She can be seen acting (occasionally wearing very little or making out with fellow hot girls) in the web series The Fold (NSFW).

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Works by Thomm Quackenbush


Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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