As it happens, we are farther into the campaign and the expendable characters have started to drop away. It also happens to be October, aka Horror Movie Month, and so I have updated the WWBD Guide to the 2016 Election. This time with horror films, because that’s the other genre in which you can be guaranteed that characters will be eliminated one at a time.
First, let’s take stock of the characters we’ve already said goodbye to.
Who is already eliminated?
Four candidates are already out of the running, making them the equivalent of those slasher victims who are taken down in the first act.
Scott Walker is Kane in Alien
Oh boy, is he ever. I called this one in the last blog post, and I have to say that I was pretty accurate. As stated before: He looks and talks and dresses like he should be the hero and the one who makes it to the end, but it’s far more likely that we will see him as an unexpectedly early exit.
Rick Perry is Drew Barrymore in Scream
Big name, small impact. Barrymore was on the poster for the first Scream film, but didn’t live long enough to interact with a single character other than the masked killer.
I previously said Rick Perry was the equivalent of Randy Quaid in Independence Day. Turns out he’s playing even more of a bit part than that.
Lincoln Chafee is Matthew McConaughey in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Next Generation
Right now, you’re thinking: “Matthew McConaughey is in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie?” Well that’s the exact same thing people are going to be thinking about Lincoln Chafee in a few years when they hear that he ran for president in 2015, for the 2016 election.
Jim Webb is Boyd Banks in the Dawn of the Dead remake.
The Democratic Party
Hillary Clinton is either Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween or Sigourney Weaver in Alien.
And it’s worth noting that while Curtis was eliminated in earlier Halloween films, she came back swinging in Halloween H20. Is this Hillary’s equivalent of the “twenty years later” reboot?
Will she make it? Either way, there is a sense of inevitability and invincibility.
Martin O’Malley is Paul Rudd in Halloween 6.
He’s cool. He’s hip. But it’s not his moment yet. Maybe in a few years. Martin O’Malley in 2016 is the same as Paul Rudd in the early ’90s: some young white handsome guy that no one cares about.
Will he make it? No.
Bernie Sanders is Jamie Kennedy in Scream
He’s bold, smart, snarky, and innovative. He also seems to be relegated to “supporting character.” Chances are that Sanders will still be active and important when it’s the grand finale, but, like Kennedy being the non-romantic sidekick to Neve Campbell, Bernie will be the sidekick to Hillary, dropping wisdom and cracking wise.
Will he make it? Jamie Kennedy’s Randy was the unlikely survivor of the first Scream, and an unlikely victim in the second Scream. Either way, he’s a sidekick, not a protagonist.
Marco Rubio is Johnny Depp in Nightmare on Elm Street
He’s a pretty boy at the beginning of a long career. And he is not gonna make it to the end of this narrative.
Will he make it? I just said no, but with this one, we have to refer back to the answer I gave last time about Rubio: he’s Affleck in Armaggedon. If he makes it, it’s on someone else’s ticket.
Donald Trump is Bill Murray in Zombieland
You know how sometimes, someone has one cameo scene and then they’re forgotten? But other times, the brief cameo moment ends up stealing the show? They might not make it until the end, but their impact will never be forgotten.
Will he make it: No. But he might be the most memorable thing about this whole spectacle.
Carly Fiorina is Amy Irving in Carrie
Unlike most of her GOP peers (Rand Paul being another exception), Fiorina doesn’t take shit from the awful bully (John Travolta in Carrie, Donald Trump in this sad spectacle of an election). And she deserves some admiration for that.
Will she make it: Like Amy Irving’s Sue Snell, she might be around at the end but she still won’t be the main character.
Rand Paul is Josh Hartnett in Halloween H20
Josh Harnett portrayed the son of original hero Jamie Lee Curtis in the “20 years later” sequel. And while he and the young Paul have family legacy and a bunch of determination, they still aren’t quite the main character.
Will he make it? There’s a sense that this isn’t exactly his finest work. Let’s give him a few years. (Although Rand, as said before, also deserves respect for not tolerating Trump’s nonsense.)
John Kasich is Bishop in Aliens
He’s pretty cool, for a robot.
Will he make it? It’s hard to say. And it’s hard to say whether we want him to or not. It seems like we aren’t entirely sure who he is, but he could be a good guy.
Ben Carson is Robert Carlyle in 28 Weeks Later
“Oh, so this guy is the main character? Cool. Yeah, he seems pretty cool. Wait, what did he just do? That was a weird choice. Still a good protagonist though. Oh shit, that’s a strange choice. So is that. So is that. Okay, yikes, this guy isn’t the hero.”
Right now, we are getting lured into the false sense that Carson is going to be the last man standing. He won’t be, of course, but there’s this weird feeling right now that he could be.
Will he make it: No.
Lindsay Graham is Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense
A strange middle-aged man, wandering around, not realizing that no one he speaks to will acknowledge him.
Will he make it? He’s failing to realize that he already hasn’t made it.
Jim Gilmore, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal are all the fellow classmates in Carrie.
They don’t have a chance.
Will they make it: Absolutely not.
Chris Christie is Vince Vaughn in the Psycho remake
Chris Christie should’ve called it a while ago. There is no reason he should be in this election. Likewise, there is no reason Vince Vaughn should have been in a Psycho movie. Like Christie’s campaign, that Psycho remake should never have existed.
Will he make it?
Both Vaughn and Christie are fun guys. They’re charming. They’re entertaining. But this is not the right move for Christie, like Vaughn should have taken a year off rather than make Psycho.
Mike Huckabee is still Wilford Brimley in The Thing
As I said before, “He has some strong opinions. Very strong opinions. But his finger-pointing and suspicion of the others does not make him more likeable to anyone. He feuds with the main characters and gets hysterical over his own theories. At times, you wonder if he is someone’s bizarre version of comic relief.”
Will he make it: Still no.
Ted Cruz is David Arquette in Scream
The highpoint of David Arquette’s career was Scream, although he wasn’t the main character: he was just a colorful side character who provided a few laughs.
Ted Cruz is likewise peaking with a spectacle in which no one will afterward consider him the main character, but it is the most successful he’ll ever be.
Will he make it? He isn’t going anywhere, but he also is never going to have center stage.
Jeb Bush is James Caan in Misery
There’s a real sense that Jeb thought this whole thing was gonna be a lot easier than it is. And suddenly, he’s not sure he has it under control at all. He’s in completely over his head and it’s not going well.
Will he make it? If he does, he won’t be the same man he was at the beginning.
“Who will survive, and what will be left of them?”
This question was the tagline of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It also sums up the sad spectacle that is a presidential election: watching candidates attempt to win, often selling out and compromising their ideals in the process.
The following is written by guest blogger McLong, as part of a new guest writer series in which we will be featuring various writers:
As children, we overloaded on candy. Now we overload on horror movies. All of them: the good, the bad, the gory.
I’m a poster child of desensitized America, unscathed by what an average movie goer would deem horrific. It takes a lot to freak me out, afraid to have the lights off and go to the bathroom by myself. In the moment of viewing, the demonic possessions take my breath away, but, five minutes later, I’ve forgotten it and moved onto the next plot point.
But some horror resonates. These are the movies that haunt me during the day, whether sitting in a cubicle or on a walk or at the grocery store. The ones where, watching the credits ascend, you’re unsure how you’ll ever live a normal life again.
These five films are each horrific in a different way, but these are for those of you with a high tolerance, looking for a soul-rattling watch,
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Sure, getting pregnant with the devil’s baby is scary. But what’s really terrifying in this film is the complete lack of control that Mia Farrow’s Rosemary has over her life. She’s drugged by her neighbors and raped by her husband, who justifies it with “but you’re ovulating, baby.” As if that doesn’t happen ever month? He then dictates every step of the pregnancy, including insisting on the devil-worshiping doctor of his choice. It’s the misogyny in Polanski’s masterpiece that haunts you longer than the idea of mothering the spawn of Satan.
The Ring (2002)
A contemporary horror movie that confines itself to a PG-13 rating is a rare and intriguing film, as they can’t rely on heavy violence or gore to rattle their audience. But the really great ones work within the limits of PG-13 and still burn images into your head, like The Ring‘s infamous murder tape and its random clips: a finger going through a nail, a horse’s eye, centipedes, maggots, an upside down chair, and that chill-inducing static (that irritates anyone who has ever had a television) at the end.
The story might be erratic, but the images within the film are positively frightful. Ambiguity can hurt a story but, in this case, the viewers are haunted by the questions they have, mulling over a sick family who killed each other, their pets, and ultimately themselves.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
This movie tells the story of aliens waging a quiet biological warfare, unlike the aggressive invasions we’ve become accustomed to. What begins as a woman picking a pretty flower for her boyfriend results in an intense shift of human life. The main characters find themselves in a strange world where those closest to them seem slightly off. The horror comes from the intense paranoia of not being able to trust your loved ones and the sadness of losing them forever to a new creepy alien society. It becomes a chase reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, making the viewer ask: is it worth it to stay awake? or should I let go and fall asleep to join everyone else?
And then there is the ending. The final scene is ingrained in my mind and just won’t go away. That face, that shock, that scream…
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
I know: I praised The Ring for its subtlety and ability to work within a PG-13 movie, and then I put an R-rated gore fest remake on this list?
But does it get more brutal than this re-imagining of the horror classic? What is it about hillbillies acting like they have nothing to lose? Is anything scarier than a murderer with no fear of consequence? Unlike the original, this version opens with a disturbing suicide that sets the tone for the rest of the movie. We’ve seen suicides on screen many times before, but this one and its level of violence and intensity is unparalleled. And as this film goes on, it becomes hard to have any optimism for the traumatized potential survivors, our hope dwindling as each character is picked off in a seriously gruesome fashion.
Mention this movie to anyone who has seen it and watch the blood drain from their faces. And I’m not even sure if it’s technically a horror film.
Eraserhead is declared a ‘surrealist body horror’ film, whatever that means. Basically it’s trippy and messed up and you have no idea what is going on but you want it to stop. The actual plot is the story of Henry Spencer, the women he is involved with, and the bizarre child that results from their relationship. The film has the ability to be disturbing on a level which has never been explored in film before. I only recommend this movie to people seeking a sadistic challenge and a new scream to infect their nightmares.
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The rumors continue to mill regarding a new Jurassic Park movie. Stephen Spielberg has officially announced that it’s happening, and the release of the trilogy on Blu-Ray has gotten people talking about it again, but there seems to be virtually no information available beyond that there will be another movie with “Jurassic Park” in the title, and that it will probably also have a “IV” in the title. The other rumors include that Keira Knightley will be in it, that Sam Neil and/or Jeff Goldblum will be back, and that there might be some nonsense regarding genetically-created human-dinosaur-super-monster-soldiers, or that there will be a dinosaur-caused global epidemic or something.
Let’s be honest here: a fourth Jurassic Park movie is a terrible idea. When was the last time you saw a fourth movie in a series that really worked. Before a fourth movie comes out, you have a trilogy. Once a fourth film is tacked onto an original trilogy, you either have a new trilogy (as in the case of The Phantom Menace) or, far more often, you have the beginning of a franchise landslide.
Consider, for a moment, some of the fourth installments out there. First of all, most of the times that a franchise reaches a fourth installment, it doesn’t stop. It becomes a disaster, careening off the rails. Usually, this fate is reserved for trashy horror franchises such as Halloween 4 (which was the fourth of eight), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (followed by seven sequels), Saw 4 (which is 4 of 7 and apparently a midquel?), and Nightmare on Elm Street (I didn’t bother looking up how many there were.)