Piece for Total Film Magazine


How come Lottery millionaires waste their fortunes on mansions and fast cars? Have they no imagination? If we got rich quick weÂ’d be tempted just to blow our cash on causing trouble, like paying to have the ends of our favourite and least favourite films replaced with our own re-shoots, just to ruin them for everyone, for ever. HereÂ’s the pick of the bunch.

Face-Off. Gangster Nicolas Cage kills cop John TravoltaÂ’s son, and the the two of them swap their faces over in a face swapping lab, with horrific consequences. After good John Tavolta finally overcomes evil Nicolas Cage, and reclaims his own face, he has an emotional reunion with his wife and daughter, and a new addition to the family, the orphaned son of his sworn enemy, Nicolas Cage. Extra Final Scene. The camera focuses in on the little boyÂ’s face, which is mouldy and like the face of a zombie. With horror we realise that Travolta, who has gone insane, must have used the face lab technology to swap the face of CageÂ’s orphan son with the face of his own, recently disinterred, dead son. TravoltaÂ’s distraught wife vomits on the confused child. Travolta laughs, like a scary Vampire.

In The Name Of The Father. Daniel Day Lewis plays Gerry Conlon, an Irishman accused of a bombing, who is jailed, but eventually freed after it is clear he was stitched up by police bigots. Extra final scene. Pouring hismelf a large Guinness and lighting a fat cigar Day-Lewis settles back into his fireside armchair to toast his release. “Ha ha ha!”, he chuckles to himself, “and to think, I did do that bombing after all, bejaysus!” Cue comedy trumpet sound as he winks to the camera laughing.

Shooting Fish. This appalling British comedy closes with our two hero con-men and their sketchily scripted love interest, the perpetually open mouthed Kate Beckinsale, being hugged in gratitude by a stately home full of delighted Downs Syndrome kids, who they saved from penury with stolen millions. Extra Final Scene. Suddenly, the cutesy children turn nasty. Chanting, “We will no longer be used as cheap signifiers of how a character must be alright really because he is freinds with the handicapped. It’s so cheap.”, they tear Kate Beckinsale’s face off and eat her brains, set fire to the rest of the cast’s hair, and are soon joined by the Downs Syndrome kids from Truly Madly Deeply, who are waving the severed head of ecsema faced actress Juliet Stevenson on a pole. As the screen dissolves into flames the British Cinema Downs Syndrome Kids joyride off into the distance hellbent on revenge, and in search of a British film that will treat them with some dignity.

Morons From Outer Space. Hilarious 1985 Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith vehicle. Extra Final Scene. Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones walk forwards to the camera, and apologise.

Se7en. After a string of grizzly murders, each punishing the victim for supposedly comitting one of the Seven Deadly Sins, cunning serial murder Kevin Spacey hands a mysterious cardboard box to head rubbing detective Brad Pitt. He opens the box. It is the severed head of his pregnant young wife. Extra Final Scene. “Surprise!”, shouts the head, a clever radio controlled mock-up, as streamers rain down onto Pitt and policemen let off party poppers. Pitt’s wife has paid for him to be the central player in an elaborate hoax, just like in director David Fincher’s follow up film The Game, as a birthday treat, involving millions of dollars worth of actors and special effects. There never were any murders. Movie closes with Pitt and a thin looking man we had earlier seen tied to a bed and starved to death, high fiving each other and laughing.

Forest Gump. A likeable idiot, played by Tom Hanks, bumbles through this charming Right Wing fairy tale fantasy. Gump is one of cinemaÂ’s endearing misfits, telling his life story to a sting of listeners on a suburban park bench. Extra Final Scene. Under the credits we see Gump masturbating furiously over a blurred photograph of a dead, pregnant cat. The camera catches his eye. He is ashamed.

Alien Resurrection. After two hours of high budget Alien mashing mayhem, Ripley and a Winona Ryder robot observe the comforting sight of the planet Earth, drifting into view. “What do we do now?”, Ryder asks Ripley. Extra Final Scene. “Now ... we hit the Hut!”, cries Sigourney. Cut to Ripley and other space mercenaries sat around a restaurant table, laughing as they divide up a huge Pizza. A giant Alien comes in behind them, smiling, and wearing a Pizza Hit hat. Its second inner jaw shoots forward and snatches a slice of pizza out of Winona Ryder’s mouth. The Alien burps and everyone laughs. Then Ripley’s chest explodes, showering nearby patrons with blood, and a tiny alien baby bursts squealing from her guts to gobble up the last piece of pizza from the table. The action freezes on a still of Winona Ryder laughing and wiping a piece of tomato from her lip. It becomes clear that the whole four alien films have been leading upto this one moment, as part of a cunning and elaborate Pizza Hut campaign. We feel cheated.

Cannibal Holocaust. Amazing 1970’s Italian Exploitation classic in which a documentary film team are seen as complicitous in the South American cannibal rituals their cameras both observe and encourage. At the end of the film, having weighed the evidence, the anthropologist who has been investigating their case crosses the road and says meaningfully to himself... “Hmmm. Who are the real cannibals?” Extra Final Scene. The voice over continues.... “I suppose its the cannibals really. They are the real cannibals. The documentray film makers never actually ate human flesh, and that is the action which defines cannibalism after all. Its simple really. I can’t imagine why I even bothered asking the stupid damn question in the first place.”

Now you try. It is fun.