Thursday, February 13, 2014
Stoogendorff's Tribe (7 films remain)
Well, so far, so good! Emil Sitka's Scrambled Brains glasses? Check. Larry doing the old "I got my eyes closed!" bit, even though he knows he'll be severely punished for it? Check. A comedy map for all of us to study carefully? Check. I often wonder what the audience in the theater sounded like when they left a map like this up on the screen for... what seems like several eternities.
Next scene: after signing the deal for cash for proof of genuine cavemen in 1955, the boys go camping, and Moe quickly suffers multiple head injuries, courtesy of the other two. Lol. When suddenly... a reason to stop clowning around! Larry finds a footprint that might just have been made by a caveman! Shemp gets the Bolex 16mm camera and starts shooting... hey! I got a camera like that! Kewl. That's from the era when things were made to last. Alas, the camera's outlasted the film that was once made for it. And from there... a subtle fade to footage from I'm a Monkey's Uncle. Doubly alas, the Stooges didn't have the ability to show themselves looking at their caveman selves, à la Back to the Future Part II. Praise be to that French "à la"!!
And so, we dwell in the recycled footage that is I'm a Monkey's Uncle. Well, a good joke that's recycled can still be good. Take this one, for example: Moe asks Shemp "Did you take a bath?" Shemp replies, "Why? Is there one missing?" Heh heh. Ah, the ambiguities inherent in English grammar. May they always be exploited for comedic gain. Also, I know we're living in the Creepy Age where everything's creepy, but I still get a laugh out of Shemp and Larry making butter. Better call the Creepy Police on my creepy ass! I will allow this: what's creepy about that part is that Larry seems to be enjoying himself almost as much as Shemp!
Now, you might be asking yourself, but Movie Hooligan! Where's Caveman Moe in the midst of all this? Well, he engages in an epic battle with one, possibly two ducks. Cannibal ducks who are eager for the taste of caveman thigh, but who fortunately don't possess a beak or teeth strong enough to cut it, or a stomach strong enough to digest it. Anyway, on to the Third Act, where the three idiot cavemen move a little higher up the triangle known as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Here's my problem with this triangle: how can sex be in two places on this same triangle? Doesn't make sense! Anyway, having conquered the "Physiological" and "Safety" rungs of the proverbial ladder, it's time for them to get dolled up to go courting, as decreed by the "Love/Belonging" section of the pyramid scheme... I mean, triangle. Fortunately, they cut this part of the film short, and go right to the pitching of woo between the Stooges and Aggie and her two sisters. If I remember correctly, "Baggie" falls for Shemp. "I'm Baggie!" says the homeliest of the sisters. "You're telling me!" quips Shemp. Poor put-upon Shemp, the Valentino of the Stooges. Alas, this part is cut short, and we get right to the intrigue, where the other cavemen show up to protect their turf, so to speak. Well, you gotta hand it to those Stooges. They were the first true Americans: not afraid to waste food in battle! They heave fish, eggs, and what I assume is giant wads of melted chocolate at their enemies.
EPILOGUE - Well, I hate to spoil the ending, 'cuz it's a good one. But since we're close to the 60th Anniversary of this short, I guess it's past the statute of limitations. As it turns out, it was all just a hoax! See, the Stooges were born at night, it just wasn't last night. And to think... they might've pulled it off if they just kept their mouths shut a little bit longer! How Emil Sitka has been in charge of anyone's purse strings for so long, I'll never know.
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan