Saturday, February 11, 2012

"Sometimes I think I'd like to boldly go where no man has gone before. But I'll probably just stay in Aurora."*

       I had it in my head to write THE BEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME. I worked it out and talked about it a lot (a sure sign you’re not writing anything is to talk about it a lot). It would be an action-adventure/sci-fi/romantic comedy (all my favorite genres in one, if you will) and it would by turns leave people writhing in fear, mind-boggled by scientific innovations the like of which they’d never seen and chuckling about how women and men just don’t GET each other.

        It was going to be called Shiders in Space and it was going to blow America’s mind. And then it would go on to blow all the minds in Europe and Asia. And then South America. Africa? Probably not. They have bigger fish to fry (pun intended, as you will soon see). And, oh shit, Australia. I didn't even think of them. Oh well, it probably doesn't matter.

        My movie was about a combination of my three biggest fears in life: sharks, spiders and space. The three “S's”, if you will.  (But if I were to describe my biggest fears in order from most fearsome to least it would be: sharks, space and then spiders. But it doesn’t sound as good written out that way.)

        So here’s the story: it’s NASA’s last space mission, the summer of 2011. A bunch of sexy, quirky, funny and lovably neurotic astronauts head into the Final Frontier to see if they can’t rehabilitate a space station built in the 60’s. Problem is, the space station is haunted. BY SHIDERS!!!!!!!!

        I drew a picture so you could see what a Shider looks like:

Okay, I'm not an artist, but you get the gist.

        It’s essentially a shark with spider legs and the spider legs ALSO have spider legs, so it’s extra gross. Aside from the spider’s nasty, bulbous backside, the most heinous thing about a spider is its eight hairy legs. And the way it just falls down from the ceiling when you’re trying to kill it.

        But here are the main reasons a Shider would be the worst nemesis of anyone on the face of Planet Earth, or in the Galaxy, for that matter.

1.     Shiders can live in the ocean, on land or IN SPACE. There’s nowhere you can go to be rid of them. Think about how "evolution" (still don't buy it, so let's just say, alternatively, GOD) has provided us with the Kangaroo, the Tasmanian Devil and the Lemur: all species that evolved (were created by our Lord) when left on islands and unable to reproduce with other, normal animals. But then multiply it by a trillion, add gills AND lungs AND space helmets. There’s no stopping these beasts!

2.     A shider has the skills of the spider and the bite of the shark. Maybe it’s fair to say that not everyone is afraid of spiders. But a lot of us are, and it’s not just because they look disgusting and bite you when you’re sleeping. A lot of it has to do with the way they seem to be able to leap from tall places and virtually disappear from view the second they see you coming with, ironically, your rolled up issue of The National Geographic. (Just because you read The National Geographic does not mean you want nature and anthropological specimens invading your home! And, if we're being super honest, we should probably admit that we only subscribe to The National Geographic to seem literate, but really we like it because usually there are chicks with weird piercings and bare breasts featured.)

            But then add the fact that even if you jumped in the  pool or THE OCEAN, a shider  would still be able to find you and it has horrendous, monster teeth and a (nearly) blind stare. It can smell your fear, it can out swim you, and it will eat your legs off while thinking about what to buy its wife for Valentine’s Day.
And even if you make it out of the water and onto the beach or poolside, etc, it can still follow you because it has LEGS! Anywhere from 8 to 64 of them! (Actually, I think it's 64 plus 8, because each leg has eight legs, but then you have to count the original legs...)

3.     Shiders also live in space. I don’t know how much you’ve thought about it, but space is terrible. There’s no oxygen, no gravity, and no one can hear you scream (mostly because there’s no oxygen or gravity). There are black holes all around and there’s a good chance that if you go up there, you won’t be coming back. Or if you do make it back, it will be one of the most heroic things you or I or the United States or the WORLD will have ever seen. But there still will have been that moment (or those days, weeks, months, years) when you were drinking Tang and peeing into a bag and you wondered what it was all about. Some people want to boldly go where no man has gone before, but I’m definitely not one of those people. (It also occurs to me that you might come back from space and it will be like The Flight of the Navigator: your parents will be old and totally freaked out that you’re still 10, and completely unwilling to accept the fact that you fell into a time warp. But hell, you can't control that kind of shit!)

4.     Shiders are clearly adaptable, and what does that say about our (human beings, that is) future as the self-appointed manipulators of the universe? If something can incorporate gills, eight legs (or in this case, 64 legs--maybe 72 legs?), and the ability to survive in space, we’re clearly doomed as a species. I don’t really want to think about the implications. I’m still crying about Joey in The Flight of the Navigator. That dude missed everything.

       Okay, that’s all I’m going to say for now about Shiders in Space. I thought it would make a great screenplay, but then I saw Sharktopus, Two-Headed Shark, and even Mega-Shark Vs. Giant Octopus (though I didn't watch the sequel, Mega Shark Vs. Crocosaurus because, seriously? I have a life, here.) and I think the genre of weird shark-hybrid is a little played-out.

       I still think my villain is the scariest, because it plays on all MY worst fears, but I have too much pride to sell it as a screenplay. But if I did ever make the movie, here are some potential taglines:

“Houston, we’ve got a shider.”


“In space, no one can hear you scream.”

And my favorite:

“Just when you thought it was safe to return to the abandoned space station...”

 *Quote from Wayne's World (Penelope Spheeris, 1992). Oh, man, I've never changed my title quote after publishing, but Emily reminded me that Wayne's World generally has the best quotes about everything. (For example, this.)

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