In front of Sin City we saw 19 trailers, ranging from the slightly interesting (Kung Fu Hustle) to the unintentionally hilarious (They Got Them Gris-Gris Down in Terrebone Parish, Honey Chile or whatever the hell it was called). One I wanna talk about is for a movie called Further Down the Steep Slope of Christian Slater’s Career. From what I can gather, this masterpiece has already debuted in other countries, but is just now supposedly being released in America after several delays. I think someone might have looked at some of the other horror movie dreck that’s been making cash lately and decided what the hell, maybe they won’t release it direct to video after all!
The story’s about these FBI profilers, the only type of job that FBI agents have when they’re good guys. They’re in this training scenario to hunt down a supposedly made up serial killer, but OH NO it looks like the serial killer is real and he’s killing them all one by one in fiendish ways!
And here’s the main point of this post. Since this is Hollywood, and since we’re dealing with a serial killer, he’s got a schtick, right? Well it turns out he’s obsessed with TIME.
Here’s another villain with the same obsession:
That’s the Clock King. He’s an old DC villain. Hell, he might still be around, for all I know, except now he probably has to rape animals and eat babies to keep up with the rest of DC’s rogues. As you can tell from the fact that he’s wearing leotards with clocks all over them and wears a big clock face over his own face, the guy digs clocks.
I think this is hilarious. In movies and TVs, serial killers — so often featured because they’re sposed to be the scariest of the scary — are just like comic book villains. They’ve all got some kind of thing that sets them apart. Tarot cards. The Seven Deadly Sins. Magic tricks. I imagine that in Hollywood world, there’s a place you have to go to register your serial killer obsession just to make sure you’re not infringing on another maniac’s copyright.
In real life, of course, a serial killer’s schtick usually consists of something like “well, I like to strangle prostitutes, but I’ll stab one if I’m in a pinch.” But not in Hollywood. In Hollywood, serial killers aren’t just killers, they’re usually endowed with huge amounts of money, knowledge, time, and patience to construct elaborate traps and scenarios AND also play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a woman and Morgan Freeman at the same time. Just like in comics, where in the amount of time it takes to invent a special hypnotizing boomerang you could have simply knocked over a couple of gas stations, Hollywood serial killers aren’t satisfied with just killing people. What kind of fun is that? What kind of art is that?
Of course, the real ones with the disposable cash and time are the viewers, the patrons of these killers’ art. They paid good money, dammit, and they want to see people get killed in cool ways, not just stabbing some random person. If you’re going to define a character only by the fact that he kills, then by gum, he’d better do some fancy killin’. And if that means taking the Clock King out of the leotards and having him bedevil Christian Slater, then do it. Nobody will notice that the guy who’s giving them the heebie jeebies is just a jumped-up, third-string silver-age bad guy.