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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Friday, September 18, 2009

Needs to Happen

Due to the overwhelming response to my post about Dungeons and Dragons movies, I'm doing another one. The next two Dungeons and Dragons movies will both deal with The Planes.

Dungeons and Dragons (at least back in my day) had a gonzo OCD cosmology full of Planes of Existence. Some were devoted to different elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) and others to various Afterlives. I tried to find the original complicated charts online, but came up empty, which amazes me. No one wants to scan the old D&D charts of the Inner and Outer Planes? What's wrong with nerds these days?

Anyway, suffice it to say that The Planes represent all the different worlds, zones, dimensions etc. that exist in E. Gary Gygax's philosophy, and from time to time various folks who wanted to sell more D&D product tried to crank out expansions on this idea.

There should be two counterbalancing films about this. Just to keep me happy.

The first should be loosely adapted from The Manual of the Planes by Jeff Grubb, who for a time was the hardest working man in Dungeons and Dragons. I remember the book being an imaginative, or at least imagination-firing, book that told you what it might be like to visit, say, a place where everything is made of water, or where Chaotic-Neutral people go when they die (The morality and afterlife thing is highly structured in Dungeons and Dragons). The film should be written and directed by the people responsible for this,


this right here

and of course this

ad. It should be produced by the employee of Birmingham Alabama's long-lost comic/game shop Lion and Unicorn who tried to sell a copy of the by-then out of print Manual of the Planes for $100. Anyone named Manuel Planes should be hired to work on this film. The movie should consist of a guided tour of each plane, undertaken by two cute teens in 80's garb with a sunglassed nonthreatening version of Ric Okasek for a guide. Pleasant synth-pop throughout, as in the ads. Really, just give me 90 minutes of Eighties-style Bubble Yum ads and I'll be happy. Normally I scorn folks who rhapsodize about favorite commercials, but I was young and vulnerable when I saw these, and I honestly love this post-You Might Think stuff. (BTW I now understand, as I didn't in the 80's, exactly why my Mom found this video so disturbing. Unstoppable stalkers are exciting to little boys but not to their Moms.)

The other film should be adapted from the groovy old D&D themed computer game Planescape:Torment, a glum and complicated adventure in which an amnesiac hero awakens in a run-down fantasy city, assembles a ragtag band, explores strange places... all the usual fantasy computer game stuff, really, but there's lots of bull-session philosophy, exotic atmosphere, and ... well, that was enough for me. Maybe if I played more of these games I wouldn't have found this one so immersive, but now I want to reexperience it without actually playing it, which means someone has to make the movie version. Make it long and dense. Make it pretty, in a smoky, spikey way. For crying out loud make it immersive. Strike a balance between talky stuff in superficially creepy yet oddly cozy settings, and fantastical action set pieces. Script should be improvised on set by M. John Harrison, under duress if need be. Directed by Jason Keener.

Somewhere between these films there needs to be a short-lived cable TV series based on D&D lamebrainstorm Spelljammer , a D&D variant that focused on magical boats flying from planet to planet. The pilot episode should be directed by whoever made this. After a promising first episode it should start to stink pretty bad. Cast a few hot guys and gals in it so Fanfic Nation will get all excited about it and get enough petition signatures to keep it on the air for an even worse second season.

It's ideas like this that have driven my blog hits into the single digits.

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