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SkullCow

Mega-Meta 3 Category Recap 13 of 19: Whoops!

Hey Smithee Campers! It's time for another MegaMeta Category recap. It's also time for me to totally apologize for not having said a blurbit about What?! so I'll sort of remedy that here. What?! is defined as "Things that make it into the movie that were obviously intended to be there. For whatever reason." I actually added the last part, but they are bits of the movie that make you go "Huh?" and then rewind the tape/DVD just to make sure you didn't misunderstand what was happening. Most often than not, you didn't and rewinding it once or a bazillion times fails to shed any more light on the particular weirdness.

Whoops!, on the other hand, is stuff that made it into the movie that really shouldn't have. At least if you had a competent continuity director it wouldn't have. Buuuuuuut as we've come to expect from a lot of these movies, they just don't care enough to send the very best. Crew members visible in the scene? Whatever, keep rolling. Props popping in and out? Whatever, keep rolling. Change in film stock? Keep rolling.



Steel Justice, from 2002
Zombie Lake from 2003
Golden Dragon, Silver Snake from 2004
Night of a Thousand Cats from 2005
Snowbeast from 2006

Steel Justice is a classic case of the wardrobe continuity person either being drunk off their hinder and completely biffing our secondary character's head gear from take to take, or not giving a rat's hinder about what headgear our secondary character is wearing, or maybe they just had the helmet rented for the one day of shooting so when they went to do some retakes the wardrobe person had to grab the nearest head covering and hope we didn't notice the difference between a helmet and a baseball cap. Or it could have been all three. The result is the magic headgear with the closed blast shield - no wait! Open blast shield - no wait...the character is opening the shield again. All that exertion calls for a quick coffee break, which the entire helmet takes but not the actor so in a couple shots he's got no headgear at all until...oh good. He has a cap now. If that weren't whoops enough, the last part of the scene has our character in question coming face to face with a deadly snake! On a deadly string! Caught clearly right there on the deadly camera!

Then there is Zombie Lake, a French Nazi zombie flick that captures the essence of "Crew and Equipment visible" in a way seldom before scene on the big screen. I don't know whether they have different editing standards in France or if the person viewing the dailies was smoking a year's worth of crack that day but oi! The scene is one long take of two people coming down a spiral staircase and into a study (maybe what...15 seconds in all?) and halfway down the stairs, a light blows out. No worries! Keep filming because after they cross into the room and step over the massive river of cable snaking into the room (Hi Cable! You're on film!), the light is fixed and pops back on. And then...and then...is that a mirror in the back of the study? Is it? Yes it is! And look, the cameraman. Hi cameraman!

Golden Dragon, Silver Snake exemplifies an entirely different kind of Whoops! and that is the Whoops! of post production. Here's a tip for you aspiring movie people: When you are transferring your film to DVD, remember to keep the editing track separate from the film's soundtrack. We understand that you might need to make a separate audio track for the chapter marker fella so he knows where to do his chapter marker magic but you don't have to leave it there for us in the final version. If you do, well then don't blame us for nominating your film for the one key, dramatic scene where a character repents his ways. He has seen the light. He will do the right thing because he has learned a very important lesson. He has learned - [beep] and in and out on the double beep. [beep. beep.]

Night of a Thousand Cats also brings us a post production Whoops! Or at least we're hoping it was a post production Whoops! and not a bizarre editing mishap. On the other hand, maybe this is a case of conservation of film: It compensates for all those films that felt like something was left out. Or maybe it was such an important scene to the main character's development that the director felt he had to show it again. See? This is the main character remembering to flashback that one special girl. They went riding together. They went shooting together. He was going to ask her to marry him until his assistant cut off her head. See? This is the main character remembering to flashback that one special girl. They went riding together. They went shooting together. He was going to ask her to marry him until his assistant cut off her head. (BTW - Night of 1K Cats factoid: Without the flashback flashback, the movie wouldn't have gone over an hour viewing time.)

Finally, Snowbeast. With 'Beast we're back to a continuity Whoops! that really should have been nipped in the editing bud. It's a short sweet take but it clearly proves why the main character fell down cresting a hill on the ski slope. Shot one: BIFF! Wipeout. There go both of his skis careening off in different directions. Shot two: Our ski fella, rolling down the hill head over skis. There goes his right ski, probably to go look for the first two that fell off. The left ski decides to stay put and take its chances with the ski fella. Shot three: Our ski fella finishing his spectacular wipe out in a ball of arms, limbs and skis. And there go both his skis. Again. Can you even stand up with five skis?

Alllright! Put on your Whoops! caps. (No, the other way. There ya go) and start thinking about your choices. Magic hat? Everything you wanted to know about showing crew and equipment but were afraid to ask? In-and-out on the double beep? The flashback flashback? Or The Mystery of the Multiple Skis?
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