Log in

No account? Create an account
why smithee awards are not all-ages

Mega-Meta Category Recap # Something of Something: Deus Ex Machina

When a problem is solved through no effort of the character(s), that's a Deus Ex Machina. It's usually a lazy-screenwriter device for dealing with an otherwise-intractable problem, although sometimes it's more trouble to explain than it's worth. Occasionally it's as simple as "Dear God, please help my brother," and God does! Deus Ex Machina, after all, does refer to the convention where God comes down from the machine and helps the characters in the play sort out their troubles. Miraculous survival? It's in there. One of the cops being a conspiracy nut and deciding to help the heroes instead of his partner? It's in there. Ground beef and real tomatoes? It's probably in there as well, somewhere behind the

So, the five clips which have -- and I cannot stress this enough -- through no doings of their own won the Deus Ex Machina Awards for Smithees 11-15 are from:

2002: Kung Fu Zombie
2003: Arcade
2004: Trick or Treat
2005: Killer Buzz
2006: Circuitry Man II

In Kung Fu Zombie, our hero is getting beaten pretty handily by a bunch of bad guys. Mostly-dead ones. But, out of nowhere, a monk shows up. He sits down on the grass, spins around, and ... beat the bad guys. Using his amazing monk-y (not monkey or Monk-y) powers of sitting-and-spinningness.

The heroine of Arcade is actually killed by the villain. Shot dead right before she was about to win the game. How sad. Game over. Except ... what's this? On the goofy little game screen, underneath "GAME OVER" and "PLAYER'S SOUL LOST" it says ... "USE EXTRA LIFE?" And she does. And she gets rid of the evil computer program thingy, and even gets to say, "You forgot about my free life, asshole."

The heroes of Trick or Treat are being chased by Sammi, the Rock'n'Roll Electrical Demon Thingy mentioned in the Alas, Poor Yorick write-up. He has them trapped. Trapped in the smallest room of a house. But as moves in for the (very painful and horrific) kill, he slips. He doesn't just slip, though. Oh, no. He slips and sticks his arm in the toilet (lid up, seat down), which causes him to do a weird short circuit thing (not like this). The heroes slip out past Sammi. Then just as Sammi seems to be recovering, one of them flushes the toilet, sending Sammi (and at this point, everyone watching) into new paroxysms of ... whatever.

Killer Buzz is not so much a buzzkill as it is -- well -- a couple of people are walking through an open spot in some rainforesty jungly place, and they realize that they have been spotted by a jaguar, which is now stalking them. Uh-oh, this is bad news. But luckily, as the jaguar leaps to take care of them once and for all, it's intercepted (and killed) by a swarm of CGI bees (the Monsters of the movie). What grade to give this performance? C. D. B.

And finally, we hadn't had an unnecessary sequel in this category until now. Circuitry Man II will be just that. In this clip, two of the bad guys (not the big bad guys, but the little bad guys) are sneaking through an underground area, when a guy with a shotgun gets the drop on them. Suddenly, there is a flash in the sky, and a safe, which had been teleported away earlier in the film, comes crashin down on the guy with the gun. Safe! Our little villains are saved. And what's more? It's a safe full of money....

So there you have it, five more "winning" clips from The Show That Dare Not Speak Its Name -- Because It Is Not An Anthropomorphic Projection And Therefore Has No Mouth: The Smithee Awards!

And To Be Voted Upon In December (And July) By The Audience Which Dare Not ... Uh ... You Know ... You All.

...they are usually larger than dolphins.


Smithee Awards ROCK

Hi! I have been lurking on your blog for some time and just wanted to comment on how much my DH and I love, love, LOVE the Smithee Awards. Not to sound cheesy, but it's kind of the "kick off to spring" in our house. Like in February, we'll be like "How many more weeks til the Smithees??" (This worked great, except for the year that it was f****** snowing!)

Keep up the great work!
Patti S. in Ann Arbor

Re: Smithee Awards ROCK

...and if you were one of the hardy souls who showed up the year of the ice storm, then you too ROCK, Patti.