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Movie Review: Son in Law

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“Yep, you’ve a Pauly Shore in the woodwork,” says the man in the overalls. Perplexed by this I offer an eloquent reply, “Huh?” “Ya see here,” he goes on, pointing to a crack in the doorframe, “it probably got in through there, then spread to your dining room and what have you.” His reply is far too concise, I need time to fathom this revelation, damn him and his vocational qualifications. You’re forced to endure night after night of mysterious spectral nonsense, having your life shit upon by the most absurd of disruptions, and this guy waltzes in and diagnoses the situation within barely a second. Where’s the ectoplasm detectors, eh? Why am I not lathered up in fifty feet of radiation by now? How come my thoughts aren’t being drowned out by a deluge of electronic beats and ambient clacks? This fucker’ll spare no effort to show off his clever penchant for identifying problems in an instant, but what about my malady? I ought to eject him out to fuck this very second.

“Can’t you do something about it?” I query. “Sadly no,” his lumberjack arms rubbing the gruff exterior of his swollen gut, “not much I can do, nor anyone for that matter. Once you got a Pauly Shore, you’re stuck with it till boredom hits and it fucks off.”

You don’t know you’re living with a Pauly Shore until it’s too late, until its wedged its way into your life like cancer of the colon caught too late to be treated; the only option is to try and accommodate both it and you, it might be a displeasing arrangement but is unalterable regardless.

It started with mysterious hollers in the night, roaring sonic pollution engulfing the entire house, scraping away ply after ply of lino luxury, melting the carpet with warlike disregard. This nocturnal nuisance timetabled itself into a rhythm more reliable than even the most precise of atomic clocks. The minute-hand’s penetration of two o’clock’s sovereign territory was all the catalyst needed for the hullabaloo to erupt. Muffled bellows gave way to an ascending shrill, subsequently usurped by a drone that seemed to be gurgling words, a fluctuating pitch that reverberated from one room to another. This reign of auditory terrorism would keep me hostage all night, only fading away when the sun saw fit to tilt its rays back my direction.

As you’d imagine, I was deeply upset by this lack of slumber and simultaneously mystified by the phenomenon. My attempt the next morning to call a pal for a two-way exchange of grievance and consolation ended in frustration as a maniac bout of yodelling broke out mid-conversation, a rabid discourse that became embedded in the phone line. Each time I’d reach for the receiver, say to beckon the purveyors of pizza goodness to my abode, I’d be met with deranged ululations spat in my ear. The phone was not the only household application struck with this mystifying disease. My attempt to boil the kettle only resulted in cloudy tufts of curlicues amassing near the spout, becoming darker and more embodied with each exertion of the heating mechanism. The shower strained with an unholy shriek when I threw it into operation, falsetto vowels unravelling from its head. Most alarming was my toaster. Hunger threatening my vulnerable organs, I whacked a couple of slices of bread into the contraption, desperately eager for sustenance. To my shock the toast emerged from its stasis bearing an image on its body, some kind of portrait branded onto its belly. It was a face, smirking with demented lack of self-consciousness.

Moreover, I would come home after a hard day’s graft to find the TV flicked on, some dreary splodge of cinema sutured to its screen. Unable to discard this jumble of audiovisual fizz from my line of sight, I would be forced to attend its sermon, to glance upon whatever narrative flux was caressing the cathode-ray. Inevitably it’d be a torturous slab of early-90s comedy, defecated out tie-dye rectums and stencilled into the public arena. As much as I wished to depart its hallucinatory spell, the screams of discord were insurmountable, racing into chorus as soon as I’d motion towards the dial.

Might I have to sell this infernal house, cursed with such an apparition as it is? Maybe I’ll get lucky and be whisked off to some phosphorescent limbo hiding behind the linen closet, or wake up to find myself being eaten alive by a porpoise. I could always burn the house down and live in the rumble, might even get some thick cheques from the insurance crew. This is what I get for buying off a man wearing a bow-tie, I knew the second I saw it the whole damn excursion was a bad idea. Stay in the house, I told myself, look at this fool, ain’t a drip of irony ever touched his lips. But no, I had to be a pawn to his sweet-talking ways, the ruby words oozing deep from within his throat, lassoing me with not even so much as a struggle.

Now that I think about it, this Shore character, where I have I seen him recently? Why, none other than gracing my television screen every five minutes, that swine! Yes, during those many evenings spent shrivelling in the glow of the filmic lights, I was doing nothing more than having my eyes pay tribute to Pauly Shore, incessantly, by viewing each and every one of his films. I must have been so lethargic due to the furious assault on my dull existence, so positively comatose, that I didn’t even notice the perverse thread permeating each of these narratives. So that’s it then, a Pauly Shore vehicle, each and every one of them. Truly I’ve identified the most odious and upsetting of all the symptoms associated with this bizarre domestic affliction.

Submerging my mind in the past, I’m dealt a jolly medley of imagery. Look, up there, a dome, enmeshed in the stratosphere, little figures swirling around the interior, a Baldwin of some sort writhing next to the Shore. The image flips past, like a photograph sucked into a jet engine. Next, that guy from George of Jungle is rollicking with Samwise Gamgee, unfolding in the corner is Shore, yielding gargantuan wafts of canonical oratory. A square panel featuring Lady Justice being sleazed upon by Shore slides into view, but is then knocked out by another panel, this one featuring a Scud missile being sleazed upon by Shore.

Fading into sight is another chunk of Shore refuse, purpled by a long sentence in the gulag and bitter from the flames of persecution. Assuming a form less opaque than the others, the drifting memory acts as a bridge to a land of critical recollection. With Pauly Shore’s flamboyant wraith churning distorted arias in the background, this vast pictorial essence suffocates all the senses.

It is a testament to the distracting strength of being infested with a Pauly Shore that I hadn’t noticed the curious affinity between my current situation and the one dealt with by Perry White in this film. But hang on, back up, what is this flick we’re concerned with?

Well, it goes by the name of Son in Law and sprang forth from the production womb back in 1993.

Good, but what’s it about? Who is this son? Who is this law?

What it’s about is a young girl from the Midwest who heads to Los Angeles for some schooling. Here her country virtues are corrupted by a run-in with Crawl, played by Pauly Shore. He’s a wild student with swordfish for elbows who likes nothing more than sleeping upside down. She returns to the family farm for Thanksgiving replete with a Shore under her arm. Then frolics ensue as Shore must penetrate the layers of farm-life labouring in order to gain acceptance by the cud-chewing denizens of the prairie.

The son is Shore, who must pretend to be the young lady’s fiancé so as to ward off the advances of Jimmy Jock Eerie Grin.

As for the law…Stallone is the law, last I heard.

Anyway, the question is where is the fish?

The fish, by fuck, is out of water, that’s where.

Shore must traverse a set of obstacles on his way to being embraced by the conservative values of his adopted family, from feeling his way around a few udders to giving a turkey a heart attack, from appropriating the attire of a cowpoke to encountering a tattooist Flea. He must rub grit into the eyes of the Evil Jock while also contending with nascent emotions in relation to his female buddy. It’s a tough life being a Shore, but eventually Perry White, that kid who was a vampire in the X-Files and company come round to seeing things the Shore-way. Even Kelly from Saved by the Bell gets touched by the voluptuous magic echoed in Shore’s clotted essence. This all begs the question, what is it the film expresses? What’s the message?

Clearly, the film is one big manifesto for the advocates of Shoreification. Not unlike its semantic cousin Stallonification, the word connotes a particular effect of being physically close to its namesake, wherein all become subsumed by the black hole that is Pauly Shore. Witness the girl’s transformation from pastoral naivety to beach voyeurism and big hair. The process whereupon she becomes thoroughly Shoreified culminates in her acquisition of speech patterns previously only ever propagated by Shore himself. So, like the unassuming German drudge manipulated by Goebbels, she becomes infused with a virulent and fatal posturing that is said to be twice as potent as Ebola. Yet she is not the only victim to this stylistic onslaught, all her innocent family are raped by this hazardous presence, their genuine sense of self ripped asunder and swallowed up by Shore, assimilated like that thing that was chasing Kurt Russell. Even Perry White succumbs to Shore’s tentacles of destruction, squealing the song of the weasel upon consummation.

It’s a sad scenario to observe, full of pain and misery, a Night and Fog for the slacker generation. However, if merits are forthcoming, they would have to state that the film is an unmitigated warning against the risks of inviting Pauly Shore into your residence. Your list might already inventory vampires and Jehovah’s Witnesses, but please do inscribe the words ‘Pauly Shore’ beside them, you’ll thank me later.

And with that I return to my own predicament, strangely unnerved by the conclusions reached above, an analysis hopefully not prophetic, otherwise my close proximity to the astral planes of Shore may open the gateway to a world I wish not to enter, a world of denim shorts, bouncy hair and totalitarian friendships. Promise me, dear reader, if I begin to exhibit the turgid mannerisms and degenerate mentality of Pauly Shore in the near future, please liberate me from this life.

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About Aaron Fleming

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com DukeDeMondo

    “Anyway, the question is where is the fish?

    The fish, by fuck, is out of water, that’s where.”

    jesus oh… wiping the tears from the jowels… a Shore infestation… my spine hurts with joy.