Arguments – they’re part of life. We’re all competitive beasts, never wanting to admit fault or defeat, and will go to great lengths when defending our honor when challenged or threatened. Arguments have started wars, shattered relationships, broken families, declared victors, but have also awarded respect. A win will always be a win, but longstanding respect and admitted defeat are far greater trophies than another tally mark on a record sheet somewhere. That’s where our story begins for this group of alcohol swigging, loud mouthed master-debaters (had to make that joke once, c’mon!), connected by our love of whiskey, which is only overpowered by our love for all things pop culture – cinema, music, television, gaming, you name it. Inebriation and verbal assaulting, how could this go wrong?!
Needless to say, all we do now is argue about pop culture and hot topics of the day. Despite sounding like the grunts and groans of a pack of psychopaths, we decided to translate our debates into a readable affair. This means that every few weeks or so, we will be posting our thoughts on upcoming releases and pop culture in general. Since agreeing is for peace-loving hippies, our arguments will be broken up into two sides, and the winner is decided by the readers. Yes, our fates are in your hands!
Before we begin though, allow us to introduce ourselves.
Christian: A nearly retired cop with nothing left to lose, Christian turned to bath salts and cat urine to deal with losing three wives and up to seven stepchildren (they were gingers though, does that even count?). Although it is true that he is extremely opinionated, Christian only pushes his opinions on those he loves most (especially you, dear reader). Famous for his last stand at the Alamo and ability to produce children with a single look, this is a man who should by no means be considered harmless. Aside from devilish good looks and cologne that doesn’t come in an aluminum can, his knowledge of everything pop-culture will leave wives crying for divorce and daughters breaking the locks their fathers rightfully installed on their chastity belts. Debating isn’t exactly his strong suit, but he did once defeat a whole debate team using only the power of a flamethrower, so maybe that counts.
Gem: Gem has lived the secluded life of an academic, dedicated to a better understanding of critical analysis. Emerging from five years struggling to insert page numbers into Word, Gem indulged in the world of film to satiate her creative side – from which burst the need to obliterate those who do not agree with her inane, profane ranting. Her most critically acclaimed debate was executed at this year’s Comic Con when she swayed a crowd of riotous nerds into agreeing that yes, a coat rack could defeat Wolverine. The opposition doesn’t stand a chance.
Nato: Traveling back in time from a dystopian universe where pop culture debates are a game of life and death, Nato (formerly Natobombious Kick-Assious) continues to extend his unbeaten streak against the competition he now sees in three (barely) functioning alcoholics who devour useless entertainment factoids like the bottles of Jack taped to their hands. Matt can make a case for anything, but enjoys the new challenge of debate through writing, disabling his hypnotically enchanting “hair-flip” closing visual, typically bringing competition to their knees with one swiftly punctuated “swoosh.” Who needs a closing argument when you have great hair? You’re about to witness the great lengths he’s willing to go and mighty stretches he’s willing to make, abandoning all notions of self-respect just to deliver the most convincing arguments conceivable. A pop-culture chameleon, Nato can do it all. We promise we’ll do our best to contain him, but it might be too late already…
Alex: Formed from the recovered DNA of Stephen A. Douglas, Ben Franklin, and Socrates, Alex is an unstoppable force in an argument. Basically every epic speech in every courtroom movie/TV show ever was copied verbatim from arguments Alex has made. If the world listened to his points on abortion, gay marriage, or America’s healthcare system, all people would finally be in agreement. But why waste his talents on such minutia? It’s the world of the media that sparks the fiercest debates, and thus his fiercest opinions. But just because he’s such an eloquent debater in person doesn’t mean that doesn’t translate into his writing. Some argue the pen is mightier than the sword. Well Alex doesn’t write with a pen, he uses a sword to slice paper into the words that crush those who disagree. Whoever opposes him ought to fear for not only their dignity, but their safety as well.
Today’s Argument: What Is The Most Messed Up Relationship On Film?
Warm Bodies is in theaters now, and while it’s being dubbed a “rom-zom” and a genre-blending film, what it really is can be viewed as far from romantic. It’s a story about a romance between a girl and a zombie. Zombies are dead. Gross. The mere thought of it is enough to make us shudder, and in honor of that we’ve decided to argue a few other peculiar or just awful relationships with the goal of giving one the honour of “Most messed up relationship on film.”
We’ve graciously given Nato the week off, as he claims his real life relationships are too f*cked up to hate on anyone else’s, even fictional characters from movies, so there are just three arguments this week. Read on for the first!
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Christian: The Ten
There have been many strange relationships that I simply don’t understand, such as Renee Zellweger with anyone she’s ever been with. Seriously, that face, it must have been forged in the fires of Mount Doom. But perhaps the oddest of couples that I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing is Winona Ryder and her tryst with a ventriloquist doll in David Wain’s The Ten.
Let’s not discuss the quality of the film, per se, but how amazing this relationship is. In one of the many shorts that make up The Ten, Ryder plays a woman upset with her boring relationship. But after watching a hilariously unfunny ventriloquist doll perform at a club, she steals the doll from its owner and proceeds to spend a passionate night in a motel room with her wooden lover.
The fling involves every cliché rolled up into one fantastic montage, including one of the most disturbingly perfect sex scenes in cinema. It’s not graphic, and only lasts a few seconds, but watching Ryder live up to her name with that doll is enough to redeem the whole movie. Seriously, look it up on Youtube, because you know you really want to.
But we’re not here to talk about sex; we’re here to figure out which relationship is the weirdest, and by God, it’s gotta be this one! It’s not even an inter-species affair since it’s between a deranged woman and an inanimate doll, and what’s weirder than that? Other than that time you totally made out with your Cabbage Patch Kid. Don’t deny it, you freak. Live in your shame!
Ryder starts to feel alive as she drives away with the doll, crying because she has never felt this way about anybody before. What makes this odd couple believable is the way this carved hunk of wood breathes life into a bored housewife. Everybody can relate to the feeling of being free after finding the person you love, running away into the sunset and feeling the wind blow through your hair (or mouth hole, if you’re a puppet who can read (in which case, holy crap! Please don’t murder the rest of my family!)).
Actually, who am I kidding? This is all because of that sex scene. Best thing in the world, hands down. It doesn’t matter if the relationship does end up lasting, because their one night of passion composes a beautiful symphony of emotions that no other on screen couple has been able to convey in such a perfect way.
Wrong again. It’s the sex. Hope you enjoy the splinters, Winona!
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Alex: Ruby Sparks
There have been some extremely messed up relationships shown in movies. It’s almost as if Hollywood doesn’t want humans to be with other humans. Heck, we already debated whether a human girl was better off with a werewolf or a vampire. Which is really really weird for the record. Now, Warm Bodies gives necrophiliacs everywhere their own movie. However, there’s still one relationship in a movie that is the weirdest for me, and that would be the one in Ruby Sparks.
Like seriously, there is no one that can deny how weird it is that he was dating a girl he could control. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t control her for most of the movie. The entire time he knew he had the power to make her do whatever he wanted. What the hell! Yeah that’s what every guy claims they would want, but I wouldn’t want that power. How could you possibly live with that thought?
Now those who absolutely loved the movie are probably furiously writing comments about how he sets her free at the end. Hold on a second. Don’t get me wrong. I really did enjoy this movie, but I probably enjoyed it because I’m a pretty weird dude myself. It doesn’t matter that he set her free. He still created her. With his mind. Everything she is came from his head. So he’s basically dating himself. What the hell!
There have been many levels of narcissism in movies, but the character doesn’t usually date themselves. This is wrong on so many levels, but at its most basic, she’s only his dream girl because she literally came from his dreams. Unless you subscribe to some belief that every thought we have is placed in our head somehow, or you’re willing to accept that DiCaprio planted that original dream in his head, it’s safe to say that creating a girl from your thoughts is really messed up.
Also, how did she even come into being? I’m all for the mystical, but no one is genius enough to create an actual living girl. I kept waiting for her to start disappearing. Regardless, messed up beyond belief.
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Gem: The Fly
The Fly serves as a warning to couples: if you morph into an insect, chances are your relationship is doomed. With cinema content to pair up vampires, werewolves and blow-up dolls with humans, David Cronenberg’s body horror smudges that boundary. Until you want to be sick. Looking back on the 1986 film now it clearly stands as rhetoric for the AIDS epidemic, and the harsh realities couples deal with as they are faced with a fatal, degrading prognosis. The Fly ’s romance between Seth Brundle and Veronica Quaife is staggering for the plain fact that it persists throughout an entire feature.
What marks Seth and Veronica as one of cinema’s strangest couples is the underlying normality reflected in the grotesque events which they succumb to. One drunken night Seth decides to test his teleportation device with himself as the subject. An unknowing fly enters the pod with him and so begins his change into a fly. The oddity here is physically witnessed in his subsequent transformation, yet the strange stems from his human nature. In a jealous flit he endangers himself and his relationship. This chain of events begins out of typical human misunderstanding: he believes his girlfriend is cheating, when in fact she has ventured out to seek closure from her ex.
But what of Veronica’s behaviour? She’s equally as mad! As she learns of Seth’s predicament she continues to be drawn to him, more so even after he has bridged the gap between human and fly. She is an assured, strong woman who continues to date a man whose fridge has been renamed the Brundlefly museum. Never in film has a more bizarre tryst existed, wherein an innocent hunt in the fridge for last night’s pad thai, leaves one partner uncovering the other’s necrotic genitals.
Your typical swooning conversation between lovers is traded for body-horror politic, as Brundle exclaims to Veronica: “Drink deep, or taste not, the plasma spring! Y’see what I’m saying? And I’m not just talking about sex and penetration. I’m talking about penetration beyond the veil of the flesh! A deep penetrating dive into the plasma pool!” Now that’s the sort of chatter you want on a long walk along a beach.
The couple persevere through normal, “everyday” behaviour while simultaneously engaging in vile acts. After a jump in the sack, Veronica plucks a bit of circuitry out of Seth’s back – and later while he eats a carton of ice cream, she clips hair thick as pipe cleaners from his shoulders. As Seth nears his complete transformation, he becomes stronger and more confident and therefore: more attractive to Veronica. It’s all well and good that now he can jump into the rafters to clean out those pesky spider webs but that keen athletic ability only confirms his fate. During the film’s final reel, Veronica, while still hopelessly in love with Seth, has to defend herself and her mutant pregnancy from the ultimate proposition.
Madder than a bag full of bipolar badgers, Seth attempts to really go all out for their last consummation. To unite himself, Veronica and the baby he deems that the only way to save their failed relationship is for the three of them to go into the teleportation pod together. You know, to be forged as one. Now, there’s commitment and then there’s restraining orders. This proposal romps carefree into the realm of the latter.
Veronica’s final comment on her man-fly boyfriend’s indecent proposal? Well, there’s only one option really isn’t there?
She blows his head off with a shotgun.
Who said romance is dead?
The arguments have been made! Now it’s your turn, head to the comments section and weigh-in on which relationship you find the most messed up.
And if you enjoyed our arguments, perhaps you’re interested in some of our past ones, such as:Previous