A few weeks ago, with Piper busy doing imaginary things to imaginary people, I gave you an assignment for LAMB Grazin’ On The Plot Farm 3.0. Not to take anything away from the fine, fine folks that did partake (thank you!), but I obviously would lose a popularity contest to that dirty, stinkin’ Piper, as there were but two responses.
Nevertheless, we plow on. Read these fine, fine entries with a critical eye and vote for your favorite at the end.
Too Hot To Handle
Written and Directed by: Bob Dole
Produced by: Stolen Kansas tax money (circa 1974-1992)
Starring: Bob Dole as Rob Dole, P.I.
Zooey Deschanel as Golly
Jason Bateman as Hiccup
[Note: The following is a written description of a three-minute trailer depicting the opening scene of Warner Independent Pictures’ new thriller/comedy Too Hot to Handle.]
Thanksgiving, 2008. Topeka, Kansas.
Aged detective, Rob Dole, sits in his dimly lit living room. His left hand lights the cigarette dangling from his lips, his right grips tightly to a Webley-Fosber revolver. The clock strikes ten and there’s a sudden knock at the door. Dole blasts off four rounds right through the cheap pine boards.
A beautiful young woman pokes her head through the new door hole. “Rob?” she asks. The shadowed man shuffles behind the couch. She swings the door open and slowly walks inside. “It’s me, Molly, from Meals on Wheels. Happy Thanksgiving.”
She switches the lights on and looks around the small, dusty house. The place looks like it’s been ransacked. Piles of old newspapers are stacked next to the fireplace and empty scotch bottles have taken over the kitchen floor. The place is a dump. She clears out the sink, fills it with warm water, and places a turkey to begin thawing.
“That’ll be 42 bucks, Mr. Role.” The old retiree shuffles into the broom closet and shuts the door. “Mr. Role? I don’t have time for this. I have to meet Phillip in half an hour. The turkey’s gonna take a few hours to thaw and then I’ll be back to stick it in the oven tomorrow morning.”
The closet door opens. A string of incoherient mumbles trips out of the dark. “But, Golly, Thanksgiving’s today.” The pretty woman rolls her eyes and walks towards the closet. “Are you out of shots, Mr. Role?” No reply. “Are you out of shots, Mr. Role?” The pistol creeps out of the darkness and Molly grabs it from him and places it on the table.
“That’s better. Now, I’ve brought some spaghetti and meatballs for you tonight. I’ll be back to start cooking your turkey, tomorrow” says Molly. The door flies open violently. Rob Dole storms out of the closet and grabs Molly with his good arm. “Spaghetti and meatballs? SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS? That’s immigrant food! I’d rather regurgitate breakfast and eat that than touch that immigrant shit!” Molly pulls herself away from the crotchety old man and he stumbles backwards into his arm chair.
“Golly, get the hell out of here. You and Hiccup can have a great fuckin’ time eating your immigrant food!” Frustrated, Molly yells, “My name is MOLL-Y. His name is PHILL-IP! Crazy old man.” She throws the bag of food into Role’s nasty refrigerator and storms out of the house.
CUT TO: EARLY MORNING NEWS BROADCAST
“Son of Nebraska politician, Henry Bones, Phillip Bones and his girlfriend Molly Rains, were abducted in front of a diner around 11:30PM last night. A ransom note was delivered to the Bones household early this morning. The note asked for $300,000 in cash to be delivered upon further instruction.”
Back in Role’s living room, the ancient drunkard watches the news report. He looks back and forth between the television and the kitchen. Back and forth. He stands out of his chair.
“Damn it. Who’s gonna cook my turkey?”
Role throws on a tattered, old trenchcoat, a ratty fedora, and grabs the gun from the table.
NARRATOR: “This Thanksgiving, justice is served up, cold turkey.
Bob Dole stars in…TOO HOT TO HANDLE.
CLOSE UP of Dole’s face
“Damn it. Who’s gonna cook my turkey?”
Eli, the downsized former film critic of the Louisville (KY) Ledger, has been “liberated” from his upscale, balloon-mortgaged home, and has taken up residence in a dump on the outskirts of his former upscale life. A Mexican immigrant, Carlos, lives in a shack near Eli’s and shouts abuse at Eli when he isn’t regurgitating the rot-gut liquor he consumes every hour on the hour.
Eli ponders how he can find a useful—and lucrative—place in society again when, one night, he sees two men deposit a large bundle in the dump. Because of all the crime films he’s seen, Eli suspects that these are criminals dumping a body. He goes over to investigate. He finds the thawing body of a woman. The only clues to her identity are 42 bucks in Monopoly money stuffed into her mouth and a piece of paper stuffed where the sun don’t shine. The paper is an ad from an old AARP magazine showing Bob Dole extolling the virtues of Viagra.
Eli puts two and two together and figures the woman attempted to blackmail a mob figure suffering from impotence and received her “hush money” in some deep freeze. He figures he can parlay this true crime into a screenplay worth big bucks—but he has to learn more.
Eli begs enough money to buy Carlos a gallon of Gallo. While the poor slob is drunk, he hustles him onto a bus, and they head for Churchill Downs. Eli remembers a terrible evening he had at the movies, when his snobby ex-girlfriend Frieda made him go see some Frenchie movie named Pickpocket. Now thankful that he wanted to get into her pants so desperately that he agreed to see it, Eli rewinds the racetrack sequence in his head. But instead of working with a crack team, he simply lifts a few purses and then points to the staggering Carlos as the thief and runs off.
Armed with enough money to rent an SRO, a TV, and a VCR. Eli uses his precious library card to check out every George Raft, Edward G. Robinson, and Jimmy Cagney movie he can find—three in all. He has better luck with the Oceans remakes. He steals all the plot points he can, relying most heavily on The Woman in the Window for his ripped-from-the-headlines-of-the-past story. He uses the public computers at the library to type up his treatment.
Unfortunately for Eli, Dept. of Homeland Security agent Golly has been perusing the library’s records for anything that might lead him to a suspected Al Quaeda cell in Louisville. He notes the films Eli has checked out and sees Eli’s name in the computer logs. His surveillance of Eli takes him to the dump where it all began, as Eli goes to fetch Carlos for another round of pickpocketing at the track.
Sure that Carlos is actually an Afghani cleverly pretending to be blind drunk, Golly tails them both. He looks at the tote board and sees some suspicious odds flipping for a nag called Too Hot to Handle. This must be code, Golly conjectures. He moves in on Eli and Carlos and dramatically grabs Carlos by the arm, whose hiccupping has caused him to lose his balance. Eli, watching his fall guy, well, falling, runs to his aid and attempts to punch Golly in the jaw. Golly trips Eli, and a slugfest ensues; gamblers at the track place their bets on the outcome. Eventually, Golly handcuffs Eli. In the meantime, Carlos has found a quiet bathroom stall in which to sleep it off.
Golly forces Eli to take him to the SRO. The room has been ransacked and the video of The Strawberry Blonde is missing. Golly is sure it contains a crucial microdot revealing the location of secret missile silos in Freedonia. Eli tells him Freedonia is not a real place—it’s a made-up country in a Marx Brothers movie. He should not have said Marx. Golly instantly subjects him to the third degree. For two solid days, Eli is pumped for information, kept from sleeping, made to crouch in a corner until a giant roach scares him like a girl. Finally, utterly exhausted and discouraged, he says to Golly, “Look, mister, I’m so tired you’d be doin’ me a big favor if you’d blow my head off.”
Just as he says the line, Eli realizes that he’s been asleep all the time. He dreamt the whole thing. Just then, the screen goes black.
Walking down a golden beach, agent Golly waves to an attractive women on the balcony of a beach house. He walks languidly to the stairs and mounts them, and accepts a martini from the woman’s hand. She tells him Joel Coen just called and would like a meeting. Golly says he’s not ready to talk. Looking into the wide ocean, he thinks to himself, “After I find another film critic.”