Kneumsi found himself in a quaint meadow surrounded by a copse of trees, some of which still had decaying Christmas decorations hanging from them. Kneumsi found this decided oddball because of the fact that this was, in fact, the far future from his perspective and he wondered why the hell decorations (and waste management, for that matter) hadn't improved over the centuries. This was, of course, the distant past for his counterpart Flynn and the immediate present for the third person in their party, a young, palendromically named douchebag named Sagan Nagas.
Nagas was, of course, Kneumsiís arch enemy, although Nagas sure as hell was not aware of this forlorn fact just yet. For those of you newcomers to this ridiculous storyline, Nagas will eventually be entrusted with the identity of the Film Critic who inadvertently began the downfall of society... a downfall that Nagas and his futuristic brethren were presently doing battle against. Within the next decade or so, Nagas would be chosen to go back in time to attempt to stop Kneumsi from becoming a film critic, thus preserving a bright future. This, of course, he will fail at (in Kneumsiís past, but Nagasí future, in spite of the fact that Kneumsi is presently in Nagasí present, which is Kneumsiís future and Kneumsi already met Nagas in Kneumsiís past, which is something that wonít happen until Nagasí future... which is Kneumsiís past... even though Nagas is from the Future).
For those of you not new to this ridiculous storyline, yes, all hell breaks loose and the (future) Nagas has spent the past several years attempting to take revenge against Kneumsi throughout the timeline. And if you think thatís crazy, you should read what Nagasí meddling with the timeline really does to Nagasí present... which is our future... and Flynnís past. Unless you're reading this from the future, in which case... I wonder if I'm dead. Nevermind.
"Say, Nagas?", Kneumsi asked casually as he drew in the dirt with his foot, a banjo slung across his back.
Nagas was sitting on a rock in his white-with-red-trim armor, just feet away from his white-with-red-trim fighter craft which had so recently rescued Flynn and Kneumsi from the tyrannical imprisonment of Zantorion the Conqueror (professional jerk). Before Nagas could respond, Flynn (who was stretched out on a towel on the meadow floor, catching some rays and looking annoyed) moaned and said "Itís not worth it, man!"
Nagas continued to clean his laser pistol and said "Yo, whatís up?"
"Do I look at all familiar to you?"
Nagas glared at him in the bright sunlight for a moment, then said "Nope. Aside from having just met you on Zantorion the Conquerorís Alien Fuck battleship, Iíve never seen you before in my life!"
"Does my name sound at all familiar to you?" Kneumsi pressed, idiotically.
Nagas shrugged. "I think I read a similar name in the history books way back when, now that you mention it. Huh. I havenít heard a name like yours in years. I wonder why. Itís almost like someone wanted to expunge it from history or some such shit."
Flynn growled "We should be so lucky."
Nagas stood up and approached Kneumsi. "Why do you ask, old sport?"
"Just curious. I expected to be famous by now." Kneumsi said. And that wasnít a lie.
"Didnít we all?" Nagas laughed. "I kinda wanted to be a Clown Prophet once."
"Oh, no WAY, me TOO!" Kneumsi beamed. Young Nagas wasnít quite the banana bunch of fuck sticks that older Nagas turned out to be. He wondered idly what had happened to make the elder Nagas such a piece of piss before realizing Oh, yeah... me.
Flynn lifted herself on one elbow and said "Hey, what the hell are we doing here in this (admittedly charming) meadow? Werenít you supposed to take us back to that ĎEcho Baseí or something? Please tell me that this isnít it, because if it is, you should change the name to ĎBig Lame Clearing With Nothing Interesting In It That Doesnít Even Echo Or Nothingí!"
Nagas laughed. "You guys are all right! But seriously, no, thatís Echo Base over there!"
He pointed and through the dense (and oddly green-tinted) smog Kneumsi was able to make out an enormous stadium shaped structure with antennae, satellite dishes and what he could only guess were laser cannons adorning its kilometer high structure. "Thatís some base, man!" Kneumsi admitted through jaded lips.
"Yep. Itís the size of a small city. Lots of top secret bullshit goes on in there. And if you look right... there... youíll see my room."
Flynn groaned again in annoyance while Kneumsi actually squinted harder.
Nagas pointed again "And down there, is where we torture prisoners of war with the movie The Executioner, part II. And over there is where we use Mac and Me to torture prisoners. Theyíre building a new wing now just for Troll 2!"
Kneumsi gulped "Smart!" he said... before racing to change the subject. "I gotta agree with Flynn though, man. Why here instead of there?"
Nagas shrugged. "Orders. Apparently you two were some big important find, though they wouldnít tell me any such shit about why the hell youíre worth an entire armada attacking Zantorion the Conquerorís battleship for. Donít get me wrong, you both seem like wonderful people."
"One of us is." Flynn corrected.
"Thanks!" Kneumsi said (to Flynn).
Nagas continued. "Anyway, they apparently want you both away from civilization until the high officials can bring you in a proper convoy. I suggested a safe house, but they said ĎNO CIVILIZATION!í so I just did what they said. Oh, cool, here they come now!"
Kneumsi looked up to see a small collection of very official-looking flying vehicles approaching from the approximate point of that ĎEcho Baseí thing. There was one large, vaguely triangular craft flanked by six smaller, yet formidable airships all white with red trim.
"Ah, our Limousine awaits, Flynnster."
Flynn brightened "Limo?" In Flynnís time there was no such thing on Earth (in fact, Earth sucked EVEN worse in Flynnís time) so she was interested in experiencing new things for the first stupid time. She always credited this need as stemming from the fact that she is, in her own time, a PhD in History, but in reality she still a happy kid who really loves neat things.
"Now you guys stay close to me. I want to look like a big man and maybe get my name in the paper for being the guy who rescued you two." Nagas smiled, finally looking more like the douchebag they both knew.
"Paper again?" Flynn rolled her eyes.
"Say, Nagasaki. That one ship of yours is coming in pretty damned fast, ainít it?" Kneumsi asked.
Nagas looked skyward and said "WHAT? NO! Thatís not ours!"
Flynn screamed "Thatís Zantorionís Battleship!"
Kneumsi put both fists on his hips and said "Well, I never did see it from the outside, you know!"
Echo Base lit up like an exploding Christmas Tree, volleying missiles and laser blasts toward the angry-looking battleship, which responded back in kind. Flynnís Limo-to-be and its escorts turned abruptly and began to fire skyward as well. Nagas himself, realizing he had precious little time to get to his own ship, fired into the sky with his hand-held Westinghouse-brand poised laser gun (with pistol grip and a decal of "Slayer" on the side).
"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" Kneumsi shouted and began to run around in circles, ridiculously. Flynn had no idea what the hell else to do so she followed him. "Theyíre heading straight for us, man!" Kneumsi screamed (sounding not at all unlike Bill Paxton) as he craned his neck to see the approaching behemoth which was now on fire.
The vessel was now so close that Kneumsi could barely make out the image of Zantorion himself behind a wind screen angrily holding up his middle finger. Zantorion had seven fingers on each hand, but it meant the same fucking thing, man!
Somehow a lucky shot struck Zantorionís Battleship on the side and a huge explosion occurred, banking the ship starboard and its rapid descent became a crash landing. "What the FUCK?" Kneumsi shouted and ducked.
The Battleship came down in a spray of fire and the side of the ship ruptured open. Kneumsi recognized that this was the same rupture they had recently escaped from. "Ah, dumb luck!" he said. "They mustíve just now gotten that break fixed, dude."
A ton of Alien Fucks from different worlds and times (volunteers, slaves, mercenaries and impressed workers Zantorion had collected in his spacetime journeys) bounded out of the ripped-open new doorway firing their weapons and making a big fucking mess out of the entire meadow.
Flynn grabbed Kneumsi and they took cover behind Nagasí spacecraft. She said "Thereís no way they even got a rudimentary fix done that fast. We just left! Zantorion and his Alien Fucks are clearly using their Westinghouse-brand Time-Normalizing doohickey on the Ďdonít you dare!í setting."
As more of Nagasí futuristic (or presentistic, depending on how you looked at it) space armada touched down around them to fight the Alien Fuck Horde, Kneumsi shouted "So what does that mean for us?"
Flynn screamed back "It means that if they donít turn the damned thing off and if these idiots donít watch where they shoot, weíre all in for a big... "
With that, a high-pitched whine emanated from the invading ship, followed by a blinding white light which caused Nagas to dive back behind his ship with his companions and Flynn to finish her sentence with "... okay, yeah, weíre fucked now."
Before Kneumsi could say "WHAT?" he was caught in the white light and dematerialized right before Nagasí beady little eyes. Flynn similarly vanished just afterward, seeming to disintegrate before him. Nagas himself appeared to be completely unharmed.
Emboldened, like Colin Powell after the book deal, Nagas dove back out onto the ground, blaster brandished out before him as he saw alien after Alien vanish in pops of white light. The wave of radiation (not "mutilation", though thatís a kick ass song) continued for at least three kilometers, seemingly causing no further destruction. The remaining Aliens (including an awestruck and humiliated Zantorion, who screamed "Oh this is great, this is just fucking GREAT, man. I just finished organizing those papers! Fuck!") were immediately and easily outnumbered so the present (or future, you decide) day humans easily rounded them up and prepared them for bad movie torture.
Nagas remained horrified. "They disintegrated!" he mumbled. "Boy am I gonna get it NOW!"
THE PRESENT (Pretty Much):
"Oh, hello! Welcome to the Ovaltine Odeon. You remember the butcher, baker, candlestick maker... the construction guy, Apache chief, cop and leather biker dude, Jeni, Lynelle, Shannon, Sean, Humberto, Weaz, Dylan, Kidd, Ricky... and, of course, OíMalley. Hugs and kisses all around. Alex, please take our guestsí coats and hang them up. Thank you, sweetie! We're so pleased that you could spend this Thanksgiving with us. How are your families? Uh-huh? And Grandma? Oh, well that's just splendid. We sure hope you've brought your appetite. You ALL did? Ah, good. Have a seat. Who would like to say Grace? You? Yes, we've waited up for you.
"Ah, charming. The ĎLook out Stomach, here it comes!í part really showed your appreciation for God's Bounty. I'll have to remember that one.
"No, don't worry, we've already made your plates. Yes, yes. Here you go. You've got it all... here's the cranberry sauce, jellied like you like it, and still in the appetizing shape of a tin can. Ah! Of course the broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts all in a sea of pasteurized, processed cheese food. Here's a little stuffing for you, not too dry! Mashed potatoes (with a pinch of garlic), and some rich gravy... that covers it.
"Oh, of course, silly me. I forgot the most important part of a Thanksgiving Feast... the Turkey. Here you go... here's your Turkey!"
The host's speech was interrupted when a hand was raised. "Yes?"
"Who the hell are you?" a punky looking young chick with pink hair and hipster glasses asked.
"Iím... Keith." the erstwhile host said.
"Well where the fuck is Kneumsi?" Sean asked.
"We... donít really know. The last we heard from him, he was abducted by Aliens and is lost, possibly forever. See, this is the new annual Thanksgiving Turkey Vigil that we hold to honor his traditions until he comes back again... which could be... never."
With that, the Erstwhile host broke down into tears that were only interrupted by a flurry of spinning lights that formed a dissipating sphere on the stage right next to him. As the tachyon sphere faded like Pauley Shoreís career a tall, dashing figure with a stringed instrument slung across his back slowly was able to be made out. A hush fell over the crowd."
"NO WAY! Kneumsi?" shouted Jeni.
"Uh. Yeah." The new arrival said flatly in a confused-ass voice.
"Where have you been?" the now unemployed former host asked in a shocked voice.
"You wouldnít believe me if I told you!" Kneumsi responded, still looking baffled.
"How... did you get here?" the Chief asked before slugging the cop next to him in the arm angrily.
"I have no idea whatsoever." Kneumsi admitted.
"Isnít that kind of a deus ex machina?" Alex demanded.
"Maybe. Weíll just cover that in the epilogue or something, I guess." Kneumsi shrugged.
"Dude! Just... dude... Do... you want to take over?" the former host asked.
"Um. Sure... Why not?" Grabbing the microphone, Kneumsi muttered, "Thanks, Keith. Anyway..."
Kneumsi, the rightful host (who rules, ruled and will rule), cleared his throat and laughed "Damn, itís good to be back." The audience clapped and a couple of people even cheered. It had been a long two years since they pelted his ass with Thanksgiving leftovers. "Thank you, Thank you! Yes, yes, well this is an incredibly long article already... yeah... little... meta-fiction for you... anyway... So without further ado, letís dig into all the fixinís as well as, of course, the Thanksgiving Turkey itself! Letís hear it for... Showgirls!"
The audience cheered even louder. There was a collective "at last" feeling sweeping over the crowd. That was until they noticed Keith standing up and waving his arms wildly to silence them.
"Itís not... itís not Showgirls, man." he said, apologetically.
Kneumsi glared at him. "What do you mean itís not Showgirls. I specifically said Showgirls!"
Keith cleared his throat and bowed his head. "You, uh, you didnít say shit, man, you were in outer space."
Kneumsi sighed and said "Okay, fine, fine, fine, so instead, letís hear it for... " he snatched an index card from Keithís hand and read the words with a devout disdain. "Hellraiser: Revelations? Dude, no!"
"But you like Hellraiser." Keith pleaded.
"I like Doug Bradley!" Kneumsi bitched and grabbed the DVD cover and thrust it toward Keith's face. "Does this asshole look like Doug Fucking Bradley to you?"
"Well, maybe if you squint a little.", Keith responded.
Connie Struction stood up and threw his arms in the air, shouting "Look, Kneumsi, Iím glad youíre back and all, but a Hellraiser flick with no Doug Bradley? Iím out of here!"
Kneumsi pointed angrily. "Sit the fuck down, helmet-head! I make the rules around here, okay? Fuck. The whole idea is to make this unpleasant for you fuckers anyway. Letís... letís just make the most of it. Or the worst, as the case may be."
Everyone sat back down as Kneumsi began to speak again. "Okay, who remembers my review for The Fantastic Four, the unreleased 1994 joke?" A number of hands raised and Kneumsi continued. "The idiotic studio was forced to create a Fantastic Four flick by a certain date or they would lose the rights to the franchise, so they did make a Fantastic Four flick and retained the rights even though the movie sucked more ass than a leech on a donkey.
"This... abortion we are about to witness... is what happens when Dimension Films is afraid to lose the rights to the Hellraiser franchise and rushes a lame sequel into production."
The crowd roared with disapproval. "Youíve gone too far, Kneumsi!" shouted one. "Blame Keith!" another cried out. Both Roger O'Malley and the motorcycle cop yelled "Yeah! Let's get him!" Still others simply tried to blind or deafen themselves through various means (both crude and scientific).
"Letís just start it, dammit!" Kneumsi muttered as the screen behind him lit up in whatever the opposite of triumph might be.
The first thing the audience was exposed to was a shaky camera inside a stupid car on a ridiculously stupid freeway.
Dylan shouted "Dude, no way! FOUND FOOTAGE? You know? I hate ALL the Hellraiser flicks, theyíre absolutely vile, but there is one thing I can say about them... they simply cannot be combined with Found Fucking Footage!"
Kneumsi barked "One would think! But look... thatís what they did! In fact, the only thing that could make Hellraiser more nauseating is a shaky fucking camera! Itís almost logical!"
"FUCK!" the entire crowd chanted in unison (which shocked even Kneumsi).
The host sneered, "The funny thing is that the idiots who made this actually expect you to believe that this is Found Footage, totally real... in spite of the fact that these two Ďactorsí canít act for shit!"
The nauseavision continued until a certain key word was heard. And the audience just lost their minds.
Shannon screamed "Did they just say that one of these dickhead teenagersí last name is ĎBradleyí? What the fuck is this supposed to be some kind of lame-ass TRIBUTE?"
The punk girl barked back "Impossible! Unless theyíre about to reveal that Doug Bradley actually is in the movie!"
Kneumsi snarled "Nope! Doug Bradley has integrity (in spite of his appearances in Hellraisers 5 -8, that is). He saw the rushed schedule and lame ass script and he said Ďaw HELL naw, man!í"
The audience was prepared to break down the door to escape. The cop stood up and shouted "So itís not even a tribute, itís..."
"INSULT TO INJURY!" Keith confirmed. "The other idiotís last name is ĎCravení. Wes should SUE!"
"Wait, wait, wait.", Kneumsi called over the noises. "Check it out... the found footage bullshit has stopped."
At first the crowd seemed to settle... Hey, at least they didnít have to deal with that bullshit, right? But as the now decidedly deceased kidsí families started to watch the actual footage on the salvaged video camera the audience started to feel like they were, once again, in hell, with no chance of being raised.
"Great, man, the movie is showing us parts of itself." Ricky moaned.
"How does this make any sense? First of all, Pinhead and the Cenobites can be filmed? Secondly... these two imbecilic douchebags got pulled into Hell in Tijuana... yet their belongings AND the stupid puzzle box all are delivered safely to mommy and daddy? HOW?" the Chief was indignant.
"Sucks, doesnít it?" Kneumsi confirmed. "Watch closely and see that the dorky duo still has the bag with the box and video camera much later in the story... which, for obvious reasons, causes a massive fucking contradiction at every turn. Idiots."
Realizing she hadnít said anything loud in almost four minutes, Jeni said "Wait, now, this is even stupider. Weíre flashing back to what happened with Found Footage, but THEN we also get flashbacks of the same two morons... without found footage? Itís just a standard flashback? Isnít that cheating?"
"Like a married woman with a gigolo, it sure as fuck is!" Kneumsi laughed.
"Aw, man!", Kidd said. "That doesnít look OR sound anything like Doug Bradley. Who the FUCK is playing Pinhead?"
Kneumsi rolled his eyes. "Thatís some douche named... um... "
Keith continued for him "Stephan Smith Collins."
"Stephan Smith Collins, thatís right, but hereís whatís even funnier. He looks nothing like him at all, right? But the filmmakers (and I use that term loosely) had his voice dubbed over by Fred Tatasciore. Thatís right... Collinsí voice was so bad that they had to hire another actor just to sound nothing like Pinhead!"
"Then why did they even hire Collins?" OíMalley demanded.
"Because this is a terrible, terrible movie! Hilariously, Tatasciore also plays a totally different Cenobite... who also has pins in his fucking head. Why the fuck didn't they just make him Pinhead, right?" Kneumsi shook his head. "Happy now?"
The audience was not. The "movie" continued to unspool and it got even worse. Repeats of stupid moments from previous films in the series bored the crowd. Craven did the whole "give me blood" thing that Frank had done in the first Hellraiser to get out of Hell. But Craven prefers to stay in Hell according to another part of the stupid script. "That makes no fucking sense.", the audience agreed. The same old lame lines continued to bore. The actors playing the Craven and Bradley families were low rent and the characters they played had no intelligence whatsoever. The plot made no sense, especially when some stupid reinterpretation of the same old bum character showed back up again.
Ricky raised his hand again and asked forlornly "So these people canít figure out that theyíve been in hell this whole time, since the stupid box was opened?"
Kneumsi nodded sadly. "Whatís worse is that they keep trying and trying to open it again and again, in spite of the fact that itís already fucking open and impossibly supernatural things keep happening. Folks, this movie just makes no damned sense! That is, unless the script canít actually even make up its mind whatís really going on."
"Thatís the real truth, I guarantee! And the actors sound like theyíre reading from cue cards, man!", the Cowboy drawled.
"The entire thing was made in three weeks." Kneumsi added.
The soldier dude jumped in his seat, like he had PTSD. "They had THREE WEEKS to make this film and they only came up with this garbage? Iíve never even been on a movie set and I could make a better film than this in three whole weeks."
"So could Doug Bradley." Keith added.
"And watch how the plot contradicts itself. Three weeks isnít long enough for the cast and crew to actually forget what they just filmed... but the premise changes more often than most people change socks!" Kneumsi said through clenched teeth.
"But somehow this stupid movie remains predictable!" Jeni mocked.
"Probably because they stole everything they have from previous entries in the series." Dylan agreed. "And it wasnít that fucking good the first few times around."
"And this whole Ďfamily under siegeí crap doesnít even feel like the same movie. What is this, Amityville II?" Ricky inquired sourly.
"This is actually worse!", OíMalley countered to his roommate.
"And as much as they keep ripping off the previous movies, they canít even follow the rules set out in the Hellraiser series itself." Weaz barked in frustration.
Jeni agreed. "No shit. So is it hands that summon them now, or desire? And the Cenobites can attack the innocent?"
Kneumsi put a gentle hand on Jeniís thigh and said "Donít try to make sense out of this shit... Just watch how hilarious things get when Pinhead carves out a bigger part for himself in this BOMB of a flick!"
At last the audience started to laugh loudly. "Pinhead is delivering monologue and heís as melodramatic as all fuck!" the Biker guffawed.
OíMalley agreed. "You know, man, when they kept him in the shadows, he mightíve passed. But they focus on this idiot with such perfect lighting that we canít mistake his fat face for Doug Bradley no matter what!"
Kidd laughed even harder and shouted "I havenít seen anyone this animated since the last Gumby flick!"
"Wait, wait, wait!", Kneumsi urged. "Youíll miss the ending."
While itís true that nobody would actually "miss it" whether they saw it or not, the audience finally silenced and then, in unison, gave a pained cry.
"Thatís it? Fake Pinhead bitches and moans for seven minutes and then the credits pop up on the screen? Thatís fucking it?" Lynelle looked passionately pissed off and the entire rest of the crowd was with her.
Shannon shook her head. "And whatís with that title? 'Hellraiser: Revelations'? The only thing Ďrevealedí was stupid shit from the previous films!"
Dylan, face firmly in palm, forced himself to add "And the fact that the Hellraiser series could actually get even worse than it already was."
Weaz pressed harder. "Seriously, man, please tell me this wasnít the real movie. This was the overacted gag reel, right? Or some student film? Or unsanctioned spoof? You canít tell me this actually came from the studio started by Bob and Harvey Weinstein."
"Nope, this was the real deal Holyfield!" Kneumsi muttered in frustration. "I really wish you had gotten Showgirls, Keith."
"Yeah, man." Kidd agreed. "This Dog totally taints the Hellraiser legacy. And considering a fuckload of these Lame sequels, thatís REALLY saying something, man!"
But Keith wasnít listening. He was too busy working on a demonic Rubikís Cube at the foot of the stage. "Got it!" he shouted. "The Lament Configuration of Lemarchandís Box!"
And with that the entire dinner theater went dark and the windows filled up with a bright, white light, followed by cacophonous orchestra hits and deep-voiced laughter.
"Aw, no!" the cop said. "Naw, this is real? This shit is real?"
The crowd screamed (even worse than when they were forced to watch Robowar).
But the low, electronic laughter gave way to Keithís own chuckles. "Nah, guys. I was just fucking with you. I spent all week setting up this sound and light show. You should see the looks on your faces. Anybody need to change drawers?" He fell back onto his back in glee and kicked his feet laughing.
The audience groaned once again.
"Good one, man." Kneumsi said. "Now, if youíll excuse me, I need to get home to see if I still have a home after two fucking years of dealing with this bullshit. Then Iím off to Argentina again, got it?"
"We know!" everyone said.
"Right. I hope youíve all enjoyed this yearís Thanksgiving Turkey! And donít forget that on WorldsGreatestCritic.com a Turkey is called a Dog, so you all just munched on that. Ha ha. Now get on out of here. Iím sick of all of yas. Keith. Lead the way.
And thus, the crowd marched forlornly past the tattered, unfolded posters that read things like "Win Part of a Guitar" and "Speed doesn't kill... IMPACT DOES!" and "Full On Godhead!", the one that had the complete lyrics to the "I Can't Get Over Ovaltine" Jingle, including the rare, radio-only, musical bridge, all printed out in that nice, clean 2001 A Space Odyssey font and a brand new Village People poster to the doors and they staggered out onto the soggy, gossamer-salted grass.
And once again Ricky turned around and found the door behind him was gone. He stared about and slowly started to realize where they were. "Oh no!" he muttered through the gray fog... "LAND'S END!!!"
"What?" OíMalley said with a start. "And I was just beginning to like Kneumsi!"
"Is this a Joke?" Keith demanded.
But as the former audience was attacked by birds (much to Rickyís cries of "not again!"), the group knew full well that a joke this was not!
Too late was the lesson learned. Too late did the guests realize the consequences of their selfish actions would result in such a tearful, fearful, terrifying end.
But have YOU learned YOUR lesson? Each year there is a new THANKSGIVING TURKEY, and each year we will lambaste and baste a new horrible movie for your viewing terror. And we always will need dinner guests...