Nagging Questions
Things you may have wondered about without even realizing it.


You know, being a reviewer, I often find myself having questions pop into my head as I’m watching movies. I’m sure everyone does, but I tend to be a little more critical of things because of what I do. To that end, I’ve decided to openly ask just a few of those questions with the intended goal of making you realize that these same questions may very well have been floating around in the back of your mind for years without you ever having been aware of it.

Let me just start off here with one of the topics that has plagued my conscious thoughts more than any other. A while back I was talking to someone about zombies, and all of a sudden I realized that I had some questions that I really needed answered, even just for the sake of my own mental well being. We’re not talking about simple questions either. I’m talking about some serious and deep questions that have never really been answered, and perhaps never will be. Things like, why the hell do zombies crave human flesh? I mean, they’re dead! It’s not like they’re going to digest the food or anything. They’re certainly not getting any benefit out of eating it, so where’s the craving come from? I mean, everything that eats does it out of a need for sustenance. Since zombies are dead, they don’t really need anything. So why are they so hot for human flesh? I mean hell, they were human once, so why don’t they just eat each other? Anyway, that brings me to my second point. How come zombies eat so much, but you never see them doing the hunchback? I mean seriously, they gotta stop and cop a squat sometimes; otherwise they’d just fill up with food and explode because they ate too much. You’d expect to see big piles of zombie poop everywhere with fingers and eyeballs and what not sticking out of it, but there’s just nothing. Hmmm, eyeballs. I wonder what the view is like when you’re coming out of a zombie’s butt? I guess it would kinda be like spelunking now wouldn’t it?

As I’m sitting here thinking about all this, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a monster in any movie stop to take a dump. I mean, wouldn’t it be totally cool to see the creature from the black lagoon drop a few fish heads out of his butt? Or maybe the mummy dropping a peanut covered Ace bandage or two? It’s not just the monsters either that seem to have these defecational difficulties. Did you ever see Captain Kirk or Mr. Spock taking a dump? Hell, I never even saw a bathroom on the Enterprise. No wonder Dr. McCoy was so ticked off all the time. You’d be pissy too if you had to squeeze cheek for five years as you floated through the deepest reaches of the galaxy with only one uniform between you and nuditity. You know he had to have some seriously killer skid marks from hell in them fancy space age underwear of his. And we all know the Brady Bunch didn’t have any toilets in their house either. Hell, why do you think they had so many potato sack races? It wasn’t a race, they were just poopin’ in the sacks and pretending it was a potato sack race so the neighbors wouldn’t think they were weird or anything. Now seriously, why are people so afraid of acknowledging such a common everyday thing like that? Everyone and everything does it, so why not have some fun with it?

Let’s see now, what else was I thinking about? Oh yeah, I know. How come you never see a nice monster in movies? I mean, forget about Gizmo here for a minute since that movie was stupid anyway, and think about it in general. How often do you ever see some big ugly monster in a movie and it turns out to be a good guy? Probably not very often, if at all. Why are monsters always so angry anyway? I mean, many of them never even had contact with humans before, so why is their first instinct to always just start killing everyone they can get their hands on? I mean, most animals would avoid humans if at all possible, and only attack them if they felt cornered or threatened. Since monsters generally show at least an animal level of intelligence, then why don’t they act the same way?

Then there are the Japanese monsters like Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan. Have you ever seen any of them eat anything? Now granted I haven't seen every Japanese monster movie, but the only one I can ever remember seeing eat anything was Godzilla’s son Minya. He ate some melons once that someone was throwing into his mouth. At least I think I remember seeing that. Maybe it was just a dream I had, I don’t know. I was just told by a friend of mine that Rodan was shown eating once or twice too, but I don't really remember it. Anyway, these are living, breathing giant monsters that are way the hell bigger than sky scrapers and office buildings and what not. They should be eating whole herds of cattle at once just to stay alive. In fact it would take so much food to keep something that size alive for any amount of time that even having one of those creatures around would completely deplete the food resources of a huge area in just a few days.

Oh, and speaking of Rodan, you all know what kinda damage he can do by flapping his wings and whipping up hurricane force winds, but have you ever had a bird poop on your car? It’s a minor inconvenience at best. Now imagine the unbelievable amount of damage that catching an elephant sized Rodan poop on your car could do. I mean, Rodan can fly at supersonic speeds, so if he dropped a great big plop at those speeds, just imagine the catastrophic damage it could do. I mean, it’s gonna take one hell of a squeegee to clean that mess off your windshield. That is, if you can even find your car under all that goo.

Oh, and someone please tell me why at least ninety percent of all the aliens we meet speak English?!? Who the hell taught them that??? I mean, it’s not like English is all that common throughout the universe. Just hop into a cab in New York sometime and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Here’s an example that encompasses not only the whole English thing, but another little item as well. I’ve just recently completed watching all three of the original Flash Gordon serials starring Buster Crabbe. First off, every damn person they met from whatever planet they happened to be on all spoke perfect English. But since that’s to be expected in these sci-fi shows, I let that one pass without thinking about it too awful much. Here’s the big thing that just frustrated the hell out of me though. Emperor Ming, played by Charles Middleton, must have captured Flash, Dale, and Dr. Zarkoff about a million times. So what does he do with them? Does he kill them and get them out of his hair? Hell no! He just puts them under guard or sticks Zarkoff in his lab to work for him or tries to marry Dale or has them stand before him so he can gloat or whatever. Even when he does decide to try to kill them, they always end up thwarting not only his efforts to kill them, but also his efforts to become the supreme emperor of the universe. Now if he’d have just killed them when he had the chance instead of playing around with them, he’d be ruling the universe right now and Flash and friends would all be pushing up daisies in their own little worm farms somewhere. So basically the question is, why the hell do super villains always seem to feel the need to capture the heroes or come up with some bizarre and elaborate way of killing them instead of just grabbing a gun and doing it quick? I mean, it’s not like they’ll be extra dead if you kill them in some weird way instead of just doing it and getting it over with.

In the end, there’s really just no escaping this one little simple fact of life. No matter how many movies you see, you’re always going to end up having questions like these at one time or another in your life. Some of them just float around in your head, nagging at you without you even realizing it, while others make you want to scream and throw one of those foam rubber stress relieving bricks at the TV. The thing you need to remember though, as you’re sitting there with that strangely quizzical look on your face and a half a tub’s worth of popcorn stuck between your teeth, is that the fun is in having the questions, not in having the answers.

- Duane L. Martin -
July 1, 2003


Unseen Things: Origins

My series of contemporary fantasy / sci-fi novels, Unseen Things is now available through the official website, Amazon, Smashwords and other online retail sites.

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