Why won’t anyone stop this man? I remember back in the days when almost everyone I knew had a job and this country was between wars with brown people, we all gathered together in my boy Andito’s crappy red Hyundai Death Trap and jaunted to the cinema in giddy anticipation of watching the new ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ movie. Then, after watching the failure of celluloid that was this poorly conceived feature film, we were made sad. That day, as our feet slowly dragged our disappointed and morose band of friends out of that six dollar punishment, I gave birth to my hatred of Marlon Wayans.
As a person, I have no idea what this man is like. For all I know he could give piggyback rides to orphaned landmine victims between volunteering in soup kitchens. I begrudgingly give him kudos for his performance in ‘Requiem for a Dream’. I guess that when it comes to playing a drug addled street thug with limited intelligence and means, he found his zone. Perhaps it’s just a simple matter of casting him in an acting role that doesn’t require him to scream out in ridiculous outrage every fifteen fucking seconds. The irrefutable fact that I do know about this man is that any time he is in a movie about something that I love I want to set the world on fire. True story.
I’m not trying to falsely impress upon you the idea that ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ would have been a masterpiece if it weren’t for the awkward placement of a hood rat in a medieval fantasy setting. There was a whole truckload of awfulness in that movie. So much so that even the devil Marlon Wayans’ performance camouflaged itself amongst the cacophony of hackneyed performances and ridiculously zombie-like dialogue. From Thora Birch’s character looking as confused as a cheerleader doing long division in her head to Bruce Payne’s antagonist speaking as if he were slowly dying from a stroke, everything between the opening credits and the closing credits was dipped in warm gooey shit. I’ll bet that it took more than a pretty penny to make that cinematic abortion, so it begs the question of why there wasn’t one single person involved in its construction who possessed the presence of mind to recognize that they were producing a movie that Helen Keller would walk out of.
God and Baby Jesus knows that I damned near worship the memory of E. Gary Gygax, the founder and creator of the Dungeons and Dragons role playing games, but where the hell was he when they were pinching out this loaf? Did they distract him with strawberry scented piles of cash while they humiliated his legacy? The wonderful thing that is Dungeons and Dragons, in my nerdy and noisy mind, has the equivalent sacredness (yes that IS a word) that The Lord of the Rings has for fantasy fiction novels. D&D is the goddamned foundation upon which sex-free adolescents like we were would unleash our powerful imaginations in countless therapeutic nocturnal sessions of wonderful game play.
That’s right- therapeutic. I said it. We didn’t run into our high schools with loaded hand cannons or plant pipe bombs around the cafeteria, we only dreamed about it and incorporated those fantasies into our role playing sessions. That’s why the mortality rate was so much lower back then. The pent up anger and repression that we felt has a healthy and semi-expensive outlet so that whenever our outrage, or just plain old normal rage, would build up inside of our hormone saturated souls, we would gather around a table, or floor, or mall dining area, and we would viciously kill imaginary people by the truckload. Not once in the years since then and now has that violence spilled out into the real world. I have not murdered a single elf since High School. Nary a troll nor a blink dog has suffered my wrath. I’m just sayin’ is all. In Texas the fear of the devil that the pearl necklaced cross clutchers had regarding D&D kept us under the radar. They were afraid that, since a paranoid schizophrenic from Bethesda fell off of his meds and killed himself in 1979 while dressed in elf ears or some such ridiculous damned thing, the influence of a system of cognitive activities which require imagination and abstract thinking would ruin their progeny. What they don’t realize is that we don’t fucking throw footballs. Or baseballs. Or any balls, for that matter. A good sized chunk of us don’t take enjoyment at watching large men in tight pants and body armor smash into each other and wrestle each other to the ground. That sounds a little too gay for me, and I like stage musicals, for Christ’s sake! So instead of blowing out our knees and breaking our bones in pursuit of extremely fleeting conquests, people like me gathered around with other people like me and shared stories about what we would do if we weren’t unlucky enough to have been born like people like us. Makes sense to me.
But what was my point? Oh yeah…
Fuck Marlon Wayans.