February 27th, 2012


Dreaming Your Backstory

I don't know whether to blame the allergies or the preschoolers, but I seem to have come down with my regular Sunday-afternoon sniffles that may or may not escalate into something worse. We did have a windy weekend, which tends to stir up the pollen, but then it also seems like Wednesday night to Sunday afternoon fits a typical virus incubation period. At any rate, this will be a day when I dare not stray far from the tissue box. I'm resisting medication because I need to be able to stay awake and work. We'll see how long that lasts.

I was actually rather disappointed in that Witchslayer Gretl movie on SyFy Saturday night. It wasn't good by any means, but it wasn't awesomely bad. It was mostly rather boring and half-assed, though it did have a few unintentional laugh-out-loud moments. The main problem was a script that sounded like something sixth graders might come up with after a day of playing in the backyard, when they think the scenario they were playing would make a really good movie (not that I ever did this or that this might have been how my first few attempts at novels got started).

Basically, we had this guy known as Witchslayer, though we learn in the backstory flashbacks that happen whenever he closes his eyes that he's Hansel and that a witch stole his sister when they were lost in the woods as kids, and now he's out to kill all the witches. Except "witches" doesn't seem to mean what it does in our world. It has something to do with taking girls with innate power and binding them into a coven, where they become mindless drones wearing red satin slip dresses (mind you, this is a quasi-medieval fantasy world setting in which the good guys buy their clothing at the Renaissance festival). His sidekick is apparently a former witch who somehow lost her powers and her memory when her binding with the coven was broken. She still has some latent abilities, like a sense for danger, but she can't really do magic. However, they use some magic devices, like magical throat-mike walkie-talkies and the magic-vision goggles that allow them to see people who are using magic to cloak themselves. They rescue a girl who's about to be bound into the coven, and the sidekick has to convince Hansel not to kill her immediately, since she only has power but isn't technically a witch. I thought they were going somewhere with that whole distinction of what really constituted a witch, but they never did.

Their main opponent seems to be Samurai Elvis the Warlock (based on his hairstyle and wardrobe), but he works for the queen witch (played by Shannen Doherty, of course, and if you can't figure out who she really is in the story, you're not paying attention). You know she's a real badass witch queen because her familiar is a gargoyle. Toads and cats are for weenies. Oh, and Hansel is a really powerful witch slayer because, get this, he's immune to magic. I had been reading a book while halfway watching, but that did get my attention. I'm not sure how he was able to use all those magical devices if magic doesn't work on him, but worldbuilding wasn't this movie's strong suit. Then again, neither were characterization or dialogue. There were a lot of potentially interesting elements that could have been woven into a decent story, but they weren't, and I was left mostly laughing at Young Elvis in Samurai clothes, the slip dresses on the witches and the fact that every time anyone went to sleep or got knocked out, they had flashbacks that told us their backstory.

Then again, the dialogue wasn't nearly as painful as the small bits I saw of the Oscars when I was switching between OnDemand and DVD shows. Now I know where they find the SyFy movie screenwriters -- they write the script for the Oscars.

Anyway, I had to rewatch the Grimm take on Hansel and Gretl to get the icky out of my head. On the bright side, I finally finished that mystery novel I was reading. It seems two borings can add up to one mildly amusing.

I must be weird (or not a character in a SyFy movie) because I don't ever seem to dream about things that happened in my past. If I do, they're all garbled up with other things so that they seem to be about things that are happening now or that will happen even if they incorporate memories, or else they're wildly exaggerated, more about things I feared might happen or wished would happen than what actually happen. When I was in a bad car accident in eighth grade, I did have nightmares about being in car accidents, but they were never actually that same accident, so I wasn't reliving the accident I had. Someone eavesdropping on my dreams wouldn't pick up anything useful or reliable about my backstory. For instance, last night I dreamed I was at a convention and somehow ended up hanging out with JK Rowling, but I think I was mostly remembering what actually did happen when I ended up hanging out with Katherine Kurtz at a convention. Someone watching my dreams for memories would be confused -- did it happen, and who was really involved? Now I wonder if I've ever used that literary trope of characters reliving events in dreams.