In Which I Am Impossibly Dense: Hellraiser Edition

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Sam Wilkinson

According to a faithful reader, I'm Ordinary Times's "least thoughtful writer." So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

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  1. Avatar Glyph
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    says:

    Pretty excited about the Gilmore Girls revival?Report

  2. Avatar Kazzy
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    says:

    I’ve never seen this movie. But I routinely come across other meanings of things and go, “Holy shit… it took me how long to figure that out?”

    Like, I only recently figured out why Barnes and Noble calls their e-reader a Nook. Like, last month.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kazzy
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      says:

      I think it’s weird they named it after an animal that can’t read.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
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      says:

      If you still enjoy being 12 years old, it’s fun to say “Nook E-Book” out loud.Report

    • Avatar Patrick in reply to Kazzy
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      says:

      I remember suddenly becoming aware of the fact that Belloq knew Marion from before.

      I knew that Belloq and Indy were long time rivals, and I knew that the subtext indicated that they might have literally gone to school with each other (this has since been revealed as canon), but for years it just didn’t really occur to me that the reason why Belloq and Marion *have the dialogue they have* when he comes to have dinner with her in the tent is because Belloq knew her from back when he was in school with Indy (this is actually not canon at all, but I stand by it).Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Patrick
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        says:

        It took me a couple of watchings, way back when, to figure out both how Belloq had gotten a copy of the medallion, and why the copy led them to dig in the wrong place.

        I feel a little embarrassed admitting this.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Tod Kelly
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          says:

          It could have just been lousy image quality.

          I remember that it took until the DVD release before I realized that, in Star Wars, we actually see the charred bloody skeletons of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Tod Kelly
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          says:

          Spielberg is generally pretty good about Chekhov’s Gun: if he gives you something as obvious as the somewhat odd way the Nazi bad guy grabs the medallion, he’s going to use it.

          We have theater people here; is there a formal name for that kind of thing from the opposite direction? Eg, if there’s a gun on the fireplace mantel at a critical point, taking pains to put it there earlier?Report

          • Avatar Glyph in reply to Michael Cain
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            says:

            is there a formal name for that kind of thing from the opposite direction? Eg, if there’s a gun on the fireplace mantel at a critical point, taking pains to put it there earlier?

            I’ve read this multiple times, and I am still not sure what you are asking….Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Glyph
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              says:

              The Chekhov’s Gun principle says that if you make a point of there being a gun on the fireplace mantle in Act 1, then you darned well better make sure the gun gets used in Act 2. I’m asking about the opposite. Is there a name for the principle — or even a principle — that says if a gun gets used in Act 2, you’ve taken pains to establish that gun in Act 1.

              Eg, when I dabble in fiction, and the sorcerer needs a particular artifact in Act 2, I take pains to place the artifact in a reasonable place in Act 1. No Agatha Christie bits, with a long-lost cousin that gets introduced in the next-to-last chapter being behind the whole thing.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Michael Cain
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                says:

                Ah, I gotcha. AFAIK it’s still a “Chekhov’s Gun” (though as you’ve noted the more generic term is to “establish”).

                Last season of iZombie, a character stashed a pistol in his dresser drawer. On top of the dresser? A paperback Chekhov. Ha!Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                There was a lot of talk about “Breaking Bad” and Chekhov’s Gun, largely whether or not Gilligan was honoring the idea or not. The internet got pretty crazy about if/when/how the ricin would be used.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                I mentioned that I watched the original Back to the Future not too long ago and thought the script was really tight. What I meant was that almost everything any character says or does early on in the film, is called back to or used later in the film. I don’t know if all of those things are “C’s Gs”, but the basic principle seems the same (a related principle might be the red herring, the item or plot point that seems important but actually serves to misdirect the audience’s attention from the really important one.)Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                Yeah, one thing I was pretty dense on (also because I rarely caught the movie any less than 15 minutes in in repeated basic cable rewatching), and I only realized it when we saw the same here, was how much of an alcoholic Twin Pines World Middle Aged Loraine was – and how that was called back in when parking in the car.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                There is a reason it’s on the top 100 best scripts of all time, ya know?

                Saul really should pick things that aren’t critically acclaimed to bitch about…Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                So pretty much the opposite of “Lost”?Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                You know, it’s not TOTALLY fair to compare the tightness of a 2-hour film script with a multi-season show, which is always going to have a greater amount of improvisation and dead-ends and re-work (and sometimes, happy accidents) due to length and logistics, but…LOST deserves all the grief it gets. Have at it!Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                No, let’s go ahead and compare it to The Wire.
                Or half a dozen other comparably long serieses.

                Hell, Parks and Recreation managed an awful lot in amongst the comedy.

                http://www.wga.org/content/default.aspx?id=4925Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Glyph
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                says:

                Back in the early days of the web comic Girl Genius, one of the characters set a pistol down on the mantle. Months later (in readers’ time), the action returned to that room and a different character picked up the pistol and used it. This in a comic where it would be perfectly normal for any number of the characters to assemble an exotic weapon out of the odd parts laying about…Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Michael Cain
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                says:

                Michael Cain:
                I’m asking about the opposite.Is there a name for the principle — or even a principle — that says if a gun gets used in Act 2, you’ve taken pains to establish that gun in Act 1.

                I think it’s usually described by it omission, e.g. Deus ex machina or Applied Phlebotinum. Setting up the plot device (even if just MacGuffin) in a previous act is ‘foreshadowing’ and ‘good plotting’ to me.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe
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                says:

                maybe call it a “Chris Rock Cookie” because that’s what you’re *supposed* to do?Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Kolohe
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                says:

                Yeah, I was thinking Deus ex machina as well, which is to Chekhov’s gun (which is a level of abstraction above foreshadowing, I think) sort of like affirming the consequent is to modus ponens.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Chris
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                says:

                There is also the term “eucatastrophe,” which amounts to pretty much the same thing.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Michael Cain
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            says:

            Mostly it shows up when you retcon the entire universe, or something like that.
            Niven had a whole script destroying (and I mean in flames) everything he had ever written about the Puppeteers.

            You take what you’ve already put to paper, and then reimagine the entire thing.

            It’s a great writing exercise.

            If you’re doing it straight? You generally just call it “backstory.” Or, if it’s the show runners doing it, you call it “set design” (Ala Deep Space Nine, who switched into “war uniforms” before the actual war. And yes, it was an intentional setup).Report

        • Avatar Glyph in reply to Tod Kelly
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          says:

          Even had they known about the reverse inscription (subtract one kadam), I still struggle to see how their replica would have ever worked properly. The sunbeam is refracting through a jewel set in the center of the medallion – the burn from Toht’s hand might show them how one side of the stone was cut, but not the other, and I would think the jewel’s facet configuration would largely drive the directionality of the refracted sunbeam?Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Patrick
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        says:

        …wait, it actually *is* Belloq? I always thought it was “Belloche”, and they had Indy pronounce it “Bellock” to show how much of a goof he was; like, he’s such a dork that he can’t even pronounce French names! Part of the way that Indy was supposed to parody Chamberlain, playing up the idea of how ridiculous it was that a character could be both a two-fisted action hero and a college professor in an utterly intellectual field like archaeology.Report

  3. Avatar veronica d
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    says:

    My favorite thing about Hellraiser happened a few years after it came out, when I was sitting around with some stoner friends of mine. Anyway, at one point the particularly weird member of the group blurts out, “You know, Pinhead was a wimp.”

    To which we all paused and looked at him, waiting for an explanation. Which soon followed.

    “After all, if you hit him with a two-by-four, he’d just be Head.”

    Tee hee.Report

  4. Avatar Morat20
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    says:

    I started reading that and read “Hellraiser” as “Hellblazer” and was very, very confused.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    The best line of Hellraiser II was when the Doctor gets hisself transformed into a cenobyte (spoiler!) and his first line after the procedure was “To think I hesitated.”Report

    • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      We’re meant to pity the Cenobites, presumably, but they seem without regret. Perhaps we’re meant to pity their victims, but they to asked for this. It is only those caught in the middle who should get our sympathies (and they do).Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Sam Wilkinson
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        says:

        I think the Cenobites took on a life of there own, so to speak, since they looked cool and were mysterious. The story, at least in the first one, was about the people. The humans made the story, when the C’s became more prominent they were just another generic bad guy franchise like jason or freddie.Report

  6. Avatar InMD
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    says:

    The first and (to a lesser degree) second Hellraiser movies are awesome. All the best horror movies find a way to work subversive and even adult themes into the cruder thrills of the genre. Also I would submit that Clare Higgins is the best evil step mother in the history of film.Report

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