Friday 24 January 2014

Film School Friday Lesson #20 - How To Bring The Dead Back To Life

Last time, Film School Friday taught loyal readers how to make a terrible superhero film. Essentially, just cast Ben Affleck in your movie. Job done. Why did I waste so much time writing that article? Anyway, now that you've made your money from the opening weekend, the reviews for your superhero film are out and audiences have cottoned on to how terrible your movie actually is. How do you please all the anorak wearing comic book lovers out there baying for your blood? I I were you, I'd kill off your main characters  so haters can rejoice and then bring them back to life  a few years later, classic comic book style. That way, you can start the whole vicious cycle all over again.
However, aside from being bitten by a zombie and getting your face ripped off, how do you actually resurrect people from the dead? Gandalf changed colour from grey to white and Jesus was kind of a big deal but that doesn't help us mere mortals, so power up the cloning machine, brush up on your rituals and jump on your broom as we read on for today's lesson.

Lesson #20 - How To Bring The Dead Back To Life 
Assuming you don't want flesh eating corpses hanging around while you're chilling out or washing the dishes, our lesson today is going to focus on resurrecting people so that they at least vaguely resemble their former selves. Christians may need to read on with an open mind however, as we will be advising readers on such unholy concepts as black magic, pagan rituals and teaching evolution in schools. Boggles the mind.
Practical_MagicThe Dark Arts
Magic is the obvious go-to when it comes to raising the dead but believe it or not, there may be consequences to abusing its power. No, really! Take the Owens sisters from Practical Magic. Gillian drugged her abusive lover Jimmy to stop him beating her, but accidentally killed him in the act. Being the good little witches they are, the sisters decided to rectify their mistake and bring Jimmy back to life, somehow forgetting what a horrible man he was just three minutes before. Shock horror, the girls end up having to kill him again. Shock horror, Jimmy's spirit then possesses Gillian and tries to kill Sally. Shock horror, the the sisters ultimately end up free of Jimmy's murderous intentions and the whole film ends unsatisfactorily, receiving negative reviews from anyone with eyes and a basic understanding of film. The lesson here? Don't mix supernatural comedy and drama with romance. It's lame and will not be tolerated.
If you're not a magic expert or even an amateur illusionist, have no fear kids! There are other ways to bring the dead back to life. After dying in the 'interesting' Daredevil adaptation, Jennifer Garner's Elektra was resurrected for an 'even better' spin off by her martial arts master...somehow. Details are vague here so I'm going to assume that she was buried in an Indian burial ground or something. Be warned though. If you're thinking of bringing someone back from the dead in this way, remember that there will be consequences. Namely, old annoying neighbours will bang on about how "dead is better" and that "the soil of a man's heart is stonier" immediately after showing you what lies beyond the pet sematary nearby. How about you just shut your damn mouth Judd? Jeez!
Animal Kingdom
Dogs are supposedly mans best friend but when it comes to bringing the dead back to life, they're pretty useless. The best you'll get from our canine companions is a quick sniff of the corpse and then they'll either urinate in its eye socket or even start chomping down on one of their limbs. Choose your animal friends wisely though and you may just find the secret to resurrection.
In The Crow, Brandon Lee's character died but was then brought back to life by a crow tapping on his grave. If you yourself have lost a loved one you would like to see again, I suggest you grab the biggest net you can find, catch a crow and rub it against the peron's grave stone you would like to resurrect. If that sounds like too much work though, just buy a bunch of cats. Michelle Pfeiffer was brought back to life by her feline companions somehow in Batman Returns. I must admit, I am somewhat skeptical about the whole cat thing though. If they really did have the power to bring the dead back to life, wouldn't the streets be full to the brim with cat lady corpses screeching about their cat love at the top of their lungs?
Snowball Fight!
Maybe animals aren't the most reliable way to bring the dead back to life. No, what you need is a snowman replica of your lost loved one and a magic harmonica. Yes, really. And if they start pissing you off, just tie them to a radiator. That's what I would have done if I'd been in Jack Frost. Whether he's a human or a snowman, Michael Keaton is just bloody annoying. I'd much rather return as a cute puppy dog, Fluke style. Chase cats, sleep all day, poop on the grass...what's not to love?
Get A Library Card
Ideally though, you'd want your loved ones to come back as people right? Ok, here's where things get tricky. You're going to have to draw on all your education, all your wits and wiles for this one. Hold on tight, because we're about a book. That's right. If playing around with rituals and animals isn't your thang, find your nearest library and read a book from the magic section. Characters from both Evil Dead and The Mummy Returns use an imaginatively titled book known as the Book of the Dead, but you might be better off with Where's Waldo or See Spot Run. It's all the same really. Beware though. Such a book can only be read by people who actually know how to read so if you are still stuck in the fourth grade, ask a friendly homeless person to help you out. I guarantee there'll be no bad consequences to speak of.
So there you have it. A surprisingly easy lesson today. Just read a book. Job done. Who needs to harness the raw power of lightning, Frankenweenie style, when you could just get a library card? The fact that you're all reading this article suggests that such an approach shouldn't be beyond your means, although if you're in the future listening to the hugely successful audio book series of Film School Friday, then my apologies. Don't be so fricking lazy!
Next week, Film School Friday is celebrating its 21st edition so join us for a birthday themed week where presents could very well be mandatory. Just leave them on your doorstep. I'll know they're for me.

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