“Insane fantasy world” week comes to a close and I’m sure many Screened heads will be taking a journey to the numerous mondes de l'esprit offered in Sucker Punch over the weekend. Usually, a movie will only let you visit one world at a time, so the plurality of Snyder's flick puts my mind on all the vacation spots available in Imagination Land. So let's break it down like this...
If some wizard gave you a magic ticket that let you walk into your favorite cinematic vacation and have yourself a good time… where would you want to go?
5. The Kingdom of Wisdom from The Phantom Tollbooth
When it comes to children’s fantasy lands, Neverland is too dated, Wonderland is too confusing, Fantasia asks too much of you and Oz… we’ll get to Oz in a moment. This land, though, will at least make you feel like you’re learning something more practical than lame lessons on how all boys need to grow up and how there's no place is like home.
For those unfamiliar, The Phantom Tollbooth is a classic children’s book that later served as the basis for a 1970 live-action-and-animation hybrid partially directed by Chuck Jones. Venture through the likes Dictionopolis and Digitopolis in this one, and you'll see how a shit load of puns add a fourth R (for "rad!") to the three R's we're all so familiar with.
4. Jack Slater’s LA from Last Action Hero
If Total Recall were to ever become a reality, I could totally see this being the setting of one of Rekall's fantasy packages. What could speak more sweetly to the heart of a red-blooded man than a city where super models run every Blockbuster video and easily-killable gangs of bad guys wait around every corner? What makes this even more enticing to this particular audience is that it's got an easy learning curve that awards your movie trivia savy. It’s like getting a real bounty for a Wiki task!
3. "Pittsburgh" from Videodrome
I wrestled hard over which dark field from Cronenberg’s mind was the best vacation spot. eXistenZ gets disqualified for the nasty local cuisine, and does anybody really want to be sucking Mugwumps’ sexually-suggestive teets or peppering powdered insecticide onto the sexually-suggestive, bunghole-like mouths of insectile typewriters in Naked Lunch’s Interzone? Videodrome, though? It'll make you stronger. It’ll be put through one nasty wringer of hallucination and torture, sure, but once you get used to it and your flesh mutates to fit your desensitization, you’ll come out with some nicely nasty powers that'll make you a strong, proud fighter on the battlefield of the mind's eye.
2. The Wonderful World of Oz from Return to Oz, et al.
Like Jack Slater’s LA, this strikes me as another fantasy world that was just wasted in somebody without the proper vision. If a phoney like Prof. Marvel can rule Oz, there’s really no reason why you can’t conquer it over the weekend. Be honest with yourself… you’d love to just stamp one of these imaginary worlds under your thumb and satisfying that Nieztchean super man lurking inside you. Out of all of these, you just know Oz is going to be a cinch to take over. Who’s going to stop you? A bunch of flying monkeys? Some trees who throw apples? Pfffft…. Please.
1. Cool World
Sex with toons. That’s what everybody dreams about, right? This place is admittedly the trashier, seedier, scuzzier sister of Toon Town (and, while we’re at it, the more sensible cousin of Monkeybone's Down Town ) but at least you know you’re going to get what you’re looking for. Jessica Rabbit isn’t going to blue ball you for two hours, here. Instead, you’ve got tarts like Holli Would who’ll stoop to anything to get a real world green card of you.