Archive - Jun 2, 2004

Cloacas In Space

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Memo to Universal: YOU ARE DUMB.

Could we please, please, put a bit of a brake on DVD packaging gimmicks? The whole point of DVD's is so that we can own copies of beloved movies and TV shows that we will never watch. And if we're not watching them, they need to be stored. And if they need to be stored, they need to fit on shelves. And if they need to fit on shelves, they should be shaped like BOXES.

But no. We've got Cylon heads, oversized tins, rubber Necronomiconi, etc. to contend with. They're saying the Invader Zim special edition box will look like Zim's house, which, while cool, ain't gonna fit nicely next to my normal, sedate clamshell of Power Rangers: The Movie. The new Star Trek: The Original Series box looks like Captain Kirk laid an egg. A big, yellow, rounded space egg. And if Kirk is laying space eggs, that means William Shatner has a cloaca, and on the big list of things I never wanted to imagine, William Shatner's cloaca stands at #2, right below Harry Knowles Jr. and right above Soul Plane 2.

But apparently, it wasn't enough for the entertainment industry to make us design custom glass display cabinets just to hold our objects d'art that coincidentally also hold between one and eight DVD's. Now the fucking displays have to be soundproof.

Here's the bad news. Universal's box set of "The Apprentice" is going to have a cover flap. Inside the cover flap will be a giant freaky picture of Donald Trump and his Shroedinger's Lenticular Hair Weave*. And when you open it far enough, you'll actually hear a voice chip of Donald Trump saying "YOU'RE FIRED".

Here's the good news. If you're dumb enough to be buying The Apprentice on DVD, you deserve a box that yells at you when you open it. In fact, I humbly offer my services to Universal, who are also producing the Sliders Season 1&2 DVD box set, FREE OF CHARGE. If you'd like the box to yell at anyone who buys Sliders on DVD, I can fill up whatever voice chip you pick.

But you know it won't be restricted to The Apprentice and (Seriously, get in touch with me, Universal. I've already written five alternate takes.) Sliders. Talking DVD boxes are like Pandora's Box, only without the free hope with every purchase. Eventually, they'll use it for something we want. Imagine if they used it for the Lord Of The Rings: Complete Extended Extended Trilogy Forty Disc Box Set? And every time you opened one of the gatefolds of the twenty pound, two acre monstrosity, you had to hear Gandalf reading the ring? There'd be a huge upsurge in the suicide rate, and at least three dozen accidental deaths by dehydration of uberfans spontaneously climaxing every time it happens.

And have they really tested this thing? Made sure it can't go off accidentally? I don't want to be walking through Target on the release date of the Catwoman DVD, only to find that every single unsold box is randomly playing a low-quality sample of Halle Berry doing her astonishingly poor Eartha Kitt impression. At least not without a flamethrower and a sympathetic judge lined up ahead of time.

You know what else is available in the digital versatile disc media format, and is therefore eligible for inclusion in a talking box with hilarious and disgusting comedy potential to be exploited by Internet sages such as myself? Pornographic content.

We must strangle this trend in its cradle, because if we don't, within a decade, there'll be a Star Trek V Super-Deluxe High-Definition Director's Edition, and it'll ship inside a replica of William Shatner's talking cloaca. And it'll all be Donald Trump's fault.

* The most fascinating thing about Donald Trump's hair is that, depending entirely on the angle of the lighting, it is either there on his forehead, or completely absent. His baldness rests, like the quantum states of particles, in the hands of the observer. In addition, when it is there, it looks like a dead cat.