Neologism For The Retarded.
The Blue Dahlia
The terms ‘hard-boiled’ and ‘detective film’ go together like roofies and pre-teen girls, and the results are usually just as satisfying. While far from perfect, The Blue Dahlia is an entertaining piece of noir cinema, back when that was a viable genre instead of a thing you say when you’re trying to pick up a chick after a Coen brothers screening. The film was written and directed by pulp novelist Raymond Chandler, in his first original screenplay. One of my favorite authors, Chandler infused his novels and scripts with all the usual noir ingredients, including the femme fatale, the wrongly accused man, and the labyrinthine plot. And starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, you can't go wrong with the cast. The Blue Dahlia is not, however, a great film, nor even a particularly good noir. It’s a little overacted and needlessly complex as it follows an ex-soldier, trying to solve the murder of his estranged wife. By the time the plot was done twisting around like JonBenet Ramsey’s neck, I no longer cared about the outcome, and now I no longer remember.
But that doesn’t really matter, because what The Blue Dahlia has in spades is snappy 40s slang. As with most slang, the film noir terminology of “gams”, “heaters”, and the occasionally “jigaboo”, was a creation of screenwriters trying to put the English degrees they’re wasting to use by inventing a new language. This is also my theory behind rap music terminology, because there’s no explanation as to how “crunk” entered the popular lexicon other than a bored Harvard grad student playing a prank by trying to get rappers to sound like they learned English from Alphabits cereal. Well, if they can do it, I can do it, too. Here are some words I made up.
Jank: (noun) A combination vague racial slur/reference to male genitalia. Ex: “Suck my jank”, or “filthy janks are stealing our jobs and women”.
Goregasm: (noun) An involuntary reaction to Tom Savini effects. Ex: “Joe Pileggi getting his guts pulled out through his chest cavity gave me a goregasm. I came blood like Cannibal Corpse, and now my girlfriend has hepatitis.”
Ashism: (noun) When your review isn’t coming out funny, and you force in a dead toddler joke, then tack a snappy list on the end. Ex: “That Blue Dahlia review was a lame Ashism. It also had no ending.”
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