Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Neologism For The Retarded.

The Blue Dahlia
1946, USA
George Marshall
VHS

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.

Trust me, I feel worse about that joke than you do, but for different reasons.

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.”


Feel free to add your own contributions below.

8 Comments:

Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

I like The Blue Dahlia, if for no other reason than to see Alan Ladd in a movie that they didn't shoot from the floor to make him look tall.

Plus Veronica Lake was easy on the eyes.
Well, the pretty half of her face at least.
Easy on the EYE?

10:26 AM  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

Kryptonitis (noun) a mysterious medical condition that keeps potential posters away in their droves. Ex. "I'd visit the 'Shrine more often, but Ash has kryptonitis and I'm afraid I'll catch something. Or die."

(This might work better if you pretend that Jerk hasn't just commented. I'm just saying.)

10:52 AM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

There will be no derogatory comments made regarding Veronica Lake while you're living under my roof, young man.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

But Ash, the left side of her face was like 5cm (5 canadian measuring units)higher than the right side, and it was kinda smoooshed looking.
She was HOT when they draped her hair over that hafl though.

ok...I'm sorry, no more Veronica bashing.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Broadzilla - I'm quite proud of my ability to both discourage people from posting comments and keep people from sticking around whenever I get linked on a big site.

Jerk - Don't worry, you're forgiven. Unless you start picking on Jayne Mansfield next.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

Jayne?
Jayne is part of the holy trinity man.
I won't say anything bad about Jayne, Betty Page or Mamie Van Doren.

Mmmmmm Betty.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

You forgot Marilyn. Please tell me this is an oversight, and not a deliberate choice.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous once upon a midnite dreary......... said...

that little girl was born to guzzle down spunk, its a shame she was murdered before she was able to reach her ultimate destiny, which was "TO BE THE 5 YEAR OLD SEX SLAVE OF RAMPANTLY HETEROSEXUAL MEN".

3:27 PM  

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