Saturday, October 2, 2010

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 27 of Scream (1:10:01-1:14:27)

In this project I attempt to review the entire Scream trilogy scene by scene in chronological order. Heavy spoilers and gore throughout!

Length: 4mins 26secs
Primary Characters: Randy Meeks, Stu Macher, Sidney Prescott, Billy Loomis, Gale Weathers, Deputy Dewey, Kenny the Cameraman and the various party guests (including Expelled Teen #1 from Scene 14)
Pop Culture References:
  • Halloween (They watch it at the party)
  • Trading Places (A discussion on Jamie Lee Curtis' breasts references this movie)

I like how this scene acts as a bridge between one generation to the next. Not only are they watching Halloween, one of the most iconic and the obvious inspiration behind Scream, but talking directly about the cliches and formulas that people have learnt in the 20 years since it came out. Laurie Strode wouldn't have known any of this stuff in 1978! And I like how it shows Halloween in a loving light and yet does things to make sure the audience is still with Scream and never drifting off into daydreams of "I wanna watch Halloween." The telephone there in the foreground is a good one since it immediately brings you back to the Scream universe, hoping someone in the house gets "the call" very soon.

What is Stu doing? It's not like he can't stand the sight of blood! And look at our lil Kristen Bell lookalike sitting in the corner there, looking like she walked in off the set of The Secret World of Alex Mack.

Do you want to see Jamie Lee's breasts?

"I want breasts! I wanna see Jamie Lee's breasts! When do we see Jamie Lee's breasts?"
"Breasts? Not until Trading Places in '83. Jamie Lee was always the virgin in horror movies. She never showed her tits 'til she went legits ... That's why she always outsmarted the killer in the big chase scene - nly virgins can do that. Don't you know the rules?"

It's like poetry, isn't it? But I do love that it sets up the loophole for Sidney (as she is about to break one of the cardinal rules of a horror movies.) Nevermind, what are these rules you speak of, Randy? I am intrigued...

  1. "You can never have sex." (The sin factor. Sex = Death)
  2. "You can never drink or do drugs." (Continuation of the above sin factor)
  3. "Never, ever, ever under any circumstances say 'I'll be right back'" (Because you won't be back.)

Now, I'd like to bring up the fact that Randy's introduction to "the rules" includes the line:

There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to successfully survive a horror movie.

I find it interesting that in the original trailer (below) that had to censor the word "horror". That sounds crazy right. They're advertising a horror movie, but they can't use the word horror? Instead the line because "in order to successfully survive a scary movie." Furthermore, the trailer calls Wes Craven "the first name in suspense" when, again, I'd call him the first name in horror. Maybe that's just me.

Back to the rules, I love the shat screencap up there with Randy standing besides the TV with Halloween paused on a moment of Michael Myers - the last generation of horror villain if you will - swinging a knife through the air. It almost looks like one of two things: a) Randy about to get stabbed, or b) Randy being pointed to as the killer by a big shiny arrow. "It's him!"

Truth be told, I've never been able to figure out what Stu is saying here! Blasted DVD not having any subtitles! Can anyone help me out?

SINNERS! Already breaking the rules.

I'd also like to point out that Stu's parents have hideous taste. What's all that crazy crap on the wall? And we haven't even gotten to the cluttered attic sequence yet!

"I'll be right back!"

I like how of all the people who say "I'll be right back" during Scream (he and Gale being the only other - more on that in a very short moment) it is indeed Stu that doesn't come back (technically he does "come back", but in a completely different way to how this "rule" was imagined.

One of my absolute favourite moments (the individual bits that usually get lumped together into one big brush stroke) is this bit as Gale and Kenny sit in their van watching the live camera feed from inside Stu's house. Kenny with his twisty (or cheese doodle or whatever they're called over there) and Gale making his hilarious bored/repulsed expression that reminds me of Lisa Kudrow's Phoebe on Friends. I like how it sorta represents the stereotypical view that many adults have of horror movies, that they're just a bunch of teenagers talking boring nonsense and yet they are the ones that perpetuate it by actually making this boring nonsense. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Meanwhile I am including this, as well the the next bit with Sidney and Billy, as one scene because they're all about the same thing: Knowing the rules and characters breaking them. All of Randy's rules get broken within the span of just a couple of minutes when they'd been left well neglected for the whole movie to this point.

Case in point this moment right here of Gale saying "Be right back", but as we all know, she does come back.

Now, of course, I think Gale's "be right back" was an after thought. You can tell this because the line has been dubbed in over something else. Quite poorly, in fact, since it's very obvious she wasn't saying "be right back" when they shot this take. Makes me think that Craven realised they actually had nobody saying something to the effect of "I'll be right back" (as Randy quotes it) to negate the rule so they threw it in here with Gale. Tatum would've been the perfect choice for the line in a traditional way, but then it wouldn't be twisting the rules, would it?

"You're not scared, are ya?"

To be honest, I'd be less scared if I was walking down a deserted road in the middle of nowhere while a killer was on the lose if I was with Gale rather than with Dewey. She looks like she could kick serious arse! I guess, Dewey has a gun, but we all know how that pans out, don't we?

"Do you know what that constellation is?"
"No, what is it?"
"I dunno, that's why I was asking you."

I like to imagine that David and Courteney's personal courtship involved such words.

Sidney's about to break the cardinal sin! What a hussy.

Meanwhile, I love this progression of shots about the "obligatory tit shot" from Halloween.

Although I can't see many teenage boys having the same reaction to shots like these:

They'd have better luck just imagining Rose McGowan with no top on. It's not that hard considering the top she had on earlier was hardly concealing.

Love this shot. That nondescript telephone looking so threatening and you know nothing good can come out of framing it like this.

I love how the filmmakers had slowly started to weave the Halloween soundtrack into their own film, so much so that this and other scenes are actually scored by Halloween. And to great effect to. That movie is so unnerving and so, well, good! But I also love how these two moments parallel each other. On screen Jamie Lee is just starting to realise that something may not be as it seems and so too are the characters in Scream. They're about to realise that this is no ordinary high school house party and the shit is going to hit the fan.

And Kenny the Cameraman bids you a fond farewell until next time (which will hopefully be sooner than it took me to get around to this one... my past week has been strange, hence the delay. Hopefully back to more frequent Screaming!)

Intro, Scene 1 Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, Scene 6, Scene 7, Scene 8, Scene 9, Scene 10, Scene 11, Scene 12, Scene 13, Scene 14, Scene 15, Scene 16, Scene 17, Scene 18, Scene 19, Scene 20, Scene 21, Scene 22, Scene 23, Scene 24, Scene 25, Scene 26


Wings1295 said...

Great recap. And hey, don't worry about delays, you got this one up on October 1st, the beginning of the Countdown to Halloween!

Anthony said...


I want to say Stu says "Gang Bang" or something like that? Not entirely sure though.

And also, I'm pretty sure both expelled students are at the party. They are both sitting next to Randy. One to the left of him and one to the right of him.

John from Jersey said...

To (potentially) answer your question regarding why the Scream trailer has the line "to survive a scary movie" when the film itself uses the line "to survive a horror movie", Scream was originally titled "Scary Movie" when Kevin Williamson first submitted it Dimension. "Scary Movie" became "Scream" and then Dimension released another movie called "Scary Movie" spoofing "Scream" (which you probably already knew)... but the shared/switched title was probably the most likely reason for the sheared/switched dialogue.

And to (definitely) answer your question about what Stu says in response to Randy's rule about never having sex: "I'm a dead man."

Unknown said...

Stu's mystery words:
I've always heard "I'm a dead man."
But according to closed captions:
Randy:Big No-No. Big No-No.
Stu:I'd be a dead man.
Randy: Sex equals death.

Upon a second listen, I still think I'm right and some closed caption person screwed up. But maybe I'm just used to hearing it that way.

Smashley said...

Fantastic post, well worth the wait! Stu's little incomprehensible line during the rules has always driven me crazy! I posted about it on the forums in the hope that someone can clarify. Oh & thanks for that shot of Matthew Lillard's tongue ;)

Always loved Gale's "ugh boring!" as well. And yeah, basically everything else that you pointed out. Wonderful!

Anthony said...

Wow well I was wrong with "gang bang" ahhaaha.

John from Jersey said...

Hey, don't feel too bad, Anthony... the first several times I watched Scream I thought Stu was saying "Sha NAY nay". Really.