HIPPOLYTA- This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.
THESEUS - The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them.
HIPPOLYTA - It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.
THESEUS - If we imagine no worse of them than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. --- Shakespeare, Midsummer's Night Dream
NARRATOR - Flag on the moon. How did it get there?
- Coleman Francis, Beast of Yucca Flats
(Night 9 of the 12 Days of Ed Wood)
Not to brag, but those of us who were kids in the 70s had great imaginations. Forged in the banal eternity of backseats spent on long drives for hour after hour while dad chain-smoked, cursed the traffic and the radio blared static, our minds imagined whole movies we'd only heard about from start to finish. I remember taping a picture of Charlie's Angels to the back of dad's seat and pretending it was a built-in TV screen. Unless we had a super 8mm projector and a highlights reel bought from the camera store or the back pages of Famous Monters of Filmland, everything we saw onscreen was transitory, never to be rewound to 'check' if what we thought we saw was really there or not. If you missed it, you then had to take some other kid's word on what happened the next day until, maybe years later, it showed up again as a rerun (and the part you remember may well be edited for time and/or content so now way to prove what you saw wasn't there). From recess and lunch time synopses of the previous night's TV movies or shows, our minds filled in enough wild effects to make Lucas and Spielberg quake in their shoes. For us, movies were just the finger pointing to the moon. Our imaginations followed the direction and filled space with an array of monsters.
Now, with CGI, we laugh at anything other than the finest finger, the most vividly rendered CGI moon. Our imaginations have shrunk from misuse, the way our brain's ability to produce dopamine shrinks when when addicted to opiates. (I sound like a cussed old codger, but it needed to be said).
"Boys from the city, not yet caught in the wheel of progress, now feed soda pop to the thirsty pigs."
Though his entire oeuvre was more than a bit bent by his joyless outlook on life, his natural affinity for the grotesque, and his utter lack of attention to filmic detail, this Luddite tale of an obese scientist turned into a ravening atomic Beast survives as his weirdest anti-achievement. - Alfred Eaker, 366 Movies.
These are the rewards to the few who made it to the end, those who used their stupefied bemusement to transcend into outsider paradise, or who just dozed off. Or both. The beauty of the Coleman Francis' opus, is that you can do it all, while not doing a damn thing.