By Pete Vonder Haar | September 11, 2005

Dear Eugene Levy,

It seems like an eternity since we last corresponded (or maybe it only seems that way here – one day does blend into another, after all). If you recall, I attempted to initiate a termination of our contract by returning your soul due to its precipitous drop in value. I confess, I had not anticipated the force of your opposition to my proposal. Most of your kind would find themselves relieved to be freed the terms of our deal, but you held on to the contract like no one I’ve met since that Guttenberg guy (believe me, I’m still ducking his calls).

And how happy you were when I found a hidden codicil in the wording of the original document, allowing for a renegotiation of our original terms. As you know, it stated that I would supply you with the requisite rewards (wealth beyond the dreams of avarice, one of those new Blackberries, etc. etc.), provided you could convince others in your profession to appear in your movies, thereby making them vulnerable to my influence. Your soul would remain your own, until such time as the quality of talent you managed to lure into your productions fell below a level arbitrarily set by yours truly.

Unfortunately, I can’t say you’re off to the best start.

Truthfully, Samuel L. Jackson would have been a fine catch ten years ago, when he was soaring like those detestable angels on the accolades for his performance in “Pulp Fiction.” Did you know I almost had him after “Jurassic Park?” Then he shaved his head, of course.

Here, as a (*sigh*) bitter ATF agent who plays by his own set of rules, Jackson sleepwalks through yet another variation of the Angry Black Man, subjecting your character (Andy Fidler – a dental supply salesman inadvertently caught up in an arms deal…how very droll) to various degradations until the two of you (-pause for dramatic emphasis-) work together to bring down the bad guys.

I confess, I haven’t seen such meaningful insight into the nature of human cooperation since this morning’s “Sesame Street” (which we play on an endless loop in the Childless Hipsters Who Refer to Parents as “Breeders” cavern).

The rest of the cast are scarcely worth mentioning. Miguel Ferrer? Every soul in the “Crossing Jordan” cast has been mine for years (as if that wasn’t obvious). And while I’m sure, on paper, the idea of pairing the Ultimate Nerd (you) with the Consummate Bad-A*s (Jackson) seemed like a winner, the total lack of chemistry between the two of you makes watching “The Man” more awkward than bumping into Jesus at the annual Deity Conference.

I could go on, about Andy’s incessant whining, about the utter lack of laughs, about the fact that I was forced to sit through not one, not two, but three fart gags (the last one involved nuns, however, so that was okay), but I won’t. Suffice to say you’d better start scoring some higher-end talent for your films, Eugene, or it’s back to SCTV reunions and ribbon cuttings for Ontario shopping malls.

And no, Harry Shearer doesn’t count.

I remain,


Prince of Darkness

First of the Fallen

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