This contains some spoilers, except not really because the movie came out in 1996.
Jaya: OKAY MOVIE YELLING. How did it take us until 2016 to even hear of this movie?
Matt: I have no idea! I feel like it existed 100% outside my consciousness until our friend told us about it the other week
Jaya: Which is really weird because I was way into Cruel Intentions, but those three years between 10 and 13 make a big difference I guess
Matt: I still haven’t seen Cruel Intentions, but I’m at least familiar with what happened in it? Anyways: This movie is bananas
Jaya: This movie is what happens when movie execs are like “Okay it’s the 90s so kids like Seattle, and crack, and that’s it we don’t need any more info”
Matt: “what are the gangs doing”
“NOBODY CARES, JEFFERY.”
Jaya: BUT WHAT WAS THAT GANG DOING?? THEY NEVER EXPLAIN THE GANG!
Matt: They are murdering dogs and cops, for funsies only
Jaya: Gangs have unifying elements to them! It’s not just random bros who like to do violence!
Is it? I’ve never been in a gang
Matt: Taking breaks only to romance rich 16-year olds (???)
Jaya: Okay wait back up the gang doesn’t even show up until like half an hour in
Matt: Sorry, I’m just excited about the nebulous gang2:39 PM
The Nebula Boys
Jaya: That is exactly their name. Okay so it basically starts when Reese Witherspoon and Alyssa Milano and their other guy friend skip school to go to a bar at what seems like very early in the morning. And they meet these boys there.
Which is ridiculous cause the bar is PACKED and just like, who are these 20 year olds drinking and playing pool at 11am?
I never understood this about most movies, because as an adult, if I saw a high schooler walk into a bar I’d be like “oh you should be in school, you child.”
Matt: It’s the 90s, Jaya. Nobody actually went to high school
They were too busy listening to REM
More specifically, listening to the same Bush song I think three times on this one film’s soundtrack
Jaya: Why do you need another song, Matt?
Okay, so also of course, Reese sees Marky Mark at this bar, and then later at some rave while Alyssa Milano goes and grinds on another guy in this gang who I honestly think is supposed to be 40
Like there is no way that was just an older guy cast as a 20-something guy
Matt: Yeah that guy was grizzled as hell. Maybe they were trying to show the effects of what Unspecified Gang Drugs do to an otherwise regular-looking young man
Jaya: So like, we’re also just supposed to think Alyssa Milano is fine because Reese and Mark (I forget their names?) are supposed to be falling in love, even though the more I think of it, they have absolutely no chemistry
Matt: Chemistry in movies is defined by: if I show up shirtless in your bedroom in the middle of the night, will you wordlessly have sex with me
To which I say: Reese and Mark definitely have… that
Jaya: Omg, right so the whole thing is he is an obsessive monster who immediately starts beating up her male friend when he saw them hugging
Jaya: but also, and I know this is BOTHERSOME, but if a boy I liked just showed up in my room shirtless when I was 16 I would absolutely be DTF
Matt: I’m glad that media is finally recognizing how horny ALL teens are. 20 years ago
Jaya: We were all such horny little monsters!!!
I actually sort of love that about the infamous roller coaster scene, that Reese is the one putting Mark’s hand up her vag
When now, we can all agree getting fingered on a roller coaster has to be the worst idea
Matt: It seems like a bad idea and also a job for a man with no fingernails whatsoever.
Maybe it’s one of those roller coasters that don’t move very fast or far or jerk around a lot or come to a very sudden stop at the end
Jaya: A parked car? You’re thinking of a parked car
Also there is NO WAY Mark’s fingernails aren’t busted as fuck
He lives in a shack on a cot with like 5 other deadbeats and it looks like they just roll around on barbed wire for fun
Matt: how DARE you impugn the finger health of one of the 86th Street Cuticle Boys
Jaya: I MAKE WILD ASSUMPTIONS, YOU CAN’T STOP ME
Matt: I LOVE when they show the gang house! Our friend Mr. Wahlburgers lives in what looks like the set of a prison you would build if you were shooting a movie in your parents’ house
Just photos of mugshots and a dirty cot
Jaya: I think it’s to show the DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE between his house and her house, where her dad is an architect and has built like, a fancy glass prison
Can we talk about the dad for a sec? This movie was made for dads.
Matt: In every dad, a hero. should be the title
Jaya: The whole time he is like “I don’t like the cut of this Marky’s gib” and everyone else is like “oh you’re just overreacting” and then he is riiiiight!!!!!
Hero Dad Mark Mark Beatup Time
Matt: That would be a better title than Fear, which is a Bad Title
This movie is like fanfic written by a dad to prove to his daughter that she shouldn’t date older guys
Jaya: And she should make curfew
Matt: what if they’re in a gang? What if he kills your little friend. What’s his name?
I’m looking at IMDB and I can’t remember what the kid looks like but there is someone credited as “Knobby” so I am going with Knobby
Jaya: NICOLE, Nicole was Reese’s name
Cause he did the “NICOLE 4 EVA” poke tattoo on his chest, like you do when you’re in love
Jaya: Also wait, more in the dad fanfic realm
Marky taking her bracelet that says “daddy’s girl” and making it say ‘DAVID’S GIRL” (now I remember his name was david)
Matt: They REALLY drive home their names huh
Jaya: And yet it took us this long to remember them
Matt: Your husband will of COURSE replace your father, but only when your father is ready
Jaya: That’s for the men to sort out, honey
Matt: OK so they have a very creepy “romance” but I want to get to the part where the movie straight-up turns into THE PURGE
Wait! I forgot why the gang were there. Reese sees her best friend basically get sexually assaulted by her boyfriend and gets mad at HER.
Jaya: That is an important and weird part of it! Alyssa Milano is having sex with the Adult Man like, in the living room, while he smokes crack, and then Marky Mark threatens her and carries her off?? AND SHE IS WHO REESE GETS MAD AT?
Matt: She is mad at BOTH of them, which is half right
So she dumps Mark and he shows up at her fancy as HELL glass house (I would like to note hereLi it’s very annoying how rich they seem to be!) which ALSO seems to have automatic metal shutters
You know, for when the gangs show up to your mansion in the woods outside Seattle
Jaya: Like the Purge!!!!!
Matt: Much like the purge
Ok also the movie was described to me as “Mark Wahlberg fingers Reese Witherspoon on a roller coaster and then he murders her dog” but I could not be prepared for the amount of dog viscera the director opted to show on camera
during the Purge Sequence
Jaya: Which felt like it was 20 minutes long? A considerable part of the movie where a lot of awful things happen!
And like, I basically could not stop thinking that this family is going to be FUCKED forever
Her little brother had to run over a guy to get keys off another dead guy to get a walkie talkie to call the cops! That’s a lot when you’re 10!
Matt: That ten year old had a DAY
Jaya: But like, how much do you think the dad is gonna hold this over everyone for the rest of his life?
Matt: oh, forEVER
Jaya: Reese brings home another guy, after years of therapy, and he’s like “he seems iffy, AND YOU ALL REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED THE FIRST TIME I SAID THAT”
Matt: At Reese’s wedding day, during the photos with the parents, he leans over and calmly whispers into her fiancee’s ear “I had to throw the last guy out a window”
The body count at the end of this movie is bonkers. I think like 3 of the gang members, a cop, and a dog all get killed, as does Mark3:13 PM
Jaya: And Reese’s friend! Knobby!
And the subtext is absolutely that Mark killed his parents, right?
Or did I imagine that?
Matt: He has no family, so probably! He tracks down and murders a teenager in the woods for hugging his ex-girlfriend, so
Jaya: Yeah as much as I want to do a deep-dive into his background and what in society made him the way he is, I do not think the writers of this movie gave him that much. He is just a serial killer who is willing to punch himself in the chest to make it seem like his girlfriend’s dad hit him.
Matt: I also love how the movie ends, which is: Mark Wahlberg gets thrown out a window and falls to his death onto some rocks below. And then: credits
Jaya: Yes! No conversation, no comedown, that’s it
Matt: will this impact everyone’s life? who knows!
Jaya: I was just waiting for the one-armed man to jump out and be like AND THAT’S WHY YOU ALWAYS COME HOME ON TIME
Matt: and THAT’S WHY you don’t change the clock in dad’s office so you can stay out late getting fingered, honey
Jaya: The moral really should be never get fingered on a roller coaster, though. That’s a terrible idea.
Matt: Do Not Get Fingered At The Six Flags
Jaya: The motto of the 90s
Matt Lubchansky is a cartoonist living in Queens, with Jaya actually.