You, John, are the bearer of the one true Ring! You must cast it into the fires of Mt. Doom!
Nancy bitches at Zac and Brooke for wanting to go outside to smoke a joint, although she has no problem with everyone drinking and then driving home. John holds Brooke up further to spout some in-character gibberish that basically just cements the fact that he's far too nerdy to live. When John leaves the room to go tell Zac and Brooke that they shouldn't smoke and drive, Laura tells Nancy that she heard John's mother is a religious nut and that he killed his own younger brother, so she has reservations about letting him babysit for Jackson. Gee, ya think? Now, you might be saying, "Hey, he killed his own brother, that's got to be an important plot point." Nope, sorry. It never has any impact on anything. Nice guess, though. John returns to the basement and laments to Jack over the fact that Brooke likes would rather be with Zac than with him. Uh... duh. Zac can at least supply her with his own homegrown weed. All John has to offer is a large supply of nasal spray and lens cleaner. When he finally leaves the house, John finds one of Brooke's earrings on the ground. He kisses it. You know, not because he's obsessed or anything.
Katherine Hicks gives us a break from the absolutely pulse-pounding action by transitioning to Zac and Brooke in bed the next day. Brooke says that her caller ID shows fourteen calls from John overnight, but no messages. She's concerned because she thinks he's a creepy loser, but Zac doesn't care in the least. So let's run down the list. Now John's a stalker, Brooke's cruel, Zac's callous, Hanee's a violent jerk, Russell's a puss, Nancy's a bitch, Laura's a wannabe bitch, Jack's the Lord of the Lore, and Jackson is stuffed so full of butter that you could spread his drool on a dinner roll. Bunch of real winners, here.
In the gloom of the basement, it almost looks like this movie doesn't suck. It does, though. Suck, that is. I just want to make sure we're clear about this.
Well, enough break. Back to gaming! The gang gathers once more for another ten minutes of sitting around a table and saying numbers to one another. It's just as thrilling the second time around, which is to say, not at all. At the end of the session, Jack hands out fliers for a Christmas party / more roleplaying. I'm not sure why he'd need to give them fliers to remind them about something they do every single week, but it actually turns out to be somewhat important, which just goes to show you how bad this movie really is. Zac and Brooke have a fight, after which John tries to make a move. Of course by "tries" I mean "comes up with the nerdiest possible way." He drops down onto his knees at Brooke's feet in the middle of Jack's driveway and says, "Please don't leave, Johandra. Let me warm you with my pledge of undying affection." Yep, referring to a girl as her D&D character and making a pitiful ass of yourself - the fastest way to her heart. Unsurprisingly, Brooke declines John's gracious offer of undying affection, so John gets in his car and decides to give dying a try, instead. He takes off his glasses and drives away, rubbing Brooke's earring all over his face. Speeding toward his doom, John makes his last words on Earth as dorky as possible and spouts off some more Sir Kallio knight crap before crashing into a tree. Then the car explodes. So, sucks to be John.
Detective Galligan, the best damn cop in the city. And there's at least one other cop!
Monday morning, the principal of the school where Jack works interrupts his class and drags Jack back to his office, where he informs him of John's death. Detective Galligan, whose's primary role in the movie is to find the absolute dumbest thing to say and then say it, has a few questions for Jack about the suicide. They found the Christmas party flier in the wreckage, somewhat crumpled but otherwise unscathed. What a stroke of luck that the only thing to survive a fiery car crash would be a single scrap of paper! Looking at the paper, which has all the information he could ever want about the roleplaying group, Galligan asks, and I quote:
Galligan: "So, Mr. Nixon, what is this game club and how often does it meet at your house on Saturday nights?"
Well, it's a game club and it meets at his house on Saturday nights! Argh! The stupidity of this question makes my brain itch. Jack is suspended and told to seek legal counsel. Let that be a warning to all you teachers out there - never, ever see your former students outside of class or if they get in a car accident, you can be implicated as a murder suspect. Makes perfect sense! The detective then makes a big deal of hauling Jack out of the office and down to the conference room for the sole purpose of letting him go. You know, the roleplaying sequences were a waste of my time, but this is even a waste of the character's time.
John's mother - the living embodiment of one side of a controversy nobody remembers.
At John's funeral Hanee and Russell make stupid comments. It's not enough that they taunted him while he was alive, but the writers had to make absolutely sure that we didn't forget they're jerks and accidentally start liking the two of them, so they have to be jackasses at his funeral. Great. John's mother berates Jack, accusing him of making John kill himself. Meanwhile, Zac notices a single red rose on John's grave. At least, I think it's a red rose. The camera operator must have accidentally leaned on the black and white button, because the color suddenly fades for no artistic reason whatsoever. It's an easy mistake to make, they put that button near the zoom on a lot of cameras, so you can see how it could happen. There's only one thing - it's fucking inexcusable. Free tip for all you amateur filmmakers out there: if you don't have enough of a budget to allow you to reshoot a scene that got completely blown due to overwhelming stupidity on the part of the cameraman, don't make a damn movie! Zac, in all his grayscale glory, takes the rose and hides it inside his coat. That's right, he takes a flower from a fresh grave. Give me a break. Who the hell takes flowers off of graves in front of the family of the deceased? Like that's not just asking to be killed.
Black Knight, Inc. Out of focus since 1908.
That night, Jack is down in the basement when he finds a dungeon map laid out on the table that resembles the floor plan of his house, and a black knight figure stands on the board. As Jack makes a mad dash to Jackson's room, incredibly tense music begins to play in order to distract the audience from the fact that Jack is running around like an idiot for basically no reason. It's amazing. With that music going, it almost feels like Jack isn't massively overreacting! Jackson is unfortunately fine. Laura steps outside and finds a red rose on the doorstep. Meanwhile, Hanee and his father argue about the ins and outs of selling Christmas trees. As you can imagine, it's absolutely titillating. Hanee goes off into the woods to chop down a few more trees, only to find a red rose on the ground. Moment after he picks it up, a black knight on a horse rides up and stabs him to death. That ought to teach him to throw snowballs! We cut to Russell, who is working at a convenience store. He goes into the storage room and finds a red rose. Suddenly, a black knight on a horse rides up and stabs him to death. That ought to teach him to be friends with people who throw snowballs! Harumph!
Zac calls Laura, distraught over the rose that he stole - er, found at John's funeral. Now, as it turns out, he's right to be distraught. John has returned as a dark knight and is on what could shape up to be a fairly impressive killing spree. However, Zac has no way of knowing that at this point. All he saw was a rose on a grave. I've been to my share of funerals and I've seen more than a few roses on graves, and I have never made the assumption that a dead nerd was coming to kill me. I don't know, it just seems like sort of a stretch. As I was saying, Zac tells Laura that he quit marijuana for good. Of course, now he's a problem drinker, but hey, Nancy said that was okay, so who am I to judge?
Zac goes to the high school to find Jack. While he's waiting, he gets needlessly hassled by a huge black school security guard who makes a specific point to tell Zac that he's not afraid of him, no matter what kind of games he plays. Excuse me? Who, in the history of mankind, has ever actually been scared of someone because they play Dungeons & Dragons? Oh yeah, when I think of the sort of person I would never want to meet in a dark alley, it's definitely a D&D player. They might throw dice at me, or mug me with their Dancing Sword of Mog Tiranoth (+3 against ogres)! It's a good thing Jack shows up before Zac has a chance to give the gigantic black guy a paper cut with his character sheet! The guard leaves them alone and Jack tells Zac that Hanee and Russell are dead. Bad time to give up pot, Zac. Bad time to give up pot.
Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic follow up to "Baby Got Back" has serious unintended consequences.
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
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