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Grusnoid
It's hip to be square
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So I started listening to Dean Koontz audiobooks not too long ago. I decided to see why so many hate his work, and so far I can't find a reason. I started with what many consider Koontz' magnum opus Phantoms. If you haven't read it, go now! Phantoms is amazing, and you're missing out if you haven't read it. We aren't here about Phantoms though, and whether or not Ben Affleck was the bomb in the movie adaptation. No, we are here about another one of Koontz' books Watchers. I admit Watchers is the only other Koontz book I've read so far, but damn it, I loved it more than Phantoms. Watchers is so awesome, and Einstein is the best part of that book hands down. Now Watchers was publicized in 1987, and the film adaptation was made about one year later. Already we have red flags flying high, but lets push forward. Now I had a hard time deciding on whether or not I should judge the film on it's own merits, or hold its feet to the fire on the adaptation end. I ended up going with the latter. This motherfucker is going to burn, and I don't care who knows it. We are going to roast this bitch like a Thanksgiving turkey. So let's start with the obvious, the painfully thin budget. I can't even find a budget. I'm not joking, I checked IMDB, I checked Wikipedia, I checked Rotten Tomatoes, I can't find the budget. All I could find was this film didn't even gross one million dollars here in the United States. Either this was a disaster that the producers wanted to forget, or the drug money hoping to get laundered through this mess all but evaporated, and the drug lords killed a lot of people after seeing how much they lost. Another way you can tell this film cut corners, they filmed in Canada. Since Canada has lower film costs, it's ideal for shooting films there. A lot of low grade shlock has the stench of back bacon all over it. This film is no exception. Lets get down to it though, the plot and characters. Where do I begin? I will start with Lem Johnson, who they turned white and fused with the contract killer Vince Nasco. Now the man they picked to play Lem, Michael Ironside would have been a great Vince Nasco, even though Vince was twenty eight in the book, and Ironside was ten years older than that at the time. Still I would have overlooked Ironside's age, because I know he could have pulled off Vince in his sleep. Lem Johnson was a workaholic in the book, because of what his father told him. Basically that a black man has to work twice as hard as a white man, and even when the black man has made it to the top, he must always be walking the tightrope of career. For if a black man falls off that rope, and into the pit below, he is nothing more than the N word for the rest of his life. Lem by the end of the book, learns that his father was wrong, and decides to help the Cornell's free Einstein, and he quits the NSA. As for Vince Nasco, he is a man with delusions of grandeur. He believes he can absorb life energy from his victims, and that will allow him to live forever. He want's Einstein, because he wants enough money to stay retired for a long time, and basically kill anyone he wants. Primarily a pregnant woman so he can obtain an untainted life energy. He believes that the younger the target, the purer, and more powerful the life energy. He also has a deep seated fear of sex, due to the diseases associated with it. He constantly scoffs at women, and men who have any sexual appetite. He believes he is above any, and all sexual actions with any woman, considering he also scoffs at Nora, when he learns she is pregnant. Even though Travis was the only man she ever had sex with. Travis Cornell, who was an awesome character, and Ex Delta Force, is now a teenage heartthrob played by the late Corey Haim. I have nothing against Haim, I was a fan. I loved the Lost Boys, as much as anyone, but UGH!!!! Travis in the book was thirty six, he was a broken man before he met Einstein, and he was a deep character. Haim's Travis, is like all teenage boys in film, worried about getting his dick wet. It's just Haim, being a teenager. I think I have a reason for the change. This movie came out at the wrong time. The 80's was filled with military films, and characters that where military bad asses. Predator, Commando, The Rambo films, Hamburger Hill, Full Metal Jacket, the list goes on. I think we were just burned out by the end of the 80's with these flicks, and Haim was brought in, to cash in on a younger audience. Which backfired since this film had an R rating, and made less than one million at the domestic box office. Besides Travis wasn't defined by his military career, it was just a part of his character. Something the filmmakers couldn't understand. Nora is now Travis' mother, where in the book she was his love interest, then wife. Now she's a stereotypical 80's mom. Such a fucking waste too, Nora was one of the most likable characters, and she is reduced to a trope in the film. In the book, Nora is a woman who is trying to break out of the despotic hold that her dead aunt held on her since she was two. She starts out as a mouse, but ends one of the bravest, and most resourceful characters in the book. Which leads me to Ted Hopney (Who is credited as maintenance man.) A.K.A. a fusion of Arthur Streck, and Travis' landlord. In the movie Ted was Nora's love interest, which he most certainly was not in the book. Arthur Streck was a rapist, and he stalked Nora, and tried to rape her. So thank you movie, thank you for turning a rapist, into a love interest. I say he also fused with Travis' landlord because Arthur is not killed in the book, and Travis' landlord is. Ted is killed by the Oxcom, just like Travis' landlord is killed by the Outsider in the book. Minus the decapitation in the movie. Travis' new love interest in the movie is Tracey, who was a teenager in the book, and such a minor character, I don't think Koontz needed to write about her. In the movie she spends most of her time drugged by the NSO so no major loss there. Now to Einstein, who has been renamed Furface in the movie. I knew the name irked me, but I didn't know why, I had to read the book, to learn Einstein was the real name, and Furface was a nickname. So they rolled with the nickname as the real name, and didn't even bother to learn the real name. Awesome movie, just awesome. The plot of the film loosely follows the plot of the book, and I mean loosely. In that there is a dog, and a monster. That's about it. The movie starts with a laboratory firebombing, a dog running from the building, and a screaming first person camera perspective in hot pursuit. The movie went the Jaws route with the monster, because of the same reason. They didn't have the money to do anything else. We cut to Michale Ironside being briefed by trimmed up Santa Clause. The man on the boat as he is called in the credits, tells Ironside to find the Dog, and the Oxcom, and that's it. In the book Vince Nasco was hired by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, to kill scientists involved in a project for Banodyne Labs. Banodyne is then bombed by terrorists, also hired by the Soviet Union. So there, I gave you more plot than the movie did. We go back to the Golden Retriever (One of the few things they got right.) running through the forest, into a horse barn, where we see Haim getting fresh with his girlfriend. Haim leaves because he and his girlfriend Tracey think her father is coming out. The old man does, brandishing a twelve gauge, and spews the stereotypical father schtick. Tracey convinces her dad to go back to the house, and she starts feeding her horse. She hears sounds from the loft, thinks it's Travis, and the Oxcom predictably kills her dad, and startles her. Meanwhile Travis has been driving home without a license, and pulls over to the shoulder of the road, since he sees a cruiser behind him. It's at this point the dog makes itself known. In the book Einstein and Travis' encounter was on a nature trail. Travis went there, because he wanted to recapture how he felt in his youth, after struggling with self doubt, and depression. Einstein saves Travis from the Outsider, and helps turn Travis' life around. In the movie Travis and Einstein meet on the side of county road A after Einstein jumped in the box of the truck Travis was driving, and then into the cab after Travis gets out to see Einstein. Travis takes Einstein home, after making a makeshift bed out of a tub, in the garage. In the mean time, Ironside and his black flunky go to Tracey's, kidnap her, and have a conflict with the Sheriff. In the morning Einstein licks Haim's face, and Haim freaks out, because his mom won't let him keep a pet. Then who should arrive but Haim's mom to tell him Tracey is in the hospital, she doesn't see Ernestine, but does take Travis to the hospital. This is an unnecessary scene, because it's just to establish the NSO guys are bad, and plant fear into Haim's mind. That's another thing, did we really need to make up a fake government agency? Everyone knows it's the NSA, all they did was drop the A and add an O. What's the point?! Besides Fidel Castro back on the boat, didn't look like any government agent I've ever seen. He looked like he was a snickers bar away, from having his foot chopped off, and a fifth of scotch away from having liver failure. He was so unimportant, I thought he was going to fade from reality while talking to Ironside. Anyway the two go home, Travis shows Nora; Einstein, and they keep Einstein because he can get a pack of hot dogs from the fridge. After that Travis gives Einstein a bath, the movie winks at the book by saying Travis' dad was Special Forces, and Travis finds the ear tattoo, and officially names Einstein, Furface. The Ear tattoo was a way for the NSA to locate Einstein in the book, and it's brushed over like everything else in this god forsaken film. I could have wrote a better script with the contents of my ass, and stayed closer to the book than this fucking thing's screenwriter could on his best day! Who wrote this train wreck anyway? *Searches IMDB* Hmm.. Says here one of the writers was Bill Freed, who never wrote anything after this. Good riddance, and the other writer was.....Aw Fuck! *Sigh*, Damian Lee. It also credits him as a producer, and I'm not surprised. Lee is responsible for shlock like Virus, Death Wish V The Face of Death, and Jill The Ripper. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. unsurprisingly this is where the movie goes full retard, as we have the plot explained to us in a Motel Six. Mainly because Tom Bodett will keep a light on for you. Ironside and black man watch a tape on the Oxcom project. It is the worst lab film ever, as it was shot with a super eight, and shaky cam. As we all know, no lab can afford a tripod, especially one that gets government funding. Since the film within the film, fails to explain anything. Ironside gives us the exposition. Basically the dog was meant to be a homing beacon, and the Oxcom a homing missile. The dog would infiltrate an enemy base, and the Oxcoms would kill everything but the dog(s). Obviously it didn't work, not because the Oxcoms kept killing the dogs, but because it's the dumbest fucking military project ever! And this is from a government that spent money, on curving rifle barrels around walls. It doesn't take a scientist, to figure out that the Oxcoms are completely unreliable. Counting on a dog to infiltrate bases is also rock stupid, because after a while the enemy is going to put two and two together, and start killing dogs. Which happens most of the time anyway in war zones, because dogs have been used in conflict, since we domesticated the wolf. No military worth its salt, is going to let unknown dogs walk around its bases, camps, and installations. THINK!!!!! YOU UNINSPIRED HACKS!!!!! THINK!!!!!!!! FUCK!!!!! *Flips table*  In the book it made more sense. The dogs were meant for espionage. Basically intelligence gathering, and would be debriefed after sitting in on the conversations of the most powerful people on earth. The Outsiders where meant to replace war dogs, and accompany soldiers into battle. Basically killing machines, that were smart enough to grasp tactics, but still dumb enough to follow commands without question. The Outsider's hate for Einstein also made sense, because the Outsider perceived itself as ugly, and held Einstein in contempt for getting more attention. Back to the stupidity, and we get a superfluous scene with future Beverly Hills 90210 star Jason Priestley. That's literally the only reason I mentioned it, because he and the two other boys with him get killed by the Oxcom. There are only three recognizable people in this shit heap, and all the money must have went to them. Word to the wise, when adapting a book into film, it is wise not to blow the budget on actors. Especially with such a thin budget as it is. I would rather have a film that tries to keep true to the book, rather than your failed creative writing class assignment! So Ironside goes to Travis' house, meets Ted, and gives Einstein a reason to go to Travis' High School. Einstein goes into the school, types Danger NSO, and gets Travis kept after class. I refuse to call Einstein by the movie name Furface, because Einstein is his real goddamned name! So unsurprising that the people who make shlock, can't be bothered to look through the fucking book! I'm sure they got a copy, but did the same thing to it, as the Outsider did to its victims. slice it up, then piss and shit all over it, because they can clearly do better, than the man who can write circles around them while in a coma! Travis does an assignment of some kind, leaves and then his teacher, a janitor, and a deputy get killed by the Oxcom. The Sheriff badgers Ironside. Ironside agrees to tell the Sheriff about the situation, and since the Sheriff was an idiot and came alone, Ironside kills him and removes his eyes like the other victims. I didn't mention the eyes, because the movie doesn't care about it either. This film explains nothing, and pushes a convoluted plot forward. The book's explanation, is that the Outsider hates to be looked at, because it thinks it's so ugly. It even said it wanted to gouge out it's own eyes, so it wouldn't have to see others judging it. The movie doesn't care, because it has Corey Haim, Jason Priestley, and Michale Ironside, and it doesn't need a plot because of that. Look, I really don't care anymore, so I'm just going to wrap up. The Oxcom goes to Travis' house, kills Ted, and forces Travis, Einstein and Nora to run. The agents pressure, because Einstein got hurt from a drop out a window, and they had to go to a vet. I will mention this later. The three flee from the vet, go to a Motel Six because Bodett is keeping the lights on for people, and the agents catch Nora. Travis and Einstein prepare their last stand, and the agents figure out stuff, because they bugged the room Nora and Tracey where in. Ironside kills his black man, because he has no conscience because he was a project as well *Rolls eyes, then flips another table.*, and then gets killed in turn by Haim. Haim then kills the Oxcom after it hurts Einstein and the movie ends. This movie is a war crime, against Koontz' brilliant novel. They didn't even try to make it like what Koontz wrote. They took all the characters, and turned them into assholes, tropes, or eye candy. The plot is a waking nightmare that refuses to end, or make sense. And at the end, you're just shaking your head in disgust. If you didn't read the book, you might find some enjoyment, but if you read the book, this is an infuriating sit. Even if you didn't read the book, you're going to be lost, since this movie explains nothing, and barley establishes it's characters. remember when I said I would mention the vet? The vet in the movie looks at the ear tattoo, and immediately calls the NSO. The vet in the book was handled so much better. The flyer that identified Einstein said he was being used for cancer research, and the vet gave the Cornell's the benefit of the doubt. He asked for them to prove Einstein's intelligence, as proof he wasn't just for cancer research. After seeing Einstein's intelligence, the vet agreed that he needed to remain free, and choose his own destiny. He even said "To Hell with the small minded people, who would cage such a marvelous creature, just so they can poke, prod, and test him." Shortly after burning the identifying flyer. As for the short comings I do blame the small budget for a few things, but they didn't try. That is the most infuriating part, they just didn't try, and they just didn't care. They gutted Koontz' message in the book as well. That message being, if we can create like God, then we must have the same level of compassion, and mercy as God. That if we can lift a species to our level of intelligence, then we must treat it as if it were a member of our own species. We cannot take such a creature, shove it in a cage, and impose our will upon it. The government had no right to take Einstein against his will, and return him to a lab. It would have been no different than enslaving him. I highly recommend you, hunt down a copy of the novel Watchers, or listen to it on audiobook like I did. Don't waste your time with the film. I don't know why Koontz is so loathed and hated in pop culture, and literary circles. The man has such an optimistic view on life, he has some of the most human characters that I've seen, and he has such a way with bringing you along for the ride. From page one, to the last word. The man needs better adaptations for his books people. He's not just a second rate Steven King, and he's not the hack society paints him as. Give the man a chance, and I bet you will be pleasantly surprised. I know I was, and don't just take my word for this. We all need to form our own opinions on things. If you liked this movie, more power to you, and I mean that sincerely. We all have things we love, and enjoy, and I'm not going to judge. And don't just go with any flow, make up your own mind on a subject. You don't need me, or anyone else dictating what you can, and cannot like. If others can't handle it, their opinion isn't worth noting. If I had gone with the flow, I would have never discovered Dean Koontz' work. So be free to take suggestions, and do what makes you happy. (As long as it's legal.)

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:icondoku-sama:
Doku-Sama Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, thanks for the watch xD
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:icongrusnoid:
Grusnoid Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015
No problem. XD
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:iconamayakita85:
AmayaKita85 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This message is to let you know that I have tagged you. You don't have to do it if you don't want to... but it might be fun ^^
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:icongrusnoid:
Grusnoid Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014
I am almost done, but like I said in your journal, I don't know how to make Icons. So yeah, need some help.
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:iconamayakita85:
AmayaKita85 Featured By Owner May 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks for the :+devwatch:
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:icongrusnoid:
Grusnoid Featured By Owner May 25, 2014
You're welcome.
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:iconalex-namn:
Alex-namn Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh I thought I had you on my watch already, but welcome on board! :excited: 
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:icongrusnoid:
Grusnoid Featured By Owner May 18, 2014
Yeah....I was a silent stalker, but now, I'm dropping all the stealth, and stalking you with an air horn.
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:iconalex-namn:
Alex-namn Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
haha that sounds great :happy: 
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:iconkatechan89:
kateChan89 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks a bunch for the Watch! ;D
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