Saturday, February 7, 2009

Yellow Submarine (1968)

On this day in 1964 the Beatles arrived at JFK International Airport to begin their first tour of the United States.

Which brings to mind their movie, Yellow Submarine.

What does this have to do with horror? The Blue Meanies!!!

Weapons and species of Meanie (SPOILER ALERT)

  • The Common Blue Meanies: These, it seems, are a sub-species of their Chief's origin. They wear navy blue woolly coats, domino masks, and Mickey Mouse-ear-like hats (with the exception of the Chief Blue Meanie himself and his sidekick "Max", whose hats look more like Goofy's ears). They have six claws on each hand, and wear yellow-and-orange striped tights (again, the Chief and Max are the exceptions here, as they both wear jackboots with spurs: light blue boot on the right foot, navy blue on the left). They are also able to make their eyes glow so that they can see in the dark, which makes the head resemble a video projector. These particular Meanies carry guns that fire pale-blue jagged arrows which, on contact, drain the victim's colour and petrifies him or her - although it seems to varying degrees or only temporarily, because several victims in the film are seen to cry, smile, or look up, and several natives of Pepperland are seen to back off at the sight of the Flying Glove (see below).

  • The Apple Bonkers: These are tall, thin Meanies who can walk from hill to hill at a stride. Their weapons of choice are giant Baldwin apples, which they drop on people's heads and which have the same effect of the jagged arrows. If one can reach high enough, they too can be knocked out by such weapons, as the Beatles later discover. When seen closely, their faces bear a near striking resemblance to Abraham Lincoln.

  • The Butterfly Stompers: These are wide, bullying Meanies with cat-like faces. They each carry a number on their chest, and for whatever reason they find it entertaining to destroy butterflies. One of them also stomps upon Max's head at the Chief's behest.

  • The Countdown Clowns: These are tall, fat Meanies whose heads can spin round and round, and who shriek very loudly when ready to attack, or when they feel the need to alert other Meanies. If their noses are pressed, wherever they look there will appear an explosion. They have no hands or arms themselves, however, and so another Meanie has to press their noses for them, often needing to prop a ladder up against them, or sit up on their shoulders when doing so, because they are tall. When the Meanies' spell is broken, they end up simply producing positive words such as "Yes" and "OK" in block capitals when they try to cause an explosion.

  • The Hidden-Persuader Men: These are large, fat Meanies who are constantly smoking cigars and carrying martinis which appear to have eyes on the glass. These men appear to be harmless, but upon closer inspection, they have an extra hand inside their shoes, which typically wields a pistol and shoots whenever the toe of the shoe is raised. If the shoe is closed at the right time, however, they can be made, quite literally, to shoot themselves in the foot. They are one of the rarest seen Meanies. When the Meanies' spell is broken, we see them proposing toasts to each other and using their third hands to shake.

  • The Snapping-Turtle Turks: Possibly the most pettily cruel of the Meanies, and dressed like stereotypical Turkish men (though otherwise incomparable). These are comparatively short Meanies, but are fat, and their stomachs are in fact oversized, predatory faces whose sharp-toothed mouths consume objects. We see one of these eating a little girl's paper windmill on purpose to make her cry.

  • The Jack-the-Nippers: These are tall, muscular Meanies who wear green tail-coats and sunglasses and have reptilian heads for hands. Much like the Snapping-Turtle Turks' stomachs, these hands are used for fierce biting, but if startled can bite their own tongues, causing extreme pain. They are the least frequently seen of all the Meanies. The name is a play on Jack the Ripper.

  • The Four-Headed Bulldog: There is possibly just one of these, but that hardly matters, as it has four heads, each with very sharp teeth. It is extremely strong, and its handler is no match for it if it wishes to walk in a particular direction. It is ultimately defeated when the Beatles and their doubles, the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, sing "Hey Bulldog" and run in opposite directions to disorientate it.

  • The Dreadful Flying Glove: The Chief's fiercest and strongest fighter. Though there is only one glove, it is a force to be reckoned with; crushing, squashing, or "o-blue-terating" whoever or whatever its master directs it to attack. It has a stylized face, with the thumbnail acting as the eye and the index finger as the nose. As it clenches itself into a fist, it covers up its eye, temporarily blinding it. It is ultimately defeated when John sings "All You Need is Love" and covers it with the letters of all the words that spring from his mouth as he sings.

The Beatles agree to accompany Captain Fred in his Yellow Submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music hating Blue Meanies.

Some source material from this Wikipedia article.

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