there is water underground.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some Kind of Rodent

We all know that movies have dialogue that contains words which can’t be said on television. Hell, George Carlin made a name for himself because of the FCC’s ban of filthy words. The result of said ban is that when movies are broadcast on television, the naughty words are either bleeped out entirely or overdubbed with other, more acceptable words. Recently, upon reading a fantastic book about the making of – and subsequent cult status of – The Big Lebowski, I came to learn that when John Goodman destroys a car using a crowbar and repeatedly screams "This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass!", the dubbed version claims that “This is what happens when you fight a stranger in the Alps!” In the film's context, this line makes absolutely no sense... of course, one could argue that the whole movie makes little sense, but I'm talking about the Dude here.

In another great slacker movie, the NPH plays a tripping-his-balls-off version of himself. Yep, in Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, Neil Patrick Harris - on the apparent ecstasy trip and looking for a few ladies - says "Forget White Castle, let's go get some pussy!" However, in the TV version, he says “Forget White Castle, let’s go get some privates!” Ironically, this option (if "privates" is interpreted as male soldiers) is more likely to be up the NPH's alley.

Al Pacino has plenty of great lines in Scarface, but one of my favorites is when he's talking about Miami and he says "This town is like a great big pussy just waiting to be fucked!" The TV version is, well... interesting: “This town is like a great big chicken just waiting to be plucked!” I mean, it didn't have to rhyme, fellas...

I love The Usual Suspects. Great story, great acting, and a brilliant twist of an ending. There's a scene when the suspects are placed in a police lineup, and they each have to say the line "Give me the keys, you fucking cocksucker!" But the TV censors, in another curious dubbing effort, inserted “Give me the keys, you fairy godmother!” Verrrrrry scary.

An unfortunate character in the first volume of Kill Bill is the ill-fated Buck, an orderly at the hospital where Uma Thurman is lingering in a coma. Buck, well... Buck's not very nice, and he says "My name is Buck, and I'm here to fuck." The man gets his comeuppance - trust me - but the TV dub is "My name is Buck, and I'm here to party." It has the unintentional effect of being a lot funnier than the original (not that raping a comatose Uma Thurman is funny).

What's up with stoner comedies? In the Dave Chappelle vehicle Half Baked, Bob Saget delivers the line "I used to suck dick for coke." While this is probably true, the TV version replaces "dick" with "feet", and suddenly we're into a whole 'nother ballgame.

Finally, one of my favorite movies is Ghostbusters. Rather than subject his film to overdubbing, director Ivan Reitman chose to completely re-shoot select scenes. One classic scene toward the end of the film occurs after the gentleman from the EPA shuts down the Busters' power grid, causing mass hysteria, the dead rising from the grave, dogs and cats living together... you get the point. It goes like this:

Ray Stantz: "The system was working just fine until the power grid was turned off by Dickless here."
Walter Peck: "They caused an explosion!"
Mayor: "Is this true?"
Peter Venkman: "Yes, it's true. This man has no dick."

The alternate dialogue is as follows:

Ray Stantz: "The system was working just fine until the power grid was turned off by Wally Wick here."
Walter Peck: "They caused an explosion!"
Mayor: "Is this true?"
Peter Venkman: "Yes, your Honor… this man is some kind of rodent, I don't know which."

Don't believe me? See for yourself.

And this one's even better:


Post a Comment

<< Home