Comfortable and Furious

The Identical

When I read that The Identical was the worst movie since The Room, I knew I had to see it. Hell, some people even declared it the worst movie of all time! Still, it took some time for me to finally get around to watching it. I mean, that’s a pretty high standard to meet. The Room is a masterpiece of bad moviedom, constructed from the damaged memories of space aliens that crashed landed on Earth after decades of clandestine observation, and remains every bit as indecipherable today as it was during its release nearly a decade ago. Does The Identical meet the challenge, or does it embarrass itself trying?

I’m not answering rhetorical questions. I’m asking them!

Anyway, The Identical sucks. I realized while watching it, though, that the people declaring this the new The Room don’t watch many bad movies. You know, they probably have a decent apartment, romantic companionship, and a full-time job that actually pays them enough so that they don’t have to live with 10 roommates. More than that, they don’t sit around eagerly watching everything The Asylum releases so they can laugh at the B-list celebrities 20 years past their prime. In other words, they’re normal people. The Identical is a legendary bad movie for normal people. But if you’re like me, and are completely insane, you might yawn a bit. I mean, I was able to watch this movie straight through without having to pause it and play Zelda to calm down. As retarded as this movie gets, believe me, folks: I’ve seen worse.

The Identical was also compared to Showgirls at some point. This confused me, as I didn’t realize that Showgirls was a bad movie! Sure, it was a box-office disaster and divebombed Elizabeth Berkeley Berkely LOOK AT THOSE TITS’ career, but it is so gloriously insane and over-the-top that I don’t understand how people can really hate it. Showgirls is too interesting to be a truly awful movie. The worst sin a movie can commit is being boring, and Showgirls isn’t boring. There is that.

So, The Identical is worse than Showgirls, less interesting than The Room, and less amusing than anything The Asylum or SyFy has released, but I still hesitate to call it the worst movie of all time. I believe Manos: The Hands of Fate without the MST3K commentary tops it, for example. By the way, if you’re in charge of selecting the quotes for the DVD box, feel free to use that endorsement!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: What the fuck is The Identical? Well, I’ll tell you! Elvis Presley had a twin brother who died during childbirth. What if that twin brother had lived? What if you wanted to make a movie about that idea decades later, but didn’t want to pay the royalties necessary to use Elvis Presley’s music? What if you made a biopic about a fictional singer who sings Elvis-like songs at the same times in American history that Elvis was popular, and went so far as to reference Elvis within the fictitious world of the movie in order to establish that the fictional singer is not Elvis, even though he is? What if that fictional singer had a twin brother who also wanted to sing? What if you had a frontal lobotomy and proceeded to make a movie? What if Lisa Ann woke up one day and suddenly hated dick?

The Identical is a movie about questions. There are no answers.

Here’s my question, though: Why does this movie feature Seth Green looking like this?

Our fictional singer is named “Drexel Hemsley”. That is not a typo or anything. No, that is the name. Countless panties across 50s and 60s America were changed at the mere mention of that name.

Drexel. Motherfucking. Hemsley.

His twin brother, Dexter Hemsley, was adopted by a local pastor and OH MY GOD, I CANNOT KEEP TYPING, DEXTER HEMSLEY HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!



Dexter Hemsley is adopted by a local pastor and his wife, who have been unable to conceive. His parents have hit hard times in the Depression, and can only afford to raise one son. They do the Christian thing and make sure that Dexter will be able to have a good life. But, since this is a bad movie, they hold a fake funeral for Dexter and hide his past, because as we all know, Christians look down on adoption. Or something. It makes no sense, but we’re only ten minutes into this thing. Dexter’s new name is Ryan Wade. Get ready for 100 minutes of Wade!

Ryan Wade finds himself torn between his adoptive father’s desire to see him follow in his footsteps, and his heart’s desire to sing devil music. The songs in the movie range from pretty retarded to slightly embarrassing. I’ll be honest: Blake Rayne, whoever he is, does have a pretty nice voice for the style of music he’s going for. True, that style is light, inoffensive rock music that sounds like Republicans fucking, but I’m not here to judge. This is America. If a man wants to jump on stage and sing about Beboppin’ Babies and Boogie Woogie Rock And Roll, who am I to say he can’t? I’ll leave such Un-American Activities to Barack Obama.

I unironically liked “Sunrise Surfing”, though. I have problems.

Forget about the fact that half the songs seem to feature synthesizers and digital effects in a film set primarily in the 50s and 60s. It doesn’t matter, because this movie has the most exciting, ground-breaking plot I’ve seen in years. The first half of the film is about Ryan Wade trying to live his life in the shadow of others; first in the shadow of his adoptive father, and then in the shadow of the twin brother who rises to fame. The second half is about his wife pushing him to pursue a singing career, and Ryan finds success as The Identical, the most popular not-Elvis Impersonator in Tennessee, or wherever the fuck this movie takes place. He still finds himself in the shadow of people’s expectations, though, and it’s not until the end of the movie that he faces down his demons and becomes his own man.

It’s just riveting stuff.

Here’s why this movie is hilarious: It features Wade’s future wife, who happens to be white, working alongside a black nurse at some time in the late 1950s. Beyond that, it never mentions the Civil Rights Act or the Civil Rights Movement, even though it is a movie ostensibly about Elvis. Hell, Ryan Wade even goes through a two-year stint in the Army! The difference is that the real Elvis helped to break down the color barrier. Performing the style of music he did, at the time he did, was truly insane when you think about. He did it anyway. Elvis Presley was a great man. He had serious balls.

This movie has no balls.

You know what they did find time to discuss, though? The Six Day War. Five minutes on Israel and zero minutes on the Civil Rights Movement in a movie about Rock and Roll in the 50s and 60s. Ryan Wade’s father, a Southern pastor in the 60s, reminds his congregation that Jesus was Jewish and that they all need to support the Jewish people in Israel. I am not making this up. I just sat there absolutely baffled by the entire sequence. Oh, and Ryan Wade’s father is played by Ray Liotta. What’s that sound? It’s this movie going from zero to awesome!

Before all of that, Ryan Wade’s father is introduced as a traveling pastor whose first line in the movie is: “Blacks and Whites, Jews and Gentiles, all equal in the eyes of the Lord!” This line is delivered in a scene set in the South during the Depression. It’s like the creators of this movie took the “alternate reality Elvis” idea to a really crazy place: not only is Elvis different, but America itself is completely changed! It’s a place where racism never really existed on a personal level, and everyone implicitly understood that they were all God’s children, regardless of the color of their skin! No need to reference any particular realities of American life during this time period, if only in passing. No need to reference any of the black musicians that influenced Elvis in a movie about Elvis that isn’t about Elvis. Just do whatever you want! It’s “Who Gives A Shit?” historical fiction!

At one point, Drexel Hemsley goes to Dexter’s (fake) grave and places his hand on the gravestone. He solemnly asks the Lord, “Why you? Why you, and not me?” I laughed for like 20 seconds.

It’s as if an idiot remade Nashville or something. Sure, Drexel is not killed onstage by a crazy fan like Dimebag Darrell, but his death via plane crash allows his image to live on, and he even has a twin brother to carry on the dream. By the way, at the exact same moment Drexel dies in the plane crash, Dexter/Wade falls to the ground as if struck down by lightning. Identical twins are psychically linked! Ryan Wade ends up growing a hilarious beard in the aftermath of the death as well. I was hoping the movie would turn into 300 3: Three Hundred and Three for a short while, but no dice. I will say that Eva Green’s bare breasts would have improved this movie considerably. They improve every movie considerably.

Anyway, I don’t want to sound like I hate this movie or anything. To the contrary, I see this movie as the start of a multi-billion dollar franchise, and a pioneer in the genre of “Who Gives A Shit?” historical fiction. It doesn’t matter what actually happened. You don’t even need to have a point to make, like the excellent Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter did. You can’t hide behind the Wild Wild West “We were high, and we wanted to sell a bunch of shitty toys so we could buy even more cocaine” excuse, but who cares? Just make whatever lame, half-assed bullshit you want, ignore history, ignore common sense, ignore common decency, and go for it!

Don’t worry, guys, I already planned out the whole series for you! Hey, I’m here to help!

The Identical 2: All In The Family: Charles Manson’s twin brother carves a swastika in his forehead that goes in a counterclockwise direction. He preaches peace, love, tolerance, and understanding to his local church group. Squeaky Fromme has a guest appearance as his Mary Magdalene.

The Identical 3: No Such Thing As Too Much Dick: Richard Nixon’s brother Arthur rises from his premature grave and becomes the President of Madagascar. Armed with a Cabinet that consists entirely of lemurs, Arthur shows King Ralph a thing or two about how to run a country!

The Identical 4: My Fair Lai-dy Massacre: A footrace between the separated-at-birth fraternal twins Forrest Gump and the Napalm Girl from the famous Vietnam War photograph! If you thought the Fall of Saigon was the final word on this conflict, think again! Watch as the definitive statement on this tragic era is delivered via this epic re-imagining of The Tortoise and the Hare! Directed by Michael Bay.

The Identical 5: Fear Does Not Exist In This Mojo: Jim Morrison’s twin brother fakes his own birth on the streets of Paris. He signs his brother’s death certificate and then moves to forests of azure somewhere in Africa. Contains the greatest tribal dance scene since The Matrix Reloaded!

The Identical 6: You Walk With Jayne Mansfield: Jayne Mansfield’s left and right breasts experience life as twins. A new feminist perspective on these historical icons!

The Identical 7: Oswald That Ends Wald!: Lee Harvey Oswald had a twin brother named Harvey Lee Oswald! In this stunning expose, Harvey is revealed to be half-Lizardman, as well as half-Dhampir, making him only one-quarter Human! Watch as one-quarter of his body starts to disintegrate in the sunlight as he leaves the shade of the picket fence at Dealey Plaza! Rated NC-17 for 57 minutes of Lizardman-on-Marguerite-on-Marina sex scenes.

The series might be getting stale. Maybe it’s the restriction to the decades of the 50s, 60s, and 70s? Time to expand our horizons!

The Identical 8: Taft vs. Taft: He may not have had a twin, but he’s big enough for both of them! A “re-imagining” of The Blob and that Gatsby remake with Kanye West tracks in it, with De Palma-esque split screen comparisons between Taft and each of the Kardashian asses. AP US History will never be the same!

The Identical 9: The Assassination of Jesse James’ Twin Brother By Some Guy From Albuquerque: Jesse James’ twin brother never steals anything in his life. He lives quietly as a schoolteacher. Some guy from Albuquerque accidentally serves him improperly prepared seafood. Jesse James’ brother dies quietly in his sleep. He is survived by his wife and four children. The End.

The Identical 10: Skinny Arbuckle: The true story of the infamous Coke Bottle Incident! Watch as Fatty’s doppleganger drags his famous brother’s name through the mud! Reunites Schwarzenegger and DeVito for the first time since Junior!

Uh oh. The box office was lower on that last one. Perhaps it’s time for the series to return to its roots?

The Identical 11: Jack & Jones: As the CIA bankrolls Jim Jones’ adventures in Guyana as part of the reborn MKULTRA, Jim’s twin brother Jack asks: “What about me?” The feel-good film of the year for anyone who has ever wished that the CIA would give them the money they need to run mind-control experiments on their followers before leading them in a mass suicide. Does Jack get his own town? Watch and find out!

The Identical 12: Air Skynyrd: The twin brother of the plane that crashed with Lynyrd Skynyrd onboard tells the story of its life, culminating in a triumphant landing that successfully delivers Yanni to his most popular concert ever. Music by Beyonce.

What’s that? The well’s running dry? It’s time to end this series? Ok, let’s make some more!

The Identical 13: Odin’s Been Busy: A crossover with Thor 9: Mjolnir Booze, Mjolnir Bullshit, Mjolnir Buttfucking! Watch as Thor’s twin brother attempts to fondle Kat Dennings’ breasts! Includes a 120 minute scene of Thor’s brother unsuccessfully attempting to lift Mjolnir. Runtime: 121 minutes sans credits.

The Identical 14: Age of Jeremy: A crossover with Avengers 9: Holy Shit, This Series Is Still Going! Scarlet Witch casts a spell that creates a bunch of identical twins of Hawkeye! In a mind-bending twist, they are actually Jeremy Renner’s characters from Bourne Legacy, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and every other paycheck-cashing role of the post-Hurt Locker era! Also starring Emma Watson as Squirrel Girl and Daniel Radcliffe as Iron Fist.

The Identical 15: The Identical Identical: A remake of The Identical! The first remake in history that looks exactly like the original film through the use of CGI de-aging technology! No really, guys, that’s what they did. It’s not a rerelease of the first movie. It’s magic! Fall in love with Drexel & Dexter Hemsley all over again. SUNRISE SURFING FOREVER!

Anyway, they need to play this movie at Seth Green’s funeral.