9/9/09

RVOD081 The Case of Tommy Tucker, Part 2

(1951, Educational/Short, b&w)

Riffers:

Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy

It’s the death cult I’ve always dreamed of.

Rating: ***

In a Nutshell:

Tommy can’t return to earth until we all promise to drive more safely.

Summary:

Little Tommy Tucker / Had a shot at eternity and pussed out...We pick up where Part 1 left off, with the Safety Island gatekeeper eulogizing Tommy’s safety education efforts down on earth. Schoolchildren recite rules, auto dealers inspect cars and adult drivers attend safety films in droves. Tommy’s feeling pretty good about himself and is looking forward to a position of some influence among the Safety Island staff. Or he was, until he sneaked a peek through the earth telescope at his sobbing parents. He quickly changes his mind.

Gatekeeper and Rent-a-Cop God both turn on him. He can’t go back now! Why, otherwise good people sometimes turn into rubber-headed freaks of nature (i.e. Careless Gnome Skulls), but Tommy’s death has changed all that. His safety-based fame and grisly death have provided a gruesome object lesson that will frighten his friends and neighbors into driving safely for generations to come. If Tommy gets better, everyone will forget to be safe and, well, you might as well just throw the whole town into the wood chipper right now if that happens. Tommy barks out an impassioned speech promising to dedicate the rest of his life to automobile safety education, and his otherworldly captors relent.

Thoughts:


Apparently the prestigious afterlife job the Powers That Be want Tommy to perform involves haunting the American roadways. His spectral, disembodied head would grin down at the potentially unsafe, scaring them into proper automobile safety practices. Only you can prevent this hideous fate from befalling our departed hero, dear viewers! Drive! Drive as safely as you can. Drive to your safety utmost, because if you don’t, poor Tommy will never know peace.

Oh, and Tinkerbell will totally die if you stop clapping.

Mike, Bill and Kevin forgo a true synopsis of the previous entry in favor of a hilarious little skit about Tommy Tucker’s impending execution and a very angry severed head. Once the short gets off and running, the comments start flying. Kevin notes the footage of adults watching more footage with, “We interrupt this mind-numbingly dull safety film to bring you a mind-numbingly dull safety film.” When Rent-a-Cop God notes that the town is safer since Tommy’s accident, Mike goes on, “And if you had to be mangled horribly beyond recognition to achieve that, it’s a price we’re glad to pay.” As Tommy launches into his halting, pleading speech, Bill speculates, “Kid actually died choking on the scenery he’d been chewing.” This half is mostly speeches and exposition, so it’s not as funny as the supremely bizarre first entry, but it’s still reasonably funny and delightfully strange.