I’ve always liked the idea of Alice in Wonderland and Her Adventure Through the Looking Glass much more than the actual comic book. It has always been my policy to say ‘yes’ to drugs, and I just figured the Alice books were written in support of that past-time. I’d seen the cartoon once on mute, and it looked like a simple exercise in getting wasted and talking to smoking caterpillars and Hey! I do that every Monday!
In reality, however, the original GN’s were not intended for fun adults. The author, C.S. Lewis, never calculated story events to accentuate a brain totally tripping balls off Sherm. Instead, it is merely a light story of childhood whimsy and logic puns and sudoku. Alice wanders around encountering one impossible thing after another. She meets some potentially dangerous beings, but they can never truly hurt her because the journey emanates from her imagination, and children believe they will live forever. That’s why they’re stupid.
To put that in modern terms, there is no plot and none of the phenomena are ever explained. And since it’s not actually about drugs, that pisses me off.
I am known, in some circles, to have something of a visual genius, particularly when it comes to spirals and Cosco goth. It seemed like I, more than most folk, could finally deliver this story to the high school weed shack it always wanted to find, especially if I enlisted the help of my two best friends: teen hearthrob Johnny Depp and veteran musical score composer Danny DeVito (aka The Elf-man).
The first thing to work on was Alice herself. Here’ s a little theory I’ve been working on: if kidz are going to watch an Alice in Wonderland film anyway, why does Alice have to be a child? My thinking is, you can’t fuck a kid. But you can fuck a 19 year old. So by making Alice legal I get the kids and the perverts in the same darkened theatre all at the same time. Big Money! No Whammies!
This presented me with a small problem in the script stage (the final stage of pre-production). I needed to go through all the freaky Alice and Wonderland druggie shit without making up any new elements. But to have an adult Alice redo all those confrontations and famous bits of dialog a 2nd time for no reason simply doesn’t make sense. Thankfully, there’s this weird disease called amnesia that allows screenwriters to do whatever the fuck they feel like without bowing to irritating concepts like consequence or recognizable human behavior.
As a result, Alice falls down a rabbit hole again for the first time. She must figure out the eat me/drink me riddle again for the first time, too. And so on. Instead of a magical land where anything can happen, Wonderland is actually a theme park ride which follows the same linear, rigid track over and over again. This way, it’s far less up in the air and senseless.
Actually, I took upon myself the duty of fixing all Mr. Tolkien’s poor writing by giving all his goofy bullshit scientific explanations. The caterpillar, just called “The Caterpillar” in the book now has a name. I don’t actually remember the name I made up for him, but that’s okay because neither do you. (I think it was “Absalom!”) I also kill him in the end, because I wanted kidz to see how all smokers end up.
Furthermore, the eat me/drink me stuff was just a little thing in the GN, but why let such a great concept go to waste? [Alternate Universe Sentence: but why not let such a great concept go to Alice’s waist? Goatee.] In my reworking, the growing/shrinking shit is like a plot Swiss Army Knife. It basically solves Alice’s problems over and over again. Plus, when comically convenient it leaves her naked!
See, audiences are more sophisticated these days, and magical potion explanations simply won’t cut the mustard*. We need to thoroughly understand the science behind the eat me/drink me shit. Luckily I came across a good recipe on The Food Network’s Three Bitches from MacBeth, and we can rest comfortably knowing every element that goes into it. Again, I gave it a fantasy epic-approved named, and again, I can’t remember what it was. (I think it was Gigantorator/Minutorator.)
It doesn’t really matter how Alice gets from point A to point B anyway. In addition to “Amnesia” my Alice in Wonderland script takes liberal advantage of a 2nd screenwriting shortcut word: “Prophesy.” See, all Alice has to do is nothing and things will work out because the entire plot has already been preordained in her favor. Her job is to kill the Jabbathewokky with a sentient sword. She’s scared because […?] but everyone pretty much makes it clear she won’t get hurt: “look bitch, just hold on tight and the sword will do all the work for you.” Such a strong hero!
As for the actors, the cast came abnormally cheap. I asked a bunch of great actors if I could pay them by the pound. Since all actors are fools, they agreed. What they didn’t know was that CG houses have diffused themselves to the point where some actually cost less than real acting. So what I did was pay actors for just their head which, if the Jerry Maguire kid is any authority, weighs only 8 lbs + a jellyfish (thematic prequel to Will Smith’s 9 Pounds). Cheap! Plus it’s thematically synergistic with the Red Queen’s “Off With Their Head!” bologna. They were all pretty sore about it until they realized they could work in their pajamas. Crispin Glover was like, “Yo Dude! It’s like even more radical than doing voice-overs! Gnarly!” And his dad, Danny Glover, was like, “Shut the fuck up, Dickface. My face is tired from the acting.”**
One cannot talk about actors in this film without mentioning Johnny Depp. On this subject one of my favorite directors once said:
“To suck all the mythic, mysterious humanity from Willy Wonka and replace it with an SNL-level of human parody, I needed a very special actor capable of doing left-of-center work in a center-of-center film. And ever since he popped out children, that actor has consistently been Johnny Depp.”
Well I think that’s totally unfair. My faith in Johnny Depp’s ability to bring the conceptual most out of any character is so unflinching that I allowed him to do whatever he pleased with the Mad Hatter. I refused to obstruct his artistic integrity in any way. Ultimately, he chose to utilize the Hatter’s insanity as an opportunity to clean out the artistic closet, so to speak, of all the funny voices and tics too good to throw away, but not developed enough for their own film. (Here it is! *** Made ya look!) As a result, the Mad Hatter is kind of a Johnny Depp B-side + Rarities record. He even designed and applied his own make up. I think it was a very brave performance. Very Brave. Very courageous.
I let Annaway Hathaway play the White Queen full-body because, well, whadda body! Instead of acting merely regal like a real queen, I instructed her to imitate how a queen might look to a gay five year old. She nailed it. Because she’s the White Queen, her face obviously had to be whiter than snowdeath. To accentuate this even further, I gave her REALLY dark lipstick and eyeliner. This ended up having an inverse effect on her whiteness. Instead of looking good and pure, she resembles kind of a HiNi-infected Marilyn Manson. I know we’re supposed to be proud of achieving the impossible, but I gain no joy from being the only person to ever make Annaway Hathaway ugly.
I keep forgetting there’s a story. Oh yeah — The Red Queen is killing everyone’s heads while her sister the White Queen just sits around waiting for Alice to show up and fulfill the prophesy. I guess everyone loves the White Queen, but must follow the Red Queen simply because she controls the Kraken. The Mad Hatter used to work for the White Queen, but now he’s like a faux-crazy freedom fighter just looking for an excuse to suicide bomb somebody. Alice goes here, then she goes there, then blah blah blah they have a huge battle on a chess board and the good guys win because Alice managed to keep hold of the sword as it did all the work.
Having fulfilled her purpose, Alice can now go home. At the film’s opening, we get a good shot of “home,” and it looks like a Victorian Hellhole. Her upward mobile mother is whoring her off to a douche who’s mom is a bitch. Her sister’s husband is a manipulative cheater, and the only other lady who refused marriage is now both crazy AND ugly.
Everyone wants her to stay in Wonderland. The Mad Hatter has clearly fallen in love with her. She looks around as if she might actually stay where shit is fun, but then chickens out and goes back home. Why does she do this? Because Alice in Wonderland is not about weird funky shit as a way of life. You get high, have fun, bang some chicks, but you eventually come down and go home. You’re not one of those dirty Liberal weirdos, and neither is Alice.
Alice comes home and immediately starts bossing people around. She’s especially cruel to the sad old spinster who she basically wants medicated for having delusions of grandeur. Again, we needed to do this to make sure Alice’s adventure had no positive effect, otherwise she’d want to go to Wonderland all the time.
After telling everyone off, she singles out the most important aristocrat, and gives him her late father’s plan for British empirical domination of China in exchange for an “apprenticeship”. That’s pretty much where the movie ends. In short: Alice teams up with Johnny Depp to defeat a Royal Tyrant so she may come back to the real world and become the Royal Tyrant fought by Johnny Depp in those Pirate movies!
Obviously, this is a great film to take your kids to. But be warned. Some places are showing Alice in Wonderland on faulty screens. I know because I accidentally went to one. It cost extra and everything was blurred and indecipherable and everyone’s wearing Ray Bans. Just a heads up.
* Heinz, Dijon Variety — Ingredients: water, distilled white vinegar, mustard seed, mustard bran, salt, white wine, mustard flour, spice, citric acid, tartaric acid, turmeric.
** “Wailing Sax”
*** Look up. Where is it?