October 6, 2009
NC: Hello, I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don’t have to.
(Various images of wrestlers and their movie roles are shown as NC speaks)
NC (voiceover): “Should wrestlers star in movies?” This is the question that has plagued mankind for centuries. On the one hand, it seems ideal. I mean, they’re already sort of acting, aren’t they? I mean, they’re wrestlers. They know how to play to the crowd, they know how to make everything look thematic, it’s practically in their blood.
NC: On the other hand, “Suburban Commando.”
(The title screen for “Suburban Commando” is shown, followed by a montage of clips from the movie)
NC (voiceover): This is a movie starring THE HULKSTER (Hulk Hogan) as an intergalactic freedom fighter trying to hide out in middle-class suburbia.
NC: What’s that? That’s even too crappy to be a TGIF sitcom? Well, let’s take a look and see why this sci-fi flop is just as bad as it sounds.
(The movie begins with a battle in space)
NC (voiceover): First of all, tell me if this opening rings any bells. (A large spacecraft flies over the camera, and NC sings to the tune of the “Star Wars” theme music) Rip off! This is a rip off! This is a rip off! Are you kidding? (Normal) It turns out the sinister…Bald Guy in Chair is planning to conquer every intergalactic brouhaha and has kidnapped the President of He Won’t Be Around for Long So Who Cares?-ville.
Henchman: (speaks over an intercom) Intruder! Level 5!
General Suitor (The “Bald Guy in Chair”): Ramsey.
Chef Ramsay (from the “Hell’s Kitchen” TV program): (bleep) Rancid!
NC (voiceover): No, no, not that Ramsey. (Shep Ramsey (Hulk Hogan) is shown) This guy. Hulk Hogan plays the superhero Shep Ramsey.
Chef Ramsay (from “Hell’s Kitchen”): (bleep) Donkey!
NC: No, not Chef Ramsay! Shep.
(A clip of Shemp Howard from a “Three Stooges” short is shown)
NC: No, not that Shemp! (He spells out the name in red letters below him) S-H-E-P. (“Y?” appears briefly after “SHEP” goes away) Why does he have that name? (“????” appears next) I don’t know. (Three images of famous celebrities appear below him) Maybe he was born from a celebrity or something.
NC (voiceover): So he (Shep) walks down the set that even “Spaceballs” would be embarrassed to have as he beats up some bad guys.
(Bad guys in black armor with blonde ponytails are shown running through the halls of the ship)
NC (voiceover): (as one of the bad guys) Aww, man! Our girly haircuts won’t save us this time!
Shep Ramsey: Goin’ up? (He takes two bad guys and shoves their heads through a ceiling)
Shep: (appears in a ceiling) Goin’ down. (He cuts a wire that makes two more bad guys fall through the floor)
(Cut to Shep bursting into the control center and beating up more bad guys)
NC (voiceover): (as Shep) Going up. Going down. Err, sorry, that’s all I know how to say.
(Shep takes two bad guys with black eye makeup by the throats and shoves them against a wall)
NC: Why do all the henchmen in this world look like KISS fans or Tanya Harding?
General Suitor: Stop! He’s mine. (As the dialogue continues, President Hashina secretly pulls out a white envelope from his sleeve) It’s been nice knowing you, Shep.
Shep: There will be others.
General Suitor. Goody, goody.
(The President throws the envelope at General Suitor, and it somehow cuts off the Suitor’s hand that’s holding a gun; General Suitor screams in pain)
NC: …..I’m sorry, what?
(The clip of the President throwing the envelope at General Suitor and somehow cutting off his hand that’s holding a gun and him screaming in pain is shown again)
NC: …He uses an envelope to cut off a man’s hand. (Curious, he lifts up his left hand, takes an envelope in the other hand, and tosses it at the left hand with no effect) HOW DOES THAT WORK?!
NC (voiceover): So I guess because his hand is cut off, he (General Suitor) starts to turn into some sort of vomit monster for some reason.
General Suitor: (speaks in a monster voice as he goes over to grab the President by the throat with his monster hand and lifts him up) My negotiations have ended!
Shep: Bye now. (He hits a bad guy before leaving to duck into a passageway and escape while placing limpet mines on the ship that are designed to blow it up)
NC (voiceover): (as Shep) So long, Mr. President! Good luck with that whole monster killing you thing! I’m just gonna detonate the ship and run away like a coward.
(Cut to the whole ship exploding in space)
NC: Hooray! The President is dead! (Pauses before lifting his fists weakly as though to root for Shep) Go, Ramsey?
Shep: (his escape pod spins in space and he grunts trying to get it under control) Come on! Stabilize! Stay with me!
NC (voiceover): Yeah. What do you think the odds are that he’ll run into Darth Vader after getting blown up from the Death Star?
(Cut to NC’s animation of Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced X1 and Shep’s escape pod colliding into each other and then flying off into space)
NC (voiceover): (as Darth Vader) OW! Watch it, dick cheese!
(Back to the movie)
Superior Officer: (appears on a video screen above Shep) Excellent work, Ramsey. The Shild system can now live without threat of annihilation by General Suitor. Millions are in your debt.
NC: (as Superior Officer) All except for that one tiny detail. What was it again? Ah, yes. You killed the President, you freakin’ idiot!
Shep: Great. So what’s next?
NC: World Leader Assembly, I hope!
Superior Officer: Well, actually, with the evil General out of the way, things are…pretty quiet.
Shep: You gotta have somethin’ on your books. Maybe a terrorist extermination?
Superior Officer: No.
Shep: Galactic nark duty?
Superior Officer: Uh-uh.
Shep: OK, how about a big bug hunt with creatures that bleed acid?
NC: (as Superior Officer) No. Now stop referencing sci-fi films that are better than this one.
NC (voiceover): So he (Shep) accidentally damages his ship, which means he has to lay low on a planet until it recharges. How long, you might ask?
Superior Officer: Recharge no higher than .01%.
Shep: It’ll take me six weeks to recharge! What am I gonna do for six weeks?
NC: (as Superior Officer) Maybe some acting lessons would be a good idea.
NC (voiceover): So as the credits roll, we’re greeted to a nice suburban rap.
Background Singer: (rapping) Get ready to party! That’s what I’m sayin’! Get up, get your body swayin’! Madonna lumbato, so (????) want to be there!
NC: Yeah, that’s good, but it’s no ICE!
Vanilla Ice (from “Cool as Ice”): I’m gonna drop you funky lyrics.
NC (voiceover): So we cut to our other star in the movie, Christopher Lloyd, playing an architect named Charlie.
Theresa (Charlie’s daughter): (smiles) Please, Dad. Get a grip.
Charlie Wilcox (Lloyd): Tell your mom I’ll be right in.
NC (voiceover): (as Charlie) I’m working on my flux capacitor. (normal) He’s married to a decomposing codfish—I mean, Shelley Duvall, as she tries to give him advice about asking for a raise.
Jenny Wilcox (Duvall): You’ve gotten praise for that raise.
Charlie: Aw, now, honey.
NC (voiceover): (as Charlie while the credit “Costume Designer: Hy Nguyen” appears) Costume designer Hy Nguyen wouldn’t like that. (Normal) So after the rap song stops barking, Charlie finally gets up the nerve to ask for a raise.
Charlie: I’m trying to say…
Adrian Beltz (Larry Miller): I know what you’re trying to say. Come on, Charlie. (He grabs Charlie by the arms and shakes him a little) Charlie, Charlie, look at me. Be with me now. Come on now! Come on, boy!
NC: This is sexual harassment and I don’t have to take it?
NC (voiceover): So he doesn’t get the raise, but he does get a comedy foil. Ramsey lands and tries to find a place to stay while his ship recharges.
(Shep finds a sign on a pole that says “Apartment for Rent” and has an arrow pointing to the right)
NC (voiceover): Well, gee! Judging by those incredible directions that sign just gave me, my guess is the apartment is somewhere…there-ish. (Many green arrows point to various spots on the screen) We then cut to a scene where Charlie is hag-racing with some old geezers but finds he just can’t run the yellow light.
(Charlie stops his car as soon as the yellow traffic light flashes and other car go around him)
Charlie: Damn it! (He backs up his car to try again)
NC (voiceover): That’s not funny. But don’t worry. It’s a running joke, so they’ll repeat it several times until you have no choice but to find it funny!
NC: But who am I to argue with running jokes Big Lipped Alligator Moment, Elephant, Chuck Norris?
(NC’s “Big Lipped Alligator Moment,” “Elephant” and “Chuck Norris” running gags appear simultaneously)
NC (voiceover): So he returns home where his wife thinks that he asked for his raise. (Charlie lies on the couch) So she wants to congratulate him by—(Jenny appears in a robe, black lingerie and a thick, braided wig) Oh, God! No, no, NONONONONONONO! Not with Shelley Duvall, please!
Jenny: I just thought you sounded so sad on the phone.
NC (voiceover): God! It looks like a mix between Cher and The Incredible Mr. Limpet.
Charlie: Thanks, anyway. (He gets off the couch to leave)
(Jenny playfully spanks Charlie once on the butt as he leaves)
Jenny: You’re welcome.
NC (voiceover): No. No spanking, no lingerie! As far as I’m concerned, this is a sexless marriage! I know they have two kids, but that’s what orphanages are for. Thank God somebody rings the doorbell and interrupts her I-don’t-want-to-know-what.
Charlie: (answers the door and opens it) What?!
Shep: (shows the “Apartment for Rent” sign) I’m here to rent the apartment.
NC (voiceover): So Ramsey comes into the picture and tries his best to fit in.
Charlie: I can’t believe we even rented out to that guy. He’s enormous! And he’s probably dangerous.
NC: (as Charlie) Or worse yet, a wrestler!
NC (voiceover): But Charlie sneaks a peek at Ramsey’s settling in, because he simply doesn’t trust him. Or at least I hope that’s why he’s sneaking a peek at him.
(Charlie sneaks a peek at Shep examining the stuff in his bag)
NC (voiceover): (as Charlie) Oh, God, he’s so much more attractive than my wife! (Normal) He finds one of his ray guns and accidentally turns it on, which allows interstellar bad guys to track him down.
Trooper: Commander, we got a traceable power source.
Commander: Can you pinpoint?
Trooper: I’m working on it now, sir.
NC (voiceover): (as the Trooper) Let me just finish playing my game of Pac Man first. (Normal) So while they track him down, our hero continues to encounter some misunderstandings about suburban life!
(Shep lifts weights with some giant tool machines outside until he hears Jenny screaming inside the house; he tosses one machine aside before quickly getting up)
NC (voiceover): (as a neighbor, presumably hit by the giant tool machine) OWWW!
(Shep runs inside to see Jenny screaming to herself while sitting on the couch and lifts her up from it)
Jenny: Whoa! Mr. Ramsey! It’s “Marsha”!
Jenny: A TV show! It just so happens that today is about…screaming for health. You know, to get out all those internal tensions before it becomes mental stress?
NC: …Yes! And next week is running down the middle of the street shouting “Rape!” to ease the tension.
NC (voiceover): He also tries skateboarding with Charlie’s son, but that seems to backfire as well.
Boy #1: (after Shep tries a skateboard and falls) Even my mom can stay on longer than that.
(The other kids laugh, Shep gets mad and tosses the skateboard into the sky like a Frisbee; Cut to NC’s animation of the skateboard hitting Darth Vader’s TIE Advance X1 and bouncing away)
NC (voiceover): (as Darth Vader) AHH! God, what a week.
NC (voiceover): (Normal) Meanwhile, that running joke returns to set up a most likely disappointing payoff.
(Charlie drives with traffic until the traffic light flashes yellow, making him stop and have other cars drive around him)
NC (voiceover): What is it with him, anyway? Did a yellow light eat his dog or something?
Shep: What kind of world is this?
NC (voiceover): So the neighbor’s car is very rudely blocking Charlie’s driveway, which results in Ramsey moving it out of the way.
(Four tough men from next door approach Shep)
Tough Guy #1: Hey! Goldilocks!
NC: (laughs) That was funny.
Tough Guy #1: You got any idea what we’re gonna do to you if we find one itty-bitty scratch on ‘em?
Shep: Let me guess. You’re gonna pound my face, break every bone in my body, then you’re gonna drag me across the gravel road and feed my remains to a warthog. Is that about right?
NC: (as Shep) ‘Cause that would really turn me on!
Tough Guy #1: What are you, nuts? It’s the ‘90s. We’re gonna sue ya.
NC: (laughs) That’s also funny. The movie clearly should have been about these guys.
Tough Guy #2: You’ll be hearing from our attorney.
NC (voiceover): Oh, he (Shep) also saves the life of Charlie’s son, because apparently he can’t hear an incredibly fast moving vehicle with the music blasting as loud as it can!
(Shep moves Mark Wilcox out of the way as the car runs over Mark’s skateboard and turns at a corner; Shep watches the car drive away and gets mad)
NC: (as Shep, raising his fists in fury) Hulk SMASH!
(Cut to Shep lifting the car on the passenger side, trying to flip it over)
Young Teen: You’re crazy!
NC (voiceover): So he flips the car over and throws the guys out of the vehicle. So what does he get for injuring others and destroying someone else’s property? CAKE!
Jenny: (offers Shep some chocolate cake at dinnertime) Shep, this is for you in appreciation of everything you’ve done for us.
NC: Thank you for senselessly beating people and scaring the shit out of the neighborhood.
NC (voiceover): But Charlie still doesn’t trust Ramsey, so he follows him around some more.
(Cut to Charlie peeking his head out of some bushes and the musical score accompanies him doing so)
NC (voiceover): (as Shep) It’s no use! I can hear your sneaking music! (Normal) So I guess he (Shep) just goes out in the middle of the night looking for crimes to fight. Good God, doesn’t this guy ever sleep?
Shep: (after beating up some thugs and returning a valuable item to a female victim while jogging in place) Ma’am.
NC (voiceover): (as Shep) Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to pee.
Woman #1: (after Shep leaves) Thank you.
(Cut to Shep walking around until he hears arcade shooting noises; he backs up against a wall as though hiding in defense until he enters an arcade place)
Boy #2: (playing a video game) No way you’re winning the galaxy this time, Dragus! Oh, no, he’s gotten to my deflectors!
Shep: Use your phasors!
Boy #2: I can’t! I’m in hyper space!
Shep: Then launch photon torpedoes!
Boy #2: You’re crazy! Dragus absorbs photons to get more power!
NC: Really? Because it looks like “After Burner.” You know, that game about jets and not space aliens?
(Shep tries his hand at the game)
Boy #2: Forget it! No one can defeat Dragus!
NC (voiceover): It’s “After Burner”!
Shep: Give it up, Dragus! Give it up!
NC (voiceover): (his voice raises in anger) It’s “After Burner”!
Shep: Give it up, Dragus! Give it up!
NC: IT’S GODDAMN “AFTER BURNER”! IT’S A GAME MADE IN 1987 BY THE SEGA CORPORATION! IT’s “AFTER BURNER,” “AFTER BURNER,” “AFTER BURNER”!!!
(The game ends and a white surrender flag pops up from the top of the game machine)
Boy #2: You just saved the galaxy!
Boy #2: You must play this game a lot.
Shep: Game? What game?
(The children laugh and giggle as we hear the trumpet “Wah-wah” music)
NC: (shrugs his shoulders) “AFTER BURNER”!
NC (voiceover): So Charlie finds Ramsey’s robotic suit and…rather than question it, he simply decides to put it on and fight crime itself.
(Cut to a woman being held by two thugs)
Woman #2: Help me!
Thug #1: Come here, baby.
NC (voiceover): Ah, yes, this is back in the day when all bad men wanted to do was just pull at women’s arms repeatedly.
(Cut to Charlie using his suit to fly up and land on the thugs, defeating them)
NC (voiceover): (as Charlie) It’s Gizmo Duck!
NC (voiceover): By the way, what is THAT thing for? (A green arrow points to Charlie’s codpiece) Does every super-suit just come with an automatic crotch warmer?
Charlie: Does it have to be that way?
NC (voiceover): So while Ramsey checks his scanner to see if there's any black people in this movie, he comes across an unfortunate discovery.
Shep: Bounty hunters!
Firmus Piett (from “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”): We don’t need their scum.
NC (voiceover): He thinks Charlie is to blame, so he goes to his work to see him.
Shep: (to a receptionist) Where’s Charlie Wilcox?
Secretary: In a meeting. He can’t be disturbed. Take a message or take a seat.
(Shep smashes an item on the secretary’s desk)
Secretary: (stands up) I said, “Take a seat!”
NC (voiceover): (as the secretary) And if you dare do the joke I know you’re thinking of—(Cut to Shep carring a bench on his shoulders) Oh, you are scum.
(Cut to Shep in Charlie’s office and grabbing Charlie by the shirt and pushing him up against the doors)
Shep: Where’s my intertinellarizor (sp?)? Did you follow me to my ship?
Shep: Did you fool with my stuff?
NC: (is disturbed) Uhhhhh…
Shep: Where’s my intertinellarizor?
NC (voiceover): So Hulk Hogan and Christopher Lloyd get in a car—and no, that’s not the beginning of a bad joke—to hunt down the weapon that’s leading the tracking signal.
Charlie: You said, “Maybe”! That they may find their way here.
Shep: They may not get an exact fix. They could pass us right by if no more flares are set up.
Charlie: That’s why you gotta get that in…two-tooth…thingy back, right?
NC (voiceover): (as Shep) You know, I gotta admit, you’re taking this whole “me being an alien” thing pretty well. Most people would have…questions or something, but you seem pretty cool with it.
Shep: We can find ‘em with this. It zeroes in on the gun’s electronic signal. (He activates an electronic device with two probes flipping out from the sides)
NC (voiceover): (sputters in disbelief) Wait a minute! That’s the PKE meter from “Ghostbusters”!
NC: Good God, were you just raiding Dan Aykroyd’s storage locker?
NC (voiceover): So it turns out the crooks from the other night stole that weapon. They start using it as a freeze gun—(An image of Mr. Freeze from “Batman and Robin” is shown) No, I’m not going there. (Back to the movie)—as they use it to break into banks and steal money.
(Cut to the two crooks stuffing money into a bag and into their shirts)
NC: (as the crooks) Oh, boy! Now we can just pay women to let us pull their arms!
NC (voiceover): Ramsey gets the gun back, but Charlie is frozen in the process. On top of that, the evil bounty hunters arrive and start randomly shooting the wall! (beat) Mildly annoying, but not really that threatening. So Ramsey gets Charlie home—hopefully not going through any tunnels—as he thaws him out at his ship.
Shep: They’re here. (sighs)
Charlie: Who’s here?
Shep: A couple of leeches that make their living off the blood of others.
NC: I’m gonna say the producers.
Shep: Bounty hunters!
NC: That was my next choice.
NC (voiceover): So while suiting up, Ramsey asks Charlie for help in defeating these evil doers.
Shep: It’s your fault they’re here!
Charlie: My fault?!
Charlie: How the hell was I supposed to know that you were some sort of alien Rambo?
NC (voiceover): And then Charlie says probably one of my favorite out-of-context lines of all time.
Charlie: Christ! I was frozen today!
NC: (laughs) I friggin’ LOVE that line. Let me hear it again.
Charlie: I was frozen today!
NC: (laughs) Just out of nowhere! The next time you’re in the middle of an argument with someone, just say it! Just say it out of nowhere! For example, you’ll be like…
(Cut to NC sitting down, arguing with NC standing up)
NC 1: Don’t act like you know what I’m going through. You have no idea what I’m going through!
NC 2: Well, don’t act like you’re king of the universe all the time!
NC 1: I worked very hard to get where I am!
NC 2: (scoffs) “Hard work”! You have no idea what hard work is!
NC 1: I WAS FROZEN TODAY!
(NC 2 stares awkwardly at NC 1 while slowly backing out of the room, closing the door; cut back to NC looking at the camera)
NC: Say it at parties, family get-togethers, whatever. Just sit back and enjoy some of the most awkward expressions you’ve ever seen in your entire life. (He gives a thumb up as the “I Was Frozen Today!” line appears onscreen below him)
Charlie: (audio) I was frozen today!
NC (voiceover): Anyway, back to the story. It turns out the only thing to fix Ramsey’s ship faster are these crystals that Charlie’s boss happens to have, so they try to sneak in after business hours to get them, but the boss is entertaining.
Adrian Beltz: (to Charlie) Did you make the alterations I specified?
Charlie: Ah, yes! Yes, yes, I left them down in the car. I’ll go pick them up and bring them to your office.
Adrian Beltz: Good. Splendid. One more thing. Will I be astonished?
Charlie: I think so.
Adrian Beltz: I almost kissed you, but I wouldn’t.
(NC makes a surprised face and we hear a “Boing” sound effect)
Charlie (from earlier in the film): I was frozen today!
NC: (laughs) You see? I already forgot about what the previous line was. It’s that good.
NC (voiceover): So the bounty hunters find him (Shep) and they have themselves a somewhat creative but mostly boring fight scene. I have to admit, any action sequence that gets a toilet on someone’s head is at least trying.
Bounty Hunter #1: (speaks in a child’s voice) You’re a dead man, Ramsey.
Shep: (is surprised and dumbfounded) No wonder you guys never talked.
NC: If only Hulk Hogan can learn that trick.
NC (voiceover): So, of course, they defeat the bounty hunters as Ramsey and Charlie get ready to launch the ship.
Shep: Charlie, do me a favor. Go back to my place and make sure I’ve got everything. I don’t want to risk leaving even one of those traceable devices behind.
NC: (as Shep) We don’t need sequels, Charlie. We don’t want anything calling it back!
(Cut to Charlie arriving home and all the lights are off)
Charlie: Jenny? Jenny!
NC (voiceover): (as Charlie) I was frozen today. (Normal) But Lord Shiny Scalp is apparently still alive as he threatens Charlie and his family if Ramsey doesn’t turn himself in.
(Cut to a different location: Shep’s apartment)
Shep: (to General Suitor) Well, this is how you’re gonna do me in. By boring me to death with speeches?
General Suitor: Oh, unfortunately for you, you’re going to die much…more…painfully.
NC: (mocks General Suitor) Could I emphasize my words…(sniffs through his nose once)…any…mmmore?
NC (voiceover): But the family escapes as Charlie rushes in and tries to stop the evil villain, who is transformed into—(General Suitor appears in his monster form, and NC laughs) OK. When did he turn into the Emperor from the Black Lagoon?
(A fight scene occurs as the monster fights Shep and raises its arms in triumph, making a screeching noise)
NC (voiceover): (as the monster) I love cheering over stupid things! It allows my enemies plenty of time for them to destroy me—(Shep takes an electric wire, breaks it apart to have sparks come out and approaches the monster) Oh. Yeah. Pretty much like that.
(Shep shocks the monster with the electric wires and runs away before the building explodes)
NC (voiceover): So Ramsey and Charlie make it out alive as Ramsey plans to leave Earth once and for all. But not before tying up some loose ends.
(Cut to Shep trying a skateboard in front of a group of boys one more time; he slips, but flips backward to land his feet back on the skateboard and do tricks on it)
Boy #3: Whoa! He’s going for a full-out hand stand!
Boy #4: No way!
Shep: (skates by the boys while doing a hand stand) Way!
NC: What, did he learn skateboarding from the “Surf Ninja” kid?
Johnny (from “Surf Ninjas,” played by Ernie Reyes, Jr.): Remember, bend your knees, use your arms!
NC (voiceover): So he (Shep) gets on his ship, says goodbye, and takes off from a skyscraper. (Pauses) Yeah, because nobody will notice a spaceship leaving in broad daylight on top of a skyscraper!
NC: But wait a minute. What about that running yellow light joke?
(Cut to Charlie driving with traffic until the traffic yellow light turns to red, and Charlie drives through it; he stops to get out and shoot the light with a laser gun, making it spew sparks everywhere before he gets back in the car and drives off)
NC (voiceover): Really? You’re gonna end on that? Just shooting the lights? We waited through…two unfunny scenes that you had to close down this whole friggin’ highway delaying traffic for God knows how long JUST FOR THAT?
NC: SUCK MY NOSTALGIC EGG ROLL, MOVIE!
(Clips from the movie play again as NC speaks)
NC (voiceover): So that’s “Suburban Commando,” and while certainly not a good movie, I will give it credit that it at least got a chuckle out of me here and there, which is more than I can say for some other films.
NC: But for the most part, it’s just stupid. The only contribution to cinema as ever made is…
Charlie: I was frozen today!
NC: (laughs) I’m serious, just…try it out and see what happens. I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don’t have to. (He gets up to leave)
NC: (pokes his head in after leaving) And it was “After Burner”!
Shep: Shut up.