Hi friends! Last night at Pig Pile someone suggested The Matchmaker, which is already a Janeane Garolalo film from 1997. As I stated this on stage it was a crushing realization of what my life is like. Then someone said this title so let’s concentrate a bit more on the task at hand and less about my knowledge of late 90s romantic comedies.
The Old Dragon
We open on a small Kentucky town. There is a siren going off and people are running into the streets looking up at the mountain. There is a rumbling heard as the people come together looking frightened. We time jump ahead a bit as a young boy, Arnold, walks through the woods. The wind starts to blow around him and a large shadow creeps above him. We hear the sound of huge wings breaking the air as he cowers in fear.
He runs off an emerges in town. He walks down the street and we see behind him a statue of a group of men standing together and we can read an engraving that says “For the good of the people of our town. They gave their lives.” Arnold looks closely at the man in the center. Arnold heads home and is greeted by his mother. She is clearly depressed. He tells her that he saw the dragon that killed his dad. His mother holds him close and tells him to stay away from the mountain.
That night he sits on the porch and watches the men of the town come home. They are covered in soot. He asks a few of them how fighting the dragon went and they smile at him kindly and say it was a tough day, but we’ll get him and other such things. One neighbor, Locket, sits with him on the porch for a bit and tells him stories of fighting the dragon that day. Locket asks after his mother but Arnold says little, clearly upset. Locket tells Arnold that he is too young to be going off alone into the forest.
The next day Arnold is once again in the woods down by a lake. The sun shines through the trees and he hears a woman’s voice directing him to the water. He sees something shimmering in the lake and goes to retrieve it. He emerges holding a small pick ax. An older homeless looking man calls to him from the shore. He introduces himself as Merle. Arnold asks him about what he is doing there and if he is afraid of the dragon nearby. Merle looks at him inquisitively but upon learning Arnold’s name he relaxes and starts telling him about the pick ax. He claims it is quite the find, a sacred weapon that could help in defeating the dragon. Merle tells him to be careful and leaves.
Once again Arnold is on the porch greeting the returning men. Locket sits with him again telling about the days battle. Arnold asks him to keep a secret and then tells him about the ax he found. Locket looks concerned and tells Arnold the story of how his father died saving many men of the town the day the dragon came. The he wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for Arnold’s dad. Locket heads inside to talk to Arnold’s mom. Arnold sits outside but he can hear them faintly. Locket is telling her that Arnold is getting old enough, that he has to be told the truth. Gwen, that’s her name, yells at him about how it’s her son and she’ll raise him however she wants. Locket yells about how he has a right to know.
Arnold gets upset and runs off. He grabs the ax from where he hid it and runs off toward the mountain. As he approaches we see the machinery around the work site. He passes a sign that reads “Malory Mining Company” and heads down into the cave. He hears rumbling and commotion coming from a lit area up ahead. There lies a great dragon. He confronts talking about how he is here for revenge and to save the town just like his father did. The dragon stirs and Arnold attacks with the ax. The dragon reels back in pain dying but Arnold is hurled across the cave.
Locket is racing towards the mountain as he hears the great noise. He goes into the mine and finds Arnold slumped against the wall as the great machinery inside rumbles and creaks. Locket takes him outside as the machine comes to a halt. Arnold awakens and tells Locket the he did it, he defeated the dragon. Locket tells him his father would be proud.
The next day Arnold sits on the porch watching the men headed to work. They thank him and tell him they are off to gather the riches in the mountain that the dragon had horded. They call him a hero. His mom comes and sits next to them as the men go off. She smiles at Locket as he heads of and the men cheer Arnold’s name.
Arnold heads off into the woods with the ax. he approaches the lake and throws it in. The wind blows harshly around him and he stands tall as the shadows of the forest grow.