I’ve been watching a lot of the great CNN show ‘the Eighties’. It inspired this fun fake movie:
It’s Saturday morning in 1985 and Tammy is trying to wake her children up. She starts with her youngest, Ruth a 9 year old tomboy. Ruth asks for 5 more minutes but Tammy reminds her that her father is picking them up. She jumps out of bed. Next is Ben, 15. His room is filled with metal posters and you can just smell the weed. He is sleeping half off his bed and he doesn’t respond when Tammy yells at him to get up. It’s only when after she physically shakes him that he stirs. She whispers “it’s your dad’s weekend, remember” and he violently tries to get up but ends up sliding to the ground. Finally it’s Anna, 17. Tammy finds the door locked and starts to bang. We see inside the room which is covered in Blondie posters. Anna is crawling through the window, hears the banging says “shit” and quickly puts on a bathrobe messes up her hair so it looks like she just got up and opens the door. “We will have a talk about you locking your door when you get back from your father’s” “Dad!” Anna exclaims and starts to get ready.
The family is bickering as they sit around the table. The clock shows 10:08 am. We cut to 12:30 and Tammy says, “well I guess I’ll make lunch.” It’s 2:34 when we hear and engine and screeching tires. “Wait here,” says Tammy. The kids watch through the window as Tammy confronts their father. He has a mustache and was driving a red convertible. “Mom’s such a bitch,” mutters Anna.
When her children has left She starts to clean the children’s rooms. After taking the second bag of trash out of Ben’s room she starts to look through his record collection, Megadeath, Dio etc. She pulls out a particularly gruesome album and the liner notes fall out. She starts to read the lyrics and is horrified. She quickly runs to Anna’s room and looks through her albums and finds Blondie, Madonna and Prince, and is scandalized but the sexual content.
When the children come home after the weekend, Tammy says that they all need to have a family meeting. They all say it will have to be later as they have plans. Just then there is a knock at the door. It’s Ben’s friends and they go immediately to the basement without saying hi. A motorcycle idles in the driveway and Anna runs out to her boyfriend without saying goodbye. Which leaves Ruth who says she has a big project to work on. Tammy is left standing alone.
In the basement the kids are playing Atari 8600 and drinking soda and eating chips. They are making dumb jokes until transitioning to a clearly long running game of dungeons and dragons. It’s near the end of a long quest and the villain just summoned a demon who kills some NPCs grotesquely. We cut to Tammy crouched by the top of the stairs listening to everything.
The next day while the kids are back in school, Tammy is drinking white wine with her friend Alice. She starts by throwing shade on her ex husband before transitioning to her children. She talks about how Ruth doesn’t seem to have any friends, Ben seems to be a Satanist, and Anna must be a slut. She talks about how the media they digest has warped them. Alice agrees and says they should do something.
Tammy and Alice bring this all up at a PTA meeting days later. They end up organizing a boycott of violent and sexual media to save the children. She makes Ben and Anna get rid of all their records and make them stop playing D&D.
Needless to say the kids are livid. They act out which makes Tammy get more strict. Things come to a head a Ben says he wants to live with his father. Tammy is visibly hurt and looks to the other two who say they want that too.
Tammy is shattered. She starts spending her days in bed watching TV. She watches a news report about the kid who they made the movie Mazes and Monsters about. Tammy is feeling justified in her ban of D&D and Satanic music. Then Gary Gygax is interviewed. He elegantly describes the social benefits of the game and downplays the idea that the game promotes Satanism. He then talks about how much empathy he feels for any parents who feel protective of their children but that it’s much easier to scapegoat a game than it is to actually talk with their kids.
Tammy’s whole outlook changes. She starts watching MTV and takes notes. She goes on a shopping spree and gets records and books to research. She reads the Dungeon Master Guide.
In an echo of the first scene, Tammy wakes the children. She says it’s time for the family meeting. Unlike in the first scene the kids are pissed. After poking and prodding all the kids finally gather.
“First of all, I want to apologize. I haven’t treated you with the respect you deserve. Second, I really want you to give me a chance to make it up to you. This might be a bit strange, but please give me a chance.” She brings them into the basement. She has set up a D&D board and makes them play.
It’s extremely awkward at first but slowly the children warm to it. Tammy is really giving it her all as dungeon master. It’s impressive. She is articulating all there personal issues in a fantasy setting. It climaxes when they defeat the demon witch. The witch transforms into a human woman. In a character voice, “You have freed me. After losing my family I was so filled with hate, sadness and regret that I completely lost myself. My outer body began to resemble my inner mental state. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.”
The kids are glassy eyed. Still in the voice “I can never repay you but here is a token of my appreciation.” Tammy holds out a real golden key and nods towards a wooden chest. The children take the key and open the chest. All their records and books are their. “I did the best I could. Let me know what I forgot. I couldn’t remember which Black Sabbath records you had so I got you then all. Hope you -“. The kid hug her and cry.
There is another scene of Tammy waking the children. This time all she has to say is “matinee” and they jump right up. After breakfast she looks at her watch and says “I’m not waiting. Your father can meet us there. I’m not missing this movie.”
The family walks together towards the theater. The red sports car screeches and stops and the ex husband jumps out and runs to join. They walk it together and the camera pans up to reveal the marquee which is showing “Back to the Future.”