Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Apology For Battlefield Earth Somehow Worse Than Battlefield Earth

Battlefield Earth is a movie about aliens with adenoid problems. Or something. No one's really sure. The critical consensus on the movie seems to be, "This movie is an incoherent pile of inter-galactic nasal tubes." Apparently even the guy who wrote Battlefield Earth, a screenwriter named JD Shapiro, agrees that it's a terrible, terrible movie. He appeared in person during this year's Razzie Awards to accept Battlefield Earth's "Worst Movie Of The Decade" trophy, and this weekend he penned an apology for writing it. Unfortunately, JD Shapiro's apology for Battlefield Earth is somehow worse than Battlefield Earth.

From The NY Post:

It wasn't as I intended — promise. No one sets out to make a train wreck. Actually, comparing it to a train wreck isn't really fair to train wrecks, because people actually want to watch those.

It started, as so many of my choices do, with my Willy Wonker.

It was 1994, and I had read an article in Premiere magazine saying that the Celebrity Center, the Scientology epicenter in Los Angeles, was a great place to meet women.

Willy convinced me to go check it out.

Thank you, JD Shapiro. The disaster that was Battlefield Earth actually makes a lot more sense now. For years, most Americans have blamed John Travolta for Battlefield Earth—after all, he was the be-wigged, be-nasal-tubed Scientologist standing at the messy, dank, gray center of a movie based on an L. Ron Hubbard book. To think, all this time we should have been blaming the screenwriter, a desperate man who wears his desperation on his sleeve in the form of a giant rubber chicken; a man who thinks calling his penis "my Willy Wonker" is the height of hilarity.


But wait. There's more:

During my Scientology research, I met an employee who I instantly had a crush on. She was kind of a priestess, and had dedicated her life to working for the church by becoming a Sea Org member. She said that she signed a billion-year contract. I said, "What! Really?" She said she got paid a small stipend of $50 a week, to which I said, "Can you get an advance on the billion years, like say, a mere $500,000?" And then she said as a Sea Org member, you can't have sex unless you're married. I asked her if she was married. She said yes. So I said, "Great! That means we can have sex!"


It all makes sense! Isn't the involuntary, guttural "Ugh!" inspired by reading that passage very similar to the involuntary, guttural "Ugh!" inspired by looking at this picture of John Travolta and Forrest Whitaker in Battlefield Earth?

Illustration for article titled Apology For emBattlefield Earth/em Somehow Worse Than emBattlefield Earth/em

If you crack open JD Shapiro's skull, you'll find a whoopie cushion—and it is this worn-out whoopie cushion that wrote the terrible Battlefield Earth as well as the terrible apology for Battlefield Earth.    

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