The Kennedy assassination. Pearl Harbor.
Some events are so obese with profundity their swollen, blubbery corpus nestles deep within our psyche, like a bum snuck through a window, jostling his erection on the sofa. I am referring to the day The Being took heinous form at drive-in movie theatres throughout this great nation. That day was 1983.
The Being, promethean brain-child of Jackie Kong, is the story of “a genetic freak driven psychotic by radiation waste.” Endowed with superior intelligence by virtue of his colossal, entirely-activated brain, The Being shrewdly burrows into a hole in the dump, periodically dropping in on his decrepit mother at tea-time.
The Being, apostle of the macabre, “mutilates and decapitates.”
But that’s not all.
The Being is traditional coming-of-age cinematography. Smothered by his lonely mother’s affection, The Being determines to strike out on his own. But alas, a cyclops whose veins are on the outside, the Being feels rejected by his community and is forced to quit the soccer team. Unable to manipulate his reptilian claws, the Being loses his job at Wal-Mart.
Eschewing the prevalent uni-dimensionality of characters that is the bane of the genre, Kong endeavors to highlight the softer side of this heinous monster. In one scene, the shark-toothed mass murderer collaborates with an infant to rig an Easter egg hunt.
Kong portrays The Being’s mother as the archetypical single mom. Impregnated by a pterodactyl, The Being’s mother soon finds herself living off a potato stipend.
Potatoes have a lot to do with this film, actually. Kong seeks to highlight the insidious role these brown orbs play in our nation’s politics. The mayor, a potato-hack, lines his coffers with potato money. Big Potato lubricates his rise to power as he squeezes into the sphincter of elected office.
Religion enters the picture. Aroused to madness by the mellifluous incantation of an ancient Egyptian hymn, The Being petulantly tips over some boxes, which forces a man to drive through a building.
Finally, the prescient Kong tackles environmental degradation. After all, Michael was transformed into The Being only after consuming a vile of mordant potato-runoff gelatin.
Kong postulates brighter tomorrows. But this timeless masterpiece forewarns of the peril that befalls the community overawed by the potato-buttressed demagogue. “Men are not angels,” James Madison reminds us.
Indeed, they are not, Mr. Madison.