So I was recently at my local video store, with the beautiful Evelyn (my wife), looking for a good “Tuesday morning” flick. Surprisingly, the prepubescent clerk at the counter didn’t understand that criteria, so I was forced to elaborate. Evelyn and I were in the mood for something good, so I told him that we were interested in watching a “classic”, a word in which I actually used air quotes. He waddled over to a small section in the back of the store devoted to such films, and plucked one particular movie off the shelf for us, entitled “The Wizard of Oz”. By this time I was exasperated for the following reasons: I had been in the store for more than 5 minutes and the multicolored carpet and flashing light bulbs were making me woozy; I had just guzzled down a rather large cup of OJ at IHOP (I know what you’re thinking, and no, I’m not a glutton. I clearly asked for a small cup of juice but they no longer have various sizes. I drank the whole thing because I didn’t want to be wasteful). I say this because my bladder felt like it was about to explode standing in the damn store; and finally, I was having trouble standing up and walking around for such an inordinate period of time. So much so in fact that I began to wheeze, and thought I was coughing up gelatinous blood but Evelyn assured me that I was ‘just being a big ole baby’.

Because of all these circumstances converging on me at that moment, I grabbed the DVD box from him and promptly checked out, trusting my Tuesday morning/afternoon to the kid with an acne mosaic on his face.

Well classics must mean something different these days because that was a big old load of capital C Crap (My guess is that the word classic is like ‘bad’ to today’s youth…I mean to say horrible but all they hear is the polar opposite. Thanks a lot Mr. Puffy Daddy). I hated this film so much that I almost shed a tear at the end of it over the 103 minutes that I’d never get back. At my age, time is of the essence.

Before I go into grandiose detail on why “Wizard of Oz” is a detriment to society, let me first say that Toto, played by a terrier named Terry (hilarious!), absolutely stole the show. I was so enthralled by its acting that at times I forgot that it was even a subservient species much lower on the food chain. I found myself turning to Evelyn from my twin bed (who was across the room in her own twin bed) and saying, “Heyy-oo! Toto does it again!” In my opinion, that dog clearly deserved to be paid more than those darned munchkins. I was glad to see that the producers agreed. Sadly though, this wasn’t called “103 Minutes of Toto Being Toto”; it was called “Wizard of Oz”, and it sucked.

First of all, the tornado scene in the beginning was an abomination. It was about as believable as…as, well you got me. I didn’t have a simile planned and it’s come to bite me in the buttocks. It just wasn’t believable. Also, my wife Evelyn got the twist right away, telling me ‘oh this is just one of those dream movies. None of this color stuff is actually happening, believe you me!”

Well kudos to my beautiful 65 year old wife, because she hit the nail on the head. When Dorothy lands in Oz (or whatever that colorful world was called), her house falls on the wicked witch of the East, which in my opinion was an awfully morbid scene. Though we’re led to believe the witch was evil, nothing justifies the glorification of a human being (or humanoid) being lodged under a 10 ton house. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, Mr. Robert De Niro.

If the awful death scene of the Eastern Witch doesn’t get to you, the multitude of ‘munchkins’ soon after most definitely will. “Oh come on!” I shouted when they all broke out into their singing and dancing. I got suckered into a musical, and if there’s one thing I hate, its musicals. I quickly grabbed my cellular device, spending the better part of the next 10 minutes trying to ring the video store, and finally got a hold of my younger friend behind the counter. I then proceeded to tell him off. “Listen here you little jerk, if I wanted a musical I would have asked for Mama Mia! Seriously though, have you seen that? It’s a freaking masterpiece!”

By the time I hung up, the movie had progressed and I was completely lost. Dorothy was running around with a talking scarecrow, a tin man, and some guy dressed in a lion suit. Evelyn, bless her heart, had fallen asleep, and by the way the film was progressing, I had no intentions of waking her up. I don’t want to bore you with what happens after that, because it involves a lot of singing and dancing and quite honestly, I fast forwarded through a bit. Later on, I found myself screaming in horror at a battalion of flying monkeys that attacked the Dorothy and the ‘gang’. This unfortunately woke Evelyn up, whom upon noticing the hellish beasts, also began to scream. I made a mad dash for the controller, all the while my gorgeous bride yelling “Turn it off! Turn it off!” I got hold of the changer and quickly skipped a few scenes ahead. If you thought this film was for young audiences, you were sorely mistaken.

The climax of the story comes at the expense at another witch’s life, as the Western Witch is splashed with water and slowly melts away. How convenient, I thought. It surprised me that no one knew about the little ‘secret’ about the most powerful female in that area. Surely someone would have come across the whole ‘water kills her’ tidbit much earlier than Dorothy. This led me to think, and I soon came to the realization that the Witch, if truly susceptible to water, would have died a long time ago, considering no liquid on the planet (next to mercury) is completely waterless. Because of this, the Witch would have starved to death or melted her esophagus away…pick your poison. It was these kinds of plot holes that really yanked my chain.

Blah blah blah, a bunch of other crap happens and the gang ends up at the Wizard’s palace again. Toto comes through for me again, though I wonder if I’m glad that he did. The wizard is exposed as some white guy behind a curtain, a revelation that caused me to spit up my Arnold Palmer all over my sheets. “That’s it! I’ve had it with this garbage!” I hoarsely shouted at the top of my lungs, which coincidentally wasn’t loud enough to awake my angel, who had fallen back to sleep. The film ends soon after, or at least it felt like it because I fast forwarded the rest.

Mark Twain said golf was ‘a nice walk spoiled’. Well ‘Wizard of Oz’ is a wonderful Tuesday flushed down the toilet. I can’t begin to tell you the revulsion I feel for this film. July Garland further proved my earlier theory that she couldn’t act worth (expletive). One good thing did arise from this experience however: the next day I was able to barter a free rental and box of Mike & Ike’s out of the cashier at the video store for his poor suggestion. If you take one thing from this review I hope it’s this: If you want to see a dog act his tail off, it’s great. But if you want to enjoy yourself don’t touch this with a 10 foot pole.

Rating: Better than a lethal injection, worse than clogging a toilet at a dinner part in which you’re a guest.

By Raymond Thistle