Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Curse you Superchannel.

Let me explain. Superchannel was a channel that played movies in my youth. It was like HBO or MovieCentral today, except with more strange Canadian short films. Not sure what happened to it, but if you were a kid in the middle of Saskatchewan, it usually came in relatively clear, and would often air good, recent movies. Said good recent movies, unfortunately, were always preceded by Bio Dome.

I have seen the last half of this movie at least 20 times.

Here's the thing, for some reason it was always on somewhere near the end of school. So, if you tuned into the channel, you would wait until the end of Biodome in order to watch whatever comes next. Sometimes you would watch the middle of Bio Dome, realize that it was a far way from the end, and turn it off. I think I even saw the beginning of Bio Dome once, though recognizing the lack of dome at that point I swiftly turned it off.

Bio Dome was terrible, but for a Superchannel enthusiast, unavoidable.

From memory, Paulie Shore and Stephen Baldwin find themselves in a dome, and proceed to get into wacky, dome-related situations. Then they find a secret dome exit, which as memory serves was a padlock on a glass door near a tree, and then almost ruin the entire project. Something happens, lessons are learned, and then you watched a horrible Canadian short film about black flies in North Ontario-i-o, which still gives me nightmares if I am ill with fever, and hopefully a good movie would start. Whatever it was, it was better than Bio Dome.

To be fair, I don't actually know how they got to the dome. I usually arrived to the party after the dome had been breached, and never stayed if I arrived before. I know that they had ridiculous bulk Cheetos hidden in a back room, and the reasons for keeping them in the dome were highly dubious. I imagine there were loads of stoner references that flew far above my innocent childish brain. It was instead the precise moment that people stopped caring about Paulie Shore.

I don't remember why, but people liked Paulie Shore, yet recognized his talent was limited and his performances were one note. I remember there being controversy over whether he could pull off a movie without his trademark long hair, as though that was where his talent lied, like Samson. I was never a big fan, though I also didn't hate him. Being 12 or so, I was easily amused and not easily disgusted. Shore was not an object of derision, just something of a nonentity. He was terrible, but in a highly uninteresting way.

Play one note long enough, and people get sick of it. I'm not sure Bio Dome was any worse than any other Shore movie. It is the one I've seen the most, of course, but due to Superstation's love of Paulie Shore, I've seen more than one. They were no different from Bio Dome. The dome just replaced an army base, or a Jury, or...a tractor? I don't remember. The entire genre rested on trapping Paulie Shore in a situation where he was ill suited for the task at hand, and square people couldn't just drop him in a dumpster.

Bio Dome is famous for being terrible, but that's giving it too much credit. It's just a cinematic nonentity. I still remember it, so I can't say it's forgettable, but it's just dull. It doesn't deserve hate, just disinterest. By contrast with the worst movie ever, mentioned previous, Bio Dome doesn't do anything worth hating. It could have been any Paulie Shore movie that killed his star, really. That this one is so uninteresting that you could watch it more than once says that it's not even the worst. The one on the jury, with its ridiculous ending and hateful premise, I couldn't tolerate more than once, for example. This was just dumb. Whoop de do.

Still, I've seen parts of it several times. I can recall images from it even now. Not a single line, of course, the dialog was that forgettable, and I often turned it down and read a book while waiting for the next movie to start, but I do essentially know the movie. What it does, more than anything, is make me wonder what today's kids are watching waiting for better things to start.

I have admitted to knowing more about Paulie Shore than anyone should feel comfortable with.

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