Friday, September 28, 2007
Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness
Run time: 90 minutes
Director: Tim Ritter
Cast: John Brace (of the Burt Reynold's Playhouse), AJ McLean
As throngs of braced faced little girls and their acne plagued closeted gay boyfriends writhe around me in a blaze of Disney channel pre-eroticism, all I can think about is when the second encore is officially over, and I can go backstage to complete my one goal for the evening. The kids standing around me most likely want to go to the same place, although for very different reasons. These girls want to get as close to Nick Carter as possible, so that his glistening blond locks can blind them in person. I never got much into Nick Carter myself. He's a bit plain and chubby. Actually, I never really got into the Backstreet boys too much.
So then, what am I doing here?
The answer is sort of a complicated one. You see, I'm here exclusively to see AJ McLean, the group's "freak" who is at times even more stunning than dancing Shlitze. It isn't that I have any romantic notions regarding myself and AJ, although I do find his Moroder-esque looks to be quite compelling. What I want is to pick his brain about a little movie called Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness.
When the show ends, I make the slow push to get back stage. My makeshift press pass evidently works. Mr Carter is immersed in a huge swath of people, mostly groupies and journalists. Howie, Kevin and Brian all seem to be pretty busy as well. Luckily, Mr McLean is only talking to one person rather passively, while trying to conceal a bottle of Cognac. I am able to walk right up to him.
He's pretty friendly, and visibly pretty drunk. He offers me a swig from his flask, and I take it. It seems as though he is flirting with me by the way he keeps eying my prosthetic limbs. While I am tempted by his interest, I have a goal and I have to stick to it.
"So," I ask him, " I saw this movie that you were in as a kid. Its called Truth or Dare."
"You mean the Madonna movie?" he nervously jests. "I wasn't in that one."
"But you were in another Truth or Dare, weren't you?"
He freezes up. Flirtation is replaced with cold sweat. He breathes deep, trying to regain composure.
"I was really young back then. I barely remember it."
"It must have been odd filming that wrist slitting scene."
He looks away.
"Why don't you do any promotion for that movie? I think a lot of people would really like it."
He is frozen like a statue, but I persist.
" You know, I think it would be great if the Backstreet boys covered the 'Critical Madness' song. Would you ever do something like that?"
AJ re-animates by violently snapping his fingers above his head. Before I can move onto the next question, a big man in a tight black shirt is lifting me up and physically removing me from the green room. I am out on the street faster than you can say "I dare you to rip your face off."
Truth or Dare?: A Critical madness is clearly the movie that AJ McLean does not want us to know about. His publicity machine was able to cover it up for awhile. It baffles me that he does not want to be associated with this low budget blood bath. My theory is that as AJ McLean grew up, in the years following his role as young Mike Strauber, his life eerily started to mirror that of the film's central character. Like Mike Strauber, I'd bet that Mr. Mclean has engaged in a killing spree resulting in dead punks, limbless mental patients, and little league players decapitated by chain saws. The publicity machine behind the Backstreet boys has prevented to American people from accessing this important knowledge.
There is a killer amongst us, and his name is AJ Mclean.
Or maybe he has not killed. Perhaps he just fantasizes about re-enacting the scenarios that the grown up version of his character participated in. He is ashamed of the "Critical Madness" within himself.
AJ, if you are reading this, I have a message for you:
There is absolutely no shame in starring in a Halloween rip of that involves machine guns. In fact, the machine guns are arguably an improvement. Also, any movie where a member of the Burt Reynold's playhouse plays the adult version of you is something to be proud of. AJ, don't run from the past.
If you take pride in this move, one day there will be a decent DVD to watch instead of a snow drenched VHS. This would make your fans happy, AJ.
And yeah, the Backstreet boys really should do a cover of "Critical Madness"