Mar 3, 2010

This is a movie that is missing tween girls and vampire bats.

The Black Stallion Returns
1983

Here's the thing about The Black Stallion: it took the basic premise of the book to a different level. It rose above the insanity, if you will, that horse books wallow around in to the point of absurdity. It did this by making sure no one spoke too much, thereby limiting the crazy. Also, I seem to remember a horse fight on a boat that didn't happen...or maybe I'm just dreaming this up. I'm pretty sure I'm not, because The Black strikes me as the sort of horse that can win horse fights on land and on water.

What I'm saying is that the movie version of the book did its best to strip the sheer crazy right out of that story. The movie version of The Black Stallion Returns embraces that crazy, opening the door for the unparalleled weirdness that occurs in The Adventures of the Black Stallion some years later, which opens the floodgates of awful for The Young Black Stallion.

I would like to see The Black Stallion and Flame turned into a movie, where The Black and Flame stop trying to kill each other long enough to take down a vampire bat. Yes, I said vampire bat. How can we insert a tween girl into this picture? It could be done somehow!

The Black Stallion Returns starts normally enough. The Black and Alec are living in some upstate New York farm, where The Black prances to dramatic music. Meanwhile, Abu Ben Ishak and his daughter, Tabari, are entering the country and looking all shady. They speak to a customs official, basically heavily implying that they're there to steal a racehorse (because customs officials hear that sort of stuff all the time, I'm sure). That night, they arrive to discover Kurr, some guy from some rival tribe, is already at the farm attempting to steal The Black, who is all predictably homicidal for seemingly no reason.

Kurr, dismayed that this horse is totally nuts, decides that the best way to steal him is to set the barn on fire. Which is a brilliant plan if you were planning on just standing around hoping that someone will come along and save the horse for you so you don't have to be held responsible for killing the horse because you sort of set it on fire. Yet again his masterful plan backfires, because Ben and Tabari swoop in and steal the horse while he was off somewhere doing something.

This prompts a very chaotic scene involving running around storage containers for a while, but ultimately Alec is forced to smuggle himself aboard a plane to Morocco. It occurs to me now that I'm pretty sure The Black was transported by sea, in which case the timeline for this movie makes no sense. Anyway, Alec proceeds to run around Morocco screaming "Shetan" at anyone who looks like they have the capability to hear. This is amusing to me, since he's basically screaming "Devil" at people, as if they're expected to understand that he's talking about a horse.

At some point, Alec finds himself hitching a ride with Kurr, who then abandons him in the desert. Alec is picked up by a roving public bus, where he meets Raj, who reprimands him a lot. Eventually they get lost in the desert and nearly die, only to be found by Raj's people. Alec, who at this point has perfected forcing people to be hospitable to him, is dropped off with Ben, who is so not thrilled about this situation.

Insert a moment of The Black loves Alec and not Tabari, who for some reason likes to kick her horses in the ribs and scream in their ears. Tabari, you're kind of forcing Ben's hand here. But eventually Alec and The Black get kidnapped by the rival tribe, only to escape. Ben is thrilled again, Alec decides to race The Black in the upcoming desert race of awesomeness, which they win after lots of sand and guns and race fixing and friendly male bonding and such. Alec leaves The Black in whatever country that was, presumably wandering back to New York alone.

- I love how Alec is discovered on the plane. When asked how he got in there he basically says, "I don't know. Hey, can I eat that bread?" And then he starts to consume what looks to be a half-eaten sandwich as the copilot looks on in horrified confusion.

- I kind of always had a huge crush on Raj. I admit it.

- The Black chooses his girlfriend over Alec. Yet again proof that The Black doesn't really care all that much. Sex is better than special super fabulous lifetime friends, apparently.

I still want to see The Black Stallion and Flame take down a vampire bat. I don't think that book was vaguely covered in The Adventures of the Black Stallion. It should have been, because their attempt at The Black Stallion Revolts and The Black Stallion Challenged were both pretty amusing.

1 comment:

KayBee said...

Oh, boy. I'd forgotten how ridiculously humorous this movie was. The only thing I can think of that would make this any worse is if some off-the-wall lunatic decided to combine THE BLACK STALLION AND FLAME and THE BLACK STALLION AND THE GIRL together. I can just see them pouring globs of oozing Spears blondness on Kristen Stewart so she could be Pam. Then they'd jam a red wig on Pattinson or Efron or whoever else the tweens are swooning over these days and voila! Looky what I found! It's a recipe for Equi-Vamp disaster! Goody...