Comics – Movie Madness

Writer: Bill Golliher
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Rudy Lapick
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Editor: Victor Gorelick
Editor-in-Chief: Richard Goldwater
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom (Goes to Hollywood*), No. 2
Cover Date: January, 1997
Length: 21 pages

*The first two Cheryl Blossom miniseries that preceded her ongoing series were simply named Cheryl Blossom, but they have unofficial names. Things get more complicated here. This third miniseries is called Cheryl goes Hollywood on the front covers and Cheryl Blossom (Goes Hollywood) in the indicia. Additionally, it has been referred to as Cheryl Blossom Goes Hollywood by fans, but it’s listed on Amazon as Cheryl Blossom: Goes to Hollywood (which makes no sense, considering, as we’ll soon see, Cheryl doesn’t actually go to Hollywood).

Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.

Part 1

There’s a brief text recap of the previous issue.

Cheryl walks into Jason’s room (we know this, because there’s a convenient sign on the wall that reads “Jason’s room”) and finds his video camera. She wants to get rid of the alleged embarrassing footage of herself (which she hasn’t actually seen and which Jason really had no way of recording). She picks it up, setting off his security system.

Guard dogs somehow open the closet door and come out. Cheryl runs away. Oblivious, Penelope is happy to see Cheryl “taking Jason’s new pets for a walk”. Cheryl climbs onto the chandelier (her “only hope”) but drops the camera, which Jason is conveniently waiting to catch.

Jason brings a ladder over for her, and she climbs down. They banter for a while. It boils down to Jason using the tape as an “insurance policy” to make sure there’s nothing embarrassing to him in Cheryl’s film (not that Jason had ever been indicated to be part of Cheryl’s film). Apparently, one scene in the film involved Cheryl pushing her hesitant bungee-jumping grandmother off a cliff.

Cheryl leaves to edit her documentary. Jason warns her to stay away from his.

Cheryl purchased a bunch of state-of-the-art equipment to edit the film with the Tarantino knockoff. Why not just edit it at his facilities? He’s working for you, anyway. Anyway, Cheryl wants to “make Jurassic Park and Star Wars look like cheap home movies”. Good luck with that.

A few weeks later, Veronica walks into Pop’s and asks if anyone’s seen Cheryl. Jughead tells her. Betty is honestly excited and can’t wait to see their movie debuts, seemingly not caring that Cheryl’s gonna make them look like idiots. When Jughead mentions the Tarantino knockoff and Cheryl’s budget, Betty suddenly gets upset and asks how Cheryl can invest so much in an ego trip. Ronnie’s like “It’s Cheryl, bitch.”

Reggie just wants to see himself on the big screen. Someone (possibly Reggie) talks about how Cheryl’s film will be worth a fortune. Someone else (possibly Archie, although he hasn’t been in this scene until now) agrees. Gah, the continuity in this scene is horrible. We start out with Ronnie (coming in), Betty (near the table), Jughead (at the table), and Dilton (at the table). On the next page, we’ve suddenly got Reggie and Jughead at the counter, and Jughead’s wearing a completely different shirt. Then we’ve got a silhouette shot of (I’m guessing) Betty and Reggie at the table, Archie near the table, and Jughead at the counter. Ronnie and Dilton have gone missing. It’s a mess. Dilton didn’t even contribute to the conversation, so why have him here in the first place?

Anyway, at a nearby table, two stereotypical idiotic sleazeballs named Frankie and Shorty have overheard Reggie’s remark. Frankie wants to steal Cheryl’s film and hold it for ransom.

Meanwhile, outside Cheryl’s, Cheryl pays the SFX artists for the “special defects”. A film canister suddenly appears in her hand (they didn’t hand it to her; in fact, they explicitly walk away while she’s empty-handed). Cheryl holds the canister up high and loudly announces Cheryl Blossom The Documentary to the world – or at least her neighbors. Frankie runs by and grabs the film out of her hands. Cheryl starts crying and demands the Tarantino knockoff go after them, but this is all too “weird” for him, so he’s going back to “quiet ol’ Hollywood”. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Part 2

On…another day (or else everyone decided to change clothes), Archie, Reggie, Betty, Jughead, and Dilton have gotten the message that Cheryl left at the Chocklit Shoppe (ah, the days before widespread cell phone use) and rushed right over. Okay, this is sloppy beyond belief. It’s obviously meant to be the same day (it would make no sense otherwise), so why is everyone wearing different clothes? At first, Cheryl was the only one that I noticed: a white-and-blue sailor fuku in Part 1 and a blue dress in Part 2; however, everyone has been the victim of shitty continuity. Anyway, Cheryl wants her “dear friends” to hold her, so Archie hugs her. Cheryl recounts what happened between sobs and then just breaks down.

Wait. Are we expected to believe that is the only copy of the film? Wouldn’t there be at least a workprint somewhere? And what about all of the raw footage? Combine that with the edit sheets, and the film could be reconstructed.

Later, in Cheryl’s house, Archie vows to Cheryl that they’ll get her film back. Suddenly, a stone with a note wrapped around it crashes through a window and hits Archie right in the fucking face. Dilton reads the ransom note while Betty checks on Archie. The ransom is $1,000,000. Cheryl wants to call the police, but a second stone (hitting Archie in the head) warns against it.

Ronnie spots Frankie and Shorty hiding in the bushes, and Cheryl identifies them as the thieves. Archie’s seen them in Pop’s before. Archie hops outside to take a shortcut through the trellis and will meet the gang downstairs. Cheryl gives Archie Jason’s walkie talkie (why does she have it?) to keep in touch. The thieves’ van stalls out for a while, allowing Archie to hop on the bumper and cling to the back. Jason overheard the commotion and offers to drive the rest of the gang.

Archie relays to Cheryl (who’s at home) that they just turned on Front Street, and he guesses they’re heading for the waterfront. Jason (I guess) says they’re right behind him. While Cheryl listens on the scanner, she makes a phone call.

The thieves have arrived at the waterfront and want to get into their hideout. Archie confronts Frankie. Frankie bonks Archie on the head with the film canister. The others arrives. Frankie threatens to drop the film in the water.

Dilton confronts him, so Frankie throws the film (instead of just dropping it). Suddenly, Cheryl swoops in, hanging from a helicopter, and rescues the “tape” (which seems to be two film canisters). As she detaches from the line, lands on the ground, and strips for the cameras (the film canisters disappear in all of this), Cheryl explains what she did, which includes calling the press. Yup, she did this for publicity.

Part 3

Okay, I count news crews from at least four TV stations: channels 3, 5, 6, and 8. These can’t all be local, town-owned stations, but how could they arrive here in time otherwise? And would they really come to interview some teen heiress about rescuing her own film from thieves? It’s like…who fucking cares?

And…what the fuck? Everyone except Cheryl has changed clothes again! Reggie’s shirt even changes within the same scene!

Anywway, per Cheryl’s interview, she’s going to premiere her film at the film festival held by a Robert Redford knockoff in…Canned, Turkey. Ha. Betty just assumes they’re all going and is excited over a trip to Turkey. Because, when I think of places that I wanna visit, Turkey is at the top of the list. Anyway, Cheryl says her plane will be leaving from Riverdale Airport tomorrow afternoon (she gets no more specific than that) and tells the press to be there to cover it. Riverdale Airport?!

After the press leaves, Betty again assumes they’re all going. Cheryl’s upset and says they’re not fucking going. Betty says they thought they would be, since they’re the “stars”. Um, no, only you thought you’d be going, Betty. Cheryl says it’ll be “too confusing” having everyone there and says they can see it when she gets back. Jason’s suddenly holding his camera for whatever reason. Ronnie’s pissed, but Cheryl threatens to leave her out of the sequel. Cheryl regains the film canisters and leaves with Jason in a completely different car than Jason was driving in Part 2. Betty is hellbent on going to Turkey. We learn Riverdale apparently is large enough to have a crosstown bus.

Ronnie, with “a little convincing with Daddy”, offers to get them to Turkey. Um, why are you now seeking Daddy’s permission, Ronnie? You do remember you and Betty going to Paris just to prevent Cheryl and Archie from fucking, don’t you?

The next day, at the airport, Cheryl hams it up for the crowd (and the news crews and the TV audience) After Cheryl’s plane takes off, Ronnie orders her own pilots to follow it.

Soon, on her own plane, Cheryl is surprised to find out that Jason’s on board. Um, how could she possibly miss that? Anyway, he’s still got his stupid camera and is getting footage of “dear sister” for his “little project”. Just knock the fucking camera to the floor and smash it to pieces.

Jason overheard Cheryl’s supporting cast is on its way. Cheryl’s pissed but then realizes they won’t be allowed in, anyway. Still, she has a plan.

Later, at the airport in Turkey (they flew on the Lodges’ private plane; why are they at a commercial airport?), Betty’s positively orgasmic. Ronnie wonders where Cheryl is, assuming she made the same nonsensical landing choice that they did. Betty spots “Cheryl” getting in a cab, but it’s just her pilot, Captain Thomas, in a wig. The gang hails another cab and are in hot pursuit. Why not just go directly to the festival? Anyway, Thomas calls Cheryl, who tells him to get them as lost as he can.

The gang follows “Cheryl” onto a train, but then the conductor asks them for their tickets (as all conductors do). He somehow identifies them as Americans. Ronnie says she and Betty are the new lounge entertainment (taking a cue from a sign but not accounting for the actual lounge entertainment), and Dilton, Archie, Reggie, and Jughead are the new dishwashers. The guys are like “What the fuck, bitch?!” Thomas relays everything to Cheryl.

Part 4

Cheryl (who has changed clothes) gets a big laugh over it. She instructs Thomas to get plenty of film footage for her. Jason (who has also changed clothes) wants to check out the film festival.

In the train’s kitchen, Reggie’s pissed at Ronnie and seemingly threatens to punch her. Ronnie apologizes, saying they were under pressure. Way to blame it on your bestie. That was all you, Ronnie.

Soon, Betty and Ronnie squeeze themselves into the gowns for the usual entertainers. Speaking of the usual entertainers, where are they? Did Betty and Veronica clobber them, strip them naked, and stuff them in a closet or something?

They go out. Ronnie wasn’t counting on them having to play the instruments themselves. Ronnie goes and sits in front of the piano, and Betty picks up the microphone. Betty asks if Ronnie knows “any native songs of Turkey” for whatever reason. Ronnie recalls her fifth grade piano lessons and plays “Turkey in the Straw“. Betty facepalms.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Archie gets on Reggie’s case for refusing to wash dishes with the “losers”, which soon escalates to a food fight, much to Dilton’s delight.

Meanwhile, the audience has gotten tired of Ronnie and Betty repeatedly performing “Turkey in the Straw” (they did it nine times). If only these bitches were in a band or something. Anyway, they wrap it up and take bows, ripping the backs of their stolen gowns. They cover their asses in embarrassment. They’re lucky that their boobs didn’t pop out. Anyway, Thomas has gotten it all on film.

Back in the kitchen, a server (or whoever) has opened the door, and one of Reggie’s thrown dishes flies outside, hitting a passenger. A food fight starts among the passengers, because that would totally happen.

Amidst the chaos, Betty spots “Cheryl”, who Ronnie tackles. Thomas explains. Someone (not the conductor) throws the “crazy Americans” off the train.

Meanwhile, Cheryl and Jason arrive at the festival. Cheryl meets the Redford knockoff, who has no idea who she is. She introduces himself, and he recognizes her from the story that’s been “all over the papers”. Seriously? He kisses her on the hand.

Cheryl gets a call from Thomas, who informs her that the gang just got kicked off the train (somehow, he didn’t). He also mentions the “great footage” that he got. Cheryl wants Thomas to send the footage to her right away, hoping to edit it in before tomorrow evening’s premiere. This is impossible on so many levels. Sure, you can do that easily in the digital age but not back in 1996. Cheryl declares “I’m going to make my movie the best in the world, no matter how much it might embarrass them!” Jason is happy to have gotten footage of her saying her “best line”. Somehow, this doesn’t make Cheryl suspicious.

Archie asks a goatherder for directions to the film festival, confusing him. The end. A caption hypes the “unbelievable conclusion” next month.

So…this story was all over the place. If it had ended a little after the halfway point, it would have been fine (albeit still pretty flimsy), but this feels like two separate issues squished together. Riverdale is made to seem to be about the size of a big city, there’s no concept of how films are actually made, once again characters go halfway around the world just to interfere with Cheryl, and there are more art errors than I’ve ever seen in a single issue.

The following info comes from Grand Comics Database: After the story is a page of fan art (from Brenda Ferguson (Alberta, Canada), Nicole Laney (Honolulu, HI), Julie Leibach (Gainesville, FL), and Jennifer Delacruz (Ann Arbor, MI)), a 1-page illustration (supposedly by Dan Parent) titled “Cheryl’s Hollywood Hot Teen Looks”, a 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column (also including a messageboard and fan art (from Stephanie Stewart (Independence, KS) and Tessa Barrett (Nova Scotia, Canada))) by Sara Algase, and a half-page Editor’s Notebook by Victor Gorelick. None of this extra stuff is included in the digital edition, which is a shame.

Author: markmooreauthor

I love watching anime and superhero movies, and I love playing video games. I also write fan fiction and original fiction.

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