Beelzebufo, The Annihilator Of Dinosaurs
When art meets prehistory: two filmmakers, one dinosaur, endless possibilities.
This is my second piece for the STSC Symposium, a monthly collaboration of artists around a set theme. The February 2023’s topic was “Dinosaurs” (YES)
—Of course, Larik, we have a chance to make a fucking brilliant film with a real fucking dinosaur and you're gonna stuff it with fucking drama.
—But everything's better with dinosaurs.
—Except for drama! Let's flush the luck down the loo again!
—Nobody's flushing anything down the loo, Vitya.
—You! You! Tell me what kind of a cheesy fucking film is that? Have you seen even once a fucking dinosaur drama?
—Exactly! That's the point!
At first, the author did not want to take any risque to interrupt the intellectual discourse between two people enthusiastic about their craft and decided that he'd better behold it from a distance because he thought that staying away could conduce to more natural and productive dialogue, moreover, it felt a bit uncultured to meddle in amidst the conversation; but, for the reader to grasp at least the gist of the scene, the author felt obliged to provide some scene descriptions.
It so happened the other evening that Illarion Illarionovich, a person of extraordinarily high thought and no less high ambition, and Vitya, his good comrade and fellow cinematographer, were discussing the idea for their next film, snacking with some substances, to be precise, dried ambassadors of the fungi kingdom, pulling them one by one from an outlandish box, chewing diligently, washing them down with pure spring water.
—Shut up you cunt! Intellectual fucking discourse, would you be so kind telling me, sir, if you can comprehend our words properly? Or do you fancy a cuppa, sir?—said Vitya, jumping up his chair.
—Hey! Vitya! I'm here. Who are you talking to?—said Illarion Illarionovich, waving his hand.
—Well, definitely not to you!—said Vitya shaking his head.
—Tell me, who? I'll keep it secret, promise.
After rubbing his eyes, Vitya pointed out at a suit-dressed dinosaur sitting quietly in a chair on the other side of the room. Sharp teeth, tail, reptile eyes, feathers—the full range of dinosaur equipment.
—Do you see the dinosaur?
—I do see the dinosaur.
—I do see it too.
—But it's not talking.
—Well let it keep doing so, it’s casting and nobody gave him a fucking word yet!
—I would've flushed my fucking mind down the loo if he'd started talking!
—Yeah, I would, too, putting it gently, be quite flabbergasted.
—That's exactly what I'm saying to you, stop perverting my words.
Vitya returned to his chair, reached to the outlandish box for the next treat, devoured it, savouring, reached for his papirosas case, took one, lit it up, closed his eyes and greedily filled his lungs with bitter and aromatic smoke, leaning back blissfully in a tobaccogasm. Illarion Illarionovich, meanwhile, slid the outlandish box to himself and repeated the ritual after Vitya.
—So, tell me Larik, how did that brilliant idea of yours to film a dinosaur in a drama crawl into that brilliant mind of yours?
—I believe that our work must crawl deep into one's heart, penetrate their soul fibres, engorge their minds, their spirits.
—Look at his fucking teeth, his claws! This is what should crawl to one's heart in our film!
—Vitya, my dear friend, there are hundreds of films where dinosaurs kill people or stroll through the cities, crashing skyscrapers. Does anyone still care about those things?
—They do. But our film will be even better. We'll make it all real. Our killer has feathers as it's supposed to.
—Feathers? I see no feathers on him.
—Don't fucking bullshit me, not in this situation.
—It wouldn't've been so weird if you put your fucking glasses on.
Illarion Illarinovich took glasses from the table and put them on.
—Of course! Feathers! He's a bird!
—He ain't no bloody bird! Look at him, he's fucking predator, and you want to put him into a tear-drenching drama like a chicken cunt! Ugh... If you still want to be like bloody Spielberg you have to make a film about dinosaurs eating people.
—We can also make Schindler's List.
—Just to remind you, we have a DINOSAUR sitting here waiting to be cast in our film!
—We can make Schindler's List about dinosaurs, figuratively speaking.
—Larik, you can’t make Schindler’s List without making Jurassic Park first, practically speaking. This is how the film industry works!
—There'll be explosions.
—What?—Vitya almost jumped out of surprise.—Explosions? In your film?
—In my film, yes.
—Am I sleeping? In a drama?
—In a drama, yes.
—The explosions of what? Audience's patience?
—Ah, of course, "meteorite", a bloody original premise, Larik.
—So the script goes like this: Act 1 is about a family of dinosaurs dwelling in a green utopian valley.
—Oh, please, shut up. Where'd we get a whole bloody family? We have only one!
Splashing saliva, Vitya pointed at the dinosaur.
—Wait, Vitya, please listen to me.
Waving his free hand, Vitya began obscenely fuming the room.
—We will show the life of dinosaurs right when the meteorite hit the Earth, how they're clinging to life, trying to stay themselves in the face of the apocalypse, but their attempts are futile—that black cosmic swan is ineluctable, and we watch how dinosaurs die one by one.
The dinosaur sitting on the other side of the room gulped.
—What kind of shite for bored housewives is that?
—You don't understand, Vitya. It will be a metaphor for how fragile life is, how one event can bring it all to smithereens, how futile is our existence, and how we're just trembling creatures in the face of universal randomness.
—I actually like this misery bit but let’s change the plot, let's cut the meteorite.
—How's that supposed to work?
—I'll tell you, using your cuntish creativity! No bloody meteorite whatsoever. We'll make it the other, better way.
—And what is the other way, better way?
—Beelzebufo ate them all.
—A-fucking-huh. Beelzebufo, a big bloody devil frog.
—But Vitya... Frogs can't eat dinosaurs. I think you have to quit these,—said Illarion Illarionovich and pulled the outlandish box away from Vitya.
—They fucking can,—said Vitya, and pulled the box back, took a mushroom and put it into his mouth, then he continued talking, still chewing.—So, how the script goes is, once upon a prehistoric time, there lived a big frog, Beelzebufo, an all-round good bloke. We see Beelzebufo doing its frog things, jumping and whatever, while the narrator in a fairy tale voice with a British accent tells us about Beelzebufo and the world it lives in. Then in the next scene, we see dinosaurs running around the green utopian valley, maybe a family of dinosaurs, if you wish, and BOOM! Beelzebufo attacks the dino kids and eats them! We hear the crunching sounds of little dinosaurs, this is fucking drama for you.
The suit-dressed dinosaur waggled his tail uneasily.
—And what about their parents, the big ones?
—And big ones, too, of course. So, this frog is a predator of cunning abilities. It eats the dinosaurs, starting small, one by one, slowly, little dinos at first, then it grows up more and more and more and more, eats more dinosaurs, bigger ones, grows, grows together with its hunger, eats a bloody T-Rex like a fucking shortbread, grows until it devours all the dinosaurs on the planet and then stops growing.
—Now this is interesting! This is the metaphor for capitalism, am I right?
—You're fucking not. It's not a metaphor, it's a fucking horror story, a slasher with dinosaurs but dinosaurs are victims this time.
—But there's always a metaphor, Vitya. Even our dialogue is a metaphor or an allusion to something.
—This is fucking tragedy of modernity of the genuine purity, pure like the infant's tear, there's no fucking metaphor mixed in it.
—I don't understand how this story works then.
—It works because it's cool, this is something beyond your terms of comprehension, Larik. We'll call it "Beelzebufo, The Annihilator Of Dinosaurs", even the fucking Godzilla would pee its pants.
—And what's the ending?
—Yes, I mean, it at least must resolve to something.
—Must it though?
—I think the audience would appreciate getting some gratification for their time spent.
—Erm... Well, the frog flies away,—said Vitya, swinging his hand.
—Flies away, yeah.
—It fucking jumps off this fucking planet into utter space and mysteriously disappears somewhere turning into a Lovecraftian being.
—Wither the fucking space, the far corners of the universe, if you wish, devouring life on other planets, until the whole universe is devoured, and maybe God himself, too. Beelzebufo is a fucking gourmand.
—But the meteorite... how did everything else on the planet go extinct?
—I already told you — no bloody meteorite. Imagine this on a big screen: the desolated Earth, the giant frog jumps up into space, and after its blasting jump, there is a huge aftermath, such a shock wave, the cunt-power explosion, so it scorches all the atmosphere out, and everything living else for the next thousands of years goes to fucking hell.
—Fucking hell…—pondered Illarion Illarionovich.—I got it, I got it, it’s even better! It's a metaphor for how capitalism, with Beelzeboofo as its avatar, influences climate change and brings us to extinction!
—Oh, you're so fucking tiresome. There will be no metaphors and no drama. It'll be a massacre, rivers of blood and reptile limbs will be flying out of the screen in the 3-fucking-D and every viewer will be terrified sitting in their panties full of shite.
—And what will be the role for our dinosaur in that film then?
They both looked at the dinosaur and shrugged, Vitya scratched his nape.
—Well, he'll play all the dinosaurs, obviously. We'll do some make-up and such, they'll all look different. Multiple shots, montage, green screen, easy-peasy.
—I thought since we have a real dinosaur, he'd prefer a leading role in an Oscar-worthy film and not yet another B-grade nonsense about blood and guts and nothing else, would he?
—Oh, lovely, off shall I fuck then.
—Let’s ask him what he wants, playing a hero in the apocalypse or playing chicken in your drama.
They both turned to the dinosaur again. He, meanwhile, was stunned, his eyes widened, no blinking, hands slightly shaking. He stared at Vitya, switched to Illarion Illarionovich, and opened his mouth, trying to utter something
—Well...?—asked Vitya.—Eaten by a prehistoric devil frog or dramatically killed by kind humans?
Befuddled, the dinosaur looked at them again.
—Do you want a job or what?
—Erm, actually, I thought it was a casting for Kind Dinosaur 2.
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