You remember budgie jobs from the old Monty Python Pet Conversions skit. It refers to one animal crudely being converted to another animal, such as converting a terrier to a budgie by stapling on wings and so forth.
Well I was watching a movie called “New Rose Hotel” and I realized after a while that it was a budgie job. It was purportedly based on one of William Gibson’s cyberpunk SF stories of the same name. I enjoy Gibson’s stories about hard-edged hackers and corporate types fighting it out over the latest thing to come down the techno-pipe.
But New Rose Hotel looked and sounded like just another story of low-level hoods on the make with a street whore. Sure, it was set in Japan, and it had corporations and the occasional modern high-rise, but mostly it was close ups of William Dafoe and Christopher Walken and Asia Argento looking and acting grimy and stupid, you know, like low-level hoods and whores.
And that’s when I realized that I was looking at a budgie job – the director, Abel Ferrera, is mostly known for his crime dramas. No wonder it looked like a crime drama … it WAS a crime drama. Ferrera dusted off an old script about a couple of low-level street scum and a whore involved in scammish activities, pasted on a few corporations and a few bits of tech and added a Japanese locale, and bob’s your uncle … New Rose Hotel, a cyberpunk SF movie!
It’s a terrible movie, BTW, very boring and ugly to look at. Has NONE of the hum of biz, interesting new tech and smart, driven people on the make that Gibson’s cyberpunk movies feature.
So, what budgie jobs have you spotted lately?