Macaulay Culkin reprises Home Alone character Kevin McCallister 25 years on
Edgy Macaulay Culkin channels Home Alone’s Kevin.
Every kid who’s seen Home Alone has daydreamed about being Kevin McCallister, imagining how much fun it would be to fend off two buffoonish burglars by rigging their parents’ house into a giant deathtrap.The Home Alone movies were comedies, but in real life their star eight-year-old character Kevin McCallister could have easily grown up traumatised by his clashes with dangerous burglars. On the other hand, nobody likes to think about how traumatizing that kind of experience must have been for the cherubic eight-year-old boy who had to live with it; being abandoned by your family on Christmas is bad enough, but having to defend yourself from violent home invaders on top of everything else?
The now 35-year-old Culkin has starred in a parody video exploring what such experiences might have done to McCallister later in life – and the result is disturbing. In this first five-minute episode, “Just Me in the House by Myself”, he is picked up by a rattled Culkin, who immediately informs him that it’s his wife’s car – “she did too much blow last night” – and he really can’t drive. Dishevelled and distressed, he shows up to pick up his first customer, and reveals he can’t drive – prompting the passenger to take the wheel as McCallister shares his distress while puffing on a cigarette.
Macaulay Culkin may never appear in another Home Alone movie (they’re still making cut-rate sequels!), but thanks to a new web series from comedian and former Moldy Peaches musician guitarist Jack Dishel, we finally know just how badly Kevin McCallister was scarred for life. That’s the premise of episode one of the web series :DRYVRS, starring a grown-up, long-haired, 35-year-old Macaulay Culkin channeling his inner Kevin.
A chance remark unlocks a barrage of memories from Culkin’s character, who bitterly recalls the trauma of being abandoned as a child at Christmas time — the cutest f—ing eight year old in the universe … by far” — and left to fend for himself. The five-minute digital short has Culkin playing an Uber-type driver who unloads his issues on a customer, recalling how he was left at home by his family and had to deal with “two psychopath home invaders.
But it’s not until Dishel switches seats with his DRYVR that the truth begins to pour out. “I still have nightmares about this bald weirdo dude chasing me around talking like Yosemite Sam,” a shaking McCallister confesses between cigarette drags. “They don’t even curse!” Fortunately for McCallister (and his fare), he also still remembers the mad MacGyver skills that made him such a deadly child, and the guy who tries to carjack his wife’s ride is about to learn that the hard way. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. Photo: Paul Rovere Australia’s biggest rock festival, Soundwave, has disastrously been cancelled after a headliner pulled out, another denied they were confirmed and it emerged venues had not been booked for the touring show’s Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne legs in just over a month. On Tuesday, British headlining act Bring Me The Horizon indicated they were not locked in yet, despite the metalcore act’s name featuring prominently on the Soundwave website.
But he did show an utter commitment to the show’s silliness, and when coupled with his innate charm as a performer, led some of the night’s best sketches. The band is one of Soundwave’s major drawcards, having hit no.1 on the ARIA charts here with its last three albums, including the recent That’s The Spirit. That commitment was once again on display tonight, but the material by and large felt half-formed, which stranded both host and crew for a majority of the night. The involvement of a third headliner was also thrown into question when Eric Melvin, guitarist for NOFX prematurely posted on social media that the festival had been cancelled, throwing fans into a panic. The company running Soundwave went into voluntary administration in September over a court action taken by World Stages, which sought to wind up the company over an unpaid debt.
Hemsworth rarely connected live onstage tonight, but he unsurprisingly did very well in this action-movie parody. “I don’t have time to bleed!” is the type of clichéd dialogue that exists in most subpar action films, and this is a sketch that teases out that notion to its logical (albeit extreme) end. It’s never not impressive how quickly SNL can throw something together with this level of complexity and production value. (The physical continuity of Hemworth’s deterioration alone is impressive.) Sasheer Zamata matches Hemsworth beat for beat as his concerned partner, serving as audience proxy for his overly-macho attitude. If it is dead it marks a mighty fall for Maddah, who was named the most powerful person in the Australian music industry in 2013 and seemed for a time to have the golden touch on the festival circuit. As someone still somewhat struggling to make herself known to SNL audience, it’s great to see her in a lead sketch role like this. “Time To Bleed” all but announces its endpoint up front, but its execution makes the ride enjoyable.
Things started to go wrong for Maddah after he took part-ownership of the iconic BIg Day Out in 2013 when previous promoter Ken West retired, only to be at its helm when it drew small crowds in 2014 then was cancelled for 2015. One could argue (as many within the show as well as outside of it have) that Ferrell’s original performance ended up helping Bush become more electable. Its loss will devastate fans of hardcore music and appears further evidence that large scale rock festivals are not successful ventures in Australia at the moment.
But this week, rather than focus on that President’s foibles, it’s all about Bush’s contrast to the current Republican feel and just how well he favorably compares to them, even for his harshest critics. What ensues isn’t a sketch so much as a stand-up routine, and it’s one based not only on current politics but the audience’s relationship to this actor and his place in SNL history.
Either SNL realizes that having Donald Trump as a host damaged its reputation, or the show is simply having its cake and eating it with its current criticism of him. Some might view that as hypocritical or “too little, too late.” I’m not going to pretend I know the mindset that drove the material tonight, especially the Michael Che/Colin Jost back-and-forth about whether or not Trump actually believes the things he says.
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