Follow-Up Friday: Prince Returns!
After finding out during my research for Sunday's review of Dwayne McDuffie's Prince comics that there was a movie of Three Chains of Gold, I knew I had to see it. But considering that even McDuffie himself was unaware that there even was a movie, it proved a little hard to track down.
Fortunately, ISB reader, noted Prince-ologist and occasional death-threat author Mike Porto had a copy on VHS, and--using some kind of technology, possibly from the future--he was able to transfer it to DVD and loan it to me for review purposes.
As it turns out, it's not actually an adaptation of the comic, even though it features some of the same characters and themes. It's not even really a movie, but rather a series of vignettes built around some music videos and loosely connected by a sparse plot.
Here's the Rundown:
The whole thing kicks off with a nice dose of full-frontal female nudity, as Princess Mayte swims nude with her four attendants. It's all fun and games until Mayte's father is murdered by a mysterious conspiracy of seven, so Mayte hops a plane to Minneapolis where Prince has caused a riot and gives him a the eponymous chains and a VHS tape while he's singing on top of a car. Kirstie Alley appears for a couple seconds as Vanessa Bartholomew, a nosy reporter who also appears in the comic.
Prince goes home and sits in a dark room to watch the tape, which is a clip of Mayte at eight years old appearing on That's Incredible as a belly dancer. The whole thing's very Twin Peaks, especially when the creepy host puts three coins on her belly for her to flip over.
Back in the present, though, Mayte is hot. Seriously, there's a scene where she wears a burqa, and she still looks good. It's ridiculous.
Prince tries to distract himself from Mayte's incredible hotness by teaming up with the men and women of the Minneapolis Police Department and busting the New Power Generation's poker night. Even humping a car and hooking up with another girl in a movie theater doesn't work, though, so when Mayte shows up during a video shoot the next day, Prince goes off and rides a carosel with her for like ten minutes of screen time.
After that, Prince decides to hit it and quit it, leaving Mayte to walk the line until she remembers that she may or may not be a princess, and can therefore afford to catch the bus to the airport and head back to Cairo. Prince heads off to Japan for a concert and hooks up with a groupie, but right in the middle of doing 23 positions in a one night stand, he has a psychic premonition of Mayte.
Here's where it gets weird.
Prince and Mayte reunite in Los Angeles, and go to a warehouse where Prince has constructed a replica of the Taj Mahal out of bad early-90s CGI. Then he ascends into heaven in a glass tube, is surrounded by a group of children dressed in Mayte's bellydancer outfit and his strange lacy black mask costume, makes gun fingers, and shoots lighting from his hands at seven different versions of himself.
Then he decides to change his name to O(+>.
Personally, I prefer the comic. While the movie does feature naked ladies, there's a severe lack of Prince kung fu fighting with Middle-Eastern Assassins and the New Power Generation fighting their way through the tomb of Gilgamesh with automatic weapons. It's also pretty incomprehensable at times, and much of the plot summary up there is pure conjecture based on what I think happened. This would be because Prince, as I've said, is completely insane.
To be fair, that craziness is the type of madness that usually goes hand in hand with someone as creatively brilliant as Prince. But still, there's only two guys I know of that dress exclusively in custom-made purple suits, and the other one's this guy.
In addition to the DVD, Porto also brought me one of the gems of his personal comics collection. Rock 'n' Roll was a series produced by Revolutionary Comics that featured utterly unauthorized biographies of musicians, which at one point led them to be sued by the New Kids on the Block. They responded with a bitter and spiteful chronicle a year later called "The Fall of the New Kids" that's pure comics joy to read.
Anyway, this issue features Prince and George Clinton, and a back cover piece that may or may not be Rockwell, and it's not quite as joyous. All of the dialogue and captions in the Prince story are written in the style of Prince's lyrics, abbreviating words to U, 2, 4, R, et cetera, a process that should be familiar with you since you're reading this on the internet. Interesting stuff, but otherwise unremarkable.
Hey, wait a second, what's that on the title page?
Art by Stuart Immonen, of Marvel's upcoming NextWave?!
And that's how I tie it all together.