How do you describe true horror? Are that pain and slaughter? A dead man coming back to life? Is it seeing reality deceive you as everything you love is torn apart? What about all three of them at once? I’m, of course, talking about the 1987 Mannequin, a horrific psychological horror movie disguised as a comedy. This, unprepared reader, is a compilation of the top 7 lives ruined by a hit movie about a man falling in love with a dummy who becomes a real woman when he just looks.
Mannequin movie is going to open with a montage of Andrew McCarthy being fired. He’s losing most of his work because he’s too creative, but he’s moving differently. He’s making balloon animals at a picnic, and the birthday boy’s asking for the biggest balloon. No one may see this coming, but it’s beginning to lift him straight into the sky! McCarthy grabs him by the foot, prompting the boy’s father to yell, “Take your hands off my kid!” so he does just that, sentencing the boy to death.
And don’t make a mistake, the kid is dead. He’s listed as “Superkid” by the credits, and the filmmakers killed him for nothing but a messy Bugs Bunny joke. I can’t stress enough how dead Superkid is. He was at least 50 foot tall, still aiming straight up until they broke off to the next scene. Even if they rushed to the nearest payphone to call 911, which they didn’t, they’d have to give it a place like “I don’t know, space?”
The point is, no one has rescued Superkid. The next chapter in Superkid ‘s book was an entrepreneur taped a 1-size suit to a viscera bucket that fell out of the sky in Nebraska. Let’s stop here and appreciate Mannequin’s brutal efficiency. In about ten seconds, this film sets a man as an asshole and then kills his son.
That means that we haven’t even met the movie star yet, and two characters have already had complete tragic arcs. This comedy ripped a family apart for zero laughter, and then the same thing happens to a dog. Let’s talk about the haunting storey of Rambo the Bulldog.
If you don’t remember this movie, it’s going to sound like I’m making shit, but the mannequin movie is a 4.500-year-old Egyptian time traveller. To get out of an arranged marriage, she’s made a vague wish for unnamed gods, and she’s been inexplicably Forrest Gumping through history ever since. She casually mentions dating Christopher Columbus and being unable to seduce Michelangelo because he was obsessed with a guy named David. It’d be fair to call this the least interesting thing about a time travel storey before it even happens to you that it doesn’t explain anything.
What the fuck does any of that have to do with why she turns into a store mannequin when someone else other than Andrew McCarthy looks at her? More importantly, would the mannequin’s holes seal up and pop your dick off if someone looked directly at her mid-coitus? Oh, and if you took off her arms and legs while she was a mannequin, would she go back to the flesh with smooth stumps or four geysers of scarab-filled blood? Can I turn her hands-on ice picks for arctic missions?
Andrew McCarthy doesn’t ask any of these questions before he jumps into intercourse with this “woman.” Magic Johnson did more due diligence before he took a lover than McCarthy did in Mannequin movie. And hold on, fashion mannequins wouldn’t have been invented until they were over 4,300 years old. So why is she suddenly a dummy in this particular era? There’s never a payoff to any of this backstory, and it makes a magic mannequin less credible to suggest that it’s the result of the Egyptian gods fucking around.
Now that we’ve established that her origin is inconsistent stupidness born of an uncreative mind, it’s my great pleasure to summarise Mannequin’s main plot in 17 words: an ancient cursed woman has a noisy sex party with Andrew McCarthy every night in a department store. The main character is a night security guard named Felix who, after consideration, may have been right to try to stop a stock boy from fucking a doll all night on the products he was hired to protect.
Felix’s partner is a bulldog named Rambo, and one night, when he learns that Andrew McCarthy is going down the elevator with his sex doll, he mistakenly sends Rambo to attack. As an audience, we don’t get to see what’s going on, because the dog quickly screams and runs away.
Something horrible happened to him, which suggests one of two things: either the dog’s eyes don’t transform her into a mannequin, or the dog will somehow believe like she’s loaded with forbidden magic. Mannequin’s screenwriters went on to write only two more films — a poor sequel and Mr Nanny, a film in which Hulk Hogan becomes a nanny. But this dog scene may also be clarified thirdly: they failed to finish writing it while discussing all their other brilliant ideas.
You might think, “Big deal. An inanimate time traveller can manifest his human form in front of dogs and scare one.” Well, it’s worse than that. For the rest of the film, Rambo panics every time he’s around the mannequins. And because he works in a department store, he’s practically overcome with anxiety all the time. Felix has a little car to drive him around. And when Felix mentions all this to the store manager, who can take great care if his mannequins are getting fucked and sucking their souls out of their dogs, his word-for-word response is “SCREW YOUR DOG!”
Okay, here’s where it’s going to get interesting. “Screw your thing” is a popular word, but the film makes it clear that Felix has never heard it before. He looks down, puzzled as to how he’s supposed to take this order, and the scene ends there. This means he’s going to have sex with that dog. Later, Rambo was substituted with no clarification, except for the unspoken one that was put down after being secretly sodomised by his best friend. Maybe it’s only a mistake, but the only one who could feel the ancient darkness within the mannequin was Rambo, who then died feeling nothing but fear and deception.
At this point in the film, Andrew McCarthy and the mannequin have generated a few window displays and are hailed as significant art installations by crowds of gaping retail show enthusiasts. That’s the real storey factor that screenwriters bring into a movie.
The script seems to have called for “the biggest shop window in the history of consumerism,” but the prop department was insufficient for this mission. Honestly, the notion that a window display will disrupt the entire art market and steal 89% of the business from rival department stores — a true figure in this very film — is more ridiculous than the mannequin that comes to life and also time travels.
But now that Andrew McCarthy is in charge of all trade through his transcendent sports goods deals, his ex-girlfriend Roxie wants to take him to lunch and persuade him and work for the boss who is groping her. She invites him to a fancy restaurant, where he’s going to turn a man’s life into ashes.
The owner, Hans, recognises Andrew McCarthy as soon as he enters. He was fired from this restaurant for starting a fire in a flame accident, which must have been terrible because Hans is trembling in fear. Andrew is flickering, remorseless, and, in truth, he taunts Hans for his unconvincing hairpiece.
If Andrew McCarthy were to go and tell Hans that his ape wife eats worse than their half-ape son, it would have been less insensitive.
In a matter of minutes, Andrew collided with a waiter and started a fire right in front of Hans, who knew this shit was going to happen. Andrew McCarthy burst into action, shaking vigorously at the fire with no impact at all. Perhaps he’ll get an idea. A cruel, crazy idea that only a madman would imagine and only a psychopath would act.
He takes the toupee off Hans’s head to use it to combat the flames, totally ineffectively. It doesn’t do anything. Why would it have been!? There’s a reason fire hoses don’t float the wads of fake human hair. And then, with the fire now burning a Rockefeller oyster plate and a tiny hat, he’s just gone!
Andrew McCarthy lets a man fish his fake hair out of flames as his co-workers and customers watch his embarrassment, each making a mental list of all the friends they need to say. It’s a sociopath’s definition of humour. Some mannequin-fucker stormed into this man’s life and went, “Fuck your job, fuck your hair, fuck this fire! And fuck this place, Andy McCarthy Out!”
Hans could not go back to work with the people who witnessed his moment of greatest remorse. Hans disappeared, and he became someone else. Years from now in the Mannequin world, one of the busboys is going to say this awesome burning toupee storey, and the cop is going to overhear it and immediately take the lead in the case of the Bananas Foster Scalper.
Hollywood is a flamboyant character that blends all the gay stereotypes that screenwriters knew and nothing else. Hollywood delivers every line like Helen Keller’s grandma, and he’s trying to get her out. I make it sound like he’s not a joy, which is not the case at all. Hollywood instantly steals any scene he’s in, and in fact, there are ten-minute portions of this film in which he’s squealing inconsistently while Andrew McCarthy loves it.
But Hollywood’s world continues to fall apart when he meets Andrew. This awful stock boy, popular for having sex with store merchandise, steals Hollywood’s job and causes him to question his skill. But instead of frustration, Hollywood creates a sad hero’s worship and wants to do whatever Andrew McCarthy needs. Unfortunately, this involves the attack of a dozen security guards with a fire hose.
Like all Hollywood scenes, the fight is much longer than required because no editor could bring himself to take a single moment out of Hollywood. For an endless number of minutes, Hollywood sprays a group of men while shouting words and phrases irrelevant to the rest of the film or fire hoses or life as we know it.
Imagine how hard it would have been for the ’80s if you were an openly gay black man dressed like a Jem And The Holograms villain. Now imagine that you interfered with the arrest of a violent trespasser by threatening security guards with a hose. Hollywood is waiting for trial for three months, assuming he isn’t shot right away by police, claiming, “I just enjoyed seeing all those wet guys, YOUR HONOR, WHOOOOOOO!”
19 charges of exasperated attack, four charges of criminal maliciousness and possession with intent to sell for the pound of cocaine the arresting officers planted in his scarves and the other pound of cocaine he already had in his system.
To be honest, the film shows Hollywood alive and healthy after this event, conducting a wedding ceremony for Andrew McCarthy and the now fully human mannequin. Yet this is almost definitely a dream series. Two of these people will be in gaol for only too many offences, and you can’t file marriage papers when you marry a foreign national whose social security number is-8, urn, cat, cat, jackal man.
There’s no chance she’s been forged with a new name. The 4,500-year-old dingbat yelled two days ago, “Where are the musicians hiding?.” when someone switched on a stereo. Andrew MacCarthy has knocked off the ballon-folding job for killing Superkid.
When Andrew McCarthy’s boss, Estelle Getty, released monitoring tapes of Felix’s mannequins kidnapping, they were only given lip service to get away with all those crimes. This somehow excuses Andrew and Hollywood beating the hell out of a squad of security guards to save her. And now that I mention it, we need to talk about that tape. But first, uh …
After crossing the paths of the mannequin, all the lives in this film end up in a nightmare, but Andrew McCarthy’s girlfriend already living in one. The first thing we learn about her is that her co-worker might suddenly jam her face into her boobs, which is only the first of five sexual assaults on her by three different men.
Of the main heterosexual characters in the film, 60 per cent of them assaulted Roxie. The only person who doesn’t try to slide a hand into her panties is her boyfriend who forgot about her when a mannequin came to life.
At last, in her despair, she gives in to Armand, one of her harassers, and agrees to loveless pork. This might have been a serious blow to her self-esteem, but it’s getting worse when she can’t succeed and blame her. Roxie has to sit there and listen to her workshop groper whimper at his floppy dick about how unappealing she is as her boyfriend makes passionate love for a doll.
Speaking of dolls, the last thing she hears as she leaves Armand’s is that she screams, “Where can I get a mannequin, too?” That’s how her last two sex partners let her know they’d rather sleep with a dummy, also as you’ll see later, Mannequin’s not finished tearing apart the soul of this poor woman.
2. Estelle Getty
Estelle Getty seems to have come out of this movie in good shape at first glance. After all, her store’s business grew astronomically, after Andrew McCarthy was employed. She’s probably taking some heat with the board of directors to promote a stock boy to vice president after three days, especially after being caught sleeping naked in the main floor, beating up a security guard and leaving him dead in their store, assaulting dozens of security guards in another store, bursting into changing female customers and having an open sexual relationship with them. But forget about all that. Let’s talk about this tape of hers.
The secret surveillance system of the store, revealed only at the very end of the film, recorded everything that was going on at night. So sure, it captured all the crimes committed by the villains, but Andrew McCarthy had sloppy sex parties with an inexplicable thing all night, every night. Assuming that its human form produced any kind of excitement, the two of them ruined hundreds of thousands of dollars of furs, clothing, and outdoor gear. So when Andrew finds out that there are tapes, he’s right to be concerned about that. Estelle Getty kindly reassures him that her secret is safe. Which means that she knows! She knows ALL of it!
So let’s just think about it. She’s got video of this mannequin coming to life, being stabbed, and then turning back into a mannequin. It’s a clear proof of the supernatural, and she’s not asking a single question! Right from the top of my head, does this mean that Heliopolis Theology is the only true religion? Does she eat? Like, if you cracked it open in its wooden shape, would you find a half-digested hot dog and three pints of semen squirming in search of cursed mannequin eggs?
This is the abduction of a centuries-old Jane Doe by a rival department store owner and a deranged security officer, persuaded that she was a mannequin and that she had been tricked by the world’s most media-friendly flamboyant man and his fire hose. That’s the last damn thing that’s going to be news for the next ten years, and Estelle has a tape of it. She’s now living in a world in which science and Western philosophy is incorrect about everything, and she’s got proof of it — on a freaking celebrity sex tape — which is also evidence that the police are sure to claim.
If she’s not dissected by government scientists, Estelle Getty will be hounded by writers, TV producers, Egyptologists, and UFO hunters for the rest of her life. Every mannequin in her shop would be robbed and infiltrated by lonely customers. And that erotic point takes me to the final character that I want to talk about. A man so utterly devastated by the circumstances of this film that I still think of him 33 years after it was made.
1. Compactor Room Janitor
In the basement of the evil department store, there’s a room with a conveyor belt that brings garbage up a ramp to drop it into an oubliette with a wood chipper at the bottom. Why will there be anything like this in a department store? Since no sound decision was taken at any stage in the production of this film. I assure you that the art services were all cat meat served out of the mouth of a clown.
Stationed in this James Bond death trap, the character is credited as “Compactor Room Janitor.” He comes out of the bathroom to see a mannequin come to life and fall in love with a man. He isn’t afraid, though. This seems to be something that he’s been waiting for his whole life, and he’s diving into the trash to find a mannequin of his own to love forever. And he does it! He recovers the body of Roxie, who was killed earlier by debris while trying to destroy the doll that stole her lover and bankrupted her business. Anyway, she wakes up to a passionate kiss from a janitor to mark the 11-minute anniversary of her last sexual attack.
Roxie howls to avoid touching her as Andrew McCarthy and his mannequin walk down the conveyor belt. Without any treatment. They might easily say, “Sir, that one isn’t a mannequin,” but they don’t. It would take more than an ex-girlfriend to plead with the abusive janitor for her life to divert Andrew McCarthy from this unique moment. Roxie battles her way out of his grasp as the room fills with the officers, and the janitor doesn’t bother to run away or apologise. Why would he do that? He has no excuse not to believe she’s a good mannequin — and a lousy man because the flawed thing doesn’t even fall in love with anyone.
While every other character in the mannequin movie stands in front of him and wraps up the plot, the janitor quietly does the math in his mind. He knows that digging a mannequin out of the garbage would turn it into a real woman, and by his estimates, there’s one in two chances that she’ll fall in love with her rescuer. And he’s not mad; he saw it with his own eyes. But, as soon as everyone leaves, he dives back into the garbage to dig up another lover.
It’s supposed to be a cute circle, but is it? This son of a bitch is going to dig through the trash for dummies for the rest of his life. He’s going to try to say magic words and replicate brave belt rescues. He begs the gaping mouths of sex dolls for some sign of life and confesses his love to hundreds, maybe thousands, of dolls in his search to find a third mystical one. This janitor had only been affected by Mannequin’s plot for three minutes, and he had lost any hope that he would ever love or be loved. If Mannequin movie was about a mannequin chasing shoppers with a machete, he would have made a happier film.