The Chicken Feed

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Alastair: In the distant future, when humanity has started civilisation anew upon the charred remains Skynet, film scholars will look back on the early 2000s as the era of The Red Logo.

Here and now, in the tragically unhip present, you might have noticed a certain trend in the world around us. Haven’t seen it? Don’t worry. Here at The Rubber Chicken, we’ve been trained to use Science to make observations and spot patterns that escape the notice of lesser individuals. Take, for example, the four movie posters pictured above. Do your mortal eyes discern some similarities between them? No? Allow me, a Scientist, to educate you.

Each movie has two elements, which we shall Scientifically label as Element A, and Element One.

Element A: White Background
Element One: Red Text

The outcome of this frothing pot (or “beaker”, as I’d say if I were a Scientist) is that all of these movies are of, shall we say, a Certain Quality. Go down to your local picture theatre or DVD emporium and take a look. Make some Scientific observations of your own and you’ll start to see the coloration pattern yourself. Red on White, Red on White, everywhere you look, Red on White, surrounding you, suffocating you, Red on sodding White.

To the audience, it’s a warning sign. From the promoters, it’s an admission of defeat. And for filmmakers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the dynamic duo behind Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet The Spartans and now Disaster Movie (some of the reddest-on-whitest movies ever to grace Planet Earth), it’s a way of life.

Disaster Movie – The Official Trailer

A confession: that was not the Disaster Movie trailer. Only I have it on good word that The Rubber Chicken is meant to be a humour website, and I have no desire to see years of work wither and die upon coming into contact with the real clip. Does it strike anyone else as odd that George Carlin passed away in the same 24 hour block as the release of this trailer? I’m not jumping to any conclusions. Just saying. That’s what we Scientists do.

Yes, the Movie series represents the very antithesis of mirth; an unsightly and rapidly infectious blight on Hollywood’s bottom. But that’s no reason to pan it.

To all you callous cynics out there, all I can do is ask you to look at this picture of Friedberg and Seltzer. Please, take your time. Give your eyes a rest, take a deep breath, and really look at it.

Can you see it? Behind the self-congratulatory fratboyish guffaws, there’s a real warmth to this picture; a genuinely humanity. These men are passionate about their work. Your mistake, dear Internet, is judging that work as a piece of cinema.

Now I’m no Scientist (except by night), nor can I claim to have seen the film, but as a human being with an Internet connection, it is my God-given duty to tell you you’re all wrong. View it as a construct of Science, and Disaster Movie becomes something truly, undeniably beautiful.

Hypothesis #1: It levels the playing field between Evolution and Creation by simultaneously disproving both.

Disaster Movie, in simply existing, throws the notion of natural selection out the window. Take Ancient Greek writer Hegemon of Thasos, who pioneered the art of poetic parody; a neat trick that probably won him some points with the ladies. In the resulting hanky panky, he likely procreated. By Darwin’s logic, he would have passed this genetic advantage down the family line, .

Yet if the human mind’s capacity for satire and parody had refined itself even minutely in the 150 short generations since, Disaster Movie presents no evidence of it.

Creationists have long been accused of needlessly reshaping religion – the why behind evolution’s how – into an anti-science. Now, finally, they have a solid, logic-based argument.

Unfortunately, though, even the most militant creationist would be forced to concede that Disaster Movie is the product of a Godless universe; a stalemate that grinds the entire debate to a spectacular, screeching halt.

With both sides’ beliefs shattered to their very foundations, they will be forced to calm down and talk, paving the way for a radical reassessment of humanity’s direction as a species. And thus, the race is born anew, ascending to a higher plane of wisdom and tolerance.

Well played, Friedberg and Seltzer. Well played.

Hypothesis B: It provides a lowest common denominator

When was the last time you saw somebody in a white lab coat lining up for a movie ticket?
It’s a known fact that Scientists hate the film medium. I know I sure do, and for good reason. It is impossible to accurately measure the quality of a motion picture. Case in point:

Each of these fine individuals has an entirely different set of criteria for a “bad movie”. Without consistent standards, this makes a universal measurement scale impossible, and Rushmore was great, you fucking asshole.

Enter Disaster Movie. With a 0% “freshness” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is, by critical consensus, universally disliked. This gives us a lowest common denominator; a reference point by which other movies can be judged.

All that remains is to draw a path between this low point and the single highest achievement in the history of the medium. And despite not being any kind of Scientist, I think I speak for them all when I say that’s been known for years. I speak, of course, of “Step in Time”, the Mary Poppins musical number with the dancing chimney-sweeps.

Voila. A mathematically accurate, Science-friendly movie rating system.

Hypothesis Trois: It probably didn’t cause the Black Plague

The Black Plague was an unspeakably horrible pandemic that killed more than 75 million people in the 14th century; anywhere between 30-60% of Europe’s population at the time.

Time, while relative, is not reversible. It’s comforting to know Disaster Movie is in no way responsible for this inconvenience.

Other tragedies not caused by the movie’s release on account of them taking place centuries beforehand include:

  • The disappearance of the crew of the Marie Celeste.
  • The assassination of Julius Caesar.
  • The extinction of the dinosaurs.

That said, Scientists like myself theorise that the laws of physics work equally well forwards and backwards. We have no way of knowing if our perception of time is facing the “right” way.If time were indeed mapped out backwards, reaction would shape action. As Disaster Movie‘s unique interpretation of comedy relies on esoteric knowledge of current films and events, it is very much a product of our culture; a direct consequence, if you will, of Western civilisation itself. Who’s to say it isn’t responsible for the development of our species, or indeed, the universe as a whole?

Hypothesis Delta: It just might save the world

At the time of writing, CERN is preparing the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator. In a matter of weeks, two proton beams will collide, offering an unprecedented glimpse into the way the universe works.

The scientific community, of which I am not part but for whom I hold a great deal of respect, will tell you this is perfectly safe; that it’s only emulating what occurs naturally all the time, even inside our own bodies. These physicists, however, are not blessed with the gift of clairvoyance, and history’s most famous seer says otherwise:

Leave, leave Geneva every last one of you,
Saturn will be converted from gold to iron,
Raypoz will exterminate all who oppose him,
Before the coming the sky will show signs.


The chilling similarity between “Raypoz” and “positive ray” leaves no doubt to the prophecy’s nature. Yet Nostradamus gives us a the slimmest slither of hope in the form of a warning:

“The sky will show signs”.
Signs, perhaps, such as this?

Is it wholly preposterous to suggest Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer’s entire career to date is a legitimate front for their rise as modern-day prophets?

If their movies do not entertain, what other foreseeable purpose could they serve than to warn of – and by extension help prevent – the apocalypse?

My fellow Scientists, take heed. The end is nigh, and two very noble men have repeatedly defiled their own artistic credibility to give you a shot at correcting your mistake. And lord help us, if you don’t heed their warning now, they just might squeeze out another one of these things before your particle accelerator sends us into merciful oblivion.

To hell with a fifth point. I’m off to loot me a flatscreen TV.

Last-minute sketches by Professor Andy Webb.
White Background, Red Text
theorem courtesy of Dr Ben K, PhD.
Additional lab assistance by some guy called Tim Morrison.

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