About 'Bananas About Movies' by Professor Reg Gubbins

Professor Reg Gubbins

Pro­fessor Reg Gub­bins is the world’s premier Inter­web His­tor­ian, an expert in his chosen field. Dur­ing his extens­ive stud­ies, he has left no hyper­link unvis­ited, no blog unread, no pic­tures of Lucy Pinder unseen. Here, he talks about BANANAS ABOUT MOVIES, it’s early gen­esis, and his sub­sequent meet­ing with Mon­key­boy, an exper­i­ence that would shake the very core of his beliefs, and make him look at online movie cri­ti­cism in a whole new light.

The short version...

BANANAS ABOUT MOVIES is a movie review web­site, owned and run by Mon­key­boy. Half boy, half mon­key, the res­ult of genetic exper­i­ment­a­tion by evil forces unknown, and cre­ator (and even­tual des­troyer) of the hugely con­tro­ver­sial Critique-o-matic, the little chap­pie reviews movies using the amaz­ing Banana Rat­ing Sys­tem™ on a scale of 1 to 5 bana­nas, where 1 = rub­bish, and 5 = amazing.

The long version...

Intro­duc­tion

For those wish­ing to dig deeper into the unusual mythos of Mon­key­boy, here is a slightly longer ver­sion of the above for your del­ic­ation. A more com­plete his­tory can be gleaned from my book, “Man, Beast, or a little bit of both? The Story of Monkeyboy!”

Sadly, the book is now out of print, des­pite my best efforts. But fear not, for you may find the book in the most sur­pris­ing of places. On such an occa­sion, I urge you to scoop that tome up, and retreat to a secluded corner for a ver­it­able feast of sex, action, adven­ture, and bana­nas. Just make sure to look over your shoulder first, as there will be mys­ter­i­ous forces hard at work to stop you read­ing the sen­sa­tional, anti-establishment text within.

The year is 1998...

1998 was an unevent­ful and bor­ing year. Sci­ence has stud­ied this year in great depth, and many men, far greater than I could ever be, have suc­cumbed to an unavoid­able mal­aise of the soul. Such is the tedium of the year 1998, that few ven­ture there now, not afraid of what they will find, but of what they won’t find.

In the years that have fol­lowed, I believe 1998 has fallen vic­tim to a “false his­tory”, penned by shady gov­ern­ment powers des­per­ate to hide the hor­ri­fy­ing empti­ness of each of it’s 365 days. These so-called events are a sham, their aim to divert the atten­tion of the unwary ama­teur his­tor­ian from the ter­rible truth. That, in the year 1998, abso­lutely noth­ing happened.

It’s curi­ous then, that these writers of 1998’s “false his­tory” miss the one truth­ful, and incred­ibly excit­ing thing that happened dur­ing this year. For this was the year that MONKEYBOY ONLINE, a new movie review web­site was launched.

It was lauded by many as the best example of a web­site cri­tiquing movies with a rat­ing sys­tem based on bana­nas, rather than stars, in the world at that time. The Hol­ly­wood Elite could not get enough of the web­site, and Steven Spiel­berg is on record as say­ing, “I love Mon­key­boy Online! It’s awe­some! Please don’t hit me with that ham­mer. Has he gone? He’s there! Guards! Guards!”

Monkeyboy Online/Review

Monkeyboy and Bo Derek

After two years, the web­site changed its name to MONKEYBOY REVIEW, and sol­diered on gamely for another 4 years, review­ing movies, tucked away in a dusty ware­house, sat on a server fes­tooned with cob­webs, lights blink­ing in the dark. Sadly, the web­site came to an end when the ware­house was burnt down by junkies.

But this was not the end of the web­site, nor the end of it’s enig­matic cre­ator, Mon­key­boy.

Some say he was held cap­tive by an evil sci­ent­ist in a remote cliff top labor­at­ory. As a half human, half mon­key hybrid, he was per­haps of great interest to the dark mach­in­a­tions of such people. Oth­ers talk of his brief foray into Hol­ly­wood, his time as a stunt double for Chee­tah in the Tar­zan movies, and his many illi­cit affairs with some of the lead­ing ladies of the movie world, leav­ing a string of broken hearts in his wake.

Cream teas and Robot Jody Banks

I approached this pot­ted his­tory of Mon­key­boy with great excite­ment. Our first secret­ive meet­ing was at a hotel in Corn­wall, Eng­land, where he was cur­rently on the run from — amongst other things — gov­ern­ment agen­cies, dooms­day cults, and a clutch of angry husbands.

Robot Jody Banks

It was a crisp Septem­ber morn­ing, and whilst par­tak­ing of cream tea, and scones, on the hotel’s secluded garden ter­race, he seemed in fine fettle. He was flanked by his body­guard, an exact robotic rep­lica (ana­tom­ic­ally cor­rect in every way) of Jody Banks from smash hit TV show, The Fall Guy, circa 1981. Designed to have the strength of ten men, talk about beauty and the beast. She was both!

Des­pite her pres­ence, and her unwaver­ing loy­alty, Mon­key­boy kept a loaded revolver next to him on the table, and whilst his nervous­ness, I’m sure, was mostly well dis­guised, he would occa­sion­ally shoot timor­ous glances at approach­ing hotel res­id­ents across the rim of his teacup.

It seemed to me that every per­son, no mat­ter how innoc­u­ous, was a poten­tial enemy, a dis­creet assas­sin with murder on their mind.

Banana Rating System

It was at this his­toric meet­ing, that he spoke of what was to be his relaunched web­site, and allowed me a glimpse into the think­ing behind his fam­ous Banana Rat­ing Sys­tem™, a sys­tem of scor­ing movies that is still send­ing ripples of con­tro­versy across the inter­web pond to this very day. I present the sys­tem here in it’s entirety. Any sim­il­ar­it­ies to rat­ing sys­tems based on stars is entirely coincidental.

  • 5 BANANAS: This quite the little clas­sic. You’ll prob­ably watch it again, and again. But if you don’t, the blu-ray will at least look really cool on your shelf, win­ning you the admir­a­tion of other self-opinionated people.
  • 4 BANANAS: An excel­lent film. Quite simply mar­vel­lous, you might say. But there’s some­thing miss­ing. Just some­thing tiny that brings it short of clas­sic status. Maybe if the dir­ector had just tried a little harder. Whatever. It was prob­ably the writer’s fault anyway.
  • 3 BANANAS: By no means excel­lent, this is a film that’ll make you say to a friend, “You know how you like action/romcom/weird mid­get movies? Well, this is an action/romcom/weird mid­get movie you will enjoy. It’s good, but undemanding.”
  • 2 BANANAS: Oh, what’s going on here? This film isn’t very good. It’s dis­tinctly aver­age. You feel like you’ve wasted your time watch­ing it. But not as much time as the people who made it.
  • 1 BANANA: Sweet Jump­ing Jesus, this film is ter­rible. Why did any­one even bother? The entire crew should be lined up, hogtied, and bounced off a diving board one by one into an elec­tri­fied swim­ming pool. Or at the very least, someone should just run up to them, and say, “Hey, you’re rub­bish!” Then run away.

Critique-o-matic!

 So, where does one go after cre­at­ing the Banana Rat­ing Sys­tem™, the most revolu­tion­ary and fool­proof sys­tem of scor­ing movies in the world today?

There is only one way to go. And that is to build a machine that bypasses the critic completely!

Is such a machine pos­sible? Yes, because Mon­key­boy inven­ted it. It was called, quite simply, the Critique-o-matic. He devised the machine in 1975 but, fear­ing that his inven­tion was ahead of it’s time, he sup­pressed the idea, burn­ing all cop­ies of the blue­prints. Or so he thought.

For there exis­ted one final blue­print. The one in his head!

An early prototype of the Critique-o-matic

In the year 2005, fuelled by 30 years of myth and rumour, a cabal of inter­net nerds (a plain old cabal of nerds, pre-interweb) — upset that their favour­ite movies were being sniffily marked down by news­pa­per crit­ics and face­less online arbit­ers of cine­matic taste — set out to prove once and for all that the Critique-o-matic was real.

So they kid­napped Mon­key­boy. Their aim? To force him to give up the secrets of the Critique-o-matic, and to make him con­tinue work on the device. Ulti­mately, they wanted nothing less than the utter humiliation and redunancy of every critic in the entire world. A movie critic disaster of global proportions to rival even the most outlandish Bond film.

How­ever, it didn't stop there. They also inten­ded to per­vert the machine’s ori­ginal remit — the cre­ation of infal­lible movie cri­ti­cism at the press of a but­ton — into some­thing alto­gether darker.

In 2006, the final pro­to­type was unveiled before an audi­ence of the world’s most renowned movie crit­ics. One by one, films were fed into the machine. And one by one, the res­ults proved unas­sail­able. And then it came to the final film, a long time favour­ite of the leader of the cabal of inter­net nerds.

That film was Police Academy: Mis­sion to Moscow.

The Critique-o-matic returned a score of 6 out of 5.

Destroy the Critique-o-matic!

Under nor­mal cir­cum­stances, such a score would be rightly ridiculed. How­ever, the cir­cum­stances were far from nor­mal, and the cabal of inter­net nerds knew this. The assembled crit­ics threw their hands up in the air, and admit­ted defeat.

Here was a machine, cre­ated from blue­prints devised by Mon­key­boy him­self, cre­ator of the legendary Banana Rat­ing Sys­tem™. With such cre­den­tials, how could the machine pos­sibly be wrong?

The future seemed grim. The crit­ics could have rushed the stage, des­troyed the machine, and saved their live­li­hoods. How­ever, the late nights, cof­fee, lack of exer­cise, and poor diet left them at a dis­ad­vant­age. It was with heavy, fat clogged hearts, that they began tele­phon­ing their edit­ors to prof­fer their resignations.

But it seemed all was not lost. There are vari­ous stor­ies of what happened next, but through rig­or­ous col­lec­tion, and cross check­ing, of eye wit­ness reports, I have come to the even­tual con­clu­sion that the wall at the back of the stage was torn open by a huge explo­sion. Step­ping through the debris, came a shad­owy fig­ure wear­ing a tight-fitting blue jumpsuit.

Gratuitous Jody Banks

As the smoke cleared, Robot Jody Banks stood before the amazed crit­ics, and the shocked nerds. Without say­ing a word, she focused her atten­tion on the Critique-o-matic. Her eyes glowed red, and sear­ing hot lasers shot from them, strik­ing the cursed machine, and melt­ing it into worth­less goop.

Through the hole in the wall could be glimpsed Mon­key­boy him­self in a wait­ing car, and bey­ond that the labor­at­ory where he’d been held cap­tive for a year. The build­ing was alive with fire and black smoke.

As Robot Jody Banks strode back to the car, blonde hair stream­ing behind her, Mon­key­boy raised his arm in the air, and pro­claimed, “Crit­ics of the world, hear this! In my efforts to cre­ate the per­fect movie review, I inven­ted a machine that could do no wrong. I did so, with the noblest of inten­tions. But you see here today, the cor­rup­tion of that ideal. Movies can­not be reviewed by machine. It is a cold, life­less thing. It lacks the one thing that makes us great! A heart! I say to you, crit­ics of the world, fol­low your hearts, as all good men do. And when Michael Bay releases a new movie, be not afraid to stick the boot in! Farewell, my friends. And good luck!”

Monkeyboy, the hunted

Mon­key­boy, hit­ting the road with with his ever loyal com­pan­ion, Robot Jody Banks, was — more than ever — a hunted creature. He now wanders the roads of Great Bri­tain, mov­ing from town to town, vil­lage to vil­lage, get­ting into adven­tures, and help­ing those less for­tu­nate than him­self. When he grabs a spare moment, he watches movies, and rates them, as ever, with the amaz­ing Banana Rat­ing Sys­tem™.

For that, we can be etern­ally thankful.

Pro­fessor Reg Gub­bins, Septem­ber 20th 2010

Monkeyboy's Addendum: Since this pot­ted his­tory was writ­ten, Pro­fessor Regin­ald Gub­bins’ car was found burnt out at the bot­tom of an aban­doned quarry. No body was found at the scene. He is still miss­ing to this day.