An Alfred E. Newman-faced Rorschach (or is it a Rorschach-bodied Alfred E. Newman?) graces the cover of MAD Magazine this month, and, having somehow not yet reached full Watchmen saturation, I eagerly gave it a read. And, while MAD-tastically silly, the magazine’s movie parody (“Botchmen”) committed a crime I now realize is frequent to that publication: it is one hell of a super-spoiler.
Of course, a MAD parody has no choice but to reveal the plot details of the movie it’s poking goofy fun at. It’s their job. But here’s the thing: the Watchmen MAD hit mailboxes and newsstands over a week before the film’s March 6 release. That’s no fair. Whether you’re new to Watchmen (or, as someone at work put it, “Who is this Watchman guy, anyway? What are his powers?”) or like me have read the comic 100,000 times, you really don’t want to know the film’s ending. And “Botchmen” certainly ruins the heck out of the ending.
How does something like this happen? MAD writers, like myself, are employees of Time Warner, and, like myself, were presumably shown an early screening of said Time Warner film. But although I was torn a new web-hole for writing a premature-but-spoiler-free dork paean to the movie’s slavishness to its source material, MAD just gives it all away for $4.99, cheap!
We didn’t have the term “spoiler alert” when I was a kid, but even back then I wish there was a name for the annoyance I felt when MAD gave away the ending to movies like Aliens (“Alienators”) and Rocky IV (“Rockhead IV”) before I saw them. And now “Botchmen” has been published way way too early, and the adventures of Wackjob, The Funnyman, Ozcargrouchius, Nerd-Owl, Silk Speculum, and Dr. Meatdanglin’ will take the fun out of the movie for a lot of fans.
So, as a form of internet vigilantism, I, too, am going to spoil something. I am going to spoil the MAD FOLD-IN for the “Botchmen” issue, without any sort of warning whatsoever:
THE MAD FOLD-IN REVEALED:
On a snowy hill, an annoying little kid is asking “stupid questions” about a new snowboard belonging to a fat kid, who retorts with “snappy answers.”
ANNOYING KID: Is that your new snowboard?
FAT KID: No, It’s my Mom’s old ironing board!
ANNOYING KID: Do you stand up on the board?
FAT KID: No, you lie on it!
ANNOYING KID: Do you have a way to stop?
FAT KID: Yes, I’ll turn uphill!
ANNOYING KID: Good, then you won’t hit the…
Fold back so “A” meets “B” and you see that: the annoying kid has crashed into what now spells out:.. NEW STONE WALL!