IMPULSE! An analysis by “The Canadian Romantic”, Robert Dayton

impulse

William Shatner’s career is a tapestry so richly woven that it causes an indigestion most glorious. We know of his work as ac-tor as singer, whether it’s his multiple personaed tuxedo performance of Rocket Man or his confused concept album The Transformed Man: a mix of Shakespeare and erratic renditions of Mr. Tambourine Man and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.  What a Man! How many erections by myself alone stemmed from his sex scene with Angie Dickinson in Big Bad Mama?  If you can answer then you are my long-time window peeper. This consummate professional will go to great lengths, such as learning a universal language that the universe ignored in the all-Esperanto movie Incubus. Then there’s Star Trek, people talking Star Trek, people wearing Star Trek, people living Star Trek, Ricardo Montalban and Shatner duking it out in Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan, rich Corinthian leather skin upon skin, larger-than-life one-upmanship. Turn on your TV today and there is Shatner over enunciating to reach the cheap seats with his Stratford-trained scenery chawing. Shatner has a strong sense of Shatner.

There are so many juicy plums to pull out of Shatner’s pie, but the plummiest (not to be confused with Plummerest, though if you’d like to see fellow Stratfordian Christopher Plummer at his most psychotic, watch the Can-Con thriller The Silent Partner with Elliot Gould and John Candy working as bank tellers in The Eaton’s Centre, note the nasty “Plummer smashes woman’s head into an aquarium full of fish” scene, don’t worry about the fish, worry about the lady, it’s too late, gold chain and vee-necked Plummer killed her, he killed her, she’s dead) is IMPULSE!

Impulse ShatnerI know the title of this movie is one word exclaimed and shouted from rooftops, but sometimes I think it’s called IMPACT! Or INTENSE! Both names strongly apply. Middle ground only exists as a space (be it personal space or a public space, such as a rooftop) to collect yourself and even then it is a scant crooked line. Maybe it was IMPULSE! that cast a shadow of gossip blog speculation over Shatner’s 3rd wife’s mysterious death? Shatner is not afraid to act creepy. Even when he’s playing a good guy he’s creepy. Every gesture e-nun-ce-a-ted.

IMPULSE! is a movie made by people, back when Shatner really needed some roles (1974 and it looks it). Webster’s Dictionary (my own edition with personal scratched-out and scrawled revisions) defines a psychopath as a deeply troubled individual in patterned shirts with no conscience, usually portrayed by William Shatner in the movie IMPULSE! Their behaviour stems from opening flashbacks that visualize Mom turning tricks with much too aggressive army dicks, leading to a through-the-fireplace shot of the little boy killing the bad man with a samurai sword. The boy puts a pinkie in his mouth. That little boy grows up all Shatner using that same psychopath pinkie mannerism throughout the movie. Cut to Shatner exhaling cigarillo smoke watching a belly dancer.  His wife is following this two-timing Shatner.

shatner_impulse1“She’s just a friend.”
“Ha! Nobody’s ‘just friends’ with a belly dancer!”

When grifter Shatner’s flashbacks come on, they come on strong and next thing you know he’ s strangling his wife to death, setting the stage for his modus operandi, sweat constantly glistening.

Next up is a sexy widow who has perfectly framed close-ups of her terrific ass. Shatner meets her Bad Seed-looking daughter after he runs over a dog. Using his investment scam know-how, he gets to know this widow at a dinner party set up by a boozy three time divorcee and her gay office supply shop-owner friend, both portrayed as likeable. He takes the widow to the zoo. A woman gets in their way with a bunch of balloons. He pops a few of them and says, “People like you ought to be ground up and made into dog food.” He then describes to his date what goes into hot dogs. Their romance blossoms. He takes her to a motel. The young daughter follows them in horror.

Just when you wonder how IMPULSE! will fill up its running time, Karate Pete (played by Bond villain Harold “Odd Job” Sakata) appears. We know that his name is Karate Pete because that is what is written on the large paper banner affixed to the side of his camper van. A chase scene through all cycles of a car wash ensues: rinse, wash, dry, repeat. All seen by the daughter! She knows too much! Just like this movie: too much! If you are a qualitative being prone to hierarchical thought processes, IMPULSE! is not as good as Night Of The Hunter and is better than The Stepfather.

Chases ensue with deaths occurring non-naturally the Shatner way, including the classic ‘through the aquarium’ shot (Plummer takes notes), a plethora of echoing reverb trumpet blasts filling our ears, and a shocking (shocking? it’s all shocking) ‘let’s really make this feel complete’ ending. Roll credits. While you’re at it, call a psychiatrist who works pro-bono to explain what just happened. Invite the said professional over and watch it again, hold the butter.

WATCH THE FULL FILM HERE!

About the author:

Robert Dayton

Robert Dayton's writing and/or drawing have appeared in Roctober, Cinema Sewer, The Onion, Bananafish and so on. As The Canadian Romantic, he manifests as a Youtube series, live performances, a doll, an art book and a winking photo. Robert's musical acts include NEW HORIZZZONS, song-and-dance duo Canned Hamm, Canada's wildest and most unpredictable musical act ever July Fourth Toilet, Wet Dirt and downer folk damage group Points Gray: all of which have albums that you should seek out. Robert recently won a National Magazine Award for 'Pagelicker', a video series on Hazlitt for which he conducts author interviews. He has also appeared in the movies 'Male Fantasy' and 'Ivory Tower' and a tampon ad. | www.robertdayton.com | www.twitter.com/therobertdayton

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