You know, I never really liked G.I. Joe. Sure, sure, I watched it religiously, like many boys who were between five and nine years old when it was on, but I never really
liked it. It was because no one ever got killed. With all the laser fire tossed around in any given episode, SOMEBODY should have died. Glamour Girls, the most f***ed up G.I. Joe episode ever, is one of only two I ever remembered in any detail. The reason why will be obvious by the time we get to the end.
G.I. Joe never had a good theme song or intro. However, the intro was a good indicator of the quality of the show -- Flint shouts "YO JOE!" in Duke's voice
! Cripes! Little kids notice things like that, you know.
Glamour Girls lays out its basic plot in the first thirty seconds. Dr. Mindbender gives Cobra Commander, the Baroness, Zartan, and Zaranna a "computer simulation" of a young, beautiful woman having her FACE LASERED OFF and transplanted onto an older woman. Yeah, I'm sure you have some inkling of why this would permanently etch this episode into the mind of a little boy who was easily freaked out by deformities and such.
Cobra Commander quite reasonably asks Mindbender why C.O.B.R.A. should be interested in purchasing this machine from its inventor, Madame Veil, an aging cosmetics tycoon. While I'm talking about Mindbender, I just want to point out that his outfit is easily the most homoerotic of any character's in the show, and this is a show where one of the main male villains always wears a metal S&M mask to top off a bare-chested velvet catsuit.
Anyway, Serpentor flies his stupid hovering throne into the meeting room and yells at everyone about how the face-removing device will be invaluable to COBRA (I'm not typing those periods again!). Why will it be valuable? Who knows? Certainly not Serpentor.
Cobra Commander offers to go steal it, but Mindbender has a better idea: COBRA will assist Madame Veil in capturing several beautiful women so that she can suck off their faces and use them to restore her youth. Then she'll simply give the device to COBRA. Eh, whatever, dude. I don't know why Madame Veil, who owns a COSMETICS COMPANY, would need to have COBRA deliver beautiful girls to her. Seems like she might already have a few hanging around.
Meanwhile, Dialtone and Lowlight (who is probably the creepiest, edgiest Joe; he figures into the second
most f***ed up episode ever) are helping their sisters or girlfriends or whatever move into a new place. The blonde is Oona and the redhead is Satin. Once inside their apartment, they find a letter addressed to them. Lowlight somehow reads the squiggly marks. The girls are invited to a fashion shoot for Glamour Girls, Madame Veil's porno -- er -- fashion mag. I hasten to remind you that this is the first time the girls have ever set foot in this apartment. Would their mailing addresses really have been updated so swiftly? Lowlight thinks the situation sounds fishy, but Oona and Satin are doing it, and that's that.
Meanwhile, Zartan and the Drednoks are setting up for the bogus porno -- er -- fashion shoot. I love Zartan. He's always got a reverb on his voice for no good reason. He briefly explains that the camera will hypnotize the models (he demonstrates by hypnotizing Torch into giving up his share of "the booty") into thinking they're going to a party, where the Drednoks will gang-rape them. No, I'm not kidding, as you will soon see. Puts a whole 'nother spin on the nature of that "booty" Torch just gave up. Zaranna walks in with her tit hanging out. That's her entire contribution to this scene. Zartan and the Baroness leave to "attend to other matters". *winkwink*
On a ship somewhere in the ocean, or a sea, or maybe just one of the Great Lakes, Mindbender is fiddling around with the face-removing machine when he is accosted by Madame Veil. She spent a fortune to perfect the machine, just as she spent a fortune to perfect herself. Did we just get a plastic surgery joke in G.I. Joe? Are we to understand this granny-aged lady is walking around with fake tits, or something? Ick. Despite her artificial perfection, she still got "old, and ugly, and repulsive". She warns Mindbender that unless he provides her with girls, he won't get the machine. 1) She could get her own damned girls. 2) Mindbender could kill her and take it. But nobody on G.I. Joe is that smart. Anyway, Mindbender shows her some photos of potential victims, which include Oona and Satin. Satin looks a lot like April O'Neil, now that I think about it.
Speaking of, Lowlight and Dialtone let Oona and Satin drive their Joe vehicle -- their armed, military vehicle
to the fashion shoot. (facepalm) Lowlight and Dialtone offer to stick around and pick them up when they're done, but Oona thinks the shoot will take too long and the boys should just leave. Inside, Zartan and the Baroness are in disguise, taking pictures that look suspiciously like intros to lesbian porn pictorials. (Trust me. As a single man, I've been known to look at porn on occasion.) The Baroness, rather disturbingly, tells Oona and Satin that "We are going to give you instruction (sic) and you vill
follow them, understand?"
Let me step off a minute and make a confession. Unlike 99% of other males around my age, I never had a thing for the Baroness. She looks too stern, like a teacher or something, and her accent is about as far from sexy as you can get. Anyway ...
Outside, Lowlight and Dialtone indeed have been waiting around all this time (losers!). When Oona and Satin finally come out, they ditch the boys to go to a "party". The guys are all like, "Ungrateful b***hes." When the girls get to their "party" the hypnosis wears off and they're surrounded by the Drednoks. Fortunately, this is not a hentai movie, so we fade to black before the horrible gang rape begins.
Several days later, we are led to believe, Lowlight is still p**sed about getting cock-blocked (I think Satin is his girlfriend) and works it out by blowing up some dune buggies with targets on them. Beachhead b***hes about how they were supposed to last all week, to which Lowlight responds, "Duhhhhhhh....."
Oh, no! It's -- Shipwreck! Ahhhh! My eyes! He's talking! Ahhhh! My ears!
Shipwreck is there to let Lowlight take a phone call from his Jeep's car-phone. I guess 1986 was too early for self-contained mobile phones, even in cartoons. It's Oona's agent on the phone. Seems that Oona, along with every other model who went to the Glamour Girls shoot, hasn't been heard from in three days. The call also confirms that Oona is Lowlight's sister. Glad that's cleared up. The agent b***hes that Lowlight is the only person she's been able to get on the phone, and he won't look good in a string bikini. Ok, I didn't need that image.
The fact that Oona and all those other girls are missing kind of makes Lowlight concerned. He and Dialtone tell Mainframe to use his computer to scan magazines and figure out the names of every model who works in town. That's seems like an awfully hard way of figuring out who went to the Glamour Girls shoot, a fact which Mainframe points out. Lowlight threatens to murder him, so Mainframe sucks it up and complies. He eventually (after who knows how long) figures out that COBRA is behind it all.
Lowlight, Mainframe, and Dialtone go to Flint with this information. When Flint interrupts them to take them to task for letting civvies use a Joe vehicle, Lowlight threatens to murder Flint if he doesn't shut up and listen. (Told you he was the edgiest.) I can't remember Flint's rank, nor do I really care, but I think he's a colonel or something, so Lowlight should be getting his ass tossed in the stockade to await court-martial. However, Flint's just like, "Well, okay. What's up?" The trio present their evidence that COBRA is involved.
Meanwhile, Oona is breaking under the stress and trying to kill one of the other abducted women while Mindbender totally pervs on the scene. Madame Veil likes Oona's spirit and selects her to be the first to "donate" her face.
Back at the fake fashion shoot, two women who are certainly not Cover Girl and Lady Jaye arrive unexpectedly. The Baroness is suspicious but, hey, two more faces. Cover Girl and Lady Jaye get hypnotized and head to the "party". Lowlight and Lift Ticket follow them in their inconspicuous, desert-camouflaged helicopter.
Zaranna is bossing the Drednoks around as they disassemble the backdrop for the fashion shoot. They decide to hypnotize her and send her to the "party" as well. Boy, that sounds like a great idea! I'm sure Zartan will think it's so funny that they sent his SISTER to get her face lasered off! The only real purpose of this scene is for Zaranna's tit to hang out some more. Lest you think I'm exagerrating, her spinning around and her boobs shimmying is animated at, like, twice the framerate of the rest of the episode. No matter how far down her shirt slips, there's never a nipple, of course. I understand this is just a TV show but, dammit, that's a cruel thing to do to all those poor little boys.
Cover Girl, Lady Jaye, and Zaranna show up at the "party", which is being held on a tugboat this time. Flint, Dialtone, Lowlight, and whatever random Joes were in recycled footage that week arrive just in time to see the tugboat transform into a COBRA boat. Then there's a boring, G.I. Joe-style laser fight. The guys end up pinned underneath some crates.
The Drednoks arrive back at COBRA headquarters and let Zartan in on their little "joke": that they sent his sister to be one of Madame Veil's victims. He doesn't take it well.
Mindbender won't let Zaranna go, because Madame Veil likes her face verrrrrrry much, so Zartan has to free the Joes so that Zaranna will be inadvertently rescued along with the other models. Zartan could just open the door, but he shoots the computer control for it instead. Because that's just the way you do things in G.I. Joe. Zartan says he's provided them with "weapons and amore". Say what
? Oh! Weapons and a Moray
, which must be what COBRA calls its little patrol boats.
There's a brief scene of Mindbender dragging Oona out of the holding cell, which is mainly there to show the women fighting back and being defeated, so one of the writers or animators can satisfy his female humiliation and enslavement fetish.
Back to the guys! They beat up enough COBRAs and blow up enough stuff that they get away. Frankly, I'm amazed that the animators remembered to color the lasers the Joes are using blue, which is COBRA's laser color. They're using captured weapons, remember? Getting a little detail like that right is really impressive for this show!
Back at wherever the hell the women are being held, Oona and Madame Veil are hooked up to the face-sucking machine. Cover Girl and Lady Jaye are helping one of the models pick the electronic lock for their cell, which conveniently is on the INSIDE. Apparently, picking an electronic lock can be accomplished with a hairpin. The model manages to knock out the power to the entire ... base, or whatever. Look, I have no idea where they're supposed to be.
The girls escape but leave Zaranna behind, who is chained up with her nipple-less tit still hanging out. Mindbender orders the women captured but not harmed, which means the COBRAs can't use their weapons and the women can kick their asses. The guys show up too late to accomplish anything.
Lowlight rushes to the laboratory to stop Oona from losing her face. He has a fight with Mindbender that's actually pretty good, as far as fistfights on this show go. (Incidentally, we find out that Lowlight's real name is "Cooper".) Mindbender gains the upper hand by smashing Lowlight with a chair that just comes out of nowhere. Madame Veil commands Mindbender to throw the switch. He does.
Now, we're coming up to the scene that burned this episode into my memory forever. I was completely shell-shocked at school that day, after watching this. You see, somebody on the production staff had seen David Cronenberg's remake of The Fly. You may recall what happened at the end of that movie. It happens here, too, more or less.
Lowlight shoots the face-removing thing over his sister's chair, which means that when Madame Veil gets her face removed, there's not a new one to replace it. She screams through her featureless veil of flesh, Oona screams, the Joes are completely freaked the f*** out, I'M completely freaked the f*** out. It gets worse: Madame Veil starts crying
, or as close to it as she can without a face. Good lord!
No, really, it ends on that image. Cripes.