Monday, August 28, 2006

New York Ripper - horror film of the millennium -it showcases the inevitable truth - plus, finally my 2 cents on The Descent

I must say I am turning into to one of those people who is an example of everything that is wrong with America. When it comes to movies in the theater, I just can't wait for opening weekend, but then, if I somehow miss it, I forget about that movie and get excited for the next big thing. What is this? Am I addicted to hype? Well the good news is that I did get myself down to the Chinese Theater to see The Descent even though I'm a few weeks too late. What a movie! Scary as hell, I was literally twitching in my seat! I think it nailed the essence of horror in several ways, but what I really want to talk about today is how Lucio Fulci's 1982 New York Ripper nails the meaning of horror perfectly, and is one of the greatest films of all time.

Spoilers... I'm not talking about the realism of the violence, which is spectacular in it's own way, but rather the extremely harsh and depressing end to the film. When the amputee, the dying child, calls up his father to call for more violence against the able-bodied, and no longer gets an answer - we know that the child is left alone forever, to die alone in the hospital without love. I don't think any filmed scenario in horror history has shown us the true meaning of horror in such a heavy way before. If the child were innocent, and not in part responsible for his father's crimes, then this scenario would be so tragic that it would probably not succeed it moving us - it would be overkill. However, the child is seriously flawed, like us, and we know that this fate which is to befall him is somewhat fair, and therefor scary. Bad things, even unfair and uncontrollable bad things, like illness, bring forth more bad things and evils. Coincidentally The Descent showed us the same phenomenon. Sarah's troubles should have ended when her husband and daughter died in an accident, but she was destined for much worse and in the end her own actions were questionable. How many horror movies feature characters who grew up without families, or with handicaps, or other insane hardships? Many. These characters are sometimes the heroes, but they can be the villains too. It would be just so nice if they were all heroes. That would feel good, but no, horror - and life - is not like that.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

17 seconds slower - whatever that means - fuck you Adelphia

So Adelphia promised to squeeze a tube of glue into my cable modem, ensuring that service will be made slower since we refuse to pay an additional forty dollars a month. What do you expect for a company whose founder is in jail for bank fraud? Well I can only take solace in knowing that no matter how much cement Adelphia packs into my computer to make it slow down, it can't possibly equal the volume of liquid semen John Rigas gets pumped into his orifices monthly at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester - yes that is a jail - sounds like a cushy jail. What the fuck? Does he not deserve the worst?

I've been watching a lot of movies, most recently New York Ripper on the Vidmark vhs label. Also picked up a bunch of rare stuff. Ulli Lommel's Olivia on VCII, The Harrad Experiment (vhs is the only uncut version) on Wizard, something called P.O.W.: Prisoners of War, The Car, Stoner, and much more including a whole box of weird early 90's horror I got on ebay. Not sure what I have time to review. Maybe the The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Starmaker) TV movie with Jeff Goldblum or the Video Nasty Madhouse (Virgin), both of which I sort of enjoyed... sort of.

Friday, August 25, 2006

the new populist politics of 150 Days of Sodom

In the past this blog has put forth controversial views. Abortion is bad, meat eating is bad, etc, but now the views expressed will be of the sort that no one can disagree with as you may have noticed in my last entry. Today we are sticking up for the little guy and saying to hell with the elite. Bush is now unpopular in the polls. Well this is clearly because he does not give a damn about the people. Fire the bastard!

The troops. They are the average Joe, just like you and me, sent over to do a dangerous job by politicians safe in their Washington mansions! "Support the troops, bring them home", well I had my own controversial twist on this saying changing it to "Support the troops, bring them home, before they do something horrible and damned to burn in hell forever". Maybe I should have spread that saying around because not too long ago we had that incident where in Iraq some troops raped and underage girl and then killed her and her family. They did everything but fuck a dead chick! No seriously people, I understand now, it is not the troops fault, but George Bush's fault for putting the troops under stress. Who can be blamed for acting irrationally in a time of stress? These troops saw some of their friends die and this war is supposed to be set up so that only Iraqis die. Bush obviously screwed it up and it is only logical that this fucked up situation would drive a man to rape and murder and possibly to ponder necrophilia. That is the only rational response.

If you find yourself disagreeing with me, you ought to look at who's side you are on. Are you a tool of the wealthy Hollywood leftist cause? Just because I live in Hollywood does not mean that I'm out of touch with the good Americans in the midwest.

I have not forgotten about horror movies. The last couple of posts have been about industry matters and I do believe these stories are relevant to horror and film fans in general.

I don't like the sound of this My Name is Bruce movie. Bruce Campbell playing himself in a horror comedy where he is forced to act like Ash? Sounds like it's going to be full of insider jokes to make the horror fans feel smart. Nothing brings people together like a joke that you feel you are gonna get, but others won't understand. Well guess what. Everybody knows fucking everything about Evil Dead. You all ain't special. Fuck you.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

tax the filthy rich bastards!

These guys at Film Rot don't like me or this blog (as seen here), particularly because of this post and maybe couple posts preceding it.

Also I should mention I went to the record release show for Captain Ahab's "Snakes on the Brain", the ep, at the Smell in downtown L.A. of course. The
video played to an enthusiastic response, projected on the big screen. Turnout was great even though Fuck Yeah Fest was the same day and also, on the way theirI saw about 1000 grubby critical mass riders that are probably at The Smell on any other given night. Well, they were not needed, the place was full.

Ok, I'd like to share this article found in the L.A. Times. I'm posting the full text in maroon with my commentary in ordinary black. I got excited about this article because it bugs me that those who can afford everything are the only ones who are eligable to get it for free. Plus are these excesses appropriate in a time of war? Let's read.

Hollywood Gets the Freebie-Jeebies

The IRS wants its cut of the swag, which might make celebrities think twice.
By Rachel Abramowitz and John Horn, Times Staff Writers
August 19, 2006

Next week, nominees for this year's Emmy awards can expect the usual "gift basket" full of award season freebies: lavish jewelry, plasma TVs, Celine Dion backstage passes, gold-plated cellphones. But there will be a lump of coal at the bottom of each one: an IRS tax form.

Tax forms will be available at the Emmy "swag suites" too. "We'll be giving them the necessary paperwork for what it's valued at," said Gavin Keilly of GBK Productions, who put together a suite at the Sofitel Los Angeles hotel where, starting Wednesday, selected celebrities can "shop" for free stuff, including special goggles for watching movies on an iPod, Lasik eye surgery and a $22,000 Caribbean cruise.

But after Thursday's announcement by the IRS that it will seek out taxes on the swag that increasingly rains down on celebrities during awards season and at film festivals, merchandise valued at $100,000 will cost an A-list actor in the top tax bracket some $40,000 in taxes.

That's a lot of change, even for multimillionaires.

Though marketers like Keilly are jumping to make compliance as easy as possible for their celebrity beneficiaries, the industry's chattering class was split on whether the development would deal a fatal blow to Hollywood's freebie mania. Many in Hollywood, meanwhile, expressed relief that a practice seen as part of an unsavory culture of greed would, if not fade out, at least diminish.

The swag machine works this way: High-end companies press free goods and services on stars with the hope of creating buzz, and ideally generating pictures in magazines such as Us Weekly or People, which will in turn spark sales. It's hard to tell how many millions of dollars' worth of product corporations actually shell out on celebrities, but one company estimates that the value of its gift bags for this year's Emmy's nominees will total $2 million — and that's just one purveyor at one awards show.

Giving out gifts to celebrities isn't new in Hollywood, but competitive swag — in which marketers compete to create increasingly outlandish gift baskets — is a product of the last five years, as corporations desperately try to ride the public's all-consuming interest in all things celebrity.

"I think it's going to have a cataclysmic effect on a certain segment of the entertainment industry," said veteran publicist Ken Sunshine, who represents Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck. Sunshine is advising all his clients to confer with their tax attorneys before accepting any more free gifts from marketers.

Already, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that it is canceling the ultra-luxurious gift bags for Oscar presenters that have been a staple since the 1970s. Without saying whether money exchanged hands, the academy acknowledged that it settled any tax obligations its membership might have owed the government for bags received through 2005.

At the Sundance Institute, which puts on the annual Sundance Film Festival in Utah, Elizabeth Daly, the director of strategic development, was heartened by the news.

"People here are all happy," she said. The festival in recent years has become a mecca for corporations looking to deck out young stars in their jeans and sunglasses, and swag suites are often assumed to be "part of the institute and part of the festival," Daly said. "They are not."

She said the IRS campaign "is one element in helping to change the tide." A more difficult tipping point will come when celebrities are too ashamed to be seen making off with so much free merchandise.

"It's become a joke already," Daly said. "If celebrities become embarrassed by this, and it's perceived to be not good for their careers, it will go away."

One of Sundance's main sponsors, Volkswagen, already has decided not to host a swag suite at the 2007 festival, Daly said. "They think it's gotten to the point where it's disgusting," she said.

Corporate sponsors often outnumber films at the festival, and their logos dominate Main Street in Park City. Some celebrities skip the films altogether and just trek from swag suite to swag suite on special corporate shuttles.

Flacks often joke about the rich-and-famous swag-aholics, and part of the game is to make sure the media know who's been shopping in the suites. In news accounts from 2005, "Desperate Housewife" Nicolette Sheridan took her dog, Oliver, browsing for diamonds at an Oscar gifting suite sponsored by the Platinum Guild, had a diamond healing massage performed at the Diamond Aquifer Oscar suite, and got her hair done at the Biolage/Glamour Golden Globes suite.

Of course, there are those in the industry who have begun to say no to the ostentatious gifting of the already rich. This year, George Clooney created a splash when he gave his Oscar presenter gift bag, often the most valuable booty of all, to charity.

I can't believe Clooney is the first celebrity to do this. If I was an A-lister I would grab as much as possible, liquidate it on ebay, and make a donation. But then again, along the way from normal civilian to bag-worthy celeb, I probably would have become corrupted. I would be, in my own eyes, bigger than God!

Though the efficacy of such gifting is often debated (especially because so much usually ends up in the hands of the entourage rather than the celebrity), the vendors often claim satisfaction with the outcome.

Kenneth Loo, marketing director for the premium men's sportswear line Blue Marlin, recalled that Paris Hilton grabbed a boatload of garments at the firm's 2006 Sundance giveaway suite. A few days later, her then-boyfriend Stavros Niarchos became a veritable walking billboard for the company, wearing Blue Marlin garb wherever he went. "You want people to become fans of your brand," Loo said. In that light, Loo added, the Sundance suite "was extremely successful."

But in light of Thursday's announcement, Loo isn't so sure how much — if any — Blue Marlin loot he'll be able to dole out.

"I am completely afraid of doing anything right now," Loo said Friday. "I think most brands are looking at the tax consequences — it's a big concern."

Others, particularly those whose business is swag, are optimistic that there's no such thing as shame in Hollywood.

Lash Fary runs Distinctive Assets with partner Todd West, and has just finished putting the finishing touches on consolation gift bags for the 50 top Emmy Award nominees who don't win a trophy.

He is "deeply saddened" that the lavish gift baskets his firm puts together will be threatened by tax collectors, but notes that no suppliers of merchandise or certificates for his Emmy bags or gift packages for November's American Music Awards have withdrawn items. "No one wants to back out. They just want to know how it will impact them," he said. "And the way it impacts them is that now there's a lot more press. We've gotten 20 new media bookings in the last two days," Fary said.

The press about the taxing these gifts will cease after a while, but the tax itself will remain. Nice try with that positive spin on the matter.

Besides, he said, the tax push will affect celebrities most directly, not the producers and aggregators of giveaways. "It's like going into a restaurant and saying to a waiter after you give him a $20 tip, 'You know that's fully taxable, don't you?' Whether or not he reports it is anyone's guess."

I knew it! The celebs will try and cheat the government by not reporting these bags. I was counting on them to pay for my state school education here in California, but more importantly, these celebs will be clinging to money that could go towards armor for Hummers in Iraq! The celebs don't care if the troops die! Of course Bush probably beleives that this wealty aristocracy should not be taxed any more than your minumum wage earning nobody. It may be fashionable for Hollywood to criticize Bush, but they benefit from his rule.

Publicist Stan Rosenfield, whose clients include Emmy nominee Charlie Sheen, Robert De Niro, Hank Azaria and Clooney, said the IRS announcement hasn't concerned any of his clients and, as far as he's concerned, it shouldn't. In fact, he said, on Wednesday night, he collected a sizable gift basket from an InStyle magazine party and handed it over to his daughter.

Many insisted that the IRS campaign may make things a little awkward for some celebrities, and it might even change the way the music, film and TV academies handle their gift giving, but it won't slow the celebrity-dependent marketing juggernaut.

"It's not going to stop anything," Rosenfield said. "If you have a product, you've got to get your product out there. It's called Marketing 101. There's nothing wrong with promoting your product. Are these really taxable items? I don't think they should be."

Manager Joan Hyler, who represents Alfred Molina and others, said that, no matter how it looked from the outside, the intersection of celebrity and advertising was here to stay. "People will figure out another way," she said, "to get their luxury brands into the hands of stars."

I say gift bags for the troops! If we don't see Blue Marlin Kevlar vests for the troops then shame on Kenneth Loo. Lasik surgery for the stars? How about Lasik for the troops so that they can see the enemy better and kill with more efficiency? Now that is the kind of publicity these brands need! Watch the profits rocket in the midwest.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Incubus (1965) The Devil's Rain (1975) yeah right, I don't really talk about those movies, this is just a long rant...

Tonight I watched Anti-Flag play in the Jimmy Kimmel parking lot as it is right down the street. It was awful experience, beginning with the Blue Blockers rapper bugging me in line and ending with Anti-Flag being as shitty as ever. A recent MRR poll asked punks what band shirts they would be most embarrassed to wear. Anti-Flag were near the top along with Against Me and Leftover Crack. The kids at this TV taping obviously don't read Maximum Rock n' Roll. Hillary Duff was on hand. I saw her in the parking lot, but she did not come out to watch Anti-Flag from the side of the stage. What gives? She's on the Warped Tour, right?

There was a time when a band would have to take a pick. Stay in the underground and get respect from the punks. Or you take off and make some videos and play some stadium, yet you can never go back home, the punks - having felt betrayed - now hate your guts. That was the way it was for some time, but not anymore. Anti-Flag can have their cake and eat it too. Everybody loves them but me and some MRR readers who are stuck in the 90's. These "punks" lucked out.. for now...

I was out of town this weekend, visiting the California central coast. We were gonna go to Big Sur, but did not have time. It would have been nice because I just watched the 1965 occult picture, Incubus, the other night. It was filmed at Big Sur. Speaking of Incubus, it was mentioned on that Roast of William Shatner I attended last Sunday and saw on TV in my hotel room this Sunday. The roast was funnier live, though they saved Andy Dick's Vulcan act with the editing. It was a trainwreck live. I was disappointed that they cut the Clint Howard clip a bit, they showed us more footage at the taping. All the talk about the Tribble was gone, probably because Jason Alexander made a tasteless joke about it involving a deceased Star Trek actor. That one did not go over too well live and I particularly did not like it.

Also cut was a bit with one of the comedians, I forget who, making fun of the young man in the front row with the cowboy hat, calling him a "Brokeback Mountainer" and what not. Jason Alexander's joke about Incubus aired, but I know that another comedian, again I forget who, had said it was an awful movie, but this was cut from the broadcast. I think Incubus is awesome by the way. It blows away The Devil's Rain (1975), which was featured in quick clips in a montage along with Incubus and other Shatner movies.

I had a great weekend, or Sunday and Monday rather, you know those nights are cheaper in hotels. I will admit that we watched a lot of TV including the practically the whole season of Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. One episode was extremely funny, the one with the Virgin Megastore fashion show. This episode showed that you really should not try to be cool when your coolness is in question, as you might fall flat on your face. Virgin has been trying to get into the clothes business as far as retail goes, since they just plain suck at selling CDs. I know, I worked there. The corporate aim is to go with an Urban Outfitter's vibe, selling a lifestyle, not an album or a movie. It ain't working - cause they don't know what the fuck they are doing, maybe their buyers are too old, but whatever, this Janice episode showed the rest of the world what I already know, Virgin ain't cool. First they pick this girl Niki, who I met before when managing a small Boutique in Hollywood, to put together the "fashion show". One time, when Niki come into my store (she was a particularly annoying stylist), she mentioned doing a pilot for the style network. I thought "yeah right, she is too dumb and unattractive to be in TV", yet obviously I was wrong. She did end up on TV... as cannon fodder for Janice Dickenson! I found it super funny to see Janice read her the riot act and tell her she was not competent. I don't think I've ever seen someone so humiliated on a reality show... no really. Her ideas were crap too, the "kiss my ass" move on the runway, how corny is that? But, to be fair, she was just delivering the kind of tacky "rock n' roll" crap that Virgin embodies. Maybe she was doing her job just right. The real chump is that Virgin corporate guy who was with her. Man you think you are a rocker working in the record industry? Your a corporate pussy and you sell crap clothes to yuppies. I've seen this guy around in the real world too. He's too chicken to talk to anyone.

Yeah, the Virgin fashion sucks. Take a band shirt, make it one color ink and all distressed, screen it on a hot pink shirt, and slap a $40 price tag on it. Put it on, get your ass laughed at when you go to "rawk out" you stupid dick.

Biting the hand the fed - another one: Tower Records, I read this today, filed for bankruptcy again. Some analysts say this might mean closing the stores and liquidation. Hell yes!

I realize I did not write about horror movies much this post, but I did write about the industry - you know, store and sluts and shit. I am going to post another mostly non-horror entry about stars' gift bags at film festivals and the like. I think it is relevant, so look forward to that.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

could Visitor Q have saved JonBenet Ramsey's family?

Family life in America is a mess. Family life in Japan, as shown by Takashi Miike's Visitor Q, is far more nurturing. Sure it has it's rough spots, the first 3/4 of this movie plays out like part of Katsuya Matsumura's All Night Long series, but in the end the family comes together. The members show compassion for each other. The son plans to resume his studies. Such is not the case for the family of the late JonBenet Ramsey. She is dead, and whether or not John Mark Karr in Bangkok did the deed or not, it is her family who killed her. Their American ideals were perverted as they paraded the little girl about on the stage. Their family home videos are more sickening than the any video in Visitor Q, (the movie is shot on video - and contains lots of video footage taken by the father in the family - it may be the best shot-on-video movie ever made) yet some people think that those dress-up pageants are magical. Patsy Ramsey is dead and it is no surprise. Murderers always get theirs in the end. John Ramsey lives. Will he find a way to kill his surviving son Burke? My prediction - there will be another dead Ramsey soon. Visitor Q never visited to "destroy" their family. They could have been saved, but maybe not in America.

If my thoughts on Visitor Q seem incomplete it is only because my Netflix DVD was scratched and I missed a few scenes. Speaking of missing, some of the "Snakes on the Brain" video was supposed to show on CBS news tonight, but it was bumped due to Ramsey family news. Was the truth spoken during the broadcast? Not likely. John Mark Karr takes the focus of off the real issues. Americans, look to the Yamazaki family in Visitor Q to find the ways to turn your home life around.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mausoleum (1983) was at Grindhouse, Snakes reminder, and The Tooth Fairy DVD from Anchor Bay

1. Grindhouse was last night in L.A., Mausoleum and Lamberto Bava's Demons - I skipped out before Demons, I've watched it too many times. Mausoleum (only on DVD in Europe) was pretty funny. Star Bobbie Bresee was there and her husband brought the print which was being shown for the second time ever. She was surprised there was any interest in the film, but of course there was - show was close to sold out. Bresee still looks great and gave out FREE signed photos. We appreciated that kind of generosity and admire her principles as she told us she does not ever charge for autographs.

The movies features John Carl Buechler make-up. The movie most famous for it's creature with small biting monster heads for boobs.

Before the movie Adam Trash prepared a trailer real with some real sleaze like Scavengers and This Stuff'll Kill Ya!, as well as the Pussycat Theater intro to the feature film from the now defunct porno theater chain.

2. Snakes on a Plane - remember the "
Snakes on the Brain" video.

3. On TV Sunday night, the
William Shatner roast that I just reviewed.

4. The Tooth Fairy (2006)

Ok, remember the crap fest Darkness Falls (2003) that was in the theaters a few years ago. What a piece of shit. Similarities between that movie and this one? Well the new Tooth Fairy runs by and chops off a guy's dick and balls with one quick swing of the hatchet - then we see these organs lying in the grass. Wait... that is a difference between the two movies. I don't think the Tooth Fairy in Darkness Falls even had a hatchet - and she flew or some shit.

This new direct-to-DVD Tooth Fairy film has got a little bit of everything for everyone. Sometimes it's for the kids, or so it seems. Friendly ghosts pop-on screen and off, with a "ping" sound. There is much dialogue about Harry Potter. I don't know why that stuff is in there, but it's kind of amusing in a "you just don't that in a movie these days" way. There are some night scenes that are obviously filmed in the day. I thought that technique had not been used for 20 years! But don't get me wrong, this movie is not amateur hour. The picture is sharp as shit and production values are high. The special effects, mostly make-up and heavy gore, as well as the silly ghost pop-ons I mentioned earlier, all look respectable. It's the script that I had trouble with. Not the overall story, but little bits here and there that are minor, but significant enough to explain why this movie is not playing in a theater near you.

I was frustrated by an early scene where the female leads complains about the state of the recently renovated bed and breakfast. The male lead says something to the extent of "In a week it will look great". Problem? It already looks beautiful and immaculate. If I was the director I'd have changed those lines write there on the set. I'd have fixed things on the fly when the the lines didn't match up with the scenery.

Two fake-out scares in this movie really don't work. I don't like these kind of scares ever, but these two are delivered in an especially poor manor. One is when a girl turns a corner on the porch and comes across - shock - another character lifting weights. The other is when we see someone creeping in the yard and our male protagonist asleep. Boom, he turns around... and his girlfriend is getting into bed with him. These sound like ordinary examples of lame fake-out scares, but no. They fail in ways that I can't describe completely, but are ways that have to do with pacing and camera placement problems. These scares fall flat due to awful execution, not just bad ideas.

Yet on the whole, veteran TV director Chuck Bowman paints a beautiful picture. Aesthetically this movie is often impressive and on the whole enjoyable. Cub and I argued about whether the plot and characters were intentionally cheesy. Initially I though not, but towards the end I got the impression that this movie is intended to be all about fun. Recommended.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I was at "Roast of William Shatner" - to air Sunday on Comedy Central - warning, this post contains filth

Last night I attended the roast of William Shatner (Visiting Hours, Kingdom of the Spiders, Incubus) and I must say it was every bit as vulgar as the Pamela Anderson show from last year. Gay jokes abound, as Sulu, George Takei, came out of the closet recently. You would swear at times that the is the George Takie roast - on the mic, Takie is absolutely hilarious.

Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, was on hand to be the victim of many black jokes. Her speech was somewhat... drunken, but more coherent than the strange delivery by Farrah Fawcett. It will be interesting to see how these things play out when edited for TV.

The event went on for quite a while. I was by far the grubbiest guest, but managed to be seated at a great table near the front and may even be in crowd shouts, who knows. My table-mates were certainly be shown as they were drinking heavily and therefor laughing their asses of at everything. This makes for good reaction shots. By the way, there was free liquor for most, though I do not drink.

Jason Alexander was the host. Biggest crowd reactions came from Shatner's speech, obviously, and Betty White, who got a standing ovation. Andy Dick's act did not work for me. It was by far the most elaborate, as he was dressed as a Vulcan and had the captain's log. He claimed to really be Andy "Kock", a combination of Kirk and Spock as he told the tale of their gay love. He said Shatner shit him out in an alley in downtown Los Angeles. Some of the jokes that killed the crowd were actually the cleaner ones. For example, something like, "Betty White has been on TV so long that when she was on a gameshow, the prize was fire." People loved the old fashioned bad jokes, though Lisa Lampanelli, saved for last, was hilarious while very mean and crude. I'd wondered why all the other comedians were so mean to her throughout the show, saying she was a horse, a donkey, a man at a urinal (I think Betty White said that!), and full of bling in her vagina from all the black cocks that went in there.

More stars show up in video vignettes - they were not there - which saved there assess from getting roasted by the comedians as it seems anyone on the stage is fair game. In fact anyone in the crowd was fair game, Carrie Fisher, Seven of Nine, some young actor in a cowboy hat, anyone. I look forward to seeing this on TV, the show was great, and I am a big Shatner fan. Nerds take not: I may not have told you enough details, but the Captain's chair from the enterprise was Shatner's seat on stage and there was a Tribble there as well.

My biggest spoiler for nerds, Clint Howard (Ice Cream Man, 1995) in a video vignette where he reprises the role he played as a kid on classic Trek, Balok the evil ruling baby. Now he is elderly and still mean and drunk. This shit is funny, no doubt.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

coffee drinking mania 2 fuels my defense of Rick Sloane - Hobgoblins (1988), Visitants (1987)

First you say, why is there a need to defend director Rick Sloane? From what? From the nerd militia, the Mystery Science Theater fans and their "witty" leaders - the twats. Evidently this interview ran on MST3K - or it is a piece of fan fiction, how the fuck should I know, I don't watch that show - and I would not put it past these fans to write lame fan fiction starring their favorite characters - the twats.

Reason 2, Hobgoblins sits on the
imdb bottom 100 at #48. Why, cause the bots said it should be there. All of the early user comments read like "I saw the version on MST3K, the only version anyone should watch..."! There you go, they rate it one star ("7 stars for MST3K version, oh those bots...") and then it's on the charts for people to Netflix it with low expectations.

Problem, Hobgoblins rocks. The puppets are awesome and only a few steps down from The Ghoulies. Also, it is funny. Sure the movie has it's quirky problems, Rick Sloane, the writer as well, was responsible for Visitants (not on DVD) - a comedy that was unable to deliver a single funny moment, but Hobgoblins is miles better than Visitants. For one, Hobgoblins humor is all about sex. For two, the characters is Hobgoblins, while stereotypes, are consistent and funny - Visitants did not succeed in that respect. For three, Hobgoblins is not boring and boring is what the bottom 100 should really be about. The biggest crime of all is to be boring and forgettable, a true waste of time.

By the way, there is a
MST3K fanboy messageboard that is named The Mind of Rick Sloane. When I checked it out today there were 16 viewers, that's 15 dorks and me. Get me out of there!

I truly hope some MTT3K fans find this post and try to gang up on me as the whole lot shares one brain. Fuck you all.

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This is the 3rd post in a row I've written on Hobgoblins. We will now be taking a break from the subject of Hobgoblins and Rick Sloane, but let it be known, this movie is fun. It was directed, written, edited, and produced by Rick Sloane, so all respect is given to Rick Sloane.

Friday, August 11, 2006

where are the Hobgoblins now? also, I get pissed once more about those who rip on everything that is not a big budget studio picture...

So the Retromedia DVD intro to Rick Sloane's Hobgoblins, features a drive-in segment by Fred Olen Ray (yes, of Scalps fame and a clip from Alien Within/Evil Spawn is shown) where a girl frenches with of the Hobgoblin puppets from the movie. What the hell? This means the Hobgoblins could still be out there - and they are the only necessary ingredient to making another Hobgoblins movie. Who owns them? Does "creature fabricator" Kenneth J. Hall (the guy who wrote Puppet Master, directed Evil Spawn, and helped operate the Ghoulies) have them? Could I rent them? Or did Charles Band steal them and auction them off on his road show?

If the Hobgoblins are sitting in an old film vault, gathering dust, then I say we free them for another go round, this time with more dirty sex. I'll put up the money for this!

By the way, you may have guessed, most Hobgoblins detractors are from the lame Mystery Science Theater crowd... who only like big budget sci-fi and superhero movies - and they are obsessive dorks about these things. Always critics, they would never make their own shit, for fear of ridicule from their own kind. Check this quote from an MST3K fan online, doing what he does best, bitching about the release of Simpson's boxsets that do not have matching artwork.

"But DVD collectors prefer consistency to progress, and the Mystery Science Theater 3000 series has been a lesson in consistency so far that Fox Home Entertainment for instance should do well to emulate: the latest two volumes in Fox’s Simpsons DVD box sets are so completely different to previous ones that fans raised quite an outcry and rightly so: just how are the latest box sets supposed to look nestled to the previous ones on my DVD shelf?"

Who gives a shit what your collection looks like?! You stupid fanboys will never contribute shit to the world of film, bad or good. Just waste your life and watch the same Star Wars movies over and over.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

976-SCAG, Reputation Road, Club Scum, etc...

Snakes on a Plane countdown... see the "Snakes on the Brain" video to prepare...

So I intend to write a defense of the badly maligned director Rick Sloane. I watched Visitants. I hated it. I watched Hobgoblins. I loved it. I've got the tape for Movie House Massacre and accidentally bought the Blood Theater DVD, not knowing it was the same movie. Do I really have to watch this again? I remember not enjoying it. My defense will be based on Visitants and Hobgoblins alone as I'm also not too familiar with his Vice Academy series. Still, I can state with passion that this guy should not be hated, and what's more, I think hating Hobgoblins is part of a snobbish trend. You know who I'm going to blame. Hopefully I'll write this soon. If it's the last thing I'll ever write, I'll put in a good word for the Hobgoblins!

Monday, August 07, 2006

mind blowin' lion-head and exploding Indian head will fuck you up in Scalps (1983)

Things are not going well for all of us in Hollywood this week. Some of my friends are having trouble and today troubles started for me. I won't use this blog to air my personal dirty laundry, not yet, but for now will look to films as an escape, and will imerse myself in the study of this art form.

Scalps is the rare movie where the first half is better than the second half. Everything done to set up the mood here in the movie is fascinating and hypnotic. The first few scenes (after an early kill), where characters are introduced and there is light hearted banter, are set to ominous droning music creating a perhaps unintended, but disturbing effect. I think the composer may not have written any normal music for this movie and just delivered a shit load of creepy synth stuff. Well you have to pad the scenes with some music and this stuff worked out in the most interesting way.

Into the dessert go a bunch of college archeologists who of course pay no heed to the old Indian at the truck stop and his many warnings. At 1/4 of the way into the movie you'll think you've discovered a cinematic masterpiece. All the visuals omens of evil to come are fuckin beautifully shot and erie as hell. I love the disembodied Indian head with no eyes and the lion man, pictured in my
last entry, wow. Sadly, after the first slashing and scalping - a fantastic one I'll admit - it's like the movie stops trying. I know that the movie was probably not shot in chronological order scene by scene, but there is a general feel of a decline in quality as the movie rolls by.

I know there were budget constraints. For example, lighting problems that prohibited shooting at night. Only the campfire scenes are shot against black. When they cut to other scenes happening at the same time, well, it's pretty obvious that these were shot in the daytime and no matter how much I try to suspend disbelief, this sucks.

There is graphic violence in this movie, but most of the kills and the action don't live up to the epic imagery that sets this movie up... unfortunately... for a big fall. I still recommend Scalps, for it's beautiful moments. Some say it's the best movie Fred Olen Ray ever directed. It's definitely his best that I've seen.

"I feel bored like all the time, 'cause there is like nothing to do," that's what the kids are saying - read about what is up

I read this wicked relevant article in the paper this morning. It's about media today (the film industry, TV, myspace, ipods, whatever) and the target demographic made up of teens, particularly teenage boys. Those in the industry might know all this stuff, but it's a good overview, a good summary, of the state of the world.

Way behind the times is me with my vhs horror library and my next review will be of a movie recently released as a restored DVD. Here is an image (thank you CULT cinema) I found of a scene that particularly blew my mind. Can you guess the movie? I've got this on tape, but I'm not one of the lucky collectors to have the double-feature big box version from Continental Video, packaged with The Slayer. That is your hint. I'll post a review later today.

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The face moves too, the lip curls, it's not just some rubber head. That's some far out shit!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Lady in the Water vs. Project: Metalbeast

"Snakes on the Brain", the video - It's from the Snakes on a Plane soundtrack and full of chicks and snakes. I gotta make sure every one of my readers watches that video - now for the review...

Just because my new review of Lady in the Water is more topical (you can still catch it before it fades from the theaters), that is not excuse to skip
my review of the completely irrelevant Project: Metalbeast from 1995. After all, much has been written about Lady, there is even a book about its troubled production that hit the shelves before the film's opening weekend. Project: Metalbeast, there is hardly anything about that movie out there, so read this blog and learn.

As for Lady, I've heard about crowds mocking it openly in the theater, people walking out during the first 15 minutes, I've heard it all, but I think it's a case of copycat hate. The movie is not that bad. It's not super-bad. In context I was certainly ready to hate it, especially after reading M. Night Shyamalan's boasts about how he is a bankable success. I don't like big Hollywood egos and I don't like the self-serving bits of this film. Shyamalan casting himself as a prophet, that was a bad call. The evil critic, that's a little to obvious of a dig at Shyamalan's enemies. Still the movie is not too bad for a fantasy movie, most of witch are pretty cornball. The NeverEnding Story, Flight of the Navigator, Legend, those are all pretty neat in some ways and full of good visuals, but the stories are nothing magical to anyone other than a kid. Lady in the Water has its share of bad writing, but it's got some sympathetic characters and a pretty good setting - the movie never leaves the apartment complex and that's great. Unfortunately Lady opens with a lame legend illustrated by crude cave-painting style animation. Add to that the media's negative bias towards this film and you will have an audience not open to accepting some of the good stuff that comes later.

And there is more bad with the good, I admit it. The wolf-like villain is made up of spiny blades of grass, like quills, shades of the "creatures" in The Village. Towards the end of Lady a trio of grass gorillas shows up, they too are porcupine-like. I'm am not sure why Shyamalan is hung up on quill-like attributes. Here I draw parallels to Project: Metalbeast as it's werewolf also sports a tuft of metallic quills at the back of the neck - and for no better of a reason than do the grass animals in Lady. I'm not saying the Shyamalan was influenced was by Metalbeast, but I'm not saying that he wasn't. One can find inspiration anywhere, and it's all the more impressive if found in something ignored or dismissed by anyone else - Project: Metalbeast - or Lady in the Water - or even in the Cookbook, the book Shyamalan's character in Lady is writing. It's prophesied that it will save future generations, put an end to hypocrisy, and bring peace to the Middle East.... aww what I'm I saying, this shit is lame. Like how my imaginative tales of the bunny world just annoy my fiancé Shylamalan's bed time stories makes the audience puke. Let's just stick to slashers and films about death cults, the dream is dead.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

pounding nails into the coffin that contains 90's horror - Project: Metalbeast (1995) Prism Pictures

Snakes on a Plane? 'Snakes on the Brain' the music video is getting talked about right now. Also, check out the high-resolution quicktime versions.

nails into the coffin...

Everything is coming out on DVD these days, right? Wrong! While there is no telling what obscure 70's or 80's gem will be the next to get the full treatment with a special edition DVD (you know, interviews with the surprised directors and stars who can't even remember the movie), there ain't nobody putting out DVDs of the 90's crap that killed horror dead. Nobody wants to see this stuff and it's legacy only lives on in the form of sci-fi channel made for TV garbage. I take that back, something like The Cave (2005) might be in vein of this movie, Project: Metalbeast, but I don't think anyone actually went to see the cave. Everything that is hip now is 70's or 80's based. The stuff that's a little less hip (and started to garner negative reviews) is late 90's Sixth Sense-based or a copy of turn of millennium Japanese stuff. 1995 and its legacy? That was not a good year for horror and it won't be remembered.

Two names you will recognize in the Project: Metalbeast credits. The first is Kane Hodder as the Metalbeast and stunt coordinator. The 2nd is special FX man John Carl Buechler who does deliver one excellent effect in this movie when the creature is shown in a half transformed state, split down the middle. Half of the face is human and half is wolf. Buechler's other Metalbeast FX are ok, but he has much more impressive stuff on his resume: Ghoulies, From Beyond, Nightmare 4, Bride of Re-Animator, Troll, and Cellar Dweller - the last 2 of which he also directed. Buechler did not direct this movie, it is directed by one Alessandro De Gaetano, of which little is know.

Project: Metalbeast is thinly strung together story-wise in order to incorporate a handful of action scenes, a hero, a villain, and of course to explain the reason for the creation of a werewolf with metal skin. The backstory is not adequate (although it is given a fifteen minute plus intro) and the actions and motives of the villain are not consistent and can be even contradictory. He fears that the Metalbeast will remember his human past, then why did he jog it's memory. He enjoys the beast's suffering, then why does he order it be given painkillers. He wants this beast created, then why does he arm himself with silver bullets to do it in? Sure, one can say that motives change over time, but all development in this movie is far to sudden and if you dare to put together all the elements of this man's 30 year master plan, you'll get a big question mark.

For a deep, deep, look into the meaning of Project: Metalbeast we must look at ethics and the medical profession, but more specifically we can explore a new philosophy espoused by the female lead. The traditional view is that life leaves the body at death, but as her cadaver (the man who becomes Metalbeast) begins to show signs of life and consciousness, she wonders weather life lies dormant in the body after death and can then reclaim itself at a future time. Of course, we know more than her and are aware that this man has been cryogenically frozen and was always destined by the powers that be to be reanimated. It is the removal of three silver bullets from his chest, that which made his werewolf self dormant, along with the routine unfreezing, that allows for the showing of his vital signs. The new philosophy presented by the Metalbeast writers is not supported by the plot.

The writing does support a development that may be a first for films in the genre. Early scenes in the movie show Barry Bostwick examining, under a magnifying glass, the dates on a collection of coins. One later realizes the significance of this action, as he is ascertaining as to whether or not the coins are made of silver, suitable for silver bullets. Of course silver bullets are routinely constructed in werewolf movies, but in this movie the premise is taken to the next level with the on-screen molding of silver bazooka shells. Use of these shells is unfortunately not consistent, as one penetrates the Metalbeast's leg as an arrow would, while another shot that hits dead-on, explodes - liquefying the Metalbeast. The final image before the credits role is intended to be haunting, as a scrap of the Metalbeast's skin, by itself on the laboratory floor, begins to pulsate with the apparent life-force from within. The life-force has clearly chosen to assert itself at this point, but who is left to watch it do so?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

you can see the "Snakes on the Brain" video from Snakes on a Plane now!

Remember I wrote about this fifty posts in a row. Well the video has had on on-line premier today at and there is gossip column about it written by Jeanne Wolf. The video that will play on their site in flash so it loads quick and easy, but if you want a higher resolution version or want to see Larry's older Captain Ahab videos, get the quicktime files at

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I don't know who took this picture, I have a bunch of pictures on my hardrive for making the website, but this is a great picture and it shows the dancing girls from the video. The girl in the orange shorts is our roommate. In between her and the girl in the red thong (the one who is in the video the most), you can see little blonde-haired Cub peeking out. Hopefully you recognize her from the reoccurring 'Cub Speaks' column in this blog, if not, you have not been reading 150 Days of Sodom enough. Don't go reading our old reviews now, they suck, but stay tuned for the future and better writing.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I ain't giving them my money... fuck sunset and the tourists looking to see the cast of jackass rockin' out to cover bands

I know this is not supposed to be the blog of shit I did not do right, but here we go again...

Down at the Key Club it was like "the show is almost sold out and the rest of the tickets are gonna be $30", so we split, but who the fuck wouldn't? Thor is coming around again next month to the Knitting Factory and there won't be any of this Sunset Strip rip-off bullshit being pulled at that venue.