Formerly "Dave's Blog About Movies and Such"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Awesome Movie Trailers: Sssssss (1973)

dir. Bernard L. Kowalski

A fun movie with what many may think to be one of the worst titles in movie history. How the fuck do you tell someone you wanna see this? Or how do you ask for it at a store? (I know, I know, video stores are a thing of the past. Humor me.) Which is probably why this trailer's narrator repeats a few times: "Don't say it; hiss it: sssssss." I'm sure that never got old for the bored ticket-takers at the drive-in's and grindhouses where this movie played.

Not looking up from the trashy novel she was reading, the woman behind the counter would dispassionately ask the young movie-goer, "What movie would you like to see?"

To which the young man would invariably grin—thinking he was the first to attempt (what he considered) a clever (but ultimately very creepy) pick-up attempt—flick his tongue suggestively and hiss.

"I wish I was dead."

[The trailer:]

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Awesome Movie Trailers: Policewomen (1974)

dir. Lee Frost

This fun piece of female-cop-vs-female-baddies exploitation almost, but not quite, achieves Jack Hill levels of awesomeness. What it it lacks in Hill's poetic trash dialogue, it makes up for in lots of tits (though, none in the trailer, of course).

[The trailer:]

Monday, July 25, 2011

You're Welcome, Hollywood: Manitou in Blue

[Intro: Ain't nothing original anymore. But that ain't news. Movie-wise, all we get anymore are sequels, remakes, adaptations, and fanboy-pandering genre mash-ups. Your Tree of Life's and Black Swan's still get released, to be sure, but it's damn hard to get a picture made nowadays what ain't pre-sold. Like most movie addicts, I've bemoaned this trend toward predictability for quite some time. I've realized, however, that I've been going at it all wrong. I shouldn't try to fight an unstoppable tidal wave; I'll just get all drowneded and shit. Nay, I should embrace our decline—embrace it in my own way.

Hence this weekly series in which I present you with a remake/mash-up idea combining two movies that most modern movie-goers have either never heard of or no longer care about. That's right; each week, I attempt to sell a pre-sold movie that ain't pre-sold at all.]

For this week's entry, I propose Manitou in Blue: a remake/mash-up of the brilliant, seventies, downer cop movie Electra Glide in Blue (director James William Guercio's sole effort—and the first movie I ever reviewed on the blog, so you've been warned. Honestly, I probably shouldn't have even linked to my piece.); and William Girdler's phenomenally batshit, Native-American themed, supernatural horror flick The Manitou (not the first thing I ever reviewed on the blog—so less puke-inducing writing).

The Story: Susan, a young go-getter climbing her way up the corporate ladder, is concerned when she notices a penis-shaped lump on her upper-back. Swimsuit season is nigh at hand and an unsightly growth such as this will just not do. She meets with her doctor about a diagnosis and is perturbed to discover that she can not have the growth removed because it is the fetus of a Native American shaman, the Manitou, and any disruption to it will rip a whole in the fabric of the space-time continuum—or at the very least, create a pain-in-the-ass-to-clean blizzard in the hospital.

Her doctor attempts to find an explantion for the Manitou, "Have you done any strenuous defaming-of-Native-American-artifacts lately?"

Susan thinks on it for a moment, "Not that I know of. I bought some cigars for my husband last week. There was a wooden Indian in the store that I bumped into, but aside from that, I can't think of anything."

"No, no, that couldn't be it. That wouldn't explain this. Hmm."

"I can't remember anything else."

Flashback: A teenage Susan cavorts with her drunken friends through an ancient Indian burial ground.

The sauced Susan exclaims, "Being young is great. I love not having a care in the world."

Her friend Tobias adds, "I know. Things will never be like this again. I can't wait to get older and wistfully look back on our misspent youth."

Something catches Susan's eye. "Hey, guys, see that sacred Indian Chief skull sitting over there on that pedestal—the one with the 'Warning: This is a sacred Indian Chief skull; do not under any circumstance, piss in it' sign? We should totally make a skull-bong out of it...and then take turns pissing in it."


Photo montage set to The Cars' "Good Times Roll": The kids take their time crafting a kickass skull-bong out of the Indian Skull. After getting good and high from rips on the Indian-chief-skull skull-bong (did I mention, they desecrated the Indian Chief's skull to make their skull-bong?), the kids take turns pissing in it. Then they make a huge poster stating "Fuck the Indians," in front of which they get their sepia-tone picture taken.

Back to the present: "Yeah, doctor, I can't think of anything."

The growth on Susan's back continues to grow until finally the Manitou emerges, penis first, from Susan's back. After he kills Susan, and then hunts and kills all her friends—the ones who took part in defacing the Indian-chief skull those many years prior (remember how I mentioned this before?)—the Manitou makes a declaration, "I'm gonna join the force so I can make sure no other no-good kids can do such things in the future."

The Manitou goes through police training and eventually, after graduating from the academy, is handed a shit-post patrolling the highway with a dimwitted buddy. The Manitou doesn't let this get him down, however. Sure he loses interest in his stated goal—avenging his spirit fathers by giving no-good kids what for—but he makes the best of his situation. The Manitou performs his job admirably. Turning in great work, he hopes to achieve a new goal: getting lots of "attaboy" recognition from the higher ups, in the hopes that this will get him fast-tracked toward becoming a detective.

Mostly, though, the Manitou just uses his supernatural powers to write tickets extra fast for kids going over the speed limit. Take that, rebellious youth.

Manitou in Blue: Holy shit, look at how jacked DeVito got for this role; we should give him an award.

[Electra Glide in Blue (1973) trailer:]

[The Manitou (1978) trailer:]

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Greater Good Blogathon: Goodbye, The Graduate

[This piece is part of A Life in Equinox's Greater Good Blogathon.]

The aim of A Life in Equinox's Greater Good Blogathan: Pick one movie and It's-a-Wonderful-Life it (yeah, I just made It's a Wonderful Life a verb; what you gonna do 'bout it?). That's right, I must give a reason to erase one movie from the history books, make it all never been born and shit. I have said many times before that no matter how wrong, bad, or inconsequential-seeming a movie, it has worth for at least one person. Who am I to be arbiter over this shit? Everything's relative. One person's shit is another person's gold. Saying that one movie is so wrong, bad, or inconsequential, it should be removed from existence seems a tad douchey.

All that being said—knowing that whatever I pick, my deeply ingrained sense of guilt would forever torture me for destroying the beloved movie of another, no matter how little said movie may mean to me—I decided to go another route: I'm gonna go ahead and jump on the hand-grenade and destroy a movie that means a lot to me. I'll sacrifice my precious for the greater good. That's right, I'm gonna It's-a-Wonderful-Life The Graduate.

The Movie I Destroyed: The Graduate. Let me explain: As I've said many times on this blog, I was a movie-lover from a very early age. Of course, throughout most of my childhood, I watched a lot (I mean a whole lot) of movies for no other reason than that it was better than not watching movies. Sure, I loved the flicks, but, being young, I got not much more out of them than: "Me like that." Movies were a great babysitter. When I saw The Graduate for the first time, however, that changed.

Let me elaborate: Growing up, I was lucky to have a cool Uncle (he wrote this review of Mulholland Drive on my blog a while back) who was well-versed, film-wise, and who introduced my siblings and me to all score of classic pictures (Casablanca, Hitchcok, Billy Wilder, and whole lots of other stuff). After he showed us The Graduate, I thought: "I enjoyed that; it was pretty weird but I liked it." Sensing we didn't get much out of it, he went on to explain that the movie was more than just the story. All that "weirdness" I shrugged at had a purpose. The director (Mike Nichols) and the cinematographer (Robert L. Surtees) created a distinct visual motif for the entire film—a fishbowl. Yes, whenever Dustin Hoffman's Benjamin Braddock was on screen, he was framed in such a way that it looked as if he was in a fishbowl, trapped, unable to move beyond a certain restricted perimeter. This motif was in aide of the stifling-suburbia theme. At that age, Braddock, and many other young'uns, may feel that their choices are limitless; but they soon come to realize, as they get older, that they really don't have much choice at all. Whether explicitly or not, everything is decided for them—whether by the class, race, social standing, or what have you, that one is born into. Even when Ben and Elaine escape in the end, seemingly triumphant, they are framed in the final shot by the rear window of a city bus. The fishbowl again. Still no choice. They will merely repeat the lives lived by their parents.

I don't know if I fully grasped all those themes and whatnot and everything—felt it all on an emotional level, I mean—but I was still floored that there was more to the movie than just the movie. Yes, as I said before, by the time I saw The Graduate, I had a lot under my belt, movie-watching-wise (I doubt many other folks in my generation had numerous Abbott and Costello routines memorized by the age of ten), but I had no idea that there was more to movies than just interesting stuff happening—that there was more beneath the surface.

Were it not for the revelation I experienced with The Graduate, I likely would have continued to see film as nothing more than a fun diversion—nothing to get serious about. But The Graduate changed me.

My Intended Outcome: Instead of plunging full-force into the lonely world of movie-geekism/writing, I would have followed a more fulfilling vocation and settled down with a loving wife, with whom I birthed a couple of lovely children.

The Actual Result: I would most likely have just been exposed to another gateway-drug movie, sending me on the same track.

[The trailer:]

Friday, July 22, 2011

Awesome Movie Trailers: The Loved One (1965)

dir. Tony Richardson

As any regular reader of my blog is aware: If there's one thing I like, it's getting a freebie after the tenth hole is punched in my "frequent rub and tug" card*; if there are two things I like, it's that first thing, and also trailers that use dialogue sparingly. Thankfully, the below-embedded trailer for Tony Richardson's The Loved One satisfies one of those things I like. Although this trailer may be a little too sixties-wacky for some folks' tastes, I think it advertises Richardson's film admirably. By the way, if ever there was an underappreciated old gem in need of a rediscovery and reevaluation, it is this dark-humored, mid-sixties, who’s-who-in-the-comedy-world-as-well-as-memorable-character-actor-starring gem. As its tagline proudly states The Loved One is "a motion picture with something to offend Everyone!" Of course, my guess is that the studio added this tagline less out of boastfulness than for ass-covering reasons: "Hey, folks, if you're easily offended, don't come to this movie; you've been plenty warned."

*(Not to point out the extremely obvious, but I don't do anything illegal like frequent happy-ending massage parlors. If anyone's offering a freebie, however, I can't say that I'd object. Honestly, though, as I get older and am cursed by the double-whammy of a waning libido, and a continually shittening back; I would be far more interested in an actual massage than a tug on the ol' John Thomas. By the way, I think I may have broken a record here for the amount of times hand-jobs were mentioned in a piece on The Loved One. Hooray for me.)

[The trailer:]

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Great Dick Cavett Interviews

Seeing as I had another old-interview craving I decided to see what Dick Cavett interviews I could find on the internet, and, lo and behold, I found that youtube had pretty much an entire early-seventies episode featuring Robert Altman, Mel Brooks, Peter Bogdanovich, and Frank Capra. I am a sucker for director panel discussions such as these, and this one does not disappoint.

Although I loves the Dick Cavett, I haven't seen nearly enough of his show. Truth be told, most of the clips I've seen have been from random retrospective type things. I'm definitely gonna make a point, though, to seek out some more Cavett and watch more full episodes. I just really dig the fact that—because of his slew of controversial guests—the show was regarded as edgy at the time, when Cavett himself was basically Xanax in a suit.

Annoyingly, the opening interview with Robert Altman—my favorite segment—wasn't embeddable, but here is the link.

Here is the rest of the show:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You're Welcome, Hollywood: Earth Girls Are Easy

[Intro: Ain't nothing original anymore. But that ain't news. Movie-wise, all we get anymore are sequels, remakes, adaptations, and fanboy-pandering genre mash-ups. Your Tree of Life's and Black Swan's still get released, to be sure, but it's damn hard to get a picture made nowadays what ain't pre-sold. Like most movie addicts, I've bemoaned this trend toward predictability for quite some time. I've realized, however, that I've been going at it all wrong. I shouldn't try to fight an unstoppable tidal wave; I'll just get all drowneded and shit. Nay, I should embrace our decline—embrace it in my own way.

Hence this weekly series in which I present you with a remake/mash-up idea combining two movies that most modern movie-goers have either never heard of or no longer care about. That's right; each week, I attempt to sell a pre-sold movie that ain't pre-sold at all.]

For this week's entry, I propose Earth Girls Are Easy: a pro-abstinence-propaganda remake/mash-up of Aleksandr Dovzhenko's silent, Soviet ode to collectivism, Earth; and Julien Temple's breezy, eighties, fish-out-of-water, intergalactic sex farce, Earth Girls Are Easy.

The Story: Natalya, a thirty-something farm gal, lives a contented life with her loving, supportive parents on their sprawling Midwestern farm. She does everything a decent American gal should: pray, farm, pray, and, most importantly, not engage in dirty, dirty pre-marital sex. Things are soon thrown askew, however, when a trio of furry aliens crash-lands in the backyard swimming hole. She aids the aliens—grooming them and whatnot—preparing them to enter respectable chaste society.

But she can not overcome her urges. Yes, upon seeing the sight of the freshly shorn, hunky-farm-hand-looking creatures, she gives in to her carnal appetites and begs them to have a four-way. They object, saying that they don't have time for any hanky panky. They're just passing through, you see; and as soon as they repair their ship, they'll be on their way. She agrees, apologizes, and invites the aliens in for tea. Yeah, sure, they'll have some tea; that sounds right nice.

Unfortunately for the aliens, it is all a ruse. Natalya takes the opportunity to surreptitiously drug their tea with a potent horse tranquilizer/cialis combo—moments later, using the passed-out aliens' wooden, medicated boners to get herself off. After waking and realizing that they've been taken advantage of by the salacious farm gal, the aliens decide that they should go to the authorities and report the crime. They meet the sheriff and explain the situation. But no use is it, as the sheriff don't cotton to their sexy kind: "Now you boys and your sexiness don't fit in our clean town. Getting our women-folk all riled up—it's unseemly is what it is."

"But, like I said before, we didn't have a choice. We were drugged."

"Passed out or not, it's inexcusable. You best be on your way. Can I interest you in some tea?"

The head alien eagerly replies, "Why yes, that's mighty kind of you."

After waking again from a horse-tranquilizer/cialis haze, and discovering himself and his friends in the bed of the sheriff, the head alien addresses his compatriots, “Really? Again? We fell for this again?”

The satisfied sheriff turns to his equally satisfied wife, both tsk-tsking in disapproval at the groggy aliens, “Sinful, sinful creatures," before addressing the aliens, "How much do we owe you?"

The aliens vow that it will be the last time they fall for the cunning ways of small town folks...that is, before waking up, in turn, in the respective beds of the town lawyer, the town chiropodist, the town mayor, three ombudsmen, and the dogcatcher—with two of his dogs (my apologies for going there).

The head alien comes to terms with enough being enough. It's either get the town folks to stop drugging them or stop accepting their offers for tea, and that second option ain't no option at all; no one can say no to tea. The aliens gather all the folks in the town square, and the head alien makes a terse declaration, "People of Earth, stop using our alien cocks as your own personal playthings. We're very busy. Seriously, we have shit to do."

When the aliens do eventually manage to fix their spaceship, and it is apparent that they will be leaving for good, the farm community grows outraged that the alien Others had used their sexiness to brainwash the good, wholesome town-folks into making sex to them. The farm folks band together to do away with the creatures but good. When the aliens leave—as they were already doing, anyway—the town-folk claim victory. The farm town returns to its previous wholesome (freakishly repressed) ways. All is right again.

Also, for no reason at all, there will be a twenty minute scene in the middle of the movie of a wheat thresher threshing wheat. You want a reason? Fuck you. How's that for a reason.

Earth Girls Are Easy: You enjoy sex? You're wrong.

[An untranslated clip from Earth (1930):]

[Earth Girls Are Easy (1988) trailer:]

Monday, July 18, 2011

No Country for Old Men: You know, for Kids

[Although it may seem somewhat similar to my "You're Welcome, Hollywood" series, this fake poster is actually part of a LAMB photoshop contest. The task: Produce a poster for an R-rated movie as if it were a children's movie. I have chosen, as you can see, the Coen brothers' masterpiece No Country for Old Men.]

The Story: Two kids come to the aid of Anton, a kindly man who has just been injured in a car crash. As the two young'uns come to realize, Anton is actually a wish-granting genie—in place of a lamp, a magic quarter. In return for their help, Anton offers the kids an opportunity in the form of a coin toss. If they guess correctly, he will give them everything...everything they ever wanted. The two guess correctly and, without a moment's hesitation, wish for a world full of no adults. Anton grumbles about being wished out of existence, but, nevertheless, grants them said wish.

The kids do everything they ever wanted; they eat everything they ever wanted; they go everywhere they ever wanted. They have no curfew, no rules, no responsibilities. Everything seems fine until, one day, an altercation erupts between the two. No possibilities for a peaceful solution exist. It is at this point that the two rue their no-adults wish. "If only we had kept the adults here with their well-established, civilized society—with its attendant law enforcement and legal precedents—we could come to a mutually satisfactory resolution," one of the kids exclaims. It is at this point that he awakens, and everything is revealed to have been a horrible, horrible dream. The kid wonders why his dream would contain such an adult kind of life lesson, and his dad begins to explain, only to be cut short by the closing credits. The screenwriter heaves a huge sigh of relief: "Whew, glad I don't have to wrap that up."

No Country for Old Men: No Adults Allowed.

[Actual trailer for the real No Country for Old Men:]

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vintage Coen Brothers Interview

I love finding old interviews with my favorite filmmakers, done when they were but wee, fresh-faced young'uns (I guess I like to be constantly reminded of the passage of time and my own fading youth and whatnot), so I was pretty happy when I found this interview with the Coen brothers circa the time of Blood Simple's release. I'm sure most folks aren't of the same opinion, but I really dig Coen brothers interviews—mostly because they aren't what most people would consider riveting interviews. Yes, they've made some of the most consistently brilliant movies of their generation, but they're still just a couple of low-key, charmingly awkward nerds. (This is not meant as an insult, by the way; I'm sure my nerdy self'd be the same way in an interview.) My only complaint with this particular interview: too damn short.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Stop Stealing from Me

Chalk it up to naivete, I s'pose. I ain't the smartest one, technology-wise, so it was with shock and flattery (but mostly shock) that I discovered numerous sites have been posting my material without permission. Yes, yes, I'm happy you think my shit is good enough to steal, but seriously, stop stealing from me. It goes without saying, I guess, that if you're reading this on a site that isn't, it's not my site and you should leave there and come to my site, (Note: When I started my blog, I gave permission to BlogDance to use my feed, but that's the only rss/xml news-reader site I've done that with.)

I was able to contact most of the sites who were using my material, but one group eluded me. A bunch of sites with different names—but seemingly run by the same person (listed only as DME)—had no contact info, so I have resorted to posting this childish rant with the purpose of hopefully shaming the person in charge of those sites into complying. I included below a sample screenshot of a DME site that has been using my feed without permission. (If you're reading this post on one of those sites, it probably looks like a Russian nesting doll right now.) Anyway, I'd kindly appreciate it if you stopped tooking from me (or at least asked my permission in the future).

(Again, as I've said before, I'm really naive when it comes to technology and whatnot, so I don't know if this kind of shit is standard operating procedure when it comes to blogging. It's probably legal, for all I know. I just say all this as a common courtesy kind of thing: Ask my permission before posting my shit—or, at the very least, credit me and link to my site.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Swamp Women (1956)

dir. Roger Corman

I feel too many of my reviews of late have this same kind of intro, yet I'll go through the motions yet again: Yeah, I was falling asleep while watching this unremarkable, early Roger Corman picture and don't remember much of what happened aside from people doing things and the movie taking place in a location or two. Basically, from what I kinda, sorta remembered, a group of female cons breaks out of prison, goes to a swamp in search of diamonds (why not), takes a young couple hostage (I think the girlfriend dies at some point), tries to have some sexy time with the man, and then they get caught. One of the cons tries to steal the money, I think (I also think she gets killed by the others); and, if I remember correctly, another one attempts to run off with the hunk. Blabbity blah blah blah.

Anyway, now that that's out of the way, I just wanna tell you how much I love public domain flicks. You see, I saw Swamp Women because it was included on one of those cheap-as-fucking-hell public domain packages, which also included 23 other disreputable flicks. The theme of this set: Girls Gone Bad. I've actually already reviewed a couple other movies from this set (The Violent Years and Jail Bait). Because of Netflix, I no longer have a reason to buy DVD's but, bargain hunter that I am—especially lately, given my financial situation—I can never resist a good deal. So much movie for so little money. Win win.

Dave's Rating:

Monday, July 11, 2011

You're Welcome, Hollywood: Winter Lights

[Intro: Ain't nothing original anymore. But that ain't news. Movie-wise, all we get anymore are sequels, remakes, adaptations, and fanboy-pandering genre mash-ups. Your Tree of Life's and Black Swan's still get released, to be sure, but it's damn hard to get a picture made nowadays what ain't pre-sold. Like most movie addicts, I've bemoaned this trend toward predictability for quite some time. I've realized, however, that I've been going at it all wrong. I shouldn't try to fight an unstoppable tidal wave; I'll just get all drowneded and shit. Nay, I should embrace our decline—embrace it in my own way.

Hence this weekly series in which I present you with a remake/mash-up idea combining two movies that most modern movie-goers have either never heard of or no longer care about. That's right; each week, I attempt to sell a pre-sold movie that ain't pre-sold at all.]

For this week's entry, I propose the Kevin James vehicle Winter Lights: a remake/mash-up of the dour, ruminative middle film in Ingmar Bergman's "Silence of God" trilogy, Winter Light; and Charlie Chaplin's romantic, poignant, tear-jerker comedy masterpiece, City Lights.*

The Story: Kyle, an underpaid fast-food employee, falls madly in love with Gertrude, a woman who lost her sight at a young age in a rare farting accident. Through a tumultuous courtship (the sightless Gertrude inadvertently hits Kyle in the balls a lot), the two form a special bond—Kyle promising the world to her. After watching a news program celebrating a revolutionary new medical breakthrough that would grant his beloved her sight, Kyle is overjoyed that he can at last give his Gertrude the greatest gift of all: a ShamWow! (there was a commercial for it)...oh yeah, and also eyesight; she'd love that.

There's only one problem: He ain't got the scratch to pay for the eyesight procedure. Not that Gertrude is aware of his shortcomings—financial-wise. You see, when he met Gertrude, Kyle kinda, sorta, almost, a little bit, told her he was a hedge-fund manager with super deep pockets. [Sound of record scratching.] Ruh roh. Rather than tell her the truth, however, Kyle discovers a way to make enough money to pay for her procedure: lots and lots of back-alley hand jobs. Before being carted off to the pen for multiple counts of prostitution, Kyle wires a doctor the money necessary for Gertrude's procedure (that's how medical transactions work, right?).

Cut to: One to three years later, Gertrude is a new woman; Kyle is a shell of his former self. Too ashamed of what's become of himself, he vows never to see the love of his life again. He will let his beloved live with the memory of his selfless act/undying love. He comes to this decision while—as fate would have it—walking past the window of Gertrude's new scarf shop. Upon seeing Gertrude in the window, Kyle is taken aback. Stunned, the breath sucked out of him, he stares longingly at her. Gertrude, upset that a strange creep is leering at her, decides to give him the heave-ho but good. As soon as her palm makes violent contact with Kyle's sad cheek, she is awash in recognition. She knows the feel of this face. It cannot be; it must be; it is...(gasp)

It's Kyle, the man who loved her, who gave her her sight. She can also see now that Kyle is not the hedge-fund manager he had led her to believe, but a lowly wage-slave. Distraught and overcome with the shame of having let a commoner near her, Gertrude berates Kyle, forbidding him any future contact—a fact set in stone with her eventual restraining order.

Kyle soon books a one-way ticket on the express train to Depression-ville. Nothing can pull him out; booze, pills, whores: none of it works. He decides to find refuge in his home town, kneeling before the bent-ear of his childhood friend Brian—now a priest in the middle of a crisis of faith. Kyle lets loose: He tells of his story, his love and rejection. Little comfort Brian brings, however. He reminds Kyle that Gertrude had every right to be upset: Kyle did, after all, lie to her all that time about who he was, how he made a living. What else, she probably thought, did he lie about? What was true; what wasn't? Did she even know him? It was a colossal breach of trust. Falling in love with him under false pretenses nullified the entire affair. But Kyle counters that all he did, he did because he loved her. Nothing else should have mattered.

Somehow or another (probably because this is where Brian's thoughts are wont to go to of late) the two begin a three hour discussion of man's cruelty to man; of the nature of humanity; of the place individual suffering occupies in the grand scheme of things; of the impartial, uncaring nature of the universe; of the extent to which everyone is ultimately alone; of the meaningless of it all...all before having a nice cup of tea and watching their stories (they do love their stories).

The distraught Kyle thanks the Priest for the tea and returns to the guest room—his home for the foreseeable future. Upon entering, Kyle looks his sad reflection up and down in the full length mirror, whereupon he sees in the background, nestled between the bed and the nightstand, a brand new double barrel shotgun. Kyle moves in close, caresses the weapon, and open-mouth kisses the barrel, his right-foot big toe playfully fingering the trigger, until—**

Winter Lights: Watch Kevin James act the shit out of this shit.

*(You know it has to happen eventually; it’s only a matter of time before he gets the itch. Following in the footsteps of other successful funnymen—Adam Sandler (Punch Drunk Love), Jim Carrey (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Zach Galifianakis (It's Kind of a Funny Story)—Kevin James will at some point, undoubtedly, wash off the clown face and apply the actor face for an extremely important, brave attempt at a serious role designed to show off his acting chops get an Oscar nomination. Not that he would ever resort to starring in this kind of movie, of course.)

**(Holy shit, this got dark. Perhaps I went too far. My apologies. Here's a box full of puppies to make up for all that.)

[City Lights (1931) trailer:]

[Winter Light (1963) trailer:]

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Friday, Everyone

Hope you happen upon a happening that freaks you out as much as this swinging shindig from Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

[Warning: NSFW boobies up ahead.]

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

You're Welcome, Hollywood: Ernest Goes to Wolf Creek

[I just wanna apologize right off the bat for the creepiness of this poster. It didn't really occur to me, when choosing this particular Ernest photo, that it would look fucking terrifying as fuck when placed in the context of the No Country for Old Men poster. Jesus fucking Christ, I'm gonna have nightmares. Live and learn.

Also, before anyone points out the obvious: I'm well aware that I'm stretching by including Wolf Creek in this feature, in that it is still a relatively bankable title (a sequel is in the works). What can I say, I've had Australian flicks on the brain lately.]

[Intro: Ain't nothing original anymore. But that ain't news. Movie-wise, all we get anymore are sequels, remakes, adaptations, and fanboy-pandering genre mash-ups. Your Tree of Life's and Black Swan's still get released, to be sure, but it's damn hard to get a picture made nowadays what ain't pre-sold. Like most movie addicts, I've bemoaned this trend toward predictability for quite some time. I've realized, however, that I've been going at it all wrong. I shouldn't try to fight an unstoppable tidal wave; I'll just get all drowneded and shit. Nay, I should embrace our decline—embrace it in my own way.

Hence this weekly series in which I present you with a remake/mash-up idea combining two movies that most modern movie-goers have either never heard of or no longer care about. That's right; each week, I attempt to sell a pre-sold movie that ain't pre-sold at all.]

For this week's entry, I present you with Ernest Goes to Wolf Creek: a remake/mash-up of lowest common denominator Ernest movies, and the terrifying Australian slasher flick Wolf Creek.

The Plot: Sure, Ernest actor Jim Varney may have passed on, but Hollywood's never let a roadblock like that get in the way of cashing in on a surefire moneymaker. Using the latest in CGI technology, Ernest Goes to Wolf Creek will resurrect Varney's most lovable character for yet another wacky adventure. (Also, inexplicably, Ernest will be holding a can of TaB and a Dirt Devil vacuum in every scene.)

Ernest drives a school bus full of rowdy miscreants through the Australian outback. When a prank by one of the kids lands the bus off the road, it's up to Ernest to find some help so as to get his bus all towed and fixed and back on the road so that he can keep driving the pranksterish kids intent on keeping him from continuing to drive to their destination—summer camp. When Ernest happens upon a kindly outbackian, it seems that all will be well…that is until the man starts hunting Ernest for sport. Ernest must outwit the outbackian, but needn’t worry Ernest; every time it seems that the outbackian has him, Ernest fumbles in a colossally stupid way that ends up benefiting him somehow. And the outbackian gets hit in the nuts a lot. But yeah, everyone gets killed.

Ernest Goes to Wolf Creek: The gritty Ernest reboot no one asked for and less people wanted.

[A random Ernest clip from the movie—ah, who gives a shit:]

[Wolf Creek trailer:]

Monday, July 4, 2011

Eyes Without a Face (1960)

dir. Georges Franju

[My apologies right off the bat. Internet has been fucking with me and so I didn't think I'd be able to post anything. (Internet, why do you hate me so; I do not hate you.) When internet started kinda sorta almost working again, I dashed off this piece and posted it. Yeah, it's not the greatest thing I've written, but what are you gonna do. Address all your complaints to Time Warner Cable.]

Why didn't I make a double feature of last week's Jail Bait and this week's Eyes Without a Face? Oh yeah, that's right, I didn't know anything about either movie before I watched them. That's why I didn't do that. What a coincidence, anyway, that I randomly decided to tackle two plastic surgery themed flicks one week right after another. Which one is the better movie; Which would top the bill of a double feature; Which is the more accomplished: The movie Ed Wood whiskey-shitted and forgot to flush, or Georges Franju's accomplished, haunting French horror picture? (You see, being French and all automatically classes the shit out of a movie.) Hmm, so hard to say.

I should point out that although I didn't know anything about Franju's picture going into it, I have been well aware of its existence for quite some time. Indeed, like many another orphaned flick, it's been sitting near the top of my Netflix queue for God knows how long. I don't know why I've avoided it. I s'pose I just had more important movies to watch. Who knows.

Anyway, Eyes Without a Face threw me for a loop. Released soon after the watershed year of the French New Wave (1959)—a movement to which Franju did not belong—Eyes Without a Face exhibits the same indebtedness to American genre films. The exception here being, of course, that Franju's film, absent the experimental markers of the New Wavists, could almost (emphasis on almost) pass as an American Horror film of the type William Castle trafficked in—one of the differences being that Franju upped the gore quotient (and yeah, as mentioned before, being French and all, it's like classier and shit).

Dr. Genessier (Pierre Brasseur) is a man with a mission. That mission: kidnap young women, cut off their faces and attach said faces to the visage of his disfigured daughter Christiane (Edith Scob) so that she can venture into the outside world again and live a normal life...well, that is, if it wasn't for the fact that the Dr. fibbed to the coroner, stating that one of the random victims was his daughter. That…actually, that pretty much sums up the plot. Although, as I’ve already stated, Franju’s film bears a resemblance to American drive-in fare, it is, also as stated before, French and stuff, so artier and such.

One final note: why do all movie doctors and scientists gotta be mad? Sure, Dr. Genessier commits his horrific crimes because of his love for his daughter, but he is still of a piece with the sick science fuckers in other flicks who think nothing of toying with the helpless humans at their disposal. Maybe that's one of the reasons so many folks have such a suspicion of learned and science-minded individuals: movies have tried to teach us that they're all a bunch of sick fucking assholes. But I digress.

Anyway, Eyes Without a Face is really good.

[The trailer:]

Dave's Rating: