Saturday, November 29, 2008

3B Theater Update!

A quick post to let you all know that I have a new review for Death Laid an Egg, Guilio Questi's oddball ode to murder and chicken-farming, over at the old website. Brazen and brash, the film is a total Jedi-Mind@#%k on both the audience and on the gialli genre in general. Please check it out, and let me know what you think.

Thanks!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We (Don't) Got Wood.

Man, first they get there sorry asses swept -- again! -- in the playoffs, and now they announced they're not going to re-sign Kerry Wood.

I saw him throw a 3-2 yacker once to Todd Helton from the Rockpile at Coors Field that made my knees buckle a half-a-mile away. Helton never had a chance. And I know the guy had his detractors, but speaking frankly, they're [expletive deleted]ing morons -- who never struck out twenty guys in one ball game while allowing no walks and one hit that on any other day could have been an error, or tried to win more than fifteen games in a season with a collection of Molotov cocktails in the bullpen.


Screw them. And screw the Cubs.

I'm done.

So long Woody.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Crystal Lynn, 1961-1978

I remember clearly the day my sister died:

November 7, 1978.

She was 17 years old. A senior.

It was a Tuesday. Evening.

I remember the day my sister died because I was the one who first answered the door when the Adams County S
heriff's deputy showed up with my Uncle Harry in tow.
I remember opening the door after the heavy knock, the doorbell long broken. The deputy was looking at his shoes, or maybe inspecting the cement floor of the garage. Uncle Harry looked odd, flushed. Maybe out of breath. He didn't look at me or say anything as he lead the deputy up the steps a
nd inside. Sensing something was wrong, I beat a hasty, back-pedaling retreat, bumping into my mother who also came to the door to see who it was.

As I faded into the background, Uncle Harry took my mom firmly by the shoulders, said something I couldn't quite make out, then "Sue" -- he always called her Sue, her middle name, instead of Sandy, "Chris is dead."


She died in a two car collision. Gravel road. Blind corner. No stop signs. No yield signs. No fault.

One dead
.

Then my mother screamed. No moment of hesitation, no pause or moment to let it sink in, what she'd heard. She just screamed. At first guttural, then a mournful wail that seemed fueled from somewhere harsh and bottomless, then collapsed into her brother's arms and began beating him on the back with her fists, raging against whatever power that decided to kick our family in the teeth again. It had been a horrible twelve months for my clan. A year earlier, after a freak accident, my father went to the hospital and never came back. Too much blood thinner followed by too much coagulant sent a clot rocketing through his system until it got stuck and fried his brain. The machines kept him alive for a few more days, then the decision was made to turn them off. He left behind a wife and five children, two sisters and three brothers. Chris was the oldest sibling, I was the youngest; seven going on eight at the time I opened that door. As the screaming continued unabated, frightened, unable to process the scene properly, I continued my clumsy retreat, to get away from that awful, awful noise. Out of the kitchen, through the living room, down the long hallway to the back bathroom where I slammed the door and collapsed back against it, hands clamped over my ears, slouching, contracting and curling into a really small rock.

Not again.

But the noise wouldn't stop no matter how hard I wanted it to go away.

I don't remember who found me, or when or how. It's gone. Blocked. The next thing I remember was our house was suddenly inundated with weeping relatives and cousins who looked at me funny. I also made the mistake of watching the evening news and saw footage of Chris's flattened Oldsmobile; a grotesque cartoon caricature of a crushed auto straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon. It was a decision I still regret making to this very day.

Looking back over the intervening thirty years, speaking frankly, it's been a tough go. The best way to describe my family in one word is volatile. And if you wanted to use two words: Highly volatile. Teetering on the brink when dad died, Chris's untimely death sent us into a tailspin that it never recovered from. Lots of simmering sibling animosity, survivor's guilt, and self-loathing led to eruptions of violence that were just waiting for an excuse, any excuse to detonate; threats, abuse and ugly confrontations, followed by, and made infinitely worse by, a strange silence and a sense that if we just ignored what just happened, a macabre game of let's pretend, then it must not have happened at all. Right? Or worse yet, accepting or taking the blame or fault for everything, and I mean everything, in a wrong-headed approach to keep the uneasy peace.

Blessed are the peacemakers, right?

Bullshit. We're a cursed and repressed lot.

But it worked, sort of. Cyclical in nature, our passive-aggressiveness, it wasn't long before the fires got stoked up, tempers flared, and people got hurt again.

But you took it. You took the lumps and buried the scars, emotional and physical, and buried them deep, and you soldiered on. Why? For a mother who tried so hard to keep things together and "normal." So much so that she made a bad situation infinitely worse by her actions and, more often, inaction. And worse yet, using the "family guilt" to try and keep things together for nothing more than an appearance of normalcy.

I try not to blame her for this. Some days it's hard. Some days I'm proud of her, others I felt like I've been thrown under a bus.

Sad; but that's just the way it was, and still is.
I'm sure our story isn't an isolated one. Tragedy is not exclusive. And I'm no saint in this story. I bear as much fault, real fault, as anyone else. Things have scabbed over pretty good over the years, but too much picking and tearing have left some permanent damage. In the end, we fake it good most times, the whole family thing. In fact, I'd say we got it down to a science.

But in all honesty, it wasn't just my sister who died thirty years ago, today.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tune-Age Tuesdays: Cartoon Groovies...

"Jabberjaw" performed by Pain:


"Yogi Bear" performed by High School Jim:

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Need a Laugh? Here ya go:

The Secret Wars Re-Enactment Society.


Yeah, I know that's been around forever and a day. I don't care -- it still cracks me up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In Memoriam: Neal Hefti 1922-2008

Composer Neal Hefti passed away last week. Hefti, a native of Hastings, NE, my old hometown, was an old school big-band swinger who played and composed for the likes of Harry James and Charlie Spivak. Despite this pedigree, most people only know that Hefti was the one who penned the highly obnoxious but very memorable theme to the old Batman TV show, but few also realize he also composed the theme to The Odd Couple. However, it was Hefti's penchant for forlorn horns and trippy guitar solos for the theme of a criminally overlooked western called Duel at Diablo that I've had stuck in my head since I heard the word that he was no longer with us.

Rest in Peace, sir.

The Theme from Duel at Diablo (with lyrics):


The Instrumental Version:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What the Hell?!? Jaws The Revenge

So I got together with some friends the other night for an evening of beer and movies and general steam venting after another collective crappy week. The theme for the evening was Franchise Killers, and first up was JAWS IV a/k/a JAWS the Revenge -- a film I hadn't seen since I forked over at the Box Office, and as the DVD reached the absolutely hilarious climax where the shark jumps out of the water and is harpooned on the end of the boat, vomits up a copious amount of blood, until the boat breaks apart, and then our latest rendition of Bruce -- a/k/a the Shark that Roared -- slowly sinks beneath the waves, fade to happy ending etc. etc. etc...I put my beer down and braced myself for the high hilarity. Roar, baby. Roar!

So, imagine my surprise when THIS happened instead:


What the hell?!? Did that shark just f@#%ing explode?!? Did I miss the part where they nitro-tipped the boat? What? Was that a rare strain of Great White: Carcharodon carcharias goboomski.
Did she blow it up with her brain? Oh. My. God. And Shit on stick. I call SHENNANIGANS!! on the whole damn thing.

This is what the original ending looked like (I apologize for the quality; best I could find):


What? did they think the explodey shark was a better ending than that? For shame, Universal. Shame the hell on you.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

YouTube Finds: Scream Bloody Murder!

Here we go, our first adventure into online public domain films. First up, here's an awesome piece of vintage '70s sleaze better known as Scream Bloody Murder, that I stumbled upon while prowling around YouTube looking for old trailers. It's just your typical story of a young boy who got his arm tore off in a bulldozer accident who grows up into a homicidal maniac -- that is, until he runs into a hooker with a heart of gold, and things start to get a little weird when the nut-job with a hook for a hand tries to woo her away from her life of sin. *sniff* Ahhhhh. E'yup, man, you can smell the urine emanating right off the screen!

It's broken down into several parts, so I'll just supply a direct link to Part One (of Nine) and let you decide if you wanna press on any further.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tuneage Tuesdays: Guilty Pleasures.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Moody Blues:





No. That's extremely catchy pretentious crap, pilgrim.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Trailer Park Fridays: Sinister Soul Cinema!

A quick tribute to the great William Marshall.

Blacula:


Scream, Blacula Scream:


And as a bonus, here's the trailer for Abby, the blaxpo version of the Excorcist:

Monday, September 29, 2008

Picture Monday: The Towering Inferno Screencap

"I don't know. Maybe they oughta just leave it the way it is.
Kind of a shrine to all the bullshit in the world."

The Towering Inferno was my cinematic introduction to Paul Newman. Not exactly the most classiest role, and most certainly not the best in his storied career (-- and for the record, judging by what I've seen, I think that honor belongs to Hud), but it will always be one of my favorites: an Über-talented architect, well aware of his culpability, but doesn't shirk his responsibilities, who bucks the muckety-mucks and meets the problem head on and with the throttle wide open.

Rest in peace, good sir.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Trailer Park Friday: Noir, and Neo-Noir

The Killers. Hemingway. Siodmak. Siegel. One author. One story. Two directors. One style. Two completely different films.

First up, the 1946 version:


Next, the 1964 version (and check out whose playing the dastardly villain.):

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In Memoriam: Julius Carry (1952-2008)

Julius Carry, a wonderful character actor, passed away today without much fanfare or adulation. The name may not be familiar to a lot of you, but if I throw out Lord Bowler or The Shogun of Harlem it might ring a few more bells to those of us who had the pleasure of watching this man in action as the cranky bounty hunter in the woefully underrated The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. and the bat-shit insane villain in the equally under-ballyhooed The Last Dragon. And those of us who've been around a little longer will even remember him in The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh and The Avenging Disco Godfather.

The man in action. (The Last Dragon.)


Now that's an entrance.

Thanks, Mr. Carry. Your familiar scowl and low-burn grumble and growl will be sorely missed. Sho-nuff.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Picture Monday: Brawndo! The Thirst Mutilator!

(Hang in there, buddy. Help's on the way soon.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Trailer Park Fridays: Theatrical Screenings

Got to thinking the other day about theatrical screenings. Why? Well, this year has been kind of an aberration for me, movie-seeing wise, with an all out blitz of actual movie theater attendance. With the likes of Iron Man, The Hulk, Wall-E, Indy 4 and an anniversary screening of Animal House all out in '08, I've found myself at the cinemaplex more this year than the past five years combined very easily. A combination of non-comfort -- a man of my tonnage and cup-holders do not get along all that well, general audience behavior, a second-shift profession, and if we're going to be honest, nothing really turning my crank enough to get my fat-ass into those little seats for a weekend matinée, kept me at home waiting for the DVD, but lately, thanks to a new daily matinee policy, lower prices, thinner crowds, and a few pounds off my butt, have gotten me back into the movie-going habit of my youth. Which got me to thinking about what movie from my misspent youth had I paid to see the most times at a theater. And here's what I came up with to the best of my recollection.

Coming in at number three:

At least seven times (actually a tie with Jurassic Park* but I like this movie better). And this is kinda of recent entry, but this movie made me laugh so hard and made me feel so good after each screening, that I just had to see it again and again, and I kept dragging more and more different people with me to spread the happy hillbilly bumpkin viral hootenanny joy-gasm that this wonderful film is.

Coming in at number two:

Easily nine times. Between the hard-top run and the recirculation through the local Drive-In, it seems that one whole summer, after legion baseball practice, a whole herd of us went and saw this Hal Needham ode to high-octane and celebrity cameos. (And I know it isn't the trailer because I couldn't find a theatrical trailer.)

And the film that I saw the most times in the theater is...

..ass a whopping 14 times. "Aw, Ray, the sponges moved about a foot and half."

Now I know these numbers may be small, but when you consider that for the first twenty or so years of my life the nearest theater was thirty miles away, I think I did pretty good because there a big lump of films that were viewed at least five or six times. And now that I think of it, I've completely lost track of how many times I saw Harry and the Hendersons one summer, but it was a lot. Sucker for Bigfoot am I.

* Frankly, I'm not sure if the seventh time I saw Jurassic Park counts, because I saw it during the 39th week of a 53 week run at the Starship 9 Dollar Theater and the print was so mangled about a third of the film was missing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tune-Age Tuesdays: The Big E

Ladies and Gentlemen, the King.

Promised Land:


American Trilogy.


I'm sorry. Excuse me, just gotta little something in my eye.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Picture Monday: Birthday Boy!

Ah, B-Fest. Happy birthday, pal!
(C'mon The Blue Bird of Happiness wasn't that bad.)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Trailer Park Fridays: Mad, Mad, Mad Muppets

This is pilfered from another thread over on the BMMB about recasting movies with nothing but Jim Henson's Muppets. Personally, I chimed in with It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Muppet World, and here's how I thought the cast would shake out:

Spencer Tracy (Culpepper) ... Steve Martin (Token Human)

Milton Berle (Finch) ... Kermit
Dorothy Provine (Emaline) ... Annie Sue
Ethel Merman (Mrs. Marcus) ... Miss Piggy
Sid Caeser (Melville) ... Gonzo
Eddie Adams (Monica) ... Camilla
Mickey Rooney (Dingy) ... Rowlf
Buddy Hackett (Benjy) ... Fozzie
Jonathan Winters (Pike) ... Animal
Jimmy Durante (The Smiler) ... Dr. Teeth
Dick Shawn (Sylvester Marcus) ... Link Heartthrob
Terry Thomas (Hawthorne) ... The Swedish Chef
Phil Silvers (Otto) ... Rizzo the Rat
Marvin Kaplan (Irwin) ... Bunson
Arnold Stang (Ray) ... Beeker

Don Knotts (Motorist) ... Lew Zealand
Peter Falk (Cabbie) ... Floyd
Eddie Anderson (Cabbie) ... Zoot
Jim Backus (Fitzgerald) ... Snookums
Paul Ford (Col. Wilburforce) ... Sam the Eagle
Carl Reiner (Air Traffic Controller) ... Scooter
Jesse White (Air Traffic Controller) ... Pops
Three Stooges (Firemen) .. Grover, Harry Monster, Cookie Monster
Jack Benny (Motorist) ... Oscar the Grouch

And here's the trailer for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World:


And the only trailer I could find for the Muppets was this:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tune-Age Tuesdays: Movie Themes!

Here's a tune that is almost guaranteed to bring out the Solid Gold Dancer in just about anyone.



A full write-up and review of Moon Zero Two will be posted over on Micro-Brewed Reviews just as soon as I burn out the urge to replay that clip and stop dancing. Now, if you'll excuse me...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Picture Mondays: 1941 Screen Cap.

"I don't think you're gonna hit him, Ward."
-- Angelo Sciolli, 1941

Friday, August 01, 2008

Trailer Park Friday: Outlaw Bikers!

First up a film that is a helluva lot better than its title would imply.

Werewolves on Wheels:


I'm serious, it's not that bad!

Next, we have a film that is no where near as good as its title would imply.

Satan's Sadists:


How could this possibly be bad? Two words: Al and Adamson.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tune-Age Tuesdays!

"Rock and Roll!!!!!"



For those uninitiated, that was Guitar Wolf's cover of "Rumble."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quote of the Week:


"My cat's breath smells like my other cat's butt."

-- Osco Sean

Friday, July 25, 2008

Trailer Park Fridays

This week, a couple of blasts from two swingin' and swanky 1960's spies and sci-fi epics.

First up, secret-agent Mike Connors tries to foil the nefarious plot of a mad scientist intent on ending mankind and then re-creating it in his own image, literally, in (gotta love this title) Kiss the Girls and Make them Die:



And then we head into outer-space with cranky space-commander Robert Horton whose orbiting satellite has come down with a bad case of The Green Slime:



And since we kinda blew off Tune-Age Tuesdays this week, I'll wrap this up with The Green Slime's groovin' theme song. Enjoy...



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Need Another Laugh?

Here ya go:



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Need a Laugh?

Here ya go:



Go no clue, either. Sorry.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An Open Letter to MLB Commisioner Bud Selig

Dear Bud,

Great game last night, huh? Yeah, I'm still not sure how the N.L. got out of that base loaded, no out jam, either. Crazy, I know! But you wanna know what's even crazier? If Corey Hart's throw from right field had been about six-inches more on target, Jason Moron would have been out at the plate in the bottom of the 15th inning, just sliding under Brian McCann's tag (-- or was that Justin Morneau? ESPN could not confirm this name check, too busy trying to track down Josh Hamilton for an another interview about his former crack-cocaine habit, or were too busy trying to dry-hump the facade of Yankee Stadium...I got conflicting reports, here.)

Yeah, that's right, Bud. They could still be playing. While that wouldn't have bothered me any, as the game was that exciting. Despite Dan Uggla's bad night at second base, defense and pitching were lights-friggin' out, and put on quite a show. And if that throw had been a just a little more on target, my gosh, we could be starting the bottom of the 27th right now.

Now I know you were a little embarrassed by the infamous tie-game a few years back, which started this whole home-field advantage crap being decided by the winner of the All-Star Game, but it almost happened again last night: a grueling extra-inning tie. That'd be almost twice in a span of a little over five years. And since it "counts," there's a chance that this exhibition game is gonna run into these same problems next year, and the year after that etc. etc. etc.

So here's an idea: set a ten-inning limit. That way we don't destroy any pitchers and prevent a few gastrointestinal problems for the managers. And in the case of a tie after ten-innings, the rule should clearly state that Home Field Advantage for the World Series will then be determined by which team has the better record. Now there's a novel idea. And if by some quirk they have the same record, well, Bud, time to flip a coin. National League - heads. American League - tails.

Pretty simple, Bud.

Sincerely, Your Buddy, Chad

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tune-age Tuesdays (7/15)

As you've probably noticed if you've been tuning in for awhile, I'm very big on instros when it comes to music that I like and enjoy. Can't explain it, just the way it is. And here's a couple more courtesy of drummer Sandy Nelson and guitarist Richie Allen.

First up, "Let There Be Drums":



And second,"Teen Beat" -- plus a little eye-candy courtesy of Vargas and the pin-up irregulars:


Picture Monday 7/14

Snakes in a Drain.
No, I don't think the water is supposed to be that color, either. (Note the vintage '77 Kenner Millennium Falcon and the battle damage sustained in The Battle of Bicandabutane-6 back in '81.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Round Beeping Thing.

That's right, the Telstar-One satellite was launched on June 10 back in 1962. So let's all raise a glass in toast to a Round Beeping Thing, and celebrate what could be in store for us in the future and forget for just one day what probably will be our future with a little help from Mr. Joe Meek and The Tornados.



Saturday, July 12, 2008

Trailer Park Fridays (7/11)

Gonna do a little compare and contrast this go around by viewing the domestic and international trailers for the same movie.

First up, the American trailer for Mario Bava's Blood and Black Lace:



And now the French trailer for
Sei donne per l'assassino:



Man, no matter what the language, I truly love that flick.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Flickr Poster Archive Update:

Okay, managed to get a whole butt-load of new poster images uploaded onto Flickr for your viewing pleasure. This time around, we salute and focus on the wide and varied career of Italian (and my personal favorite) filmmaker Mario Bava: Thrillers, mysteries, murder, mayhem, vampires, aliens, alien vampires, westerns, spies, brutes, babes, swords, sandals, knives -- you name it, he filmed it and captured them like no other before or since. And not just the American release posters, either; nope, this update definitely has an international flavor to it.

Please enjoy the brand new Il Mondo Cinematografico di Mario Bava!

And if you're just joining us, feel free to check out my B-Movie Poster Archive.

More to come, including a tribute to American International Pictures, Slashers, and '70s disaster movies. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Need a laugh?

Here ya go:



Damn but if that isn't hilarious.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tuneage Tuesdays (7/8)

Ladies and gentlemen, Screaming Lord Such and the Savages.

Dracula's Daughter:



Jack the Ripper:


Man, that is one thing I really miss the most about the old AMC, the American Pop series and The Scopitones buffers and bumpers. *sigh*

Monday, July 07, 2008

Picture Monday (6/7)

Happy 100th Birthday, Grandma!


The Tally thus far: 5 Children; 19 Grandchildren; 34 Great-grandchildren (and counting) and 6 Great-Great-Grandchildren (and counting.)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Quote of the Week:

"Like my grandfather used to say, "Many things may look bleak at the moment of there occurrence, but at least we ain't got locusts".

-- Sgt. Nick Yemana
(Barney Miller)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tuneage Tuesdays: 7/1

Got into one of those bar arguments that you can only have in a bar after you've been slinging them back for several hours a few weeks ago, and the topic for this heated discussion, actually usurped from nearby table, was "Who was the greatest American Rock and Roll band?" And after giggling at the other table's conclusion that it was either The Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin, my friend Dale and I commenced to comprise a true list of Yankee thunder and twangers. When the dust settled, and it was depressing how hard it was to come up with ten worthy contestants, we were deadlocked on who was number one. Dale thought it was Aerosmith, while I said it was The Ramones. There songs are too short, he said. They hadn't done shit since Permanent Vacation, I said. Dale argued that my choice didn't have enough commercial success, while I argued his band should be penalized several spots -- if not outright banned from the list, for that frakkin' love theme from Armageddon. His foundation weakened, I proceeded to destroy it by saying if we used his criteria of success then the greatest American band ever was either The Monkees or N'Synch.

Game. Set. Match.






Monday, June 30, 2008

Picture Mondays: 6/30

6'4" inches of pure Hex Appeal.

Ms. Haynes was part of Dr. Draculas Den of Living Nightmares, a live midnight spook-show, that toured the mid-west in the '40s and '50s.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cinema Suicide: Wicked, Wicked

I almost killed three people last night: yours truly, and my good friends Mike and Sarah. Now, homicide was not my intention when I went over to their house for an evening of film and booze to shake off a really crappy week at work, but, while screening the first feature of the night, a cinematic anti-masterpiece called Wicked-Wicked that I brought to the party -- you're welcome, we all almost died from acute asphyxiation. I don't know if it was the booze consumed, the anamorphic duo-vision split-screen, the singing talents of Ms. Tiffany Bolling, the bug-eyed organist banging away at her keys, the teleporting actors, atomically powered euphemisms, or the 70's camouflage costumes that blended in with the wallpaper and carpet ("All I can see is a 'stache and mullet!") that helped set the stage for this near-death experience, but the final catalyst was about a thirty-second montage featuring Scott Brady, Cranky Detective, rapidly recapping how the prime murder suspect kneed him in the junk, then jumped out a window, and then drove his car off a cliff in a flash of hilariously rapid-fire, nonsensical edits that had all of us laughing so hard and doubling over, gasping and fighting for air that we all almost died -- so much so that we had to stop the movie for several minutes until our color and breathing returned to normal, allowing us to continue. Fully composed, tears wiped from our eyes, diaphragms aching, we managed to finish the feature, and though we almost had a terminal relapse during the climax with the brilliant return of Scott Brady, Cranky Detective, who probably flunked out of his hostage negotiation training, we all managed to barely survive the experience. Wow.

Folks, I'm telling you, if you haven't had the pleasure of seeing Wicked, Wicked you definitely owe it to yourself to try and track down a copy. It's so wrong, so wonderfully, wonderfully wrong in all the right ways. Just be sure to have some emergency oxygen tanks lying around. Seriously, unless you want the cause of death on the coroners report to read "Death by Misadventure: extremely bat-crap insane movie."



Friday, June 27, 2008

Trailer Park Fridays: 6/27

Managed to catch a David Cronenberg double-feature last night thanks to a quirk in the cable schedule on a couple of pay channels. I never really had an opinion on the guy because, honestly, I hadn't really seen anything done by him (The Dead Zone and The Fly and that was about it), especially his earlier stuff, mostly for the simple fact of lack of opportunity. Now I have, and holy cow, Shivers and Scanners was a whole six-pack of @#%*ed up. And I mean that in an extremely good way. Scanners was gooey and gross, and perverse doesn't even begin to do Shivers justice. I mean, holy crap! The cherry pie! Sweet bajeezus the cherry pie! Anyway, glad to cross another embarrassing gap off the old cinema shortcomings list and looking forward to tracking down Rabid, The Brood, and Videodrome and finally giving them a look, too.

If you're like me, this is what you have to look forward to:

Shivers (1975)


Rabid (1977)


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good and Pissed. And a little scared to boot.

I honestly can't fathom what it would be like to have a job one day, and then not to have one the next. Especially when you've done nothing wrong to deserve this "privilege."

You have a job. You don't have a job.

You've been employed for a month, six-months, a year, five years, ten. Doesn't matter.

Just like that. *snap* Gone.

Seriously. No sign. No warning. Go into the office as usual; say "hi"; settle in and prepare to dig into the day's crap-pile of stuff to get done. Just like yesterday, and the day before that etc. etc. etc. Just another day in paradise, right? But then, you get called into the boss's office. Uncomfortable silence. Hemming, hawing, nose-scratching, and then we get to the inevitable "There's no easy way to put this..."

Welcome to the ranks of the unemployed.

This did not happen to me today. But it did happen to several of my co-workers. Five all told. Three confirmed, and two more owed more to scuttlebutt than anything else. No word. No nothing, just a few empty desks scattered around the building and a lot of tears come five o'clock.

Sure, you wanna get angry -- and rightfully so. What happened in all honesty is wrong, horrible, unfair, and downright unconscionable. @#%*ing-A right it is. It also @#$%ing sucks to the Nth degree. But then there's that nagging voice warning you to stay calm, pal. You could be next. Be happy that you still have a job.

Thanks, inner voice. Like I didn't feel enough guilt already. I'm just one big ball of anger, disillusionment, guilt, shame, and more than a little scared shitless that's threatening to boil over into I don't know what.

But seriously, even if you did lose it, rant and rave, scream, put your foot thru your Mac, pull out your hair, and set the building on fire -- who is that really hurting. I mean: Who do you rant and rave to?

I have no doubt that this batch of unforeseen layoffs are due to some greater mismanagement or incompetence performed way, way up the corporate food chain. One has to wonder: Are they punished or laid off for this, too? Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows.
Bottom line, baby. It's all about the bottom line, no matter what the collateral damage. And I feel it's only get worse, a lot worse, with no sign, at all, of it ever getting better any time soon -- if it all.

What I do know is that five people had jobs today. Tomorrow, the don't.

Today, I have a job. Tomorrow?

Picture Mondays (6/23)

More Inclement Weather:


Seems to be the same disturbing pattern these days. Humid and sultry afternoon, six o'clock a severe thunderstorm warning, six-o-five it's raining and hailing to beat hell, then by six-ten the sun is shining and all is right with the world. Go fig.

Monday, June 23, 2008

In Memorium: George Carlin (1937-2008)

I don't have much to say on this, too hard, so I'll just offer one of my favorite bits:


Friday, June 20, 2008

Trailer Park Friday: 6/20

Sure, you've seen a few Godzilla trailers. Heck, you've probably even seen the original Japanese trailers. We all have. But have you ever seen them in German?

Nope, me neither. So here ya go.

Frankenstein und die Monster Aus Dem All (Destroy all Monsters):



Frankenstein -- Zwekampf der Giganten (War of the Gargantuas):



Frankenstein
? Your guess is as good as mine on that translation. And as an added bonus, here's the Teutonic trailer for Gamera gagen Gaos:



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Health Update.

All good news from the doctor. A "viral" lung infection he called it. Nothing to worry about. And sure enough, the morning of the appointment that I put off and put off I wake up feeling the best I had in about week and half. No lung butter, no rasping and hacking. Figures.

Anyways, Doc Reimers assures me I'm on the downhill side of whatever was coagulating my bronchial passages but just to be safe he prescribed me some anti-biotics and some industrial strength cough syrup that I've affectionately dubbed "The Red Tar." Now, loyal readers of the old review website probably remember that I do not get along well with cold medicine, which led to this conversation with my physician describing my normal reaction to over-the-counter cold remedies:

"Well," I said, "when I took some Alka-Seltzer Plus once it took about two-minutes before my heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest like that thing in Alien. And when I took some Sudafed I got all fidgety and very, very paranoid, which led to the unfortunate K-Mart incident when I was escorted out of the store for accusing a customer of giving me the stink-eye. And since that didn't work, I took some Nyquil which immediately rendered me unconscious for several hours and when I woke up about two hours later I was completely hot-wired and stuck to the ceiling of my bedroom with all twenty fingers and toes embedded in the plaster."

"You might just want to stick with one teaspoon of that, then" the doctor said without batting and eye, handing me the scripts.

Needless to say, I'm getting better -- and I'm very cautious while operating heavy machinery.

Tuneage Tuesdays: 6/17

Ballad of the Hollywood Tough Guys.

First up, Robert Mitchum and and ode to Thunder Road.



And then Clint Eastwood croons a tribute to all the lonely drovers out on the trail with Rowdy.



Pretty damn good, aren't they? (And I'm just as shocked as you are.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Picture Monday: 6/16!

From the Low Deserts of Nevada:
Dry Lake Bed Derby with your Momma's Cadillac.


Oh yeah, there's definitely a story behind that shot.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Trailer Park Fridays: 6/13!

We're gonna do something special today. A tribute to a criminally under-appreciated icon of '70s Sleazoid Cinema, Ms. Tiffany Bolling. Blond, beautiful, and tough as nails, you name it, she's done it genre wise. Don't believe me, then check out these trailers:

Wicked, Wicked (1973)



The Candy Snatchers (1973)



Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)



Okay, okay, fine; so she can't act worth a poop, but I don't care. She is teh awsum!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Under the Weather...

This past winter I went thru one hellish round with the flu and something I like to refer to as "the lingering crud." I beat it then with nothing but OJ and Ibuprofen, though it took nearly two weeks, and I thought I could beat it again when I relapsed this past weekend when my lungs slowly started to coagulate like a couple of sacks of wet cement. Is there anything worse than a summer cold? Bleech. Well, everyday I thought I was getting better, but as soon as I went to bed and lay down, the cement came back and I'd start hacking up this vile, greenish goo. But no doctors for me; no sir. What doesn't kill me, blah blah blah; but then night before last I was having a strange dream. And in that dream I was choking on some dust. And when I woke up, I couldn't breath. No, I wasn't congested; I couldn't breath. At all. As my head pounded and muscles weakened for lack of oxygen, a little voice cried out "breath through your nose, stupid." That helped, and I was able to get just enough air in to dislodge the gloppy obstruction before I freakin' died. Still have it in a soiled hanky. I call it Orpheus. Thinking about having it bronzed.

Anyway, I do have a doctor's appointment scheduled for today. I think this is something more serious than a bad cold or allergies. And a quick Google search on my myriad of symptoms tells me I either have bronchitis -- or congestive heart failure.

Sometimes I really hate the internet.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Futile and Stupid Gesture: Part II

When we last left our heroes back in the Spring of 2007, against all better judgment, they had decided to embark on a two city, two stadium tour to watch and root on the Chicago Cubs -- the team they both had the shared misfortune of rooting for. So this might make more sense if you read this part first.

When it was first announced that Lou Pinella would be taking over the recently terminated Dusty Baker, the small group of baseball enthusiasts I pal around with were already working on the over/under for how many games into the season it would be before "Mt. Lou" erupted. Over his long and storied career as a baseball manager, Sweet Lou has been involved in many memorable outbursts and dust-ups. And when the Cubs stumbled badly out of the gate in '07, floundering and stinking up the bottom of the NL Central, it seemed that the only thing to look forward to was the inevitable explosion from their volatile new manager. At the time, we had hoped the volcano would remain dormant until August when we saw the Cubs play the Rockies. And when that was scuttled, replaced by this new adventure, we hoped the pending blast would at least wait until the weekend of June 2; D-Day for our two day double-header.

Somehow, I got roped into tracking down tickets and hotels for this expedit
ion. (Thanks, Bob.) And after a few panicky online attempts at reservations of several Chicago Hotels, I finally managed to find one way out by O'Hare. Not to worry, Bob said. He'd navigated the L-Trains from the airport to Wrigley Field before -- I typed ominously. We don't call him Scout-Master Bob for nothing, folks. The sidewalk Magellan who has a bad habit of circling several blocks to find a location right next door to the starting point, was to be our navigator. Tickets proved just as tricky. Both of us wanted to sit in the Wrigley Field Bleachers at least once before we died, so bleacher seats it would be. Since it was pretty well into the season, I jumped on the first batch of tickets found on eBay and paid waaay too much money. But, you only live once. What the hell. Matching bleacher seats for Miller Park soon followed, and with horrific mathematical computations on what gas would probably cost us, we were ready to roll.

The plan was to drive to Chicago on Saturday, check into the hotel, and then head downtown for some pizza at Gino's East and then a few beers at the famed Billy Goat Tavern. (Famous for "The Curse" and providing the inspiration for the old Belushi "cheezboiger, cheezeboiger" SNL skit.) Sunday we had a day game, then a tour of several Wrigleyville watering holes where we would probably drown our sorrows over another ugly loss. One more night at the Best Western, then off to Milwaukee on Monday for a night game. And when that concluded, the plan was to head out of town and trust to luck in finding accommodations somewhere between Wisconsin and home when we or the car ran out of gas.

When the big week arrived and we ticked off the final days until our Futile and Stupid Gesture Tour embarked (and man, we need to get T-shirts for that), the Cubs started their annual June Swoon a little earlier than normal. The final two weeks of May had been pretty wretched, even for the Cubs. They had lost five straight and eleven of thirteen by the day before we were to leave. Another game and another loss was pretty much cemented when it happened. No, not Lou losing it. I'm referring to pitcher Carlos Zambrano beating the hell out of his catcher, Michael Barret, in the dugout after giving up a two-run homer. I'm telling ya, it makes a guy wanna start rooting for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Could it get any uglier than that? Well, yeah; it could. But, even as bad as they were, there was still an outside chance we could see Mt. Lou erupt.

This was my eighth trip to Chicago, second to the Friendly Confines, so do the math and most of the trips were in the dead of winter with horrible weather and bitter cold as I sojurned to B-Fest -- a 24 hour bad movie festiv
al. (Details here.) Welcomed sunny skies shone on us all the way, we were making great time, and by the time we hit Illinois and turned onto I-88, we picked up WGN and listened to Ronnie and Pat call the latest series of fiascoes between the chalk lines. The Cubs were losing. Again. To quote Mr. Santo: "Awww, man. Awww. That's just awful..."

But then, what's this -- a rally? No way. But it di
dn't last very long, ending with a real close play at third base when Angel Pagan was thrown out.

And then it happened:



Missed it by one damn day. One DAMN day!!! Bob and I were both incredulous as the spectacle played out on the radio. And as bad
as these guys were stinking it up, the only thing to really look forward to, baseball wise, had already happened. And to make matters worse, it was starting to drizzle -- and it wasn't supposed to stop raining until the middle of the week. Ah well, I hear Gino's has got some great pizza.
One. Damn. Day.

What happens next? Stay tuned for Pizza tails, train rides, biblical rain, and adventures into the bowels of downtown Chicago in A Futile and Stupid Gesture: Part III.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tune-Age Tuesdays: 6/10

Ladies and Gentlemen, Satan's Pilgrims.

Haunted House of Rock:



Burnin' Rubber:



And I really wish I could find a clip of them tearing through the Devil's Punchbowl. Alas, no such luck.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Picture Mondays: 6/9!

"Can you make that out 'To My Favorite Primitive Screw-head?"

Friday, June 06, 2008

Trailer Park Fridays: 6/6!

You see that guy over there? ---- >

That guy is Percy Rodrigues, and it was his deep, dulcet and menacing tones that did more to scare me out of the water than any old mechanical shark ever could back in the '70s.

Jaws (1975)
Directed by: Steven Spielberg Starring: Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw and Bruce the shark.



And just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...


Jaws 2 (1978)
Directed by: Jeanot Szwarc Starring: Roy Schieder, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, and Bruce the shark as Jason Vorhees.



Mr. Rodrigues provided the narration for a lot of trailers; comedies, dramas, it didn't matter, he still scared the beejeebers out of me.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Biblical Weather

Okay, it hasn't been all that bad. But honestly, I can't remember the last quiet night we've had around here when something didn't rumble threw and take a crap on us.
If you click on the picture for a closer look, you'll see those white dots aren't rain, that's hail. A mish-mash of marble to ping-pong sized variety. The latest storm blew in and blew out in less than ten minutes, leaving small drifts of hail in its wake. Gotta love livin' in the Great Plains.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Harvey Korman (1927-2008).

I don't think this clip needs much of a set up:



This one either:



Comedian, straight man, it didn't matter. Thanks for all the laughs, Harvey. Viya con dios.

Tune-age Tuesdays: 6/3

A Special Memorial Tribute to the late Ellas Bates.
But you probably knew him better as Bo Diddley (1928-2008):



From 1966's The Big TNT Show: Bo Diddley, with drummer Clifton James, bassist Roosevelt Jackson, and
the amazing Bo-ettes; Norma-Jean Wofford a/k/a "The Duchess" on the second guitar, Lilly "Bee Bee" Jamieson, and Gloria Morgan.

He left us too soon at the age of 79, and I'll leave you with one of my favorite of his songs that really needs no introduction:



Man it's been a bad week. Can we please stop it with the memorials?!? First Harvey Korman, and now this. Color me massively bummed.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Picture Mondays: 6/2!

No, that's not your creepy uncle Larry, whose breath always smelt like scotch, and cousin Claude, whose general odor was something akin to raspberry Kool-Aid; no, what that is, is a photo I found on the web awhile back featuring one of the oddest of odd couples from the 1970s, nudie filmmaker Russ Meyer and film critic Roger Ebert.

Most folks are probably aware that Ebert wrote the screenplay for one of Mr. Meyer's few forays into major studio territory, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. But did you also know that he penned the scripts for Up! (as Reinhold Timme) and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (as R. Hyde), two more gloriously gonzoid opuses and odes dedicated to large breasted, well-hipped and long-legged women and the violence that surrounded them? Well, now you do -- and knowing is half the battle. I've always liked and respected Mr. Ebert and his opinions. He's always given genre films a fair shake, and this only makes him even that much more cooler in my book.