Friday, May 30, 2008
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Directed by: William Castle Starring: Vincent Price, Carolyn Craig, Elisha Cook Jr., a really unfortunate looking dismembered head, and about seven unwanted guests.
Hurry, click the link or you'll be late for you own funeral!
Well, they don't call him the Poor Man's Hitchcock for nothing. .45 pistols for party favors? Are you kidding? And man, does Carolyn Craig have a set of lungs on her, or what?!? Truly amazing. Speaking of screaming for your life...
13 Ghosts (1960)
Directed by: William Castle Starring: Don Woods, Martin Milner, Jo Morrow, Margaret Hamilton and about 11 unwanted guests -- thirteen if you count the ghostly lion.
Alas, Emergo and Percepto are not included for either trailer. But I'm telling ya, stick with these originals and avoid those tepid remakes from the last decade.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
As a firm believer in the exponential Law of Diminishing Returns on this particular franchise -- hell, I thought he was too old in the Last Crusade, and being totally prepared to take the shoveling face-fulls of the usually high levels of Spielbergian bullshit* during the action scenes, and steeled for whatever Lucas considers as comedy, I felt I was ready for whatever they chucked at me. And for the record, what I saw wasn't all that terrible, just a bit tired and overdrawn -- even the normally thunderous THX fisticuffs were toned down. Sad. But that's what I expected going in. And the only thing that really bugged me was that the much ballyhooed return of Marion Ravenwood was a total bust as Karen Allen was completely wasted from what I got to see. Which brings me back to Les and those "Godless Tornadoes" -- for you see right at about the part when Indy and Co. fought off the Rooskies, the deadly ants, and took a ride over not one, not two, but three treacherous waterfalls (and I'm not even going to get into how he managed to survive an atom bomb detonation), then found the lost city of whatever, was surrounded by natives closing in for the kill, when the film abruptly stopped with about ten to fifteen minutes to go, the lights came up, and the theater manager informed us that sirens were sounding a tornado warning and we had to evacuate the theater immediately because it was headed right for us! (My home is somewhere in the middle of that huge reddish blob on the map.)
Again, the movie wasn't all that bad; it isn't terrible, I just didn't like it all that much and the last few scenes would really have to be something to change the overall verdict. And yeah, I am a little disappointed for missing the ending -- but the scenes of blind panic on some of the theater and mall patrons as they freaked and rushed about was more than worth it, quite a surreal scene -- but I'm not sure if I want to waste my free pass on seeing it again to finish it up. And honestly I don't think I can say anything worse than that. And if for some reason George and Steve-O decide to try their hands at another one, it's time to pull a Roger Moore and turn the reins, bull-whip and fedora over to somebody else, and somebody really, really needs to give them Nathan Fillion's phone number.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
First up, Sheena Easton's Telephone. Only saw bits and pieces of this video back then, no cable in Sticksville, but I definitely like the way the director thinks!
And then Ms. Olivia Newton John, singing the title song from a flick that I really, really, really hope to see at B-Fest some year. Ladies and Gents, from the Two of a Kind soundtrack, a simple Twist of Fate.
Monday, May 26, 2008
From left to right, that's a guy named Paul, the master of ceremonies, then yours truly, and lastly my buddy Bob waiting for the cops to show up as we loiter outside the Grand Theater while waiting for a screening of Animal House back in March of this year. (Half price if you wore a toga -- and I'm always looking for any kind of excuse to wear that hat in public.)
2008 marks the 30th Anniversary of Animal House, and a damn fine film it is. It makes me all nostalgic for my very own "Fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son" consultation with the Dean of Students at old HC when I almost flunked out my freshmen year. Yeah, like I told my friend Mike, who also attended, "I came to a realization a long time ago that no matter how hard I wanted to be Bluto, I know, deep in my heart, I will always be Flounder."
Words to live by.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Big thanks to CultofSuckitude over on the BMMB who brought this to my attention!
Friday, May 23, 2008
Ammazzali tutti e torna solo a/k/a Kill them All and Come Back Alone (1968)
Directed by: Enzo G. Castellari Starring: Frank Wolff, Franco Citti and Chuck Connors as the Lucas McCain's evil twin Clyde
Do the math, and it kind of makes sense.
And I think the audio being out of whack only adds to it, don't you?
And for a second feature, more of the same, but this one probably owes more to Mario Bava than Sergio Leone...
Directed by: Sergio Corbucci Starring: Angel Alvarez, Loredana Nusciak, Eduardo Fajardo, and Franco Nero as Django, who, frankly, could take out the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly without breaking a sweat.
Truly an awesome flick! Check out it as fast as you can.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Night off. Half a bottle of bourbon. And Turner Classic is showing a Rat Pack marathon -- Ocean's 11, Robin and the 7 Hoods and even Sargent's 3, which I haven't seen yet. So I'll be sitting back, putting the feet up, and mixing the drinks on the stiff side as I watch Frank, Dean, Sammy, Pete and Joey do their thing.
Ah, life is good.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
So far I've got a Godzilla set uploaded, dedicated to all those wonderful imports from Toho Studios (with plans for an original posters set to come -- stay tuned), and another for The Planet of the Apes franchise. Also in the works is another batch for American International, another for Roger Corman, B-Movie monsters, Italian slashers, and a lot, lot more.
Still tweaking on the layouts, and those should be available for public viewing -- I don't think Flikr requires you to register anymore to view. If not, it's relatively painless and free. Enjoy.
And as a bonus, more neo-rockabilly from the '80s with The Polecats "Make a Circuit with Me."
Damn that's catchy -- but maybe I should have made that Post-Apocalyptic-Rockabilly. Man that was HUGE in the '80s, remember?
Monday, May 19, 2008
That's my cat.
Her name is Wrigley.
(As in Field, not the gum.)
She's @ 10 years old.
Favorite food: Whatever the hu-man is eating, especially Tostitos or Little Debbie Fruit Pies.
Favorite Hobby: Horking up hair-balls on the bed in the middle of the night just to watch the hu-man scramble for cover.
Most Endearing trait: Toss up between her troubles staying upright whilst cleaning her nethers and an insatiable need to destroy every roll of toilet paper in the universe.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Kind of hits you right [thumps chest] there, don't it. So much so that I'm surprised no one has tried to combine those elements, the Bard by way of Barrows and Brown, into one film yet:
"Hath not a Ro-Man eyes? Hath not a Ro-Man hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same calcinator death-rays, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Hu-Man is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? At what point do these two ideals connect on the graph? Why can this not be in the plan?!? Therefore if we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. We cannot but we must. For if a Ro-Man wrong a Hu-Man, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Hu-Man wrong a Ro-Man, what should his sufferance be by Hu-Man example? Why, revenge; a revenge most indescribable. Fact: the villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. There is no escape from me!"
-- Agent X-J2, "The Merchant of Ro-Man", Act III Scene I
I'm telling ya, it would have been beautiful.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Written and directed by: Luigi Cozzi. Starring: Caroline Munro, Marjoe Gortner, the Hoff, a chemically altered Christopher Plummer, and Joe Spinell as, basically, Ming the Friggin' Merciless.
Behold the Awesomeness! Behold the Delirium!
Behold Ms. Munro in a leather bikini!
Director: Sergio Martino. Starring: Suzy Kendall, and a lot of disposable spam.
Can you spot the psycho-sexual killer? Can you spot anything, really? Man that's murky...(NSFW!!!)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Now some folks might find the surprisingly highly competitive, volatile, and cutthroat world of Arcading snarkily amusing, others kinda pathetic, but to some of us it hit all the right combo-buttons straight into the bonus round -- and it's been a long, long time since I cheered that hard at the conclusion of movie. And it was also, actually, highly educational, too. I had no idea what a kill screen was, but I had experienced one and didn't even know it. At least I think I did...
Back around October of 1985, after an evening's rehearsal for the All-School Play let out, a couple of us minor thespians illegally snuck into town on a school permit and hit the Copper Quarter Arcade attached to the Runza, right across the street from the Topsy Turvy Car Wash -- made infamous a few decades later by the local P.D. If I'm remembering things right, it was me, Jim King, and Dan Fitzke. Once inside, I pulled up a stool and plopped down in front of the Galaga machine, my all time fave, and dropped in a quarter. Dan called next, but he never got the chance to play. Not to brag but I was pretty damned good at the game, but that night, man, I was in the !!@#%*ing zone. Over an hour later, I was still zapping aliens on the same silver. Stages racked up, points racked up, my carpal-tunnel initialized itself, but I kept right on blasting away. And away. And away...I honestly don't know for how long -- long after the current high score had been obliterated, I recall, and it would have been even longer except that when I completed the current stage, annihilating those little bugs off the battlefield with a double-barreled ship attack, the machine I was playing seemed to throw a rod. First it kind of blanked out, then it booted back up to a full screen of code -- kinda like the opening of The Matrix -- then it blanked out again, and after a few more hiccups and false starts, the screen reverted to start-up mode and asked for another quarter.
Holy crap, I just killed the machine!
Turns out all those games were designed to be finite, and the dream of playing forever on one quarter was just an urban myth. And once you reached the Nth stage of whatever game you chose, the machine would stop, kill you, and rollover and reset for the next guy.
Was it an actual kill screen? According to a quick Google search you have to complete 250-odd stages to accomplish this. Had I played that long? Had I achieved Arcade Nirvana? Or had I just played long enough to overload a flaky motherboard? As I said before, I honestly don't know how long I actually played but it was for quite awhile. I know this because I got Jim in some deep-shit with his folks because by the time we got out of there, and back to his car at the school, it was well after 11pm., meaning we all got home several hours late. (My mom wasn't real thrilled either.) And I don't remember what my final score was, either, because I wasn't paying attention -- too busy shooting, and it was lost when the machine wigged out, and then to add insult to injury, the damn thing didn't even ask me to put in my initials for the new high score.
Regardless, I have witnesses and I am damn proud of that moment, and the film brought it all back in quite a nostalgic rush. Nedgasm! And now I gotta wrap this up. Just found a site that'll let me play Galaga online and I got the urge to blast me some bugs. Also been trolling around on eBay. And will someone please talk me out of blowing my entire economic stimulus package on my very own upright Galaga arcade game?
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The day started out great. Met Bob and the Brott for lunch at the Steak Buffet and promptly O.D.'d on some medium to mostly well charred, and chicken-fried protein. Plus pie. Bonus! And lunch was on Bob, which made it even better. Thanks, buddy.
Then, since it was getting towards the middle of the month, off to the Post Office I went to pick up some one-cent stamps so I could get some terminal bills in the mail. Turns out half the population of Grand Island had the same idea. Had to park across the street at Nathan Detroit's. That'd never happened to me before. Long, long line but an amazingly short wait considering. Home. Pen. Dead Pen. New pen. Checks. Cable. Utilities. Insurance. Mortgage. Licking. Stamp. Stamp x five. And all the while something was really bugging me, and worming around in my brain:
A cartoon. Editorial toon to be precise, that was published in the paper I work for by a syndicated tooner who I won't bother to name -- he doesn't deserve it -- but whose content needled my normally docile mood into a churlish anti-red. See, this [expletive deleted] with a pen is a political hack, wonk, whack-job for a certain political party that'd rather be dead than blue.
Good lord, but the state of politics in this country is an embarrassment and teetering toward a god-damned disgrace. This "us" against "them" crap has got to stop. And this inking asshat is only exacerbating the problem.
As a rule, I do not vote strictly along party lines as this idiot encourages everyone to do -- or the boogey-man'll get you. Please. Grow the !!@#%*!! up. What is this, high school?!?
I try, I honestly try to make an informed decision and vote for who I feel is the best qualified regardless of affiliation.
But not today.
Today I lost it and went on a personal crusade to give this guy the finger, and sadly, probably will again in November.
Because honestly, in the words of one Ronald Reagan, take a look around at this great country of ours -- take your time, I've got plenty -- and then ask yourself and those around you -- Are you better off now than you were eight years ago?
Noodle that one for awhile, jerk.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Man, I'm telling ya, when they won, we were gonna GO!
But, as we all know, they didn't. So we didn't either.
But man, I'm tellin' ya, we were gonna go...
Now jump a head to March of last year -- St. Patrick's Day to be precise, and in between the tequila shooters at the Glass Bar (financed by an aborted attempt to sell my 'I'm With Stupid' T-Shirt to some very intoxicated co-eds) and the 4-foot tower of green beer at the Alibi, me and Bob, depressed that our annual trip to Denver and Coors Field for another Cubs/Rockies dust-up was scuttled due to every wedding/birthday party known to man happening on that very same weekend in August, hit upon a plan. And not just any plan: a two city, two ballpark tour featuring the same crappy team that we have the misfortune to root for.
Man, it was gonna be awesome!
After sobering up the next day, a quick check of the schedule showed it was possible, and probable, but not very economical -- !!@%*#!! $3.50 gas. We kicked the idea around all of April and most of May -- and tack on the fact that the Cubs had already imploded, had lost five straight and eleven of thirteen, one had to ask one's self -- "Just what in the hell are you guys thinking?"
The answer? It's simple: It's baseball. It's ball park brats. It's stadium beer. It's sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. It's Wrigley Field. Bleacher seats. And Miller Park and Bernie the Brewer and Sausage races. Old Styles and Pabst Blue Ribbon. We got Cubs/Braves on Sunday afternoon in Chicago, and Cubs/Brewers in Milwaukee on Monday.
Honestly, I couldn't afford it. Neither could Bob. But, as Bob pointed out -- quoting Otter from Animal House, despite all the omens and ominous portents facing us, "No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part."
And we're just the guys to do it.
Find out what happened next in A Futile and Stupid Gesture: Part II.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Called in tech-support, who basically looked at it and said -- Yup, it's broke. Same guy told me Friday he upgraded the OS on the machine, to which I cringed. Kinda like pulling the pin on a live grenade. Too many programs, bound to throw a rod on one of them. Course he got to go home while I worked and listened to it tick down. Swears that has nothing to do with the current meltdown. Which is fine. Don't get me wrong, I like our systems guy. To whit:
See, it chimed, he says while rebooting for the umpteenth time.
That's a good thing, right? I say.
Absolutely, he says.
You mean it'll work, I say.
Well, probably not. No, not really, he says.
See. Affable sort. So no, I don't blame him for what happened but on the same stroke the machine is still broke, and he's the tech guy -- fix it. But, weekend and all -- so there it will set like a really expensive paperweight until Monday, and then probably back to the shop for another "new" hard drive.
Limped through tonight OK on the back-up. Flakey machine. Send a page. Program Crash. Send a page. Program Crash. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Gonna be a long weekend.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I had hoped to have an official 3B Theater update to add to the mash-up, but I just couldn't quite bring together the reviews for Tony Rome and The Lady in Cement. The more I dug, the more I found a solid connection between the careers of star Sinatra, director Gordon Douglass and pulp writer Marvin Albert on whose books the films were based. Wasn't satisfied with the initial write-up, or the second, so we're gonna let that one sit on the back-burner for awhile until I can take one final run at it.
So for now, enjoy a few new reviews and a few rehashed and refurbished reviews over at 3B Theater.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Okay, we've started over, blogging wise, so I thought it'd be a nice opportunity to let you all know a little about me with one of those chain-meme's that I keep getting via e-mail. Read at your own risk:
Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?
An Ed Benes rendition of the Black Canary leaning against her motorcycle. All about the fishnets and leather, baby!
Q. How many televisions do you have in your house?
Three: Rumpus room, living room and bedroom.
Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
Right handed. But I can swing both ways if need be. What’s the word for that again?
Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Adenoids. A few anomalous bumps and moles. A few teeth.
Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
A junked water-softner still full of salt.
Q. Have you ever been knocked out?
Yep. And concussed. Several times. Several times too many, probably. What were we talking about again?
Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Woodrow – and don’t call me Woody. Or Thaddeus.
Q. What color do you think looks best on you?
Frankly, no color looks good on me so I’ll settle for navy or black. Definitely dark.
Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item?
On purpose? Swallowed a coin playing quarters once. And if you believe the urban legends quite a few stray spiders while I've slept.
Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
I’d probably do it for $10.
Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
Yeah. If I let you take ‘em both do I get $400,000?
Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
I guess I could keep doing it with a non de plume. Maybe Roger Wilco?
Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
Sure. No one would buy it. But sure, it’s your money.
Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1,000?
Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
Depends. If I had irrefutable proof that the victim deserved it, maybe. And just maybe. I gotta weird, almost pathological guilt hang-up.
Q: What is in your left pocket?
Nothing. Wearing sweats.
Q: Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good film?
Good but not great. It made me laugh when it was trying to be funny and I think that says a lot.
Q: Do you have wood or lay carpet in your house?
What is this “lay carpet” you speak off? Sounds kinky. For the record, all carpet except for part of the basement which is concrete.
Q: Do you sit or stand in the shower?
Stand. I fall asleep a lot in the shower. See question #6.
Q: How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
None. My feet are grotesque.
Q: Last person who texted you?
My cheap-ass phone plan won’t let me. Never had the pleasure.
Q: Last person who called you?
My buddy Bob to come over and watch the Cubs lose on satellite.
Q: Last person you hugged?
My cat. Yes. She counts. Fine. A co-worker and she really, really needed it.
Zero my hero.
Baseball. Oh that season. Used to be winter. Used to thrive in the cold. Now I hate it, so let’s say fall.
American flag blue.
Q: Missing someone?
I'd rather not talk about it.
Q: Listening to?
A mix CD called Sand in Your Crack. Surf thrash instros.
Plan to watch The Car as soon as I get this thing posted.
Q: Worrying about?
Money. General debts. House needs work. I got friends I’d really like to visit.
Sweats and Tee.
Q: First place you went this morning?
Q: What can you not wait to do?
At the moment, watching The Car in widescreen DVD.
Q: Do you smile often?
Q: Are you a friendly person?
People tell me I am. And I guess that’s what really counts, right?
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Never fear, folks. We (as in me and all the voices roaming around in my noggin) are just stuck in a strange nesting and reorganizing mode. Nothing was completely trashed, just moved. So if you're looking for the reviews that were here, they've been moved over to one of our new sister sites: Micro-Brewed Reviews. And if you're looking for those old newspaper movie ads, those were shipped off to the brand new site: Scenes from the Morgue. And don't forget about the mothership: 3B Theater.
So what does that leave, here?
Well, more personal stuff. Pics, thoughts, rants, and other general writing. Updates will probably be sparse, but my goal is to start working on the novel again, which I'll probably post in excerpt form here sometime in the near future.
Stick around. Should be interesting.