Monday, December 24, 2007


Yep thats right it is after midnight so it is time to queue the sappy post. So I hope that everyone is having a happy holiday season. Remember take it easy this week because new years is coming up!

Since it is officially the 25th now (at least in the coast I'm on) I have to say if you celebrate it have a Merry Christmas, I hope you are on the nice list this year.

Robot Santa is always watching

As a token of good will I invite you to enjoy a telling of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” Bundy style.

An Askewed Secret

I did not care for “A Christmas Story.” Did not care for it.

I know it almost sounds like blasphemy. I mean everyone just LOVES the movie right? I just could not get into it at all, and believe me I've had plenty of times to give it a shot as I'm the only member of my family who doesn't enjoy it. That may actually have helped push me across the limit of just feeling nothing towards it into really just disliking it. I've been forced to sit through “A Christmas Story” almost as many times as I've been forced to sit through “The Wizard of Oz” (Thats a rant for another day).

Ok I admit that there are a few scenes that I don't mind or chuckle at but luckily for me every single one of them is shown in the previews that air over and over and over again, at least they used to. For the record if I were Santa I'd put a boot to Ralphie's face too.

But above all you know why I just couldn't get into “A Christmas Story?” It insists upon itself, Lois.

So if you need me I'll be spending my Christmas searching for what I consider to be the best Christmas story of all time, “It's a Bundyful Life.”

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Good fight, good night

I've often wondered how many five year olds I could take in a fight but now thanks to over at the mystery is solved!


No actual five years olds were injured in the making of this post ......yet

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I was bored earlier and going through my DVD collection nothing sounded good (it was one of those nights). That is until I came to my TV DVDs and yanked out "Freaks and Geeks." The show just never disappoints...well except for the part where there wasn't a second season but that isn't really the shows fault.

Doesn't Seth Rogen look fairly clean cut here? Relatively speaking of course.

We'll file this show under the "Too good and therefore had to be squashed" category.

Stay tuned next time when no movies sound good again and I drop in some "Wonderfalls"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Blurb time!

When I popped "Swing Time" into my DVD player I wasn't sure what my exact reaction would be. All I knew was that it was on a couple of lists of movies that I'm still (slowly) trying to work my way through and that it is a movie from an era that I am for the most part unfamiliar with (movie wise I mean).

So when the flick turned out to be quite enjoyable I was a tad surprised, but in a good way.

Just watching that made me tired

Friday, December 07, 2007

Then I woke up...

OK it is official. I'm on the Josh Brolin bandwagon. Yes yes I know I'm the last person left on Earth to jump aboard but still.

Now quit reading and go see "No Country For Old Men".A clear cut 5+ star flick in my book!

Thursday, December 06, 2007


While Dawson cries

Pacey abides...

No, I'm not sure why.

But I feel compelled to post some Kim Wilde for you to stuff into your eye and ear holes! (surveys have said those are the best openings to absorb music videos through)

FGFC: "The Hand"

Wow is it really time for another Final Girl Film Club pick already? Actually it is, no wait that isn't right let me try that again. Actually it WAS. Yep the 3rd was the due date. But I can't be held down by society's rules man! Besides, somehow I managed to convince myself that the due date was the 5th. That being that the plan was to get this done on the 4th and pretend that I was somewhat reliable and almost on the ball. Then I realized, nah why start being responsible now? Besides sending getting this done today (the 5th) really sends a message out to “the man.” That message is I'll not conform to you man! At least not until I train myself to use a to do list....

Since I didn't have the movie in front of me while writing I'll be skipping the play by play. Sadly my memory betrays me when I don't have the flick playing. I could attempt it but about two paragraphs in it would start to morph from “The Hand” into a mixture of “Serenity”, “Clerks”, “Cannibal the Musical”, and “Rudy.” Which incidentally is a script I am planning on pitching to all of the Hollywood fat cats some day.

So, where was I? Oh yeah. This month the pick was The Hand. Another flick from that gem of a year 1981. In DnD terms being created in 1981 automatically makes this a Movie +3.

As usual I went in knowing precious little about the plot. Only that it involved a severed hand, death, and a young Michael Caine. This left quite a bit to my imagination. In my head I had taken Think from “The Addams Family” and mixed him with Ash's hand from the “Evil Dead” flicks and hit puree. So I was surprised when they went with more story than gore-ey.

...ughh can we all just pretend that I didn't type that last part?

And onto random scattered blathering thoughts that crept out of my caffeine deprived skull.

The Good

The effects. What is up with the awesome creepy effects that came out of 81? I've seen movies with large budgets from the last year or two who couldn't compete with the creepiness of the crawling hand in “The Hand” and my God what the hell was up with the brutal severing of the hand in the first place?

Michael Caine was great. I can't stress that enough. I've always enjoyed his work. Shamefully I haven't seen as much of it as I would like so it was great for me to see him actually leading a movie. Even if his younger look did remind me of some sort of creepy cross between Eric Idle and Gene Wilder (Admit it you saw it too, didn't you? Didn't you?!?). Physical appearance aside Caine was just great and he was forced to do his work. Was there an emotion he didn't have to go through here?

That hand flying off gets my newly created “Fuck that moment of the movie” award. Because seriously, losing your hand (and in turn your career) in that manner...fuck that!

How great is the phrase “Silly cow” when referring to a poor driver that is annoying you? Or anyone for that matter. I think I'll start using it. At least until the first punch is thrown.

Plot and character development? Gotta say I wasn't expecting as much of it as I got, and that is a good thing.

OK, this maybe over sharing a bit but I think you all can take it. I really really enjoy off the wall semi-inappropriate art. Were I the type to plaster my walls with framed paintings and sketches those would be the type I would go for. Off the wall, ya know what I mean? Well the sketch that Jon(or the hand) sneaks into Stella's sketch book totally fits the bill! I'm kicking my own ass for forgetting to grab a screen shot of it. Well I'm not kicking it yet, but once I'm done writing here I'm totally taking myself out back and beat the stuffing out of myself. But yeah anyway I loved the sketch, quite disturbingly awesome.

The less than good

This is a personal one and not really a knock on the movie technically but... I have a real aversion to adultery, even in movies. It just rubs me the wrong way and inspires that creepy look away not having fun feeling. Consequently I hated Bill immediately and nearly as quickly I started really hating Anne.

So that may have helped, but really I couldn't get into Anne at all as a character. Other than the daughter is there any reason Jon should like her? Again I say Ugh.

Final Thoughts

I bring up again Michael Caine. “The Hand” doesn't work without him. He worked his butt off and what could have come across as half assed and forgettable he really made it work.

I jump on and off the Oliver Stone bandwagon, I either really like or really dislike is stuff usually. I'm putting “The Hand” down in the “W” column for him. Also from now on because of this movie I am now reserving the right to refer to Stone as a “dirty bum” anytime I choose. I'll make sure to use the term anytime that “Alexander” crosses my path.

But above all my total final thought is; Whatever rambling I've done here does not do the movie justice. In the right frame of mind I decry “The Hand” a movie that you really really should at least rent.

1981: Still rockin' and rollin' struttin' and strollin'!

No don't ask my why that last phrase came to my mind because I don't know. I also don't know how the picture of the toy Rocker's worked it's way into the end here, so let's all just smile and pretend not to notice them OK?

Boomer Sooner

Monday, December 03, 2007


Oops, I completely spaced and thought that the FGFC was due on the 5th of this month so I'm a little slow. Working on writing something now, but it'll be a while yet.

In the meantime please allow the musical stylings of Peter Griffin to sooth yet excite you.

Boomer Sooner

Friday, November 30, 2007


Out of the 4 conveniently located theaters, and the one slightly unconveniently located theater not a single one of them is playing "No Country For Old Men?"

This is like "Grindhouse" and "Black Snake Moan" all over again!

I guess the backwards little area that I currently am stuck calling home has made it's decision. And that decision is "Fred Clause". Why do I say that? Because if I'm remembering right 4 out of the 5 theaters previously mentioned were playing "Fred" some in multiple rooms...concurrently.

Mark my words, this is is the type of thing that makes people snap.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Well sort of. This year we decided not to do a huge dinner with turkey or ham or anything. It just didn't make sense since there are only three of us on this side of the country. Which was ok with me since really I'm not all that thankful for the big things until I find a way to break from crushing relentless grasp of Michigan. By the way did I mention that Detroit was named the nation's most dangerous city? Can't say as I'm surprised, every visit I've had to the motor city has left wondering why we haven't just fenced it off and cut our losses.

So anyway, I didn't plan to come here to complain all that much. Just write. In reality I'm trying to put the unfortunate turducken incident behind me and look towards the future!

So like I said, the plan was not to have a big dinner. Just a few small things and a couple of special items (yams, fruit salad, and olives most notably). Not grand plans but plans nonetheless. Well just as we were about to get cooking things took a turn. The power blinked out. Then it came back...for approximately .33 second and then it stayed out. Then next hour and a half was pretty much the mad dash to find candles, flashlights, batteries etc...

Next we went to see if any restaurants or stores in our town were open. We didn't have much that would amount to much food wise that didn't' require power to become edible. Unfortunately when you live in the middle of nowhere you don't always have the option of stores so dinner was completely scrapped. Well almost completely. I decided that I was probably going to die if I didn't eat (ok maybe not die but I would get very cranky) so I went ahead and made the fruit salad. Have you ever made a fruit salad in pitch dark by candle light? I don't recommend it at all! But in the end I suppose the important thing is that the fruits mixed masterfully with the cool whip and a delicious snack was born.

But the day wasn't a complete bummer. I mean any day that starts out with The Trouble With Harry, middles with (most of) The Birds (at least until the power goes out), and then ends with Pretty Poison can't be considered all bad can it? Especially when you consider that between "Harry" and "The Birds" I also caught bits and pieces of "Vertigo" At some point I even managed to catch a bit of "Rear Window"....Not bad at all.

Normally I don't watch a lot of movies on AMC. Not because they don't play movies I like but but because I just can't stand edited and cut up movies at all. Not when the full then is always just a Netflix away. But when I was seeing what would be playing on the Hitchcock-athon on AMC I decided to give "The Trouble with Harry" a shot on the DVR. I'm really glad I did. I was completely surprised by how much fun the movie was. I've already placed the full DVD release near the top of my queue for a deeper watch.

As usual "The Birds" was just great. It's strange just last week I was thinking that it was time for some Tippi Hedren AMC musta read my mind!By the way how great is Tippi? Your answer better have been "really effin!" Or something to that affect.

While looking over Tippi's IMDB page my head almost exploded. I looked down at the message board area (Always a TERRIBLE idea) and I found a post that mentioned Tippi Hedren looking a lot like Paris Hilton. What??? I mean What???

Ah that brings me to "Pretty Poison". What can I say? I just really dig this movie I've mentioned it before briefly. It didn't fit the mold of the day which was Hitchcock, but the movie has a twisted dark streak a mile long. Just the way I like em. Also Tuesday Weld. Need I say more? ...I didn't think so.

So, how was your Thanksgiving? Or if you are not in the States, how was your Thursday?

In closing I leave you with the quote of the day, taken from "Pretty Poison".
"I foolishly performed an abortion on a peach tree"

Thursday, November 22, 2007



Because sometimes you just have to say "Fuck it, one bird just ain't enough"

Note: The picture I found is actually a Turducken covered with strips of bacon. I applaud this kind of ingenuity.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Askewed Review (supersized) Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death

*Edit*Slight format switch this time around. Since my “The Basics” synopsis ran unendingly long “Way too long” I have moved it to the bottom, that way it is easier to ignore should you wish. */Edit*

It all started a week ago. Where during her regular “Final Girl: Awesome Movie Poster Friday” Stacie Ponder put up a special Adrienne Barbeau poster list. That list can be found Here, as you'll notice among the ranks of the posters is a landscaped gem for Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. Well I don't know about you but that is a title that I certainly can't pass up. Upon further inspection I realized not only was the title impossible to ignore but the movie also stars one of my all time favorites Shannon Tweed.

So armed with this knowledge and a Netflix account at my fingertips my decision was made. “Easy Rider” was pushed back a week and “Cannibal Women” was added to the top of the heap. Then the wait started. I of course used my time wisely. I spent a night or two with Guitar Hero 3, another night watching “Cannibal: The Musical” with the commentary track on(An experience nearly deserving it's own post), some podcasts were listened to, I re watched all of the episodes of “The Guild” starting here, I kicked back with some Cheap Trick... But mostly I just spent my time cursing the slowness of the mail.

When the red envelope finally did appear in my PO box it was nestled between two other red envelopes (“Oceans 13” and “Enterprise: Season 1 Disc 1” ....don't ask). Needless to say I was ready. What did I find?

Well let's find that out together....
Warning, I spoil almost EVERYTHING.

..I say “almost” because in this post I never mention the part about Bunny's red rope licorice fetish

....shit....never mind.....

My Thoughts
It is no secret that I'm a big fan of the B-movie scene. Or as I like to call it, 3am cinema. I also like parody, and I'm a sucker for movies with a thinly veiled message...Well two out of three.

“CWitAJoD” isn't exactly a B-movie, it is more of an homage to them, which is good. They also mix in a bit of parody, not so much of the B's but of other movies and genres. This also is good, when done right. Which I believe it was. The 2001 bit with the beer in place of the monolith was great for me.

It also turns out that behind the absurd storytelling there is a bit of a message. You can apply it to many situations, but the example they use is radical feminism (obviously). I mean the entire flick is about trouble caused by a group of man eaters, and men's inability to deal with strong women, gender roles, stereotypes, etc... So the message, at least the message I got. Extremism...bad. Equality...good.

Maybe you'll get something else out of the movie than I did, or maybe I just put too much thought into it.

Does the movie work? For me hell yeah it does!

Bill Maher was cheesy believable as a clumsy bullheaded macho dweeb. Shannon Tweed was, well she was Shannon Tweed, a little stiff in her portrayal of Dr. Hunt, but it worked great. Especially when paired up with the valley girl-like constantly happy blissfully ignorant ways of the attached at the hip Bunny.

Sadly I'm not as familiar or friendly with Adrienne Barebeau's body of work as I should be (yes my head is lowered in shame at this very moment). But I can certainly see why people love her based on her time as Francine Kurtz, honestly she acted the hell outta that part. While I enjoyed everyone Else's work in the movie Barbeau actually shined with her serious take on Dr. Kurtz, which is good because..well Francine was VERY serious about what she was doing so it translated well.

Final thoughts

Will you like this movie? Maybe, maybe not. I'm not 100% that I “liked” it, but I enjoyed the heck out of it (twice). I say it give it a shot. What have you got to lose? Only 90 minutes.

On the flip side I did notice that there is a LOT of exposition in the film. Talk talk talk, it isn't out of place but for action heads I can see where that could be an issue. But the plus to this minus is that all of the main characters have unique voices and ideals that are very easy to pick up on.

It is most definitely worth a shot if you are of the Elvira's Movie Macabre, or the MST3k camp (I just know that Crow would LOVE this movie).....I wish I had three robot friends.

Just for the love of God, whatever you do, when you sit down to view this movie make sure you put your head in the right place. Don't be all serious, don't expect an Oscar. I may not drink but I can certainly sense a beer movie when I see one. So if you partake do yourself a favor, grab a couple, grab a friend, hit play an go forth into the magical land of ....cannibalism and khaki.

The Basics Story
It is a normal day at work for Dr. Margo Hunt (Shannon Tweed), she is teaching her Feminist Studies class at Spritzer College, answering strange questions from a bubbly student, Bunny (Karen Mistal), questions like “is there a feminist cooking class?” Yep normal day all around that is until a surprise visit from a couple of military types. They explain to Margo that the U.S. is in the middle of an emergency. It seems that they are low on the precious resource that is the avocado.

That means an excursion into the Avocado Jungle. Unfortunately an ancient feminist tribe lives within the jungle and they don't like trespassers. The tribe is of course the cannibal women, or as they all themselves the Piranha Women. The government has already attempted to take the jungle by force. This ended in catastrophe when a pile of guacamole covered dog tags were left at the jungle's edge. The military, now desperate tells Margo that they don't wish to harm the Piranha Women. They just want the precious avocados. They would like Dr. Hunt as a feminist, to go into the jungle and negotiate with the women. They have even set aside a reservation in Malibu that the Piranha Women can be moved into, all their needs will be taken care of they'll even let them continue with their strange rituals, after all “That's the problem of the Piranha men” not them.

Margo decides that she will go into the jungle. By “decides” what I mean I she was blackmailed by threat of removed government funding from Spritzer. But she is also curious to find out what has become of the last feminist anthropologist to enter the jungle. A Dr. Francine Kurtz, internationally known author of the book“Smart Women, Stupid Insensitive Men.”

After a quick stop off at the teaching supplies desk to pick up a knife, some climbing rope, a revolver and a thousand rounds of ammunition among other things Dr. Hunt is off to find a guide and enter the jungle, but not before picking up a tag along in the form of Bunny.

Where do you find a guide for such a trip? Why in a bar on the outskirts of the jungle of course. A bar in a little town known as San Bernardino. Margo and Bunny interview three potential guides; Anvil, a Vietnam vet with no problem blowing anything in his way up. Bushido, the worlds greatest ninja...seems to need some work in the shuriken department. And The Black Masked Avenger, world renowned professional wrestler and body builder. He can bend steel and chew on the end! Sadly every one of the potentials flees at the mention of the Avocado Jungle. Probably a smart move!

This leaves poor Margo with but one choice. Jim (Bill Maher), a klutzy, mouthy, chauvinistic ex-one night stand of Margo's who just happens to be at the right bar at the right time. Naturally Margo would prefer to go without a guide but she needs him. After all she has no idea how to survive in the jungle.

Neither does Jim really, but he does have a survival guide to the Avocado Jungle, a paperback that is now out of print. Reluctantly Margo agrees to hire Jim on as a guide, but only after he reduces his reasonable $25,000 fee down to a minuscule $50 plus expenses...I wish he would have pulled out the old “but now you're robbin' me!” line.

Very quickly a few things are revealed. Bunny has a crush on Jim, Jim can't read a map, Margo has a long history of relationship issues, yadda yadda.

Eventually the group finds an old abandoned boat (The all knowing Jim has a story about that as well) and they move from land to water. Eventually the group find themselves under an attack of sorts. They were accosted by knitted potholders and doilies. Well maybe not an attack...apparently it was an offering. Gifts from the Donnahews, a subservient group of men that live in the jungle, make baked good and knit things as offerings to the Piranha Women in exchange for the women not eating them. A fair trade I feel.

A group of subservient sniveling wimpy men? To Jim this just doesn't compute. While the women sleep Jim attempts to evolve the men. Enter man's best friend BEER. There was some bonding, some teaching, some grunting, and many many cans of beer. So much beer that Jim finds himself a bit unconscious. Pffft lightweight.

So now Bunny who can't sleep decides to come ask for a nice cup of hot chocolate. Apparently the impenetrable walls of the tent don't allow her to hear the ruckus outside! Before she knows what is happening Jim's teaching takes effect and the Donnahews pounce. No, pounce is the wrong word. They sort of drunkenly lumber and mumble towards her eventually overtaking her. Luckily Margo has miraculously heard all of this and is out to make the save with her trusty gun. BANG BANG and the Jim Clones scatter.

Jim's response to his teachings nearly causing a gang rape...He's sorry that the boys got out of line, but at least it was encouraging to see them taking a healthy interest in the opposite sex. Yep...healthy, I don't think I can defend Jim on this one. I mean any simp knows that when you are trying to change the ideals of an entire group of peoples the first thing you do is make sure they know that rape=bad.

Lunchtime rolls around, Margo isn't happy. She's sick of Guacamole. I would be to. Jim gloats , after all he did mention earlier that within a few days she would be begging for a Burger King. That's when it happens. Margo gives Jim a look, he catches it and realizes “....You want to eat me!”. And she did, but only for a single weak moment.

Margo decides that the jungle is getting to them so they need to turn tail and beat it. Too late though, the Piranha women have found them. When Margo mentions the name Dr. Kurtz the Piranha Women take the group back to their temple. The temple itself shows a remarkably advanced architectural style. Jim thinks it looks like a big Lego. I think it looks more like a Duplo.

Jim and Margo discover the pool filled with actual piranha in the courtyard when Dr. Francine Kurtz emerges from the temple. Good timing as she really seems to have a thing for those piranha.

As it turns out when she was captured the Piranha Women christened her their new empress. A powerful and wise empress she turned out to be, she was even able to lead the jungle women to their successful defense against the military (remember that from earlier?). Not only did the soldiers have to die, but they were delicious to boot!

Kurtz offers Hunt the chance to join the tribe. She also reveals that There is no avocado shortage. Actually the U.S. has too many of the things (I agree, yuck!). Francine is also aware of the Malibu offer, She is also aware of the subscriptions to Cosmo, the group of Mary Kay saleswomen, and the ultimate plan of eliminating the Piranha Women cultural assimilation!....What anthropologist would agree to those terms? None that's who...not even Margo.

Still Dr. Hunt refuses to join. Kurtz has no choice. She must have Margo thrown into the piranha pool. Bunny on the other hand has no problem killing and eating a man to become part of the tribe, as long as she gets one of those cute outfits. This revelation gives Jean-Pierre (Margo's would be sacrifice) a chance to cause a ruckus escaping his chains and helping Margo get out of the temple. Jim isn't so lucky. He is to be Bunny's sacrifice. They even marinate him! Yeesh, I thought that the guacamole looked bad.

On the run from the Piranha Women Margo is rescued by another tribe of jungle women. The Barracuda Women of the Avocado Jungle. You see thousands of years ago the Piranha Women and the Barracuda Women were as one, but they split up and have been at war because of a very fundamental argument....The Piranha Women cook and eat their men with guacamole dip. The Barracuda Women disagree with this practice heartily. They believe they should be eaten with clam dip. I'm still going to take a pass on seconds.

Margo leads the Barracuda Women to the temple to make a rescue attempt for her friends. Along the way she discusses with their leader a plan to help reunite the tribes by way of a council comprised of equal representatives from each group to get together bi-weekly to discuss their issues. I hope that they use tiki torches for their voting!

Once inside the temple Margo stumbles across Dr. Kurtz's field notes, and an outline for a book she is writing.

Meanwhile Jim is weighing the pros and cons of his current situation, “She's going to make love to me, that's good. Then she's going to eat me, thats bad. ...Why can't I ever have a completely good day?” Bunny is getting ready for her initiation by being washed and having her hair dyed for the occasion.

At the last minute Jim is able to use his wiles to make Bunny change her mind. She realizes that she can't kill him...she loves him (awwwww). This displeases Dr. Kurtz and as usual she sentences them to death by being dumped in the pool of piranha. She must really love feeding those fish.

Before the feeding can go down Margo returns. A little late I feel. If not for luck at this point Bunny would be enjoying a serving of Jim by now wouldn't she?

Well no matter Margo is here now, and she is challenging Dr. Kurtz to a duel. A duel for the title of empress of the Piranha Women. Apparently that is how you take over, who knew? Kurtz can't refuse the request and the fight ensues.

During the fight Margo takes the opportunity to discuss Francine's plans of exploiting her time with the Piranha Women in a tell all book. Kurtz denies it all (of course).

Margo has Kurtz beat, but shes no killer she doesn't make the killing strike. Instead Francine steps the blade impaling herself (Ouch!). After some confessing some tears and keeping everyone at a distance Francine decides to fling herself into the Piranha tank “Oh the humanity!, the humanity!!” I guess she really was serious about feeding the lil guys.

Back to civilization. Margo makes a trip to Malibu to visit her military contacts. She informs them of what she has learned. She also informs them that the jungle women will not be moving any time soon. Now it is Margo's turn to make with the strong arming. She insists on a very generous donation to her university. If they don't deliver she'll take her story to the talk show circuit and let the world know the truth!

Bunny and Jim on the other hand decide no more fighting for them. In fact they plan to get married, but only if Dr. Hunt gives her OK. Bunny sure doesn't want to disappoint Margo. Luckily Margo won't be alone. She has convinced Jean-Pierre to leave the jungle life and come to the city to pursue an education.

And that my friends is the ending to one of the most beautiful stories you'll ever know! Well OK it was a story.

Kudos to you dear friends if you have read through my ramblings all the way down to this point. You must either really like me, or really dislike yourself. Either way to you I say Mahoalo

Ignore the writing but watch the video

Say what you will about The Rock but I say he is in fact a big deal. Need proof? Just check out this video, a little gem from "Be Cool" (A movie with two bright spots, The Rock, and Vince Vaughn, and little else)

Yes the video is silly, in fact it might be a little nuts but there is a lot going on in there. Though the movie was a bit of a stinker the character was not. The Rock really brought Elliot to life. While doing so he also proved that not only is he talented, but he is willing to have a little bit of fun, he is willing to take a few risks, and he is worthy of our attention.

Hell the guy should get credit for going along with a scene that involved John Travolta kicking his ass...I mean really?

Monday, November 05, 2007

FGFC: "Eyes of a Stranger"

Well it's that time again, time for the Final Girl Film Club. This time around the movie is ”Eyes of a Stranger”. Another flick from that magical year 1981, a year which brought us....wait I've already named off quite a bit of awesome that has come from 81 in previous posts...Still since I brought the year up ”An American Werewolf in London”...I'm just sayin, check it out would ya?

So ”Eyes of a Stranger” What to say? Well I had a tough time getting it from Netflix for a while but eventually a couple of weeks ago it actually did show up at my door which was cool. Then I watched it and was all ready to get this written down and put away to post well in advance. Sadly once I watched it and sat down I realized that I had nothin'. I sent the movie back and thought about it some more in the back of my mind, all the time planning on being able to sit down and write out something smart, something sexy, something relevant. That never happened, instead I spent the last week in an incredible amount of pain which culminated in a tooth being pulled, pain meds being distributed and me renting the movie from a local BB so that I could this time put something down(preying that the medicine induced haze help color my words)

I'm not sure if I've succeeded, but if I failed miserably at least I can blame the dentist this time (You hear that Doogie dentist? If this sucks I'm blaming and your impossibly young image)

The Basics

Miami, normally a nice warm sunny happy place to live suddenly finds itself the unfortunate host to a serial killer/rapist(John DiSanti). The killing is really just the end result of the killer, Stanley Herbert's activities. First he stalks his victims, then he uses the telephone to terrorize them even going as far as to telling them what he is going to do to them, and then finally he makes with the face to face(or belt to neck, same diff...right?).

Stanley thinks he is being pretty slick about his business but what he doesn't know is local television news anchor, Jane Harris(Lauren Tewes) is suspicious of him. he witnessed him pulling into their apartment complex's parking garage one evening in a bloody shirt and changing into a clean one before heading upstairs. Jane, who has been pretty vocal and a tad overzealous about the story while reporting on the news decides not to take her own advice. She embarks on her own personal investigation of Stanley.

Jane's investigation eventually leads to danger not only for Jane, but also Tracy(Jennifer Jason Leigh), Jane's deaf and blind sister.

What works for me

First and foremost the best thing for me all around in this flick was the work of Jennifer Jason Leigh. Not only was she believable as being deaf and blind. But she also managed to convey a bit of the disconnectedness that her character most likely would have had from the trauma that led to her handicap. This was mainly done during the scenes with Stanley where even though she was incredibly scared for herself she also was distant, her face blank much of the time.

One thing that could have gone either way but ultimately ended up on the good side of the coin for me was Stanley himself, ridiculous name aside of course. At times in the genre it seems like every killer is out for revenge, or has a destiny, or something of the like, but not Stanley. Stanley proves pretty quickly that the only reason he does what he does is because he is a real dick. The phone calls prove that. Then later on he really proves it in one of the flicks more suspenseful scenes as he plays head games with an unknowing Tracy.

And yes I'll jump on the bandwagon and say “Sorry, but your party is dead....” is an awesome tagline!

stuff that didn't quite work for me

So Jane is quite adamant about anyone who notices anything suspicious should inform the police while he is on camera but once she starts noticing things herself she decides to take things into her own hands?

Of course who could blame her as another thing that really bugs me in these movies happened here as well. There is a serial killer on the loose, the news is warning people to inform the police if anything is happening. Inevitably the killer starts harassing someone who subsequently calls the police only to be told “it's probably nothing” by the voice on the other end of the line. Maybe someone should write a movie where all of the 911 operators who get canned for being clearly inept band together and go on their own killing spree.

What was up with strip clubs in the 80s? Was this an accurate portrayal? I so why do clubs still exist today? Good lord both dancers that were shown in the movie were painful and the opposite of sexy, but the interesting part is they both reached this same road by two very separate paths...The booze back then must have been dynamite!

How many times has a quote very similar to the following been used to explain someone's ill advised antics in a movie? “I made a promise to myself that I would never let anything happen to Tracy ever again”.

Confusing Outcome

Ok so when Tracy was younger she was kidnapped and traumatized which left her deaf and blind. They weren't physical problems which means they were mental, ok got that. So then when Stanley nearly rapes Tracy it jolts her eyes and ears back into working. where does that leave these series of events for Tracy? I mean yeah it was bad for all of the other victims, but Tracy survived and in the long run is better for it. Doesn't that mean that in the end she and her sister Jane can't very well wish that it had never happened?

Final Thoughts

In the end “Eyes of a Stranger” left me with a very much “been there done that” feeling. There was very little new ground broken. With the exception of the Stanley/Tracy scene I didn't find anything truly intense.

It wasn't bad but at the same time I wouldn't go so far as to proclaim it as good either, all in all this comes down to a mediocre slasher film with a fantastic performance by Jennifer Jason Leigh, a few good effects, one slightly cool head in the fish aquarium gag, an awesome tagline, and very little else.

My verdict? Watch it if you are awake at 2am and you see it on HBO, but don't go out of your way to pick it up because you can do much better. '81 has a lot of real classics but this ain't one of em.

I'm just sayin'

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Well the plan for tonight was an abridged review of David Cronenberg's Crash. Unfortunately one viewing wasn't enough for me to glean a solid opinion so I'm going to have to re rent and re watch it and see if I can form an actual opinion. Otherwise it'll just be three or four paragraphs of treading water(which believe me I can do, I ramble almost as well as I overuse parentheses).

In the meantime why not go read Kim Morgan's thought on Crash. After all her words are the ones that inspired me to give the movie a shot in the first place.

And now to point out my own complete lack of content I shall share yet another Youtube video. This time it is a fan video put together for a Jonathan Coulton song called RE: Your Brains. The video gets a 33.33333% bump in coolness for the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness clips included.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Rubik's Cube (inventive title no?)

I myself subscribe to the trusty old sticker swapping method. Oh sure it takes a bit more time and you can only do it a few times before the suckers won't stay on any longer. But as long as they do stick, it works every time. I think this means that I think outside of the box...or cube as it were.

This guy seems to a more conventional way down. He does nearly trip up slightly a few times but I'm saying that is more of an issue with talking over what you are doing instead of just doing it.

Of course the Rubik's Cube is not to be confused with my other favorite "Cube".

Thursday, October 11, 2007


It may look a little silly now, especially on its own with no context. But this used to really freak me out.

So many movies to go through that I haven't yet seen, yet so many others that I need to re watch.....

Sunday, October 07, 2007

FGFC: "The Burning"

So the Final Girl film club pick this time around is ”The Burning” a movie from the magical time of 1981. When you think about it some pretty awesome things happened in '81: “The Greatest American Hero” debuted, MTV was launched, “Halloween II” graced the silver screen, the IBM 5150 was released, “Evil Dead” came out, Julia Stiles, Amy Lee, and Natalie Portman were all born, and “An American Werewolf in London” was released....I think something else happened in '81 but I can't seem to remember what it is. Anyway getting back on track, as you can see “The Burning” had quite a bit to live up to.

The beginning a.k.a. What happens before the running around and slicing

As the movie starts we see Camp Blackstone where a group of young campers are planning on giving the camp Janitor Cropsy a bit of a scare. Apparently Cropsy isn't a very nice person and as such these kids take it upon themselves to break into his cabin while he sleeps and place an actually really creepy looking, worm ridden, waxy, severed head, with candles in it's eyes next to his bed. The prank works a little too well, Cropsy does in fact get scared...he gets so scared that he bats the head off of the shelf onto his bed where it promptly sets fire to him. As he jumps and runs around he knocks over his handy can of gasoline and the fire really takes off. After a quick fiery jog Cropsy makes with the stop and roll all the way down a hill into the river.

One week later at St. Catherine's Hospital we find out that Cropsy has survived, but he is burned badly “A fuckin' big mack...overdone” as he is described by a hospital employee.

Cut to five years later Cropsy is finally being discharged and the Doctors parting advice is that he let go of the anger towards the kids that did this.

After a brief stabby tryst with an unfortunate lady of the night it is time for Cropsy to return to Camp Blackstone to exact his revenge!


I wanted to love “The Burning” I really did which in retrospect may have been my problem. See I don't dislike much about the movie but at the same time not much really stands out as particularly awesome either. The overall atmosphere of the movie seems right, some decently tense moments, some fun camp stuff, pretty much the usual and not much else.

There were a couple of things that bothered me or I found strange for some reason or the other. One of them being when Todd and the kids are sitting around the campfire and Todd told the story of the “legend of Cropsy.” Since Todd was one of the kids directly responsible for burning Cropsy it seemed inappropriate for him to be using that story for entertainment. I could see if one of the kids told it as a scary story and Todd had sat uncomfortably or something but... The other thing that bugged me a bit was the character development. For the most part the campers who were killed I really wasn't all that involved with. For that matter I don't believe I was surprised even once by a slaying, they all came about fairly obviously. In fact I was more surprised by who all survived than anything.

As far as highlights go, I'll probably get a lot of flack for this one but I thought it was pretty cool to see a young Jason Alexander in a much different style role. Sure he was a bit cheesy, but actually that is what made him believable. I mean haven't we all met that kind of smart assed, sometimes funny guy who seems to be able to get along with everyone?

In the end I would have to say that it was worth watching once but in the future I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again. If I am craving a summer camp slasher I'll be putting in “Sleepaway Camp”, or the old standard “Friday the 13th” part whatever. It hurts me to have to say that for me “The Burning” makes my thumbs point towards the middle...Or it would if I used my thumbs as a movie rating system.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Abridged Review: The Condemned

It should be no secret at this point that from time to time I do enjoy watching a movie that is...shall we say not an award winner. Sometimes I just like a big ol' actiony-blowup-FU-athon. Which is exactly what I was expecting when I popped “The Condemned” into my DVD player. What I ended up with was a movie full of potential that fell quite short of my expectations. This is a total shame because I had really high hopes for ”Stone Cold” Steve Austin. A man who I believe has the talent to make the switch to main stream entertainment ala The Rock.

So what went wrong? There was plenty of back story which wasn't even laid out all that terribly but this isn't a storyline kinda movie now is it? Is it?? No, this is an action packed fight to the death on a remote island type of movie. That's all the story you need to know! But like I said the “story” stuff I didn't have a problem with. I only expected it to set up the carnage, which it did. THAT is where things come took a bit of a dive.

Take note, this is a WWE film. What does that mean? Well to me it means that the one thing that they should be able to have done right in a movie is the fight scenes, I mean hell one the companies main job is basically filming fight scenes. So why they allowed director Scott Wiper to film all of the fighting scenes in the style of someone holding a camera while falling down Springfield Gorge we will probably never know. I want to see some blood laden, sweat dripping, swear inducing fights, I don't want to succumb to motion sickness. On top of that it most of the “contestants” ended up eating it in the exact same way. Using the C4 laden ankle bracelet to kill one or possibly two of the competitors would have been fine, I don't even mind the bit at the end, but come on enough with the boom boom already. Although I guess I shouldn't be that upset about the use of the C4, after all if everyone had been finished off in a unique and entertaining way I may have missed it, what with the camera's doing the constant gymnastics during those scenes and all.

Just a few other smaller gripes I had. Since he is the star of the movie how about giving Steve Austin a little bit more to say and do. I know they angle they went with for the character was he didn't talk about himself (or anything really) but it seems like he could have had more, everything he says doesn't have to be some sort of catch phrase.

In the end I'm glad I watched it just to say that I did but in the future when I'm craving something of this sort I'll stick with Battle Royale.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Wow its been a while eh? Worry not, I only took a bit of time off for illness and time reasons. I'll be back on track soon enough (if not I promise I'll personally flog myself in public...which would be strange).

I haven't even had the time to go through my normal one to two movies a night lately. I've gotten a few down though, "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2" and "Halloween 2" I believe were the last two.

While I did enjoy "Halloween 2" I think it is more a reflection on my feelings towards the original than the actual content of the sequel. Though I maintain it was solid enough sequel. From what I gather I did well watching the sequel instead of the Rob Zombie remake (which for the record I had hoped would be awesome). I can't wait to see what Michael is up to in "Halloween 3!"*

"A Nightmare on Elm Street 2" on the other hand, well I was underwhelmed by the first in the series so my hopes for the sequel weren't high. About the best thing I can say about it is that I got through it and now I can finally watch part 3 which I hear is fun enough. Don't get me wrong the first in the series was fun enough. The real question I kept asking myself through these movies was "Why was I afraid of these movies as a kid?"

Another thing that has been taking up a bit of my time is a Podcast I have been helping out with lately, getting the show posted online and sent out and some work on their website Some show info...

"Diane, Lee Jay and Weezy are talking about people, relationships, conflict, disputes, the law, resolution, problem solving, and everything that makes us love, makes us hate, makes us angry, makes us understand and makes us human."

Read more here

Other than that my life of late has been pretty boring stuff. Trying to figure out about moves, money, health, family. Really I'm just killing time between seasons of The Shield

In other news, this video is much more interesting and entertaining than me.

*Yes I'm aware about the "Halloween 3" situation. I was being ironical.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Mindi Abair

If I had been even a quarter as good as Mindi Abair I probably never wouldn't have given up my saxophone so easily.

How freaking awesome is this?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Random fact

I was born on the very day that "The Greatest American Hero" debuted with it's 2 hour pilot.

My dad always loves telling me me that he remembers sitting in the waiting room(I had a problematic birth) and seeing the show. I never realized that it was the debut.

I've never actually seen the show, but I'm definitely going to make time or it very soon.

So, any idea what was on the tube when you were born?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

From the cutting room floor: Maria Bamford: AKA: Funny Lady of the Month

I used to do a semi regular "funny lady" posting. But that was a few years and a couple of blogs ago. But I was recently thinking about bringing it back. If there is one thing that I enjoy more than movies(and I think we know how I like those) it is Stand-up comedy. It really is an art form, and not one that just anyone can do..though I they could...that would mean I would have had hope. Anyway, even casual stand-up fans can tell that there is not an overabundance of female comedians topping the charts. Why is this the case? My belief is that a lot of it boils down to old school prejudice. Women can damn sure be as funny(if not funnier) than men, sadly they don't always get the chance. That was my original thinking when I started pointing out the good ones, which by the way there are a LOT of not so good ones out there as well so watch out.

So, when I was toying with the resurrection I really only had one name in mind for the first subject, Maria Bamford. I wrote up a draft of what would have been the beginning I then promptly closed the draft, felt like I wasn't doing it justice and put it aside and forgot about it. That is until the other day when I was doing some cleanup, and now I present to you, for better or for worse, with very little editing, my rough draft...We'll just call this more of a peek into my process than anything else.

Comedy is a subjective thing isn't it? I mean for the most part, we all know that there are some things that are funny to everyone no matter what(like say someone slipping on ice tumbling over and spilling their newly bought bag of groceries all over the street... We all laugh at that). What I am thinking about specifically right now is stand-up comedy. Not only is comedy subjective but it can at times also be downright baffling. What the masses gravitate towards quite often is the watered down, safe stuff. Comedy with a false sense of edginess (because “out there” is good... just not too far out there.)

That being said, once in a while some really good stuff breaks through and people take notice. I have a prediction to make....

I predict that anyone who hasn't jumped on the Maria Bamford bandwagon will in the very near future.

I first took notice of Maria's around her 2001 Comedy Central Presents special. Back then I remember thinking how refreshing it was to see a female comedian being funny while not falling becoming a cliché.

After that I lost track of Maria for a little bit. I recognized her when I saw(or heard) her on TV or in movies and I still enjoyed her CCP special whenever it was replaye (once I got my TiVo it was one of the first shows I ever put on do not delete status, I still have it). But then in the last couple of years thanks to a combination of the Internet, and of course the Comedians of Comedy movie, TV series, and tour I have become acquainted with her talent once again.

The Comedians of Comedy show, movie, and tour really can't be adequately summed up in a short paragraph. So for now I'll just talk briefly about the show I went to in Lansing. To start the venue was very strange to me, the place was called the Temple Club and it was an old church that had been converted into a small music club. The place even had the original stained glass windows up, they were covered with red curtains but with the light shining through you could still see very clearly the holy images. That made made the place creepy(to me at least). Anyway onto the show, I was at an awesome table, dead center to the stage but far enough back so I wouldn't catch the attention of the comedians (a fear I've acquired since hearing the story of how my friend was pulled up on stage by D.L. Hughley).

I'll cut forward to Maria's time on stage. Hilarious, she did seem a bit distracted at first but when she hit her stride boy did she! Thanks in no small part to Maria's contribution I count that as the best comedy show I have ever been to live.

Now the present. Maria Bamford: How to Win! also available from
Maria Bamford - How to Win!

This has the singular distinction of being the only album I have ever bought from iTunes, yep I was that impatient to hear it.

“How to Win!” is certainly a winner(I couldn't resist the easy joke, which is why I'm not a comedian...well that and th paralyzing fear of public speaking, and the lack of writing discipline). Laughter starts from the get go where she begins by explaining her definition of the word party. Of course the voices are back, which if you know Maria you know that is a good thing. She even throws in an impression of her pug Blossom for good measure. Temp work/firing, TV, therapy, evil, even Alicia Keys, anything is potential and hilarious material.

Bottom line, Maria rocks it with great stage presence, strong material, and an originality which is completely refreshing in todays mainstream comedy scene.

Need another reason to love Maria? How about the fact that over at she is part of the iptv movement.

Still haven't had enough? Ok then, head over to and watch her clips from there as well.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Today' homework

Watch Maria Bamford perform in Montreal. Warning, it isn't exactly safe for work.

For good measure here is a small clip from the "Comedians of Comedy" stop in Eugene, Oregon.

Finally, because I thought this was funny and I can. Here is another star of the "Comedians of Comedy" Zack Galifianakis scaring Eliza Dushku(My choice in Slayer)on the set of Tru Calling.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

90 minutes

At about the 90 minute mark movies (especially current ones) are wrapping up. Not "Lawrence of Arabia." At about 90 minutes "Lawrence" is hitting it's stride!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Update on a challenge or: How I learned to stop worring about making my blog titles long

Ok I admit the title of this one was a cheap joke but come on, "Dr. Strangelove" has like one of the most awesome full titles of all time. I just couldn't resist.

So, back in May I smashed my ego into bits by taking a little IMDB top 100 challenge. The object was simple, take the IMDB top 100 movies list from May 2004 and throw a bold font on the ones you have seen.

I clocked in at 46, pathetic. I couldn't even break the halfway mark. But a few months have past and I have knocked off a few more (ok only 9 plus one that I had seen previously but missed it when marking.) notches off of the old IMDB belt. Grand total now, 56 which puts me above the halfway mark.

So here is the updated list.

Godfather, The (1972)
Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)
Godfather: Part II, The (1974)
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)

Schindler's List (1993)
Shichinin no samurai (1954)
Casablanca (1942)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)
Star Wars (1977)
Citizen Kane (1941)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Rear Window (1954)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Usual Suspects, The (1995)
Memento (2000)
North by Northwest (1959)
12 Angry Men (1957)

Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Psycho (1960)
Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (2001)
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Goodfellas (1990)
American Beauty (1999)

Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Vertigo (1958)
Matrix, The (1999)

Cidade de Deus (2002)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
C'era una volta il West (1968)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Pianist, The (2002)
Third Man, The (1949)
Paths of Glory (1957)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Fight Club (1999)

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Boot, Das (1981)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Chinatown (1974)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Maltese Falcon, The (1941)
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
All About Eve (1950)
M (1931)
Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)
Se7en (1995)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Rashômon (1950)
Raging Bull (1980)
Wizard of Oz, The (1939)
Alien (1979)
American History X (1998)

Sting, The (1973)
Léon (1994)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Manchurian Candidate, The (1962)
Vita è bella, La (1997)
Touch of Evil (1958)
Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)
Finding Nemo (2003)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Great Escape, The (1963)
Modern Times (1936)
Clockwork Orange, A (1971)
Amadeus (1984)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Ran (1985)
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Annie Hall (1977)
Wo hu cang long (2000)
Jaws (1975)
Apartment, The (1960)
Braveheart (1995)
High Noon (1952)
Aliens (1986)
Fargo (1996)

Strangers on a Train (1951)
Shining, The (1980)
Metropolis (1927)
Blade Runner (1982)
Sixth Sense, The (1999)

City Lights (1931)
Donnie Darko (2001)
Duck Soup (1933)

Great Dictator, The (1940)
General, The (1927)
Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)
Princess Bride, The (1987)
Dogville (2003)

For clarity here is the list of the newly viewed.

Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Rear Window (1954)
North by Northwest (1959)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Raging Bull (1980)
Clockwork Orange, A (1971)
Jaws (1975)

That may not seem like a lot, but with these flicks you are definitely talking about quality over quantity.

“Das Boot” was going to be on the updated list, is it on my desk right now. Unfortunately the local Blockbuster store was kind enough to rent me an unplayable DVD (not the first time this has happened) so I had to kill that plan. On the upside “The Shawshank Redemption” played just fine and completely exceeded my already high expectations. I expect I'll be spending more time in Shawshank, perhaps sooner than later.

Quick Thoughts

Jaws: Made me realize that Spielberg really did come right out of the gate running at full speed.

A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove, and 2001: Taught me that Kubrick movies really should be viewed multiple times to appreciate them. “Clockwork” Also gave me a completely renewed respect for Malcolm McDowell.

Rear Window: There is no way that Shia LaBeouf can trump James Stewart, I'll withhold final judgment until after I see “Disturbia.” But I'm not holding my breath for it to surpass the Hitchcock classic.

North by Northwest: Really fun movie. After all it is “A 3000 MILE CHASE . . . That blazes a trail of TERROR to a gripping, spine-chilling climax ! “ Sorry, I just love that tagline. Also...Is it me or did Hitchcock have a really good eye for the ladies?

Raging Bull: Brutal! Really good as well, but I mean damn......brutal.

To Kill a Mockingbird: I think I've made my opinion fairly clear and I still stand by what I said!

Citizen Kane: I really wish that I could go back and erase what little I knew about this movie going into it so I could have experienced the surprise at the end without knowing it was coming.

The Shawshank Redemption: It's funny, I've seen bits and pieces of “Shawshank” here and there for years but I never put the puzzle together. Once I sat down and watched it from beginning to end it really blew me away. By the way, how great was James Whitmore's performance?

Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (AKE “Amélie ”): The one that got away. I saw this way way back when I was going to ITT, a friend recommended it to me after we had a conversation about “Run Lola Run.”

One more thing, just for the record. Pulling an all niter featuring “North by Northwest” followed by “Rear Window” is pretty awesome, if you can pull it off.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A brief video interlude while we iron out some technical difficulties. plan was to talk about the experience of watching 209 minutes of subtitled "Das Boot" a movie that is on the top of many lists and as usual I have yet to see. Unfortunately once I got home with the DVD and popped it into my player I was met with artifacts, screeches and eventually a freezing screen. Large deep scratches and near gouges disc can do that. I'm not super upset, these things do happen, I'll just put it on my online rental queue. The thing that always worries me is that I'll get a jerk at the local store who will think I did the damage. Gonna take it back in tomorrow, we'll see what happens (I need to think of a suitable replacement since I know they only have the one copy of that movie).

So, instead of actual content how about a couple of videos followed within 24 hours by a progress report on my IMDB list quest.

Video 1. David Tennant(My personal choice in Doctor) and Catherine Tate in a Comic Relief bit from this year (British TV is starting to make me completely jealous)

Video 2. A picture tribute to some of the women of film. I don't think this will need an explanation. about one more. Because the Sci-Fi channel is currently reminding me that it is time to watch the actual movie again here is a little bit of Flash Gordon!

Saturday, July 28, 2007


What kind of jackass loser would thinks it is "funny" or "cool" to screw with someones satellite dish?

This isn't even the first time it has happened here. Living in the middle of crapville the dish has to be on a pole near the street....Thank goodness there are no street lights near the house here..........

Just one more reason on the LONG long list of shit to hate about this place.

And I was having such a decent night too, just got done watching "Duel" which was incredible..but now all the thoughts I had about it are gone.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Update: I call shenanigans!

Since when does UPS deliver to the post office instead of the doorstep? Man I love living in a small town in the middle of nowhere.

...I am very close to revising my "On Notice" list.

FGFC: "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon"

Ah another month and another Final Girl Film Club review.


What would you get if you put “Halloween” and “This Is Spinal Tap” in a blender and slapped the puree button¹ ? An ungodly mess of chopped up tape and plastic all over the really need to remember to put the lid on those blenders. If instead you just took the ideas behind the two movies and mixed them together then you may end up with something resembling “Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.”

As is fast becoming my tradition with the FGFC selections I went into this one fairly blind. I read no reviews and only barely looked at the synopsis on Blockbuster's site as I added it to my queue....which by the way ended up being wasted effort as I couldn't get it sent, long wait they said! I think this is another tradition in the Film Club...tracking down a copy of the movie. Worry not though, two honest to god B&M Blockbuster visits later I had a copy of the movie in my hands. Let me just say that it was totally worth the effort.

¹ I'm sure that I am totally the first person ever to make that comparison...I'm so clever!

The Basics

Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) is a man who takes pride in his chosen career. So much so that he allows a grad student, Taylor Gentry(Angela Goethals) and her documentary crew to follow him around as he makes the preparations and gets himself ready for his big night. This all seems normal and good until you take into account that Leslie Vernon's “Big Night” is all about him solidifying his status as a legend along the likes of , Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers.

Yep you heard me right, in a world where “Nightmare”, “Friday”, “Halloween”, etc... are real events Leslie wants to solidify his name and legend up on the list. Not only that but he also wants to show the world just how he achieves this massive accomplishment.

What works for me

How awesome is that? The flip side of a horror movie, screw following the victim around all they do is normal everyday thing until the action starts. This time we get to follow the killer around and see as he......does everyday things until the action starts. What?

All joking aside the idea is just fresh enough to work. Not only that but the movie is able to simultaneously pay homage and poke fun at slasher films (sometimes in the same breath) and do it in a respectful way, that makes me happy.

The pacing of the movie was done really well, about two thirds of the movie were spent in the “set-up” stage while the last third was spent playing out the actual execution (pun only semi-intended(unless it was hilarious, then it was totally intended(if it wasn't funny at least this set of multiple parentheses are(right?)))) of the plans.

Leslie himself was actually (for the most part) a likable character, which given the circumstances and his intentions is quite disturbing in itself. He came off as for the most part playful and happy, like anybody might be if they were doing their dream job and making their greatest wishes come true. He of course also had his dark side, his quirks, his eccentricities if you will. But really other than his ultimate goal of manslaughter(teenslaughter) on a grand scale he wasn't so terribly unusual.

Maybe it is just the fact that I recently have been going through a lot of very good classic slashers for the first time (Halloween, Friday the 13th, Friday the 13th Part 2, Last House on the Left, among others) but I really had a good time picking out all of the references that were all over the place. Let's not forget that there were some impressive cameos as well! In fact one of my favorite references was combined with an awesome cameo. That would be Zelda Rubinstein appearing as librarian Mrs. Collinwood(Last House on the Left reference of course). By the way if there is anyone out there who doesn't enjoy a good Zelda Rubinstein cameo please let me know who you are so I can make sure that you get a punch in the crunch(I'm not sure where “the crunch” is, but I'm sure it is painful).

Speaking of Cameo's how great was it to see both Freddy and Jason in a movie together again? Even if they didn't share any screen time, and one of them was only fleeting...still, cool!

Lastly and most importantly. Any movie that is in any way, shape, or form made in, around, or about Oregon is automatically 3.141592653% more awesome.

Final Thoughts

Final thoughts? As I said I really dug this movie, I've recommended it to my horror loving friends already. But still every rose has it's ...not so rose-like side to it and as such “Behind the Mask” wasn't perfect.

I would have liked some more time with Doc Halloran, he could have been a more major player with a much better background if they had found the time to squeeze it in. Plus honestly, how great would it be to see Robert Englund take a more active role in fighting off a psychopath?

While I'm complaining about characters..and be careful here cause so far I haven't been very spoilerish, but I might tread on that water here. Early on Taylor confused me a bit, I could never tell if she was morally ambiguous(like many of todays “infotainment” reporters seem to be) or just naive. One minute while interviewing Leslie she seems to be appalled at his murderous plans, the next she is running out to the library parking lot and jumping for joy with him because his plan of killing the librarian not only went ahead as planned but netted him his “Ahab”. Which is it? Are you sickened by the death, or does it thrill you? ...Why was Killing Mrs. Collinwood ok but killing two coital teenagers is crossing a line?

The twist ending was obvious, but pulled off well. When I think about it actually I realize that without the twist the ending would have been really boring. I mean we had already seen hims “plans” in a flash forward sense, so something had to be changed....Still, a little bit more effort to hide what the plans were at least during the beginning would have been fine with me.

In the end the only real complaint I can make. The only thing that truly irked and bothered me to the core of my soul is Leslie's insistence on using the term “Survivor Girl.” While that term may or may not be industry correct I think we all know the truth. The term is “Final Girl” dammit!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I call shenanigans!

Ok let me get this straight. I order an item a long time in advance, I pay extra shipping to assure that it is on my doorstep on the Saturday morning that it is ships, it travels (I checked the UPS tracking) and everything looks fine...Then Saturday morning comes and no package, no nothing. Well I live out in a rural area so I figured that it would probably be in the afternoon anyway...But in the afternoon no package. I get a little upset by about 4 so I check on the tracking status and it claims deliery at 8 in the morning. Well that itself isn't that unusual either, for some reason since moving here packages constantly say "delivered" when they mean "on truck for deliver" but this is the first time that the damned thing didn't make an appearance at all on the delivery date.

Obviously I'm talking about the new Potter book, which I'm not really that fanatical about. I like the books good enough, I don't preach them or anything. I did want to get to read this one before the spoilers ran wild...which now apparently won't happen. Unless of course I shut myself in and don't touch the Internet until I can clear up this little snafu.

Oh how I long for the day that I can sit back and have all of my media delivered to me on my sweet sweet Interociter

Friday, July 20, 2007

On Notice

Yes I blatantly stole this post idea from Wil Wheaton who has a far superior (and funnier) list of his own

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

In which I ruin your day

by making you realize that you know every word to this gem from Toni Basil

Don't feel too horribly though because I know the words as well. Even worse finding the below clip reminded me that due to the inclusion of Eliza Dushku I have been forced to add to my long list of things to do before I die "See Bring It On".

Damn you Eliza why do you do these things to me!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Friday the whatnow?

Before I go any further I would like to mention I had originally intended to get this done and up by the actual Friday the 13th so I could participate in the awesome Final Girl Friday the 13th Blog-a-Thon. Unfortunately due to a series of unfortunate incidents (probably not involving Jim Carrey) I wasn't able to make deadline...

That doesn't mean I'm just going to roll over and be silent. In fact this is going to be quite rant-ish! You see I watched “Friday the 13th” for the first time last week. Yep I said first time. Some day maybe I'll tell you about how I was tortured with horror movies when I was younger and so only now in my 26th year of life have I seen both “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th” for the first time....I still haven't watched “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.

So, onto “Friday.” I'm skipping my regular(boring) semi-review, we all know whats up here. Bad stuff happened at a camp a long time ago, camp is about to reopen, bad stuff happens again, yadda yadda yadda. Right? ...Though if I were doing my review I would mention how I was very pleasantly surprised that this was a “Holy shit there is a psycho killing people” movie instead of a “Holy shit there is a supernatural psycho killing people” movie.

Instead I am just going to point out the one scene that blew my mind in a bad way¹....

Picture it, you are in a cabin on a dark rainy night with nothing to do, it is decided a game is to be played, someone grabs Monopoly and hauls it over. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere Alice exclaims “I hate Monopoly”....Really Alice, hate? You hate Monopoly? Are you even an screw that are you even a human? Hate Monopoly??? Do you hate the flag and puppies as well? I suppose you stomp kittens in your spare time as well? I assume you have plenty of spare time, what with your “hate” of Monopoly! ....I'll be honest, I can't wait until I get Friday the 13th part 2 in the mail now just because I KNOW that Alice and her Monopoly hating days must come to an unpleasant end.

...But lets not dwell on the girl who didn't die, lets focus on one that did(and probably deserved it as you will see). Ok, back to this “Strip Monopoly” game they are playing. First off, I'd like to know who set up the rates because if landing on a freshly bought Baltic require the loss of a shoe what happens with a hotel laden Boardwalk? My guess is some sort of ritual sex act...

Anywhoozle back to Brenda. At first during this scene I thought I was going to end up liking her, I mean after all she wanted to play Monopoly (See that Alice, she knows what is good!), in fact she even made up Strip Monopoly which combines two very fine past times(though not very well as I mentioned above). So what happened that made me turn on Brenda as quick as I did on that nutjob Alice? Well just take a gander at the posted picture.

See what the problem is? No? Let me help, after Brenda rolls the dice she exclaims “Double sixes, I get to go again” or something to that effect...Do you see the trouble now? Brenda is a filthy cheat and a liar, just take a look at the blown up version(I know it isn't as clear as I would have liked either) clearly you can see that the dice do now show a six and another six, they show a one and a two, yup good ol' Acey Ducey. So you see Brenda was a cheat and after that whatever she got she had coming to her!

But like I said, other than the one scene there I really enjoyed the movie. Especially since I suspect Beastie Boy involvement

¹ You should be able to tell this is pretty much completely tongue in cheek²

² But seriously..who hates Monopoly?