The Goon Show — Bedazzled , Stanley Donen. Him too. At Last the Show. And Young Frankenstein , Mel 70 Brooks. Among other things, Mr. Time Bandits , Terry Gilliam and a bunch of Shakespearean stage things. Season 3, Episode 65, Soderbergh and Lester, Getting Away with It, p. Archived at YouTube; www. Bitch Slap A few years ago I broke my right hand. When asked by a female nurse what happened, I told her: I got mad and punched a wall.
Women do not express anger and should not be admired for their beauty, seems to be my oversimplified inference. Well, the cast, crew and creators of the movie Bitch Slap unite in a single voice to address the above and cry bullshit. If nothing else, Bitch Slap appeals to the juvenile in all of us, regardless of sex.
The female leads in this movie express their anger physically and ballistically. As the brash opening credits attest, this is first and foremost an unapologetic exploitation movie, so each woman is filmed first at chest level, followed by a tilt up to the perfectly made-up faces. Pulling up in a muscle car, our heroines yank open the trunk to reveal mid-level gangster Gage played by Hercules star Michael Hurst , bloody and nearly naked in silk robe and banana hammock.
When a badly-timed bullet prevents his confession, the girls are forced to dig, shovels in hand and impractical shoes on pedicured feet. As the story moves forward, we jump back and learn how they got to this point in time. All the double-dealings, backstabbings, assaults, murders and insane associates that led them to this desert.
How about this? But the movie makes it easy for you by never, at any time, taking itself seriously. The multiple but surprisingly not overused split screen sequences serve as reminders. Even better, as opposed to the Andy Sidaris8 oeuvre of the girls-and-guns genre, we get a good idea of who these women are as people rather than tropes. It was just great to play—you know, just a secondary weak character. While all three of our leads get down and dirty with each other and a goodly number of their co-stars, their much-referred-to naughty bits are covered throughout, even if just barely.
As the three anti-heroines, Erin Cummings and America Olivo as Hel and Camaro steal the show with knowing odes to Barbara Stanwyck13 and Tura Satana,14 respectively, while Julia Voth as Trixie, stripper79 with-a-heart-of-gold-and-a-dark-secret, portrays slow-on-the-uptake sweetness. The rest of the cast is fun, but largely incidental. Make no mistake: Bitch Slap is about the ladies, not about Kevin Sorbo16 or any of the other cameos. Those are the candy flowers on this already overloaded decadent cake. Guns, swords, grenades, fetishized vehicles, microscopic skirts, spraying blood, every action trope stuffed to bursting in one single film.
I want to walk around barefoot on broken glass and I want to kill the bad guy. This is the kind of film where not only do I get to do it, but I get to do it and still be a woman. I can still be a woman and kick ass, basically. I think Bette Davis is the end-all-be-all. Women like her and Joan Crawford—and if you go back and watch Preston 80 Sturges films, granted they were a different genre than this is, but all of his female characters were witty and smart and sexy and they were tough broads.
Fortunately, Hollywood is starting to wake up. Bitch Slap is Die Hard with ovaries. Friday the 13th , Marcus Nispel. Kelly Lee on General Hospital. Weapons designed by award-winning artist Richard Taylor Lord of the Rings. Double Indemnity , Billy Wilder.
Best known for Faster, Pussycat! Again, Hercules. My feelings towards The Blood Shed have not changed since that initial screening. Edward Gein, the quiet Wisconsin man whose necrophiliac appetites and wardrobe inspired Psycho, Deranged and, of course, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, not to mention at least two biopics of his very own. Predating Ed is Albert Fish, the neighborhood masochist with a taste for children; going even further back, the Sawney Beane clan who terrorized the Scottish Highlands throughout the 15th century.
Despite the frilly pink dress and pigtails, Beefteena is obviously older than she believes, and likely a lot less innocent, as she tears down missing children posters. A trio of horrified children mock her and two girls leave behind the vicious little thug, Andy Schiffner. Having just killed a frog with a rock, he then flings Flapjack into the creek. While he taunts the distraught Beefteena, her two brothers arrive, Butternut and Hubcap. Butternut is a typical over-excited overalls-wearing redneck; Hubcap is even more off, his head tilted perpetually to the side, his vacant stare and slow drawl occasionally slipping to allow through a menacing viciousness.
They decide to play tug of war with Andy. Or rather using Andy. But the girl? She wants a new Flapjack and to audition for a modeling agency. The servant of the law awakens to find himself tied to a post and at the business end of a shotgun wedding with Beefteena. You know, for fun. Cut your life right in half, boy. It was on this first film that he formed his own movie family. Terry M. But Kelly, as Beefteena, is the star of the show. Like the others in her chromosomally-challenged family, Beefteena has a sweetness that overcomes caricature.
Really, if people would just leave them alone—not mock them if their secondbest-friend is a can of beans in a pink bow, for example—the Bullions would probably get along fine in this world. Kelly, a late-forties man, pulls off the character of Beefteena with twisted glee and shades of Janet Wright from American Gothic,3 a great eighties film starring Rod Steiger and Yvonne De Carlo.
His set pieces and attention to details along with his camera work really set the tone in seventies gothic and exploitation style. His films have a very old-school horror feel to them and as with most of his work thus far, he wears many hats as writer, director and actor and hats with feathers, sequins and whatever wonderful outfits he can come up with. They were independents with intense storylines and provocative subject matter. The acting was always professional—though a bit out in left field a lot of the time—and to me, that is what makes them great.
Even if it was a two-hour movie, you traveled the film with the characters and never knew how it would end. You stayed in for the long haul while loving that journey into unexplored terror. To be honest, I think a lot of the writing was more intelligent back then. Without 89 calling attention to the question, Kelly and company are asking, with this movie, how far can one go with perversity if the audience finds the central characters lovable?
How immoral can a story get and still be funny? This question is aimed squarely at the horror hounds that profess to love the Sawyer family in the Chainsaw movies, or the mutants in The Hills Have Eyes. What do we have to do before you no longer find these people endearing?
The Boneyard I still mourn the death of the video store, particularly the disappearance of browsing as a sport. The quality of browsing is severely limited at the corporate chains like Walmart or Best Buy, and the closest you can get to the thrill of the hunt is in college-town second-hand bookstores. Movie addicts everywhere could spend hours lost among the vaguely organized shelves, searching for those elusive Holy Grail movies but delighting in the discoveries along the way. It was the closest many of us came to big game hunting, to archeology, to deep-sea treasure diving.
You were open to anything, knowing that the cheesiest box could hold wondrous riches. Online sites require that you have a jumping-off point—usually what they recommend for you—and the searches seem finite. There are no dark corners at Amazon, nor uncharted territories on Netflix. How—how, I ask you—could you fail to snatch up a movie with a cover like that? It told you nothing! A snarling man-sized poodle like something out of a Richard Corben4 comic and the promise of Phyllis Diller buried amongst the other horror titles?
Grabbing it and making a beeline for the counter, I eagerly anticipated the adrenaline rush of cinematic trash. Instead, I got riches. We begin with two plainclothes cops, Jersey Callum Ed Nelson5 and Gordon Mullen James Eustermann6 , searching for the owner of a ramshackle house through each junk-filled room. Mullen, surprised by a figure rising beneath a pile of blankets and clothes, trips over himself in shock and rolls down the stairs.
Chen has choked down a bullet and the dead children are a mystery now. But that night, she dreams of the skeletal corpse of a girl she helped locate.
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Instead of menacing her, the dead girl hugs Alley in thanks for helping her body to be put to rest. First, they have to run the gauntlet of night shift supervisor, Miss Poopinplatz guess and her vicious poodle, Floosums. Shepard Fell. The three kyoshi have woken up and wreak havoc in the Boneyard. From that point on, The Boneyard settles into the horror pattern of fight and flight, as the survivors race to find a way out of the deteriorating building. Part puppet and part real children trained in dance and movement, they run and jump and bite like a cross between a Zuni Fetish Doll8 and The Brood.
And then arrives Monster Floosums. For most audiences, this would be the breaking point. As long as the viewers still have reality beneath their feet, Monster Floosumses are easy to swallow. Cummins achieves that through character and actor performance. There are no emaciated PYTs10 out to screw and get drunk; instead we get adults in an insane situation, handling things like adults. At the lead is the central figure of Alley Cates. Unglamorous in every way, Alley dresses in sweats and loose clothes, not to hide her weight, but because she no longer cares.
The others, particularly Ed Nelson and Norman Fell, craft real people out of stock characters. That The Boneyard feels so familiar yet so original is a testament to its creator. A pioneer in the infant field of eBooks, he wrote a number of suspense and thriller novels and continued to champion the medium until his death in With all of the above, it stands to reason that his first movie as a director would have such a unique stamp—a horror-comedy with the realistic and surrealistic existing simultaneously.
Primarily a sculpter and designer on movies like Jaws 3, House and Deep Star Six, Cummins wrote and directed a similar-themed movie about guilt-ridden child-finders in called Harbinger. Levi and Don McDougall. From the final segment of Trilogy of Terror with Karen Black. Okay, there is a minor subplot involving Mullen and a pretty suicide failure named Dana Denise Young , who wakes up on the autopsy table.
But at no point do these demographically appealing young people interrupt the plot for a quickie nude scene. See Meet the Hollowheads. Everybody uses magic. Particularly those mixed up with the one and only Necronomicon. Lovecraft,4 told in a tongue-in-cheek style. Then he turns a stack of shredded newspaper into a whirlwind that slices the man to pieces.
Under the supervision of stalwart Tony Gardner,11 most of the monsters look a little lumpy and we get a squishy Yog-Sothoth12 at the climax. With a deceptively easy balance of mystery and comedy, Cast a Deadly Spell, to its credit, never takes the easy way out. The only narrative sleight-of-hand comes from clever writing rather than your more modern studio misdirection.
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That being said, Cast is far from ponderous in and of itself. The movie deserves better and movie fans deserve this movie, even on a Walmart-bin throwaway release. Producer of The Terminator , Aliens Thirtysomething TV series. Check local listings for showtimes. Keeping in line with this, our attitudes toward art continue to change, reflecting societal attitudes. In the years that followed, particularly in the last 20 years, accusations of racism have been leveled against this lighthearted look at African-American folk tales and the oddly whimsical life black people led on a free post—Civil War Southern plantation.
Any new Disney film immediately becomes part of the consciousness of almost every child in America, and I would not want to be a black child going to school in the weeks after Song of the South was first seen by my classmates. One of these films dealt with lower-class living and daily survival, titled Heavy Traffic Its existence was picketed during its first screening at the Museum of Modern Art by Al Sharpton and his Congress of Racial Equality, a demonstration that almost devolved into a riot before the film had even begun.
Even today, the laughs it evokes are more nervous chuckles than delighted bellylaughs. Coonskin is an incendiary, take-no-prisoners satire of racial relations in general, with a special spotlight turned on hatred, poverty, organized crime and political hypocrisy, that is still all too relevant today. They find themselves up against racist cops, Mafia thugs, false evangelists—all manner of unspeakable people. What makes Coonskin so effective and uncomfortable even today lies within the very elements that justified the accusations of racism.
However, every ethnic stereotype imaginable is not only depicted but boiled down and vomited back at both the bigot and racially sensitive alike. Most of the African-Americans appear in minstrel gear—several of the enemies even dress in Uncle Tom blackface. Italian-Americans, homosexuals, cops, criminals—no one gets off lightly and no one is clean of sin.
The animation, the writing, everything—I was putting it into the film. Content, language, technique that broke the sterility of animation—very much like Jackson Pollock broke the surface of a canvas with his huge swirls. Bakshi has been called to defend himself and his film for more than 30 years. Coonskin dares the viewer to face his own bigotry, and avoid falling into any stereotypes anyone would impose upon him.
It is incendiary and was meant to be so. It is challenging and it is terribly uncomfortable to watch. Uncut versions of the film are more than plentiful online and for a while the entire thing was available on YouTube. Fortunately, Xenon Pictures came to the rescue in with a gorgeous, widescreen transfer. So because of all of the above, Coonskin is a challenging viewing experience. Those are the guys that know satire. All he asks is that you watch it before you condemn it. Directed by Harve Foster live action and Wilfred Jackson animation.
Miami Vice — ; currently doing voices for the Grand Theft Auto video game series. The live-action photography courtesy of William Fraker. Jon M. Beware of the Blax-issued bootleg DVD. There is no such animal as Coonskin 2. At least Ralph gets the dough. Gibson and McDonnel, pp. Two men, their faces unseen, dig a hole in a cramped earthen basement. Struggling against the low ceiling beams, they haul a heavy steamer trunk into the hole. Before burying it, one of the men places a crucifix on its lid.
The town is drying up as it dies. One or two businesses are still thriving, however, like the general store and the rundown Starlight Drive-In. His childhood home is crumbling and rotting under the weight of memory pressing down on the town.
In , his twin brother Francis was the last of the children to be abducted in Eidolon Falls, his body never to be found. He literally disappeared when their father Jason Christ2 turned his back for just a second. Burning in a lake of fire. Harold Everett, the former caretaker of the nowdemolished Dogwood Amusement Park, died of a heart attack and the murders were blamed on him. The case is closed. But that fact gives Jacob no closure.
As for Francis and the other twenty-six children killed over the span of thirty-five years ago, Cooper just tells the former twin to leave everything alone. Out of the twenty-six, only four bodies were ever found. She convinces her father to drag the river by the park and another body is discovered. But the case remains closed. In , the manager of the still-thriving Dogwood Park discovers the first dead child, hidden away inside the Tunnel of Love, a dog chewing on the remains. The priest keeps to himself and his Bible and only wanders off by himself once.
All through their investigation, they are threatened by the increasingly panicked sheriff and other townspeople. The truths about the child murderers, about Harold Everett and Father Callahan, have been literally buried and want to be forgotten. Digging deeper will only unearth the evil. But is it evil of past sins or trespass? Is it an evil that visited Eidolon Crossing or was born there? Early on in the film, Jacob explores his house by the light of a single lantern. Hearing noise, splashing, coming from an upstairs bathroom, he investigates. From across the room he watches in horror—as does the viewer—as a tiny, blood- and dirt-caked hand reaches up over the lip of the deep clawfoot bathtub.
It grips the edge for just a moment, then slides back, just as slowly. Thoughtful, deliberate and ripe with a creeping dread, Deadwood Park is one of the most ambitious—and accomplished—movies to come from filmmaker Eric Stanze and his Wicked Pixel family. Directed by Stanze, who co-wrote the script from a story by Jessie Seitz, the movie tells a very adult story of sadness and loss while skillfully slipping in moments of chill and an atmosphere of pure horror.
Take away the ghosts, take away the secret of the long-dead murderer, and you still have a real story about a man who lost his twin at too young an age, and he still feels his brother like a phantom limb. This is entwined with a Southern Gothic tale of vigilante justice and the guilt of its still-living participants, represented by the ruined amusement park and the weeds overgrowing every abandoned structure. Anything left unattended will decay and be swallowed by nature and entropy, which is the theme at the heart of Deadwood Park.
The highlight of the film for many indies has been the third-act flashback: Stanze enlists the help of World War II re-enactors to stage a convincing battle with all the conventions, including tanks, halftracks, explosions and believable dog-faced grunts hunkered down in their foxholes. We do get that a lot where people think of stock footage or that we stole some leftovers from some movie.
The prevailing atmosphere is what overcomes some of the lesser performances, which are to be expected with any independently-made film. No one here can be categorized as bad— Jason Allen Wolfe as Father Callahan is a particular standout. He makes big movies on very small budgets. One of his first features, Ice from the Sun, is an experimental horror movie that bombards you with images and filmic techniques, telling the oblique story of a game played by an insane sorcerer D.
Vivona from another dimension where participants both willing and un- are subjected to cruel and surreal tortures, and a woman Ramona Midgett, who also appears in Deadwood Park is recruited by the servants of both Heaven and Hell to stop him. All of the backstory of this eternal cosmic battle is presented in voice-over lasting over ten minutes running over just four repeated shots.
In Savage Harvest, the centuries-old myth of a vengeful Native American spirit is related by a single actor Clifton7 around a campfire. While all of his narratives take place in the present, the setup always involves decades, if not infinity. The myth-building is admirable but still amounts to weighty exposition sometimes delivered by amateur actors. Even his groundbreaking Scrapbook, a truthfully disturbing and often terrifying story of a woman abducted by a fame-obsessed schizophrenic psychopath, has a rich history in its story.
Stanze and company—and even Haack—were accused of both misogyny and misanthropy. As a woman who has experienced violence, why would I be involved in a project that I felt was promoting it? And degrading to women? Have these people seen our movies? The women end up kicking ass and taking names! We get beat down but then we rise back up and get revenge.
They are empowering, not degrading. I feel that if you watch a movie that contains violence, degradation, etc. Also refreshing is that Deadwood Park deals with the problems of adults. Neither of the two are potheads nor sexobsessed—quite the contrary. Jacob only returns to face his past in order to escape his present, in this case a quite-pregnant girlfriend in Missouri, a situation he is not ready to face and which, therefore, forces him to dive into the possibly unsolvable mystery of his childhood.
The past is literally preventing him from moving on and maturing. Through it all, Jacob wants to evolve and mature. So he must face previously unknown horror. The Severed Head Network, Vol. If memory serves. Sirens of Cinema, Vol. Death Watch a. But what about the person who wants to be anonymous? How can a human being live in our modern society without observation, without leaving footprints wherever he or she goes, electronically, virtually, otherwise?
Privacy has become a chief concern these days, or at least a hotbutton talking point. Our current society was, almost point-for-point, prophesied by novelist D. Compton in his book The Unsleeping Eye. Katherine Mortenhoe Romy Schneider6 writes admittedly trite bestselling romances by feeding scenarios into a computer which then spits out the novels whole. Barring the exception of fatal accidents, humans can choose to live for as long as they want, just choose the way to be preserved. Extreme old age is treated with a gradual increase of drugs that allow the elderly to bypass dementia. The idea makes her feel abandoned; the disease makes her into a celebrity.
It gives the viewers rare catharsis, allowing them to experience emotion. In the background, the televisions blare. Watch television and escape. But her soon-to-be-widower husband could use the money. Life is cheap; so should be death. After signing contracts, Katherine manages to elude the producers by buying a wig at a gypsy market and vanishing into the crowds. He helps her during one particularly painful night and she develops a bond with him, especially after he reveals that he knows who she is, coaxing her out of hiding.
He cannot sleep, taking pills to prevent this. Death Watch is certainly not a slam-bang in-your-face type of film; rather it is quiet and contemplative. But it presents the viewer with a stew of emotions, themes and ideas. Voyeurism is the foremost theme of the film, and we are made into bigger spies than even the Death Watch audience or Roddy himself. We are viewing the voyeurs, experiencing everything vicariously through the eyes of someone else. Filmed in Scotland, utilizing some breathtaking scenery of the coast as well as gorgeous tracking and crane shots through graveyards, Death Watch is an amazing little movie.
Deemed too slow for American audiences, however, it was cut by nearly twenty minutes for the Embassy Home Video VHS release a fact I was utterly unaware of until I watched it again recently—more on that in a minute. Virtually unknown in the U. The initial zing of the story tends to peter out amid much in the way of rambling mundanities in the latter half. The sub-theme of corporate exploitation, greed-motivated invasion, is downplayed in the American version of the film.
When Katherine learns of this, she goes forward with her plan to take her own life, and in this context, her motivations are defiance and revenge. Neither version lets Vincent or his corporate greed off the hook. In the U. For some reason, hollow inconsideration was determined to be easier for Americans to swallow than calculated ambition. The versions of the film say more about the differing attitudes of UK and U.
Whichever version you manage to run down, do your best to see this movie. Quiet and deliberate, it does require patience to sit through. Any viewer whose sole familiarity with Keitel is via his angry and violent crime films is in for an enormous surprise here, as his portrayal of Roddy is never less than gentle, even while being threatening.
While the parallels between the Death Watch world and our own modern-day obsession with technology are more than obvious, and more damning than the prophecy was in , the movie never comes out and states the obvious. The movie does the audience a favor by asking it to think. Hopefully, what Rob Spence discovers on the other side of his camera will bring him more peace than it did to Roddy. Richara Scheib. I want to scream in your face.
Brain history in the making. Textbook, right? Caligari insists that Mrs. Van Houten be admitted back into her care. Slice it thick, ma. His daughter, Roberta Jennifer Balgobin5 , and her husband, Dr. Adrian Lodger David Parry6 , know that something is rotten in Denmark or even closer. No matter how loudly he protests. But Mrs.
Van Houten is busy bathing herself against a giant tongue that has emerged from a wall of unhealthy flesh, whose orifices ooze hot pink fluid, chili con carne and jellybeans. Before too long, Caligari has swapped Mrs. Except now Mrs. So who can stop Caligari before things get even more out of control? And is that even possible? Because Dr. And then Caligari is about. I will now attempt to explain it. At that time, many downtown L.
Characters slide in and out of frame on invisible wheels, many delivering their wonderful lines in a perfect deadpan particularly Madeleine Reynal as Dr. Caligari , only to break into surprising enthusiasm. Van Houten. Everybody limbo. Uh huh. Naked men and women are used as furniture and living statues. Walls are surrounded by negative space while pools of toxic green sludge bubble up from earthen floors and roses with barbed wire stems grow amid barren trees and scrub brush inside the rooms. The movie is literally set inside an erotically charged delusional nightmare.
But neither eroticism nor titillation is the main goal. In fact, as in many of his hardcore films, Sayadian seems to be reaching for the opposite of titillation, preferring to achieve discomfort when possible. I knew the director [Stephen Sayadian], and a friend of mine [Jerry Stahl] had written it with him. Obviously, it was very low budget. I want it to be really dark. So just score this film as an Rrated film, and in these sections just add on a few extra minutes, but make the music real disturbing. His cell is a minimalist blank set, with bars that represent a window and a few photos suggesting a wall.
Easy to beat at poker. Night Dreams, a precursor to Dr. Caligari, is similarly set in an insane asylum where the prototype Mrs.
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Or make it even more awesome. When he felt it was time to move further into the mainstream with Dr. Caligari, he took with him the basic premise of Night Dreams and his avant-garde attitude. If he intended Dr. Reviewers then, as now, were flummoxed. As one online critic intoned, Dr. Take for example G. Laura Albert, for example, is a successful stuntwoman today, who paid her bills in low-budget horror and teensex comedies, both of which share sensibilities with Dr.
Fox Harris was, of course, J. Heck, even the poor scarecrow that has only straw in his crotch was played by martial artist and actor Stephen Quadros.
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The bad news, depending on how you look at it, is that the distributor who kept all rights to the film is the adult outfit Excalibur Films and can best be found through their website, so the more prudish among you may want to order with a bag over your head. If you search far enough, you can track Sayadian through a variety of pseudonyms—I discovered that I was actually Facebook friends with one them—under which he pursues a variety of socially-acceptable endeavors and interests.
Project Eliminator , H. Kaye Dyal. Frank Parnell. The Dueling Accountant Movies by the hundreds, if not thousands in these digital days, are made every year and yet the majority of them go unseen outside of local screenings or film festivals. Touring throughout the country, sometimes the world, collecting one award after another but failing to find legitimate distribution, for these wonderful but under-commercial movies, the exile is especially tragic. For his honor, for a woman, for his very life.
So the short straw belongs to him by default. He also recognizes an opportunity when he sees one. It seems Fate has decided to make a project of Mungo. Seconds after the meeting, he is knocked flat by a limousine door, opened by the beautiful Countess Gizella Jenifer Krater , regretting her assault-byegress and eager to make amends with the troubled accountant. More intrigue unfolds, as intrigue is wont to do. First, we, the audience, learn that Gizella is also married to the colorful and lower middle-class Janos David Rhodes , who has just been released from prison and means to have the Countess and her subsequent fortune for his own.
If Lazlo dies prior to the duel, or if the duel is called off, Gizella will inherit everything. But despite his composition of mostly hatred and oxygen tubes, Lazlo seems frustratingly healthy for his very advanced age. Jasper confronts Gizella and tells her that after the duel is done she will marry him. And after he immediately escapes through the door on the other side, they grab him and stuff him in again. Even if she does inherit the empire she would never give the family what they long for: property.
Weary of wandering, the Gypsies want nothing more than to settle down. To be a man, a man needs something to fight for, and everything is worth fighting for. Until the very moment that he does.
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Finally, the fire within the accountant has been awoken! Before the duel is even fought, more secrets are revealed. Mungo and Jasper are bound by destiny, perhaps even lineage. It all rockets towards its inevitable conclusion on the terrazzo floor of honor, with the duel to decide it all. Often for no other reason than because they were created by me.
Sometimes because they are out-and-out lousy; but lousy, like beautiful, is in the eye of the beholder.
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Mike has chosen about a hundred of these little cultural oddities to explore in these pages. Because he loves movies. Because they are important. Mike Watt knows more about cinema than If you love film, you should give this book more than a cursory glance before thinking about sex. Then Film Threat folded albeit temporarily, but temporarily in this case added to years and suddenly I was without home for my work almost entirely. As it turned out, nearly every artist I reached out to during the course of putting this book together greeted me like a long-lost relative or, in the case of Bakshi, just a so-and-so utterly lost.
In cases like James Cummins, the director of The Boneyard who had sadly passed, his family bent over backwards to provide me with photographs to illustrate the book, without a word of compensation discussed. Artists are always cooler than studios. And while I was doing the bulk of the work, the deal offered was unsatisfying. Movie Outlaw grew out of my frustration with McFarland.
I never met a bad person there. I never met a stupid person there. So whatever failings the industry has, I also failed to understand them. At the same time, my need for control—plus the economic reality that putting something out print on demand without having to cut in a publisher, since the harder reality of the death of brick-and-mortar book stores meant that the playing field was equal. I could make the book exactly the way I wanted and keep whatever sales the dismal reality would allow.
Still, Fervid Filmmaking haunted me. It was the bastard forebear of Movie Outlaw and it was going unread. Having the rights returned to me allowed me the hallowed opportunity to revisit some of my favorite movies and expand the chapters to their original unwieldy lengths, include all of the pictures, and not just the ones some other editor thinks would be enough.
Finally, I could have the protozoic Movie Outlaw back in the fold. Meatier entries—include four new ones written especially for this volume! Also: sic semper tyranis. Oh, in I interviewed Robert De Niro. Because we were but poor post-college students and because filmmaking is such an arduous, Sisyphean task, we became convinced early on that this also might be our last film. So we decided to make every movie we ever wanted to in one production.
The script we hammered out was a satirical futuristic film noir with zombies, sword fights and an over-the-top puppet Greek Chorus named Necro-Phil. To borrow from an age-old idiom, we threw in everything but the kitchen sink. It was a literal all-or-nothing scenario and we worked hard on both script and final edit to make the disparate elements work.
This course was no accident. The three of us were long-time aficionados of the Kitchen Sink movie. We loved it when the filmmakers piled on the familiar toppings and invented new flavors. Movies that took severe right-angle turns when you least expected them to, where the artists borrowed from all over the place to make something that was, if not unique, at least a wild and disorienting ride. How else to describe a wacky, anachronistic musical with Jackie Chan and friends merrily fighting Nazis before everyone dies in the end? To us, Kitchen Sink Cinema meant total chaos and total control.
Richard Kelly destroyed box office expectations with Donnie Darko and was thus handed the keys to the kingdom to make the thoroughly whacked-out Southland Tales. Darren Lynn Bousman cashed in all the stock he made on the Saw franchise and made Repo! The Genetic Opera. Kitchen Sink movies are rarely successful on the first go-around.
Kitchen Sink movies are lightning-strikes of inspiration, all the elements coming together for good or ill, to result in jaw-dropping wonder. A whirl of ideas, of images, of themes or plots, inexplicably coming together despite conventional reason. Or not hard enough. Or, in fact, hated every living being that comprised its audience. Some of the very best are nearly or completely unknown to mainstream audiences.
Ben Solovey, year-old Florida State film school graduate, is undertaking a mission to restore the original 16mm negative of Harold P. I focus on a handful of low- to no-budget independent movies as well. Some were made by people who have since become friends of mine. The independent film world is a very small community; we trip over each other.
All the movies listed had some sort of passion driving through them, a need to get the movie made. This passion is palpable and unmistakable. Still it exists and it has left some very weird footprints in the sand. I did this for the same reason all writers cannibalize themselves: it was convenient. Some of the movies I talk about are not available commercially. To the studios I say There is no excuse that these movies are not available.
Even if the master is damaged or there are music issues, find some way to release it. You want to stop piracy? Make the movies available. And happy people go on to spend money. Especially movie addicts. They— we need our fix. We need our secret handshakes, our knowing nods, our code words like 42 and Frodis. And above all, we need our Kitchen Sink Movies because The rest of the world has Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks.
And until we get it, books like this will be necessary to spread the word. Give us what we want and This I can virtually promise. Bet your sink on it. One thing I find most lamentable about our googolplex society is the death of showmanship. The days of leaving bright sunshine behind for the dim excitement of a Saturday matinee, handing your ticket to a monster inside the door and signing up for fright insurance with a busty nurse, are long gone. But sometime after , the idea of a motion picture as Event had died, given way to the revolving door patrons and popcorn sales, with the movie secondplace—thirdplace, now, after fifteen minutes of commercials and endless trailers for all-too-familiar-seeming upcoming films.
Step right up has mutated into Free Refill on Superlarge Bucket. To give the character an outlet, Grannell created the Midnight Mass stage show and film screenings. All Rights Reserved. I grew up in Maryland, a weirdo queer kid obsessed with horror movies. So when I discovered that John Waters and his crew of misfits were ma king the movies just down the road from where I lived, I became truly obsessed with them. The influence is unmistakable, explains Grannell. John did not have too much of an association with the film, other than offering some advice.
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