Welcome Boing Boing-ers! My blog has gotten an uptick of readers from Boing Boing because I had to comment on one of their music-related posts. They posted a video of a pretty cool tune paired with clips from the film Horrors Of Snape Island, and I just couldn't let something like that go.
I don't normally comment on things because I'm incredibly busy being a billionaire industrialist and being incredibly self-absorbed. My public relations department generally handles such things. Speaking of the PR department, everyone in the PR department at Deathrage Industries is getting an early Krampusnacht holiday bonus, and by "bonus" I really mean "fired and shoved down an open elevator shaft". Yet again, I have been overlooked in Forbes' Richest 15, and I didn't hear about it until just now.
What the heck is up with that? Mr. Monopoly? Really? That guys owes me $20. Charles Foster Kane? I'm certain he had something to do with me being left off the list after I told him I bought a slightly singed sled from someone on E-Bay and now he doesn't return my calls, and by "my calls" I mean my "executive assistant's calls" because I don't make calls I pay people to make calls. Speaking of paying people, I now have several openings in the public relations department at Deathrage Industries.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Brylcreemed chain-smokers head to outer space and discover a world of fire maidens in this Brylcreemy sci-fi film; but I'm uncertain of the intricacies of the plot as the version I watched was translated in Russian, essentially obscuring the dialogue. Here's what I got out of it:
Stock footage of airplanes and automobiles take people places, then some dudes enjoy a smoke and look through a very large telescope. Then a phony spaceship unconvincingly flies through phony outer space, and a suspiciously uniform meteorite swarm heads directly at the spaceship, oddly enough in approximate patterns of 3. It's probably just a strange science-y quirk of space travel that I don't understand very well that causes that, I suppose. Then the spaceship lands on a planet that looks suspiciously like Nebraska, and you can tell it's a planet in outer space because of all the exotic foliage like trees and grasses and weeds and the fact that there's a screaming girl wearing a cape being attacked by a monster because that often happens on Planet Nebraska. Then everyone goes into a very Atlantean room and hangs out for a while, and you can tell it's a room from Atlantis because of all the drapery. Then the Atlantean girls languidly dance for some reason, and if that qualifies for entertainment on Planet Nebraska Atlantis, then I'm glad it's a lost continent in space. Do we have a clip? We do? Great!
Wow. It's a morose and awkwardly choreographed shimmying strip-tease without the strip, the tease, or the choreography. The shimmy is there, but it resembles the shimmy on a 1956 Desoto Adventurer with a bad suspension. Then everyone gets drunk and passes out, and it's starting to sound like a solid plan. Suddenly, a monster appears. Far off in the distance. Like, really far away. Maybe it's because if you get a close look at it, it looks like a leotarded Frankenstein. It's hard to tell because it's way over there. In the bushes. Lurking.
After the 1 hour mark, we finally get to see a maiden catch on fire. You would think that would liven things up a bit. It doesn't. Then the movie ends.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
In Dystopic Badly Photographed Future Japan, everyone will travel by elevator and wear bad wigs from what I can tell from this elevator torture film. I think this film is supposed to be a commentary on our present day cynicism in an electronically surveilled world, but I stopped caring after 15 minutes of screaming. I wasn't screaming, the people in the film were; but I certainly felt like screaming. Hellevator is hellish, but for all the wrong reasons. I can't think of anything more awful than being trapped in an elevator with vapid, annoying people; some of whom might stab you or talk incessantly on cell phones.
Wow. It's scary just to imagine. So imagine that and skip the movie.
A whole bunch of James Bonds do stuff in this tedious, over-long satire. Amidst dick jokes and negligees, a large ensemble cast of actors talk about vaguely James Bond-like things for hours and hours and not a whole lot happens.
Let's get real for a moment. The best part about any James Bond film is the opening title sequence and the theme song. The rest of the movie is incidental.
Seriously, how great is that? It's stylish, intriguing, and Shirley Bassey sings the crap out of it. And then I'm done with it and moving on.
Again, it's stylish, risque, and dramatic. Paul McCartney kicks a jam out, and you don't have to be bothered with plot. And there's flaming skulls, which everyone loves, and by 'everyone' I mean me. Heck, even the worst Bond films have a great title sequence.
Wasn't that thrilling? You've got dancing girls with flaming eyes and black-light guns, and you don't have to worry yourself with all that skiing, blimp-y nonsense.
I'm glad that's settled.
Will Farrell stars in this faux telenovella-style film. The film-makers pull out all the stops in making this film look cruddy; there are obvious intentional continuity errors, painted backgrounds and rear-projection effects, shoddy editing, cuts between outdoor location shots and soundstage shots, miniatures, and stuffed animal stand-ins. If there was an actual storyline and the usual Will Farrell hilarity, they really could have had something here. They don't and it isn't. Also, Christina Aguilera over-sings the theme song for like ever. Take it down a notch, lady. You don't have anything to prove. We all know you're a capable singer. Settle down.
Jack Black plays an affable assistant mortician in this black comedy. Jack Black does a fine job in the lead role, and Shirley MacLaine is very understated. I very much enjoyed the faux documentary style of the film. The usage of actual townspeople was very effective, and I often wondered who was and who wasn't an actor. That's pretty much all I have to say.
I know! No rants, no smarmy remarks.
Don't worry, it won't last.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Eel. Ray. Champignon. Obulato. Chervil. Yuzu. Brain. Tendon. Marrow. Cartilage. These are only some of the exotic ingredients used at El Bulli, the Michelin 3-Star restaurant in Spain that is known for its imaginative and avant-garde haute cuisine. Ingredients are freeze-dried, vacuum-sealed, and flash-frozen; and formed into ices, gels, and foams. The chefs experiment, research, and develop dishes for 6 months during the time the restaurant is closed. They also feast and bicker. El Bulli: Cooking In Progress was beautifully shot, and I enjoyed its zen-like, nearly music-free presentation where all you hear is the ambient noise of the working restaurant.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show has something to do with a couple of squares who crash a lingerie party, but it was hard to tell because of all the shouting. It seemed like anytime anything happened on the screen, some loud-mouth in the audience had a smart-alec remark. And anytime there was a musical number, everyone started dancing and thrusting. I couldn't make heads-or-tails out of it. The entire audience was inconsiderate and rude. I paid good money to watch a film, and it was interrupted every few seconds. And it's a little too chilly to show up to the theater in your undergarments. They're called pants, people. Get with the program! Why the theater management would allow these ruffians to throw stuff everywhere is beyond me. It was 90 minutes of pure hooliganism. Rice and toilet paper was everywhere. Who does that? Someone has to clean it up.
I think I'm supposed to be sorry that my review for the film The Spirit Is Willing accidentally murdered Larry Hagman, where I said the magic words "I Dream Of Jeannie marathon". That was certainly not my intention. I underestimated the sheer power of my blog, and I won't let that underestimation happen again. Had I understood what tragic circumstances would unfold if I were to utter that phrase, I never would have said it. Please accept my half-hearted apology. My bad.
With a name like Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge, it has to be good. Except it isn't. When you're promised chainsaw martian arts, you should deliver. I didn't sign up for a boring romance. I signed up for ridiculous chainsaw martial arts. Sure, there are a few moments where a hooded chainsaw wielding adversary fights with a katana-brandishing, high-flying heroine, but not enough. Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge plays like a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dawson's Creek Chainsaw Massacre, only with very few massacres.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Re-Animator is a documentary about the various happenings at my old alma mater Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts. Boy, does this film take me back! What eldritch, stygian, gibbous, squamous, and antediluvian days those were! I really should send an email to my old classmate Cthulu and see how that party animal is doing.
Anyway, I feel that some of the events in this film were over-dramatized for effect. Miskatonic is an Ivy League school like any other. The film makes it seem as though students reanimate dead cats using highlighter pen fluid on a daily basis. This is incorrect, as that is only done during finals' week.
When you get hazed Miskatonic-style, you've been hazed.
Well, Turkey Groundhog Day is nearly here. Oh, you've never heard of that holiday? It's the one where if a golden-brown headless turkey sees its shadow, it means six weeks of holly-jolly poinsettia hell, and not in a good way. It means there's six weeks of wassailing, and withy-choosing, and mistletoeing, and ho-ho-hoing, and of course, "going Yule goat"; and it's a winter nightmare. Actually, the Yule goat part is pretty bad-ass. Beating a paper-mache creature with a stick until candy falls out is something that I enjoy. Celebrating Krampusnacht is awesome, and julebukking is pretty cool, too; so maybe I'm a little too harsh on the holiday season. Some of it is kind of brutal. That's not important right now.
I gave Executive Chef, Sous Chef, the kitchen staff, and the cleaning crew a little holiday vacation, and by 'vacation' I mean I fired them all. I had to clean the entire kitchen myself because Executive Chef left a small amount of cheese sauce in the microwave after preparing my Stouffer's Macaroni And Cheese With Broccoli, and it burned to the carousel in a dark-brown concrete-like lump, and now Thanksgiving is ruined. I will have to serve and prepare a Thanksgiving meal without anyone's help, so my family is going to have to enjoy a box of Chicken In A Biskit crackers, a can of spray cheese, and cranberry sauce with the can ridges still evident in lieu of an actual meal with actual food. Boy, that meal might be a little awkward. Everyone will have to get up from their chairs at the end of the really long dining room table, serve themselves crackers that make a soup in your mouth because I fired Butler, and go sit at the opposite end again as I sit several yards away bitching about how I have to clean up. It'll be slightly festive, but it won't be all that different from an ordinary Thursday.
Anyway, I watched Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver, where a murderous, poorly-rendered, foul-mouthed pastry goes back in time to the 1970s and unconvincingly slaughters roller-disco enthusiasts. It's not as good as it sounds. There's a roller boogie car wash fundraiser, a Bay City Rollers t-shirt, and several saxophone solos. It's just dreadful, but it's recommended if you like stuff that sucks.
People are invited to a spooky house by an unknown guest and murder occurs in this film, and it's also the premise of an earlier and much better film. Based nearly shot for shot on Neil Simon's classic film Murder By Death, Clue is an unfortunate waste of comedic talent. Seriously, how can Madeline Kahn be in your movie and have her remain nearly silent? And have her best line be ad-libbed? And cut away during it? Shocking.
Watch Murder By Death instead.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Freak Dance is an all-singing, all-dancing craptacular by the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade. If you want to see the original members of the Upright Citizens Brigade in a feature length film, look elsewhere, as they only make cameo appearances. The camerawork is terrible, the editing is terrible, the singing is terrible, it's not funny, and it just isn't surreal enough.
That was a clip from their Comedy Central television show. Solid acting, a good script and good camerawork for a 4 minute television clip. Maybe the UCB should take a look at their old bits. Anyway, here's a trailer featuring all the funniest lines in the movie so you can skip the whole deal, but I recommend the first season of Upright Citizens Brigade on Comedy Central.
Elen Page stars in this roller derby film which is Drew Barrymore's directorial debut. Drew does a pretty darn good job, actually, and appears in the film as a stoner derby-girl named Smashley Simpson. You know, I should come up with a derby name. Something catchy, and funny, and a little violent. Like, I don't know, Drew Burymore. How does that sound? I'll have to keep thinking about it, I guess.
A scientist discovers he has a brain tumor and logically decides to have the head of Nostradamus grafted on to his body in place of the old tumor-filled one in this nonsensical W. Lee Wilder film. So of course Ol' Nostradamus' head is on a table just as fresh as a daisy after hundreds of years after his death speaking English which is just fine, and everyone wears lab coats to look all science-y, and there are all sorts of scientific looking tubes and blinking lights, and you're not at all supposed to question why an old dude with a head full of tumors who only has seconds to live chases a young dude down the street because that seems pretty unlikely. Maybe I don't know an awful lot about the treatment of tumors, but I would think a full sprint is probably contraindicated for the patient if the only reasonable course of action is a complete head transplant. Anyway, after what seems like months of movie they finally stick the Nostradamus head on the body of the lab assistant because accidents happen and the thing starts lumbering around and then the movie ends and not a moment too soon. The whole thing is a total bummer, and if I had the prescience of Nostradamus I probably wouldn't have watched it, but it's too damn late now. Live and learn. Here's a trailer:
Well, I certainly didn't see that coming. For some reason, the only thing that comes up if you search "The Man Without A Body" is the music video Karma Chameleon by 1980s pop sensation Culture Club. I don't know why, and I don't think I want to know. And now you have Karma Chameleon stuck in your head, and it's probably lethal and the only known cure is a complete head transplant. I wouldn't recommend Boy George's though, because last time I checked his head looked a little like a melting candle.
Yep, I was afraid of that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Karate-Robo Zaborgar is the story of a motorcycle that knows karate. Yes, that is correct. Go ahead and process that information for a moment or two. I'll wait.
Yes, there's a theme song. I don't know what it's about. Anyway, I'm convinced that Karate-Robo Zaborgar is the greatest film ever made by anyone anywhere throughout history, and here's why:
flying heads, dizzying kung fu, katanas, shuriken, samurai with cartoonishly large lips that suck the DNA out of people's faces until their heads collapse, man breast milk, a phony mustache, cyborgs, giant robots, diarrhea robots, bikini girls, dragon breasts, and a motorcycle that knows karate. It's incredible, and terrible, and I worry for the human race that this movie exists. Watch it immediately.
The American Scream is a very well done documentary about amateur 'home haunters'. These spirited individuals spend most of the year getting their houses ready for Halloween by turning their yards into haunted attractions. This subject matter is very dear to my heart, as I have tortured my children for many years by dominating their Halloween and forcing them to dress up in all sorts of horrible outfits for my amusement. Every year they would cry and beg and plead to be fairy princesses. Instead, they were sea-monsters, giant rats, full-grown headless men, mummies, the clown from Poltergeist, Samara from The Ring, several presidential candidates, and zombie prom queens. I let them be princesses one year. It was a disaster, as the weather was bitterly cold and they had to wear coats to trick-or-treat which covered up their dreadful, store-bought, pink and sparkly costumes. Everyone learned a valuable lesson.
The Secret Life Of Plants is a nearly wordless documentary about plants with a soundtrack by Stevie Wonder. Through time-lapse photography we see plants bloom again and again and again. It's pretty boring. Then the film goes completely off the rails as a scientist starts giving plants polygraph tests, and he drives across town to avoid having the plants read his mind. Yep.
Just so you know, this clip is not safe for work due to some heinous violence perpetrated against a cabbage with a machete. You have been warned.
So, yeah. If this dubious science is correct, vegetable murder has been committed in the Deathrage household by multiple vegans. What disturbs me greatly is the fact that I have two tropical plants I've been slowly torturing for several months. I can almost hear them screaming. They're twisted, emaciated, dehydrated, and several limbs are missing. It's gruesome.
Isn't that title bad ass? How can you say no to a movie title like that? Pretty much all giallo films have intricate and alluring titles like that. Here's a list. Go ahead and check it out. I'll wait.
Unfortunately, Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key is another in a long list of films that doesn't live up to the expectations of the title. Sure, there's some nude table-top hippie dancing, and a satin sheet-filled lesbian romp, and multiple stabbings, and a cat named Satan; but it's kind of boring. What would be really great is if some of the motorcycles in this film knew karate. Now that would be a movie!
I know that sounds fairly random, suddenly talking about motorcycles that know karate and such. Just relax, and wait for the punchline.
No one believes a woman after she witnesses a murder in this early giallo film. The Girl Who Knew Too Much has some very interesting stark black and white cinematography, but the plot is a little meh. Actually, this review is a little meh. Here's the deal...my family had all fallen asleep in the movie viewing room, and they were all stretched out on the furniture and I had nowhere to sit. Normally, this would cause me great consternation. I was feeling unusually charitable, and I decided not to throw a gigantic frothy-mouthed raving fit and let everyone sleep. So I made myself comfortable flat on my back on the floor in front of the television. I had a large pillow under my head and a nice down throw over me. My feet jutted from under the throw at the bottom, but that was ok. It was nice. I really should lie on the floor more often. Anyway, I settled in to 86 minutes of giallo. From the corner of my eye, I see a dark shape very near my head. I hear a quiet purring. The cat, who is not allowed to be near me due to allergies, decided that the urge to sit in the middle of my chest was entirely too great, and she was moving not only into my personal space but also into certain doom. She stealthily crept in the room and was trying to climb on me as if I would never notice. I turned my head and gave her the death-stare, and she slunk back out of the room. I continued my movie. I again feel a looming presence. The cat has begun climbing over me to grab the best seat in the house, which is apparently my head, blocking my view of the movie. So I can only assume that a portion of this film has something to do with the north end of a south bound cat.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Regardless of what your documentary is about, I instantly throw whatever shred of belief I had in the subject matter out the window if the narrator pronounces the word nuclear "noo-cue-lar". I don't care if you're talking about reactors, or string theory, or little green men from outer space; it is not acceptable to pay someone good money to narrate your film and then have them incorrectly pronounce nuclear. You might as well have subtitles below the action on the screen telling the audience, "Disregard everything I'm saying. Turn on something else." Seriously, they could be interviewing a live alien as he's (she's? it's?) walking down the runway from their craft wearing a little sign that reads "I'm a totally real alien from outer space. Come down to the spaceship and I'll give you five bucks and a bag of Reese's Pieces", and someone would say "nucular" and I would have to say "Yeah, like I'm going to believe a huge pile like that. They're probably selling time-shares".
Here's another of those old creaky numbers where some old dude has a bunch of money that his relatives want, and he's only going to give it to his grand-daughter who is conveniently misplaced, and then two grand-daughters show up, and people open doors, and close doors, and open doors, and close doors, and some folks end up dead I guess, and I die of boredom a little.
Hey, that clip was pretty lively, with the shadows, and the skulls, and stuff. Maybe I should watch it again.
No, I don't think I will.
Monday, November 12, 2012
I really wanted to like this film. I just can't. I was looking forward to watching it this summer, but I found plenty of excuses to not go see it in the theater. Just as well. I actually think I liked Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies better. It at least didn't take itself so damn seriously. In my opinion, if you are presenting the idea of the 16th President defending America against the onslaught of any sort of undead creature, the result should be as just as absurd as the idea itself, and it should be fun. Sadly, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter isn't very fun. Most of the time, I was distracted by the CGI or the MMA. I would see Abraham Lincoln do a spinning back-kick, and I would think to myself, "I wonder what it would have been like in the 19th century if Presidents knew kung-fu. Like if 15th President James Buchanon was a secret kung-fu master. Now THAT would be a movie! Or if he was a ninja! Wow! I'd pay good money to watch 15th President James Buchanon put a ninja beat-down on the Panic Of 1857. He could go flying all Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon president-style, and he could wield a katana, and more presidents should carry around katanas...", and then I would realize that I just missed large chunks of movie imagining James Buchanon delicately flying over the rooftops of pagodas after admitting Kansas into the Union, even if that sounds like an awful idea. So yeah, if anyone wants me to write the screenplay for James Buchanon: Deadly Ninja, I'm available. It'll be terrible.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
The 80s were a terrible time, and I wouldn't recommend going there. It was a time when everyone wore polo shirts, jeans and Nike shoes. It was a living nightmare. Actually, it looked a lot like now. I wouldn't recommend going there, either. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "But Stabford, didn't everyone look like Devo in the 80s?". No, they did not. People did not go around wearing yellow jumpsuits all the time. People would have found that fashion choice to be unusual. Just trust me on this.
Anyway, The Stuff starts out with a grizzled old prospector-type guy working at an industrial complex of some sort who finds a white, frothy, viscous marshmallow-fluff type fluid bubbling from the ground and immediately starts eating it because that's what everyone does when they find mysterious fluids on the ground. Nothing unusual there. Someone then decides to put this fluid in containers, call it The Stuff, write a catchy jingle about it, and market it by having models eat it while wearing fur coats and bikinis because that's just fine. Then suddenly, a smarmy guy wearing a leisure suit and cowboy boots appears, and you instantly feel like he might be a villain because of, well, the leisure suit and boots. Seriously, who wears that? It's like you might as well wear a big sign that says "Movie Villain" in big block letters on it. So Smarmy Guy In A Leisure Suit And Cowboy Boots starts investigating the distributor of The Stuff, and he talks to Paul Sorvino who becomes afraid of a regurgitating doberman pincer and hides under a tiny side table because that's fine. I could go on and on about every little point of the film; like how the boom is visible in a reflective lab cabinet, or how the camera is often shaky at best, or how there are way too many leg-warmers, or how everyone wears yellow jumpsuits, but I won't. I will tell you what I learned about The Stuff; that if you're confronted by strangers you should either run for the woods, abandon your business or get immediately in their car, and if Garrett Morris shows up there's going to be some exciting row-boat action.
The Greatest American Hero, Norm from Cheers, and that guy from Night Court star in this horror comedy about a haunted house. No, not Harry Anderson, the other guy. The tall one. No, not John Larroquette, the bald one. Yeah, him. Anyway, I had to break up my viewing of House because Deathrage Towers lost power. The lights went out about the halfway point of the movie, and I had to watch the rest at a later date. I place every bit of blame for the power outage on my custodial staff. They weren't here when the storm hit, probably because I fired them all just the day before for some crazy whim that I can't remember right now. It might have had something to do with the proper storage of all my Halloween candy, and definitely had nothing to do with hurricane preparedness. Regardless, if they were here doing their job, and I'm not certain what that is specifically, I wouldn't have been forced to spend several days wandering through the building trying to find the circuit breaker with a lone lit candle looking like I'm haunting my own house. If they had left a map showing where crucial equipment was stored, like mops or fuses or generators, I wouldn't have had to dock their pay after the fact and I wouldn't have had to throw out all the Halloween candy. There wasn't anything wrong with the candy; in fact I survived a few harrowing hours being lost on the floor where the advertising offices are by sitting in a corner of the room ingesting several bags of 100 Grand candy bars in the dark surrounded by empty wrappers like a weirdo. If each of those little fun-sized nuggets of chocolate, rice crisps and caramel equal $100,000, I think probably I ate $20,000,000 in 100 Grand Bars. I was a little nauseous afterward. Anyway, I just threw all the fun-sized candy out in anger that my Halloween was ruined. Ok, in all honesty, I ate all the good candy and threw out the junky stuff. That's not important right now. My Halloween was ruined, I was trapped in a dark house with no movies, I was nauseous from a caramel overdose, and it was a living nightmare and not in a good way. Anyway, I'm not sure why I had so much candy, because I don't allow access to the building to any trick-or-treaters. Maybe it's because I would rather hoard the candy for myself, compulsively eat the chocolatey ones in a fit of irrational anger, throw it out the crappy suckers and taffy in a childish tantrum, and be a selfish jerk than give it away. I'm sure many people would agree with me, and if they don't, then, whatever. It's my candy I do what I want. And by the way, why did everyone stop calling Sandy Frankenstorm? That's a much better name than Sandy, even though the entire situation sucked.
So back to House. It was a lot better than one would expect for having all those TV stars in it.
It's difficult to decide on a movie that my entire family would enjoy. Fortunately, we don't have to. My movie needs usurp anyone else's, so anyone wanting to watch a romantic comedy or an informative documentary is completely out of luck. I forced the family to watch The Evil Dead. It's the only logical thing to do, and it's great because no one had seen it, so I can laugh while everyone else is horrified. I'm not sure how exactly, but my family have become savvy film viewers. They point out every continuity error, every lapse in the screenplay, every false note in the film. It's fantastic. They're jaded, awful people. I don't know where they get it from.
So, The Evil Dead is a classic horror film, but it's not without its problems. My family was quick to point them out. I ignored that. The short-coming are far outweighed by the positives. Sure, the script is slight, there are several continuity errors, and there's little character development. But the camera-work is interesting, the lighting is dramatic, and there's gallons and gallons of gore. And it's funny. Well, I think it's supposed to be funny. I laughed anyway.