Thursday, July 29, 2010


Legends are not created. Legends are born through personal tragedy and triumph. Trials by fire. Going to the darkest places of your soul and returning, stronger and with a kick ass hair cut is what becoming a legend is all about. There is one legend in the folklore of gays and girls. And that is The Legend Of Billie Jean.

Helen Slater deserves an award for all that she has brought to the BADMOVIEART table. She kicked started it all with the ill-fated (and quite stunning if you ask me) epic film SUPERGIRL. Then followed it up with Billie Jean. Alright, sister, you won me over. Helen's career turned toward working actor cred, but the joy that she has brought to millions is payback I am sure.

Billie Jean starts off innocently enough. Trashy siblings run up against some shitty townie trash when the son of a shitty townie trash decides that his bike isn't cool enough and steals Billie Jean's brothers bike and totals it. Total douche-bag. Billie Jean immediately stomps over to the father and demands payment for the bike. Nothing more. Nothing less. Because fair is fair you know. Christian Slater plays the younger brother and he is a ticking time bomb. Billie Jean has him under wraps, but not for too long and suddenly they find themselves on the run from just about everyone.

Trying to figure out their next move, Billie Jean, in one of the most shocking displays of rebellion and heroism, chops off her beautiful, long blond hair! A moment so shocking that when first viewed with my sisters and her friends, some of the girls cried. Giving up all that hair is a sacrifice in every since of the word! Cheers STILL ring out whenever it is viewed.

Then we get to my favorite part of the movie. Billie Jean and her motley crew, including Yearly Smith aka Lisa Simpson, bust into Lloyd's mansion. Now, let's discuss Lloyd, played by Keith Gordon. Can we say HUNK! Man, oh man, I had the hots for him. CHRISTINE, BACK TO SCHOOL (in a speedo!) and DRESSED TO KILL! He was one of my first major crushes and whenever I watch Legend Of Billie Jean, I swoon! SWOON I tell ya!

Billie Jean and Lloyd are deeply attracted to each other, but alas, the cops catch wind of them and they are on the run again. It all ends in a big finale with Billie Jean becoming a modest urban legend and one KICK ASS finale, that has to be seen to be believed. All set to the amazing song "Invincible" by Pat Benatar that was a staple of roller skating rinks across the nation! As a side note, last year I went to see Pat Benatar in concert and it was quite amazing, but when she got to "Invincible" she remarked that it was "the song" from a really bad movie and people BOOED!!! Including me! Don't shit on Legend of Billie Jean, sister! We will turn on your ass! Then she nailed it and all was right in the world.

Speaking of the soundtrack, one of my all time favorite songs "All the boys in town" by the Divinyls that opens the film ALWAYS gets overshadowed by Pat!

Two writers, both men, keep sharing screenplay credits and it ranges from shit like MONA LISA SMILES to awesome shit like SUPERMAN 4: QUEST FOR PEACE, but nothing will ever compare to their work on Billie Jean. It died a quick and painful death like many legends do, but it lived on through cable tv and TBS and USA UP ALL NIGHT. Now if someone could just release on dvd, I would be so pleased. My KEY VIDEO is starting to die, but you just keep on watching it, cuz when it comes to Billie Jean, legends never ever die.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Extra! Extra! I'm in love....with Barbra Streisand. But only 70's Babs. I like when she left all that Broadway junk behind and became an even more successful pop and movie star. But this time she permed her hair and wore shorty shorts! Fucking Jon Peters will do that. She snatched herself an Oscar! She made a string of great movies in the 70's. A Star Is Born! BRILLIANT! The Way We Were! ROMANTIC! What's Up Doc?! FUNNY! The Main Event! The Main Event? UGH.

Babs and Ryan O' Neal try to dust off some of that movie magic that they created in Doc? to make this Glove Story. Get it? SEE! FUNNY!

The nose knows. Smelling is the name of the game when it comes to creating a new perfume and Babs has the sniffer for it. About 200 nose jokes later (and in the first 30 minutes) we get it. We understand Babs. You are cool with your nose. Suddenly, Babs and her sniffer are bankrupt and she discovers that she owns a boxer's contract and sets out to make some money off of him. "I own a person?" SEE! FUNNY!

Enter Ryan O'Neal. Pretty hot, pretty boring and all sorts of crazy. So blah...blah...blah...Babs, for some reason, becomes the most annoying person in a movie ever and is determined to make her meek boxer into a lean, mean fighting machine. The chemistry is so off in this movie between them. They seem like they were two people who were able to make a great movie and find a good balance within each other, who then got super mega rich and then decided that the public would LOVE to see them in another movie together, but totally hated each others guts by now. And it isn't that sexy "I HATE YOUR GUTS" vibe. It is full on I just hate your guts.

Ryan wins some fights and gets a chance to go to the big time and fingers crossed he will be able to use the money from the fight to either A. pay off the debt he owns for his driving school or B. hire a professional hit man to murder Babs. I lean toward B myself.

So basically nothing happens for a really long time and then at the end, they fall in love. So sweet. And boring as shit. I am a die hard Babs fan and this movie is hard on my soul. I was actually surprised I was able to finish it. I had tried before, but never got past the 30 minute mark. Ryan O'Neal does look great in his flashy boxing trunks that Babs picked out for him and one of the TWO writers wrote the screenplay for WHO'S THAT GIRL?. It also has one of my all time favorite Babs songs "The Main Event", but it only plays over the credits which i always think is a bunch of bullshit. Unpleasant is almost too nice of a word for this film. I think UGH describes it very well.

OH YEAH! The Main Event was one of those awesome HUGE ASS Vhs clamshell boxes from Warner Brothers back in the day. Man, I fucking love those!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


It's true. Jodie Foster can do anything. And she has been able to do anything for a long time. For the early part of the 80's, she was considered just another child actor, but there was something to her. Then she pulled out all the stops and snatched herself a trophy for THE ACCUSED and cemented herself into A list status, where she got complete control of her career and got to choose what projects she wanted to work on. Smart lady. Interestingly enough, she has ALWAYS got to pick and chose her movie choices! She actually turned down a major role in PRETTY BABY to make CANDLESHOE and was able to grant the world what it truly wanted. The first ever lesbian kid movie. Little lesbians rejoiced!

Jodie is able to full convey her character within the opening credits of the movie. She is basically a full on nightmare. Raised in the streets, she trust no one and doesn't own anyone any favors. This Disney fused kiddie movie, has something that just about all the other Disney films of the 70's lacks. Grit. There is some real TAXI DRIVER/MEAN STREETS grit to the first half of CANDLESHOE. A hustler wants to use Jodie in an Anastasia-esque scheme to get inside the house of CANDLESHOE and steal the treasure. Problem is he only has one clue and a troublesome pre-teen to go on. When Jodie sasses him, he full on slaps her. HARDCORE. She agrees to the scheme and dons a dress in one of the most uncomfortable moments in Disney history. She does get a good meal though. So with the first clue to the treasure of CANDLESHOE and a couple of pairs of sensible shoes, Jodie sets off to cheery olde England to have herself a grand adventure.

She weasels her way into CANDLESHOE, but raises a few eyebrows with the orphans that run amok on the property. David Niven plays a the cranky, but with a heart of gold housekeeper and Helen Hayes is on board as the lady of the manor. Helen goes gangbusters on this movie. She ain't playing. The chemistry between herself and Jodie is golden. Two amazing actors distanced only by their age totally hold their own with each other. Bowls of rice pudding and a couple of cherry colas later, Jodie is onto the series of clues that just might make her a fortune with CANDLESHOE.

Head girl orphan is not about to let some street trash from America come in and ruin her good thing has a full on brawl with her. "I guess I better go see what is stirring up the chickens!" As they fight, we are treated to a great rolling down a hill sequence. Toss in some Kung fu and I'm sold! The girls form a silent bond and decide to be frenemies, which is always hotter than just friends.

As the mystery deepens, we begin to realize that life at CANDLESHOE is not all just fun and games, you gotta work it if you want to live there. And just when you thought you couldn't handle anymore of the David Niven/Helen Hayes scenes (so boring), Jodie has to make one of the toughest kid choices EVER! The movie hits the hour and fifteen minute mark and goes full title boogie til the conclusion. I love a good Helen Hayes stunt double. I think Jodie did her own stunts or the dude playing her stunt double is her doppelganger.

CANDLESHOE is so refreshing. All the other 70's Disney movies get stuck in some weird time warp and seem so old fashioned, but getting a lesbian teen to solve a mystery is always a good way to win over the kids. CANDLESHOE is also very empowering for the gay community because it does not rely on the easy plot point of having a love interest. Jodie has NO time to get involved with romance. She has a treasure to find, secrets to keep hidden and a lot of teen angst to work through. Oh, and she did this movie AFTER TAXI DRIVER!!! That deserves a big ole GIT IT GIRL!

I do miss the old Disney VHS boxes.

Friday, July 23, 2010


We are lucky we live in an age where we get to see Liza just keep on going. If there was ever a reason to keep on living, it would be the knowledge that Liza just might return to a home shopping channel for a good solid hour or two of gay genius. It's fun to laugh WITH Liza and easy to do also, but you got to give it up to her. She is here. We are queer. And we love her. In the late eighties/early nineties, Liza launched a full scale comeback complete with a kick ass and hugely successful(in Europe) album called RESULTS, which featured the gay anthem and live changing song "Don't Drop Bombs". YouTube the video. Your life will change. For serious. And on the tail end of her comeback she took a play from Richard Harris called STEPPING OUT and honey, you better step aside, cuz this movie is the SHIT! All Tapping, All Drama and All Liza!!!

Mavis Turner has had it. She is on the verge of being a total wash up. Her marriage is on the skids, her career is going nowhere fast and life is turning into not being the cabaret she dreamt it would be. But she has her teaching. Renting out an old dance studio and renting out an even older piano player, the amazing Shelley Winters, she taps her blues away or at least tries, as she sets out to transform a handful of misfit soft shoers to tap dancing machines. The students vary in age, size, gender and attitudes. It is basically a cookie cutter model of your typical misfits. The loud mouth, the pretty girl, the large black lady, the nerd, the lonely guy, the punk rock girl, the old get the picture. Casting is key in gathering a group like this and STEPPING OUT does it justice. Surrounding Liza with great character actors, just heightens her acting skills and gives her many different people to bounce off of. You have Julie Walters to a very, very young Jane Krakowski, who has to be one of the most amazing dancers on 30 Rock. Sister can Kick it!

When Mavis learns that Pam, wonderfully played by Nora Dunn, is going to stage a huge charity event for SAVE THE CHILDREN (from what, we are never told) and wants to include her "little" group, Mavis seizes the chance to change everyone lives and just maybe her own. It turns into a very REMEMBER MY NAME moment. Trouble is, the students are the WORST. Like the worst of the worst. Basically, it is like me if I were in a tap class, but the only difference is they actually start to improve. As the big show quickly approaches we are treated to lots of Diva freak outs, a car crash, some genuine laughs and some not so genuine laughs and one amazing "learning to tap" all over the city montages. God, I love a good montage. I wish all movies had them. Hat Montages are usually the best, but tap dancing ones are just as good!

The movie is super charming and a joy to watch. It's uplifting and sentimental without being sugary sweet. Liza is really trying to go for a gritty tap teacher. She smokes throughout the whole thing. I think every single scene as an ashtray in it. But she looks great while doing it. I swear, Kevyn Aucoin is hiding behind every single piece of the set, so he can pop out and touch Liza up, cuz she looks GOOD the whole movie. Screaming, sweating, nailing a tap routine or smoking, she looks good. Life lessons, people. Do it and just look good. It's not hard, really. If Liza can fucking do it, we all should be able too.

There are three killer moments in STEPPING OUT that will make your gay mind explode and the best part is that they are very strategically placed so just when you are about to get bored, STEPPING OUT hits you and leaves you breathless, then just as you start to recover, BAM! STEPPING OUT gets you again.

The first killer moment is very early in the movie, when Liza is alone in the dance studio and does a solo dance number that seems to last at least 15 minutes. Not long enough if you ask me. Some high stepping and kicking. MERCY!

The second killer moment is when all the students are still struggling with their moves and Liza has had it. With a smoke in one hand, she reads the children to filth, storms out, comes back in and apologizes then does it all over again! DOUBLE DIVA FREAK OUT!!! People, life is good when you watch STEPPING OUT.

And as all divas do, they save the best for last. Liza's group of tappers take to the stage and mount an amazing display of goofiness and grace fullness as they tap for their lives and prove practice makes perfect if Liza is your teacher. BUT!!!! It is a fake ending, cuz after the audience loses their shit over the performance, Liza exclaims, "Well, if you thought we were good this year, just wait til NEXT YEAR!!"
FLASH FORWARD a year later and we get a slam bang, slap your grandma so good ending that you will be cheering! And Liza is in PJ's!!

Struggling to find an audience in actual theaters, STEPPING OUT did just that and right onto home video and cover boxes gathered dust in video stores across the country. Little did anyone know that this little slice of quality gay cinema was right in their grasp. For the lucky ones who have witnessed its magic, you know the truth. For those that haven't, THE TIME IS NOW!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

70's Cinema: EQUINOX

Do you like Monsters? Do you like satanic worship? Do you like pretty girls in stir up pants? I thought so. Then EQUINOX is the movie for you!

1967 brought us a different version of EQUINOX sans stop motion animation and stop motion entertainment if you ask me. It would explain all the wigs though and wardrobe changes that look almost the same. 1970 brought us the "official" version of EQUINOX, complete with flying devils, big giants and lots and lots of rolling down hills, which I always like.

It seems two fun loving couples decide to go on a picnic in the outskirts of town. Lots of dirt. The boys are super duper dreamy hot in that Wally Cleaver way, which i love so much. Even though I am more of an Eddie Haskell kinda guy. I always like a good nightmare.

So the fun loving couples stumble upon a cave and a seriously scary old man. Like Twin Peaks abandon train scary. They high tail it out, but get their paws on the official BOOK OF THE DEAD. SHIT! DOUBLE SHIT! Then dumb/dreamy guy learns some lines from it, cuz he is studying Latin in high school. I thought was really nice that they let a 25 year old stay in school where ever he lives. Everyone should graduate. He evokes a mess of trouble and the kids don't know what the fuck to do. JUST RUN!! LOTS AND LOTS OF RUNNING. Which i am always partial too. It is a good time filler for just about any movie.

There really isn't anyway not to love this movie. Jack Woods, who added all the fun stuff to EQUINOX, didn't really make another movie, but he did write the screenplay for BEWARE! THE BLOB! (directed by JR EWING!) and there is a really good opening credit montage of a kitty playing in a field. The heart and love you feel from the movie is very deep. Both directors of both versions had a vision. Vastly different due to money limitations, but a vision none the less. Always try real hard! Even if you can't really make a movie, at least you tried. Someone will love it. PROMISE.

By the end, you are so tired out by the cast running around, you just collapse in a heap on the couch. But the movie begs you to think beyond the movie in one of my all time favorite movie tricks!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

70's Cinema:THE BLACK HOLE

I will watch anything with Anthony Perkins in it. I think he is (was!) super duper dreamy. I would totally go on a date with Norman Bates, no questions asked. So, when i finally got around to THE BLACK HOLE, I was happy that at least Tony Perkins was in it.

Disney decided it was high time to break into the PG realm of movies and toyed around with producing movies without using their brand to sell it. Smart? For their first feature they basically stole a bunch of ideas from STAR TREK and STAR WARS. What is suppose to be a mindbending journey into the unknown turns into a mindless and soul crushing journey into tepidness.

Basically, a star trek sorta crew goes flying around outer space in search of stuff and they end up getting sucked into a black hole. Their they find another space ship that got sucked into the black hole years ago. They are intent on rescuing the ship, but here's the kicker! The captain likes living in the black hole and doesn't want to leave. He has been removed from society for so long that all his social skills are out the window and he is a gruff old salty space dog.

Even though Disney wanted to branch out, they just couldn't help tossing in a lovable disney character that they could market! And sorry to dissappoint you, but it ain't a Tony Perkins action figure, but if one exist I would love to have it. It is V.I.N.C.E.N.T. (Vital Information Necessary CENTralized), what ever the fuck that means.If you ingore all the wires, he is super cute and pretty good special effect. He reminded me of Boris. If Boris was a space robot. Cute, but grumpy. And voiced by Roddy McDowall (which is Boris in person form), you just can't go wrong.....

Four screenplay writers later and this movie, which clocks in at over 2 hours, just seems to muddle through. It is not really concerned with action sequences or riveting dialogue. They just toss in some high tech stuff and some special effects and there you go. It's over and you are kinda glad.

The opening credits are all sorts of awesome and gets you all excited to watch a movie called THE BLACK HOLE that isn't a porno. But like most pornos, you get sucked in for a time then you realize you just wasted a good chunk of time of your life.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Don't be a fake Linda Blair.

Ivy Templeton is having a real shitter of a day. First, some creep is following her around. Secondly, she can't decide what to do on her birthday and lastly she just might be the reincarnation of a little hellfire called Audrey Rose.

Upper Crust NYC couple John Beck(later Mark Greyson from DALLAS) and Marsha Mason (giving her best Ellen Burstyn performance) have a slight problem. It seems that Anthony Hopkins, with various different hair colors and toupees, is convinced that his daughter, lil' stinker Audrey Rose, has been reincarnated into their weirdo 13 year old daughter, Ivy. Everyone just writes him off as a kook, until Ivy has a massive FREAK-OUT and her hands burst into flames. Right before she sends herself sailing through the apartment window, Hopkins arrives to sooth her lost soul. Is he crazy? Is Audrey Rose trapped inside the body of Susan Swift?! Do we care? The answer is no.

This movie is trying to be one of those awesome "classy" horror films from the 70's, but just comes off as stale and boring as hell. Robert Wise's direction is beautiful and sometimes stunning, but there is just so much you can do with a screenplay like this. Frank De Felitta, who also wrote the original book source and that book about the ghost that keeps raping Hillary Whitney, had a big job on his hands. To condense his 400 pager book into a two hour time slot is a difficult task. All the heart and spirit of the book seemed totally lost. The scares are far and few between and they just kinda happen...not exciting...just is like every once in awhile we get a scene of Susan Swift freaking out and running around...big scares!

Marsha Mason gives it her all, but just is not able to break past the Ellen Burstyn comparisons from THE EXORCIST. No one can even touch Ellen in that movie, and Mason just comes off as a low rent version. The weight of the film really falls onto Susan Swift's performance. Now Swift actually won me over, because she is only 13 and this was her first movie. She really, really tries. It doesn't work, but she tries.

Her captured innocence doesn't really sell and she comes off playing yet another comparison to THE EXORCIST, but this time to Linda Blair. Which we all know there is only one Linda Blair!

The movie morphs into a heavy courtroom drama! Yes, a courtroom drama, with Audrey Rose's father actually SUING the couple for custody of their daughter. Marsha Mason sends her daughter to the hospital after Ivy jumps into a fire while doing some weird Wicker Man shit at her catholic school and stands around a lot and cries.

Then in the final act, Susan Swift pulls out the big acting guns and comes out a-blazing. Sitting through an hour and 35 minutes of crap is totally worth it to see Miss Swift reach deep down and for a solid 15 minutes, go through every emotion in the book. GIT IT GIRL!!!

So the question remains. Does Audrey Rose live inside Ivy? Can Ivy's parents come to terms with it? Does the audience care? All signs point to NO.

Lucky for us Susan Swift made another movie called BURNED AT THE STAKE aka THE COMING about witches! And it is all sorts of awesome! YAHOO!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


They don't call him Bloody Sam for nothing. Sam Peckinpah, the mastermind behind crazy ass amazing movies like THE WILD BUNCH, STRAW DOGS and THE GETAWAY, caps his major work with this gritty piece of film. BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA showcases his exquisite talent for sharp editing and rambling dialogue. The movie hits hard and takes no prisoners. It is not a nice piece of cinema, but interesting to wade through.

Alfredo Garcia is in BIG TROUBLE and he doesn't even know it. Note to self: DO NOT EVER GET A MEXICAN GODFATHER'S DAUGHTER Preggo!! It will end badly. Very badly. Very, Very badly.

After breaking his pregnant daughter's arms, the Mexican Godfather gets the truth out of her. Alfredo Garcia knocked her up and hit the road. And now he has a million dollar bounty on his head. Literally. Mexican Godfather wants just that. Alfredo Garcia's head. Sending out four of his best hit men, they embark on a quest to location the gigolo.

Ending up in a dive bar in the heart of the Mexican underworld, the hit men run across an American piano player with the best sunglasses ever. Learning that the piano player MIGHT know where Alfredo Garcia is, they give him a promise of ten thousand dollars, a dream of a better life and four days to bring them the head of Alfredo Garcia. Greed overtakes all logic and the plot is set in motion.

I couldn't believe it. Fucking Warren Oates AGAIN! Oates plays, Bennie the piano player with a mission. After learning that his prostitute/girlfriend had a fling with Alfredo Garcia, he basically beats her until she tells him the truth about his whereabouts. Alfredo Garcia is dead and buried! OH SHIT!!! But if all you need is the head, you can totally buy a shovel and a machete and dig the asshole up and chop it off, right? RIGHT?! It seems simple enough, but Bennie has never had good luck and why should he start having it now. The movie turns from a gritty character study into a chase film, with the hit men and the Garcia family after him. Everyone loves a good head!

Did you know being left for dead and buried alive, will make you CRAZZZEEE!!! Bennie, completely nutso, decides that he will deliver the head himself to the Mexican Godfather and demand to him to tell why he wants the head so bad. GREAT IDEA! Alfredo Garcia's head becomes a major supporting character in the last act, with Bennie making conversations with him and taking care of the him. Packing him with ice and giving him a good shower. Oates has some problems and ends up killing the entire cast or they die because of him. Always a charmer.

If you hate women, then this movie is for you. All the women in the film are treated like garbage. There is not one postive moment for any of the ladies of BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA. Bennie's prostitute/girlfriend, Elita is yanked around, stripped naked and almost raped by Kris Kristofferson, then has to see a bunch of dead bodies, but Bloody Sam (who wrote the screenplay) thinks that a lady would love to have a little sexy time after all this. I mean, I know she is prostitute in the seedy Mexican underworld, but i can't imagine her wanting to even make out after the day she has. Maybe a nice relaxing shower or a a tender hug, but sex? Come on.

A quote from Peckinpah. "I don't want to hear it said that I don't like women! I tried to show in [Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)] that I adore them. They represent the positive pole of the film, the life force and instinct." FOR REAL? I don't see it.

BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA has got to be one of the best titles to a movie ever though! I finished the film feeling kinda like just yuck and had a yearning to watch OUTRAGOUS FORTUNE.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Straight boys rejoice! I get it. I understand. I know why you like this movie. For the gays, this movie doesn't really offer anything. But if you like boys in cars and you like boys in cars that go real fast TWO LANE BLACKTOP is right up your alley.

Director Monte Hellman, delivered a handful of movies, but this one is really the only stand out. It gained cult status within the realm of car junkie and inspired Tarantino to sprinkle shout outs to it in his contribution to the GRINDHOUSE double feature. DEATH PROOF is full of TWO LANE BLACKTOP reference points, from the build of the Death Proof car to Rose Mcgowan outfit, but that is really where the fun stops. Do you like watching guys change a tire? Do you like watching guys pump gas and talk about their car? Then this is the movie for you!

James Taylor plays THE DRIVER and it is hard to imagine that at one point his was a total hottie, but it's true. I now understand why Carly Simon found herself boning him. He is shirtless for the first part of the film and his long, unkempt hair reminded me of a capitol hill hipster. He is a man of the land. More importantly, a man of the highway. His goal in life is to just keep driving. No job. No aspirations. Just keep driving. With his best bud by his side, they travel the country, eating in dingy diners and judging other guys cars. Along the way, they pick up THE GIRL, played by Laurie Bird, in her only role of importantance. She plays the love interest of all the car nerds and they spend the role movie trying to woo her into their cars and jet across the country, promising her a better life, but only able to offer the backseat. " I don't see anyone paying attention to my rear end!" she yells as The Driver commands her to the backseat next to all the car parts and tools. What is ultimately a road picture, the cast spends the movie begging for change and trying to ignore all the extras looking directly into the camera.

THE DRIVER'S new arch is G.T.O, played by Warren Oates. See they call him G.T.O. cuz he drives a G.T.O. clever. Oates is a little road weary and tries to woo THE GIRL to settle down with him, but the call of the road is too strong for him to stop driving. It is all very YOU GOT A FAST CAR.

There is some sort of plot where the boys are in a race to get somewhere, but it was lost on me. I kept wishing the movie would morph into DEATH RACE 2000 and Mary Woronov would speed by and squirt an oil slick out of her car and send the cast into a tailspin and having them crash over a cliff or something. No such luck. By the end of the film, THE GIRL gets her wish and she gets to sit in the front seat of the car, but ends up at a diner where there is a sign posted that reads NO DANCING! The nerve! No dancing while old men are sipping coffee and eating pie! So rude!

TWO LANE BLACKTOP could be improved on if they tossed in a couple of musical numbers, but alas it is always about the car. The finale is desperado city, with THE DRIVER in one final race, but he is keeping on eye on a big billboard and it seems like he just wants to crash into and end it all.

The film is about a lost generation of men that just drive and do nothing else. Oh and it is also about the ugliest green sweater EVER! Oh! and there is an almost hand job from another dude. See gays! There is something for us.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

70's Cinema: WESTWORLD

I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but Michael Crichton wasn't that good of a director. Strangely, he had managed to pump out a handful of films and peppered in the mix are a couple of my favorites. COMA (Dr. lady sees almost dead people and rides on top of an ambulance), RUNAWAY (Kristie Alley battles Gene Simmons and robots), PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (a SUSPECT rip off starring Theresa Russell) and LOOKER (pretty girls make graves). More known being a best seller author of more than a dozen books best read while on an airplane, Crichton started toying with his Jurassic Park idea a decade before dinosaurs would roam the earth again with his second feature film WESTWORLD.

WESTWORLD is a BIG ASS movie with BIG ASS ideas. The run time of only 88 minutes seems odd, but you know if it is that short, it must be gonna pack a punch. It doesn't. You really, really want it too, but it doesn't. So some Walt Disneyesque dude created an amusement park (that isn't very amusing) and it has three worlds. Medieval World, where you can joust and get served by a bar wench. Then there is Roman World, where you can wear a toga, eat grapes and fuck your brains out with any gender you want too. But the big draw is WESTWORLD. Set in the olden days of lawlessness and can-can girls, Westworld provides the perfect outlet for almost middle aged men to show each other just how big their dicks are by shooting guns. The cool thing about all this is that all three worlds are full of robots that have been engineered to act and look human and give you the ultimate jolt of fantasy. Now what happens when the robots revolt? All hell breaks loose and people start getting stabbed over in Medieval World and over in Roman times, women and men are getting raped then slaughtered (all off camera). Lurking in WestWorld is the Gunslinger. Now, the gunslinger is played by Yul Brynner, who looks smoking hot in his cowboy outfit. Wrangler Butts drive me nuts! He stalks the guest, murdering them one by one and having a blast while doing it. But darn that phony mustache wearing Richard Benjamin!!! RB shoots the Gunslinger and makes him really, really mad and he chases RB around the three different worlds until they get to the ultimate showdown. Now that sounds like a kick ass movie!

Fault can be pointed at two main problems. First the pacing is so ungodly slow. Everyone seems to be on tortoise time. I mean, i fucking thought i was watching fucking Passage to India or Enchanted April or some shit. Things happen very slowly in WestWorld. Maybe that is how it was back in the olden days. Nobody got in too big of a rush, but with a run time under 90 minutes, you gotta crank it. By the end of the movie, you want RB to die, so the movie will be over. Luckily, the pacing does help out when we get to see Yul Brynner walk away for almost a solid minute. He has a double scoop!

Secondly, Richard Benjamin as the lead is a poor choice. He just can't carry the movie. You don't believe that he would even be interested in watching a western, much less shooting a gun or riding a horse. He looks uncomfortable the entire movie, but I do think it is the only movie I have seen him wear a mustache in. He also directed MERMAIDS and THE MONEY PIT, so i can't hate on him too much. Playing his best buddy is James Brolin (a BADMOVIEART fave) and honestly, the should have reserved the roles. James is charming, fucking hot and looks like he would kick Yul's ass. He plays the role with a wink and smile and has never looked better. I bet he makes Babs watch this movie and THE CAR all the time!

The special effects are pretty outstanding and look impressive even in this day and age of right click, blue screen, open a number one at the box office for a week and then die a slow painful death only to get a cult following on dvd. Crichton basically took the idea of this film and just retooled it and put dinosaurs and kids in it and made a zillion dollars. I am all keyed up to watch the sequel FUTUREWORLD. I wonder where it will be set?!

That is how you give good face.