Wednesday, August 24, 2011


So it came to pass that a new era of film would be ushered in. Many came. Many went. And all was good. There ain't nothing like a good 90's thriller. Sadly, NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS is not one of them. All the signs pointed to a stroke of luck with NTTS. A BadMovieArt favorite, Rebecca De Mornay's return to "classy" thriller is neither classy nor thrilling. Toss in a fresh faced and ready to take Hollywood by storm actor by the name of Antonio Banderas and you have all the trappings for a sexy, sexy good time. NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS is neither sexy or a good time. Scrapping together pieces that resemble much more popular 90's thrillers, the film failed to capture an audience at the time of its release and has become a permanent fixture on my Roku. That being said, just among you and I, NTTS is kinda wonderful in its trashy way.

Even as the opening credits start you realize exactly what type of movie you have gotten yourself into. An uptown melodrama overheated mystery that has a very cheap look, but filmed well. An enigma that plagued many at 90's thriller. We are subjected to Babs De Mornay doing her best Jodie Foster to Harry Dean Stanton's Hannibal Lector. She,like Clarice, has to walk down the hallway of jail cells. No one cums on her, but 'tis life. In the role of Dr. Sarah Taylor, De Mornay channels Peyton Flanders and gives some good icy stares at just about everyone in the movie. UGH ALERT!!! Dennis Miller plays her best friend/old flame/same character from The Net. I can't be alone in this, but wasn't there a time when we all liked Dennis Miller. He didn't really do anything great or anything, but he wasn't an asshole. Now it seems like he is always mouthing off about the dumbest stuff. Honey, go back to playing weird straight guys in women heavy thrillers. I think fake Hannibal Lector reads Dr. Sarah Taylor to filth, but is so static that you just tune it out for a touch, but I at attention when he said he heard TV voices telling him to do things. Someone get Jo Beth Williams STAT!

Since this is a sexy movie, everything gets to be sexy. Dr. Sarah Taylor has to attend an erotic art opening and trembling and queefing at the pictures of pierced nipples and legs spread apart. Then the oddest thing happened at 4 minutes and 25 seconds the line, "Ephesus with a hard on!" was uttered and suddenly, I had one of those Carrie Bradshaw flashbacks and it all came back to me! I would say I have a baker dozen viewings of NTTS, but I always forget what happens. But that line made me remember all and I GOT REALLY EXCITED!

So the artist is Banderas and De Mornay says some shitty stuff about his work to his FACE and they get all hot and bothered for each other. So now she has to work on her psychological profile of fake Hannibal Lector for the state department and have a MAJOR case of the hornys at the same time. PROBLEM! The movie, like De Mornay's eyes, has a cold feel to it, because everyone wear HUGE coats in the movie. You think the movie was set in Anchorage, AK or something. It's like RENT A COP freezing and everyone looks miserable. De Mornay, who loves a good bit of business while acting, gets to act with a cat the whole movie. This is a patent pending trademark of hers.
GUILTY AS SHIT - coffee and pencils
HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE - coffee, blue sweater, baby
AND GOD CREATED WOMAN '88 - guitar and boom box

The cat is really cute and pretty good in the film. Antonio finally stalks De Mornay and seduces her in a quik stop while discussing the merits of cheap wine. If you look closely, De Mornay's shopping cart is full of huge bottles of water. He finally completely wins her over by whispering, "You look like a woman who must be won". That is a panty dropper if I have ever heard one. Babs, turned on by the prospect of sex that she can't concentrate anything, is all thumbs. She drops a bag full of spaghetti sauce all sexy like and it runs down her apartment stoop. "Excuse me miss! You gotta clean that shit up"! That is what I imagine Pearl from 227 would yell out her window if she saw that happen.

Then it happens. NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS has been sprinkled with clues that there was something much more sinister at hand. A visible crack is when De Mornay breaks a bunch of glass in her kitchen, she sweeps it up and dumps it into the sink. She then turns on the garbage dispose. ODD. Hitchcrapian through and through. She starts to apply frenetically chap stick on her lips throughout the whole movie and tries to be all SILVER on our ass with modern technology and shit, but fails. She then gets a box of dead roses and stale bread, but decides that she should go on her date with her sexy, mysterious new beau. They go to a seedy club and there are some gays kissing. Very Basic Instink. They then go to a carnival and you if you look closely you will see Santa Claus in the background roaming around. NTTS suddenly is set during Christmas. We are a good 45 minutes into it and there has been no mention of the holiday spirit. I ain't complaining, but it's ODD.

De Mornay shows up at Banderas artist condo and they fuck like animals in an actual cage in his living room. See, classy! It is kinda like prison sex as De Mornay takes the dominate role and proceeds to toss Banderas salad! Once again, it is not sexy. It has this animal shelter feel about it, which reminded of Mutley Crews AKA Boris Beauty Shop. LATER.....they are looking at some of her case files and there is one about child abuse. Banderas voices his opinion on child abuse, which is the more popular opinion and De Mornay silently reads the documents, smiling. ODD.

LATER....De Mornay is cooking dinner for them and Banderas goes to take a leak. It seems Babs has a rattling heater with the screws closely coming out of the sockets. CLUE! The phone rings and De Mornay mumbles something then says, "Call me closer to Christmas". Which I think I am going to start saying all the time now when people are bugging me. They have sex again.
She shows her tits and he shows his ass. A good trade off. She awakens in the middle of the night to find Antonio digging through her purse! My mom always told me that you should NEVER DIG IN A WOMAN'S PURSE. That would be a good title to the sequel.

When her cat ends up dead, you know the shit is going down. We do get a montage of Banderas and De Mornay falling in love and it involves trust falls in the snow! That I like. The scares are getting piled on as De Mornay goes to take a bath with the above mentioned rattling wall heater looming next to her. There is also a lot of WATCHER IN THE WOOD mirror scares and....SPOILER ALERT....

I am not a big fan of the spoiler alert, but with NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS it really doesn't matter, but if you don't want to know the ending, just stop right here. But the movie goes bat shit.

Okay, so we then find out ala SILVER that De Mornay is STALKING HERSELF!!! She has multiple personalities and Banderas is just a hapless lovelorn erotic artist and she is fucking nuts. After you get out of the fetal position from the shocking revelation, you get to see EVERYONE cast member start shooting at one another and then it is all over! 86 minutes of pure 90's thriller goodness. The ending is full of so many twists that you don't even know what is going on, but it is always the journey that counts.

Alternate titles for NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS:


I would like to go on record now and state I LOVE REBECCA DE MORNAY

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Don't come back from the dead.

I had the most befuzzling evening the other night. I have recently found myself on this weird Shelley Long journey. With a madcap romp through OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE and TROOP BEVERLY HILLS and I decided it was time to say hello again to HELLO AGAIN.

As it started I realized that I had not seen HELLO AGAIN in over two decades. It perplexed me, because I remembered it vividly or did I? If you had asked me two days ago what I thought of HELLO AGAIN, I would most likely have replied, "It's pretty funny and I love Shelley Long". Today things changed.

The credits started and I already felt off balance. The name Susan Isaacs popped up as writer, producer and CASTING DIRECTOR! I could have screamed with delight and slight dread. Ms. Isaacs is world famous for her novel SHINING THROUGH. Yes, that Shining Through! The movie where Melanie Griffith fights Nazis and gets some of the best FOR THE BOYS aging make-up ever. That is all beside the point though. We get a close up of Long's big eyes and some of the cheapest ass rom-com music I have ever heard. We get a hurried back story of Long's character, Lucy Chadman. She is an ordinary gal with an okayish husband, played by Corbin Bernsen in his hottish years. Her barely legal son is a dreamboat though. He is an aspiring chef and wears an apron with a bandanna decorating his neck. A look that is possibly one of the fastest ways to get me in sack. But what you really need to understand is that Lucy Chadman a KLUTZ! A big one too! She falls down at the drop of a hat. She walks into a fancy party and her skirt falls down around her ankles! HA! It's funny, yo! It's like 20 minutes into the movie and I thought, "Ain't this hag dead yet? HELLO! AGAIN"!

OH! Sela Ward is in HELLO AGAIN as a best friend/arch enemy to Long's "ordinary lady" and she is the shit! She gives us some DIE NASTY realness and shoot glamor out of her ass. Judith Ivey is on board as Long's sister and she is super satanic. The director, Frank Perry, seemed to want to stir away from scary super satanic, so Ivey is funny super satanic. Problem is, she is terrible. I usually love me a Judith Ivey supporting role, but this is the pits. Shelley Long chokes to death and we have to watch her funeral with her son completely losing his SHIT and everyone super sad. FUN! Cut one year later and super satanic sister has stumbled on a spell that will bring her beloved sister back from the dead. ONE YEAR LATER! Honey, I read Pet Sematary, I know what they come back like! HELLO! AGAIN!

So one day, Lucy shows back up and has discovered that her husband has dealt with his grief by banging Sela Ward (is there any other way?) and marrying her! Lucy bust up in her home and finds Sela getting busy in her OWN BED! Also, her son is a famous cook and married to some ugly girl,but no one cares.

She is not a ghost, because you cannot walk through her. She goes to the doctor to get blood test and x-rays, once AGAIN (!) proving she was dead but now isn't? I'm cornfused. Well, now what do you do with her? She loves her Coke (proud sponsor of HELLO AGAIN) and she is DYING to know what is happening on Knots Landing. My kinda fresh out of the grave gal. We get baker's dozen dead mom jokes, all flat lining, a couple more pratfalls in which you hope they result in a death inducing accident and lots of leg! Oh, Shelley has legs for days and she is gonna show 'em off. Then, Super Satanic Sister informs Lucy that she needs to find true love by the first moon after her revival and she has less than a month to do so! GIT IT GIRL!! There is some pre- Troop Beverly Hills high fashion, which is fun, but without the yuks. She also is forced back into the hospital for some reason and meets cutie Gabriel Byrne M.D. She has to take some Exorcist 2 testing and walks down the hall with her hospital gown flapping open and showing her BUTT! There is the yuk!

Lucy decides to embrace her dead self and say to the world….all together now….HELLO AGAIN! She embarks on a world wide rainbow tour of the continents kissing babies, giving lectures and shopping and apparently forgetting her "must find true love in a month" curse. Or maybe there was not a moon that month and she got a get out of the grave free pass. She morphs into a fame monster for a little while but learns a valuable lesson and helps troubled kids. There is this little girl named Lil' Debbie who won't stop looking at the camera. She tries really, really hard not to do it, but she just can't help it. I would look too.

Sela Ward gets mad and holds a press conference to prove that Lucy Chadman is a fake and a phony. She claims that Lucy never really died because she doesn't have cobwebs in her pussy or worms under her skin or smell like dirt for that matter. The great part about the press conference is two fold. First, it looks like it held in that gross Chinese restaurant in Ballard. I forgot what it is called, but I have had lunch there more than three times and it is creep out city. Secondly, a roving reporter is played by that lady on Where the fuck is Carmen Sandiego? We found her!!! She is at the HELLO AGAIN press conference! Score! And she is throwing some MAJOR attitude. Shelley blows off the crowd and the nay sayers and walks out the building ala Pia after delivering her Award Presentation Ceremony speech.

Later! At a fancy party that the entire cast has been invited too, sans Lucy, Sela Ward is the queen of the ball. That is until Lucy crashes the party along with her super satanic sister. SSS starts conjuring up the spirits and someone flashes the lights on and off and on and off quickly. At this very moment something fell in my back bedroom and scared the shit out of me. So now I can say I got scared during HELLO AGAIN. Lucy's husband dumps Sela Ward, but Lucy dumps her husband for Gabriel Byrne M.D. and everyone is happy I guess. The end. This has the stink of a two hour made for TV pilot.

The final credits play over a montage of photos of the entire cast marrying one another, then a montage of photos of the married couples with their children. Shelley Long is, of course, the last and she has what all girls dream of…ZOMBIE TWINS! TOO CUTE!!!

Shelley Long's portrayal of Lucy Chadman hearkens back to Ally Sheedy in MAID TO ORDER or for Deena Jones' sake, Madonna in WHO'S THAT GIRL? On paper the role seems like a good idea, but once visualized you want to kill! You want blood after having to sit through it. All in all, it is a pretty miserable experience. Director Frank Perry who created two of my favorite movies, MOMMIE DEAREST and THE SWIMMER, seems to have just filmed some shit, turned it over to the studio and let the editors have a go with their chainsaws. I imagine this is one of those films that the studio tested and preview audiences hated, so they went back and changed more stuff and filmed more scenes. Evidenced through hair styles going from shorter to longer. Not Sela Ward though. If she showed up to do any more re-takes, she made sure she looked exactly the same. Where is her OSCAR?

*******And now I can't stop calling this movie DEAD AGAIN!!!********


Sunday, July 17, 2011


I fucking love Kurt Russell. He is so hot. Naturally, 80's Kurt is my favorite. Escape From New York, Big Trouble In Little China, OverBoard and The Thing sealed the deal with for me. THEN he goes and rips DEATH PROOF a new tailpipe. Kurt RULES! I thought it would be an interesting journey into what made Kurt who he, so I started at the beginning. SHIT. I should have known. First off, whenever my BF mentions that he loves a live action Disney film that is a guarantee that it is a piece of shit. They are usually really dated and OVER long and a lot of the charm has been rubbed off over the years. But sans mullet, Kurt Russell goes all fresh faced and wide eyed with the UGHEST of the UGH in THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES!

First off, the menu on the DVD will make you crazy. Dirty ole Tinkerbell comes flying in at volume 1,000 and will blow your TV speakers out. You can't get to the remote fast enough. Dirty ole Tinkerbell! But with a BF promise of Kurt Russell in hot kicks and a brief discussion on the merits of HOCUS POCUS, I settled in with the old Buena Vista font. TCWTS came out in 1969. The same year as Midnight Cowboy, True Grit, The Sterile Cuckoo and one of my favorite movies THE LOVE BUG! I must say, a pleasant year. TCWTS already seems outdated even in 1969.

Kurt Russell plays a college student named Dexter and he is super dreamy. The student body, made up of about 25 white kids and one black dude. They use the back in the day version of a Smart Phone (Walkie Talkie) to spy on the college administers as they discuss the civil unrest and "progress" that is happening on campus. Uh, the kids are all eating lunch and they are acting like it is Kent State. A big ass computer is being built on campus and the students spend a lot of time computing things into the computer. It is kinda too stupid. They don't seem to doing any "progress" or having any "unrest," but Kurt Russell does don a jacket that I will be dreaming about for the rest of my life.

One stormy night, Dexter goes into the lab and it is ZAPPED! time and he gets the brain of a computer! He doesn't actually turn into a computer ala "Automatic Lover" which I hoped for. He just gets real smart and immediately drops out of college, because he is the smartest person in the world, why give way your money, honey! If I had a computer for a brain and I would totally wear tennis shoes. He becomes the toast of the world and even gets his own stock footage parade. You know you have arrived when you get your own stock footage parade. He watches diamonds being cut, he travels to Cape Cod and watches a missile go in the air and SUDDENLY his friends are allowed to hang out with him by APPOINTMENT ONLY! It is like The Douche Bag Computer That Wore Tennis Shoes.

The movie goes at a snail pace and doesn't really ever seem to get anywhere.I like to call it drifting. If a movie is going to do this then I am going to have a full on conversation about my favorite live action Disney film WATCHER IN THE WOODS. My BF claims it is "Too Soon" to watch it again. The film features two extended sequences involving two of the most BORING things ever. Math questions and horse races. You know anytime a movie cast goes to the race track we are going to be subjected to an entire stock footage horse race. Get me some nachos and a Budweiser in a bottle if I EVER have to sit through a horse race. AND MATH QUESTIONS?!!! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! I don't even want to talk about it. The last 40 minutes is painful. Kurt gets kidnapped, but his college buddies, even though he was rude to them, pretend to be house painters and BUST him out! Just in time to get him to the smart person quiz show, but it seems his computer brain can't find a good connection, i'm guessing he was downloading too much porn and he goes back to cute but dumb as a box of hair. Luckily, a ginger headed nerd saves the day and Kurt's friends like him again and he goes back to college. The last frame is someone asking Kurt a question and he thinks real hard and replies, "Heck, I don't know!" THAT'S IT! NO CREDITS. The end. Get gone.

I guess I get it now that I am a grown ass man. These shitty live action Disney films were all hits, because parents could dump their kids off at the theater and be done with them for a while. I would have done it too. Sadly, I realized that TCTWTS has not one, but TWO sequels!
I will need a ton of nachos and a six pack of bottled Bud to get through those. Ugh. Dirty Ole Tinkerbell.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


It is a fact. Nancy Allen always puts me in a better mood. My standbys are DRESSED TO KILL, STRANGE INVADERS, CARRIE and SWEET REVENGE, but for some reason I got a bad case of the number two's and wanted to watch ROBOCOP 2. Even though she is second billed, it seems more like a "sometimes starring" Nancy Allen, cuz she just pops up here and there. But some nights you gotta roll with it. The groundwork for the Robocop series was paved by a man driving a steamroller, ever talented and charming Paul Verhoeven and the second one is directed by Irvin Kershner of the awesome EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and the even awesome-ER,EYES OF LAURA MARS, so we know we are in good hands. What we get is a dumpy water downed version of the first film. Where the first installment is a social commentary on the state of law enforcement and violence in the media, the second one seems to take these ideas and pump up to gargantuan portions without having really any redeeming quality what so ever, but damn if it ain't a crackerjack of a film!

The movie kicks off with a slam banger, then a cut to Leeza Gibbons. As her big haired face graced the screen I vaguely remember on Entertainment Tonight there was a big buzz about her being in the movie. I think I actually thought she was the star, but she is just a TV reporter. What a stretch. In the first ten minutes we really that Robocop has to progress with in the future/present/now past landscape of Detroit. Evil drug dealers peddling their shit to kids, cult leaders of the damned, tough as nails hookers and even the fucking union. You can feel the energy building and you are just WAITING for Robocop to bust it out! Suddenly, a cop car speeds in the frame and out steps a mechanical foot and you know this set piece of knocked over trash cans and hobos is about to BLOW! Robocop does a quick scan of the area and crime are EVERYWHERE! You know this because his helmet can pick up crime vibes and flashes a message stating, "CRIME IN PROGRESS!" Good to know. Nancy Allen fresh off one of my favorite THIRDS (Poltergeist 3) pops up and is in major stealth mode. She can sneak around a black lit alley like nobody's business. Things blow up, bad guys are killed and Robocop is in a MASSIVE bad mood.

RoboCop is different now. He seems to be remembering things. We get tossed into a flashback involving a baby and some gun fire, but I wasn't really paying attention. I was snapped back into reality when they removed RoboCop's damaged helmet and we get some real PETER WELLER FACE! WHOA! It's super gross. He has some major BRAZIL face. It has been stretched and held together by nuts and bolts. AND we are only 20 minutes into the movie. I think I am in LOVE with this movie.

So remember in the first RoboCop and then later in Starship Troopers, Verhoeven gave us some great socio-political funny fake commercials? Just sprinkled in for shits and giggles? Well, Number two has them also and they ain't funny. We do get some Chase Bank realness though. It truly is how you feel treated after you leave one of their branches. Some dude with a Darth Vader voice plays a bad guy and a sexy lady, played by Belinda Bauer are out to create the ultimate killing machine, but they can't seem to get it right. The best part of the film is them trying all the proto types and then watching them fail miserably. Lab techs are shot, buildings are destroyed, but it is pretty grand entertainment.

The bad guys have tried everything to continue to commit crime without getting murdered by RoboCop, but it is hard. So, they have devised a brilliant plan! Have a kid be the drug dealer, because Robocop can't kill kids! And what a kid drug dealer he is! He is hateful, curses like a nun on the run and shoots machine guns. I just imagine this boy LOVING his job. His best scene is with Nancy Allen after she tries to bust up in the joint. He jumps her and wraps a chain around her neck and says, "LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE OUT OF BREATH BITCH!" Her face is priceless.

We get some Beth Grant Executive Realness (for realz!) trying to explain how robots have feelings. Bitch, I saw Wall-E. Don't hand me this crap. But the bad guys unleash another Robocop. This one isn't so nice and doesn't mind wiping out an entire little league baseball team. Blood and guts and all! Poor Motor City Muskrats. You do feel sorry for the kids as they are being mowed down. We get a shit storm of bullets and a fucking great Nancy Allen stunt double. Nancy climbs on things and looks over, but doesn't do the really dangerous stuff, like jumping or driving a car at normal speed. I wouldn't either! Nice Robocop shows up on a motorcycle that is screaming action figure accessory and Nancy almost punches the evil boss lady in the face! Harpo from The Color Purple shows up and the little mean kid says, "Don't be a queer!" The city is a battleground as good robocop and bad robocop battle it out and a slam bang maelstrom of high octane excitement and low octane acting. The credits roll and I was so pleased they didn't kill Nancy off!

Robocop 2 does what most sequels do. They rape the first film and try their damnest to make the sequel look and feel better, but they almost always fail to live up to the original. You can argue for days with nerds about sequels that are far superior to the originals. I agree there are some, but Robocop 2 is not one of them. While super fun and SUPER over the top (I try to get a Stallone shout out as much as possible) it just doesn't have the heart the first one had. And that is saying a lot!

I must point out that Robocop 2 taught me a very valuable lesson. When hiring a sound effects guy, always get the best. Like Travolta in BLOW-OUT, you need someone is going to go the distance. Stephen Hunter Flick I bow down to you! You did an amazing job with the sound effects. Everything that is gross, SOUNDS even grosser! YUCK! Suzanne Vega was right. Blood does make noise.

P.S. Can I just tell you how fucking bad I want the three issue ROBOCOP 2 Marvel tie-in comic book?!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Don't get fingerbanged at the Seattle Center.

I don't get Mark Wahlberg. I was a "Good Vibrations" fan, but that was about it. I wasn't attracted to his body or his charms. I was shocked by just how incredible he was in Boogie Nights and I still love to watch it, but that is where my Wahberg level ends. At last years Academy Award Ceremony he rapped with a reporter on the red carpet and kept giving the crowd a "Thumbs Up". It seemed odd and when questioned by an inquiring mind of the reporter, Wahlberg claimed that he was giving the crowd a big thumbs up for supporting him. He kept his back mostly to the screaming fans, but always flashed a thumbs up. The reporter, like most people, shrugged it off and looked for Gwyneth. That moment has stuck with me for months now and I decided to go to a BadMovieArt alumni for guidance. James Foley, the mastermind behind Who's That Girl?, Reckless, Perfect Stranger and Glengarry Glen Ross (EAT IT HATERS!). Foley had the answer I was looking for. FEAR.

If you are a long time resident of Seattle or a recent transplant, one of the many joys of FEAR (and there are lots) is getting to play "Look for your old apartment" or "Look for where you work" during the sweeping cityscape of Seattle during the opening credits. It's fun. PROMISE! The title cards cut the screen like a knife slicing meat and establishes a sense of "OH SHIT!" Look close...THE KING DOME! OLD SKOOL SEATTLE! CHEERS!

The opening scene is very sexy, as Reese Witherspoon fresh off FREEWAY, but not yet CRUEL INTENTIONS era, takes a long leisurely shower. If you are playing even the slightest attention, you realize she must be up at five in the morning to get ready for school because it seems her parents live in the Three Tree Point area, but she goes to Queen Anne High. So if you want to take a long sexy shower you got to be an early bird! She comes be-booping down the stairs in bobby socks, Mary Jane heels,a frown and an Ally McBeal skirt. Like a sexy 12 year old. With angst! It makes you feel weird. Suddenly, we are tossed hit with two MAJOR clues, so you gotta pay attention. It seems that Reese's dad can run real fast! He is pretty sexy when he runs. DILF through and through. Reese's lil' brother, Toby, learns how to use a dog whistle and their HUGE German shepard comes bounding out of Nowheresville. Reese has the worst step mom EVER! Like, seriously. She is a complete hag. I think she might be mentality disturbed or something. And the fact that she is played by Amy Brenneman doesn't really help the situation. Immediately, I thought, " Toby will save the day."

Reese and her best gal pal, played by Alyssa Milano, who is in pre-CHARMED mode so that means she will show her tits, head to Pioneer Square around 4:00 in the afternoon. They go to hang out in a bar, back in the day when teens could just walk into a bar and smoke as many cigarettes as they please. Reese spies the only gay guy there, in too baggy jeans and his UnderArmor long sleeve black tee TUCKED INTO HIS PANTS. He is playing pool and he is played by Marky Mark himself. Suddenly, he isn't gay and starts to eye Reese. They flirt, meet cute and he begins his plan to get in her pants. The great thing about this scene is the spot on 90's Seattle fashion. It was all the things that I dreamed people were wearing in Seattle before I moved here. Very "Smells Like Teen Spirit". He invites them to a RAVE down on the docks by Occidential where heavies carry Uzis! Lots of fetish POWER STATION/PANACHA realness and OMG! boys kissing! It's CRAZY!

After Sexy Dad and Mean Stepmother rake Reese across the coals because she broke her curfew, they demand to meet this Marky Mark character. He is charming and all smiles, but at the house we first see the tell tale signs that all is not well in the mind of the leader of the Funky Bunch. After a lecture about the curfew, he sets a clock back a hour. Just one clock. But I am guessing it is the family's go to clock. Then, he yells at Reese, "GET ME A COKE!" The entire family gives him the stink eye and it is one of my favorite product placements to be used in a movie.

So, it is off to the Seattle Center Fun Fair for a little toot off the peace pipe and an unforgettable roller coaster ride. As The Sundays cover of "Wild Horses" play, Reese gets finger banged by Walhberg, all while navigating all the twist and turns of the roller coaster. Once my friend had his birthday party at the SCFF and first off, the roller coaster depicted in FEAR in nothing like the actually roller coaster and the birthday boy REFUSED to let me sing "Wild Horses" and finger bang him. It was worth a shot though. Reese is so in love with him after getting finger banged that she gives him the security code to her house (CLUE!!) and the parents announce that they are going to go away for the weekend, leaving Reese and lil' bro, Toby all alone. Walhberg visits and has some sexy time with Reese, but then beat her best gay to a bloody pulp. This is the moment when anyone would break up with him and tell your parents. What does Reese do? Well, she cries and tries to figure out why Marky Mark would beat her best gay to almost death and then stupid Mean Stepmom SIDES WITH MARKY MARK!!! WHAT THE FUCK?! He ain't that cute. They allow him back to their house and have a pool party even though for most of the movie you can see their breath whenever they are outside. But as Mean Step mom emerges from the pool to greet Sexy Dad, she explains, "Don't you just love an Indian Summer". Honey, its November.

Reese goes to meet him at a party in what seems to be Puyallup. Don't ever go to a party in Puyallup. Trust me. She sees Alyssa smoking crack and then getting raped by Marky Mark. So what does she do? She doesn't tell her parents!!! But she eats a lot of chocolate. Alyssa has a freak out when Reese confronts and screams, "You're my only friend!" and turns out a killer performance, but totally sets the scene up for her to be Reese's dead best friend. Marky Mark is busy working on a homemade tattoo across his chest that reads REESE 4 EVA. Reese's best gay is up and walking around so he decides to take a shortcut home through the woods and gets beat to death. FEAR! Marky Mark goes bat shit for REALZ and the big finale involves all the clues you have been collecting through the movie, plus Reese's hair goes from wet to dry to wet to dry and back again and of course, Toby has to save the day, because he is the only with any good sense. His escape and plan to stop Marky Mark is brilliant and IT WORKS!

The movie feels like a slightly dirtier version of a Made for TV movie and in that sense that a bunch of exciting stuff happens in the first twenty minutes, then it levels out into kinda boring, then has a BIG chase scene. Reese went on to become an A list Hollywood celeb and snatched herself an Oscar for playing June Carter and Marky Mark just went on to be Marky Mark. The oddest thing about FEAR is that the highly sought after soundtrack was never released. It is the stuff of motion picture soundtrack legend now. To this day, people still get pissed when you mention FEAR and the non existence of its soundtrack. As far as teen sexy thriller goes, it is pretty much standard, but as far as teen sexy thrillers set and filmed around Vancouver B.C. and Seattle is the BEST!

Monday, May 16, 2011


One of the greatest challenges in life is trying to decide which Girl Scout cookie to buy? It can get intense. You are low on cash, you aren't exactly when they stop selling them and the low octane/adorable peer pressure can make the strongest crumble.
I just always get Samoas. Done. I don't have to work about it, but I still long for a good Tagalongs or the "healthy" Thin Mint.
Those darn Girl Scouts of America work their buns off to bring this country something that keeps us moving forward. They deliver us a little spot of joy for a very limited amount of time and never really ask for anything from us. They never come around knocking my door and bugging me. You hardly ever see a Girl Scout troop roaming around. They stay out of sight. I have always thought they deserved more. My older sister was a Girl Scout for at least six months. My younger sister not so much. Where is THEIR TV show? Where is their Broadway musical?! YEAH! YEAH!! The truth is that they don't need anything because it was written in BadMovieArt lore that there would come to pass a Shelley Long vanity vehicle that would bring The Girl Scouts of America onto the big screen. Credit Due. Just tooted up a bit!

Directed by Jeff Kanew, who had given us REVENGE OF THE NERDS and written by a couple of critically acclaimed female TV writers, TBH has this weird mesh mash of a two hour pilot for a TV show and a mean streak of "BLUE" humor. There are also a lot of curse words and a couple of dicks jokes. Not raunchy, but a shade bluer than a made for TV movie. Shelley Long successfully broke away from a beloved Emmy winning TV show and moved right into movies with ease. The Money Pit and Outrageous Fortune (a BMA mainstay) were wildly popular and remain classics to this day. HELLO AGAIN went on to gay and girl cult status, but TBH's unsuccessful run at the box office would send her back to television. Her performance as Truddi Chase in Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase is a true GIT IT GIRL moment. I have only seen it once and that was enough for me. I will never forget it. Then I read the book When Rabbit Howls, which is kinda like The Further Adventures of Truddi Chase and it fucked me up. Thanks Shelley. At the time it seemed Troop Beverly Hills would just fade into the back of comedy sections in video store. Shelley didn't care. She continued to work and had a massive comeback with The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel. Both are comedy masterpieces. Troop Beverly Hills had something that most movies of the time didn't have. An entire female cast! Girls rejoiced! None of this only two girl Goonies bullshit or no fucking Lost Girls in Lost Boys. This one was strictly for the ladies. HEEEY!!!

In the grand tradition of all great comedies, the animated opening credit sequence is to DIE for. Up there with Mannequin and Who's That Shitbox? TBH sells it! Long plays Phyllis Nefler a spoiled, fashion forward Beverly Hills housewife who loves to shop and cannot seem to finish anything she starts. It's so bad that both her estranged husband, played by hunky Craig T. Nelson, and her daughter, not played by Craig T. Nelson, bring it up to her on a daily basis. Well, when she catches wind that her pre teens wilderness girls troop has run another troop leader out of town, she decides that she is the right gal for the job!

Phyllis has to deal with the politics of the Wilderness Girls upper management and makes an enemy out of the head Wilderness Lady. The sexual chemistry that crackles between these two will melt your sugar free chocolate chip cookie right in your hand! Betty Thomas plays the lesbian predator, Velda Pendor. She is tough as balls and has a set of nuts to prove it! She is the salt in the saccharin sweet limbo of Phyllis. Oh, yes! You almost want them to start making out by the end of the movie. We all know arch enemy sex is ALWAYS the best sex. But anyway...

The rest of the cast is made of the ever hardworking BMA lifer, Mary Gross and Pia Zadora playing herself! NICE! The girls of Troop Beverly Hills are made up of a great lil' redhead, Hillary Whitney, Everyday Girl, Nerd Girl, Nina Simone and mini Jackie Collins. Everyone is great in it. We even get arch enemy team, The Red Feathers. There are a bunch of girls in the troop, but only TomBoy and Tori Spelling get any screen time. Which is fine with me.

The movie is broken up into two major pieces of gay work. B.C.T.( Before Cookie Time) and A.C.T. (After Cookie Time). The musical number "Cookie Time" is a sorta messiah to a certain sect of gays and girls. If you know, then you know. If you don't know, then you are about to know.

B.C.T. is full of the Shelley Long getting us to doing something besides be fabulous and the girls starting to develop their story lines. They all get one. Short and sweet, but at least a story line. Think Babysitter's Club but with badges and sashes, but no babies. A very GREEN affair. We get to dance along with the girls as they go for their "Dance Womanship" badge. Basically, it is a call for all the girls at slumber parties across the this great nation of ours to get up and make as much noise as possible to drive parents insane. But, the show stopper is something called "The Freddie". I had lived a full decade and some change when I first saw this thing called "The Freddie" for the first time in TBH. Even Shelly Long's face when she has to say, "This one is called The Freddy" can't muster up any humor in it. And I'll be goddamned if you don't haul your ass up to try to do it. It's is freakish and impossible to do, but it sums up the tone of the movie.

OH! DEENA!! The camping scene. Shit. Fondue, floppy hats and flash floods! Three of my favorite things that start with the letter F. I love when they say, "Fuck it" and go to the fancy hotel. Quite possibly one of the best ghost stories involving a perm is told and everyone has a great time. Sounds like my camping fantasy come true.

We also get a hot cop who teaches the girls CPR and Shelley gets to make out in front of a bunch of pre teens girls to a song called, "French Kissin' In The U.S.A". Great song. The plot really kicks into gear as the girls MUST sell the most cookies so they can go to the Country Bear Jamboree. At first the fucking Red Feathers one up them, but never ever piss off a Wilderness Girl whose zip code is 90210. Cuz this is what you will get! IN YOUR FACE RED FEATHERS!!!! They launch a full scale attack on their counter parts that the military should start using. Dancing, Singing and selling those cookies are all part of a days work for these girls. COOKIE TIME IS ON! Everything changes!

Winning by a landslide, we morph into A.C.T. It is the last 20 to 25 minutes of the movie and A.C.T. plants the entire cast in the middle of the woods and they have to bond together and learn the true meaning of what being a REAL Wilderness Girl is. Lots of girls screaming, running around, breaking legs and more screaming. But at the end, Phyllis and her troop triumph over evil and send Velda Pendor to Kmart to make some end of credit blue light special jokes. Those were huge at the end of the 80's and really funny!

TROOP BEVERLY HILLS has to be one of the most consistantly funny movies for gays and girls ever made. I swear, Lady Gaga stole ideas from Phyllis Nefler's wardrobe. The entire cast is likable and really into their roles. The rewatchability of TBH is very high and seems like a perfect movie to throw in the VCR when you have a bunch of screaming girls at your house. Or screaming gays as the case may be. I am going to say it right now.... LONG LIVE TROOP BEVERLY HILLS!!! What a fucking thrill!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Absurd. The definition of the word means ridiculous, unreasonable or unsound. To be absurd means that there is no rationale or orderly relationship to human life. That is way harsh. But true. In other words, if you are called absurd you are a mess. You could go from one side of the absurd chart that puts you in "fun mess" or way on the other side you could fall into the "broke down mess" or as the kids call it today, a fucking hot mess. Where you land is ultimately up to you and where the rest of the world thinks you land is up to them. Pia Zadora cemented herself first chair in the orchestra of the absurd when she starred in the now classic Hollywood moral tale, The Lonely Lady.

Based on a book by Harold Robbins' that is so uber trashy that Silkwood showers are required after each chapter. The ICK and YUCK factors run rampant. The book knows no boundaries. I had seen the movie many times before I cracked open the book and it was like The Further Adventures of The Lonely Lady. The movie is tame compared to the book, which is lucky for viewers. In the book she had a high school love affair with a black dude from the wrong side of the tracks, which causes the town to turn against them and results in high drama. In the movie, her teenage love affair (Pia plays her younger self!) is just a white nerd. In the book she has about ten abortions. I might have rounded up, but it's more than a normal person should be having, but that is just my opinion. In the movie she only has one, but it has the drama of ten and is bookended by Pia screaming, "MOTHER! I had an abortion!" and slamming the door to her VW Bug. The book is full of jaw dropping madness and lots of graphic sex and the ending is, as one of my friends said, SOCKO. The movie is full of jaw dropping madness also, lots of graphic sex and a different but completely socko ending itself. Zadora plays Jerilee Randall, but for all things Pia we will just refer to her character as Pia.

The power ballad "The Lonely Lady (The Theme From The Lonely Lady)" by Perry Ellis, Jr. swells to new heights of movie anthems as Pia stomps across the screen in a form fitting red gown. A crowd is gathered outside a fancy building and a TV announcer tells us that it is the big night! The night of the Awards Presentation Ceremony. It seems the academy of motion pictures and science weren't too keen on letting just anyone use their trademark, but there are two huge slightly off OSCAR statues on the red carpet. They have huge bulges. It's true. They do. Also two lines of dialogue from spectators really set the mood of the film right off the bat. As Pia walks by someone ask, "Who is she?" and a lady leans in from the crowd, hangs over the railing, looking Pia up and down and replies, "Must not be anyone if she don't have a date!" RUDE!!!!
Then, as she walks the red carpet a a henpecked wife ask her husband, "Why don't you buy me a dress like that?" He looks Pia up and down and replies, "Why don't you look like that?" SNAAAAAAP.

We are instantly sent flying back in time ( a year or a week is unclear) and we are planted in the middle another sort of awards presentation ceremony, but I think it is supposed to be high college. There has been some debate amongst The Lonely Lady enthusiast I know whether is high school or Nerd Jr. College, but regardless, she is playing younger, but she looks the same. Pia just acts all "cutesy" and has pigtails. She snatches herself a trophy for some writing thing and the crowd goes wild! Well mild. They seem to be not playing attention to what is going on or maybe the don't know what is going on. The extras are confused, but the little Asian boy NAILS it. She takes the stage and launches into some Pia ramblings about something, but the teacher cuts her off. So it begins....

At an after party she dances like a broken funky chicken and tries to be sexy while holding a hot dog. With relish! Ray Liotta shows up to play a sexy bully alpha male type. He likes drugs, blow jobs, speedos and he has his eye on popping Pia's cherry. He is great at playing slime. At a AFTER after party, Pia finds herself all alone (see!) while Ray and his hippie girlfriend make it in the pool. Suddenly, Pia is pulled into the pool and has to fight Liotta off. He gives chase as she climbs out of the pool and runs. At a break neck speed, the movie turns darksided as Pia gets caught and Ray picks up a garden hose and points it at her. He rips her shirt and THANKFULLY the movie moves on. Now here we were having a grand ole time with Pia and they have to have a rape scene. It makes you feel ICKY. It's all laughs until that happens. The movie throws you for a loop, because you were not expecting to go there. And that is quick lesson you learn with The Lonely Lady. You gotta stay on your toes, cuz it will toss you under the bus if you ain't looking.

After her mean Mommy (played by Bibi Besch) tells her to keep quiet about the rape and it will all be okay, Pia meets the owner of the garden hose (it's attached to the mansion) and she instantly falls in love. We get a real cute montage of her and a man, who looks old enough to be her grandfather, eat ice cream, go jogging and all kinds of silliness. It is very romantic. He is a hot shot film director and he hires Pia to do some scripting editing for his new blockbuster he is working on. She accidentally comes up with the perfect piece of dialogue for the Meryl Streep wannabe. "WHY?" Cut out all the other words and just scream to the heavens, "WHY?!!!" There is a sassy hair and make-up guy on the set and he and Pia become fast friends and his tee shirt reads, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" I smell a Xmas gift!

She writes her first novel and her husband quickly resents her and in a heated argument out in the front yard, Pia pleads with him to "just come to bed" even though it is noon. Her husband picks up the garden hose ( You would think they would have gotten rid of it) and points it at her screaming, "Maybe this is more your style!"

Pia is out. Now a single gal on the go with a little cash advance for her next book, she gets to work on getting her script made into a movie, but first she has to get it read! No one wants to even look at it. She meets and falls crazy in love with a leading man type, but after he won't support her abortion, she realizes he is a dud. She then meets up with a hunky Italian club owner who just might be the right man to finance her screenplay! Promising to get it in the right hands, he immediately get right into Pia's pants. They have one of the greatest sex scenes EVER. Nude chasing, bubble baths, a sexy game of pool and forced poppers are all a part of their sexy time. But, Pia soon realizes that she just got screwed in more ways than the fun one.

Just when you think the Pia can't take anymore, she is tricked into having a lesbian affair (off screen thank Deena) and has to take her patent pending Pia shower. You know what a Pia shower is? It is that moment when you arrive home after a hard night of partying and WHOOPS you have ended up degrading yourself for someone else's pleasure. You kept it bottled up on the walk home, but once inside the safety of your own home all you want to do is crawl into the shower with ALL YOUR CLOTHES ON and wash it all away. You know you have had to do it every once in a while. It's good for the soul. Well, Pia being Pia takes it one step farther and is breaking dishes up in here as she demolishes her apartment and goes NUTS! Like she goes to the looney bin nuts!

Now catatonic and trapped in a weird white and light blue color scheme, she must go deep within herself if she wants to emerge a true artist. Nervous breakdowns are so annoying. They always happen at the exact moment you do not need to be having a nervous breakdown, but it makes a good screenplay!

FLASH FORWARD and we are back at the Awards Presentation Ceremony and Pia is up against four other writers(two of them with the same name, don't ask....) for best screenplay. The ending has got to be one of the satisfying and most rewarding endings of a movie in BadMovieArt history, besides Chopping Mall of course, and I would be remiss to say anything else about it and spoil the journey. Value lessons are learned and TAUGHT!

Poorly well written, horribly cast (the busty fake Joanna Cassidy in the hot tub near the end is a hoot) and badly lit, The Lonely Lady lives up to it's notorious reputation as one of the worst movies ever made. It is an albatross it will carry around its neck forever and rightfully so, but if you dig deeper there is more to the movie than that. The absurdity of everyone involved is mind blowing. And the best part of the entire movie is that Pia, as mentioned in the FAKE OUT aka NEVADA HEAT entry, was a millionaire! She didn't do it for one single penny. It was solely just for attention. She didn't give a fuck and that I like. Rich is powerful. It usually isn't charming or earnest, but it is powerful. But with great power comes great responsibility.

But that's all blah,blah,blah anyway. the real reason The Lonely Lady is a classic is because in this world we live in with 3-D kiddie movies, movies based off of toys with toys based of aforementioned movie, 15 dollar movie tickets and stale popcorn it never tries to be anything it isn't. Call it The Lonely Lady realness if you like. It knows it trash. It knows you know its trash and it doesn't care. Revolutionary in its horribleness, as you watch it you can feel your skin just crawled right off and off the door. Never to see your bones again. Yet, while the toxic shock of the moving picture masterpiece won't ever let you recovery from it, there is a sort of cleansing pleasure it brings you. You don't feel duped after watching it.

Years later, Pia Zadora was interviewed and asked about her trashy past. She held her head up proud and said, "Yeah there are things that I could say I was sorry for doing, but I did them and and I don't regret any of them."

Don't ask why? Ask why not?

Monday, April 18, 2011


Whenever someone ask, "Jason, what are two words that changed your life forever"? I immediately reply with Ren McCormack. Nudging out my first hardcore crushes of Billy Peltzer of GREMLINS and Steff (played by James Spader) in PRETTY IN PINK, Ren did two things that they never could do. Danced like a mutha fucker and wear the hell out of a sweat shirt! My life changed in February of 1984. It was the first time I was allowed to go to the movies by myself and the very first movie I saw all by my lonesome was FOOTLOOSE.

The Saturday afternoon my mom dropped me off at the three o clock show of FOOTLOOSE at Picayune Cinema at the Mississippi Mall, she had no idea when she picked me she would encounter a changed person. As I sat in the dark theater and stared at the visually stunning images that graced the screen, I felt something awaken in my soul. Something that told me that no matter what happens in my life or what trials and tribulations I encounter, I will always DANCE MY ASS OFF!

Things I told my mother on the ride home after FOOTLOOSE. It was really good and I needed to go back and see it the next day, which was a Sunday. If I went to Sunday School (boring!) and Big Church (super boring!) I could go see it. DEAL. What i failed to mention to her was the level of curse words that were in it. Very high on the curse words barometer. Also, the shower scene full of male butts! Not a word was uttered from my lips!

I was immediately drawn the trashiness of the young cast. Everyone looked like someone in my hometown and acted just about the same. The good girls were very good and bad girls were very bad. Just the way I like 'em. Long before The Little Mermaid another Ariel robbed my heart. Portrayed by the immensely talented Lori Singer, fresh off the FAME television series, she played trash to the hilt. Born the daughter of a preacher man, she had only one main objective and that was to raise as much hell as humanly possible. That I like. All the boys were dullsville and the only boy that she could barely tolerate liked to do two things: Drink beer and beat the fuck out of her. A primo catch. After almost killing her friends, her boyfriend, an innocent trucker and herself (to the awesome "Girl Gets Around"), she then goes and lewdly dancing at the drive in to "Dancing In The Streets" while barking at Sarah Jessica Parker (in lovable goof mode here) to get her some french fries. Who wouldn't want to date her?

But something is blowing in the wind. There is a shit storm about to descend on the town that will change everyone's life and the scope of the small hamlet forever. They call him Ren McCormack and he is DONE! Done I tell ya! He doesn't give a flying crap about what people think of him or what they think of his BIG city ways. He has two secret weapons in his arsenal of attack that no one else in the town has. He has his mother, played by Frances Lee McCain. Yes, you read that right! It is GREMLINS MOM!!!!! GIT IT MOM! She is kinda like a weather beaten version of her son. She doesn't like the town that much either and doesn't really agree to their rules and such, but she has lived a hard life and sometimes you just have to sigh and get on with it. She doesn't have the spark of anger her son does, but she understands. And sometimes that is all you need from your mom! DEEP shit!!

He other weapon of choice is his killer style. He never looks bad in ANYTHING. WORK. Cowboy hats, jeans, tux, wife beater, sweat shirt or a tie, he works that shit like he is trying to get some overtime. All the girls immediately fall for him and the boys don't know what to do with him. He seems cool, but also a touch faggy. Not interested in football or racing cars, he finds himself in an unique spot within the high school walls. He is something completely different from anyone at the school, because he is mysterious. And HOT!

Ariel's super charming boyfriend challenges Ren to a chicken race on tractors. I told ya, it was country, yo! But, this is no ordinary townie chicken race on tractors. Nope. This one is set to the pulsing sounds of Bonnie Tyler giving it her all in "Holdin' Out For A Hero". This is definitely one of the more iconic scenes in FOOTLOOSE. It also spawned the beautiful gay tractor that graced the stage in The Brown Derby version of the movie. It's all pretty exciting and sorta sexy and weird. All the kids are so sweaty and horned up from not dancing that they look to other means of releasing that footloose rage. Well, Ren then has a real shitter of a day and drives his Vw bug (my car of choice) to an abandon warehouse/train depot and teaches the children why he is the most footloosing person in town. Ariel lingers in the doorway (how rude!) and watches it all with a great deal of interest. She then stands in front of a train and screams. Damaged goods for sure. But damaged goods with great hair.

Ren has to do it all. He has to teach the students to dance. But not just a little two step. No he has to start from in the inside and work his way out. "Let's Hear For The Boy" forever. He then leads an exodus of the kids to an off limits dance and defies anyone to stop him. His scream of "Let's Dance" is not just a dumb ass movie quote. It is a battle cry. One that was heard through this great nation of ours. For once, all the kids that wanted to dance were told that it was okay. No matter what your religion said or what others would think of you. But you have to start from the inside.

The following string of hits from the soundtrack, which led to weeks of saving up allowance to buy was worth every fucking piece of pine straw I had to rake, toss on a tarp and drag to the front yard ditch for the trash to pick up. Years later, Footloose still guides me through my life. I am always so happy to meet people who loved it as much as I do. Life is hard. It is comforting to know that there are others out there that try to twist their ankle all the way around when the movie anthem comes on. I dreamed that one day I would grow up and be as awesome as Ren McCormack and have just as sweet moves as he did. When I grew up I realized that Ren is actually named Kevin Bacon and he had a dance stunt double. And all I can say is, "Why don't I have a dance stunt double"! AND ABOVE ALL ELSE ALWAYS DANCE YOUR ASS OFF!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Oh, Deena Jones! Hear my prayers. I told myself that I would never again watch this movie, but something drew me in as does most Cybill Shepherd movies. A complete misfire right out of the cannon, Cole Porter immediately flipped about 17 times in his grave when it was released on the public. So, here we are once a-gain. AT LONG LAST UGH.

In the 70's, Peter Bogdanovich was unstoppable, well up to a point. Everything was going great. He had the remarkable TARGETS and the three, count THREE, masterworks under his belt. The Last Picture Show, What's Up Doc? and Paper Moon are still very relevant today. But then he got Cybillized and that ain't never a good thing. Daisy Miller is really good if you enjoy watching people walk around and doing boring things for two hours. But it would be AT LONG LAST UGH that would send him down the spiral of Hollywood nightmares. And he rated it G! You know for kids.

As the credits roll, in all their The Great Gatsby font, over a musical box of two bronze couples dancing, you can hear the the notes of the beautiful compositions of the late and great than Gatsby, Cole Porter hanging in the air. The motion picture experiment of AT LONG LAST UGH was an audacious one. Take two actors that can bump it like a trumpet ( Madeline Khan and Duillio Del Prete) and two that sound like someone is beating them with a trumpet (Burt Reynolds and Cybill Shepherd) and toss in fucking Eileen Brennan, who repeatedly scares the hell out of me and pulls focus every time she is on the screen. Brennan's singing reminds of a the sound you hear when a squirrel hits a live power line. But making all the cast sing LIVE!!!! was its boldest challenge and its scariest.

The film opens with Madeline Khan (so far so good) singing what is one of my favorite Cole Porter songs, "Down In The Depths (On The Ninetieth Floor). The song is a real scorcher. Khan treats it like a Mel Brooks number and musters up a little emotion, but definitely goes for the yuks. She ends the song by dumping a cocktail on herself. Life is too short to be wasting a good cocktail. Mads beau is bored with her drinking and so am I.

Next up, Cybill Shepherd appears and she is stunning. There is no doubt, she is one of the most beautiful women in 70's cinema. Next to Stockard Channing that is. Her best friend/servant/lady in waiting, played by Brennan, follows her around smoking cigarettes and giving major face at every single person, thing or animal she comes across. Private Benjamin knows what I am talking about.

The movie get really good when blazing hot Burt Reynolds shows up. And in a tux! Burt does it right. He shows up and looks gorgeous, barely attempts to sing his songs and smacks and pouts throughout the movie. Not a problem.

Burt and Mads meet after she has a, GASP!, sober traffic accident. He proclaims, "I'm a heir" and they look bored. If you can't love the one you want just love the one your with. Cybill is out at the horse track in a Polka Don't outfit and yells at everyone. The cast bust into "You're The Top" just as you were forgetting you were watching a musical. "YTT" is classic Porter song and it is handled like a number that had gotten filmed but didn't get cut out. 30 Minute Mark! DAMN THAT WENT FAST!

The entire cast is off the theater. I think they are seeing something called Once Upon A Time, but I like to think they were going to opening night of SIZZLE. This is a great opporunity to pack a bunch of Cole Porter songs in. Usherettes dance, there's a screechy version of "Find Me a Primitive Man" and a little Ann Miller tribute (as it should be). Then is it time to go ON THE TOWN! Cybill's character is kinda like Ke$sha in her 30's. She's hot and dangerous. She is that girl that you want to go to the party with, but once you have been there with her for a couple of hours, she turns into the girl that you want to leave at the party. She could totally burn the house down or do the whole football team. RUN! They have a party at rich dude's house and you know you have had a kicking when the butler is hung over the next day! Cybill proclaims that is a four cucumber day. Whatever that means. But I do like cucumbers.

We hit the hour mark and the movie morphs into Ken Russell's GOTHIC as the the cast descends upon a mansion for a weekend of drinkin', singing Cole Porter songs and not trying to murder each other as they swap partners. Eileen Brennan and the butler ruin "What A Swell Party This Is" as the couples lay around and show you how hot being bored can really be. Everyone falls in the pool and there are a couple of really good Titanic jokes. I love a good Titanic joke. "Just One Of Those Things" is treated like a piece of crap and there is a lot of sitting and singing. I guess when singing live, motion will fuck it up.

We hit the 10 minute wrap up and we get a mysterious phone call, another BIG party and some swingin' couples a ton of nothing and at long last the end.

Just like the slogan for the yearbook in my junior term of high school, the movie ask, "What's the point?" Brilliant. So we are suppose to suffer? An experiment on just how much we can tolerant? How blinded can we be by Burt's handsome that we ignore the movie? Questions. Questions. No answers. Something went wrong in the translation of it all. Live singing is hard on film. Unless you are Babs in A Star Is Born. You have to be on your A game and not just try. You must do.

Poor Cole Porter. He just can't chance a break. If you venture into Porter territory rent KISS ME KATE (you will become an Ann Miller fan pronto after "Too Darn Hot" tap number) or the breathtaking and very funny HIGH SOCIETY. Glamour piled upon glamour all set to Porter's music. Just the way he intended.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Do you know what happens when you type Martha Schumacher into the search engine of IMDB.COM? I will tell ya. You are directed to Martha De Laurentiis. A VERY interesting twist to the whole production of SILVER BULLET. But more on that later...

Based on the novella, Cycle of The Werewolf" by famed horror writer, Stephen King, SILVER BULLET bites off just the right amount it can chew. King is so vivid with detail, but is able to let your imagination run wild at the same time, so movie projects of his work are preposterous in the hands of a ill fitted director. His best films like THE SHINING and CARRIE are handled with such originality that they sort of become their own thing. His worst, LAWNMOWER MAN and GRAVEYARD SHIFT, seem to be so off mark that they are just about unwatchable. Luckily, SILVER BULLET fell into the hands of Daniel Attias. It would be his only feature film, though he would go on to directed critically acclaimed TV series. Also, King penned the screenplay and it's fun to see him expand the characters from a fairly short book for him. And of note, the werewolf was created by legendary special effects person, Carlo Rambaldi. Yeah, that guy who created E.T.! So, the design is spot on. Surprisingly, the film failed to connect with audiences and it was resigned to video store fodder. Now, over 25 years later, SILVER BULLET has been a New Classic.

Of course, the biggest draw to SILVER BULLET is Corey Haim. He is oozing with charm and wit. He sports a killer smile, a kicking hair cut and an acting range you wouldn't expect from someone his age. Sadly, it would only be a couple of years after SILVER BULLET that he would become just another Hollywood Potter and ultimately give his life to a world that continued to spiral out of control. We are very fortunate to have a handful of great films from him, because when he was on he was ON! Alright now.

We start with a female voice-over telling us about the night the drunk train operator got beheaded in 1976. Any movie that starts off with a beheading is fine with me. The sheriff finds a BIG footprint and hears howls all around, but the death is ruled an accident. Flash forward to present day and it the day of the big parade/festival in Tarker's Mill, Maine. Terry O'Quinn is the sheriff and Corey Haim is immediately called a "booger" and told he is a cross to bear by his older sister. Typical. She helps her little brother out of the car and into his wheelchair. Yes, Haim is in a wheelchair the whole movie. And he sells it. I really only can compare him to the kid in Mac And Me and he is still pretty good. He goes wheeling off in the dirt and the sister storms off to flirt with townies that are holding snakes. Little bro pulls a prank that leaves her covered in mud and with ripped pantyhose. He thought it would be funny. It was not. That night the moon lights up the sky in all of it's fullness....

The next day, a suicidal knocked up town tramp is found mangled. Everyone seems on edge, but not overly worried. Corey shows how he can get out of his chair and onto his GREMLINS chair/stair lift all by himself and Mom has to deal with drunk uncle played by the great Gary Busey. He ab libs everything, but you know what? He is kinda funny. That night the abusive dad of the girl Corey has a crush on gets it! She is removed by social services and we never get to learn if her southern accent was real or not, since sometimes she had it sometimes she didn't. A crazy person states, "The face of the beast always becomes known." He then follows that up with, "Time of the beast always passes." How poetic.

We get treated to a great "THERE'S A MANIAC ON THE LOOSE! STAY INSIDE!" montage. Lots of little old ladies scooting a little faster than normal and store fronts turning their OPEN sign to CLOSE even though sales of shotguns and caskets have skyrocketed. As usual, you can't keep the bar crowd home. When Corey's best friend is murdered while flying his THE HOWLING kite, the town turns on the sheriff and forms a mob. The embark on one of the scariest manhunts in a werewolf movie. One guy gets himself into some bear trap grossness and another makes lemonade in his pants, according to one of the locals. Most of the cast has to move around through waist deep fog while something stalks them under the fog!! SCARY!!!

The time frame of the movie doesn't really seem to make any sense. I think it is suppose to be every full moon, so that would be every month, but in Tarker's Mill, Maine it seems the moon stays full for weeks on end. But you don't really care. All the good stuff happens during the full moon anyway. Hot preacher man has to host a triple casket funeral and then the entire church turns into werewolves. Even the organ player turns and pounds on the organ keys. With all the murders and funeral, the town decides to cancel the Gala Fair and Fireworks. Townspeople are packing up their shit and getting the F out of dodge, but Corey's parents seems to consider the rash of murders and that two of them were closely related to the son a non concern. Since the fair got cancelled they decide to have their own party, BBQ style! Drunk uncle shows up with a present for Corey and this is the point when the movie becomes unbelievably inspiring. Corey gets a super up ass kicker with it's own name. They call it SILVER BULLET!

For the rest of the movie we get shots of Corey in the Silver Bullet being pulled by a truck or a stunt driver doing some amazing road work, but Corey does pop a wheelie. It seemed off script and he seemed to be rather proud of himself when he did it. It was pretty impressive, I must say. Late one night, he is out in the woods shooting fireworks and gets greeted by a werewolf, being the GIT IT BOY that he is, he immediately launches a firecracker into the wolf's eye and sends him packing. The next day he enlist his sister to go nose around the town looking for one eyed citizens. Since most people have two eyes it shouldn't be hard to figure out. We get this outstanding sequence of older sis pretending to collect bottles for the church charity, but she is really checking up on shit. She doesn't really believe her little brother, but he was so passionate in his explanation that she must react. Like a good sister with two working legs should. Don't be a hag, just go see what's up. When she finally discovers the one town folk missing an eye, she knows that little bro is on to something....

Then it is one of the best brother/sister team up as they enlist drunk uncle to help them get rid of the werewolf. Corey pulls off his necklace and places it in Gary Busey's hand and says, "I want you to turn this into a silver bullet." AND HE AGREES!! I almost wept! Then sister (sporting a kicking sideways ponytail) pulls hers off too and tells him to do the same thing. We get a weird long in the tooth montage of the bullets being made. I like watching how things are made so it is somewhat interesting, then we get to the full blown throw down between Team Silver Bullet and Team Full Moon. It's a great battle and a slam bang finale to a great film. I love that the parents leave the kids for the weekend, even though the murders are still happening and Corey has been attacked twice. The car is still driving down the road, when the werewolf shows up and cuts the lights. Drunk Uncle gets tossed and the silver bullet goes flying across in the room and into the heating duct!!! But GIT IT BOY doesn't let things like that stop him. The ending is so wonderful it makes me tear up. I love a good cry in a werewolf movie.

Also, sister is played by Megan Follows who later would be land a dream role that would make her a star. So, you get to see Anne Of Green Gables battle a werewolf! Don't back Anne Of Green Gables in a corner, she will take your ass DOWN!

*****OF NOTE*******
As stated before Martha Schumacher, producer of SILVER BULLET and wife to one Joel Schumacher, dumped said Schumacher and married the other producer on the film Dino De Laurentiis. Power move.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The late seventies to mid eighties car chase flicks was catapulted from on the fly Roger Corman movies to the mainstream all because of Burt Reynolds. His Smokey and The Bandit parts one and two and Cannonball Run inspired many a filmmaker to make their own road hog star vehicles. One of the strangest is set on a distant continent where animals and humans must share the land and you never know what sort of exotic location you will run across. Billed as a high adventure and a side splitting comedy, SAFARI 3000 boils down to just one singular question. Can one monkey stop the whole show?

The plot in question is fairly simple. Super simple. a real Git It Girl reporter from Playboy (she writes the words, doesn't do the pictures mind you) decides to do a story on the African International Rally in, yes, Africa. Her job is on the line, because she got arrested for solicitation when she was doing a piece of 'hos. Her boss tosses some cash at her and she is OFF to the Motherland. There she meets a one time Hollywood stuntman, now insane person, who races cars for no good reason and is played by David Carradine. He had starred in over 200 movies before his untimely death in 2009. His films ranged from high caliber character studies to stuff like this. He seems to basically be cashing a check and having a wonderful African vacation. The real star of the movie is Stockard Channing. Naturally, all you can see is Rizzo. And the film is kinda like what you would think Rizzo would get herself into. She cleans up her act a little, goes to jr. college and got an education and landed a sweet job at Playboy as a reporter. Then she gets to go on misadventures around the world. But at lunch she always takes a break and kicks someone off the seats and says, "Sounds like a drag."

Rizzo lands in the middle of Africa and calls her contact. On the other line, her friend is suddenly surounded by guys with machetes and he get his arm cut off. The phone goes dead and Rizzo calmly states, "Operator, I think my party's been cut off!" HAHA!!! THESE ARE THE JOKES!! The good thing is is you can see every single joke coming a mile away, so you are prepared. She runs into Carradine and they do some meet cute stuff and yell at each other to develop chemistry, but then there is a cobra in the car eginine and everyone freaks out. They have to get a new car for the race because the old falls apart. They close the door, walk away and you know it is going to happen. As soon as they are gone, it crumbles. HA!

The great African International Rally is a 3 day course and only 20 percent of all the contestants will finish. The teams are as follows:
The French Guys- They drink wine and eat cheese and talk in a CRAZEE french accent.
The Chinese Guys- They take a ton of photos and talk in a CRAZEE chinese accent. They even have a chinese musical score to go with them when they are on the screen.
Valley Guys- Surfer dudes with a far out vocab and bleach blonde hair.
The Bar Girls- Two best friends who have left their husbands behind.
The Gay Guys- Quote "I'm here for the men!"
The Jocks- I got confused and The Jocks MIGHT be the Valley Guys.
UK Guys- Drink tea and talk in a CRAZEE english accent.
The Bad Guys- Christopher Lee( in Darth Vader drag!) and a henchman.

S3000 is a big budget version of WACKY RACES, but nothing really wacky happens and there really doesn't seem to be a race going on. Carradine and Rizzo seem to have a RENT A COP romance, which is not a good thing, but she confesses to a raunchy past which is ALWAYS a good thing. They are stopped by a Zulu tribe (all with HOT bodies) and then it happens. The movie goes from "on the verge of turning off" straight into the Twilight Zone. And it all is because of one little monkey. Not only does including the monkey become one of the worst things SAFARI 3000 could have done, but it is done without anyone's consent. For the most part, Team Rizzo has a tight grip on the movie. Stockard Channing is trying really hard to bust into leading lady status and she gives it her all in SAFARI 3000, but the powers that be just won't give her a break. All the interior car shots of Carradine and Channing are just them in a car being pulled by a truck. Sometimes it goes at a snails pace, sometimes it goes a little too fast for a car packed with star power. In one telling scene, a monkey jumps into the car. Carradine turns to Rizzo, in what seems to be character, and states, "Toss it out the window!" The car is zooming at this point. Rizzo looks out the window and back at Carradine. She says, "I am not tossing a monkey out of a moving car!" When he agrues, she breaks character and looks directly at the camera, I am assuming thinking she is looking at the director and repeats, "I am not tossing a monkey out of a moving car!" She clutches the squirming monkey to her chest and stares straight ahead. From this point on, the movie becomes a Herzog film. All the actors are tortured and everyone seems worse for wear.

All the supporting cast is dumped. The Bar Girls go all Thelma And Louise on us, the UK guys crash, The Chinese guys get stuck in the water and the others, who knows. We don't see them again. Only Team Rizzo and The Bad Guys are left. At a pit stop, Team Rizzo finds out that they have to share a room and monkeys are not allowed in the rooms. Channing, still clutching the monkey tightly as it tries to squirm away, exclaims, "He is terribly well behaved" and the monkey promptly slaps her across the face and claws at her hair. Proving that he has got to be the worst prop EVER in a movie. She just puts him in her suitcase and sneaks him in. And Christopher Lee sends a lot of time sitting down. He refuses to have a monkey.

45 minutes in and naturally, Team Rizzo fall in love and they have some hot mud play in the jungles of Africa while Channing wears white shorts. Then they full on do it in a hot spring! It seems like the movie has been on for at least three hours now. It is turning into some Gone With The Wind shit. They run into the last king of scotland, but they get away and then we spend a good chunk of the movie watching Stockard Channing take photos. Very exciting. If there is a race going on, I have no idea where they are in the leg of it. It's suppose to be a three dayer, but I swear it has been night at least five or six times. I could be wrong. The great thing about all this driving around and Rizzo taking photos is that the monkey is firmly planted on her head. And she just lets it sit there. She cannot control it and it seems to think Rizzo is it's mamma. At one point, she ties a piece of rope around the monkeys waist and Carradine gives her some shit for it. Totally real stuff not scripted. They drive a little more and then Carradine stops the car for some elephants and steals a kiss. As they passioniately make out, you see the monkey skirt out the window. As the car pulls away, she realizes the monkey is gone and seems to panic just a little. Then pulls the rope and the monkey back in the car. She looks directly at Carradine and says, "Now aren't you glad I tied a piece of rope around him?!" The monkey immediately plants himself on her head and she smiles.

Nothing happens for a long time and I kinda left my body for a little while. Team Rizzo crash into a river, but their car floats. They stand on top of the car. The monkey stands on Channing's head. They have a little bit of a race with The Bad Guys and I don't want to spoil the ending, but they win.

So in a nutshell, this movie will make you crazy. There is something to it that makes you want to finish it, but you don't have to worry about a sequel or such. I am assuming that the movie is called SAFARI 3000, because that sounds more exciting than The African International Rally, but you know what happens when you assume. You make make a monkey out of you and me.

I hope that one day I get to meet Stockard Channing. I am going to ask her about this monkey business.