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Showing posts from February, 2005

Oscars; blah blah.

Well, every cinephile worth their salt is likely weighing in on tonight's Oscar telecast, so here's my two cents. Overall, no huge surprises among the winners. Most people probably had the major races handicapped pretty ably (unless you had the temerity to actually make choices from your heart instead of trying to read the minds of them there academy members). I'd love to expound more profoundly on which Best Pic nominees were most worthy, except I haven't seen any of them (I know; baaad movie geek). You didn't think that you needed to actually see the nominated films to predict this dog-and-pony show, did you? At a little over three hours (excluding the pre-show parade of red-carpet butt-smooching), it was relatively compact by Oscar-bloat standards. Chris Rock will likely arouse some controversy as a host, but he actually made me laugh fairly frequently. He gets bonus points for cracking several jokes that whizzed clean past the well-coiffed heads in the audien

Last Geek Standing: Ultimate Film Fanatic

I was recently on a movie-trivia game show called the Ultimate Film Fanatic. It airs on Friday nights on the Independant Film Channel (check your local listings for times). A serendipitous combination of luck and just being a big old pathetic geek led me to that rarest of rarities: an actual financial reward for rampant dorkiness. Because I'm nowhere near the opportunist that I should be, this here story is nowhere near timely. My big show (Ultimate Film Fanatic Northwest finals) aired on January 23, and I'll be making one last hurrah on the show this Friday, February 25 (I think). More than that I cannot say. Game show regulations prohibit me from elaborating until after the air date. But I'm itching to give you, dear reader, all of the scoop that is legally permissible. Stay tuned...

Crappy Musical of the Week: Shock Treatment

If you're a hardcore Rocky Horror Picture Show fan, no amount of outside nattering will stop you from seeking Shock Treatment , Rocky Horror 's 1981 sequel . Hell, Shock Treatment 's obscurity alone served as a siren song for me. And even though I received ample premptive cautions, I had to find out, for myself, that the movie bites like a pitbull gnawing at a toddler. So, if you think you want to see it, hunt up the VHS tape ( ST has yet to see a DVD issue) and knock yourself out--just remember, you've been warned... Comparing Shock Treatment to its predecessor is like comparing a sandwich made with stale white bread, butter, and a candy cane to a messy-but-tasty chocolate mousse. It's sure different from the original, and there's a vivid red and white color scheme at the center, but what's the point? Rocky Horror's naive newlyweds Brad and Janet Majors (Cliff DeYoung and Jessica Harper pinch-hitting for Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) have s

The Vikings: Eyegougings, Pillaging, and other wholesome fun

On the DVD of The Vikings , director Richard Fleischer provides a thoughtful, intelligent, and informative 30-minute interview on the making of this 1958 costume opus. He discusses securing the services of playwright Calder Willingham for the screenplay; the impressive attention to detail, including location shooting in the actual fjords of Norway; the set and costume designers consulting exhaustive historic tomes to get just the right authentic look to things; and the production's carpenters building actual Viking ships to the precise ancient diagrams. Satisfying as Fleischer's background insights are, though, he fails to address key salient issues regarding the picture's content, points vital to any discerning viewer's enjoyment. As a public service to you, dear reader, I shall cover these important points, in checklist format. Eye-gouging by a bird of prey: check. Hand Chopped off with Broadsword: check. Flying Arrows through Throats: double-check. Party Game Incorp

Santa fights Satan; geek meets cinematic god

Enclosed are some links to other sites that I've written for. Rob Craig's online homage to legendary producer/movie oddity importer K. Gordon Murray, www.kgordonmurray.com, is one of the finest movie tribute sites out there (and I'd say that even if he didn't feature my analysis of the Salvador Dali-on-Pixy-Stix kiddie masterwork Santa Claus on the site). Kgordonmurray.com sports serious fun for the uninitiated, but it's still exhaustive enough for geeks like me. 45 Caliber Samurai is a lovingly put-together fansite devoted to a true cinema genius, Japanese iconoclast Seijun Suzuki. Site master David Hayman's pop-art-inflected design style perfectly accents the generous screen captures, audio clips, and stills from Suzuki's subversive and singular genre flicks (plus there's a piece from yours truly amiably taking up bit space on the site, too). Enjoy!

Welcome, Why I'm Here, Etc.

Brutally Honest Confession: For years I've written for various publications and websites, and never steered my own damn ship, writing-wise. So that's partially what this site is about: exercising my slightly-atrophied writing muscles, on my own self-indulgent terms. Mostly, though, it's about sharing the stuff that's wrapped itself around my noggin for way too many years. That stuff--film, music, and various forms of popular culture and arcana--makes my world go 'round. And it's a blast to share. Ubersnobby analysis has never been very appealing to me (Hell, I've seen Bruno Mattei's schlocky gutmunch zombie opus Hell of the Living Dead as many times as I've seen Lawrence of Arabia ), but at the same time, even the junkiest pop culture detritus reveals pockets of truth 'neath it's cheesy exterior. So herein lies (I hope) some fun. We'll try to keep things zesty and brief, like a sprinkle of Tabasco sauce in the flavorless gruel of the