Fresh Slabs of Meat: Hunky Victims (8)

Victim: Paul Allen
Film: American Psycho

Hunk Factor: Baby faced yuppie scum, cocky attitude, a great sense of personal style, bit of a lush, likes to smoke big fat Cuban cigars, mistakes people for other people, gets reservations at Dorisa, probably hung like a horse, has no real appreciation for Huey Lewis and the News...Dispatched by: Fellow yuppie scum, Patrick Bateman and his big old silver axe!
Played by: Jared Leto


Monster for Sale

For several years the fearsome looking creature you see pictured above, watched the comings and goings on rural road 541 on the Medford / Lumberton border in South Jersey. At night, he was lit with a spot, and his eyes glowed red and menacing.

Of course, he caused a lot of controversy with many locals demanding that his owner remove him.

What the local yokels had no idea of - the beast had starred in a film with Lana Turner - yup, he was shown in all his glory along with Ms. Turner in that camp classic, The Prodigal.

I posted about the beast on my other blog years ago, and even had several of my photos of the beast featured in that month's issue of Weird New Jersey.

Today, as I was driving down 541, I noticed The Lumberton Beast, looking somewhat worse for wear, and situated off the road and facing away from traffic, is now for sale!
I dunno', seeing him faded and chipped and sort of "sitting in the corner" it kind of made me sad. Don't people have any respect for props from B films? This guy should be sitting in The Smithsonian!


Maryann the Maenad & Eggs over Easy

Probably my favorite character on HBO's True Blood, is that vibrating party gal, Maryann Forrester . Man, I so want to go to one of her soirees - even if I end up getting drunk, and slopping food all over myself.

Part witch, part Greek Goddess, part jet setting maenad, Maryann is a Bacchanalian force of nature who will wine you and dine you when she's in a good mood, or morph into a minotaur and tear your heart out if she's pissed off. Best to stay on her good side.

It seems that Ms. Forrester has studied both the works of Tony Robbins and Martha Stewart as she is eager to help certain people live up to their fullest potential (at least that's what she wants Tara to think), and she knows how to throw a social gathering that is beyond compare.

But for all her advice giving, party throwing, and body mauling, it seems that all Maryann really wants is a family. A group of people that will be there day and night to share in life's highs and lows.

I don't know about you, but I'd be willing to join that family - especially if it meant a chance to spend some time with that other house guest, Eggs Benedict Talley ... umm, eggs over easy, err, I digress.

Ah well, I'm off to Bon Temps...


The Haunting in Connecticut - An Insider's View

I just watched The Haunting in Connecticut - or as I like to call it, Amityville - 2009. Yes, allegedly, this ghost story is based on a true event, and yes certain dubious experts were involved in the initial investigation of said events that said film is based upon, and yes, one of the principles of the story (played by Virgina Madsen in the film) now, offers psychic advice to the moronic masses...

But, I am not here to bury this admittedly stupid movie, others with much more skill at film criticism have done it already. However, I do want to look at the truly horrific elements of the tale - many of these horrors I have come to face to face with, and let me tell you, they are a million times more frightening than a houseful of vengeful spirits.* Having seen three family members face a cancer diagnosis and treatments during the past two years, I know what it is like to watch them suffer - to watch them deal with the terror of such a horrid reality, to have to maneuver the medical mine fields and the red tape, and the myriad of specialists; and then see them return home and know that when they are alone in the dark, they must face the reality of their own mortality . I know what it is like to feel your heart breaking for a loved one going through this - and watching Virgina Madsen's take as a mother coping with her son's cancer treatments rung very true.*Having once dated (and lived with) a functioning alcoholic, I know what it is like when they fall off the wagon and go on a bender. Nobody who drinks to excess becomes Foster Brooks or even Dean Martin, far from it; they usually turn into loud, irrational morons - and watching Martin Donovon's turn as the frantic, drunken father figure who goes ballistic when he finds too many lights on in the house one night seemed so true to life, that it actually gave me pause. I've seen that behavior in real life, and it's pretty damn frightening.*As a social worker, I know what it is like to assist the less fortunate through the maze of a bureaucracy. It might be a Medicaid application, a Social Security hearing, or possibly qualifying for rental assistance. When I saw the scene in A Haunting... where the mother mentions that just one of her son's pain pills costs 25.00. Or later on, when the father sells his car and picks up a junker because he needs extra money to pay for his son's treatments, I shivered. Just last week I was trying to help one of my clients in getting assistance to pay his medical bills ... do you have any idea how terrifying it is to need medication, and not be able to afford it? Though it's only mentioned briefly in the film, it's another one of the truly bone chilling moments in it.When I was through watching The Haunting..., I thought that it could have been so much more had it focused on the real horror, and perhaps made the house some sort of subtle metaphor for what a family facing such terrible odds goes through. Oh well, maybe next time.


Happy Birthday to Me

Damn, it sure was a good year for B-list horror, the year I was born...
Look at these classics...
...The Blob, The Fly, Attack of the Puppet People!
Vincent Price was one busy dude that year...
My mother claims that the night before I was born, she saw The Fly at the Broadway Theater in South Philly, twice, because the air conditioner in our house was on the fritz, and she needed to beat the heat. She went into labor three hours after she came home... I like to think of Patricia Owens as her midwife...


The Nightmare within the Dream: Pink Narcissus

1971's seldom seen art film, Pink Narcissus is a peculiar little movie. Allegedly made over a seven year period, filmed mostly in the director's apartment, shot using an 8 mm camera, and starring an angelic looking street hustler (Bobby Kendall), Pink Narcissus was released without the director / writer's name attached. Film-goers only saw the credit, "anonymous" at the movie's end. Rumors persisted for years, that Andy Warhol was the maker of the film. Those rumors proved false as the actual director was costumer, set designer and photographer, Jim Bidgood, who supposedly did not like the final outcome of his film, and therefore had his name removed. The thread-bare plot of Pink Narcissus involves Kendall lounging about his impossibly technicolor saturated apartment while day dreaming of his sexual fantasies. He is a matador taunting a leather man on a motorcycle in a public bathroom, the great god Pan, a dancing harem boy, and both a slave and Roman emperor surrounded by a bevy of beautiful young men (played by mostly "working boys").Most of Pink Narcissus is lush and poetic, like a Maxfield Parrish, painting come to life. Stop animation butterfly's flutter about, big band or classical music fills the soundtrack, and yes, kids, there is sex, gay sex, both implied and actual. For every shot of a beaded curtain, or a jeweled costume, there is a close up of the male appendage in various states of arousal. Oh, and Kendall's butt (which is either bare or encased in the tightest pair of pants ever made) is also featured quite prominently. But then, at about the half way mark, Pink Narcissus morphs into something dark and disturbing. Once we leave the confines of Kendall's apartment and his flights of fancy and make our way to his fevered dream vision of the streets of lower Manhattan, things get downright creepy. First we see a highly stylized skyline......and then, suddenly we witness a rogues gallery of freaks wandering the grimy sidewalks.There is the street vendor selling dildos and "artificial anuses" ...
...the filthy looking bag man searching for clothing through garbage cans (similar to the "monster" who lived behind the dumpster in David Lynch's, Mulholland Drive).A pant less street hustler stands in front of a drug store, while an odd-ball pharmacist whirls like a dervish in his shop, and a priest wanders along waving his incense holder, seemingly oblivious to everything going on around him.A demented looking ice cream man pushing a cart of "Groovy Humor" sells frozen goods made of urine and human excrement......things become even more disturbing as we see stop-animation rotted corpses and skeletons sulking around doorways and alleys.During this danse macabre, the soundtrack has changed from music to weather and traffic reports, sometimes we can hear what is being said, other times, it's all just static or white noise. Frankly, this section of Pink Narcissus is nauseating, morbid, and strangely compelling. I am ready to bet my last dollar that David Lynch saw this movie as much of this part of the film put me in mind of Eraserhead as well as various other Lynch films (even his latest, Inland Empire). As ghost images of older men float about , it becomes clear that Kendall's vision of the streets where he earns his money is his own nightmare within the dream - he hustles his way amongst skid row, picking up well dressed gentlemen and does whatever they want. It might be demeaning or distasteful to him, but he does what he has to do to survive; and then he retreats to his colorful apartment festooned in gauzy fabrics and lit with stage show lights, where he can think of what he really wants, where he can partake in carnal flights of fancy while he lay his head on a silken pillow and dreams of erotic Brigadoon-like scenarios ... until he wakes up and realizes that the life he leads must make him face the nightmare that waits for him outside his front door ...


Plan 9 1/2

As this is the final day of the Ed Wood Blogathon, I planed on posting as many clips about Plan 9 From Outer Space that I could find, a sort of clearing house of Plan 9 videos; Plan 9 1/2, if you will.

Cutting and pasting (and resizing) these videos took some time, I finally finished up (thanks to Starbucks breakfast blend for the concentration boost I needed at this early hour); may I now present, a small homage to the Greatest Worst Film of All Time, My friends, can your heart stand the shocking videos that are a result of Plan 9 1/2 ?

First up, here's the best lines from the film - more than that, it's a great abbreviated way to watch Plan 9 in under five minutes!

Next, here's a copy of the Plan 9 trailer in color! "It's safe to say that the grandchildren of some of the people in this theater may not be born on earth":

This is pretty nifty: The Big Beat Remix of Plan 9 - I've got to find the mp3 for this one!

Here's a video of the worst of Plan 9 complete with snarky comments. Not that original, but worth a look-see.

Stand Back! This is just sheer brilliance, a group of kids got together and filmed their own version of Plan 9. It seems to have been done some time in 1995 - dare I say it? It's almost better than the original! Made me laugh out loud.

And finally, sit back and tap your toes to Plan 9, The Musical!


The Spirit of Ed Wood

We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.

ay what you will about Edward D.Wood Jr, the man was a visionary. He was ahead of his time. More than that, I am pretty sure that The Spirit of Ed Wood, is so powerful these days, it's influencing most of the civilized world!

Oh sure, we can all laugh and feel smug when we watch Plan 9 from Outer Space, marveling over the ineptitude of the entire piece; the bad acting, the lousy script, the horrendous special effects. We might even think to ourselves, jeez, what kind of moron would make something like this and think that it would be appreciated?

What kind of moron?

Maybe a moron like Paul Verhoeven. Have you ever actually watched Showgirls? Sure, technically, it's top shelf, but after that, it's pure Ed Wood. Bad acting, a sloppy story, and of course, naked dancing gals (and if you don't know where the naked dancing gals / Ed Wood connection comes in, you have never seen Ed's later works like, Orgy of the Dead).

But that's just the tip of the cinematic iceberg that owes it's very being to the angora loving director. How about Battlefield Earth, Valley of the Dolls, Howard the Duck, Catwoman, and I Know Who Killed Me. All spectacularly dreadful films, all filled with the "can-do" Spirit of Ed Wood.

If mediocrity was Ed's real talent, then his spirit has blessed us all a hundredfold! Consider television these days; reality shows, MTV, Fox News...all infused with Woodian sensibilities. And how about talk radio? Mindless jabber from moronic blowhards that rake in billions of listeners and generate billions in revenue. How Ed Wood! (Just imagine if Criswell were still with us, you just know he'd have his own radio show).

Several years ago, an event occurred that seemed to be something that only Ed Wood might have dreamed of. A million dollar wedding was staged complete with a cast of characters that looked like they might have been extras in Plan 9 ... does anyone remember this event?


Think real hard, it will come to you.

OK, does this ring a bell?From the eight year reign of George W Bush, to the seemingly incomprehensible career of Mr. P. Diddy, The Spirit of Ed Wood is still a force to reckon with. I say embrace it! Slip into your finest angora sweater, try on a nice pair of silk bloomers and raise a glass of the cheapest gin you can find and thank the cosmos that The Spirit of Ed Wood is still shining its ever loving light on all of mankind.


Final Girl / Final Boy, It's all about the hair

It seems that Alice Hardy (Friday the 13th 1980) and Clay Miller (Friday the 13 2009) had the same hair dresser. Finally, the secret to survival is all about the coif!


Since Independence Day is Coming, Let's revisit Joe Dante's HOMECOMING

Originally posted on my main blog as:

Army of The Dead

on Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why is it that one of the most politically ballsy films of all time was regulated to a horror series on Showtime that no one ever saw?

About a year ago, Showtime Network was running a series called, Masters of Horror. It was an anthology program in which every week, a "name" director would produce a one hour fright film. Sort of like The Twilight Zone, but with a touch more gore.

I'd seen several of these mini-movies and they were pretty pedestrian in my humble opinion.

That is, with the exception of Joe Dante's entry, Homecoming (which I just re-watched on DVD).

Told in a flashback style, Homecoming takes the tried-and-true zombie epic and flips it around a bit. Instead of the dead returning to eat us, this time, they are back for a much more noble mission.

Set in the present day in Washington D.C., Homecoming tells the tale of political adviser, David Murch (played by Jon Tenny) and his girlfriend, Jane Cleaver (Thea Gill as an Ann Coulter-like creature, complete with a foul mouth and tight fitting skirts), who are both working hard to make sure that their candidate, the sitting president ( a George W. Bush sound-a-like), remains in office. One night Jane and David are appearing on a Larry King-like talk show and told of a mother who was removed from the President's latest rally because she asked him why her son had to die (shades of Cindy Sheehan). Later on, the mother appears on the show and David tries to slime his way out of the woman's question by saying that he wished that all of the dead soldiers could come back. Indeed, he even lost an older brother in the Vietnam war, or so he claims. Well it seems that his words are so touching that the President starts using the same line in all of his stump speeches.

Careful what you wish for!

Late one night at an Army base in Washington, the corpses of recently killed soldiers who have been lying in an airline hanger, start to reanimate and soon begin to slowly stalk the nation's capital with one thought on their mind - they've come back to vote !

Fearing a public relations catastrophe, the powers that be allow the dead soldiers to vote. And it is noted that once a zombie casts his ballot, he dies - for good.

Soon, the Republican machine puts their spin machine into full mode, praising the fallen soldiers and swearing that their vote will count - since they, above all Americans, have made the ultimate sacrifice. They even enlist the help of a rather familiar looking blowhard preacher to take to the airwaves saying that these zombies are actually God's angels returned to do his bidding.

That is until one of the fallen shows up at a candidate's rally and begins to question the wisdom of the war. Uh oh, these zombies can think, and speak! When the dead soldier asks the candidate if he'd ever fought in a war, or watched his comrades fall by his side, the candidate shakes and shivers, not out of the horror over talking to a zombie, but over the fact that he must now admit the truth about his military knowledge, which is minimal at best.

Once it gets out that the zombies are not pro-war, the Republican spin starts again with the same preacher now claiming that these dead soldiers are demons, and that this is god's judgment on the United States. The National Guard starts to round up the reanimated and holds them in large make-shift prisons claiming that they present a possible biological hazard to the citizenry.

Of course, since this is a horror-film, we are treated to a fabulous fright moment when one of the zombie soldiers attacks and kills one of the president's top advisers, a Karl Rove-like worm who dies a gory death at the hands of the soldier whose very mother was earlier thrown out of the sitting President's rally for asking questions about her son's death. It's a moment that is both scary and strangely cathartic.

To say much more, would ruin the film's final punchline, and it is a doozy! Just go and add this one to your Netflix cue and sit back for an hours worth of political satire all dressed up for Halloween.