Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rarest-spun Heaven Metal

Yeah, I know I'm way the fuck late in responding to this bit of bullshittery, but quite frankly, any amount of time spent pondering the existence of Axl Rose makes me want to flea bomb the entire world and then drown myself in a vat of Lysol. There has never been a hairier, oilier, more detestable bag of STD ridden toe jam than Axl Rose, in my humble opinion. I would rather suck the slime out of a backed up sewer pipe than be in the same room with Axl fucking Rose. I've had hemorrhoids with better personalities than Axl Rose. His big, flabby, spoiled Big Mac of a burgerface makes my sphincter recoil in horror. He missed his calling - he should have been a trailer park dwelling plumber with a hairy, freckled inch or so of crack eternally hanging out of his jeans, requiring him to wear a hat at all times so that the two can be told apart.

I don't give a single fuck about range. F1's are tornados and Bb6 is an anorexic bra size. Axl can't sing for shit. His voice is nothing at all special. A schizophrenic chicken with a roman candle shoved up its ass could achieve a similar range. And I'm not even being prejudiced because I personally find him repulsive. I liked "Appetite For Destruction" but was more in awe of Slash's guitar skills than Axl's voice. He never struck me as anything more than average; screamy and ultimately hoarse and blown out, like a violin string about one filament away from snapping in half.

And don't even get me started on the broken car alarm that is Mariah Carey. This list is bullshit. I'll give you Steven Tyler and Thom Yorke, but not at the top of the list I won't. They'll come in after the following superior vocalists of my own goddamned choosing.

Maynard James Keenan
TOOL/A Perfect Circle

This man has a mutherfucking motorcycle engine in his esophagus. He's tearing holes in the space/time continuum with his voice. He grabs your tailbone between his teeth and shrieks up the length of your spine, shattering it to glass. Maynard's mouth is a goddamned volcano, erupting with rage and molten metal, punching heaven in the face repeatedly and making the angels writhe. You think I'm exaggerating? Fuck you. The power of his voice is outdone only by the lyrics he bellows: painful, eloquent poetry torn loose from the deepest, meatiest part of the human soul. He's not singing, he's vomiting, giving birth, exorcising himself. Go listen to his fucking range on a song like Forty Six & 2, where he starts out whispering and ends up ripping a hole in the sky.

Layne Staley
Alice In Chains

Layne Staley was a pale, cadaverously spindly man with a face like an alabaster angel. Back before the heroin addiction and the death of his beloved girlfriend cast a permanent shadow over his life, his smile was sweeter than lollipops melting in the sun. It didn't seem possible that such a beautiful, golden boy could open his mouth and issue forth a legion of demons playing the most beautiful chainsaw symphony you ever could hope to hear outside of Hell. His throat was a velvet accordion made out of lions roars and rusted gears, oiled with pure honey. His cries were atomic, his moans unholy, his laments plaintive. His voice was bigger than his body and swallowed him whole, consuming him like paper in a flame at the age of 34. He died and left a massive vacuum where his voice once hung, brooding and ominous as a storm cloud on the horizon.

Peter Steele
Type O Negative

At 6 feet 8 inches tall and over 200 pounds of pure muscle, listening to Peter Steele sing was like listening to Thor hammer out the mother of all thunderstorms upon an anvil made of pure ice.  His voice was deeper than the ocean could ever hope to be, sonorous and foreboding, sending sound waves up to the surface to boom and echo eternally. His own mother was said to favor the songs in which Peter's voice reached the most incredible bass lows, as though his vocal cords were live snakes reaching down into Hell to strangle Satan personally, shaking the foundations of Satan's empire in the process. Just, holy shit. His voice was like having sex with Metatron. Seriously, I could sit on a tower speaker and blast "Cinnamon Girl" on repeat and probably experience the more profound orgasms than the most coked up porn star in the world. The only thing bigger than his voice was his...well, really, who here hasn't seen the Playgirl spread?

Mikael Akerfeldt

Goddamn. Have you ever stood in the middle of the Norwegian wilderness at midnight beneath a full moon and listened to the dark wind howl through the skeletal tree branches, ripped to shreds by icicles and echoed by the wild black wolves? Yeah, me either, but I'll bet it sounds a hell of a lot like Mikael Akerfeldt's deepest guttural growl. That man probably vomits up obsidian honey when he's ill. As it is, every time he opens his mouth, it's like watching an ancient stone cathedral throw open its doors and release a flood of doves. Think death metal is nothing but harsh snarls and goblin-like shrieks? Think again and listen to Opeth. Mikael can actually sing with a smooth, melodious voice, lilting fluidly, pleading achingly and then suddenly erupting into a shivering demonic cacophony that will raise hairs you didn't even know you had.

Marilyn Manson

Look, fuck you - I love Marilyn Manson and I don't give a ripe fuck if you have a problem with that. His lyrics are profoundly, gloriously, overkillingly awesome. The intricacies of the melodies are deeply unsettlingly gorgeous. And his voice is superhuman; by turns as hollow and huge as a brass bell on a Tibetan mountainside and so ear-splittingly screamingly intense as to turn your earwax into diamonds if you stand too close. Marilyn has a mutherfucking carnival sideshow in his lungs, grinding calliopes and teasing cobras. His lows are so deep and thick you could spread it on toast, his highs so crystalline that any bird within a five mile radius weeps blood. Watching him sing is akin to watching a clutch of rabid baboons tear a steam engine to splinters. It looks like it hurts, quite frankly - as if he were having every single scab on his soul pulled out of his mouth with rusty dental tools. And his mouth is fucking huge. And scary. Seriously, that dark, funhouse entrance of a mouth of his is the proverbial abyss that looks back into you.

Perry Farrell
Jane's Addiction/Porno For Pyros

Perry's range may not be the largest, but he makes up for in transcendent energy what he lacks in vocal eloquence. Perry sings like a golden buddha on fire; forlorn and simple in songs like Up The Beach and squealing like demon plagued swine in Nothing's Shocking, punching you in the face with his voice and revealing levels of Nirvana even the Dalai Lama hasn't explored yet. Perry is a smokestack of crackling electric heat, fucking you with his singing in hard, powerful thrusts and then running his tongue over your clit like a steel dildo covered with buttercream frosting.

So fuck you, Paxil Hose.
Asshole Toes.
Jacks His Shows.
hey, this is fun... Whacks His Foes.
Cracks & Blows.

I don't own a single Guns N' Roses song and I never will, because you suck and do not deserve to make any list that does not include the words "Best Imitation of an Ambulatory Hair Clog." By the way, I'm female, so feel free to try and beat me up for failing to worship your overhyped ass, you pile of lard. And yeah, I am making fun of your appearance. Which is not something I normally do to anyone, but as you have proven yourself to be a narcissistic, misogynistic, abusive pustule full of hatred, I can only say that you had it coming. Bastard.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Milk Carton Movies - The UFO Incident, 1975

The UFO Incident, 1975

Directed by: Richard Colla
Starring: Darth Vader's voice, Roseanne's mom, Grandpa from The Lost Boys, a lot of other guys who did a lot of 70s and 80s TV and a couple of rubber masks with magnified eyeballs as aliens.
Synopsis: Based on the allegedly true story of Betty and Barney Hill, a New Hampshire couple who claimed to have been abducted by a space craft during a late night drive home in 1961.

Good god there's a plethora of really shitty alien abduction movies out there in the world, just floating around in TV space like astronaut poop blown out of a space shuttle's septic tanks. I think I'd rather endure an anal probe with a foot long salami than sit through 1992's The Intruders again. Fire In The Sky = don't bother, it was terrible. Hangar 18 was fun when I first saw it at age 11, but definitely hasn't aged well. And I'm still trying to figure out what the fuck 1989's Communion was about. Seriously, what the fuck was that? Did I hallucinate that whole entire movie? Did they lose the script halfway through shooting and start filming a remake of Cabaret aboard an alien space craft? I mean, I know I'm not reviewing Communion here, mostly because I don't want to sit through it a second time, but, well...WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?

"Is this the bus to the Naked Lunch set?"

You may be tempted at this point to believe that I'm a staunch skeptic and all-around naysayer when it comes to alien abduction stories. Well, I'm not. I read all the books upon which these movies were based and did so with an open mind. After all, as the late great Douglas Adams once stated: "Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space." I don't have proof either way that aliens exist and have possibly achieved interstellar space travel, but then neither has anyone else to my knowledge. But space, as previously stated, is really big. There could be anything out there. Anyone. We human beings tag animals for migratory research purposes so who's to say aliens don't do the same to us? Granted, you'd think they'd think of a less painful way to do it than via an invasive asshole reaming with a metal turkey baster, but whatever. 

Anyway, I can count the really good movies about alien abductions on one hand, the first of which is undoubtedly 1977's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The second best actually surfaced on television two years prior to Steven Speilberg's blockbuster precursor to E.T. The UFO Incident was made during a time when made for TV movies actually weren't shitty. It was a groundbreaking movie in more ways than one. First and foremost, it depicted an interracial marriage in a time when interracial marriages were still sort, I guess? I mean yeah, it was fairly more common by 1975 than it had been in 1961 when the real Betty and Barney Hill - a black, dark-skinned man of African descent was married to a white, European caucasian lady of the woman sex - were married. And they lived in New England! For 1961, that was pretty amazing. By 1975, we'd been lulled into acceptance by The Jefferson's, but still! Wow! 

I'm also fairly certain that it was one of the first movies to take alien abduction seriously, presenting the plot as a docudrama. There's not a single ray gun in sight, and good riddance to the 50s Red Scare/Alien Takeover craze. And yet, this movie is utterly fucking harrowing. Sent to a hypnotist after some time of confusion, bizarre dreams and a great big chunk of missing time in their memories, the recollection of both Betty and Barney is galvanizing. Barney, as played by James Earl Jones, becomes totally unhinged, reacting in horrified panic to his repressed memories of being confronted by a glowing ship filled with humanoid creatures. Something happened to this man, something horrible, that much is obvious. You can find the actual recorded hypnosis sessions on YouTube and they're frightening to listen to. No less frightening is James Earl's reenactment of Hill's trauma - it's a genuinely upsetting thing to witness.

Betty's recollections are no less agonizing, but were far more coherent than her husband's. Whether or not you believe her story is irrelevant. Her portrayal of Betty Hill is poignant, a word I really don't like to use but in this case, it's totally warranted. The relationship between she and James Earl Jones is loose and easy, with a real feeling of affection between the two actors. The entire movie is a violent bumper car ride of emotional jerks, snaps and whiplashes, but never more so than when these two sit down and just talk about their life together and their love for one another. Jesus, I can't believe I'm getting all sappy over a fucking TV movie, what the hell is wrong with me?  

But this isn't a movie about aliens. It's a film about a couple struggling to overcome a crippling trauma in a time when just being married to one another caused enough problems to deal with, and then some. The fact that they remained together until Barney's death is a testament to their devotion under incredibly stressful circumstances. That aspect alone makes this a must-see, regardless of your belief or disbelief in extraterrestrials. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Depression

Although it's been proven that the suicide rate does not reach an all time high during the holiday season, Christmas time can still be the most depressing time of the year for many. The commercialism, the stampedes of door busting shoppers trampling their fellow Christians underfoot, the knowledge that the majority of children in the U.S. will not receive the toys they've been brainwashed into believing they must have in order to be happy ever after because mommy and daddy are too poor to afford them.

Normally, the saccharine discharge of treacly Christmas cinema that trickles out of the open holiday sore this time of year is designed to present the unattainable version of Christmas: sugar frost snowfalls, sparkling magic, flawless family dinners where everyone loves one another and everyone comes bearing crisply packaged gifts with bright colorful bows. Then there's the real world, where annoyed shoppers blow their horns up our asses, soggy puddles of dirty snow clog the streets and the stores are clogged with pinch-faced, grabby bastards who are too busy screaming at the hapless clerk behind the counter to notice that Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" is having much the same effect as "Gloomy Sunday."

It was inevitable that Christmas Despair would finally work its way into movies and television. The fantasy can only sustain for so long. Eventually, the tinsel shine and flickering red and green lights illuminate the emptiness within, and we wonder if anyone else has ever considered drowning themselves in a vat of egg nog.

Oh come on, you didn't think I was going to write a happy article, did you?

~~~~~~~The Most Depressing Moments of Christmas Captured on Celluloid~~~~~~~

How The Grinch Stole Christmas, 1966

Watching Mr. Grinch beat the shit out of his dog Max with a whip...and yanking his poor, skinny little limb to the breaking point, and cinching him into a rib-crushing corset and throwing big heavyass bags down on top of him...and poor little Max clearly loves his master for some inexplicable reason and does his very doggie best to serve him. Eventually, Max has his reward, feasting on the biggest, juiciest slab of rare roast beast, but geez! Michael Vick apparently saw this film at an impressionable age and got something very different out of it.

It's A Wonderful Life, 1946
It's Christmas Eve and George Bailey has had his wish granted by an angel second class: he's never been born, and now he gets to see what life would have been life without him. His mother doesn't know him, his wife doesn't want to know him and the local cemetery yields up a headstone with his kid brother's name on it: 

Clarence: Your brother, Harry Bailey, broke through the ice and was drowned at the age of nine. 
George Bailey: That's a lie! Harry Bailey went to war! He got the Congressional Medal of Honor! He saved the lives of every man on that transport! 
Clarence: Every man on that transport died. Harry wasn't there to save them, because you weren't there to save Harry.

Nestor the Long Eared Christmas Donkey, 1977

This is basically Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for Christians. All of the other donkeys used to laugh and call him names, and then the Roman soldiers hauled them off to Gladiator games. Nestor's mom comes to Nestor's rescue after he is driven out into a Middle Eastern blizzard (wait, what?) and shields him from the subzero temps with her furry body. Nestor wakes up the next morning to find mom has frozen to death and he is now on his own. Later, Han Solo happens by and stuffs a semi-frozen Luke Skywalker into moms hollowed out corpse. No, not really. But one does get the feeling that Nestor ends up in therapy with Bambi and Simba at some point.

A Christmas Carol, 1951
Ebenezer Scrooge has his cruel words thrown back in his face by the Ghost of Christmas Present:

Spirit of Christmas Present: My time with you is at an end, Ebenezer Scrooge. Will you profit from what I've shown you of the good in most men's hearts? 
Ebenezer: I don't know, how can I promise! 
Spirit of Christmas Present: If it's too hard a lesson for you to learn, then learn this lesson! 
[opens his robe, revealing two starving children]
Ebenezer: [shocked] Spirit, are these yours? 
Spirit of Christmas Present: They are Man's. This boy is Ignorance, this girl is Want. Beware them both, but most of all, beware this boy! 
Ebenezer: But have they no refuge, no resource? 
Spirit of Christmas Present: [quoting Scrooge] Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

Gremlins, 1984
The worst thing that ever happened to me was on Christmas. Oh, God. It was so horrible. It was Christmas Eve. I was 9 years old. Me and Mom were decorating the tree, waiting for Dad to come home from work. A couple hours went by. Dad wasn't home. So Mom called the office. No answer. Christmas Day came and went, and still nothing. So the police began a search. Four or five days went by. Neither one of us could eat or sleep. Everything was falling apart. It was snowing outside. The house was freezing, so I went to try to light up the fire. That's when I noticed the smell. The firemen came and broke through the chimney top. And me and Mom were expecting them to pull out a dead cat or a bird. And instead they pulled out my father. He was dressed in a Santa Claus suit. He'd been climbing down the chimney... his arms loaded with presents. He was gonna surprise us. He slipped and broke his neck. He died instantly. And that's how I found out there was no Santa Claus.

M.A.S.H. - Death Takes A Holiday, 1980

It's Christmas in Korea and the crew of the 4077th faces a moral dilemma when a critically wounded soldier arrives. It's a foregone conclusion that he's going to die, but the surgeons are determined to stave off death until Christmas is over, so that the mans family will not have to remember Christmas Day as the day dad died. 

The Twilight Zone - Night of the Meek, 1960

A drunken department store Santa gets fired for being shitfaced on the job and vents his frustration with his squalid, poverty riddled existence in the form of a wish: that the meek could inherit the earth for just one Christmas.

"This is Mr. Henry Corwin, normally unemployed, who once a year takes the lead role in the uniquely popular American institution, that of a department store Santa Claus in a road company version of 'The Night Before Christmas.' But in just a moment, Mr. Henry Corwin, ersatz Santa Claus, will enter a strange kind of North Pole, which is one part the wondrous spirit of Christmas and one part the magic that can only be found in - The Twilight Zone."

The Twilight Zone - The Star, 1985
A bunch of interstellar space guys discover a planet housing the ruins of an ancient alien race who lived in peace for a thousand years, spent all their time creating art and music and beauty and ultimately died when their planet supernova'd. The scientists question how God could allow such a beautiful species to die...until he does the math and realizes that the planet's demise was seen from earth as a bright star in the east, over the town of Bethlehem some 2,000 years earlier. 

"...whatever destiny was theirs, they fulfilled it. Their time had come, and in their passing, they passed their light on to another world. A balance was struck, and perhaps one day, whenever we've fulfilled whatever destiny we have, maybe we too will light the way for another world."

Gruß vom Krampus

“Leave it to the Krauts.” was all my mom had to say when I initially told her what my first official Christmas post would be about. And mom should know: she IS a Kraut, raised in a Pennsylvania Deutsch farmhouse that reeked of sauerkraut, was covered in dog hair and contained a Black Forest cuckoo clock that counted off the dismal hours one by one. I lived there for a while myself. It was a dark house, cold and weighed down with tschotke both tacky and quaint. There were toads in the cellar, mice in the closets and Catholic idolatry everywhere. My grandparents were so goddamned German I’m surprised they didn’t go around in lederhosen and cram me into a dirndl for my first day of kindergarten, and so mercilessly Catholic that they much preferred to suffer in a marriage gone sour than seek a divorce. But if nothing else, they were good to their grandchildren of which there were five, myself being the youngest. Grandma Olga spoiled me rotten, bestowing upon me anything that caught my eye, hence why my bookshelves are currently weighed down beneath much of the same tschotke I spoke of earlier.
Christmas was my grandma’s absolute favorite holiday, and every year out came box after box of Christmas decorations, from elegant spun glass crystal-sugar-dusted marzipan fruits to a godawful Santa Claus toilet seat cover that played “Jingle Bells” when you lifted the lid to pee. As a child, I was never threatened with a gift of coal in my stocking if I was bad, maybe because I was the favored blue-eyed granddaughter, more likely because I was such a happy, suckass good little girl that it was sickening. I never got into trouble; I saved that for adolescence.
My grandparents never mentioned the Krampus. neither to me and my sister, our three cousins or to my mother when she was a kid. Possibly, they didn’t know about it either. I didn’t hear about it until maybe 5 or so years ago, which seems odd to me. I’m of German descent and have always been drawn to the morbid, the twisted and the profane. How could I have gone so long without hearing about Krampus? If you’d asked me about Krampus a decade earlier, I would have told you it was something I suffered from once a month.
Having received his name from the Old High German word “krampen” which literally means “claw,” Krampus was said to have been a horned deity who roamed the pre-Christian wilderness of Europe, not unlike the fauns and satyrs of Greek myth. Once Christianity made its way into the rural Alp regions and decided that anything with horns and hooves was evil (party poopers), Krampus was demoted from deity to demon, a creature from Hell to be feared rather than a natural being from an ancient race which pre-dated man. Krampus was also associated with the Incubi, a demon who comes to sleeping women and engages them in sexual intercourse.
When the tradition of Christmas gained a strong foothold, Krampus was reprieved from his exile and granted a new purpose: the companion of Saint Nicholas, sort of like his evil twin. Given the reputation of the German people for being dour and taciturn, it’s not very surprising that parents used the Krampus to scare the shit out of their children, warning them that if they did not behave, the Krampus would come for them. Rather than having gifts of toys and food bestowed upon them by a kindly old gent in a red suit (no, not Truman Capote) they would instead receive a visit from a horned and hairy monster who would beat them with whips, twigs and rusty chains.

Hmm. Horns, fur, whips, chains…Krampus sounds like a fun date, actually. And in keeping with his incubi and satyr-ish origins, the Krampus has a distinct preference for young girls. On Krampusnacht, a festival which is still celebrated in the remote villages of the Alps and culminates on the eve of Saint Nicholas’ Day (December 6th), young women are advised to stay off the streets in order to avoid being flogged by bands of whip-wielding young men, dressed in shaggy sheepskins, elaborately carved wooden masks and rams horns. But c’mon, let’s be real: I’m sure young girls living in remote regions of Eastern Europe are used to trying to avoid having their asses swatted every day of the year by hairy, lecherous old men who smell like drunken goats. Sounds like a goddamned family reunion to me.
krampus2In the late 19th century/early 20th century, Krampus began appearing on holiday cards, garishly depicted tormenting women and terrifying crying children. The sexual overtones were blatant (my personal favorite being the card picturing a young girl on her knees before the lewdly grinning demon) and the cards made a huge resurgence once more at the beginning of the 21st century. Krampus was back in style in a big, big way. Lost for the better part of a century, Krampusnacht is the In Thing to do these days with everything from Krampus e-cards to Krampusnacht parties in San Francisco. Yeah, leave it to us liberal NorCal Bay Area weirdos to find yet another excuse to party.
In fact, Krampusnacht, both locally and abroad, has become another excuse to get shitfaced-drunk and very naughty. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. If it weren’t for the occasional spurt of drunken naughtiness, we’d all explode…especially us rigorous German Catholics with our staunch work ethics, our stoic reputations and our smelly cabbage. Travel to the remote villages of Austria, southern Germany, northern Italy and/or Switzerland in early December and you just may find yourself treated to the sight of a dozen or more inebriated Krampus’s walking the streets and hanging out in the town square where Krampus-shaped breads are baked and sold, pretending to snatch children and aiming their whips at anyone who gets too close. And from the many articles I’ve been perusing online lately, it sounds like being vomited on by a booze-soaked Krampus is more likely than being whipped by one these days.
Krampus, having survived religious persecution and many a nasty hangover, is undoubtedly here to stay. And as the resident descendant of many a delusional, drunken Kraut, I will gladly say “You’re welcome!” A Merry Krampusnacht to all, and may all of your jolly holiday apparel be vomit-proof.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

White Fright

White!' he sneered. 'It serves as a beginning. White cloth may be dyed. The white page can be overwritten; and the white light can be broken.' ~ Saruman the White

Why are albinos so scary? Is it the idea that the absence of pigmentation is somehow directly equivalent to the void where their soul(s) should be? White is a scary color, man. Fuck black - black has substance, a texture you can feel. Even the bloodiest shade of crimson has life in it - pulsing, vivid, sparkling life. But white is the absence of color. It is cold and empty. It's sterility incarnate, lifeless, severely antiseptic, incapable of sustaining life and hard as glass. White is a void where colors go to die. 

I've never known an albino, but I doubt they're evil by nature. They're just people, lacking in tyrosinase, a copper-containing enzyme. Big whoop. I have a lopsided amount of red blood cells swimming around in my veins, but no one ever casts me as the Evil Anemic. However, albinos always seem to end up being thrown into horror movies as villains: silent, stiff and imposing, utterly lacking in emotion. 

The first one I can recall is a character named Whispering Death, from a 1976 German horror film called The Night of the Askari, Death in the Sun and, most obviously, Albino. I've never actually seen it, but I remember reading about it in some film review book or another many years ago and being intrigued. It's been uploaded to YouTube but I didn't feel like watching it before I wrote this article because goddammit I'm tired and I just wanted to write this one little article about albinos before I go to bed, okay? Is that so wrong?

Anyway, Christopher Lee is in this, as is Sybil Danning, so it can't be all bad. Actually, its rating on IMDb is rather good. 

The first movie I recall seeing with my own eyes that contained a Big Bad Albino was 1978's Foul Play. Man I loved that movie as a kid. I used to go around shouting "Kojak! Bang bang!" in a pseudo-Asian accent and it was okay because I was a kid and it was the 70s. Anyway, if you're a completely brain dead twit and have never seen this comedic homage to The Man Who Knew Too Much, you suck. Non-albino actor William Frankfather played Whitey Jackson who, as it turns out, is not that football player who wears pantyhose on TV. Nope, Whitey is a hired hit man working for big bad crime lord The Dwarf, and his job is to run around San Francisco in a spotless white suit, scaring the shit out of Goldie Hawn and never saying a single fucking word because he's so badass. His silver-white eyes are freakier than Linda Blair's contact lenses in The Exorcist.

On the other end of the spectrum (literally) is 1970s Barf Bag B-Flick Mark of the Devil. I bring this film up not because it features an albino, but because it doesn't. Reggie Nalder plays a guy named Albino, a sadistic, lecherous, not-very-nice-at-all witch finder. Albino is not an albino, so why he's called Albino is an utter mystery. However, Reggie played the hit man in Hitchcock's film The Man Who Knew Too Much which was the inspiration for Foul Play so maybe making the hit man in Foul Play an albino was a nod to Albino the not-albino as played by the guy who played the hit man in The Man Who Knew Too Much playing a guy named Albino in Mark of the Devil! Right? You guys see the connection there, right? Guys?

Fine. Let's skip ahead a decade and check in with 1986's Vamp, a seriously fucking balls-out weirdo vampire film which I still can't decide if I liked or not. It was certainly original if nothing else. And it features Super Sleaze King Billy Drago as an albino gang leader/pimp named Snow. Billy is the farthest thing from an albino someone can get without actually being black. He's swarthy and oily with a reptilian smile and cold shark eyes. But he went all out for this flick, bleaching his eyebrows and apparently storing himself inside of a flour bin at the back of a deep freeze for a month before filming began. Co-star Dedee Pfeiffer (Michelle's kid sister) admitted in the audio commentary that she found albino Billy quite sexy. Which is not at all weird.

And now for The Da Vinci Code, that incredibly pompous movie based upon the incredibly shitty book of the same name. Paul Bettany plays Silas, a gigantic albino monk who has been recruited as a hit man guy for some reason I don't remember right now. Anyway, who cares? The Silas of Dan Brown's badly written book was utterly evil, an absolute - or rather a caricature of an absolute as written by a nap-deprived 2 year old. Hey Danny, ever hear of character development? Anyway, Silas fares somewhat better in the film version, portraying Silas as a misunderstood, misled man-child, who doesn't really understand what he's doing or why, but blindly follows his faith just like a good Christian should. Also, Paul Bettany just plain old rules. I don't care how many crappy films he's done, he's hot, he's cool and he writes a mean Twitter rip:

I would also at this juncture like to point out that Paul Bettany has been married to smoking hot sexy star kitten galore Jennifer Connolly since 2003. They have two kids together, which proves they've had sex, a mental image which will blow the mind of anyone who ponders it too long. Galaxies will collide and explode at the very idea of two such gorgeous creatures having orgasms together! So yeah, I very much doubt he's a "faggot." And even if he was, I'd dress up like a choir boy and bend over for him.

And last but not least is 1987's The Princess Bride, in which actor Mel Smith played The Albino, a straightforward kinda guy who works in the torture chamber below Prince Humperdinck's castle, sponging blood off of Westley and aimlessly pushing wheelbarrows around the forest. Mel Smith also showed up in an episode of The Young Ones as a security guard who has a serious problem with a ferret being named "Bacon Sandwich." But he was not an albino in that show, so whatever.

And no, I am not including Powder in this write-up, partly because Victor Salva is a pederast, but mostly because Powder looks more like a Thriller era Michael Jackson than a Boondock Saint.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Party of One

The annual airing of grievances has begun. Already the Facebook status updates consist mostly of statements such as "I can't wait for this year to be over. 2014 sucked." And I agree. But I really wonder if 2015 will be an improvement. A new year, a clean slate - but really, it's just another fucking day, and into this day we carry everything that happened the day before. Grudges remain in defiance of the change in digits. Resentment does not dissipate like a vampire in the first rays of the rising sun. The friends and lovers that you lost will remain gone. The new year is not a reset button. Nothing is going to change in the new year, except for the way you choose to deal with it. Your heart will still be broken, your dreams will still be torched and your relationships with others will either bloom, or die, or both. That's life. There is no such thing as a flawless year. There is no such thing as a problem-free life.

A couple of years ago, I stopped talking at work. I was tired of the gossip and the backstabbing and the ridiculous expectations. That was the year my mother had a cancer scare. The day the lab called and told her that there was a "suspicious looking smear" on her X-ray was the day that I stopped giving a shit about anyone else but me and her. So I stopped talking to the moody, immature little drama queens at work. I stopped being a moody, immature little drama queen at work. Because I was just as much at fault as they were. I was focusing on the wrong things and my priorities were a joke. I disassociated myself from the cliques and rumors and simply did my job, head down and mouth shut. And the reactions were awe-inspiring. My coworkers were angry. They complained to my boss that I was creating a hostile work environment by not engaging in conversation with them. They shunned me. I could feel their anger radiating off of them when forced to work together in close proximity. I ignored it. I came to work, answered questions dutifully, kept to myself and went home. I showed no emotion.  And it pissed everyone off. 

Eventually they went away and were replaced by others, whom I did not rush to become intimate with either. I remained aloof and quiet. Not unfriendly, just unconcerned. I would watch people. I listened to what they said. After a year or so of refusing to seek out friendships, I found that people were seeking out mine instead. But I made them work for it. Trust has to be earned, after all.

But somewhere along the way, I fucked up again. I started talking to people, making an effort and wanting them to like me. Maybe it was the cross country move that knocked me out of sorts. But I thought I could win people over by offering pieces of myself that they weren't interested in and hadn't asked for. I sought friendships instead of letting friendships happen naturally. I had become needy and accommodating. I didn't realize it until just a few weeks ago. And now I too am eager for this year to end so I can begin 2015 afresh, and devote my spare time and energy to improving myself. It's time to be selfish once again. I have ignored myself and let myself down. I have allowed others to measure my worth. I will not make that mistake again. 

Some of you may be aware of the fact that I was the cofounder of Brutal As Hell, a site I started up with a friend of mine back in 2009. Some of you may also be aware of the fact that I abruptly quit last year and that the fallout was massive. I was asked not to speak of it, but fuck that. I will speak of it. I quit because I no longer respected the guy I'd started the site with. I quit because there was nothing left for me to do. The site had multiple writers and columnists and every new story was quickly snapped up. I hadn't contributed in months. So I quit, and my sudden departure caused some very hard feelings. 

I was told I could have handled it better. I was told that I was selfish for not discussing it with the other site members first. Maybe I should have. I tried to stay friends, but it didn't work. I deleted the chief editor because there'd never been any love lost between us anyway. I knew he'd never liked me, especially when, quite early on, he found fault with my less than stellar review of a movie he'd been quite fond of. From that point forward, I remained wary of him. I never felt totally comfortable with him again, and I probably should have quit the site sooner. 

Do I regret the feelings I hurt? Yes. Do I regret leaving the site? No. I owed them nothing. It was always my site more than it was theirs, and I could do as I pleased with it. But I should have cut the ties more cleanly and more quickly than I did. I should have iced up immediately. Instead, I went looking for approval elsewhere.

I had a boyfriend for the first half of the year. A lovely British boy with an even lovelier accent. We seemed to have everything in common, and I decided he could make me happy. I decided I would do everything to make him happy. I sold out and handed myself over to him like a goddamned adoring puppy. We talked about getting married, about him moving from England to America where everything would be happy ever after. At the end of the summer, he stopped talking to me, changed his relationship status and deleted me without a word of apology or explanation. I cried for days. I still do sometimes. What had I done? I wondered. What had I said wrong? Was I not pretty enough or successful enough? How was I lacking? How could he say he loved me one day and stop the next? I was destroyed, my confidence was gone and my self esteem was in ruins. I vowed I would never date again, and I haven't...although I have not remained abstinent. That was the beginning of my new coldness, my determination not to give a fuck. I fucked, and I drowned myself in it without emotion, fucking like a robot, fucking for pure pleasure and selfishness. All that mattered was that someone still found me desirable. It was enough for the time being. 

I lost more friends, friends who told me how loudmouthed, rude and opinionated I was. How socially unacceptable I was. How I disgusted them with my frankness. I tried to refrain from being overtly emotional or offensive. But that didn't help. The friends remained gone and some I haven't heard from in months: just a stone wall of icy silence remains. And I could only go so long bottling up all the things I wanted to say and express and discuss, and didn't because I was afraid of losing more friends. 

And now here we are at the end of another year, and I'm sitting here realizing that the change of a calendar page cannot and will never erase what has happened. All I can do is be my own goddamned best friend, be someone I would be proud of, and impress only myself. I am all I will ever have and if I can't like myself, then it's going to be a very shitty party from here on out. 

I will send no more friend requests. I will not email you to ask why you are mad at me. I will write nothing that does not interest me, nor whore myself out as a cheerleader. I will always be there for the true friends who have stuck by me regardless of my mood swings and criticisms and ridiculous bouts of drama, but I will not be a boat anchor. If you have decided that I am somehow lacking, that I bring nothing to your life and benefit you not at all, that is your problem and there is absolutely nothing I can do to change your mind. Therefore I will not try. There will be no apologies from me, no life preservers, no pleading, no changing, no nothing. I am not a dress, you cannot alter me. So please move along. I am done performing for you. Your opinion of me is no longer any of my business.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Yeah, I know.
I haven't updated this thing in ages.
Tis the season, sue me.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wednesday's Children

I hated the remake of The Ring.
Samara was not scary.
There, I said it.

Believe it or not, the Creepy Kid device has been around for a very long time, and Way Back When, our horror movie kids didn't need no stringy hair, crackle-glaze foundation or runny eye makeup. Not like kids nowadays with their fancy CGI effects and shiny new X-boxes and 20 milligrams of dextroamphetamines PO QAM PRN. Kids back in Ye Olden Days didn't wait until they were dead to transform into evil little shits. Well, not all the time anyway. Most of the time, they were still alive when they started wreaking havoc and we adults had to kill them. That was called Tough Love, baby.

Think that little ghosty Jodie from the Amityville remake is scary? Or the dehydrated, zombified equivalent of the Bubblegum Gang from Sinister is as good as it gets? Well you're wrong. Wrongface McWrongFucker from WrongVille, wronging your wrong way down the wrong street in your WrongMobile. You can stay there and continue to be wrong, or you can read on and accept the fact that I am always right.

The Bad Seed, 1956

"Children can be nasty, don't you think?"

Kids in the fifties, especially little girls, were made of sugar and spice, starched and ironed and sweet as candy. In her neat pigtails and flouncy little dresses, Rhoda Penmark couldn't be more precious if she was stuffed with rainbows and kittens. But her mother Christine knows something is wrong. She's had suspicions all along. Much like Tilda Swinton in We Need To Talk About Kevin, Rhoda's mother can sense that her baby girl is lacking something, hiding something, missing a critical human ingredient - a soul. Little Rhoda is cold, emotionless and utterly without pity. She's a pure sociopath, and is promising to be quite the prolific serial killer when she grows up. She's already killed a couple of people, too bad so sad. But no one wants to believe the paranoid suspicions of Christine, including Christine herself. But the truth can't be ignored forever. And if Christine won't do something about Rhoda, God will. 

Village of the Damned, 1960

"You have to be taught to leave us alone."

An isolated English village. A seemingly normal afternoon. Suddenly, everyone in town passes out cold and stays out for several hours. Upon awakening, all of the women in the village who are capable of bearing children find themselves pregnant; married, unmarried, underage, etc. Nine months later, all of the pregnant women give birth simultaneously, producing a dozen eerie children with white blonde hair, glowing eyes and no emotions. Sounds about par for the course in England, except for the glowing eyes thing. They never cry, they don't give a shit about toys and they do not like to be messed with. By the time the village schoolmaster figures out that the kids are in fact the product of an alien intelligence bent on taking over the world, it's almost too late. Almost. If only the 1995 remake could have been stopped before it was made.

The Innocents, 1961

"They live, and know, and share this Hell."

There's nothing more pure and innocent than a child. And there was no more innocent time and place to be a child than the English countryside of the mid 1800s. So, is there something wrong with Miles and Flora? Were they corrupted by their deceased governess and her abusive lover? Are they even now possessed by their sinful spirits? Or are they victims of their new governesses insanity and her flair for Münchausen syndrome by proxy? Ultimately it's left up to you to decide. But it's obvious that the children - in particular, little Miles, who has been kicked out of school for "molesting" another student and thinks nothing of wringing the necks of his pet doves - are seriously disturbed. 

The Children's Hour, 1961

"And then suddenly, one night a little girl gets bored and tells a lie, and there, for the first time, you see it. Then you say to yourself, did she see it? Did she sense it?"

Teachers get such a bad rap. They're not allowed to discipline their students or give out bad grades anymore for fear of being accused of sacrificing babies to Baphomet during recess. Back before preschool Satanic masses became all the rage, there were private girls schools in New England, run by women, staffed by women and devoted to instructing girls who would someday be women. And then one spoiled rotten little snotnose bitch gets her grimy little mitts on a copy of Mademoiselle de Maupin and sees an opportunity - get revenge on the teachers who punished her for her brattiness by accusing them of rampant lesbianism. The result - slander, scandal, ruination and suicide. 

Lord of the Flies, 1963

"We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages. We're English! And the English are best at everything!"

Why are British kids always so much scarier than American kids? Maybe because they've been raised to be prim and proper with impeccable manners and stiff upper lips. But just drop a boatload of them on an island with no parental supervision and watch them descend into absolute savagery at warp speed. Soon the snotty little cretins are decapitating pigs, dancing around bonfires wearing loincloths and warpaint and committing murder. This is what happens when you take away a regularly scheduled tea time - absolute insanity. 

Kill Baby Kill, 1966

Kicked by a horse and left to bleed to death because the villagers didn't like her family, the ghost of little Melissa is back with a vengeance, driving the local virgins to suicide. She's kind of like the Brits "Lady In Black" except she's Italian in White. Or Carpathian, whatever. Directed by Mario Bava, I could find no quotes listed from this films script, nor could I find out who the hell played little Melissa. However, I strongly suspect that she was the inspiration for Fellini's short film Toby Dammit and King Diamond's album Melissa. I could be wrong about both. I don't care. I will always associate both with this film and the unnamed actress who portrayed the Baby who is doing all of the Killing. 

The Night Child, 1975

I've never seen this movie. It's not easy to find. There's no quotes to pull and reviews are mixed. All I do know is that it's about a little girl who becomes possessed by the spirit of a dead child who was once a killer. Apparently, little Emily there wasn't all that innocent to begin with and was showing signs of being twisted long before she donned a cursed medallion, hence the films alternate title (The Cursed Medallion, duh). But I don't think a viewing is necessary. LOOK AT HER!!! She's freaky looking! That ginger hair and those pale eyes and that dead white skin, GAH!!! There wouldn't be a bitch this creepy again until 1981, when Fulci did The Beyond.

Alice, Sweet Alice, 1976

"My mother thought you could use some cake, fatty."

So, for the greater part of this film we're duped into thinking that 12 year old Alice Spages may have murdered her younger sister out of jealousy. Alice is a shitty little bitch, disrespectful, sadistic and vindictive.  She's not a killer, as it turns out - not yet anyway. But you know she's headed down that path. Sure as shit, she'll grow up to be a hard drinking, chain-smoking, cold hearted, gold digging man-eating, castrating Queen Bitch of the Universe, breaking hearts and stripping wallets long before she's 21. 

Who Can Kill A Child?, 1976

"Something strange had happened to the kids on the island."

An English couple encounter an island off the coast of Spain populated entirely by children. Well, almost entirely. It's Lord of the Flies meets Children of the Corn...minus the corn. Most of the adults have been killed by the kids and the ones that are left are simply biding their time until they too are turned into human piñatas. And no, that is not a euphemism. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...