Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Things That Would Not Be...if not for Lovecraft

When he died in March of 1937, Howard Phillips Lovecraft believed himself to be a complete and utter failure, both as a writer and as a person. His family, once wealthy and well respected, had descended into illness, madness and near poverty. He’d lived the life of a hermit, plagued by nightmares and chronic depression. The man who could trace his lineage back to British royalty died alone, destitute and in great pain at the age of 46, afflicted with cancer and suffering from borderline malnutrition. During his short life, Howard was paid a pittance for his stories of cosmic horror and insanity, which appeared primarily in the pulp magazines of the time and were not considered to be of any great literary value outside of his circle of friends. Lovecraft was indeed his own worst critic, disowning much of his writing as trash, written in haste for money.
Little could the boy who was born on August 20th, 1890 know, but that he would be one of the reigning gods of horror literature, right up there with his idol Edgar Allan Poe. Even if you’ve never read one of his stories, you’ve heard of Lovecraft. Somehow, somewhere, he has infiltrated your life: subtly, sneakily, creeping in like a fungus. If you’re a Batman fan, thank Lovecraft in part for creating the world of the Dark Knight. If you’re a metalhead, you surely have heard at least once band perform one song that was inspired by Lovecraft. It seems a dubious honor that Lovecraft should be the most famous unknown author in the world of horror, but it’s also somehow fitting. Lovecraft himself avoided the world and was suspicious of most of its inhabitants. Perhaps it’s for the best that his writings waited until he was forty years in his grave before gaining a worldwide following. He was a writer out of time: mourning the past, uncomfortable in the present and reluctantly ruling the future.
Had it not been for H.P. Lovecraft, there might have been no…
Movies: Re-Animator, The Call of Cthulhu, The Whisperer In Darkness, Castle Freak, Dagon, Uzumaki, John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Evil Dead, The Dunwich Horror, The Resurrected, From Beyond, In the Mouth of Madness, Hellboy, The Haunted Palace, Die Monster Die!, and probably several hundred others, but you get the idea. You might not like ALL of them, but you’ve got to like at least ONE of them.

Authors: Stephen King (his short story “Crouch End” remains my personal favorite Lovecraft inspired work), Ray Bradbury, Clive Barker, Jorge Luis Borges, Joe R. Lansdale, Neil Gaiman, F. Paul Wilson, Caitlin Kiernan, Brian Lumley, Thomas Ligotti and the reclusive Alan Moore (who seems to hate everything but Lovecraft).
Artists: H. R. Giger, Michael Whelan, John Coulthart, Allen Koszowski, Francois Launet and – of course – Mike Mignola. I know there are others, and I hope you guys will let me know who they all are.

Music: Black Sabbath, Cradle Of Filth, Morbid Angel, Celtic Frost, Metallica, Mercyful Fate, Fields of the Nephilim, Gwar and probably a hundred other metal bands I’ve never even heard of. The most famous example of this eldritch influence is probably Metallica’s instrumental The Call of Ktulu which appeared on the band’s 1984 album Ride The Lightning. The idea for the song was apparently suggested by late bassist Cliff Burton, who was a Lovecraft fan. Doubtless, raging egomaniac and all around asswart Dave Mustaine will dispute this.

Arkham Asylum – That staple of Gotham City, where Batman imprisoned many a nemesis (including the Joker, the Riddler, Scarecrow and Bane), was created by Lovecraft, first appearing in the 1920 tale “The Picture in the House.” Arkham Asylum was in turn inspired by real life madhouse Danvers State Insane Asylum, which you can read about here.

The Necronomicon - The Book of the Dead, bound in human skin, inked in human blood and containing incantations so unspeakable that no one but the maddest Arab would dare touch it. You can find several “versions” of the “real” Necronomicon in just about any bookstore, collecting dust in the Metaphysical section. The truth is, there is no Necronomicon. It was a Lovecraftian invention, appearing first in his 1924 tale “The Hound” and based upon such legendary tomes as The Egyptian Book of the Dead and perhaps “The King In Yellow” – a play created by Robert W. Chambers, which is said to drive its readers mad. It too does not exist.

Miskatonic University – Need a sinister sounding school, where students emerge from the Halls of Academe forever altered by the knowledge gained within? Miskatonic University of Essex County, Massachusetts, was erected by Lovecraft in 1922 in his serial “Herbert West: Re-Animator.” Since then, it has appeared in numerous films, sometimes as an actual setting, sometimes just hinted at, but always recognized as an Ivy League school, gently rotting on its foundations, its walls leaking a steady flow of madness and decay.
This has been a very brief collection of films, authors, music and other horror staples, all of which were created/influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface here, so feel free to add to the list via comments! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Racism VS. Hypocrisy

So this is happening.

You can read the rest of it by clinking the link I provided above, you lazy fucks.
Eccentric. Xenophobic. Anglophilic. Racist. Introverted. Every devoted fan of Howard Phillips Lovecraft has heard these terms applied to the acknowledged father of cosmic horror at one time or another. No one denies that these rumors are most likely true. Quite frankly, I'd be shocked to learn that Lovecraft - a white male born in 1890 to a staunch, upper crust New England family - was anything other than a racist. He spent his childhood in seclusion, subjected to his deranged mother's Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy abuse and, as a result, ended up a reclusive adult with no self esteem who wouldn't venture outside of his own house until after dark. I'm pretty sure that Lovecraft hated and feared everyone - white and black, Jewish and Christian, male and female, etc. He hated himself
But to say that we can no longer have an award named after him because he was a racist? Because, by comparison, hypocrisy is so much more acceptable? Come on people - this is just getting fucking ridiculous. 
Yes, Lovecraft was a racist. But what white man wasn't a racist back in the late 1800s/early 1900s? Was it right? Hell no! But it was a different time and, as such, an entirely different world. Things have changed. Lovecraft himself changed as he got older and made more friends and - gasp! - fell in love with and married a Jewish woman! Had he lived long enough to see the stock market crash of 1939 and the second world war, perhaps his ingrained beliefs might have changed and softened. We'll never know. But that isn't the point, anyway.
If you're going to strip an award of its name because you disagree with the author's admittedly antiquated beliefs, then you'd better take a good, hard look at all of the other awards and their namesakes. 
The Hugo Award - named for Hugo Gernsback, described by writer and editor Barry N. Malzberg thusly:
"Gernsback's venality and corruption, his sleaziness and his utter disregard for the financial rights of authors, have been so well documented and discussed in critical and fan literature. That the founder of genre science fiction who gave his name to the field's most prestigious award and who was the Guest of Honor at the 1952 Worldcon was pretty much a crook (and a contemptuous crook who stiffed his writers but paid himself $100K a year as President of Gernsback Publications) has been clearly established."

The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award - Do I really need to go into graphic detail about the generally accepted belief that MJ was a pedophiliac freak?

Edgar Allan Poe - The undisputed master of horror. He was also a drunk, a drug addict and married his thirteen year old cousin when he was 26. 

The William Faulkner Award - Amazing writer. Drunken sot. Notorious philanderer.

The O. Henry Award - named for William Sydney Porter, a man who lost his job as a banker after being indicted for embezzlement. He fled to South America but was later arrested, tried and convicted for his crime and sentenced to five years in prison.

The Nobel Prize - named for Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite and whose family made a fortune from the manufacture and distribution of armaments. 

And why stop there?

If we're calling out all of the racism, sexism and anti-Semitism in the entertainment community, let's also make the following Verboten.

Disneyland - nope, you can't go there anymore. Not unless you want to be seen as a sexist, racist, Jew-hating bastard. Walt Disney was a founding member of the anti-communist group Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. In 1947, during the Second Red Scare, Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), where he branded Herbert SorrellDavid Hilberman and William Pomerance, former animators andlabor union organizers as Communist agitators. He was a woman-hating bigot whose own grandniece confirms rumors of his prickishness. 

Bugs Bunny - no more Saturday morning cartoons for you. Bugs Bunny made fun of Native Americans, Asians and African Americans, depicting them all as ignorant savages who were easily outwitted. He also insulted drag queens and insinuated that extraterrestrials in general and Martians in particular, were idiots in comparison with the Almighty Inhabitants of Patriotic Planet Earth. No more Loony Toons for anybody, ever again. 

Aunt Jemima Pancake Syrup - have fun eating your dry, naked pancakes from now on, you wanna be Grand Dragon of the KKK. 

And don't even think about watching Gone With The Wind anymore. How dare you view a movie which depicts all black people as happy darkies singin' in the cotton fields all dee livelong day? Let's track down and burn every copy of the movie in existence, because it is offensive. Now. In the day and age where we live. Because Heaven Forbid we should see what ideas and behaviors were once considered perfectly acceptable and have now been discarded as we supposedly grow and change as a society and learn to embrace our backgrounds and cultures.

Look, I'm not saying that racism is ever okay. It's not. Not in this day and age. But what's done is done, and trying to cover up history is every bit as harmful as letting it continue unchanged. 

So Lovecraft was a racist, So the fuck what? Why must I be forbidden to enjoy an artists creations simply because their personal beliefs are considered reprehensible by the greater percentage of society? Did you know that mystery author Anne Perry is a convicted murderess? Are you going to stop reading her books now? Varg Vikernes is the biggest fucking scumbag in the world (in my humble opinion) but I still like the song Dunkelheit and I make no apologies for that. 

Lovecraft was a human being - flawed and molded by his time, his surroundings and his circumstances.
Lovecraft's writing could be clunky, clumsy and offensive. Even in the 1920s, his writing was archaic and not to everyone's taste.
But he created a sub genre, like it or not. He was the first writer to blend science fiction and horror successfully. He launched the Cosmic Horror movement. 

If we have to cease appreciation for every single person who has ever had an idea, a thought or an expression that someone somewhere in the world found offensive, we would never read another book, look at another painting, see another film or award another prize to anyone. Where do we draw the line? When do we finally admit that no one is perfect - never has been and never will be - and try to overlook their flaws in favor of their strengths? I said overlook, not ignore. Acknowledge that he was a damaged person with prejudiced ideas - ideas that were the norm at the time in which he lived. Add a new award named after Octavia Butler, by all means. In addition to Lovecraft's award. Don't try to erase his failures as a person from the annals of history: stand his likeness right next to Octavia Butler's and acknowledge that this never could have been possible if we had not evolved as people and grown more accepting of one another. In uniting them, we acknowledge the past and progress into the future. 

But by banishing Lovecraft and his works, by burying the things we are ashamed of, we admit we have not grown or accepted any responsibility at all, but simply wish to pretend it never happened. And that is childish, pointless and utterly fruitless.

Screaming In High Heels

Oh, 1980s. You crazy decade, with your cold wars and your leg warmers and your WHAM! songs and your big hair. Yes you had your faults, but I choose to remember only the good times we shared, especially those golden summers spent roaming the aisles of the closet-sized video store across the street. It was dark, hadn’t been dusted in years and had wire racks covered with sticky puddles of solidified soda. You actually had to peel the video you wanted off of the shelf with considerable force, and risked disturbing a sleeping Daddy Long Legs in the process. But it was worth it. The 80s was the Golden Age of Shit, sagging beneath the weight of hundreds – thousands! – of direct-to-video horror movies with garish covers, ridiculous titles and big-titted scream queens. The 70s may have belonged to Jamie Lee Curtis, but the 80s were ruled by a Triumvirate of Topless Temptresses, better known as Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer. It is to them that this hour long documentary is entirely dedicated.
And it’s about time. No hardcore horror fan worth their salt will dispute the fact that Quigley, Stevens and Bauer were the pillars of the low budget horror community back in the day. It’s just common knowledge. Cookies are good. Koalas are cute. Quigley, Stevens and Bauer are Goddesses of the B movie scene. See? But no one has ever really asked “Why?” Granted, most people were too busy staring at their lacy panties and bursting bosoms to give a fat shit “Why” they had attained such fame – it was enough that they had, and were perfectly willing to oil up their bosoms and wiggle on cue. But there’s hundreds of Hollywood hopefuls stripping off for the camera every day. There always were and there always will be. What made this particular threesome stick out? (pun intended)
Though only a mere hour long, this seedy, sticky little shockumentary which reeks of the 80s takes the time to delve into each actresses background, from humble beginnings (Quigley was a shy Iowa farmgirl) to failed career aspirations (Stevens wanted to be a marine biologist) to perfectly timed happenstances (Bauer was pumping gas for a living when she answered an ad for “Body Models – $75 a day!”).
From there, the film jumps right into the Jello and starts wiggling, covering the early films (how is it that I’ve never seen Savage Streets?) and on into their famous collaborations, including the cult classic Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama and, my personal favorite, Nightmare Sisters – just because I so love the little pink dress, pigtails and oversized lollipop combo that Stevens dons at one point. I’ve always wanted an outfit like that. Wait, is that weird?
Without even meaning to, these three hot babes carved out their own niche in the film industry, not just because they got naked, jiggled and acted dumb – although they did a lot of that too. They had fun doing it and that sense of fun spilled over the celluloid and infected the audience. These were girls you could hang out with, have a few beers with, maybe even bang! In the 80s, guys could fantasize all they wanted about Morgan Fairchild and Heather Locklear, but they damn well knew they didn’t have a chance in hell with either. However, Linnea, Brinke and Michelle seemed somehow more real, more accessible, as if you could pop next door and fully expect it to be answered by one or all three, wearing lacy teddies, giggling and holding a bowl of popcorn.
The other thing I love about this documentary is its sketchy quality. No attempt is made to clean up the clips featured, and they’re shown with all of their static, bad lighting and shitty out-of-focus awesomeness. It’s like sitting in a private booth, watching a stag strip that’s been smeared by years of jizz, lubricant and Cheeto dust. It’s awesome, on a par with those sticky video store shelves.
These three chicks did for slasher films what Bettie Page did for the pin-up industry: they made it friendly, fun and memorable, within reach of the average fan. They’ve earned their place in history, and Screaming In High Heels is here to remind you of that fact, lest you foolishly forget.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Only One Zen? I don't think so...

By Annie Riordan
Daryl Dixon. The most popular character on The Walking Dead. A crossbow totin’, white trash redneckin’, trailer park dwellin’, squirrel eatin’, shirt sleeve tearin’, zombie killin’, sweaty Southern hot mess…with a heart of gold. Loves looking for lost little girls, feeding babies and picking wildflowers. Aawww. The number one reason that The Walking Dead has so many female fans. Everybody Loves Daryl. His squinty blue eyes, stubbly jaw and glistening biceps have drawn millions of squealing fangirls, with more piling up behind them. Action figures, bobbleheads, a video game (Survival Instinct, also starring Michael Rooker as the late great brother Merle), some really hilarious fan fic and a still-steaming puddle of melted panties lay in his wake.
But Reedus has been around the horror scene for, well…not a LONG time, he’s only a year older than me. But he’s been around longer than The Walking Dead graphic novels have been. I spotted him right off in his very first film, even though his screen time amounted to a grand total of 37 seconds (give or take a minute or two). I saw him first, I called dibs. Don’t make me cut a bitch.
Mimic (1997)
Norm’s first role as cartoon voiced sewer worker Jeremy who gleefully presents star Mia Sorvino with the carcass of a giant cockroach.
8mm (1999)
The start of Nicolas Cage’s downslide and the beginning of Joaquin Phoenix’s stardom. Norman Reedus literally mops the floor with both of them as convicted scumbag Warren in this snuff film saga.
Blade 2 (2002)
Playing donut-addicted smartass Scud, Reedus bares his scarred torso and makes it almost all the way to the end of the movie…until he’s dumb enough to out himself to Wesley Snipes:
Masters Of Horror: Cigarette Burns (2005)
Chainsmoking, cokeheaded, oddly named Kirby Sweetman has 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one…not since his cokeheaded wife slit her wrists in the bath tub, anyway. Worse yet, Udo Kier sends him off to Paris to find a film which may or may not exist, and which may or may not have the ability to kill anyone who watches it:

Messengers 2: The Scarecrow (2009)
This movie sucks. Honestly, the only thing that makes it watchable is Reedus, and not only because he has two sex scenes. He’s one of the few people on screen who can act, and despite the fact that this movie is ridiculous, he does his best. It’s weird to see him not smoking though.

These are just the horror movies he’s done. There’s plenty of others: The Notorious Betty Page, in which he plays Betty’s first (and most assholish) husband; Dark Harbour, with Alan Rickman; Antibodies, Cadillac Records, Tough Luck (in which he bangs a hot chick with an allergy to underwear in a mirrored elevator), The Boondock Saints (duh. seriously, if you haven’t seen that movie, there’s something wrong with you.)
And, my personal favorite:

Monday, September 15, 2014


Review by Annie Riordan
The title of this film confuses me. There’s not a single splinter to be found, either of the mental or the wooden variety. And although I’m sure I could have had more fun digging an actual splinter out of my own flesh with a rusty pair of tweezers than I had watching this steaming puddle of dog diarrhea, I don’t think that’s what the filmmakers were going for either. I think the movie and its makers wanted us to believe that this is a werewolf movie, but had I been the one to choose a title, I would have picked something more straightforward. Like “Snow White and The Seven Stupid-As-Fuck Stereotypes.”
Snow White – here called Sophie – is a sullen goth girl with a dark past, no spinal cord, a shitty attitude and one friend, a dumb, shrieky blond named Jane whose face couldn’t be blander if it had been carved out of butter and left to melt in the sun. Sophie wants to make a documentary about some mad beast that’s been terrorizing northern Wales, but since she’s such an unlikable bitch, it’s up to Jane to bring the rest of the stereotypes along for the inevitable body count. Hence, her asshole boyfriend, her dorky brother and That One Guy who wants to get into Sophie’s pants are brought along for the ride.
I have trouble believing that any self respecting British teenager would actually drink Coors Light, but at the point in the film where a case of the aforementioned watery piss-brew is produced, I started waiting for them all to die and hoping it would be exceedingly painful. Coors Light? In ENGLAND? Come on, guys. We don’t even drink that shit here. At least get some PBR, for fucks sake. Anyway, beer is consumed, pot is smoked, full moon is out and teen drama erupts like a festering zit all over our meager campfire, driving Sophie into the woods to cry and That One Guy (I think his name might have been John) after her in hopes of getting some Pity Pussy. Instead, Sophie decides it would be a really great idea to follow the dark hulking shape she spots in the bushes without telling anyone else where they’re going, and off she and John go to meet their doom, tra la.
Luckily, they built camp right next to a rotting orphanage in the woods. Luckilier, that’s exactly where the mad beast is lurking. Even luckiest of all, they run into a whole shitload of new characters who are perfectly willing to pause in the middle of a killing spree and calmly fill us in on the backstory, complete with cheesy flashbacks and flowery speech that no one has utilized in real life since Jane Austen died. John gets his guts ripped out, Sophie is locked in a cell by a drooling idiot who makes William Sanderson (and his brother Daryl, and his other brother Daryl) look macho by comparison, and the three remaining dolts – none of whom could outwit a pack of Gummi Bears, by the way – have to go looking for them. Because even though Sophie makes a couple of escape attempts, she’s too busy crying and whining and gasping and screaming to really do herself any good.
Finally however, she does escape her prison and then it’s run run run, almost get caught, run some more, hide, slow down, wait for beast to catch up, run run run, stupidly stand and watch as beast disembowels a few people, run, hide, etc etc. Shit, this film makes the Keystone Cops look stunningly competent. The overwrought, maudlin, melodramatic dialog couldn’t possibly be any more treacly if it had been soaked in a barrel of molasses first. And the neverending ending…oh god yes, PLEASE hit the bad guy over the head, drop the weapon close by his hand and walk away without looking back, giving said bad guy ample opportunity to regain consciousness, sit up, grab weapon and come after you AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN, because I just love seeing that outdated ploy used over and over and FUCKING OVER again until the urge to bash my own skull in with a hammer to remove the imprint of ineptitude that your film has projected onto it becomes overwhelming.
Oh yeah, remember when I said that this might have been intended as a werewolf movie? Yeah, well, it isn’t, no matter how much it tries to convince you otherwise. Unless the definition of “werewolf” has changed recently to include somewhat irritable rat terriers, then no – it’s not a fucking werewolf movie. What it IS is a fucking mess and a gross waste of time. Indeed, if horror movies were beers, this would be the Coors Light of the bunch: watered down, flavorless and incapable of providing a decent buzz.
Splintered is currently streaming free on Netflix. Unless you're a masochist, I'd advise you to ignore it.


Because he never actually physically abused me.

Because he always said he was just "joking" when he called me ugly, fat and/or stupid.

Because when we first met, he was on his best behavior. For months. Treating me like a queen. Telling me how much he loved me.

Because I didn't want to seem like a "bitch" for protesting.

Because I knew I'd made a terrible mistake, and I was afraid to admit it, afraid to be single again, afraid everyone would wonder what was "wrong" with me because I was 34 and still unmarried.

Because he'd spent 14 months breaking me down, telling me how worthless I was, brainwashing me into believing that no one else would ever want me.


Because he yelled at me in public.

Because he insulted me in front of his friends.

Because he knew I was terrified of spiders, picked up a live one and threw it at my face. And when I demanded that he stop, he did it again, laughing.

Because anytime I had to change plans with him, he threw a fit and said I was "just like his mother" - always making promises and then breaking them.

Because he demanded sex. Even when I was sick, or just not in the mood.


Because he would not stop calling my house after I walked out on him.

Because he sent his friends to my place of work, or had them call me there, constantly harassing me.

Because he posted online that I was a "possessed psycho" who had "worshipped the ground he walked on" and had no reason to walk out on him like that, after he'd "treated me like gold."

 So yeah, I finally shot him an email and detailed every rotten thing he'd ever said and done to me.
And I cc'd all of his friends, and included all of the rotten things he'd said about them too.
And I told him if he did not fuck off immediately and forever, I would call the cops and tell them about his pot stash and his extensive illegally downloaded DVD collection.
I wish I'd stolen his pot.


Because I will never allow someone to tear me down again.

I am perfectly aware of the fact that not all men are jerks, assholes and douchebags. But a lot of them are, and a lot of them seem to believe that girls exist for no other reason than to be a receptacle for their sperm, a warmer for their beds, a caretaker for their ills. And they cannot fathom why any woman would object to being made to feel inferior - just a piece of furniture to complete the set.

Not all men I've met since dumping that pig have been abusive, self-centered cowardly little fucksticks. In fact, most of them have been great, and many remain true, dear friends. I never assume that anyone - male or female - is going to hurt me when I first meet them, and I give them every chance not to betray that trust.  But the first time you purposefully and knowingly hurt me is also the last time. There is no second chance. Not anymore.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Name That Film

The first person who can name all ten wins absolutely nothing at all.
Have fun.

Friday, September 12, 2014

MST3K - The Human Duplicators

The Human Duplicators
aka: Eht Numah Srotacilpud!
Year released: 1965
Directed by: Hugo Grimaldi,
Starring: Ward Cleaver, Richard OmhmygodI'mhuge, Polly Holiday, some stiff, Dolores Faith and a couple of red hot nurses.

Richard Dawson Kiel, September 13, 1939 – September 10, 2014
Plot: Ginormous cyborg alien Undiet Kolos comes to Earth to start a butt collection. He is thwarted in his plans by a flap of cardboard in a suit, cardboard's blowzy blond girlfriend and a World Champion Blind pianist and professional Mr. B Natural imitator named Lisa who has never eaten a sandwich in her life. After failing to make an army of evil Hummel figurines and going against his programming by falling in love with Lisa, Kolos leaves Earth and returns to his own planet where he plans to have himself destroyed for being such a sap. The end.

Richard Dawson Kiel, who played Kolos, just died the other day. Cause of death has not yet been confirmed or released. Afflicted with acromegaly, the 7 foot 2 inch tall Kiel went from nightclub bouncer to actor to born again Christian marketer. His first Big Screen appearance was in Phantom Planet, in which he played "Exposed Brain Football Playing Puppy Alien" apparently. Thanks to this film - which was every bit as genre changing as 2001: A Space Odyssey (in that it wasn't at all), Rich got cast in this cheesy installment in the clone wars saga, alongside his Phantom Planet costar Dolores Faith.

Check out Dolores. Wasn't she hot? A tiny little china doll of a girl. Her life was short and her career unremarkable. She was only 48 when she died in Miami, after divorcing her millionaire Texas coffee heir husband Bob Neal. The only other thing I could find out about her was that she had a sister named Gigi, spent time in an orphanage and was deaf for a couple of years as a young child. She plays the blind Lisa here in Duplicators and played the mute Zetha in Phantom Planet. I'm only slightly disappointed that she didn't get cast as a paraplegic in a film called Mars Needs Flushing Toilets, or maybe a clubfoot named Tansy in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical "Don't Look At My Butt."

Let's see, what else?
Man this film is boring. There's not much in the way of trivia to be found, except for the small fact that it was Hugh Beaumont's last film. Can you believe he had 139 screen roles in his life? And three of those ended up on MST3K - The Human Duplicators, The Mole People and Lost Continent, aka "Rock Climbing."

George Nader, who played (rather woodenly) the Male Lead aka the super secret agent who blows the sinister case wide open, was actually a decent human being. He...ya know what? I'm just going to let you read about him for yourself.

Kinda makes me wonder if that whole "Tom and Crow come out of the robot closet" closing sketch was a nod to Nader's sacrifice?

Servo: “Joel, Crow and I are robots and we want the world to know!”
Joel: "Well I knew that. It's more than a little obvious, okay?.”

It's NOT Okay, Cupid.

This was a message received by a friend of mine on a notorious dating site. 
She had been talking to this guy for maybe an hour, two tops, when he starting pestering her to supply him with more photos, asking her where she worked and pressuring her to go out with him that same night. 
She refused to give him anything.
She wanted to talk longer and get to know him better.
She wasn't going to divulge personal information to a complete stranger, and told him as much, stating that for all she knew, he could be a serial killer. 

His initial response was How can I confirm ur a woman / female and not a man posing ... This has happened before, I do not trust until trust is earned.
NOT. At ALL. Cool.

You don't ask someone to provide you with personal info an hour into a chat and then make fun of them for being wary. Do you really think such a tactic is going to make the woman suddenly reflect upon her life and exclaim: "Oh my, well I can't have him thinking I'm an uncooperative bitch! Okay, sure! I'll tell you where I work so you can come in while I'm on duty and act like a stunning fucksack full of stupid and make a scene! Of course I'll send you more pics of myself so you can identify me easily and maybe spread them around on other social networking sites, or photoshop them or print them out and run off copies that can be ironed onto your socks which you will then later use to wank off with! Oh whatever was I thinking, having respect for myself and demanding that a total stranger do the same? Silly, silly me! Don't I want a boyfriend? Why am I such a bitch?"

Okay you walking clown hemorrhoid, allow me to point out a few errors in your little love letter.

#1 - You are a douchecanoe.

#2 - You are a douchecanoe who cannot spell worth a shit.

#3 - So meeting stalkers and/or abusive predators through the internet is far fetched? Really? Because it seems to me that she just met a complete, manipulative, abusive, narcissistic, arrogant mound of toe jam which disproves your theory that she is overreacting and/or being paranoid. Also, does the name Philip Markoff ring a bell in that empty skull of yours?

#4 - Worthy of being stalked? Are you fucking kidding me? Stalking isn't a compliment, you fucking ignorant, inbred fuckhose. It's a crime. What the hell is wrong with you? Christ, no wonder you're divorced. Like only "hawt" girls get stalked? Nobody is worthy of being stalked, but you sir are worthy of a good hard kick in your scrawny white boy ass.

#5 - A bit overly confident in how important you are? What the hell does that even mean? Being careful makes her a fucking bitch? She's inconveniencing you by not giving in to your every demand, therefore she's a stuck up cunt? Wow, way to prove her right in rejecting you. She saw right through you, saw you for the selfish, cowardly little limpdick bully that you are. And she refused to put up with it. She doesn't need you. You're a waste of her time. Her time and every other woman's. 

In short, I would strongly advise any woman currently cruising OKC to avoid this walking pile of shit, who has zero respect for women, zero personality and probably can't get laid outside of a dog kennel.

I hope you meet a nice girl someday, jackass...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Versus - Salem's Lot

Remember when Made For TV movies were actually good? Back in the 70s, movies made for television were made just like real movies, with decent budgets, good writing, serious directors and solid casts. They started faltering a bit in the 80s, competing with the direct-to-video market. By the 90s they were pretty much shit. Now we have Sci-Fi channel Salutes to Schlock, cheap crap which isn't meant to be good, or taken seriously at all. Sharknado, anybody?

Things have definitely improved with cable TV in the 21st century: Game Of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Strain, etc. 

But really, some of the best movies made in the 70s were originally made for TV. Helter Skelter, The UFO Incident, Sybil, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, etc.  Capping off the decade was Tobe "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" Hooper's adaptation of Stephen King's 1975 vampire novel "Salem's Lot." Four hours long, part 1 of Salem's Lot aired on November 17th, 1979 and wrapped up on the 24th. 

And then, almost predictably, it was remade in 2004. But first things first.

Salem's Lot

Year released: 1979
Directed by: Tobe Hooper
Starring: Hutch, Bruce Willis's wife in Die Hard, James Mason, that floating fat man, the guy who was in The Maltese Falcon, Lew Ayres, Geoffrey Lewis, and that kid who went all Jesus Freaky and ended up getting caught falsifying documents to obtain food stamps in Hawaii, even though he owned three houses there.

"The makeup and contact lenses were painful, but I got used to them.
I liked the money best of all." ~ Reggie Nalder, aka Kurt Barlow

The Good:

Very atmospheric, spooky and nihilistic as hell. The acting (most of it, anyway) is top notch. And frankly, I was happy to see King's Barlow transformed from a Euro Trash Lugosi hamola into a far more frightening rat faced, corpse-hued, animalistic parasite with a set of fangs right of The Big Book of British Smiles. Though he had all of five minutes screen time total, the late great Nalder's incarnation of Barlow is horrifically unforgettable. I know I was not the only person who peed themselves a little when he popped up out of the darkness for the first time, hissing like a scalded demon with a cobra shoved up its ass.
Nalder was a horror movie staple, showing up in such films as The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Bird With The Crystal Plumage, The Manchurian Candidate and Mark of the Devil, always playing a sinister villain.  His name did not appear in the cast of credits of Salem's Lot, so I spent a good twenty years wondering who the hell had played Kurt Barlow. Ultimately, thank god for the internet.

Considering this was 1979, the special effects/makeup effects are awesome! Corpse white vampires with glowing golden eyes, floating dreamily in fog banks outside of bedroom windows. No bullshit sparkly pants poetry reading creepy stalker heartthrob bloodsuckers here... just ruthless predators with no sense of humor and a vicious disdain for Jesus.

James Mason as Straker - the Renfield to Barlow's Dracula - is sublime: slick and gleefully evil, immaculate as a mortician in his pressed black suit, clearly enjoying the hell out watching all things good and holy turn into a smoking pile of corrupted ruin.

The Bad:

Yeah, it's very seventies. Bad hair, terrible fashions, all that shit. But hey, it was the seventies.

Lance Kerwin could not act. He was awful. I hated his Mark Petrie, stuffy and pompous, reeking of  jackassery even at the age of twelve (although I think Kerwin was more like 19 when he landed this role). I wish Barlow had ripped him open like a couch cushion. I cheered when Ben threw him across the basement, because it looked like it really hurt. God I hope that wasn't a stunt double. I wish Straker had rammed an antler up his butt. How did this kid ever have a film career?

Salem's Lot

Year released: 2004
Directed by: Mikael Salomon
Starring: Rob (b)Lowe(me), Donald Sutherland, Rutger Hauer, Samantha Mathis, James Cromwell and Dan Byrd.

The Good:

Thank gaaaawwd, this movie is 100% Lance Kerwin free. In the role of Mark Petrie this time around is Dan Byrd, a young man whose skill I have admired for many years. I think he's criminally underrated, giving amazing performances in less-than-amazing films. I wish people would stop confusing him with Kyle Gallner, another very good actor who also gets shit films. Seriously - somebody give these guys something to work with. Talent - they has it.

The Bad:

Every single fucking thing else about this shit bomb of a remake.

I hate to draw comparisons between originals and remakes, feeling that every film should be judged on its own merit...but this film lacked a soul, no pun intended. Where the original film gave us a Peyton Place of Paranoia, a Gothic haunted town tale and characters who were so much like us that we could forgive them their flaws and transgressions, this film is cold and distant. The majority of the characters are ugly and often downright despicable. Instead of bored housewives having flings, we have child abusers blackmailing doctors and rich real estate agents molesting their daughters. This movie is filled with soulless vampires alright...the kind we see yakking on their cell phones at the grocery store every day. Much the same is spoken by Rutger Hauer, who plays Head Vampire Kurt Barlow. His portrayal of Barlow as a well spoken European aristocrat is perhaps truer to the novel than the 79 version which featured Reggie Nalder as a shocking blue skinned rat-faced Nosferatu-monster. But Hauer looked more like Gorgeous George than a centuries old bloodsucker, and his impossible hairstyle kept distracting me from whatever menace he was trying to project. By the time he shows up on screen, we don't give a damn what happens to the town. And we're not sure why the hell Ben wants to save it when it hasn't exactly welcomed him home with open arms. Some mumbo-jumbo about wanting to put his childhood fears to rest and be a man instead of a coward. Whatever. After slogging through an hour or two of unscary vampires (who lurch slowly and clumsily through the streets of the town like a horde of zombies - what, did they forget this was Salems Lot and start doing a Romero film instead???) our heroes finally face Barlow, and couple of really ugly subordinates and Ben's love interest, who has discovered that immortality magically crimps your hair and applies Maybelline.

And the Winner Is...

This gif sums up perfectly how I feel about the 2004 remake.

"I'm JEWISH, stupid!"