Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Love Possessed

This evening got me thinking about a movie which I love, Andrzej Zulawski's POSSESSION. The reason I love this film as much as I do is not only because it's a great, obscure piece of cinema, but mostly because it was branded upon my psyche at an early age. I don't exactly remember the circumstances leading to my discovery of this film, but I do recall seeing a television spot circa '82 (possibly on Showtime) for the American (butchered) release. A brief shot of Isabelle Adjani astride her other, other lover (if you've seen the film, you'll know exactly what I'm referring to) had to be the most alarming visual I could have witnessed at the tender age of five, but there it was. It took me years to figure out the title of the film, let alone who starred in it, but when I finally did (via a big boxed Canadian VHS and later in it's original form on DVD via Anchor Bay) that mystical puzzle had been solved. Strange to think I caught a glimpse of this at that age, but I did and I'm glad I held on to that memory all those years.

Anyhow, this particular post is nothing more than an excuse to chat the film up and serve this great little morsel which I stumbled upon during my recent YouTube stroll: a great tribute by MickTravisBickle, a person who, no doubt, appreciates the film, but also has tremendous taste in music (gore and spoilers abound, kiddies)...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


20th Century-Fox Film Corporation, 1971
Directed by William Friedkin
Starring Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider

Monday, October 03, 2011

Tatum O'Neal's Oscillating Fan

So, I had to make a trip to the post office today. As I arrived, there was a long line (not unusual for this location) and, lucky me, I got to stand directly behind the person who smelled like poop. Yes, poop. As if they had shat themselves. This Zelda Rubinstein-proportioned frog-looking woman was neither too young nor too old to be up to such a stink, but she was. Good times!

As the line diminished, "Froggy" was up next. While waiting for her turn, she placed her items on the mailing station/island in front of the service desk. There, I was able to get a closer look at what she was handling: a letter addressed to Tatum O'Neal, along with a copy of her hardback book, FOUND. Instantly, I was amazed by this woman's eccentricity. Not only does she not believe in bathing and/or wiping, but she has somehow retrieved Ms. O'Neal's address (presumably) and intends to send her a fan letter (the contents of which, I can only imagine). As for the book, at the time, I wasn't sure if she intended to send it along with a request for a personalized signature from Ms. O'Neal, or if she would perform a passage from it to the captive audience of one at the front desk. Whatever the case, I knew it would prove to be somewhat entertaining. And, I was somewhat correct. (A bit too predictable, but an entertaining time-waster nonetheless, with an accent on "time-waster.")

Froggy: (Stuttering) "I'd like to send this envelope and I'd like to send this book to the same address."
Postal Worker: "Well, ma'am, you will need to package the book and address it before we can move further."
Froggy: "But, but... Can you do it for me?"
Postal Worker: "No, ma'am."
Froggy: "But, but... Don't you have boxes back there that you can put it in?"
Postal Worker: "No, ma'am. Nothing to ship a large item with, just standard envelopes. You'll have to get a box from..."
Froggy: (Completely cutting him off, since she doesn't like what he has to say) "But, but... They've done it for me before..." (Classic line!)
Postal Worker: "No, ma'am. As I was saying, you'll have to go to the shipping station over there and select a box that is big enough for your item to fit in. You may also want to select one that's big enough to house another box, a bit smaller, that you can address to yourself, so that the recipient can send the item back to you."
Froggy: "What?"
Postal Worker: (Repeats previous statement.)
Froggy: "Uh... where?"
Postal Worker: "All the different sized boxes are over there by the copy machine. Once you're done packaging the item, we can help you further."
Froggy: (Blank stare) "But, but... okay, alright."
Postal Worker: (Motioning to me) "Yes, sir?!"
Me: (After waiting for the mumbling shambles of Froggy to pass by so that I can make my way to the desk) "Yes, I've got two items I'd like to ship. One for Tatum O'Neal, the other for her father, Ryan."
Postal Worker: (Laughs)
Me: "But, seriously..."


So, there you have it.
Please keep Ms. Tatum O'Neal in your thoughts. Her fan base doesn't seem to be made up of the smartest bee stings. I'm hoping that when her novel gets published in paperback that it will be a revised edition, featuring a new chapter about the importance of hygiene.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Smarties: eBay Edition

About a year ago, I joined the Disney Movie Club. Typically, I'm not a Disney aficionado, but I do love some of their classics and couldn't resist the temptation to own both CONDORMAN and DUCKTALES - THE MOVIE: TREASURE OF THE LOST LAMP on DVD, which are exclusively available through their club. Anyway, it works the same as any other movie or CD club (Columbia House, in particular). Annually, each month a selection is offered and you can either deny said selection or accept it. If you do nothing, they send it to you anyhow and it's your's to pay for. Basically, they're counting on me to get lazy and forget to respond (and they're completely right in doing so!), hence my receiving product that I don't want. Honestly, sending them back is too much of a hassle, so I've eBay'd a few titles recently.

It's been just over five years since I last sold on eBay. Aside from the listing process becoming more complex than it needs to be, not much else has changed in those five years. Case in point: I dealt with idiots back then and I'm dealing with them now. It's good to be back!(?)

I didn't expect to be blogging about my auctions, but one idiot pissed me off and here I am.
Here are the details of the listing in question (plus my photo of the actual item):

Disney's THE FOX AND THE HOUND (1981)

This 3-disc combo pack includes both films on DVD and Blu-ray format. (This edition features DVD packaging.)
From Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2011.
This item is in BRAND NEW/SEALED condition.
Shipping via Priority mail only. Winning bidder must make payment within 3 days of end of auction notice.
PayPal only, please. All sales are final.
Please ask any questions prior to bidding.
Thank you for looking!

Okay, the description is short and sweet, I'll admit, but it's definitely concise, and coupled with the added UPC-generated additional details provided by eBay which offer even further item specs, I'd say this is a pretty self-explanatory listing of what the curious bidders should come to expect. But, apparently, that's not enough for some people. Here's what one smart person had to ask me...

This is an authentic item, correct?
Thanks :)

And, here's my reply...
I shouldn't even bother honoring such query with a reply, but I have to ask what is it about my item description that confuses you to the point where you'd question it's authenticity? Have counterfeit DVD/Blu-ray combo packs for Disney's "The Fox And The Hound" / "The Fox And The Hound II" been a problem for you in the past?

Too harsh, maybe? Nah.
After all, I don't coddle stupidity.
I could have started my response with "Dearest Doorknob," but I just didn't feel that this person was worth such formal letter composure.

Seriously, what about the details given typifies that the item could be anything other than authentic? Could it be that I didn't supply those magic words of assurance, "By the way, in case you are wondering, this is authentic. Really, it is!" Perhaps my "all sales are final" policy makes them weary. Sorry, folks, but I don't wish to do the tango with you. I just want some cash for some stuff that I no longer wish to have in my possession. Here's my general rule: The buyer shouldn't have to worry about returning items on account of the fact that I don't sell crap, nor items of questionable quality. Plus, the item is new... NEW, I say! Sealed, even!

As Charles Bronson said to the goombah choking on the poisoned cannoli in DEATH WISH V: THE FACE OF DEATH, "You got a problem?"

Behind Them Scenes: THE HOWLING

Joe Dante directs a werewolf...

Avco-Embassy Pictures, Inc., 1981
Directed by Joe Dante

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Great Quotations

Today's great quotation:

"All ye suckers who are gonna get trimmed, step this way for
the big swindle!"
- Groucho Marx as Hammer from THE COCOANUTS (1929)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Bad Combinations

Here we have two great, fun films packaged together. The hook here seems to be that they both have Harlem in the title. What MGM forgot was that HELL UP IN HARLEM is already the second half of another double bill, since it's the sequel to BLACK CAESAR. C'mon, MGM! You own both of these Larry Cohen / Fred Williamson features and they always belong together. Of course, COTTON COMES TO HARLEM has it's own continuation, too, COME BACK, CHARLESTON BLUE. But, that's a Warner Bros. property.
Calling Warner Archive...

Okay, this is not a bad pairing. Here we have two sports-related comedies, both produced by Kings Road Entertainment. TOUCH AND GO is an alright film, more of a light romantic comedy than anything and, well, I love me some FAST BREAK. So what's the problem? Obviously, it's the cover art. First of all, the quality is total dollar shop... hell, not even that good. (One can only imagine how great the transfers on the actual discs are.) The release, itself, is quite shoddy from a company no one knows and questionably legitimate, but just HOW do you miss the mark on marketing FAST BREAK? The actor pictured here is Harold Sylvester who is definitely a large part of the film, however, he is not the star. That would be Gabe Kaplan. Remember him? Well, they obviously don't. Add to the fact that this photo of Sylvester is not related at all to the film, in fact, it was probably taken around fifteen years later. So, there you have it. A double feature of sports-related comedies featuring two comedic titans, right? Seems like a slam dunk to me, but the powers involved either missed the shot or the clock ran out.

We have a winner! Never have I seen a worse combination of two films. One is an imaginative, highly entertaining epic directed by a master filmmaker. The other is an complete shit directed by and starring a master of exactly that. Someone owes John Carpenter an apologetic hug. This is an absolute disgrace.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bad Combinations

I grow tired of coming across abysmal studio "collections."
Whether they're double, triple or quadruple features, they really should make sense.
Here are a few that make me cringe...

Let me get this straight, you're taking a well-done slasher film and pairing it with a film from the GHOULIES franchise? Scratch that... a bastard film in the GHOULIES franchise?! Just because you own the rights to two different horror film properties doesn't make them two peas in a pod. For future reference, GHOULIES IV shouldn't be paired with anything, even GHOULIES GO TO COLLEGE.

Unless they mean this is a triple feature of three out of four films that are worth a shit, I'd say this would be a QUADRUPLE feature set.

Here's one of the more ridiculous combinations I've found. Yes, they're two cross-country race films and true enough that both of the CANNONBALL RUN features were inspired by THE GUMBALL RALLY, but wouldn't it make much more sense to make this a double bill of THE CANNONBALL RUN and CANNONBALL RUN II?! I'd understand if Warner didn't have distribution rights to the original film, but that's certainly not the case. The original is currently available via HBO Video ...WHICH WARNER BROS. OWNS!

Idealistically, there is nothing wrong with this arrangement of films, but the grindhouse thing is really getting old. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love those types of films (my heart lies in exploitation / genre cinema), however, since Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez breathed new life into the term, video companies have been cashing in on it ever since. I know, I know... exploitation begets exploitation, but, what's particularly lame is when distributors don't truly understand the definition of the term, such as exampled here. There's absolutely no such thing as a "drive-in grindhouse." Not only is the term contradictory, to say the least (it's very hard to park an automobile in an actual movie theater without breaking a few laws), but it makes very little sense when one knows the difference between the two forums. Grindhouse is a term for "hardtop" theaters that specialized in the exhibition of films which would normally go unseen anywhere else, including drive-ins. That's not to say that they wouldn't showcase drive-in style fare, but it certainly wasn't what they were known for. (Think early John Waters films, pornographic pictures, questionable arthouse, European sleaze & gore fests or basically anything on 42nd Street pre-Rudolph Giuliani killing all the fun.)

Keep an eye out for the next poorly advised double bill, THE DELTA FORCE plus MISSING IN ACTION 2: THE BEGINNING. As for BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION III, sorry, but you're shit out of luck since MGM doesn't own the rights to DELTA FORCE 3.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Great Quotations

Today's Great Quotation:

"I'm not going into an alley with you or anybody.
And, fuck The Wall Street Journal!"

- Robert Redford as Joseph Turner in
Sydney Pollack's THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR (1975)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Random Musings: Blah Dogs

Remember that classic scene in Sam Peckinpah's STRAW DOGS when Dustin Hoffman and Susan George went to an American football game and were harrassed while on their way to finding their seats?
Well, good news...
They seem to have done it justice in the 2011 remake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Random Musings: The Devil's Rain

Recently, I watched THE DEVIL'S RAIN again for the first time in years. (I'm thinking the last time had to be back in the TBS Nite Flix era.) This time around, one particular aspect of the film grabbed me which, for some reason, I had never noticed before...

Okay, everyone knows the story of how Tommy Lee Wallace bought a Don Post mask of Captain Kirk, then treated it for the Shape's look in John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN. The mask was chosen due to it's expressionless / emotionless vibe, but I wonder if there could have been another reason. Honestly, I doubt that there was, but when I saw this striking visual of a bedeviled William Shatner (pale with empty eye sockets and a head tilt, no less) in THE DEVIL'S RAIN (released three years prior to HALLOWEEN), the comparison to that of Michael Myers was ghoulishly uncanny...

Also, if I didn't know better, in the poster art (see above), it looks like Ernest Borgnine is chatting on a cell phone. 911, perhaps?

Monday, August 08, 2011

Marquee Chimps - Vol. 5

Our hamburgers are deee-licious! Available at our concession stand! Try one now!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Behind Them Scenes: THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972)

Hallmark/American-International, 1972
Directed by Wes Craven
Starring David Hess, Jeramie Rain and Fred Lincoln

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Monster Blurbs - Vol. 1

In the grand tradition of those great monster parodies of  the past (such as Cracked magazine's "Monster Party" and the "Monster Laffs" series of trading cards), comes this series dedicated (in love and jest) to our beloved cinematic ghouls of day gone by.
Without further ado, the first entry...

BLACULA (1972)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

DON'T eat the Jell-O pudding!

The porn industry has always been known for cashing in on a craze whether it be film or television related, but in recent years, there seems to be a major movement in creating such parodies. While, I haven't seen any of these, I can't help but be amused by both their audacity and creativity (so to speak) and one look at their cover art usually provokes a good laugh. It's as if The Asylum had an "adults only" wing.

This particular film, NOT THE COSBY SHOW (XXX) sparks the most interest in terms of taboo, since Bill Cosby would be outraged and, as much as I respect Cosby, that strikes me as pretty damn funny.

From the looks of this trailer, kudos to the cast and production for actually trying to make a worthwhile clone, porn or not.

Finally, Bill Cosby can detest another filmmaker after almost having an "ANGEL HEART attack," back in the late '80s, thanks to the great Alan Parker.

While we're at it, why not make LEONARD, PART 69?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Mel Brooks Day!

Mel Brooks turns 85 years young(?) today. What better way to celebrate than by watching one of my favorite Mel Brooks films? Well, I don't feel like it, really, on account of my watching one last week, unaware of his upcoming birthday, so I'll just pretend that I just watched it today.

That film being SILENT MOVIE, which like another of my faves (HIGH ANXIETY) is hugely underrated. Here are a few of my favorite captured visuals (oddly enough, none of which are from my favorite scene, the "Melon balls!" sequence with James Caan)...