Movie A Day!: Extra Oscar Lounge!

Another tough week of struggle out here in the west. Weather seems to be torturing us into death by being both too cold and then warm in the same day. I’ve felt like I’ve been coming down with a cold for the past two weeks. I think it’s the barometric pressure kicking my head in. I’m ready for winter to end.

056 02/26 The Extra Girl (1923) 2.5/5   Mabel Normand stars in this Mack Sennett comedy about a young woman who wins a contest to go to Hollywood for a chance to be a star after her rural parents refuse to allow her to marry her mechanic boyfriend. Lots of intrigue, not many laughs in this silent feature. Mabel was an incredible talent but this one doesn’t give her too much to do despite a plot that goes all over the place and allows her to do a bunch of stuff. It just never really works out aside for the chase sequence with the loose lion.

057 02-26 89th Academy Awards (2017) 3.5/5   The night we have all been waiting for! The one where the starving artists we enjoy on the big screen are finally fed via airdrops of food! It really is a beautiful sight, millionaires enjoying Jr. Mints. they really are just like us!. This one ended up being pretty good. Show moved about as quick as these things can, only one of the bits (tour bus) went on too long and there was an epic fuck up with the best picture award going to La La Land instead of Moonlight, so that was fun. I had no horse in the race so nothing stuck in my craw or had me orgasmic in delight. It was just a mostly nice show and Jimmy Kimmel did a good enough job as the host that I wouldn’t mind seeing him do it again.

058 02/28 Gilmore Girls Season 5 (2005) 3/5  I’ve reached the part in the series where old is new and I’m hitting the episodes I missed the first go round. This season was a let down from previous ones. Lorelai finally gets with Luke, and the writers do a thing where they turn Luke from the greatest guy/only decent guy on the show to a rage-aholic asshole. Rory is still in college and is now interested in Logan, a rich kid prick and it all makes the season a bit insufferable compared to the heady joys of season 3. It’s still good though since the performances and writing continues to stay true to the characters (aside from Luke), and while the Gilmores are floundering it gives space for Kirk and Lane to steal the show.

059 03/01 Color Me Blood Red (1965) 3/5   Herschell Gordon Lewis wraps up the “Blood Trilogy” with this one, a comedy about a bonkers painter who discovers that blood is the perfect colour of red and gets inspired. It’s basically a rip-off of the superior in every way Roger Corman film Bucket Of Blood (which is probably more famous for being the one that wrapped production in time for Corman to crank out the cult classic Little Shop Of Horrors over the 2 day weekend before he had to return the rental equipment), only on the cheap and with more gore effects. This one suffers from the typical Lewis corner cutting. Rather than stop the camera and doing a second set-up, he’ll do things like let it run while a second actor gets ready and then pan and focus to shoot them and it just slows the film down to a crawl. Which is saying something when the film is about 70 minutes long. There’s a reason why he’s considered a hack, and it already starts to show in this one. That said, it’s still fun, and I always watch it since it’s billed as the third film in the trilogy so my mental illness dictates that I have to watch it after Two Thousand Maniacs.

The weird thing watching the Blood Trilogy in this day and age is how chaste they are. I don’t think a single swear is uttered and despite Lewis and Friedman coming from the Nudie Cutie circuit there is no explicit nudity. There’s just buckets of gore all over the place. It’s probably what saved them from the censor to some degree. Still a fun watch even if they are dated, and Two Thousand Maniacs really is a classic. After Color Me Blood Red Lewis and Friedman will split up, but both will keep on making films on their own.

060 03/03 The Night Bird (1977) 2.5/5   The Night Bird is the hot underground disco club that was built for sex. This one was an odd hardcore title in that it plays like Saturday Night Fever meets Mean Streets. The first half is actually pretty good but it falls apart in the end. It sets up an emotionally cracking lead that never plays out, instead you get a never ending orgy sequence that is cut with disco dancing. The quality of this one is first rate so it’s a bummer it never gels into something more.

061 03/04 Something Weird (1967) 3/5
062 03/04 A Hot Night at the Go Go Lounge! (1966)2/5
An odd pair of Herschell Gordon Lewis cheapies. Something Weird is exactly as titled. A guy is electrocuted and ends up with psychic powers, joins a witch that tricks him… there’s murders as well… a guy gets attacked by his bed sheet… and I’m out. You can’t describe it. It’s a comedy, it’s a murder story, it’s psychic flim flam and an LSD scare film all at once. You have to see it to believe it. The craziest thing is it’s actually pretty accomplished in form compared to most of Lewis’s films.

A Hot Night at the Go Go Lounge! is a nudie short in which the first half seems to be footage from other films and the last half featuring surprisingly plain topless dancers. More of a curio as opposed to something worth seeking out.

I try to mix up what I watch, to find a balance, but I’m finding that the weeks are getting away from me so I end up not getting anything in other than genre films. I might have to take a time out to feed my brain.

Movie A Day!: 2000 Mountain Moonshine Slaves!

Another week of existing! This one is a short post. All the Oscar noms I planned to watch got watched last blog and this week saw me catching up on other things. The week was also a real pain in the ass. Why does everything have to seem so hard?

The day of this post sees the passing of Bill Paxton. One of those actors who was great in everything he did. Probably best known as James Cammeron’s scene stealing dependable  in Aliens and Titanic,  I recommend checking out his directorial debut Frailty, as well as A Simple Plan and Near Dark as they are my favourites. And Fish Heads, of course. I already miss him.

This adds up to this one being short and sleazy. Blame Vinegar Syndrome and Arrow Video. At least one of the films is a bonafide masterpiece.

053 02/19 The Love Slaves (1976) 3/5   A drug dealing syndicate is snatching up women to hypnotize into love slave assassins and detective John Leslie is on the case. Not a bad hardcore feature from Bob Chinn, it never really fully embraces its sleaziness and doesn’t convince as a drama so it ends up a little flat compared to others in the genre.

054 02/20 Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964) 4.5/5   Herschell Gordon Lewis follows up Blood Feast with his masterpiece, Two Thousand Maniacs! A group of Yankees get roped into the centennial celebrations of the southern town Pleasant Valley. It’s a rip on Brigadoon of all things, with the southerners wanting vengeance for Northern atrocities committed during the Civil War. It’s a gleeful mess of a film, with the infamous “Barrel Roll” scene being the height of ridiculous for any splatter film in the genre. An absolute must see.

055 02/22 Moonshine Mountain (1964) 2/5   Herschell Gordon Lewis does a hicksploitation with this one. A country singer travels to the mountains to get a feel for “real folk music”, gets all twisted up in moonshining shenanigans. It’s an absolute mess of a film that’s tonally flat out does not work. The southerners are all hick stereotypes and appear to be played for laughs. One of the girls characteristics is being sexually abused to the point that she’s practically mute, which is NOT funny, but not really depicted seriously either (despite a resolve near the end). Then there’s the bit in the last 3rd where shit is going down with the crooked sheriff that features a federal agent getting stomped to death and his body dumped in a still that is better fit for Two Thousand Maniacs since there is zero humour about it and despite editing is brutal to watch. None of it works with the usual Lewis knack of bad takes and stiff performances. With no gore or sleaze to heighten it, it ends up as a real patience tester of a failed comedy. If it’s supposed to be a comedy, Lewis says in the extras that he was asked to make a rip-off of Thunder Road, the moonshine hit with Robert Mitchum. This does not resemble that film at all.

That’s it for this week. I don’t have much to say. Last night a friend I haven’t seen in years do to a falling out contacted me out of the blue in separate straights wanting to borrow money. I don’t have it to give him. I don’t owe him anything, but it leaves a mixed, bad feeling of guilt and other things.

The world gets exhausting.

Movie a Day! : First Week of April

Almost caught up! I’m going to post two blogs this week. After that I will post a “weekly round up” style blog about the things I watch that week. I don’t know what else I’ll blog about. I’m trying to keep this impersonal. Who knows, maybe there will be a “Broken Record” post. (There will always eventually be a Broken Record venting post…)

Anyways….MOVIES! The first week of April I entered the world of Ron Burgundy, finished up a shitty Canadian cooking challenge show, traveled the woods with the demented pervo Jamie Gillis and ended up farty.

073 04-01 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) 2.5/5
That’s right, you are not seeing things. The title is in red since this is my first time seeing this. I’ve been told repeatedly that this film was funny and genius, so I’m going to guess that high expectations are the cause of me not caring for it. Ferrell is more miss than hit with me, and this one seemed to take about 40 minutes before actually getting funny. It’s not terrible, and it has a couple of great scenes, but everyone (aside from Steve Carell) outside of the main cast were more entertaining. When you cast Paul F Tompkins as the host of a cat fashion show, then only give him one line, you are making a mistake! Anyway, this one was missing the sharp satire that made “The Other Guys” and “The Campaign” so interesting.

074 04-02 Recipe to Riches Season 3 (2014) 1.5/5
Once again I get sucked into watching a stupid cooking competition show. I had seen ads for this one thinking it was a new series, only to discover it’s season three! What a disaster! Basic plot is, home cooks introduce sample foods that can become new products for Superstore to sell. The winner wins the largest prize in Canadian game show history: TWO SETS OF LEATHER LUGGAGE! The first half of each episode was the cooks having to batch up their selected food to commercial grade levels, which is a bunch of bullshit. How the hell are home cooks, with no commercial experience, expected to make 500 portions, with ingredient substitutions such as replacing the sweetener, in 3 hours? After that, the second half deals with who can market their dumb food better. I give absolutely zero fucks about marketing, so this show can go fuck itself. I’m giving it “.5” due to being Canadian so everyone is polite, and because it was only 6 episodes long.

075 04-04 Winter Heat (1976) 3.5/5
This is another “roughie” style porn from the “porno chic” era that’s paired up with the previously mentioned “Abduction of an American Playgirl” on Vinegar Syndrome’s “Peek-a-Rama” disc. This was the better picture, with the infamous Jamie Gillis heading the cast as the leader of a group of cabin squatters who come upon some girls and terrorize them. This one doesn’t play up humour and is more interesting for it. That said, the pat ending tends to undo everything.

076 04-05 Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) 3.5/5
Had lower expectations on this one since the first one didn’t exactly light a fire in me. It’s still pretty dumb (which isn’t a complaint), and some of the larger set pieces fall completely flat. This one though has a solid target to attack, 24 hour news, and it makes for a funnier and more interesting picture. That said, I think we’re good for Anchorman pictures.

077 04-06 Brian Posehn: The Fartist (2013) 3.5/5
It’s not hard to guess the topics discussed by Posehn on his latest stand-up special with a title like that. More nerd rage and catching up on his life, I don’t think it’s his funniest work, but it’s certainly some of his best stand-up, if that makes sense. (I’m currently loving his podcast “Nerd Poker” you should check it out.)

So there you have it. I picked up both Anchorman films in a two-fer blu-ray that also includes alternate cuts of both movies. I’ll get to those eventually. Are they actually worth watching? Anyone? Oh, I should of pointed out that I watched the Extended Editions instead of the the Theatricals on those Anchorman films. I think. Why the hell are there so many choices for these dumb movies?!?!?

Comedies, cooking shows and porn. I’m going to be forty this year…

The End