Hello! As you probably noticed, I like to use this stage to occasionally share my other projects with you. One thing I have been working on very hard lately is a band called GYROJETS with my friend Sam. We've been working on some songs that I think are and rockin' and with that little twinge of silly to maybe surprise people and make them laugh or smirk or fart or leave the building. ANYWAY, while we've been honing (AKA learning how not to fuck up) these songs, Sam and I will jam to loosen up or come up with new ideas. With hours and hours of these jams and musical bizareness on my hard drive, I decided to melt them down into something useable (and maybe listenable) and that's FYRSYDSCATS.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Franco Friday #41 - La Venganza del Doctor Mabuse
I guess you could call this an experiment in abstraction. Just a few days ago, I found out that Jess Franco had directed a Dr. Mabuse film. Then I found it on Youtube. Unfortunately, it was in Spanish with Italian subs. Luck smiled or rather farted at me when I used the "Translate Captions" feature to get some form of English subtitles out of it. Let's just say this is not the ideal way to watch Franco. Also, IMDB says this film is 100 minutes long. The version on Youtube is 64 minutes. *shrugs shoulders* My guess is that there is no 100 minute version but who friggin' knows? Anyway, here's what I saw and what I thought about it. *punches own face*
La Veganza del Doctor Mabuse
AKA Dr. M Schlägt Zu
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Fred Williams, Jack Taylor, Ewa Strömberg, Roberto Camardiel
A mad scientist (and devotee of the infmamus Dr. Mabuse) named Farkas (played by Jack Taylor) is using some mad science to steal stuff, kidnap foxy ladies and program them to do his bidding, and get revenge, etc. With the help of his assistant Leslie (Beni Cardoso) and his mute and monstrous manservant Andros (Moises Augusta Rocha), he intends to build and army and take over the world, maybe. A fast-talking striptease artist named Jenny Paganini (Ewa Strömberg) witnesses Andros kidnapping a woman and reports it to Inspector Thomas (Fred Williams), who dresses like a cowboy. Farkas sends his minions out to capture Jenny.
At the same time, Inspector Thomas uses Jenny as bait to capture the criminals but he loses her when his partner's shitty car breaks down. Leslie and Andros bring Jenny to Farkas's hideout in an abandoned lighthouse. Aww! Andros is sweet on Jenny. His one good eye likes what it sees. A drunken fisherman (played by Roberto Camardiel) catches a pair of panties in the river and takes them to the inspector. He has had his suspicions about the place and those panties confirm them!
Farkas hypnotizes Jenny and sends her out after Professor Parkinson (played by Ángel Menéndez). He uses her to hypnotize Parkinson so that he will cease research on some radioactive moon rocks. Then Farkas sends Andros and a safe-cracker out to steal the moon rocks for his evil plan. He also orders Andros to murder Dr. Orloff (Siegfried Lowitz), Parkinson's colleague. When Inspector Thomas's lady friend -who also happens to be Dr. Orloff's daughter- discovers Orloff's body, Andros kidnaps her. When Farkas finds out, he is more than happy to use her in his dastardly vague plan as well.
Dr. Mabuse? Yeah, right! This is a Dr. Orloff film through and through with some nice spaghetti western sets mixed in for some dang reason. Andros is such a Morpho! Here's another one of those crazy Franco flicks aimed at the easy-to-please "Saturday afternoon timewasters" demographic, filmed and thrown together very quickly. You know I can dig that. As usual, Manuel Merino's camerawork provides lots of fun camera angles that give this film some style with no budget at all. The score is bright and jazzy but it sounds like it was taken from other, older films.
La Vengenza del Doctor Mabuse moves along at a great clip thanks in part to the short running time but really, this is just meant to be a silly sci-fi potboiler for kids with short attention spans. Ewa Strömberg is insanely cute in this one and seems to be having a blast portraying Jenny, a hyper airhead. She's rocking a brunette wig, hotpants, and fringe go-go boots like it was nobody's business. The rest of the cast also seem to be having a pretty good time on this one. I would love to see La Venganza on DVD sometime as it is an easy watch. However, it might be a little too brisk in this 64 minute version to warrant multiple viewings. This is an international incident of weirdness!
Against the wind!
Late to the Rockwell video shoot.
That's not the Culligan Man!
This is all the pussy you get in this movie.
Yo VIP, let's kick it.
Did you jiggle the handle?
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
So what the hell? Where's the book? Well, I'm almost there, believe it or not! I have decided to put an end to this book once I hit 13 moviethons or 13 chapters. So that only leaves two movie marathons and I will be ready to start the editing phase and then the finding a publisher or finding a venue to publish this shit on my own. In my head I'm all like, what do I need a publisher for? I can do this shit myself! Here you go, here's my free book! Woot woot!
But I have promised my wife and myself that I will indeed pursue a real publisher who would be interested in my cinematic journey. My worry is that a publisher might not want a surreal cinematic diary that is half film review and half stream of consciousness rambling. So why even try? But hey, I'm an optimistic guy or at least I used to be. So whatever, I'll see if there are any nibbles. One way or another, Giallo Meltdown is coming. I promise.
So what other moviethons are coming? Certainly there must be other moviethons that aren't giallo-related, right? There are! I swear that it's true. In September, there is a Friday the 13th and I intend to watch every Friday the 13th film in a row. This one will likely be a vlog like The Freddy Cougar Moviethon. Yeah, that's gonna be crazy. I also have a disco moviethon coming up that will probably not be interesting to anyone but me. I am obsessed with disco and especially disco movies so there will be some really odd titles in there. You'll see.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Franco Friday #40 - Demoniac
As far as milestones go, I think reaching my 40th Jess Franco review isn't too bad. Of course, it's actually my 39th since my friend Nafa wrote one. But you know what, so what? Happy anniversary to me. Anyway, today is the first day of my vacation and I chose to spend the first hour and a half of it on some Franco via VHS. No one can stop me because no one cares to. Jess Franco as a serial killer? Sign me up! What could possibly go wrong?
AKA L'eventreuer de Notre-Dame
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Lina Romay, Catharine Lafferiere, Jess Franco, Nadine Pascal, Pierre Taylou, Roger Germanes
Jess Franco plays Mathis Vogel, a defrocked priest and madman who believes that it is his duty to help sexy young women repent for their sins. Not too surprisingly, thanks to the release date of this film and the idiocy of the audience (myself included), the only way to do this is at the end of his switchblade. Idiotic cops are on his trail but they are stupid dumb idiots stupids who are too stupid and too dumb to stop him. Vogel writes about his crimes and has them published by an erotic magazine published by some guy named Pierre (Pierre Taylou). He falls for Pierre's secretary, a swingin' happy-go-lucky gal named Anne (Lina Romay), and decides that he must save her soul as well.
My plan has backfired. You see, when I decided to watch the Erotikill version of Female Vampire (see the results here), I found enough accidental magic to have myself a gay old time (that means "a happy time", by the way). I was hoping the same thing would happen with Demoniac, a bastardized version of Exorcism. In a (presumably) shrewd move, Franco filmed a couple more murder scenes and some shots of his character attempting to repent for his sins six years after Exorcism was released and cut them in to make the film into a body count flick. Well, it worked! That's why this version is so famous and moviegoers the world over always have a fondness or perhaps -dare I say it- an orgiastic love of Demoniac.
Of course, I'm lying. No one gives a triple shit or a tin fuck about this boring ass garbage. It took me over three hours to sit through this 79 minute bullshit. I took a nap and a lunch break just to get through this nightmare. So what did I like about it? Well, as you probably have figured out by now, I can sit through most any Euro-garbage. All of the scenes with the cops in this movie are great semi-intentionally funny droll comedy gold. The scene wherein a poor, innocent (and insanely sexy) hooker comes on to Vogel was pretty good. It ends with him calling her a hussy and stabbing her to death but hey, that's life in the big city. Finally, the best thing about this movie is that the continuity goes right out the window whenever they cut between the 1975 footage and the 1981 footage because Franco not only looks older but also has a terrific mullet (hair extensions?) in the new footage versus his long hair in the older. This movie could have been saved by more nightclub dancing sequences.
"Nothing's wrong! NOTHING'S WRONG! Take off your pants!"
Final note: You'll probably be seeing a review of Exorcism down the line. It has to be better than this.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
When I decided to put together a list of every movie I saw in theaters during my senior year of high school, I thought it was going to be this huge list. Then I remembered that I spend many, many nights going out to see bands play. Damn you, ska music. Damn you to hell. Look at what you did to my cinematic life. I'll never get that time back. Boo hoo. Maybe I'll expand this one day to cover all of my high school movies, rentals included. Maybe. So anyway, here's what I say IN THEATERS during that wonderful 9 months. Enjoy.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Believe it or not, this was a first date with a girl I was dating at the time. I was a virgin to the Rocky experience, so I got humiliated on stage for my date and her weird friends who had all been there before. Of course, I loved the whole atmosphere of the event but I still think this movie should be watched alone not with a group of people. They might see you cry when Columbia dies. More on this.
This was an odd night. Believe it or not, the same girl I saw Rocky Horror with also accompanied me to see this trash. Our relationship lasted two weeks. Two glorious weeks. I re-watched this one recently and I couldn't believe how forcefully sleazy this is. Was anyone really offended by this shit? Does anyone even remember it?
Talk about crowd pleasers! I saw this flick probably on opening night with a theater full of people that were lovin' what Stallone and Snipes were dishing out. And surprisingly, this film has aged pretty well and is still a lot of fun unlike the hideous Judge Dredd.
This movie had a brilliant marketing campaign. Let's take all these rockers and team them up with all these rappers for the soundtrack. Brilliant! Oh crap, why is the theater empty? I do remember enjoying this film (and being one of the only people in the theater) but the real draw was the soundtrack. Rap and rock... Who knew? So revolutionary.
Addams Family Values
I gotta tell ya, I really love both Addams Family movies. I was horrified and wanted to crawl under my seat when MC Hammer's contribution to the soundtrack was pumping throughout the theater. The phrase "What the fuck am I doing here?" did fade thanks to the comedy. And this film is a grower, damn it. My wife and I watch this a lot.
Penelope Ann Miller? Ugh. Al Pacino? Argh. Now don't get me wrong, I thought this movie was so great when it came out. It's good shit and I'd probably enjoy it now. But honestly, Penelope Ann Miller's character in this is so infuriating. And I can never go back to liking Al Pacino. I just can't. I'd rather watch Addams Family Values again. Sorry.
The Pelican Brief
I remember literally one thing about seeing this film and that's me saying: "One for Pelican Brief, please."
This is complicated. I went and saw this with several friends. We were all pretty ruined by this very sad and moving film. Our gay friend was particularly freaked out and understandably so. This was the first Hollywood film (of my generation at least) to say, "Hey everybody, AIDS is real." So the funny part about seeing this movie is my friend really hated that "Streets of Philadelphia" song by Bruce Springsteen so we were heckling the song. Just the song. Not the movie. Ah whatever, I'm going to hell.
Wayne's World 2
I wanted to like this so much. I was 14 or 15 when the first Wayne's World came out and it became one of my all time favorites. This film had a couple of funny moments but was just a hideous Aerosmith commercial.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
This was pretty much a total riot from beginning to end. The moment Ace Ventura -disguised as a disgruntled UPS delivery guy- steps into frame, it was magic. Looking back on it, I could say something like "Oh, I was just immature. Of course that kind of a movie would appeal to me." But you know what? If I watched this now, I'd still crack up.
I hated this movie so much that I got up, walked out, and bought a ticket for...
Yep, that's right. I walked out of Reality Bites and right into Schindler's List. It had been a bad night. I had a first date with a girl who told me to take her home less than an hour into the date. So at least I finished with a powerful film experience. I saw something bigger than my sheltered, suburban experience.
What the fuck? Why did I go see this? Only the sheer boredom of youth could explain this bullshit. Or maybe I rented it. Dunno.
Naked Gun 33⅓
This was a major, major disappointment.
I didn't actually see this until after graduation so technically I'm cheating a little here. I was visiting relatives in Great Falls, Montana and managed to catch this at the town's only theater. Even though I never got paid to be a babysitter, I was looking after some younger distant cousins ON MY VACATION and ended up watching this damn garbage.
Saw this at the dollar theater and loved it. Ray Liotta, what happened? Anyway, I bet this movie is still awesome.
Here's another dollar theater viewing that was quite funny. I haven't seen this since this first viewing but holy crap, at the time, I loved this movie. I remember yelling at this judgmental bitch who flipped out during the threesome sequence. She seriously was like "Oh my God! How can they show this?!?!" and I told her to shut the hell up. It was the 90s and I considered myself a very tolerant human being. I also had a huge chip on my shoulder. I once yelled at a guy for having his kid on one of those kid leashes but that's a different story.
I saw this with my high school girlfriend. We were together for six whole months! That's marriage in high school terms. Anyway, I took my feisty lady to see this, the most emo-goth friggin' movie ever filmed, and she melted like butter. We were -I wish I was kidding- crying and declaring our undying love for each other the rest of the night. Sigh.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Despite some interference from one of the microphones in the first ten minutes (don't worry it goes away), Brad and I think this episode could be the greatest episode of any podcast ever made. Or it's just our new episode. Hello! This is the Doomed Show likes you. Enjoy. Also, we talk about Jess Franco's Eugenie de Sade and The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff. We also get a little spoilery but it's okay. It's all going to be okay.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Franco Friday #39 - Un Silencio de Tumba
Hey kids. I had a tough time locating this one but that poster art had me hooked. So I ordered this one from jolly old England. Can you believe that? They finally have DVDs in the place where all Americans, no matter what nationality their forefathers or foremothers came from, are from. We were all born British. Deal with it. Foremothers isn't really a word. That's pretty sexist.
Un Silencio de Tumba
Directed by Jess Franco
Alberto Dalbes, Glenda Allen, Mario Alex, Montserrat Prous, Kali Hansa
ZDD Visual Media
A bunch of socialite and movie industry jerks just wrapped up production on a shitty spaghetti western and are on a boat headed for a remote island to have a little vacay. Valerie (played by Montserrat Prous) hates them all. You see, Valerie is the sister of Annette (Glenda Allen) and she can't stand the vacuous bitch. She has watched her sister throw herself at various men and destroy their lives. Not even the birth of her son, that Valerie raises like it was her own, has slowed Annette down. While everyone is partying like idiots, the child is kidnapped. When the threatening notes and ransom demands turn into acts of murder and every possible route of escape from the island is cut off, Valerie turns to Juan (Alberto Dalbes) the only man she believes she can trust.
Well, color me surprised. This is a side of Franco I didn't expect to see. This is Franco working as close to the giallo genre as I've ever seen. I don't think Franco ever did anything as obvious as having a killer don a pair of black gloves and go a slashing with a straight razor but this does the trick, for sure. The opening song is haunting, beautiful, and downright depressing. The rest of the score is discordant and brooding and serves the material well. Even though my copy is a tad muddy, I can see the cinematography of Javier Perez Zofio shining through.
I love this cast save for one: The little kid actor isn't really what you might call... an actor. He looked like an unnaturally happy and blond kid-sized mannequin. Luckily, his screen time is very brief. I really dig Montserrat Prous. She is able to play these haunted characters very well. Her big eyes look so sad. Aww, poor baby! Alberto Dalbes is great as always. He is our go-to European stud with way more charisma than good looks.
Kali Hansa is very intriguing as Laura, the- um, housekeeper, I guess. She looks less mannish and more exotic than she did in The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff. Her suspicious glances are the stuff that dreams are made. Suspicious dreams. One actress that can't help but stick out is Yelena Samarina. She plays Vera, the photographer chick, and I wish she had a bigger part. You can see her suicide jaw in other Franco flicks like Daughter of Dracula and Night of the Skull but I know her best from Murder Mansion.
If you ever doubted Franco's abilities as a filmmaker, look at the nail-biting climax of this film and you'll see a capable and confident duder at work. The guy could make a solid thriller and he really makes the most of a measly budget, a beautiful location, and a handful of capable actors in Un Silencio de Tumba. There is lots of dread in the air and a quiet menace throughout this flick. I can't help but recommend that you go for it, you crazy Francophiles.
"Poor, innocent Valerie, the only decent person in this shit-hole. I have to kill you as well."
Monday, April 22, 2013
My friend Nafa called me on Saturday and gave me a one word review of this film.
He said: "Kinetic."
I really don't know what to say about The Lords of Salem other than I highly recommend it because I don't want to spoil ANYTHING. Horror fans, if it's playing in your city, check it the fuck out. I think missing this one on the big screen would be a big mistake. Yesterday morning, at the theater, Rob Zombie raped my senses for 101 minutes and I left wanting more. I have been a Rob Zombie fan since Halloween II bashed my face in back in '09 and I had high hopes for this film. This film is a cross between Dario Argento's Inferno, Juan López Moctezuma's Alucarda, The Sentinel (1977), and a Windows 95 screensaver.
This film feels like a companion piece to Ti West's The House of the Devil but it goes way, way out of its way to get under your skin. One thing that Rob Zombie does is try too hard and I appreciate that. Everyone should do that. My best friend Scott once brewed a pot of coffee using caffeinated water instead of normal water. God knows that turned out well. I also noticed a big visual reference to Fulci and some dream logic that would have made The Godfather of Gore and Argento scratch their heads.
I wanted something that wasn't a remake and I got it. I wanted something that wasn't "found footage" and I got it. I wanted something smart, crazy, over-the-top, nauseatingly sexy, and blasphemous. Okay, maybe blasphemy wasn't really that high on my list but I sure as shit got more than I knew what to do with. Like I was saying, RZ always tries too hard and he bends over backwards to offend (as the directors of many a possession/Satanic-themed horror tale have done in the past) devout sensibilities. If you're easily offended by the site of Sheri Moon Zombie's butt then avoid this at all costs.
(This is where it happened.)
It is still hard for me to believe that "select cities" meant Tampa and it also meant, my theater: AMC Veterans 24 out on Anderson Road. It was an overcast and muggy day (unlike the above photo) and it was nice to sit in the cool darkness with Rob Zombie's feverish brain. Hopefully, The Lords of Salem will go nationwide so my homey Brad can go see it. Veterans 24 is an interesting theater. It has the feel of the theaters of my youth but also has the impossible danger of being in the flight path of Tampa International Airport which is disturbingly nearby. Yikes. Thanks to the Final Destination movies, I have some terrible scenarios in my head every time I watch a film there.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Brad and I are finally famous or forgotten or folk heroes or frappuccinos or funky fresh. We made it to episode 30. We are talking about three 1981 slashers: The Burning, The Prowler, and Happy Birthday To Me. Enjoy the episode and we'll make 30 more of them. Probably.
Listen to it right here.