Click here for the first part of this badly-written bullshit.
People gathered in the lobby and were told once again by Aero volunteers about the present situation; the Aero people were told this street work was supposed to happen last weekend, so they complied and made sure to have everything done at the theater by the proper time. Except it wasn't supposed to be for last weekend, it's supposed to be this weekend -- and apparently while we were enjoying the first two films, things got pretty heated between The City & SoCal Edison and Grant & the Aeronauts, as each side fought, one to close the Aero down for the night, the other to keep it running; the police were contacted and even legal action (like, lawsuits & lawyers) was brought up. But unfortunately, nothing could be done because the Aero people were dealing with "cocksuckers". Someone in the crowd yelled "Occupy Aero!" and we laughed. Oh, how we laughed.
We were then told that we could return the following Saturday at 11pm (following their Verbinski'd screening of Rango) with our ticket stubs and catch the rest of the movies -- and perhaps because of Daylight Savings Time ending, we might even get an extra movie out of the deal. Just then, a man entered with a stack of pizzas, like he was delivering for the McCallisters or something; Feel free to help yourself to the rest of the snacks and coffee before leaving, they told us. The pizza was gone in a couple of minutes, and even those who scored had to survive a Japanese subway crush of people to get to it.
I went to my car and just as I was about to turn the ignition, I was hit with yet another pre-Beetis urge to take a piss, so I went back to the Aero to use their facilities. That move saved me some gas money and a follow-up trip to the Aero, because it turns out that the Horrorthon was going to continue as planned. I don't know what happened, but in the end, They were gonna let us have our movie marathon. One of the volunteers ran out into the sidewalk to try to get people back in and tell them everything was all good again.
I decided to grab a snack before going back to my seat, so I went to the lobby, and it was there that I spotted Phoebe the Dog's human, Ms. Lauren P. Henderson (of "New Adventures of Wonder Woman" fame). She's one of the 2 or 3 people who read this blog, and I foolishly decided to go up and give her my thanks -- because I'm genuinely appreciative of that kind of thing, and because I needed to remind myself why I shouldn't talk to new people. Sometimes you have to show people that you are indeed a badass motherfucker who is not to be trifled with, you gotta show these muthas that you are indeed Hard and a tough guy, and that is why I made sure to hold my chocolate chip mini-muffin in her direct sight as we talked (speaking of mini-muffins...). Because that's how gangstas roll -- clutching a chocolate chip mini-muffin like a fuckin' BOSS.
Considering how I handled myself during our brief chat, it was only fitting that the third movie of the night was The Pit, about a douchebag creepy creep creep who creeps out everyone else with his creepy douchebaggery and probably smells bad too. It was projected from a DVD, and at first, the movie's soundtrack consisted of some depressed Russian guy doing the dialogue for all the characters, but then someone switched it back to the original English audio.
Our main character, Creepy McCreeperson, has just entered puberty, adding to the fresh Clearasil, dirty socks, and sticky jism vibe. I'm perfectly fine judging him because we see enough of this dude to know he's off in a bad way; I'm usually sympathetic to characters with no friends, but not this one. He's just a fuckin' weirdo who stares at librarians through windows, doing some pre-Photoshop picture work by putting pictures of women he knows on top of photos of naked women, and various other pre-jerkoff-session shenanigans, and his parents are just putting up blinders to it all, probably because they're drunks (at least the mother gave me that vibe, like she had a shot or two before every scene). That's probably why they make the dumb choice of hiring a young shapely college student to babysit him, rather than some old bag he can't get all stiff in the pants over (and even then, who knows). You'd think they would know better.
The only friend Creepy has is a stuffed teddy bear (as opposed to an empty one), and fuck, I guess I can't fault him for that. Back when I was about 6 or 7, I was such a little girl that I asked my parents for a Teddy Ruxpin doll, because I saw some fuckin' commercial where a boy took it to school and all the kids were like OH WOW THIS GUY'S THE FUCKIN' MAN. Because my father is such a good person, rather than beat the fuck out of me until I started liking football (LIKE A MAN), he actually bought the doll for me and then I took the Teddy Ruxpin doll to school. God must've been giving half-a-shit that day, because in a gracious moment of mercy, He did not damn me to a long, sadistic day of mocking and alienation from my fellow classmates. Believe it or not, they were tripping out on the fuckin' thing.
But Creepy isn't so lucky; he gets shit on by the cool kid in his class and some Lucy from Peanuts/Harriet from Small Wonder type in his neighborhood. Even an old lady in a wheelchair is like Fuck You, Creepy, Outta My Face. They want nothing to do with him and whenever he gets too close, they either yell at him for being his creepy-ass self or punch him in his greasy face. Then he goes home and talks to his doll and writes loving messages on the bathroom mirror while his babysitter is trying to take a shower. Oh, and he also heads out to this fuckin' scary pit in the middle of the woods and talks to whatever is in there. He says they're "trolologs" or something, and every time he mentions them, a couple people in the audience would start to sing that Trololo song, and that was certainly a lot funnier than the fart sounds coming from the back corner of the theater during every film AND THEY ALWAYS GOT A LAUGH. ALWAYS. Evidently, you'll never go wrong with making haphazardly-placed fart sounds with your mouth during a film, never. I bet you that the guy responsible for those comic nuggets of gold went home content and satisfied with himself. Then he shat himself. Because I believe in happy endings.
Anyway, half of this movie would've made a good psycho-mystery about whether or not those creatures living in the pit are real, and not just a figment of his lonely, sexually-frustrated imagination -- except the filmmakers kinda give up their tell with the opening scene. I'm guessing it wasn't meant to open that way, with a scene we're gonna watch pretty much in its entirety later on anyway: Creepy shoving a bully into the pit to get promptly eaten by the Trololololololols. Oh yeah, didn't I tell you? They eat meat; at least that's what Creepy finds out after noticing how fussy they are with the chocolates he's been feeding them. Yup, homecreep eventually finds out that these creatures aren't godless vegan liberals, they love some good ol' red meat, and after trying to satisfy them with stew cuts from the local butcher shop, he's out of cash. Lucky for him, he does have a steady line of Bad People in the neighborhood, and if he can somehow get them to follow him to the woods....
This was such a weird and creepy movie, even the sense of humor is creepy. It's as if the movie was written and directed by the main character himself, like maybe he's telling his life story, and that's why we have such an askew sense of humor and a point-of-view that appears to favor the unsympathetic lead. In that way, it's very much like a Victor Salva film, only, you know, the director of this movie merely fed people to man-eating monsters, while Salva did...that other thing.
Having said that, The Pit was very entertaining; you just can't help but laugh at it all -- and the fucked up thing is that sometimes I found myself laughing with it. Also, I was very unnerved by the fact that not only did I not see the victims get eaten after falling in the pit with the Trolologs, I didn't hear them screaming either -- but you certainly heard some OM NOM NOM-ing going on. It's different from hearing people scream bloody murder as they're bloodily murdered and chomped on in other movies; perhaps the victims were in complete shock during that, and that's why they didn't make any noise. It certainly wasn't because the director didn't give a shit, he knew what he was pulling.
Later on in the film, after a particular character gets The Pit treatment, the film treats us to shock-cut inserts of jagged teeth clamping down on twitchy, bloody flesh and limbs. It's already bad enough that we're shocked by this sudden R-rated shit happening in what previously felt like a PG-rated joint -- it's even worse because it was happening to someone I certainly didn't want to see get treated like one of my daily Wendy's double combos. And to think, all of this shit could've been avoided if the fuckin' Internet was easily available back then -- Creepy would've been too busy spanking it to his Photoshopped porn, rambling in his movie blog, or chatting with like-minded creeps online to be fuckin' with some Trolologs.
The fourth film of the evening was Videodrome, directed by David Cronenberg (definitely on my list of Filmmakers Who Own The Fuck Out Of The Cinematic Arts). Man, what can I say about this film that hasn't already been said many times over! Goddamn, what a fuckin' movie. I'd like to think that the lack of asshole fart noises by the Panama Hat Group in the back corner was a sign of how much they were getting straight up Owned by this 87-minute exercise in 35mm Awesome. Or maybe they were too bored to bother and thought it sucked. Well, they're wrong -- it is they who are the sucky ones.
James Woods is too badass to play a Canadian, but whatever, there he is, playing Toronto-residing motherfucker Max Renn; he runs a small-time television station that specializes in big-time titties. I guess those Canadians are too hardcore to be fazed by the programming, so Renn's out looking for some harder-core softcore. Well, he finds it in the form of a pirated broadcast called "Videodrome" that consists of people getting whipped, beaten and killed. Soon, Renn finds himself really getting into all this staged snuff that is obviously fake -- or is it? DUN DUN DUN.
Deborah Harry plays this chick who hosts a radio show, and after appearing on a talk show with Renn, they hit it off and BAM -- she's cutting herself and putting out cigarettes on her tit in front of him. She didn't even wait until the third date to introduce that shit. She's into the rough stuff, and after watching Videodrome, she decides that she has to be on that fuckin' show. She knows what she wants, this one; if she wants to get on a television show where people get whipped to shit and strangled to death, fine. If she wants to have James Woods stick needles through her earlobes, okay. But I draw the line at her only using one side of her headphones while working the radio show -- it's a call-in show, not some fuckin' DJ turntable-spinner hour. Use both of the motherfuckers.
There's this other character named Brian O'Blivion, and I'm assuming he's kinda based on that Canuck fuck from Annie Hall who told that asshole in the movie theater to stop acting like he knows him. Because some of the stuff they talk about in Videodrome is similar to the stuff he wrote about in real life. Anyway, it's kinda cool to watch this guy (and that McLuhan motherfucker) talk all this mad shit about television being the retina to the mind's eye, like it's part of our fuckin' being. Because it's not so far off from what ended up happening in real life -- only it wasn't the television screen that we fuckin' melded with, it's computers. We're practically 24/7 hooked into our laptops, iPads, and iPhones. It's gotten to the point that we get all fucked up and discombobulated if we leave home without any of that shit. You'd think we left the house without our pants on -- no motherfucker, it's just a phone, you'll get by.
We've created avatars and new identities online ("O'Blivion was not the name I was born with...soon all of us will have special names"); and some poor bastards even find themselves pulling a total fuckin' O'Blivion by only communicating through the Interwebs -- where it really matters, as opposed to human interaction. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook. OK fine, some of them create blogs too.
The shit's Criterion status, so like I said, EVERYONE has written/spoken about this tight flick. I feel I can't add anything to this, I can't continue beating a dead horse in honor of this fuckin' awesome movie. Plus, part of the fun is in just watching this story unfold and boggle your shit up something awful while you pretty much experience the same mindfuckery that Woods' character is going through. Cronenberg's relentless and downright cruel in the way he Just Doesn't Give A Fuck about how you're taking this all in, because you're taking it, bitch -- all of it.
It would be interesting to see how you'd update this film in remake-happy Hollywood nowadays (please don't, though); VHS and Betamax would have to be replaced by...DVD and Blu-rays? Shit, those are physical mediums, even those motherfuckers are halfway out the fuckin' door in 2011. It'd be tough to go digital with Videodrome. Would it even work out without the twisted sight of a slimy, fleshy, pulsating cassette being jammed into a dude's chest vagina? Yeah, you heard me: Chest Vagina. And that shit pales in comparison to the fuckin' skin-covered bionic gun that fires CANCER BULLETS at people. Just typing those words gives me the shivers. I'd rather get shot by Wildey any fuckin' day of the week.
I take it back; Canadians are too hardcore sometimes -- Cronenberg, specifically. I guess when you live in a country where basic health care is free, you don't worry as much about how you're gonna pay for that shit. So, as a result of having nothing to worry about, you find yourself with plenty of time to entertain crazy thoughts of guns that fire bullets that create instant tumors in your body. Goddamn, Canada. Fuck you and your poutine.
Oh, and that Jamaican eye doctor is, like, one of the best movie characters ever -- and he's only in the movie for ten seconds. He's got that strange foreign-tinged way of speaking that leaves a motherfucker confused whether this guy is being laid-back & funny or straight-up passive-aggressive towards your ass.
Film number five was Alice Sweet Alice (originally titled Communion, but the Aero's print was titled Holy Terror), starring Brooke Shields, or at least that's how they've always sold it, when in reality she's only in the first 15 minutes or so. Our Brooke plays a sweet girl named Karen, and life isn't so easy for her because she has a terrible sister played by that rhythm box chick from Liquid Sky. So it's Karen's First Communion, or at least that was the idea, because instead Karen ends up getting murdered by someone in a raincoat and mask, and since Rhythm Box Chick also happens to enjoy wearing a raincoat and mask while being a douche, well, I guess that narrows it down for us, suspect-wise.
God, there are so many punchable faces in this flick -- or maybe it's not so much the faces as it's the extreme angles used when framing the faces. It's probably a little of both; I mean, they cast this painfully obese gentleman in the role of a disgusting piece-of-shit kid-toucher type. Motherfucker is plopped down on his bed or couch, eating what is either tuna or cat food from the can, and he has huge stains on the crotch of his pants. Such is his grossness, that piss stains would the best case scenario as to what's going on down there. But it's not just that, it's also the voices and whining and screaming all throughout. They don't necessarily do anything particularly annoying, they just fuckin' are -- they have the Annoying aura about them.
Which is too bad, because this is, for the most part, a well-made film (albeit a little too slow at times) with some definite Hitchcock influences in the camera work; My favorite scene takes place in an abandoned building, it's suspenseful and all that, and it ends with an inventive angle that makes me wonder if Sam Raimi ever caught this flick back in the day. The overall giallo-ish feel reminded me of something like Don't Torture A Duckling, only this distant cousin of a film would be titled Don't Act Like A Whore or something, only with way too much dumb crying by yentas and ineffectual men who might as well toss their balls into the collection plate next Sunday.
Because of shit like that, I couldn't help but laugh most of the time. Or who knows, maybe it was just the early morning hour and free M&M-induced sugar crash getting to me. Perhaps I'll give it another day in court sometime in the future, I don't know. All I know is that a scene where someone gets stabbed a bunch of times -- with scary Stabby Stab Stab music -- probably shouldn't be as hilarious as it came off here. Hey, maybe that's why the director went on to make the slasher spoof Pandemonium; some executive watched bits & pieces of this movie and figured Alfred Sole was the guy for the job, having already made a pretty funny murder joint.
As the sun began to rise, we watched our final film of this year's horrorthon: Just Before Dawn (the extended U.K. cut), directed by Jeff Lieberman, the guy behind Blue Sunshine (which I really dug) and Squirm (one of the rare MST3K'd movies that was actually pretty good). Here you have that bad Gregg Henry driving into the mountains with his bud Jack Lemmon's Son, a couple of special lady-friends, and a fifth wheel dork (the kind of guy the other ladies probably call "harmless"). Henry's character owns some land up there and they're gonna go camping, which again makes me bring up the fifth wheel guy; WHY would you go on a camping trip with two couples, and WHY would two couples want to invite a single dude? Sounds pretty sadistic, if you ask me. They just want to torture the poor guy while they get hot & heavy in front of him. Man, I thought you were his friends.
It's cool though, because in comes Chattanooga Choo Choo's own George Kennedy with his burly borderline-albino ass. He's the park ranger in these here parts, and he pretty much tells them to go back to fuckin' Starbucks -- oh wait, they didn't have Starbucks back in 1981 -- I mean, go back to fuckin' Chock Full o'Nuts and forget all about camping out here, because the wilderness is an arena for Men, not a group of high-school characters with post-collegiate haircuts. They don't listen.
See, maybe if Gregg Henry and Jack Lemmon's Son watched the first five minutes of this film, they'd understand. But they didn't, so they have no image of some poor hunter getting a machete through the dick to use as a frame of reference for what they're dealing with. And what are they dealing with? Some guy who looks like an evil, mutated version of Damon Packard's character from Reflections of Evil and acts like a crazed, inbred mountain man with a thirst for blood. Probably because he *is* a crazed, inbred mountain man with a thirst for blood.
You know, I just realized that of all the films to pick from George Kennedy's wide body of work a couple paragraphs ago, the first one that popped into my head was fuckin' Chattanooga Choo Choo. What the fuck.
Anyway, I liked this one. It's considered a slasher movie, but it felt a lot more like Deliverance or Southern Comfort to me, making this joint a solid entry in the Stay Away From The Green Ghetto sub-genre. It's got a couple of good scares mixed in with all the tense shit going on, and I liked how Brad Fiedel's score was hardly used; instead the filmmakers went with the psychological approach by having the majority of the soundtrack taken up by the sounds of nature, rather than the expected emotion-manipulating Run Run Run Kill Kill Kill music. It's been almost a week, so my memory is hazy, but I don't remember there being much blood in the entire film, with the obvious exception of the opening scene crotch-stab. I also dug how even though the characters are the usual slasher movie types -- Alpha Male, Party Guy, Easy Chick, Demure Final Girl, Nerd -- they're not as paper-thin as their labels might suggest.
You have these city kids showing up with their RV and their loud music, and one of them thinks it's all good because he has a piece of paper that says he owns the land, but that doesn't mean a goddamn thing. Ownership or not, this place ain't their backyard; they're just visitors, and they're not only dealing with Crazy Inbred Mountain Man, but with your usual nutty backwoods family as well -- I'm talking a family comprised of cousin/wives and daughter/cousins -- and they don't give a shit what that document says. Probably because they can't even read what the fuck it says. But I bet that even if they could read it, they still wouldn't give a fuck.
And so, the 6th Annual Dusk-to-Dawn Horrorthon came to a close. We got up, stretched, and stuffed our pockets with what remained of the mini-muffins and Worx Energy shots on the table in the lobby -- and by We, I mean Me, of course. Then I went home and
By the way, the Aero went on to re-schedule the last 3 films of the Horrorthon, along with Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Those with ticket stubs from last Saturday can return on 11/5 (that's today!) and enjoy the flicks they missed out on (or re-watch them); those who don't have stubs will only need to pony up $10 to attend the 4-movie event. Me, I'm too busy with the aforementioned