Friday, December 29, 2006

Time To Take Away The Typewriter

Just got done listening to Thomas Harris's Hannibal Rising. Wow. It's remarkably unimpressive. Rather than feeling like a groundbreaking piece of fiction it harkens to a slapdash film-to-book adaptation that makes the works of Alan Dean Foster look like Charles Dickens in comparison.

Apparently, Hannibal Lecter became far more interesting as he grew older (but not too much older!) as he feels completely two dimensional and more lucky than smart. In Hannibal Rising we're made privy to the childhood of a young Lecter as he struggles to stay alive in Eastern Europe during World War II. Here he confronts evil in the form of a handful of wartime scavengers who apparently find nothing too dastardly -- from cannibalism to white slavery to stealing art, they practically snarl and twirl their mustaches in melodramatic glee. After they chow down on Hannibal's little sister, he makes it his life work to track down and kill these men.

Not pleased by his vigilante justice is Inspector Pascal Popil. A font of misguided rage, Popil is as inept as Inspector Pazzi of Hannibal but without any of the charm. Popil may or may not be in love with Lady Murasaki, Hannibal's adopted stepmother (whom Hannibal may or may not be in love with also). Lady Murasaki just kind of hangs out, arranging flowers, spouting poetry, and accepting Hannibal's murderous ways. She's as three dimensional as a pressed flower, fitting in well with the other paper thin charaters that Harris presents.

Similar to the "make a quick buck" work that Harris did on Hannibal, this latest from the author who actually could pen decent fiction back before the success of The Silence of the Lambs apparently blew his mind reminds me of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" with its chorus of kids saying, "So that's where he got the flying reindeer." In this case it's, "So that's why he eats people!"

Harris should have given up Hannibal after The Silence of the Lambs and left him to other authors. He seems to have forgotten what made Lecter enjoyable in the first place. Not only that, but he has even forgotten the physical description of his character. At no time during Hannibal Rising does he mention Lecter's polydactylism. A small thing, yes, but it just shows how out of touch Harris is and that he seems to be writing more for the screen than the printed page.

Based on what I read, I'd already recommend skipping HANNIBAL RISING.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Mondo Ford

Now that Gerald Ford has passed on (RIP) the secrets will start to come out.

Monday, December 25, 2006

James Brown Is Dead... Again

James Brown Is Dead... Again Couldn't help think of this song and how Matt Lieberman and I used to cut the rug to it back in my dorm room in the day when I heard the news...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Original Songs / Original Artists

I love John Carpenter's CHRISTINE. I used to watch this flick all the time on cable and one of the things I loved most about it was the soundtrack. I used to look long and hard for a compilation of the original songs used throughout this movie to not avail. Apparently I wasn't looking in the right country. In Germany it was put out on Motown records (ZL 72139).

Not having access to any German record stores from twentysome years ago, I took it upon myself to gather up all of these songs (omitting the George Thorogood tune). Enjoy!

Christine Soundtrack
  1. Buddy Holly & The Crickets - Not Fade Away (02:18)
  2. Johnny Ace - Pledging My Love (02:26)
  3. Robert & Johnny - We Belong Together (02:42)
  4. Little Richard - Keep A-Knockin' (02:10)
  5. Dion & The Belmonts - I Wonder Why (02:17)
  6. The Viscounts - Harlem Nocturne (02:23)
  7. Thurston Harris - Little Bitty Pretty One (02:25)
  8. Danny & The Juniors - Rock 'n' Roll Is Here To Stay (02:28)
  9. Larry Williams - Bony Moronie (03:04)
Click here to download the Torrent

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Savage Cruel Barbaric

Rue Barbare I'm just a few weeks away from heading back down to Philadelphia for the Goodiscon -- a celebration of all things David Goodis (one of my favorite authors).

I was hoping to be sporting a newly English subtitled copy of RUE BARBARE (I'm calling it SAVAGE STREET since it's based on Street of the Lost). I've been working on subbing it from a horribly dubbed version from Video Search of Miami (which they're calling "CRUEL AVENUE" -- that reminds me of Steve Martin's Cruel Shoes too much). I'm 20 minutes in to its 103-minute running time and spending a little bit each evening I can working on it. It's drudge work but how happy I'd be if it could make a premiere amongst Goodis fans.

I'm now down to just three more films I need to review for my Goodis piece along with three TV shows that he penned (or that were based on his work). I'm still hoping against hope that I'll be allowed to see some of his unpublished screenplays when I'm at this convention. <fingers crossed />


It's seven days and counting until BLACK SHAMPOO Day -- the annual event of kicking back and enjoying Mr. Jonathan and company from the Salon.

It was seventeen years ago that the first one occured and we've been doing it ever since... won't you take the time to join in this lovely tradition? With a lot of pushing and some begging, we even managed to get Greydon Clark's amazing film out to the masses on DVD via VCI complete with audio commentary from Mr. Clark and supplemental materials courtesy of yours truly (including interviews with Clark and star John Daniels from Cashiers du Cinemart #14).

Mr. Jonathan goes for the throat

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Parappa The Rappa - Round 2

If I didn't know better, I'd say that it's Queen Latifah as Officer Moosolini. The guy playing this isn't too good but he beats the level regardless. Now, just don't forget, this ain't kung fu.

Reindeer On Your Front Lawn

I can't help it. Every time I see the "Snow Pool" commercials from Old Navy I have flashbacks to Milk Can's "Get Your Head Up" song.
The Old Navy song is "Reindeer On Your Front Lawn" by Everyone Else.

Want to party 'till dawn
Reindeer on the front lawn
Everybody just wants to go
Get your Fash-On!

Milk Can is the fictional group from the video game "Um Jammer Lammy," the sequel to "Parappa the Rapper." It's probably just me, but here are the songs for comparison:

"Keep Your Head Up"

"Reindeer On Your Front Lawn"

Dreaming of a White Trash Christmas

Pick Pocket Just wanted to share a picture I had to take at the bowling alley tonight. I haven't seen a guy with a pick in his back pocket in years, but there it was. Pick in one pocket and checkbook in the other. Not sure what the checkbook was for but the pick was to keep tabs on this fellow's truly amazing permed mullet. Tonight he was in rare form with elf ears and Santa hat on to celebrate the season.

The poetic justice is that I got a laugh out of this fellow but he got the last laugh as he and his teammates soundly defeated my team, the Gutter Snipes. I was lucky to break 100 two out of the three games.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Silent Library (Japanese Game Show)

An absolutely hilarious Japanese Game Show. Contestants can’t get too loud after they take their punishments from the Wheel of Pain and Humiliation.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ho Ho Ho, Now Go.

I've gotten to a point in my life where I'm cleaning out my address book. Not my literal address book. Actually, I don't have a literal address book. I've been using an online database for addresses for years now and have never comittedthat kind of info to paper in one place. If I were smart, I'd add another field for birthdays and somehow create an online calendar and reminder system... wait, wait. I'm getting ahead of myself here.

The point I'm trying to make is that I've been deleting some of those addresses. I've also been clearing out old names in my Yahoo Instant Messanger, AIM, and even my cell phone. The criteria is simple -- I was the last person to initiate contact and I haven't heard back from the person in months, if not years. My mother was always fond of saying, "The phone works both ways." I think I get this paring down of contacts from her.

I find at times that I've gathered into my good graces individuals who demand too much of my time, space, or energy. These are the folks that make me feel stupid or used. "Why am I still friends with this person? I don't have a good time with them and they leave me exhausted or frustrated every time I see them." I don't like asking myself this question but I find myself doing it too often. I think back to all of the one-sided Christmas or Birthday exchanges. I don't always expect reciprocation but, uh... well... yeah, I guess I do.

Chrismas is the perfect time to prune the dead wood. It makes that budgeting for the holiday easier.

I don't want to harsh anybody's cool here. I just find this time of year a period of reflection, mourning, and vindictive social attacks.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bust You Out with My Super Sperm

So, I'm a geek. You know it. I admit it, freely. I get all up in arms about Greedo firing first and about the removal of the voiceover in BLADE RUNNER. I get perplexed when the gyro pilot doesn't recognize Max in BEYOND THUNDERDOME. I threw my popcorn at the screen when ghosts and vampires were explained to be errant "programs" in MATRIX REVOLUTIONS. Yeah, that's me. Nerdus Supremus.

But even I can't had to sign off of the recent discussions over at regarding the Richard Donner re-cut of SUPERMAN II. Some of it I found fun to see, sure, and some of it was pretty awful (yeah, I know that S2 was supposed to end with the "world spinning backwards bit" but that doesn't mean that it should have been used in this version). But the thing I find funniest -- or saddest, depending on my mood -- is the insistence of keeping a consistent timeline between the 1970s/80s Superman films and the blight that was SUPERMAN RETURNS.

Some of the folks on this forum are fighting tooth and nail to try and reconcile Bryan Singer's SUPERMAN RETURNS with these Donner / Lester / Furie films and are now in a tizzy about the "reset back to zero" ending of this Donner cut. As this is a fan-editing forum, they're trying to figure out how to sustain continuity between these earlier films and the sloppy Singer seconds. The biggest sticking point when I finally found myself bashing my head against my keyboard was the existence of Supes' sickly Adam Rich hair-cut wearing tyke:

Lois and Clark's conception of Jason: It doesn't matter if Superman's sperm was still in Lois before he reversed time. The time reversal negated that, just as the time reversal in S:TM negated Lois being dead. There was no other opportunity for Jason's conception to happen, regardless of Singer's apparent suggestion of it happening he night of Lois' first interview with Superman.

Yes. You read that right... we're talking about Superman's sperm here. Gotta make sure that that sperm didn't just reverse course and eject itself out of Lois Lane when Superman spun the earth backwards. Otherwise, she might have the traditional SUPERMAN II "amnesia kiss" and just realize that she's pregnant some day -- perhaps before SUPERMAN III...

I've been mulling over SUPERMAN RETURNS for the last few months and I just can't deny that it's a really awful film. It's not just an awful SUPERMAN movie (like SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE) but just an awful film in toto. The pacing, the plot, the characters, the writing, the acting, the costumes, the editing; they're all bad. I wasn't even too thrilled with the musical score. The best part of the movie, for me, was the preview.

Some gripes:
  • Why would Lex Luthor, the greatest criminal mind of our times, need to marry a rich woman and take her money after death? Seems like this is an overly complicated scheme for financing.
  • Superman returns from Krypton... even after he knows it was blown up... why the fuck did he go?
  • Superman returns from Krypton... You'd think that the first thing he would do after a five year absence is to maybe check on the whereabouts of his arch nemesis.
  • What era is this movie? The costumes look rather '40s but there are anochronistic items all over.
  • Some lines worked so well in the first movie(s), let's use 'em over again and remind people how we're raping their memories.
  • Superman as creepy voyeur constantly watching Lois in her house with his X-ray vision and sneaking into his son's room at night.
  • Super Kid?
  • His son's awful haircut.
  • Wow, that island is beautiful, Lex. I'm sure it'll be a great place to live.
  • Superman thou art Jor-El's only begotten son and thou shalt be resurrected.
  • Horribly jarring cuts to the Lex Luthor subplot.
  • Parker Posey as Miss Teschmacher -- but not quite.
  • Lex cutting the brakes on Kitty's car.
  • Superman lifting a continent made out of Kryptonite into outer space.
  • No one recognizing Cyclops as Lois Lane's husband. ;)
  • All of the build-up over the use of Marlon Brando footage in this film -- only to have it be a few seconds and not very visible.
Okay, those are all the ones that come to mind immediately but I know there are others. Oddly, continuity between SUPERMAN RETURNS and the original films doesn't enter into it, except the recycling of lines from SUPERMAN ("Statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel.") that caused me to squirm in my seat. Otherwise, I was most disappointed that this felt very much like a "by the numbers" superhero movie with the exception of the uncomfortable love triangle subplot.

Geek out.

I Weigh 325 lbs.

I'm not sure what my top weight was back in 1996 but I think that I've managed to beat it. That's not a good thing. I weigh 325lbs. and I'm not happy about it.

Believe it or not but I sat down (in my 50 inch waist pants) and wrote out a list of reasons why I should actually give a shit and lose some poundage. I love to eat and I hate to exercise so weight loss and I don't often see eye to eye. The last time we did, back in 1997, I had taken charge of my life and had almost an anorexic obsession with food. I'd like to take back that control but do it a little more sanely.

  1. Pants fit better
  2. Better selection of clothes
  3. Better self image
  4. Save money on food
  5. Less winded
  6. More respect
  7. Can make fun of fat people again
  8. Live longer
  9. Snore less / sleep better
  10. Fewer aches/pain
  11. More room on airplanes
  12. Can return to Cedar Point
It's one thing to complain about it but quite another to do something about it. I've been taking some steps that I hope will help:

  1. No more fast food. Ever.
  2. Cut back on meat.
  3. Play "Dance Dance Revolution" (game pad and game on order)
  4. Walk (iPod will come in handy)
  5. Drink more water.
  6. No more coffee (I doctor it up with tons of cream)
  7. Eat more fruit/vegetables
  8. No more beer
I'm hoping that I can shame myself into facing up to my fat and taking steps to help curb my overeating. I'm also going to look into taking some exercise classes -- I used to do this and it helped tremendously. However, my instructor was also a good friend of my ex-wife's. Hoping to find a nice, nonjudgemental exercise program that works with a 9-5 work schedule.

As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll always be hungry again. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll always be hungry again.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Xmas Memories (2005)

Xmas 2005 was awful. I managed to make it to my Xmas gig at my mom's place -- though I felt tired and a little ill. I think I napped for a few hours. Andrea's Dad and his wife, Julie, were down for a few days. I wasn't much company. After Andrea's big Xmas Eve meal -- which I only managed to eat a few bites of -- I proceeded to get rid of it and all else that I ate that day. I was in a bad way. It hurt to eat. It made me ill to even laze around. I wasn't having much to do with the world. I tried to spend as much time as I could in bed.

Andrea recommended that I go to some kind of Urgent Care facility but I didn't want anything to do with that. After living with a hypochondriac for years (my ex-wife), I hated to admit to myself when I was sick and actually in need of more than hot tea with honey. I had tried self-medicating to the extreme but as of 3 a.m., I had had enough.

Bleary eyed and throat screaming in pain, I hopped in the car and made my way to what I thought would be open before the crack of dawn on Chrismas. Darn it all, but I was completely wrong. I kept driving, hoping that I could remember another Emergency Room that would take our insurance. Miles later, I found it. I checked in around 4 a.m. and checked out around 7 a.m. after I had been diagnosed with strep throat and given some hard-core antibiotics.

I made my way home and slept for a few hours before getting up. By that time, Gary and Julie had gone. What great company I was, eh? I got up, opened up my laptop, and signed in to work, popping my prescribed pills with some hot tea. Yes, I was sick in a completely different way. I was a workaholic as well. I knew that I had stuff I needed to do and worked through the afternoon and into the night on it. I decided to call in the next day -- one of my few sick days -- but still kept getting calls and emails. I took them all and responded to every one. I took my job so seriously!

That's the ironic part, I suppose. For when I dragged my sorry ass into work two days after Xmas, barely able to talk, I worked through the day as best I could until 3 p.m. when I was called into my boss's office and fired. Merry fucking Christmas.

I'm still tying up loose ends from that whole mess of my five plus years at ePrize. Still need to transfer over my 401K to my new account and I still need to get some hassles worked out over some stock options. That's my goal for this week -- to get that shit sorted out so I can't say that it's taken me a year to do so.

But, yeah, even though we're having company -- which means cleaning and entertaining -- I know that this year will definitely be better than the last.

Blotto - I Wanna Be A Lifeguard

Heard this the other night on XM. Gosh, I love XM radio. I don't think I've ever heard/seen this song before. I do so enjoy.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Xmas Wishes From Chewy

Chewbacca Chewbacca here would like to wish you Season's Greetings.

Perfect Xmas Gift

I'm trying out a new image hosting service. So far I haven't been too impress with -- when I tried to upload a song it wasn't recognized as being an mp3, even though it was. And, as the URL they give images isn't a straight ".gif" or ".jpg" extension, they're not recognized by places like MySpace or some of the forums I post to. That limits my options and curtails my needs...

Anyway, here's an image I posted. I think it's the perfect Xmas gift for the hirsuit person in your life.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Montreal Mojo

Rich Osmond and I have been tossing around dates, facts, and figures and have finally nailed down our agenda for the trip to Fantasia in Montreal that we'll be taking in July 2007. Yeah, we plan ahead. Kind of necessary with the "get your time in" world of vacations.

Rich is going to be flying up and then we're driving to Montreal. I couldn't believe how crazy expensive flights were from Detroit to Montreal. We're talking $500+ (US) a ticket. That's insane. I don't know if it was that I was looking seven months early -- but I would think that an earlier search would yeild lower prices than a later one (probably some backwards logic to contend with here).

It'll be a pretty straight shot (especially as we won't be taking the Sarnia detour that Google Maps has us taking) and we're going to stop off in Toronto for a night on the way out so we don't have to rush so much on that second day of driving. Also, we'll be indulging in some Korean BBQ in TO if all goes right.

I sure hope that the folks I run into in Montreal are more polite than the f'ers that hassled the kids in ANOTHER STATE OF MIND...

Monday, December 04, 2006

When Marvin Met Jim

Steinman's Bad For Good I'm trying to put together a definitive list of what songs Meat Loaf has sung that were penned by Jim Steinman because, forgive me, but I seem to enjoy that combination best.

Those items in yellow are tunes off of Steinman's own album Bad For Good. I'm getting my information from the AllMusic Guide; I hope that they're more accurate than

Nowhere FastBad Attitude
All Revved Up With No Place to GoBat out of Hell
Bat out of HellBat out of Hell
For Crying out LoudBat out of Hell
Heaven Can WaitBat out of Hell
Paradise by the Dashboard LightBat out of Hell
Two Out of Three Ain't BadBat out of Hell
You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)Bat out of Hell
Closing CreditsBat out of Hell [Special Edition]
Program StartBat out of Hell [Special Edition]
Great Boleros of FireBat out of Hell [Super Audio]
Back into HellBat out of Hell II
Everything Louder Than Everything ElesBat out of Hell II
Good Girls Go to Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere)Bat out of Hell II
I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)Bat out of Hell II
It Just Won't QuitBat out of Hell II
Life Is a Lemon and I Want My Money BackBat out of Hell II
Lost Boys and Golden GirlsBat out of Hell II
Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They AreBat out of Hell II
Out of the Frying Pan (And into the Fire)Bat out of Hell II
Rock & Roll Dreams Come ThroughBat out of Hell II
Wasted YouthBat out of Hell II
Everything Louder Than Everything ElseBat out of Hell II [Deluxe Edition]
Bad for GoodBat Out Of Hell III
Cry to Heaven (Epilogue)Bat out of Hell III
If It Aint' Broke Break ItBat out of Hell III
In the Land of the Pig, The Butcher Is KingBat out of Hell III
Seize the NightBat out of Hell III
The Future Ain't What It Used to BeBat out of Hell III
It's All Coming Back to Me NowBat out of Hell III
Dead Ringer for LoveDead Ringer
Everything Is PermittedDead Ringer
I'll Kill You If You Don't Come BackDead Ringer
I'm Gonna Love Her for Both of UsDead Ringer
More Than You DeserveDead Ringer
Nocturnal PleasureDead Ringer
Peel OutDead Ringer
Read 'Em and WeepDead Ringer
Surf's UpPrimecuts
Left in the DarkWelcome to the Neighborhood
Original SinWelcome to the Neighborhood

Charlie the Unicorn

I was feeling blue -- until I saw this.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

X-mas Intrusion

My first fight of the Xmas season. Nothing major. Nothing thrown. Not even any profanity. Just a misunderstanding. But it signals to me what I dislike about Xmas; it's the intrusion. I love giving gifts and spreading joy but I like doing it on my own schedule. The rush to get everything bought and wrapped for a seemingly never-ending string of get-togethers just burns my buns.

It's not that I don't like my family. I do. I just like them more in small doses. In the month of December I've got five get-togethers with various factions; sometimes the same ones just in different settings. We give gifts at some, and not others. Each one gives a great opportunity for stress and bites into my time. Yeah, I know, I'm a whiny brat, I just get a little "family'd out" with so many occasions and I am a bit overprotective of my weekends.

I need to get cracking on subtitling RUE BARABARE (which I'm calling SAVAGE STREET as "Barbaric Street" doesn't sound as nice). I want to get this done before the Goodiscon. At the moment I've got a beautiful DVD version that recently came out in France along with a really shitty English dubbed (and Spanish subtitled) version called "CRUEL AVENUE" from Video Search of Miami. Unfortunately, the audio on CRUEL AVENUE is for sucks and I've actually been doing better translating the Spanish subtitles into English -- but that removes me twiceover (at least) from the original French dialogue.

I'm cold kickin' it with the Mrs. today, sitting behind a big pile of gifts that we're sorting and bagging for future wrapping while DUNE: THE RECONSTRUCTED WORKPRINT plays on the TV. This is a mix of the big DUNE release of earlier in the year along with the original version and deleted scenes. I'm hoping that this gets another pass in the fan edit community by "Fan Filtration", the editor who fixed the lack of "blue withing blue" eyes in the extended TV version. I had hoped that this would have been taken care of by Universal before releasing their "deluxe" edition.

Oh, and, speaking of Xmas, the perfect gift this year can be found right here:

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Album Mash-ups

I'm a big fan of good mash-up songs and, to that end, I also enjoy good photo collage as well. This site provides a bevy of great album art crossovers. There's lots of KISS face-painting, to be sure, but most of the entries are entirely too clever. Be warned, though, the site is fairly ugly and I got hit with at least one pop-up that my blocker couldn't handle.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Photoshop C.S.I.

While I love C.S.I., I do sometimes have a problem with the show's use of tech. So... I kow it's geeky but I absolutely love this.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ball of Confusion

So, I'm an idiot. Every time -- without fail -- I got into Target and walk past the TV DVD section I think, "What is this show with Meat Loaf in it?" And, invariably, I realize that I'm looking at the third season of "24". Call me crazy -- I KNOW YOU ALREADY DO! (and paranoid) but I think that Keifer Sutherland looks a lot like Meat Loaf -- at least in that picture.

You want proof? Sorry, I can't offer much except this comparison... I give you Keif Loaf!

Keif Loaf

Candy Tangerine Man: Help Wanted

Looks like Subversive Cinema has secured the rights to CANDY TANGERINE MAN but can't find good prints to strike a master from:

Subsversive Cinema's Blog

Anyone have Matt Cimber's contact info? I know VCI had good luck getting a nice print of BLACK SHAMPOO from Greydon Clark, maybe Cimber's got a good 35mm copy of CTM laying around his basement.

The Woods Are Lovely, Dark and Deep

Thinking more lately about what other films need to be on DVD that aren't. I hate to be one of those pedantic assholes who makes lists and acts completely self-important but I'm going to put on my Rob Gordon hat and make a (working) list of the top ten films I think should be on DVD. Some may be out on video already -- some may not. And some may even be on DVD in other countries. I'm talking about Region 1 (or 0), NTSC domestic US releases.

  1. Telefon (Don Siegel, 1977)
  2. If... (Lindsay Anderson, 1968)
  3. The Big Gundown (Sergio Sollima, 1966)
  4. The Trap (Peter Watkins, 1975)
  5. Killer Party (William Fruet, 1986)
  6. (The Big) Crimewave (John Paizs, 1985)
  7. Freebie & The Bean (Richard Rush, 1974)
  8. The Crimson Kimono (Sam Fuller, 1959)
  9. Candy Tangerine Man (Matt Cimber, 1975)
  10. Rolling Thunder (John Flynn, 1977)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

James Kolchalka Superstar - Hockey Monkey

Nice mix of various types of animation and live action and, yeah, it’s a totally kick-ass song.

Moving Right Along

I love travelling. Can you tell? Aside from my trip to Philadelphia, I've also go a spouse outing to Cancun in March. And, after that, it looks like my good friend Rich Osmond and I will be jetting up to Montreal in July for the Fantasia Fest. I've always wanted to go to this festival but never have. Likewise, I've never been to Montreal before. I hear it's like a totally different country up there...

On a serious note, I was in a grocery store recently and found this horribly disturbing product name. If Michael Richards gets crucified for using the "N-Word," shouldn't Vlassic some shit for so brazenly employing the "M-Word"?!?

Can't we all just get along?

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Nightfall Good news. The Goodis folk are allowing me to register late for their shindig. Now it's off to the races trying to find a good package deal to Philly. Odd that I've never been to Philadelphia before but now I'll have been there twice within five months. Looks like my schedule's going to be pretty packed or else I'd be heading over to the Mutter Museum again. I just hope that I can get another delciious Philly Cheesesteak sammiches.

Again, looks like I'm going to miss hooking up with my "Philly boys" but there's always hope.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Return to Philadelphia

Wow. I can't believe it. I was looking online today to see if there's such a thing as a "David Goodis Archives" like those of John D. MacDonald or Charles Willeford -- both of whom were very friendly when I asked for help with my articles for past issues of Cashiers du Cinemart. Low and behold, Google turned up a "Goodiscon" happening in Philadelphia in early January 2007. Sure, I missed the entrance deadline by ten days but I'm hoping they'll forgive me on that and allow me to attend this event. It sounds right up my alley and the perfect way to wrap up my long overdue Goodis piece.

I'm hoping, too, to give them a copy of my subtitled copy of SECCION DES DISPARUS -- the rarest of the Goodis films. At the moment, I think I'm the only person with this and I hope they'll be able to appreciate it. :)

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

But Then Maturity Has Its Moments, Too.

Bo Knows Death I really thought I had gotten over things like this. I mean, I wasn't the one that came up with the "Grateful That He's Dead" t-shirt that was worn to the Garcia "wake" on the Diag at UofM (way to go, Chesney) so I didn't see me finding "Bo Knows Death" or "Bo Knows Dead" that funny. But I do.

"It Just Don't Make No Sense"

The Crimson Kimono Pardon my gramatically incorrect headline. I just tend to revert to that line from Charles Willeford's Understudy for Love when I encounter baffling items such as my recent realization that so many of the works of Sam Fuller remain unreleased on DVD. Classic bad cinema like RUN OF THE ARROW and great noir like THE CRIMSON KIMONO are MIA while absolute trash gets DVD treatment. Hell, even some of Fuller's more glorious failures such as SHARK have a DVD release (thanks to star Burt Reynolds, I'm sure) but there are several classic Fullers that continue to haunt the "bootleg circuit" with nary a peep about a proper release.

Where are PARK ROW, CHINA GATE, VERBOTEN!, and MERRILL'S MARAUDERS? Where's the love and help from all of those talking heads who filled the air with their babble and praise in the awful documentary THE TYPEWRITER, THE RIFLE & THE MOVIE CAMERA? C'mon fellas. Put your money where your mouth is and get to work on releasing these gems for the world to see! Get to it, boppers!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Halfway There (Living on a Prayer)

TIREZ SUR LE PIANISTE Sometimes the hardest part of writing is figuring out a structure. I often treat the articles I write as exercies in architecture. Almost as much as what to say comes the issue of how to say it. Rewrites for me often are more about changing the placement of text (and trying to pare down my wordiness).

That's how it was, mostly, for the article I've been wanting to pen about David Goodis for the last six or seven years. I knew what I wanted to write, I just didn't know how to say it. Now that I've got the stucture down, I've finally been able to start plowing through this piece. Moreover, I've managed to get it halfway done with the "easiest" films left to go.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lethal Force - Now Available

Lethal Force - Out Now! In Cashiers du Cinemart #14 Skizz Cyzyk and I chose our Top Fifty Modern Day Midnight Movies and LETHAL FORCE made its way to the top of the list. One of my most favorite films of all time, LF has finally gotten the DVD release it deserves from Unearthed Films! It's now available for purchase (or for rent)!

Alvin Ecarma's LETHAL FORCE boasts geysers of blood à la the LONE WOLF & CUB films, blazing guns (and latent homosexuality) from John Woo's A BETTER TOMORROW, and a bevy of stylistic and thematic nods to other favorite films from CONAN THE BARBARIAN to EVIL DEAD 2 to ARMOUR OF GOD. Even the temporary soundtrack present when I saw LETHAL FORCE at a riotous MicroCineFest 2001 screening (where it walked away with the Audience and Judges' Awards for Best Feature Film) possessed musical cues (and sound effects) from ENTER THE DRAGON, FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, and other films of high regard.

Frank Pritchard stars as Jack Carter. He's a well-meaning patsy caught between his old friend, Frank Savitch (Cash Flagg Jr.), an unstoppable assassin, and Mal Lock (Andrew Hewitt), a wheelchair-bound super-baddie with a legion of white-masked goons at his command. Director Ecarma does well to keep things fresh in what could otherwise be a staid action film with wonderfully kinetic camerawork and large doses of dry-witted comedy.

The tricky hybrid of comedy and action could have easily failed, turning LETHAL FORCE into a ridiculous farce like THE NAKED GUN or a silly gest like THE JEWEL OF THE NILE. Rather, this small-budgeted film ($12K!) wonderfully succeeds on all levels. The film is technically adroit and chock full of laugh-out-loud outrageousness.

I really can't say enough good things about LETHAL FORCE. Each time I watch it, I find myself enjoying it even more than the last.

Click here for Amazon

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Where Do You Go When The Record Is Over?

Baltimore Memories It looks like Skizz was serious. 2006 saw the final MicroCineFest. Ten years, man... ten years! I can't believe that I was a kid of 25 when the festival started -- I've changed jobs (and even wives) in the years since. Things in my life got pretty crazy but I always had the festival to look forward to. And, no, I'm not being dramatic.

Going down to Baltimore for MicroCineFest was going to a family reunion. Actually, it was far better. You always have relatives that you could give a shit about or actively avoid. But, the folks in Baltimore and the out-of-town filmmakers were almost always good eggs. They welcomed me to the group with open arms and made me feel like I belonged to a true community. Call it "The Cult of MicroCineFest."

Along with making some great friends and meeting some other terrific folks, my eyes were opened to some truly spectacular films. From TAKE A TRIP WITH JEFF from the first festival all the way up to COX & COMBES' WASHINGTON with the final fest, I caught hundreds, if not thousands, of amazing films and videos -- some that are uncomfortably close to my heart.

So what now? Many theories were floated over breakfast and beers in Baltimore last weekend. Do we go the Tyler Durden route and start setting up franchises in Atlanta, Brewster, and Detroit? Do we all pick a weekend and rent some cottages on Lake Michigan, armed with a box of video tapes? Or do we do the unthinkable and let ProjectorHead perish?

I've never set up a screening in Detroit but maybe it's time that I learned how. Bringing some culture to the Motor City might be a good thing. I can almost picture a Best of MicroCineFest taking place in some seedy cinema dive. Ahhhh....

Any volunteers?

Monday, November 13, 2006

All My Friends Have Big 'Buts'...

That's one of my favorite lines from PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE. Came to mind tonight when I was thinking about the last time the VH1 Show "World Series of Pop Culture" had an open call for contestants. All of my savvy friends thought that it sounded great... but none of them were available to hop in a car and head to Chicago with me for tryouts.

My question... are you game? Here's an excerpt from the press release:

VH1 and Entertainment Weekly are traveling the country AGAIN to find 16 three-person teams who think they've got what it takes to compete in the most intense pop culture trivia tournament known to man, The World Series of Pop Culture.

The tournament, which will be taped to air on VH1 in summer 2007, will happen in mid-March in New York City.

Do you think you and your cohorts have the pop culture smarts to beat out the competition? Then come meet us in person and prove it!

Casting Calls followed by Regional Qualifying Games will be held by appointment only in the following cities on the following dates:
  • New York: January 19 - 21
  • Los Angeles: January 26 - 28
  • Chicago: February 2 - 4
  • Austin: February 9 - 11
  • Orlando: February 16 - 18
If you're up to being one of my teammates, drop me a line before the end of the week. I'd love to go kick some ass -- or try to.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

There Is A Place In Hell

The Pixies - Doolittle I remember why I stopped reading Rolling Stone.

I recently picked up one of the 33 1/3 books -- they're a series of books that explore various "important" albums. The one I got was on Doolittle by The Pixies. It's a tiny tome with one half being a mini "story of The Pixies" and the second being a break down of each song on Doolittle.

The Rolling Stone connection comes in the interpretation of lyrics. Both the author of The Pixies' Doolittle, Ben Sisario, and too many writers for the staid rock rag feel an obligation to pick apart lyrics and provide meaning where none may exist -- or where a completely different meaning my lay.

I can't tell you how many songs were ruined for me by reading Rolling Stone and having their cockamamie interpretations pop into my head upon each listening of a tune. And now, after reading Sisario's bloody book, I have to fend off his lamewad need to explain every line that Frank Black penned for Doolittle. There is a place in hell for those people who feel the need to interpret lyrics.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Started A Joke...

I was talking to Rich Osmond about the Michael J Fox commercial that's running in Missouri. This is the infamous spot that Rush Limbaugh mocked on his radio show, claiming that Fox is faking his disease. "I feel so bad for him," Rich said, speaking about Fox, "jerking back and forth."

"Isn't that a song?" I asked, thinking of the old Devo tune.

A lightbulb went off and I decided to make my first YTMND animation.

It ended up being my second one -- an in-joke about Persian poet Rumi was my first. But little did I know that the Fox clip would cause a flurry of controversy on the YTMND site. Though not intended as a political statement that's how some people took it. I dunno, I think it's pretty funny -- both in its inherent comedic value and that it's raising the hackles of stem cell advocates pro and con.

Call me heartless but I still find it funny. But I'm also the kind of guy that laughed at the Terry Schaivo Blog.

Monday, November 06, 2006

YouTube and MySpace -- More Useless Web Tech?

Just kidding. YouTube is definitely one of my most favorite sites around and it's getting to the point where it's becoming so oft-used that "YouTube" has become a part of speech -- not sure if it's going to be a noun or a verb yet. I never thought that "Google" would jump ship to a verb from its original mathematical connotation...

It's becoming apparent that YouTube is getting more like MySpace and vice-versa. Now there is MySpace Video and I won't be surprised if there Video Blogging available on YouTube -- there kind of is already but I don't think that it's referred to as that. Now you need a profile on MySpace and a "channel" on YouTube. Not one to buck the system... Here's my YouTube Channel: Finally, a place where I can keep track of all of the goofy shit that I find so fun to watch repeatedly or that I find of potential historical interest.

I may try to use/abuse my channel as a place where folks can experience clips or previews of the more obscure things I discuss in the pages of Cashiers du Cinemart or I may not. Looks like it's just going to be a good place for motion-based effluvia.

All right, now get down to it, boppers!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Super Mario Kill Bill

Before anyone asks; no, I didn't do this. I just think it's pretty brilliant.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Emperor Tomato Catsup

Mucho psyched today to learn of two big DVD releases coming out. First off is the Shuji Terayama Experimental Film Collection! Finally -- a higher quality version of EMPEROR TOMATO KETCHUP! I felt a little guilty when I was subtitling the VHS version of this film since the picture quality could have stood an upgrade. Let's hope that this is the release that this classic film deserves. Maybe will upgrade their bootleg release. Maybe they'll even steal my subtitled version like they did my VHS! :)

The other big news is the release of the "Definitive Version" of Mel Gibson's PASSION OF THE CHRIST. I'm hoping that this two disc special edition has all of the deleted scenes we've been hearing about including the now infamous "Peter's Rampage" sequence where Peter not only cuts the ear off the Roman soldier but slaughters an entire squadron of centurians with his tricked out baby cart.

What THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST needed was a good musical number and some kung fu. It also needed a peppier, happier Christ. I mean, the guy's got super powers, you'd think he'd be pleased with that. Rather, he just got so mopey and let those Romans walk all over him. Who would want to worship a pussy savior like that? Give me the Jesus from Lee Dembarbre's JESUS CHRIST VAMPIRE HUNTER any day. He sings, he saves, he slaughters the children of the night. That's the kind of guy I can respect.

The weird thing about the relase of this new PASSiON OF THE CHRIST set is that it comes out in February. Um, hello? Seems like this might be a good fucking CHRISTMAS present! Or has a deal been struck to not take away cash from the other goody good Christian movie coming out this holiday -- a little ditty named THE NATIVITY STORY.

The preview for THE NATIVITY STORY is a hoot -- at least the cut I saw. The "biblical origins" of the story are pretty well hidden for the first half of the preview and then it's supposed to dawn on the audience, "Oh... that's Mary, like the Mary..." Luckily, I know my magi pretty well and got it right off. Not sure if that was Caspar, Melchior, or Balthasar in the opening part of the preview but maybe I can find a screen grab...

How I got from Melchior from Terayama, I don't know. I guess that's the miracle that blogging with Jesus can bring.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Together for days in all that leather...

It's "Blaxploitation Month" over at my favorite Torrent site so I thought I'd share one of the torrents I posted up there -- it's kind of a homemade "best of" Blaxploitation soundtracks.  You'll see that it's glaringly missing BLACK SHAMPOO and BLACK BELT JONES cuts.  Still waiting on the official soundtrack release of both of those -- especially Gerald Lee's tremendous score. 

Download Here

Theme Of The MackWillie Hutch
Coffy Is the ColorRoy Ayers
Slaughter ThemeJames Brown
Trouble ManMarvin Gaye
Theme Of Foxy BrownWillie Hutch
The Boss (From The Black Caesar Soundtrack)James Brown, JB Horns
Make A ResolutionThe Impressions
Across 110th StreetBobby Womack & Peace
Are You Man Enough?The Four Tops
PushermanCurtis Mayfield
ExpressB.T. Express
Big PapaEdwin Starr
Truck Turner (Main Title)Isaac Hayes
Willie DJ.J.Johnson
We Be's Gettin' DownLarry Graham & Graham Central Station
ExpansionsLonnie Liston Smith
People Get Up And Drive Your Funky SoulJames Brown
Theme From ShaftIsaac Hayes
Blowin' Your MindSmith & Co.
John ShaftSammy Davis Jr.

Mistaken Identity

It was funny the first few times it happened but, to quote The Smiths, "That joke isn't funny anymore."

I'm getting sick of being mistaken for people who I'm not. I continue to get fan mail in my PO Box for the Mike White who wrote CHUCK & BUCK and who is half of "Black & White Productions" (with Jack Black as the other half).

I'm half-tempted to change my name from "Mike White" back to it's original "Michael Kittle". That is the name I was born with but it was legally changed back when I was a tyke -- maybe in second grade. I took the last name of my step-father. He never adopted me and didn't marry my mother until I turned 18. My mother and I took his last name to "appear" that we were a family. I sometimes doubt that we ever were.

Mr. White and my mother divorced a few years back -- seven or eight now -- and afterwards he and the majority of his family severed all ties with me. They were the only family I had growing up and now I'm on the outs with all but a handful of them. So, maybe keeping his name isn't the best idea in the world. And it's a bit disrepectful to my biological father.

At least I don't have to worry about the Kittles being mad about it. I see fewer Kittles than I see Whites. Like James Spader's keyring in SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE, I have managed to pare down my relatives to as few as possible, just my matrilineal line and a few other stragglers.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hello World

Thanks for taking the time to come check out my blog. I've been trying to use the blog feature of and, well, it leaves a lot to be desired unless you like cute animated kitty cats and big chunky text.

I may change the look/feel of this site though I figure by using a Zeldman template, I can't go wrong. You see, I'm a bit of a web geek. Not so much as others, mind you, but I've been lurking around the W3 for over a decade now and love it so much that I've been working in the industry for most of that.

I'm still not so sure if I'm into this blogging thing -- I don't abuse the "cool stuff" alias at my job too often and I think I send out fewer mass emails of either stupid or personal shit than some of my friends -- though that point may be argued. Anyway, without a central focused topic like my unnatural love of pillowfights or my intense avoidance of the color brown there might not be enough life to fill a space cruiser on here -- but I'll try.

For now, enjoy this comparison of THE WIZ and DESTROYER. I've been hanging out at The Knock*Off Project too much lately.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Weapons of Mass Deception

If you know me, you know I tend to keep my politics close to the vest (usually for fear of being carted off by the CIA and sent to Gitmo). But one thing that I want to bring up that it seems people have had a major case of amnesia about is the gulf wars.

Yes, we all know that the media was asleep at the wheel for the second gulf war; swallowing down any story that President Bush II was feeding them including the big lie about weapons of mass destruction. But, let's not forget that this same thing happened around the time of the first gulf war. One great example of this is the story of Nayirah al-Sabah. This is the girl who went in front of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in October 1990 to testify about Iraqui soldiers taking babies out of incubators to let them die "on the cold floor" in hospitals.

This was the big lie that got Americans incensed. Later it was revealed that Nayirah al-Sabah wasn't some poor girl who witnessed atrocities. Instead, she's the daughter of Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah, Kuwaiti ambassador to the USA, and mouthpiece of public relations firm Hill & Knowlton. They were in the employ of Citizens for a Free Kuwait and had arranged the testimony.

Please just remember this when we talk about what a horrible job the media did around the weapons of mass destruction lie. They were just as bad about the incubators lie and didn't use this information to filter the disinformation. "Fool me once... won't get fooled again."