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.