Monday, December 31, 2007

2007: The Year in Review

My family never did the annual "Holiday Letter" like I know some folks do. Forgive me if I forget some fun stuff through the year in review!

  • New Issue! - The summer brought the release of Cashiers du Cinemart #15, the best yet! So many issues are still available via Atomic Books!
  • Classes - Cancun inspired me to take an intro to Spanish class at Schoolcraft College. Work inspired me to take a Dale Carnegie management training class.
  • - Big ups to CdC contributor Mike Malloy for the head's up on a position at for a Cult Film reviewer. I've been working with those fellow Detroiters for the past few months doing a few reviews a week for them. The structure of having to churn these out has been great for a slacker like me.
  • Wedding! - One of my oldest friends, Jeff Dunlap, got married to a terrific gal, Elizabeth Lindau of Canasta fame, in September. It was a wonderful ceremony in beautiful Western Michigan.
  • Chicago - I hadn't been to Chicago for quite a while (not since Skizz and I went to CUFF a few years back). It was nice returning to the Windy City for a fun evening with Bachelor Jeff and his posse.
  • Philadelphia Phun! - I'd only been to Philly once before (late 2006) and managed to fit in two more trips to the City of Brother Love in the first few months of 2007. Both times were in the name of pulp author David Goodis. The first trip was for GoodisCon -- a fun, albeit geeky, celebration of one of Philadelphia's favorite sons. The second was to be part of a documentary on Goodis. During both trips I met and hung out with some great folks (big ups to Lou, Melanie, Larry, Sharyn, Howard, and more)! I've been asked to come back in April, 2008 to be a part of Noircon.
  • MDFF - I had the honor of being asked to co-host a panel on screenwriting at the Maryland Film Festival. That was pretty sweet and it got me into the festival proper where I got to check out a lot of great flix. Oh, and Atomic Books asked me to do a signing. That could have gone better but it was fun hanging with the Atomicons.
  • Cancun - I had a great time with Andrea in Cancun this Spring. Didn't do much except relax and read in the warm sun.
  • Las Vegas - I attended Camp Organic in the Spring as well. Three very intense days of research, strippers, and Power Point presentations.
  • Atlanta - As I'm sitting here watching "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," it brings back some great memories of just a few weeks ago hanging out with my MicroCineFest pals and having fun.
  • Boston - My workplace was awesome enough to send me to "An Event Apart" -- a web conference that really rang my bell. It's all about WC3 standards, baby!
  • Montreal - I took my first trip to Montreal in the summer to attend the Fantastic Film Festival with Cashiers du Cinemart regular Rich Osmond. We saw quite a number of great films that I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise (HATCHET, FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, etc). Moreover, I met up with some folks that I'd been corresponding with for quite a while and to hang out with Rich.
  • Toronto - I swung through Toronto on the way to and from Montreal but also made my annual sojourn to the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • New CDs - This year brought a lot of CDs from friends. The Jennifers but out Colors From the Future and Uncle Leon & The Alibis had a couple of releases. Meanwhile, The Degenerettes toured the nation and stopped by our house for an evening of food, swimming, and JAWS.

A lot of travel. A lot of hanging out with friends. I watched a few hundred great films -- and a few stinkers. I read some great books. Work is treating me right. Family's healthy and safe. All in all, 2007 was a pretty great year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Something Weird - We Like Bad Movies

And we like Something Weird.

Happy Black Shampoo Day!

It's the best day of the holiday season!


There's a formerly unseen second or two of BLACK SHAMPOO in the above preview. At 1:04, two employees of the "Western Style Ranch" observe the gay, straight, and really wild Bar-B-Que: "I told you to watch who you rented to," the one cowboy says. I thought this was from another movie but the "old crazy guy" known in some circles as "Freddy Kruger" is visible screen left!

The Mystery of BLACK SHAMPOO continues... and, hey, check out Greydon Clark's website!

Special Orders Don't Upset Us

Love the hats.

Random Images




Monday, December 24, 2007

Alien Versus Hunter

Big thanks to CdC contributor Rich Osmond for passing along this terrific link about the latest Asylum release, ALIEN VS. HUNTER. Sounds like some amazing filmmaking going on!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Robbie Benson + Monkey = Fun!

This week's movie reviews from

A killer dog and an undercover monkey... can't get much better than that!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Be Nice To Nic Cage Day

I've been rather mean to Nicholas Cage in a few posts now. I really don't mean to be mean. I think the reason for that is due to knowing Cage has got talent but that he's squandered it with choosing goofball roles with no redeeming qualities and chewing scenery rather than acting. Just for the sake of "equal air time," here are the top ten Nicholas Cage films:

  1. Raising Arizona
  2. Red Rock West
  3. Vampire's Kiss
  4. Birdy
  5. Con Air
  6. Wild At Heart
  7. Peggy Sue Got Married
  8. Moonstruck
  9. Adaptation
  10. Valley Girl

Apart from the occasional cheeseball role (CON AIR) and a highly successful made-for-cable film (RED ROCK WEST), the '90s weren't too kind to Cage. He seemed to really falter after RRW with a string of duds including such tripe as HONEYMOON IN VEGAS, KISS OF DEATH, TRAPPED IN PARADISE, GUARDING TESS, AMOS & ANDREW. Apparently, I was one of the few people who didn't feel that his (overly) dramatic turn in LEAVING LAS VEGAS was anything but a snoozefest. I really have a hard time taking Cage seriously in anything. He starts flashing those puppy dog eyes and everything goes to shit.

Cage and quirky work best together (as evidenced by the above list). He needs to stick more to these kind of roles. He was perfect as Fu Manchu in WEREWOLF WOMEN OF THE SS...

Here are some commercials did in Japan... the embrace of weirdness in full effect!

These Guys Need Their Own Show

Royster and Styles

A classic image from "Police Woman".

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What I've Been Up To...

I Am Thwarted

Headed down to Birmingham, MI last night for a screening of I AM LEGEND with some of my pals. Alas, despite being 45 minutes early the line was out the door (and even out the vestibule) for this. While a few of my friends opted to take up some of the free seats that were left over for SWEENEY TODD, I know that I should probably wait and see that one with Andrea. Here's hoping I can see I AM LEGEND on the big screen soon if only to compare it to THE OMEGA MAN -- one of my favorite flicks. Check out this review by Patricio Vamos from way back in Cashiers du Cinemart #6. The Omega Man.


Per my earlier post, there was a MicroCineFest event down in Atlanta, GA this year. Attendees included MCF founders Skizz Cyzyk and Jen Talbert along with a handful of the usual suspects who were often seen loitering on the couch at the back of "The G-Spot" screening room in Baltimore.

In Atlanta I ate more fried food over a period of four days than I probably had in the previous four years. I ate things that I just never considered "fry-able" before including macaroni and cheese! There was shopping at Little Five Points, a trip to the Cyclorama to see the amazing painting/diorama version of the Battle of Atlanta, much eating and imbibing, and the best part of all -- hanging out with friends and just bullshitting for hours on end. Friday night had to be one of my favorites as we had pizza, beer, and a lot of classic MicroCineFest shorts (for an example, see below).

We also got a tour of the Adult Swim studios at the Cartoon Network and a look at some episodes of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" that are in progress. It was very fun to see how the show is put together and meet some of the voice talent. To say that the offices are eclectic is an understatement.

The MCF screening at the Mid-Town Vortex was a success. It brought out a lot of fine folks and even allowed me to meet CdC contributor Mike Malloy (author of "Cameo or Came-no" in Cashiers du Cinemart #15. There were a lot of laughs, though I think I was laughing the loudest at the screening of WILLIAM SHATNER LENT ME HIS HAIRPIECE. Good stuff!

Don Hertzfeld - Rejected

William Shatner "sings" Rocket Man

William Shatner "sings" Taxi

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Movie Review: Snake Eyes

Check out my review of SNAKE EYES -- yes, the one with Nicholas Cage -- over at

Here comes the pain!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Slow Week

It was a slow week for reviews from me on Just the one appeared this week -- a recap of MURDER MY SWEET.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

MicroCineFest Comes to Atlanta!

Hey Georgians! Check out the special MicroCineFest screening this weekend -- Saturday December 8 at 8PM -- at the Vortex Midtown Laughing Skull Lounge! C'mon out and see the attractive waitstaff and even more attractive MicroCineFest crew!

A 90-minute sampling from ten years of award winners, crowd pleasers, and staff favorites.

Festival Director, Skizz Cyzyk, will be there to introduce the program and answer any questions.

All this for just five measly bucks!

The Vortex Bar And Grill 878 Peachtree Street (between 7th & 8th Streets), Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-875-1667

Monday, December 03, 2007

Torchwood Theme: A Rip-Off of Clint Mansell?

Is it just me or does the themesong to "Torchwood" sound a whole heck of a lot like Clint Mansell's "Requiem for a Tower"?

Torchwood - Murray Gold

Requiem for a Tower - Clint Mansell

Mansell's song was quite effectively in this preview for Danny Boyle's SUNSHINE:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

25 Worst Movie Remakes of All Time

I don't know who they've got working over at, but someone managed to finally write one of those snarky online lists that hit the mark at every turn. The 25 Worst Movie Remakes of All Time starts with Rob Zombie's version of HALLOWEEN and ends with Gus Van Sant's PSYCHO. Everything in between is just as solid -- though I will say that the cheese factor of THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (#9) was so high that I enjoyed it, and I kinda liked the American version of THE RING (#14).

I might only add to this list -- all of those horrible remakes of Stephen King-based films (THE SHINING, CARRIE, etc) don't count since they're made-for-TV but here are some other titles to gnaw on:

  • THE FOG**
  • RED DRAGON (if considered a remake of MAN HUNTER)
  • TAXI
  • LAST MAN STANDING (if considered a remake of YOJIMBO/FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and not just another version of Red Harvest)

I'm already counting on these remakes to suck:

  • DEATH RACE 2000

*Please note GONE IN 60 SECONDS and KISS OF DEATH on the above list. Add to that CITY OF ANGELS (remake of WINGS OF DESIRE) and THE WICKER MAN and you've got a formula that must be heeded. Remake + Nicholas Cage = Cinematic Suckfest. The Pang brothers should really have paid attention before casting him in their upcoming American remake of BANGKOK DANGEROUS.

**Also note THE FOG and ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13. It's ironic -- Carpenter did a great job remaking Howard Hawks's THE THING, his remake of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED stunk on ice, and he's done a decent job remaking his own material (GHOSTS OF MARS) but remaking a Carpenter film is dangerous business indeed. Are you listening ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (2009) producers?

For old time's sake... here's the best of Cage in THE WICKER MAN.