Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Some super awesome bad movies...

And a few good ones. I’ve had a good run…

Lucifer complex: Sir Bru-dawg and I were at some record store and I was looking through old video tapes and stumbled upon this cinematic turd.It looked awful so of course Bru-dawg bought it. It was a science fiction movie about nazi cult doctors breeding clones on some island starring Robert Vanhan. If your old enough you’ll know him from the magnificent seven and the man from UNCLE. If your not old enough he goes down "oh yeah that guy," status.The movie is the reason fast forward buttons exist. It was funny and bad but the wrap-around story was almost unwatchable. I got the impression that the middle part of the movie was too short or awful and they thought they would add this story at the beginning and end. So the first half an hour is this dude after the end of the world watching human history on Crystal chips(that only show black and white). Eventually he discovers the end of the human race is caused by the nazi doctors.Very bad watch Zardoz instead.

3:10 to Yuma: Christian Bale rocks, everything he acts in pretty much is gold. Sure the action scenes were a bit over the top but with the actors it was an improvement on the OG Leonard Elmore film.

Duel to Death: I watched this with Randall (My co-author on the forthcoming Straight edge book) because it is hands down my favorite kungfu movie ever. An underrated classic that has everything you would need in a Wuxia pan film. Excellent sword fights, ninjas – lots of ninjas, backwards jumping, gore, shoalin monks, mystical kungfu.

Water Margin: Chang cheh Shaw brothers classic based on the super old school kungfu novel. Super strange flick that has 101 characters and 90 minutes into the film they are still introducing them and the actors that play them in title cards. Like the credits never end. As in all his film the blood flows, brutal Kungfu. Probably my least favorite Chang Cheh movie so far but I enjoyed it enough.

Curse of the Golden Flower: sure it’s an overproduced melodrama for the first hour but once the ninjas assassins show there is not one damn thing to complain about. Chow yun Fat is amazing as the emperor.Although I liked watching it at home, it was meant for the big screen and I’m glad I saw it that way.

Twitch of the Death Nerve: Bru-dawg pick. Mario Bava directed pre-Friday the 13th slasher film. It is a weird slasher movie because there is not one killer. everyone kills everybody. For fans of Italian horror it is a must see film.

Raiders of Atlantis: Bru-dawg pick. Italian low budget sci-fi action film, so Atlantis comes up out of the ocean and sends a tidal wave that destroys the world. It was strange very much like the director’s cut of Jim Cameron’s the abyss. Atlantis populated by a punk rock biker gang who slowly drives around Florida killing the surviving humans. The plot makes negative sense, but it is a hell of a entertaining must see bad film. Even movie madness doesn’t have it.

2019: After the fall of New York – Bru-dawg and I had a super bad post apoc night that started with raiders of atlantis and ended with this movie. Low budget Italian rip-off of escape from NY that also has pretty much the same plot as children of men. This movie is crucial and I feel like a poser for having never before witnessed it. As bu-dawg correctly pointed out if you don’t like this you don’t like bad movies. There are also this super bizarre planet of the apes dudes that show up,it is quite a film.
Also watching X-files season 5, Dead zone season two.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hunters are psychotic.

I’m not just saying that because I’m a vegan warrior. Let me tell you about this experience I had the other day. I was running late to work and got a seat on the bus next a normal looking dude reading the paper. He was reading the metro section of the Boregonion. When he finished he reached into his bag and pulled out a hunting magazine.
While I can’t see this dude being a part of the grand circle of life, or praying for the animal’s soul after he has blown them away he seemed like a normal enough guy. I thought about talking to him but assumed I would just want to kill him so I didn’t. The last thing I wanted to hear when I was running late to work was how the great hunter was sitting up in the tree stand shooting at deer because they were overpopulated.
I doubt that justification would work for school shooters and certainly human beings have a greater population problem than deer do.
Deer also don’t consume their habitat like we do. I Digress.
So I start looking over his shoulder at his magazine. On the very first page I see was an AD for a bullet. This bullet was advertised to hunters as "plenty harm – no foul." A page later an ad for a shoulder stock said "Killer flexibility." He flips through an article about a canned hunt range in Texas and happens on an ad for High tech night vision goggles.
Portland for all it’s wonderful aspects has it’s share of sleeze. While I am used to sitting on the bus with sketchy dudes this was different. We got off at the same bus stop and I thought about saying t\something but he walked away before I could. Why Should I or any other human feel safe with people like him around. Just6 because it’s non-humans that they kill I feel any safer. Hell they glorify killing and violence as if it was this grand wonderful thing.
People have called Animal rights people whacko but look at the ads in Vegnews and compare them to a hunting magazine. In Vegnews you’ll often see the words Compassion, you’ll see messages about health, you’ll see the beauty of nature glorified. Instead of it being seen as a military operation to be targeted and destroyed. That is all why there is nothing better than hunting accidents.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

'Oh yeah that Guy' memorials

Biron James survived Vietnam to return to the states as one of those actors who as soon as he gets on the screen everyone in the room says "Oh yeah that Guy." Not only was he great in Enemy Mine and Cabin boy but lets face it he had the best line in Blade Runner. I'm sure I'll do this again with the guy who played the subway ghost in Ghost. Also note Biron James had a movie come out four years after his death.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rambo’s dad

Mostly I like to point my readers to overlooked horror fiction masterpieces so picking a bestselling author to profile might not seem like the best choice, but you need to know more about David Morrell. He is the best selling author of many books that get classified as thrillers and most well known as being the man who invented John Rambo in his debut novel First Blood. Just like colonel Truatman in the 1972 novel who had to deal with the consequences of his creation John Rambo so has Morrell.

He had to deal with the misplaced patriotism that ironically rose from the two sequels(another on the way), that led to toys and even a briefly syndicated cartoon. Like a trooper he stuck with his boy by writing two underrated novelizations. The hardest part for his fans is simply that First Blood is a kicker of a novel that was respected for its prose as well as it’s intelligence until it became known as the source material for the Rambo films.

Rambo was tragic figure fucked over by his government at every turn that trained him to be a killer and then spit him back into a world that couldn’t understand him. In the novel Rambo shows no restraint killing cops like Lindsey Lohan going through a coke stash. All because a Korean war vet redneck sheriff took him for a hippie. I can’t imagine how Morrell must have felt when a President Reagan invoked the name of Rambo in relation to his dealings with Libya. Telling the world that Rambo showed him what to do! What? John Rambo was a cop killer?

But I’m here to tell you about Morrell’s work as a horror author. Many of his thrillers are worth the read especially Covenant of the Flame, Brotherhood of the Rose and the amazing Long Lost. It is Morrell’s second novel Testament that ranks for me as one of the most white knuckle non-supernatural horror novels of all time. The story of a reporter who attracts the wrath of a white power militia and has to go on the run is a page turner like no other.

Morrell is a master at moving novels, ultra short chapters and perfectly crafted minimalist prose keep you turning pages long after you should be going back to work, or going to bed. He returned to the horror genre again in the 70’s with the novel The Totem which is widely considered to be a horror classic.

However it is in short stories where he dips into our beloved genre with the greatest results. His collections are Black Evening and Nightscape both include novellas and award winning shorts. For my money his short story ‘The Storm’ (in Black evening) is masterpiece that could make a killer episode of the masters of horror with the right director.

After years of devoting time to writing thrillers and founding the thriller writers association Morrell has recently returned to horror with his 2005 novel Creepers. That novel makes use of a horrific setting and showed me that Morrell has not lost any of his edge.

Sold yet? Give Morrell a read if you haven’t already he is one of the best.