Saturday, June 30, 2007

Theater of Pain

I found this a few days ago, and since then I've spent quite a bit of time debating what to say about it. The it dawned on me that I've said everything there is to say, so I'm just going to leave it alone and let the movie speak for itself.

MANOS The Hands Of Fate 1966

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Pavement-'Range Life'

Haute Blood Pressure

I've been meaning to watch Haute Tension for quite some time now, but I just hadn't gotten around to it for one reason or another (IE, not in the mood, it wasn't on tv at the time, didn't want to pay the rental fee, etc.) I noticed it was on last night, and I was up for some hacking and slashing, so I settled in. (There's gonna be spoilers in this post, I'm warning you now.)

I had a general idea of what the movie was about-2 friends go on a trip and they get some nut after them. I also knew about the big twist ending, but I figured that since I was expecting it, it wouldn't be such a surprise and the movie wouldn't piss me off like it did practically everyone else.

That was the plan anyway.

The movie starts with Alex and Marie, 2 college friends, traveling to Alex's family's gorgeous home in the French countryside for a study vacation. You get the idea that Alex is sort of the flirty, floozy girly type, and Marie, well, isn't. They get to the house, settle in, have dinner, blahdy, blahdy, blah. The family goes to bed and then a couple things happen that gives you the slight impression that maybe, perhaps Marie kinda, sorta has a thing for Alex (translation: she peeks at her while she's in the shower and then goes off to masturbate. Subtle.)

While Marie is busying herself, a man shows up at the house in a truck that he apparently stole from the Jeepers Creepers guy and knocks on the front door. (Oh yeah, I almost left out the part about the brief scene earlier in the movie, which consisted of the guy sitting in the JC truck, felating himself with a woman's decapitated head. He then chucked the head out the window and drove off. Such a gentleman.) Alex's dad answers the door, and the slaughter commences. Marie witnesses the initial assault on the dad, and manages to find a hiding place. Alex's mother and young brother aren't so lucky, and Alex herself arguably gets the worst of the man's aggression, chained to her bed, gagged, brutalized and raped-but not killed.

At this point in the movie (about 30 minutes in), I thought to myself "Hmm, this is a lot like that Dean Koontz book, Intensity." Now, I'm loathe to spoil any aspect of Intensity, because while it's not the BEST book I've ever read, it's probably the one book that managed to utterly and totally cause me to crap my pants, so I have an affinity for it. In the book, Chyna, a college student and a survivor of childhood abuse, joins her friend Laura at her family's house for Thanksgiving. While she's there a man breaks into the house, kills Laura's family, chains Laura up, rapes her, all the while Chyna hides in the house, waiting for an opportunity to save her friend and escape.

So yeah, you can see how the 2 stories have a lot in common, and if the similarities had ended there, I wouldn't even mention it. The thing is, up until the ending, the ENTIRE MOVIE is a blatant rip-off of Intensity (if you want a basis for comparison without reading the book, hunt down a copy of the miniseries starring Molly Parker and John C. McGinley. It's not on DVD though, but I do have a copy on VHS in my storeroom somewhere. I know that doesn't help any of you much, I'm just sayin'.)

When I say 'blatant rip-off', it's not hyperbole. I've seen plenty of films that contain homages, for lack of a better word, to other source material, but it's usually just one scene, so it's acceptable in some instances. But Haute Tension is made up entirely (minus the ending, which, I know I'm in the minority here, but I kind of liked the twist) of the first half of Intensity. In addition to what I've already covered:

-In both stories, the killer kidnaps the daughter, while the friend stows away in his vehicle (JC truck in HT, Winnebago in Intensity.)

-In both stories, the killer stops at a gas station while the friend tries to hide from him until she can get help. And in both stories, the gas station attendent doesn't fare very well.

-And in both stories, the friend swipes a car so she can catch the killer and rescue her friend (actually, in Intensity her friend was already a lost cause, and she was after him for another reason, but I've said too much already.)

Take away the shock ending, and that is the sum total of Haute Tension: someone else's story. I'm not a huge Dean Koontz fan-aside from Intensity, I've never cared much for his work-so I'm not freaking out over some sense of fan loyalty, it's my time that I care about. I admit, I'm selfish with my time, because I don't have that much of it for myself. I rarely get to watch movies lately, and since I love film as much as I do, when I DO get to watch something, I want it to count, you know? I'm not saying every movie I watch has to be great, far from it, but I don't want it to be something that wastes my time, nor something that offends me.

And Haute Tension did both. It didn't offend me because of the misogyny, the homophobia, or the violence-it was the plagiarism. Ignore Haute Tension and go read Intensity instead: It's better, scarier and more importantly, it's original.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Bu-Bu-But Number 10!

2 things dawned on me after reading the results of this poll. 1, I had never actually heard that James Blunt song all the way through. I hunted it down, and, uh, well, it's not THE most annoying song I've ever heard, but it's not my cup of tea either (9 and 10 though, oh the pain). And 2, I haven't posted anything list related in a long, long time. Let's rectify that right now:

SOPPY ballad You’re Beautiful by JAMES BLUNT has been voted the most irritating song of all time.

The single was No1 in 11 countries in 2005, including five weeks in Britain.

Second in the poll to find the song that grates most was Axel F by CRAZY FROG, which was No1 in 13 countries.

Next was Mmm Bop by HANSON, top of the UK charts for three weeks in 1997.

John Sewell, of market researchers, said: “James Blunt isn’t the obvious choice, but any song that is at No1 for so long does start to get annoying.”

The most recent song was this year’s Grace Kelly by MIKA and the oldest was LULU’s Shout (1964).

TOP 10:

1. You’re Beautiful — James Blunt. 2. Axel F — Crazy Frog. 3. Mmm Bop — Hanson. 4. Mr Blobby — Mr Blobby. 5. Birdie Song — The Tweets. 6. Shout — Lulu. 7. Agadoo — Black Lace. 8. Grace Kelly — Mika. 9. My Heart Will Go On — Celine Dion. 10. La Macarena — Los Del Rio.

  • The Sun
  • Sunday, June 24, 2007


    Remember that phase I went through not long ago, posting a crappy public domain movie every weekend, then I stopped? 'Member that? That was fun. The reason I stopped was because I ran out of good crappy movies, and was only left with CRAPPY crappy movies, and as much of a misanthrope as I am, I draw the line at foisting boring schlock upon other people.


    I was overcome by massive boredom this afternoon, and I went searching on Google video for something to watch, and I found not just a GOOD crappy movie, but GREAT crappy movie, one of the best of the worst: Ed Wood's transvestite sci-fi extravaganza, Glen or Glenda.

    The inspiration for this movie was the story of George Jorgensen, who in 1952, became Christine Jorgensen, one of the first people to undergo sexual reassignment surgery.


    Christine's story has absolutely NOTHING to do with what ended up on film. What we got instead, was Ed Wood himself in some (very cute) angora sweaters, Bela Lugosi in one of the most bizarre roles of his career (morphine: it's a hell of a drug), and a plot that has fuck all to do with transsexualism (or logic for that matter.)

    Basically, if you want a good movie about a transgendered person, rent Hedwig and the Angry Inch. If you want a halfway decent movie about a guy who dresses like a chick, rent Tootsie. If you want a good Ed Wood movie, then I'm afraid I can't help you (but if you want a good movie ABOUT Ed Wood, then check out his biopic starring Johnny Depp. Martin Landau is GOLD as Bela Lugosi.)


    If you're like me, and you thrive on crappy movies about cross dressers that make no sense whatsoever, then settle in and click 'play' on the little YouTube dealy down below.

    Monday, June 18, 2007

    Happy Fun Time Music Post

    I'm in a pretty good mood today. I haven't had to go anywhere or do anything all day, Harper's been at a friend's house for the past hour, and the house is so quiet. Plus, I noticed that Reefer Madness is going to be on tv later today, and I FINALLY got my filthy mitts on some of This (it's pretty good, but I keep having to suppress an urge to lick the outside of the container. I do love that man.)

    Oh yeah, and we're going to get another dog. Don't know what kind yet-only that we want a smallish/mediumish sized pup-so if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments (or you could send them telepathically. Just not between 5 and 6-that's Jamie's time.)

    I'd make a more substantial post, but I'm going to enjoy my sure-to-be fleeting good mood, watch the greatest bad movie in history, and make out with my ice cream, so you're only getting music today. Hey, I didn't have to post anything, so don't be a-bitchin' about it.

    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    The Burly Post

    I was sitting here this afternoon, and I got the urge to post something. The only problem is, I can't think of anything to post about. Why is this? Well, one reason is because I've had a killer case of insomnia this week, and it's making me miserable. I'll be up until like 2am, watching tv, playing a video game, reading, what have you, and I'll FINALLY start to get really sleepy. I take that as my cue to go to bed, and I just end up laying there with my eyes wide open, unable to get comfortable. Wonderful.

    Another reason is because I'm a bit stressed. I've had some dealings with Mr. Stress this year, so it's not new exactly, but there's a pretty straightforward reason for it this time: my dad is having surgery tommorrow. Nothing major, just routine hernia surgery. But I've always been one of those worst-case-scenario types, so anything that could conceivably go wrong, I can assure you, I've thought of it.

    But yet I still want to get something up here, yet I can't think of anything to say. I've become Barton Fink, only my hair is better. At any rate, I think I've come up with something. After much deliberation, I've decided to blatantly rip off another website, in this case, Superdickery, which consists of unintentionally dirty comic book panels and covers. I'm immature and they make me laugh, plus they pretty much speak for themselves, so I don't have to say anything, which, now that I think about it, I actually DID end up saying something, so this post has pretty much negated itself.

    Huh, how about that?