Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Verily, thou art a bargain

If you have $5 burning a hole in your pocket, there are worse things that you could spend it on than one of these nifty little Zeus figurines, available in the toy section at Target. They also had Poseidon and Apollo figures, and the Poseidon one was pretty solid, but Zeus was the clear winner, mainly because the manufacturers didn't let the fact that he was a children's toy dissuade them from giving him a loincloth that leaves very little to the imagination. Plus, he looks like someone threw the Anglo version of God into a blender with Sam Elliot. And he's getting ready to smite someone with a thunderbolt while standing on a pile of marshmallow fluff to boot. All perfect for a deity known for his foul temper and erotic escapades.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Why context matters

So this track is spreading like the proverbial wildfire across the internet this week, and it's easy to see why. It's David Lee Roth's isolated vocal track-cum-asthmatic wheeze from Van Halen's 1978 scorcher "Runnin' With The Devil." I defy you to listen to this all the way through without laughing. Just goes to show that bassist Michael Anthony's background vocals / harmonies were sort of...how you say?...integral to the bands sound.

Click here for aural goodness. And mucho thanks to Chunklet for posting it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

More Romero than Romeo

I may have to rescind my previous post about Billy Ocean still being in possession of all his smooth romantic abilities. Because based on this recent photo of him I found...

...he seems like he'd be less into making love to women on the beach, and more into using chicken blood to raise an army of the undead down in Trinidad. I'm just sayin'.

Don't sweat it, Billy. We all loved you in "The Serpent and the Rainbow."


So what we have here is someone who decided that they wanted to make live-action versions of daily "Garfield" comic strips. Why? Who knows? Maybe they're insane. Maybe they're unemployed. Regardless, they rule. To whit:

"Garfield" and "M*A*S*H". You can't lose. Here's another:

Head over to youtube for the motherlode, courtesy of the mysterious entity known only as "lasagnacat." You won't regret it.

Happy Birthday, Billy Ocean!

Although the silky smooth R&B crooner turns 58 years old today, rest assured he is still more than capable of wearing a trenchcoat with the sleeves rakishly rolled up, shimmying up to your lady with his unique rhythmic shuffle, seducing her with a song, and then whisking her away to a moonlit beach where he will make tender-yet-forceful love to her. Beware!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Cloverfield" is:

A.) A movie about a field full of Irish weeds and the plucky, green-garbed little people who pick them.

B.) Somewhat OK but not super-kick-ass.

C.) A 1 hour, 20 minute "what if Godzilla really attacked a city and someone shot and posted it on you-tube?" video.

D.) Shot in a herky-jerky handheld style that's going to make you more nauseous than when you played "Duke Nukem" in a dark room for 7 hours back in 1996.

E.) All of the above.

The correct answer is actually B - D. It's not bad, there's some nice moments, but they ruin it by going for a big reveal shot of the monster at the end (up until then you just got brief, nicely effective glimpses of it), and the shoehorned-in love story is retarded to the nth degree.

Now I just need to free up 3 hours of time to go check out "There Will be Blood", which I'm dying to see.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You want proof? I got your proof

So here's clip from "Death Wish 3" in which Bronson and venerable character actor Ed Lauter (he played a prison guard in "The Longest Yard") team up to walk right down the middle of the street and kill 73 people without getting scratched themselves (Lauter's character is a cop who at first decries Bronson's methods, but eventually warms to his "kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out" philosophy). Ed kicks things off by killing the guy from 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" who isn't Keanu Reeves as he is about to shoot Bronson from behind, and then things take off from there, accompanied by a searing musical score by Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page (I'm not making that up). I'm pretty sure that every shot they take manages to kill 2 gang members. And thank god for the impenetrable cover of mailboxes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Set your DVR's

Because tonight American Movie Classics / AMC is airing "Death Wish 3", a wildly entertaining Charles Bronson gem. Forget the original "Death Wish" from the 1970's, which actually took a stab at social commentary. Forget "Death Wish 2", wherein Bronson's Paul Kersey relocates to LA to start over with a clean slate, only to be drawn back into his vigilante lifestyle. No, "Death Wish 3" is clearly the one of the series you need to absorb, study and reflect upon.

I watched it a year or two ago when the wife was out of town on business (most guys head to strip clubs or play cards with their buddies when the wife isn't around; I watch bad movies. Sue me), and I instantly fell in love with it. It's awesomely over-the-top, with Bronson's character heading back to New York to visit with a war buddy, who the plot-contrivance screenplay Gods have seen fit to have live smack-dab in the middle of the Bronx, circa 1985. The stage thus set, the rest of the film unfolds like a expertly-constructed Chinese puzzle box.

Soon after Bronson's arrival, his buddy is killed by a gang that rules the neighborhood. Of course, this is no normal Bronx gang. Instead, it's a colorful melange (rainbow coalition?) of different races and creeds, all united by their love of intimidating women on the streets with catcalls and purse-snatching. And most awesomely of all, they are led with maniacal fervor by a Hollywood version of a "punk rock" dude, complete with a reverse-mohawk and face paint. Oh yeah - did I mention that this leader of a Bronx gang is a blond-haired white dude? Because no one commands respect in the inner city like an un-muscular white guy.

"That's right, dickhead. A reverse mohawk, courtesy of a nice, big
jar of Dippity-Do. That's how we roll here in the Bronx."

Naturally, things escalate from there. Bronson bangs a chick half his age, who the gang then kills. This understandably cheeses Chuck off a bit. So he rallies the locals around his cause, shows them how to fight back, and mows down 700 gang members with a machine gun. He then frosts his revenge cake by blowing the reverse-mohawked leader to smithereens with a mail-order rocket launcher. It's real "stand up and cheer" moment.

This movies rules. Or pwns, or whatever you want to say. It's on at 7-9 PM central time, and then re-run immediately after from 9-11 PM. So you really have no excuse to miss it.

Here's some choice dialogue from the film, courtesy of the imdb. If these bon mots and my sterling recommendation isn't enough for you, you're most likely beyond redemption:

CHICK BRONSON BANGS: I hope you like chicken. It's the only thing I know how to make.
BRONSON: Chicken's good. I like chicken.


GANG MEMBER: They killed the Giggler, man!
GANG LEADER: They had no business doing that. None.


BRONSON: Hey, what's the problem?
PUNK #1: What?
BRONSON: With the car... what's the problem?
PUNK #1: Just get outta my fuckin' face. Who are you?
PUNK #2: We're stealing a fuckin' car, what's it to you?
BRONSON: It's my car.
PUNK #1: Now you gonna die!
( Bronson shoots them both dead]

All this and more can be yours tonight at 7 and 9 PM central. Be there.


OK, so I watched some of this last night, and there were so many great moments that I had forgotten many of them. My favorites? Well, I certainly enjoyed the fact that the movie contained 3 different instances of people on fire being shot. That's right: after the gang members ("creeps" as Bronson call them) throw molotov cocktails into people homes, people run out screaming and on fire. And then the gang members shoot them! I guess it's not enough to immolate someone in the Bronx, you must also ventilate them. Yeesh. But if you were truly evil, wouldn't you just let them burn? Shooting someone that's on fire just puts them out of their misery, doesn't it? Almost merciful, really. Nonetheless, very funny.

Another scene that made me roar was when the elderly citizens, inspired by Bronson running down the middle of the street and shooting gang member after gang member, decide to fight back themselves. So they string a chain up across a road and when some thugs come by on motorcycles, they clothesline them with it. Then they shoot the thugs while they're on the ground, grinning as they do so. Afterwards they happily jump up and down, firing pistols in the air like a bunch of mexican bandits! Genius.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

R.I.P. Vampira (1921-2008)

A true horror / genre icon has passed, as former television horror host Vampira (aka Maila Nurmi) shrugged off this mortal coil on January 10. A Los Angeles TV station aired her show starting in 1955, with her introducing horror films in a comic manner. The show became a local hit and the trend caught on, and soon local stations across the country began airing their own versions of the show, always hosted by a ghoulish/comic character with a title like 'Shock Theatre" and so forth. These type of shows persisted and were common in most cities until about the mid-80's. She was the first television horror host (a genre unto itself, and one that we here at blogfoot revere), and Elvira should have been sending her weekly royalty checks.

Vampira and the inimitable Tor Johnson lurk amongst cardboard scenery

But that's not all. She was also a featured player in maestro Ed Wood Jr's magnum opus "Plan 9 Nine from Outer Space", generally acknowledged as one of the worst films of all time (I dispute this, because the film is funny and entertaining, so how can it be bad?). She was also in "Sex Kittens Go To College", which also featured Mamie Van Doren and no less than Elektro, one of the world's first robots built by the Westinghouse corporation for the World's Fair way back in 1939. In the movie Elektro played a robot named "Thinko," and was hailed by critics for his convincing portrayal of a large metal humanoid thing that moved slowly and stiffly.

But I digress. She also dated Orson Welles, who declared, upon seeing her nude, that she had a "magnificent carcass." See here:

And here's a brief clip from her show:

Parties interested into more of a glimpse into her world should also check out Tim Burton's awesome 1994 sorta-biopic "Ed Wood." Farewell, madam!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The winds of change bring...change, I suppose.

Mere days ago our guest room closet held the spoils of several decades of comic-book collecting. Neatly arranged in white boxes by publisher, they were always at the ready for perusal. Looking to read the "Serpent Crown Saga" from the mid-70's "Avengers" run? Easy to find, my friend. Thinking of looking over Berni Wrightson's legendary run on "Swamp Thing" #1-10? Why, it's right here. And hey, is that a complete run of Art Spiegelman's seminal "Raw" magazine? Well, yes it is. Feel free to look at them, but do be careful, as they are valuable. But those days are now gone. Whisked away like a pile of dog hair in the hallway. Now, that once-glorious closet looks like this:

That's right: a rack of baby clothes, in size order from newborn to 6-12 months. Nary a speck of Benday-dotted newsprint to be found.

I'll be in the basement if you need me.

Prolonged bathroom break in progress

Rest assured I have not been willfully shirking my duty to bring my readers the finest in second-hand screengrabs and purloined information. No, the blogfoot offices have been temporarily shuttered due to the arrival of a screaming infant into our midst.
Ye gods, babies are unreasonable beings. I keep telling him "Dude, I'm trying to blog here" and he just keeps crying like he's hungry or something.

Anyway, posts will resume this Sunday or Monday.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It's 2008: Do you know where your pants are?

I ask because as I recently arrived on the 5th floor hallway of the downtown parking ramp my car resides in, I was greated with a strange sight: a pair of dress pants (slacks, if you will) crumpled in the corner.

My mind reeled with questions: was Hank Pym recently in the area, and had cause to turn into Ant-Man, thus shrinking out of his clothes? No, that couldn't be it, because then a shirt and shoes would have been left behind. Was someone vaporized by some sort of futuristic weapon? Probably not, as there was none of the tell-tale dusty epidermal residue that vaporization usually leaves behind.

Well, I'm at a loss as to why a pair of pants would be left in a parking lot lobby. I guess this riddle will have to go unsolved. However, if a pair of pants recently fell off your body, they are right outside of the 5th floor elevators of Ramp B on 1st Ave and 5th street in downtown Minneapolis.