Saturday, May 22, 2010

going all the way

I did not understand that Return of the Living Dead Part II (1987) was meant to be a comedy. I watched it at my neighbor's house on pay-per-view (back when you had to call the cable company). It terrified me. In the months that followed, I would sneak into my neighbor's backyard pretending to be Suzanne Snyder - screaming and running from imaginary zombies coming at me from all directions. Gay.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats

"Stop looking at me you fucking cat!"

I found an old Matthew Sweet CD under my bed last week along with a bottle of CKone and it's made me downright nostalgic.  This time of year, as the weather gets warmer and the days grow longer, has me longing for the simple pleasures of high school!

Picture it:  shaggy hair tucked behind my ear, converse shoes and perfectly weathered jeans.  The first blooms of springtime making it entirely impossible to concentrate on class.  I'd take my sketchbook and charcoal pencils to the graveyard to rub out a quick still-life.  Could it be that I was simply enacting my favorite scenes from Stephen King's unfairly-maligned Sleepwalkers (1992)?  Let's see...

After two years in the public eye, Shelly the waitress had enough of Twin Peaks.  With all that cherry pie and the incessant rantings and lamps being thrown from Lara Flynn Boyle's trailer, it was no wonder that she fled to rural Indiana as fast as the Greyhound could take her!  She got herself a nice job at the local movie house, cleaning up and making popcorn for the locals. She moved in with Ferris Bueller's parents. She was wearing lots of flats. Things were going great.  Unfortunately, Shelly's shitty taste in men didn't change with her zip code.  

Charlie Brady is the new boy in town.  He is attractive. He has a cherry 1977 Trans-Am.  Charlie is very close to his mother. Ostensibly, Charlie is a catch.  It seems everyone in town wants a piece of him. On his very first day of class, his creepy english teacher follows him home and tries to cop a feel!  Can you imagine? I can. Suddenly, we can see the cracks in Charlie's porcelain veneer. Charlie hates gay people. He hates gay people so much that he proceeds to tear his english teacher to bits in the forest with his bare hands!  How rude.

This is where Sleepwalkers gets really delicious!  Charlie's hatred is not delegated exclusively to gay people. He hates cats too!

When the first national tour of Cats came to Boston, I was completely enchanted by the commercials.  I begged my mother to take me night after night. But my mother hates cats almost as much as she hates interactive musical theatre. My yearning was dismissed with, "You don't want to see that, they come right out at you."  Charlie's mom is a lot like my mom. She stays in all day, fretting about with candles lit all over the house in nothing but a silk nightgown. Just like my mom, her moods range from lovingly touching Charlie's face and holding him close, to slashing at him with her razor-sharp talons.  Maybe they sleep with each other, maybe they're monstrous shape-shifters, but who am I to judge the red states?

Shelly needs a little romance, even if she has to will it into being herself.  She packs a lovely picnic lunch for Charlie, complete with those delicious Whole Foods olives and her Nikon camera in tow.  Next thing you know, Charlie is smacking her to the ground and trying to devour her soul! I'm sensing a pattern here. What is it about Shelly the waitress that makes everyone want to hit her so much??

A lot of years have passed since high school and I ‘ve learned a thing or two.  I have my skin care regime down pat. I know which colors and sizes compliment my figure.  And I know that you shouldn't go on a first date to the cemetery unless you've known the boy for at least a month prior. I can also attest that Sleepwalkers is just as good as it was eighteen years ago.  No other movie offers the Borg Queen acting opposite a sofa in a town run by crime-solving cats.  I was once at a party with Mick Garris. Without flinching, I told him how much I adore this movie.  He responded with equal sincerity, "There's no accounting for taste."

My mom was right, Cats was a pass - they really do come right out at you.

(Horror Nerd Alert: Aside from Stephen King, who wrote this mess, keep a look out for cameos from the likes of Luke Skywalker and the undisputed Queen of Horror himself, Clive Barker!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Many Faces of Margot

Let it never be said that Miss Margot Kidder is not versatile.  Watch The Amityville Horror (1979) and you'll see an actress boldly exploring the entire gamut of human emotions!

She gives us Sensuality:



Mild Concern:


Telephone Distress Realness:


And, most importantly, Driving Concentration:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ghosts of Boyfriends Past

"Everyone has an opinion.  As long as they keep renting the movies I couldn't care less."
                                                 -David DeCoteau

For anyone who has the audacity to suggest that horror movies aren’t consumed as ravenously by the gay community as a broiled chicken breast buffet at a Fire Island barbeque, then I ask you to turn your attention to the work of David DeCoteau.  

David DeCoteau movies are the black sheep of horror sub-genres; chock full of shirtless Canadian men who feign interest in barely-there girls and often dabble in the occult.  Sometimes the protagonists are witches, sometimes they're sadomasochists - they're usually brunette.  
Invariably, these young men come close to kissing as the camera lingers on their tighty-whities. Blackout.  The end. DeCoteau movies are completely unconcerned with plot or crossover appeal beyond the gay/fangirl market.  But the same could be said for those Twilight movies and look what happened there!

Cut from the same Roger Corman cloth that produced James Cameron, David DeCoteau got his start making direct to VHS schlock in the 1980s (most notably, Sorority Babes in the Slime Bowl-O-Rama which starred scream queen Linnea Quigley and Andras Jones from Nightmare on Elm Street 4).  
Akin to the B-movies coming out of Troma, DeCoteau films have always veered inexplicably towards the homoerotic.  This was something I understood even at twelve years old when I'd sneak downstairs with all the lights off to watch  USA's Up All Night with the volume turned way way down so Mom couldn't hear me being gay!

Well, I don't know if you've been paying attention, but this queen isn't even pretending anymore!  Dont believe me?  Just pop over to netflix and check out his adaptation of House of Usher (2008).

A man with dated lesbian dive-bar hair pulls up to a bed and breakfast on his motorcycle.  He's greeted at the door by another man dressed in his best Victorian-era Matrix attire.  They speak of life during wartime. Neo has turned himself into quite the shut-in, as alluded to by his LatinX, man-servant.  Soon enough, the two men are hugging each other good night when the impossible happens: they actually kiss! Then they are unbuttoning their pants.  Then they strategically pull their underpants down and the camera focuses on their bare bottoms... I don't remember this in the Edgar Allen Poe story!

From what I understand, there's a problem - something about the gay with the dated lesbian dive-bar hair being reluctant to give up the contents of his cookie jar.  He takes a bubble bath and gets mysteriously felt-up by a pair of ghostly man hands coming from inside the tub.  Good problems to have. But then, over his morning French press coffee, he starts having debilitating visions of Neo in the throes of passion with the help and what would normally be a colorful exploration of the supernatural laced with a few lingering glances and strategically placed abs has given way to a full blown soft-core porno! 
Apparently the House of Usher isn't about a haunted house as much as it's about a gang-bang after a sample sale.  Who knew!?

Is this a scary movie? Not at all.  Are the shots in focus? Usually not.  Does the cast deliver all of their lines with the cadence of dead-eyed Eastern European porn stars?  They absolutely do. So, how can a movie be so unabashedly gay and yet be so joyless? I have no idea.  The camera spends so much time fetishizing these boys that there's no time for any plot to develop. In fact, nothing happens at all.  I had sworn up and down to eschew this sort of faggotry here, but it was somehow at the top of my queue and next thing you know, I watched the whole damn thing!  Looks like I'm only human after all. It's still better than Twilight.  

FaggotyassDrinkingGame:  Every time a character pretends to go down on the guy with lesbian hair, take a shot. Like my favorite barmaid says at my favorite bar (the local bowling alley) whenever I order a long island ice tea: "It'll get you fucked up!"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Don't listen to Maria Shriver or Rob Lowe

"I have silver bullets in here."

Lately, I find myself growing increasingly weary of Los Angeles.  Any day now, I'm sure that I'll wind up running around naked in some farmer’s backyard in Fresno waiting for the aliens to come and take me home. 

I’m just sick to death of these fratty, trust-fund kids-turned-executives with their endless, meandering “notes.” They’re all dating teenagers who can barely walk in heels, let alone speak coherently on the subject of healthcare reform. None of them care about TV and just want to be sports agents, but their dad’s know the CCO of Lionsgate, so here we are - they get offices and I have a blog.  Enough is enough!

All my snack breaks are spent perusing Manhattan real estate over my Danon Light & Fit yogurts. Then I remember that real magic of California living is that I can always hop in my car with my ipod blaring and, an hour later in either direction, I can have a day-trip in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. Just ask Dee Wallace (formerly Stone)!

Dee was equally burnt out in the early eighties.  

As a single mother, she had to work at least three jobs to keep her gay son in leg-warmers and jelly bracelets. Her E.T. check had yet to clear so she was working as a TV journalist, going undercover for the LAPD. 

One night, after a particularly arduous stakeout in a pornography shoppe, she reached her breaking point. Nothing is ever enough when you work for straight men and you’ll never get a thank you or a grapefruit basket!  What’s it all worth?

Dee needed to get away so, upon the bequest of her therapist, she drove a couple hours north to a day spa in the redwoods. Good for her. My therapist just tells me that everything’s my mother’s fault – she never offers me a weekend away, all expenses paid.

When Dee starts hearing The Howling (1981), she realizes that, in California, things are never what they seem. All these hippies offering facials and redwood yoga are actually flesh-hungry WEREWOLVES! And you wonder why I refuse to go to Coachella or that hippy, Wicker Man thing in the desert!

What The Howling lacks in nuance and tone and effects (it’s a very different animal than An American Werewolf in London), it makes up for it in damsel-in-distress/Dee Wallace realness.  
Just like a transplanted New Yorker trying to make sense of Los Angeles, Dee is emotionally raw and it's fascinatingly out of place. With that said, I think I'm gonna drive my Mazda rx7 up the coast this weekend.  I could use a day of redwood yoga!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I don't want to SEE THAT!

A few thoughts upon watching The Human Centipede (2010):

Tony Soprano is gonna be wicked pissed when he hears about what this nazi is doing to Meadow.

I can appreciate the lack of jump scares and tension that this movie has going for it.  I do not, however, understand the point.  Why are we watching this?  What's gained?  As a trailer, The Human Centipede is a riot - it does not play as a feature.  I'm never going to Germany.  I hate nazis.

This movie is extraordinarily unpleasant.  Maybe I'm getting old, but I've seen enough of these silly "torture porn" videos.  I like joy in my horror.  I like ladies with gay besties who overcome adversity in gorgeous outfits.  I do not like fecal matter. No, thank you.

I'll just die if I don't get this recipe.