Saturday, June 29, 2013

the last sunday in june

  1. Sunblock.  
  2. Respect your elders.  
  3. Don't get married just because you can.
  4. Faggotyass Gift Baskets to anyone who gets a picture with Cher or Sandra Bernhard.
Be safe.  Love, Love, Love.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

and she was

“Humans need to tell stories … it’s through stories that we come to understand ourselves and we come to understand the world.  “

Neil Jordan is always ahead.  He made The Company of Wolves years before everyone was making knockoff fairy tale reboots.  He made the first Oscar movie about a Trans and he made the first (and, to date, only) big budget blockbuster about two gays raising a child through the dissolution of their marriage.  Twenty years after Interview with the Vampire, he has returned to the source with Byzantium.  What’s the final frontier this time?  You guessed it – Feminism.

Byzantium posits (correctly) that girls are the new gays.  Equality is the final frontier.  This is a world where female vampires are forbidden to create and Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan are being hunted for the simple fact that they're strong, independent women.  Fascinating!  Not since Beaches have I seen an exploration of two women involved in such a complicated and sensitive companionship.  Codependent?  Maybe.  Aren't all great loves codependent?  Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.

By design, it's not hard to see Byzantium as a companion piece to Interview with the Vampire.  This is the movie that recasts Louis and Claudia to explore what happens to old souls when they try and adapt to the world today.  What does it mean for a vampire to love?  Can anyone make the choice to be compassionate and tender despite the constant nagging of an overriding, preternatural blood lust?  This movie is full of poetic philosophy juxtaposed with some gruesome gore.

Byzantium is hypnotic.  Beautiful throughout, this movie lulls you into a trance, building to a powerful and complex climax that made me want to watch it all over again.   I have no idea why Gemma Arterton isn't a huge star.  There’s a moment in the third act where she claws onto the proceedings at hand, straps them on her back and walks away with the movie with animal ferocity.  Color me impressed.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

two steps forward, two steps back

Heeeey, Supreme Court!  What a Wednesday.  Congratulations all around.  Since I'm in no condition to get married until I can somehow get my nighttime flatulence under control, I am celebrating the only way I know how: with a huge jug of coffee (extra almond milk and maple sugar) and with my stories.

Are we all watching Under the Dome?  Is it fabulous?

I'm staying home from work this morning to live-blog the pilot (two days after the fact). Seeing as I have no vacation plans this summer because, contrary to the liberal media, not all homosexuals are independently wealthy, and since today is a Gay holiday, I think this is an experiment worth our time.  Besides, who doesn't love Stephen King?

"...if you see something, say something."

There's a town someplace and Mike Vogel lives there and he's still wearing his costume from Bates Motel.  Lawnmower Man is the town sheriff and he has a Latina sidekick who can't act.  This is apparently a meme now, starting with The Dark Knight, then followed by the Superman movie.  What?  They couldn't get Rosie Perez?  I wonder if Lawnmower Man is still really into Virtual Reality... you think he still has one of those machines in the garage?  So many questions.

Apparently, there are no gay people in this hamlet.  It must have been pride weekend on the other side of the dome.  Or maybe there was there a Farmer's Market.  We don't have those out here like they do back east.  I miss muffins and artisanal cheeses.

Commercial time!  There's a long form promo for Pacific Rim.  Rumor has it no one wants to see Pacific Rim.  If you are a noted homosexual and not going to see Pacific Rim, let me remind you that Charlie Hunnam got his career from letting Littlefinger from Game of Thrones eat his butt out on camera in every episode of the proper Queer As Folk.  Respect.

Speaking of commercials, are we allowed to talk about the fact that the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy movie doesn't look particularly good or funny?  I mean, obviously we're all going to support our Queens, but was this really the best they could come up with?  Deep thoughts.

Okay, back to the show.  There's a dome of unknown origin and it cut a cow in half.  Horror on television - our dreams are real.  This dome separates the hamlet from the rest of the world for some reason and Molly Parker is not on this show even though she should be.  In my mind, Molly Parker will always the definitive Stephen King actress.   Pay attention, Hollywood!

So, a Ginger lady befriends Mike Vogel and takes him back to her house where the doorway under the stairwell informs us that this is the Dursley home from Harry Potter.  Interesting choice, CBS.  I'm not quite sure how Ginger Dursley is going to maintain all her volume if the goverment can't break through the dome with mousse shipments -but this is one of the many mysteries to be uncovered over the next twelve weeks.  It's fun when she tries to stand as though she's human and natural and concerned all a once.  Acting!  It's a wonder why they fired her from Twilight (apparently Bryce Dallas Howard was also unavailable).

Samantha Mathis is on this show.  She has a kid who needs an inhaler - BORING.  I hope this story line ends before it starts.  She also has a black friend.  Progressive.  Samantha Mathis used to date River Phoenix (or was that Samantha Morton?).  I don't know what she's doing here, but this look she's sporting is a little... young.  Bless her heart.  I love that there are two black people in the town - there aren't usually black people in Stephen King stories.   You can't stop the beat!

Speaking of race, The Call is coming out on blu-ray.  Halle Berry as a lady who has a headset!  How did we all miss this one!?  It was directed by Brad Anderson who made Session 9, thus proving that life is sad and oftentimes too dark for comprehension.  Watching all these commercials, I'm becoming aware that I have never watched a show on CBS before.  It's a day of firsts.

There is finally a true beauty on this show - a beautiful starlet who works at the town's radio station and she is stealing the show!  Thank GOD.  More of this one.

There's also a hot twenty-seven year old with pretty lips and a pocket knife who loves Shelly the Waitress  Candy Striper.  He's upset that his feelings for Shelly aren't reciprocated so he stalks her all over the dome and locks her in a fallout shelter.  A man after my heart!  Clearly we have two stars on our hands.  I think he should resolve his issue by taking off his shirt and wrestling with Mike Vogel, but that's just me.

I grew up in the heart of the Stephen King age.  I remember vividly staying up to watch IT and The Stand.  While both of those mini-series hold up surprisingly well, Under the Dome isn't good.  It's flat.  Overall, it's not cohesive or well made; there's a lot of TV-grade over-lighting and bad acting.   The voluptuous beauty of indiscriminate origin from the radio station walked away with the show and my heart.  I'm also curious to see how long it's going to take for the hot guy and Shelley the Waitress Candy Striper to play scenes from Grease 2 in that fallout shelter.  Since I don't have my Glee stories until S'Lea Michele finishes her novel, I'll guess I'll watch another episode.  How about you?

Friday, June 21, 2013

so you're brad pitt...

Over the two years that World War Z was in production hell, I learned that there are historically two models to follow when your big-budget movie goes off the rails.

Option 1 - Queen Kelly
  • The Erich von Stroheim/Gloria Swanson epic from 1929.  The budget was ballooning and everyone questioned Stroheim's intentions and sanity so the movie was shut down and never released in America.    This same thing happened a few years back to David O'Russell on Nailed.  They had all but finished (urban legend says there was only one day left) when the money fell out and the movie never got released.

Option 2 - Cleopatra
  • The Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton four hour debacle (which, with inflation, would cost over $300m today) was losing money before it even shot.  Rather than scrap the entire endeavor,  the Studio fired most of its staff and sold the bulk of its backlot to keep the production going in hopes that, in the end, there would be a finished epic that they could somehow cut and sell to recoup some money back.

Lucky for us, they went with Option 2 and Paramount and Brad Pitt's production company just kept spending and shooting and spending some more.  The end result is a $200m zombie movie that belongs on the shelf next to 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead.  World War Z is spectacular.  I loved it.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mannequin 3: Samantha's Revenge

If you're not hot I don't value your opinion. Stop trying to force me to listen if I show no interest.
— Amanda Bynes (@AmandaBynes) June 19, 2013

Hi.  It’s sharing time…  I don't like the original Maniac because the killer is ugly.  There.  I said it.  So when it was announced that Elijah Wood would be taking on the lady-killing, title role in the remake, I was intrigued.  Stunt casting!  Be it in The Good Son of those Hobbit movies, no one plays damsel in distress better than Elijah.  

"Look what you made me do!"

The Good:
 Having now seen this film a couple times, I’ll say one thing: the Maniac remake is better than the original.  Most obviously, its soundtrack is great.  I'm serious; the music alone is worth the price of admission.  Buy it twice.  Set here in Los Angeles, Maniac captures the spookiness of downtown quite well (just ask Nick Stahl).  Maniac 2.0 is nothing if not stylish.  The color palate and overall look of the movie is fantastic, with lots of hot pink and blood reds and electric blues contrasting against an otherwise harsh DIY student film digital aesthetic.  Gorgeous.  

The Bad:
It's clear that the creative team watched American Psycho a whole lot but, beyond style, one can’t help but to question why we’re watching Elijah Wood attack a bunch of innocent women.  What is Maniac about?  Elijah goes on dates and remembers that his mom used to love having indiscriminate sex with strangers.  So...

The entire film is shot from his first-person perspective -which is a fun gimmick that often works well until the very second you start thinking about how silly it is - or you remember Student Bodies, and it quickly becomes a parody of itself.  Elijah Wood yelling at mannequins is funny.  Also, Elijah making sex face makes me uncomfortable.  This is my issue, not the films.  Contrary to urban legend, Mr. Wood is not gay.  I know this is very confusing.  If this movie projects nothing else, it pronounces his heterosexuality with absolute clarity.

The inherent flaws of the source material are still present.  The sensitive serial killer with Mommy issues angle doesn't work in 2013.   Are we supposed to sympathize with him?  I don't understand.  This movie would play a lot better if they just took the time to write in a part for Hollywood Montrose. Easy fix.

Maniac opens exclusively in Manhattan this weekend, thus proving that gay people should move to New York or LA.  Sorry, I don't make the rules.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Inside Amy Steel

“Keep clean during your menstrual cycle.”

Today I was on the elliptical listening to this months' best gym mixtape (Duel of the Fates and the Lea Michele/Melissa Benoist cover of NewYork State of Mind on repeat for an hour).  I was clicking through the cable channels when I happened upon Sandra Lee wearing a buttercream and yellow Stepford Wives apron.  She was fixing some Costco spinach and tomato wraps into tortilla chips to go with her shitty edamame guacamole dip (why she didn't just buy the Costco tortilla chips is beyond me) and it all got me thinking about feminism.

Gays can have a complicated relationship with feminism. One minute, they're watching Real Housewives, the next they're not holding the door for ladies and grabbing at their behinds without consent while using the B-word. Tricky. I don't think this exists so much in the horror community. We worship our heroines.
Last week I touched upon how, in my mind, horror movies have always been pro-women and gays.  Even though the real world is unforgiving, women always manage to come out on top in the end of a horror movie.  That’s why I love them! And there’s no better Final Woman to kick us off than Miss Amy Steel from Friday the 13th Part 2

There’s a reason that this is the scary movie they watch on Halloween in Mean Girls - it’s amazing!
I can’t pinpoint why Friday the 13th Part 2 works so well.  It doesn't have the tightest story in the series; it's not the most phantasmagorical nor does it bother to abide by any of the rules of space/time continuum.  Yet, there’s something special about it - a movie brazen enough to feature a Shih Tzu called "Muffin" as a protagonist. 
It certainly doesn't hurt that Friday the 13th Part 2 has the highest gay to straight ration of any of the Fridays (be it the hot gay in the wheelchair or the hot gay with the slingshot who was on Million Dollar Listing last year or the blonde maybe-gay with the clipboard…). 

Maybe it’s the fact that it opens with a twelve minute art film prologue starring Adrienne King and a cat; or maybe it’s the comedy stylings of sexy beanpole Stu Charno playing scenes in a loincloth – or it could be the fact that the entire cast seems to genuinely enjoy one another.  Whatever the cause, this movie is magical.

While there’s genuine power in objectification (just ask Matthew Bomer), Amy Steele is not a feminist in the Showgirls/Megan Fox sense of the word.  She's the kind of feminist who wears flats and refuses to brush her hair; the type who only owns sports bras. 
Amy (an unabashed ginger) is a developmental psychologist tomboy who decided to work at a camp for the summer.  You know, to practice.  

Arriving late to her first day of Counselor Training in her vintage red bug and sporting a clashing pink peasant skirt to show off her field hockey physique, Amy knows how to make an entrance.  She's self-assured and bold. Despite her ethereal demeanor, within two hours Ms. Steel manages to exert her charms at every turn and has all the boys eating out of her hand. Feminism.

Like all strong and independent women, Amy knows the importance of taking a minute to enjoy a good drink.  Accordingly, she hauls half the counselors far away from the cabins of Camp Crystal Lake and to the safety of the local pub where she proceeds to get hammered and talk about the psychological shortcomings of men.  A girl after my own heart! 

She waxes poetic about Jason's emotional well being.  Preparing to enter her last semester of grad school, Amy intuits that Jason must have survived his drowning and must still be living in the woods like a feral animal all these years.  Then she calls him the R-word. Tough love. I like it. A good final girl always thinks on her feet.

Like all stars who refuse to be confined to gender-stereotypes, Amy certainly knows how to make good TV.  When she’s in her final showdown with Jason (in one of the tightest ten minute sequences in the entire franchise), she pulls out every stop.  I’m talking costume changes. She falls out windows, she trudges through streams, she wields chainsaws, she communes with rats, she even pees her pants - a Stunt Queen through and through! 

Amy Steel is the only Final Girl who commands Jason to kneel at her feet before killing him - and he complies! Who says horror movies aren't feminist?  I don't recall Amy Adams getting General Zod to bow down in that Superman movie and that cost a lot more than Friday the 13th Part 2!!
Let us sleep tight knowing that for every disposable movie where women are treated like props to service reductive straight male wish fulfillment, there is a Friday the 13th Part 2 out there. Thirty years have gone by and we're still talking about it.  Who's on top and who's on bottom now?

FaggotyAss Drinking Game - shooters any time you see a closeup of someone's hands or feet (just make sure you don't have any place to be the rest of the evening).

Queen of the Nightmare

Wash your face and pack your weekend bag because we're all going on a FaggotyAss Road Trip!  Peaches Christ is hosting a very special screening of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Big Gay Revenge this Saturday night in San Francisco.

Nothing is more important.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Emma Watson, Emma Watson

"Kate Mara's a big star" 
-me, 15minutes ago

So I saw The Bling Ring this weekend and liked it - not because the movie was particularly great, but I like that it takes place five years ago and highlights the fact that we've come a long way since the vacuum days of Paris, The Hills and Orlando Bloom.

Don't get me wrong, millennials are a whole new kind of nightmare - just yesterday an intern told me she is really successful because Ryan Turek follows her on twitter. But now at least famous people are more or less famous for actually doing stuff (Chaning Tatum, Emma Stone, Adele).   Gays are getting married in States I don't even know about.  Cher is performing on TV tonightCarole Radiziwill is a Real Housewife!  It's like the 80s!  I also believe we need to celebrate Sofia Coppola because she was so good in Peggy Sue Got Married that Frances Ford Coppola named those little cans of champagne after her. Attention must be paid.

This is all a rambling means to discuss the fact that I watched This is the End last night on my computer and I think I liked it.  After the great V/H/ASS debacle of 2013 and having wasted something like $50 for two tickets to see Zack Snyder's fake Superman movie (a movie so full of machismo that our beloved Jimmy Olsen was turned into a lady because, you know, Jimmy Olsen may be construed as GAY), it was good to laugh again.

One might think the whole movie would just be one long in-joke, but it's actually quite well made and even manages to function as a sharp commentary of the state of celebrity - complete with hell-beasts, demonic possession, decapitations and monstrous sink holes.  This is the End plays like a feature length episode of South Park mashed up with the best bits from Night of the Comet.  I was so transported by its whimsy that I found myself liking Jonah Hill and the guy from that HBO show none of us watch.  Rihanna is in it and Emma Watson is allowed to speak in her natural dialect.  There are even songs and candy bars.  What fun!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sugar Pie and Strawberry Quik in Heaven

Mary Harron apparently bought herself a fast pass to the legendary lane.  Not only did she make American Psycho and that movie where Lili Taylor was an angry lesbian, but apparently Mary Harron has gone and made a movie for Lifetime (television for women) about Queen Anna Nicole.

I've never been more excited about anything.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


“you’re all fucking faggots…”

Working on a project with clear limitations, be they restraints of budget or time, can often bring out the best in people.  However, in the case of the team behind, V/H/S and now V/H/S/2, these limitations only serve to reveal a deep seeded misogyny and overall aggression towards anyone who learned as toddlers to use their words.

Let me ask you a question… Does Samuel Jackson do anything in the Star Wars prequels or those Marvel movies?  Do you know who his character is or why he’s there or what he contributes to the whole?  No.  He’s doing “machismo.”  Like Whitney said to Diane Sawyer, let me get one thing straight right now: Machismo does not play.  Ever.  That is not a question. This attitude (that of playing an attitude) has crossed over from the sloppy fan-boy masturbation of late-career Quentin Tarantino to the basement-dwelling horror blogger set that suddenly decided to put down their Cool Ranch Dorito tacos and have taken to distributing their very own homemade horror franchise.  
God help us. 

Now I realize that as a lower-middle class white guy in his thirties working at a horror network, I am in no position to speak on the concept of straight white privilege.  However, I can no longer, in good conscience, remain silent on the subject of these V/H/S movies. With great power comes responsibility.

Picture it:  Sundance 2012.  Having loved House of the Devil, you can imagine the giddy anticipation that preceded the midnight screening of V/H/S last year.  Ti West was there – in a down jacket no less!  This excitement soon abated as the audience was assaulted with an aggressive and outwardly hostile film that hated women at every turn; and I’m not being sensitive.  I may watch every episode of Girls, but I don’t consider myself a feminist in any way - even the middle-aged distribution execs that were in attendance [those who weren't smart enough to walk out after fifteen minutes] commented on the films misogyny (and they NEVER notice that sort of thing).  Oh well - out of sight, out of mind.  Besides, the Radio Silence one wasn't bad...

But here we are, a year later.  Apparently my invitation to the Hatchet 3 premiere was lost in the mail, so I found myself home alone and curious with the V/H/S/2 screener beckoning.  No one was around.  Why not?  Well!  After this second foray into adolescent asshole-ism, I can officially say I’m done.  Killing a dog isn't rock and roll.  Close ups on people getting their faces blown off with guns in't cool.  Hating women isn't new wave.  

Straight guys calling each other Faggot is tired and lazy and we  all deserve better.  I am too old to sleep on an air mattress and I no longer have to watch movies that don’t respect me (and us) as an audience. 

To me, horror has always been about the empowerment of women (and, to an extent, the gays).  These found footage movies are regressive and utterly pointless.  It is a dark time for the rebellion, but fret not.  Let us remember Ms Heather Langenkamp who learned in A Nightmare on Elm Street that the onerous is on us to take back the night.  Hacks have no power if we stop paying attention. We can do better.  I urge all of you to go get a SLR camera and make something – make the movie you want to see, create the world you want – the horror we deserve.

How easy is that?