Saturday, August 30, 2014

we could be happy underground

Some thoughts went through my head while watching As Above, So Below yesterday.

This is found footage movie.  I didn't know this was a found footage movie.  Ugh.  Found footage does not suit theatrical releases anymore.  Period.  Luckily, the aggressive "found footage" bit and the inevitable nonsense-logic behind it (where are these cameras/how are we watching this footage and for what purpose) is abated about 5 minutes in.

This boy from Mad Men and the Friday the 13th remake is genetically handsome.  He clearly doesn't need to work at having good skin or a fit torso.  Good for him.

Drawing bits from Giallo and Dario Argento along with some Indiana Jones adventure, I almost-like this movie quite a bit.  "Masterful dreck" is how I explained it to one of my friends (and, by one of my friends, I'm of course referring to the parking validation machine at the Century City mall).

Despite being relatively well made, its premise is paper-thin and the movie doesn't know how to end or pay off its story, but the location (deep under the Paris catacombs) and the overall sense of dread it engenders elevates the whole.  It's perfectly fine for a Sunday.

PS: There was a trailer for a Brittany Murphy thriller attached to this movie.  Is this real life?  Am I dreaming?  Did I somehow wind up in the underground Hell dimension when I made that last minute decision not to order the chicken fingers and just got a Coke Zero instead?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Elaine Stritch: The Revenge

Pediophobia: intense and irrational fear of false representation of sentient beings; fear of dolls or mannequins.

In case I haven't made it clear, I am ready to say goodbye to summer.   Join me as I pack up my best cut-off shorts and my favorite bucket hat for one last weekend getaway.  There's no better way to harken the end of the season than with a visit to a Tourist Trap (1979).

"look at the size of that hole."

The thing is, we can't really talk about Tourist Trap without discussing Elaine Stritch.  This movie is all about that period where Elaine had to leave the Carlyle and move to the middle of nowhere Michigan to die.

Elaine was never really happy unless she was making someone miserable (just ask Barbara Cook), so she concocted an elaborate setup to lure folks who would get lost looking for road maps and clean toilets.  First, she'd leave tacks on the road so they'd get a flat. Once these unsuspecting tourists happened upon her house (in the Stritch family for generations), that's when the fun began.

In the Stritch family manse, Elaine arranged mannequins everywhere.  You know how Streisand has that mall in her basement?  This was like that, on a budget.  She had a mannequin dressed like Joanne from Company; one dressed like Jack's mother from 30 Rock.  If you're lucky enough to have been invited over, you'd even find effigies of Bea Arthur and Bernadette Peters, her lifelong nemeses, tucked away in the basement - ready for burning.

Did I mention that Elaine was telekinetic and that her mannequins sang?  Well, you don't have to take my word for it, just watch Tourist Trap and thank God it's almost September.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


All the Halloween candy displays are up in the supermarket.  Your move, Target.

Monday, August 25, 2014

it's not easy being green

When Ramona Singer is bragging about the Hamptons on national television, you can't go there anymore.  When Ryan Murphy is spending weeks at a time in Provincetown, it's tired.  You can't go there anymore.  Don't even get me started on Ibiza!  So I had to wonder - is there anyplace left for the upwardly mobile homosexual to summer?

Trying to find a chic, late-summer hotspot is nothing new.  Take David and Mark.  David and Mark were a gay couple determined to save their crumbling relationship by taking a holiday, so they rallied some friends and a drag queen named Kay and they set sail for Brazil.

If any of you have been on a booze cruise with a gaggle of gays, then I don't have to tell you that it can be a recipe for disaster!  There's nothing messier than five drunk queens trapped on a boat, lashing out in every direction with no place to go.  For once, I'm not talking about The Boys in the Band, this is the story behind this week's FaggotyAss Summer Movie Club movie, The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

David and Mark had one of those couple dynamics that I just can't get behind.  Mark has all the money and thinks it exonerates him from bad behavior.  He always expected David to be at his beck and call and no one is ever allowed to question him.  I have a friend like this.  He married into MONEY but now he's not allowed to hang out with anyone and spends his days folding laundry and eating berries alone in their mansion.

"I've always found Kay was able to take care of herself."

Despite minimal resources, Kay's a regular Natalie Wood - doing water ballet in a dirty lagoon like a Vegas showgirl while the boys do God knows what behind locked cabin doors.  Her Joan Crawford eyebrows - her sensible flats to offset her high ponytail - she's nothing is not resourceful (even if she always has stains on her blouse).  Through rough waters and bickering queers, she is always serving soubrette fish on a platter.  Kay deserves our respect for holding it together as best as she could, even with all that messy machismo onboard.

I'll tell you one thing: her hard work does not go unnoticed by the local Creature from the Black Lagoon.  He goes out of his way to make nice to Ms Kay, but once David and Mark get wind of this, all Hell breaks loose.  Gays are so weird about drag queens.  And you wonder why Brazilians hate tourists!

Once upon a time, when I didn't know that I wouldn't always be working in the lap of luxury that is basic cable, I spent my entire tax refund on a 3D television.  It's big.  It's beautiful.  It takes up an entire room.  You see, I had that Universal Monsters box set and the 3D Creature from the Black Lagoon blu ray was just taunting me.  When Panasonic announced that they were no longer making commercial grade Plasma TVs, I had no choice.

Go ahead and come for me, Suze Orman.  I regret nothing!  My Creature from the Black Lagoon 3D blu ray is gorgeous.  The perfect antidote to a miserable summer day.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cheat Day

It's still summer.  To make matters worse, I finally finished reading The Stand so now I'm left hollow and empty in the manner that inevitably follows reading a three-thousand page book.

Deadline broke that WB is considering everyone's favorite mess, Matthew McConaughey for Randall Flagg.  That's something.  I've been highly skeptical that the movie would even get made.  Moreover, I've been skeptical whether or not the movie should get made.

The fact of the matter is, we've seen it before.  Whether Outbreak or Contagion or even Walking Dead and The Strain, we're all pretty immune to the apocalypse.  The Stand has lost a lot of the bite it had in 1990.

I was very excited by the prospect of the Harry Potter team tackling this adaptation, but then they fell out over money.  I was happy when Scott Cooper was directing and writing the adaptation because he would really capture the weird, dusty Americana that Stephen King lives for.   But he left too.

Now it's being made by the guy who made the movie where Shailene Dumptruck went to the Anne Frank house.  Meh.  But like Madonna said in 1995, "don't judge the movie 'til you see it."

So, for what it's worth, here is my dream cast list for the unnecessary film adaptation of The Stand.

Mother Abigail
Ms Cicely Tyson.  As if there's another option.

Nick Andros.
The Boy from Boyhood.

Dayna Jurgens.
Emma Stone.

The Dog.  Meryl Streep (in a role that might surprise you).


Nadine Cross.
One word: Lohan.

Larry Underwood should be someone heartbreaking.
I don't care about Stu Redman and Molly Ringwald is the only Fran Goldsmith.

This all said, I'd still MUCH rather see a big-budget film adaptation of IT.  The world would much rather see a big budget film adaptation of IT.  How about we cancel The Stand entirely and just make IT?

Jeffrey George

Monday, August 18, 2014

passion for life

This morning, I was fixing my morning coffee when I noticed that there were TWO roaches in my kitchen.  Horrors.  I feel violated.  Will this nightmare called Summer ever end?!  After bleaching every surface and scouring the internet for a new apartment, I remembered that one of history's most important figures had a similar problem.  A calm washed over me.  Things could always be worse.  I could be living in the Empire of the Ants!

Before she reigned supreme as the Queen of Television, Joan Collins was struggling.  Down on her luck and married to Anthony Newley, Joan spent most of the 1970s selling timeshares South of the Florida Coast.  Her days were spent schilling Swedish meatballs to white trash tourists who were inevitably more interested in a free boat ride than than they were in buying communal vacation property.

“Have you ever taken a good close look at what the ant is all about?”

Joan made the most of a bad situation, using the experience as practice for interacting with aggressive Hollywood moguls and undignified starlets.  These were the years where Joan was refining her signature style - layering turbans over her wig, full face and lashes coupled with ostentatious earrings.  You'd be hard-pressed to find a more elegant realtor.

Then there was this one trip where all her potential buyers were attacked and killed by giant, mutated ants.

"I'm still in charge here."

In what would become her trademark, Joan turned tragedy into triumph.   She came back to the states - dumped Limpdick Newley and never looked back.  Gone were the days of living in her sister's shadow.  Like the Phoenix from the ashes, Alexis Carrington was born - and all thanks to monstrous, genetically-mutated ants.

Let Empire of the Ants serve as a reminder that our best years are still to come.  We will make it through August and live happily in Autumn.  Speaking of...there are only two months to Halloween.  Whether she's in Monaco or St Tropez, Joan Collins does not let the seasons interfere with her yachting schedule.  Stock up on cottage cheese and celery, dolls, because it's time to start our regimes.  I think I'll be a slutty real estate agent this year.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

pigs in space

Good morning.  Happy Sunday.
I interrupt our previously scheduled Booze Brunch to remind you that this weekend marks the 17th Anniversary the second greatest sci-fi horror movie ever made.

Event Horizon.

To commemorate the occasion, I figured we could drag everyone's favorite FaggotyAss Feature:

That Gay!

In this week's That Gay, I'd like to re-introduce you to Jack Noseworthy.

Jack was called "Baby Bear" in Event Horizon because he had an angel face and milky smooth skin covering his 24 pack abs and because older men always paid for his brunches.  God I miss the 90s.

Like Friday the 13th's Kevin Spiritas before him, Jack Noseworthy is a big old Musical Theatre Queen.  He was supposed to star in the Lestat! musical for Elton John, but there was "an issue."  You know I love a man with issues.  I saw him in Pippin and once I followed him down 54th street when he was co-starring in The Sweet Smell of My Success, but I couldn't afford to see The Sweet Smell of My Success so I went home and ate pop tarts in my underwear.  We have the same birthday and we're both Massholes.  Can you feel the connection?  Alright, fine.  He's married.  Now let's talk about Event Horizon.

Event Horizon is about how Sam Neill went crazy after he divorced Isabelle Adjani and (after a brief stint as paleontologist) he signed up for the space program.  In space, he and his crew find a haunted house floating in space that opens up a portal to an evil Hell dimension (like Howard the Duck).

I remember seeing this movie like it was yesterday.  They didn't really market Event Horizon, so when I went with a bunch of my bro-friends to see it midday at the off-brand theatre in Danvers, we had no idea what to expect.  We were an otherwise rowdy group until the movie started and things got real uncomfortable.  Long story short, Event Horizon scared the shit out of us.

We couldn't even speak to one another because we were so freaked out.  I think a couple of my buddies actually had to leave the theatre.  We drove home in silence.

If you haven't seen Event Horizon, I've already said too much.  It's good and scary on par with Session 9 and the Exorcist 3.  Hieronymus Bosch in space.  It definitely borrows from Alien and Hellraiser, but it also informed dozens of movies to follow, including Prometheus.  Turn off the lights, snuggle up with your blanket, pretend the sofa is a spaceship and lose yourself in one of the great summer horror blockbusters.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

the plant that ate dirty white people

I'm terribly sorry to report that it's still summer.  Last year I put up my Halloween decorations too early (probably around this time) and by the time October was finally upon us, I was over it.  So, let's forge ahead.  There are plenty of quality summer movies for us to enjoy.

I've been going on a lot of hikes lately.  Rather, I should say I had been going on a lot of hikes.  You see, one day last week up in the Palisades mountain range, I came across a HUGE black rattlesnake.  I was just like Mother Abigail from The Stand, facing off against Satan.    Even since then, I haven't been going on hikes.  This is a terrible story because I loved my hikes.  This is a no-win situation, like everyone's least favorite FaggotyAss Summer movie, The Ruins.  I found a DVD copy of The Ruins in my pre-Autumn clean-out and I watched it this morning so you wouldn't have to.

The Ruins was directed by Lee Pace's boyfriend, Carter Smith.  Carter Smith made the fabulous short film, Bug Crush, which no one would ever give us permission to acquire for FEARnet.  But now FEARnet's dead and we can watch it right here.

Isn't that terrific?  Accordingly, Hollywood let Carter (already a successful photographer) direct a big-budget horror movie starring everyone's favorite aughts trainwrecks.  Jenna Malone.  Joe Anderson.  Bobby Drake.  Ugh, can you imagine the smell on set?  And people wonder why I hate summer!

The Ruins is about a group of twenty-something retirees in the Caribbean.  These are those kids you see on instagram and facebook - the ones whose parents get them jobs in "development" until they realize that dayjobs aren't really their thing so they trek off to some country you've never heard of on their daddy's dime where they grow out their beards and wear lots of earth tones to offset their $300 sandals; the kids who have perfectly matted hair and pose along cliff-sides with their skateboards in impoverished countries like they're Cary Fukunaga.  That's The Ruins.  The characters spend their days drinking expensive drinks and imploring locals to take them to forbidden Mayan temples where plants can talk.  Those crazy Mayans.

You know I never try to lead you astray, dolls.  The Ruins is not very good.  Maybe I just can't get past my hatred of entitled white people with disposable income and no sense of their place in the world.  It also doesn't help that every women in this movie is presented as a monstrous shrew, actively making things more difficult when they aren't screaming and making a mess of everything.

This is a holdover from that dreadful Saw/Hostel moment in horror culture when movies could get away with showing kids with no backstory being murdered for ninety minutes.  It's probably worth your time if you have a Jonathan Tucker fetish.  Like most Jonathan Tucker projects, he shows off his bum about 13minutes in.  I guess that's something.

All said, I think you should save yourself the anxiety and watch Bugcrush instead.  The Burning's good too.