Sunday, May 12, 2019

Losin' It

Losin' It! Directed By Curtis Hanson, starring a bunch of 80's dudes (1983).

 After a long assed hiatus, It’s back to the salt mine or grindstone. Basically, it’s back to bitching about shit online in the guise of a film critic like Gene Shalit, or Joel Siegel who most of the public is aware that they are indeed the same human scumbag. Or was that something I saw on The Dana Carvey Show?

I usually go out of my way to tackle a fun filled week that celebrates a basic cable bleached bimbo and a whiny, squinty eyed guy named Gilbert, but I dropped the ball and didn’t plan ahead. I’m going to attempt to re-animate this blog but it’s been a struggle to want to return to the blank word document. The reason being is that I don’t enjoy it as much as drawing anymore. I needed to clear out some of these cobwebs and get back into the repetition. If you’re jonesing for some teen sex comedy wacky hijinx then look no further than Mike McBeardo’s latest book Teen Movie Hell.

I moved out of The South, which is already a big improvement. I used to take a highway in Tenn that had a fucking Nathan Bedford Forrest statue! Someone, I’m happy to say covered it in pink bubblegum colored paint that hasn’t washed off. They even talked about it on a John Oliver episode. I’m back to the Bay Area, where I’m readjusting to old habits and settling in. I'll eventually do some field reporting at the Mission Drafthouse in Frisco (people hate it when you call it that)!

To be honest, after the new Deep Red came out I was pretty hurt that I wasn’t included but I’m not going to rip open old wounds, I’ll just move forward. If you haven’t noticed there’s been a serious lack of the old roster of Deep Red writers reviewing on this site. Most of their work has evolved beyond and hardly anyone is keen on giving away their opinions for free online anymore. But why should they? Blogging is completely irrelevant. I’ve always been a technophobe and spouting gibberish online isn’t gratifying to me anymore.

However, I got to exorcise some of these demonic brain clouds and go forth at least for today.

So, on with the review already!

the Pre-South Park Comedy Central.

My sister and I grew up with Comedy Central (or The Comedy Channel in the beginning) and all during our youth, this movie was repeatedly shown in cut form. In fact, we both remember feeling scuzzy after finally viewing it unedited. That’s only because we’d seen the “PG during the day” edit. This one gets better with age and YES, in today’s uber PC millennial universe it’s fucking racist. But fuck that shit, don’t go in with that mentality because it’s set in the 50s and was filmed in the 80s like all great combos those 2 decades through ally compliment each other, just like a Stray Cats tune. I was flabbergasted when I discovered that Curtin Hanson director of The Arousers (which remains one of our most viewed reviews) with Tab Hunter, also helmed this raunchy sex comedy. In fact I discovered that Curtis Hanson was involved in many of my favorite flicks. He started off clumsy with The Dunwich Horror (I'm sorry but that movie is sloppy at best). It worked to his advantage though in getting acquainted with Roger Corman. He wrote White Dog, Silent Partner (which has the only death scene caused by a fish tank) and Never Cry Wolf, a Disney movie against corporate greed! More people should be aware of this talented fellow.

I'm trying to illustrate an invisible mustache!

Dave (Jackie Earl Haley’s finest role) is a horny creep and his little brother Wimp (or Wendell), is a preteen conman selling homework to students out of his locker. The only reason the kid tags along is to buy illegal fireworks. John P. Navin, who has this Billy Jacoby/ Alfred E. Neuman quality left Hollywood for good in the early 90’s sadly. And Jackie Earl Haley went onto to recent roles like Rorschach in The Watchmen and The Terror on The Tick.

last known photo.

The oldies songs on the soundtrack are pretty good and most likely the first time I was exposed to them. The two worst actors in the movie are the most famous -Tom Cruise (who didn’t become a scientologist till the late 90s) and Shelly Long. Along for the ride is John Stockwell from Christine and My Science Project, he mentions that he wants to go just to check out the donkey show!  Later on he gets into a horrifying prison situation.

Dave is on the prowl for Spanish Fly, which is of course doesn’t exist, but it’s awesome watching him almost get his head blown off with a shotgun after he pisses off the pharmacist!
Henry Darrow who plays the corrupt sheriff is menacing and effective. He mainly worked in TV, but would’ve made a good character actor.

James Victor who is barely noticeable as the divorce lawyer was in many action flicks like Rolling Thunder, one of my all time favs.

The way they depict Tijuana is pretty exaggerated and later on reminded me of Hardcore with George C. Scott. That flick had a similar skeeviness in the way they have the attractive girls in the bar to hook you in off the street and once you get behind the curtain the gnarly, decrepit whores are what you end up with. I like how one hooker asks “Did you remember to bring your dick”?

just having an average weekend.

The burlesque sunglasses wearing piano player sings sleazy songs and that bar, besides the strong arming customers into sleeping with ugly women upstairs, the nightclub looks pretty fun. 

Honk if you're horny.

Santos Morales plays the Tonga Lei doorman. I love how he keeps screaming “You have my word as a gentleman!” and when Shelly Long asks where to get a quiet drink, he calms down his demeanor but basically says the same spiel only softer. Morales was in Hamburger The Movie and Scarface!
I’ve never been to Mexico but don’t let this movie form your opinion about what it’s like there. It gets pretty hostile toward the last 20 mins for the boys but they manage to make it out pretty well. This film is much better than I remembered it, Highly Recommended.

Scientology is not a con, you have my word as a gentlemen!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Entity

The Entity Directed by Sidney J. Fury, Starring Barbara Hershey (1982).

This movie from 82 has aged well in the era of the #metoo movement. Think about it, a ghost or demon with the power to sexually assault a female, get away with it and because there’s no traces of anyone, it makes the victim look bat shit crazy! It’s terrifying! I’m obsessed with this allegedly true tale so much that I even bought the novel by Frank De Felita and was captivated by it. It's based on Doris Bither case, which happened in Culver City, Ca, which apparently was never solved. Barbara Hershey delivers one of her most incredible acting performances as protagonist Carla Moran, De Felita's pseudonym for Doris. I even found the book at a thrift store and was thoroughly entranced by the source material.

 Carla (Hershey) is not only repeatedly raped by the spectre, while in the bath or in front of her frightened boyfriend played by Alex Rocco, but in front of her kids as well. This movie is ghastly, eerie and fucked up! The sense of dread and fear never lets up, at least for me. From the perspective of the outside, Hershey’s character seems like a wacko and all of these disturbing events could only exist in her mind at first, but the audience witnesses all these frightening attacks as well and we believe the victim. Later on, the entity reveals itself to others around her, but the most frightening aspect of this film is that no one can stop this nightmare. Right now I see it as an allegory of Republicans destroying every facet of normalcy, it continues on with no signs of stopping and it’s sickening. If this were released in theaters now, I’m convinced that the patriarchy, in the age of Trump would side with the sexual predator ghost as the real victim!

if that's what's going on in 2018, leave me in the 80's.

Carla is on edge and helpless to defend herself from an invisible sexual demonic force. I get this unnerving reaction, the Charles Bernstein score really ramps up the tension. In Poltergeist, you buy the laughable premise that a haunted house is dominating a family’s suburban safe haven and its commitment to their ultimate destruction resonates so much so, that it works. You must buy the premise of both films to work.

the vile Orange vagina reminds me of something presidential.

Carla gets bruises all over her body from the vicious sexual attacks. Stan Winston created the indented breasts that rise and appear as if they’re being squeezed against her will. Ron Silver who plays the doctor doesn’t really believe her and chalks it up to hysteria. He does prescribe her anxiety meds and tells her to take a bath, but how can she feel safe, when that’s exactly where the last encounter occurred.

Gawwwd I just shit my britches!

When the demon visits her, there’s a chugging nightmarish guitar chord or banging on piano keys, it’s unnerving. Carla mentions in one scene that she hooked up with a motorcycle riding juvenile delinquent who was abusive in order to get away from the clutches of her religious father, this ex-boyfriend is possibly the demon that’s haunting her now. The most terrifying scene occurs when her family is right next to her and the ghost zaps her son and breaks his wrist. David Labiosa who played the son, later on had a substantial acting role as the busboy who lost his job in that one Seinfeld episode. One of her daughters is played by Amy Ryan, the girl who has the demonic pig ghost imaginary playmate from the Amityville Horror.

Jambi the Genie from Peewee's Playhouse cameo.

None of the white men, smoking cigars who psycho analyze her believe Carla Moran and they think she’s just an orgasm junkie. Yeah that's right, just like that Buzzcocks song!
Ron Silver’s character equates Carla’s insanity to Medieval creatures driven by the fear of sex instilled through her ridged father’s extreme religious values. It’s all so Freudian and the concept of powerful women seen as conjuring up demons goes seems in league with witch burning films at least to me.

Another aspect that this one shares with the aforementioned Tobe Hooper ghostie is the concept of paranormalists (or ghostbusters) horning in and solving problems or in this case making them far worse. They really exploit her and sadly this movie portrays the main character as the perpetual victim. This group of ghost hunters seem very desperate to find a real case of a haunting. I see this as exploiting the wave of psychic phenomenon that was rampant in the 70s. My fav. scene is where they attempt to lure the ghost into a web of nitroglycerin trap with Carla as the bait, so they can freeze it!

the Intelevision version of the Entity had really cool graphics.

This film really strikes a chord with me, it’s freaky, scary and mind blowing. More people should see it and it should be re-released with extras. Sadly, there's only a barebones DVD and it's not available to stream anywhere.

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