Friday, August 28, 2009

Videodrome (1983)

Well, I'm never going to tell anyone I have a media obsession again. Oh no; I didn't even begin to know what obsession was until I turned on this creeper. In fact, I'm still reeling a little bit. I'd say I don't remember the last time I felt this uncomfortable, but that would be a bold-faced lie: the last time I felt nearly this disconcerted was watching Blue Velvet. Shit, that movie is creepy. And this one is right up there with it. It's not just the S&M and the frequent nudity. No, it's not even the grotesque hallucinations of self-mutilation and organs and betatapes. Nor even the graphic snuff films. Although the giant dildo disguised as a Japanese doll and that pretty little Japanese girl in traditional geisha makeup started to cause the butterflies to stir, not even that made me squeal aloud in terror. No, no: it was actually when that chick burnt her breast with a cigarette and then he smelled the end of it in lust that I knew that I was never going to forget this movie. And I'm not alone. This shit is critically acclaimed, although it has made next to nothing. I'm sure the careers of James Woods and Debbie Harry didn't suffer (she even showed her tits!) But, it's hard to believe that this flick only cost 5$ million when the effects are so good. We're talking epic makeup/digital/claymation type moving media with gyrating tapes and beta-eating stomachs. The whole thing is horrorific, that's for sure. I'm still trying to process the brainwashing tumor, warping reality with hallucinations, assassination angle. And I think it might take a while. In the meantime, I can occupy myself with images of stomach mutations and penetrations, Harry tits, the uncomfortable realization that some people are turned on by this and the overwhelming desire to stay away from the TV.

I deem it: "Grotesquely generational and seriously psychedelic!/A festering virtual reality of wired weirdness!/The first and last time I'll even consider the remote possibility that someone thinks James Woods is attractive!/The Bible of our sickest conspiracy theorists abides with stories of the apocalyptic virtual future!/Death to Videodrome; Long Live the New Flesh!

"The taping mechanism is all self-contained; you don't have to do anything now except hallucinate."
"I can't cope with the freaky stuff."
"Watching tv will help patch them back into the world's mixing board."
"Your reality is already half video hallucination."
"The television is the retina of the mind's eye in these times."
"Reality is less than television."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Running Scared (1986)/The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)

Ahoy friends. I have been on a somewhat-lengthy hiatus to the gorgeous land of green (long life to the W-A), and I now return with a gentle slope back into internet. I've decided to start this slide with a comic duo of light-hearted proportions in the form of Billy Crystal and Bill Murray, two of the most influential hilarities of the eighties and definitely at the top of the pissing myself list. First of all, it can be no coincidence that they have almost the same name: no no, there are no coincidences, like the miracles of jesus, there is surely no way that two men so fated for the fortune and fame of Hollywood comedy could coincidentally have such a cute connection. Secondly, both Bills find themselves in the curious state of being equally and awkwardly ugly, not to the Farley extreme, but certainly notable as is almost a comic necessity. I mean, aren't fat chicks nice to make up for the chunk and ugly dudes hilarious to keep people laughing at something other than their faces? That's what I've been told at least. And these fine gentlemen find themselves now in the clean-cut but still cuttingly cuddly comedies released over a decade apart and yet still swimming in a similar vein (paddle through the blood my friends, paddle through the blood) that you see before you. While Running Scared manages to stand apart with its absolutely outrageous array of 80's costumes, Too Little carries with it a degree of planning that pays off in the most high-jinxed of ways. Oh high-jinxes, how I love you. I mean, that's all I really need to tell you, right? Billy and short-shorts? Bill as a bumbling yet oddly suave Theatre of Life participant? Come on already!

Final Judgment: "Long live the sharp-witted ugly kids (may your enemies die without sons)! = Hilarity ensues!