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‘Eat the Rich’: Cult rock and roll comedy with Lemmy, Shane MacGowan, Paul McCartney, Angela Bowie
03.16.2017
09:45 am

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Class War
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Music

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Imagine, if you can, a country starkly divided by wealth inequality, where a small number of rich people lead lives of extravagant luxury and everyone else fights over the crumbs.

Now imagine that the most vulgar of celebrities, having ascended to high office by appealing to racist and sexist tendencies in the electorate, has announced a plan to slash health care in order to build up the military. Far from bringing him down, sex scandals only make him appear more powerful and exciting to his base. And what, exactly, is the nature of his relationship with the Russians?
 

 
Of course, I could only be talking about Nosher Powell, the real-life English boxer and actor who portrays “Cockney fascist” Home Secretary Nosher Powell in the dystopian 1987 comedy Eat the Rich. The dialogue is as quotable as that of Tapeheads or Repo Man. Early on, a diner at the posh eatery Bastards addresses a label head played by Miles Copeland:

Look, Derek, forget funk rap. It’s dead. The kids are getting hooked on socialism.

“OK, we’ll sack the blacks and sign the reds,” Copeland replies. It’s a cruel, cynical, racist—did I mention racist?—society.
 

 
The great Lanah Pillay stars as Alex, a hero for our time. Alex becomes a revolutionary after she’s fired from her waitressing job at Bastards, where she served koala and panda meat to one too many horrible jerks. And joining Lanah and Nosher from the world of UK showbiz in this movie right here is everyone and her fucking uncle: Lemmy, Shane MacGowan, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, Hugh Cornwell of the Stranglers, Sandie Shaw, Beatle Paul, Bill Wyman of the Stones, Koo Stark, Angela Bowie, and The Young Ones’ Rik Mayall all make appearances. Most of the soundtrack (and the soundtrack album) is by Motörhead, and at one point in the movie, Lemmy climbs onstage to play “Dr. Rock.”

More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Sexy sci-fi lobby cards for ‘Heavy Metal’
03.15.2017
01:15 pm

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Advertising
Animation
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In the early 1980s, cable TV was an important and marvelous new development for Young America. For one thing, MTV was on it. But there was also soft-core porn and other adult programming, and parents often weren’t conversant enough with the technology (or the TV schedule) to prevent their offspring from watching things they probably shouldn’t. For a male preteen such as myself around 1982, there wasn’t much on the premium cable schedule I was interested in watching more than Heavy Metal. A sci-fi cartoon for adults that was both scary and sexy? With music by Blue Öyster Cult, Journey, and Cheap Trick?? You have got to be fucking kidding me. I was 12 years old and had no way of seeing an R-rated movie. But I could dial up Cinemax when my parents weren’t around…...... 

I think I dimly understood that there was a “magazine” out there called Heavy Metal that was for adults. I definitely did not know that so many of my favorite Canadian entertainers (think SCTV) were involved, including John Candy, Eugene Levy, Ivan Reitman, and Harold Ramis, although I’m certain I would have recognized the name “John Candy” in the credits.

As I say, I never saw the movie in the theater, but if I had I might have spotted some of these handsome lobby cards while entering. I suspect that Heavy Metal has not dated all that well, but I’m impressed at how effortlessly these striking images, after more than 30 years, communicate Danger - Sex - Adventure - FUN.
 

 

 
More ‘Metal’ after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Horror movie-themed piñatas based on ‘The Evil Dead,’ ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘Halloween’ & more
03.15.2017
10:05 am

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A piñata of Regan Teresa MacNeil (played by actress Linda Blair) from the 1973 film ‘The Exorcist.’
 
According to the ghouls behind the appropriately titled Etsy page Hang Me, in addition to their various horror-themed piñatas, you can also have one custom made to your specifications. So if you’d really like to bash a piñata version of your boss’s head in until he/she bleeds delicious candy all over you, today is your lucky day pal. 

Of the many piñatas in Hang Me’s shop, which is run by Sam and Tiny Kaleal, I’m particularly impressed with the one made in the image of Regan from The Exorcist in all her possessed-by-a-demon glory clutching a giant cross. The only thing that could possibly make it any cooler than it already is if it could somehow release a bunch of gross day-glow green ooze after being busted open. Hey, a girl can dream. In addition to the piñatas, the shop has a bunch of other cool stuff including fully functional, custom-designed Jiffy Pop popcorn containers that have been reimagined with horror film movie posters. I’ve posted images of my favorites below. 
 

A piñata in the likeness of James “Ash” Williams (played by Bruce Campbell) from the ‘The Evil Dead’ film franchise .
 

A very slashy-looking Michael Myers (from the ‘Halloween’ films) piñata.
 
More horrific piñatas after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Kodoku Meatball Machine’: Nipple guns, four tons of blood and a shitload of gore and mayhem
03.14.2017
01:11 pm

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Animation
Movies

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Yoshihiro Nishimura’s over-the-top, body-horror, sci-fi/fantasy Kodoku Meatball Machine had its world premiere at SXSW this past week and it more than lived up to its hype for being a splatter epic. In a video introduction to the film, director Nishimura claimed he used over four tons of fake blood in the movie. That might be a bit of hyperbole but Kodoku Meatball Machine has more arterial spray than the Bellagio Hotel has dancing waters. It’s a hilarious gorefest that combines sublime silliness with some cutting social satire. Plot? We don’t need no stinking plot! This film is a frenetic mash-up (literally) of everything we love about Japanese science fiction and horror. Shit happens. And keeps happening. Things fall out of the sky, humans mutate, chicks blow people away with nipple guns and limbs are severed with the maniacal zeal of a meth-crazed chef at Benihana.

Nishimura, who directed the insane Tokyo Gore Police and the 2007 short film Meatball Machine: Reject of Death, is justly renown for his superb special effects creations and wild makeup. He’s worked on dozens of Japanese horror films, creating brilliantly inventive costumes, prosthetics, masks and jaw-dropping visual mayhem featuring heavy metal samurais, wildly choreographedswordplay, kung foolery and flesh-fused weaponry from the planet Id. The cartoonish excess of his creations keeps them from being truly horrifying. There’s too much wit and absurdity in what’s on the screen to be truly upsetting. Laughter displaces screams in Nishimura’s bloody phantasmagorias. His atom-age nightmares are surrealist twists on Shaw Brother Toho flicks of the 1960s and 70s…with loads of viscera and severed limbs. A chase scene involving a topless woman astride a mutant who is half-man and half-motorcycle is like something from a demented western. Yee haw! 
 

 
Cinematographer Keizo Suzuki has given Kodoku Meatball Machine a neon sheen that recalls some of Nicolas Refn’s recent work and there’s an eerie nightclub scene that evokes the palette and vibe of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. Some groovy stop-motion animation comes on like Ray Harryhausen on DMT and a load of intentionally cheesy special effects give the movie a deranged hallucinatory brilliance. The second half of the film is a relentless mindfuck.


Fans of Takashi Miike, Sion Sono, and Shin’ya Tsukamoto will find Kodoku Meatball Machine an irresistible hoot and folks who’ve never experienced extreme Japanese cinema will be introduced to a unique viewing experience that really has no western equivalent in the world of film.

Watch the trailer for ‘Kodoku Meatball Machine’ after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The psychedelic beauty of The Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ trading cards
03.14.2017
08:31 am

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I had four #3s, two #64s and a shitload of odds and evens in between but not enough to have a full house or anywhere near a complete run of Beatles’ Yellow Submarine trading cards. My brother was the real collector. I was just accessorizing. He was dedicated. I was too young. He almost had a whole set but was missing a #8, a #14 and two others which I now forget. No one else seemed to have these either which made the fun of collecting such fabulous, brightly colored cards seem ultimately pointless, like reading a murder mystery with the final chapter missing. My brother didn’t care whodunnit?—he just wanted to have something our father thought was “bad.” According to him, the Beatles were drug-addled, long-haired beatnik communists—he’d even heard they sang about wanting to be back in the U.S.S.R.

The Fab Four were not the kind of “heroes” the old man wanted us to admire. That kind of respect was meant for the likes of Don Bosco or Jean-Baptiste Vianney. I couldn’t see why we couldn’t have both? My brother never did get the full set. A year or two later, the old man, in one of his rages, ripped every one of these cards into itsy-bitsy pieces—just to let us know exactly what he thought about our “rock ‘n’ roll.” By then, it was Glam Rock and Heavy Metal. The Beatles were oldhat.

In 1968, Anglo released 66 Yellow Submarine trading cards. They were sold in a variety of four different packs—one for each of The Beatles. Today one of these cards can fetch a minimum of five bucks right up to a max. of around $250. A whole set won’t give you much change from $2,500 (£1,800). So, our old man was really ripping up the family inheritance all those years ago. And though he feared the influence of the free-living Beatles he had no clue what threat lurked in our predilection for Black Sabbath and Dennis Wheatley novels.

I never saw the film until a decade later when it cropped up on TV one long summer evening. It seemed overly arch. A film to be appreciated by an older in-the-know audience rather than little kids looking for a psychedelic sugar rush. Though I’ve tried to gather the whole 66 cards together, there are a still few missing—mainly the early numbers like #6, #8, #10 and #12. Thereafter, they just run in order to the end.
 
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More ‘Yellow Submarine’ trading cards, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
NOT ‘The Little Mermaid’:  Is ‘The Lure’ the most f**ked up movie of the year?
03.13.2017
10:23 am

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Movies

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The Lure is a 2015 film from Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska that’s finally enjoying a theatrical run stateside this month. It is an aggressively weird and unsettling film, a musical comedy that is almost never funny and never all that musical, even with half a dozen song and dance routines. It is mostly a washed-out, glam-grunge descent into surreal depravity where romance, tragedy, lust, and alienation intermingle in a bizarre alt-world filled with slime and cigarette smoke.
 

Singing/dancing/man-eating sister act Silver and Golden
 
The story involves two young mermaid sisters, Golden (Michalina Olszanska) and Silver (Marta Mazurek), who use their siren song to lure a couple of low-rent musicians to a Warsaw beach to rescue them from the briny deep. They join the band as a singing/dancing mermaid sister act and perform nightly in a dingy cabaret show that looks like some zero-budget post-Soviet nightmare of polyester and short-circuiting synthesizers. When they dry out they grow legs, but they’re smooth like Barbie dolls from the waist down. Silver falls in love with the curly-haired guitar player in the band but has no human genitals to offer him. She does have a goopy fish vagina on her tail, but he’s not into that. Luckily, they find an off the grid doctor willing to perform radical fish-to-human surgery. Golden does not approve and starts going out nightly to feast on the local hornballs in protest. All of this high weirdness is bracketed with kooky cabaret numbers that sound like they just discovered disco a week ago and are still trying to figure out exactly how it works. I mean, this film really does have it all.

Watch the trailer for ‘The Lure’ after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Two superfans just created a movie-length version of ‘Breaking Bad’
03.13.2017
09:46 am

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Movies
Television

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It seems quite likely that history will single out Vince Gilligan’s majestic Breaking Bad as the pre-eminent narrative of the Obama era.

Breaking Bad‘s debut as an AMC show took place on January 20, 2008, precisely one year before Obama’s inauguration as president of the United States. The pilot aired to little fanfare; thanks to the Writers Guild of America strike occurring at the time, the show’s first season was a truncated one—only seven episodes—which made the feat of Bryan Cranston winning an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series all the more impressive, a sign of things to come. By the time the show ended, on September 29, 2013, the series had become a national obsession—the saga of Walter White/Heisenberg could be found absolutely everywhere.

Despite this intense bout of national fandom, there are people out there who still haven’t seen it.

If you’re like me, every few months you find yourself having one of those “You haven’t seen Breaking Bad?” conversations. As great as it is—and it is great—it’s a tricky thing to ask someone to dedicate 62 hours to a narrative he or she likely has no actual investment in. You can hear the excuses before you finish your schtick: But I’m so busy—Raising nine children—Two jobs and night school too—I’m still catching up on ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘House of Cards’ and ‘The Walking Dead’—the bar exam is coming up…....

If this scene is familiar, then you will be grateful for a recent editing feat pulled off by Gaylor Morestin and Lucas Stoll, who somehow have taken 62 episodes of high-quality TV episodic drama and transformed it into a tight, 2 hour and 7 minute crime drama of the kind Hollywood puts out in movie theaters, just like Carlito’s Way or something. The original show took approximately 3,000 minutes to consume (!)—this one takes 127 minutes, which means that only 4% of the original footage is in the “movie” version.

On their creation, Morestin and Stoll write:
 

After two years of sleepless nights of endless editing, we bring you the answer to that very question. A study project that became an all-consuming passion.

It’s not a fan-film, hitting the highlights of show in a home-made homage, but rather a re-imagining of the underlying concept itself, lending itself to full feature-length treatment.

An alternative ‘Breaking Bad,’ to be viewed with fresh eyes.

 
Naturally, the “feature” version loses a lot of the fun scenes that depended on Gilligan’s masterful use of the slow burn—I’m thinking in particular of the season 2 scene in which Badger gets busted by an undercover DEA agent on a park bench. Still, “Breaking Bad: The Movie” does a great job of supplying the general ups and downs of the saga of Walt/Heisenberg and all the people he affects in his drive to become Albuquerque’s #1 producer of crystal meth.

One advantage of the plot compression is that the (in retrospect irrelevant-feeling) “airplane” subplot of Season 2 is entirely absent.

Watch ‘Breaking Bad: The Movie’ after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Bill Paxton, William Burroughs, ‘Blade Runner’ and the making of ‘Taking Tiger Mountain’
03.06.2017
12:24 am

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Books
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Taking Tiger Mountain is a strange film with an even stranger back story. It all began in 1974 when thirtysomething filmmaker Kent Smith saved up enough dough from making educational shorts to go off and produce his dream first feature. The folly of many first-time directors is knowing when to curb their ambitions. Smith was certainly ambitious—maybe overly so. He had an idea to make a kinda art house movie set in Tangiers—something inspired by Albert Camus’ novella The Stranger. There was no script, just a poem Smith had written on the kidnapping in 1973 of sixteen-year-old John Paul Getty—heir to the Getty oil fortune. Smith thought of his poem as the film’s framework. Add in a touch of Jean-Luc Godard and hint of Fellini and his debut feature was gonna be just peachy.

So, Smith had ambition—check. A basic storyline—check. And a nineteen-year-old actor by the name of Bill Paxton. Check.

Paxton was a hunk. A pin-up. The type of young actor who had I’m gonna be a big movie star pumping out of his pores. He had the looks, the demeanor and the talent. He was also fearless—as anyone would have to be if they were going to hook-up with Smith on a madcap movie-making adventure.

They packed their bags, leased some Arriflex Techniscope equipment and headed off to France. On arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, they discovered that their equipment had been lost in transit. It was the first of several small obstacles that eventually turned the film onto a different course. When the pair were eventually reunited with their equipment, they hired a car and headed for Spain. But the roads were like parking lots—gridlocked with holidaymakers on their way south to the coast. Eventually after a long, slow, infuriating drive, they made it to the ferry terminal and waited for the first ferry to take them across the waters to Tangiers.

As Paxton told Variety in 2015:

We got to Tangiers around midnight, and all of our equipment was impounded because we hadn’t paid the baksheesh. We got out in about 48 hours, and my attitude was “What the f–k?” I remembered I knew someone in South Wales when I was a foreign exchange student, so we drove there, and that’s where we shot the film.

 
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A young Bill Paxton as seen in the film.

Paxton and Smith traveled back up through Spain and France to England and then to Wales where things got “even crazier.”

We had purchased black-and-white short ends (film stock) from the film Lenny, and we sort of shot things as we came across them.

One guy had a Kenyan vulture, so we used that for a scene of eating my entrails. We met some girls and talked them into doing some nude scenes with us.

Basically it was a bunch of hippies running around naked. It was all silent, black-and-white footage.

They shot ten hours of footage—but what the hell to do with it all? They returned to the States. Paxton began making inroads into big screen movies, while Smith sat with his rushes wondering how to make a movie out of it.

In 1975, Smith showed the footage to a student at the University of Texas called Tom Huckabee. Nothing happened until Smith relinquished the rushes over to Huckabee in 1979. That’s when Huckabee started logging and assembling the ten hour’s worth of material together as he explained to Beatdom:

I started building scenes using the script they had which was loosely based on the J. Paul Getty kidnapping. There was no sci-fi element, no assassination, no prostitution, no feminism, or brainwashing. It was a dream film about a young American waking up on a train – with amnesia, maybe – who wanders into a Welsh town, meets a lot of people, has adventures, bad dreams, and then gets killed on the beach, or does he?

Once I had assembled all their footage into what seemed like a narrative flow, I started thinking about what the story could be. I didn’t like their story much, it was too languid for me,  disconnected, but mostly they had only shot half of it and I knew I couldn’t go back to Wales. I’d been reading Burroughs and a lot of other avant-garde, transgressive, and erotic literature. Story of the Eye was a big influence. I started reading The Job. I got the idea that he was an assassin… and maybe the idea to set it in the future.

Huckabee’s friends were all chucking in their two cents’ worth. A “mysterious guy named Ray Layton” had “the idea to make it about feminist terrorists brainwashing Billy…. and the prostitution camps.” Then Huckabee read William Burroughs’ novella Blade Runner (a movie) and the whole thing began to take shape in his mind.

I lucked into finding a backer who promised $30,000, and that’s when it got real. I remembered seeing another short film that Kent and Bill had made; a thinly veiled homoerotic portrait of Bill, called D’Artagnan. I thought it could be used to represent Billy’s brainwashing. By then I’d acquired the MKUltra transcripts and was heavily into The Job.

Huckabee approached Burroughs and obtained his permission to adapt Blade Runner into his movie. This was now the early 1980s, Ridley Scott was making a movie version of Philip K. Dick’s cult sci-fi book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Scott had also approached Burroughs to buy his title Blade Runner for his movie.

It took at least a year to write the script to conform to the footage, which by the way was 60 minutes. I knew I needed 75 min. minimum for it to be a feature. So I built five minutes of dream sequences out of outtakes, including one where I threw the film in the air and put it together as it came down – cheating a lot.

I should mention that I was fairly regularly during this time, maybe once every one or two months, on acid, mushrooms, and baby woodrose seeds… this, added with all the experimental film I was seeing, and avant-garde and erotic and left wing and feminist political literature I was reading, kept my mind open to outré thematic and formal tropes… so, say, if a scene wasn’t working I could always run it upside down and backwards… Also by then I was thoroughly versed in MKUltra brainwashing, psychic warfare, so in that respect I think I was getting a lot of that independently from Burroughs, maybe from the same source he was getting it.

Then I wrote the opening scene and shot it… and started dubbing in dialogue. I forgot to mention Woody Allen’s Tiger Lilly as an influence. First I hired a lip reader to tell me what the characters were saying and many of them were speaking Welsh.

Huckabee finished his film. Now called Taking Tiger Mountain—the title lifted from a Chinese opera—it was released in 1983. The film was described as a “unique sensory experience.” Set the near future Taking Tiger Mountain follows Paxton as:

Billy Hampton, a Texan who [has] fled from occupied America to British island in order to avoid compulsory military service. Once there, he [is] abducted by a group of sophisticated feminist terrorists, who have been opposing the oldest profession [prostitution] legalization, creating assassins by brainwashing and then setting them on the prostitution camps leaders. (They also specialize in redirecting sexual orientation and sex change operations.)

At the start of the film:

[A] quartet of middle-aged women analyze Billy and persuade him to believe that an aging major is actually a tiger sent by God to kill him. That prologue is a combination of sequences with Huckabee’s signature and those from a short film that Smith and Paxton had been working on prior to their arrival to Wales. What follows could be described as a sporadically wet psychotropic nightmare, with hypnotic soundtrack composed of gloomy drones, overdubbed dialogues, confusing monologues and omnipresent radio announcements about the war [and its] aftermath and the use of thermonuclear weapons on the United States…

More ‘Taking Tiger Mountain’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Firey plush figure (with removable body parts) from Jim Henson’s ‘Labyrinth’
03.02.2017
11:16 am

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I always found the Fireys AKA the Fire Gang from Labyrinth annoying. They broke out in song and dance and bugged the hell out of me. BUT they did do one cool thing, though: they could rip off their own damned heads and pass ‘em around like basketballs. Pretty freaky for a kids’ movie if you ask me.

If you’re a fan of Labyrinth, you might dig this Firey plush with detachable body parts. You can take its head right off if you wish and toss it around.

The plush toy is an official Jim Henson product by Toy Vault and it can be purchased here for $31.05.


 
Below, a scene from ‘Labyrinth’ with the Fire Gang:

 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Artist creates Hunter S. Thompson’s ‘Fear and Loathing’ head sculpture
03.02.2017
07:58 am

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Art
Movies

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Well, to be more precise, it’s Johnny Depp’s head as he looked when he portrayed Dr. Hunter S. Thompson in Terry Gilliam’s 1998 film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It’s still pretty neat, though.

The tripped-out sculpture was made by special effects makeup artist Kevin Kirkpatrick of Epoch Creations. It’s made of silicone, the teeth are dental acrylic and actual human hair was used to create its “hyper-realistic” look. It’s a total mind-melting masterpiece, in my opinion.

Kevin has a pretty damned impressive resume to boot! He’s worked on Bad Grandpa as a prosthetic makeup artist, American Horror Story: Freakshow responsible for doing Pepper’s pinhead makeup, the prosthetic makeup for True Blood and many, many more. Honestly, his movie and television resume is endless. You can check it out here.

He also has a fun Instagram to follow if you’re so inclined.


 

 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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