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  • ‘A Kitten for Hitler’: Ken Russell’s deliberately offensive final film
    05.20.2016
    10:47 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Heroes
    Movies

    Tags:

    0_1kitfurhit.jpg
     
    The list of movies Ken Russell didn’t make is nearly as impressive as the ones he did.

    Russell had plans for a movie version of Hamlet starring David Bowie. He developed a film about Maria Callas which was to star Sophia Loren. He had plans for a film version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Peter O’Toole as the Count, Peter Ustinov as Van Helsing and Oliver Reed as Renfield. Other book adaptations included Graham Greene’s A Burnt Out Case, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust, Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth and D. H. Lawrence’s St. Mawr.

    He also wanted to make a film based on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs and one of Rabelais’ Gargantua—“the man with the biggest prick in the world.” He had a thriller All-American Murder lined up with Christopher Walken, and tried for years to make a film version of Charlie Mingus’ autobiography Beneath the Underdog. He turned down The Rose (to make Valentino with Rudolf Nureyev) and had been a favorite to direct A Clockwork Orange before Stanley Kubrick with Mick Jagger in the lead.

    Russell always had a film project on the go—it is only a shame that so few of them made it to the screen.

    In 1997, I met Russell for the first time—interviewing him for a documentary I directed about the legendary dancer Nijinsky. I knew he had tried to make a film about Nijinsky but had somehow never managed to find the financial backing. We talked about films and he told me about two scripts he had just written. One was a full-length feature about young vampires—a rollicking romp through youth culture, gangs and the lives of traveling people. The second was a short called Ein Kitten für HitlerA Kitten for Hitler.

    Russell told me A Kitten for Hitler was inspired by a discussion about censorship with his friend and one-time collaborator (The Music Lovers, The Debussy Film) Melvyn Bragg—the author, broadcaster and editor of legendary arts series The South Bank Show. Russell had suggested there were some films that shouldn’t be made—as he later explained in the Times newspaper in 2007:

    Ten years ago, Melvyn Bragg and I had a heated discussion on the pros and cons of film censorship. Broadly speaking, Melvyn was against it, while I, much to his surprise, was absolutely for it. He then dared me to write a script that I thought should be banned. I accepted the challenge and a month or so later sent him a short subject entitled A Kitten for Hitler.

    ‘Ken,’ he said, ‘if ever you make this film and it is shown, you will be lynched’.

    I read both of Ken’s scripts and liked them. Russell gave me his blessing to see if I could raise funding or find a suitable production company who would be interested in making his films.

    I pitched the scripts to producers, production company execs and a whole host of bland minions who were all at first excited by the name “Ken Russell” but scared of making any form of commitment. While these bods liked the vampire movie—they balked at A Kitten for Hitler. It was “sick,” “twisted,” “not suitable for viewing” and something they were “not interested in pursuing at this time.” Having already experienced years of smug, barely pubescent TV execs shitting on good ideas, I found the rejection of Russell’s scripts galling. This wasn’t some unknown film director or some hip young punk whose only claim to fame was working in a Blockbuster—this was Ken Russell. One of the greatest film directors of the second half of the twentieth century. The man who had made The Billion Dollar Brain, Women in Love, The Music Lovers, The Boyfriend, The Devils, Savage Messiah, Tommy, Altered States, Lair of the White Worm, Salome’s Last Dance and so on and so on.

    While I didn’t get anywhere with these projects, Russell thankfully did. He did manage to make A Kitten for Hitler through the auspices of Comedy Box in 2007. It varies ever so slightly from the script I’d read—but the story’s the same and still as uncompromisingly offensive. Unable to cast a child actor as the boy Lenny, Russell cast Rusty Goffe. Ken’s wife Lisi Tribble plays Lenny’s Mom, Rufus Graham plays Harry S. Truman, Rosey Thewlis plays Eva Braun, and Paul Pritchard is Hitler. Ken Russell himself appears as Santa Claus.

    Watch Ken Russell’s ‘A Kitten for Hitler’ after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Man posts ‘I sell weed’ ad to Craigslist, is promptly arrested
    05.20.2016
    09:07 am

    Topics:
    Current Events
    Drugs

    Tags:


     
    A Clover, South Carolina man was arrested on Wednesday after police saw his Craigslist ad offering to sell weed.

    According to local drug enforcement officers, James Kinley III, posted a Craigslist ad titled “Pot… I SELL WEED - $200.

    The text of the ad:

    Whole zip lock bag of Loud Smoke
    $200
    Half an bag is $100
    1/4 of a bag is $50
    Great smoke
    I got it

     

     
    The ad included his PICTURE and PHONE NUMBER.

    A police officer texted the number asking if the ad was real. The would-be dealer reportedly called the officer back, asked what he needed, and arranged a meeting.

    Kinley arrived at the specified meeting place to sell the officer a half ounce of weed and was promptly taken into custody.
     

     
    It’s not clear whether the man thought weed was legal in South Carolina (it’s not), or if he thought that cops don’t have access to Craigslist (they do), but it’s likely that Mr. Kinley broke the cardinal rule of drug dealing: getting high on your own supply.

    Via: WIS TV

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    Eye-popping latex masks of Lemmy, Prince and David Bowie
    05.20.2016
    09:03 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Heroes
    Music

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    Lemmy Kilmister latex mask with black “rocker” hair by Ireland-based company, Rubber Johnnies.
     
    The masks featured in this post are made by an Ireland-based company called “Rubber Johnnies.” The first one I came across was the one of a rather surprised looking David Bowie as his glam-rock alter-ego Aladdin Sane (which you can see below) complete with Bowie’s distinctive eyes as well as some false eyelashes. Of course, after finding the Bowie mask, I was hoping that a quick look through Rubber Johnnies’ online store would produce more latex oddities (here is probably as good a place as any to inform you that “Rubber Johnny” is British slang for condoms)—and I wasn’t disappointed. They’ve got Obama, the Queen, a mean hillbilly mask and of course, Donald Trump (no Hillary mask, though).
     

    Prince latex mask.
     
    In addition to the slightly insane looking Aladdin Sane mask, there is also a mask in the image of Lemmy Kilmister (pictured at the top of this post) that is adorned with Lem’s ever-present moles and long black hair for that “realistic rocker effect.” But neither one of these fantastically strange creations can compare with Rubber Johnnies’ latex homage to the late, great king of all things purple, Prince (above). The face of the Prince mask (that has realistic looking black hair that I’d say is modeled after Prince’s 1996 “Emancipation” era do), is frozen in a smirky half-smile with a shot of come hither side-eye—a look that Prince perfected. In addition to the Lemmy, Bowie and Prince masks, there is also one of Michael Jackson where he looks like he’s wearing Marilyn Manson’s make-up (It’s very “The Child Catcher” from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. See for yourself, below.)

    The masks retail for about $30 - $40 bucks plus shipping and Rubber Johnnies also appears to do custom orders. More images follow. Happy nightmares!
     

    The forever ‘surprised’ looking Aladdin Sane latex mask.

    More, including that frightening Michael Jackson mask, after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Own Elvis’ personal Quaalude bottle
    05.20.2016
    09:01 am

    Topics:
    Drugs
    Music

    Tags:


     
    There seems to be quite a market for Elvis Presley drug paraphernalia out there! Just six months ago we posted about an auction featuring Valium and Naldecon bottles once owned by The King™, along with a prescription written by his infamous doctor George “Dr. Nick” Nichopoulos (R.I.P February 24, 2016). Tomorrow, still more prescription bottles are being made available to “lucky” bastards with more money than sense—each is expected to fetch $6,000-8,000, and auction house estimates tend to be on the low side so as not to discourage bidders.

    I’d love to know who the hell is buying these. Is there a trader scene, like with Grateful Dead tapes? “DUDE, you have doubles of Trisoralen? I’ll swap you two Valium and a Maolate!”

    This auction—being held tomorrow by “Auction House to the Stars” Julien’s—features not only the evidently de rigueur Valium and Naldecon, but Dalmane, Temaril, Triavil, Trisoralen, and something called “Sanilert” that doesn’t appear to be a drug that actually existed but one that sounds alarmingly like a portmanteau of “sanity” and “alertness.” (What’s visible on the partial label in the photo provided clearly reads “keep sanity.”) God only knows what the hell that actually was. And then there’s the grail: a bottle that once held Elvis’ supply of that most acutely ‘70s chemical refreshment, Quaaludes.
     

     

     
    See more of The King™‘s drug bottles, after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    ‘Hoodoo,’ John Fogerty’s lost, occult-tinged disco rock album
    05.20.2016
    09:00 am

    Topics:
    Music
    Occult

    Tags:


     
    I won’t hear any badmouthing of John Fogerty on my internet. John Fogerty is tops. If he’d drunk a bottle of poison after recording “Proud Mary,” we’d still remember him as a peer of Bob Dylan and the Beatles. But Fogerty left the cyanide on the shelf and led Creedence Clearwater Revival for an astonishing run of hit singles and albums, every last one of which (okay, maybe not Mardi Gras, but that leaves six LPs of quality) belongs in the collection of even the most half-assed, fair-weather, penny-pinching, Sunday-driving, miserable, mean, craven self-abnegating rock fan. I guarantee it!

    So it is not to mock Fogerty that I draw your attention to a low point in his career, but to praise him. Behold: this lowly nth-generation bootleg of this ridiculous album, Hoodoo, which was to have been his second solo LP before he destroyed the tapes—even this sorry thing, with its stiff beats, gratuitous synths and friendly gestures toward the disco audience, is like unto one of Paul Bunyan’s labors compared with the bleats of today’s puny “Americana” people. It’s pretty good!

    Hoodoo sure is weird, though. Since none of the surviving images of the cover are up to DM’s standards, let me tell you about it. Picture Fogerty’s name (in yellow) and the album title (in blood red) printed in the kind of Gothic script you’d expect to find on a Hellhammer LP. Below stands Fogerty, his sunburst-finish Fender slung over a black jacket embroidered with a crescent and a pentagram, his right hand raised in warning to point at some haint or zombie lurking just over your shoulder. And if you were there with him at the photo shoot, you’d be pointing at the exact same spot, because there’s a fucking knight in a full suit of armor over Fogerty’s right shoulder. The overall effect: you’re gazing into a magic mirror that reveals you to yourself as John Fogerty, trapped between worlds in the Pit of Souls.
     

     
    In 1976, “You Got The Magic” b/w “Evil Thing,” the lone single from Hoodoo, “managed to escape,” in Fogerty’s words, before he and the label agreed to flush the album down history’s toilet. Here’s how it happened, according to last year’s Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music:

    Joe Smith was now the head of Asylum, and just before my new album Hoodoo was to be released, he requested to meet with me in Los Angeles. Very gingerly, he said, “This isn’t very good, John. We’ll put it out if you want us to. We just kind of feel like it’s not up to your level.” You can’t be any more generous or diplomatic than the way Joe Smith handled it. That was hard for him to do. You have to be able to be brutally honest if you’re ever going to be worth a crap.

    It was hard for me to hear it, too. Nobody likes to hear, “You stink!” But they didn’t really have to twist my arm too much. I kind of knew it in my heart. “On the Run” was one of the songs on Hoodoo. I could never quite get the words to make sense. Funny: about a week before I wrote this chapter I was still trying to write that song. People under duress will do stuff because of a deadline, let it go, call it finished when they really don’t think it’s finished. My head just wasn’t right. I was in a bad way. The one-man-band thing was really hard. And the stuff with [Fantasy Records owner] Saul [Zaentz] was eating me up. Those were the hardest times I ever went through up to that point.

    Joe Smith was right, of course, and I knew it, so I went back home and instructed my engineer, Russ Gary, to destroy all the Hoodoo tapes. Some things in life it’s better not to get snagged by. It’s better to move on. I didn’t want to have this come out after I’d died in some plane crash. One of the things Joe said to me was, “Why don’t you go home and fix whatever it is that’s bothering you?”

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
    Hilariously angry NYC news editorial tells the ‘scummy’ Sex Pistols where to get off
    05.19.2016
    04:30 pm

    Topics:
    Media
    Music
    Punk

    Tags:


     
    I grew up in the suburbs of NYC, so I remember the news coverage of WPIX channel 11 from the late 1970s and early 1980s quite well. For one thing, WPIX had the best sports roundup, hosted by the acerbic Jerry Gerard.

    This fantastic clip dates from May 18, 1977, and made an appearance on WPIX’s own Facebook presence yesterday, which proves that they have a sense of humor. In the clip anchorwoman Pat Harper (I remember her) throws it to a lady named Doris Lilly (don’t remember her), who apparently was “previewing” an appearance by the Sex Pistols, to take place at the Elgin Theater, that never ended up happening.
     

     
    Did the Sex Pistols have a gig scheduled for the Elgin in late May 1977? Lilly says “later this month.” Please do weigh in if you happen to remember this.

    The Elgin Theater was on the intersection of 19th Street and Eighth Ave., and later became the Joyce Theater, a notable center for dance. Interestingly, the Elgin was located just a couple blocks south of the Hotel Chelsea, the site of the final days of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.

    It’s well known that the classic lineup never did play New York City—in that sense, Lilly, who passed away in 1991, must have died a happy woman. The Sex Pistols would have to wait until 1996 before playing their first Manhattan show.

    In any case, Lilly wants you to know that she’s had it up to here with these scummy punks and .... just watch it, it’s great.
     

     
    h/t: Ned Raggett

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Awesome cheesecake photos from the weirdest, kitschiest ‘sex hotel’ in Colombia
    05.19.2016
    01:12 pm

    Topics:
    Art
    Sex

    Tags:


     
    Here’s a fascinating collection of pictures from Kurt Hollander, a photographer originally from New York City whose current base is Mexico City.

    Recently Hollander visited Cali, Colombia, in particular a remarkable “sex hotel” called the Hotel Kiss Me, each of whose 180 rooms is painted and decorated according to its own different theme by local artists. Hollander was given the run of the place for two weeks, during which he invited some female friends of his—they’re not prostitutes—to pose in the rooms as if they were seducing a lover.

    To be clear, while prostitution is legal in Colombia, the main purpose of the Hotel Kiss Me is to serve as a venue for a sexual getaway for couples.

    While the purpose of the Hotel Kiss Me is certainly interesting, it’s the vibrantly decorated rooms that are the real star. “Kitsch” might be too bland a term for the hilarious and lovely rooms on display in Hollander’s pictures—many of the rooms are based on representations from a certain country, and the artists were just as likely to stick in an image of Adolf Hitler saluting a Volkswagen Beetle as they were to put Saddam in the Iraq room next to an image of burning oilfields. (One of the rooms has an image of 9/11, which you can see at Vice.)

    Hollander’s show about the Hotel Kiss Me is called “The Architecture of Sex” and can be seen at Proyectos Impala in Ciudad Juárez until May 25.

    He’s an interesting fellow. After a nasty case of salmonella, which led to severe chronic ulcerative colitis, Hollander wrote a memoir called Several Ways to Die in Mexico City. He’s also published a book of photographs documenting the rough-and-tumble streets (really, they once were that!) of downtown Manhattan called Low Rent: A Decade of Prose and Photographs from The Portable Lower East Side.
     

     

     
    More from the Hotel Kiss Me after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    This ‘Twin Peaks’/‘Clue’ mashup board game needs to be mass produced like NOW
    05.19.2016
    12:28 pm

    Topics:
    Games
    Television

    Tags:


     
    Very much like “Monopoly,” the enduringly popular board game “Clue” (known as “Cluedo” in the civilized world) has goosed its sales by offering niche-y special editions, mostly for franchises with heavy geek appeal—Firefly, Harry Potter, D&D, Game of Thrones, even that god damn Big Bang Theory crap. But somehow the gaming world has been mighty lean on Twin Peaks tie-ins. I searched in vain for board games, card games, video games, anything. I find this baffling—a murder mystery with a massive ensemble of odd characters would seem a natural for a board game, but evidently the only one that ever existed was regarded very poorly and is now a bit difficult to come by, even in internetland.

    So I would Kickstart the absolute living hell out of this: way back in 2007, a Craftster forum user by the handle of “riverwatson” posted a detourned Twin Peaks version of “Clue,” renaming the conservatory, kitchen, study et al things like “The Red Room,” “One Eyed Jack’s,” “The Palmer Residence,” and subbing the show’s characters in for Professor Plum, Miss Scarlet and Colonel Mustard. (I hope it goes without saying that Laura Palmer is Mr. Boddy?)
     

     

     
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    A nostalgic look at American malls of the late 1980s
    05.19.2016
    11:02 am

    Topics:
    Amusing
    Fashion
    History

    Tags:


     

    Malls are not the center of our cultural sphere anymore. They’re not new and shiny. We’ve moved on, and now we have the Internet. ~ Michael Galinsky

    For the past few years I’ve seen these photos making the rounds on the Internet—usually uncredited—and I never really knew their provenance, but I was always intrigued by them. Well now I know where they’re from. The photos, of American malls and the folks who occupied them, were shot back in 1989 by the then 20-year-old photographer and student, Michael Galinsky.

    Starting in the winter of 1989 with the Smith Haven Mall in Garden City Long Island, Galinsky photographed malls from North Carolina to South Dakota, Washington State and beyond. The photos he took capture life in these malls as it began to shift from the shiny excess of the 1980s towards an era of slackers and grunge culture.

    Malls Across America is filled with seemingly lost or harried families navigating their way through these temples of consumerism, along with playful teens, misfits, and the aged with best ps3 bluetooth headset. There is a sense of claustrophobia to the images, even in those that hint at wide commercial expanses – a wall or a ceiling is always there to block the horizon. These photos never settle or focus on any one detail, creating the sense that they are stolen records of the most immediate kind.

    The images are nostalgic as hell and bring me back to the days of Aqua Net hairspray, food courts and acid-washed jeans.

    If you’d like to see more images like this, they’re available in Galinsky’s book Malls Across America.


     

     

     
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    ‘Fascist, psychopath, genius, madman’: Klaus Kinski, as Jesus Christ, loses his shit onstage
    05.19.2016
    10:07 am

    Topics:
    Heroes
    Kooks
    Movies

    Tags:

    00_jckkpos11.jpg
     
    Klaus Kinski had the look of man of a man possessed—a cross between Iggy Pop and a comic book psychopath. It was a look that could convince the unwary he had just escaped from Arkham asylum and was now out for bloody revenge. It was a look earned by painful experience which hid the deeply troubled and sensitive artist underneath.

    In truth, Kinski’s mental health was an issue. In the 1950s, he spent three days in a psychiatric hospital where the preliminary diagnosis was schizophrenia—the “conclusion psychopathy.”

    He attempted suicide first with an overdose of morphine tablets and then a few days later with an overdose of sleeping pills. One doctor wrote that Kinski was “a danger to the public”:

    His speech is violent. In this, his self-centred and incorrigible personality is evident as one that can’t blend in civil circumstances. He remains consistent to his egocentric world view and declares all others prejudiced [...] The patient hasn’t had a job in one year, but still speaks confidently of the new film in which he will star.

    Another doctor concluded the young actor showed “signs of severe mental illness.” After a series of insulin treatments, Kinski was released. He believed he was being persecuted which made him all the more determined to make a success of his life.

    A few years later, Kinski established himself as an up-and-coming actor in Vienna. But his volatile personality—the anger, the passion that fueled his performances—caused him to be labeled as too difficult. To compensate, and keep a roof over his head, he performed one-man shows reciting Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and Francois Villon.

    He found some financial security as a bit player in movies—most notably the spaghetti western For a Few Dollars More and war films such as A Time to Love and a Time to Die and The Counterfeit Traitor. But Kinski had a talent and an ego that inspired him to hold bolder, greater, more personal ambitions.
     
    kinski1.jpg
     
    In 1971, Kinski hired the Deutschlandhalle to perform his own 30-page interpretation of the life of Jesus Christ—Jesus Christus Erlöser (“Jesus Christ Saviour”). It was no ordinary show. It attracted an audience of diametrically opposed fans—radical students, religious followers and those intrigued to just see the “madman Kinski” did next.

    A production about Jesus Christ by one of Germany’s most notorious actors was bound to cause confusion and controversy. Some of the audience seemed to think Kinski was evangelizing, rather than interpreting a role. This led to constant heckling from the spectators. The Christians thought he was blaspheming. Those on the Left thought he was a snake oil salesman for Christianity. Kinski was doing none of this. His Christ was part Kinski, part revolutionary, and part troubled soul. As the audience heckled, Kinski responded to the abuse, as Twitch Film notes:

    [A]fter someone stated that shouting down people who disagreed with him was unlike Christ, Kinski responded with a different take on how Christ might respond: “No, he didn’t say ‘shut your mouths’, he took a whip and beat them. That’s what he did, you stupid sow!”

    He challenged the audience: “can’t you see that when someone lectures thirty typewritten pages of text in this way, that you must shut your mouths? If you can’t see that, please let someone bang it into your brain with a hammer!” The evening’s festivities also turned physical as an audience member is shown getting bounced from the stage by a bodyguard. Someone responds that “Kinski just let his bodyguard push a peaceful guy, who only wanted to have a discussion, down the stairs! That is a fascist statement, Kinski is a fascist, a psychopath!”

     
    00jckkshout44.jpg
     
    Kinski was unbowed:

    I’m not the official Church-Christ, who is accepted by policemen, bankers, judges, executioners, officers, church-heads, politicians and other representatives of the powers that be. - I’m not your super-star!

    In a filmed interview, Kinski was asked whether in light of the popularity of such shows as Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell if he was merely riding a fashionable wave to win popularity. Kinski replied he’d had the idea of making a play out of Christ’s life for some time.

    I originally had this idea twenty years ago. When I was six years old I received my only praise…usually I got punished in school…I got praised because I learnt the New Testament by heart, I didn’t really understand it but I was just good at learning texts by heart. But accusing me of riding a popular wave is just plain stupid—it was already in the papers twelve years ago that I’m going to interpret the New Testament and already twelve years ago people were annoyed with me because of that. And what do you mean by “riding the popular wave”? I’m a good rider, but on a horse.

    Kinski thought the church distorted the New Testament “with murderous intent—because the church, as everyone knows, did interpret it to fit their intentions.”
     
    More Klaus Kinski after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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