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The obscure teen film that inspired ‘Captain Midnight’ the infamous HBO hacker
02.22.2019
08:35 am
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VHS
 
During the early morning hours of April 27, 1986, a Florida man by the name of John R. MacDougall hacked into Home Box Office’s satellite signal. MacDougall owned a satellite dish company, and was upset that HBO and other cable networks had begun scrambling their signals so their programming couldn’t be seen by dish owners any longer. MacDougall, desperate because his business had suffered, decided to send a message. As HBO subscribers were watching an airing of The Falcon and the Snowman, the following appeared on their screens for more than four minutes:
 
Captain Midnight on HBO
 
MacDougall came up with the alias “Captain Midnight” not long after viewing the 1979 teen film, On the Air Live with Captain Midnight.
 
Clipping
Newspaper clipping, July 27, 1986.

The movie chronicles the adventures of a southern California high school student, Ziggy, who’s the voice of a pirate radio station. Captain Midnight has elements of the “teen sex comedy” film type, though it’s relatively tame compared to the onslaught of raunchy R-rated movies that came to define the genre in the 1980s. Anyone who came of age during the decade and remembers sneaking into theater showings of flicks like Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), The Last American Virgin (1982), and Porky’s (1981), or staying up late to watch them on cable—all without mom and dad knowing—is going to love the awesome new book, Teen Movie Hell: A Crucible of Coming-of-Age Comedies from Animal House to Zapped!. Author Mike “McBeardo” McPadden has penned reviews for over 350 films, from the “hard R’s” of the ‘70s and ‘80s, to softer fare such as Captain Midnight, and early teen sex comedies like the 1925 silent picture, The Freshman. McPadden examines these films, many of which are decidedly not politically correct, in the context of our current world, acknowledging, for example, the problematic aspects of Revenge of the Nerds (1984). There are also insightful essays from various contributors, and loads of stunning, vintage poster art that will take you back. 
 
Book cover
 
Teen Movie Hell hasn’t been published just yet, but Dangerous Minds has a preview for you. We’ve got McPadden’s review of On the Air Live with Captain Midnight, along with pages from the book, which will follow. We’ve also included screenshots from the Captain Midnight film.

A fun trifle from interesting husband-and-wife schlock filmmakers Beverly and Ferd Sebastian (they also made the sexy 1974 bayou action flick Gator Bait and the crazy 1984 heavy metal movie Rocktober Blood), On the Air Live with Captain Midnight seems to have been unofficially and without acknowledgment remade in 1990 with Christian Slater as Pump Up the Volume. Technically, Pump is the better film, but in terms of conveying the movie’s subject—a teenager turned pirate radio star—the Captain rules the high seas all the way.

 
Title card
 

Tracy Sebastian, son of directors Bev and Ferd, stars as Ziggy, a high schooler who works part-time at a local radio station to make payments on his sweet van. While futzing with the van’s CB radio, Ziggy’s chubby nerdlinger pal Gargen (Barry Greenberg) accidentally takes over an FM broadcast signal. Ziggy immediately grabs the mouthpiece and launches into a rock-jock rap, introducing himself as “Captain Midnight.”

 
Ziggy
 

Every kid at school happens to be tuned in at just this moment. Instantly, Captain Midnight becomes a campus mystery and a hero. Ziggy-as-Cap keeps his good thing going, spinning tunes and spewing truths from his mobile outlaw broadcast station, building the legend each time he hits the airwaves.

 
Gargen
Gargen, a teen movie nerd archetype.

The FCC catches wind of the Captain and dispatches Agent Pierson (veteran tough-guy actor John Ireland) to stop the madness. Real-life Los Angeles FM legend Jim Ladd, as “Disc Jockey,” voices support for the radio renegade.

 
Ziggy and the DJ
Ziggy and the Disc Jockey.

Ziggy finally deigns to save Captain Midnight by destroying him. He announces he will parachute into Magic Mountain theme park, where devotees will finally get to press flesh with their underground idol. As the climactic scene unfolds, a local news report claims five thousand Cap fans have assembled amidst the amusements. The same locale also welcomed the band Sparks in Rollercoaster (1977) and Kiss in Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978). On-screen, the crowd of “thousands” appears to number perhaps a few dozen extras.

 
Girls
 

Though the movie adventures of Captain Midnight end with the big airborne stunt, his spirit lived until at least until 1986, when a satellite TV tech jammed HBO’s Florida signal for five minutes and broadcast a message of outrage against the network’s service fee. The video protestor was named John R. MacDougall, but his on-air live handle was Captain Midnight.

 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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02.22.2019
08:35 am
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Oliver Reed as a prototype Alex from ‘A Clockwork Orange’ in ‘These are the Damned’

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At one point, Ken Russell was the favored director for a movie version of A Clockwork Orange supposedly starring the Rolling Stones. What Russell would have made of Anthony Burgess’s novel is a moot point. However, it is more than conceivable that Russell would have cast Oliver Reed as Alex, the sociopathic gang leader who together with his “droogs” unleash acts of opportunistic “ultra-violence,” rather than Mick Jagger. Reed would have been an interesting fit though a bit too old for the role of teenager Alex.

Reed had played such a brooding, nasty, thuggish type before. Two years prior to the publication of Burgess’s novel, Reed played King, a psychopathic prototype-Alex in Joseph Losey’s These are the Damned (aka The Damned). Dressed in a tweed jacket, collar, tie, silk scarf, black leather gloves, and carrying an umbrella with an eight-inch blade hidden in its handle, Reed could easily have been auditioning for the role of Alex. His gang leader King terrorises tourists at a small seaside town, using his sister Joan (Shirley Anne Field) to ensnare unwitting victims for a bit of the “old ultra-violence” or as the film’s trailer puts it:

Black leather, black leather,
Smash, smash, smash.
Black leather, black leather,
Crash, crash, crash.

 
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Reed ready for a bit of the ‘old ultraviolence.’
 
Director Joe Dante has described These are the Damned as “an undeservedly obscure British science-fiction picture…unjustly neglected…[which] is really…one of the key films of the 1960s.” High praise for a low budget feature shot quickly over a few weeks in May 1961. Produced by Hammer Films, the company best known for their hugely successful series of horror films starring Peter Cushing and Christopher starting in 1956 with The Curse of Frankenstein and then Dracula (1958) and the big screen adaptations of TV’s sci-fi classic Quatermass. These are the Damned was an odd fit for the company’s roster with its strange mix of gang violence and disturbing (yet topical) science-fiction plot.

Loosely adapted from the novel The Children of Light by H. L. Lawrence, These are the Damned was directed by blacklisted director Joseph Losey, who’d been kicked out of Hollywood due to his allegiance to the Communist Party, which he’d joined in 1946. Losey considered working in Hollywood as “useless” and his association with the Communist Party made him feel “freer” and “more valuable to society.” Through politics, Losey believed he could make films of substance. What was America’s loss proved to be England’s gain, as Losey directed a string of classic films including a trio in collaboration with Harold Pinter The Servant (1963), Accident (1967), The Go-Between (1971), alongside The Assassination of Trotsky (1972), Brecht’s Galileo (1975), and the opera Don Giovanni (1979).

Losey was never quite happy with These are the Damned. Constrained by studio demands to make a commercial sci-fi flick, Losey “possessed little if any interest in science fiction as a literary mode and consequently threw out pretty much all of the novel, except for the image of the gang of teddy boys, led by King (Oliver Reed).”

He felt the rough framework of the book might act as the vehicle for a commentary upon the proliferation of atomic power and the potential debacle that could lead from its irresponsible use by high-minded technocrats. What more immediately attracted him was the setting he chose for the piece: Weymouth, an out-of-the-way part of England that is bleak, wild and ancient, and associated by the literary with the novels of Thomas Hardy and John Cowper Powys. Losey envisioned the kinds of contrasts that could be drawn between the isolated seascapes that housed the cordoned-off research laboratory overseen by Bernard (Alexander Knox) and the urban hubbub of the town crisscrossed by the motorcycles of King’s cohorts. In his mind, alien as these individuals and their surroundings seemed to be, they shared a common propensity for violence: “one was paralleling different levels of the same society which in effect were, in their own way, doing the same thing: the politicians and the hoodlums.”

What starts out as a film about gang violence and the sexual relationship between Joan and “an innocent American abroad: Simon (MacDonald Carey)” quickly develops into a dark and disturbing tale of the consequences of nuclear war. Joan and Simon discover hidden among the seaside caves groups of children who are being held captive and have been experimented upon and irradiated as a form of inoculation by a sinister secret military organisation in readiness to repopulate the planet after an imminent nuclear war.

The film was highly prescient, tapping into fears made real by the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. However, Hammer and its distributors didn’t know what to do with the film. It was passed uncut by the British Board of Censors in December 1961, but was only released in an edited form first in the UK in 1963 and then in the US as a support feature with further cuts in 1965.

However, it’s Reed who attracts the most interest and almost steals the film from Carey and Field with his turn as the psychopathic King. For a then relatively unknown and inexperienced actor, Reed showed his prowess in front of the camera and his ability to add depth and considerable menace to his role. It was the start of a series of films which have often, until more recently, been overlooked—films like Paranoiac (1963), The System (1964), and The Party’s Over (1965)—which revealed Reed’s talent as an actor which at its best placed him as the equal of Albert Finney, Peter O’Toole, Richard Harris, and Richard Burton.

Happy Birthday Oliver Reed.
 
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Shirley Anne Field.
 
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More production stills, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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02.13.2019
09:43 am
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Rare behind-the-scenes photos of Alex Cox’s gritty f*ck Reagan masterpiece ‘Repo Man’


Emilio Estevez on the set of ‘Repo Man.’
 
Alex Cox was thirty-years-old when he took on the task of directing his first feature-length film, 1984’s Repo Man. It’s a film which seems to perfectly encapsulate gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s apocalyptic quote “Too weird to live, and too rare to die” as it nears its 35th anniversary this March.

Unlike what the ravages of the aging process does to most of us mortal types, Cox’s film endured and remains as defiantly DIY as does its equally angry soundtrack, containing venomous jams from the Circle Jerks, Iggy Pop, and Suicidal Tendencies. However, Cox faced an uphill battle while trying to shop Repo Man around because nobody outside of actor and writer Dick Rude understood what the fuck the film was supposed to be about. Rude had approached Cox with his short story Leather Rubbernecks, hoping to make it into a short film but ultimately Leather Rubbernecks would become a part of Repo Man, as did Rude in his role of sushi chew and screwer Duke in the movie. At some point, the Repo Man script would end up in the hands of former Monkee and visionary in his own right, Michael Nesmith. According to folklore, Papa Nez was instantly impressed and stepped into the role of Executive Producer for the film because, as we all know, Papa Nez gets it and helped Cox (a former repo man in real life) bring Repo Man to the big screen.

Wild stories surrounding this timeless film have been discussed and dissected by writers, film historians, and scholars since its release. A few weeks ago I cracked open my copy of Criterion’s impeccable 2013 release of the film and rewatched it in all of its pissed-off glory. Of the film’s vast merits, which are too numerous to lay out in this post (all of the repo men are named after domestic beer brands, and so on, and on), let’s focus on what many consider to be Harry Dean Stanton’s best acting performance as unhinged repo man Bud (a play on the gross suds known as Budweiser).

Stanton was 58 when he took on the role of Bud (which almost went to Dennis Hopper) and had long since established his alpha hangdog status in Hollywood starring in films with elite actors like Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, and Donald Sutherland. Stanton didn’t waste any time letting everyone know, especially Alex Cox, what he was and was not going to do during filming. Within a few days, he was already refusing to learn his dialog for the film. Stanton supported his decision by citing actor Warren Oates who Stanton claimed read his lines off of cards stuck to a car dashboard while filming 1971’s Two-Lane Backdrop. All of Stanton’s complaints finally set Cox off and the director began to think it might be easier to cut their losses by writing Stanton out of any future scenes. With Nesmith’s support he shut down Cox’s quest to make Bud disappear and eventually, Stanton delivered his lines without skipping a beat. But that didn’t mean Stanton suddenly became some sort of fucking choir-boy after almost getting ghosted by Cox. And this time his bad-boy behavior involved baseball bats.
 

Stanton and his trusty baseball bat.
 
For a scene involving Otto (played by a 22-year-old Emilio Estevez), Stanton pitched the idea of using a modified baseball hand signal used in a scene to tell Otto where to park a car. Cox said no, and Stanton went off telling Cox that other “great” directors he had worked with like Francis Ford Coppola let him do “whatever the fuck he wanted.” Later in a scene where Stanton was to act aggressively with a baseball bat at competing repo dudes the Rodriguez brothers, Stanton requested he be able to use a real baseball bat claiming he could do the scene in one take. The film’s cinematographer, Robby Müller, didn’t get behind the idea of arming Stanton with a baseball bat for the scene and was afraid the combination of an unruly Harry Dean Stanton and a baseball bat equaled bad times for someone’s head or worse. When Stanton was told he would have to switch out his Louisville slugger for a plastic version he went batshit and allegedly screamed the following in response:

“Harry Dean Stanton only uses REAL baseball bats!”

The quote “Harry Dean Stanton only uses REAL baseball bats!” is on par with Dennis Hopper’s terrifying endorsement in Blue Velvet for Pabst Blue Ribbon and it’s regretful at best that no footage of Stanton screaming these words seems to exists. In closing, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of the Criterion release of Repo Man as, in addition to a fantastic booklet full of illustrations by Cox and Mondo artists Jay Shaw and Tyler Stout. I’ve included all kinds of cool visual artifacts from Repo Man below including rare photos taken on the set, vintage German and Japanese lobby cards and posters, and some of the gritty neon artwork from the Criterion release.
 

Michael Nesmith and Harry Dean Stanton on the set of ‘Repo Man.’
 

A candid shot on the set of ‘Repo Man’ of Emilio Estevez, his father Martin Sheen, Harry Dean Stanton and Alex Cox.
 

Estevez, Stanton, and Cox.
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.05.2019
09:21 am
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Taking psychedelic mushrooms with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
01.30.2019
09:52 am
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I’m sure we’ve all considered who we’d take psychedelics with, if given the opportunity. Off the top of my head, my choice would be Pauly Shore, Encino Man era. Bud-dy! For independent filmmaker Caveh Zahedi, that person was folk songwriter, Will Oldham. And he made that dream come true, on camera.
 
Tripping with Caveh is a thirty-minute film documenting one man’s hallucinogenic outing with Bonnie “Prince” Billy. As its introduction illustrates, the two got in contact in 2001, when the Independent Film Channel approached Zahedi to air his 1999 video diary, In the Bathtub of the World. The project contained two of Oldham’s songs without his permission and they needed to clear the rights in order to proceed. Shortly after, Caveh reached out again to inquire whether the Palace Brother would take psilocybin mushrooms with him to pitch a new television series. The product of that interaction is depicted in Tripping with Caveh.
 

 
Somewhat of a psychedelic take on John Lurie’s cult television series Fishing with John, Zahedi’s bizarre docu-reality pilot was filmed at Richard Linklater’s property in Austin, Texas. The youthful Oldham, first introduced while munching on ice cream cone at the airport, happily obliges with Caveh’s direction and retains a cheerful persona throughout the journey. What ensues is an afternoon of speculative and existential discussion, go-kart rides, pool lounges, and a late-night serenade of “I am a Cinematographer.” Oh, and Oldham steps in a hornet’s nest, which pretty much derails the whole thing.
 
To be honest, the short isn’t very good, but take what you make of it. Caveh’s filmmaking style is the product of his own narcissism and self-confession, which kind of interferes with Oldham’s carefree and heartfelt performance. If anything is to be gained, it’s maybe don’t take hallucinogens with your idols - because they may think you suck after the whole thing is said and done.
 
But yeah, I’d tooooooootally take shrooms with Bonnie “Prince” Billy.
 
Watch Will Oldham trip out with a random guy in the short film ‘Tripping with Caveh’ below:
 

 
h/t Spencer
 

Posted by Bennett Kogon
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01.30.2019
09:52 am
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Lydia Lunch and Penn & Teller in ‘Barbecue Death Squad from Hell,’ directed by Michael Nesmith
01.29.2019
08:36 am
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In 1986, Penn & Teller put out “Barbecue Death Squad from Hell,” a parody short film purporting to advertise a company whose business model was to take home movies shot in vapid suburbia and transform them into heart-palpitating schlock horror movies, all for the low, low price of $109. The movie lasts eight and a half minutes and manages to represent the brash and sarcastic comedic style of Penn & Teller adequately.

The idea of the short is that Penn & Teller portray two sleazy Hollywood producers who think they have hit upon a can’t-miss idea: send them your otherwise-useless home movies and, with the use of automated dialog replacement, or ADR, and a little bit of added footage, they will turn it into a schlocky horror movie in the Troma style, a type of entertainment that was seemingly omnipresent during those years. Somehow the conceit allowed the two alt-magicians (?) to direct their satirical eye at two hated groups, regular normies and shitty fly-by-night entertainment people.

What sets the project apart isn’t so much the content but the collaborators. Former Monkee Michael Nesmith was firmly ensconced in the world of video production by that time, and he is credited with directing “Barbecue Death Squad from Hell.” Strangely, at the precise moment this was being produced, the other three Monkees were enjoying an improbable career renaissance courtesy of MTV. Furthermore, no wave goddess Lydia Lunch was featured in the video for no discernible reason, other than the obvious.

The main actor in the “home movie” featured in the movie is James Rebhorn, a noted character actor (a favorite of mine) who appeared in such movies as The Game, Lorenzo’s Oil, and Scent of a Woman before unfortunately passing away in 2014. For a brief moment I thought that “Uncle Ernie” was a very young Ben Stiller, but no such luck. 

At the very end of “Barbecue Death Squad from Hell” there briefly flashes a disclaimer, which is sort of the funniest thing in the video. Using my “pause control,” I froze the image and read the following:
 

Notice:

If you went to all the trouble to use your pause control and read this, you probably have enough of a brain in your head to realize that this whole thing is a joke, get it? We don’t really beef up videos, and if you do send your tape and money to us, Mike Nesmith will keep your hundred and nine dollars and we will all laugh at you and make fun of your family.

You can check out the video after the jump…
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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01.29.2019
08:36 am
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Amusing promo shots from ‘Tron’ featuring Jeff Bridges and miscellaneous randos
01.22.2019
06:52 am
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Unleashed upon the world in the same year as E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and Blade Runner, the Disney production Tron may not have been the best sci-fi movie ever made, but it was certainly among the most stylish. For tweens who desperately wanted to know what it might be like to live inside the Pac-Man console down at the local “arcade”—1982 being a very big year for that particular game as well—Tron was definitely the flick for that craving.

Tron had assets aside from its production design, however. The movie may not have been designed to take particular advantage of the considerable charm of Jeff Bridges, later seen in his indelible performances as the Dude, Rooster Cogburn, and Otis “Bad” Blake, but you can’t really argue with that casting choice, and in David Warner the movie had that moment’s most deliciously malevolent baddie (also appearing as Evil itself in Time Bandits and as Jack the Ripper in Time After Time).

These promo shots and/or production stills are amusing primarily for forcing the actors involved (Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan prominently among them) to do without the blue glow of the post-production special effects, revealing them to be a passel of California actors doing that make-believe that sometimes pays so very well. Enjoy ‘em.
 

 

 

 
Tons more after the jump….....
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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01.22.2019
06:52 am
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F#ck it up Pigface: Watch the fabled industrial supergroup’s 1992 tour documentary
01.22.2019
05:56 am
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The phrase “industrial rock supergroup” is not something you hear very often. Back in 1990, Al Jourgensen assembled scene all-stars Martin Atkins (PiL, Killing Joke), Nivek Ogre (Skinny Puppy), and Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks) to tour with Ministry in support of their record The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste. The onstage chaos can be seen depicted in the video companion to their live album, In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up.
 
Atkins recognized the potential of this joint effort, in more ways than what he referred to as a “Ministry cover band.” Along with Ministry’s William Rieflin, the two drummers formed Pigface. They recruited other like-minded members of the music community to perform in and collaborate with the collective, keeping it an experimental “revolving door” of participation. Both Nivek Ogre and Chris Connelly were contributors to Pigface, along with an insanely long and impressive list of rotating, alternative heavy-hitters, like Trent Reznor, Flea, David Yow, Genesis P-Orridge, Black Francis, Steve Albini, Michael Gira, Jello Biafra, and so on.
 

“The Industrial Show from the Blackest Pit of Hell”: Pigface in Ann Arbor, 1993
 

Pigface - “Suck” (feat. Trent Reznor)
 
Given that a transformative project as ambitious as this could fizzle out at any second, Pigface released a VHS tour documentary called Glitch in 1992. The video is made up of snippets of backstage interviews and live footage of their high-energy concerts, described in the film as “a circus that keeps changing every time.” The group may have released their most coherent and well-received record Fook during this span, yet the tumultuous 10+ member live performances were known to be inconsistent and oftentimes nightmarish.
 
There have been gaps in between, but Pigface has never broken up. That’s the beauty of a band with over one hundred members, although the self-inflicted anarchy at its core has made it difficult for fans to follow along. In 2016, Pigface reappeared for two shows in Chicago, featuring members both old and new. In 1996, a follow-up documentary was released, titled Son of a Glitch. There are snippets of it around Youtube, or you can get the DVD.
 
Watch industrial supergroup Pigface’s 1992 documentary ‘Glitch’ after the jump…
 

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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01.22.2019
05:56 am
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Holy shit, there’s video of Fred Neil singing ‘The Dolphins’
01.17.2019
08:55 am
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Rick Danko and Fred Neil onstage in Coconut Grove (Photo by Mark Diamond, via Twitter)
 
Other than an impromptu appearance at a Coconut Grove café in 1986, Fred Neil’s last show was a 1977 set at a Tokyo event called “Japan Celebrates the Whale and Dolphin.” All of his last concerts had something to do with marine mammals: before the Tokyo gig, there had been “Rolling Coconut Revue” shows at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in aid of a dolphin rescue organization Neil helped establish, and he made an appearance at the Sacramento “Celebration of Whales” event featuring Joni Mitchell, Gary Snyder, and Gov. Jerry Brown, singing “The Dolphins” with Joni.

After mentioning St. Petersburg, Florida in my last post, I started poking around for footage of hometown boy Fred Neil performing, or talking, or pumping gas, for that matter. There is not much. In fact, as far as I can tell, there is almost nothing—only this outstanding performance of “The Dolphins” from one of Neil’s last shows. The video below, dated August 2, 1976, likely comes from one of the Coconut Grove Playhouse benefits; that’s John Sebastian on harmonica, and I reckon that’s Neil’s former partner Vince Martin stage right.

With reasons to despair growing fat and multiplying, I thought we could all use a little pick-me-up from Fred Neil, whose music is always there to remind you that, no matter how bad it gets, you can always curl up in the trunk of your car with your handguns and slam heroin.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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01.17.2019
08:55 am
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The Radiophonic Workshop creates creepy score for ‘Possum’ with help from the late Delia Derbyshire


 
I normally don’t post about a film I haven’t yet seen but I’m saving Possum until the holidays are here—I gotta have something fun to watch—so allow me to concentrate on the film’s remarkable soundtrack. That I have heard, and if the film it accompanies is half as good (or even a quarter as creepy) it’s gonna make for the perfect Christmas day horror movie.

Possum, by the way, tells “the story of a disgraced children’s puppeteer who returns to his childhood home and is forced to confront his wicked stepfather and the secrets that have tortured him his entire life.” The film is the directorial debut of Matthew Holness, who American audiences will know as the star and co-creator/writer of the classic British TV cult comedy Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. (Along with Holness’ hilarious portrayal of self-absorbed/delusional sci-fi and horror writer Marenghi—“author, dream weaver, visionary, plus actor”—this show also marked the breakout roles for Richard Ayoade, Matt Berry and Alice Lowe.) The film is an adaption of Holness’ short story of the same title.

The original score for Possum was created by the recently revived Radiophonic Workshop, the pioneering BBC electronic sound laboratory responsible for the Doctor Who theme and the sound effects for a host of radio and television programs over the past sixty years. You would think that at least once during their long association that the Radiophonic Workshop would have scored at least one feature film for theatrical release, or collaborated on a major score for something together, but this has not been the case. Until now. And what a fascinating and major piece it is, reminding the listener of Ennio Morricone’s anxiety-ridden giallo scores and the darkest soundscapes of Coil.

Holness and the film’s editor Tommy Boulding had used sound cues from the Radiophonic Workshop in their rough cut and approached the newly reformed group about using their archival work in the film. To their delight the Radiophonic Workshop offered to do an original score.

And if all that wasn’t enough to pique your interest—and it should have been—the Possum soundtrack features sound elements and drones taken from the archives of Delia Derbyshire who famously created the original Doctor Who theme. These elements were discovered in boxes of tapes stored in the late composer’s attic, have been restored and were used in the foundations of the film’s scary/tense soundtrack and sound design.
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.18.2018
04:51 pm
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Watch ‘Drugs: Killers and Dillers,’ Matt Groening’s amusing anti-drug parody from 1972
12.18.2018
08:42 am
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Matt Groening made his comedic name in the 1980s with the brutally nihilistic alternative comic Life In Hell (a favorite of mine in high school) and went on to far greater fame as the creator of the animated Simpson family as well as the TV series Futurama and Disenchanted.

One of Groening’s early forays into comedy occurred in 1972 when, as a student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, he co-directed, co-wrote, and appeared in “Drugs: Killers or Dillers?,” a parody of the many inauthentically “authoritative” anti-drug propaganda film strips of that era. National Lampoon and the Firesign Theatre were a very big deal when Groening, Tim Smith, and Jim Angell teamed up to create the nine-and-a-half-minute movie—and you can see that influence pretty strongly here. The movie is amateurish but pretty good, considering.
 

 
Groening appears in the opening bit as a hippie degenerate who drinks way too much LSD. My favorite gag involves the eventual demise of a pair of cavemen who pop up to illustrate the origins of drug consumption. The montage of the various types of drugs is quite amusing as well.

The first title card of the movie reads “A TEENS FOR DECENCY PRESENTATION.” When Groening appeared on Late Night with David Letterman in 1989—there’s no way I didn’t watch this episode when it first aired—he mentioned that when he was in high school, he started a group by that name because a teacher had referred to Groening and his friends as “teens for filth.” The group’s motto was “If you’re against decency, what are you for?” and all the members secured election to the student body offices, yay.

Oddly, Fox, the network that hired Groening to make The Simpsons—the same network that series would eventually save from oblivion—was run by a man named Diller.
 
Watch the movie after the jump…......
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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12.18.2018
08:42 am
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