Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tough Times for Thumpers

Don't worry the Lord will replace your severed head in Heaven...

So I was visiting good old tv links again and I rolled the dice on a movie just because of it's title. Much to my delight, it was a Christian produced film about the end times (one of my absolute favorite genres) from the late 70's maybe early 80's. You think the current economic situation is bad? It is nothing compared to what is to come in the Years of the Beast.

The film begins with the last day of school at a university when the professor is informed by his students that the next term has been canceled by the school for economic reasons. When he dismisses the class we get the credits along with a really bizarre folky rock type number that was composed for the film as he walks to the office of one of his older colleagues. After a quick phone call with his nightmare of a spouse who wants him to pick up some groceries his older colleague informs him that the school has canned him. He gives him folder of some research that he has been doing about the current global situation as compared to the book of revelations and then all of a sudden he is gone, but his clothes are still there. Rapture anyone?

When the professor gets to the grocery store it is absolute chaos. People are scrambling for food and the store has decided to name it's own prices, charging triple for everything. He gets home and his wife is frantic because she cannot get a hold of her father. They decide to go see him.

The car breaks down along the way but it just so happens that her father's farm hand stops and picks them up. He says that he has not seen her father and when they get to the house there are traces of him being in the middle of a bowl of grapenuts, but then suddenly gone. Rapture anyone?

The next day in town the professor and the farm hand meet the Sheriff who is looking for a reason to kick some ass and Pete, a backwoods yokle with a distaste for living.

Pete Hates Life But Loves Jesus

I have been waiting a long fuckin' time to kill me some thumpers!

Soon after the antichrist takes power and declares marshall law. Hording supplies is now illegal and the sheriff, now armed with a perfect reason to fuck with people, goes door to door taking any and all food. In the end times, eating is now illegal.

Sorry Folks, Antichrist's orders

Soon the mark of the beast is introduced and you must have it to conduct any kind of commerce. The professor studies the folder given to him by his raptured friend and finds the parallels. He realizes that he must give his life to christ and refuse the mark at all costs. Even the hardened heart of Pete refuses to give his soul to the devil by accepting the mark. He witnesses a slaughter of thumpers who are hording food, and quickly goes to alert the rest of the thumpers.


When the professor and the farm hand are scrounging around for supplies one night, they are captured by an armed group of masked men. They ask, "Are you a Christian?" The professor knows he must not deny his saviour and says that he is. They all take off their masks and reveal that they are an underground group of renegade thumpers.

Before long being Christian is now illegal and the sheriff's dream has come true. He has an open license to shoot and kill thumpers and that is just what he starts doing. He stumbles across a secret Thumper stronghold that Pete prepared at the edge of the woods. They have developed a system of staying hidden in the rafters, but they forget that the sheriff has dogs.

So that's where those Thumpers are hiding

After a couple of girls leave the compound to scrounge for food, they are spotted by the Sheriff and his dogs. After the girls make the interesting decision of splitting up in the woods. The sheriff sicks his dogs on one of them and then pins her up against a tree by her face. In terror, she cries to the Lord for deliverence and he obliges. The life is sucked from her body and she falls limp. This is an important lesson for Thumpers. The only way he can truly save you, is to kill you. This leaves the sheriff pissed that he was not able to get her to sing about the whereabouts of the Thumper's hidden nest.

You got a pretty mouth.....I am gonna show you some salvation Missy

Pete and the farmhand head into town to attempt to poison the Sherrif's dogs to make the Thumper hunt harder. Needless to say, they are caught by the sherrif and Pete is shot in the back. He tells the Farmhand to go to the high country.

Hey Pete....YOU MADE IT!!!

All the while the antichrist is in action brewing up his schemes shamelessly. He doesn't even attempt to be likeable and is comfortable ruling the world under an iron fist. When the weasley pedophile dressed in a priests' outfit tells him that the Chinese are giving him problems, he says that he will give them war if they want war and also takes an unnecesary shot at the jews. He clearly states, "I am their God, they will worship me or they will burn!"

Finally an antichrist we can all agree upon

Meanwhile, as Pete had suggested, the Thumpers who managed to escape the small town slaughter retreated to the high country and even though they travelled through all kinds of hellish conditions to get there, you just know it wasn't gonna be that easy. That's right folks you guessed it, the sherrif followed them the entire way, hellbent on killin' some Thumper.

I got you Jesus Crispies right where I want you

The Thumpers are dining on bark as they bust into a not so moving rendition of We Shall Endure, they discuss that everything is gonna be great when they reach heaven and see Pete again.

The country wasn't the only thing that was high when Revelations was interpreted

The country air is crisp and life seems great until they are fired upon from above by a 12 gauge. They somehow manage to escape the buckshot and hide and then it happens

We shall endure, We shall endure (everyone join in)

The blinding light of the Lord messes up the aim of the sherrif and takes the best character in this film off the edge of the cliff. Supposedly when he returns, everyone on earth will know.

The moment these Thumpers have been waiting for

For several minutes we get closeups on the faces of these three basking in the glory of the second coming. Well, if you are like me and consider Mike Tyson to be the Messiah, this would actually be the third coming.

Move over Camel man there's a new fro in town

The farmhand is especially smitten with the coming of the Lord. He has the best white man's fro since my youth group leader Bob Love. This moment is huge for him, and it will be for you too you fucking heathen.

An amazing depiction

When I saw the third coming in this film it was amazing for me. When I was told about this as a child, this is exactly how I pictured it would be, and I mean spot on. Bad optically printed fireballs coming from the sky, accompanied by noises from the Atari 2600. I can't believe they actually read my mind on this one. Nothing short of Amazing.

Bob Love is going home

The bummer about going to heaven is thinking of who you will actually have to hang out with if it is true. I picture myself having dinner sitting between Michael Landon and Jerry Falwell, wishing that there was such a thing as death there. That stuff about their being no pain there is all just hype to get more Thumpies signed up.

That sounds hot

And we close with a strangely pornographic Bible verse. I am not so sure what this means, but I am pretty sure I saw it in a film I watched the other night that starred Rocco Siffredi and Tori Welles.

Ok, now here is what this all comes down to. Can any of you weird ass motherfuckers read the book of Revelations for what it really is? Do you not realize that according to Vincent Bugliosi, trying to interpret this while adding a dash of lyrics from four pasty white hacks from liverpool equals one dead pregnant actress on Cielo drive in the late 60's? I have read revelations in recent years and went in cold, trying to take it without anything I was told as a child. It raises an interesting question. Where the fuck did you come up with this? However it was, just please stop, just stop right now.

They used to show us movies like this in church to keep us scared. Being afraid of the tribulation is like being afraid of the Sasquatch, I mean, sure we would all love to see it. The thing I really don't understand is that the people that believe in this want to see this happen. They want to jumpstart the apocalypse, and I simply don't get it. Let's also face it, you go to any small town in this state or country and you will find at least 2 churches (more like 4 or 5). You are not gonna be persecuted anytime soon, but I do recognize that cutting off a Thumper's feelings of persecution is like cutting off a man's penis. The world being against you is all you have.

A strong thumbs up for the sherrif. I fantasized about being him through this entire picture.

P.S. - This was written with the sole purpose of angering Joel T. Tacorda

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Dad will shoot your Dad - Lakeview Terrace reviewed

In a recent report Samuel L. Jackson was named as the second highest grossing movie star of all time. The only person who has made more money in the motion picture business is Harrison Ford, and it makes perfect sense for Jackson to be in that position. If you were in a minimum of 175 films a year and all of them were bombs, you would still probably have bigger receipts than Brando in his hayday. No matter how much money you are bringing in, it is difficult for me to imagine accepting a job that would instantly lower the value of your property, but this is exactly what Sam did with his latest gem Lakeview Terrace. I can almost imagine a small fat accountant who is kicking and screaming with his arms rapped around Jackson's legs as he is walking to sign the contract on this film. I picture it being like Van Gundy was with Alonzo Mourning during the infamous Knicks/Heat brawl during the playoffs in the late 90's. Damn, now that I think about it, remember when those two teams had one of the biggest rivalries in the league going? Nowadays, the only rivalry the Knicks have going is with their own fans.

I was once again checking tv links and saw this movie listed and it was a crappy version of the film shot by somebody in the audience with a video camera. Normally I would close the link right away, but in this case I think it is the only way to watch this movie.

The picture starts with Jackson as an overbearing father telling his son to change out of his Kobe jersey because they agreed to support Shaq. In other words this is a period piece set about three years ago. Jackson has no problem establishing himself as an asshole to his kids and they go to school wishing that they had been born to different parents, or maybe not at all. Sam is going about his business and sees some new neighbors moving in. It appears to be a couple that is made up of an older black man, and younger black woman. He seems fine with this.

A few minutes later he gets another glimpse of the people next door and the older black man is talking on the phone while the young black woman is kissing on a young white man. Jackson takes a step back from the window and has the same look on his face that somebody would have if they found out at age 16 that their grandparents were not actually their parents and the person who they thought was their sister was actually their mom....(cough) Nicholson. Wait, what year is it? An interracial couple, living next door? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!???!!! I thought that Tom and Helen Willis were just fictional characters, for Christ sake!!

At this point you know that we are getting into a genre that there is not nearly enough material being produced for. That would be the reverse racism picture that was so incredibly explored in the Travolta/Belafonte picture White Man's Burden. The amazing thing is that even though there is no real way to explore this genre with any kind of dignity, I have a feeling that Hollywood has only scratched the surface.

Needless to say that this is the beginning of trouble and Jackson begins doing not so subtle and annoying tactics to get the attention of the oreo relationship that just moved next door. He begins flooding their house with spotlights in the middle of the night and making downright bizarre comments. Then we find out that he is a cop.

Jackson and his partner roll up on an obese drug dealer and shake him down. After trading jabs and insults they set him on his marry way, letting him know that the day he stops being an informant is the day that they will have to stuff him into a prison cell (and they would literally need to stuff him in).

Later that night, the white neighbor is about a half a block from his house, in his car, smoking a cigarette and listening to Public Enemy when Jackson come from behind acting like he has a gun and wants his wallet. The white man hands it over and then Jackson reveals himself as the neighbor who is just looking out for his best interests. After a very uncomfortable conversation, Jackson walks away but then turns around and says, "You know, you can listen to that music all night long, but you will still wake up tomorrow and be white." Not sure how to take this, the white man uses some personal effects like Binaca and hand lotion to cover the smoke smell.

When he arrives home he finds his wife swimming and he strips nude and joins her. Before you know it there is some serious backyard humping happening that is being watched by San Jackson's kids next door. When Jackson finds this out, you just know that it will have dire, excuse me, FUCKING dire, consequences. I mean they have the nerve to not be entirely black, but now they are potentially gonna conceive zebras in front of my kids? I have a gun and don't forget it.

After some more racial commentary, bizarre comments and extreme acts of passive aggression, Jackson switches from being hostile to being Idi Amine. He goes next door because his daughter is using the neighbors swimming pool and dancing with the wife. Trying to prove some point, Jackson starts stripping nude and dancing and eventually smacks his daughter across the face in a way that conjures up the spirit of Ike Turner. Now all bets are off, we all hate Jackson officially, and lets just see how this thing plays out.

Jackson and his partner are called to an apartment building where there is a lot of screaming and madness going down inside. After Jackson asks for them to open up a blast from a shotgun comes through the door. Jackson chases the assailant down the car port where he has a shotgun under his chin and is threatening to blow his head off. Jackson gets calm for a second, approaches the man peacefully then turns into Willie Dynamite. He grabs the gun and starts accosting him. "Don't be a pussy...pull the motherfucking trigger!!!" When this situation cools down, Jackson tells the man he is gonna start being a father to that baby or else he is gonna put an ungodly hurt on his ass. This incident leads to Jackson's suspension from the police force, which really means trouble.

It is pretty obvious that when he goes home he doesn't take off the badge. Being a cop is this man's entire being, and now he is suspended? What in the hell is he supposed to do now to control the rage when he can't be whipping up on people legally? He does the natural thing and throws a bachelor party.

At 3 in the morning the interracial neighbors can't sleep because Jackson and his buddies are blasting hip hop and getting lap dances. The white man goes next door to ask them to tone it down at which point Jackson invites him inside and has him held down while strippers begin riding him feverishly. He gets up and attempts to kick Jackson's ass, but we all know that isn't happening so he goes home and begins whining and crying in his garden.

Jackson later hires the obese drug dealer from the beginning to rampage the neighbors house while they are all at a BBQ at a different neighbor's house. When the wife gets tired and wants to go home, this puts Jackson in a bind and he calls the obese thief, warning him to get out of the house. When the obese man finds the wife home he doesn't flee, but begins attacking her. The alarm is set off and Jackson and the white man hear it and come running. Jackson finds the obese man out by the pool and when he begins to explain himself to Jackson he is instantly capped. Now he has really crossed the line. He just committed murder, and he looks like the good guy for it.

A few scenes later the hills surrounding lakeview terrace are on fire and everyone is forced to evacuate. While packing for the exodus, the white man finds the obese man's cel phone in his bedroom. He calls the last number that was dialed from it while looking out the window at Jackson. Jackson answers and turns around with the same look on his face that you would have catching somebody shitting on your lawn. He runs next door gun drawn, trying to explain himself.

The white man sends his wife with the cel phone away in the car, oh yeah, and did I mention she is pregnant and the white man is bummed because he thinks she didn't take her pill on purpose? Oh yeah and I forgot to mention that her dad, along with Jackson, hates him for being white.

Jackson shoots the car, and the wife crashes. When the white man rushes to her aid, him and Jackson are now in a standoff. I can't quite remember why the white man has a gun now but he does. Oh yeah, him and Jackson got into a struggle inside and he got the gun, but we all know that no cop can carry just one. The cops are now there with their guns drawn, demanding that both men drop their guns. They both refuse and keep shouting at each other. When the white man brings up Jackson's dead wife (who I forgot to mention, Jackson probably killed because she was cheating on him), Jackson is pushed over the edge and opens fire and is instantly killed by the police.

The interracial couple go off in an ambulance feeling optimistic about their new family, just like anyone would after something like this. Credits roll, we're out, jesus fucking christ, deep breathe.........deep breeeeeaaaaaaathe.

Too many thoughts to get straight at this point, but one word sums it up......WHATTT? (in Joel Tacorda voice)

This film proves once again that no matter what name the script assigns him, he is still Samuel L. Jackson. I do not mean this to be a racial remark but he truly is becoming this generation's Louis Gossitt Jr. Their careers are very similar. Gossit was not just nominated but won an oscar, and that prompted him to throw all class and integrity out the window. I think there were 5 or 6 Iron Eagle movies and he was in every single one. He was even Dolph Lundgren's sidekick in the first Punisher film even though that character in the comic was a 400-600 lb. white guy (interesting casting to say the least). These days, Gossit cannot get a job to save his fucking life. It is because we all burned out. He appeared in every film from 1980 - 86.

Jackson is now in his Iron Eagle phase. He was nominated for an Oscar for Pulp Fiction and then stopped reading scripts and just started cashing checks. He will never get another oscar nomination because he is now a full blown parody of himself. It is only a matter of time now before we need a break. I have a feeling that we aren't going to get one.

I just remembered that this one time I was watching Montel or one of those trashy day time talk shows and the guest was a very beautiful and exotic women who has dated many celebrities. They said that they had a surprise after the break and it turned out to be that she was actually born a man, but she was not born with the proper anatomy so she "corrected" the problem. At the break there was a montage of pictures of her former lovers and there was a big picture of none other than Louis Gossit Jr. I am sure he appreciated being outed like that, especially since it is all myself and several million Americans who saw the show can think of when they see him. This may be his finest work.

Verdict on the movie:

Thumbs up for some of the best overacting ever captured on film and for Louis Gossit Jr.'s "diverse" lifestyle.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Decino Part 2

It has been a while since I have written a movie review but I find it to be my civic duty this time. I am doing everyone who reads this a favor. This is a giant spoiler in hopes that none of you sacrifice an hour and a half of your lives that not only will you never get back, but you will be a lesser person for going through it, like myself. I was looking on TV Links to see if there were any new films, and saw it listed. When I clicked the link, it was no video camera in the theater action, it was a pristine clear copy of the film (showing they can hardly give this one a way)

It is definitely fair to say that there was a time when both Pacino and DeNiro (when billed together known as Decino), were relevant. They both put in some solid work early in there careers, whether it be Deniro and Scorsese's groundbreaking work in Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, or Pacino as the whiny bitch that was Serpico. I am shocked that somebody who backs films would deem there to be enough of an audience left to pair these two up (who have long become walking parodies of themselves). Obviously somebody in Hollywood did, and gave the film Righteous Kill a green light while simultaneously wolfing down a French Dip and Cobb Salad (gotta stay healthy........ this is Hollywood). There is no possibility that the guy who greenlit this film was not fat.

There was Michael Mann's Heat which has it's moments and the fact that Decino's screen time together was severely limited was a good directorial decision. It would be immoral to say that Mann has made any great directorial decisions. However, this time around, all decent directorial decisions, or decency in general is out the window.

The film opens with Deniro confessing to killing people and his narration of the different people is laced throughout the film, often being laid on top of shots of lowlifes being taken out. It is basically the same concept as Michael Douglass and Hal Holbrook in The Star Chamber. The law isn't gonna do it's job, so it needs to be done by lawmen working outside of the law. This opener is a giant red flag though. It is way too obvious to know right away that Deniro is the killer in the current climate of filmmaking where the "twist" is always lurking behind some corner (thank you M. Night Shyamalan for cementing this staple into modern film, you will truly go down in history as one of the greatest hacks ever).

The first sign of trouble enters frame about ten minutes in, and ,yes, I am talking about 50 cent. I am fascinated by the way that he is cast into films and not even encouraged to act. If you need to see this for yourself, rent Jim Sheridan's Get Rich or Die Trying. That reminds me, the naked all male battle in the prison shower that leaves 50 and Terrence Howard hogtied has yet to be featured on movieswithmalebondage.com.

50 plays a local coke dealer who owns a huge hip hop club and is constantly being watched by Decino. In other words he plays a slightly altered version of himself. In reality he is not slinging blow, he is slinging some of the worst music ever created. I know that he was really excited to work with Decino, most likely acting upon the phenomenon that has replaced penis pumps with shitty Scarface paraphenalia. I don't understand why twelve year olds are into Scarface. The movie does not hold up at all and has one of the worst soundtracks ever created.

After some shootouts, attempted suspense and sex scenes involving an overweight Deniro, we finally get to see the police chief. It is the one and only Brian Dennehy. I must admit that any film gets Dennehy points, especially if his dialogue is filthy. I personally think he should have gotten the oscar for his portrayal of Bobby Knight in A Season on The Brink. He keeps yelling at Decino that they are complete jerk offs and they better come up with something.

Next come the rival cops. John Leguizamo brilliantly reprises his role as John Leguizamo and they give him a partner who got a lucky break with this film. Leguizamo comes to the conclusion that the murderer has to be a cop and starts keeping his eye on Deniro. After many worthless lines of dialogue, droopy and hung over close ups of Pacino, and more pelvic pumping by Deniro, Leguizamo finally gets Pacino on board to watch them orchestrate a sting that will uncover Deniro as the culprit.

Of course, this sting involves Deniro, in a jogging suit, meeting up with 50 cent in the upstairs office of his club during closed hours. When Deniro show his gun, the officers bust in to intervene. Pacino points out that they have nothing and says he is on board to show what fools Leguizamo and his no name partner are.

Now here is when it all comes together. Left in the room are Decino and 50 cent. If the bad guy isn't Deniro, then it has to be.......yep you guessed it folks..


As soon as he is revealed as the killer, Pacino takes his gun puts it right to 50 cent's head and send his brains and body flying through a plate glass window and plummeting a story down. This was definitely the payoff of the film, and it was especially good since it is a two shot scene. One shot from where Pacino pulls the trigger and another from below, where 50's body flies over the camera. It has to be the funniest death since Sam Jackson decided to stand too close to the edge of the tank in Deep Blue Sea and gets mowed by a steroid fueled great white.

This leads to a standoff between Decino, where ,of course, Pacino takes a slug to the chest. I actually believe that if Pacino was to be killed by a bullet in real life, even one that blew his head into a thousand pieces, that he would have the superhuman ability to give a fifteen minute raspy speech before the life finally leaves his carcass. It just wouldn't make any sense for that not to happen, and there is no way this film was gonna end without that happening.

So at this point I look at the timer on the quicktime movie and see that it has about five minutes left, meaning no more time for twists, just find a way to get us out, and goddamn I can't believe I watched this.

The film ends with a few parting words form Deniro, as he is coaching a Bobby Sox team. After all, he may be a tough New Yawk cop who is a little rough around the edges, but he is a good friggin' guy uh?!!

I really don't know what was it about this script that made these guys sign on. I suppose if somebody said, "Hey I'll give you several million dollars and you get to insult Leguizamo and shoot 50 cent in the head" I wouldn't read the script either. It could also be the Charles Bronson way of making incredibly poor movies set in Europe so that filming could also double as a vacation. But then again, this movie takes place in New York. I really need to stop thinking about this right now.

A very big thumbs up for the 50 cent death scene and .......one word........Dennehy

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Western Syndrome

It was so long ago I can't remember now, but I used to work at one of the most thankless jobs ever at a small record distributor near the San Francisco airport. I remember it just being a daily dose of despair and I used to go out and smoke weed in my truck every day just to swim above the hurt.

Everyone there hated it, but since it was a "music industry" job, they put up with it. Little did I know that it was one of the events of fate that would put me on the path I am on. I have found over the years that many of the awful times were just times where I was being put through the fire.

It just so happened that my coworker was Chris Manak (Peanut Butter Wolf) and his fledgling label Stones Throw had it's humble beginnings in this very office. See, there was this complete asshole who sat in front of me and wrote reviews of techno records all day long. He would explode at people for no reason and was this bundle of festering anger that could be set off just by asking him a simple question. In retrospect I can't hate on the guy too much, I would be a mountain of sheer anger too if I had to listen to techno and write about it all day. To make a long story short, he exploded on me one day for asking a question. His answer was something like...


....and that was that. I began drawing pictures of him and putting them on the cover of the catalogue. These cartoons gained a small following and soon the warehouse could not wait for new issues. When thing sgot hot and people started to take notice, I would do something standard like a dj on the turntables. This would always cause the warehouse manager (an ex marine who loved fucking with you if you crossed his path) to come upstairs and acuse me of being a pussy. I couldn't really argue because he was absolutely right.

Mr. Manak enjoyed the cartoons and soon had me do a seven inch cover for him and that led to more artwork over the years for him and Madlib. We don't see al that much of each other these days, but last year we talked about doing a night of art and music, and that day has finally come.

The Western Syndrome
the art of Aaron Guadamuz with music by Peanut Butter Wolf
Thursday September 25th, 2008 at 111 minna gallery, san francisco
7-late 21 and up free before 10pm, $5 after