Monday, November 30, 2009

It's ALIVE!! (The Aster's Big Screen, That Is!)

My eyes are looking about like this right now...

Quick update, Fiends and Neighbors--

Your Schlockologist Truly took the Aster's projection TV set-up through the ringer, subjecting it to everything from sword-and-sandal epics to biker bacchanalia to Japanese monsters to Mexican Kiddie Flicks. The screen looks lovely, and can be viewed from darn near anywhere in the Aster comfortably.

As to precisely what's going to play on that magnificent screen, the Bizarro Movie Night Approval Committee of One (me) is still determining what odd cinematic treasure will be offered to the unsuspecting throngs! Stay TUNED!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bizarro-Worthy Cinema: Goke, Bodysnatcher from Hell

Japanese horror did not begin with (to paraphrase director Adam Green) wet Japanese kids. Nor does all of Japanese fantastic cinema begin and end with men in rubber monster suits (sublime as they may be).

Case in Point: This chilling 1969 nightmare of a horror flick. It starts off with the pulpy purpose of a vintage yakuza thriller, as a gallery of jaded, cynical, and flawed characters interact on a long flight. Then one passenger--a white-suited crook in shades--hijacks the plane, and the feces hits the fan.

The plane crashes near a UFO, and the spacecraft's occupant infects one of the survivors. From then on in, Darwinism kicks in, and the horror proves to have tendrils (OK, invasive puddles of silver ooze) that extend well beyond the crash site.

Yeah, some of the histrionics may induce titters, but it's an intense fever-dream of a chiller all the way. It's packed with more nihilism than John Carpenter's The Thing, levels a pointed cry of anger at the Vietnam war, and serves up some ickily-effective (if primitive) make-up magic. I loved it so much that it made the Pop Culture Petri Dish Horrorpalooza All-Time Top 50 a couple of years back. And since it's never seen an official domestic DVD release, you ain't gonna see it on Netflix any time soon.

But maybe, just maybe, you might see it on a Bizarro Movie Night...

Meantime, enjoy the Japanese language trailer, courtesy of YouTube.

Six More Days 'til Bizarro Movie Night: And ALL Lame Excuses for Not Showing Up, REBUTTED!

Yep, indeedy, kids. Only six more days 'til Your Schlockologist Truly unleashes Bizarro Movie Night on the semi-unsuspecting Aster Coffee Lounge! And I hope--no, I KNOW--you're as pumped for it as I am.

If, through some anomaly of God and nature, you're still on the fence about attending this Shindig, the Bizarro Movie Night Rebuttal Team has prepared a series of Lame Excuses, and Commensurate Rebuttals...

Lame Excuse 1:  "I only watch movies featuring Mexican Wrestlers/zombies/bikers/sword-wielding-talking-animals/Bruce Lee imitators while drinking alcohol!"

Guess what? The Aster has a lovely selection of beers and wines to choose from! The friendly staff (or your friendly Schlockologist) will be only too happy to recommend liquid refreshment--alcoholic or non!

Lame Excuse 2: "This is Seattle! I'm going to see a rock show at (insert local music venue here) that night..."

Bizarro Movie Night starts at a perfectly comfortable hour (8pm), and ends at roughly 10:30pm, thus giving you PLENTY of time to boot-scoot over to see that band you're into. PLUS, you don't have to sit through some lame opening act!

Lame Excuse 3: "I gotta work that night!"

Dear Nose-to-the-Grindstoner, we live in an era fraught with environmental and viral threats, so a Sick Call to the boss is entirely plausible and acceptable. Start rehearsing that hacking cough now. Begin with a few plaintive coughs in front of your boss around Wednesday. Build them in frequency in the ensuing days.

Also, hone your talking-with-a-stuffed-head voice. For example: say this sentence:

"Sorry, my nose is a little stuffed-up from this cold I'm battling!"

...In front of your boss like this:

"Zorry, by doze is a liddle stuvved-ub frub this code Eye'b Baddlig!"

Lame Excuse 4: "I have a life! I'm going to hang out with friends/go to a party that night!" 

Hanging out with friends? Hell, BRING 'EM TO THE ASTER! It's comfy and warm; the coffee, tea, wine, and beer are great; and...oh, yeah...this killer Bizarro Movie Night thing's going down!

Going to a party? Everyone knows that all the Cool Kids arrive fashionably late (with cool stories about the Bizarro Movie Night Shenanigans at the Aster). AND again, BMN wraps up in plenty of time for you to paint the town 'til the rooster crows.

Lame Excuse 5: "I don't know anything about the movies this Bizarro Movie Guy's gonna show!"

That's why Your Schlockologist Truly is here, Fiends and Neighbors; to guide you through the turbulent waters of unusual cinema with some background on the films at hand, fun factoids about the people who make and star in 'em, and patter so snappy you'll wanna play a stand-up bass along to it!

Lame Excuse 6: "I live far away, Mr. Schlockologist, sir!"

It IS a Saturday, y'know...Coming from Oregon or California? The drive up Highway 101 is lovely, and flights are more reasonable than ever! From Tacoma or Federal Way? A relatively painless jaunt up north I-5'll get you there! Go here for some informational mappishness...

Lame Excuse 7: "I heard that Ballard's a scary place!"

Those rumors about packs of Marauding Lutefisk-Wielding Muggers and Health-Conscious-Jogger Street Gangs are just that--RUMORS. Ballard is one of the niftiest parts of Seattle you'll visit; and that's saying a lot.

Plus, Bizarro Movie Nights start there in just a few days. How the Hell can you stay away?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bizarro-Worthy Director: Roger Corman

'Tis a wonderful world in which the director of Attack of the Crab Monsters can win an Oscar--even if it's only an honorary one.

The legendary Roger Corman won't be collecting his gold statuette at the main ceremony on March 7, 2010--he already received it at the Los Angeles Governor's Ball on November 14--but excerpts of his acceptance speech should make their way to the telecast in March.

Corman's award largely rests on his recruitment of budding cinematic talent--guys like Martin Scorsese and James Cameron, to name a few--but he's also made dozens of extremely entertaining movies of his own. Many of those B flicks--pulpy, great fun, all--would do any Bizarro Movie Night proud.

Jump here for a more detailed rundown of this man's career. And who knows? A Roger Corman classic just may surface for Bizarro Movie Night, Fiends and Neighbors...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Beginning of an Era: Bizarro Movie Night, Live at the Aster Coffee House December 5!!

Mark your calendars, Fiends and Neighbors!

Be the first on your block to witness the shrieking birth of the ghastliest, wildest, strangest, and sexiest smorgasbourd of sensationalism ever presented to mortal eyes--a celebration of the oddest, coolest, silliest, and most out-there cinema in existence--all in the warm and inviting setting of one of Seattle's best coffee-and-spirits houses!

Tony Kay--Documentor of Demented Cinema for three (count 'em, THREE!) decades, Architect of Pop Culture Petri Dish's Horrorpalooza, 2005's Ultimate Film Fanatic of the Northwest, B-Movie Evangelist for The, and Raconteur Extraordinaire--will be waxing rhapsodic on--and showcasing samples of--some of the finest (and weirdest) schlock/cult cinema EVER, for your entertainment and slack-jawed awe, at the Aster Coffee Lounge in scenic Ballard, Washington, beginning in less than two weeks!

Mark your calendars, folks: The first Bizarro Movie Night hits the Aster at 8pm on Saturday, December 5, 2009!

What awaits Brave Visitors to this Den of Dementia, you might ask? Could it be:












Guess you'll have to show up to find out....

Stay tuned for more details. And BE THERE, Pilgrims!!