Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays, Fiends and Neighbors...

...And a heartfelt thanks to all who came out for the first two Bizarro Movie Nights!

Just wait 'til you see what Your Schlockologist Truly has in store for 2010. The Strange has just begun!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Photo from the first Aster Bizarro Movie Night, December 5!

Thanks, Bob Suh, for documenting the first Aster Bizarro Movie Night for posterity. And incidentally, Fiends and Neighbors, that empty chair was MY seat...

Santa Brings Brain Damage AND Goodies to the Aster Coffee Lounge!

Dear Lord in Silk Jammies, the second Bizarro Movie Night went like gangbusters!

The crowd was even bigger the second time than the first, and choc a bloc with many new faces! Thanks so much to all of you who came.

Here's a brief play-by-play:

1) Demented Christmas incidentals (Santa Claus trailer, crazed old kiddie shorts) played in the background as the throngs indulged in great coffees, tea, beer (the sweet holiday brew was the bomb--thanks, Dan!), the Aster's spiffy hummus plates, and FREE popcorn (thanks, Beth!)!

2) Schlockologist introduced, in traditional sparkling repartee style, the evening's feature: yes, the mighty, mad-as-a-Mexican-Hatter SANTA CLAUS!

3) Said feature unspooled before at least two-dozen sets of disbelieving eyes! In case you don't know the basic synopsis: Santa operates from a City in the Clouds (think Empire Strikes Back on about 20 pesos), employs child labor to do his toy-building dirty work, scores wacky dust from Merlin the Magician, and runs afoul of the most neurotically-mewling devil on the planet. And it's a flippin' KID'S MOVIE...Read a more detailed analysis (provided in part by Ye Olde Schlockologist) at this link on the excellent Kiddie Matinee website...

4) After blowing minds with said feature, Schlockologist held a PRIZE DRAWING, giving away several lovely prizes, including DVD's that turn your TV into a homey, roaring fireplace, Devil Duckies, unsettling figurines of boys with scary eyebrows, and for one lucky attendee--a copy of the most brain-broiling Holiday Double Feature Conceived by Man: SANTA CLAUS and SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS!! On ONE damned DVD!

Expect at least one spiffy prize to be handed out at the next Bizarro Movie Night. Program TBA, but rest assured...It'll be flippin' AMAzing!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holy Holiday!! Bizarro Movie Night's TONIGHT!!

Yes, Fiends and Neighbors, Your Schlockologist Truly is bringing you the most weird-assed, lysergic loaf of Cinematic Fruitcake you'll ever dare taste, TONIGHT at the Aster!!

OK, we're so bursting at the seams to finally spill the beans on tonight's program that we'll just throw the trailer for tonight's feature presentation up, right now...

Well, didya watch it? Huh? Just wait 'til you actually see this movie in all its full-length, mind-twisting GLORY, tonight at the Aster!!

Plus added strange attractions (holiday-themed and otherwise) for your entertainment!

AND the Aster serves great hot drinks, beers and wines, and tasty light meals for your enjoyment!

AND you'll be done in plenty of time to hit the road and party hearty afterwards! You're a sucker if you miss it!!

See you there!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bizarro-Worthy B-Girl: Yvette Vickers

Some B movie babes, you take home to mom.Yvette Vickers, conversely, is the girl you hop into the hot rod with--the sultry, thrill-seeking, wild-for-kicks vixen who's too much trouble to handle but too smoking-hot to resist.

Vickers appeared in several movies and TV shows in the 1950's and '60's, usually in bit roles (she's got a great cameo in Sunset Boulevard as a giggling blonde on a phone at a party); she posed for Playboy in the late fifties; and she worked the lounge circuit as a pop singer, too. But she amassed a rabid cult following from her work in two low-budget sci-fi classics.

Even horror non-initiates know Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman, the immortal 1958 schlock epic in which despondent and put-upon heiress Nancy Archer (Allison Hayes) grows to giant-size after falling afoul of a UFO. Vickers flat-out steals the movie as gold-digging Honey Parker, hussy on the side to Nancy's husband Harry. Whether she's kittenishly planting one on the jerk even as she goads him into attempting murder, or steaming the windows at Tony's Bar and Cafe in a sexy spitfire dance with the yokel deputy, Honey represents the flip-side of Nancy: She may be the reviled Other Woman, but she knows damn well what she wants.

But Vickers' biggest moment in the B-movie sun--and an eminently Bizarro-Worthy schlock masterwork--came in 1959 with Attack of the Giant Leeches. In it, the aforementioned bloodsuckers rise from an underwater cave (Why? Who the hell cares? GO WITH IT) to liberate hapless locals from their plasma in the Florida Everglades. Vickers plays one of those locals--Liz, the bored and trampy bride of dyspeptic Dave (Bruno VeSota), the local general store owner. Again, Vickers is sex on a stick, traipsing scantily-clad around the swamp environs and enthusiastically jumping into the arms and affections of local stud Cal (Michael Emmet). Of course, the affair ends badly, with Liz and Cal forced to choose between the barrel of Dave's shotgun and a dip in the swamp with something just as lethal and a lot slimier.

It's another blast of a grade B monster-fest, replete with awesomely ridiculous monsters (the giant leeches look like Glad trash bags with octopus suckers plastered all over them), but the best part of Leeches is its richly-pulpy dialogue. Vickers lends slatternly sensuality to her lines, alternately caressing and spitting them out like she's making rough love to them. How apropos, then, that in its most sublime moments Attack of the Giant Leeches resembles nothing more than a sci-fi flick filtered through the senses and sensibilities of Tennessee Williams.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Six More Days 'til Bizarro Movie Night, Holiday Edition!

You heard right, Fiends and Neighbors. Six more days until Bizarro Movie Night, Holiday Edition, is unleashed!

Did you hear that there'll be prizes? Yup, the Bizarro Movie Night prize committee has broken the bank, and will be giving away free prizes to a few lucky patrons. And trust me, they'll be pips, so arrive early! Set a spell. Have some fine beverages and chow. And get ready for Christmas Capers the likes o' which you've never experienced!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Edition of Bizarro Movie Night is a GO!!

Felicitations, Fiends and Neighbors!

The programming for Bizarro Movie Night 2: The Holiday Edition is confirmed, but in true Christmas fashion, we won't unwrap it 'til that night (Saturday, December 19). For most of you, the content will be a super-secret surprise, but trust Your Schlockologist Truly: It'll be worth it!

See you there!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bizarro Movie Night a RESOUNDING success!

The Aster Coffee Lounge was stuffed to near-capacity last night for the first Bizarro Movie Night, and Your Schlockologist Truly had the time of his ever-lovin' life!

On the bill were several vintage movie trailers from the seventies, including spots for such obscurities as Without Warning and Humungous. Then,Ye Olde Schlockologist regaled the audience with a zesty and fun talk on that night's Feature Presentation. The final selection, Fiends and Neighbors? Why, the 1981 Indonesian horror oddity, Mystics in Bali!! And darned if the audience didn't devour it like a disembodied vampire head eating at a fetus buffet. The inaugural BMN'ers roared with laughter, whooped with surprise, and enjoyed free popcorn, courtesy the Aster's proprietor-goddess Beth.

A great time was had by all. Quoth the attendees:

"Thank you for concocting such a fun experience!" Jamie

"It was awesome!" Kathleen

"Man, I woke up vomiting live mice," Michael Van Baker,

Thanks to everyone who came!

The next Bizarro Movie Night is scheduled for Saturday December 19 at the Aster, and it'll be a super-special HOLIDAY EDITION! There'll be Door Prizes, Fun, More Entertaining Schlockologist Bon Mots, and Holiday Programming so twisted, it'll make Santa Claus Conquers the Martians look like It's a Wonderful Life. Stay tuned...

Don't Miss It, Fiends and Neighbors!!

Incidentally, if you DID happen to miss Mystics in Bali, you silly bunny, here's a taste of that strange cocktail, both in YouTube form, and via Pop Culture Petri Dish's incisive and indispensible analysis.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

NEWS FLASH!! Publicity...and POPCORN!

A little over two days away from Bizarro Movie Night, and the buzz is a'building...! contributed a nice piece on Bizarro Movie Night. It's a featured post in their A and E section. Go check it out for a few hints as to Saturday Night's shenanigans...

Another Blog, Bite Seattle, has plugged BMN, too. Check it out!

Yeah, all the PR is good, but it pales in comparison to the announcement that...


This comes straight from Aster proprietor Beth, fiends and neighbors! That means that you can enjoy your Bizarro Festivities with the most essential movie snack on the planet, as God intended, along with the tasty beverage of your choice!

Is this gonna be a party or what?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Farewell to a Bizarro-Worthy Icon: Paul Naschy, Actor/Writer/Director/Horror Legend

The Bizarro-Worthy Freak Flag flies at half-mast tonight, in homage to Spanish terror icon Paul Naschy, who passed away from cancer on Tuesday, December 1.

Naschy fell in love with horror films at an early age and parlayed that passion for the macabre into a career that lasted four decades. He's not a household name here in the US, but in Europe he's (rightfully) acknowledged as an influential and legendary figure, and an honest-to-God horror legend.

Naschy's films were comfort food to me as a kid, when edited versions showed up on late-night TV creature-features. Their odd weld of old-school gothic atmosphere and contemporary carnage--and Naschy's committed performances as melancholy werewolf Valdemar Daninsky--made a strong impression that's lived on to this day. I had the great good fortune of meeting the man just two years ago, and in person he was as gracious (and grateful) a man as ever walked the earth.

I covered Naschy's life and career in greater detail over at Pop Culture Petri Dish for 2007's Horrorpalooza; feel free to peruse the entry if you'd like to know more about this man's work.

AdiĆ³s, Maestro de lo Macabro.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bizarro-Worthy Movie: The Losers (1970)

The Biker Flick emerged as one of the staples of drive-ins and grindhouses of the 1960's and '70's. Born from the leather-clad loins of the Marlon Brando vehicle, The Wild One, in 1953, Biker Flicks followed the exploits of Hell's Angels (or variant cycle gangs) as they terrorized unsuspecting members of 'straight' society.

Roger Corman, exploitation visionary that he was, ushered in the peak years of the Biker Flick with his 1966 opus, The Wild Angels. It made actor Peter Fonda a counter-culture hero and made a mint. Corman--and hordes of other independent moviemakers--soon saturated movie screens with roaring hogs, drug-and-alcohol-fueled decadence, action, violence, and sex.

Like a lot of B-movie genres, The Biker Flick mutated as the years rolled by, offering up Undead Bikers (Psychomania), African-American Bikers (The Black Angels), Werewolf Bikers (Werewolves on Wheels), and even Alternative-Lifestyle bikers (The Pink Angels) before the genre died out in the mid-1970's.

The Losers stands as a high point of the genre. It's essentially The Dirty Dozen gone Hell's Angels, as a small team of condemned bikers heads to Viet Nam to execute a suicide mission against the Cong. Director Jack Starrett (a former stunt man himself) knows his way around on-screen ass-kicking, and he wastes no time hurtling the audience into the action. Starrett even sneaks a little bit of social conscience and pathos in, all without tarnishing the movie's steel cajones.

William "Big Bill" Smith portrays the gang's leader. More than any other actor, Smith was the Face of The Biker Flick. Rugged, tough as nails, muscular, and ferociously charismatic, he showed up in several Cycle Epics, usually playing the heavy. He played Conan's dad in 1982's Conan the Barbarian, and in less than five minutes of screen time made Schwarzenegger look like the Pilsbury frickin' Doughboy. If Big Bill Smith is not the baddest bad-ass in the movie firmament, he's sure in the Top Eight (Ye Olde Schlockologist had the good fortune of meeting him a few years back, and lived to tell the tale here).

Darned if The Losers wouldn't make for a great Bizarro Movie Night...But will it show up this Saturday??