Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mi Noche de Cine Bizarro Experiencia

Amigos y Amigas--

My sincerest gratitude to you who attended my debut as guest co-host of Bizarro Movie Night. Ballard is indeed a land of adventure, danger, and excitement...But it is also a land of untold hospitality, as I learned on February 20, 2010.

As Mexico's 42nd Greatest Luchador, my body has seen more abuse than Lindsay Lohan's liver. But my heart has stayed strong, and it was warmed to caliente degrees by your enthusiastic reception, Amigos y Amigas.

El Serpiente de Oro shall return soon!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Guest Co-Host for Bizarro Movie Night??

You read right, Fiends and Neighbors. Ye Olde Schlockologist will be sharing the reins of the next BMN on Saturday February 20, with a guest co-host! And not just any guest co-host...

We're talking an expert in a highly-revered strata of human experience. That's all I'm gonna say.

Oh, that, and--if there was EVER an unmissable Bizarro Movie Night, it'd be the one coming this Saturday!!

Spread the word! Tell the world to be there, already!

You'll HATE yerself if you ain't amongst the sea of awestruck faces at the Aster!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bizarro News--Next Movie Night, and our first Celeb Plug!!

Mark your calendars, Fiends and Neighbors--The next Bizarro Movie Night will be Saturday, February 20 at the ever-dauntless Aster Coffee Lounge! And if you've been enjoying these little schlock-fests as much as I have, get ready for one that'll blow your mind! Wanna be a Bizarro Facebook Page fan? Hells, YES, you do! Get on ye olde FB and we'll sign you up for the crucials.

And guess what else? Bizarro Movie Night has acquired its FIRST OFFICIAL CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT!! And it's not from just any mook: It's from exploitation guru and cult director-god Frank Henenlotter! Yes, Fiends and Neighbors, a thumbs-up from the director of Basket Case and the excellent new mind-blower Bad Biology! Looky here...

We're hoping to build up a stockpile of Bizarro Goodness in the days and weeks ahead, so stay tuned to the Facebook page! AND check out our newly-minted Bizarro Movie Night YouTube Channel!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bizarro-Worthy Reading: The Films of Larry Buchanan by Rob Craig

Texan Larry Buchanan was a true original: a director whose box-lunch budgets, oddball subject matter, exaltation of female archetypes, and obsession with conspiracy theories of all stripes made him as perfect a textbook demonstration of the auteur theory as Orson Welles or David Lean, for God's sake. Author Rob Craig puts forth these arguments with eloquence and academic sharpness to spare in The Films of Larry Buchanan, his exhaustive critical examination of Buchanan's oeuvre.

Buchanan dabbled in several genres throughout his career, but part of his fame came from his revisions of others' work. In the late 1960's American International Pictures commisioned the director to helm made-for-TV remakes of some of their most successful fifties sci-fi thrillers: The Day the World Ended became The Year 2889; The She Creature spawned Creature of Destruction; and Invasion of the Saucer Men begat The Eye Creatures, among others. These movies featured B-movie actors like John Agar, John Ashley, and Francine York, and served as Bizarro comfort food for bored kids back in the day. Viewed with a jaundiced modern eye, the results prove almost minimalist in their sparsity, frequently funny as hell, and strangely fascinating.

The director also expressed a distrust of political and social authority to rival Costa-Gavras, and many of Buchanan's original features explore some truly wild conspiracy theories. He filmed The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, a speculative docu-drama in which President John F. Kennedy's alleged assassin survives to face a courtroom, in 1964--decades before Oliver Stone turned his fixated gaze on the Kennedy assassination with JFK in 1991. In Beyond the Doors, the drug-and-alcohol-related deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison are blamed on a government plot to subvert the youth movement of the 1960's. And Buchanan paints the life and controversial death of Marilyn Monroe with sordid brushstrokes in Goodbye, Norma Jean and its 1988 sequel, Goodnight, Sweet Marilyn.

The Films of Larry Buchanan covers every single nook and cranny of Larry Buchanan's career with the kind of magnifying-glass detail normally reserved for the Kurosawas and Fellinis of the world, and that exhaustive approach merits some major props from this corner. Craig (who also helms the throughly awesome Kiddie Matinee website) could occasionally be accused of over-interpreting the films discussed, but his arguments hold water admirably, and it's incredibly refreshing to hear Carl Jung and Ingmar Bergman seamlessly, elegantly cited in the context of movies like Mars Needs Women and Curse of the Swamp Creature. If that treatment of bizarro cinema doesn't make you mightily happy, you've stumbled onto the wrong blog (and the wrong schlockologist) by mistake, Bucky.

As you can likely surmise, Buchanan's body of work is eminently, wonderfully Bizarro-worthy, Fiends and Neighbors. Stay tuned...