Sunday, March 28, 2010

HIghlights from the March 20 Bizarro Movie Night!

Hello again, Fiends and Neighbors--

Thanks to all of you who made the last BMN the fun time it was! Those of you poor pathetic souls who, through some hideous miscarriage of God and nature, did not make it to witness the mayhem missed out on:

A super-special big-screen exhibition of El Serpiente de Oro and the Temple of Geek, with a customarily robust introduction from the film's star, legendary luchador El Serpiente de Oro!

All of the gory details on El Serpiente's encounter with the evil villano, Baron Birkenstock!

...And of course, the movie. Not just any movie, either, Fiends and Neighbors! We screened Attack of the Monsters, in which two little boys get abducted by a remote-control spaceship, flown to a far-off planet, and terrorized by a knife-blade-headed lizard and the two brain-eating Japanese space babes in tights who keep him on a leash. And it's a kid's film...

I'm feeling a little rock-and-roll coming on for the next one, folks. Stay tuned for more, more, more details in the days and weeks ahead! And thanks for continuing to support Bizarro Movie Night!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hey, Kids! Tonight's Bizarro Movie Night! And We've Got a Big-Screen Premiere!

Welcome back, Fiends and Neighbors! Updates, updates galore in Bizarro-Land...

Ye Olde Schlockologist recently interviewed film director/Seattle International Film Festival co-founder Dan Ireland for the (check out part 1 here). Ireland's first feature, the wonderful The Whole Wide World, is only Bizarro in the most tangential of fashions (it's a subtle drama detailing the romance between Bizarro-worthy pulp author Robert E. Howard and schoolteacher Novalyne Price), but the director had a lot of interesting insights about the making of the film, and he did cover his years as a producer of films for Vestron Pictures. The latter gig included, ahem, some seriously Bizarro-Worthy movies...So don't be surprised if some of his choice stories about movies like Gothic and Lair of the White Worm make their way into this here Bizarro epicenter!

But the most pressing bit of news, natch, is the impending arrival of another Bizarro Movie Night! Tonight at 8pm, the Aster will be hosting yet another leap straight down the rabbit hole of strange cinema, and your host will once again be El Serpiente de Oro, 42nd Greatest Luchador of All Time! Tonight's movie will feature:

Remote-control spaceships!

Fire-breathing giant turtles!

Brain-eating Japanese space babes in tights!

And it's a kid's film!

But wait! There's MORE! Tonight's Bizarro Movie Night will feature a special Big-Screen Screening of El Serpiente and the Temple of Geek, the inspiring documentary on El Serpiente's visit to last week's Emerald City ComiCon! Brilliantly directed and edited by Serpiente's former tag-team amigo Ninja Pantera (Bob Suh),  Temple of Geek marks the veteran grappler's first onscreen appearance since 1985's El Serpiente de Oro Against the Soccer Vampires! Sure, you can watch Temple of Geek on your computer, but why just do that??! It'd be like just watching Avatar on YouTube (though admittedly less butt-numbingly cliched) and never seeing it on a big-ass screen!

As a special treat to all you loyal fiends and neighbors, here's a glimpse at a deleted scene from Temple of Geek, in which El Serpiente encounters a Magnificent Moustache and preaches the BMN Gospel!!

See you tonight, kids!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bizarro Movie Night TOMORROW NIGHT!!

Hello again, Fiends and Neighbors!

Tomorrow night, Bizarro Movie Night is unleashed once more on an unsuspecting public. And once again, said slab of cinematic dementia will be presented by guest host El Serpiente de Oro, 42nd greatest Luchador in Mexican history!

Serpiente did his part to spread the BMN gospel by vigorously flyer-ing the Emerald City ComiCon last week, and interviewing numerous luminaries at the Con. We're prepping a lengthier video of the mayhem, but for now, enjoy this YouTube interview with the Woman of Steel--Supergirl.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

El Serpiente de Oro Takes Emerald City ComiCon in a Cage Match!

Fiends y neighbors, I painted the Emerald City Comic Con a bright shade of rojo last Saturday, visiting many celebrities, heroes, heroines, and monsters as Ambassador of Schlockology to Bizarro Movie Night.

My close amigo Ninja Pantera captured many memorable convention moments on film. Until those clips are thrown into the ring and beaten into edited submission, I present this exclusive interview with Supergirl to whet the appetite for Bizarro Movie Night!

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Observations on the Academy Awards

Amigos y Amigas--

In between subduing bulbous-headed Martians and diffusing a thermonuclear device hidden in the Tupperware Cupcake Storage Container of an old woman a few blocks away, I witnessed the cavalcade of horror and adventure that was the 82nd annual Academy Awards. The ruggedly-handsome Schlockologist who curates this area encouraged me to freely express myself in this forum. I was all over this assignment like white on nuclear-orange Cheetos dust on Britney Spears' back hair on Alec Baldwin.

Please find my thoughts on this strange ritual known as Oscar, below...

Next Bizarro Movie Night! March 20!! Be There!

Hello, Fiends and Neighbors!

News Flash! The next Bizarro Movie Night will be on Saturday March 20, at the usual hideout--The Aster Coffee Lounge in Ballard, land of mystery and danger! What will Ye Olde Schlockologist bust out for the next screening?

You'll just have to be there!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ye Olde Schlockologist Meets the Czar of Noir, Talks Grindhouse Sleaze!

Hello again, Fiends and Neighbors! It's been a whirlwind couple a weeks for Ye Olde Schlockologist in general and Bizarro Movie Night in particular. Thank God for the dauntless Serpiente de Oro, who capably MC'ed the most recent BMN at Aster Coffee Lounge on February 20.

So what was yours truly doing on that tumultuous Saturday while the 42nd Greatest Luchador in Mexican History brought down the (Aster Coffee) House? Why, chatting up the preeminent authority on/champion of Film Noir himself, Eddie Muller, that's what.

The Magnificent Mr. M is the engine behind the locomotive that is the Noir City Festival, which came through Seattle less than two weeks ago (feel free to read the bulk of my interview for the SunBreak here and here, if'n you're so inclined).

But in addition to his tireless efforts on behalf of all things Noir, Eddie Muller's also accumulated some seriously Bizarro-worthy street cred chronicling the exploitation and sexploitation film genres. His 1996 book Grindhouse: The Forbidden Story of "Adults Only" Cinema helped pave the way to serious academic appraisal of the exploitation genre, and he co-wrote and co-produced Mau Mau Sex Sex, a documentary on exploitation kings David Friedman and Dave Sonney.

My chat with Eddie spanned two solidly-entertaining hours, and there was no way I could include every bon mot and anecdote he tossed my way in the SunBreak interview. In addition to thoroughly covering Film Noir's many faces that afternoon, he also explained the breach-birth of his Grindhouse book in vivid and amusing detail, offered some insights on the genre, and even played six degrees of separation between an Oscar nominee and a former Teen-Idol turned cinematic psycho-killer. And all of those choice tidbits surely merit electronic preservation. Consider this the Deleted/Extended Scenes portion of the SunBreak Eddie Muller interview.


I'm a big fan of vintage Grindhouse Cinema, so I wanted to cover your Grindhouse book. Could you describe the genesis of that project? It's full of so many great posters and stills and promo stuff from another halcyon era of moviemaking that's very interesting...

Well, you hit on the genesis of the book right there...It was the posters and the stills and the lobby cards and all that. I found a treasure trove of stuff in an old porno theater in San Francisco on Market Street--the Center Theater. And I had a friend who was in the Projectionists' Union, back when that meant something. He said, "You oughta come down here. And bring your mother's car [laughs]. This was a long time ago. I asked why, and he says, "The one with the big trunk."

Sure enough, this was a four-story building in San Francisco; the ground floor was the Center Theater. And what I learned was that this building was Sleaze Central for the sexploitation film business on the west coast in the thirties and forties. The offices were above the theater, and then there was a big party room--what we'd call a Rumpus Room--above that, and then storage stuff. It was amazing. And downstairs was like something out of a David Lynch film. And you [took this] rickety old elevator down there. The floors were all soaking-wet, and one room was filled with chairs, floor to ceiling. You couldn't move in that room because the chairs had been put in, in such a way that it was impossible to get in. But there were all these posters and lobby cards and everything. That was when I first practiced urban archaeology, i.e., theft [laughs]! And we just stole all this stuff out of the basement.

Lo and behold later on, I start researching this, and I meet these guys [who made these movies], and they talk about having these offices in San Francisco...And I'm thinking, this is amazing! These guys were actually in the building that I stole all of this stuff from! I tell them that I have a lot of the material, and they're like, "Wow, I wondered what happened to all of that stuff!" So that was the genesis of the Grindhouse book--what is all this stuff? What does it all mean? And now there's a lot more scholarship in that area than there used to be. Eric Schaefer wrote a whole PhD paper on that, called Daring! Bold! Shocking! The History of Exploitation Films, or something like that. Eric did it from a much more academic perspective than I chose to do it in Grindhouse. I think mine sold a few more copies than his, though [laughs]...Show the dirty pictures: Make sure you show the dirty pictures!

I found it interesting when you said in an interview that you got into the Film Noir projects because they showcased movies that you didn't have to fast-forward through...

Oh, yes [laughs]! Man, a lot of those [Grindhouse] movies were just dreadful!

Do any of those Grindhouse features stick out to you as particularly memorable?

There's one called The Agony of Love, with Pat Barrington, that's actually really pretty good. It's a sexploitation version of Belle de Jour. And it's about a housewife who becomes a prostitute. And the movie is actually really good.

Didn't William Rotsler direct that?

Yeah, I think so. You know your stuff. But that film, I really like. I do also like all of those Dave Friedman films, as cheesy as they are. With the older stuff, it's just how goofy they are, like Maniac! and Child Bride. Have you seen Child Bride? It's unBELIEVable. It was a film made in the 1930's about these Appalacians; where these thirteen-year-old girls are sold to these hillbillies: "Why, yer gonna be mah wife!" It's like, oh, my God [laughs]! And there was a nude swimming scene in the movie; of this thirteen-year-old girl swimming in the nude. And I'm thinking, "I am NOT believing what I'm seeing."

On the Exploitation Roots of Oscar-nominated director Curtis Hanson [excerpts of this passage appeared in the SunBreak Interview]:

It's amazing how many bad movies get made from [James] Ellroy's books. L.A. Confidential is the exception. It's really, really good. Curtis Hanson's a really good filmmaker. And he did--what's the Curtis Hanson feature he did early on that's really Film Noir--oh, Bad Influence, with Rob Lowe and James Spader. That's a total Noir.

If you want to know one weird confluence here: You know that I wrote the Tab Hunter autobiography...


Did you know that Tab Hunter was the star of Curtis Hanson's first movie?


It was originally called...

No, wait! I remember--Sweet Kill!

Yes! It was originally called A Kiss from Eddie. Then it was called The Sweet Kill. Then Roger Corman said, "We're reissuing this as The Arousers!" It's a psycho movie about a guy who's a sex killer. And the idea that Tab...Understand the brilliance of this, casting a famous Hollywood beefcake icon who is gay, as a man who kills women as soon as they try to be intimate with him. How bizarre is that when you actually know Tab's story?

And that was years before John Waters tweaked Tab's image with Polyester...

Yeah. And Tab doesn't look like Tab at all [in Sweet Kill]--he's got long hair...And it's not a bad film. The last time I saw Curtis Hanson I said, "You know, I wrote all about one of your films," He was like, "Yeah, I read that you wrote all about L.A. Confidential." No, this was The Arousers. He was like, "Oh, my God! You've SEEN that [laughs]??"