Friday, March 30, 2012

Peterson at Guerrero.


 
You only have until April 7th to see the Cleon Peterson and Bill McRight show at the Guerrero Gallery in SF. Move your body, now! Cleon Peterson is one of my favorite artists working today, I had to see his show.
Big Menace and I decided to celebrate our Cesar Chavez day off from work by eyeballing some wonderful black brutes murdering each other. Some of them prefer the murdering of white and red people. I hadn't really thought about the social concepts of Peterson's paintings until my wife asked, "What does he paint?" The subject matter is grim and dark and smells like something you would see on a caveman's wall. I imagine the fact that the brutes are all black and many of the victims are all white and red can mean something. Some kind of Charles Manson, Helter Skelter, race war, but I don't see them that way.
My mom saw my pictures and said, "That isn't art! It's disgusting." I disagree but hey, each person decides what is art for themself.


The paintings are spray paint and acrylic on wood panels. They are all different sizes. I was a bit shocked at the prices, but, if they can sell at that level, that is great. I had permission to blow our $500 tax return, but the smallest of the paintings was $1,500. I'm way out of touch.
The guy running the gallery was really cool and went to school where I'm currently living. He let us check out some of the other Cleon Peterson paintings and Shepard Fairey work in his office. The Guerrero Gallery is a fantastic space and they have an upcoming Kevin Taylor show that I want to eyeball.
Check out the Guerrrero Gallery site for more information on the show and upcoming shows, HERE.
I took these photos and they don't really do Peterson's work justice. Some of the larger paintings with a ton of people are almost impossible to photograph well, too much is lost. You need to see these paintings in person.



I wasn't familiar with Bill McRight's work. I wasn't into it at first, but spending time with his homemade shivs, really warmed me up.



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Daily poster: Mouchette.


Mouchette.

A rather dramatic poster for a somewhat subdued film. Mouchette opened 45 years ago, today in Paris, March 28, 1967.

I've wondered why there are not more critical analysis' of Robert Bresson's films. When I started thinking about writing this post, I got it. Sure you can write chronolgically about the story. You can talk about his insistence on using non-actors to play the roles. You can dissect Bresson's religious themes (I love that he said in an interview "There are no real atheists." I firmly believe the opposite. HA.) You can look at his long shots. The breathless, muted acting. You can break down a film by Bresson and then you can look at it's lifeless husk.

I will risk laying this on Bresson: Like religion, too delicate to analyze, Bresson's films are most effective when they are felt.

If you piecemeal out all the aspects of his films, the greatness crumbles. I once read that Bresson is the filmmaker mentioned most often by film school graduates, but least seen. I can't imagine Bresson's films in the context of film school. Not to say that Bresson's films have poor ligthing, acting, direction, sets, costumes, writing, theme, music, but if you break out a scorecard, his films would not rate so high. The means most certainly do not make up the ends.

Some critics may call this a cop-out. How else are you going to score Mouchette on Rotten Tomatoes? Or on Amazon.com? Or on IMDB? It must be quantified!  I feel like rating Bresson's films is a pointless and insulting endeavor. Films, music, art, writing, of this nature require dialog, not point values.

That all being said, let me tell you a little about Mouchette.
Mouchette is a 14 year old girl. The universe seems to hate her. Bresson is so very careful to not show us what Mouchette is thinking. We can only imprint upon her.
Mouchette's only happiness comes when she is on a bumper car ride. Hitting and being hit makes her laugh. It is at once confusing and perfect.

The film is unfair, painful, and yet known and familiar. You know Mouchette. Perhaps you are Mouchette. When I watch the film, I feel a complete sadness, but skirt depression. Mouchette is too real to be depressed about, there is no "what if?" The story of Mouchette is in the newspapers every single day. It is the sadness that we all know, we all feel, we all stifle and carry on.
Unless we are in the middle of such a situation, specifically, it is too small to carry with us. Culturally, it is too big to think about.

Find and watch the film. Mouchette is one of Bresson's most watchable films.

The video below is an amazing piece. The interviews each carry fantastic points from Bresson's "modeles" (not actors) and Bresson himself. The behind the scenes footage is fascinating for Bresson fans. Seeing Nadine Nortier, the girl who plays Mouchette, smile and rebuke the interviewer's generic questions is charming and confusing.

Here is a photo from the set.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bert Sugar, R.I.P.


Boxing and wrestling writer and historian, Bert Randolph Sugar passed away on Sunday, March 25th. Mr. Sugar died in New York of cardiac arrest. Photographer, Scott Romer was kind enough to send me the above picture of himself, Bert Sugar, Andrea Romer, and George Randazzo.

I was a student of the wrestling books that Mr. Sugar wrote with photographer George Napolitano in the early 1980's. The Pictorial History of Wrestling: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly cataloged the pantheon of wrestling gods, while Wrestling's Great Grudge Matches told the tales of their legendary battles. It was a one-two combination that acted as the gateway drug, leading many of us youngsters into the world of professional wrestling fandom.
Bert Sugar would readily admit that he was not a living encyclopedia of wrestling knowledge; boxing was his great love. But, no one cared. The guy wrote beautiful and epic prose, elevating the seedy world of American territorial wrestling to mythic proportions.

I had never heard Mr. Sugar talk about wrestling out loud, but on paper, he took the sport seriously. Commentator Gordon Solie did the same thing in his calling of matches. The two of them kept the curtain held high and the locker door tightly sealed at a time when parents were looking for a way to blow the top of of Mt. Olympus. A 'GOTCHA! It's fake!' moment to slap us kids across the back of the head with. Mr. Sugar was one of the reasons I kept believing in those gods, well past the time I should have known better.
I photographed my well read copies of The Pictorial History of Wrestling: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and Wrestling's Great Grudge Matches. The former lost it's dustjacket years ago, so I included a fantastic George Napolitano pic of Bruiser Brody eating the skull flesh of Carlos Colon.





Sunday, March 25, 2012

Daily poster: Casa de mi Padre.

Casa de mi Padre.

My wife and I just got back from seeing Will Ferrell's latest opus. We laughed almost the entire time. The film will not have you choking on your Milk Duds but it can keep a constant I.V. of chuckles, if you get it.

The American press seems to think the film is a play on Mexican tele-novellas, it really isn't. There are small swipes, but the film takes much of its tone from the shot-on-video, fat Mexican guy in a vest and cowboy hat, narco-gangster DVD's that you find at the flea market. The film mixes this with the epic, ranchero, Pedro Infante type classicos.

Make no mistake, Casa de mi Padre is not a good film. It is funny, but if you don't have just the right perspective, even that is lost. The audience we saw the film with was primarily latino and got all the notes, that helped. Laughing fosters laughter.

Will Ferrell is one of the few operators in Hollywood that interests me. He is courageous about switching genres and exploring new territory. He's exciting to watch, even when it ain't working.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Joanna hits like a girl.

Go vote for Joanna in the Hit Like a Girl competition. Click below.

I don't normally post this kind of thing, but my brother asked me to and he never asks for anything. Besides, she's good and her nervous smile is endearing.

Hit Like A Girl 2012

 

 

Daily poster: Great White.


 
Great White.
A decent ripoff of Jaws. If Spielberg's Jaws robot had functioned as it was supposed to, his film might look closer to Great White. Which would have been a bad thing.
The film was released in the U.S. in 1982 but was quickly pulled when Spielberg got wind. It follows the Jaws storyline so closesly that there is no real argument that Great White is a pretender.
The Italian title is L'ultimo squalo, or The Last Shark. You may find it under that title.
Vic Morrow hams the hell up, as an Irish shark hunter of sorts. The main guy's daughter gets messed up by the shark and after a torrential scene in the hospital, she is quickly and confusingly forgotten.
There is a trailer/TV commercial on YouTube which cannot be embedded, the narrator says the film is rated PG. If this is bonafide, I suspect the U.S. release was edited quite a bit. You're not going to lose your lunch, but the shark does use its teeth to bite people.


Poster courtesy of Wrong Side of the Art.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Crumb on others, part 3.


 
I've always admired Robert Crumb for his commitment to individuality. So, hearing his opnions on other artists and historical figures is intriguing.
The third part of Crumb on Others was posted the other day, right.... about.....HERE!
Crumb also knew some of the icons of the 1960's, so primary source opnions from such an opnionated person are fascinating to me.
If you care what Mr. Crumb thinks of other people, check it out.
I particularly like his take on William Burroughs. I could not agree more with Crumb's opinion here. The three books he mentions are my three favorite Burroughs' titles.
Robert: "I love Burroughs also; a great writer. But his best writing is his straight-ahead prose. He wrote all this crazy fantasy stuff, which I think he was encouraged to do by this other beatnik writer, Brian Gyson, who, for some reason Burroughs admired. Gyson was, I think, a jive-ass, bullshit kind of guy. Burroughs, I think he lacked confidence in his own writing, because when he wrote straight prose it didn’t sell well. When he wrote Junkie, and that came out, it didn’t sell well in the beginning. And then he wrote this other book, Queer, around the same time in the early ’50s and he couldn’t even get that published. That wasn’t published until the 1980s. And Queer is a great book. Both Junkie and Queer are great. They’re both written in this very dry, prose style. And his little thin book called the Yage Letters, which were letters he wrote back to Allen Ginsburg while he was in South America looking for this psychedelic Yage plant. That’s a great book; great stuff. But the problem is, there’s not enough of that, not enough of his straight-ahead prose. He just didn’t think it was any good because he either couldn’t get it published or it didn’t sell. So then he wrote this gimmicky thing called Naked Lunch, which is mostly fantasy stuff and not very interesting to me, and that sold well. He made his reputation on Naked Lunch.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The super-8 film Hollywood cannot compete with.

It only has 181 views as I'm writing, but this little opus blows away most anything that has come from the CG whores in Hollywood in years.

The stunts are exciting and there's a dude in a Thriller jacket at :23.

I would love to see the entire film. Here is the Description blurb on YouTube:

This is a clip from a super 8mm home movie that I made.The film was Premonition.It was made in Dover Gardens and Seaview Downs,Adelaide,South Australia.Some of the people performing the stunt work have gone on to work on Mad Max 2 and 3,Matrix,I Robot,The Thin Red Red Line,Star Wars 2,The Hobbit.All the background extras from Dover Gardens High School.Directed by Dean Bennett (me).Lead actor was Mike Evans.Any Questions,please contact dbennet@virginbroadband.com.au

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Daily poster: Don't Go Near the Park.


 
Don't Go Near the Park.
This poster is just so wrong that it's right. I love it.
What starts out as a hot blooded horror pic turns into a made for TV looking double dose of Ambien. It commits the gravest of cinema crimes, it is boring. The end picks up a bit, but it's far too late. This thing was released in 1981 but looks like a film from the early seventies.
A brother and sister need to eat flesh in order to stay young. Some sort of ritual with a virgin needs to be committed to kill the curse. They live for thousands of years. The brother actually marries a lady and has a daughter that he dotes over until the day when he can sacrifice her and lift the curse. The ending has the teenage daughter and her boyfriend walking around town with a little boy who looks like the kid from the 80's show, The Voyagers. The young boy has no shirt on for some reason. Whatever.
It's got Linnea Quigley, so if you need to see every one of her films, you can check it out for that.
Gory, boring, then bloody, then confusing. Not worth your valuable time.

Tabletop.

How's this gonna work out? It'll take some serious charisma to make this interesting. I'm in for a few episodes; we'll see if Tabletop can fully insert its hooks.

As Will Wheaton explains on his blog, Felicia Day asked Mr. Wheaton if he wanted to create a show about gaming:

"Oh my god," I said, "What if we did something that was like Celebrity Poker meets Dinner for Five, where we got interesting people we know together for tabletop games?!"

Felicia thought it sounded awesome, I was really excited about the idea, and we got to work. It took a few months to develop, and in December we finally shot our first block of episodes. In February, we got the band back together and shot another block of episodes, and just last week, I finished locking down the final edits for all the shows (that's why I couldn't come to Wondercon on Friday.)

In season one of the show, we play games like Settlers of Catan, The Last Night on Earth, Munchkin, Small World, and Alhambra. Some of the players include Grant Imahara, Sean Plott (better known as Day[9]), Dodger Leigh, Ryan Higa, Beth Riesgraf, Phil Lamarr, Morgan Webb, Garfunkle and Oats, Veronica Belmont, and Colin Ferguson.

My ulterior motive with Tabletop is to show by example how much fun it is to play boardgames. I want to show that Gamers aren't all a bunch of weirdoes who can't make eye contact when they talk to you, and that getting together for a game night is just as social and awesome as getting together to watch Sportsball, or to play poker, or for a LAN party, or whatever non-gamers do with their friends. I want to inspire people to try hobby games, and I want to remove the stigma associated with gaming and gamers.

H.P. Lovecraft is dead.



 
On the 75th anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft's death, The Morning News writes about the author's legacy and the ways in which his stories have creeped into the fabric of our concept of horror. Go HERE.
For those not so familiar with Lovecraft or his stories, this is a fantastic primer. If you know a bit about the man, you can just read and nod. And perhaps you can send the link to the family members that always shook their heads at your interests. A fine article.
The Lovecraft universe is a drear and inhospitable place. Eschewing the vampires and other supernatural horrors that were standard villains in the pulps of his age, HPL instead created his own brand of horror, a genre that has come to be known as “Cosmicism.”
The defining feature of Cosmicism is not evil, as is the case with Gothic horror, but the utter insignificance of man. As the current trend of “sexy supernatural” fiction demonstrates, there is an allure to being desired, even when your suitor is of a supernatural, even malevolent ilk. But Lovecraft gave his readers no such solace. His existential universe is one in which no one and nothing cares about us one way or the other, where the only “gods” are beings of a scale we mortals cannot readily process. Cthulhu rises from the deep not to attack the ship but for reasons unfathomable to the minds of men, and the captain is little more than an innocent bystander, able to neither control nor assimilate his fate.

(I found this article via longform. The grave rubbing belongs to my friend, Sean.)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Jennifer Davis Day Dreams.


 
My wife and I were in the 'zine and craft shop, Needles and Pens a while back. I found Jennifer Davis' most colortastic little 'zine-book, Day Dream.
The book was a little expensive at $12, but the paper quality is top notch and the colors, oh the colors, are just beautiful. It's well worth it. The book also has an interview with Davis.
Her work is the dazzling combo of acrylics and graphite on hardboard. As noted before, her use of color is adventurous and inspiring.
Day Dream can be ordered HERE, from Jennifer Davis' Etsy shop. She has a good mix of prints and original work on her shop.


(I took these pics from Jennifer Davis' Etsy shop, they are not necessarily in Day Dream.)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

No, Steve, not pie, pi.

Damn, Steve. Always thinking with his belly.

(via DJ Stawes on Whitechapel.)

Daily poster: Shivers.


 
Shivers.
Happy birthday, David Cronenberg.
Wikipedia has a funny story about the aftermath of the film:
The Canadian journalist Robert Fulford, writing as "Marshall Delaney", decried the content of Shivers in the pages of the national magazine Saturday Night. Since Cronenberg's film was partially financed by the taxpayer-funded Canadian Film Development Corporation (later known as Telefilm Canada), Fulford headlined the article "You Should Know How Bad This Movie Is, You Paid For It." He called it "crammed with blood, violence and depraved sex" and "the most repulsive movie I've ever seen."
Not only did this high profile attack make it more difficult for Cronenberg to obtain funding for his subsequent movies, but Cronenberg later said Fulford's article also resulted in him being kicked out of his apartment in Toronto due to his landlord's inclusion of a "morality clause" in the lease.
Fantabulous trailer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

John Cage on silence.

Cap and Bucky relaxing.


Here's another pic of Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, smoking a pipe. I'm not sure why this vice of his intrigues me so much. It sure would be cool to see Steve Rogers in the new Avengers movie walking around with a pipe.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Power of the horse...FULL FORCE!

Space Stallions.

This is almost too good to be true. Straight out of the 80's Space Stallions are here to save us from the evil, Destructo.

Created by The Animation Workshop, Space Stallions is a parody without stinking like a parody. It is straight ahead wonderful. The concept starts where ThunderCats and Bravestarr ended. The animation starts where 80's video games like Space Ace and Dragon's Lair ended.

Here's the blurb:

As darkness is covering the multiverse, far away in the galaxy of the wild stallion, a spark of hope is born. Guided by the light of Mother Mustang, the Space Stallions must defeat the Demon of darkness, Destructo.

 

(via Dangerous Minds.)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Daily poster: Frogs.


 
Frogs.
Happy 40th birthday to Frogs. The film was released on March 10, 1972.
The film is just too good to be true. Ray Milland is the papa of a large southern family. He has a large estate and is dead set on celebrating the 4th of July, which also happens to be his birthday, in a grand fashion.
The local animals drive him crazy and he sends his gardener out to lay down some pesticide. This is the final straw for the animals. The war is ON! It's not always clear which animals have signed the declaration of war, but the family gets their asses handed to them by all the creatures of the swamp.
I love that poster.
The tone is really unclear for the first half of the film. The cutaway shots of the frogs are not scary. My six year old daughter didn't even realize it was a horror movie, when I sent her to bed.
"Those frogs are going to go crazy and eat everyone," I said.
"Those frogs? They can't eat a person, they'll get stepped on." She said.
Not a film that will keep you up at night.
Great trailer as well.

Poster courtesy of Wrong Side of the Art.

John Prophet awakens.


"The Stephen Platt, giant muscles, giant weapons, Prophet?" I asked.

My friend Nico told me to pick up the latest issue of Prophet, #21. I hadn't thought about that character in years. I tried to forget Rob Liefeld's 'roided out, lame headgear wearing, mockery of a man, many moons ago.

John Prophet was a homeless gent in the late 1930's when he was given the powers of badassery. The financier of the Prophet project was evil and wanted to use Prophet for murders. The doctor that created him didn't like this and tried to protect Prophet by shooting him through time. Prophet is a time traveller who fights with big weapons. Well, not anymore.

I managed to find a copy of Prophet #21 and damn was Nico right. John Prophet wakes up to find aliens ruling this planet. Prophet is slimmed down and looks like a normal fella. The brilliance in Prophet #21 is that the culture, customs, and biology of the alien life forms are so thoroughly alien and yet believable. It's an Alan Moore comic not written by Alan Moore. The smallest ideas are original and fresh. The mood has a fantastically normal pace. The book has real charm.

The story is called Man Out of Time, and I believe it will run for only two issues. With all the buzz it is getting, I wouldn't be surprised if Prophet kicks the steroids and lame helmet for good. Brandon Graham and Simon Roy are the artistic duo responsible for this storyline. I've read Brandon Graham using the expression "barbarian science fiction" in reference to the direction of the comic. Sounds a little John Carterish to me. Let's hope John Prophet keeps his brain, his slower pace, his physical stature, and his charm.

I just read that the book is getting a second printing so it should be back on shelves soon. I think #22 is already out. I'll have to go check.

Thanks to Nico for the recommendation. He is two for two. (The Walking Dead is the other comic he turned me on to, many years ago.)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lady Skye Zanzibar.


 
My old buddy, old pal, Amber created this amazing female version of Skye Zanzibar and his caveman sidekick, Ook of Field, for my birthday.
Thanks, Amber, it's my favorite present.

The Countdown Thing.

The Thing hits British television.

Pixels and pixels of blood.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Daily poster: The Last Man on Earth.


 
The Last Man on Earth.
Released forty eight years ago, today, March 8, 1964.
Fantastic film. If you are in one of those 'I'm in the mood for a good, older, scary flick,' But you've seen all the classics. You're looking for something with a bit of a quicker pace. Something that has some bite to it. A film that will actually give you a bit of a fright. This is that film.
The story is based off of Richard Matheson's story, I Am Legend. The film is also a strong influence on George Romero's Night of the Living Dead.
Vincent Price is excellent and I believe he considered this one of his finest performances. His emotion makes a lot of this film work.
I'm not going to post the trailer. It's spoilerish and will ruin some good stuff. Just go see it.
Rumors continue to swirl about Warner Brothers shooting another installment to the Will Smith, I Am Legend 2007 film. I really believe that film is a perfect example of CG killing a film. The creatures were ridiculous looking and the explosions and CG were distracting and pointless.
See The Last Man on Earth.
Poster courtesy of Wrong Side of the Art.

The Brute and the Beast.


 
The Brute and the Beast is coming. That sounds like bad grammar, but it ain't. The film also known as Massacre Time is set to be released by Wild East on April 24th. They opened pre-ordering this morning over HERE.
The film stars Franco Nero and George Hilto and was directed by goremeister Lucio Fulci. The story is pure spaghetti; a man returns to his old hometown to find it overrun with bandit scum. The old bandit rules with an iron fist while his pscho-son terrorizes the people. Can the hero recruit his drunken brother and save the town?
The Brute and the Beast is a fantastic tier-2 spaghetti western.
Features:
• Two different English audio tracks - the International English dub,
and AIP's American release dub.
• Audio Interview with director Lucio Fulci
• Interview with star George Hilton
• Extensive Picture Gallery
• Radio Spots
• Trailers
PRE-ORDER PRICE $9.95
Limited Edition $14.95
Release date APRIL, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Daily poster: Violent Midnight.


Violent Midnight AKA Psychomania (not the 1971 British film.)

Premiering in 1963, Violent Midnight sits up there nicely with the grandaddies of the slasher genre, Peeping Tom, Psycho, and Blood Feast; eight years before Bava's Twitch of the Death Nerve. The film is practically a textbook for the trappings of the genre. It's a whodunnit slasher with a killer in a trenchcoat and boots, slashing women with a knife (a guy gets shot in the face as well.) The bloodshed is gratuitous. Nudity. Skinny dipping at night. Slutty girls. Good girls. Slutty guys. Good guys. Creepy old men. Intense music.



The story revolves around a wealthy painter. He has returned from the Korean War and his sanity and stability are questionable. He paints nude models, which is a bit lurid for the time and area. He's got a rivalry with a local punk. His lawyer's intentions are dubious. He's got secrets. Women start getting murdered. Well, there are only two ladies murdered. The murder scenes are heavily influenced by Psycho and extremely well shot and intense in that quick montage editing style. The film is black and white and the murders are bloody but not gory. Think a couple of notches up from Psycho and many notches down from Blood Feast.



My wife and I didn't plan on watching the entire film, but we were both pretty well tacked to the couch. I had seen the film a long time ago and forgot how good it was. Make no mistake, it is a low budget film. But the script is good, the actors are ugly and good (the one floozy is pretty cute,) the sets are authentic, and the pacing is fantastic. It reminds me of a classic film noir, dipped in slasher sauce, and glazed with Italian neo-realism.
Check out this film. Like most whodunnits, don't read about it, just get the DVD. The print quality is very good.



Dark Sky Films released the film and you can get it HERE.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Revenge of the Ho!

The good folks over at Dark Maze Studios have created Ninja the Mission Force for our ninja pleasure. Ninja the Mission Force is an homage to the 1980's films of Godfrey Ho. The webisodes are published every Thursday, HERE.

The series blends new footage with old footage. The first episode has Ernest Borgnine and Brandon Lee as guest stars!

Episode 3: Citizen Ninja is my favorite episode so far AND it has Orson Welles and Edward G. Robinson as guest stars. Tough to beat.

 

(Thanks to Derrick for the heads up on this ninja-tastic series.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Super Morrissey Brothers.

Super Morrissey Bros. by lazyitis

Hilarious and super entertaining for a minute or two. Smile-worthy for the full length.

Created by lazyitis.

We know him as Peter Palmer.


How do you know if you are reading an actual Amazing Spider-Man #1 or a reprint?
Look on page 2 of the Chameleon story.
Or just ask Peter Palmer.



Saturday, March 3, 2012

No Parkour.


 
Went hiking behind my old high school today.
I didn't know the school had a parkour problem.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The placeholder Fantastic Four.

In the days before the bit-torrent-ial storm, the 1994 Roger Corman Fantastic Four film was quite the rarity. The trailer was only released before Corman's Carnosaur VHS. A VHS of the full film could only be bought in bootleg form from pock-marked dudes with mustaches at comic and sci-fi conventions.

The film itself is horrible. And the sad truth is that it was really never meant to be seen. The actors, the crew, the fans, had all been taken for a ride.

In 1986 Constantin Films bought the rights to make a Fantastic Four film from Marvel Comics. By 1992, the rights were set to revert back to Marvel if Constantin had not shot an FF film by the end of the year. Constantin had planned a $40 million epic. With time running out, he contacted Roger Corman and production started in earnest on a $1.4 million version.

The sets, the costumes, the special effects on the film were horrible (Although, The Thing's costume/makeup were pretty cool.) This was a production that clearly should not have been shot with a $1.4 million budget.

Was this film a legal placeholder, so Constantin could retain their rights to film a "real" FF film? Many, including Stan Lee, believe that this was the case. The Corman version was never slated to receive distribution.

It's unclear who knew that the film was a throwaway. The actors certainly were not aware. The director, Oley Sassone, went on a cross country campaign for the film, and conducted interviews calling out Corman for such a cheap production. I'm fairly certain he did not know. Roger Corman has lamented the whole incident in interviews. During filming he was certainly not aware of Constantin's intention. Sometime during the post-production/advertising phase, Corman learned what the plan was.

At some point, Constantin had made their $40 million deal with 20th Century Fox. Corman was paid $750,000 to release the rights of the film and the film was shelved.

I read somewhere, years ago, that the head of Marvel's filmmaking division, Avi Arad, stated that he had bought back the rights to the film and burned all of the prints. Whether this is true or not, who cares? The film is available online. It is not good. Like many things, the behind the scenes story is much more interesting than the piece itself.

 

 

Tim 'n Eric talking.


 
Do you get tired of comedians keeping up their schtick during interviews? I sure do.
Tim and Eric have done some really funny interviews over the past few months. They have been promoting their Billion Dollar Movie, which opens in theaters today.
The elusive, comedic, interview was getting a bit tired. So, I was more than pleasantly surprised to read their short interview with Mr. Beaks over on Ain't It Cool News this morning. The interview is HERE.
Wareheim: I think one thing we're also noticing is that Tim and I have lived in this weird vacuum for the last seven years making our own show where this kind of thing is not out of the blue. We've had these kinds of sex scenes and gross poop jokes, but now that the movie is on a larger scale, we realize we're exposing people to this alternate universe that is kind of normal for us. And people are like, "Whoa, that's pretty intense."
Beaks: With alternative comedy, there's often a feeling that "the right people will get it". How do you feel about expanding your audience? Is this something you're trying to do?
Heidecker: There's a core of our audience that you could expect: a sort of younger, college-educated, hipster, alternative-style kind of people. But we run into people all the time that are like housewives and people's parents... just normal people. I don't necessarily think that our stuff is designed to exclude people. I don't know what it is about somebody who doesn't like it that makes them not like it.
Wareheim: I valeted my car the other night, and a maybe, like, forty-eight-year-old man took my keys and said, "I promise not to shrim in your car." I just wanted to sit with him and be like, "How do you know about the movie? Why?" But we love expanding our audience. That's not our primary goal, though. This movie is really made for us. Luckily, the fans like it, and hopefully others will like it.
Heidecker: I think it comes down to... it's a really easy thing to say in journalism and criticism, "Well, if you're not a fan of these guys, you might want to be careful." I don't know if anyone's ever done any research to say if that's the case. That just seems like a simple, logical thing to write, but it might not be true.
Roger Ebert is not a fan of these guys. He hated the film so much that he stopped writing his review halfway through. It's a funny read, HERE.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spinning abstract glory.

Check out the beautifully abstract swirling colors in this video. What a fun idea.

Instead of making a normal movie, I am trying to get a colour gradient of what the camera is shooting. There is no postproduction involved, the effect is achieved by connecting the lens of the camera to a drilling machine. The video is taking 15 frames per second, whereas the drill is spinning at more than 20 turn per second.

(via Laughing Squid.)

Stargazing Scarah Screams.


 
Stargazing Scarah Screams.
Acrylic on canvas. 10"x8"