HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sandra’s Fourth Ring of Hell: Everyday TV Dinners



CHAPTER 4: AVARICE AND PRODIGALITY-JOUSTING

Before I begin describing the fourth ring of hell in Sandra’s cookbook for kids, I wanted to clear up a misconception from my previous article. In the third ring of hell, I erroneously stated that Sandra’s picture that accompanies the “Ranch Slaw” recipe featured a “nice fat advertisement” for Sun-Maid raisins. While this remains true, I have recently discovered that this picture is not the most in-your-face depiction of Sun-Maid raisins in this cookbook. This picture that faces the Healthy is Happenin’ section of the cookbook is actually the most BLATANT advertisement for “kewl” raisins:

I apologize for any confusion this may have caused, but, either way, Sandra Lee remains a whore for corporate America. Now onto chapter 4!

The fourth ring of hell in Cool Kids’ Cooking (which from here on will be referred to as KKK to match Sandra’s love of alliteration and previous interior-design invention, the Kurtain Kraft) features what she calls “everyday” TV dinners. Apparently, Aunt Sandy or her editor never bothered to look up the term “everyday” to check its definition because I doubt she means “common, ordinary” TV dinners are the subject of this chapter. Rather, she seems to mean these are TV dinner recipes for every day of the week. Put down the cocktail and buy a dictionary, Sandra!

Sandy’s introduction to this particularly hellish chapter includes the following incoherent description of the life of a young child: “When you’re 5, cartoons are your life. That and the trampoline.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I never had a trampoline in my life. I do not have one now, and I certainly did not have one at the age of five. I guess Sandy is marketing her books to wealthy parents who can’t be bothered with caring about their children’s health and proper nutrition. Who else would relate to her mindless descriptions of youth?

Anyway, Sandra claims that this chapter of KKK will be about “traditional kid food with a twist.” One example of such food is “lasagna in cool gel pen shades of green and orange.” This is an exceptionally lame description of her lasagna with spinach and carrots that I suppose appeals to kids obsessed with gel pens. Do kids even care about gel pen colors? It just sounds bizarre to me. As a child of the nineties, I WAS obsessed with neon colors (I even called my black marker that came in the neon marker set “hot black” because it didn’t have a cool name like “electric blue” and “hot pink”…yes, I was very lame as a child), but I doubt children care about gel pens. This whole description appears to be yet another example of Sandy attempting to connect with the younger generation, but having no idea what kids actually like. Additionally, she continues to use “hip lingo” like “fuel that hype” and “leave the drama” as if any of these phrases make sense at all to young children. Finally, Sandra scares the bejesus out of me by coming OUT of the TV in the picture that faces her introduction. All I can think of when seeing this is the Ring girl crawling out of the TV (either one is terrifying).

The girl from The Ring:

Sandy coming out with two plates full of horror:

The resemblance is uncanny, yes?

Getting past the terrible introduction and horrifying picture, “Everyday TV Dinners” features ten recipes: “Meat Loaf Muffins,” “Porcupine Meatballs” (What an appetizing name!), “Hawaiian-Style Burgers” (Can you guess what makes them “Hawaiian?” That’s right…canned pineapple!), “Chili Spaghetti,” “Sweet & Sour Popcorn Shrimp,” “Chip Chicken,” “Taco Rice Bowl,” “Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas,” “Baked Chicken Pasta,” and the previously mentioned “Green and Orange Lasagna.” By looking at these items, one cannot help but ponder how the majority of them are appropriate for TV viewing. The recipes for spaghetti, lasagna, and enchiladas would likely lead to disastrous results if one were to eat them on a TV tray as Sandra suggests. She might as well add a recipe for Sloppy Joes (Sloppy Sandys? Ugh…too vulgar) because every other item will be smeared into the couch or carpet by the time these “everyday TV dinners” have been eaten by the youngsters.

Let’s start delving into these recipes by taking a look at one of the messiest possible: Chili Spaghetti. Now, as a child, I do remember eating spaghetti in front of the TV while watching the Sesame Street Christmas special (“Feliz Navidad!”), but it still does not seem like the best idea for children to be consuming such food near expensive electronics and carpets. Here is a lovely photograph of this recipe complete with “heart-shape toasted garlic bread [sic],” which the recipe says you can make “if desired.”

Wow…aside from the poor wording (“heart-shaped” makes more sense as an adjective for the garlic bread), how much do you want to bet that this picture is from a Valentine’s Day recipe on Sandy’s website or in another one of her cookbooks as a way to make your dinner “special” for Valentine’s Day? I am almost positive this was the case, especially because of the way the recipe has a tacked-on note at the end to apparently justify the photograph of spaghetti with heart-shaped garlic bread. It’s all too ridiculous, and thus, perfect for KKK.

As for the recipe itself, this is another standard stoner concept: Dude, let’s mix a can of chili with some pasta! Sandra informs the reader that he or she must use specific brand names for best results, yet again, including “precrumbled cheddar and Colby cheese, Kraft” (as though you can’t crumble cheese yourself) and “1 can turkey chili with no beans, Hormel” (because Sandy cannot be bothered with making her own chili and neither should you). After pimping out her fave brands, Sandra moves on to a basic recipe for spaghetti casserole with the addition of canned chili and precrumbled cheese. Wouldn’t “precrumbled” cheese be regular whole cheese since it has not been crumbled yet? Oh well…if I try to make sense out of Sandra’s vocabulary, I will be sitting here for years while she becomes the First Lady (side note: Is Andrew Cuomo seriously going to become the next governor of NY with Sandra by his side? As a possible New Yorker in the future, please kill me now!).

The next recipe I will be examining closely is “Chip Chicken.” Now, when you hear the words “Chip Chicken,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Myself, I think of “chipped beef” but with chicken instead of beef. Gross, right? Well, actually, Sandra’s recipe is a basic as they come: this is your standard child-friendly recipe for chicken tenders rolled in potato chips. I remember making this exact same recipe as a child when my parents enforced a “the kids get to cook since they have nothing else to do” policy between June and August. During these summer months, I would have to prepare a meal for the whole family once a week, and one of my first cooking experiences was making potato-chip-crusted chicken strips. While this recipe is a bit messy, the results were pretty delicious; you get a crispy crunch without frying because of the potato chips.

I mention my childhood memories here because, as usual, Sandra will now muck them up with her version of “Chip Chicken.” The ingredients for this recipe are pretty simple by Aunt Sandy standards: chicken tenders, Italian salad dressing, ranch salad dressing, and two kinds of chips (plain and barbecue). Of course, my version of this recipe probably did not include the brand names Sandra mentions (maybe the Lays potato chips at most), but I know for sure I did not have two types of salad dressing as ingredients. Why would anyone want so many conflicting flavors in one meal? I cannot imagine how disgusting the combination of barbecue chips and ranch dressing would be. Also, once again, Sandra’s recipe offers little to no nutritional value unless you count fattening salad dressings as one of the major food groups. Since the fourth ring of Hell is about Prodigality, it seems important to note that this recipe calls for so many containers and plastic bags that it’s ridiculous. Sandra’s recipes are notorious for their wastefulness, and in this particular instance, “Chip Chicken” indicates that one must use two DIFFERENT Ziploc bags to crush the chips, when in reality, one bag would certainly suffice as all of the crushed chips are then placed in separate bowls. What a waste!

The final recipe I will be dissecting for this ring of Hell in KKK is Sandra’s answer to the KFC Famous Bowl, the “Taco Rice Bowl.” First, I would like to enlighten you all with a little background on Sandra’s relationship with KFC. Sandra Lee, as you might recall, was a celebrity (oh, please) endorser for KFC’s new Grilled Chicken meals.

How anyone can call that woman a “Chef” is beyond me, but these ads ran in conjunction with the highly successful KFC campaign for healthier food in early 2009. Anyway, I only mention this fact to help shed light on how Sandra would be aware of KFC and their food products. The Taco Rice Bowl featured in this chapter is remarkably similar to the KFC Famous Bowl, particularly the Rice Bowl, in its contents and presentation, e.g. throw a bunch of crap in a bowl. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two “meals”:

The KFC Famous Rice Bowl, AKA the Vomit Bowl

Sandra’s “Taco Rice Bowl” (my husband says I looked just like the little girl when I was a kid...great!):

As you can see, both of these “Bowls” include a bunch of stuff thrown into a container so that the consumer can gulp down all of the contents at once; why use a plate when you can dump everything into one bowl? Well, I guess it’s not as wasteful as her other meals, but that’s not saying much.

Since Sandra has ties with KFC, I am going to make the assumption that this “Taco Rice Bowl” is her homage to/rip-off of the Famous Bowls. While this meal does seem like a good one for TV-viewing due to the ease of eating out of a bowl, this is by no means a healthy meal. The closest thing to vegetables in this meal is some lettuce (surely Iceberg, but surprisingly Sandra misses the opportunity to pimp her favorite lettuce brand name) and a couple scallion bits on top. The recipe also includes “grilled chicken strips, Tyson,” “1 can diced tomatoes, Hunt’s,” “1 packet taco seasoning, McCormick,” “2 cups instant rice, Uncle Ben’s,” and, as with the Chili Spaghetti, “1 cup precrumbled cheddar cheese, Kraft.” As you can see, there is not much “taco” to this meal aside from the seasoning and fixings and, in reality, it seems like the final product would be more like seasoned rice with stuff on top than anything taco related. One would assume there would be some type of ground beef or turkey or something to make this more taco-like, but no. Instead, Sandy includes cooked grilled chicken strips that aren’t even heated before adding them to the bowl. Also, there’s an option to add sour cream and chopped scallion to the top of your rice bowl, which I suppose makes it more “Mexicany.” Whatever the case, this recipe sounds again like stoner food for children, and the combination of ingredients is truly disgusting. I cannot imagine that the cheese would have properly melted or that cold chicken strips would taste that great on top of taco-seasoned rice. Again, Sandra takes something popular (though I have no idea why the Famous Bowls are popular) and turns it into sodium-filled, fattening crap with little nutritional value. Not that the Famous Bowls were EVER the paragon of healthy eating, but the point still stands that Sandra is the picture of prodigality in her ingredients, her methods, and her choices when it comes to cooking for kids. As for avarice, Sandra’s greed in terms of money and fame is apparent on every single page of KKK.

Next time, we will consider the fifth ring of hell, the oddly titled “Brainiac Breaks” (as if anyone ever considered Sandy smart). If you missed out on the first three installments, you can read about Limbo (“Bright Breakfasts”) here, Lust (“Lazy Day Lunches”) here, and Gluttony (“Meal Mania”) here.

As always, Dish Delish!


Share/Save/Bookmark

Saturday, February 27, 2010

THE SEXPERTS -- DVD review by porfle

Retro-Seduction Cinema takes us back to the steamy days of peep shows and 8mm nudie loops with the 2-DVD set THE SEXPERTS (TOUCHED BY TEMPTATION).

The fun begins with the actual packaging, featuring a sleeve which resembles a naughty paperback cover, a reproduction of the original 1965 poster on the front of the DVD case, and an 8-page illustrated booklet that offers much detail about the film's enterprising producer, William Mishkin, and behind-the-scenes info about the production itself.

After distributing some mild European softcore films with new, lurid titles such as "$100 a Night" and "Illicit Motherhood", Mishkin entered the nudie-film world himself with 1964's THE ORGY AT LIL'S PLACE. The success of this feature, which promised much more than it delivered, led him to follow it up a year later with THE SEXPERTS.

In THE SEXPERTS, we follow the adventures of two lovely roommates in New York: good girl Connie Mason (Rusty Allen), a swimsuit model who avoids hanky-panky and stays true to her photographer boyfriend Barry (Ken Curtin); and Liz Adams (Lana Lynn), an out-of-towner who plans to make it big in the theater no matter who she has to sleep with to do it.

Liz hits the sheets running as she auditions for a play by bedding the hot-blooded star Baxter Standish (Anthony Ford) and then the director, Douglas Baines (John Lyon), one of those sophisticated Greenwich Village beatnik types. Later she trades up by latching onto wealthy backer Leslie Carter (Lonnie Maggio), an older gent who's shopping for a replacement for his aging and constantly soused mistress Mimi (Dori Davis).

As a contrast to Liz' promiscuous activities, Connie's chaste daily routine involves nothing more titillating than bikini posing, strutting down the sidewalk while guys ogle her, and having a tiff with her boyfriend. The movie ends with a pretty tame orgy sequence with Audrey Mitchell of "Madame Olga" fame stripping down to her undies. As the "trappings of civilization begin to melt away", Connie flees with her virtue intact while Liz casts herself into the pit of debauchery by sidling up to strange guys and kissing them.


This is one odd little sexploitation flick. For one thing, there's very little nudity besides a few glimpses here and there. Mostly the girls are seen in slips, nighties, or bikinis--pretty much the same thing you'd find in the usual "Beach Party" film. And the closest anyone comes to having any real-pretend sex is for the guy to get on top (usually with his clothes on) and kiss the girl real hard. If released today, this would barely rate an "R."

The film's structure is odd as well. This "true story" begins with three aspiring moviemakers sitting around a desk, while the tale of Liz and Connie unfolds as the three men toss story ideas around. There's very little post-dubbed dialogue in the movie--in fact, much of the soundtrack seems to have been lost and replaced by narration a la THE CREEPING TERROR and THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS.

To make things even weirder, the narrator sounds just like the guy whose voice is heard in the classic "Mr. Bungle" children's educational film made famous by Pee Wee Herman. With its extended travelogue sequences such as Liz's day on the town with Douglas Baines or with her girlfriends on a weekend vacation at Leslie's beach house--which are packed with continuous voiceover by the cheerful, pleasantly-bland narrator and accompanied by "Leave It to Beaver"-type music--much of THE SEXPERTS actually comes off as a racier version of those creaky old films they used to show kids in school.

The narrator brightly informs us of Connie: "By day she's a sexy figure, modeling bathing suits so that the women of America can attract their future husbands." Of Leslie's first meeting with Liz we're told: "Now that he's tired of Mimi, Leslie, fishing for new trout, has checked his bank balance for a piece of new bait. He hopes that the fish he'll catch will prove tasty indeed." No, I didn't just make that up--THE SEXPERTS is full of this stuff.

Visually, it's surprisingly good. The print, taken from a 35mm source, is near-flawless, with crisp black-and-white photography, and the direction is competent. The actors aren't all that great but they give confident performances. Rusty Allen, who plays Connie, is probably the cutest of the female leads, but Lana Lynn as Liz isn't bad-looking either. Most of the other ladies in the cast are fairly attractive.


For added spice, clips from color nudie loops are inserted throughout the film. The original clips have been lost, so segments from similar existing loops have been substituted as indicated by the original screenplay. These short films are available in their entirety as bonus features on disc one, as are three vintage local TV commercials (for waterproofing, floor wax, and upholstery) featuring cast member Audrey Campbell.

Rounding out the DVD presentation are several trailers for other Retro-Seduction Cinema releases and some vintage theater bumpers heralding "Prevues of Coming Attractions" and "Our Feature Presentation", which add nicely to the grindhouse ambience. The second disc, "Naughty Nudes '65", offers eleven more scratchy old nudie shorts which, while incredibly tame by today's standards, are still a bunch of fun to watch. Some, like "The Jugs of Jenny" are backed by slow, sultry jazz or techno music, giving them an almost ethereal quality. And to make the experience more realistic, you can hear the constant drone of an old 8mm movie projector in the background. Now that brings back memories.

This DVD set has been put together with loving care and it shows. As face-value entertainment the material is sadly lacking, but as a nostalgic stroll down mammary lane it's priceless. I'd recommend THE SEXPERTS to anyone who ever ordered an 8mm nudie film from the back pages of a girlie magazine or sat in a dank theater or drive-in waiting expectantly for that elusive glimpse of black-and-white boobage.

Share/Save/Bookmark

Friday, February 26, 2010

ONG BAK: THE THAI WARRIOR and ONG BAK 2: THE BEGINNING -- Blu-Ray reviews by Ian Friedman


ONG BAK: THE THAI WARRIOR and ONG BAK 2: THE BEGINNING have recently made their debut on Blu-ray courtesy of 20th Century Fox and Magnolia Films. The two movies themselves are as different as night and day.

ONG BAK is a modern film set in Thailand, while ONG BAK 2 is set during the Middle Ages in Thailand. ONG BAK 2 is like a melting pot of martial arts with Tony Jaa fighting people using various different martial styles in a historical epic situation (such as Drunken Boxing, MMA, and others).

Both are great films featuring innovative action scenes that constantly leave the audience needing to pick their jaws up off the ground. The drastic changes in settings with the two films helps to give the viewer a variety in choosing what they want to watch (a gritty modern film or a historical epic).

Both films receive excellent 1080p High Definition transfers with great picture quality and also excellent audio in both Thai and English. ONG BAK has a short making of on the DVD, while ONG BAK 2 has substantially more behind-the-scenes features.

If you are even the slightest fan of martial arts then you should immediately pick up these two great martial arts films, with excellent picture and sound and extras.


ONG BAK: THE THAI WARRIOR

Buy it at Amazon.com

Buy it at HK Flix:
Blu-Ray

ONG BAK 2: THE BEGINNING

Buy it at Amazon.com:

Buy it at HK Flix:
1-disc DVD

Share/Save/Bookmark

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"HOUSEWIVES FROM ANOTHER WORLD" On DVD April 6th

"Housewives From Another World" -- From Infinity Entertainment Group & Retromedia Entertainment


‘Take Me to Your Leader’ Takes on a Whole New Meaning!

Starring Penthouse Pet of the Year Heather Vandeven

Get Ready to be Abducted on DVD April 6th

LOS ANGELES — April 1, 2010 — For Immediate Release — When space aliens invade the bodies of three beautiful women, they soon learn the meaning of "hot to trot" in Housewives From Another World, beaming onto DVD April 6 from Infinity Entertainment Group.

On a mission to stop the development of a new deep-space satellite, the body-snatched beauties will do anything – and anyone – to accomplish their goals. "Take me to your leader" takes on a whole new meaning!
Starring 2007’s Penthouse Pet of the Year Heather Vandeven and the smoking hot Christine Nguyen and Rebecca Love.

Housewives From Another World is presented in anamorphic widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16 x 9 and Dolby Digital. Includes original trailers.

Housewives From Another World
Retromedia/Infinity Entertainment Group
Genre: Erotic/Sci-Fi/Comedy
Not Rated
Format: DVD Only
Running Time: Approx. 82 Minutes (Plus Special Features)
Suggested Retail Price: $14.98
Pre-Order Date: March 2, 2010
Street Date: April 6, 2010
Catalog #: IEG2196
UPC Code: #617742219692
Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

SCARLET: THE FILM MAGAZINE #4-- magazine review by porfle


After reading the latest issue of SCARLET: THE FILM MAGAZINE (number 4--Autumn 2009), I have to tell you--it's pretty gay.

Not that there's anything wrong with that...in fact, the self-described "Queer Horror" issue yields a good deal of interesting reading material regarding "the horror that dare not speak its name." Which, of course, has been a major part of Hollywood, on both sides of the camera, since movies began.

Just in case the cover pic of Ernest Theisiger's "Dr. Pretorius" leering at us through a giant "Q" isn't enough of a giveaway, a glance at the table of contents reveals much emphasis on the gay perspective. Harry H. Long's cover story "Wicked Uncle Ernie" is a fascinating look at the memorably campy thespian described as "the quirkiest genre character actor on and off the screen", whose exquisitely droll presence added zing to such films as BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE OLD DARK HOUSE, and THE GHOUL.

Ken Hanke weighs in with his take on the Frederic March classic "Death Takes a Holiday", exploring not only why he has come to perceive the film as "brimming with gay subtext" but also going into detail about how an individual might "read" a particular film under various circumstances. Pam Keesey's "Vampyros Lesbos" is an erotic tribute to the 1971 Jess Franco film that was released during what has been called the "Golden Age of the Lesbian Vampire."


Scream King? Horror Himbo? Actor-producer-director Joe Zaso (his fans might add "hottie" to that list of hyphens) chats with Bob Gutowski in "Joe Zaso Bares All", a title which also describes the beefcake photos accompanying the interview. Two upcoming gay-oriented horror films that look like they'd be worth checking out are highlighted in Sean Abley's "The Making of 'Socket', about a couple of guys whose sexual activities may be a little too shocking for their own good, and Earl Roesel's interview with writer-producer Joe Moe about his upcoming slasher romp "Red Velvet", which stars Henry Thomas.

As it turns out, the giant "Q" on the cover might also refer to this issue's tribute to the memory of the late Robert "Count Yorga" Quarry, which his fans won't want to miss. A mini-biography by Kevin G. Shinnick is followed by Tim Sullivan's "My Dinner With Yorga", in which the venerable horror icon takes a fond look back at his most memorable character.


In addition to all of this, SCARLET THE FILM MAGAZINE #4 is jam-packed with detailed reviews of the latest books, films, and DVDs (many of them continuing the issue's gay theme) and other goodies. All in all, it's well worth getting your hands on a copy regardless of whether you're gay, straight, or "other."

Order now for $8.95 (no postage necessary in the continental US, all others please add proper postage) with a check or money order made out to SCARLET and mailed to:
P.O. Box 2092
Cleona, PA 17042
or use their PayPal account: scarletthefilmmag@yahoo.com

Issue 1 now is $20.00
Issue 2 is $15.00
Issue 3 is $15.00
All are extremely limited.

Share/Save/Bookmark

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

THE LOVE GOD? -- movie review by porfle


(This is part four of my look at the "Don Knotts Reluctant Hero Pack", a two-sided DVD containing four of Don's best-known movies: THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN, THE RELUCTANT ASTRONAUT, THE SHAKIEST GUN IN THE WEST, and THE LOVE GOD?)


In THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN, THE RELUCTANT ASTRONAUT, and THE SHAKIEST GUN IN THE WEST, we got to see Don Knotts' nervous-guy character face his biggest fears and triumph over them in the end. But in THE LOVE GOD? (1969), he finally faces his biggest fear of all...S-E-X.

Don's previous films all skittered around the subject of sex, but in a non-overt, family-friendly way. THE LOVE GOD?, on the other hand, is obsessed with the subject. In fact, it almost plays like a psychic prediction of Larry Flynt's famous First Amendment difficulties, as Don plays the owner of a bankrupt birdwatching magazine who is duped by unscrupulous pornographer Osborn Tremaine (the great Edmond O'Brien) into serving as the figurehead for a dirty magazine because Tremaine has just been legally stripped of mailing privileges for his own porno mag. At first horrified by what he's gotten himself into, Don's character (Abner Audubon Peacock IV, of "The Peacock" magazine) soon find himself hailed by the public as a fearless crusader for the First Amendment and the sexual revolution.


Which, of course, doesn't sit well with the folks back home, including the congregation of the church where Abner's virtuoso birdcall performance is a highlight of the annual choir recital (Don's rendition of this is absolutely priceless), and the reverend's ever-faithful daughter Rose Ellen (Maggie Peterson) patiently waits for her beloved Abner to return and pop the question. Meanwhile, Abner keeps getting in deeper and deeper, as feared mob boss J. Charles Twilight (B.S. Pully) takes an active interest in "The Peacock" magazine, and aspiring journalist Lisa LaMonica (Anne Francis, FORBIDDEN PLANET, "Honey West"), who has been chosen to run the magazine and turn Abner into an international sex symbol, takes an increasingly active interest in him.

There's a lot of funny stuff in this movie, but is it a proper Don Knotts movie? Not according to what's gone before. His other offerings were innocuous, family-friendy fare that, while flirting with the subject of sex at times in a general way, were still wholesome and innocent enough to be enjoyed by the entire family. THE LOVE GOD?, on the other hand, plays like one long, smutty, third-grade joke, and the joke's on Don. We've always been happy to laugh with his characters, but here, we're urged to laugh at him--the prim, straight-laced, trembling virgin who is afraid of women and terrified of sex. While his previous three films remain unrated (but would probably each get a G), THE LOVE GOD? is rated PG-13--not quite what most of Don's fans would be expecting from one of his movies. So who's this movie made for? Don Knotts fans who have been patiently suffering through his previous films waiting for more T & A?

On the plus side, Don is in fine form here, making the most of what the script impels him to do. His first performance of the birdcall recital is sublime, but later in the film when he fears that mobster J. Charles Twilight has come to whack him, his frantic, screwed-up rendition of the same piece is hilarious. It's also fun to see him trying to function as a Hugh Hefner/Bob Guccione type, strutting around town in horrendous mod outfits with an entourage of beautiful women, in a series of delightfully retro 60s-camp situations. But when Anne Francis' Lisa LaMonica starts taking advantage of his sexual inexperience to manipulate him, the sweetly-innocent Don Knotts character finally begins to lapse into the pathetic.


Part of the reason for this is that Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum, the veteran "Andy Griffith Show" writers who handled the scripts for Don's previous three films, are missing here, and writer-director Nat Hiken just doesn't seem to fully understand what makes Knotts tick as a screen presence. Sure, he's a coward, and he sinks to the depths of despair before the film's final act (especially when Lisa LaMonica tricks him into thinking he's had sex with her, which spoils his chances to marry the pristine Rose Ellen), but there's no cathartic triumph over his fears that redeems his character in the end. What--is he supposed to triumph over his fear of sex? The only victory Abner Peacock has here is when he finally punches J. Charles Twilight in the nose. It's only through sheer happenstance that Abner ends up living happily-ever-after at the end of THE LOVE GOD?, and that's just not the way it should be.

Taken as a smutty sex comedy, though, THE LOVE GOD? does have its pleasures. As a fan of the voluptuous Maureen Arthur (HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, HOW TO COMMIT MARRIAGE), I find it delightful that her role as Osborn Tremaine's wife and chief model for his magazine affords her the opportunity to parade around in sexy outfits and pose for wonderfully lewd photographs. Holy mackerel, she was so incredibly sexy that I just get giddy watching her--and she was funny to boot. Abner's "Pussycats" are nice to look at, too, but they don't make that much of an impression, especially next to a wildly-mugging Don Knotts. Anne Francis, of course, is a certified babe from way back, but in this movie she just tries too doggone hard to be funny and sexy, and generally just comes off looking silly.

One of the funniest things about the movie, in fact, is seeing mobster J. Charles Twilight taking instruction from retired schoolteacher Miss Love (Jesslyn Fax, THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN), whom he has hired to teach him "class." From her, he learns the error of saying "Me and Nutsy Herman got the contract to go to upstate New York to knock off Big-Nose Schlossburg...", as he writes in his assigned theme, instead of the correct "Nutsy Herman and I." She also teaches him a new word every day, such as "fastidious" and "prerogative", which he awkwardly shoehorns into his speech at every opportunity.

With the marked absence of writers Fritzell and Greenbaum, there's not much of an "Andy Griffith Show" connection here, with the exception of the church choir singing a hysterical version of "Juanita"--Barney Fife's self-written ode to his girlfriend at the Bluebird Diner--and the casting of Maggie Peterson (who played man-hungry hillbilly Charlene Darling) as Rose Ellen. As usual, there's a fine assortment of familiar faces all over the place, such as James Gregory (who seems to relish his role as Abner's defense attorney and makes the most of it), Don Knotts stock players Jim Boles and Jim Begg, James Westerfield as Rose Ellen's father Reverend Wilkerson, Herbie Faye, and Bob Hastings. And once again, Vic Mizzy supplies a suitably lighthearted musical score.

But on the whole, THE LOVE GOD? suffers in comparison to Don Knotts' earlier films, because the people who made it just didn't seem to understand his film persona--or else they thought it would be funny to pervert it and turn the character into a pitiful, emasculated butt of cheap sex jokes. So while there's much to enjoy in this movie--no Don Knotts film could possibly be entirely without its pleasures--it certainly doesn't do justice to his established screen character. Imagine Thelma Lou making fun of Barney Fife for having a tiny "you-know-what." That's THE LOVE GOD? in a nutshell.

Buy it at Amazon.com


Share/Save/Bookmark

Monday, February 22, 2010

CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY -- DVD review by porfle


After spending years glued to the 24-hour TV-news networks and bending my ears with hours upon hours of talk radio--and agonizing over every sordid detail of each late-breaking political train wreck as it came screaming off the presses--I finally just turned it all off and started enjoying life again. For awhile, anyway. It's been nice.

So what do I find myself reviewing today? CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY (2009), the latest muckraking documentary by left-wing gadfly Michael Moore. Gaa!!!

Well, I'm not going to get into politics today because I used up my last good nerve on that stuff years ago. Instead, I'll try to focus on the film's entertainment value and watchability. First off, Moore starts the ball rolling with a promo clip for Hershell Gordon Lewis' BLOOD FEAST, with Bill Kerwin warning young, impressionable, and heart-attack-prone viewers to steer clear of the impending feature. That's worth some nostalgia points right there. Unfortunately, it makes me want to watch BLOOD FEAST.

Moore's film, however, is pretty scary itself. It's a scathing indictment of how capitalism and free enterprise in America have long been corrupted by the rich and powerful for their own greedy purposes while us Joe and Jane Six-Packs get the shaft. Part of Moore's method is to show us some of those awesome 50s educational films that are so delightfully square and full of crewcuts and horn-rims, and contrast their chipper naivete' with contemporary horror stories of families getting thrown out of their homes, factory workers being fired en masse, and airline pilots on food stamps.


The old "American dream vs. American nightmare" stuff works every time, especially when it's accompanied by dramatic Beethoven music. Moore's goal is to make you scared, sad, and outraged, and also to make you laugh--an emotional smorgasbord. With deft editing of stock film and music, plus his own manipulative documentary footage and slanted observations, the filmmaker creates a chunky visual goulash that would have Bela Lugosi shouting "Pool da strink!"

Naturally, Moore is able to gleefully avail himself of clips from old Ronald Reagan movies, which is convenient since most of our Republican presidents didn't start out as B-movie actors. So we get to see Ronnie whipping out his six-shooter on the unions or slapping a woman around while Moore chides "Take that, feminists!" or whatever. Not exactly a strict documentary approach, but as comedy it scores on a MST3K level. Later, a clip of George W. Bush giving a doom-and-gloom speech on the economy is made hilarious with the digital addition of screaming people fleeing in terror in the background while the White House is beseiged by earthquakes, tornadoes, and monsters. Funny stuff, in an Adult Swim sort of way.

Interview segments are interspersed throughout, some (politicians, financial experts) more relevant that others (actor Wallace Shawn). Moore also recruits a few religious figures to solemnly explain to us why capitalism itself is inherently evil--refraining, as one might guess, from consulting any who might express a differing view. Most effective are the accounts of downtrodden victims of a crumbling economy, and a few minutes spent with his own father on the site of a razed factory back in Flint, Michigan where he once worked adds to the often melancholy tone.


Moore goes for the heartstrings in these segments, plucking away with sad accounts of personal tragedy and hardship caused by corporate greed. You can't help but be moved by shots of little kids crying and people finding out the hard way that refinancing their homes probably wasn't such a good idea when the cops start breaking the door down. Some revelations are guaranteed to outrage, such as the concept of "Dead Peasants" insurance, which is the practice of taking out life-insurance policies on employees so that a company profits by their death. Recaps of high-profile scandals and evidence of deep-rooted government corruption are also sure to make you feel either angry or depressed, or both. Not to mention powerless.

But then, of course, we're back to the classic Michael Moore schtick of him trying to wedge a film crew through the front door of a gleaming corporate fortress so that some fat, overworked security shlub will have to come out and deal with them. This is what Michael Moore fans love to see--the cavorting troublemaker "sticking it to" the bad guys with nought but his disruptive and rebelliously unkempt presence. "I'm making a citizen's arrest!" he yells into a megaphone at a building. Or he backs a rented armored truck up to the door and demands that the fat cats cowering under their desks return their billions in bailout money to the taxpayers. Or simply wraps the building in yellow crime scene tape.

Moore got a taste for this kind of street theater with ROGER AND ME, and, useless as it may be, loves to perform it for us while "documenting" it. And, of course, it's fun to watch in the same way it was fun whenever David Letterman used to go down to GE headquarters to stir up a little trouble with the suits.

The DVD from Anchor Bay is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1 with English and Spanish subtitles. Extras include a substantial ten featurettes and two trailers.

The picture begins with a "what if"--what if we'd listened to Jimmy Carter (aka "Debbie Downer") back in 1979?--and ends with the comforting assurance that President Obama will wisely and selflessly strive to put things right again. Do I buy everything Michael Moore says? No. Does CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY accurately expose the evil machinations of a bunch of greedy, insanely wealthy bastards who play with our economy, and our lives, like it was their own private crap game? Yes. Does it make me want to abandon capitalism and embrace socialism? No. Is it entertaining? Well, to be honest, I was really bummed out after I watched it, but that was the point. And it was funny at times, and generally very well-crafted. And it made me think. I think I want to watch BLOOD FEAST.

Buy it at Amazon.com
DVD
Blu-Ray

Share/Save/Bookmark

Voting For This Year's RONDO AWARDS Has Begun!

It's that time of year again, fan boys and girls! Nominees for the EIGHTH Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards are ready and waiting for YOUR votes!


For a ballot and instructions on how to cast your vote, visit the Classic Horror Film Board's "Official Ballot" thread here. You'll also find it along with lots of information about the Rondos at the official site here.

This year, there are a whopping 30 categories "recognizing the best in monster research, creativity and genre appreciation." In the words of David "taraco" Colton of the CHFB: "These awards are by fans, for fans. Every Rondo nominee...is being recognized for a significant achievement in the genre during the year of 2009. So take a look at the ballot and please let the nominees know how much we appreciate their work by voting.

"Thanks again to the thousands who have voted every year. We look forward to hearing from you again. Thanks everyone!"

(And HK AND CULT FILM NEWS would like to give special thanks to all of our readers for helping us to get nominated as "Best Website of 2009"!)
Share/Save/Bookmark

Carter Stevens' Guide to TCM This Week (Feb. 22-Mar. 3)

Still part of the 31 days of Oscar. Great Movie after Great Movie after Great Movie. These are just a few of them.


Feb 22

6:00pm Sunset Boulevard (1950)
A failed screenwriter falls into a mercenary romance with a faded silent-film star.
Cast: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson Dir: Billy Wilder BW-110 mins, TV-PG


One of the greatest movies about movies ever made. Miss the first 5 minutes and you are in for the biggest surprise ending you ever saw.


Feb 23


1:15am American in Paris, An (1951)
An American artist finds love in Paris but almost loses it to conflicting loyalties.
Cast: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guetary Dir: Vincente Minnelli C-114 mins, TV-PG


OK Fred Astaire was Mr. Suave, but Gene Kelly was Mr. Cool. He made dancing seem Macho.


Feb 24


10:30am Third Man, The (1949)
A man's investigation of a friend's death uncovers corruption in post-World War II Vienna.
Cast: Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard Dir: Carol Reed BW-104 mins, TV-14


If it takes you more than three notes to recognize this movie's music you're tone deaf. Orson Welles gets all the press but it's Joseph Cotton's performance (his best work short of Shadow of a Doubt ) that sells the film.

2:00pm Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)
Three prospectors fight off bandits and each other after striking-it-rich in the Mexican mountains.
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett Dir: John Huston BW-126 mins, TV-PG

The perfect film. Watch old man Huston's speech in the flop house lay out the entire film. Second only to the Maltese Falcon as my favorite film of that period and funny both were directed by the same guy.

8:00pm Diary of Anne Frank, The (1959)
A young girl comes of age while hiding from the Nazis.
Cast: Millie Perkins, Joseph Schildkraut, Shelley Winters, Richard Beymer Dir: George Stevens BW-171 mins, TV-PG


It's OK to get choked up. In fact if you don't you have no soul.


Feb 25

8:00pm Killers, The (1946)
An insurance investigator uncovers a string of crimes when he tries to find a murdered boxer's beneficiary.
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker Dir: Robert Siodmak BW-102 mins, TV-14


10:00pm Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The (1962)
An experienced gunman and a peace-loving tenderfoot clash with a Western bully.
Cast: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin Dir: John Ford BW-123 mins, TV-14


12:15am Dirty Dozen, The (1967)
A renegade officer trains a group of misfits for a crucial mission behind enemy lines.
Cast: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown Dir: Robert Aldrich C-150 mins, TV-PG


3:00am Ice Station Zebra (1968)
A sub commander on a perilous mission must ferret out a Soviet agent on his ship.
Cast: Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine, Patrick McGoohan, Jim Brown Dir: John Sturges C-152 mins, TV-PG


SHIT. There goes my whole Thursday!! OK I'll grant you Ice Station Zebra doesn't belong. It's not a great film but I saw it when it opened in Cinerama and to me it was my Avatar.


Feb 26

5:45pm Victor/Victoria (1982)
An unemployed female singer poses as a female impersonator and becomes a star.
Cast: Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston, Lesley Ann Warren Dir: Blake Edwards C-134 mins, TV-MA


Damn I miss Robert Preston. His musical number at the end would be worth sitting through the whole movie if it wasn't as good as it is. The film also showed that Blake Edwards could do more than churn out bad Pink Panther sequels.

3:00am Seconds (1966)
A bored rich man buys a new life from a secret organization.
Cast: Rock Hudson, Salome Jens, John Randolph, Will Geer Dir: John Frankenheimer BW-106 mins, TV-14


Starring Rock Hudson in one of his best roles and Uncle Johnny Randolph. (OK he wasn't my Uncle but I knew his Brother and his Niece so I still think of him as “Uncle Johnny”) one of the finest character actors to ever grace the screen.


Feb 27


8:45am Dick Tracy (1990)
The intrepid comic strip detective fights off a ruthless gangster and his seductive girlfriend.
Cast: Warren Beatty, Madonna, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman Dir: Warren Beatty C-105 mins, TV-14


A film that proves the old saying, “If you notice the Art Direction, the movie stinks.” But I can't help feeling that Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman had more fun making this picture than any other in their careers.

10:30am Manchurian Candidate, The (1962)
A Korean War hero doesn't realize he's been programmed to kill by the enemy.
Cast: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury Dir: John Frankenheimer BW-127 mins, TV-PG


Forget Murder She Wrote, the bitch could ACT. Still chilling after all these years.

2:45pm Elmer Gantry (1960)
A young drifter finds success as a traveling preacher until his past catches up with him.
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Arthur Kennedy, Dean Jagger Dir: Richard Brooks C-147 mins, TV-PG


Burt Lancaster chews the scenery but he chews it well.

8:00pm Tom Jones (1963)
In this adaptation of Henry Fielding's novel, a country boy in 18th-century England becomes a playboy.
Cast: Albert Finney, Susannah York, Hugh Griffith, Edith Evans Dir: Tony Richardson C-122 mins, TV-14


Who knew just eating a meal could be so...dirty.


Feb 28

12:00am Oliver! (1968)
Musical version of the Dickens classic about an orphan taken in by a band of boy thieves.
Cast: Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed, Harry Secombe Dir: Carol Reed C-154 mins, TV-PG


I'm reviewing the situation... and I still love both of Ron Moody's numbers. A few rough spots but all in all a great musical.


March 1

2:30am Tootsie (1982)
An unemployed actor masquerades as a woman to win a soap-opera role.
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Terry Garr, Dabney Coleman Dir: Sydney Pollack C-116 mins, TV-MA


My then girlfriend was the script girl on this picture and everyday she would come home with stories about Hoffman driving everyone crazy but obviously his method was worth it.

4:30am Little Big Man (1970)
An American pioneer raised by Indians ends up fighting alongside General Custer.
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Martin Balsam, Richard Mulligan Dir: Arthur Penn C-140 mins, TV-14


“Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn't.” This time it does.

9:30am Maltese Falcon, The (1941)
Hard-boiled detective Sam Spade gets caught up in the murderous search for a priceless statue.
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre Dir: John Huston BW-101 mins, TV-PG


My Favorite Movie. The thing Dreams are made of. If you don't love it, you have no heart, you have no soul, you have no taste, and there is no way you are reading this guide anyway.

6:00pm Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954)
When their older brother marries, six lumberjacks decide it's time to go courting for themselves.
Cast: Howard Keel, Jeff Richards, Russ Tamblyn, Tommy Rall Dir: Stanley Donen C-102 mins, TV-G


The greatest argument in favor of letter boxing ever made. The dancing is flawless, the music, not so much.

8:00pm West Side Story (1961)
A young couple from dueling street gangs falls in love.
Cast: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno Dir: Jerome Robbins C-152 mins, TV-PG


I can just picture the pitch...Let's make Romeo and Juliet into a musical. Well, Damn if it doesn't work. From the opening dance number (nothing ever better put on film) to the fade out Leonard Bernstein's music is hypnotic.


March 3


12:15am Heaven's Gate(1981)
A Wyoming sheriff tries to protect immigrant farmers from ruthless ranchers.
Cast: Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, Sam Waterson Dir: Michael Cimino C-219 mins, TV-MA


The single most beautiful outstandingly boring piece of shit ever put on film. 4 hours of my life I will never get back. Stunningly Beautiful but stunningly boring. Go out and try and get laid it will be a much better use of your time.
Share/Save/Bookmark

Sunday, February 21, 2010

THE ALCOVE -- DVD review by porfle


Prolific exploitation director Joe D'Amato, whose many films include around sixteen entries in the "Emanuelle" series with Laura Gemser, places the celebrated sex star in a unique and strange little tale with THE ALCOVE, aka L'alcova (1984). I've rarely bothered watching this kind of stuff on Cinemax or The Playboy Channel because I usually find it pretty boring, but this one's worth the effort.

In 1930s England, Alessandra (Lilli Carati) is in no hurry for her adventurer husband Elio (Al Cliver) to return from the Zulu war because she's been having a torrid lesbian affair with his assistant, Wilma (Annie Belle). When Elio does show up at last, he has a big surprise--a dark-skinned slave girl named Zerbal (Laura Gemser) given to him by a tribal chief in payment for a debt.

Hostile toward her at first, Alessandra grows increasingly attracted to, and finally obsessed with, the exotic and mysterious Zerbal. A jealous Wilma and a marginalized Elio find the ill-disguised affair intolerable, but this is nothing compared to the ultimate revenge that the devious Zerbal has planned for everyone involved.

THE ALCOVE is languidly-paced and takes some time to get into, but it caught my interest once I settled into the story. We're not given much indication at first how things will progress beyond the usual sordid domestic conflicts, until the slowly unfolding plot finally gives way to some pretty bizarre developments--including a murder plot, a surprising exchange of power, and a brutal rape caught on film for financial gain. By the time the somewhat abrupt but satisfying ending came, I felt the time I'd invested in this film to be worthwhile.


Joe D'Amato displays a pleasing directorial style and the cinematography is rather nice, especially during the many well-staged softcore sex scenes. These are quite erotic and are incorporated into the story so that they seem neither overlong nor superflous. When Elio's sensitive young son Furio (Roberto Caruso) returns home on leave from the Navy and falls in love with the older Wilma, his tentative romantic overture toward her is handled with a soft touch. The rest of the sexual encounters between Elio, Alessandra, and Zerbal, and eventually the on-camera violation, exude a sick but strangely compelling air of illicit lust and perversion.

I never found Laura Gemser all that attractive myself, but her fans should be happy to see her in such an interesting role which requires her to be naked for most of her screen time. She's very good at conveying not only Zerbal's earthy strangeness but also the growing defiance and unnerving malevolence bubbling beneath the surface. The character is memorable and Gemser makes the most of it with a subtly impressive performance.


At first, Lilli Carati didn't appeal to me all that much either, mainly due to her distasteful character, but I began to grow quite fond of seeing her lounging around naked. She does a good job in her role as does the lovely Annie Belle as Wilma, who has a very strong sexual appeal similar to that of Velma from "Scooby-Doo." Despite her faults, she was the one character besides Furio that I had any sympathy for. As the husband, Al Cliver mercifully remains clothed throughout his well-modulated performance, expressing Elio's growing detachment, jaded decadence, and casual moral corruption.

The DVD from Severin Films presents the film in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital mono. Print quality is mostly good and the English dubbing isn't too bad. Extras include a trailer and a jovial ten-minute interview with D'Amato, who's fun to listen to even though his English is rather hard to decipher.

With its fairly opulent locations, above-average production values, and convincing period atmosphere, THE ALCOVE is a pleasantly perverse exercise in refined art-house sleaze. Stick with the slow-fuse plot and its numerous sexual diversions and you may find the startling ending to be as memorable as I did. Oh yeah, and if you figure out what an "alcove" has to do with any of it, let me know.

Buy it at Amazon.com

Share/Save/Bookmark

Friday, February 19, 2010

See Cannibal Holocaust in NYC TONIGHT (2/19) in Theaters from Grindhouse Releasing

Cannibal Holocaust Midnight Tonight!
CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST
Landmark's Sunshine Cinema
143 East Houston Street
New York, NY

You can buy tickets online at the Landmark's Website.

Share/Save/Bookmark

"EX DRUMMER" and "9 SONGS" Coming April-May From Palisades Tartan DVD


Punk Rocks and Shocks--Palisades Tartan’s EX DRUMMER in stores April, 20th 2010


“...an underground classic”
-Ted Fry, Seattle Times

“We have just been introduced to a fierce
and uncompromising new talent.
-Todd Brown, Twitch Films

“Quite a good first feature…. And it's funny”
“The film has a great soundtrack”
-Ain’t It Cool News

LOS ANGELES — Feb. 16, 2010 — For Immediate Release — Dubbed “A thoroughly offensive and often hilarious punk requiem,” by the Seattle Times and fresh off of its limited Stateside theatrical run, Koen Mortier’s EX DRUMMER will hit dvd shelves April 20th, courtesy of Palisades Tartan.

Every village has its band of fools, trying to get to the top, following their idols in drug habits, but staying losers till the end of their pathetic days. They all do this in the name of rock & roll. In this film, three disabled rock musicians are looking for a drummer. Dries, a well known writer, seems the right guy for the job, were it not for the fact that his only handicap is that he can’t play the drums. He joins the group as a perfect, but evil god walking down his mountain to play with the populace. With the arrival of this infiltrator, personal disputes and family feuds start to jeopardize the band’s fragile future. Dries will manipulate them till they are willing to drink each others blood and their only future is written down in many Punk lyrics: “No Future”.


EX DRUMMER played at over 29 different film festivals and collected numerous awards along the way, including Winner, Gold jury prize for Best First Feature - Montréal Festival Fantasia (2008), Winner, Jury Prize, Best First Feature, Raindance Film Festival (2007), Winner, Special Jury Award, Warsaw Film Festival (2007) and Winner, Audience Award, Fantasy FilmFest (2007).

Belgian with English subtitles, EX DRUMMER is presented in Anamorphic Widescreen, with Stereo Sound. Special DVD features include, Making-Of Documentary, Interview with the Director, Choosing Weapons Featurette, Choosing Costumes Featurette and the French Theatrical trailer.

EX DRUMMER
Palisades Tartan
Genre: Action/Foreign
Rating: Not Rated (Special Features Not Rated/Subject to Change)
Language: Black Comedy/Drama (English Subtitles)
Format: DVD
Running Time: Approx 104 Minutes (Plus Special Features)
Suggested Retail Price: $ 19.93
Pre-Order Date: 3/16/10
Street Date: 4/20/10
Catalog #: TVD2060
UPC Code: 842498000175


69 Minutes of Sex & Rock ‘n’ Roll--Two Lovers, One Summer, Nine Songs

Palisades Tartan’s 9 Songs, Featuring Live Performances by Eight of Today’s Top Alternative Rock Bands Available on Blu-ray May 18th

“ (four stars) ”
Film Review

“An audacious and deeply moving work.”
Daily Telegraph

“Hard-core.”
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“Non-stop sex romp.”
John Anderson, Newsday

“Psychologically acute, ultimately poignant and loaded with great concert footage.”
Karen Durbin, Elle

“Obliterating a century of cinematic sexual conventions.”
Playboy

“A touching, often poetic, sometimes achingly real snapshot of a brief encounter
almost entirely through the bedroom.”
Derek Elley, Variety

LOS ANGELES – Feb. 16, 2010 – For Immediate Release – From award-winning director Michael Winterbottom (A MIGHTY HEART, A COCK AND BULL STORY, CODE 46) comes the sexually charged, critically acclaimed 9 SONGS, featuring live performances by eight of today’s top alternative rock bands and available on Blu-ray DVD May 18th, 2010.

Available in an “Unrated Full Uncut Version” (theatrical version) 9 SONGS charts the depths of sexuality and music in one relationship and how they are forever intertwined. Featuring live performances by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Von Bondies, Elbow, Primal Scream, The Dandy Warhols, Super Furry Animals, Franz Ferdinand and Michael Nyman.

In 9 SONGS, Kieran O’Brien, (24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE, HBO’S BAND OF BROTHERS) meets Lisa (Margo Stilley in her feature film debut) during a mobbed rock concert at London's Brixton Academy, they are in bed together by night's end. Over the next few months, their growing sexual passion is balanced only by their love of music and the concerts they attend.


Premiered at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, 9 SONGS is winner of the “Best Cinematography” award at the 2005 San Sebastián International Film Festival.

9 SONGS is presented in anamorphic widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and DTS Surround Sound 5.1. Special DVD features include behind-the-scenes footage featuring the bands of 9 SONGS; concert-only performance option; interviews with cast and crew; original theatrical trailer; and trailers of Palisades Tartan’s upcoming releases.

9 SONGS
Palisades Tartan
Genre: Drama
Rating: Unrated (Special Features Not Rated/Subject to Change)
Language: English
Format: Blu-ray DVD
Running Time: Approx (Plus Special Features)
Suggested Retail Price: $ 24.97
Pre-Order Date: 4/13/10
Street Date: 5/18/10
Catalog #: TVD6007
UPC Code: 842498000182

Tartan Films was originally founded in 1984 in the UK and is credited with bringing Asian Extreme film to the West as well as some of the most compelling art house films of the last quarter century. In May 2008, Palisades Pictures acquired Tartan Films US library assets and two months later, acquired a majority of Tartan Films UK’s 400+ film library assets. The new company Palisades Tartan has operations both nationally and internationally. Palisades Tartan will continue to expand an already distinctive and provocative slate of films by focusing on quality film acquisitions, thus significantly increasing the size of their overall library in both territories. Palisades Pictures and its parent company Palisades Media Corp is a prestigious financier of print & advertising for the independent film market. Together with its affiliate, Palisades Media Asset Fund, Palisades has securitized and financed more than 550 films.
www.PalisadesTartan.com
Share/Save/Bookmark

MyDamnChannel Presents "The Iceman Chronicles"



"Like 'Twin Peaks,' with more murder."

Vampires aren’t real, but serial killers are. Follow “The Iceman Chronicles” on MyDamnChannel to experience the comedic chiller you’ve been waiting for. In true “Twin Peaks” style, “The Iceman Chronicles” documents the life of small town veterinarian Russel Coldpalm as he strives to uncover the mystery of a local serial killer, The Iceman.

In Episode #1, a shadowy figure eliminates his accomplice, drawing the town coroner/veterinarian, Russell Coldpalm, into a baffling murder investigation.

Brought to you by Drama 3/4, the same team behind the “Breaking Bad” minisodes and “Burn Notice” shorts, “The Iceman Chronicles” is the first in a series of acquisitions and co-productions between 15 Gigs and MyDamnChannel that brings more quality, original content to the web. Expect more from the partnership in the coming months.

Watch the trailer here.
Share/Save/Bookmark

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Shiren the Wanderer" For Wii Wanders Into Retailers Across North America


From Atlus:
IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- FEBRUARY 16, 2010 -- Atlus U.S.A., Inc. today announced that Shiren the Wanderer™ for Wii™, the new entry in the long heralded Shiren series, is now available in retailers across North America. This new chapter in the legendary franchise stands as one of the most addictive, highly rewarding, and endlessly replayable games available on the platform, not to mention the most accessible Shiren game yet.

With more emphasis on story than practically any other game of its type, Shiren the Wanderer also stands as one of the more captivating narrative-driven roleplaying games in recent memory. A wealth of authentic Japanese history and mythology, an assortment of mystical beasts to encounter and defeat, a cast of colorful characters to interact with, and novel time-travel elements all translate into an epic adventure for Wii owners. Those who complete the game will be treated to post-game content that offers significantly more gameplay and increased challenge, making Shiren the Wanderer a great value as well!

Shiren the Wanderer for Wii is now available in stores across North America!

For more information about post-game content, check out the final entry in the official Shiren the Wanderer Blog HERE.


About Shiren the Wanderer
For a thousand years, a princess has slept inside the Karakuri Mansion. When Shiren's former master bestows upon him the Karakuri key, he quickly finds himself entangled in a millennium-old mystery, wandering through past and present to unravel the story of the girl and vanquish an ancient, lurking evil...

Key Features
Epic adventure in feudal Japan -- As the wandering samurai Shiren, you will explore a vision of historic Japan that is beautiful and vibrant. An epic story that begins 1000 years prior takes you through villages and dungeons and places you alongside figures straight out of Japanese mythology.
Variable challenge -- A brand new easy mode lets even newcomers to the genre find a foothold while experienced players will find a more rigorous challenge in Normal mode. Post-game activities will test the most advanced gamer with additional quests, super dungeons, a tournament, and the "ultimate challenge"-the Millennium Dungeon, a pain-staking 1,000 floor dungeon crawl.
Challenging depth and strategy -- Control your time in the dungeons down to the details. Choose direct control over your party members or take advantage of the excellent AI that lets you specify attitude and tendency. Power up equipment through the new Dragon Orb system, and imbue them with special abilities via more than 100 Seals. New Spells allow targeted casting of effects on enemies.

Shiren the Wanderer has been rated "T" for Teen with Alcohol Reference, Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, and Mild Suggestive Themes by the ESRB.

Share/Save/Bookmark

Atlus Releases Fourth Trauma Team Walkthrough Video, "Forensics"


From Atlus:
The fourth entry in the Trauma Team video walkthrough series is here: Forensics! Along with the Diagnosis mode, one of the final two entries in the video series, Forensics represents the most dramatic departure from earlier games in the franchise; you're not dealing with a patient, but rather, a victim. It's more the search for truth and justice that drives you than a race against the clock.

Click HERE to watch the video!

For more info, visit the game's official website!
Share/Save/Bookmark

Resident Evil 5: LOST IN NIGHTMARES Now Available for Download


From Capcom Entertainment:
The fear that we all have been waiting for is finally here! Capcom is pleased to announce the first downloadable episode for Resident Evil 5, “ LOST IN NIGHTMARES” is available today on Xbox Live and will be made available on PlayStation Network tomorrow, February 18.

B.S.A.A. agents, Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine have tracked down the location of Umbrella founder Ozwell E. Spencer’s mansion. Previously only told through cut scenes in Resident Evil 5, players now can experience the events that lead up to Jill’s “death”.


Not only is there a new episode but new playable characters are available for THE MERCENARIES REUNION. Consumers who download “LOST IN NIGHTMARES” will receive Excella Gionne and Barry Burton included as part of their download. Each character has their own unique weapon load outs, providing players with additional challenges as they shoot down as many enemies as they can within the time limit.

RE5’s second DLC episode “DESPERATE ESCAPE,” will be available on March 3 for Xbox Live Arcade and March 4 for PlayStation Network. RESIDENT EVIL 5: GOLD EDITION , available March 9, will include the original Resident Evil 5 game plus all downloadable content on a single Blu-Ray disk for PS3, and the original Resident Evil 5 plus a token for the downloads.

Share/Save/Bookmark

MotoGP 09/10 Races To PS3 And Xbox 360 On March 16 In North America


From Capcom Entertainment:
We’re pleased to confirm that MotoGP 09/10 will be released for both PS3 and Xbox 360 on March 16 in North America . Players will also be able to update the game with all the 2010 season content, including all new tracks, team updates, and new bike classes, shortly after launch for free of charge.

MotoGP 09/10 delivers the most definitive game of the MotoGP series yet. For the first time in console racing history, players will be able to compete against 20 players across the globe in an online racing experience.

The robust online mode will give gamers the chance to vote for the circuit, bike class, and number of laps before they take to the track and compete in an online Arcade race or Career mode championship. Once the race comes to an end it’s over to the online leaderboards to see where you rank against the rest of the world. Not only will you find competitors’ lap times but the option to upload and download racing ghosts and riding lines, which will help you compete against the very best or for those new to the series learn the skills they need to race to the top of the leaderboards.

MotoGP 09/10 will be released in North America on March 16. The official Moto GP 09/10 demo will be released before launch on PSN and XBLA.

For more information, check out the blog here.

Share/Save/Bookmark