Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Married A Witch!

I Married A Witch!:
Or Veronica Lake Is The Hottest Witch Ever

I haven't dug into the past of Hollywood much lately, and I felt today was as good a day as any to do so, after all, I happened to catch this one on television recently and fell in love with it all over again. Plus, its the movie that the classic television series Bewitched is based on. For those of you that haven't really seen or heard of this film, well then, shame on you, to often is Veronica Lake, the original bombshell, overshadowed by hotness-come-laters like Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Diana Dors and Jane Mansfield and the like, both in her impact and importance to pop culture, and as well as her importance to film and hollywood in general. And though one can argue that like those that came after her, one could argue that most of Veronica's work was simply to just get an insanely hot woman on camera in vamp like roles just to draw in the theater-goers, but not so much with this film. I Married A Witch! stands out as possibly the funniest and most endearing of her many roles, or atleast the one she had the most fun doing.

The film itself, starts off in late 1600s Salem Massachusetts, during the Salem Witch trials, young puritan Jennifer and her father Danial are accused of being witches by local man Jonathan Wooley, and are then burned at the stake, as was the style of dealing with witches at the time, for they had not yet discovered the sexy witch outfit that has saved many a modern witch and goth girl from being burned at the stake in modern times. As they burn, it turns out Jennifer and her father were infact witches, and as she burns at the stake, Jennifer curses Wooley's family, claiming that every single man from now until the end of time, will be doomed to marry the wrong woman and never be happy. After this, the ashes of Jennifer and her father are scattered at the tree they were burned infront of, as to lock them in the tree forever. No idea how that works, but its the 1940s, so they knew no better, hell the general population of the world, like juggalos, didn't know how magnets worked back then, interestingly enough also like juggalos, the general population in the 1940s also believed that sex was a sin but having a friend that was black or hispanic was an even greater sin, but asians are ok because asian women are hot. Also, no one ever seems to mention that using witchcraft to bond souls to a tree, even if for god, is still witchcraft either.

Eventually, they show time go on, and all the Wooley men, all played by the same guy btw, living in bad marriage after bad marriage, doomed to forever be unhappy in love and in life, all because some idiot hundreds of years ago accused a hot goth chick and her dad of being witches and now everyone of them has to suffer for it, even if its not their fault. As luck would have it, in 1942, lightening strikes the tree where Jennifer and her father Danial's souls were trapped., splitting the track in two and somehow freeing the two witches souls, who as I'm sure you can guess, are pretty pissed off at the fact they were burned at the stake for being witches, and then had witchcraft used on them, in the name of god, to lock their souls in a god damn tree for all of time. They appear as little balls of smoke that float about observing the new world, even hiding inside more then afew bottles of booze, much to hilarious extent. Eventually they discover that there is a Wooley man living near by, and discover that he is running for governor of Massachusetts, and is about to marry the daughter of his biggest money contributor, whom he doesn't care at all for, but feels that its best for his career. Jennifer, having been locked up inside of a tree decides to instead of letting the nature of the curse she put on the Wooley men take its course, she wants to stick it to the family abit extra this time now that she's free of the tree, her father Danial, happily agrees and sets about gathering the stuff needed to give Jennifer a body, so she can go about doing evil, because its alot better doing evil in a body then to do evil as a cute little ball of smoke. From there, the basic romantic comedy plot takes over, Jennifer meets the current Mr. Wooley and she finds a way into his heart and makes him love her 1940s style, she as well falls in love with him 1940s style, and in the end, though trials and tribulations and normal every day romantic comedy stuff, which ofcourse leads to the eventual realization, "Love is stronger then witchcraft".

The plot and concept might seem simplistic and abit goofy by today's standards, but you have to remember, in 1942, this had never been done before, in a sense, this was one of, if not the first romantic comedy, and still one of the best I think. The great Veronica Lake shines while keeping her trademark bombshell appearance, and adding alittle bit of campy fun to it, the image of her in the witch hat is one of the most iconic images of Veronica from her entire career. Under-rated character actor Fredric March, most known for playing Death in "Death Takes A Holiday" the film "Meet Joe Black" is a remake of, plays every male member of the Wooley family rather well, they don't at all look like just the same guy wearing different clothing, for the short time you see each of them they are unique and different then the one before, thats a detail trait that is so refreshing to see, even if it was in a film thats the same age as most of the people that watch The History Channel. The rest of the cast shines as well, even right down to the goofy ending. Its easy to tell after watching it, how it evolved into Bewitched, it ends leaving you wondering what happens next, and I guess a logical answer would be to do a tv show along the same lines. So, if you get a chance, and you wanna see a nice throwback to the days of old school hollywood, then please, give this gem a look.

here is the trailer...



Sunday, February 6, 2011

Good Bye To A Goddess: Tura Satana

Good Bye Tura Satana:
A Memorial To One Of The Greatest
Goddesses Of The Grindhouse Era

On February 4th, 2011, the world got alittle less awesome, for you see, the great Tura Satana passed away. Tura might not jump to mind right away for most, but to those of us in Grindhouse know her well. Tura Satana was, for those who aren't aware, the star of such films as "Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!" and "Astro-Zombie" and to fans of Rob Zombie's films, she was Varla in "The Haunted World of El Superbeasto". Tura was not really in many films, less then 15 total, but like my dear friend Maila Nurmi, it wasn't the amount of films you were in, it was the iconic presence you brought to the few films you were in.

I mention Tura Satana being alot like Maila Nurmi, and in an eerie sense she was, where Maila had a short but memorable career followed by life in the everyday world, which near the end embracing the cult fandom that deems them a goddess of film and culture. Serious, its weird, where Maila dated and almost married James Dean, Tura Satana dated Elvis Presley for along while and turned down his offer of marriage. Tura worked before acting as a Burlesque dancer, she had many cameos and short appearances in films as a dancer, as well as having a popular burlesque style show she did in Hollywood, gaining her, among other bits of acclaim, a mention by William Hanna (of Hanna-Barbara Cartoons) as his favorite "unclothed dancer of all time" where he wrote that her figure and facial features made her "the ultimate woman, who is well aware of how to use her body.", even while she was acting in films, Tura continued her dancing, claiming it was her real first love. Tura's acting career was tragically cut short though, while working on The Doll Squad in 1973, Tura was shot by a former, jealous, mentally unstable lover who had become obsessed with her and refused to let her go.

After that shot, Tura believed her acting career over. She still danced for awhile, but also took a job as a nurse at a hospital, which she kept for many years, she then would spend many years working as a dispatcher for the Los Angeles Police Department, where she she worked until 1981, when a car accident damaged her back and caused her to be in and out of hospitals for 2 years having two major surgeries and 15 minor ones, she also met her late husband while working there, they were married until her husband's death in 2000. It wasn't until around 2004 or so, that Tura realized, and then embraced the fact that film lovers on the internet were still raving about her and her small body of work, up until the day she died of heart failure last week, Tura spent alot of her time at grindhouse film festivals, and conventions like ComiCon and such where you find many a former star signing and interacting with the fans. Tura was said to state many times that once she was aware of her fanbase, she realized how much she was loved and how much impact her work and legacy had on the world of film. "I never dreamed that being a high class stripper who acted because Russ Meyer liked my tits would have gained me so many fans, even all these years later. Its an amazing feeling." she would say.

Tura Satana died of heart failure on Febuary 4th, in Reno Nevada, she was 72, and will be very missed... And now, as I tend to do, I'd like to give you all afew images of Tura in her hayday, as a tribute to a great person whom I will not soon forget... Whereever you end up Tura, be it heaven or hell, I know you'll be kicking ass and taking names. Rest in peace.

gonna miss ya darlin...



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mr. Collins Explains Twilight

Mr. Collins Explains Twilight:
A Realist's Look At How Stephenie Meyer Destroyed
Iconic Classic Horror Archtypes For Us All

I was inspired to write this while watching "Vampires Suck" the other day, and though it does an alright job spoofing what is possibly the worst movie series sense they thought it was a good idea to make more then one Weekend At Bernie's film, I felt in what seemed like their rushing to get it out while it was still topical, they pulled alot of punches and fell abit short of actually making true fun of this film series. So I thought, in the spirit of all that is fun and truthful, and the fact that I'm snowed in at the moment, oh, and for the good of the world, I would explain to those of you who either have avoided, or are clueless to all things Twihard, the ins and outs of the series that according to Ms. Kayla Patterson of Santa Barbra California, is the creation of vampires and werewolves, you know, because those hundreds of years of folklore and literature before the first Twilight book was published, never happened, and everyone knows Stephenie Meyer created vampires and werewolves, zomg for serious, how can you not know that?? .... god I wish I was making that up.. I really wish I was, so help me, I wish I was. I fear for the future.

So I guess the best way to start this out is to sort of deal with the elephant in the room, which is ofcourse the most asked question about the series; "Whats the point of it all?" And well thats pretty simple. Publishers know that angsty tween and teenage girls, milfs, cougars and middle aged women that aren't married and don't have massive collections of living cats or teddybears or living cats dressed as teddybears, all like a good mediocrely written bit of emotional wank material. To publishers, this kind of drivel pays the bills and puts their kids through whatever community college they're going too till their parents hand them a publishing company. Publishers don't care about prestige of honored and celebrated authors anymore, they just care about making money. Twilight and its following books were published for the same reason John Grisham keeps writing the same novel over and over again for about 20 years, because publishers know it'll make money. Lots and lots of money. After all thats all that matters, like Wu-Tang Clan said Cash Rules Everything Around Me, get the money, dollar dollar bill y'all.

No one is really sure why the target demographics felt the need to make the twilight series so popular, maybe its because deep down, every woman in the demographics want to live out their fantasy where they turn their gay BBF straight and they take them to the prom and get married and buy them a pony and have little babies and a misbehaving puppy that stays in the yard. Maybe they all deep down want to have fatalistic relationships that deep down they know are doomed to end in ruins, but somehow magically don't. Or maybe its the other reason, the one reason that no one ever really wants to think about, the fact that deep down, all its readers wish nothing more then to be treated like shit by two hot guys with mental and social issues, apparently its every woman's secret dream to be in a lovelorn and love torn story of courting between two lovers who both love the same woman, one who is mentally abusive and loves to toy with a woman's feelings and emotions, which is ok because he's a loner with a deep soul, and the other is a physically abusive douchebag who is prone to fits of rage, anger and violence at time, but its ok because deep down he really cares about her.

Seriously does this shit read like a lifetime original movie or what? Honestly, all it needs is a rape, kidnapped children or the woman or her kids being held against their will somewhere, and either star the mom from Growing Pains, Valerie Bertanderny, or Meredith Baxter Bernie, and its a lifetime original movie, just with alittle sci fi, you know, because chicks dig vampires and werewolves, or whatever the hell kind of Furry that Vincent from Beauty and The Beast was.

Its not just the hacked together and horribly written and plotted story that makes these films and the books that spawned them so unbearable, its the characters, I mean honestly, betwixt their lazily created names, and fanfiction like backgrounds that would make a guy that writes serious Smurf fanfiction cry in pain at how horrible and angsty they are to get through. Here, take a look at the three main characters to see what I mean...

Bella Swan:

"I've never given much thought to how I would die. But dying in the place of someone I love seemed like a good way to go." - the first quote of Bella from Twilight, yes even the first page is angsty.

Bella is basically your average lonely misunderstood girl who is misunderstood and lonely because she's misunderstood. Chances are she spends her free time that doesn't involve being stalked by faux-werewolves and vampires who watch her sleep, watching Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and probably downloads episodes of Hollyoaks, Shortland Street and Packed To The Rafters because she just needs more angst in her life. When she's not being an angst magnet or dreaming about creatures of the night taking her to the prom and buying her a pony, a castle and a Mazda Miata, she probably spends her time listening to My Chemical Romance, Echo And The Bunny-men, and her secret love, Kraftwerk, some of her angst comes from not being able to tell her friends of her secret love of German industrial/techno for fear she'll be kicked out of the fake wiccan coven the goth kids accepted her into after she drank that tomato juice they claimed was blood.

Bella is your basic idiot emokid thats emo for no reason at all. She has a good life with a father that might have made alot of mistakes, is attempting to try and make up for it, even if he buys her a shitty old truck he got from local indians that fixed it up when they weren't gambling or guilting white people about things that happened a hundred years before any of them was ever born and shouldn't really have any baring on modern society, but atleast he's trying to bridge the gap. Bella's just an emokid and wants to feel depressed because people notice the depressed girl, they don't notice the girl that is devoid of all personality and social skills doodling things in her notebooks like "I heart Vlad Teppes" where in closer inspection you find out Vlad Teppes is her cat or some other wanna be emo/goth shit. Bella, like every other emogirl like her that doesn't slut it up with pleather, corsets and kneeboots and the like, has no real idea what relationships are ment to be like, and she, ofcourse gets herself stuck in a love triangle between two abusive teenage boys, who are damaging in different ways, something Bella doesn't mind because it really just feeds her angsty angstastic angstarific angst, which is really all Bella's got going for her. She's kind of like Keira "skinnypants" Knightly in that respect, just with big girl boobs, not a training set like Keira has.

Edward Cullen:

"I'm the world's most dangerous predator. Everything about me invites you in. My voice, my face, even my smell. As if I would need any of that. As if you could outrun me. As if you could fight me off. I'm designed to kill."

If that quote didn't atleast wound you with its attack of emo and angst, then you are a more powerful person then I am. Seriously, if you thought Bella was angsty with all her angst and depression and super mega ultra angst, then wait till you see Edward, the main "hero" of the books and the films and spends 90% of the first three books in the series in a fight to the death turned bromantic relationship with Jacob Black, his rival for Bella's one dimensional soulless version of "love". Edward is your basic post Anne Rice vampire who instead of being the ultimate in predatory creatures of the night, has been turned into what basically counts as every girl's gay best friend thats still hot enough to allow for girls to dream about him going straight for them, except instead of how a gay best friend has to struggle with their constant unending love of the cock, Edward must struggle with his eternal thirst is for human blood.... and his unending love of the cock. In a sense he's a female masturbatory aid if you're into dark loner types who chances are have an ipod full of Atrayu, Fall Out Boy and Hawthorne Heights.

I feel at this point I should mention that though he shares the many traits of post Dark Shadows movie and television vampires; being able to be outside in the daylight, ice cold skin that no one seems to mind for some odd reason, special powers, mood swings caused by a desire to be human again so you an feel emotions, depression caused by having everything you could ever want except "true love", caring about the innermost feelings of depressive lonely girls, ect, with Edward its taken one step farther away from the ultimate apex predator, and pushed closer to wacky gay sidekick by making him sparkle in the sunlight. Yes, you read that correctly, apparently now vampires sparkle in the sunlight, which not only makes them easier for vampire hunters and snipers to find, but it makes them as threatening and scary as your average one hit wonder rapper. Yeah, thats right, as far as vampires go, Edward Cullen is about as scary as Count Chocula and Count Von Count. Though to be fair, among vampires Count Chocula is seen as kind of an Uncle Tom, so I guess that really isn't a good reference point, but whatever, you get the idea.

Jacob Black:

"I know how you're unhappy a lot. And, maybe it doesn't help anything, but I wanted you to know that I'm always here. I won't ever let you down. I promise that you can always count on me."

If you haven't figured it out by now Jacob Black is kind of creepy. He's a werewolf thats not really a werewolf in a pack of not really werewolves who just act like werewolves because they're native american and can get away with odd shit like that because they're native american. Jacob in the books and films is kind of like a puppy, not the cute take them to the park and pick up girls kind of puppy, the kind that when you leave for work gets mad and rips up your couch and shits on your bed out of anger that you had the nerve to leave them for any length of time, kind of puppy. He is constantly trying to get Bella to notice him as more then just a friend, which accounts for why his shirt is off 90% of the entire film series, though its best to forget about his "pack" which are all just creepy dead eyed guys with the same build as Jacob and the same weird need to be shirtless, maybe its a not really a werewolf even though we act like werewolves thing...

Jacob is the character that really makes me laugh the most out of this whole horrible series, really he is, Jacob spends the better part of the books and films stuck in Bella's Friendzone until he becomes a wolf and then forgets how to wear a shirt, it speaks volumes about him and about Bella when you realize that the only reason she even gives this guy any notice is because he goes from dorky loser to that teenage boy that cleans your parents pool and does their lawn work every summer that you find out years later was having sex with all the hot housewives in the neighborhood. It basically says that Bella's kind of shallow abit because she didn't notice the idiot till he took his shirt off to show her that he had a six pack and a VIP ticket for her to the gun show. Now this might seem kind of cute and all, but you have to understand one thing, Jacob Black is wolfshit crazy and violent beyond what you'd expect in a book turned film series like this. All of his lines are either super creepy stalker lines to Bella or lines to Edward about how he's going to kill him in a jealous rage, even after him and Edward start their bromantic relationship. In a sense, Jacob is every girl's exboyfriend turned stalker that used to knock them around abit. And he serves as the female masturbatory aid for those women that like it rough or dangerous, or have a thing for the teenage boy that cleans pools in your neighborhood, who probably has an ipod full of thrash and death metal that he likes to play when he's doing the hot lady across the street, or smacking a girl around for not doing what he says. Because you know, thats how he rolls.

And thats basically all you need to know about who's who and what goes on in Twilight, oh sure I could go into depth about how silly the plot is in general, how its so predictable that Edward takes Bella to the prom and they become Prom King and Queen, and how they get all angsty about sex, and how they get vampire married and have a vampire baby and how Bella becomes a vampire, and all the idiotic angry stuff Jacob does, and just the general wrongness of all the things the films teach the youth of america and the world, but so many have covered that already, and really, I just wanted to make fun of something cuz I'm snowed in at the moment. And well I've done that! So, I hope you all have enjoyed my lampooning of this global juggernaut that really shouldn't be, as much as I enjoyed writing it. So, until next we meet, blessid be.

Oh and also, one last thing, Team Belmont (the vampire/werewolf/monster hunters from the castlevania video games) for the win!