Like a lot of genre film fans, I grew up on a steady diet of Famous Monsters magazines, delighting in its coverage of new creature features, its exhumation of the creepy classics, and its cracked, pun-filled sense of humor.
The mag was indelibly stamped with the personality of its owner and founded, Forrest J. Ackerman.
Sadly, “Uncle Forry” as he was known to you, me and everyone who loves sci-fi, horror and fantasy films, passed away today, aged 92.
A one of a kind of film which explained why you must not sell your house fast unless it's the last resort.
Forry not only discovered genre giant Ray Bradbury, he also famously coined the term “sci-fi”.
And his astounding collection of movie memorabilia, which included the cape worn by Bela Lugosi in 1931’s Dracula, was a source of wonder to the thousands he let into his house each Saturday.
Forry will be missed and I look forward to the tributes in coming days from the generations he’s influenced.
There’s one person in Australia more fascinated than I am by the one-man freak show that is Uwe Boll and that’s Leslie Morris, web-master extraordinaire of B-Movie News, an excellent and entertaining source of news and views on all matter of past and present schlock.
And today Les presents a comprehensive account of every move Uwe’s making moofie wise. It’s more than enough to whet your appetite for destruction.
Check it out at here
And bookmark the site!
From mid 2007 to mid 2008, while I had the smallest blip of TV celebrity as co-host of The Movie Show, I got to review a lot of terrific films, far too many so-so ones and a few which were positively painful to sit through, even for me, then mired in a bad movie per day.
Most of that period’s turkeys - I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry, 30 Days Of Night, Eagle Vs Shark – were roundly panned by other critics. But only one was praised to the hosannas by virtually every reviewer except yours truly – and that film was Flight Of The Red Balloon. My producer on The Movie Show loved it so much she strongly suggested I revise my review, tone it down, lest I come off as something of an uncultured douchebag. I refused, and to her credit she let me present my review as I saw fit.
Here it is. (Apologies that the sound’s a bit out of sync).
I recently visited New York (which is why updates have been infrequent - apologies, again) and while there was fortunate enough to have lunch with screenwriting guru Robert McKee. We had a terrific meal on the Upper East Side and discussed everything that’s right (not enough) and wrong (much too much) with movies today. Mid-way through dessert, I popped my usual question - “What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?”
McKee loved the question but said he’d need to think about it and he’d send me an email with his answer. A few days later he did - and when it arrived I laughed so hard I nearly fell off my chair.
“After a very painful search of repressed memories of bad films I have settled on THE FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON (2007), written and directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou,” he wrote. “Remakes are always suspect, but this was dreadful in all new ways. It’s only saving grace was the casting of Juliette Binoche whose occasional smile prevented mass suicide in the audience.”
Needless to say, I will feel a bond with McKee till the day I die.
Paul Proulx, known on youtube at sbarringer82, is a friend of Schlock and an amazingly talented editor. “Montage artist genius” might be a better way to put it. Check out what he’s done with Manos: The Hands Of Fate, which is one of my favorite, tripped-out Z-movies. And then check out Paul’s other montages at Bennett Media.
Hours of spine-tingling entertainment guaranteed!
Paul has embarked on a collaborative project to mash-up other worst-ever movies. Can’t wait to see the results. And if you think you’ve got one in you, get busy!
Next week Sydney will be graced by a visit from Australia’s leading curator of super-schlock, Andrew Leavold, direct from Brisbane’s Trash Video.
Leavold is bringing the goods to the Mu-Meson archives over two nights.
The first, on Thursday 25th of October, sees him present Bamboo Gods And Bionic Boys: The Wild World of Philippnes Genre Cinema.
The very funny Leavold will do live narration of the South-East Asian nation’s craziest cinematic moments.
“Bamboo Gods is a comprehensive overview of the most outrageous moments from the Philippines prolific B-film industry,” says Leavold. “It’s a mutant stew of Hollywood
genres, crazed local folk tales and just plain bizarre ideas about what constitutes ‘entertainment’!
Leavold will also show a sneak peek of his forthcoming documentary The Search For Weng Weng.
I’ve seen a cut of it and it is Dyn-O-Mite. Searing, funny, distressing, obsessive – everything cinema should be.
Leavold’s journey to discover the truth about Weng Weng, the 2’9” midget James Bond is amazing, having taken him across the world numerous times, to the seediest dives imaginable, and into hanging with fellow Weng Weng obsessive Will I Am.
The next night, Friday October 26, Leavold will present a Filipino Grindhouse double.
First up is W Is War, made in 1983.
“It’s possibly the most outrageous, if only entry in the Gay Post-Apocalypse – “Gaypocalypse” – genre from veteran cheesemonger Willy Milan,” laughs Leavold.
“Imagine an unnatural wedding of Death Wish and Mad Max 2 as undercover cop Ally- aka W2 - is neutered by a futuristic, Satanic and very non-hetero biker gang. Unable to pleasure his now-promiscuous wife, he embarks on a revenge spree against the eeeeevil Nesfero’s gang - in a souped-up penis subsititute!
Following the gaypocalypse, fans can see 1982’s D’Wild Wild Weng.
“This is Weng Weng’s third and rarest starring role as ‘Mr Weng’, a government agent sent to troubled Santa Monica to rescue the townsfolk from the corrupt new Mayor. It’s a midget Filipino western, with everyone in Mexican mustaches and sombreros!”
For tickets and times click here.
I’m writing a 2009 movie forecast for FHM at the moment. All the usual suspects - Avatar, Terminator: Salvation, Inglorious Bastards. But the inclusion of Arnold Vosloo in G.I. Joe - you may remember him as the Mummy in, um, The Mummy - led me to wonder what else he’s up to. And that led me to…
Set for release in April next year, it also stars James Bond and the President from 24. I’m calling it as the Beverly Hills Chihuaha of 2009. By which, I’m saying it’ll be the crap-sounding movie everyone will be hating on but that kids will flock to see.
IMDB reports the premise as: “A New York girl befriends Gogo, the world’s only living albino gorilla. Through sign language they communicate and bond, and their ensuing trans-African quest to return Gogo to the wild puts ruthless poachers, determined CNN reporters, and one very concerned parent on their tail.”
As for the title, did the producers realize that, according to the Urban Dictionary, it’s slang for a big-ass white man… and worse, much worse?
Gogo will be played by primate specialist Peter Elliott, who last did monkey wrangling for Uwe Boll in In The Name Of The King and who also played the greatest ape of all in the absolutely atrocious 1986 sequel King Kong Lives. And oddly both Vanilla Gorilla and King Kong Lives share a monkey Michelangelo “sometimes when we touch” vibe to their posters.
After the surprise of BHC, I’m not pre-judging Vanilla Gorilla, but I have to say the honky-ape premise reminds me of this 1945 schlocker White Pongo.
If you have an hour to kill, you can watch the whole movie - legally - after the jump.
It’s perhaps outside the purview of Schlock Around The Clock but because it involves an A-list actress appropriating “goop”, something that should only be found dripping from the mandible of a B-grade monster, I just had to comment.
For a decade I was a staunch supporter of Gwyneth Paltrow. I think she’s an excellent performer who choses interesting films and is a classic and classy beauty. So enamored was I that I defended her right to wear candy-cane pink dresses to the Oscars, melt-down at the podium, name her kids after fruit and Old Testament dudes, and make the occasional turkey like View From The Top or Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow.
But I knew she was in trouble when she starting hanging out with Madonna.
The final straw was Goop, the website she launched a week ago in what seems a bizarre attempt to bestow her hard-won lifestyle advice on us, the unwashed masses.
I thought - hoped - it was some sort of elaborate hoax on the part of GP. That’s because you’d be hard-pressed to write a better parody of a celebrity disappearing into his or her well-nourished “inner aspect”.
So I signed up for the newsletter and waited. This morning the first edition arrived in my inbox and sadly there is no punchline – no irony, man – from the Iron Man starlet.
E-Goop is a series of Gwynnie recommendations about London chic. Um, didn’t Vanity Fair cover this in cringing detail back in ‘96?
Basically it’s Pepper Potts rhapsodizing about the cool places she and her millions enjoy. Presumably she’ll collect these into a guidebook series for the wealthy – not so much Lonely Planet as Own Le Planet.
Acknowledging that she may have erred toward the pricier end of the market, our Martha wannabe promises some thriftier options next time.
Can’t wait to hear her take on the 3am kebab stand least likely to give you botulism or the East End backpacker hostels with the fewest pubic lice outbreaks and the best pint-and-pizza deals.
Until then, I have a number of burning questions about the “Goop girls”. What does it take to join the ranks? Is a girl-only policy violating Britain’s Equality And Human Rights legislation? Are the Goop girls an irregular militia or a standing army? Who designed the uniform? Does it say “Goop girl” on their business cards and if so are they already being mistaken for Japanese fetish porn actresses?