Five Comics To Help You Survive The Age Of Trump

Trash Film Guru


Like a lot of you, I’m still pretty well numb with shock over what the hell happened last Tuesday night — and if you’re not, read no further since what I’ve got to say will just piss you off. Will we survive this mess? Do we even deserve to if our country is this fucking stupid? Both are questions none of us can answer right now — but when I ride the train to and from work and see the abject terror on the faces of my fellow Minneapolitans who happen to be Hispanic or Muslim, I know this country has taken a turn for the darker, and it’s going to be up to those of us with a conscience to make sure that our friends, neighbors, and family members all feel both welcome and safe in this new, reactionary America. The angry white males are back in the driver’s…

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RIP Robert Vaughn: Another Magnificent Actor Gone

cracked rear viewer


The Grim Reaper continues his onslaught on 2016, taking another classic star with him to Valhalla. Robert Vaughn, last survivor of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and ultra-suave star of TV’s THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E, has died at age 83, closing the books on a magnificent career in film, television, and the stage.


Born to acting parents on November 22, 1932, Vaughn acted in small roles before landing the lead in Roger Corman’s unintentionally funny TEENAGE CAVEMAN. A year later, he was Oscar nominated for his performance as accused murderer Chester Gwynn in THE YOUNG PHILIDELPHIANS… what a difference a year makes! His role as Lee, the gunman who loses his nerve in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, is a standout among that all-star cast. Vaughn continued to act in both movies and TV parts before landing the part that made him a pop-culture superstar.


THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement) debuted September 22, 1964…

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Special Veteran’s Day Edition: BACK TO BATAAN (RKO 1945)

cracked rear viewer


John Wayne  and Anthony Quinn fight World War II on the backlots of RKO (subbing for the jungles of the Philippines) in BACK TO BATAAN, a stirring exercise in propaganda ripped from headlines of the era. The film was made to stoke audience’s patriotic fires, and succeeds in it’s objective. It’s well directed and shot, has plenty of action, and superb performances by all, including a standout from 14-year-old Ducky Louie.


Wayne plays Col. Madden, assigned to train Filipino freedom fighters (try saying that three times fast!) to battle the invading Japanese.  Quinn is Capt. Bonifacio, grandson of Filipino revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio. He’s having issues with his girlfriend Dalisay, who’s the island version of Tokyo Rose (what he doesn’t realize is she’s secretly sending coded messages to the Allies through her broadcasts). Madden and his ragtag crew are out to destroy a Japanese gas depot, but first they encounter schoolteacher…

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Music Video of the Day: Poison Arrow by ABC (1982, dir. Julien Temple)

I normally don’t talk about the thumbnail used on a video. However, It would be perfectly natural for someone to look at that thumbnail and think they are about to watch a music video remake of Casablanca (1942) with Martin Fry playing Bogart. It’s not too far off. I would add that it also seems to take place in a lost Rainer Werner Fassbinder film.

When I watch this music video I get the distinct feeling that I am missing previous chapters in this story of three different guys that become enraptured with the same woman. This also isn’t too far off. I haven’t listened to the whole album, called The Lexicon of Love, but I know enough to say that I am kind of missing other installments in this tale. Wikipedia tells me that while it is not a concept album, it does have repeated themes that revolve around heartache. This also makes sense seeing as several of the songs off of the album have names like The Look of Love, All of My Heart, and Valentine’s Day. A longform music video was even made called Mantrap. Still, you don’t have to have heard the whole album, or have seen the other music videos that were made for songs on the album in order to enjoy this one.

I mentioned before that there are three different characters who try to get the same woman, but I have to admit that I thought they were the same person till I read the Wikipedia article on the song. It comes across as a guy spotting a woman that he knew while watching a play, disguising himself as a singing telegram to confront her backstage, and then she comes to his nightclub where he confronts her again, only to be literally reduced to a little nothing in her life. I have no doubt that these are supposed to be three different people. I also believe that they had Martin Fry play all of them for a reason. It seems to me that the music video visually hints to the audience that the three different characters come from the same place while the song itself has all three men singing the same song that asks her to shoot the “poison arrow” to their heart. The combination of the two binds them visually and audibly. I’m not sure about the beginning and the end. I could guess, but I’ll just leave that to you. I could be completely wrong about the whole thing.

In the end, it doesn’t matter that much. It is one of the best music videos of the era whether you get exactly what they were going for or not. Director Julien Temple did an excellent job here. It’s no wonder he has done more than a hundred of them. It’s also not a surprise that when ABC decided to make a return recently, they brought Julien Temple back to direct their new music video.

As is often the case, I come to the end of one of these posts, and just as I am ready to leave, I decide to do one more Google search only to find something else worth mentioning. Since I am stubborn, I often stick it at the end where/when I found out about it anyways. Does the woman look familiar? She didn’t to me, but it’s Lisa Vanderpump who would be in several other music videos–including one for Lady Gaga–and the TV Show, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.