Kirby Is Here! : “Devil Dinosaur” #3


Trash Film Guru

Sometimes, nothing beats a short, sweet, simple, self-contained comic book adventure story — and the next time you find yourself in the mood for exactly that, you could do a hell of a lot worse than issue number three of Jack Kirby’s last original Marvel Comics series, Devil Dinosaur.

Cover-dated June, 1978 and bearing the story title of “Giant,” about all you need to know about the basic premise going in is that Devil is an unusually large, unusually strong, and unusually smart prehistoric beast who took on a sort of bight, “fire-engine red” color due to — well, we won’t go there, since I’m not sure that particular part of his origin story  necessarily stands up to even casual, much less anything approaching rigorous, logical scrutiny. It was painful as all hell for the poor creature, though, no doubt about that. His constant friend and companion is one…

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Kirby Is Here! : “Captain Victory And The Galactic Rangers” #1


Trash Film Guru

Good vs. evil — at the end of the day, it’s what most stories boil down to. As I write this on the evening of August 12th, 2017, evil has reared its ugly head in this country once again, as three people lay dead thanks to violence perpetrated by a bunch of Nazi assholes who have re-branded themselves as the “alt-right,” but they’re not fooling anybody — evil is evil is evil, no matter what guise it cloaks itself with. Just ask Jack Kirby, who I’m glad didn’t live long enough to see this sorry day — he knew better than most.

Kirby’s experiences on the front lines of WWII drove home lessons he’d already learned about prejudice and anti-semitism in his youth — let it go unchecked, and people are gonna get killed — and he knew exactly how to confront it, both in representation and actuality : when…

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A Movie A Day #216: America Undercover: Skinheads USA: Soldiers of the Race War (1993, directed by Shari Cookson)


In a shack in rural Alabama, a fat, middle-aged man named Bill Riccio watches a faded VHS tape with several teenage boys.  All of them have shaved heads.  Several of them have elaborate tattoos of swastikas and other racist symbols.  When asked, the majority of them say that they come from broken homes with alcoholic fathers and little hope for the future.  One of them says that he feels that Bill Riccio is his father.  All of them agree, with Riccio, that almost all of the country’s problems can be linked to an international conspiracy that they call ZOG (that stands for Zionist Occupational Government).  They have named their home “the War House.”

The movie that they are watching is Leni Riefenstahl’s The Triumph Of The Will.  They all agree that they are impressed with an extremely intense drummer boy.  They agree that he has his shit together.  When Adolf Hitler appears and starts to speak, one of the boys says that Bill Riccio reminds him of Hitler.  “Don’t compare me to that man,” Riccio says.  “I am not worthy.”

Skinheads USA was a part of HBO’s America Undercover documentary film series.  Camera crews followed Riccio and his Neo-Nazi followers around for months, following them as they drink beer, shout “white power!,” and forge an alliance with the local KKK.  When they go out on the streets to pass out racist flyers, people argue with them and call them ignorant.  The skinheads don’t give a shit.  Instead, they savor being despised.  It feeds into their persecution complex.

Skinheads USA is a portrait of pure evil.  Bill Riccio is a predator who peddles hate while his followers are young men who, poorly educated and with no real prospects for the future, fell through the cracks of society and were easily gathered up by the forces of hate.  Riccio provided them with both a home and scapegoats for all of their problems.  (Years later, one of Riccio’s followers, from a jail cell where he was serving time for murder, said that Riccio provided drugs and alcohol while also abusing the younger boys sexually, a charge that will not surprise anyone who has seen Skinheads USA.)   Towards the end of the documentary, when Riccio is arrested on weapons violations and sent to jail, his brainwashed followers are left directionless but no less dangerous.  The documentary ends with one of Riccio’s lieutenants trying to fire up the remaining skinheads and chanting, “Heil Bill Riccio!”

In the 90s, when Skinheads USA used to regularly play on HBO and A&E, it was easy to laugh off Riccio and his followers.  Today, we know better.  If you are wondering how the Richard B. Spencers and the David Dukes of the world continue to find followers, Skinheads USA is a good place to start.

Sail Away: John Wayne in John Ford’s THE LONG VOYAGE HOME (United Artists 1940)


cracked rear viewer

This is my third year participating in the TCM Summer Under the Stars blogathon hosted by Kristen at Journeys in Classic Film , and second entry spotlighting Big John Wayne . The Duke and director John Ford made eleven films together, from 1939’s STAGECOACH to 1963’s DONOVAN’S REEF.  Wayne’s role in the first as The Ringo Kid established him as a star presence to be reckoned with, and the iconic actor always gave credit to his mentor Ford for his screen success. I recently viewed their second collaboration, 1940’s THE LONG VOYAGE HOME, a complete departure for Wayne as a Swedish sailor on a tramp steamer, based on four short plays by Eugene O’Neill, and was amazed at both the actor’s performance and the technical brilliance of Ford and his cinematographer Gregg Toland  , the man behind the camera for Welles’ CITIZEN KANE.

THE LONG VOYAGE HOME is a seafaring saga…

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Clowntergeist: Preview, Review and Trailer


Sorry I have been “Clowning” it up a but with my last few reviews, but you know, Coulrophobia and all!

 

ok, seriously, my last movie review was about clowns; and now this one.

Clowntergeist 04

Let’s get the technicals out of the way:

Studio: High Octane Pictures

Director: Aaron Mirtes

Cast :  Tom Seidman, Burt Culver and Brittany Belland

 

Plot:

Emma, a college student with a crippling fear of clowns, must come face to face with her worst fear when an evil spirit in the body of a clown is summoned terrorizing the town she calls home. One by one Emma and her friends receive a balloon with the exact time and date of when it will appear to kill them written on it. After receiving her balloon, Emma realizes that she has two days left to live, and must fight against the clock to find a way to survive.

 

Review:

As much as this movie captured all the, shall I say tongue-in-cheek, plot lines. It did manage to scare me quiet a bit!

Now, please don’t read to much into the plot holes when you watch this movie. They are several to fall into. At times I am not sure this is meant to be a serious movie. But I was thoroughly entertained!

 

Would I recommend this movie?

On my horror scale:

3.25 out of 5. But factor the fun of it, I give it a 4!

Poster: 

clowntegeist

 

But, since it is time for IT (trailer via Lisa Marie Bowman)  to come out, no wonder I am getting so many clown movies to screen! And nightmares to sleep thru!

 

Should we watch the trailer for ‘Clowntergeist’ together? Yes we should!

 

 

Who wants to hold hands now!

Clowntergeist 02

 

Clowntergeist will be available on VOD on all your platforms September 12, 2017 And on DVD in October, just in time for Halloween!

 

Music Video of the Day: The Tide Is High by Blondie (1981, dir. Brian Grant)


First Version
Second Version

This is the third and final version of The Tide Is High. It was made a year later by Brian Grant.

The reason I even knew this existed was because of an entry on mvdbase that described it for me.

Though this videos starts exactly the same way as the previous, it quickly changes with a mix of new and old footage (including the famous circular pink bed scene) with a few still pictures tossed in for good measure.

I read “famous circular pink bed scene”, and figured it had to be out there somewhere if it is so famous. It took a fair amount of digging, but I found it. It was worth the trouble.

The video starts off the same way as the other two except it freeze-frames on the faces of the guys in the band. There are some pictures in the video as well as freeze-frames such as the cover of the single. We see it in close-up, then backed up in order to show the whole band. That shot is the cover of the album the song is on.

Then the pink bed makes an appearance. I guess I was expecting something along the lines of It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls or that ridiculous scene from Chatterbox! (1977). I wasn’t expecting to see Debbie Harry rolling in a circular pink bed.

Then there’s the shots with her looking at a number ‘1’ in a manner that makes it looks like she wants to have sex? What else are you supposed to read from these looks, given that they are included with her rolling around on a circular pink bed? I’m not 100% what they were shooting for there. It is memorable though.

Horny Vader makes no appearance in this version. But we do get a spaceman on a conveyor belt??? I have no clue about this part.

There are some shots of the band playing, and this is where this version adds something completely missing from the other two.

The Tide Is High was originally written in 1966 by John Holt and performed by the group, The Paragons. When Blondie covered it, they added the reggae sound, which is the trademark of this particular song. Yet, any reference to that fact were noticeably missing from the other two versions. While it seems odd to be here with Debbie rolling around on a bed, we do see a part that ties in to the reggae part of the song.

No rocket this time around. The video ends with the footage of Debbie arriving on the street to leave with the rest of the group.

There you go. That’s the version with the “famous circular pink bed scene.” It must be so famous that it has been all but expunged from the net.

Enjoy!