That’s Blaxploitation! 15: BLACK SHAMPOO (Dimension Pictures 1976)

cracked rear viewer

Remember the Warren Beatty film SHAMPOO, about sexual and political attitudes in the Swingin’ 70’s? Well, BLACK SHAMPOO starts off as the Blaxploitation version, as super-stud Mr. Jonathan takes good care of all the follicle and sexual needs of the Horny Housewives of Beverly Hills – then veers sharply down Sleazy Street with lots of smutty scenes of simulated sex, flamingly gay stereotypes, and a violently gory finale! Yep, they truly don’t make ’em like this anymore; the “woke” crowd would never let ’em get away with it (except of course for the rich white bad guy!).

While Jonathan is out satisfying his amorous customers, his receptionist Brenda gets a visit from a trio of thugs representing Mr. Wilson, a greasy drug dealing crook who wants her back in his arms – and bed. The hoods trash Jonathan’s salon and rough up squeaky-voiced gay hairdresser Artie. Brenda goes back to…

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4 Shots From 4 Texas Films: Dazed and Confused, Primer, Tree of Life, A Ghost Story

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today is Texas Independence Day!

In honor of my home state, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Texas Films

Dazed and Confused (1993, dir by Richard Linklater)

Primer (2004, dir by Shane Carruth)

Tree of Life (2011, dir by Terrence Malick)

A Ghost Story (2017, dir by David Lowery)

What’s In A Name? Let’s Ask George Horner’s “Incoherents”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Fair warning : if you’re one of those folks who, reasonably enough, wants to know why a critic likes something (or otherwise), you may as well go no further. This review will only drive you batty. But, seriously — what other choice do I have?

George Horner’s self-published ‘zine Incoherents is, you see, not what it appears. The artist (he’s not a “cartoonist” in the traditional sense of the term) himself states that it’s “an artist book in the form of a comic book. Each page — torn out of a vintage (Golden & Silver Age) comic book and then painted in a redacting fashion, obscuring and abstracting text and images.” What this means, in purely practical terms, is a bunch of clipped drawings floating against mostly (though not exclusively) black backgrounds. Think Samplerman set in a void (or, if you like, the void), and you’re not too far off…

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“Valle” : The Abject Terror Of Forever And Ever — And Ever —

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Is there a more all-encompassing trap than that of immortality? I mean, living forever sounds great on paper, but what if it actually came to pass?

Eight pages may sound like nowhere near enough to explore a topic this weighty, but in cartoonist Morgan Vogel’s self-published mini Valle, he manages to take a pretty good whack at it as his titular protagonist, and a handful of others, find themselves “shanghaied” (or possibly born — certainly endlessly reborn) into a vitrual reality scenario where they are not allowed to die. Which might be cool if the place looked fun, but it doesn’t.

Austere, I believe, is the word we’re looking for, one that applies to both the landscape of the “world” the story takes place in and to Vogel’s art, its simple yet undoubtedly expressive lines delineating what can only best be described as an endless expanse of…

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You’ve Never Had A “Shitty Lover” Like This One

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

There are a million ways to think — and, more importantly, to feel — about Isabel Reidy (or, as they bill themselves here, “Izzy True”)’s mind-bending and frankly devastating full-color mini Shitty Lover, but however you interpret it, one thing is for certain : you’ve bound to be impressed.

And I use that term in the strictest, most literal sense — this is work that leaves an impression. An impression that will no doubt vary from reader to reader and perhaps, even, from reading to reading, but nevertheless, a mark is always left. A very indelible mark, at that.

Magnificently painted in vibrant and arresting hues, the narrative here is necessarily a loose one, a tale of cosmic-level longing fulfilled in the form of a cruel joke at best, an ironic twist of fate at worst, as “shitty” love proves to be far more damaging, more negating

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Music Video of the Day: Neon Future by Steve Aoki feat. Luke Steele (2019, dir by Mike Harris)

The future is always neon.

If there’s anything that films set in the future always seem to have in common, it’s that there’s a lot of neon.  In fact, the only futuristic films that aren’t full of neon are those films that take place after an atomic war, where everyone’s living in the desert and driving around on motorcycles.  But even those films often seem to end with the promise that, once society is up and running again, we’ll get a lot of neon.

Personally, I’m hoping that I’ll spend my retirement years in a hot pink house with neon walls.

The other thing that the future always seems to have is a divide between the decadent rich and the rebellious lower classes, the majority of whom seem to spend a lot of time wandering down red hallways.  Maybe one reason why everyone in the future always seems to be fighting is because there’s so much red around.  Maybe if they used blue neon, everyone would calm down and accept their social status.

Who knows?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  I imagine it should be the future in another two years or so.

Until then, enjoy!