Friday, October 20, 2006

Camera Obscura - Flags of Iwo Jima, TN Horror Movies, and Super Chicks of "Pussycat"

It makes me mad enough to bite a pig. This week I've learned there are remakes ahead for "The Birds" and the cult classic vampire film "Near Dark", all under the unsteady camera hand of producer Michael Bay. Yeah, take movies that are pitch-perfect and brilliantly made and screw them all up (see Bay's remake of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre.")

I know it's a time-honored Hollywood tradition to remake movies, but there is no way to improve Hitchcock. Period. (For example, Gus Van Sant's remake of "Psycho" was shot-for-shot the same and Van Sant said he remade it just for one reason - so it would be "in color". Lame, lame, lame.) And while "Near Dark" deserves wider audiences, the best way to see both of these movies is too just watch them.

I've got an idea for Bay - remake yer own drivel, like "Armageddon" and try and make it a good movie.

In the Good News Dept., I have really been enjoying the film reviews offered by Jim Ridley for Nashville Scene. His take on this weekend's release of "Flags of Our Fathers" by Clint Eastwood is a fine example, and his headline "Print The Legend", is reference to one of John Ford's best movies about mythmaking, "Man Who Shot Liberty Valence." Ridley writes of "Flags":

The landing on Iwo Jima is a master class in controlled chaos, as machine-gun bullets stream out of camouflaged Japanese pillboxes and mortar fire turns human bodies into sizzling piles of flesh and bone. But the most surreal, unsettling images in Flags come later, when Bradley, Gagnon and Hayes are pressed into reenacting their storied feat as a vaudeville spectacle -—and when, at a celebratory dinner, they see the huddled likeness of themselves and their fallen brothers transformed into an ice-cream sculpture."

Eastwood once again is offering a serious Oscar contender with this movie, which will once again pit him against Martin Scorsese and "The Departed." These two American legends duked it out at the Oscars with "Million Dollar Baby" and "The Aviator." I was amazed "Baby" won out - until I watched it and was blown away by Eastwood's skillful work. But c'mon - Marty deserves a win and has for some time. Since he is a New Yorker and Eastwood worked his way up in Hollywood, Eastwood has the edge. And if you haven't seen "The Aviator," you've missed a fine feature about movie-making, madness and one of the most interesting bio-pics I've seen in years.

Meanwhile, Ridley has another fine story on the locally made horror film "Blood Oath" and it's upcoming premiere. The movie will unspool as part of the October Comic Horror Fest 2006 which starts tomorrow. AnotherTennesseee-made horror feature "The Deepening," starring Gunnar "Leatherface" Hansen, will also be shown at the Fest. Ridley can tell how you chitlins are a vital part of horror movie effects.


Do whatever is necessary to see two movies airing at 2 a.m Saturday morning on Turner Classic Movies, as Rob Zombie hosts Underground, a collection of great American midnight movie style features. Tonight's double bill is cult hit "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" followed by "Mudhoney", both by Russ Meyer.

I saw "Pussycat" a few years ago in re-release and it is hilarious and innovative and - well, here, let the women who made the movies tell you about it --


TV and Anime fans rejoice. "Lost", "My Name Is Earl" and even two seasons of "Freakazoid" are now yours!!!

Super-toon extraordinaire
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
Runs around in underwear
Freakazoid! Freakazoid!

Go here for the link to all the shows you can watch online.
UPDATE: Sorry, but that link is now dead and no sign of it anywhere online. Dammit!

Rides around in the Freakmobile
Freakazoid! Freakazoo!
Hopes to make a movie deal
Freaka me! Freaka you!


An onlne blog with info on what it's like to write for TV, write a spec script and many insider tips comes from writer Jane Espenson, one of the writers of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", "Gilmore Girls" and much more. Her page is here. And you're welcome.


  1. Cinemonkey2:17 PM

    Freakazoid! Whoosh!

  2. You know I loves me some Russ Meyer, baby, and you know I'll be watching.

  3. i am most eager to get the new DVD of FPKK. Go Baby, Go!!!

  4. FPKK was tivo'd last night for my very own pleasure.
    And Jane Espenson's blog rocks. I go nearly every day to see what she had for lunch.
    I know, that's sorta creepy on my part but I giveth not a shit.