No, Batman v. Superman Is Not “the Showgirls of Superhero Films”
March 29, 2016

batman v superman showgirls

The night before Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice came out, two of my friends tagged me in separate Facebook posts linking to a review from Ars Technica declaring BvS “the Showgirls of superhero films.” Knowing my friends know me so well is deeply touching, and since somebody mentioned Showgirls, I was undeniably intrigued despite my better judgment.

Sure, I had a feeling this review couldn’t be trusted, because it mentioned Sex in the City 2, not Sex and the City 2,  and that’s a straight man’s mistake when talking about a gay man’s sensibility. Still, I figured I had to approve or disprove the comparison to the Greatest Movie of All Time, so I saw it Saturday morning, and to quote Nomi Malone, “It’s a Versayce You don’t know sh*t!” Batman v. Superman: Definitely Not Showgirls is definitely not the Showgirls of superhero movies, or of that matter anything.

To explain:

(more…)

Rest In Peace, Patty Duke
March 29, 2016

There are few performances more sublime than Patty Duke’s in Valley of the Dolls, so this little corner of the internet would be remiss if it didn’t pause to pay tribute to her pantheonic turn as Neely O’Hara.

Thank you for sparkling, Patty Duke.

Elizabeth Taylor’s Ash Wednesday, Again: Another Barely Topical Ash Wednesday Post
February 10, 2016

elizabeth taylor ash wednesday vhs art

The last time I gave something up for Lent, it was Entenmenn’s baked goods, and I celebrated the end of Lent by hurling myself into a bedful of marble loaf cakes screaming “TAKE ME BACK!” Since I’m still finding crumbs in my bedding, I’ve decided it best to once again giving in to daily blogging, as well as taking today to make mention of the Ash Wednesday that soothes my spirit, Elizabeth Taylor’s 1973 plastic-surgery-and-marital-discord Eurodrama, Ash Wednesday(more…)

Elizabeth Taylor’s Ash Wednesday: A Barely Topical Midweek Post
February 18, 2015

elizabeth-taylor-in-ash-wednesday-1973

Like many fair-weather Catholics, I only observe the major holidays: Christmas presents, Easter chocolates, year-round guilt and shame, and the 40 days of Lent Facebook status updates. Since I don’t have any more vices to give up this year (except for coffee and meat, which ha ha and NO), this Ash Wednesday I’ve decided to give in to forty days of daily exercise and daily blog posts. Also, since I still haven’t seen Ash Wednesday, I’m giving in to bootleg DVDs and finally ordering this most tantalizing cinemystery. I mean, I get that this is the Elizabeth Taylor plastic surgery melodrama, but this movie looks f**king bonkers, y’all:

(more…)

What Do You Mean, Everything That’s “Wrong” With Showgirls?!?
February 11, 2015

The “problem” with being a pathological Showgirls obsessive with a blog (such as myself) is that you don’t get very many legitimate reasons to write about Showgirls. We don’t live in a world that finds new ways on the daily to celebrate Paul Verhoeven’s timeless gesamtkunstwerk (I know, UNFORTUNATELY), so mostly you’re left making Showgirls references. Lots…and lots…of Showgirls references. It’s a charmed life, for sure, but one perhaps grasping (if not gasping) for relevance.

So it’s definitely a day for celebration when the good folks at CinemaSins make an “Everything Wrong With” video about the greatest thing to happen to the cinema since Mary Pickford sliced bread! Hooray, Showgirls is relevant again! (“Manage your expectations, queen” – Everybody else.)

(more…)

Today’s Fabulous Image(s) in Cinema: Julia Ormond in I Know Who Killed Me
July 27, 2010

I don’t know what persuaded Julia Ormond to get on board the Hot Mess Express and play Lindsay Lohan’s mother in the thriller/slasher/torture porn/masterpiece that is I Know Who Killed, but I do know I’m forever happy she did.  Without her commitment to the craft, the line “This is Mr. Jervis” would be a line about a teddy bear like any other; instead, Julia Ormond makes it one of the most dazzling, mind-bogglingly bizarre things I’ve ever seen committed to film.  I mean, what in the world is she doing with her voice?  And what’s going on with her face?  No, seriously:

Pure FACE poetry is what’s going on with her face, y’all.

Sure, it’s all too easy to take a line delivered to the girl you believe is your only daughter–the daughter who’s been abducted by a serial killer, lost portions of her arm and leg through a brutal amputation process that involves dry ice and blue glass surgical utensils (don’t ask), and somehow managed to escape–like a she’s just gone through a serious trauma (so, you know, like a normal person), but it takes a special caliber of actor to play that line like you’re in the midst of an exorcism, and that caliber is BRILLIANT.  Lindsay Lohan’s reaction shot pretty much sums it up:

(more…)

Glorious News! Rena Riffel’s Showgirl Will Be the Showgirls Sequel/Remake/Somethingorother of Our Penny/Hopes and Dreams
March 4, 2010

Showgirls: The Return may purport to be the sequel to the greatest movie of all time (because it adds “The Return” to the end of the title), but if the extended trailer’s any indication, that doesn’t mean I have to treat this half-cooked sauerbraten like its canon:

What have you done, Marc Vorlander?  Sure, I haven’t seen this many boobs-per-minute since the last time I watched Showgirls (January 16, 2010, but who’s counting?), which I guess counts as a step in the right direction, but everything else about this trailer is a turgid art-house hot mess.  A Showgirls sequel shouldn’t look boring, but this looks BORING.  Even worse, I don’t see any Rena Riffel, and we were promised Rena Riffel!  Seriously, universe, is there no Penny/hope for a Showgirls follow-up that lives up to the original?

Oh wait, there is:

(more…)

RIP, Zelda Rubinstein
January 28, 2010

Sad news, y’all.  The AP is reporting that Zelda Rubinstein passed away yesterday at the age of 76.  Not only did she star in one of the great camp classics, Teen Witch, but she was also part of this rather fantastic AIDS awareness campaign:

But then, of course, there’s this:

And perhaps even more memorably, this:

(more…)

Nobody Puts Baby in a Horner’s Guide to Making Showgirls the Best Midnight Movie Ever
January 13, 2010

Sure, we’ve been over this again and again and again, but even broken records are worth repeating every once and a while:

Honestly, it’s perfect in every way, and the only problem I’ve ever had in regarding Showgirls as the crown jewel of camp cinematic masterpieces is that it’s never achieved a Rocky-Horror-Picture-Show level of midnight movie cult status.  Rocky Horror Picture Show, with its sing-a-longs and toilet-paper-throwing and audience shout-outs, embraces full-on audience participation; on the other hand, despite being 131 minutes of bare breasts and bitchery, the Showgirls audience has always struck me as relatively demure.  

Yes, seeing Showgirls on the big screen is comparable to a religious experience, so a certain amount of reverential silence is to be expected.  That, and I WILL shove a bitch down a flight of stairs if they start talking over any of that sublime Joe Eszterhas dialogue:

But Showgirls is also the sort of cinemagic that deserves more than just the knowing laughter of camp appreciation.  No no, seeing Showgirls on the big screen should be like watching Stardust Hotel’s Goddess while tripping balls on crazy pills.  So, in honor of the IFC Center screening Showgirls as this weekend’s midnight movie, here are a few suggestions on how to make your next midnight movie screening of Showgirls something extraordinary:

(more…)

Showgirls 2? There’s Going to Be a SHOWGIRLS 2?!?
October 8, 2009

Anyone who knows me or has spent any time with this blog is well aware of how I feel about a certain cinematic masterstroke:

showgirls best movie of all time ever

Sure, I imagine that every time I fall into some tangent extolling the virtues of this classic of classics, my mother rolls her eyes and wonders how I could ever love such garbage.  Garbage like this:

Based on the above clip, however, I believe the more important question is “How could you not love such garbage?”  Seriously, Showgirls, you had me at “DIFFERENT PLACES!”

Anywhosie, there’s now a rumor circulating all over the internet about a sequel to Showgirls, and though I honestly am inclined to call shenanigans, we still need to talk about this like it’s chips and nails.

(more…)

You’re Tearing Me Apart, Copyright Laws!!!
August 10, 2009

It’s no lie that I tend to find the fickle nature of YouTube clips and their battles with copyright law to be terribly annoying.  I can’t stand that any music video that falls under ownership of the Universal Music Group cannot be embedded, and the same goes for the trailers and clips of anything owned by Disney.  This explains the disappearance of Shmathan’s favorite clip on parenticide, which was surreptitiously removed from YouTube on account of copyright infringement, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.  Or confusing, for that matter.  I personally would rather not want to claim any credit for such an embarrassingly ridiculous clip, but that’s just me.

Anyways, it’s with a heavy heart that I must today announce that the Powder Blue clips have been taken down from YouTube.  Yes, the glistening gems that inspired much camp glee have been taken from us.  I’d like to think all my ridiculous ranting and raving in some way preserved some of the train-wreckery that graced this blog, but I can’t help but feel like there’s now a Powder-Blue-shaped hole in my heart.  Of course, these clips cannot compare to the glorious Godawfulness that is watching Powder Blue in its entirety, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to put my cranky pants on over this situation.  Sure, I cannot claim to understand the finer nuances of the legal matters behind this indecency, but I can Photoshop up some indignation with the best of them:

(more…)

So Orphan Is Pretty Much the Best Movie. Ever.
July 27, 2009

I’m not even joking, y’all.  If you haven’t already seen the instant camp/cult classic that is Orphan yet, you know what you have to do:

go see orphan

Seriously, this completely insane movie still should be reason enough for you to suddenly feign illness and catch the earliest possible showing.  This is a movie that uses a black-lit aquarium as a plot device!  And when you see what said black-lit aquarium reveals, the absolute batshit insanity of it all will make your head explode.  Twice.  And that’s just tip of the crazy iceberg.  

It has been ages and ages since we’ve seen anything so unrepentant in its ridiculousness.  Orphan has a go-for-broke, let-us-shock-the-shit-out-of-you zeal that is truly inspired.  It’s so ridiculous that it needs to come with protective glasses that keep your eyeballs from rolling out of your skull.  It’s incredibly well made, genuinely creepy, and–to be completely frank–in the worst possible taste imaginable.  And it’s so over-the-top in its bad taste that you can’t really fault it for arguably being total garbage.  I’d like to be more articulate, but I’m honestly still trying to digest it.  Having your head explode 37 separate times during a movie tends to do that to you.  That, and you really can’t discuss Orphan‘s sublime pleasures without spoiling the living hell out of it.

Still, allow me to tantalize you with the following decontextualized phrases:

(more…)

Fact: Saved by the Bell Is the Second Most Important 90s Pop Culture Reunion
June 11, 2009

For many of my generation (myself included), Saved by the Bell stands as a pop culture touchstone.  Like Scott Baio in Charles in Charge, the constant excuses to strip Zack and Slater of there shirts was really just an excuse to teach young girls and gay boys the joys of objectifying the male form, and of course there’s also those unforgettable episodes.  Who doesn’t remember the day they found oil under the Bayside High football field, or when Jessie was so excited yet so scared, or the way Screech forever pined after Lisa Turtle, or that time the lesbian replaced Kelly and Jessie:

Tori8

Remember her?  Such a lesbian.  But an iconic lezzie, to be sure.  My point is that everybody (of a certain generation) loves Saved by the Bell.

Particularly Jimmy Fallon.

He’s been trying to organize a Saved by the Bell reunion in a desperate bid for late-night relevancy an effort to listen to the hopes and dreams of a generation.  It’s been gradually gaining steam, particularly with Mark Paul Gosselaar’s recent in-character appearance as Zack Morris.  Seriously, the interwebs went crazy for that clip, but of course the real story got buried beneath all the hoopla over the nostalgia for giant early-90s cell phones and frosted tips: Elizabeth Berkley’s confirmed that she too shall take part in the Saved by the Bell reunion!  That’s exciting, but I think we know what we all really need:

(more…)

Rejoice! Powder Blue is Out on DVD Today!
May 26, 2009

I woke up this morning with an extra spring in my step and a renewed sense of hope for the world.  It’s safe to say that we all know why:

powder-blue

YESSSSSS!!!  After what’s seemed like an eternity of waiting, Powder Blue has finally made it’s way to DVD!  

Today feels just like Christmas, which–seeing as Powder Blue is set on Christmas Eve–is totally fitting.  Only it’s much better than Christmas because we’re getting Forest Whitaker begging a tranny prostitute to kill him, Lisa Kudrow sharing her tips to a successful diet, and a whole bunch of Jessica Biel’s ACTING.  And her dirty pillows.  Mostly, though, we’re getting Jessica Biel’s ACTING, which apparently involves her being addicted to cocaine (naturally…because she’s a stripper) and pouring candle wax on her ta-tas (naturally…because she’s a stripper).  In other words, Powder Blue is the classiest, most seriously artistic endeavor cinema has ever seen.  EVER.  Thank you, Timothy Linh Bui.

Don’t even bother Netflixing this mess, y’all.  We may be in a recession so blah blah blah fiscal responsibility blah blah blah, but that doesn’t mean you can’t afford the small pittance it’ll cost on Amazon.  Seriously, $12.99 (plus shipping and handling, ‘cos I know you want this mess overnighted) is a bonafide bargain if it’s supporting the beginning of Jessica Biel’s inevitable career as a camp icon.  This is her Showgirls, y’all, and she’s Powder Blue‘s Elizabeth Berkley.  And don’t even bother feigning your best surprise face: I’ve already got my copy next to me.

So I hope you prepare yourself, people.  I’m about to bring the Powder Blue love out like it’s my blog job, and that’s a blog promise.  I hope you like batshit crazy, because that’s all I’ll be serving for quite a while.

And, lastly, if you came here looking for Jessica Biel’s boobs and are disappointed to instead find a distinct lack of said boobs, allow me to redirect you here.  There you go.  Biel boobs to warm your heart and nourish your inner aspect.  You’re welcome.

The Day of the Locust is Unmitigated Insanity of the Highest Sort
May 4, 2009

It’s no secret that I’ve a penchant for movies that movies that are curious and over the top.  I’m an ardent obsessive of camp, and I revel in movies that flaunt their mad visions and embrace their craziest whims.  I love the movies that have never said “no” to a bad idea or considered that they might be crossing a line.  Hell, I’ve practically made it my quest to mine the coal of film’s expansive history in order to find the most glittering diamonds of batshit insanity.  Well, ladies and gentleman, I’ve already found what may the Hope Diamond of this journey.  I give you The Day of the Locust, a movie somehow far stranger than this surreal, French poster for the film:

rr_0008day-of-the-locust-posters

 

Oh, and it’s infinitely more garish than the America poster would imply:

day_of_the_locust

Still unconvinced?  Let me just give you a taste of the craze.  Let’s go watch aspiring starlet Faye Greener (Karen Black) get in a fight with her sickly father (Burgess Meredith):

I don’t know whether to laugh at the garish campiness of the performances or have nightmares for the rest of my life, but it’s captivatingly bizarre no matter your reaction, and believe me when I say that this scene is merely the tip of iceberge that is John Schlessinger’s epic, gonzo vision of Hollywood as the festering epicenter of failed dreams and a society in rapid decline.  There’s also (for example, yet impressively enough not limited to) the sublimely grotesque yet perversely compelling pleasures of Burgess Meredith’s heart attack at Donald Sutherland’s house, the church scene, Karen Black doing tequila shots (itself one of the profoundly ridiculous moments in cinema), and the cock fighting scene.  Seriously, I don’t know why you’d even bother finishing this reviews before putting it at the top of your Netflix queue.  Trust me.

(more…)

Let’s Build the Ultimate Netflix Queue of Insanity! I Need Netflix Suggestions, STAT!!!
April 30, 2009

netflix

A bit over a year ago I finally started making use of my Netflix account after I realized I had the same copy of In the Mood for Love for an embarrassingly long amount of time.  I sent it off, updated my account, and got to work on crafting a queue that’d constantly keep me excited about what was coming next in the mail.  No such freakin’ luck.

The first problem with Netflix, it should be noted, is that there’s just too much selection for a person like me.  I struggle making decisions at a Starbucks, let alone a Blockbuster, so Netflix is a bonafide nightmare.  My logical response?  Put everything in the queue.  

Movies I saw once at Virgin Megastore that piqued my interest for two seconds?  In the queue.  That one movie with that one actress from several years ago that got reasonably decent reviews?  In the queue.  Netflix’s suggestion on something I might like when I put another suggestion of theirs in my queue after I selected a movie with Julianne Moore?  You guessed it: in the queue.

Needless to say, I had a full queue–yes, 500 selections–within three days.  Because I’m ridiculous.  And, quite naturally, within a few months time I’d gone from voracious DVD consumption to my standard “Whoops, I still have that, don’t I?” mode.

(more…)

As a Fellow Theatergoer Was Overheard to Observe, I Can Attest to the Following: Obsessed is Definitely NOT Whack
April 28, 2009

If anything, Obsessed is something of a small miracle.  Hollywood seems to love producing mirthless crap on a daily basis, so much so to the point where you point where one might think that Hollywood’s only business is producing joyless cinematic equivalents to pond scum.  But such is most certainly not the case with Obsessed.  Is it bad?  No doubt.  Terrible?  Quite possibly.  But I liked it, nay, loved it:

obsessed-ring-on-it

Obsessed is, to be certain, a terrible movie.  The acting is at very best vampy sexpot camp (Ali Larter) and the inimitable brand of steely faced, bitch-please crazy that Beyonce has elevated to a minor art, yet it’s in other places rather tepid (Idris Elba’s performance seems rather befuddled, almost as though he hired by simply wandering onto the set) or head-scratchingly absurd (Jerry O’Connell’s horndog schtick seems to have been beamed in from another planet).  

The screenplay is an impressive black hole for logic and character motivation.  Beyonce’s the dream wife because the movie says so.  Ali Larter gets obsessed because the movie says so.  The cop doesn’t believe that Ali Larter’s wearing the least seductive pair of business casual crazy pants because the movie says so.  Showgirls infamously asked that you leave your inhibitions at the door.  Obsessed demands you to do the same with you deductive reasoning skills.

(more…)

What Do You Mean Obsessed Wasn’t Prescreened for Critics?
April 24, 2009

Never mind that I’ve got a heightened case of the Fridays given that, after a seemingly interminable winter, spring has finally quit it with the false starts and seems to officially be upon us.  I seriously just want to skip down the streets singing “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” from Hello, Dolly! while doing my very best jazz hands.  It should be illegal to keep offices open on a day like today.  Illegal, I say!

Anywhosie, all of that’s only compounding the fact that I’m already way too excitable about getting off of work today to go see Obsessed.  Now, of course, Rotten Tomatoes has gone and added the last, yet most integral, seasoning to turn Obsessed into a perfectly crafted CannotWait Stew.  As of this morning, this is the Rotten Tomatoes score for Obsessed:

obsessed-rt1

Yes, that’s correct.  Do not adjust your monitor or question the prescription strength of your contacts or glasses.  Obsessed, the movie that has clearly revealed itself as 2009’s first great (camp) film, has NOT been prescreened for critics.  I know, I know.  I’m in a state of utter shock that Hollywood doesn’t have enough faith in the movie that’s obviously containing some of the year’s best performances and sexiest moments.  This just goes to prove what we’ve long suspected: movie critics are nothing more than a bunch of uptight, old biddies that wouldn’t know a good movie if it bit them on the ass.  

(more…)

What Sort of Insanity Will Obsessed Be?
April 23, 2009

Well, if the content of this clip allows us in any way to preemptively make a call on it, I’m going to qualify Obsessed in the category of “insaniest insanity”:

This is obviously the tip of the iceberg, but it’s already quite clear that catfight climax of Obsessed is going to be one for the ages.  If a lamp is part of the makeshift weaponry this early in the game, you know it’s going to get more absurd (and therefore incredible) as the scene goes on. 

I’m also glad to see that Beyonce’s performance is more Sasha Fierce than Foxxy Cleopatra.  She really has quite a wonderful plethora of I’m-gonna-cutta-bitchfaces.  I hope she explains the nuanced differences in a commentary track or special feature on the dvd!  

And, judging from the next clip, it’s nice to know that Ali Larter is really quite consistent when delivering her balls-to-walls ridiculous performance.  A particularly magical moment starts at 1:28:

“Make it filthy” needs to become my new cellphone ring.  I’m pretty convinced that Ali Larter needs to be my best friend, provided that she stays in character whenever we hang out.  Every new clip is like a different Pokemon of batshit insanity, and I’ve just got this overwhelming urge telling me I’ve gotta catch them all.  And, oh, shall I ever.

An instant camp classic is soon among us!  Obsessed is out tomorrow, y’all!

PS: I tingle as the waves of profundity wash over me when he pontificates about Ali Larters character by suggesting, “In a way, she’s monstrous.”  Can we please give this movie’s director an honorary PhD in Film Studies from Le Duh University?

I Promise This Will Be the Last Powder Blue Post. For This Week.
April 16, 2009

Not by choice, mind you.  It’s just that after this one, there’ll be no more clips from the destined-to-be-a-masterpiece wunderfilm Powder Blue for me to post.  It’s seriously sad times, y’all!  I’m already feeling disoriented and confused about this bleak future where we are without indescribable pleasures of constant Powder Blue posts.  Expect the chills and nausea to set in soon because it’s a scientific fact that Powder Blue withdrawal is like heroin withdrawal.  But worse.  So much worse.  

So here it is, the last hit we’re gonna get for a few weeks.  May 8th is still several weeks away, so you’d better savor this deliciousness:

Oh man, this clip totally makes things all better.  You know what’s better than Lisa Kudrow’s secret to dieting?  Jessica Biel’s creeptastically crazy-ass secret about being visited by her father in her sleep when she’s been good.  And you know what’s better than that?  NOTHING.  Well, perhaps the fact that she’s sharing her uncomfortably insane secret with someone that she BARELY KNOWS and then invites him to visit her at work.  Which is a strip club.  Because that’s a safe thing to do with a stranger.  Other than that, though, NOTHING IS BETTER.  

Really, the more I think about it, I feel like my soul is at ease.  If this scene, with its stunningly awkward and failed attempts at sentimentality and emotionally-moving acting, doesn’t convince you that Powder Blue promises to be a magical experience in the art of pure camp, then I don’t know what to say to you at this point.  I guess everyone is entitled to their own tastes and opinions, even if they’re wrong.

%d bloggers like this: