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.

And the Winner Should Be…Tracy Morgan, for The Danish Girl!
February 29, 2016

tracy morgan danish girl

At the very least, last night’s Oscars were better than I’d expected. We didn’t solve America’s race problems, but Chris Rock was given enough room to provide some humorous yet honest commentary on Hollywood’s “sorority” racism. Better still, there was a truly great bit about black actors in white movies, which included the indisputable highlight of the evening, Tracy Morgan in The Danish Girl:

(more…)

As It’s So Camp, a Few Thoughts Regarding Lady Gaga’s David Bowie Tribute at the Grammys
February 16, 2016

lady gaga david bowie tribute grammys

In case you were under a rock or watching the Westminster Dog Show, the Grammys were on last night, and Lady Gaga took the stage to perform a David Bowie tribute. As a David Bowie tribute, it was…okay, I guess? But as a Vegas-ready tribute to incidental robot piano rigs, a lack of self-editing, and also David Bowie, it was something else! (That something else is ridiculous.)

I mean, seriously, let’s take another look:

(more…)

Ann-Margret Is a F***ing Maniac
March 16, 2015

ann-margret hold me squeeze me red dress

My most favorite thing about Ann-Margret (other than, well, everything) is that she’s the rare star whose entire career is a triumph of naive camp. Just look at her, and look at those two dancers behind her, and tell me they’re all not screaming “YASSS, ANN-MARGRET, YASSSSS!”…with their eyes.

Sure, other actresses slip into camp from time to time like it’s a luxuriously beaded chemise, but Ann-Margret is that beaded chemise, plus an abundantly thrusty sexuality I might blame on a low blood sugar, but most Americans insist is just European. Insulin and exotic are only a few letters apart, after all.

(more…)

TGIFriday the 13th, Now Here’s Betsy Palmer as Mrs. Voorhees
March 13, 2015

In the annals of great camp performances, I think Betsy Palmer’s turn as Mrs. Voorhees is the (over the)tops, and since it’s apropos of today, here she is simply killing it (literally) in Friday the 13th as one of my favorite horror movie mommie dearests this side of Vera Farmiga’s Norma Bates and Ronee Blakley in A Nightmare on Elm Street:

(more…)

Inside the ACTING Studio, With James Lipton and Faye Dunaway
March 3, 2015

faye dunaway mommie dearest joan crawford shower

As far as I’m concerned, the only thing more camp than Faye Dunaway’s performance in Mommie Dearest is James Lipton and Faye Dunaway on Inside the Actors Studio discussing Faye Dunaway’s performance in Mommie Dearest, without irony:

(more…)

Sh*t Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan Says
February 28, 2015

I had almost forgotten about “Shit Girls Say” meme craze, which is fine, because it’s not 2012, and I try to rely upon more than trite gendered observations and casual misogyny for humor. I rely upon innumerable Showgirls references instead, because I dine on sophistication. (And Doggie Chow.)

Speaking of sophistication, here’s an 8-minute montage of Alexis Carrington quotes, because even the most exhausted meme is revitalized by Joan Collins, Dynasty clips, and a glamorous yet sensible appreciation of shoulder pads.

BEHOLD! Nobody Puts Baby in a Horner’s Acting Debut in As the World Moves
March 30, 2011

Back during my sophomore year of college at the University of Georiga, a group of friends and I entered the Campus MovieFest. The theme that year was something like “Moving the World,” and seeing how we were a tasteful group of budding filmmakers, we chose to go the esoteric and inspirational route for our short: We made a fake previously-on-last-season’s teaser for a nighttime soap opera entitled As the World Turns.

We thought of everything, and I mean everything: Love triangles, wedding proposals, chronic illnesses, multiple counts of substance abuse, lies, betrayals, and shocking secrets revealed! When we failed to sweep the festival, it was clear that though we were big, the moviefests had already gotten too small. Somewhere on Sunset Boulevard, Norma Desmond shed a tear in silent commiseration.

ANYWAYS, Campus MovieFest has begun putting these submissions up on YouTube, and one of my old roommates recently stumbled upon our entry brought it to my attention, so without further ado,  As the World Moves:

(more…)

Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Angelina Jolie in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
August 3, 2010

Estimated budget of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow as according to Box Office Mojo?  $70 million.  Total worldwide box office of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, again, as according to Box Office Mojo?  $57, 958, 696; in other words, just shy of $58 million.  If you’re going to be an accountant about it, I guess that makes Kerry Conran’s loving homage to Classic Hollywood film serials, kitschy sci fi aesthetics, and New York City architecture in the late 1930s (seriously, the scene where Gwyneth Paltrow goes into Radio City Music Hall is an instant Art Decorgasm) something of a box office failure.  Not an outright bomb, for sure, but also not about to get Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow 2: 2 Late for 2morrow greenlit any time soon.  BOOO, 0bviously.  Obviously?  Obviously.

(more…)

Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Fiona Shaw in The Black Dahlia
July 22, 2010

A few years back,I gushed to my mother about what a steal it was when I dropped $5 for a used copy of The Black Dahlia from a nearby Blockbuster.  I went on and on and on about how bad it was, and finally mother stopped me and asked, “Why would you even want to spend $5 dollars on it then?”  I guess that’s a reasonable question (for other people), so consider the above image of Fiona Shaw delivering a perfectly executed side-eye just before sipping her martini my argument for The Black Dahlia being five of my best-spent dollars.

Seriously, when it comes to performances, The Black Dahlia is by and large one of the most baffling experiences of all time.  Most everyone seems to be aiming for ’40s-film-noir only to achieve awkward-and-forced-like-bad-pulp-dialogue, Hilary Swank looks absolutely nothing like “that dead girl” despite Scarlett Johansson having a line of dialogue that explicitly insists otherwise, and then there’s Fiona Shaw.  She plays Hilary Swank’s wealthy boozehound of a mother, Ramona Linscott, and she’s incredible.  I’m not entirely certain what–if any–direction Brian DePalma gave her because her performance is from a completely different movie about a batshit crazy drunk who won’t take anybody’s sass.  She’s like Carla Gugino in Watchmen, lighting up the screen and warming the camp-adoring cockles of our hearts with each slurred word and wildly over-exaggerated gesticulation.  For example, a less inspired actress would probably sloppily eat the pot roast in this scene, but not Fiona Shaw:

(more…)

Today’s (Much Belated) Fabulous Image in Cinema: Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal
July 21, 2010

When things get quiet over at this particular corner of the internet, the reality is there’s only person we have to blame, and that person is me.  The only problem with this is that I’m a blame shifter, so when things get quiet over at this particular corner of the internet (at least this time around), it’s Christopher Nolan’s fault.  Seriously, he’s the man behind Inception, and I’m merely the owner of the mind that movie melted, which mean he’s the one who committed the mind crime!  (Get it?!?)  Besides, Joseph Gordon Levitt looking positively dapper (or do I mean Draper?) in a suit and vest will muddle your brain for days like that.  Oh, and the Mad Men Fever obviously isn’t helping my crazy, either.  Anyways, we’re not here to talk about Inception (YET); we’re here to talk about Today’s (much belated) Fabulous Image in Cinema, and Today’s (much belated) Fabulous Image in Cinema is from Notes on a Scandal, so let’s talk about it.

(more…)

In Honor of the 105th Anniversary of Her Birthday, Here’s a Bevy of Joan Crawford Doing What Joan Crawford Does Best
March 23, 2010

From a still for the 1932 film Letty Lynton, here’s Joan Crawford epitomizing 1930s glamor in front of the most glorious Art Deco revolving doorway I’ve ever seen:

I’d like to imagine that this is the gay man’s version (or at least this gay man’s version) of Saint Peter and the Pearly Gates, but that might count too much of a good thing even by Heaven’s standards, so I can be willing to settle for just the doorway.

Here’s Joan Crawford’s cameo in the 1949 Doris Day vehicle It’s a Great Feeling:

Or as I like to call it, “Joan Crawford in furs, birthing cinematic Postmodernism.”

And then there’s Queen Bee, which leaves me without many words whether it’s as a single image:

(more…)

Stefania Rotolo Is the Sara Carlson of Tilt, Whatever the Hell Tilt Is
January 21, 2010

Once, not so long ago, I discovered the ferocious dance magic of 80s Italian variety show superstar Sara Carlson, and it was fabulous.  Sure, she set an impossibly high bar by which all others must be judged (sorry, Bonnie Bianco), but Sara Carlson busts moves worth the mind-blowing paradigm shift that will force you to recalibrate your feeble understandings of reality and consciousness.  I imagine it’s like dropping acid, but without the whole mess of making your spinal fluid run backwards.    

Anyways, while we may never match the inimitable batshit insanity of Sara Carlson’s days on Al Paradise, it’s comforting to also be reminded that Italian television’s well of crazy runs deep.  Like, ridiculously deep:

The best I can tell, Tilt is some sort of disco-era dance competition, which explains why everybody’s dancing around in a discotheque straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey.  And the Dali-meets-Magritte floating-apple backgrounds (sure).  As well as the two separate instances where Stefania Rotolo flies around on a piano (of course?).  You know, the usual imagery for a disco competition.  When you’re on angel dust.

Judging by the next clip, though, perhaps Tilt is actually a children’s variety program:

(more…)

TGIF! Now Here’s Carol Channing Being Better Than You
December 11, 2009

Friday Fun Fact: Carol Channing will always be better than you, but she’s particularly better than you in this clip from the 1985 television adaptation of Alice and Wonderland:

Is it any wonder that she’s got her own ventriloquist dummy?  No, I think not.

It’s Official: Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga MUST Join Forces
November 23, 2009

I didn’t watch the American Music Awards last night because I’ve better things to do with my time, which may or may not mean whipping up an epic amount of cheese grits and an entire box of Brown ‘N Serve sausage:

That’s for me to know and you to endlessly ponder.

Anyways, apparently I’m going to have to make more of an effort to tune in to these third-tier music awards programs because the clips I’ve seen from last night’s American Music Awards are all sorts of ridamndonkulousness.  In some instances, such as Lady Gaga’s performance, I don’t really find this particularly shocking:

While I’m always delighted to see what Lady Gaga will do next, I’ve long ago accepted that it will indubitably be completely batshit insane.  As a result, I can’t say fashioning light-up tubing into something resembling the exoskeleton of the creature from Alien is her most mind-blowing achievement.  Personal preference dictates I stick with either The World’s Gayest Homage to The Warriors or this little head exploder, but I’ve gotta give her points for outfitting a violin player in pig play gear.  I really don’t know what to do with that, so snaps for the nightmare fodder.  Lady Gaga is clearly dedicated to this whole Monster thing, but not nearly as dedicated as Adam Lambert is to becoming my favorite person on Earth:

(more…)

Since We Live in a Busy World, Here’s Changeling in 56 Seconds
November 19, 2009

Admittedly, there are certain differences between Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie, and the following YouTube video I stumbled upon.  For example, Angelina Jolie didn’t have a long-haired fright wig in the movie.  No no, she sported a fashionable 1930s bob:

Added to that, given that Changeling was a period piece, Angelina Jolie never wore hoodies or Billabong shirts, though sometimes she did wear this hat that I want:

Everything else about this video, however, is spot on:

(more…)

Clearly We’re All Seeing 2012 For the Oscar-Calibre Performances
October 6, 2009

Truth in advertising, y’all.  We really were warned:

2012 ridiculous

With disaster sequences like this, how can it not be?

But now someone’s decided that the only thing better than the five minutes of 2012 that recently made their way onto the internet would be editing out all of the ridiculous CGI footage, thus allowing us to instead focus our attention entirely on the ridiculous performances.  In other words, someone’s my new favorite genius:

(more…)

Today’s Secret Shame: I’ve Been Known to Do a Crazy Dance
July 2, 2009

Apparently my long-time friend and apprentice to my evil blog empire took offense at yesterday’s post about Hilary Duff post:

shmathan is displeased

Why?  Because apparently I neglected to mention that, in our sophomore year of college, Shmathan and were known to sing and dance to Ms. Duff’s ode to empowering spontaneity, “Why Not?”  I was going to be all apologetic and write a nostalgic post about all the wonderful times we’ve had, but I’ve unexpectedly come down with a case of the Carly Simons.  Symptoms include fever, nausea, and betting you think this blog is about you.  I mean, really, the indignation of it all!  How dare he?  Does he not know that my blog powers cannot be defeated:

Correction: My UNLIMITED POWAAAAAH (at blogging) cannot be defeated.  

Still, I must admit that, watching this clip, I cannot help but grow a little touched.  It was Shmathan and I who relished the camp pleasure of Ian McDiarmid’s batshit insane performance in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith time and time again.  Shmathan was the one who solved the Rubick’s cube that is Jessica Alba’s acting style; and, yes, it was Shmathan who convinced me to do a crazy dance in the dorms, time and time again.  Damn you, nostalgia!  Must you be my Waterloo?  

Anywhosie, enough of that nonsense.  Now that I’ve shed my single tear of emotion, I need to touch-up my bitchface and get back to blogging like I only intend to see you next Tuesday.  And Shmathan, consider yourself spared.  This time.  Next time I’ll be considerably less favorable.  As if you could ever have the strength or fortitude to hijack my blogging for your own pety desires!  Ha!  POWAH!  UNLIMITED POW-

(more…)

Let’s All Take Another Trip Down the Rabbit Hole That is Sara Carlson’s Career
June 9, 2009

Of all the curios I’ve come across the internet since beginning this blog, the kinetic wonder that is Sara Carlson is indubitably a personal favorite.  For the camp aficionado, watching her dance is a transcendental, yet enigmatic, experience.  She moves in ways that are positively superhuman, her facial expressions are like tractor beams determined to pull you into her orbit of fabulousness, and those costumes are simply out of control.  At the same time, there’s so little information about Sara Carlson that she’s practically like the Loch Ness Monster of camp pleasure.  We have document occurrences but little substantial information to support or explain her existence.  

How did she find herself in Italy, and where did she go after her stint on Al Paradise?  What’s she been up to in the past two-and-a-half decades, and where is she now?  While many of these questions demand answers, I’m quite pleased to say that I can at least vouch for Sara Carlson’s existence.  We’ve made contact, and she walks among us!  Seriously, check it out:

sara carlson comment

And not only has she found us, but we can now find her whenever we want thanks to the wonders of MySpace.  Thanks, outdated social network of the early aughts!

Even better, though, is that her MySpace has several more videos posted, and–dare I say it?  Yes, I do dare!–they’re even more incredible than the last round.  I hope you like your paradigms shifted, because that’s what these videos will do.

(more…)

Werner Herzog’s Made His Showgirls
June 1, 2009

This is Werner Herzog:

herzog

(portrait © Robin Holland)

It’s rather safe to say that he’s one of cinema’s indisputable masters.  He’s made masterworks like Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarldo and Grizzly Man.  He’s also a man of his word.  In short, Werner Herzog’s on the short list of the Bestest, and he’s now made Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.  It’s about a cocaine-addicted police officer without any moral scruples and a major case of sailor’s mouth (ruh-roh!), and it stars Nicolas Cage (double, all-caps RUH-ROH!).  This is the trailer, which is not safe for work and will probably have my mother asking me why I get a thrill out of such garbage:

Crimminy crap, such garbage!  But hilarious garbage, to be sure!  There’s no point in even commenting on Nicolas Cage’s performance because we’ve all come to expect him to be consistently, categorically insane.  He has a lucky crack pipe, he hallucinates iguanas, and he fires off his gun so onlookers will leave him be while he has public sex with crack whores.  Nicolas Cage’s officially our generation’s John Wayne, the grand camp jester of histrionic masculinity; he’s brilliant.  I think what’s more important is the rest of this cast.  Serioulsly, y’all, it doesn’t make a damn lick of sense.

(more…)

%d bloggers like this: