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:


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


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.


The Boycott Against the Videodrome Remake Begins Today! Long Live the New Boycott!
April 27, 2009

In the past weeks, I’ve oh so gradually begun to rethink my initial and total disgust at the prospect of a Nightmare on Elm Street remake, in large part because of the rather inspired casting of Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger.  I still remain hesitant, of course, but I’m willing to lay off the knee-jerk backlash for a moment in favor of (incredibly) cautious optimism.

This reaction, however, will never ever EVER be the case with the just-announced Videodrome remake that’s to be written by Ehren Kruger, the man responsible for both some pretty damn good (Arlington Road, The Ring) and really damn dreadful (Reindeer Games, The Ring Two) movies.  I already feel thoroughly confident in saying that this remake will firmly fall into the latter camp.  I mean, just consider this tidbit that Variety reported on the remake:

The original “Videodrome” starred James Woods as the head of Civic TV Channel 83, who makes his station relevant by programming “Videodrome,” a series that depicts torture and murder that transfixes viewers.The new picture will modernize the concept, infuse it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller.

Neat.  Because despite it being one of the most fascinating and ambivalent takes on media and technology and sex and violence in modern culture, I totally forgot that—since it was released in 1983–Videodrome clearly has absolutely nothing to say about our current moment.  It really might as well be about people in Victorian England, or maybe the Stone Age.  Really, just look at this:

Yikes!  Looks like David Cronenberg got it all wrong the first time.  Videodrome obviously can only interesting as a “large scale sci-fi action thriller.”  Movies with any restraint and minimalism are sooo booooooring.  So are practical special effects.  The only way to make Videodrome interesting or relevant is through CGI and explosions. Universal is clearly right with this remake, and I’m just a dunderhead who writes total nonsense!


This Picture is How I Feel This Morning
February 25, 2009


Did you hear they’re remaking Clue?  According to, they are!  I’m so glad that Hollywood has their fingers on the pulse of what audiences really want.   Who has any interest in a brilliant comic-mystery-cult-classic when we can get “a global thriller and transmedia event that uses deductive reasoning as its storytelling engine” instead?  I’m not entirely certain what the hell a “transmedia event” even qualifies as, but it sure sounds great, right?  

Wrong.  Absolutely wrong.

Oh well, at least we’ll always have Madeline Khan…

You Don’t Have to Thank Me, But I Found You Your New Favorite Movie
February 10, 2009

It’s called The Loved One, and it’s based on the book of the same name by Evelyn Waugh.  She wrote Brideshead Revisited, so we know the classy factor already is up at an 8.  Terry Southern (who c0-wrote Dr. Strangelove and Barbarella) wrote it, and Tony Richardson (who directed the 1963 adaptation of Tom Jones) brought it to the screen.  Oh, and Rod Steiger, Liberace, and Roddy McDowall all have roles in this movie.  Oh, OH!  One more thing: Robert Morse, who plays Sterling Cooper senior partner Bertram Cooper on the bestest-ever show Mad Men, has the lead.  You know what they call movies like this, right?  Prestige movies.  ‘Cos there’s so much class in this movie going on right now.  The classiest classy class, all the time.  Behold!

FEBRUARY 10TH FOOLS DAY!!!  We’ve found something more freakish than Nannerpuss, and it’s taken less than a day!  Astounding!  Don’t be angry, though; Rod Steiger’s Joyboy song will haunt my dreams for some time to come, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll dream tonight of being eaten by lobsters and that obese woman.  Awful.

 In full disclosure, though, I have to admit that I’m completely intrigued by this movie and am seriously pondering buying it based on that one scene alone.  The creepy factor of the misadjusted family completely predates Toby Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and then there’s the creepy Gothic Americana vibe pulsing through it that has me thinking of some sort of bizarro hybrid between Suddenly, Last Summer and Psycho (the oedipal issues alone could warrant a paper).  Then there’s that healthy dose of campy bad taste that, given the Evelyn Waugh origins, is probably some twisted, blackly comic hyper-satire.  Finding this is like finding the Tutankhamun tomb of long-lost cult classics.

And like I said: there’s no need to thank me.  ‘Cos now you know about The Loved One, and we all know that the real treasure is knowledge.


Thanks to Dana for the tip.

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