Take Two: Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore/Men Don’t Leave

I will always love horror. It’s as ingrained in me as the blue in my eyes. In spite of that, I also love a good drama, and here are two of my very favorites, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Martin Scorsese’s first Hollywood movie, and Men Don’t Leave, Paul Brickman’s follow up to Risky Business. Both movies are very similar in many ways, yet tell their own story and are completely their own.

Both feature a woman in their mid 30’s suddenly widowed and left with debt and kids. While Alice only has 11 year old Tommy, Beth has two sons, 9 year old Matthew and 17 year old Chris. First we’ll take a look at Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

I’ve always had a fondness for this movie. It was one of those films that the early years of HBO and Showtime played nonstop or so it seemed. Much of that fondness was because Alfred Lutter who plays Tommy, reminded me of my best friend growing up, Chris. He denied the resemblance, and probably still does to this day, but it was there in my eyes, and that’s all that mattered.

I watched it recently for the first time in about 40 years, and I have to say I was curious if my feelings for it had changed. They hadn’t. If anything they grew stronger, and I still say it is Scorsese’s best movie, and certainly his most underrated.

Released in   1974, and starring Ellen Burstyn (who won an academy award for the role), ADLHA is a bit of an anomaly for Scorsese. It came right after Mean Streets and was unlike anything he’d done, or would do for many years. Burstyn was filming The Exorcist when she got the script, and after calling Francis Ford Coppola, had Warner Brothers hire Scorsese to direct. It’s unmistakably a Scorsese film, with many of the same camera moves he’d hone and perfect in future movies. It also lacked the polish of say Raging Bull or Goodfellas, but that works in its favor.

Alice starts off in, Monterey, CA with her as a little girl. We hear her sing, rather unevenly at that, and her promise to be a singer. We jump 27 years to the present where she now resides in Socorro NM. From the first few moments we see the family, we know these characters. Don, the short tempered, emotionally stunted husband; Alice the unhappy, put upon but dutiful wife, and Tommy the precocious smart ass of a kid who doesn’t get along with his father.

Though the beginning of their relationship is never mentioned, it has all the earmarks of High School sweethearts who had an unplanned kid, and were forced to get married. When Alice cries herself to sleep one night because of her husband’s lack of communication, we feel her pain. We share the sorrow, and neediness when she grabs him after he begrudgingly holds her.

It doesn’t take long before the husband is killed in an accident (he was a truck driver for Coca-Cola, as all he wears in the movie is their uniform). Alice devastated, and out of money, not that she ever had much to begin with,  decides to sell everything, pack up the kid and go back to Monterey to become a singer again. Why? Because when you think of a singing career, you think of Monterey, CA. Right?

Tommy reminds her that his twelfth birthday is coming up, and Alice promises him they’ll get to Monterey in time to celebrate it. Fate has other plans and her car breaks down in Phoenix, AZ. Broke, without a car and living in a cheap motel, Alice starts looking for work and talks her way into a singing gig at a piano bar. Now, if the movie has one flaw, it’s that Alice really can’t sing. Certainly not the torch song standards she prefers, yet everyone thinks she’s fantastic.

That includes Ben, a suave, young man bent on bedding Alice. After she relents, and they start a relationship, she gets a visit from Ben’s wife, letting Alice know he was not only married but had a child as well. As they sit talking, Ben breaks in, starts beating on his wife and literally kicks her out the door while she’s on her hands and knees. He then threatens Alice, which is enough for her to pack everything and escape. She lands in Tucson and gets a job as a waitress at Mel’s diner. There she befriends the tough as a marshmallow owner/cook Mel, and two waitresses, the acerbic, take no shit Flo, and the dumb as a doorknob Vera. Alice and Flo don’t get on at first, and Alice grows to hate the job.

Things change when she meets the handsome stranger, David, a rancher who comes in for breakfast every day. At first Alice rejects his advances, so he gets Tommy on his side by taking him out to the ranch for some horseback riding. Alice finally relents and they begin dating.

Tommy meanwhile becomes friends with Audrey, a young girl well on her way to doing jail time as an adult. She talks Tommy into stealing, drinking ripple, and generally being a juvenile delinquent. In spite of that, his mother is oblivious to his behavior, and when David finally disciplines him (on his birthday no less), Alice goes ballistic and breaks up with him.

Realizing he may have been right, Alice confides in Flo, and the wizened waitress gives the crying mother some advice. When Tommy gets picked up by the police with Audrey for being drunk, Alice comes to her senses somewhat, and she and David make up and Alice decides to stay in Tucson, because she can be a singer everywhere.

It’s an uncharacteristically upbeat ending for Scorsese, but then so is the idea of his making a feminist movie. ADLHA was released at the height of the women’s movement, and it not only became a box office success, but earned star Ellen Burstyn an Oscar. Diane Ladd (who would later go on to star in the sitcom Alice, though not as Flo), also earned a best supporting actress nomination. Harvey Keitel as the viuolent Ben lights up the screen with his smile and snake’s eyes. Throw in a great performance by Kris Kristofferson as David, and Alfredd Lutter as Tommy and you have all the ingredients for a classic movie.

The best movies remain timeless, no matter when they were made. Alice is certainly one of these, and its message is as potent and relevant today as it was in 1974. For a young director like Scorsese, who was 32 when he filmed it, Alice shows a confidence and maturity missing in many films from director’s with twice his experience (for the time). His use of music is as exemplary as always, as is the camera work. The fact that I still think about this movie decades later is a testament to its power and longevity.

While it took Paul Brickman 7 years to make another movie after Risky Business, it proved that he was a force to be reckoned with, in spite of the sophomore effort’s mixed reviews. Men Don’t Leave was filmed in 1988 but not released until 1990. Like Alice, it also is a product of its time, perhaps not quite as timeless, but no less powerful.

John McCauley is a contractor with a loving wife and two boys, 17 year old Chris, and 9 year old Matt. They live in Maryland in a posh neighborhood, and are as much upper middle class as Alice and her Coca Cola driver husband were lower middle class. As the movie opens the youngest son is narrating over scenes of him running home. He has a little house in the backyard where his brother helps him install a doorbell. There’s brief scenes of the family together, Mom and Dad together and the brothers together. It’s a close knit and loving family, also the very opposite of what Alice had.

As in ADLHA, the father dies very early on, though the police come to tell Beth, as opposed to the phone call Alice gets. While Alice loved her husband on some level, Beth is still in love with hers, and his death cuts deeper, especially for the boys, in particular the oldest, Chris. They all have ways of trying to cope, with Beth simply trying to keep the household going. Chris responds to the death with anger and frustration, while young Matthew bottles everything up.

When Beth learns about the massive amount of debt her husband left, she does what Alice did and starts selling things including the truck that had been promised to Chris. Beth gets a job as a cashier but it still isn’t enough, and she makes the decision to sell the house and move to Baltimore. And though she’s not forced tro live in a rundown motel, she does move into a rundown apartment with no air conditioning and windows that are stuck shut.

This is where ADLHA and MDL diverge a bit, though we still see some similarities. Beth gets a menial job making and delivering gourmet sandwiches, and ends up meeting a musician on one of her deliveries. Chris meets a single X-Ray Tech in her 20’s who falls for him, and Matt is friends with Winston, another 9 year old who steals VCR’s (again, the stealing theme).

Chris’ attitude towards Charles is predictably angry and resentful, and maybe a tad jealous as well. His mother’s relationship only serves to throw him into the arms of his now girlfriend, who seems to be a bit of a creeper *a fact not lost on Beth who asks her at one point, “Couldn’t you find a 10 year old?”)

Matt maintains his stoicism, and though he knows stealing the VCR’s is wrong, he is only doing it to earn enough money to buy back the house he grew up in. To that end, he and Winston invest in scratch lottery tickets, each for their own purposes.

As things go, Life starts to unravel for Beth. She loses her job, Chris moves in with Jody, she stops talking to Charles, and Matt is as detached as ever. She falls into a depression and ends up in bed for 5 days, not bothering to cook, clean, bathe, or do much of anything. Chris gets Jody to try and help his mother, and with great resistance, Beth relents and allows herself to be helped.

Matt however has a breakdown of his own, after Winston gets a winning lottery ticket and doesn’t share it with him as they had agreed. Matt runs away, and much like Alice where we see her searching for a missing Tommy, we see Beth, Charles and Chris searching for Matt.

A phone call from the new owners of their house lets them know he is there and in his old fort. They race to the house, where tears are shed, monologues are given, and love is dispensed. The last scene is of the family, plus Jody and Charles going boating together, along with more voice over from Matt.

It’s a manufactured happy ending for a slick, over produced Hollywood production. It treats depression as something you just snap out of by a clean apartment, clean clothes and a cup of tea. And for its faults, I still love this movie. Jessica Lange as Beth was really coming into her own then, enough to make us all forget her horrible turn in 1976’s King Kong.

MDL is Chris O’Donnell’s debut, and it’s easy to see why he catapulted into stardom, as his acting here is nothing short of phenomenal. The same is true for Charlie Korsmo who plays his little brother. Both are amazing and very believable. Arliss Howard as Charles has the most thankless roll, and the most forgettable. He does his best, but Charles comes across as so bland, you really don’t get invested in him.

It’s Kathy Bates as Beth’s boss and Joan Cusack as Chris’ girlfriend who steal the show. Every time they’re onscreen is magic. I’d love to have seen more of Bates, but what we do get is deliciously bitchy. Cusack, as pleasant as she seems to be, still comes across as a creeper, and you never feel entirely comfortable with her character. You get the feeling if they had sex offenders lists then, her name would be on it.

As I said, MDL is not a perfect movie. It feels too manufactured and not nearly as honest, emotionally as Alice. And ADLHA has a far more organic, natural feel, which better characters and a far more believable ending. The difference is night and day when comparing the scene of Alice and Flo in the bathroom, and Beth and Jody in Beth’s kitchen. Alice makes you feel like you’re eavesdropping, while Men makes you aware that this isn’t how real people talk, but you still go with it.

I’m not sure why I have the attachment to Men Don’t Leave, other than it was released a year after my own father died, and I could relate to a lot of the feelings I saw onscreen. I was 24 then, but still felt like the 9 year old Matt at times.

Regardless, and if for nothing else, Men Don’t Leave is well worth watching for the performances alone. Watch it on a double bill with Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, and compare them the way I have, then ask yourself, which one am I? The answer may surprise you.

Review: Poet: An Intimate discussion with Wade Radford

Disclaimer: I am in this documentary briefly, and also friends with the subject. In spite of that, what follows is an objective look at the film, and only my opinion.

One of the very first things I found out about Wade Radford was that he was a poet.This didn’t surprise me as his movie Twink (the film that brought us in touch) was nothing if not poetic at times. The first book of poems of his that I read was “Tough Blows of A Sleepless Universe” and I was, if not blown away, then at least suitably impressed. As further volumes of his work came out, the stronger and tighter his poems became. I suppose the culmination for me, was being asked to write a forward to his collection, “Ideations of Six Feet Under” . For me that volume is perhaps my favorite because it truly captured his honesty, anger and amazing amount of talent.

So, it was also no surprise when he told me that he was going to be making a documentary about his poetry. I was excited by this, as a movie by Wade is always a cause for celebration. The fact it was his first movie  in a couple of years, with long time collaborator and friend Jason Impey was all the better. I was equally humbled when asked to contribute to the film as a talking head (so to speak). I filmed my bits sent them off, and was able to watch the final product this past week.

In short it’s everything you might expect. And more. And less as well. In addition to my contribution we also hear from Jason, punk legend Honey Bane, and film producer Thomas Lee Bottom (who also funded this project). For the record, Honey Bane contributed one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard in a very long time, using one of Wade’s poems for the lyrics.  The sparse musical arrangement suits this song very well, and Honey’s vocals are nothing short of amazing. This song needs to be a single and played everywhere, it’s that good.

Interspersed with the interviews are pieces where Wade ruminates on, well pretty much everything. These parts are less about the poetry, and moreo about what goes into them. It’s not every day you get to see the inner workings of a poet. During these clips we’re taken to places that have significance to him, and he explains why they have meaning. The camera work during these interludes is at times breathtaking, as much as what Wade discusses is heartbreaking.

We also see Wade reading several of his poems throughout, and as wonderful as they are, and as powerfully read (if a bit over theatrical at times), it interrupts the flow of the movie.

The interview segments are what you would expect from a documentary and all who participate have great things to say and some keen insights at times. We’re all friends of Wade’s and it may come off as a mutual admiration society, but this is about the poetry, not necessarily the person. This isn’t about digging up the dirt, but peeling back the layers to see what makes the heart of his work beat with such unrepentant ferocity.

At a full two hour running time, it does drag a bit in spots, and while I think it would have been perfect at 90 minutes, I’m not sure what I would end up cutting, because it all seems important enough to keep in. And as I alluded to earlier the poetry readings do tend to slow it down, but they are also worth the time they take.

Some may see Poet as a vanity project, a product of equal parts ego and hubris, and for some they would be right. For Wade however, he is open, honest, humble, and most of all doesn’t take himself seriously. His wit and charm is very evident, and the readings are a testament to his talent.

As I watched Poet, I couldn’t help but think I wish I had half his ability, and that’s about the highest compliment I can pay anyone. Poet shows why that  praise is warranted.

Poet: An Intimate Discussion With Wade Radford is available to rent or purchase on Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/poetwaderadford

 

Hellraiser: Judgment Get the Hell Out of Here

Anyone who knows me, even if just from the podcast, knows my favorite horror movie is Hellraiser. To be fair it’s one of my favorite movies period, and has been since I first saw it one sunny September day in 1987. It’s difficult to believe that was 3 decades ago, as the memory is still as fresh as if I had seen it only yesterday. I’d gone with a friend who was not fond of horror movies to say the least, and finally walked out after Frank’s classic, “Jesus wept,” line. I’m not sure he ever forgave me for dragging him along, but I couldn’t have been happier.

Everything about the movie appealed to me, and Clive Barker cemented himself alongside Stephen King as one of my idols. The idea of the Cenobites, their reason for existence, and Frank’s obsession with extremes was something that resonated with me, and has never been very far from my thoughts. With the advent of VHS players, Hellraiser became the movie to which I judged future friendships. If someone was able to sit through it, or even better, like it, I knew they’d be a keeper. It’s a test I still use to this day and has served me well.

I can’t say the same about the sequels. Even Hellraiser II, which some prefer to the original never had the profound effect of the original, and while I enjoyed 3 and 4-everything after that was nearly as painful as the implements hanging from Pinhead’s belt.  Even 3 and 4 weren’t especially great, but they were entertaining, and at least attempted to do something different, or expand the world that Barker had created.

When the rumblings of yet another sequel started rearing its head a couple of years ago (not to mention the remake which has fortunately not come to fruition yet), the news was greeted with an eye roll and shoulder shrug. Yet every time I read something about it, I have to say my interest was piqued more and more. Even when Doug Bradley said he wouldn’t be playing Pinhead, I still had hope.

And now after several postponements and some time in limbo, Hellraiser: Judgment will be available on VOD Feb 13. The short answer to the question of whether I like it or not is, “Well, it doesn’t suck!”  And while it’s probably the best of the direct to obscurity sequels, it’s not exactly a good movie.

 

The first 10 minutes or so is spent expanding the mythos that Barker began all those years ago, and it is easily the best part of the entire movie. We follow what turns out to be a pedophile to an abandoned house where he is strapped into a wheelchair. A tube winds itself from the victim to a typewriter, where The Auditor types his sins with blood flowing from the tube onto pages made from flesh.

Once completed The Assessor comes in, seasons the paper with tears of children and eats the paper, then vomits it into a funnel. The vomit then makes its way into a trough where The Jury, 3 women with their faces stripped away plunge their hands into the mess and deliver a verdict.

When that’s completed the pedophile is then strapped to a table where The Cleaners come in, lick his entire body then pour their spit into his mouth to cleanse the inside. The final step is when the Butcher makes his appearance, an obese dark Angel who carries The Surgeon on his back who filets the victim and strips his skin off.

The whole process is so fascinating; I really wish there had been more, as I was mesmerized and sickened by the process. Sadly, the rest of the movie doesn’t live up to this beginning, as we then get treated to a substandard serial killer/cops on the trail flick. Pinhead and the gang are relegated to the beginning and end with just a couple of quick scenes in between. Paul T. Taylor is a fantastic Pinhead however, and makes you realize a Hellraiser movie can succeed without Doug Bradley. This incarnation really hearkens back to the original movie. Pinhead here is all business, and scary as hell. His black eyes and calm, almost bored demeanor are a highlight for sure.

Director Gary J. Tunnicliffe also plays The Auditor and is also a highlight, and as I said, wish there had been more of him and his level of Hell in the film (he’s not a Cenobite, but another aspect of Hell). Heather Langenkamp, of Nightmare on Elm Street fame has a sneeze and you’ll miss it cameo, and I have to believe there’s a lot more of her on the editing room floor than in the movie.

This brings us to the “detectives” working on the case; a pair of brothers, played by Damon Carney and Randy Wayne, as well as a female detective assigned to the case, played by Alexandra Harris. These characters are easily the weakest link in the movie. You never believe they’re actually brothers. Let alone detectives, and in spite of solid performances, the script really lets them down. Harris does a fine job as well, but feels like she was thrown in there just to spice things up.

The biggest problem the movie has is the small budget. There are so many cool ideas that could have been explored but had to be cut because there simply wasn’t room in the budget for them.  The “detective’s” office looked more like a closet with some furniture thrown into it, and the finale takes place in an empty warehouse. I don’t blame the director for these choices, as you work with what you have, but still I can’t help but wonder what this movie could have been had they had a decent budget.

While I would have a hard time recommending buying the DVD/BluRay, I don’t think people will mind spending a few bucks to stream it. There are far worse movies out there, but in terms of Hellraiser sequels, you’ll find none that are much better. I just hope we get a proper sequel one day with more than a $1.98 budget, this franchise deserves more.

3/5 Pins

Seven Long Nights At Camp Blood: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

There probably should have been “My ass!” after the final chapter subtitle, as I don’t know anyone who believed the cash cow was being taken to the slaughter house. Like every good exploitation flick, the F13 movies were cheap and made a good profit. Who would want to stop that? Bueller?

With Steve Miner off to do other things, it was time for a new director, and exploitation movie director extraordinaire, Joseph Zito was brought in. Fresh off The Prowler, an underrated grindsploitation classic, Zito does the best he can, and while Final Chapter is a cut above (see what I did there?) the third entry, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily great, or even good. It is however different, and certainly the best looking of the four. It also sports some well known names, including Peter Barton (who had completed work on Nightmare with Linda Blair), Corey Feldman (who would go on to film The Goonies  the following year, thus keeping him from appearing in the sequel as the main character), and of course Crispi Glover, the Deney Terrio of the F13 franchise.

Much like Part 3, the fourth movie starts almost immediately after the previous. In fact the film opens on the investigation at the cabins, and the ambulances carrying away the dead bodies, and Jason. I should mention, prior to that, is a catching up of what has occurred in the previous movies, you know, because the back story is so rich and detailed it’s easy to get confused. It’s pointless filler, but with the running time at just about 90 minutes, can see why they threw it in. Regardless, we arrive at the morgue with Jason’s body, and the morgue attendant, a horny and serial sexual harasser tries to convince a nurse to spend some time in the cold room. She does this initially, however when Jason’s arm falls off the table, she loses her interest in boning the doc and heads off to do her job. Sadly for the doc, Jason rises and nearly decapitates him with a bone saw. I couldn’t think of a nicer guy to deserve such treatment.

Obviously the nurse is next to get it, and Jason takes off again for the woods.  We then meet this installments fresh meat for the grinder. On the way to Crystal Lake, they see the headstone for Mrs. Voorhees on the side of the road-because where else would you bury the mother of a serial killer? It should have one of those natio0nal park, Views of Interest next to it. If you thought Peter Barton and Crispin Glover would be part of this group, you’re correct. Crispin’s character Jimmy is sort of an awkward loner (totally against type), who hangs with his best friend Ted (played by Larry Monoson of Last American Virgin infamy). Ted is the joker of the group, Barton is the jock, and there’s another guy who is so boring, I forget he’s even in the movie.

Once they get to the cabin, we then meet their neighbors a family of three, Mom, daughter and son. Corey Feldman is the son who has a keen interest in horror movies and makeup.  The next day, the teens next door decide to go skinny dipping because, really, we haven’t seen enough boobs yet. While that is going on Tommy and his sister breakdown in their old POS which is mandatory for living in the woods. They run into a hiker that sis gets the hots for and they bring him back to the house. And what’s Jason doing during all this? I don’t know, they never show what he does in his downtime. (aside from the awful remake in 2009 which I will not review, I love you all but not that much.) Needless to say that since there’s going to be a party that night, you know Jason’s gonna be there to bust a move, furniture, bones, pretty much everything.

At this party Crispin Glover proves he isn’t a dead fuck as his friend referred to him on the trip to the cabin. Ted, said friend, ends up getting high, and acquires a case of blue balls while watching some early 20th century porn. In all honesty I think that would have been more interesting to watch. One by one everyone gets killed, save for Tommy and his sister,

Part four has perhaps my favorite way of Jason being killed. It is so gruesome that even today it makes me squirm, despite the fact iut looks fake as hell. He gets a machete in the head, and when he falls it hits the handle and we see it sliding through his skull, nearly cutting it off. It’s a fantastic effect marred only by the fact that Jason’s makeup looks more like a pull over mask than anything else. Yes it’s suitably deformed, that doesn’t make it scary though

 

In spite of the subtitle, and as I said in the beginning, there was no way this would have been the final movie, as the series was way too profitable for Paramount. The ending was setting up Tommy to take over for Freddy, and that could have happened had Corey Feldman not had to film The Goonies and Gremlins. Let’s be thankful to the powers that be that, that never happened. What came next was so, so much worse, but that’s getting ahead of myself.

The parts of F13 Part 4 are greater than the sum. There are some good scenes, such as Jason’s kill, and of course Crispin Glover’s spastic dancing. Yet the layout of Camp Crystal changes as much as Jason’s makeup-there’s no continuity in either of them really, and where did the second house come from all of a sudden? The world may never know. Needless nitpicking aside, Part 4 isn’t the worst of the bunch to this point, but that’s really not saying much.

Friday the 13th:  The Final Chapter get’s 5/10 machetes

8 Long Nights At Crystal Lake: Friday the 13th Part III in 3D

To the best of my knowledge and recollection, Friday the 13th Part 3 (in 3D!), was the first and only F13 movie I ever saw in a theater; all of the others were on home video. What makes it such a vivid memory was my friend Richard, his brother Rodney and myself went to a midnight showing the weekend it opened (3 days after my 17th birthday). I’d met Richard through Fangoria, and he lived just a mile or two away from me. Our love for horror and especially make up effects for him, gave us a fast, if not especially long friendship. We made a werewolf movie together on his super 8mm camera that had sound, and while the end product was about what you would expect from some teenagers, it was a hell of a lot of fun.

The theater was so packed we couldn’t find seats next to one another, and that was only one of two things which dampened the night. The second was the movie. In spite of us having a lot of fun, and enjoying the 3D, as well as the audience reaction, it’s simply not a very good movie. F13 never aspired to be high art, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun, enjoyable flicks. Sadly, one of the most iconic things about the franchise is introduced in this snoozefest, where even some kickass 3D effects can’t save the movie. Steve Miner returns to the director’s chair, and we’re all the worse off for that.

F3D (as I’ll refer to it), takes place immediately after the events of the second movie. We start off with Jason hanging around a general store run by  two rubes Harold and Edna. Harold likes to nibble from packages around the store and put them back on the shelves, while Edna is a knitting and TV watching wunderkind.  In fact when we first see her, she’s watching a news story (with Steve Miner as the anchor), about the murders at Crystal Lake. Jason meanwhile borrows some clothes that were hanging on the clothesline (in spite of the fact he’s much bigger than Harold), and ends up killing them both. Harold gets an ax in the chest after taking a very noisy dump, while Edna gets a knitting needle through the eye.

We then meet this installment’s nubile victims. Chris Higgins and her friends who are all going to her family’s cabin, which just happens to be on Crystal Lake. Not only that, but she was once attacked by Jason and escaped, and this is her first time back since then. We also have her pregnant best friend Debbie, her boyfriend Andy, and Shelley, the pudgy, dumpy comic relief-as well as his blind date Vera. Oh, did I mention the older stoner couple? They’re there too though no one ever tells us why. With Ralph being disposed of in the last movie, we have new town crazy that we meet as he’s laying down in the middle of the road.  He warns them off with an eye he found, that belongs to one of the victims, Charming little bugger, he is.

I suppose the main reason the old stoners are there is for the scene where they have to eat all the dope in the car because the police are behind them with their sirens on. When they pull over the cops pass them. Hahahahahaha, isn’t that funny? Well, it was at midnight in 1982, when I may or may not have been high. As they make their way to the cabin, Shelley, who has a propensity for doing very bad pranks doesn’t like people touching his box of stuff, that has his entire life in it.

Once at the cabin we meet Chris’ ex boyfriend Rick. And as a sidenote, there’s a reason why people named Rick, are called Rick the Prick. This guy is a Harvey Weinstein wannabe. All he wants to do is screw Chris, and gets a little pissy when he doesn’t get his way. I found his death later in the movie to be especially sweet. Shelley pulls one of his pranks which angers everyone, so he schleps off to town with Vera. Once there, they run into some bikers, which concludes with Shelley knocking their bikes down with the car. Feeling a little cocky, he gains some self esteem, but is still a pretty miserable person. His death, when it finally comes is a relief.

The bikers somehow make their way to the house, and all of them end up getting killed in the barn. In fact, the barn becomes more of the center piece of the movie than the house. While it wouldn’t have been my choice, I can understand it as there’s a lot more room to maneuver, especially when you add 3D.

Speaking of which…the 3D effects in this were top notch for the time. Even on the DVD release they still look good. It’s really the only thing that makes watching the movie bearable. Aside from some pacing issues, awful dialogue and cardboard characters, there’s just a lot of stupidity flowing throughout the movie, for instance, Stoner guy has to go to the bathroom, so we see him use an outhouse instead of the perfectly good bathroom in the house. If he couldn’t smoke in the house I could see that, but he could, so it was simply a way to get him off on his own. Stupid.   Another time stoner has to go check the breaker box because the lights went out. The basement is separated from the main house like a bomb shelter. Again, for no other reason than the writer’s weren’t clever enough to think of something which made sense.

The kills in 3 are well done, but nothing special, and aside from one or two, not especially gory. There’s zero tension, and zero atmosphere, and all the scares are cheap jump ones, which is a real step down from the first two. Miner and the writers tried adding a sense of humor ti the movie, and it falls flat, because that’s not needed in an F13 film. Let’s not even talk about the acting. Had it not been for Jason getting his iconic mask after killing Shelley, no one would remember 3 at all.

I give Friday the 13th Part 3 4.5 machetes.

Mike Brendan: Troll Hunter

After a lovely two week respite from the mangy, flea infested Nikita, our little troll has come back with a 19 page (!) .pdf file explaining  why his collection of whining and egomania isn’t libelous.  While I never link to his silliness, I will in this case, as it’s breathtaking in its hypocrisy, delusions, and typical lack of coherence. http://unclefossil.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/in-defense-of-confessional.pdf

Want to save time and brain cells? Mike Brendan did a fantastic job of slaying the troll. What follows is posted with his permission and taken from the comments on the rectal fissure’s blog.

Nicky, this 19-page vomit continues to prove that you are incompetent as a writer. You’d have to work hard for years to become a tenth of a peer to anyone else, and since you don’t know how to actually work…

The HWA didn’t commit libel when they called you a stalker. You used their membership database to harass and bully people who criticized your work.

“…publication is a democracy for the people by the people.” Wrong again. And a democracy is “by the people, for the people,” not the way you said it.

“…the deed of posting every link to every story in the table of contents of my first
anthology…” That’s not illegal or piracy and you damn well know it Nicky.

“– I consider myself an average Joe…” Wrong again, Nick. You are well below average in every respect.

“…the characters in the story are in a way like the people I know in real life.” And given that they’re naught more than cardboard cut-outs with no personality, it just goes to show how you regard people in general.

“…The Pacione Collective actually put the hammer on her…” Your “Collective” consists of you and your imaginary allies. And, no, you haven’t put the hammer on anyone. In fact, your hateful actions actually help their sales.

“…then make fun of the people who actually enjoy it…” Stop deflecting, Nicky. These comments are directed at you and you alone. Take your criticism like a man, not a man-child.

“…hiding behind the mask of being a Christian to tear someone down…” You’ve directed this sentiment at me many times in the past. What’s the matter, too much a coward to call me out by name?

“The reason I was thrown off LiveJournal.com in 2003″ — is because you made many TOS violations.

“I did not lie about certain blurbs…” Yes, you did. Joe Lansdale refuted you on that one, and his integrity far outweighs yours.

“I nearly went looking for him and so I could toss the amoral faggot over the North Avenue Bridge.” I doubt you could lift a bag of dog food without a struggle…

“… I did turnabout and suggested he got excited touching…” That’s neither turnabout or an elaborate “fuck you.” THAT, is libel, plain and simple.

“If I was a racist, I wouldn’t have six authors of color…” That defense never works, especially when called one person’s kid a mongrel and another person a “wetback.”

“…I want to up and beat the shit out of them…” but you never do anything to “males” because you’re a flaccid coward who couldn’t pound cookie dough. Nicky. Yet you’ll harass women who say the same things about you constantly. Typical sexist bullying behavior.

“Well I am extremely cultured as a doctor of internal medication…” He’s probably referring to whatever is brewing in that toxic waste dump you call a mouth, as you never practice hygiene. You have no sense of artistic aesthetic at all. No culture either…

“…I need to be locked away under doctor’s care, heavily medicated and decades of therapy….” You really do, ya know.

“…those devotees you have are going to abandon you.” Not because of anything you wrote, most likely because they won’t read it.

“…refuse to be denied my proper due…” You have to earn it Nicky. You’ve yeot put in the work.

“Well to be polite here…” You don’t know how to be polite.

“The response to CONFESSIONAL, as some of you called it “libel,”” — And it is, in every. Legal. Sense of the word.

“As in I invoked a Holy War…” You have to be pious and holy to invoke that. You are neither. Nor are you a leader to be able to do such.

“…is like a 40 year old picking on a 16 year old on a social networking site.” You fail to understand perspective and age ratios. You’re in your thirties now. Calling you a liar and a lousy writer is nothing like bullying a child. Grow up.

“…my intelligence is in full display here –” this is true. You are very much acting like a person with the 79 IQ you once bragged about.

” I will be tempted to put your e-mail address on she-male hook-up sites being your future wife will be a fucking lady-boy.” You make these threats and never follow through on them. Of course most of these sorts of adult sites send confirmation emails to make sure no fraud is being committed, so double fail on you Nicky.

“As I am an Edgar Allan Poe vein author…” No. You’re not.

“I don’t like replying in comments on my blog because I like to put a lot thought into
what I am going go say…” Since when? You just delete the comments you don’t like and spew drivel at will. Stop lying, Nicky.

“…formality is too damn stuffy and makes me uncomfortable.” No, you just don’t have manners.

“Consider this as a warning – if you get this book pulled, there will be a huge backlash upon the part of groups who are diagnosis with a mental illness or have an intellectual disability as you are attacking these groups with threatening to have the book pulled.” There will be no such backlash. Getting your so-called “book” yanked for libel only reflects on you. Again you try and fail to deflect.

“… I will take this story to the press.” Another empty threat. Not like they’ll do anything with it.

“I am selective who I do an interview with.” Translation: “WAAAAH! No one interviews me.”

“Did I piss you off here? ” No.

“– it would be a perfect day for a hanging, and you are going to be on the receiving end of the gallows.” Another threat of violence, Nicky?

“I am the living breathing entity of what inspires a bad boy” No, you’re just a filthy man-child.

“…well I am detailed when it comes to writing a brawl…” Uh… no you’re not. You couldn’t write a fight scene to save your life.

“Calling a published author a plagiarist is just like calling an African-American the n-word.” Wrong. Again.

“…you fucking traitor as you peed on the First Amendment. ” You know nothing about the First Amendment. Or the Bible.

“I don’t threaten to go after the houses of your families…” You threatened to come to my house and cut off my hands once. I sent a copy of the email to St. Joe’s…

“picture palace” Who even uses this phrase any more???

“So I refute the bastards who say, “I can’t edit.” ” They’re right.

“So those of you who are saying I have no creativity –” are spot on.

“… , you lost the right to be called an adult.” You’ve yet to act like one yourself…

“He goes and bit-torrents child pornography.” More libel!

” I am published and been published respectively…” Never professionally, though.

“… I am calling that going old school.” Because you to learn anything new.

“…like what people did with Napster in 2001-2002 where they got ill-gotten copies of Metallica’s I Disappear.” Which is well after the song got released, so the demo tape analogy fails.

“Writing science fiction, for me doing it – I still consider it a parlor trick.” As someone with an actual education in writing SF, I can say you know NOTHING about working in that genre.

“I actually learned how to do this from reading a martial arts magazine – reading actually taught me how to fight” As someone with an actual black belt in Karate, I can say you know NOTHING about martial arts. Go to a dojo, don a white belt and put sweat on the floor for a few years before calling yourself an expert. (At least I know that as Shodan, my studies in karate are just beginning).

“Instead of pounding someone, as I am older – I use traits of an investigative journalist to fight back.” Meaning you’re too much a coward to face anyone in combat.

“My practice of not infringing on someone’s written content or stealing someone’s artwork” — is bullshit considering you lifted a photo from National Geographic and got busted for it.

“I like to play the role where I have the voice of reason.” That has yet to happen. You wouldn’t know reason if it fell on your face and wriggled.

“If those who got an ill-gotten copy of this…” How is it ill gotten if you made it this 19-page spew available in public for free?

“Intellectual theft and piracy can sometimes be grounds for a Jihad.” Wrong again. They are legal issues, not religious. But then again, you don’t even understand the religion you claim to follow.

“…I am not going to repeat myself…” You do that all the time, especially in this doc.

“Still think I am a fucking imbecile now?” Yes. You prove it every time you post…

“…I just took you out with the trash without even taking a physical swing at you.” No, you only think you did.

“…you are entitled to my viewpoint,” Wrong again. *I* am entitled to *my* viewpoint. *You* are entitled to *your* viewpoint.

Like I said. This is proof that you no writer, nor a peer.

Well done, Mike! And thank you for saving me from the nausea!