Friday, February 27, 2009

The new soundtrack around these parts is.....



Only one quick listen through, and I'm already declaring this man the new King of R&B. Yes, that means better than Ne-Yo. And I'm a big fan of Mr. -Yo, but still. Facts are facts. Proof is in the sonic pudding---the innovation, the winks at the past, and everything else.

This newly-structured album version of "Right Side of My Brain" is better than any other new R&B song you've heard in 2009, I'm sure of that.

Well done, sir. Two albums in, two winners notched. Somebody buy this man a drink.

For the love of all that's "holy," shut the fuck up

Is the general public even aware that the cable channel G4 even exists? It falls on channel ## 175 in my cable option, as it has for a good three years or so. For lovers of video game culture, sci-fi movies, the old show COPS, and basic nerd nirvana fodder, G4 is basically a Playboy Channel that their parents will actually let them watch. The only reason why I ever learned of its existence, though, has nothing to do with the fact that I am, at heart, an appreciator of such culture.

For me, it was all about the first time I laid eyes on Olivia Munn, courtesy of that homerun cover shoot she did with Complex mag a couple years back. Munn, a co-host on G4's comical, enjoyable nerd news program Attack of the Show, blindsided my eyes instantly; I wondered, "Who is this chick, and where has she been all my life?" Working for G4 for two of my life's years, at least. The thing that I, and all others who pledge allegiance to comic books and not-so-sexy culture, love about her is that she's a Maxim cover-worthy looker who just happens to be one of "us," a trait that she wears like a favorite shirt. Dressing up as Princess Leia, Wonder Woman, or whatever other fantasy lady character comes to mind. Spitting off deep knowledge of the Marvel and DC universes. You get the drift.


Well, since they must have nothing else to complain about for the time being, some overly-sensitive, need-to-worry-about-more-important-things-like-child-molesting-priests Christian blowhards have targeted Munn as some sort of misleading prostitute. Total, utter bullshit, of course. Here's the defense from

"This female acts like she is into gaming, cartoons and nerds. What she is doing is, using this wool to lure young men into watching her and then she starts using her devil powers to expose them to breasts, uncovers legs, mouth sex acts, sexual suggestions and other unholy things.
Even her website is full of scum and sin. She posts photos of her half naked and posts videos partaking in simulated sexual acts. On her 'blog' she tries to act like she is an every women, who loves regular men. We all know she is using this on youth to gain ratings and to drive traffic to her website, when in reality she is doing drugs with her high dollar pimps.

Really, going after Olivia Munn of all people? No wonder I haven't gone to church in like five years and Bill Maher's Religulous preached to my choir like spot-on lecturing. "Full of scum and sin," they say. "Her devil powers," they call her natural hotness. Seems that the dangerous minds over at Christwire have never seen a magazine rack, or turned on a TV. As if Olivia Munn is doing anything that 95% of the rest of pop culture isn't.

Why not allow reclusive, antisocial kids bask in her looks and dream about reading TKTK with her while lying in their bed with those Batman bedsheets? No girl who looks like Munn will ever do such a thing with them in real life. And isn't part of being a kid the ability to have an imagination? I know that when I was a teenager, my weekly "hangout" sessions with Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and "Faith" (Eliza Dushku) were great ways for me to cope with the sad then-facts that the "hot girls" in school didn't give me the time of day. When you're as into shit that others could deem as "weird" or "geek," your thoughts can easily veer toward "I'm a loser," or "Nobody will ever find this attractive." So having an Olivia Munn around to give these kids the "You're cool just the way you are" cosign seems much more productive than destructive.

Don't expect to hear about me attending church any time soon, as long as nonsense like this keeps surfacing. I here at Barone's World celebrate Miss Olivia Munn. So much so that I'm about to post some of my favorite Munn pics, so that I can sit here and dream about meeting her at the AMC Times Square theater next Friday night, where we'd hold hands while taking in Watchmen on IMAX before shifting over to Red Lobster for some cheesy biscuits, then grabbing a few cocktails at whatever bar is nearest. Because she totally seems like she'd be all about such an evening.

Just to lighten things up a bit, since it feels like I wrote this from a stance of "anger" more than my true "agitated yet mostly just amused by the stupidity" vibe, let's cap this off with.....


If these are shots of her "doing drugs with high-dollar pimps," she can be my dealer any time, any day, any way.

News first spotted over at: Warming Glow

Five Silver Bullets in the Clip

If there has ever been more perfect casting in the last ten or so years of horror, I challenge any brave-but-ultimately-wrong sould to present the example(s). While I'm waiting for the incorrect answer(s), here's a series of so good, so right images from Rick Baker's makeup work on the upcoming The Wolfman, starring Benicio Del Toro, who was pretty much born to play the role.

These images are what appears to be the much-rumored, highly-anticipated "transformation" scene, which many (including myself) uses little if any CGI and goes the painfully-real-looking, skin-and-bone-stretching route of An American Werewolf in London, only that it'd be ten times cooler now thanks to modern advances. Based off these five images below, it looks like Rick Baker and his team are about to blow my baggy jeans right off.

As suggested by the dude Arrow on Joblo (attribution below), it's best to squint your eyes and scroll through these as quickly as possible. Treat them like one of those flipbooks you'd make as a kid:


Fuckin' awesome. No other words necessary.

Originally, The Wolfman was supposed to howl in theaters in April, I believe, which would've meant I'd be salivating in anticipation right about now. But alas, it was bumped back to November, which bodes well for the film's quality but not so much for my lack of patience for such things as modern-day spins on classic horror icons that star A-list talent and look great. Van Helsing, this shall not be.

The Wolfman is my personal dave Universal monster, ever since my pops showed me the Lon Chaney, Jr. take on VHS back in like the 1st grade. Probably because he's way more vicious than the Count or Frank. Wolfman was even the nastiest in The Monster Squad, which forever reminded the world that the Wolfman indeed has nards. And don't you forget it.

Pics first spotted over at: Arrow In The Head

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wait....the Jonas Brothers get the IMAX treatment, but not THIS? Kill Yourselves.

It's been another busy one today, thus zero posts (not that anybody other than myself really cares; I'm more so just speaking to myself like a total loser than explaining an absence to any actual audience). But I couldn't let something as baffling and amazing as this go unposted:

Behold, Big Man Japan

Webster's should just cut to the chase already and file "Japanese" and "crazy" as synonyms and keep it moving. In a great way, not derogatory in the least. Where else could something as nonsensically jaw-dropping as Big Man Japan be thought up, really?


Nice diaper.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Netflix Fix -- Inferno (1980)


You know a film is pretty awesome when even after your third time seeing it you still can't figure out what in the hell is exactly going on. Well, at least I know it's awe-to-the-you-know-what. Inferno, a sequel of sorts to Dario Argento's could-be-a-horror-masterpiece Suspiria, falls splat in the center of that category. As far as I can tell, and realize that this is the same explanation I mustered after my first time seeing it years back, the second Mother, "Mater Tenebrarum," doesn't want any of these too-curious New Yorkers to discover her, and she's hellbent on slaughtering them in some truly stunning ways.

Such as this, which happens early on and too-quickly concludes the screen time of one Eleonora Giorgi, who is dynamite to look at and actually gives this character a nice weight of anxiety (sorry about the Italian's all I could scrounge up). Something tells me that Brian Bertino, the man behind last year's great The Strangers, was influenced by this scene; it's all in the eerie, off-putting record skips:

Beware the Following Geek-Out (Any Ladies Reading This....Please Don't Hold This Knowledge Against Me): Oh, yeah, "There's more than one Mother to warrant calling this one the second?" the unseasoned Argento/horror head may ask. Basically, Argento has arched three of his flicks around a mythology known as The Three Mothers, three witches living in a trio of locations: Mater Suspiriorium, "The Mother of Sighs" and formally named Helen Markos (seen decrepit in 1977's Suspiria), lives in Germany; Mater Lachrimarum (who shows up in last year's so-bad-it's-kinda-good Mother of Tears and is a true hottie, evil or not) lives in Rome; and this film's Mater Tenebrarum, "The Mother of Shadows," lives in New York. Yes, I'm a huge nerd for knowing this, but any self-respecting horror lover should. Wanna fight about it?

The thing is, this was all so much easier to follow in Suspiria, the best of the trilogy by far stretches. The mythology wasn't airtight in that one either, but at least I only scratch my head for a few seconds; here, in Inferno, however, whatever fingernails I have left from not biting them off completely end up dull and edgeless as a result of the incoherent narrative. If there's one thing I never turn on an Argento film for, though, it's a storyline that makes total sense, since his earlier films all looked absolutely magnificent and not many filmmakers can stage a murder scene as fluidly and eye-poppingly as my boy Dario. In some ways, I hold Inferno up in the same league as David Lynch's films---the type of movie-watching that never even-partially exposes its true thread but never lessens its vice grip on my attention.

Oddly, my favorite moment in Inferno is one where the character manages to survive a run-in with the Mother. The film's opening stretch follows the poet sister as she first investigates the cellar of the apartment building, believing in this Three Mothers story and wanting to see for herself just who hides out "beneath the soles of her shoes." Turns out, the cellar is flooded, and she, being a dumbass, drops her keys into a watery hole in the floor. Naturally, she jumps in to retrieve the keys, and the underwater sequence that follows is pitch-perfect in its hallucinatory creepy.


Yet, so many inquiries remain: Why are there so many damn cats running around this apartment building, and why is that old dude on the crutches drowning a sack full of the felines? Why isn't there at least one sympathetic, even-partially-developed character for me to root for? How fake is the crutches-guy's "accidental" fall into the water? Whoops, my ass cheek. Did Argento write this script by simply designin the many elaborate death moments and then just add a few connecting scenes of dialogue and boredom while he was on the can? And finally, do we really understand why Mater Tenebrarum is even bothering with such a lame crew of intruders?

How does Mater Tenebrarum magically travel to Rome in a matter of minutes to kill the lifeless, cardboard male protagonist's sexy-poet sister? Fuck if I know. You could leave it at "She's a f'n supernatural demon witch, so she can do whatever her cold heart pleases," but still, I would've appreciated even an attempt to explain. Nevermind, ultimately, because what results from this inexplicable location jumping is this murder-set-piece, which is stellar:

Oh, and I can't let this one slip by: why does crutches-guy inform himself that "Rats are eating me alive!" when nobody is around and, yes, rats are eating him alive. Meaningless, an answer is, because the scene as a whole rocks harder than Pantera, especially when the random deli butcher runs over and drives a meat-clever into dude's neck.

So many questions, so little reason to truthfully want, or need, answers. Inferno is the most nonsensical script that Dario Argento ever scribed. Zero sense is made. The skeletal costume worn by Mater Tenebrarum looks like some $50Halloween get-up you could buy at Ken's Magic Shop., and the ending confrontation between the Mother and our "hero" very anti-climactic. If not for the plethora of gorgeous-looking, slickly-paced murders, the film would be laughably terrible. Pure Mystery Science Theater 3000 fodder. It could be the ultimate "film that's just an excuse to show repeated whoa moments" experience, but when would that ever be a bad thing?

And now.....flying cats, anyone?

I wonder: has T-Pain has ever even seen Parenthood?

Now here's a "when two worlds I love collide" happening if there ever was one. Sure, Jake Gyllenhall, Forest Whitaker, Samuel L. Jackson (mean-mugging just because he's a bad mofo like that), and a few other randoms are present, but the real WTF guest star is a total mind-blower.

Ron Howard, in a hip-hop video complete with curvaceous video models, popped champagne, and Hype Williams' direction. Amazing. The filmmaker formerly known as Opie has always come across as a really cool, happy-go-lucky fella, but never before has he been so "pimp." Well played, sir.

Jamie Foxx w/ T-Pain - "Blame It"

Your movie sucked, but I still love you.

By no plan or design whatsoever, it's turned into "Fine Piece of Ass Day" here in Barone's World.

Probably because I've been working nonstop all day and brief respites with girls-I-lust-for scenery are what's necessary to keep me sane. With Megan Fox still in mind, this next lady makes perfect sense, since she looks like a gift-of-nature mashup of Ms. Fox and Jessica Alba. Her name is Odette Yustman, and she was the only reason that I didn't start pelting the screen with wasted Twizzler sticks while watching the plain-terrible cinematic abortion The Unborn this past January. A bit late on the magazine's part, she's now gracing the cover of UK's Arena, looking all kinds of desirable. Here's a couple select shots from that.

She's no Kate Winslet acting-wise, not even an Anne Hathaway-light (meaning, she's a pretty bad actress), but I'm not talking film criticism here.

(I had this first pic in bigger size, but I'm working with one-lane-highway thin spacing here, tragically)

See what I mean? Baggy black pants on a gal typically turns my switch off, but Yustman makes it pop like corn. Re: that last you see why I've never tried my hand at becoming a rapper.

Sidenote: So she loves Dolls, huh? So do I. Recently watched it courtesy of DVR. Nothing spectacular, but a fun way to waste some quick time with Child's Play rejects.

Now, back to the neverending grind that is February 24, 2009. Don't be surprised if there's not at least one more female looker making a cameo in Barone's World before day's end. Hell, maybe even a two-for-one deal. I'll need it.

Pics from the Arena cover spread were spotted over at: City Rag

This woman is now single. Gentleman, start your engines.


Yes, I'm totally aware that doing a post like this makes me that guy. So be it. I am a guy, and certain things are just unavoidable, one such thing being a reason to post a lingerie shot of a Megan Fox type. And yes, I do realize that the chances of newly-single Megan Fox and I ever getting together are about as likely as Eddie Murphy ever making a funny comedy again. When you've living perpetually (and involuntarily) single, the thought of chicks such as this also sharing in your single-hood is a bit of solace. Take what we can get.

Besides, she's been needing to drop that Brian Austin Green herb for some time now. Good to see she's come to her senses. To salute such an awakening, here's one more pic:


In my search to find the most suggestive picture of her that I could, there's a "Jackpot, baby!" if I've ever seen one.

Is Megan Fox the sexiest woman alive, the pinnacle of hotness that pop culture is trying to make her? Certainly not. I'd take Eliza Dushku or even Emmanuelle Chriqui over her any day. She's still steamier than most, though, and worthy of ogling. I defy you to rebut otherwise.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mama says....

Let's give the movie stuff a rest for a second, shall we? Good.

Nothing much to say about this video. It's star is a clone of Spuds Mackenzie, that old beer spokesdog that I loved so much as a kid that my mom sent me a birthday card from Spuds himself, signed by him and everything. Of course, I wasn't even past the 2nd grade yet so I assumed that Spuds had in fact figured out how to hold a pen and neatly, legibly sign a birthday card for some little loser in suburban New Jersey that he didn't even know existed. Was 2nd grade a bit too old to believe such a thing, you ask? Wanna fight about it? And this Spuds doppelganger has a unique bark that sounds an awful lot like it's saying "Mama," and then some weird Euro trance beats kick in, and you're ready to put a leash on this bitch and take it to Pacha for some dancing.

Come to think of it, there actually is a way I can relate to this film.

The way this pooch says "Mama" instantly reminded me of the enigmatic '80s horror turd Spookies, specifically the beginning of the nonsensical end climax where that pudgy zombie pops up in front of our heroine and calls her "Mommma! Mommma! Maaaaaaaa!" See for yourselves at the 1:50 point of this Spookies ending clip, and compare/contrast:

God what a piece of feces Spookies is. But oh how I do love it.

Dog video spotted over at: Film Drunk

The first good Watchmen clips finally save the day

Finally, some full Watchmen clippage that doesn't have me expecting the worst. Feels like they've gotten this Rorschach stuff right, which is rather comforting.

Okay, I'm back to being optimistically excited.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Netflix Fix -- Bad Lieutenant (1992)

When I was interviewing filmmaker Jody Hill (writer/director/producer of stuff such as Eastbound & Down and The Foot Fist Way) a few months back, he went on and on about his love of older cinema. We're talking flicks from 15 years back or more, the films that played by no rules and had no qualms bombarding the senses with images and characters that defied morals and decency. Stories didn't play their cards safely. Endings didn't have to be pleasant. Hollywood couldn't give two shits about good taste.

And all was right in the world of moviemaking.

Hill's sentiments mirrored mine quite closely, though I'm a few years younger than he is. Like him, I'm an addict of renting the films of yeateryears to play catch-up, mainly because I know that I'm in for something I've never seen before, or at least predecessors for things that modern-day films try to pass off as their own. The vow that Hill made was to inject unhealthy doses of this nihilistic approach into the comedy genre, and as evidenced by Eastbound & Down and the red band trailer for his upcoming Seth Rogen vehicle Observe & Report, he's remaining a man of his word thus far.

In our chat, Hill kept referencing Taxi Driver as a prime inspiration, but I'm willing to bet that Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant (1992) is right up there next to Travis Bickle's time under the New York City streetlights. Bad Lieutenant, starring Harvey Kietel at his most badass-est , an no-blinks character study of the nameless Lieutenant, a Queens police head who regularly snorts drugs, solicits prostitutes, poorly runs his dysfunctional family, gambles on Mets games, and engages in other random acts of bad behavior who (finally) begins questioning his world after a nun is viciously raped in the middle of a church.


Pretty much the worst lieutenant ever conceived, and exactly the kind of despicable, zero-saving-graces protagonist that somebody like Hill (I hate to keep dropping his name here, so bare with me....he just drives home the point of this post tightly for me), and myself, seems to gravitate toward for inexplicable reasons. It digs deeper than just pure entertainment value, or admiration for a steroid-strong acting performance. Characters like The Lieutenant never stop fascinating from Fade In to End Credits, mostly because they represent the type of person you'd never want to spend more than two minutes with in real life; yet, when seen through the disconnect of television screen, they're like magnets. Undeniable in their compelling nature, and effective messengers of life's fucked-up facets that go otherwise glossed over as "taboo."

Late into Bad Lieutenant, there's an emotional climax that would send religious activists and closed-off thinkers into panty-bunched hissies. It's such a great scene, because it demonstrates just how morally corrupt Keitel's character is even in his rare "sympathetic" moments. [Spoiler Warning] After some drug-induced soul-searching, he confronts the raped nun in her church as she's praying. He tells her that he's going to say "Fuck the law" and kill the deviants who raped her, for her. She, however, informs The Lieutenant that she's already forgiven the rapists, which sends The Lieutenant into a rattled, confused frenzy. Even when he thinks he's avenging his own sins and cleansing his soul through vengeful intentions, he's defying the higher power. It's a can't-beat-my-darkness pickle. Jesus himself approaches The Lieutenant once the nun exits, and all our our shattered man can do is call Jesus a "rat fuck" and question why he wasn't there for the nun in her time of protective-need.

Religion is treated as both a necessary form od redemption and a cause of constant grief. When was the last time you saw that kind of double-sided coin morality in a flick?


There's a modern-day extension of this great flick currently in the works, a New Orleans-set new installment for Bad Lieutenant starring Nicolas Cage. Now a believer in the power of Abel Ferrara's original, I can say without hesitation that a new spin with Cage in the driver's seat is a shitshow waiting to happen. Maybe I'll be proven wrong, since the venerable Werner Herzog is behind the camera, but there's just no way that 2009-era Nicolas Cage will even come within miles of Harvey Keitel's 1992 work. It's not even worth attempting, so go and make another National Treasure film, sir Cage.

My hope, and call me a pessimist all you want, is that Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans sucks as much as I'm anticipating. Because if it doesn't, my head might pull a Scanners due to "Have I been wrong all this time?" self-analysis. I'm convinced that skeevy, thoughtful, uncompromising character descents such as Bad Lieutenant can't be duplicated or even approached-by-a-long-ways today. And as long as that remains the truth, I'll forever have older gems to seek out and ponder.

Unwrapping stuff like this flick never loses its luster. Up next in this particular conquest will be early Robert Deniro's The Panic in Needle Park, and I'm sure I'll more than enjoy. Until then....

This scene is certified NSFBE (Not Safe For Baby Eyes):

And that's one of the "kinder" things he does.

Kenny Powers is more awesome than you.

Why do I get the uncomfortable feeling that you're not watching this show, when you most certainly should be?

Family Guy aside, this is easily the funniest shit on the tube. As I suspected it would be. Only four episodes left, just enough time to sign up.

Do the damn thing.

That is all. Goodnight.

REC back in effect

Because these sorts of things excite me much more than they really should, how's about I post the first two stills from REC 2, eh? Yes, I'm probably the only person who visits this blog of mine (Do I mean that I frequently log on to my own site, like a loser who IMs himself? I'll leave that for you to decide) who has actually seen [Rec], or even heard of the film prior to reading about it here, but this is my world, and REC 2 is an important part of my things-to-look-forward-to.

Zero plot has been divulged about REC 2, but this first still shows that it'll clearly be a direct continuation of the first flick. How can I tell? Well, that's my man Manu right there being (unsuccessfully, I presume) subdued, all infected and still thirsting for sexy-ass Angela Vidal, and the interior design seen here looks just like the inside of the apartment building that [REC] so awesomely staged itself.


This second still seems to promise a younger cast of protagonists, or at least a few teens mixed into the bunch. Fine by me. I'm more excited that this still directly references the coolest moment in [REC] ---- that shot from the top of the staircase before Angela and the cameraman haul ass into the mad-satanic-scientist's apartment. If you're still reading all of this despite having no idea what in sam-hell I'm talking about, I must salute your loyalty, by the way.


Here's to Angela Vidal (played by Manuela Velasco), infected or not, showing up in Rec 2. There's no such thing as "too much Manuela Velasco," as far as I'm concerned. I mean, just look at her:


Bizarro Shakira, much?

Stills spotted over at: Bloody Disgusting

There was something missing last night.....

Finally, the Academy Awards have come and gone. All of the endless pre-show speculation, predictions, follies, oversights, and lazy reporting can be tucked into bed and fed Nyquil through a tube. The winners were announced in exactly the way we all expected, including Sean Penn (Really, the Academy was never going to give Mickey Rourke a statue....too risky, too unpredictable. He may shouted out that girl he calls Gap Tooth again, for crying out loud!). As much as I love anything Hollywood-news-related, the tireless Oscar blogging and forecasting began running dry weeks ago, since anyone with half a film-brain knew that Slumdog Millionaire was on the verge of strong-arming the festivities. Which is precisely what happened.

My one glaring question concerning this year's Oscars, though, remains unanswered --- where the hell was Che during all of this?


I've done a bit of brain-refreshing research, and all signs point to Steven Soderbergh's behemoth-in-size yet intimate-in-approach biopic as an Academy Award qualifier as far as release dates go. So why zero nominations? And not just total omission amongst the Oscar lists, but pretty much every other awards events?
Not saying that Che should've been a Best Picture contender. Best Actor and Best Director, however? Sure. Even a cinematography nod would've been welcome.

As much as I love Brad Pitt as an actor, there's no justifiable way anybody can say that is Benjamin Button performance is tops over Benicio Del Toro in Che. End of debate there. The other four remaining Best Actor fellas (Penn, Rourke, Richard Jenkins, Frank Langella) all feel right, so I won't question their inclusions. Let's just leave this at "Del Toro over Pitt any day." Same goes for Steven Soderbergh, Che's director, over Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon). Look, I loved Frost/Nixon as much as the next surprised fan, but Howard's work in it, though impressive, is more about letting his actors do the work as he tightly paces the action. Soderbergh does pretty much the same thing with his observer's-eye approach to Che, but then he also mixes in some truly striking action/battle sequences and other subtle but seriously-effective visual touches (the final shots seen from the dead eyes of Che Guevara's corpse are especially powerful).

This isn't something that I'm defiantly crying "Bullshit!" over, but just an issue that I'd love to hear some closure on. All of the necessary elements were in place ---- epic biopic (check), acclaimed director (double check), strong lead actor (triple check). Che is an arduous task to watch, but one that I found myself gaining newer, deeper appreciation for as days went by and I was further removed from it, left to understand just what Soderbergh and company really meant to accomplish, which they have in spades.


Odds are, I'm missing some vital morsel of behind-the-scenes information here. Could it be some sort of bad-luck-charm curse at the hands of IFC Films, the company that picked Che up for theatrical distribution, which is also currently playing the Italian Mafia critical darling Gomorrah, another Oscar cold-shoulder recipient? Maybe my calendar combing was faulty and Che didn't qualify, or perhaps Soderbergh and company didn't campaign for it well enough. Most likely, though, the film was met with more apathy than I'd initially comprehended. A shame, really.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I just watched Donald Duck kill his way through softcore porn, and I'm now angry at myself.

In the opposite-spirit of the Academy Awards (which concluded an hour or so ago and brought with them only one minor-surprise, that being Sean Penn unfortunately besting my dude Mickey Rourke), I've followed the "elegant," celebratory broadcast by watching the a film that Oscar would hate me for: The New York Ripper (1982). Why, you may ask? Well, it's quite simple, really----everybody and their aunt will be writing their post-game Oscar reactions, frustrations, agreements, etc, if they haven't already, and it'd be pointless for me follow the obvious road. Which is why I also refused to do any "live Oscar blogging," like every other unoriginal movie site has been doing for the past four hours. Just go on Twitter instead. It's equally as lame while doubly as unfortunate.

Like a fucking duck!

Sorry, a bit of momentary Tourettes there.

No, I've opted to watch and discuss a film that opens with a Lassie clone playing fetch with a severed, totally-fake-looking human hand. Something must be wrong with me. Because I can't resist a bad horror film, and because it's from one Lucio Fulci, who, like Dario Argento, has a long resume that I've vowed to conquer sooner than later. Seeing all of Fulci's films is something that one could either brag about or wisely keep unspoken; none of his movies are "good" in any real stretch of opinion, only deemable as "worthy of attention" due to the man's gleefully over-the-top scenes of splatter. If ever an opportunity arises for mutilation, gut-spilling, close-up shots of flesh being ripped open, or agonizing female death, Fulci goes in, almost sadistic to the point of "This feels like something I shouldn't be watching voluntarily." So, of course, I watch his shit voluntarily.


The New York Ripper, however, is a whole other league of wrong for Fulci. The Fulci flicks I can admit to truly enjoying are pure fantasy bullshit---his Dawn of the Dead jackoff Zombi, namely, which combines some of my favorite horror movie music with tons of head-scratchingly awesome moments (zombie fights shark underwater) and inventive kills (the splinter-in-eyeball gag that lasts an eternity). I'm also fond of his The Beyond, one of the most confusing films ever made that's saved by some wild imagery, and City of the Living Dead, another zombie puke-fest. In these films, Fulci kept both feet firmly planted outside of reality, which made all of the good-taste-free work go down much easier. None of what you see is meant to disturb you on any human level. The New York Ripper is an exception, though. The killer is a living, breathing creation from Fulci's sick mind, and the rampant naked-girls-defiled-and-bloodied fetish Fulci seems to be massaging just feels ickier than a raw sewage facial.

This is a really bad movie. Laughably poor, and never once scary. Painful-to-endure dialogue, a weakly-constructed "who's the killer?" mystery. The New York Ripper is a "giallo," a murder mystery seeped in elaborate death scenes and an overarching whodunit subplot that guys like Fulci and Argento cashed many a check thanks to. Argento's giallos make Fulci's seem like hack student films, though. Argento's mysteries genuinely surprise, and there's real tension to be had in stuff like Deep Red and Tenebre. On the other hand, Fulci's filmography drips with meandering scripts, zero character development, and misogynistic undertones upon undertones. The guy loved to film beautiful women meeting horrible ends, which isn't necessarily as twisted as Argento's repeated scenes where his daughter, Asia, is raped in some fashion, I guess, but that's a whole other point.

Lucio Fulci, probably describing a dream he had in which some Sophia Loren-lookalike was being raped by a demon and then gutted open in extremely-tight close-up shots and scored with '80s porno music.

The New York Ripper is easily the worst Fulci film I've seen yet. Rather than break down every bad aspect at play here, though, I'll mention only one element that defies logic---the killer, for no understandable reason whatsoever, talks in a Donald Duck voice. No shit. "Quack quack" and all. Early on, an eyewitness tells a policeman that the killer talked like a duck, but I figured this was a mute point that wouldn't come to realization. But literally five minutes later, we have our first murder, and, unfucking-believably, Donald Duck opens his beak and The New York Ripper goes from already-bad to that little piece of shit that won't totally flush. Who knows, maybe Fulci was pulling a Punk on horror audiences and meant for this to be a comedy. How else can you explain a killer who talks like a goddamn duck?! Like a fucking duck!


It's my own fault, really. I borrowed this DVD from a friend at work who warned me about the duck voice and how bad this movie is, but I still wasted 90 minutes of my life sitting through it. Another night of going to sleep at 2am because I was suffering through a sleazy horror show. Certain movies I can watch, accept the fact that I'm a bit tetched for watching, but then still recommend them to friends. I enjoy being a harbinger of fucked-up cinema. The New York Ripper isn't one of those films. Honestly, me writing about it on a blog that is available for all of the world to read is pretty counter-productive. Now that this is written and out on the Interwebs, somebody could very well seek this dreck out and watch, thinking, "I wanna see what all of Matt's fuss was about." But then, said fool will see The New York Ripper's drawn-out female public masturbation scene in a seedy Manhattan peep show, and the part where a girl is tied to a bed as the killer slices off her breast with a tiny razor. And I'll be to blame, and said person will most likely look at me with a permanent screwface from that point on.


Really, Fulci should've just called this The New York Stripper and went full-on porn. Then, at least, you could perversely revel in the smut. But any time you start enjoying this shit on a smut-peddler level, that Donald Duck bastard flies out of nowhere on some "Quaaaacckkk!" ish and digs some sharp object into the hot chick you've been ogling, and we're not talking any sexual entendre here. Like fucking Donald Duck!

The New York Ripper really doesn't deserve to exist. There's not one positive thing to be said in its respect. Being a Fulci flick, you'd hope that I could at least sing the praises of its gore effects, but even those fall short in this one. Apparently, The New York Ripper is held in some high regard by horror die-hards, which, if true, gives a horror die-hard such as myself a bad name. There's seriously a scene where a dude "toes" (think "fingers," but with toes) a women inside an open restaurant/bar for a good two minutes. Again, in The New York Stripper that could've possibly worked, but no dice here.

Terrible movie. I should've just watched Quarantine again like I'd initially planned. Or, better yet, the Let the Right One In screener I proudly own. Damn you, Donald Duck.

In all fairness to anyone who might actually watch this clip, be warned: though totally fake-looking, there is much bloodshed and Duck-fuckery to be seen/heard. Donald Duck's wrath just needs to be heard to be believed.....and don't mind the Italian speech. It's actually better than the shitty dubbing job done for the DVD version I watched. Just hang in there 'til the Duckman cometh:


Riddle me this: How is The New York Ripper like a duck? It's wack, wack, wack, wack, wack, wack.

"That one girl I call 'Gap-Tooth'"

True Story --- In terms of pure entertainment value, the Independent Spirit Awards trump the Oscars. If you've never watched the IFC Channel-found ceremonies, I suggest you start making a habit of it come next February; it always airs the day before the Academy Awards, and, being that it airs on cable, it's a million times more raw than your boy Oscar. F-bombs fly from the mouths of people you may have deemed "sophisticated" at other censored, stuck-up awards programs. Filters are off. Small, sadly overlooked jewels that Oscar is to sadiddy to fuck with, such as The Signal and Wendy and Lucy, are honored.

The aspect of the Independent Spirit Awards I actually like the best is how they always put me on to a few obscure, little films that deserve my attention, and I'm yearly-thankful. Yesterday's broadcast has me hunting down Medicine for Melancholy, and further wishing I could somehow see Ballast, which looks just great.

But here's the hands-down highlight of yesterday's awards....the man himself, Mickey Rourke, giving the best acceptance speech I've seen in years. I'm currently watching the Oscars, fingers tightly crossed that Rourke takes home the gold in t-minus two hours, and counting. One, becaue The Wrestler is astounding still, and was totally robbed of a Best Picture nod, and Rourke is just a force of owned-in human emotions in it, and two, I'm dying to hear what he'll say on Oscar's big stage, with the censors on guard and the band ready to play his long-winded ass off.

It's Mickey Rourke's world now, snitches, and we're just all being thoroughly entertained in it.

I remember reading a magazine story/set visit on Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake, and Sarah Polley said something to the effect of, "Every movie should have a zombie in it." Well, I think every awards show should have Mickey Rourke, winning something at least once every 20 minutes. Fuck Hugh Jackman dance numbers and a 1930s-vibe; just toss Rourke a mic and watch the magic ensue.