Posts Tagged ‘living

12
Dec
17

(NSFW) Symphony: December Devil Girl of the Month

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Merry Trashmas, Gang! The Primal Root here and I am thrilled, dare I say, honored to introduce to you, The Trash Cinema Collective, our bewitching, beguiling, gorgeous and deadly Devil Girl for December, Symphony! Talk about a Trashmas gift we will carry with us in our hearts all year round! Symphony took a time out from her nonstop touring schedule as one half of rockabilly badasses, honest to goodness party animals, and longtime good friends of The Trash Cinema Collective,  The Living Deads, to deliver a bloody, beautiful, breathtaking photo spread. Not only that, but today, December 12th, is our Devil Girl’s Birthday! So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SYMPHONY! 

The Primal Root: Jiminy Trashmas, Symphony! What a spectacular debut Devil Girl spread and unexpected Trashmas gift! You look incredible as ever and I must admit, it is quite the honor to feature you as our December Devil Girl of the Month. What inspired this bloody, sultry, seductive and sinful photo spread?

Symphony: Why thank you, Primal Root, and a very Merry Trashmas to you and yours!  It is an extreme pleasure, and quite an honor to be featured as the December Devil Girl of the month- what a way to celebrate my birthday!  I have to admit I jumped at the chance to collaborate and create this spread with the delightful and talented Kayla King of Rewski Photography, all in the name of the Trash Cinema Collective! Originally I wanted to do a Barbarella spread, but it just wasn’t coming together on our trashily non existent budget.  Kayla kept telling me that she could see me as The Love Witch.   Hmmmm……..don a sultry black dress with sleeves a la Elvira, bright blue eyeshadow, and roll around with a dagger while gazing into Kayla’s camera lens chanting “Love me, love me!” Oh yeah- and there will be blood, and you can get kinda naked if you want……don’t threaten me with a good time!!

Root: As part of the legendary rockabilly outfit, The Living Deads, who as I see it, never cease in your quest to tour from coast to coast rocking the socks off your ever expanding legions of loyal followers and fans, I;m sure you have some pretty strange, trashy and unforgettable stories from the wide open road. Would you care to entertain The Trash Cinema Collective with a freakish tale from your years of touring? 

Symphony: Ah, yes- trashy tales from the road!  This one happened pretty soon after Randee and I moved into our (first) RV.  We were new to living in parking lots and were just starting our day in what we thought was a pretty decent one.  It was a lovely sunny Colorado afternoon.  I was in the bathroom putting on makeup when I heard a knock at the door.  Now, although we were new to parking lot life, we at least knew the basics-a knock at the door most always means GET OUT! But this knock was not aggresssive, in fact it was rather polite.  This raised an eyebrow.  I set down my eyeliner and listened.  I could hear Randee open the door slowly “Can I help you?”  The visitor spoke in a long drawl “Is Rainbow home?” 

Randee: “No, there’s no Rainbow here”. I was so tempted to go and see this mysterious parking lot dweller inquiring about one “Rainbow”, but my gut told me to STAY PUT.  So I did, with my ear against the cardboard thin rv wall.

Parking lot man: “You sure there ain’t no Rainbow in there? I’m ‘posed to be meetin’ Rainbow in a big white motorhome in this here parking lot at 1pm-you sure she ain’t in there??”
Randee: “There’s no Rainbow here!” (Door slams shut).
I slip out of the bathroom to peer through the blinds with Randee.  There he is- the stranger in his faded denim jacket, thick shining blond mullet gleaming in the sun. 
We had a moment of silence.  What in the hell just happened?!?  That’s when we learned an interesting fact about our new lifestyle- the ladies of the night sometimes work the day shift-in big white motorhomes that look JUST LIKE OURS…….

Root: I’ve always wanted to know, how did you and your partner in crime, Randee, get together and create The Living Deads? What’s the origin story? Was this always something you both dreamed of doing? 

Symphony:  How did Randee and I meet? Oh you know- boy meets girl at a show.  Boy leaves after show for the next town.  Boy and girl connect on MySpace (hey it was 2008!).  Boy and girl start to talk on the phone (a lot!) Next thing you know girl splits town in the name of love and adventure.  Boy gives girl drum lessons. Girl buys a bass and the rest is history!

Was this something we both have dreamed of? No! I never even knew this was a life option! (I am laughing right now because my life has always had a way of taking hairpin turns in directions I never would have expected!)
I was working in special effects make up for movies (trashy ones!), painting and drawing and kinda drifting around aimlessly-oh and playing roller derby.  I had always dreamed of traveling the world and living an artistic life while doing so.  I also knew i wanted an exciting life.  Well that wish came true at least 10 fold! Never a dull moment!
But I am living my dream now- I am traveling with the person I love most, we are creating together, it’s a beautiful life.  I mean, we get to go out into the desert, paint our bodies and run around naked taking photos with crazy installation art pieces-its part of our “job”! I love my life!

Root: Who the holidays clutching out shoulder like the clammy hand of death, are there any traditions you celebrate every year around this time? Any Trashy movies you like to bust out and watch to ring in this most magical time of year?

Symphony:  As a matter of fact, yes! We like to balance out this overwhelmingly sparkly and magical time of year by keeping it trashy with a visit down south to perform for the Trash Cinema Collective.  Oh and sometimes we kidnap Santa Claus……

Personally, nothing says trashy holiday season to me like a piece of John Waters cinematic gold.  You really can’t go wrong with Pink Flamingos on Christmas morning.

 

Root: John Waters is ALWAYS a solid choice. Any big plans for you in thefts approaching year 2018? Will you and Randee please stop by Cap City Video Lounge again and rock us till our faces melt off and we stomp our feet down to the bedrock? 

Symphony: Big plans for 2018? But of course! We go back overseas in October for another UK and European tour. 

And you bet your trashiness we will be back to perform at Cap City Video Lounge in 2018!!

Root: FUCK YES! Oh, that’s awesome news! Now, I must ask, might you have any words of wisdom to pass on to The Trash Cinema Collective and any possible future Devil Girls reading this as 2017 comes to a close? 

Symphony: To the Trash Cinema Collective- don’t change a thing-keep it trashy, you delightful bunch of miscreants-we love each and every one of you!

To future Devil Girls- don’t hold back-embrace all that you are, unapologetically.  Live out loud-even if some people wish you would turn it down.  Whatever it is that you love- do it fully-all the way-every time. 

Root: If you could pick one song to accompany your bewitching and beautiful Devil Girl spread, what would you like it to be? 

Symphony: “Like a Bad Girl Should” by The Cramps

 

Photography by Kayla King of Rewski Photography 

 

 

09
Nov
13

V/H/S 2: Cassette Carnage

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a Primal Root review

Anthology movies, like Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside, and VHS, are so often a mixed bag of the mediocre, boring and sometimes genuinely outstanding,  which is why I am happy to report the majority of VHS 2 is a pretty horrific and entertaining ride. That is, if you can make it past the the wrap around segments which are just as dull as they were in the original VHS, and the very first story entitled “Phase 1 Clinical Trials” which is a cure for insomnia, you will be okay because it all picks up from there.

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See, in “Phase 1 Clinical Trials” we are shown the story of a young man who loses and eye and gets it replaced with a…bionic one that not only allows him to see, but records everything to a VHS recorder I’m assuming the doctors implanted up his ass. Now, why a hi-tech procedure like this would end up having the recordings of it’s clinical trial dubbed to something as defunct and rarely used as VHS is beyond me, but at least the 15:9 aspect ratio kind of makes sense, I guess. Anyhoo, the new allows this guy to see dead people meandering around his posh house out in the suburbs. He is befucked by a young woman who explains what going on and exposes her lovely tits in the process. Things go from bad, the worse, to I;m going to gouge my bionic eye out with a three pronged kitchen utensil because I’ve seen a couple ghosts over the span of 12 hours.   It’s dull/ Even by my standards, I just could not muster up the effort necissary to be interested, that is, until that fleeting moment when the read head takes her top off. Otherwise, this entry is on par with the wrap around, it fails to engage and feels like it’s there to fill up time. Eye implants have been done (Tobe Hooper’s segment in Body Bags, that terrible movie with Jessica Alba that featured a truly inspired title, etc.) and this one was not an impressive entry into that sub-genre.

DO NOT DESPAIR! I nearly did, too. Trust me, things get better.

VHS 2 MOVIE

Goddamn zombies. Those fucking things are everywhere. Prime time television to baby bibs and lunch boxes, those undead fucks are as inescapable as Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald. Enter “A Ride Through the PArk” the story of a young gentleman who goes on, you guessed it, a ride through the park. Things take an interesting turn when a bloody and bitten young woman collapses onto his bike trail screaming for help. Our fellow goes into help her and gets his neck chomped for his trouble. Soon he dies and transforms into a shambling, bloody, undead zombi himself and is able to record his sticky, gruesome, blood soaked escapades via the camera attached to his helmet. What makes this entry somewhat interesting is the use of POV, it’s expected, but this is the first time I have seen it happen from a flesh eating corpses perspective and it actually proves to be an interesting and darkly comical experience.  Our protagonist undead biker guy ends up devouring a couple who stop to help him out, transforming them into zombies in the process. Things hit a high note as soon as the zombies meander upon a little girls birthday party in the park. It’s one of the funniest and wildest moments in a franchise that has seemed overwhelmingly beholden to the morose and ugly. Sure, this is tragic, but my God, it’s fun watching parents scatter and children scream as they flee into the woods and mini-vans.  The zombies are doing their jobs and doing them well as the living  constantly fuck up, you know,m throwing baseball bats at creatures intent on stripping the flesh from your bones rather than hanging on to it, you know the type. Well, some of our undead biker’s humanity still remains and it leads to a sad and, again, guiltily comical finale. This entry has energy, creativity and is a hoot AND a holler. When I found out Eduardo Sanchez directed this puppy, it made me all the happier. The man was half the creative mind that brought us 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project” which helped blaze a trail for all the found footage horror film that followed. He’s also had a hand in numerous damn fine horror and sci-fi films over the past decade or so under the radar. It only makes sense that he would join The Collective who brought us he VHS franchise. Well done, sir!

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“Safe Haven” may just be my favorite short film in this batch. It tells the story of a a news crew doing an investigative piece about an Indonesian cult. The leader of this cult is small, wide eyes fellow who, it is implied, sleeps with all the little girls in his cult so that they may be “purified.” At the cult’s headquarters, which are located far off in the sticks, the news crew is thrust headlong into a very important ceremony for this cult. The tension swells as we the viewers know this is not going to end well for anyone. This segment keeps you on your toes to the very end, turns every convention on it’s head, and manages to actually be shocking and horrific in it’s Jim Jones styled story. It’s no surprise, seeing as it was directed by Gareth Evans, the gentleman who delivered one of the best, bobe crushing, martial arts films in sometime “The Raid: Redemption” in 2011. The man understand staging, suspense building and character payoff. “Safe Haven” is one very strong, stiff drink and  I don’t want to spoil a damn thing, you really need to see this short.

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And the final segment “Slumber Party Abduction” is another entry that manages to knock it right out of the park. This entry involves a step brother and sister spending a weekend together as their parents head out of town for a vacation. The older sister invites her arrogant boyfriend over and the younger brother invited his buds and all manner of hijinks ensue.  There are water balloons, interrupted sex acts and masturbation caught on doggie cam. It’s a ll pretty sophomoric and stupid as this kind of shit always is, but THANKFULLY there’s some insidious shit going down that the hardly register to the kids until it’s literally right outside their door. What we end up with a siege film caught on tape and once the chaos begins, the action and horror never lets up until the final, frenetic moment.  you know how the second tale was told from the zombie perspective? This tale is told almost entirely from “Doggie Cam” since the dog has had a waterproof camera attached to his head. The poor little dog, Tank, captures every last terrifying moment on tape and ends this episode on a brilliant, downbeat and heartbreaking note.  Jason Eisner takes advantage of his set up by presenting terror through the eyes of several helpless children and their pint sized pooch. The kids are very natural and easy to believe, and once the shit hits the fan, each loss is felt. Damn fine piece of horror film making.

And then the movie ends with the shitty, uninspired conclusioon to the wrap around story which involves murder, crab walking, a bloody, wagging tongue and a well times thumbs up.  Come on guys, give me a fucking break.

At the end of the day. VHS2 is an upgrade over the original anthology which almost felt like an excuse to expose an ample amount of female flesh rather than present any truly affecting horror stories. Three out of four stories are solid gold which is more than I could have ever hoped for. I was braced for  disappointment and found myself surprised and fairly impressed.  It cool to have a new anthology franchise out there, especially one to feature found footage, it seems like the possibilities are limitless and could produce more great horror stories and bring unappreciated filmmakers some well earned limelight.

3 1/2 out of 5 Dumpster Nuggets. Worth checking out!

Stay Trashy!

-Root

05
Oct
13

Mistress Veronica; October Devil Girl of the Month 2013

Hello there, Gang and HAPPY OCTOBER! We’ve got an early treat for you this Halloween season in the form of our exquisitely beautiful Devil Girl of the Month, Mistress Veronica.  A close comrade of ours here at The Trash Cinema Collective, a familiar face to anyone keeping up with The Primal Root’s Rotten Reviews, and one of the founding members of the Boobarians, it is my pleasure and my sincere honor to unveil Mistress Veronica’s spooky, sexy and badass “Phantom of the Opera” inspired Devil Girl spread. BUT FIRST! Let’s ask Mistress Veronica a few questions, whatdya say?

The Primal Root: Tell us a little bit about yourself, Mistress. Where might your interests lie? tickles you fancy? Tell us what you’re into.

Mistress Veronica:  By day I’m your regular every day secretary-type lady. I also teach bellydance and I bellydance around the US – I love it way more than anyone should. What kind of stuff am I into?….on a good day fishnets and restraints Ah, who am I kidding, I’m the one in charge (hence the name). I am ALL about the classic pin-up, burlesque, costuming of all kinds, and girls in roller derby (PS loved Devil Girl Carrie A. Hatchet). Also anything pumpkin.

Root: As our Devil Girl for the month of October, I was wondering if you might recommend a couple of your favorite Trashy Halloween themed flicks you like to break this time of year.

Mistress Veronica:  Sure!  Killer Klowns From Outer Space is a childhood favorite along with the Leprechaun movies, the Evil Dead series, Beetlejuice, and newly added to my list Troll 2. Less trashy classics include Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus. It’s also a great time for all of the Universal classic monster/horror films.

Root:  What song would you recommend The Gang listen to while admiring your lovely Devil Girl set?

Mistress Veronica: “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” by Bach – when you think of pipe organ, this is probably the music that plays in your head. Nice and creepy and ominous. For something less classic, “Shit Men Say to Symphony” by the Living Deads.

Root:  What’s the scariest damn movie you’ve ever seen? What made it so frightening?

Mistress Veronica:  Hmmmm….No movie is as scary as what’s inside my own noggin, so this is hard to answer. The scariest thing I can think of right now is the tree attack scene in Evil Dead. You know things are wrong when trees are raping people. I couldn’t camp again for months after seeing that.

Root: When you’re out Trick or Treating  what sweet is sure to put a smile on your face?

Mistress Veronica: Hard liquor of any variety! Oh wait, something sweet…put some Coke or Pepsi in it. A Snickers bar is also acceptable.

I think we can mange both, Mistress.  Well, let’s not keep The Gang waiting any longer, without any further a due, feast your eyes on the seductive, the lovely, Mistress Veronica!  Just a heads up, you might need a drool cup…  Stay Trashy! -Root

Photography by Marina Pecorino

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29
Jan
13

Luna: Devil Girl of the Month January 2013

  Happy New Year, Gang! Well, it looks like we made it through 2012 more or less unscathed. Which is just one of the many reasons I am so damned excited  to introduce to you our New Year’s Devil Girl of the Month, the strikingly beautiful and mysterious, Luna! My other reasons for being excited? Well, Luna’s spread is quite the awesome, and it also makes for a great note to begin this new year at The Collective on!  As opposed to taking her inspiration from any direct source material her set is based upon something her own twisted imagination produced:

“Here is what we came up with. A forgotten and lost marionette that comes to life, frees herself from her bonds and becomes her creator’s living nightmare, killing him in his sleep and making off down the road to unknown destinies!”

Sounds pretty fucking awesome to me! Be sure to check out both Luna and her photographer’s links! Hope everyone’s enjoying a Trashy New Year so far! Feast your eyes on Luna’s set and Stay Trashy! -Root

Model – Luna Minuit

Photography/Editing – XXX ZOMBIEBOY XXX

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26
Apr
12

The Innkeepers: Clean Linens and Dead Ends

a Primal Root review

Okay Gang, I’m going to try REAL hard not to spoil anything about “The Innkeepers.” You have my word that spoilers will be kept to a minimum.

I remember hearing of Ti West’s “The House of the Devil” through the horror fan grapevine as a cinematic experience those who watched either loved or hated. I decided to give it a go and became a member of the former category. I loved “The House of the Devil” and felt it’s quirky, patient approach to building suspense and creating a genuine atmosphere of dread was so refreshing it almost felt totally new in a cinematic culture where most films are slashed to ribbons in the editing process and paced to the heart rate of a Starbucks junkie. Sure, this technique is nothing new and was perfected by the likes of Hitchcock and De Palma and Carpenter, but to see a young, fresh out the gates filmmaker like Ti West utilize a form of cinematic story telling that seemed all but forgotten instantly made the young man an artist I wanted to keep tabs on.

Enter, “The Innkeepers”, West’s most recent effort. The story of two slacker employees Claire (Sara Paxton from The Last House on the Left remake) and Luke (Pat Healy from Rescue Dawn) of the very soon to be shut down and demolished Yankee Pedlar Inn, a three story, turn of the century kind of place with awesome wallpaper, hard wood floors and the obligatory legend of a tragic death and enduring haunting therein. As the last two employees on staff at the Yankee Pedlar, Clair and Luke take the opportunity to down some cheap beer and launch a full scale investigation into the legendary haunting of deceased bride-to-be, Madeline O’Malley which Luke claims to have encountered on several occasions.

The duo busts out their recording equipment to try and capture some EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) and set the stage for the possibility of a ghostly encounter. And honestly, one gets the impression that these two are investigating more our of sheer boredom than any passionate interest. However, as some curious happenings begin to manifest around Clair and Luke they are advised by one of the only guests they have that weekend, Leanne (Kelly McGillis from Top Gun (!) ) who is a former TV actress turned psychic medium.  She comes to Claire as a friend and offers a possible guide to the spirit world while also offering some well timed significant New Age wisdom and a dark warning…

“The Innkeepers” is one scary mother fucking movie. It finally dawned on me that, really, if there’s one genre of horror sure to really get me rattled it’s the kind that involves hauntings and ghosts. Ghosts are a tricky subject in horror movies because they can be handled improperly like they were in the remake of “Paranormal Activity” (2009) or “Insidious” (2011) where everything is revealed, everything explained and everything is showcased in the light of day and leaves nothing to the imagination. I have always been of the opinion that scariest thing we will ever face is that which we don’t understand and what’s left up to us to imagine. Always, this will be far more frightening than anything a filmmaker and his effects crew could ever create and showcase.

For the majority of “The Innkeepers” we join Claire and Luke in their final, modest,  quest to seek any kind of proof of the supernatural at The Yankee Peddler. We see only what they see, hear what they hear and many times adopt their point of view as the camera track closely behind them keep the frame claustrophobic and tense as the viewer joins them in the investigation. Often there’s nothing but silence or the hum of static piping through headphones as they listen to what they’re recording. I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation being drawn in both wanting something to happen and being incredibly fucking nervous as to the when and what might be revealed or heard. It’s a film that realizes we’ve seen this sort of film before and that we are familiar with the beats. “The Innkeepers” defies our expectations and repeatedly scares the shit out of the viewer. They may be jump scares, but they are well earned and serve the purpose of the story at hand.

Not only are the scares and techniques used to deliver them excellent, but so is the cast at hand. Our star player, Sara Paxton gives a very genuine and game performance as the adorable, nerdy slacker, Claire. She finds herself in the center of the storm during the proceedings and manages to play up her distress well and also proves to be quite the comedian to boot. Paxton is imminently watchable and young actress I look forward to seeing more from. Pat Healy as Luke is a great foil to Claire and generates some great laughs with his deadpan, sarcastic performance. Like Paxton, Healy is called upon to both be very believably funny and terrified. The brother pulls it off in spades. Kelly McGillis is fantastic as the resident psychic, Leanne, a once famous TV star with a gift for communicating with the other side. As the films most prominent supporting player she proves believable and essential to the tale and really grounds the film in reality. “The Innkeepers” benefits greatly from her presence.

“The Innkeepers” brings to mind Kubrick’s “The Shining” by way of Kevin Smith’s “Clerks”. It’s the story of two intelligent but unmotivated young adults working a literal dead-end job and floating rudderless. When Clair is asked by Leanne what she does Claire can only respond with an awkward and unsure “I’m kind of between things.” as if she’s never given a single thought to what will be coming next for her.  Claire and Luke are very real and well developed characters that feel like people we know. Hell, what might be even stranger is that these characters might even be many of us, stuck in lame jobs and having resigned ourselves to them with no clue as to how we could ever better our situation.  These characters wonder the silent, ancient halls of The Yankee Peddler looking for the smallest evidence that there is something more there. Evidence that there could be any truth to legend of Madeline O’Malley. It may seem like a futile search to some, pointless even when faced with the crushing reality of oncoming unemployment, but the truth is that some of us might never find anything better than what we’ve got and grown accustomed to. Many find themselves in the exact same trap Claire and Luke find themselves in. Walking the halls of the place they can’t stand in a kind of purgatory.I can think of few things scarier than that.

Well, beside mother fucking ghosts…

The Innkeepers is an intelligent and brilliantly constructed horror film. One that doesn’t spoon feed it’s story or characters to the audience.  The Yankee Peddler itself feels like a character int he film, much in the same way The Overlook Hotel played the same sort of significance in the proceedings of The Shining. Every hall tells a story, every room has witnessed thousands of tales unfold. One can only imagine what frightening memories such a place might have. And this is the ultimate strength if “The Inkeepers”, we are given the ammunition necessary to fill in the blanks and imagine many of the films horrors. Some are blatant and in your face, but “The Innkeepers” is a smart enough film to allow room for mystery, ambiguity and interpretation.  The mark of truly good film is that it trust it’s audience and doesn’t talk down to it. “The Innkeepers” is just such a film.

It’s a slow burn that takes it’s time to build up the suspense and lay on the dread as thick as molasses while dropping in some well timed laughs and plenty of fun, snappy banter.  Ti West knocked it out of the park with this one, yes, “The Innkeepers” is well worth the visit.

Stay Trashy!

-Root

20
Apr
12

Uncle Grumpyfuk Remembers: The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies

written by Uncle Grumpyfuk

Welcome my fellow Gommorrahns to another episode of Uncle Grumpyfuk’s insightful and …uh, evinrude observations concerning …cinematic… intacies..intricies..intr..  …in-tri-ca-ci-ties… intricate stuff, whatever! FUCK! Sit d.. shove those poultry magazines and crusty tissues off the couch and throw that towel over the dark spot, NEVERMIND THE SMELL!!! ..sigh- and sit down. Shit, please stop my brain from spinning oh Crom.
I apologize folks, the tabs will be kicking in any minute and I’ll have some energy and get the peach fuzz off my brain- you know that Beatles (*) tune ;

Well she was just un-der-eight,
and it was tastin’ mighty great,
when I heard a knock,
a knock on my front door-or!
Yeah i-i-in came the cops and her pareeents! Ohhhh,
I was-still-holding-the-Mazola-

and-the-octopus-tentacle,
and she-was paaaassed-ooout aawwwn the-floor!

Well Uncle Grumpyfuk’s having one of those kinda mornings, I’m SURE you know what I mean.

(*) I’m sure you’ve recently heard of the lucky asswipe that hit an estate sale and found hand written lyrics by members of the Fab Four (**) amongst some old paperwork. He’s going to make some serious bank, lucky fucker – these are actually some of the alternate lyrics, released by stickyourgoddamncopyrightsupyouroozingrectum.com (***)

(**) In actuality the lyrics presented herein were NOT written by the Beatles. Neither the cute one or the wussie one, nor the good one or the lucky one had anything to do whatsoever with these lyrics, it was me. Seriously, it was…what? You think the Beatles could write lyrics that good?!? You are fucking insane.

(***) Actually no such website exists that I know of,I didn’t really check or anything, if there is it was a lucky guess- as far as I’m concerned I made that up too. Yes I did indeed! I know- O Henry, Saki, Shatner, Dickens, yep I know – thanks!

Whew, hell I haven’t even told you what movie we’re doing..oh, well I guess you read the title. Ok fine Monsieur Smartass! Ahem, today I’ll be reviewing a movie dear to Uncle Grumpyfuk’s heart, directed by the master Ray Dennis Steckler,with a title that deserves an Oscar in itself;  “The Incredibly Strange Creatures That Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies” , top that Scorsayze.. Scoresasee…Scorsaysie…Coppola! You bitch!

It begins with the highest crane shot I’ve ever seen of a rollercoaster in an amusement park on Long Beach that no longer exists, because the human race sucks. Next we find ourselves down in the park amongst the crowd in front of Mme Estrella’s Gypsy Fortune Telling tent and the camera moves forward, while filming(!) such innovative technique from a young Steckler! Amazing. Then, we move through the curtain and are transported, as if by magic, inside the tent! Huh, ‘Avatar in 3’D’ – phttt,what hog-waste!
We meet our sultry clairvoyant trying to attract a pudgy boozehound with her crotch-sweat, he actually reviles her and suggests she engage in intimate physical relations with one of her fellow carnival workers who was afflicted from birth with horrific physical handicaps, indicating that their unfortunate disfigurement delegated them as something less than normal! Enraged at his stunning political incorrectness and aggrieved for the delicate emotions of the disgusting freaks she calls forth Ortega, her debonaire companion, who’s makeup job of cotton swabs and cigarette ashes would not be equaled until a full 3 decades later with ‘A Joan Rivers Christmas Extravaganza’. Ortega’s Clark Gable-esque features and manner cannot help but impress- oh Ortega you devil! ..and the way Steckler executes the scene, with Ortega entering from behind the curtains, as if he emerged from a portal to another dimension, once again,amazing.
Well, Ortega subdues the slobbering sot and holds him wallowing helplessly as our ravishing gypsy demonstrates what happens when you try the Chinese water torture with corrosive acid, fun stuff indeed! She then commands Ortega to put the ‘feelthy peeg’ in the back with the others and our hopes begin to soar.
The first act is over and as the credits begin there appears a nice semblance of our director’s face which, as the credits proceed, evolves, like magic into the hideous countenance of Eddie Van Halen! Utter, soul-wrenching fright ensues. What an innovative and chilling intro by Steckler. The phantom cry from very shade of DW Griffith himself, at the moment that scene was originally shot, could be heard across the unimaginable distances from limbo itself claiming, ” Heeeelp! Talulah Bankhead and Barbara Stanwick are after me, trying to lop of my testicles with a crosscut saw and Hilary Clinton isn’t getting any younger!” Higher praise one simply could not ask for.
The next scene begins abruptly with the discordant laughter of a mechanical carnival clown that looks like Ross Perot and another head, a pirate or a priest or something, that those two assholes on that antique pickers show would give 30 bucks for, for both ,then we’re outside a cafe/dinner theater like in Amsterdam except there aren’t 7 people and a goat fucking on stage while salad is being served. What a shame, that always gets my appetite going!
A couple I like to call ‘Pat and Pat’, a rather masculine female (Steckler’s actual wife at the time) that looks like Mary Ellen from the Waltons and a rather feminine male that looks like Brigitte Nielsen are doing a pretty cool dance number, (what the fuck do I know), they finish and Pat dashes back to her room (see what I did there? that’s called…some writing term, shit, I don’t know) to swill Witch Hazel when she spots a dark feline creature glaring balefully at her from atop a box of Whiskas, and a terrified shriek erupts from under her boobs – her familiar has found her once more and she shudders as she hears the Dark Lord’s crappy voice singing ‘Bim Bam Baby’. Soon she knows she must join Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack and endure Sammie’s Uncle Tom routine for all eternity, that there is no escape. At that moment however her manager bursts into the room, scoops up the hissing monster and tosses it out into the hall- slamming the door before enraged Sir Scruffalot could re-enter the room, problem solved!
 Now, finally we’re introduced to the main character, the true rebellious teen idol of the 1960s; Cash Flag, otherwise known as our beloved director Ray Dennis Steckler! Acting, direction,  production, what a talent! Yes my friends Cash Flag, three times as cool as James Dean and Steckler didn’t have to take it up the ass to attain his fame like that fucking toy-boy poser! Cash is tre-fucking-cool, we open at his pad where he and his hip Greek buddy Harold, (who is from Greece and has a voice like Ahnold before he screwed his housekeeper and himself in the rump) are kickin’ back talking about Cash’s old lady and her uptight but totally fuckable mom, when Harold suggests Cash possibly get some means of employment to improve his relationship and get in that milf’s ass! Cash, horrified at the thought of a job delivers one of his classic lines which says it all, “The world is here to be enjoyed, not to make you depressed, that’s what work does, it makes you feel depressed.” Yeah, fuckin’a right buddy, we should all live off of gummi bears and expresso and crap out the window, hell yeah! ..Anyway the ‘dynamic two guys’ head over to Cash’s squeeze’s pad where her mom is giving her shit for not putting out for the the ‘nice boy’, you’ve all heard it before girls, I know you have. They take off and hit the beach where they frolic,  see, when you’re cool like Cash you can do shit and not worry about it – you can frolic, ya know what I’m saying? Word.
         The trio go over to the amusement park and decide to ride on the roller coaster, Cash tries to persuade his bird to give him a bj for the ‘fun photo’ camera but no dice, so they hit the Gonad Lift and hock luggies into the baby cribs passing by below, good old fun like kids used to have the kind of fun that’s been taken away from them, just like lynchings! It’s terrible.
Meanwhile Pat is still swilling on her Witch Hazel, an oreo is on stage telling the worst jokes with the delivery of a third grader with autism, then Pat and Pat begin their act with Pat staggering around like Whitney Houston on meth..oh come on, screw you,  no one was surprised about that shit! ..and Pat ends up faceplanting on stage like Whit..oh fine, like your mother after a night out with the Cult of the Red Hat, yeah! Ha! However the crowd was entertained so all is well. She rushes backstage followed by her oppressive manager, and dives back into the bottle. He tells her to continue drinking- the audience loved it and it gave him sadistic pleasure at watching her humiliate herself  and Pat onstage, it is really funny when you think about it, and that if she quits, she’s fired.
Later that night they’re still riding the coaster, apparently the operator suffered a major stroke getting a hummer from a 10-year-old for a caramel apple and a coke razor necklace so they’re stuck up there for the moment! Haunted by her encounter with Sir Scruffalot, Pat seeks solace from Mme Estrella who tells her of two possibilities concerning her future, that she will die very soon or get knocked up by a spade with a huge choad sending her fleeing in terror, out of the tent and knocking Harold head-over-heels as the kids stand outside the tent. The intrigued youngsters enter the gypsy’s tent to see what the hubbub is about, however our hot-ass gypsy’s clairvoyant vision is clouded by the smell of Harold’s hair cream so she basically gives them the same old ‘one of you will die!’ spiel. This enrages Cash who swears bloody revenge on the smokin’ cougar, the Roma bitch stole Harold’s wallet though so she’s got it coming. Oh man that mole on her face does something down in the groinal region, you know? Sure you do! Fuck yeah! Groins!
The kids head back out into the park and they find some hootchie’s dancin’ on stage, led by Estrella’s sister, the exotic and mysterious Carmalita, with a look so alluring it would make oatmeal remain at room temperature! Cash is immediately hooked as if he’d received a particularly tasty dose of smack, or in Carmalita’s case, smuck. He ditches his friends like a pair of tranny hookers after your wad is blown and enters the tent.
Outside the tent the carnival barker asks one of the hotter dancing girls if she’d like to go out on a date, now check this out, at her house, cooking steak for him in her kitchen! That is some serious Fonz-like coolness there my friends, yes sirree! Since I heard that line 4 women have slapped the shit out of me and another told me to ‘get fucked’- 2 of them because I tried that line! I’ve got to work on that one, learn to make it work, yes sir!
Now comes the first musical/dance number with a bevy of super-hot dancing girls in slaughtered zebra flesh outfits (yum!), and a troupe leader with a set of gams that go up to her eyebrows, yow!  They do a cool number then Carol Kaye sings “It Only Hurts When He Doesn’t Use Lube”, a softer/slower song, she’s got a great voice, it’s a nice song. (See how nice I’m being? See, I like this film and Steckler! Understand? Otherwise…)
Then comes Carmalita’s ‘strip’-‘tease’, no pole – I know, can you believe it? Cash stares, riveted, as Carmalita proceeds to.. not really strip and.. not really dance… oh baby! As he watches, like some phantom from a haunted tobacco field, Ortega materializes in a puff of smoke behind Cash and hands him a note from Carmalita asking if he’s interested in a threesome with Estrella and herself? Cash can hardly contain his excitement, lucky fucker!
After ‘accidentally’ barging into the dancers’ dressing room, no bush or anything by the way, not even a nipple(!), Cash finds the gypsy strumpet in her dank and poorly lit dressing room. She bids him go behind some curtains and he excitedly envisions a rickety cot with stained sheets a-waiting, yet when the curtains part he’s confronted with the dreaded ‘hypnotic cheese wheel’, that, you know, hypnotizes you..with cheese..surrounded by Ortega and her sister. He falls helplessly under the irresistible spell of the cheese wheel, the smell of stilton is simply more than his weakened senses could take. Mme. Estrella succeeds in mesmerizing our helpless teen heartthrob as Ortega huffs on dried cow dung and Carmalita..just sorta stands there and one wonders, where can I find a hot gypsy outfit in a childs size 5?!? Estrella commands Cash to…do something, we’re not actually let in on it, you think we would be but ..oh, I see! Steckler is building suspense! How could I have doubted his genius? Shit. Then the camera spins round and around, real artistic-like, fuck it’s things like that that make the universe worth not destroying!
           Back at the music theater a really really white guy on bennys is droning on,wondering where your heart is so he can cut it out and devour it, then the oreo introduces Pat and Pat who begin their dance routine, then we are treated, nay, honored to behold the most awesome murder scene in the history of motion pictures, it’s just that damn great, man!!!

Pat and Pat begin their routine as usual, unfortunately Pat, having gone to see Mme. Estrella, had neglected to down her required dose of Witch Hazel so she’s actually dancing ok when she turns around to face Pat, and there, looming, like the silent-film Nosferatu rising from his coffin, his eyes transfixing your gaze as icy terror tugs at the shoe-strings of your crappy-ass Walmart Nike ripoff sneakers, like turning on the radio to be confronted with the life-stealing, banshee-like wail of Glee, and when you lunge at the control knob to change the station it breaks off in your trembling hand…wait,what the fuck was I talking about? …oh, right, cough… as Pat turns there in front of her looms Cash, our beloved Cash, Ray Dennis Steckler himself, standing,  raised blade in hand, with a look in his eyes that will haunt your mortal soul,( yeah that’s right, you ain’t going nowhere after you croak, suckers!), the intense helplessness, the visible inner struggle between the opposing forces of his two brains (wink!), the feral rage invoked by the vengeful gypsy..who’s still hot as shit, I don’t care I totally would, that crusty wart might feel good on the tip …sigh, anyway, all of this and probably less does Pat see in his frenzied stare as the knife flashes downward like the sword of Damocles itself into her.. cheekbone. ..( How is THAT for a run-on sentence my fellow miscreants? I coulda broken it up but fuck it, a new personal record! Yeah!) The wounded and stunned Pat hits the floor like soggy hamburger meat and Cash proceeds to stab her fallen body over and over, enjoying the delicious warmness of here life’s blood covering his hands,mmmm. Then he turns his basilisk gaze to Pat, who is standing there totally aroused and shitting himself, and again the blade slices down, in a downward direction, and Pat turns to show how a cheap bloody make-up job can look pretty darn cool. He hits the floor to join Pat and their running blood mingles together as the delighted audience howls for more! The zombie-like Cash, his mission accomplished, exits stage left and chaos ensues as the audience rushes forward to take photos and vids to post on youtube for a thousand bucks, and a couple of particularly savvy souls gather up the blood to sell on ebay – smart! Let that be a lesson to you all, don’t squander a perfectly good opportunity to profit off of the misfortunes of others! You snooze, you lose!
What a scene, you just want to hit the pause button, whip it out and go at it until a 2-ply sheet of Bounty simply ain’t enough, you know what I mean!?! ..and isn’t that what art is all about? Uncle Grumpyfuk says hell yes! You’re fuckin’a right it is! Groins! Woo!!!

Next our ingenious director and crew really strut their stuff and we see Cash thrashing about in his bead, haunted by the coolest dream sequence in all of film, I am fucking serious damn it! Super-imposed images flash across the screen, the dancing girls and Cash, played by Pat, with Darth Maul’s makeup, dancing and whirling around, smoke, fire, camel toes, Estella, Ortega’s dashing features, all choreographed and filmed by the future award-winning crew. It’s a haunting and totally addictive scene you just want to watch over and over, it’s like smack without the puking! Glorious.
The next morning Cash cruises over to his old lady’s house to see if she’s sorry for being such an uptight bitch, when, during the conversation she begins to spin an open umbrella which vaguely reminds us, and Cash, of the hypnotic cheese wheel. This pisses him off and he begins to throttle Angie Baby’ – she deserves some roughing up anyway for that crap attitude of hers. Gotta keep’em in line or before you know it they’ll want to start driving and voting and shit! Crazy times. He gleefully continues, enjoying the warm feel of her convulsing trachea in his cold hands when he sees the image of Pat’s face and squeezes Angie’s delicate neck all the harder, achieving a righteous boner in the process. Suddenly her brother Madison,who can’t wait any longer for his turn, throws Cash to the ground and as Angie stares with bemused curiosity at Cash, her brother takes over and finishes throttling her, living the dream.
Cash, meanwhile, flees the scene and wanders around the city, giving us some great camera shots of an LA lost in the past and eventually he makes his way back to the carnival for some serious payback for the playful gypsy duo. His mistake however was in not bringing along his one-man Greek posse for backup, and Cash is quickly hypnotized all over again and once more sent out to kill..someone, which turns out the be the dancer who was going to cook steak for the tre-cool barker. We arrive at her pad and she’s about to light up when she looks down her long poorly-lit hallway and spots Steckler, knife in hand, stalking down the hall towards her, knife again raised for action and dispatches her after a brief struggle. Then the barker knocks on the door, sees the light go out, smells that hot poon a-waiting’, or so he thinks as he enters,calling her name. WE see his silhouette and then Cash’s silhouette behind his, knife raised, end of scene. Spooky stuff folks – Hitchcock Shmitchcock, this is the shit right here!

 
Now we’re treated to the best of the dance/song numbers as Carol Kaye and the girls get ‘Shook out of Shape’! I fucking love this song so fucking much it’s almost criminal, and the addition of Carol in a hilarious but totally hot rooster tail outfit and the smoking hot dancing girls…whew, damn, settle down boy, settle down! Apparently the dancers had no rehearsal time for these numbers but those bare legs are a kicking and pumping, yea-howdy!!!

After dispatching the dancing girl at her house Cash mechanically heads back to the carnival to get his ‘reward’ from the gypsy couple, woo-hoo! However his reward,instead of a nice threesome turns out to be a bunch of acid in the face – I’d take the two gypsy bitches myself but to each his own! Our poor hero stand as the corrosive liquid dissolves his pristine features, though we don’t actually see anything, turning him into a ..mixed up zombie! somehow..or a reasonable facsimile thereof. Estrella and Ortega lead the helpless post-op teen to be put with the ‘others’,however as the cage door opens the mixed up zombies escape by..walking out of the door! I guess it takes mixed up zombies a while to figure things out, you know? They then attack Estrella and Ortega, can you believe it?!? After supplying the pathetic creatures with a filthy cage for a home, 2 bowls of gruel a day and hourly anal punishment this is the thanks they get? Talk about gratitude! Jeez! Outnumbered, the conniving couple quickly succumb to the zombies’ mixed up assault and we shed a tear; never again will we be dazzled by Ortega’s suave manner and good looks, or be turned on by Estrella’s mole,it’s almost too much to bear! Sniff.
Hearing the commotion Carmalita moves to investigate but is quickly dispatched by a zombie, then all hell breaks loose. The zombies wander into the cafe and then the last dance number, the now famous ‘Zombie Stomp’ begins. After the entertainment the cops burst in and start shooting everything that moves, followed by Harold, Angie Baby and Madison, who are searching for Cash to get their paychecks! Cash, seeing them enter, jumps out of the window and tries to take a powder, hoping to avoid paying any of the actors involved in the film now that the movies is ending, so the trio takes off after him, followed by the police, sounds familiar eh? Ha!
The chase moves to the ocean and when he gets a clear shot the cop raises his pistol. “Do it!” scream the actors, “The insurance company will pay us what he owed us!”,so he takes the shot. Poor Cash plummets onto the rocks below and into the ocean,but miraculously makes it back to shore, still hoping to escape- one tough motherfucker! Yet he finally collapses on the sandy ground and buys the farm, and a not terribly bright and rather lazy and cheap star has been extinguished, sniff, and the actors sue the insurance company and get their dough after 2 years of court appearances and Angie Baby blowing the judge. The End.


There you have it folks and just in the nick of time, Uncle Grumpyfuk just ran out! Time to go on the hunt if you know what I mean! (wink!wink!) So until next time my fellow ugnugs, this is your favorite little teddy bear all covered with mold and spunk reminding you, “There’s no such thing as too much lube or too small a hole!” Groins! Woo!!!

-Uncle Grumpyfuk

19
Nov
11

Land of the Dead: Eat the Rich

a Dirty Thought with The Primal Root

The year was 2004 when all those old rumors surrounding George Romero’s long awaited fourth installment in his Dead series began lumbering back to life. For over a decade there were fan boy speculations  about a “Twilight of the Dead” , which would be really awkward with the popularity of those Twilight flicks,  or some other such continuation of the series. It wasn’t until early in 2000/2001 that steadily these rumors began transforming into fact. Romero was planning a new entry in his beloved, legendary, film series.  My excitement could hardly be contained.

By June 2005 we finally had our long awaited fourth film, “Land of the Dead”.  After years of hoping, false starts and sketchy rumors, there I was sitting in a theater seat, ticket stub in my pocket, about to see what Romero had cooked up for his starving fans. And to tell you the truth, I was a little underwhelmed on my first viewing. I’m sure a lot of it had to do with how much I had built this film up in my head over the two decades worth of anticipation, but I just didn’t think it held a candle to the original trilogy. The message seemed scatter shot, the characters thin, and the dialog cheesier than skating rink nachos.  I left having enjoyed myself but also feeling disappointed.

Now, looking back on Romero’s Land of the Dead almost seven years later, and in light of current events here at home and on Wall Street, his fourth Dead film has suddenly clicked with me and it’s message, it’s purpose, has become very clear.

As Romero’s Dead series has progressed our sympathy has been manipulated and shifted over to the living dead.  The seeds were subtly  planted in Dawn of the Dead but it wasn’t until Bub showed up as the star zombie in Romero’s  Day of the Dead  (85) that we all began the empathize with what we had always seen as a monster. Bub  recalled much of his living memories and even expressed very human, very un-zombie like emotions despite craving oozy living flesh to munch on. There was still something there. Something human. And by the end of Day of the Dead Bub proved to be more human and possess a purer spirit than most the human characters that populated the film. And in that idea Romero brought us as close as we’d ever been to siding with the shambling, decaying, walking corpses. Hell, we even cheer for Bub by the film’s end when he exacts revenge over those who have wronged him.

In Land of the Dead Romero asks us to almost explicitly see ourselves as the Dead, who in this film represent the disenfranchised. Those who have been left behind  with nothing except the possibility of the wealthy, powerful, elite will send in their troops to take whatever they can get their hands on in order for the rich to have their Scotch, cigars and Pringles which I’m pretty sure I spotted  on route to Fiddler’s Green. When the zombie apocalypse happens we will all be longing for the comfort of a can of Pringles.

Fiddler’s Green is a high rise fortress, a kind of utopia, for the wealthiest of zombie apocalypse survivors to spend the rest of their days hiding behind it’s concrete walls wearing the finest of clothes, eating hot meals and shopping their lives away as they towerhigh above the dead who are kept out by the bordering river and strategically placed electric fences.  But,  outside of  Fiddler’s Green is another story.  Also kept out are those deemed unworthy. Other living survivors who, for whatever reason, aren’t worthy of living a life of protected, maintained luxury. Fiddler’s Green is surrounded by make shift shacks, decayed building, sick, tired, dirty and poor humans struggling to survive with no aid of any kind. Those who cannot live in Fiddler’s Green are given few choices: They are put to work as part of the new military force put together to protect the wealthy, manufacture and deal drugs, prostitution, gambling,risk your life as entertainment for the masses as a contestant in a makeshift game of death,  or you can try and survive on the streets. Good luck!

It’s a strange concept thing to imagine that money could mean anything at all after the dead pretty much take over the planet, but if you can put aside your disbelief, there is a very poignant message about the haves, the have nots, and those who are considered less than human as an insurgency rises among the living’s lower class aims to over throw the current power elite and replace it with a more communal government and the dead who have begun communicating, have had enough, join together, and strike back against their oppressors.Because when the power and the dead are placed side by side, there is very little difference besides one being full of warm flesh and blood and the other craving to sink it’s rotten teeth into it.  And as the living dead make their way to Fiddler Green, tear down it’s walls and begin ripping apart the entitled citizens cowering within, it’s impossible not to cheer for those who have been ignored, abused and left to rot beyond the cities borders.

I implore you to go back and watch Land of the Dead again while the memory of the bank bailouts we payed for, the economic crisis that ended in many of us being laid off, and the Occupy Wall Street Movement where peaceful protesters were beaten mercilessly is still fresh in your mind. No matter what demons, creatures or myths we create to symbolize our societal  fears and angst the greatest threat you and I shall ever face is one other. Specifically those who have been corrupted by power and greed.

Land of the Dead worked well as an allegory for Bush era 9/11 anxieties but also seems to fit just as well within our current situations here at home as the division between the classes continues to grow ever wider. In the film, the dead are easily distracted by fire works. As they explode over head in beautiful arrays of bright colors the dead cannot help but stop in their tracks and give these meaningless, momentary bursts of light their full attention.  One cannot help but draw a parallel between the dead’s mindless attention to these fireworks (AKA: sky flowers) and the appeal of reality television, celebrity gossip, and other such none sense we are fed and made to believe is important to our every day lives when there are far more important issues at hand. It’s easy to tune out and focus on the meaningless. The trick is, to get your eyes off the ‘Sky Flowers” and focus on what’s right in front us.  What actually matters.

Romero has a lot to say in Land of the Dead and, in the case of all important works, it’s all open to interpretation.  But when I watch it today I can’t help but see it as a very timely “revenge of the repressed” fable that is perfect for where we are as a society and it’s by no means a happy one. We can only hope that one day, maybe, a new society might come in, devour the old and give us something new and better.

Land of the Free or Land of the Dead?

Stay Trashy,

-Root




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