Posts Tagged ‘student

19
Nov
13

The Pit aka: Teddy (1981) Boners, Food and Homicide; The Puberty Triple Threat

pit_poster_01

a Primal Root written review

It’s high time we talked about “The Pit” aka: “Teddy”, one of the creepiest goddamn coming of age movies I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching.  The plot goes something like this; a young, mentally deranged teenage boy named Jamie (Sammy Snyders) with parents who apparently travel quite a bit and regularly leave poor Jamie in the care of attractive female twenty something year old psychology students.  And buy, does he burn through them.  See, Jamie is kind of a creeper. The extent to which this kid will go to express his love aka: raging hard-on for just about anything wearing a bra is pretty impressive. He even tries the old “I dropped my napkin” ruse at the dinner table when he’s being introduced to his summer caretaker, Sandy (Jeannie Elias). Of course, this scheme works a whole lot better when you don;t announce loudly “OH NO! I DROPPED MY NAPKIN!” and then lunge your whole body head-first under the table to gaze up a woman’s skirt and into the crotch fabric of their panties.

You'll wish he'd written "Redrum" when this is all over and done with.

You’ll wish he’d written “Redrum” when this is all over and done with.

But this is the least of Jamie’s issues. See, he also has a teddy bear he he talks to…and Teddy talks back, stoking young Jamie’s deviant behavior and offering up suggestions on how to be a more effective weirdo. Also, Jamie happens to know the location of an isolated pit deep in the woods populated by furry, malevolent, flesh eating creatures with glowing yellow eyes.  Teddy and the Tra-La-Logs (Why, oh, WHY is this not a band name?) are the two folks Jamie feels he can confide in. and it makes sense, seeing as everyone in the town seemingly loathes this kid. From the his teenage classmates who lovingly punch him in the face and pull humiliating pranks on him, to the Librarian lady who refuses his pervish advances, even the elderly woman in the retirement home down the street can’t stand Jamie and even predicts he’ll probably just grow up “to be one of those hippies!”

pit 01

No one understands me like the beasts on the edge of Hell.

So, yes, Jamie airs out all his issues with a the psychotic voice in his head he hears through the inanimate object named Teddy and a batch of vicious monsters living in a hole deep in the woods.  The Tra-La-Logs do not judge Jamie, they simply gnash their teeth, stare at him and drool as he explains the twisted thoughts of his diseased mind. Jamie grows to care a lot about these critters and Teddy hits upon the winning idea of starting to feed the little monsters! So, in between sessions of staring at Sandy’s bare breasts while she sleeps and faking kidnappings in order to snap some Polaroids of  Librarian next door’s  hush puppies, Jamie steals some of Sandy’s cash and buys a ton of hamburger meat and feeds it to the creatures in the woods.

That's a bad touch, Sandy.

That’s a bad touch, Sandy.

 

Of course, this can’t last, as Sandy catches on quickly to the fact her cash is vanishing quicker my singles at a strip club. Where can Jamie find a new, cheap source of meat for this ravaging, razor toothed, carnivorous creatures? Why, yes, tossing the screaming, soon to be devoured bodies of the people who have wronged you is completely valid option!  In a montage of great dark comedy, Jamie lures about a half dozen people to their untimely deaths including Sandy’s boyfriend who he tricks into the pit by throwing a football around with him and making the guy “go long”, which leads him right into the jaws of the enemy. Even better,  Jamie kidnaps the mean old lady from the retirement home, rolling her down the nature trail as she shrieks and waves her hands around in terror, and launches her into the pit where she is ripped to pieces.  I’m not kidding, I laughed so hard I farted.  this is prem-o stuff, Gang.

Suck it, Grandma!

Suck it, Grandma!

There’s even a slightly more profound moment where Jamie is about to roll a young girl into the pit who laughed at him while he was getting the snot beaten out of him.  “You sure are a pretty girl. But only on the outside. Inside you;re ugly and you will probably spend your whole life giggling at the pain of others.”  a pretty chilling statement about the nature of bullying and the violence it spawns. Treat people with kindness or you might find yourself the main course in gore drenched buffet of fury. Never mess with the kid who is rumored to be psychotic, he may just prove you right. It’s a moment I think all kids who were picked on can relate to. I think at some point we all wished we had a giant hole int he ground we could roll our tormentors into so we would never have to hear from them again.  I can see a little bit of wish fulfillment here.

D'Awwww...

D’Awwww…

After making the major miscalculation of actually showing Sandy the Tra-La-Longs down in their pit, she insists they bring out some scientists to check out the discovery when Jamie made her promise to keep them a secret, Jamie ends up accidentally pushing her into THE PIT where she is slowly ripped into meaty chunks and feasted upon by the ever hungry monsters. It might be the bloodies moment of the movie and works like gang busters and Sandy’s bright red entrails and slurped down and her bones and crunched to pieces by the terror of the Tra-La-Logs.  Jamie is traumatized by the death of someone he actually wants to put his penis in, and decides to throw a rope down the hole and let the creatures loose upon an unsuspecting public and, in the process, unleashes holy Hell upon the inhabitants of his little hamlet.

What follows is probably the most ineffective, yet still entertaining, sequence of “The Pit”. The movie takes the focus away from Jamie and, instead, focuses on the rampage of the Tra-La-Logs which are obviously nothing more than short people in furry suits running around the woods. Int he darkness of the pit the creatures came off as scary and mysterious, in the bright light of day they are laughable. Still, they manage to run about the rural area ripping young folks and big breasted teenage skinny dippers (one of which happens to be the director’s daughter) into finger food before a posse of angry, card carrying NRA locals track them back into their pit and blow into blood spattered shag carpeting.

Cut back to Jamie who is now headed to his grandparent’s farm to be taken care of for the rest of the summer, only this time he is not alone. His younger little lady cousin is there and they run off to go play together. It looks like Jamie has finally found a friend. Someone who is not sickened or terrified of his mere presence.  The sun is setting in the sky as the two children laugh and run off into the woods…only, they find something…another pit in the ground. Jamie knows all too well the horror that lies ahead. “They eat people…” he says. “I know.” She replies…

It's basically a prequel to "Ted"

It’s basically a prequel to “Ted”

“The Pit” is one very unique, sleazy, unusual and even disturbing little slice of forgotten horror gold.  It has the usual limitations you might expect from a low budget 80’s horror flick, but it still manages to pull off it’s concept for the majority of the running time. Sammy Snyders’ performance as the bizarre, creepy teenage killer is damned impressive. This is some very strange and often whacky material for a young actor to be performing, but the guy really gives his all and ends up giving a very believable and unsettling performance.  I’ve read interviews with the “The Pit” screenwriter Ian  Stuart and his disappointment in what was originally intended to be a much darker story with far fewer  flourishes of dark comedy. I understand what he’s saying, and I do wish that version could have been made, but the film we ended up with is still one pretty goddamn strange cinematic cocktail. From the bizarre sexual obsessions and oglings of Jamie, to the crew of bloodthirsty Hell beasts and the psychotic voices in Jamie’s head who transmit themselves through the boy’s Teddy bear, it’s one of those movies so peculiar it truly has to be seen to be believed.  I’d put it along side movies like “Tourist Trap” and “Pin”, movies that are damn strange and certainly effective, but lost and waiting to be rediscovered.

Three and a Half out of Five Dumpster Nuggets

Stay Trashy!

-Root

 

07
Nov
10

Joy of Sex or High School Hymen Hijinks

a Primal Root review

Man, was there any place worse than high school? That scarring, disturbing hellish melting pot of awkwardness, hormones and stomach churning maliciousness that sticks with you and haunts your dreams the rest of your miserable life. Really, there have been only two entertainment incarnations that have ever done the experience justice. My So-Called Life and Oz.

I attended high school in the declining days of the 1990’s. Limp Bizkit was causing teenagers across the nation to start cutting into their own flesh with razors in hopes of drawing the pain to their bodies as opposed to their souls as some ape-man shit nookie into their ears. This was the seed that lead to the emo  music wave in the naughties. And we all know how that turned out.

I am getting off track here, I went to high school in the 90’s so I have no idea what it was like in the 80’s.  But as it is portrayed in the 1984 stinker, Joy of Sex, it may have been just as bad. If not worse. It was a time where all you could do to entertain yourself  was super glue sexually suggestive items all over school and join the exclusive all male flatulence club, “The Blue Flamers” where you pile about eight guys into a midsized car and light your farts on fire. Yes, this scene is graphic and glorious and one young man nearly immolates himself asshole first. Yes, I did laugh out loud.

The title of the film in question, Joy of Sex, is possibly one of the most misleading I’ve come across in a while. You hear ‘Joy of Sex’ and you see a moderately attractive bikini clad woman on the VHS box and you assume you are in for a light hearted sex romp ala My Tutor or Porky’s. In actuality the whole film revolves around Leslie Hindenberg (Michelle Meyrink of The Outsiders and Revenge of the Nerds fame)  a  thirty something year old high school virgin. As is the tradition of most high school sex films she is on a deadline to get that mystical and precious cherry popped. But there’s a twist! Leslie went to get a mole on her chest checked out by her doctor whom she overhears talking about a plant dying within a couple weeks and she mistakes this as her diagnosis. So, now that we’ve established she’s an absolute moron her time table for getting fucked has just stepped up.

Despite the complete lack of sex in the film Joy of Sex it does manage to deliver in the comedy department on occasion. A good majority of the laughs are delivered by the obligatory foreign exchange student who pisses on Richard Nixon High School’s ( cover up the right letters and you get HARD ON High School! What a hoot!) principal, Mr. Porter (played by a bald Ernie Hudson who must have served as the inspiration behind Stranger’s with Candy’s Principal Blackman) and when presented with a stuffed beef heart by his American hosts, proclaims “Thank you for the shit!”

This is some very low level comedy, maybe I am an easy audience, because I laughed at all this stupid shit.

Christopher Lloyd also turns up in Joy of Sex as Leslie’s over protective gym teacher father. Sadly, he shows more skin than anyone else in this film when he strips down to a pair of  yellow bikini briefs. Of all the most unflattering underwear colors to choose from yellow is just a notch above brown.  I remeber Robert Zemeckis claiming on some Back to the Future special features that BTTFp3 was Christopher Lloyd’s first ever on screen kiss. This simply is not so. Not only does Lloyd get to make out with the lady playing his wife he also gets a blow job out of the deal. Not too bad, Emmet!

There’s no violence outside of an out of place graphic and bloody face plant on a padded mat during gym class and the nudity is almost non existant and kept to one pair of fleeting bare lady breasts as a woman flees down a hotel hallway. However, ladies get Doc Brown in his banana hammock along with some other guy and plenty of illustrations of cocks in various stages of erectness during sex education class. Which apparently lasted all year back in 80’s high school. Apparently you could graduate with a degree in dick studies.

Despite it’s shortcomings, flat jokes, lack of sex and/or nudity and failed attempts at conjuring up any honest human emotions, I recommend checking out Joy of Sex. It’s a terrible film. It’s bad but not any worse than the other thousands of teen sex comedies they hurled into theaters and video stores during the 80’s.

Does Leslie finally get some beef in her fajita? To be honest, I have no idea. The end credits start rolling before we ever get to see any action. Who the fuck made this movie?

So now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go practice lighting my farts so I may impress the ladies.

Stay Trashy.

-The Primal Root

 

02
Apr
10

The Primal Root’s Rotten Reviews presents My Tutor (NSFW!)

Hey Gang!

Bobby just flunked his French Final, but it’s cool, his daddy just hired him a tutor to teach him the ropes about life, language and pure sexual gratification.

In our first episode of our second year we’re taking a look at 1983’s My Tutor, one of the best teen sex comedies / coming of age films ever made. Featuring Caren Kaye, Olivia Newton John’s ex-husband, and a very young Crispin Hellion Glover in a ground breaking, unintentionally creepy performance.

So let’s get our Trash Cinema text books ready and enjoy the extra curricular sleaze that is, My Tutor.

Stay Trashy!
– Root

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/85892250″>(NSFW) My Tutor (1983) The Primal Root’s Rotten Reviews Episode 10</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user24396091″>Kevin Cole</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

03
Dec
09

Eraserhead: Black and White Night of the Soul

a Primal Root dirty thought

Maybe there is a fourth kind of Trash Cinema. One that is born of imagination and is so far outside the norm it leaves both audiences and critics completley dumbfounded. A type of Trash that’s so imaginative and introverted no one knows quite what to make of it. Films born of trash and bound for glorious cult status. David Lycnh’s Eraserhead certainly meets this criteria.

As an avidly devoted fan of all things David Lynch one question I always run into is “Why?” followed almost instantly by the blanket phrase “I don’t get his stuff.” To which I look them dead in the eye and say “What is there to get?” Why must you always be blatantly given something by a film?  The one thing I feel all fans of Lynch’s work have in common is a deep abiding love for mysteries and the simple and obvious concept that, hey, maybe there are no easy answers? No quick solutions? No pretty package wrapped up and ready to be presented to you upon completion. It’s one of the more frightening conceits that maybe…just maybe…we’ll never know the answers.

Recently I was asked about one of David Lynch’s most heralded works and possibly one of his hardest for viewers to grasp. Eraserhead. Coincidentally, this happens to be my favorite of Lynch’s work and one of my favorite films ever made. Why is there so much love for this film? Why are certain people in our society completely bat-shit crazy about this strange little fever dream of a picture? Well, fellow Trash Collectors, I’m going to try my damnedest to express my personal admiration and deep abiding nerd love for this most legendary of midnight movie cultism.

And no it’s not about just “I get it and you don’t.”  That’s all bullshit if you ask me. It runs far deeper than this simple declarative statement.

David Lynch’s debut feature film, 1976’s Eraserhead, is like a living nightmare. It is surreal but there are undeniable human truths and emotions there. Dread, pain, abandonment, longing. But that there is also hope and there is love to be found. As the song says, “In Heaven everything is fine.”

But like all dreams, nightmares, and art, their meaning must be interpreted by those experiencing it. The intent of the artist no longer matters. Eraserhead to me is one of the most honest and disturbing depictions of masculinity and the fear of fatherhood ever put to film. About the insecurities we must mask, the emotions we must bottle up, the dreams we must abandon, and the people whom we are that must be repress in order to get by in society. And the desperate hope that maybe, just maybe, there is light at the end of a very dark tunnel. It encompasses all my fears as an adult male. That I am not good enough. That I will fail at business, life, love and be left behind. It’s the darkest fears lying dormant but always weighing heavy on a subconscious level.

But see, my reason for loving and appreciating Eraserhead, and my interpretation don’t mean anything! Lynch created a totally subjective piece of art! My reason for loving it is a million miles away from why this guy or that girl love it. And some people just can’t stand it and that’s absolutely fine as well and completely understandable. But for a group of us Eraserhead struck a chord and there is something distinctly human there. Something warm and indescribable. Hidden in our deepest, darkest, places . Rather than give us answers Eraserhead boldly suggests that we find or make our own. That in life there are no easy answers to these mysteries so much greater than ourselves. That it’s up to us to find our own.

Stay Trashy,

-The Primal Root

In Heaven Everything is Fine. You Got Your Good Thing and I've Got Mine.




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