30 December 2007

Zombie Holocaust

These gorefests sure are boring. There's no story arcs or interesting characters or suspense, just lots of talk talk talking punctuated by poor schmucks getting their stomachs torn apart by loin-clothed savages. But are they ever fun to talk about! See:

You're probably thinking, "Hey, Highland Cinema, what the hell kinda flick is this? Now I already saw Lucio Fulci's amazing Zombi 2, the one where the New York eggheads sail to the tropics to find out why Manhattan's getting chewed up by the living dead, the one where that zombie goes mano a mano with a killer shark and that lady gets a stake jabbed right through her retina. The one that gave me the supremest case of the supreme heebie-jeebies since I faced off with Dom DeLuise at the 15th Annual Westchester County Boysenberry Pie-off. So what's this Zombie Holocaust? More New York wimps sailing to Haiti? More gruesome killings? More spleens left on the front porch next to the Daily Herald? Now why in hell would I want to sit through the same golddern movie all over again?"

'Cause this one's about cannibals and not just zombies goshdarnit! Director Marino Girolami throws a handful of living dead stumblers in the coda for good measure, but most of this flick follows these dubbed-over PhD know-it-alls as they traipse around a jungle isle searching for the secrets of primeval human sacrifice rituals...rituals that made it all the way to New Yawk and started leavin' docs and dentists chewed up on the 5th Ave pavement.

Hmmmm, okay this does sound a bit like Zombi, but ya gotta wait til the second half when Girolami treats us to this crazy ex-pat doctor whose hellbent on reanimatin' corpses, swappin' brains, and removin' vocals cords. And stay tuned for the lovely Alexandra Delli Colli, an Italiano vixen who decides to spend most of her time prancin' around all nekkid and unashamed and givin' us the most ultimate of homina-hominas. See, dear readers, how can ya lose? Ya cain't! Especially when that wind-blown Redford understudy grinds up a zombie's face with an outboard motor. Suh-weet.

Now wasn't that fun? Lookit all the great convo-sations we just had over Zombie Holocaust, a movie we're not even sure we liked!

Joe Bob, we loves ya.

29 December 2007

Feast / Cradle of Filth -- Peace Through Superior Firepower

A double feature! This one courtesy of a dear friend who hates on Priest, but digs on zombies!

Feast was chock full of the kind of bloody, sloppy, and gloopy effects that just tickle us pink, so even if its standard Living Dead stuck in a house setup was, well....standard we couldn't help but smile. We really liked it when that Best Week Ever guy oozed maggots and monster puke, and the way that newly-pubescent creature humped that lady's face before being blown to smithereens was truly inspired. Feast also hit us with gratuitiuos Jackson-esque fluid sprayin', hip fourth-wall commentary, and tough actin' talents of Young Guns II's Balthazar Getty and the ever-classy Henry Rollins. In fact, ol' Hank's the only reason we watched this in the first place! We chuckled at his pink sweatpants and wept at his demise. Recommended!

And while we're doling out the accolades we'll also recommend this here Cradle of Filth concert. Here at the Highland Cinema we're seriously into the spooky black metal. Our lobby's been blasting the Wolves of the Throne Room, the Mayhem, the Watain, and even the mighty Frost during the many moons of '07 and now that we've upgraded our theater's specs we've decided to screen every concert clip we can get our hands on. So when the of Filth came our way how could we say no? These guys and their corpse-painty Robert Smith style never appealed to us, but it turns out they have many things we do enjoy, specifically things like blastbeats, tremolo pickin's, and glass-shattering screeches! We don't thinks we'll ever get behind their limey Poe-boy shtick, but when the stage spectacle has acrobatic ladies, comin'-to-life gargoyles, and headbanging demon robots we can't help but give 'em the benefit of the doubt. We're also glad the castle lore and lacey vampires didn't scare our guests like that Carpathian Forest concert did. Yeesh.

17 December 2007

Inside Deep Throat

Isn't it funny how it all seems so quaint? This Golden Age of Pornography, why it was nothing but lovemaking strangers and super-8's. Everyone having a good ole libertatin' time 'til Big Brother came in to rain on the parade. At least you wore your coat!

10 December 2007


For a movie I don't remember watching as a child it sure gave me a weird sense of nostalgia.

08 December 2007

Gates of Heaven

Ostensibly about pet cemeteries, but really a film about your own fucking miserable life. I don't like this nearly as much as The Rog does, but he's right in saying it's unlike anything he's ever seen or ever will see. Sit in awe and witness regular, mundane, nice people inadvertently reveal their deepest hopes, vulnerabilities, and disappointments when all they're trying to do is talk about burying the family dog. Heartbreaking.

02 December 2007

Alice (1988)

Maybe this Svankmajer immersion wasn't such a hot idea. The Cinema got bored an hour into this and turned it off to download more black metal from eMusic.

We watched the rest later on, but wethinks your interest in the Svank's surreal portrayal of the pain and anxiety of childhood fears is much better satiated with his fifteen minute "Down to the Cellar."

29 November 2007


This modern internet age is turning all us regular folks into degenerate slimeballs. It really wasn't that long ago that you had to hunt around to see naked ladies, autopsies, and guys with weird diseases. You really had to have luck on your side to come across that third generation Faces of Death dub or that wrinkly sun-bleached Playboy. But now, in this here twenty-first century, you can see all kinds of gross stuff without even trying! Goatse, tubgirl, lemon party -- all things I had no intention of ever seeing in my entire life and there they are posted right there on some idiot's MySpace page or Photoshopped as some dork's avatar. Just cruising Digg every few days I've seen a whole ton of stories about a sad freak of nature like this poor asshole. Jesus, I can't even imagine what kind of horrible things I could witness if I really, truly, sincerely tried to find 'em.

Oh wait, yeah I do.

Now hold on, that's art it is, and besides, I read about stuff like Cannibal Holocaust ten years ago. The kind of degeneracy I'm talking about is the kind of stuff you'll find in this nice little movie Zoo. Stuff like (you guessed it!) animal fucking! I know the guys in this movie go on and on about how they really love them horsies, but who among us is honestly interested in the demarcation between bestiality and zoophilia? I mean, it's goshdarned gross any way you slice it! Zoo spends the first half of its run time giving you narrations and dimly lit reenactments of guys from all over the globe getting together and bonding over their shared love of the intimacy unique to a man-beast relationship. And where, you ask, did these guys meet? Why, online, of course! Just think about it, while you're here reading 'bout some of the finest feature films ever made, a handful of creepy dudes are IM'ing each other stable-cam pics and swapping stories of equine pillow talk. Yuck. Most striking to me isn't that strange fetishes exist, but that there's a community of fetishists for absolutely anything you can imagine. And the grossest thing you can think of? There's already a community of people totally bored with that! This here internet has made the world so small that nothing is off-limits and no matter what you're into there's a number of other cats out there into the very same thing.

Even if its taking a cock the size of a paper-towel roll up the ass.

Yeah, it's a fucked up world we live in.

Hey, did I mention this movie was really good? No? It was!

27 November 2007

Carpathian Forest -- We're Going to Hollywood For This

Wow, what an okay band! Carpathian Forest is sick and creepy Scandinavians who took Sepultura's Motorhead cover to heart. These tunes, they are the good! They are the hate of the Christianity, the necessity of the sadomasochism, the fervor of the scat-pr0n, and the overwhelming of the pain and suffering of your bullshit existence so fuck you, you goddamn piece of shit! They are also a sandwich of moderate rock tempo'd grind riffs and hellish screaming that's sure to make ya say "badass!" before boring ya with its tedium.

26 November 2007

Funny Games (1997)

I didn't like this. It was boring, I didn't find it disturbing, and Haneke's attempt to say something about filmic violence and audience participation doesn't work. Surely you will find this flick brutal and/or repulsive with all the matter-of-fact sadistic torture and tension, but my life would be better if I had these two hours back. Keep your eyes peeled for next February's entirely unnecessary shot-by-shot remake.

18 November 2007


French entry into the modern arena of "torture porn" that's totally unremarkable plot-wise, but cinema-wise features a final thirty minutes that typify such a sense of mayhem and frightening uncertainty we had to change our overall opinion from "meh" to "hey, not half-bad!" Vincent Cassel's enthusiastic performance as the creepy inbred caretaker was so powerful it nearly overcame our overwhelming hatred of the film's protagonists, a Kant-violating group of discothequeing sleazebags so unlikeable that rooting for their collective demise would be a complement. We're not really sure how much we appreciated this movie and even we were a little surprised at how the film's light peppering of misogyny offended even our sick little sensibilities (especially considering we sat through this whole thing without even batting an eye), but somehow we enjoyed Sheitan's arty hipster aspirations enough to recommend it your way.

17 November 2007


Outstanding. This is the first time I watched something nightmarish and surreal and enjoyed what I saw instead of worrying about what every little thing meant. One of the best things the Highland Cinema has shown and I'm even taking the scratched-disc delay into account!

15 November 2007

Jackass: Number Two

You did say you needed more material for you Queer Studies thesis, didn't you?

They're destined for painful deaths, but at least they made us laugh.

14 November 2007

The Isle

The Isle illustrates what should be a more common characteristic of The Highland Cinema's more erudite screenings, precisely that if we watch something smart without prior knowledge we probably won't get it at all. Chances are we'd have enjoyed this one a whole lot more had the idea that it was "a beautiful, haunting parable about a man in a woman's watery world" been planted in our brains before we dimmed the lights and grabbed the popcorn. Instead we dug the contemplative static shots while we scratched our heads wondering what this whole thing was about. Usually when we sit back to watch something ponder-worthy we already know what to expect and have our extrapolation caps firmly in place, but this time we were left all alone without any guidance and we paid the price.

But that part where the guy swallows those fish hooks and then yanks on 'em and the blood starts pouring out his mouth? Man, that was sure cool.

07 November 2007

The River's Edge

Crispin Glover's performance was too consciously campy to earn my praise, but that those two twelve year old kids who got high, broke and entered, and conspired to kill the Keanu Reeves did a damn fine job. What a couple of fuckers they were.

Also stars Ione Skye, the former cheese to some guy's macaroni!

05 November 2007

Little Otik

I think it's funny how my desire to visit the Czech Republic stems from my amazement with this piece of Polish animation. It's like I think anything weird is automatically Slovakian even when I know damn well it ain't. Little Otik, by the way, is both Czech and strange so maybe my borderline irrational assumption isn't entirely off the mark.

21 October 2007

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

Honesty's the only thing that matters, right? People like Johnston 'cause he lays out all his vulnerability and romance and sadness and doesn't hold anything back. His proto-Oberst quivering and ham-fisted chord strums are charming, but the fact he had no choice but to sit in a basement and record hours and hours and hours of naive mash notes made the cool kids swoon and lecture their friends about genius, goddamnit.

Or maybe they just like the mental illness, demonophobia, and XXXL sweatpants.

14 October 2007

You're Gonna Miss Me

Reviews were never the intention of the Highland Cinema. What came to mind, now that was the intention. So here's a few thoughts I had during this one:

(1) There's no reason you should listen to shitty music. None. You have no excuse. I'm not here to convince you Roky Erickson is some genius or visionary or that he's the reason you shouldn't listen to shitty music, but in this sad and beautiful world where there's so many fucking bands out there you're a real idiot if you're gonna listen to junk like "Ridin' With the King." See, here at the Highland Cinema we thought we knew everything we needed to know about the cool and angry post-punk rock music of the 1980s. We had all the Big Black and Butthole Surfers records. We knew the names of the guys in the Birthday Party and the Swans. But you know what? We found out there was a whole shitload of music we didn't know anything about! Nothing. Turns that before Reagan took office there was a whole lot of fucked up proto-industrial noise and weird rock bands out there. Whitehouse, NON, Helios Creed, Chrome, Throbbing Gristle...the list goes on and on and on and on. And how about Jandek or Can or Keiji Haino? Guys who've been putting out wicked strange records for a long long time. There's a TON of really really really interesting music out there, music you may not like or get, but music that you might as well expose yourself to since you're just gonna die pretty soon and no one wants to hear you complain about Nickelback all day. Lucky for you, this modern age has rendered your musical pretension only a few clicks away! Why, just look at me! Thanks to Mark Prindle, Electrical Audio, and Steve I listen to all kinds of stuff I never would've found on Clear Channel. In just the past few months alone I bought a super-girlified pop record, the Pig Destroyer catalog, and sat through two hours of shrieking bass feedback. I might just pick up some more ambient drone before I listen to even more black metal. Keep in mind that all this stuff is completely new to me and I didn't think I'd ever dig any of it. It's all stuff I found out about as an adult and then really enjoyed as an adult. There's no reason to grow out of anything.

(2) Just like Crumb, this Erickson family is fucked up. If you just peruse Roky's bio you'll see a big ol' tragedy of mental illness, but when I sat here and watched this thing I had a hard time getting past the fact that Mama Erickson has some serious problems of her own what with her hoarding and religious fanaticism and vehement distrust of the medical industry. And then there's younger brother Sumner Erickson, a guy who seems so noble the way he fought a court battle to get custody of the middle-aged Roky just so he could get the guy's schizophrenia under control and turn him into a productive citizen. Looks like it all worked out so well, right? Not three months back Roky played right down the street at Bumbershoot like a real functional music-makin' adult would. But watch You're Gonna Miss Me's bonus feature and catch how Sumner talks about how mental illness is a way of acting rather than a chemical imbalance. Wait, what? Are you serious? His story's just as much documentary fodder as Roky's is, no doubt. Picture it: younger brother of nutcase cult rocker rises out of his dysfunctional family to become wealthy Philharmonic tuba player and New Age devotee. Wow! Sign me up!

(3) This movie was really good. It's always nice to know that you started a movie feeling like you didn't know shit about someone and by the end feel like you truly got it. All of it. Why the music was important. Why the story was important. Why Thurston Moore, Byron Coley, and the fucking Austin City Limits give two shits about the guy. Bravo.

09 October 2007


Zombies and yakuza! Yakuza and zombies! Man, what a sales pitch! Has anything ever sounded so cool? Of course not! Fortunately for us, Versus is a pretty darn good flick, a great story of an escaped convict as he's chased by legitimate businessmen through a forest that both brings the dead back to life and is a portal to the netherworld. Yeah! Here at the Cinema, we found the extended sequence of the undead rising from their arboreal graves to terrorize their mafioso killers to be as outstanding as anything to ever come out of Japan. And the Peter Jackson-styled comedy and even more Peter Jackson-styled blood flow?!?!? Unbelievable!

07 October 2007


There's this guy on the Electrical Audio forum who has the Pixote poster as his signature. That means that three or four or (most likely) five times each and every day I see that weird lookin' movie pic with the even weirder lookin' kid staring at me. Eventually I figure, shit, I oughta look up this Pixote flick to see what the deal is, and thanks to the magic of these here Internets I find out it's a critically acclaimed picture about Brazilian street kids! Real life kids plucked right off the street and told to play fictionalized versions of themselves just for your viewing pleasure. "Whoa, sign me up!" I said.

Unfortunately, the US of A has yet to make this one available on the home market.

But, hey, that's no prob, right? Resourceful guy that I am, I decide all I need to satiate my filmic favela fever is some of them other flicks directed by Hector Babenco. Surely he'd have something else (and something easier to find) that'd help me pass my time. So I click on them imdb hyperlinks and settled on 2003's Carandiru, a picture that I thought would be all about the 1992 Sao Paolo prison riot so famous Sepultura wrote a song about it. Problem is, this movie is more a fictionalized account of fictionalized accounts of some of the inmates and their woeful stories of poor heat of the moment decision making. Turns out only the last half-hour involves the Policia, the rest of the thing is the noble tale of a doctor who wants to quell the HIV wildfire, the sweet tale of a guy who marries a drag queen, and the sad tale of a nice kid who shot some guys that messed with his sister.

So, yeah, I was a bit disappointed. I mean, wouldn't you be? Keep in mind that Carandiru is still a pleasant way to spend your IFC-viewing time. It's got lots of over-saturated lighting and sweaty overcrowding, and with all its dingy prison stuff and subtitles you're bound to feel better about yourself, like you're real smart and liberal and you actually care about the plight of foreign peoples and the charisma of their not-so-different-from-us cultures. And as an added bonus, this flick is tame with the brutality so you won't feel like a total scumbag!

03 October 2007

Cannibal Holocaust

Holy shit, this movie is so fucked up the DVD player broke for two days when we tried to watch the bonus disc. The goddamn bonus disc! The one with the interviews and biographies and making-ofs. We're still scared about what may have happened had we popped in the regular feature disc, the one with all the grotesque animal slaughter, impalement, castration, dismemberment, ethnocentrism, bludgeoning, and bloody misogyny that made Cannibal Holocaust the deplorable exploitation classic it is today. Nope, before we could even push play on any of that stuff our Bose 321 took five and stepped out for a smoke. We hope he'll recover.

30 September 2007

The Dwarves -- FEFU

Yay, more Dwarves! And this time they want to fuck! Want to fuck! Want to fuck, eat, and fuck you up! Enjoy, if you will, two differently-rated versions of the 2005 tune "FEFU," a making-of feature, and a bunch of hand-held live and interview footage. Y'know, you don't actually have to enjoy it by watching this DVD, you can just read the Prindle review and pretend. That sounds like more fun, don't it? We think you'd probably enjoy it more! We love the Prind and think his synopsis and opinions on this here video collection are so appropriate and comical that we'll send some clicks his way. (We like that "FEFU" song way more than he does, by the way.)

Now if you do watch the DVD the Highland Cinema recommends you don't skip the interview segments, segments which we're certain we liked so much since we got to see the sheer sleaziness of these guys. And it's some sleeeeaaaaze. Not necessarily over the top in its misogyny, but just kinda gross. Sure, Blag seems like a smart feller what with his book-writin' and tunesmithery, but every now and then there's a sliminess that just can't just be part of some shtick. Yeesh. And keep in mind that He Who Can Not Be Named has to be a legitimately creeped-out motherfucking psychopath. Seriously, what kind of person delights in shaking his penis around and cracking skulls with his guitar? Hmmmm...hopefully not the same kind of person that'd delight in watching such things.

23 September 2007

The Mission of Burma Story -- Not a Photograph

I never got into Burma even though I saw 'em on the first reunion tour and I've had Vs. for the past seven years. I get it. I can hear the influence these guys had, I can understand why they get them glowing accolades, but I just haven't boarded that Mission of Burma train. Which is too bad, I suppose. They seem like really nice and super smart older dudes who finally get to enjoy the luxury of playing interesting songs to people who are dying to hear 'em. I found it pretty remarkable that prior to this reunion Clint Conley hadn't touched a guitar for years and years , but I found it even more remarkable how intimidated I was by Roger Miller.

Waking Up Dead

Look, we've all been watching Behind the Music these past ten years. We've all seen Nikki Sixx talk about shooting up and dying and then OD'ing immediately after. We all know how Zeppelin put a shark in that lady's special place and how Def Leppard enjoyed mother-daughter teams under the arena stage. So why should anyone care about Phil Varone? He played with..who?...oh, yeah, Saigon Kick and then for the post-Baz Skid Row. Wow. He's addicted to coke and has less than $2 in his bank account, and all he wanted to do with his life was play the drums. Hey, it's not like I'm saying his story isn't sad or unfortunate, but I think it's safe to say that if any one of us wants to hear about the perils of rock and roll decadence there's a ton of better places to do so.

21 September 2007

The Dwarves -- Fuck You Up and Get Live

So I'm listening to a lot of Dwarves lately. A lot. Come Clean, How to Win Friends, Must Die, Are Young and Good Looking. Sure, it's all Dwarves of the past ten years, Dwarves that sound like the Ramones, but I think this stuff is aces. Maybe not as mean-spirited or blatantly misogynist as the Dwarves of yesteryear, but them studio knob-twiddlings make these pop furies sound so good.

To go along with the band's kinder and gentler recorded sound is a kinder and gentler live show. Whereas internet legend has led me to believe that early early 90's performances were ten minute sets of thievery and bloodshed, the Dwarves shows of 2004 are apparently tame affairs. They last 30 minutes(!) and no one gets in a fight. Singin' man Blag Dahlia doesn't even give us clever raps, only a "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...fuck yeah" between every single goddamn song, and the bassist looks like a tennis pro. At least resurrected guitarist (and assuredly insane motherfucker) He Who Cannot Be Named still wears a speedo and lucha libre mask. Yes, these Dwarves hardly fuck(ed) me up when they got live, but I still really liked the setlist.

The interesting sidenote to all of this is that I actually saw the Dwarves in October of '04 so chances are I saw an exact replica of this Fuck You Up show. I wish I could reminisce more, but I honestly only went to the gig to catch the Cruel Romeos.

03 September 2007


We've been here in Seattle for over a year and this is the first time we've watched this one. Keep in mind that even if Hype! wasn't a really good flick we'd still love love love it since it'd hearken back to our junior high Come As You Are-readin' days. This viewing taught us that the so-called "grunge" scene is such a part of us that everything we've wanted from rock music comes straight from the apparent NW band aesthetic: regular dudes havin' fun, playin' riffs, and not givin' a darn. Whoa!

01 September 2007

Beverly Hills Cop

What a fantastic movie. TV, I love you.

21 August 2007


Y'know, "Predator" really didn't do it for me at first. I mean, I liked that opening grumblin' riff and cymbal crash, but those vocal lines during the verses just sounded so clumsy and awkward. But then in no time, I wised up and realized "Predator" was the greatest song by the greatest band of all time. Stick around? You bet.

20 August 2007


I really like how no one likes this movie and I fucking love it. So sad and so well shot. Thanks, guy who works for David Cronenberg!

Gojira -- The Link Alive

They pronounce it "Go-jeer-a" but I say "Go-here-a." I think I'm right.

From Mars to Sirius is such a great record that now all I listen to is Archgoat, Dissection, and Cephalic Carnage.

15 August 2007

Rescue Dawn

Yeah, I'm not surprising anyone by saying we outsourced this to the 7th Ave cineplex, but we defend this post since it's the kind of thing the Highland Cinema loves. Since we're down with Herzog we were obviously down with Rescue Dawn even though we're not sure how triumphant we'd have found it had we not seen the documentary version first. The story in and of itself is rather amazing (pilot escapes from Laotian POW camp) and there's plenty of beautiful camera work to keep cinephiles amused, but if we were unfamiliar with Dieter Dengler's pre-war biography we'd probably find his harrowing jungle trek embellished, unbelievable, and utterly preposterous. But as it stands, we think this the Dawn works awfully well as a Needs to Fly companion piece, but if it ever came down to a Herzog-filmed Dengler-themed Thunderdome we'd know the documentary would exit unscathed.

13 August 2007

The Fly (1986)

Hahaha. That picture's gonna give you nightmares.

12 August 2007

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

What's ArnoCorps' next move? I mean, what's left? Red Sonja, Red Heat, the comedies. Bulletin rumor has it that they have a brand new tune about themselves as ballsy action heroes, but will more songs like that fit into their Greatest Band of All Time image and ancient Austrian folklore ideal? It seems that perhaps the next tract for the band might be to tackle the various catchphrases and leitmotifs rather than the actual films themselves (as demonstrated in "Crom Strong on His Mountain" or on the website's constant demands to "Stop whining"). That method should help retain the aggressive rock qualities the band requires while still allowing them more lyrical possibilities. That said, at this writing the future of the band is far less important to me than is the current status of their online merch sales....where's my shirt, dammit?

Jonathan Richman -- Take Me to the Plaza

I spent my whole day in my Motel Hell t-shirt and my whole morning frothing about the heartbreakingly ferocious genius of Pig Destroyer, but the minute I saw Jonathan Richman I wanted to cry the sweet tears of sappy nostalgia. Yeah, I know I already told you this.

07 August 2007

Murder Set Pieces

Disappointing since On Demand only offered us the Restricted version. Standard bench presses and femicide torture porn, though this time augmented by a Zombi-penned score and better than low-budget effects. Certain to be far more disturbing in its non-MPAA cut.

05 August 2007

Dinosaur Jr -- Live in the Middle East

In the tenth grade I don't think I listened to anything but Dinosaur Jr. By the time I was out of high school all I didn't listen to anything but Gwar or eat anything but Taco Bell and if I was going to listen to some fucking weenie music it probably wasn't gonna have J Mascis' tired drawl in it. Sure, I'd still play a Dinosaur Jr disc every now and again, but it never meant as much since I spent the entire time convincing myself my enjoyment was little more than learner's permit nostalgia. I didn't honestly like J's voice or that awful classic rock engineering, did I? This pattern continued during the subsequent years and even after I was well aware that 2000's More Light was the best thing J had ever released and was also one of the greatest records of all time. But in spite of all of that, I still couldn't come to terms with why I liked Dinosaur Jr in the first place. Somehow down at the foundation of all those years of cranking these albums the only thing I could see was a 14 year-old's pathetic attempt to instill in himself an indie rock credibility seven years past its prime. So there was me in my twenties questioning the validity of my musical taste from a time when even shaving was years away; the adult me embarrassed by the mere chance that maybe, just maybe, one of my most important bands didn't even earn that title, and instead had it unconsciously bestowed upon them by a teenager trying to be cool. How could I trust myself? I thought. Are all of my judgments potentially worthless? What kind of person would be so easily persuaded by Micheal Azerrad?

But then one day as I sat in the car listening to Free So Free I came to the conclusion that it really didn't fucking matter why I liked Dinosaur Jr, and that there was no point in debating whether or not my enjoyment was genuine or to what extent it was at all. All these songs were just a part of me, they were in there for good. I couldn't shake 'em and why should I want to anyway? They were good songs, dammit, and if they consistently meant something it shouldn't matter what that something was.

And the guitar solos were badass.

04 August 2007

The Amazing Adventures of Pleaseeasaur

The only things we find funny are Spaceballs, Spinal Tap, and cats in sunglasses. Oh, and apparently the Pleaseeasaur! Witness the genius of their infomercial tunes about ramen noodles and the local tv newsteam. Yes, the 'Saur is so earnest in their goofery that we can't help but find ourselves in stitches.

And they put sunglasses on a cobra!

29 July 2007

Little Man Tate

Elementary school nostalgia strikes again. Do I actually enjoy this Yoplait-sodden Lifetime television staple so much that I've watched it every single time I've clicked past it? Do I honestly look forward to that scene where Fred calls out Dianne Weist on how she's a boring and pretentious used-ta-genius? Do I really want to watch it again right after the end credits rolled? You bet!

28 July 2007

Bad Boys

Sean Penn fills a pillowcase with RC colas and beats a guy bloody. Need I say more? Easily my favorite movie of all time. Thanks, TBS!

22 July 2007

Total Recall

I'm really fucking excited I don't find ArnoCorps traumatic anymore.

13 May 2007

Lady Snowblood

The nice tale of a lady born and raised to exact vengeance on the fellas that abused her poor mama. Classic Kill Bill-influencing stuff where the blood gushes from every wound until the precise moment just before it becomes absurd and the swordplay is no-bullshit spartan stabs and jabs. We're sure we missed out on the intricacies of seventeenth century Japanese culture, but them poetic subtitles sure were classy.

12 May 2007

Man Bites Dog

The guys who made this try to tell you it's about the nature of documentary filmmaking, but that's little more than a pretentious way of defending why their movie is a mockumentary about a film crew following a serial killer. "No...you see, it's all self-reflexive. " What a bunch of bullshit.

Man Bites Dog tricks you into thinking it's nothing but back and forth cuts between a maniac spouting his own self-important moral philosophy and his nonsense-free murders of the innocent, but as soon as our main character decides to save a bullet by giving an lonely old woman a heart attack you realize you're watching something too disturbing to be part of the Criterion Collection (which it is). Not long after that you'll get to this sequence where the stinking drunk killer and his equally sodden film crew walk in on an intertwined couple and proceed to abuse and dismember the both of 'em. That scene's probably the crux of the argument that this flick is about the sheer impossibilty of the documentarian's role as a neutral observer, but, Jesus, go watch something like Real Life if you want to stay to that idea without coming away feeling like you sentenced yourself to eternal damnation.

BenoƮt Poelvoorde sure does a good job, though.

06 May 2007

Shogun Assassin

"People said his brain was infected by devils."

Among the finest lines of dialogue in all of motion picture history, and we're not just saying that 'cause Cage's "Agent Orange" has played nonstop since the dawn of the new year.

Not since we watched the Hills Have Eyes at the Regent Manor Cineplex all the way back in early '02 has a film so risen above and beyond our expectations, expectations that had incubated and festered within the very cockles of our bowels since late '94. Shogun Assassin is a treasure. It's the kind of thing that reminds you that "big" Quentin Tarantino's nothing but a cinematic Beck Hansen and reminds us that the cosmic wisdom of Joe Bob is so entwined in the fibers of our being that to emblazon the Drive-In Oath on our chests would be an exercise both trivial and insulting.

Yes, it's that serious.

Shogun Assassin is why the Highland Cinema broke ground in the first place. We exist only to satiate our need to hear a toddler narrate his tale as a killer-in-training, to watch as he remains silent onscreen only to matter-of-factly relate his memories of his father's endless evisceration of evil ninja hordes in the name of justice and loyalty. We've seen genius; it has the soaked look of an Earl Scheib drop cloth and the fiercely spiritual sound of the naive Eastern fetishism. Don't sleep on this one any longer.

05 May 2007


I am a nightmare walkin' psychopath talkin' king of the jungle just a gansta stalkin' living life like a firecracker quick is my fuse then dead as a deathpack the colors I choose red or blue cause a blood it just don't matter...

KTLA's finest.

01 April 2007

Radio Days

See, the Woody writes a story about life in the old-timey radio days and then films the thing like a radio drama. Genius? No, but really darn enjoyable. With Seth Green no less!


Some years ago Cage and Camu Tao put out a record as Nighthawks where they bust dirty cop rhymes over Miami Vice beats. So of course when I see the Nighthawks feature film on the boob tube I think I'm in for a ninety minute tale about a pair of bad lieutenants policing a TBS world. Look! Stallone, Rutger Hauer, Lindsay Wagner, and Billy Dee! Fuck yeah. Let's see some windblown coiffures, 9mm's, and crooked cops breaking drug dealin' faces.

Unfortunately the 'Hawks are just some undercover narcs who disdain paperwork. Whatever.

29 March 2007

The Hills Have Eyes II (2007)

If this ain't some sort of allegory about our post-Trade Center Afghani relations, then we don't know what is. Barren wastelands of miserably scorched earth, cave-dwelling psychopaths borne of our own hand, under-trained soldiers, and enlisted guys who don't give a shit. It's all there! And them killings, mutant rapes, and face-smashings are too. All in gruesomely prolonged detail. We're sure glad these major-studio horror flicks aren't the self-reflexive slasher garbage they were a few years ago, but this current wave of vile brutality and torture will ensure that your special lady'll wanna stay at home. Hey, that's great 'cause I think Grey's Anatomy is on right as we speak!

04 March 2007

Napoleon Dynamite

Hey, I just saw this for the first time! It was pretty funny.