The Silence of the Lambs

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

I am now entering the third phase of my children’s film education. Phase 1 was the off-the-wall kid stuff, like the 60s Batman and Howard the Duck. Phase 2 was the slightly more PG-13 and adultish stuff – everything from Army of Darkness to Zoolander. Phase 3 is the hard R stuff, like Friday the 13th and Silence of the Lambs. There IS a super-secret fourth phase…but I am not quite sure how old I’ll have to be to sit through Pink Flamingos with my son. Probably at least 75 or so.

My son has been wanting to watch Silence of the Lambs FORever. Not because of all the Oscars, or because he is into sewing…but I’m guessing it’s solely because of how often I say, “It puts the lotion on it’s skin, or else it gets the hose again!” Or some variation thereof – it never gets old! Oh, AND he had to listen to his grandmother and I endlessly dissect the wonderful TV version, Hannibal, a few years ago.

The plot was harder for my son to follow at 13. I vaguely remember difficulty and I must have been 16 or so when I watched it. I’m envious of his innocence – honey, that wasn’t saliva Miggs threw at Agent Starling. Even though there were several points I had to pause the film and explain, he really seemed to enjoy it. At least I didn’t have to explain the tucking part.

Believe it or not, the film holds up. The tension is palpable in the last 20 minutes – even though I’ve seen it a gazillion times, I still get jumpy around, “Oh yeah, was she a great big fat person?” So few films these days are able to build this kind of tension, sheerly through the narrative and creative editing. Buffalo Bill stands up as a villain, even the horrors of the last 25+ years haven’t made him any less freaky. Hannibal, on the other hand, is virtually a pop culture hero. He’s become this superhero-like entity…eat the rude. I’m actually considering that for a tattoo…along with a Death’s-head Hawkmoth tramp stamp, if only to make my children cringe at the waterpark!

I know I’m a goober, but I always forget about Chris Isaak in the SWAT Team and squeal at the TV, “Oh look! Chris Isaak!” My son was like, who dat? I explain that he sang our wedding song, again, a blank look from my son – why is he is the movie, if he is a singer? I don’t know dammit!

I’ve got Red Dragon on DVR, I somehow managed to miss seeing that one – so I think I’ll hold off on Hannibal and watch this one next. Now, if I can only get my child to read the books…

Split

I haven’t watched an M. Night film since…Signs – holy shit, that was 16 years ago! But my son watched Split and said it was pretty good, so I decided to give it a spin.

A post shared by Lara (@knobbygirl) on

Split was amazing from beginning to end. The story, as simple as it was, was riveting in its unspoken horror. I was most impressed that the mental illness was not “gimmicky”, but just a part of the weaving of the story. I remember watching Sybil in college and just laughing my ass off, her personalities were so ridiculous and didn’t it turn out that the real Sybil was a fake? (Fun Fact: our first pet goat was named Sybil, because she was kind of nuts.)

Hands down, the best scene was the Kanye West dance-off. McAvoy should’ve won an Oscar based on that scene alone. (I’m only slightly kidding.) I’ve been hard on McAvoy in the past, but his performances in Split amazed me in their depth and variation. I want to go back across his past films and start watching – I’ve literally only seen him as either Xavier or garden gnome. (The work he’s done on his body certainly doesnt hurt, either.) I need to start with Wanted and Atomic Blonde, but I’m open to other suggestions.

I don’t know where Anya Taylor-Joy came from, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of her. She’ll be in The New Mutants!

So, the “twist” – M. Night is known for his twists. It wasn’t ridiculous or overly convoluted. Actually, the biggest “twist” is that now I have to go watch Unbreakable.

Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives

I DVRed this film based on the title alone. Be warned…it could really confuse the other people in your house when they’re scrolling through the DVR, looking for their episode of The Young & The Restless…

There’s no false advertising in the title – the film really is about trannies with knives…and they’re really fucking ticked-off! The film is centered around a group of trannies (Bubbles Cliquot, Pinky La’Trimm, Emma Grashun, Rachel Slurr and Tipper Sommore – I LOVE trannie names) that perform at a Dallas club. (Filmed in my college town, I wonder if any of the scenes were filmed at Village Station – we loved that place!) After a show, three of the trannies go to a deserted warehouse to meet some dudes. Unfortunately, it’s a trap! A nasty hillbilly named Boner wants revenge for not realizing that Bubbles was a chick with a dick. Boner and his buddies, Chuey and Nacho, beat the girls and leave them for dead. Pinky and Rachel survive, but Bubbles is in a coma…Bubbles awakes from her coma with a speech impediment. The girls are mysteriously called for Kung Fu training…will Bubbles learn enough to protect herself when Boner and his buddies return?

The film is undoubtedly modeled after Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse style, with a little Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction thrown in for good measure. This style works with the subject manner. Tarantino is known for his prescient pop culture dialogue – and who else would you expect to be on the cutting edge of pop culture, but a bunch of catty drag queens? I’m wondering how well some of the jokes will age though. Will making fun of Facebook and Britney Spears still be funny in 20 years? Actually, they probably WILL be…

The violence is graphic, yet hilariously ridiculous. I would go from tensely sitting on the edge of my seat to laughing uncontrollably. The first beating scene was especially intense – I hadn’t been that wound up since the first episode of The Walking Dead. Good job!

I want a sequel! Really Upset Trannies with Uzis? Pissed Off Trannies with Pit Bulls? Slightly Miffed Trannies with Scimitars?

Hard Candy

Ellen Page didn’t get nominated for Hard Candy? If she’s half as good in Juno as she was in Hard Candy, I can see what everyone was so excited about.

The story is very basic – Hayley goes to a coffee shop to meet a man she has been chatting with online. He’s a professional photographer – that should be a warning sign right there. They go back his place, there’s a drugging, then a violent attack. I’ll leave it at that, in case you’re not familiar with the plotline.

I bet most people are shocked at how aggressively Hayley pursues her suitor – surely he must have known something was up. If sexual predators were so slick, surely Chris Hansen would have a harder time catching them. Ellen Page shows such vulnerability and naiveté while she’s setting the scene that when she pounces, it’s as if they’d hired a completely different actress. I cannot think of another young actress now or in the last 20 years that could have pulled this off – maybe Jodie Foster 30 years ago.

I can’t believe that the “Little Red Riding Hood” thing was unintentional – it was fucking brilliant!

Believe it or not, I have some experience with predators. Back when I was 15 and naive, I began having phone conversations with a 31 year old man. This was before the internet and predators had to find their victims the good ole fashioned way. I met this guy through my best friend – they met at Lollapalooza (there I go dating myself again) and had a thing going for a while, but I can’t quite remember what reason she gave for playing matchmaker between us. Looking back, he probably specifically asked her if she had any (younger) friends. So we wrote letters and talked on the phone – totally inappropriate letters and phone conversations, but we never met in person, not that he didn’t try to arrange it. Lucky for me, he lived 3 hours away. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t innocent – I had already lost my virginity at that point. But fumbling around in the dark with someone your own age is nothing compared to a 31 year old man trying to arrange to have sex with a 15 year old girl. At the time, I thought I must be totally awesome and sophisticated to have a grown man so interested in me. Now in my early 30s, I can see that I was a retard (like all 15 year old girls) and he was a pedophile. I hope someone fucking cuts his nuts off. Maybe if To Catch a Predator comes to Austin, they’ll catch this fuck.

Here I am, anxiously waiting for Juno to hit HBO. It’s too bad that Page’s popularity has her making romantic comedies with Sarah Jessica Parker.

Face of Evil

There is not SHIT on TV on Sunday mornings. That’s my story and I am sticking to it…how else can I explain sitting through an entire movie on the Lifetime Movie Network?

I wish I could say that I was hungover like my houseguest…but I wasn’t. As the designated/impregnated driver the night before, I merely woke up with tired as hell after getting about 3 hours of sleep. I did have a headache – does that count?

Tracey Gold stars as the titular “face of evil” – between her and Meredith Baxter-Birney, they’ve got the Lifetime Movie Market cornered. I missed the first 10 minutes of the film, but I figured out that she killed an art student in an airport bathroom and stole her identity. She gets on a plane with the dead body in her checked luggage. Huh? Her roommate is Shawnee Smith – she’s pretty stupid and doesn’t suspect anything…at first. Not until Tracey fucks her dad, anyway. It’s so sad that it takes actual father-fucking for her to realize that her roommate is nuts. She started to get a little suspicious after the pizza spiked with rat poison, but she really didn’t start to put the pieces together until she caught Tracey feeling up her dad, who is played by one of the guys from Riptide. Does it really matter which one? Either way, it’s gross.

The whole thing felt rather familiar from the get go. I quickly realized that it was because there is not an original thing about the film. From beginning to end, it’s a complete amalgamation of the plots of Poison Ivy and Poison Ivy II. Those are pretty crummy movies to begin with – why even bother ripping them off?

This movie made me sad to be alive.

Poison Ivy II

Starring Alyssa Milano’s boobages.

I can’t remember the last time I saw so much gratuitous boobage in a movie. Maybe she thought that showing off her Micellis would prove to the world that she’s a big girl now? It worked pretty well for Drew Barrymore, didn’t it? Drew gets millions of dollars a film now. Too bad that getting naked and doing the nasty didn’t do the same for Alyssa – she’s still the same b-list TV star that she was in the 80s. The $64,000 question is…now that Charmed is canceled and Aaron Spelling is dead, how much longer before Alyssa dusts off her nipples and makes a skin flick comeback?

Poison Ivy 2 may be the zenith of Alyssa Milano’s skanky period, but it’s the bottom of the barrel as far as the film trilogy goes. Alyssa plays Lily, a Michigan girl who moves to California to go to Art School. She finds a box of stuff in her room that belonged to the previous tenant, supposedly Ivy from the first film. (I’m not going to boggle my mind wondering how High school girl Ivy was in Art School before she showed up in the first movie.) Naked pictures of Ivy and her dated 90s clothes turn Alyssa into a total slutbag. She cuts off all her hair and seduces her roommate. (What’s the big deal? It sounds exactly like my first summer in college.) About halfway through the film, I was ready to say that this may be the best of the three…but after that point (the Halloween Party) – absolutely nothing happened. She only seduced two people – her boyfriend and her art teacher. She never even closed the deal with the art teacher, although he ended up raping her later, during Thanksgiving dinner. She didn’t even kill anybody! What kind of poison ivy is she, anyway?

Thank god for Johnathon Schaech. If it were anybody else getting naked, I would have turned the movie off after the first fifteen minutes. The blond hair confused me, but I guess that was to make him look more “arty.” Personally, I liked him better with the Jesus penis tattoo. (That’s a tattoo of Jesus on his penis, not a tattoo of Jesus’s penis.)

The worst part was the ending – it had a happy ending. The hell? Alyssa apologizes for being such a skank and getting herself raped by the art teacher. Johnathon forgives her and they make sweet love inside one of his sculptures. Again I ask, WHAT THE HELL?

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

I can think of few things worse than getting molestered by Martin Sheen.

Apparently, Jodie Foster feels the same way, as she spends the entirety of the film trying to dodge his attentions. Jodie plays Rynn Jacobs, a 13 year old girl whose father is always in his study “working.” As people become curious about her situation, they unfortunately find that “curiosity killed the cat.”

The only distracting thing about the movie was Jodie’s ratty ass wig. She’s got beautiful blond hair – what’s the point of that scraggly ass weave? Was it so it would match the (obvious) body double for the nude scene?

Jodie Foster was never really a child, was she? She was always an adult trapped in a child’s body, whether literally (Freaky Friday) or figuratively (this movie and Taxi Driver). And although I really cannot stand some of her career choices – Contact is one of the top five worst movies EVER – I think I actually kind of like her. I like her choice to keep her personal life private. She’s also the only actress that I can think of that views acting as a 9-5 job and that she can leave at the door. She might possibly be the only actress on the planet without a narcissistic personality disorder. As a sidenote, I will shoot IN THE FACE, anyone who compares Jodie Foster with Lindsay Lohan. Freaky Friday is the ONLY similarity. Jodie Foster was at Yale at 20 – Miss Lohan feels that snorting strawberry flavored cocaine and humping studs like Wilmer Valderrama is much better way to spend her time. People cannot honestly believe there’s an Oscar in La Lohan’s future…the best she’ll be able to do is get an award for best macaroni artwork during her next stint in Rehab.

I feel like a total pretentious dick saying it, but movies in the 70s had a total different view of kids than they do today. A movie like this just couldn’t be made today. Sure, there have been a couple movies recently with killer kids, but they’re all from the puritanical Bad Seed/Omen model. They were killing because they were evil – not to survive like Rynn. And certainly none of these homicidal little bastards were sympathetic or liked listening to Chopin. And don’t even get me started on bizarre fundamentalist bent that Hollywood is taking here lately. We’ll never, ever, EVER see a film with a nude 13 year old again – even with a body double. On the bright side, maybe that will save us from an unnecessary remake of The Blue Lagoon.

Poison Ivy: The New Seduction

If I ran into Jaime Pressly in a dark alley, I would slowly back away until I felt it was safe to run. As soon as it was safe, I’d haul ass, move to another country and change my name.

Jaime Pressly stars in the third Poison Ivy Movie as Violet, the sister of Drew Barrymore’s character, Ivy, from the first film. Violet makes Ivy look like fucking Strawberry Shortcake. Violet returns to the Greer household for revenge on the family that fired and evicted her slutty mother years earlier. It seems that skank is a hereditary trait.

Violet is welcomed back into the house by Joy, her old best friend. Within days, she seduces Joy’s boyfriend, gets him back on drugs, fucks Joy’s dad and kills the housekeeper. Also – she has a job as a dominatrix. When Joy walks in on her dad tied up and Violet whipping him, the fun really begins.

Michael Des Barres plays the father, Ivan. Although he is slightly less gross than Tom Skerritt, I still wouldn’t fuck him – although I might have considered it 20 years ago when he played the bad guy in Ghoulies.

Jaime Pressly doesn’t cop out and use a body double like Drew Barrymore. Strangely enough, the internets tell me that Jaime Pressly actually WAS Drew’s body double for the original. Weird – they don’t even have the same body types. Anyway, she spends at least half the movie topless or totally naked. This movie was made before she started taking skin care advice from George Hamilton, so she looks really pale, but gorgeous. She almost reminds me of Traci Lords, able to go from sweet and innocent into a total whorebag in about 8 seconds.

I actually kind of liked this one in a totally ironic way. I afraid I’ll be disappointed by 2nd installment starring Alyssa Milano…I’m keeping an eye out for it though.

Poison Ivy

Remember when Drew Barrymore was skanky?

Poison Ivy was the epicenter of Drew Barrymore’ skanky period. It opened up the door for gems like The Amy Fisher Story, Guncrazy and Doppelganger, not to mention a layout for Playboy. By the late 90s, romantic fare like The Wedding Singer and Ever After rehabilitated her image and I doubt many even remember her teenage skank period. It’s sad, because her skankiness was truly glorious to behold.

Drew is awesome as the poisonous Ivy, who befriends a vaguely dykey loner, Sylvie – played by Sara Gilbert. Pretty soon, Ivy has moved into Sylvie’s house and is sucking up to her dying mother. She then sets her sights on Sylvie’s dad, played by Tom Skerritt. Now, if I was going to fuck one of my friends’ dads – and NO, I have never even considered it, because EW – I sure wouldn’t fuck him if he was Tom Skerritt. He’s just gross and creepy. I’m pretty sure he used a butt double for the sex scene at the end, because if it was really a man that age, his balls would have been bouncing around somewhere near his knees. A body double was used for Drew as well – disappointing. She didn’t have a problem stripping down for Playboy, so why not here?

The 90s were truly the golden age of teenage skanks. I still haven’t seen The Crush, in which Alicia Silverstone tries to seduce the totally fuckable Cary Elwes. Now that’s a seduction that makes sense. Rose McGowan outskanks Drew in The Devil in the Flesh and kills WAY more people. There’s also American Beauty, Wild Things and the remake of Lolita – the prototype of all teenage skanks.

Poison Ivy has spurred a couple of sequels, starring notable TV skanks Alyssa Milano (who also starred as Amy Fisher in a competing TV movie) and Jaime Pressly. My husband has warned me that Poison Ivy 2 is horrific to watch, but Alyssa Milano is naked most of time. I’m also a big fan of Jaime Pressly’s bitchery, so I might have to check them both out.

Sisters

I’m still not sure what to make of Brian De Palma. He’s capable of absolute brilliance Carrie and Scarface, for example. But then again, The Phantom of the Paradise? The fuck? I know that not a small part of my bias against De Palma seems to have been absorbed from my college film professor – he thought De Palma was a total hack and never let an opportunity pass to say so. His world revolved around Hitchcock, Scorsese and Coppola – no wonder De Palma’s blatant rip-offs irritated the shit out of him. I’m slowly gaining a bit more appreciation for his work. He’s kind of like the guy at Astroworld who draws caricatures. It’s not exactly art, but it does take some skill. De Palma’s definitely best when working with the material of others – book adaptations like Carrie or remakes like The Untouchables or Scarface. Sisters, however, seems to be one of his more original works…although the concept of evil twins is hardly original. Hello, what about The Parent Trap? Those were some evil, conniving bitches.

Sisters is the tale of Blanchion twins – one’s sweet and the other is psycho – but which is which? Margot Kidder is less annoying than usual as Danielle and Dominique, good even – although she’s no Hayley Mills. The French Canadian thing seemed weird, but some research shows that Margot Kidder is French Canadian – so maybe that’s her real accent? I was also surprised that she went topless, then again, EVERYONE went topless in the 70s.

The opening credits are damn freaky. Anything with fetii creeps me the fuck out. And the opening sequence is even freakier. What kind of weird game shows did they have back in the 70s? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – our game shows are much crazier these days.

The film is pretty gory, even by today’s standards. The only drawback is the orangey, tempera paint blood. But even with the hokey looking blood, the face stab is shocking and visceral. I must admit, I’ve responded to a cake that way once. My ex brought me a tiny cake from Albertson’s for Valentine’s Day once…I seriously wanted to stab him in the face – that is the lamest Valentine’s offering EVER. So, be warned – offering a cake at the wrong time can get you stabbed in the face.

The ending has a satisfying little Hitchcockian twist, I won’t give it away, but it really makes you wonder which twin was really the evil one.