The Silence of the Lambs

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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…

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?

Hairspray (2007)

Overheard somewhere in Hollywood…

“Hey Eddie, it’s me, Johnny T…remember when you said I could borrow your fat black lady suit? Well, my career is in a total slump, so I figure I could…what? You’re letting Martin Lawrence use if for Big Momma’s House 3? Awww, fuck – looks like I’ll have to figure out a way to get the studio to pay for one….

Travolta pretty much ruins the film for me. He just sucks as Edna. Although I appreciate the fact that he’s the only one that even attempted a Baltimore accent – it is indeed a very shitty Baltimore accent. Likewise the casting of Zac Efron – he is the pussiest Link Larkin I could ever imagine. He doesn’t hold a candle to Michael St. Gerard – the original Link, but then again, who could? Possibly the Elvis impersonator from last week’s America’s Got Talent? I really don’t understand Zac Efron’s appeal – supposedly he gets teenage panties wet – I just don’t see it. I can’t wait until Perez yanks him out of the closet.

When I look at Brittany Snow, I can’t help but see a member of the Aryan Nation. (Me = big Nip/Tuck fan.) Somehow, that typecasting made her perfect for the part of racist Amber Von Tussle. I hate her nose though – she looks like Telly to me.

The rest of the casting was A-okay. Michelle Pfeiffer was an excellent choice for Velma, as was the casting of Christopher Walken as Wilbur Turnblad. Walken really does have some smooth moves, doesn’t he? Nikki Blonsky isn’t as cute as Ricki Lake, but she was really good nonetheless. I hope she doesn’t become bulimic or get a coke habit.

No Madison! No Beatniks! No Franklin Von Tussle or exploding beehives! What the fuck? It’s hard not to compare it with the original, but then again, they took out my favorite things!

I should love Hairspray, but I just can’t. I tried so hard, but every time John Travolta appeared, I just wanted to kick him in his amply padded ass. Even John Waters’ cameo as the ‘flasher next door’ couldn’t make it all better.

 

Die, Mommie, Die!

Charles Busch brings another one of his stage creations to the big screen. This time, he’s kept the starring role for himself, instead of letting another actress have all the fun.

Angela Arden is a role that any actress would die to play and a role that every drag queen would kill to play. She’s a cold-blooded killer, yet the only sympathetic character in the whole damn show. She’s a walking contradiction – a classy broad that has no problem running a train with a couple of moving men if the mood suits her. When she tires of her abusive (and eternally constipated) husband, she does what any good wife in the 50s would have done – she helps insert his suppository. Unfortunately for him, she’s laced it with arsenic…Even though she was entirely cut out of the will, her children began to suspect her involvement in her husband’s death. Die, Mommie, Die is an homage to melodramas from the 40s and 50s – definitely NOT a parody. Charles Busch is not making fun when Angela performs showtunes through-out her husband’s wake – he’s having fun!

Natasha Lyonne plays Angela’s daughter, Edith – who has a creepy Elektra complex. I’m not a big fan of Natasha Lyonne. It’s not just because I think she’ll rape my dog – she just bugs me for some reason that I can’t put my finger on. Lauren Ambrose – who starred as Chicklet in Psycho Beach Party – would have made a far better Edith than Lyonne. I also question the casting of Jason Priestly. He doesn’t give a bad performance – I just can’t get past the 90210 thing. I cannot imagine any cast member of 90210 having a enormous dick, except of course, Shannen Doherty.

I have a lot more respect for Charles Busch after seeing a documentary on him – The Lady in Question is Charles Busch. I just figured he was another Divine wannabe drag queen, but he’s so much more. He’s done his time on the stage – writing, directing, acting and has even been nominated for a Tony. The only thing I really question is his involvement in the Rosie O’Donnell financed, Boy George vehicle Taboo – but I guess if you’re gay, you might as well be really gay?

I can’t wait to see what Charles does next – I’m hoping for a big screen version of the play that put him on the map, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.

 

Sorority Boys

Well. I think I have come to an important conclusion. Any movie that comes on at 9ish on a Sunday night will be crap. Most of them are so crappy that they don’t even rate reviews. (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, I’m looking at you.) A few are pretty stinky, but still good enough to rate me spending a few hours writing about them. Thir13en Ghosts rated a few weeks ago, as does Sorority Boys.

I wanted it to be as funny as Revenge of the Nerds, Animal House or even PCU. I would have settled for Van Wilder or Old School. Unfortunately, what I got was something about on par with Road Trip. Oh well, at least it was better than Dead Man on Campus.

The most disturbing thing about watching this film was that my husband was laughing WAY more than I was. How could this be possible? He doesn’t laugh at any film we watch together. Uh, nevermind – that’s probably because he usually picks the films we watch and science fiction isn’t funny. The few comedies we have watched together rarely rate more than a smile. Or maybe he just thinks that men in drag are the epitome of comedy. Who knows…

Barry Watson needs to figure out a niche in Hollywood and quick! 7th Heaven can only carry you so far, especially if your balding as fast as he is. Between Sorority Boys and Teaching Mrs. Tingle, he better get ready for a long career in 7th Heaven Reunion Specials.

Speaking of the bald, what the fuck was up with Michael Rosenbaum’s wig? Not the wig he wore as a chick, that was fine – the weird fuzzy wig he wore as a dude. What the hell was that? A dead chipmunk? We all know he’s bald underneath – you can’t grow that much hair in the few weeks he had off from Smallville to film this. What kind of pussyhound frat boy has a dead chipmunk on his head? If there was only a Hollywood Bad Wig Hall of Fame.

So, when will Harland Williams get his own sitcom? He’s at least as funny as the rest of the cast of Half Baked. Dave Chappelle’s already got his own show. When is it Harland’s turn? (No, hosting Premium Blend after Jim Breuer left does not count!)

Oh yeah, I guess I should talk about the movie. Standard Some Like it Hot plotline – three dudes dress like chicks in order to hide from assholes and/or have a cheap place to live. Hilarity ensues, the guys become more sensitive and they inevitably get closer to the women they cohabitate with. Lots of dildos. Lots of gay sex jokes. Suspicious lack of Seann William Scott, the HoYay! King.

The Beaver Trilogy

Before there was Rubin, there was the Orkly Kid.

Thank god for eBay, or I may never have gotten a chance to see this unique piece of film history. It is a bootleg of the Superstar caliber! (Superstar is the Karen Carpenter story told with Barbie dolls – I’ll get around to reviewing it someday.) Fuck Olivia Newton-John for not giving up the rights to song! Fuck her right in the ass!

The Beaver Trilogy is comprised of three short films. The first is simply titled The Beaver Kid and stars the REAL Groovin’ Gary. Harris stumbles upon ‘Beaver’s Rich Little’ and films a little bit of his impersonations and some great footage of Groovin’ Gary’s car, Farrah – yes that Farrah! All of a sudden, we are transported to Beaver, Utah for a talent show starring Groovin’ Gary…as Olivia Newton-Don! Of course, before the show, we make a pit stop to the mortuary – Gary’s gotta get his make-up done. Groovin’ Gary delivers a truly heartfelt performance of Please Don’t Keep Me Waiting…and then returns to do a Barry Manilow song.

Next is The Beaver Kid 2 – starring Sean Penn. Filmed right before Fast Times at Ridgemont High, there’s a hint of Spicoli in the new Beaver Kid – Groovin’ Larry. This time, the camera steps away from first person point of view to include a ‘new’ director, Terrance. Gone are the awe struck fans of Olivia Newton-Don, the townspeople are a little less good humored than the real townsfolk of Beaver -they almost drive poor Larry over the edge!

Finally, we leave Beaver and meet The Orkly Kid. This time, Crispin Glover is filling the blonde wig as Groovin’ Larry. We now delve deep into the psyche of Groovin’ Larry, well at least his bedroom, complete with a glowing Xanadu poster. We interact with Orkly townspeople, who are even crueler than the Beaverites of second film. Larry is ridiculed and taunted even before he dawns the persona of ‘Olivia Neutron Bomb.’ He has a best friend, Merill, who believes in him, up until Olivia makes her appearance. This time though, Olivia triumphs and rides off into the sunset. Literally.

Each film would be unwatchable separately, but together they create a mythology. You can’t stop watching any of the three Olivia performances – they’re painfully humiliating, yet beautiful at the same time.

Tonight, I will be hearing Please Don’t Keep Me Waiting in my sleep – unavoidable really, since it was played throughout the entire three films. Again, curses upon Olivia Neutered-John!

Never Too Young to Die

Goddamn, this sucked.

This is a pointless, horrible film. John Stamos plays a high school gymnast, turned spy due to his father’s murder. He is out to get his father’s killer, Ragnar. Ragnar is a hermaphrodite played by none other than Gene Simmons. GENE SIMMONS! Ragnar looks like a cross between Divine, Cher and Frank N. Furter and likes to kill women by ramming his steel fingernail into their most private parts. Um, yeah…at least Gene sticks his famous tongue out a lot.

Though John Stamos’ mullet is quite glorious, it is not glorious enough to save this shitty film. His partner/love interest is Vanity – yes, that Vanity, Prince’s Vanity. She actually has to *seduce* Uncle Jesse – what the fuck?!?!? No wonder he liked to hang out with the Olsen twins so much – he’s GAY.

I checked the IMDB to see what other crap the director, Gil Bettman has churned out…seems like he hasn’t done much except direct episodes of The Fall Guy, Knight Rider and Automan. That explains the suckage inhernet in this film. Any connection to Lee Majors is BAD! The evil taint of the man who starred in The Norseman infects anyone who comes in contact with him!

Though a stinking pile of feces…it wasn’t quite bad enough to stop watching. I like to torture myself, don’t I?