Everyone Loves Re-Runs

An open apology to WFMU re: my laziness. I once made some entries on WFMU’s “Beware of the Blog.” Not sure why I stopped, nor do I know if they’d ever let me start back up. I max out at 2 – 3 blogs (in terms of regularity).

Previously and currently available here.

July 05, 2005

The Cable Report 07/05/05 (TV That Scared the Crap Out of Me)

In tribute to TV Land’s “Greatest Made-For-TV Movies Of All Time” campaign (this week, and next, I believe), I’m firing up a Cable Report.

The Day After
The preceding parental advisories were more than warranted. I’ve begun to mentally compile a list of grocery store freak out scenes, and The Day After has a spendid one. Watching this again, I was knocked back by the unrelenting bleakness, the degree of bickering insanity amongst the characters, and the special FX are not too shabby – look for the signature explosion scenes in which victims are x-rayed as if part of a cartoon. Additionally, who can argue with ANY Jason Robards appearance.

This mini-series did nothing if it didn’t convince me that my parents were face-peeling aliens. The scare lasted weeks, and was eventually replaced by the belief that my Mom was trying to abandon me in the middle of Sears.

Salem’s Lot
I’d venture a guess that some of you didn’t even know! It sucks so bad now, because it was a TV movie then. Not to discredit TV movies as a whole, but you wanted scary and gory, and this is neither. To note: Salem’s Lot did prominently feature Geoffrey Lewis, father of Juliette, and the ultimate on-screen sidekick. Speaking of character actors, and as such, getting completely off track here, who knows the name Michael G. Hagerty? Let’s end with a nod to Michael G. Hagerty:

For years, I was hell bent on the misconception that Michael G. Hagerty was John Candy’s brother. The pop-culturally semi-literate will know him as the Mike Duffy in the “AAMCO” episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. His bio on IMDB.com reads as follows:

“Graduated from the University of Illinois. He worked at Chicago’s Second City. He now lives in Los Angeles.

Often plays vendors or merchants.”

June 13, 2005

The Toughest Movies Ever Made

Prime Cut (1972)

Simple. Gene Hackman runs hookers out of a meatpacking plant and Lee Marvin (in a suit) chases him through a field with a machine gun. Not only is this the toughest movie ever made, that was the toughest sentence ever written.



Death Hunt (1981)

Again, this is very simple. Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Carl Weathers, and Ed Lauter run around in the middle of a Canadian nowhere and a lot of blood flows. A lot of blood…in a Peckinpah way. A man gets his arm caught in a bear trap, and in lieu of getting morphine or any sort of treatment, he gets PUNCHED OUT. Lee Marvin repeatedly kicks the dead body of a comrade, yelling, “You dumb son of a bitch!!!”

The French Connection (1971)


There’s really only one scene in The French Connection: When Popeye Doyle (a 41-year-old Gene Hackman) leaves a bar at dawn, trashed, and manages to pick up a beautiful girl riding her bike around his crappy neighborhood. This scene is tough…tough to believe.

Love Liza (2002)  


Tough. Tough to sit through.

Cannonball  (1976)  


Paul Bartel’s unfunny account of the elicit coast-to-coast race was the first movie that disturbed me with violence. A good example of how PG-rated violence in the 70’s would be R-rated violence today. Cars crush people, and they bleed from the mouth. Drivers are head-shot by snipers, and it contains a Carradine.

June 03, 2005

Capsular Reviews of Anything 1.1

Out of the Blue  (1980)

Dennis Hopper runs up and down the hallway, waving his hands and screaming. Dennis Hopper sits at the breakfast table, drunk, waving his arms and screaming. Linda Manz, later of Gummo “fame” (Solomon’s mom), runs away to carouse around with a “punk rock” band. Not much fits in-between the (these) lines, here. An entertaining wreck (no pun intended).

The Ice Pirates (1984)

This is the eleventh or twelve movie that I remember seeing in the theater. Condorman was the fourth, and The Black Hole was the first. The all-knowing North Pole glowing crystal that creates the universal star rating system is pulling one over on me. This movie got two stars. The climax is loaded with pre-MTV scatter-brained editing tricks. Oddly “name” cast with Robert Urich, Anjelica Huston, Ron Pearlman (ok, ok), and a Carradine.

The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber (2004…it’s a book)

Best true crime I’ve read in months, and I read the living shit out of true crime. This past Christmas, I went on a cruise with my mother. When I wasn’t drunk (afternoons at pool and prior to daily nap), I read the 2003 and 2004 editions of The Best American Crime Writing in the space of a week. Totally engaging, easy, and addictive. Scary Monsters and Super Freaks is in the same territory, but more entertainment biz related. Perfect vacation fare. In order to fit in better on the pool deck, I purchased Robin Cook’s Seizure from the duty-free shop, but I couldn’t dance with that thing. The Nashvillian real estate agent sunning next to me was engrossed in Robert B. Parker’s Stone Cold, but we’re veering into fiction here, with my only point being that THIS BOOK, the story of Attila Ambrus, is a must and erases all other true crime…for now.

Do’s & Don’ts: 10 Years of Vice Magazine’s Street Fashion Critiques

Do your research. There is a picture of a corpse-painted Black Metaller. The caption refers to him as “Speed Metal” and goes on to make a tired joke about metalheads huffing glue or suffering from incest down the line or something. Practitioners of speed metal do not wear corpse paint. I felt like I was reading Andy Rooney on Metal, if, of course, that existed.

Every Thin Lizzy album before and including Chinatown

…is worth owning. Why, at this late stage in the game, do I have to keep telling people this?

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