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Monday, March 28, 2011


So I went to the ultra-ghetto White Castle in the Fulton Mall area on Saturday afternoon and the place was staffed by the usual crew of uncouth layabouts who often serve the burgers cold or get your order wrong, thus forcing you to wait for them to get it right. One of those workers whom I've encountered several times is a woman who easily tips the scales at 350 pounds and looks not unlike a resurrected Mabel King. She's previously acted in a loud, ignorant and obnoxious way that makes me cringe out of embarrassment for the American black race, but the other day while I was waiting on my order, she was chatting with a co-worker about how much she loves the SPARTACUS shows. And I don't mean a casual interest was being expressed; she was hardcore and knew everything about it, especially the first series. I couldn't resist giving the show a shoutout, so I put my fist in the air and yelled "Fuckin' SPARTACUS!" at which the big gal turned around with wide eyes and blurted out "You inta SPARTACUS?" When I answered in the affirmative she went off on the various aspects of the show that she loved, citing in particular the death of Batiatus, which caused her to visibly get fahrklempt and state with a tear in her eye (I shit you not), " I'm sorry...I really felt that one." And when my order came up on the prompter she stopped and asked if the order was mine, and when I said that it was she prepared my order personally (she was on the register and stopped taking orders to go to the prep area and hook me up) and made sure it arrived freshly-made and correct.

The lesson to be learned here is to always let your geek flag fly, because things can turn out sweet as a result.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pshaw! Tarzan could do it!



Fuck yeah!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Personally, I would kill to see what Uncle Walt would have had to say about this.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Double-click to embiggen.

Thursday, March 24, 2011



Note to all who would seek to assassinate me: I will definitely be at this film on opening night, possibly even at the first midnight screening, so have your bullets and laser scopes ready.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I just wish the makers of these demotivational posters had proofreaders.

Monday, March 21, 2011


And so it was that improv performer/playwright Justin Moran and co-writer Jon Roufaeal's $0-budgeted "guerilla theater" musical THE SPIDEY PROJECT: WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY had its scheduled two-performance run, going from conception to opening in just over a month while its bloated counterpart missed its last announced opening date and has been pushed back until mid-June. I was wowed by the colossal elephant balls of such a concept and was even more blown away by the fact that this little musical, seemingly pulled from out of nowhere and fashioned together from baling wire and chewing gum, was in just about every way superior to the much-hyped, ever-in-the-headlines disaster currently stinking up the place at the Foxwoods Theater. I wish I had acted quickly enough to snag tickets for the show but I didn't hear about the free tickets being made available online until it was too late, so that was that. Thankfully, the show was captured on video for posterity and posted on the Internet, so here it is in its entirety.

THE SPIDEY PROJECT: WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY is galaxies better than the Taymor/Bono fiasco, costing quite literally cost zero to make (as opposed to the $65 mil and counting thrown into the other one) and featuring a cast of a mere nine performers. Every element that was missing from the money-pit would-be blockbuster is here in a far humbler and infinitely more genuine and entertaining form. In fact, the only thing — the ONLY thing!!! — the big Broadway monument to excess has over this David to its Goliath is impressive sets and legitimate costumes. I can think of no better critique of SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK than to have a pack of zero-budget upstarts take it to school by reminding us all of what live theater is really all about: heart.

Here's the whole thing in four parts. It's only around an hour in length and I heartily urge you to watch it. And to all involved in bringing this to life, you have my deepest thanks and respect for essentially kicking an over-inflated "titan" square in the batch. I know you did not mean to rip Taymor a new one, but this meager-yet-excellent work serves as a reminder that hubris is usually one's own worst enemy. Bravo!

Friday, March 18, 2011


There are bad movies, and then there are BAD movies. THE LOVE GURU falls into the latter category with the presence and implacable authority of a vast black hole, only this particular singularity sucks up comedy into some other realm that is anywhere other than onscreen. Truly, there is nothing more pitiful in all of cinema than an unfunny comedy. At least with a bad movie in any other genre, there's the possibility that you might gather some unintentional laughs from the cinematic grunt biscuit in question, but an unfunny comedy is a failure at its own raison d'être and just lays there onscreen like a dead cat on the side of the road. That said, I watched the universally-reviled Mike Myers vehicle THE LOVE GURU and it is simply one of the very worst alleged comedies ever purported to have been made by humans. In fact, it's so abysmally godawful that I actively recommend it so you can see with your own eyes that such a thing exists.

THE LOVE GURU was apparently intended to be Myers' next franchisable creation in the wake of his Austin Powers success, but it's a very lazy rehash of many of that series' tropes that were played out to death in those films in the first place, so dressing them up in the guise of a piece about a stereotypical platitude-spouting India-raised guru-type fooled no one and led to a swift box office death. The story relates the adventures of the guru Maurice Pitka (Myers), one of those fluffy maharishi-style hucksters who dispense dime store "wisdom" to eager Western audiences who hang on their every utterance as though it came straight from the mouth of the goddess Saraswati herself, a supposedly enlightened holy man who proves himself to be full of shit by desiring to be a bigger exponent of Eastern wisdom than Deepak Chopra. Pitka is hired by Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba), the corporate bigwig behind the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, to counsel star player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) through his serious relationship issues with his nubile girlfriend (Meagan Good) and restore his winning chops in time for his team to win the Stanley Cup.

The disturbing visual of the twelve-year-old Pitka as seen during the sequence explaining his origin. It's clearly supposed to be funny, but it's just plain creepy.

The incongruous fusion of sports gags and spiritual counseling humor does not work in any way and the viewer does not care one whit for the hockey star's predicament, the fate of the team, or Pitka's attraction to Jennifer. There's nothing here that engages the audience, and what we do get is just a seemingly endless regurgitation of wordplay, innuendo and sight gags that were already run into the ground in the Austin Powers movies. To reinforce the Powers connection, the former Mini-Me, Verne Troyer, is on hand as the Maple Leafs' coach, and his presence guaranteed an avalanche of tied and very predictable dwarf-related "jokes." If the goal there was to get us to understand how sick Troyer must be of such jibes after a lifetime as a little person, then the filmmakers succeeded in spades.

There are endless fart jokes, dick-and-balls jokes, turd gags, urine bits, and god knows what all else, plus the admittedly original sight of two Indian elephants fucking during a crucial Stanley Cup hockey game in order to cause a distraction, and not one bit of it is funny in the least (although the elephant bit gets points for coming from out of nowhere). There are also two appallingly unfunny, self-indulgent and overlong musical numbers in which Myers (as Pitka) performs the title song from 9 TO 5 and Steve Miller's "The Joker" with sitar in hand, and the latter number is staged as a full-fledged Bollywood-style musical number featuring several of the main cast. It was like attending a supposedly-fun party where everyone else knew each other for ages and were all in on some over-arcing private joke, with you left on the outside with no explanation. See for yourself:

Sadly, during the entirety of the film there were only two things that genuinely made me laugh out loud:
  • Pitka's fantasy upon meeting Jennifer. When he first sees the Maple Leafs' owner, the camera zooms into Pitka's mind and we see him envision himself and Jennifer as stock characters in a standard cheapjack Bollywood musical, complete with horrible film stock, bad zoom cuts, and shrill singing (cribbed from some actual Bollywood musical) accompanied by ludicrously-translated lyrics.

I've seen a lot of Indian films, dating from the 1940's through the present, so I'm very familiar with them and I find the more over-the-top examples of the form to be lysergically insane and fun, and this bit nailed that aesthetic perfectly. Unfortunately, hilarious though it is, that sequence lasts for around a minute, maybe a tad less.
  • The trope of running "wacky" outtakes to pad the running time of a short comedy film wore out its welcome in my world ages ago, but THE LOVE GURU does feature the best outtake I've seen in years, namely this reality check from Verne Troyer:

So, for me anyway, THE LOVE GURU amounted to a grand total of under two minutes of legitimate laughs out of a running time of eighty-six. I recommend this only for bad cinema completists, masochists, or insomniacs. And I can honestly say that even the most rabid and sophomoric of Mike Myers' fans will be disappointed by this one. I hope his next film — if he ever makes another one — will be informed by the mistakes made and lessons hopefully learned with this unmitigated disaster.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Today marks the one year anniversary of me being laid off from my last full-time job, and I am still sans employment. Oh, yay.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011


A Larry the Cable Guy fan represents.



"Deeply Furious," aka the infamous "shoe chop" number, is wisely being cut from the show.

The NEW YORK TIMES has an article posted that outlines some of the changes being made to SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK in the wake of the justly-disastrous near-universal panning the show received from theater critics (and gobsmacked bloggers like Yours Truly), and all of the tweaks sound like wisely-chosen improvements. Chief among them is the reported excision of the fucking ludicrous "Deeply Furious," what I refer to as the infamous "shoe chop" number, and while I think that choice is by far the smartest creative decision yet made on this show (next to the ousting of director Julie Taymor), I hope to the gods of theater that someone recorded it on video for posterity. No lie, it was hands down the absolute worst professionally-executed musical number I've ever witnessed during nearly a lifetime of seeing Broadway shows (I've been at it since I was nine). Anyway, go here for the details.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


The saga of SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK just gets more and more insane with each passing moment. It is now being reported that colossal douchebag/hack Bono is stepping in to start the show over from scratch and "rip the show apart from top to bottom." Um, does no one notice that it's this shithead's (and The Edge's) horrendous songs that rank as one of the most blatantly obvious key factors in the show's artistic failure? Bone-hole and The Edge (the most pretentious stage name in the entire history of music) wrote — or should I say "shat out" — an entire musical's worth of songs and not one of them is any good. Not a single one. And now the producers think he's got what it takes to turn around this black hole of alleged entertainment in time for the new projected opening in mid-to-late June? Nigger, please...

The details on this latest chapter in the show's ongoing idiocy can be read here.


Now that she's for all intents and purposes been booted from SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK, today's NEW YORK TIMES features an interesting article chronicling Broadway auteur Julie Taymor's precipitous fall from grace. You can read it here, and after reading it I once again state that I hope someone has been putting the whole story of this troubled show's history into a yet-to-be-published behind the scenes book. Or, better yet, a documentary.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


From the admittedly stupid but unfairly maligned BALLS OF FURY (2007):

"It is better to die like a tiger than to live like a pussy."

-Master Wong
(James Hong)


I've been in a martial arts movie mood lately, especially of the occasionally outrageous 1980's wuxia variety, and this particularly crazed Taiwanese flick managed to more than fill that need.

For those not in the know, wuxia is perhaps the most venerable of the martial sub-genres, bearing a rich history spanning centuries of literature and other arts, with its best-known examples for western audiences being the elaborate CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (2000) and HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS (2004). Modern wuxia films are genuine spectacles, replete with high-flying wire-work meant to symbolically embellish the heroes' already considerable skills, romance and lavish sets and costumes, but the earlier examples of the form were often cheaply made and hastily shot, rife with over-the-top melodrama and much chewing of the scenery. But, if you ask me, that's what makes the old school examples a million times more fun than their modern descendants, and MATCHING ESCORT is a balls-out riot of superheroics and unintentional (?) hilarity.

First of all, as near as I can determine, the title MATCHING ESCORT has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the film's plot, so that's a win right out of the gate. And unless you're a regular watcher of films of this sort it's rather easy to lose track of what's going on in the story, but I assure you that it does have a linear narrative, albeit one that contains many elements that make not one lick of sense. The basic plot is once again the tried and true revenge saga, this time involving a very girly young woman named Pearl Fan (played by Cheung Ling of WOLF DEVIL WOMAN infamy), who, as a child, is forced to constantly wear heavy shoes of metal with no explanation from her dad.

Child abuse or training device: the metal shoes are locked to our young heroine's feet.

As the years pass, Pearl Fan gets used to the metal shoes and can move about as nimbly as a monkey while wearing them, and when she takes them off her agility and speed become downright superhuman.

Then comes the day when a pack of the evil sword-wielding assholes requisite for this kind of story show up at her dad's house and proceed to kill seventy-three family members and house staff, except for Pearl Fan, who is entrusted with a precious family heirloom — the Jade Lovebird pendant — and unwillingly spirited away by a loyal retainer. The retainer is swiftly killed and our heroine soon finds herself framed for her family's murder, so now she's on the run from both the legitimate authorities and the clan of mysteriously-motivated killers. Disguising herself as a boy (rather unconvincingly, but you just have to let that go) — one of the major tropes of the genre in stories featuring female heroes — Pearl Fan is chased to and dumped over a sheer cliff by the killers, who leave her for dead. But what they don't know is that she has fallen into a deep cave that resembles and even-lower-budget version of H.R. Pufnstuf's Living Island, where resides an hilariously kvetchy old crippled hermit named Uncle Strange. No, seriously.

Uncle Strange: Yoda he ain't.

Initially quite irritated at Pearl Fan for her unplanned landing in a vat of vaguely mystical potion that he'd been preparing for twenty years, a potion that would have somehow enabled him to exact revenge upon the villain who crippled his feet and cast him into the cave, Uncle Strange is moved by our heroine's desire for revenge of her own and so agrees to take her on as his pupil. (It soon turns out that Pearl Fan's quest for vengeance neatly/conveniently dovetails with that of Uncle Strange.) As this is a wuxia martial arts film, it has less to do with hand-to-hand styles than swordsmanship and more "romantic" action playing up the hero's grace and moral purity, so Pearl's training, such as it is, involves little more than a tad of hand techniques that will later allow her to catch and break sword blades with just two fingers (her later-displayed utter badassery with a sword is not explained but is accepted as a given for the genre's requirements).

A clearly not amused Pearl Fan demonstrates the bitchin' two-fingered sword-catching move.

She is also subjected to a regimen of assorted potions, strange fungi (Awright!) and unguents that grant her the necessary skills of a typical genre hero (the aforementioned 20-years-in-the-making potion presumably being some kind of Asian super-soldier serum), and she's ready to get down to the serious business of killing when Uncle Strange dies after physically transferring his energy to her (and hilariously freezing in position with his arm outstretched and a wild look on his face when he croaks). Once back in the outside world, Pearl Fan displays all the attributes one expects from a wuxia superhero, and her skills with a sword would make even the most adept of Jedi turn chartreuse with envy.

The newly-badassed Pearl Fan hands out free passes to the netherworld on a lonely beach.

The rest of the film is a series of genre trope-laden, dizzying and unrealistically bloody swordfights against her enemies and it's a hell of a lot of leave-your-brain-at-the-door fun getting to the inevitable outcome. The wild and utterly impossible acrobatics and swordplay are piled on quite generously, making the film a definite precursor to the kind of thing we so enjoyed in XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, only cartoonishly gorier.

Bad guy "Simon Cloud" meets his deservedly gory demise.

Our heroine, mowing down bad guys like weeds.

You've gotta love the heroine's moments of balletic poise in the brief moments between whirling arms and clashing steel.

There's also a disguised traveling prince — accompanied by the by-then-stock annoying comic relief servant whose basic character is meant to invoke Jackie Chan, only much more broadly — who's on hand to provide a love interest that literally goes nowhere and serves virtually no purpose to the story, so the less said of him the better.

The superfluous prince and his annoying servant.

(Oh, alright...Regarding the whole prince sub-plot, the story's Big Bad is revealed to have his eye on ruling the country and aims to kill the prince as part of his plans, but that sub-plot is given very short shrift and really doesn't add anything to Pearl Fan's narrative since you know going in that she's going to win in the end, so the governmental overthrow angle is totally superfluous.)

The film's ultra-flamboyant-looking Big Bad, who is quite appropriately named — and I'm not making this up — Lord Rouge.

If all of this sounds only slightly goofy and not like anything all that special, that's because I have thus far neglected to mention the overall "fairytale on mushrooms" feel and approach of the piece. There's not one single frame's-worth of realism in it and its look fuses low-budget cheapness with garish colors and occasionally weird-assed sets (Uncle Strange's cave being something straight out of a kiddie show's idea of "scary"). And of course all of the aforementioned physical impossibilities, and the ever-popular running-on-water move all add up to a heady cornucopia of wuxia junk food of the highest order.

Wire-work fun at its most endearingly cheesy.

Though nowhere near as brain-wrenchingly out of its mind as actor/director Cheung Ling's legendary WOLF DEVIL WOMAN (which I will definitely get around to reviewing one of these days), MATCHING ESCORT is a stone hoot and should be shared with friends and family as soon as possible. And although there is spewing arterial spray (translation: pressurized gallons of bright red paint) and some dismemberments here and there, the gore on hand is not scary at all and would only be disturbing to the youngest of viewers. I would not hesitate to show it to kids if seven and older, so use that caveat as a guide. Me? I plan to show this to my nephew, Nate, as soon as possible, and I also think my niece, Cleo, would totally dig it because it's about a "lady hero" (as she would have put it when she a tad younger) and it has violence. This film could easily have run on the late, lamented Channel 5 Saturday afternoon DRIVE-IN MOVIE weekly kung fu showcase of the early-through-mid-1980's with no editing for content, but that was then and this is now, so if run today the film's split-second decapitation and hand-lopping would likely be cut. If I had to rate this, I'd give it a PG, but the wussified MPAA would likely insist on a PG-13 or a wholly undeserved "mild R." RECOMMENDED.

The excellence that was Cheung Ling.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Celebrity douchebag/collaborator Bono helpfully points out the "Now Hiring" sign in the nearby White Castle window to former SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK director Julie Taymor. (photo by Joan Marcus)

I've got nothing to add to this, other than to say it's about goddamned time. Go here for the initial details, and I'm sure there will be a lot more to come over the next day or two.


It seems like something happens with this show on an almost hourly basis and now, though the official press release has yet to be made, reliable sources state that SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK will be shutting down for major creative overhauls and will not open until June. Believe me, after the balls-out-and-doused-in-kerosene mess I saw during previews in December, this show needs all the re-tooling it can get. In a sane world this show would just have its plug pulled, but with over $65,000,000 (and counting) having been spent on it, that ain't gonna happen, so now it's in major crisis mode. The latest on this can be read over at THE NEW YORK TIMES.


As SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK continues onward despite its opening night possibly being pushed back to June and major fixes to its myriad of flaws being in the offing, it looks like things have gotten so out of hand that director/personification of hubris Julie Taymor could face "leaving" the project. I, for one, think that's a change that's loooooong overdue and I hope someone more grounded in reality and less in ego will be handed the reins of the most expensive show in Broadway history. You can read about this latest development over at THE NEW YORK TIMES.


I first heard of this one while watching the fight scene highlights videotape THIS IS KUNG FU with a bunch of equally-stoned friends back in 1989, and we simply could not fucking believe what we saw when the tape opened with the literally jaw-dropping trailer for this flick. Along with all manner of bizarro Chinese mythology-specific creatures and weirdness, the trailer featured tag lines that mangled the English language to an alarming degree (example:"Ghost seeking revenge evils are deadly scared!" and "Human heart annoying both spirits and human!), and my friends and I watched the trailer over and over in disbelief, vowing to someday find and watch this surefire classic of lysergic chopsocky madness.

Packaging art for the Ocean Shores VHS release from the '80's, a tape that took me two years to track down.

I finally found the movie about two years later in a cheesy hole-in-the-wall video store that was going out of business, a victim of the Disneyfication of Times Square and it cost me around ten bucks (about five bucks too much for a beat-up used copy), but I finally had the object of my relentless quest. The wait was worth it, because the martial arts were pretty good and the script is a ludicrous dialogue fan's wet dream.

Starring Indonesian martial arts cult figure Billy Chong — who starred in the rather similar, though way more coherent, KUNG FU ZOMBIE (also 1982) — the film chronicles the young hero's quest for vengeance against the rat bastard who murdered his father, a quest instigated by the pissed-off ghost of the hero's dad. The murderous rat bastard is played by none other than Lo Lieh, star of the film that kicked off the 1970's kung fu movie boom, the classic FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH (1971, released in the U.S. in 1972), but here he's playing one of his many, many outright villains and it's always a pleasure to see him be just plain unabashedly evil. Realizing that the son may come after him and hand him a well-earned ass-kicking, the bad guy hires an evil kung fu priest/sorcerer to handle things for him, and the evil sorcerer gets up to a shitload of black magic and suchlike over the course of the film, including one of the most memorable (to say nothing of ludicrous) moments in the entire history of cinema. The prize goes to a scene wherein the villainous sorcerer realizes he's about to get his ass kicked, so he throws some spells into the air and screams "Count Dracula! Come to my aid!" The second he says this, the sky turns to night, the full moon pops up, a wolf howls and then from out of nowhere fucking Count Dracula himself — the only white guy in the entire film — swoops from out of the sky screaming "I'M COMING!!! HAHAHAHAHAH!!!"

The justly infamous Count Dracula sequence.

And don't ask how the hero and the eerie aides he gathers finally defeat the sorcerer (hint: it involves the aid of a bunch of prostitutes who are experiencing "monthly women's concerns"). To say more would give away shit that you just won't believe, so I leave you to rent this and discover its ultra-bizarro wonders for yourself. Illegal smokables and alcoholic beverages are recommended for maximizing the fun, and it's a real crowd-pleaser/baffler when shown to a roomful of willing attendees. A unique cinematic experience, TRUST YER BUNCHE and snag this one as soon as possible.

Packaging art for the most recent DVD release. You'll note they got the title wrong.

Monday, March 07, 2011



Sabu as the titular Thief of Bagdad...Or is he?

I recently received the visually incredible Criterion edition of the excellent live-action fantasy classic, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1940) — which I very strongly suggest that you purchase before it goes out of print and becomes a pricey collector's item — and it made me ponder something.

If you live virtually anywhere in the continental United States and have ever gone to the movies, you have likely encountered my fellow Negroes — and if truth be told, sometimes me — offering blurted-out and sometimes hilarious commentary on whatever film you may be seeing in the theater. I'm wondering if, seventy-one years ago when THE THIEF OF BAGDAD first opened, some dissatisfied black dude exclaimed aloud as the words "THE END" appeared onscreen, "Man, that muthafukka didn't steal no Bagdad! That's some bullshit right there, Jack!"

I can also see a similar scenario taking place at the conclusion of the recent WINTER'S BONE.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


I'm a big fan of sex and violence in cinema but when it comes to porn I prefer to keep the two exclusive from one another, so I am very curious as to how well this new release succeeds as a blend of the tenderloin and martial arts genres.

There have been prior attempts at melding the two forms, especially during the 1970's chopsocky boom, and I always found the shoehorning of (badly choreographed) kung fu or karate into a fuck film to be wholly incongruous. Therefore I very much doubt this will be worth even a squirt of diabetic rat's piss.

As you have no doubt noticed if you read this blog regularly, porn parodies/remakes are proliferating at a rate that is both alarming and downright nonsensical. For example, who in god's name thought this would be a good idea?

Do we really need a XXX remake of one of the most tragic and soul-destroyingly depressing films of the 1990's? Who the hell would find this erotic? I can't speak for the rest you, but I know with absolute certainty that I could never rub one out to this. No fucking way.

Lastly, unless you've been living in a cave in the remote Himalayas for the past two months or so, you are no doubt aware of the media circus surrounding the extremely public meltdown of actor/party loon Charlie Sheen. The guy has whored and coked his way into the hearts and minds of insatiable scandal-lovers everywhere, with new bizarro developments and pronouncements taking place on pretty much a daily basis. Now comes this so-called parody of The Sheen's adventures, starring a number of his call girl pals, for each of whom his moment in the spotlight of public infamy equals free publicity and the potential for making a few quick bucks.

I'm sure this sucks out loud, but it fascinates me because, well, think about it. How hard would it have been at this point to talk the real Charlie Sheen into actively participating in this venture? In fact, considering his call girl and porn biz connections, coupled with him acting as a human reverse-snow-blower ("sober," my beige ass), I'm rather shocked that Charlie didn't think to make this himself. His behavior has been one steadily-escalating litany of highly questionable decisions, so I doubt starring in a porno would do much, if anything, to hurt his already majorly tarnished reputation. And unless the filmmakers have on hand a woodsman who's a dead ringer for Charlie who can also flawlessly imitate his voice, delivery, and mannerisms, this is doomed to be nothing more than the rote and incredibly shameless cash-in that it so obviously is.

Saturday, March 05, 2011


I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but for me this is a must-see. Bringing the Furious Five into the main action? Oh, HELL yeah.

Friday, March 04, 2011


NOTE: though hardcore scenes were shot for this film, they were cut pre-release for legal reasons. Therefore the final version would really be considered softcore. To the best of my knowledge the uncensored edition no longer exists, not even on the DVD.




Go, French girl!

Thursday, March 03, 2011


Young British thugs versus hostile space aliens. I feel sorry for the aliens.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011



Cover art by Francesco Biagini.

A few months ago I was interviewed by comics journalist Antonio Salinas for an Italian book on the career of superstar comics author Grant Morrison, and he just posted a shot of me holding my comp copy of the book to the book's website. The interview was fun on its own, but it was a real kick to see my words rendered into Italian alongside images of the original Chris Weston art that I own from THE FILTH, the massively-bizarre series of Grant's that I edited for ten and a half issues before getting the boot from Vertigo (it was a thirteen-issue series). You can see my smiling and freshly-shaven-pated mug with Italian text by clicking here, but the photo sans text is seen below.

And words cannot express how much I love this:



NOTE: I originally wrote and posted this a little over six years ago but I'd taken it down in order to add photos, and while forging ahead in the overrated train wreck that is BATTLESTAR GALACTICA I was reminded that I needed to finish it, so here it is. And special thanks goes out to regular reader Will, who correctly pointed out that I had confused the two-part "Gambit" with the one-part "The Chase." You can read his comment below, and I have corrected the post accordingly.

Purportedly the most successful television series produced for syndication during its day, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION ran for seven seasons and an impressive total of one hundred and seventy-eight episodes (of which only one was a “clips” show). It aired daily on the SPIKE TV network for years and is available on DVD in exorbitantly priced full-season boxed sets, and with such constant exposure it’s easy to see that much of its run was mediocre at best and downright fucking terrible at its worst.

The disastrous first season was easily the most dire in the show’s entire run, a creative train wreck across the board, complete with cheap looking sets, howlingly bad scripts, ridiculous costumes — remember the unisex skirt outfits for male crewmembers? — and the embarrassing agony of seeing the actors slowly figure out their characters. Captain Picard comes off as a bit of a martinet, Riker is a smirking frat boy in space, Counselor Troi begins a seven-season career of virtually nonstop irritation (though that Marina Sirtis is very easy on the eyes), Dr. Crusher is a bore, Worf is little more than a stoic baritone with a turtle glued to his forehead, Tasha Yar is the stereotypical tough gal, and Data is little more than a dull Spock wannabe. And DO NOT get me started on Wesley Crusher, perhaps the single most off-putting character in the history of sci-fi television…

Having watched this season again a few years back, I have one question about it: How the fuck did a show this bad get renewed for another season? Simple answer: STAR TREK fans will put up anything just to get a dose. How else does one explain STAR TREK: VOYAGER and the majority of ENTERPRISE?

I watched NEXT GENERATION during its original run on New York City’s Channel 11 and missed perhaps three episodes, but when it started running twice daily on SPIKE I can finally say that I have seen the entire series from start to finish as recently as six years ago, so what follows is my rather fresh-in-my-memory list of the relatively few episodes that I would watch over and over again. Not all of them are good, but all entertain me for different reasons and if I could assemble my own DVD collection of choice episodes without having to deal with the blatant extortion that is the list price of any given season boxed set, these are the ones that would make the cut:


# 3 "The Naked Now"

A disease first seen in the original 1960’s STAR TREK series removes the crew's inhibitions and Data gets some pussy. A bad, derivative show that’s worth it just for the look on Data’s face when Tasha Yar jumps his artificial bones.

# 4 "Code of Honor"

It's "Where the white wimmen at?" time on the planet of the Negroes when their leader gets a look at Tasha Yar and loses his fucking mind. Unimaginably terrible and so un-PC that it’s an unintentional comedy classic. To all you white NEXT GEN fans out there: I defy you to watch this with black friends present and not cringe.

# 20 "Heart of Glory"

The first taste of the Klingon fun to come as two of Worf’s people show up and we get our first look at the finer points of Klingon culture.

# 22 "Skin of Evil"

Tasha Yar gets killed while battling the evil pudding man (and I did not give a shit). Reminiscent of a bad classic DOCTOR WHO installment, this makes the cut because of Armus, a total asshole of a monster who I swear to God looks like ambulatory molasses or something.

# 25 "Conspiracy"

Worth it solely for the goriest scene in the show's history.


# 34 "A Matter of Honor"

Riker serves on a Klingon ship thanks to an exchange program and experiences deep space warrior society firsthand. The crew of brusque and violent soldiers are surprisingly endearing, and this is the episode where we finally see that Riker’s not just a douchebag. I just wish the Klingon officer Riker bonds with were given a name and seen in more than just this story.

# 35 "The Measure of a Man"

Data's sentience is put on trial, and his character is truly put on the map.

# 36 "The Dauphin"

Wesley finds first love with a very unusual girl... Perhaps the only tolerable Wesley Crusher story, this one really belongs to his love interest.

# 42 "Q Who?"

Meet the Borg. And what's up with Q's comments about Guinan? Hmmmm...

# 44 "Up the Long Ladder"

The ultimate in Irish stereotyping, only with the added perk of being set in deep space. It's a piece of outright shit, but it has to be seen for it's sheer hilarious offensiveness and should be aired annually on St. Patrick's Day.

# 46 "The Emissary"

Introducing K'Ehleyr, Worf's mate. Yet more Klingon stuff, and the episode that made Worf a major player.


# 63 "Yesterday's Enterprise"

Worth it for setting up a major continuity point that would unexpectedly return to haunt the rest of the series, but otherwise highly overrated.

# 65 "Sins of the Father"

The ongoing Klingon saga begins as Worf's family is stripped of honor.

# 68 "Tin Man"

Worth it for the most interesting non-humanoid alien life form in the entire series.

# 69 "Hollow Pursuits"

Introducing Lt. Barclay and his holodeck addiction.

# 74 "The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1"

The Borg abduct Picard and a lot of really heavy shit ensues. One of the best season cliffhangers in TV history, yet part 2 sadly falls as flat as a housecat squashed by a semi.


# 81 "Reunion"

The Klingon saga continues; K'Ehleyr is murdered and Worf meets his son.

# 87 "Devil's Due"

Worth it for the evil “goddess” Ardra.

# 95 "The Drumhead"

A tense look at a conspiracy witchhunt.

# 100 "Redemption, Part 1"

The Klingon saga continues; Worf embraces his heritage, fucks off out of the Federation and gets involved in a Klingon civil war. Plus, we meet Sela...


# 101 "Redemption, Part 2"

The Klingon saga concludes. Worf regains the family honor and we get the scoop on what's up with Sela.

# 102 "Darmok"

A fascinating study of inter-species communication, this gets my vote as the second-best episode of the entire series.

# 103 "Ensign Ro"

Introducing the coolest recurring crew member.

# 121 "The Perfect Mate"

Romantic tragedy in the face of arranged marriage for peace. You’ll really feel for Picard as he endures one of the ultimate male fantasies brought to life and comes up with bubkes.

# 125 "The Inner Light"

Picard relives the life of a long-dead man. To say any more would give it away, but this is hands-down the best episode of the series.


# 134 "A Fistful of Datas"

Yet another bad holodeck malfunction yarn, saved by an ultra-hot Troi in gun-slingin’ leather and the only truly fun episode that focuses on the strained relationship between Worf and young Alexander.

# 135 "Chain of Command, Part 1"

Picard is captured and tortured by the Cardassians while Captain Jellico (Ronny Cox) whips the Enterprise crew into much needed shape. Special points for getting Troi out of those stupid mauve PJ's and into a fetching uniform, and the hard-assed Captain Jellico should have been spun off into his own series.

# 136 "Chain of Command, Part 2"

Picard endures torture at the hands of Gul Madred (David Warner) and proves his complete and utter indomitability. A tour de force performance by Patrick Stewart.

# 142 "Birthright, Part 1"

Worf discovers a remote Romulan POW camp populated by Klingons, with more going on than is obvious at first. Features a short crossover with STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE.

# 143 "Birthright, Part 2"

See above. And it’s a shame that they never brought back Ba’el…

# 144 "Starship Mine"

As the Enterprise sits stationary in drydock, a group of thieves attempt to steal it while the crew is planetside, unaware that Captain Picard has returned to the ship to retrieve his horseback riding saddle. Lesson to be learned: Do not fuck with Captain Picard's ship.

#146 "The Chase"

It's the Enterprise against the raiders of archaeological sites. A so-so installment that is worth seeing since it finally explains why nearly all STAR TREK races are humanoid.

# 149 "Rightful Heir"

More Klingon fun as Kahless, the legendary founder of the Klingon ideal, apparently returns from the grave.


# 163 "Parallels"

Worf is caught in multiple alternate realities, some of which reveal intriguing possibilities he'd never considered...

# 167 "Lower Decks"

A look at four junior officers, including the adorable Ensign Sito Jaxa (Shannon Fill).

# 176 "Preemptive Strike"

Ensign Ro infiltrates the Maquis with unexpected results.

So out of a total one hundred and seventy-eight individual episodes I would keep only thirty-six. That ain’t a good average, kiddies.