Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Stoned Age (1993)

After a not so easy night at the DJ gig, I preheat the pizza situation and opt not for a giallo, SOV or Cannon fodder, but the netflix streamy doohicky. The "Goofy comedies you'll love" section had mostly of Troma dreck (no thanks) and then this period piece which I recall reading about upon it's release. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Film Threat really talked this one up essentially as "BETTER THAN DAZED AND CONFUSED!" Well, rest assured, it is not better than Dazed and Confused. In fact The Stoned Age mucho sucks, but I did enjoy it on some levels.
The film concerns two burnouts, Joe and Hubbs and their attempts in scoring some potentially mythical chicks, and the competition they encounter from a legion of other burnouts. The simple premise works to the advantage of the film, as it creates a casual atmosphere which doesn't require too much acting or set pieces or variation in dialogue. As long as it's funny right? Yeah, you can smell the low budget on this from the opening shot, where we plainly see modern cars drive past a hitchhiker. From here we see where the majority of the budget must have gone, as Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" plays over the opening credits, as the BOC logo emblazoned "Blue Bomber" cruises down the strip. Now, I only spent 2 years of my life in the 70s, and I don't remember anything about it, but I've seen alot of old cruising vessels in my time (in films and still in action) and I don't believe I've seen anything that looks like the ugly-ass wagon these boys drive around in. Period detail does not seem like a concern for any of the involved parties, as most of the characters look straight out some bad-tv-show-with-fake-grunge-band crowd surfing scene. In fact, Hubbs, the asshole one looks a lot like Eddie Vedder to me, but that's beside the point. Most of the movie has the look of an early 90s made for cable erotic thriller, but I can get into that. I'm not watching this movie for any visual pleasure, as sad as that seems, but for some cheap laughs, and there are some of those...not enough though.
What I did like most about the film is that every character except the "audience identification sensitive guy" (Joe) is a total asshole, and even that A.I.S.G. is irritating and wishy washy, just like most "sensitive" people. Luckily Joe still wants to get laid, so you don't just wanna smack him the whole time. So yeah, seeing a film from the early/mid 90s where there isn't some kind of "message" about believing in yourself, or being true to yourself, or trying to understand others, or.....whatever, is pretty lessons to be learned here except that "teenagers" are sociopathic shitheads. I guess plenty of that came around in the late 90s...whatevs. Well, unlike the "damaged youth" films of the late 90s and beyond, I don't think this film is trying to say any grand statements about the curuption of western society or anything, it's just dudes being douches.
I find it kind of interesting in that the stoner and proto-metal concerns of the characters herein forecast the reevaluation of such previously derided genres by the hip crowd of the past decade. Who would have thought that there would be young dudes and gals walking down your street with long hair, scruff and BOC tshirts? I'm into it. Dudes from BOC make a post credits appearance, as does BOC live footage along with an big eyeball made by Screamin Mad George. Taylor Negron plays a liquor store employee for the second time (?) but with a much different vibe than in River's Edge.
Man, Film Threat was such a shitty magazine, thank god I encountered it as a youngster, cuz if I was older I would barf.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The behemoth is like Zima...
Cerberus was like Bud Dry...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dark Holez!

I don't think it's such a good idea to crawl into a dark hole that has no money in it.
And if I find a pit that has got the green stuff, that pit better be shallow.
I can be quite shallow when it comes to a short trip to get some money.
Money is cool cuz you can do shit with it and buy a big thing of records and shit.
I'm scared, cuz often money leads you to being an asshole or being on drugs.
I want neither of things, even if I could be a millionaire.
That guy Jeff Koonz made a boat or something.
What can I make?
Without jumping into some fucking chasm or whatever...that is.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

more self promo

I fear....

I've lost the impulse to write. About anything or whatever. So here I am forcing myself. I a love certain drug a lot, and it helps me do things like "this," and that's why I don't do that drug. It's too nice. I'm listening to a Professor Griff solo single on Luke records right now. I'm going to watch Hey Good Lookin' on VHS (not the WB clamshell) in a few minutes. I wrote that Machete review while babysitting an art gallery in town. I have some collages up there, I'm happy about that, lots of unlikely folks came in and looked at them. Old people, whoever. There is a closing reception on Friday...the appeal of the wine and cheese is diminished hugely when you have to provide it yourself. Wine and cheese should be free. I quit my good paying/soul crushing/tiring job and thought my productivity would go up three fold, but instead it's like the old days on a good week, but with less stress. The space in my mind that was taken up by the job (Hummus factory) hasn't really been replaced by anything except the feeling of cruising. Smooth sailing. It feels weird...y'know, enjoying life. It's pretty hard for me to commit to things, even more so now, I think. I listen to half a record, check the innanet, watch some of a movie, try to clean my room, wash some dishes, record some music. Drugs?
I feel a little funny that my favorite part of Machete was the mother/daughter 3 way...I guess that's good exploitation...making you feel weird and sleazy.
The 12" of "Teenage Love" has a different version of "Treat Her Like a Prostitute" on
Now I'm listening to "Pile Driver: the Wrestling Album part II." This one is heavier so far. Heh.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Just saw this matinee on Saturday at the Hadley Mall. It was wonderful; basically everything I could hope for in a movie. I suppose at this point it goes without saying that some CGI moments bugged me, but that's life in 90s, or 00s, or teens.
The rousing opening sequence involving Machete's attempted rescue of a nude babe from the clutches of fat Steven Seagal sets the tone firmly in Cannon Films territory. One-liners, lack of logic or subtlety, naked babes and sleazy vilians continue to punctuate the film throughout it's overstuffed/overlong running time. That's fine by me as I enjoyed every convoluted plot twist, every new character, every body heaped onto the pile. I have to admit, this almost operatic web of sleaze leaves behind some of the effervescent fun of seeing the "fake trailer" way back in the Grindhouse days.
The message of Immigrant empowerment comes in thick broad strokes, and I admire the propagandist adherence to a ideology. There isn't a moral tacked onto the end here, or much complication in character to get in the way. In Machete you have brutal violence and hot babes (actually, very hot babes) fused to a real need on the part of film makers to give a big fat "FUCK YOU" to xenophobia aimed towards Mexicans. Oh and don't worry, the hot babes dole out a lot of the punishment. Cool.
As a prerequisite for a good action movie, you need Heavy heavies, and that's where Machete really shines. As good as Trejo is as the titular fucking badass, it's Segal, Robert DiNero, Jeff Fahey and especially Don Johnson that give the film it's real flash. To say they chew the scenery is putting it lightly...chewing the film sprockets is more like it. And we've also got Cheech Marin who is fantastic as Machete's brother, some Cholo chicks at a chop shop, gnarly henchmen/women and a bunch of other cool stuff. Overstuffed with cool stuff, it's no lean mean machine, but it's still pretty awesome.
I've encountered criticism of Machete that the "joke is that the film is supposed to bad, but so what?" The problem with this criticism is that it's total bullshit. This is pure action cinema for action fans...hey, I'll even say that I liked Planet Terror more, but that's no real issue for me. I want a world where I can go to the movie theater and have the option of seeing a fine piece of trash...or 2 pieces of fine garbage...or 3 pieces of shit...whatever.