Friday, November 30, 2007

Football

Tomorrow is going to be a great day for football.
At least, it should be.
Go Tech, Tenn, Sooners, Pitt,
aaanndd Frog.


?

Randy Travis - The Hole

Randy Travis - The Hole:







Maybe we could learn a little lesson
Maybe this'll shine a little light
Cause there's no healthy way to mess with
The line between a wrong and a right

Use the one chance you've been given
Cause once you're in the ground and cold
It's too late to start livin'
You see you can't dig out of the hole
--Randy Travis


Great song.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHMWiISHd5s

Tom Waits - The Piano Has Been Drinking

Live on the Fernwood 2 Night parody talk show from the 70s:














http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gwUtEEjZJ8

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Consequences of Silence

.



The 'puter is alive.
Programs are slowly getting in place
like good little pawns along the ranks.
No review again this week.
Maybe Friday, I'll be back
to somakinda foolery.
Featuring Tom Waits and Randy Travis.
That's right.
Tom Waits AND Randy Travis.

Later there, Stumbler-upons and friends.
Later there.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

An Office Space Re-cut Trailer:







Pretty good. Not Shining or Sleepless In Seattle good, but just a step lower.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Son Of A. . . Or, I Can No Haz A Cheeto?

It's called a RAM module.
Mine developed about a thousand errors
and fisted my poor computer's nethers.
Submissions will be a day late.
Postings are pretty much through,
until I can get back on my home-sweet-home system.
Hopefully, the little upgrades I'm planning
will sustain its life for another third-of-a-dozen years or so.
Hopefully, it doesn't turn out to be more than this.
It did boot, though, with only one DIMM, so who knows.
Was going to write up a Thanksgiving Review for today,
but it will be postponed until next Thursday.
I've got to get back to subs. I'm lucky
to be crafty enough about the chips
to be able to even do this.

And no, you can has no cheeto today.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

This is about the way it goes. . .







I chuckled getting it this evening, anyway.



.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Morphine -- The Saddest Song:






Pretty cool song. Good band. Check them out.






My biggest fear
is if I let you go
you'll come and get me in my sleep
Come and get me
"The Saddest Song" by Morphine from the Album: Good


Timewaster Fridays Presents:

On the next "24"









from 1994.


Awesome!

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

King Diamond Live In Zlín (Where? New Zealand? Zlin? What? Okay. . .Czech Republic, gotcha.)

Anyway, this is one of my favorite tunes of theirs (his), so without much lip:

King Diamond - A Mansion In The Darkness








It's a bit rough in spots, but otherwise nice for a Friday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKMnaOz8G7w

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Bloons Tower Defense 2


Your Enemy: Slimy Balloon (Bloons) Bastards.
Their Goal: Make it from A to B.
Your Allies: Badass Warrior Killer Monkeys (With Darts).
Your Goal: Annihilate The Enemy.




A fun twist to tower defense games, and it's pretty fun.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Review: Tommy Boy (1995)

Tommy Boy






Tommy Boy (1995) tells the story of one man-child's attempt to save his family's business and the livelihoods of its three hundred workers from being wrested away and closed by a major manufacturer. It's the story of the little man overcoming great obstacles to rescue the preciousness of life.

It's about a fat guy in a little coat.

Chris Farley stars as Tommy Callahan Jr., a recent college graduate (only seven years to get his B.A.) who comes back home to work under his father at the family business making brake pads and other auto parts. Upon returning, Tommy's father (Brian Dennehy) announces that he's met someone new (Bo Derek) and that they're going to be married.

Happiness abounds for Tommy: he has a new job, a new brother (Rob Lowe), and a new lease on his frat-boy life. That is, until a heart attack strikes his father down and leaves the future of the business in the wind.

With the banks refusing to negotiate on a loan and with his world coming apart, Tommy decides to put the company on his shoulders, go out into the world, and try to sell enough brake pads to save the day. Begrudgingly along to keep him on track is Richard X (David Spade), who while seemingly playing the straight man, has many of the funniest lines in the movie.

The story from here is pretty much standard. You probably already know how it ends without even reading any further, but what keeps this picture afloat is the play of Farley and Spade, the banter, the little jokes, the cute and gruff Michelle (played by Julie Warner), and the performance by Rob Lowe.


Julie Warner Paying Respect As Farley Gets His Posthumous Star


While some of the writing and direction here are a little flat at times, what makes Tommy Boy really stand out is Chris Farley's performance. Pretty much playing infantile to a T, Tommy warms to the screen and our sensibilities, and for ninety minutes entertains us. Farley makes us want to believe in Tommy's journey.

Watching this it is hard not to be reminded of the great Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Maybe it is the command both John Candy and Farley had on their rotund salesman characters. Maybe it's the fact that much of the "Road Movie" section of Farley's piece could have been copyright infringed straight from the Steve Martin starring wonder. Whatever the case, many of the scenes in the car end up paying off f

or some decent laughs and keep the action moving.

Many people split on this movie. It just might be one of those love it/hate it situations, but Tommy Boy is hardly a waste of ninety minutes, if one. A mix of situations from other movies (some better, some worse), Tommy Boy plays pretty much like a clip reel of highlights. Most hit, some miss, but in the end you feel good to have at least seen Farley at his best before his death in 1997.

For Its Genre/Era/X: Great
Overall: Great.

Aside:

Why didn't Julie Warner get more roles during the 90s? She's attractive. She could play sweet or tough. And she has a nice presence before the camera. What happened?

It's sad. Really sad.

But apparently, she's working now, which is great.



Available now at:



Review: Collateral Damage (2002)

.


A tale of unused talent.


Collateral Damage (2002) is an average action flick starring Arnold Schwarzenegger that shows us the length one man will go to avenge the loss of his family. Schwarzenegger stars as Gordy Brewer, a firefighter with the LAFD and former Explosives & Arson expert, who after watching his wife and child die in a terrorist bombing finds himself alone in the battle to get justice for their deaths.


Upon learning that the terrorist is part of a socialist guerrilla outfit (the ALC) in Columbia (and recognizing the bomber as being at the scene of the explosion), Brewer becomes determined to catch the sonuvabitch at any cost. The only thing standing in his way is bureaucracy. Elias Koteas co-stars as Peter Brandt, a CIA spook, who promises to do everything to help, but really, like everyone, is pretty much trying to save ass.


Cliff Curtis turns in a solid performance as Claudio Perrini, (El Lobo, The Wolf, the cocksucker about to pay and pay hard. (It sounds better on paper.)) He's the head of the ALC and wants the Americans to quit interfering with their affairs. The typical bad guy.


So anyway, the Senate Intelligence Committee shuts down all CIA operations in Columbia as a matter of allowing the terrorists to negotiate with the local government. When Brandt breaks the news to Brewer, the widower leaps headlong into action and into the jungles of Columbia determined to bring the bastard to hell.


And so it goes, exploding set pieces, violent assaults, rather unbelievable stunts and gimmicks—the usual Schwarzenegger flick.


But alas. It's not.


I think what makes and made all of Schwarzenegger's movies so great over his trek were his abilities to ham it up, throw out one-liners with the hand grenades, kick ass and take names, and leave the dead behind as paper dolls burning.


Here, they humanize the action hero. While this would work with someone like Mel Gibson, Arnold just seems too damned odd moping about the various set pieces of doom. While it's okay at first (the first act made me actually say, "wow, dude's actually putting some acting into this"), it really isn't supposed to be that way. He's Arnold Schwarzenegger, for Christ's sake. Which I guess is why the rest of the movie is so uneven and eventually kind of a waste.


For starters, Andrew Davis is an up-and-down kind of director, and this is definitely on a down. There's a scene early on, when Brewer's running from militiamen, fleeing into a river, and over a waterfall, that was so damned fake looking that I wanted to cut out my eyes. And it was made in 2001, so there is no excuse for the crappiness of the computerized effects.


Now, what really bothered me about this film was what I felt was the misuse of an excellent cast. Either casting got screwed up and scheduling became a conflict, or someone is a very bad judge of what the hell they are doing. First off, where is the buddy in this picture? Oh, you mean he is spread over a couple different characters? Oh, you mean there really isn't one go-to guy to have his back and crack a few jokes, shoot some folks, and die or get seriously injured about the third act?


No.


I understand the concept of being the lone protagonist who will stop at nothing, but he sure does find himself teamed up quite a bit. (An excuse to have more than two pages of dialogue? Perhaps.) If they wanted a buddy picture, then they, as a team(s), should have been cutting through these assholes like shit through a goose. If they wanted a lone wolf hunting prey tale, they should have either cast unknowns or done without the banter between his jumping points.


That's why I think Arnold Schwarzenegger was miscast. This was someone else's pic.


Who else? John Leguizamo. I'm very indifferent to the personalities he brings to the screen, very up, very down. Here as Bantering Buddy #2, he is pretty much in the mid-range. He does provide one of the lighter moments in the film, but it's just not for him. Or us.


Who else? John Turturro. Seriously, what was that? You got an actor of his caliber going "Hi!" and "Bye!" within like ten—twelve minutes. He's a likeable character, too. It's like sense evaded the set. Or the writing room.


Who else? Miguel Sandoval and Harry J. Lennix as FBI agents, who aren't given much to work with and even less screen time. Lennix is an especially gifted actor, and I'm only saying that after seeing him in just a few works. His turn as Aaron in Titus is awesome.


Who else? Raymond Cruz. Ding! The badass warrior killer from Clear and Present Danger. What a perfect companion to help Brewer go into the jungle and kick some. . .oh, you mean he only gets one minute of screen time and most of the time just standing there as part of the foreground/background like a tree in a kindergarten production of The Wizard of Oz?


Who else? Elias Koteas. His character is so wrapped up in ambiguity that there is no way for the audience to feel any kind of connection with him, whether good or bad. He's just there, with not much to work with, and even less to show for it.


Who not? Francesca Neri, a beautiful actress from Italy. She's sort of a cross of Calista Flockhart and Kyra Sedgwick, but much more attractive. And she's hot in this! Good acting from her. Very cute woman and tough here.




So, does this mean it's crap?


Yes and no. Compared to others in its genre and era, I'd say yes. But it does have some nice acting in spots, good action in others. There's an excellent twist to it all, but in the end is rather mediocre.


For its Genre/Era/X: Okay.

Overall: Good.


Rated R: for violence and a bit of cussing.

Running time: About 110 minutes.




Production Still 2002 Warner Bros.
Neri Picture
2001 MGM

.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pushing Daisies

Pushing Daisies (ABC) is on.
I'm gone.
2 reviews tomorrow.
I'm too tired to type anymore.
ever.
I guess.
Probably not.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"The Lasting Moment of Our End"

"The Lasting Moment of Our End," a poem, appears in the current issue of Gentle Strength Quarterly. Leilani Squire edits this journal. Check them out!

Monday, November 12, 2007

30::30: It Is Complete

I just finished my latest 30::30 (been about a year.)




Preliminary Titles and Themes:

* 30. "Untitled." Child praying to keep his family together.

+ 29. "The Farmer's Daughter in the Sweet Virginian Fields." Cinquain run about a farmer's secret.

+ 28. "Deep on Down That Sweet, Sweet Earth." Unfinished business in this life.

+ 27. "In the Kroger Parking Lot, She Gives Me Pause." Broken Judicial System.

+ 26. "The Moment Before the Shot, She Exhales." Sweet Cinquain Sniper Action!

+ 25. "Proleptically Pronounce." What if the voice inside your head saying, run, goddamit, run! was just screwing with you?

* 24. "Love on a Poker Table Before the Cancer Took Her Away." Sorta how it sounds cinquain...

* 23. "A Debuting Actor Meets His First Fan in a Busy Bar Ten Miles From Home." America's Most Wanted.

+ 22. "Untitled." Ghostly poem love affair.

* 21. "Since Childhood We Try And Fail, Try And Fail." It's about the ramifications of looking the balls into one's hands.

* 20. "The Only Reason She Looks Up To You Is Because You're A Foot Taller Than You Used To Be." Paranoia.

+ 19. "It Was Love, You Fool!" Ghostly poem love affair.

* 18. "Mantitties and the Teeth Within" Vampirism poem love affair? I mucked up this otherwise humorous poem. Stupid me.

+ 17. "Untitled." Lost love on a new liver.

+ 16. "Henry, Get Yer Ass On Back To The House!" About selling out to humor rather than facing the truth.

* 15. "Serious Life." Car crash and responsibility.

+ 14. "Untitled." A sex tape and a deadly past presents:

+ 13. "The Day We Walk Away." Saying goodbye without saying a word.

x 12. "Cold Heart Through A Cellar Window." Editorial Decisions on Holidays.

+ 11. "A Month Shy A Homecoming In Norfolk." Vietnam suicide.

+ 10. "I Accept No Worry For Your Daily Sins." Inexperience in this fiction.

x 09. "From X to Y in Love." VT Massacre.

+ 08. "Cruelty of her Heart in Loving Me." Some decisions affect everyone.

+ 07. "The Muse Takes Us On Vacation." Straight into a mountain cinquain.

+ 06. "Wango Tango Foxtrot." I'm half-tempted to leave it as "wango" in stead of "whiskey." Basically how it sounds. A contract killer poem melds parallel with a "childhood fear" poem. Experience/Innocence? Not really. More like opposing feelings grinding without grease.

x 05. "Untitled." Feelings about publishing.

+ 04. "Denise and the Number." The frail mind wanders away from the situation at hand.

* 03. "Winter's Here, Cold And Wet And Wanting To Have Sex With Your Daughter; Are You Gonna Let Him?" The title, though awesome, will probably change since it's a kinda serious poem about loss.

* 02. "We Wake the Baby Cold About the Boards." Spooky Cinquain.

* 01. "Kittens for Sale in Philly." Getting beyond the violence.



Keys:

+ Good enough, I believe, for this go-round of subs

* Good enough, I believe, for typing up and, with maybe one good revision, down the road sub-able

x God, no.


For those who do not know, 30::30 is basically an exercise in pumping out writing, while keeping the mind flowing. Much of what comes out is crap, surely, but it keeps your mind pressed for time and output. Even turds will shine with enough polish. It's just a fun little exercise.


.

Happy Veteran's Day



Happy Veteran's Day, Dad!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Dolphins Will Win

No Cheerleaders, No Quit.


We will win today.




Such a disappointing season, but they'll be back and rolling some year soon.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

NP: Therion - Wine of Aluqah

No Text.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Cable-less Recommendations: What to watch: Friday, November 9, 2007

Nothing...


hahaha.


I never got into Friday Night Lights, but if it floats for you...

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

A very old, but very funny, beer commercial:

Swear Jar:









http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJJL5dxgVaM

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Desktop Tower Defense


It's a towers game. And it is awesome.

I recommend the easy level in V1.2 and the medium level in V1.5.

This game will waste hours of your time, but really--it's Friday; you weren't doing dick anyway.

That's:
Desktop Tower Defense


Enjoy.

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

A music video for the morning.

Kinda interesting and a little groove to the tune.

Morphine - Early To Bed










Link:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zw1Bli1jbc

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tomorrow

.

Thoughts on tomorrow.

I guess I'll start revising tomorrow in time for this "quarter's" sub period.

Seventy or so poems.

Three or four stories. (I'm actually impressed some of them (Sept.) haven't come back as fast as they usually do. I just wish some (one) of them could have looked like they had actually been read all the way through. Then again, I did get some poems back that looked like some kid had tossed them in his backpack with his PB & J sammiches. So, yeah. It floats. It Floats.)

I'm actually tempted to stop sending
some of the stories out,
because I know they're too long,
I'm unknown,
and a couple of other reasons
that pull at my curlies.

I've some journals in mind.
I'll scramble for others.

I really like these deadlines I set.
Some would probably snort at my rejection of
the process of simultaneously submitting.

I just like it because every couple of months
I get to go back over my work, drop what doesn't
work for me or won't *wink-wink* work for others.

Of course, I'm probably limiting some things, but
I've got a little bit of time left, I suppose.

And I hope.

I hope.



.

Cable-less Recommendations: What to watch: Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Name Is Earl (8:00 - NBC),
The Office (9:00 - NBC),
and Scrubs (9:30 - NBC)
are three of the best shows on television.

Review: The Changeling (1980)



The Changeling (1980), by today's standards, is an outdated stab at the ghost story directed by Peter Medak and starring George C. Scott. Even in 1980, it was probably still outdated. With relatively little gore, no nudity, no sex, no f-bomb explosions, no CGI, no buckets of blood, and very little violence, The Changeling is like a throwback to a simpler time of grandpa's speculative tales about the fireside on a dark and inclement night.



It is outdated and greater than 98% of anything produced today.


After his wife and daughter are killed in a horrific accident along a slick, snow-covered road in New York, John Russell, a composer, takes a job as a lecturer at his Alma Mater in Washington. Looking for a place to live while he teaches and tries to move past the tragedy of losing his family, Claire Norman, an agent with the town's historical society (played by Scott's wife, Trish Van Devere) thinks she has the perfect place for him.


Owned and preserved by the historical society, the old mansion seems to be the perfect place for Russell to get back to composing. Then, like all things in life, the little peculiarities of the house begin to show themselves. Loud banging erupts throughout the house at 6:00 A.M., doors open by themselves, muffled noises like the cries of a child's voice call out to him—something or someone is reaching out to Russell for help. All of this leads to the discovery that Russell is not the only resident in the mansion and that there might have been a generations-old plot involving murder and deceit that still haunts the house.


Supported by a cast that also includes Melvyn Douglas, Scott tears through this script as only Scott can. He's great here, playing a father, at a loss to his family's tragedy, trying to piece together what has happened to cause this presence in the house to exist.


What makes this film outdated is the fact that the shocks and chills come from excellent tension, excellent sound scoring, an excellent pace, and perfect use of the viewer's own fears as the facilitators of the frights. There's great filmmaking here, with many little scares sprinkled throughout the first hour or so.


The only thing that perhaps hinders the movie from complete ghost story excellence is a somewhat sloppy final act, where the rush to politics that so many movies of its era delved into leads us so astray that it almost detracts from the greatness of the beginning. Then, as to make up for it, they put a twist on the ghost that relatively makes little sense to the trek of the plot but is a little bit of fun with the fright in mind.


The camera work here is decent, some of the shots at night are excellently dark, but even then, I felt, for two of the scares definitely, that they should have lightened it up just a tad more, because I honestly had to go back once to even see what the hell I was looking at.


The music is excellent. I love piano-led scores, and this one helps pace and intensify the movie in all the right spots.


Though the last little bit diminishes the shimmer just a tad, this is still a first-rate suspender of disbelief for about two hours. In all, Scott gives a great performance in a ghost story that provides enough chills to get us past some of the nagging questions in the end. But since I'm still thinking about these questions now, maybe it was intentional.


Though gore-hounds have pushed this type of film aside, sometimes the greatest things in life are just a little outdated.


For its Genre/Era/X: Awesome.

Overall: Great.



Rated: R. (I actually thought this was PG, but I am wrong apparently. Two scenes were very shocking at the time (still unsettling today) that bumped it up. Like I said, no nudity, little violence, no blood really, and no language.)


Links:

Changeling Poster:
http://www.impawards.com/1980/changeling_ver1.html

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What the hay...

OMFG!!! Behind You!!! Behind You!!! He's Behind You!!!


Click to Enlarge


I need to make a little gif of these pictures with T-Cat Wannabe, Mr. Frank.

The little sniper didn't even stand a chance.



I've to go before I rip my brain out.

Movie Review Tomorrow.
Another "biggie" from the shelf.
Stay tuned.


"Paint the Devil on the Wall"

I'm too boring.


Click to enlarge as it's a bit better quality.


Here's the snake that inspired "And The Black Snake Smiled For Mary," which appears in the current issue of Kaleidotrope.

I killed its companion three days before it came.
Bad luck and good have eerily mixed since.
I shot this one in a different manner.
The blue jays still shit on my car.
The ungrateful, squawking bastards.

Cable-less Recommendations: What to watch: Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pushing Daisies isn't on, so heck if I know.

Criminal Minds can be okay sometimes.

CSI: NY as well.
Gary Sinise is a great actor,
and Melina Kanakaredes brightens every frame she's in.

I saw one episode of Back to You a while back.
It wasn't too too bad for a first season job.
I might recommend it.
Grammer was great on Frasier and Cheers.
Fred Willard is always funny.
Heck, I might watch it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cable-less Recommendations: What to watch: Tuesday, November 6, 2007

.

8:00 P.M. CBS - NCIS
9:00 P.M. CBS - The Unit
10:00 P.M. ABC - Boston Legal

The last two have been sorta ho-hum so far this season, though.

Monday, November 5, 2007

NP: Morphine - Rope on Fire

I'm feeling better today.
Got two days of work this week.
Enough to get another SD Card for my camera.
Woohoo!


Might make a home movie and try editing it over the computer.
I haven't made a video in years.
It should be fun.
Just need to borrow my nephews and niece sometime.
I've had a short Spaghetti Western rolling around the lobes.
Nothing new, just fun.
Was thinking about doing something with stop-motion.
Possibly .gif based. Partially .gif-based.
My problem is the music.
My weak-ass score is perfect for what I can visualize,
but I don't think I can get it transferred cleanly (or in any kind of Stereo).
It'd be fun.
Just in time for Christmas?
That would be sweet, but dreaming.
Dreaming.

I'm stoking that metronome now.
Sousa's a step or so in front,
but his shadow's worth stalking in cut-time.

Anyway. Anyway. Anyway.


All the wheels are coming loose.
A close-up shot of a burning fuse.
The sky is filled with question marks.
Will the chains come apart?
And these few seconds that I've left to go.
Flames and chaos down below.
And the earth opens wide.
Got to climb a rope on fire.
--Morphine



Aside:


The coolness of being retarded about revision:

I completely remember this line:

My weak-ass score is perfect for what I can visualize,
but I don't think I can get it transferred cleanly (or in any kind of Stereo).

being a big deal in a dream I had months ago.

A dream about my words coming back to be used against me.

As if that could ever happen to anyone.

Deja woot double-time!

.

Cable-less Recommendations: What to watch: Monday, November 5, 2007

8:00 P.M. - NBC - Chuck
9:00 P.M. - NBC - Heroes
10:00 P.M. - Nothing.

I missed the first season of Heroes, and my interest in this show is starting to wane.

You've Come For Cheeto?

I'm feeling ill again.
My back and head and just seeming blah right now.
Submissions are coming soon.
17 or so days.
Half will be places I've tried before.
Some I've gotten some kind, non-form, words from before.
Some who deal harshly in choppy form.
Some new places to explore.
I might even change up my bio for them.
Accentuate the *insert word at an earlier date*

Huh?
Yes.
Then, onward and disappear.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

NP: The Haunted - Medication

.


The medication knocks the edge right off
and every step away from feeling this
is beauty in its own right.
The sidetracks and your skilled manipulation of my senses
left me down - but I've been down before.




.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Shotgun Posts Tonight

I'm not sure what I did today, but time went flying.
My back still hurts.
Some poems got rejected at 10:45 P.M. Halloween Night.
That was fun.
Nothing's on TV.
Nothing's on the Nets.
I think I'm running a fever.
I think I better go.


Picture of something random to take our souls to sleep:




Oh, it's Mike.



I am not a cat-blogger; they're just easier targets to shoot at the moment.

Dear God, I'm not one, right?

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Another wtf video from College Humor:


Hand Vagina








http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQtKnDGhxmk



Beautiful, Sick, and Hilarious rolled into a tiny little minute of entertainment.


.

Timewaster Fridays Presents:

Rome Puzzle.


At only fifteen levels, this is a somewhat weak time-waster, but it has some replay value, which makes it good if you've got about thirty-to-an-hour to kill. I was only hoping for more closure to it than what it's got.




Have Fun!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Review: The Toxic Avenger (1985)

.





The Toxic Avenger (1985) directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kauffman, is the story of second chances, overcoming obstacles and ostracism, finding that there is a heart even deep down within a monster's soul. It's about love and corruption and justice.

Okay, so it's about gore and babes and camp.

Mark Torgl stars as Melvin, the mop boy, who spends his days slaving away inside the Tromaville Health Club. A shy, mentally off, redheaded goof, Melvin becomes the target of Slug and Bozo and their girlfriends, Julie and Wanda, who play a childish prank on him involving a sheep in drag. What is a humiliating joke turns quickly into disaster and ends with Melvin head-first into a barrel of toxic waste.

A minute later, "Night on Bald Mountain" blaring to the burning mess of Melvin, the transformation of geek into Monster Hero unfolds before the viewer—all the pore-pussing beauty of it, the skin and skull bubbling over, the spasms as the green and black ooze out of his body, until finally the hulk of a hero howls into the night.

Now a badass, Monster Hero (he will not be called Toxie until subsequent films due to the fact that they didn't have a name for him while in production) goes on a spree of vigilantism to rid Tromaville of the scum that has infested the city streets. Corrupt cops, junk peddlers, even dirty old ladies are not safe from the new mutated marshal in town. It's like Charles Bronson showed up, asked where his horse was, and just started beating the shit out of every criminal scumbag alive.

The rest of the movie follows these deeds, his falling in love with a blind woman, Sara, (played by the extremely cute Andree Maranda) he saved from being raped, and his revenge against the psychos who played the prank on him and caused him to become the mutated freak people either fear or love.


I Scream For Toxie!


This movie is filled with hilariously campy dialogue, horrendously overacted lines, horrifying acting overall, but that's half of what makes it a riot of a flick. When you have four people in a car going over the point-scale of running down various pedestrians, when you have a superhero putting mops over the faces of his downed enemies, when you have a little old lady playing Melvin's mom, who's on the other side of the locked bathroom door as his skin's bubbling off, say in a gushing manner, "My little Melvin. . .he must've finally reached puberty!" what the hell are you expecting?

Shakespeare?*

This is Troma. This is their excellence.

The other ingredient that really makes this movie so exceptional is the one and only Jennifer Aspinall. She is what makes this movie worthwhile. The low-budget effects she creates in this movie are an artwork. From the beautiful transformation scenes, the crushed skulls, and the burned flesh to the gut-ripping finale, what she creates here is more beautiful than anything Mark Rothko ever laid to canvas.

As long as you keep an open mind in tune with the phrase about things being so bad that they're good, you'll allow yourself to be deeply entertained by this masterpiece of non-existent-budget horror.

See it for the gore. See it for the babes. See it stoned. Just see this wonderful movie.

Wow, that sounded like Gene Shalit on something.

For its Genre/Era/X: Awesome.

Overall: Good.


More Marisa Tomei



Rated: Uncut and Unrated for graphic violence, sex, drugs, blood, female masturbation, guts, exposed breasts, cussing, and all the subversive things that make most D-grade movies enjoyable.

The copy I watched was the Uncut Original (supposedly) that was released around 1998 and featuring an intro with Lloyd Kaufman talking about it, deleted scenes after it, and trailers for other goodies from Troma. I got it years ago at a movie store near Richmond (don't remember the store's name).

*I have not seen Tromeo & Juliet, but plan to see it one day.




Aside:

I remember when the Wal-Mart Supercenter opened here in town, so long, long, long ago, for what ever reason, be it cleaning out a warehouse or someone's van, they carried an issue of some horror magazine from Europe (title escapes me and I'm not going digging through this mess for it) and I snatched it up. I was shocked and amazed at all the movies they talked about that my poor little mind had never seen or even heard of. Well, there was an article inside about the low-budget director who had made a little movie called Street Trash (which I highly recommend to low-budget horror fans). In one of the inset photos was this cute girl getting nasty in what looked like a mix of vomit, sludge, motor oil, and mold. And there was the name: Jennifer Aspinall. She's on to more classier projects now, winning Emmys and such, but I'd love to see her whip out some gore again. For the kids and all.

Don't miss a very young Marisa Tomei doing her best Scream Queen in a towel about three-quarters the way through!






Tomei's photos courtesy of:

http://celebscentral.net

The Toxic Avenger Publicity Still is Copyrighted by Troma. To see more stills and other offerings from this independent studio, go to:

http://www.troma.com/