Monday, October 20, 2014

GUNFIGHTERS OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER



Twice a year, for many years now, I have attended an event called Cinema Wasteland. You could call it a convention, but I see it more as a reunion of my extended family. People I have met there and see exactly twice a year. Sure, there is Facebook, but it's not the same.
One of the first years I attended I went to a Grindhouse panel led by a man known only as 42nd Street Pete. Being familiar with the output of Alternative Cinema I knew who Pete was. Pete survived 42nd Street and lived to tell the tale.
Now, with those decades of film experience, 42nd Street Pete a.k.a. Pete Chiarella has thrown his fabled fedora in the ring of fiction.
And, oh what a piece of work this is.
See, while I remember when Mad Max first hit the theater, it was the sequel, The Road Warrior that did the most cinematic damage. There were so many post apocalyptic films after that you could fill a warehouse with them.
Now, years later, Pete Chiarella gives us GUNFIGHTERS OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER.
In a future where solar flares have dried up any liquid not stored in plastic or glass, people tend to drink...a lot. The ruler of this little patch of dried earth is the fabled Drunken Master, who is eventually ruined by the notorious El Roacho Rio. El Roacho manages to shoot The Drunken Master's gun hand completely off of his wrist.
Now, The Drunken Master is offering the ultimate bounty to bring El Roacho Rio to frontier justice.
One hundred cases of water.
Now The Blindman and his faithful companion. Dog, trek across the wasteland, meeting friends and foes as they shoot their way across the desert in the hopes of retrieving the ultimate treasure in a world gone dry.
This reminds me so much of the Road Warrior knock offs that showed up in every theater and vdieo store across these United States of ours. Half of  them predicting the end of the world over a decade ago. Psychos on motorcycles and death machines. In this sordid tale a group of bikers refuse to give up their machines in a petrol less world and retool their bikes to run on liquor. They run like Hell, but they still manage to get you where you need to go.
At a quick 128 pages, Pete Chiarella manages to tell an intricate, two fisted, blood soaked adventure tale that screams out to be made as a feature and leaves us wanting more.
GUNFIGHTERS OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER makes me no longer wanting for a hooker story from 42nd Street Pete at Cinema Wasteland.
It makes me want to read more adventures of The Blindman.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Cinema Wasteland Report: October 2014

Another chilly October morning greeted us as my lovely wife and youngest daughter loaded up the car and made our way South to the best convention on the planet; Cinema Wasteland. I was especially excited because I had a new issue of the print zine to give to people there.


Get yours here; DIVINE EXPLOITATION
This was the second issue of the new format and there was some pretty cool stuff in there. When we arrived we made our way to the convention hall and greeted all of our friends; Ken Kish, Mike and Amy Watt, Pete Chiarella, Bill Zebub, Tom Sullivan and the one and only Henrique Couto. I made sure that they got the issue and some mini comics as well.

ME and the one and only BILL ZEBUB

This time around was more about visiting our extended family than any single event. I was excited to meet director Greydon Clark, but he was a no show because of a back injury, but in true Wasteland fashion, Ken Kish managed to get a panel of effects men led by Tom Sullivan. Along with another pair of effects men, Dean Gates who has done everything from Day of the Dead to Deep Space Nine and Jerami Cruise of Toetag Pictures fame. It was a great panel and I got it on video so it will be up soon.
Other panels I enjoyed was Geretta Geretta of DEMONS fame. She gave a great talk, but cameras being what they are, I didn't get it. My buddy Matthew Skelly might have so we will have to wait and see. 
Mink Stole introduced a great 16mm print of Pink Flamingos and did an amazing Q&A afterwards. It was my youngest daughter's first time seeing the film. She liked it.
We watched a film, Revenge of the Spacemen that was a low budget fun fest. Very family friendly for a change and some of the most hilarious lines of dialogue. A full review will follow soon.
The my favorite thing of the weekend. The A. Ghastlee Ghoul's Night At The Movies. There are no movies, just fun and games. Also, another Wasteland Wedding. It was an elaborate affair and a great time. The couple was very sweet, Brandy and Mark. They even had cake! It was very good.
I was invited back to play 42 questions with 42nd Street Pete. Yeah, I won again. Two free passes to next years April show!
I find that the time leading up to the show seems to feel like forever and then, when it's over, it goes by in a flash.
Be sure to catch the April show as it is a Day of the Dead reunion show with the most guests ever from that movie and Jim Wynorski to boot!
I know I won't miss it!

She seems like a nice doll.




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #34

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I remember when they started this title. I bought the first one and said, meh and went on with my life. But then I remembered how much I really like the way that J.M. Dematteis writes and went back to picking it up.
Good choice.
I have always been a Deadman fan and in this issue he is back to life and in the mystical city of Nanda Parbat fighting a monster named Pantheon. Add in an unwanted John Constantine, Zatanna, Night Nurse and Swamp Thing and it is an epic conclusion to an epic storyline.
I know I said I was done with the new DC 52, but this has been good. I have been introduced to Night Nurse who is pretty cool and with her origin explained, even cooler. I like that the JLD hangs out in The House of Mystery. It's like they didn't get the memo that the DC Universe had been changed and they just do what they want.  
Now I have to go back and get the trade paperbacks and get caught up.
I thought this epic cover of the supernatural team of the DC Universe would be a great way to kick off October.

Monday, September 29, 2014

ONE AND DONE

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This looks good. No epic story line to see here folks!


Does that phrase up there look familiar at all? I hear it used more in the realm of comic books, but it applies to lots of things; movies, TV, books, lots of things. I find, as I get older that more and more fictional things have this habit of running secondary story lines throughout their run. Some good examples would be the newest incarnation of Doctor Who. And being an old fart, I mean what started with Christopher Eccelston. I remember the old days when Tom Baker would show up, the monster would slaughter everyone except for him and his companion and they would be on their merry way. Good times.
Comic books were even better at having a single issue where the hero would have an adventure and that was it. No foreshadowing, nothing full of portents of things to come. Just a straightforward, well told story. Well, most of the time.
Now, with the Marvel Universe telling epics tales that require you to basically read everything they print and DC following in their footsteps by re imagining their entire mythology a few years back, it has gotten out of hand.
And do you know why they do it?
Collections.
If they have a string of stories they can put them all in one book and sell it for a huge profits. In hardcover no less. When did the fad for hardcover comic books start? Even the times I have bought a collection like Watchmen (Yes it was a series of individual issues back in the day) Or Moonshadow (Which was also a series of issues before it was collected) they were still softcover. We know they are comic books. It's fine that come out every month on newsprint. Although, I do like to see that printing and paper have come a long way and look great.
The newest incarnation of Doctor Who with Peter Capaldi showed great promise. An older actor bringing a little of the old school back to the character. Good stuff. Yeah, except for that undercurrent of something going on with this woman and a place called The Promised Land. Hey, Stephen Moffat! That idea that people want this sort of thing every season is so far off base it isn't funny anymore. Knock it off!
Sometimes you want to go to the news stand, or your kindle or that comic book store you haven't been to in forever and pick up a comic book to check in with the hero of your choice. They swing/fly/swoop in, fight a villain, have an adventure and, at the end of the issue live to fight the good fight another day.
Yeah, good luck with that.
Even some of the smaller publishers have this problem; Dark Horse, IDW, Image just to name a few. Now, being a huge fan of Godzilla, Rulers of the Earth I do like that it is the continuing series. Even they stopped the storyline and then went on with another one.
See, it's a tricky thing. Some things warrant the epic story line. Some don't. It just all doesn't need to be that way. Sometimes we just want the little moment with our beloved characters.
Understand?

Friday, September 26, 2014

ATTACK OF THE KILLER OCTOBER POSTS!!!

I haven't done a daily post in a while and what better month to do so than October. So, starting October 1st until All Hallows Eve I will be doing a review every day of something. What? Not sure. It could be a movie, a comic book, a book, a breakfast cereal. I do whatever I want anyway, this should be no surprise to any regular reader. I encourage lots of comments and questions during the month to get a Halloween vibe going on the site.

And to my regular readers in the Ukraine; Stay warm and Stay Safe.

And finally, to put you in the mood:

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. : Shadows



Being a big fan of the first season, I was pretty excited about the new season starting up. Thanks to the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier, things have taken a turn for the worse in this little corner of the Marvel Universe.
Also, last season left us with an agent turned bad guy, an agent robbed of his brilliance and the entire team forced into the shadows.
It starts with a flash back to 1945 and the Nazis finding an artifact of alien intelligence called The Obelisk. It isn't long before our cameo of Peggy Carter and The Howling Commandos starts up and they destroy the base and confiscate all of the artifacts.
Flash forward to now and our agents are trying to get their hands on whatever weapons and intel they can find. Things go wrong on a buy when a newcomer, impervious to bullets, takes the information and runs off.
We discover that it's a man named Carl Creel, more well known to us fans of Marvel as Crusher Creel, The Absorbing Man. And, yes, I was excited when this was revealed although I figured it out before they told us.
Later, we were rewarded with Creel grabbing a length of chain that had a huge ball at the end and then it was ultimate fan reward for those of us who care.
This was a good start to a new season. I do hope that they really don't try to redeem Ward. He doesn't deserve it. The end with a reveal that deals with Fitz and his brain injury from last season;s finale is heartbreaking.
This was a great episode.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

BLAST FROM THE PRINTED PAGE!: JAY LIND INTERVIEW



Back when Divine Exploitation was a xeroxed zine I did quite a few issues. This particular issue had Linnea on the cover. Articles by Christopher Jarmick, Mark Engle and the late great Larry Stanley. It also had an interview with the one and only Jay Lind. Jay has relocated to the Philippines and is waist deep in a vampire thriller THE BRIDE WORE RED.
This is years before that and I present it electronically for the first time.
Enjoy!


Divine Exploitation - Okay, first question; How do you go from counterintelligence work to making cool, low budget films?
Jay Lind - I majored in film and theater in college, Salisbury State University with an eye to acting and directing. Mostly on stage, actually. I had some really great teachers, Leland Starnes who was my faculty adviser taught me a lot about acting and theatrical direction. Jim Welsh was a big influence on my film work and my ideas and philosophy as far as what makes a film work and why I should make certain projects. He instilled in me the idea that I had to do more than just entertain that, if I wanted to be an artist, I had to ask questions and do movies that were about something, not just a way to kill two hours. And Leland Starnes gave me the confidence to try. To takes chances as an actor, a writer and director. Because that's what it is about. Taking chances, asking questions and telling stories. If you fail, well then it's better to fail at something noble than to succeed in adding more shit to the big pile of it that passes for entertainment these days. (Backstreet Boys, NSync, I'm looking in your direction. Martin Lawrence, you know who you are.

DE - If you were given a huge sum of money but weren't allowed to have final cut, would you still make the film?
JL - Only is I walked off with at least a million of it and it was a porno AND I didn't have to put my name on it. I'm an artist, but I'm not an idiot.

DE - What was your first film?
JL - As a professional, my first film was Sangre Songes (Dreams of Blood). It was my first attempt to make my script, Valerie, and starred my future wife, Maria Pechukas, Debbie Rochon and Amy Lynn Baxter. It was about forty minutes, n dialogue and really sexy and beautiful. My first amateur or student film was Library: Banned in Latvia. I did that with my best friend, John Wright, for a high school film contest, which we won.

DE - Which do you consider to be your best film?
JL - I hope it hasn't been made yet. So far, To Dance With Death. The new one, Shadow Of The Demon might be when I finish editing. We'll see...

DE - Who would you say your heroes/influences are?
JL - How many pages do I have? Kate Bush, James Whale, Francis Ford Coppola, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ray Davies, William DeKonig, Joe Heller, Austin Pendleton, Peter Jackson, Bobby Kennedy, Bobby Seals, Huey Newton, Lee Starnes, Jim welsh, Val Lewton, MST#K, Cameron Crowe, Terrence Fisher, Terrence Young, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Barry Levenson and, of course, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

DE - For the film, To Dance With Death; where was that filmed?
JL - Salisbury and Ocean City Maryland and Millsboro, Delaware.

DE - Were the locals good about the shoot or were they big pains in the you know what?
JL - For the most part they were fantastic.

DE - Brinke Stevens does a full nude outdoor shot in the film. Did you just wait until the neighborhood was asleep for the night, or did you have a crowd like when George Romero did his 'nude zombie shot' for Night of the Living Dead?
JL - Well, Brinke's pretty cool about her body and there were times when there were people close enough to see if they wanted to, but that scene, no. we didn't get to it until about 3AM, but I don't think we would have had any problems with Brinke shooting it earlier if we had gotten that far along on the schedule.

DE - Besides money, what is the hardest part of making a film?
JL - editing. It's just sooooo dull. No, maybe preproduction. That's pretty dull, too. Okay, a tie. editing and preproduction. Or waiting for the release...

DE - What's the easiest?
JL - Definitely working with the actors. I love directing actors, creating the characters, coaching them, falling in love with them, fighting with them.

DE -What's your opinion of Linnea Quigley?
JL - I love Linnea. she's one of my favorite people in the world along with Brinke Stevens and Debbie Rochon. And my best buds Austin Pendleton and Al Ryan, A very talented writer, cameraman and director from New Jersey.
Linnea is extremely hot. A very beautiful girl, a wonderfully talented actress and a natural comedienne with a great sense of timing and mischief. And she sings and plays the guitar! What more can a man ask for in a  woman. Plus, she looks great naked and that's the only true test of beauty.

DE - Did anything odd come out of shooting To Dance With Death?
JL - Well, there was the night that spiders decided to crawl down the backs of Brinke and Victoria when we were shooting a scene under this incredibly old tree. That was pretty odd. The weird part is that they stayed in character and that's the take we ended up using. Brinke, well all then girls were so incredibly professional. It was wonderful to be on that shoot. I loved every one of them. They made me look so smart and talented the way they did their roles. They, Brinke, Victoria, Kim and Kirsten make the movie what it is.

DE - What is your dream project?
JL - There are a couple. There's a movie I've tried to shoot a couple of times that I'm actually going to get to make next year. Valerie. I tried to make it years ago with Maria Pechukas in the lead and Debbie Rochon as her best friend. Financing fell through so many times it was ridiculous. But now I've got this great producer, Robin Rothschild and she's putting the money together so we can shoot it in the Spring with Debbie in the lead and maybe Brinke and Linnea in the cast as well.  We thinkwe owe it to Maria's gost to get it made. My other dream project would be a stage version of MacBeth with Frank Langella as MacBeth and Austin Pendleton as Banquo. I'd like to use stage magic to make the Banquo's Ghost scene work so Banquo is projected translucently on the stage. Of course my other dream gig is to be the night manager of a chocolate factory staffed by naked ballerinas.

DE - Finally, have you made a film you really wish no one had seen?
JL - Oh yes. Well, sometimes I wish no one had seen any of my movies. There are times when I hate each and every one of them. There are also times when I love all of them. Since I answered that question though, the movie I was going to name has once again wormed its way back into my good graces so, today there are no movies that I wish no one had seen.

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