Friday, January 30, 2009


I spent a good portion of the night watching rather gory double feature and in my head I began making a list of all my favorite violent movie scenes. Not that I love all film violence, I am very susceptible to squirming and/or being completely bummed out by certain things. There is still a scene in Gnaw: Food of the Gods II that I totally can not watch, and it's not the twenty foot adolescent boy telling his doctor to "get the fuck out of here...get out of my room!", seriously awesome movie if you've not seen it. So here's a random list of the best violence I've ever "scene"! Can't help it, I love puns.

1. Fargo (1996): One of my favorite scenes ever, Steve Buscemi (no, not in the wood chipper) meets the kidnapped woman's father at the top of a parking deck in a snowstorm. Mr. B is baffled, not expecting to see this (pretty well acted) crazy guy asking for his daughter until (I believe) the dad pulls a gun and shoots Mr. B, who returns fire (I think that's how it went, my memory is fuzzy here) and KILLS THE DAD then escapes and KILLS THE SECURITY GUARD. It's a perfect scene, not overly violent, perfect to begin a list with, and eerily tense.

2. Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989): Not too long ago bad horror movies were good horror movies (not like the absolute shit that passes for "bad horror" these days, Quarantine anyone?) and although Friday the 13th Part II is my favorite in the series, part VIII has the best scene of them all. It completely escapes me how, but Jason (always a character that had the uncanny ability to creep me out even at his most ridiculous) and some dude end up on top of a building in the Big Apple. The dude, who has already showed his boxing prowess earlier in the film, challenges Jason to a boxing match! Jason is absorbing the dude's hits, and the guy is really nailing him, you can tell he means biz. So he finally gets tired and leans back and says something along the lines of "take your best shot asshole" or something, maybe without the swearing, but actually probably with much more swearing. So he gives Jason a free shot and Jason PUNCHES HIS HEAD OFF AND IT FALLS INTO A DUMPSTER! Oh man, I was only like 9 when I saw that, but I loved it then and I love it now.

3. Planet Terror (2007): One of the best movies I've seen in the last 5 or so years, and the better half of the double feature I watched earlier tonight. This movie is loaded with amazing gore and cringe inducing moments but one of my faves is (I'm assuming) also one of it's most controversial. The director's son, cast as Marley Shelton and Josh Brolin's kid is left alone in a car so that his mom can get help from her father since the town is crawling with infected zombie-esque bubbling maniacs hellbent on eating everyone in sight! So this mom of his tells him to take the gun out of the glove box and if anyone tries to get in to shoot them in the head...and to be careful. The genius of this scene is in the timing. Seconds after she walks away from the car you hear the shot and see the flash of light and you know the kid shot himself. He's a pretty classic kid character and it's perfect. He's got his scorpion and turtle in the same tank on his lap and of course he's gonna SHOOT HIMSELF IN THE FACE if you give him the chance. All is right with the world however once the credits are done rolling and the kid (Rebel Rodriguez) is seen happily playing on the beach.

4. Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974): An amazing movie referenced a couple times in the second half of tonight's double feature that I saw for the first time a few weeks ago. Peter Fonda and Susan George (also brilliant in Straw Dogs) along with Larry's mechanic partner flee the police for almost the entire movie. The whole way through it's exciting and interesting and fun but I have to assume the reason it's a classic is for the final scene. The trio finally cross state lines and are out of harms way, the begin talking about what they're gonna do with their shares of the money they stole and the mood is genuinely joyous. Their lime green Charger is speeding along when, ooh what's that...a train? You only see the look on their faces for a moment before they SMASH DIRECTLY INTO A TRAIN AND EXPLODE ON IMPACT! What! Where the hell did that come from. The car is smoldering, the train continues on the track and the credits roll. Perfect.

5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986): This was an interesting year for movies that actually creep me out: Manhunter, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Troll (it scared me when I was little), Big Trouble in Little China (parts of this movie are creepy for sure), and of course Deadly Friend (I watched and rewatched this movie when I was young transfixed by the scary old lady from The Goonies getting her head smashed apart by a basketball). That being said, there is no scene I can think of as weird and as inspired (yes, inspired) as the opening scene in TCM2. Two collegiate pricks out for a drive on a lonely stretch of road, interrupted by an ominous truck which chases them (in reverse!) along (seemingly) the longest bridge in Texas. As they are being chased side by side a shriveled dead body pops up out of the back of the truck and is dangled over their car like a marionette. It's ridiculous and kind of hypnotic. The shrouded figure controlling the body then picks up his chainsaw and begins to buzz through their roof. Of course, one of the pricks (the one wearing the cool shades with the weird hologram eyes) has a gun and shoots at the body. The bullet knocks the dead body's head aside and you see who's really after them, everyone's favorite skin-mask aficionado, Leatherface. Now he's been discovered and it's time to end this charade so he SAWS THROUGH THE DRIVER'S HEAD and takes a good chunk right off. Next time you see them it appears their car drove right off the bridge...oh, and since they're rich they have a car phone and their whole attack was broadcast on the local radio station.

6. Suspiria (1977): Suspiria is the real deal, and for some reason the first time I saw it I didn't like it. Well, that's not true, I didn't like the end, but that's no longer the case. This movie has all the Argento hallmarks, but it's somehow even more paranoid and disorienting than all the rest. It's really a toss up picking the most gorgeously violent scene here, but I went for it. The blind and recently fired pianist from the dance academy is walking through a deserted piazza with his dog when the dog starts to bark. Obviously the man doesn't know what is disturbing the dog, but neither do we. There are shots from all angles and there is nothing but darkness, the man and the dog, but you feel that feeling of dread. Something is going to happen and you are just as vulnerable as the man, agoraphobia is creeping in as the attack is imminent and then...THE DOG JUMPS UP AND BITES THE MAN IN THE THROAT AND KILLS HIM! His own dog! The one who warned him, the one he said would not hurt anyone. It's kind of a metaphor for the entire film, the ones you should fear are the ones right in front of you.

7. Deep Blue Sea (1999): Deep Blue Sea, or as I call it "Smart Sharks", may rival Home Alone as my #1 most viewed (from beginning to end) film of all time. I literally used to watch it once a week on TBS or whatever. I love sharks, I love genetically enhanced predators (Ice Spiders, Jurassic Park), I love when scientists are morally opposed to the experiment they're undertaking but go for it anyway, I love that ladies love cool James...this movie is the whole package, and I bet you know what I'm going to describe next. Samuel L. Jackson notices that his co-escapists are losing hope that they can navigate their way out of the flooding undersea research station. No one gives a speech like Samuel L. and this one does not disappoint. He stands near the open water hatch that the escape shuttle was supposed to be in (if I'm remembering things correctly) and crafts their way out. Just as he declares he's not gonna get eaten by some smart shark (not his exact words) a smart shark JUMPS OUT OF THE HATCH AND EATS HIM IN ONE BITE! He (or she) then slides right back in the water to digest and probably read a book. It's a great jump-out-of-your-seat moment and should be fondly remembered for as long as sharks are scary. Samuel L. is also eaten in JP...he is however absent from Ice Spiders.

8. The Brood (1979): I doubt you'll find anyone who will say The Brood is one of the scariest movies ever, it really isn't. What it is is a generally boring movie with one or two very creepy moments. The persons doing the harm in this movie are apparently children (which I am never into, I don't think kids are scary ever, Damian or the girl in The Ring or any other evil kid, it never works for me) that is until you realize they are physical manifestations of rage from a woman involved in a study. The real creepy moment comes when the woman learns of her husband's interest in their daughter's teacher. She sends two of her "hate babies" to the school and they walk right in and KILL THE TEACHER RIGHT IN FRONT OF ALL THE KIDS! That's pretty extreme, even for 2009. Kids are kind of an off limits zone in most horror movies unless they're the villains, having them as the witnesses is intense. So not only do these weird demented children kill this lady in front of her whole class, but then they kidnap the daughter and (in an astoundingly unsettling scene) walk her down a rural road back to where the mom is being studied. Cronenberg does happen to deal in unforgettable images.

9. The Hills Have Eyes (1977): Am I the only one who could not rent this movie when they were young just because of the cover? I was terrified of it, but I always looked at it. I didn't get around to watching it until at least a year ago and I realized it's easily Craven's best movie. I'm vicious in a way a lot of other films don't want to be and it's almost nothing but despair for the entire film. The scene that sets it apart is when the cannibals finally come and attack the trailer. They make it inside and decide to steal the baby, but in the process they KILL THE MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER! In the history of modern horror you can count the films where something like that happens on one hand.

10. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992): Officially the scariest movie I've ever seen. My favorite dramatic director puts the exclamation point on the greatest TV series of all time with this epically strange and beautiful prequel. Aside from the death of Laura Palmer, this movie is hard to watch at times: Bob retrieving Laura's secret diary, Bob entering through Laura's window, anything at The Black Lodge...of course, those scenes aren't even violent, they're just as disturbing as it gets. The moment of violence that catches your eye is the drug deal gone bad in the woods. Bobby and Laura are hanging out in a clearing, the scene is inter cut with the beam of a flashlight shining on the woods around them which creates an eerie sense of danger. Laura is acting strange, kind of pathetically happy and Bobby is anxious. Once their contact arrives it's only a moment before he draws a gun, but so does Bobby who SHOOTS THE GUY then as he attempts to get up BLOWS OFF THE BACK OF THE GUY'S HEAD! It's gross but more than that it's the personification of altered reality in Twin Peaks. It seems like a dream and it's confusing but it's real and they are confronted with it head on. It's what David Lynch does best, he uses reality, not even as the setting, but as a backdrop to the events that occur. Anything that happens in a Lynch movie (any one of the good ones) usually happens in time first and reality second.

Alright, now that it is very late or very early I am done with this countdown for now. So tired I can't even think of a clever ending. Oh well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Snow on the ground and the cars, ice on everything else, and rain falling from the eerily gray sky. 10am should not be like this, spring can't come fast enough. Now nearing 10pm, and a new episode of The Real World...Brooklyn! I couldn't be more excited? Yeah, I could, but the possibility of another listen to that dude's song about being his lady's tampon...that's all I need. Seriously, that guy got like one shot to try to impress some bigwig (but how big of a bigwig can you be if yr named Machine?) and he breaks out the TAMPON SONG??? Good move asking the mormon for his expert opinion by the way.

Enough Real World talk, I wanna mention Maury Povich quickly. Dude had a show on today about May-December romances and how wrong-o they are. At one point they ran a clip about a lady who was...oh, in her 40's I think, and she was MARRIED to a 14 year old boy named Ivy. My jaw was on the floor for the entire minute or two the clip was on, though I did get a chuckle when she said she likes to buy him Pok-e-mon (spelling?) cards. Unfortunately they have since divorced, can't anyone make it work? I was going to say that I probably would have married some old lady when I was 14 if she bought me Marvel cards and made me food and shit, but that's not true. First of all I would have had to admit to my family that I liked girls, and believe me, no one has ever wanted to talk to their family about the opposite sex less than I. Secondly, my aforementioned family would never let me marry some lady when I was 14! That's what you missed Maury! Where is the story with the parents, isn't anyone interested in seeing Ivy's parents but me? Maury dropped the ball on that one. Since it was daytime tv there were commercials for like, lawyers and accident claims and stuff and there was one with rapping! It was great, this lady hurts her neck and then this like RAP VAN comes and gives her a check for her pain and suffering. If I was making an ad for whiplash I'd try to secure the rights to 'Protect Ya Neck'. That seems almost too perfect.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


About an hour ago I found out one of my favorite authors of all time, John Updike, died today. I just wanted to write something about him.

Somewhere around seven years ago I was introduced to Updike's writing in a short story class. It was usually much more interesting than everything else, Kafka probably being the only exception. We had to read a lot of Updike's stuff actually, more than any other author, and his story 'A&P' has been my favorite short story (and looking back, a solid touchstone for my interest in writing in the first place). It's a simple enough story, a kid working at an A&P forms an instant crush on a girl who comes into the store, she is mistreated by (i think) the owner of the store, the boy (trying to impress her) quits on the spot, and this act goes unnoticed by the girl. My argument as to the moral of the story, which was something to the effect of, 'girls are awful and nothing you do matters to them and they will just ruin your life', was unanimously discredited by kids and professors alike. To be young and (somewhat needlessly) resentful towards girls was my calling back then. The story goes much deeper, which is what i ultimately learned through taking this class and reading Updike's work. Updike taught me about the subtext of writing, more or less though trial and error since almost every initial conclusion I drew from his work was wrong. It's important to let yourself be way off once and a while because you always learn more getting back on track. That is really the main lesson I've taken from John Updike. Anyone who feels the impulse to write has that moment and that piece that helps it all come together, 'A&P' was mine. It's a tremendous loss and I'm going to miss him.

Monday, January 26, 2009


As an intoduction to me, my mind, my style, I've decided to blog-up a few of my poems. I've long been a lover (as well as an active participant) of the art of poeming, so I'd like to present just a taste of what I'm about. Grab a spoon (provided).


"I Made it Worse with Wet Handshake"

Things are optional for a reason
And we all can’t be teen sweat machines
His heart is a feminine glove
He breaks pencils with his anger.

"Gender: Infinate Ponderances"

I got man feelings, I got man pants,
I got man style, I do a man dance,
I'm a man for real, I got man appeal,
I call it 'man zeal', then I eat a man meal.


Playing football now, yeah, you got that right
I'm a Tight End Wide Receiver Saftey Quarterback and I might
Go out for the team, I'd make the fans all scream
Score a ta-ta-ta-touchdown and remind them why they cream.

Wow, that was great, feels good to share. Scriptophobia be damned.