Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nic Cage vs. B.L.O.W.

Las Vegas Bloodbath (1989)

Director: David Schwartz

Writer: David Schwartz

Starring: Ari Levin, Tina Prunty, The ladies of B.L.O.W. -- Beautiful Ladies (of) Oil Wrestling,

"What's his problem?"
"I don't know, maybe he doesn't like DAYTIME WHORES!"

Wicker Man? It's a deal!

Sometimes loving the types of movies that I do comes with a price. I really love horror films. All of them, the good, the bad and the downright weird. But it's hard to stop. I'm always looking for the next horror film high. The great thing about DVD is that so many horror films are being released. So many horror films to discover. But amongst these horror gems there are also something else. The truly weird and awful. Films that are so oddly done that you wonder about the filmmaker's intentions and what drugs were used behind the scenes.

Daytime Whore? Pops Racer? 

Sam (Ari Levin) is some sort of "business man." When we first meet him, he's high-fiving himself over some great business deal and carrying a badass brick cell phone. To celebrate he decides to buy his wife a new car she's wanted and drive it home to surprise her. But sadly Sam's the one in for a surprise. As he's driving home his wife (Who wears the worst wig ever.) and her lover (Who has a porn-tache and gets way too undressed.) are doing the horizontal mambo. Lucky for Sam his wife's lover is a deputy, so he can shoot the two (Poorly dubbed sound effects and no flash from the gun hilarity ensue.) as they slumber in bed with the deputy's gun. Sam then does what any man that just killed his cheating would...pick up a hooker. And not any old hooker, no my friend, a daytime whore! It all ends with the whore dying by some of the most cheesy gore effects ever. Touting his wife's severed head about town, Sam goes for a drink, but ends up just shooting the bartender and taking off. Time for Sam to play peeping tom. He spies on the "lovely" ladies of B.L.O.W. They go about their day eating disgusting looking pizza, watching one of their matches on T.V. and razzing their pregnant friend. I think this part of the film took place over several days. It sure felt that way. Finally Sam stops peeping from the bushes and goes on a sweaty rampage. First tying up the B.L.O.W. girls and then killing them one by one. A drill gets used for something other then house work. One of the girls tries to escape, a Jehova's Witness loses their head and a cop finds a really messy bathroom. It all ends with a freeze frame and a theme song.

Goodbye ozone.

Sam has to be one of the most haphazard psychopaths I've ever seen. He doesn't really have a plan. He just sort of meanders around Vegas picking off a couple of people till he happens upon those B.L.O.W. ladies. Then for a good twenty minutes he disappears as we spend time with the girls and Sam hides in bushes outside. I'd really like to know the how's and whys of the making of Las Vegas Bloodbath. But I don't think my mind could bear it. Filled with fake gore and faker acting. It's watchable in that WTF sort of way. It's just so damn bad and weird. I just had to show it to someone else...

Dan (indrid13)

I'm convinced that by delaying the summer edition of our annual F' you in the A' marathon by a few weeks, the Prof. became more angry than he let on. Stewing in his lab, he devised a plan to lay waste to me mentally and physically. The method of his revenge? Las Vegas Blood Bath.
What started with promises of Nic Cage look-a-likes and daytime whores ended in a soul shattering spiral of oil wrestling, dodgy effects, paper walls, and unfortunate nudity.

Now that's a party

So, what happens in this "movie" you may ask? Well the love child of Randy from Valley Girl and Patrick Bateman goes Nevada Psycho after witnessing his wife, whose hair dresser seems to be the world's biggest Jim Gillette fan, having what passes for sex in 80's home movies. So, our pal the twisted psycho cruises the streets of Vegas (which are flat and lifeless during the day, devoid of their neon splendor), kills a daytime whore (apparently saving her from the rough trade she surely would have endured at the hand of Pops Racer), shots a bartender, and spies on some "ladies" (more about them in a bit). This comprises about thirty minutes. Not too bad (endurance wise). What comes next is much, much worse.

The Bees!

The ladies in question in the previous paragraph are none other than the members of B.L.O.W., the Beautiful Lady Oil Wrestling or as I call them Bitches Lounging On Wednesday. That's all they do. Lay about, watch TV, order pizza, try on ugly swim wear, all of which plays out in real-time as Dick Cage looks on. After an eternity of ad-libing and wrestling stock footage our "hero" makes his presence known, takes his shirt off (and puts it on, and takes it off, and puts it on), murders some of the Boring Lasses Obviously Wasted , including one who is outrageously pregnant (seriously, she looks like she's in her eleventh month) and felt the need to show us her tits (see the photo that accompanies this piece for my reaction to that little treat. Any way, dolls splat against paper walls ("You can film at my house, but don't fuck up my wallpaper!"), things happen, and then it ends (but the pain lingers on and on).

Thanks Dan. To know that now someone else is forever scared by the Nicolas Cage looking Ari Levin and Las Vegas Bloodbath helps me sleep a little better at night.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tales of human suffering and bicycle love: An interview with John Reed

Last month I received a copy of John Reed's Tales of Woe (Thanks Kate!) in the mail. Being a big fan of true crime stories and tales of weird happings, I eagerly sat down to read Mr. Reed's book. I wasn't quite prepared for the tales of human depravity and injustice contained within. I've never read a book with such dark subject matter that'll make you feel better about your life like this book does. Recently I had the pleasure to talk with John about Tales of Woe and it's creation.

Can you fill in our readers on your new book Tales of Woe?

Reed: Tales of Woe is the book that makes wife ashamed to be married to me. You know how things usually happen for a reason? Even really terrible things? Well, in Tales of Woe, there is no reason.

The book is filled with very dark tales of human failings. What inspired you want to write about them?

Reed: Our culture propagates this notion that crappy things happen to people either because they did something to deserve it, or because there's some good that will come out of the crappy thing that happened. In my experience, that's not true. Crappy things happen to good people, there's no reason for it, and they didn't do anything wrong. If you go out into the world expecting justice, you're going to be a miserable person.

Did the darkness of these stories have an effect on you?

Reed: They were extremely upsetting to work on. Some of them were so bad I sat here in front of my computer feeling like I was suffocating. There's a word for that, isn't there? Not panic attack, but suffocation attack. Just the thought of it makes me feel a little breathless.

I've always viewed the book in terms of Greek Catharsis--that you watch something shitty happen and then feel better about your life. I can't say I really expected that to work--but it has. I do feel better about my life, and I'm a happier person. I like people more, I grin at strangers. It may very well look like insanity, but people smile back. The less I expect justice, the happier I am.

How did you find these stories? Such as the man making love to his bicycle in a hotel room and the art exhibit that took flight.

Reed: That one was a local paper. Many of the stories came from local sources. The English papers had pretty good stories for me. The Alaskan papers were especially good. Phone calls and emails after that. I did have a few unreported stories, but I couldn't confirm enough information to feel comfortable publishing them. A five-page story is short, in terms of a book, but it's still a fair amount of news.

Did you find any particular one among the stories to be the most disturbing?

Reed: To me, the most awful one is Momma's Little Angel. No doubt. Makes me feel like throwing up.

Were there any tales that you left out of the book?

Reed: Yes, and art. A woman was raped and forced to blow her son. We had a full-on illustration. We swore we wouldn't back down, but we did. We also toned down one of the Sarah Palin pin-ups, and a few of the sex-trade images. But we do have cocks on strings in there.

Is there a favorite artist among the Tales of Woe?

Reed: I adore them all. I am goofing around with Michele Witchipoo on a web-comic/webisode comic thing. Shitty Mickey at And I'd like 8Pussy to give me a tattoo.

Tales of Woe features forty-five pages of original art from eleven artists. What was your selection process like for the art featured in the book?

Reed: Illustration, harkening to the pulp journals of the pre Comics Code era, but finer. Art, not graphic illustration--but it still had to have a sordid, comic/comix feel. We looked at over 3000 artists. I hustled through illustration websites, deviantart, a few comic conventions, recommendations (i've written about art and been around the artworld for a while). I'd say there were 20 final picks, who we contacted by email. (I'd known one of the artists previously.) Maybe five didn't pull it together to reply, or were totally crazy. A few were internet illiterate--I could tell through our exchanges and that was no good. And that left us with these 11. I was aiming for 10. Five women and five men. We ended up with six women, five men, and a male designer.

Do you have any plans for a sequel to Tales of Woe?

Reed: Sign me up. What do you think? Tales of Woe Sex, or Tales of Woe Death, or Tales of Woe Animals?

Can you tell us a little about what you working on next?

Reed: A lot of paperwork for my parole hearing. I'm just focusing on that.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2010 Star Costumes Horror Scholarship

Dylan wanted me to let you guys know about the The 2010 Star Costumes Horror Scholarship. They're giving away a thousand bucks to a student trying to get into the horror industry. You can find all of the info here:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fan-made vs. official movie posters

I'm proud to welcome a new contributer to The Cathode Ray Mission, Dylan Duarte.

With the invention of Photoshop and the internet, fan-made movie posters are in abundance. Nine times out of ten, they’re poorly slapped together by a rabid fan with little to no image editing experience, trying desperately to display his or her fandom on their deviant art page.

But then there’s that one excellent piece of image editing craft that’s so good, it surpasses the official movie posters. Here’s a few examples.

Nightmare on Elm Street

This is an easy one. This particular studio poster for the Nightmare on Elm Street reboot is lazy and uninspired, showing Freddy’s silhouette against a gritty black background. Maybe they thought that an already established franchise didn’t need to entice anyone with a well made poster?

The fan made poster is brilliant. It’s based around an iconic scene in both the original movie and the remake, while Freddy’s claw looms overhead. I’m not sure if its intentional, but it seems to portray Freddy as a puppeteer, maybe because of the power he wields over his victims.

28 Weeks Later

The official poster for 28 Weeks Later isn’t terrible, but a closeup shot of someone’s face is a pretty overused technique. The color scheme is a nice effect, with the heavy focus on the red, but overall it’s mediocre at best.
The fan made poster not only references the military control enforced in the movie, but blurs the line between fiction and reality by taking the form of a warning poster that you could easily see stapled to a light pole in the fictional world of 28 Weeks Later.

Dead Silence

Not only does the official poster for Dead Silence display a close up face shot (albeit of a dummy), it also takes the easy way out. When you think of silence, you automatically thinkg of the universal hand symbol for “ssssshhhhh.” On top of that, it’s a little confusing. What does a dummy have to do with keeping quiet?

The fan made poster forgoes the confusing dummy altogether and instead focuses on the screaming in the tagline. It also uses old-fashioned comic book style art that brings to mind old pulp horror stories, which goes hand-in-hand with evil dummies.

Shutter Island

I’m not completely convinced that this fan made poster is superior to the official, but it’s definitely just as good, just for different reasons. Where the official poster is remniscent of the horror stories of yore, focusing on the spookiness of the island, the fan made poster is just downright creepy and focuses much more on plot. For a while, people even thought that it was legitimate, until the studio came forward and denied it. I think the two posters supplement each other nicely.

"Dylan Duarte is a film buff and writer who regularly writes about Halloween
He can be reached at dylnduarte at"
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