Wild Bill (1995)

His real name was James Butler Hickok, but history has brought him to us as "Jimbo." Why the author of this film chose to call him "Wild Bill" is anyone's guess.

Hickok was like a lot of men who fought in the War Between The States and had no interest in rejoining civilized society when the great conflict was over, so he forged a life satisfactory to himself out West. That basically consisted of ridin' from town to semi-lawless town, gamblin', drinkin', and whorin', and occasionally (and very briefly) taking a job as a lawman when it seemed like the right thing to do. The territories really were wild in the late 1860s and 70s, and there were plenty of Eastern authors who wandered out there to sample the flavors of the West and to report back to their readers who were hungry for romantic tales. The writers interviewed the locals, and the responses included a bizarre admixture of truth, oft-repeated legends, and outright fabrications. Sometimes people just got tired of talking to reporters and told them what they wanted to hear. Wild Bill Hickok was one of those people. He told some writers that he had killed "hundreds" of men, and that became the legend of Wild Bill. Harper's New Monthly Magazine published a story about him in February 1867 and he was soon elevated to the status of frontier legend and "fastest gun in the West."

The Hickok reality was quite unlike the legend. Although he really was both fast and accurate with his firearms, and looked every bit the part of colorful plainsman, "Wild Bill" was raised in Illinois, and he spoke softly and politely. His actual number of documented kills, excluding Indians and enemy soldiers, was either six or seven, but Hickok had created his own legend, and that revised version of his story superseded the truth forever. Hickok may have been America's first rock star, but he soon found out that being a legend wasn't all it was cracked up to be and by the end of his life, Wild Bill regretted ever having co-operated in his own apotheosis. While James Butler Hickok could mosey from town to town and enjoy his chosen lifestyle, the great Wild Bill Hickok had to stay on his toes constantly, because there was always someone eager to prove that the hero had feet of clay. That placed a lot of restrictions on some of his favorite pleasures, like getting totally shit-faced and gambling in public saloons. The rest of his pleasures were diminished by a bad case of venereal disease and a syphilis-related deterioration of his eyesight. Although he was murdered by a coward who bushwhacked him from behind, ol' Bill wasn't likely to live much longer anyway, one way or t'other. The combination of blindness and drunkenness wasn't the prescription for a long life as a gunfighting legend in the Dakota Territory.

The Walter Hill movie about Wild Bill couldn't seem to make up its mind whether it was going to indulge his legend or debunk it, so it did a bit of both. To make matters even more confusing, it took the basic story from two widely disparate accounts of Bill's life. Pete Dexter's "Deadwood" is a satirical novel about a Wild West as Bosch might have painted it, filled with chaos, filth, laugh-out-loud dialogue, and acerbicly-drawn characters. Thomas Babe's "Fathers and Sons" is a rhetorical and stagy play which re-imagines Hickok's killer, Jack McCall, as his unacknowledged son, and which turns their final confrontation into a long, drawn-out Shakespearian scenario filled with colorful stereotyped minor characters and flowery speeches about heroism, guilt and expiation. Babe's play was not only poetic, it was a musical, first produced in a 1978 Shakespeare festival! This link will take you to the complete description, but this brief excerpt tells you all you need to know:

"Starred Richard Chamberlain as Bill, Dixie Carter as Calamity Jane, and Brad Davis as Jack McCall. There were songs, yes, sung by those leads and others, with music by Brad Burg and lyrics by Babe."

You know, I think I would pay for a ticket to see Richard Chamberlain as a singing and dancing Wild Bill Hickok.

Back to the matter at hand ...

Those two sources formed an uneasy marriage, to say the least. Before Babe's play took over the last half hour of the film, the story was already trapped between legend and reality, but the father/son angle added complete fabrication to the mix, and did so with a lot of heavy-handed speechifyin'. I actually cheered out loud at one point in the prolonged McCall/Hickok confrontation in an abandoned saloon populated only by Hickok, Hickok's friends, McCall, and McCall's hired desperadoes. John Hurt, who narrated the entire film in a role as Hickok's fictional English pal, stands up with great difficulty, walks around the saloon with the aid of a cane, and delivers a long monologue about how we need heroes, but we also need to tear them down, and blah, blah, blah, as if he were trying to win a trophy in a high school original oratory contest. James Remar, as a fictional hired killer employed to help Jack McCall kill Hickok, finally gets tired of listening to that bullshit and punches the old cripple in the face, knocking him cold with one blow. That was when I cheered.

The film really doesn't work. It doesn't know where it wants to go, and it ends up going everywhere. It is just a collection of facts, old legends, and newly-imagined legends, none of which seem to have any point separately or together. The one thing really memorable about the film is an interesting Jeff Bridges portrayal of Hickok as a world-weary, no-bullshit guy who has lived an unreflective life but is finally starting to experience pangs of regret. Bridges always seems to get the job done, but unfortunately, Jeff was given a mediocre script and a weak supporting cast in this case, and very few people have really gotten to see his solid performance as Hickok.

Ellen Barkin's brief nude scene looks kind of sexy in the film clip, but when you pause to capture the moments, you realize there's really nothing there.

Ellen Barkin


Other Crap:

Newly-discovered ancient gospel shows Judas to have been a good guy, and a terrific dancer.

  • Jesus is said to have entrusted Judas with special knowledge and to have asked him to betray Him to the Roman authorities. By doing so, He tells Judas, "you will exceed" the other disciples. "You will be cursed by the other generations, and you will come to rule over them," Jesus confides to Judas.
  • Dan Brown's next novel takes shape!

Writers Guild picks the greatest screenplays of all time, rounds up the usual suspects.

  • I came to Casablanca for the waters.
  • Waters? We have no waters. We are in the desert.
  • I was misinformed.

St. Paul evicts the Easter Bunny

Here's one for your buddy who thinks he's the master of trivia: Vegreville, Canada is the site of the largest Easter egg in the world.

PeepDrinks.Com, everything concerning alcohol mixed with marshmallow peeps

The Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas explains the terms 'blogger' and 'Internet' to Stephen Colbert.

Colbert analyzes Oregon's "Fightin' Fifth"

Colbert reports that Easter is under attack.

Colbert Report: Nazis

  • In recent polls, President Bush scores one-third of a Hitler.

"Daily Show: Stewart - Votive or Die"

  • "When praying, you've got to say 'amen' - otherwise it don't work."

Daily Show: Beach Ploys

  • "Dan Bakkedahl heads down to spring break to party with some kids interested in goods and services."


The Time Travel Fund - your ticket to the future.

  • "The concept is that one day, it may be possible for people living far in the future to retrieve you from your current frame of reference (their past - your present) and bring you into the future (their present - your future.) We pay them to bring you into the future."
  • "We do not know what they will do, we can only make reasonably informed guesses."

WTF? Brittlelactica, the highest-tech milk ad ever. (I suppose.)

Which infamous villain are you?

Rob Schneider discovers the secret of good reviews: compared to Jon Heder and David Spade, anyone looks good!

How to release a bad movie: "Avoid critics, advertise heavily and live for opening weekend"

Judge Rules in Favor of 'Da Vinci' Writer

  • What the article glosses over is that the plaintiffs had a win-win situation in filing the suit. If they win, great, if they lose, almost as great - because sales of their own crappy book went from a few hundred a week to 7,000 because of the trial's publicity.

Pass the time with office pranks

"German prostitutes are signing up for training to become tele-marketers."

  • Because they've given people enough pleasure, dammit, and now it's payback time!

Impressive photographs of a rainbow

360 degree photo of Paris by night reports the Top 25 most-recorded shows

Daily Show: Rice a Rongi

  • What's the shelf life of a surprising moment of candor from a top Bush official? Less than 24 hours.

Top 10 Greatest Impostors in History

Unionized Aussie strippers entitled to overtime, rest periods, meal breaks and maternity leave.

  • Does that mean that lap dances cost one and a half times as much after they have worked 40 hours?

"Hotel heiress Paris Hilton has slammed media reports she will play Mother Teresa in an upcoming film, insisting that the two look nothing alike."

  • Although, of course, they are alike in so many spiritual ways.
  • Do you think Paris really believes that their dissimilar cheekbones are the only reason why she should not take the role? That would make her dumber than we thought, which is virtually impossible.

The photography of Aaron Ruell, who is better known to the world as Kip Dynamite.

Adam West and Chris from Family Guy in Dazed and Confused

Thailand Regrets Buying Voting Machines from Florida

Former Teen Idol Leif Garrett Sent to Jail

How to finance a Hollywood blockbuster with German tax shelters.

Proposed Mets Ballpark to evoke memories of Ebbets Field


Movie Reviews:

Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format. Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.




L'Insegnante viene a casa (1979)

Cyberella: Forbidden Passions (1996) is an erotic Sci Fi. The opening scene was almost enough to make me break it in half and throw it away. Debra K. Beatty has fixed a fancy supper, and waits in vain for whomever is supposed to dine with her. He arrives after she has finished off most of the wine. Turns out he is late for the one year anniversary of their first date. They have sex, with nearly no nudity shown, then he sneaks out of bed, takes her keys off his ring and leaves them on her night table, and is about to sneak out for good when she wakes up. She then learns that he has been promoted to corporate headquarters, and will be leaving her. She plugs in a virtual reality program she authored to relax, smells smoke, and wakes up naked in sand, with a friendly but mysterious Landon Hall. Hall was the only one I recognized in the cast, and she stayed dressed.


Then, suddenly, the film got interesting. Since Beatty was in a virtual reality game at the time of her death, and didn't learn the lesson she was supposed to on earth, she is given four chances to learn it and pass on to the next tier. She can enter any VR program and interact with the people running it. These include a nerd who lacks the nerve to ask Shayna Lee out, a crush of hers from High School, a painter who is reclusive and lacks passion in his art, and a lesbian dancer. Naturally, helping them requires nudity and sex. If you are unable to guess what it is that Beatty needs to learn long before the film ends, you are as dense as was her character.

After a rocky start, the film had interesting ideas, reasonable production value, and did not seem boring. This is a C as couples erotica.

IMDb readers rate it only but the two comments are rather positive, and I agree.


Debra K. Beatty shows everything.
Shayna Lee shows breasts and buns
Rebecca Taylor shows breasts






Well Michael J. Fox is on his way with the parts for the old Time Machine, so soon we will be outta here.  In the meantime let's return to "The Kiss of Her Flesh" and sexy Uta Erickson. Uta is in good form with more full frontal nudity including when the killer, posing as a doctor, gives her a physical examination.

Stay tuned. Maybe tomorrow we finally vacate 1968.








Brainscan returns to one of his favorite subjects: staple girls who turn to acting careers. Here are his film clips. (Zipped. avis)

Elke Jeinsen, Playmate of the Month in May of 1993, in the highly-respected cinema classic, Hellcats in High Heels 2 (2000), a sequel mandated by the fact that there were just too many loose ends at the end of Hellcats in High Heels. Jeinsen is still acting today, and has been in films since the year she was a Playmate. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Tiny, German-born Corinna Harney, the Playboy Playmate of the Month in August of 1991, and the Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1992, in Vampirella, a film made four years after her centerfold appearance. She is still pursuing an acting career, at least on the fringes of the business.

Canadian Heidi Sorenson, the Playboy Playmate of the Month in July of 1981, in Suspect Device, a Corman Classic starring Soul Man Howell. This appearance came 14 years after Heidi's centerfold, and closed out her acting career. She was 35.




Just for info, here is Heidi in another of her screen appearances, in an episode of Dream On, makin' whoopee with that "Body by Jake" dude.


 ... to be continued tomorrow.





Four famous porn stars pose for glamour nudes. Left to right: Tera Patrick, Jenna Jameson, Janine, and Ginger Lynn



Pat's comments in yellow...

To mark their 100th issue, Maxim magazine created a 110-foot-long replica of the cover, featuring bikini-clad Eva Longoria of "Desperate Housewives."  They staked it out on the floor of the Nevada desert, where it can be seen from space, and linked their website to Google Earth, which lets visitors zoom in to a close-up from an orbiting satellite camera.  Maxim calls it a "UFO's-eye view of gigantic hotness."

*  The aliens aren't impressed: she only has two boobs.

The sniping between "American Idol's" Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest is getting nastier.  Tuesday, Ryan asked if Simon knew how to give constructive criticism, and Simon suggested Ryan quit trying to look like something out of "Desperate Housewives" and "lose the beard."  Some took it as a snide "gay" reference to a recent photo of Ryan stiffly kissing Teri Hatcher.  Now, one fan who wants the show to get back to the singing contest has launched  It's an online petition urging Fox TV to air a special like "Celebrity Boxing," so Simon and Ryan can get their "macho crap" over with, man to man.

*  They'll be fighting for a big purse...A big, Gucci purse.

According to a Washington Post poll, 86 of 100 of Americans believe they
are "above average" in intelligence

* 36 of them are wrong