Mr. Hell (2006)
It's not always easy to predict which new releases
will be treasured by the ages. As I recall, Roger Ebert gave quite a
poor review and one and a half stars to The Usual Suspects, which is
now a strong contender for the #1 spot of all time at IMDb. One thing
we can safely say, however, is that the super-intelligent beings who
rule our planet in the future will have to look back and say of us,
"They were flawed beings in many ways, but we can forgive them all
their trespasses for having given us Mr. Hell."
Mr. Hell was made in Houston, Texas by a first-time
director, with a combination of amateur actors and grade-C
professionals. This results in some bad moments in the film, but some
interesting IMDb pages. Tony Welch, for example, has been forever
immortalized in his one and only acting credit as "dead lawyer in
Mr. Hell (Harry Eugene Loveless - H.E.L. - get it?)
drifts from town to town using menial jobs to support his alternate
lifestyle, which basically consists of murdering people and cutting
their eyes out. He met his demise when he was chasing a precocious
child through some industrial tunnels and was saturated with toxic
acid, thus converting him to liquid form. His liquid remains were
stored in a toxic waste container for fourteen years until some clumsy
workers spilled him on the floor and brought him back to life. He
somehow managed to re-form into human shape, except this time with
super-human strength and speed.
Since the precocious girl is now working as a security
guard in the same laboratory and warehouse complex where Señor
Hell had melted, you would think that the movie would proceed to a
suspenseful confrontation between them through miles of spooky,
abandoned industrial tunnels. You would be wrong.
You see, Mr. Hell chose to come back to life on the
very day in which some mercenaries decided to attack the place and
steal a deadly biological weapon which had been hidden there for
years. The bad guys planned to lift the deadly compound and sell it to
Osama or Dr. Evil for ... one zillion dollars. Huh? Mercenaries?
Terrorists? Former liquids with super-powers? So what is the guts of
movie really about? It's the revitalized Mr. Hell against the scumbag
mercenaries! There is a good reason why Vince McMahon rarely pits
baddies against each other: to do so minimizes audience involvement.
Am I supposed to care when Mr. Hell brutalizes the baddies? Am I
supposed to root for him to pulverize them, or do I want them to blow
him to bits? I don't know. I didn't much care either way.
It's well known in the world of bad movies that Manos:
the Hands of Fate was the first (and last) film made by a man who
decided to change careers late in life. Hal Warren was a fertilizer
salesman who turned writer-director-actor. Mr. Hell has a similar
back-story. The director of the film, Rob McKinnon, appears to be
about 60 years old (he has a small part in the film) and is making his
directorial debut in feature-length entertainment, if I may use the "e"
word in referring to this film. He is probably best known, if at all,
as a drive-time morning radio host for Houston's KENR, but he has
written and directed various corporate films and news documentaries
over the years, and has written his own music for these productions.
His IMDb bio says he is a Renaissance man, which might lead one to
speculate that he is claiming to know as much about filmmaking as they
did in the Renaissance, a claim I would fully support, but I presume
he means that he has mastered many different fields and disciplines.
It's safe to say that his fields of alleged mastery must include
painting cathedral ceilings or roasting a suckling pig or some other
Renaissance-type activities, because they clearly do not include film
directing or acting, as evidenced by this film.
Of course, Mr. McKinnon cannot be compared directly to
Hal Warren of Manos fame, mainly because McKinnon never sold any
But he sure produced some.
The film is rated a surprisingly high 3.8 at IMDb,
presumably because ten of the 57 voters awarded it 10/10. The score
may even improve when the rest of the crew votes.
Here is Tracy Smith in the
sure-to-be classic of the 29th century.
Crazy bubble tricks
Fake Breast Doc Busted
- "The 76-year-old Florida man was arrested this morning and
charged with sexual battery after he posed as a doctor and went
door-to-door--black doctor's bag in hand--offering women free
Saturday Night Live parody of Taylor Hicks of American Idol
Woman uses vagina to smuggles a grenade into jail
- Kind of a sad ending. Her period ended, and she reached for
the string to remove her tampon and ...
Here's a seven minute sneak peak from Silent Hill
RUMSFELD DEFENDS ROLE IN WAR ON OBSESITY ... Retired Fatties
Call For Resignation
The Straight Dope: What's in a Mickey Finn?
Ron Jeremy delivers pizza - "who ordered the large sausage?"
The expanded trailer for SPECIAL - Michael Rapaport as a man who
thinks he has super-powers.
Panasonic Unveils 103-Inch Plasma TV Screen ... it weighs 400
pounds. They will have it in stores by Christmas.
Here is that pic of Germany's Angela Merkel that caused all the
Germany complains after Merkel becomes "butt" of Sun joke
- "Germany blasted British tabloid
The Sun for printing what were billed to be pictures of Chancellor
Angela Merkel changing into her bathing suit. "
Just when you thought the news couldn't get much worse, the Black
Case of bubonic plague confirmed in L.A.
Soviet Underground Nuclear Submarine Base at Sevastopol - Cool
Where's George? ... the dollar bill tracking system.
NFL draft mania:
Top 10 Impact Rookies of the past 25 years
Evangeline Lilly is an Easter bunny
The Top 15 Strangest Coincidences
San Francisco remembers the Great Quake - 100 years ago
The latest celeb with a sex tape - pretty model and SI swimsuit girl
- WARNING: this is an excerpt from the actual tape, and it plays
automatically, so it is TOTALLY unsafe for work, unless you work
for Larry Flynt
A look at Mads Mikkelsen as villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale
Superman Leaves The Lecture! ... "Some guys planned this during
a Physics 140 class at the University of Michigan"
FRAT HOUSE - Chapter 1 - Being Greek is being family
- "Before OLD SCHOOL and ROAD TRIP, there was FRAT HOUSE, a
documentary about hazing on college campuses by directors Todd
Phillips and Andrew Gurland. After winning the Grand Jury Award at
1998's Sundance Film Festival, Gurland and Phillips were deluged
with offers and praise, and they sold the film's rights to HBO."
- The other parts are also posted at You Tube
Tom Cruise's Placenta-Eating Recipes
Top Ten Signs You're Not Going To Win A Pulitzer Prize
- Your scathing report on
plagiarism was copied from someone else
- Last book signing was held at
- You're the critic quoted in the
ads for "Basic Instinct 2"
- You're up against a New York
Post reporter with a wallet full of bribin' money
Five clips and the trailer from Somersault (2006)
- After making a misjudged advance towards her mother's
boyfriend, 16-year-old Heidi (Abbie Cornish) flees her home for
the small Australian ski town of Jindabyne. Entranced by the
startling beauty of the wintry landscapes and falling snow, she
begins to create a new life for herself. With little money or
practical experience, she accepts a job at a petrol station and
finds lodging with Irene (Lynette Curran). When she falls for Joe
(Sam Worthington), the son of a wealthy local farmer, her
self-destructive tendencies re-surface, and her fragile new world
threatens to come tumbling down. An erotic, lyrical depiction of a
young girl's sexual awakening, "Somersault" is a breakthrough
debut for both its director and its star.
A new trailer for Bandidas (Hayek and Cruz as cowgirls)
Six clips from the new horror film, Silent Hill
You think YOU have problems with the IRS?
Symantec was hit with a tax bill of nearly one billion dollars
What happens in internet law when foreign laws conflict with
America's First Amendment?
Cruise Not a "Primetime" Star ...Has America tired of Tom Cruise?
- I can't speak for America, but I was sick of the little twerp
Jon Stewart talks to the author of a book on competitive eating.
Samantha Bee reports back on the White House Easter Egg hunt.
The Daily Show: "Tom Cruise now has to publicly deny that he is
going to eat his newborn baby's placenta."
Jon Stewart looks at the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco
Daily Show: Headlines -
- Media coverage of the Duke lacrosse team story.
- "Gay families at the White House were greeted by
Christians with a traditional Easter gay yell."
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Lawn Dogs (1997)
Lawn Dogs takes place in the secure, upscale community of Camelot Gardens,
where Devon Stockard (Mischa Barton in her first feature film) and her parents
have just arrived. We learn that she has congenital heart problems, but is now
OK because of a pacemaker. Mom and dad are trying to fit in, but Devon shows
her true (and odd) colors immediately. When she and her mother are baking
cookies for charity, her job is to push two raisins into each cookie, but when
a fly lands on one, she pushes in the fly. Devon is very much a free spirit.
When she sees her mother having sex with a college kid, she reacts by peeing
down her father's windshield, then climbing out on her roof and stripping,
then howling at the moon. Thus, Misha Barton did nudity, but she was 11 years
old at the time.
Devon forms a friendship with Sam Rockwell, the "Lawn Dog" who mows lawns
between sunrise and 5 pm, when all such undesirables are run out by the
resident head of security. Devon thinks she has found a kindred spirit, and
incorporates Sam into the fairy tale she creates to make her life more
bearable. The two become close friends, but with security at Camelot Gardens
after Rockwell, and two college boys hating him, it is clear that their
friendship will work only as long as it remains their secret.
Sam lives in a trailer on county property just outside Camelot Gardens. On
the way home from work one day, he stops on a one lane bridge, strips
completely naked, and jumps into the river. He has a large audience by the
time he walks back to his truck, and Angie Harmon likes what she sees, so Sam
and Angie decide to get better acquainted. While Sam is good for sex, Angie
won't be seen with him, so they head back to his trailer. This all happens on
the very same day when young Devon becomes determined to see Sam's home. When
Devon finds his trailer and peeks in the window, Harmon has just finished
having sex with him, and she sees what we see - Harmon's breast.
There is a great deal of humor in the film, but IMDb calls it a drama
because the main thrust of the film is the contrast between the lower class
but classy Sam Rockwell, and the upper class, no-class residents of Camelot
Mischa Barton had to carry most of the film, and she did so effortlessly.
Sam Rockwell was also excellent. Most reviewers agree, the IMDb rating is a
near-classic 7.5, and it won several awards at festivals. And yet the film
only earned $106K in the US, against an $8M budget. Since everyone seems to
like the film, it is not clear why it failed at the box office. I can only
guess that it wasn't properly marketed.
This is a C+
Love In Sampan (1992)
Love In Sampan, or Shan ban '92 is a Hong Kong pulp cinema offering that,
if nothing else, points out that it sucks to be born a poor woman in a small
Chinese town. Chan Sai Kiu (Asuka Tamami) is still single, a virgin, and
working for her parents. Her best friend, Tai Kim (Mitsutomo Saiko) has lost a
husband, but takes on a new boyfriend who cons her out of her inheritance and
moves on. After a little lesbo loving with Kiu, she becomes a hooker.
Kiu herself finally falls in love with a new employee in her fathers store,
but her father is getting too old to earn money, so the family marries Kiu to
a rich thug against her will. On her wedding night, she sleeps with the
employee she loves before her husband comes to her, and that situation doesn't
amuse the ill-tempered husband. He disgraces her in front of the village, and
her father is in the process of beating her to death, when her lover steps
forward. They beat him, and drown him, but she gets to live. Her lover may
have gotten the better deal. Her husband spends half his time with a Hong Kong
hooker, and the other half abusing Kiu.
Man, a young University friend of the husband, comes to town to write a
thesis, and Kiu is told to show him around, because hubby must go off to Hong
Kong. Man and Kiu find each other irresistible. I haven't seen enough of these
Hong Kong films yet to know if the ending is typical or not.
Given the ratio of nudity to plot, this is the Hong Kong equivalent of our
soft core porn videos. On the plus side, I found it far more interesting than
our soft-core offerings because of the exotic locales and the huge cultural
differences, and the nudity is prolific. Both Asuka Tamami and Mitsutomo Saiko
show full frontal and rear nudity in both hetero and lesbian sex scenes, some
of them in a shower, some others in a bondage and whipping content. On the
negative side, the transfer quality leaves much to be desired and is
letterboxed, not anamorphically enhanced for 16x9 screens; and the burnt-in
subtitles are white, often over white backgrounds, hence hard to read.
So, we have a subtitled soft-core with a weak transfer, decent plot, and
two actresses giving 3B performances. That sounds like a C- to me.
IMDb has barely heard of this, but 5 people have it at 5.0.
A larger, better version of that Scarlett Johansson
bikini pic from her Jamaican vacation.
Drew Barrymore - a classic. Her beautiful cover
shot from a 1995 issue of Photo.
In the early days of our site, model Helena Christensen
was a favorite, and almost a daily fixture. Haven't heard much about her in
ages, but this topless paparazzi shot, supposedly taken last week on South
Beach, indicates that she's still s-s-s-smokin'.
Here is that controversial picture of German Chancellor
Angela Merkel. (It was printed by The Sun in the
U.K., a fact which the Germans did not appreciate.)
Pat's comments in yellow...
Last night, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes issued a press release announcing the
birth of their baby, a 7-pound 7-ounce, 20-inch-long girl named Suri, which
means "Princess" in Hebrew or "red rose" in Persian.
Tabloids that call the parents "Tomkat" dubbed the baby "the Tomkitten." The
release was short on details, just saying that "mother and daughter are doing
* But father is still choking down placenta.
* Katie got through the silent birth fine, and they should be removing the ball
gag by Sunday.
Parade.com accompanied their interview with Tom Cruise with an online poll
asking who was to blame for his recent bad PR, and 84 percent blamed the media
for making him seem weird. Suspicious, the editors investigated and found
that 14,000 of the 18,000 votes came from just 10
computers, possibly using robot programs designed to vote over and over to make
Cruise look good.
* So it takes the media to make Tom look bad, and an army of
Scientology-spawned robots to make him look good.
Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina, eight people set up camp in
Finlay Park to protest recent arrests of the homeless who wouldn't leave after
the 11 p.m. closing time. Demanding homeless rights, they presented the city
with a list of their modest demands. They include: ending the arrests of
homeless people, a fully-furnished shelter, the end of all downtown urban
renewal projects, the resignation of all city officials, the disbanding of the
police department, free distribution of food by all local supermarkets, the
conversion of the State House into a homeless
shelter, and all the wealth of the city's richest people distributed to the
* Either that, or a free bottle of Thunderbird.
* Oddly enough, they demanded everything except homes!