is a large zip file with four avis of a young and naked
Barbara Hershey in
Boxcar Bertha. Although it is a low-budget Corman film, it was
directed by a pre-fame Martin Scorsese! (Movie
House Review) The sex scenes in this film have achieved a soupcon
of notoriety in that both David Carradine and Barbara Hershey have
admitted that they were really doing it.
Tuna mentioned the other day that it was nice to
see Helen Mirren when she was younger and
in her prime. What is really impressive is to see her in her
mid-twenties when she did Savage Messiah (zipped
.avi) and Age of Consent (zipped
.avi). The woman had an impressive degree of ... er ... ripeness.
Neither of these films has ever come to DVD, although Savage Messiah
was directed by Ken Russell and Age of Consent stars screen legend
A few sample captures from Savage Messiah:
Final Destination 3 (2006):
Some minor spoilers:
Let me cut to the chase. Final Destination 3 is a
genre masterpiece. It really is the Citizen Kane of slaughtered
teenager movies, and I do not mean that in the same ironic sense in
which I contend that Rock
'n Roll Nightmare is the Citizen Kane of evil oven mitt movies, or
that The Item is the
Citizen Kane of naugahyde slug movies. Final Destination 3 really is a
good movie, a slickly-packaged film written with imagination and
humor, directed with technical skill and a knack for maintaining the
tension, photographed with exceptional competence and a real feel for
atmosphere, and filled with characters who manage to say things worth
listening to once in a while. There have been many popular films in
this sub-genre, including all the Friday 13th movies, all the
Nightmare on Elm Street movies, Final Destination 1 and 2, and a host
of less successful imitators of varying degrees of inspiration. With
the exception of the first Freddy Kruger movie and the first
installment of Final Destination, none of them are even in the same
league as this one. It is just about as good as a film of this type
could possibly be.
Like any series, the Final Destination movies have
certain characteristics that form a template for each individual film.
The following characteristics make up a Final
A major fatal catastrophe is avoided by a small
group of people because one member of the group sensed the impending
doom and pulled the others from the situation. Many people die in the
catastrophe, but those who withdrew and lived have not really been
spared. They were meant to die, and death will not be cheated, so they
must die soon, and in the same order in which they would have died in
the catastrophe they avoided.
Each of the individual deaths is foreshadowed in
some way, and when it occurs it is gory, gruesome, and often involves
a fortuitous concatenation of circumstances that work in harmony to
create sort of a Rube Goldberg device.
In the specific case of Final Destination 3:
The catastrophe is a doomed roller coaster ride,
and it's a real nail-biter. Of course, there are only so many ways to
handle a scene like this - cut to bolts coming loose, cut to roller
coaster, hydraulics leaking, roller coaster, wires and cables
separating, roller coaster, wheels coming loose, roller coaster, track
twisting and separating, roller coaster - all the while with people
screaming. At first, the screams are the sounds people make on
amusement park rides, then they turn terrifyingly real. There's really
no other way to present that scenario, I suppose, but it is presented
here with consummate skill. The photography is clear. The editing is
expert. The carnival is garish and colorful. The heights are dizzying.
The action is frenzied. Heads are severed unexpectedly, but there's no
time for audience shock because more people have survived temporarily,
and we follow their fates. Most important, the audience is on that
coaster with the actors, experiencing what they experience. The fourth
wall is never broken. Every bit of it, from the POV of the kids on the
cars to the objective POV from outside the cars, looks completely
Then there are the deaths. They are gory, macabre
and clever, as expected, but they are also fused with maddening
tension because the characters have clues about how each death will
occur, but the clues are frustratingly symbolic, and it seems that a
character can avoid death permanently if he or she can thwart his fate
a second time, so there is always the possibility that a character may
not die. On the other hand, if one of the kids avoids his fate,
another may day only seconds later, having had no time to prepare and
study the clues. Because the premise is constructed this way, the
audience doesn't know precisely what the kids need to avoid, or if the
next one on the list might beat the odds. It's an involving game!
The film has other plusses as well.
The lead actor and actress are not
boyfriend/girlfriend. Each of their lovers was killed on the doomed
coaster. The survivors are simply two kids who used to hang out in the
same crowd, but never really liked each other that much. This allows
them to approach their situation from very different perspectives,
while it involves the audience in the possibility that they might bond
and become true friends, or even more. To the film's credit, it
resists the easy solution of having them come together eventually,
thus maintaining the sexual and dramatic tension throughout the movie.
I liked the main characters, and enjoyed most of
the dialogue between them and the others who survived the ride. The
other survivors fell into easily classifiable teen archetypes, and
some of them were uninspired, but others were quite entertaining. I
especially enjoyed the cynical guy who didn't buy into the whole
"can't cheat death" premise.
The film managed to avoid the various mistakes made
in Final Destination 2, which tried to explain the entire thing with
some kind of spiritual mumbo-jumbo, and added a gratuitous spooky
character played by Tony Todd who was contacted by the teens because
they needed a death consultant, whereupon he muttered some spooky
gibberish and made some serious pronouncements as if circumstances
like these could be countered with formulaic rituals. You know, crap
like "only a new life can thwart death." Todd is always a scary dude,
but he was totally out of place in the teen horror genre. He seemed
about as real as one of those late-night "Monster Chiller Horror
Theater" hosts like Dr Ghoulardi or Count Floyd. (Arooooooo!) In
Final Destination 3, the kids were regular kids who didn't really
understand their circumstances, but tried to piece it all together as
best they could. The story stayed entirely with the kids and other
realistic characters. That's a good thing, because it makes the
concept more real to the viewers. After all, there are probably no
specific rules which pertain to fate, and if there were, no mortal
would know them. By eliminating fate's human translator, the
filmmakers eliminated a barrier between the characters and the
audience. Because the characters don't know the rules, they feel
exactly what we would feel in their circumstances.
The producers might have picked up a financial
windfall by creating some kind of physical representation of "death"
or "fate" that they could license for costumes and action figures, but
that would have been bad for the movie itself, and the filmmakers
wisely avoided that trap and made the quality of the film their first
priority. Fate here is just a concept - "a force" whose presence is
represented by a sudden chill on a hot night, or a breeze in a still
room, or a flickering of lights - something which any of us could see,
but would ignore unless impending doom was on the top of our mind.
This made "fate" far more frightening than if it had been represented
by some cartoon flesh-and-blood character, or if it had a ghoulish
(and silly) human interpreter as it did in FD2.
Thrills and macabre humor are not the film's only
guilty pleasures. Three words: hot topless bimbos.
Finally, the DVD does justice to the film. Not only
is there an entire disk full of special features and a full-length
commentary, but there is also a special interactive version of the
film in which the viewer can choose the character's fates at about a
half-dozen points in the film. Great fun - and a source of additional
nudity. Or, if you're a boring dude, you can watch the regular old
This movie is really fun to watch, and that's
doubly amazing because the film had a very difficult birth. First the
director was unhappy with the original cut, which was ready in 2004,
so he went back and shot the roller coaster sequence. Then test
audiences hated the original ending, so that also had to be re-shot.
The changes were well worth his time. I think it's the best
"slaughtered teens" horror film since Nightmare on Elm Street, and
is just a cut below the best genre films of the new millennium like Kiss
Kiss, Bang Bang and Sin City. The print critics generally did not
agree with me, but then again, their judgments tend to be skewed
against lowbrow "guilty pleasure" movies. They seem to feel that praising a lurid movie like
this would somehow pollute their pristine reputations and render them
incapable of analyzing Peter Greenaway's next opaque masterpiece. Fuck
'em. Let 'em sit through Babette's Feast a few more times while I wait
This movie features a cameo appearance by our colleague Silver Dollar Sam, the professional poker player who used to write nothing-wild.com. (He's credited as Sam O'Connor)
"In 'Lucky You,' director Curtis Hanson ('L.A. Confidential,' 'Wonder Boys,' '8 Mile') brings us a story based in the world of high-stakes Las Vegas poker. Huck Cheever (Eric Bana) is a blaster - a player who goes all out, all the time. But in his personal relationships, Huck plays it tight, expertly avoiding emotional commitments and long-term expectations. When Huck sets out to win the main event of the 2003 World Series of Poker - and the affections of Billie Offer (Drew Barrymore), a young singer from Bakersfield - there is one significant obstacle in his path: his father, L.C. Cheever (Robert Duvall), the poker legend who abandoned Huck's mother years ago. As these two rivals progress toward a final showdown at the poker table, Huck learns that to win in the games of life and poker, he must try to play cards the way he has been living his life and live his life the way he has been playing cards."
Number one is Fort Collins, Colorado, and number one among major cities (300,000+)is Colorado Springs.
My home town of Austin, Texas finished second among major cities. I've lived just about everywhere and I think Austin is just about perfect except it has no ocean and the summers are a bit too hot. But then again if it had cool summers and was on the coast it would have a population of several million, and might suck, so maybe it is perfect. I suppose San Diego might be a nicer overall place to live, but Texas has low taxes (no state income tax), few yuppies, and affordable property, so flip a coin.
Brings back a lot of memories. Actually, the list should include British Bulldog, which produced at least one good injury during every lunch period of my childhood. The best part is when there is only one guy left, and he has to try to make it across the field with every other guy trying to tackle him. I made it across once, by using an unorthodox technique, bulling through and hitting the tacklers one-by-one, head-on, ramming them with my shoulders and forearms, or just punching them in the face, instead of trying to avoid them. I managed to avoid any situations where I had to confront too many guys at one time, and the more chickenshit guys just avoided me altogether. Finally, a guy named Dan Pietscher, the best athlete in our school, after having been knocked down once, caught up to me from behind. He was much faster than me and could have knocked me off-balance if I tried to run away from him to the goal line. My solution? I just stopped dead in my tracks, turned around and let him try to bring me down face-to-face. He wasn't strong enough to bring me down, and I wasn't quick enough to keep him from getting his arms around me, so I turned around and dragged him through the snow, as he held on to my legs, for the last ten yards. I was the only guy ever to accomplish this feat in our schoolyard, and I still consider it the greatest accomplishment of my youth! I can still remember every detail as if it were yesterday, including the pummeling I took when I had to turn around and try it again in the opposite direction, and got under a pile-up! Years later, the younger kids from my neighborhood would come up to me in high school and ask if I was the same guy who once "ran the gauntlet" in British Bulldog.
I was so good at that game that I thought I might play fullback in high school, but I was just too frickin' slow, and you can't really run over 275-pound defensive linemen the way I used to run through normal-sized guys, so I never played high school ball at all!
They brought one of their extortion suits against a millionaire computer whiz, and he's willing to pay millions in legal costs rather than give them their blackmail money. People just pay up, even if they are innocent, because legal fees are greater than settlement costs. Not one suit has ever gone to trial.
The reason is that self-service checkout has a significantly detrimental effect on impulse purchases. People aren't waiting in line as long, and they are constantly busy scanning their items. That means no time to be tempted by tabloids or candy bars.
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Succubus is another Jess Franco masterpiece, this time based on a segment of the Necronomicon.
Because it was produced uncensored in Germany with adequate financing, this
is the first film he was able to make exactly as he wanted. Despite that, he admits that most
people, including himself, don't understand it. I don't feel so
bad now. I can relate nothing about the plot, as I didn't understand it at
all. Jess says that it is not necessary to understand a
film in order to enjoy it, and that the average person doesn't understand
any of the films he sees. That may or may not be self-serving rationalization
on his part, but in my case I found this particular film tough going.
Here's what I did understand:
Janine Reynaud plays a woman who performs a snuff act in a nightclub for
bored jet-setters. The devil has so corrupted her that she has become as evil
as he is. She becomes more and more cruel. Along the way, she seems equally
interested in men and women.
In a special DVD interview, Jess says it was originally to be made as a joint venture with Spanish
money, but there was a law that any film partially financed by Spain must be
made entirely in Spain, and it was also subject to Spanish censorship. When a
German offered to put up funds, Franco submitted his script to the Spanish and
German censors. The Spanish banned it, the Germans approved it with no
restrictions. That made his decision easy. Franco says that this film
ultimately did very well financially, but one must note that Jess did not
provide any quantification of "very well" and one must be aware that he did
not operate on the same scale of measurement as Spielberg. For Sr. Franco,
that probably meant that he was able to leave Germany without doing any
significant time in debtor's prison.
IMDb readers say 5.3.
Reviewers consider it a must see for Franco fans.
This one is typical.
The newly remastered DVD has a lot of grain, indicating that Jess
probably shot it to look grainy.
By our standards, this is a C-, a film only for Jess Franco fans, but a
must for them because it
sets a style that would influence much of his later work.
Janine Reynaud shows breasts, buns and a hint
of bush in several scenes. Here are the improved versions from the new DVD.
Janine Reynaud: my original images
Dann reports on FD3:
Let's be honest. This
series of three movies has been popular because it offers quality kills.
Hey, any movie can kill off characters, but the Final Destination
franchise has excelled at knocking off their characters in unique and
graphic ways. The 2006 version, Final Destination 3, keeps up the
Faithful to the original storyline, in
this one a young woman has a premonition that the roller coaster she's
just boarded will crash. She gets off, and a few friends follow. The
coaster crashes, of course, killing everyone. Then, the girl struggles to
save her life and the life of her friends as the survivors die off
one-by-one in truly tasty fashion (like the two young ladies in the
collage who are crispy crittered).
Yeah, its all pretty sick, but it's also
been real successful, and I have to admit to being one of the fans of this
series. The DVD feature called "Choose Their Fate", which lets you view
alternate deaths, is also very cool. Bring on FD 4!
Chelan Simmons & Crystal Lowe
Hugo is back with four
more brilliant collages. First, Chelsea Fields
in Extreme Justice.
Hugo's collage of
Salma Hayek in Ask the Dust
Hugo's collage of
Kristanna Loken in Bloodrayne
Hugo's collage of
Siena Guillory in Silence Becomes You
A reader sent me this capture of
Holly Marie Combs in a French magazine and asked
me if it is real. I have no idea. I hope so because I like it. Anyone know for
Eglington in White Coats
Loewen in White Coats ... (with Dan Ackroyd????!!!!)