Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
American Psycho (2000) (Original NC-17 version.)

Total spoilers. I suppose, although I may not understand the ending well enough to spoil it.

The phenomenally successful investment banker Patrick Bateman is a superficial, bland, soulless product of a consumption-driven society. Although only 26, he's already at the top of his field. He wants to eat in the best restaurants, drink the finest wines, have the best apartment, present the classiest business card, marry the richest heiress, screw the sexiest supermodels, and buy the top of the line of every product. He prides himself on having all the hippest opinions, at least by Wall Street standards. He wants to appear perfect in every way, from his body to his suits to his watches to his skin, and to this end he purchases a closet full of designer clothing, a bathroom full of moisturizers, and enough exercise equipment to train as a body shaper.

There is only one problem.

Patrick Bateman is insane.

His quest for perfection, which is inherently doomed to failure, turns him to rage. When he isn't having superficial conversations with his colleagues, Patrick is killing the homeless. Not to mention streetwalkers, girlfriends, colleagues ... people who rouse his ire or, when he lacks specific targets for his internal wrath, whatever victims he can drum up to calm his blood-lust.

I find American Psycho to be very brilliant in spots and there are sections that made me laugh out loud, although I was ashamed of having laughed at a guy pontificating on the merits of Huey Lewis while committing a brutal axe murder. In the end, however, I found the film deeply unsatisfying. I suppose part of this reaction may just be my natural negative reaction to black comedy in general, but it's not just that. The ending of the film left me totally confused. I'm not opposed to ambiguity, and in fact I find it is often a hallmark of the best art, so I don't really have any problem with the fact that the film never says whether Patrick Bateman's murders are real or just his fantasies. I suppose that he imagines them, and that these fantasies are just the ways he acts out the inner turmoil that he can never expose with his Yacht Club friends. Thus, when a colleague one-ups him with a more stylish business card, he maintains absolute composure, but the jealousy burns so deep inside of him that he just has to have a kill, or at least a fantasy kill. That ambiguity did not bother me, because it was simply ambiguity, not confusion. That's the sort of device that draws us into a story.

What did bother me was the question of whether there was a Patrick Bateman or not. Why do others so often call him by different names? In an office building, a security guard says, "good evening Mr. Smith, don't forget to sign in." When he confesses his crimes to his lawyer, the lawyer responds by calling him "Davis." (In the book people address him by many more names, like "Taylor" and "Donaldson.") Other characters call him "Bateman," but one of his office rivals calls him by another name, confusing him with another fungible social climber. So what is the deal? Am I supposed to consider the fact that Bateman not only didn't commit any real murders, but doesn't even exist? That he is merely a convenient device for two hours of rambling? I just don't know. I guess I should be able to figure it all out from his opening monologue in which he tells the audience "I'm simply not there," but I'm still not too sure what it all is supposed to mean. We do see him impersonate a colleague at one point, so perhaps part of Bateman's insanity is that he constantly imagines himself switching places with his colleagues. I just don't know.

I do know that devices and symbols only function well if they supplement the surface story, not if they supplant it, and in this case the surface story has a very confusing and unsatisfying ending.

Getting this story from a book to a film involved a complex process. Mary Herron, the eventual director, was also the original director, but she left the project when she was forced to take Leo DiCaprio as the star. Oliver Stone then took over the project, It's interesting to speculate what Stone and DiCaprio might have done with this material, but they both lost interest, Herron came back in, and signed the star she wanted, Christian Bale. That probably worked out well, at least for the casting, because Bale has the correct physical development to play the body-obsessed character, a role which involves plenty of nudity and near nudity. DiCaprio may have done just fine with the dialogue, but he would definitely have needed to add about fifty pounds of muscle to look right in the role. There seems to be no need for any artistic regrets because Bale seemed to nail the character, and Herron did a remarkable job in two ways: (1) she and her co-author managed to siphon the worthwhile elements from the rambling book and assemble them into a coherent narrative; (2) she overcame the difficult challenge of picturing the lives of trendy Manhattan high rollers without having the big bucks to photograph their haunts.

The investors have no need for regrets either. Oliver Stone may have added lots of bells and whistles, but I don't expect he would have done it for seven million dollars, which is what Herron spent. Indeed, I think the film has turned a profit, which it may not have done as a lavish $50 million production.

It was a controversial film, but it is neither as bad nor as good as people have portrayed.

  • Is it a disgusting sex-and-gore fest? No. It isn't really that explicit, and all the sensationalism has a point. Watch the original NC-17 director's cut on the DVD, and you'll see that it is still more suggestive than explicit.

  • Is it a masterpiece of the first order? No, I don't think so. It soars close to that altitude, but can't sustain it, and feels empty at the end.

It is, however, a consistently interesting and provocative movie, not your characteristic run of the Hollywood mill.

Cara Seymour

Krista Sutton

Guinevere Turner

Samantha Mathis (from the deleted scenes)

'Caps and comments by Hankster:

Today we cranked up the old Time Machine and took it back to 1986 for a visit to "Shadows Run Black".

This is an 80's slasher flick which was actually made in 1981 but not released until '86. It's a bad movie and really has no gore for a slasher movie, but the one redeeming factor is it does have gobs of nudity and an early film appearance by Kevin Costner in a minor role which I am sure he would like to forget.

First up is Terry Congie with boobs in the pool.

Terry Congie

Next we have Rhonda Selesnow taking off her clothes and heading for the tub for some rub-a-dub. After the shower she heads for the bedroom and removes her top for husband, but it's not him and she gets a knife between the boobs from the killer.

Rhonda Selesnow

Then we have Ann Hull with a little fore-play in the bedroom as her boyfriend plays with her tits.Then she is off to the kitchen stark naked and we see it all, just before she too meets her demise at the hands of the killer.

Ann Hull

Stay tuned for more from "Shadows Run Black" tomorrow...the best is still to come!

'Caps and comments by Spaz:

"The Baroness and the Pig" (2002)
Canadian-Hungarian arthouse movie set in 1880s Paris about a baroness (Patricia Clarkson) who adopts a feral child raised by pigs (Caroline Dhavernas) only to find out her baron husand (Colm Feore) is the real pig.

Caroline Dhavernas: full dorsal getting bathed

Pascale Montpetit: nude as model.

Patricia Clarkson: cleavage in 19th century knickers.

'Caps and comments by Striplight:

Here is the final set of 'caps for Serie Galante.

Firstly we have Sonia Paul in "Killer". She comes home with a new pet – a goldfish. This upsets her cat, who gets jealous, plots revenge (this is the premise, cat could just be hungry of course). To keep the fish safe Sonia puts it in the bath, then climbs in herself. Trouble is, the second her back is turned, cat pulls the plug.. bye, bye fishy. I didn’t say it was a romance.

Sonia Paul

Following along is Marijke de Jong in "Mirage". She goes for a dip in the municipal pool, and, though unbeknownst to her, her bathing costume becomes invisible. It's a bit far fetched, this one, if you ask me.

Marijke de Jong

Much more realistic is Barbera Thamera in "Don't Touch". She's papering a wall, gets covered in paste, has to cut herself out of her clothes. This happens all the time.

Barbera Thamera

Then we have Madeleen Lame in "Un Ange Passe". She's a baker who has a bit of a fling with the lad who stokes her oven. 'Nuff said.

Madeleen Lame

Finally we’ve got Ute Apfelstedt & Maria Megarejo in "Mirrors". Tough one to cap, as we have one girl spying on the other through some bushes, or from behind a mirror. Don't know which actress is which. And this is a bit like the story. The maid is trying on clothes watched by the other lady outside. She then comes in and puts on the maid's clothes, whilst being spied on. So who's really the maid? Then they rip the clothes off each other. Still makes more sense than any porn film you’ve ever seen.

Ute Apfelstedt & Maria Megarejo

And finally, finally, I’ve attached a collection of my favourite scenes from this series in a larger format.

Marijke de Jong in "Mirage"

Louka Morand in "Fly Lady Fly"

Cecile Fleury in "My Fair Dolly"

Clara Bellar in "Night Angels"

Maeva Lefebvre in "Petite Fugue"

Alwien Tulner in "Policinella"

'Caps and comments by Dann:

On one level, this 2004 comedy is just another story of three friends with screwed up relationships. One is married, one is overflowing with women but may soon get married, and another would love to be married but can't hold onto a woman for more than a night.

What makes this one just a slight cut above the others is that they've put in some nice twists to keep things from getting too predictable. For example, imagine coming home and finding your wife in bed with a woman who had just days before tried to pick you up in a bar.

All in all, a funny comedy with some unexpected twists.

Paulina Porizkova

Tone Christensen

Señor Skin
Today the Skin-man serves up a heapin' helping of nudity from the 1996 David Cronenberg movie "Crash".

Rosanna Arquette

Holly Hunter

Yolande Julian

Alice Poon

Deborah Kara Unger

Ahhhh la Liz... here is the always Shagadelic Elizabeth Hurley caught by the paparazzi doing a little topless sunbathing.

Paparazzi pics of Hollywood party girl Tara Reid at the beach.

The robo-hooters look pretty good in the bikini, but from the waist down...not so much (especially #8).

Movie Reviews


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  • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
  • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
  • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
  • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

Other Crap
"Hackers Disguise Trojan Horse as Osama Bin Laden Suicide Photographs"

Here is a hi-res picture of that frozen lake on Mars. Y'know, Mars actually looks a lot nicer than West Texas.

"What's the best method for removing a crocodile that's taken refuge under your car? Apparently poking it with a giant stick is out of the question."

The international trailer for CRIMEN FERPECTO (en Español)

  • In this viciously black comedy, a department store Don Juan spends his days selling ladies things they didn't know they wanted and his evenings bedding them. When a fight over a missed promotion accidentally kills his rival, a deranged, aesthetically-challenged female shop assistant helps him cover up the mess, leading to a major nightmare for him and her dream come true.

North Korea: independent travel and group tours. I'm pretty sure they are completely serious, if you're looking for a really different vacation.

Here's a lesson for you youngsters. Worst grand opening idea ever - a herd of elephants.

Video: Cable TV guy talks a woman into pumping her gas naked for $400.

Daily Box Office - Friday, July 29. Wonka and Wedding Crashers held on to 1-2, but this time the Wedding Crashers took the #1 spot! Stealth, Sky High and Must Love Dogs finished in a virtual three way tie for the next spot.

This site has some hi-res versions of those Britney Spears pregnant pics with the kinda see-through.

Mama Latsis isn't too happy with her new daughter-in-law-to-be, Paris Hilton

Naked women made entirely from sand. Beautiful work. The guy was going to hold an exhibition of his work, but he couldn't sneak it in before high tide.

The trailer for Dirty Deeds

  • "teen comedy in which a high school senior tries to become the first student ever to complete the Dirty Deeds, an outrageous series of challenges that must be completed between dusk and dawn on the Friday night of Homecoming Weekend."
  • I thought this might be fun, especially when I saw Lacey Chabert undressing - until I saw the PG-13 rating.

When toast falls, what's more likely: Buttered side up or buttered side down?

"In a lunchtime undercover operation, Florida cops yesterday busted 15 strippers on a variety of criminal charges, including ... exposure of a sexual organ."

  • If she failed to expose sexual organs she wouldn't be much of a stripper, would she?

COLIN FARRELL TRIES TO STOP HOME SEX MOVIE AFTER BAD REVIEWS. Critics pan plot, acting, dialogue, camerawork

  • If Colin would really do such a thing, he would have sued Oliver Stone after Alexander

Albamania: The international trailer for Into The Blue

Here is the trailer for Joss Whedon's Serenity. He's the Buffy guy. S/F film which seems to incorporate some pretty good humor along the way.

Eight clips from The Dukes of Hazzard

The Simpsons' new season will include Dennis Rodman and a comeback by Sideshow Bob

The magical world of penis unicorns

Don't click on this if you are eating. A python swallows a kangaroo


Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the links above, since it's sorta in real time.

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