Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

Yesterday's Mailbox (1986)

LC happened to see yesterday's request for Callie Thorne in Rescue Me, and he got right on it. Many thanks!


Chrystal (2004)

Rated 4.0 at IMDb. Grossed $80,000. I figured it must suck mightily, right? I almost passed on it entirely when I collected the new releases from Blockbuster this week, but I broke down and rented when I saw that it was rated R for, among other things, nudity. Best decision I've made in a long time.

Chrystal is a story about a man who made a great mistake when he was young. He landed in prison when his own criminal activity caused a car accident that killed his son and left his wife partly paralyzed. Returning to his Ozark home as a middle-aged man, he does his best to attain redemption, failing and succeeding in equal measure.

Let me cut to the chase on this one and say that it is a helluva movie. Set among the improverished rurals of Arkansas, it manages to portray their lives with humanity and compassion, yet without condescension. Unlike most Hollywood movies, it manages to tell a central story that is heartbreaking without being phony or syrupy, and without resorting to obviously manipulative musical cues. The background stories are sometimes more interesting than the main plot, and can be very funny, because the unaffected characters react to events in natural ways. Here's an example. When a women tells her daughter solemnly that the family patriarch, apparently succumbing to senile dementia, was caught stealing a dress from a clothesline and wearing it, the daughter thinks a second, furrows her forehead in concern, and  asks, "how'd he look?" Mother and daughter erupt in tension-relieving laughter. There is humor, but the writing can also be delicate and poetic, yet is also gritty and realistic when required, following the tradition of the best Southern gothic writers. Hell, this is the screenplay Faulkner should have written when he was jerking off in Hollywood.

Ray McKinnon, the writer and director of this film, is a character actor in his forties who had never before directed a feature film. Hadn't written one either. I have a feeling that he'll get to make a few more movies before his career is over, because he didn't make many missteps in this film. His direction is a good as his writing. It's impossible to believe that he's a rookie. I paid attention to his storyboarding, what he was doing with camera movement, when he was choosing to change the focal point of a scene, how he backed up the story with the musical soundtrack, when he chose silence over music, his control of the cinematography, his use of the local culture for background, and so forth. By God,  I don't know if Atom Egoyan could have done it much better. McKinnon may have made a couple of rookie mistakes here and there, but I'll just tell you right now that this sumbitch has it. He just flat-out has it.

Of course, it didn't hurt his story about Arkansas that he happens to be married to a good actress from Arkansas (Lisa Blount), and it surely didn't hurt his redneck drama that his lead actor is the king of all the redneck actors, Billy Bob Thornton. (Kudos to Billy Bob for doing this. It must have been a labor of love because he couldn't have drawn much of a paycheck, and he turned in a helluva good serious performance.) And it didn't hurt at all that McKinnon was able to play the antagonist himself, because he's a damned good character actor. Oh, I know you don't know his name, but you'd recognize him. Most recently, you may have seen his tall, thin frame wandering through the streets of Deadwood, playing the naive and slightly dotty preacher in season one of that series.

If I could somehow do a search of IMDb to determine the single most underrated movie, this would have to be it. For some reason incomprehensible to me, it is rated a pathetic 4.0, despite the fact that most of the commenters liked it even more than I did, and the actual median score is eight, with a third of the voters giving it a ten! I don't really understand how IMDb arrived at a 4.0, but the true score should probably be somewhere around 7.5.

Of course, it is a quiet, slow, literary, heartbreaking, and almost arty redneck film, so the potential audience is not large at all. Despite all the encomiums from commenters and some critics, almost nobody could be persuaded to pluck down any dollars to see it. It never made it onto more than 11 screens in the entire USA, and it didn't even do well in those few theaters, finally grossing only $80,000.

Lisa Blount. The irony: I only rented the film because of nudity, and there wasn't much, just a few frames. This happened so fast you might not realize what you had seen it if you weren't paying strict attention. (Although it was a very cool, very dramatic scene.) 


Happy Gilmore (1996)

I can't say that I'm much of an Adam Sandler fan, but I have to be honest and say this is a funny movie, despite Sandler's often irritating mannerisms like the baby voice. Sandler plays a guy whose dream is to play professional ice hockey, a dream which seems unattainable since he can't skate very well, can't handle the puck, and has no control over his emotions. He does have the most powerful shot in the game, but even that has limited value since it is just as likely to kill a spectator as to land in the net.

Through the usual bizarre concatenation of circumstances, Sandler accidentally discovers that he has a natural talent for golf. When he aces a very long par four in his first round, his mentor thinks he can be molded into a top pro in a few months, because his earth-shattering power is enough to overcome many of his physical and emotional liabilities. As the plot contrivances would have it, Sandler needs money right away to salvage his childhood home from an IRS auction, so he rejects his coach's sound advice and opts to play tournaments without any preparation.

This isn't supposed to be an exercise in gritty realism. The pro tour pictured here bears no resemblance to the real PGA, and the entire plot seems to take place in Bizarro World. The alleged "tour" is just a gimmick to stage a mano-a-mano "slobs versus snobs" showdown between Sandler and the snooty, artificial tour kingpin, who resembles Snidely Whiplash more than a real pro golfer. Sandler, of course, plays an irresponsible slob who wears hockey jerseys, curses more than Cartman, gets into hockey-style fights with other golfers, throws tantrums on national TV, and gets into a fistfight with Bob Barker in a celebrity pro-am. (Barker is hilarious in a VERY funny scene in which he ends up kicking Sandler's ass.)

Predictably, Sandler becomes a working class hero whose galleries look like the checkout line at K-Mart, and just as predictably, he eventually manages to save the house his grandpa had built brick-by-brick. The unrealistic and formulaic elements do not really detract from one's enjoyment of the film. It's a cute underdog story. The jokes are good. The characters and situations are funny.

Ray McKinnon is not the only character actor who became a director. Happy Gilmore was directed by Dennis Dugan, who once had 15 minutes of acting fame in his own series as "Richie Brockelman, Private Eye", and who once reached a majestic height on TV Olympus as Captain Freedom, possibly the most memorable and beloved guest star role in the history of Hill Street Blues. Since Gilmore, he has directed Big Daddy, again starring Sandler, and a pretty funny film called Saving Silverman, which stars Jack Black.

If you're a Happy Gilmore fan, you'll perk up when you read that the special edition DVD has twenty minutes of deleted footage. Unfortunately, the footage is not that good and is mostly unfunny stuff, either about granny's nursing home or a discarded sub-plot revolving around Sandler's homeless caddy, whose part seems to have been very large at one point, but was whittled down significantly for the theatrical release. There are also a few minutes of outtakes, but they are nothing extraordinary.

No nudity, but some sexy lingerie action from Julie Bowen


 Nip/Tuck, Season Two

You can avoid this cable series. It is a soap opera. The only differences between the typical plots for an episode of this show and an episode of General Hospital are (1) this show runs an hour instead of a half hour, and (2) Nip/Tuck has bigger stars and a bigger budget.

Since we all know that soap operas are not designed to appeal to heterosexual males, you'll find very little nudity of interest here. Those people not in our demographic may get some jollies from the frequent shots of Dr. Doom's ass, but the female nudity is all "cheats." The sex scenes obscure all female naughty bits. Sometimes the women wear bras in bed. At other times the sheets are pulled up to the woman's chin. Still other carnal occasions are shot from above - with the man on top. There is not one breast in focus in season two of this series - which is amazing since it is about doctors who specialize in boob jobs. There are a couple of fleeting butts, one of which is completely anonymous! I watched 16 hours of this crap, and this was it.

  Jennifer O'Dell
  Rebecca Staab

Where the Truth Lies (2005)

The two trailers for this Atom Egoyan film both contain nudity. Here they are

The Crimson Ghost

A Monique Parent double play (no one has mentioned baseball for a while at the Funhouse) from the series "Thrills" and "Hot Line."

 Monique Parent in "Thrills"

 Monique Parent in "Hot Line"


'Caps and comments by Hankster:

Today we have a look at three movies.
First up, "The Human Stain" staring Nicole Kidman. Rare for me but this is a good movie.  Kidman looks very sexy as usual and gives us some fleeting glimpses of flesh as she carries on her affair with an older man (Anthony Hopkins).
 Jacinda Barrett does a strip for her boyfriend which ends up as a full frontal scene in "The Human Stain"
 Next is "Mail Order Bride" which features Ivana Milicevic - no real skin but a very sexy woman.
 Some random unknown topless scenes in "Mail Order Bride"
 We wrap it up with ultra cute Heather Graham in "Committed" some nice cleavage on her wedding day.  


Hello ...  

 Here come the next three clips from "Mes nuits sont plus belles que vos jours" (1989). I haven't seen the entire movie but judging by these clips it doesn't seem to make much more sense than "Il diavolo in corpo" which you reviewed yesterday. Hopefully you can contradict me on this one once you have reviewed the copy you ordered. In the meantime we can enjoy Sophie Marceau, who says in clip 6 that she needs a lot of love (ho bisogno di tanto d'amore).

Of course the correct hint from Amazon should have been "Customers who bought this DVD also subscribed to Uncle Scoopy's Fun House", but we all know those computer generated messages aren't always the most accurate ones.

Here are clips 5-7 out of ten. (5, 6, 7)


Zononon Zor does the honors in Exploitation Theater today today with Death Game

Colleen Camp
Sondra Locke


Camille Guaty in the pilot for Prison Break
Asia Argento in Last Days, Gus Van Sant's as-yet-unreleased film about a character very much like Kurt Cobain
I have never heard of La Gifle, but it appears to have been the first screen nudity for the popular beauty Isabelle Adjani
D'oh! I screwed up this link yesterday. Sadie Frost, tits out as usual.
Movie Reviews


Here are the latest movie reviews available at


  • 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
Weather dude loses his cool when interrupted by the perky anchor

Dr Phil's new daughter-in-law is a Playmate, one of the Dahm triplets. (center of picture)

Lock your doors tonight, and make sure you know where your kids are, especially if you live in Westchester County, because that hardened criminal Martha Stewart is free and on the prowl.

South Park cleans up for syndication. A few episodes will not make the cut for two reasons: (1) because the necessary trimming made them unacceptable to Matt and Trey; (2) because a two minute program with 28 minutes of commercials is not especially entertaining.

A paparazzo catches Paris Hilton wearing a bikini and feeding sea birds.

AOL Music: Full CD Listening Party -- hear the new album from Bob Dylan free

"Jim Carrey is in early talks to team with Ben Stiller and play obsolete pleasure clones in Used Guys a comedy to be directed by Jay Roach (Meet the Fockers) for 20th Century Fox. Variety reports that the plan is to shoot next spring."

The trailer from "The Ice Harvest".

Here's the publicity release:

  • "The Ice Harvest" is a wickedly funny thriller about thick thieves and thin ice. It's Christmas Eve in rainy, icebound Wichita, Kansas, and this year Charlie Arglist (John Cusack) just might have something to celebrate. Charlie, an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, and his unsavory associate, the steely Vic Cavenaugh (Billy Bob Thornton), have just successfully embezzled $2,147,000 from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard (Randy Quaid). Even so, the real prize for Charlie would be the stunning Renata (Connie Nielsen), who runs the Sweet Cage strip club. Charlie's fondest Christmas wish is to slip out of town with Renata. But, as daylight fades and a storm whirls, everyone from Charlie's drinking buddy Pete Van Heuten (Oliver Platt) to the local police begin to wonder just what exactly is in Charlie's Christmas stocking. For Charlie, the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with nonstop twists and turns, both on the ice and off.


Cults - A Handy Reference Guide (Satire from Landover Baptist)

An ostrich on the Golden Gate Bridge

At last, there is Treatment and Hope for victims of Cypridophobia.

  • Although it beats the shit out of me why you would want to be cured of "fear of prostitutes." This is one fear that might help extend your life-expectancy.
  • D'oh - now I get it. It took a while for this to sink into my thick skull. If I wanted to run a legal prostitution business, I would bill the women as therapists helping men to cure their "fear of prostitutes." That's actually a pretty slick scam!

1950s comic book ads, internet style ... X-ray goggles and video camera

More crazy technologies either deployed or developed by Hitler's Third Reich

According to Inside TV magazine, Gabe Kotter is TV's most memorable teacher. The matriarch of all TV teachers, Our Miss Brooks, was not even nominated. Kotter was OK but, for the record, I would have preferred either Mr Pomfritt from Dobie Gillis, or the John Houseman character from The Paper Chase.

Life imitates art. Is Keanu Reeves dating Diane Keaton? I may be guilty of selective memory, but I don't remember Keanu ever having been romantically linked with anyone famous before this.

Letterman reveals the "Top Ten Things I Have Learned in 12 Years at the Late Show."

The Animals sing House of the Rising Sun on Ed Sullivan

Bush Takes Vacation From Stressful Vacation, Relocates To Tree House

The first eight minutes of Green Street Hooligans, the Elijah Wood film about soccer fanaticism.

Two clips from Nic Cage's new film, Lord of War, in which Cage is an international arms dealer whose weapons are represented in 8 of the top 10 war zones. Problems begin when he realizes Interpol is on his tail, and he develops a conscience.

Here's the trailer for Charlize Theron's new movie, North Country

Pat Reeder (

Pat's comments in yellow:

Ron Popeil, the man who gave the world such infomercial products as the Veg-O-Matic and the Pocket Fisherman, has struck a deal to sell his company, Ronco, for $55 million.  He will continue to do the infomercials and create new products.  In his patented style, Popeil said the sale is in two easy payments, "$40 million now and $15 million later," and added, "But wait, there's more! This means I have the time to invent more products!"

*  I once invented something I called the Pocket Fisherman, but it was basically just a pants pocket with a big hole in it.

Some German vacationers returning from Turkey started screaming when the pieces of the interior of their Turkish Onur Air jet began falling on their heads.  They started trying to hold it together with adhesive tape.  Passenger Gunnar Storch told the Bild newspaper that they saw the exposed wiring, which "wasn't a very reassuring sight," and a flight attendant ran to tell the pilot, but he "wasn't in the least bit interested."  After the plane landed in Leipzig, Storch said he tried to report it at the airport, but "no one was interested."

*  They already knew you could fix anything with duct tape.
*  They told him not to bother them unless the tape on the exterior of the plane comes loose.
*  Turkey's idea of an international airline is a German plane held together with Scotch tape.

Klaus Wowereit, the openly-gay mayor of Berlin, Germany, is under fire for giving an official welcome to a sado-masochism festival that draws thousands of leather-clad tourists.  He said the S&M weekend "stands for the pure zest of life."  Conservatives and even some members of his own party called it tasteless and inappropriate, but Wowereit dismissed them as "narrow-minded," saying the S&M festival will be good international advertising for Berlin.

*  So when you think of torture, cruelty and domination, think of Berlin!
*  He added, "Let the critics flog me!  I ENJOY it!!"
*  I think if I want to be spat on, belittled and humiliated, I'd rather go to Paris.

Shanghai Daily reports that China Youth Association researcher Liu Gang warned of a new danger to public health and morality: naked Internet chats.  He said they thought at first this was "merely a game for a few mentally abnormal people," but their research found that up to 20,000 Chinese are logging into chatrooms, taking off their clothes and striking "provocative poses" for each other over their webcams.  The paper said authorities worry that "baring one's body to strangers will have negative consequences" on young people's personal growth.

*   That's not true: the guys will even let you WATCH them grow.
*  Sounds like it's made them a lot less shy.
*  Among the most-requested poses are "Steamed Buns," "The Pu-Pu Platter" and "Choking General Tso's Chicken."
*  They already have over a billion people; if they prefer virtual sex, don't discourage them.

Real estate in London is so expensive, a house is on the market for $933,868, and its width ranges from about 5 feet to less than 10 feet.  The five-story "skinny house" is a former hat shop wedged between two larger buildings.  It has a kitchen, dining room, reception room, shower room, dressing room, three bedrooms, and a patio, small garden and roof terrace.  But it's so narrow, the normal-size tub takes up the entire bathroom.

*  The kitchen is so narrow, the only thing you can cook in it is hot dogs, aligned east-to-west.
*  It's so skinny, when it was a hat shop, they couldn't sell wide-brimmed hats...If you bought a baseball cap, you couldn't wear it sideways until you left.
*  Some supermodel will probably buy it.

Animal rights advocates in Mexico are running an ad campaign featuring sexy Argentine model Dorismar in a string bikini, discouraging the practice of eating endangered sea turtle eggs to boost virility.  It was banned in 1990, but the eggs are still poached because men believe they're an aphrodisiac.  On the poster, Dorismar says, "My man doesn't need turtle eggs because he knows they don't make him more potent."  But the ad is under fire by other activists: feminists say the posters promote sexual stereotypes more than saving wildlife.

*  They suggest using a photo of Hillary Clinton...Men who see that won't want to have sex at all.
*  Unfortunately, most men's wives look more like the feminists than like Dorismar, which is why they do need the turtle eggs.
*  Turtle eggs don't make men more virile, but they do help them slow down a bit.

Kyodo News of Japan reports that a doctor at the national Shiga Hospital was operating on a patient under local anesthesia when the man began wiggling and yelling, "Please stop the operation!"  The annoyed doctor punched him in the forehead and said, "Stay still!  Shut up!"  The operation was halted, and the hospital apologized.  The operation was later performed by another doctor, after the patient's forehead healed.

*  It was stitched up by a third doctor, who broke the patient's nose for flinching.
*  It's true: Moe Howard is alive and performing surgery in Japan!
*  The doctor said he just decided general anesthesia would be better.
*  Sounds like the doctor should've punched the anesthesiologist.

Dalvindar Singh, 29, was an exchange student from Singapore studying in Australia when he robbed a convenience store.  Singh wrapped himself in a black plastic bag, brandished a drill bit, and told clerks he had a gun and would "blow them away."  He got away with $320. His excuse was equally bizarre: his lawyer blamed his homesickness for leading him to drink, take drugs and watch too many TV crime shows.  A judge noted his clean record and remorse, and said Singh's fascination with crime shows probably contributed, but still gave him three years in jail.

*  Hey, as long as it's a jail with a TV...
*  If he watches crime shows, he should've known that's how they all end.
*  This sounds more like he was obsessed with watching "Jackass."

 In an Elle magazine interview, Pamela Anderson urged women to grow old gracefully, saying, "Don't buy into all the anti-aging secrets.  It's a conspiracy.  We're all getting older so accept it.  Don't waste your money on loads of products.  Don't stress!"  But Pam did offer one beauty secret: espresso.  She said "it goes right to the nipples" and makes them perky.

*  It keeps them up all night!
*  If you want perky nipples, don't buy an espresso machine, buy a percolator.
*  If that doesn't work, try iced coffee, applied directly.

Fifteen people dressed as zombies showed up at the "American Idol" auditions at the University of Texas at Austin to chant, "Television rots your braaaaaaaains!"  The organizer said he wanted to raise awareness of the "brain-melting nature" of TV by "terrorizing throngs of vapid pop star hopefuls."  But the "Idol" producers had heard of the stunt in advance and were waiting to film them.  They asked the zombies to sign a release so they could put them on TV.  They signed it.

*  What can they say?  They're brain-dead zombies.
*  Now they've got a record contract...They're cutting cover versions of old songs by the Zombies.
*  Simon Cowell would love zombies on "American Idol": they have no minds of their own, and they get thinner ever day.



Currently on disability. If you'd like to get in touch with him, his email address is

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