"Silent Night Deadly Night"
Silent Night Deadly Night (1984) caused a furor when it was released. Parents came out of the woodwork to condemn the film makers for creating a Santa Claus villain, and making a film so violent and gory. They succeeded it getting it banned from showing during the Christmas season. Maybe I am just dense, but it is (and was) rated R, and was called Silent Night Deadly Night. What was in these parents so called brains when they took kids of the "I believe in Santa" age to this film? It is a low budget ($750k) slasher film with evil Santas, but is far from the bloodiest I have seen. It is better made than most, and gives more insight than is usual into the psyche of the slasher.
Young Billy Chapmen is on his way to visit grandpa with his parents and his baby brother, and can't stop talking about Santa coming that night. Grandpa seems in a permanent trance, but when everyone leaves Billy with him to have a conference with the doctors, Grandpa tells Billy that there is a downside to Santa. If you have been naughty, even once during the year, Santa will punish you. On the way home, a stranded Santa stops their car on the road, then shoots his father, rapes his mother (Tara Buckman), then slits his throat.
Cut to several years in the future. Billy is a little older, and living in a Catholic orphanage with his little brother. It is Christmas time, and he is upset, drawing a hideous Christmas picture. Mother Superior sees fit to punish him, especially when he peeps on two older kids (Barbara Stafford and Paul Mulder) having sex. It is here that he learns sex is naughty.
Cut to several years in the future, and Billy is a large teenager. Sister gets him a job in a toy store for the Christmas season, and he does well until it gets very near to Christmas. Things escalate when their Santa breaks a leg, and they make Billy the store Santa. After closing on Christmas eve, they have a Christmas party, and Billy (as Santa) observes his coworker Toni Nero being seduced/forced into sex by another employee. This is, of course, naughty, and Santa must punish them. This starts his murderous reign. Among his victims are Linnea Quigley, who is babysitting, and being naughty with her boyfriend.
Buckman shows breasts during the rape. Barbara Stafford is nude in the sex scene, but we only see breasts. Nero shows breasts in a lengthy sex and death scene. Quigley is wearing only a pair of panties for most of her appearance. IMDB readers have this at 4.1 of 10. The film has attained cut status, and Rotten Tomatoes reviews are fairly good, but not from the rated reviewers. I see no reason for the initial furor. This is not an especially bloody slasher film, but does sustain tension better than most, is well filmed, has lots of breast exposure, and is reasonably well acted. In case there are any real thick parents out there, don't show this to your 5 year old. The DVD is newly remastered and totally uncut. It includes an image gallery, and a phone interview with director Charles E. Sellier Jr. This is a C, a solid genre film.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
More new DVD releases for the week.
Each of these movies is excellent if your kind of movie. Bend
it Like Beckham is rated 7.5 at IMDb (much stronger with women),
Better Luck Tomorrow is 7.7 (strongest with viewers under 18), and
Nowhere in Africa is 8.0 (strong across the board, Best Picture
Oscar for foreign language films). The latter two are high enough to
make the Top 250 if they had enough votes. I liked all three,
although Bend it Like Beckham had moments that made me cringe.|
Better Luck Tomorrow (2003)
Better Luck Tomorrow is a high school black comedy, or maybe an
almost-serious movie about something that most people can't really
relate to - the closet rebellion of overachievers. The adult world
always assumes that the kids who get good grades and high SATs and
are polite to their elders are as empty-headed as they seem on the
surface. Of course, that doesn't make sense. We adults believe it
because we want to. In reality, these kids are simply smart enough
to present adults with the face they want us to see. They are as
good at survival skills as they are at everything else.
So what are they really thinking about? That's the subject of
It manages to take a reliable, overused film setting (the high
school years) and look at it through a fresh set of eyes. It is
neither a typical coming-of-age soap opera nor a predictable
romantic comedy, but incorporates elements of both. It is a freshly
imagined story about a high school criminal gang composed of the
least likely elements - the best students in the school.
Imagine, if you will, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Now imagine that
Damone's low-level crime of ticket-scalping had been accompanied by
the brutality and ugliness of real crime - violence when people failed to
pay him, for example. Now imagine Damone as a straight A student who
is also president of every club, but also packing heat.
There you have Better Luck Tomorrow.
Four over-achieving Asian Americans start running
various scams to make extra money. They start out by selling
homework and test answers, gradually expanding their business. They
can get away with far more than typical students because they know
how to play the adult game. They get straight A's, and shoot for
1600s on their SATs. They are national champions in the academic
Olympics. They play on sports teams and participate in just about
every school activity. They do volunteer work in hospitals and clean
up beaches. They have jobs, and are invariably chosen as "employee
of the month". All of this simply makes sure that adults stay off
their backs, and that they will be quickly forgiven if they get
caught doing things they should not do.
Of course, the trouble they get into gradually
expands from the usual student pranks into far more adult behavior -
like armed assault and even murder (this isn't a spoiler - their
problem with a dead body precedes the opening credits). And their
homework-for-profit scams gradually expand to activities with far
greater profit potential, like burglary and drugs.
At first the other kids just treat them like a
bunch of nerds until they start flashing the weapons which allow
them to convert their newly discovered economic power into
psychological power, at which point the rest of the kids start to
treat them with the kind of fear and grudging respect normally
reserved for the toughest guys in school - all while they retain
their academic credentials. The film's author recognizes one thing
that moviemakers usually don't understand, that people who are both
talented and driven to perfection are good at everything - they are
no less qualified to be great criminals than to be great physicists.
These four guys simply use their genius and drive to succeed at
The four of them are affected in different ways
and to different degrees. Some are almost able to keep their
perspective and remain who they had been before their criminal
successes, while others are seduced by the power offered by their
new lives. Some eventually want out, while others want to become
full-fledged criminals. So it is in life.
What makes the film extraordinary is that it
manages to take your basic high school story and run that as a surface
plot, while it runs a lurid Tarantinoesque undercurrent simultaneously.
- Adiadne Shaffer (1,
Nowhere in Africa (2002)
Skinner: We need a name that's witty
at first, but that seems less funny each time you hear
Apu: How about the "Be-Sharps"
(General laughter, then silence when
they think about it and simultaneously realize it isn't
My first reaction to "Nowhere in Africa" was very similar to the
Be Sharps first reaction to their new name on The Simpsons. I
thought the film was terrific, very honest and moving, beautifully
painted. It was only upon thinking about it that I found it quite
flawed. When I thought about it some more, I realized that there was
a good explanation for those flaws, and that they were not really
flaws at all, but part of a narrative device.
It's a German movie (in German and Swahili) about a family of
middle class German Jews who move to Africa in the late 30s to avoid
the situation in Germany.
- The father is a lawyer by trade, but he realizes that a simple
agricultural life in Africa is better than the alternative, so he
resigns himself to make do as best he can.
- The mother seems to be a material-oriented woman, whose last
decision before leaving for Africa is to buy a ball gown instead
of the refrigerator her husband asked her to bring. She starts
with a condescending attitude toward Africa and Africans, but is
unable to equate her attitude toward Africans with the Germans'
attitude toward Jews. She is miserable. She and her husband
develop marital troubles, and her eye wanders.
- The daughter is a little girl who does what little kids
invariably do, which is to make some kind of a life in their new
surroundings. She learns Swahili, makes African friends, and
generally gets on with the process of living.
When the war is over, the family members have to make a difficult
decision about returning to Germany. Their Jewish friends are gone.
Their life is in Africa. The daughter has never really known
anything but Africa, and is happy with her life. The wife, despite a
difficult adaptation, has gradually come to love her surroundings.
The father, in love with Africa at first, would like to return
because he has a profession in Germany, and no talent for farming or
soldiering, his sole choices in Africa.
The director uses a warm golden palette to show the simple
landscapes of Kenya. This is not a Discovery Channel special. There
are not many arcane tribal customs or exotic animals on display,
except in the same frequency they would occur in the lives of the
Germans. The cinematography is gorgeous and simple. The situations
and dialogue are free from rhetorical flourishes. The two actresses
who played the little girl are completely captivating. I watched it
once and was touched by it.
Then I started to think about it. How is it that all the kids in
Africa were so accepting of their new playmate? Do you infer that
children there are not like children in the rest of the world? They
don't make fun of outsiders? How is it that all the Africans are so
proud, so wise, so gentle? Are we to infer that nobody has any
violent urge to overthrow the white colonials? How is it that the
Africans seem to make no distinction between Germans and English and
Jews? Are they so pure of heart as to be incapable of understanding
the concept of warfare between tribes with different languages, and
that different people worship different gods? All of the film's
rosy-tinted suggestions are contradicted by actual historical events
Then I started to think some more? Where are the real hardships
of African life for the Europeans? The film concentrated on things
that are easy to adapt to. It is not that difficult to learn new
languages and to eat new food. But what about constantly fighting
the attacks of worms? What about the lack of medical care when
somebody really needs it? Those were the sorts of things that
finally persuaded me to leave the African and other undeveloped
countries where I once worked cheerfully. I almost died in a poor
country once from a simple attack of diarrhea, and was saved only
because I worked for a big oil company, whose local officials were
able to bribe me into the top hospital where they took my vitals and
rushed me to the top of the priority list. In the US or Europe, the
whole matter would have been nothing, but what if I had been on my
own in the developing world? Those kinds of issues, the matters of
difficult adaptation for outsiders, were completely ignored in the
film. The author chose instead to deal with the Europeans' shallow
and ultimately foolish resistance to matters which were actually
Then I realized that I was overreaching with analysis. In fact,
what I observed was exactly what should have been in the movie. The
story, after all, was told through the eyes of a child, narrated by
the adult version of that child many years later, from her dim
memories of that period. Since she was just a child at the time, her
understanding of things was not profound. Their gentle cook did seem
like a perfect person to her. Since her recollections occurred many
years after the events portrayed, her memories were romanticized and
selective. Presenting the story this way is a perfectly legitimate
literary invention. Unfortunately, that type of literary device -
using an adult's childhood memories to narrate a story - is
generally clearer on the written page, where the POV is continually
I guess it's best to go back to my first reaction, my gut
reaction to the movie. It's an old-fashioned story that draws one
into the characters, then allows those characters to grow. It hooked
me. It hooked a lot of other people as well.
- Juliane Kohler (1,
Bend it Like Beckham (2003)
This is actually a pretty darned good movie, but I have to give
you fair warning. If you liked My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this is
probably your kind of film. In fact, it might easily be called My
Big Fat Indian Wedding. If you did not like the Schmaltzy Greek
film, you probably won't like this one either.
It is the story of two Indian girls growing up in England. One is
preparing for a traditional wedding to an Indian guy, the younger
one is hoping for a soccer scholarship from an American
university, leading to a possible professional soccer career in
America . The essence of the story is the conflict between the
traditional cultural values of the Indian family and the younger
daughter's desire to broaden herself.
Good movie, but a chick-flick (women score it 8.1 at IMDb). No
- Charlie's French Cinema Nudity site is updated. Highlights:
Sophie Marceau in Pour Sacha, Connie Nielsen in Demon Lover.
Julie Dreyfus at Kill Bill premiere
porn star SUSANA SPEARS - free gallery
he worst Halloween costumes of all time
Adult Film Star Al Jizzeera Succumbs to Name Change
Gosh darn. It turns out Prince William of England
is the antichrist. My
money is still on Ethan Hawke.
Is Dillinger's Dick in the Smithsonian?
Arnold's New Battle: His Past Statements: "'I
admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little
man with almost no formal education, up to power. I admire him for
being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it.' "
Arnold demonstrates the proper technique for
an even bigger and better picture of the green
t-shirt and the Mouseketeer
Arnold's top pick-up lines.
My personal favorite: "'Have you ever had a man slide his tongue
in your (anus)?'" Interestingly, this is the same line George Bush
the Elder used to woo Barbara.
Daryl Hannah walked around chilly London town
yesterday, and felt a nip in the air.
(This is good, trust me!)
The Sun has a great article on other stars without
GULF WAR II heroine Jessica Lynch was hit by a
vicious sex-smear campaign.
The Sun says: Halle Berry split from her hubby
after spending nights with wild Limp Bizkit rocker Fred Durst.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but that guy's Bizkit doesn't seem all
Halle hoped to hide her break-up
Worldwide Tropical Storm Names through 2008
Miami Dolphins defeated by their hot tub
A game of Russian Roulette with a real, loaded gun
is slated to be broadcast live on British television this Sunday
in what is being billed as the ultimate reality-TV
How TV works, part 2. Ratings and shares and
sweeps, oh my
Washington Redskins Cheerleaders.
Sorry, no individual bios.
Weekly World News: AMERICANS will soon be paying a
lot less at the gas pump, thanks to the discovery of a huge oil
deposit -- under the lawn of the White House!"
7'4" Ric Smits makes the jump into Competitive
It appears that the critical darling, Lost in
Translation, will be at least a small hit. It has already done $9
million in only 488 theaters.
I want to see it, but it's in only three theaters in Austin, and
the nearest one is many miles away and in the middle of city
archives. May also include newer material than the ones above,
since it's sorta in real time.
to submit a URL for inclusion in Other Crap
are the latest movie reviews available at scoopy.com.
- 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 Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or Mick
Locke, or somebody else besides me)
- If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too
ashamed to admit it.
An excellent rare find!
- Kelly Preston topless and showing some see-thru rear nudity in scenes from the 1988 movie "Spellbinder". The movie is not currently available in on home video in the USA, and these 'caps are from an Australian DVD.
Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website. www.graphic-barry.com.
|The villainess from the painfull lame "Bulletproof Monk" makes it up to us with this toplessness in sex scenes from the UK movie "The Last Great Wilderness" (2002).
|Anne-Marie Duff, Dorothy Duffy and a whole mess of other actresses going full frontal in scenes from "The Magdalene Sisters" (2002).
|From "100 Women" aka "Girl Fever" (2002). Bartlett shows wonderbra cleavage in #1, partial side breast views in #3 and is topless in the shower, but the shower door obscures the view. Morrison in a bra in #1 and showing partial bum views in #2.
|2 of the 3 ladies from my favorite guilty pleasure on syndicated TV, "She Spies", showing plenty of cleavage. If you haven't seen the show, you're really missing out on a fun, toungue-in-cheek action comedy that's smartly written and has plenty of eye candy.
||I'm not exactly sure where this comes from, but here's the Über-model wearing a see-thru dress that shows off most of her breasts. Thanks to Squiddy for finding this one for us.
|The "Spy Kids" star showing off a whole lot of cleavage, and even a full side breast view in link #3 in scenes from the 1998 movie "Judas Kiss". Carla's new TV series "Karen Sisco" premiered Wednesday night on ABC. I missed it since it was on opposite the NBC rating's powerhouse "Law and Order", but so far the buzz is that it's a pretty decent show.
"Karen Sisco" is based on the J-Lo character from the 1998 Steven Soderbergh movie "Out of Sight". So my guess is that it has some potential.
By the way, Scoop and I love "Out of Sight", as is evident in the opening line of his review.... "Is it a good movie? No, it's only about the coolest, hippest motherfucker ever committed to celluloid. Style, performing, and sang-froid to make Pulp Fiction look like a third grade Thanksgiving pageant in a Mormon elementary school."
|As we've said many times over the years...you can never go wrong posting Connelly pics. Here she is topless and showing off her posterior at the young age of 20, in scenes from "The Hot Spot" (1990).
|The Skin-man highlights some of Kinmont's (aka one of the many Ex-Mrs. Lorenzo Lamas) nudity over the years. Two films and two topless scenes in this batch. Links 1-4 feature her in a soapy bath tub scene from "The Art of Dying" (1991). Links 5-8 are from "Bride of Re-Animator" (1990).
|Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
Pat's comments in yellow...
10 THINGS ABOUT ARNOLD
More Points Than He Can Count! - Arnold Schwarzenegger released a 10-point
plan for his first 100 days as California governor. It includes ending the
big tax exemption on Indian casinos and repealing new laws that triple the
car tax and give illegal immigrants driver's licenses.
Now he's done it! He's lost the illegal immigrant vote!
The other seven points all involve barbells.
#2: He Does All His Own Stunts In Bed - Maria Shriver is stumping for her
husband with a speech to women's groups called "10 things you should know
about Arnold," and the #1 thing is that he's smart. She said the main
attraction she felt for him was how smart he is, and his "capacity, ability
and desire to learn."
The #2 thing you should know about Arnold is that he married a big liar.
Of course, she's comparing him to Uncle Ted.
Sure, she noticed his brain first, not the fact that he was Mr.
WAL-MART RATTLESNAKE A HOAX?
Hey, That's A Snakeskin Shoestring! - Authorities in Brownwood, Texas, are
trying to determine whether a man who claimed he was bitten by a
rattlesnake at Wal-Mart is a hoaxster. He claims the small Diamondback bit
him when he reached for a pair of shoes, he stomped it to death, then took
it to the sporting goods section. But an employee told police it didn't
look freshly-killed to her.
In fact, it was a belt.
It had gone past the "stew" phase and was halfway to "jerky."
Employees at Wal-Mart sporting goods sections in Texas see a LOT of dead
He took it to the sporting goods section because stomping rattlesnakes
is the official sport of Texas.
PARENTS NAMING KIDS AFTER PRODUCTS
And Hundreds Of Sealy Posturpedics - There's a trend for naming children
after parents' favorite products. According to Social Security records, in
2000, 49 kids were named Canon, and there were also Camrys, Chanels,
Bentleys, Jaguars, a Xerox, a Gouda and a Bologna. The mother of a
three-year-old boy named Timberland said the boots were the pride of his
dad's wardrobe, and "the alternative was Reebok." She wanted to name their
son Kevin. They are now divorced.
She gave him the boot...And she took back her old name.
If you want to name your kid after an athletic shoe, call him Cletus.
Xerox would be a good name for twins.
These kids were conceived in Camrys, Bentleys, Jaguars...and one on a
Kylie had to cover her bum to avoid paparazzi
In other news....