Over the Wire (1995)
Over the Wire (1995) Has to be one of the worst soft core films ever made.
The acting is missing, the sex scenes are shown as a series of dissolves,
which robs them of all energy and passion, and it has the worst plot logic
error I have yet scene. A phone repairman (who is an ex-cop thrown off the
force for some reason we never learn) is eavesdropping on phone
conversations, and hears a woman hire a hit man to kill her sister. She
gives the hit man the sisters address. Out telephone man tells his best
friend, who is still on the force, but he refuses to get interested. He
then goes to the address, only to find that both sisters live there.
We now have a story of him and his detective friend trying to figure out
which sister did the hiring. But think about this. The hit man has never seen
the one who hired him. How is he going to know which to kill and which to
collect from? The evil sister is shot at the end, several times in the
chest through a white blouse. Not only don't the bullet holes bleed or tear her blouse, but
she was facing the pool, took the bullets in the chest, but fell forward into the pool!
Then she spits out a whole mouthful of red liquid into the water.
Not only was the exposure done with constant dissolves, but it was oddly
lit, and mostly out of focus. You can well afford to miss this one.
Tuna Special Collectors Project -- The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) is important and or interesting
for so many reasons, I hope I don't forget half of them. Lets start with
the recently released DVD:
- Excellent transfer with no graininess, noise or dropouts.
- "Making of" featurette
- Publicity Photos and ad art
- Full length commentary from film historian Tom Weaver
- Production Notes
- Theatrical Trailers
- Cast and Crew Bios
Creature was originally shot and shown in 3-D. This was the first attempt
to shoot 3-D under water, and the first attempt to shoot under water with a
moving camera. A special two camera system was devised for the underwater
work. 3-D got a bad rap because theater goers saw poor quality that often
made them dizzy, gave them headaches, or made the nauseous. It was not the
fault of the 3-D technique, but of the projectionists in the theaters. The
technique is simple to explain. Two nearly identical copies are filmed, but
from a few inches apart. The two reels are projected onto the same screen
through polarizing filters, one horizontal and the other vertical. Viewers
wore cardboard frame glasses with polarizing filters with opposite
polarity, so each eye saw only one of the two images, and the mind fused
the disparate images into 3-D. The problem arose when the projectionist
didn't synch the images. They had to be in synch frame by frame, or the
above mentioned ill effects occurred. Universal Studios considered filming
in 3-D color, but were reluctant to spend the additional $10 thousand on a
project they were not sure of. The film would have been gorgeous in color.
The inspiration for the story came from two places. First, William Allen
heard a story at a dinner party at Orson Welles' home about a "fish-man" in
the Amazon who came out of the river once a year and abducted a maiden. The
story teller swore it was true. The tale stuck with Allen, who proposed the
project to Universal. His rough of the screen play (and both sequels) was
stolen from King Kong. There were some radical ideas in the final script.
First, the scientist was not a "mad scientist," but the hero, who wanted to
observe and document nature, not kill and mount it. Second, there was a
strong ecology theme, a good 15 years before ecology was popular (even in
California). At one point, love interest Julie Adams is sitting on the side
of a boat, and tosses a cigarette butt into the water. This would not have
seemed unusual in 1954. The monster is watching her from below, and the
action is not lost on him. Cut to dead fish floating all around the boat
due to a chemical they put into the lagoon to try and render the creature
unconscious so he would float to the top. The clear message, especially
when seen in today's context, is that it is not acceptable to pollute nature.
Jack Arnold, who had just finished the successful "It Came from Outer
Space" the year before, was chosen to direct. In 1954, studio actresses
were simply assigned roles, and had little or no say in what they did.
Julie was not thrilled to be cast in a monster film (they were considered
to be at the bottom of the pecking order) but changed her mind once filming
got underway. Universal probably picked her so they could show her legs on
film. She was rumored to have the best legs in Hollywood, and Universal had
insured them in an oft used publicity stunt for $500 Thousand, but they had
never appeared on film. Her bathing suit was custom made, and was very
daring for 1954 in that it was cut well up the thigh in front, and
emphasized the crotch. Julie, with 126 credits at IMDB, certainly did not
suffer from having appeared in this horror film.
The Creature (also known as Gill-man by cast and crew) was half man half
amphibian. A team of scientists comes looking for him, pollutes his home
(The Black Lagoon), and repeatedly attacks him. What he would like to be
doing is making time with Julie (along with every human male in the cast.
The villain, who funded the expedition wants to bring the creature back for
a big payoff, both financially and to his ego. Julie's boy friend, an
ichthyologist, is more interested in studying and documenting him. Probably
the best known scene, and certainly the most erotic, occurs when Julie goes
swimming. She swims mostly on the surface, while the Creature swims below
her in kind of an erotic aquatic Pas de Deux. From the underwater camera,
looking up at Julie, who is back-lit from the sun above, Julie looks nude.
The film was shot by two units. Everything above water was shot on the
Universal lot, and everything underwater was shot in Florida. As the two
units shot at the same time, they had to use stand-ins for everyone who was
shot under water, including Julie (doubled by Ginger Stanely). The score
was actually done by committee, including Robert Emmett Dolan, Henry
Mancini, Milton Rosen, Hans J. Salter and Herman Stein. A strident 3-note
theme sounded every time the Gill-man is seen, and everyone who scored a
section was forced to accommodate the theme.
This film works well today, not as scarry horror, but because of some of
the advanced themes that were probably not apparent in 1954. This is the
sort of innocent "horror" that audiences found frightening before the
advent of "gore" and "slasher" exploitation films, and before real life was
more frightening than fiction. The "Gill-man" is certainly one of the
greatest monsters to emerge from the last half of the 20th century, and
deserves a place next to Frankenstein, the Mummy, King Kong, etc. I would
call this DVD a must for anyone serious about film.
Eight and a Half Women (2000)
from Johnny Web
I guess you all know
about my love/hate relationship with Peter Greenaway
Although his plotting is almost irrelevant and
his concepts are so eccentric as to defy summarization, I
have found some of his movies charming, quirky,
intellectually engaging, and aesthetically brilliant.
I think Pillow Book is an aesthetic marvel, although I
have to admit there weren't many times when the purity of
my aesthetic appreciation was polluted by any
comprehension of what the hell was going on. I think
Drowning by Numbers is a masterpiece of eccentric art and
puzzlemaking, artier than but comparable to TV's
"The Prisoner". I think "A Zed and Two
Noughts" is one of the best visual movies I've ever
seen, although stranger than strange. And "The
Tempest" - well, it is unusual and quite a feast for
the senses, although Elya reminded me that it was the
most pretentious thing she's ever seen. And this from a
woman who's sat through all of Tarkovsky's movies. I mean
- more pretentious than "Nostalghia"? That's
pretty pretentious. But I thought it was a stunner.
But on the other hand, Greenaway's eccentricities can
be irritating and boring and uncomfortable to watch. For
example, I'd have to vote for "The Draughtsman's
Contract" as the single most boring movie I've ever
The new one, "Eight and a Half Women",
doesn't have enough of his strengths, and is too deeply
rutted in his eccentricity, intellectual aloofness, film
theory and artistic theory.
It starts out with the death of a beloved wife, after
which the sole son consoles his stiff banker dad by
having sex with him. So right away you know this ain't
gonna be a Touchstone Pic.
Then, together, they assemble a mansion full of
concubines to fill up their grieving lives. A sub-plot
about the bank's foreclosing on a Japanese businessman
gives Greenaway an excuse to indulge his fascination with
Japanese art, aesthetic design, and flower arrangement.
Japanese and Italian. There are at least two tributes to Fellini's "8
1/2". In the title, obviously, and in the fact that
the father and son watch the Fellini classic twice.
The movie has some striking visual composition, and a
truly excellent performance from the older man, John
Standing. It also has some interesting discussions about
filmmaking, the engineering marvel of the penis, Kabuki
theater and various other subjects that you won't find
discussed in the next Bruce Willis movie. For example,
one Japanese woman wants to become a female impersonator
so she can be more feminine - because the female
impersonators in Kabuki are trained in every nuance of
I'll be honest. I try to support individualistic
filmmakers like Greenaway, because I admire solitary and
unique geniuses and their disregard for the copycat
formulae of Hollywood. We need such people, and who else
but Greenaway could even conceive of making such a movie
as this? I really wanted to like this movie.
But in the last analysis, I really wanted it to end.
There's a ton of nudity, male and female, and it's
quite creative. Naked women washing pigs, riding horses,
in hospital braces, in nun's habits, in painterly
tableaux. Some of the concubines got naked at one time or
another. Father and son were naked constantly.
I have the luxury of doing this movie after Tuna did
it. He did his usual thorough job, and since you can find
his works in the back issues in the past week or so, I
only did a few scenes that i liked.
summary: 5.9 out of 10. Down there in the "Bad
movie" range. I don't believe that Greenaway cares
whether people like his movies. I suppose he'd wear this
low score as a badge of honor.
info from Amazon.
|RDO's thorough look at The Dirty Seven, which is not to be confused with The Magnificent Dozen.|
Mr R. Daneel Olivaw has been doing this for I don't know how long - three or four years, I guess, and he just keeps getting better. Thanks for everything, RDO.
Carrie Ann Moss|
|Whoa! I thought The Night was retired, but I guess I thought wrong. He did about a bazillion caps this weekend.|
Today: Carrie Ann Moss in "Soft Kill" (probably the most thorough documentation of this scene), and Sandra Bullock in some stinkin' Sandra Bullock movie, I think "28 Days".
|No nudity, but some famous women in watchable movies. Lucy Liu and Brandon Merrill are seen in "Shanghai Noon", and Zeta-Jones is seen in "High Fidelity"
With Blinky in semi-retirement, is there any doubt who the king of the runway is? If there is, let the pretenders move over, because Zenguru is back.|
The following pictures are a runway model, but are not from Zenguru. They aren't even pretty. They are paparazzi pictures of model Jodie Kidd, and I really hesitated to print them because this woman looks like she has severe anorexia and just doesn't look healthy. I finally decided that they are news, and reporting the news is part of our job, so here they are, but I hope someone helps this girl.
This is Daniela from Big Brother - I think the German version.
| and ...
||one of our favorite babes, on the cover of "Front" in November
||a collage of some highlights from www.nakednews.com
||also from "Front"