This top section includes Scoop's site notes, images, vids, web finds, and meandering prattle.

House of Wax (2005)

The 2005 film called House of Wax is not a remake of the 1953 Vincent Price 3-D classic. It shares only a title and the general premise with the earlier movie, that being that the wax museum in the story is far more realistic that most because the wax characters are actually real humans with a thin wax veneer.

The film is less like its namesake than like House of 1000 Corpses, or any of those "city slicker teens encounter homicidal redneck maniacs" films, except that these particular inbred locals have a different way to dispose of the bodies. In all other respects, it is one of those films where the uppity college students treat the slack-jawed rubes with contempt and end up paying for their condescension.

As per the genre standards, the script requires the kids to do every possible stupid thing to provoke their own fate. After an unexpected detour from the interstate, the kids don't even know where they are and decide to get some zzz's. A local pick-up truck shines its lights into their camping area. They don't like it, so they break the headlights on the pick-up truck. The driver leaves, so they congratulate themselves, resume drinking, and fall asleep without moving to a different campground.


In addition to the usual clichés and conventions, the film may have two items of interest, depending on your preferences:

  • One of the college students is played by the socialite and omnipresent media personality Paris Hilton, who does a striptease down to her underwear.
  • The set design, decor, and style of the film are original. The indoor lighting scheme features an ubiquitous chartreuse hue which bathes the scenes in an otherworldly glow. The actual design of the House of Wax is a re-imagined form of Art Deco, and the museum really is made out of wax, which means that the entire building melts down completely in the inevitable fire which ends every wax museum movie. This provides additional opportunities for the film's creative people to mount some eerie images.



Mainstream critics: crapped on it (24% positive reviews) despite some nods to the visual style.

Genre fans: found it short of being a classic, but one of the better horror films of the year. Their attitude is summed up by an IMDb comment: "It has everything a good horror should; a creepy villain, excessive violence, acts which make that average person cringe ... this movie hit all the bases. It is definitely worth a watch." That was not just one person's attitude. The film pulled in a surprisingly high $68 million at the box office. ($32 domestic, $36 foreign.)

My own opinion:  Too predictable to engage my interest.



5x2 (2004)

Five by two. Two people; five scenes; reverse chronology. (I suppose it should be "minus five by two".)

We first see a couple at their divorce hearing, followed by some extremely awkward farewell sex which edges near to the borderline of rape, and even goes over that border. We step back a couple of years to a dinner party which demonstrates some cracks in their relationship. We step back again to the birth of their son, and the inexplicably remote behavior of the new father. We step back to their wedding ceremony and some insight into problems already appearing at that time. We finish at their first romantic encounter on a sun-kissed holiday. As the scenes move back in time, the increasing happiness of the relationship is reflected by a corresponding change in the film's color palette, which becomes ever warmer.

The reverse chronology technique jars us completely out of identification with the characters. The farther we go back, the more emotional distance appears between us and them, because we do not share their hopes and dreams. We watch the scenes knowing the relationship will come to nothing. Although the technique places a great distance between us and the characters, it has the effect of driving us farther inside ourselves, examining whether some things should have been evident to them, and why. Eventually, the film forces us into recognition of how much they are like us, normal people with a reasonable amount of hopefulness about their relationship, and the forced introspection makes us ask ourselves if our own relationships, past or present, show the same signs of deterioration. Of course, the script is calculated so that we will see ourselves, because there are no cataclysmic events nor great rifts between them, just the subtle, everyday cracks and fissures we all experience. Francois Ozon's script is, in that respect, deeply cynical, although that cynicism is covered by a veneer of straightforward  realism.

The emotional impact of the ending is uncannily effective. It is the couple's first encounter, and they literally go swimming off into the sunset, bathed in warm gold and orange hues. It stops right there - a classic Hollywood romantic ending, exactly as a Hollywood movie would present it. The difference, of course, is that the incredibly hopeful ending fills us with sadness, because we know the rest of the story and,  as Graham Greene once pointed out, baseless optimism is inherently much sadder to us than despair.

Valerie Bruni-Tedeschi (film)   
Valerie Bruni-Tedeschi (Deleted scene)   


Body Language (1995)

Body Language (1995 TV movie) is a thriller with Tom Berenger as a lawyer in the middle of defending a mob boss on a murder charge. From there, it is sort of Body Heat, with one small surprise at the end. Unfortunately, I guessed the final surprise long before the ending.

Berenger is in an auto accident with a beautiful young stripper (Heidi Schanz), and takes her home. He can't resist her, and she enlists him to help kill her abusive husband. On the off chance that you will want to see this, I won't spoil any more of the obvious plot. Schanz shows breasts and buns several times. Mim Parker, as a stripper, also shows breasts.

IMDb readers have this at 4/6 of 10. Who am I to argue? The material is derivative, not very well done, and none of the characters are especially likable. This is a D.

Heidi Schanz
Mim Parker  

Kissed (1996):

Kissed (1996) is a Canadian film that I have difficulty classifying. What are the odds that, in an 8 day period, I would run into two films with necrophilia? Not only does this have a necrophilia theme, that is the entire plot. A young girl grows up obsessed with death, believing that she can see and feel the life force leaving the dead animals she finds. She grows up to work in a mortuary, and is in school learning embalming. She is also having sex with the fresh, young male corpses.

She meets a real live guy that seems to understand her, but he becomes obsessed with her rather odd habit, and wants to experience it. He eventually commits suicide, hoping that she will have sex with his corpse, and he will understand. The film was created by Lynne Stopkewitch (Director / Writer / Producer / Editor), and stars Molly Parker, who gives a three B performance.

IMDb readers say 6.4 of 10. It gained a host of Genie nominations, and Parker won Best Actress. It also did well at two Spanish film festivals. Ebert and Berardinelli both award 3 stars. Indeed, there are a million ways this film could have gone very wrong, but it didn't. By the end of the film, we feel that we understand Parker, and have some sympathy for her. This is a B-. Even if the subject is not attractive to you, it is so well told and portrayed that most people will like it.

Molly Parker



Kennedy Johnston in "Hotel Erotica"



With the Time Machine repaired we left 1975 behind and headed for home. But we took a wrong turn and wound up in 1973.  Oh well, as long as were here let's take a look at a "Babe in Bondage", Reiko Ike, who was suspended, stripped and groped by some not very nice men in a flick called  "Female Yazuka".

We finally got back home for a little "Hankster Light" as Debra Messing puts on a leg show for "Leno". Some cleavage too, but there's just not much there. She is still sexy as hell tho.



Today we conclude our coverage of "Valentino" dating back to 1977.

The second actress to grace our pages is Penelope Milford. In these 3 clips ( 1, 2, 3 ) she gets somewhat wild and ecstatic. Not to mention stark nekkid too, otherwise she wouldn't be allowed in here of course.

That's all for today. Tomorrow we'll take a closer look at Jane Birkin's youngest daughter, Lou Doillon.




Alexandra Paul Sunset Grill
Lori Singer Sunset Grill
Barbara Bach The Spy Who Loved Me
Jennifer Esposito Crash
Maura Tierney Dead Women in Lingerie
Penelope Cruz The Girl of Your Dreams  
Pamela Sue Martin The Lady in Red


Two outstanding high quality celebrity see-throughs from Squiddy. Brooke Shields ...
... and Gwyneth Paltrow
Before Shaun of the Dead came along, Return of the Dead was a strong contender for the title of "funniest zombie movie." (Running close to Cemetery Man). In my opinion, it still has the sexiest zombie ever, Linnea Quigley (right)
A couple of weeks ago, we saw Jacyln DeSantis naked in the Carlito's Way prequel. Here she is in Bomb the System.  

The White Sox sweep!

Letterman's "Top Ten Ways To Cheer Up George W. Bush"

Eight clips from Jarhead

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS REPAIRING MASSIVE LEAK IN CHENEY ... Leak Went Undetected For Two Years, Says Army Corps Chief

Disney backs antipiracy tech for Oscar DVDs

  • "Disney said Monday that it will release DVD 'screeners'--copies of movies sent to groups that vote on awards--only for DVD players made exclusively by a Dolby Laboratories unit, Cinea, and engineered to thwart illegal copying."

The Ritz Hong Kong is offering to sell custom Christmas baskets to well heeled-guests.

  • "Ritz Carlton guests with a million to spare can buy the exclusive Yule-tide gift that includes vouchers for three-night stays at the hotel in Hong Kong and others in Bali, air tickets for a private Gulfstream flight to the Indonesian resort island, shopping tours, a bottle of champagne and gourmet food, inclusing a Christmas pudding."
  • Makes sense to me. I also purchase exclusive gourmet Ritz food for my Christmas gifts - their delicious crackers.

Rolling Stones dig up rare songs for Starbucks CD

Thank God for state fairs on slow news days. 1,000lb Butter Sculpture Of Darth Vader And Yoda

I have a feeling Billy Bob Thornton will NOT add any singing awards to his acting plaudits. Hear clips from Billy Bob's new album.

"DMX spews XXX as he OKs jail term"

I wonder if you can guess which newspaper this came from: BIGFOOT TO JOIN THE CAST OF 'THE SOPRANOS'

There is something oddly compelling about these anonymous pictures ..."The pages below show prints I made from processing film I found in old cameras. ... In many cases the exposed films were over fifty years old. You are seeing them for the first time as they were lost by the photographers that took these images."

Worst reality show concept ... until tomorrow ... America's Next Muppet

"The world's first biogas-powered passenger train... is taking its first passengers between the Swedish cities of Linkoping and Vastervik. And the biogas comes from the entrails of dead cows. "

Former humorist Al Franken tells CNN's Zain Verjee why he is no longer funny.

Robert Downey Jr.: clean and sober

AstroPic: incredible close-up of Dione, a moon of Saturn

Colbert's word of the day: "overrated"

Steven Colbert talks to Lou Dobbs

The Daily Show covers the recent hurricane relief eforts.

George Clooney has denied reports that he contemplated suicide, although he says that reading those reports made him feel very depressed and ...

Violence Threatens Teenager - Zombie Peace Process

Conan O'Brien - Quotables for the week

  • "David Copperfield has announced plans to impregnate a woman onstage without touching her. Copperfield calls his new trick 'The Tom Cruise.'"
  • "Saddam Hussein's trial was televised live and, of course, many Iraqis were glued to their TV sets. Mainly, because years ago, Saddam had them glued to their TV sets."

Five-Finger Discount - A bargain store chain in New Zealand is giving a  $35,000 prize for the thriftiest shopper, and contestants must share money-saving tips.  Among them: Wash the dog in the shower with you...Cut your own hair  (this also reduces costly social obligations)...Cook boil-in-bag meals in the dishwasher while doing the previous meal's dishes...Keep your hands in your
pockets at all times while in stores...And one emphatic man merely wrote, "Do not give money to your wife" three times.

*  The WINNER!!
*  That guy obviously needs the prize money the most.
*  But if you keep your hands in your pockets, how will you shoplift?

Let's Make This An Olympic Sport! - Japanese artist Tomoko Takahashi has a  show in Cardiff, Wales, for which she won a $10,000 (US) grant to get drunk in public.  Her "art" is that she chugs 48 bottles of lager for three hours, occasionally seeing how far she can walk across a balance beam in high heels before she falls off.  She calls it a comment "on the availability and use of
mass-produced products."  But critics call it stupid, a commercial for binge drinking and a waste of taxpayer money.  One politician said if you want to see drunk young women tottering around on high heels, you can see it most nights in any city center.

*  Leave it to a politician to know that.
*  So everyone left the art gallery and went to the city center.

No Risk Of Brain Damage - In Graz, Austria, a 23-year-old man drank several bottles of red wine, then stood on a 4th story ledge at 4 a.m., shouted, "I am Superman!  Nothing can happen to me!" and leapt off in an attempt to fly.  He was hospitalized with head and back injuries, but luckily, he landed on a lower section and a roof, which prevented serious injury.

*  So in a way, he was right!

The Oscar Gift Bag Is Much Nicer - If you want to do your gift shopping early, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Hong Kong is offering a holiday food hamper for one million Hong Kong dollars ($128,000 US).  It includes vouchers for stays at the Hong Kong Ritz and a resort in Bali, private Gulfstream airfare, Rolls Royce transfers, shopping tours, champagne, spa treatments, gourmet food and
more.  A spokeswoman said it's all in a hamper, so you can just hand over a million-dollar gift.  She said it also includes a Christmas pudding because "it is a traditional hamper, after all."

*  Except in Hong Kong, a traditional Christmas pudding is made out of squid.
*  I'd love to give this to everyone, but I've already bought fruitcakes...last January, when they were on clearance.


Hungry For Work - An online poll by Personnel Today magazine confirmed that it's harder to get a job if you're fat.  The survey of 2,000 personnel executives found that most preferred to hire someone of "normal weight."  Half thought obesity affected productivity, and the same number thought overweight people lacked self-discipline.  And one in ten said they wouldn't want an overweight employee to meet a client.

*  Particularly if their employer is Jenny Craig.
*  Although ... it might be kind of nice to have employees who don't complain about the cafeteria food.

It's Incredible! - Elmo, Mr. Incredible and the slasher from "Scream" were all arrested on Hollywood Boulevard for "aggressive begging."  They were impersonators who dress up as the characters, and police claim they were harassing tourists for tips after posing for photos.  Police had warned them, and even posed as non-English-speaking tourists in a sting operation.  Elmo and the others were handcuffed and hauled off at gunpoint in front of shocked tourists.  The Elmo impersonator said, "With all of the crime in Los Angeles, they pick on us?"

*  At the holding cell, Elmo got tickled in places he didn't enjoy.

"Run Away!  Run Away!" - The new blonde James Bond, Daniel Craig, may have a little problem playing the role.  He told OK! magazine, "I hate handguns. Handguns are used to shoot people and as long as they are around, people will shoot each other.  That's a simple fact.  I've seen a bullet wound, and it was a mess.  It was on a shoot, and it scared me.  Bullets have a nasty habit of finding their target, and that's what's scary about them."

*  Lucky for him, no bullet fired at James Bond ever finds its target.
*  He'd better be a DAMN good actor.
*  Don't call him a blonde bombshell; it sounds so VIOLENT!!

I Vote For Flava Flav - Apparently having run out of humans to put on reality shows, ABC is planning a Muppet reality show.  "America's Next Muppet" will be a parody of shows like "American Idol" and "America's Next Top Model."  Details are secret, but word is that viewers and judges will both have a say in choosing a major new Muppet character to work with Kermit and Miss Piggy.

*  It's exactly like "American Idol," except on this show, Justin Guarini might actually win.
*  The Simon Cowell part will be played by Oscar the Grouch.
*  They'll take special care to ensure that none of the contestants sleeps with Miss Piggy.
*  Every contestant will have a hand up his butt, so it's also like "Fear Factor."

After actor Tom Sizemore claimed he spent the night once with Paris Hilton, she denied ever meeting him, but photos have surfaced on the Internet of the two cuddling at Sizemore's house

* Come on, she can't be expected to remember  EVERY guy she goes home with!
* I assumed he was lying when he said he'd slept with her ONCE.

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.

  • A white asterisk means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there is something else of interest.

  • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Junior or Brainscan or ICMS, or somebody else besides me)

  • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.