“Sugar Never Tasted So Good”

90 episodes? I can’t believe it, but I guess it make sense if you do the arithmetic. The first episode I recorded (with my dear friend, Neena) came out December 5th of 2014. It was recorded the day after Thanksgiving that year. In the middle of April, 2017, we have 90 episodes. This is the second-to-last for this series and featuring frequent collaborator Mark Jeacoma. Mark and I discuss musical tastes and the worldwide phenomenon of podcasting.

Show Notes:
KISS “Tomorrow and Tonight” on VINYL!
VHS REWIND!
On the Odd
Walnut Grovecast on iTunes

Music intro:
Song: “Down Deep Inside (Theme From “The Deep”)”
Artist: Donna Summer, John Barry

Music outro:
Song: Theme From “The Deep”
Artist: John Barry

Recorded April 5th, 2017
Aired April 18th, 2017

http://www.blissville.net
http://www.blissville.net/

Thanks to Chris Hasler for suggesting “Down Deep Inside (Theme From “The Deep”).

This blog and podcast was created for criticism, research, and is completely nonprofit, and should be considered Fair Use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. It is not an official product, and it should not be sold nor bought; this is intended for private use, and any public broadcast is not recommended.

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Extreme Cinema! A Deadly Game of Cat and Mouse

Extreme Cinema episodes are released once-per-month. This is because when we record, we usually wind up spending two to three hours discussing these movies. We have to watch the movies first, that takes about two weeks. We’re busy guys and Andrew and his wife just had a baby. After we record, I listen to the episode twice to figure out edit-points, sound effects, and where to put the clips. After that I start cutting for dialogue. I run the episode again to place clips and sound effects. I put the clips in and find the right spot for the intermission. I go through the episode again to take out the “uhs” and “ers” and gaps in the audio for piss breaks and diaper changes, and then I add in the intro and outro music and voila! A brand new episode of Extreme Cinema! So it’s a three-week process for me from recording to editing; add in an extra week for Bronwyn’s art and there you have it. I pride the show on having Bronwyn’s episode-specific artwork.

Tonight, we’re talking about John Boorman, an excellent often underrated filmmaker with a phenomenal body of work, again an eclectic mix of different genres, everything from cop movies to science fiction and fantasy. We have two movies we’re looking at in-depth directed by Boorman and starring the great Lee Marvin. Lee Marvin was an early champion of Boorman. He used his star power to get Boorman hired.

In Point Blank, a desperate John Vernon has a plan to get some loot.  He gets buddy Lee Marvin in on the heist, and the idea is to tell the story in a modified flashback, or at least to get the back-story.  He remembers Vernon’s words in a great out-of-context kind of way, but five minutes in, it’s obvious Vernon double-crossed him.  He told Marvin they weren’t going to kill anybody, but when they see their marks, he fires his gun and kills everybody.  Vernon shoots Marvin and leaves him for dead.  Marvin wants his cut, and he also wants a little revenge!

I watched Payback again to compare it with Point Blank; I wasn’t aware that Point Blank was an early adaptation of Richard Stark’s book, The Hunter, or that Payback was also an adaptation of the same source material. Bronwyn and I saw Payback back when it came out. It was unusual for us, in that it was a movie we were both very interested in seeing, even though it’s kind of a down and dirty action exploitation movie with the familiar beats of a revenge fantasy. This was Mel Gibson at his best, before he got all loopy. His Icon Productions made the movie, written and directed by Brian Helgeland (who won an Oscar for his L.A. Confidential script). It follows the same story as Point Blank, but executed differently – a kind of a straight line narrative, we start with a flashback and then go to the beginning.

We move on to Hell in the Pacific – great title and again directed by John Boorman, shot in beautiful Panavision, photographed by Connie Hall, who photographed Marathon Man among other classics.  We have the quiet, contemplative Toshiro Mifune meditating on an island, I surmise Guadalcanal with the breaking of water on the shore.  He searches with binoculars – perhaps he’s looking for a rescue boat, who knows?  We don’t know yet.  We’re not supposed to know.  We see Lee Marvin under a lean-to, some kind of a shelter, talking to himself.  Toshiro stalks the jungle.  I don’t know if Toshiro knows Marvin is near.

Written by David Lawler and Andrew La Ganke.
“Love Theme from Extreme Cinema” composed and performed by Alex Saltz.
Introduction written by Bronwyn Knox.
Narrator, “The Voice”: Valerie Sachs.
Artwork by Bronwyn Knox.
Head Title Washer: Ben Lauter.

Running Time: 1:33:15

Any and all images, audio clips, and dialogue extracts are the property of their respective copyright owners. This blog and podcast was created for criticism, research, and is completely nonprofit, and should be considered Fair Use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. It is not an official product, and it should not be sold nor bought; this is intended for private use, and any public broadcast is not recommended. All music clips appear under Fair Use as well. If you’re thinking of suing because you want a piece of the pie, please remember, there is no actual pie. We at BlissVille have no money, and as such, cannot compensate you. If anything, we’re doing you a favor, so please be kind. We do this ’cause it’s fun, and nothing else.

 

“I Could Make the Sun Shine from Pure Desire”

David B. Anderson, frequent contributor to VHS Rewind! and co-host of my numerous podcasts, joins me for a frank discussion of politics, transvestites, transgenders, a time-traveling Richard Belzer’s uncanny impersonation of Donald Trump in 1974, and all manner of inappropriate sociological rambling.

Show Notes:
The Groove Tube
Music intro:
Song: The Breakfast Club “Love Theme (Instrumental)
Artist: Keith Forsey

Music outro:
Song: “Move On Up”
Artist: Curtis Mayfield

Recorded March 23, 2017
Aired April 11th, 2017

www.blissville.net
http://www.blissville.net/

This blog and podcast was created for criticism, research, and is completely nonprofit, and should be considered Fair Use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. It is not an official product, and it should not be sold nor bought; this is intended for private use, and any public broadcast is not recommended.

“Why Do Fools Fall In Love?”

“The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.”

Marshall McLuhan

Chris Cooling is co-host of the Walnut Grovecast, frequent contributor to VHS Rewind! and host of his own podcast, Forgotten TV. We talk about Brent Spiner, television antennas, the explosion of high definition programming, music rights, and TV theme songs.

Show Notes:
Forgotten TV site
Videoholic ULTIMATE YouTube page

Music intro:
Song: Trapped in a Box
Artist: No Doubt

Music outro:
Song: The A-Team Opening Theme
Artist: Mike Post, Pete Carpenter

Recorded March 22, 2017
Aired April 4th, 2017

www.blissville.net
http://www.blissville.net/

This blog and podcast was created for criticism, research, and is completely nonprofit, and should be considered Fair Use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. It is not an official product, and it should not be sold nor bought; this is intended for private use, and any public broadcast is not recommended.

“Woke Up With A Monster”

So how long has it been? I think the last time we got together, we were talking about Carrie Fisher, right? BlissVille is back with a new series of episodes sure to knock your socks off! Tonight, I talk to Geno Cuddy, host of Geno in the Evening, Comcast public access channel 15 in Connecticut.

Show Notes:
Geno’s IMDb Page
Comcast Public Access 15
Moviesucktastic
Geno’s YouTube Page

Music intro:
Song: Woke Up With A Monster
Artist: Cheap Trick

Music outro:
Song: The Hellion
Artist: Judas Priest

Recorded March 21, 2017
Aired March 28th, 2017

http://www.blissville.net
http://www.blissville.net/

This blog and podcast was created for criticism, research, and is completely nonprofit, and should be considered Fair Use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. It is not an official product, and it should not be sold nor bought; this is intended for private use, and any public broadcast is not recommended.

Extreme Cinema! “Is It Safe?”

Would ya do me a kindness? Don’t slam the fuckin’ door!

So, we usually talk about movie directors on the fringe with their respective peers. The first episode we recorded was about the deceased David A. Prior, low-to-no budget filmmaker, Deadly Prey and The Deadliest Prey. Fred Olen Ray, Mark Goldblatt, Rowdy Herrington. Tonight, we’re talking about an Academy-fuck-Award winner, John Schlesinger. Midnight Cowboy. Billy Liar. Far from the Madding Crowd. Sunday Bloody Sunday, and the four movies we’ll talk about tonight. I think we both agreed on Schlesinger because you put forth Eye for an Eye as a prime example of exploitation film-making. Upon further analysis, we saw a very eclectic, unusual, iconoclastic film-making career. Mr. Schlesinger passed away July, 2003, but his work remains for us to dissect. He truly was a maverick film director, along the lines of a Sam Peckinpah or a Bernard Rose.

We were messaging the other day and you wrote something interesting: “Schlesinger reminds me of another director we’ve always kind of made fun of…a guy with very few (if any) common threads among a varied body of work, with some ‘classics’ under his belt and a bunch of mediocre warmed over, but technically competent other stuff.

Let’s get to know the man, and we’ll start with Marathon Man from 1976.

“Why don’t you just try acting?”

Marathon Man is famous in acting circles for an often quoted and misquoted exchange between Hoffman and Olivier concerning a perceived difference in their approaches to acting. Hoffman later set the record straight in a retrospective interview, explaining:

“When we got back to Los Angeles [Olivier] said, ‘How did your week go, dear boy?’ And I told him we did this scene where the character I was playing was supposed to be up for three days. He says, ‘So what did you do?’ I say, ‘Well I stayed up for three days and three nights.’ And [Olivier’s] famous line was, ‘Why don’t you just try acting?’ … It became kind of legend. It’s been quoted so many times, at least in the acting circles. And the truth is I was the first one to quote that line … They leave out the reality and just put in what feels more provocative or a better story. And what accompanied him saying ‘Why don’t you just try acting?’ … He laughed, because he said, you know, “I’m one to talk.” And then he was actually the first one that told me about risking his life every night jumping whatever it was twenty feet in the last act of Hamlet. And the truth of it is I didn’t just stay up three days and three nights for the scene; it was a good excuse, because these were the days of wine and roses in Studio 54″.
— Hoffman, Dustin (Actor). Marathon Man (DVD).

Moving on to 1996’s Eye for an Eye starring Sally Field, Ed Harris, and Kiefer Sutherland.  Ed Harris and Sally Field were both in Places in the Heart. Nice to see Beverly D’Angelo, who was also in Pacific Heights, directed by Schlesinger. So far, scenes of a bucolic life with twinkly music. I get the feeling this is going to be bad.  This is a bit much. Sally’s daughter is being attacked while on the phone with her mother. We can’t get a good look at the attacker. We have a big panic situation, much like Marathon Man. This is effective but weird. Here we have an ice sculpture killing a woman instead of a coffee machine. They should really outlaw these things!

Written by David Lawler and Andrew La Ganke.
“Love Theme from Extreme Cinema” composed and performed by Alex Saltz.
Introduction written by Bronwyn Knox.
Narrator, “The Voice”: Valerie Sachs.
Artwork by Bronwyn Knox.
Head Title Washer: Ben Lauter.

Running Time: 1:36:46

Any and all images, audio clips, and dialogue extracts are the property of their respective copyright owners. This blog and podcast was created for criticism, research, and is completely nonprofit, and should be considered Fair Use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. It is not an official product, and it should not be sold nor bought; this is intended for private use, and any public broadcast is not recommended. All music clips appear under Fair Use as well. If you’re thinking of suing because you want a piece of the pie, please remember, there is no actual pie. We at BlissVille have no money, and as such, cannot compensate you. If anything, we’re doing you a favor, so please be kind. We do this ’cause it’s fun, and nothing else.

 

The New Cult Movie Podcast – Ep 5 – Godzilla’s Revenge (1969)

godzillas_revenge_1969

This is episode 5 of Geno Cuddy’s brilliant New Cult Movie Podcast, in which we discuss the 1969 film, All Monsters Attack, directed by Ishirō Honda.  This is such a bizarre and wonderful movie.

I refer to my notes here, from the article I wrote commemorating the 60 and 61st anniversary of Godzilla, “61 Years of Screaming.”

Of course, none of this can prepare you for the madness that is “All Monsters Attack” (1969), a Godzilla movie that isn’t really a Godzilla movie. It’s more a 69 minute acid trip suffered by a boy who hallucinates being given instruction by Godzilla and his son in how to deal with some local bullies while he hides from burglars. This is my daughter’s favorite of the Gojira movies as it directly addresses children.

“Kaiju Machi”
Performed by Risato Saski
(Japanese Version Only)
Translated as “Strange Beast Road”

This is such a funky, awesome opening theme, the original Japanese title sequence.

The opening titles are a mash-up of previous Gojira movies, there’s this weird cat-like monster, a spider monsters that projectile vomits silk, like Mothra (or Mosura in the original Japanese). This movies comes without subtitles, because I think it just plays better when you don’t quite know what’s going on. You’ll notice too the widescreen format. When we first watched these movies on television, they were presented 4:3 and looked awful – also the dubbing was pretty bad. It seemed like it was three or four actors doing the voices: one woman, two men, usually they would get the female to dub the voices of all the children.

Here we have post-war Japan and the director Ichiro Honda keeps reminding us of the industrialization that took over Japan and really made it into a financial super-power in the late 70s, early 80s. We focus on this little, and he has a little girlfriend, and he’s beset by bullies. He and his friend have to wade through this traffic in Tokyo.

As you can see, the color correction for this blu ray set is fantastic, looks so much better than previous releases. The symbol on the kid’s baseball cap looks like one of those 45 adapters for records.

The kid starts tripping. Where is he going? He’s on an airplane with a bunch of white people! Everybody vanishes! Monster Island! Now we commence fighting! Godzilla looks like he’s gained a little weight in the ensuing years.

He’s falling down a rabbit hole. This is Alice in Wonderland, or Akira in Wonderland.