“Wizardry”

Written by David Lawler
Additional Commentary by Andrew La Ganke
Original Music by Alex Saltz, APS Mastering
Introduction Music: “Twas The Night Before Christmas” (Clement Clarke Moore) by Art Carney.
Audio Clips: “Santa and the Doodle-Li-Boop” (Alan Abel) by Art Carney, Star Trek “Wolf In The Fold”, The Odd Couple “Security Arms”, “Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery” (a 1997 film directed by Jay Roach), “Dust In The Wind (Kerry Livgren) by Kansas (from the 1977 album, “Point Of No Return”), “Night Of The Meek”, “Dust”, “It’s A Good Life, The Honeymooners “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”.

Recorded March 29, 2016

© BlissVille, David Lawler copyright 2015 for all original vocal and audio content featuring David Lawler and selected guests each episode. Original Music © Alex Saltz copyright 2015. This podcast, “That Twilighty Show About That Zone” is not affiliated with CBS Entertainment, the CBS Television Network, or The Rod Serling Estate. 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. I do this ’cause it’s fun, and nothing else.

Running Time: 31:33 Direct Download

Vintage Cable Box: Q: The Winged Serpent, 1982

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“New York is famous for good eating.”

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Q: The Winged Serpent, 1982 (David Carradine), United Film Distribution Company

You can almost hear the surge of John Williams’ famous two-note tone poem, except that instead of swimming the murky depths of the North Atlantic, we’re soaring across the magnificence that is the New York City skyline. We start with a peeping-tom window washer, and his quarry: a temperamental fashion designer, annoyed at the screeching sound of his implements. Before he has an opportunity to get a date with the girl, he loses his head! Literally! Something flies toward him, and we hear a lovely chomping sound effect, and then a scream. This is “Q”, short for Quetzalcoatl, a dragon-like reptilian god, whose soul purpose is to make life interesting for beleaguered New Yorkers already faced with the day-to-day challenges of living in this dilapidated metropolis.

Recovering junkie and small-time criminal Jimmy Quinn (a spirited Michael Moriarty) runs off after a botched jewel store heist, and hides in the rafters of the Chrysler Building. He stumbles upon the nest of this creature, as well as an enormous egg, from which will, no doubt, emerge a baby “Q”. He puts two and two together; reading newspaper accounts of gruesome roof-top attacks, and quickly figures out who (or what) is responsible. No-nonsense cops, David Carradine and Richard Roundtree, are investigating a series of ritual slayings (or skinnings, as the case may be). The skinnings are being executed in service to the Quetzalcoatl. In a scene worthy of Hitchcock, Quinn leads a couple of mobbed-up goons to the rafters (to get their non-existent money), where they are then torn apart by this winged bitch.

While Carradine does his homework, chatting up anthropologists and figuring out how to pronounce Quetzalcoatl: (English pronunciation: /ˌkɛtsɑːlˈkoʊɑːtəl/; Spanish pronunciation: [ketsalˈkoatɬ]), Moriarty, somewhat cleverly, extorts the cops, claiming to know the location of the nest.  He wants a few things in return; a million bucks (tax-free), and an expunged criminal record.  In a brilliant scene in a diner, Carradine and Moriarty face off, with Carradine trying to get Moriarty to spill the location so the cops can keep their money, but Moriarty isn’t falling for it.  What follows is a spectacular shoot-out with the winged creature from the heights of the Chrysler Building.  If only the atrocious visual effects matched writer-director Larry Cohen’s vision.

Cohen’s script (rushed into production with only a day’s notice) is a colorful mosaic of eccentric characterizations (particularly the performance of Moriarty), and lively New York City locales.  Three stories intertwine in haphazard fashion; the junkie, the serpent, and the cult.  In 1982 (and perhaps even now), you would never see a script or a finished movie with such finely drawn characters, such quirky dialogue, Moriarty’s (sometimes annoying) Method approach to Jimmy Quinn, and the high production value of shooting in New York City all in service of what is essentially a modern-day King Kong, a b-movie, or a monster movie.  Q is truly exciting film-making from a master of the genre.

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An incredibly prolific writer and director, Larry Cohen would make Special Effects and Perfect Strangers before producing what many would regard as his masterpiece in The Stuff (1985) also starring Moriarty (kind of an alter-ego for Cohen, appearing in four of his movies).  Before Q, he had written for television (notably Columbo, Branded – which he created, and The Rat Patrol), directed a pair of black exploitation movies, as well as the classic horror movies, It’s Alive and God Told Me To.  Be sure to give my podcast, “Extreme Cinema” a listen as Andrew and I review Cohen’s Q and The Stuff.

Our first cable box was a non-descript metal contraption with a rotary dial and unlimited potential (with no brand name – weird). We flipped it on, and the first thing we noticed was that the reception was crystal-clear; no ghosting, no snow, no fuzzy images. We had the premium package: HBO, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon, CNN, The Disney Channel, and the local network affiliates. About $25-$30 a month.  Each week (and sometimes twice a week!), “Vintage Cable Box” explores the wonderful world of premium Cable TV of the early eighties.

Extreme Cinema! “Stop Talking and Start Driving”

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Tonight, we kick off our premiere episode of Extreme Cinema!  Action and Exploitation Movies with Andrew La Ganke & David Lawler with David A. Prior’s action thriller, “Deadly Prey” from 1987, and then we discuss the 2013 sequel, “The Deadliest Prey” starring his brother, Ted Prior.

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

Running Time: 1:32:37

Film Is My Oxygen (interview with Ted Prior and David A. Prior, 2013)

BZ Film (interview with Ted Prior, 2011)

Cinedelphia (interview with Ted Prior, 2013) 

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. I do this ’cause it’s fun, and nothing else.

This episode and this podcast, as a whole, is dedicated to the memory of David A. Prior.
(1955-2015)

NEW EPISODE! “Corporate Whores … and Press-titutes”

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Recorded March 12, 19, April 17-28, 2016.

With David Lawler, Andrew La Ganke, Eve Kerrigan, Denny Spangler, Bronwyn Knox.

“My Computer” (Prince) by Prince (from the 1996 album, “Emancipation”), “Yo Bill” (David Lawler) by David Lawler with vocals by Alex Saltz, The Dylan Ratigan Show (an American television program on MSNBC hosted by Dylan Ratigan), “Hail To The Chief” (James Sanderson), Fatman On Batman” (a web series hosted by Kevin Smith), “Pope” (Prince) by Prince (from the 1993 album, “The Hits/The B-Sides”), “Purple Rain” (Prince) by Prince and The Revolution, “The Beautiful Ones (Prince) by Prince and The Revolution, “Diamonds and Pearls” (Prince) by Prince and The New Power Generation.

The Vampire Economy

Artwork by Bronwyn Knox.

New Episode! “T.n.T. (Terror ‘n Tinseltown)”

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88th Academy Awards with Chris Rock, Angela Bassett, Louis C.K., and Leonardo DiCaprio produced by David Hill and Reginald Hudlin. Directed by Glenn Weiss.

“Act Naturally” (Johnny Russell/Voni Morrison) by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos.
“Til It Happens to You” (Lady Gaga/Diane Warren) by Lady Gaga.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” (a 2015 film directed by George Miller)
“The Road Warrior” (a 1982 film directed by George Miller)
“Bridge Of Spies” (a 2015 film directed by Steven Spielberg)
“Pulp Fiction” (a 1994 film directed by Quentin Tarantino)
“Cast Away” (a 2000 film directed by Robert Zemeckis)
“Joe Versus The Volcano” (1990 film directed by John Patrick Shanley)
“A Woman Under The Influence” (a 1974 film directed by John Cassavettes)
“Batman Begins” (a 2005 film directed by Christopher Nolan)
“Daughters Of Darkness” (a 1971 film directed by Harry Kümel)
“That’s Action!” (1991 film directed by David A. Prior)
“Expert Village” with Kevin Lindenmuth.
“Point Break” (a 1991 film directed by Kathryn Bigelow)
“Point Break” (a 2015 film directed by Ericson Core)
“Open Up Your Heart (And Let the Sunshine In)” (Stuart Hamblen) by Pebbles and Bamm Bamm.

© BlissVille, David Lawler copyright 2016 for all original vocal and audio content featuring David Lawler and selected guests each episode.  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.

Vintage Cable Box: “Lovesick, 1983”

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“It was a little experiment, that’s all. I never meant it to become an industry.”

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Lovesick, 1983 (Dudley Moore), Warner Bros./The Ladd Company

Mr. Zuckerman is a strange case. A homeless man with several shopping bags of garbage, he speaks into a 2-way radio, and is convinced aliens are beaming messages into his head from the top of the World Trade Center. Dr. Saul Benjamin (Dudley Moore) knows exactly what to do to assauge Mr. Zuckerman (David Strathairn). He gives him a piece of aluminum foil and tells him to wear it over his head like a helmet. This will block out the alien control rays. Mr. Zuckerman is satisfied with this.

Mr. Zuckerman is just one of Dr. Benjamin’s eccentric (and let’s face it – crazy) patients. Benjamin is quite frankly bored of listening to his wealthy, neurotic patients. He fantasizes about discussing modern psychology with the ghost of Sigmund Freud (Sir Alec Guinness – in serious competition with Strathairn for stealing the whole movie away from Moore). A colleague, played by Wallace Shawn, informs Moore he is falling in love with a patient (Elizabeth McGovern). When Shawn dies, Moore takes on the patient, and soon realizes (with the help of Freud, of course) he is becoming infatuated with her.

Though Moore’s character is married (to a beautiful art gallery owner), the marriage is only referred to twice in the film. He begins to stalk McGovern until he is finally caught in her shower. Soaking wet, he tells her can’t see her anymore because he’s in love with her, which seems just fine to her. Normally, this would all be fairly creepy, but again Moore has that gift of appearing likable even when he’s doing ridiculous and psychotic things. In fact, the most unlikable character in the whole piece is Ron Silver’s arrogant actor (an unusual part for him), Ted, whom is appearing in McGovern’s latest stage play. He is everything I hate about certain actors.

Later, Moore is about to confess his affair to his wife, but discovers she is having an affair with one of her goofy, somewhat perverted artists. Marshall Brickman’s script really doesn’t need this sub-plot. Perhaps he felt the stakes weren’t high enough for Moore’s character (even though he is in danger of losing his accreditation) and that he should also sacrifice his marriage to win McGovern’s love, but in the end, it isn’t necessary. Despite Moore’s borderline sociopathic antics, this is a thoroughly charming fractured love story about a man of psychiatric medicine who learns to care for his patients without the need for stuffing his bank account.

John-freaking-Huston
John-Freaking-Huston!

Late in the movie, Moore is called before a review board (comprised of Alan King and Selma Diamond) and headed by his mentor (John-freaking-Huston!). While miffed at his dalliance with a former patient, they seem more disturbed by the fact that he offers free psychiatric care to homeless people and that he refunds money to his patients because he feels he cannot care for them. They are concerned about the bottom-line and profit margins, and how they will be wealthy from the glut of schizophrenics flooding the city. At the end of this rather brilliant scene, Moore performs what he calls a “magic trick”. He swipes the linen from a handsomely-appointed dinner table without nary disturbing a glass or plate, which earns cheers from Huston, who claps his hands and chuckles enthusiastically.

As a fable about Manhattan neurotics, Lovesick is a charming song. New York City is lovingly photographed (as if it were in an old painting) and Phillippe Sarde’s score is magical. It’s unfortunate no widescreen version of this movie exists. Like Six Weeks, this is a very difficult movie to find. Not even my wily, resourceful friend, Andrew La Ganke, could locate this title, and it only exists as a very old full-frame title on DVD, so I pulled the trigger and bought it, and I’m glad I did.

Our first cable box was a non-descript metal contraption with a rotary dial and unlimited potential (with no brand name – weird). We flipped it on, and the first thing we noticed was that the reception was crystal-clear; no ghosting, no snow, no fuzzy images. We had the premium package: HBO, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon, CNN, The Disney Channel, and the local network affiliates. About $25-$30 a month.  Each week (and sometimes twice a week!), “Vintage Cable Box” explores the wonderful world of premium Cable TV of the early eighties.

New Episode! “The White Album, Disc Two”

Disc-Two

Blind Dog, Blind Cat : Tribulus terrestris : And The Oscar Goes Too… :
Driving in the Snow : My Mama Said
Birthdays and Star Wars : Healthcare and Taxes
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump : English Berry Trifle

“Martha My Dear” Perfect Piano Intro Tutorial by Christopher Stovakovic from YouTube (Lennon/McCartney), Sally Field winning an Oscar® for “Places in the Heart”, “Sexy Sadie” by pianojohn113 from YouTube (Lennon/McCartney), “Good Night” (Lennon/McCartney) by Linda Ronstadt