Category Archives: Celluloid

Films, Movies, Flicks, and Such

*dusts off blog*

Howdy! Yes, been a while since I blogged here. I have been more active at H&B, but I have been missing writing about fluff. Holidays and Twitter were a time suck, but hopefully I will be back in the blogging groove from now on.

Lately I have been on a roll regarding movies. Back in my younger days, it was part of my job to be very familiar with Hollywood fare. The more I learned about any movie, the more I began to realize just how awesome bad movies were. Sure, the title distinguishes the differences in celluloid: “film” is more artistic, “movie” is more entertainment, and “flick” is completely devoid of sense. And this post is about my favorite flicks. It’s my blog, and I write what I want.

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Number 5: Birdemic: Shock and Terror

This is supposedly inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Supposedly. It has birds in it, true. We don’t see them until halfway through the flick and though they are attacking humans, it seems they die for some unknown reason. It was also inspired by An Inconvenient Truth. Sigh…. If you enjoy bad acting, hammy preaching, and exploding bird gifs, this is the movie for you.

Number 4: Manos: The Hands of Fate

Apparently, the writer doesn’t know enough Spanish. This movie is so bad, it borders on greatness because it stemmed from a bet: anyone can make a horror movie. I bet they lost. If anything, watch the MST3K riff of it. It will limit the chance of alcohol poisoning.

Number 3: Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers

I know this is supposed to be a PG blog. But this flick is just too awesome to pass up. Plot centers around a gang of prostitutes who hack up people with chainsaws for their cult. PROSTITUTE CULT!!!

Number 2: Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama

Sorority pledges get paddled, whipped creamed, showered, then they get to B&E in a bowling alley for a trophy which gets broken, releasing an evil imp the wreaks havoc and zombifies the bowheads.

And my all-time favorite flick….

Number 1: Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death

Shannon Tweed (whom I adore) plays feminist professor Margo Hunt, who is hired to go into the jungle to investigate the disappearance of a fellow feminist (Adrienne Barbeau) and to secure the the import of avocados for the US while convincing the tribe of female cannibals to move to Malibu. Her guide is played by Bill Maher in the role of an idiot, so a lot of realism here. This plot is delicious on several levels, not the least of which is fighting factions that quibble over whether men should be eaten with salsa or clam dip. Not a euphemism at all.

So, these are just a few of the flicks we at Casa de Aggie enjoy. Thankfully, popcorn goes well with booze, otherwise some of these would be completely intolerable. I hope to do a full drunk blog post for Sorority Babes once friend of the blogiverse Tiberius comes for a visit. Hopefully it will be articulate. Maybe 😉

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I’m a Movie Heretic, Not a Critic

I take pride in that. It came about as a result of working for a movie store back in the 90’s. We used to get the most obscure, random movies to stock, so I took the time to learn about them. In the course of “research”, I found I had a unique taste for the random and obscure. But I also discovered that popularity of certain celluloid art made them less…palatable to me. The more popular a film, the less likely I was to find interest in it. This didn’t apply to cinematic masterpieces such as Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, A Streetcar Named Desire, anything by Hitchcock, etc. Even more modern fare like Silence of the Lambs was fine. But there is a limit for me. Some things I will never bother watching.

Probably the one movie above all others that I will never watch is Top Gun. No, I am not sorry. From what I have seen online and in trailers and accounts, “Maverick” is a total jackass. I don’t care that he finds humility at the end of the flick. I don’t wish to see Navy pilots portrayed in such a manner. My dislike of Tom Cruise is but icing on that cake. If the role were played by Bruce Willis, I still wouldn’t watch it.

And y’all know how I feel about Bruce Willis.

And that’s not the only movie that’s off my list. I will never see Pretty in Pink, my love of John Hughes notwithstanding. I’m pretty done with Marvel and DC Comics films, too. The only exception I would make to those is Deadpool. And no Nicholas Sparks films, either. He wrote one book, and now just changes the title. But give me an odd movie and I am THERE. Who can possibly pass up the chance to see Manos:The Hands of Fate, or even Birdemic? One of my favorite sleeper movies probably has the record for the longest title: The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill, But Came Down a Mountain. It’s the story of two cartographers tasked to determine whether Wales’ highest peak is a mountain. When it falls short, the villagers begin to build it up, bucket by bucket. It’s based on a true story and honestly the film doesn’t do the screwball happenings justice.

And what are your picks for celluloid waste? 😉


Anchors to Compasses

As some of y’all know, Eldest is serving in the US Navy. One of the things I had to get used to was dealing with the fact that she is an adult and I have no control over her wants for a tattoo. I admit it is…. difficult to untie the apron strings, and I have managed to do so. For the most part. Oh, like *I* am the only parent who has ever gone through this???

Yeah, I thought so.

Anyway, blogger friend XBradTC has a post about a Russian nuclear sub catching fire. The first thought to pop into my head was Red October. And then my friend Mark commented about reminding him of the movie Hostile Waters. And that brought to mind a survey done by USAA long ago about the best submarine movies of all time. I have told y’all how my mind wanders from one thought to another on skewed lines. This isn’t news. And I began to recall my favorites.

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Das Boot is by far my favorite. I fell in love with Jurgen Prochnow watching his portrayal of Capt. Willenbrock (not his name in the movie but the real life character on which it’s based) dealing with the immense claustrophobic conditions and the grittiness contained in that sardine can. He broke my heart in Beverly Hills Cop II but I soon forgave him. The movie gave us a slice of that unforgiving life served raw and rotted. And the look on his face as he dies in the air attack has never been equaled.

In not-too-distant second place it’s Gray Lady Down.

Two words: Charlton Heston.

Sure, you have Stacy Keach and Keith Carradine and even Christopher Reeve. But none of them come close to Heston. NONE!! As captain of the “Gray Lady” he balances hope against certain death masterfully. And Carradine’s act of ultimate sacrifice makes me cry every single time.

I think the first submarine movie I ever watched was my third place contender, The Enemy Below. It was dubbed in Spanish, and let me tell you, the guy who dubbed Robert Mitchum’s voice didn’t even come close to doing him justice. Technically, the submarine was not the protagonist in this movie. But the cat-and-mouse plot between Capt. Murrell and Capt. Von Stolberg brings you to the edge of your seat, and you can’t help but admire the German’s brilliance.

Tied for third place is the film that got me thinking about all of this in the first place. The Hunt for Red October had everything you could want in a movie: mystery, subterfuge, action, drama, humor, frivolity, major eye candy (don’t judge me), and even a touch of romance. Oh, not the “chick flick” type of romance, but rather romance in the simplicity of Capt. Borodin’s wishes to live in Montana. Respect for each other is definitely earned by all of the characters as the leadership of the Russian sub lies to its crew in its fight for survival on both sides of the ocean.

Last but not least, I have to say the “guilty pleasure” addition to my list is Down Periscope.  Though the entire scenario requires a complete and thorough suspension of disbelief, it’s still manages to instill good lessons in raising morale and dealing with the worst hand ever dealt. Kelsey Grammer’s portrayal of Commander Dodge is beyond hilarious, from deadpan to outrage to outrageous. Forcing the XO to walk the plank was hilarious. Christening the Stingray as the U.S.S. Rustoleum was genius.

Well, now I am feeling nostalgic. I may dig up my VHS copy of Red October from the bins upstairs. Yes, I still have VHS, and that cassette is rather special, since it’s red instead of the conventional black. Besides, one can never have too much of Sean Connery 😉