some random movie reviews

No unifying theme this time, since I'm lazy and uninspired and just mining some of my vast untyped-up-yet backlog. I'll try to add a few pictures and trailers to spice it up.

Aztec Mummy, The (B&W, 1957) aka La Momia Azteca, Attack of the Aztec Mummy A kinda-goofy professor tests his reincarnation theories by using a hypno-wheel to return a girl to her past life as an Aztec princess, where she got involved in a forbidden romance with a warrior named Popoca. As punishment they made him drink a sacred elixer and then buried him alive and sacrificed his girlfriend in a tiresome ritual that seems to be endless! To prove that it was an actual past-life memory and not just a hypnotized fantasy, they have to go to the tomb and find artifacts that appeared in the memory. For some reason, an arch-criminal called The Bat follows them there. They search out the tomb and finally (and I do mean finally, since she shows up in about the last 15 minutes of an 80 minute film) Popoca the Mummy emerges and menaces sleeping children and carries off women. He's pretty creepy, but he's photographed so dark you can barely see him, and you spend a certain amount of time staring at a black screen when he's around. This Mexican monster flick should have been great, but the pacing is leaden (slowed down even more by the utterly-dispensable "Bat" subplot) and it doesn’t deliver enough mummy-attack time to reward your patience.

Boys Next Door, The (C, 1985) aka Big Shots, Blind Rage, Death Takes A Holiday, No Apparent Motive. Bo (Charlie Sheen) and Roy (Maxwell Caulfield) are a couple of high school jerks who've just graduated and are headed for a lifetime of factory work, which they're not happy about. Roy, in particular, isn't happy about much of anything; he tells Bo that he has "bad stuff inside of him" and is angry all the time. He proves it when he and Bo head off for L.A. for the weekend and their little party trip turns into a killing spree. They start with a gas station attendant, and that's got some slight motivation to it, but soon they're killing completely at random. Bo's kind of shocked by it, but he goes along with it while suprisingly-efficient cops try to track them down. This movie is better than you'd think and came from director Penelope Spheeris's good period, when she was making angry, alienation films and working through her hellish James Elroy-esque adolescence. Then Wayne's World came along and fucked it all up, but, hey, a lady's gotta make a living. Anyway, this is a nicely done American nightmare with believable performances by Sheen and Caulfield. Even if you don't like them, it's worth watching just for the badass Plymouth Roadrunner they're driving.

Gang War (B&W, 1940) aka Crime Street. All-black-cast "race film" take on the old 30’s gangster flicks plays kind of like a rough no-budget version of Scarface. A light-skinned hoodlum named Meade takes over the Harlem rackets through brute force, killing off or intimidating all the competition. He starts by killing off the town’s top crime boss, and then he and his men start forcing all the juke joints to use his jukeboxes instead of his rivals (apparently those were really lucrative back then). While his crew does a hostile takeover of the Harlem underworld, Meade tries to win over a rival’s girlfriend; oddly, his ruthlessness doesn’t extend to his love life, because he plays Scrabble with his girl and kisses her like a third-grader! These movies tend to require music almost as much as Bollywood movies do, so there’s an overlong nightclub scene and even a weird bit where rival gangsters force Meade’s girlfriend to sing to him over the phone to keep him busy while they kill one of his men (named “Slickum.”) This causes more violence, and matters come to a head. It’s technically crude, with a bad over-reliance on newspaper headline montages and multilayered images, but it’s also fast-moving and has more shootings than most Cagney films. There are also some pretty good big-old car and motorcycle chases (watch close to see a motorcycle cop dump his bike on a wet street!). Cheap, rough, and derivative, but still good enough to deserve a reputation. Check it out.

Love From A Stranger (B&W, 1937) aka A Night of Terror. Carol wins a lottery and her boyfriend doesn’t accept her good fortune very well, so she dumps him and marries a suave new guy, Gerald (Basil Rathbone). He acts devoted to her, but reacts with rage if anyone goes into the cellar, where he spends a lot of time locked away, secretly developing photos and then crazily destroying them. He has violent outbursts and makes weird accusations, and it soon becomes clear that he’s not only a madman but a serial killer who’s obsessed with being able to “at one moment hold someone in your arms at the next to hold some thing!” Basil goes all out and his unhinged performance is scary; all his slick and well-mannered portrayals of Sherlock Holmes have not prepared you for the screaming batshit rage he unleashes here, which is especially shocking since the film has a refined British tone otherwise. Based on an Agatha Christie novel.

Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave, The (C, 1971) aka Lo Notte Che Evelyn Usci Dalla Tomba, The Night She Arose From The Tomb, The Night Evelyn Left the Tomb. The all-time classic title (with the all-time classic poster depicting a skull-faced woman in a nightgown holding up a severed head under the legend “THE WORMS ARE WAITING!” - when I was a grad student the guy I shared an office with had an original of this poster hung up on our cubicle wall, which was a great source of pride for us) isn’t quite backed up by the movie itself... but then what could live up to that hype? Anthony Steffan (The Stranger’s Gundown) is a demented pervert named Alan who deals with being cuckolded by his late wife by bringing home redheads, dressing them in thigh-high boots, and whipping them... and, apparently, murdering them. Threatened with being committed, Alan tries to cure himself by getting married... but that doesn’t help. In fact, it seems as though his late wife Evelyn has returned from the grave and is stalking Alan. A few killings are happening, too (a guy gets snakebit, a woman is eaten by foxes). Is the supernatural at work, or some sinister human plot? This giallo ends up Shakespeare style with the set covered by dead cast members, but there are only a couple of gory instances, making up for it with a little nudity, including the eerily-hot Ericka Blanc doing a strip-tease in a coffin. To see any of this you’ll need the NoShame uncut DVDE, since the public domain versions (which are so numerous as to be almost inescapable) tend to be cut.

Northville Cemetery Massacre (C, 1976) aka Northfield Cemetery Massacre, Freedom R.I.P., Harley's Angels You'd think this was a horror movie with that title, but instead it's one of the best biker flicks ever made. A motorcycle gang (played by the Scorpions of Detroit) start getting hassled by cops almost as soon as the opening credits are done. They get thrown in jail for not wearing helmets (which is apparently a huge crime, 'cuz the cops even wear helmets to drive their car), get run through a car wash, and have a wedding... which also gets hassled by cops. One of the deputies rapes one of the girls and blames the bikers for it. Her dad is hellbent on revenge, and the biker-hating rapist cop instigates some vigilante action and gathers a group of gun nuts to hunt down the gang and kill them all. At first the gang thinks a rival gang is doing the shooting and almost starts a war, but the vigilantes tip their hand by opening fire on the rival gang, too, and a lot of biker funerals start happening (which the cops also hassle). The vigilantes attack a funeral, but now the bikers are armed, too, and you have the titular massacre. The gunfights are Peckinpah Wild Bunch taken to the next level, complete with some amazingly well-choreographed gun shots and the best blood squibs ever (which they accomplished by using squibs in the guns, too, to keep the timing perfect). Filmed cheap on 16mm, but looks great and is professionally-handled and captures bikers a lot better than any Hollywood flick. Shot in 1971 (as Freedom R.I.P.) but not released until 1976, when the biker movie thing was already pretty much over. It looks newer than that, somehow. Great stuff.

Taken (C, 2008) Liam Neeson is a government troubleshooter who retired because he wanted to spend more time with his daughter Kim, or at least as much as his embittered ex-wife will begrudge him. He reluctantly agrees to let Kim go to Europe for the summer, even though he’s an overprotective dad and thinks Europe is far too dangerous for a 17-year-old. Turns out father knows best, because she gets kidnapped by Albanian white slavers while she’s on the phone with him. Working from the tiniest of leads and fighting against a very small time-window before recovery would be impossible, he sets to work trying to track down the kidnappers so he can kill them all and get his daughter back. The man’s driven, smart, resourceful, and capable of some pretty impressive and ruthless violence, and he’s quickly turning the slagheaps of Paris upside down and giving them a good shake. It’s always good to see an action film that doesn’t require you to turn your brain off while watching, and this one has exceptionally good pacing and a confident performance from Neeson, and it never gets too implausible.

Uninvited (C, 2003) aka 4 Inyong Shiktak Quiet, slowly-paced Korean horror about a lonely man who’s haunted by two little dead girls he saw on the subway; their mother had poisoned them and left them on the train, and he didn’t realize they were dead until he saw it later on the news. They show up at his kitchen table and it understandably freaks him out. While helping a narcoleptic woman who had a fainting spell, he discovers that she, too, can see the dead girls, and while asking her about it, he learns that she’s haunted by a few things of her own, such as the idea that she saw a woman’s eyes as she flew past her window during a suicide leap. The story is a little confusing (as most recent Asian horror tends to be) and is almost too slow-moving (I had to watch this in several installments because I kept falling asleep), and it’s creepy but not very scary (although scenes of a baby dropped off a balcony and a child being run over by a truck are pretty shocking). It’s not essential as horror, but it is beautiful-looking and does have a sad, disquieting cumulative effect, if you’re patient.

Velvet Vampire, The (C, 1971) aka Cemetery Girls, The Devil Is A Woman, The Waking Hour, Through The Looking Glass. A free-spirited young couple, Lee and Susan, meet a seductive (and pretentious as hell) woman at an art gallery and go to visit her at her home in the desert. The woman (Celeste Yarnall, who could be Lynda Carter’s twin sister) is named Diane LeFanu (in obvious homage to Sheridan LeFanu, who wrote “Carmilla”) and she’s a vampire (even though she can walk around in daylight). She and her male servant feed on some of the locals (like a dune buggy mechanic and his girlfriend) and eat bits of raw liver, but only has sex with her guests (or watches them have sex through a two-way mirror). But then Diane’s metabolism kicks in, making her more bloodthirsty, and even our not-very-bright swingers start catching on that there’s something wrong with her and they want to leave... but Diane wants them to stay, one way or another. Fairly standard vampire tale perked up by eroticism (the women here are all really pretty) and some style (including weird dreams of beds in the desert). There are moments of creepiness but overall the pace is a little too slow.

Zorro’s Black Whip (B&W, 1944) 12-chapter Republic serial has nothing to do with the Zorro character beyond the fact that the heroine (that’s right, heroine) dresses a little like him. An evil crime boss named Hammond tries to stop Idaho from gaining statehood, because then federal marshals could stop his gang. A masked hero called The Black Whip fights him vigilante-style, but he’s killed in the first chapter. His sister (smokin’ hot Linda Stirling) assumes his identity; how she has the same riding/shooting/brawling/bullwhip skills isn’t clear, and as good as she looks in all black, it’s a shame to put a mask over that gorgeous face. When she’s not going mano-a-mano physically, she’s battling corruption in her day job as a newspaper editor. When she’s not fighting, one of her male associates is, so there’s constant (if somewhat repetitive) action. Cliffhangers usually involve explosions or falls off of cliffs, and one really scary one involving a pitchfork. The stuntwork is better than the acting, or the scriptwriting for that matter, but it’s still entertaining stuff, and any serial with Linda Stirling is irresistible (even though you know that most of the time you’re seeing “the Whip” it’s just a small stuntman in the costume). Strangely for a Western, there’s a lot of use of telephones; I guess Idaho had phones before they had statehood. Lots of furniture-damaging fistfights; if you see any kind of railing in a room, you can bet it’s going to end up trashed.

(the following picture is also of Linda Stirling, but from another serial, The Tiger Woman. I love the very patient "Okay, I'm wearing a kitty-cat-head hat, but, what the hell, it's a living" look on her face:


Tortoise - Prepare Your Coffin [video]

Tortoise - via Pitchfork's website - unveils the first video, "Prepare Your Coffin," from the upcoming full-length release Beacons of Ancestorship. Artsy bastards...

Less than four minutes of your life, with black + white filmij and neo-Morricone/electric Miles sound; Tortoise puts the 'mental' in 'instrumental'...

If the embed window above does not work (which is likely since the fuckin' HTML code I used is utterly changed once added to the blog... WTF???)...


DeepDiscount Daily Deals

For about a year or so, the online site where I buy most of my DVD's and CD's has been doing something that I think is genius marketing. It's called the "Daily Deep Deal," and they basically take some junk of questionable appeal that they found in a warehouse somewhere, knock the price down, and make fun of it (and themselves) in sort of a Mad Magazine style. The concept is explained here (seriously, go read that, it's freakin' hilarious!)

This concept works pretty well, because even though I have yet to buy any of their "Deep Deal" items (which tend to be things like hoochie-girl refrigerator magnets, Kleenex dispensers shaped like soccer balls, volleyball player action figures, Steve Irwin in a tube with rubber 'gators, bad board games, etc.) I've occasionally noticed sales on DVDs or what-not while I'm checking their site just to see what funny thing they're mocking that day.

The past two days have really cracked me up... yesterday's was for slingshot ammo:

Today, they continued with the "choking hazard" running gag (no pun intended, or, hey, what the hell, pun intended, since it's funny, damnit!) and added it to the description of a "saving up for a pair of jeans piggy bank":

Anyway, I'm not really trying to shill for 'em (although I can vouch for 'em - I've ordered from 'em almost weekly for a decade or so and never had any problems) but I thought that shit was so funny I had to pass it along... :)


Jessamine (...Or What You Mean)

Another band that kicks my ass... JESSAMINE!

Lots of throbby bass, weird keyboard bits, cool over-the-top effects (I've always been a sucker for a ring modulator...), dreamy blisst-out vocals... this is the band I always played for customers who wanted a recommendation + referenced Portishead or Massive Attack...

Sure, there's none of that dancebeat happening, but beyond beat is that lush, trippy vibe + turning someone on to a really cool (at the time kinda) underground band is always preferable to hocking the same ol' schlock alla time. And, of course, indie-rockers into My Bloody Valentine or Sonic Youth + looking for something different would get steered toward Jessamine, as well as Bardo Pond, Labradford, TFUL282 and (cuz I love em soooo much + they're sooo damn good) Tortoise.

Jessamine's line-up was:
  • Rex Ritter - guitar/vox
  • Dawn Smithson - bass/vox
  • Andy Brown - keys
  • Michael Faeth - drums


  • Jessamine (Kranky) 1994
  • The Long Arm of Coincidence (Kranky) 1996
  • Don't Stay Too Long (Kranky) 1998
  • (singles compilation) Another Fictionalized History (Histrionic) 1997
  • (with Spectrum) A Pox On You (Space Age Recordings) 1996
  • (with Experimental Audio Research) Living Sound (Histrionic) 1999

Post-Jessamine, Rex Ritter + Andy Brown went on to further sonic experimentations with Fontanelle. Ritter has also been involved in post-metal drone-masters Sunn O))) - whose newest release Monoliths + Dimensions is fookin' excellent!


pokey: feel the burn #5

The sun has made pokey delirious and his judgment suspect, no good can come of this...


In Which I Declare War On The French Because Their Horror Movies Are Vastly Overrated Crap

Usually if you want to terrify the French, all you’ve got to do is yell something in German. One good “Achtung! Der Maginot Line ist kaput!” and they oui-oui in their trousair. But, judging from their recent cinematic output - known by the overly generous as “the New Wave of French Horror” and by me as “oh, fuck, yet another female-covered-in-Karo-syrup-and-crying-for-98-minutes movie” - they’ve become jaded. And lazy. Oh so fuckin'-damn lazy. Rather than build plots or characters, or work on pacing, they just throw in a bunch of nonstop torture scenes... something you need no talent to horrify people with, provided they have an ounce of human empathy. What the Japanese did with fake-torture-snuff in the Guinea Pig films Devil’s Experiment and Flower of Flesh & Blood the French decided to artsy-fart up (or maybe just fartsy-fart) and slick down, but no matter how far they stick their lil’ pinkies out, I’m not buying it anymore. After watching a few of these faux-intellectual sadist-circle-jerks, I’m screaming bloody merde-er at the absolute horseshit these assholes have the Gaul to foist on the horror genre. It’s pissed me off so badly that, god help me, I’m making bad puns! I hope you're happy, French people! But, if the Jerry Lewis thing is any indication of your senses of humor, you consider me a genius!

And I’m stupid. I admit it. I brought this rage upon myself, for I, despite having innumerable reasons to know better, once again listened to the opinion of Michael Gingold, the guy whose editorship and weak taste in horror has been destroying Fangoria magazine for years now. I’ve fallen for this guy’s recommendations of too many “masterpieces” that turned out to be boring miserable dreck too many times, and wasted too much time and money on things he claimed were major milestones and game-changers for the horror genre that turned out to just be another weak-ass “transgressive“ mess. After getting burned by taking this cunt’s advice on such films as Inside, I was gun-shy about checking out Martyrs initially. But then, stupid me, I had a brain lapse, gave in to horror-media peer pressure, and figured I had to check it out if I was to remain a credible horror reviewer.

Someday I will learn to trust my instincts and stop getting in the car every time some Fango-fuck drives past the schoolyard and waves candy at me. I had my trepidations going in, but Martyrs turned out to be such a lame-ass pile of dogsurprise that I actually got angry this time and wanted to do something about it. I may or may not let my 20-something-year subscription to Fangoria lapse (RueMorgue is a much better magazine these days, anyway, although I think they also liked Martyrs), but I can at least declare war on “The New Wave Of French Horror” (or NAMBLA) here on this little blog that only a handful of people I know read. Viva le guerre!

First up, I don’t hate French horror overall. Les Yeux Sans Visage (or Eyes Without A Face for those of us who speak a language that doesn’t require phlegm) is a major masterpiece. As is Diabolique. And I’m quite fond of a lot of Jean Rollin’s films; some of ‘em are junky jiggle-movies, but most of them have a weird dreamlike quality that I really like. I don’t care that the vampires in Virgins And Vampires had plastic forks for fangs; the film still started out with the brilliantly-surreal scene of two girls dressed as clowns having a running gunfight with the police on the highway, and that’s enough to make it classic to me!

And I’m not shy about gore; I’ve been rooting through the chunkblower-movie underground for around a quarter century and was into Fulci and Italian cannibal movies before it was cool. I’m not a big fan of torture-porn, but, even though I do hate seeing women raped or abused, that’s mostly because most of the genre is lazy and takes the cheap route; it’s the easiest thing in the world to generate horror by mistreating a helpless captive. That said, I don’t mind all of it, and like lots of really nasty and unpleasant and disturbing films. I’ve probably seen Ilsa She-Wolf of the SS and Make Them Die Slowly more times than your little cousins have seen Ratatouille, okay? I can give you a shot breakdown of the wood-splinter-through-the-eye scene from Zombie from memory, and I’ve eaten pizza while watching Aftermath, so let’s lay the question of “squeamishness” to rest right now, or I’ll make you watch Nekromantik in slo-mo. Even the scenes that are already in slo-mo.

So, being French is not my objection, and gore/disturbing/unpleasant isn‘t my objection; my objection is that a lot of these films are absolute dung and the horror community seems too timid to call bullshit. I think it’s because they’re afraid of being called “wimpy” or getting accused of not being able to “take it.” There’s also a certain factor present where people have a tendency to call too many things “art.” Drive a nail into a loaded diaper and some pretentious tit holding a pipe and wearing a tweed jacket with patches on the elbows will immediately leap from a knothole and start flinging around words like “existential,” “post-modern,” and “zeitgeist.” Because these films are “transgressive” people assume they're ground-breaking (sorry, bitches, but I Spit On Your Grave and Last House On The Left already paved that road, and you're just running along side the car, yapping at the tires), and because the French have been coasting on the reputation of former glories for decades, people assume everything they touch is right out of Cahiers du Cinema. If they keep calling things like Martyrs and Inside "art," though, I think we oughtta take Cannes away from 'em. How does the "Peoria Film Festival" sound? Has a ring to it, no?

This whole "New Wave Of French Horror" pretty much kicked off with High Tension. This established several parameters that all the others must follow, such as lots of screaming, people taking amounts of punishment that actual humans wouldn’t be able to withstand, and girls staying covered with sticky Karo blood and dirt for at least 85% of the running time. I didn’t mind High Tension so much. The end was astoundingly stupid and showed a toddler’s understanding of human psychology, and they flat-out fuckin’ ganked Dean Koontz’s plot from Intensity and didn’t pay him so much as a franc for it, but at least that film did know how to create characters and build suspense, something most of the other new French horror films either don't know how to do, or don't consider important.

I’ve avoided a few of these films, such as Frontier(s) (even the title on that bitch is pretentious, with that parenthetical business) and Sheitan, and probably won’t be seeking them out, but I’ve seen more than enough. And here are my reviews of them. I hope I treat these movies with as much respect and tenderness as they treat their actresses, and may my invective warm the heartles of your cock, or something.

Martyrs (C, 2008) Overpraised French horror horseshit from the worn-out “torture-porn” school. The pretentious plot of this snoozer concerns a couple of girls trying to avenge the traumatic abuse one of them suffered. They track down her abusers 15 years after she escaped their clutches and kill the whole family with a shotgun. After retribution, they strangely hang around the crime scene, and the victim is still so insane from what she’s endured that she mutilates herself while hallucinating that a dead woman’s torturing her. (The dead woman is the only remotely creepy or scary thing in the whole film, reminiscent of the thing from the last minutes of [REC].) After suffering plenty of bloody mayhem at her own hands, she kills herself. The remaining girl frees another hideously-tortured victim from a complex hidden under the house. Then she falls into the hands of captors who are subjecting girls to extremes of suffering to discover who’ll be a victim and go insane, and who’ll transcend the suffering and become a martyr. The captors are part of a large, well-organized and funded secret cult of older people who are apparently trying to figure out if there’s anything after death (although they get their information from victims who haven’t died yet, so why that makes any sense, I don’t know). Yes, you're actually asked to believe that not only would one person be lunatic enough to want to engage in such senseless practices, there's a whole society of 'em! What’s so offensive about this movie isn’t the pointless torture, it’s the pretentiousness. The filmmakers don’t have the balls to just make a Guinea Pig or Hostel type movie, they have to try to “justify” it by tacking on this shallow pretentious “philosophy,” cynically counting on the audience to read things into vague hints that they drop and which even they probably don’t understand. “Just have the girl whisper something we can’t hear, and fanboys will speculate about what she said for thread after thread on the horror forums! By god, we‘re geniuses!” I find that cowardly, hiding behind an "art" tag. The “plot” of this film is so disjointed that I get the feeling director Pierre LeTeat (not his real name but I don’t think enough of ‘im to bother lookin’ it up) actually wanted to make two or three short films but figured it would be more marketable if he smooshed ‘em clumsily together. Watching this is like listening to a three year old tell you a story; it ends, but since they have your attention, they just tack on more "and then!" shit. The real story in this movie is done in the first thirty minutes, but then she finds another girl in the basement, and then when that subplot’s done, the torture cult shows up and something else starts happening. Too bad they didn’t need another 20 minutes of run time, because I really think we could have fit a Viking invasion in there, and this movie needs Vikings, and maybe puppets, too, just so it‘ll have some entertainment value. I did have one fan of this movie tell me that he doesn’t like movies to have a story, anyway, so, there ya go, take that as a recommendation if you will. Like all of these French crapfestivals, the movie overplays itself and becomes weak by overestimating the amount of damage the human body can take. A back full of deep razor slashes that’d leave any real human needing a Life Flight airlift to a trauma ward incapacitate these people about as much as a hangnail. Characterization is absolute zero in this film. You don’t know these girls at all, and any empathy you feel for them is based just on the fact that you’re human and don’t want to see anyone tortured... and the filmmakers rely on that fact and so they don’t even try. The gore effects are okay (although the full-body suit at the end was more silly-looking than horrific) but mostly it’s dirty-Karo-girls again, and the scenes of suffering actually become boring and tiresome after a while. I’ve seen people online claiming this film traumatized them and was so intense they were left trembling, but I was absolutely bored, and it took me three attempts to get through the movie because I fell asleep watching it twice. If you’re 16 years old this may have some value as an endurance-test-rite-of-passage thing, but honestly, if you’ve seen any of these torture-porn movies, like Turistas or the Hostel or Saw series, you’re not going to see anything much different here. And if all you’re looking for is an endurance test, save yourself some time and just watch “2 Girls 1 Cup” online -- at least that’s only around 5 minutes instead of 98, and I’ll respect you more for watching that. If you want to watch a really arty film around the same things, go get Salo, which at least admits it eats shit. Anyway, for what it is, Martyrs is well-shot and well-acted, but it’s still not much above a “look at my chewed-up food” level despite its pretenses at “depth,” and I wasn’t disturbed or “transgressed” in the least; the only endurance that was tested was my patience for watching this nothing. Don’t believe the hype. It’s not “unforgettable” -- I won’t remember much about it in a month, other than how much I resented having my time wasted.

(C, 2007) This movie is just so wrong. In an era of torture-porn where everyone’s trying to one-up everyone else for unpleasantness, it’s finally come to this. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a pregnant woman subjected to hideous abuse for 90 minutes, see this movie... and then kill yourself because you’re a detriment to the human race. Sarah, the pregnant woman, survives a car crash that killed her husband. Months later she’s recovered but still depressed, and is due to give birth on Christmas day. But on Christmas Eve a homicidally crazy woman breaks into her house and tries to cut her baby out with scissors. The wounded (and covered in Karo!) Sarah manages to escape by hiding in bathrooms and such, but even though an implausible number of people drop by to rescue her (including the police) the crazy woman is incredibly vicious and determined, and Sarah will have to go to extremes if she’s going to save herself and her in-the-process-of-being-born child. The movie’s good at ratcheting up the tension (although that’s a pretty easy feat; try to make a non-intense pregnant-woman-under-attack movie) and doesn’t pull any punches in what it shows... but are even hardcore horror fans really going to want to watch a pregnant woman getting horribly brutalized, having to give herself a tracheotomy, and all the other unrelenting nastiness on display here? Does it really serve any purpose beyond being a morbid endurance test? (And, given the fact that I almost watched it again a couple of months later because I actually forgot I’d already watched it, I’m not sure it was super-effective at that). Can we just declare a winner in the sickness sweepstakes and move onto something else, like, I dunno, maybe a movie with a plot? And does anybody believe that human bodies hold THAT much blood, and can keep functioning after such quantities are spilled? It’s well made for the most part (the lighting is for shit and the editing isn’t so hot) and delivers the sickness, but probably more than most reasonable people would want. Not particularly impressive unless you think Cannibal Corpse lyrics are poetry or just hate women. In which case, fuck you.

Ils (C, 2005) aka Them. This was a real disappointment for me, because the premise sounded ultra-scary (I regularly have nightmares like this), but the execution of it was a big letdown. It’s built around a simple premise (and as we’re learning here, French horror tends to lean more toward premises than plots): a couple in an isolated house are surrounded and tormented by persons unknown (and mostly unseen), for purposes undetermined. At first they just get weird phone calls (creaky noises) and then their car gets stolen, and then weird things start happening inside the house. Someone turns on appliances and cuts the power on and off, and bangs on doors when the couple try to barricade themselves. When they finally see a few of the intruders, they’re kids in hooded sweatshirts. The couple try to escape through the woods, but they’re stalked there, too The film keeps the tension high and constant, which is part of its problem; you get so used to the situation that it soon loses most of its impact, and after a while you’re just watching scared-looking people running back and forth, and since it’s too dark to see much of anything, that loses most of its already-limited charm pretty fast. I mean, even punk rock uses three chords fer fuxsake, and this is just one-one-one, with no stops or starts to give it rhythm. It can’t maintain intensity with that choice. Still, you will be intrigued and stay to see what happens, to find out who’s behind all the terrorizing, and why... and when you do, you may be a bit disappointed that it’s not bigger than it is. And don’t expect all the answers. It’s a fairly creepy film, but reminds me of an earlier (and also much-hyped) French film, The Iron Rose, which is also creepy but mostly consists of people running around. You never get a real sense of the layout of the house, and characterization is very weak, but at least it’s a French movie that doesn’t just rely on torture-scenes. Torment and terrorization scenes, yes, but the blood is minimal. This is supposedly based on true events, which makes it a little more unnerving. Worth seeing (as is the similarly-lackluster remake-that-won’t-admit-it’s-a-remake, The Strangers), but just don’t get your hopes up, because it’s not likely to scare you nearly as much as the press would lead you to believe. I’m starting to think the average age of the horror fans on IMDB is fifteen.

Irreversible (C, 2002) When people start talking about the most disturbing films ever, this bizarrely-constructed French sickie always seems to come up amongst the top contenders... and it deserves that slot, although it takes the cheap ‘n’ easy route to “shocking” by making a rape scene last for 10 minutes or so. The narrative goes in reverse - the film doesn’t go backwards, but short segments are shown in reverse sequential order (for no real reason ‘cept’n it’s fucking clever, innit?). A guy who’s enraged to the point of insensibility storms into a hellish gay club called The Rectum, looking for a pimp called The Tenia... and you see what happens there and then work backwards to find out what led up to it. I don’t want to give too much of that away (even though it’s about as straightforward as it can get, despite being shown backwards -- the French don’t seem to think they need to bother with things like story), but you’ll see some extremely unpleasant, hard-to-watch events along the way, including a horrific sodomy-rape beating that goes on forfreakin'ever, and a guy getting his head beaten in with a fire extinguisher, and that wouldn’t be much more graphically realistic if this was a snuff film. The film is very well-made (despite over-reliance on disorienting drunken-style camera-fu) and that’s about the only reason the sick parts are in any way excusable. The film has a point about the harshness of life and the randomness of injustice, but that’s not exactly a deep or controversial viewpoint for anyone who’s been alive and out in the world, and it’s not likely a lesson you’ll appreciate. Despite the artistic nature of the film it’s not one you’re likely to revisit often, and it’s not exactly entertainment... and since the lesson’s not something that’s likely to bring you any kind of “enlightenment,” and there are entertaining films out there, why bother? The film goes so far out of its way to assault the audience that the first half hour is scored with a 28 Hz noise track, which causes nausea and dizziness in most people, just to make everyone sick. If the filmmakers have that kind of contempt for you, why give them your money? I hear starving is good for artists, so let’s see how it works for director Jacques Strappe (again, not his real name, but, fuck ‘im, who cares?). Just trying to be helpful.

Calvaire (C, 2004) aka The Ordeal. This is actually a Belgian film, but since they’re influenced by the French even down to the language, I’m fitting this into the neo-French horror movement. It’s boundary-pushing horror that’s been compared to Deliverance, not that it’s a tenth as good. A young nightclub singer tries to escape the unwanted advances of weirdoes by taking a vacation, but his van breaks down deep in the backwoods, in the worst place in the world for his purposes. The village he ends up in seems full of eccentrics, but he soon learns they’re a little worse than that; they’re pig-fuckers! And the guy who’s been hosting him at the inn is really lonely, misses his wife, and thinks the singer might make a good substitute! But his neighbors may be getting tired of screwing farm animals and might want the singer for themselves. It’s all stopped from being too horrific by being played for black comedy, and includes references to other films. There are elements of Misery and Straw Dogs, and one scene at a dinner table is an obvious homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Serious or not, though, it’s twisted, yet stylish, but not particularly memorable. If I hadn’t written this review down at the time I’d watched it, all I’d remember about it is that somebody fucked pigs.

Anyway, I hope I've done my part to air-hole this "film movement," as it stands. If the French start actually turning out quality stuff, then I'll welcome them, but if this is a repeat of the J-horror craze, where everything that came out of Japan was declared an instant classic just because a few films were really good, then I want to take it down fast and hard before its wretched influence can throw the whole horror genre into a very shallow ditch.


My Recently Added Albums List for May...

These pleasant young fellas are known collectively as Isis. They are currently on tour in support of their newest CD Wavering Radiant, travelling with the also awesome bands Pelican and Tombs... Go see 'em if they come near you - they're in Birmingham, Alabam' this Saturday!

Anyway, Wavering Radiant is also part of my Recently Added playlist for May, along with some other really tasty new + not-so-new stuff. There's still a pile of CDs here to add to the library, and new stuff keeps coming out!

Here's the whole list:
  • astral social club - star guzzlers
  • bowery electric - beat
  • crystal antlers - tentacles
  • cult of luna - eternal kingdom
  • experimental audio research - the koner experiment
  • experimental audio research - phenomena 256
  • f.u.c.t. - retain to the aggro
  • v/a - harmony of the spheres
  • isis - wavering radiant
  • james mathus + his knockdown society - play songs for rosetta
  • jessamine - another fictionalized history
  • jessamine - don't stay too long
  • la otracina - tonal ellipse of the one
  • loose fur - s/t
  • maylene + the sons of disaster - the day hell broke loose at sicard hollow
  • nels cline trio - silencer
  • pell mell - bumper crop
  • soul coughing - ruby vroom
  • sunn o))) - white2
  • tortoise - beacons of ancestorship
  • urchin - s/t
  • wilco - sky blue sky

Spike TV vs. The History Channel...

If you haven't yet, go check out Spike TV's Deadliest Warrior! New episodes are currently airing Tuesdays at 10p (EDT).

The series examines the abilities, weapons + technology and strengths/weaknesses of some of history's most notable warrior-castes, pitting them against each other. There's a great deal of the typical Spike TV vibe (I'm sure that a big heap of cheesy testosteroni will be the first dish on their upcoming cooking show...), but the weapons testing - often against ballistics gel dummy torsos - is intense + informative. And the final act of the show - a recreation of the battle as it would look if it were to ever have happened - is usually quite excellent!

Episodes that've aired thusfar:
  • apache v. gladiator
  • viking v. samurai
  • spartan v. ninja
  • pirate v. knight
  • yakuza v. mafia
  • green beret v. spetznaz
  • shaolin monk v. maori warrior
    (while I don't want to give away the outcomes of these pairings, c'mon... anybody seen a pile o'moobies about maori warriors? Anybody... ? Anybody out there been able to avoid ever seeing any shaolin kungfu flicks? ...Exactly.)
    and airing the next coupla weeks:
  • william wallace v. shaka zulu
  • the i.r.a. v. the taliban (...I'd be stunnd if the I.R.A. didn't win; no 'Murrkin could watch otherwise...)

Good stuff, fun + somewhat educational... sorta. If you can't wait, hit Spike's website, where you can watch episodes, read expert analysis, blog about the show, etc... Kybot + I found the show independent of each other + I figured that made it worth a mention here, to other like-minded folks, many of whom might never bother to check it out, since it's on the same channel as the UFC (which I also enjoy)...

Oh, and go get the new Tortoise CD on 23 June. It fuckin' (post-)rocks!!!


The Girls Who Occasionally Kill People Comics, Issue #1

Well, my internet connectivity still isn't fixed, but I think I've managed to fake it enough to get this put up real quick-like from work. Finally, after almost two freakin' weeks. It's nothing great, but I've been curious to see if it'll even fit on the web. I shall probably rant about AT&T, the worst company in the entire world, later.

The art's not very good, and the story's even worse, but that's kinda why it's funny to me, in an absurdist sort of way. If nothing else, you can laugh at the way the tits change size from panel to panel, the hair changes length, and there are all kinds of out-of-proportion limbs and wonky eyes 'n' such. (I will claim the wonky eyes are "Jack Kirby's influence" ;) ). About the kindest thing anybody's said about my art is "Well, I can tell which girl is which..." If you notice there's not much of a background for any picture, that's because I can't get interested in drawing anything but girls. So, they inhabit a strange void-world.

Hmm, postin' 'em didn't work, so I'll try it with links instead... (but just for experimentation I'm gonna try to load the cover in... the whole thing might take up too much space, anyway).


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4

page 5

page 6

page 7


Hey, I said they occasionally kill people... I didn't say they'd do it every issue. (I guess I think this is funny because of the "Jess Franco factor." See, Jess Franco - who is an absolutely horrible director -- occasionally does bizarre things in movies, like... in one war movie, he introduced this character everybody called "The Acrobat." He had everybody talk about the amazing feats this guy could perform on the battlefield, all the backflips, etc. Then he has the guy get shot in the legs in the first fight scene so, after all that buildup, you never get to see any acrobatics. To me, that shit is funny... and hence my big buildup to nothin'. Yay!

If this ends up too big or something, I may delete it pronto...


Tortoise - Beacons of Ancestorship

The new Tortoise album - titled Beacons of Ancestorship - hits the streets on 23 June, 2009!

No longer the indie-rock hepster that I was in the 1990s, I still got to check out the new Tortoise release a few weeks early. And what a great album!

I began writing a real review, but quickly decided that I was being waaay too verbose. So, here are the notes I made while listening (in order, even, so you can follow along at home...):

some familiar ground... twisted synth/bass/drums... riff that teeters between groove + exploration... glitchy breakdown of sorts... incessant sequenced-sounding synth... crashes into silence... latin-flavored drum machinage... IDM... throbby synths... berimbau... highly syncopated Latinate rhythm... glitch-driven + trippy... strangely reminiscent of early ELP... wacky meter... heavily distorted bass... synth rumbles and glitch-noise... airy and slightly ominous... decidedly Morricone-flavored reverb-drenched guitar... light meandering... that level of experimentation expected from a TRTS record... very catchy... holy shit!... changing the entire vibe of the song like the devolutionary break in Djed... frazzled some synapses...

These are all great tracks, with Charteroak Foundation definitely being the one that warpt my mind the most. The 1st two songs are available as free MP3s (linkt below).

Track listing:

  1. high class slim came floatin' in (download from Stereogum)
  2. prepare your coffin (download from Pitchfork)
  3. northern something
  4. gigantes
  5. penumbra
  6. yinxianghechengqi
  7. the fall of seven diamonds plus one
  8. minors
  9. monument six one thousand
  10. de chelly
  11. charteroak foundation


pokey: feel the burn #4

Here, pokey gets a bit of sun poisoning, too much light can lead to unclear thinking.


Go! Dog! Go! - Glad to Be Unhappy (Reviews, Pt.3)

Here's the final batch of amazingly mixed reviews for my mid-90's post-hardcore quartet Go! Dog! Go!'s lone CD: Glad to Be Unhappy. Enjoy! I'll be posting the full CD (+ maybe some bonus tracks) soon... (special thanks to Eric Beetner for posting these online for me to snag!)

Go! Dog! Go! - Glad to Be Unhappy (Reviews, Pt.2)

Here's another batch of amazingly mixed reviews for my snappy mid-90's post-hardcore (+saxomophone) outfit Go! Dog! Go!'s lone CD: Glad to Be Unhappy. Enjoy!

Go! Dog! Go! - Glad to Be Unhappy (Reviews, Pt.1)

Back in the '90's, when Go! Dog! Go! was actually still godoggoing, our full-length CD - Glad to Be Unhappy - was released after a pair of snappy 7" singles, to decidedly mixed reviews... Have a nostalgic laugh with me...


Things To Embroider On A Whoopie Cushion

Gotta mine my backlog o' stuff again because I'm so braindead this weekend and semi-sick. Back's acting up and this swine flu stuff is no joke, son! (Okay, it's not really the swine flu, at least to my knowledge, but it's fun to watch people run for cover when you say that; it's a lot more impressive than just saying "I feel icky and congested and sleep a lot.")

For a long time I've wanted to do a blog posts on quotes from punk rock songs, because there's much knowledge there. As Ian MacKaye said of hardcore songs, "I'm going to say exactly what's on my mind, and I'm going to do it in 32 seconds." Much wisdom (or at least amusing stupidity) can be found when people do that. But, compiling such a thing would require that I start listening to all my punk rock to mine out the quotes, and that could take years, and free time is always in short supply. So, I figured I'd just do quotes from various sources, things I've written down in a book I keep. Rest assured there'll be some punk rock mixed in, but some are just badass, wise, or funny lines from books, movies, etc.

The title of the blog post is a quote from the show Maude, by the way. R.I.P., Bea Arthur


"I don't wanna be figured out!" - Urban Waste lyrics

"We're not happy 'til you're not happy." - Toxic Narcotic lyrics

"We don't wanna play/
And that's what we'll do!" - Instant Asshole lyrics

"Keep your mind on what you're doing, not on what you've done." - Yul Brynner, Death Rage.

"She was harder to shake than a 7 with the other guy's dice." - The Marines Are Coming.

"Go on, wave a flag and make me laugh." - Lee Marvin, Prime Cut

"Beer and barracuda, reds and monocaine
Pure nectar of antipathy, behind that stage at dawn
To those who would resign their souls
To Transmaniacon M.C.
We're pain, we're steel, a plot of knives
We're Transmaniacon M.C." - Blue Oyster Cult lyrics

"This ain't the garden of Eden
There ain't no angels above
And things ain't what they used to be
And this ain't the summer of love." - Blue Oyster Cult lyrics

"It went over like Dice Clay warming up the crowd at Lilith Fair." - The Slasher

"Nice legs. What time do they open?" - Papparazzi

"You'll know what the sun's all about
When the lights go out." - Black Keys lyrics

"I dance like a special ed kid who's just been handed a sparkler." - Patton Oswalt

"You are going to miss out on everything cool and die angry!" -Patton Oswalt

"Why'd you give me ecstasy when I'm by myself all weekend? You'd buy Anne Frank a drumset, ya bastard!" - Doug Stanhope

"You don't threaten unless you can hit." - Peter Rabe, The Box

"He sat a short while longer and enjoyed disliking her." - Peter Rabe, The Box

"Is that what you really think or is that want they'd want you to think?" - V For Vendetta

"When your enemy has no scruples, your own scruples become another weapon in his hand." - Sam Harris, The End of Faith

"No river is shallow to a man who can't swim." - Paladin, Have Gun Will Travel

"A man who knows he is a fool is not a great fool." - Lao Tze

"I've Enjoyed As Much As I Can Stand" - Porter Waggoner song title

"A Walt Disney concept in a Sam Peckinpah world." - Tales of the Zombie

"I hope your son has two assholes so you'll be busy all day long!" - Iron-Fisted Monk

"People with opinions go around bothering one another." - Buddha

"Better not to start. Once you start, better to finish it." - Buddha

"While visiting Mecca, tie down your camel." - old Arab saying

"You've been here only six weeks and I'm gonna do for you what it took somebody six months to do for me. Nothin'." - Robert Blake, Electra Glide in Blue

"Announcing your plans is a good way to hear God laugh." - Al Swearingen, Deadwood

"You know what he's saying right now? 'Black bastard can't throw me out!' Know where he's saying it? Out in the parking lot." - Morgan Freeman in Lean On Me

"What's the difference between brave and stupid?"
"I don't know. Maybe it's just timing." - dialogue from Tour Of Duty

"Then there was the war, and I married it because there was nothing else when I reached the age of falling in love." - Guy Sajer, The Forgotten Soldier

"I could find some satisfaction
I could destroy everything you built
I got no values, nothing to say
I got no values, might as well blow you away
Don't you try pacification
When you know it won't work
I might try some annihilation
Bury your face right in the dirt." - Black Flag lyrics

"Rock is dead! Long live paper and scissors!" - Adam Rust

"Religion: it's a powerful healing force in a world torn apart... by religion." - Jon Stewart

"I wouldn't wanna do anything to hurt God. He's got enough trouble with the Russians and all." - Beaver Cleaver

"Learn to listen to that which is not spoken." - Circle of Iron

"Two birds tied together have four wings but cannot fly." - Circle of Iron

"As the camel falls to its knees, more knives are drawn." - Bedouin saying

"When the time comes to hang the capitalists, they will be eager to sell us the rope." - Lenin

"It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions for vegetarianism, as long as the wolves remain of a different opinion." - Marc "Animal" MacYoung

"If you are going to hunt tigers, you must learn all you can about them. How they hunt, sleep, make love, everything. If you don't, you're not hunting, you're just walking in the woods." - Marc "Animal" MacYoung

"If attitude was all it took, we'd all be famous." - The Tupperware Kid

"You cannot rely on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain

"Most problems resolve themselves into self-evident solutions if you have enough information that is reliable, and you can eliminate emotion from the evaluation of it." - Mel Tappan

"Violence is the first option, and the last choice, of the competent." - Frank Gasperik

"If you can't be grateful for what you've received, be grateful for what you've escaped." - quote on a box of tea

"We could fall into a barrel of nipples and come out sucking our thumbs." - Lemmy from Motorhead

"A man with one watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure." - anonymous

"To make an enemy, do someone a favor." - anonymous

"You know what you've got when you have three lawyers up to their necks in shit? Not enough shit!" - Blake Clark

"You're a man with a fork in a land of soup." - Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead

"I am Godzilla! You are Japan!" - Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead

"There are men whom one hates until a certain moment when one sees, through a chink in their armor, the writhing of something nailed down and in torment." - Gerald Kersh

"No snowflake in an avalanche feels responsible." - anonymous

"When I grow up to be a man, I'd like to be upright, like you!"
"Good. You must be upright. There was a saying in my village, 'You must sing to keep out sorrows. Walk each road to keep them clear. Sharpen swords to keep off rust. Stand upright to stay a man.'"
(both laugh)
"Hey, last night you told us the story of a man who was wrong. My sister said the man was you!"
"She's a smart girl."
"She thinks you're a good man. That's why she told me to teach you... IRON... FINGER!"
- absurd dialogue from Invincible Armor

"God finds you naked and leaves you dying.
What happens in between is up to you." - Robin Hichcock

"The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese." - anonymous

"You never pushed a noun against a verb except to blow something up." - Spencer Tracy, Inherit the Wind

"One scavenger dies, many are fed." - William Smith, Piranha

"You're about as handy as a trap door in a canoe." - Jack Webb, The D.I.

"The next time you jump me, Joey, you have the decency to make it look like something." - Jack Webb, The D.I.

"What's the matter with revenge? It's the perfect way to get even!" - Archie Bunker

"One thing about a hammer... it's quiet." - Richard Laymon

"How can you trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders? Man can't even trust his own pants!" - Henry Fonda, Once Upon A Time In The West

"Funds are short, but brain is big, and hair is shiny!" - Tresseme shampoo commercial

"Nellie was a tramp when State Street was a prairie." - Jack Nicholson, Studs Lonigan

"Your penis has a heart, just like you
So follow your penis's heart!
Your penis also has a big ol' vein!
And a hole at the top, where the stuff comes out!"
- Penis Genie singing to Doug Stanhope on The Man Show

"Karate is one of the oldest forms of self-defense known to man."
"It ain't older than runnin'!" - dialogue from Sanford & Son

"Why does Madonna use these two fingers to masturbate with? Because they're mine!" - Stephen Tyler

"For me it's about the three M's - music, money, and mmmmmm, pussy!" - Stephen Tyler

"Illusions are the truths we live by until we know better." - Nancy Gibbs

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt. That's the first thing they teach you."
"Who taught you?"
"I don't remember. That's the second thing they teach you."
- dialogue from the movie Ronin

"You know, this used to be a hell of a good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it. ... They're not scared of you. They're scared of what you represent to 'em... and what you represent to them is freedom. ... Talking about it and bein' it are two different things. It's real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. 'Course, don't ever tell anybody they're not free 'cuz then they're gonna get real busy killin' an' maimin' to prove that they are. Oh, yeah, they gonna talk to you and talk to you and talk to you 'bout individual freedom, but they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em. It makes 'em dangerous." - Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider.

"I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who doesn't agree with me is a traitor." - King George III of England

"Some people hide behind the first amendment. Maybe because they're being shot at by people hiding behind the second!" - Jon Stewart

"More people have died in the name of religion than have ever died of cancer. And we try to cure cancer." - Nightcrawler in an X-Men comic

"The truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with that. Except it ain't so." - Mark Twain

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." - Winston Churchill

"Don't be humble. You're not that great." - Golda Meir

"Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad. ... Sanity is not statistical." - George Orwell, 1984

"Never mumble around a paranoid." - old saying

"This movie has something for everyone... who hates fun." - movie critic on The Daily Show

"The suspense... might interest you!" - Stephen Colbert

"Quickest way to find the needle: burn the haystack." - Oz

"All women do is laugh, and sing, and say the word 'pussy.' You ask any doctor and he'll tell you that." - crazy homeless lady in Ms. .45

"The only time Chevy Chase has a funny bone in his body is when I fuck him in the ass." - Richard Belzer

"Masturbate in Hell!" - Chow Yun Fat, as he shoots a bad guy in Full Contact

"Some people say I'm too patronizing. 'Patronizing,' of course, means talking to people like they're stupid." - Al Gore, on Saturday Night Live

"It's hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head." - Sally Kepmton

"Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt." - Clarence Darrow

"There's so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?" - Dick Cavett

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten." - unknown

"Zeal without knowledge is fire without light." - Fuller Thomas

"Wherever you find injustice, the proper form of politeness is attack." - T-Bone Slim

"Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don't allow our enemies to have guns why should we allow them to have ideas?" - Joseph Stalin

"When elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers." - African proverb

"Humility is the first of the virtues... for other people." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"The first duty of the revolutionary is to get away with it." - Abbie Hoffman

"Loyalty to the country always; loyalty to the government only when it deserves it." - Mark Twain

"One cannot say that all conservatives are stupid people, one can say that most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill

"Fighting crime by building more jails is like fighting cancer by building more cemeteries." - Paul Kelly

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - James Kenneth Galbraith

"It is a tribute to the American people that our leaders perceived that they had to lie to us. It is not a tribute to us that we were so easily misled." - Daniel Ellsberg

"In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant." - Charles de Gaulle

"The Constitution gives every American the inalienable right to make a damn fool of himself." - John Ciardi

"He whom many fear, has himself many to fear." Publilius Syrus

"If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there." - George Harrison

"To kill a coward is easier than trying to find a way to insult him." - Master of the Flying Guillotine

"I HATE YOUR FACE!" - sudden outburst of English dialogue in the midst of Hindu in Farz.

"Let's have some new cliches." - Sam Goldwyn

"All my life I felt so close to God, and it wasn't him after all." - God Told Me To

"Love is a feather; hatred is a hammer." - Jim Goad, Shit Magnet

"I never see that prettiest thing -
A cherry bough gone white with Spring -
But what I think, 'How gay 'twould be
To hang me from a flowering tree.'"
- Dorothy Parker

"Aside from the killin', I was always nice to everybody my whole life." - Henry Lee Lucas

"Inspector Clay is dead -- murdered! -- and somebody's responsible!" - Plan 9 From Outer Space


"There's a man in my belly wants your company, son." - Linda Barry

"Expect the Unexpected. And whenever possible, BE the Unexpected." - Linda Barry

"I never did finish my letter to Jesus. I tried for a while but I couldn't think of anything else to say besides, 'Have a Good Summer and Stay Crazy.'" - Linda Barry

"He who trusts numbers, loses to the few. Despising his foe, he is blind. He thinks lies are truth. He thinks truth lies." - Lone Wolf & Cub

"I live in the weak and the wounded." - "Simon" in Session 9

"There oughtta be more hide-tannin' and less psychology, by jim!" - redneck in White Lightning

"What works is what's right." - Angels Hard As They Come

"I'll shoot you continuously, see how you deal with it." - 18 Bronzemen

"Reality hasn't the least obligation to be interesting." - Jorge Luis Borges, "Death & The Compass."

"You show me a good loser and I'll wrestle him every day!" - Jerry Lawler

"Only your real friends tell you when your face is dirty." Sicilian proverb

"If I die before I wake
I think I got an even break." - Corrosion of Conformity

"You were born on third base and think you hit a triple." - Doug Allyn

"Hey, Jack, you know much about electronics? It takes two wires to make something like, say, a lightbulb work, right? It takes a positive wire and a negative wire. Well, I'm that negative wire, Jack, y'see, I help power that light bulb, I help bring light into the world. I'm needed!" - Craig Sheffer, The Road Killers

"Please excuse all the blood." - suicide note of Dead, lead singer for Mayhem, who blew his head off with a shotgun

"When faced with two choices, choose the third." - Yiddish proverb

"Most Christians profess to believe in Hell. Yet have you ever met a Christian who seemed as afraid of Hell as he was of cancer?" - George Orwell

"Hell is other people." - J.P. Sartre

"It amuses me! It's as much fun as a carload of gorillas!" - Sister Streetfighter

"Cain once asked Lucifer why, with all his powers, he never did humanity any good, and Lucifer replied, 'Why hasn't Jehovah?'" - legend

"Power should be confined to those who aren't in love with it." - Socrates(?)

"They'll be riding on the pony through the woooooods
They'll be riding 20 ponies through your heaaaaaad
I'm-a fuckin' ride a pony
You can... ride the pony with me
There'll be ponies on the ponies when you're deaaaaad! Word!"
- Patty Poundcake of Miss Muffy's Muff Mob

"Don't you wanna be a cowboy and wear fuzzy pants?" - Little Rascals

"Adulthood is Hell." - H. P. Lovecraft

"An amateur will look at you and decide if he can take you. A pro will look at you and decide how to take you." -- Mark "Animal" MacYoung

"I found out why cats lick themselves. They're delicious!" - Al Snow

"Oh, look, one bastard walks in, another bastard walks out! You want to know who you are? Huh? You want to know whose son you are? You don't, I do, everybody does... you're the son of a thousand fathers, all bastards like you! And your mother, it's best not to talk of her!" - Tuco, The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

"Sounds like sensible advice... the kind I been ignorin' since I was born." - Woverine

"When all else fails
Dead men tell no tales." - Motorhead lyrics

"Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
But it can be arranged." - Motorhead lyrics

"Do not dig valleys deeper to increase hills." - Tai Kung

"If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough." - country song

"It always seemed to me that my existence consisted purely and exclusively of nothing but the most outrageous nonsense." - Thomas Ligotti, "The Clown Puppet"

"You think you can stop me with your stuff that you do?!?" - giant dust mite in Squee comics

"This suit is bad!"
"It's bad all right. Matter of fact, I'd have two of them if I was you."
"Yeah. One to shit on and one to cover it up with."
- George Pelecanos, Sweet Forever

"We came to wreck everything and ruin your life. God sent us." - Romper STomper

"Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden

"Damn, you a dumb bitch! Where we gonna get a motherfuckin' robot?!" - Miss Muffy & The Muff Mob

"I feel all dead inside. I'm backed up in a dark corner and I don't know who's hitting me." - The Dark Corner

"Now 'happy' is something extremely subjective. One of our sillier Zembalan proverbs says 'the lost glove is happy.'" - Nabokov, Pale Fire

"Time to leap from that summit of illusion our world has achieved, a glorious plummet after so many centuries in which we erred on the side of excellence. When all the Creator had in mind was a third-rate sideshow of beatific puppetry." - Thomas Ligotti, "Mad Night of Atonement."

"You can't protest cutting down trees with a write-in campaign." - Charles Manson

"Practice not moving a muscle until you can do it all the time between meals. Practice breathing so shallow your chest doesn't move. Think about the person you hate most in the world and smile. The head plans, the hands kill, the heart only pumps blood." - Andrew Vachss, Bomb Built In Hell

"A man who shows his anger is a fool and fools don't live long. Revenge is dessert. First you eat the meal, no matter how fucking bad it tastes. Always, always remember that. My patience is always one second longer than my enemy thinks it is." - Vachss, Bomb

"Dance to the music that is played." - Spanish proverb

"The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well." - Joe Ancis

"If people seem to be treating you with a little more respect lately, it's because you have an overactive imagination." - The Onion's horoscope page

"Never rely on your adversary to make a mistake, but give him plenty of room to do so. Then punish him for it." - David L. Robbins, The War of the Rats

"Zaitsev's words on marksmanship: think it through three times; set it up twice; fire once." - David L. Robbins

"I'm gonna kick your teeth so far down your throat you'll be able to chew your own ass out for pissin' me off." - The Undertaker

"The geek was made by fear. He was afraid of sobering up and getting the horrors. But what made him a drunk? Fear. Find out what they are afraid of and sell it back to them. That's the key." - William Lindsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley

"Somebody ought to stick a butcher knife up his rear end and kick the handle off." - Gresham

"Whop ut all the sin and wickedness and cussedness in the world? I say: who put the boll weevil? He growed. Well, mean people grow where the growing's good for 'em - same as the boll weevil. ... It's a hell of a world. A few at the top got all the dough. To get yours you got to pry 'em loose from some of it. And then they turn around and kick your teeth out for doing just what you did." - Gresham

"He was a hard man to say no to, but no was all you could say. Once you said yes, you'd keep right on saying it the rest of your life." - Jim Thompson, Nothing Man

"I may be wrong -- I have been wrong about so many things -- but I can't recall ever hearing or knowing of a son-of-a-bitch who did not do all right for himself. I'm talking about the real sons-of-bitches, understand. The Grade-A, double-distilled, steam-heated variety. You take a man like that, a son-of-a-bitch who doesn't fight it -- who knows what he is and gives his all to it - and you've really got something. Rather, he's got something. He's got all the things that are held out to you as a reward for being a non-son-of-a-bitch." - Jim Thompson, ibid.

"warrior, heed this
when you battle with demons
aim not at their hearts"
- Andrew Vachss

"the weasel stalking
nose to the ground, never hears
footsteps of the hawk"
-Andrew Vachss

"if love would die
along with death
this life wouldn't be so hard"
- Andrew Vachss

"I'm drunk, crazy, narrow-minded and spiteful!" - "White Trash" Johnny Webb

"Dead men are heavier than broken hearts." - Raymond Chandler

"If I've gotta die, I'm gonna die last." - Robert Mitchum, Out of The Past

"Rain is only a problem if you don't want to get wet." - old samurai saying