A Shopping List For The Damned

Recently I looked up a book by Joe The Plumber (a.k.a. Sam The Not-Plumber), mostly because I couldn't believe anyone had actually given such an ignorant human a contract to write a book. I didn't think there'd actually be a market out there waiting to hear what a turnip thinks. Anyway, while musing over the decline of our species, I noticed some funny things other Amazon users (who apparently found the whole thing as absurd as I did) had linked at the bottom of the page. Everything from a limp dildo (Well, you can say this much about this product: ya can't fuck wit' it! From looking at this I learned that Amazon sells sex toys... and people review them! My fave review for such a product was for an artificial vagina that got good reviews except a warning that it required a lot of cleanup and therefore wasn't good for "the masturbator on the go." And thus was born the best album title ever!), to a completely insane-looking thing I'm assured is a chair of some sort (which cracked me up because of twin reviews: "Huge Disappointment. Numbs the buttocks, June 15, 2009" and "Wonderful. Numbs the buttocks, September 19, 2009").

From this I started exploring the world of completely-fucked-up products on Amazon, and the crank reviews some really, really funny people have written for them.

The one that really started me on this quest was a bizarre device called The Guardian Angel, which is a sinister-looking acupuncture thing that promises to "promote organ regeneration." Some highlights from the reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars Wait. Wait. Wait. Acupuncture?, August 24, 2009
By Everheart "I was born in the wagon of a trave... (Sunnydale, CA) - See all my reviews
This is an acupuncture device?

I've been using it totally wrong.

Even so - five stars!

This one gets major points just for coming up with the concept of a "harpsichord-related accident."

Should be quicker at re-generating organs, April 23, 2008
By NedMuffin (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
Since losing my spleen in a shocking harpsichord-related accident, I have been searching for a product that would re-generate my lost organ.

Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon the Guardian Angel supplied by the world-famous Dr Yoo. Tears of joy ran down my face when I read in the Product Features that it would also relieve stress, fatigue and insomnia - all conditions suffered by the spleen-less.

So why only four stars? Well, it gets good marks for stimulating every single one of my hands 344 pressure points - yes, I have counted - and for being gold-plated.

Unfortunately, my spleen has not yet re-grown....although I do have a third eye forming in the middle of my head.

And the one about how it may have hatched is classic.

The whole funny-Amazon-review phenomenon's most famous entry is the Tuscan Whole Milk page. Why should a gallon of milk cost $70? And why would anyone buy milk on the internet? Read the nearly 1,200 reviews and find out! How can you not love stuff like this:

Saved My Baby's Life, July 20, 2006
By N. Strassner "Dairy Connaisseur" (Bermuda Triangle) - See all my reviews
The exact minute I got my milk, my baby's new face burst into flames. I used the gallon to extinguish my baby. Next time, I'll order 2 gallons. Thank you, milk. Thank YOU!

makes daddy happy, July 20, 2006
A Kid's Review
daddy hits mommy sumtimes. tuscan mlk makes daddy not do it. it is yumy to.

brian, age 7

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, February 1, 2010
By J. Walker "Milk Lawyer" - See all my reviews
This is by far the best "Milk" on the market. Just please, please don't ask how many Tuscans have to be milked to get a gallon, or which of their parts are actually being milked.

It came with child, November 23, 2009
By Mie Ishii "Russian Doll" - See all my reviews
To my great surprise, inside my gallon of Tuscan milk was a small orphan boy. Thank you so much! WILL BUY AGAIN!

Brilliant White Ceiling Paint, January 8, 2007
By N. Visable (Greenwich, NY USA) - See all my reviews
I have painted all the ceilings in my apartment with Tuscan Whole Milk - and they never looked better!

Only downside is the opening is just so damn small. You can only use a very very tiny brush. Please Tuscan, wide mouth jugs!

The second-most-famous most-mocked Amazon item kinda makes me feel bad, 'cuz I do have some T-shirts sorta like this, and now I gotta wonder if people think I'm some pathetic hick when I wear 'em. Hey, tee-shirts are the only kind of shirts I'll wear, and since I work in a fairly conventional place with some people who might actually be the market for Joe The Plumber's book, I can't wear my Abazagorath shirt to work, so I gotta compromise. Still, something about this particular shirt does seem to resonate with people. As one reviewer said, "You don't put this shirt on your torso you put it on your soul." And "When I wear this shirt as pants I can run to Canada in only 42 days." (One tip: the funniest stuff is the earliest stuff, before everybody else jumped on the bandwagon, so ya might wanna start with the oldest reviews and work your way backwards; just go by the numbers at the bottom, above the discussion board).

Who doesn't want their own personal tank to drive around? If a Hummer isn't enough to make your chickenshit coward pussy ass feel secure, this is the next logical step! The reviewers assure us it's a "great family battle tank!" although one warns that it's not durable enough and is "recommended only for use against Lithuanians."

I think you might be able to bulk up the formidability of your personal battle tank if you could make some atomic weapons, however. Luckily, Amazon also sells uranium ore! As one reviewer said, it's nice that you don't have to purchase the stuff from Lybians in mall parking lots anymore. One quality warning, though:

Great Product, Poor Packaging, May 14, 2009
By Patrick J. McGovern "Procrastinating Evil Sci... (Hollowed Out Volcano Lair) - See all my reviews
I purchased this product 4.47 Billion Years ago and when I opened it today, it was half empty.

Used properly, the radioactive ore might be able to restore life to the fresh whole rabbit you can buy. The reviews warn ya, however, that it's "totally unsuitable for cuddling." Oh, I don't know about that... I've had worse...

After a great dinner of fresh rabbit and Tuscan whole milk, why not curl up with a good book? Here's one, Birth Control is Sinful in the Christian Marriages and also Robbing God of Priesthood Children!! Now, why possibly the most unfuckable woman on the globe (one reviewer noted she had a face "like a dropped meat pie") is preoccupied with birth control, I don't know, but there you have it, in all caps and filled with oddly-used punctuation. Be aware, however, that one reviewer says the book is written "in FORTRAN."

If you need more education, I refer you, once again, to How to Good-bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? or Effective Way?, which I understand has been retitled to Going Rogue.

Here's a good one to be seen reading on the bus, with your brow furrowed in concentration.

And where's the best place to read? In your own personal relaxation capsule, of course! Got $40,000?

It really works., October 26, 2005
By Sailoil (Dublin Ireland) - See all my reviews
One drawback, when it was delivered the capsule had no bolt on the outside. But I'm handy, so I installed one.

I have been locking the wife and kids into the chamber from 7pm to 7am every evening, and boy am I relaxed. This really works.

Here's something everybody needs - a holster to carry their poop-freezing products.

Nifty carrying case.., September 26, 2009
By Clark - See all my reviews
Not only a handy way to carry your Poop-Freeze, but an excellent way to tell the world that you freeze poop. Now if they could just come out with Poop Freeze T-Shirts....

And here's a great decoration for any child's room or nursing home.

I'm not entirely sure what this "Parent Child Testing Product" is, but it must be good 'cuz it's $10,000. For that, I expect you can be sure if your child's a parent, you'll soon know about it.

I'm assured that these are the best wind-up hopping lederhosen on the market today. And they're just the thing to go with your yodeling pickle, racing grannies, crazy cat lady action figures, Mr. Bacon vs. Monsieur Tofu Action Figures and inflatable toast. Surround yourself with such items and you'll have a vague idea what most my dreams are like.

Here's some to start you out if you want to try your hand at writing your own funny reviews: The Poo Pen. While this looks nothing like A. A. Milne's beloved bear character, it may prove useful as a practice tool for improving your penmanship for those times you want to scrawl something in feces. Possibly the funniest thing there isn't one of the reviews, but Amazon's notice that the item constitutes a "choking hazard." Try putting that in your obituary!

And speaking of poop, this giant inflatable dog-mound is just beggin' for someone to comment on it. If you have neighbors who think your pink flamingos are ruining the neighborhood, here's the ultimate fuck-you to 'em. Or, under cover of night, inflate it on your neighbor's curb, walk your dog past their house, and when they look out, yell "Sorry!"


Guess what!

Somebody found live footage of Septic Death?

They've discovered a cure for restless wiener syndrome?

There's a new cheese we can try?

I've found some pants I really like and don't have to take off every few minutes, much to the horror of everyone around me?

The flavor called "grape" has officially now been changed to "the flavor known as grape that real grapes taste nothing like"?

A cave painting of Jesus and Mohammad tongue-kissing was just discovered and we don't know if that will fix all the world's problems... or intensify them?

Thigh-high Uggs are the next big style for sorority girls even though they don't appeal to anybody else?

They've finally defined yogurt?

The surgeon general declared that we don't have to eat our peas although it'd be nice?

Haley Barbour finally admitted that, all those times, it wasn't actually the dog that did it, and all along it was him, him and his big ol' nasty ass?

Nope. None of those things. It's just another movie review post. Yay.


Aguirre, The Wrath of God (C, 1972) aka Aguirre, Der Zorn Gottes. It’s Apocalypse Now, 16th century style, in this classic first collaboration between director Werner Herzog and actor/madman Klaus Kinski, which got so troubled that Herzog had to get Kinski to finish it practically at gunpoint. Despite that nightmare, they made five more films together, and Herzog made My Best Fiend, a documentary about their love-hate relationship. A group of conquistadors searching for El Dorado, the fabled city of gold, undergoes a mutiny and end up under the leadership of unbalanced (mentally and physically -- Kinski walks as if one leg is shorter than the other) Don Lope de Aguirre, a megalomaniac whose fanatical expedition grows more bizarre the further into the wilderness it goes. Kinski ends up completely mad on a raft full of corpses and about a hundred little monkeys (who supposedly bit him). It’s really artsy at times (Herzog likes to form shots that look like paintings and then hold them a long time) but it’s well done, and Kinski (who really was crazy at that point) is convincingly psychotic, degenerating more as his quest does. The difficult conditions of the shoot (which required a large cast and small crew to live on rafts in the middle of nowhere) adds plenty of realism. Plus, it’s got monkeys. You can’t really go wrong with a movie that’s got monkeys.


Whole freakin' movie:

Bonnie’s Kids (C, 1973) Twenty-two year old Ellie blows her stepfather away with a shotgun while he’s trying to rape her slutty fifteen year old sister, Myra. They hit the road and go live with their uncle. While Myra exploits and then fends off her lesbian aunt, Ellie gets a job as a model and then takes off with a private detective who’s been hired by mobsters to pick up a package full of cash. A black and white hit-man team (possibly Tarrantino’s Pulp Fiction inspiration) are after them, and kill a young newlywed couple by mistake. Ellie ends up killing a cop and they have to hide out in the desert, where things grow more desperate. Myra is left with an ironic ending. Sleazy crime drama like they don’t make anymore, is sometimes a little slow but isn’t badly made and has gritty sex and violence and some good-looking females.

Oddly, the only footage on YouTube I could find was a clip that a foot fetishist put up because there are shots of Ellie pumping a car's gas pedal. But, it's better than nothing. Thanks, weirdo! :)

Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls (C, 1973) A man’s wife dies after swearing she’ll return to him, and he becomes obsessed with facilitating that feat. HE goes to mediums and other charlatans, meeting disappointment each time until he meets Doctor Death, a theatrical mystic who’s discovered a method of transferring the soul of a freshly-deceased person into another dead body, thus reanimating it. Dr. Death has extended his own lifespan for generations with this practice, but lately he’s been experiencing technical difficulties; he can’t command souls into some bodies, and when a street thug stabs him in the stomach, the guy’s face gets melted off by a spray of blackish goo. Dr. Death’s methods of killing off his subjects aren’t always nice; he axes one, bleeds one to death, and saws one woman in half (with assistance from a volunteer from the audience, played by famous Stooge Moe Howard in his final role). Dr. Death persists in trying to resurrect the dead wife, even though the husband’s had second thoughts about the doc’s methods and wants him to stop. Luckily, the movie’s played pretty straight (and even has a little not-bad gore), but it’s still hokey, mostly due to the hammy performance by John Considine as the Doctor (it’s vaguely Phibesian). Somewhat silly but worth checking out.

I couldn't find any footage from the movie, but here's a wrestling match where "Dr. Death" Steve Williams fights Jerry Only from the Misfits! Okay, that's weird....

Hunchback of the Morgue (C, 1972) aka El Jorobado de la Morgue, The Rue Morgue Massacres, The Hunchback of the Rue Morgue. Paul Naschy is a much-abused hunchback named Gotho who works in a morgue, amputating parts of corpses for medical students to dissect. He’s mocked and tormented by everyone around him, from the medical students to rock-throwing children in the streets, yet he’s very kind-hearted when it comes to Ilsa, a girl who’s dying of tuberculosis. He brings her flowers every day, and when she dies he kills the medical students who were about to dissect her and takes her body to an old dungeon. He has to fight off rats that gnaw on her corpse (the most famous scene, since Naschy allowed himself to actually be attacked by the rats, and a bunch of live rats actually got set on fire). Naschy turns her body over to a mad scientist who’s been experimenting with resurrecting the dead, and he promises to bring her back to life, but Naschy has to supply him with bodies… including live ones. But all the doctor creates are monstrosities that eat people, and Naschy has second thoughts. One of Naschy’s best films, with him pulling out a sympathetic performance amidst all the lurid, morbid, gory events. The gore’s pretty graphic, including decapitations, disembowelments, and laboratory tanks overflowing with pulsating guts. Despite that, the movie also knows when to show restraint, keeping the worst monster hidden in a room, roaring horribly and making you wonder what it looks like (until the end, anyway, and even then it’s not a total disappointment). Classically trashy Spanish horror.

Here's the trailer:

And a clip:

Night of 1000 Cats (C, 1972) aka La Noche De Los Mil Gatos, Blood Feast. A rich playboy (Hugo Stiglitz, whose character is called “Hugo” just to keep things simple) picks up women by flying around Acapulco in his helicopter, wearing big sunglasses. He seduces one housewife by parachuting a doll to her daughter. Once he has a woman he takes her to his castle for sex, strangles her, and then with the help of his mute Tor-Johnson-esque servant, uses them to maintain both of his collections: one is made up of severed heads in jars, and the other is a pit filled with hundreds of house cats who are fed their flesh. (The bones are burned in an incinerator, but they’re always wrapped in a package so they wouldn’t have to compromise the budget by going out and buying skeletons). Most of the film is tedium in which we watch the copter fly endlessly around the city, or Hugo sitting around in ritzy settings with the women while camera tricks and fancy editing try desperately to convince us that it’s interesting. The psycho isn’t very far-sighted; he leaves himself without help by killing his servant for beating him at chess, and doesn’t realize that having a vast herd of cats trained to eat human flesh could have a downside. Director Rene Cardona Jr. tries hard to give this some style and his failure to do so provides some amusement, although he skimps on the gore more than you’d expect him to if you’d seen the uncut version of his Survive. The DVD and every videocassette version I’ve ever seen runs just over an hour, meaning half an hour has been cut out (what that consists of, I don’t know -- if it’s more helicopter footage, then good riddance), but the story retains coherency, and contrary to the usual case with edited films, you may be grateful it’s not longer. Might make a good double feature with The Corpse Grinders.


Scene that I sure hope they used a fake cat to film:

Seventh Moon (C, 2008) A likeable young couple on their honeymoon in China get lost in the backwoods in the middle of the night. Their tour guide disappears and when they return from searching for him the car’s covered in blood. They decide they better get the hell out of there, but they start seeing scrawny naked albinos running through the woods. In a panic they get the car stuck and have to continue on foot. They find a house, but no one inside will help them, and even try to call the things to come get them. Trying to help a wounded man they find on the road ends up in more trouble for them, and soon they’re on the run with dozens of these wheezing pale grey things chasing them. The filmmakers do a good job of setting up intense situations and wringing maximum intensity out of each of them, keeping it both scary and creepy. The filmmakers are also not afraid to leave some things unexplained, which is good; too much understanding can take all the scares out of a monster.

Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The (C, 2005) In a small Texas town populated almost entirely by trashy ignorant assholes (I think I’ve been there!), Tommy Lee Jones (who also directed) hires an illegal Mexican immigrant named Melquiades Estrada, and strikes up a friendship with him. A border patrol guard with a reputation for excessive brutality (Barry Pepper, who was the sniper in Saving Private Ryan) shoots and kills Estrada (Estrada was shooting coyotes and Pepper thought he was shooting at him). The police are unsympathetic (especially Dwight Yoakum, who can act like a prick onscreen better than just about anybody) and bury Estrada in a pauper’s grave. Tommy Lee doesn’t accept this situation and abducts Pepper at gunpoint, makes him dig up Estrada’s body, and -- after wrapping it up in salt -- carry it back over the border to Estrada’s hometown for re-burial. Not only do they have to evade police by taking hazardous back trails on horseback, they have to contend with the stench of the corpse and ants that are swarming over it. It’s a strange trip, where they meet a blind old man who wants them to shoot him, run afoul of some rattlesnakes, stop over with some Mexicans, and end up at an unusual destination. Slowly-paced, existential film with lots of nice scenery and a sense of the quasi-mystical. It feels like Tommy Lee Jones wanted to create a tone similar to Slingblade while invoking the mystical Western ideas of El Topo, but keep it based in reality. It’s a little too slow and uneventful to make it gripping in a narrative sense, but it’s high-quality filmmaking and stays interesting even though not much actually happens. It was bound not to be a hit; how can you get word-of-mouth on a film whose title most people can’t even pronounce?

Apparently you can watch the whole movie at a link found here.

Trick ‘R Treat (C, 2008) Creepshow-style anthology looks even more surreal since Halloween appears to be a lost art that no one does anymore. Four somewhat-interconnected stories all take place on the same Halloween night. In one, a demented school principal deals with a problem student and helps his annoying son (“Charlie Brown is an asshole!”) make a Jack-O-Lantern. In another, some trick-or-treaters leave Jack-O-Lanterns for the spirits of crazy kids who were drowned in a schoolbus. The third story has some werewolf girls doing what comes supernaturally, and in the last a grouchy old man is visited by a pumpkin-boy-thing. None of the stories are particularly clever -- in fact, they barely even count as a “story” in some cases -- and the attempt to adopt a Pulp Fiction narrative structure isn’t very successful, but the film does have some creepy visuals (when they’re not too dark to see) and a very Halloweeny atmosphere that makes it worth checking out… especially in late October.


What's in Al Capone's J. D. Salinger's Vault?

Recently J.D. Salinger, the literary world’s version of Sasquatch, became even more reclusive… by dying.

Even though Salinger said “screw you guys, I’m going home” to the literary scene over 40 years before he died, rumor has it that he had kept writing and had at least 15 novels and other literary projects stored up in a safe deposit box to be published after his death.

No one knows what Salinger treasures we may see flooding the market in the coming years.

But I’m crass-hole enough to speculate! So here’s a few really surprising things I think we could (but won’t, since Salinger probably didn‘t go for fart jokes as often as I do) find when we get into Salinger’s vaults.


Retcher in the Sky - a sequel to Salinger’s most famous novel Catcher in the Rye, has Holden Caulfield dying and going to Heaven, which proves to be a huge disappointment to him. At first he finds the Pearly Gates, the streets of gold, and meeting Jesus to be “nice and all, I mean” but the more he thinks about this being the ultimate reward for everything, and the place you have to be good your whole life to get to and there never being anywhere else to go to after that, the more depressed he gets, and eventually dismisses the whole place as “a bunch of phony fancy-pants bullshit” and concludes “There’s no point to salvation, it’ll just make you sorry.”

Melvuh The Retardedest Angel - When you know nobody’s going to read your stuff ‘til after you’re dead, you can get as offensive and un-P.C. as you want, and Salinger never took more advantage of that fact than with this completely-unacceptable book for children. Notes for a sequel -- Aaa-Gah The Even More Retardeder Angel - were also found.

Malionpyg - a satirical version of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmailion, in which a man with the unlikely name of Eldorado Titwrench turns fine ladies into coarse, common trollops who use horrible slang and expose themselves in cafes. Another literary satire, Piddler on the Roof, was also planned, as well as The Sound Of Fucking Music And All Crap Like That. Best lines: “She became the worst Wal-Mart greeter ever: ‘Get a buggy and fill it up with cheap crap! Or, even better, cram it in yer ear, ya mug-putz! Ah, go fuck ya mudda!’”

Dis and Drunkorderly - a slice-of-life novel about an abrasive alcoholic hospital worker who’s addicted to Nicorette gum and has a back tattoo of a blacklight Jimi Hendrix poster. Contains more of Salinger’s sardonic observations about society, such as “it’s ironic that most convenience stores are far away and hard to get to,” “Isn’t it insulting that they call it the Internal Revenue Service, like they’re doing you a goddamn favor by taking your money?” “Durbation is all the rage with the masses,” and “Ever notice that you never meet anyone inscrutable anymore?” Most classic lines: “She showed me her dog, one of those snippy, pissy little dogs that never accomplished anything but to hop up and down, yapping like a lobbyist. She said something about a shit zoo, but I looked at her carpet and told her that a zoo was a collection of animals; what she had here was a shit museum.

Gruesome Mary’s Church of Dough - a semi-autobiographical novel written from Salinger’s “feminine side” (since a few graduate students at my college actually thought “J.D.” was a woman) in which Salinger acerbically depicted himself at war with the society from which he withdrew. The opening line is “We’re playing Roadrunner/Coyote here, and so far my speed is overcoming their ACME products.” The character representing Salinger runs one restaurant, while society is represented as a rival restaurant, Big Ray’s House of Violence And Buckwheat Pancakes (“our motto: They’re DelishAAARRGGGH!”) Classic lines: “I don’t know why the people who ran that little carpet store were so mad at me. They had a sign up that said ‘throw rugs,’ and I was only following their orders.”

Schadenfreudian Slip - Expected to be the find of the whole trove, this is a collaborative novel Salinger wrote with John Kennedy Toole of Confederacy of Dunces fame. It's a saga about a misanthropic prostitute who charges extra because she has a partial Siamese twin (which actually does all the work). It’s reportedly really bitter and hilarious. Best line: “I got arrested for throwing my feces at people in the crowd. But that’s not entirely true. It wasn’t mine. Well, I guess technically it was mine since I paid for it, but...”

Amazingly, it will be revealed that under a carefully-guarded pseudonym, Salinger had been writing scripts for the 1973 Japanese TV series Super Robot Red Baron, including the lyrics to the show’s haunting theme song:

“This Earth of ours is beautiful So we can’t allow the Iron Alliance to seize it In hearts that love peace The Iron Alliance can’t be forgiven! Red Baron! Red Baron! A million-horsepower super robot Crush their ambitions and Destroy their fiendish Mecha-Robos! Feel the might of the Elec-Trigger! See the Baron Hammer strike!”

Here’s an example of one of the scenes Salinger may have written. Warning: viewing the following may cause unbearable levels of excitement! Be sure the seat in which you are sitting can handle large degrees of bouncing up and down!

Salinger’s involvement in Japan also (may have) led to his secretly becoming the psuedonymous author of the classic volume, How To Good-bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? Or Effective Way? which is reputed to be the absolute funniest book you can leave on your coffee table for guests to see. (Given Salinger’s interest in yoga and other strange spiritual beliefs, this may not be as far-fetched as it seems).

Shockingly, it’ll be revealed that Salinger tried to sell a sitcom to several networks. It was to be called Below the Belt and In The Back, (or possibly Love And A Slice of Bacon) about workers in a factory where they make sausage patties. Rosie O’Donal would have a supporting role as a rude, obnoxious, backwards-cap-wearing loudmouth named “Piehole,” who - as a substitute for a Jimmy-Walker-“Dy-No-Mite” catch-phrase type of thing - would cock a hip and fart toward a co-worker once every episode.

And expect a stir in the news when it’s discovered that Salinger actually wrote Sarah Palin’s crib notes!

(Even in his last days, Salinger had a wicked sense of humor, crossing out the word "Budget" in "Budget Cuts" and replacing it with "tax" as a satire of Republican economic mishandling. Even in death, Salinger's still making the world's phonies look like fools!)