Fever – 80’s Aussie Noir

Sometimes we find hidden treasures on VHS at Goodwill. This is the case with 1988’s “Fever,” a 1988 film noir from Australia that unexpectedly impresses. To fully appreciate it, you have to know that it is a remake of “Diabolique,” the classic French movie about 2 women who kill an abusive man. Or do they? In this movie, an honest cop (played by the great Bill Hunter) finds drug money and is promptly murdered by his wife and lover. Or is he?

This movie is good because it takes all the film noir clichés and transplants them to 1988 Australia. This film portrays Australia as a desolate place and so it becomes easy to understand why the characters want a way out. As the double-crosses and shootouts ensue, it becomes easy to get swept up in it because it is done really well.

At the center of it all is the late and great Bill Hunter, a legendary Australian actor who has been in more than 50 films, including “Strictly Ballroom,” “The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” “Muriel’s Wedding,” and “Finding Nemo.” As a tough but honest cop, he provides us with a center for all the mayhem. “Fever,” which inexplicably went direct-to-video, is a thriller worth finding.

Vestron Collection Parents + Why I Love Randy Quaid

Since the 1971 classic “The Last Picture Show” and spanning all the way to 2005’s “Brokeback Mountain,” there have been few better modern character actors than Randy Quaid. With his unique demeanor, which can be bumbling, serious, or seriously imposing, he is an unstoppable force. I reflected on this while watching the new Vestron Collection Limited Edition Blu-Ray of 1989’s “Parents,” which is perhaps the greatest horror comedy ever made. It is about the Laemle’s, a typical 1950’s family whose life looks good from the outside-until you realize that young Michael (played by Bryan Madorsky) is mentally ill, while his parents (played by Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt) seem to be hiding something. Could they be… CANNIBALS?

This movie almost makes “Blue Velvet” look like a walk in the park. We share young Michael’s perspective for the entire film, and we share his apprehension about the “leftovers” his parents keep trying to get him to eat. Michael is a strange kid himself, rarely talking and with a young girl friend who claims to be from the moon. Eventually a social worker (played by Sandy Dennis) becomes in his case, but this is not a family sympathetic to outsiders.

This movie plays the audience like a piano, with great 1950’s-style music (mostly by Angelo Badalamenti) and period recreations. We never know what’s going to happen next. Ultimately, the clash between this strange boy and his stranger environment is what the film is about, and the film leaves an indelible impression.

At the center of it all is Randy Quaid. Comedic and nerdy one second, unbelievably menacing the next, his performance is one of the best ever for a horror film. This film scares me like few others do. The picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are excellent, and so are the extras. The director, Bob Balaban, explains on the commentary that the film is about him and his childhood. What a scary childhood he must have had!

Randy Quaid and his wife have been in some trouble with the law over the past 10 years or so and currently reside in Vermont. Apparently he has retired from film and TV acting. Well, Randy, have a great retirement, because you are awesome! Don’t miss “Parents” on Blu-Ray!

GGF Picks 9/16

Race 4:                                                                                                          Horse #4, Ted Oliver, to win.
Horse #1, Jury, to place.                                                                         Exacta: Horses #4 & #1.

Race 5:
Horse #1, Monsajem Accrete, to win.
Horse #5, Pocket Prince, to place.
Exacta: Horses #1 and #5.

Race 7:
Hubcap, to place.

Race 8:                                                                                                       Horse #11, Bellanza, across the board (win/place/show).

Global Stagnation

Stagnation is the best word to describe this economic system with low
growth, massive debt, and very few monopolies making all the cash with very minor contributions to the economic system and productivity https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/05/revised-q1-2017-productivity.html. The reason the globalists want everything stagnant is so they can have the government and the big corporate monopolies take over every facet of our lives https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/amazon-hungry-it-s-coming-your-cable-channels-n801781, so that they can hoard all the cash. This is why the volatility of money is stagnant https://seekingalpha.com/article/4087640-low-volatility-limited-u-s-stocks. The money is flowing from the many to the few (perpetually). The public only gets the crumbs of welfare or low wage jobs, plus the same technology recycled over and over but with fancier packaging, ever higher price tags (inflation) and largely worthless miniscule ‘updates’.

Over-priced cell phones for the image-conscious (that most people are too
stupid to barely use the internet on and do any research anyhow) https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/09/12/apple-iphone-x-price-starts-at-999-dollars-available-november-3.html, and rent
hikes are where the regular people’s cash is going. Into an abyss. There’s
no money left to buy other stuff for many lower class people. So rents and
cell phones and tech all explode up, gas and car prices crash http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-14/used-car-prices-crash-lowest-level-2009-amid-glut-lease-supply. and we get to
stagflation eventually in a matter of time (once the I rates go up to where
they should have been the last ten years).

Looker is Overlooked

Although best known today as the creator of “E.R.” and the author of “Jurassic Park,” Michael Crichton was also an overlooked sci-fi auteur whose films included the classic original “Westworld,” the chilling “Coma,” and the Tom Selleck-Gene Simmons cult film “Runaway.” His most overlooked film, however, is the ahead-of-it’s-time “Looker” from 1981 starring Albert Finney as a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon whose clients are dropping off like flies. All of the models who are dying work for sinister James Coburn and have recently had very minor surgery done to make them “perfect.” Together with Susan Dey, who is working for Coburn and wants to know what’s going on, Finney uncovers a plot to take real models, kill them, and turn them into computerized images. These images will then be used in the worst advertisements ever, both political and for products, and will turn the audience into virtual zombies. Only Finney can stop the madness, by killing the people responsible in scenes that resemble “They Live” and “Videodrome.” If that’s not cool enough already, there’s nudity and an awesome ray gun that zaps you out of consciousness so you’re one step closer to being a victim of computerization.

 

This film has both a relatively believable and very scary plot along with a ton of action. Director Chrichton correctly guessed that computers would be taking over for actors on the future, and that audiences would be seduced into watching terrible advertisements. He also guessed correctly about plastic surgery becoming popular. This film becomes one of the best 1980’s sci-fi films because it is plausible, scary, sexy, and fun. Available in a widescreen DVD with the trailer and commentary by Crichton, this film is not to be missed by any serious sci-fi fan!

Storm Over Warlock Coulda Been Better

This book, Storm Over Warlock, is from back in the day, in the 70’s. It had a female sci-fi fantasy author named Andre Norton. My Kajukenbo teacher from back in the day was stoked to hear I was digging her book, since he thought her books had been lost in time. Just from a glance at the title and the cover, I was pretty sure this book would rule.

The bright side of reading this was that it was a quick read at 200 pages and pocket lunch book size. It definitely kept me turning the pages. The best thing is that there really are no good guys, just a bunch of aggressive alien surveyors and locals. Think of the Dark Crystal crossed with Conan the Barbarian and Aliens and you start tio get the picture. Very heavy on the fantasy, with little in the way of hard sci-fi, this book certainly takes your mind off of things. Maybe you got tired of US hurricane coverage and should take a break from that and read about Storm Over Warlock instead.

There’s much talk of skull mountain, many offerings of green potions, but the dialogue isn’t that great, and some of the writing is a bit obtuse. Nevertheless this book is great at painting pictures and landscapes which take you away in escapism. There are some fairly shallow efforts to get into cultural anthropology, but good enough overall to say this book was slightly above average overall, and just basically kicks ass cause its about alien warlocks. I have a rule that anything about alien warlocks will always get a good review from me, until the day I die. Alien warlocks need to stick together. That said, this book coulda been better.

GGF Picks 9/14

Race 1: Horse #4, Warrens lil Margie, to win.

Race 2: Horse #7, Truth Matters, to win.

Race 3: Horse #5, Having Fun, to win.

Race 4: Horse #7, Radio Silent, to win.

Race 5: Horse #6, Lacey’s Rainbow, win/ show/ place (across the board).

Race 6: Horse #4, Melvinized, to win.

Race 7: Horse #6, Bella Ronski, win/ show/ place (across the board).

Airport Security Wants to Touch Your Groin (Over and Over)

If you happen to get singled out by security at the airport, the new thing is that they are now patting your groin down so thoroughly that they will stroke it 8 times or so. It seems like most of the security guards are men, so this makes the Groin staff really not want to fly anymore!

http://www.weeklystandard.com/mccormack-hands-on-with-the-tsas-new-enhanced-pat-down-procedure/article/2009631

The Deuce is an Epoch of Trash

Critics are calling HBO’s new drama “The Deuce,” starring James Franco as identical twins and Maggie Gyllenhaal as an experienced hooker who doesn’t need a pimp, a masterpiece. It is not. Instead, it is a canny, unsubtle recreation of the sleazy ’70’s, a film that makes “Boogie Nights” look timid in terms of content but far superior in terms of character and story/ Basically, if you are looking for racial stereotypes, gratuitous references to “A Tale of Two Cities,” and nude scene after nude scene, then the 84 minute pilot is for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for something gripping and intellectually challenging, look elsewhere. The acting is good but it’s hard to care about sleaze. That said, it is perfect for GROIN because it is full of sex, so we will continue to monitor this show and let everyone know if it gets any better. As art, so far, it fails, but as trash, it succeeds!

Howling 2 Werewolf Botch Redux

What do you get when you take cheesy new wave imitators, werewolves, Transylvania occult rituals, and too many transformation flash back clips from the first film? You guessed it, The Howling 2! Thank the Greasy Dark Overlord that Shout Factory saw fit to rerelease this a year or two back. This was a film that Roger Ebert originally gave 1 star and panned, yet praised Sybil Danning’s performance as the head werewolf occult leader. You have to go into this film expecting a bad but watchable film. Its so bad its good. Whereas the Marsupials sequel of this same franchise licks balls and is entirely unwatchable.

One thing I really like is that Christopher Lee plays the brother of the lead werewolf bitch. He delivers a great monologue at the beginning and end.

If you have seen Vamp with Grace Jones about new-wave and vampires, then this is basically the werewolf version of that. Sybil Danning was so awesome in Hercules with Lou Feregino, as well as in Reform School Girls that she really should get a Groin lifetime achievement award. I had the pleasure of meeting her briefly at the legendary porn studio Metro in LA ( yes she had a porn career). I was waiting in line for this circus themed gangbang and she happened to be the hostess. A midget got shot out of a cannon. One of the fluffer girls would only suck on the tip. Was a billion degrees and us male talents had to stand around in 100 degree heat all day waiting for the female models to get their hair and make-up done. Anyhow, back to the film. Jimmy Nail (of Morons from Outer Space fame) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Nail has a great cameo as some drugged out street party reveler which is a Groin most neglected best supporting actor role of all time.

Did I mention there is a total Frankie Goes to Hollywood live band Body Double rip off scene? And that the song is continually recycled throughout the film ad nauseum, including at inappropriate times. In the end this only adds to the charm though.

You have to forgive these 80’s films for all their new wave stuff. Repo Man, Vamp, The Wraith, and Howling 2 are all part of the kind of pop art that Warhol could have appreciated. They are films that poke fun at the consumerist/materialist nature of the 80s. As such, they have become important time capsules to better understand that era. Its also a good woman empowerment role because Sybil Danning dominates all the men in the film and totally kicks ass. We want to thank Orion studios for having created this wonderful piece of trash which has endearing value to us. Danning proceeds to tear off her outfit and reveal her breasts 17 times during the end credits.

The director, Philippe Mora, is a GROIN Hall of Famer for such films as “The Return of Captain Invincible,” “The Beast Within,” “A Breed Apart,” and the Whitley Strieber biopic “Communion” with Christopher Walken. He says in the commentary that while he used to hate the film with a passion, now he loves it.  Star Reb Brown played Captain America on TV in the 1970’s, with Christopher Lee as the villain, and was Yor in “Yor, The Hunter from the Future.”  Annie McEnroe, the female lead, was in Oliver Stone’s “The Hand” with Michael Caine.  This film is funnier than “Exorcist II” and way sexier than “An American Werewolf in Paris.”  If you want a “howling” bad movie good time, don’t miss this winner!