New Amityville Flick

The new Amityville flick, The Awakening, hit Blu-ray this month. We picked up a copy, and were happy to get to see it, since the Weinstein scandal prevented its wide release. Amityville showed in only a handful of theatres, and grossed a total of 800 bucks. My underground metal albums made almost that much last year. So I feel good!

The question regarding any Amityville flick is always, “How do you make a decent 90 minute movie about some guy wasting his family with a shotgun?” In reality wasting everyone probably took five minutes and wasn’t that interesting. Normally the answer is to have a bunch of gratuitous dead kid ghosts, as well as boring family scenes to build a sense of (boring) characters. And there is some of that in this film. However, what made this film interesting  is the neurologically impaired crippled character who is getting possessed by the house to kill his family. This all happened because the (stupid!) mom has moved the family to that house specifically to harness evil powers to heal his ass, since God failed. This backfires (obviously). The crippled character is played by Cameron Monaghan, and he does a splendid job in the role. I had a client with a similar condition to his when I was a caregiver, and this character he portrayed was unusually believable. The house heals him so he can kill his family. When he does have control of himself , he uses the power-chair wheel imprints in the mud to put a protective voodoo circle around the house. Isn’t that heartwarming?

Bella Thorne, famous from God knows what, also excels in her role as the dumb teen girl who moves with her family to this Godforsaken house. Normally I don’t like those super skinny white girls, but this girls hot, and she does a great job of prancing around in her underwear throughout the film. In light of the Weinstein sex scandal I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but if she is over 18 and had shown her tits (small tits have their fans too!) I would add a whole star .  And her acting isn’t half bad.

Downsizing Works

Between the mixed reviews, weak box office, and online media hate focused on Matt Damon, the average person is ready to assume that the new film “Downsizing” is a disappointment. Imagine my surprise because “Downsizing” is one of the best films of the year. Damon plays a man who agrees, along with his wife, to be shrunk because of the high cost of living. As a small person, he can live like a king. Unfortunately, life while shrunk is much more complicated than he imagined.

This move starts as a high-concept science fiction comedy and gradually turns into something much greater. When the film slows down and becomes a comedic love story between Damon and Hong Chau (who deserves an Oscar for her performance as a small disabled Vietnamese political activist) as well as being about the possible end of the world, then we are really in uncharted territory for a big budget sci-fi film. The film deserves praise for its weird but plausible premise as well as a great cast (including, Cristoph Waltz, Kristen Wiig, and Udo Kier) and uncannily good special effects. When it was over, I felt like I had seen a truly original futuristic movie. For once, as well, I had seen a film with characters and situations worth caring about. “Downsizing” is the best sci-fi film of the year.

Brain : A Solid Medical Thriller

I recently read an old medical (novel) thriller called Brain, from the writer of Coma. The storyline is that young women are having manic episodes characterized by sexual and violent deviant behavior. The hero is a radiologist who discovers the hospital is working with the FBI and the CIA in a joint secret program, hoping to generate a scientific breakthrough. Basically, they are taking unsuspecting gynecology patients and when they display abnormalities on their pap-smears, “surprise!” They get their brain lobotomized for further tests. As if this plot isn’t sketchy enough, there is an eerie non-fiction post script by the author which denotes the real life cases of the government doing experiments on people without their knowledge.

-The author cities MK Ultra:  

-The author also references the tests of sterilization of retarded people back in the old days and such:

The author’s background as a radiologist lends a lot of credibility to the storytelling. Having worked in the medical field as a medical insurance biller, I recognized a lot of things about the workplace, as well as the terminology (based  on my experience). The fact that my father is a radiologist also made this book more readable for me.

(SPOILER) The main character lady winds up hooked up to a super-computer (at the hands of the scientists) and receives 100 orgasms simultaneously. Scientists wound up trying to replicate the human visual field via computer simulation, which if I wasn’t mistaken, there was something oddly similar in the news some 30 years later.

According to MIT, IBM was working on a computer which can replicate the human visual field:

Xerox is also working on making robots able to see and form their own opinons, using eye-tracking data, and working on programs to help them form opinions (sometimes based off of what they are seeing through their eyes/cameras:




Robot / Human Hybrids : A Bad Idea

So we already have over 6 billion people causing problems on the planet. Things are a mess already. Traffic. Race relations. Debt. War. Strife. Corruption. Now, a leading expert on sexbots is predicting that nano skin grafts will be turned into sperms and embyos, leading to human/ robot hybrids. This is too big a can of worms, and should not be pursued. Another potential problem is that with the ability to make babies from a skin sample, people like celebs or people getting stalked may find their DNA used to create babies without their knowledge or permission in the future.

The world is already a confusing and over-crowded enough of a place. Loyalty to the family, or to the nation is already torn apart by broken families, and multiple allegiances. Faith is already a Scarlet Letter many have to wear. Introducing robot ‘baby daddies’ and robot ‘baby mommas’, with cute little hybrid babies is a really bad idea. It will turn into a phenomenon, due to herd mentality, and everyone will want one (or more). The hybrid babies will come to be discriminated against and resented by society. They will never have a place in the world.

Damn That Devil-Dog Hellhound

You know a movie is good if the main character is a dog who mind controls people into killing themselves. For instance, if there’s a lawnmower, he will tell you to go stick your face in it and die. I applaud this B movie for having such an inventive plot. I also love the tedious, and ominous score. The one problem with the movie is the Satanic ritual that incarnates the dog with a spirit goes on for a bit long. But the sets and pace are great for a TV movie from that era.

Richard Crenna has had quite the career. He played Ross Perot in “On Wings of Eagles.” He faced off with Satan in the underrated “The Evil.” He was the annoying husband who gets bumped off in “Body Heat.” He was in the awesome 1989 film “Leviathan.” And, of course, he was Troutman in “First Blood.” All that undeniable talent gets put to the test in the hilarious cult horror classic “Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell.”

How bad is this movie? Well, it opens with a group of rich people performing a Satanic ceremony on a dog who is about to give birth. After that, one of the puppies is given to Richard Crenna and his family. They love the dog instantly, but the housekeeper Maria immediately knows something is wrong. She tries to light some candles for a Christian ritual, but it doesn’t work out and she burns to death. Soon the “devil” dog is on a rampage, killing other dogs and a few people she doesn’t like. In the end, the film comes down to Richard Crenna vs. the dog. Who will win? Watch and find out!

Date That Robot

A growing number of younger people are open to dating a robot, or sexbot according to a recent poll. 27 percent of those 18-24 are down with dating a bot. Men are three times as likely to be cool with the idea.

This could be a really good thing for society. With everyone working so many hours under such stressful conditions to make ends meet, the average couple is under too many time and financial restraints to enjoy each other any more, let alone to have time for raising little brats. Personally, I think people should be dating 2 or 3 sexbots at a time , plus a live human woman (on the side). Then, once in awhile, you could get all the sexbots together, PLUS your wing-woman and throw a raging disco sex fueled party, like the kind they used to have at Studio 54. But there will be no heavy drugs, plus no diseases. So this can be a long term lifestyle, and you will never get burnt out. You will save so much time and $ from ditching other more traditional family responsibilities. Life will be just grand!

Not Digging ‘The Mist’ TV Show

I dunno, a TV series of Stephen King’s “The Mist” ran 10 episodes on SPIKE last summer before quietly being cancelled. It was a great story and a surprisingly good movie. What happened? I’ll tell you what happened: bad acting and bad writing. Before the mist even kills its first victim, we get stuck with a politically correct date rape subplot. Long gone are the days where women got raped by trees in Evil Dead, any sympathy or interest we have in the show nearly dies right away because we want to see MONSTERS IN THE MIST, not politically correct date rape crap! The actors in the show are terrible as well, and I’ve never heard of any of them. I guess the issue is that they look twerpy and wimpy, having lived in an upper-class neighborhood, while having a generic image.

And here at Groin, we don’t care about your ‘teen party’ crap.

Unfortunately, not a trace of Stephen King’s skill writing characters made it onto this show, probably because they “re-imagined” the story instead of using King’s. The only thing decent about the show is the directing, as there is atmosphere in the mist and a few gory deaths. It’s a hard R show at least. But in the end, after watching the pilot on Netflix, this seemingly intriguing new show is a big dud. It doesn’t work and it’s not necessary. Memo to writers: more horror, less PC teen crap. Definitely skip this new “Mist.”

Media is the Pied Piper

One can learn a lot about current events from watching material from the past; that’s what I learned when I watched 1972’s “The Pied Piper.” Starring singer/composer Donovan in the title role and with Donald Pleasance in support, the film impresses far more than it should. The director, Jacques Demy, is obviously a great artist and maybe that’s why the film works so well. Set in Germany during the plaque, the film is realistically done yet has present-day applications. Donovan is great both acting and music-wise in the film.

I’ll say that the equivalent of The Pied Piper today is the media. Both left and right-wing media are at fault; it doesn’t matter. Promising to lead us out of the plague, they instead lead us off the fiscal cliff. Because we haven’t given them enough money, they send us to our doom. This nation is 60k per man, woman, and child in debt. That is morally wrong!

Like Franklin said, it was all over once the public realized they can vote themselves gains from the public trough. Now neither side has any intention of stopping the car before the cliff. They want to hold hands and drive straight over it together straight down into the Grand Canyon.

The media divides along every line, rather than bring people together. The only thing we are brought together for is to line up for our own long term financial insolvency: “Ladies and gentleman, step right up! You can be the next Venezuela!” How do you tell a country so eager to go broke from debt to stop it? Perot tried hard by showing large graphs showing US long term trends towards being a broke banana republic. He actually led that election for a while by making Americans aware of their impending doom.

Democrats march to the music by supporting the welfare state, social justice shinola, and income redistribution. GOP overspends our way to oblivion through excessive military spending, and by allowing corporations to have larger (unenforced) tax cuts than individuals. The media cheerleads all the misguided avarice and steers everyone towards the pipers.

Most of all, they imply that there is no hope. In a way, things are much worse now than they were in the Dark Ages, because instead of beautiful music or at least Donovan, we get Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, street gangs, and prescription drugs. And there’s probably more homeless now than there were during the Middle Ages. The movie does an excellent job of showing how people react to a crisis. It really is excellent cinema. Gorgeous sets permeate the film like a 17th century painting. Between the period detail and the applications that can be made to today (such as the youth being lead away to their doom) it really is a must-watch. Basically anything from the ’70’s with Donald Pleasance is awesome anyway. Buy “The Pied Piper” (1972) on DVD and you’ll have plenty to rant and rave about. It’s one of the great unseen movies!

Another thing to mention is that there is a parallel between the Pied Piper and Christ that no one wants to confront. The Apostles of Jesus were also led toward their own physical and financial doom on Earth. Because as a society we have ruled and voted based on morality of doing what’s right we have failed. Rather than bleeding hearts for every goody two shoe cause known to man. Rather than trying to vote ourselves a Utopian retirement scheme in SSI. Rather than trying to save every threatened nation in the world. We need to save ourselves first! We can do this by only voting for and spending on what is absolutely necessary for the nation’s survival. By voting ourselves so many frills, based on hubris, we have assured the demise of our nation. Its time to return to rugged individualism.

Cut government spending in half! The Leviathan must be cut down like a dying tree.

Death Wish 2 : Bronson Takes L.A.

If you like Charles Bronson and “Death Wish,” then you’ll want to see “Death Wish 2.” It’s not the best entry in the series, but it’s decent. In it, Bronson and his daughter have moved to L.A. at the behest of N.Y.C. police chief Vincent Gardenia. Bronson plans on having a quiet life but then his maid and daughter are raped and both die. Time to get out his trusty Beretta 84 and get revenge. As Jimmy Page’s score wails in the background, Bronson proves that every other action hero is a total wuss by comparison. By the time the ending electrocution occurs, your jaw will be on the floor as Bronson finishes his revenge.

This film got no stars from Roger Ebert, and I think that’s because the rape scenes are way too graphic and go on too long (now that the late 70’s, early 80’s are over) . If you can handle those scenes, the movie’s fine. Jill Ireland and Vincent Gardenia give good performances in support and a young Laurence Fishburne amuses as one of the criminals. The big difference between “Death Wish 2” and other entries in the series is that Bronson only goes after the criminals who killed his daughter and maid.

Jimmy Page did the score for the second and third installments of this series. His music was experimental disco sounding, but effective and memorable. What’s cool about it though is it keeps a dark tone. Ominous sounding disco like that is unique and fit the era of what the film was about. Page was awarded a Razzie for this score. However, its under-appreciated and has aged well. It is worth checking out. There’s some gritty British rock overtones as well.

Death Wish 3 Cleans Up the Hood

No action fan’s life is complete without seeing “Death Wish 3.” Back in New York to visit an old Korean War buddy, Bronson’s friend is soon killed and he is shocked to see what bad shape the slums of New York are in. To protect several new friends including Martin Balsam from a multiethnic neo-punk gang, Bronson, with the help of the local police chief, once again takes the law into his own hands.

Whereas the first two ‘Death Wish” movies took themselves seriously, this one is a romp in the Bronx. To begin with, we are presented with the idea that the N.Y. police would be cool with Bronson being a vigilante as long as he keeps them up to date on his activities. Then, we are asked to accept multi-ethnic, neo-punk gangs as plausible. This is easy to do because the bulk of the movie is Bronson killing people with his Colt Cobra until he gets bored with that and starts using a rocket launcher. Naturally, his new squeeze, a public defender, is killed, upping the ante even more.

“Death Wish 3” got really bad reviews because the critics didn’t realize IT’S A JOKE! The director, Michael Winner, had exhausted all plausible ideas with the first two films and, realizing what a strange place America was in 1985, decided to camp it up! If you’ve been dying to see Alex Winter as a heavy who needs to be dispatched by Bronson, look no further. If you’re looking for something that makes “Cobra” look realistic, you’re in luck! If you’re looking for a plausible thriller starring Bronson, try the first “Death Wish” or the original “Mechanic.” But for campy drive-in trash, “Death Wish 3” can’t be beat!