Saturday, 28 June 2008
Long Time No See!
It's been quite a while since I added something to this little blog, but I assure you, I am still around.
I still work in the video store, but now I manage it. I'm dead-ass-tired most of the time, but am beginning to get a foothold on things. (Crosses fingers.)
Look for more blogs from me soon.
Sunday, 17 June 2007
Emotional vampires on Reality Television
"Emotional vampires" is a phrase coined by those in psychology to define people whose co-dependence and ability to drain the people around them of their emotional energy, simply by being difficult or trying to rope others into their problematic worlds. Reality shows have long been notorious for having participants with this sort of behavior.
I have been a reality junkie since the first season of The Real World. I have sat through firings on The Apprentice, tribal councils on Survivor, eliminations on any number of other shows, but nothing has been as emotionally draining as watching recent seasons of VH1's Celebreality shows. For me, it started in Season Five of The Surreal Life, with The Apprentice's Omarosa sparring with Janice Dickinson from America's Next Top Model. It was a constant battle to stay interested after about episode 2, mostly because those two were constantly at each other's throats, and not in a good way. Catfights are only good when they start and end quickly. The Omarosa vs. Janice feud dragged on and on throughout the whole season...it just got boring, and grated on the nerves. Ditto the Surreal Life Fame Games, with Vanilla Ice attacking EVERYONE, EVERY EPISODE. Neither of these shows just couldn't sustain my interest, mostly because I would feel so drained afterward, with one drama after another, with no break for levity or any development. Ditto Breaking Bonaduce and Shooting Sizemore.
This currently ending season is no different, with only the dating show I Love New York aquitting itself with some fun gags and some believable beefs.
The Springer Hustle, which seemed to be a great idea for a show, ended up being a disappointment. It was kind of like what Dorothy must have felt when Toto pulled the curtain back on the Wizard, only to see a little man working all the levers that controlled the smoke and mirrors. The supposed organic nature of the fights, which are supposed to be based on real conflicts, is the appeal. Why are you going to go on national television and show us your producers egging on the guests? Also, seeing that some shows don't work out and end up on "the cutting room floor", or otherwise cancelled, took a lot of the fun out of it. It was just another drain on the emotions, seeing one's guilty pleasure broken down into yet another coached and directed show.
Flavor of Love's participants were given a chance to "redeem" themselves on Mo'Nique's Charm School this season. However, this hope-filled premise just seemed to go nowhere, with fault not falling on the girls themselves, but the judges. Girls on the show were sent home for everything from not controlling their temper (understandable, and a big reality show no-no) to simply not participating (again understandable). However, Charm School "principal" Mo'Nique seemed to want to change their rules midway through each challenge.
For instance, a debate challenge that had a clear winning team, which in fact did win, found themselves scolded by Mo'Nique...for winning? They stuck to the topic, presented their case, and spoke clearly and in a concise manner, so why was Mo'Nique giving them grief? This attitude on Mo'Nique's part precipitated in an argument with one of the girls, Larissa, who correctly determined that because she was on the winning team (and that Mo'Nique didn't like her), Mo'Nique was not happy. Mo'Nique was also notorious for keeping people who failed at tasks (Leilene who lost challeneges from episode one; Courtney, who ended up becoming opener for Mo'Nique's comedy tour at elimination), while getting rid of other people who succeeded (Schatar, who won challenges but was framed for stealing; bitchy Larissa, but not her partner-in-crime, Shay, who's still there).
Another incident had the girls selling homemade perfume. The girls were put into three teams and were put in an open air market to sell their wares. While the judges didn't argue the case this time, when the girls objected to their results, Mo'Nique simply told them, and I'm paraphrasing, that life isn't fair and will screw them with no Vaseline. Nice encouragement.
But the real Reality Nosferatu has to be Dustin Diamond from Celebrity Fit Club 5. While other participants were enthusiastic and acted as comrades, Dustin drew the others' attention as well as the cameras to his continual stream of negative bullshit. Whether he was picking fights with American Idol Season One runner up Kimberly Caldwell for being a "loser," or making fun of country comedian Cledus T. Judd for his inablity to shop for himself due to anorexia, or even the foolhardy attempt to challege Sgt. Harvey Walden IV, the trainer to a fight, he managed to turn the whole season into the Dustin Diamond show.
However, when the anyone on the show called him on his bullshit, he would deflect their criticisms by saying that he was living in "reality" and that everyone else was deluded or being unreasonable, and even threatening legal action. It might not have been so bad, except he also managed to pull the cameras along for his impressions of the other participants, including dressing himself as some of them and making fun of their problems. In the end, he lost the weight, but again ended up drawing the ire of the nutritionist and the other participants by using fat-burning diet pills. Even as his team won, it was a hollow victory: he had fought with everyone there, refused to exercise, ate junk food the entire time, offered a dildo made in his "likeness" to Kimberly, and insulted everyone on the show, including the host, comedian Ant.
So...what have we learned?
1. Emotional vampires will make you feel incredibly tired and ill from their bullshit.
2. They will also try to make you believe it's your own fault.
3. Dustin Diamond is trying to pimp out a dummy model of his schlong, retroactively ruining many of childhood Saturday mornings when we would watch Saved by the Bell.
Here's hoping that the summer season 2007 has better shows...without so many of those types of "vampires".
Posted by spankavision at 11:08 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 18 June 2007 12:03 AM EDT
Sunday, 3 June 2007
Backstreet's back...all right!
Ever seen that movie Superstar? Molly Shannon (from SNL) plays Mary Katherine Gallagher, overgrown and accident-prone Catholic schoolgirl, who is also the rewind girl at the Video Hut, who screens movies while waiting for tapes to be sent down a chute to her to be rewound. I have been working at a video store since December and have begun to do much the same thing, except we have DVDs and thusly, don't have to rewind them. One of my recent screenings was 2004's Ring of Darkness.
Looks all sinister and dark, doesn't it? Blood-stained iron cross? Check. The Scream-inspired black and white photo grouping? Check. Title using both the words "ring" (popular lately) and "darkness"? Check.
But then you see it: Ryan Starr, in the middle and getting top-billing next to Adrienne Barbeau. WTF? Worse, it's what the film's about, or rather, what they won't just come out and say.
See, in the opening scene, a boy is trying to escape this lavish, beach-front mansion. He hurriedly packs a bag and climbs out a window, running like a bat out of hell to freedom. However, he's cornered by four boys, who remind him that he's nothing without them. He retorts about what they've turned him into. Then they eat him. Vampires, right?
Well, they won't say. I am guessing that the film's writers figured in the 21st century, there really is no need for that tried-and-true "Could he be.....a vampire?" dialogue, and for that, I give them credit. After all, the boys all gang up on him, mouths first, and seem to go for the throat. However, there are no fangs, no garlic repulsion, no mirror problems, no issues with sunlight, and no problems with crosses as their first victim was wearing a big-ass crucifix when he bought the farm. Hmmm...but probably vampires, nonetheless.
The original angle is in the plotline: the aforementioned boys are in a Backstreet/N'Sync/98 Degrees type boy band, complete with formation-style dancing and cheesy lip-syncing. They pass off the fifth member's departure as "rehab" and go on a nationwide talent search for his replacement. They pick three finalists to take to their tropical island getaway, including one blandly attractive blonde man with Ryan Starr as his own personal Yoko Ono.
Two out of three of the contestants become midnight snacks for the band, and the blandly attractive one plus Ryan Starr are left to fight for their survival. Will they live?
There are some really irritating things about this movie. For instance, clips from the band's music video bookend scenes in the movie, and if you've ever seen any of those actual boy band videos, you'll know how annoying that can be. Extreme close-ups of individual members, formation dancing, gyrating hips, ugly co-ordinating clothes... Another thing is that Ryan Starr's character is also supposed to be a sluething tabloid reporter, which storyline is poorly written and not quite resolved. The climactic final confrontation, in which the remaining contestant is tied to a table in his underwear as the band prepare to make him a vampire looks less like an unholy communion and more like the beginnings of a vampire-themed gay porn flick. I mean, why are they ALL in their underwear?????
While it's not completely terrible and does have its moments, mostly making fun of those boy bands, it's a little tedious and best for catching as a free promotional rental or as a late-night TV fix. A great time-killer, but not much of a thriller.
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Two cheesy-as-hell vampire flicks...but only one is really bad!
So, it's been a while, but with a new job working for a video store, I have been putting my time to good use. Firstly by making a living (ahem!), and secondly, by checking out some new flicks!
First off, let's check out "Thirst".
Or, let's not.
Oh, my God, where do I begin?
The box cover tries to sell the edgy idea of the 80's vampire classic, "Near Dark" mixed with the drug drama, "Requiem for a Dream"...see it in the picture?
First of all, it's only comparable to "Near Dark" in that there are slightly white trash vampires. That's it. The marginal likeness to "Requiem for a Dream" is only in that the characters have all been to Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Otherwise, zip to do with either one of these movies.
Here's the rundown: There is a guy in his NA meeting, bitching that his girlfriend is stripping and using drugs...again. He moans and complains that he's thinking about using again, but stays straight for her.
It's intercut with the girlfriend in question stripping in the oddest club I've ever seen, a hoity-toity place where there are crushed velvet curtains and tables full of couples watching her...NOT STRIP. There she is, in those "boy shorts" (you might know them as "granny panties"), a tank top, flat heeled boots, and a SWEATER! The only thing she takes off is her sweater. WTF? But for an intriguing twist, she's wearing a purple wig similar to the bob wig Britney Spears tried out after she shaved her head.
The guy rushes to the hospital where his girlfriend is, and immediately...starts bitching her out. Not, "Are you okay?" Not, "What happened?" Just immediately lays into her. She has to shout him down and inform him that he's in the CANCER WARD, not the detox wing. Turns out those "track marks" he's accused her of having on her arms are actually from IV chemotherapy. Why didn't she tell him? She "didn't want to burden (him)". Of course, he runs out on her.
Later a strange woman pays a visit to her hospital room...and she's pronounced "dead". There is a graveside memorial for her, and the previously "devoted" boyfriend holes up in his apartment and "grieves"...looks like a bender to me. His friends from Narcotics Anonymous decide he simply must get out of the house...so they take him to a BAR. What the hell????? Of course it's a plot device so that they can go to a Goth bar where his previously "dead" girlfriend is now shaking it for living clientele as a nosferatu go-go girl.
The boyfriend flips out, gets nosy, gets caught, gets turned....blah blah blah...I ejected the disc at this point. Between the nonsensical plot and the bullshit logic of the characters, I couldn't take it anymore.
But then, a DVD arrived in the mail from Blockbuster Online... "Bloodsucking Redneck Vampires".
Sounds geniunely stupid, right? It is. But have you ever heard that phrase "crazy like a fox"? This flick is "stupid like a fox". Let me explain...
A Nosferatu chick (wearing some of the Spring '99 girls line from Hot Topic) and her redneck Renfield are caught with a newly-drained stiff and need to am-scray. They hitch a ride with a friendly, if a little chatty, redneck in his pickup. She's still feeling a little grumbly in her tummy, so she drains him, too. She leaves the truck driver alive, so that he can go out and create an army of the undead for her to rule the world with. However she's unaware of the fact that the town she's chosen to populate with vampyr is dumber than a bag of hair.
The running joke is that they are all unaware that they are vampires, and they end up killing themselves, albeit accidentally. One redneck vampire kills himself by sinking into a hot bath and accidentally blessing the water by saying, "God bless this good hot water". Another nosferatu kills herself in a tanning bed--you know, UV rays? Still another buys it when a 400 pound woman in leopard panties sits on his head and crushes it after a game of strip poker...well, that might kill anyone, alive or dead!
Other gags abound, too. The church the guy in the tub is in is called "St. Festus of the Tipsy," a "Gunsmoke" reference to the town drunk on that show. There is a family called the Pissers. After the town whore buys is in the tanning bed, some of her naysayers tally up their pool as to how her dumb ass would die: the other guesses were "hit by a truck" and "venereal disease". The lucky winner, the tanning salon owner, won $40, btw.
It all comes to a head at a town event, not coincidentally held in a bar that also houses about a 1/3 of the action. I don't want to give away the ending, but I will tell you, if you are in the mood for a good laugh while checking out your horror flick, and you don't mind low (and I do mean LOW!) budget horror flicks, you owe it to yourself to check out "Bloodsucking Redneck Vampires".
Sorry I took so long to write again in this blog (DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY FUCKING READ THIS? IT'S WHAT THE EMAIL LINK IS FOR!!!!! ...lol), but more reviews are forthcoming. Ciao for now...
Sunday, 18 March 2007
Two new Vampire-themed shows on Cable...
I'm always interested whenever new shows pop up with a vampire theme, and the whenever two come on, nearly at the same time, it's always cause for comment. I present, "The Dresden Files" and "Blood Ties."
"The Dresden Files" is a Sci Fi original series about a wizard who solves crimes. Vampires, as it turns out, are merely incidental characters, aimed at being used as plot devices.
But "Blood Ties," from the Lifetime Network... female cop teams with vampire to solve crime... and they're already making goo-goo eyes at one another... and there's another man waiting in the wings... yep, the sex is coming.
Let you know what happens...
Tuesday, 6 February 2007
You might be a vampire....
I just added this to my "More One-Offs" page. I didn't think they'd ever done anything vampire-related, but I guess it fit into the Halloween theme. It's on Disc Two of the Season One set, if you're interested!
You might be a vampire....
Sunday, 14 January 2007
Sorry so long to post...but Vampire Condoms brought me back!
I was flipping through the December 2006 issue of Rue Morgue when I noticed the Needful Things section. Normally, this page is full of things from the Resident Evil chainsaw attachment for your PS2 to a set of bedding featuring Frankenstein's monster. This issue's listing held a unique offering: Vampire Condoms. Observe:
What makes this even more unusual is that there is an entire website devoted to the sale of the Vampire Condom! So, if you're a big fan of the vampire myth AND into safer sex, this is definitely for you!
Saturday, 4 November 2006
Live Action version of "Blood the Last Vampire"
Just put the word "Vampire" into Yahoo! and clicked on "News". This was one of the first listings. If you're an anime fan, you might want to check this out.
Newer | Latest | Older