Friday, February 28, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Monday, February 24, 2014
Arch Hall, Jr. lit up the screen in the 1960's, starring in films produced by his father, including Wild Guitar!, The Sadist and the film made popular by Mystery Science Theater 3000- the immortal Eegah!
While many people focus on his campy films, Mr. Hall was actually an accomplished guitar player and his music is very good 1960's surf rock. His music finally got the release it deserved in 2005 and the album is still available on CD. (You can even get an autographed copy at http://www.archhalljr.com.)
Oops, probably should have put a spoiler alert on that last sentence; because as of today, Arch Hall, Jr. is still alive and rocking! (Watch out for snakes!)
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
They always say that you should write about what you know. This will ensure a more authentic book or script. However, some auteurs take this advice too far and cross over the line from authenticity to WTF.
You'll see this fairly often in bad movies; the writer is so enamored with his or her "cleverness" or with a particular aspect of the script, that they spend far too much time on it, much to the detriment of all else.
Take The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!?? Ray Dennis Steckler seemingly had a love of peep shows in which women put on more clothes than they normally wear to church, so he inserts scene after scene of bizarre, choreographed dances at a "peep show" that has an audience filled with more middle aged women than young perverts. (Was this a sly depiction of lesbianism, or were these the only people he could get to sit and watch these lavish dance numbers?) It's almost as if Mr. Steckler was making a film about dancing that he put a cheesy horror film into, rather than vice versa. Regardless of his intent, it still made for a lousy film.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
"...The sparks flew between Jimmy and Donna Reed from the second they stepped on the It's A Wonderful Life set. Mr. Stewart refused to call Ms. Reed by her name, choosing instead to call her "that bitch". "He was always saying stuff like 'where's that bitch?' 'I need to get to the night club, tell that bitch to get her ass in gear!' And 'F that bitch!'." noted a member of the crew. The entire situation angered Frank Capra, who particularly objected to Mr. Stewart's carousing..."
Monday, February 10, 2014
"Goodbye everybody. You'll never cut it together!"
-John Huston, upon leaving the Myra Breckinridge set.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Friday, February 7, 2014
As with any job, the position of “actress” has various career paths that an aspiring starlet might choose to follow. Let’s take a look at one of them, shall we?
1. Soap Starlet- Everyone needs to start somewhere and if an aspiring actress is lucky, she’ll begin her career on one of the many daytime soaps out there in TV Land. (If she’s not lucky, she’ll start out somewhere else, but that’s not something we like to talk about here on Ralphland.) In any case, she’ll typically enter the soap as the alleged daughter of the soap opera’s matriarch, in town to cause trouble. When everything gets sorted out, she settles in and finds herself a boyfriend (hopefully not her mom’s current husband!) who she falls in and out of love with. Eventually, she becomes part of a supercouple and women around the country begin naming their daughters after her. Now that her ego is sufficiently built up, she will ask to be written out of the soap so that she can star in movies and primetime series. The writers “kill” her off under mysterious circumstances so that she (or at least her character) might be able to return later.
2. Young Lifetime daughter- Taking her first steps to stardom, our young actress heads off to do a few movies for the Lifetime cable network, starring as the daughter of Meredith Baxter or Joanna Kerns. These being Lifetime movies, she ends up battered, murdered and/or strung out on drugs, being taken advantage of by evil men. It is then up to her mother to save her or avenge her death.
3. Indie Darling- With Hollywood not quite ready to embrace her, but having made a name for herself, the actress then moves on to Independent films. She’s either a member of a dysfunctional family (about 98% of all Indie films concern quirky, dysfunctional families) or the object of a nerdy guy’s affection who looks past his nerdiness to see the marvelous person within.
4. Movie with a Big Star- Now comes the actress’ big break- she gets to star in a big Hollywood movie with a big name star. If the movie is a “chick flick”, she’ll play Meryl Streep’s or Kathy Bates’ daughter in what is essentially a Lifetime movie with a bigger budget. If the movie is an action film, she’ll be the imperiled love interest of a much older man, most likely Harrison Ford, Michael Douglas, or Sean Connery. Despite having to play the girlfriend of a man old enough to be her grandfather, she’ll pretend that the situation doesn’t completely creep her out. If the movie is a comedy, she’ll do the same as above, except she’ll star as the girlfriend of Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler.
5. Hollywood’s “It” Girl- After her movie with a big star is a big hit, People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Us Weekly will proclaim her to be Hollywood’s next big thing. The paparazzi will follow her everywhere and the gossip columnists will have a field day trying to figure out who she’s dating. The actress will use this time to carefully select her next movie in which she’ll finally be the star.
6. The Big Crash- Unfortunately, our actress will choose the sappiest romantic comedy around to make her starring debut. Despite being glamorous and slim, the story will revolve around her being ugly or fat and her problems getting a date. One of her co-workers (usually played by an actress who really is fat or ugly) will give her a makeover and encourage her to go out with the new hot accountant at their mutual workplace. Of course, everything will be fine until there’s either a misunderstanding (The hot blonde he was with is really his sister!) or he discovers her “ugly” past. Of course, love conquers all and they end up getting married by the end of the film. The movie tanks badly and despite the script being formulaic, dull and not at all believable, everyone in Hollywood will blame our actress.
7. The Special Guest Star- Out of work and desperate, the actress will take any guest star role that television will give her, easily becoming more annoying to casting directors than even Dr. Joyce Brothers. Luckily, she’ll get just the right guest spot, which will lead to her getting her own network television comedy. Of course, her show fails spectacularly.
8. Back to the Future- Desperate for work and forever off the Hollywood A List, the actress will triumphantly return to where she started- the soap opera. The writers will create the most ridiculous storyline to explain why she wasn’t really dead. The star’s original fans will return in droves and she’ll be sitting on top of the soap world- again. If she’s lucky, she’ll realize that her best career choice is to stick with the soap opera. Otherwise, she’ll let fame go to her head . . . (Go back to step number 2 and substitute “Young Daughter” with “Young Mother”.)
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Every so often a movie is released that makes us wonder what exactly the people involved were thinking. These movies are so bad that it should have been evident from the very beginning that nothing good would come out of pursuing the project. In 2006 we saw a classic case of greenlight insanity- Basic Instinct 2.
The original Basic Instinct was pretty much a run of the mill thriller and should have been mostly ignored way back in 1992. But the director decided to shine a light up Sharon Stone’s dress during the interrogation scene and the rest was history. Ms. Stone became a huge star and audiences flocked to see what all the fuss was about. (Most of the tickets were probably sold to horn dogs too embarrassed to be seen at a XXX theater.) Just about every television show on the air at the time spoofed the now infamous scene for a cheap laugh.
So 14 years later, we should have been able to breathe a sigh of relief, secure in the knowledge that way too much time had passed for anyone to even consider making a sequel. With Sharon Stone getting close to being eligible for an AARP membership and Michael Douglas firmly in the Lark Motorized Scooter demographic, Basic Instinct 2 seemed like a ridiculous and far fetched possibility. Obviously, this means that it had to be made.
With Michael Douglas way too old to play a convincing partner, even for Ms. Stone, the filmmakers chose not to bring him back. (Although he might have been murdered at the end of the first film- maybe.) Since the only thing that seemed to captivate audiences from the first movie is probably something that nobody would really want to see again, it is unclear how they thought they could get another feature length film made. And how could anyone possibly think that this project could be a success as a theatrical release? (Maybe the project could have worked as a Direct to DVD release or Skinemax cheapie… maybe.)
With nothing new to show and no real new ground to cover, Basic Instinct 2 hit the movie screens of America with a thud. They couldn't even manage to make enough money to cover Sharon Stone’s reported $14 million salary. Perhaps they should have just flushed all of that money down the toilet; it probably would have been cheaper for them in the long run.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
“The Race for Oscar”
I find it interesting to think about how deluded certain folks in Hollywood might be. (Sort of like I delude myself into thinking that people might be actually reading the things I put on this website.) Anyway, I suppose what I’m wondering is, do the terrible actors and actresses of Hollywood wonder if they’ll get nominated for an Oscar? Did Kathy Ireland spend sleepless nights back in 1988 wondering if her role in Alien From L.A. would be honored with a nomination?
I’m sure that there are probably slimy hangers on who try to give false hope to those actors with no chance of getting a nomination- “Of course, they’ll nominate you for Best Actor, Carrot Top! Chairman of the Board was an awesome movie!” Plus, if you believe the critics who love everything, practically everyone in Hollywood is deserving of an Oscar! It probably isn’t too far fetched for an actor with a zero chance of a nomination to get excited about his chances.
Moving on, what about the stars who won’t give up until they get nominated? Take Jim Carrey, for example. Despite the fact that the entertainment news shows think that everyone loves him and that “..this is his year!” he rightfully gets snubbed every time. While I’m sure that Mr. Carrey is probably a nice gentleman who will make more money this year than millions of people combined, he has overacted in just about every movie he has been in.. That’s right, I’ll say it. How does the former Fire Marshall Bill and Ace Ventura expect the Academy to forget all of that?
Another celebrity who recently held up high hopes for an Oscar was Courtney Love. Yes, repellent, hard living, train wreck Courtney Love. She seemed to think that she was a shoe-in for her “acting” in “The People vs. Larry Flynt” in which she played a skanky, hard living train wreck. Sorry, Ms. Love, but playing out scenes that are not too far removed from your real life won’t get you an Oscar. (Some might argue that it isn’t really acting either.)
But before we get comfortable with the idea that Mr. Carrey or Ms. Love are never going to get real Oscars, (there’s always a possible life achievement one) let us remember, no matter how hard we try to forget, that Cher has won an Oscar for best actress. That’s enough to give Jim Carrey, Courtney Love, Will Smith and even Carrot Top hope that one of these days, when we least expect it, we’ll hear: “And the Best Actress Oscar goes to . . . Courtney Love!”
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
The 1989 classic film Road House appears to live in a mulleted world of its own. The rules of the “normal” world don’t seem to apply in Road House, where bouncers are big celebrities, a man can make a living moving bales of hay from one side of a barn to another and where, most importantly, “Pain Don’t Hurt”. Join us in this new feature where we enumerate the many life lessons to be learned from the famed “Double Deuce” night club.
Road House Rule #1: Get the cash upfront- Always remember that the first rule of pimping out your wife’s chest for money is to collect the cash up front. The Road House denizen who learned this lesson the hard way is the hilariously named “Sharing Husband” who is yet another fat, dumpy, balding drunkard who has a hot, blonde and “well-endowed” wife. (It’s the sort of pairing that only happens in the movies and on CBS sitcoms.) The well-endowed wife appears to be a willing participant in her husband’s sideline pimping business and only gets mad after a boorish barfly takes advantage of their generous sample policy when he gropes her chest without paying the princely sum of $20. This sends her husband into a rage, thus beginning the first bar fight of the film. Only in the sleazy world of Road House would a hot blonde be married to such a slovenly husband, who is obviously neither smart nor wealthy. Since we do not see them again, we can only hope that they learned from their mistake and that the next time they solicit another gentleman for a $20 breast groping they make him pay first.
Monday, February 3, 2014
In the Gore Vidal novel Myra Breckinridge, “Myra” is really “Myron Breckinridge”, a homosexual who has a sex change to become a woman. When 60′s sexpot Raquel Welch signed on to play Myra, she assumed that she would be playing both Myra and Myron, dressing in Men’s clothing while playing Myron. Director Michael Sarne, however, had other ideas and cast Rex Reed as “Myron”. While it isn’t hard to imagine the queeny Rex Reed being a homosexual, it takes a leap of faith to imagine that the dumpy, flabby Rex Reed could ever be turned into the hot and sexy Ms. Welch, no matter how talented the plastic surgeon is. (and the hack doctor portrayed by the slumming John Carradine would definitely not be up to the challenge.) While we are often asked by movie makers to suspend disbelief, imagining a world in which a toad like Mr. Reed could be turned into a sexpot like Ms. Welch is asking for way too much.