Scarecrow Video Movie Guide Out Now

Sasquatch Books has just released the Scarecrow Video Movie Guide. I’ve got about 40 reviews in here, from Performance, The Devils and Driller Killer to Ms. 45, The Changeling, All That Jazz, The Night Porter and Liquid Sky, and more!

Available now from Scarecrow Video, Amazon, and better bookstores everywhere.

Boy, I really need to keep this better updated. Sorry, folks!

Lately been seeing a lot of movies and having a lot of fun. Saw three of the films in the John Boorman series at BAM Cinematek. Would’ve been smart to at least go to Hope and Glory to meet the guy, but the film’s poster turned me off. Dumb, but true. Now I hear the movie is great. *sigh* Still, I did make it to Exorcist II, Zardoz and Deliverance. Pissed me the fuck off that the crowd at Zardoz, pretty packed really, decided it was a ‘camp classic’ and decided to laugh during the whole movie. They raised their arms in the air when the Etnernals went into second level meditation, etc. Totally stupid.

Beginning September 28 and through the weekend I attended three of the films during the Loews Jersey 75th Anniversary. Tuesday’s screening was Mr. Smith Goes to Washintgton. A little long, but has a lot to to do with even today’s politics, which is kinda sad. Spartacus looked great, but I missed the first hour for some reason I forget now. I was doing something else, seeing another movie, I forget. It’s okay. I’ve seen this restored version at least once, at the King Cinema in Seattle, many moons ago. But I did catch all of Superman, which was great good fun. Sadly, a small child behind me cecided it was Talk Time and also Cough Time. This child was right behind my right ear coughing and coughing and coughing in this repetitive hack. Really sucked. I finally just moved over, but I shouldn’t have had to. I turned to offer the child some water but the women next to the child said, “the parents are over there.” Just too much work.

Saw Tarntaion at the New York Film Festival and am happy to report that Jonathan Couette is a super-nice guy. Interesting how this film moved from playing the MIX Festival to being sold to 20 territories. Amazing how this stuff happens.

One thing that was fun over these last couple months was going to see a Godzilla movie at Film Forum that just happened to be the same night at Bruce Weber showing his new film. He’s a big yummy bearman and had a lot of friends visiting. After the Godzilla movie I met my friend Ian to check out with this Black Book magazine show with art by our mutual friend Sue de Beer and original commissions by Floria Sigismondi. Floria’s pieces easily dominated the show. She’s a complete genius. And she really is pregnant in the pics. The kid’s coming out next month.

After the Black Book show I went back to Film Forum to catch the first few minutes of the Godzilla movie’s second showing (I had missed the first few) and Bruce Weber was doing his thing in the lobby and I walked right past Isabella Rossellini. Wow. She is really beautiful. What a neat lady. I’ve noticed her before and thought she was cool, but live in person is something else.

Also went to the Stephen King talk with Charlie Rose on 9/19 at the 92nd Street Y. I sorta wish I had made plans to go to Connecticut because I ended up not being able to say hi. I guess he poked his head out the exit door but then later chose to just go out the front door. Would’ve been nice to say hi, but it was fun to hear him talk.

Ugh. I know there’s more and I’ll try to type as I remember it.

‘Psycho’ Actress Janet Leigh Dies at 77

NEW YORK (Oct. 4) – Janet Leigh, the wholesome beauty whose shocking murder in the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller ”Psycho” was credited with making generations of film fans think twice about stepping into a motel room shower, has died. She was 77.

The actress’ husband, Robert Brandt, and her daughters, actresses Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis, were at their mother’s side when she died Sunday at her Beverly Hills home, said Heidi Schaeffer, a spokeswoman for Jamie Lee Curtis.

”She died peacefully at home,” Schaeffer told The Associated Press on Monday. Lee had suffered from vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels, for the past year.

The stunning blonde enjoyed a long and distinguished career, appearing in such films as the 1962 political thriller ”The Manchurian Candidate” and in Orson Welles’ 1958 film noir classic ”Touch of Evil.” But she gained her most lasting fame in ”Psycho” as the embezzling office worker who is stabbed to death in the shower by cross-dressing madman Anthony Perkins. The role earned her an Oscar nomination as best supporting actress.

Hitchcock compiled the shower sequence in 70-odd takes of two and three seconds each, for which Leigh spent seven days in the shower. Rumors circulated that she was nude, but she wore a flesh-colored moleskin.

Although tame by today’s standards, the scene was shocking for the time for its brutality.

Leigh wrote in her 1995 book ”Psycho: Behind the Scenes in the Classic Thriller” that the filming was easy until the last 20 seconds when she had to express total horror as her character was being slashed to death.

She often said she hadn’t been able to take a shower since the movie. ”It’s not a hype, not something I thought would be good for publicity,” she insisted. ”Honest to gosh, it’s true.”

Loews Jersey Celebrates 75th Anniversary, September 28th, 2004

Loews Jersey

Russ Meyer R.I.P.

I had called Tura Satana tonight to let her know the Black Dog Press book of Harold Lloyd’s 3-D nudes was coming out soon (Bruce Goldstein showed some of Harold’s slides last night at the Film Forum screening of the 3-D film Gorilla at Large) and she called me back (at 5:30 am…) to let me know Russ had passed away on Saturday at age 82.

There will be a private service this Friday and Ms. Satana will be there.

Next year is the 40th anniversary of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Russ Meyer – March 1, 1922 to September 18, 2004.

Roger Ebert Remembers Russ Meyer

Fay Wray – That Delicate Satin-draped Frame

‘King Kong’ Star Fay Wray Dies

Actress Fay Wray, best known for her role in 1933 movie King Kong, died on Sunday. She was 96. Born Vina Fay Wray in Alberta, Canada, on September 15, 1907, she was one of six children. Her family moved to the United States when she was three years old. Wray was barely in her teens when she began her silver-screen career as a extra. She went on to be regularly cast as a heroine in silent movies, scoring her breakthrough in 1928′s The Wedding March. In the early 1930s she made a number of horror movies, including Doctor X and The Vampire Bat, and became known as Hollywood’s first “scream queen”. After those movies, Wray won praise for her King Kong character’s combination of sex appeal, vulnerability and lung capacity as she was stalked by the beast to the top of New York’s Empire State Building. But her career fell into decline following King Kong and she retired from movies in 1942 after her second marriage. In 1953, she made a comeback in character roles and made movies until 1958 and worked in television into the 1960s. Wray had a daughter, Susan, by her first marriage to John Monk Saunders, and two children, Robert and Vicky, with Robert Riskin.

St. Louis’ The Fabulous Fox celebrates 75th Birthday

Oh, man! I can’t believe I didn’t know about this until just today! This event is so tailor-made for me! We can only hope the Loews Jersey has a similar event for its 75th Anniversary this September.

*sigh* I sure wish I could be in St. Louis on Sunday! An all-day motion picture cathedral event, and all for 75 cents!!!

St. Louis Fox Parties Like it’s 1929 on 75th Birthday

ST. LOUIS, MO — To celebrate its 75th birthday, the “Fabulous Fox” in St. Louis is recreating, as nearly as possible, its opening night program on January 31, 1929 this coming Sunday, August 1st.

The huge C. Howard Crane-designed palace on Grand Boulevard is showing the first movie it played, the silent Janet Gaynor film “Street Angel”, accompanied by the Fox’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ. The stage acts which preceded and followed the movie, including a “living tableau” of St. Louis’ history, a chorus line, opera, ballet and even a “Neapolitan festival”, will also be put on again, by local celebrities and talent.

Furthermore, during the festivities, from 2 to 7 pm, the price for admission will be the same as in 1929, 75 cents at the box office. Mary Strauss, the Fox’s owner, will be an “extra” in the stage show, and is encouraging visitors to dress up in 20s-style clothing for a parade onstage before the show.

More here in the River Front Times.

FANTASIA 2004!!!!

Man, have I just had the experience of a lifetime! After years and years of festival programmer Mitch Davis hoping I would make it up, I finally made the trip to Montreal, mostly due to being involved with releasing Battlefield Baseball and promoting Living Hell, and boy was it worth it. And I really wonder where I’ve been all these years passing up the fest. Most of it had to do with the $300 plane ticket, then wondering what to do about hotels and all. I mean, even one weekend of movies comes to around $6-700 when all is said and done. Well, now I know what it’s all about!

Opening night was Ju-On: The Grudge. I hate spoiling movies for people so I won’t detail the film, but if you’re already a fan of Asian horror, it’s something you’ve pretty much seen before. If you’ve never seen Asian horror, you’ll probably be confused, but at least scared. The next night was the mostly incredible Haute Tension, which I just refuse to get into unless everyone has seen it. I just can’t.

After that was the screening of Battlefield Baseball, which was a tremendous success. Opening up was the effluvious Mitch Davis selling us in ways we hadn’t dreamed of, even referring to us as ‘superheroes,’ which is totally wild. I revved up the crowd, then passed out t-shirts and Living Hell DVDs to a ravenous crowd. I also ended up taking out a lighting fixture in the high ceiling, by some bizarre token of chance, and apparently pegged some guy in the face hard enough to make him bleed, which helped rev up the audience even more. The guy thought it was awesome and thanked me! By the time of the screening the crowd of 450–500 were so jazzed it was hard to hear the movie. A successful screening I would say. It was like a big family function.

Saturday I joined Nikola, John and Sara from the Fantasia office in picking up Mr. Udo Kier from the Montreal airport. It was great to reunite with Udo. I hadn’t seen him since we conducted an interview at a Fangoria convention in January 2000. We had a quick dinner then saw the premiere of Ginger Snaps 3 which isn’t really my kind of movie but obviously the film’s creators have their fan base.

Sunday, Udo and I went to Old Montreal and walked to the Village for some coffee and lunch before hitting the AMAZING Eight-Diagram Pole Fighter from Shaw Bros. This film ROCKED!!! The entire opening weekend of Fantasia was just mind-blowing. And that night the festival treated Udo to a dinner and just two blocks away my friend Robbie and his girlfriend were staying at another friend’s so I got to see them for a few minutes before we ran back for Kyoshi Kurosawa’s Doppelganger.

 

After that the gang ended up at a strip club called Cleopatra’s, but I had already asked around and found this wild multi-level club that really was just what I needed: dancing for a couple hours. Udo made his way over about 3 am and got a half hour in before finding me at a pizza place.

I actually ended up being a bit overwhelmed by all that was going on and didn’t see a complete film the entire rest of my visit. I saw part of One Point Zero, most of Blueberry, and most of Thundercrack! And also during the week I stayed at La Datcha bed and breakfast on De Maissoneuve which was just a bit too wonderful and hard to walk away from. I highly recommend checking them out if you’re ever travelling through Montreal. A very beautiful home and comfortable space await you.

I regret having booked my foot surgery for today, the 20th, because I was able to make great friends with the incredible Kim Bodnia, who I would not know if not for the great taste of Mr. Mitch Davis. After most of the Fantasia friends attended a rare screening of Friday the 13th 3-D at the remodeled Imperial theater, the former home of Fantasia, I was lucky enough to have spent a great night out on the town drinking, dancing and laughing. Sadly, tonight, the day of my surgery, is the North American premiere of The Good Cop, Kim’s latest film. I know I’ll be able to rent the damned thing on DVD, but projection is where it’s at. If I didn’t get along so well with my podiatrist I would’ve made that date change, but with the anesthesiologist arranged weeks in advance, I decided to not inconvenience others. Darn it.

A lot more happened, and I got to see a number of great friends including Marc Walkow of Criterion, along with his wife Jen, Don May from Synapse Films, Harvey Fenton from FAB Press, Mike Gingold from Fangoria, and got to meet some great new friends too like Marc Lemothe, Donato Totoro, Phil, Jocelyn, and more, but it’s all just too much to write it out in one lump, and it takes up a lot of the page.

Truly though, if you’re a fan of fantastic cinema at all, Fantasia is where you need to be.

Review of SHADE

Just like the letters section and the comic book itself of Shade, the Changing Man, it’s fun to read a review where Shade is capitalized and referred to:

Shade the Movie film review.

Shade Rupe’s Subversive Cinema Presents

Shugo Fujii’s LIVING HELL

Click here for the Fangoria mention.

Shade Rupe’s Subversive Sinema presents:

Shugo Fujii’s LIVING HELL

JULY 5TH – 7:00 PM

PIONEER THEATER

155 EAST 3RD STREET (AVENUE A)

Check the Pioneer Theater website for more info.