Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's Time for Something Weird Part III : A Bewitching Double Feature

They're creepy and they're cooky...and witchy. And naked? Titles are often misleading, as we'll find out soon.

Our first witchy feature is The Naked Witch,and probably the less said about it, the better. In fact, it was so bad that it put me off watching the second feature, Crypt of Dark Secrets for about two months.

Which is too bad, because Crypt is so spectacularly wonderfully bad that it made me all kinds of warm and fuzzy.

Crypt is filled with all kinds of fun characters - (it's also the movie with the actual naked witch in it) most of who apparently studied at the 'passionless delivery' school of acting.....I could read the back of a cereal box out loud with more excitement and nuance than these people..but, hey, never let it be said that I let wooden line delivery spoil my enjoyment of a movie!

We have Damballa - she likes to dance around a blue eye in the woods, shift back and forth between the land of the living and the land of the ....something or other, practice CPR naked, and oh yeah, sometimes she likes to turn into a snake and slink around the woods and the waters of the bayou. (Or maybe the filmmakers just had a lot of stock footage of a snake in the swamp and wanted to put it to good use)
Gypsies, tramps, and thieves.......

We have this dude, who tells us about the legend of Damballa, because the sheriff asked him to look it up. Guess what, he's found it, in a book, and with pictures!!

We have the sheriff, who's asking questions about the legend of Damballa and how it concerns a mysterious island that a Vietnam vet named Ted has recently moved on island that nobody has managed to last MORE THAN ONE NIGHT on!!!
Our sheriff is also apparently fond of this facial expression:Because he uses it ALL. THE. TIME.

Sheriff decides he really needs to see this island and the man who's managed to live there for MORE THAN ONE NIGHT (!), so he and Deputy Buck (Yes, that's really his name) decide to head out into the swamp to check it out. And it's really important that the sheriff do this because.....because.......okay, fine, because I DON'T REALLY GET WHY.

But maybe what they find there is worth the trip to the swamp:

Ooh, cutoffs!!
I'm starting to get a better picture of maybe why this trip was so 'important'.

Mr. Hot Pants (Ted) invites them in for a beer, and we find out he's retired from the army, and oh yeah, there's some black haired chick that he always sees swimming near the island. But the Sheriff tells Ted that the Postmaster told him that Ted used to be in the army, and the Banker told him that Ted doesn't have an account with them! (WTF kind of town is this ANYWAY??) So the Sheriff is all concerned about the money that Ted might have just laying around the house.

After the friendly visit, Ted decides to change clothes, walk around the island, and strike random poses:
All in a day's work.....

But the sheriff must have gotten Ted thinking about all that money in the house, because the next thing we know, Deputy Buck is taking Ted to the bank (introducing him as Ted from 'Haunted Island (!)....where a riveting discussion involving check cashing and opening savings accounts takes place:
It's worth the price of admission, folks.

Antagonist Alert! This unsavory character is hanging around the bank, and while I'm sure the fascinating discussion about savings accounts went right over his head, the talk about Ted keeping money at home in the bread box did not:

Not only does this dude have possibly the worst fake Born on the Bayou accent ever;, he also has a dumb friend that he takes along to try to break into Ted's house and steal his money.

However, the plan goes afoul when the friend almost drowns in the water after he gets out of the boat, starts to wade to shore - announcing he's going to go look for the house - then turns around and starts TO WADE INTO DEEPER WATER.

Guess what, he almost drowns. I would have let Mr. Dumb Ass drown, but his friend saves him, and they regroup and come up with Plan B with the help of Mr. Fake Born on the Bayou's Wife. She must be the brains of this operation because she announces that there's only one way to get away with the crime:


Holy Shit. Who knew that the way to get away with crimes was not to leave any clues linking you to the actual crime?

But Damballa is apparently looking out for our friend Ted, because she's keeping an eye on our dastardly trio:No need to be subtle at all.....

Then for whatever reason, our friend Ted decides to visit the Voodoo Woman, who's sitting around throwing arrows into the back of some shirtless dude:Because we needed more characters thrown in the movie without any introduction whatsoever.

Hi, I'm Ted from Haunted Island, and I hate buttons.
The Voodoo Woman lets Ted know that the mysterious woman on his island will reveal herself to him at the proper time.

Hope it's soon, because our three favorite criminal masterminds are now ready to attack. They leave Ted floating in the swamp and steal his money.

But Damballa's got Ted's back, as our friends find out when they try to count their
loot and find that it bleeds:In case you can't tell from this picture, Ted's 'fortune' apparently amounts to a handful of TEN DOLLAR BILLS.

And as she uses her naked CPR method to revive Ted:

(I call it 'naked CPR' since when this scene was on, Papa Cash asked me, "Is she performing chest compressions with her ______ ?"
(insert your favorite word for ahem, 'femaleness' here)

Meanwhile, the crooks take the bleeding money to Deputy Buck and confess that they've not only robbed Ted, they've killed him and left him in the swamp. To which the Sheriff has this response:Told ya he's fond of this expression.

Finally, the Sheriff decided just maybe they should investigate this crime and check on Ted, so they mosey on over (seriously, there's not one iota of urgency in this action) over to the island to check things out.

Apparently, the Red Cross needs to add Damballa's pelvic resuscitation technique technique to their class, because it works. Not only is Ted alive and well, Damballa takes the time (ALOT of time, believe me) to tell Ted the story of how she ended up being the conduit between worlds and why Ted needs to know this.

Ted, per usual, is impressed:

FINALLY Sheriff and Deputy Buck make it to the island to check on Ted. Not only is he fine, Damballa's hanging out at home too.

Did this man ever meet a button that he LIKED?

The rest of the movie involves Damballa enlisting the Voodoo Woman's help to punish the criminals for what they attempted to do, because .....well, just because she can, apparently. The spell is cast, Damballa dances some more around her favorite blue eye, and YES! the Voodoo Dolls get brought out:

The three meet their end in the swamp, and Damball and Ted meet with one of Damballa's friends from the other side. Did I forget to mention that Ted's the Chosen One? Chosen of what or why, I have no idea. Whatever.....

Shit, since you haven't been buttoning anything for the first hour, why start now?

So there's some ceremony that has something to do with something and people dance....which leaves Ted to spend his shirtless days making out with Damballa on the island.

Crypt is really the treat of this double feature. The Naked Witch is tedious and barely worth watching. Not only is the quality pretty bad, but the majority of the movie is done in voice over.

Here's the plot in a nutshell. Dude from college is doing research on the history of witchcraft in a small town in Texas (known for being a hot bed where the history of witchcraft is concerned, right?), he finds some book, he finds a grave with this hot mess in it:

And Bango Presto Whamo, he does some shit and then the witch comes back to life. Which leads to one of the more riveting scenes:
Divine checks her manicure.

And if watching a woman stare at her hands while she turns them over and over sounds interesting, then by all means, watch the rest of this piece of crap, because you just might love it.

This leads us to the 'naked' part, I guess, since it seems the witch just might be naked as she makes her way from her grave back to her friend who woke her from the dead.

Naked? Maybe....maybe not....either way, who gives a crap? Anyway, she finally finds some clothes and then goes around killing people...or something.... I just really didn't care and I couldn't really tell you any of the details of the last twenty minutes or so.

Like all Something Weird DVDs, the disc is filled with extras including shorts about voodoo, witchcraft, and dancing, along with a whole bunch of trailers. ALL of which are more fun and interesting than any part of the Naked Witch.

-Mother Firefly

Monday, December 21, 2009

100 Posts and Oh, By the Way......

I'VE GRADUATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hells, yeah. It's official and I'm now the new owner of a Master's Degree in Nursing -AND a rice cooker. I picked up one of those last week too. Not sure how I made it this long without one. Although hopefully the graduate degree will come in handy as well.

And that's why it's been fairly quiet at the Firefly ranch lately. It's certainly not due to a lack of films that might have piled up (due to Amazon's rocking Halloween and Black Friday sales).

No, it's been because of prepping and presenting version 4.0 of the clinical project, finishing up last minute things for my classes, and getting ready for a boss-ASS party that myself and the P. Cash hosted last weekend. Add starting a new job and adjusting to working days again has left Mama F. very busy and too tired to make it through a movie, let alone do any of my usual Christmas activities.

Usual activities meaning = making cookies + Black Christmas + a martini.

I didn't plan on making my graduation post my 100th post of the year - I didn't even realize that I'd posted 99 times this year till yesterday. 100 is not that many considering how prolific many other people are - but it's already twice as many posts as I did in 2008 - and with everything else that was going on this year, I'm pretty frickin' happy with what I managed to get done. I still plan on doing more by the time the year is over, and my goal is to double the amount of posts again next year.

So thanks to everyone who's been following and reading my blog, and my fantastic friends and family who helped with and came to my party. Thanks for supporting me for the last three years and understanding when you didn't see or hear from me for weeks at a time. And a special shout out to my girl, Mandy, for making laugh so hard on Saturday I cried my makeup off. Not only did she make me laugh, she also was nice enough to babysit the devil baby purse all night. Now that's a friend!

Let the scary movie reviewin' commence........

Mother Firefly

Photo Source: Awkward Family Photos

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rudolph is Coming and He is PISSED

I have to give a shout out to something that won't mean anything to those of you who don't live in Milwaukee - but like our wonderful local Night of the Living Dead Puppet Show - it's just another reason I'm glad I live in this city.

Even if you are from around these parts, unless you're one of the lucky people already holding tickets to this weekend's last bunch of shows, I'm sorry to say you're out of luck. In fact, if you are holding a ticket, you're among the elite, since this tiny theater located in the Alchemist Theater and Lounge only holds 50 people. In fact, the Alchemist asks that ticket holders show up at least 20 minutes early - getting there late could mean that they sold your ticket to someone on the waiting list. Yes, there's a waiting list - because this show is worth it.

When I heard about this show last year, I knew I had to see it. I'm a HUGE Rankin/Bass fan, as I've said many times, so I dragged the P.Cash along to see it with me. Even though he claims to never have seen the original Animagic special (Really? It's been on TV every FRIGGIN year since go figure), he still liked it. But I still think that being familiar with the Rankin/Bass version and Sam the Snowman, Hermie the Elf, the mean skinny Santa, and Rudolph's completely unsupportive parents make the play that much better. So this year I went with a friend and loaned her my DVD so she could refresh her memory.

I thought it'd be fun a second time, but what I didn't anticipate was that it would be even better. Most of the cast has returned, and while they were fantastic last year, they've completely honed their characters and are completely friggin' AWESOME this year. (And the caramel appletinis they serve at the bar are pretty damn good too!)

Especially outstanding are Joel Boyd as Rudolph and Jeremy Eineichner as Sam the Snowman. My friend who attended the show with me put it best: Boyd is nuanced beyond his years. The kid is 15? 16? and is amazing. In fact, the whole cast is completely downright incredible - not only are their impersonations of such well known characters spot -on, the comedic timing (and improvisation) is just, well, it's killer.

So unless you are able to bribe someone to give up their tickets (and it'd be worth it if you could), you're going to have to wait and hope that the pissed off reindeer comes back for round three next year. Additionally - the director announced that a Kenosha theater group has purchased the rights to the play and they'll be performing it next year as well. Just as I said about NOLTD Puppet Show, I think this show deserves to be seen all over the country, and I hope that next year's shows end up in it being purchased to play in even more places.

So while you probably can't see it this year - start counting down for the next holiday season and put the Alchemist Theater on your radar. (I also saw their Dracula play last October and that was pretty spectacular as well) This is definitely a theater I'll be keeping my eye on in the years to come.

Here's a brief YouTube clip filled with scenes from the play - unfortunately I think it's a little too hectic and I think it could have done without the background music - but it'll still give you some idea of what they're doing. I believe it's from last year's performances:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Final Girl Film Club: The Wicker Man

Gather around, everybody, because it's time for Final Girl Film Club and.....

The Wicker Man!!!!

No, not this piece of Monkey Crap:

But this classic film:
Yeah. This movie rocks.

If you've seen either version -The Good One or El Piece-io Crap-o, you know the basic story. Cop gets letter to investigate a missing girl on an island. Cop goes to island. Island is full of wonderfully weird people that confuse and irritate Cop. Is there a missing girl, really?? What are these people really doing on this island? And what's up with all the daggone rabbits, anyway???

Edward Woodward is fabulous as the investigator looking for the missing girl. This is a dude that takes his job seriously in spite of finding himself among people and customs that are completely foreign and sacrilegious to him.

The Wicker Man is possibly one of the first films (and still one of the only, sadly) to take any kind of pagan religion in a serious light and attempt to explain some of the ideas and attitudes behind it. Unfortunately, the end of the movie finds pagans doing the typical evil movie type 'stuff'', but on the other hand, you've got to give the filmmakers credit for not succumbing to Happy Ending Syndrome. (Even the remake of Wickerman (aka Nic Cage Needs To Pay His Mortgage) managed to avoid that particular pitfall).

Enough rambling. On with the List!!!

Things I Love about the Wicker Man:

1. Chocolate Bunnies!!

2. How suddenly the movie becomes a musical (and a naked musical at that)

3. Witchcraft via door knocking and humping!

4. Intense admiration of art as a way to resist previously mentioned door knocking and humping
5. Fiddling provided by Julian Lennon ;)
6. If I'd been able to shout out the phrase 'PHALLIC SYMBOL!!', I might not have been so bored in junior high:

7. Ingrid Pitt. The lady makes any movie like 10,000 percent better.

8. Christopher Lee rockin' his Neil Diamond hairdo:
9. Righteous Indignation provided by the great Edward Woodward (RIP):

10. Horny Puppets:

11. Chris Lee Rocks the Prince look:

12. Whee! I'm a cow!

13. Pagan Clown Beatings:

14. Chris Lee rocks the Cher look:
15. Screw Happy Endings!!!

Mother Firefly

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Krampus is Coming!

How in the HELL did I manage to exist this long on the planet and not know that last night -December 5th- was the night that Krampus comes to town??? It's like having Halloween again in December!!!

From Wikipedia:
Krampus is a mythical creature who accompanies Saint Nicholas in various regions of the world during the Christmas season. The word Krampus originates from the Old High German word for claw (Krampen). In the Alpine regions, Krampus is represented by a demon-like creature accompanying Saint Nicholas. Krampus acts in conjunction with Saint Nicholas; the latter gives gifts to good children, while the Krampus gives warnings and punishments to the bad children. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December, particularly in the evening of December 5, and roam the streets frightening children and women with rusty chains and bells. In some rural areas the tradition also includes birching by Krampus, especially of young females.

Here's some different versions of Krampus from the same Wiki page:

And finally, video:

I want a Krampus Parade in downtown Milwaukee and I want it NOW.

Mother Firefly