So once again we have survived.

Washington voters: remember to approve R-71

ellis71A quick reminder: If you’re here in Washington state and allowed to vote, please remember to approve the “let’s keep basic gay rights” referendum R-71. If you haven’t been following it, here’s the deal:

Earlier in the year Washington finally passed a bill giving domestic partners (gay couples and elderly people who have lived together forever without getting married) some of the rights that married couples have. It’s not even true equality because they can’t get married, but it applies to things like visiting in hospitals and inheriting property and things like that.

Well, of course common sense and being nice is not allowed, so some scumbag out of state bigots (themselves documented tax cheats and wife beaters) paid a bunch of naive religious people to go around making up blatant lies about how the law was going to teach elementary school kids to have gay sex and penguins at the zoos will have to wear cock rings or whatever, and they got just barely enough signatures to put it on the ballot as R-71.

And to make it confusing, the thing on the ballot is the law itself, so you gotta vote FOR it if you believe in basic equality. Not against it because you are against the nitwits who forced it on there.

I mean, I understand that Leviticus is against gay sex and eating shellfish and shaving but what kind of a huge asshole and fake Christian wants to legally stop an old lady they never met from visiting her life partner in the hospital? There’s just no way to civilly disagree on stuff like this. It’s like saying, “I like punching orphans in the balls, it’s just my belief. Please don’t be intolerant of my views.” To actively go out of your way to legally prevent this kind of thing – you are an asshole. There is no way to be a nice person who wants to make sure the government prevents gay couples from visiting each other in the hospital.

So please, if it’s in your power, APPROVE THE SHIT OUT OF R-71. Don’t let these assholes come into our state and ruin everything.

thank you and sorry for the interruption.

special thanks to Mr. Subtlety for inspiring the “Don’t Be Ellis” graphic in the comments

Psycho IV: The Beginning

tn_psychoivThere are alot of awful things about PSYCHO IV. It forces Anthony Perkins to play Norman Bates almost delighting in his evil, announcing that he’s going to kill again. It was an early example of the snake-eating-its-tail, dog-licking-its-balls, bird-drawing-a-picture-of-its-egg modern Hollywood attitude that what people want to see is a detailed re-enactment of the backstory that happened before the other movie they already liked. It re-uses way too much dialogue from the original, like “Mother! Oh God Mother, blood! Blood!” and “We all go a little mad sometimes.” It has laughable transitions from flashback to wraparound, like when it dissolves from young Norman laying face first on the floor to old Norman in the same position while telling the story over the phone to a talk radio host (CCH Pounder). And for Christ’s sake it has a part where he cuts his finger in the kitchen and the blood is shown swirling down the sink drain. I mean for fuck’s sake director Mick Garris, Moriarty says you’re a nice guy but come on man. That shit cannot be defended. Norman Bates got off by reason of insanity, you will not. (read the rest of this shit…)

Psycho III

tn_psychoiiiI hope everybody had a good Halloween. Thanks for sticking around for the horror movie leftovers. Among other things I watched the entire PSYCHO series to prepare for the holiday. Well, the Anthony Perkins ones – I didn’t get to the remake or the TV show with Bud Cort. Those will have to wait.

In my opinion part 3’s not quite as good as the previous one, but it has plenty of good touches. It’s directed by Anthony Perkins himself (his first time, and the only other thing he directed was the comedy LUCKY STIFF). It starts out with an homage to VERTIGO in a whole Technicolor-looking sequence involving nuns in a bell tower. (read the rest of this shit…)

Psycho II

tn_psychoiiPSYCHO II is the best sequel ever made to a Hitchcock movie, better than THE BIRDS II: LAND’S END, NORTH BY NORTHWEST: RETURN TO RUSHMORE or even VERTIGOS. That’s faint praise though, since I actually haven’t seen the first one and the other two don’t exist as far as I know. What I’m trying to say is, no matter how prejudiced you might be against somebody sequelizing a classic like PSYCHO, this is actually a really enjoyable sequel, a clever and suspenseful tribute to Hitchcock and to the character of Norman Bates as portrayed by Anthony Perkins.

It’s 22 years after the events of PSYCHO. Norman Bates has been in an institution, having been found not guilty by reason of insanity, but is now considered fully rehabilitated. Against the petitioning of Lila Loomis (formerly Crane, and still played by Vera Miles) Norman is released. His doctor (Robert Loggia) seems to truly care about and believe in his mental stability, but regrets that cutbacks prevent society from having more social workers to look after him. For Norman’s sake and for ours. (read the rest of this shit…)

Psycho

tn_psychoYou guys ever seen this one called PSYCHO? It’s Alfred Hitchcock’s take on PEEPING TOM. Good shit. Check it out.

The weird thing about watching PSYCHO is that after you’ve already seen it (which in my opinion you have) the biggest trick is already given away. I’m not talking about the ending, the solution to the mystery. I’m talking about the fact that about half of the movie is all mis-direction… Marion Crane is unhappy, so she takes off with $40,000 of her boss’s money. Is the cop onto her? Will her boss know where she went? Will she decide to give it back? In a normal Hitchcock movie it might be about the money, but we know it’s not about the money. The money is not even the mcmuffin, it’s the red herring. We know not to really get invested in this because there is a little matter of something that happens in a motel shower that makes the money irrelevant. We know that and we still watch it again and again.

But with this hindsight we can also notice other things going on: the talk of Marion having to turn her mother’s picture around when her boyfriend is there, her co-worker (played by Hitchcock’s daughter) talking about her mother calling to check up on her… everyone has a mother lingering in their life from afar, overseeing things. But not quite like Norman does. (read the rest of this shit…)

Texas Chain Saw Massacre vs. Contemporary Art

I was walking downtown the other day when I strolled past one of these fuckin things:

bodiesexhibitionIn the building that used to be The Adidas Store they now have a bunch of plastinated Chinese corpses posed as if they’re playing chess and football and shit. This is one of two very popular travelling exhibits. It’s been through here before, I’m sure most of you have heard of it (or even seen it), and they even had James Bond run through one of these type of exhibits in QUANTUM OF SOLACE. (read the rest of this shit…)

This Is It

tn_thisisitAs a Michael Jackson fan who stuck with him in the later years, I was always dreaming about the comeback he could have some day. I never really believed in my heart that I’d get a chance to see him live, but maybe on DVD. I was so excited for those 50 shows he was gonna do in London, and nervous about what would happen if he wasn’t feeling up to it. There are still a million lingering frustrations about all the possibilities that were cut off when Michael died four months ago. But one of the more dramatic ones was this series of shows he called This Is It. He was so close. And we’ll never get to see the exclamation point on the end of that sentence.

So as a fan it’s a comfort and a blessing to see this almost-concert movie made up of footage taken during his rehearsals in Los Angeles. I mean, I would’ve loved to have seen this even if he hadn’t died, but as the rough draft to his last ambition it takes on extra importance. (read the rest of this shit…)

Night of the Creeps

tn_nightofthecreepsMan, I knew everybody loved NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, but the way people talked about it I always figured it was some nostalgic grew-up-in-the-80s thing like GOONIES or heavy metal. No, it turns out NIGHT OF THE CREEPS is truly fucking great! You guys should’ve been more clear!

It’s a movie with a really unique feel. The only thing it reminds me of is RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, but for nerds instead of punks. It has a similar tone of funny-but-serious, similar stylishly cartoonish effects and puppet zombies (see thumbnail), similar confident visual style and storytelling. It lets the horror unfold a piece at a time (aliens, ax-murdering escaped mental patient in the 1950s, cryogenics, zombies, space slugs) and it just seems to know what it’s doing so I never questioned that it would all come together and make sense. And it did. It’s just great writing and directing – Fred Dekker, I forgive you for ROBOCOP III. (read the rest of this shit…)

New York Ripper

tn_newyorkripperMan, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck… oh wait, this guy doesn’t walk like a duck. But the title slasher of NEW YORK RIPPER is a guy who makes quacking noises while killing, and in taunting phone calls.

Franco and Josh both recommended this Lucio Fulci movie to me, and I remember years ago when I first saw MANIAC somebody suggested it to me then. I gotta admit I don’t think it’s exactly good, but it’s definitely unusual and enjoyable to watch once. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Night Brings Charlie

tn_nightbringscharlieslashersearchI tell ya, I’m as shocked as you are that a movie called THE NIGHT BRINGS CHARLIE doesn’t turn out to be the great unknown slasher gem I’ve been searching for. I mean, people love a killer they can call by his first name, like Jason or Freddy. Informality = terror. And that’s what they got here, they got Charlie. It seemed like they thought of everything, but for some reason the world gave them the cold shoulder. I’m sure around ’88 they were kicking themselves that they didn’t call him Chucky and make him a killer doll and do a way better job.

(Oh wait – I just looked it up and this movie came out in 1990. Are you kidding me? As in the 1990s 1990? Incredible.) (read the rest of this shit…)