Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The REAL Shining Trailer

Everybody and his mother has seen the parody trailer of The Shining (if you're not everybody or his mother, watch it here), but who among us has seen the real McCoy?

The music (Wendy Carlos, I believe) combines sickly fly buzzing with increasingly tense strings to set a mood like nobody's business. And then...

I've read that Kubrick shot this specifically for the trailer, and it played so well he worked to incorporate it into the film. The MPAA nixed this trailer at first, but Kubrick insisted that this was just rusty water, and they actually bought it.

NOTE: Viacom asked YouTube to take down all their product, meaning no more South Park, Daily Show, or Colbert Report for the forseeable future. That knocks out a good half-dozen clips in this blog and has me worried for its future. Well, I'll just have to do the best I can for as long as I can.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I submit that this is not scary

According to the person who posted this, the footage here could not be used in a Great Britian car ad because you can see a white mist around the front of the car when it emerges from behind the trees, and it turned out there'd been a fatal accident there and the mist is actually a ghost.

Scary? I don't think so. It'll startle the heck out of you, even when you know what to expect, but that doesn't make it scary.

Tomorrow's entry... now that'll be scary.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Terrifying Julie Andrews

Christopher Plummer once said, "Working with Julie Andrews is like getting hit over the head with a valentine."

Could it be that he meant to say... SLEDGEHAMMER?

Here are a couple of whole new looks at her signature films - the eerie Sound of Music...

and the chilling Mary Poppins.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


We've got a holiday coming up, and I've got quite a few clips with a scary theme to them. Let's get this going with some Silence of the Lambs, the scariest movie ever to win a Best Picture Oscar (but only because Prince of Tides didn't win).

This is the outtake reel. That's Tracey Walter at the beginning with the glove trouble; he's the guy who said "John Wayne was a fag" in Repo Man. And isn't Jodie's blooper at the end the sweetest?

And now for something completely different.

This is a video by a band named the Greenskeepers. It made me go out and get their CD. Not many videos can make that claim. Of course, now I feel just a little unclean.

Trivia time: the prisoner who yells, "Miggs! You stupid fuck!" is the same guy who played Chef Brockett on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Jim Henson's Organized Mind

One of my first posts for this blog involved the Sesame Street bit "Now then. A count of ten." Of course, since kids are such a demanding audience, Jim Henson had to try it out on another audience first. Like, say, The Tonight Show, where he was still known as Jim Jenson.

There's nudity, but it's art so it's okay.

The blip 'n' bloop music's by Raymond Scott, who wrote the "Powerhouse" theme that appeared in every Warner Brothers cartoon that had something resembling a factory production line.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tell me this doesn't look fantastic

The legendary 1972 movie The Thing With Two Heads, starring Ray Milland and Rosey Grier, tells the deeply moving story of... well, to quote the poster, "They transplanted a white bigot's head on a soul brother's body!"

I actually saw a clip of this in It Came From Hollywood, a compilation of some of the worst of the silver screen. It showed Lila (Chelsea Brown) seeing her boyfriend for the first time post-transplant. The first thing she said to him: "You get into more shit..." The second: "So, um... do you have two of anything else?"

Snakes on a Plane has NOTHING on this.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

20 years ago today

On October 25, 1986, New England had its heart stepped on once again.

Of course, true Red Sox fans know that relief pitchers Calvin Schiraldi and Bob Stanley deserve the goat horns way more than first baseman Bill Buckner did, but a lot of people felt otherwise. Some handled it differently than others. Here's how the late, great Hunter S. Thompson dealt with the issue.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Nicolas Cage Sells Out *snort*

I don't know if anyone's noticed, but I've always posted my Sells Out series exactly nine days apart from each other. Today's the first time I'm breaking that habit, on account of there's an anniversary I'm planning to note tomorrow.

Plus the fact that I just couldn't hold off on this one second longer.

Watch Nicolas Cage's mind get absolutely blown when he meets a set of triplets in this Japanese ad.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Let's Go Fly a Kite

It's been a while since I posted anything related to Sesame Street, hasn't it? Well, I'll fix that. Here's one of my favorites from my younger years.

In under a hundred seconds, we learn about cooperation and racial harmony, without the benefit of words. And wouldn't you love to know who the guitarist is?

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Sometimes all a guy wants is to be silly.

Don't turn it off before you see the squirrel at 1:35.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

"I don't have to unpack my bags, do I?"

This is pretty exciting, as far as I'm concerned.

One of the things I've been checking YouTube for semiregularly, ever since I came to it, was An American Family. Considered the first reality program, AAF followed the family of William C. Loud for nine months in 1971 and wound up with 300 hours of footage, whittled down to twelve one-hour programs that aired in 1973. The Loud family (I know at least two bands named after them) came apart at the seams over the course of the show, which introduced the world to Lance Loud, one of the first openly gay people ever seen on television.

It's been hard to see since (confounded music rights); once again, God bless YouTube for giving it a forum, and many thanks to "subcin," the guy who posted it. I recommend watching the other excerpts posted as well.

This is the most famous scene of the series. Bill Loud's come home from a business trip, with no idea that his wife is about to let him know she wants a divorce.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Tall as a shotgun and just as noisy

There's a new movie out about Truman Capote; the New Yorker says, "Don't not not see it." Which makes perfect sense - so many won't consider going because they "already saw it" last year, with Philip Seymour Hoffman's take. But I think it'll be another neat look at Truman, through the prism of fame.

I went through my Capote phase a few years ago, reading everything he did over the course of a few months. It's a procedure I recommend to anyone. "A Christmas Memory" is beautiful, and his day with Marilyn Monroe, from Music for Chameleons, couldn't be more perfect.

Anyway, here's the man himself being country when country wasn't cool, along with Dean Martin, Jimmy Stewart, and Jack Benny. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

What's Michael J. Fox like?

Someone was kind enough to send me this video of Tom Wilson - not the creator of Ziggy, but the actor best (only?) known as Biff in Back to the Future. Now he's doing standup and has written a song about the travails of his life.

As a companion piece, I'd like to offer Crispin Glover, George McFly himself, covering the Michael Jackson song "Ben," the best love song ever written to a rat. Lip-synching optional. Twisted bizarreness mandatory.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My favorite Beatles song

Everybody's born knowing all the Beatles lyrics instinctively. They're passed into the fetus subconsciously along with all the amniotic stuff. Fact, they should be called "The Fetals." - John Hannah, in Sliding Doors

Everybody has a favorite Beatles song, or should. I'm going to hold forth for a bit on mine.

"Rain" was recorded during the Revolver sessions and released as the B-side to "Paperback Writer" in 1966. To start with, it was innovative, and not just with the backward vocals at the end; they played their instruments fast during the recording, then slowed the tape down to give it a thicker, more "ploddy" feel.

Ringo never played better in his life. He drives this song like he does no other, and there's no telling what he's going to do next. Paul's bass sound is huge in this, and he's just started his supermelodic phase. George gets an Eastern droning sound with his guitar that fits the mood perfectly.

As for John, who wrote and sang lead, his lyrics get deeper the more you look at them; we're not talking about rain and sunshine here, folks. There are people trying to escape both the good and the bad in life, but there really is no good and bad. Life is life; go ahead and see it how you will, but remember it's all just your perceptions, not really how it is.

By the way, check out Paul's swollen upper lip and chipped tooth; he'd just been in a car accident. And yes, thank you very much, it is raining as I type this.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Am Waiting

There's a new album out by Lindsey Buckingham, former Fleetwood Mac member and maybe the most underrated guitarist of any classic rock band. It's called Under the Skin; it's a good album, and it's got a cover of the Rolling Stones song "I Am Waiting," first heard on the album Aftermath, and later used to good effect in Rushmore.

Let's see the Stones perform it, or at least see Mick sing to a mimed backing track of it, back in 1966 on Ready Steady Go. Inexplicable that Mick doesn't appear until 1:10 in. And you've got to love those glasses Charlie's rocking.

Now for Linds. I'm not crazy about this homemade slideshow presentation by any means, but the music is really worth sharing and comparing. And okay, some of these pictures are pretty cool.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bugs Bunny Sells Out *snort*

Time for another in a continuing series of the famous and rich giving up their street cred to be just a little bit richer, and don't we love 'em for it. Today's victim: a certain rabbit.

Bugs Bunny quite literally drank the Kool-Aid in the '60s, when it was associated with acid tests just as much as with Saturday mornings. Here he is doing the Kool-Aid Kool (though to me it looks more like the Monkey). I'm not sure I want to know how one drinks Kool-Aid "bunny-style."

And here he joins three quarters of the Monkees, for all of three seconds. As one commenter notes, he only acknowledges Davy and then disappears: "Even he was embarrassed to be associated with the Monkees by that point."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Who are those masked people?

Well, since you asked, it's the cast of 1965's Gumnaam.

This dynamic dance number was shown during the opening credits of Ghost World; its retro energy was a great gateway into a movie that had one distant but interested eye on nostalgia. It's also a pretty nice way to spend five and a half minutes on a Sunday, I think.

I learned about this clip via Jim Emerson's fine movie blog "Scanners"; for his far more informed take on it, click here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Who was that masked man?

Well, since you asked, it's Lenny Bruce.

This is his famous "Thank You Mask Man" standup routine set to animation, with his blessing. Good stuff, if you can get past the swearing. And I know you guys - that won't be any trouble for you all, will it now?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Just Two Good Old Boys' Older Brothers

Did you know that The Dukes of Hazzard was a spinoff?

Yes indeed. Writer/director Gy Waldron took elements from his 1975 film Moonrunners (starring Robert Mitchum's son and Dean Martin's son in law, not to mention a grown-up Spanky from the Little Rascals) and used them in the creation of the TV show four years later. You'll meet Uncle Jesse and Roscoe Coltrane here, and that's still Waylon Jennings as the Balladeer.

Not here, but still interesting if you're a Dukes fan: Ben Jones, who'd go on to play Cooter in the TV show, played a federal agent in this. The part of Cooter was played by C. Pete Munro, who'd later go on to guest in Dukes and have a regular part in Enos, the Dukes spinoff starring Sonny Shroyer.

Yes, IMDb is a wonderful thing.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Aquaman's Oh Face

The guy who put together the tremendously disturbing "You'll Come One Day" is also responsible for this piece of brilliance, layering Office Space dialogue over Superfriends footage.

Once again, I have to give credit to him for matching the movements with the dialogue. Watch Batman clear his throat at 1:47, and his reaction of utter disgust at 2:29.

I should also note that there's a precedent for Superfriends dubbing. See if this doesn't take you back...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Soul Midget Number One

I have to confess that I had second thoughts about posting one of my Stephen Colbert entries, on account of it had been seen over a quarter million times and was probably old news. As it turns out, if Google's any indication, it's the most popular entry so far.

Now here's something that's been viewed almost two and a half million times, but which I only discovered two hours ago. All I can say is, boy, have I been missing out.

Fantastic as the dancing is, and the recumbent man, and the little fella's smile, the thing that gets me the most is the sound effect that ends the clip. It's so out of left field.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Hey, I heard you missed us, we're back!"

You know how they say black and white filming gives a kind of timeless feel?

Well... not necessarily.

"Hot For Teacher" is pure unadulterated fun. The fact that VH have much better backup singing voices than backup dance moves shouldn't distract from the joy of sleaze on prominent display here.

And while we're on the subject, props aplenty to David Lee Roth. Just check out some of these quotes:

"I used to jog, but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass."
"I'm a family-oriented guy. I've personally started four or five this year already."
"When you can spell 'subpoena' without thinking about it, that's when you know you've made it."

Come on - are you going to tell me that's not funny?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Look Around You

I'm going to be in Maine for the next few days, where the only computer available to me has a dial-up connection and a time limit. So I'm taking a few days off from any postings.

But I'd hate for you loyal readers to have nothing to do for a while, so I'm going to put on an entire series. It'll take you about an hour and a quarter to watch the whole thing; if you parcel it out carefully, you'll have enough entertainment to last you until I get back.

Look Around You is a British parody of classroom videos, set during the early '80s. They're nine-minute shorts, give or take a minute, of straight-faced satire, and I find them incredibly funny - or, in British, bloody funny. Enjoy.

Part 1 - Maths

Part 2 - Water

Part 3 - Germs

Part 4 - Ghosts

Part 5 - Sulphur

Part 6 - Music

Part 7 - Iron

Part 8 - The Brain

Thursday, October 05, 2006

So White and Prince Chawmin'

Waaaay back in the day, I mentioned how I wanted to post a couple of Warner Brothers cartoons, but they'd both been yanked before I had the chance to do so. Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips, a portion of which I later posted here, was one of them. This is the other.

This cartoon is the animated equivalent of Birth of a Nation. You can't get past the racism and sexism, but you also can't deny that it's energetic and fun; it's considered one of Robert Clampett's greatest, which by extension means one of the greatest of all animated cartoons.

And you've got to admit, the WWII-specific gag at 1:06 is a hoot.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dead Celebrities Sell Out *snort*

Today I'd like to delve into the use of celebrities in commercials where the celebrities in question have long since rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible.

The sight of Fred Astaire's talents being used to sell vacuum cleaners nauseated more than a few when Dirt Devil's ad campaign first appeared in 1997. There is certainly something reprehensible about cheaping what a famous person does, in the hopes that it will make someone want to spend money. Jack Kerouac wore khakis; shouldn't I?

But here's the dirty little secret - these ads are fun. Get past the salesmanship and what are you left with? A minute in the company of an old friend, in the prime of life, doing things s/he never got the opportunity to do. They're part of our world again, and it's good to have them back.

When someone means a lot to you, getting to see them one more time is always going to push your pleasure buttons. Since a two hour film is out of the question, we're glad to settle for sixty seconds - and the only films that long take place between part 1 and 2 of the show of your choice.

So let's let Audrey Hepburn dance to a song twenty-three years before Angus Young wrote it. She may not be where she expected to be, but she's with us, she's making us happy to see her again, and I think that should be enough.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hey You Guyyyyyys!

For no particular reason, I'm going to put up a double shot of Rita Moreno today.

Like most people my age, my first exposure to RM was on The Electric Company, where she played a number of characters, most memorably the spoiled Pandora and the Nazi director, forever scaring the cue-card holding Marcello (Morgan Freeman) half to death. Here she is performing the "Billy Lick a Lolly" song, which, as soon as you watch it, you're going to have stuck in your head for the rest of the day. You're welcome.

That's not all she did, of course - this is one of the few people to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy. Here's a part of her Emmy-winning performance (1977: Outstanding Continuing or Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in Variety or Music) on The Muppet Show.

Sexy and funny at once. See the comments for Spanish translation.

Monday, October 02, 2006

That boy needs therapy

The Avalanches are a collective that create songs out of samples - not by repeating a bit from, say, "Every Breath You Take" over and over, but by pouring dozens if not hundreds of recorded moments in a grinder and bringing them together. You can tell that while it sounds random, a lot of thought went into it.

The same goes for their video.

This is "Frontier Psychiatrist" from their (to date only) album Since I Met You. I recognize the opening dialogue from the John Waters movie Polyester, and I know Pink Martini covers "Anna (El Negro Zumbon)," which is where the closing riff came from. But the stuff in the middle? Fuggedaboutit. Just keep an eye out for the turtle man.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Don't walk away

This morning it's quiet, except for the rain, heavy at times. It's the kind of day that puts you in a mood - not necessarily a bad one, just a deep pensiveness.

I'd like to put on "Atmosphere" by Joy Division as the soundtrack. So I will.

This was filmed in 1988, eight years after frontman Ian Curtis committed suicide. The director, Anton Corbijn, is scheduled to direct a feature film about Curtis. If it's anything like this video, it's going to be tremendous. So many of the shots in here - one jawa running to catch up to the other two, the band reflected in the puddle, the long final shot - evoke far more than they have any right to.

It's so nice to see genuine art every now and again.