Sunday, February 14, 2010


STUDENT CONFIDENTIAL (1987. Richard Horian) - 5/5 -

It's either very fortunate or unfortunate that director/writer/star Richard Horian made this movie in 1987, predating both viral marketing as well as Tommy Wisseau's "The Room" by about 15 years or so. Horian was either way ahead of his time, or he missed the boat (or was early for it...whatever).

Like "The Room" this is a film that when you see it the first time you are just not sure what to make of it -- and you can watch it ten more times and still not be completely sure. The pacing is all over the place (especially during the second half, specifically the final act when it truly feels like everyone just became disinterested in what they were doing and ended the thing mid-scene). The dialogue is stilted and rambling; characters speak very, very vividly about subjects that are vague and unclear. Marlon Jackson's character is blatantly introduced as some kind of computer genius/program inventor but the exposition of this basically just goes around in circles before flying into a brick wall, replete with lengthy scenes of Douglas Sirkian dialogue that are maybe just one or two notches shy of one character saying to him: "You, Marlon Jackson, are some computer guy of some kind that has some kind of potential to do something great that may or may not have something to do with some kind of computer program or something similar to that." And that's true for most of the characters, especially Horian's as the high school guidance counselor/self-made millionaire who lives in a house with "20 rooms" with his wife, a snotty former[?] model[?] who, when not spending tens of thousands of dollars of his money at fashion shows, reads long passages of steamy romance novels aloud by the fire place.

Besides having the eyes and sweat glands of a serial rapist chained inside of a poorly ventilated trailer meth lab the guidance counselor has more than just marital problems following him. Years of psychotherapy and listening to the problems of others, without examining his own, has obviously taken a grand toll on him, causing him to be suicidal and detached from reality. Hallucinations are commonplace for him (in an early example he dreams of his dead mother entering his bedroom to strangle him... or I think this is his mother?... It's an elderly woman...He aludes to it being a former student of his...I think?...Is he a several hundred year old vampire in addition to being a high school guidance counselor/millionaire?... Like all great art, you'll be thinking about it for hours and will probably never reach a fitting or definitive conclusion).

Masked mental health issues aside, there is something acutely strange about the focus on the importance of high school guidance counselors in this film. It's perplexing why Horian would be so sought-after by the school to be their new counselor, or why Horian, the mutlimillionaire psychoanalyst would be so eager to accept the offer. I don't know how it is in other schools but from my experience all my counselor did was screw my college transcripts up by sending them to the wrong school and went golfing three out of five days a week, but then again I didn't go to school with Michael Douglas' badboy brother, Eric -- the brilliant but misguided woodshop savant who likes to start electrical fires in the boiler room which causes completely arbitrary wacky 80's beach parties and wet t-shirt contests in the hallways when the fire alarm and sprinkler system goes off.

Actually that's precisely the reason why Horian's character took this job as we come to find out. He wants the troubled kids of this school to finally realize their true potential... Well, not all the kids, just four of them; four kids he knows absolutely nothing about (and he really does know nothing about them too, he demands that his secretary gather up all the information she can about the four without it even being established that he even knows about their existence), but decides to take a keen and unhealthy interest in. In addition to Eric Douglas (Johhny) and Marlon Jackson (Joey), he becomes feverishly interested in two women, Susan Bishop who although a straight-A student had her social life completely turned upside down and distorted when she became the recipient in a minor car crash which left a large piece of 1.99 latex from Sepncer's gifts permanently fused to the side of her face (which she now masks by gluing large chunks of hair to her face thinking no one will notice) and Elizabeth Singer, the school's permanent semen storage facility who desperately wants to make it in "the film business," which is obviously code for porn except no one in the entire movie -- not even the smut peddlers themselves, talking alone amongst each other later in the film -- refers to it anything but "the film business."

Horian's character of course, knowing everything he knows about human psychology, begins to amend things for the troubled kids. And he starts by giving Susie a full makeover and the name of a good plastic surgeon he knows.

And all this happens in just the first 30 minutes.

The next hour of the film slowly goes down an even stranger path with Horian begging ice-cream cone licking muggers to kill him and later attempts suicide, Susan getting indoctrinated into the "film business" and nearly getting gang-raped by a pair of cryogenically created Don Johnson clones , Marlon Waynes randomly administering a sensual massage to his mother, and in a very Tennessee Williams-inspired scene Horian tries to convince Eric Douglas' father (Kirk) to encourage his son to become a mechanical engineer in which the father responds my angrily smashing up his own kitchen with an aluminum baseball bat with almost non-existent rationality. And all of it leads to a disorienting and bewildering conclusion that will have you questioning the film for days, possibly leading to you writing a rambling review of it for IMDb or Netflix that no one in their right mind would bother reading.

There's no easy way to describe "Student Confidential" in a nutshell, and I'm quite certain that I have failed to do so here. It's almost as if Tommy Wiseau had directed a piece of "Saved by the Bell" fanfiction that Ranier Werner Fassbinder haphazardly authored in a mescaline-soaked, stroke-inducing cocaine haze while "Blackboard Jungle" was on TV on maximum volume from three apartments over. It's hilarious and bizarre and although it very much appears it came out this way as an act of sincerity shades of doubt keep reappearing in my conscience about the whole experience. Richard Horian has crafted either the most ironic campy high school movie ever made, or he's very much in on the joke and the audience has become the ultimate punch-line. And even a third possibility exists: Horian is a cinematic time traveler and he created this film as a scathing satire of "Dangerous Minds," "Freedom Writers," and "Half Nelson." I'm willing to accept any reality, but whatever the case may be the end result is a gleefully positive one the way I look at it. It's extremely rare that I get this much entertainment from a movie, good or bad, and it's definitely been an influence on me putting off suicide for at least a week or more. Probably spending that up-with-life time to examine Richard Horian's career more closely... Or at least until I die of a heart attack in my sleep having nightmares of Horian's unblinking, emotionless face.*

*(I barely glossed over it in this review but...the guy is just scary to look at... not ugly...just... frightening. You'll see soon enough.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010




IMDb: (Part I)

IMDb: (Part II)

The year was 1980 and a cultural paradigm was about to shift to a newer, more stranger age. Carter was on his way out and Raygun was on his way in; a strange and deadly new disease termed “AIDS” would soon become the source of both panic and news fodder for years down the line. Cocaine was getting bigger and stronger, no longer was it to be found in the dance floors of disco clubs but now the yuppies were starting to dig it, and hundreds were dying down in Miami to keep the machine running. And then the wonder-drug crack would come along and become the rage in malt shops and teen work study teams all throughout the United States, which would of course become a direct correlation to the success of Brett Michaels and Bon Jovi.

The greed of wall-street was growing and the whole country seemed to be drowning in an atmosphere of materialism and self-centered ego-tripping. These were different, different times, and with different times come different heroes. And this was the dawn of an age in which any normal secularist like Spider-Man would just not do. The McMartin Trial would soon be at hand and mentally unstable parents all across the country would send their kids off to school in the morning with chains of guilt and fear dragging behind their weary bodies, living in fear as to whether or not today would be the day when their child is sexually abused by their caretakers and made as the centerpiece of a human sacrifice to the Dark Prince.

If there was one thing – one thing bigger than ourselves – that we needed in this strange dayglo orange decade it was to find salvation. And in 1980, long before anyone asked or pleaded or prayed, their voices were heard…

SUPER CHRISTIAN (1980. John Schmidt)

The first film in the now renowned and uncompleted “Super-Christian” trilogy follows the genesis of our beloved savior and how he came to be. In his original Chicago Sun-Times review, which has been completely transcribed into the message board forum on the film’s IMDb page, film historian and cultural satirist cole-man poses this relatively thought provoking questions about John Schmidt’s Super Christian: “wtf [?] Is this seriouse it looks retarted.” While Mr.Man’s essay may have perhaps been a rhetorical reflection I feel it a necessity to respond: Yes. The film is indeed seriouse and more importantly it is indeed retarted. Very, very retarted.

We open on our clearly troubled 20 year old protagonist Clark Kant (Yes. Clark Kant. Because only God can) who awakens in a room clearly constructed by and for a five year old boy as the Batman/Superman wallpaper indicates. For six days of the week Clark is a bitter, hateful, misogynistic, misanthropic son of a bitch. His mind is a ticking time bomb ready to burst. He has no problem getting into fits of road rage, declaring war on the elderly, the senile, and confused. He’s a bastard to everyone he knows, throwing punches at basketball games and threatening the referees. When he goes home at night he can’t be bothered with his parents. The bodies in the desert are piling up, and the blood is on his hands. Clark is spiraling out of control, even going so far as to commit to most nihilistic of deeds becoming the absolute manifestation of evil incarnate: “Of course I wasn’t really sick,” he boats to a bearded co-worker who shakes his head in disgust, “I just told [the boss] I was so I could get off work that day.”

But then Sunday comes and everything changes. His DNA alters and he transforms into something much worse, something much more terrifying and unyielding. “Super-Christian,” is what they call it.

Yes, when Clark awakes on Sunday morning his sanity drops to absolute zero. Looking like Tom Wolfe just had a miscarriage with Tucker Carlson and Marjoe Gortner Clark dons on a blindingly white tuxedo and bow-tie and begins to violently terrorize his family and neighbors in order to make it to church on time. He rams slow-moving vehicles off the side of the road and sends them to their fiery deaths and bursts down doors as if there are underage hogtied Taiwanese boys awaiting him on the other end of the rainbow.

When he finally makes it to church Clark becomes an even bigger ass than he was before. He’s the ultimate Bible Thumping Holy Roller. He takes no shit from half-assed Christians and makes this clear to them as he sings the praises higher than anyone else and donates more to the collection plate than anyone would care to…. That is until he crosses paths with a violent lone drifter; Diego “Jim Johnson” Slopsczeck, other wise known as The Lone Christian, a man hell-bent on bennies and rage.

As Clark is about to leave Diego, the armored saint of Damascus, pulls Clark by the hand and walks him through the desolate and empty church, speaking about his disgust for hypocrisy, those types who only decide to live for the Lord on Sundays. Fake Christian Do-Gooders. “If I had my way,” Diego gesticulates with his face only dimly lit by the fading sunlight through a stained glass window, “I don’t think I’d let any of them leave this place alive.” Diego’s rage, as we soon come to understand, is because of his own inherent self-loathing. “I was that guy,” Diego says. He was that fake Christian, the thing he’s become to hate the most. “You better live every fucking day like it’s your last, boy… Because once he comes back… And trust me, he probably ain’t comin’ back on a Sunday, you’re probably going to have hell to pay.”

Eventually Clark takes a step back from his ego-driven self and re-evaluates himself and the person he is. It doesn’t take long before his “other self” fades away into nothingness and all remnants of personality and individuality slowly wither away and die. Clark now lives for God seven days a week, and now attends Church with this in mind to guide all those weary souls into the light. Soon they will do battle at Armageddon. And when all is said and done, mankind will only have Super Christian to thank.


As with all successful films that spawn a follow-up the sequel must be bigger, brighter, more epic, and more ambitious that the film that it follows. And the sequel to “Super-Christian” is no different. While the first film seemingly leaves off with Super-Christian and The Lone Christian going their separate ways, “Super-Christian II” not only opens with them both in the same scene obviously living together in an only slighy homo-erotic relationship, but with them both viewing a rare and much sought-after 16mm print of the original “Super-Christian” film.

Obviously fucking high (because why else would anyone every watch “Super-Christian” voluntarily?) they reminisce and about their time together some six years before and laugh maniacally like a rapist hiding in the bushes during the entire scene, obviously a tactic from director John Schmidt to make the audience feel wholly uncomfortable right of the bat.
Once they stop huffing the amyl nitrate and the film ends Clark confides in his partner, “Gee, a lot of things sure have changed in the past six years.” The Lone Christian replies, “That’s true. But I tell you what hasn’t changed, we’ve got the same problems and hurts today.” “And,” Clark replies “We’ll probably see the same thing in another six years.” The Lone Christian smirks knowingly and let’s us in on the joke: “That sure sounds like a set-up for a sequel!” And then the whole cavalcade comes in, and both members of the film crew become visible, sending us off into another great and terrifying adventure.

Unlike the first film in the series, which for the exception of a short cameo by Betsy Palmer, was done almost completely with unknowns. Four minutes into “Super Christian II” the filmmakers have not only deconstructed all expected conventions of the Super-Christian series by breaking down and destroying the fourth wall in the very first scene, but we get to be introduced to some familiar faces.
“9-to-5” megahunk Dabney Coleman plays Gary Fisher, a man who can no longer keep up with the crushing weight of the mountain of lies that he keeps on his back to keep up appearances in modern suburbia. One morning he wakes up and announces to his family that he’s leaving, next week, to live with his homosexual lover, Larry, and his wife, playing the part of the cuckold in the relationship. The family is shocked and appalled at this confession. His daughter cries, Gary goes for her throat and bodyslams her into the kitchen tile. “I won’t have fucking crybabies in this house!”

Meanwhile on the other side of town the troubled romance between Clark and The Lone Christian is brewing. When the gossip breaks of The Fishers’ marriage woes the two become sick with hurt, “But they seemed to live such seamless lives,” Clark vexes with disgust over the fact that Dabney Coleman’s character refused to make his personal problems known to the public. And thus that brings us to the moral and subtitle of this installment in the series: The Life Behind the Mask… Those lovely artificial facades that people do in order to mask their hurt.

Of course, by this point, the message of the film is made abundantly clear as you can tell. But it’s the mid-80’s and John Scmidt has probably been doing a shit ton of blow so his mind may not be in its clearest state. Unable to see the blatancy in his own film, Schmidt decides to kick it up a notch and go full-on Bunuel well on us.

And that is when the nightmare begins.

Everything seems normal about the Fisher family as they are driving to church. They act just like any other family in the United States that spends more than thirty seconds with one another: all separately and slowly dying in their own skin. It’s pretty normal and predictable until they get to the Church parking lot…. But the next shot, amidst all this banality, becomes absolutely chilling to the core.

The father turns around to his kids and says, “Okay, let’s go” except one thing his wrong – his face has turned into translucent plastic. That alone was terrifying, but it could have been forgettable had that been the end of it… When the family makes it inside the Church the true horror show truly begins. Two for out of every three people is donning the exact same clear plastic mask. I don’t know for sure what is going to happen next, but I’m thinking I’m going to see a cross between the orgy scene of “Eyes Wide Shut” and the final fifteen minutes of Brian Yuzna’s “Society.” Something is just not right here….
As far as the “Super-Christian” series is concerned, this is clearly a much different, much darker and all together grimmer film than its predecessor. In summation: John Schmidt has lost his fucking mind!

It only comes as a mixed blessing when The Super Christian and The Lone Christian both show up both in their trademark costumes, each looking gayer than the felch-pile scene from “Latin Crotch Rockets IV, to distract me from whatever carnage is about to take place in this Church. But then it just gets uncomfortably weird.
As The Lone Christian is searching for a parking space for his horse in the church parking lot The Super-Christian kicks down the door of the church and begins to lecture to a room full of stand-ins for John Hughes movies.

In another room of the church, The Lone Ranger makes his way and begins to do the same thing. And with their powers combined they manage to bring down the whole house, literally. It seems like everyone has something to hide, and SuperChristian and The Lone Christian are here to tell them that it’s just not good to keep things locked up and bottled-up like that. Through a series of anthological vignettes we see the woes of each of these characters: There’s Ted the white collar boozehound who’s been telling everyone that he’s well on his way to a promotion when in reality his boss is convinced that he suffers from a myriad of learning disabilities and only keeps him on the payroll for the tax break; in the other corner we have Cindy who, due to being the village jizz receptacle, has been knocked up by Billy, her most prominent suitor yet, the town hog inseminator and bacon retailer. He urges her to get an abortion but Cindy begins to struggle with second thoughts.

With all these problems they are plagued with, and the endless pit of despair that their lives have ended up as it is really no wonder that they seek out solace in grown men who freely walk around in public sporting rhinestone studded capes and cowboy hats; they’re the most stable creatures the town has ever seen. This is a place that is more disparaging and terminally sick than Harmony Korine’s vision of Xenia, Ohio. Clark Kant and The Lone Christian are both all well too aware of this fact and although they know they can not legally put them out of their ceaseless misery they can at least pretend they made a difference and then leave to feel slightly better about themselves.
Clark and The Lone Christian, both addressing their separate congregations, pass out index cards and tell everyone to write down a certain secret sin that has created a wall between them and God. Once collected The Lone Christian ushers in a prayer. In true Bergman fashion, the Lone Christian dumps his heart and soul out on the table and pleads with God to release them and to free their souls from this internal guilt, fear, and loathing. God responds by striking the church with lightning and laughing at their misery…. Or something like that.

For most of the church writing their problems on a piece of cardboard was evidently all that was needed to quell their clinical depression. Christine has decided to wait off on that abortion, to give it a few more trimesters before making a final decision. And then there’s Ted who still pisses pure absinthe but now has stopped lying to others and himself, he’ll never ever see a promotion and will most likely rot away in a low-paying, low-respecting middle management pisshole of a job for the rest of his life like a nameless Kafka protagonist -- at least until he finally grows a backbone and takes the imitative to finally take his own life and bring all his more successful co-workers with him… And what happened to the cuckolded Mr. Fisher in all this? Has he realized his wrongs and gone back to his life, forever forcing and locking himself into a incurably damaged and loveless marriage? The answer of course is an astounding and enthusiastic “YES!”

Of course, not all of the problems have been completely managed. There’s still a few masked stragglers lurking around,, still each with something to hide, something they haven’t let go of and confessed to God yet. “Don’t worry, Clark…” The Lone Christian says as he places a firm hand on Clark’s shoulder as they each watch a masked figure stumble around the pillars. “They haven’t made their peace with God. They will feel his wrath soon enough.”

No matter how opposing your viewpoints and beliefs are to the context of “Super-Christian” parts I and II it is difficult to ignore or overlook their cinematic fortitude. I’m sure neither one of these were the first films to feature a Christian-based superhero, but they surely propelled that concept into the mainstream of the American heart, inspiring at least two or three equally successful franchises. VHS Tapes of the Bible Man series featuring Willie “Buddy” Aames have grossed literally hundreds of dollars worldwide – it’s just damn near impossible to imagine that kind of success would have ever been possible had Jim Schmidt and his Super-Christian films not paved the way before him. I of course can’t make anyone watch either of these two films, all I can say is that any lover of real cinema owes it to themselves to watch them; otherwise you’d be incomplete as a human and just, simply, something I would be better off not knowing. Philistines Need Not Apply.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


WATER POWER (1977. Shaun Costello) - 5/5 –

"The Illinois enema bandit
I heard it on the news
I heard it on the news
Bloomington illinois...he has caused some alarm
Just sneakin around there
From farm to farm
Got a rubberized bag
And a hose on his arm
Lookin for some rustic co-ed rump
That he just might wanna pump
Lookin for some rustic co-ed rump
That he just might wanna pump
Lookin for some rustic co-ed rump
That he just might wanna pump"

Hardcore Frank Zappa fans may be familiar with the above excerpt from his song “The Illinois Enema Bandit,” which was based on the strange, horrible, yet strangely funny story of Michael H. Kenyon who between 1966 and 1975 terrorized women of Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, and California through a series of, uhm, rather unique sexual assaults.
It all started on an early spring night in 1966 when he stalked two sisters, donning a ski mask he slid into their basement window and caught up with them utilizing his three main tools of execution: duct tape, rope, and a hotwater bag filled with soapy water. The assault that resulted from this left the girls in a violated and vulnerable state, but on the upside they were now much cleaner on the inside had Michael Kenyon not been there to cleanse them from their vile humors.
Kenyon’s enema assaults continued for nearly a decade, until he began to get sloppy (well, sloppier than usual) and arrogant by the mid-70’s. The straw that broke the camel’s back came in 1975 when Kenyon decided to shit where he ate and returned to his hometown of Champaign Illinois, were the first assault had taken place. On a single night he attempted to break some sort of world record, bounding, gagging, robbing and administered enemas to no less than five separate women, one of which he later came back to and administered a second enema, in just a matter of hours. Kenyon left a muddy trail of evidence in his wake which would lead to his apprehension several weeks later. But by the time his case came to trial a very strange thing had happened. Several of the assaults had outlived the statue of limitations, but to make matters worse apparently forcefully shoving a tube full of soapy water up a person’s ass and making them squirt out streams of dirty brown dishwater while you masturbate without their prior written consent was not only not considered to be a criminal offense, but was and to this day still is featured in the Zagat’s guide to Chicago quinine. Because of this, all the authorities could do was nab Kenyon on a couple of breaking and entering and burglary charges. Kenyon served a six year prison sentence and, with the exception of being a suspect in the 1982 Cyanide-Tylenol murders, faded out of the pages of bizarre criminal infamy and into almost complete obscurity… Almost. Had it not been for a few sub-pop cultural instances to keep the gears turning just a little bit longer.

The mob run porn industry of the 1970’s was probably the first to cash-in on Kenyon’s crimes. On the IMDb’s plot summary page, written by director Shaun Costello, he describes being called into Sid Levine’s office (head of the Gambino-Porn syndicate) who, with much shame and guilt, sits Costello down and plays him an audio recording, loosely inspired by Kenyon’s fecal spree, of a doctor and nurse administering an enema to a young woman. Levine stops the tape and at that point asks Costello, still with shame and self-disgust reverberating in his voice, to produce something for their fetish market: an enema film. Costello then runs into Levine’s boss, just moments later who gives it to him straight: “I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to know about it. I don’t want to talk about it. Just make it.” They were demanding Costello to produce a scat film, but at the same time giving him something in return that most studio directors would do something much worse than get someone else’s shit on their fingers for: complete and total creative free reign. As long as someone shit the bed, Costello could mold this into whatever he wanted because the people backing it would never be caught dead watching it. Apparently coprophillia is a huge no-no when it comes to mob rules.
This whole incident could not have come at a better time. Late 1976, about six months after the release and eventual escalating rise in popularity of Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” (which oddly enough took some inspiration from Shaun Costello’s own directorial debut, the insidiously evil porn flick “Forced Entry”, which featured Harry Reams as a disenchanted Vietnam vet who stalked, raped, and murdered female customers of the gas station which he worked). Inspired by the film Costello wanted to do something very similar, but instead create an extended parody, a brown comedy for the ages. He gave Jamie Gillis a call -- who judging from what is known about his own personal life and extra curricular activities is very much game for anything involving the sweet brown butter -- and exploitation history was made.

The film opens with a completely improvisational scene of Burt (Gillis) wandering around a Manhattan market and street festival in a completely bewildered and angry daze before finding himself in front of a “Spirit of ‘76” placard displaying the

Colonial American flag. A photographer snaps his picture and the camera freezes on a close-up of his deadening face, a beaten and blistered lovechild of Anthony Bourdain and Elliot Gould. The title card zooms in and Bernard Harmann’s score for “Vertigo” is quick to follow. As far as copyright infringement and character development in a scatporn is concerned, it’s a nearly perfect moment frozen in time. You immediately know from this introduction alone, which on the director’s cut lasts no more than maybe 45 seconds, that you’re going to be in for something that is anything but normal, even as far as fetishistic porn films are concerned. The tone is uneasy but very deadpan.

Once the film starts up we immediately find ourselves in the confine’s of Burt’s bedroom. Dingy, cramped, dark. The floors are filthy and the walls are literally plastered with nothing but clippings from various porn mags and just by looking at it you know that the place smells nothing short of a cocktail of 10 years worth of dried-up jizz and someone’s grandmother that was left out on the porch to stew and bake in her own juices for several weeks too long.
It’s strikingly clear that Burt has few hobbies. However, just because he beats the bishop until it dry heaves up a Sahara does not render our protagonist obsolete when it comes to non-porn mag related activities. With the aid of a telescope he also likes to watch his neighbor, The Stewardess, undress while furiously pruning the gord until the walls are drenched in bloodied semen and his hands tremble like the San Andreas faultlines.
On this particular night, Burt finds nothing but blue balled frustration. He’s bored with porn mags and his stewardess has moved away from the path of the telescope’s viewfinder. His genitals are ready to burst like Napa Valley grapes and he’s ready to stick his throbbing joystick into a turbine if it means a load will be blown in the process. Unfortunately, one of the great faults of this film is that Burt never goes to those extremes at this point and instead takes to the streets, locating the nearest skanky whorehouse, which, in this case is titled “The Garden of Eden.”
Entering Eden with expectations of nothing more than giggling at slightly half-clothed women before running away in embarrassment the madam persuades him to go for the blue plate special of the evening: a blowjob and a quick fifteen minute fuck from one of the girls for just fifteen bucks. It’s an offer that not even the stingiest of sticky-crotched drifters will be able to turn down.

After he finishes up with the prostitute (appropriately named “Eve”) he still ends up feeling unfulfilled. Eve tells him to see the madam to learn about the other specials. Burt asks her and the madam, for what ever reason, assumes by “specials” Burt is speaking code for “I’d like to have a river of burning hot diarrhea sprayed within mere centimeters of my eyes, please” as she guides him to a backroom where a mad doctor and maniacal nurse are in the process of administering an enema to a disobedient prostitute (played here by the one-legged Canadian starlet Jean Silver). With great authoritarian pleasure the good doctor describes in great detail the procedure as well as rattling off instructions on how to make the enema solution (Six parts tepid water, one part liquid soap, and one shot of grey goose vodka), assumedly for all those watching at hope. It’s probably imperative information for those of us interested in hosting children’s birthday parties.

Behind a glass window, with beads of sweat forming at his brow, Burt watches in astonishment and wonder as Pam the Whore is filled to the brim with the contents of the hot water bag. She grunts and moans as the warm soapy mixture clashes with her bowels. “Mind over matter, Pamela. You can always take more than you think you can,” the doc says as he continues to flood her rectal gates, assuring her grunts of discomfort are just her being a wimp and not willing to take it like a champ. The doc removes the balloon-tipped nozzle from Pam’s ass and that’s when it happens; the tides smash up against the levees, and the waters finally break free from their cramped sanctuary. Stream after stream of shitty soapy water squirt from Pam’s asshole and hit the bedpan. Small bits of shit bob up and down in the bowl like lillipads caught up in a thunderstorm while the camera makes quick cut-aways to the doc and Burt. Both men are obviously enjoying themselves way too much. For the doc, it’s somewhat understandable why he sweats like a pedophile locked in an orphanage. The reek of hot turd water has made his female accomplice quite moist, which causes her to react quite gracefully to the situation: she gets on her knees and proceeds to take the doctor’s dick down her throat before wiping his jizz all over her face while barely even inches from her nostrils and open mouth a Hershey factory has just been bombarded with a nuclear strike force. “Oh cum! And shit! And piss! All over my face!” she shrieks as Poor Jean is squirting like there is no tomorrow.

Burt’s watching all of this behind glass, but nevertheless, it is effecting him in a similar, but possibly more extreme matter. From this moment on something in his psyche snaps and his chemistry is forever altered. Never again will he be just a legs, tits, or ass man. After seeing the transcendent beauty of a real life enemea being performed right in front of his very eyes he’ll never be able to go back to his old way again. Everything is just so… so… CLEAN!
Burt heads home, but not before buying a stack of dirty— and I mean “dirty”—magazines. Flipping through the appropriately titled “Water & Power Monthly” he excitedly preaches to himself about the proper balance of morality and responsible hygiene. He laments about how dirty the girls in these magazines are but then finds a certain kind of graceful levity with the real world and his fantasy woman from across the street. “That stewardess doesn’t need any of this. She’s already clean, on the inside and out.” He is so sure of this fact that he rushes to the window to prove it to himself.
Unfortunately he picked a bad time.

Through the viewfinder we see, filmed in true Hitchcockian fashion, the lovely stewardess attempting to cannibalize her boyfriend whole. “Hey! There’s a man in your apartment!” he screams in disbelief. “Don’t let him touch you like that…. Oh, Oh no… No… Your enjoying it aren’t you? How can you let him stick his cock inside you like that?” Burt is crestfallen. This is not the woman he thought she was. She looked so much different than all the others, classier than all the trash that worked the streets. But alas, she takes cock in the same aesthetically pleasing yet physically uncomfortable positions like all the rest.

Burt is sent into a rage realizing that nothing in this world is good anymore. Women are all the same, filthy, dirty whores. Burt releases his rage into his journal, sounding more like Travis Bickle than Travis Bickle sounds like Travis Bickle:
“October 16th. My life finally has a purpose…. I always knew that the filth on the underbelly of this city was growing, but I didn’t know what to do about it. Now I do.” He goes on about the stewardess, reiterating his horrifying discovery that she was just like the others. “She’s dirty. But maybe I can fix her. Maybe I can make her clean again.”
As his voiceover reverberates to the score of another familiar Bernard Harmann score, Burt prepares himself. He packs the hot water bag in his satchel and tucks a revolver in his pants. Things are going to change. She might not like what’s going to happen, but it’s only for her own good. She will be saved, cleansed, redeemed.
He breaks into her apartment. Drawing his revolver he meets up with her in the shower. Immediately following a quickie rape session he wastes no time in jamming the nozzle up her sphincter and then sitting her on the toilet. But reservations about the second part in his plan soon arise however when he begins to think it over. It’s a logical reaction to have. After all, this woman is just dirty, dirty filth. Who’s to say that she is incapable of lying or, worse yet, incapable of mocking faking dropping a deuce? Burt is dealing with a very sick individual here. It only makes sense that he would guide her to an open area, like the tub, to make sure that all the shit comes out and she doesn’t cheat him of any of it.
And this, my friends, is the birth of the TubGirl meme.

And this is just the first step in the cleansing process initiated by Burt. To reiterate his journal entries, this has become his life, all it has boiled down to and all that matters is the cleansing of a disgusting, filthy world. He alienates his girlfriend, essentially trading her in for his new altruistic purpose. He spends what is left of his money buying up and hording “equipment.” Burt isn’t just going out for a few more kicks. Burt is going to go out in a rectal explosion, cleaning these streets once and for all. His next victims are a pair of college co-eds, sisters. Incestuous sluts. They need to be taught a lesson…. But not before Gillis can stand about five feet away from them and watch them eat each other out for about five minutes, amazingly without either one of them noticing his presence in the room.
The sisters’ fates have already been written by this point. They end up squirting cold Folgers coffee in the tub like all the rest. But they are finally clean, baptized in their own liquid excrement.

While Burt is going on his spring cleaning tour top notch rape squad investigators are hot on his trail, tracking his every reported crime. Hard at work in their lower Manhattan office, which looks eerily similar to my freshman year college dorm room, they take a break and head down for lunch at Nathan’s Hotdogs, which has to be the single greatest implementation of product placement I have seen in any film. They talk about their manhunt, introducing the idea of a stakeout, producing a beautiful insider slut as bait for Burt’s cleansing. And so the idea is a go. Burt picks her up off the street as if she is her next victim and finds his way into his apartment. But Burt is quicker than she or anyone thinks. He knows she’s a cop, and knows she’s out to entrap him, to stop him from his greater purpose. It’s a purpose that is much more important to him than any of his captors seem to realize. A simple stakeout is not going to stop him from reaching his goals for humanity. Burt will get away, from her and from the rest of the cops, but not before he punishes her for being a liar and a cheat. I’d tell you how Burt punishes her, but I don’t want to give any major plot points away…

“Water Power” is one of those films that exploitation and sleaze fans really need to see if only for its wonderfully grimey atmosphere and the near perfect performance from Jamie Gillis who I’m somewhat amazed by the fact that he never found his way into mainstream films as he has proven himself here (as well as his polar opposite performance in “The Opening of Misty Beethoven”) as being quite a talented, even versatile, character actor. In fact, for “Water Power,” he is a perfect match for the film’s delirium humor. He delivers his lines like William Burroughs reading from a transcript of the “No Hope with Dope” episode of “Saved by the Bell.” The stoic intensity matched with the escalating absurdity of the dialogue and situations involved is almost too perfect. Technically it is pornography, but this is not the kind of movie I can see any random drifter wandering into the back row of a porn theater only to shoot his wad onto the back of the head of the gent sitting in front of him before leaving*. It’s a great black comedy and an unusually involving one at that. To paraphrase the immortal Jack Horner: It’s the type of film that makes you just sit there staring at the screen. You’re just going to have to sit there for awhile and soak in it.

*Eh, you can partially disregard that. If I walked into a theater showing this movie and actually found someone in one of the aisles masturbating to it, even in the seediest of porn dens, I would probably be deeply concerned about their mental stability. But I am saying that as an active member of the thought police, so my perspectives might be a little bit more skewed than yours.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Let’s face it, the 1970’s is a decade in film that mankind will possibly never see again. On the mainstream we had the New Hollywood lot, totally reinventing and forever changing the film medium. Malick, Coppola, Scorsese, Altman, Peckinpah, and Cassavettes. If you didn’t hear of them before 1972 you were surely about to, their best and most challenging films were only a breath away. On the exploitation and drive-in circuits the world was seeing Russ Meyer at his most menacingly existential or watching some skinny 25 year old kid from Baltimore who would one day inspire Tony Award winning musicals film a 300 pound transgendered gentlewoman eating a pile of steaming dogshit straight from the pooch’s asshole. Obviously, some strange films were being produced at the time but these films have helped tremendously in keeping would-be felons off the streets and instead placing them in back rows of musty 42nd street theaters. And no such industry has been so widespread in this humanitarian cause like the porn industry of the day. What is strange about the porn industry of this time is that, unlike say a modern title like “Spermshitters 12”, pornography usually involved more than just double penetrations and cumshots. Even some films like “The Opening of Misty Beethoven,” which Tom Snyder later called one of the best films of 1976, carried a certain amount of class and style that is almost completely barren from the industry as we know it today. But if they weren’t clever enough for satire or witty dialogue then you can be assured that they would rely on something much grander: a cheap gimmick. And what better way to satisfy this approach than dedicating an entire film to a starlet who had the misfortune of entering this world with some nasty deformities which would cause her to have an amputation on her lower left leg at a young age, leaving the limb looking very similar to the horsedick that tore through the colon of Kenneth “Mr. Hands” Pinyan? Okay, I can probably think of a few better gimmicks (While we’re on the subject, anyone know the name of that movie Wendy O’Williams did where she shot pingpong balls out of her pussy for 45 minutes?...). But nevertheless, Jeanne Silver, our amputated seductress, provides enough bizarre entertainment value to keep any potential spree-killer glued to their seats in amusement and wonder.

The film opens up innocently enough: a close-up of a hungry elderly couple enjoying the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet at Red Lobster. With their mouths hanging open and their salivation glands working in overdrive they hungrily eat away at their rustic clam dinner before the camera eventually cuts away to a three-way already well in progress. The stars of this sequence: a two blondes and Aaron Eckhart with a mustache. Everyone is having a good, old fashioned fuck – nothing too strange or new going on here: just some muffdiving, blowjobs, and the like when suddenly, at about four minutes in some strange music begins to cue up. Flutes and an organ, sloppy and out of sync, begin to fill the soundless void, ushering in a strangely uncomfortable atmosphere. It's like the soundtrack to "Irreversible" as realized by Gary Numan. You watch it sort of in a trance, but eventually you come to after realizing that the one girl, who had previously been wearing knee-high socks, now has half her leg in the other girl’s vagina. And this is just the prologue.

The film follows a rather loose narrative. We, as the audience are never fully given the who, what, where, when, why, or how, but instead we must formulate them together in our own minds by what the film has given us: a half a dozen brief vignettes featuring our protagonist as she wanders in and out of life, meeting strange men and women and discussing the values and morays of life and existence before shoving her penile-shaped stump so far up their asses that she pushes back the approaching Andromeda galaxy by several million lightyears.

In these vignettes that precede the stump-fucking we learn quite a lot about Jeanne and her lifestory. In the third story of the film Jeanne tells us about the time when she seduced two of her na├»ve female classmates by showing them photos of her pornographic magazine shoots. “Is that like, the same size as a cock?” her one pothead classmate eagerly asks while looking over a photo of a salivating girl about to swallow Jeanne’s stump whole. With much pride and satisfaction Jeanne boasts, “I’ve actually been told that its bigger than ‘Lil Johnny Holmes.” And that is when Jeanne really sells it. “It’s a lot like a cock, except that it doesn’t cum. So you don’t have to worry about getting pregnant or any kinds of disease.” After about five additional minutes of these three stoners muttering on about stumps and knee-fucking men’s assholes Jeanne finally woos the two of them enough to take a ride. The next shot we see is of the tentacle-looking stump titillating their furry asspussies before getting sucked into the void. I’d say it’s quite disturbing, but I’ve watched Asian women shove live eels up their assholes and shit them out into a willing participant’s mouth before, so it’s still fairly tame by today’s standards.

We move on with Jeanne to several other scenes, all replete with an introduction by Jeanne. In one she talks about how she surprised veteran pornstar and TV Funnyman Paul Thomas at one of his Birthday bashes. Carrying around a tin of lube like a character from Burroughs’ “Wild Boys” Jeanne quickly goes to work. I’m not sure, but it must be quite tiring to be like Jeanne. The stump gets far too much attention to the point where it seems like it would be exhausting to put up with. Let’s face it, if you’re casting a porn movie and ol’ pegleg shows up on your set you can guarantee that there is no way you’ll be able to overlook her deformity. At the end of the day someone is going to get a mangled foot up their ass.

Jeanne’s last film credit according to IMDb was in 1986. I’m sure there are a lot of reasons for why it’s been over 20 years since she ever appeared in anything. Maybe she got tired of the business, or perhaps the business just grew tired of her. But there’s something about her gimmick that really gets me wondering. Was her stump so overworked early on in her career that it eventually just withered away to a mass of disgusting gristle and bone? It may be a long shot, but it doesn’t at all seem improbable to me. I don’t know how many reputable medical professionals would look at this film, see the anal-to-vaginal-to-mouth abuse that stump takes and come back smiling in approval of that treatment.

“Long Jeanne Silver” is a somewhat interesting look at the budding gonzo porn industry of its time. But I’m not sure how erotic or shocking or unique it really is when I put it in perspective. We live in the age of technology where we can just type a few words into a search engine and discover that the depths of humanity really has no ending point. Everything from videos of men mutilating their genitals with hatchets and razor wire to girls barfing and shitting into each other’s mouths are available to us – and they’re not even sold on the seedy back-alleys where you take your girlfriend to terminate the pregnancy by paying the Peurto Rican kids to hit her in the stomach with the waffle ball bat, they’re now mainstream phenomenon. So it’s an interesting time capsule but in 2009 a girl shoving a pegleg up a man’s butt is no longer unusual or exotic; it’s an upcoming reality show on VH1. Putting this all into perspective I suppose we should all be equally terrified of what the future will bring. I don't think any of us are prepared. The future is terrible.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Ghastly Ones (1966)

THE GHASTLY ONES (1968. Andy Milligan) – 6-

I guess it’s kind of fitting that my next movie, following Sleepwalkers, is a film which Stephen King has panned in his non-fiction book “Danse Macabre,” claiming it as one of the worst examples the horror genre ever had to offer. While I can’t say Andy Milligan was a good, or even competent, filmmaker I don’t think any of the few films I have seen from the guy can represent the bottom of the barrel of the genre. In fact, there’s something strangely alluring and charming about them; even if they were just cheaply poorly-produced cash grabs made for the exploitation/drive-in circuit. There’s absolutely nothing in them that reeks of pretentious self-importance, which I can find far more offensive than something, like The Ghastly Ones, which looks like it was filmed on a camera that was purchased with Kellogg’s box tops. It is indeed a bad movie, a terrible one, but not without its charm—even if much of it was unintentional.

As far as the notoriously bad exploitation directors of the 60’s go, Andy Milligan might have been one of the more interesting figures of the time. Openly gay and misogynistic (also misanthropic), he married one of his female actresses and made a slew of crummy exploitation films on the cheap, usually working alongside some very shady and crooked people like the father and son duo William and Lew Mishkin who, according to rumor, had most of his early films melted down for their silver content. Milligan might have not been much better. He was a certifiable headcase with some severe mommy-issues, and you can tell that just by watching any of his films (usually there is a wicked, old bitch playing the mother character in any one of them). Additionally, some of his mother’s traits were passed down to him; he was notoriously sadistic and had little interest in the well-being for others, especially his actors. His films did a pretty good job of exemplifying his manic, abusive personality. They’re insipid and all over the place, and that’s not even mentioning the impulsive outbreaks of sex and violence, which seems to occur, without reason or logic, over and over again. The Ghastly Ones remains to be his most, uhm, critically acclaimed film—if you can even call it that. And it is really no different from the rest.

Here Milligan takes the same Old Dark House/Haunting of Hill House tale and spins it around for degenerate audiences. Three couples are summoned to spend a night at a dark and dreary house in order to obtain some cold hard cash left in a will from one of their old acquaintances. The will dictates that they are required to spend the night in “sexual harmony” with one another in order to receive the pay. They immediately agree and off they are to the spooky old house featuring some absolutely ghastly 60’s carpeting and wallpaper designs. And what’s a movie without a bumbling invalid houseguest? In Milligan’s film we have “Colin,” a drooling, buck-fanged hunchback who greets the guests by displaying his awesome hunting and gathering skills by picking up a rabbit and, for no reason what-so-ever, begins to hungrily chew out its stomach.

There’s not a lot of unexpected twists and turns in The Ghastly Ones. It’s pretty much a generic telling of the same old story, except now with some ridiculously campy gore scenes and a few sets of tits thrown in for good measure. One of the most positive things I can say about it, however, is the acting—which, from a few people, is surprisingly… kind of good! The screen version of Milligan’s mother here (I think her name is Carol Manning) is actually kind of fun to watch, especially during her bizarre tangential monologue at the end of the film where she very neatly describes and summarizes the entire film in a rambling, esoteric dialogue that no human being would ever say, ever. One of the few people in this film that actually had anything baring any semblance at all to a steady film career showed up in Scorsese’s Mean Streets just a few years later, and even today still gets work as a small-time character actor. That’s pretty impressive for making a film debut in a film inspired by hours of huffing paint thinner.

One of the most confusing things about The Ghastly Ones, however, is the time period in which it is apparently suppose to be set in. I watched the movie with no real, solid former knowledge of what it was about and thought, for more than three fourths of the film, that it was actually set in present day. All the characters spoke like it was 1968, their hairstyles and sideburns were all from that period, and the house looked like it had to have been built within the past 50 years of production. The only thing that was throwing me off was the wardrobe. I had absolutely no idea why the hell everyone was wearing these Victorian drabs (which Milligan, under the pseudonym “Raffine,” tailored himself using, what I assume, were second-hand fabrics and old tablecloths). It was perplexing, and as much as it seemed like it, I just had trouble accepting the fact that this movie was probably supposedly taking place in the 1800’s.

All in all, it’s a movie for people that like bad movies. It’s really no worse or no better than what a lot of the shit-auteurs were doing at the time. It’s a little bit worse than a lot of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ efforts (after all, most of those were very obviously intentionally tongue-in-cheek) but it’s really about as good as anything Ed Wood or Ted Mikels did, which is to say that it’s still pretty bad, but there’s a whole lot worse out there.

Sleepwalkers (1992)

SLEEPWALKERS (1992. Mick Garris) – 5.5 -

There are times in which I really feel forced to question Stephen King’s credibility, not just as a storyteller but as a critic also. I respect King for aiding in spreading the good word about thy savior Jim Thompson, but am really unsure as to what to think about some of his comments, both good and bad, regarding the adaptations made from his work. Yeah, I hate to beat a dead horse (actually, I love it) but I have to go back to The Shining. King, despite being impressed by some of the Kubrick’s aesthetics and atmospheres, ultimately condemned the film and wanted nothing to do with it; it strayed too far from his original story and took far too many artistic liberties. Fair enough. King was tired of directors doing this, so he began approving the director’s who wanted to adapt his work… which evidently led to his approval of Sleepwalkers, which apparently he thought was actually good. Good enough to work with director Mick “Critters 2” Garris several times after that, including a made-for-television remake of The Shining. Apparently not even being struck by a moving van has put any sense into King.

The back story itself is pretty dumb: nomadic shapeshifting incestuous creatures, who apparently are debilitated by the scratches of cats, take on the form of human identity in order to lure and feed on virgins. But the execution is even lamer: All the main characters are pretty much retarded and the main “sleepwalker” villain wears V-Neck sweaters—probably the most inoffensive and least threatening choice of wardrobe. His would-be “victim” is equally as obnoxious, but it’s the surplus of bumbling cops that really makes this movie painful to watch in places: Jesus Christ, that shit is never funny. Even worse is the amount of retarded one-liners being shot out like bullets after someone is either stabbed in the ear with a chopstick (“Copcabob!”) or is stabbed in the back with an ear of corn (“No dessert until you finish your vegetables!”). If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, there is even a chase scene featuring the bombastic shitrock of Extreme twanging away on the soundtrack. I haven’t seen the movie since its first run on Cinemax and I remember it being a lot better (but then again, I was probably like 8 at the time) but here, it feels like I’m stuck in 1992 for 90 minutes. This isn’t a movie that has aged particularly well. It’s only 16 and is already old and haggard. That’s really depressing.

Ron Perlman is in this, but I don’t really know why. He basically just shows up as star power then gets killed off. Same thing goes for the film’s second biggest star: that fat guy from Beetlejuice. He plays some nosey highschool English teacher who is the first to suspect that the v-necked clad antagonist isn’t the person he says he is! (Really? Why would he even care? Like high school teachers are paid enough to give a shit about forged records). The movie is a mess, but kind of entertaining… you know, if you only decide to watch it once and immediately forget about it there after. Unfortunately, I’ve now seen it maybe two or thee times. The honeymoon is over. I’m leaving this bitch at the alter. She can find her own way home.

A Night to Dismember (1983?)

It’s fall-cleaning in my room again. For the past couple weeks I’ve been doing a massive turn-over, throwing out dozens of old VHS tapes and stacking up just as many DVDs that I don’t want in order to sell. Because I use to be a hoarder before NetFlix came around and financially saved me, there’s a ton of movies I’ve owned since I first got a DVD player in 2001, but have never ever seen. A Night to Dismember is just one of those movies. I watched it for the first time yesterday; something really must have been wrong with me at 16 to blind buy a movie like this.

OK, so, the “plot” of A Night to Dismember is about, uhm, run-of-the-mill for most 80’s slasher flicks. If the movie isn’t about revenge for some fraternity/high school prank gone wrong then it is definitely about a former axe-murderer who escaped/was released from an insane asylum but is still clearly still unstable. Hardcore porn star Samantha Fox stars as Vicki Kent who may have been the former axe-murderer, or maybe it was her sister? I’m not really sure, and I couldn’t really give a rat’s ass either. A Night to Dismember is beyond incomprehensible. The film was shot in 1979, but most of the footage from the original print was either lost, sabotaged, or stolen. Either way, it was never recovered. Instead of doing her part in re-shooting much of the film, Wishman just slapped the remaining footage together, and it shows. To make matters even worse, Surprise! Surprise!, Doris Wishman was an inept filmmaker to begin with. What’s left of the film is almost disturbing in its incompetence. Scenes are clearly misplaced, out of order and Wishman did absolutely nothing to make the transitions any less vaguer than they are. Scenes keep re-appearing or cutting off midway through for no reason other than bungled editing. The movie has all the skill and maturity of your average 4 year old.

The film was shot in 8mm and originally recorded with no sound. In order to compensate for this, Wishman re-dubbed the voices of the cast (seemingly with one person doing all the parts) and added a voiceover narration from the part of a detective/pervert who is somehow involved in the story. Our narrator annoys the audience as he explains every detail, no matter how trivial, that goes on in each scene whether it warrants it or not. Yes, he’ll literally tells us what the characters are thinking (like anyone would really care?) or what they are doing on screen. Tom Perrota and Todd Field were probably influenced by this movie when they teamed up to write Little Children, which has a similar, completely useless and tiring, narration accompanying the entire film. The narrator of A Night to Dismember frequently misspeaks (“Why was Billy tried frighten her?”), repeats himself, or uses a ton of run-on sentences.

But let’s continue on with the audio problems:
Clearly Wishman had no money for sound effects. At all. Instead, for whatever reason, she came up with the brilliant idea of just using the same person(s) that provided the dubbing/narration of the film to provide their own. Great idea, really. So now every time an axe appears on screen, ready to slowly and clumsily strike (or, in this case, lightly brush up against) someone all you hear is the narrator making “Whoosh!” sounds into a cassette recorder. And why stop there? The music too, is something to be heard to be believed. It sure was nice of the producers of Match Game to allow Wishman to use their theme song as the score of her film, but was it really necessary to just throw the generic elevator-music in whenever? The kill scenes are kind of funny because of its rather strange/shitty choice of music, but the rest of the film is just…odd. The music gets thrown in arbitrarily and without any kind of sense or reason at all. It’ll come on for 1-2 seconds then cut out before cutting back in 10 seconds later; there’s no attempt to set any kind of mood or atmosphere or anything at all with it… It just exists.

I can go on an on, but why bother? I know, it sounds hilarious. And for the first 20 minutes, it actually is. A Night to Dismember is so ugly and amateurish that it looks and feels like it HAD to have been intended this way as a tongue-in-cheek parody of bad exploitation films, but it’s real! And after about a half-hour the novelty of watching it begins to wear thin. It no longer becomes funny, just plain depressing. If you get through its grueling 69 minutes you’ll just wonder what has happened to your life where you have 69 minutes to dedicate to A Night to Dismember.