The Spits DVD
The DVD that you have all been waiting for is here! This disc was put together by wildman Ernie Quintero who is also responsible for the excellent 2003 Chicago Blackout DVD and the full length movie The Hurtin' Crue. This DVD is jam packed with Spits goodness, not only do you get the infamous Chucky & The Spits episodes but also live appearances from the 2002 Chicago Blackout, a very drunken Spits at a party in Chicago, the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle, and two shows taped by yours truly, the infamous party at Fungus Boy Headquarters in Ottawa, Kansas, and in Kansas City the night before. What else do you want? Wait there's more, you also get music videos for "Let Us Play Your Party" & "Don't Shoot", both shot & edited by Ernie Q, you get all that plus a great trailer for the DVD! The shows that I taped have been edited together quite nicely and it makes them a bit more interesting. The only downfall of the DVD is that you don't get the show taped here at the HQ in its entirety, I guess we'll have to put that DVD out ourselves. Entertaining doesn't even come close to describing this fun filled ride. Note: as of now The Spits DVD is only available as a DVD-R and will play in newer DVD players & computers, a full on actual press is in the works. Order from the band themselves here. View trailer here.
left to right: Chucky & The Spits, Don't Shoot Video, Live @ Fungus Boy HQ
Fubar The Movie
Rated R, 80 min, color, DVD, Xenon Pictures
If you only watched the trailer for Fubar you would probably be convinced that this was a real documentary. If you know who musician Paul Spence is from listening to his bands (Lyle Sheraton, CPC Gangbangs) then you already know that Fubar is a “mockumentary” about two Canadian metal heads Terry (Dave Lawrence) and Deaner (Spence) and their white trash ways. Both Terry & Dean are the stereotypical mullet haired, beer drinking, head banging, goofs that we all have met. In this fake documentary filmmaker Farrel Mitchner attempts to follow the main characters around and film their daily lives. Some of the funniest moments come when the guys try to convince their old buddy “Tron”, who has outgrown his metal years and settled down with a girlfriend, into going out to party. When Tron doesn’t show up the guys go out on a drunken path of destruction. What is so great about Fubar is that like Spinal Tap where tons of bands were embarrassed because of the similarities between what they saw on the screen & their real lives, everyone has had people they know that are just like the characters in the movie. Just when things start cooking with the comedy they have to bring the movie down when Dean is diagnosed with nut cancer. While the rest of the movie deals with Dean and his battle with cancer there are still humorous moments. As a whole Fubar is an entertaining movie & this DVD is loaded with special features. First off who would have thought the company responsible for bringing the Dolemite collection, as well as other great Blaxplotation titles, to DVD would put out a Canadian comedy. Just what to you get in the way of extras you ask, for starters there is deleted scenes, music videos, commentary with Terry & Dean (Lawrence & Spence in character), filmmaker commentary, trailers, photo gallery & more. The movie is presented in 1:1.85 widescreen, but is sadly not anamorphic. Fans of Heavy Metal Parking Lot, Spinal Tap, Waiting For Guffman, & American Movie will eat this stuff up. Recommended despite the cancer stuff, which is almost a comedy killer. Be on the look out for my interview with non other than the Deaner himself Paul Spence coming soon!
Rated R, 91 min, color, Columbia Tristar DVD
I first saw this movie on Cinemax years ago & the first thing that got my attention was the main character Gus, a ten year old kid, driving an old Mustang. This is one of those off the wall black comedy slash road trip movie slash bizzaro world things. The best part of this movie is even though the main character is only ten everyone who he encounters on his road trip sees/or treats him as an adult. The story starts off with Gus running away from home & cashing in his penny rolls to make a cross country road trip. Along the way he runs into all sorts of old ball people., these wackos are cameo roles by the likes of Flea, Meatloaf, Martha Quinn, Mary Woronov, Jack Nannce (in a role is similar to the one he played in Wild At Heart), and Drew Barrymore. Along the way Gus becomes obsessed with a gas station game called Motorama (hence the movie’s titles) that no one has played in years. Over the course of the next 90 minutes Gus gets caught up in his quest to collect all the Motoroma cards that he can and win the grand prize. During his trip he runs into a few problems though. One of the best cameos in the movie comes from the late David Lynch regular Jack Nance, he plays the owner of a motel, Gus checks into a room and gets a knock on the door, Nance is wild eyed and tells Gus, “I forgot to tell ‘ya, if you catch any squirrels…give ‘em to me”. The next morning we see Nance’s character gassing the squirrels that he caught with exhaust of his truck. Another great cameo is from Flea, who plays a simple minded fast food cook who comes to the aid of Gus. There are so many bizarre encounters that the main character faces that I would ruin the movie if I gave them away. Fans of quirky off the wall black comedys and just plain what the fuck movies will enjoy this. For comparison I would place this along the lines of Neighbors, Parents, The Dark Backwards, & even Repo Man. Worthy of purchase if you like the movies I just mentioned, I think you can get on DVD for 12 bucks or less, if you’re just curious I suggest renting it if you can find it.
Orgy Of The Dead
Not rated, 92 min, color, Rhino Home Video DVD
Even though he did not direct this, the screenplay is by legendary schlock meister Edward D. Wood Jr., I can imagine Ed sitting down to write this thinking to himself “How can I get 90 minutes worth of topless dancing into a movie and still have little to no plot”. The basic storyline involves a couple who’s car breaks down & they stumble upon a graveyard where longtime Wood pal Criswell watches women dance topless for some reason or other. There’s really not much else going for this movie other than the dancing girls. Rhino has brought this release to DVD with some extras that were not on their previous VHS version, first off there is an interview with director A.C. Stephens about the making of the film, the only other extra is the original theatrical trailer. The picture quality ranges from great in scenes that are well lit to poor pixilated grain in the scenes with lots of stage smoke. If you’re a fan of bad B-Movies or if you just want to check out some topless dancing then this movie is for you. Throw out all ideas of having an actual plot, grab some beer & popcorn and enjoy.
The Day After
1983 not rated, 2 hours 7 min, color, MGM DVD
made for TV movie about the devastation of a nuclear attack on America
holds a special place in my heart. Not only was this movie filmed a mere
20 miles from where I live, but my Uncle was involved in the aiding the
production crew. Some of the movie was filmed in Centropolis, just about
8 miles from where I live, and I clearly remember the day my Parents took
us to see some of the sets used in the film. When the movie was shown
on ABC in 1984 it had a lasting effect on everyone who saw it and made
several people in the Government question our nuclear weapons program.
As a kid I know it scared the shit out of me because at the time there
was a very real possibility that this kind of thing could happen, not
only that but the main story takes place in Lawrence, Kansas a city that
I had seen often as a child. I’m sure to someone who lived outside
of the Mid-West the effect wasn’t the same as it was to those who
were living in the cities that got nuked in the movie. Steve Guttenberg
make a pre-Police Academy appearance, John Lithgow and Jason Robards both
do great jobs in the roles they play. Since this was a made for TV movie
it is presented full frame, sadly there are no special features on this
disc, they could have at least dug up some on air promos you would think.
All in all I’m glad this movie got released on DVD. I recently got
a chance to view this at Liberty Hall Cinema on the big screen & it
made me appreciate this slice of the ’80s all over again.
The Ultimate Travesty:
When Good Movie Art Goes Bad
I'd like to give you some examples of what happens when a studio hires a graphic artists change their home video covers to increase their potential sales. Some companies have a staff of artists who do an amazing job on all of their VHS/DVD covers, but what happens when a catalog title is released on DVD for the first time? Many times the companies will re-work or re-design the original VHS artwork to increase sales or to entice you into renting/buying their titles. Here are a few examples:
Original VHS cover left, new DVD cover right
So you don't see that big of a difference right? Well I do, first off the new DVD cover has the tag line, "There's only one way to win the girl of your dreams", this and the very large picture of Drew Barrymore have nothing to do with the plot. That tagline makes it seem as though the main character is pursing Drew Barrymore who makes a brief (as in 30 second) cameo in the movie. See my review above to see what this movie is really about.
Original VHS cover left, new DVD cover right
I guess MGM thought the original picture of Leatherface and the family were too scary, so they decided to put Dennis Hopper's mug on the DVD. You tell me which one looks better.
Original VHS cover left, new DVD cover right
This cult classic that feature the McDonald brothers from Redd Kross gets the ulgy to pure shit treatment with it's release on DVD. Not only do the McDonald boys get snubbed and don't have their names on both covers, but the new DVD cover is from a very short sequence at the very end of the movie. I sure as hell wouldn't pick up the DVD based on the cover alone.
More to come next time.......
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