Three Improved Etsy Items

I've individually cast, packaged and shipped over 200 of these to customers the world over, and might have made way more, if only an ersatz copy from China hadn't shown up to steal most of my internet traffic. But now they're in a new, translucent material to make them more lifelike than ever. Still $25 for 16 gigs of memory, same as you'd pay if you were to buy a crummy one from those copycats.

Also cast in a new material, and polychromed with acrylic paints. The original transparent orange version is still available as well.

Now available in the custom-ordered monochromatic tint of your choice. Choose from the samples or invent your own.

And another 100 Slug-Soaps have shipped, so visit the Art-o-Mat website, find a machine near you, and try to go score it (or one of the many other items available from the fine and selfless participating Art-o-Mat artists).

Here's the Fearnet video again if you haven't seen it yet, this time embeddable:

Finally, mark your calendars for two events in September, both here in LA: Monsterpalooza and Days of the Dead.  Look for the Novelties by Stexe banner. I'll be selling most of the items from the Etsy store, as well as a few miscast and discontinued sculptures for pennies on the dollar, so get there early. Spin the Wheel of Prizes (with any $25+ purchase), swipe some swag, or pick up your internet-prepaid customized novelties to avoid shipping costs. Contact me via Etsy messaging for any such requests.


Movie of the Week: Night Train to Terror (1985)

This anthology was mostly assembled post-mortem in an editing suite, condensing three features - in order, Scream Your Head Off (unfinished), Death Wish Club (1983) and Cataclysm (1980) - to digestible length. Voiceover dialogue tries its best to fill in the plot holes. There's also the train scenes: newly shot interstitial footage to  allegedly link the stories together. It's a disorienting, fun, stupid, short-attention-span experience. It could be the strangest, dumbest filmmaking you've seen in all of your years, and yet, few other films have this much entertainment value to offer.

Technical note: this youtube rip is surely copied from one of those bargain basement "50 movies for ten dollars" DVD box sets. The picture quality is wretched. Embrace it as a nostalgic VHS experience, or rent/buy the hi-def blu-ray that was released last year.


Movie of the Week: Just Before Dawn (1981)

New to me, but apparently it's had an enthusiastic following for years. Easily the finest film I've seen from director Jeff Lieberman, best known for Squirm, Blue Sunshine and Satan's Little Helper, movies that aren't all that great. But this has a nice on-location Oregonian setting for the entire film, talented cinematography, and a buildup of suspense that takes its time and doesn't transition to full-blown horror until the third or fourth reel.

Unfairly grouped into the Slasher genre because of the era in which it was released, as well as the teenagers-in-peril scenario. But if you except the opening and closing scenes, there's almost no onscreen violence. It's more closely related to Deliverance, The Hills Have Eyes and Blastfighter: crazy redneck retards hunting down unarmed civilized people in a remote environment is a tried and true, can't-miss formula when done well. It's an assured, practically tasteful thriller.

This youtube video resolution sure is crummy. Looks like a VHS rip. Maybe even a rip of a copy of a VHS done at the cheapskate six-hour EP speed that I always used. There's a better free version here. Or you can always buy or rent it on disc, if you're the type who does that sort of thing.


Jack Hill Double Feature: The Big Doll House (1971) and The Big Bird Cage (1972)

A double-dose of feminist / misogynist Filipino thrills! Doll House invented the genre, with a 125k budget and a 10 million dollar box office draw. But I way prefer the followup Bird Cage for being more technically accomplished and fun. Also, unlike the first film, Bird Cage had a screenplay written by Jack Hill, so his tongue-in-cheek satirical edge makes the inherently sleazy scenario more palatable.

Related: if you have Netflix streaming, don't miss Machete Maidens Unleashed, a recent documentary regarding exploitation movies shot in the Philippines.


Bizarre: The Show for 11-Year Old Boys at Sleepovers

The above title describes how I personally experienced Bizarre, which began airing in 1980 (when cable television first became available in our neighborhood). Staying over at a friend's house, watching a premium channel I didn't have at home, late at night on a weekend, with the volume way down so his parents wouldn't hear, slogging through unfunny skits just for those couple seconds of nudity at the end. It was quite the treat in the pre-internet era for a kid in the sixth grade, let me tell you.

Amazingly, this show was produced by CTV in Canada. It was broadcast there without nakedness or swears (they filmed alternate takes, with the actresses wearing bras or shot from the back) and sold the uncensored version to the Showtime network here in the states for syndication. But without the "adult" content, there seems to be no point. The script is just a means to an end. Witness these three examples, below. They're the Showtime versions, but nudity is obscured by the uploader in accordance with Youtube policy. Even so,  if your co-workers see you watching this, they'll think you're a creep. And a dumbass. Enjoy!