Easily the Best Part of "Howling 2"

Man, that band is cool. And this is the most gratuitous use of Sybil Danning ever witnessed, so it's super-not-appropriate for work.


"The Children" in 19 Minutes

(related post here)

An Excerpt from "Day of the Locust" (1939)

All their lives they had slaved at some kind of dull, heavy labor, behind desks and counters, in the fields and at tedious machines of all sorts, saving their pennies and dreaming of the leisure that would be theirs when they had enough. Finally that day came. They could draw a weekly income of ten or fifteen dollars. Where else should they go but California, the land of sunshine and oranges?

Once there, they discover that sunshine isn’t enough. They get tired of oranges, even of avocado pears and passion fruit. Nothing happens. They don’t know what to do with their time. They haven’t the mental equipment for leisure, the money nor the physical equipment for pleasure. Did they slave so long just to go to an occasional Iowa picnic? What else is there? They watch the waves come in at Venice. There wasn’t any ocean where most of them came form, but after you’ve seen one wave, you’ve seen them all. The same is true of airplanes at Glendale. If only a plane would crash once in a while so that they could watch the passengers being consumed in a “holocaust of flame,” as the newspapers put it. But the planes never crash.

Their boredom becomes more and more terrible. They realize that they’ve been tricked and burn with resentment. Every day of their lives they read the newspapers and went to the movies. Both fed them on lynchings, murder, sex crimes, explosions, wrecks, love nests, fires, miracles, revolutions, war. This daily diet made sophisticates of them. The sun is a joke. Oranges can’t titillate their jaded palates. Nothing can ever be violent enough to make taut their slack minds and bodies. They have been cheated and betrayed. They have slaved and saved for nothing.


Slithis: The Plot Slithins

I daresay this latest round is our best. Visit here for the Slithis archive, selections from the last three years of electronic sensory perception.


Living Stereo

(via dangerousminds.net)


Arcade Klassix

We're on holiday in Portland. Went to check out the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry based on a recommendation. Didn't get much out of it, but we don't have kids. It's passable as an exploratorium for youngsters, but doesn't deliver on the "Industry" part to the level of the museums in Chicago or London, and the Life Sciences galleries, which generally interest me the most, were too dumbed-down for anyone over the age of ten.

But we happened upon the Game On traveling exhibit, which I'd been curious about since it started in 2002. Some highlights:

two models of "Computer Space", the first arcade game. This gorgeous cab was sculpted out of clay by its designer in his kitchen. I've only seen these turned off, but allegedly the game is impossible to figure out. In the center is the computer used to design and program it via punch-card interface.

a low-rider "Space Invaders" cocktail from Japan which requires you to sit on the floor to play it.

Magnavox Odyssey, the first home system. the paddles are out of the case so you can play it on a screen up above, like the hundred other consoles on display.

A whole room of handhelds, most of them playable.

Original Don Bluth animation cels for the "Dragon's Lair" laserdisc arcade game.

A Nintendo "Virtual Boy", the first 3D game system, which I'd never tried before. It's monochromatic, but that just adds to its character.

There's another room of arcade machines circa late 70's-early 80's, all set to free play, but none were rare enough to warrant mention. Also a few pinballs, including an Atari "Space Raiders" widebody, but they're too badly maintained to be enjoyable.

The majority of this enormous exhibit is console games from the 90's to the present. I'm not into that stuff, but most guys younger than myself might be. Also lots of conceptual drawings, so game designers especially should love this show.


Netflix Streaming Rec of the Week: Drum (1976)

This sort-of sequel to "Mandingo" is yet another Dino DeLaurentis high-dollar misfire, starring The Great Warren Oates, Yaphet Kotto and Pam Grier. I saw this on cable with my best friend during a late-night unsupervised sleepover in the seventh grade. It's definitely not for kids. Similar to Caligula in some ways; an Italian-produced, big-budget historical drama, in extremely bad taste, with nudity and depravity in nearly every scene.

But it also tries to latch onto America's mid-70's zeitgeist by putting its foot firmly in the Blaxploitation genre. The slaves are the most humanized characters (there's even a boxing scene early in the film that seems inspired by Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man"), but really, it's just out to exploit everything to its maximum potential. It makes for a morally ambivalent but very entertaining film.

See it HERE.