Category Archives: film

Shut Up It’s Time For Troma

Reasons Why I Love Troma

  • Independent sleazeball films by people who LOVE movies and HATE evil corporate soul sucking overlords make me wet.
  • Gender anarchy
  • Gratuitous violence and gore that will make you laugh
  • Totally offensive
  • Anti-insitution
  • Hella leftist
  • Totally gross
  • Way more complex than meets the eye
  • Makes me want to make more movies
  • Reminds me to have fun while living and to call out the assholes
  • Weird sexual shit happening all the time
  • Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!
  • Well help filter out who your real friends are.
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Queer Porn Cohort At The Quickies

OFFICIAL event photo featuring Reid Mihalko, Jiz Lee, Allison Moon, and Me!

There was Halloween in the air when the Castro Theater in San Francisco opened itself up as the host for the GoodVibes “Quickies,” this past October 26, 2012. It’s been the home of the festival since 2006. What first started out as rag tag, homemade erotic films has now become an international festival with a focus on sexuality that may or may not include nudity or graphic sexual content at all. There are a lot of upsides to the festival including shorts of the non-erotic variety but as the amount of porno decreases and the number of really slutty (so far as festival entries are concerned) flicks that could be distributed or screen in safe for work venues, I start to wonder if the festival should be renamed “You Tube Videos Gone Wild.”

I say this because erotic films really don’t get to be screen and enjoyed in many places. For one, the audience has to be carded lest the dangerous ideas of sexuality destroy our innocent and vulnerable youth. On top of that, you have to be on the lookout for innocent and vulnerable adults who protest events that screen independent erotic features and try to get them shut down for the over 18 crowd as well.The Adult Video News (AVN) awards focus on a particular segment and aesthetic of a global genre, the Feminist Porn Awards are a burgeoning venue for alternative porn, but I do have hazy fantasies where the best of truly amateur erotic and fetish films are screened because they never cease to amaze me  with the curveballs of bad budget and niche vision they throw at an audience.

What I’m saying is that a curated selection of the “Best Of Clips4Sale” would be a night of unprecedented surrealist, evocative, and absurdist erotic film and it would be well worth the price of admission to see on a big screen in one night.

But we aren’t talking about my fantasy film festivals right now.

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All Hail Murnau

He was gay. He was serious. He made magic with light and lenses and the imagination.

Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe was born in Bielefeld on December 28, 1888 but the world knows him best as F.W. Murnau. He died on March 11, 1931 from a car accident on the Pacific Coast Highway near Santa Barbara, CA. Only 11 people were in attendance at his funeral near Berlin, one of whom was the great Greta Garbo who commissioned a death mask of his face she kept displayed on her desk in Hollywood, CA. He was 42 years old when he died.

We have cameras everywhere we go now. On our phones, inside parking garages, at red lights, inside retail businesses, outside our homes, inside teddy bears that spy on babysitters and house cleaners, inside schools, and pretty much anywhere there is a source of electric power to get one turned on properly. Like cars, we don’t often think much about how they work. It wasn’t until 1895 that the first moving picture was projected for a paying audience of greater than 1. It was a novel medium with many detractors who were convinced that there wasn’t a real future for motion pictures and it was artists like Murnau who would master this new technology and take it to stunning heights that would quicker our breath and jump start our pulse.

As with anyone I write about, I will once again add the caveat that I do not maintain crushes like a teenage girl. I did not maintain such practices even as a teenage girl. Rather than get obsessive about a person, I tend to get more obsessive about the products of their work. There’s a lot to obsess over in any given frame of a Murnau film.

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Horror Is My Porn


When I was little, I was fascinated by the horror movie section and the video rental place in my hometown. I wasn’t allowed to watch those movies and their forbidden nature beckoned me. I read the covers of every horror film in my reach while appropriate videos were selected for me. This has been a serendipitous asset during trivia games because while I may not have seen all of these movies I have bizarre facts about them tucked away in my brain because the mind is a strange and wonderful place with bizarre data hoarding patterns.

I remember writing junior high essays on Alfred Hitchcock and delighted in renting and watching as many of his films as he could while diving into biographies about his life and looking into his source materials. I felt my skin flush when I read that he dodged film code rules about the 3 second maximum length for an on camera kiss by having his characters stop to whisper in one another’s ears, to zoom in on a moving hand, to return to a kiss, and create a product that followed all the rules but was sexy as hell anyway. I loved the utterly pornographic diamonds on Grace Kelly’s neck in To Catch A Thief. I cheer for all the cinema rogues who found ways to speak the language of the erotic and turn a nose up to the draconian absexuals on censorship boards baffled by the fact that sex will always find a way.

I couldn’t be unglued from AMC during Halloween season. I was a dedicated Mystery Science Theater 3000 fanatic. I studied posters, purchased trailer compilations, and absolutely delighted in all of the very intimate stories about humanity in all sorts of creative and hyperbolic grandeur. Movie monsters delight me, all of my senses are piqued, and I’m likely to laugh and cheer through gore and spurting arteries, and a racing pulse, and loud sounds that make you jump in your seat. I sound like a hyena when I screen a horror film I love but then again, I was also notorious for being a giggling SM bottom who processes through howling laughter.

I had the pleasure of taking a class on horror films hosted by my literature department because of its strong focus on narrative analysis. The film department focused on different elements of cinema and this one was about the storytelling. It was a delightful class and every week a classic and slightly esoteric film would be projected in the biggest multimedia classroom on my campus. A state of the art digital media amphitheater with surround sound and climate control where I could experience of black and white ghostly delights.

Whether it’s fetish or just serendipity, I would sit in the back and watch while casually humping the inside of my blue jeans as the stories progressed the way I sometimes do while watching The Twilight  Zone or good German Expressionism. Nosferatu’s hand shadow creeping down the body of a woman in bed still tickles my fancy every time. The tension in Cat People makes me purr in delight. Getting to see these films on the big screen with a lecture notes, a keen eye, and a redwood forest to walk home through in the dark resulted in more than one evening booty call for me.

What I love about fall is that people are willing to indulge in the spooky and the sexy. Now, sexy should not be compulsory and I’m never happy when I see young women looking obviously uncomfortable, tugging at the miniskirts of their costumes, ambivalent about their exposure. However, spotting the sexuality in any of these ghouls and goblins isn’t wholly misplaced, either. There’s always a sexual undercurrent and Halloween seems to punctuate that.

I’ll be watching lots of my favorite horror films and sharing them here for you. One thing I will be keeping track of is death toll by gender. A lot of feminists have focused on the woman’s body in horror films but what we’ve forgotten is that a lot men are knocked off as preludes to the final confrontation climax scene. There’s a lot of interesting observations in “Final Girl” analysis  but it never really accounts for the what happens with the male body as a veritable sacrifice without a second thought. There is sexism in horror films but that means there are limitations on femininity and masculinity. I think it’s also interesting who is more likely to have an on camera fatality than off-camera and why.

I’ve made observations that a lot of male characters are killed off in horror films and I’ve observed that their deaths tend to happen on camera more often. Still, I don’t know how this holds up and I’m probably doing a fair amount of my own filtering. Given that I already have a throbbing clit for horror films both old and modern, I like the idea of watching a bunch and breaking them down for a sex and gender perspective. I’m also excited for whatever input you might have.

Coming Soon: Nosferatu

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A Very GrownUp And Mature Post-Collegiate Analysis Of “The Labyrinth.”

Cinematic poster for The Labyrinth featuring David Bowie holding a crystal containing the image of Jennifer Connelly

“Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great… For my will is as strong as yours. My kingdom is great… Damn. I can never remember that line.”

Gag me with a spoon! I mean far out! I mean, damn am I really that old?

Labyrinth is up on Netflix and I thought it was time for a post-collegiate analysis of the film. I don’t really have narrate the plot because odds are, you’ve seen or heard of this film. Jennifer Connelly plays obnoxious jail bait for a crystal-ball fondling David Bowie in a very muppet coming-of-age tale.

The strength of my purple diesel aside, I had a major breakthrough about the film. “The Labyrinth” is actually a stand in for “The Patriarchy.” Oh yes. Here it goes:

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Unrealized Horror Films

[Bbox] Magazine!”]

On the cover of [SSex

There are two films which strike utter horror into me when view them in one neat sitting. Mind you, I think they are also great films with competent acting, strong direction, catchy phrases, and an ability to get inside your head for extended and often unwanted periods of time. I will watch individual scenes of them entirely captivated but I always depart before the ending and the ugly gnawing feeling they give me when viewed in one complete dose.

These films are: The Wizard Of Oz (1939) and It’s A Wonderful Life (1946).

I watch slasher flicks with glee and cheesy horror with rapt attention and extensive note taking. My favorite film genres are horror, comedy, and pornography. When I was a child, I wasn’t allowed to watch the scary movies but I always ran straight into the horror section and studied the covers and synopsis on the back. I actually fare well in horror trivia for these reasons even though there are large gaps in my viewing record. Very little on the screen actually scares or terrifies me. I find the traditionally frightening quite exciting and entertaining. Nothing brings a smile to my face like a gory and bloody on-camera evisceration. I am delighted by the fact that it is not real. I love watching artists communicate their imaginations to me in a skillful way.

When I watch those above films from start to finish, however, I feel no delight in the human condition. I can be no longer at ease at the end of these films because of the way that they ultimately laud mediocrity and the status quo. Allow me to explain.

The story of Dorthy in Oz is amazing. It’s a neat and tidy hero’s journey with delightful imagery that has captivated audiences for years. I remember the first time I watched The Wizard Of Oz. I loved it all; the songs, the costumes, the characters, the sets, and even the flying monkeys. I loved it all. Even at that first childhood viewing, something unsettled me about that ending. It made the entire thing implausible in my mind I mentally deleted it from the record as a grievous error on the part of the editor, clearly.

Oz, you see, is a place of non-stop delight. On the heels of a string of major political victories resulting in the liberation of two large populations of people and finding out the bitter truth that all wizards are really humans behind curtains, Dorthy is offered a leadership role. Everything is in color, the city is a glamorous art deco, she has three gay best friends, her dog is at her side and yet the moral of the story is, for some unknown fucking reason, for her to return to a life in black and white in the midwest during the great depression. Dream big, but happiness can only be truly found in your own black and white, depression era back yard.

Even at a single digit age I had to ask what the fuck was wrong with Dorothy? “The Great Depression” or Oz is a “cake or death” question if you ask me. As I got older, the ending bothered me more and more. Then I stumbled into the great American classic that so many people can’t get enough of, Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life.

Legend has it that the character “George Bailey” was named after a canyon in the city where I spent my childhood and adolescence. Everyone knows lines from this movie at least because television stations will play it for 24 hours straight during the holiday season. Jimmy Stewart delivers his heartwarming performance and everyone knows that every time a bell rings, an angel gets it wings.

Now aside from the sentimental schlock that makes me run in terror the basic premise of the film is: some people are just destined for a life of total mediocrity. George Bailey has dreams. He longs to get out of his town and see the world, have a few adventures, get to really experience life. He watches other people go off and do great things. His brother is a war hero and he stays at home. He has a wife and children that he loves very much but he’s unfulfilled. Well guess what, George: no matter how big you dream, you no matter how strong you yearn, you will fuck up the world order with your own personal happiness. The status quo is the wonderful life.

I have no problems with claustrophobia in literally tight and closed off spaces. When I watch It’s A Wonderful Life I feel like I can’t breathe. I have to open a window and go for a walk. It hangs over me like a sense of dread. What is the fucking meaning of this movie and why is it the perennial classic? I always pretend that the people in the town took up a collection to send poor George Bailey, keeper of unrealized dreams, on a vacation somewhere on the other side of the world alone for a couple of a months. Give the poor guy something.

Langston Hughes wrote the antithesis of It’s A Wonderful Life with impeccable word craft in “Dream Deferred”:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

 

 

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