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By Will ("The Thrill") Viharo
By Will "the Thrill" Viharo
THANKS FOR THE MAMMARIES
Before I get started here, just want to give one final public farewell to the late great RUSS MEYER, one of the most original filmmakers of all time, definitely one of my favorites. His editing techniques were unique and innovative. Of course, saying I watched Russ Meyer movies for the editing is akin to claiming I read Playboy for the articles only partly true. I share Russs obsession for busty, bold, brazen broads, and found his brand of cinematic aesthetic erotic, arousing and exciting. I have the pleasure of knowing the star of my favorite Russ flick, UP!, Raven de la Croix, who appeared in Thrillville a while ago with Double D Avenger. What a glorious gal. Anyway, shes the one who alerted me to Russs demise. Im also email pals with Tura Satana. Another true earthbound heavenly ass-kickin goddess. He sure could pick em. Now hes up there in Booby Heaven. Cant say I feel sorry for him, either. But heres to ya, Russ baby. You left behind one mess of a planet, which you only enriched with your beautiful, bizarre photography of gorgeous, Amazonian women. Cheers.
HOUSE ON (HAUNTED) CAPITOL HILL
By the time some of you read this, the election will be over and either Bush or Kerry will be president for the next four years. Many on the Left claim there is no difference, that they will sit out the election once more, which pretty much guarantees a second term for the worst president in modern day history. I say there is a clear difference:
Bush is Frankenstein to Kerrys Wolf Man.
Dig it: Frankenstein is a dumb, slow-witted brute created by evil forces fucking with nature. His brain is criminally warped, his motivations and actions simple, direct, and primitive, yet he seems indestructible despite his intellectual inadequacies, as he relies solely on brute force to survive. The Wolf Man makes up a lot of flimsy alibis, flaunts his wounded psyche, and flip flops between being human and monster, true; but unlike Frankie, at least most of the time you can reason with him, and he does show remorse for his bad moves while under the influence of the Full Moon (i.e. the Mainstream Electorate). Plus he has great hair.
So my vote goes to The Wolf Man, because he only goes on indiscriminate murder sprees a relatively small part of the time, maybe a few nights a month, but during daylight hours hes a regular, good hearted guy who happens to be cursed. The bulk of his existence is guided by decent human conscience. But Im afraid Frankenstein, a goofy, plodding, blundering, full time fiend with no time off for good behavior, will once again fend off the angry (liberal) villagers storming his White Castle with torches, the inarticulate monster protected and guided by that evil mad doctor of conservative imperialism, Dick Cheney.
The choice is clear enough to me, but hopefully this analogy will make it even clearer for those still undecided.
(With apologies to fans of Frankie, like me dont take it personally, baby, Id rather have a sincere monster like you in charge than a phony like W.).
Ralph Nader is The Mummy - he's not even in this "movie," though he keeps trying to add himself to the credits, plus he's been dead so long he refuses to accept it, cursed with denial, wrapped up in his own self-absorbed issues, slowly but surely dragging his feet along and mumbling ancient incantations, hoping to miraculously "catch up." The Green Party needs to cut off his supply of Tanna leaves or face eternal damnation.
My next column wont be posted till late this year, as Im now writing it every other month and in fact next year might only update it quarterly. Beginning this December, I am reducing Thrillville to once a month at The Parkway, at least until our El Cerrito Speakeasy opens in Fall of 2005, at which point I may have to pull double duty as your local B movie beatnik lounge lizard. Hopefully the Cerrito projection booth will be state of the art and contain both 35mm changeovers and a 16mm projector, greatly expanding my possibilities. After nearly nine years, Im beginning to burn out and repeat myself. I need a little break before I reload late next year. Meantime, the thrills will keep coming less often, but bigger n better than ever.
Anyway, like I was saying, by the time you do read my next column, the election will be history. And sad to say, so may Liberalism in our government. Not on the streets, though. The Revolution has just begun. If Frankenstein actually wins this election even if its via mad science electronic fraud then I fear the Democrats will move even further to the right, rather than making the obvious deduction: playing to the middle and not distinguishing yourselves from the Republicans are wrongheaded strategies, slowly but surely turning you into irrelevant dinosaurs. Better to go down fighting for your principals than as compromising losers who blow with the prevailing bullshit breeze. Democrats need to adopt at least some of the Republicans arrogant Fuck You attitude and fight for what they believe is best for the country with the same amount of conviction displayed by their alleged rivals. Otherwise, were in real danger of going from a Two Party system to a One Party monopoly and for progressives, the party will be over. (I believe Wesley Clark wouldve kicked Bushs ass back to Crawford the Dems fucked up, again. Makes one wonder if theyre not all in this together )
Im an Independent, so Im speaking as a conscientious citizen, not a partisan zombie. This will be (or has been) once again the Democrats election to lose, and they will probably find a way to do it. But heres a WARNING TO ALL GLOATING RIGHT WINGERS: the Political Pendulum wings both ways baby, and when it finally, inevitably swings back our way, it will swing hard and fast ..
Of course, maybe Im being too cynical and Kerry will pull it out at the last minute, like he did during the Demo primaries when he trounced my man Howard Dean, the frontrunner right up until the last minute. But all he really proved is how centrist the Democratic core has become, at all costs even their own ultimate survival as a viable force in our legislature. Mainstream Dems demolished Dean for telling the Truth, then patted him on the back for re-energizing the party. How patronizing. Then in our own supposedly left-leaning state, they helped Republicans successfully pull off an expensive, unjust and unjustifiable recall, replacing an experienced (if dull) politician with a muscle-headed egomaniac. Your basic Democrat has become as integral to the Republicans hostile takeover of our nation as their so-called nemesis, Ralph Nader. Theyre all working in concert to ensure a conservative agenda rules our future. Why, I just dont know. But fuck em all.
Governor Arnold claims to be a social liberal and bi-partisan dealmaker, but when it comes down to it, hes just another Bush-lickin ass-kissin company man. If he really had principals as a person or as a politician hed tell his party, Look, Im fiscally conservative and on those issues Im with you, but your social platform is way too discriminatory, hateful and un-American, so until you get your act together, I refuse to campaign or stump for your presidential candidate. Instead, Arnie got up there on the podium at the NY convention and sucked Big Dick, swallowing his own alleged social conscious in favor of his partys prejudicial, fascistic policies (like any true Nazi would do). He doesnt seem to care if the Constitution gets threatened with amendments outlawing gay marriage and abortion as long as it includes one that would allow immigrants to become president. What a wimp. What a GIRLIE MAN.
WHY I HATE COMCAST (AND CORPORATE SPORTS IN GENERAL)
I know I recently said Hate was a useless emotion. It is. I dont hate Arnold, he seems like hes a fun guy in person. I just have no respect for him. But some assholes out there continue to bring it out in me, despite my best efforts at serenity. Case in point:
Recently, the corporate vampires who hold a monopoly on local cable, Comcast, yanked one of the few channels off the air that made my monthly bloodletting worthwhile: Goodlife TV, (Channel 123), which featured a variety of vintage shows and best of all, my Tuesday night lineup: HAWAIIAN EYE, SURFSIDE 6, and 77 SUNSET STRIP, which I havent missed since I finally got this station about a year ago. Then as of September 1, the idiots who decide the programming for all 900 channels the point of which is to provide DIVERSITY decided they needed to make room for more goddamn sports stations. Here is the angry letter I fired off to some dude supposedly in charge there:
I did get some bullshit response from some apologist lackey, again indicating their research dictated nobody but me was watching GoodLife, and yada yada yada. I wrote back accusing them of mass conformity by pandering to the mainstream, but of course, thats their professional manifesto. Once again, Im pissing in the wind.
GoodLife also shows vintage TV shows like Combat, Maverick, The F.B.I., F-Troop, Superman, the color Honeymooners from the 60s and other great old stuff not even TV Land provides anymore. But their Tuesday night Private Eye lineup was the best my favorite night of television, GONE. Anyway, if you care about preserving Classic Cool and promoting diversity on our local cable network, please email this sucker at email@example.com. Just demand the return of GoodLife TV. If youre a sports fan, good for you you already have an abundance of channels to choose from. If youre reading this column you already understand my point. If not, youre probably another one of these lazy couch potatoes who would rather watch sports than play them (kinda like people who support the war from the safety of their living rooms without actually fighting on the front lines). Im asking them to kindly get off their fat asses for once and let me sit down on mine to enjoy something other than sports. If this keeps up, all 900 channels will look the same reality TV shows, sports, and news controlled by conservative think tanks.
Cable TV reminds me of another wasteland being consumed by corporate plunderers with no respect for our shared cultural heritage: Las Vegas. When Comcast tells me they have to remove one channel to make room for another, its like when Steve Winn decided to blow up all the classic original Strip casinos like the Sands to make way for family friendly theme parks with all the personality of a novelty toilet seat. Hey, Steve and cronies, newsflash: YOURE IN A FUCKING DESERT! Theres not room for your big soulless behemoths AND the little landmarks that put Vegas on the map? Or is the Nevada desert too crowded with Mob-hit corpses? Always room beneath the dirt for irreverent assholes like you, just remember that ..
I love it when some Comcast operator (generally polite, if clueless) tells me one thing on the phone, then when I call back to complain again, the next one tells me something totally different. When I point out the discrepancy, they always say, Well, Im not sure who you talked to . Not sure who I talked to? Like I consulted some yahoo off the street or crank called some poor putz about my cable? I talked to one of your companys reps which meant I talked to COMCAST, you idiot!
Its Mai Tai time.
Anyway, this is how I justify (to me and my patient wife) my ever-growing DVD collection if you rely on cable TV to preserve the classics, youre whistling past a vapid wasteland of forgettable pop culture. You gotta build your own library and educate future generations from your own living room. Anyway, there are alternatives to cable, like Thrillville, and Hollywood even continues to crank out modern movies worth our time and money now and then. Cases in point:
MOST THRILLING MOVIES OF 2004
I always jump the gun with this list, because I just want to get it over with especially last year, when I was adding to my Best of 03 all the way through last Spring, since late qualifying entries like The Cooler were belatedly released and viewed. But like most Americans, I do not learn from past errors, but keep repeating them, hoping they will right themselves without any personal effort. So here goes, My (Initial) Top 10 of 2004, Though I Go Up To Eleven (in no particular order other than as I thought of them), subject to capricious revision thru at least March, 2005:
NOVEMBER IN THRILLVILLE AT THE PARKWAY
Since Ill be scheduling Thrillville shows less frequently through at least the first half of 2005, I also will be adding a lot more live acts to compensate. In fact, Im starting to do that this year, with two multi-media extravaganzas in November. The first, on Thursday, November 4, two days after the election (when Im sure well all need a drink), is MARTINI MADNESS featuring the new documentary OLIVE OR TWIST?, from local swinger Peter Moody, all about the history of this most elegant of cocktails. Was it really invented in Martinez or Manhattan? Who wins the Mai Tai challenge with tiki god Otto Von Stroheim? Therell also be a few loungey short subjects on the bill and PROJECT PIMENTO, (www.projectpimento.com) the worlds greatest lounge band with a theremin, will be performing a live set before the show! Cheers!
Then a week later on Thursday November 11 (moved back so I dont compete with Bob Johnson and Auggie Ragones epic GodzillaFest www.sfgodzillafest.com at the Castro the following week!), the great psychedelic surf band POLLO DEL MAR (www.pollodelmar.com) performs at the PSYCHOTRONIC SEA SHOW which also features wave after wave of ultra-cool vintage marine-themed 16mm shorts from Buzz Bob Ekman! You may recall that The Tiki Goddess graces the cover of Pollo del Mars latest CD, The Golden State, in all her naked mermaid glory, and of course theyll be giving away and selling copious copies. Buzz Bob is busy adding to his film collection just for this gig, with many rare and rockin sea-shorts including some Hawaiian hula numbers, episodes of Gerry Andersons Supermarionation show Stingray, an underwater monster episode of Ultraman, and much, much more! Surfs up!
DECEMBER IN THRILLVILLE AT THE PARKWAY
On Thursday, December 2 Im presenting the greatest James Bond flick ever that didnt star Sean Connery 1969s ON HER MAJESTYS SECRET SERVICE, with one-timer George Lazenby barely filling 007s shoes after Connery called it quits (though he did return for the next one, Diamonds Are Forever, before retiring his PPK again we wont even mention his 80s comeback, best left forgotten.) The sad thing is, OHMSS wouldve been THE greatest Bond flick ever if Connery had starred in it as it is, its still the most emotionally gripping of the series, with some of the coolest action sequences, too. Telly Savalas is arch nemesis Blofeld (the original Dr. Evil) and foxy Diana Rigg (of The Avengers) is Mrs. Bond! For a while, anyway. If youve never seen it, you must not miss this rare big screen revival of an often overlooked super-spy masterpiece. The thrilling ski/bobsled scenes make this perfect viewing for the holidays, too.
Ill probably be hosting another TIKI CHRISTMAS PARTY at The Conga Lounge ( www.congalounge.com) in December, too check the Thrill-bill or sign up for the newsletter for updates.
No matter what, we gotta keep the Faith, cats and kittens. Better times are ahead at least here in Thrillville, haven for all fair-minded, open-hearted hipsters.
NEXT: SWINGIN 6OS CHICKS LOST IN TIME AND SPACE!
Thrillville - Archives for Thrillville Beat