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Miles Goodrich - artist

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By Will ("The Thrill") Viharo Waa! - Waa!


By Will "the Thrill" Viharo



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 Russ’s 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, she’s the one who alerted me to Russ’s demise. I’m also email pals with Tura Satana. Another true earthbound heavenly ass-kickin’ goddess. He sure could pick ‘em. Now he’s up there in Booby Heaven. Can’t say I feel sorry for him, either. But here’s 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.


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 Kerry’s Wolf Man.

Bush is Frankenstein to Kerry’s Wolf ManDig 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 he’s a regular, good hearted guy who happens to be cursed. The bulk of his existence is guided by decent human conscience. But I’m 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 – don’t take it personally, baby, I’d 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 won’t be posted till late this year, as I’m 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, I’m 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 it’s via “mad scienceelectronic 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, we’re 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 would’ve kicked Bush’s ass back to Crawford – the Dems fucked up, again. Makes one wonder if they’re not all in this together…)

I’m an Independent, so I’m 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 here’s a Smug BushWARNING 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 I’m 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 Republican’s hostile takeover of our nation as their so-called nemesis, Ralph Nader. They’re all working in concert to ensure a conservative agenda rules our future. Why, I just don’t know. But fuck ‘em all.

Governor Arnold claims to be a social liberal and bi-partisan dealmaker, but when it comes down to it, he’s just another Bush-lickin’ ass-kissin’ company man. If he really had principals – as a person or as a politician – he’d tell his party, “Look, I’m fiscally conservative and on those issues I’m 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 party’s prejudicial, fascistic policies (like any true Nazi would do). He doesn’t 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.


I know I recently said Hate was a useless emotion. It is. I don’t “hate” Arnold, he seems like he’s 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 haven’t 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:

To Whom It May Concern (who is in a position to actually do something about it):

As of September 1 one of my favorite networks, GOODLIFE, was abruptly yanked off the air, I was told by one of your operators to make room for "more sports"???

I am 41, married, white, gainfully employed, intelligent and not a sissy, but I am also not a sports fan, either. I already ignore all the sports programming I'm already paying not to watch. Now you've taken away one of the four or five primary stations that justifies that hefty monthly tab, based on some severely shortsighted and prejudicial "research."

The Tuesday night lineup of "Hawaiian Eye," "Surfside 6" and "77 Sunset Strip" on Goodlife TV (Channel 123) was priceless and worth the monthly bill by itself. My wife also enjoyed "Homefront" every Monday. This was a bad, bad, BAD move on your part.

In response, I have already cancelled the Showtime/Starz segment of my "Grandfather Gold" package or whatever it is, even though it only reduces our monstrous bill by ten bucks a month. The point is, our rates keep getting higher but it seems you keep taking away the channels that make my subscription worthwhile to begin with. I need to stop giving you such a big chunk of my paycheck since you obviously do not value my opinion as a customer. I was neither polled nor notified about this sudden, stupid move. I mean, c'mon people! - there's over 900 channels out there and you can't find room for both a quality "oldies" network and yet another wet T shirt contest or g.d. golf tournament? We're not all head-butting rednecks here in Oaktown, fellas, wake UP!

I'll be sure to spread the word you folks are extremely narrow-minded, short-sighted and unconscientious businesspeople. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a result of some kinda sports-oriented corporate payola, either. At best, you just have no respect for classic Cool.

A VERY dissatisfied, confused and pissed off customer,
Will Viharo (and Monica Cortes, age 31)

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, that’s their professional manifesto. Once again, I’m 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 Just demand the return of GoodLife TV. If you’re a sports fan, good for you – you already have an abundance of channels to choose from. If you’re reading this column you already understand my point. If not, you’re 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). I’m 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, it’s 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: YOU’RE IN A FUCKING DESERT! There’s 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, I’m 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 company’s reps which meant I talked to COMCAST, you idiot!

It’s 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, you’re 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:


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:

  1. SPIDERMAN 2SPIDERMAN 2 – Sam Raimi once again stays true to the source material and creates a Spidey flick that pleases several generations of fans at once. He even finds several creative ways to revive the ‘60s “Spiderman” cartoon theme, one of my all time favorites (Michael Buble sings a swingin’ lounge version at the very end of the final credits, after two typically terrible, instantly forgettable but commercially requisite grunge-rock numbers.) Al Molina made a great Doc Ock. I just hope they continue the threads in this sequel into the third one, and two of my favorite villains, The Lizard and Man Wolf, join forces with the inevitable but unexciting appearance of Hobgoblin. Anyone but Venom – easily one of the least interesting of all the Spidey villains (he’s also after my time as a reader of the comic book.). But who listens to me? Apparently Sam Raimi does, at least so far….

  2. FAHRENHEIT 9/11FAHRENHEIT 9/11 – By the morning of November 3 this searing indictment of the Bush administration’s hawkish, heartless policies (backed up with FACTS and PHOTOGRAPHED DOCUMENTATION, not to mention the usual footage of W. making a total ass of himself) may be rendered to the dustbin of history. The Limbaugh legions will have cause to gloat and mock Michael Moore, one of the greatest patriots in this country’s checkered history. But after all the gloating has subsided and even greater scandals remind the public why W. and company are indeed enemies of the Constitution, not its defenders, Moore will be vindicated as one of the boldest, most creative whistle blowers ever. This is a timeless, vitally important document of tragic corruption.

  3. BAADASSSSSBAADASSSSS – I can’t understand the box office failure of this instant masterpiece (even at The Parkway!). Mario Van Peebles’ film depicting his father Melvin’s heroic efforts to make and distribute one of the seminal films in independent cinema, not to mention the creative turning point in how blacks are regarded in Hollywood, should’ve been a smash. Maybe people must’ve thought it was just a mindless spoof or something,, and if so, they are way the hell off base. But this terrific behind the scenes docudrama – the best movie about making movies since Ed Wood – should gain a cult following even greater than its subject, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Adam “Batman” West’s one scene as an aging gay producer is worth the price of a video rental alone.

  4. KILL BILL, VOLUME 2KILL BILL, VOLUME 2 – it’s amazing to me how well this works as a separate movie rather than a continuation. You’d almost think Tarantino conceived it that way. It’s totally opposite in tone and pace from Volume One, but what it lacks in breakneck action it more than makes up for in compelling exposition and emotional payoff. Together they comprise Quentin’s best work since Pulp Fiction (which only means it’s better than Jackie Brown). I like it better than Reservoir Dogs, too.

  5. SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROWSKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW – sure, it’s all CGI and I often hate this process since it’s so fake looking, but the painstaking recreation of vintage sci-fi magazine covers makes this as irresistibly compelling as a moving pulp painting. This is indeed the ultimate “eye candy”  - it goes down good even if it makes you a bit sick at times, too. Anything with giant old school robots is okay in my book, especially compared to those boring, featureless CGI thingies in the truly uninspired Will Smith flick I, Robot.

  6. THE CORPORATIONTHE CORPORATION – just as relevant, depressing and inspiring as Fahrenheit 9/11, this “expose” of the systematic hostile takeover of our global society by greedy white collar criminals (scientifically revealed as true sociopaths) also proves that the bad guys can’t win without our complicity. Plus they throw in scenes from the first Gammera and Lady Frankenstein to illustrate some points, just so I could understand it. My kinda documentary – painfully truthful but honestly entertaining.

  7. BEYOND THE SEABEYOND THE SEA – haven’t seen it as of this writing, but Kevin Spacey’s passion for the project makes it a can’t miss, and the subject matter is unbeatable. Bobby Darin is one of the greatest performers of all time and I’m betting this biopic will prove it to the uneducated masses.

  8. RAYRAY – see above, only this time Jamie Foxx brings Ray Charles back from beyond. It just has to be great.

  9. KING OF THE ANTSKING OF THE ANTS – Stuart Gordon made the top of my list for 2002 with Dagon. This movie, also released straight to video (sigh), is a true departure for the creator of the classic Re-Animator, but the fact that it pulls no punches is largely why I admire it so much, even as it repulsed me with its shameless amorality. I won’t even reveal what it’s about. Just watch it, keep watching it and be amazed/revolted/riveted like I was. The most intense revenge flick since the vintage Charlie Bronson days, but even more nihilistic in its world view. No, there are no giant and/or killer ants. We’re “the ants” – get it? You will.

  10. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATETHE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (remake) – those who either praised or pissed on me for my boycott of the Ocean’s 11 remake may be puzzled by this choice. Fact is, this is the best remake I’ve seen since Scarface (1983). Jonathan Demme manages to update the paranoid premise and make it just as relevant to our time as the original was to the Cold War, adding in some surprise twists and turns to keep it suspenseful for those who are already familiar with the source material. Plus Tina Sinatra is executive producer, and who’s gonna argue with her?

  11. SHAUN OF THE DEADSHAUN OF THE DEAD – funniest zombie movie since DEAD ALIVE. Can’t wait for Romero’s LAND  OF THE DEAD next year – an apt description of this country under a second Bush term


Since I’ll 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, I’m 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 I’m sure we’ll 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? There’ll also be a few loungey short subjects on the bill and…PROJECT PIMENTO, ( the world’s 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 don’t compete with Bob Johnson and Auggie Ragone’s epic GodzillaFest at the Castro the following week!), the great psychedelic surf band POLLO DEL MAR ( 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 Mar’s latest CD, “The Golden State,” in all her naked mermaid glory, and of course they’ll 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 Anderson’s “Supermarionation” show Stingray, an underwater monster episode of Ultraman, and much, much more! Surf’s up!


On Thursday, December 2 I’m presenting the greatest James Bond flick ever that didn’t star Sean Connery – 1969’s ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE, with one-timer George Lazenby barely filling 007’s shoes after Connery called it quits (though he did return for the next one, Diamonds Are Forever, before retiring his PPK again – we won’t even mention his 80s “comeback,” best left forgotten.)  The sad thing is, OHMSS would’ve been THE greatest Bond flick ever if Connery had starred in it – as it is, it’s 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 you’ve 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.

I’ll probably be hosting another TIKI CHRISTMAS PARTY at The Conga Lounge ( 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.


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