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Barbarella

Barbarella

I suppose in the interest of all thing atompunk we should mention Barbarella.

Released in 1968 and starring a young Jane Fonda, Barbarella is… it’s insanely campy, and i mean insanely. It’s very sexually themed but i can’t quite tell if it thinks it’s being liberating about women’s sexuality. I think it DOES think it’s being all liberating, but i ain’t buying what it’s selling. Interestingly, it was directed by Fonda’s then husband  French film director husband Roger Vadim. 

If you’re at all famirliar with alternative comics of the time, you can’t miss that it has that flavor. Indeed, it is taken from a French comic Barbarella by Jean-Claude Forest.

barbarella comic

 

Barbarella comic

barbarella

 

As you can see, basically a science fiction heroine who is almost always in some state of undress, sexual post even when just hanging around some foreign planet and often times in a sexual liaison, roams the galaxy finding various fantastical villains and exploits to be erotically charged around.

First published in the French magazine V-Magazine in 1962 it soon became a bit of a hit amongst the French and Belgium comics scene. It created a few scandals for it’s sexually charged content (although there was no actually… you know…there were no x rated shtupping scenes explicitely shown). For her creator, the character did in fact embody his idea of the the modern emancipated woman in the era of sexual liberation.

It may be unfair of my to look back on that era with so much judgement, although i do have a hard time getting around the idea that the best way to create a new, emancipated female science fiction icon is to just concentrate on great stores with a great, deeply developed character. Occasionally you can throw some eroticism in, but when all she does is run around half naked, in uber sexual poses, and constantly in and out of sexual situations, all you’ve done is create a two dimensonal, masturbatory icon. But hell, maybe this is modern thinking and back then the guy was doing the best he could.

I’m not against super erotic comics based around sexy people and sex. I’ve read some awesome ones written by both genders. They’re usually quite funny, winking their tongue in cheek self awareness at you as opposed to misguiding earnestness. Hell, some, like like Fairies series… someone remind me the name, just gets flat out CRAZY with fiaries humping every kind of animal under the sun. But honestly, it’s hysterical, and i just don’t get the same annoyance i get with Barbarella.

Oh yeah! Bondage Fairies!

Oh yeah! Bondage Fairies!

I digress. (A habit of mine.)

SOOOOO, in 1968 they cast a young Jane Fonda, who ahd already had great success in 1967’s Barefoot in the Park with Robert Redford. (Everyone has seen this right? I mean it’s like this STAPLE play/movie. If you’re involved in theater you HAVE to have seen it. I’m under the impression that everyone who ever so much as goes near a stage is required to see it. it’s pretty damn good. Classic Neil Simon play.)

A year after Barbarella she made  They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? which won her an Oscar nomination. In between she made Barbarella. Maybe she was really into it. Maybe it was because her husband was really into it. Who knows? This is all 2 years before she got involved with the opposition to the Vietnam War (1970) and 4 years before the Hanoi Jane stuff which interestingly STILL pisses of people in the armed services today.

The premise of the insane campy film is, and i quote: “In an unspecified future (the video release states it is the year 40,000), Barbarella (Jane Fonda) is assigned by the President of Earth (Claude Dauphin) to retrieve Doctor Durand Durand (Milo O’Shea) from the Tau Ceti region. Durand Durand is the inventor of the Positronic Ray, a weapon. Earth is now a peaceful planet, and weapons are unheard of. Because Tau Ceti is an unknown region of space there is the potential for the weapon to fall into the wrong hands. Donning the first of many outfits, Barbarella sets out to find the missing scientist. She crashes on the 16th planet of Tau Ceti, on an icy plain.”

barbarella

The rest, is B movie history.

And a scene that is actually kind of cool:

No, i’m not gonna show the stupid Orgasmtron scene. You can YouTube it.

Anyway, there we go! Barbarella. Many like myself would LOOOOOVE to Mystery Science Theater 3000 do Barbarella, i mean it’s MADE for them, but alas it never happened, probably because they couldn’t get the rights.

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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The 5 Greatest Movie Musical Soundtracks

Of course not. I’m totally messing with you.

Quite a few musicals have made it to the big screen and with them come a specially recorded album just for the movie version. In some cases those albums surpass the original or at least create fierce debates amongst devotees.

This is my personal list of my top 6 movie musical soundtracks. I LOVE these, many times over the original and they are all awesome.

5. Rocky Horror Picture Show

Come on. This soundtrack RULES. While the original LA soundtrack, hard to find but well worth it stand up perfectly well against the movie version, it’s the movie version we all know. This is a classic.

4. Little Shop of Horrors

I find as the years go by that every time i pick this up to listen to is till enjoy the living bejeezus out of it. The songs are awesomely fun to sing in the shower. Suddenly Seymour… you can just stand outside on a hill with your arms outstretched belting this out like there’s no tomorrow. At least i do. But i have no shame. The rest of you i hope have at least a little shame.

3. Moulin Rouge

“But Paul, this was never a stage show. The whole thing is just hyperdramatic renditions of tons of pop classics with an utter emotional masturbatory excess.” My reply is: YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH. YOU SHUT IT RIGHT NOW. THIS IS WHAT AWESOMENESS SOUNDS LIKE. HOLY MOTHER OF MAHOGANY DO I LOVE THIS SOUNDTRACK. IF I HAD THE CHOICE BETWEEN SAVING THIS SAVING THIS SOUNDTRACK OR SAVING ENTIRE REGIONS OF THE GALAXY I WOULD CHOOSE THIS SOUNDTRACK.

But that’s just me.

2. Grease

Why do i rank this over Moulin Rouge? Well, for one thing it’s stood the test of time. Made in the 70s, still sounds killer today. Two: Its influence. The influence of the Grease soundtrack cannot be understated. I might personally rather listen to Moulin Rouge, but here’s the thing: play Summer Nights or One That You Want and EVERYBODY around you will get down to it. No matter what music they like or don’t like. Everyone knows it. Everyone loves it. Try playing the soundtrack and NOT sing along with it. You can’t. No one can. Three: Summer Nights is one of the 3 best songs about love ever written.

1. Hair

Hair is what started this whole post. A friend and i took opposite sides of the debate which was better, the cast album or the movie soundtrack. THE MOVIE SOUNDTRACK. Dude… i LOOOOOVE this soundtrack. It’s not just fun. it’s not just singable. These songs in the soundtrack recording groove like MOTHER*******. Seriously, the band KILLS this stuff. Wipes the walls with it. Then add the fact that the songs are all truly great, and THEN add vocal performances that are just…. transcendental. Doesn’t hurt that the movie is ******** AWESOME. This is the greatest movie musical soundtrack ever made. The songs.. the grooves, the vocals….. i literally want to have sex with this soundtrack.

P.S. When you write to tell me the soundtracks i left off please do not mention: Hairspray (sucked), Phantom (can bite me) or High School Musical. You COULD mention Once. That’s an awesome soundtrack. West Side Story, Singing In The Rain, hell, i’ll even accept Annie as an acceptable argument. They’re not MY personal all time top favorites (although West Side is pretty damn stellar, if this list went to 6 i would probably have to put it on), but i could see how they could make someone else’s list.

And yes, my one great hope for X-Mas is that i can add Les Mis to this list. Holy crap can i not wait for that movie.

 

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The 10 Best Dieselpunk Movies

Dieselpunk is a fantastic reimagining of the period from about 1920 through the 40s. Dieselpunk tends to be darker than its steampunk cousin. It’s flexible in that it can incorporate stories which do NOT take place in that time period but are heavily permeated with that period’s feel and flare. A noir style detective piece set on the planet Zamboozala 6 for instance would be dieselpunk if the feel were indeed central to the piece. Stories set around the technology level of the period most certainly count too.

Thus it is that we list the 10 best Dieselpunk movies made, even though in almost all cases the film makers did not set out to make their films be “Dieselpunk” or indeed were even aware of the term.

10. Captain America

The most recent on this list, and while not the jaw dropping classic some of the others ones are, it’s a very, very fun film.

9. Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow

Sky Captain is utterly and completely Dieselpunk. It’s pretty much written to encapsulate the definition. It’s a gorgeous, gorgeous movie and rather than the dark side of Dieselpunk, it’s quite light and pleasant. I present here the original short the theatrical version was based off of.

8. Sucker Punch

This move never got the props it deserved. Critics were divided but personally, i loved this film. It’s no epic oscar winner, but it was insanely mind blowing as a visual feast. It’s the kind of movie you voice your enjoyment of with profanity while watching. (“DUDE! HOLY FFFFFFF….”)

7. Mad Max: The Road Warrior

Surprised by this one? An action classic it is definitely dieselpunk. Everyone’s obsessed with diesel for one. Post apocalyptic, the societal tech is diesel era and that fact does permeate the film. Plus, it’s one of the best action movies ever. It was made back when there were no CGI and stunts had to be real. A far away and madcap time called… the 80s.

6. Sin City

Hot damn was this movie fun. I had some issues with it vs the graphic novels, which is strange because they were almost shot to shot perfect, but never the less this film is extremely fun and well done.

5. City Of Lost Children

Now we get to the films which are… actually great films. The films before this are “awesome” but past the fanboy excitement, most of these next films actually possess true, deep cinematic greatness. City of Lost Children for instance. It is truly like a dark, dieselpunk fairy tales, utterly otherworldly and moving.

4. Dark City

Sky Captain may be utterly dieselpunk, but Dark City practically invents it. This scores so high on the list because if there was one movie i’d point to in order to explain what dieselpunk really is, it’s Dark City. It’s also a flat out fantastic fantastical flick.

3. Brazil

Terry Gillian’s masterpiece.  It’s… a dystopian satire? The film that invented retro futurism? A staggeringly effective and moving portrayal of the classic indivicual being drowned by the state and society story? This film is greatness. And kind of weird.

2. Eraserhead

This film is not kind of weird. It ate weird for breakfest and then two girls one cupped it. David Lynch’s first film. It’s beyond a classic. It’s one of those films that as ridiculously fucked up as it is, you have to have watched it simply because… it’s fucking Eraserhead. You simply have to have watched it at some point otherwise you fail at life.

1. Blade Runner

Sci fi? Check. Film noir? Check? A classic? Check. Jaw dropping to watch? Check. Moving to the point of leaving you in a different state of reality when over? Check. Masterful attention to detail? Check. Blade Runner. It doesn’t get much better. Indeed, it’s hard to think of a better sci fi film. It might seem hardly dieselpunk, but although set firmly in the future the 40s noir feeling permeates every shot, every minute of the movie. It’s gritty, and the tech is not shiny, it’s kind of gritty and messy too. A masterpiece of film making by any standard.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

What’s the scariest move you’ve ever seen? A lot of people say The Exorcist. And that’s a pretty scary movie. But for me, hands down, it is the classic Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. You know, the OLD one.

The one they played on TV every single year when i was a child. So there i am, little 4 year old Paul and my mommy sees a nice children’s movie is scheduled to be aired on TV. So she sits little innocent Paul down and he watches it.

Lots of insanely boring crap at the beginning, some crappy songs (i’m thinking of you, ‘Cheer Up Charlie’), but the golden ticket is cool, and YAY! Charlie gets the golden ticket! Happy little 4 year old Paul! Charlie gets to go to the chocolate factory! Whee!

He goes to the chocolate factory with the other children and little 4 year old Paul is waving his little arms in delight. How wonderful! Oh! Willy Wonka sings Pure Imagination…. oooooooo. Little Paul is transfixed in wide eyes magicalness. Then come the Oompa Loompas. Okay, kind of creepy but the song is awesome.

Then this happens:

I ran fucking SCREAMING from the room. When Augustus Gloop is in that tube i lost my shit. RAN and would not go back to watch that damn movie again.

A year passes.

Next year, same time, they show the movie AGAIN. Now little Paul is 5. Little more hard core. Plus, he knows that horrid scene is coming. So when it comes, i get freaked out, but i sort of divert my attention, maybe run into the kitchen for a minute until the Bad Thing ends, and just get through it.

Made it! Yay! Okay! I got through the Bad Thing, now i can watch the rest of the movie and see what happens! More Chocolate factory! Yay! Willy Wonka is wild and magical. Where are they going now?

On a boat! Oh goody! I love boats!

Wait… what the….

YOU SICK FUCKS! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!? FUCK THAT. I run screaming. Will NOT go back in the family room until that demonic movie is OFF.

Nononononononononononononononon.

A year passes.

I’m 6 now. That’s right, 6 bitches. And sure enough Willy Wonka time comes around and what appears on TV? Okay. I’m ready for Augustus. I’m ready for the boat ride. I’m a little freaked out, but okay. In fact why am i even watching this snuff….

Ooooh, gum! Gum that tastes like real food! Pretty cool. The gum girl of course is going to eat it and…. and….. wait. WHAT. THE FUCK?!?!?!

Now…. seriously. You fucking sons of bitches. This… is….. THIS IS NOT HOW YOU TELL A STORY TO FUCKING LITTLE CHILDREN YOU SADISTIC FUCKS. But i knew i was watching the equivalent of a children’s slasher film. I’m crying. I’m shaking. I’m scared. My little 6 year old body is quivering but through the tears and horror i am going to finish this fucking movie.

Now they go to the next room of Horror and Death. I’m not fucking fooled this year. The Chocolate Factory is a Death Trap designed to pick off little children one by one. After 3 fucking years i am not blind to the obvious.

And we come to the fizzy lifting room. With the bubbles. And the big fan with the blades way in the air.

And then comes the line that chills me to my tear stained, already traumatized bones:

“Come on Charlie, let’s sneak a drink while no one’s looking.”

ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE?!?!??!??!????/ HAVE YOU NOT SEEN WHAT HAPPENS TO EVERY SINGLE CHILD WHO BREAKS ANY OF WONKA’S RULES?!? IT”S TORTURE AND DEATH YOU STUPID…. oh on…. no… tell me they’re not going to…. fucking Grandpa you stupid fuck.

Up in the fan they go.

At least i’m assuming that’s how the scene ended. By the time they were about to hit the blades i was OUT of there.

It took me 5 motherfucking years to watch that sick, twisted ode to pain, torture and death of children. By the next year i was 7 and had seen the worst bits. Hell, the demise of Veruca Salt and Mike Teevee were nothing after 4 years of the horrors that came before. 5 years of trying to finally be able to watch that thing. Seriously, NO other movie has scared me so much i had to keep trying for 5 years just to make it through.

Let’s end with a little song from the newer version. It’s a good song.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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