Sunday, April 08, 2007
the last 2 nights we watched Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Erin having procured a set of 4 from the library. I love the show. the 2 main robots are wonderful, the way they exist as characters. I must say, tho, sometimes I would like to see the movies without the overlay. they seem so enticing in how they envision a world like our own, only twisted into a pathology. the way 'bad' movies can exist in their ineptitude is a very compelling artistic argument. one movie was a rip off of the Beach Blanket movies, with Tommy Kirk as Frankie Avalon, and no one really specified as Annette. the movie was called Catalina Caper. I assume it was made because someone had a place on Catalina and wanted to write it off, so why not make a movie. it's a recipe movie, with an involved plot, 'comic relief', bikinis and youth music all in roughly correct amounts. the titular caper is half-baked, okay, and the sub-plot half-hearted. Little Richard appears, singing one song, which being an imitation Little Richard song that himself co-wrote. part of the patchwork process included him vocalizing his trademark woo-oo, he hadn't forgotten that element in the 10 minutes it took him to write the song. however modest his effort, his appearance betokened a possibility, somewhere, of directed energy and purpose. the movie's view of teen mating rituals (granted, all the teens in the movie were at least 25) may give you a sense of the 60s. the dance sequences, of which there were many, came across as lustreless Bollywood. that lck of lustre was so monumental as to be beguiling in its misconception. how does one distort the life energy into such cosmic stasis, I ask you? the jungle rhythms of the Twist, the Swim and the Frug, or whatever the hell, are rather delicate perceptions. as the MST folks noted, it was as white a movie as could be imagined. the other movie we saw was called Creeping Terror. it enjoyed a bit more budget than Plan 9 from Outer Space but much less verve. a spaceship crashed on earth and a creature crawls out to terrorize the countryside. the monster resembled one of those Chinese dragons that dance around in parades. except extremely abstract in design, a gallimaufry of spare bits of stuff. thru out the movie the thing would creep along and attack people. everyone freezes in place, screams and awaits the inevitable trip into the maw. as noted by out MST heroes, the actors actually crawl into the mouth of the monster, being as the monster, as equipped, couldn't make that happen. that enervation is a disturbing denial of basic instincts but that's the reality of this movie. it's a shabbily practiced movie, but in that shabbiness resides a world. replace monster with Republican administration, or racism, or global warming, or you name it, and it makes more sense. it's another movie in which the jungle rhythms of the Twist threaten almost to impose energy in the flaccidity of the Real World. the movie ends with some malarkey about the alien race (that sent the monsters) someday coming to say hi. both of these movies are mildly crazy, only vaguely bear the illusion of realism, yet I would take that craziness over the clear-headed value of the usual Oscar winner.