Inside My Head

the literary rantings of Angie Frissore

Pickin’ Brains: A Moment Inside the Head of Frank Conniff

I will never forget my older brother exposing me to the wonderful world of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in my younger days, and to this day I still credit him with my long-running addiction to the show’s utter hilarity.Like many fans of the show, I can think of nothing more thrilling than the possibility of sitting in that dark little theater on the Satellite of Love, alongside Joel or Mike and the ‘bots, laughing uncontrollably at the clever, little well-timed comments and jokes being made.

Fortunately for those of you lucky enough to be in certain geographic areas, you just may get that chance…or just about as close as you can come, as Cinematic Titanic sets sail on a raucous, cheese-filled, B-movie voyage through five major US cities this winter.

In honor of the event, which provides audiences from San Francisco to Boston the opportunity to experience the original cast of MST3K as they riff the best of the worst in film, I recently took advantage of the opportunity to have a virtual fire-side chat with Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Frank Conniff.

Lovingly known by many as TV’s Frank, Conniff took on the role of side-kick to the mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester in 1990, shortly after meeting Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu and Bridget Jones while working the Minneapolis/Twin Cities comedy scene as a stand-up comic.Conniff naturally evolved into the role, adding his brand of burlesque comedy to the show both in his writing contributions and his performance.

But Conniff wasn’t just a pretty face.While he portrayed TV’s Frank for five years during the 1990s, he was also an integral part of the MST3K writing crew and was responsible for selecting the various bad movies 1showcased in the series.Tempted as one might be, in such a position, to seek revenge here and there with a particularly unsettling hunk of movie cheese, Conniff insists he never abused his power.

“Any passive-aggression on my part was probably subconscious,” Conniff explains.“I would just look for the films that would be appropriate for the show.There are millions of bad movies, but not every bad movie is really good to be riffed, for various reasons.”

Citing issues like the overuse of dialog, Conniff struggles to pinpoint the exact process of riff-worthy selection.He may not be able to describe it, but he certainly knows it when he sees it.

“Kind of like the Supreme Court’s definition on pornography,” he chimes.

Conniff was exposed to comedy at an early age, having spent his childhood in Manhattan during the 1960’s.Influenced by comedy legends such as the Marx Brothers, WC Fields, Laurel & Hardy, and Abbott & Costello, the concept of making a living with comedy was not an outlandish idea.

“It was an intimidating idea, but it didn’t seem as out of ordinary as it would to someone growing up in a small town that was far away from that,” Conniff recalls.“I grew up in a family that was very tuned in to the media…My father was a journalist, and so the worlds of politics and show biz and the arts were kind of in the air and something I had a lot of exposure to.”

One of Conniff’s latest projects, Cartoon Dump, stems from some of his New York childhood influences; locally-produced, low budget cartoon shows hosted by live action characters such as Captain Jack McCarthy and Officer Joe Bolton.Together with noted animation historian Jerry Beck, Conniff created the live, theatrical show that was a take-off of those old local cartoon shows.Satirically geared towards a childhood audience, however, Cartoon Dump is not your average cartoon show.

“It’s that kind of show but much darker, with really emotionally disturbed characters and not appropriate for children at all,” Conniff details, “but it’s presented as a children’s show.”

frankconniff-101Cartoon Dump can be seen live, monthly at The Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles, and Conniff and his team are currently in talks to potentially create a television pilot for the show.

“We did shows in New York last year, and doing it as a live show in other cities is a big goal of ours…one thing that would help that, I think, is if we end up doing it on TV.That will build up a bigger audience for it and…would make it more viable for us to do in different cities.”

While we outside of the general Los Angeles area must wait, patiently and hopefully, for Cartoon Dump to come to our hometowns, Conniff’s latest masterpiece is making a triumphant stop in Boston on February 20th and 21st.

Cinematic Titanic, which is probably the greatest concept for a live show – ever, brings the original cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 back together to do what they do best.Riff really, really bad movies.

Shortly after Joel Hodgson took in a performance of Cartoon Dump, he approached Conniff with the idea of getting the old cast back together again.The spark of genius that might have graced us with an MST3K reprisal, however, was quickly smothered and extinguished by Jim Mallon’s lack of interest in the project.

“Jim Mallon ultimately wasn’t interested in it,” Conniff explains,” and he went on and was more interested in doing these flash cartoons for the MST3K website…he just had no interest in it ultimately.”

Unwavering in his drive, Hodgson quickly came up with the idea for Cinematic Titanic, a project in which the crew invested their own funds and maintained ownership of the rights.The first Cinematic Titanic DVDs were released in late 2007, soon followed by a live performance at Industrial Light and Magic in San Francisco in February 2008.Before long, Conniff and crew were taking their project to Minneapolis, St. Louis and Chicago.

“We’re actually going on an official tour and have been working with this theatrical production company who’s producing and booking it,” Conniff states enthusiastically.“We’re doing five cities and then, hopefully if that goes well, we’re going to do more live shows, do more touring later in the year. It’s something we’re all very excited about.”

And we, the masses, are just as excited.

Conniff openly attributes a lot of his early successes to sheer luck, citing the opportunities he had while performing stand-up in Minneapolis as well as his upbringing in Manhattan.But what advice does he have for those of us who may not happen to be in the right place at the right time?news-mst3k-frank-conniff

“The best advice is to just write as much as you can,” Conniff encourages.“Write, write, write, write, write…really devote yourself to that, because…that’s how you learn how to do it, is the process of doing it.Develop some kind of community, some kind of creative community, of like-minded people…then you can kind of support each other.”

Conniff also suggests taking a class – not particularly to learn something new, but to take advantage of the structure a class offers in terms of deadlines and critical feedback.He also stresses the importance of getting your work out there.

“If you’re just in your apartment writing, and nobody ever sees what you’re writing, then nothing is gonna happen,” Conniff advises.“That’s the great thing about the internet…of course, a gazillion people are putting stuff up on the internet, so it’s not like if you put a video out that you’ll necessarily become, like, the ‘Leave Britney Alone’ guy, become a sensation.But other people will see it and you will get feedback, and it will go out into the world, and that is a very valuable thing.”

picture1 So to those of you whose friends refuse to watch movies with you anymore, those who still make sarcastic comments at the movie screen, and those of you who just love a good, belly-busting laugh fest, you don’t want to miss Conniff and the gang as Cinematic Titanic makes its way across five major cities in the next two months. I will certainly be anxiously waiting for the day when I can witness Conniff’s comedic genius live and in-person.



http://www.cartoondump.com/

 

http://www.cinematictitanic.com/


http://www.mst3kinfo.com/


January 30, 2009 Posted by | Pickin' Brains | , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Pulitzer-winning author John Updike

John Updike

John Updike, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction  died Tuesday. He was 76.  Updike’s death from lung cancer was announced by Nicholas Latimer of Alfred A. Knopf, his publisher. Updike lived in Beverly Farms, Mass.

January 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema: The Backwoods (2006)

backwoods_243x347This week’s voyage into the realm of sketchiness takes us to an unknown, rural part of Spain, as we venture along with Gary Oldman into The Backwoods.

Koldo Serra’s 2006 thriller follows the story of  young English couple Norman and Lucy (Paddy Considin, Virginie Ledoyen) as they travel to the Spanish house of friend Paul (Oldman) and his wife Isabel (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón).

Norman and Paul stumble upon a deformed child, who has been locked away in a deserted house in the forest.  Naturally, they decide to remove the girl from the house and attempt to bring her to the local authorities.  That’s when the fun starts.

Raw, brutal and unsettling, The Backwoods seems to exist somewhere between Deliverance and Hostel.  As the group tries to hide the child, the townsfolk are none too happy to find her missing and begging searching for her.

While Gary Oldman kicks a considerable amount of ass in just about any movie he’s in, there seemed to be a lot of missed ass-kicking opportunities in this movie.  Promising scenes were rampant with Oldman’s trademark look, offering the false hope that at the end of the day, all would be saved by your hero and mine.

Instead, there were underdeveloped characters and a very weak storyline.  Not only do we not find out the cause of the child’s deformities, but we never even find out just why she was locked away to begin with.  It’s a shame, really, because the movie could’ve made something of itself.

the_backwoods_movie_image_gary_oldman__1_While I don’t want to give away the ‘surprise’ ending of the film, I must say that this ending made No Country For Old Men seem like a neat, tidy, happy-ending fairy tale.

But I love Gary, I do.  And just for him, I’m going to imagine the various ways in which this movie could have ended, in order to trick my mind into having a much higher opinion of it:

  • They discover that the child is essentially the devil himself, and end up returning spawn of Satan to her house of confinement.
  • Gary Oldman kills just about everyone, good guys and bad.
  • Norman decides to just shoot Lucy instead, considering she’s been such a degrading bitch during the whole trip.
  • Gary Oldman just stands there, being Gary Oldman.

And I leave you with this week’s Sketch Cinema quote of the week:

Paul: “There are hunters and prey, Norman. That’s the only fucking truth in this world.”

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | , | Leave a comment

The Blind Faithfulness of Creationism.

creationist01Years ago, I hastily jumped into a relationship with a guy I barely knew. I rolled with the punches though, as little details and realizations emerged over a span of two months – he was severely in debt, he wasn’t the cleanest person around, and his work ethic left much to be desired.

But I was young and not particularly looking for something terribly lasting in a relationship. I overlooked things.

The day came, however, when a chance conversation changed the course of the relationship, leaving me with little to no respect for him whatsoever. We had been discussing deep and heavy topics, most likely due to slight inebriation, when we happened upon the subject of how we all got here in the first place.

And then it happened.

He was a creationist.

As I presented my argument for evolution, I realized quickly that I was wasting my time. The unifying trait of creationists is the tendency to figuratively put one’s fingers in one’s ears and babble loudly to block out the sound of logic and reason.

I had fought similar battles before. Having moved on to a college-educated, historic and sociological view on religion, I had many times found myself arguing theology with my mother. With utter futility, I had tried to offer my opinions on figurative biblical interpretations, which were met with vehemently supported notions that a man, quite literally, parted a sea so his people could cross.

But nothing worked. No argument I could make could shake the creationist from his narrow-minded and uneducated views on life. Soon, I found myself standing in defense of God (or other deities held high by other religions), whom I could only assume would be pretty darned offended by these views.

Creationists believe that God created the world and everything in it.

Evolutionists believe in scientific evidence that supports the notion that the world and everything in it evolved over millions of years.

Would it not be far off to assume that God is quite befuddled by the fact that many of his creations see him as a glorified magician, who essentially tossed together some dirt and muck and – BOOM! – here we are? If God did create the universe and such, wouldn’t it go without saying that he’s responsible for evolution?

But no – rather than gain the understanding that there is simply no logic in the instant creation of mankind and the world (how would mankind be equipped to live without experience or any sort of knowledge of the world surrounding them?), creationists have turned a blind eye and ignored the evidence their creator has provided them.

We have dinosaur fossils. Evidence. Solid proof that they were here. I can only imagine God, standing frustrated, shaking his hands in the air and shouting, “What more do I have to do to get you idiots to understand how it happened? I did this amazing thing and left clues for you as to how I did it!”

But the creationists will continue to believe in the magical superpowers of their God. Their God can breathe in some mud and make a man, but he would never, ever create the universe in a logical, almost well-thought out and experimental fashion. That would be too far-fetched, for sure.

So laugh at the ancients with their many deities and sun gods and their ‘mythologies’ if you will. The bible was the only one that got it right, and there can apparently be no arguing that. When I die, I will stand at the gates of heaven, laughing at the creationists and their hubris that are routinely turned away for pissing God off with their offensive and narrow-minded opinions.

January 24, 2009 Posted by | Randomness | , , | 1 Comment

In line.

If they ask

(Should they happen to notice)

You simply smile

And you say that you’re okay

(Since that’s really all they

Wanted to hear in the end)

No soul is without its weight

And the world has its fair share

Of scars and sorrows and tears

And yours are not unique

You’ll attempt to brush it aside

And pretend it’s not there

Though it steals from you

And cheats you

And lies to you

And knows you.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Poetry | | Leave a comment

“Hands up….shakin’…..”

The boys kick so much ass, even I have bruises on my backside.

The boys kick so much ass, even I have bruises on my backside.

Last week I encouraged you to brave the cold and head to The Paradise in Boston for rockin’ good time with Dear Leader.

If you took my advice, I don’t need to go on further, since you already know just how ridiculously awesome the evening was.

But in case you missed it, let me give you a quick run-down.

New stuff. The boys unleashed a small handful of new tracks that they’ve been recording recently. I was particularly mesmerized by ‘Heart Hangs Low’ – Infectious, melodic….what fans have become used to from DL, just a bit more invigorating. I, for one, am already having trouble keeping myself adequately occupied until I can get another fix.

I was a bit sad that there was no random medley during ‘Raging Red’, but to be quite honest, I soon was over my disappointment as the band marched on in a new direction (I suppose all good things must come to an end, though I will miss Perrino’s renditions of Snoop Dogg). The gents did close the pre-encore set with ‘Wrimgp0144estler’, a tried and true crowd (and personal) favorite.

The night was not complete, however, until Perrino treated the crowd to a rousing demonstration of his iPhone’s iToot – blasting little iPhone generated sounds of flatulence to a packed crowd.

If you missed the show, never fear. The band’s drummer (and Lunch Records owner) Paul Buckley assures me that 2009 “is all about Dear Leader and Lunch Records”.

And thank heavens for that.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema: “Teeth” (2007)

teeth Today’s Sketch Cinema feature is surely one for the record books, and is bound to make any warm-blooded man squirm in his seat uncontrollably. In fact, it just may be the one film that could very well bring a man to tears.

On this quiet, snowy, New England Sunday, I bring you Mitchell Lichtenshein’s 2007 sketch fest, Teeth.

Jess Weixler stars in this twisted take on the coming-of-age film as Dawn O’Keefe, a spirited blonde teenager with a terminally ill mother and a step-brother with an inexplicable fondness for, well, unconventional sex.


Inexplicable to most, but quite clear to us, the viewers. As it turns out, Brad’s aversion to the conventional methods of intercourse is simply due to an unfortunate childhood incident. An incident in which, during a pool-side game of doctor, Brad loses the tip of his finger when he decides to explore his step-sister’s anatomy. Too young to realize just how lucky he was to only lose a fingertip, he inconveniently blocks the memory out entirely. Let the games begin.teeth_movie_stills

The movie offers a fresh spin on evolution and the concept of ‘survival of the fittest’, with Dawn even referring at one point to her newly discovered ‘adaptation’. After dealing with the initial shock of the abnormality she possesses, she quickly learns that her ailment can be quite advantageous.

A surprisingly well-made film with a strong storyline, I must refrain from sharing too much. Lichetentein masterfully paints a fresh, compelling tale of the true loss of innocence that cannot be missed, even if it may have men of all ages shaking in fear.

And now, I leave you with this wteeth_still02eek’s Sketch Cinema quote of the week:

(As doctors are performing reconstructive surgery on Ryan and about to attach his, well, you know):

Head Surgeon: “Seems like a waste of time if you ask me.”


January 18, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | | 1 Comment

Pickin’ Brains: A moment inside the head of Paul Buckley

n648058626_1712353_3891On Friday, January 16, Dear Leader will descend upon the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, bearing post-holiday gifts of rock excellence for the masses, along with Hallelujah The Hills and Faces on Film. This is certainly an event not to be missed by anyone who has ever enjoyed live rock music. It just may even be an event not to be missed by anyone with a functioning sense of hearing.

In honor of the upcoming show, I recently had the opportunity to pull up a virtual seat with one of Boston’s most talented drummers, Dear Leader’s own Paul Buckley.

You just might have heard of this guy before. It turns out, he’s everywhere.

Buckley’s resume is extensive, which is not surprising, since he proudly boasts he’s a workaholic. Now a staple in the Boston indie music scene, he began releasing records in the early 90’s on his indie label, Lunch Records, having had little luck getting his first band signed in the vast, overpopulated wasteland of Boston indie bands.

I asked Buckley about the origins of the label, particularly its original name, Breakfast Records. The name change seemed to imply to me an evolution – perhaps a maturing of the label over time. n648058626_728016_19192

“When I released Orbit’s first 7″ single ‘Motorama’ [in 1994], we got a glowing review in Magnet Magazine, which triggered a nasty letter to the editor from another Breakfast Records.” Buckley explained. “This was also around the time that 6 major labels wanted to sign Orbit, so to avoid any legal problems I changed the name to the next possible name, Lunch Records…while traveling back from a show in New York.”

Orbit came to be in the early 90’s after Buckley was approached (while broadcasting live on Mass Ave for WFNX) by Jeff Robbins. After a few jam sessions and a free ad in the Boston Phoenix, Wally Gagel joined the cause, offering to record for the newly-forming band. With the addition of Mark Brookner on bass, Orbit recorded their first EP, “La Mano”. Gagel would eventually reconsider his early pass on playing bass for the band, and joins them on their 1997 A&M release, “Libido Speedway”.

Eventually, Buckley’s path would cross that of Aaron Perrino, when Perrino’s former band The Sheila Divine opened for Orbit at a 1998 gig in Burlington, Vermont. Impressed, Buckley offered to manage the band and even filled in on drums for some live shows while TSD looked for a replacement for Shawn Sears (which they would ultimately find in Ryan Dolan). After the split of The Sheila Divine in April 2003, Buckley encouraged Perrino to make a solo record, which Buckley offered to release on Lunch.

Perrino quickly went to work recording six tracks which featured Buckley on the drums, later to be released as the 2003 EP ‘War Chords’ (recorded by Darren Ottaviani with additional production and mixing by John Dragonetti).

“Aaron chose friends Jon Sulkow (of the band Tugboat Annie) and Will Claflin (of the band Cheerleadr) and asked me to fill in on drums as they audition new drummers,” Buckley explained. “He didn’t want to bother me as I just became a dad of twin daughters 18 months prior. After three shows together, I was really feeling the chemistry, and then Aaron asked that I join on.”

Since then, Dear Leader has released three full-length records and a split EP with fellow Lunch-mates Taxpayer, which was released in the summer of 2007. The gents are currently hard at work in the studio working on their fourth full-length release, to be released later this year on Lunch.

It would seem to be any music fan’s dream to walk a mile in Buckley’s shoes – aside from being a part of one of the freshest and hottest indie bands to come out of Boston since 1993, there are some perks to running your own label.

“All the artists on Lunch have been hand picked by myself and they’ve all been committed to their art,” said Buckley, when asked about his own musical influences. “I’ve tried to do my best throughout the years to deal with the commerce side, so they can just create.”

And his best is truly paying off. In February, Lunch artist Taxpayer is slated to release their second full-length, ‘Don’t Steal My Night Vision’, produced by Paul Kolderie. Kolderie has also produced the Dear Leader albums ‘All I Ever Wanted Was Tonight’ and ‘The Alarmist.’

“I think people are really going to be shocked at the song writing and playing growth on this record,” Buckley reflected. “It’s sort of a classic record, in a Queen sort of way, lots of emotion. You’re gonna love it!”

n648058626_1867579_944Truly a success story in the realm of self-starters and entrepreneurs, Buckley’s talent and expertise has given Boston’s indie scene the Midas touch. With Lunch artists like The Shods, Helicopter Helicopter and Rockets to Mars, it certainly seems that whatever Buckley touches turns into a brilliant slice of fried gold. I asked Buckley what advice he’d offer to bands that may be just starting out and feeling lost in the shuffle.

“Make art and put it out there for people to hear, see, and feel it, and make sure you’re enjoying the process. If you’re not, it’s probably not going to work.”

So if you haven’t done so already, be sure to grab your tickets for Friday’s Dear Leader show at the Paradise before they’re all gone (which I am sure they will be soon), as it promises, as usual, to be a night to remember. And be sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming Taxpayer release next month, which is shaping up to kick copious amounts of behind, all the while taking names.

http://www.dear-leader.com

http://www.lunchrecords.com

January 14, 2009 Posted by | Pickin' Brains | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Flee

I had been smart enough to select a bar stool to the left of him, giving myself a good view of the lobby area of the restaurant. The positioning made it much easier to pretend I was paying attention rather than plotting my escape plan.

Two weeks earlier, I had found myself in an e-mail exchange with a WPI grad student who seemed pleasant enough – the photographic evidence pointed more towards neo-hippie than to pocket protectors. There had even been brief phone conversations, which had gone surprisingly smoothly, and then, ultimately…this.

I had almost ignored him completely upon his arrival at the agreed-upon destination, an almost-rundown lake side family restaurant with a small bar – until he recognized me from my photos. In this, my date had an unfair advantage, as the pictures I had sent to him were actually recent, unlike his own apparently. He carried with him a minimum of forty extra pounds, all of which being fat and pasty.

Okay, don’t panic, I thought. He just gained some weight.

I was surprised at how calmly I had handled the surprise introduction, though I was not at all embarrassed by my early denial of his identity. As we dove into the first (only) round of drinks, WPI openly told me about his interests, which included medieval role-playing games.

“So you like Dungeons and Dragons,” I stated, almost choking on my drink. This was going to get ugly…fast.

“Well, yeah, I guess,” he mumbled, caught slightly off-guard by the assumption. It was obvious he had hoped to avoid that stereotype.

“That’s really…fascinating,” I said, bored, but somehow managing to feign interest.

“Yeah, I don’t really play that as much anymore,” he said. “It’s not so easy to get into at my mom’s house.”

“You live with your mom?” I asked, smiling and trying to hold back laughter. Granted, I had done my stint at the house of a parental unit, but let’s be real…I was a girl.

It was sometime around that point that I no longer heard the words that were coming out of his mouth. I had tuned out completely, wrapped up in thought on how best to get out of the situation. I wondered for a moment if I even cared about sparing this poor lad’s feelings. And then, suddenly, like a beacon in the night – I saw it.

The ladies’ room.

There it was – about six feet from the main entrance to the restaurant. It would be so easy to just…slip right out. As I examined the restroom’s proximity to freedom, I suddenly remembered one small detail that would, perhaps, foil my master plan. I had brought my coat, given the crisp April night air.

Don’t panic, I thought. You can figure this out.

I looked at WPI, who was still talking and apparently not noticing my straying gaze whatsoever, and smiled, before suddenly shivering.

“Do you think it’s cold in here?” I asked, rubbing my arms.

“No, at least, I don’t think so.”

“I am absolutely freezing,” I said, pulling my coat on. “Oh, that is SO much better.”

You are a god damned genius, I said to myself with a self-assured grin. All I had to do now was to wait for the right moment, the right break in the conversation. After about ten more minutes, I could no longer pretend to be in any way interested in anything this person had to say, and I was nearing the point of utter, brutal honesty.

“Would you excuse me?” I asked, politely and coyly. “I need to use the little girls’ room.”

“Oh, sure, no problem,” he said, standing as I rose from my seat. It was a shame that he was a gentleman.

January 12, 2009 Posted by | No Messages - Excerpts from the Draft | , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema – January 11, 2009: Slither (2006)

For those of you hoping for an updated version of Howard Zieff’s 1973 comedy, let me deflate your hopes before we go any further and clarify that there will be no mention of James Caan as we discuss this week’s voyage into B-Moviesville.


 

Instead, I bring you James Gunn’s Slither.


 

After happening upon this little gem of over-the-top, gory ‘horror’ hilarity, I settled in for ninety-five minutes of graphic gore, dozens of small-town stereotypes, and a collection of quips and one-liners that almost rivaled an Austin Powers movie. Almost.


 

The story focuses on the small town of Wheelsy, where a meteor has managed to crash to earth in a loud, uproarious explosion, conveniently unnoticed by two Podunk local cops who are parked a mere thirty feet away. When the town’s resident rich guy (Grant Grant, immaculately portrayed by Michael Rooker) sneaks away for a quick romp with the town slut (after being denied yet again by his much younger, high school biology teacher wife), he discovers something slithering around in the woods behind the local bar.


 

Upon further investigation, the slithering substance in question suddenly bores a hole through Grant’s chest, carves its way to his brain stem, and proceeds to take over his body, bringing with it such side effects as wanting to make sweet, tender love to his wife and an insatiable appetite for raw meat.

 

But Starla, Grant’s wife, knows something is amiss, and shares her concerns with the ever-ready Town hero Bill Parday (portrayed by Nathan Fillion), whom one is led to assume has a history with the lovely Mrs. Grant as the film provides weak allusions to some hidden, sinister affair sub-plot, though it is never fully explored.


 

blogslither_2_400 As Grant Grant runs amok all over town, kidnapping local dogs and farm     animals to sustain his never-ending hunger for meat, he returns once again to his favorite little piece of trailer-park booty for a quick chest-boring, not only succeeding in turning her into one of these extra terrestrial creatures, but also managing to impregnate her and turning her into a ravenous, flesh-hungry, giant beach-ball-of-flesh. One should not miss the birthing scene, under any circumstances.


 

While the movie reeks of discarded film bits from the screening room floor of Night of the Creeps, Slither takes the B genre to the next level by dotting the script with classic one-liners that seem to indicate the cheese-awareness of all involved in creating this little chunk of goodness. It does not take itself seriously, and has absolutely no time for viewers who expect to do so, either.


 

And so for now, I leave you with this week’s Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema movie quote of the week:

 

Jack MacReady: [panicked] We need to find this Grant, and I mean yesterday. Town council’s lit a Roman Candle, stuck it up my ass.
Bill Pardy: Jack, your leisure activities ain’t my business.

January 12, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | , , , | 1 Comment

Ten Reasons Why I’ll Never Truly Grow Old….

But on the flip side, I’m often reminded of why growing old seems so shocking to me.  I haven’t really grown up yet, let alone old.  I have to remind myself sometimes that I am not a fresh-faced twenty-something, because at times, one would think I was a mere teenager….

1.    I will always believe that any conflict can be resolved using the “Rock, Paper,       Scissors” method of justice.
2.    At any given time, on any given day, Cartoon Network is being aired in my home. I do not have children.
3.    Flatulence makes me giggle.
4.    When only the dog is looking, I grab a hairbrush and sing along in the mirror.
5.    Upon seeing a lush, green field of open grass, I still must prove that I can do a round-off-back-tuck like it’s my job.
6.    My old roommate and I utilize hand puppets to perform Garbage songs on video.
7.    Situational tension and awkwardness can always be broken by taking the piss out of random passers-by.
8.    You will have to rip my Pink Panther pajama pants out of my cold, dead hands.
9.    I discuss, at length, how Tom & Jerry is representative of modern society and its struggles.
10.    I will turn off the automatic doors at the grocery store and sit in my car, mocking you as you slam into the glass that did not open.

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Randomness | 1 Comment

10 Reasons I am Officially Old

I spent the morning discussing various weather-related topics, the bulk of which relating to driving in the lovely, ice-laden Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  This sparked many a revelation in my mind and the minds of others, as we began to notice the many ways by which we see ourselves getting old.

Inspired by my friend Dave Pye (www.davepye.com) and his list of old-age signs, I present to you my list of reasons why I, at the tender age of 30, have officially become OLD.

  1. I was asleep on New Years Eve well before midnight.  This was due largely in part to a nasty chest cold, which, in the past, would never have deterred the usual NYE festivities.  I actually preferred to stay in, wrapped in the comfort of my blankets and celebrating with NyQuil shots rather than bubbly.
  2. I watch home videos when all alone.  Some old, some new, but I watch them.  Willingly. Happily.  Misty-eyed-ly.
  3. Large groups of teenagers intimidate me at times.
  4. I received a grooming kit for Christmas, and was absolutely tickled pink.  I no longer use one nail clipper for all of my grooming needs.
  5. I, much like my friend Dave, do not enjoy being tailgated.  I will slow down to a crawl, ride my brakes, speak (yell) to you in my mirrors, and contemplate slamming on the brakes just to make you hit my car and feel like an idiot.
  6. I reprimand young punks when I hear vulgar language in public, especially around little children.
  7. I clean up public areas of my apartment building that others have trashed rather than adding to the damage.
  8. In one doctor’s appointment, I walked away with tendonitis in both wrists and a slipped disc in my back.
  9. I cannot enjoy a Saturday unless I’ve gotten out of bed before 8:30 and have cleaned the entire apartment.
  10. Getting drunk involves setting aside 24-48 hours of recovery time, regardless of the amount of alcohol imbibed.

What makes you feel old??

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Randomness | 2 Comments

“Remember tonight.. for it is the beginning of always.” – Dante Alighieri

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I want to congratulate my brother, Michael Frissore, on his recent success in winning the Coatlism Book Prize 2008 for his work Poetry is Dead.

2009 is off to a great start…Congrats, Mikey – I’m anxiously awaiting its release!

January 6, 2009 Posted by | Randomness | Leave a comment