Showing posts from April, 2016

I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts... But I Can't Help It.

I'm working on a piece right now for my friend Brian's site -- Rupert Pupkin Speaks -- about my picks for "Underrated Films of 1986". One of my film picks for the article is X: The Unheard Music, a documentary about one of my favorite bands of the '80s (and of all time, actually). But before I wrote about the film, I wanted to give it another watch, mainly so I could listen to X's amazing music again.

Near the end of the film, the full video for the song I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts (off of their More Fun in the New World album) is shown in its entirety. It is a song that I often sing to myself when I go on my walks (if I have not brought the iPod), if only because I sometimes find the mantra in the chorus, "I must not think bad thoughts," helpful when I find those moments when the day or life or whatever has gotten me in a bad place in my mind. Which is quite often these days.

The irony (fully intended) in the mantra is that, when read along with th…

Pull the String! No, Not Bela's String... King Kong's! [The Ballad of Kong Pt. 9]

[This is the ninth part of an ongoing (and resurrected) series called The Ballad of Kong. To read the previous parts, start with Pt. 1 from December 2005.]
In once again picking up my multi-part memory slideshow regarding the early years of King Kong's influence in my life, I have encased in amber within my stupid brain a prehistoric notion of Kong that far precedes any viewing of a Kong film or video, or any reading of a book or magazine on monsters, or any sneakily clandestine ogling of Jessica Lange on Topps trading cards. It is a vivid memory of my playing with a King Kong puppet as a small child. Not just a generic, stuffed gorilla that some money-grubbing opportunist says is King Kong, but rather an actual merchandising tie-in to a late 1960s television cartoon that I most certainly have viewed on Saturday morning television when I was a child, but I truly have no actual recollection of the show. I only remember the toy.
But the toy was not played with in Alaska, where we live…

Andy Dufresne and the Shawshank Connection?

I turned on the TV yesterday afternoon to watch a little old school Match Game '78 on BUZZR (which plays reruns of old game shows) while I had my lunch with our cat, the Blueberry. When Match Game was over, the next show on was Child's Play. The contestants were announced by Bill Cullen, and the first one was a lady named Andy Dufresne.
It took me a second before I flashed on The Shawshank Redemption and realized that she had the same exact name as Tim Robbins' character in that movie. The name is the same in Stephen King's original novella, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. Knowing that the book in which the novella was published, Different Seasons, came out in the early '80s, I started to wonder if perhaps Stephen King had been watching daytime TV back then and happened upon this episode and said, "What a great name for my lead character!" and then used Andy Dufresne for his story.

Looking up Different Seasons, I found out it was published in ha…

The Monster's on the Loose!!! #1: The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956)

Why begin this new feature on the Cinema 4 Pylon, intended to spotlight a particular monster -- famous or otherwise -- with a mere (mostly) stop-motion dinosaur? And especially when I normally I steer clear of calling a dinosaur "monster" in the first place.

Dinosaurs -- including the species somewhat represented in The Beast of Hollow Mountain as a member of the Allosaurus genus -- are catalogued scientifically. They are recognized by the immensely overwhelming majority of legitimate scientists as having once possessed life (in the natural sense) and roamed upon our planet in the past (and millions of years before man came along, not at the same time). Monsters, in the vein that I am using them here, are made up of entirely fictional creatures of some mysterious origin either supernatural or unnaturally scientific (such as laboratory or nuclear experimentation gone awry), or they may be part of the group called "cryptids", described by the Oxford Dictionary as crea…

Why I Couldn't Miss Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice... Pt. 1

[I began this piece a couple of days before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theatres on the evening of Thursday, May 24th, and finished it well after seeing the film twice already. When I began writing this, the film was already hitting crazy lows on critical mass sites like Rotten Tomatoes due to the accumulation of generally poor to middling reviews from movie critics, and even before the film was going to be seen for the first time by the public, the so-called "fan"-boys and the appropriately named trolls had already pretty much taken the film apart without seeing a frame outside of the trailers. While none of this was going to sway me from my impulse to see the film at my earliest possible convenience -- the reasons why are the thrust of this piece -- seeing that a couple of my long-time friends were not only proclaiming in advance they were not going to see the film, but were ferociously adamant about it, set me to muse upon the situation.]

There is a viral video …