Cocksuckers Ball: Courts to the Rescue

A three-judge federal panel on Tuesday voided North Carolina’s congressional map, on the grounds that the gerrymandered districts were ‘motivated by invidious partisan intent.’ In other words, the Republicans in North Carolina engineered congressional districts following the 2010 census in order to ensure most of the state’s districts were won by Republicans. Redrawing districts to partisan advantage has been a legal grey area ever since the advent of partisan politics in this country. But the panel has now set precedent that such practices are unconstitutional, and that’s a good thing. Continue reading “Cocksuckers Ball: Courts to the Rescue”

What Rotten Luck

The United States has just about the only government left in the world that is hostile to the realities of global warming. The scientific consensus, that the globe is warming due to human activity, has been embroiled in party politics. There’s no false equivalency here, either. Turning global warming into a political fight is solely the responsibility of the Republican Party. Resistance to action to combat global warming is almost exclusively a Republican disease, and it affects everyone from donors, to legislators, all the way down to conservative voters. This is a huge problem considering that, until recently, the United States was the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases, which are responsible for global warming. Continue reading “What Rotten Luck”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Freejack

Freejack is one of those movies that potential viewers might remember. They will vaguely remember a time when Emilio Estevez was a leading man, and they might recall that he was in a movie once called Freejack. They probably won’t remember what the movie was about, but they could remember that Mick Jagger, yes, that Mick Jagger, had a role. But, us shitty movie fans, we happy not-so-few, remember this as an ambitious and silly sci-fi action flick. We also remember that not only did Mick Jagger have a prominent part — his gloriously shitty performance stole the film. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Freejack”

October Horrorshow: The Satanic Rites of Dracula

Here we are. October 31st. Halloween. The end of the October Horrorshow. The final film in this look back at Hammer Film Productions is a departure from type. If there’s one thing I’ve picked up on from watching 31 Hammer films in a row, it’s that Hammer basically made the same film over and over and over again. That’s not negative criticism on my part. Hammer had a style, in the same way that a musician like John Lee Hooker had a style or an artist like Willem de Kooning had a style. Listen to an album or see a painting hanging on a wall and it becomes immediately clear who is responsible. Hammer films followed a theme. They developed over time into something that was very much their own. Towards the end, though, they began to switch things up in search of a new formula. Such is the case with today’s film. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Satanic Rites of Dracula”

October Horrorshow: The Kiss of the Vampire

Hammer saw much success with its version of Dracula in 1958. Of course they wanted to cash in further. For reasons beyond the scope of this review, they couldn’t nail down Christopher Lee for a sequel until 1965. But that didn’t stop Hammer. In 1960 they released The Brides of Dracula, which featured neither Dracula nor any vampire that appeared with him in the previous film. It was misrepresentation, plain and simple. In watching it, it becomes clear Brides was meant to be a Dracula film, with Lee in it, but the script had been reworked to put a different baddie in the lead. The Kiss of the Vampire has similar origins, although with this film Hammer had the decency to release it without a false pedigree. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Kiss of the Vampire”

October Horrorshow: Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

This is somewhat of a melancholy review for Missile Test. Not only is this the last film of this year’s Horrorshow to be directed by Terence Fisher, it is also the last film he directed, period. He directed films for a quarter of a century, sometimes putting out three or four in a year. Before I began this Horrorshow, I had never heard of Terence Fisher, but what I discovered was a workaday director who could be counted on to helm a film with care, attention to detail, and strong pace. He was in no way innovative, and his films display the difference between craft and art. Terence Fisher was a craftsman, and his trade was directing movies to make his producers money. He was very good at that, and he was very good at keeping me entertained. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell”