March 2011

Love at First Bite: George Hamilton Acts!

I, honestly, have no idea what George Hamilton went and got famous for. There’s not a particular role that sticks out in my mind – of course, his career was all but finished when I became aware of his wondrously brown and crispy skin. He’s like an oily piece of chicken, and in Love at First Bite he acts too. Who woulda guessed?

Pretty much everything about the 1979 comedic vampire movie anticipates the excess and squalor of the coming decade. In a scene relatively close to its opening, Hamilton’s Dracula character winds up back at Cindy Sondheim’s pad – she’s played by a ridiculously thin Susan Saint James – getting ready to go to bed. And yes, consequence free sex was still a present concern at the time. Either way, Cindy, during her preparation of putting on a negligee also snags some dope to smoke and a bit of booze. All those things should add up to a decent evening alone with a Transylvanian Count. But Hamilton’s character doesn’t smoke or drink. He just convinces the trampy broad to goto bed and then bites her neck.

It’s the beginning of Cindy’s fixation on the guy, even in the face of her spurned lover/psychiatrist. Of course, seeing as the shrink possesses insight in Cindy’s life beyond most others – and happens to be Van Helsig’s grandson – the guy goes on a tirade to ride the world of vampires (anyone who caught that Scientist reference should reward themselves).

Either way, the remainder of the film is basically one woman chasing after a man with some other guy tailing ‘em both. Granted, there’s some fire and stray shots fired, but Love at First Bite isn’t really that funny. The reason it’s remarkable, beyond the plot someone green lighted, is that Hamilton turns in a rather convincing portrayal of a mythical figure. Even as the entire film seems like a slapped together reworking of Young Frankenstein and An American Werewolf at once, Hamilton retains his detached cool even if his accent winds up being as cartoonish (in a good way) as the rest of the film.

Red Riding Hood: Gorgeous Visuals Can’t Mask a Crappy Plot

Last Friday, my best friend “kidnapped” me for a Mommy’s Day Out. She took me to a delicious lunch at Panera bread, we made our dogs new license tags together, and we saw the new movie, Red Riding Hood. We’d both been excited about the film, since we love fairy tales, supernatural stuff, and pretty much anything with some kind of creature in it. Plus, I’ve been a fan of Amanda Seyfried since I saw her in Mama Mia! and later Jennifer’s Body, so you know we were both looking forward to the movie. (Spoilers ahead.)

Christine: Cars Can Cum

There’re a number of reasons why John Carpenter’s 1983 Christine is ridiculously entertaining to watch. Arnie and Dennis’ friendship is so fictional that even when they’re getting along well at the beginning of the feature, it’s still a completely implausible scenario. Arnie, the geek, snags the hot transfer student before Dennis asks her out during study hall. And the last reason, or at least the last one simply listed here, is the fact that Leigh, the hot transfer student, was played by Alexandra Paul whose gone on to be an eco terrorist protester focusing, in part, on the auto industry. And since Christine’s titular character is a ’58 Plymouth, that’s hilarious.

That Plymouth, though, has a particularly troubling lineage. The film’s opening scenes depict a man simply dying while sitting in it on the assembly line. No explanation, but the narrative jumps ahead to 1979 when Arnie buys the car. After the purchase, though, it’s revealed that the last owner gassed his kid in the thing. That’s a bummer. And what I does to Arnie’s a bummer too.

More nerdy than even Horseshack, at least that guy was funny, Arnie thinks buying a car his the key to him not only maturing, but eventually losing his virginity. It is actually part of how he gets Leigh to go out with him in the first place. But all that bad mojo Christine, the Plymouth, is carrying around with her eventually rubs off on her owner. Of course, a hot girl’s already a good pay off. But soon, viewers find that the car, when not being tooled around in, heads out at night to kill people who’ve wronged Arnie. That’s a pretty good built in feature, easily trumping air bags. At times, it’s hard to tell if Arnie’s completely aware of what’s going on. Christine mysteriously almost chokes to death and blames the vehicle, straining her relationship with Arnie which has already begun to evolve into a weird misogynistic kind of affair.

10 Reasons to Watch Supernatural

My husband and I are just now finishing the first season of the hit show Supernatural, so we’re pretty behind as far as present-day episodes go. So I can’t really speak in favor of the rest of the seasons. But I know that we are pretty obsessed with this series, even though I’m always the first person to say that television rots your brain—and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys supernatural, scary media. Here are 10 reasons why.

10. It’s Scary

While not every episode is pee-your-pants scary, there have been plenty of episodes that make you jump. I screamed in surprise for the first time the other night watching one episode, and there are a couple of them that have still lingered with me even weeks after watching them.

9. It’s Short