Amoeblog

Jack the Ripper, Rock n' Roller or Just Creepy Dark Alley Stroller?

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 13, 2019 11:00pm | Post a Comment

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show


"Let us begin. Let the circle not be broken. Concentrate upon the flame, which burns upon the Altar of Truth. Yes... there is something here. Something terrible. I feel its presence. Fear, anger, hatred... anger feeds the flame. Oh, oh, there is evil here, monstrous, terrible evil! Consuming hunger! Hatred of all that lives, hatred of women, a hunger that never dies! It is strong, overpowering, an ancient terror! It has a name: Barratus, Kesla, Redjac. Devouring all life, all light! A hunger that will never die!"
~ Sybo, the Argelian empath

Let me start off by saying, serial killers are not cool. They are total jerks. But much like the Zodiac Killer, Jack the Ripper still has folks intrigued because he had a great name and was never caught. Judas Priest, Morrissey, Nick Cave, and even LL Cool J have songs about "The Ripper."

Now, I don't listen to those cats, but I do have a fond memory of tearing down a dirt road along side the railroad tracks in my old Ford F150 (with a spray-painted pirate flag on the hood) listening to Link Wray & His Ray Men's "Jack the Ripper" on cassette when I was a young lad.

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Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: Jonny Quest & Aliens on Spring Break

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 30, 2019 01:02pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month's Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi where I review recent Blu-ray releases.

Jonny Quest, The Complete Original Series, Warner Archive:
In my opinion this is the best Saturday morning cartoon ever made and the greatest achievement of Johnny QuestHanna-Barbera Productions. I can already hear the angry cries of the naysayers: "But The Flintstones! The Jetsons!" I'm not belittling either of those shows, they are iconic entries in the history of cartoons and basically set the standard for funny cartoons. But Jonny Quest has levels of sophistication that neither of them has and was literally developed to be better than those two shows. Hanna-Barbera created Jonny Quest to deal with their own success. In the early to mid-1960s, The Flintstones and The Jetsons ruled the Saturday morning airwaves to the point where within a year or two every other competing cartoon show was drawn to look as near as possible to them. Hanna-Barbera basically flooded their own market and needed to come up with something stunningly new and different to stand out from the flooded marketplace that they themselves had created. So they turned away from the omnipresent humor shows and made an action/adventure series instead.

To spearhead this effort, they brought in the incredibly multi-talented Doug Wildey, an illustrator who had long worked in the comic book industry. Wildey truly understood the action/adventure genre and brought with him a bunch of his gifted comic artist friends to work on the Jonny Quest project. The end result is arguably the best action/adventure kid show ever made. Jonny Quest just fires on all levels: the artwork, the stories, the theme music, the voice actors, the designs...this show had it all and set the standard by which future cartoons would be measured by. The series told the story of a boy named Jonny Quest who had adventures with his government research scientist father, Doctor Benton Quest. Race Bannon was a secret agent assigned to be their bodyguard but ended up basically being a family member. In the course of their travels they adopt an orphaned Indian boy named Hadji. This was a real boys' club show; there was no mother or any women in the central cast, which has often caused me to comment that Jonny Quest was the first show about gay parenting.

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Weird Wednesday at The Alamo Drafthouse New Mission in August

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 29, 2019 06:25pm | Post a Comment

Sun Ra, Space is the Place

Amoeba and Alamo Drafthouse continue their partnership for Weird Wednesday at the New Mission theater in SF this August! Weird Wednesday is Alamo's weekly celebration of movies that are too outrageous for prime time. The August line-up proves to be daring, imaginative, and downright interplanetary. You won't want to miss any of these.

Murderous Intent (1985)
Wednesday, August 7. 9pm
Jamaican-born, NYC-based director Len Anthony originally set out to make several films, but was never able to finish any of them. All the leftover footage was smashed together and Murderous Intent was born. Opening with an explosive Alvin Ailey-esque dance troupe number, you will never be able to predict where this movie is headed. It's like if Dangerous Men was an art film -- or a horror film -- or both -- or neither!

Murderous Intent

Caged Heat (1974)
Wednesday, August 14. 9:30pm
This women-in-prison tale is the debut feature from future cinema legend Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Something Wild, Married to the Mob). Thrown into the penal hell of Connorville, petty criminal Jacqueline (Erica Gavin) fights against the ruthless inmates, a cruel warden (Barbara Steele), and her depraved staff. She forms an uneasy friendship with two hardened inmates; when these three unite, they seek escape, money, and revenge. Composer John Cale (formerly of The Velvet Underground!) also offers a stark, experimental, blues-inflected score — and the story takes a number of odd turns including several strikingly surreal fantasy sequences, with Steele getting the best moment in a stylish cabaret number.

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Weird Wednesday at The Alamo Drafthouse New Mission

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 20, 2019 07:45pm | Post a Comment

Zardoz

Amoeba Music joins Alamo Drafthouse in presenting Weird Wednesday at the New Mission Walkertheater in San Francisco! Weird Wednesday is a weekly celebration of movies that are too outrageous for prime time. This is a head-first dive into an ocean of genre oddities, a one-way ticket to the edges of reality where imagination and commercial excess dance on the graves of common sense and decency. No decade or sub-genre is off-limits and every ticket is a chance to see something wild, wonderful, and fun!

The line-up for July gets a fittingly epic launch on July 3rd at 10:15pm with the Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid & Nancy) film Walker (1987), starring Ed Harris, Peter Boyle, and Marlee Matlin. The story is loosely based on the life of William Walker, an American commissioned by Cornelius Vanderbilt to set up a banana republic in Nicaragua who then ends up declaring himself president of that country. The film is scored by Joe Strummer (The Clash), who even has a cameo role. Screened on 35mm!

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Having A Movie Moment with Jon Longhi: Kung Fu Vampires & Medieval Christians

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 18, 2019 01:25pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month’s Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi where I review recent Blu-ray releases. This month I review a crazy cult vampire kung fu zombie movie and a cinematic masterpiece about a Christian painter in the Middle Ages.

The Legend Of The Seven Golden Vampires, Shout Factory/Scream Factory:
This was the only time that the mighty Hammer Studios teamed up with the Shaw Brothers, but they should have made a habit of it. This delirious kung fu vampire zombie film is one of the most entertaining movies either studio produced. It kind of combines what both studios did best. On the Hammer side, you have actors like Peter Cushing playing distinguished aristocrats and the studio's beautiful gothic neon technicolor cinematography. On the Shaw Brothers side of things, you have hideous monsters, surreal flourishes in the story and images, and some of the best kung fu fighting you'll ever see. When you mix them together it's like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of pure horror movie fun. The film starts with a Chinese villain traveling to Transylvania to enlist Count Dracula's help in reincarnating the legendary seven golden vampires in his homeland. Dracula instead steals his identity and travels himself to China to become the new ruler of these vampires of the far east. Meanwhile, Doctor Van Helsing (played by Peter Cushing) is giving a lecture tour in China, trying to warn the country's scientists of the vampire scourge. He tells them that he has heard legends of a town terrorized by a group of seven vampires. He's pretty much laughed off the stage by everyone except for one man who knows the doctor is telling the truth. The man's name is Hsi Ching and he's from the town the seven golden vampires have recently returned to. He and his seven brothers enlist the aid of Van Helsing, and, with the help of a traveling dilettante heiress who underwrites the expedition, they all take off to defeat the monsters. What follows is a series of adventures that plays like an Indiana Jones movie infested with vampires and zombies. The film is filled with action scenes that are like a form of kung fu ballet. The vampires have a literal army of zombies and the fight scenes are non-stop.

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