CRYSTAL COVE - What is the greatest showbiz honor? Oscar? Emmy? Nobel Prize? Peabody? None of them compare to the eternal glory of being the celebrity guest star on a Scooby-Doo series.
This honor was recently bestowed upon Cinema Insomnia’s host Mr. Lobo in the excellent Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated series. “Beware The Beast From Below” featured the iconic image of Mr. Lobo in the role of Professor Emmanuel Raffalo. Back in the ’70s, all the great stars made guest shots with the meddling kids and their dog including Jerry Reed, Don Adams, Batman and the Harlem Globetrotters.
Mr. Lobo over the last few years has elevated him to the top of the movie host game. He made headlines for his unexpected feud with pro wrestler Chris Jericho. Y2J had a slur-rific meltdown at the host during a Q&A session at Sacramento Horror Film Festival. But mostly it’s Cinema Insomnia that has helped Mr. Lobo stick out. He had the honor to have Bob Wilkins guest star on his show. Wilkins’ Creature Features was legendary in the San Francisco Bay area. The episode had Bob and Mr. Lobo sitting in rocking chairs at a graveyard. A fitting place for the duo to chat.
While some show talk about fan support, Cinema Insomnia upcoming 10th season is the result of fans contributing to the production budget through Kickstarter. Overdrive airs on 30 stations around the country. For those people outside those areas or unable to stay up past 9 p.m., Mr. Lobo’s created the Cinema Insomnia channel on Youtube. Unlike the old Youtube that forced you to break things up into 10 minute segments, a complete two hour episode requires only a single click of the play button. Now you can enjoy all the misunderstood movies with the help of Mr. Lobo and the potted Miss Mittens.
With the Halloween season around the corner, the Party Favors dropped an email to Mr. Lobo to find out about the holiday season, the new Cinema Insomnia and Scooby-Doo stardom.
Party Favors: What does Mr. Lobo do for Halloween? Is it a working holiday for you?
Mr. Lobo: Every Halloween I wear the same costume I wear everyday–MR. LOBO. We host film shows-This year SACRAMENTO HORROR FILM FESTIVAL at the COLONIAL and AN EVENING WITH THE MUNSTERS at the BAL THEATER in SAN LEANDRO are two big ones. I’ve been taping new episodes of CIENMA INSOMNIA so I have less time for live events this year. I have roles in some very misunderstood movies-This year I am playing myself in a film called A HARD DAYS NIGHTMARE and do voice-overs for low budget Indie films, one called THE BOYS and another is called FANG BANG. As a legal reverend and Saint in the Church Of Ed Wood I’ll probably solemnize a wedding for a spooky hipster couple or two.
Yes, It’s is a working Holiday and since I eat better around Halloween, we like to play with and waste food for fun. We like to mutilate gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and let them rot on our front stoop. Not having dental insurance, this is the time of year Mr. Lobo likes to prepare and eat Carmel Apples–to remove any loose are damaged teeth or inferior dental work. It’s always a hoot to make embarrassing or cumbersome costumes for my children out of recyclables.
And Finally, as Mr. Lobo does every “Devil’s Night”, we soap windows, TP the CVS, smash and destroy early Christmas decorations at major department stores, crank call my mother, and set fire to television stations and sponsors that have wronged Mr. Lobo or CINEMA INSOMNIA in the past 10 years.
Since it’s my most prosperous season, we also like to hit the sales the Day After Halloween to do my yearly shopping for -Well-Everything…clothes, kitchen wares, pantry items, birthday-X-mas-Valentines-Mothers Day-bereavement gifts! It’s the only time I can buy amenities and necessities that suit Mr. Lobo’s demanding tastes and at deep discounts.
Party Favors: What’s the most frightening non-horror film ever made?
Mr. Lobo: Pretty Woman. A movie starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts about whores made by Disney. Fortunately they cut the animated gerbil sequence.
Party Favors: Do you think there’s anything misunderstood about “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star?” Could Cinema Insomnia handle that film or is it truly bad.
Mr. Lobo: Mr. Lobo has not seen this film nor has any plans to. Mr. Lobo is sure they had good intentions. The producers of that film probably wanted to make something appropriate for the times and their best behavioral scientists and accountants told them that this is what audiences want. Hypothetically, if the rest of the film has as few laughs as the trailer…then maybe Mr. Lobo could provide some comic relief.
Party Favors: Has the addition of digital sub-stations like RTN and Antenna made more opportunities for movie hosts or is it about the same?
Mr. Lobo: More hosts are being seen that is for sure…so I suppose it is an opportunity–But a different model than in the past. Many hosts on substations are “pay to play”. Several RTV hosts have purchased time locally on their affiliates and got the bonus of national exposure. Elvira is on two and sometimes three channels in the same market which makes me think she’s also “pay to play”-but she can afford it! This can work if you can sell ads or have a good sponsor or aggressive Syndicator. Syndicators can sometime “buy you on” in a particular market if they think it will bring bigger ad opportunities. My main network AMGTV lets me keep some of the time to sell ads-but I don’t have a sales team…I couldn’t survive week to week on ad sales. I use most of my spots to push Cinema Insomnia DVDs or sell them to my distributor Apprehensive Films.
*Ahem*…mrloboshop.com. What was the Question???
Party Favors: How is the 10th season coming together?
Mr. Lobo: It’s been fun getting back into a real studio. In the past couple years we’ve taped a show here and there–mostly Halloween Specials to pad out our original syndication package. We’re editing several episodes now…and will create 26 new ones. The first is scheduled to air Halloween Weekend. Ed Wood’s lost disaster-piece Venus Flytrap that features a playful jab at another late night film show Mystery Science Theater.
Party Favors: Have you ever found out how much it would cost to run “Creature From the Black Lagoon” on your show?
Mr. Lobo: There is nothing Misunderstood about that one. It’s just plain good. The Creature still holds up. Much of what I like about CINEMA INSOMNIA is I get to be Hamburger Helper. Mr. Lobo needs the movies and they need Mr. Lobo. As far as getting a Universal Classic for broadcast and possible subsequent video release–the red tape is astounding…It would cost much more than what we bring in and would not be viable. But perhaps if I get on a larger network with a film library like what Turner Classic Movies has. Mr. Lobo has presented THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON Live at theaters several times and to get movies like that from Universal, MGM, or whoever for a one time performance in a theater costs in the ballpark 300 bucks and/or a percentage of the door.
Party Favors: What’s your most popular episode?
Mr. Lobo: STARCRASH never did much for us before the “Cease and Desist”. After we pulled it from our rotation STARCRASH became legendary…followed by GIGANTIS, BIGFOOT, our live pledge drive for KTEH–DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, IN SEARCH OF ANCIENT ASTRONAUTS, and our syndication premiere NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD…they all have their peaks at times…
Party Favors: What was it like to do the Halloween special with Bob Wilkins?
Mr. Lobo: Bob called and said he was coming to Sacramento to do my show with me and I needed to pick him up from the bus station. I thought he was kidding! But sure enough…there he was big as life stepping off that Greyhound from Reno. I wrote 11 pages of script that was quickly discarded…we ad libbed and improv’d the whole thing. We just played in the cemetery for 2 hours. That was his last appearance on TV. He was too sick after that…but we did lots of conventions and screenings together. He was a great man who taught me so much. I miss him.
Party Favors: Is there a major following of your Plan 9 from Outer Space - Hardware Wars double bill?
Mr. Lobo: Not as much as there should be! I think the George Lucas puppet in that episode is too scary! HARDWARE WARS mastermind Ernie Fosselius also directed the CINEMA INSOMNIA episodes for PLAN 9, EEGAH! NIGHTMARE IN BLOOD, and most of the upcoming WAR OF THE PLANETS episode.
Mr. Lobo: Currently there are 25 full length 2 hour shows and my host wraps from 2 others.
Party Favors: Is it a joy to not have people watching 10 parts of an episode on youtube?
Mr. Lobo: At least this way I can pretend they’re watching the whole thing. I’m not wondering : “What happened in part 6-did I say something wrong?”
Party Favors: Is it nice to be able send people a link when they ask where to watch you?
Mr. Lobo: Mr. Lobo’s CINEMA INSOMNIA has been on Bittorent, Mevio, Livestream, Amazon, etc. YouTube however seems the most universal so far…people know it. They understand it. They can watch it on their various devices and boxes.
Party Favors: Has your popularity soared since your cameo on Scooby-Doo?
Mr. Lobo: You have to already know it’s supposed to be me or supposedly supposed to be me-so I don’t know if my popularity has exactly soared. Not like when pro-wrestler Chris Jericho called me a “fag” and I was afraid to leave my house for two weeks.
Party Favors: Did you know that Professor Emmanuel Raffalo was going to look like you?
Mr. Lobo: A friend who works for Cartoon Network tipped me off that something maybe happening. I had no idea it was a Scooby-Doo villain until people kept telling me…You’re in Scooby-Doo! You’re in Scooby-Doo!??Party Favors: Have you spoken with Jeff Bennett to uncover his technique for playing your voice?
Mr. Lobo: Mr. Lobo in true WWE fashion threatened to beat his candy-kisser senseless! I’ll do my own voice next time thankyouverymuch.
Party Favors: Do you now feel like a Harlem Globetrotter? Who was your favorite guest star on the Scooby-Doo Movies?
Mr. Lobo: Always…I feel like them all the time. Like when the Globetrotters were bionic and they had the Shmoo and that button that called Godzilla. Comedian Don Knotts and singer Jerry Reed were probably the two most memorable guest stars off hand. Oh, and Tim Conway.
Party Favors: Are little kids throwing stuff at you for trying to kill Scooby?
Mr. Lobo: Nope. Just 45 year old fanboys.
Party Favors: If you could kill one Scooby-Doo castmember, which one would it be and how would you do it?
Mr. Lobo: Mr. Lobo would curb stomp Scrappy-Doo and that Tibetan kid Flim-Flam.
Party Favors: If the Great Pumpkin could give you one wish, what would you want this Halloween?
Mr. Lobo: I would wish for this interview to be over so I can go back to being the greatest horror host in the world…
Roger Corman’s Cult Classics Triple Feature Lethal Ladies Collection packs three tales of female heat in the Philippines. In the middle of the Kung Fu craze of the ’70s, Roger Corman realized he needed an angle to have an impact in the market place. TNT Jackson had two big hooks by casting Jeannie Bell as the title star. They found a female version of Black Belt Jones with slick martial arts moves. But the bigger hook is Topless Kung Fu. You need any other reason to buy this DVD? Bell arrives in Hong Kong in search of her brother’s killers. The journey starts off on a bad foot when she goes to the extremely bad part of the city. Seems her brother wasn’t hanging with a posh crowd. She unwittingly befriends and beds Stan Shaw (Rocky and The Great Santini) even though he’s her brother’s executioner. Bell’s fighting technique is more convincing than Hulk Hogan. She moves like a dancer instead of a killer. She’s breaks a man’s arm at a right angle. Bell got her big break in several Beverly Hillbillies episodes. Good thing Jethro didn’t get to rough with her.
Firecracker is a remake of TNT Jackson with Jillian Kesner, the winner of the Black Belt Olympics and star of Kung Fu Cannibals. Cirio H. Santiago remains in the director’s chair. This time it’s her sister’s disappearance that brings her to the Philippines. The local Mafia want Kesner to vanish like her sister. She crosses paths with Kung Fu master Darby Hinton (Malibu Express). Turns out the guy knows her sister. He really gets to know Kesner during a love scene that involves cutting off clothes with various blades. So you get a kinky fetish along with topless Kung Fu when during a fight her bra gets snipped off. Why wasn’t Firecracker Oscar nominated? They reused Shogun Assassin’s synth score to pump up the action although Kesner needs little help when she gets her feet in motion. This is better than Gymkata.
Too Hot to Handle stars Cheri Caffaro and isn’t based off the script from TNT Jackson. She’s best known for making her Ginger films. Too Hot is better than her trilogy. She’s an assassin that has not problems getting dirty to make her targets exposed. She snuffs one guy using his own S&M toys. She just ignores the safeword. Fans of cinematic cockfighting will get a thrill over a visit to the Manilla Roosterdome. The bird violence is cut with Cheri naked in bed. Would Stephen Colbert approve of such an editing technique? The ending seals the movie as the only Cheri movie you ever need to own in your collection. Cheri contributes an audio commentary. She recaps her time in Manilla. Lethal Ladies Collection is a threesome for the eyes. The transfers look great. Next up on the release schedule is the Double Feature of Streets and Angel in Red. Streets has Christina Applegate as a teen hooker being chased by a nutso cop. This is only available from Shoutfactorystore.com.
MGM MOD SQUAD
More goodies from the AIP collection are finally seeing their way onto home video thanks to the MGM’s Manufacture on Demand (MOD) program. So many things that would have been perfect for the Midnite Movies series can now see the light of day. The big thing to remember about the DVD-Rs is that they don’t play well on computer drives, but look great on dedicated DVD players.
The Savage Seven is another one of the classic AIP biker flicks made in the late ’60s. A group of outlaws led by Adam Roarke tangle with an Indian tribe. This isn’t an all out stomping since Adam lusts for Joanna Frank (Say Anything), a member of the tribe. Her brother disapproves of the Roarke. What’s interesting is this film was produced by none other than Dick Clark. He hosted the clean cut American Bandstand while overseeing a biker fight. Penny Marshall has a bit part. Director Richard Rush (The Stuntman) made this right after The Psych-Out.
Act of Vengeance is like an exploitation Lifetime movie. A group of women in a support group realize they were raped by the same guy wearing a hockey mask. Instead of just commiserating, the ladies use their self-defense training to become an attack unit so they can hunt down their attacker. They also cruise around looking for other potential attackers so they can turn the tables. Will their form of justice have an impact or get them in trouble with the law? They just don’t make movies like this anymore. It’s the female version of Death Wish. This was released as Rape Squad.
Sugar Hill pits zombies against mobsters in a Blaxtion era hit. This shouldn’t be confused with the Wesley Snipes film. Marki Bey’s boyfriend gets whacked by the Mafia after refusing to pay for protection. Instead of going to the police, Bey seeks help from Baron Samedi. He’s the voodoo lord of the dead. In exchange for her soul, Bey control a zombie army that rises from their graves. They are on a mission to eat underworld brains. Bey looks so tempting when dishing out the evil revenge. This deserves a double feature with Scream Blacula Scream.
The Christine Jorgensen Story is the famous tale of how a man became the most famous woman in America thanks to a visit to Sweden. John Hansen plays the man who goes under the knife to reveal his real identity. “Did the surgeon’s knife make me a woman or a freak?” the poster asks. There was no Logo or Discover Health channel back in 1970 to give numerous documentaries about the subject. So viewers had to depend on a melodrama about a little boy who felt more comfortable in his mother’s clothes and make up than on the pitcher’s mound. It’s great exploitation art with a heart.
Fedrerico Fellini’s The Clowns is the great director’s semi-documentary look at the painted circus performers. He made the project for RAI TV in Italy, but it was also run in theaters around the world. Nino Rota’s circus inspired music finally gets to linger around the big top. The film is split into three parts. It opens with a little kid watching the Circus tent get set up next to his home. We’re taken inside the beehive and the performances. The middle is a history of the great clowns of Europe (non-politicians). Fellini gets into the act as he appears on camera. The final part is a clown’s funeral. They don’t pull the coffin out of the back of a clown car. But it mixes the humor with the sadness. The 1080p image brings out the colors and makeup details of the various clowns. You see how much goes into making their faces and costumes pop for a live audience. It’s less of a documentary and more a reflection on what clowns meant to Fellini.
Barney Miller: The Complete Series finally brings together all the seasons of the great cop sitcom. Sony was seriously dragging their feet only putting out three seasons in 7 years. Shout! Factory has booked all eight seasons along with choice bonus features. This means I’m no longer sentenced to hearing my father asking if Season Four has been released. He will be too busy watching all 170 episodes including the original pilot with the really bad name of “The Life and Times of Captain Barney Miller.” That would have taken up a whole page in TV guide back in 1974. The series follows the odd cases of a detective squad in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Since this was before the area was cleaned up, there’s plenty of comical scummy crooks dragging into the holding cell. Hal Linden’s Barney Miller looks like a real police captain from an episode of Police Story so there’s a touch of normalcy in the precinct. During the series run, there were great detectives working the streets. Fish (Abe Vigoda) is the elderly detective hoping his body will hold out till retirement. Vigoda at this point was best known for his work in The Godfather. Wojciehowicz (Max Gail) is the young face in the room. He’s plucky and ready to go. Harris (Ron Glass) is the sophisticated member of the squad. He looks good in plainclothes. Yemana (Jack Soo) makes a mess and bad coffee. Amanguale (Gregory Sierra) gets too tied into the job. Deputy Inspector Lugar (James Gregory) drives everyone nuts with his “in my day” stories. During the course of the show there were personal changes which allowed Dietrich (Steve Landesberg) and Levitt (Ron Carey) to join the force. This ranks with Car 54 Where Are You? as classic cop comedy if you don’t count CHiPs. The bonus features include interviews with Max Gail, Abe Vigoda and Hal Linden. The big plus is the first season of Fish. This was Vigoda’s spin-off series where he retires from the force only to discover his wife wants to have foster kids live with him. Todd Bridges was the break out star of the kids. There’s no news if season 2 of Fish will be coming out on DVD. The public can’t be denied their Abe Vigoda. Speaking of Abe, he’s a great clip from Barney Miller:
CatDog, Season 1, Part 1 is the pet version of The Odd Couple spliced with The Human Centipede. How did a cat and a dog get joined together at their torsos? Don’t ask. But the fact that these two beasts are as different as different can be. The cat (Tom Kenny) is sophisticated. The dog (Jim Cummings) is a dog. They have a wall mouse (Carlos Alazraqui) that drives cat nuts and entertains dog. The boxset has the first 10 episodes. What’s amazing is how these two halves became animated superstars. Kenny is beloved around the globe as SpongeBob SquarePants. Cummings is currently the voices of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger. Alazraqui got a face job as one of the cops on Reno 911. Billy West (Ren and Stimpy) also voiced a character. The big delight for me is SNL’s Laraine Newman as Swedish twin cats that’s Cat’s love interest.
Jem and the Holograms: The Truly Outrageous Complete Series! finally gets all three seasons of the ’80s animated series into one boxset. Hasbro created the series when they needed a female show to balance out the boy zone that was G.I. Joe and He-Man. Instead of going for a pure action show, they combined the things little girls with pop music, cool outfits and love into the core of the show. Jerrica Benton’s father dies leaving her half of his record company a home for foster children. While in the past the record company had donated a nice chunk of money to the house, the co-owner of the label needs to dedicate most of the cash to launching his latest hit group: The Misfits. Don’t get excited. It’s not Glenn Danzig’s old band. This is an all girl group that sounds like Lene Lovich calmed down. Jerrica isn’t thrilled. What she discovers is that her father also left her Synergy, a computer that can wrap holograms around people by using microprojcting earrings. She transforms herself and friends into a band that can rival the Misfits. Why can’t Jerrica just be Jem? Like Tori Spelling, she wants to make it on her own talent and not just cause she owns the record company. The Misfits aren’t happy. There’s a lot of back stabbing including burning down the Foster Home. Things get more outrageous in the third season when the Stingers arrive. They don’t like Jem or the Misfits. What band will rule supreme? Seeing how this cartoon is based on a toy line, it’s good to know that the bonus features include the old doll commercials. Each disc has a jukebox feature to play all the music videos at once. The documentary introduces views to the faces behind the voices. If you’re wondering what to get that special lady in your life that’s in her mid-30s, this might work better than a dozen roses.
Dennis the Menace: Season Three is the end of the line for Joseph Kearns as Mr. Wilson. Unlike other actors who get into a contract dispute or flee for a spinoff. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage during the end of the season. Since the flustered neighbor was an important character, the producers couldn’t just keep going with Mr. Wilson supposedly on a vacation trip to Hong Kong. They hired Gale Gordon (The Lucy Show) to play Mr. Wilson’s brother. The good news is that Gale looks like the Mr. Wilson in the comic strip with his mustache and physique. This season also marks the last time that Dennis (Jay North) would wear overalls. Kearns has a few great moments in his finale. “Trouble from Mars” squeezes his head into a space helmet. “Haunted House” gets him wrapped into a real estate plan that spooked. “Mr. Wilson’s Inheritance” is strange as he talks about the passing of an aunt that might have left him a fortune. “The Man Next Door” was the last time Kearns played the role. He swears a door to door salesman is a burglar. “John Wilson’s Cushion” introduces Gale Gordon as part of the cast. “Dennis and the Witch Doctor” starts a rumor that Mr. Wilson practices voodoo. This might have been true. Season Four (the final season) is scheduled for January 10, 2012.
Bonanza: The Official Second Season, Volume 2 brings more excitement from the Cartwright family. “Bank Run” has Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Little Joe (Michael Landon) rob a bank in order to keep the money from being stolen by the bank’s owner. “The Fugitive” stars James Best (Dukes of Hazzard) as a dead man. Hoss kills the town drunk in “Vengeance.” Was it rally an accident? Oddly enough the actor playing the drunk’s name is Keith Richards. This episode aired years before the Rolling Stones arrived in America. But Keith’s reputation preceded them. “The Dark Gate” lets James Coburn flip out as a bad guy. Harry Dean Stanton gets a small role. “The Gift” presents Martin Landau (Mission: Impossible). “The Infernal Machine” schemes George Kennedy in a horseless carriage racket. Because Congress mandated it, Claude Akins (Sheriff Lobo) is Sam Hill in “Sam Hill.”
Gunsmoke: The Fifth Season, Volume 1 is from the time when the series was still only a half an hour long. When it was syndicated, the retitled the show as Marshal Dillon. That’s how it currently runs on ME-TV. This boxset has the first 20 episodes. “Target” makes John Carradine upset that his son wants to elope with a gypsy woman. “Kitty’s Injury” gets the bar owner tossed by her horse. The local sod busters have no desire to help her. Don’t they want free booze if they get her to Doc? “Horse Deal” has a tandem pair of hustlers working the area. “Johnny Red” has a man show up claiming to be a dead Civil War vet. Trouble is he’s really an outlaw. “Annie Oakley” is not about the legendary female shooter. This is a woman who might have killed her husband. “Odd Man Out” returns the spouse violence when Elisha Cook Jr. claims his wife ran away. Trouble is a neighbor swears they saw him digging a hole. “Miguel’s Daughter” turns Simon Oakland (Kolchak) into a vengeful dad wanting to snuff the guys who are troubling his daughter. “False Witness” bears Wayne Rogers (M*A*S*H). Only 15 and a half boxsets to go until the complete Gunsmoke is released on DVD.
The Last Circus is the extreme cult film of the month. This is not your normal low budget cheapo film about clowns out of control. This looks much better than Shakes the Clown. A sad clown arrives at a Spanish circus in 1973 at the end of Franco’s time. He’s got a lot of bad memories from his childhood. He falls in love with a female acrobat, but she’s married to the happy clown. What keeps the smile on the happy clown’s face is beating her up. The sad clown doesn’t get happy from this fact. He wants to take on the happy clown. The film is gloriously vicious and insane. This shall reenforce anyone’s fear of clowns. Spring for the Blu-ray to really feel the grandeur. You can choose between the Spanish soundtrack and the English dub. This is the perfect double feature with Fellini’s The Clowns
Your Highness infuriates me. What is the point of offering an unrated version if you continue to obscure the nudity? When I click on the Unrated version, I expect to at least see Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel dry humping. How about Portman opening Zooey’s chastity belt only using her tongue? That’s at least obscured nudity worth watching. That would have made this a must own on Blu-ray or an Imax print. After all my talks in film school about the sacred nature of the Unrated cut, it seems that Danny McBride and David Gordon Green weren’t listening. Maybe if they delivered the goods, this movie wouldn’t be bound for Razzie glory.
Drinking Made Easy: Season 1 puts Zane Lamprey on the road to explore America’s fun watering holes. He’s joined by comics Steve McKenna and Marc Ryan as they get sloshed on camera more times than Anthony Bourdain and Dave Attell combined. There’s 24 episodes of them hitting numerous cities including Salt Lake City. Turns out there’s more than Sprite in the land of the Jazz. It’s impossible to come up with a drinking game since no matter what you pick, you’ll be blotto before the episode is over. HDNet lets these guys get away with plenty of fun. The big bonus feature is a special on their Drinking Made Easy Comedy Tour. There haven’t been this many drunks on stage since the Rat Pack broke up.
To Be Twenty is a brilliant disturbed film from 1978. There are actually two movies in the DVD box. The first is the theatrical version about two hot girls (Gloria Guida and Lilli Carati). This plays like a normal young ladies having causing risque fun around Rome. This has all the right notes for a Cinemax After Dark classic. Gloria and Lilli get caught making out and are run out of town by the locals. This leads to their adventures in teasing men, being hookers and chased by the cops. They’re a troublesome twosome in this fluffy fun. Then you watch Fernando Di Leo’s director’s cut. It seems like the same film except the opening has changed. Turns out that was the ending. And it’s a bit more extreme than being chased out of town. The movie goes from a sex comedy to a snuff film in the final reel. It’s a incredibly uncomfortable jolt. For those into freaky Eurocore, this movie is a must watch. If you just want a good bad girls on the road movie, just watch the theatrical version. “Twenty Years for a Massacre” is a 30 minute featurette about the harsh ending.
Casper, The Friendly Ghost: The Complete Collection 1945-63 contains all 81 cartoons made for the theater and TV. Casper is best known as the ghost that just hates scaring people. He merely wants to be a nice undead spirit. But the other ghosts hate his goodie goodie ways. They won’t let him stay in their haunted houses. The early cartoons are a bit rough, but the image improves over the course of the years. The TV cartoons reflect the comic books with the addition of Wendy the Good Witch, cousin Spooky and Nightmare the Ghostly Horse. Casper’s a fun character for the kids around Halloween since he reminds us that not every undead creature wants to steal your soul or eat your brains.
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Volume Three - Iron Man Unleashed and The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Volume Four - Thor’s Last Stand contain the last 13 episodes of the first season of the animated series. .Judging from the upcoming live action movie, this animated series is much more entertaining. Volume Three brings the Masters of Evil together. Can they destroy Avengers’ Mansion? Kang the Conqueror arrives for three episodes. He wants to destroy Captain America and takeover the Earth. Big plans for a guy with a big nickname. Volume Four takes the superheroes to Asgard to battle Loki. Can they really survive in such a place? How can you beat up a bunch of Gods?
Page One: Inside the New York Times is a fly on the wall look at what goes on inside the nation’s most prestigious newspaper. This is a tough time for newspapers as readership drops with people getting their articles “free” from the internet. How much does a newspaper have to evolve to stay profitable. How do they compete in an information world where people don’t want to ready about today during tomorrow’s breakfast? Can a newspaper be considered a necessary media or a quaint throwback to what grandma used to read? Who still works at newspapers after the massive layoffs over the last decade? Is the iPad really going to solve things? Does anyone stop the presses anymore for breaking news? Has Rupert Murdoch hacked their phones and computers? That question doesn’t get asked since the film is older than the News Corp scandal. The film had a warm response at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham. I read a lot of the responses that were posted online. The bonus features Carl Bernstein on the Real Threat to Newspapers, Emily Bell on Journalism, Sarah Ellison on Murdoch and a lot of reactions to the film. Supposedly the New York Times wasn’t too happy about it so that means New York Post readers must be prepared to love it.
The Real L Word: Season Two gives more views into the real lives of lesbians that enjoy being followed by camera crews. This is so much better to watch than The Real Housewives of New Jersey. For those that missed the first season, don’t worry about carryover lives. Turns out only the out of control Whitney Moseley and the tipsy Romi Klinger are back. The new women represent various positions from the freshly open to the couple wanting a kid. While it’s a reality show, there’s plenty of drama with Whitney and her ladies. Unlike those all talk - no rock National Geographic Channel sex shows, these ladies don’t mind being exhibitionists for the cameras. Since the series airs on Showtime, nobody is eager to prune down the action.
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