Sunday, September 20, 2009

HUSSY (1980)

An aging high-class London prostitute takes up with the club sound technician; dramantics ensue.


You probably know this already, but if you coerce a hooker into dating you because you are disgusted by her line of work and want to save her from her own depravity - all the while dealing in arms trading yourself - and then yell at her and physically threaten her, you can make her do whatever you want, including love you! This is true! For real!

Also true for real, but in a REALLY true for real sort of way, if any of the following strikes your fancy, you will dig HUSSY:

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren being awesome (as usual)
Helen Mirren stark naked
Helen Mirren mock-chastising a john for being "a very bad boy"
Fin-des-'70s fashion shows (shoulder pads, beaded evening jackets, large perms, super-intense eyeshadow configurations)
Movies that end in freeze frames

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Scientists struggle to rein in two freshly-defrosted prehistoric creatures before they can destroy the world's oceans...and the world!!!!!!!!


You may remember Debbie Gibson as the singer/songwriter of such 1980s hits as "Shake Your Love" and "Out Of The Blue" and "Electric Youth" and "Foolish Beat" and also "Lost In Your Eyes" and "Only In My Dreams." You may remember Lorenzo Lamas from such television fare as "The Bold And The Beautiful" and "Falcon Crest." You may know Vic Chao from last season of "24," if you're still watching (some people's adrenal glands are still recovering from season one....sorry, Cochran and Surnow). Now all three are together at last, working to rid the seas of paleolithic-era threats accidentally freed by a rogue whale.

Scientist Debbie - now Deborah - yanks something bonelike from the gooey red beached whale carcass. She and cohort scientist Sean Lawlor (of the forthcoming 1066) extract red, yellow, and purple Kool-Aid from the something, mix the liquid over Bunsen burners, and run it through a highly specialized software program to discover that it is the tooth of a MEGA SHARK. Simultaneously, other scientist Chao is having problems all the way over on the far side of the world with a GIANT OCTOPUS.

The scientists meet up at San Francisco International Airport, which looks astoundingly similar to Long Beach, and discuss tactics. They mix some red, yellow, and purple Snapple over the Bunsen burners and run it through a highly specialized software program to no avail. Deborah and Vic make out in front of a random day player and then retire to a closet decorated like an Ikea drawer-pull showroom to do it to each other.

Meanwhile, the MEGA SHARK jumps out of the water 30,000 feet to nom an airplane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then later it jumps out of the water again to nom the Golden Gate Bridge in half!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The GIANT OCTOPUS just hangs out in the sea trying to look menacing and smacking the occasional boat off-course. It's hard to compete with plane and bridge biting so it's probably having performance anxiety.

Back to the showroom, where post-coital Deborah and Vic exchange compliments on each other's fetching body odor and then realize that the answer to the MEGA SHARK/GIANT OCTOPUS problem is: Pheromones! Vic will return to Tokyo and Deborah will stay in San Francisco; they will release sexy sea creature smells underwater to lure and then corral each creature in their cities' respective bays. This is about when Lorenzo Lamas shows up and he...yells a bunch and does...stuff? He sports some rather intense sideburns - this much is clear. They all wear jumpsuits and the plan is set in motion, but soon fails as Deborah's submarine pod loses its pheromone-dispensing arm and they realize they never actually figured out the corralling part.

The only solution is to force a MEGA SHARK/GIANT OCTOPUS SHOWDOWN, aka per Deborah, "a thrilla in Manila.*" So they do some more luring and then the MEGA SHARK bites off the GIANT OCTOPUS's tentacles while the GIANT OCTOPUS squeezes the MEGA SHARK and they simultaneously die and it's a little sad. The main message of the story (told exclusively through exposition): Stop global warming, Obama = Hope, save the animals, no nukes. Since Michael Vick got his job back you might feel uncomfortable watching something like this but don't worry, MEGA SHARK VS. GIANT OCTOPUS is a very progressive movie at heart, and no mechanical models were harmed during the making thereof.

*"We can get the buy-in, but the shark is going to want 50% of the Pay-Per-View." --Viewing companion Mat

Special thanks to Julie and the Mini-W for screening.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

THE ROOM: A Public Service Announcement

It's even better in person, especially here in Los Angeles, where screenings are hosted by Tommy Wiseau himself.

Until then, you can tide yourself over with Mayonnaise Bathtub's own writeup and this:

Monday, July 6, 2009


Undercover asskicker Treat Williams must pose as a teacher to infiltrate and destroy a white supremacist group at a military academy.



First viewing of TS4: FINAO led me to believe that it was just not sufficiently horrible enough to merit a write-up here on Mayonnaise Bathtub, where we believe in the QUALITY crap. But after some reflection (and some prodding from Seth, who lent it to me), I have decided that it is worth fast-forwarding to the following points of interest.

* On the DVD menu, the title is in the same font as PLAY, SPECIAL FEATURES, etc., but as my viewing companion pointed out, FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION is, hilariously...not an option.

* Decrying of "Atheists and multiculturalists!" (Side note: If you're going to watch the whole thing, you should definitely consider downing a shot every time someone in the movie utters this phrase.)

* Neo-Nazi bonfire festivities shot to make it look like the joint is popping off...but then the camera pulls back and there are just four sad but very, very determined haters.

* Very long is-it-a-fight-or-isn't-it??? dude-on-dude wrestling sequence. No homo!

* Ballroom dancing interlude.

* Head on a silver platter! Literally!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


An ex-con wakes from the bender of his life to discover that he may have murdered someone...or several someones.


Freshly sprung from jail Ryan O'Neal is back in Provincetown, barely vertical after a really bad night, piecing together the events of the past few drunked-out weeks with the help of his father (Lawrence Tierney) and a little hair of the dog - a square bottle that is probably whiskey but looks a lot like Manischewitz. There is a seance and a bunch of double-crossing (?) blonde ex-girlfriends, one of whom is now married to church preacher Penn Gillette. Two million dollars and a coke deal gone, of course, awry. A dance party featuring people doing lines off a glass table that is otherwise bare except for a tiny bowl of caviar. COKE AND CAVIAR, now that is how you know it is a wild scene. That and the rather spastic '80s dancing. Small New Wave butch doing the side-to-side elbows boogie in a pink tank top and suspenders, Private Vasquez and I salute you for your brief, lonesome representation of cinematic female masculinity.

When tough guys aren't tearing up the floor (and their nasal membranes), they are boozing in dive bars, getting bad tattoos, and hiding blonde ex-girlfriends' decapitated heads in their marijuana stashes in the woods. They are also possibly getting framed for said murders via car phone, parking illegally around the Cape, getting forced down the breakwater at gunpoint, anthropomorphizing their machetes ("my best friend in Viet Nam"), and hooking up with an Isabella Rossellini consigned, impossibly, to dowdiness by a parade of hideous Forenza sweaters that would make Cosby proud.

Best moment of the movie, and perhaps of all time: With the backing of an Angelo Badalamenti score that would not have been out of place in LOVE STORY, Ryan retreats to the shore to read a letter from Isabella...a letter in which she informs him that her husband is having an affair with his wife, that they should not discuss it, and what hello MURDER??

His response below:

Free writing lesson from Norman Mailer, who adapted the script from his own novel: There is "less plot" involved in writing a screenplay than a novel. Also from Mailer's making-of featurette: Drug deals are more exciting than real estate deals, and this is a thriller movie.

It really should be classified more as a mystery, though, since it a) is wonderfully hard to follow and b) ends with five bodies overboard...but SIX splashes. SEE? MYSTERY.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

THE ROOM (2003)

An American black comedy about love, passion, betrayal, and lies.


The astute among you may notice that the italicized text above - from the DVD box cover - is not a logline. That is because this movie isn't ABOUT anything. It just IS. There's a guy, and his fiancee, and at first she loves everything about him (altruism, dimpled man buttocks, habit of greeting everyone and everything with "oh hi, _____") and then suddenly she doesn't love him and takes up with his BFF (vapid and jarringly handsome, like if-Jesus-were-a-supermodel handsome, but not as smart as Jesus...or most supermodels). And then suddenly her mother has breast cancer, which is mentioned once but not pursued, and then suddenly the guy and the girl are expecting a baby (or are they?), and then suddenly he discovers her infidelity and there are fisticuffs and then suddenly a random extra angrily pops a balloon and the movie is over. This is as close as one might get to describing anything in this movie resembling the concepts of "plot" or "story."

But THE ROOM doesn't NEED anything as pedestrian as plot or story - or even (spoiler alert!) a relevant title - to carry it through, because, like I said, it just is. It is you and it is me. It is all of us. Like CATS, but deeper.


Check off which of these items you enjoy:

__multiply-repurposed love scene footage featuring:
a)__dimpled man buttocks
b)__spiral staircases
c)__Smoove B-style flowing sheer white curtains, three-wick candles, breasts decorated with rose petals, terrible R&B soundtracks
d)__creepy children attempting to instigate menage-a-troises*
__dialogue referencing missing or nonexistent items
__throwaway exposition regarding important matters (cancerous mother, creepy child's drug dealing)
__early-'90s fashion choices made circa mid-2Ks
__unrealistic San Francisco rooftop green screen, faulty film geography
__"The passion of Tennessee Williams" (mirror breakings, television tossings, dimpled man buttocks)

Let's be honest. If you checked off even one of the above, there is definitely something in THE ROOM for you, and you should just see it as soon as possible.

And remember: It is not A room, it is THE room.

Thanks for the screening is due Benj, who correctly notes, "The later at night you watch it, the better it gets."

*"I just like to watch you two!" which naturally begs the question: How many times has he watched those two before? THE ROOM will task you with many such difficult inquiries.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


A survival contest winner finds himself - and his fiancee - kidnapped to be prey for a bunch of bored millionaires on an isolated island. (Basically, Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" on a $5K budget.)


Starring NORRIS, SWAYZE, and MCQUEEN!!!!! But not the guys you're thinking of. MIKE Norris, DON Swayze, and CHAD McQueen. I was told that this movie would be "inspiring" and "life-changing," and indeed it is.

Ex-military McQueen wins this 10-speed biking/rappelling competition held in like Griffith Park, attracting the attention of rich and freaky Billy Drago, who kidnaps McQueen and his fiancee while they're at the batting cages and deposits them on his secret island lair that has been outfitted for big, big game hunting. Fiancee is held captive in a bedroom that suspiciously resembles an amateur porn set. Her guards, Drago's henchwoman Miss Ling and two backless black leotard wearing escapees from a Robert Palmer video, threaten Fiancee that if she doesn't get dressed for dinner, they will make her. It's a beautiful inverse of those women-in-prison movies where they threaten the ladies with nonconsensual UNdressing.

Sadly there is no girlfight. But the dinner - at which we meet a rainbow coalition of manhunters (not that kind of rainbow, not those kind of manhunters...yet) - more than makes up for it. McQueen finds out he is the big game, Drago smells Fiancee's hair, a guy gets his hand stabbed with a fork, and there is a fight to the death composed solely of close-ups.

Meanwhile, ex-Vietnam heli pilot Norris rejects his gratuitously topless girlfriend in favor of filing a police report on behalf of his buddies and researching a suspicious tattoo seen on one of the batting cage captors: two triangles, one on top of the other. Relatedly, Drago heroically contributes to a long tradition of fey villains whose male femininity is supposed to tap into subconscious social fears about sexual boundary crossing...Z-Man/Superwoman, Frank N Furter, It Puts The Lotion In The Basket, The Joker in nurse drag. Also, he keeps his head tilted the entire movie. He can't even keep his NECK straight! That's right, I said it. Between the forced girl-on-girl clothing, the triangles, and the bi/trans what-have-you, this movie is a Queer Studies goldmine.

Back to Island Of The Creepy Dolphins, where Drago awards the culturally diverse hunter dudes their ethnically-appropriate weaponry - the Indian guy gets the spear, the Chinese fellow gets the throwing stars, etc. And then the culturally diverse hunter dudes start their ethnically appropriate preparations for the hunt - the Indian guy squats by a campfire with a bowl of something, the Chinese fellow meditates, the white man gets down with the Oriental meditation, etc.

And then the hunt is up! McQueen makes short work of the first few would-be assassins in some (finally!) fully framed hand-to-hand combat while Drago and Miss Ling listen in via radio and dry-hump to the sounds of struggle. McQueen periodically updates Drago on his progress: "The Iceman has melted," "Your Mr. Chin is now Mr. Dead." At some point McQueen falls into a cave. And there he meets last year's surviving prey, Swayze, who sports the most all-consuming mullet that ever there was. EVER. EVVVVVVER.

The two team up to kill everybody. Norris choppers in to drop two grenades on the scene. One of Drago's guards fires a really small gun at the aircraft. Fiancee is trapped in the house, tied to the dinner table in what would be by all standards totally ineffectual bondage. Miss Ling slips her the tongue (where is that Queer Studies grad student?), McQueen and Drago face off (spoiler alert: Drago dies), McQueen releases Fiancee and they run to the chopper, then McQueen goes back in the house to claim his prize: a butt-ugly DEATH RING, yes, the thing this movie is named after, allotted two mentions of approximately eight seconds of screen time total. On his way out, he is surprised by a not-dead-yet Miss Ling, who prepares to do him in, when she herself is killed by...okay, I'm not going to say it as an attempt to preserve at least some intrigue here. But I will say that, fabulously, it makes absolutely no sense.

Hands down my very favorite moment of this movie is when Drago whips out his sawed-off shotgun based crossbow...that shoots PUB DARTS. DUDE. HOW CAN YOU FUCKING TOP THAT. HOW. I ask you. I may have to stop blogging just because of this.

Special thanks to Gene (pronounced with a hard G) for the hard-sell and the loaner.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


When an elite group of American soldiers embarks on a special mission to capture a rogue scientist hiding in a Chechnyan forest, they find more than they bargained for...genetically altered, flesh-chomping bats.


Much like BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, BATS: HUMAN HARVEST is not really a sequel to the first BATS. None of the original cast or crew appear to be involved. Netflix describes it as a "follow-up."

I sort of want these livetxts to Elana to speak for themselves, cell phone punctuation and all -

Msg: Okay, BATS: HUMAN HARVEST actually has a compelling open. Well played, mr. merryman. [Brett Merryman, co-writer/co-producer.]
Msg: Except for the actor with the really bad fake croatian accent.
Msg: Wow. Weapons grade bad acting. Hello sexy counter terrorism science lady! (whoops,chechen, not croatian)
Msg: Hahahahaha freeze frame metal soundtrack american army gear-up montage
Msg: Amazing handguns that never require reloading!
Msg: The evil scientist talks just like lorne michaels
Msg: Did they even handcuff dr evil? Hes just walking around with his palms together
Msg: Now the american lone wolf is being led away by sexy russian double agent, arms behind his back. No room in the budget for handcuffs?
Msg: Oh, its over. Yay

But there's more to it than that. Yes, there are the confines of the genre (as it were) - the black ops mission, the lone wolf soldier who fights being a team player, Natasha Badinoff, Dr. SNL, and of course the bats - but like I said, compelling open. Obvious limited budget, but the shot reuse is clever enough that while the viewer realizes she is eating leftovers for the fourth night in a row, she does note their transformation from, say, stew to omlette filling to casserole to casserole over rice with little to no resentment...and even admiration for the chef's versatility.

Take, for example, the scene between three Chechnyan farmer dudes toting their heavy cart of farm crap up to the edge of the forest. They argue briefly about the merits of going through (shorter) vs. around (reputedly deadlier), and the pro-through guy attempts to prove his point by walking a few feet into the trees and yelling something like "See? According to all those completely silly rumors, I should be dead by now!" Cue bats biting off his arm at the elbow, cue FOREARM FLYING ACROSS THE SCREEN, SPEWING "BLOOD."


And there is a bunch of actual witty dialogue, none of which I thought to write down so you'll just have to take my word for it. Or better yet, read THE WIDOWMAKER, which, if there is any justice in this world, will get sold and made. Hi, Brett, I have a big crush on your script.

Monday, April 20, 2009

BATS (1999)

When a colony of genetically mutated bats begins eating residents of a small Texas town, a chiroptologist and her wisecracking black sidekick (tm) are called in to batten down the hatches.


Brett Merryman wrote one of my very favorite spec scripts of 2008, THE WIDOWMAKER (not the K-19 one) - a completely non-campy spy story that ends in destruction and awesomeness. But before he wrote that, he co-wrote and co-produced BATS: HUMAN HARVEST, which I will discuss in a later post. Naturally, I had to check out the regular BATS first.

The main thing you need to know about BATS is that it is an homage to Hitchcock's THE BIRDS. In the making-of featurette, director Louis Morneau tells you so. And then lead actor Lou Diamond Phillips tells you so as well. So you know it's true.

So basically these two innocent teenagers get chomped to death at Lover's Point or whatever and the military calls Sheila Casper, Bat Ph.D to investigate and exterminate with extreme prejudice. She loves the little batties and doesn't want them to die. Town sheriff and resident sweaty and muscular tank top wearer Lou Diamond Phillips is none too thrilled with this development, either: His town, his biceps, his rules. They manage to agree to kill the bats, together, after the bloodthirsty creatures fight their way into their locked truck, hurling their furry fangy selves through the windows, squirming in from beneath the gas pedal.

Lou evacuates the town - any reluctant-to-leave residents quickly change their minds after a semi-CGI bat attack on Main Street, where the movie theater is playing NOSFERATU; then he, Dr. Casper, and Wisecracking Black Sidekick (remember him?) locate the local evil scientist (tm) behind all this and barricade themselves in an abandoned school. Evil Scientist sneaks out to commune with his creations, which (spoiler alert!) promptly destroy him, leaving Casper, WBS, and sweaty, muscular Lou to destroy the bat herd with - now - military assistance. A plan is hatched, the plan goes awry due to infighting and whatnot (by this point I was basically doing my nails and counting minutes until the bombs were supposed to happen), Casper and sweaty Lou are forced to decend into the underground bat lair, where they set phasers on stun or something and then make it up and out just in time for everything to blow to the high heavens in a glorious detonation of 80% of the below the line expenses. Oh, and also the WBS doesn't die! It's a happy ending for everyone. Except the bats.

BATS tv promo with Dutch subtitles: