Author Archives: spiegelmama

Classy out the assy

In a lovely case of life imitating art, the guy who plays the creepy boss in Flashdance turns out to be a scumbag. Allegedly.

Michael Nouri and Jennifer Beals from Flashdance

He doesn’t look creepy at all.

You’ve made me so happy, Alex Karras

Oh dear. One of my very favorite comic actors, Alex Karras, is on the roof and is not coming down. His family has been losing him bit by bit, but it seems the poor guy is, as one friend of his said, “in transition.”

Karras is probably best known as the dad from Webster, or maybe Mongo in Blazing Saddles, but to me, he’ll always be the closeted, then freed, bodyguard from Victor Victoria. God, how I love Victor Victoria.

As “Squash” Bernstein said to King Marchand:

As Alex said to James Garner: You've made me so happy.

Good night, sweet prince.

Animated GIF scrounged from Strange how you know inside me.

I didn’t raise you to be a cheerleader!

I’m going to sleep with truck drivers and get crabs.

Holy cow, the 1980s were rad. Witness parody movies like Student Bodies and Pandemonium. No, really, witness it.

Edit, Oct. 9: Embedded video.

Workin’ 9 to 5

Good morning, and happy Monday! May your job be not quite as horrible as Dolly’s. There’s a better life – you read about, don’t you?

Scary Movie can suck it

I just watched Scream 3 for the first time, and was pleasantly surprised by how weird it was. Funny, not so much. It made me nostalgic for the days when shitty parody movies seemed brand new.

The innocent ’80s, my salad days. When The Movie Channel would play stuff like Student Bodies a bazillion times a day. And now, thanks to the obsessive nerds of the internet, I can once again watch this gem any time I want.

Deep Throat is not a Slumber Party Movie!

While watching Slap Shot, I noticed this hilarious marquee behind the victory parade. I’m sure it was a plot point, but I missed it. What a fantastic movie that is, and what a good movie to watch instead of the Stanley Cup.

Way to go, Ned!

While I was researching for an upcoming post comparing Flashdance and Showgirls, I saw that Slap Shot (1977) was on that minute. I turned the channel and they were all fighting on the ice. But fighting led to…

Everything about this scene is magic. That marching band deserved an Oscar for best soundtrack. Happy Friday, y’all!

Who wants to be a Modernaire?

Proudly Resents recently dedicated a podcast to one of the best slumber party movies ever: Purple Rain (1984). Host* Adam Spiegelman and his guests Michelle Buteau and Ryan Sickler and  just spent the whole time talking about how awesome the movie is in every way, and how Prince is the exception that proves so many rules (such as that tiny, greased-up, meatball-chest-haired men who dress like grannies can’t be sexy). One topic not addressed was the biggest plot hole in the whole movie, the source of the urgency of The Kid’s last stand: the club promoter having to choose whether to fire The Time or The Revolution to make room for Apollonia 6.

It was odd enough that anyone, no matter how desperate to see hot chicks in their underwear, would subject human ears to “Sex Shooter” in lieu of Morris Day’s magnificent “The Bird” or even Prince’s “Computer Blue.” But the real head-scratcher is that there’s another bandleader nearly begging to be cut: Dez Dickerson.**

You might not even remember this from the movie. You might have blocked it from your memory, lest it tarnish an otherwise perfect movie. But once you notice that the guy singing here is clearly the second guitarist from The Revolution, keeping the stage warm while Morris Day and Prince are off acting, you can’t unsee it. Why the club owner didn’t catch that, though, is a mystery to me.

The lesson: Sometimes people don’t see the obvious, and if you change your headband, you might just benefit from their blind spot.

* And my brother-in-law.

** One of the best things about the above video is the retro technology used to capture the scene. Holding a camera up to a TV reminds me of my sister and I holding a tape recorder up to the TV to tape REO Speedwagon off MTV.

Girls and their toys

Girls and their toys

My grandmother, the grease monkey?

I’ve been struggling with what to write for International Women’s Day. The theme is “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures,” which is just so lofty. I don’t really know what we can do to connect girls even across the city, let alone across the world. Then I realized, what I do know about is connecting across time.

What a girl wants when she’s 6 is different from what she wants when she’s 26, and it’s different from what lots of other 6-year-old girls want. As an adult, all I see in Flashdance is the stripping and the sexual harassment. When I was a teenager, all I saw was the dancing, and the awesomeness of being a female welder. I knew I’d never be a dancer, but I did think welding was within my reach. However imperfect, and sometimes even reprehensible, that movie and others like it are, I read in them the possibilities of a life very different from the ones I saw around me.

This picture shows me and my maternal grandmother posing with our Christmas presents (I think). I got a little blonde cheerleader doll. My grandmother, on the other hand, got a car repair kit. Depending on where you are in your own life, one of those presents might seem obviously better than the other, but we each got exactly what we needed.

The lesson: You don’t have to understand someone else to respect their desires, different though they might be from your own.

Woman’s Day tapdance

I’m still working on a real post for International Women’s Day, but in the meantime, please enjoy this Australian commercial for Woman’s Day.

Australian totally counts as “international” in the U.S.

See also: We’ve got the right to be angry, Tuesday’s link to the Pat Benatar video for “Invincible.”