I mean, like. We all knew Lemmy, despite his amazingness, was a living thing, and therefore would one day cease to live. But it was still a shock to read of his death today — almost as much of a shock to read that he was 70. And while of course his main legacy is Motörhead, his muppet-like appearance and gruff voice made him an absolute treasure as a personality.
The Lemmy I’ll always remember is the Lemmy from Down and Out with the Dolls (2003 in the U.S.), a scrappy movie about a messy band that lived together in one big house and basically screwed up everything ever. But it wasn’t just the four women living there; the lead singer had a lodger living in her closet.
That lodger, of course, was Lemmy — er, Joe, a sort of mountaintop guru of rambling wisdom. As the boyfriend dude says in the trailer, “I like your advice, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”
To which Joe/Lemmy replied, “Well, that’s your problem, innit, chief?”
But yeah: “Don’t forget us. Our name is Motörhead. We play rock ‘n’ roll.”
Back when I was 11, I had a bit of a crush on Jim Diamond, lead singer of the Mtv rising stars, Ph. D. What? So he’s a little weird looking? I like weird looking.
Totes hot, am I right? Please say yes.
The problem with having a crush on Jim Diamond of PH. D. was that by the time I was 11 and a half, Mtv stopped playing their video, and never played them again. What’s that you say? Teen Beat?! Ha! Teen Beat would never publish a picture of Jim Diamond. They were too busy finding new un-airbrushed* photos of Ralph Macchio. No. For a 12 year old girl in America in 1982, Ph. D. were as unattainable as wine coolers and earth-tones.
Then, quite few years later, came YouTube. The first Ph. D. gem I dug up was Little Suzi’s on the Up. The video combines a sweet-as-candy story of a couple getting ready for a night of competitive ballroom dancing, with the competing and creepy stories of a stalker dance judge and a sassy saxophone player/ hairdresser obsessed with something that only looks like pickled eggs.
Despite the meat, motorcycles, and whatever the hell was in that jar, I only had vague memories of that video. The video that I vividly remember was for I won’t Let You Down. It also featured a bit of stalking, but it was by a cartoonish assassin who follows our intrepid hero as he begs forgiveness from his too-tall girlfriend.
Um…what the hell was that? It’s like what would happen if Roman Polanski’s inner psyche was caught on film. No. Wrong. Let me try that again.
HOLY CRAP! What am I looking at and why the hell am I looking at it? Why are they in a theater, and how many minutes do I have to look at it? Let’s try again.
Ah! That’s better. And see? The cartoonish assassin didn’t really want to blow up Jim Diamond with a plant; he only wanted the girl–the cold, mean, dog-obsessed girl. But still…cute, right?
But it makes me wonder. What is the meaning of those other videos? Were they submitted to Mtv, only to be turned down? In the early ’80s? When Mtv was playing Steve Miller’s Abracadabra on heavy rotation? It makes no sense. But it does explain why Mtv stopped playing Ph. D. Maybe Diamond and company were so sick and tired of being turned down, they started acting really snippy. Here’s how I imagine it started:
Mark Goodman: Here in the studio, a band that is soaring up the charts never, I’m sure, to fall back to earth, Ph. D. Jim, how does it feel to be the latest Mtv darling?
Jim Diamond: Fuck you, Mark. Your head looks like pubes.
And then he dissed Martha Quinn, and that was the beginning of the end.
Wait. Did that really happen? Was there really a movie starring Steve Martin as a charismatic preacher and Ellen Greene as a rocker turned fake Amy Grant or was it just something they made up to scare kids in Sunday School? What was it called? Leap of Glory or something? On the real? No. It didn’t happen. You are mixing up two movies…three if you count Little Shop of Horrors.
Glory Glory was a 1989 made for HBO movie with John Boy as a goody-goody preacher and Ellen Greene as a bad-to-the-bone metal turned gospel singer with the voice of an a very weird angel. (You can check the trailer if you are brave enough to watch 2 second snippets of Greene snorting coke from her fist and sucking some dude’s toe.) Leap of Faith was a 1992 movie that opened in actual theaters starring Steve Martin’s preacher character from his early open-mic days and Debra Winger as Holly Hunter’s character in Broadcast News. Seriously. Watch this if you don’t believe me.
Hmm? What’s that? You thought you saw Meatloaf playing a jaded musician? Of course you did. The Loaf played a bus driver in Spice World, you think this role was beneath him? Come on, now. Huh? Now what? You just realized I called Ellen Green’s voice weird. Duh! Keep up, Lerlines! But, you know, in a good way. Look, I love Ellen. I love her voice, and I love the uberly earnest way she ramps up to a callous rocker growl, but this song SUCKS. I defy you to find a tune.
What was happening at the end? Yes. An actual abortion. That was back when movies didn’t wuss out and push the preggo character considering the fast train to abortion city down the stairs. I’m looking at you, Citizen Ruth and every Soap Opera ever. But did you notice how sucky the song was? No? You were focused on her jeans and strange religious lyrics? Look, that stuff wasn’t weird if you realize that it was based on a pre-cross-over Amy Grant. Don’t judge us lest ye be judged, bitches. We liked Amy Grant, whether she was singing about Jesus or some guy named Baby Baby, Peter Cetara or Vince Gill. Speaking of Amy, it is Friday Morning Video time, isn’t it? Mwa ha ha! Here she is pre-cross over:
Sorry, but you asked for it, Lerlines. You really did.
It should come as no surprise to any of you Lerlines that a gal who enjoys blogging about Flashdance and Purple Rain also enjoys watching Dancing with the Stars. I enjoy it immensely.
What is not to love?
However, last week when Ingo Rademacher (you might remember him as the blonde point in the Brenda/Sonny/Jax love triangle from General Hospital) danced the Charleston to Fat Sam’s Grand Slam, I had flashbacks. Not the good kind, like when you hear a Paul Williams song and you suddenly remember all the words to Rainbow Connection as well as the song Gonzo sang at the campfire. And, now that I think of it, not the really bad kind, like when you watch a car crash through a remarkably flimsy “bridge out” sign to jump a dry creek bed, and you remember that Paul Williams was in Smokey and the Bandit, and you can’t get Little Enos’ mustache out of your mind. … Or the name “Little Enos”.
It haunts you.
No. I’m talking about the kind of flashback where you hear Paul William’s Fat Sam’s Grand Slam, and you remember that there was once a movie called Bugsy Malone (written and directed by a pre-fame and pre-Fame Alan Parker), and suddenly you go through it all again. The five stages of Bugsy Malone.
1. Mild curiosity.
“Oh hey. A young Scott Baio and a young Jodie Foster in a period piece. I’m stuck in this hospital bed/jail cell/ crippling depression. Maybe I’ll watch it”
2. Amused confusion.
“Um…where are the adults? I mean it’s starting to look like a gangster movie made with all children actors…for some reason, but….”
Nah! It couldn’t be THAT!
Because that would be weird and pointless.
Holy crap! Does that kid have a KID?!
3. Shocked Realization
These kids are in some pretty adult situations.
Very adult situations.
Oh my BOYZONE!!!
Was this legal…even in the 70s?
4. Detached Rationalization.
Maybe Parker is trying to say something about sensationalized violence in movies by using whip cream instead of bullets.
It makes sense.
Oh, but hey!
Those cars are pretty cool. I wish I had one of those when I was a kid.
Oh. They’re just pedal cars.
I did have one of those. Mine didn’t have a chauffeur, though. I crashed it into a few frog ponds, and then it got rusty.
5. Devastating Trauma
Oh look. An adorable child is singing. Wait. That’s not his voice. It’s familiar…odd and creepy…OH GOD. It’s Paul Williams!
That’s right. There is no acceptance in the Five Stages of Bugsy Malone. Just pure horror. Look, I take Paul Williams very seriously. He was the voice of a generation and a national frigging treasure, and when he dies*, I’m going to listen to Rainbow Connection over and over and cry like a baby…a very sad baby. But I don’t know why, but his voice is SUPER CREEPY. Maybe it’s because his singing style was honed in the 70s and is so devoid of irony that it reeks of festering sincerity. Maybe it is that he looks and sounds like a corporeal muppet.
Spot the non-Muppet. It’s harder than you think.
Whatever it is. That voice…coming out of a little kids mouth. Horrifying. Why couldn’t Kym have chosen a different song to Charleston to? Why Kym…WHY?!
But only if you want to get alcohol poisoning, because, up the pole or not, Irish ladies can knock ’em back.
Have another rum and coke, preggo!
Of course I realize that when one thinks of movies based on Roddy Doyle novels, they think of The Commitments, and so do I, but I also think of the second movie in his Barrytown trilogy The Snapper (and to a lesser extent, the third movie, The Van, which I’ll save for another post).
I think of it so often, that when I was pregnant with my now nearly-seven-year-old daughter, I referred to her fetus self as Snappy (a nickname that is still occasionally busted out). Also, I thought of my pregnancy in terms of the stages of Sharon’s pregnancy–as in oh, I’m in the “Just remembered who the father is” trimester. Of course, I knew who the father was (spoiler alert: he was not a Spanish sailor), and I did not drink because I saw The Snapper as a bit of a cautionary tale, warning young preggos to keep it sober lest they end up in labor on a rainy street corner with puke in their purse, waiting on a drunk friend to hail a cab…or worse they could name the baby after that date-raping slab of Irish Cheddar, George Burgess (pronounced BORgess).
Taxi! Drunk lady in labor!
The funny thing is that this was not the main point of the movie. Sure, maybe our protagonist with the protruding belly would not have gotten up-the-pole to begin with if she had “taken it easy”, but all is well that ends well…with a black purse as the film’s only casualty.
Here’s a tip. Next time puke in someone else’s purse.
During the course of Sharon’s shameful pregnancy, she ends up getting closer to her father, Dessie, and he, as a direct result of learning more about the female reproductive system, greatly improves his sex life with his wife, Kay. Most astonishing (to an American audience), the baby is born healthy and not looking like something you might find bursting out of John Hurt’s chest.
Speaking of audiences in The States, watch this video and try to imagine how this scene would play out in an American movie. Please note the audience’s reaction to her performance, as well as her parent’s reaction to her state the next morning.
Now that Downton Abbey’s done for the season (I HATE you, Downton Abbey, BTW.), Sunday nights have returned to a doldrum of channel-surfing. We’re flipping through last night, and landed on this crazy concept comedy show–I thought it was SNL, but I was kind of surprised because it was on ABC, so maybe it wasn’t SNL, but some other new sketch comedy show. It ran a little long, but in that We’re-going-on-too-long-because-we-know-it’s-too-long way. And I don’t know how they managed to get like every star in Hollywood to cameo, but I guess Lorne Michaels does have a lot of power–I mean, he got Adele AND Shirley Bassey AND Barbra Streisand to perform. In sequins!
Anyway, it was basically a send-up of the Oscars, and how hilariously awful it would be if Seth “I Like Poop” MacFarlane hosted it. It even opened up with this totally meta sketch where Captain Kirk shows up and tells him not to host, because if he does he’ll be excoriated for it, and then shows him this musical number that will get everyone calling him a sexist.
I think Seth MacFarlane is the taller one in this picture.
Here’s the thing: he performs the musical number–like, the whole thing, without stopping. So in the process of Kirk demonstrating the sketch to show how it’ll fail, he shows the sketch and it fails! BRILLIANT! Just for context, it’s Seth MacFarlane doing a song-and-dance number ripping off my husband’s childhood hobby of naming all the women whose boobs he’s seen in movies. I mean, can you imagine if someone actually did that at the real Oscars? I kept picturing myself at an awards banquet for work, where I’m expecting to get promoted because I’m brilliant and I’ve done a bang-up job of working my ass off, and then having my boss’s opening joke be, “Hey, that Jody–she’s got great tits!”
So the whole show was about how he’d fail, and they open with warning him he’ll fail and then he DOES fail, but only in the warning–It’s like FAIL-FAIL-FAIL. Super-meta, man. Meta.
Then he goes on to make Rihanna jokes, because part of the conceit of the show was that it’s 2007; then he compares the woman who engineered the death of Bin Laden to a nagging girlfriend. Being that I’m totally a feminist, I thought all the jokes were absolutely hilarious, because I’m pretty cool with the guys, and I know Seth MacFarlane isn’t really a sexist, because someone who’s really a sexist wouldn’t say those things because all sexists are afraid of seeming sexist. And it’s all good because it’s a comedy show, which means that you can totally act like you’re a sexist, because then everyone can laugh at the sexist laughing at sexist jokes, and you’re not really laughing with the sexist.
And, let’s face it: that Zero Dark Thirty woman was probably really annoying with her “100%” BS. Even though it wasn’t BS.
The really amazing thing was all the guest performers, which–brilliant!–were almost ALL women! So while he’s doing his I’m-not-a-sexist-just-telling-sexist-jokes bit, he’s positioned himself among women who apparently have more talent in one labia that he’s got in his entire body. And then Michelle Obama shows up–no lie! Michelle Obama!–surrounded by the military, and it was getting pretty late so I didn’t quite catch all of it, but it was totally weird and totally, totally meta.
The only down spot was Daniel Day Lewis, who showed up late in the show (what the heck was HE doing in a sketch comedy show, anyway? They couldn’t get Alec Baldwin?). He was all “I’m a humble gentleman” and classy and self-effacing, which kind of ruined the concept of the whole night.
It kind of made me hope Seth MacFarlane would actually host the Oscars for real some day. I mean, if he knows it would be awful to make those jokes, then I know he wouldn’t actually make those jokes, not for real. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.
Surely there cannot be a movie starring Cindy Williams. No, really, there was — and stop calling her Shirley. My sister and I had this on VHS; it’s a charmer called Spaceship (1982), and it’s so eternal that I can only find it on IMDB under its alternative title, The Creature Wasn’t Nice.
If you can find it, I do recommend watching it. It’s not conventionally good, but there are some great shlocko lines and truly amateur writing. Also, Leslie Nielsen plays the captain, so there’s that.
Nope. You did not dream it after drinking a wee bit too much Windex. There was a Boy in the Bubble movie starring Lee Curreri (from Fame fame) as a young millionaire* with a rare disease that requires he live in a crystal room for some reason and Tawny Kitaen as a rock star with a promising career despite her apparent lack of talent and stylist. Here, see for yourself. Watch for a lot of hairography and an extremely literal visual representation of the cliche “icing on the cake”.
But the heart of the insane 80s nightmare that is Corazon de Cristal is The Love Scene. Yes. By love I mean sex. Here it is. All nine NSFW** minutes of it. But first, here are some things to watch for:
1. An immediate sleazy mustache off. (You choose the winner.)
2. Okay. You know of my complete and total faith in anyone connected to Fame, AKA The Best Dance Movie Ever, so I’m sure the director of Crystal Heart, Gil Bettman***, specifically instructed Lee to act like a thirteen year old boy whose Activision privileges had been taken away. … So stop being so judgmental.
3. Lee with a heart-breaking sadness so deep even Pac Man and Solid Gold can’t cure it.
4. Tawny kisses a stuffed dog for some reason.
6.Tawny smokes, yells at her dog (probably not stuffed), and literally cries over spilled milk.
7. Tawny dancing like a reject from a Debbie Gibson video–her badness amplified by the fact that she is dancing next to a Debbie-Gibson-video caliber dancer.
8. Tawny is out acted by her matching purse and giant hair-bow accessory.
9. Tawny is out acted by her own bare ta-tas. (I did mention that this is NSFW.)
Where’s that squeegee guy?
10. The funniest sex scene ever in which Lee and Tawny rub up against the crystal walls of the disease containment cube…to completion. Ew. Yes. Between teh Whitesnake video and this, Tawny had pigeon holed herself as an actress who would have sex with inanimate objects. Spiegelmama has a theory that she had a squeegee guy on retainer.
Okay. Get ready to take notes–this will be on the quiz. Pencils at the ready…and go!
* All the boys in the “Boy in a Bubble” movies have rich parents…or else they would’ve been Dead Poor Kid movies.
**If Tawny’s ta-tas cause this to be taken off of Youtube, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
*** Yes. That Gil Beckman. The man who solidified the Douchumentary genre with his offering The Long Road to Cabo: Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas
This video brought to you by our weekly Friday Morning Videos sponsor, the JCC of Squirrel Hill.
Like any good New Year’s resolver, I headed for the gym this morning, and did not disappoint myself: 20 minutes on the bike, followed by 40 minutes wandering around circuit machines, trying to decide which to use and how to use them. My regular workout soundtrack–NPR’s Morning Edition and Marketplace–was interrupted for this delight coming from JCCTV, who, if you’ll remember, also brought us Debbie Gibson and Barry Gordy’s The Last Dragon.
Not since “St. Elmo’s Fire” has a video so seamlessly tied in a movie and its stars. The Brat Pack only stood in a cold alley and grooved with ennui. Billy Ocean, however, has the music mojo to get three of the 80s’ biggest stars to be Motown-style backup singers. And they do it with such sincerity and panache that one can only sit back and wish we’d been at the wrap party.
The video opens up with Jack telling Joan he’s going to kill her, which means that, even though it’s a sequel, they’re still in love and have fantastic sex. Then we transition to your typical concert video, only this one features Billy Ocean instead of Bon Jovi. We see his ensemble band–horn section, keyboardist, guitarist, drumset… and off to the side, the backs of his backup singers, nattily clad in white tuxedos.
Then, at minute 1:18… BAM. Faster than a Colombian mudslide, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, and Michael Douglas spin about and break into full choreography. They’re Billy Ocean’s White Knights.
THE Joan Wilder?
Danny DeVito, I get. He’d do anything less boring than watching his hairline recede. And Kathleen Turner clearly harbored a secret dream to be a Ronette. But Michael Douglas? He was already a producer and director and movie star and totally sexy in a Harrison Ford way, except without the indigestion. He’s not as comfortable with dancing, but he demonstrates exactly WHY Jack was such a great character: because the ultimate romantic hero is fun.
They didn’t have to do the video. They had plenty of star power, and money, and the movie was a “Jewel of the Nile,” a less-than-awesome, but still awfully fun, sequel, to “Romancing the Stone,” which is, hands-down, the best romantic adventure ever filmed. Maybe it’s because there are only like five out there, but still. That’s saying something.
I wasn’t the only one disappointed when he went for Melanie Griffith.
…And that’s the truth, and not just a ploy to get a hit off every Google search ever (but I’m on my way!).
Night Shift is an 80s comedy starring Henry Winkler, Micheal Keaton and Shelley Long and set in New York in December. And it is Christmasy!
Wow! I can’t believe I’ll be giving a hand job at a swank joint like this!
Very, very Christmasy, but in a pants-off kind of way.
Aren’t you cold? No! I’ve got a baked potato in my pants. Wait…. Where are my pants?
It’s about a wild and crazy satin-jacket-wearing guy named Bill who makes it his mission in life to make a man out of fellow morgue employee, Chuck. He pulls this off with a massive prostitution ring, keggers, hookers, booze, weed, sex clubs, fist fights, shoot outs, threatened prison rape, the Rolling Stones and erratic driving.
Can you hear this?
I know it sounds complicated, but it is actually quite simple. Here. I’ll let Bill explain it.
Got it? Anyways…so our Chuck and Bill run a successful prostitution ring out of a morgue, Chuck becomes a man, and at Christmas time, all the prostitutes pool their hooking money together and they buy Chuck a sweet pimp hat.
Does this hat make me look pimpy enough?
I know it all seems strange, but you need to understand one thing. It was the 80s. How 80s? It was 82. We didn’t give a shit. The trailer that advertised this movie featured Shelley Long smoking an enormous roach.