Saturday, October 29, 2011

TEC Podcast: Episode 33: They Don't Know I'm Your Dad

Welcome to a very intimate Episode 33, where comedian Sarah Skilling and I celebrate our first date night with 1989's teen comedy, SHE'S OUT OF CONTROL, starring Tony Danza and a daughter of one of the Monkees!  We discuss the uncomfortable sexual tension between Danz and his daughter, mine and Sarah's obsession with murder mystery shows, the teenage years we expected to have in the 80's, the time we almost had a comedy show canceled "due to a homocide," all while celebrating with white wine shots.  Ladies night will never be the same.  Possibly.

*This and all TEC Podcast episodes are available on our Podbean site and on iTunes!

TEC Podcast: Episode 32: aaaaAAHHHH!

For Episode 32 we watched an infamous B-movie you may have actually seen for once, 1986's when-gymnastics-meets-karate-action-spy-thriller, GYMKATA! My guests include graphic designer/photographer/Scarecrow Video alumni ALEX THOMAS, stand up comedian and fellow Children of the Atom member, CORBETT CUMMINS and movie lover/avid TEC listener DEVIN SHERIDAN (aka Little Bear)! We discuss Corbett's members only jacket, stunt man screams, the greatest b-movie trailer ever made, give my best friend a rude wake up call and have our third ever episode walk off!!

*This and all TEC Podcast episodes are available at the the Podbean site and on iTunes.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Twisted (1986)
Dir. Adam Holender
Genre: Thriller

"...Do you squat when you piss?  Get down on your knees."

"Is your life perfect?"
Being a teenager like totally sucks!  First you get your period or you don't get your period, then you have to start wearing deodorant, then hiding porno mags from your mom, then skinning cats and wiring audio throughout your parents house so you can blast your English translations of German Nazi propaganda music properly in order to scare your sixty year old babysitters...just the pits, I tell you!  The pits!  Don't even get me started on the acne!  If you're Christian Slater at 15 who has just moved to a new affluent suburb after you made things weird for your parents at the last one, you have to deal with all this stuff and more, but mostly the last couple things I mentioned.  Other than acne.  Christian Slater owns flawless skin.  Yet for some reason, the dates aren't coming for young Christian.  It might be the glasses?  Or the cat's blood.  So much cat's blood.  It's probably the glasses though.  Those are so weird.

"Hitler would never ground me."
In the nail-biting 1986 thriller, TWISTED, young Christian plays young, rich and misunderstood Mark Collins, whose parents drink and fuck a lot and whose adorable little sister is little and adorable.  Pretty typical for white people so far.  At some point before the movie began, little Mark became twisted.  Like tah-wisted, twisted.  He got tired of all the drunking, fucking and adorableness and began acting out.  He hates his rich parents that are self-absorbed, attractive and paid for the audio equipment he uses to constantly listen to Nazi music.  What assholes.  Thank God he knows how to fence.  And to talk like a pre-pubescent Jack Nicholson.  That helps the creep factor.  Probably the best thing about this movie other than all the cliche cat violence is the opening music.  It's a totally tah-whisted rip off of the Friday the 13th breathing score, but this time the narrator (or the Devil) is whispering "...MAAAAHHHH......KAHKAHKAHKAH..."  Tah-whisted!!!  If you are intrigued which I'm sure you are, the film is available in it's entirety on YouTube.

After another night of high suburban society partying, Mark's parents return home to find his babysitter, shock, lying dead at the foot of the stairs.  It must be an accident obviously.  I can't imagine how a fat old woman crashing down several hard wood stairs to her scream-filled, terrifying death would in any way wake up people sleeping in other parts of a normal-sized house.  I mean, come on.  It's not like their kid is twisted or anything.  The parents, obviously being as astute as I am, call the police, report the accident and think nothing of it.  No seriously, they don't really give a shit about this dead woman at all.  Their only concern at this point is getting a babysitter for the next backyard BBQ since Mark's mom doesn't want to miss her not-so-secret sex date with his dad's boss.  Oh Mom, you're incorrigible! 

"Come on, Biff, science is fun! Now you try!"
Meanwhile, in another part of this boring white suburb, a crazy sixty something year old lady named Helen Giles (Lois Smith) is talking to family members in a house.  Plain faced and sixty old something?  Uh oh.  This is Mark's prime slice when it's comes to acts of pushing!   Anyhow, Helen is returning home after "time away."  I can only assume this is rehab or she killed somebody time.  Her twitching and everyone's general level of uncomfortable body language when she's around implies this.  I know what you're thinking.  When are these two totally tah-wisted goofy youngster/oldsters ever going to assemble their crime-fighting crazy club? Don't worry.  This doesn't happen, but other wackiness does.  While grocery shopping at the local bodega, Mark's little sister's adorable face be-friends our clammy-handed weirdo sixty something year old lady Helen.  Due to said kid's adorable face, child voice or perhaps Helen's clinical psychosis, she agrees to babysit this child stranger.  Lucky for her, Mark must be babysat as well since he's home grounded for third degree burning a jock at school during chemistry class.  Again, an obvious accident.

Helen's two favorite activities include
wearing sweaters and sweating in them.
 Upon Helen's awkward bicycle arrival to the Collins' home, she discovers an unseen horror to the eyes of the video viewer, but something in the woods that seems to seriously freak her out as she picks up a lone kitten.  I can only assume more cat violence.  When she greets the Collins' and friends on their porch, she is sweaty, belligerent and mumbling about the rest of the kittens being mutilated or something.  Side note: If you do not like cat violence, this is probably where you should stop watching this movie.  Even though she is clearly disturbed, the Collins' just brush this off and tell her to go inside so they can get to drunking and fucking somewhere else not around their gross kids.

As this night of bad adult decisions wears on, Helen and little sister are having a grand time talking, dancing and feeding the kitten survivor.  For some reason, babysitter Helen is not concerned where Mark, the other minor she is responsible for, is.  Don't worry girl, he's busy calling the jock who he third degree burned in order to challenge him to a duel.  The jock tells Mark that he'll meet him anywhere, anytime to which Mark replies:

Mark: "...Dueler's choice.  Pistols or swords?"

Random jock looks confused.  Is this some sort of homo lingo?  Either way, he decides on switchblades because that's what he's carrying in his pants.  Meanwhile, Helen and little sister continue to frolic about the house, enjoying finally being cared about by another human being until Mark crashes the party and starts blasting that darn Nazi music, scaring the shit out of everyone.  As Helen confronts Mark in a very passive way, he gets all crazy-eyed.  He grabs Helen's purse as she uncomfortably begs him to leave it alone.  He then asks her a round of fairly common follow up questions like:

Mark: "...What are you hiding?  A dirty book?  A picture of your lover?  Is it a dyke?  It's coke, isn't it?  I could tell you were on something."   

"At least his skinning cats at home
instead of out on the streets."
First of all, what are you, a cop?!?  Second of all, did you not notice Helen's sweaters?  I don't think she's trying to hide her sexual orientation or her $5,000 a week coke habit.  Anyhow, the purse ends up containing no porno, but a bottle psycho pills which Mark naturally uses to force feed his sister so she will die.  This begins the hiding throughout rooms in the dark fight to the finish between crazy kids Mark and Helen.  As the massive amount of tension builds, the random jock from school who Mark has been prank calling since he third degree burned him, shows up for his switchblade revenge.  What timing!  Then a switchblade fencing fight ensues.  Yes!  Also, more cat violence, Helen sweating, pants pulling, Nazi paraphernalia and booze showers.  All culminating in a really annoying ending with foreshadowing.  Ugh.  Foreshadowing.  Foreshadowing, shitty parenting and booze shower ending aside, I completely recommend this tah-wisted tale of teenage turmoil.  Not only for the ridiculous score, but for the intense level of acting a young Christian Slater attempts in this one step away from a TV movie.  It's like he knew this was leading him to bigger things like Gleaming the Cube and Kuffs!  Watch and enjoy, but don't invite your cat.

Ominous People Are Going To Be Killed Music: 4
Helen Getting Crazy-Faced: 7
Times The Collins Mentioned Being In A New Town: 6
Barely Legal Christian Slater Butt Shots: 1
Nazi Music: 8
Dead Bodies: 4
Slo-Mo Slater Shots: 1
Times I Thought, "I Get It, He's Twisted.": 10
Cat Violence: 4