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I am a part-time author of dollarbinhorror.blogspot.com...short story and novel writer. I've found true love with the one I love.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stardate 0421.10

Oh, it is a marvelous time this spring. The NHL playoffs are in full effect. The Pens contiuned invoking the Alanis Morrissette curse agains the Sens last night with a wild 7-4 victory, I do mean wild.

Promotional Consideration Paid for by the Following-
Hard as it may seem, this blog is sponsored by not one by now two entities...first off it's houseofhill.org...At houseofhill, we love collectors as much as Eric loves a 4-day weekend (Note From Eric: coming this weekend, bay-bee!!!) We have gorgeous quilts in all sizes made bu D and E out of Montana. Visitors will also love the hand-painted glass created by Raenell Ascetta of Bellissimo, a very talented artist from Florida who will sign each and every one of her items. Houseofhill.org, THE Site for THE Discriminating Collector.


hillssuperstore.com is my 2nd sponsor of Another Decent Into...Dedicated to the model train community,We feature highly collectible model trains along with many hard to find model trains. The model train enthusiast will also be able to find many unique items for their layout. In addition, Pinewood Derby supplies are also avaliable. hillssuperstore.com

Another Decent Into...
My Breakfast With Samuel Jones, A Second Serving
*In James Lipton voice* An often controversial topic here in the United States is the topic of censorship. For nearly two decades, we have seen the results of the Politicial Correctness movement in our movies, television, novels, and other forms of art. My next guest, making a second appearance on my blog, has requested to voice take on the subject. Ladies and gentleman, would you please welcome back...

Samuel Jones

1.You have returned to my blog because you wish to discuss the issue of censorship, particularly, cartoon censorship. What is it in particular about said issue that is irritating to you?

Well, I would have to say what bugs me the most is the double standard. It's deemed inappropriate to allow anyone to witness Kermit the Frog ordering a grasshopper at the bar because it might entice junior to drink.(this scene is deleted in current releases of the Muppet Movie,so I have read) Yet how many kids watched Heath Ledger as the Joker? You could say Kermit is a character aimed at children. OK. You could say The Dark Knight was clearly for adults only. OK. Then why were there so many Heath Ledger Joker toys flooding the market? You could say it's the parent's responsibility to monitor what their kids watch. That would be correct. So why are we censoring Kermit again?? I use these examples but there are countless others. I could rant on forever!

2. You mentioned in your bio that you served in the United States Army. Did you time in service help you to forge your opinion?
I would have to say partially. Only because my time served was one part of my life that shaped who I am today. But only partially because my time was spent doing a lot of partying when not on duty. At that time in my life I just wasn't giving much thought to such deep philosophical issues! What can I say?? If I had to do it all over again, I probably wouldn't change a thing. If I was 17 again, that is!

3. What if you are approached by a person who finds these older cartoon offensive?
I probably wouldn't push the issue. If they find them offensive, so be it. I can respect that. As long as they respect my opinion as well. That is ultimately why we have had, and most likely will continue to have, censorship. People are too worried about everyone else. Don't criticize what I watch and I won't shove it in your face. As far as the whole racism in old cartoons issue is concerned, I believe this should be part of the rating info. "this program contains violence, nudity, racism, etc..." Racism is certainly wrong, but was very prominent in entertainment at one time. If I chose to let my children watch this material, I would make sure to explain why it was wrong and that they are old enough understand.

4. What if your children, hypothetically speaking, tell one day, "Today at school, we watched Friday The 13th"?
Well, here I would go back to what I said earlier. Parents are responsible for their children. I expect that if the school wishes to show any type of movie, no matter what the rating/subject matter is that they notify the parents in advance. If this doesn't happen, the school and I will have a problem. If I want my kids to watch Friday the 13th or My Little Pony, that is my decision as a parent, not the school's. Or the "PC Police" for that matter.

5. In your opinion, when does good taste and judgment evolve into political correctness?
This is a tough one. I think political correctness is mostly just the domain of the "holier than thou" crowd. Certainly most of the things that are considered to be PC or not PC make complete sense. However it seems as though the PC thing has gotten way out of hand. Usually when someone is being un-pc, they either don't know any better or they are doing it on purpose. Pointing it out to them isn't likely to change anything. That is not to say you shouldn't point it out to them. Just don't beat a dead horse. There will always be jerks and idiots in this world. It's just human nature. Don't become one yourself by trying to prevent it in everyone else!

In closing, I would like to say this has been great. Answering these questions has really gotten me to think. And ironically, I realized that in Junior High, we all went to see the Muppet Movie at the theater. Perhaps I wouldn't have partaken so much in the Army if I hadn't witnessed Kermit ordering that drink. What was my mom thinking when she signed that permission slip?? Wait 'till I see her!

Thank you, Mr.Jones. You have a standing invitation to return to Another Descent Into...at any point in the future.

Manhattan Baby-With this 1982 Lucio Fulci movie, I have reached the end of my Fulci trilogy. The question is, will Manhattan Baby live up to the standards raised in Don't Torture A Duckling and HOF'er City of the Living Dead? The answer, sadly, is no. It's not a bad film by any stretch. The elements are certainly there.

On holiday in Egypt with George and Emily Hacker (Christopher Connelly and Martha Taylor), her archaeologist father and journalist mother, 10-year-old Susie Hacker (Brigitta Boccoli) is approached by a mysterious blind woman, who gives her an amulet with a blue-jewled eye in the center. Soon after, George is struck blind by a bright piercing blue light when he enters a previously unexplored tomb. But his assistant is not so lucky as he falls from a false floor bottom to his death on spikes in a booby-trapped chamber.

Upon arrival back in New York, George is informed that the loss of his eyesight will only be temporary. Susie begins to act strangely, and her younger brother Tommy (Giovanni Frezza), who stayed behind in New York with the family's au pair Jamie Lee (Cinzia De Ponti), is also affected by the mysterious amulet. Emily soon discovers that both of her children are appearing and disappearing out of their rooms every day and night. Both Susie and Tommy have gained supernatural access to dimensional doorways. A few days later, George's eyesight returns, and he describes the design on the wall of the tomb he'd entered to a colleague called Wiler, Wiler guesses that it may be the Sacred Symbol of the Grand Shadow, a sight of terrible evil.

Over the next few days, the Hacker family experiences more odd happenings. A scorpion appears in a desk drawer when Susie opens it. Later, Jamie Lee is menaced by a snake that attacks her in the apartment building cellar during a game of hide-and-seek with the kids. Then, Emily discovers piles of sand on the floors of their bedroom and adjacent rooms. Also, the building superintendent dies in a supernatural freak accident then the elevator he's riding in malfunctions, and drops open the floor of the elevator car, making him plunge to his death.

A little while later, Luke Anderson (Carlo De Mejo), an eccentric colleague of Emily's, arrives at the apartment to work with her about her latest journalist work detailing her travels in Egypt. When Luke hears a noise coming from Susie's bedroom, he enters it and tries to force open a jammed bedroom door. He opens it only to be sucked into the dimensional portal and finds himself transported to the deserts of Egypt where he later dies from dehydration in the vast, arid desert. The Hackers think Luke's disappearance is merely one of his practical jokes, but they never learn of his fate, nor find any trace of him.

Jamie Lee takes the kids out to nearby Central Park to play where she takes photos of them. A woman picks up a discarded Polaroid photo taken of Susie. It shows nothing but the amulet against the grassy background. The woman contacts a man called Adrian Marcato (Laurence Welles) with her find. The next day, the woman drops the Polaroid down to Mrs. Hacker from a window overlooking the pavement. Marcato's name and phone number are written on it.

Meanwhile, Susie and Tommy continues to appear and disappear from their bedrooms on what Tommy called "voyages". Soon, Jamie Lee herself disappears after entering Tommy's room. When Emily asks Tommy if he seen Jamie Lee recently, he tells his mother that Jamie Lee has not come back from her own voyage. That evening, George's colleague Wiler is killed when he gets bitten by a cobra that magically appears in his office as he is looking over the photo of the amulet that Hackers have given him. The photo magically disappears and reappears in Susie's hand as she recovers from a mysterious fit.

George and Emily track down Marcato to his antique shop and demand to know what his involvement is. He tells them about the evil symbolism of the jewel, and suggest that Susie has absorbed its energy. He also tells the skeptical couple to at least make sure she doesnt have the amulet in her possession. When George and Emily find the amulet in Susie's bedroom drawer, she appears to them glowing with an unearthly blue light, and then faints. Marcato is called to the Hackers apartment to examine Susie, but is possessed by her inner voice crying for help, and falls to the ground, bleeding and foaming at the mouth. Marcato regains consciousness and succeeds in linking minds briefly with George, showing him a glimpse into the eldritch Egypt his children have been visiting. Susie is then taken to a nearby hospital where the physician Dr. Foster (Lucio Fulci) examines her and is baffled by her mysterious illness. An X-ray taken shows the dark shape of a hooded cobra mark in her chest.

While Emily maintains a bedside vigil for the near-comatose Susie, Tommy is alone at the apartment when he is partly affected too. Suddenly, Jamie Lee turns up, bursting through a wall as a briefly reanimated rotting cadaver before she drops dead. A strange blue light of negative energy is shown flowing from Tommy, the bed-ridden Susie, and the dimensional doorways and channeled into Marcato's home where he is inciting a spell in the ancient Egyptian language. George goes to see Marcato again, who tells them that he can stop worrying about his children. Through an ancient Egyptian spell, Marcato has channeled all the evil energy away from George's children and the curse is now on him. Marcato gives George the amulet and tells him to discard it so the curse will not affect anyone else. That night, Marcato is killed at his shop when the re-animated carcasses of his stuffed birds come to life and tear him to pieces. At the hospital, Susie wakes up to see her grateful mother by her side and both are happy that Susie is all better. The following morning, George, following Marcato's last suggestion, flings the amulet into the East River, bringing an end to their ordeal.

In the final scene back in Egypt, the mystical blind woman once again appears and gives the exact same amulet to another young girl, intending to continue the curse for the forces of darkness, bringing it full circle.

The problem, as I see it, is the mess it becomes towards the end minus the money bird shot. It seemed as if Fulci decided to really forsake story for the sake of absurdity. The movie is a bit different then your standard giallo. There is no true killer other than some stuffed birds, an honest to goodness story taking place, and, oddly enough, no nudity.

I give it points for being something different, it's just this film cannot seem to overcome its disjointed final scenes(bird shot and final shot excluded). I do recommend this film only if you are in the mood to see something else instead of the hack-n-slash of the day...7/10

The Final Descent Into Ex-Fiancee-
I normally do not blog about my personal life. Quite frankly, it is no one's concern what I do during my day to day routine unless I choose to share it with my readers. Yet today, I feel compelled to share with you an amusing story regarding Ex-Fiancee. The pilot story begins with my engagement to Ex-Fiancee this past December only to have the engagement, and thus the relationship, come to screeching halt two days later with the famous "I need some space".


We have talked and visited each a few times since just out of friendship(at least from her point of view). Well what happened to me this past Monday can only be described as "WTF????"

I received an IM from Ex-Fiancee informing me she will be married January 1st,2011...UH-OH!!!! You know reader, I hope that happens. I mean who doesn't want that to happen? (Previously engaged for two days...UH-OH!!!) I know reader, I should be happy for her and I am(UH-OH!!!)...(The guy is from Tennessee...they've only known each other a month...UH-OH!!!)

Just do it Ex-Fiancee(UH-OH!!!) Why wait till January?(I need some space...UH-OH!!!!) Why not next month? Why not tomorrow(UH-OH!!!!)? What's taking so long?(He's just like me...UH-OH!!!!) I mean Ex-Fiancee getting married, what can possibly go wrong other than(I need some space....UH-OH!!!)..I'm sorry Ex-Fiancee, what do u need again(Some space because he's just like me...UH-OH!!!)

Ok, how much space do you need(He's from Tennessee, he's just like me...UH-OH!!!)

Anyhoo, congrats Ex-Fiancee, I hope you're finally happy and that you two(days) have a long and productive marriage(Tennessee because he's just like me...UH-OH!!!)....

On that note, I shall leave you to your life...UH-OH!!!!

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