Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Rish Outcast 113: Square Takes the Circle

Did you see that movie THE CIRCLE?

No?

Well, Rish saw it, and it was bad enough to do any episode about.


Can someone make a good episode about a bad movie?

Spoiler Alert: No, they cannot.



If you want to download the episode directly, just Right-Click HERE.

If you want to hear Marshal Latham and I talk about Spielberg's DUEL, go to This Link.

If you want to support me on Patreon . . . well, you're the only one.

Thanks to Gino "The Laughing Vulcan" Moretto for the logo.

Boy, I wish the episodes themselves were as clever as the titles I give them.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

I Narrate "The Centaur's Lament" by Ted Rabinowitz

About a zillion years ago, I performed a story for Kaleidocast, a New York-based podcast anthology.

Actually, it was just in 2015 (A story called "Dating Kali, My Sweet" by Alger Bliss), but time is fleeting.  Madness takes its toll.

But listen closely, not for very much longer, I was asked to do another story for their second season, at least that was the goal.

This one is called "The Centaur's Lament," and it's one of those tales (I'm sure there's a name for this category, sort of a kissing cousin to Second Person) where you're getting half of a conversation, and have to infer what the other person is saying.  Kind of like hearing one side of a telephone call.

Whether you love the format or not, I think you'll find the story (by Ted Rabinowitz) amusing.

THIS IS THE LINK!

Kaleidocast requested the story around the time Nixon was President, and I have dogged their website many times in the years since.  I have always been baffled by their website whenever I go.  Even following their link I sometimes wonder if I went to the wrong site.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Rish Outcast 112: Creative Constipation

So, I had quite a stretch this year where I did not write, and more importantly, didn't want to write. It was no fun, and I did a handful of things to try to get out of that creative funk.

Hey, maybe "Creative Funk" would have been a nicer title for this episode. But you know how I am.


Unfortunately, I complain about Harlan Ellison in this episode, and it was supposed to be released the same day he died (for the Patreon supporters, anyway).  I had to sit on it for a few days, deciding whether it would be okay to call him a horse's ass when the man just passed away. Ultimately, I'm releasing it as-is, since the show was recorded months ago, and I meant the stuff I said, even though I've heard much praise this week of the man and his good works.



If you wanna download the episode directly, just Right-Click HERE.

If you wanna support me on Patreon . . . well, good for you!

Good for us both, actually.

Logo by Gino "The Playah" Moretto.

Monday, July 02, 2018

A Parallel World?

Years ago, I was released from prison after serving part of my sentence for Second Degree Aggravated Mayhem because of inmate overcrowding.  We'll not go into that, but let me just say that, when I got out, I was blown away by all the new television and music I had missed when I was on the inside.  What was this "Deep Space Nine?"  Why were people Counting Crows?  Was it true Dennis Franz had a show where he showed his butt all the time?  Were there really bands called Hole, Deadeye Dick, and Bush on the charts at the same time?  Who were the "Friends?"  Who was Alanis Morrisette, and why the fuck were people listening to her?

But bigger for me, were all the movies.  Pretty much every star that I liked had made a film or two (except River Phoenix and John Candy, for some reason), and I didn't know which ones were good (SPEED, MAVERICK, FORREST GUMP?) and which were bad (ACE VENTURA, ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS, Disney's THREE MOUSKETEERS?).  It was a wondrous time to go to the cinema and the video store, and due to my time sweeping the machine shop and chortling prison guards, I had enough money to check everything out.

That sort of thing hasn't been repeated (since I now have diplomatic immunity), and I didn't think that it could be.  Until I walked into Target the other day, and saw a big display of new movies.  They were on sale cheap, just in time for Father's Day, July 4th, or Manatee Eve.

I did a double-take.


It wasn't a bevy of recognizable new releases, installments of PACIFIC RIM, TOMB RAIDER,
or BLACK PANTHER.  These were right there, next to the New Releases, in a prominent display.  And they were all mysteries to me.

I didn't recognize a single one of these movies.


Furthermore, all the actor names that were being promoted as selling points ("Marquee Names," as they used to call them, or "Above The Title" names, as they call them now) were mysteries to me too.
They certainly *looked* like real movies, but the titles . . . I dunno.

Take this one, for example, THE SWEDISH COMPROMISE.  Not exactly a riveting title, but still better than HURRICANE HEIST, or SOURCE CODE, or THE ECHELON CONSPIRACY.  And the word "Swedish" gives it a bit of exotic international flavor and/or makes you hungry for candy fish.


But then I looked at the tagline.  "Sometimes, the only option is compromise."

Wait a minute, is this a joke?  While I agree that sometimes the only option is compromise, when used as a tagline, it's awfully similar to, "Sometimes, the only way to win a fight is to give up."  It just doesn't fill me with the image of characters who never stop fighting, and who go through all sorts of intrigue.  Excitement, who needs it?

HIGH 5?  SNIPER DAD?

RED FEAR 2, starring Brock Chavez.  SNAIL'S PACE starring Ronald Piedmont?

Natalia Rodriguez?  Stone Jones?  Gene Manchester?  Jack Russell?  Vanessa Fairmont?  Gustav Doberman?  Not only do they not sound like real movie stars . . . that last one doesn't even sound like a real name.


THE EVIDENCE ("They wined him . . . they dined him . . . they framed him") has three names above the faces of three vaguely-celebrity-looking actors.  The three names?  Evans, Cooper, and Jones.  No first names, because these guys are either so famous that last name says it all . . . or they're deliberately trying to sucker people into thinking this movie stars Chris Evans, Bradley Cooper, and Shirley Jones from "The Partridge Family."

That's more than a bit evil, isn't it?


If you look closely, you'll see THE EVIDENCE has a Rolling Stone review quote: "It sets the bar for legal thrillers," with "bar" in italics.  Low blow, Rolling Stone, not cool.

Here's another one.  Pretty girl, if you can get past the flames and red eyes.  Damned if I've ever seen her before, though.


It's called BREAK POINT DAWN INFINITY.  Dynamic words, sure, action-oriented words.  But a movie title?  These didn't sound so much like a title so much as the trigger words to brainwash the Winter Soldier.  Were they just randomly generated by a machine?*

This film is the sequel to OCEAN MISSION, OCEAN MISSION: DARK TIDE.


How deep is too deep?  I don't know, actually.  But I know this cover reminds me of both CRIMSON TIDE and THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOB--

Just a second, does this film star Donald Trump?  Is that a picture of him with a submarine captain's hat Photoshopped on?

Are these real movies?

This one is TIME GAMES starring . . . Matt Baba?  I don't know who he is, but the cover reminds me of TOTAL RECALL.  Baba' name is much larger than the title (like Schwarzenegger's was in 1990), so that should tip me off to just how big a deal Matt Baba is in Laos or Malta or Wisconsin or some far-away foreign locale.


Oh, and Red Fear 2 (or is it 3?) has the subtitle, MASSIVE HEAT.  Does that work?  Maybe it had to be put that way, to make the awesome tagline work.


"If you can't stand the Heat . . . time to die."



Oh, but that tagline is "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water" compared to TIME GAMES.

"The future of the past is now."

Digest that, kids.

The one that I simply couldn't get my brain around was BLOOD OATH: REMEMBERANCE.  Which looked like a real movie, the kind shot in Slovenia by folks that liked GLADIATOR even more than I did.  It had a quote from the critics at the bottom of it, and used one of those awkward images where they stick the actor who's in the movie's head on the body of a stand-in.  You've seen that wacky shite, right?**

It had a really decent tagline: "His country is gone . . . but his oath is eternal."  So, yeah.  Nothing wrong here--

--Except that REMEMBRANCE is spelled wrong.


And worse, there's a line through the O in "Oath."  That gives me the fudgin' heebie jeebies.

Oh, but it gets so much worse.  BLUD OATS: REMEMBERENCING stars Hom Tanks.

Hom H. Tanks.

Come on, kids, that's the kind of joke I regularly made in seventh grade, when I started calling Jennifer Kirk "Kennifer Jerk" and actually thought I was funny.

Not to kick a dead horse, but the craziness doesn't end there.  I don't know if you can see it in the photo, but at the bottom of the DVD, it touts, "From the director of JOANIE LOVES CHACHI 4: DEFENESTRATION."

I couldn't help but marvel.  Nobody would believe me if I just told them about this, so I got out my cellphone.

Finally, after I had taken these (admittedly shitty) pictures, a man stepped up to me and asked, "Can I help you, sir?"  He did not seem to be a Target employee, but more of a security guard type.

"Yeah, I was just looking at these movies.  Do you recognize any of these people?"

"I don't watch movies, sir," the guy said, as plenty of people have said to me (although, to be frank, I hear it a lot more about reading books, and people sure do love to brag about that), and I sighed, because someone who didn't know who Edward James Olmos is wouldn't understand if I said, "It sort of looks like Edward James Olmos in DARK TIDE 2, but only if you squint."

Finally, I said, "Well, these movies just seem weird to me.  As if they come from another--"

I looked at his face.

The man only had one nostril, in the center of his nose.

"Another . . . ?" he asked, and if I've ever heard a loaded question, it was this one.

"Another country," I said instead.  Then I pretended to notice something.  "Oh, the Swedish Compromise.  They must come from Sweden."  I made a happy sound.  Mystery solved.

"Sweden," he said quietly.  He raised his sleeve to his lips and exhaled into it.  I don't know if it was a word in another language or a sound or a code, but I know a signal when I hear one.

I started to walk away.

"Would you mind coming with me, sir?" he asked behind me.

I started to run.

Rish Outfield

*Actually, "Breaking Point" seems like a pretty good title, for a movie or series.  But not "Break Point."  Never "Break Point."

**Check out the poster for that Madonna-seduces-a-gay-guy movie sometime.

P.S.  Months later, I was in a different Target, when I saw a familiar movie in the Toy aisle.  It was our good friend OCEAN MISSION COLON DARK TIDE.  It was on clearance for $1.80.  I picked it up.


Oh, I didn't buy it, I'm not insane.  But I physically picked up the DVD.  It said it won awards at Cannes and Sundance.  Really?  When?


 
Underneath it was THE SWEDISH COMPROMISE, also on clearance.  What the . . .

In fact, they were all there, all the greatest hits (of Earth-371).  I remembered how much time I wasted on this blogpost, and that I never once thought to look up these titles or actors on the IMDB. 

Worse yet, I never thought to look on the back of one of the DVDs.  This is what I found:


Ah, so it was some kind of April Fools Day prank, only in June,  That makes sen--

Wait, does it?  Did they sell more Dad Packs of cards making them look like old movies than they would have making them look like cards?

Well, two things are for sure, they certainly got me (to waste my time) with this one.  And second, I'm totally gonna blow $1.80 on  the next one I see.  The novelty alone should be worth that much.