Posts Tagged 'John Waters'

Bad Movies, Good People

If I am anything, I am a loyal fan. When I find some actor/filmmaker/artist/personality that I really like, I will do pretty much anything for that person. And by that, I mean seeing all the bad movies they’ve been in. I was just thinking about all my famous “friends”, and the absolute shit that I’ve sat through to see them (be it for one brief moment in a Hollywood blockbuster, or a starring role in an independent flop) and I thought I’d share some of them with you.

  • Band of the Hand

I saw this lost gem for that little guy in the yellow shirt and dyed hair. That, my friends, is baby John Cameron Mitchell. The film itself if an 80’s movie about a group of five troublemakers, who get the choice of living in the jungle for a bit, or going to jail. They choose the jungle, and learn all about themselves and each other. The Breakfast Club in nature. It obviously sucks. But JCM is so damn cute with his orange hair and painted on tattoos. If we continue The Breakfast Club analogy, then he was the Ally Sheedy character. I will leave you with a quote from a review someone posted on Netflix about this movie that I really enjoyed, “The scenery and photography is artistic and beautiful but not so artistic that it would be considered artsy.” That, ladies and gentleman, is the greatest thing said about any movie, ever. Too bad it was wasted on this piece of shit that no one has ever seen. Except for John Cameron Mitchell, John Cameron Mitchell’s mom, and me.

  • All the Queen’s Men

I’ve seen the most bad movies for my fave British, transvestite, comedian/actor Eddie Izzard (no offense to all the other British, transvestite comedian/actors out there). In his quest for legitimate acting gigs, I think he just took any role that came his way. And no one, no matter how desperate they are, should EVER take a film role opposite Matt LeBlanc. I explored All the Queen’s Men in more detail in this post.

  • Pecker

The only John Waters movie I didn’t like. The only John Waters movie that is just straight up bad. (Note: we have to judge JWat’s films on a different kind of scale, since all his movies are technically, “bad”.) It’s fairly dull, and nothing too exciting happens. A lot of fans hate everything post Desperate Living…but, people, after he got that studio money and mainstream support from Hairspray, he just couldn’t make movies like Pink Flamingos anymore, let’s be real. But, I feel like he managed to work a sort of “filth-lite” charm into other films like Serial Mom or Cecil B. Demented…this one just didn’t work out. The fake trashiness was forced, so that it seemed like someone trying to recreate what they think a John Waters movie should be. Oh, well. They can’t all be winners. And there is a good moment where Christina Ricci screams, “I HATE MODERN ART.” That’s cute.

  • Gunslinger’s Revenge

One of the most laughably bad movies I’ve ever seen. It stars Harvey Keitel, and is an Italian spaghetti western. And also featurs David Bowie. I won’t bore you with the plot (mostly because I can’t remember it) BUT ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW is that David Bowie, who plays the bad guy, utters the following statement to a barmaid: “You’re a lucky woman. I ain’t gonna kill you. Today, I’m just gonna rape you.” BAD MOVIE BLISS.

  • Hudson Hawk

For dear Richard E. Grant, star of Withnail and I. Unfortunately, this big-budget, Bruce Willis-starring, action/”comedy” was no where near similar to the beautiful subtley and British wit of Withnail. The Showgirls of action movies. And not in a good way. REG was cute as the villain with Sandra Bernhard as his partner in crime, though.

  • Say Uncle

And enter the Queer as Folk obsession. Peter Paige, the flamboyant Emmet from QAF, attempted the tricky trio of writing/directing/starring in this “dark comedy”, about a gay man who tries to work as a babysitter in a suburban neighbor, which ends up distressing the residents. Oh, Peter. Stay in front of the camera, my friend. It takes some skill to make a funny movie about supposed child molestation…

  • Particles of Truth

Another attempt by the QAF gang, this time starring the beautiful Gale Harold. (Isn’t Gale a really nice name?) Anyways, this suffers from the same delusion of Say Uncle, with firsttimer Jennifer Elster writing/directing/starring in the film opposite Gale. All I can remember is artsy shots of him shaving (which would definitely be “so artistic that it would be considered artsy”, and not in a good way) and her entering some kind of club and getting mauled by German Shepards and then being raped. I think it was about finding yourself, or some shit like that.

  • Holding Trevor

This was really disappointing, because it took years (literally) to be released on DVD, and once it was, I couldn’t even get through it. Starring the cutest boy in the world, Jay Brannan, it was billed as some kind of gay coming-of-age in the big city kind of thing. Not the most unique story in the world, but anything for my little, shaved, singer/songwriter. Long story short, I hated all the characters and didn’t give a shit about their identity crises. Not even Jay was enough to finish the movie. Why does all gay, independent cinema suck so bad? (That’s another post all together!)

And that’s just a sampling of some of the sucky-ass movies I seen for the people I love. And we didn’t even talk about The L Word gang, or Elizabeth Berkley’s Lifetime movies! . Why do I torture myself like this? I wish I knew. I just love collecting these bad movies, I suppose. And seeing these people move through their careers really touches me. I mean, look at Eddie Izzard now! From Matt LeBlanc to Tom Cruise!

Anyways, I suppose that the moral of this post is that I lack appropriate judgment skills, and will blindly be led by obsessions with people who will never know I exist to consume all of their work. Is that normal?

Now I really want to re-watch Queer as Folk.

Love,

Elaine

Inspirations

Our third essay in Composition is supposed to be ten to twelve pages long on the topic of “who is your inspiration, and how have they played in a part in you pursuing what it is that you are pursing?” (I’m sure that there’s a more elegant way to say that.)

It doesn’t necessarily have to be why you’re at SCAD – the professor clarified this after someone raised their hand and said, “But my muse is Jesus Christ” (I think I might have audibly LOLed) – but, that would probably play into it.

So I figured that I would make a list of possibilities that I have to choose from to help me narrow it down and get started.

John Cameron Mitchell

I think that we all know by now how I fee about JCM (and OMG how cute is he in that picture?!) and while I could definitely write twelve pages on him and and the pretend relationship that I like to imagine we have, I already wrote about him and Hedwig for my first essay.

John Waters

JWat is a fairly viable option for this. In fact, he might be the best option. He’s a strange little man with even stranger obsessions. However, it’s possible that I’ll be immediately expelled from the film program for citing him as inspiration. Besides, JWat left (read: was expelled for smoking pot in his dorm room) NYU, where he would have studied film, within his first month there in order to go out and make movies on his own.

Andy Warhol

SO FUCKING CLICHE I DON’T EVEN WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. Plus, let’s be honest here. His movies are fucking boring.

Todd Solondz

I have always imagined that any movies I write/make would be closest in tone to those made by Mr. Solondz. I really don’t know much about him…maybe this is a good opportunity to learn more?

Eddie Izzard

Okay, now this has just become a list of people I like. But while we’re talking about Eddie, last night I watched his documentary BELIEVE: The Eddie Izzard Story. Now, I know that you’re thinking, “I luv Eddie, but why did this bitch need a documentary?” and I have to admit that I thought the same thing. But after watching it for free online (courtesy of EpixHD) I found it to be funny, sweet, and surprisingly touching. My favorite part? That Eddie missed the Emmy ceremony where he won two Emmy’s for Dressed to Kill, to be on location shooting All the Queens Men! LOLx1000!!

Britney Jean Spears

Similar to the person who asked about using Jesus Christ for their paper.

In conclusion…I don’t know who I’m going to choose. But I have a few weeks to figure it out.

Best Wishes,

Elaine

Happy Birthday, Divine!

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Today, October 19, would have been Divine’s 64th birthday. Don’t know who Divine is? Leave.

Just kidding! I’m all about educating the ignorant!

See, for the past couple weeks my life has been kind of Divine-centric because I’m doing an informative speech on John Waters for Public Speaking. I love saying “300 pound drag queen” out loud in a classroom setting. I didn’t even realize that Divine’s birthday was coming up, so it’s kind of a nice coincidence. Anyways…

Divine was born Harris Glenn Milstead in a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland. Today he’s best known for eating dog shit at the end of Pink Flamingos.

Chubby and effeminate, he was beat up every day and eventually required a police escort to and from school. Which is where teenage John Waters would see him, standing on the corner every morning, and became fascinated by him.

Oh, I’m sorry. Do you not know who John Waters is? How retarded are you? Seriously, I can’t explain everything. You can just read his Wikipedia page. Jesus.

Anyways, so through the mutual friend of David Lochary, Divine and John met up. John was just starting to make movies, and at first, Divine was a mere back up player.

But noticing the star quality, he soon got all the main parts and was christened “Divine”.

He pretty much always played a woman who was the picture of trashy glamor. Van Smith, Dreamland’s make up artist, would even shave Divine’s hairline back to the center of his head to make enough room for the glamorous eye makeup and high arched eyebrows he imagined:

The picture of beauty.

Divine went on to star in the infamous Pink Flamingos as well as Female Trouble. After taking a break from Waters’ movies to star in some plays in New York and London, he returned to play Tracy Turnblad’s mother in the “accidental family film” Hairspray. (A role recently and embarrassingly reprised by Mr. John Travolta.)

Unfortunately, this leads up to his death. Divine died in his sleep from an enlarged heart the day before he was going to start his part in Married…With Children.

In addition to John Waters movies, Divine made disco music, threw big parties and was an excellent shop lifter. (According to John Waters, he once walked out of a store holding a TV and a chainsaw, so questions asked.)

But anyways, I’m so glad that Divine existed and that he immortalized so many insane characters that will keep people laughing forever. And it’s always nice to have another role model for all the misfits and losers out there.

Happy Birthday, Divine! Wherever you are.

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Father’s Day Wishes

Today in America we are celebrating Father’s Day. A “holiday” in which you honor the paternal figures in your lives, and more specifically, the man whose sperm helped create you.

But what about those men who never had children? Here’s the guys who I wish were daddy’s, because their children would bring sunshine to the world:

1) Elton John

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Really I’m only thinking of the child here. Can you imagine the incredible life that he or she would lead? Spoiled wouldn’t even begin to cover it. Diamond encrusted pacifiers, designer baby clothes, and mandatory music lessons from eighteen months on. He or she would be over-educated about art and, would get to live in the nicest houses. And when daddy Elton was off making music and daddy David was off making documentaries, baby John-Furnish would surely have the most accommodating nannies.

2) John Waters

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This child would end up in two ways: a) completely deranged and the leader of some underground movement, or b) shy and mortified of everything, rarely leaving his room. What would this child think when he inherited all of John’s bizarre modern art (and John’s own art) and other strange collections? And how could would you react to knowing that your own father had the brilliant idea of having a three hundred point drag queen consume dog feces for the grand finale of the most disgusting movie ever made? Enthralling to the rest of the freaks of the world, his own spawn would more than likely be horrified. While the child would have an awkward adolescence, it would be sad for John Waters to leave the world without an heir to his throne of filth.

3) Tim Curry

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This is mainly for the selfish reason that this would be a good looking addition to the world. Obviously, the child must be raised in England to inherit Tim’s sexy accent. The child would also have to take acting lessons, but would constantly be competing with his dad’s Rocky Horror persona. Eventually, he would become frustrated and would become a staunch-y, pundit on some conservative cable network. Tim would be disappointed, but in his heart he would understand and would allow his child space. Finally, the child would apologize for his callow and jealous ways, and he and Tim would sing a beautiful duet of “I’m Going Home”, among other songs, in their dazzling two-man Broadway show, Curry & Son.

4) Jay-Z

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Only because his wife, Beyoncé, would make a fierce line of maternity wear and she would be a sassy mommy.

Good Bad Movies and Bad Bad Movies

Last night a friend invited Josh and I to her house to watch a movie. Since we were nearby, we visted one of those magical Red Box things outside grocery stores where you can rent a DVD for one dolla. They had a really broad selection, everything from Milk to never-seen-the-light-of-day shitty horror movies.

We decided on a movie that displayed a picture of a nearly naked lady holding two guns. It was called Stiletto and the description used the word “sexy” twice. You can’t go wrong with that.

We knew that it would be bad. But I don’t have a problem with that. I love bad movies. Too much (remember the Showgirls party?). However, it became apparent around fifteen minutes into the movie that Stiletto was unfortunately not a good bad movie, but a bad bad movie.

And the difference you ask, between a good bad movie and a bad bad movie? Well, let me begin my thesis here:

First of all, let me say that budget has nothing to do with it. Stiletto was clearly made for under a million with a rented camera, and it sucked. Showgirls was made for $45,000,000 and is arguably the worst movie ever made. But it’s also one of the most entertaining, memorable and life-affirming films of the twentieth century.

A good bad movie must take itself completely seriously. It must not be in on the joke and must be made with Oscar-winning intentions. For instance, the film Powder about an albino teenager with mystical powers.Or Obsessed starring Beyoncé Knowles.

A bad bad movie understands its limitations. Like all of John Waters’ movies.

A good bad movie also must have an element of bizarre-ness that pushes it over-the-top. Like Mommie Dearest, or one of my personal favorites, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Because a movie like Stiletto, which tries to be very  realistic just comes across as boring when it doesn’t have the budget or the means to be done well. But when you have an insane transsexual murdering with a samurai sword, well,  that’s just so in another world that any ties to reality are unimportant.

In the end, there’s nothing better than a good bad movie. And the only thing that’s worse than a bad bad movie is a good good movie. Fucking Oscar winners. I would rather have a tattoo sanded off my arm with a belt sander than watch Titanic*. Even the best Oscar winner of all times, The Silence of the Lambs, has some elements of good bad movie-making in it.

So, sorry Stiletto. You are in the awkward place of sucking so bad that you’re neither entertaining nor slightly compelling. Your future lies at the bottom of the Cheap DVD bin at Wal-mart. Right next to Kill Cruise starring Elizabeth Hurley.

*I really would not. That is an exaggeration and a reference to the film Stiletto.

Elaine’s Christmas Traditions

While most Christmas traditions are meant to take place with family and friends, there are some that I like to participate in by myself in my room. So why don’t you join me? Let’s take the “Christ” out of “Christmas”, and celebrate the holiday the way it should be celebrated!

  1. I rabidly watch this strange, awkward Christmas duet between David Bowie and Bing Crosby over and over. I don’t know what’s better, the little scene that they do before they sing, or the story behind the video: that Bing had never even heard of David and just wanted a young singer. Bing wanted to sing “Little Drummer Boy”, but David didn’t think that it suited his vocal talent, so someone quickly wrote “Peace on Earth”. They met that morning and rehearsed for an hour. Bing said that David was, “a clean cut kid”. Bing died a month later, and it aired after his death. Pure Christmas bliss.
  2. Then I like to preform a reading of John Waters’ classic essay “Why I Love Christmas” from his book Crackpot.  I like to pretend that John is reading it to me and sharing all his  obsessions with me. No matter how many times I’ve read it, it’s still hilarious.                                                                                                        “Why I Love Christmas”
  3. I like to end Christmas with more John Waters, but this time with his touching and inspiring movie, Female Trouble. Nothing puts me more in the Christmas spirit than this! And if I’m too tired from all the holiday joy to watch the whole movie, then I just skip to the single greatest Christmas scene in cinema history:

Merry Christmas!


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