Monday, March 20, 2017

GLEN OR GLENDA (1953)

"Pull the string!"

Padded with 14 minutes of random stock footage and numerous scenes of Bela Lugosi talking about god only knows what, GLEN OR GLENDA is the so-awful-it's-awesome story of a Police Inspector who, after investigating the suicide of a cross-dresser who killed himself while wearing women's clothing, goes to a doctor who tells him two different stories.  The first is about a straight guy who likes to wear women's clothing and the second is about a dude who has a sex change operation to be a woman.

That sounds pretty straight-forward, but what makes GLEN OR GLENDA such a legendary film is Ed Wood Jr.  The guy might not have had much talent, as far as filmmaking goes, but his passion and honesty is abundantly clear.  That's not saying GLEN OR GLENDA is a good movie...cause it's not, but it is unique.

Fake-looking sets, amazingly bad dialogue, less than stellar acting, a 13-minute dream-like montage sequence right in the middle of the movie that features everything from Satan to bondage, camera shadow, Glen literally throwing a cigarette inside a store (at 27:20), quick pace, tons of surreal moments, bison running, a woman pronouncing automobiles as "ought-tow-me-bills", the narrator claiming that 7 out of 10 men are bald because of tight-fitting hats.

There is so much going on in the weird little film that one viewing just isn't going to cover it.  You're gonna have to watch it at least 3 or 4 times.  Recommended for fans of bad movies.

Monday, March 6, 2017

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989)

"Merry Christmas. Shitter was full."

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION is probably the greatest Christmas movie of all time(...despite the fact the story ends on Christmas Eve).

This year, instead of driving all over the place, the Griswolds decide to stay at home for the holidays, so, of course, that means plenty of eggnog, multiple uninvited guests, pissed off neighbors, a kidnapping, 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights and dozens of fantastic quotable lines.  I've seen NLCV so many times, I can probably quote the whole movie.

Clark Griswold is at his best when he's stressed out and in this film he's definitely stressed out!  Worried about his Christmas bonus and overwhelmed with troublesome relatives, Clark is about to lose his mind, so it's probably not the greatest idea of all time to single-handedly cover his house in 250 strands of lights...but he does it anyway and the rest is movie history.

Quick pace, a re-watchability rating that's off the scale, a squirrel...excuse me, I mean "SQUIRREL!", tree sap, nippley weather, perfect acting by a truly impressive cast, a dog with a sinus condition, a gigantic Christmas tree, tons of laughs, a FRIDAY THE 13TH reference, yuppie neighbors and some asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer.

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION is mandatory.  I even have it on my phone so I can have it with me everywhere I go.

Part 1 - National Lampoon's Vacation
Part 2 - National Lampoon's European Vacation
Part 4 - Vegas Vacation
Part 5 - Vacation