Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Filmed for a budget that looks to be less than 555 dollars, 555 somehow managed to stumble through its 80 minute runtime and actually kept me entertained the whole way. I mean, it's no ABOMINATION, but it did have a certain micro-budget charm to it that kept me smirking and shaking my handsome skull in disbelief. For example, this heated exchange between a reporter and a homicide detective...Female reporter, "You're a prick, Conner. You know that don't you?" Male detective, "And you're a cunt!" Hahaha...what?
Anyway, 555 opens with a couple being attacked mid-fuck on the beach. The man's head is chopped off and the woman's dying/dead body raped. That sounds much worse than what's actually shown, cause the only thing we really see is a topless woman screaming while somebody offscreen tosses a thick red liquid on her. A passerby discovers the bodies and the cops, for no good reason, are hellbent on framing this guy for the murders. It's completely overboard (and funny) how angry the main cop is. Things change though when another couple is attacked the next night and then the next and so on. You see...555 means every five years the mystery murderer strikes and kills two lovers for five nights in a row. I'm not 100% sure how that equals 555, but whatever.
Steady pace, homemade sets that do their job, better than you would expect acting, multiple poorly shot topless scenes, out of control cops, nowhere near as much blood and gore as you would expect, corpse humping, head-scratching dialogue. 555 definitely isn't for everybody, but it is a fun trip down a lesser known path of movie history.
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
We only have one life. Some lives are long, some lives are short. Everybody is born into a widely different set of circumstances and chances. (Maybe something that would have been beneficial to a person born in Athens, Greece in 431 BCE would be horrible for a person born in Austin, TX in 1974?) Once out and about, each person's life is made up of countless difference decisions and occurrences. One of the ways that I enjoy spending my own personal life is by learning about how other people have lived their lives. To me, it's endlessly fascinating to think about. One of the lives that I recently had the pleasure of learning about (thanks to randomly coming across this documentary) is that of James Edward Baker.
James Baker's was born in 1922 and other than the fact that he had a stint in the military and was a bit of a hell-raiser, there's not a lot about his early life in the doc. THE SOURCE FAMILY mainly focuses on him as a middle-aged man in Los Angeles in the 1960's. He got into healthy eating, spirituality and drugs. His rise to fame started when he opened the Source Restaurant on the Sunset Strip. It soon became quite the money maker and a gathering place for young people. Somehow, this silver tongued, self-proclaimed guru talked a bunch of teenagers and young adults (mostly females) into selling their earthly possessions and moving into his Hollywood Hills mansion. For the next 6 years or so, The Source Family lived in various places, ate a bunch of healthy food, got high as kites being drug behind the Space Shuttle, did a lot of fucking and rocked out with some awesome jams in their own recording studio. That's about it. Nothing too crazy ever happens. There's never a murder or group suicide. They just hang out and party a bunch. Eventually the Father dies (in a goddamn hang gliding accident of all things) and the Family simply drifts apart. The End. At their height, there was around 150 people in the Source Family.
The story of the Source Family is a wild ride. Unfortunately, while the story had me laughing in disbelief over and over, the actual documentary itself was just a very straight forward presentation of facts one after the other with no real storytelling skill. Example: at the very end of the film, literally a few seconds before the closing credits, a item popped up on the scene says "There were 54 home births in the family between 1972 - 1977." Says whaaaaaat??? How the hell is something like that just tossed in at the end? There was some mention earlier on about a teenage girl having a baby at home, but I didn't realize they had 54 babies!!!
Anyway, THE SOURCE FAMILY is definitely worth checking out. Especially for anybody (like myself) that's interested in 1960's/1970's hippie communes, cults, etc. For further reading check out the book "The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, Ya Ho Wa 13 and The Source Family" by Isis Aquarian and Electricity Aquarian. Also, look up the music the Source Family created. Some of that shit is badass!!!