Road House (1989)

take the train

“I don’t know why people don’t realize that I like Road House unironically.

“It’s a perfect film. It’s paced well. It doesn’t have any extra fluff. It doesn’t get bigger than the story. It doesn’t try to be something it’s not.”

“…”

“I mean yeah, it’s ridiculous. OK. But it’s also got a noir element.”

He’s still listening, so I go on.

“You know, you have this kind of bleak wasteland. You have an anti-hero. A loner. He’s used to just taking care of himself. He’s good at it.”

“He’s a philosopher,” Ralph interjects.

Right! But then he finds himself in a circumstance where he has to protect some innocents. And he can’t help himself. He has to get involved, even if it’s hopeless.”

I pause, and then say, “Well… I guess it’s not really that noir, I mean besides that. I mean, usually a noir has -“

“- a femme fatale,” my husband nods knowingly.

Instantly, I’m peevish. “Road House has a femme fatale!” I’m pissed. He’s sat through this movie with me many times. Come on!

“…She just doesn’t have a big part,” I allow, begrudgingly. 

Road House (1989)

HAVE YOU OR HAVE YOU NOT

noticed I’ve been watching all these old films so YOU can be convinced to watch them TOO!

So like … Christopher Lee? Sneering his way around the place as a bony, condescending professor. OMG I think I’m in love!
City of the Dead (1960)

Um, a Japanese zombie/karaoke/claymation/horror/sweet family epic?

And an actually beautiful, romantic, stylish not-so-horror film:

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

Some more Japanese nuttiness but I promise, way lowkey compared to Katikuris:

The Golden Bat (1966)

Then there’s a man in a big rubbery suit. HOW DARE U JUDGE ME

It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)

It is lonely being a woman, in B-movieland. Not even kidding. Join meeeeee

Li

li’l crumple

The lipstick in my purse is the one I wore Wednesday. I’ve been ill. I mean I haven’t even put in earrings since. The worst I’ve had in years. Just a flu of some kind, is all. But it’s knocked me out.

Night before last one kid went to bed in daylight hours; last night, t’other.

It’s been rough.

Being down has meant an incredible amount of film time – and several reviews on my B-movie site, including a sensitive 70s enviro sci-fi, a sleazy, greasy, & uneasy neo-noir, five excellent melancholy cop tele-dramas, a z-grade alien remake, and of course – a Mexican “head on a platter” horror film. Keep in mind on top of all of this I managed to start and finish two other television series.

A roll of tweed awaits, my pattern pieces resting atop the yardage. My house is clean enough, but I haven’t been able to do any of that work myself in a couple days.

It feels like weeks since I was able to do anything.

It’s just been a couple days.

Li'l Crumple

Interfacing

in SPACE-VISION™

InterfacingI am elbows-deep in supporting my kids through their schooling and extracurricular activities, paying our bills and keeping house, practicing yoga daily, firing up my B-movie site in a big way (as well as participating in the Bmoviecast and attendant community), and working on a semi-secret (but not really) and massive sewing project.

Also: setting up a 3D super-Wi-Fi blu-ray projector system in our house!

Space-Vision (TM)!

But sadly – all too often, movie night ends in a senseless napping tragedy.

Movie Night

Movie Date

i titter & coo / like i’m a cartoon / i congratulate you / as i leave the room

We’re in a group of about thirteen people all watching a film – and next to me my son sits in his white fur cap, content as possible. I watch him as he eats popcorn and tidily drinks from a small can of Sprite soda. His elven profile tears at my heart. I am rendered entirely helpless at how much I love him, and his sister, how they are my everything life and limb and body.

Today I dug into rent money to take my children – and two others – to the movie, and then for pizza dinner. I popped popcorn and hit the drugstore candy aisle and all that stuff because I will work for it, to give them a decent memory on their Winter vacations from school. All that work to try to get us to the theater on time and watching the film I am almost entirely disinterested; I check my phone as discretely as I can. I have a special exhaustion that seems fruitless and yet serene. I just have to move my body from here to there, to wash dishes, to cook pizzas, to direct children to wash hands or get ready for bed – et cetera, et cetera.

Last night was the second night in a row my son falls asleep right next to me, where I sit – crumpled up against me, his body turns heavy and his breathing even. As much as his interests have turned to school, for now (well – kickball and P.E., really), he is still a little boy who finds comfort in his mother. Why he seems so young and his sister – so much more sedate, darkling, older than her years – seems so grown, I do not know. It’s a rather dreadful juxtaposition as I’m torn between being too-important and not-important-enough, depending on which child I behold. Both children seek out my arms often and when I hold them I’m just wrecked in so many ways.

A Christmas package in the mail: a project knit in secret. Homemade Christmas cards. Yoga, and some time to myself on the mat. Breathing out a deep “cleansing breath” and feeling my face against synthetic plastic and knowing my husband is now at home, caring for the children. Dinner will be ready when I arrive and another day will come to a close.

Day in and day out, caring for younglings, one can learn quite a bit about the Right Stuff for the Right Reasons.

Movie Date

image

“I’ll give you twenty-four hours, but I AM gonna call in some outside help, because my first responsibility is to save HUMAN lives, not sea-serpents.”

image

I am currently soliciting donations so we four can have a modest, 6-day Lake vacation – including a gathering for Ralph’s birthday!

2014 Hogaboom Lake Vacation

As per usual, the support I receive online (through email, this site, Facebook, and Twitter) has been wonderful since the ten-plus years. This last year we’ve had a hard time with a few extra medical expenses, car trouble, and a lot of extra layout re: counseling for family trauma. That said, this is how Life works and I get that! We are hoping we can have our six days at the Lake as a vacation is good for anyone who can have one. If you can help in any way, it is appreciated. May I just offer my sincere gladness to those who read here, and those who comment or email, IM, tweet, or text. You are the reason I keep writing.

Thank you for reading and supporting in the many ways you do!

***

In other news, I launched a new website this month – B-movie BFFs!  (tonight’s fare – 1977’s Crater Lake Monster; if you’d like to watch with us, follow the instructions as per the site). This is the home of my ridiculous “Sea Hunt” project; upcoming you can expect my spoiler-free review of Season 2 of “Hemlock Grove”.

I have been trying to find a B-movie podcast I can promote through the site, so I’ve been listening to those to find a good fit. Most of them are male-dominated and not as tightly-produced as I’d like to recommend. Yesterday I tried, then rejected one that had extremely offensive humor right from the get-go. Currently I’m listening to a couple young(-sounding) British lads who definitely watch the kind of movies I want to be talking about, and have a great sense of humor as well. Let’s hope I’ve found a podcast I can call home!

Ralph is, of course, trying to convince me to put forth my own podcast (hardcore fans of all things Hogaboom will remember my one-off in this regard back in, I think, 2010). It sounds like a lot of work but, as I’ve had so much fun building my site and creating my “Sea Hunt” ringtones (HUGE NERD ALERT), I am nonetheless tempted!

American Cyborg: Steel Warrior

in retrospect, most films with the title “Cyborg” in them don’t really work out so hot

I know y’all missed #BondBFFs. But you know what? My friend Court and I are at it again! By the way there are PRIZES associated with this wonderful venture! (Read on:)

Follow @BmovieBFFs & I next Tuesday 7 PST for…

AMERICAN CYBORG: STEEL WARRIOR

American Cyborg: Steel Warrior

which we will be watching and tweeting (and FBing).

Yeah you heard me. AMERICAN CYBORG: STEEL WARRIOR! This 1993 gem (33% on Rotten Tomatoes… and that’s a stretch) is basically a straight-up Terminator rip-off. The “Sarah Connor” figure however carries her future-hope-of-man fetus in a glass jug in a backpack (if memory serves) and the film features such dialogue gems as, “You’re a cyborg! You lied to me!” (son of a BITCH how many times has this happened to me?! Men!), and “You want me to take off my pants?”

If you can’t find a copy – (although you can rent or buy it on a few streaming sites) – let me know. I can hook you up.

I have a VHS COPY of this film. If you want it, enter your name by PMing, texting, emailing (kelly AT hogaboom DOT org), the word “CYBORG-ERRIFIC” at me. I will be doing a drawing and mailing out the VHS in a timely manner so the “lucky” winner can watch with us next Tuesday!

Get your best post-apocalyptic greasy-hair, leathers, and denim vest on and LET’S DO THIS!

The Lost Weekend

tossing the sandbags overboard: movies about drunks

The Lost Weekend

At three years’ sober today I’ve been to about a thousand meetings of recovered (or recovering, or trying-to-recover, or not-wanting-to-recover) alcoholics. If you average about fifteen people at each meeting sharing their stories that means I’ve heard roughly 15,000 personal accounts of the struggle with alcoholism.

That said I still don’t know much about alcoholism; however, I’ve had a lot of misconceptions dispelled and I’ve un-learned a bit of ignorance. And y’all know I’m a cinephile, right? So one thing I do know is the story of the recovered alcoholic isn’t often like the movies – parties, socially-embarrassing moments, increasingly crazy behavior, tears and fights and then one day – he finally pours the bottle down the sink as the family tearfully looks on and then all is Eden. Yeah, right! [ she laughs ].

Anyway here’s some stuff that’s on the Real. You ever want to talk to me about these movies or my history as a “functional” alcoholic you let me know.

And thanks for three wonderful years. May I receive many more!

***

Who can put a list like this together without The Lost Weekend (1945)? This critically-hailed film depicts an end-stage binge of writer Don Birnam (as played by the legendary and wonderful Ray Milland) and I enjoy it more and more upon each viewing. What I like best about this film is Milland’s performance itself (for which he won an Oscar and claims the shortest Oscar-acceptance speech on record), as he doesn’t play the typical caricature of a drunk. You want to know how a hopeless alcoholic looks and behaves? Cunning, charming, lovelorn and sweet – likable, intelligent, devious, hopeless. There ya go. The score (and theramin!), the costume design, everything about the film (except the oddly abrupt denouement) is wonderful.

Clean and Sober (1988) is simply perfection. It’s perfection. Stand-out performances by Michael Keaton, Kathy Bates, and M. Emmet Walsh. Whereas most films that deal in any way with alcoholism show the troubles leading up to the cessation of drinking (borrrring!), this film concerns itself roughly with the first thirty days of an individual’s sobriety. Particulars aside I can’t think of a film that better depicts that window of one’s life. I related personally to so many moments of the film – the man, for instance, who sits in his car drinking a beer so he can “trick” the treatment center into admitting him, and he can hide out for a while from legal and employment troubles. Someone very dear to me did the same. There’s also a scene where a sober alcoholic arrives on the porch of his friend and sponsor, busted down beyond measure, without the thought of a drink but without anything to offer anyone either. His sponsor says a few kind but harsh words to him. Now that moment – well I’ve lived that moment, and long after my last drink. Gives me chills. A great film.

Shame (2011) is a rough go, one of those tear-your-guts-out films you want to recommend to your friends – with a cautionary measure. The film depicts a few weeks in the life of a sex addict and drug addict named Brandon (Michael Fassbender) as his routines are interrupted by the sudden re-appearance of a family member. This film is quite explicit sexually, but it’s the explicitness of addiction behaviors that make it a stand-out. The film delivers breathtaking realism on two accounts: how incredibly sad active addiction is, and how those who are addicted often appear to be living a “normal” or even successful life (Brandon occupies a world of financial privilege that won’t last long if he keeps practicing his behaviors). The film depicts addiction in full-bloom in an incredibly well-rendered way and for that, I adore it.

Come Early Morning (2006), the directorial and writing debut of Joey Lauren Adams, is in my opinion a film with beautiful nuance, and I recommend it often – especially for any family touched by alcohol and drug use. We first meet central character Lucy (Ashley Judd) after a night of drinking, but I’m not sure if she’s an alcoholic; at any rate, she certainly isn’t the only one. Another character in the film most certainly is, and that other person and his relationship with Lucy – well it really tore at my heartstrings. Judd is on point in this film (when is she not?), but so is the supporting cast. The DVD cover of this movie looks like a softball romantic drama; it’s not. It’s a rock-solid story of the journey to Recovery and that means loss, and change – heartbreaking losses and scary changes.

Protagonist (2007). This documentary isn’t about alcoholism. This film is about… well as a Buddhist I’d say this film is about Illusion and where that Illusion leads you – and how that Illusion, given enough credence and investment, will kill you. As a Buddhist I’d say this film applies to every human being out there. As a drunk I’d say this film is about trying to manage your life (or your addiction) – and failing, utterly so. This film is about striving, and certainty, and knowing you’re right, and knowing you know what the problem is. But then… something happens. Ah hell, I can’t explain the movie. It is almost a heartsong for me and perhaps it represents my own experiences with alcoholism more than almost anything else. This film is about Waking Up, I suppose.

So there ya have it! Get to watching. And thank you, my dear friends, for helping me get along a little longer on this lovely little planet Earth.

some things never seem to fucking work

Just in case you aren’t following/friending me on Facebook, WHY YES I wrote a massive post on Roadhouse‘s twenty-fifth anniversary. I am kind of upset you thought I’d do anything else.

Life is – good. I am still recovering from illness. Mostly I’m tired – but I have a lot of my strength back. At a volunteer commitment on Sunday I had my Ego bumped down a notch when I made a mistake – and it still smarts. I’m trying to be kind to myself. A lifetime practice.

I am a little sad, too. Today I found out that on June 14th my maternal family will be scattering my grandfather’s ashes – my last grandparent. There is no way I can afford airfare and accommodations to be there. I am saddened by this. I’d like to be there. I’d like my children to meet their extended family on that side. It’s not going to happen and I can live with this. I just need to make a little space in my heart.

In other news:

Swimming

Evening Walks

Snuggles

Thug Life

1 year since I quit smoking. Yes. Go me! Because seriously!

Life goes on. For us.

i’m sorry i haven’t written much of late, but:

I am experiencing high call volume.

And by that I mean, a double-dose of kidney problems. That’s right. BOTH kidneys.

 

I laugh (and I post a clip from one of the best movies of all time, and before I die there is nothing I’d like more than to star in a stage adaptation), but the truth is this has been most discouraging. I don’t know how I got through Sunday night and Monday, but by Tuesday night I had capitulated and taken some prescribed, and narcotic, pain medicine. I take the medicine at night which means I feel pain, nausea, and awfulness during the day. But taking the medicine during the day would mean doing nothing during the day. I have at the very least to drive and pick up my daughter from school.

It isn’t like my kidneys to take this long to pass stones, and it isn’t like them to both be seizing at the same time. I can wait a while longer but then another CAT scan or xray, and possibly another procedure, may be in my future. Expense, radiation, needles, fear, vomiting, invasion – and my husband, doing more than his share while I recover.

I will write more soon; promise. Thank you for your patience.