Monday, June 14, 2021

freakboy muses music: GARBAGE - NO GODS NO MASTERS

 Perry Como is dead.


The B-52’s haven’t released an album of new music in over a decade.


Ok yeah, sure, I purchased the CD of Julie Brown’s GODDESS IN PROGRESS, which included a handful of new-to-me tracks, but that wasn’t enough.


I craved a wholly new album from an old favorite. 


Then out of the neon pink cotton candy sky, like an angry alterna-rock-punk fairy godmother, Shirley Manson and her men rained shredded valentines, stapled with bloodied thorns and coated with succulent piss and vinegar upon the world.  I stood with my mouth open wide as the golden crimson shower of NO GODS NO MASTERS seeped through the cracks in my mindskin..  



Shirley and company pop a few coins into the arcade and take perfect aim at THE MEN WHO RULE THE WORLD and how they’ve left us in a mess.


They then look inward in a self-doubt double feature anthem.  THE CREEPS, with its alternative-rockabilly sound declares emphatically...”I cannot let my feelings to keep hijacking my brain”...even though you’ll probably choke in the end.  UNCOMFORTABLY ME is a relatable ballad for anyone who has wasted time hating oneself.  I think UNCOMFORTABLY ME makes a great prequel song to BELOVED FREAK from NOT YOUR KIND OF PEOPLE.



I have never heard a song quite like WOLVES.  It’s like a break-up song from the horrible ex you are way better off without.  Even in the end the jerk is manipulating and lying... “No one can say that I didn’t need you...that I didn’t want you...that I didn’t love you.” 


For part of the album title being called NO GODS, there is a lot of God popping up.  WAITING FOR GOD is a serious cry for hope in a hopeless world.  GODHEAD is a feminist manifesto for the 21st Century woman, with wonderfully direct lyrics.  “Would you deceive me...if I had a dick?” 


“Love is pain...” is the lesson learned in ANONYMOUS XXX, a sultry sounding exploration of the fantasy of online encounters and maybe some real life ones, too.


A WOMAN DESTROYED is a look at a woman on a steady path of revenge.  It’s like the woman of VOW, from their self-titled debut album, has matured, becoming more methodical and dangerous.  You can imagine the dust on her boots as she tracks her target with a western vigilante vibe.  On the flip side is FLIPPING THE BIRD.  A woman, with an emotionally abusive sugar daddy finds little ways to assert her independence instead of finding self-respect by leaving.  Easily the weakest track, but hopefully my interpretation is wrong.



I must say that if my 20-something self had heard the title track NO GODS NO MASTERS, he would’ve  embraced it as an anthem celebrating independence, no matter if he ended up making more mistakes.  Untethered from those who tried to pin their rigid expectations upon him, 20-something me would’ve loudly sang the lyrics in the shower.  “The future is mine just the same.  No master or gods to obey.”  Honestly, my current day self may do the same.


As usual, GARBAGE ends an album on a somber note with THE CITY WILL KILL YOU.  Well, that is if you don’t count the 8 previously released bonus tracks.  They were released as singles over the years and I’m thrilled they are included here, especially since I never purchased them Individually.  


In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed NO GODS NO MASTERS It made me feel cold, anxious and eager, while putting a wicked grin on my lips.  What more can one of the queerest of the queer ask of their angry alterna-rock-punk fairy godmother?


Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.


Freak Out, 

JLH 


P.S.  My other GARBAGE post...

https://freakboyzone.blogspot.com/2016/03/only-happy-when-its-1995.html


~~~~~~~~~~~~

June’s Collective Eye interview is still open...

๐ŸŽฅ 

๐Ÿ“บ

๐Ÿ“š

https://thejlhcollective.blogspot.com/2021/06/the-collective-eye-june-2021.html 

Friday, June 4, 2021

The morning after a free weekend...

I attended a cousin’s outdoor wedding on June 5th.  The weather was surprisingly comfortable and I dragged my friend Jody along as my plus-one.  It was a good day.


Jody, as I’ve mentioned here before, inspired DARK EXCURSIONS.  Since I was hanging out with her, I offered the e-book series for free on the 4th, 5th and 6th.  After many years of being an indie author, I don’t think the numbers were very good, especially since the entire series was absolutely free.  However, I am thankful for the handful of individuals who took advantage of my offer.  I hope they find something to enjoy in DARK EXCURSIONS. 


BTW, the e-books series is still free through Kindle Unlimited...


Unearth the secrets and lies buried within the Van Der Van mansion...


first set- getBook.at/DEfirst 


second set- getBook.at/DEsecond 


third set- getBook.at/DEthird 


fourth set- getBook.at/DEfourth 




Thank you for reading! 


Freak Out, 

JLH 


P.S.  VISION BENT, my e-book of half-blind poems, is also free through Kindle Unlimited... 


getbook.at/VBebook 




...and DARKENING STURGEONS is always free to read on this blog...


http://freakboyzone.blogspot.com/2014/06/darkening-sturgeons-complete-blog-serial.html 






Thursday, June 3, 2021

freakboy on film: FLASHDANCE (1983)


(screenplay by Thomas Hedley, Jr. & Joe Eszterhas / directed byAdrian Lyne 


As I’ve mentioned before, there are gaps in my 1980’s film experience.  I was either too young to watch (unlikely since I saw PORKY’S at a very impressionable age) or I just didn’t care because the film sounded boring.  Well, better late than never to fill in the gaps. 


I was excited when Prime Video recommended FLASHDANCE to me.  After seeing FOOTLOOSE for the first time last year, experiencing another 80’s one word F-film about dancing seemed like total synchronism.  I vaguely remember the hubbub about FLASHDANCE back in the day and of course I know the iconic bucket of water scene, which shockingly happens very early on in the film.  So, I was expecting a tawdry, nudie story of a young woman wanting to be a stripper.  What I experienced was a bit different. 


Ouch! 

Alex is a welder by day and a flashdancer by night, but all she wants is to dance in a ballet troupe.  That’s it.  That’s the plot in a neon nutshell.  Well, there is a subplot about her ice-skater friend dating a wannabe stand-up comedian whose schtick is telling bigoted jokes.  Oh, and I better not forget Alex’s boss at the welding factory.    Nick doesn’t know she exists until he sees her dancing one night. (such a gentleman They fall in love or lust or something and he saves the day (ugh) more than once.  I will give Nick this, he never tells Alex to stop flashdancing at the bar, even when they start dating.  


What is a Flashdance?  It seems to be a mixture of stripping, exotic dancing and performance art.  I’m honestly not sure what straight men or queer women get out of it.  The costumes are skimpy, but i didn’t notice any nudity.  Though my half-blind eyes might have missed something during the hyper-gyration.  Speaking of which, the dancers danced like they had been popping powerful uppers.  I kept asking the screen, “Is this supposed to be sexy?”  It must be since the bar was always packed. 


Offensive?

I guess the acting is fine.  It’s hard to tell.  Jennifer Beals as Alex seems to be acting in different films depending on the scene.  She is either dancing, screaming or playing footsie with Nick’s crotch at a fancy restaurant.  Michael Nouri as Nick, and his crotch, is present for his scenes but gives the boss no discernible personality.  The rest of the cast is pretty forgettable, but at least the music is good.  


Vomit

I think it’s time for a 21st Century remake of FLASHDANCE.  They can drop the men and focus on Alex and her ice-skater friend pursuing their dreams in a competitive world.  Of course they would succeed because they are the best and would fall in love with each other by the end.  Paired with my idea of a FOOTLOOSE remake, they would make a great Pride Month drive-in double feature.  


In conclusion, FLASHDANCE commits the cardinal sin of 1980’s films by being boring.  Honestly, I would rather watch FOOTLOOSE again because at least it revels in its nonsense.  However, if you want to see frantic dancing, especially the TV/strobe light sequence, FOOTLOOSE may be the film for you. 


Freak Out, 

JLH  


P.S.  My FOOTLOOSE post...  

http://freakboyzone.blogspot.com/2020/07/freakboy-on-film-footloose-1984.html


~~~~~~~~~~~

June’s Collective Eye interview is on the always entertaining entertainment blog REALWEEGIEMIDGET REVIEWS...

๐ŸŽฅ 

๐Ÿ“บ

๐Ÿ“š

https://thejlhcollective.blogspot.com/2021/06/the-collective-eye-june-2021.html 




Friday, May 21, 2021

freakboy on film: NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT (The Christopher Lee Blogathon Edition)

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks to Barry and Gill for inviting me to participate in The Christopher Lee Blogathon


Check out the other reviews this weekend... 


CINEMATIC CATHARSIS 


& 


REALWEEGIEMIDGET REVIEWS


~~~~~~~~~~~~


If NOTHING BUT THE NIGHTisn’t the title of a 1980’s pop power ballad, it totally should be.   However I’m talking about a 1973 film starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.  Honestly, I had never heard of the film until Prime Video recommended it to me.   


screenplay by Brian Hayles, from the novel by John Blackburn \ directed by Peter Sasdy

The Van Traylen fund is having some problems.  Its trustees are dropping off like flies, but they appear to be suicides.  Then a bus, loaded with really obnoxious singing orphans, has an accident, killing three more trustees and landing one young girl in the hospital.  Well, this peaks the interest of Colonel Bingham and Dr.  Ashley.  Their investigation leads them to the traumatized young girl and her unstable jailbird mother.  As Bingham and Ashley dig deeper into the mysterious deaths, with the help of a reporter, the clues lead them to a school with a very dark secret.  Is it ritual murder or is it a plot similar to a big hit from a few years ago?  I would tell you, but you’d tell me to get out of here.


Diana Dors looking Divine 

After the slam-bang opening scenes of murder, NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT settles into an evenly paced plot.   The film may not be action-packed, but trying to figure out the crazy story held my interest.  An extremely entertaining, full throttle performance by Diana Dors as the girl’s mother also kept me engaged and guessing as to her character’s motive.  Peter Cushing, of course, lights up the screen as Dr. Ashley with his subtle, classy charm.  Then there is the man of the hour...


Christopher Lee! 

Honestly, when I think of Christopher Lee, my first thought is Hammer horror.  His portrayal of Dracula, to be specific, because he owned that role.  Then I think about his appearances in two of the Star Wars prequels, elevating them more than they deserve.  Finally, I think of his appearances in a few Tim Burton films, especially Sleepy Hollow and Dark Shadows, which seem appropriate.  So, it was refreshing to see him play an ordinary person in NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT


Who wouldn’t make passes at this guy wearing glasses? 



Christopher Lee portrays Colonel Bingham as an intelligent, intimidating, no-nonsense kind of man.  He may be surrounded by threads of the supernatural, but he’s not overly touched by it.   Lee gives a good performance, even showing Colonel Bingham’s vulnerable side during the jaw-dropping ending.  PSA: Just say no to bonfires! 


Original or Extra Crispy?

I must add that seeing Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing together in a film is always thrilling.  Even more so since their characters are on the same side.  Their chemistry is palpable and probably makes NOTHING BUT THE NIGHTeven better.   


Cushing & Lee ~ Gee, it’s good to be together again! 

In conclusion, if you’re in the mood for a slow burn supernatural mystery, with an ending that will not disappoint, NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT may be the film for you.  However, if you’ve never seen a Christopher Lee film, you may want to get to know him in other films first and then come back to this one.


Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words. 


Freak Out, 

JLH


P.S.  Here is my post from the last Blogathon I participated in...  

http://freakboyzone.blogspot.com/2021/01/freakboy-on-film-parents-home-sweet.html

~~~~~~~~~~

For some mind-altering music, check out this month’s Collective Eye interview...


๐Ÿ‘


http://thejlhcollective.blogspot.com/2021/04/the-collective-eye-may-2021.html

Friday, May 14, 2021

channel freakboy: JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS IN OUTER SPACE (1972)


 (I stand at a podium bathed in a blinding spotlight within a darkened auditorium.)


Hello.


My name is John and I’m a toon junkie.  It started as a Saturday Morning Mid~Life Crisis, but it turned into an addiction.


It’s been a few weeks since I last used, but I know sharing my story is an important step on the long road to recovery. 


My sister found me on the outskirts of Riverdale, licking the bottom of a cereal bowl while wearing old, tattered Aquaman Underoos.  She tried to hold an intervention, but I wasn’t ready to admit I needed help.  So, after downing some Quisp, I strapped on one of my dad’s adult diapers, carjacked a driverless car and programmed it to take me to Florida.


You see, I heard that my favorite animated pop band was scheduled to perform at the latest rocket launch and I didn’t want to miss it.  Once there, I was annoyed that I couldn’t get a closer view of Josie, Valerie, Melody, Alan, Alexander, Alexandra and Sebastian riding up the elevator to the boarding platform, so I did what any fan would do.  I knocked out a security guard and took his uniform.  That’s when I suddenly decided to sneak aboard the rocket.  If Josie and the Pussycats were going to perform on the ship, I wanted front row seats and a chance for selfies with the band! 



The Quisp high has blurred my memory of how exactly I got aboard, but I clearly remember what happened next.  Reporters were preparing  to snap a few pics of the band when Alexandra tried to photo bomb the moment.  Josie and the gang tumbled into the rocket and accidentally blasted us off into Outer Space!  I held on for dear life and was thankful that I had grabbed a spare adult diaper. 



It’s true, I was with Josie on a rocket ride.  Yes, the Pussycats were by her side.  Valerie and Alan were trying to steer the long, phallic ship, while Alexandra’s pushy offers to help got us more lost in Outer Space.  Alexander was quaking in fear, cementing his role of chicken and Shaggy clone.  I fully expected him to shout, “Zoinks!”  Melody, upon the first planetoid we crashed, befriended an alien named Bleep, as in “What the BLEEP is that BLEEPING thing?”  The answer...a walking, talking (sort of) piece of space laundry lint.



The Pussycats’ Outer Space adventures were similar to what they experienced on Earth.  I mean, who knew there were so many alien dictators wanting to conquer Earth?!?!  Fortunately, Josie and the gang always stopped the villains.  Unfortunately, they performed new songs, which was more than enough punishment for the baddies. 



I don’t know if it was the acoustics of the rocket or the alien atmospheres, but the band’s music lacked that special something.  The songs were fine but forgettable or maybe my Quisp high was wearing off.  It was then I decided I needed help for my problem.   After 16 adventures with Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, I had them drop me off on the nearest planetoid to wait for the animated STAR TREK crew to find me and bring me back to Earth. 



And that’s my story of cereal, Saturday Morning and addiction.  I hope you see me as a cautionary tale.  Thank you.


(The lights in the auditorium flicker on and I stand in disbelief.  Dr. Zaius shakes his head with disapproval.  Cornelius and Zira gaze at me with concern, while General Urko calls for his troops.  I realize the Trek crew dropped me off in the wrong time.  Damn them all to Hell!  They returned me to the animated Planet of the Apes!) 



In conclusion, I know I had seen JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS IN OUTER SPACE in reruns as a kid but it felt like watching a brand new show.  There’s entertainment value to be found but it doesn’t click like the original earthbound series.  My biggest complaints center around all of the missed opportunities for Alexandra to be awful to everyone and the lackluster music, but it’s all a thousand times better than a certain teenage witch.  


SIDE NOTE: I think this marks the end of my Saturday Morning Mid~Life Crisis/addiction.  Though, a little shop, some killer tomatoes and a galaxy high on You Tube are all tempting me.  


Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.


Freak Out, 

JLH


P.S.  My Saturday Morning Mid-Life Crisis... 


SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH 


JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS 


THUNDARR THE BARBARIAN 


CAPTAIN CAVEMAN AND THE TEEN ANGELS 


~~~~~~~~~~

For some mind-altering music, check out this month’s Collective Eye interview...


๐Ÿ‘


http://thejlhcollective.blogspot.com/2021/04/the-collective-eye-may-2021.html

Monday, May 10, 2021

freakboy on film: VAPORS (1965)

Have you ever purchased a DVD mainly for an item on the Special Features list?  Well, I recently did. 



 
Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy THE BODY BENEATH and its tale of vampires stalking English graveyards with the help of a dodgy maid and a sympathetic hunchback, but it's not my favorite Andy Milligan film.  I honestly don't know if I would've purchased the DVD if it wasn't for the short film VAPORS being included. 

I originally noticed VAPORS listed on IMDb.  It's Andy Milligan's first film, but I didn't fully investigate it until I saw the trailer on THE GHASTLY ONES/SEEDS OF SIN DVD.  The trailer was just a series of stills showing various men, but it was explained that VAPORS was a motion picture of real life in a homosexual environment.  Well, I knew I was going to see this film and IMDb led me to THE BODY BENEATH DVD.  Believe it or not, I didn't just blindly order it.  I searched You Tube and streaming services before double checking the Something Weird Video website to make sure VAPORS was actually on the disc.  



VAPORS 
(1965) 
written by Hope Stansbury 
directed by Andy Milligan  



Out of all the rooms in all the bathhouses in the world, Mr. Jaffee wanders into Thomas' room.  A conversation begins between these two men, brimming with anticipation and emotion.  Life, loss and attraction fuel the word exchange as they draw nearer to one another.  If only they wouldn't be constantly interrupted by the other patrons of the baths.  




"An insane asylum for homosexuals," Mr. Jaffee remarks to Thomas about the baths, and he might be right.  Some of the scenes with the other patrons could easily be set in a mental hospital with little adjustment.  The characters pop in and out to say something witty, droll or bitchy and often distract from the intense and fascinating conversation between Thomas and Mr. Jaffee.



Robert Dahdah brings a quiet stillness to Mr. Jaffee as his reasons for coming to the bath slowly unfurl.  Gerald Jacuzzo brings honest realism to Thomas as he sympathetically listens while trying to steer the conversation towards the reason men come to the baths.  Screenwriter Hope Stansbury expertly captures the initial awkwardness of strangers meeting and how it is sometimes easier to bare your soul to someone who doesn't know you.  

I confess that I am disappointed Andy Milligan didn't write VAPORS because its raw honesty occasionally reminded me of FLESHPOT ON 42ND STREET.  However, he does an amazing directorial job, especially with the scenes between Mr. Jaffee and Thomas.  The framings make the viewers feel like they are in that room, eavesdropping on the intimate conversation.  Maybe we are the eye that Thomas feels is watching them.  

In conclusion, If you are into classic LGBTQ+ cinema, then you should definitely seek out VAPORS.  It's a rare glimpse of pre-Stonewall times in the lives of queer men, with a last scene so raw and honest (for 1965) that it had to be censored a bit. 

As for the late Andy Milligan, he's still not done with me yet.  His 1970 film NIGHTBIRDS has peaked my interest, but sadly seems only to be available on a Region 2 Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack.  If anyone knows of NIGHTBIRDS streaming somewhere, or a reasonably priced Region 1 or All-Region DVD, please let me know.  Thank you! 

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S. A different film about a different bathhouse from a different decade...

~~~~~~~~~~~~
New Month! 
New Eye! 
New Interview!  
 
๐Ÿ‘




~~~~~~~~~~
I'll be participating in The Christopher Lee Blogathon later this month, thanks to....