Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leap Day Nutter List (February 2020 in Hindsight)

My February in a nutshell...

I predominately poured my creative juices into this blog, which was extremely satisfying. 

I had my annual (dystopian-future sounding) wellness check and the doc said I'm as healthy as a horse, but tragically refrained from calling me a stallion.

I didn't make as much progress on A STUDY IN ORANGE as I had hoped, but that's ok. 

I tasted the delicious difference in French chocolate, but a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup still makes me weak at the knees. 

I think I'm finally coming to terms with, and more fully enjoying, listening to my tablet read e-books to me, but it will never be the same as reading with my own eyes. 

I will probably spend my extra day in February posting this list and continuing to watch DARK SHADOWS.  My sister and I are on the final stretch of the gothic soap with less than 200 episodes to go.

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

Will my March blogging come in like a lamb or a lion?  We shall half-see. ;) 

Freak Out, 

P.S. In case you missed my Valentine's Day video, which wasn't quite what I originally planned.  (Those little candy hearts did not want to be crushed!) 

There will be a new Collective Eye opening soon!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

freakboy on film: MYRA BRECKINRIDGE (The Second So Bad It's Good Blogathon Edition)

Thank you to Rebecca of Taking Up Room for allowing me to participate in The Second So Bad It's Good Blogathon.

"Randolph...I believe the moment of truth has finally arrived."  - Myra Breckinridge 

Screenplay by Michael Sarne & David Giler
               Directed by Michael Sarne 

Perfectly enough, I first heard of MYRA BRECKINRIDGE while reading a book about some of the allegedly worst movies ever made.  The shocking synopsis, the astounding cast and the fact it was released by a major studio (20th Century Fox, but I doubt it's streaming on Disney Plus) made me determined to see this potentially offensive, hot-mess of a movie.  It took me until it was released on DVD to finally experience this truly unique experience.

It was customary in the 1970's for a surgeon to smoke during a sex-change operation.

Myron Breckinridge (film critic Rex Reed, in his first role) has found a way to totally act out his fantasies, and oh what a fantasy he has dreamed up!  With a quick flick of the wrist from a surgeon (John Carradine at his most John Carradine), Myron becomes a woman.  

Myra Breckinridge is ready for her close-up.

Myra Breckinridge (Raquel Welch) is born like an atomic blast and her mission could prove equally life-altering.  She is planning the destruction of the American male by showing dominance over both genders.  Myra believes her plan will realign the sexes, thus decreasing the population and increasing human happiness.  Though he is dead, in a sense, Myron joins Myra on this mission, popping up like Brad Pitt in FIGHT CLUB. 

Uncle Buck Loner will never ride off into the sunset.

Posing as Myron's widow, Myra makes a beeline for her Uncle Buck's drama school, where the students find such contentment that they never want to leave.  Legendary actor-director John Huston goes all out with his portrayal of the greedy, shady, oversexed former Saturday matinee cowboy idol.  Myra cons her way into a teaching position at the school, where two students are roped into her ultimate counter-culture plan.  

Will Rusty Godowski and Mary Ann Pringle have a ball with Myra? 

Just when you think Farrah Fawcett as one of the delusional students is surprising, enter the incomparable Mae West (her first film role in 26 years) as talent agent Leticia Van Allen.  Even though she was probably too old for the role, Mae West is pun-perfection as Leticia interviews a steady stream of sturdy studs (including a young Tom Selleck) on her casting couch, which is literally a bed.  As an added bonus, or possible deterrent for some, Ms. West performs two memorable  musical numbers..

Is that a Magnum in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? 

Despite the mind-boggling cast, this is Raquel Welch's film.  She is absolutely mesmerizing as Myra.  According to a documentary on the DVD, Welch lobbied for the role to prove she was not just another pretty face.  I think she succeeded.  If you look beyond the crazy shenanigans, you'll see her performance contains layers.  Myra can say a lot with a single glance and that's all Raquel Welch. 

            Myra has a secret place, known to only her.

Will Myra Breckinridge succeed in her gender-bending mission?  My lips are sealed, so you'll have to watch to find out.  However, I feel I should include a trigger-happy warning.  This is a brazen film that is not afraid to offend or shock, possibly even more now in this politically correct century than it did 50 years ago.  Though keep in mind, much like Gore Vidal's original novel, the plot is all tied up in a satirical bow and sealed with a cheeky ruby red kiss. 

One question remains before I release you on a quest to locate and experience all I've just described and sooooo much more.  Do I enjoy MYRA BRECKINRIDGE because it's a "bad" film?  My gut answer is no.  I totally love this film because, despite its less than focused storytelling, its koo-koo bananas dialogue and its submersion into camp, the plot is brave, daring and possibly way ahead of it's time.  I am fully aware that I am probably in the minority with this opinion.

In conclusion, maybe a "bad" film is simply misunderstood by mainstream moviegoers or maybe it really is just bad.   Either way, strap on your cowboy hat, whip out your thermometer and enter at your own risk...

Once you've seen MYRA BRECKINRIDGE, you will never unsee her.

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

Freak Out, 

P.S. A connected post...
Don't forget to examine The Collective Eye for February!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

booking freakboy: LUST, SIMON by John Valjean

Simon Spears is just a typical 18 year old.  He has a loving family and a close circle of friends.  Oh, and he's gay, but he hasn't come out to his nearest and dearest yet because Simon doesn't want them to see him as anyone other than himself.  When a fellow classmate, calling himself Bleu, comes out on the website Freaky Secrets, Simon contacts him using the name Jean.  They make an emotional connection, sharing their experiences of secretly being gay in a straight world, all while remaining anonymous.  Who is Bleu?  Is he a classmate from the drama club  or is he a jock?  Is Bleu one of the countless lovers Simon experiences as he explores his voracious sexual appetite in this literary porn parody of  LOVE, SIMON? 

Author John Valjean weaves  an erotic take on the hit film as Simon takes on a steady stream of sturdy studs while pining away for the elusive Bleu.  Mr. Valjean manages to balance romantic sweetness with explicit erotic encounters, making LUST, SIMON a literary porno where the reader actually cares about the characters. 

If you're 18 years of age or older, and get a kink from porn parodies, then LUST, SIMON by John Valjean may be the book for you! 

LUST, SIMON and other books by John Valjean are available from...

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

Freak Out, 

P.S. A different book by a different author...
Don't forget to examine The Collective Eye for February!

Friday, February 7, 2020

freakboy muses music: JOANNA (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

A freakboy confession... 
I'm obsessed with soundtracks.  Consider the fact my desert island disc isn't from Julie Brown, The B-52's, Garbage, The Anchoress or even Perry Como.  I would want the soundtrack to BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS to keep me company while stranded in the middle of the ocean.

I'm so obsessed that I own soundtracks to films I've never seen.  For a time, JOANNA was one of them, but I finally saw the 1968 film years ago and it was an enjoyable, trippy romp, but it was the music that truly captured my soul.  Maybe it's because I experienced the soundtrack before the film. 

The only reason I ever heard of this obscure cinematic gem is because it shares a director (Michael Sarne) with the infamous MYRA BRECKINRIDGE.  This knowledge was learned back in my younger, Omaha days and I searched high and low for a VHS or DVD copy of JOANNA.  I didn't find the film, but I unearthed the soundtrack on vinyl.  It was love at first listen. 

I spent many a night alone just losing myself in the words and music of Rod McKuen.  Instrumental music ranging from blistering optimistic joy to hauntingly bittersweet melancholy filled my ears, but it wasn't lonely.  I had Rod McKuen's words to keep me company.  He provided the vocal to one of my favorite songs from the album.

I'll Catch the Sun is an achingly beautiful song about finding anyone who understands.  It's a simple song expressing complex emotions and the lyrics are rather daring for 1968.  Rod McKuen uses the pronoun he when describing that anyone.  I initially obsessed over this subtle, singular moment for days, if not weeks.

Another song I really enjoy, even though it goes against the cynical, pessimistic persona I try to display, is Ain't You Glad You're Living Joe.  Director Michael Sarne provided the vocals and he manages to evoke the creamy, dreamy last days of summer.  

There is also Hello Heartaches, vocals provided by Barbara Kay.  Her sultry voice, along with the mellow music, sends us to a smokey, underground cabaret, populated by lost, lonely souls. 

My younger, Omaha days are far behind me and so is my record player.  I had not listened to JOANNA for many years and I really wanted to experience the soundtrack again.  I couldn't find it streaming anywhere, so I turned to Amazon.  I discovered that a CD of the soundtrack to the 1968 British film had been released in Japan, which, despite the absurdity, didn't surprise me.  After sorting past the heart-stopping expensive copies, I found one for around $10, shipping from Japan.  I placed my order and figured I would be waiting for a whole month as JOANNA made her way across the ocean.

Shockingly, the CD arrived in approximately two and a half weeks and it was in like-new condition.  Even more shockingly, I didn't pop in the disc right away.  I waited until evening, when the world had fallen into silence.  Then I slipped on my purple enhanced headphones and was transported back to my old Omaha apartment.

Miss Kitty traveled with me through time, which was perfection.  One of the songs I sing to her, yes I sing to my cats, is a slight variation of the title song to JOANNA

🎡Miss Kitty, Miss Kitty 
You sure look cute to me 
Miss Kitty, Miss Kitty 
A sweet sight for these tired eyes to see 
You fill my heart with hope 
Your tail's like Cinemascope 
And uh-oh, Miss Kitty 
You're the top banana to me🎡

In conclusion, I may have shared too much.  Also, the JOANNA CD was amazing because it was a far more complete soundtrack than the vinyl album.  Seriously, I think the CD was over an hour long! 

Better watch out, BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, there may be a new desert island disc in town!  ;) 

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

Freak Out, 

P.S. I will be blogging about MYRA BRECKINRIDGE later this month for The Second So Bad It's Good Blogathon, hosted by Taking Up Room.

Monday, February 3, 2020

booking freakboy: GHOST STORIES by Antara Roy O

Who watches us from dark corners?  What goes bump in the night?  Is a friendly stranger all that he or she appears to be?  Author Antara Roy O weaves seven tales of the supernatural that dare to answer these questions. 

Two tales from GHOST STORIES really stood out for me.  THE GIRL BY THE LAKE is about two friends who encounter a mysterious young woman who asks for a ride home.  This tale captures the uneasy eeriness of encountering a stranger in the dark.and leaves you speculating on the motive of the young woman.  A FRIEND IN THE MOUNTAIN is about a reporter and a photographer who stumble upon a story from an old man concerning a benevolent spirit.  There is a beautiful, almost magical element to this tale which appealed to me.

If you enjoy taking brief literary excursions into the paranormal, then GHOST STORIES by Antara Roy O may be the e-book for you! 

Available from...

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

Freak Out, 

P.S. The Collective Eye for February is open!