Archive for the 'Feature' Category

Dec

posted by admin | December 24, 2010 | Feature, Grindhouse, Holiday films, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on A Chuck Brown Grindhouse Christmas

Chuck Brown

It’s a bleak Christmas eve day on the grimy snow covered streets of New York. Chuck Brown, a mofia middleman and his head goon Linus, are discussing their Christmas shipment coming in from Ontario. Chuck just got back from seeing his sister Salley, who was in the middle of writing a letter to her new Jamican boyfriend upstate. A pimp she calls “the big red man.” She’s been trying to extort some money from him for back child support despite the fact her baby is Korean. The shipment is running a few hours late and that’s got Chuck a bit nervous. Even his usually playful beagle Snoop, seems agitated. “Fresh snow, pure cut, dem’ boys better get it here soon or we’ll be breaking some legs for sure.” Chuck complained to a somewhat agitated Linus who was fidgeting with his favorite hankerchief. “Yeah Mr. Brown, we stand to lose a big chunk of change if it don’t show.” he said as he fumbled with the linen cloth between his fingers. “Patty said it would be here, then it’ll be here. She’s never done me wrong before.” replied Chuck sounding as if he was trying to convince himself more than Linus. “What about that time she crashed your Thanksgiving party uninvited and drunk. They don’t called her Peppermint Shnapps Patty for nothin.” Linus smugly retorted. Chuck waves his hand and is if to shrug off the bad memory. “Hey, she’s a recovering alcoholic, she was off the wagon. The food wasn’t no good anyhow.” He sharply said then Chuck grabbed Linus by the collar ” she’s good people and stop fidgeting with that hankerchief Linus you’re bothering me.” Chuck pushed him back against the wall but he continued to stroke the hankerchief like a favorite pet.

Just then a homeless man covered in dirt from his scragily hair down to his rain boots came stumbling through the warehouse door reeking of old trash and whisky. They immediately recognized the odor before evening seeing the face. “Pig Pen, you gots a lot of explaining to do!” Chuck snapped at him while covering his mouth from the foul odor. The man hastily walks towards the two and puts a tattered duffle bag on the table trying to catch his breath.”Sorry Mr. Brown, got stopped by the cops about two blocks back. They didn’t search me luckily, just told me I could get a bath at homeless mission on 42nd street. Guess they don’t like my aftershave.” he joked. “But I ran all the ways here honestly. I didn’t mean to be late.”

Linus abruptly grabs the duffle bag from Mr. Pen and cut open up one of the ziplocks  baggies inside. He gave it a taste with his pinky finger and  yelled over to Chuck. “It’s pure snow Mr. Brown.” and then puts the bag on table next to Snoop, who sniffs at the pouch a few times. “Of course it is, have I ever let you down?” Pig Pen said while trying to keep his distance from the dog. Chuck gently pats the beagle on the head trying to calm his attack dog down as he stuffs the ziplock bag back into the satchel. “Ya know Pig Pen my dog can smell a liar. He’s got the nose of a blood hound. Looks to me like a bags gone missing.” Chuck pushes Pig Pen across the floor. “Take Mr. Pen outback and show him what we do to people that try to steal from me.” Linus drags back Pig Pen in a headlock kicking and screaming leaving a trail of grim across the warehouse floor. Some other henchmen who are doing some target practice in a small target range in the back muffle his screams for help.

“I don’t know Linus. It’s just hard when you have to stuff a dead guy in the trunk next to the christmas presents.” Chuck is sitting with Linus at a small coffee shop stirring his lukewarm coffee. Most of the patrons have headed for home to start their Christmas celebrations.
“Kinda ruins the spirit of the holidays ya know? Somedays I just wanna get out of the family business especially this time of year.” Chuck sighs as he glances out a side window towards an abandoned parking lot where kids are sliding around on some ice that the salt trucks missed. “Mr. Brown you used to love this time of year. I remember when you dressed up as Santa that one Christmas eve and then we knocked over Franklin’s strip club…what was the name of it?” Linus Said. “The Eager Beaver.” Chuck answered. “Yeah I liked it when Franklin kept screaming “No Santa! no Santa! please not the fingers!” and then you said “you’re on my naughty list!” Linus laughed to himself. “I bet his wife was surprised by the gifts in her Christmas stocking that year.” Chuck lets out a long sigh. “Yeah, those were the good times Linus. good times.”

Chuck Brown

Later that day, Chuck is at his weekly meeting with his psychologist, Lucy Van Pelt, hoping she’ll help get him out of this holiday funk he’s been in lately. She’s one of the more expensive doctor’s in town but she knows how to keep her mouth shut if the cops ever come snoopin’.  “I think you could use some time off, maybe helping the community. Might do you some good to give back a bit.” She scribbles some notes on her small pad not really paying much attention to what Chucks been saying much of the time. She just likes that he pays well and she’s got pretty extensive shopping list this year. “Forgetta about it…I give back plenty…that one guy Woodstock? Yeah he was hocking stolen goods in my neighborhood and dressed up like a big yellow bird…what a fruitcake. I took care of that situation.” Chuck proudly stated. “He wasn’t selling stolen goods Chuck, he was giving out samples from the Big McCluck Chicken Roost diner opening. You shot him in the foot and then rolled him down a hill in a Lincoln.” Lucy retorted. Chuck glanced back at her from his reclined couch. “Yeah, like I said. I took care of the situation!”

Lucy sighs and puts down the notepad to face Chuck obviously a bit agitated.  “Listen, there’s a little holiday dance going down at the community center on Christmas Eve. Well it’s more of a rave but still, I think you should help out. It’ll be a good thing for you and will help get you back in the holiday spirit.”

At first Chuck shrugs it off, but the more he thought about it that afternoon walking back to his upper eastside townhouse, the better it sounded. “What a great alibi” he thought. He had a big heroine shipment coming in Christmas eve hidden in the hollowed out trunks of some plastic Christmas trees that he could have delivered directly to the center. Nobody would suspect a thing and that rave would have plenty of eager customers if he needed to move things quickly. The night of the dance the place was rocking. Christmas lights hung across the gymnasium ceiling beams blinked in time with the music as the new psychobilly punk band Shroedder and the Syphallus  eSpots were blasting out some ear pounding tunes. Most of the people at party had some sort of tie or buy-in with the mofia. The mayor’s daughter, city council members kids..all the kids whose parents paid for rehab and that never showed. Chuck was dressed in his best suit and was doing his typical meet and greets. He was quite well known in social circles. It was a fun night but the thoughts of those fake trees with the hollow trunks kept Chuck on edge. Linus was at the microphone giving a speech and about the spirit of giving in the community. “What a hypocrite” Chuck thought to himself “Linus would stab me in the back the first moment he got.”

There was a toast to the Brown family and a dedication to Chuck’s 98 year old grandmother a rather frail woman who lived outside the city just over the hills and through the woods. Chuck excused himself after the speech and ducks into the back loading docks to meet the arriving shipment. The truck slowly backed up near the door beeping all the way. It was like jingle bells to Chuck’s ears. He anxiously opens the sliding door of the truck but instead of finding a mass amount of fake trees. there’s only one pathetic bonsai tree sitting alone in the middle of the truck. A single red christmas ornament dangeling from it’s top pines needles. “What the heck is this? These aren’t my trees…this is a flippin’ twig? Is this a joke, do I look amused?” Chuck glanced around as if to see who might be the culprit or perhaps the trees were just hidden. The driver came to the back of the truck and looked into the cab, simply shrugging his shoulder “Listen buddy, I just deliver the shipment. I don’t ever know what’s in the truck. That’s between you and Patty.” Chuck took out his pistol and pointed it at the driver “Listen tell your boss that my boss ain’t going to be happy and when he ain’t happy people end up dead.” Chuck was the go to guy since he was the only one that could understand his bosses strange indonesian dialect over the phone where all the deals were made. It sounded like muffled jibber-jabber. 5 years in Cario really did pay off for Chuck’s career in crime.

Reaching down he grabs the scrawny tree by it’s trunk lifting it up and then abruptly smashes it to the  ground. “I can’t believe this…that shipment was supposed to worth 1000’s of dollars and all I got was this tiny lousy shrub?” He tosses the small plant to the corner of a concrete slab near the back door “This is the worst Christmas ever.” and walks back to the party in disgust.

A few minutes later, a group of Chuck’s henchmen come out looking for him but noticed the bonsai lying in a mound of dirt. Marcie who does occasional odd jobs for Chuck bur is also a part-time horticulturalist bends down in her orange evening gown near the plant. She adjusts her glasses a bit as she looks over its twisted branches. “Do you realize what this is? It’s a rare Japanese 5 needled pine juniper!” she exclaims. “uh…does that mean it grows fruit?” one of the henchman asked.  “No you moron, but it’s easily worth $100,000! If we sold this on the black market we’d make a killing.” She quickly gathered the tree back into the pot and mends one of it’s broken limbs then carefully she prunes it with her key ring shrub trimmer. “There all done…it’s not really such a bad looking tree. It just needed a little love.” Marcie said as she carefully places it onto a nearby bench. Chuck returned back outside thinking he may have lost his keys in his little tantrum. “What’s going on here!!!” yelled Chuck pointing at the small shrubery “Chuck, this little tree is worth over $100,000’s. We saved it for you!” Marcie quickly sprays the plant with a pocket mister she just happens to have for such occasions. “Hey look there’s a card attached.” one of the henchmen points out. Marcie hands the card to a puzzled looking Chuck. He opens it. It says “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, Hope you’ll forgive me for Thanksgiving…Love Patty.”

Chuck glances at the card and then at the tree and begins to get a bit misty eyed. “That Patty she always knew how to find the perfect gift. This Christmas didn’t turn out so bad after all. I think I’ve really learned to value what matters now. ya kknow, what Christmas truly means. I think I can finally tell the boss I’m quitting.” he proudly states to all his henchman as he lifts the small tree in his arms. ” But Mr. Brown, what about the drugs?!” asked Linus. Chuck paused looking down at the little tree. It’s single ornament glittering happily back at him. “Oh make no mistake I’m still going to break her legs as soon as I get opportunity. But I do appreciate the sentiment.”

Epilogue; Mr. Brown was arrested two weeks later on possession of stolen Japanese property from the U.S. Nationa Bonsia Foundation. He pled not guilty in exchange for testiomony against Peppermint Patty who was extradited from Canada. She was running an illegal pharmacutical manufacturing company. Her partner Marcie, was also arraigned in a federal court on marijuana growing and distribution. Mr Brown is now in witness protection as a high school football coach and runs a small bonsai tree shop somewhere outside Newark.

Dec

posted by admin | December 23, 2010 | Feature

Comments Off on Day 22: Lost Highway Christmas Advent-ure

Each day until Christmas we’re revealing a new b-movie poster puzzle. Make your guess and come back the next day to see if you were correct. (when we’re feeling in the holiday spirit we’ll give some clues on our facebook fan page.)

Day 22: name this poster below

Yesterday’s poster was “After Midnight”

aftermidnight

Dec

posted by admin | December 22, 2010 | Feature

Comments Off on Day 21: Lost Highway Christmas Advent-ure

Each day until Christmas we’re revealing a new b-movie poster puzzle. Make your guess and come back the next day to see if you were correct. (when we’re feeling in the holiday spirit we’ll give some clues on our facebook fan page.)

Day 21: name this poster below


Yesterday’s poster was “The Wraith”

wraith

Dec

posted by admin | December 21, 2010 | Feature

Comments Off on Day 20: Lost Highway Christmas Advent-ure

Each day until Christmas we’re revealing a new b-movie poster puzzle. Make your guess and come back the next day to see if you were correct. (when we’re feeling in the holiday spirit we’ll give some clues on our facebook fan page.)

Day 20: name this poster below

Yesterday’s poster was “A Night to Dismember”

Dec

posted by admin | December 20, 2010 | Feature

Comments Off on Day 19: Lost Highway Christmas Advent-ure

Each day until Christmas we’re revealing a new b-movie poster puzzle. Make your guess and come back the next day to see if you were correct. (when we’re feeling in the holiday spirit we’ll give some clues on our facebook fan page.)

Day 19: name this poster below

Yesterday’s poster was “Hard Rock Zombies”

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