Aug

The Fartiste

Of all the bio pics and mockumentaries, you may think Spinal Tap or Walk Hard is the crudest, most far out of those genres, but I guarantee that you are wrong. You have not seen anything of that magnitude until you have witnessed the bizzaro comedy, The Fartiste. And do you want to know what shockingly sets these films apart from each other? The Fartiste is based loosely on real life comedian Joseph Pujol who was known on stage as Le Petomane, a man who could seemingly fart at will by control his lower abdominal muscles! How is this not more widely known?

We start the film by joining Le Petomane in Purgatory, where he is replaying all of the events in his life. By the by, Le Petomane is played by Michael Pataki, who you may remember as Nicolo Koloff from Rocky IV and Dr. Hoffman in Halloween 4! The guy actually has a modest resume, so it’s awkward, but at the same time intriguing to see such a versatile actor play a lead in such an absurd comedy. For some reason, the thought of someone narrating their life events from Purgatory reminds me of a Mel Brooks film. Which is an odd coincidence since Le Petomane is referenced in Blazing Saddles.

We start the journey of his life as he talks to his psychiatrist, uncovering the birth of his “talent” at a young age, where he would perform for all of the other school children. His act consisted of imitating instruments (the best being a tuba), mimicking animal noises and blowing out candles with precise accuracy. Of course this led to be taken advantage of as a young adult, getting underpaid. His arse to was later be arrested for arson, as he literally blew away an audience and the building with one of his farts.

Building his skill and stowing away in a Romanian boat, he was eventually hired by a man named Duvall to perform at the Moulin Rouge and yes, the real Le Petomane performed there! I think Moulin Rouge would have been better if Nicole Kidman was farting all those songs. Kings and queens would travel to come and see this act! However, he unintentionally inspires a man to go on a killing spree after the man hears the voice of God in Le Petomane’s farts, commanding him to kill. Once he is captured, they put Le Petomane’s flatulence to good use by creating the ‘gas’ chamber, executing the man. If that’s not poetic justice, I don’t know what is.

And finally, what would any good bio pic be if there wasn’t a career downfall due to arrogance. Even Le Petomane gives into womanizing, gambling and making questionable changes to his act (yes, even his act). The rest of the film, of course, is about redemption and regaining control of what he once lost. His legacy, even in real life, would inspire many artist to make plays and movies about his life.

fart_2Believe it or not, there is actually quite a touching story linked to The Fartiste a.k.a. A Blast From the Past. Produced by Frankie Ray (from Invasion of the Star Creatures) in 1987, the film was meant to be shown on comedy cable networks, but after disapproval from an investor’s wife, which ceased funding, which rushed the production and for it to be wrapped up quickly. Frank never showed the film to anyone, except for a few cast members. The film almost fell past obscurity and into oblivion… until a man, Chuck Harter, met Frankie Ray in 2000 and watched a dub made back in 1991. Chuck wanted to share the same humor he found in the film with everyone else. After some negotiations about half a year ago, Alpha Video agreed to release it. It’s that kind of fan dedication to a genre that makes me proud to be a part of the community.

You would think an hour long film about farting wouldn’t be charming, but you would be wrong. I have to admit, it grew on me, especially after reading the history of this film, one man’s passion to distribute it and recognizing the talent behind it (no pun intended… or is there?), realizing the incredible sense of humor they have and making a film, regardless of what folks may say. The Fartiste is worth a good laugh. It’ll bring back memories of farting on your little brother’s head. Or in my case, bad memories of my big brother farting on my head.

Pick up your copy of The Fartiste at Oldies.com

roadside attractions

  • Name the different fart variations.
  • Count how long you are in shock after learning Le Petomane was a real person.
  • Michael Pataki’s role of a lifetime.
  • Farting showdown.
totals

3

blood

BLOOD

No blood, but there is some havoc.

4

blood

BREASTS

Some old timies in dresses.

8

beast

BEASTS

Furious Flatulence!

5 OVERALL
dripper

Check out this footage of the real Le Petomane… silent, but deadly!”

trailers

dripper
Aug

posted by The Goon | August 27, 2013 | Drama, Horror movies, New Releases, Reviews by the Goon, modern horror, screeners

Profile of a Killer

We’re all guilty of going great lengths to get attention and who came blame us? With all this social media, it’s hard to get anyone’s attention, unless your most inopportune moment happens to be captured and put on YouTube. But unless you want to become the latest meme, how far would you go? I remember I once pretended to run away from home, thinking my mom would come looking for me. Probably should have ran further than my backyard.

Take young David here, for example. It’s Christmas time and he’s becoming Minnesota’s next serial killer, leaving a trail of decomposing skeletons across Route 61, earning himself the nickname “61 Killer.” It’s a good thing he didn’t leave the bodies along Route 69! And all of the things Minnesota is known for, besides Kirby Puckett and the invention of Scotch Tape, it has to be bizarre serial killers. Anyway, with local police baffled, they call for the help of retired FBI Profiler, Saul Aitken, who kinda looks like Robert DeNiro in some scenes. Saul meets up with Special Agent Cade, who seems like a more confident or veteran Clarice Starling. She comes off as cold and emotionless, but still pretty cute. Together, they go over the details of the case, examining the bodies, one of which is missing an arm, attempting to connect all the clues together, but this may be harder than it seems, since both profiles they have come up with so far are opposing ideas.

Later at his hotel that night, Saul gets a special delivery… the missing arm from one of the bodies! Shouldn’t have ordered the mystery meat. Saul rushes to his door to chase after the delivery man, but in a surprising turn against cliches, the killer is still at the door and kidnaps Saul at gunpoint. I almost thought we were going to have a moment similar to Seven there for a moment.

poak_2Saul wakens in a bathtub, cuffed by the ankles and hands like a prisoner, but not shackled down to anything (don’t worry, this isn’t another Saw style movie). He gets up and moves around the sullied, broken down home and finds young David cooking them breakfast. After a tour of his humble abode, David tells Saul that he’s been ‘fishing’ for a profiler, to tell him exactly who he is, how he thinks, why he kills. So he wants to be… profiled. And this is the great length he will go to get his attention, but the police and FBI aren’t giving in to it.

The remainder of the movie is what the internet is calling a ‘cat and mouse’ game. But whenever I hear that, I think of Tom and Jerry chasing each other dressed as Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper. Don’t ask. But for a lack of a better description, we’ll go along with calling it that. Reminding me of Hard Candy, the favorable odds seem to shift back and forth between Saul and David periodically and rather quickly. Just when you think Saul is breaking through David’s psyche, making progress, David will throw him a figurative curve ball that makes Saul not only question the methods and the fragile mind of David, but maybe some of his own life decisions.

David turns all of this into a game. Saul must ask the right questions, make an accurate profile of David if he is to prevent him from killing again. No matter what David does, the authorities won’t give him any media attention (if only we would do the same with Lady Gaga), so he decides to focus his attention on the police, targeting Special Agent Cade. Now things are becoming personal for Saul and the police are closing in on their whereabouts as the game comes to conclusion.

poak_3Profile of a Killer isn’t about showcasing visceral, over the top and gory deaths, but instead is a cerebral film, pitting two minds of opposing sides of criminology against each other. I found myself at the edge of my uncomfortable futon guessing in anticipation as to what might happen next. Most of the time, I was wrong. Films like this tend to fall into their own cliches, making them predictable and stale, but this movie doesn’t go in the other direction; it goes in a different direction altogether. It’s a familiar feeling that seems to be turned on its side. You’ll be surprised.

At times, it can feel like the movie is dragging on (run time is about two hours), however it’s for a good reason: They are taking their time and developing character and I have to say this is the film’s strongest point. You feel sympathetic and confused for David (after all, we are all lost in this world over saturated with social media), you can feel the frustration and sadness of Saul. Even the minor characters, you feel like you know them because we actually spend the right time with them and the progression the character goes through.

You can check out Profile of a Killer on Demand now and if the delivery man happens to bring you a package while watching it, make sure it’s something you’re expecting.

roadside attractions

  • Meatless skeletons.
  • Special Agent Cade: Dana Scully or Clarice Starling?
  • Saul, Robert DeNiro stunt double.
  • I cut off the Sheriff’s face, but I did not cut off the face of the deputy.
  • Spam Christmas dinner.
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

A little bit, but lots of gruesome skeletons.

4

blood

BREASTS

They always seem to be under several layers of coats. Cade keeps them wrapped up pretty tight… except for that one scene…

8

beast

BEASTS

The minds of Saul and David are quite beastly. And Cade kicks some arse.

6.3 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the official trailer!”

trailers

dripper
Aug

posted by Barry Goodall | August 21, 2013 | Shopping, advertising

Check out some of the amazing sculptures from our friends at Meatspider Studios. These intricately detailed hand sculptures would make any H.P. Lovecraft fan a happy gift. ┬áThere are a variety of other horror sculptures as well. You can see what’s for sale at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Meatspider

and remember Cthulhu is watching you.

Aug

posted by The Goon | August 17, 2013 | 80's movies, Horror movies, Reviews by the Goon, Sci-Fi, Slasher, Slasher films

the fog

It’s midnight and for you that may mean you’re half in the bag, working up the courage to talk to that girl you think has been checking you out all night at the bar or maybe you’re sitting on your couch in stained under-roos demolishing a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos flipping through Netflix, but not settling on anything to watch. For the folks in Antonio Bay, it means something ghostly. Something deadly.

As the small coastal Californian city gets ready to celebrate their centennial, odd and almost poltergeist like things begin to happen. Car alarms blare, payphones ring for no reason, dogs go crazy with barking (so basically, normal California now)… all with the sudden appearance of a fog. This ominous presence also very slightly upsets the mortar at the church, knocking lose a stone and uncovering a 100 year old diary of a teen girl. No, it’s from early settlers, but in their defense, it was cool for everyone to have diaries back then. Father Malone reads the journal, discovering that his grandfather along with five others purposely sank the ship the Elizabeth Dane and its crew of lepers, who only wished to develop a colony… but who would want to live near a bunch of icky lepers?

the fogThat evening, Nick (Tom Atkins who is MUSTACHLESS!) picks up a hitchhiking Jamie Lee Curtis, who must still be on the run from Michael Myers. On their way to nowhere, I guess, all of the car windows explode. Meanwhile, three fisherman drink beer on their boat as that fog rolls in. Ghastly, shadowed figures slaughter them and then vanish. The next morning, DJ Stevie Wayne (played by Adrienne Barbeau) is given a broken piece of drift wood from her son that only reads “Dane.” Later at the radio station (which she rocks in a lighthouse) her tapes play backwards, the wood bursts into flames and the words “6 MUST DIE” appear on the drift wood. Stevie just continues on about her day, which I assume is all you really can do.

Father Malone unveils the secret of the town’s founders to the mayor before the big ceremony: That they celebration would really be honoring murderers. Not to rain on his parade or anything, but didn’t English people murder a bunch of Native Americans to get the land we live on today? That’s beside the point.

The celebration goes on as planned as the fog rolls in, cutting power and phone lines. Bet you didn’t know fogs were were like the SWAT team of weather, did you? The specters in the fog claim a few more victims, including the weatherman Dan (Charles Cyphers) and Stevie’s son’s babysitter, who is some random old lady. Stevie gets on the radio and pleads for help for someone to help her son. Nick snaps into action and scoops the boy up before he becomes the sixth victim. You know, if all they want is six, that kid shouldn’t have been so selfish and let them kill him and the ghosts would have stopped terrorizing random, hard working people and causing a lot of money in property damage. Just saying.

the fogStevie then gives the worst advice, telling everyone to go to the church because it’s the safest place. She gives this information with absolutely no proof (guess her radio station is owned by FOX News. Zing). Father Malone is the only one to brave up and offer himself as a sacrifice, taking with him a gold cross. As he is being attacked by Blake, one of the ghosts that was murdered by his grandfather, it begins to glow because… it’s neat? No idea, but Nick manages to scoop up Father Malone and save him. The fog and the ghosts disappear, since they most likely have better things to do. The movie concludes with Father Malone pondering why he wasn’t killed, just as the fog rolls back in and the ghosts reappear.

In all honesty, The Fog isn’t John Carpenter’s best work, but it’s certainly not his worst. This film was after the success of Halloween, but right before the gory, special effects heavy The Thing, so it seems like good middle ground. It certainly showed how well director John Carpenter was developing as a filmmaker and storyteller. With roles from actors in previous John Carpenter’s, it’s interesting to see them all play different characters instead of being typecast. Also, the characters are all named after his friends, so it’s good if you like trivia. You could look at this as an experimental piece. What it lacks in violence and blood, like the previous mentioned films, it makes up in moody atmosphere, chilling darkness and a spooky story.

So tune in listeners, check out The Fog (now in a stunning restoration on Blu-ray from Scream! Factory) and keep them windows locked and doors bolted.

roadside attractions

  • Ghost Pirates!
  • Carpenter Cast Roll Call.
  • Somehow this movie feels like it should have Tom Waits singing sea shanties.
  • When Father Malone first opens the diary, pause it and see what it says on the page…
  • Take a shot every time Annie is a total B.
  • Janet Leigh, still foxy.
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Not too much blood, but plenty of hooking and some eye gouging.

4

blood

BREASTS

Jamie Lee, covered by bed sheets. Bummer.

7

beast

BEASTS

Better hope you’re the seventh person in line of the ghosts of the Elizabeth Dane slaughter.

5.7 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the official trailer!”

trailers

dripper
Aug

the burning

It’s nearing the end of summer and one can’t help but feel a sense of whimsical and wonder as the days grow shorter and it starts to get a little colder. This is the time I like to visit the campgrounds… by watching a camp slasher film, of course. Sure the obvious picks are any number of the Friday the 13th films (minus Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X and Freddy Vs. Jason), but how about some other camp films? Something based from an old campfire tale told in parts of upstate New York in the 80’s… where I’m from and where I went to camp!

Now let me quickly tell you that story: You see, a maniac named Cropsey would stalk and kill people, much like the archetype boogeyman. It’s really that simple. Even more interesting, this tale has been popular since the 30’s, so upon researching it, I found that there isn’t even a Wiki page! Coincidence? Most likely. Of course this story will vary depending on which fable you read, but one thing remains constant: The revenge of Cropsey!

Which brings us to The Burning. The Burning was, strangely enough, being filmed around the same time another movie was being made about the Cropsey Maniac tale. Since The Burning came out first, that other film changed it’s story a bit and renamed its title to Madman. Anyway, it’s your classic camp tale about a maniac seeking revenge on anyone who comes back to the camp where he was nearly burned alive. Sounds pretty cut and paste, right? Well, yes actually, it kinda is. However as simple as the plot may seem, the movie shines through with excellent character development, fantastic gore and makeup, plus a soundtrack by Rick Wakemen! The Rick Wakemen of Yes. Not to mention the film is kinda creepy. So there’s that.

the burningThe movie opens up as several boys from Camp Blackfoot are plotting to scare the crap out of the caretaker Cropsey, because he’s kind of a douche. This prank, for whatever reason, involves a skull with worms and candles and wouldn’t you know it, it goes south and poor Cropsey burns. He’s burnt to a crisp. He’s burnt so bad, he scares an orderly at the hospital that everyone mistakes to be Lawrence Fishburne in an early roll (it’s not), much like that scene from Mad Max where his partner grabs his arm… yeah you know the bit. Anyway, five years go by and Cropsey is released from the hospital and what’s the first thing he does? Kill a hooker. You gotta keep that pimp arm strong as they say, I guess.

Meanwhile at camp, all the kids are playing ball, ogling over girls, you know kid stuff. Some of these kids include the very first acting rolls of Holly Hunter (in a very small role), Fisher Stevens (that “Indian” guy from the Short Circuit movies) and most bizzarely, Jason Alexander, with a somewhat fit body and full head of hair… I repeat, George from Seinfeld with A FULL HEAD OF HAIR. There is also the camp dweeb Alfred who is being bullied by the self appointed camp jock from Jersey, Glazer. Luckily, Alfred has Todd, the camp counselor, looking out for him. All is fun and games for the moment, but it doesn’t take Cropsey long to show up and start the body count.

The older kids go off on a canoe adventure of some kind and it doesn’t take long for camp stud Eddy to take his girl Karen out for a little swim. But since she won’t put out, Eddy sends her off crying and she runs into Cropsey. Unfortunately for her, Cropsey isn’t very good at consoling sad girls and mistakes wiping her tears with cutting her throat.

The next morning, they discover the canoes are missing and resort to building a raft, which responsibly, the camp counselors Todd and Michelle send a handful of kids off to find the canoes. Nothing bad could happen here. Now, what follows is such an intense and graphic scene, it originally had been butchered by the MPAA and earned this film one of the first spots on the UK’s Video Nasties list. So, you know it has to be good. Well, they find the canoes alright. And Cropsey is waiting inside and hacks and slashes them to pieces! Talking about this scene cannot do it justice. It is something that has to be witnessed.

the burningShortly, the raft drifts back to camp with the remains of the kids (so that’s what they put in the camp stew!), while Todd is searching for Alfred, who just witnessed Glazer and his girlfriend get butchered. Michelle heads back to camp on the makeshift raft for help. Todd faces his past (oh forgot to mention, he was one of the kids that accidentally burned Cropsey) and must defeat the maniac if he wants to save Alfred.

I can see why the censors had such a field day with this movie. These were actual kids being murdered and mutilated and it was shocking to see for the first time, especially with outrageous and amazing special effects by Tom Savini (who passed up Friday the 13th Part 2 in order to do this film). And I do have to add, these effects look spectacular on the Scream! Factory Blu-ray release! In fact, that whole transfer is one of the best I have seen. At one point when Cropsey is killing the hooker, you can see actor Lou David’s face shrouded with a black mask and sunglasses (hell, you can even see the reflection of the hooker in the glasses!). Now this begs the question; was Cropsey hiding his hideously burned face or were the filmmakers hiding the actors face to make it look shadowed? Hmm…

What else can you say? It’s a great summer time movie, with lots of blood, great special effects and a cool killer with some righteous music. So what are you waiting for? Summer isn’t over just yet. So pack your sleeping bag, an extra pair of undies and a copy of The Burning. And some Off. Mosquitoes are annoying.

roadside attractions

  • Fireball Caretaker.
  • “Scissoring” Hooker.
  • Ready. Aim. Fire. Run.
  • Jason Alexander with hair.
  • Jason Alexander mooning.
  • Raft mutilation.
  • Axe to the face.
  • Jersey Jock impalement.
  • Burned again!
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

Buckets of blood, arms, fingers and melted flesh.

7

blood

BREASTS

Here and there and soapy.

10

beast

BEASTS

Cropsey! And Glazer.

8.6 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the infamous “raft scene!”

trailers

dripper
ZombieWorks
join our mailing list
* indicates required

About the Highway

Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>