From: "Rev. Ivan Stang" <stang@subgeniusNOSPUM.com>
Date: Sat, May 15, 2004
Princess Wei and I went to the movie house to see that
movie, "Van Halen."
I wasn't particularly interested in seeing it until
I saw a short movie
about the special effects. The CDR that comes with the Macintosh user
magazine MacAddict had this nifty short about how major aspects of the
special effects were composited in Adobe After Effects. Also, I needed
a break from special effects compositing myself. That's all I've been
doing for a week. The COMPUTER ITSELF needed a break. It needed to COOL
DOWN for two hours. It has literally been overheating. These animation
and editing programs use so much processing power when they're doing
their things that you can't run any other programs, or diddle about on
the Internet while waiting for a scene to render in the background,
much less download bootlegs of current movies,so you're forced to do
things like mow, phone relatives, or go to movies.
So I was about ready to watch somebody else's special
effects, which I
understood to be the actual theme, subject, and plot of this movie.
Anyway, that movie, "Van Husen," which could
be called "James Bond
Versus Dracula," is a worthy sequel to "Abbot and Costello Meet
Frankenstein," the last Universal picture to feature the Frankenstein's
Monster, the Wolfman, Dracula, and Dracula all at once. The A&C movie
tossed in The Invisible Man at the end; this one has Mr. Hyde at the
beginning (albeit one who is in no way akin to the original novel's
Hyde.). This movie takes itself as seriously as "A&C Meet
Frankenstein," although the line-up and setting are slightly more like
those of the last serious Universal monster pic in the series, "House
of Dracula" -- which featured not only the big three monsters but also
a hot HUNCHBACK NURSE GIRL. ("Why, a girl like that might even fuck
"Van Halen" also is related to "Monster
Squad," a relatively
little-known stupid 1980s kids' monster movie that was actually quite
charming (the high point being the rap song at the end, about
monster-fighting). It featured okay knock-offs of the Universal greats
plus a "Gil-Man" obviously swiped from The Creature from the Black
But the thing that most blew me away immediately in
"Van Halen" was
that PAPA JOE MAMA is in it! It's one of his stock trademark characters
that we've seen at so many X-Day Drills, and heard on so many radio
shows -- the friar who will do anything for the Church and
ShorDurPerSav, especially if it involves inventing cool new secret
weapons. This Friar character corresponds to "Q" in the James Bond
movies (the Pope is "M")... he builds the super vampire-killing
silver-arrow shooting hand-gattling-gun and other nifty gimmicks that
Van Halen uses in his secret-spy monster-killing jobs. Papa Joe Mama
plays this comedic "mad monk" to a T. And they didn't even have to
change his regular haircut to match the character.
The movie as a whole is a diverting "Ride Comedy".
It really is more a
ride than a movie. I gleaned many thrills and laughs from the same
sense of vertigo and ceaseless forward movie that you get from big
carnival rides. Likewise, I was as involved with the characters as I am
with the robot figures who go through their motions in dioramas that
you pass through on theme park rides. I will admit that I've been
reading Ride Theory all week too.
You know how parts of "Spiderman" were like
being on a roller coaster?
Well, a LOT of this movie is like that. The viewer and the characters
are slung around like human yoyos constantly. No less than TWO action
scenes, one at the end and one at the beginning, involve somebody
falling off a tall structure and then SWINGING BACK AROUND ONTO THE TOP
OF IT, carried by their momentum and outrageously unlikely physics. The
human figures shown in these scenes occasionally look about as
realistic as Spidey in HIS long-shots -- very puppet-like -- but
because the CAMERA is ALSO swinging around like a gigantic yoyo doing
tricks in this vastly detailed, completely fake CGI set, it's certainly
apt to get one's attention off mundane work-week frettings for a while.
"Van Halen" has a comfortable feel to it,
probably because you have
heard every single line of dialog before in at least one other movie.
It's a grotesque over-the-top orgy in monster-fannishness.
From what I
can tell, the director must have gone through the complete collection
of Creepy and Eerie magazines, grabbing Frazetta covers and saying "We
MUST have a scene that looks EXACTLY LIKE THIS!". Every horror
illustrator's cliche, every Aurora Plastic Model Kit Monster Series
detail is lavishly overdone and then overdone again.
In fact, they kinda overdo the overdone parts. Monster
fans LOVE those
old morphing transformation scenes. When Larry Talbot turns into the
Wolfman by way of matched dissolves with progressively applied make-up,
or Dracula dissolving stage by stage to a skeleton and then dust when
he finally dies. Well, in this movie, you actually get TIRED of guys
turning into werewolves on camera, girls's faces turning into fanged
demon-faces, and vampires insta-rotting. One or two of each would have
I noticed during the 20 minute end credits that I am
still working in
Hollywood but that I have changed the spelling of my human name to
"Doug Smythe." (I got nominated for an Academy Award for my special
effects supervision on "Independence Day." Just look at the credits!
That was when it was still Smith instead of Smythe. I guess the award
went to my head. Like when Edward Muybridge changed his name to
Eadweard Mubridge, once he got famous for those pre-movie motion
studies of fat ladies and horses.)
I have been in Mad Scientist mode myself all week, trying
to finish up
as many of these short animation music videos as possible for the
Beachland show NEXT SATURDAY!!! FUCK!!!. (I STARTED this project for
the LAST Beachland show!) Every time I start into another short, I
learn so many new tricks that I want to go back in retweak stuff in the
ones I thought were already finished. These videos are mostly composed
of graphics and music from alt.binaries.slack arteests that I am
comingling, reorganizing, and forcing into various kinds of motion
using this nifty-ass software that keeps getting slicker and slicker as
I read more and more of the instructions. I have been in HOG HEAVEN
craft-wise. I have a grander goal in mind than a DVD of visual hymns to
"Bob" that I can sell, but first things first... $ and acquisition of
the MAGIC SECRETS of the editing software.
This is the first time that I was editing a movie and
this needs a little sappy music sting right here real badly," and been
able to generate the music sting MYSELF right then and there, without
resorting to music libraries or, worse, paying for specific rights or
hiring a musician.
I come from a planet where, to superimpose a fancy-looking
title over a
moving background scene, you had to go through 4 expensive steps in a
film lab, and it took a week. And you had to physically draw, color and
lay the physical pieces of art paper one at a time under a physical
camera and shoot each frame. Now, my army of invisible robots does ALL
of that automatically, while I sleep, or mow, or finally return those
phone calls, as long as it's not a hot afternoon, and as long as the
computer isn't doing ANYTHING else.
Which is why I have not been posting much.
I feel like I would be perfectly happy to sit here and
edit videos and
morph pictures and generate goofy sounds for ever and ever and ever.
But none of the machines that I work with, such as this human meat
shell that my BRANE is imbedded in, can keep going without regular
breaks for maintenance. DAMN IT.
Luckily, for next Hour of Slack, I have a copy of Rev.
Floozy's MICHAEL JACKSON/ O.J. SIMPSON SPECIAL from her WREK show. Like
what she did to Ruch Limbaugh, in collaging. Its form is beyond that of
the sons of men.
4th Stangian Orthodox MegaFisTemple Lodge of the Wrath of Dobbs Yeti,
Resurrected (Rev. Ivan Stang, prop.)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (ignatz topolino)
"Rev. Ivan Stang" <stang@subgeniusNOSPUM.com> wrote:
First off: goddam it, get the movie's name right! It's
> The movie as a whole is a diverting "Ride
Comedy". It really is more a
> ride than a movie. I gleaned many thrills and laughs from the same
> sense of vertigo and ceaseless forward movie that you get from big
> carnival rides. Likewise, I was as involved with the characters as I am
> with the robot figures who go through their motions in dioramas that
> you pass through on theme park rides. I will admit that I've been
> reading Ride Theory all week too.
Hah! Soon you will be sending ME $30!
As for the theme park analogy, see:
"Universal Studios Hollywood's 'Van Helsing: Fortress Dracula' is more
entertaining than the 'Van Helsing' movie"
From: "Rev. Ivan Stang" <stang@subgeniusNOSPUM.com>
ignatz topolino <email@example.com> wrote:
> "Rev. Ivan Stang" <stang@subgeniusNOSPUM.com> wrote:
> First off: goddam it, get the movie's name right! It's called "Van
> > The movie as a whole is a diverting "Ride Comedy". It really is more a
> > ride than a movie. I gleaned many thrills and laughs from the same
> > sense of vertigo and ceaseless forward movie
That was supposed to be "motion". And would
you believe I even
proofread it, sorta.
> that you get from big
> > carnival rides. Likewise, I was as involved with the characters as I am
> > with the robot figures who go through their motions in dioramas that
> > you pass through on theme park rides. I will admit that I've been
> > reading Ride Theory all week too.
> Hah! Soon you will be sending ME $30!
First you have to offer a Membership Package that's
a huge bitch to
assemble due to all the various types of parts in it.
> As for the theme park analogy, see:
> "Universal Studios Hollywood's 'Van Helsing: Fortress Dracula' is more
> entertaining than the 'Van Helsing' movie"
Original file name: Papa Joe Mama is in #1AD1C8.txt - converted on Saturday, 25 September 2004, 02:05
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