Greetings, Fiend-Friends (a pet name for both of my readers). The Media Fiend is experiencing technical difficulties due to…well basically the Fiend’s choice of “recreational condiments” in the 80’s and 90’s. I will try to keep this coherent, but I can’t make any promifinzes… see what I’m dealing with?
Ah well, much to get to, let the synapses misfire!
First things first, if you haven’t already, get LOST. Other than to any creditors out there, I don’t mean it the way it sounds. LOST on ABC is the best new show of the year, and if you think it’s that HORNYHAUSFRAUS show, or whatever it’s called, well, you’re an idiot.
Now I’m not going to encapsulate what’s happened (suffice to say it has everything and Terry O’Quinn), so if you haven’t been watching from the beginning, don’t start now. The first season will be out on DVD in June, and to ensure that suckers who have watched from day one (like yours truly) buy it, there will be an exclusive mini-prequel of sorts. Greedy Rotten Bastards preying on the weaknesses of Fiends everywhere. God Bless ‘Em!
Sorry, TERMS OF ENDEARMENT flashback.
Fortunately I was recently able to receive treatment for my unfortunate condition. It’s a piece of Hard-R Japanese savagery called BATTLE ROYALE: Special Edition. The Fiend LOOOOOOVES this movie! Directed…scratch that…UNLEASHED by one Kinji Fukasaku in 2001, and starring Japanese legend Takeshi “Beat” Kitano, it was initially banned by the Japanese government. Take that in. The Japanese BANNED it.
Now this is the audience that QT had to make a MORE graphically violent cut of KILL BILL for. So what could make them go all FCC on the movie? Are you ready?….The Premise!
BATTLE ROYALE takes place in a near future where Japan is on the brink of collapse. The economy is shot, there’s 45% unemployment, and, worst of all, almost 1,000,000 kids are boycotting school. Don’t ask the Fiend why this is worst of all, but apparently it is.
So the Japanese Govt. has come up with a solution: once a year a class is picked by lottery. That class of 12-14 year olds is then drugged and brought to a deserted island where they are given weapons and exploding neck collars. They are then told they must kill each other until there is only one left, and they have 3 days to finish or everyone still alive has their heads blown up. Isn’t that a great solution? Take some of the few decent progeny left and kill them.
Are you giggling as much as the Fiend did when he first heard about this? To be fair, the movie is based on a pretty well regarded novel by Koushun Takami. To be honest, I don’t care. If there was any attempt at social commentary or satire in the novel it’s not evident in the film. The presence of Beat Kitano implies that they were attempting some serious statement, and he does get some laughs, but none of them earned or seemingly intentional.
That’s all irrelevant anyway. Go back and READ THE PREMISE! This is the most insanely violent movie with child actors I’ve ever seen. It’s like LORD OF THE FLIES crossed with THE LITTLE RASCALS. (OK, not that young, but wouldn’t you like to see that?) Did I mention that one of the kids REQUESTED to be there? This is so monumentally depraved you know you want to see it. Get it on DVD now before the high sheriffs find out it’s here.
And now, a rant.
“Dammit’ Netflix! What the hell is your problem? Twice now the pinheads in your shipping department have sent me HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP 1996 with Robert Carradine. I want HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP 1980 with Doug McClure. When it comes to gratuitous nudity and graphic violence in a story of mutant Salmon men coming ashore to spawn with human women, only, I repeat, ONLY the Doug McClure version will do.
McClure will endure!”
Hey maybe that’ll be the Fiend’s next tattoo.
Finally, lest you think print media is actually dead, and it never will be so deal with it you techno-losers, an actual book review.
Don’t fret Fiend-Friends (I’m determined to make this catch on), it may be a book, but it’s a book about movies. There, don’t you feel better.
The 1970’s saw the rise of the Film School Brats, Scorsese, Spielberg, DePalma etc., and they have been written about ad nauseam. Now the cycle begins anew with the Indie Brats, and their rise in the 90’s. Specifically QT, Fincher, Russell, Jonze, PTA, and the instigator of Indie goes to Hollywood, Steven Soderbergh, as chronicled by Sharon Waxman in REBELS ON THE BACKLOT.
Now the Fiend, being by definition fiendish, came to this tome with no previous exposure to Miss Waxmans writing, and more than a passing knowledge of her subjects. Which is why it was such a great surprise to find out that, Damn, this Waxman’s a good reporter. Using mostly interviews with the subjects themselves Waxman gives the reader a truly amazing fly-on-the-wall take of Hollywood in the 90’s and these filmmakers places in it.
While steeped with serious discussion on their films and views on art in general, it is really in evoking, or in some cases caging, their personalities for the reader that Miss Waxman outdoes herself. The candidness with which she gets them to speak, mostly about one another if not themselves, begs the question was this book underwritten by Budweiser?
Only drunkenness, and cojones inflated by mutimillion dollar paydays could produce some of the verbal trashings these guys give one another, and seemingly anyone who ever pissed them off. All in all a great read for anyone who thinks they’ve learned all they need or care to about the Indie Brats.
Can anyone else hear SPANDAU BALLET playing, or is it time for the Fiend to go? Just me? As I feared. Well then until next time Fiend-Friends (copyright pending), remember to dance on your own grave now and beat the crowds.
The Media Fiend
Buy it here if you dare!!!!!