The blog for The Solitaire Rose Experience. Yes, the blog revolution is utterly and completely over. However, I haven't figured that out yet, so I'll be listing articles, ideas, links, and other internet debris. Now, you can join in! And be mocked mercilessly!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Legend Of Bigfoot

Last night's Atomic Midnight Horror Show was a craptacular little gem called "The Legend Of Bigfoot". After a couple of classic trailers and an "Intermission Time" short I have seen so many times, I can recite it in my sleep, we got a nice bit of humor from the hosts and then into the movie.

Oh. Your. God.

The "story" purports to be a documentary about a tracker who becomes obsessed with Bigfoot after a run-in with the beast, and we get a year's worth of footage and stories about him tracking the beast from Southern California to its mating grounds above the arctic circle. This is a hook to hang about an hour and a half of stock wilderness footage on, with probably less than 15 minutes of film actually shot for the movie itself of the narrator showing off his house, asking people about Bigfoot and, of course, the Bigfoot footage itself. I watched the movie the way I usually do, laughing, making comments as if I was Crow T Robot and marveling that this movie was made and put in theaters. Early in the movie, there is a sequence that presages "The Blair Witch Project" by the camera whipping back and forth to the point of theatrical nausea so severe I had to close my eyes to keep from throwing up. I've only had that reaction a few times in a movie theater: During the operation footage in "Super Size Me", watching the movie "Flashdance"...

Anyway, the movie then has some footage that purports to show Ivan's first spotting of a Bigfoot. It's too bad he didn't have a lot of money while making the movie, since it's painfully clear that the "Bigfoot"'s fur doesn't completely cover its leg, and you can see the human feet sticking out of a modified gorilla costume.

We then get a sequence where Marx talks about animals falling in love: It shows two squirrels dancing around each other and light grooming that appears to be kissing while he talks about how the animals were so in love, they weren't paying attention to the world around them. We then cut to a Jeep driving down a road, and then cut to one of the two squirrels laying in the road, still and unmoving. The other squirrel keeps trying to drag the still squirrel away (and all through this, we see footage of animals who are "watching the horrifying scene with fear in their eyes"). The audience went silent, and I eventually said, "This is the saddest nature film EVER", breaking the spell....and then we started chanting for the squirrel to succeed in moving their mate off the road. We then get cuts of grainy stock footage of a hawk circling as the injured squirrel slops toward a hole and hides itself.

It was really disturbing and didn't fit the movie at all.

Then, back to stock footage and stories about Bigfoot. There was another disturbing sequence of hunter gutting Elk that struck me as just plain strange, and the narrator talks about how he got angry at the hunters while lovingly lingering on the carcasses.

Then, the final Bigfoot Reveal. What we've been waiting for.

More footage of someone in an ape suit, blurry, and hopping around as if Curly was in the suit reacting to Moe slapping him upside the head.

Movies like this were all over when I was a kid, purporting to reveal the truth behind the Bermuda Triangle, UFOs, the assassination of Kennedy and the like. They'd get TONS of ads on TV, play only on weekend afternoons in movies theaters, and any kid who saw it would talk about how they were THE GREATEST MOVIES EVER!!!

All in all, it was fun, but afterward, as we chatted about the movie, I heard stories of how the man who made the movie was well-known for taking people on "Bigfoot Expeditions", and in the 70's cut a deal with a big film company over the Bigfoot footage used int he movie, only to have it fall through when he realized they would be able to see it was faked, so he and his wife took off as the movie company came out to his house for the footage after he got the first payment. I also read where his wife and kids pulled the same thing on Coast To Coast AM to try and get people interested in their scam, and there was a group of three families who were doing that sort of thing all through the 70's who knew each other or worked together at some point, all while claiming they had never heard of the the other groups.

Next week? Vampire Hookers.

With a title like that, the movies doesn't HAVE to be any good.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

An observation on Professional Wrestling

I read where the head of UPN announced that they want to keep wrestling. I have also heard the only wrestling news site I trust talk about how the deal for Smackdown to run on UPN may end this year, and UPN is making more money on the sit-coms they have on Thursday nights now and the like. However, the numbers seem to tell a different story.

WWE Smackdown has settled into pulling in the 3 - 3.5 average, and usually gives UPN 4th place for the night, CONSISTENTLY pulling ahead of FOX, and when NBC is in re-runs, they get within a point of them in total households. They also come in #1 in males 18 - 34 in their time slot. Ratings have stayed the same, and their drop form moving to Friday night has been pretty negligible (from a 3.7 average to a 3.3 average). The Everyone Hates Chris lineup, which got a huge buildup, is pulling around a 2 - 2.5 on a weekly basis, and has been showing steady erosion through the season, showing a full point and a half drop from Smackdown in the same time slot, and the rest of the lineup struggles to get a 1.5 and has dropped the network from 4th place on Thursdays to 6th place behind the WB (which moved Smallville to Thursdays). The other BIG drop is after Everyone Hates Chris is over, UPN suffers a full ratings point drop from 7 to 7:30, which equated to over a million people going somewhere else. Since the sitcoms cost more (and Chris Rock is not cheap, that show is rumored to be the most expensive on UPN) and ratings are WAY down, how can this translate to more money for UPN on Thursdays? I know that the wrestling fan isn't sought after by most advertisers, but they get ads for movies aimed at young men, video games and albums, where now I see PSAs and ads for chia pets and clappers on UPN on Thursday nights, so I think the idea that sit-coms get better ads than wrestling just isn't holding up.

I think it may have been a "punishment" to move Smackdown to Fridays, but it has paid off for UPN. They get big ratings on a night that they had written off years ago, can get ads for movies, games and Maxim products, and the show is easily their cheapest to produce. On top of that, I don't think the drop in Smackdown attendance is because of the Friday night slot. It's because WWE has killed off their house show business and treat the brand as the B-team. If people won't pay money for the A-list guys, why pay the same price for the b-listers?

My prediction? UPN will keep WWE, and if they don't, I could see the WB go after them...or even Fox, since they routinely beat Fox's programming in the ratings. With shows like "Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire", Fox isn't exactly in the position to say that they are too good for wrestling.

I'm not saying I'm "in the know", but just looking at the numbers, and seeing the ads that are running, UPN has two things they can count on, the model show and WWE. Everything else they've tried has failed, and if they are going to keep running, someone would be in a lot of trouble if they handed their top show to another network.

And now that I have more time, the blog is going to get some attention.

And yesh, I say that all the time. But this time, I actually have some spare time.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Just a couple of things

Something Awful posted an article on what other networks woudl have done if they got Mystery Science Theater 3000. They reach and have some obvious jokes, but it's a good bit and made me miss MST3K all over again.

Abnd I have been wasting time with the Urban Dead on-line game. Mmmm...zombies....

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Rosario Dawson about to be another celebrity to try comics

Here's the press release, and there seem to be people who thinbk this is a good idea, including Ms. Dawson.

Other celebrities who have announced such things over the last 15 years or so include Glen Danzig, The Ultimate Warrior, Jada Pickett, Rena Mero....

Ghods, have we heard anything from any of those people? Will comics kill her careetr too?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Beaten to the punch

I have noticed that the people who do all of the press for the White House have been trying to cast President Bush as a modern equivalent of Harry Truman. I was going to refute it, but someone beat me to it. The odd thing about the Bush people is how they are fixated on the past, while never learning from it.

Bush is often cast as a new version of Ronald Reagan, down to the same clothing and vacation activities (how much frelling brush does he HAVE on that ranch anyway?), and to businesses he shipped out as a modern Woodrow Wilson, clearing the deck for business to do whatever they want. Now, casting him as Truman seems to be how they are getting around the fact that no matter how hard they try, they can't get him past the approval of his hard core base. They have always pushed themselves as a "51% Presidency", not much caring about building a coalition or working to get more approval than they absolutely need, but Truman was popular overseas when he wasn't popular here.

I doubt anyone could say with a straight face that Bush has any support overseas that doesn't come from right-wing dictators or heads of state who are dependent upon the US for their economic existence.

The sad truth is that Bush is much like Grover Cleveland...not just in how single minded he is, or how ill prepared he is to work with the economy, but as someone who, when he goes, will open up an opportunity for the next President to fix all the things he broke, much like Teddy Roosevelt.

Oh yeah, Nanowrimo

I finished the novel. Sorry I forgot to tell you about it, but you never write, or send me money, so I don't feel beholden to you.

I'll post it after I give it a quick run-through for an edit, but not for very long, since I think it could be edited into something publishable.

10 Predictions for the coming year

1) The US will continue to figure out that J. Lo. has no discernable talent, even if the entertainment industry hasn't realized we've figured it out.

2) The Beach Boys will quit touring as a washed up nostalgia act and will put out a brilliant album.

3) Exorcists will be called to the White House and the last 5 years will be blamed on Bush being possessed by the ghost of Richard Nixon. Over half of America will believe it and his approval ratings will shoot back up to over 70% for two weeks.

4) We will suffer through another holiday season of Fox News telling us that Christmas is under seige. This time, however, Donald Rumsfeld will send in troops, mishandle the war planning and it will be the last time we celebrate Christmas.

5) The Ghost of Richard Nixon will continue to hunt for a new host and will end up hanging out at Gameworks wondering where the hell the pinball machines are.

6) The Dance Dance Revolution will fail after being put down by the ruling junta.

7) Wal-Mart will rename itself "Where the fuck else are you going to shop, loser."

8) The Middle Class will officially cease to exist and be replaced by zombies. No one will notice for six months.

9) Next Diet Fad: Dryer lint

10) Anderson Cooper will finally get a first name.