Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Paul Craft, R. I. P.

Rolling Stone: Thirteen days after his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Paul Craft — the man behind offbeat, wisecracking country hits like "Dropkick Me, Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life)" and "It's Me Again, Margaret" — has died. He was 76 years old.

Overlooked Movies: Straight Time

Straight Time is based on the Edward Bunker novel No Beast So Fierce.  If you've ever doubted that Dustin Hoffman is a great actor, just see this movie.  He plays Max Dembo, a guy who's just out of prison.  His parole officer, Earl, is played with M. Emmett Walsh, who plays sleazy as well as anyone ever did.

Max gets a job through an employment agency, where a secretary named Jenny (a young and beautiful Theresa Russell) falls for him.  Hoffman seems set for the straight life.

But he's not.  His old buddy Willy (Gary Busey) pays him a visit and shoots up in the apartment.  Earl snoops around later and sends Max to jail, where he's proved to be clean.  Earl lets him sit there for a week, anyway.  When Earl picks Max up, Max gets his revenge and realizes that he can never live the straight life.  He goes back to his old ways, robbing a bank with his good friend Jerry (Harry Dean Stanton).  That goes okay, but after that it's all downhill.  

I'd call this a noir film if not for the ending.  It's close, even at that.  I've never read the novel, so I don't know how it ends.  

Straight Time isn't a great movie, but it has some wonderful performances by everybody I've mentioned and also Kathy Bates as Gary Busey's wife.  Well worth a look if you're interested in the forgotten films of the '70s.

STRAIGHT TIME - HQ Trailer ( 1978 ) - YouTube

STRAIGHT TIME - HQ Trailer ( 1978 ) - YouTube:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oscar De La Renta, R. I. P.

Variety: Legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has died at 82, according to ABC News. 

He first came to fame dressing Jackie Kennedy, and went on to dress celebrities of the 1960s through the present. Among the actresses who appreciated his red carpet gowns were Cameron Diaz, Oprah Winfrey, Kristen Stewart, Penelope Cruz and Jessica Chastain.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

And once again Texas leads the way!

Losers Of Beer Pong Match Opened Fire On Fellow Texas Partygoers

Song of the Day

Sabre Dance - Aram Khachaturian - YouTube:

The Top 50 Cities to See in Your Lifetime

The Top 50 Cities to See in Your Lifetime  

Link via The Presurfer.

Today's Vintage Ad


First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Oklahoma man opens fire on ex-girlfriend for not leaving ‘fast enough’

PaperBack



March Hastings, The Outcasts, Midwood, 1961

10 Amazing Lost Treasures No One Can Find

10 Amazing Lost Treasures No One Can Find

The 10 Greatest Comedy Villains Of The Past 20 Years

The 10 Greatest Comedy Villains Of The Past 20 Years

5 People Saved From Certain Death By Impossible Luck

5 People Saved From Certain Death By Impossible Luck 

New Poem at the Five-Two

The Five-Two: Paul Hostovsky: THE WRITING OF HARLOTS

Jack the Ripper Update

Claim that Jack the Ripper was a Polish immigrant barber is WRONG, say experts

It's Science!

Season of birth affects your mood later in life: Babies born in the summer are much more likely to suffer from mood swings when they grow up while those born in the winter are less likely to become irritable adults, scientists claim.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I Give Up

Ebola hysteria sweeps US schools

Doc Savage: The Ice Genius -- Kenneth Robeson (Will Murray & Lester Dent)

It's only a few days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and intrepid archaeologist Johnny Littlejohn, one of Doc Savage's merry band, is in Mongolia on a dig.  What he uncovers there is amazing enough: a man frozen in ice.  What's even more amazing is that the man is Tamerlane.  And what's even more amazing than that is that in a series of unfortunate events Tamerlane is thawed out, is alive, and is ready to conquer the world.  There are plenty of people who'd love to help him do that, too, and it will happen unless Doc Savage and his crew can stop him.

Once again, Will Murray expertly channels the style and headlong pace of Lester Dent to present another fine Doc Savage adventure.  Doc and his men are all present, as is Habeas Corpus, Monk's faithful porcine companion.  So is Cadwiller Olden, aka Monzingo Baldwin, a villain who might be familiar to longtime readers of Doc's adventures, who meets a strange fate. 

The story is high adventure in the pulp tradition.  There are mongol hordes.  Battles in the air and on the land.  Wild plane rides and narrow escapes.  Captures and more escapes.  Trains and planes crash.  Heads roll!   

The only thing missing here is some explanation of what Dent's part in the writing of the book might have been.  An outline?  A fragment?  A jotted-down idea?  Inquiring minds want to know.  But don't let that little quibble stop you from reading the book.  It's great fun all the way.

10 Legendary TV Characters We've Never Seen

10 Legendary TV Characters We've Never Seen 

Song of the Day

Ray Stevens - Turn Your Radio On (Official Video 1972) - YouTube:

So It's Come to This

Maine school board puts teacher on leave after she traveled to Dallas

Same year, same sets, different Draculas

Same year, same sets, different Draculas 

Today's Vintage Ad


6 Famous Television Gags We'll Never See Again

6 Famous Television Gags We'll Never See Again

PaperBack



Vargo Statten, The New Satellite, Scion 1951

The 7 Scariest Ghost Towns in America

The 7 Scariest Ghost Towns in America

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Arrests made when pumpkin festival turns to mayhem

T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award: Naomi Hirahara

Mystery Fanfare: T. Jefferson Parker Mystery Award: Naomi Hirahara

Battle of Hastings Update

Britain to hunt for King Harold’s body to test theory about his death

I Want to Believe!

UFO Enthusiast Spots 'Crocodile' On Mars

9 Reasons Fall in Houston is Awesome

9 Reasons Fall in Houston is Awesome 

Sunday Crocodilian

Sunday Crocodilian - Crocodylus mindorensis Edition