"All extremes are dangerous."
~ Virginia Woolf (1925)
Mind Caviar, Vol. 2 Spring Issue 2001
& Rave Reviews
Our resident Diva, Aldonza, takes you on a really freakin' weird tour of Her trash picks and not-to-miss hits, sure to make you doubt your sanity and find god, possibly simultaneously, and maybe at your next orgasm (or was that gas station?) In this issue there's another treat: a guest reviewer, Bro D. Enjoy!
Barbie gets two crowns cause I'm wearing the third... me so pretty!
Swelling Netherlips! (I just wanted to say that... the new name for my inner Drag Queen? My new car? A goldfish?) Have you ever wanted to see Barbie's forehead banging again and again from the other side of the screen? Well, you sick-ass bastard, you can get your wish if you visit Tourette's Syndrome Barbie. This is as hysterically funny as it sounds. I don't even want to spoil the surprises. Go there and write me. Then, as if you can resist, watch the miracle of Leprosy Barbie.
Be brave. Be very brave.
Baby Pants and Crib Sheets
OH MOMMY, I'M SOOO SCARED!!! Baby Pants... they feel so TIGHT! Baby gets a room deodorizer...BAD BABY, DOO DOO PANTS! You gross me out, Baby, and I live for that.
Mind Caviar is very sorry
you this link. It is really bad. Consider yourself warned, you naughty
Changing gears from the pictures he had been doing, economy director and provocateur of the latest fad, Roger Corman scored with the 1966 American International Pictures production of "The Wild Angels." This picture, for those who are too young to know, or those who don't remember, is a trashy, violent, funny, tragic, slice of pseudo counter-culture against-the-establishment entertainment that blasted off the biker movie craze of the late sixties. Following in its footsteps were the technically improved, but not as unique "Glory Stompers", "Angels Die Hard", "Angels, as Hard as They Come", "Born Losers", and "Hell's Angels Forever."
"The Wild Angels" did it big by roaring in on a wave of fuzz drenched hit theme music that has, over the intervening years, almost overshadowed the plot and meaning of the movie itself. The synthesis of the muffler-sounding fuzz guitar and its similarity to the motorcycle sound effects is one of the endearing things about "The Wild Angels" and has been the glue that’s held the memory of the movie so well in my mind. This kind of fuzz guitar you might also know from the much media-used Norman Greenbaume hit song “Spirit in the Sky”…same sound.
In this film, his first cycle pic, Peter Fonda plays Blue or Heavenly Blue. It has been said this movie gave Fonda the counter-culture groundswell and authority to make the later, much superior "Easy Rider," a film that had something important to say about the American experience during the Vietnam era, and did it with some clarity. Nancy Sinatra (yes, Old Blue Eye's daughter) plays his girlfriend Mike, or some might say the conscience Heavenly Blue really doesn't possess. Everyone's favorite creepy actor from the 60s, Bruce Dern, is convincing as their gang mate, Born Loser, or just The Loser.
In a wonderful early sequence in the film, Blue, on his hog, (which looked somewhat like my Schwinn bicycle but with a rather large, snorting motor) is out on a desert highway and is joined, one-by-one with the members of his gang. The way it happens is almost like a build up of a classical piece of music like Ravel's Bolero, except its set to a piece of Dave Allen music called "The Chase." The drums give the impression of a Gene Croupa beat, the bass smartly comes in doubled by the surf guitar, then an oily and wicked organ secretly floats in. Blue starts out solo and, at the end of the sequence, there are multitudes of gang member all roaring down the open dessert highway, all coming right at you, shades of the Viking hoards! In one well laid out, short sequence, supported by music, Corman has intimated a world which has lost its way and is coming apart at the seams. You can feel the implied menace.
In a wrong turn, Dern, as Loser, is shot by the police and is then spirited out of the hospital for a party in his honor by the gang. He dies at his own party, so another party is set at his funeral. Most eery are the scenes of the gang partying with the very dead Loser. These sequences are partly the reason why the movie was banned from English movie theaters at the time of its release. Yes, it's brutal, funny, and just maybe a tad stupid, however, there's always Corman coming up with a trick set of images and expert use of music. The motorcycle funeral procession is brilliant; with it's slowed down drum track, and dirge vibrato guitar music, it encapsulates the mood perfectly.
The people who went onward and upward from "The Wild Angels" are many. Peter Fonda made his big score with "Easy Rider", a more sophisticated motorcycle picture with Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson. Nancy Sinatra disowned her relationship to the movie for fear of ruining her image. I guess these boots and black leather aren't really made for walkin'. Bruce Dern went on to conquer television and movies and form a respectable career. Peter Bogdanovich who helped Corman write, edit, and even starred in a small part-- look for him during the rumble scenes– went on to make such sensitive classics like "Last Picture Show." Mike Curb, the film's musical director scored with this movie and went on to become a big-time musical director in Hollywood.
Then there's Roger Corman who has persisted successfully in producing, directing, and making over 300 movies and television programs such as "Not of this Earth", "Wasp Woman", "It Conquered the Earth", and the always icky "Attack of the Giant Leeches." His insistence on economy, innovation, and cheapness make him the Steven Spielberg of the quick visual fix. He is a cinematic law unto himself and continues to be so. Most successful and continuing to set hairs on end is Dave Allen and his fuzzed up group the Arrows, who today maintain a great website, a magazine (FUZ) and continue to release material that harkens back to those brown leather days of Indian tie-up shirts and air puffed hair dos.
"The Wild Angels" is a sort of fad, freshman effort from the actors, writers, director and producer: a trashy production, but not without merit and memorable imagery. It may be just a puff production of a faddish and flaky time, but then, again, it might be an encapsulation of a weird and wonderful time of bikers, black leather, babes, booze, and brazen movie making.
= Flawless, Fabulous Product.
= Very Good, I'd Recommend It To a Friend.
= Decent but Flawed. Some Shortcomings.
= This Stinks!
Rant & Rave Reviews and Aldonza's Measures are Copyright © 2001 Aldonza. All rights reserved. Do not copy or post.
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