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Posts Tagged ‘penis’

My Favorite Martians: The Alien

September 2nd, 2009 No comments

Ridley Scott’s Alien is often dismissed as merely “a haunted house movie in space” rather than a legitimate science-fiction film. And yes, there are a few cheap boos, including a groan-worthy Cat Scare.

Yet I can’t recall another film that has devoted so much screen time to fleshing out the biology of its xenomorph. On the surface, Alien may seem like little more than an exercise in bone-crunching bloodletting, or an excuse to get Sigourney Weaver into the tiniest panties in film history, but I think it’s really about the act of procreation and the evolutionary imperative to survive at any cost.

It’s not without reason that Scott hired Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger to design his creature. If you are looking to combine skulls and penises, Giger is your go-to guy. And indeed, the head of the Alien is quite clearly intended to be a death’s head phallus.

alien

The sexual content of Alien isn’t at all subtextual. One of the hapless astronauts of the deep-space vessel Nostromo is literally penetrated by a thing that wraps itself around his head and shoves an egg tube down his throat. The critter gestates inside his gut in a mock pregnancy that ends when it tears its way through his belly in a self-Caesarean.

The life cycle of the Alien–egg, face-hugger, chest-burster, adult–is so well conceived that it becomes almost a ritualistic component of later sequels and spin-offs. By the time of Alien vs. Predator, the whole process is allowed to elapse in about five minutes of screen time.

Folks, unprotected sex just isn't worth it.

In a deleted scene (later reinserted for DVD release), Scott brings the cycle full-circle by depicting the adult Alien cocooning its victims and transforming them into a new generation of eggs. That part of the lore was superseded by the introduction of the Queen in James Cameron’s Aliens, and is generally ignored.

The Alien is desired by ruthless businessmen for its potential as a bioweapon. After all, it’s not only a perfect killing machine, but a supreme survival organism. For goodness’ sake, the thing evolved acid for blood just so no one would fuck with it.

For me, the terror of Alien isn’t just the beast itself, but the endless void of space and the sand-blasted hellscape of the world on which the thing is discovered. While Alien is not overtly an H.P. Lovecraft inspired film, I certainly feel that inimical environment is exactly the sort of place in which his extraplanetary gods would’ve spawned.

Categories: Sci-Fi Tags: , ,

Cooking With Wood

August 6th, 2009 No comments

If you’ve watched any amount of late night TV, you’ve undoubtedly been exposed to Bob, the spokesdick for Enzyte “male enhancement.” I’m not entirely sure what it is about Bob that creeps me out. Sure, the fixed, Joker-like smile is a major component. But there’s something else–makeup? lighting? his equally disturbing sexual partner?–that makes me feel there’s a thin layer of ooze coating my TV screen.

Anyhow, Internet humorist Seanbaby (perhaps most famous for his archive of Hostess Fruit Pie comic book adstakes a whack at Bob.

Categories: Weird Tags: , ,

Really, That Was More Penis Than I’d Expected

July 6th, 2009 No comments

Every once in a while, a movie has a moment in which you realize that the story you’re watching is not the one for which you plunked down your nine bucks. In Starship Troopers, it’s when Doogie Howser walks on wearing a Nazi S.S. uniform. At that instant, the flick is no longer about pretty, pretty people heroically battling alien insects. It’s about pretty, pretty fascists exerting their will in the service of lebensraum. A lot of reviewers missed that, even though there are clues a-plenty suggesting that we are not intended to take things at face value.

In The Hangover–which Vic and I saw this weekend–that moment comes when Mike Tyson, playing himself, says “People do stupid shit when they are fucked up.” If ever a line of movie dialogue deserves that infamous “scratched record” sound effect, this is it.

I’d thoroughly enjoyed the flick until then, but suddenly all I could think was “Wait, did they just make light of that time Tyson raped a girl?” Were the filmmakers really that clueless and callous? The next day, I speculated that they were actually making a sly, subversive point: that we should reconsider the actions of the main characters in light of the destruction and potential human suffering involved in their forgotten night of debauchery.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the makers of The Hangover are that clever. Face value–more like in-your-face value–is what has to offer.

Mind you, I did find it very, very funny, even after the Tyson moment passed. But two days later, I feel kinda bad about it.

I don’t want to get holier-than-thou here. For the most part, I admired The Hangover for its unadmirable qualities. I came of age during the era of the great slob comedies (Animal House, Meatballs, Leonard Part 6), so I was grateful for some good, old-fashioned raunchiness. And I liked that baby “Carlos” didn’t exist within a sphere of immunity; most movies would find thumping an infant with a car door strictly off-limits. (But hey, at least they left the window cracked for him.)

I was happy to see Ed Helms, formerly of The Daily Show, make the most of a major role. He has the most sympathetic character, but also gets a lot of laughs. Rachael Harris, another Daily Show alum (though Vic and I mostly know her from all those VH-1 pop-culture retrospectives) gets the thankless job of playing the shrewiest shrew that ever shrewed. Heather Graham, who was once one of those actors contractually obliged to appear in every film, fares a bit better as a hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold. Still, she should probably have a good sit-down with her agent.

As much as I appreciated the unexpected bonus of seeing one of Graham’s boobies, I’m less enthusiastic about the abundant display of Zach Galifianakis’ nether regions. I feel that that there is no part of him I do not now know, and there are things I cannot unsee, hard as I try. I’d mistakenly believed that “erect penis” was pretty much a guaranteed NC-17. These days, it appears that I cannot be sure of anything.

Keep Searching

April 18th, 2009 No comments

One of the benefits of my new blogging home is that now I get web stat reports. And my favorite feature is the list of search terms that brought folks to my humble page.

The current top term, with 20 hits, is “dave thiel.” “Tina fey” received eight hits. My recent post regarding the trailer for The Bike King and the Ten Commandments snagged another eight hits under different search permutations.

Other notable terms: “the watchmen blue penis” (two hits), “legion of super ticklish” (two more), and “the seven faces of dr lao hulu” (one hit).

But my favorite is the last one on the list, a completely inexplicable entry that reads: “star wars create your own jedi knight trained by obi won made from lego and play it not a video game and you can play it.”

So, to whomever it was who desperately searched the World Wide Web for “star wars create your own jedi knight trained by obi won made from lego and play it not a video game and you can play it” and wound up here, welcome. I hope that you found what you were looking for.

I’m Watching The Watchmen

March 7th, 2009 No comments

"There is no future. There is no past. There is only my large, blue penis."

So, I’ve seen Watchmen. And really, I don’t think anyone has cause for complaint about the adaptation. Well, except for the ten-year-old a couple of seats down from me whose idiot father took him to see the superhero film. That kid’s gonna have problems. 

I don’t believe anyone could reasonably expect a better Watchmen film. That’s not to say that it’s the best. movie. ever. Just that it’s unlikely that anyone else would ever have made one with more fidelity to the source material. Just imagine what could’ve been. We could’ve had the Joel Silver version with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dr. Manhattan. Consider that for a moment, then give director Zack Snyder his due.

Admittedly, it’s been a few years since I’ve read the book, but aside from some supporting characters and a certain squid, I don’t recall any significant deletions.* And, let’s face it, the squid was never gonna make the cut. Honestly, I think the film’s alternative to the Psychic Calamari of Doom makes more sense, both logically and thematically.

I’ve got a few small criticisms. The acting’s…well, okay. While I’m pleased that for the most part Snyder avoided casting familiar names, I feel that some of the performers were chosen more for their resemblence to the original drawings than for their thespian skills. 

The violence is also a bit much. My friend Tim, who has one of the filthiest minds I know (and I mean that as a good thing), seemed to blanch at some of the “hard R” mayhem on display. I suspect that the translation from comic to motion picture accounts for some of the grue; drawings depict isolated moments in time, but a film sequence by its very nature includes many more such images.

At the end of the day, I think that Watchmen was a very faithful retelling of a story that wasn’t all that much fun to begin with. It’s telling that the nearly all of the humor comes from the darkest of all the Watchmen, the psychopathic Rorschach.

Yet–and yes, I realize that a sequel is entirely beyond the point–I have to admit that I kinda want to see the further adventures of Nite Owl and Silk Spectre. If only to watch Alan Moore spin in his beard.

*The pirate comic that runs in parallel to the novel’s main narrative is also excised, but they’ve made an animated version for DVD that almost certainly will be edited back into some future, five-hour director’s cut.

Categories: Movies Tags: , , ,

My Watchmen Rant

March 5th, 2009 No comments

Yes, I am stoked for the release of the Watchmen feature film. No, it will not be as good as the book. And no, I could not care less about that. I am still going.

Guess what? A book, which allows one to linger over a page or to double back to a previous chapter so as to extrude deeper meaning, is almost always going to be richer, more emotionally resonant, etc., etc. than its film adaptation. It’s a different medium, with its own strengths and weaknesses. Get over it.

Some will make the argument that Watchmen already exists in a visual form, so a movie can only be redundant. Bullshit. It’s not the same experience. I, for one, am glad that filmmaking techniques have reached the point at which we can put a 50-foot-tall, naked, blue man on the big screen and make it look believable. Okay, granted that I’m not necessarily looking forward to have Dr. Manhatten’s giant, blue junk waved in my face.

I find tiresome the argument that creative works should be left to the venue in which they first appeared. Do they work best in their original medium? Arguably. Do they have nothing to say when translated into another form? I don’t buy it. Should we never make a Shakespeare play into a film? A film into a T.V. series? A novel into a radio play? They won’t be the same either. And you know what? That’s okay.

Watchmen the movie won’t hurt Watchmen the book. If the film sucks, its source material will continue to exist. If it turns out well, it may cause some who’d not previously read the graphic novel to seek out that extra level of depth.

As for myself, I really appreciated the book but haven’t opened it in many years. I’m looking forward to rereading Watchmen after seeing it on the big screen in order to see how the two stack up.

Categories: Movies Tags: , ,

More Horribleness

July 17th, 2008 No comments

Don’t forget: part two of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog debuted today. Neil Patrick Harris (who just received another well-deserved Emmy nomination for playing Barney on How I Met Your Mother) is terrific in this, as Dr. Horrible’s unrequited love for the girl at the laundromat leads him toward a final (fatal?) confrontation with his nemesis Captain Hammer. (“The hammer is my penis.”) I’m really looking forward to the throw-down in act three this Saturday!