Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bad Blood, New Zealand, 1982

Turns out that gun nuts are everywhere.

Watched a pretty good movie, a UK-New Zealand co-production, made for British TV movie called Bad Blood, the true story of a mass murderer set off in part by the New Zealand government taking all the .303 caliber rifles. This was at the beginning of World War Two. New Zealand was short of weapons and seized all privately owned rifles in that caliber for military use.

Stan Graham owned a dairy farm in New Zealand. He didn't keep the place very clean and his co-op began refusing to buy his contaminated milk. It was also making his cows sick, so he and his nutjob wife accused the the neighbors of poisoning them. He and his wife would go in the back yard in the middle of the night to practice their shooting.

A neighbor called the police when Stan threatened him with a gun. Stan threatened the constable with a gun when he came to his house. The constable fled, came back with some other men and that's when Stan started murdering people.

If you're in the dark waiting for a murderer to return and someone shows up and you can't see him and he refuses to give you the password, it might be a good idea to shoot him, although any normal person would be hesitant.

Bristol Palin

There are worse things than hypocrisy, but Bristol Palin really has taken it too far. She was paid more than a quarter million dollars for being some sort of "ambassador" for abstinence. She charged $15,000 for speeches on the subject. And now she's pregnant AGAIN. And she says she doesn't want anyone lecturing her----only she gets to lecture people on that subject.

She's been engaged twice but never married. Her first fiance was the better one, Levi Johnston. The boy was only 19 but he got into a public feud with Sarah Palin, the former governor and vice presidential candidate, and he held his own quite well. How many teenagers can do that? He responded to her attacks by revealing that she would refer to her baby with Down syndrome as "my retarded baby", and he made it clear that he had more dirt he'd reveal if she attacked him again.

There were rumors, by the way, that that baby was actually Bristol's as well, in which case this is baby number three for her.



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What was wrong with those New Wave guys?

There are several Roku channels that show only public domain movies and TV shows, mostly American B movies from the '30s and '40s, and they were just terrible. Horror movies with no horror, thrillers with no thrills, comedies with no humor. The westerns were the worst, the horror movies the least boring.

These were the movies that turned Ed Wood, Jr, into the director he was. He grew up watching these things and if he had made his movies in the '30s, they may have been barely passable.

What I can't understand is what those French New Wave guys saw in them. I assumed it was because they wanted to make movies and they knew that if they were going to do it, it would have to be with very little money. They were just interested in what could be done on a very small budget. I suspect that the audiences for no-budget movies today is made up mostly of people hoping to make their own movies the same way. Rick Schmidt who wrote Feature Filmmaking at Used Car Prices (which has been revised with a different title now) sells his books, his DVDs, and advertises his workshops from the same website.

I wrote on this blog some time back that you should ignore B movies and watch TV. A lot of the B movie directors went on to work in television, and production techniques were very similar. They were working with little money, filming in about a week. Most B movies seemed to be from 55 to 65 minutes long.

I never watched Charlies Angels when it was on the '70s, but I watched a couple of episodes several years ago and I was shocked at how cheap they were. One of the angels went undercover in a women's prison. The scenes in the prison yard were filmed at a public swimming pool. Pools always have high fences with barbed wire so drunks won't climb over and drown at night. They made no effort to explain why a prison had a swimming pool.

Amother episode had Farrah Fawcett climbing out of the cab of a moving truck. They did this in a "poor man's process shot". They just filmed from a low angle so all we see is the truck and blue sky behind it, so, in theory, we can't tell if the thing is moving or not.

The show was awful. It didn't have to be. Look at Emma Peel on The Avengers. She wore that weird black leather jumpsuit and would get into fake judo fights. She beat up men all the time. Charlies Angels seemed helpless. And they drove terrible cars. One had a Mustang II, another had a Pinto, but mostly they rode around in a huge 1970s Ford Country Squire station wagon with fake wood on the sides. Emma Peel had a Lotus Elan.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Dustin Diamond violent, paranoid and abusive, says ex-girlfriend

One of Dustin Diamond's ex-girlfriends has told reporters from the Daily Mail that when she dated Diamond from 2002 to 2005, he was "abusive", "paranoid" and prone to temper tantrums. He threatened her with a knife because she wasn't cheerful enough when she picked him up at the airport and she once had to flee when he told her he would throw her off a hotel balcony. There were road rage incidents and he would scream obscenities at anyone who recognized him as Screech.

She said that Diamond carried knives and kept guns hidden around his house. She described the incidents when she picked him up at the airport:

'I greeted him when he arrived, but for some reason he perceived that I wasn't welcoming or loving enough when I picked him up.

'He kept repeating this to me, and he became more and more intense. He just nagged at me and become more rude and vicious with verbal bullying.

'No matter how much I tried to assure him I cared for him, it wasn't enough.

'Then he reached for the glove compartment and pulled out a knife.

'I froze, I was in the driver's seat and didn't know what to do.

'Dustin started fiddling with the knife. He didn't say anything, but to me that was a message ... 'don't push me'.

'I immediately backed down defending myself. Now it felt like case of survival. I was saying 'ok you are right' just to keep him doing anything with that knife.

'His head was looking down at his lap, and then occasionally he would look up at me. His face would be as red as a beet root, and his eyes looked like they were bulging out of their sockets.

'I was getting very anxious, wondering what was going to happen next. Dustin was really menacing.
Diamond would carry a cup of pennies in his car which he would throw at other cars as he screamed obscenities at them.

Beth said Diamond loathed being recognized around the world as TV loser Screech, yet hated not being as famous as he was during his teens.

She believes this made him 'emotionally immature' and prone to violent outbursts.

'Dustin is childish, and will throw tantrums all the time,' she said.

...

'He could never come to terms with not being on prime time TV.'

Beth said that growing up as a child in the entertainment industry had made Diamond selfish and self-righteous.

She said she couldn't even reason with the arrogant star when he turned on her.

'He was treated like a God as a child and never listened to people unless they had financial benefits for him,' she said.

'Even though he was an adult he still had the mind of a child.

'He was a little stunted emotionally and in the ways of the world.'

...

'Dustin could never come to terms with his fame. He couldn't bear that he wasn't a huge star anymore.

'Yet everyday he battled his emotions about being recognized as Screech. 'It gave him a huge ego boost, but also left him feeling vulnerable, down and often insulting towards fans. I saw both ends of the spectrum.

'When I asked him to talk about his emotions, he would just spin the conversation around to how he was going to get his career back.

'But I feel he has no idea how other people see him.

'I have seen him scream at fans when they call out Screech. He told them to f*** off and was rude and aggressive; I worried he would square up to some.'