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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our ninth calendar year!
Number 407  (Vol. 9, No. 2). This edition is for the week of January 7--13, 2008.

The Keys To A Great Vacation, Part Three
"The Bucket List"
The Audio Philes Top 20 Albums of 2007 pt. 1: #20-11.
How I miss Avant-Garde cinema
DVD Review: "Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster"
The Critic's Choice .... Writers 1 Hollywood 0 .... Back And Still As Strong As Ever .... Batman 3 Superman 1 .... Free Time On Their Hands .... All First Timers (almost) .... Licking James Bond .... .... And The Oscar For 1978 Should Have Gone To... h

Obama. Hillary. McCain? What The...?

Tampa Film Review reminder
Will Moriaty and the Library of Congress
Sir Edmund Hillary, RIP

Hillary Clinton's teary eyes over her defeat by Barack Obama in Iowa were hardly a memory when she stormed into New Hamphsire Tuesday night and won the Democratic Primary. Obama came in second.

Senator John McCain, who I'd written off as an old-school fossil around last September, shocked everyone with his solid win for the Republicans over Romney and Huckabee.

Which leaves me with a sense of "what the...?"

His popularity built largely on inspirational speeches, Obama's flame started flickering a couple months ago under hurricane Hillary, that is, before the Oprah factor weighed in. Reinvigorated, his recent win in the Iowa primaries had the Clinton camp on the ropes to the point where Hillary, already bracing for the worst, choked up on camera talking to some women's group about the future of the country. And now this.

I've already begun to grimly accept that Ron Paul, my favorite candidate in 15 years (my early Libertarian period), may not get the nomination and may not, in fact, be able to go much further into this race. I so would've liked to see the country get back to its Constitutional roots. Pity that nobody believes the current corruption is reversible and everything proposed is a pipe dream.

Letters to the Editor So, now I have to start bracing for another election year where my vote goes not to who I'd've liked, but who I wind up finding the least objectionable.

Tampa Film Review Reminder
This Friday, Jnauary 11th, is the Fourth Anniversary of The Tampa Film Review and it promises to be quite an affair! 8:00--10:00pm at the Int'l Bazaar in Ybor City. Check Paul's News Page for more information. Mark your calendars and I'll see you there.

Will Moriaty Manuscripts Registered with the Library of Congress
Included are links to the U.S. Library of Congress, Copyright Office that list all registered works by the intrepid author of La Floridiana and William Moriaty's Florida.

For William Moriaty there are 14 titles. And for William Davidson Moriaty there are 3 titles.


Sir Edmund Hillary, RIP
I don't do these celebrity obits as well as Mike does, but I wish to acknowledge the passing of a true American pioneer and hero, Sir Edmund Hillary at the age of 88.

In 1953, he was the first to climb to the top Mount Everest. A humble man, beekeeper by trade, he simply said something to the effect of "we knocked over the bastard" upon arriving at base camp after conquering the world's tallest mountain.

Fans of the paranormal might remember that on his way up the mountain, Sir Edmund took what is regarded as the best documented photograph of a large footprint thought to belong to the Yeti, a large, ape-like creature thought related to the American Bigfoot monster.

I heard that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was named after him for his pioneering spirit.

Sir Edmund Hillary was a rare breed, in a generation we're losing all too rapidly as we pioneer into the future.

Readers' Comments

The Readers' Comments section for this issue of PCR is now closed. To continue to interact, please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor! The comments below are listed starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
Terence [14-01-2008 20:49] 
Bauhaus has always scoffed at being labeled goth and insist that they were post punk/ art punk. they should know better than anyone.
larry talbot [14-01-2008 19:33] 
Bauhaus not Goth! shame on you Terence!
Terence [14-01-2008 12:47] 
I think its no secret that I LOVE the Cramps so i have to agree with you. As for Roky Erikson i think it can probably be said that if anyone is horror rock it is he. there is a great two disc anthology cd that came out which covers his important work and pretty much a whole cd devoted to the 13th Floor Elevators which as anyone knows is the best of the 60's garage punks.
Odds [14-01-2008 09:14] 
I should at this point disclose that I'm not into Death Rock, though I do own the excellent "Return of the Living Dead" soundtrack which features 45 Grave, The Damned (singing a great song "Dead Beat Dance" with a sample of Al Lewis's - "Grandpa" from The Munsters - laugh!), The Flesheaters, The Cramps, and also Roky Erikson, who may qualify as a true Horror Rocker.

Oh, and my God I'd say The Cramps are true Horror Punks. Any song with lyrics that state: "Blood on Satan's Claw is my middle name" is okay with me.
Terence [14-01-2008 08:50] 
Actually horror rock bands are bands like Samhain, The Misfits, 45 Grave, Christian Death etc. its also known as Death Rock. Bands like Bauhuas, The Cure, Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds etc. were postpunk and really technically the only true goth bands which were offshoots which played up the more morbid aspects of postpunk were bands like Sisters Of Mercy,Fields of Nephilim, the early incarnation of The Cult called Southern Death Cult.
Odds [14-01-2008 06:50] 
If you're a Goth fan, dressing up in black is well & good, but many of those early Goth/Alt. bands (Bauhaus, Joy Division, even to a degree The Damned) were not exclusively "horror rock" (if there is such a thing in New Wave). Sure most of those bands dabbled into rock music with a horror theme ("Bela Lugosi's Dead", The Damned's "Sanctum Sanctorum", Soft Cell's fabulous "Martin"), but most of their material were dark songs about feeling down, street life, and depression (I think I just summed up Soft Cell's career).

Keep in mind a lot of bands/singers from the early '80s had big success with horror-themed music videos, including Greg Kihn ("Jeopardy"), the aformentioned "Shadow of Love" by The Damned (+ "Grimly Fiendish"), Billy Idol's "Dancing with Myself", even Bonnie Tyler(!)
Terence [13-01-2008 15:12] 
im not talking about the look i meant the musical style. to me Phantasmagoria was in the same vien as Pornography and Heaven Can Wait. It wasnt exactly the same!!! but its in the same league. to me anyway. I suppose though Sisters of Mercy would be even more of a proper comparison. Its not that the Damned didnt do it good but they did it kinda late and for better or worse were scene jumping. not that the Cure never did that either but to me Phantasmagoria is good but its kinda like when Pink Floyd made The Wall using the tired concept album format along with techniques such as cut ups and samples that had already been done by the Who, The Pretty Things, and The Kinks back in the day whenthe concept album and its sounds were actually new. Most of the techniques from The Wall had been done already on Quadrophenia. Still a great album but just like Phantasmagoria missed its time period and would have been far more potent if released a few years earlier.
Odds [13-01-2008 13:37] 
I think The Damned succeeded on both fronts. What exactly do you mean? An effective mix of horror + alternative/New Wave? I think The Damned succeeded more so as a potent mixture of horror + alternative (a testament would be 1985's "Shadow of Love" music video) whereas though both The Cure and Echo were fine "post-modern" (or often referred to as "Goth" bands - I'm partial to Echo, myself. "Ocean Rain" is incredible), I wouldn't peg either as horror-esque bands, despite Robert Smith's appearance. They're almost there, but not quite. More artsy/weird than horror.
Terence [13-01-2008 13:14] 
While im not crazy about the sound they chose for Phantasmagoria its still a good album and kept them in the public eye but me being me im always going to love the Damned as a messy loud guitar band. the stuff they did on Phantasmagoria was frankly done better by their contemporaries like The Cure and Echo anc the Bunnymen.
Odds [13-01-2008 11:52] 
According to Wiki, Nurmi was the first Horror Host, male or female.
Odds [13-01-2008 11:50] 
Machine Gun Etiquette is an amazing album. Strawberries is a good Damned album too. Underrated actually.

Not surprisingly, I'm quite the student of The Damned. I really got into them in 1985 with their hit album "Phantasmagoria", which I discovered and purchased (the cassette(!) + several 12" remix singles) while I visited England in 1985 - the Year of Live Aid. It was quite a comeback for them, after primarily being known as a pioneering and creative Punk Rock band.

They're often credited as the first Punk band to release a single ("New Rose", 1976), an album ("Damned Damned Damned") and tour the U.S. After Phantasmagoria, I picked up many of their older albums, including "Machine Gun Etiquette", "Strawberries", "The Black Album", etc.

Thankfully, Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible are still together and tour often (you can see them every four or so years at the State Theater).
Lisa [13-01-2008 11:38] 
Will -- Congratulations on the LOC listings! Does this mean that your books can now be ordered by libraries?
Terence [13-01-2008 09:43] 
Machine Gun Etiquette is an amazing album. Strawberries is a good Damned album too. Underrated actually/
Odds [13-01-2008 07:24] 
The Damned payed homage to Vampira (and her relationship with James Dean) in 1979 in their song "Plan 9 Channel 7" off the "Machine Gun Etiquette" album.
Terence [13-01-2008 06:10] 
Nurmi was also romantically linked with james dean. she claims they were just good friends though.
Lisa [12-01-2008 17:37] 
Lonnie -- How interesting. I know she made a couple of movies and ran an antique/collectible/memorabilia store afterwards, but I had not heard about her having to clean houses to make a living.

You're more than welcome to send me any info you have/know about her that would help with the column I'm writing. Thanks.
Lisa [12-01-2008 17:32] 
ED -- Wow, thank you for the vote of confidence, although I can tell you without a doubt that you (and probably most everyone here) know WAY more about Nurmi than I do. I find her interesting because not only was she among first TV horror hosts (if not THE first?) but also because female horror hosts are rare. (Everyone knows Elvira, sure, but I'm talking about local icons like Dr. Paul Bearer. I'm always fascinated by the roles and contributions of women in horror and sci fi, etc.; I can't help it.) I figured that writing a tribute piece would be a good way to learn more about her.

I appreciate any help (always!) and will probably email you in a day or two after I've finished my research (I don't know yet what I don't know, if that makes sense). Thanks again.

*she gulps nervously and chants "it's only a PCR column, I can do it" in a soothing tone*
Lonnie Dohlen [12-01-2008 16:48]  
About Vampira AKA Malia Murmi.Her Career Between 1954-55 @ KABC7 Los Angeles was a very brief.I heard afterwards she scrubbed Toliets for a living.
ED [12-01-2008 13:00] 
Lisa - I will defer to you on the Vampira piece. I already have something in mind for next week and while I appreciate her place in history as a horror host and a appearong in Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space, I never followed her career that closely. Since I never saw her television program I only knew about her in a secondary position and concentrated on my local horror hosts. Let me know if you need any help though.
Lisa [12-01-2008 12:46] 
Nolan -- I'm going to write about Nurmi in my next column (yes, that means I will actually turn in a column next week!). That doesn't mean, of course, that I wouldn't be interested in reading anything you or Andy or anyone else wrote about her.

Paul -- Great job with the TFR last night! I think I had a good time, but I won't know for sure until I receive guidance from the "I Hate Paul Guzzo" website. :)
Nolan [12-01-2008 09:36] 
Paul, yes, absolutely it was a blast. An amazing night and I was glad to be a part of it. In all the excitement, I neglected to get pictures of you and Pete! Oh well, I can use file copies. HAha.
Paul Guzzo [12-01-2008 09:01] 
The Bazaar counted 320 at the start of the evening last night and they think it was more ... thanx for coming out everyone. Last night's TFR was a TON of fun.
Nolan [12-01-2008 06:47] 
I didn't know wabout the passing of Maila Nurmi, thanks for the head's up. Very sad, indeed. We should write up something about her for next week's PCR.
Nolan [12-01-2008 06:46] 
...Most impressive, young Tez. Arty, can you top that with...perhaps...a boxed set edition of Smokey & the Bandit 3?

GEEZ, I hope you're kidding. That always always listed among my Top 10 worst movies of all time.
Odds [12-01-2008 05:46] 
By the way Andy if you havent picked up those Anger box sets i highly reccomed them. i have them both and along with my Jodorowsky box set i consider them to be one of the more vital dvds i own.

...Most impressive, young Tez. Arty, can you top that with...perhaps...a boxed set edition of Smokey & the Bandit 3?
Odds [12-01-2008 05:44] 
R.I.P. Maila Nurmi, "Vampira"

Not a good way to start off '08. Another one of the great ones gone - she was a true pioneer.
Lisa [12-01-2008 00:31] 
R.I.P. Maila Nurmi, "Vampira"
Terence [11-01-2008 17:18] 
By the way Andy if you havent picked up those Anger box sets i highly reccomed them. i have them both and along with my Jodorowsky box set i consider them to be one of the more vital dvds i own.
Terence [11-01-2008 15:13] 
I think im going to have to give up my crown.
Odds [11-01-2008 12:48] 
Arty, I think you're giving Terence 'Tez' Nuzum a run for his money. After that - uh- scintillating commentary, we may have a new PCR resident Avant-Garde-ist.

It begs the question: Was Nabors ever in a Kenneth Anger film (it's possible!).
Arty Peters [11-01-2008 12:07] 
Well, you may have a point, Arty. You can't really get more Avant-Garde than Stroker Ace...

Not sure if that's a wisecrack or not, Odds. Stroker Ace is fine art. Clearly John Byner as the son of a man who creates jewelry out of manure is rife with symbolism. And I'm certain you'll agree that Jim Neighbors was the Bruce Byron of his day. Needham was able to capture and craftily portray the resilient spirit of the Southern common man through the use of subversive cinematic mechanisms and icons, most notably the Bandit's black Pontiac Trans Am. No surprise there considering "Pontiac" was Indian Chief of the Ottawa tribe and commader during the Pontiac War of 1763-64.

Odds [11-01-2008 11:53] 
Andy was too busy watching VH1's Remembering the 90s to add more to the stort.

I'm hoping that's a typo and you meant to spell out '70s or (early) '80s.

Let me be crystal clear: I don't do the '90s.
Odds [11-01-2008 11:51] 
My favorite avant garde filmmaker has always been Hal Needham.

Well, you may have a point, Arty. You can't really get more Avant-Garde than Stroker Ace...
Arty Peters [11-01-2008 10:19] 
My favorite avant garde filmmaker has always been Hal Needham.
JMILLER2 [10-01-2008 18:31] 
Terence I enjoyed your list and am also glad to see you are a fan of Cannibal Ox...Hope you have the newest PE release somewhere between 11-1...
Paul Guzzo [10-01-2008 12:54] 
Andy was too busy watching VH1's Remembering the 90s to add more to the stort.
Terence [10-01-2008 12:35] 
by the way Peckinpah is not Avant Garde.
Terence [10-01-2008 12:34] 
Cmon on Andy you can do better than that. As PCR's resident avant gardist i can tell you that you left out alot. not to mention that Lynch, Godard, Herzog, swedish animator Jan Svankmayer and others are still making movies. so whats to miss? it still exists.
Nolan [10-01-2008 08:17] 
Everything's running a little late again, sorry. Smoothing out now, tho.
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

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"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2007 by Matt Drinnenberg    "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino    "FANGRRL" is ©2007 by Lisa Ciurro    "Film Biz 101" is ©2007 by Corey Castellano    "Retrorama" is ©2007 by ED Tucker      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova    
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