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Podcast #40: They Crawl (2001)

In Podcasts on September 10, 2012 at 10:37 am

In this scene, one of the poorly-developed characters gets eaten by leftover bits of code from GoldenEye 64.

I don’t know about you guys, but I got a little sick of navigating the thorny gender issues of bad romantic comedies and making everyone uncomfortable in the last couple of weeks, so I opted for something a little ‘safer’ this week: mutant cockroaches and Mickey Rourke. Despite that seemingly perfect combo, it pains me to say that Rourke and the mutant cockroaches do not share any screentime in They Crawl. This low-budget mystery thriller doesn’t really utilize the cockroaches that much either, but does have the jock boyfriend dude from Van Wilder shaking down one-time Hollywood hopefuls in warehouses. Rourke appears briefly in lounge wear and granny glasses to spout some exposition and throw a door at lead tough cop Tamara Davies – it’s that kind of movie.

I’m joined once again by Louis Lazaris as we expound on Breaking Bad (inevitably), Jamie Foxx and his personal appreciation of ParaNorman, Gabourey Sidibe’s crying skills and other edifying topics. The film that Louis and I co-directed, Something More Than Nothing, will be screening as part of the YoungCuts festival in Montreal on October 13th. (The film is not available for streaming on the website but I assure you that this is the date on which it is screening!)

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Music this week provided by Loose Pistons. The song Linda’s Private Moments can be found on their Bandcamp. You can catch Loose Pistons at the Silver Dollar in Toronto on September 15th, at Club Lambi (as part of the POP Montreal festival) on the 22nd and at the legendary Cavestomp Festival in NYC (date to be determined).

Episode #39: Ted & Venus (1991)

In Podcasts on September 4, 2012 at 9:58 am

I could’ve selected the scene of Martin Mull changing, but I think contextually you need to see what this film advertises as.

Hubris shows a creepy, potentially threatening side in this film from triple-threat actor/writer/director Bud Cort. Whereas helmers of previous Why Does It Exist vanity projects like One Trick Pony and Falling From Grace were content in placing themselves in the mopiest situations, Cort goes a couple of steps further and casts himself as a mentally-ill stalker in what presents itself as no less than a light rom-com. He plays a gross, sub-Bukowski poet that falls madly in love with a beautiful woman and hounds her constantly under the watchful eye of his best friend, played by Jim Brolin in full beach-bum mode.

Our guest Jenna Harkness and I discuss the myriad of problems of making a rom-com about sexual harassment, the questionable composition of fruit salad, eating babies in fiction and a very belated rehash of every conversation everyone had after the whole Tosh thing a while back.

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Music this week by Yardlets. The track Lot Lizard as well as their new album can be found here. They will be performing as part of Pop Montreal on September 20th at O Patro Vys.

Podcast #38: Dolan’s Cadillac (2009)

In Podcasts on August 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm

In this scene, Slater gets pooped on by a particularly unhealthy bird.

After last week’s Christian Slater fiasco, I was a little wary of dipping my toes in the Christian Slater pool once more. It’s true that the chances of Dolan’s Cadillac being as mind-boggling as Without Men were significantly lower, considering that it was once set to star Sylvester Stallone and Kevin Bacon (as opposed to the average WDIE film, which usually just goes back to whatever gross broom closet of the mind it was originally found in). But I had promised this week’s guest to do this film and, after a couple of weeks of just being horrified and baffled, I could’ve used a pleasant surprise.

Well, there was a surprise all right: Slater wasn’t the worst part of this by a country mile. Wes Bentley was. The dark-featured emoest of all teens from American Beauty places his waxy stare and furrowed front and center of this otherwise serviceable revenge flick. Of course, I later found out that Bentley shot this film in the darkest part of his heroin addiction, which I guess excuses some of the shittiness of the performance. Either way, he tries very hard to ruin this movie for everyone.

Returning for a second appearance before the dreaded Move to Toronto that has already claimed one of your esteemed hosts is David Bertrand of the late Blue Sunshine Psychotronic Film Centre. We discuss the weirdly pedo overtones of Million Dollar Crocodile, Mandingo, the archaic machinery used to subtitle movies that already have subtitles, the myriad of wonders held within the LP sleeve of Babe Ruth’s First Step and what the original short story by Stephen King means to him.

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In Town with a Capital T, off the album Good Dreams by Galen Hartley can be found here. For more information about Galen Hartley, visit his homepage.

Podcast #37: Without Men (2011)

In Podcasts on August 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm

You think this movie would offer plenty of opportunities to lure in pervs with a prurient screen capture, but no. Here’s an upside-down (lesbian) Eva Longoria.

Despite doing minimal research on the films we cover, I like to think that I have a pretty good idea of what kind of movie I select each week. Without Men originally escaped my reach due to seeming in all ways like a pretty generic romantic comedy, despite the prominent placement of Christian Slater on the cover. When I read that it was based on an acclaimed novel about a South American village faced with a sudden lack of men after the male populace is recruited by a guerilla army, however, my interest was piqued. How do you take this NPR-friendly premise and turn into a straight to DVD romantic comedy?

The answer is baffling. Pitched somewhere between an episode of I Love Lucy, a Pedro Almodovar film and an entry in the National Lampoon series, Without Men is one of the least funny, corniest and most inexplicable film to ever be featured on Why Does It Exist? Lesbian subplots, group masturbation scenes, musical sequences, Oscar from The Office as a randy town priest and a harried Slater barely factoring into plot crash into an grey, mushy sludge from which no one escapes unscathed, least of all me and  this week’s guest,  onetime DVD thief Lizel Chavez. I made a movie with Lizel in it years ago but it seems to have disappeared off YouTube, so I guess you can just imagine what that looks like.

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Music this week by Cobra & Vulture  – their song Early Adopter can be found on the Vocare EP, available here. They will be performing as part of Pop Montreal (schedule available here soon) as well as Phog Phest in Windsor this September.

Podcast #36: Brando Unauthorized (2011)

In Podcasts on August 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm

One of the rare occurrences in which I have nothing to add.

One of the things that Why Does It Exist? has taught me is that you can get away with a shit-ton of dubious legal measures if you exist somewhere in the nether regions of Hollywood. After last week’s egregious ripoff of many of Hollywood’s best-loved films, we tackle Brando Unauthorized, a biopic done without any consent from the Brando estate and with all the integrity of a dollar-store R-Patz biography. Triple-threat auteur Damian Chapa (who has also portrayed Roman Polanski, Bobby Fischer, one of the Menendez brothers and… uh, Leroy Jenkins)  produces, directs and stars as Brando, a particularly brave move considering this lumpy fortysomething also portrays Brando at the tender age of 16 – certainly the world’s doughiest sex symbol.

As told through the eyes of Brando’s no-goodnik junkie murderer son Christian, Brando Unauthorized celebrates the great actor and innovator for everything he did that was of no particular worth: showing his ass to Talia Shire, multiple fisticuffs and extramarital affairs, telling his dad to stick it where the sun don’t shine and various other sundry melodramatic nonsense. If Ulli Lommel somehow began directing fiction features for TMZ, it would look something like Brando Unauthorized.

Having reserved Brando Unauthorized months ago, WDIE contributor and workhorse pedant Mickey O’Narey joins us for a frank discussion of what Brando means to this world as well as a lot of gesticulating and microphone-peaking impressions of Brando. NOTE: Why Does It Exist? does not condone or condemn the usage of dubious Jersey Shore impressions.

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Dragon BFF by Which is Which is the featured track this week. You can find it on the 5 Songs About Creatures EP. Which is Which is performing as part of the FAST Festival in Sorel on August 17th and the Musique en Folie festival in Valleyfield on the 18th as well as La Sala Rossa in Montreal on September 30th.

Podcast #35: Eldorado (2012)

In Podcasts on August 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm

”Based” on the ”idea” of The ”Blue Brothers”.

And so, all things move towards their end. Episode 35 marks the final episode with Dan as the weekly co-host of Why Does It Exist? as our furry friend moves on to the greener pastures of Ontario, where he’ll pursue his dream of being a railroad hobo. Worry not, gentle fans; Why Does It Exist? is not going anywhere. We’ve decided to celebrate this momentous sliver of time with Eldorado, a film that has long been taunting us with its seemingly endless runtime of TWO FREAKING HOURS.

Sure, for your average film, two hours isn’t much. But for this incomprehensible, mind-melting mish-mash of The Blues Brothers, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Reservoir Dogs, Heaven Can Wait, Kung Fu, Blazing Saddles and every other staple under the sun, it’s downright perverse. Jewish Blues Brothers impersonators The Jews Brothers end up facing off with sick cannibal killers in this musical that replaces the original songs with terrible canned bar-band covers and manages somehow to shorehorn in performances by Michael Madsen, Darryl Hannah, David Carradine, Drop Dead Fred‘s Rik Mayall, Steve Guttenberg, Brigette Nielsen, Jeff Fahey, Patrick Bergin, Bill Moseley and Peter O’Toole in a series of intentional mishaps that may or may not be legal. This quintessentially WDIE film was, unbeknownst to us, a pitch-perfect way to usher Dan into the ‘occasional co-host’ role.

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Music this week by alter egos. The song Native Tongue off their Free States EP can be found at their Bandcamp. They will be performing at Saint-Ciboire (1693 Saint-Denis) on August 11th, 2012 at 9:30 PM.

Podcast #33: Dream a Little Dream 2 (1995)

In Podcasts on July 20, 2012 at 8:34 am

As this was VHS, I had to settle for this candid culled from my vast archive of Two Coreys-related material.

After 33 episodes, another dream is finally crossed off the bucket list: we finally watched a pointless, straight-to-DVD sequel to a movie no one cared about in the first place. In fact, we’d not even seen the original. In a novel twist, Dream a Little Dream 2 predates the whole Road House 2: Dalton’s War / Wild Things 9: Buttsmash phenomenon by almost ten years. Indeed, Dream a Little Dream 2 pits the protagonists of the original forgotten body-switching comedy, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, against a femme fatale and a mobster who seek to recover the Coreys’ magical pairs of sunglasses that are highly sought after for their impressive mind control abilities.

Although one would expect plenty of shenanigans and cheeky humor based on the work of those crappy hypnotists they hire at company Christmas parties, Dream a Little Dream 2 mostly squanders its runtime on unfunny circular conversations, faux-trippy dream sequences and inane chase sequences comprised almost entirely of cost-cutting measures.

Joining me for the second week of Dan’s self-imposed exile in a Tibetan monastery is past guest and current Lolita-like sexpot thespian Alex Weiner. Alex appears in the short Attack of the Brainsucker, premiering this week at Fantasia. For more information about the projet Alex is working on with filmmaker Rafal Zielinski (he of Sundance winner Fun fame), check out the Tiger Within website.

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Music this week is Out of the Past by the Redmond Barry’s. You can find it on their 1949 Murders EP, available here. The Redmond Barry’s will be playing at Death Church (just around the corner from Why Does It Exist? HQ) with Hopeless Youth on August 22nd as well as performing as part of the Pop Montreal festival this September.

Episode #32: Falling From Grace (1992)

In Podcasts on July 13, 2012 at 8:37 am

If Mellencamp could find a way to hook his thumbs into his belt loops while lying down on his stomach, he would.

Nothing has ever quite tugged at Why Does It Exist?’s heartstrings like unmodulated hubris, especially from rich and famous musicians having a bad couple of years. That’s why we decided to watching Falling from Grace, an ill-advised bid at legitimacy from heartland rock pioneer John Mellencamp (who stars, directs and scores) wherein he uses incest and tense family relations as a fantastic excuse to stick his thumbs in his belt loops and pout. Great character actors are alternately smashed with a frying pan or demoted to senile comic relief status while Mellencamp works his way through the single-most laborious and painful way to make an album ever captured on film by the dude who shot Billy Madison.

We enlisted Shawn van de Peppel, drummer of The Hot Showers, webmaster of Them Blue Midnights and president of the Northeastern Montreal Mellencamp Superfans chapter to help us parse through this mess of don’t-wanna-talk-about-it anthems. You can check out his writings, drumming and weiner shots all over the Internet!

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This episode’s music provided by Ol’ Savannah. The song ‘She Done Gone to the Devil’ can be found on their Underneath the Big Red Barn album here. Ol’ Savannah is performing at  Terrasse St-Ambroise on Friday, July 20th and embarking on a tour of the Maritimes starting on the 21st.

Podcast #31: Longshot: The Movie (2001)

In Podcasts on July 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

This is what appears to be a coffee-stained picture of our Efron-like lead, Joey Sculthorpe, and his luxurious ‘pone’.

Nothing makes you more keenly aware of your mortality than seeing a time that seems like the recent past turn out to be dated and painfully lame. It happens to everyone and it happened to us while watching Longshot: The Movie, a film so rooted in its turn-of-the-century time period that it prominently features O-Town, LFO and N*Sync on the box (and, thankfully, the film). Written and produced by by sweaty Floridian svengali Lou Pearlman (he of Backstreet Boys and spending-25-years-in-federal-prison fame), it’s a hybrid gangster / teen film packed with cameos from such childhood luminaries as Dustin Diamond, Kenny Rogers and Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell. It’s about something, I bet (something about spying for trade secrets and also being bullied by Zachary Ty Bryan), but for us it was mostly about the non-stop barrage of cameos, each more useless than the next.

To properly experience this laugh-a-minute thrill ride, we invited Orlando native Andy White of TONSTARTSSBANDHT and Andy Boay to bring in the unique Orlando perspective of the Sunshine State’s jazz age, the fabled boy-band era. Suffice to say that the only person better positioned to deal with Longshot: The Movie (not to be confused with Longshot: The Podcast or Longshot: The Superhero) would’ve been Lou Pearlman.

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Music this week provided by Sheer Agony. The song ‘She’s an Artist’ can be found on their self-titled 7’’ available here.

Podcast #30: Being Michael Madsen (2007)

In Podcasts on June 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

If tabloids were more about Michael Madsen and less about the okra that gave Oprah superpowers, I’d probably read them.

If there’s one thing we enjoy here at Why Does It Exist?, it’s enabling B-list celebrities to stroke their own ego through would-be satirical movies about the cold, callous and lifeless desert that is Hollywood. Before there was Not Another Not Another Movie, however, Michael Madsen starred in another ‘comedy’ of dubious satirical value. Being Michael Madsen is a reality-bending mockumentary which chronicles the heady days when Michael Madsen changed the world of celebrity forever by hiring a documentary crew to harass a paparazzi, thus ensuring that the hunter become the hunted and securing the world from their prying eyes until Bieber would once again change the core temperature of Earth by maybe tripping over somewhere around a paparazzi. Along for the ride are luminaries like Darryl Hannah, Harry Dean Stanton, Madsen’s ego, Virginia Madsen, Madsen’s hubris and Lacey Chabert.

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Music this week provided by Brusque Twins. The song A Voice in the Night off their Voice in the Night EP can be found here.