Tag Archives: legendary lew

Results of March 2017 Board Game Night at The Thrillo Pad

by Legendary Lew

We had a good group for our March edition of The Thrillo Pad Board Game Night. I made a brief video discussing how it went down and the general consensus of the classic board game, “Showdown Poker” by T. S. Lowe.

Watch:

Mike Pence on Trump’s Muslim Ban: “Offensive and Unconstitutional”

by Legendary Lew

Vice-President Mike Pence forgets that videotape is forever. As Governor of Indiana last year, he described what he felt about Donald Trump’s plan for banning Muslims from the United States. Can we begin impeachment now?

Female Trouble The Musical?

by Legendary Lew

I’ve long been a fan of John Waters’ trashy classic Female Trouble with its amazingly crazy dialogue and situations that still hold up today.

That’s why when I first heard the Mel Henke classic swinging lounge album “La Dolce Henke” (described as a Playboy Magazine on record), I knew his wild rendition of “All That Meat” somehow fit with the film.

It’s been a few years brewing in my head, but I finally decided to make my very first musical mix combining the two great pieces. This is my way of convincing John Waters’ and others that Female Trouble should indeed become his second musical.

Hope you enjoy it!

Here’s the First Look at the New Feature “Path of Egress”

pathofegressby Legendary Lew

Trance Productions presents a new locally-made Chicago crime thriller from director Vincent Baran. Path of Egress features a large cast and, having seen some working clips of the film, looks very sharp indeed. (Full disclosure: I appear in the film briefly and am friends with leads Tyler Pistorius and Paskal Pawlicki).

From the youtube site:
A story about three close friends; Ray, a mover for a mob boss named Bub, Udjenzo, one of Bub’s best hitmen, and Leigh, Ray’s childhood friend who attempts to prove himself by providing information about the perfect heist, so perfect, that it convinces Ray to bring it to his boss. Bub, a man who never gets his hands dirty, decides to oversee the job himself. Consequently, Ray is pulled in by the FBI who make him question his friendship with Leigh.

Keep on the lookout for its appearance in film festivals this year. We will keep you updated.

 

Chicago Cubs End the Punchlines and Change Comedy

cubsby Legendary Lew

The curse was broken last night. The Chicago Cubs won its first World Series since 1908.

What the ’16 Cubs did also is forever break the age old tradition of portraying the team as perennial losers. To me, this was the most notable effect of the win. Comedy writers can no longer lazily rely on a Cubs joke to portray losers nor to portray a Cubs World Series win as an Earth-shattering future event.

Indiewire reminds us of the numerous Cubs references in TV and film.

However, I give my salute to the Cubs by showing what could arguably be their lowest point. 1983 Cubs manager Lee Elia went on a profane tear after a brutal loss to the Dodgers in a game. AP reporter Les Grobstein was the only reporter with a recorder on when Elia went off.

The infamous rant became one of the most noted in sports history, inspiring a producer (rumored to be Mike Bisbee) to come up with a great Cubs promo parody (NSFW):

Elia’s rant was the first thing I thought about when the Cubs won last night. Here was a guy defending a team at the lowest point, when he felt the city was not even supporting them. He even noted that two of his players were being harassed after the loss. Sure, he did insult fans, but under the pressure, could you blame him?

He was later fired, but I salute the guy who stood by his team even when they were the perennial losers, the joke of the sports world.

I hope Lee Elia’s enjoying the win and that he gets the credit he deserves for standing by his team.

Legendary Lew is the co-founder of The Underground Multiplex and host of the podcast “Mediatrocities.” You can support the current Go Fund Me campaign for updated equipment at: www.gofundme.com/HelpTUGM

Remembering a True Indie Giant: Herschell Gordon Lewis

Herschell Gordon Lewis (Courtesy: MUBI)

Herschell Gordon Lewis (Courtesy: MUBI)

by Legendary Lew

Herschell Gordon Lewis, the famed exploitation filmmaker dubbed “The Godfather of Gore” passed away on Monday. Varying reports have him aged at 87 and 90.

Lewis practically invented a movie sub-genre that still exists today: the gore film. With his early grindhouse box office success of  The Adventures of Lucky Pierre, a nudie film, Lewis wanted to move on to a style of movie that Hollywood wouldn’t or couldn’t touch. He came up with the idea of the gore film with the infamous Blood Feast.

The low-budget horror film tells the story of an Egyptian immigrant who runs a catering business and plots a feast of dismemberment and brutality. But many people who have seen the movie won’t remember the story line nor even care. That’s because Lewis inadvertently, but ingeniously, brought forth the cult party film–the type of wallpaper movie you can screen while chatting with a bunch of your friends until someone hushes the crowd saying, “Wait! Wait! You gotta check this out!”

Blood Feast was not the drive-in movie you would think to take your date to in bloodfeastthe 1960’s. It was the movie you would drive miles on a dare with partying buddies packed in your car. Reports surfaced of theater lines stretching for miles to see the movie.

Lewis tapped into young peoples’ thirst for the outrageous and scored big with that film, plus Two Thousand Maniacs!, probably his best.

He was a marketer of film in truly the greatest sense. Yes, he went for the bucks and admitted to doing so. But with films like Color Me Blood Red, The Gruesome Twosome and The Wizard of Gore, Lewis knew how to entertain the audience with his audacious gimmickry. There was no pretense to his films. They were poorly acted, dimly lit, sometimes set in high schools with sets that matched. That last point was especially true with his kids’ films (The Magic Land of Mother Goose and Jimmy, the Boy Wonder). Lewis also sporadically returned to sexploitation as well with a few of his lost films recently released on DVD and Blu-Ray.

two_thousand_maniacs-1964-mss-poster-06But his independent spirit in these movies was true. Ironically, Hollywood eventually became quite influenced by Lewis’s gore films, banking on sub-genres like the 80’s splatter films (the Friday the 13th series) and the more recent torture porn films (Saw, Hostel). These latter films intensified the depravity, but also removed the true sense of fun by moralizing slut shaming (promiscuous women in slasher films tend to have the most torturous, drawn-out deaths). Hyper-realism in torture porn films, with hanging slaughterhouse hooks and blood-stained walls, intended to shock. However, the gimmicks never scared me. The spooky touches simply became annoyances, especially when added with bad actors screaming like the “emoting” exercises of a community college’s Acting 101 class.

Lewis went his own way and knew when to stop making films, concentrating on other pursuits. He may have gone about making movies as a purely capitalist enterprise, but his movies show a sense of cheesy pleasure. Watching those works of creative joy, I never felt as though he was giving me the business.

lew-win_20160713_205425Legendary Lew is the co-founder of The Underground Multiplex and former personal video consultant of almost 20 years. He’s a writer, producer and host of the podcast “Mediatrocities” and the upcoming “Vital Media” series.

 

 

My Shameless Plug For a New Movie I Appear In

nursejillby Legendary Lew

Years ago, I made an appearance in a horror film, made on 16mm, called Nurse Jill. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten my role, but I think I play some sort of psychologist.

Anyway, Chicago, you have a chance to see Peter Lambert’s horror film finally projected on the big screen at Showboat Gallery in Pilsen (2058 W. 21st St) tonight starting at 9pm. I’ve not seen the film, so this will be a first for me, too. Massacre Video is releasing the Blu-Ray version of the film soon.

Watch the trailer here: