cult film

Just Can’t Get Enough Pt. 12

WarriorsDJ

“All right now, for all you boppers out there in the big city, all you street people with an ear for the action, I’ve been asked to relay a request from the Grammercy Riffs. It’s a special for the Warriors, that real live bunch from Coney, and I do mean the Warriors. Here’s a hit with them in mind.”

One of the best parts of the 1979 cult action film The Warriors is the smooth and cool DJ. She’s never seen on screen in her entirety, but she’s got enough presence with her red lips alone. Lynne Thigpen provides the voice of the foxy disc jockey who has a firm control over the various gangs that make up New York City.

After she sends out her first threatening message to the Coney Island Warriors, who were innocent but were framed, she plays the song (rather ironically) “Nowhere to Run” covered by Arnold McCuller – who is best known for his solo work and touring as a vocalist for James Taylor. This is one of the best songs ever written, and the cover fits the film terribly well. But while it’s great, it probably doesn’t meet the majestic majesty of the original recording by Detroit darlings Martha and the Vandellas.

Arnold McCuller’s version from The Warriors:

Martha and the Vandellas:

The sound in the Martha and the Vandellas version is so BIG. In the addition to the loud drums and tambourine, session musicians the Funk Brothers used snow chains – it doesn’t get too much more Detroit than the video above. The two different connotations in each with such different context. Clearly in the Vandella’s version, it is very much about trying to break free of a man that has such a tight hold on her emotions.

“It’s not love
I’m running from
It’s the heartaches
That I know will come”

While McCuller’s version has the same lyrics  it brings more of a punch than a heartache, but paired with the imagery of the film, the song takes on a more sinister meaning. Instead of being trapped in a bad relationship, it’s about trapping the Warriors. The sound isn’t necessarily menacing, but it can sure take on that feel. Especially with McCuller’s strong voice punching through the song.

“Good news, Boppers: The big alert has been called off. It turns out that the early reports were wrong, all wrong. Now for that group out there that had such a hard time getting home, sorry about that. I guess the only thing we can do is play you a song.”

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The day an obsession went too far (probably)

Being unemployed for any amount of time has never been good for my health.

Since I was 15, there have been few periods in my life not spent either working, going to school (or usually both). People have told me to enjoy this time I have before I enter the “real world” of adulthood. There is nothing enjoyable about waiting around for two months waiting to get back to work. Maybe I could get a hobby, but there is no motivation when you could just sit around and watch a marathon of Hoarders: Buried Alive.

This is my reasoning for playing the Gremlins Gizmo game for the Wii. Probably because I really have no other excuses.

IMG_0571 My poor father took me out of the house for the first time in a few days. As there is a used gaming store going out of business, we decided to take a look at the picked-over selection.

As a side note, the Gremlins have somehow taken over my life. Even reading that sentence over has made me realise my situation is perhaps a little more pathetic than I’ve been able to admit to myself. The movie terrified me as a child. Stripe and co constantly raided my nightmares and I absolutely refused to join in at the height of the Furby craze.

And yet… and yet mogwai have now become ‘my thing’. I even went as a sort-of female version of Billy Peltzer for Halloween. Even as we approached the store, a vision of Gizmo flashed into my mind. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t surprised to see him staring back at me from the shelves of the sad store.

Unfortunately I’m the type of sucker who can’t resist the sweet face of a fictional monster, so I bought (25% off, baby) the game completely unaware of what I had done.

Gremlins Gizmo is kind of a shit game. There really isn’t two ways to put it. Like most Gremlins merchandise, the game is aimed towards young children. Always a bit bizarre considering the movie’s dark tone and the sequel’s occasional mature-content (sexy gremlin, anyone?).

I could tell instantly when turning on the game I had entered some sort of bizarre mishmash of a child’s innocence learning to be spooked for the first time and a game made purely for Gremlins die-hards. There are plenty of references in the game that only people who know their Gremlins films would get (the dancing game, being able to play as one of the scrapped mogwais from New Batch).

Before I knew it I was three hours in and had poor Gizmo dressed as an alien. I couldn’t resist. Even in a video game I couldn’t stop myself from needing to reference the book’s back story for the mogwai from an alien world. He bobs around playing with toys, racing a little doll car and spends time learning about constellations. It’s a strange universe, but it’s the one I’ve entered.

The mental decline of a young-woman and her mogwai.

The mental decline of a young-woman and her mogwai.

I’m not even entirely sure if I’m supposed to say if this is a good game or not. If there’s any dignity involved, I would say this game is a completely stupid waste of time.

But there I am, still thinking about trying to play it again later. Even if it’s just to see what other costumes there is to unlock.

Whatever. Haters gonna hate. Right, Giz?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIwrP1Od0Qw&w=420&h=315%5D

Wicked Wednesday: ‘Legend’

Has there ever been anything may it be a film or band or even book that you’ve read about that you knew you needed to explore further? The obsession grows without actually introducing your senses to the feast? Somehow, this happens probably more than most people would like to admit.

Yes, it is a bit unusual to write about a film I haven’t even watched, but here it is.

legendartLately, my obsession of things I don’t know anything about has grown with the 1985 Ridley Scott film Legend. The fantasy film stars a very young Mia Sara (Ferris Bueller girlfriend), a long-haired Tom Cruise and a rather devilish-looking Tim Curry. The film follows the young hero Jack (Cruise) as he tries to protect his love from the Lord of Darkness (Curry) and stop the evil lord from creating eternal night. Somehow pan flute and unicorns are involved.  Yes, unicorns. UNICORNS!

Only in the 80s, ladies and gentlemen.

need to watch this film. Whether or not it is good has no real say in anything. I have decided it is definitely for me and I will like it. Now I love a late 70s to early 90s Ridley Scott. Having just watched Blade Runner for the first time, I’ve come to appreciate just how great he is. How this film has escaped being mentioned to me is slightly astonishing. Plus the soundtrack includes music from Tangerine Dream and Bryan Ferry.

This isn’t the first time a film has done this to me. For most of my adolescence I was obsessed with finding labyrinthpostera film with a man dancing with goblin puppets. Turns out the ballroom dance that haunted my 10-year-old dreams was from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. I had watched the film plenty as a very young child. But pre-googling days it took a stroke of luck to find a film in a used movie store to bring the memories back.

I suppose this is why many films are over-hyped and often a let down. We read the synopsis, see the cast and crew and watch the trailer all before deciding whether or not something is for us. Usually some sort of opinion is formed before even being allowed to see the opening credits. More often than not things are exactly as we expect, but things can often be surprising. We might just like something we didn’t know was in our ‘taste’.

 

So Have you seen Legend? Is it worth a watch? Perhaps I’ll see it myself…some day.