Comcast Doesn’t Have a Clue, Or Is It Comcast Customers?

At first glance, it sure seems Comcast doesn’t have a clue about the new disruption to it’s legacy cable service, but maybe not? Maybe it’s us, the customer who needs to wake up?

I convinced my significant other to cut the cord this year. Finally, I’m free from the shackles of the monster cable company and their increasing bills. It feels great! For now… Of course, we’re still reliant on Comcast for our Internet connection and, interestingly enough, when I went to cancel (and rejected any offers to keep cable) they offered me $10.00 off the monthly price for the year for Internet. Then when I went to return my cable boxes they gave me a better modem/router (dual band) that has fixed numerous streaming interruptions. It almost was like they made it easier for me to cut the cord and just shrugged their shoulders at the loss.

I thought I might miss access to cable, but honestly I don’t. I hooked up an old Radio Shack antenna that is able to lock on to over the air digital signals (wasn’t sure that would be possible with an old antenna since it was meant for analog but I guess it works when your TV has a digital tuner) and I get the basic channels and even a couple I wasn’t aware of. My only regret is I can’t get a lock on the MeTV signal to watch Svengoolie (cheezy horror/monster movies late show) on Saturday nights.

What gave me the impression that Comcast is clueless is the offer I just received in the mail to upgrade to X1 Premier Quad Play for $219.95. Over 200 bucks? Are you crazy?! It includes all the premium movie channels, a DVR service and their Streampix movie selections (many of the same movies you can get through Netflix or Amazon). Mind you, $219.95 is before all of the cable fees and rental fees and taxes. This is why I rejected an offer I got over the phone when canceling cable. The offer was to keep the basic channels for $13.00 per month, but then it’s not really that price because with cable fees and taxes it bumps it up to more like $30.00 per month. I was going to give Comcast the benefit of the doubt on some of these fees as I thought they may be government regulated–however, according to The Consumerist, this IS Comcast regarding such fees as The Broadcast Fee, The Regional Sports Fee and franchise fees. Add to that other fees like The Regulatory Recovery Fee, The Universal Connectivity Charge as well as taxes and rental costs for your extra digital TV adaptors and your cable bill ends up being something like $30.00 or more over the initial offer.

It’s ridiculous in a time where you can get premium content from Netflix for $10.00 a month or Amazon for less than $10.00 per month (plus free shipping, music streaming and special Kindle book offers). You can also choose to subscribe to a single premium channel like HBO Now if all you want is Game of Thrones. Or you can just not subscribe to any premium service and stream free movies and content on YouTube, PBS (and other channels that offer free episodes) and several free TV and movie apps.

But according to a Fortune Magazine article earlier in 2016, Comcast added 53,000 subscribers despite cord cutting. This makes no sense and you begin to wonder where people’s priorities are when the cable bill increases while the free or low cost entertainment options also increase. Or is it that Comcast isn’t seeing the losses yet and it will take more time?

What has Comcast done to keep its customers? They added the Netflix app to Xfinity. That helps Netflix broaden it’s reach, but I don’t see how it helps Comcast? They have also launched Stream TV  for $15 per month in select markets which may account for some of the subscriber growth mentioned earlier (as apparently those subscribers could be included in the growth numbers which can be misleading)–question is, does streaming channels in a Comcast channel bundle include the fees or not? Or are they delaying the fees on Stream TV and they’ll be snuck in just like cable fees as time goes on?

I’m an example of a delayed cord cutter because for the last 3 years I called every January and renegotiated my monthly cost. We were hesitant to cut the cord due to constant streaming interruptions with the Internet (due of course, to Comcast). But Comcast fees kept bumping up the bill so I could no longer justify the waste of money. I also know Comcast likes to make the cable portion of your bill seem negligible when it’s bundled with Internet–but remember the fees are primarily on the cable side. Over the phone they will tell you the difference to drop cable is $10 to $20 so that it sounds inexpensive–but you have to remember the fees on top of it!

As to the Quad Play, if you are paying over $200.00 for cable in the time of Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and free TV streaming apps, you are crazy. Comcast is not crazy for suckering people into buying such exorbitant bundles if people don’t protest. Unless you have money to burn, why would you pay that much for entertainment you can’t possibly have time to watch? Considering the national savings rate, cut the cord and open a Roth IRA to pocket the difference in costs.

Hopefully Comcast customers will wake up and revolt. The add on fees being charged are an insult. The problem is the next revolt will be when Comcast starts adding fees to its Internet service to make up the difference in loss from customers cutting the cord. We need more providers competing for this space to lower the pricing.

‘The Abandoned’ Should Be Left Abandoned

Last night I took a chance on a horror movie on Netflix, they have a large selection of so-called indie horror films licensed to view which means wading through a lot of crap. I can’t call The Abandoned crap, but it is disappointing and a waste of time. Without trying to give too much away, it’s one of those movies where they try to pull a M. Night Shyamalan on you. Trick endings either work or they don’t and even when they do work you don’t feel like watching the movie twice, or at least I don’t. I’ve only seen The Sixth Sense once because if I watch it again I’m going to know Bruce Willis doesn’t realize he’s dead throughout the entire picture.

The main reason I took a chance on it was because it’s about a night shift for two security guards. I worked security for 3 months or so when I got out of art school, pretty much all night shifts, and it was interesting to say the least. I often didn’t have a partner so it was easy to get spooked and yet I was that idiot who tended to explore dark passage ways or stairs that led into the unknown or walk the upper floors of business buildings out of boredom. I never did see a ghost, but then maybe that’s because I’m not superstitious.

The Abandoned does star Jason Patric of The Lost Boys who is real dick as Dennis Cooper, grumpy, handicapped night security man. This was a plus for me as I’m a fan of The Lost Boys and his role in it. I guess Patric has been starring in several movies over the years, but I don’t recognize any of them on his filmography after the aforementioned film except for Rush and Sleepers. I always thought it a shame that Kiefer Sutherland gained more fame after The Lost Boys than Patric. I prefer Patric’s acting abilities and from what I’ve heard Kiefer is a real life dick–but then he’s also an alcoholic which I guess explains it. The other character is Julia Streak played by Louisa Krause, a young unwed mother who needs the security job to make sure social services doesn’t take her child away. Which explains why she puts up with Dennis Cooper’s burping and verbal abuse.

Now if The Abandoned had kept it simple instead of going for the trick ending they might have had a good B movie with ghosts. The relationship between grumpy male security guard with a naive young girl security guard solving a mystery was working. Fact is, the story didn’t have to be about ghosts, they could could have done numerous things with the beautiful interior of the building they were guarding: a murder mystery, a strange intruder, a creature feature… I can confess that I did enjoy about three quarters of the film until the plot stopped making sense and the trick ending didn’t do much to explain everything that happened.

Oh well, another bad movie to forget.

Back from Seaside, Bad Motel Room

I think all of us who went on beach trips as kids remember them fondly even though I know they were a pain in the ass for our parents. Smelly car rides, ungrateful children and moving luggage and coolers back and forth from the car to the room and the room to the car. I don’t know why parents put up with it–SUCKERS!  That’s right! I have no friggin’ kids! I plan to retire with some money still left! And if you breeders tell me I’ll regret not making some kids to take care of me in my old age I can show you numerous examples of kids not giving a damn and actually feeding off their parents well into their forties when Dad and Mom are living on Social Security and bitching about how high their cell phone bill is! Ha-ha-ha-ha!  …Whoa, had a moment there where I threw my head back and gave a villainous laugh.

Pfft, I like kids. Honest! I just don’t want to take care of them. My thanks to everyone that had sex and forgot to use adequate birth control. I’ll be sure to thank your kids too when they’re changing my diapers in the nursing home.

So my wife and I just got back from a family meet-up at the Ocean Front Motel at Seaside, Oregon located on the beach and across the street from The Seaside Aquarium. The Seaside Aquarium, by the way, is not exactly a real aquarium. It’s incredibly small with some seals stuffed in it that you can pay to feed. Apparently, it’s had some updates but I refuse to pay admission again to be disappointed. It exists as a boardwalk sideshow to draw in parents who think they’ll be entertaining their kids with something educational. Once you get in, you’ll pretty much have a headache from the sound of the seals begging for food and then your kids begging for money to buy the food to give to the begging seals–then begging for money for the gift shop and by that time they’ll probably be imitating the seals. Long story short you’re going to feel like beating a seal once you leave.

Anyways, I had booked two rooms with full kitchens. One for my wife and I and one for my parents. Then I stepped inside our room…to the Sixties. And it smelled like the Sixties. Dirty hippie pit hair.

Here’s the thing, I fully admit I was taking a chance on the Ocean Front Motel because the reviews were mixed, but because it was in July it was one of the few places left with rooms available–and that was when I booked three months ago. If I had my choice I would have gone with The Inn at the Prom which has wonderful little cottages with bright, sunny decors. The Ocean Front Motel rooms came with serial killer decor.

Being that I have a twisted sense of humor and like to draw questionable cartoons, I found the place amusing. My wife did not. Especially after opening the fridge from the Sixties and seeing the paint was peeling off the racks with a rust color showing underneath.  Then she found ants in the cupboard. My wife is a sworn enemy of ants. I suggested they followed her from home to ruin her vacation. She didn’t find that funny and killed them (sorry ants).

Now my parents didn’t seem to mind their room as much and I suspect that is because of the fact that they had a new fridge and possibly some other updates like clean carpets. Plus, they’re old. They’ve lost most of their senses and would be unable to detect imperfections like the keen senses of my lovely wife. Our place was half-assed with new carpet in the main room and old carpet in the bedroom which stunk. And a hallway light with a pull cord that for some reason was snipped short and therefore you had to use a chair to reach the remaining portion of the cord.

On the second night of our stay, the bathroom light went out. I figured it was just a lightbulb so I grabbed one from a lamp we weren’t using and attempted to take off the cover of the ceiling light. Normally this is easy, but whoever installed it jimmy-rigged it with a screw on one side that seemed too big and glued in and a smaller screw on the other side which came out but that’s all it did. The damn cover wouldn’t come off to get to the bulb. I needed a wrench which I didn’t bring and by this time I figured it would be more entertaining to watch the staff change the lightbulb…and it was.

The lightbulb was tackled by a very nice and determined woman from the front desk who kept having to go back to the tool shed because the ceiling light cover was not coming off without a fight. Finally, when she got the cover off and the lightbulb replaced she smiled and went to test it. No light. Her smile faded. So she began a search for the breaker box–and so did I and so did my Dad who was now involved, which was great for him because I think he was tired of the conversational onslaught between my wife, my mom and my aunt. After all, we’re men, we live for the challenge of finding a breaker box. And yes, it was found, on the outside of the motel room under lock and key because they didn’t trust their patrons not to mess with it. Also to prevent serial killers looking to cut the power so they can revisit their old decor and redecorate with our blood.

I’m always happiest when my problem, whatever it may be, brings in more than one person. The motel staff lady called in the manager from home. The manager, also a nice and determined lady, came in and proceeded to test the lightbulb with no luck while my Dad popped in his head to ask what the problem was (which is what you always want to hear when things aren’t working). She finally determined that it was an electrical problem with the light switch and it could not be fixed until morning–the day we check out! Thankfully, they provided an LED lamp to pee by. It made the bathroom kind of like camping.

Considering all that I’ve detailed thus far you would think there might be a discount off the room. However, in my experience traveling the Oregon Coast there is never a discount. Not even for the motel where our water heater died and we had no hot water for 2 nights. They offered a discount off our next stay–knowing that we would never come back. Why would you come back to a motel where you weren’t taken care of in the first place? The same is true of the Ocean Front Motel. I rarely fill out Expedia surveys but this time I did so to warn other travelers. What I got back from the motel management was:

“It was nice to have you here – We do regret that the room did not meet your standards and hope to see you again in the future.”

And being that I have worked in customer service I know how to wordsmith an apology so that it is not an apology. When they say “did not meet your standards” they mean their standards are just fine and that I can go eff myself.  Here are Ocean Front Motel’s standards:

  1. An unappetizing fridge from the Sixties with paint peeling off on the inside racks and brownish wear and tear showing on the outside.
  2. A sink with no garbage disposal. I did my best to keep food out of the drain, but eventually it was a lost cause and backed up on me.
  3. Dirty dishes in the cupboards, probably due to point number 2. There’s no dishwasher so the previous tenants did their best with hand washing.
  4. Kitchen tile needs to be replaced. It’s severely worn.
  5. Carpet that smells like mildew. I don’t have a strong sense of smell so when I think something stinks, it really stinks.
  6. A hall light with the shortest pull cord ever.
  7. Electrical problems. The bathroom light went out. We also were duped into using an outlet in the main room to charge a Kindle only to discover there was no current coming out of it.
  8. Ripped blanket on the bed. Looks a bit too used which is why I was smelling the sheets to see if they had any indication they were recently cleaned. I’m guessing between the shower and the bed my souvenir from this trip will be fungus.
  9. The bed farts! Seriously, if you sit on the bed it makes a loud fart noise. It was ancient. I agree this would be fun for the kids though.
  10. Location is next to the street by The Seaside Aquarium. Lots of noise and temper tantrums from kids.
  11. Minor points: No toaster that I could find and no DVD player. Normally I bring my own mini-DVD player, but every other time I’ve gone to the beach there has been one with available DVDs to borrow in the lobby. It’s kind of expected. My fault for assuming.

Speaking of the lobby, on the outside of it there is a sign that says: NO PETS!  Once you go into the lobby it absolutely reeks of wet dog. Considering the rooms smell anyways they might as well allow pets and cigarette smokers.

If you want some adventure and personality to your room with a friendly staff I would recommend the Ocean Front Motel. If you want to overpay for a low quality room that smells and the staff doesn’t think to discount you for an electrical problem then I would avoid it. …I still feel sorry for the ants.

 

Saturday The 14th Strikes Back Is A Stinker

Just a warning to all those feeling in a nostalgic mood for eighties films: Saturday The 14th is a great little film produced by Julie Corman. The sequel Saturday The 14th Strikes Back is not, and yes, it was also produced by Julie Corman and written and directed by Howard R. Cohen who did the first film. Not sure how they screwed it up so bad unless they wrote a script page at a time day by day and ran out of money at the end. It is weird for the sake of being weird which then leads to boredom. The plot is everywhere, nothing makes sense and it’s a big disappointment compared to the original.

Saturday-the-14th-Strikes-Back

I never saw the sequel as a kid, only the original. Saturday The 14th was one of those movies my friends insisted on renting. It was a kids’ horror movie–goofy with vampires and monsters and an evil book. I suppose to those who didn’t see it as a kid it may be considered pretty bad too. It’s weird humor, but somehow it works.

The poster art is by Gahan Wilson. He loves his monsters. I have his book collection called Monster Collection filled with cartoon spoofs of horror. The kind of cartoon humor you used to find in magazines as filler material between articles (but magazines used to pay good money for them).

Midtown Comics Up To 75% Off Everything Bait Ads

Y’know, I was all set to bitch about Midtown Comics’ email offers for 75% off everything  for their Black Friday sale when I finally noticed it says “Up to 75%” instead of a flat 75% off  online with exceptions. Well duh! It’s right there in smaller print off to the left (see image below). Originally, my complaint was going to be about the small print in white below 75% off: “online only some exceptions may apply.” AND how they redefine the word “everything” to mean “not everything.” …But I can’t complain…because they slipped in “up to.” The sneaky bastards! (I must be blind!)

When I did my order of back issues I didn’t find one item that was 75% off or an offer for a stack of  back issues (volume discount) for 75% off. I figured the new release issues would be the exception to any 75% off offer, but not the back issues. I also didn’t see any graphic novels on my personal wish list that were 75% off either.  In total I ordered 33 issues. So it turns out that back issues were 25% off and new releases were 15% off.

So what the hell is 75% off? Because that’s the bait in this ad.

Apparently, you’re supposed to go to the blog if you click on the offer on the website… All it says is the same thing, up to 75% off everything and then lists comics, back issues, select back issues, graphic novels, manga, books and statues. Customer service also directed me to the blog when I emailed them.

I went on a quick hunt to see what I could find on the site. You can get 75% off  a Wizard Of Oz Double-Sided Wizard Figurine or a Grand Jester Frozen Anna Mini Bust. For graphic novels I found Mad Max: Fury Road TP or Batman War Years.  For Manga, Slayers Special Book 3. For back issues, nothing (but possibly it’s there somewhere).

So the 75% is available on very few items, it’s just buried and probably something you wouldn’t want anyways unless you’re a parent looking for cheap crap to stuff a stocking with. It’s hard to complain about 25% off back issues, but it would make sense to do a volume deal. Give me 25% to start, then up it to 75% if I buy 100 issues (or something like that).  That’s probably too much to ask, but for a Black Friday sale? Maybe not.
midtown-75-percent-off

Sugar In My Meat?

Fed Up Movie

Last night, my wife and I watched Fed Up which was produced by Katie Couric. I didn’t really want to watch it as I’ve seen numerous health documentaries on Netflix, but I have to admit it was a simplified answer to the obesity epidemic–sugar. No matter it’s form or how it’s called, we have too much of it in our daily food intake. The question is, why does it have to be in my meat?

I’m not naive about sugar and I own up to it when I have it. I had to eliminate soda a year back with few exceptions because carbonated drinks can upset my stomach, but I do confess to drinking one noncarbonated energy drink a day. Originally my favorite energy drink was the carbonated Monster Khaos which was hard to find until I gave it up–seems like I can find everywhere now? I switched to Rockstar Recovery which is the equivalent of Tang with caffeine. It is a guilty pleasure much like a morning cigarette (and I don’t smoke so caffeine and sugar are my vices). I don’t pretend it’s healthy. I also don’t pretend that my favorite snack at night, a bowl of Cap’n Crunch, is healthy either. When I aim to eat something sugary, it’s on me.

However, going through my fridge, why does the turkey bacon have to have sugar in it? Why does the sandwich meat? This is what is frustrating because I shouldn’t have to look for sugar in meat products unless it’s Thanksgiving ham with honey and brown sugar glaze.

According to the documentary Fed Up, part of the reason are government subsidies for agriculture. We grow a LOT of corn and that corn gets turned into sugar. It is the equivalent of a drug we lace our food with. The other part of the problem is the strength of the sugar lobby who has both Democrats and Republicans in their pocket. When Republicans say they want to get rid of big government, I tend to roll my eyes because they are always catering to big business with government hand outs and perks. Democrats are guilty too, you just don’t hear that same mantra of get rid of big government. Also, any time any one suggests regulation on the obesity issue you hear republicans cry out that they’re taking away their food choices. I was especially appalled when I heard all the whining concerning the criticism of taking soda out of the public schools. I’m all for individuals and their vices, but if the focus is on public schools I do have a say on what your kids eat. My property taxes just went up increasing the escrow requirement in my monthly mortgage bill this month. So if my taxes are subsidizing public schools (and I don’t even have kids!), I don’t want to pay for any place of learning where kids go to get fat (and stupid, but that’s another discussion). Private schools can fatten up their students all they want.

On healthcare, whether you agree with Obamacare or not, it looks like it’s here to stay. Which means the government is both subsidizing health costs and catering to the food companies that cause health issues. I think it’s fair for the government to come out and at least condemn the high use of sugar in products that don’t need it and even run ads that say so. The only regulation that is needed is honestly to kick fast food, soda and junk food out of public schools. Kids aren’t free to do as they please? They make stupid decisions. Offer a kid the choice of a banana or a bag of M&Ms? Gee, what do you think they will choose? It’s like having a mandatory literature class and then offering the kids a choice of either studying Shakespeare or Twilight or Hunger Games or whatever tops the teen fiction list. Public schools shouldn’t be about lazy choices. The point of it is to fund and turn out good citizens who can take care of themselves, not burden society with their health issues and poor learning.

This year I started an exercise regiment with weights and have kept at it for 6 months now, about an hour a day. No, I do not look like Schwarzenegger. Muscle does not come easily and weight does not just fall off because you lift a dumbbell. I have definitely added muscle and trimmed down a bit though. And it’s good for my back. I still look like a cartoonist though (insert any geeky stereotype image you want)!

Considering that any time spent exercising cuts in to my creative efforts drawing cartoons and comic books it is a sacrifice. It’s not hard to understand why people say they don’t have time to exercise. And I can tell you that every time my hour comes I’m in a mental battle not to skip it. In the prior 4 years I mainly walked for exercise after giving up jogging due to some hip and back pain. I figured diet would come next to lose more weight, but I think all I’m going to do is simply look for sugar in foods where I don’t think they should be and eliminate them from our shopping list. Meat, bread, condiments, convenience meals, etc. As I have already had to cut out dairy to being lactose intolerant this shouldn’t be too difficult. I still love my daily energy drink and will keep that indulgence, but I doubt I will miss sugar in my meat.

Popular Science Magazine Accepts Water Hoax Ad

Ever hear of John Ellis Water? I have to admit my ignorance, but when I was reading through my latest edition of Popular Science I came across a full page ad announcing “John Ellis Water Discovery.” It was made to look like an article, but your bullshit sensors immediately go off when you look at the large print at the bottom: “The Flood Revisited; watercuresanything.com.”

Why the mention of a flood with a water discovery? Because apparently the water that John Ellis makes using his machines changes the bond angle (?) so that humans live as long as people did before the Great Flood, as in the biblical flood story. Per the ad, “…inspired me to increase water properties back to what it was before ‘The Flood’ (living to Biblical ages). After ‘The Flood’ they didn’t live as long!”

I sent Popular Science my objection to the ad by email at: letters@popsci.com. I’m sure they get tons of emails so mine will most likely be tossed. Apparently, they’ve ran the ads before per chem1.com, which actually debunks the nonsense. As I said in my email to the magazine editor, I can tolerate the smoking ads and Viagra ads as I know they have to sell advertising, but this was too much. How can a scientific magazine keep its integrity when accepting full page ads for scientific hoaxes?

Update 11/12/2014: I have since decided there are enough science magazines and websites available that I will not be renewing my subscription to Popular Science. I know, a drop in the bucket for PS, but any reader who is a science enthusiast with ethics may want to consider the same action. I don’t think I’m asking much for a science magazine to abstain from running ads for magic water masked as science. I really don’t even mind the religious ads I sometimes see in the back as they are not making any scientific claims. Show some integrity Popular Science. Don’t we get enough pseudoscience from the media as it is?

for-shame-john-ellis-water

‘Scooby-Doo And The Goblin King,’ Worst Scooby Cartoon Movie Ever

scooby-doo-goblin-king

I am an unapologetic Scooby-Doo fan from childhood so I have a high tolerance for some of the poorer episodes and movies featuring the gang. Scooby-Doo and The Goblin King, though, was excruciatingly painful to watch. And it featured an all star cast from our favorite Shaggy and Scoob voice actors Casey Kasem and Frank Welker to celebrities such as Tim Curry, Wayne Knight and Jay Leno. You would think that something good would have come out of that kind of talent for the voices? And for Christ’s sake, they even had Lauren Bacall voicing a witch!

It’s from 2008 and is part of the line up of newer straight to video releases. The plot is convoluted and as with some of the other releases such as Zombie Island, it breaks from the original premise of the Scooby gang investigating fraudulent claims of the paranormal because now the paranormal is not fake. Zombie Island, which was promoted with “real monsters,” was a good release despite the supernatural gimmick, but Goblin King ventures into an abstract dimension of monsters and magic and fairies. It’s also not endearing, the character humor is lacking and my wife who is also a Scooby fan started tuning it out  after the first half hour because of how obnoxious it was including the god awful musical numbers.

What I’m really disappointed about is that I bought it based on the Amazon reviews. When you scroll through the recent ones they are all 4-5 stars with rave reviews. I went back today and finally found a  one star review. I can’t believe so many idiots liked this release. It is absolute animated shit.

I Want to Support Theater Releases, But the Movie Going Experience is Poor

I just watched Kick-Ass 2 on HBO and I know it didn’t do well in the theaters which means that Kick-Ass 3 probably won’t be made. It’s a shame because it would make a nice trilogy. According to Wikipedia, Chloë Grace Moretz is quoted as saying it was the second most pirated movie for the year 2013. However, in that same article we get: The film was a box office success grossing more than double of its budget but failed to gross more than the first movie.

So it made back it’s investment and then some, but for producers it’s not worth the risk or time to double the budget. Most likely, when the money is split among the various parties it doesn’t amount to a lot. After all, a million here, a million there doesn’t go as far as it used to.

I would love to support theater releases of movies I want to see and promote with my hard earned cash, but it seems like every time I go to the theater there’s some assholes ruining the experience or a mom has brought their entire clan of 5 year olds who run and scream through the aisles. I essentially gave up. Why ruin my first time watching a movie when I can wait for it to come out on HBO or Netflix and watch it on my big screen TV? It may not be the big “big” screen with ultra fancy surround sound, but that doesn’t matter when I can relax and not have to listen to people talking behind me, teenagers yelling sarcastic comments, or screaming kids.

I’m not sure what the answer is? My second job when I was in my early twenties was at a cinema so I know about all the audience conflicts that happen. I once had to tell a rather large mom with 3 kids to quiet down due to another patron’s complaint. She didn’t even acknowledge my presence or say sorry, she just stared straight ahead like I was a dick for even asking. Then there were  two guys who got into a yelling match over who the hell knows and neither of them would move from their seats to another location to avoid further arguing. We eventually had to call the police to sort it out. And of course, we had the teenagers and college students sneaking in beer which only prompted them to be louder than usual.

I suppose if I ran a movie theater I would end up like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld which is not good for business. It’s not that you have to be quiet in a theater, but your noise should be related to what’s on the screen. If it’s a funny movie, by all means laugh–just don’t try to take over the entertainment by making your own cracks. And for the record, you assholes who think you have talent by cracking jokes and making stupid comments? You don’t have talent! That’s why you’re not on the screen and someone else is.

BTW: In Kick-Ass 2, Jim Carrey really transforms himself into Colonel Stars and Stripes. I wish he wouldn’t have pulled his support for the film because it had nothing to do with school shootings. Kick-Ass is a parody of hero idealism and even as the comic books and films are fantasies, they throw in plenty of plot points with reality checks. You can get really fuckin’ hurt trying to be a hero. On the other hand, with the trend in superhero patrols around the United States, as technology advances and makes the idea of powers into reality I don’t expect this idealism to go away. I think it is going to become a reality. Imagine if you can write apps for an exoskeleton? Or surround yourself with drones that are controlled by your brain?  The only thing stopping a wave of new superheroes is federal and local law enforcement. But then Batman never played by the rules…

kick-ass-2-movie-poster

‘Death Wish Club’ Movie, Brilliantly Bad

death-wish-club

That’s the only way I can describe it! Brilliantly bad! I was mesmerized at how bad it was and yet, whoever made it must have known it because they kept putting in brilliant little jokes here and there and the most bizarre plot twists this side of a David Lynch film. Death Wish Club has to be part of your collection if you truly love bad films or even just eighties suspense films.

DWC starts out with narration by a rich asshole who wants to love someone, but not be loved. So he goes to the local carnival and tosses one hundred bills down a young female’s shirt selling popcorn. Her name is Gretta. Then the popcorn is tossed aside and she goes home with him. Apparently selling popcorn or living with a sugar daddy is not enough for Gretta so she makes softcore films which captures the eye of a pre-med student named Glen. He becomes infatuated with her film presence and has to find her.

And he does, playing keyboard at the Manhattan Club, a drinking establishment with a band in the back–owned, of course, by the sugar daddy. From there, our pre-med student Glen becomes romantically entangled with Greta as Greta exhibits a personality disorder where she changes into a man named Charlie White (following this so far?). To add to the fun, the sugar daddy and Gretta are part of an exclusive death wish club and invite Glen to join. The club meets to experience the thrill of someone potentially dying amongst the members. They devise methods such as releasing a deadly insect in the room or a machine that sends out random electric shocks, one of which is deadly.

The film is absolutely ridiculous and hilarious! I enjoyed every bit of it and I wasn’t even disappointed by the ending that went nowhere. That’s because by the time you get half way through you realize the producers must have blended two scripts together: one about a woman with a personality disorder and one about a club that jerks off to death.

If you don’t already know, this is the full film that was edited into a short story for Night Train to Terror, another really bad film. In Night Train to Terror, Satan and God meet up and Satan tells stories while some teenagers breakdance in the next car down. All of the stories are fast edits of films that were never released except for Death Wish Club and the only reason you continue to watch the hacking up of footage is because it highlights nudity, violence and gore. Pardon the pun, but the reason you can’t turn it off is it is a “train wreck” (ha! I kill me.).

Unfortunately, Death Wish Club is out of print. It was one of those releases you found in the video store on VHS in the late eighties and later on as a DVD in the nineties before video rental shops went extinct. I was able to buy a former rental copy at Amazon and it appears that there are about 8 more copies listed at the time of this writing. HOWEVER, Night Train to Terror has been rereleased and as a bonus they include the entire film for Death Wish Club, AKA Gretta. So you can get two pieces of cheeze for the price of one.