Kim Jong Il's Monster Movie

In this installment of SO BAD IT'S GOOD, Rusty Ward and I look at the notorious PULGASARI.  Note: the movie may look really old, but it's actually from 1985.

This was a challenging review, because we were applying our Western cultural standards to the film, but I imagine most people will do the same.  That's a fancy way of saying, my bad attitude is justified.

Still to come -- our two-part series looking at the EVIL DOG CINEMA OF 1978.

And don't forget, this coming Thursday I'm hosting Kevin Geeks Out About... EVIL CHILDREN

The double-feature brings together THE CHILDREN (1980) and DON'T GO TO SLEEP (1982)

Two movies for just ten bucks.  Don't miss out!


DON'T GO TO SLEEP: the movie that will forever change the way you look at pizza cutters

On Friday April 15th at approximately 2:30pm, a Brooklyn man stabbed the owner of a local pizzeria.The incident took place just outside my son’s kindergarten classroom. The weapon was a kitchen knife from the pizzeria. This juxtaposition of pizza, children and attempted murder immediately reminds me of a great film. No, not I LOVE YOU TO DEATH, but the made-for-TV movie DON’T GO TO SLEEP.

The film centers on a suburban family suffering from one tragic accident after another. The parents (played by Dennis Weaver and Valerie Harper) struggle to move on, after their favorite daughter, Jennifer, died in a fire.  The accident deeply effected 12-year-old Mary (In terms of the most basic child psychology: Mary is “Jan” to Jennifer’s “Marsha”) I don’t want to reveal too much here, but long story short: Mary is traumatized and she grieves in her own unique way; by methodically killing off members of her family (including cult favorite Ruth Gordon and the boy from POLTERGEIST.)


LONE DRIFTER: a look back. Also - help save UNDER St. Mark's

Kevin Maher is LONE DRIFTER

Recently I was profiled as a star of "new vaudeville" -- which is a very nice thing to say.  Most anyone who visits this site is probably more familiar with my "geek out" theme nights and writings on popular culture.  (Or you came here searching for images of Soleil Moon Frye.) 

But I started as a solo-comedy artist (aka an "alternative comedian") 

Today's entry will look back my 2001 solo show LONE DRIFTER.  (see below, there's video and photos.) 

But first, I need to talk about two New York City institutions that were essential to my development: 

Both spaces fulfilled New York's promise of the possibility of theater.  I'm not one to romanticized my past, but I saw and participated in some one-of-a-kind shows at those spaces. And I'd hate to think of what my youth would've been like without them.  

Today the UNDER St. Marks needs your help.  Learn more here.  

As for my show, I set out to do an anti-one-man show.  I wanted to skewer the cliches and present sketch comedy bits with the gravitas of legit theatre.  

Some of the pieces were grotesque pseudo-psycho monologues in the spirit of Jim Thompson novels. Many of the characters were decidedly not "likable" (probably not the best approach for a new comedian), I followed Joe Coleman's approach to painting -- he said every grotesque image is a self-portrait, he finds himself in each one. (see below) I tried to do the same with my comedy.


MOVIEOKE - wish list

This Saturday Night I'm hosting MOVIEOKE at the 92y Tribeca.  You can check out details here.

Basically, MOVIEOKE is like Karaoke for movie-lovers.

Pick a scene or a monologue and play it on the big screen without audio.

You provide the voices (and sound-effects, if you're up for it.)

We'll have a small library of DVDs to choose from, each with captioning (just like karoke!)

This will be the third time I'm hosting.  I'll do some bits and trivia and some movieoke of my own.  But I also wanted to include this WISH LIST of scenes I'd love to see people do...


Kevin Geeks Out About Casting Disasters

This week there was some internet buzz (or mush-mouthed internet mumblings) about the 30th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark, namely this video that shows the screen-test featuring Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones and Sean Young as Marion Ravenwood.  Almost as exciting as the way the 25th Anniversary of Back to the Future yielded this video of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly.

Of course as long as there's been movies, there's been close calls with actors nearly taking on iconic film roles that we can't imagine someone else playing.  I call these "casting disasters" and covered it back at AMC.  Here's a few examples:


Is this what you want?

It has come to my attention that the majority of people arrive at my blog after googling the words SOLEIL + MOON + FRYE.

She's the actress who played the title tween on NBC's Punky Brewster  (the sitcom AND the animated series.)  Depending on your age, you might know her as one of the supporting characters from the syndicated series Sabrina the Teenage Witch, when Sabrina is in college and no longer a teenager.  I believe Soleil played her friend and/or roommate.

In an attempt to better serve my new audience (while at the same time annoying my regular readers) I am going to devote this site to MORE images, news, video clips, vlogs, fan fiction and poetry about SOLEIL MOON FRYE.  (And just to be on the safe side, I will occasionally mis-spell her name as to attract people who are wrongly searching for SOLEI Moon Frye.)

Here's the best clip I found find from TV's Punky Brewster.  (I'm only sorry I didn't include this nightmarish footage in the March show I co-curated about Dream Sequences.)


Kevin Geeks Out About: Douglas Coupland

For the most part this blog is a display-case for my little obsessions and observations.  This entry might not fit the usual profile, but it has to do with a writer I really like and will continue to read until one of us dies.

In Herman Raucher's novel Summer of '42 the main character's high school English teacher advises him to read the complete works of one author.  I have ended up doing that with novelist Douglas Coupland, who famously wrote Generation X.  He's a powerful writer and I've come to really love his books.  I was more moved than I should've been when a character in Microserfs referenced the way the roof of your mouth becomes raw when you eat too much Cap'n Crunch.  Coupland always combines an attention to pop-culture details with thoughtful ideas about the passage of time, our sense of identity, loneliness and depression.  He speaks to me.

One of my favorite passages appears in Coupland's third book, a collection of stories titled Life After God.  In "Things that Fly"the narrator struggles with a bad break-up and reflects upon the death of Superman and a profound sense of loneliness. I transcribed this next passage and put it into a hand-made greeting card that I gave to my girl-friend, after we broke up and then got back together.  So this passage has always stuck with me:

And then I got just plain lonely and just so fed up the badness in my life and in the world and I said to myself "Please, God, just make me a bird -- that's all I ever really wanted -- a white graceful bird free of shame and taint and fear and loneliness, and give me other white birds among which to fly and give me a sky so big that if I never wanted to land I would never have to." 
But instead, God gave me these words, and I speak them here. 

(Douglas Coupland, "Things that Fly", Life After God page 88, 1994)