Interesting. Author, B-movie-maker, former judge, and founder of this past weekend's Hoboken International Film Festival, conservative Ken Del Vecchio has made a movie, The Life Zone, with radical pro-life villains – but a promised anti-abortion twist at the end. Online commenters seem confused by the trailer already, since people are terrible at reading even the most heavy-handed of aesthetic cues and therefore assume that the pro-lifers in the trailer must look admirable from the get-go in the mind of the filmmaker.
On the contrary, it looks as though for all its schlockiness, the film is aiming for balance of the sort that says, “Let us begin by admitting some on our side are creepy – but we’ll end by noting they sometimes have a kernel of truth amidst their claims.” Y’know, like when environmentalists write comic books about nature-avenging homicidal swamp monsters who sympathize with green causes and thus kill oil execs and that sort of thing (though it’s actually rare to get that much balance from the leftists, of course – normally, the swamp monster would be entirely the fault of the execs).
Speaking of trashy films, Francis Heaney wisely recommends this brief ad.
For real horror, it’s hard to top the frat rock horror I heard the weekend before last at my Brown reunion: Dave Binder, who sounds as much like James Taylor today as he did two decades ago – and does inappropriate things such as (to take a real example from the reunion), a medley of the Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun” and Don McLean’s “American Pie.” It was like the frat rock equivalent of that bad lounge singers couple with the cheap keyboard from the old SNL sketches. I felt de-aged in a bad way.
At least the resulting monstrous hybrid-song led to someone pointing out to me that the line “This’ll be the day that I die” (describing the “day the music [i.e., Buddy Holly et al] died”) is meant to echo Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day [that I die].” I should have noticed that. At least I remember that R.E.M.’s “Pop Song ’89” mimics the Doors’ “Hello, I Love You,” so my Xer credentials are safe even if I have failed to grasp Boomers. (Christine Caldwell Ames adds that Violent Femmes’ “Gone Daddy Gone” quotes Muddy Waters’ “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and that the end of T. Rex’s “Get It On” quotes Chuck Berry.)
You may sympathize with my favorite rock star, David Bowie, when I tell you that in his darkest hour, after being in about five failed bands but before his breakthrough hit (coinciding with the Apollo 11 landing) “Space Oddity,” he was rejected for a role in a Kit Kat ad.
As a reminder of just how much has changed in the short span of Bowie’s lifetime, note that (as I say in my “Conservatism for Punks” essay), 1964 saw the start of the contemporary conservative movement with the Goldwater campaign, the dawn of alternative rock with the founding of Velvet Underground, and, yes, the first recorded song of David Bowie, under the name Davie Jones and the King Bees: the amazingly old-school-sounding “Liza Jane.”
And speaking of super-evolved beings from the early 60s: some X-Men-related thoughts tomorrow.