It’s now official: Thursday is the nightmarishist day of the week. Buzz.mn throughout the day, file a column at noon, do the Smartflix, write a Bleat, do a Diner, write the Sunday column, and start the next day’s buzz.mn stuff. Plus, since my wife’s out of town I’m helping (G)Nat with homework, of which there is ninety-six tons, and trying to get some piano in. It’s absurd what kids get saddled; after school and supper and homework she’s exhausted. There’s not much time to be a kid. Piano will be grim on Friday, I fear.
Right now she’s at Girl Scouts; have to pick them up in 37 minutes, so I can get the Bleat in. To my delight I discovered today that I took some screen shots of a movie I’d meant to discuss, and that will save me. Trust me – even if you don’t give a fig for old movies of this sort, there’s a payoff. And it even relates to Thursday’s offhand buzz.mn question, too, now that I think about it.
And now that I think a little more about it, Smartflix will have to wait; there’s no reason I have to do it on Friday. Jeez. Put that on Monday or Tuesday, because piling everything up at the end of the week is just absurd.
Whoa: that took weight off my back.
Before I left for Arizona I watched a movie called “Kronos.” Why? Because I love old sci-fi, and this had an interesting angle: the invading robot was a big blocky skyscraper. It’s like the attack of the ill-proportioned International Style office block. It did not speak in-that-met-tal-voice, which helped the suspense. It didn’t say anything; just stamped around and sucked up electricity. I suppose it was good for a thrill back in ’57. Here's the trailer.
Love the sets: here’s the big lab. We’ve placed those data tapes in an inconvenient location, just as you asked, sir. And we substituted paper-mache pizzas for the tapes. My kid made them. She's awfully proud. Hope you don't mind.
Another lab-office. Sir, are you sure you want these dials and readouts placed away from your desk? You’ll have to get up and walk around to see them. Dammit, man, do what I say!
In the end he fares poorly:
Why did I decorate with faux marble and egg cartons? Why?
As for how the combined forces of humanity performed against Kronos:
I'm always amused that they run other stories on the front page. Old sci-fi newspapers are always like this: the armies have FAILED to stop the world-destroying monster, and a controversial building code still makes the front page. But that's not why I bring this up. I bring it up because of this guy, a perennial Bleat subject:
Here's a grab from a scene in which the fellow above informs his colleagues about the trajectory of an object heading towards good old terra firma:
Here's the dialogue. (Very small clip - apologies for the peculiarities of box.net, but you'll have to hit pause to keep the clip from repeating over and over.)
If you just sat up and said hey, I know that, you're not alone, and you know how I felt. When I heard that line, it was a wonderful moment. It identified If something I heard about eight years ago:
Sound familiar? Yes, it's him. His real name is actually George, too. Somehow that brings it all full circle - mid-century sci-fi, post-punk surfcore whatever music, and the jet-age vision of the future. What it coheres into I've no idea, but there it is.
The Rifftrax project is here. Buy it! Cheap at twice the price, and if I don't screw up their sales too badly, I get to do another one. In case you don't know what it's all about, well, it's a Mystery Science Theater 3000-type snarky commentary track for Spider-Man 3. You pop the movie in your computer, start the Rifftrax audio file, and voila: MST3K-style comments on a big-budget, heavily copyrighted movie. I'll talk about the process and the actual recording session tomorrow.