AMC’s The Prisoner Remake

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I just finished watching all six episodes of AMC’s remake of The Prisoner and I guess I shouldn’t have expected much. How could you possibly redo one of the most unique and thought provoking television series without disappointing those of us who idolize the original? After seeing some early teaser featurettes on AMC’s Web site I started to get high hopes for this. I mean, Gandalf as No. 2! And look at this awesome still:

Holy crap a HUGE rover!

Jesus is about to get crushed by a gargantuan pilates ball! If this series had consisted entirely of No. 6 being chased by rovers I would have been satisfied. Instead we get a confusing mess of mumbled dialog, uninformative flashbacks, more mumbled dialog and 3 or 4 schmaltzy love story plot lines. The rovers have about 15 seconds of total screen time over the course of the entire mini-series.

The original series was full of humor, suspense and sci-fi imagination. No. 6 was always playing a cat-and-mouse battle of wits with his caretakers—never knowing who he could trust. I always thought the key theme of the original was its defense of individualism. No. 6 had a mind of his own and nothing was going to take that away.

The new series starts off completely off-base by opening with No. 6 suffering from amnesia, with no idea who he is or what he believes. So, for pretty much the whole series, six is dazed and confused, with no real sense of purpose as he aimlessly stumbles about The Village. The series lingers too much boring side plots like the inane drama between No. 2 and his annoying son. The other villagers are treated in a far too sympathetic light. Where’s the paranoia? You’d think the writers would have a lot to address in this post 9/11 world regarding individualism and privacy.

If anything, this remake has made me appreciate the original that much more. And really, if you need a more modernized version of The Prisoner, you would be better off just watching Lost.

My Media Consumption Journal

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Music List 2007

  • My God is Alive! Sorry About Yours. by The Knights of the New Crusade
  • The Austerity Program…?
  • A Challenge to the Cowards of Christendom by The Knights of the New Crusade
  • On a Tight Budget by Budget Girls
  • The Giallos Flame by The Giallos Flame
    • Rating: 7/10
  • L’Uccello Dalle Piume di Cristallo by Ennio Morricone
    • Rating: 10/10

Game List 2007

  • The Last Battle
    • Rating 3/10
    • Impossible platform brawler for the Sega Genesis.
  • The Orange Box
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
    • Rating: 7/10
    • The jumping puzzles are more fun than the combat.
  • Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time
    • Rating: 9/10
    • Wonderfully done video game. Simple mechanics and a good story.
  • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
    • Rating: 8/10
    • Nothing new here. Just a great mario game.
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein
    • Rating: 5/10
    • Took me forever to finish because it’s pretty boring. Tries to tell a story and fails.


Game List 2006

  • Half-Life 2
    • Rating: 9/10
    • Very good, but starts to drag in the 3rd act
  • Heretic II
    • Rating: 6/10
    • Bad voice acting, decent gameplay, but suffers from early FPS monotony.
  • Day of Defeat: Source
    • Rating 10/10
    • Great multiplayer FPS

Music List 2006

  • Hello Young Lovers by Sparks
    • Rating: 10/10
    • A masterpiece of epic, symphonic goofiness and left-of-center pop structuring. Sparks best since Kimono my House.
  • Fear Box Set by Ennio Morricone
    • Rating: 10/10


Game List 2005

  • Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
    • Rating: 10/10
    • Excellent plot, really fun game play, and excellent voice acting. Who cares if it was a bit short. This is a perfect video game is ever there was one.
  • Neverwinter Nights
    • Rating: 6/10
    • Great graphics and enjoyable story, but the gameplay is monotonous and lacks and sort of serious skill or strategy element.
  • Serious Sam the Second Encounter
    • Rating: 6/10
  • Farcry
    • Rating: 8/10

Pulsebeat by Frank Smith

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Pulsebeat by Frank Smith

When Allie King heard the heavy iron gates of the penitentiary clang shut behind him, he breathed deeply of the crisp, fresh air and made a vow that he would never be caught again. Somewhere along the line he had made a mistake and a prison term had been payment for that mistake; but it would never happen again.

Pulsebeat is the overwhelmingly hard, tough, and suspenseful story of Allie King’s career in crime from the time he regained his freedom from prison until the day he learned the bitter fact that freedom can be lost other ways than through prison.

Allie began his career in a small way, running with the tough guys who hung out in O’Malley’s poolroom, and picking up a small illegal dollar as best he could. He soon graduated to the lucrative stolen car racket and quickly began to by-pass the lieutenants of slick Louis Manetti in his rise to the top. Along the line Allie graduated, too, from the quickly purchased love of the joy girls to sleek, beautiful Judy Parker, whose charm came at a high price indeed. With piston-like speed Allie moved into the life of a top racketeer. He even felt he was immune from the law. What Allie hadn’t bargained for was his falling in love with Judy . . . because they discovered each other when it was too late to do either one of them much good.

Queens was a fat territory on the Organization’s records and Allie had his eye on the big estates and golf courses on both shores from Nassau to Montauk Point. After a while, his unit was making as much as three strikes a week, usually on Saturday and Sunday nights, when the marks were enjoying themselves in the theatres and restaurants, or getting slopped up in Long Island night spots. When it got too hot, like the time Monk got picked up for delaying a cop in a chase, they took time off. Monk played a good drunk, but his old record didn’t help, when it was checked. When they let him go, Louie Manetti decided that the team should go to Miami Beach until the heat cooled off.

Pulsebeat Jacket

Even with Louie paying the freight, Miami was expensive. Hialeah, good food, liquor, dames and tips, flattened the bankroll so badly that Allie had to wire Louie for dough half a dozen times. Too late, he recognized the old adage, that Louie had sucked them in letting them borrow until they got in so deep into the Organization for dough, they could never quit. The obligation would hold them in line, because underworld ethics never forgave a welcher, no matter what else, and the payoff could only be a ride. It was a gimmick Allie hadn’t figured on.

A month in Miami did the trick for Manetti. When Allie, Monk and Jo-Jo came back broke, they were happy to go to work to make new folding dough. Allie picked up his key at the Imperial Heights, called Louie for another advance to pay his bill, and found a note from Judy Parker that was over two weeks old.

“What a dumb jerk,” he told himself, angry at the way he had gotten sucked into a hole when a girl like Judy lived across the hall. A Brahms lullaby stole softly into the hall from suite 622. He listened to the music for a moment, went across the hall and pushed the buzzer. He had that same funny, dropped feeling he got the first time he met her.

Judy swung the door open. Allie stood there, grinning uncomfortably, his hands damp. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other, hoping she would invite him in.

She was a vision in a light green dress and her blonde hair was combed down full, until it touched the top of her milky shoulders. The dress was designed with a sheer net at the throat, pocketing the full bosom and allowing the cleft at her breast to show tantalizingly. The dress matched Judy’s sea green eyes.

As his eyes raced over her body, Allie experienced the same exciting sensation he had when, as a kid, he sat in the top balcony of the Star Burlesque on Jay Street, and waited impatiently for the show to start. She set him off, firing his imagination and he mentally undressed the lovely figure. He could see her breasts, tipped with little rosebuds, pushing toward him, like little hungry mouths, the long swell of her stomach, the round hips, the hidden, secret center of her. . . .

He felt physically wrung out as he looked into her luminous eyes that were almost on a level with his because of the satin pumps with their tapering heels.

“Still playing records?” It was all he could manage.

“Well-how are you. . . .?” Her tone was indifferent. It disappointed him.

“I just got back from Miami and got your note. . .” He waited for her to ask him in, surreptitiously wiping the perspiration from his hands on his coat.

“I wouldn’t know, since I didn’t receive a card. . .” Her voice was still cool.

“I-I thought if you didn’t have a date, we might do something. . . .” he said hesitantly.

“I have, later, but we’ve got time for a drink. How was Miami?”

He was in the room now. He had a wild desire to touch her-caress the bare shoulders and white arms, but she was being very formal, treating him like the most casual of acquaintances.

“So, so. . . .” he mumbled.

Judy passed him to open the door of the midget refrigerator. She pulled out an aluminum tray of cubes. “Scotch, wasn’t it?”

“Yeah,” his tone was caustic. “How did you ever remember?”

“Oh, I’m long on memory. Especially on postcards… .” But she was warming up a little. She poured the liquor over the cubes, adding a small amount of soda. As she walked towards him, his imagination tricked him again, and he saw her naked. He grinned because she looked funny, holding the glasses of Scotch, in the nude.

“Well, are you with me?” Judy’s voice was sharp. She had an idea he was making fun of her. “Things couldn’t have been so bad in Miami, if it put you in such a fog.”

Allie flushed. “I wasn’t exactly thinking of Miami.” This time his grin was impish. “You should know what was thinking….”

“I can imagine-but I’m a big girl now and you can tell me. What were you thinking about?” She held out his drink.

“Sure you won’t get sore?” He took the drink, watching her closely. “It was nothing.”

She smiled. “It’s the first time anybody, especially a male, came to the apartment with nothing on his mind.”

“In that case, I can be a very accommodating guy.” He put the drink down on a table, grasped her bare arms with his hot palms and kissed her hard on the mouth.

“That’s acting true to form,” she said. “Now, what were you really thinking about?”

Allie felt wildly exhilarated. She had returned his kiss. “That dress. It’s a gorgeous bunch of fluff, including what’s in it.” He watched her over the rim of the glass. The flattering reply pleased her.

“I’m glad you like it. It’s one of my favorites.” She spun around quickly, tile bottom of the skirt flaring out, to give him a better view of her long, slender legs. “I think it’s cute.”

“The legs don’t hurt either. I told Monk and Jo-Jo you had better legs than Betty Grable.”

“Were you honestly thinking of me?” she smiled.

“Sure was, Baby-but maybe in a way you wouldn’t like. It was kinda intimate….” He choked on the swig of Scotch he took.

“I expect it was. But the mere fact that a man takes time off from thinking about himself, to give a few moments to a woman is complimentary,” she teased. “Even if the thought is all about sex.”

Allie gave a little ground. “Well, at first I was thinking about the dress. Now I’m not so sure.”

“What about the dress?” Her voice still teased.

“Okay, if you want it straight.” Allie took a deep breath and blurted out. “It’s the kind of dress that builds a fire inside a guy, until he feels he’s going to jump out of his skin. It’s a prop, that’s what that dress is. A prop for rape….”

This was a little more than Judy had expected, but she wasn’t too surprised. She liked Allie; suspected he was in the rackets, and it wasn’t too hard to figure it would not be long before he came to the point, if she gave him the slightest encouragement. She took his glass, refilled it and came back, standing very close to him. Her mouth was slightly open as if she invited him to kiss her again. He could see the tip of her tongue, narrow and red, between the rows of even white teeth.

Allie put down the glass she had given him, and when Judy still didn’t move, he took her into his arms, pressing her tightly into him. He circled her firm waist with his left arm and slowly covered her mouth with his, feeling the little red tongue brush his lips like quick soft wings, as she curved her body into his, running her fingers up and down his neck and into his hair. Suddenly, their bodies grew tense, and her whole body shook as she clung to him, her fingernails digging into his neck. Allie held her until she went limp in his arms.

He ran his right hand around the swell of her breasts, tearing some of the netting. She let him caress her, not having the strength nor the desire to pull away. He kissed her neck and lips passionately, until the phone broke up the sensuous hypnosis and she pulled away to answer it. Allie followed her to kiss her eyes and lips, making it difficult for her to talk.

“I’ll be right down, Jimmy,” she managed to mumble. She hung up.

“Goddamn!” Allie threw a pillow against the wall violently. He tried to grab her, but she made the bedroom and bolted the door. He grinned sheepishly and went out of the door, his feet dragging…

©1954 by Frank Smith

Golf Widow by Barry Devlin

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Vixen Press brings us this sordid tale of love, deception, murder, and golf. This book plays like a soap opera. Hugh Alton, the (literally) cocky golf enthusiast and Oakcrest Country Club’s most popular/powerful member, is found murdered. The list is suspects has Mike Barnett right at the top. Mike had embarrassed Hugh by besting him in a round on the links and by bedding Hugh’s lovely wife, Marge. The autopsy reveals Hugh was hit with a four-iron(!) and lo and behold Mike’s four is missing. Mike isn’t the only suspect though. The list also includes a young golf caddy and his girlfriend, the club slut-lesbos, and even the club board’s president. Sufice to say all the character become involved with one another and they all hate Hugh Alton.

When I started this novel I had hoped that there would be some juicy bits that use golf as a metaphor for sex but that was not the case. There were a couple of spicey, and/or disturbing lines and I have a few of them here.

Mike, nowhere near his form of the day before, relaxed and swung his clubs automatically, “playing by ear.” And yet he could not help wondering if his teammates had done some nocturnal swinging the night before.

The glow from the single light licked over her knit dress as she drew her legs up under her. The dress fitted so well that he could make out the ridges formed by the tops of her stockings and the garters that held them. Her fine breasts jutted nicely into the springy material. But her face told of the strain of the past twenty-four hours.

“All right, Johnny. I won’t argue semantics with you. You’re right. There’s no such thing as rape. But there is such a thing that a woman may not enjoy it — and when that is the case, it may as well be rape.”

His hand fell on her pale gold hair and ran down over it. “Would you believe me, if I told you I love you?”

It took no effort at all to conjure up that incredibly beautiful face, framed in the pale gold hair, with the haunting, hungry eyes and that warm-cool mouth that was equally delightful on his own lips or pressed against his ear…

Or those impossibly lovely legs. So tan and slender. And how they looked when her tapering fingers slowly, languorously separated the nylons from their garters, stretched them at the top and then peeled them down over the full, supple thighs. They made a wonderful kind of music — the wispy stockings against the tactile flesh of her legs. Like the soft whisper of violins in jasmine-scented air.

At last, without their coverings, the legs were things free and alive, invitingly alive. Such wonderful creations, as perfect as matched pearls … or would that better describe her breasts?

Yes. White from being sheilded from the sun, they were like two exquisite gems resting on brown velvet that quivered when he touched them — that seemed to have been created for his lips and eyes alone. They rose fresh and unafraid from the secret springs in her body to blooming, divided loveliness. Malleable, pliable, they were yet unchangable no matter what he did to them. Their sweet undercurves were as fingers bekoning him to come hither and pay homage.

Ah, sweet was the word for her entire being. Sweeter than all the perfumes of old Araby, more delicious than the rarest of wines of the most exalted kings, more mysterious than the teasing smile of the Mona Lisa, as wonderous as the Venus de Milo, as achingly bittersweet as a Puccini aria.

The Sinning Lens by Mark Tryon

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This trashy 1953 novel was published by Vixen Press. It tells the story of Mitch, a stunning nineteen-year-old sociology major who sidelines as a photography model. After a disastrously failed attempt to bring art to the rural community of Mullen she takes up modeling full-time. She eventually becomes entangled in the dark web of an underground pornography ring led by one Ida Untermeyer. Mitch begins to loose stray too far and she soon realizes she has to find a way out…

Her plan is a simple one: break into Ida office and burn her file cabinet. Freeing herself and the good photographers from the blackmailing claws of Ida Untermeyer. You see, Ida has this cabinet full of photos that go too far over the edge and could be incriminating to all those involved. Well, Mitch is successful! She frees herself from Ida’s sick game. This brings Mitch into direct conflict with Ida whose rage explodes into the best passage of the book…a stellar catfight which is this novel’s Bent Page excerpt. This excerpt picks up just after Ida finds out from Mitch that it was she who burned her files:

Ida pricked up her ears. “Burned them? What do you know about burning?”

But Mitch had said it on purpose. She laughed. “Oh, I know all about it–you said so yourself.”

Ida almost screamed in frustration. “Don’t you get smart with me, you little snip,” she cried coarsely. “I’ll beat your brains in!”

Mitch stood up, every authoritative quality in her sounding a ringing battle cry. “Do it,” she said. “Do it, please. Ever since I found out what kind of bondage I’m in to you I’ve wanted something like this to happen. I may not be able to get away from you, but you’re not going to get much enjoyment out of my company. You and your filthy business.”

She turned to leave, but before she was halfway across the bedroom floor, Ida leaped on her like a huge cat, her fingers entwining in Mitch’s hair.

A great joy surged through Mitch. Suddenly all her misery, all her terror, all the hurts that had come her way since that awful night in Mullen poured into her muscles like liquid power. Ida became the symbol of the forces that had victimized her. A dreadful, joyous desire to destroy the blonde came over her.

With vicious strength she planted her left elbow in Ida’s stomach and as the soft flesh gave, she swung left, her right fist coming around in a wide arc. It caught Ida flush in the chin and flung her backward to the floor.

Then Mitch was on her, raining blows on her stricken face.

This is for me and this is for Craig and this is for Vince and this is for X and for X and for X…all the unknowns whose lives you’ve enslaved and whose happiness and security you’ve ruined–you and your kind–her and in Mullen and wherever you hide out in your slimy caves. This is what I’ll do to your ugly, leering face!

Ida’s clawing fingers caught at the front of Mitch’s dress and tore it straight down. It dropped about her shoulders and she moved back and rose to her feet in order to get a chance to free her encumbered arms.

In a flash, Ida-her nose bleeding-jumped up while Mitch struggled with the dress, and swung her foot violently in a well-aimed kick.

It caught Mitch in the stomach. The breath flew from her and she collapsed on the rug, lungs heaving convulsively for air.

Ida looked about wildly. On the dresser was a leather belt. She ran quickly and picked it up, the returned to the fallen Mitch, the belt raised above her head. Mitch’s dress was hanging about her waist and her heaving breasts were straining at the tight brassiere.

The belt came down across Mitch’s back with a stinging pain that brought Mullen back like an explosion in her mind. She managed to get to her feet, and lurching forward, she grabbed at the waistband of Ida’s skirt. The band gave and as the skirt dropped about Ida’s ankles, Mitch swung hard and hit the solid flesh of one upthrust breast.

Ida screamed with pain and attempted to retreat. She stumbled on the skirt and fell back against the bed.

Mitch was right after her. She tore the blouse down from the woman’s shoulders until it served as a restraint on the freedom of her arms, then she ripped the brassiere underneath and raked her fingernails over Ida’s breasts, leaving long, red, bleeding streaks.

The tears were running down both their faces. Ida’s were mingling with blood from her nose, making a sopping mess.

Ida writhed and twisted, but Mitch sat on top of her. She reached for the belt as Ida fought madly to retain it. As Mitch leaned forward, trying to clamp down the flailing wrists, Ida sank her teeth through the brassiere into the soft breast that Mitch presented directly above her face.

Mitch pulled back with a jerk and Ida helped with a push. As Mitch fell backward, she felt her dress slipping down over her hips and thighs. She sat heavily on the floor and Ida got up, hastily removing her now encumbering blouse. Both girls were down to their undies, Mitch in her pale yellow panties and brassiere and Ida wearing nothing but a pair of tiny transparent white panties.

Again Mitch felt the belt, this time across her breasts. It cut cruelly and she cried out with pain. She flung herself at Ida, grabbing her about the knees and then they were both down, rolling over and over on the rug, scratching and clawing at each other. Mitch’s brassiere was torn from her and she had to fight frantically to protect her free-swinging breasts from Ida’s nails and teeth. Finally she managed to get loose long enough to slam her knee into Ida’s groin. The agent gasped and her hands flew to protect that region. The belt fell from her fingers and Mitch grabbed it up at once and started raining blows on her.

Ida writhed and twisted and tried to escape the cutting, stinging lashes. She crawled along the floor and huddled against the furniture. She tried to get to her feet, but each time the leather whined through the air and cut her down again. Finally she lay crying and whimpering in the middle of the floor, her lungs panting and straining for air, her body still and taking blows wherever they fell.

She was criss-crossed with red welts, from her knees to her neck, both front and back. Her panties hung in strips about her hips.

At last the fury played itself out in Mitch. She threw the belt into a corner of the room and started towards the bathroom. What she needed was a hot bath. She was sick with Ida and sick with herself. She felt fulfilled and statiated, triumphant and disgusted, all at the same time.

Ida stirred. “Mitch,” she whimpered. “Mitch.”

Mitch stopped and turned, looked down at the naked bruised form on the floor. “What?” she said calmly.

“Help me, honey. I hurt.”

“Damn right, you hurt,” Mitch said dryly, but a little spark of pity lighted in her at the utter abjectness of her victim.

“Help me up, please. Please.”

Mitch went to the blonde and helped her to her feet.

“Oooh,” Ida murmured, a strange note of lascivious coyness in her voice, “am I sore!”

Mitch looked at her in amazement. Why wasn’t Ida bawling? Why wasn’t she cursing her? The blonde head was resting against her shoulder and she felt a strange inexplicable thrill run through her. What was this?

“Please, Mitch, run some hot water in the tub and help me wash away these awful welts.”

She led Ida to the bed. The blonde sat down and waited patiently while Mitch ran the bath. Mitch came back and helped her free herself of the torn panties that still hung about her thighs, then led her into the bathroom to the tub. Mitch sat on the edge of the tub and gently laved the bruises and the welts and the fingernail-marks with warm water and gentle soap.

All the while, Ida was making little moaning, whimpering sounds. When Mitch ran her soft, soapy hands over the cuts on Ida’s breasts, she felt the points harden and Ida breathed a soft, “A-a-ah.”

Mitch was utterly confused. This was not what she had expected. At the same time she felt a kind of tenderness toward the woman she had just beaten so brutally, for she did not feel that she had been entirely fair. She had made Ida pay for every mean thing that had happened to her during the last few months. And after all, Ida could not be held accountable for everything. She had used Ida as a scapegoat, in a manner of speaking. She felt a kind of pity toward the bruised body under her hands, and her hands began to show her compassion.

Finally Ida stood up with difficulty. “Rub me real gently with the towel, will you, dear?” she begged, and Mitch patted her dry. “I want to lie down for a little while.”

Mitch helped her to bed. She turned down the covers and Ida stretched out on the clean, cool sheet. When Mitch turned to go back to the bathroom, Ida called softly, “Mitch. Mitch don’t go away. Don’t leave me.”

Mitch turned back.

Ida’s voice went on, “Come here, please, Mitch. Come close. Sit down here.” She patted the sheet at her side.

Mitch, almost in a trance of astonishment, sat down. Suddenly she felt Ida’s arms about her neck and she felt herself pulled down. The arms closed convulsively tight.

Ida panted, “Mitch . . . Mitch . . . I love you. I love you!


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While on vacation in Tinsel-Town, I had the pleasure of viewing the 1974 Sci-Fi epic, Zardoz. This film, John Boorman’s follow up to his masterpiece, Deliverance, ranks amongst the most confused and misguided pieces of cinema I have ever witnessed. Suffice to say I loved every minute of it.

Like Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer SpaceZardoz is a complete train wreck that fails at so many levels it has to be seen to be believed. If you don’t want me to spoil the fun for you, stop reading and go rent it now (it’s coming out on DVD later this month), otherwise what follows is my synopsis of this debacle.

Zardoz is undoubtedly a product of the early seventies, when hippies were still stinking up the land and all the hipsters were out to “expand their minds.” The film, I suppose, owes much to Stanley Kubrick’s, 2001: A Space Odyssey. This chart maps the comparison:

2001: A Space OdysseyZardoz
Set in the near future (2001)Set in the distant future (2293)
Trippy planetariumesque light showSlide projections on Sean Connery’s tangled nest of a chest
Deals with man’s evolution to the next level, floating space fetusesA cast of immortals, the supposed pinnacle of human evolution, who go topless at the drop of a hat
A perplexing ending in which the main character rapdidly ages through the stages life.A perplexing ending in which the main character rapidly ages through the stages of life.

All this worked in Kubrick’s movie, what was Zardoz missing that could have taken it to the next level? My guess is that it’s Zardoz’s general lack of monkeys. This was Kubrick’s genius. The man knew how to push the monkey to boring plot ratio. Boorman came close to achieving this sublime balance by casting Sean Connery in the role of Zed’s hairy chest, but falls just short of the mark.

Most of the film does consist of Sean Connery running around in a reddish Speedo™ and knee-high boots, with nothing but a bandoleer covering his chest. My reaction during the first third of the movie wavered between being in awe of this ridiculous outfit and wondering why Connery even accepted this stupid role.

For all its failings, there are some seemingly grandiose ideas lurking behind the cheese. The movie actually opens with the floating head of Arthur Frayn proclaiming that the story we are about to witness is of great importance, “rich in irony and most satirical.” You would think that somehow a guy with a painted on moustache and an English accent couldn’t possibly mislead you. However, by the end you realize his monologue bears the same message delivered in Criswell’s intro to Plan 9: “Future events such as these will effect you… in the future!”

The whole thing seemed to be about something. What is truth behind our existence? Who controls the floating god-head of Zardoz? Are guns really better than a penis? Wouldn’t it be great if we all died? The only real message I got from the film was that drugs are bad, they make you do embarrassing things, they make horrible film ideas come to fruition.

Much of the film’s plot centers on the giant floating stone head of Zardoz. The question that perplexes the residents of the Vortex and the one that the film makers want the audience to be perplexed about is, “How did Zed get inside the stone head?” This doesn’t provide much of a driving plot line. Many times throughout the movie, the question most of us as viewers want answered are more along the lines of, “What just happened?” The movie is filled with little goofy touches: one of the character’s voice cutting in and out for his friends’ amusement, green bread, mud wrestling, zombie-like characters who drink sweat for power, group-meditation, and gratuitous toplessness.

Fortunately, later this month Zardoz will be released on DVD. The DVD will include John Boorman’s commentary. I am hopeful that his commentary will amount to more than an apology to his fans, and that they truly let some light on the meaning behind this cinematic debacle.

Revisiting Old Music Part (Fu-Go)

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Fudge Tunnel – Hate Songs in the Key of E
Grungy metal. Not sure why I own this. All I know is that it isn’t worth putting up for sale on Amazon.

Fugazi – 13 Songs
Stop all that slam dancing you punks. It’s Fugazi! Classic post-punk record(s).

Fugazi – Repeater
Although there are not as many stand alone “hits” as there are on 13 songs, this is perhaps their best record.

Fugazi – Steady Diet of Nothing
There’s something about the attitude of this record that turns me off. Ian Maykaye’s vocals are at his absolute most annoying level on the attrocious track, Long Division. I stopped buying Fugazi albums after this (for a while at least).

Fugazi – In on the Kill Taker
Although the ultra cool opening is quickly squandered by Fugazi sameness, this CD redeemed the band somewhat for me. There are a couple of stinkers, but not bad overall.

The Galaxy Trio – In the Harem
Surf inspired instrumental music, but with a more distorted, 90s edge.

The Galaxy Trio – Saucers Over Vegas
More of the same.

The Giallos Flame – The Giallos Flame
Despite the corny cover, this is a pretty decent CD. The songs are inspired by the music of Gobin, Fabio Frizzi and other Italian Giallo soundtrack motifs. The tone fluctuates between jazzy, funky and synth-rocky (the latter being my favorite).

Girls Against Boys – Cruise Yourself
Groove-centric 90s hard rock. A laid back wall of sound.

Godflesh – Godflesh
Extremely heavy and slow. This is from before they discovered house music.

Godflesh – Streetcleaner
These are slow jamz for the grindcore set. Loud, piercing and slow. The slightly more experimental bonus tracks are better than most of the actual tracks on the LP.

Godflesh –Slavestate
A really great album. The gurgle and grind of the previous albums is honed in with a rhythmic, electronic backdrop. Not dance music, but a far more groovy version of Godflesh indeed.

Godflesh – Pure
This is my favorite Godflesh album. This is almost an industrial music album, but the samples and electronics are only there to color the edges of the mix. Unlike previous feedback heavy Godflesh releases, you can actually hear the instruments and what they are playing–this is a good thing.

Godflesh – Cold World
A nice Pure-era single. These tracks are as good as anything from that CD.

Godflesh – Merciless
How Godflesh lost her groove.

Revisiting Old Music Part (Do-Es)

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D.O.A. – Bloodied But Unbowed
Straightforward Canadian punk rock.

D.O.A. – True (North) Strong & Free
Slightly less punk, and a bit more cheesy bar band sounding. Dull.

D.O.A. – Murder
Again, not the most innovative band around. Slightly better than the previous CD listed here.

Thomas Dolby – The Golden Age of Wireless
She Blinded Me with Science is so over-played that I can’t enjoy it anymore. Thankfully, many of the other songs are worthwhile on this CD: Europa and the Pirate Twins and Windpower stand out for me.

Thomas Dolby – The Flat Earth
Veers a bit into adult contemporary territory, but there’s enough new wave-ishness here to keep it interesting.

Dollface – Corvette Summer
The finest band to ever come out of Peoria, Illinois. Every song is a gem here.

Dollface – Lights the Pilot
Geez, this band was good. Shoulda been bigger.

Drop Acid – Making God Smile
Kevin Seconds’s post 7 Seconds band. Very 90’s sounding. I saw this band open for Superchunk in Champaign, IL the night Magic Johnson revealed he had AIDS.

Drums & Tuba – Flatheads and Spoonies
Really they are drums, tuba and noodly guitar. Bought this on a whim after seeing them live. Different, but the songs get old pretty fast.

El Vez – How Great Thou Art
A certain amount of pop-music literacy may be required to really appreciate El Vez. Funny, but there’s much more going on to really discount him as a “joke” band.

El Vez – Merry MeX-Mas
El Vez’s first Christmas album. His cover of Feliz Navidad/Public Image is a classic. Highly recommended listening.

El Vez – Boxing With God
Religion-inspired rock from El Vez. His amazing skill as an arranger is in full play here.

El Vez – Sno Way Jose
More Christmas (and Hanukah) greatness.

Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP
Okay, Wika bought this one. She got it at Wal-Mart so it is edited and bleeped. It’s almost worth a listen just to hear how much this is cut up. Even if we could hear the bad words, this album still would suck as much as it already does.

Esquivel – Space Age Bachelor Pad Music
Wonderful, off-the-wall big band arrangements from the 50’s and 60’s from this musical genius.

Revisiting Old Music Part (De-Di)

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Devo – Now it Can Be Told
Despite being recorded during the waning years of Devo, this live album is actually pretty great. They even make the bad Total Devo tracks seem almost good.

Devo – Smooth Noodle Maps
Devo’s last release is okay. I bit more consistant than Total Devo. But still nothing close to their glory days. The cover fo the Greatful Dead’s Morning Dew is the best track on the CD.

Devo – Post Post Modern Man (single)
A CD single from Smooth Noodle Maps. Nothing remarkable here.

Devo – EZ Listening Disk
Devo covers devo.

Devo – Hardcore Devo Vol. 1
Lacks the electronic polish of their best work, but most of this CD is essential Devo.

Devo – Hardcore Devo Vol. 2
Same as above, just more.Devo – Greatest HitsMost of my Devo collection is in the form of cassettes, so I bought this so I would have a CD version of their best stuff.

Dianogah – As Seen From Above
Two basses and a drummer. My friend Jay’s band revived my waning interest in indy-rock in the early 00’s with this CD.

Dianogah – Battle Champions
My favorite Dianogah album.

Dianogah – Millions of Brazillians
Not their best work. I think I was wanting more from their sound when this CD came out. I still like it quite a bit.

Dick Dale – Tribal Thunder
Dick Dale’s awesome comeback album. Totally insane. Dick Dale was signed as a witness on my organ donor card for years.

Dick Dale – The Best of Dick Dale and his Del-Tones
More great Dick Dale – the self-proclaimed inventor of heavy metal(?!)

Didjits – Hornet Piñata
Champaign band. They were a great act to see live, but in hindsight, their music is kinda lame.

Didjits – Full Nelson Reilly
Same as above.The Dirty HowlersGreat garage rawk from Chicago.

The Dirty Howlers – Behold!
Another batch of raw rockers from the Howlers. They broke up immediately after they released this CD.