The Questions Lady Terminator Raises

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Question #1: Does Lady Terminator have anything in common with The Terminator? What are the similarities and differences between Lady Terminator and The Terminator?

Similarities:

-A destructive force from another time comes to the present to exterminate someone in both films.

-Both include the line, “Come with me if you want to live.”

-There is a moment in each film where the virtually indestructible villain is knocked to the ground with ample gunfire and the camera shows their twitching fingers.

-Both feature an eye-removal-before-a-bathroom-sink scene.

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Differences:

-Guns are reloaded significantly less in Lady Terminator.

-In The Terminator, a cyborg from the future travels to the past to stop the birth of an eventual wartime revolutionary. In Lady Terminator, an anthropologist is possessed by a sea witch from the past, who seeks vengeance on her husband’s great granddaughter.

-No characters in The Terminator have magic eels in their vaginas; no sex scene in The Terminator culminates with castration by a vagina-dwelling magic eel.

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Question #2: What kinds of TVs explode into flames when shot?

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Sonys.

Question #3: Ricky Brothers composed the music to Lady Terminator. Is Ricky Brothers one man, whose first name is Ricky and last name is Brothers, or is the Ricky Brothers a band name, not unlike the Doobie or Allman Brothers?

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I don’t know, but Ricky Brothers—whether band or man—wrote for synthesizers, in my opinion, at least as well as Pino Donaggio did for The Barbarians.

Question #4: Exactly how many instances of violence to the male genitalia occur in Lady Terminator?

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Thirteen, although I’m only counting the wise old sensei getting excessively machine gunned to the crotch as one instance.

Question #5: Was Michael Sorich, the actor who overdubbed the voice of the character Snake, aware at the time of the children’s cartoon program Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Particularly, was he aware of Townsend Coleman’s work on the voice of Michelangelo?

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Probably.

Question #6: “What’s the point of not having money if you can’t spend it?”

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Question #7: How does a urine stream with that much propulsion form when the fly isn’t even open?

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Question #8: Lady Terminator lists Dave Mallow as the film’s dialogue coach. Was Dave Mallow fired before the completion of the movie on grounds of incompetence?

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Question #9: Is the glowing green thing the wise old sensei shoots into the eponymous villain’s eye what causes her to grow extra nipples?

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On the same token, does the growth of extra nipples alone warrant the painful removal of one’s own eye with an X-acto knife?

Question #10: Wouldn’t it be nice if more cops, before final showdowns with devastating murderesses, could join hands and say, in unison, “Let’s kick ass?”

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Yes.

Question #11: Why does Tania, the lady terminator, wait till she is incinerated by the flames of a bazooka blast to shoot deadly lasers out of her eyes at people?

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She had this ability the whole time, and, up until the last five minutes of the movie, relies on automatic weapons?!

Question #12: Isn’t it possible to be both a lady and an anthropologist?

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“I’m not a lady, I’m an anthropologist!”

You know, like, when did anthropologist become its own gender?

Click this link, to attempt to answer these perplexing questions for yourself.

 

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Some Enchanted Evening

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For some awesome fiction, art, and poetry check out the brand new online issue of Jokes Review. It includes my story “Some Enchanted Evening,” which examines why sometimes it behooves deformed ex mall cops to get way too stoned and make online dating profiles. It’s my first love story. Thanks for reading Issue #3 of Jokes Review!

 

HONEYMOON (2014)

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HONEYMOON starts out and it’s almost disgusting how in love with each other Bea (Rose Leslie) and Paul (Harry Treadaway) are. As the title would suggest, it’s their honeymoon. They’re newlyweds. They have no shortage of sex to have, of inside jokes and loving horseplay to make. They’re off to Bea’s family’s lakeside cabin to celebrate their new married lives together. At first, as they mosey around half-naked, cook pancakes, swim in the lake, etc., it seems like they’re enjoying pure connubial glory.

A David Cronenberg-esque downward spiral would have to ruin that, wouldn’t it?

Oh, yes.

There’s a white flash in the middle of the night. Some dark force seems to stalk the woods. There’s a childhood friend of Bea’s they run into who’s definitely, definitely not behaving normally. Neither is his girlfriend. Bea’s not known to sleepwalk, either. Well, she’s sleepwalking now. She’s wandering off deep into the woods, too.

When she starts forgetting who she is, when Paul catches her writing down mnemonic notes on her basic identity, it becomes clear: something is up. The slime on a variety of her possessions is strange, too.

Things escalate and escalate to some revolting body horror and Bea finding an eventual “new home” in the heart of the woods.

Like Ti West at his best in THE INNKEEPERS, HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, and THE SACRAMENT, HONEYMOON is an exercise in the building of tension. Nothing bad happens for so long . . . then . . . blecch. A sense of danger is created out of the initial glaring lack of danger.

So, yes. You have the slow burn approach, which is becoming en vogue again (IT FOLLOWS). This approach works very well for HONEYMOON. Maybe the revelation of the danger at hand isn’t as shocking in this one as it is in the aforementioned West titles, but things still get damn creepy. Your jaw hangs open through the final act. Mine did, anyway. It’s a hell of a climax.

Did I mention it does wonders with its minimal budget? This couldn’t have appropriated funds in accordance with ambitions better.

But what’s great, chiefly, about HONEYMOON is how convincing Bea and Paul’s relationship is. They’re both quite eccentric and fun, and it’s tragic how, as Bea is slipping, part of her still—instinctually—wants to keep things normal, and so does Paul, as he tries to wrap his mind around what’s happening to his wife. They’re so trenchantly committed to each other throughout the film, which makes this a horror love tragedy: a unique take on the genre. The Autumnal vibe the cinematography gives off is excellent, too, as is the claustrophobic musical score and the grotesque—but sparing—makeup fx. (I mentioned David Cronenberg earlier, didn’t I?)

Overall, HONEYMOON is worth seeing for its fantastic sense of realism, its brilliant intimate performances, and the tragedy it injects into the genre. The directorial debut of Leigh Janiak, I can’t wait to see what else she has in store. This movie, for the most part, scared me shitless.

ELECTRICK CHILDREN (2012)

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It’s been way too long since I’ve sat, in a state of daze, with the credits rolling, saying, “Wow, what a fucking good movie.” Rebecca Thomas’s debut feature film, Electrick Children, though, left me with that feeling of bliss. Nothing could have prepared me for the experience this movie imparts. It’s a potent mixture: part coming-of-age drama, part road trip movie, part magical realism (assuming you don’t buy the immaculate conception story) . . . a beautiful journey of self-discovery altogether. Gush gush gush gush.

Rachel lives with her family on a Mormon colony in Utah. She’s just “celebrated” her fifteenth birthday, and, soon after, discovers a blue cassette tape. She sneaks off in the night to listen to it and hears a cover of Blondie’s “Hanging on the Telephone.” Rachel finds herself utterly enraptured by the song. She loves it. She, in fact, believes she’s been touched by the glory of God hearing it.

The next thing she knows, she’s pregnant. And Rachel thinks the song caused her pregnancy. An immaculate conception. A miracle.

Her family isn’t as optimistic. So they blame her brother, Mr. Will (Liam Aiken), for impregnating her. Her “father” (Billy Zane) arranges a marriage, but before it can happen she flees to Las Vegas in search of the man singing “Hanging on the Telephone.”

In Vegas she falls in with a group of hard-living, punk-rocking skateboarders and develops a romance with one of them: Clyde (Rory Culkin). Mr. Will, ostracized from the Mormon colony, comes looking for her, but ends up falling in with the same crowd.

Rachel finds the man on the tape, but he is not what she was expecting at all. He represents something ultimately as important, though, as Rachel learns lots about herself finding him: she learns there is much more to her own identity than she realized.

The question, who is the father of her child, by the way, is never answered, leaving the end of the movie open to interpretation.

What a fascinating spectacle. Watching the most sheltered of sheltered breaking out of their bubble, running with a crowd that drinks, does drugs, swears, listens to loud, abrasive music. The whole situation is funny, terrifying, and sad all at the same time– with an uncanny amount of suspense to be felt watching it all go down.

Julia Garner offers a more-than-credible innocence, sense of determination, and overall believability. Seemingly, the movie wouldn’t have worked without her. Rory Culkin, for that matter, is the perfect counterpart. He’s scary, at times, in his reckless oblivion, but ultimately decent.

Elecktrick Children tells a great story, and it unfolds with a seamless hypnosis on eye-popping backdrops: the Utah desert, the open road, neon-lit streets, shitty apartments, dingy all-ages rock clubs. The camera flows like water and stops to dwell on some truly great images: Rachel on the streets of Vegas in heart-shaped sunglasses; Mr. Will daringly about to descend into a skate park, then having to get his arm set over a snare drum; Clyde pensively smoking on the side of the highway. The soundtrack is perfect, too, featuring music from a relatively unknown Omaha, Nebraska band called Conduits.

Electirck Children, overall, instills hope that the Indies really, really have something going this decade.

NEW SHORT FICTION IN THE WHITEFISH REVIEW

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I am very excited to announce the release of Issue #17 of the WHITEFISH REVIEW. The theme for this one is mythic beasts and monsters. Its cover art–and some inside content–was done by SWAMP THING’s Stephen Bissette.

It includes my short story, “Bigfoot’s Real LLC,” which I hope you will check out and enjoy. You can purchase Issue #17 here.