Wednesday, December 1, 2010


La Quinta, California, is where I am right this very minute, and lordy-lordy, is this a boring place.
Sure, the hills that surround it look like the creepy mountains from the opening credits of Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes, but I'm here for the DAY JOB, and it's been about 40 degrees out here, and stupid me, thinking that this was Southern California, I wouldn't need a sweater.
It was so cold today, I couldn't take notes because my hands were shaking so much.
Meanwhile, my contempt for some of my co-workers grows by leaps and bounds. I'm angry, lonely, tired, and--except for right now--hungry. "Oh, 'Panky, I'm so hongree!"

All that said, I'm in a foul mood and I want to get into a fight.
So here goes:
Everyone and their mother seems to go on and on about how great the film Bigger Than Life is, but man-oh-man, was I borrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrred.
Usually I love actors doing the thesp thing and chewing the scenery, usually I love a vitrolic criticism of bourgeois values, and usually I'm a monstro fan of the great James Mason (who, screenwriter Heywood Gould once told me, tried to get
Olivier fired from The Boys From Brazil so he could get the Simon Wiesenthal role--Mason would go to director Franklin Schaffner (a filmmaker who deserves more respect if you ask me--the guy made Planet of the Apes, Patton and Papillion (as well as liking movies starting with the letter "P")) and say to him, "Oh my, Olivier looks ill, doesn't he? How is he ever going to complete such a strenuous role?" and so on.)
RANDOM ASIDE: So is this how most bloggers do it, huh, just start typing, just start spewing?

My biggest problem with Bigger Than Poop was how Mason's character goes from shlub to psycho in about a nanosecond. There was never any build-up: one minute Mason's sick, the next he's bonkers!

Anyhoo, because every single film geek says Bigger Than Life is the shit, I rented it. And I hated it. So, if anyone is reading (hello, my loyal followers: obey me and the afterlife will be an eternal patadize!),
please explain (or leave URLs) why this overwrought slice of dullsville is so loved?

Addition: Oh, NOW I get it. In doing R&D for this missive, I noticed on wikipedalpusher that Ivanlandia Enemy #1, Jean-Puke Godfart, just loves Bigger Than Turd. Now I get it. Sheesh...

I really need to get a new job.


  1. Usually i love those 50s technicolor wide-screen melodramas, but i would agree that one is missing something. I saw a nearly perfect print in 16mm Anamorphic projection. I was high, and the scenery looked great, but there was something irritating about the story and James Mason, whom i normally love.

    But there was one surprise for me. At the end of the movie, there's a big fight scene, accompanied by a television in the background playing hectic scenes from a carnival. It exhumed a deeply buried memory of my brother and i watching that part of the movie on an afternoon movie broadcast. What i remember is my brother laughing hysterically about the irony of that television blaring scenes of levity while these two dudes were trying to kill each other.

    But you get no fight from me on this one. Nor about Jean Luc Godawful.

  2. Y'know what? If I had only seen that scene (fight w/TV in b.g.), I would've thought this flick was great, but there was too much... I don't know.
    I thinks it's one of those movies made by people who hate the middle class, but have no idea what it's like or how middle class people actually live. It's a flick that's snobbier than the people it criticizes (which is probably why so many film snoots love it). And the movie completely wastes the awesome talents of The Incredible Mr. Walter Matthau.
    I mean, compared to "Some Came Running," "Bigger Than Life" is a tub of cold shit.