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 Gouldonce 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...
That was my original idea for the title of this blog, a sort of summation of nearly everything I'd ever wanted cinematically: regularly playing on the ABC Channel 7 4:30 movie--or on WOR-TV Channel 9's 4 O'Clock Movie--the greatest monster movie in the universe, and incredible combo of miniatures, men in suits and stop motion, with entire continents destroyed!
But then there was a coup d'etat, and Tzar Ivan I of Ivanlandia took charge.