Friday, February 4, 2011

"Four-15 fight group...with CHAINS and KNIVES!" Or, the Stylish Blogger Awards Come to Ivanlandia

It’s almost as good as

What was it that Sonny Barger said about becoming a member of the Hells Angels? I think it was, “You don’t join; you’re recognized.”

At the end of January, Christopher over at the highly recommended Netflix Stream blog—
what the guy’s doing is reviewing all the movies featured on Netflix InstaVue (as I like to call it), and he’s doing a pretty damn good job if you ask me—
although he’s probably going to have to add some sort of feature letting us know when a flick is no longer available at Nflix Insta, as they are wont to (for example, Overnight is no longer available)—but why make more work for such a nice boy?

Getting back to the subject: At the end of January, Netflix Stream bestowed “The Stylish Blogger Award” upon The United Provinces of Ivanlandia, and we are grateful!

We are particularly glad it’s an award for stylishness—if we strive for anything, it’s that. And for The United Provinces of Ivanlandia that means eyeball kicks!

(Speaking of style, I am especially fond of the magazine aesthetic that briefly flourished in the 1980s, where imagery and typography was mish-moshed together—especially the old Xeroxed punk rock fanzines. Panty Line Fever, where are you?!?)

One of the provisos of award acceptance is the passing on of the award again, reverse-Ponzi-scheme style, to blogs that are new(ish) to you. That is, me.
You are (that is, I am) supposed to nominate/award seven blogs, but instead I’ll give out six awards, and make two recommendations.

The United Provinces of Ivanlandia is proud to bestow The Stylish Blogger Award on (in no order of preference):


Readers know Ivanlandia digs biker flicks, and Buzzkiller is like the best issue of Easyriders ever created. If you understand the preceding sentence, Buzzkiller is for you.

Strange Spanners

Either you’re on the bus or you’re not. Weirdness and borderline creep-a-delica abound. Check it!

A Journey to the Heart of the B-Movie

A nice English lad who’s probably on the dole—all he does is watch those movies! But if he didn’t, who would?

Krell Laboratories

After surviving the destruction of Altair 4, and travelling back in time, a much-changed Dr. Morbius has set up shop in The Big Apple, offering some excellent opinions on film.

So Good for Bunnies

Regular oglers of Ivanlandia’s photos may have realized a propensity, almost a fetish, for latex-clad lasses (Kinky Gerlinky, where are you?!?), and SGfB is latex clothing designer Abigail Greydanus’ blog of images, ideas and inspirations. Very much worth a look if you share Ivanlandia’s, uh, specific interest.

Musings of a Sci-Fi Fanatic

It’s all there in the title, man. If you can’t dig that, then I can’t do nothing for ya.

Then there’s my new fave NSFW blog Smuttypantz Junction—which will have to be my go-to place for the naughty since Guess Her Muff has been zapped by forces and for reasons unknown. (Whoops, spoke too soon: Guess Her Muff is back!)

And here’s hoping the Otto & Boris Five-O Times gets its head out of its butt and starts posting regularly!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot:
I’m supposed to come up with seven things about myself that I’m supposed to tell you.
(What is it with seven? Seven seas? Seven deadly sins? Lucky seven?)

I am a great cook, and make excellent stews and soups, among other things.

Yes, I used to work for Al Goldstein, a man I hate. And yes, revenge is a dish best eaten cold. Bwah-hah-hah!

The best movie drinking game? Do a shot of tequila every time they drink tequila in The Treasure of Sierra Madre (an Ivanlandia fave!). You will be SHOCKED at how many tequilas Fred C. Dobbs & Co. knock back.
Do a bonghit every time they say “Mexico”—they don’t actually name the country that often, but the infrequent bonghit on top of all that to-kill-ya, well! That’s a rumble nobody can cool….

I fucking HATED Dogtooth. Art school wankery, through and through. Antonioni-Lynch mashup cheered on only because the young leads are easy on the eyes.
Had they been fat grotesques, that beautiful reality would crush the pretentions of this Greek snoozefest.
C’mon, guys! Ted Post did this back in 1973 with The Baby, AND he hit plenty more relevant socio-economic points while he did it.

Art movies that are enigmatic on purpose are, in my opinion, LAZY.
Jeez, man, either go the distance and be like Stan Brakhage (a GOD, I might add), or at least be willing to focus and tell a story.

And I still fucking hate Jean Luc-Godard.
And I’m not really a fan of Melville—
Le Samurai is a goddamn snoozer—thank god Walter Hill does it much better.
Truffaut’s okay, though, mainly for The 400 Blows—whew! That flick is another Ivanlandia fave—
And so are Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Wages of Fear and Le Corbeau. (Can’t wait to see Inferno!)

I’m really good with plants. If the weather would ease up, some of the triffids could get their grow on again, but the basil: wow! Nothing like fresh basil in a meal!

I think part of Star Wars massive success back in 1977 was because it was genuinely the ultimate stoner flick.
Has anyone else written about this? Lights, colors, motion, cool weirdness. It’s all there! The movie was psychedelic because it showed the audience things it had NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE.

Dude, the flick opened May 25, 1977—a Wednesday—I saw it Saturday, May 28, 1977, and then 10 times again that summer. Because we did that back then.

We had NEVER seen anything like this. The special effects Oscar winner from the year before had been the tinkertoy models of Logan’s Run!
And majestic, semi-realistic and lived-in-looking spaceships like in 2001 (my favorite film EVER) and Silent Running (I like, I like) only moved slowly.

Every frame of Star Wars was magical; and because it was paced beautifully, there were lots of frames to look at.
I also think Star Wars, with its rejection of logic, helped pave the way for Reagan’s election in 1980.

Was it J. Hoberman who wrote that it would be a “revolutionary act” to drop a reel of Eraserhead into Star Wars? Actually, I would love to be in that theater when it happens.

So why do I not hate a flick like Eraserhead, but instead consider it a revolutionary classic on par with the work by Sam Fuller and Orson Welles, as well as other absurdist-surrealists like Jodorowsky and Bunuel?

Because underneath all the bizarre, obtuse Freudian-nightmare imagery is a story about a guy absolutely terrified of being a “father.” (As a college kid, I didn’t get the flick. As a married, mortgage-payer, I GET it.)
And the imagery ENHANCES the tale of fearful and fearfully-coiffed Henry Spenser.

And ambiguity is delightful at times—John Carpenter, I’m looking at you!—but almost throughout all of Dogtooth, I felt a smugness emanating from the film. I really cannot put my finger on it. It was like they were screeching nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-NYAH!
I mean, I really this flick is a con, an example of the Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s the new Slumdog Millionaire—a flick I hated, by the way.

Of course, maybe the joke’s on me: Dogtooth get’s 93% from the Rotten Tomato-meter, just one point below Scumdog Spillionaire’s 94%.
But what do I know? I couldn’t stand Avatard either.


  1. Wow Ivan.

    So I'm happily enjoying another stroll into the SICK [and I mean that as awesome!] world of Ivanlandia and I happen upon a Stylish Award with my name on it. I am humbled and I thank you. A great class and I'm honored to be among the class. Cheers Ivan. Your introduction was a classic!

    Loving the latest images including the Shat! and the dynamite babe in orange skivvies.

    You and your mate with the bubble caption was freakin hysterical! Loads of good bits and a Hulk comic to boot! Wow. The journey was great and the adventure continues... Keep on keepin on but don't travel too far!

  2. Well now, thanks for the kind words. And just so you know as of earlier this week I started adding the end dates to my review posts. Finally came across InstantWatcher and they've got all that info there. Netflix does a pretty crappy job of notifying people when movies are going to expire I think.

  3. YES, your blog definitely has style. What style? Being all over hell, and doing it well, yessir. CONGRATS!

    Hey, i saw a thing on PBS called Pioneers of TV, and there was a whole bit about Jack Webb, it was great. And there was a part about Five-O which was provided no insight or inspiration, oh well.

    Otto and Boris will pull their heads out of their butts. I promise, but perhaps you shouldn't check in for a few weeks.
    CONGRATS again.

  4. Hi, and firstly congrats on your stylishness.
    Also thanks for the recommendation. From someone who manages to consistantly produce an interesting blog, I much appreciate it.
    Keep up the good work, and I'll keep watching the good, the bad and the unusual - It helps if you are an insomniac like me!

  5. Congratulations for your prize and thank you for passing it on!

    Lazarus Lupin

  6. Congratulations Ivan, and to those to whom you've passed the torch. All Hail!

  7. Thank you, thank you and congratulations to all! Smooches all around!