Category Archives: The Michael Moriartython

Downfall 2: Hitler Boogaloo (The Michael Moriartython Finale: Hitler Meets Christ)

Professor MoriartyAhem.

Professor MoriartyExcuse me?

Professor MoriartyHello?

What? Huh? Oh. You.

Professor Moriarty Yes, me.

Go away.

Professor Moriarty It’s just that–

Go away. I’m not doing it.

Professor Moriarty It’s just that I’ve been waiting out here since Thanksgiving. And it got very cold. And then hot. And it rained. Several times. And also you moved.

Any several of which you could have taken to indicate that I wasn’t going to do it and your services were no longer required.

Professor Moriarty Oh come along now. Your Michael Moriarty-thon was going so well! You were just about to review that domestic drama about divorce!

Michael Moriarty: Man of ACTION!Oh, yes, there’s comedy gold. A cheap knock-off of Kramer vs Kramer

Professor Moriarty And the one about the haunted high-rise! Or that one with Sonny Bono and the girl from Seinfeld!

Troll? Everyone and their brother’s reviewed Troll. It’s not even the really exciting one.

Professor Moriarty Yes, but Michael Moriarty plays a man named Harry Potter! Think of the jokes you could make.

I don’t care. I’m not doing it.

Professor Moriarty And then the big reveal at the end with me!

Yes, yes, I was going to review one last movie and then have it turn out that you, Professor MoriartyProfessor Moriarty, had found a way to channel energy from internet reviews about anyone else who was named “Moriarty”, and we’d have to fight and there would be a big climactic battle which would end with my house blowing up, this being the in-character explanation for why I moved.

Professor Moriarty It would have been fantastic!

It would have been a shameless rip-off of The Spoony Experiment. But it doesn’t matter now. I’m not doing it.

Professor Moriarty But why not?

This movie, man. This movie did it. I can’t go on, not with this movie in my way.

Professor Moriarty Bah! What could one single movie do that would break you so profoundly that you couldn’t continue on?

This movie, man. This movie. After this movie, there’s no horror you could unleash on me. This is it, man. This movie broke me.

Professor Moriarty No! I will not have it! I shall not be bested by a mere movie! Come! Show me this movie! It shall fall before my great intellect!

Your funeral, man. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Professor Moriarty What is this film that has you cowering in your underwear, wrapped in a security blanket?

Dude! You didn’t need to tell the audience that!

Anyway, so far in the Michael Moriartython, we’ve limited ourselves to Michael Moriarty’s acting roles. But what happens when you put a pen in his hand? The answer is three words that will strike a cold chill into the heart of the heartiest of men. You have been warned.

Hitler Meets Christ
Directed by Brendan Keown
Starring Wyatt Page
And Michael Moriarty as Hitler

Based on the play Hitler Meets Christ at the Port Authority Bus TerminalThe first thing you’ll notice about this movie is that it’s based on a play, with the somewhat more verbose title “Hitler Meets Christ at the Port Authority Bus Terminal”.

Professor Moriarty The second thing you’ll notice is that — Oh dear God, he also wrote the music? This is going to hurt, isn’t it?

I warned you. Now, you may be a little confused here as we fade in on the man of inaction, because this film was shot entirely in Black-and-White.

Professor Moriarty Oh, that’s a common trick when the filmmaker wants to seem “artsy”.

Except here, it’s actually foreshadowing, because this film is going to suck so hard on your will to live, that after it’s over, your entire life will seem bleak and gray as well.

Our.. Hero? Villain? Victim? I give up.But more seriously, I think maybe the reason it’s in black and white is because Michael Moriarty was harboring delusions that he could pass this movie off as a sequel to Schindler’s List.

Professor Moriarty Who’s this hobo? I thought you said that Moriarty was playing Hitler.

That’s Hitler. Hitler is depicted in this movie as a homeless person. That’s because in Canada, all homeless people are secretly the wandering spirits of twentieth-century fascists. The last time you were in Ontario, that guy in the plaid shirt you gave a cup of coffee to? Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

Hobo Hitler and a bored-looking middle aged gentleman are having a casual conversation about the pending end-of-days that feel very much like Michael Moriarty wrote this entire movie as a response to having read Waiting for Godot and thinking “You know what’s wrong with this play? Too subtle. I mean, why don’t they just come out and say that Godot is God?”

Professor Moriarty Why does Hitler have a terrible fake Bronx accent?

Just roll with it. At least Michael Moriarty isn’t doing his folksy southern drawl.

Hitler makes a big point of playfully saying “No” to Jesus over and over again, just to prove he can, then he gets distracted by incoherent whispering which I think is meant to be his conscience in his mind, but it is equally valid to assume it is the PA system in the bus terminal.

Outside, Hitler tells Jesus that he’d originally thought it was Jesus who had inspired him. Jesus is a little hurt — not that Hitler thought that, but that he’d stopped thinking that. Just because of that whole “defeat” thing. Jesus points out that taking over the world is a kind of outlandish plan.

Hitler insists that wanting to take over the world was a “lie, a fabrication, propaganda,” and that he didn’t really want to take over the world “not even the teeniest tiniest little bit,” (Hitler kind of babbles like a small child who has been dropped). “I simply wanted to give my country a little room, a little breathing space, and what do I get for it? Stuck in Vancouver with you.” Then he complains, “Why couldn’t it have been Einstein? I knew they’d send me a Jew, but why not a smart Jew like Marx?” Jesus throws in “Or a funny Jew like Marx!” Which is one of two intentional laughs you are liable to get out of this movie, so I hope you were paying attention. Hitler does a little bit of rhetorical gymnastics to make fun of Karl Marx, and ends with a little straight-up antisemitism, because we are getting dangerously close to depicting Hitler as a sort of mildly-amusing mildly-profound Cloud-cuckoolander type, the way homeless people with a mild mental illness are usually portrayed in movies when they’re main characters. And if you ever find yourself watching a movie about Hitler, and you find yourself going “Awww. He’s not so bad,” the filmmaker should just stop, and consider going into another profession, like anchor for Fox News.

Hitler salutesJesus explains about omnipresence, and how he’s not just hanging out in Vancouver with Hitler, but he’s also in Moscow and Berlin and Hell and Heaven. Hitler asks whether they are presently in Heaven or Hell, and Jesus says “both,” which Hitler doesn’t like, and goes on a rant against symbolism, which he punctuated with some Nazi salutes, followed by Even Hitler thinks you're a dick.giving Jesus the finger, Even Hitler thinks you're a dick.a bronx cheer, and Even Hitler thinks you're a dick.miming masturbation. He then does a funny dance, and falls down. I assume this scene is an homage to the “religion” scene in Wizards. He sits down next to Jesus on a park bench and releases I do have a picture, but at this rate, the entire review is just going to be a bunch of pictures of Hitler making rude gestures. Because that is a good 2/3 of the moviean enormous fart. Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest and most popular villain in human history!

Hitler then changes the subject to his own death. His ultimate revenge, he says, is that eventually, despite Jesus’s best laid plans, he will utterly cease to be, and then someone else will come along who is even worse, and people will forget all about him and stop using him as the measuring stick for human evil. Then church bells start ringing and he makes funny faces.

Funny faces

But Jesus notices and points out a hint of doubt in Hitler’s tone, and tells Hitler that this means that deep down, he knows that nothing in all of creation will ever be more evil than Nazis. Hitler insists otherwise, but Jesus just chuckles condescendingly.

Professor Moriarty I say, is this Michael Moriarty chap pro-Hitler?

Not in the slightest, from what I can tell

Professor Moriarty I mention, because this Hitler chap seems like rather a sad and tragic figure, while this Jesus fellow seems like a smug bastard.

Well, I’m given to understand that Jesus’s parents weren’t married, but still. The whole “Jesus is a smug git,” thing is actually a common theme among a certain segment of christians. They tend to be smug gits themselves, and are naturally drawn toward a perspective on Jesus that validates their own smug gittedness.

Back at a bus terminal, Hitler complains about how anyone who rides the bus is either unemployed or as close to it as makes no odds. And you should remember that the next time you poo-pooh public transit. If you think poorly of people who ride the bus, you’re thinking like Hitler.

Hitler suggests that Jesus give all the poor people a plane ticket to Rome, so they can hang out in the Vatican, but Jesus, who for predictable reasons shares the author’s view on the papacy, explains that the Vatican is not fond of Jesus, and never invites him round for tea. This gives Hitler pause for thought.

Jesus goes on to talk at some length about how much less attractive he and his mother are than they appear in the Pieta, having been working class peasants, and how angry she’d been at having her son nailed to a cross. Hitler thinks that being murderous with rage at having your child tortured and executed while a mocking crowd looks on is quite a reasonable response, but that’s because he’s evil. Jesus prefers Michaelangelo’s version. He also recounts how he was thrown out of St. Peter’s for trying to stay past closing time. Hitler suggests that it was that kind of respect for the rules, even in the face of tossing Jesus out of your basillica, that resulted in some of his best Nazis being Christians.

Jesus namechecks Dorothy Day, who once turned the whole ‘Render unto Caesar’ thing moot by saying “Once you’ve rendered unto God that which is God’s, there shouldn’t be anything left to render unto Caesar.” I’m frankly a little surprised, given Moriarty’s depiction of Jesus so far, that he’d namecheck a prominent christian communist like that.

See, back in the first half of the 20th century, it was starting to look like the christians were going to throw in with the communists, what with the whole “everyone is equal” stuff and the whole “Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t exploit the hell out of the poor in order to create vast disparities of wealth,” thing. Fortunately for all of us, christians got past this, and found a way to interpret “Give everything you have to the poor or you’re going to hell,” to mean “Toss a buck in the collection plate every Sunday and it’s okay to vote against a living wage. It’s not like the poor deserve things like food and medicine. Fuck them. Fuck them hard.”

Again, Moriarty senses that he may have made Hitler a bit too sympathetic, and has Hitler start tossing the word “Faggot” around like it’s going out of style. Jesus attributes Hitler’s hate-filled ass-millnery to a lack of self-love. Hitler calls God a faggot. And then he takes a leak while Jesus watches and giggles.

Jesus is giggling because it’s Easter, not because he’s tickled by watching Hitler piss, he explains. Hitler finds six bucks on the street and uses it to buy a pack of smokes. Then, he explains that he only continues to exist so long as people remember him, and he is looking forward to people finally forgetting about him. Jesus says he’ll miss him. Hitler finds that unbelievable, and uses this as a segue to bitch about how much he hates Neo-Nazis, who he thinks are a bunch of whiny, unkempt sissies.

The subject of people remembering him finally brings Hitler around to the Holocaust. He complains that the Jews are “lousy winners,” as, having beaten him fair and square, foiling his attempt to exterminate them, they keep bringing the Holocaust up whenever they get the chance, thus refreshing the memory of Hitler and keeping him in his current form of conscious existence.

Jesus one-ups Hitler by pointing out that he personally has been conscious (this being the metaphysical state you’re in when someone thinks about you) for two thousand years, and that Hitler should stop whining.

Professor Moriarty So the take-home message here is that whenever you think about someone who has died, you summon them into existence in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Vancouver?

Yes.

Professor Moriarty Surprisingly, that explains a lot.

And now we get to the big central moral message of this whole thing. Now, if you were hoping this would be a big profound statement that would justify everything that has happened so far, then you missed the bit at the beginning of this review where I was curled up in a ball crying.

Hitler longs for the peaceful oblivion of death, which is denied him because he cannot sleep so long as anyone remember him. However, death never sleeps, therefore, because he can not sleep, Hitler is death*Note: This does not actually make logical sense. Likewise, Jesus can bring Hitler the oblivion he so desperately seeks, but is prevented from doing so because Hitler is death*Note: This does not actually make logical sense. However, Jesus also cannot sleep, therefore Jesus is also death*Note: This does not actually make logical sense. Thus, Hitler and Jesus are death to each other*Note: This does not actually make logical sense. Therefore, Hitler and Jesus should logically kill each other*Note: This does not actually make logical sense, but they can not do so because they are both death themselves, and therefore do not know how to die*Note: This does not actually make logical sense, because if death knew how to die, there would be no death*Note: This does not actually make logical sense. QED*Note: Q does not actually ED. Understand? Too fucking bad.

Jesus then follows this up with another bombshell: Though Hitler wants to kill Jesus, he can’t, as Jesus is death and can not die. Jesus likewise can not kill Hitler, but he doesn’t want to.

Professor Moriarty Ah, yes, standard theology thing. Jesus is all forgiving and loves Hitler anyway even though he’s terrible. Heard it a million times before.

No, actually, Jesus doesn’t want to kill Hitler because Jesus is so damned mad at Hitler that he wants to watch Hitler suffer.

Professor Moriarty Oh. That’s a bit ugly.

But not surprising, except maybe that someone would be so forthright about it. But this is Hitler Meets Christ, and if your brain hasn’t bled out your ears yet, you haven’t been paying attention. Because unlike, say, mainstream american fundamentalist evangelical christiantity, Jesus doesn’t want Hitler to suffer “forever and ever”, but only for “as long as it takes for you to learn how to die. Because when you learn how to die, you will die, and death dies with you.”

Hitler, presumably using that cosmic knowledge you get when you die, works out that this means that God set him up, and Oh, it's supposed to be HITLER!wipes some dirt on his lip to make a little Hitler moustache, and starts bitching about how he never should have attacked Russia. And then he wanders off on a tangent about goosestepping into Paris and forcing the Mona Lisa to pleasure him orally. He’s given Jesus the slip for the moment, and complains that he should have tried starting his own religion, this having worked out better for Jesus, in terms of the percentage of the world population kneeling to himA unit known in the trade as the “centizod”. He also complains about how everyone betrayed him, and how Jesus was lucky to just have the one Judas. But he starts hearing voices again and runs off.

We rejoin Jesus, who is in a theater, Yes, reallywatching porn. Hitler, meanwhile, goes to church to beg God to let him die. Jesus shows up and tells Hitler where he’s been, putting on his best Creepy Perv Jesus!Creepy Pervert face. Hitler asks if it was hardcore, and Jesus excitedly says that yes, yes it was. Jesus loves porn, ladies and gentlemen.

But the porn was not all sunshine for Jesus: he explains that the performers had no sense of the fact that what they were doing was obscene and a violation of God’s laws, and therefore there was no real joy in it. According to Moriarty’s Jesus, God often breaks His own rules (I’m guessing he means miracles here), but He always enjoys it, because he understands the laws He’s breaking. So sex is only fun if you understand why it’s Wrong and Shameful and Sinful.

I am totally outsourcing my Pervy Jesus captions now. Sorry. I have my limits.Which is the most sex-positive sex-negative position I think I’ve ever heard. Jesus also describes innocence as a “Maidenhead that can grow back,” which grosses Hitler out. And just in case you haven’t been rendered entirely impotent by the thought of Jesus watching hardcore porn, he goes on explain that, though he doesn’t have sex personally, whenever a woman follows Him, he rewards them by secretly restoring their innocence, which in turn makes it easier for them to comeHis words, which Hitler will call him on later.. And he calls Hitler a prude.

So Hitler takes Jesus back to his hovel and shows Him his porn collection, then says several of George Carlin’s words. And, because it’s been
almost a whole three seconds since Jesus creeped us out, he explains that his experience of being in heaven as a state of perpetual orgasm. Which if it didn’t creep you out enough, he follows up by reminding Hitler of those 75 centizods he’s got.

Professor Moriarty I don’t follow — Oh dear. It’s a fellatio joke isn’t it?

Yeah. Jesus just intimated that he’s being continuously felated by christendom.

Hitler tries to take a dump, but is constipated. This feels important, though I don’t know why. Like Estragon having a bladder infection in Godot.

Hitler goes to church again to pray for annihilation, and this leads us into act 2….

Continue reading

That David Carradine is one Bad Mother– (Moriartython, Part 3: Q)

Hello once again and welcome to A Mind Occasionally Voyaging, where I pretend terrible old movies are actually pretty good, while showing you screenshots that demonstrate that the body text has been making use of sarcasm. This is the point in the article where I pretend to introduce this week’s movie, up until I get interrupted by this week’s guest star who will pretend to be just dropping by unexpectedly.

Michael Moriarty: Man of ACTION!We’re in part three of the Michael Moriartython, wherein we enjoy the cinematic stylings of the greatest action-horror hero of the 1980s, Michael Moriarty. A man with the wherewithal to speak out against such evils as, to quote Wikipedia, Bill Clinton, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, anti-Catholicism, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George W. Bush, both major U.S. political parties, Halliburton, Kenny G, the College of Cardinals, and Islam. Though he later recanted his ill-considered statements against Islam, we can only assume that I should not approach him to play the lead if I can ever get funding to produce my spec script, Sherlock Holmes and Kenny G Save The PopeSherlock Holmes and Kenny G Team Up To Save The Pope.

But that’s a story for another day. Our movie this week is.

Ahem. Our movie this week is.

Oh come on. I know you’re out there. I’m not going to start going into my review only to have some robot or ghost or video game character pop up and interrupt me, so let’s just get it over with.

GPHey, keep your freakin’ pants on, I’m molting over here!

Aaaah! It’s the bird from The Giant Claw! A horrible eldrich monstrosity as big as a– Hey. Wait. I thought you were bigger.



Actual size

GPThat is, point of fact, a popular misconception. You see, in the film, when they referred to me as being as big as a battleship, they were in fact speaking of popular Milton Bradley board game of that name.

I see. So when they went to make the movie, they got confused?

GPOh no. Youse have only seen the film in its theatrical edit. There is a deleted scene in the director’s edtion which reveals at the end that the entire film has taken place on a parallel planet which is exactly like earth in every way, except that it is approximately 1/60th your size. The entire cast consisted of smurf actors. That is why they decided to film in black and white. It’s actually quite obvious if you watch the scene in the general’s office.

You mean general's officethis one?

GPYes. The matte painting of the Capitol building there is in fact a post card from their gift shop. The late Ray Harryhausen himself did something similar for The Beginning of the End

Well, I’m quite impressed. Um. Would you like to have a seat and watch a movie with me?

GPI would be happy to partake in a film with you, but I will avoid sitting, as I’m surrounded by an inpenetrable antimatter shroud which destroys anything with which I come into contact.

Oh! It sounded so nonsensical in the film that I just assumed they made it up.

GPNo, in point of fact, their science was mostly right. I am from a distant galaxy composed entirely of anti-matter, and hence the physical laws are very different, hence the gibberish about mu mesonic atoms.

Fascinating. Then why do you sound like a Brooklyn mob enforcer from a thirties noir film trying to sound smart?

GPThe laws governing our accents are very different in the anti-matter universe.

Fascinating. Oh, by the way, I never got your name. In the movie, they just call you “The bird”. And I assume that “Giant Claw” isn’t your real name?

GPBeing as I am, from an anti-matter universe where the laws of physics and accents are radicallty different, the language of my people is extremely complex. Why, a single letter in my native tongue contains over twenty-nine letters. If I were to speak just one syllable of my true name, the sound of it would cause your spleen to sublimate, leaving behind only a gooey pile of Vick’s Vapo Rub. However, since I am a strange and horriffic creature whose very existence is an affront to the standards of logic, decency, and physics in this part of space, according to the traditions of your race, you can call me “Glen”.

Glen?

GPGlen Peck. After the actor, Gregory Peck.

Riiiiight. Okay Mr. Peck, it turns out that you’ve dropped by right in the middle of my Michael Moriarty Movie Marathon. I realize this might take a little getting used to. Just the other week, I had the ghost of Orson Welles over, and it nearly drove him to try to unleash the forces of armageddon over the earth.

GPOh, no, do not worry. I’m a big fan of Michael Moriarty myself. Why, in fact, we beings from the other planes of existence have been all abuzz over the unfortunate incident with Mr. Welles, and among my reasons for coming here was to assure you that we beings from beyond your mortal comprehension aren’t all total douchenozzles. In fact, when I heard you were reviewing the film work of Mr. Moriarty, I dug out a copy of this classic piece, which I think you will find relevant to your interests. My cousin, Glen, he’s got a major part in the film. They approached me, of course, but I retired from acting back in the fifties. Wanted to spend more time campaigning for my political causes.

Political causes?

GPYeah. I’ve been a spokesman for Quebecoise independence and statehood for Puerto Rico since the early 70s.

Fascinating if true. But what’s this Michael Moriarty film you’re talking about?

GPWell, it’s a 1982 film by Larry Cohen, who you wills remember from such films as It’s Alive and God Told Me To.

That’s the one with the glowing gold alien with the chest-oriface, right?

GPQuite. This is a film that such a personage as Rex Reed celebrated as complete and utter drek. Only he pointed out that even amidst the gigantic ball of my own antimatter droppings this movie is, the performance of Michael Moriarty was a shining gem. A shining gem in the center of a ball of crap.

Now you’ve got my full attention.

GPOur film is one of the last and most grandiose examples of the Harryhausen school of stop-motion special effects youse are liable to see. I’m talking, of course, about Q

Q: The Winged Serpent
1982
Directed by Larry Cohen
Starring Michael Moriarty, David Carradine, and Richard Roundtree

You had me at David Carradine.

GPDon’t get too excited. This is an entirely non-Kung-Fu role for Carradine.

Excuse me, miss, would you like a free copy of the Watchtower?Our story opens in scenic New York, where high up on the Empire State Building, a blonde whose name I do not think we ever learn (But based on how her Shoes!office is appointed, I will call her Carrie Bradshaw) is being sexually harassed by the window washer, who appears to be played by Liam Neesen with a Porn Stache.

Sadly, Liam Neesen’s pervy stalkerish behavior is cut trafically short when something from above triggers a cheap process shot where he tries to pretend he’s hanging from the side of the building instead of walking crouched down along a horizontal propSpider-Man!. Seconds later, the Empire State Building’s strap-on Liam Neesen gets circumsizedPut a little ice on that. by something we don’t yet see, but it sounds kind of bird-like, and, well, we’re watching a movie called “Q: The Winged Serpent”.

Next thing we know, our heroes, a pair of cops played by David Carradine and
Richard Roundtree, make snarky comments about the victim, while David Carradine checks out his partner’s ass. This causes me to finally remember who Richard Roundtree is…



Shaft!

Just as soon as David Carradine and Shaft proclaim their total lack of any kind of idea how the window-washer was decapitated (Carradine suggests that maybe his head was just loose and fell off. This is meant to make Carradine look like a cynical cop with AttitudeWhich technically qualifies him as a Power Ranger, but actually just makes him look like a dick with a terrible sense of humor), we cut to the Man of Action himself, Michael Moriarty. Moriarty’s playing a guy named Jimmy Quinn, who is apparently a small-time hood who makes his living as a wheel man for armed robberies. He’s also suggested to be a jumpy, paranoid type, and, I am starting to suspect, developmentally challenged. If he doesn’t turn out to be Kaiser Soze, I will be mightily disappointed.

GPDon’t hold your breath

That’s David Carradine’s job.

GPSQUAK! Too soon, man, too soon!

Good morning, CaptainGood morning, Captain

Sorry. The setup, you know. Anyway, Moriarty and some other hoods are plotting a crime, for which he’s being solicited as a wheel man. And suddenly we’re in a hotel room, where a maid screams, and suddenly we’re a few hours later as police photographers are photographing a crime scene. Does this movie have ADD or something? Anyway, the crime scene in question is the dumping of a man-shaped grilled hot dog, which police detective Captain Kangaroo declares is an expertly flayed human body (they say absolutely nothing to suggest that he was also burned, though the body is quite clearly charred). Shaft also consults on the case, but offers nothing beyond pointing out that the decapitated window washer was, like this case, pretty freaking weird. Did I mention that the other cop in this scene looks like Captain Kangaroo?


Back at base, bugs in the software flash the message 'Something's out there'... Captain Kangaroo ???casually smothers the dead man with a pillow, and, the movie’s thirty seconds being up, we cut to… Um… Uh… The Red Balloon, I guess. Our regularly scheduled monster movie will resume immediately after the pretentious French masterpiece…

We return to find a blonde chyk sunbathing atop a skyscraper. Because the birds featured in this blog have not yet included the booby, she decides to sunbathe toplessSunbathing. Her luscious partial nudity proves too tempting for our resident for our faithful monster, and it swoops down to devower her, which gives us our first look at the thing. Or rather, it would, if it weren’t for the fact that the camera is pointed directly into the sun. It will later be explained that the creature is clever enough to always fly in front of the sun so that no one gets a good look at it. And then they’ll get to the big reveal of what it looks like, after which it will never attempt to hide itself again.



You wear a disguise to look like human guys, but you're not a man; you're a chicken

The sunbather is carried off, to the shock of the perv across the street who was watching herPeeper. As the bird flies off to its lair, the sunbather’s blood drips down on, so far as I can tell, the Bee GeesBee Gees. No one is safe from the horrific spray of gore, not even… Chicken Boo.

We cut to Michael Moriarty playing a piano. Yeah. I don’t get it either. I think the scene is there just so that Michael Moriarty and David Carradine will have met each other already (He’s in the bar, drinking between cases) a few scenes later. Pointless

We then proceed to the heist, which is at a jewlery store named — I am not making this up — Neil DiamondsNeil Diamonds. This appears to be a fine establishment specializing in blinged-out Stars of David and what appear to be goatse.cx-themed diamond ringsRings. Michael Moriarty is strongarmed into participating in the heist directly rather than waiting in the car. A few gunshots later, and Michael Moriarty emerges, clutching a satchel of stolen gemstones to his chest. To his horror, he realizes that one of the other hoods has the keys to the car, and so, being a man of action, he runs away like a spaz and gets kneecapped by a taxi, dropping the satchel and running halfway across the city in an awkward, limping panic before he comes to the Chrysler Building, where his lawyer apparently works, when he’s in, which he isn’t, so Michael Moriarty instead decides to get chased by a security guard into the Chrysler Building’s unfinished atticAccording to Wikipedia, the area under the cone of the Chrysler building really does look like an unfinished attic, and the scenes set there where really filmed on location. This sounds like utter bullshit to me, but hey, if you see it on Wikipedia it must be true.. There, he makes a shocking discovery in the form of a giant process shot of an eggWe're going to need bacon. Lots of bacon.. At the topmost point, we get a little more character development for Michael Moriarty. We’ve previously established that he’s a coward, and now we reinforce it by seeing that even the littlest thing makes him totally lose his shit. For example, see what happens when he’s surprised by a decayed zombie that tries to sodomize him:



I wish I could quit you

Luckily for Michael Moriarty, his assailant turns out to just be a mouldering female corpse. Being a theif of class and sophistication, he immediately tries to steal from the dead, but can’t quite manage to slip the charm bracelet off of the corpse. It’s more or less now that the movie gets bored with this scene, and wanders off to watch the hijinks of some construction workers who have stolen their coworker’s sandwich. Oh the hilarity. The sandwichless worker sulks off, where he is eaten by the giant bird monster. Which I think is supposed to be ironic, but really it just makes his coworkers look like giant dicks who got their buddy horribly killed.

GPThe makers of this film, in their zeal to depict the complex moral enigmas of god-summoming and willing human sacrifices, have spread some unfortunate misinformation about the ancient Nahuatl religion. Namely:

  • The primary source of human sacrifice for the Aztecs were prisoners taken in raids and skirmishes. They were only “willing” insofar as there was a general cultural understanding in the area that occasionally being rounded up by Aztec warriors and sacrificed was the price of doing business.
  • Human sacrifice was typically done to placate the gods, not to ressurrect them. The closest analogue was the process of becoming an “ixiptla”, wherein the sacrificial victim became a representative of the god, and was effectively awarded rockstar status for the time leading up to the sacrifice.
  • Many popular and important Aztec gods were served by human sacrifice, but the cult of Quetzelcoatl mostly sacrificed butterflies and hummingbirds.

This has been your guest host, Glen Peck, bringing youse fun facts about ancient religions.

That out of the way, we return to the David Carradine side of the plot. Having finished up with his boozing, he visits a local museum doing research on the ritualistic flaying. Which I guess means that he’s working that case as well. So the reason that Shaft was at the crime scene with Captain Kangaroo instead of him was, I guess, because David Carradine was on his booze break. He learns about Quetzelcoatl, the feathered serpent of Aztec mythology, whose worshippers, according to the museum person (Professor? Curator?), believed that summoning their god into existence required a number of human sacrifices — and a key point of their belief was that the sacrifices had to be willing.

David Carradine gets some readings on Aztec mythology, which he takes home with him to read at home. With that, day 1 of this epic draws to a close, and David Carradine goes home to do his homework and make sweet love to his wife, If Chewbacca doesn't make sense, you must acquitCousin It from the Addams Family.

GPI have noticed that youse have been leaning heavily on the rollover popups for this review.

Just worked out the CSS to do them properly and I am proud. Anyway, Michael Moriarty goes home to his girlfriend and whines for a while about how he’s far too inept to adapt to life outside of prison, then takes a nap.

The next day, Shaft and David Carradine find a new sacrificial victim, in what is undoubtedly the most horrifying scene in this entire movie. A scene so disturbing that I shall hide it behind the jump, and also behind a hover link.

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In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important Michael Moriarties (Moriartython Part 2: Blood Link)

Greetings again, mellow readers, and welcome to A Mind Occasionally Voyaging, where my ceaseless efforts to recapture my long-lost youth will take me to the very depths of terrible old movies I dimly recollect from childhood. This week we’re going to look at an old classic from–

OW:Rosebud.

Huh?

OW:Rosebud.

Ghost

EEEGAH! It’s– Um. It’s. Okay, No idea.

OW:Roseb– Oh. Sorry. Is this better? I forget what I look like to morals sometimes.

Ghost of Orson WellesEEEGAH! It’s the ghost of Orson Welles!

OW:Yes. Long ago, I shuffled off this mortal coil, and since then, my meanderings in the great beyond have led me to acquire deepest knowledge of the great mysteries of the universe.

Wow. And you’re going to share them with me?

OW:Of course not. Why, the merest sentence of the infinite knowledge I possess would cause your thyroid gland to dissolve into delicious frozen peas. Mmm… Peas…

Right. So then, what brings you here, former Mr. Welles?

OW:It recently came to my attention that you expressed concern over my later carer in a conversation with a Mr. Prime.

Oh, that. Yeah. I thought it was really a shame how you never got the respect you really deserved in your later years.

OW:That’s why I have appeared to you now. I wanted you to understand that here in the afterlife, I am beyond all such material concerns. I can see all the days of my life laid out before me, and I realize that, all in all, I had a pretty good run and I regret nothing.

Not even Future ShockFuture Shock, Bitches?

OW:Not even Future Shock.

Wow. The afterlife sounds awesome.

OW:Yes. But I have come to you with a grave warning.

Oh crap. Am I going to be visited by three spirits?

OW:Probably. But that’s not really relevant to my warning. As the maker of what is unarguably the greatest film ever made, I have come to warn you: your choice of films to review lacks any sort of cohesion. Why, it’s as if you’re choosing films entirely at random without any thought to how your body of reviews work as a whole.

My God, you’re right Former Mr. Welles! If I don’t clean up my act and fly right, will I be doomed to wander the earth after my death, bound in chains, never stopping, never knowing a minute’s peace?

OW:No. You’ll just go to hell. But I wouldn’t worry too much about that. You’re pretty much damned anyway for practicing the wrong religion.

What? But I thought all religions were paths to God!

OW:Nope. The only true religion is Frooblintarianism. Unfortunately, the great prophet Froblintar was born on the planet Gelgamar IV in the year 500,023 BC.

Oh. Sucks to be us then.

OW:Quite.

So I guess there’s really only one thing for it. One way to make my reviews more coherently themed. I need to do… A miniseries. A movie-thon all bound together by the common thread of one man. A man whose contribution to modern film is unquestionable. A man whose name is already famous in the annals of cinematographic history.

OW:Good to see you’ve come to your senses.

Yes! I can see it now. There’s no other choice. I shall do a marathon. A marathon dedicated to the greatest star of film history. A marathon of the film masterpieces of… Michael Moriarty!

OW:Yes! No, wait. Who?

Michael MoriartyMichael Moriarty! Isn’t it obvious, Former Mr. Welles?

OW:Um…

I mean, with last time’s The Stuff, I’m already one film in. There must be ones, nay, tens of ones of fine films starring the most fantastically-foreheaded man of action that the 1980s ever produced.

OW:I think I’ll be leaving now.

Oh no you don’t, Former Mr. Welles. You got me into this, and you’re going to see it through with me. Now, let’s pull up IMDB and see what we’ve got…

Oh. Huh. That’s… Okay. Well, maybe we’ll have a spot of luck with this one..

Blood Link
1982
Starring Michael Moriarty (and Michael Moriarty)
Directed by Alberto de Martino

We open from a peeping-tom shot looking in on a freeze-framed ballroom as the credits run, gently reassuring us tht this film will indeed star Michael Moriarty and — HOLY CRAP!


Cameron Mitchell I mentioned once before that Moriarty, during this phase of his career, bore a striking resemblance to a doughier Ben Browder. Cameron Mitchell is, of course, the recklessly loveable Air Force Colonel who replaced General Jack O’Neill in Stargate SG-1’s final seasons. And he was played by none other than Professional Michael-Moriarty-Impersonator Ben Browder. And now we find mention of a Cameron Mitchell in a Michael Moriarty film. Clearly this can be no mere coincidence, and must point to some kind of deep occult link between the two, like how Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had one named Lincoln.

The action finally starts up and we are treated to the back of Michael Moriarty’s head as he dances with a slightly older womanWho kinda looks like but is not Ma’am from Web*Ster to no music. Bystanders comment on how the couple seem so happy, what with the continuing to dance even after the music stops. Moriarty courts his date using his seductively honeyed southern accent (Michael Moriarty is from Michigan, I think). She is clearly smitten, and a little flabbergasted by the fact that someone so rich, so handsome, and so full of forehead as Michael Moriarty could be so loving to a woman so hideously wizened as her, what with her advanced age of perhaps 35 or 40. The music starts up again, maybe. I can’t tell. The music sounds like incidental music and while the other dancers take the floor, they aren’t moving anything like in time to the music the audience hears.


Hug of Death!Michael Moriarty thanks the aged crone for the beautiful gold watch she gave him, then dances her into an empty area and apparently hugs her to death. It takes only a second. One good squeeze and she’s dead. I’m reminded of the Cybermen in Revenge of the Cybermen, who similarly like to kill people with what’s meant to be a show of cyber-strength, but look like they’re administering death in the I Wish I Could Quit Youform of a vigorous shoulder massage

As Michael nonchalantly leaves the part, his date’s body slumps forward a bit, showing what I’m guessing is a small scratch on her shoulder, which is no where even close to where Michael Moriarty’s hands were when he killed her.


Suddenly, Michael Moriarty wakes up in bed to a phone call. Ah, the first scene must have been a dream — surely the great Michael Moriarty couldn’t be a murderer! OH GOD MORIARTY'S GONE OFF SCRIPT AGAIN!On his way to work, he stops to apologize to his maid for not gathering up his laundry for her. And then he kisses her. Given the reaction it gets, I’m going to guess that this was an unscripted addition by Moriarty.

OW:Entirely unprofessional. I would never have kissed a woman in a film. Utter rubbish!

Moriarty next encounters the maid’s husband, Santa Claus, so they can get off some exposition to let us know that Michael Moriarty is a doctor and is in a sort of relationship with another doctor named Julie Warren. As he walks to work, he has a flash of Moriartyvision in a dome mirror, seeing the tuxedo’d Moriarty of the previous night.


And Starring Michael Moriarty as The Killer His drive to work is punctuated by several beer-goggle’d visions of himself picking up a trashy blonde in a fur coat and nothing else. She seductively removes her coat, then puts it back on, and then Moriarty sees himself in a gray coat, murdering the blonde. Black-coated Moriarty cuts his hand on some window glass trying to run away, giving us a good chance to notice that he’s not wearing a watch.


When he arrives at work, he gets cuddly with Julie and explains how he’s had one nightmare and one hallucination of himself killing women, and he’s worried that his new experimental therapy technique has unlocked some kind of evil Mr. Hyde side to his personality. He also plays with the hair at his temple, so that Julie can point out the the audience that it’s a very distinctive mannerism that he has.Foreshadowing!

A board meeting expositions to us that Moriarty (Whose name is “Dr. Craig Mannings”, but I object to that, so instead I will continue to call him Michael Moriarty for as long as possible) is working on a new therapy tehnique which can control dreams, memory, fear, depression, and all personality flaws using a combination of accupuncture, electrocution, and “courage”.

Moriarty has another vision during his next self-therapizing session, and it prompts him to fly to Cleveland.

OW:While I am forbidden to hand out the secrets of the universe, I do feel compelled to tell you that nearly two thirds of all electo-therapy-induced visions lead people directly to Cleveland.

Normally, the birth of siamese twins is a joyus occasion...In Cleveland, he visits a senile old woman in a nursing home, who recognizes him, but calls him “Keith”, prompting Michael Moriarty to reveal that he is, in fact, Keith Mannings’s identical twin brother! More, Craig (grr) and Keith were… Siamese Twins!. His parents had died, and, I gather, as is the usual practice in movies, the state made a concerted effort to separate the twins and ensure that they never ever met again. Does this ever happen in real life? I mean, I know that, in spite of their attempts, it’s not always possible to keep families together in foster care, but even when they end up having to break upfamilies, they’ve got to make an effort to keep siblings at least in contact with one another?

OW:Well, they never tried to keep you in touch with your Siamese twin brother.

I don’t have a Siamese twin brother. And also, I think “conjoined” is the polite term for that.

OW:That’s what you think. Didn’t you ever wonder about that strange scar on your hip?

I don’t have a scar on my hip. I — HOLY CRAP HOW LONG HAVE I HAD THAT SCAR?

OW:I’ve said too much already.

Y.e.a.h… The senile old lady tells Michael Moriarty #1, thinking that he is Michael Moriarty #2, that she’d been kind to him by keeping him out of is court-ordered therapy for his nacient insanity. Moriarty notes that both his own caretaker and the senile old woman both are unwilling to admit to their respective wards that they’d had a conjoined twin, and the old woman reveals that Moriarty #2 had not, as Moriarty #1 thought, died in a fire when he was 17.

Back home, Moriarty #1 enjoys a gratuitous topless scene from Julie as and explains that he didn’t really need to go to Cleveland, because he’d intitively known the entire time that his long-lost brother was still alive and that his recent visions had been him seeing through his brother’s eyes. Rendering most of Good Moriarty’s scenes so far entirely pointless. Still, I guess it was polite of him to take the audience with him as he demonstrated all these things he already knew. Julie is understandably worried that the effect might work both ways, allowing Evil Moriarty to see her moderately nice breasts. Neither one of them is especially concerned by the fact that they’ve just discovered the secret to psychic remote viewing powers, or that Good Moriarty’s brother is a serial killer. I think the idea here is that Julie doesn’t really believe Good Moriarty, but as the alternative is that her boyfriend and research partner is insane, she seems to be taking it in stride.


Incoming message from the big giant forehead Good Moriarty gets another message from the Big Giant Forehead, leding him to a harbor in Germany, and he’s off on the trail! Evil Moriarty sets his eyes on a new victim, but is cockblocked by a Cam MitchellCameron Mitchell. No, not him: himCameron Mitchell, who I now remember is the guy who played the santa-like captain of the space ship in Space MutinyCameron Mitchell in Space Mutiny and the heavy in that Fugitive-In-Space pilot that they did on MST3K. Cameron Mitchell is a washed up prize figher who mistakes Evil Moriary for Good Moriarty, who’d fixed his broken arm some years back. (Wait. He’s that kind of doctor? That makes no sense. I thought he was some kind of psychiatric researcher.), Evil Moriary plays along. Meanwhile. I think Good Moriarty visits the ballroom from the opening scene and meets the dour majordomo. But it’s hard to tell when you’ve got your main character in a double role and don’t ahve the decency to give one of them a goatee.

(Continued after the jump…)

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The Gun Shoots Death, The Ice Cream Factory Shoots White Gooey Life (Zardoz/The Stuff)

Updated June 24 with less-broken formatting and one new joke

The weekend before memorial day, a good friend of Leah’s got married, and so as my wife attended to her bridesmaidly duties, I was left to hang out in our rather nice hotel room, armed with nothing but my Macbook, a TV-out cable, and a few thumbdrives full of films.

I WILL KILL HIM!In the annals of eschatological film, there is one film about which I have found surprisingly little analysis. It is universally reviled, its very name turned code for a great old shame in one’s past. And yet, none of the internet critics whose angry rantings have become my favorite television genre (Which probably says more about the state of television in 2010 than it does about internet critics) have done a detailed analysis. So far as I know, no one has yet indulged in the ancient and worshipful ritual of the rifftrack for this movie.

It is a film set in a post apocalyptic world, a world where one man dares to stand against the gods themselves, and strike a blow for freedom, and that man… wears a red diaper.

That man is Sean Connery, and that movie is Zardoz.

Zardoz
dir. John Boorman
Starring Sean Connery


Three million years from Earth, the mining ship Red Dwarf


This is my rifle, this is my gun...But we’re not actually going to be reviewing Zardoz today. You see, after a promising opening scene, in which a disembodied floating head spoilers the plot for us, and we have an exciting scene in which a flying stone head called Zardoz tells his followers about the relative merits of the second ammendment when compared to those of the free love movement (Zardoz is a Republican), prompting me to realize this film’s social relevance: If, in 2010, you find that your political views align closely with a flying stone head which vomits guns, you should perhaps reconsider them.


SEAN CONNERY IS GOING TO KILL YOUBut then Sean goes flying off in the stone head away from this post-apocalyptic civilization, and the whole thing becomes very cerebral and confusing and dull and, I strongly suspect, takes a stab at ripping off Kubrick, especially right at the end. The whole thing just left me dazed and mumbling “WTF?” continuously for about two hours. Which is, I believe, longer than the actual film.


So, that’s about it for Zardoz. There’s a few moments coherent enough to be worth mocking, but for my money, it would have been a better bad movie if Zed (That’s Connery. Had this review gone the distance, I was hoping to do a sight gag replacing him with other famous Zeds in media, such as
Chief Zed from Men in Black, Zeddicus Zul Zorrander from Legend of the Seeker, Zed the guy from Pulp Fiction and Lord Zedd from the Power Rangers) had just stayed in the wasteland and had ribald adventures there. But hey, they can’t all be winners. Maybe next time I’ll have better luck when I review–

Naked Zombie Sean Connery!
NZSC:I say there, boy, has the tea party already started?

The Head of the Great SamuraiFor those of you not in the know, Naked Zombie Sean Connery is the boss of level 2 of the game Samurai Zombie Nation, an old Nintendo game in which, due to what I can only assume is a misplaced comma, you play not as “Namakubi, the great head of the samurai”, but rather as “The head of the great samurai Namakubi”. I’m not sure if it was cause or consequence of Naked Zombie Sean Connery’s ascendency to memehood, but The Spoony One did a rant about the game, and, coincidentally, that rant was released on my birthday a few years ago. So go watch that if you want more information about this Terrible Old Classic of Eight Bit Gaming, because personally, I never made it past the first stage.

Oh crap. It’s Naked Zombie Sean Connery. (To Leah) Honey? Have you been letting internet memes in the house?

NZSC:Now there, boy. I’ve come to help you review my cinematic masterpiece, Zardoz

Ah. So you’re not here to savagely kill me with your battleaxe and then eat my brains?

NZSC:Please, now, boy. I haven’t eaten brains in years. Not since Medicine Man

Glad to hear it. So, if you’re not under the control of the evil Darc Seed, then, um… Why are you naked?

NZSC:Well, why not, lad? I’ve always been a firm believer in letting them swing free. Except in the Amazon. There’s a fish there that will swim right up you. Now, are we going to review Zardoz or not? Have you gotten to the part where they hold a special seminar on my ability to sustain an erection? I had to use my own erection for that scene of course; Viagra hadn’t come out yet.

Um, actually Mr. Naked Zombie Connery, I was just telling my readers that I wasn’t going to be able to review Zardoz.

NZSC:It’s Sir Naked Zombie Connery, actually, boy. But you can call me Sir Naked Zombie Sean. But why aren’t you going to finish my film?

(Looks around for a defensive weapon in case Sir Naked Zombie Sean takes offense) Sir Naked Zombie Sean, uh, do you understand the sort of reviews I do here? I mean, they aren’t, generally, especially favorable toward their subject matter.

NZSC:I know that, boy. I’ve been around the block. I’ve seen that show with that Joe and his Tim Servo and Cow…. Mmm… That Gypsy, she was quite the filly…. (shakes head) It’s all an affectionate ribbing, I’ve been to a roast before, m’lad.

Yes… Well… You see, that’s the problem…. I just couldn’t find anything really good for mocking. It was just… Well, truth be told, there were a lot of parts I didn’t really understand. I– I’m sure you could offer an informative perspective–

NZSC:Ach, I doubt that, boy. I don’t think anyone on the set really knew what was going on in that picture. Of all the films I’ve worked on, that one was the one with the second highest budget for cocaine.

What was the first?

NZSC:A Bridge Too Far. I bet you were expecting me to pick one of the silly ones, weren’t you, boy?

So anyway, I’m really sorry that I won’t be able to review your movie today. It’s really great that you’d come here to review it with me and all… My mom really loves your work.

NZSC:Ah yes, boy. Your mum. She was quite the filly.

Ri-ight. So, um, thanks for coming and all, and I–

NZSC:Boy, it’s just… Well… I did fly all the way out here from Scotland…

You flew here? They let you though airport security with that axe? And naked?

NZSC:Of course not, boy. I brought my own transport. By the way, do you think it’s okay if I park my giant flying stone head at the end of the street?

I’m sure it’ll be okay if it’s just for a couple of hours.

NZSC:And it may have vomited up a few assault rifles on your front garden…

You’re trying to say that you’d like to review a movie with me, aren’t you?

NZSC:Well, boy, so long as you’re suggesting it. You know, I have done quite a few other movies. Highlander 2 for instance

Oh no, I am not reviewing Highlander 2. Leaving aside for them moment the fact that far better critics than me have already done it (Most recently, The Spoony One), I didn’t actually think that the movie was all that bad.

NZSC:Not that bad? Have you been hitting my stash, boy? I’m a senile, randy, reanimated corpse, and I find that turdburger indigestible!

Well, sure, the plot’s a little weak and the villians are obnoxious assholes, but it’s got a few fun moments.

NZSC:By god, boy. Planet Zeist?

I owe you a new globeY’know, yeah, that was dumb. But look, we’re talking about a movie called Highlander, where you, the quintessential Scot, play an Egyptian Prince, with a Spanish name who teaches Japanese Kenjutsu to a Highland Scot played by a Frenchman. Saying you were all really aliens frankly clears a lot of stuff up. And on balance, yeah, I think that a bizarre and outlandish explanation is a lot better than every other Highlander sequel at sidestepping that whole “There can be only one” thing. I remember all my friends saying how great Highlander 3 was because it ignored Highlander 2 — but you really expected me to believe that at the end of the first movie, he’s just, what, mistaken about having won the prize? Dumbasses.

Oh, and besides, I really liked that scene where you punched the globe.

NZSC:Ah yes, boy. I smashed through that globe like a young girl’s maidenhead.

Yes, well, okay. So, no Highlander. We could maybe do Outland, but you’d have to come back in a week or two so I can get it from Netflix.

NZSC:Sorry, boy. I’ve got something important to do next week.

What’s that?

NZSC:Your mum, boy.

I knew it was coming, and yet I had to ask anyway. So, I do have something we could review today — not one of your films, sorry. But I watched a couple of other films while Leah was at the batchelorette party. There’s a shot-on-video horror movie based around some jiggly, trashy-looking women with chainsaws. And there’s a science fictiony sort of thing about a white creamy substance which tries to take over the earth… And I am in a lot of trouble either way aren’t I?

NZSC:You know, boy, I once produced a white creamy substance that tried to take over the earth.

And with that, thankfully, it’s time for the jump. When we return, Sir Naked Zombie Sean and I are going to go wading hip-deep in the sexually suggestive goo pit that is… The Stuff

The Stuff
dir. Larry Cohen
Starring Michael Moriarty, Paul Sorvino, and Garrett Morris as “Chocolate Chip” Charlie Hobbs.

I’m in a lot of trouble…

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