Thursday, April 30, 2009

Coming Soon From Code Red

According to IMDB Code Red has gained the rights to some great cult films. The wealth of trailers on most of their discs also paints a nice portrait of this company's future in the DVD market. Code Red's DVDs have ranged from Great, (The Unseen, Can I Do It... Till I Need Glasses, The Dead Pit, and Running Hot) to the very lousy, (Chi sei?, Hot Moves and A Day at the Beach). Consumers of B-movies DVDs need to be aware that a company is actually looking out for their interests. Collectors are getting sick and tired of paying high prices for twenty year old VHS tapes and then three months later that title surfaces on a disc.

Here is a definitive list of the great cult titles to be on the lookout for:

Messiah of Evil: (1973) This film was featured in Stephen Thrower's book, Nightmare U.S.A. Thrower describes in great detail the process of making this film and he includes interviews with some of the participants. Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz had a very successful career after this film wrapped up. They became George Lucas's screenwriters for several films. They penned such classics as American Graffiti and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Then the writing team really screwed up with Howard the Duck. Code Red is presenting this film for the first time in a director approved version. This will also be the first time this film is available in a non-bootleg version. The film is an artistically done zombie tale that should delight fans of this genre when it is finally released.

Family Honor: (1973) This is a nice big slice of a mafia style Grindhouse, that became popular after the release of The Godfather. This film was never on VHS. It stars Charles Guardino (Killer Fish) and singer Meatloaf, (Fight Club).

Who?: (1973) This film was released on video as Robo Man. Elliot Gould, (A Bridge Too Far, M.A.S.H) stars in this mix of mystery and science fiction. An American scientist is severely injured in a car accident in East Germany. The doctors in Germany improve his body by turning him into a cyborg. When he returns to America the F.B.I believes he is a spy from Germany and that is when the film really starts to take off.

Pets: (1974) "There's an Animal in Every Woman" was one of the film's many taglines. The sexy Candice Rialson, (The Eiger Sanction) stars in this hitchhiker film that manages to leave its audience in shock. Would make a great double feature with another one of their forthcoming titles, Teenage Hitch-hikers (1975).

The Internecine Project: (1974) James Coburn, (Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid) plays a former secret agent promoted to government advisor. He has a past full of dark secrets that he must keep hidden. He sets up a ingenious plan to keep his future safe. Glad to see some of Coburn's lesser films get the proper DVD treatment. Co-Written by Barry Levinson.

Gang Wars: (1976) Returning to New York from a martial arts competition with an amulet found in a cave a young man unleashes a demon. The demon takes up residence in the subway. The film mixes karate films with horror and that is enough to excite fans of both genres.

Mean Johnny Barrows: (1976) Fred "The Hammer" Williamson stars and directs this film. The film is about an ex- G.I that starts to work at a gas station. At the gas station he is discovered by a local mafia boss and gets caught in the cross-fire of two rival families. Roddy McDowall, (How Green Was My Valley) and Elliot Gould as Professor Theodore Rasputin Waterhouse (What a name.) co-star in this underrated action flick. An interview with Fred Williamson has been recorded for this DVD release.

The Farmer: (1977) This is one trailer Code Red has shown on a vast majority of their releases. The trailer literally takes us through the grimy fall of its main character. The grainy picture reminds one of the classic genre of revenge films from the seventies. Gary Conway plays a retired war vet that is pushed over the edge. He wants a chance to start a farm and new life with his wife. When the going gets tough he starts working for a local mob boss and that is the start of a bloody dispute. The film was almost rated X for the depiction of violence. Columbia Pictures ignored this film after its very limited release. Not sure what type of film they thought they had because in the trailer they compare it to Five Easy Pieces, and Taxi Driver. Code Red really should put this film out very soon.
Stunt Rock: (1978) According to Code Red we can expect a loaded two-disc version of this film in August. This is basically a bunch of magic and stunts revolving around a rock band called Sorcery. This Australian film lacks a cohesive plot but provides many thrills. The film is loud, disorientating and in your face.

Jokes My Folks Never Told Me: (1978) This film is in the tradition of films like, If You Don't Stop Soon I'll Go Blind and Kentucky Fried Movie. This is a rarely seen sketch comedy film filled with nudity. They don't make them like this anymore.

Power Play: (1978) This is another trailer that received much exposure from Code Red. Released on home video by Media Home Entertainment. The film takes a provocative look at how a nation can be overthrown by the military. Director Martin Burke has recorded a commentary for the upcoming release. The film is elevated even higher by its A-list cast of Peter O'Toole, (Caligula, Lawrence of Arabia) and Donald Pleasence, (Halloween).

The Visitor: (1979) This is a curio-piece of trash from the vaults. John Huston, (Director of The Maltese Falcon) plays an alien on Earth that must battle a spoiled brat with telekinetic powers. The film managed to get an excellent cast; Glenn Ford, (Superman, Blackboard Jungle) Lance Henriksen, (Aliens) Sam Peckinpah, (Director of The Wild Bunch) Shelley Winters, (A Patch of Blue) and Franco Nero, (Enter the Ninja) as Jesus Christ. The trailer did not have any sound but some creepy music was added to it. With all the talent involved this film really needs to be seen.

Cheerleaders' Wild Weekend: (1979) This film is directed by Jeff Werner, who directed Die Laughing. It stars two cult film superstars, Jason Williams, (Flesh Gordon himself) and Kristine DeBell, (Alice in Wonderland). A school bus full of sexy cheerleaders is hijacked by a group of terrorists. This is an exploitation classic and a release Code Red says to expect this year. An interview with Kristine DeBell has been included for this release.

A few other films they have the rights to include, Teenage Graffiti and Teenage Tramp. Information on those two films are scarce.

To Be Continued... Tomorrow, the 80's films coming from Code Red.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Interview with an Asshole.

One of the true horror movies of life is being broke. It is one of the most scary feelings ever. You don't know where your next nickel is going to come from. It means having to dust off that old shirt and dress pants. Not to mention jump through the hoops on interviews. Due to the rough economic times it can also mean lowering yourself to go on an interview that you don't really want to. A job that has nothing to do with the goals in your current life.

I have had some rotten jobs. I spent two days working at CVS and being treated like a doormat from a fifty year old Indian man. If your fifty and working as the manager at a CVS, then suicide may not be the worst idea. Not everybody in life has a purpose and those that don't end up managing teenagers at some random store. The sad part is how serious they take their jobs. They are nobodies that try and pretend they are worth a damn.

About one week ago I went on a job interview that I was uninterested in and I met another nobody that believed he was worth a damn. We'll call him "Doc. Cock". I sat down in his office and was told that he called me in too soon. (Was this guy kidding, did he seriously want me to leave and come back?) The job was to tutor college students with learning disabilities. It seemed like the good Doc, Cock had a learning disability himself. His glasses so thick that you wondered if you could give him the middle finger and he wouldn't notice. Then I was finally called back in.

"Do you know who I am?"

"Mr. Cock."

"That is Dr. Cock." (He wasn't a medical school doctor, just a jerk that needed a title.) He then tried to teach me how to pronounce his name. Then he began to ask me to spell eligible, accommodation and pundit. (How random?) I should have asked him, "What won Best Picture in 1971?" see if he would have known The French Connection. I hated this guy with a passion and the interview had just started. I couldn't tell what was scarier unemployment or having to work for this jerk. He now felt the need to play therapist in the interview. Which no one should ever have to endure for a ten dollar an hour job.

"So tell me about yourself."

"Well I was born on September 3, 1982." I sarcastically said.

"That is a great start, what do you remember about that day?" I couldn't tell if he was for real or I was on Candid Camera. Then I did something really dumb on my part that I never do on interviews. Maybe I was possessed by Linda Blair from The Exorcist. (Yes, my second William Friedkin reference and here's my third, I think Dr. Cock was in Cruising.) I started to tell the good doc everything you should never bring up on an interview. Subconsciously I think I knew what I was doing. Then for some bizarre reason, I told him I don't like therapy. That I didn't get his whole profession and all you needed was some really good friends to talk with. He was so full of hot air that he didn't shut up for the better part of an hour. I got a few words in but not much.

Here are some tidbits from Dr. Cock (Is this who we really want helping college students):

"I think you could actually use some therapy, you seem to have mistrust and anger issues. You see therapy is like cleaning out a closet. I'm in my room and trying to clean it up, so I shove everything in the closet and now I have to stand against the door to keep it shut. But guess what the phone rings do I answer it and let everything fall out?" (You don't have a cell phone? That would solve everything.)

"Anthony, you have anger and mistrust issues. You could use therapy because you don't seem to trust doctors". (So every one is blindly supposed to listen to doctors like mindless zombies.)

"You know my son is also Anthony and he has epilepsy too and the doctor had told him the bigger he gets the less it will affect him. Have they told you that?" (No, I go to doctor's with half a brain.)

"You know Woody Allen had an analyst and I think it helped him become a better playwright".

"You must be doing something wrong to be unemployed".

"You know I'm Italian so I have connections. So no hissy fits here because I'm not above cement shoes".

Writing is my therapy and having typed this up I already feel better. I'll never forget his lame attempts to be funny and his constant voice changing. I think he needs to speak with someone? Last Monday they gave me the job and had to assign me my hours, and on Thursday they called to tell me I don't have the job. So for four days I thought I was employed. Well back to Craigslist, I hear they have erotic massages on there? Maybe I can do that for a living?
Coming Soon to this theatre:
Ode to Cinema 1

Friday, April 24, 2009

Where I was when I first saw "The Toxic Avenger"!

Their are seminal moments in all our lives. Some people can tell you exactly what they were doing the day Kennedy was shot. I, however can tell you exactly where I was the time I first saw a movie that would change my life. It was not Gone with the Wind, that I was watching but rather The Toxic Avenger. I was a fan of the cartoon series, The Toxic Crusaders and was pleasantly surprised to learn it was based on a horror/comedy movie. My Dad refused to let me rent a movie that was a hard "R". Hard "R" is the term used for an film that is loaded with sex, violence and curse words. There the film stood on the video shelf, in its dusty Lightning Home Video box. A huge picture of Toxie was on the box holding his secret weapon, (A mop). I knew I must see the film but how?
A few weeks later I had to spend the night at my Grandma Margie's apartment. (You see where this is going?) My Grandma is a very sweet lady with red curly hair that nine times out of ten is in a pretty good mood. She decided to take me to rent a video so I wasn't bored. I convinced her "The Toxic Avenger" was the only thing in the entire video store that I wanted to see. (No interest in Americathon or The Sex O'clock News.) At the time nothing scarred me more then missing limbs on people. So I kindly asked the video store lady if there was any missing limbs in this film. My Grandma was extremely embarrassed. I had did it and finally got my hands on a copy. I was extremely excited.

I had taken my bath and was now ready for this film. On the couch was my Grandma and Grandpa. My Grandpa had grown sickly towards the end of his life but in his younger days resembled Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. He was a long shore man also with whom I was named after. His nickname was Moon and I do miss him. I put the video in and it was nothing like the cartoon. This nerdy mop boy named Melvin was being pushed around by some bullies at the gym he worked in. One of the punks looked similar to Corey Feldman. This film gave off a sense that the unexpected could happen. I was nervous that at any moment my Grandma may have cause to shut it.

Melvin had to clean the locker rooms when the gym closed down and he walked in on the Corey Feldman look a-like having sex with his girlfriend. Her big bouncy breasts on the screen. It was awesome and I loved it. My Grandma instantly jumped up and shut the tape off. Boy, was I disappointed. I waited till she walked out of the room and then I slid down the couch next to my Grandpa. I earnestly said to him, "When she goes to bed, lets put it back on". He started to laugh which he rarely did. (My Grandma always tells me that I'm one of the few people that actually made him laugh.)

I eventually did see The Toxic Avenger in its entirety and I loved it. I still love it. I had seen my Grandpa a little bit more before his passing away and The Toxic Avenger always reminds me of being ten with my Grandparents. The last time I saw my Grandpa, he slipped me a ten dollar bill when I was leaving. I used that ten bucks to buy a Web of Spider-Man comicbook. Its strange to realize that comicbook is my last link to him.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Amazon Women on the Moon

Amazon Women on the Moon is the sequel to Kentucky Fried Movie. This is a throwback to an era of films that is sorely missed. This film tries to be funny just for the sake of being funny. There is no deeper meaning behind most of the sketches. The sketches are filled with an 80's all-star cast. Some sketches are a little dated but most hold up pretty well. The film is directed by many people, including John Landis, (An American Werewolf in London, Animal House.) Peter Horton, (Star of ThirtySomething, and Children of the Corn) Joe Dante, (Gremlins), Carl Gottlieb (Caveman) and Robert K. Weiss (Producer of The Naked Gun Series). This is a very eclectic group of directors. How did T.V star Peter Horton become involved with the whole project? The five directors have their own style of directing and part of the fun is guessing who directed each sketch. If you know your directors it is pretty easy and the fun when viewing the film for the first time. This film was universally panned when released in 1987. Each critic that reviewed it stated that the film was unfunny and then singled out one sketch for being the funniest in the film. The critics all picked a different sketch as being the funniest, which means the film has to be pretty hysterical with all these funny sketches.

Here is a breakdown of the sketches in the film and the cast:

Mondo Condo: This sketch features Arsenio Hall as a man that is having a really bad day. He comes home from a long day at work and gets caught in many calamities while trying to relax in his apartment. He even has one annoying caller that is looking for Thelma, and "The bitch don't live here!". This is very old school, physical comedy and quite honestly very funny way to open this wacky film.

Pethouse Video is a spoof of the type of programming you may find on the playboy channel. It centers around a woman that does all of her day to day chores naked. It is hard to concentrate on whether or not this sketch is funny when you are looking at someone as hot as Monique Gabrielle.

Murray in Videoland is cute if not overly funny sketch of an old man that gets zapped into his T.V. This concept could have been much funnier. Look for Murray in the background of many sketches throughout the film. If the baseball announcer's voice sounds familiar that is because it is the late great Phil Hartman's voice.

Hospital is a very offbeat and crazy sketch featuring gratuitous use of a Mr. Potato Head. Peter Horton and Michelle Pfeiffer, (Married to the Mob) play a young couple that just delivered their first baby, which the hospital has misplaced. Griffin Dunne, (After Hours) plays the doctor that tries to desperately find their lost baby. "That's not a baby, its a Mr. Potato Head!"

Then we find Joe Pantoliano in a spoof of those Hair Club for Men ads, which is mildly amusing.

Amazon Women on the Moon is a sketch that is divided up during the movie. This is a send-up of those cheesy 50's science fiction schlock films. The sketch keeps intact the bad special effects, terrible dialogue, and bad science that made those films so fun. The best line is uttered by Joey Travolta, (John's brother) when he decides that the oxygen level is safe on the moon and removes his helmet, "Good Ole H20".

Blacks Without Soul is one of the funniest sketches in the film. B.B King does this public service spot to warn us about the fact some black men in this country are born without soul. He introduces us to several people with this affliction. David Alan Grier, (In Living Color and Streamers) plays Don "No Soul" Simmons. A black man that only knows how to sing white music. Don "No Soul" Simmons returns a few sketches later with a record album commercial. He turned a personal affliction into a recording career. He sings classics, like Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree, Honey, and Gypsy Rose. David Alan Grier plays the sketch with such sincerity that he is perfect.

Two I.D.'s is a dating nightmare and very funny. What if women had a machine that could give them a guy's dating history of his past relationships before they went out. Steve Guttenberg (Diner) and Rosanna Arquette, (Pulp Fiction) have some really strong chemistry together as the the couple about to go out on a date. This is another highlight to the film.
Henry Silva, (Trapped) plays himself as the host of a show called Bullshit or Not. This is a parody of Unsolved Mysteries.
Critic's Corner,and Roast Your Loved One are two sketches that are connected to each other. The first segment is a spoof of Siskel and Ebert and instead of movies they start to review the lives of people. They review Harvey Pitnik and give him two thumbs down. That gives Harvey a severe heart attack. Do you think Harvey Pitnik gets a standard funeral? No he gets a roast from comedians, Steve Allen, Slappy White, Henny Youngman and many more. Poor Harvey. With all the comedians involved this should have been a little funnier.

Throughout the movie there are a series of hit and miss commercials which include, Silly Pate, First Lady of the Evening, and Art Sale (Where everything in the museum must go.) A sketch called Video Pirates is essentially a waste of film.

Son of the Invisible Man is maybe the second funniest sketch in the film after Don "No Soul" Simmons. Ed Begley Jr., (St. Elsewhere) is the son of the Invisible Man and believes he recreated the formula for invisibility. He hasn't and he just ends up a naked man running around a bar trying to scare people.

Titan Man is hysterical because it is the most embarrassing thing that could possibly happen to anyone. Matt Adler, (White Water Summer, Teen Wolf) plays a teenager that is about to do it for the first time with his hot girlfriend. She is played by Kelly Preston, (Secret Admirer). He needs to run into the pharmacy for condoms, but is the one millionth Titan customer.

Video Date also plays on that embarrassing moment type of humor and is why it provides a good chuckle. Marc McClure, (Marty's brother in Back to the Future) is looking for a porno. Russ Meyer, the king of sleaze is the guy behind the counter at the video store. He issues out a porno with the name of Marc McClure's character, Ray on it. The video is a porno with a woman that shouts his name out. Until her boyfriend (Andrew Dice Clay) comes in and starts problems for Ray. What is funny is that even though Ray is nowhere near any real action, it seems so real to him and that is why its so funny.
Watch the entire credits and recieve a bonus sketch featuring Carrie Fisher.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Megan- Part Two: She-Demon from Hell

This certainly wasn't the way I had planned to ask her out and I wish I didn't do it well asking about Sharon. I wanted to do something nice for her and when I went DVD shopping I decided to pick her up a copy of Legend. Megan loved the gift and expressed her joy, "Every time I watch this I guess I will have to think of you Anthony".

Things sadly turned upside down like the Poseidon after that. Except I didn't have the coolness of Gene Hackman to save the day. I started to realize that this girl told elaborate lies. If she was unable to hang out for the first several weeks, the lies would consist of a certain group of people attending a supposed event located on the other side of town. These people often gave her the wrong time and location of the event. The event was then changed to the time we were supposed to meet each other. One time she even had the excuse she was taking the entrance exam for the police academy. I told her not to expect it to be anything like the movie. The following Monday however she had not taken the exam. She forgot her pencil, went to the wrong testing site and when she found the right one she didn't have her Social Security card. Her excuses often gave me a headache. In my heart I knew something wasn't right, but I couldn't understand why this girl told me her whole life story? I thought I knew her but realized just how much of a stranger she really was.
We finally reached the point where it was time to finally pick a movie to see. (Some may think that your humble narrator was an idiot for waiting that long and I was.) Well, let me tell you that picking a movie was extremely difficult. I suggested Life or Something Like It but she hated Angelina Jolie and Edward Burns. Trust me when I say I will spare the long pointless details as to why she hates them. You don't need that headache, so we will fast forward to my next suggestion, Unfaithful. She liked Diane Lane but hated Richard Gere because he is a Buddhist. Then finally I suggested Sum of All Fears but she felt Ben Affleck's head was gigantic. She didn't mean in the vanity sense but rather the actual size of his head. "What else opens this week?" I looked at her like I wanted to kill her, I doubt much more could be opening that week.

"Star Wars Episode 2 but I got plans with Joey and Ricardo to see that. Plus Unfaithful looks like a great thriller". I told her hoping to change her mind.

"Well we could go see both". (Was she making plans for the whole weekend and wanting to hang out with me when I wanted to be with my friends.)

"Yeah sure my friends would love to hang out with you". I stated while trying to hide the fact I really didn't want her to come with my friends Saturday. Plans for that weekend seemed to be settled. That night, I had a series of terrible dreams. The first one involved me being smothered by Sharon's arm fat. The second dream started out with myself being in my forties married to Megan. She had wrinkles and a raspy smoker's voice. I was reading the newspaper trying to pick a movie to go see and every movie I picked she shot down. I was miserable and trapped with someone I could no longer stand. I wonder what my dreams were trying to tell me?

Saturday was all set to go and Joey pre-ordered us the Star Wars tickets. Except one major thing screwed up all the plans. Megan stood me up in front of all my friends. Hard to believe the girl I opened up to was a piece of shit. Ricardo kept his cool and looked a little relieved she didn't show up. Joey on the other hand laughed at me for the better part of the day. "You got rejected by a ginger-kid, that is low. She was so fucking ugly". Not what I really wanted to hear at the moment. What was even stranger was that Joey had never met her, so how could he know she had so many freckles? That day I also discovered what a creepy bastard Joey can be. A few days earlier Joey had hid out in some bushes by the bus-stop to sneak a peek at her without my knowledge. (I should have demanded that phone number so I could confront her. She didn't call me once that weekend.")

That Monday it was time to confront her. I wanted the girl out of my life for good and I felt betrayed in so many ways from her. I found her in the hallway and told her that we needed to talk. We went to a narrow staircase at the college. Before I could get one word out she started to talk out of guilt. "I had a really bad cold". She said in a really fake cold voice and that hit my last nerve.
"This isn't going to work unless you give me your phone number!" (I had a better speech worked out in my head. I figured that she would say "NO" and I would have to tell her that we are over with then.)

"Got a pen." (Oh shit, I almost got out of this relationship. I felt like Jack Nicholson at the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I missed my chance to take the open window and stayed behind with the crazies.)

Getting the phone number proved one thing, her family was just as crazy as she was. Her father spent fifty minutes on the phone with me once. He was telling me all about Tarzan and how to model my life after the novels. After our long conversation he informed his daughter was not home. Her sister, Alish (Not Alice and that is the correct spelling.) grilled me for ten minutes about my intentions with her sister. Other times I would call and get Bridget. Bridget sounded just like Megan and it often took a good five minutes of conversation to realize I was talking to Bridget. She would tell me personal stories about her boyfriend. (I learned how she caught a cold from him because they spent the whole weekend making out.) I wish Tales From the Crypt was still on the air, I could have sold them this story.

The date didn't happen for another two weeks because it took that long to agree on a movie. Insomnia was the film that she had nothing to complain about. I meet her in the train station on a bright and sunny Memorial Day. Hardly any talking was done before the movie but I figured afterwards we could talk at the park and maybe get some coffee. (Later I found out she hated coffee.) "Just because you paid for my ticket doesn't mean I will have sex with you." She said as we sat down in the theatre in a very serious tone.

"I just asked if you wanted a Coke?"

What on Earth could have brought that on. As we watched the movie I turned to look over at her and noticed she was biting her fingernails so hard I was worried she was going to hit pulp. The movie ended and I suggested we head to the park and hang out. "Why so you could chop my head off?" Did I just hear right?

"Don't worry this isn't a Lifetime movie." I said, with my tongue firmly placed in my cheek. She then rushed me to the train station. What happened to the friend I made up in the lounge, all those months ago? Was this a Changeling, where was the real Megan?

I kept in contact with her through out the summer but never expected much out of it. On September 3rd 2002, Megan stood me up again, but this time it was my Birthday. I had talked to her two days before and she told me she bought a new dress for the occasion. I didn't want anything more to do with this piece of shit after that. I don't need someone like that in my life. However, I still wonder what the true story behind her was?

Coming Soon: An In-depth look at "Amazon Women on the Moon"!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Megan- Part One: Should Have Ran

It was the Spring of 2002 when my easy going lifestyle was just about to become a confusing mess. I was set up on an awkward blind date with a girl named Sharon, and this was set up by my supposed best friend Joey. Sharon made me instantly think of Paul Simon. I thought of Paul Simon because I'm pretty sure that she was the roly-poly little bat-faced girl in the song You Can Call Me Al. Sharon's conversation skills were limited and she had the most annoying habit of almost walking into traffic. Have you ever had to pull your date out of on-coming traffic? My friend Joey, urged me to give her a second chance.

The next day at school my mind was so jumbled because I really believed seeing Sharon again would be a mistake. Since I had forty five minutes before my English class began I assumed the lounge near the class would be a nice place to clear my head. (Boy was I wrong.) Eventually I was approached by a smiling stranger from the class. A girl with brownish red hair in her late twenties with freckles and a tan Members Only jacket. (I thought only guys wore them in the 80's.) Despite the smile her face showed signs of being older then she admitted. A conversation shortly started and it contained a wide range of topics from Snap, Crackle and Pop to life in general. The two of us were instantly comfortable with each other.

In the next couple of weeks we met on the same day each week and in the same spot. We talked about everything from her parent's divorce resulting in her mom leaving, movies and how lonely Valentine's Day can make you feel when you don't have someone special. As we used to sit and talk one could tell how nervous she was. She would clinch her book bag as she would tell me the stories of her life. "I can't end up like my parents". I confessed to her one day. "We won't let that happen", she quickly and calmly replied. I felt the term "we" was being used a little too fast, but I shook that feeling off very shortly. (I wanted to grow up when it came to dating and not get nervous over every small detail.)

The following week we discussed our fondness for childhood films such as The Goonies and the campy Tom Cruise film, Legend. (I am no longer a fan of Legend.) I then introduced her to my eccentric friend from the class Ricardo. Ricardo was a quiet portly black guy, who always looked angry. Never any real reason has to why he would be angry, it was just the way his face was structured I guess. (My friendship with Ricardo would end shortly after, because he brought his Mother along to see The Hulk. "You need to hang out more with my son", she insisted.) Ricardo had an unusual dream, he wanted to be a cartoonist and a professional wrestler. The three of us would hang out in an empty classroom, where I would attempt to throw a skittle in the air and catch it in my mouth. The first attempt was a success but follow-up attempts were proven unsuccessful. Megan then referred to me as a "dumb nut". "Dumb nut? That's not even a word in the dictionary. What is a "dumb nut"?" "You" she replied. This playful banter was one of the few times she let her guard down and actually seemed to be having fun and Ricardo was cracking up.

After class I tried to walk Megan to the bus stop but she gave me a look like I was crazy. Several days would pass until she informed me that I could walk her to the bus stop. (Gee whiz can I?) During this conversation, we literally bumped into Ricardo. "I'm going to sit in that classroom". Then Ricardo left after his less then profound statement.

"You think Ricardo wants company?" I asked, Megan

"We could go sit with him".

"Yeah but I don't know if he wants company? He would have said something or at least waited for us".

"He's Ricardo, you know he never says what he means, that's just him".

A few days later more seemed to unfold in this strange series of events called my life. "I'm being stalked!" She uttered this has she pointed to the quiet boy reading his book in the corner of the lounge. "That's why I couldn't come over and sit with you guys, when you asked me". That made no sense to me. If someone is bothering you, wouldn't you want to go sit next to a couple of big guys. One of which has an angry expression on his face. The second thing that made no sense was that the boy was sitting quietly reading and not even looking in her direction. Then she began a weird rant that seemed to go on forever and made both Ricardo and I a little uncomfortable. "This guy just won't leave me alone, (The quiet guy.) and I told him look I have a boyfriend, I mean I'm not going to cheat on my boyfriend with someone I don't even know". (Its OK if you know the person?) Plus I hate to give out my phone number and I hate talking on the phone, I think it is the worst part of a relationship". This whole monologue came out of her mouth with no breaks or chance for me to speak. If I recall right Ricardo may have fell asleep.

That conversation made me realize I could be nothing more then the girl's friend. I had no idea she had a boyfriend or if she was really being stalked. Plus I always had Sharon, who I still had not made a second date with yet.

Two months had passed and our friendship had blossomed into something beautiful because our conversations on Thursdays allowed us to share everything with each other. It was odd trusting someone I didn't know that long but it felt right. Megan started going on about her in theory only stalker and how her boyfriend doesn't turn this guy off. Since she brought up her boyfriend, I thought I would throw Sharon in her face. (Real mature I know. I later found out that Sharon had schizophrenia, so I never did schedule that second date.) She started to blush causing all the freckles on her face to become a human connect the dot. "Why would you ask me dating advice, you know I don't have a boyfriend stupid!" (I do?) I felt lousy.

"You and I should catch a movie sometime?" I said.

"I'd like that!"

"I know you hate to give out your number, but"

"How about I just take your number and call you?"

Coming Soon to this theatre: Megan Part 2: She-Demon from Hell. Take a seat next to the junkies and rats in the Grindhouse theatre that is my life.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not Even Her Mother Knew Her Name

I had a very long and boring day as President of the Italian Culture Club. I only took the position so that I could have a key to my own private room in Brooklyn College. The room housed two Italian related clubs. The Italian Culture Club and The Italian Student Union. My private room was now becoming filled with actual club members, which was my cue to leave. I needed some time to myself to reflect on the paper I was about to write. This day in September was not about to be my lucky day. When you meet someone out of the blue and they start a five hour conversation with you, a red flag should automatically go up. My red flag went off but I tried to ignore it. I wish after a half hour I got up and left. "I feel my life is over and I'm only thirty one, but maybe things will look up for me someday. I got laid off my job, my boyfriend wants to break up with me, the doctors removed a ten pound cyst from my ovary and I'm flat broke with my rent due." The stranger openly confessed to me in the first half hour of our chat. How do you walk away from someone in that bad of shape? Can a ovary have a ten pound cyst?

What an odd bunch of events to openly confess to a stranger. As day fell into night I started to feel sorry for her. The strange bug eyes she had contained an empty stare. Her body movements painted the portrait of a person who was not of sound mind. She seemed uncomfortable and nervous yet she never stopped talking in her rapid pace. Somethings she said didn't make any sense, while other words she spoke made her seem like a girl that desperately needed someone to talk to. I didn't know what to do because I felt maybe I could help her before she did something crazy. "I'm normally quiet but for some reason today I feel I can tell you anything, Anthony Benedetto". Every ten minutes she would thank me for listening to her.

The date from Hell took place three days later. I realized that something was missing from the puzzle that was the girl whose name was so forgettable. The date was simple enough, dinner and a movie in the Italian clubhouse. I brought Boardinghouse to watch. The funny thing is the film is an incoherent mess much like my evening. The film focuses on a haunted house that is being rented out by sexy women. It was one of the first films shot on video and is certainly ambitious. The big question is whether or not the film is bad on purpose. That is the fun of watching the film, a chance to figure it out for yourself. The director has claimed that it was on purpose but I find that hard to believe.

My chemistry with her was almost nonexistent. Even though we were on the third floor of the college, she kept referring to it as the basement. I just couldn't wait for this night of lies to end. Then I tell her goodbye and that I will call her and of course I wouldn't. Around 9:30 the President of the other club showed up and he was in his late forties. He entered the dark room and was shocked to find two people on the couch watching a slasher flick that looked like a porno. It had the quality of a porno minus the nude scenes.

"I'll be out of you kids' way in about ten minutes!" I was so embarrassed to be caught with this girl. He took his usual seat and proceeded to talk and shortly these words were uttered from his mouth, "So after my nervous breakdown..." Did I just hear right? "My wife was two timing me, then she told me after my nervous breakdown no less that I had to sleep in the garage. That's when I stopped living for others and started living for Sal. I got a divorce from my wife and started dating women who accepted me for me. I mean I broke up with a woman because she told me to use conditioner in my hair. I told her I hate conditioner it feels like someone came in my hand and I told her goodbye."

There was no end in sight for this night. I never knew this stuff about Salvatore, and the girl with no name was engrossed in every word coming out of his saliva filled mouth. "Now you guys know Salvatore and Salvatore knows alot of people. I can help you look for apartments, jobs and that kind of shit".

"Its almost 1 in the morning. I have work in the morning". I told Salvatore as he searched the Internet for photos of his daughter. That hint went right over his head. I should have gotten up and left but it was like watching a train wreck, (or Boardinghouse).

A half hour later the freak show ended, but I will never forget the girl's last words as I walked her to the train station. "Thank you Anthony for a wonderful weekend". Then I had to remind her that it was only Thursday.