A Scary Happy Story

December 24, 2013 § 5 Comments

Because iChat transcripts are the poetry of our time, and because it’s Christmas Eve, I thought I’d share the below cyber viewing e-party forward slash liveblog. The art film (which is NOT the Jack Frost starring Michael Keaton you guys) is currently streaming on Netflix so if you really want to get interactive you can watch while reading our commentary! omg asynchronous. Ho ho ho everybody!!!
Katie N.
Whitney P.
r u ready????
Katie N.
Whitney P.
i’m just making myself some antifreeze
Katie N.
for your oats
paused at 2sec
close enough!
Whitney P.
let’s hit play on the count of 3

A Christmas Story

December 23, 2013 § 3 Comments

"Well it ain't fuckin' frosty"

“Well it ain’t fuckin’ frosty”

I can’t remember how Katie came across that first copy of Jack Frost. I can’t even remember the year. Were we in high school? Community college? If it was community college, she would have been working at this truck stop video store just off the 5 in beautiful Castaic, California, which in addition to having the funniest selection of porn I have ever seen (it had me at “Anal Princesses”), is likely where the mutant killer snowman first caught her eye. If however it happened in high school, I have no idea. I do remember watching the VHS tape in my childhood home, so taking into account the film’s release date, our first viewing could have been anytime between 1996 and 2001, when my mom remarried and we moved from Awesometown to a still-rural part of Castaic, just a few miles up the freeway. Not very helpful. Then again, I like that those details escape me. I quite literally cannot remember my life before Jack Frost, lending a cool time immemorial quality to our fandom.

Which is to say — our fandom isn’t just about the movie itself. Don’t get me wrong, the movie itself is a cinematic achievement, as the following clips will attest:

But beyond the razor-sharp dialogue, terrifying special effects, and salacious sex scenes (“looks like Christmas came early this year!”), Jack Frost is special because Katie is special, because I have laughed more with her over the years (decades, actually) than I have with anyone. I’ve written some about our longstanding Martha Stewart fandom (fandom which precipitated my exploration, and ultimate rejection, of the term “anti-fan”) in this post, an edited version of a much longer essay written as Katie’s engagement present. The longer version is more personal, and places our Martha obsession in the appropriate context — we were taking many of the same community college classes, ran together on the cross country team, and spent much of our free time giggling about our various classroom nemeses, including one million year-old, shark-eyed, predatory English professor who had, let’s say, taken an interest in me. This last thing was actually pretty traumatic, but that just made our jokes about him funnier. Somehow references to Martha Stewart Living got woven into these proceedings, and when things got really creepy with the Dark Lord (as Katie and I half-jokingly called him), Martha’s star text functioned as an odd sort of lifeline. It gave us something to latch onto and laugh about. What can I say, Martha just fit in, which is an inside joke you probably won’t recognize (oh fine, here).

And it’s the same with Jack Frost. Our giddy declarations that fucker’s a snowman, or that I only AXED you for a smoke, and jokes about antifreeze, Snowmonton, and State Execution Transport Vehicles are actually references, however indirect, to all the serious real-life shit Katie and I have navigated since first meeting in 1993. Like the time (one of the times, jesus christ) I got my heart broken in graduate school, and Katie hopped on the next plane to Eugene so we could laugh at old episodes of Dawson’s Creek (Dawson: “Dad, will you teach me to kiss?”) and Beverly Hills, 90210 (Kelly, smelling her mom’s newborn baby: “mmm, toast!”). Or the time she called while I was living in Boston and told me she’d just gotten engaged to her now-husband Brent — after which I happy-cried for like an hour. Or the time she IM’d when I was sitting in a coffee shop in Eugene and told me she was pregnant with her first baby — after which I happy-cried for like a day. Or the times I’ve sent her deeply disturbing Christmas presents designed to gross out her husband, for lulz (I do it because I like you, Brent). Or all the times I’ve emailed her about my most recent poor life choice(s), and she’s talked me off the ledge, usually by making a Jack Frost or Martha Stewart joke.

What I’m saying is, the sort of antagonistic, or at the very least highly ambivalent, laughter that accompanies these sorts of fandoms –any fandom, really, including/especially the ones that strike non-fans as weird– are actually quite sweet, in their own way. Because ultimately, they’re about connection, shared memories, even communitas if you want to be fancy. This is even true, or maybe even especially true, when the people engaging in this sort of laughter are separated by geography. The texts we engage with ground us, and make distances seem less far. So it makes perfect sense that this Christmas eve eve, Katie and I will be simultaneously streaming Jack Frost and ichatting that shit to shreds. Frankly I can’t think of much else I’d rather do this holiday season. Well except maybe cuddle up on a couch with my family and play Dirty Unwrapped (i.e. watch The Food Network’s Unwrapped, a show that goes inside America’s food and candy factories, and yell “lol he said X” whenever host Marc Summers makes a reference that could be interpreted as sexual and/or scatological). Try it out for yourself! Because candy cane “trees,” sure.

And with that, I bid you all a merry night before night before Christmas. Later this afternoon I shall prepare a pitcher of antifreeze (pumpkin liqueur mixed with bourbon; also spoiler alert), get Katie on the ichat, and cue up Jack Frost on Netflix. It might be weird, but it is going to be perfect.

In Praise of Terrible Things

July 25, 2012 § 5 Comments

Earlier a friend linked me to this article, a review of the art film Nazis at the Center of the Earth. Near the end of the review, thefoodjunk gives what –from my perspective at least– is the highest possible endorsement of any film:

I loved this movie!  It’s everything a low-budget B-movie should be.  The plot is straightforward, it’s bad, it’s huge amounts of fun, and it made me want to share it with everyone I know.

I was particularly happy to see “it’s bad” used positively. Really, there are few things more wonderful than a terrible, horrible, no good very bad movie. See Jack Frost; see The Room; see Troll 2. I’d take any of those movies over what typically qualifies as a “good” movie, i.e. movies people actually like or merely tell people they like, because of cool-traps. Suffice it to say that I love and in fact prefer strange and terrible things, deep down at the bottom of my heart, and not even ironically.

For me, the internet equivalent of an awesomely bad film is my all-time favorite website, Blingee.com. I fucking love Blingees. I would make Blingees all day if I could. This is good, because later today I’ll be making some Santorum-related Blingees to be used in this week’s slashfic. To see just how seriously I take my ART, behold the vomiting unicorn that is a portion of my Blingee portfolio. Let the sparkle sink in, my friends. LET IT SINK IN.

For a very special birthday boy

Blingee request: “Make this half-naked woman on a cross less offensive”

I know what you did last summer!

Ah, memory lane. And now it’s off the Blingee mines I go!

That’s The Spirit

December 26, 2011 § 3 Comments

Fear and Loathing

I’ve always thought Christmas was weirdly sinister, like Norman Rockwell personified, and when I was younger would frequently conflate Christ’s joyous birth with Christmas’ slutty step-sister, Halloween. This might be due to my childhood obsession with Nightmare Before Christmas, or the fact that God is a creepy dick and is much better suited to scaring the shit out of children than rousing goodwill towards men, or whatever it is that’s supposed to happen while you’re doling out the overpriced plastic crap you had to wrassle all those bitches at the Big Lots to get and mindlessly gorging yourself on Safeway brand sugar cookies, just to drown out the bickering of your ungrateful children who neither need nor want anything you gave them yet still end up fighting over who got what. So this year I decided to embrace the TRUE meaning of Christmas and watch a bunch of horror movies.

I started the weekend strong, with an American Horror Story marathon (see above video for comical Valencia reference). Which was great, really some of the most twisted footage I’ve seen on a network television show (sewn up baby-corpse, anyone?), until the last few episodes when Ryan Murphy aka the show’s producer aka the guy who also does Glee got all traditional family values on us and turned the whole bloodbath into a Hallmark card. This was very disappointing, especially after such a strong start, since he completely eviscerated the narrative stakes — as we come to find out, and contrary to everything we’d seen thus far, all death means is that you get to tenderly reunite with your family (even though they hated you in life), rekindle with your wife for literally no good reason because you’re an asshole, and happily decorate Christmas trees like some sort of unironic Thomas Kincaid painting for all eternity.

We then moved on to We Need to Talk About Kevin, a movie about a school shooting that made me cry, and World’s Greatest Dad, in which Robin Williams discovers his pervert douchebag of a son dead of autoerotic asphyxiation and then makes up a bunch of touching shit to maximize town sympathy. This was depressing, so the next day we got back to our roots and watched all the Child’s Play movies, plus Jack Frost, the mutant killer snowman version (there’s another movie titled “Jack Frost” starring Michael Keaton, but that’s NOT THE ONE I MEAN). We also decided that one special day –maybe next Christmas!– we’ll have to get our friends together and watch The Room, Troll II and Jack Frost, verily three of the best-worst films every to grace the silver screen for like a weekend.

In conclusion, there’s only 364 shopping days till Christmas! You better hurry up, people are already lining up outside the Big Lots.

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