From the Couch Hole: Too Long in the Wind, Too Long in the Rain

Previously on FTCH, we let out with a “Chim Chim Cher-ee” even when some Pudd’nheads said, “It’s bad for ya.” Back in Amerika, the Guardians saved the hot peaches and the cold brews. This week really ramped up the busy shifts at work and the severe heat came with it in record-breaking ways. The highlight was seeing a Texas Rangers game with my friend Lisa and family yesterday. Live baseball is good for the soul. This week we have a rad time with some urgent care in your loving arms. The Super Mafioso Bros will protect you from vampires and pineapples in your Doritos. Remember, FTCH comes at you fast.

Pop Culture Ephemera

“Me, I ride for me.” – Cru Jones
  • Rifftrax Live: RAD (1986/2023) (Directed by Hal Needham) (Fathom Events): “God, what I wouldn’t give to go ass-sliding with you right now.” – Cru. The 1986 BMX classic gets the only theatrical Rifftrax treatment for 2023. This film was directed by the man who brought us the brilliant classics Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and Cannonball Run (1981). The car action films did not translate in popularity to the BMX sport although this story of Cru Jones (Bill Allen) as the small town rider vs. the sponsored riders. The ’80s fashion, product placement, and story made for one of the better Rifftrax in years. Mike Nelson and crew seemed to have a love for the source material and you can tell when they enjoy a film. The Lori Laughlin jokes about college were easy but the film also gave us multiple “ass-sliding” quotes that barely need a Riff. I miss the traditional Rifftrax that would normally come out around Halloween. This trip to the theater was full of much needed laughs.
  • What We Do in the Shadows – “Urgent Care” (S.5 E.6) (FX) (2023): “I couldn’t give two squirts” – Colin. This has been a great season. Each episode has had a ridiculously funny A-Story and a B-Story of Guillermo becoming a vampire. This felt more like two A-Stories. Guillermo is injured trying to fly and taken to a Familiar Vet. The biggest laughs come from Colin who is having trouble feeding because people find him too interesting. “All of a sudden, I’m too… G-damn interesting to drain anyone.” His Vietnam story had me giggling. With four episodes left in the series, this episode amps up the drama to speed towards the end. Ending it with the very underrated Happy Mondays song “In The Blood” just tops it off. I’ve been waiting for this song for five seasons.
  • Kris Kristofferson / Rita Coolidge – “Loving Arms” (1973) (from Full Moon): “Dreamin’ of the arms that held me tight”. It’s odd that an album by one of the greatest songwriters of the ’70s didn’t write one of the best songs on his 1973 album with Rita Coolidge. The song is written by another relative unknown, Tom Jans, a folk singer/songwriter. It has been covered so many time because of the raw emotions of missing a lover. I would venture a guess that most people today know it from the Dixie Chicks cover but this 1973 release really highlights Kristofferson’s passionate and pleading vocals. Then it’s balanced against Rita’s calming, holding-back-the-tears voice. The two of their voices combine to be a vocal split screen of the two lovers crying out in longing.
“Singin’ somewhere through a lonely night”
  • Mafioso (1962) (Directed by Alberto Lattuada): “The only way to go back is to go forward. It’s stupid to be scared.” – Don Calogero. Ten years before The Godfather (1972), director Alberto Lattuada tells a dark comedy story of a Sicilian man. Nino grew up in Sicily and is returning with his wife and two children for a vacation for the first time since leaving as a young man. It’s beautifully filmed in black and white. Lattuada’s camera loves Italian women (even though his wife is played by a Brazillain actress). So many of the usual Mafia stereotypes are already present. There’s a “Someday I’ll ask you to do a favor” moment which dominates Act Three and even the equivalent conversation of “Leave the gun, take the cannoli”. This is a stunning film that starts as a broad family comedy and turns into a dark drama. This should get more attention.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023) (Directed by Aaron Horvath/Michael Jelenic): “Let’s-a go” – Mario. If it hadn’t been for Billion Dollar Barbie (2023), this rightfully should have been Chris Pratt’s summer with Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 (2023) and this $1.3 Billion-grossing movie. Possibly the least pretentious film of the summer. A simple backstory, great balance of action and comedy, and a simple message of friendship makes this a pretty entertaining summer movie. It does rely heavily upon nostalgia of game players who want to see references to their favorite game moments. This isn’t Art (with a capital “A”) but it’s Escape (with the capital “E”). Mario (Chris Pratt) doesn’t have the typical hero’s journey. He’s got a fun supporting cast of friends with Luigi (Charlie Day), Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), and Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen). Bowser (Jack Black) had more potential as the villain than was realized. The Mario Kart sequence is a visual treat. There’s even a MCU-type end-credits sequence to hint at the sequel. Sign me up for another one of these in Summer 2025.
“In an Insane World, it is the Sane who are called crazy.” – Lumalee

Best of the Rest

  • The snake had landed on Peggy Jones from out of the sky and I don’t think the hawk had started the attack before friends and relatives and readers of FTCH were sending me the story. In Silsbee, Texas, Peggy Jones and her husband were mowing their lawn when the unthinkable (I hope!) happened. In short, a snake fell from the sky, wrapped itself around her arm and while she attempted to shake it free, she was attacked by a hawk trying to take the snake. I’ve previously been contacted by an informative website called How to Get Rid of Snakes in the Home. There is very little information out there on how to avoid snakes from the sky. There is one bright spot to this story: there’s a note in the article that Peggy continued to mow while all of this was happening (albeit in a slightly zig zag pattern).
  • I love the little movies that filmmakers can do for an advertisement. The Clogging is three minutes long and goes beyond just commercial into parody/product placement areas but the seriousness with which this is played is what makes it among the best short pieces of the year.
“it’s not like this is some big horror movie.”
  • It’s funny that this 1974 version of the song was a bigger hit (according to the charts) but with just his solo voice, I have never associated the two versions as the same song. Elvis wasn’t sharing the spotlight in 1974 but this would have made a great duet with any of the country stars of the day. Even David Soul partnered with Lynn Anderson on an episode of Starsky and Hutch (S.2 E.23) to cover this great song.
“Take any comfort that I can”

Sunday Morning Tuneage Flashback

  • On the Sunday Morning Tuneage of 3/2/2008, basketball was over for the boys and the weekend had been two days of baseball. My #32 Favorite Film of All-Time was Lawrence of Arabia (1962) by David Lean. I will say that in the years since I’ve put David Lean at a higher ranking in my Best Directors list but this film has probably stayed steady in about this ranking. I wrote about the good (Breaking Bad) and the bad (Unhitched!) but it was an unremarkable week of television. The thing that catches my mind was my rankings of a movie genre close to my heart.
      • 1. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979): Director Werner Herzog lets Klaus Kinski channel Count Dracula’s lonely existence. Seeing this in the theater as an eleven-year-old had quite the effect on me.
      • 2. Dracula (1931): The Tod Browning-directed classic is still hard to not compare every other version.
      • 3. Horror of Dracula (1958): The Hammer Horror and Christopher Lee combination makes a strong case for moving up the list.
      • 4. Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
      • 5. Salem’s Lot (1979): A love letter from King to Stoker.
      • 6. From Dusk ‘Til Dawn (1996)
      • 7. The Hunger (1983): Does having David Bowie in your vampire film automatically add two spots? That’s fair.
      • 8. Martin (1977): George Romero directs a film on the outskirts of the genre.
      • 9. Blacula (1972): Much more canonical than most people give it credit.
      • 10. Near Dark (1987)
      • 1. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979): The ensuing years haven’t cooled my love for this slow and brooding version of the story.
      • 2. Near Dark (1987): My appreciation for Kathryn Bigelow’s film has grown. It’s got something for everyone who loves the genre.
      • 3. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992): Director Francis Ford Coppola’s film has also grown on me. Is it “better” than the original? That’s hard to quantify but I know which film I’d rather watch tonight.
      • 4. Let The Right One In (2008): Little did I realize then that this gem was going to hit our shores in that same year.
      • 5. The Hunger (1983)
      • 6. Taste The Blood of Dracula (1970): My current favorite of the Hammer Dracula pictures.
      • 7. What We Do in the Shadows (2014): The movie that inspired the television show is just wonderful on so many levels.
      • 8. Salem’s Lot (1979): This remains a quality adaptation of a book that ranks closely to the original Stoker novel.
      • 9. Dracula (1931): Duh. I’m not leaving Lugosi off my list.
      • 10. Nosferatu (1921): Not sure how I left off this F.W. Murnau-directed adaptation starring Max Schreck. Only 25 years after publication of the novel and our visual of a vampire is now set in stone.

1973 in Review

A blood-draining Chillerama.
  • August – Terror Tales #4 (Eerie). The cover is a combination of two Tales From The Tomb covers from previous releases. This black and white title typically used more half-naked women on the covers, but I like the werewolf on this one.
  • August 17 – Willie Mays of the New York Mets hits his 660th and last home run of his career against the Cincinnati Reds.
  • August 6, 1973 – I was reminded of the quirky College All-Star Football Classic which kicked off the NFL preseason and matched the Super Bowl champions vs a collection of College All-Stars from the previous year. It would be discontinued after 1976, but this article already shows that is was viewed as a joke by the Super Bowl Champions and the college players were losing enthusiasm for the game with mounting injuries during the game each year. I can’t even begin to imagine the issues with valuable draft picks being thrown into a game vs established Pros in August in today’s game.
No pushover for the Dolphins.

What the Hell Did I Put in My Mouth?

Doritos: Spicy Pineapple Jalapeno

I knew immediately that this combination wouldn’t be for everyone. I personally enjoy the fruit/spicy combination. I’ve ridden the mango salsa wave and a recent peach salsa popularity bump. Much like the pineapple-on-pizza wars, for some reason this is a controversial fruit. The first thing that hits you with these chips is not any scent of pineapple and the chips give off a “can of jalapenos” vibe. The taste is the same. I mostly get a light jalapeno corn chip flavor with just a hint of pineapple sweetness. It’s not that enjoyable on a Dorito chip and I’ll stick to my salsa and pizzas for pineapple heat.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

I was excited at first at the Quisp-looking corn puffs when I poured out the cereal. I think they are supposed to be shells maybe? The marshmallows are definitely dropped from the Lucky Charms machine and are the faces of the Ninja Turtles. The result? Pretty lackluster compared to the good reviews that the film is getting. The marshmallows have zero flavor. The apple cinnamon “shells” were aggressively apple cinnamon flavored. I enjoy Apple Jacks for the subtle taste of the apple and cinnamon. Here the ratios are just wrong and I got a sweet spoonful that just doesn’t sit right. Back to the sewers to try again, please.

Chex Mix Bars: Double Chocolate

I’m a big fan of the original Chex cereals. I am just as a big of a supporter of the different versions of Chex Mix. This is my first foray into the Chex Mix Bar territory. I like chocolate and don’t see anything wrong with double chocolate. These are kind of a mess as far as so much going on in them that it’s more of a candy bar with junk in it flavor. I’m not even sure I could isolate any particular flavor. I’ll finish them but I’m at a loss to even describe the experience.

“If I could hold you now
Just for a moment, if I could make you mine
Just for a while, turn back the hands of time
If I could only hold you now” – Tom Jans

Stay Hard.  

Shawn Bourdo

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