Monday, July 24, 2017

This ain't no treasure hunt you're on.

When the hotel my father worked at changed hands, apparently the new ownership had to technically rehire every single person that worked there. And whenever they (symbolically?) lined up the twelve hundred employees, according to him, my pops was rehired first. Yep, the man that I will inevitably look just like, was goddamned Employee number 1. 

While that story may be totally number two, his clout at that massive Hawaiian resort was impossibly legit. Years later, as a fellow employee (wonder how I got that gig?), and even as perpetually clueless as I was (/am), I could feel it. In fact, whenever I f--ked up, I didn't even have to mention who my dad was. Not only because I'm not that kind of asshole (clearly, I'm a different kind of asshole), but...

..because somebody else always would. Immediately.

Half the time, it totally sucked having people always kiss his ass when they spoke to me, as if I was going to run home and say, Gee, Dad! One of the bartenders said you're a swell guy! But the other half...well...occasionally... had its moments.

Speaking of a fleeting moment here and there, let's talk for a quick second about Winter Kills, a political thriller from the year I was born, 1997. I mean, 1979. One of those.

Watched so I could (perhaps intelligently) appear on the 93rd episode of Todd Liebenow's rad podcast Forgotten Films, director Willaim Richert's flick is, to put it lightly, a mixed bag...of absurd nonsense. 

When we first meet Nick Kegan (a very young, very handsome Jeff Bridges), he's on some sort of ship, in the middle of the ocean. A helicopter lands, and they hastily bring aboard a man wrapped in bandages head-to-toe. Apparently, before this dude dies, he's got some information for Nick.

See, nineteen years ago, Nick's half-brother was assassinated during his term as President of the United States. This bandaged guy, in between moans and gasps, claims he was one of the gunmen. In fact, if Nick heads to some building in Philadelphia, he'll find the murder weapon stashed in the floor. Oh, okay then. Guess he'll have to sit around a gigantic boat doing nothing some other time.

John Huston, clearly having the time of his life.
Nick, who's kind of a do-nothing rich kid (think of a younger, more idealistic Jeffrey Lebowski, before he discovered drugs...and bowling), sees this bit of information as something that he can take to his dad and possibly impress the old man, you know? Only his dad is one of these weird-ass, secret-society millionaire types, who doesn't seem all that interested in solving the murder of his (favorite) son. He'd be way more content doing the typical things rich people did in the late 70s. Things like having all his tainted blood swapped out with the blood of innocent children, banging 'nurses' in the Sex Dungeon wing of his local hospital, and of course, playing golf with hookers.

Wait, what?

Yeah, perhaps shocking no one, this movie is weird as Hell. At times, it seems like a straightforward thriller, but I swear it's actually an absurdist comedy (easily something the dudes at MST3K should take a crack at). This film takes so many jarring left turns, so many random things simply appear on screen like they're supposed to be there, I straight-up rewound Winter Kills. 

More than once. 

I wanted to see if I had either a) fallen asleep/blacked out b) actually lost my mind or c) some combination of the two, but neither theory panned out. Nope. I was fine. It's this movie that's totally f--ked up. In a good way? 

Speaking of not really knowing what's going on, here are the Yays and Boos. Initially I had them all categorized into What the Hell is Going Ons??, but for the sake of tradition, I broke them up instead. But there's no science behind what goes where. None. Fine. Let's just call it 'less than usual'...

Sometimes, I felt like I watching that scary version of Bridges...
(that they created for Tron: Legacy)
  • Man, nothing like those long-ass openings of older movies. I guess people had those things back then, right? I think they were called attention spans or something...
  • I'm pretty sure Bridges had it in his contract that if he was wearing a shirt, it had to be open.
  • John Kuller's beard is epic. As is his face. And his clothes. And posture. You know what, everything about this guy rules.
  • There's a point where Nick's giving his best advice and someone just totally hangs up on him. It basically sums up everything you need to know about Nick, honestly.
  • Yo, Nick's French lady-friend. Holy shit, is she hot. I'm not sure I'd (repeatedly) propose to her...whilst making vigorous (and hilarious) love...but I might be willing to give it a try. The, uh, sex, naturally. She didn't seem too interested in the proposal.
  • If you ever wanted to see Bridges', young ass, this might be the movie you've been looking for. 
  • Okay, serious time. Nick comes home, whines to his man-servant and goes to his room in a huff, right? Total spoiled, rich kid maneuver. All of a sudden, the maid tries to kill him. They wrestle, horribly, her shirt busts open, revealing her breasts...and she haphazardly runs away, shrieking, tits all flopping about. Nick, like us, is bewildered. The butler? Totally indifferent. Like, anything I can get you, sire, before I head back off to bed?
  • As I mentioned, Nick's lady-friend is hot. She comes into this uppity restaurant looking like the prototype for Gal Gadot. Head restaurant guy, not impressed. You can't be in here with men's trousers on! Her play? Oh, she takes them right off.
  • There are two random guys playing ping-pong in the back of a serious scene. No, really.
  • And finally, my favorite scene in the movie (that didn't feature Yvetter [the hot French lady]) had Nick attempting to shake down a doorman for information. Let's just say this guy is a total f--king wiseass, and he can smell that Nick's a huge bitch real quick.
The Boo is that I couldn't find a version of this in color.
Or one where Bridges didn't have any arms.
  • I was kind of excited to see a movie that was the exact same age I was. Really. Until it looked like shit.
  • Todd went nuts over all the great people that were in the cast. Uh, yeah...I didn't know who 90% of them were. Cool.
  • The guy they have write down Bandaged Man's confession was the worst. They dedicate minutes to this guy's inability to write well. Minutes!
  • Bike Lady. There really aren't words to describe how terrible she is. Like, lady...don't stop there. Kill me, too.
  • Different wives have different sons. Gee, thanks Dad. That's such a nicer way to say, You're brother was awesome lady-killer, who was the President. You? You're a huge bitch who no one really likes.
  • Oh, and when Nick finally gets really mad at his father, he yells, rather loudly, YOU STINK, PA! YOU STINK! If only I were making this shit up...
  • I hope my dad isn't keeping track of the number of women I've slept with. Here's a hint: it's way less than 1,072.
  • Mr. Dawson, like just about everyone in this film, is an dickhead. I was hoping one of those tanks would run over just his face.
  • I guess it's supposed to be funny and or satirical, but eventually the conspiracy theories go so far off the rails, I started to think my brain was imploding. Probably from all the chemicals the government puts in soda, you know?
  • RIP, Guy in Charge of Blinking Lights for the top-secret lab scene. Since it's the 70s, that poor guy never had a chance.
  • If a guy about to plummet to his death decides to give me financial advice, let's just say I'm jumping too.
  • And finally, like a young m.brown working at a luxurious hotel, we're gonna spend a lot of time watching Nick struggle to find his place in the big world of grown ups. But while I tried to never mention my dad's name, this is Nick's favorite (and only) weapon. Truly. He's comes up just short of laying down on the floor and showing everyone his belly. Hahaha...not that I know anything about doing that...
Some day, I suppose it's possible that my own son will have to decide whether or not he's going to identify himself as, well, my son. I can't think of a single situation where he'd want to, really. I mean, what good would it ever do him? 

Oh, you're dad had that blog, right? Wrote all those unfunny reviews about movies nobody ever saw? *gets punched in stomach* 

Yeah, that was him. *coughs* He spent many hours working on Two Dollar Cinema. Never making a single dime off of it.

*whispers, as a lone tear slides down his cheek* 

He was employee number 1. 


  1. That maid wrestling scene sounds awesome! I see u ate doing the grand tour on podcasts these days.

    1. Yeah, her scene was certainly a highlight. As were all the unnecessary boobs. There's a point where the have to identify a victim, and they pull back the covering all the way down to her dead jugs and it's outstanding.

      You know, if you're into that sort of thing.

      (And I have been on a bit of a podcast tour these days. Why, I'm not sure, because I swear Skype cuts my balls off and makes me sound like Professor Frink's neutered son)

    2. See if this happens to you than what would happen to me? We would all die listening to it

    3. I know I'd die, that's for sure.