Rectuma, monsturd, and deadbeat at dawn

This was a STRONG week on Tubi. Right when I was about to give up (not just on Tubi, but on life in general) I got slapped across the face with three BANGERS.

Rectuma (2003)

This is why I say it takes a couple of decades after a film’s release before it can be properly critiqued. Audiences were probably pissed when they saw this in 2003. They probably discarded it as just another lame attempt at South Park-style humor, which many attempted, unsuccessfully, to emulate. But now, nearly 20 years later, Rectuma’s stupidity can be fully appreciated.

Just in case you forgot, I’ve taken a LOT of drugs. And as a result, my memory is nearly shot. So if you want an accurate plot summary, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But best I can recall, the story is about some schlubby dude who gets raped by a frog in Mexico and then he gets nuclear rods shoved up his rectum thus causing his ass to grow massive in size before it starts attacking LA. Plus his wife is trying to kill him.

In 2003, I was fully steeped in this low-brow, offensive, toilet humor (still kinda am, tbh). That was practically internet culture in those days. So watching this movie was like a walk down memory lane.

People forget, there was a time when “politically incorrect” humor (before it got relabeled as “anti-woke” humor 🤢) oddly lacked any political dimension whatsoever. Everyone laughed at it because it was after 9/11 and we all thought we would die soon anyway. Stuff like Rectuma was supposed to distract us from that horrible fact.

So to appreciate this movie, one must see it as an artifact of very early 21st Century life. It should be shown in colleges and history classes across the globe.

Monsturd (2003)

Both Monsturd and Rectuma were released in 2003 and were both seemingly filmed in Butte County, California. So I’m assuming there was some overlap in the productions of these two movies.

I don’t think Monsturd is quite of the same caliber as Rectuma, but I appreciate the effort nonetheless. The plot is simple: a gigantic, living turd -created by a mad scientist- terrorizes the citizens of a small community, and it’s up to the sheriff’s department to stop it.

Despite being the lesser of the two films, like peanut butter and chocolate, this goes well with Rectuma.

Deadbeat At Dawn (1988)

I saved the best for last. Outside of one Ouija Board scene, this really isn’t a “horror” film. But I’m glad, that in Tubi’s infinite wisdom, they recommended it.

Filmed on the mean streets of Dayton, Ohio, Deadbeat At Dawn is about one man’s revenge against rival gang members for killing his girlfriend. The final confrontation at a train station is simultaneously amateurish and utterly fucking brutal…and it concludes in the most satisfying way: the bad guy gets his throat ripped out (this was released a year before Road House, btw).

The violence in Deadbeat At Dawn is delightfully absurd, but the highlight of the movie is when, in his darkest hour, our hero goes from getting drunk to snorting coke to shooting up heroin before finally dropping acid. Self-destruction never looked more hilarious.

This is definitely one of the great underrated action films of the 80s.

*******

Hey! You!

Have you ever taken a long, painful shit and didn’t have anything to read? Or have you ever sat in a jail cell overnight (because you had one too many drinks and made a fool of yourself at Applebee’s, of course) and thought “if I only had something strange and unusual to read while I wait to make bail”?

Well this wouldn’t be a problem for you if you’ve ever ordered from Dead Star Press, dummy!

https://deadstarpress.com/shop/

So get the latest from Joseph D. Newcomer and numerous talented authors. And while you’re at it, you can look like a dope motherfucker by purchasing one of these badass T-shirts:

Use my promo code BM5 at checkout to get 5% off your purchase. That’s BM5, as in Beau Montana 5 OR Badass Motherfucker 5.

So get in loser! We’re making the world weird again!

Dead Star Press

Throwback

This was one of my first stories that I published here.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why it wasn’t more popular 🤷‍♂️

Nice balls,” she said.

“Thanks”

I just got a new pair of truck nuts for my 2004 Dodge Ram 2500. Luciana Ortega De Navarro was impressed.

Luciana was the heiress to the largest cigarette manufacturer in Southern Cal. It recently went out of business. She asked me out on a date while I was sleeping in the doorway of her storefront in Venice. 

She had a thing for hard luck cases.

So I finally brushed my teeth and ran a comb through my hair. I put on my best Def Leppard shirt and met her at Il Porcellino, the finest Italian place near Marina Del Ray. 

Luciana wore a floral red dress. Her dark hair flowed down to her shoulders and her skin was as radiant as the Mediterranean sunset. She was stunning.

We shared a bottle of Molinara from Veneto over candlelight. She asked, “do you go to church?”

“I’ve been there before.”

“How do you feel about 3rd Baptist Church of Culver City?”

“I’ll give it a shot,” I said.

That Sunday, I wore a clip-on tie and went to church. Elderly people abound. They all asked “Welcome Brother James, isn’t Luciana great?!”

“I guess,” I said.

Services began. The choir sang “Are You Washed in the Blood”. The pastor waddled out from behind the stage.

The preacher was a heavyset man, obscenely flabby. He wore a flannel suit and lightly tinted bifocals. He asked us to take out our Bibles.

“Open to Romans 3:48.”

The parishioners complied.

“Now, my congregation, I wish to speak on god’s grace, his mercy, and his message to all the people of earth.”

Silence fell over the church.

“Yesterday, while I was praying, a voice said to me ‘I will bring forth your people as testimony to this cursed world.’ I replied ‘God! What does this mean?’ The voice said ‘do not worry, just listen to my commands,’”preacher continued.

All eyes were now glued to him.

“The voice said ‘Get up!’ So I got up. Then it said ‘take off your shirt!’ So I took off my shirt. Then it told me ‘take off your pants’. So I took off my pants. ‘Now drink your own piss!’ So I drank my own piss.”

The preacher began to move around the stage.

“It was at this time when I felt the grace of Jesus Christ inside of me. I leapt for joy! And I knew right then what I had to do.”

He then walked over to the assistant pastor.

“Brother Ted, please stand up.”

He stood up.

“Ladies and gentleman of this congregation. This is the future I want to bring forth.”

The preacher then pulled down Brother Ted pants, exposing his fully erect penis.

Gasps filled the audience. 

As the parishioners started getting riled up, the preacher continued.

“Do not be afraid,” he said as he held Brother Ted’s member. “Change is always scary. But this is the beginning of a new era!”

The preacher then shoved Brother Ted’s penis into his ass. The sound of clapping ass cheeks echoed throughout the church.

Women in the aisles were passing out. The men shouted “Amen!”

“Come here Brother Al,” the preacher said to another assistant. 

And the preacher sucked and fucked his way through the sermon, igniting his congregation into a titillated frenzy.

As we were driving home, Luciana asked, “what did you think about the service?”

“I don’t know,” I replied. “It was a little tame. Think I’ll just stay a Catholic.”

***

RIP Nichelle Nichols 😔

Black roses (1988)

When a movie informs you that it’s a Shapiro-Glickenhaus production, you’re in for a ride. And Black Roses did not disappoint.

I’ve always been intrigued by the psychological/political dimensions of the 80s. Poltergeist kind of touches on this in the most subtle way, how family dynamics were altered during this decade. Black Roses picked up on this concept and ran with it.

The film shines a spotlight on the contradictions within Reagan-era politics: parents being appalled yet titillated by youth culture (and a complete lack of awareness that these tensions exist). The story of Black Roses centers on some “heavy metal” band coming to small town USA and corrupting its youth. The youth become demon-possessed and start killing their parents. Only a mustached English teacher stands in their way.

Of course, the band is entirely blamed for the “corruption”. Despite the shitty parenting throughout, the adults never once ask themselves: “are we to blame?”. But I guess parenting styles in the 1980s didn’t include things like paying attention to your children. Additionally, because parents were unable to take responsibility for themselves, we now have “culture wars”…which stem back to this decade…on which adults can use as a scapegoat for why they have shitty children.

Now I’m probably giving the filmmakers WAY to much credit for this analysis. They probably just wanted to show rock n’ roll and boobs with a few demons thrown in for good measure. But all good art is a reflection on the time it was produced. And Black Roses certainly pulls back the curtain on Reagan’s America.

Rip Michael Krueger

If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times: I am to Tubi what raccoons are to trash. So if Tubi puts something up there to watch, by God I’m watching it and leaving a godawful mess while I’m at it.

Why though? Why would one put themselves through pointless agony?

I’ll tell you why: Mindkiller and Night Vision.

Before you read this, you probably never heard of either of those films. But now you have. So I’m providing a FREE public service: finding overlooked gems before they are totally and completely forgotten. I’m a historian, this is what I do.

Both films were directed by Michael Krueger and both…according to IMDb…were released in 1987. Unfortunately, Krueger died in 1990, presumably leaving both films to lie in obscurity until their resurrection into the public consciousness by Tubi.

You might think I’m being facetious over my praise of Krueger’s work, but I assure you, I genuinely enjoyed both movies. Sure, they might look like cheap after-school specials…the sound editing is particularly atrocious in Mindkiller…but a few technical issues aside, aspiring filmmakers should take note: where you lack a budget, you can make up for with heart.

As you all know, I have a horrible memory. So I don’t recall too many plot details. But Mindkiller, roughly, is about a dork librarian who reads some outlandish shit and he begins to control minds. I think. He then begins to control the mind of his love interest, played convincingly by Shirley Ross as a strait laced librarian.

Ross then flips the script for Night Vision, also as the love interest, as she plays a street wise video clerk showing her boyfriend the ropes. The streets of Denver have never looked so mean. Remember, this was the 80s, before all the hipsters moved in and gentrified the place. But supposedly Night Vision is also a horror film. I think a VCR is demon possessed or something. While I don’t remember being scared, I do remember being taken in by the film’s earnestness and Ross’ performance.

It’s a shame that Krueger didn’t have a longer career. But I am thankful for what we did get.

RIP

the art of trolling

Oh to be young again.

I say that internet trolling has gotten BETTER since my day of IMDb message boards and AOL chat rooms. It was easier then. People were far more gullible.

Kids today are craftier, resourceful.

They rarely tip their hand.

A good example is the “fuck.atheism” accounts on Instagram. Of course, I’m assuming that they are trolls (allegedly ran by some jailbird named “Brandon Walsh”). For the sake of my sanity, I have to believe that they are.

Take a look:

This is “fuck.atheism.5”. This is number 5 of 6 accounts with this name and avatar.

Obviously that’s a troll,” you might say.

I wouldn’t be so sure:

“So the guy’s committed to the bit. Kudos to him,” you say.

Yeah, I suppose. But…Jesus, who the fuck is this for?

Look, in my day, I probably could have pulled something close to this out of my ass. But if this is a bit, where’s the parody? Is it the blatant science denialism? I would have never of wasted that much time for a joke!

See what I mean?

This is either skill or overzealousness. And it pisses me off that I can’t tell which it is.

“Who cares?”

Well for posterity’s sake, I think things like this should be recorded and analyzed. We are either looking at modern art or batshit insanity. Or maybe it’s both.

Someone has to explain to future generations what we were doing with the internet. And that’s what this website’s all about.

I’m a historian. Not a shitposter.

😐

What happened to the days on TV when a man could walk into a grocery store Benny Hill-style, hand in pocket, and he’s just YANKING his crank furiously underneath his sweatpants? Meanwhile he thinks he’s being so cool about it but everyone refuses to make eye contact with him.

Why can’t we make TV like that anymore?

That’s the worst thing about politics becoming serious entertainment: nothing’s funny anymore.

Every joke is the same tired crap: shitting on transgenderism, “cancel culture” ruining everything, conservatives are brainwashed, blah blah blah….

Remember that terrible painting of Jesus guiding the pen of Donald Trump? Chuckle all you want, but that painting best represents the absurdity of our times and it will almost certainly be in a prestigious museum 500 years from now where smart people will dispassionately evaluate its historical significance.

Nothing can be stupid and pointless for the sake of being stupid and pointless anymore.

Thanks anyway jackass forever, but too little too late.

according to Simon (part iii)

“What happened to your face?” Jacob asked as I met him at the Cyrene’s inn.

“I was attacked by one of Herod’s thugs,” I said. “They’re onto us. So watch who you talk to.”

“You didn’t tell him anything did you?”

“I told him I was a friend of Joseph’s. After that, he left me alone.”

“Shit,” Jacob said and rubbed his face. “Well good news is I met with Ananias and his wife Sapphira. Remember them?”

“The one’s from Rome?”

“Yeah. They sold some of their property in Judea. They gave the money to John to distribute to the widows outside of the city walls. It’s finally happening Simon!”

“Don’t let it get to your head!” I told him. “You still need to lie low.”

Just then a big burly fellow with six other men busted through the door. “Χαιρετίσματα Jacob,” the booming voice said.

“Hello Stephanos.”

“You’re Stephanos?!” I exclaimed.

Stephanos looked over to me and back over to Jacob. “Who’s dis?” the man asked in his Greek accent.

“Relax, he’s Simon,” Jacob replied. “He was a good friend of Yeshua’s.”

Stephanos looked me up and down. “I heard you were arrested,” he said to me.

“No, it must have been another Simon,” I replied. “I’m from Bethsaida.”

Stephanos was confused. He looked back to Jacob. “I was told that Ananias gave you money. Our women and children are starving too-“

“Now Stephanos,” Jacob interrupted, “I know where you’re going with this. But Ananias was very clear: he wanted us to use this money to help the widows of Jerusalem.”

“Because we’re Greeks we’re not as important as the Hebrews?”

“I didn’t say that. Please listen to me. I’m only respecting Ananias’ wishes.”

Stephanos was furious. “We’ve been in the streets for days while you Hebrews have been coward up in your homes! Do you support us or not?!”

“Of course I support you!” Jacob yelled then took a deep breath. “I get how you feel, Stephanos, I really do. But you gotta understand our situation. Herod and Pilate aren’t too concerned with the Greeks right now. But they are after us. We can’t be out in the streets and we don’t have the money to spread around to everyone. I’m sorry. But Ananias is a very successful man from Rome and a diaspora Jew just like yourself. If you go to him and explain your situation, he can probably provide you with some assistance.”

Stephanos stood silent for a moment then muttered something in Greek. He walked up to Jacob. “μη με σταυρώνεις,” he said. Then him and his six men left the room.

“You should’ve stayed away from him Jacob,” I said.

“I know.”

“And Stephanos is a convert. To Ananias, he’s still a Gentile. He’s not giving him the money.”

Jacob began rubbing his temples. “I need a drink,” he said.

We went down to the tavern where Levi was scribbling something down. “What are you doing?” Jacob asked him.

“The Greeks wanted something to tell the people back in the Decapolis. Something about Yeshua.”

I looked over the writing. He didn’t write much but it was all in Greek. I couldn’t understand a word of it. Jacob was puzzled. “Where did you learn to write Greek?”

“In school, here in Jerusalem” Levi replied, “I had to learn it along with Hebrew.”

“Maybe we should drop the subject of Greeks for the time being,” I said.

We sat silently drinking our wine for a few minutes. There was a commotion on the streets. Andrew came running up. “They’re about to stone some of the Greeks!” he screamed.

Jacob and Levi instantly got up. “Aren’t you coming along?” Jacob asked me. Against my better judgment, I put down the wine cup and followed them.

A few blocks away, a crowd was gathering. Some were shouting. Others gawked out of morbid curiosity. Moments later, Temple guards began dragging out seven Greeks. One of them was Stephanos.

Behind them followed a few members of the Sanhedrin, including Joseph. Standing beside him was Ananias.

“Thief! Thief!” Ananias shouted. “These men conspired with Yeshua to rob the Temple and overthrow the Romans!”

My heart began to sink. This was a setup.

The guards threw the Greeks in front of Herod’s black-cloaked mercenaries who had their spears ready. Meanwhile, the Roman guards stood back smiling at the whole affair.

A judge from the Sanhedrin stood among the crowd and faced the accused. “Conspiracy, sedition, robbery of Ananias,” the judge said, “are these accusations true?”

It didn’t matter what Stephanos said. And he knew it. From his knees, he laughed and looked at the crowd. “You stiff-necked people,” he said, “your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him—”

“God help you,” the judge said.

With those words, the mercenaries plunged their spears into the bellies of the Greeks. A pool of blood formed in the middle of the crowd.

Levi screamed in horror and ran away.

But the crowd was just getting warmed up. They picked up stones or any disposable object and began hurling them towards Stephanos. He got bruised and battered and knocked in the head a few times but kept crawling forward.

Among the mercenaries, I recognized a familiar face: The scars….the scabs…the wiry frame. It was him alright. It was the man that attacked me a few days earlier.

And Stephanos kept crawling towards this man as the stones were raining down on him. When he reached his feet, Stephanos grabbed the man’s cloak and got to his knees.

I was too far away to hear anything, but Stephanos was clearly saying something to this man. Judging by his face, the figure was stunned by what was being said. But before the figure could react, a member of the crowd smashed a rock into Stephanos’ skull.

The man in the black cloak stood back with blood and brain matter splattered all over his face. He was in a daze.

Before the crowd could mutilate the bodies, Joseph stepped in to quiet them. That’s enough!” he yelled. “The perpetrators of the Passover sedition have been caught and punished! This matter is closed! Please return to your homes!” As the crowds dispersed, the Temple guards started dragging the bodies outside of the city walls.

Jacob and I returned to the inn in silence. We didn’t know what to make of what just happened. “Do we leave Jerusalem?” Jacob asked.

“Why?” I replied. “It looks like Joseph and Ananias took care of our problem.”

TO BE CONTINUED…