The Devil Made Me Rent It!
By John Saleeby
Well, The Squares are hip to the Ol' "Razor Blade In The Apple" Trick, but now that we've got DVDs Halloween is even more fun than 9/12 after twenty-four hours of walking around all sad and serious! And I've discovered the perfect Halloween entertainment - Something Weird's "Devilish Double Feature" DVD presenting "Asylum Of Satan" and "Satan's Children"! Just put this on, drink enough Niquil to imagine that the little kids banging on your door yelling "TRICK OR TREAT!!" are flesh eating zombies trying to break into the house, and you've got an experience your grandfather had to watch his buddies get run over by ten-ton Nazi tanks during the Battle Of The Bulge to equal!
Something Weird specializes in horrible old movies for film fans to enjoy with the same kind of ironic detachment that enables Americans to vote for assholes like John Kerry and George W Bush but I can only take so much of this stuff before I just start to feel sorry for everybody involved. After I quit doing stand up in New York I spent most of 1994 driving around the country visiting surviving writers, directors, and cast members of these crappy movies just to pretend to be a big fan long enough to give them a brief moment of happiness after all the years of humiliation and degradation they'd been put through. "Mister Korgstein, I saw you come out of that cardboard spaceship with that goldfish bowl on your head in 'Moonmen Conquer Akron' and I can't for the life of me understand why they gave the Oscar to Marlon Brando that year - You wuz robbed!" And then every single one of those people told me "Oh, you're that loser who finally wised up and quit doing stand up in New York a coupla months ago! Good move - Your ass was going nowhere!"
I only watch good movies if I can possibly help it and, despite "Asylum Of Satan" being a cheapo horror movie released by Something Weird, I'm glad to tell you it is so good you can watch it without imagining everyone involved living on the street eating rotten food out of garbage cans to stay alive - Sure can't say that about "The Breakfast Club"! Filmed in Kentucky for fifty thousand dollars, "Asylum Of Satan" looks so good you'd think it was filmed in Hollywood for fifty thousand and forty three dollars. Unlike the actors in Big Deal Low Budget Cult Classics like "Night Of The Living Dead" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" the leads in "Asylum Of Satan" had genuine show business careers - Carla Borelli starred on the TV series "Days Of Our Lives" and "Falcon Crest" and Nick Jolley appeared on the "Oklahoma" soundtrack album and the original Broadway production of "Pirates Of Penzance". If that doesn; 't sound like much to you, go find Harry, the grouchy bald headed white guy in the basement from "Night Of The Living Dead" and see what he's been up to. And tell him that "The loser who finally wised up and quit doing stand up in New York sez screw youse!"
Both the Director Of Photography and the Sound Guy for "Asylum Of Satan" went on to win Oscars for their work on big Hollywood movies your Mom probably dragged your poor Dad to see and the film's Writer-Director William Girdler had a successful career before dying in a helicopter crash scouting locations for a MARLON BRANDO movie! You'd have to kill Vic Morrow in a helicopter crash to look down on a career like that!
Girdler was born into Southern Aristocracy and grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth (until his orthodontist's license was revoked). He was Movie Crazy from childhood when he built a projector out of Lincoln Logs and gave Buster Keaton splinters beaming "The General" onto a screen made of wooden blocks. He was twenty four years old when he wrote and directed "Asylum of Satan". When I was twenty four years old I wrote that "Silver Spoon" joke, drank three thousand nine hundred and ninety cans of beer, and read half a Keith Moon biography - Who am I to make snotty remarks about this movie?
I was all set to give "Asylum of Satan" the Ol' Saleeby Acid Logic Treatment until I screwed up and listened to the commentary track with William Girdler biographer Patty Breen and some old guy I don't remember anything about cause he can't get a word in edgewise with Patty makin' so many weisenheimmer jokes about everything. Now you know me, if there's anything I'd never put a gal down for is making jokes about everything, but when she's making every one of the goddam jokes about "Asylum Of Satan" I was about to make I just sit there feeling as old and boring as the poor bastard sitting there trying to think of something funny to say while Patty is riffin' all over this movie like all the girls in my neighborhood when I crashed my Dad's car into the house while my Mom was trying to teach me how to drive. It's like "Mystery Theater 3000" with my Mom and two of my ex girlfriends instead of some Minnesota dullard and a coupla robots. Finally towards the end the old guy manages to get in a little joke about one of the extras - "Is that Chevy Chase? That guy looks like Chevy Chase!" - and if you turn your volume all the way up you can hear Patty's eyeballs rolling in disdain. Are those a couple of bowling balls rolling down the lane? No, that's Patty's eyeballs rolling in disdain. Somebody come up with a guitar part, we'll write a song and become famous! That'll show her!
There's a scene with a black cat that's got no tail and Patty explains that the poor kitty's tail got knocked off in some accident involving one of the crew's trucks. If PETA ever hears about that the dead body of William Girdler will be dug up and reburied in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit so he'll look really silly when the Zombie Holocaust finally happens. Just when I picked up my ink pen to write some kinda "No Animals Were Injured In The Production Of This Motion Picture" joke Patty hits me upside the head with a "No Animals Were Injured In The Production Of This Motion Picture" joke, I said "GODDAMMIT, PATTY! I'm goin' out to get a packa smokes!", and I was halfway to the store before I remembered that I was alone in my apartment the whole time and it had been more a decade since I quit smoking anyway. Too bad I'd already bought some "Make Up" flowers before I remembered all that. Put em in a vase and all I do is look at em and cry! Patty Breen! Patty Breen! Patty Breen ruined my Halloween! C'mon and come up with that guitar part, awready!
I'm tired of the DVD commentary thing. It will eventually get to the point where, no matter how good they are at writing, directing, and producing, filmmakers won't get any work if they aren't really really good at doing funny, entertaining commentaries for their movies. "What, Alfred Hitchcock is on the phone? Get rid of him! That commentary he did for 'Strangers Of A Train' sucked! That corny 'Goood Eeeevening!' shit! He'll never work in this town again!" They'll start hiring actors to play the part of directors on commentary tracks with scripts by writers specializing in writing commentaries. Yeah, I know this has nothing to do with "Asylum Of Satan", but go to Patty's web site if you wanna read about it so much. That darn Patty! Everything I ever wanted to do she's awready done! Just when I finally managed to get over feelin' the exact same way about Conan O'Brien and Izzy Stradlin! Damn!
"Asylum Of . . . Ah, Patty - SHUT UP!!!" climaxes with a virgin sacrifice ceremony which goes awry when Satan picks up on the fact that Carla is no virgin (I think he was tipped off by a "Love Story" style love makin' scene between her and Nick earlier in the film). This scene is so interesting for so many reasons it is practically impossible to pay attention to. First of all, it features the exact same rubber Devil suit Roman Polanski used in "Rosemary's Baby". If you've ever seen "Rosemary's Baby" you'll agree that "Asylum of Satan" would have been a whole lot scarier if they had gotten Ruth Gordon to play Satan instead of some dope in a rubber suit - "This is a virgin? Whoever saw a virgin in blue eyeshadow, awready? I'll show you! Before I go back down to Hell I'm gonna make 'Harold And Maude'!" Girdler wanted this ceremony to be so realistic he not only only got a celebrity rubber monster suit but he also contacted Anton LeVay of The Church Of Satan to provide technical assistance ( I guess Roman Polanski wouldn't return his calls ). Always happy to lend a helping hand, LeVay "The Nicest Guy In Evil" sent Michael A. Aquino to Kentucky with a crate full of props and smoke bombs. Somebody screwed up and sent the crate to Gene Simmons and Paul stanley's rehearsal space in Brooklyn, but Michael came through like a real pro with virgin sacrifice ceremony script so good he was promoted in Church Of Satan ranks to a sketch writing job on "The Sonny And Cher Show". I wrote a few lines from the ceremony down before I felt compelled to recite them out loud and next thing I knew Ruth Gordon was in my house getting on my nerves with her ignorant shit.
Fortunately for Acid Logic readers, "Satan's Children" doesn't have any commentary on this DVD so there are still plenty of jokes left for me to make about it. You'd have to be Colin Quinn to see this movie and not come come up with a lot of funny jokes about it. Unfortunately for Acid Logic readers, I'm going to save all those jokes for when I get to do the commentary on the next DVD of "Satan's Children" instead of for this article. Sorry!
Usually the director's credit is the final title we read at the beginning of a movie, but after "Directed By Joe Wiezycki" the final credit on "Satan's Children's" titles is "And Introducing Stephen White As Bobby Douglas". Yeah, " . . . As Bobby Douglas" as if that's some great figure of history like " . . . As Abraham Lincoln" or " . . . As Duff McKagen". Bobby Douglas is a teenage kid in Florida who runs away from home, gets gang raped, and winds up with a bunch of Satanists. No, no, no, he doesn't get gang raped by Satanists - He gets gang raped by four homos and then winds up with the Satanists for a Happy Ending! See, according to Joe Wiezycki there are two kinds of people in this world - Homos and Satanists. Did Ken Anger ever see this movie?* I hesitate to recommend "Satan's Children" but . . . I'll recommend it just because I like to mess with people and I don't have time to call every one of you on the phone pretending to be a policeman telling you that your Dad has been killed in a traffic accident. This movie is so offensive Anton LeVay sent Michael A. Aquino all the way to Florida just to tell Wiezycki he ought to be ashamed of himself.
*I have no idea why this joke didn't go over at The Apollo.
As played by Stephen White, Bobby is kind of like Danny Partridge only he doesn't play a rockin' bass and make even better jokes than Peter Brady. Bobby hits the road in his denim leisure suit and next thing we know is getting raped by four guys in a moving car. (Moral: Stay away from leisure suits - ED) Not quite as upsetting as the homosexual rape scene as "Deliverance", but Ned Beatty and four guys couldn't fit into one car. One member of the Coven named Joshua objects to Bobby's presence as a violation of the Rules set down by their Evil Leader Simon, who is in Kentucky looking for virgins or something. "He's a QUEER!" shrieks Joshua "Simon don't like VICTIMS!". Which is weird cause Joshua couldn't be gayer if he dumped Nicole Kidmon for Penelope Cruz. Joshua, by the way, is played by a guy named John Edwards. Oh, come on! That's FUNNY! Aw, c'mon! If he was played by some flit named Dick Cheney we never would have heard about "Satan's Children" any more than we've heard of "Around The World In eight Days" starring Jackie Chan. Then Simon shows up and turns out to be so much of a Cool Guy that in this context it's just suspicious. So, before I embarrass myself, here is MSNBC's Leading Authority On Everything Under The Motherfucking Sun - Ron Reagan Jr!
So, Ron Jr - What do you think of Simon in "Satan's Children"?
"Simon is FABULOUS!!!"
Allright, Ron Jr! And thanks for the guacamole recipes!
At the end Bobby hunts down the guys who raped him and presents all four of their decapitated heads to Simon in a sack as evidence of his masculine worthiness to be accepted as a member of his coven. Is that how Jay Leno got to host "The Tonight Show"? This movie is so crazy that when a black cat got it's tail knocked off during the production they threw the cat away and used the tail as Simon's mustache.
If there was ever a movie that was perfect for an Acid Logic commentary it's "Satan's Children". Wil Forbis and I could do the commentary for this movie together in our sleep. No, not that we're sleeping together . . . I mean . . . How can we communicate in this atmosphere? Who the hell cares? Communication is gay and since I have no idea what the hell Wiezycki was thinking when he made this movie I have no doubt he was as much of a real man as I am. What do you think of Joe Wiezycki, Ron Jr?
"Oh! Don't get me STARTED!"
See what I mean? Speaking of horror movies, homophobia, and DVD commentaries, the DVD of the original "Dawn Of The Dead" has a commentary by George Romero and Tom Savini in which the word "game" is frequently used to describe a cast or crew member willing to do anything to help these maniacs achieve their zany splatter effects. But I'm deaf as a donut so when they were mumbling "That biker getting his foot torn off is Ronnie Taylor." "He was game." "He was REALLY game!" to me it sounded like they were dishing "He was gay." "He was REALLY gay!" and I was like "Dear God In Heaven! How many homosexuals were involved in the production of this motion picture!? Why didn't you girls just make a musical!?!"
So I'll show you, Patty! I'm going to become The World's Leading Authority On Joe Wiezycki and when I do the commentary on the Acid Logic DVD of "Satan's Children" I'm gonna have Wiezycki jokes the likes of which . . . Aw, crap - This damn DVD already came out two years before I ever knew about it so Patty was sittin' around spoutin' off about Wiezycki and "Satan's Children" while I was still writing Acid Logic jokes about the Pamela Anderson - Tommy Lee video and how skinny Calista Flockhart is. Aw, to hell with it. Yeah, that's a good way to end an article about all this Satan jazz - To hell with it.
This guacolmole is pretty next to the flowers!
John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier.
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