Metropol: Bits and Pieces

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while since I written a Metropol column, my summer got jumbled up and obligation to other things got the better of me. But now I’m back and I’ve got a whole bunch to talk about. For those of you who are fans of the site and especially this column, I’d like to thank you for your good words and patience during my “hiatus” It is really appreciated.

Enough of the sappy stuff, let’s get things started.

If you guys didn’t know already, Patrick Swayze died last week due to cancer. He was a renaissance man. He could dance, he could act, he could even sing. He was an 80’s icon and it’s a shame we’ve lost this great amount of talent so early. I really wish the media could see it this way though. Everywhere you turned you see the major outlets describing him as a great “romantic lead” and keep mentioning Dirty Dancing and Ghost as if they were his only great triumphs. Always forgetting that while these movies are good, there are other movies that shown that he can and is a well rounded actor. Especially a movie like Roadhouse.

Roadhouse is a movie that is sooo cheesy, you’d need to hold your nose whenever you’re around it. It stars Swayze as Dalton, a “cooler”, a bouncer who handles dangerous disputes. He’s hired to help clean up a bar called the Double Duece out in Jasper, Montana. Upon his arrival, he sees that the joint is a sty and works to clean the place up. This doesn’t set well with the local millionaire and he goes out of his way to ruin Swayze’s day. This leads to a knockdown, dragout war between the two.

Now, if this movie didn’t have Swayze in it, you could have sworn that the plot of this movie was a rejected A-team episode. The plot holes were big enough for monster trucks to drive through. You pretty much have the greatest bouncer in the world (with the help of the second greatest) miraculously cleaning up a rundown joint and defending himself against a self made millionaire whose running a protection scheme on a bar, an auto parts store and a car dealership and if you don’t pay protection, he destroys the business that helps you collect the money for protection, all the while banging the chick who looks like she came from Malibu. It’s that damn ridiculous and the only thing that would saved it would have been the cool sound of the Jeff Healey Blues Band.

With Swayze’s “warrior-poet” in place however, it starts looking less like an A-Team reject and more like a samurai movie. Swayze had some experience playing samurai-like characters, most notably in the movie Steel Dawn, so it’s pretty easy to see him as a ronin, the village becomes a han, the bar an inn and the evil millionaire as…..well a person of higher power. I think that’s what really grabs people. Something that out of sorts makes a person change certain symbolism. It was Swayze who would open that door. And if you don’t believe that I dare you to watch the movie and try, just try to shut it off. I know you can’t.

So raise a glass to good old Dalton and hope that he counting his Zs. He deserves it.

And here I thought nobody can get as bad as Paramount in terms of DVD creation and genre film. For those who don’t follow. Warner Bros. has opened up a department known as Warner Archives. The department is pretty much the Warner Bros. film library on DVD and/or digital download.

Unlike everyone else however, they really don’t care about it though. Instead of doing footwork and man power, they just take existing footage of the film they have and burn it on a DVD-R. That’s it. No quality control, no extras, not even a chapter page. Just a one minute ad and the movie with ten minute skips. and they’re charging twenty dollars a disc. That’s a slap in the face toward the DVD collector.

Looking at what they’re offering from the collection, I see at least ten films that deserve DESERVE a better treatment then what they’re getting now. They deserve featurettes and interviews and commentaries. The people are still around and I garantee you that they be willing to help make the real DVD up for you. My god, you can get Russ Mulcahy and Greg Harrison to do commentary and interviews for Razorback, maybe even behind the scenes footage. But because they’re afraid of low turnouts, they’re going to give a crappy VHS cut to people without cleaning it up on a crappy DVD-R for double the price.

Congratulations. You just did what nobody else could do Warner Bros.

You made Paramount’s bare bone DVDs look like high quality.

For those of you eagerly awaiting my coverage of the camcorder subgenre of Horror. I have some bad and good news.

The bad news is that I could not procure all the movies that I wanted to cover for the series. A sudden lack of funding and commitments put the Big Kabosh on that to quote combat sports commentator Michael Schiavello. I haven’t given up on the project, but I am at an impass right now. If you do wish to learn about this subgenre, Might I suggest you check out Cannibal Holocaust, The Blair Witch Project,The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Cloverfield and REC. There are more, but these are the major films so far.

The good news however is that I will cover thirty one horror movies in the month of October. All of them from the Hammer Production company. From Dracula to possibly To The Devil A Daughter. So stay tune Metropol fans. It’ll be a scream!

Hey! If you have any comment or you’d like to ask a question or two feel free to either leave it in the comment box or email me at [email protected] Love to read from you

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  1. That’s a great take on Roadhouse 🙂 One of those movies you have to love despite everything.

    Re the Camcorder Horror genre: yes, Cannibal Holocaust is certainly the daddy there! If you haven’t seen it you might want to check out Jersey Devil. It was made round about the same time as the Blair Witch and I seem to recall there was some sort of dispute between the two sets of film makers.

    Looking forward to more columns


    • roy3 /

      You mean The Last Broadcast (or at least that’s what it was called in the US).

      Broadcast started production later then BWP, but they both hit the circuit at the same time.

      I remember Eduardo Sanchez talking about the situation as more of a “OMG! You wore the same dress!?” moment. But there was no dispute. Eduardo was scared, but after he saw that it was a mockumentantary using footage of the victims more then the footage of the victims themselves, he was cool with it.

      BTW, if you can, keep a look out for Sanchez’s Chinese ghost movie. I heard it was awesome.

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