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March 2001

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In this issue:    Hannibal Ferox!    Japanese Porn!    Monster Truck Mayhem!    PLUS: Ash's Oscar Picks!   and way too much more!
What the Hell is wrong with Hollywood?
An off-the-cuff hate filled judgmental article by Batturtle

I, like some others associated with this fine periodical, am an independent moviemaker aspiring to one day make a living off my craft. And I want to get in the game a.s.a.p., because now more than ever it seems like everyone sitting behind a desk greenlighting movies & buying up scripts for high six figures is an idiot. Don't get me wrong. I'm not some tofu sammich, granola shampoo, Fellini watchin' hippie who's going to whine & complain about action movies & sequels. I enjoy both genres. But, what I will rant about is this: For the price of approximately 1 "Titanic", the studios could have instead theoretically sponsored some 4,000 "Blair Witch Project's" or 800 "Chasing Amy's". Now, I know there's been quite the Blair Witch backlash of late, & I'm not the hugest fan of Kevin Smith. Can you imagine though, if instead of bowing down to the tyrannical madman that is James Cameron, if a few THOUSAND indie directors, writers & producers had their projects financed? Admittedly, there would probably be more than a few piles of garbage produced in the process (there's just as many bad film fest artsy movies as there are multi-million dollar blockbusters). I imagine that amongst the mix though, there would also be quite a few the caliber of "Evil Dead", "El Mariachi", "Blood Simple", "THX 1138", "Roadkill", "Halloween" or "Sex Lies & Videotape" (or fill in your favorite low-budget movie here).

Every time you see a god-awful movie, (whether it be "3000 Miles to Graceland", "Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle" or anything starring Keanu Reeves), remember that big fat bald guy called "the studio executive". He wears a suit that costs more than a year's worth of your rent & smokes a cigar that was delicately hand crafted by the hardest working abused Cuban slave children a nickel could buy. He listened to a pitch (after a long line of other yes-men & bootlickers sat through it first), contemplated his options & thought over what was best for his company, the share holders & the world wide movie watching audience. And, after much thought, he declared to the huddled masses: "Yes! Yes! The world deserves, no... demands that basketball giant & corporate whore Shaquile "Shaq" O'Neal play a magical rapping genie!". Hence, the cinematic excellence that was "Kazzam" was brought into this world. And then...the part that really blows my mind, is that even after the aforementioned "Kazzam", Hollywood said to Shaq; "Well, that was an incredible financial & critical disaster...oh well, wanna be in "Steel" & "Goodburger"? I'm sure that they'll work out much better.". What the hell!?!

In any other profession, if you continually do a bad job, or if you do one major earth shattering screw up, you'll get fired. If you ain't good at making sundaes, you probably won't have a long & fruitful career behind the counter at the DQ. In Hollywood though, it seems that as long as you've had one hit movie in the far reaches of your past, you're pretty much set for life. The closest comparison to the terror that was "Batman & Robin" would probably be a kindergarten teacher losing her class of kids on a field trip. Or a chef poisoning all his food. Or maybe a skydiving instructor removing all the parachutes from the packs. If you've seen "Batman & Robin", I'm sure you can understand my harsh feelings towards the project. For a screw up this momentous, you'd think that the appropriate retaliation from Hollywood would be a nice round of blacklisting, or having the LAPD run the director out of town. BUT NO! Since Joel Schumacher "directed" Batman into the ground, he's directed or produced no less than four more movies & has another in pre-production! And, the guy who did "Showgirls", Paul Verohoven, has helmed not one but two gigantic big-budget (& just as bad) movies since then: "Starship Troopers" & "Hollowman". Makes me angry it does.

The actors aren't making things much better either. Hollywood doesn't think it's at all uncalled for to give John Travolta $20 million for Look Who's Taking IV (well...not really, but I wouldn't be surprised). Or to pay Schwarzenneger the same to do some sci-fi movie that no one cares about that'll be in theatres for a day or two. And the audiences are far from flawless. Because often, when an amazing new piece of cinematic history DOES make it to the silver screen ("Army of Darkness", "Fight Club", "The Limey"), nobody sees it. They'd rather watch the monthly Freddie Prinze Jr. offering (I shudder at the mere typing of the thought). Shame on you. But, on the bright side...they are letting Tim Burton do "Planet of the Apes" & Sam Raimi do "Spider-man". So clearly there's some smart ones hiding in there somewhere. And just wait 'till we get in. Then things are really gonna' kick ass.

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