Thursday, August 11, 2005

Mysterious Mose

Bill Moseley

From "The Devil's Rejects", Bill Moseley on the left

Just checked out "The Devil's Rejects" (so what are they then...angels?) at the AMC 42nd Street principally to catch the lead performance by my old pal and partner in crime Bill Moseley. The two of us created a horror film society called Things That Go Bump in the Night at Yale which in its hey-day in the early 70's was an epicenter for weekly group emotional catharis whereby the Yale student body proper could get their ya-yas out for an hour or 2 each week, replete with mini-riots, beer-swigging, cannabis puffing folks yelling back and hurling stuff at the screen, that kind of thing, a checkered paisleyed and polka-dotted hallmark of our bright college daze as impresarios of le horreur vacui ...we showed classics like "Dead of Night" alongside such holy cheeseballs like "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" (the ur-basis I would say for John Waters subsequent oeuvre)...and some real left field oddities like the Japanese b&w "Warning from Space" (from which Bowie derived his "Starman" persona in song)... went up in search of Bill yesterday to Times Square (now more than ever a Disneyfied theme-park) in the company of my good friend Richard Porton, one of the editors of Cineaste (a good read). Normally this kind of 42nd street grindhouse grazing isn't part of his artbeat cinematic purview but I thought a little nostalgie de la boue would doo us both some good, so...have to say this is one of my least favorite theaters in Manhattan, not only did the AMC guys greedily gut and refurbish a magnificent original 42nd street art deco theater with chintz and interior food courts (this one happily dysfunctional thank God as last time the grease stink was so thick it visibly hung in the air and permeated this wan palais du cinema) but they also made of this formerly splendid temple of dreams a real firetrap, with rickety unsafe-at-any-speed escalators whose climb to the blue empyrean above wherein reside the various chambres des multiplex is not this boy's favorite thrillride...anyway despite my horror film obsessions and Gods and Monsters weltanschaung I never have had much truck with or fondness for overt gore, I much prefer Val Lewtonesque atmosphere and off-screen subterfuge to avid depictions of sadism and bloodletting, which since the advent of the "Halloween" franchise is the order of the day (I weep for present-day American culture)...

still Moseley and I might have shown the original "Chainsaw Massacre" film (which made it into MOMA) had we known of it at the time we were running our little penny dreadful operation at Yale as there is not much actual in-your-face snuffery there--unlike "The Devil's Rejects", where the copious arterial spray definitely muddied the mise-en-scene (in fact I later employed Daniel Pearl, the DP on "Chainsaw Massacre" to be the DP for the Beefheart "Ice Cream for Crow" video... but that's another story...)

In any case, I was visibly chilled by the film (and it was not the AC), as in...basically unmoved...yes director Rob Zombie knows his genre conventions and lovingly references thousands of them throughout, and is certainly improving as a director/action mechanic, but really he doesn't add a whole lot of new to the format with this bloody hunk 'o cinematic effluvium... the 70's southern rock score was a nice touch, also the various cameos by such B movie greats as Mary Woronov (danced with her at the party for Julian Schnabel's opening at Leo Castelli in '81), the great Sid "The Big Birdcage" Haig, and...Pj Soles!...also nice...

but I mainly come here in praise of Bill Moseley, my prime reason for being there and the one thing about the film I unreservedly enjoyed throughout... and I am happy to say Mose looked magnificent, oozed charisma by the bucketfull, very Iggy Pop-ish in beard and long stringy hair, his years spent working his craft in films like "White Fang" and shows like "Carnivale" (and years spent working his cut bod gym-wise in LA) have paid off handsomely and resulted in a lean mean Moseley who is out there kicking movie ass and living the dream, he always wanted to be a horror film star, and he definitely is one of the best now, he can really commandeer the screen...long may he flourish!

and please may the powers that be put him in a non-genre pic next time so we can see him he display his full-on acting chops which are at least on par with Vin Diesel's (another old pal, real name Mark Sinclair, I hooked him up with Rough Trade Records to make a rap record in '85...but that's another story for another time...)

off to Lisbon in a few hours with Fast 'n' Bulbous, we're headlining a jazz festival called Jazz Em Agosto there on Saturday night, and I'm really looking forward to checking out Portugal!




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Lucas, sir,
have you ever thought about making an AIM screen name, so that fans of your work may instant message you? I ask that you please take this into deep condsideration.


8/19/2005 1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, is Caroline your wife?
just curious :)

9/03/2005 7:08 PM  

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