Friday, May 29, 2009

20 Questions From

Over at, the Antidepressant Festival preview is up, which you can check out here. This year, Martin asked participants in the festival to fill out a 20-point questionnaire.

My answers to the 20 questions for Infectious Opportunity can be found here.

Read them, weep openly, then buy your tickets.

Have a good weekend, folks. I'll blather at you soon.

Citing Groucho Marx and Bugs Bunny in a play
about someone faking being HIV-positive,

James "Utterly Conventional" Comtois

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Interviewed by Matthew Freeman

Matt Freeman interviews me for the latest nytheatrecast, which you can listen to here.

We chat at length about heist movies, dickish behavior, HBO series, whether or not I prefer to be called James, Jimmy, or Jim and of course, the Brick's Antidepressant Festival and Nosedive's latest production in it, Infectious Opportunity.

I had an absolute blast recording this with Matt. Hopefully you'll enjoy listening to it.

Dare I say, you might find it...Infectious?

No. No, I wouldn't dare. Seriously. Scratch that last bit out. Seriously, the last thing this blog needs is a reputation for finding lame puns.

So just listen to the podcast here.

Digging heist films,

James "Big Jim" Comtois

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cheer Up, Bitches!

Rather than solely plug my own stuff (buy your damn tickets already), I'd like to offer a few shout-outs to some of my fellow Antidepressant Festival brothers and sisters.

Just read Matt Freeman's Antidepressant play, Glee Club last night. It's definitely a play that starts off seeming like a lark and goes into quite dark territory, but not in the way that you'd expect. I'm very much looking forward to seeing it and really curious to see how people respond to it (as I'm sure Matt must be, too). I most certainly won't be giving anything away about it here, but I suspect folks will be divided on it.

When I say Glee Club gets dark but not in the way you'd expect, I mean those expecting violence or some graphic sex scene or some profanity-laced climactic monologue won't get anything like that (although there is swearing in it). Some folks may find it silly. Some may find it horrifically offensive and in really poor taste. Some may find it a darkly funny comment on the need to fit in with people you shouldn't be interacting with in the first place.

And of course, this is my guess based solely on reading the script. I can't comment on how it'll look and feel before the cast and director Kyle Ancowitz bring their goods to the table.

Another show I'm looking forward to is the latest installment to Gyda Arber's Suspicious Package interactive show/walking tour, Suspicious Package: Rx. Whereas last year's show was an interactive noir story, this one takes its cues from the Twilight Zone and E.C. Comics' Weird Science-brand of sci-fi. Last year's show was so much fun, so I have complete confidence that this year's incarnation will be no different.

Full disclosure: I actually wrote some filler scenes/monologues for this, and Kid Sister Becky Comtois acts in some of the flashback scenes as well, though I still have no idea what the final product will look like.

And of course my good pal Danny Bowes is involved in not one but two shows at the Festival. He's written and is performing in Booze, Sports and Romance, about said substances that's apparently part aural essay and movement piece. As the press materials put it, "You know, just like every other show you've ever seen in indie theatre." Directed by Chris Connolly and choreographed by Guinevere Pressley.

Mr. Bowes will also serve as actor for Richard Lovejoy's Adventurequest (directed by Adam Swiderski). Here's what the press materials say about this show: "The town of Perilton has been invaded by an evil wizard, and only our hero can save it! Cheer as he fights for the hand of the mayor's daughter! Gasp as he infiltrates the bloodthirsty Octopus Cult! Watch as he meticulously collects inventory items! Shift uncomfortably in your seat as the narrative gradually implodes! Glance around nervously as characters are brutally murdered for no particular reason! Despair as your faith in a meaningful, ordered universe is shaken! Evoking the Golden Age of home computer gaming, Adventure Quest is both a nostalgic treat and a glimpse into the yawning Void."

Yeah, I'll freakin see that.

There are a bunch of other shows going on (17 mainstage shows in all), so check them out here. I'm hoping to see as many as possible.

Cheering you bitches up,

James "Rapey The Clown" Comtois

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dinner Date

The film my sister directed for Third Lows Productions' Bride of the Sinister Six horror film series last Halloween.

Dinner Date

Directed by Rebecca Comtois
Written by James Comtois

Shot & Edited by Marc Landers

Best Boy: Ben VandenBoom

Abe Goldfarb
Ronica V. Reddick
Mac Rogers

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Vincent! We Happy?

Yeah, we happy. I saw the first run-through of Infectious Opportunity last night. And...oh, yeah. The cast is bringin' it. Pete gets to live. It is on. You definitely aren't gonna want to miss this one, folks.

So yes, quit dickin' around and buy your tickets. You'll be glad you did.

And as a postscript/tangent, the podcast interview should be up very, very soon. I'll post it as soon as it's available.

Shooting Marvin in the face,

James "Trigger Sad" Comtois


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

And Now We're Back

Had an absolute blast chatting with Mr. Freeman on Friday for nytheatrecast about Infectious Opportunity, HBO series, heist films, and whether I prefer being called Jim, Jimmy, or James. It should be posted shortly before we open, so I'll send out the link as soon as that happens. Whether or not it'll be interesting to listeners remains to be seen, but I for one had a whole lot of fun recording it.

Well, folks, I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day Weekend. I know I did. I’m glad to have enjoyed a nice blend of doing absolutely nothing (clocking in a good 12 hours of sleeping time on the couch in front of the TV, which doesn’t include actual sleep time in the bed) and enjoying some fine outings, including seeing three movies (Star Trek again, which is just as fun the second time ‘round, Terminator Salvation, which evaporates from your mind the minute you leave the theatre, and The Girlfriend Experience, which was interesting on a cold, clinical level but holds you at arm’s length in the same way his series K Street did) and attending one barbeque (thanks, Aaron and Gyda!).

All in all, pretty Memorial Day Weekendy.

Tonight I'll be seeing the first stumble-through rehearsal for Infectious Opportunity and will be offering you my report tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it.

Nagging you and wondering where you’ve been all night,

James "Boyfriend Experience" Comtois


Monday, May 25, 2009

The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)

"Be afraid. Be very afraid." —Veronica Quaife, The Fly.

Often, when a film is considered a "re-imagining" rather than a "remake," it's fairly unimaginative. Sure, you've got some exceptions, like Martin Scorsese's The Departed, which truly re-imagines Infernal Affairs, but more often, you get works that simply leech out any of the imaginative force from the original film (Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, Marcus Nispel's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th, and Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead, to name a few).

David Cronenberg's 1986 film The Fly, however, is a true re-imagining of its source material in every sense of the word. Aside from the title and the very basic idea — a scientist invents a teleportation device, accidentally teleports himself along with a fly, and ends up becoming part man, part fly — the two movies have little else in common with one another.

Whereas the original 1958 Kurt Neumann film was a good old fashioned pulp tale that would be perfectly at home in an episode of The Twilight Zone or an issue of The Vault of Horror, Cronenberg's "remake" (or rather, ultra-loose adaptation of the original source material: a short story by George Langelaan) takes elements from the romantic drama, the superhero (supervillain?) origin story and yes, the traditional B-monster movie to offer the audience a powerful and heartbreaking tragedy as well as gruesome horror tale.

Cronenberg's The Fly is distinctly his take on the premise that evokes horror in a very different way. (It's also so unmistakingly a Cronenberg film.) There are no winking nods to Neumann's film. There's no infamous fly-with-a-human-head going, "Help meeeeee!" here. In fact, until the very end, the protagonist of Cronenberg's film doesn't resemble a fly, the way the protagonist in the Neumann film did. This is simultaneously (and perhaps paradoxically) a more ghastly and introspective film.

At a press reception cocktail party, Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum), an intense and socially awkward scientist, invites Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis), a reporter from Particle magazine, to his lab to show off his invention that "will change the world, and human life as we know it." Despite some apprehension, she agrees to see his creation: a set of "telepods" that teleports an object from one pod to another. Veronica agrees to document Seth's work.

Seth's device, however, can only teleport inanimate objects, which he learns after he teleports a baboon, causing the poor creature to get transported inside out. Eventually, Seth and Veronica become romantically involved. After their first time being intimate, Seth realizes that the machine is not perfectly reassembling living objects. So, he reprograms the telepod computer to "cope" with living flesh.

Seth succeeds in teleporting a second baboon — apparently the first baboon's brother — unharmed. And of course, he foolhardily decides to teleport himself. Just before the telepod door closes, a fly slips into the pod. After being teleported, Seth emerges from the receiving pod, seemingly normal.

Shortly after his teleportation, Seth notices changes, mostly for the better, and here we enter the realm of the superhero origin story. He's substantially stronger, more energetic and more sexually potent. Sure he's more arrogant, irritable, violent, and likes 40 spoonfuls of sugar in his coffee, but so what? He's invigorated. He believes the teleportation has expunged him of everything bad from his body (fat, waste, toxins). Veronica, however, suspects that something's gone wrong.

And boy, is she right.

Seth checks his computer's records and discovers that the telepod computer, confused by the presence of two separate life-forms in the sending pod, merged him with the fly at the molecular-genetic level. He then realizes that he's becoming a hybrid creature that's neither human nor insect (he refers to himself as "Brundlefly").

Eventually, the changes Seth experiences are not for the better. He appears to be deteriorating, with body parts falling off and coarse hairs and tumor-like growths covering his skin. He exhibits more fly-like traits, like vomiting digestive enzymes onto his food and clinging to walls and ceilings. "Brundlefly" also realizes he's losing his human reason and compassion and is being driven by more primitive impulses.

And of course, if all this isn't shitty enough, Veronica learns that she's pregnant and doesn't know if the child was conceived before or after the teleportation.

A major factor that makes The Fly so effective is the performances from its leading actors, Goldblum and Davis. This is easily one of the best performances of Goldblum's career to date. He brings an intensity and pathos to the role of Seth Brundle/Brundlefly that's both pitiable and terrifying. His trademark quirkiness, albeit funny and believable at times, has a distinctly dark edge. And Davis's portrayal of Veronica is crushing. She clearly loves Seth and wants to help him, but is torn between not wanting to abandon him and not being able to cope with the monster he's become or the potential monster that's inside her body.

Through Goldblum and Davis' performances, as well as through Cronenberg's direction (and his and Charles Edward Pogue's script), you actually care about the film's characters and hope against reason that there's a way out of this awful mess. Because the characters are likable and sympathetic, it makes Brundle's slow deterioration emotionally brutal, as well as disgusting, to witness.

Consider the scene where Seth, slowly losing his humanity literally and metaphorically, collects his lost appendages (ears, fingernails, teeth) in his medicine cabinet and calling it the "Brundle Museum of Natural History." In addition to it being in the same vein as the carnival geek show or gross-out horror film, his mumbling to himself about the fondness for these old vestigial pieces of him is also humorous in the "black-as-death" gallows variety, but also just plain sad as all hell.

The Fly is a film that has its cake and eats it, too, delivering gross-out effects (I was physically jolted by the nightmare Veronica has about her potential birth as well as the scene where Seth "wins" an arm-wrestling match), psychological scares and an intimate character-based tragic drama, evoking Aristotle's prerequisite "pity and fear" within the audience, as well as the gag reflex.

Barfin' on donuts,

James "Gourmand" Comtois

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Friday, May 22, 2009

And Here We Are: Memorial Day Weekend

Wow, is it really already Memorial Day weekend? Man. Time sure does fly when you're spacing out.

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yes. Breasts.

No, that's not it. The show. Right. As always, the show.

Pete assures me rehearsals are still going smoothly. I plan to attend either this weekend or early next week to throw in my two cents and give you, dear readers, a first-hand account of how Infectious Opportunity is shaping up.

I'm really looking forward to blathering with Mr. Matthew Freeman tonight for the latest nytheatrecast interview at the Casa des Dentons. Hopefully, Rochelle will be able to splice together enough material where I'm not just stammering incoherently and make me sound like a reasonably intelligent person. As soon as the interview is posted, I'll let you know.

And, you know what? My office where I work during my days has given us early release today, so screw it; I'm takin' off. So that's it for me this time 'round. Until then, have a great Memorial Day weekend, folks. And buy your damn tickets already.

Your hip-hop artist,

James "Jizzy Comtizzy" Comtois

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Actors Harken

I've started engaging in a delightful correspondence with Jamie DesRocher, who's slated to direct Gorilla Tango Theatre's production of The Adventures of Nervous-Boy in Chicago this summer. She’s amidst scheduling auditionations for the show (Yeah, that's right. I wrote "auditionations." What? It's a word. Look it up.), and recently posted this must-read for how not to email for an audition appointment.

Seriously, actors and actresses, don’t ever write, "Hark!" in an email asking to schedule an appointment to audition for a show. Also, "Boner-Jams" is way out. Okay, so that note’s really for myself when I’m submitting my scripts to theatre companies.

Any ole' fuckeroo, I’m really looking forward to heading over to Chicago this summer to check out the production. It’s been nearly 10 years since I was last in Chi-town, and I think this is a pretty damn good excuse for a return trip.

Well, okay, this and the pizza. Seriously, New York, we’re supposed to be the city that has everything. Why have we not mastered the Chicago-style pizza?

Always writing inappropriate notes to casting agents,

James "Not Really Even An Actor" Comtois

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Plundering Freeman's Blog For Infectious Opportunity Content

What Mr. Freeman said about Glee Club goes for Infectious Opportunity: our show, too, opens June 7th. We have a large cast and very few performances, so I'd suggest getting your tickets well in advance. You can get them here.

You should also get tickets to see Glee Club as well. Odd little fun-fact, not only are both of our shows part of the Brick Theater's Antidepressant Festival, but they both share a cast member: Mr. Matthew Trumbull.

Speaking of Mr. Freeman, he and I will be nattering at length in an upcoming podcast for nytheatrecast. I think rather than a traditional Q&A, it will be more like the one he recently did with Adam Szymkowicz. Hopefully, our chat will be as interesting as theirs. As always, we shall see. I’ll keep you posted.

Freeman's pilot fish,

James "I Prefer Captain Fish, Actually" Comtois

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009


As you've no doubt noticed, I've had very little to blog about of late. I don't really have much of an excuse or a reason, although I explained in my last post that since I haven't sat in on rehearsals for Infectious Opportunity yet, I can't really speak at length about how it’s going (aside from relaying Pete's nightly testimonies).

Also, the rewrites for the musical I’m working on, Anton Craven’s Ghastly Scheme, have been going slower than I had previously hoped. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they're going, but I’m unfortunately having a tough time with the dialogue, since (this being the first musical for which I've written the book) I'm trying to find that delicate balance of making the dialogue short and breezy to transition to the next song without making said dialogue cheesy. Since the non-singing dialogue in a musical is pretty much secondary, it's really not the place to have the characters ramble and stammer through their thoughts. But at the same time, I don't want their dialogue to be outright shitty, if that makes sense.

It's a tough balancing act that I’m (very) slowly figuring out as I go along.

And in terms of new scripts, I'll be honest: I've been dragging my feet on starting real work on the stuff I put on my "Writing To-Do" list earlier this year. Why? Because fuck you, that's why.

No, seriously, I really don't know.

Maybe it's just simple old-fashioned procrastination. Maybe I just want to have Infectious up and running and the rewrites for Anton Craven done with before working on new projects. Maybe I just need to recharge my batteries.

Again, I really don’t know.

I suppose once I start sitting in on rehearsals for Infectious (which I plan to start doing this weekend or early next week) and quit being a lazy piece of shit about my other writing assignments, I'll start blogging about what's happening in my little world with more regularity.

Jacking off into the office photocopier,

James "Eccentric Procrastinator" Comtois

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Weekly Round-Up of Nothin' Much

Since I'm currently doing the obligatory administrative work for Infectious Opportunity (such as sending out invites, emailing folks & press people) and am waiting until next week to start sitting in on rehearsals (since I really am a useless and fidgeting piece of shit when it comes to the first few rehearsals, I'm doing everybody involved a favor by being M.I.A.), I've had little to report on the play end.

Since Pete tells me rehearsals have been going well, and since no one from the cast has sent me, "Get me off this sinking fucking ship, Comtois!" text messages, I'm presuming so far, so good. Next week, I'll natter about the state of Infectious in more detail.

On Tuesday, my sister and I had an absolutely delightful time reading Mac Rogers' latest, Viral, a very odd and twisted play (oh, I can tell you’re shocked) about a group of folks that get off on watching people commit suicide. Yes, you read that correctly. It's slated to go up in the NYC Fringe this summer, so I'll definitely be getting my ticket for opening night as soon as tickets are on sale.

I’m hoping to see a couple of shows this weekend, but since I haven’t bought tickets for them yet, and since I have a tendency to jinx my attendance by announcing the shows in advance, I'll be kind and refrain from mentioning which shows.

And that seems to be what’s happening over at my end of the barnyard.

Well, folks. That's it for me for this week. Have a good weekend, and I'll see you fuckers (cyberspatially speaking) on Monday. Until next time, try not to accept any wooden nickels.

Keeping his lifeboat to himself,

James "Suicide Blonde" Comtois


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Breeding Superheroes

In addition to plugging our own stuff, like Infectious Opportunity (see? We did it again!), we here at Nosedive Central are also happy to shill on behalf of other companies for their products.

If you get the chance and have already bought your tickets for Infectious, you may also want to check these out:

Beginning Wednesday, May 20th and running through Saturday, June 6th at the Robert Moss Theater, 440 Lafayette Street, 3rd floor, just south of Astor Place in Manhattan, Breedingground Productions presents its biannual Spring Fever Festival.

This year's featured artists include Jaclyn Backhaus, Derya Derman, Tamara Erde, Billy Fox, Alvert Hwang, Eli James, David McGee, Patty Montesi, Morgan Murphe, and Tomi Tsunoda, whose projects will showcase the talents of more than 75 collaborating artists.

Spring Fever Festival is produced every two years by Breedingground Productions, and categories include Performance, Installation, Projection and Groundwork: works in progress.

Tickets are $12 through Memorial Day weekend, then $15 for the rest of the run, with play readings for $5 on Saturday afternoons. Box office opens at 6:30 p.m. For performance schedule and online ticket sales, check out the Breedingground Web site.

* * *

Also, running around the same time as Infectious, Nosedive vet Matt Johnston directs Superhero Celebrity Rehab: The Musical, a, well, musical about, you guessed it, superheroes checking into rehab for various addictions. It should be fun and funny.

It's playing at the Access Theatre on 380 Broadway (4th Floor) from June 5-7 in a very limited run. Tickets are $10. Beat that.

Addicted to uppers, uppers and awayers,

James "Fuck You, It's The best Pun I Could Think Of" Comtois

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Renewing the Plug for Infectious Opportunity Tickets

Since the original plug and link to buying tickets has now been pushed down to the bottom of the page and now into the archives section, it's time to renew the plug.

Yeah, I'll be doing that a lot in the ensuing months.

There are only four shows, so buy your tickets now.

Sunday, June 07 at 5 p.m.

Tuesday, June 09 at 8 p.m.

Wednesday, July 01 at 9 p.m.

Friday, July 03 at 7 p.m.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

And Oh, Yeah... addition to seeing Star Trek last night, we also had the first reading for Infectious Opportunity. That kicked a lot of ass, too.

In a somewhat different way, of course.

Rewriting the script to include Tribbles,

James "Tiberius" Comtois

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Star Trek

So, okay. J.J. Abrams' Star Trek.

Pretty kick-ass.

Yeah, it's really good. The movie has the right blend of nonstop action and fun character development via a very tight, simple and engaging (re)origin story. I really liked how they made it both a reboot/re-imagining of the series a la Ronald Moore and David Eick’s Battlestar Galactica and adhering to the continuity of the original Star Trek series.

Yes, it has its cake and eats it, too. And it pulls it off. Successfully.

The cast (with the exception of Eric Bana as the Romulan villain, whom I must confess I’ve never liked) is also quite good. I really dug everyone in their new roles, from Chris Pine as Kirk to Zachary Quinto as Spock to Karl Urban as Bones (who’s totally believable as a young DeForest Kelley) Simon Pegg as Scotty to even Zoe Saldana as Uhura and Anton Yelchin and Harold (okay, fine, John Cho) as Chekov and Sulu, respectively. Even though the movie zips along at a brisk clip, each of these actors get a chance to shine with their characters. None of them seem like glorified extras.

And yes, the movie flies. At a little over two hours, Star Trek feels like it’s about 20 minutes.

It’s good. Go see it.

Setting his phaser to nerd,

James "Live Long and Eat Me" Comtois

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

This Sounds Kul

Aaron Riccio offers a neat contest/bit of theater advocacy here. The gist: he's going to retroactively comp three people (pretty much at random) who go see bluemouth inc.'s latest, How Soon is Now?

I'm not sure I can make it to this current production, but having seen an excerpt of/read Lenz (which is in the same Plays and Playwrights collection as The Adventures of Nervous-Boy) and seen What the Thunder Said, bluemouth plays with the "found space" environment in a very unique and compelling way, so if you haven't seen a show by them before, I recommend checking it out.

And hey, if you play Aaron's game, you may even get reimbursed.

I do have to say, even though I don't see nearly as many plays as Aaron, I do understand the theatergoing "funk" he describes. Frankly, I've been feeling that a lot lately, too. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've actually seen a number of very good shows this year (including Vampire Cowboys' Soul Samurai, the remount of Universal Robots, and even the revival of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone at the Belasco). But still, that feeling of being burned out has often pervaded me this year. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe I just need to recharge my batteries. I dunno.

Anyway, we've gotten a bit off-track here. Suffice it to say, I'm glad to hear Mr. Riccio's batteries have been recharged with this show, and you should check out his offer.

Not putting any money in his mouth,

James "Fiscally Hygienic" Comtois

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This Eve

Tonight we here at Nosedive Central are having our first reading/rehearsal for Infectious Opportunity, which I'm very much looking forward to. Know what else I'm looking forward to for tonight?

Seeing the midnight screening of Star Trek.

What? Don't look at me like that. You've always known I'm a nerd. You saw the picture posted below.

Sharpening his ears,

James "Klingon Fodder" Comtois

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Yes, I Apparently Was a Rock Star

My cousin Vance just sent me this. I believe I'm about 13 or 14 in this photo.

Yes, I'm as appalled as you.

Still a rock star in his mind,

James "Guitar Hero" Comtois


Quote Du Jour

"Just think...the term 'Netflixed the fucker' didn't exist ten years ago."

-Bryan Enk

How true, sir. How true.

On the cutting edge,

James "Let's Tweet This Joint" Comtois

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)

Yeah, there are spoilers here.

Well, after enough requests to write an entry on this movie, I finally Netflixed the fucker and watched it last night.

I'm of course talking about Bob Clark's proto-slasher flick, Black Christmas.

By many accounts, this is considered to be the first modern slasher film (that is, the first film with most of the characteristics that the slasher film would eventually be known for), predating Halloween by four years and Friday the 13th by six years, so it's been given some reverence as a cult classic.

It's crap.

Sorry, folks, but I'm not a fan. It's absolutely tiresome and dull. Even at only 98 minutes, it feels endless. You're pretty much spending the bulk of the running time waiting for the characters to either a.) get killed, or b.) figure out what you already know: that there's some demented killer lurking around the sorority house (well, mostly the attic) offing its inhabitants and making weird obscene phone calls ("From inside the house!").

This would be fine (this is how the masterful Halloween rolls and the patently mediocre Friday the 13th plays out) if there was any sense of tension or dread taking place between the first murder and the final confrontation between the last remaining heroine and the killer. Halloween is utterly terrifying. And hey, at least makeup and effects artist Tom Savini offers some wonderfully gruesome slayings in Friday the 13th (witness the arrowhead through Kevin Bacon's throat). As it happens, in Black Christmas, when the psycho killer took a new victim, I ended up thinking, "Finally!"

After the first murder victim (a shy sorority sister who is asphyxiated by plastic) is killed and left in a rocking chair in the attic, the bulk of the film's running time deals with the rest of the sorority sisters and the victim's father filling out police reports, joining search parties and vaguely worrying that their sorority sister is in fact dead.

However, since you know what's happened to the girl, and know where her body is, these scenes with the other girls in the police department and then out in the park looking for her are pointless: you know they're not going to find her. (And as it happens, they never do: the poor girl's body is still wrapped in plastic in the attic rocking chair as the credits roll.)

There's also some nonsense with a supremely telegraphed red herring to make you think the killer is one girl's douchebag boyfriend, until you discover at the very end it wasn't. Sorry for the spoiler if you didn't already know it by now, but the whole twist in the end is that you never find out the killer's true identity. It doesn't make sense. At all.

First of all, there's a scene where you see the killer, vaguely in the shadows, when he kills Margot Kidder (oh, yeah, Lois Lane is in this) with the horn of a plastic unicorn nicknack. I suppose it's not supposed to be Peter, the asshat boyfriend. Well, if it isn't, he looks almost exactly like him, down to that crappy Prince Valiant haircut and long-sleeved green sweater.

It actually doesn't make sense either way, because if it really were the boyfriend, he apparently managed to be lurking outside in one scene and then hanging out in the attic the very next. It also doesn't make sense for the real killer to be in the attic then sneak down and kill the cop stationed outside the house then get back into the attic undetected. But I guess never mind. (Clearly Clark & Co. was so intent on providing a twist ending that no consideration was made to give it any sort of logic.)

Now, lets face it: with a movie like this, there are three questions you can reasonably ask going in. Here they are, with the answers in parentheses:

1. Will it be scary? (No.)

2. What's the gore factor? (Appallingly low.)

3. Will there be naked boobs? (Sadly, no.)

Hey, if you're not going to be scary, I am perfectly willing to accept that a slasher film can work on some base level as a delivery device for images of lovely nude females and/or copious amounts of gore. When you fail on all three counts (and the lack of nudie-time is surprising from the director of Porky's), you have what I call a dead loss.

Okay, I know, I know, I'm being harsh. Fine. I'll give it it's one due, and that's the scene where Jess (the last woman standing) goes into one of the rooms and finds two of her sorority sisters dead and sees the killers' giant crazy-looking eye staring out at her from behind the door, whispering, "It's me, Billy!" I will admit, that was genuinely creepy.

However, that scene takes place around the hour-twenty mark, so by that time I was just waiting for the shit to be wrapped up and the credits to roll.

Sure, this is considered the first of its kind. But so what? It only took a few years later for Halloween show up in theatres to make Black Christmas seem obsolete. (Also, considering Black Christmas came out the same year as Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, I'm not buying any arguments that Clark's movie was intense "for its time.") Even though slasher films don't have a whole lot of prestige, if you are into the subgenre, you'd probably find a better example of it virtually anywhere else. And I'm even talking about Friday the 13th Part 2.

Still not frightened of unicorns,

James "Foolhardy Freak" Comtois

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Friday, May 01, 2009

And Although They Close Tomorrow...

...and are therefore most likely sold out (I was part of the Standing Room Only group last night; serves me right for not buying tickets in advance), you should definitely check out Management's latest, Caitlin and the Swan, if you can.

I for one enjoyed the living hell out of it. Hey, it features chicks fucking pigs and other barnyard animals. What? Don't look at me like that.

Check out what my good pal Mr. Danny Bowes had to say about it here.

Fucking sheep,

James "Nonjudgmental" Comtois

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Plugging Like a Hobo (No, I Don't Know What That Means, Either)

Because we here at Nosedive Central are in preproduction mode for Infectious Opportunity, there's probably going to be fewer posts reviewing plays, contemplating my love for shitty movies and linking to other topics of interest and going into straight-up plugging.

I know that's what you all really prefer. I mean, who wants to read a well-reasoned, 600-1,000 word essay on the state of the New York arts scene when you can read the same, "See My Freakin Show" entry day after day?

Well, I'm only half-kidding. I'll be posting some other entries besides what's happening with our upcoming show, including some plugs to other non-Nosedive events.

In fact, I'll plug one right now: this Saturday, May 2, from 8 p.m. until 3 a.m., The Brick Theater presents its Shantytown Ball fundraising party at the new Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo. It's a costume party where "the Hoity-Toity meets the Down 'n' Doity!" (their rhyme, not mine).

The deal includes free beer (or rather, FREE BEER!) from Global Brewer's Guild and 2-For-1 drink specials from 8-10 p.m.

Featuring live music by the Hopkins Hawkes Quartet featuring Queen Esther and Supermajor.

Hosted by Richard P. Scatman and Graspy McTakeItAll from Ten Directions.

Click here for tickets. Use discount code EARLYBIRD while it lasts.

So be there.

And seriously, folks. See My Freakin Show.

Enjoying some hobo chili,

James "Whinin Wino" Comtois

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