|Title:||Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)
|04.24.06||Alamo Downtown||This Screening is part of event: Best of QT Fest|
So my notes on Best of QT Fest begin. Let me preface this whole thing by saying that both Blake at cinemastrikesback.com and Micah at dumbdistraction.com are doing much more complete reports than I am... in fact I am sort of relying on them to record all the trailers, plots, tarantino intros, etc. that I can go back and read later... In here I am just going to put what I thought was worth noting.
So I got downtown right at 5pm and found a class parking spot about as close to the Alamo as you can get without it being valet or a pay lot. I was psyched because I could make several trips to drop off t-shirts (yay for AFS making the shirts in XXL this year), posters (hell freakin yeah the Friday the 13th design is awesome. Actually, the bloody face design is such a huge poster that it really looks damn good as well and the Vanishing Point design, seeing it with the colors so vivid and loud, looked great as well. All three of them look a lot better in person than they did online. AFS also had their "official" best of QT fest logo on posters as well, but since I got it in t-shirt form (glow-in-the-dark t-shirt form no less), I still felt very comfortable in getting the Friday the 13th one), and sunglasses. Plus is gave me an opportunity to go outside even though I'm not cool enough to have to smoke with the RZA or whatever. Trips to the car are cool enough for me.
Oh, I also got a free QTquattro shirt with my BoQTF shirt, and for as cool as the Friday the 13th design is, I still wish they'd somehow get that guy a book of stills from the movies that will be shown at the fest so all of the cool characters and drawings in the poster can also act as reminders for all the films that show... but oh well. maybe if I ever get QT-level famous and put on a festival and posters are made for it I can do that. Until then, I will be happy with this poster.
So when I walked into the theater, the big thing was that about half the seats had reserved signs on them. Easily the largest reserved section I've ever seen at an Alamo. It wasn't all Quentin though... Like two rows for Ustudio (the Tipping Point of this year... let's hope they don't show up just long enough to applaud themselves like they did all through the last fest), a row for AFS board members, then several rows for who knows... it was reserved-crazy. No problems though... I was there, I had a badge, I was fine.
Blake had a whole table set up with stills and the posters on the walls were straight-up awesome; movies we'd be seeing tonight or later on in the week. Left and right I'm bumping into people I met at QT6, people I've befriended since QT6, and a few people I know who didn't go to QT6. I hope this week changes their lives like QT6 changed mine... "life" meaning at least as far as movies go (which, for those that know me, is pretty much all of it). I was just feeling giddy in my seat, man. good friends in a great place getting ready to see great movies. It was a real all-is-right-with-the-world moment.
There were so many reserved seats though that I didn't even bother to keep looking back at the theater looking for celebrities. Apparently Rodriguez was there (not with Rose McGowan) and RZA was there (I'd guess more for the second show than the first), but I wasn't nearly as curious as I was last September. I did hear Tarantino's laugh though and knew that he was in the house. Then Rebecca Campbell takes the stage and introduces Quentin.
QT... looking just as... well I don't want to say Haggard or Tired because as soon as he starts talking you see he's got plenty of energy. It's clear though that he's working on a movie. I'll put it that way. This is clearly not the only thing going on for him this week... and the first words out of his mouth are an affirmation that this is most definitely NOT QT7. QT7 will be new films, well not "new" films but films that haven't played here before. This is a Best-of festival, which he's been wanting to do for a while now but always felt like he'd be wasting his visit if he did that... so it made good sense since he's in town shooting this movie anyway to do this now. So immediately in my head I'm thinking "so when is QT7 and how can I make sure I get a badge?"
This first intro feels almost long but not in a bad way at all. Most of his intros toward the end of QT6 felt kind of short, like he felt we didn't want to hear him talk so he should just shut up and play the movie already... but I think it's really quite the opposite. That dude can school me for like 45 minutes before a movie if he wants to as far as I'm concerned. He can bring Elvis Mitchell up on stage and have some Inside the Actor's Studio thing for an hour and I'd be fine with it... as long as we did get to eventually watch the movie as well. So this first intro felt right on... He went off on tangents, threw in tidbits about Vidal Sassoon's kids, and even said that he really only knows Terry Thomas not so much from the Ealing comedies but from It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and... that's it. Immediately I said to Micah: Diabolik! and Lars right afterword yelled out "Danger: Diabolik" and Tarantino looked at Lars and said "YES!" and Micah elbowed me with a "awww yeah" look and like I said before, all was right with the world. The Diabolik trailer actually played before the movie. Don't believe me? Just ask Eva...
So Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die... an amazing title even with that Ashley Judd John Patterson mediocrity out in the world... an amazing title for any kind of movie other than a spy movie. As I watched this I kept stretching my mind to try and think of ways that this great title could connect to this movie at all. It just makes no sense, which actually, in its own way, makes perfect sense because the whole movie makes no sense at all so why should the title be the only thing making sense? that just wouldn't make sense. And before I go any farther in making it seem like I didn't like this movie, I should elaborate on my tastes when it comes to spy movies.
For whatever reason, I find that I really only truly like spy movies when they are both serious and non-actiony. I sort of get a kick out of the Flynt movies and Austin Powers is funny and all, but I wouldn't say I actually LIKE like those movies. 3 Days of the Condor I truly like. Spy Game, actually, for whatever reason, I like. Harry Palmer movies I like, James Bond movies (or at least recent Bond movies) I don't like.
So this movie, while it was filled with some funny gags and had a few moments, for the most part is just outside of my particular tastes when it comes to spy movies. It's just one of those un-geeky things about me I guess much like QT not liking The Goonies or whatever. The funny thing is I actually like spy movies more than Kung-fu movies but more on that in a bit.
So this movie is very 60s-funny. The plot is nonsensical and the heavy's dastardly plan is flat-out ludicrous, even after QT mentioning that an actual rocket scientist (Andy AKA Copernicus) says it's feasible. I just don't by it. If you've got a secret evil army developing shady technology and vying for world domination, why does it have to be through a means as absurd as a satellite that shoots down radiation that makes all men impotent. I mean, WHAT? They actually referred to it at one point as the "sterility apparatus." Come on, that's just dumb. The whole movie's dumb... and yeah yeah that's the charm of it, that wasn't missed by my eyes I did have a good time with it and I laughed at the funny parts like everyone else... but come on, a sterility apparatus?
So... now that I've explained why I didn't like it, how could I still have a good time with it? Well, Terry Thomas and the more flagrant Bond rips mostly. Thomas plays a chauffer/ass-kicker that helms a Bond-on-LSD tricked-out Rolls Royce. This car has a bullet-proof partition between the passenger- and drivers-side back seats (presumably for the fighting brother and sister during those long road trips... oh and in case someone feels like car-jacking you by climbing in the wrong side), a pyschadelic homing device, your standard turbocharged engine and things like that, automated tea service and wet bar, extending portable wardrobe, and an uncanny ability to transform itself into a billboard. Thomas plays the master of this automobilic awesomefest who can also beat entire gangs of hoods up, spray machine gun fire at evil armies, and he also sports a hat filled with deadly... shaving cream? He also has these pills that, when dropped into the radiator of a car, will actually make the car come apart. As in disassembled. as in disintegrated... not just like smoke coming from under the hood but a complete and total breakdown of the structure of an automobile. I guess the morale of this movie is Don't mess with Terry Thomas.
The spy gags in this movie are so funny... a lipstick cannister that blows poison bubbles, shoots that shoot tiny darts, a ring with hot poison needle action... it was a little child empowerment and a few hundred digital shots shy of being a Spy Kids movie. I guess you need all those gadgets when the main bad guy threatens you with death via piranha.
Oh, the one really cool thing about this movie - as in authentically cool and not in any sort of camp or comedic way - is that it's set in Rio and early on in the movie there's an action scene that takes place on the statue of Christ. Much like North By Northwest or Saboteur, except without all the process shots, there's some harrowing footage of these actors on the very top of this thing, shooting at each other and getting rescued by helicoptors. The scenery is pretty great. And by Scenery I also mean the line-up of scantily-clad Italian beauties that parade across the screen in the first few reels. So many bikinis to ogle, so little time. Unfortunately, after the beach scenes are over the main actress always has on some ludicrously outlandish 60s "style" dress. One such creation had her looking like a cross between a joke cigar that's just been blown up, one of those collars they put on dogs to keep them from chewing out stitches or licking their balls, and one of those wire brushes that jazz drummers use when they want to slow things down a bit. I mean really, should those kind of comparisons really be used with a piece of clothing? Diabolik's fashion was out there but also awesome. In this it's just inane.
So let's see. There are two more things worth mentioning here for me, both of which I got a real kick out of. The first is that the main spy guy has a real obsession with bananas. He has to take one and eat it every time he sees one (and that's like... 6 or 8 times throughout the movie) and I have to believe that particular personality quirk is only in there to lead up to an honest-to-goodness, i-shit-you-not banana peel gag toward the end of the movie where the main henchman's chasing the girl and slips on the banana peel into some random electronics and fries to death. You know the only other movie I've ever seen a banana peel gag in is Sherlock Jr. and that was made like 50 years before this one. just sayin...
The other classic moment that I really want to remember for years to come about this movie is that the final countdown to the rocket lift-off is actually manually counted down by the main bad guy. Over the loudspeaker you hear "final countdown. Rocket will lift of in 60 seconds starting... NOW!" then it's his voicing counting down from 60 as fast as he can. We cut to the evil console and see him sitting there talking into the mic with his finger on the button. I.... I mean..... well.... I guess I shouldn't even try to understand that, it's just so classic as it is now. to understand it would probably ruin it.
So that was the first movie of Best of QT Fest. Personally, I'm sort of glad tonight's movies are what they are because that means we get the Spy and Kung-fu genres out of the way quickly. I honestly think I'll have a much better time with biker, crime, comedy, gangster, gearhead, revenge, horror, and sexploitation movies than these two.
Moving on... next up was: