Channel Zero: The Blog

Cultural notes from "Boston's most notorious entertainment franchise".

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Comic Stalwart Archie Andrews is Dead!

*** Well...Archie had it COMING...He Made Enemies! *** Do you suppose in the afterlife, Archie will be met by "Casper the Friendly Ghost' who will take one look and cackle "YESSSS A Friend for Casper, A FRIEND FOR ALL ETERNITY...MWAHAHAHAAA!"

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Snowpiercer" (2014)

Best action movie I've seen all summer...helps that it's a not so subtle attack on Ayn Rand's whole cult of the iconoclastic super engineer (played by Ed Harris as usual). In a frozen world, the last of humanity careen across the Earth's surface on a luxury supertrain stuffed with an indolent overclass riding up front and a motley collection of proletarians living in poverty in the tail. Well Chris Evans ain't having none of that, and thus mayhem ensues. Its a film that is "about something", which is rare for a summer release of almost any kind...although my particular takeaway is that engineers if they have talent enough will quickly adapt to almost any hierarchy no matter how exploitive...and if they can't adapt...they'll create one. In short the very essence of Objectivism.... But what the hell, any adaptation of a French Graphic Novel directed by a rising South Korean Talent starring an Avenger (Chris Evans), Gaius Caligula (John Hurt) and Ed Harris in full demigod mode...is aces high with me.

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Many Thanks to our Channel Zero audience on Friday Night.....

It was large, it was appreciative, it even laughed un-ironically (well here and there at least), it ran the gamut from pensioners to brainy collegians, in short to us the nigh perfect gathering. I Mean, Who Knew The Late Phyllis Diller still had such drawing power?? Channel Zero though, will return on Friday October 3rd at 8pm sharp in the Somerville Theatre's micro-cinema with an epic screening of that long lost semi-silent classic "The Mysterious Island" (1929) starring Lionel Barrymore, Lloyd Hughes & Jane Daly. Pass the word along to any steampunks you may know....

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Channel Zero Proudly Presents "Riot Girls of the Great Society" - Friday July 11th at 8pm

(A Celebration of Four Deliciously Obscure Female Centric Sitcoms of the 1960's!) Out of our Fabled Channel Zero Archives we will be screening: "Occasional Wife (1966)", in which rising young ad man Michael Callan hires local artist Patricia Harty to pretend to be his wife as his employer prefers hiring Family Men! "The Pruitts of Southampton" (1966) starring Phyllis Diller as a busted heiress desperate to keep up appearances. "Mona McCluskey"(1965) Featuring Juliet Prowse as a fabulously wealthy and successful actress who marries a USAF Staff Sergeant played by former screen Tarzan, Denny Miller. "Ugliest Girl in Town"(1968) A sitcom concept so weird, we decline humbly to attempt mere summery, suffice to say the "High Concept" is, Swinging London's Top Model Is A Man Bay-bee!! Why Screen Such Dog-Eared Obscurities? Because we can't complete with Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, the X-Men and those meshugginah Transformers thats why! So yes were are counter-programming (frankly we are counter programming like crazy!)....but we are also mapping changes to the sitcom landscape, taking a moment to review the mythically comical female in American Sitcoms...and reviewing just how convoluted & fantasy driven plotlines could be in a storytelling landscape rigidly controlled by Network "Standards and Practices" departments. The Somerville Theatre (micro cinema) 55 Davis Square Somerville Ma Friday July 11th, 2014 Admission $7.50 (still the cheapest ticket in the Hub) Tickets on sale the night of the show in front of the Micro-Cinema. Tell Your Friends, Channel Zero is Back and Giving No Quarter!

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Note of Apology and a Cameo....

About two weeks ago, my email was spoofed by some vandals who bombarded all my contacts with begging appeals with respect to a phantom sister who needed $$ for a kidney transplant in Portugal of all places. All too predictable and painful, I took the usual precautions and of course discovered that all my Channel Zero related folders had been maliciously deleted. Most of said Channel Zero related contacts can be reconstituted, however feel free to drop us a little note if you wanna stay on the aforementioned mailing list. It goes without saying that we here at Channel Zero are awfully sorry for any worry, angst and or confusion we have caused...but after twenty years in this business, you have to expect these types of setbacks. Again, apologies. *** Meanwhile, on a happier note, Channel Zero with it's reliance on flyers as it's main means of advertisement, made a defacto cameo appearance in Seth Rogen's latest comedy "Neighbors". It seems Rogen and his wife wanna force the College Fraternity next door to move and use a flyer drop to force dozens of sketchy characters to crash one of their parties and force a police intervention. The frat in turn tumbles to their scheme when they find out that the crashers were cued by a distribution of paper flyers..."only OLD PEOPLE use flyers!!!" one character exclaims. HAR! Which brings me back to my original point after a fashion, we here at Channel Zero would gladly give up our reliance on endless flyer drops in favor of an on line advertising line...if we could. So far though all our efforts to migrate to a wholly internet driven advertising profile have ended in abject failure while upwards to 60% of our audience per event is still be driven to the venue by...paper flyers. When we figure out something better and cheaper, trust me you all will be the first to know!

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Monday, May 26, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Per Director Bryan Singer John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a Mutant whom Magneto was trying to save in Dealey Plaza back in 1963, however the job was bungled and the Malevolent Master of Magnetism was locked up in the bowels of the Pentagon for his pains. Meanwhile Congress neglected to Arm the Troops Properly thus losing the Viet Nam War and Richard Nixon decided to end the mutant menace by buying whole robots sight unseen from mad scientist/rising retail-king Peter Dinklage. AND THEN the time travel paradoxes kick in!! Got all that? In short, "X-Men Days of Future Past" is a loathsome mess that blackens the name of President Kennedy, perpetuates the "Stab in the Back" myth of the Viet Nam War and done the nigh impossible, made me dislike Patrick Stewart whose characterization of super telepath "Professor X" has been reduced to simpering & whispering. Honestly, I was rooting for the robots, the mutants are all self pitying hacks out to cash massive paychecks...oh and any movie script that compels the otherwise charismatic Ellen Page to point her fingers at Hugh Jackman's temples whilst grimacing and whining for two hours and eleven interminable minutes, Is A Very Badly Written Screenplay Indeed! Skip this one for the Love of Ghod!

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Friday, May 23, 2014

The Cathcart-Monet Conundrum....

For once, I called it or rather she called me as I sped south on Amtrak to NYC. "Where are you" trilled the Audacious Aviatrix from Niftyboro NH. "I'm off to the Guggenheim to see the Italian Futurism exhibit!" said I brightly. "ITALIAN FUTURISM...I mean they worshipped airplanes in a crude atavistic fashion isn't that a natural fit with my own mania for classic airframes?? Whydyncha call me Jerky???" barked the peerless pilotess. Abashed I mumbled ""I thought you had a meeting of the "National Classic Airframe Association" (AKA "The NCAA perpetually untainted by Scandal"). "Canceled on poor landing conditions...Look for me on Sheep Meadown Tomorrow Morning at 9:30am EDT!!" As always to the inevitable I bowed. *** Promptly at the time declaimed, Ms Cathcart-Monet appeared over Central Park NYC, in a classic C-30 autogyro which she landed nigh daintily on the Sheep Meadow. Trained amazons from the New York Chapter of "Women's AutoGyro Co-Operative" (Ms. Cathcart-Monet is a past President of said organization)stood the watch as we toddled off to the Guggenheim. *** "Ah Futurism" sighed Rebecca. "Art is all about violence, speed & injustice" said I, paraphrasing Futurism's founder Tomasso Marinetti. "Yeah a lot of bombast there, but it was 1914 after all!" agreed the Aviatrix. "The futurists loved technology, speed and had a certain belligerence....isn't it funny that when the Italians finally generated an indigenous avant garde artistic movement so of course it is essentially militaristic, imperialistic and jingoist? More than a little misogyny thrown into the mix as well" remarked I. "Ah but Marinetti's wife was an accomplished artistic herself within the Futurist movement" countered Rebecca. "Which merely illustrates the sheer hopelessness of a misogyny as a doctrine" I jabbed. "You know they had a cookbook? A Futurist Cookbook...It was full of praise for speed, energy and violence in the kitchen...it was bitterly anti-pasta cuz this lot clearly worshipped shock value" noted the Valkyrie of the North. "Well...every jot and tittle seemed to merit a manifesto to mark the occasion..." mused myself. "I love how they put on crude multimedia extravaganzas...using NO actors, tried to bring the Futurist Style to Advertising, built concrete kiosks to market bookstores...very advanced" observed Rebecca. "And yet they were obsessed with painting and sculpture, two of the oldest art forms in the world, you'd think they'd a gotten in on the ground floor of early cinema...but no there are few Futurist Films per se" said I as well meandered up the Guggenheim's spiral imbibing Futurist paintings of battleships and increasingly their core obsession aircraft. "Mussolini loved Marinetti" muttered Rebecca...very much the Granite State Antifascist. "Of course Marinetti and his followers glorified war and violence, speed death and destruction...there was an avant garde tailored made for the emerging Fascist Aesthetic" rumbled I in a jaunty academic tone. "These guys were insanely ambitious they wanted to read Futurist Newspapers, wear Futurist Clothes, Live in Futurist Houses and write Futurist Poetry when they weren't painting clouds of biplanes" mused the Aerial Aesthete. "Ah that Futurist Poetry...much akin to William S. Burroughs & Byron Gysion's infamous cut-ups of the beatnik era" opined I. "Good Ghod you are a walking Footnote!" smirked the Heroine. To that I made no reply...She Had Me Cold. *** Luncheon in a modest cafe...a small glass of Tokay,and then New Hampshires Peerless Propwash Princess....rose majestically into the air and with a cheery salute flew off to the New England Mists. I waved a trifle forlorn...momentarily alone in a vast Metropolis...itself a Futurist Monument.

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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Why Al Capp?

Why devote ninety or so minutes to his life story and works via Channel Zero? Well...lets face it, love or hate his late-in-life wingnuttery, the man was funny. Seriously taken as a whole L'il Abner is satiric cataract, hit or miss the gags, caricatures and parodies just fell from the heavens like the very biblical deluge over a twenty five year run, volume alone and dedications that entails recommends the whole enterprise. Yes Al Capp cheap shot numberless targets big and small...and had a notoriously cringeworthy confrontation with John Lennon and that whole thing with Joan Baez, Yikes! But we here at Channel Zero have always been servants of The Funny...and sometimes that hurts almost always you make enemies. Besides at the height of the anti comic book hysteria of the 1950's Capp made an impassioned attack on censorship by having the semi illiterate backwoodsman L'il Abner confess a fondness for the masterworks of Edgar Allen Poe! I mean, that alone deserves a Mark Twain American Humor Award, if they gave them out back in 1953.... Therefore Channel Zero will be screening "This is Al Capp" a classic 1970 television new documentary detailing Capp's shift from liberal to conservative from satirist to right wing provocateur with commentary from William F. Buckley, Paul Krassner and Milton Caniff among others. One of the things that made this period in Al Capp's life so very interesting, he was literally calling antiwar activists, hippies and liberals every epithet in the book and made good money at it, he was clearing mad phat money on campus from speaking fees! Literally, he was the first true "controvore", one who generates good revenue from eructating outlandishly belligerent opinions. As far as I am concerned, Howie Carr, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck all stole their act from Al Capp. Join us for: "This is Al Capp" (1970) The Somerville Theatre (micro cinema) Wednesday May 14th 8pm (sharp!) Admission $5 (cheap!) (617) 625-5700 Plus a surprise or two, you'll have to come to the show and see exactly what constitutes a surprise from Channel Zero...

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