Monday, March 21, 2005

Fun With Carnival of Souls

Off Color Films is releasing a new CARNIVAL OF SOULS DVD that includes the original film, a colorized version (egad!), and an audio commentary track by Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The website includes a colorized version of the original theatrical trailer.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

A KU Fan in Recovery

When Wayne Simien's Laettner-esque last gasp failed to give KU the victory in Friday's first round upset by Bucknell, I thought to myself that never has such a talented KU team disappointed more fans in a shorter time span. That's not a totally fair summation.

Last night's loss shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's followed KU this season. This KU team struggled against lesser foes like Iowa State and Missouri. We saw it on the court in several games: bonehead turnovers, anemic perimeter shooting, and no offensive rebounds. Nobody stepped up to help the big three (except Mike Lee), and coach Bill Self’s low-possession game plan allowed undermanned teams to stay close to KU in matches where we should have applied more pressure and increased our advantage when we had the opportunity.

Today I am in recovery. Unlike earlier losses where I took comfort in the notion that the upcoming tournament offered an opportunity to make things right, I have no such crutch this morning. The rest of 2005 looks like one big zone defense right now.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

March 17, 1979

26 years ago today, one of the most memorable characters ever to appear in a single sketch appeared on Saturday Night Live. Ladies and Gentlemen, remember the sublime moves of Fred Garvin, male prostitute.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

In My CD Player

What I've been listening to lately.

Peter Tosh - Scrolls of the Profit
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - Armed Forces
Pixies - Surfer Rosa
Bettie Serveert - Attagirl

BR549 - Even If It's Wrong
Nancy Sinatra - You Only Live Twice
Aimee Mann - Save Me
Bob Marley - Zimbabwe

Friday, March 11, 2005

The 70s Suburbia Comedy

A few years ago I posted some thoughts about Don Coscarelli's first film Kenny and Company (KAC, 1976) at IMDB. Since then I've received several earnest emails from KAC fans asking if I have a copy of the film on tape (I don't). Coscarelli, who later wrote and directed Phantasm, was in the news yesterday when they announced another installment of the Phantasm series.

The very last line of that blurb featured news that KAC fans have been waiting for. A company named Anchor Bay will release KAC on DVD later this year. It's been 25 years since I've seen it but I remember it as a realistic, relatable comedy about kids growing up in suburbia. It featured Mike from Phantasm and the immortal Reggie Bannister too. It's a must see for Phantasm fans and for fans of the 70s suburbia genre. I don't know if that's an actual genre but I suppose it is now.

In a related story, Billy Bob Thorton appears in a remake of another 70s suburbia classic, The Bad News Bears.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Name the Rocker

Who couldn't get into Florida State in this 1964 film (windows media req).

Monday, March 07, 2005

Get Hot Quickly

I see a pattern in KU's five basketball losses this season. The image shows first half stats from those contests. KU has a hard time responding to a hot team. In all games except one (Texas Tech), they shot a lower FG% and 3pt FG% in the first half than their opponent. In each game except one (Villanova), KU came back to tie or nearly tie each contest in the second half. Also noteworthy, the opposing teams were pretty hot, shooting above the opposing average allowed by KU. Cold KU plus hot foe equals half time deficit.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Remembering John Parker

The Shawnee Mission North field house trophy case houses a small shrine to the 1953 boys state champion basketball team. I found it one day after lunch when I was a student there. The trophy cases for most North sports are kept in the small foyer of the field house. There's an old box office window there, long since papered over. It's quiet throughout the school day. The sun streamed in from the parking lot that day and in the sudden gleam that occurred when a cloud moved away, I saw five 50's era photos and the title "state champions".

North's glory days of championships ended when the district grew to the point that it demanded more high schools. The talent pool was split in the late 50s when Shawnee Mission East opened. West followed in the mid 60s but the football team remained successful under coach Larry Taylor until Shawnee Mission Northwest opened in the late 60s or early 70s. There have been other champions since (1982 Baseball), but for the most part, the teams that lived on in high school eternity were from before 1970. That 1953 North basketball team featured players Gene Elstun and John Parker. Their small black and white photos sat next to the ribbons and trophy that came with the championship. Identified by last name only in the modest display, I didn't realize that they went on to greater fame in college.

KU basketball fans may recall that Elstun and Parker were senior co-captains on the 1957 KU basketball team that reached the final four. In one of the greatest NCAA championship games ever, KU and North Carolina played three overtimes before North Carolina emerged victorious. A strapping sophomore from Philadelphia named Wilt Chamberlain was named tournament MVP. The Jayhawks returned to Allen Field House for an appreciation rally that featured Louie Armstrong. That's a fairly decent consolation. I think it's cool that one of the greatest KU teams ever was led by two kids from Shawnee Mission North.

John Parker died this week. He was 70. But his basketball legacy endures and you don't have to visit the North field house foyer. See John and Gene and Wilt in action from the '57 season in a series of short films narrated by Max Falkenstein and produced by Centron (quicktime required).

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Baring the Sole

The next time you're getting measured for a pair of pumps, ask your friendly neighborhood shoe stroker for a free x-ray.