Archive for Christine

Ellenshaw on Frisco Bay

Posted in FILM, Mythology, Painting with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2019 by dcairns

I’m hopeful that a bunch of you won’t be able to identify the images here, thus creating INTRIGUE.

Which I will then SHATTER by telling you they’re from Disney’s THE LOVE BUG. Matte artist/ genius Harrison Ellenshaw was responsible.

His art adds a whole layer of melancholic, nostalgic beauty to MARY POPPINS and it kind of does the same, or tries to. The plotline doesn’t really sustain such emotions, especially in the final third, which is just one big car race, with gags more notable for their difficulty/expensiveness that for being particularly clever or funny.

But the first two-thirds… a lot of peculiar stuff in this movie (spiritual ancestor to CHRISTINE).

As a movie-besotted child, Fiona fantasised that Herbie, the sentient Volkswagon, must be possessed by a poltergeist, or else the reincarnation of a human in machine form. (Weird kid.) In the movie, there is actually an explanation offered, though it’s more in the form of speculation/bullshit than actual canonical backstory (kind of like how various characters in Romero’s zombie films suggest their own theories of zombie apocalypse causation). Buddy Hackett’s Tennessee Steinmetz, who has studied in Tibet, puts forth an animist view, proposing that man has invested so much emotion into his mechanical creations that they have become alive.

Amazingly, Buddy manages to put this theory over with some conviction. The ultimate version of HERBIE would be like A.I., with the machines reigning supreme after humanity’s extinction. HERBIE INHERITS THE EARTH, anyone?

As David Wingrove pointed out to me, there’s a weird irony/perversity to the fact that director Robert Stevenson was a conchie who went to America to get away from the war, and ended up working almost exclusively for the two biggest right-wingers in Hollywood, Uncle Walt and Howard Hughes.

Also watched: HERBIE RIDES AGAIN, which is the one I remember seeing on first release (not really any cool new paintings), and THE BLACK HOLE, for which Ellenshaw came out of retirement and created some amazing imagery.


THE LOVE BUG stars Zeke Kelso; Rosemary Pilkington; Lord Fellamar; the singing bone; Mr. Snoops; Tommy Chan; Officer Gunther Toody.

HERBIE RIDES AGAIN stars Madelon Claudet; April Dancer; Sheriff Al Chambers; Col ‘Bat’ Guano; Horace Debussy “Sach” Jones; Mr. Hilltop; Captain Flash; and Baron Samedi.

THE BLACK HOLE stars Hauptmann (Capt.) Stransky; Norman Bates; Max Cherry; Robin Lee Graham; Weena; Dirty Lyle; and the voices of Cornelius and Maj. ‘King’ Kong.

The Carpenters

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2008 by dcairns


As a change from my usual past-time of making up compendium movie titles (you know, like, THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN IS A WOMAN, or DIAL V FOR VENDETTA or WHEN DIRTY HARRY MET CRAZY LARRY) which allow one to save time by imagining two or more films at once (there are TOO MANY MOVIES! Couldn’t we just mislay Brett Ratner’s entire oeuvre or something?), I’ve been working on a scheme to miniaturise John Carpenter’s career, converting his feature films into music promos for popular music artistes. This would allow his entire body of work to be watched in an afternoon, making film studies quicker and simpler.

Allow me to demonstrate.

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK would become ESCAPE FROM NEW ORDER, replacing one electronic soundtrack with another, and playing the whole film just slightly faster to make it the same length as Blue Monday. The belated sequel (and I plan on writing something about that particular phenomenon, with ideas for how D.W. Griffith and Fred Niblo might revive their careers) could be called ESCAPE FROM E.L.O. Carpenter’s pointless remake of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED could even retain its title, but with Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies digitally inserted in place of Christopher Reeve and Kirstie Alley. I’m not saying it’s an improvement but it is a refreshing change of direction.

ELVIS! can also keep the same title, but now it’s going to be about Elvis Costello. Sorry.

TV thriller SOMEONE’S WATCHING ME will now incorporate the song of the same name by Rockwell, who will be played by Adrienne Barbeau.

THEY LIVE! will now be a concert film, with the full title THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: LIVE!

Here are some more:








That last one could have just been called IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS and been about Madness, but it made me laugh and in fact is the entire reason I wrote this post. If anyone has any more pop group/movie title mash-ups ideas, let’s have them.