I would have the final statistics but Yahoo won’t let me access them. Congratulations Marcus on not only winning but for finally ending Mike Asti’s stranglehold on the Golden Keg Championship! The world (and Kelen) thank you!
Thomas Crawford: So we start off with a little round of the same old day happening again and again. Not going to lie, I thought the show was on some weird loop for a second. Then we find out Daryl felt he should have killed the friendly folks that stole his motorcycle and crossbow… maybe some foreshadowing I didn’t pick up. We see Carol struggling with being a killer after “The Same Boat”. Morgan finished his jail. At the beginning there seemed to be a lot of things pointing to a filler episode. I might have been wrong.
|Rank||Pick Set Name||Total Pts||W-L|
|1||Buzz-saw (Mike Asti)||1428||161-93|
|2||ShowinmadLov (Marcus Robinson)||1311||152-102|
|3||The Defending Champion (Kelen Conley)||1287||149-105|
|4||Optimus Boomer (Gary Wolfe)||1252||149-105|
|5||Monster Mash Out Posse (Johnathan McCumber)||988||111-143|
|6||The Spielbrew Hammer (Alex Wierderspiel)||363||42-212|
|7||T-Dawg/Triple S (Anthony Sellers)||294||30-224|
|8||The Howitzer (George Gerbo)||93||10-244|
El Topo (1970), directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Confession time: Although I’ve made numerous references to the works of Alejandro Jodorowsky in the past, in particular the documentary of his ultimately doomed attempt at Dune, I’ve never actually seen a film of his. I’ve sampled some of his graphic novels, the Metabarons and the Incal (which are quite impressive), but it was his work in the medium of film that established his career, and it’s the work that he’s probably most famous for in pop culture. So this year, in the Marathon tradition of trying new things (and proper name drop etiquette), I decided to take the plunge and try one out. Is it Halloween appropriate? Are any of the films I feature on this list Halloween appropriate? Hard to say.
So what is El Topo about? Well, the implication appears to be that it’s about a lot of things, but at it’s most basic it’s about the journey of the titular Topo (played by Jodorowsky), a wandering gunslinger in a very metaphorical version of the Old West. El Topo (spanish for The Mole) is a brutal and morally destitute type of killer, whose skill with the pistol has left him acting as if he were some angry god. As good as El Topo is, there are supposedly 4 masters of shooting that exist in this harsh desert land, and so he sets off to murder them and prove something to somebody (his estranged father, perhaps). What Topo doesn’t realize however, isn’t that this isn’t the mission of death that he’s planning it to be. It’s his chance at redemption.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), directed by Nicholas Meyer
So the last time we discussed Star Trek in the Marathon, which was Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I believe I said something along the lines of not being sure whether or not I was really a Trek fan. After all, I was a fan of The Next Generation and mostly of TOS (still am), but I never really felt much of a desire to explore much beyond that. I wasn’t very interested in the games or the expanded universe, I didn’t really feel a need to watch the films beyond the first,and I had read enough bad press about Enterprise and Voyager that I was probably better off marathoning the last two season of Sliders instead (don’t try that at home folks). I dunno, is it just a symptom of our modern times that to be a fan of something, you must absorb all the media connected to that thing? Is sitting through Voyager some kind of test to prove my opinion is worthwhile, even if I would ultimately regret the experience? Is my enjoyment of Trek invalid, am I a lesser person because I work within a certain amount of material and content to leave things at that? The answer would generally be no, but you never can tell in these modern times. You either love it or you hate it, and no one is allowed to hear the end of it until everyone is sick of it.
Kiss Me Deadly (1955), directed by Robert Aldrich
Before comics dominated the word, there were pulp novels. Before Batman and other costumed men of mystery became the go-to people for crime-solving you had, well, plain old detectives. Private investigators, men who explored places the law wouldn’t touch, dodging bullets and femme fatales in their dogged pursuit of the truth. They weren’t master sleuths by any means, but they could put the pieces together and they could hold their liquor as well as they could take a punch, and that was the coolest shit in the world for a number of years. Like comic book movies except they could win Oscars, basically. The Oscars that aren’t about special effects, I mean, which is the only thing those crusty assholes at the Academy can bring themselves to give movies that dare to think of themselves as science fiction.
Kelen Conley: We’re gonna get into some things with this one. While the main story here is the time Carol and Maggie spent captive with the Saviors, it’s also a story of 6 people in a slaughterhouse, separated only by the paths they’ve taken since the apocalypse began. The character I want to focus on is my beloved Carol Peletier, so I’ll respond to your thoughts and give my other stray observations next.
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), directed by Jack Arnold
While the horror of the 1930s was supernatural, haunted houses, caped foreigners with dark gazes and so on, the horror of the 1940s onwards was science. With the onset of a World War larger and more dreadful than the one before it, the creation of bombs that could level cities and war machines that could cut through soldiers like paper, the discovery of camps where people were burned alive by the dozens, mankind had finally reached the point technologically where it could destroy itself. Not just kill some people or destroy a town, we were doing just fine with that, but actually eliminate the human race off the face of the Earth, what little of it there would be left that was inhabitable. Unlike the modern day, where people are calling for america to nuke Iran or Iraq or any other country they couldn’t point out on a map, I imagine the idea of our planet erupting in a cloud of nuclear fire was probably was a pretty sobering thought.
Thomas Crawford: This episode was a just a little dark. You have Carol, suddenly acting like a real homemaker, and seeming to enjoy it. Until you see her leave a fresh made cookie on Sam’s grave. Then you realize there is some bubbling guilt brewing up. You have the gang infiltrate and act out their mercenary plan. I will admit the Saviors aren’t good guys. However, stabbing guys in the head as they sleep… may be crossing some moral line. Then you have Glenn, who is torn about killing. However, ends up doing it to stop Heath from having to do the deed. Oh and there was an all-out gun battle, a room full of weed, and Maggie and Carol getting caught at the end.
Hardware (1990), directed by Richard Stanley
If any of you out there followed the Marathon, you might remember me dedicated a spot on the list for a film called Lost Soul. Rather than your typical horror/sci-fi/fantasy fare that usually populates this list, this was a documentary, detailing the brief rise and precipitous fall of director Richard Stanley. A rising star of the early 90s in the horror movie world, Stanley had the money, the names (Marlon ‘Double Quarter Pounder’ Brando just for starters) and the crew when he started his third major motion picture: A then-modern day adaptation of the H.G. Wells’ classic ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’, featuring some incredibly impressive and incredibly ambitious art design and costuming. Unfortunately, the project was plagued with issues from the very start; money problems, location problems, Val Kilmer, and what was originally Richard Stanley’s epic sci-fi vision eventually became the infamous flop where Marlon Brando palled around with the prototype Mini Me. Much like Jodorowsky’s Dune, Lost Soul revels in the concept of ‘what could have been’ and pointing a finger at the oppressive studio heads who crush the artist’s creative vision, while managing to actually provide some interesting insight on the filmmaking process and the problems that arise when it comes to big studio productions. I recommended it back then, I’d still recommend it now.