DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Mary Woronov Day *

* (restored/expanded)

 

You say you’re not a Method actress, you’re a camp actress. Does that devalue what you do?

Mary Woronov: With Method, you become the person you’re acting, even if it could be a wet piece of spinach or a chair. With camp, you have no interest in trying to trick the audience. You comment on [your character], like a drag queen whose actions comment on women, how they’re too fey or too predatory.

You were in a Charlie’s Angels episode playing a butch cop who drags the Angels off to women’s prison.

MW: I’m not sure why, but it’s my most-watched clip online. That’s one of the reasons I got work in Hollywood: They weren’t supposed to have a lesbian in the script, but if they hired me, they would get one. I was good at gender slipping.

What’s your sexuality?

MW: Totally fixated on men. They attract me because they’re so different from me, so I guess I’m hetero. I was constantly hounded by men. The only place where I was talked to as a real person, where I was told I was good at my career, was with the homosexuals. They told me I was great and didn’t want to pound me. Warhol, the Theater of the Ridiculous. I like male homosexuals very much. I like female homosexuals, too, because now they’re so pretty. It’s bizarre. When I was young, they were always fat and ugly, but now they’re gorgeous.

Swimming Underground, your Warhol-family memoir, is pretty dark. Everyone was high on speed, paranoid, playing mind games with each other. At one point you’re all trying to get rid of the body of this sad girl, Ann, who seems to OD and die while being shot up.

MW: We wanted to get rid of her and put her down a mail slot. What’s dark about it? It’s funny. She wasn’t even dead. We were nice to her, we were going to mail her out. You have to understand how high we were. It was pharmaceutical amphetamine, a white powder we’d snort — or shoot. My memories of that time are incredible. The ludicrousness, the insanity that went on, has never been topped.

Your mother sued Warhol over Chelsea Girls, because he didn’t get you to sign a release. In his own diaries, he wrote that he was always uncomfortable running into you because you were such a “creep” about the money. What are your feelings about him these days?

MW: I like him. I think he was very brave, because he was certainly pro-homosexual when everybody was against it. If you saw [Robert] Rauschenberg, he’d pretend to be straight for his clients. Warhol never did. He was a complete fag to everybody. The things I don’t like about him was he was just in love with fame. If somebody famous were in the room, he’d just go to pieces. It was kind of gross.

But are you angry that he said you were a “creep” about the money?

MW: I was a creep. I sued him. I obviously had left him, I hurt him. Also, Edie left him. He was viciously hurt by that. I was rude. So he didn’t know what to say to me, because I didn’t say, “Andy, it’s okay,” and talk to him like a human being.

It seems like the Factory was presided over by some very mean gay men and drag queens.

MW: I was so angry during my life at that time, it was the only place I felt good. I was furious about the fact that I was going to be some stinky girl who could do absolutely nothing but get married and lick some dick for the rest of her life. I left Cornell to be with Warhol because he was more artistic. What power did I have? Women still don’t have that much power. It’s a man’s world. That’s what pissed me off, and it still does. I had to be nice, and I wanted to be powerful.

Do you have any power in your life now?

MW: Yeah, I’m a good painter. I’m a good writer, though I don’t write enough. In my acting career, I’ve realized it hasn’t been a total flop. I also managed to realize that I didn’t want to be married [after being married twice] and have kids, so I feel good about that.

Do you see any fierce younger women around?

MW: Yeah, what’s-her-name. Bouncy-Bouncy.

Uh, Beyoncé?

MW: Yeah. She’s mechanical. She’s bizarre. She’s fascinating. I don’t actually like her voice. I would never listen to her. I went from punk rock to heavy metal and straight into Wagner. I only do opera now. –– from Vulture

 

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Stills







































































 

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Further

Mary Woronov: The Website
Mary Woronov @ IMDb
‘Cult-film staple Mary Woronov on Andy Warhol, Roger Corman, and being typecast’
Mary Woronov @ Facebook
Mary Woronov’s books
THE UNTITLED MARY WORONOV DOCUMENTARY
Articles by Mary Woronov @ Artillery Magazine
‘MISS ON SCENE: Mary Woronov’
Gary Indiana interviews Mary Woronov
Mary Woronov’s feet @ wikiFeet
Billy Chainsaw interviews Mary Woronov
THE MARY WORONOV CHANNEL on Vimeo
2 short stories by Mary Woronov
Mary Woronov interviewed about her paintings
‘MARY WORONOV: A NEW WOMAN’
‘WRITINGS ON THE WARHOL: AN INTERVIEW WITH MARY WORONOV’
‘Mary Woronov; the real siren’
‘Mary Woronov Vintage Rule 5 (NSFW)’
Mary Woronov @ Horror Society

 

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Extras


13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Test – 7 Mary Woronov


Mary Woronov reading @ The Standard Hotel


Warhol Superstars: The Velvet Underground


The Girls of Rock & Roll High School Chiller Theatre April 26th, 2014


Andy Warhol, Billy Name, Robert Heide, Mary Woronov, Gerard Malanga

 

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Author

 

Excerpt: Swimming Underground: My Years In The Warhol Factory

I first met Celinas at the Factory. She had come with Brandy Alexander. And if she was shy, Brandy was her opposite, the obvious overdone showgirl-type of queenstripper tits, bimbo hair, Louise Nevelson eyelashes, and a mouth brought to you by Chevrolet, a red chrome grill motorized on continuous yap. Desperate was too exotic a description for her, let’s just say she was bugging everybody that day, waving her airbrushed 8x10s dangerously close to Warhol’s nose. The polite light went out, and Brandy became free bait; the tinfoil walls of the Factory flickered like silver water; the smaller surface fishvisitors and squares, scattered and knotted in excitement; and from out of the aluminum depths glided the larger fishpredators, attracted by the commotion. Billy Name, one of the Great Whites, appeared and disappeared. Often his presence signaled the difference between light play and heavy hard-core shit.

Gerard was the first to attack. Something about where did she put it? Come on, show us. I listened to Brandy’s little squeals, first the giddy surge of finally getting the attention she had been bleating for, then the sickening realization that it was too much, it was going to hurt. Gerard was relentless, goading, taunting, and jabbing his prey. “Come on, Brandy, we know you tuck. Tuck it up. We wanna see. Where does your dick go, huh, Brandy, huh?” Shouts. Cries. Drag queens are unpredictable to wrestle, sometimes a good right hook can be sleeping under all that make-up. Most of us were only watching, hopeful that Gerard might get slugged in the face, but I was watching Celinas. She stood like Anne Frank in a Gestapo lineup. Good choice. I liked it.

I didn’t know what she wanted, or why she had come with Brandy, but I did know the last thing she ever expected to get was me. I slid in close to her, mesmerized by the panicked rabbit jumping up and down in her jugular. Maybe you should sit down, here on this silver couch which, by the way, is just as dirty as the gutter. When she sat, she crossed her hands and ankles perfectly. Yes, yes, everything was in the classroom. We chatted, bonded, as Brandy flopped around on the silver concrete floor with the silver hook still in her bloody mouth. Both of us were excited, and Celinas tried to climb into her purse, which was filled with dirty broken make-up, the true sign of a queen. I was thrilled she had let me look, even slip my hand into it for a moment. I let her huddle near me, but when she tried to clutch my hand I had to recoil. I hated being touched by anything in the human skin package.

 

Excerpt: Snake

Once outside she forgot about being angry. The pine trees moved back and forth, soft green windshield wipers across the glass blue sky. Back and forth, just the motion made her happy as she trailed behind Luke and the others through the tall grass. Five guys had come over to walk off Luke’s property boundaries. Walking the land they called it, the men staring at the ground muttering, “Yep.” “Looks good.” “Yeah.” All meaningless back-patting men-talk, with her tailing along behind staring at the tree tops, their needles lost in the endless material of sky.

Luke turned to watch Sandra drifting behind with her head in the clouds. There wasn’t any reason to lower their voices. They could be dragging bags of heroin as big as manure from one car to another and she wouldn’t notice. For sure, someone was giving the cops information, but the fact that these thick-headed Idaho rednecks had dared suggest that it might be Sandra just because she was a new face was chewing up his nerves. “If you don’t fuckin’ drop it, I’ll drive back to L.A. without the deal, right now.” No, no, they all backed down. Who were they kidding? When people want their dope, it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks.

Sandra was totally oblivious to the fact that the blue nylon flight bag was now sitting in someone else’s truck. But she did notice that the same dog-faced boy was with them, and when she looked at his back, a shadow crept over her heart. Still she was determined to feel sorry for him no matter what Luke said. Weird… she heard a buzzing noise.

The buzzing was slightly louder than all the insects, like little seeds inside the empty gourd of an Indian rattle, and to her city mind it had to be mechanical. A smoke alarm?

She had set one off in a Holiday Inn once just by smoking in bed. This time she was determined to ignore it, unlike the last time when she had jumped out of bed like a bad girl. She had just made love to a boy she barely knew. She thought it was okay, but maybe she had overlooked something, maybe he was too ugly, or had herpes, or maybe it was some kind of quiz she had failed, or her mother just couldn’t stand it any more and hit the buzzer. She smiled remembering how frightened she was, but now it didn’t even bother her that someone had nailed a smoke detector to one of the trees. Just another stupid idea. She looked up at the vast blue sky. Who cared if anyone smoked out here?

Luke’s voice slid in between the humming insects, the far away birds and the annoying alarm, slid right into her ear next to her brain, “Sandra, don’t move.” It was interesting, no matter how low he spoke she could always hear him. It was that mysterious connection she didn’t understand.

She stopped. What? Now what was she doing wrong? They were all watching her from a safe distance. The sad dog-faced boy backed away from the group and bolted for his truck at a dead run.

“Back up, baby, real slow,” Luke’s voice purred beside her like a cat sitting on her shoulder watching the empty sky for birds, “Real quiet.” So, like a dancer, she took one slow but very exaggerated step backward. The smoke alarm still buzzed away. “Now go back again, SLOWLY,” he said quietly.

She almost felt like doing the opposite of what he was saying. Was he was showing off? Some kind of macho display for the others? But again she backed up one step, slowly, as the dog-faced boy ran back from his truck throwing himself down at Luke’s feet. In his hands was the longest gun she had ever seen, complete with a telescopic lens and other gadgets she couldn’t identify. He raised the gun into position, pointing at what she thought must be her knee caps. Unable to move, her eyes were drawn to the little black mouth of the gun.

 

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Painter

 

‘Like most people who end up in L.A., I am a transplant. In 1973 I moved here for what seemed like sound professional reasons: having received no encouragement in New York for either my painting or my first novel, I figured all I was good for was acting, so I came to Hollywood. L.A. scared me at first. It was so full of blank space, and my response was to fill it up by painting colorful and increasingly nightmarish narratives.

‘In New York I never used color, but here I couldn’t use enough, and although I was supposed to be acting, all I did was paint. When I met other girls we would compare notes while fixing our hair or sharing a joint in restaurant rest rooms: no one seemed to have a clear course, and the air was packed with dreams trying to find bodies to crawl into. A world of art

‘Of course we blamed L.A. for our confusion. She wasn’t what she pretended to be: for all her promise of paradise her real weather was fire, and the glitter on her streets just crushed glass from some car wreck. Yet Los Angeles is the only muse I have ever taken seriously, and she is the subject of my art. Although I do not paint from real life, using actual models, still the paintings emerged like an eerie hologram of the city’s subconscious, vaguely familiar but with dream-like exaggerations.’ — Mary Woronov

 

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22 of Mary Woronov’s 83 films

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Andy Warhol Chelsea Girls (1966)
The Chelsea Girls was Andy Warhol’s his first major commercial success and catapulted many of the participants into superstardom – Ondine, Nico, International Velvet (Susan Bottomly), Brigid Berlin and Mary Woronov. When Mary Woronov’s mother saw the film she sued Warhol because her daughter had not signed a release. Warhol eventually paid all the actors $1,000.00 each to sign a release. The Chelsea Girls is made up of various scenes shot at the Chelsea Hotel, the Factory and at various apartments including the Velvet Underground’s apartment on West 3rd Street in the Village. Nico, Brigid Berlin and Susan Bottomly (International Velvet) lived at the Chelsea Hotel at the time the film was made. Brigid said that she spent about one night a week in her own room and the rest of the time visiting other people in other rooms. At the premiere of the film at Jonas Mekas’ Cinematheque, the film sequences were listed on the program accompanied by fake room numbers at the Chelsea Hotel. These had to be removed, however, when the Chelsea Hotel threatened legal action. At least two of the segments listed in the original program for The Chelsea Girls were deleted from the film – The Afternoon and The Closet. The Closet starred Nico and Randy Bourscheidt and is now shown as a separate film. The Afternoon starred Edie Sedgwick. According to Paul Morrissey, Edie later asked for her footage to be taken out of The Chelsea Girls, saying that she had signed a contract with Bob Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman.’ — warholstars.org


THE CHELSEA GIRLS – EPISODE 7 (RIGHT)/ EPISODE 8(LEFT)


Chelsea Girls QUAD SCREEN!

 

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Theodore Gershuny Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)
Silent Night, Bloody Night is actually an engaging, cheap slasher that proved to be slightly ahead of its time. No one goes in expecting too much from public domain cheapies, but often enough you’ll get one that surprises you, and that’s precisely what happens here. The similarities to Black Christmas are definitely there, from the snarly phone calls, Christmas setting, POV shots to general slasher mayhem. The two would actually make quite the double feature of season’s slayings. Just when you think things can’t get any better, you see Mr. Cameo himself, John Carradine’s name in the credits and nostalgic cheapie fans can’t help but grin. From start to finish, the flick grasps the viewer by the throat and doesn’t let go. At one point during the climax, things get a little far fetched, but that is something easily overlooked in a film of this nature. The strongest element the film has going for it is the fact that it was made before the slasher boom hit and therefore doesn’t exist entirely within the rules that became standard. Revenge is a key motive in the film, but unlike Prom Night and countless other slashers, the theme of vengeance isn’t used as merely a motive to put the knife in a killer’s hand to cut up cuties. Instead, the mystery unravels with the characters and viewer both not knowing what comes next, adding extra oomph to the occasional severed hand and a sensational axe massacre by the black-gloved madman.’ — Oh, the Horror


the entire film

 

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Theodore Gershuny Sugar Cookies (1973)
‘Back in the world of pre-Troma Troma, we have this intriguing little picture which has the distinction of being the only X rated film that lost money. Upon release, the film was re-rated with an R because the sex is no more explicit than a typical soft-core porn. Sugar Cookies, although an American production from the independent Armor films, which Lloyd Kaufman worked for before starting Troma, resembles a stylish Euro-trash picture of the era. Even though there is a lot of sex, it’s still held together with a solid thriller plot and it’s also a blatant homage to Vertigo.’ — savagehippie


Trailer

 

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Oliver Stone Seizure (1974)
Seizure is a 1974 horror-thriller film. It is the directorial debut of Oliver Stone, who also co-wrote the screenplay. Horror writer Edmund Blackstone (Jonathan Frid) sees his recurring nightmare come to chilling life one weekend as one by one, his friends and family are killed by three villains: the Queen of Evil (Martine Beswick), a dwarf named Spider (Hervé Villechaize), and a giant scar-faced strongman called Jackal (Henry Judd Baker). Star Mary Woronov would later claim that one of the film’s producers was gangster Michael Thevis, who partially bankrolled the film in an attempt to launder money, as he was under investigation by the FBI.’ — collaged


Excerpt

 

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Paul Bartel Death Race 2000 (1975)
Vintage 1975 sleazebucket production from Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, loaded with sex, violence, and general vulgarity, but orchestrated by one of the most interesting personalities then operating in the exploitation field, Paul Bartel (director of the notorious Private Parts and, later, Eating Raoul). The story, about a road race in the not-too-distant future for which the drivers are given points for running down pedestrians, becomes an elaborate and telling fantasy about our peculiar popular entertainments. Fine work carved from minimal materials. With David Carradine and a pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone.’ — Chicago Reader


the entire film

 

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Michael Miller Jackson County Jail (1976)
‘When advertising executive Dinah Hunter finds out that her boyfriend has been cheating on her, she leaves her promising career and Los Angeles behind and heads for New York City for a new start. But along the way she makes the mistake of picking up some hitchhikers who beat her up and steal her car. Stranded in a small western town, Dinah is thrown in jail on some false charges and under the supervision of a psychopathic guard who beats her up and rapes her. After killing her attacker, Dinah escapes with another inmate, a radical named Coley Blake, and they are chased by the sheriff’s department, through a Bicentennial parade as they head for the open road.’ — collaged


Trailer

 

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Joe Dante Hollywood Boulevard (1976)
Hollywood Boulevard is a ramshackled delight. Made for 60,000 dollars on a bet with Roger Corman, Hollywood Boulevard contains a variety show sense of humor, a pace that suggests a severe Benzedrine addiction and enough Stock Footage to make Ed Wood blanch (in one rather perfect moment we see footage of roller derby girls while one character delivers a voice over monologue how much she hates being a roller derby girl only to have it never mentioned again). But what it really contains and what saves it the three or four times it goes careening over the line between smutily amusing and degradingly sexist, is its sense of enthusiasm. Like the two films that Joe Dante and Allan Arkush would make directly after Hollywood Boulevard; Piranha and Rock N’ Roll High School, Hollywood Boulevard is the work of men who fully expect to never make a movie again and thus try to cram in as much as they love about them in one go.’ — Things that Don’t Suck


Excerpt

 

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Allan Arkush Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)
‘Roger Corman, Executive Producer of the film, was looking to produce a modern teen film similar to the ones he made in his early career during the 1960s, with the focus on current music of the time. The initial title Disco High was selected for a story idea from Allan Arkush and Joe Dante. A script was developed by Richard Whitley, Russ Dvonch, and Joseph McBride. During this time, the film went through several different title changes including Heavy Metal Kids and Girl’s Gym. Arkush directed the majority of the film, but Dante also helped when Arkush was suffering from exhaustion. Corman had originally intended to center the film around the band Cheap Trick, but due to a conflict of schedules, he was forced to find an alternative band. The Ramones were suggested by Paul Bartel, one of the actors in the film. The film was shot on the campus of the defunct Mount Carmel High School in South Central Los Angeles, that had been closed in 1976. The actual demolition of the school was used in the end of the film.’ — collaged


the entire film

 

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Allan Arkush Heartbeeps (1981)
Heartbeeps is a 1981 romantic sci-fi comedy film about two robots who fall in love and decide to strike out on their own. It was directed by Allan Arkush, and starred Andy Kaufman and Bernadette Peters as the robots. The film was aimed at children & was a failed experiment: Universal Pictures gave Andy Kaufman a blank check to make this film after focus group testing indicated that children liked robots, apparently in the wake of R2-D2 and C-3PO. Reviews of the film were negative. Film website Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles reviews from a wide range of critics, gives the film a score of 0%. Kaufman felt that the movie was so bad that he personally apologized for it on Late Night with David Letterman, and as a joke promised to refund the money of everyone who paid to see it (which didn’t involve many people). Letterman’s response was that if Kaufman wanted to issue such refunds, Kaufman had “better have change for a 20 (dollar bill)”.’ — collaged


Excerpt


Siskel and Ebert review Heartbeeps

 

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Paul Bartel Eating Raoul (1982)
‘A sleeper hit of the early 1980s, Eating Raoul is a bawdy, gleefully amoral tale of conspicuous consumption. Warhol superstar Mary Woronov and cult legend Paul Bartel (who also directed) portray a prudish married couple who feel put upon by the swingers living in their apartment building. One night, by accident, they discover a way to simultaneously rid themselves of the “perverts” down the hall and realize their dream of opening a restaurant. A mix of hilarious, anything-goes slapstick and biting satire of me-generation self-indulgence, Eating Raoul marked the end of the sexual revolution with a thwack.’ — Criterion Collection


Trailer


Three Reasons: Eating Raoul

 

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Thom Eberhardt Night of the Comet (1984)
Night of the Comet is a good-natured, end-of- the-world B-movie, written and directed by Thom Eberhardt, a new film maker whose sense of humor augments rather than upstages the mechanics of the melodrama. The film’s premise: All of the world’s scientists have mysteriously died 12 months before the movie begins. At least that’s the only way to explain why no one has predicted that the comet, hurtling toward earth during a jolly Christmas season, is going to come a lot closer than all of the comet-party revelers around the country suspect. The film’s initial special effects aren’t great, but some of the dialogue is funny and Mr. Eberhardt has an effectively comic touch. All of the performers are good, especially Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney, who play Reggie and Sam; Robert Beltran, as the young man who fancies Reggie, and Mary Woronov – the classically beautiful comedienne who co-starred with Mr. Beltran in Paul Bartel’s Eating Raoul – as one of the Government people who, heroically, refuse to steal someone else’s blood just to stay alive a little longer.’ — Vincent Canby, NY Times


the entire film

 

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Rick Sloane Blood Theater (1984)
Blood Theater (a.k.a. Movie House Massacre) is an Independent Film Slasher/Horror Comedy. It was the first feature film by director Rick Sloane. The film includes many bizarre movie theater related deaths, such as being fried inside a popcorn machine, stabbed in the ticket booth, electrocuted by a film projector, decapitated by a projection booth partition, stabbed while a movie is playing on screen, smoke inhalation from burning film and a telephone receiver which breaks apart while a dying girl screams hysterically into it. The majority of the movie was shot at the historic Beverly Warner Theater in Beverly Hills, which was also a location in the film Xanadu. It was later demolished and the site became a bank building.’ — collaged


Trailer

 

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Ted Nicolaou TerrorVision (1986)
TerrorVision was not a box office hit when it opened on February 14, 1986. According to Box Office Mojo, it lasted a mere four days in theaters, playing on 256 screens and earning just $320,256. It seemed ubiquitous on home video, though. I used to belong to about half a dozen different video stores, and I recall seeing the box – with a giant eye inside a satellite dish – in several of them. Home video is actually the preferred format for a picture like this. It’s not really theater quality, but it is perfect for watching and mocking with friends in the privacy of your own home. As for Producer Charles Band …well, he’s still out there doing his thing. Recent output bearing his name includes the Evil Bong movies (about, you know, a killer pot-smoking device), and the unforgettable Zombies vs. Strippers. The ’80s were his heyday, though. Band and his stable of collaborators embraced the “make it cheap” ethic. They also savored exploitation elements. I suspect that, viewed in its day, TerrorVision might have just seemed stupid. Viewed today, it’s still stupid, but at least it’s stupid in a nostalgic-for-’80s-cheese way.’ — Aisle Seat


the entire film

 

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Bob Rafelson Black Widow (1987)
‘For all its faults, Black Widow is Rafelson’s comeback after a six-year hiatus, and it’s good to see the director of Five Easy Pieces in the saddle again. For the joys of Black Widow are the joys of a film well made — the cinematography of Conrad Hall, the production design of Gene Callahan, and a fabulous cast that includes Sami Frey, Dennis Hopper, Nicol Williamson, Mary Woronov, Diane Ladd and a cameo by playwright David Mamet (as a poker player). And something more than that. The essence of film noir is mordant humor — remember, for example, that the greatest of the film noir narrations, in Sunset Boulevard, was spoken by a dead man. What makes Black Widow special is the fun Rafelson has with it. All the different ways of dying — from empty scuba tanks to a penicillin allergy to something called Ondine’s curse — become not just plot points but a tapestry of black comedy. After so many films in which a body builder who works as a mud wrestler turns out to be a CIA agent trying to suppress rock music in a small town, it’s pleasantly shocking to see an active intelligence working in the movies.’ — Washington Post


Trailer 1


Trailer 2

 

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Bruce & Norman Yonemoto Kappa (1987)
Kappa is a boldly provocative and original work. Deconstructing the myth of Oedipus within the framework of an ancient Japanese folk story, the Yonemotos craft a highly charged discourse of loss and desire. Quoting from Bunuel, Freud, pop media and art, they place the symbology of Western psychosexual analytical theory into a cross-cultural context, juxtaposing the Oedipal and Kappa myths in a delirious collusion of form and content. The Kappa, a malevolent Japanese water imp, is played with eerie intensity by artist Mike Kelley; actress Mary Woronov plays Jocasta as a vamp from a Hollywood exploitation film. Steeped in perversions and violent longings, both the Kappa and Oedipus legends are presented in highly stylized, purposefully “degraded” forms, reflecting their media-exploitative cultural contexts. In this ironic yet oddly poignant essay of psychosexual compulsion and catharsis, the Yonemotos demonstrate that even in debased forms, cultural archetypes hold the power to move and manipulate.’ — Electronic Arts Intermix


Excerpt

 

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Paul Bartel Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989)
‘The movie, an original screenplay by Bruce Wagner, tells the story of two affluent Beverly Hills wives (Bisset and Mary Woronov), who live side by side and share many things, including friends and perhaps lovers. Bisset’s husband, Sidney (Paul Mazursky), has died in kinky circumstances shortly before the movie opens, but his ghost visits her from time to time, still bitter. Woronov is in the middle of a disintegrating marriage with a pipsqueak (Wallace Shawn), and both women become the subject of an interesting bet by their house servants (Ray Sharkey and Robert Beltran): They wager $5,000 on who can seduce the other’s employer first. No real attempt has been made to create consistent characters and then allow them to talk as they really might. Scenes from the Class Struggle, etc., is an assortment of put-downs, one-liners and bitchy insults, assigned almost at random to the movie’s characters.’ — Roger Ebert


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

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Barry Shils Motorama (1991)
Motorama is an American road movie released in 1991. It is a surrealistic film about a ten-year-old runaway boy (played by Jordan Christopher Michael) on a road trip for the purpose of collecting game pieces (cards) from the fictional “Chimera” gas stations, in order to spell out the word M-O-T-O-R-A-M-A. By doing so he will supposedly win the grand prize of $500 million. et’s start from this point: This is not a movie intended for the common audience. Utterly bizarre, somehow incomprehensible, totally unpredictable, it just keep you stoned watching at the screen trying to figure out what will happen next. If that by itself doesn’t make you agree it is an excellent movie, then go back to your “family” movies and forget about Motorama. It has material to be considered a cult movie, it can be placed in the same category with movies that win awards in Cannes or other intellectual film festivals, but, sadly, Hollywood already let if fall in oblivion, simply because it is not commercial.’ — collaged


Trailer


Excerpts

 

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Gregg Araki The Living End (1992)
‘Janet Maslin of The New York Times found The Living End to be “a candid, freewheeling road movie” with “the power of honesty and originality, as well as the weight of legitimate frustration. Miraculously, it also has a buoyant, mischievous spirit that transcends any hint of gloom.” She praised Araki for his solid grasp on his lead characters’ plight and for not trivializing it or inventing an easy ending. Conversely, Rita Kempley for The Washington Post called the film pretentious and Araki a “cinematic poseur” along the lines of Jean-Luc Godard and Andy Warhol. The Living End, she concluded, “is mostly annoying”. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers found The Living End a “savagely funny, sexy and grieving cry” made more heart-rending by “Hollywood’s gutless fear of AIDS movies”. In a letter (09/25/92) to playwright Robert Patrick, Quentin Crisp called the film “dreadful.”‘ — collaged


Trailer

 

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Rob Zombie The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
‘Zombie’s glorification of the feral Firefly family’s murderous cross-country rampage is undermined by a myopic, adolescent amorality: he sees them as symbols of a rebellious, individualist American spirit. It doesn’t help that the brutalising redneck trio – clown-faced pater familias Captain Spaulding, son Otis and daughter Baby – are played by bad actors: Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon. All three are eclipsed by veteran genre favourites Geoffrey Lewis, Ken Foree and William Forsythe, the last of whom plays a sheriff unhinged by his lust for Old Testament-style vengeance. This is the kind of unedifying spectacle likely to appeal to brain-dead sickos who think Charles Manson was a misunderstood messiah, rather than a degenerate, manipulative psychopath.’ — Time Out London


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Ti West The House of the Devil (2009)
‘It only takes a minute or two to figure out what Ti West is up to in “The House of the Devil.’’ The grainy film stock, the barren autumn trees, the fragile young heroine seeking a baby-sitting job on the night of a lunar eclipse. If these haven’t tipped you off, the opening titles will: freeze-frame on the girl and cheesy yellow lettering that blares the cast and crew. Ah, the 1970s – what a time for gutbucket horror. West, a rising young director of minor cult pleasures (2005’s “The Roost,’’ 2007’s “Trigger Man’’), comes clean here about his love for all things Bava (Mario) and Carpenter (John). “The House of the Devil’’ is an almost fetishistic re-creation of a horror-suspense movie from around 1978 – the era of “The Boogey Man,’’ “When a Stranger Calls,’’ “The Devil’s Rain,’’ and dozens of other staples of grindhouse theaters and late-night cable.’ — The Boston Globe


Trailer

 

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Robert Feinberg Heaven Wants Out (2009)
‘Directed by Robert Feinberg, Heaven Wants Out captures New York City in the 70s and also includes appearances by Mary Woronov, Holly Woodlawn, Ondine, and fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo. A documentary about the making of this lost film, titled Finishing Heaven, was produced by HBO.’ — Howl!


the entire film

 

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Kevin O’Neill Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader (2012)
‘Aspiring college cheerleader, Cassie Stratford consumes an experimental drug that grants her beauty and enough athletic ability to make the cheer squad. The drug has an unforeseen side effect — Cassie starts to grow and grow and grow!’ — letterboxd


the entire film

 

 

*

p.s. Hey. I’m getting a late start this morning and have to be in a bit of a hurry, sorry. ** Armando, Hi. I’ve always had mixed feelings about Burroughs. I like his novels from ‘Naked Lunch’ to ‘Wild Boys’ but I’ve never been into his persona and schtick. Sorry. I’ll see ‘The Beguiled’ somewhere, post-theater at this point. I waited too long. We’re scheduled to do the sound edit and mix for two and a half more weeks. And thanks for the added no’s. Good ones. There can never be too many. You take care too. ** David Ehrenstein, Of course. ** Steve Erickson, Oh, then that is strange. No idea if the gun in his photo was real. It looked real, and he didn’t say it wasn’t. Yeah, I know Scott a little in the real world, and he’s a can of worms emotionally and always has been. I don’t know what to do with his self-destructive outbursts on FB. Others on there seem to get involved when he does that, and I hope that helps. I agree that Wiseman is at least in the running for greatest American filmmaker. I may have mentioned this, but he’s partly based ion Pais these days, living at the Recollets where I lived for a long time. I’ve seen him there a bunch of times, but I’ve never felt not shy enough to say hi and pay my respects. Excellent about the Peel uploads. Everyone, Steve Erickson passes along a newly uploaded treasure trove of John Peel Sessions that someone has lodged on youtube if you’re interested. ** Tosh Berman, Thanks, Tosh! ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Ha ha, thanks for your favorite no. I agree with you about music in film. I get why music is a needed component in, like, horror and suspense movies, but even then I usually wish the filmmakers had tried harder to build suspense, etc. without the easy guarantee of music dressing. I’m glad your visit with your father went as well as could be expected. The sound work was okay. It’s very hard work and not much fun, but it progresses. Yesterday we had the guy who recorded the sound on our film come in to give us advice about scene that is proving to be very difficult to get right. He couldn’t figure it out either, so we’ll keep trying to find a way today. Have a sweet day! How was it? ** Sypha, Ha. Scott is great. He also very emotionally needy and very into outputting his every mood. I wish he wrote still too. I think that could make a huge difference re: his moods, but I guess he has his reasons. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, B. Thanks, I’ll go sort out that track with my head tonight. ** Daniel, Hi, Daniel! Thank you so much! ** Misanthrope, Oh, okay, I’m just getting this whole Patti LaBelle thing completely wrong. Gotcha, finally, I think. ** Thomas Moronic, Hi, man. Thanks, buddy, I appreciate it. ** H, Thanks, h! Bonnest day! ** Right. Sorry again for speeding today. I’m due at the sound studio way too soon. Since I did the Crispin Glover Day the other day, I thought I would go ahead and resurrect and update this post about his fellow great character actor, the estimable Mary Woronov. See you tomorrow.

20 Comments

  1. “his persona and schtick.” well, we couldnt disagree more then. id never in a trillion years say the great uncle bill had/employed a “shtick”. guess ill never understand what u mean by that.

    aside from certain someone who was born in germany in 1938 and died in ibiza in 1988 and whom i hyperbolically revere and worship and adore with every single atom of my being, ive always found all the women associated with the warhol factory to be so incredibly stupid, dumb, boring and dull. like that sedgwick or whatever the fuck bitch. seems to me like the dullest and most uninteresting human being ever. whatever.

    well, aint the universe tremendous…

    right now i just wish i had big glass i could throw and smash into pieces and then take one of such pieces to slash my arms open. oh well. a man can dream.

  2. Mary Woronov is without question one of the most delightful, thoroughly original people I’ve ever met. A peerless player on stage as well as screen (I’ll never forget her in Ronnie Tavel’s “Arenas of Lutetia” at the Judson) a superb painter and a wildly insightful writer, she’s made her mark everywhere. About a year and a half ago Mary and I did an evening at Beyond Baroque where a documentary about Jack Smith was shown and we sat aroud talking about him. Fabulous fun. I love Mary best as “Miss Togar” in “Roc and Roll High School” and “Mary Bland” in “Eating Raoul.” The making of that movie is one of my most cherished memories. It was shot over a considerable length of tim on “shortends” that Paul found here and there. He’d shoot a scene, print it and then have a screening to raise money to complete it all. it became a kind of deeply underground serial. Paul and Mary were a great team in “Hollywood Boulevard” as well. He had the wit and insight to cast her opposite Jackie Bissett in the marvelous “Scene s From the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills” which he co-scripted with Bruce Wagner. Mary was marvelous as a scuba diving instructor in “Black Widow” and a social worker in “Dick Tracy.” I’d always hoped these parts would get her more “Big” movies. But Hollywood has pretty much disintegrate. Mary, however, remains. She’s stronger than all of that.

  3. Anthology Film Archives is doing a Paul Bartel retrospective next month. Bartel actually gave me a phone call a few years before he died, thinking I was the novelist Steve Erickson.

    I’ve now downloaded 5 Peel sessions. I’m listening to UB40 in 1982 now, as a friend who’s really into reggae says their early albums are pretty good roots reggae and nowhere near as cheesy as hits like “Red Red Wine” and “Sing Our Own Song.” I’d say he’s right, and as quickly as these sessions were recorded and mixed, they also mentioned to include some dub effects in the production. The interesting thing about many of these sessions is that Peel often talks between songs – here, he complains about a backlash against UB40 as they’ve grown more popular!

    It’s hard to know how to take Scott. I honestly doubt he will ever kill himself and think he’s just looking for people to soothe his neediness, but I could be very wrong.

    I interviewed Wiseman for the release of CRAZY HORSE, and he gave off “prickly old man” vibes. He also said he had no idea why Amazon won’t sell his self-released DVDs.

  4. Here’s my interview with RAT FILM director Theo Anthony: http://www.studiodaily.com/2017/09/director-theo-anthony-on-rat-film/. Without literally being about DETROIT, his answer to my question about equating rats and African-Americans is one of the best critiques of that film I’ve heard.

  5. Hi!

    For some reason, I didn’t know Mary Woronov is also a writer, besides being an actress and a painter. I’m not a particularly huge fan of her paintings but I loved these excerpts from both of her books – I’ll definitely look her novels up now. Thank you!

    Well, yes, sometimes music just seems like the “easy way out”, especially when it’s meant to build suspense or emphasize how emotional or romantic a scene is. I love well-chosen songs/music, though, for example at the end of movies/series or in these “in-between” scenes where we see a lot of things all at once but there’s no time/need for words or other details.
    My day was just one more in this series of recluse-days so… nothing very interesting or exciting happened. I quite like it this way, though, so no complaints.
    Could you figure something out for the difficult scene you mentioned? Or you concentrated on other parts of the movie today? Anyhow, I hope you made nice progress!

  6. Hi, Dennis,

    I saw a post on FB announcing Mary Woronov Day on the blog, so I clicked away. I was surprised to discover that my workplace didn’t block your blog; lately I’ve been encountering a blocked website here and there (most being very questionable), so I am thrilled to see I can still access the blog while at work. Anyway, it’s been ages since I’ve visited and said hello. I hope everything is moving along smoothly or without many troubles in your life. I must go back and check out what’s been going on in your life via the blog. Love this post, especially the interview at the start of it. Woronov was always a favorite but now I think she’s hero status. For some odd reason I’ve never watched Death Race 2000, but now I feel a strong need to do so. And OMG, I had a flashback to my childhood being fascinated by the commercials for Heartbeeps. For some reason there was something about Bernadette Peters that I liked as a kid, and seeing her as a robot opposite a robot version of the guy from Taxi (Kaufman) just entranced me and still sticks in my mind. I don’t think I ever even watched the entire movie when it was on HBO way back in the early ’80s. I may regret it, but I think I need to watch it just to see who Woronov portrays. I now also need to rewatch Eating Roul. And I forgot that she was in Night of the Comet (a childhood favorite), but yes, she sure was. I want to read her memoir now as well. Thank you for posting about it. So again, hope you doing well. I’m still in NYC, still working in publishing, and stilling writing poetry. The most exciting thing worth mentioning is that my second poetry collection is being published by Sibling Rivalry Press in September 2018–so that’s something major for me to look forward to. Beyond that it’s all business as usual. Some cool publications coming up, a trip to Denver, where I’ve never been, in October. One of these days I have to get my ass to Paris. If I ever make that happen I’ll have to let you know and attempt meeting up at a cafe or something like that. Anyway, I will try to visit the blog more often. Best as always to you.

  7. Great choice for a rerun today. She’s so damn charismatic and fascinating. Totally iconic. I enjoyed reading/watching this again.

    RIP Grant Hart.

  8. Dennis, too busy about 2 weeks. Best of luck with the remaining sound work. Are you finishing it this month? Will be in touch soon.

  9. Hey Dennis, great Woronov day! I didn’t know that was her in The Living End. Yr explanation to my q about sound editing as it relates to editing fiction was really clear, and yeah, it sounds so different. I hope yre figuring out yr current sound issue you mentioned above. Do I remember you correctly saying you were going to be using a destroyer song from yr blues in the film (don’t become the thing you hated ?), or are you going for no music? Thanks for asking about how i’m handling the new book experience. Okay , I think. I’m really aware of the sweetness of individuals responses and support. And I’ve been scribbling down notes for the next book a lot–I think the experience is helping guide what the next book will be, or crystallize it. It’ll be good to do the LA launch–I’ll let you know how it goes. If you remember, would you remind folks here tomorrow that its this Saturday the 16th? You could just post the thing I pasted below, Axo
    ***
    Hey everyone, My LA Book Launch for my novel The Disintegrations is This Saturday the 16th, at Skylight Books, 5pm:
    http://www.skylightbooks.com/event/alistair-mccartney-reads-his-novel-disintegrations-david-francis

  10. Hey I still have Swimming Underground on my wishlist all this time after the post’s original airing. So I’ve taken the opportunity to finally order it and am excited.

    In other ordering things news, David Lynch has just announced the DVD release of Twin Peaks: The Return so now I know what I want for Xmas.

  11. so, this woman was in ‘the living end’, huh? that araki disgusting and moronic piece of shit is definitely 1 of the very very very worst pseudo-filmmakers that have ever walked this worthless, hellish piece of shit planet called earth. gross.

    so, some 12 hours ago i took 6mg of klonopin and 12mg of my beloved xannies; my only true friend. now my legs and knees are very weak and practically “unresponsive”; i cant barely walk at all, lmfao.

  12. Armando, if you only mixed in some lean and molly, you’d have the makings of a hit rap song featuring Future and The Weeknd about today’s experience!

    Misa, have you seen Zayn & Sia’s “Dusk Till Dawn” video? It does a very good job of condensing a silly but entertaining Hollywood action movie into 5 minutes. I never liked One Direction when they were together but their solo careers seem a lot more interesting to me.

    I saw Robin Campillo’s BPM tonight and liked it. I can’t say much without cannibalizing my forthcoming article on the New York Film Festival, so I’ll just that when it comes to making activism (the Paris chapter of ACT-UP, in this case) look cool and fun, this is the best film since the British film PRIDE a few years ago and it’s way more sexually explicit.

  13. Dennis, Yes, THE Patti LaBelle has a whole new career as a chef, focusing on the southern foods she grew up on. She’s written several cookbooks, has YouTube vids, has her own page for her cooking, and works with QVC and the Cooking Channel. She has some great recipes. She also sells things like the sweet potato pie in stores.

    Homemade macaroni and cheese is interesting. It’s a southern tradition, particularly a southern black tradition. You’ll find it on many a Thanksgiving table in the south.

    When I was living on MD’s Eastern Shore there for a while, it was very common to see crab cakes on the table at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s an Eastern Shore thing.

    I find shit like that interesting as hell.

    Oh, and the pre-diabetic thing the other day. So the one test says I’m “pre-diabetic.” The range is 5.7 to 6.4. I’m 5.8. I call bullshit on it. They keep lowering the standard for these things so they can sell more drugs. My blood sugar is fine. And again, they said to cut back on sweets and starches, which I rarely eat. Bogus.

    Hope the sound studio stuff was fun.

  14. Dennis, I think Mary Woronov is one of your go-to subjects for restoration. This is, what, the 3rd time or so it’s appeared? Of course, it’s been expanded since. Weird that it’s been practically a decade since I read her book “Swimming Underground” (which was very well-written). Reminds me of how I was working on my Warhol novel back then. I’m sure you must remember that one. I think that every writer has a failed project that they wish they could have finished, but some things are not meant to be. As it is I’m not really as obsessed with the Warhol Silver Factory scene now as I was back then. I mean, it still interests me to some degree, but not to an obsessive state. Even a lot of the people associated with it I don’t care much about anymore, with a few exceptions. Nico’s a big one. Warhol’s still my favorite visual artist. But by far my favorite of his superstars was Edie. Sorry, Armando, but I have to disagree with you on this one… I still remain a devoted Edie fan after all these years and I would even call her the most beautiful woman who ever lived, ha ha (though sometimes I say that about Stevie Nicks as well).

    Dennis, you ever read any of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s writing? I was in a used book store in Providence yesterday and they had a collection of some of his short fiction entitled “Roman Nights and Other Stories” so I picked it up on a whim. I’ve never even seen any of his films (though I’ve owned “Salo” on DVD for years). Really, my main connection to his work is Coil’s interest in him (mainly their song “Ostia” it would seem).

  15. did u listen to the last bjork album, the breakup one? if so, what did u think about it? i remember saying u were interested to hear it based on knowing Matthew Barney a little bit, and i was just curious to hear if u had a take on it.

    she released her new single a little while ago and i love it — the instrumentation is so lush and amazing !! she said that this is her ‘tinder album’ so i guess it’s gonna be kind of a sister album to the last one — her getting back on her feet romantically.

    i hope ur having a good morning !!

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