Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sangria


I've gotten my share of friends and neighbors sloshed on many occasions. No, I'm not a bartender nor a rich man habitually buying rounds for the house every night. But, what I can do is make killer SANGRIA. I have had many many people over the years ask me to make Sangria for them - and have enthusiastically done so. In fact, I made bathtubs full for my very close friend Andy's wedding several years ago - got about 250 people shit-faced on that hot summer day.

What's the secret? Simple. Don't add things that don't belong and you'll be swell, you'll be great... I go with a simple Castilian recipe taught to me while on my last trip to Spain, in the city pictured above, Fuenterrabia (sadly, 10 years ago - but I'm off to Espana again this spring). That's it. No kiwi, no strawberries, no pineapple, no bastardizing of any sort.

Let's say you want to make a batch for a group of like 5-10 people. Here we go:

1 Lemon
1 Orange
1 Apple
1 Pear (yes, a pear I learned this in the Basque Country)
1/2 "Bout" half a Cup Sugar
1 to 2 Bottles of decent Red Wine (Rioja would be best) but a nice Cabernet, Zin, or Merlot works too.
3-5 Cinnamon Sticks (3 for mild, 5 for bold)

Lastly, you'll need something to cut it with - a two liter of Sprite works nicely. Now then, cut the fruit into thin slices and put them into a punch bowl. Slowly add the wine into the bowl and put the cinnamon sticks in there at this time (if you don't have sticks you can use ground cinnamon, but it's hard to dissolve).
Store this in the refrigerator for at the VERY VERY LEAST 4 to 6 hours. In point of fact, all day is best - proper osmosis occurs after about 7 or 8 hours - this is when it starts to taste unbelievably good. Pull it from the refrigerator and add the sugar and Sprite to taste. Not too much sugar and not too much Sprite - add them slowly, tasting frequently. When you like it - STOP. You're ready to get yourself and your friends drunk - and BUT QUICK, Sangria creeps up super fast. Enjoy damas y caballeros. That is the secret to Fan-Damn-Tastic Sangria - don't fuck with it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fear Not Dear Readers


Previously on TRASH-AESTHETICS: I was concerned over the availability of the Don Knotts Scooby-Doo episodes, however - - thanks to my pal Chris, I DID manage to get a hold of "The New Scooby-Doo Movies!!!!" I know that most of you were worried about whether I would track it down or not. I received several urgent emails inquiring - - so no worries fans of Trash Aesthetics, I did in fact make out very nicely. The Don Knotts episodes are PRICELESS - especially when he's doing the Swedish maid - "Inga Shmorgasbord." Well, he's not "doing" her, rather, I should say, impersonating a Swedish maid. Yeah, bit better.

Ahhhhh, priceless

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Addendum to My Grindhouse Post - Too Self Conscious a Text For My Tastes

Grindhouse Rant - Part Deux: After having watched Planet Terror one more time, (just to make sure I wasn't being too hard on it) I find myself sadly coming to the following conclusion: I like it even less now. Haven't watched Death Proof a second time, but would like to, just to formulate additional thoughts on why it's crap. I just didn't care for the whole sha-bang. If they worked for you, hey that's super - but they didn't for me.

What do I like about these two films? I like many things - individually that is, it's the sum of their parts that leave me somewhat cold and wanting. Basically, I am fond of everybody involved with these projects (not so much the directors though), the actors (especially Rose and Rosario, fantastic actresses - but what's up with Rose these days - I see her with Robert Osborne on TCM and she SOUNDS weird, the tone and articulation of her speech seems a bit off, the cadence is weird - maybe it's the stress of her current relationship, hey-ooooooo), the crews, the effects teams (I've been a Nicotero fan since his career began), etc. etc. I just didn't "like" the films. And, yes, the reasons I don't like them are part stuck-in-my-ways curmudgeonry and part postmodern problematics. The curmudgeonry is strange as Tarantino is about 6 years my senior and Rodriguez is a year older than yours truly. So, I find it odd that I feel some nostalgia is better left untampered with while they (being a bit older) were willing to try this experiment.

The experiment failed from a profit-ratio analysis (although DVD sales are the bread and butter these days) upon initial screenings. To illustrate this point, I queried my History of Film class back in April of 07' to see if they understood just what these films were "about" - students who had had me before chimed in with authoritative "yeses" and there were a few older students who claimed they did, but the rest of the class was utterly clueless. None of them knew what a grindhouse theatre was, or exactly what type of programming played there or how this programming came to be in the first place. Bad news if you are the Weinstein brothers. A happy aside is that since I started teaching, my students become knowledgeable on the subject of exploitation films - origins, appreciation, history - etc.

So, why did I like them even less? I dunno really. I guess it's because I'm tired of having to explain over and over and fucking over to everybody where I feel these films are symptomatic of a larger global discourse. I don't find anything wrong at all with nostalgia, hell, I'm the POSTER BOY for nostalgia (shall I produce a document explaining why Buck Rogers was the greatest show of all time? Clearly it's not, but boy I could argue...). Where I find nostalgia to be problematic is when it becomes the impetus, structure and content for pastiche/self-reflexive/intertextual driven programming (Family Guy anyone?). I've already written about this in another post and there's no need to go on and on... Suffice it to say, Grindhouse worked for some people, but it didn't really for me.

To quote Brooks Hatlen "The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry."

The differences between the then and the now are monumental. Much has been written about the last twenty to thirty years - the giant leaps - the progress - the idiocy - the pathetic state of human affairs - the postmodern condition - - - - - - - But one thing is for certain dear readers - things ain't what they used to be. From the industrial revolution, World War I, The Great Depression, World War II, The Cold War, The 60s - budding agency of marginalized groups, the political correctness of vernacular discourse, and two million other equally important things that would take forever to list - nothing is the same. Global Capitalism sees to this.

The world has gone off the deep end and nothing will ever be the same. My buddy Fred Adelman from from DVD Maniacs puts it very nicely when he points out the differences between the cinematic experience of decades past versus the ridiculousness of it today:

Today it's:

1) Order the tickets online so we don't have to wait in a line (Waiting in line was one of the best ways to meet a girl and her friends).

2) Watch the movie in a sterile environment (We use to have ash trays on the seat handles, for both cigarettes and pot).

3) Get distracted by the lights and sounds of people's cellphones (Back in the day, if people were unnecessarily distracting you from the movie, you simply got up and punched them in the face and threw them out of the theater. Try doing that today).

4) After the movie is over, get something to eat, get laid, go to sleep (That's the only thing that has remained the same).

Nuff' Said there. The analogy I'm working at is that the films that Grindhouse is aesthetically and thematically working at are best left where they were. Grindhouse was fun, but empty. I guess there's only one summer per customer.

I can honestly say that I am far more impressed with Mad TV's Dr. Funkenstein series than Planet Terror and Death Proof. Some of the funniest shit I have EVER seen. I haven't seen them all, but I am especially in love with Funkenstein Versus the Werewolf Hookers.

Lastly, I'd like to direct you to Tim Lucas' ever-brilliant Video Watchdog. This month, Tim and several other contributors (Steve Bissette, Shane Dallmann, and Kim Newman) have a round-table (as they often do) discussion devoted to Grindhouse. I align myself very strongly with Kim Newman's views on the project. My favorite bit is when Kim ponders how Quentin and Robert would have operated under REAL exploitation conditions (not Reservoir Dog/El Mariachi conditions) - with an ULTRA low-budget, crazy shooting schedule, orders to include 10 minutes of stock footage, a 79 minute cut, x-amount of nudity etc etc... - - Again, I say why didn't they contact JOE DANTE for a faux trailer?? He actually made films for Corman, and may I say that PIRANHA is still a masterpiece - period!! End of story. No, I mean end of story, the post's done and I'm sure you're grateful.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

VAMPIRA'S FAREWELL

R.I.P MAILA NURMI 1921-2008
It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of a true cultural icon, Maila Nurmi, known to the world simply as VAMPIRA - the world's first Horror Movie Host. I spent much of my teen years (twenty years ago) trying to locate footage from her show, which ran on KABC - channel 7 in Los Angeles, until I found out (years later) that essentially no kinescopes of her show exist, just production stills, promotional stills, marketing ephemera, etc. I grew up with Cassandra Peterson's Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (just the absolute perfect age when she first debuted) but, in truth, I was much more saturated with images of Vampira through lurid ad-mats of movies (Plan 9 From Outer Space), magazines (Famous Monsters, Castle of Frankenstein) and culture in general.

It was wonderful to see Maila back in the limelight (beyond the adoration of cult fans) when Tim Burton helmed the quasi-bio-pic Ed Wood (1994). Ed Wood is one of my absolute all-time favorite films (despite its inaccuracies and despite my on and off relationship to Burtons' works). In fact, you will definitely be seeing it in the ever popular "Gone To Bed" series, I have seen this film many many many many times. Lisa Marie (at the time - dating Burton) starred as Vampira and did a fabulous job. Especially considering Lisa was not a formally trained actress. I don't know what happened to the lovely Lisa Marie - she is obviously no longer with Tim Burton and I don't think she pursued much 0f an acting career outside of Burton's Mars Attacks and Sleepy Hollow. Pity, I think she had natural talent. She was a successful model and is an accomplished musician - - - Hey Lisa, need a shoulder, or someone to commiserate with??? At any rate, she consulted with Maila on how to play the part and succeeded wildly in my opinion.



I truly loved Vampira and am so sorry to see her go. She did have a long roll of the die and I understand she died of natural causes - leaving a resonating and iconic legacy - not to mention - legions of fans. I commissioned artist BUZZ to do a piece for me a few years ago, which is exquisite. The cropped image below doesn't do this wonderful rendering justice. I frequently have BUZZ do pieces for me when he's in town for comic book conventions. Together, we've come up with some saucy and bizarre images. Below however, we wanted to give Maila a majestic, royal night to command. I think we succeeded.



One of my favorite authors, David J. Skal wrote a good deal on Vampira's resonating effect on society in the aftermath of World War II. He spoke of her ability to simultaneously evoke death and beauty - binaries to be sure, but somehow, despite her abject waistline and skull like visage -- Vampira was a vision of beauty. How can this paradox be? Read Skal's wonderful The Monster Show to hear his elaboration of post World War II trauma culture as viewed through they lens of the horror film.


Additionally and fortuitously, Kevin Sean Michaels was able to produce and direct Vampira: The Movie (2007) before Maila Nurmi passed away. This project looks very promising. It includes interviews with the aforementioned David J. Skal, Forrest Ackerman, Sid Haig - etc. I will be purchasing it soon and share my reactions with you. AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!! Began Vampira's show. She would slink forward in her Charles Addams outfit until she got right up to the studio camera and would then (she would later claim that she was trying to portray a post-orgasm affect) say seductively and in a spent voice: "Screaming relaxes me so..." Rest now in peace Vampira. Thanks for the memories...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Tribute to Emmanuelle Vaugier


Emmanuelle Vaugier. I absolutely love her. Careful readers (not that I think I have any "readers" per se, but I digress) will have noted by now my weakness for large beautiful eyes and a big toothy grin - guilty on all counts. I find Ms. Vaugier to be, indeed, ravishing, and yet, as we all know - beauty is only skin deep. SO, this post is actually another entry in my "Girls I was (or am) Ga-Ga Over series, but simultaneously it is a treatise on other more salient issues I wish to raise where this gal is concerned - namely, her Work Ethic.

The first thing that I just adore about this stunning Canadian actress is, well, quite simply - her looks. She's beautiful! Cut from the dark features template that God created to torture me with all these years. Raven hair, spectacular smile, harvest moon eyes, and a curvy, but slender figure. Yes, Emmanuelle's not too tough on the optical nerves. But the bulk of this entry will be dedicated to something FAR more valuable than looks (at least in my estimation - after all - looks, like everything under the sun, will fade...) This brings to the front and center stage if you please, her work ethic. Emmanuelle Vaugier is roughly today's equivalent to Cheryl Ladd. By that I wish to suggest that, much like Ms. Ladd, Emmanuelle is grateful to be a "working actress", not inhibited by ego, pride, or vanity, she simply takes one project after another. Both actresses willingly went from A-list Television shows to B-list movies and back again no worse for the wear. And, above all else, they did so with grace and real talent. Indeed, Emmanuel Vaugier has serious acting chops. Remarkably adept at comedy (which is ridiculously hard) and uncommonly skilled at dramatic roles, it would seem that she can do it all and do it all easily (or create the illusion that it's easy - the mark of any good actor) simple verisimilitude. We believer her.

When one stops to consider the ridiculously shallow and materialistic lives many very fortunate and privileged celebrities often lead, it is a crime that they squander their image and "success" - winding up stupid, drug-addicted, jailed, vapid, materialistic culture industry whores, (do I really need to name names here, [Paris Hilton] just steal a peak at the rack while your groceries are being rung up). I am not suggesting that being a high-profile celebrity is "easy" - I can only imagine the torments they suffer having completely jettisoned any chance of a "private life". But, in my book, that's a poor excuse for sheer idiotic behavior, the best celebs (often, the most cerebral ones) know how to use the media and paparazzi to their advantage. I often think that these tragic, idiotic celebrities maybe just need a dose of critical thinking skills - perhaps they should just go to college. Learn how to think for themselves about something other than wealth and materialism. Well, Emmanuelle seems truly grateful for her successes (click her name at the top and see her resume - she takes on projects that are, shall we say, not exactly on a par with her talent, but does so anyway and emerges UNSCATHED every damn time). Without fear or consideration of what this project will "do to her career". She just plows ahead fearlessly. I can't tell you how much I admire this. Let's take for example, House of the Dead 2.


House of the Dead 2 is a pretty poor film. Why is it a pretty poor film? Well, it doesn't hold up well against the standard criterions used to evaluate narrative cinema, especially well-defined genres. The plot and story are built upon extremely standard narrative tropes found within the horror genre. The conventions of the zombie sub-genre are also not too subtly deployed, in fact there's nothing remotely "new" or "fresh" about this movie. The script is weak, the dialogue is often classically "on the nose", the story and visuals lack vision and imagination, and the acting is heavily transapant. To compound this, the characters are archetypes built up of stereotypes. Macho idiots babble "macho idiot" throwaway lines, stuff like - "I'd stick my dick in her, but I'm afraid of what might happen." (referring to a recently killed, naked, zomibe girl). Or, of course, there's my favorite line in the whole film, which Emmanuelle has to choke out. She talks about developing antibodies for the zombie "virus" and states "...If we're lucky, the zombie plague will end up as a footnote in the history books, no worse than AIDS or the Bubonic Plague." Huh? No worse than AIDS of the BUBONIC PLAGUE? As much as I love Emmanuelle, I wonder just how she could say that line with a straight face. "Hey, this guy here wasn't so bad, no worse than Hitler or Pol Pot. How does a line like that make it into a shooting script???? The Black Death reduced the world's population by over a THIRD. We're talking like 200,000 million people. I don't know about you, but if someone told me something wasn't gonna be much worse than AIDS or the fucking Plague, I'd be well on my way to finding the remotest place in the world I could find. Anyways, enough of House of the Dead 2. It's just that it's, sadly, a very very flawed film. Not even the dream team of Sid Haig and Emmanuelle Vaugier can save this enjoyable turkey. What's of importance to me - is that she made it. Credit the producers/casting director/whoever is responsible for approaching her to be in the film. She's the only reason I own it. I'm loyal.

Here's a great scene from Charlie Sheen's Two and a Half Men: Emmanuelle is flawless and has great chemistry with Sheen, who, is always excellent.
video

I'm always interested in what she's doing and will watch ANYTHING she's in. When I love a celeb, I'm in for a penny in for a pound. Keep up the great work Emmanuelle, you have a lot of fans, I number myself among the more dedicated variety.

Monday, January 7, 2008

My Beef With "Grindhouse"

I have to discharge my thoughts regarding Grindhouse (2007). Those who know me (friends, colleagues, and students especially) knew full well I was really looking forward to this "Exploitation" extravaganza/homage. It is after all, a major part of my profession. I was invariably disappointed however on many levels. I'm not exactly sure just what I was expecting, but, I know that what I was presented with was NOT what I was hoping for. For the record, I "enjoyed" the films (Planet Terror more so than Death Proof) but both movies left me, sadly, as empty as the popcorn I had just eaten. My thoughts are simply this: one of the reasons Exploitation films are so, shall we say, sublime is that they were constructed under pressure cooker situations: short on time and with little-to-no money; scripts were streams of consciousness/unconsciousness, often leaping from the dreams of the writer onto the page that very morning. There was no time for executive decisions to be made by executives cut from purely economic cloths, no movie by "committee" decisions to quibble and endlessly debate over. Make em' fast, make em cheap, get a fucking good poster and book em' into theaters region by region. Simple.

The Paramount decision opened the door for the indepen- dents and the exploitation picture became a serious threat to the oligopoly; they competed successfully for decades with studio pictures that were constricted by the Hays office and their production code. Yes, this was the beauty of relatively unrestricted modes of production. Independent studios like, American International Pictures, (and other non vertically integrated studios prior, Poverty Row, Monogram, etc) provided an economic template for other independents to mimic. So, primarily, this is the exploitation diet that I originally digested, much like Messrs. Rodriguez and Tarantino.

Grindhouse is a double feature of ahem, "exploitation" films that, to me at least, ultimately lack the most salient characteristics of the very "genre" that they are trying to aesthetically and thematically replicate (Pictured at left: Planet Terror and Death Proof). To begin, I was uncomfortable watching the frenetic postmodern visual/cinematic language or grammar of these two pictures, and to make it worse - this visual grammar was wrapped around (cheaply, like pigs in a blanket, with gobs of blood substituting for the "it's "not" ketchup sauce) the classic narrative tropes of elder exploitation. The balance didn't work for me and seemed - a bit out of place. I'm used to classical cutting and pacing in my exploitation - especially domestic fare.

Next, the films lacked HEART - they were the product of what?? 40-60 million dollars??? I don't know what the budget was on these films, maybe 30 mil a piece? This is anathema to exploiteers. Boy, what David Friedman would've done with that money (and yes of course, even in adjusted dollars). These two pictures are just somehow, well for lack of a better word - - - - - False. They lack heart. Clearly I know what to expect from a film. I understand the industry - but these two efforts were too on the nose in their commercialization; too much a culture industry commodity for my tastes. The chain of command in the independents, from talent, to crew, to production company, to distributor also bear markings of commodity and commercialization - of course. But, I'd say that, for example, Count Yorga: Vampire has more heart in five minutes of its running time than Planet Terror or Death Proof have in their 3 plus hours.

To be honest, Quentin has never impressed me all THAT much. I'm a major sucker for his script to True Romance - I think it's excellent. But, his films have never impressed me all that much. Rodriguez on the other hand frequently impresses me, especially with Sin City, which I felt was a unique cinema-going experience. And, while I did enjoy the pastiche trailers in Grindhouse, I just found the films and subsequently, the experience, to be dissatisfying. Quentin seems to be going on endlessly with his postmodern playfulness, homage, pastiche, parody, satire, irony, theft, intertextuality, self-reflexivity - a veritable machine of cultural capital in-jokes, he's becoming cinema's equivalent of Family Guy. Where's the versatility that is part and parcel to the proper definition of "auteur"? And, further, I find Death Proof to be a semi-remake of not Vanishing Point which is referenced many times in the film, but, Faster Pussycat! Kill Kill! (1965) The primary difference being that Russ Meyer didn't feel it necessary to punish and torture his heroines before they went on their rampage, they just WENT. Death Proof requires us to witness the women be subjected to deeds that facilitate revenge. I could say a lot about that, but it would turn into a major digression.

Planet Terror was entertaining, I suppose. But, can this film really join the ranks of any Romero zombie film, The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, Cemetery Man, Re-Animator, Return of the Living Dead, Fulci's trilogy, Deathdream, Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, etc? I mean, Shaun of the Dead has more heart in its little Zombie pinky than Planet Terror... If you're making a film, why not make it the best one you can? Why NOT say, I hope that this film will be remembered, that maybe it will be culturally significant in some way. Especially when a major studio is bankrolling the pic, distributing it etc. Maybe that's asking too much... I dunno. I don't think any filmmaker sets out to make something "important" - time and an age are the decider's of this fate. But, is this really the best these two talented and very smart filmmakers could do? The age of the classic exploiteer in cinema is long gone, I applaud and appreciate Quentin and Robert's decision to bring back the grindhouse era - concentrate it into two films and try and relive the moment. But, the moment is and has been gone for at least two decades now and that is reflected BIG TIME in these two texts. Sad that.

Taken on their own merit and value, perhaps the films worked tremendously for you. But, if contextualized and held up to a yard stick made up of the films this project was trying to emulate - I feel let down. Big Budget, Name Stars, Name Directors, Major Distributor, Major Soundtrack, Multiple Streams of Merchandising Revenue, and on and on. This was inevitable given the structure of multinationals today, I knew this going in, what I didn't count on was just such emptiness afterwards...

A friend of mine once commented that he felt these films were tantamount to "looking at pre-ripped jeans covered with flower power patches for sale at some generic trendy store in some generic American super mall." I quite liked that.

No offense intended to the directors of this project, who are tough and take criticism well, (yeah, like they'd ever stumble across this blog) but perhaps in light of all my gripes GRINDHOUSE was doomed (for me) from the get go. And why? Because I CARE about exploitation, about low culture, about taste distinctions. I've made it my life's work in many respects.

And my last point is minor but major at the same time. I want to know if JOE DANTE was approached to make a trailer for Grindhouse. Look, Quentin is an amazing source of knowledge when it comes to film - and not just facts, the man knows his stuff and has read a good deal of theory. But, in truth, Joe Fucking Dante is truly more knowledgeable than any other living filmmaker (with the exception of Marty Scorcese and maybe, MAYBE Guillermo Del Toro). If Joe Dante wasn't approached - it is a travesty of major proportions! Shame on you both if you didn't give him a ring. Shame I say! Doesn't anyone remember the genius of MANT? Half Man, Half Ant, ALL TERROR! Here's a link to the MATINEE trailer - ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Girls I Was (and still am) Ga-Ga Over

ROYA MEGNOT

Growing up there dozens and dozens of women that I would fall in and out of love with, and well, I've decided to blog about them. As I find this blog cathartic in many ways (from Gk. katharsis "purging, cleansing," from kathairein "to purify, purge," from katharsos "pure"), I find it nostalgically delicious (like Lucky Charms!) to revisit these pure, simple childhood crushes like - fading photographs in an old family album, scotch-tape stains and all.

Some you'll know, some probably not - but what binds them together (binds them together? There's a thought) for me is the doe-eyed adoration and dedication I showed to each of them. Natalie Wood will always be my hopeless "love" - but, there were many others. Here we go then, the first in a long list of posts I will call... "Girls I was Ga-Ga Over". I'm not crazy about that, too cutesy for me, but I like the alliteration.

Who to start with? I'll dig deep into the "girls I was ga-ga over" bag and pull out (fellow Michigander) ROYA MEGNOT. Oh My my. I was about 14 or 15 when I first encountered cow-eyed, pouty Roya. I fell instantly and madly in love. Roya Megnot is essentially a hybrid/fusion of Phoebe Cates and Jessica Alba and, in a word, gorgeous! I found Roya on ABC's daytime soap "Loving" where she played, wait for it...Ava Rescott Forbes Alden Masters (I think she even married a few more times). Of course, when I found lovely Roya she was still portraying Ava Rescott - pre-social latter climbing, gold-digging, merciless, cunning, manipulative bitch. Oh, she was still a bitch, just a relatively inexperienced one.

Early on, Ava portrayed the archetypal under privileged girl from the wrong side of the tracks, determined to marry rich, plot, scheme, get knocked-up or fake pregnancies, trap men, bloat her bank account, etc. And later on? Well, she merely got good at it. Essentially, I developed a weakness for the mean (but hot) tramp. Roya excelled at it, I mean she was good. At any rate, some other actress replaced her and the public really embraced the new "Ava" while I thought she was a poor substitute (at best).

There is very little on the net on Roya. I've seen jut about everything on her page at imdb which is deceptive, it's a short list of credits (mainly Loving and other television shows) which does not adequately address the demands that are made on a working actor on a daytime soap, which air daily. Pity that her career ends abruptly in the early to mid 90s - I imagine she married and started a family. I love her in the third season of Tales From The Crypt - where she plays a sympathetic love interest to tortured "artist" Tim Roth in "Easel Kill Ya" episode 8, 1991 - fantastic.

I'd love to see her return to the entertainment industry. I imagine she's as lovely and graceful as ever. In the meantime, there's really nothing to do, Loving is not in syndication - perhaps in Europe, I recall seeing some re-runs last time I was in Spain and France, but they were re-runs of the OTHER AVA. I've got the Third Season of Tales From The Crypt - so I can always throw on "Easel Kill Ya" and re-live old crushes. I'll try and alternate the "Gone to Bed" series of posts with the "Girls I'm Ga-Ga Over" posts. Of course, those two concepts frequently intersect when I go to bed to films with girls I was/am ga-ga over. Cheers.