EROTIQUE :: Deliriously Lost


 By the time I was 18, I had seen my fair share of gonzo pornography. My Mother's first cousin often had me babysit her two boys, and they had the ever-so-coveted black box. This unique and highly-illegal technology allowed you to have access to every single channel that existed. And wouldn't you know it? There are about a gazillion hardcore nudie channels. I saw every kind of position and sexual pairing you could imagine. I was also well-versed in the gratuitous 'movie sex scene.' I had a dozen taped-off-cable TV tapes with goofy combination titles to throw off mom's detective work. She was a dumb shit, so naming a set of Hard Rs as "Woody Allen Retrospective" was the perfect rubber glove.

  I caught Lost and Delirious late at night on HBO. After consulting my TV Guide for future airings, I recorded it to a tape that I labeled "Fun Teen Comedies." From the beginning you know you're in for a timely bore, with voiceover telling the audience what we already know: a young girl is thrown into an all-girl prep school so daddy can go home and bone new mommy. She's angsty, quiet, and fresh-faced. So of course she's thrown into the dorm room that has situations that "make her feel things down there for the first time." Her roommates are portraying 16 or 17, but are really 24, and at night get hot and heavy with each other, complete with original music fully inspired by that one song by Natalie Imbruglia.

  There's tons of forced unnecessary drama involving an injured and rehabilitated hawk that, for the life of me, I cannot find that of which it is symbolic. The mousy girl befriends the school groundskeeper that offers clichĂ© advice and fills her 'dad joke' void. And like most wild romances, it ends in tragedy. But there are some very well-photographed sex scenes amidst all of this. And I really dug that. I will not apologize for this.

  For a while I would fast-forward to any and all erotic scenes as any purely girl-on-girl tape-to-own movies were pretty hard to come by. Then it got to the point where I would just put on the whole thing, while I worked on collages, or wrote a play. There was a period of around 2 months where I probably watched it once every day. I will not apologize for this.

   It occurred to me after several viewings how sad and how closely a huge plot point mirrored my own pathetic situation. The more well-endowed of the two lesbian teens breaks off the romance after public humiliation threatens to expose her to her parents. This was her greatest fear of all, and she repeatedly tells her ex-girlfriend that she "just doesn't understand." While clumsily executed and hilariously-poorly acted, this dilemma was right on target. I spent my entire life being a super human to gain favor of my parents; my mother in particular. To find out that I liked the girls would have been worse news to her than if I'd flunked out of school. They would have most definitely threw me out, which happened anyway in April of '02, for refusing to clean my bathroom a second time to her satisfaction. I will not apologize for this.

  I recently found a copy of this movie on DVD at a flea market in Hollis, NH, and all of those old feelings came back. I shyly shared this goofy sexy turd with my husband with full disclosure. During the viewing, I looked around my house at the professionally-framed half-naked girls, and the DVD rack next to me filled to the brim with boobie movies, and I realized that I am comfortable. I am in my first and forever home where I am truly accepted for who I am. And you know what? I will not apologize for this.

- Babes



Three O'Clock High -- Now that's what I call a book report

I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I have an excessive amount of bubblegum. In other words, I'm thrilled to talk about my favorite scene in one of my favorite movies, but in broader terms, I'm even more excited about the chance to talk about Three O'Clock High - a film that has the honor of being on my Top 100, though we've rarely discussed it here.

This movie has been a part of my life since it made its way to video (probably at some point in 1988), and there's a lot I could say -- though I'll hold back a bit to stick with the structure of this series.

A lotta folks could draw a straight line between this and, say, a John Hughes movie - except that Hughes was rarely this good when it came to realism, surrealism, conflict, and maybe even comedy. Stylistically (and sometimes tonally), it shares the same side of the bed as After Hours, Shaun of the Dead, early P.T. Anderson, and Sergio Leone. It's a comedy, sure, but most of the laughs derive from a kinda giddy tension; it's nervous laughter.

So the only way to set the scene is to set the entire scene: the new kid at school - a hulking sociopath with a rumored history of aggravated assault - has challenged fellow student Jerry Mitchell to a fight at the end of the school day. The premise that ensues is one disastrously failed attempt after another for Jerry to find a way out of this before the 3:00 bell rings. And for my money, the boldest and funniest scheme involves Jerry seeking a sort of protective custody by setting out to earn himself a detention. The otherwise meek and noble Jerry proceeds to sabotage his own oral book report by presenting a belligerent attitude and detailing the racy nuances of his literary choice, "Honey Goes to Hollywood." The way this backfires is a common gimmick in fiction, and it's one of my favorites: when someone tries to do bad, and they incidentally end up doing good. Jerry convincingly sells his Beat-inpsired soliloquy to his captivated classmates, but much more notably, he ignites what can best be described as a sexual awakening in his teacher, who more or less gives herself to Jerry in front of the stunned students. Even Jerry is fooled by his own performance, and accepts his teacher's advances with a cool and calm that he otherwise did not possess. Then, he faints.

So there, I've described the scene, as I usually do. But one thing I rarely do is assert the obvious: this scene (like most) really works best when you see it. Of course, the whole sequence is all over YouTube, but what kinda monstrous philistine would watch a scene out of context - especially if you've never seen it. Put differently, I don't recommend that route. But I do recommend the movie - especially if you've never seen it -- or even if you have! This is the time of year for Teen Comedies (though it's more of the same caliber as Ghost World or even The Graduate), and if you're anything like me (I know I am), this movie ages better and better with continually fresh eyes. Take a look at it, and take note of the compositions, the sound design, and particularly the editing. I mean, I could describe why these are the film's strengths, but the whole point of movies is that you watch them.

- Paul



"This again?!" you may ask. Yes, "this" again. And why not? We think they're fun - we love this kinda stuff.

It's been a little over a year since the last time we did this, which is far too much time away. I mean, think of all the movies that have gone unnamed in that time! But at the very least, we finally posted the answers to the previous set in its comments section - so there's some closure there. But that's the past -- it's all eyes forward now.

Various media outlets have informed us that y'all been indoors a little more than usual. Welp, we can't think of a better way to put those statistics to the test than with a literal test! We're sure you've been binging and streaming down your legs lo these past few months, and so every frame of every film should be fresh in your frontal lobes.

Enough talk!





TRADING CARDS :: Girls! Girls! Girls!

Shortly before I discovered the existence of actual nudie cards, I got by on the excitement of having cardboard pictures of women from other non-sports sets. But before I get vaguely weird and uncomfortably specific, I can say that the 'hero shot' cards were always the ones I was drawn to most - sports and non alike - more than the muddled 'action shots' that barely conveyed any kinda drama or movement. (Actually, I guess we're already getting weird and specific.)

Moving on. Let's take a look at 5 (actually, 7) fictional female characters who have been immortalized on paper and encrusted in stale bubblegum dust.

- Paul

GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH (#16) "Seductive Marla" -- Topps, 1990

My favorite New Batch cards in order: all of the individual gremlins, then all the individual mogwai, and then Marla. For a lotta popular movies around this time, you'd see the same glamour shots used in their respective trading cards as you would in the films' series of posters you'd buy in the store. Gremlins 2 did not have such a line of posters, and even if they had, what do you think the odds are that this "seductive" home-wrecker would've gotten her own 24x36? In my heart I hafta believe they woulda just stuck with Gizmo & the gremlins, because the very thought that I could've had a Marla poster is too much to bear.

BATMAN (#66) "Let's Go Shopping!" -- Topps, 1989

I didn't pay extra close attention to them in the movie, but represented on a tangible trading card forced me into an unquenchable infatuation with the bikini Joker groupies. I used to pick out my favorite cards from the set and keep them on me - not to really look at them, but just to have 'em - and you can clearly see the love that's gone into this one. I can't totally describe it: I think all my platonic feelings for The Joker had been converted into this mildly sexualized presentation, thus stimulating and advancing my otherwise healthy fondness for clowns.
Or maybe I just wanted to get with a goth chick who was happy all the time...

BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA (#46) -- Topps, 1992

To a 9-year-old, Lucy was pretty exciting - and her lusty writhing and moaning made for a largely unnoticed transformation into vampirism. But as The Count's sex slave(?), she goes through various hair and wardrobe changes (as well as different stages of life and afterlife), which allotted me several Lucy cards to choose from. I bypassed the popular 'zombie' Lucy appearance in favor of this - but there was really no wrong answer here; these cards (like all the merch to come outta this movie) were so decadently eloquent that we almost didn't deserve them -- even if the movie did.

THE GOONIES (#7) "Introducing Andy and Stef" -- Topps, 1985

Hey, another twofer! I could be sore & complain that we got rooked outta two separate cards (even Mama Fratelli got her own portrait), but it's easy to be optimistic because they were kinda my two favorite 'Goonies.' so I'll take this as the bonus that it is. In fact, since we're living with the constant threat of unfair remakes and sad sequels, I would actually welcome an Andy and Stef spin-off flick - especially if the entire premise is just them hanging out & exchanging compelling dialogue.

LOST (#77) "Tested" -- Inkworks, 2005

With all its colorful mysteries and delicious pacing and relentless character development, the first season of Lost coasted a bit on the idea of "who's hot?" - because we're human and that's how that works. And from the show's humble beginnings to its wacky finale, I was consistently a 'Claire' guy - up to and including (and particularly) her Hot Topic past and her dirty jungle-lady descent into madness.
These are stats worthy of a trading card.


1,000th Post! / Welcome to Bennett Land

Looks like we made it.
Look how far we've come, my baby.
Gosh, it feels like just yesterday we were churning out trashy pop art and heroic prose about Punky Brewster. Goodness, were we ever so young? 1,000 posts, and every single one of them an artistic achievement in and of itself - illuminating the mind and dazzling the eye, keeping you safe while challenging you to embrace your own path.

I'm just fuckin' with you. What can we say? It's been real. Thanks for sticking with us through thick and thin (and if you didn't, you're probably not reading this, so suck a dick). But when we stand back from it, I think we're pretty pleased with what we've got - maybe even a little proud of one or two things. Just know that, at the very least, we've only ever put stuff together that we've found interesting, and we'll continue to do pretty much only that for as long as they let us. And let's face it: some things fell flat, some things may've been too broad or esoteric, and some things just drowned and sank into the internet abyss (sorry, WOWMANWOW). But please do know that it's very important and exciting to us when we're all on the same smutty page - otherwise we'd just keep a diary and be done with it.

But I'm not here to explain shit to you -- well, technically I am, but not shit you already know. I wanted to talk about something - it may mean something to you, it may not, I don't know, I don't know anymore. But I'm trying to set something up here, so bear with me...

Our name derives from Bennett Place, the street on which I grew up. Bennett Place was a dead end with only three houses, and we lived in the last house on the left. Next to Bennett Place is a little red schoolhouse called Bennett School, which was abandoned for the bulk of my childhood. Behind Bennett School is a small, patchy sorta baseball diamond that I called Bennett Field, on which I learned to hit a ball and ride a bike with no training wheels. Next to Bennett Field was a corner deli named Lein's Market, which I only ever referred to as Bennett Store. This was the place where I'd buy my Batman trading cards, Flintstones Push-Pops, Slimer Bubble Gum, and any and every other nostalgic piece of millennial youth you've ever experienced or read about here or anywhere else.

This was the formative bubble that shaped all that I know & feel, and by incidental design, I tied it all together with the name 'Bennett.' You have it too: however protected or disrupted your childhood may've been, I'm sure you can connect your dots into an image - geographically, thematically, however you wish. For me, growing up was video games and Christmas mornings, and I realize not everyone had it so good, but the major point here is that, if you're alive and reading this, you must've experienced pop culture in some capacity in your time on this planet, and you predictably formed opinions of it. That's all we're about.

And now, this:

This? I don't know what this is. But I can explain what I do know - or what I think I know.

This was something I drew when I was... 8 years old? Maybe 7 or 9? Around there, I can't be entirely sure and it drives me a little mad. But anyway, what I am sure of (I think) is my life-changing experience of having just seen Dough For the Do-Do, the 1949 Merrie Melodies short.

If you don't know it, here's the gist: Millions of dollars will be awarded to anyone who can find the last remaining Do-Do Bird, and so Porky Pig travels to "Darkest Africa" in search of the supposedly-extinct animal. (That's how I remember it, anyway.) Now, I'm not sure what Hollywood animators were trying to pull off with suggesting that this is what goes on in Africa, but I (as I'm sure every kid since the 40s) knew better. What I took from it was the surrealistic eye candy that it is: an artistic free-for-all full of cerebral carte blanche that allowed its creators and viewers to explore a made-up world that was clearly not an actual, terrestrial place here on Earth. In layman's terms: Looney Tunes on acid.

The plot of the episode mattered so little to me; I was too enamored with the setting. It was an aesthetic of sparse landscape contrasted by striking images and bad puns -- a vibe that would stay and has stayed with me, and eventually lead me to similar stuff in everything from Ralph Steadman to Ren & Stimpy. But at the time, my father alerted me to the most obvious source of inspiration for the short - Salvador DalĂ­ - and from his vast literary library, gave me some material to look at. And that was it: I had to go ahead and make my own interpretation, my own tangible atmosphere that I could return to and explore at any time. And so, over the course of what was probably months, I constructed and added to and modified what would eventually become this.

So, that's what this is, in its most clinical terms. So now, as I rapidly approach middle-age, I think it's time to give it a larger context; assign a narrative outside of its initial story and give it more weight -- because I created it and so I'm allowed to do that.

I'm not looking to write a three-act structure here, but I think we can get away with some abstractions. Firstly, let's not forget that, while I was not a professional artist at the time, this still qualifies as "early 90s art," which is its own thing (and something we celebrate around here exhaustively). Porky Pig aside, most TV commercials - particularly food & beverage spots aimed at kids - pretty much used this same mood. So if we come at it from an advertising angle, I nominate to repurpose this as a two-page print ad for Bennett Media - the kind you'd find in a magazine (or, more appropriately, a comic book).

I'd initially planned to number and label every single detail in this composition, but I was struck with a mild fatigue when I thought about my end of that undertaking, and then became flat-out disabled when I thought about you having to read such a thing. Instead, here's a closer look at its contents:

I thought, at the very least, we could give this a long-overdue title. So now, working within these parameters, I'd been leaning towards "Bennett Media Land"(?) which, clearly, is a mouthful, and the phrase "Media Land" is treading a little too close to "Circuit City." So I thought just simply Bennett Land. At any rate, I was thinking along the lines of "Candy Land" or "McDonaldland." I think I've always been attracted to the word "land." I've never been to a Disney-themed amusement park, but if I ever had a choice, I'd bypass Disney World for Disney Land any day of the week - simply for the name.

But enough of the cat-and-mouse shit. I'm sure I could go on and on (in fact, I think I already have), so let's try to wrap this up and solidify it with the idea we had that prompted this exploration. We've combed over this mosaic and nominated... the Bennett Media Mascot! So, here it is: The Private Eye

I don't know where I first saw this visual pun, but I'm sure I didn't come up with it on my own. Suffice to say that it encapsulates just about every decorative hallmark that turns me on, and it fascinates and excites me that this particular design was conceived and constructed during the time period on which this site is primarily focused.

So, who is The Private Eye? What does it do, what does it mean, and what is its main function? Well, I don't know if we're cutesy enough for some kinda origin story nonsense (we're not Dinosaur Dracula), but I'd certainly like to assert that Private Eye is a symbol of all you have just read and will (hopefully) read in the future. It won't necessarily have its own comic strip or anything, but I'm sure we can find a job for it eventually. And if you have suggestions... well, just hire The Private Eye!

Okay, so there it is. That's all we wanted to say: no real big changes, but mostly just a big thanks for joining us in this continuing outlet for our passions, and an extra big thanks for when you participate vocally. We know there's a lotta weird & negative stuff in the world today (and every day since the beginning of time), but we've never ever been about that. And even when we've touched upon that stuff in the slightest gesture, it's only ever been in the name of art, because the wisest and the best affix their attention on the good... and the beautiful.

- Paul


Go ahead, remake my millennium

There's no way around it. No filmmaker is above it. And if they built it, you would come.

We're, of course, talking about remakes. And you know what? We're not here to bitch - there's no ammunition left in that argument anymore. (And there are bigger things to be pissed about.) Besides, there doesn't seem to be a director or producer left alive with the integrity to say, "No, thanks." Or they'll sternly denounce the idea until "the right one comes along." Whatever. Like I said, we're not here to get uptight -- on the contrary, we're here to accept our fate and embrace the chewy staleness by getting a little fantastical about it. In a true "when in Rome/if you can't beat 'em/put a gun to your head" scenario, we put our heads & tails together to come up with a list of reheated gourmet cuisine we'd be able to digest. In other words, stuff we wouldn't mind seeing (not want to see, but wouldn't mind seeing.)

Granted, some of these are just straight-up book adaptations (which is always infinitely more excusable), but others, in reality, would be approaching sacrilege. But that's the idea - who amongst us woulda thunk we'd witness a "reimagining" of Suspiria, Bad Lieutenant, or Ghostbusters grace the tarnished silver screen in our too-short lifetimes? And that's when people say, "Hollywood's run outta ideas," but people who know anything know better. So, at the very least, we will choose the form of the destructor, because we deserve at least that much.

And we're just spitballing here - this is definitely a situation where you should feel free to chime in (which is largely the point of this), because we definitely took the path most traveled with a lotta these, and you can't tell us you haven't though of this kinda shit before...

A Clockwork Orange
Directed by Robert Eggers

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

The Birds
Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Directed by Panos Cosmatos

Directed by Jeff Nichols

Directed by Greta Gerwig

Single White Female
Directed by Jordan Peele

Southern Comfort
Directed by Rob Zombie
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