Monday, January 31, 2011

Coming Soon: Heroes Of Blaxploitation

Starting Tuesday February 1st...

A daily celebration of the Actors, Actresses & Directors of The Blaxploitation film era for Black History Month. Can you dig it?

The Cinema Du Meep Network

Cinema Du Meep can now be accessed by a facebook page and twitter. For those who are into that sort of thing, here are the new links:

Cinema Du Meep on Facebook

Cinema Du Meep on Twitter

Friday, January 28, 2011

She's Got The Power: Chicks With Powers In Film & TV 1975-1999

The Movie: Carrie (1976)
The Girl: Carrie White (Sissy Spacek)
The Power: Telekinesis

The mother of all she's got the power movies. Poor Carrie White... Even with the power of telekinesis she never really could catch a break. See you in hell, Chris Hargensen!

The Movie: Escape to Witch Mountain (1975), Return From Witch Mountain (1978)
The Girl : Tia (Kim Richards)
The Power: Paranormal abilities

Tia and her brother Tony can do it all... Their minds have more powers than most children have toys. It comes in handy against these villains with many the acting chop: Ray Milland, Bette Davis and Christopher Lee.

The Show: The Bionic Woman (1976-1978)
The Girl: Jaime Sommers (Lindsay Wagner)
The Power: Bionic Strength

The Bionic Woman was a spin-off of the Six-Million Dollar Man. She not only had his powers... she also looked killer in a turtleneck and pantsuit.

The Movie: The Spell (1977)
The Girl: Rita (Susan Myers)
The Power: Supernatural/Telekinetic

The Spell is a TV Movie from 1977 that was made to capitalize on the success of Carrie. The story concerns a brat who starts using her powers to get back at those who annoy her in her miserable existence. Which is, everyone. Co-starring a young Helen Hunt as her equally bratty sister.

The Movie: Cathy's Curse (1977)
The Girl: Cathy (Randi Allen)
The Power: Possession, evil glowing eyes

Little girl Cathy was possessed by her evil dead aunt... And now she's offing every else off in the family with the help of her doll. And even better, she curses up a storm.That is not very nice, young lady.

The Movie: The Child (1977)
The Girl: Rosalie (Rosalie Cole)
The Power: Psychic/Supernatural

An eleven year old girl uses her powers to revenge her mother's death with the help of zombies. That's right... she summons up dead people from a cemetery to do her bidding. An eleven year old. Only in the 70's!

The Movie: Jennifer (1978)
The Girl: Jennifer (Lisa Pelikan)
The Power: Psychic Powers with the emphasis on control over animals

My favorite of all the Carrie rip-offs. Jennifer is a poor country bumpkin who uses her smarts to get into a fancy private school. All the rich girls immediately hate her and start to torture her mercilessly. Soon she'll use her natural power over animals to teach them a lesson or two! Co-starring Bert Convy and one groovy title song!

The Movie: The Fury (1978)
The Girl: Gillian (Amy Irving)
The Power: Strong Psychic ability with mind control

Brian De Palma takes another stab at mind power in this entertaining thriller which features Carrie's Amy Irving as a girl with a high level of Psychic power that is being controlled by evil John Cassavetes.The ending is a doozie!

The Movie: The Initiation Of Sarah (1978)
The Girl: Sarah (Kay Lenz)
The Power: Psychic/Telekinetic powers with some occult flavor

Sarah the wallflower watches her sister get into the most popular sorority house (equipped with the bitchiest of girls at college) while she gets stuck in one that is run by weirdo house mother Shelley Winters. Soon she's using her Carrie-esque powers to ward off the bitches and perhaps land hunky Paul (Tony Bill, the director of My Bodyguard!)

The Movie: Summer Of Fear (originally broadcast as "Stranger In Our House") (1978)
The Girl: Julia (Lee Purcell)
The Power: The Occult

Linda Blair plays Rachel, a nice girl who suddenly finds her cousin Julia living with her and her family after the cousin's parents and housekeeper are wiped our mysteriously one day. Julia is hiding a deep, dark secret that involves occultism and witchery. Rachel figures it all out and has to deal with it as well as the bitch staying in her room.

The Movie: Eyes Of Laura Mars (1978)
The Girl: Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway)
The Power: Second Sight

Unfortunately the power here has Laura Mars seeing through the eyes of a killer, and not much being able to do about it. With the help of a uni-browed policeman (Tommy Lee Jones) this groovy high fashion photographer eventually attempts to hunt down the killer and hopefully not get killed in the process.

The Show: The New Adventures Of Wonder Woman (1975-1979)
The Girl: Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter)
The Power: Fighting crime as a superhero, Lasso skills, Looking great in what's essentially underwear.

All I can really say is, read these lyrics to Wonder Woman's theme song:

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
All the world's waiting for you,
and the power you possess.

In your satin tights,
Fighting for your rights
And the old Red, White and Blue.

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
Now the world is ready for you,
and the wonders you can do.

Make a hawk a dove,
Stop a war with love,
Make a liar tell the truth.

Wonder Woman,
Get us out from under, Wonder Woman.
All our hopes are pinned on you.
And the magic that you do.

Stop a bullet cold,
Make the Axis fall,
Change their minds, and change the world.

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
You're a wonder, Wonder Woman.

The Movie: The Godsend (1980)
The Girl: Bonnie (Wilhelmina Green)
The Power: Being god's gift (or maybe the devil's!)

Bonnie is an orphan taken in by a family after she's left by her mother one day. This little angel soon presents herself to be much more in this entertaining clone of The Omen.

The Movie: The Watcher In The Woods (1980)
The Girl: Jan (Lynn-Holly Johnson)
The Power: Extra-sensory perception

Lynn-Holly Johnson's Jan is supernaturally drawn in to a 30 year old mystery involving a dead girl in the woods. Soon she finds it literally possessing her and her sister (Kyle Richards) in this well made Disney film.

The Movie: Resurrection (1980)
The Girl: Edna (Ellen Burstyn)
The Power: Healing

Ellen Burstyn plays a woman who after a tragic car accident which results in the death of her husband, develops the ability to heal people with physical ailments. Jesus power!

The Movie: Superman II (1981)
The Girl: Ursa (Sarah Douglas)
The Power: Super

Ursa has the strength and power of Superman, but with zero warmth and compassion. When she's with Non and Zod, they can take over any world in any galaxy... That is until Superman outwits them all. Ursa is also a super babe.

The Movie: Supergirl (1984)
The Girl: Kara/Linda/Supergirl (Helen Slater)
The Power: Superhero

Supergirl, Who is she? Superman's cousin...duh. An in that photo, she might also be a fan of Nazi Germany. Supergirl also stars a clearly embarrased Faye Dunaway who develops the power to camp it up and seduce Hart Bochner.

The Movie: Firestarter (1984)
The Girl: Charlie McGee (Drew Barrymore)
The Power: Pyrokinesis 

Stephen King really gives little Drew Barrymore the power in this fun 80's horror flick about a girl who can burn just about anything. Her dad naturally has telekinesis. Maybe someone should ask him if he has another daughter named Carrie...

The Movie: Sheena (1984)
The Girl: Sheena (Tanya Roberts)
The Power: Mystical, Telepathic communication with animals

To quote the poster:
She is an ancient prophecy fulfilled. A golden God-child possessed with a mystic gift. A gift which grew in strength as she grew in years. A gift about to be put to the ultimate test: Innocence against Evil... Plus Tanya Roberts looks hot in a loin cloth.

The Movie: Red Sonja (1985)
The Girl: Red Sonja (Brigitte Nielsen)
The Power: Super strength, Looking hot

Brigitte Nielsen is given the power of super strength to defeat the evil Queen and her army... But she must resist the notion of love as it will weaken her. But who could resist the charm and sex appeal of Arnold Schwarzenegger?

The Show: Misfits Of Science (1985-1986) 
The Girl: Gloria Dinallo (Courtney Cox)
The Power: Telekinesis

This short-lived show about young people with powers ran on NBC for only 15 episodes. Courtney Cox played the cute resident Telekinetic kid... Ah, way back in the 80's she was known for being the girl from Bruce Springsteen video, Alex P. Keaton's girlfriend and she still had her original face.

The Show: Small Wonder (1985-1989)
The Girl: Vicki (Tiffany Brissette)
The Power: Robot

Behold the power and awesomeness of Vicki the robot! Created by good natured family man and super nerd Ted Lawson (Dick Christie), Vicki soon becomes a part of the family. Expect super strength, a walking wikipedia page and zany robot antics to ensue. Small Wonder ends up being the most unintentionally creepy show of the 80s.

The Movie: Phenomena (AKA: Creepers) (1985)
The Girl (Jennifer Connelly)
The Power: Psychic ability with control over animals, especially insects.

Dario Argento mixes slasher with supernatural in this tale of a girl at a Swiss boarding school with the ability to control insects and has a psychic link (what else?) with a madman who is hanging around killing girls in gruesome fashion.

The Movie: The Witches Of Eastwick (1987)
The Girls:  Alexandra (Cher), Jane (Susan Sarandon), Sukie (Michele Pfeiffer)
The Power: Witchery, Bad taste in men.

The three ladies of the title here do their best to conjure up the perfect man one dark & stormy night over many cocktails... And he shows up... But in the form of Jack Nicholson as Daryl Van Horne (and very possible, The Devil) The Witches Of Eastwick is a ton of goofy, good-looking fun.

The Movie: Nice Girls Don't Explode (1987)
The Girl: April Flowers (Michele Meyrink)
The Power: To make boys spontaneously combust

Michele Meyrink (Real Genius) has the uncanny ability to make guys combust when they get turned on by her. If that isn't the lousiest power to have, I don't know what is.

The Movie: Paperhouse (1988)
The Girl: Anna (Charlotte Burke)
The Power: Magical Sketching Ability

Anna is a sickly girl who starts to draw things and they start becoming a reality in and out of her dreams. Paperhouse with all it's haunting visuals is definitely an original.

The Movie: The Kiss (1988)
The Girl: Felice (Joanna Pacula)
The Power: Occultism

Meredith Salenger's aunt Felice shows up one day and turns her family upside down as she brings along her voodoo skills and the hots for her dad. Aunt Felice is not only hot for her dad's bod, but she also wants hers... to live in forever. Ca-reepy!

The Movie: A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
The Girl: Alice (Lisa Wilcox)
The Power: Um, she's the Dream Master...

Another horror movie, another wallflower. Lisa comes into her own by somehow taking on the powers of her dead friends. She eventually gets enough skills for a final showdown with Freddy in this highly entertaining and visually inventive entry in the popular franchise.

The Movie: Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
The Girl: Tina (Lar Park Lincoln)
The Power: Telekinesis

Jason Vs. Carrie
(there were 3 more sequels so it's safe to say that Jason wins)

The Movie: Black Rainbow (1989)
The Girl: Martha (Rosanna Arquette)
The Power: Medium (take that, Patricia!)

Rosanna Arquette is a Medium who's pretty good at predicting deaths... and unwittingly witnessing murders. From the director of Flash Gordon the movie (Mike Hodges). Sadly this movie does not have a soundtrack by Queen.

The Movie: Teen Witch (1989)
The Girl: Louise Miller (Robyn Lively)
The Power: Witchery

Teen Witch started out as Teen Wolf for girls! Thankfully they changed the wolf to witchery and ended up with this hilarious and endearing cult movie with a memorable (for varying reasons) soundtrack. Take that!

The Movie: The Guardian (1990)
The Girl: Camilla (Jenny Seagrove)
The Power: Occultism, The ability to have sex with trees

A couple with a baby find themselves with a hot British nanny in this underrated horror film from William Friedkin. Turns out the hot British nanny is a crazy kind of druid... There will be tree trunk lovin', oh yes, there will be tree trunk lovin'...

The Movie: Omen IV: The Awakening (TV-Movie) (1991)
The Girl: Delia (Asia Vieira)
The Power: Of perhaps being the Antichrist

The third sequel to The Omen finds the Antichrist struggling to dominate the world and make one family's life a living hell through the piercing eyes and powers of a creepy little girl.

The Movie: Jack Be Nimble (1993)
The Girl: Dora (Sarah Smuts-Kennedy)
The Power: Extra-sensory, Psychic bond

This New Zealand made horror film finds Jack and his sister separately put up for adoption. Jack's life is full of misery, while Dora has it a lot better. She uses her extra sensory powers to track down Jack, but hopefully before it's too late as his evil step-sisters really have it in for him. A criminally underrated movie.

The Movie: Matilda (1996)
The Girl: Matilda (Mara Wilson)
The Power: Telekinesis

Road Dahl's children's book comes to life with this tale of an under-appreciated kid who uses her powers to get back at the family who ignores her.

The Movie: The Craft (1996)
The Girls: Sarah (Robin Tunney), Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell), Rochelle (Rachel True)
The Powers: Witchery

By 1996 witchery in movies seemed a bit out of vogue. Thankfully The Craft brings it back into fashion and finds the good girl vying with the evil bitches of the world... inside and outside of her little group.

And to bring it back full circle...

The Movie: The Rage Carrie 2 (1999)
The Girl: Rachel (Emily Bergl)
The Powers: Telekinesis

Carrie White is long gone, but don't forget about her sister! Seriously, The Rage Carrie 2 could have easily been a terrible film... And some too easily chalk it up as such. But for those who can see beyond a sequel number will find lots of interesting stuff here. Director Katt (Poison Ivy) Shea (who replaced the original director a few weeks into filming and revamped the film) paints Rachel as a pretty strong character. The turmoil she goes through here feels real. Oh, and the showdown at the end is gore-tastic.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No Kiddering Around!

Wednesday belonged to Margot Kidder.


 Rocking the pony tail

Oh, Lois!

Margot Kidder as Clark Kent?

I never liked The Blues Brothers as much as I do right now.

My favorite Kidder roles:

Lois Lane, Superman (1978) Superman II (1981) Superman III (1983) Superman IV (1987)
Barb, Black Christmas (1974)
Danielle/Dominique, Sisters (1974)
Jeanette, Willie & Phil (1980)
Kathy Lutz, The Amityville Horror (1979)
Rita, Heartaches (1981)
Miranda, 92 in the Shade (1975)
Mickey, Keeping Track (1986)
Margo, Little Treasure (1985)
Marcia, The Reincarnation Of Peter Proud (1975)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Meep Pic Of The Week: Deadly Blessing (1981)

Isn't this artwork bodacious?
Deadly Blessing
A Polygram/United Artists Picture
Original Theatrical Release Date: August 14th, 1981

Wes Craven's Deadly Blessing is a creepy tale of a three women (Maren Jensen, Susan Buckner & Sharon Stone) who get mixed up with a nutty Amish sect headed up by a wackjob Ernest Borgnine. Occasional bouts of the supernatural also seem to get in their way. Stay away from the country, ladies!

Plenty of chills to be found here in this underrated horror effort from the guy who would shortly be better known for bringing Freddy Krueger to life. Sadly this picture (a box office disappointment) has still yet to acquire a DVD release in the United States. There are excellent transfers of it on that format in the UK and Australia. The Australian Disc from the company Umbrella even has a commentary by Wes moderated by David Gregory. So it might be worth hunting down if you're a fan.

The Oscar Nominations are in...

Best Picture:

Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
127 Hours 
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit 
Winter's Bone 

Best Director:
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David O. Russell, The Fighter
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
David Fincher, The Social Networl
Joel & Ethan Coen, True Grit

Best Actor
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

Best Actress
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman in, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Best Original screenplay
Another Year
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech

Best Adapted screenplay
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Best Animated Film

How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Best Documentary
Exit through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Waste Land 

Best foreign language film
Biutiful - Mexico
Dogtooth - Greece
In a Better World - Denmark
Incendies - Canada
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) - Algeria

Best Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
The King's Speech
True Grit

Best Cinematography
Black Swan
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit 

Best costume design
Alice in Wonderland
I Am Love
The King's Speech
The Tempest
True Grit 
Best film editing
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network 

Best makeup

Barney's Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

Best Original score
How to Train Your Dragon
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

Best Original song
Coming Home from Country Strong
I See the Light from Tangled 
If I Rise from 127 Hours
We Belong Together from Toy Story 3 

Best sound editing
Toy Story 3
Tron: Legacy
True Grit 

Best sound mixing
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit 

Best visual effects
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Iron Man 2 

... And here's my 2 cents...

Best Picture
Who will win: The Social Network
Who should win (of the nominees): The Kids Are All Right
Who really should be here: The Ghost Writer, The Town, Please Give

Best Director
Who will win: David Fincher, The Social Network
Who should win (of the nominees): David O. Russell
Who really should be here: Ben Affleck (The Town), Roman Polanski (The Ghost Writer), Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right)

Best Actor
Who will win: Colin Firth
Who should win (of the nominees): Colin Firth
Who really should be here: Michael Douglas (Solitary Man), Ryan Gosling (All Good Things)

Best Actress
Who will win: Natalie Portman
Who should win (of the nominees): Annette Benning
Who really should be here: Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right), Emma Stone (Easy A), Kirsten Dunst (All Good Things)

Best Supporting Actor
Who will win: Christian Bale
Who should win (of the nominees): Jeremy Renner
Who really should be here: Frank Langella (All Good Things, Wall Street 2) Kevin Kline, (The Extra Man), John Malkovich (Secretariat, Red)

Best Supporting Actress
Who will win: Melissa Leo
Who should win (of the nominees): Hailee Steinfeld
Who really should be here: Olivia Williams (The Ghost Writer), Rebecca Hall (Please Give, The Town), Helen Mirren (Red), Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass, Let Me In)

Best Original Screenplay
Who will win: The King's Speech
Who should win (of the nominees): The Kids Are All Right
Who really should be here: Please Give, Easy A

Best Adapted Screenplay
Who will win: The Social Network
Who should win (of the nominees): The Social Network
Who really should be here: The Ghost Writer, The Town

Best Documentary
Who will win: Exit Through The Gift Shop
Who should win (of the nominees): Inside Job
Who really should be here: Cropsey

Best Cinematography
Who will win: Black Swan
Who should win (of the nominees): True Grit
Who really should be here: I Am Love

Best Film Editing
Who will win: The Social Network or Black Swan
Who should win (of the nominees): The Social Network
Who really should be here: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, The Town

Best Original Score
Who will win: The Social Network
Who should win (of the nominees): The Social Network
Who really should be here: I Am Love, Tron Legacy
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