Friday, February 28, 2014

Born Losers

Watched another one of the infamous biker flicks produced by American International Pictures. Born Losers was fucking great.

It clocked in at 2 hours. Pretty rare for a 60's biker flick to be that long. Anyway, it ruled, so it's all good.

This is the first in a series of flicks about a character named Billy Jack. I've never seen the other movies and I don't care to. But Born Losers is where it all kicked off. It's got all the trappings of a true biker flick: swazis, rape, terrorizing a peaceful town, incompetent fuzz, you name it...But no bar right for some reason.

Anyway, I streamed it on Amazon and the transfer was outstanding. It looked freakin HD, which is very rare because normally the transfers are pretty shitty and grainy. The cinematography had a sort of documentary feel to it.

Not much in the way of fuzzed-out guitar. It didn't have much of a score. It was more bare-bones.

Acting ranged from abysmal to pretty good in some instances, most notably the prez form the Born Losers, D.C. Oh, speaking of D.C., his gang-members included Crabs (so called because he had the STD of the same name), Child (named after the Christ Child), Speechless (who was a deaf mute) and Gangrene (who I imagine had gangrene at some point).

The plot was crap. They really milked the two hours getting to the point. In fact, there's not point in talking about the point. It's pointless.

No boobs. But quite a few androgynous chicks, and some real hotties in bikinis. The main chick rides around in go-go boots and a white bikini on her Honda. Pretty rad.

There's a scene where a couple of the dudes kiss each other for kicks. Ummm..yeah.

There were some classic lines in the film. It didn't disappoint script-wise. You had the cop who said something like, "Listen up faggot, how about you and I go down to the station and I lock you in the cell with me. We'll see who makes it out alive." (or something to that effect) And the craziest/best line delivered from the chick in go-go boots, "You know the old saying, if rape is inevitable you might as well relax and enjoy it."

Alright, I've dropped enough jazz on your mind for now. Go watch the movie.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Reverse Innovation

So, a while back I won this book.
I was reading the Harvard Business Review and I commented on a post about innovation and creativity. My comment won me a copy of the author's book. I'm glad I posted because the book was really freakin good.

Reverse Innovation is a newly coined phrase that references how innovation can flow from developing countries upstream into developed countries. It doesn't have to be a push from rich to poor. It can go poor to rich.

The authors explain the follies of global corporations trying to scale down rich-world products with minimum localization and selling them to poor countries. It rarely works. You need local growth teams to innovate from a clean slate in order to deliver legitimate offerings in poor countries. And once those products are developed you can take that and flow it back up to the rich countries or tweak it for other marginalized poor sectors.

The book has a good helping of examples showing how global companies like GE or Pepsi reverse innovate properly. This isn't doom and gloom about how not to do it, this is a positive book citing examples from companies that have learned (often the hard way) on the proper course of reverse innovation. It's interesting shit.

The book is a call-to-action to shake up false notions of security and to focus on innovation in poor countries. Emerging markets are key to success at home.

I dug this and would definitely recommend it. It flows well and is pretty conversational. It doesn't come across like a text book. It doesn't come across overly formal or academic. It's clearly rooted in research and field study, but it's not intimidating.

Dig it.

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever

I got the second installment of Henry & Glenn. I gotta say that this one was a disappointment compared to the first one. On the one hand I was stoked to see our brother in metal, Mr. Mark Rudolph, representing a story. But on the other hand, I felt like as a collection of stories it wasn't as strong as the first one. Neely and Rudolph hold it down well, though.

There were more short funnies in the first one. Whatever. This is still good. If anything it's worth it for the Crystar spoof cover.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Conan: The Death

Volume 14 of the Nemidian Chronicles came in the mail the other day. I had read those books on Frazetta and Pennington, so I was in a Fantasy mood. I hopped on Amazon and ordered this via Prime. Gotta love modern convenience.

This continues the story from the last book. Conan is sailing the western seas with his current hot warrior chick. But things go south pretty quickly when they Conan spies another vessel lost at sea...

I won't go into the plot, but I will go into how it kinda sucked. I liked the book because I'll always like Conan stories. But this one was far too much of a melodrama. The writing wasn't bad per se, but the angle it was approached at was pretty suspect. Very feminine representation of Conan. Not feeling that at all. Also the second artist that drops in sucked. They totally stripped Conan of his age and manhood. Didn't like it at all and was happy when they transitioned to another artist.

Conan stories are supposed to have certain elements, including plentiful decapitation. And this book did not provide. Conan should rarely be seen to be weak or be weakened by a woman. That's just not the Conan way. This whole book anchored around his feelings and that was just weird, man.

While I love this series, this book took a weird turn. There should have been a lot more bloodletting, drinking, and general ass-kicking and debauchery.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Hammer of Doom bought this book a while back. He showed it to me and I was pretty blown away by the art. I knew I needed to own a copy.

Bruce Pennington is a fantasy artist from England. He's in his 70's now but still kicking around the scene. I know this because we got in touch with Bruce and commissioned one of his paintings for the new Temple of Void album. Needless to say we were pretty goddamn stoked about the whole thing. His art is amazing. 

So, Eschatus is a book he painted where he visualized quite a few entries of Nostradamus's prophecies. Bruce envisioned them taking place in the distant future. It's very apocalyptic. Some real heavy shit.

When Bruce is on his game you can mention him in the same breath as Frazetta or Bisley. 

Anyway, I traded in a book at a local rare bookstore that I'd never been to before. I came across the Frazetta book I just blogged about, this Pennington book, and a Jackie Stewart book on the 1969 F1 season. It was a good day.

These little fucking images don't do him justice. Google his work. You'll see some incredible stuff...


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Fantastic Art of Frank Frazetta

I picked up this 1975 edition of The Fantastic Art of Frank Frazetta last week. Once you pick it up you can't walk out the store empty-handed.

There are about 30 color plates and 15 b&w illustrations, as well as a foreword. It's a beautiful selection of famous (Death Dealer / Snow Giants) and not-so-famous works from between 1945 and 1974. Most of it is from the glory years of the 60's through 70's.

This rules hard. Frazetta was a god among men.

Choke: A Rickson Gracie Documentary

Hayes turned me on to this documentary. It was filmed in 95 and came out in 99. The movie follows Rickson Gracie and the 1995 Vale Tudo MMA competition.

I'd never heard of that tournament but it's pretty crazy shit. Eight fighters enter and they do the quarter finals, semi-finals, and finals all in one night. So if you one the first round but you get beat up in the process, you're going into your second fight bringing in those injuries. In one case there was very little time in between bouts so it was like this dude was fighting a fresh opponent right after winning his last fight. It's kinda nuts.

Anything goes except maybe eye-gouging and biting. Otherwise, do your worst. It's a street fight. No weight-class either. Pretty much how the UFC used to be back when it first started.

Rickson Gracie of the famed Gracie family enters this tournament with an unbelievable record of 401 wins and zero losses.

The movie follows Rickson, but also checks in on a few of the other competitors that are in his bracket. You see Rickson's dad, brothers, and training partners. His family and whatnot. It's cool stuff.

I think you should watch it if you like MMA.

Sleazy Riders

Got this bad boy in the mail the other day and read it super quick. This is my third book on biker movies following the Big Book of Biker Flicks and Two Wheels Two Reels.

Sleazy Riders is by far the most entertaining of the trio.

Dr. Wyatt James picks about 45 of the sleaziest biker flicks (read TRUE biker flicks) and basically just spoils the plot and gives his personal opinion on them. He offers very little in the way of additional information on anything. If you got rid of the plot synopsis and the related-actors might have one additional paragraph of new info per film. So you can't buy or read this for the information. It's just about the reviews and the comments. And moreover, it turned me on to a few flicks that were missing from the list I'm keeping (up to 93 "real" biker flicks, I believe). James lists 66.

The layout is good and the commentary is candid and funny. It's definitely an entertaining read. If you're into biker flicks then I'd highly recommend getting this. It's a great primer on the classics if you haven't seen that many. This is the best place to start.

James has a sleaze-o-meter for each movie. He tallies up the following key biker flick attributes with an iron cross if it contains: a biker gang, terrorized locals, choppers, rape, oddball headgear, bar fight, and/or naked flesh. These are the holy elements of all good biker flicks. He could have chosen some others like orgy in the desert or fuzz-tone guitar soundtrack.

There are some good stills and movie posters, but nothing you haven't really seen before. But whatever, this is a good read. If you like biker movies, this is a must-have.