Tag Archives: Goldfinger

Tee ‘Em Up

I don’t play golf but I wish I did.

I don’t know enough about golf to be legit in passing judgment about any part of it.

But why let that stop me – eh?

I find it pleasant when I channel-surf and happen across a golf tournament on the tube. The real estate involved is utterly Eden-esque and purrs of renewal and plenty and green, green hope. Shame also creeps in as I watch that the resources that produce such Shangri-La’s for game-players and this TV game-watcher couldn’t produce housing for the homeless.

That was perhaps a bit brusque…but think about it.

Wait…it might be best if you didn’t.

I confess, I perk up when, in the depths of February, promos for the Masters begin to appear. When my ears hear the phrase; “The Masters, a tradition like no other.” My heart hears; “The Masters, azaleas like no other.” It’s weird. And something in me whispers; “Yes Roger, those crocuses you saw when you were walking your dog will become your azaleas in another 3-4 weeks.”  That’s double weird, but I count the days after Super Bowl till those Augusta promos begin to run. It helps get me though winter, being the three-season guy I am.

Nuthin’ wrong with that…if you don’t think about it too hard.

If you don’t think about the corporate tents, the azaleas brought in from outside for the TV cameras, the limos ferrying the players to where they can begin to walk the course, the rented mansions to house the players (all of whom are just thrilled and honored to be included), and of course the inspiring history of diversity and inclusion of the host club itself…no…if you don’t trouble your head too much on niggling voices from your childhood Sunday School and Civics classes…

I wouldn’t think about it too hard.

It might distract from those lush azaleas that frame the 10th green, or that treacherously perfect pond by the green on the par-3, or that shot of the bridge on Ray’s Creek on a late Sunday spring evening.

It’s perfect.

It deserves to be appreciated.

It’s perfect…

…for so few…

…for a game

…that so few can be part of…

…at a club…

…that so few can join…

…and so few would be welcome if they could join.

No, don’t think about it too hard and certainly don’t listen to me. I’m no expert. I journeyed 18 holes once in my life, driving the drinks golf cart, and played one hole that day (after driving the drinks cart – you noodle on that). I enjoyed my day, but I never did it again. I spent an afternoon on a deck in Hilton Head overlooking the 5th tee of the Plantation golf course. The palm trees, the lagoon, the alligators, and the golfers in their Fred Flintstone carts were beautiful and perfect. Then there’s Caddyshack, and the golf scene in Goldfinger where Bond and Goldfinger cheat each other for high stakes while Oddjob caddies. That is my total golf expertise. What the hell do I know?

I hope the Masters goes on forever. It’s beautiful and perfect, and televised.

I just wonder if we couldn’t do more.

A Recipe for Something Amazing

Movie night!

A week that began with Hamilton and a Constitutional Convention of dancing patriots staggers to Howard Vernon madly operating (literally) in Castle of the Creeping Flesh (1968).

Putting aside any false equivalencies one might be tempted to offer of good and bad (or, for that matter, good and evil), there’s no denying both experiences are…special.

But for the sake of true absurdity, let’s save the hip-hoppin’ Hamilton founding fathers for the legions of fans (count me in) and spend a few moments with the mad doctor behind the portcullis.

Sometimes all the elements of shockingly bad film-making fall into place and something amazing happens;

  • Start with lousy dialogue made worse by clumsy dubbing and then spruced up dizzyingly with mad quotes from Hamlet and King Lear.
  • Add Howard Vernon delivering yet another execrable mad doctor performance (Acting Tip #1; Marty Feldman eyes do not enliven deadpan line deliveries – believe me on this…I know).
  • Stir in Byzantine plot contrivances that only exist to risably explain the mid-film introduction of medieval costumes in a film with automobiles.
  • Throw in a tedious sexy eating scene. Tedious. Sexy. Eating. Scene. How is such a thing even possible? Didn’t the director see Tom Jones?
  • Slip in a dash of explicit surgical harvesting of body parts for obscure recycling purposes.
  • Add a hint of a wax museum gallery from nowhere for no reason.
  • Also from nowhere and for no discernible reason, add a murderous bear.
  • Mix it all in soft-focus (artsy euphemism for “blurry”) flashbacks featuring way more bizarre sex in the straw than Goldfinger.
  • Grind in generous amounts of gratuitous gore and nudity at the drop of a bodice.
  • Add a gazillion pink candles (??).
  • And for the coup de grace; no ending…none…nada…zilch.

This and less constitutes Castle of the Creeping Flesh.

And what, pray tell, is the “something amazing” that happens?

Well, aficionados, this film is STILL not as bad as Manos, Hand of Fate.

Did I mention there’s a bear?