ENTER THE DEN OF SIN:  OF FUNK AND FLAKES Image

In this week’s column it is important to point out that although this is only column number 17 in the Den of Sin archives, my Fiancé and I have actually been doing these screenings every week for just over a year. And let’s face it, we’re tired. So it was decided that after experiencing great difficulty in trying to get back into the swing of things after our trip to Montreal maybe it was time to scale things back a bit. So from here on in the Den of Sin will be a biweekly event. This will give me a little more time to plan The Big Day and get in some festival reviews during the fall. At least, that’s the plan.

And so for our first week after the start of school we had a real treat programmed. Some of you may remember that we had previously attempted a musicians on motorcycles / Prince & Vanilla Ice double bill but “Cool As Ice” was rented out from the only video store in the entire Vancouver area that carried it. Well, this was try number two and although not entirely successful (more on that later) what we were able to accomplish was well worth the wait. Also, I am now addicted to His Royal Badness.

Unfortunately, the start of the new school year has meant that many of our regulars are no longer able to make D.o.S. screenings and this may result in a change of screening nights. That is if attendance continues to be this poor as only 4 people managed to show up, half an hour late no less. So kudos to you brave souls, Brendan and Corinne. And boo to Damon (but again, more on that later).

I had spent most of the afternoon tidying the house with the special features on the “Purple Rain” Special Edition DVD playing in the background so I was itching with anticipation for the greatness that was about to be revealed as I had never seen the film itself. My Fiancé had been subjected to it periodically whenever one of his coworkers put it on in the video store, but he too had never actually sat down and absorbed the wonder that is “Purple Rain”. Our guests, oddly, were also “Purple Rain” virgins. About 1 min in Brendan declared his immediate need for a beer. I clapped my hands in delight and squealed. My Fiancé bobbed his head to the beat of Morris Day and The Time, much like Silent Bob at the end of “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”. Corinne was just confused and tried to amuse herself by conjuring a gay subtext between Morris and Prince, but the film proved far too awesome on its own for that to make any difference.

About 18 minutes in our friend Jason managed to show and immediately needed to know when the film was made as the cutting edge ‘80s fashions were blowing his mind. I just about wet myself laughing at the “who’s on first?” style exchange between Prince and the lovely Apollonia. Then someone pointed out that Cat from “Red Dwarf” must have been modeled on Morris Day. The only thing more mind blowing was the revelation that Prince actually has enough music hidden away in vaults at Paisley Park that after he dies he could still release an album every 6 months for the next 50 years or something equally ludicrous. This was followed by a brief discussion on what he was going to do with all this music when Corinne pointed out that he would probably just have it shipped to the moon with his purple shrouded corpse.

Jason attempted to guess the rest of the plot, “Prince kills his dad and stuffs the body into the drum kit. Hilarious comedy ensues”. Further entertainment was garnered through trying to understand what Apollonia and the rest of her 6 groupmates (actually, there were only 3 of them) were thinking as their “song” was best described as being kinda like porn meets interpretive dance. Luckily Nick showed up an hour in to answer the question for us and to silence my Fiance’s constant screams of “put on some fuckin’ clothes”. His sage response, “it’s the eighties, man”.

Sadly, Nick was also the bringer of bad news as he had to inform us that Damon, who had originally been charged with picking up “Cool As Ice” for us had flaked out hardcore and not only had he not bothered to pick up the video for us, but he had tried to get Nick to lie for him. This was especially upsetting since we had left several messages with Damon to make sure that he hadn’t had any problems getting the video and to thank him for taking the time out of his day to help us. Not one of these messages had been answered because Damon had already decided not to leave his house and didn’t want to have to apologize to us, despite the fact that if he had fessed up after any one of these calls there still would have been time for myself or someone else to go down to the store and pick up the video. We paused the DVD briefly at this point so that my Fiancé could bitch out Damon’s answering machine and thank him for ruining both movie night and my column. Corinne then suggested that the second half of my column should just be about how much Damon sucks and an anonymous party pointed out that not only is Damon a flake, but he also needs to wash his dishes more often. It was decided after a while that a stern paragraph was all that was necessary.

After probably the most amazing freeze frame ending ever recorded on celluloid (including an ejaculating guitar, I kid you not) we decided to peruse some of the special features to kill the time that “Cool As Ice” was supposed to. When the Peanut Galley questioned why there was so much material on the special features disc my Fiancé responded, and rightly I might add that “this is a testament to the ‘80s, and I don’t mean that ironically”. His favorite part of the interviews was where the director, Albert Magnoli (also responsible for “Tango and Cash” and several episodes of “Nash Bridges”), actually starts crying describing Prince’s dramatic confrontation with his father. My personal favorite and arguably the most relevant was the inclusion of the “exclusive” MTV premiere party for the film in 1984. Indeed the MTV premiere party is an amazing time capsule of ‘80s badness, and I don’t mean cool, I mean bad. It even brings up the question of how MTV stayed on the air for so long and became the broadcasting powerhouse it is today because the whole thing is so bad and boring and no one (not even Weird Al) seems to want to talk to the hapless boring VJ they have stationed there. Highlights include Eddie Murphy in a sports jacket with no shirt (!) refusing to do his Prince impression, Little Richard screaming about the bible and John Cougar Mellencamp and Weird Al Yankovic stuck at a table together for no reason other than the fact that they both have three names.

Rumblings from the Peanut Gallery:

Eventually we had to turn off the special features because Jason was threatening to break things as it was driving him mad with its awfulness. My Fiancé pointed out that the level of positivity displayed in the featurettes reached a level of surrealness and I was starting to wonder whether my new found love of The Purple One was a result of being subjected to nonstop kissing of Prince’s a*s, or if I really had just learned to love funk music. However, Nick and I quickly decided that anyone who can do the splits in 4 inch heels and Vogued before Madonna has got to be a genius. Corinne was most interested in Morris Day and his endlessly great pickup lines, not to mention his amazing treatment of women (apparently the audio commentary for the film includes the director explaining how Morris and his buddy tossing a woman into a dumpster was not sexist). Another “testament to the ‘80s night” was bandied about, to consist of “Cobra” and “Commando” but I might have to wash my hair that night. All in all a successful evening, despite the lack of a second feature, but as Jason pointed out, “maybe ‘Cool As Ice’ is so bad the Universe is trying to keep us away from it”.

Mariko McDonald and her fiancé host a weekly film night in their apartment, affectionately known as the Den of Sin. It’s kinda like evil film school. Monthly screening schedules are available at http:filmgurlland.blogspot.com and if you happen to live in the Vancouver, BC area and are interested in catching a screening please drop her a line at filmgurl79@hotmail dot com. Suggestions, hate mail and cute pictures of cats also accepted.

And of course you can always offer up some juicy Back Talk>>>

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