Saturday, December 21, 2013

NFL 2013 week 16

Last week got back into a bit of a groove, going two for three (and the Jets game was the dreaded half point)

So down $500 and looking to come out on the plus side of the ledger with six picks:

Miami -2.5 at Buffalo

Kansas City -6.5 vs. Indianapolis

Seattle -9.5 vs. Arizona

Detroit -9.5 vs. NY Giants

Cleveland -1 at NY Jets

New England + 2 at Baltimore

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

You Bet Your Zombie Ass

Noburo Iguchi's Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead is not, strictly speaking, about toilets. There is an outhouse in the film, and it has dead people in it, but it's really incidental to the plot, which almost never gets in the way of the story.

Arisa Nakamura plays Megumi, a nice Japanese schoolgirl who knows some kung fu and is heartbroken over the suicide of her sister. She's with two girls and a dorky guy, plus a skeezy weirdo, and they are going camping, in the best, time-honored, "Stupid People in the Woods" manner.

One of the gals wants to eat a parasitic worm so she can be skinny and become a model. They find a worm in a trout which Megumi catches with a net.

Now here's where we have some problems. First of all, are there trout in Japan? Second — do they have big worms in them? Third, is it bcause they are wormy that they hang in space, waiting for a kung fu net-twirling Japanese kid to show up and catch them? Fourth — ever hear of cat and release?

I realized at this point in the film that the ol' suspension of disbelief was going to come in handy.

Anyhoo, as you might guess, there are zombies around, and in trying to get away from them the gang find a little village.

Ko (played by Yuki, or maybe it's the other way around), is feeling a little under the weather on account of the worm she ate, and she starts farting.

 She poots her way to the outhouse, where, as is often the case in these isolated locations with a mad scientist in  the barn and tapeworms in the trout, there are also zombies in — or under — the outhouse. 

Iguchi keeps upping the ante, to the point where the film is utterly disgusting in every possible way.

But never tasteless.

We're talking the usual exploding heads and popping eyes. Visible farts. Visible farts with demons in them. Zombies walking on all fours, backwards, with demon parasites sticking out of their butts. White panties. Flying parasite queen, in blue sun dress and flowered panties. Two breasts. Eight gallons blood; four gallons assorted glop. One mad scientist, one toothless goober, one skeezy drug addict, one flying trout.

An outstanding piece of work, and short, too.  Iguchi is an instant Immortal. Four coils, no doubt about it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

NFL week 15 and The Human Tornado

I'm not sure where I am, down some fairly substantial figure. I sat last week out, mostly because I forgot.

Seattle minus 6.5 at New York Giants. The Giants are horrible. They are. Face it. And Seattle's anything but.

Miami plus 3 at New England. I don't think the Pats will lose this game. I do think they will wait until the last second and win it by a point or two. If there was a way to win by one-tenth of a point Belichek would find it.

Carolina minus 10.5 vs. New York Jets. The Jets are horrible. Face it. They are. And Carolina's not perfect, but they are a damn sight better than the Jets.

This is great — picking against all three local teams.

Meanwhile, watch this clip from "The Human Tornado" and tell me the kung fu celebration at about 24 seconds in isn't the greatest of all time. Make a good end zone dance, come to think of it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Zombitatious Ta-Tas

"Erotic (or Sexy) Nights of the Living Dead" (1980) is a zombie porno flick that dithers between being a zombie exploitation flick with some decent nekkidity and being a flat-out hardcore porno flick with some decent zombitation.

I think the jury's out.

Erotic...sort of

It's a slightly alarming flick, because the guy who gets the most action, John Wilson, played by Mark Shannon, looks like Keith Hernandez, the Mets first basemen in 1986.

There's a scene with two gals and Keith, er, mark, or John, or whatever, that is pornographic in every sense of the term.

And there are a couple more that get close.

Keith Hernandez, working toward erotic

Laura Gemser, star of innumerable Emanuelle with one"m" flicks, is the star of this, and gets nekkid, but not pornographically.

Just sleazily.

I think this scene would have been more erotic if Larry took his pants off

The plot is about Stupid White People who want to put a hotel on Cat Island, ignoring the fact that the place is crawling with zombies, plus Laura Gemser and her blind grandfather.

Heads, necks, and a penis roll. The de-penising of Keith Hern— er, John Wilson is quite revolting.


Not erotic at all

Also: Fun in the insane asylum. Aquatic zombies.  Dramatic foreshadowing, leading to a solid if predictable denouement. A lovely mise-en-scene, which is French for long, lingering, and quite explicit shots of nekkid women doing things. With a champagne bottle, in one case. Hunky nekkid men, if you are watching in mixed company.

I give it two coils for not being one or the other.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

NFL week 13

Down $700 heading into Thanksgiving. Whatever skill I ever had at picking pro football has deserted me. Good thing I am not actually gambling.

Thanksgiving: Oakland plus 9.5 at Dallas.

Sunday: Tennessee plus 4.5 at Indianapolis; New England minus 7.5 at Houston; San Francisco minus 9 vs. St. Louis;  San Diego minus 1 vs. Cincinnati

Monday night:  New Orleans plus 6 at Seattle

Sunday, November 24, 2013

NFL week 12 I think

Well last week's three picks didn't go very well (0-3). Stupid referees in that Panthers-Pats game. Gronkowski and the Carolina player looked like they were waltzing.

So let's try it again:

Detroit minus 9.5 vs. Tampa Bay. This should be an easy rebound game for the Lions. Should be.

Jets plus 3 at Baltimore: The Jets alternate winning and losing, and they beat the teams they shouldn't beat. Although this time the two teams seem fairly evenly matched in terms of records and general suckiness.

Carolina -4 at Miami: After watching last week's game against new England I am a believer, in the Carolina defense anyway.

Edit at 10:36 a.m. Sunday: I'm going to add a couple of games.

I'll take Kansas City minus 4.5 vs. San Diego, and the Pats at home plus 2.5 vs. Denver.

Edit: Tuesday 8:12 a.m. — Well that's just dandy. Assuming $100 bets, I lost all three last week and hit one of five this past week. I make that -$700.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mad Max Goes to the Caribbean

The Atlantis Interceptors (1983) is a piece of Italian cheese in which stupid white people go to an island and battle post-apocalpytic biker punks on account of the Soviet nuclear sub they were trying to raise somehow caused Atlantis to rise out the ocean.

Got that?

This movie makes almost no sense. That would be fine if there were breasts, but there aren't. Beasts, certainly. Magic machine guns that never ever require reloading, check. Plus groovy soul music by the immortal Oliver Onions.

Yes, Oliver Onions. That's what it said in the credits. I backed it up to be sure.

The flick was chiefly interesting because I thought the female lead would eventually take her shirt off.

Here are some of the interceptors:

Here's the exciting theme music - "Black Inferno."

A real turkey. Half a coil, and that's a gift.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NFL 2013 week 11

I wasn't paying much attention to the NFL until the Jets knocked off the Saints. That woke me up a bit.

Looking at the schedule I see a few games that would be worth investing in:

New England (7-2, 1.34) +2.5 at Carolina (6-3, 1.86). Over the last few years I've learned the hard way — if you can get the Pats and the points, take them.

Kansas City (9-0, 1.94) +8 at Denver (8-1, 1.56). I can see being the underdog, but by eight? That's a lot of points to give an undefeated team. I'll take the Chiefs.

Detroit (6-3, 1.10) -2 at Pittsburgh (3-6, .82). Normally I take home 'dogs but every time I've seen the Steelers this year they've looked pretty bad.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Everybody Was Kung-Fu Bull Fighting

Challenge of the Tiger (1980) is the B-side of the "For Your Height Only" DVD. It should have its own disc, complete with a "Making of..." and maybe a primer on topless tennis.

Bruce Le and Richard Harrison are a couple of CIA agents who have to track down a formula that kills sperm. The formula's been stolen by a gal who looks a bit like Sophia Loren, but less mountainous, and hidden in a hat.

The Viet Cong are involved, too.

There's a lot more plot, most of it incomprehensible, but it doesn't matter because there is kung fu.

Lots of kung fu, accompanied by extra-comical dubbed-in kung fu noises.

Not content with your standard "Hah!" and "Ugh," the filmmakers add to the repertoire.


"Ohhhh...gobble gobble goong fow YAAAAAAAH!"

And my favorite, from a character on his last legs: "Oooo-waaah...gurgle bloont froom (gasp)."

We're talking topless tennis. The Mysteries of the Orient, from the (shapely) rear. Brief full frontal nekkidity at swimming pool.


Extremely stupid bad guys, who lift weights and listen to bad pop music on headphones when they should be guarding the woman with the anti-sperm formula.  Hot tub sex. Rottweiler kung fu. Bad driving. Filipino jazz.

The centerpiece is near the start of the film, when Bruce Le combines the ancient art of bullfighting with the even more ancient art of kung fu.

It is a remarkable sequence, including exciting jump cuts, stock footage, a stuffed bull and a brief moment of avant-garde animation.

Here it is, for those of you too cheap to spend $12 on the DVD:

"Challenge of the Tiger," for schlock fans, is a must. An unabashed four coils, and an Iron Coil nomination.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Let Us Now Praise Famous Filipino Death Dwarves

In the dubbed version, Weng Weng plays Agent 00, not Agent 3 1/2. I think this is an important distinction.

It's important because "For Your Height Only" is the greatest film ever made.

You can have your "Citizen Kane" and "Battleship Potemkin." Spare me your "Rear Window" and "The Third Man."

Why? Because none of these so-called great films has a midget secret agent who escapes the bad guys by parachuting from a high balcony. With an umbrella.

This flick's got it all, except breasts. For some reason, the filmmakers demurred in this crucial aspect.

So never mind. It's the second greatest film ever made. (The greatest is "Zombie Lake.")

Agent 00 is a big fan of the groin kick, the groin being the nearest area on the personal bodies of his assailants for a man of his height. (Weng Weng was two feet, nine inches tall.)

Although he's proficient with the mini machine gun and the mini samurai sword.

The real bitch is sitting at the regular person table at the Manila's fine restaurants. (They have signs that say "Food! You Eat!")

The flick also features atrocious dubbing in a variety of dialects — Long Island Lockjaw, British dowager, Brooklyn hood.

And the main villain clearly studied at the Moammar Qaddafi Institute of Fashion.

A rare treat, and an even rarer four coil rating, plus consideration for the next all-time Iron Coil list.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Vacation fishing report Sept. 2013

I was off the last week of September, and beat it to the cozy confines of Pantherkill Road, Phoenicia, N.Y.

An extended dry spell continued through the week. Many smaller streams, including the Woodland Valley creek, were so low it wasn't worth the trouble.

On the plus side, Shandaken Tunnel releases into the Esopus, while still cruddy, weren't as bad, and the flow was low.

This meant that around Boiceville the river was about as clear as it gets in these lax, post-modern times.

So I concentrated on the Cold Spring Road section of the Esopus, with side trips to the Rondout and Neversink, and Chichester Creek.

The latter was fun. I rediscovered an unusual formation, where the stream runs through a narrow cleft in the rock before emptying out into a pool that has a launching pad on the left bank for anglers — bare flat rock several feet above the stream.

Access to the Roundout is via some very well-developed New York state campsites, and on one evening there was a whole herd of people with New Jersey license plates at one spot, presumably indulging in devilries that require privacy.

The creek was low but fishable, and has a good population of native brook trout.

I also fished Trout Creek, which runs right into the Roundout Reservoir and is one of those mossy dark cool streams with surprisingly deep holes carved into the rock where big reservoir fish should be spawning.

But all I got there were a couple of smallmouth bass.

The Neversink was also low, but this is private water that includes the actual Junction Pool of the two branches, which I have permission to fish. And it was a beautiful day. So there.

One night I saw a fellow just starting as dusk approached. He was carrying a fly rod and a small spnning rod, and a giant contraption, about 12 feet tall, made of PVC tubing with a net sticking out the top.

This was Ernie the Night Fisherman. He is allergic to photographs.

He starts fishing when others are packing it in. He throws big streamers and nymphs out, catches big fish, uses his homemade wading staff/net (he calls it "The Lifesaver") and avoids bears.

"How late do you stay out?" I asked.

"Oh, when it's cold like this, I go back early, say one o'clock."

This was at 7 p.m., already dark and getting downright chilly.

What about the bears? he was asked.

"I had one tracking me one night," he said. "I just got out in the river. He went away eventually."

Junction Pool, Neversink. Doesn't look like much at this low flow.

Esopus Creek at Boiceville. Look, green water! Not brown!

Trout Creek, where I caught bass.

Stonefly shuck, Esopus. Stoneflies, isonychia, caddis and itty-bitty olives were the winning flies this trip.

Shot from the Launching Pad, Chichester Creek

This chute is about three feet deep, maybe more, and if you drop a big heavy fly in there you will be rewarded.

A man throwing some nymphs around upstream of Five Arches Bridge, Esopus Creek, Boiceville.

Typical Esopus wild rainbow, aka "silver bullet." There are zillions of them in the river and they fight like fish four times their size. Well, three times. 

My friends the deer. Every morning I shook the branches of the apple trees so they could chow down.

Roundout brookie

Yrs. truly,  Roundout Creek

A bigger Roundout brookie

It was nice to have water not the color of Yoo-Hoo in the Esopus.

Trout Creek

Trout Creek where it enters Roundout Reservoir.

Last night of vacation, Esopus Creek, four fish in the bag after a week of catch-and-release.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bash Bish and Housatonic Sept. 2013

Fished the brook above Bash Bish Falls in Massachusetts the other day. I was expecting feisty little brookies; I found feisty little browns. I fished downstream with a nine foot rod; it's pretty open but next time I will use a shorter rod. The trout came to soft hackle wets on the swing, isonychia nymphs, and Royal Wulffs used as a top fly. In fact, I don't think it mattered much; the key was keeping low as the water is gin clear.

I worked down to the top of the falls — the water disappears into a nice-looking gorge which I am certain holds some good fish. However, short of rappelling or a helicopter (or a James Bond jet pack) I don't see any way of getting down there. I didn't even want to get close enough for a good photo — it's a long drop.

This evening on the Housatonic I worked a stretch of pocket water that's to the side of an extended riffle. The water's about three or four feet deep, maybe a little more, at a medium flow of about 540 cfs.

Big browns took Light Cahills, isonychia duns and spinners, Stimulators and Light Cahill wet flies. And they all got away, except for one.

The gorge at Bash Bish. It's hard to tell from this angle but I'd guess that water down there is a good hundred-foot drop. I wasn't willing to get any closer.

A run just upstream of the start of the gorge

This Housy brown took an iso spinner

Monday, August 26, 2013

Smallmouth City, or Where Did the Trout Go?

The largemouth bass fishing on Mt. Riga hasn't been very good this year, in part because the lake was drained down in May to allow work on the dam.

So my usual summer m.o. of floating around the lake with the transistor radio, listening to baseball and hauling in lunkers, has not been as much fun.

The Housatonic River, one of the weirdest waterways in my experience, is a premiere smallmouth bass fishery in the dog days of summer, when water temperatures get up in the 70s and the trout go on what must be the worst vacation ever.

Forced to choose between breathing and eating, they opt for the former, and hunker down during the daylight hours. I suppose you might get somewhere trout fishing in the Housatonic at 3 a.m., but somehow that prospect doesn't appeal to me.

So this year I have been targeting smallmouth bass on the big river, and after a few false starts I have been moderately successful.

Dead-drifting a streamer the same way you would a nymph is a winning tactic, as is a more traditional chuck-it-and-chance-it approach with streamers, poppers and big nymphs.

The smallmouth have a definite attitude, and are not nearly as gullible as their largemouth cousins.

Now that the evenings are cooler, and the water temperatures have dropped, toward evening some trout are back in the mix.

Tonight I fished at The Elms, which sounds like a Borscht Belt resort but in fact refers to a section of the river, accessible from both sides, where there are — get this — elm trees.

The first couple of hours, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. or so, were marginal. A handful of small smallies came to the net, lured by the isonychia nymph.

Trout like it too. As it began to get dark a rainbow took the nymph. I could tell it was still tired from vacation, because it made only desultory attempts to escape and, when netted, gave me a "death where is thy sting?" sort of look.

But about 7 p.m. all hell broke loose, when a dark mayfly began hatching in prolific numbers. I saw this the previous evening, and didn't have anything like it in the fly box except for a bedraggled Adams, which worked after a fashion.

Tonight, however, I was prepared with blue wing olives.

I got one chub (annoying), two more rainbows of respectable size, and probably 15 smallmouth or increasing size until it got too dark to see and the rain that had been threatening all day finally erupted.

A good night by any measure.

Smallmouth taken Sunday at the Garbage Hole, on a Little Rainbow Trout streamer 

Rainbow taken Monday night at The Elms, which does not take reservations

Man taking a phone call Sunday at The Elms. He kept casting. "Yes, dear. What, dear? Certainly, dear." Wrong on many levels.

These tubers at the Garbage Hole Sunday were traditionalists. They had a tube dedicated to the beer cooler.

The view upstream Sunday from the Garbage Hole to the covered bridge in West Cornwall

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sack Attack

Two days in a row! Vintage Brooks wash and wear poplin suit. It might have belonged to my late father, I can't remember. And vintage BB tie.

Plus recent Footjoys, from their final spasm of production, and a non-iron modern BB shirt.

BB socks too, now that I think about it.


Watched a guy in flip-flops and cargo shorts catch and kill a really nice wild rainbow with salted minnows on the Esopus a couple weeks ago. I give him credit — not easy fishing live bait in a fast-moving freestone river, and he got wet, which most baitslingers will not do. 

"That's going on the grill," he said as he clubbed it to death with a rock. OK. He's a meat fisherman and doesn't pretend to be anything else.

I took this very nice brown from the same pool as Uncle Meat about 30 minutes later. I was using a #10 Joe's Hopper for laughs and a #12 March Brown nymph with some weight on a three-foot dropper. 

I tried to get my boot in there for size comparison purposes, but it still looks smaller than it does in my mind.

Managed to get myself a little dose of Lyme disease. Caught it early so the Lyme part is done; the Doxycycline Shuffle is another thing entirely.

Slacking on Sacking

This spring and summer, for whatever reason, I just can't be bothered to get dressed. It's an extended lazy streak not helped by some exceptionally good fishing, a lot of exceptionally tedious local political stories to write, and a nice dose of Lyme disease.

These pix aren't very good, but you get the idea. I snapped out of it the other day, and ventured forth in a mix of new and vintage: BB sack jacket, probably 20 years old, and Bar Harbor (Wolverine) loafers, at least 20 years old. I found these unworn in the box at a thrift shop for a lordly $20.

The Lands End pinpoint shirt, the LL Bean poplins, and the Beau Tie are all recent offerings.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013 — horrible fishing weather, the return of Roman Polanski, and the reappearance of Ernie Witherspoon

It started raining big time Thursday, May 23, as I drove from Lakeville, Conn. to Phoenicia, N.Y.

I thought I had outridden the storm when I crossed the Hudson, but no. Another, larger storm was brewing to the west.

It was very jolly, the next couple of days. It rained more or less constantly for about 36 hours, and it was about 45 degrees outside. On Friday, the water temperature was 10-15 degrees higher than the air.

I kept the same two flies on my six-weight because my fingers were too numb to change them.

This did not deter me from fishing. I landed this holdover brown in Woodland Valley. Note how he fills the giant landing net. I think he'd top 25 inches if a) I had a tape measure and b) my fingers were capable of using it at the time.

The Esopus Creek and tributaries are clearing much faster than I thought they would. My little brook, the Pantherkill, was clear as a bell opposite my house Saturday morning after a night's steady rain — until I found this a little way downstream:

There are two of these open clay banks on my property, so I could do something about them — namely, plant willows.

Earlier that week I watched an intrepid bait fisherman edging along this rock formation on the Blackberry River in East Canaan, Conn.

That rock is slippery at the best of times, and with felt soles. Never mind just after a storm with rubber muck-out boots.

Mr. Worm Fisherman looks a little like Roman Polanski, at least from a distance. I notice these things.

Finally, I solved the mystery of "Whatever Happened to Ernie Witherspoon?" He was eaten by bears, and knowing Ernie as I did, my anxiety is reserved entirely for the bears.