Buffalo & geeks, misfits and nerds



It is an anti-gun film before its time.

In 1971 Bless The Beasts & Children exploited a unique and overwhelming sad focus on how geeks, misfits and nerds were treated. Boys go to Box Canyon Summer Camp to relax, play games and bond. Not for a group of boys that get bullied. Hazing is a wakeup call for these boys. This film is about how badly some of us raise our children. Teaching them the wrong way to treat innocence or uniqueness. I recommend anyone with a youngster about 12 or 13 to view this film with them.

Growing up is finding out that the good guys don’t always win.



I loved this film when I first viewed it because I was coming of age and waking up to the real world too. The motif of this film fits nicely into the 70s groove, hey it was the beginning of the hardcore 70s. The theme of this film shows how a hand full of misfit youngsters find each other, bond and develop solid friendships. The love they project together is upon the wild Buffalo. They find out that these proud and innocent beasts, almost reaching extinction, are being gunned down by sport hunters as if in a penny arcade. They start on a journey as youngsters and transform into young men by standing up for something besides their small personal problems.; against all odds they are going to try and save the Buffalo. Growing up is finding out that the good guys don’t always win.

Bless The Beasts & Children is filled with humor, intense emotions, sadness and love. The soundtrack is peaking a 70s musical score with the hit song Bless The Beasts & Children by The Carpenters.  It is an anti-gun film before its time. Yes I had a big crush on Bill Mumy…

I’d have to stay alone, keep out of trouble and make myself very small in the world.

The night, a living presence, was in constant motion, shifting itself, sighing, breathing. She wondered if perhaps it, too, was trying to get warm.

― Laird Koenig, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane


   A young Martin Sheen as a pervert.

I avoided The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane for almost thirty years. Now that we no longer have cable we only view what is available on Netflix. The kid and I are selective to what we can view together, the film having a 13-year-old girl, Jody Foster, as the heroine Rynn Jacobs inspired us to take a chance. Maybe this film might be a scary film as well as a youth film. It came out 1977 and is classified a horror film.  It was more than this in a good way and we both enjoyed it.


Marlo tells Frank to leave.

I am pleasantly inspired by the expansive qualities in this film because it has those seventies feelings with a bit of elegance thrown in. Rynn is 13-years-old and is very mature for her age. Her character has depth, loyalty, and integrity. Her favorite poet is Emily Dickinson, I was instantly impressed. All the characters in the film have depth as well as developed personalities.

There is the town pervert, the nagging and nosey property owner, the boyfriend turned lover and lastly the helpful sheriff.

Oh yes, we also have the father. The whole film pivots around the mysterious father who is a poet. Where can he be? Is he in his study translating Russian poetry?

Rynn: [about her father] Through most all September he looked fine, if the pain was terrible he never said anything. Then one Sunday evening, we were sitting in this room and he whispered to me in a very soft voice that I wasn’t like anybody else in the world; and people wouldn’t understand me, they’d order me around, tell me what to do and try to turn me into the person they wanted me to be. Since I was only a kid, I couldn’t say anything, I’d have to stay alone, keep out of trouble and make myself very small in the world.

Mario: All alone?

Rynn: We worked out every detail, we knew it wouldn’t be easy. Here’s a letter from my father: Don’t give in and play their game, fight them any way you have to, survive. That’s what he said. Then he kissed me and walked off into the trees and down the lane.

The beautiful environment places this film near the ocean. The presence of this film sucks you in with suspenseful moments. It is not an action film. One can sit back breathing and wonder and participate with the film.

The 70s motif is placed in this film very carefully as well, for in an impossible situation two youths find love if only for a while and are transformed!!


Dad’s Passing

Mom and Dad in the 1940s Santa Monica CA.

Saint Patrick’s Day 2013.

My siblings and I headed down to the local Pickwick Irish pub for a great traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage. We drank until the well was closed to us. Then we all went home. I think dad would have appreciated this. He told me that often at funerals people always talk so ceremoniously about the deceased. They usually always would lie about how great a person was instead of how they really were, the real stories about how they really really were. So, this day at the pub was how my dad would have celebrated or grieved a dead friend or family member, by getting fucking drunk with his friends. As we sure Do-Wah Diddy did.

A bittersweet time.

The year 1942 Greer Garson was 31 when she hit it as an actress, a very mature time for a woman to make it big . I enjoy watching her films. I enjoy her strength, femininity, and intuitive strategic nature.  Watching Classic films is so comforting. The films are the same year after year but somehow change with time. It is a matter of perspective; a film viewed at 5 is understood differently at 55. It is movie magic and in times of grief and sorrow films bring comfort and friendship.

Today is such a day where the line –up of films accentuates the durability of eternal grief, the motifs and archetypes of life and films.

A long night of seeming madness and then with a couple of button pushes the classic films begin at late morning and without even eyeglasses or coffee. Three Coins in the Fountain, Notorious and Dial M for Murder will embrace me today. Now an awake child of the cosmos I find my eyeglasses, coffee and make cabbage salad with bacon, red peppers, avocado, jalapeño, and dill-rye bread.


Unfortunately, the real focus of this little dilly-dally of a transforming short story is about three things.

Two songs, my dad and death. He died on Saint Patrick’s Day.

It was a week ago today that he passed. A nurse from hospice, three siblings, and myself attended as classical music played in the background. Intense and with a call to my heart. I asked my brother to change the CD,

“Put on that CD you got for Dad a few years back for his birthday or was it Christmas!?”

It was the best of Frank Sinatra. We watched Dad move into the eternal and listened with a pleasant release and sad joy.  In a moment of time between the song The Young at Heart and Three Coins in a Fountain, dad left us. I imaged him dancing away with the spirit of our deceased mother or maybe Greer Garson.

In her youth mother looked similar to Greer Garson.

Several self-portraits…


I viewed a wonderful film last night on the Sundance Channel called Starting Out in the Evening last.   This is not a critical review of the film but a sharing of the themes that the film inspired out of my life.

It was a film about age differences, maturity and art.  It was about passion, greed and love. It is about a book that an author wrote when he was much younger, and a graduate student who falls in love with the man who wrote that book when he was that young man. It is about a picture of a young man and the real author who is now aged.

I think it is better to achieve fame and fortune later in life. For me it is a bummer for younger people to judge me by what I achieved when I was much younger. In the film this older author has moved on from the young man ideals of youth. Oh sure he talked about them and shared them with others. Yet, it was the here and now that was his real concern. I related to this completely.

We all get older and we often find ourselves in the mist of youngsters. Sometimes I do find it humorous to listen to the troubles of women in their 20s.  They look at me like I don’t  already know what they are experiencing. I am 54. I have had 11 lovers and my heart has been broken more than once. I have been independent, dependent: loved and hated. Nothing really shocks me anymore besides the way our culture sometimes treats children.

I think all of us, when we get past 50, should start to write our biographies and do a self-portrait before we die. (I say this laughing due to another reference to the film Flight Club) Starting Out in the Evening last clearly states that to reach maturity takes a  good deal of time and  life experience. Youth has its day but not for long and definitely not forever as in a picture, book, magazine or song.

I would love reading my mother’s, grandfather’s or my aunt’s biography now! Unfortunately they did not write one.  So I gather what I can from others and from what’s  left behind about their lives.

Not all of us will be accomplished authors… but to our loved ones we can become accomplished authors by writing our biographies for them. As I get older this is what’s most important to me…any fame or future is just a little pinch of the pleasure of sharing who I am with others, especially my loved ones.

Grasping and sharing the story of my life, for I  will someday die… sounds like fun too me!!

The picture above is me. I was 18 months old. I did not want to have my picture-portrait taken. I was nervous, scared and biting my fingers nails….

Frank Cotton: “demons to some… …angels to others”

The Cenobites are awesome and scary.

Their directive is simple and the same as the plot of the film which is to bring pleasure or pain. Frank wants both. He gets his pain and pleasure.

His desire and dark passion are truly clear.

The Cenobites are cold and as calculating as surgeons.

They hear the call to serve without emotion or desire and abide by a law foreign to their viewers.

“Jesus Wept” ~ Frank Cotton

“Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.”~ Carl Gustav Jung

Happy Halloween: An essay using the Third person.

“Frank Cotton: I thought I’d gone to the limits. I hadn’t. The Cenobites gave me an experience beyond limits… pain and pleasure, indivisible. ”

Hellraiser – 1987

Halloween time is mystical lights, shadow and darkness which now play with humanity. Death, pain and fear are presented now before us as our shadow.

The film Hellraiser brings this all to an audience. Yes, Halloween time is “Hellraiser” time. Cable, Netflix, or old TV re-runs. Clive Barker’s creation is a thrill to a generation of horror dorks. He creates a box that opens the world to hell. The Cenobites don’t see it this way.

Pinhead defines the Cenobites as, “demons to some… …angels to others.”

The film begins with the statement, “What is your pleasure?”  It pivots on Julia Cotton’s desire to be with her brother-in-law. It is because of her that Frank Cotton is resurrected, and the Cenobites are called back through a magical box.

Kristy Cotton is the heroine of this film. She hates her mother-in-law who desires her uncle Frank. He abused Kristy and so she summons the Cenobites to tear Frank’s soul back apart. Julia is killed by Frank.

This film is about blood, gore, and dead people. It was released in 1987 and is the building block for the over-saturated horror films of our current generation. More influential than Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Suspiria.

Hellraiser’s plot is about desire gone bad; so, people die and suffer because of this. This is due to the desire of one woman’s memory of a clandestine affair.

Dark feelings and unbelievable gory impressions dance throughout this film, and this is what haunts us. Julia and Kristy are in opposition to each other.

The cold shy personality of Julia is evident. Her conservative sexuality is ready to burst forth.

All the characters in the film notice this about her, even her husband is on a tight leash.

Kristy has a different projection. She looks androgynous and glows with a superimposed image of both Jesus & Krishna.