Sold on “The Selling”

Hot Nerd Girl and "The Selling"

Between studying theatre and living in LA, I know a few people in that crazy little business of making motion pictures. Every once in a while I get treated to a preview of a film before it premiers. My favorites are the independent ones like Milk and Teary Sockets that are dark, quirky, and downright entertaining to watch.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced screener of a new independent horror comedy called The Selling set to premier this Friday at the San Francisco International Film Festival. (MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!)

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1A2kT1rsuA]

The Selling is the brainchild of Gabriel Diani, a fellow San Francisco State University alumni (we’ve never met) who wrote, produced and starred in the film.  It’s directed by Emily Lou, also a San Francisco State University alumni (we’ve never met either) in her feature film directorial debut.

Y’all know I heart me some horror comedy.  The Evil Dead series is quite possibly my very favorite campy horror film franchise of all time…in fact, I know it is and despite my fear of zombies, I allowed you guys to convince me to watch Zombieland this past weekend.  (Granted, I was still scared and still had nightmares BUT at least the nightmares were sort of funny this time.)

Anyhooters, enough about me and my weirdness, I’m actually super excited to tell you about The Selling and I sincerely hope that you all manage to get your hands on a copy of it.  First off, the animated opening credits are a great teaser and something totally unexpected.  They made me chuckle more than once and how often can you say that about what is essentially a roll call?

The film centers around Richard Scarry (you know, like the children’s book author) and Dave Ross, two real estate agents trying to make some quick cash by flipping a house sold to them by their beautiful but bitchy coworker Mary Best.  They very quickly discover that the house is haunted by 12 ghosts that aren’t exactly keen on having roommates (I can sympathize).

Gabriel Diani as Richard Scarry in "The Selling"

Gabriel Diani as Richard Scarry in "The Selling"

Much of the cast will likely look familiar to you.  That’s because many of them have been featured in one or more TV shows or movies that you’ve seen. Gabriel Diani is adorable as the protagonist Richard.  He brings a genuine sweetness to his character.  He can be a bit of a pushover but at least he’s aware of it while it’s happening.  He’s at his best when he’s showing the house to potential buyers after he’s accepted the presence of the ghosts inhabiting it.

Jonathan Klein plays Dave, the best friend who gets them in this mess in the first place.  Once the ghosts reveal themselves he refuses to go inside again until the climax.  He displays excellent comedic timing and reacts to situations in ways that most people would…but in funnier ways…if that makes sense.  Janet Varney looks like a much prettier, much blonder version of Fairuza Balk.  I’m sure she’s a very nice person in real life but in this movie she takes her role as self-serving mega bitch Mary Best quite seriously and I found her to be the most interesting character in the film.

Haunted closet from "The Selling"

That closet seems to be very spacious....

Etta Devine (if that is her real name then she seriously has some of the coolest parents ever) is quirky and cute as Ginger Sparks (ok, seriously, how did she get the best names both in real life AND in the movie??) a ghost habitat preservationist who attempts to help Richard and Dave…mostly Richard…by making out with him…not that I can blame her.  I relate to her because I can be a weepy, horny drunk as well.

Nancy Lenehan plays Richard’s Mom and she’s probably my favorite character in the whole movie.  Without giving too much away, there is a scene in the hospital between her and Richard that literally had me LMAO.  The person you can’t help but recognize is Brad Majors himself, Mr. Barry Bostwick.  He plays the Catholic priest, a staple in any movie featuring exorcisms.  Father Jimmy doesn’t carry his holy water in ounces, nope, he brings a liter of the stuff.  What he does, he does big.

Oh, and Buffy fans, recognize the guy at the beginning of the trailer who’s interested in buying the house?  Yep, that’s Harry “Mayor of Sunnydale” Groener.

Emily Lou is a talented upcoming director.  The way she frames her shots is fun and fantastical.  At times it seems as though she simply set the camera on the floor and let it work its magic.  Other times she chooses unique and unexpected angles that are surprising in their creativity.

Exorcism in "the Selling"For an indie film the special effects are pretty amazing, especially when it comes to the ghosts.  Many of the scares are intentionally predictable (closing the medicine cabinet and seeing a ghosts reflection) and aid in the film’s comedy; however, I found myself genuinely scared a couple of times, something that doesn’t usually happen with me during ghost movies (afraid of zombies, remember?)

I keep finding myself wanting to talk about plot points because there were so many that I found amusing but I’m trying to be very careful not to give away the movie.  The hardest part is refraining from giving away some of the best lines in the film (and yes, I actually wrote them down).  All I’ll say is that I’m totally stealing the “Sizzler voice.”

holding poster imageIf you’ve ever been to the movies with me you know that I stay and sit through the credits.  There are two reasons for this.  The first reason is that my stepdad is a Foley Artist and I was taught that everyone who works on a movie deserves to be recognized for their hard work.  Their faces may not be seen but their names should be.  The second reason is that there are often little snippets during or at the end of the credits that are worth waiting for.  Sadly, I’m often the only person who sees them.  If you get an opportunity to view The Selling you’ll want to stick around for the ending credits which are HI-larious.  My favorite part?  When Dave tries to open and eat potato chips in a completely silent hospital room.  We have all been there and Ginger’s reaction to his munching is classic.

Sizzzzzzzler!

Four out of Five Sci-Five's

Four out of five Sci-Fives!

Attack of the Top 10 Sci-Fi Mustache’s

Hot Nerd Girl Mustache

There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to decide whether or not he wants to sport some facial hair.  Trends have come and gone but one style remains a classic.

The mustache.

Some men prefer a classic lady tickler, others are more creatively inclined.  The 80’s sparked what I like to call the “pornstache.”  Heck, all four of my male parental units have maintained a crumb catcher at some point.

dad's with visors picture frameIn honor of great mustachioed men, here is my list of the Top 10 ‘staches of Sci-Fi:

10. Guy Fleegman – Galaxy Quest

galaxy-quest-guy-fleegman-1

"Who looks like a tool? I look like a tool. ALL RIGHT!"

We’ll start with the spoof, shall we?  Poor Guy, he had a bit part in his favorite sci-fi show and therefore became convinced he was doomed to die a redshirts death after he follows the crew aboard the Thermian’s NSEA Protector in an attempt to defeat the evil alien warlord Sarris.  Instead, he helps save the day and becomes Security Chief “Roc” Ingersoll.  See what a mustache will do for you kids?  It’s like MAGIC.

9. ZedZardoz

zardoz & borat

There are no coincidences.....

Sporting a red monokini and a fu manchu, Sean Connery tests the waters of science fiction with a confusing plotline and a trusty revolver.  Supposedly Zed is the perfect man, the result of eugenics experiments (he could pass for Khan’s brother, yah?) created to save mankind.  His inspiration?  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  No shit.  Don’t get it yet?  The God is named Zardoz as in WiZARD of OZ.  Yup, pretty much.  The best part about Zardoz is what he teaches: “The gun is good. The penis is evil. The penis shoots seeds, and makes new life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was, but the gun shoots death, and purifies the Earth of the filth of brutals. Go forth . . . and kill!” Seriously, you can’t make this shit up.

8. Admiral Adama Battlestar Galactica

Edward James Olmos Battlestar MustacheNormally Bill would be higher up in the list of anything and everything but since he only rocked his mustache when Laura Roslin wasn’t there to see it (aka about 3 episodes), he’s back at #8.  While his people were slowly migrating to New Caprica and his kid was busy getting fat in the face (but not really anywhere else which was really weird), Bill decided that the best way to alleviate his boredom would be to grow a mustache.  If my mission in life were suddenly gone, I’d be tempted to grow one too.  As soon as life got back to it’s scary, running from the toasters, normal self, the mustache came off and everyone (and I mean everyone) went back to the look they were sporting a year prior.  I think it was their little way of saying “Fuck you New Caprica, we never liked you anyway.”

7. Lt. Hiram CoffeyThe Abyss

CoffeyWhy do the movies always make Navy SEALS look like jackasses?  I’ve known a few Navy SEALS in my life (including one that was smaller than me and, no joke, sported a mustache) and let me tell you, you have to be a smart and focused son of a bitch to make it in their ranks.  Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now.  Lt. Coffey is a Hollywood Navy SEAL trigger-happy jackass who dies trying to kill something (NTI’s) that he doesn’t understand with a warhead despite the fact that everyone around him is telling him to calm the fuck down.  His one redeeming quality?  A kick ass ‘stache.

6. Prince Barin Flash Gordon & Neville SinclairThe Rocketeer

licence-to-kill-mustache

Totally not photoshopped....

Hot damn Timothy Dalton, you really love your fanny duster, don’t you?  Timmy gets a double mention for these two beauties.

dalton_barinI’ll start with Flash Gordon.  I’m not gonna lie, I heart me some Queen and they did most of the soundtrack for this 1980’s film starring former Marine and Playgirl centerfold Sam J. Jones as a football player who gets rocket propelled into space and has to deal with alien drama in order to save Earth.  Like typical boys, Flash and Prince Barin have to fight each other before they realize that they can get more done if they team up.  Boys are so dumb sometimes.  They git-r-done and Timmy is made King.  Yay!

sinclairIn The Rocketeer Timmy switches sides and plays the bad guy.  Neville Sinclair is a dashing actor who just happens to be a Nazi spy.  Sporting a much more stylish mustache than his fuehrer, Neville meets his end after escaping a burning Zeppelin on a stolen rocket, and then crashing into the last four letters of the Hollywoodland sign (you always wondered what happened to those last four letters, didn’t you?)  The source of his demise?  Chewing gum, of course.  Take THAT you Nazi bastard!

5. Wikus District 9

wikus from district 9

"Excuse me, but do I have something in my eye?"

With a name like Sharlto Copley, you don’t even need a mustache to be cool.  But it can’t hurt.  Poor Wikus van de Merwe.  All he wants to do is impress his Father-in-Law.  Instead he gets alien jib sprayed in his face and loses that glorious mustache as he slowly mutates into a prawn.  At least he learns how to make flowers out of scrap metal.  Always looking on the bright side Wikus, it’s what I like about you.  That and your weird South African accent that isn’t quite British and isn’t quite Australian.

4. Wellington YuehDune

Yuah (Dean Stockwell) from DuneDean Stockwell is a personal favorite of mine having starred in Dune, Quantum Leap, and Battlestar Galactica.  For Dune he whipped out his trusty magic marker and drew on a rockin’ mustache.  Just for good measure, he threw in a spiffy red dot right smack in the middle of his forehead.  Yueh is a Suk doctor who has been trained to obey some kind of crazy futuristic Hippocratic Oath.  That is, until his wife gets kidnapped and he throws all of that right out the window, betraying and ultimately destroying his patron.  He sort of redeems himself in the end but it’s too little too late.

3. Shepherd BookFirefly

Shepard Book (Ron Glass) from FireflySome people have issues with Book’s hair while it’s in its natural, gloriously poufy state.  However, I’ve yet to hear one complaint about his mustache.  Why?  Because it’s awesome and even River can’t deny that fact.  I have no idea if the tea strainer is required by his religious order or not but I’m pretty sure it could help even the most hardened prostitute find religion.  Don’t believe me?  Watch “Heart of Gold” and ignore the fact that a madman with a battery-operated ray gun is coming after them.  Told you so.

2. Lando Calrissian Star Wars

Lando-CalrissianOk, so totally bizarro, but every time I think of Lando Calrissian I think of the song “Rico Suave.”  Seriously. What. The. Fuck.  I know it’s not rational and yet it happens every time.  I think I need electroshock therapy or something.  I’m just going to point to this definition of suave over at Urban Dictionary and be done with it.  Anyhooters…back to Lando aka friend/traitor/friend to Han Solo.  Don’t judge his actions until you’ve got Darth Vader all up in your shiznit.  For all we know, Boba Fett threatened to shave off his epic mustache.  That, my friends, would have been a tragic facial hair FAIL.

1. Montgomery Scott – Star Trek

Scotty nice mustache!

Scotty may not have grown out his nose neighbor until later than life but he still gets the top spot on my list.  Why, you ask?  Because it’s my God damn list.  And because, above all else, I heart Star Trek and because Jimmy Doohan was arguably the most talented actor in the entire cast.  He was the source of many voices, many characterizations, and was even the original inventor of both the Vulcan and Klingon languages.  He’s also the only person on this list whose ashes have been shot into space…actually I think he’s the only one who has died…but whatever, the point is, he has earned his spot at #1.  And he rules.

Scotty mean mustache! GRRRRRR!!!!!