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Judge Maurice Cobbs's Blog
• Location: Athens, GA
You sure showed those bastards, Mick...
"You've forgotten that I'm not a guy that takes any crap. Not from anybody. You've forgotten I've been in business because I stayed alive longer than some guys who didn't want me that way. You've forgotten that I've had some punks tougher than you'll ever be on the end of a gun and I pulled the trigger just to watch their expressions change." -- Mike Hammer, Vengeance is Mine
Mickey Spillane was not supposed to die.
But once again the real world, in all it's sordid disregard for what ought to be, wins out. I wish I could at least tell you that he died after blasting some Commie stooges to hell with a .45, or maybe giving some cheap hood a fist full of five in the mush.... but the larger-than-life Spillane died a rather ordinary and quiet death at home at the age of 88 (he'd been suffering from pancreatic cancer).
Mickey Spillane... I've got to raise a beer to him... having no Miller Light on hand, I hope he'll allow a Killian's Red...
Mickey Spillane... see, he knew how thugs ought to be treated, as he explains through his legendary creation, Mike Hammer, in what must surely be Spillane's masterpiece of violence and revenge, One Lonely Night:
"It's simple enough. Go after the big boys. Oh, don't arrest them, don't treat them to the dignity of the democratic process of courts and law... do the same thing to them that they'd do to you! Treat 'em to the unglorious taste of sudden death."
Hard-boiled doesn't begin to cover it. Hammer would eat Dirty Harry for breakfast and pick his teeth with Marv from Sin City. One of my favorite passages, from The Big Kill, shows how you treat a hoodlum:
"...I dragged out the .45 and let them look down the hole so they could see where death came from.
"It was the only kind of talk they knew... I snapped the side of the rod across his jaw and laid the flesh open to the bone. He dropped the sap and staggered into the big boy with a scream starting to come up out of his throat only to get it cut off in the middle as I pounded his teeth back into his mouth with the end of the barrel... He got so mad that he came at me with his head down and I took my own damn time about kicking him in the face. He smashed into the door and lay there bubbling. So I kicked him again and he stopped bubbling... The punk was vomiting on the floor, trying to claw his way under the sink. For laughs, I gave him a taste of his own sap on the back of his hand and felt the bones go into splinters. he wasn't going to be using any tools for a long time."
And he knew how to treat Communists, too:
"Damn their stinking hides anyway. Damn them and their philosophies! Death and destruction were the only things the Kremlin crowd was capable of. They knew the value of violence and death and used it over and over in a wild scheme to smash everything flat but their own kind.
"But there was one thing they didn't know. They didn't know how to handle it when it came back to them and exploded in their own faces... Death? I'd get them, every one, no matter how big or little, or wherever they were. I'd cut them down like so many grapes in ways that would scare the living crap out of them and those next in line for my kill would never know a second's peace until their heads went flying every which way.... Still, there had to be some indication that people were left who treat those Commie slobs like they liked to treat people."
That, from The Girl Hunters. What comes next is pretty gruesome... I won't tell you, but it involves a 20 penny nail and a ball-peen hammer. "Better than handcuffs," Hammer remarks, after his work is done.
Which is the appeal of Spillane's writing, aside from the raw energy and incredibly vibrant imagery. Not since Walter Gibson's The Shadow and Chester Gould's Dick Tracy had a character impressed me with such severe justice, the way justice ought to be dealt out -- sudden, cold, hard, and mercilessly. Right wing? Balls. This stuff went beyond right wing. This was the wrath of God dealt out through the barrel of a .45 -- hot lead standing in for lightning bolts. Frogs, snakes and water turning to blood was just a warm-up. Imagine the way the Ungodly (to use Simon Templar's favored expression) would quake in their boots if He'd REALLY sent a Mike Hammer to mete out justice... to treat the scum of the world exactly the way they like to treat decent folks... to be the uncompromising, unrelenting, vengeance from on high with a .45 in his mitt and a belly full of mad.
Naturally, the critics had no use for Spillane or his kill-crazy characters... but Spillane didn't give a damn. One creep mouthed off in a snide manner when he heard that, of the top ten bestselling books, seven of them were Spillane's. "You're lucky I didn't write three more," Spillane retorted.
Of course he would write three more, and a few others, besides, including some excellent (and award-winning) ones for children; and as far as I know, he's the only writer who's ever played his own creation in a movie -- and he did it well, in The Girl Hunters, out-of-print but available on DVD if you have the dough to spend on it. On the other hand, Ring of Fear, in which Spillane plays himself as he roots out a psychopath at the Clyde Beatty Circus, has just been released on DVD.
I gotta crack open another one. Here's to you, Mickey Spillane... None of those snooty bastards liked you, but you showed 'em all. Nobody even remembers who they were, now, but you they'll never forget.
I've got your boner right here...
In the most self-deprecating manner possible:
self-de·pre·ci·a·tion: n. -- Disparagement or undervaluation of oneself and one's abilities. (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
What a week I'm having -- and it's mostly good, for a change.
Well, mostly. I got a very angry (and also very funny) e-mail from my friend across the pond in England about "the unpleasantness". I may post it later, with her permission, because I think it is the ultimate, the perfect response to that sort of thing. Cheers, Anne!
But aside from that, mostly good. Starting with my dream job, after quitting the Evil Corporation in January (New Year's Resolution) and slogging through at a miserable and somewhat shady telemarketing job (inbound -- the suckers actually came to us!). Now I do work I've always enjoyed, with people I like, for good pay. Huh? I thought that such a job was the stuff of fairy tales and legend. But nope -- the rumors are true -- it can happen.
So after this rather frantic couple of weeks, things are starting to settle down. My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. everything's comin' up roses. I am content, God is in His or Her Heaven and all is right with the world.
Judge Maurice Cobbs' Top 100 Movie Lines List
100: "Inspector Clay is dead, murdered, and somebody's responsible." -- Detective, Plan 9 From Outer Space
99: "Let off some steam, Bennett." -- Matrix, Commando
98: "Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria." -- Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters
97: "Last night, Darth Vader came down from planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn't take Lorraine out that he'd melt my brain." -- George McFly, Back to the Future
96: "Oh, the gentleman from the South had a question about the dining arrangements. He and his comrades are discussing place settings now." -- Major John Reisman, The Dirty Dozen
95: "It doesn't matter how you play the game, it's whether you win or lose. And even that doesn't make all that much difference." -- Coach Finstock, Teen Wolf
94: "Every duck has his limit, and you scum have pushed me over the line!" -- Howard the Duck, Howard the Duck
93: "Nice tuxedo. Nice tuxedo to die in!" -- Head Pin Pal, Six-String Samurai
92: "There is no way, no way that you came from my loins. The first thing I'm gonna do when I get home is punch your momma in the mouth." -- Sheriff Buford T. Justice, Smokey and the Bandit
91: "Oh, l'amour, l'amour, how it can let you down." -- Countess DeLave, The Women
90: "In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any other subject quite so worthy of my attention." -- Waldo Lydecker, Laura
89: Helga Brandt: "I've got you now."
88: "Life's a bitch, and she's back in heat!" -- Nada, They Live
87: "Piss on you, I'm working for Mel Brooks!" -- Taggart, Blazing Saddles
86: "I've finally found someone I can love - a good, clean love... without utensils." -- Lt. Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun
85: "Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!" -- Louis Tully, Ghostbusters
84: "May I obey all your commands with equal pleasure, sire!" -- Robin Hood, The Adventures of Robin Hood
83: "Luck favors the prepared." -- Edna Mode, The Incredibles
82: "This is so bad it's gone past good and back to bad again." -- Enid, Ghost World
81: "Dr. Jones. Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away." -- Renee Belloq, Raiders of the Lost Ark
80: "That's one of the tragedies of this life - that the men who are most in need of a beating up are always enormous." -- John D. Hackensacker III, The Palm Beach Story
79: "Darling, remember, you are Gaston Monescu. You are a crook. I want you as a crook. I love you as a crook. I worship you as a crook. Steal, swindle, rob. Oh, but don't become one of those useless, good-for-nothing gigolos." -- Lily Vautier, Trouble In Paradise
78: "How big a chump can you get to be? I was finding out." -- Jeff Bailey, Out of the Past
77: "Isn't that just like a wop? Brings a knife to a gunfight." -- Jimmy Malone, The Untouchables
76: "Courage of the heart is very rare. The stone has a power when it's there." -- Nicodemus, The Secret of N.I.M.H.
75: "No. No, Shaughnessy was a jockey from Caliente. Five foot three. Once over the border, I went to a judge. I said, a woman wants a man, not a radiator cap! Divorce granted, fifty dollars." -- Anita Dixon, Hold Back the Dawn
74: "One last step. And then when I take power, they will be pulled down and ground into dirt for what they did to you. And what they did in so contemptuously underestimating me." -- Mrs. Iselin, The Manchurian Candidate
73: "She offered me free love. At the time, that was all I could afford." -- Alec Lemas, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold
72: "Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb!" -- Batman, Batman: The Movie
71: "Thanks for the tip. But when anything I wear doesn't please Stephen, I take it off." -- Crystal Allen, The Women
70: "You are a sad, strange, little man. You have my pity. Farewell. " -- Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story
69: "It is so difficult to make a neat job of killing people with whom one is not on friendly terms." -- Louis Mazzini, Kind Hearts and Coronets
68: "I admire you as a policeman, particularly your adherence to violence as a necessary adjunct to the job." -- Capt. Dudley Smith, L.A. Confidential
67: "Repeat after me: I am not a pleasure unit." -- Derek Flint, Our Man Flint
66: "God, how I hate the twentieth century." -- Gen. George S. Patton, Patton
65: "Just because I have no wish to murder you before the eyes of your daughter, does not mean parading her around in front of me is going to inspire sympathy. You and I have unfinished business. And not a goddamn f*****g thing you've done in the subsequent four years, including getting knocked up, is going to change that." -- The Bride, Kill Bill vol. 1
64: "You think I'm licked. You all think I'm licked. Well, I'm not licked, and I'm gonna stay right here and fight for this lost cause even if this room gets filled with lies like these, and the Taylors and all their armies come marching into this place." -- Jefferson Smith, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
63: "I am Godzilla! You are Japan!" -- Critical Bill, Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead
62: "So, eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb." -- Capt. Quint, Jaws
61: "Well, let's say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area. Based on this morning's reading, it would be a Twinkie thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds." -- Dr. Egon Spengler, Ghostbusters
60: "Dead or alive, you're coming with me." -- Robocop, Robocop
59: "You can't do this to me, I'm an American!" -- Marion Ravenwood, Raiders of the Lost Ark
58: "Laugh while you can, monkey-boy." -- Lord John Whorfin, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
57: "When your opponent's sittin' there holding all aces, there's only one thing left to do: Kick over the table." -- Little John, Robin and the Seven Hoods
56: "I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." -- John Bernard Books, The Shootist
55: "You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone! Now do you want to do that?" -- Jimmy Malone, The Untouchables
54: "Greetings, my friends. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future. " -- Criswell, Plan 9 From Outer Space
53: "You have a wonderful sense of humor. I wish I had a sense of humor, but I can never think of the right thing to say until everybody's gone home." Irene Bullock, My Man Godfrey
52: "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- Nada, They Live
51: "Go, you Huskies!" -- Various characters, State and Main
50: "Let's shoot this f****r!" -- Bela Lugosi, Ed Wood
49: "Your mother's in here with us, Karras. Would you like to leave a message? I'll see that she gets it." -- Reagan MacNeil, The Exorcist
48: "Well, that's the kind of a hairpin I am." -- Biff Grimes, The Strawberry Blonde
47: "You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia,' but only slightly less well-known is this: 'Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!'" --Vizzini, The Princess Bride
46: "Nothing like a good piece of hickory!" -- Preacher, Pale Rider
45: "Come back to me." -- Elise McKenna, Somewhere In Time
44: "I don't believe in the 'no-win' scenario." -- Capt. James T. Kirk, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
43: "I don't use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom." -- Waldo Lydecker, Laura
42: "Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." -- Bennett Marco, The Manchurian Candidate
41: "I've got a bad feeling about this." -- Various characters, Star Wars Saga
40: "If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious s**t.: -- Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown, Back to the Future
39: "Killin' generals could get to be a habit with me." -- Joseph T. Wladislaw, The Dirty Dozen
38: "You don't seem to want to accept the fact you're dealing with an expert in guerrilla warfare -- with a man who's the best, with guns, with knives, with his bare hands. A man who's been trained to ignore pain, ignore weather, to live off the land, to eat things that would make a billy goat puke. In Vietnam his job was to dispose of enemy personnel. To kill! Period!" -- Col. Trautman, First Blood
37: "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage." -- Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark
36: "I'm gonna barbecue your ass in molasses!" -- Sheriff Buford T. Justice, Smokey and the Bandit
35: "Who's scruffy-looking?" -- Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back
34: "I ain't never seen nobody from Texas I couldn't shade." -- Rooster Cogburn, True Grit
33: "Now, for some of you it doesn't matter. You were born rich and your going to stay rich. But here's my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can't buy backbone. Don't let them forget it." -- Herman Blume, Rushmore
32: "You should be kissed - and often, and by someone who knows how." -- Rhett Butler, Gone With the Wind
31: "Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. And you may quote me." -- Elwood P. Dowd, Harvey
30: "I never met anyone who made being a son of a bitch such a point of pride." -- Verna, Miller's Crossing
29: "All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people." -- Alexander Bullock, My Man Godfrey
28: "Why don't you stop being a mummy for a few minutes and come to life? Of course, there's nothing wrong with being a mummy if you had any fun getting that way." -- Marion Kerby, Topper
27: "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" -- Auntie Mame, Auntie Mame
26: "You have no idea what a long-legged woman can do without doing anything." -- Gerry Jeffers, The Palm Beach Story
25: "There's a name for you ladies, but it isn't used in high society, outside of a kennel." -- Crystal allen, The Women
24: "Your general appearance is not distasteful." -- Ninotchka, Ninotchka
23: "Professional assassination. It's the highest form of public service." -- Chiun, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins
22: "Tip, tip, tip, tip, tip." -- Animala, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
21: ""Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did." -- Rufus T. Firefly, Duck Soup
20: "Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country." -- Gen. George S. Patton, Patton
19: "You like money. You've got a great big dollar sign there where most women have a heart." -- Johnny Clay, The Killing
18: "I'd hate to take a bite out of you. You're a cookie full of arsenic." - J.J. Hunsecker, Sweet Smell of Success
17: "As God is my witness, as God is my witness, they're not going to lick me! I'm going to live through this, and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again - no, nor any of my folks! If I have to lie, steal, cheat, or kill! As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again." -- Scarlett O'Hara, Gone With the Wind
16: "Klaatu barada nikto." -- Klaatu, The Day The Earth Stood Still
15: "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women." -- Conan, Conan the Barbarian
14: "Get your stinkin' paws off me, you damn dirty ape!" -- George Taylor, Planet of the Apes
13: "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses." -- Elwood Blues, The Blues Brothers
12: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!" -- Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
11: "I know." -- Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back
10: "This is my boomstick!" -- Ash, Army of Darkness
9: "I don't know. I'm making this up as I go." -- Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark
8: "Even if one's head were to be suddenly cut off, he should be able to do one more action with certainty. With martial valor, if one becomes like a revengeful ghost and shows great determination, though his head is cut off, he should not die." -- Ghost Dog, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
7: "Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it." -- Elwood P. Dowd, Harvey
6: "Choose your next witticism carefully, Mr. Bond. It may be your last." -- Auric Goldfinger, Goldfinger
5: "Son of Jor-El... Kneel before Zod!" -- General Zod, Superman II
4: "Gozer the Gozerian? Good evening. As a duly designated representative of the City, County and State of New York, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension." -- Dr. Ray Stantz, Ghostbusters
3: "Apology accepted, Captain Needa." -- Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back
2: "The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood. Shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend's face -- you'll know what to do." -- Gen. George S. Patton, Patton
1: "You see? You see? Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!" -- Eros, Plan 9 From Outer Space
Funny... Very Funny...
...is really skanky. Seriously. The woman looks horrible. Like somebody stuck two water balloons on an erector set. Is there anyone who finds this creature even remotely attractive? Because I gotta tell you, she tests my gag reflex every time I see her.
Granted, she's not as skanky as Paris Hilton -- Paris Hilton is the apex of skanky, the top, the very embodiment of skanky trashy slutbag. And Britney Spears is still pretty young, so she has yet to reach her true skank potential. But Jessica Simpson... yeesh.
I seem to remember that it was in vogue to not look skanky. Back in the days of Norma Shearer and Barbara Stanwyck, or even in the days of Raquel Welch and Erin Gray (who is still a smokin' hot babe), it seemed to me that the idea was to not look like a skank. Movie stars like those had stuff Paris and Jessica could never dream of having, like hips. And personality. Back in those days, people who looked like Jessica Simpson were relegated to the run-down backwoods trailer parks that were their natural habitats.
Enough with Jessica Simpson. Enough Paris, enough Britney. Seriously.
Catching up -- ROTS Opening Night Photos
Ah, what a busy few weeks... but now it's time to do some catching up, starting with month-old pictures from the Revenge Of The Sith opening...
What a fun bunch of people... just slightly kooky, which is how I like my people, and there's always a sense of comraderie at these things... everybody's a friend. After all, we all came for essentially the same reason -- to have fun and enjoy the thrill of pure escapism -- and the smiles and conversations and laughs before the show were equaled only by the raw enthusiasm and enjoyment of the crowd during the movie...
Really, being there that night reminded me of why I love the movies so much... part of it has to be the experience of seeing a movie with people you've never met before and probably will never see again, but for that two hours or so, you've all got something in common... you're all along for the same ride...
Plus, EVERYBODY had a lightsaber... except that one guy...
All in all, it was a fun experience... even the people who were leaving other movies and weren't staying for the show joined in the fun and the spectacle of it all...
Jack Webb Film Festival!
I was sitting in my secret hidden sanctum, in my smoking jacket and slippers, reading Give War A Chance and listening to my Romantic Reflections by Jack Webb album, when it occurred to me that we need more Jack Webb on DVD. With the impending release of the 60's Dragnet on DVD (can we hope that the 1954 and 1966 movie versions are soon to come?), my mind began to wander towards that shining utopia that the world would be if Jack Webb were properly represented on DVD with these essential J. W. movies:
Although not a starring role for our loveable Jack, this is nevertheless a decent crime thriller. Arthur Winant is a grade-A pigeon, and it doesn't take Danny Haley and his pals long to figure that out. So the fleece the sucker in a series of rigged poker games to the tune of five large -- money that doesn't belong to the hapless Arthur, who promptly hangs himself. No skin off Haley's teeth... until Winant's mysterious big brother shows up on the scene. Suddenly, the dark city is a very dangerous place for Haley and his cronies...
Appointment with Danger
Jack Webb and Harry Morgan on the wrong side of the law? That's the way it is, True Believer! Alan Ladd stars as Al Goddard, the most bad-ass postal inspector in the history of the U.S. Postal Service, on a mission to smash up a band of murdering train robbers, including the vicious Webb (who beats Morgan to death at one point in the film). Yowza!
Pete Kelly's Blues
One of my all-time favorite Jack Webb movies. Webb is poker-faced 1920's jazzman Pete Kelly in one of the most gritty and hard-boiled films about the Jazz Age I've ever seen. The cast is as good as it can possibly get for the material: Lee Marvin is one of Kelly's sidemen, a gentle man who doesn't like the rough stuff; Andy Devine is wonderfully cast against type as a brutal, corrupt cop; Edmund O'Brien is gangster Fran McCarg, who beats his alcoholic saloon singer moll Rose (Peggy Lee) into an insane asylum; and Janet Leigh is Pete's love interest. Also featuring Ella Fitzgerald, Martin Milner, and Jayne Mansfield. A must see for anyone who loves a good gritty noir drama -- in Cinemascope.
Another of my all-time Webb favorites. This time, Jack is T/Sgt. Jim Moore, who's twice as tough as a boiled owl and meaner than diarrhea. But he can't seem to get Pvt. Owens (Don Dubbins) to shape up. Still, Sgt. Moore is determined to make a Marine out of the boy -- because he's convinced that "there's a man underneath that baby powder." But Capt. Anderson is fed up with the screw-up: he's giving Moore just three days to whip Owens into shape!
The Commies Are Coming! The Commies Are Coming!
I can't even... nothing I could say would do this movie justice. When Jerry Donovan wakes up one morning, he finds that all the precious freedoms he's taken for granted are gone -- because the Communists have taken over the country! This is a movie that really, really needs to find its way to DVD. That's all. Highly reccommended.
Today's the Indy 500
See, you thought they only really existed in James Bond movies...
Good luck, Danica!
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