All posts by leekeeler

TWC: Brian Thompson

While acting ability is essential to any actor or actress having a long career in the ever-changing and increasingly dynamic world of film, having a particular look is perhaps even more important. I mean really, when we watch someone perform what is the first thing that we recognize? Is it their ability to transform into their character or is it how their actual look fits that character? It evens out a bit as the performance goes on but that initial reaction goes a long way for the audience to accept it and, more importantly, go along with it. For instance, it would be kind of tough to envision Nathan Lane as a serial killer because that just isn’t the type of look that he brings to the table. Robin Williams is a good example of an actor that faced this dilemma and still brought it home. It’s definitely possible to avert an audience’s expectations with a worthwhile performance, but most of the time it is just plain easier to cast a guy that looks like a serial killer to play a serial killer. On that note, not many actors look more like a serial killer than the man we’ll discuss today, Brian Thompson
Here he is while not performing, looking only slightly less serial killer-y…
Despite looking like he would eat your children, Thompson started his career in theater performing in various plays, musicals, and operas. He eventually got his Master’s of Fine Arts and started auditioning for film roles. In his first role he played one of the three punks (along with Bill Paxton) that the Terminator encounters after being sent back, and it was actually Thompson’s character whose clothes are stolen and Arnold wears for the rest of the movie. That’s a pretty awesome introduction to the Hollywood scene right there. It became immediately apparent that with his intimidating physique and look that Thompson could find consistent work.After being featured in a few television shows he landed one of his largest roles to date, as the psychopath antagonist in Sylvester Stallone’s action “film” Cobra. Thompson played The Night Stalker, a cult leader who kidnaps women and murders them with an axe or a fancy knife. He was probably the most memorable part of the movie besides Bridgette Nielson’s robot lust commercial and Stallone’s never-ending product placements. Really though, this was the role that has been getting him work ever since.Next up was The Three Amigos, where he played one of the German fancyboys that are a lot tougher than they initially seem, especially after they shoot up a full bar. I’m not even sure if he said a word but it still sticks out in my mind as one of his more memorable roles. Again it says a lot about how much an actor’s look and presence can present to an audience even if they don’t have a lot of dialogue to work with.He has been in a ton of stuff, usually either playing a main bad guy, a main bad guy’s lackey, or some other role that needs a huge scary dude. I suppose I have to bring up his disappointing role as Shao-Khan in the sequel to Mortal Kombat, the utterly terrible Annihilation. I’m not sure the blame for that one can be put on Thompson’s shoulders though as he seemed to be the only person in the entire production to actually want to make a real movie. God that movie sucks. It still doesn’t change the fact that this guy will always be one of the go-to guys if you need someone to scare the crap out of you by simply being there, and god bless him for that.-Kevin Merryman

CTM: Overtime – 4

With so much media in your face these days, it’s getting harder and harder to take things to the extreme. I remember a time when I used to get mad if somebody was texting while I talked to them. Now I take their temperature if they don’t ignore my conversation for their iPhone: “Are you feeling okay?” “Yeah, why?” “You weren’t being as insanely inconsiderate as you normally are.” Okay. So this one isn’t technically a sketch by The Overtime, and is a piece that was written by Geoffrey Golden after the group split off into their own projects. But it was done really, really close to when The Overtime was around, so it counts — kind of like how “My Sweet Lord” was more or less a Beatles song even though it was on a George Harrison solo record. C’mon, you guys know what I mean, don’t be jerks. Anyway, cheers to this Classy Troupe of the Month, you can see many of these gents doing comedy work around Los Angeles proper: John Ford has a group at iOWest called Get Sweaty, Asterios Kokkinos hosts the Frolic Show at the Far Bar in Little Tokyo twice a month, and Geoffrey Golden is the Editor-in-Chief of The Devastator Magazine while writing freelance comedy on the sly.

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Murder on Skull Drive, Episode 4

This particular episode of Murder on Skull Drive deals with the secrets that people keep, the kind of deep, dark fetishes that damn a man in the night and keep him grappling within the stench of his own shadows. And apparently those shadows smell like “a cat died in a bag of cinammon”.

Also, almost twenty of the rooms in your house should be a functioning TJ Maxx, and I hope to God they all play “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on their overhead speakers.

Nancy – Becca Flinn
Nigel Cornfellow – Dan Fulton
Roderick – Zak White
Narrator/Whiskers – Todd Spence
Written by Zak White
Recorded and engineered by Dan Fulton
Created by Zak White

episode4 by MurderOnSkullDrive

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CTM: Overtime – 3

If not for the editing choices alone, this sketch is inspirational because Asterios Kokkinos shoulda been on Mad TV a loooooong time ago, and the entire sketch is a metaphor for my childhood. This is pre-pogs, mind you, which is a term that I just made up and suddenly adore: pre-pogs. Say, what do you call psychic who loves snap bracelets? A pre-pog precog!

Clearly, I have a future at Laffy Taffy. And my mother is strangely okay with that.

No, seriously, snap bracelets are the devil and are responsible for more playground fights than gum, girls, or your mom. This epidemic can only be controlled by educating our youth and annoying the adults that are too far gone to know better. Just think of how many hands could be slapped away from reaching for some deadly and harmful vice: beer, gum, girls or your mom. Now think of those hands being chopped off by a neon band of sheet metal and you’ve got a movement on your hands! …Er, hand. Expect the re-release of the Empire Strikes Back Blu-Ray to have Vader taking care of his son in this much more caring and colorful manner. Hell, I’d buy it.

 

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CTM: Overtime – 2

Y’know, it’s been a pretty emotional weekend, what with the anniversary of the World Wildlife Fund and all. Those guys have not only saved countless helpless pandas in their habitats, but are responsible for the World Wrestling Federation (formerly known as the WWF) changing their entire name to World Wrestling Entertainment. I don’t think that its any small coincidence that a lot of character wrestlers stopped being as prevalent in professional wrestling after the WWE thing and we started getting jankass name-names like Chris Jericho and John Cena. Thanks a lot, pandas. This weekend was especially rough for me because I didn’t get to see guys with names like Jake the Snake, Koko B. Ware, and Big John Studd in my beef jerky ads between the footage of people dying. And that, my friends, is the true price of freedom.

Say, speaking of pandas…how would you guys feel about making a panda into a samurai? That works, right? Then I could get my WWF violent-nationalistic-stereotype fix and get something cuddly! Yes, it all makes sense now!

(if the sound isn’t working, click on the lower bar and view in “240p”)

 

 

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Murder on Skull Drive, Episode 3

You know, you can’t always follow your nose. Sometimes there’s a trail of blood to show you where to go, which is both good news and bad news at the same time. What I mean is, if you’re looking for somebody who is bleeding to death, you want to save them, which means you don’t want them to die. But sometimes that means a certain and possibly significant  amount of blood loss. Oh, Cornfellows. Our next installment of Murder on Skull Drive is a doozy and gives until it hurts. Take what you desire. Opium? That’s all mine. IT’S ALL MINE, DAMMIT.

 

Nancy – Becca Flinn
Nigel Cornfellow – Dan Fulton
Lawrence – Zak White
Narrator – Todd Spence
Written by Zak White
Recorded and engineered by Dan Fulton
Created by Zak White

episode3 by MurderOnSkullDrive

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CTM: Overtime – 1

Classy Keeler does office work and some writing for a magazine called The Devastator Quarterly out in Los Angeles, a spiffy comedy rag that features writers from The Onion, Comedy Central, National Lampoon, and more! Many of the authors in The Devastator are writers for various shows and websites, but once upon a time, three of these gents – Geoffrey Golden, Asterios Kokkinos and John  Ford – were members of a sketch comedy troupe called Overtime.

Overtime was a lot like us….they created their own videos, did live shows, and had writers for their blog – which is kind of cool, to see how far they have come since producing these videos together. Pitching TV shows is something the guys from Overtime have become used to by now, but even back in their Caveman Jesus days they were on top of their shit, making them our Classy Troupe of the Month. There’s another version of this video floating around from a later Golden/Kokkinos collaboration for The Atomic-Powered Millionaires, but we’re rather fond of the original. Enjoy.

 

 

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CTM: Dealership – 4

A friend of mine only recently saw John Carpenter’s The Thing for the first time, which is preposterous considering he works at a major movie studio. It’s been well-hyped before, so if you’re unawares with this masterpiece, it holds up against (and is perhaps better than) Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th while falling comfortably in the sci-fi/action genre as a comfy peer to Aliens 1&2 and Predator. We all agreed over yellow beer last night that it is Twelve Angry Men meets The Exorcist.

Anyway, to even attempt to remake, reboot, or prequel this film – considering the brutality of the analog special effects, the script being so damned concise, and the impeccable cast – is kind of a joke. If their 2012 monster looks sweet, then it’ll just look like something from Silent Hill, all CGI and shit. You gonna tell me you can grab the juice of Wilford Brimley swinging around a fire axe at Kurt Russell? Nah son, don’t think so.

Honestly, the best way to deal with The Thing is to recognize it as a classic and pay homage to it. That said, we will dearly miss Dealership, and are (for the first time ever) considering making them the first repeat Classy Troupe of the Month when their second season is posted online. Get to work, Barkley Automotive, we miss you already.

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Murder on Skull Drive, Episode 2

Hey, get off that freeway to the workweek why doncha and pull into our second installment of Murder on Skull Drive!  What better way to unwind from a stressful week at the office than to listen to blatant corporate pandering for Wendy’s and Taco Bell? No, we really do dip our fries in frosties around the Classy headquarters, but it makes for tough meetings around the office in terms of taste. What I mean is, we basically filter out and get rid of the tardmos who like the vanilla frosty flavor.

While the vanilla is not aesthetically a bad frostie, people are blind to the fact that it’s basically the worst form of Dairy Queen.  And Dairy Queen is like the mild STD of the ice cream world: you don’t really want it, but you’re willing to deal with it so you can just get something sweet for a bit.

Oh, an check out mention of an old man doing parkour, since “parkour” actually sounds like some sort of old-timey backgammon parlor game. Brills, man. Absolutely fuggin’ brills.

Nancy – Becca Flinn
Nigel Cornfellow – Dan Fulton
Roderick – Zak White
Narrator – Todd Spence
Written by Zak White
Recorded and engineered by Dan Gartner
Created by Zak White

episode2 by MurderOnSkullDrive