Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tom Welling Shirtless, with evil limb

I just looked over my stats, and apparently "Tom Welling Shirtless" is the Number One Search that brings people to my site. It's not inaccurate: Tom Welling can in fact be found shirtless here, briefly. It seemed like an oddly circuitous route for folks to take, so I did a Google Image search, and discovered that my screenshot was the 27th picture to come up. I find this baffling, but that's Internet fame for ya.

However, if you do a Google Image search for Rock Dancer, one of my pics is the first to come up, so that's a claim to fame. Not too many people must be looking for one, though, and that's everything wrong with the world in a nutshell.

But now that you Tom Welling fans are here, let's talk about 1962's The Devil's Hand, which we drew more or less at random from a set of "Drive-In Classics," in a dangerous game of B-Movie Roulette. If you grew up on the psychedelia of the 1960s Batman, as I did, I can guarantee it'll be strange to see Commissioner Gordon as the head of a cult that worships the "Devil-God of Evil." Especially since his day job is running the creepy doll shoppe on the corner. Gary Oldman, sure ... but not mild-mannered Neil Hamilton.
After he helps a customer, the Commissioner goes down to his basement temple, and there's a drummer (obviously voodoo-inspired) standing by to immediately start the atmospheric beats.  It's as if we had someone hanging out all day in our break room at work, just in case someone popped in for a quick sacrifice. And wouldn't that be awesome? I wonder where that job would fall on the pay scale.

The crux of the film was a struggle over the dull leading man (Alan Alda's father!), who didn't seem worth fighting over by gals either Satanic or pure of heart, although I got a kick out of the fact that he barely tried to resist the temptation of the hot but stalkery blonde stranger who'd projected herself mentally into his dreams. When his first visit to her cult involved his oath to be faithful to the death, and witnessing another member's loyalty tested with the possibility of a gruesome impaling, at least they were refreshingly up-front about it all!

Really, the whole initiation was like an evil reversal of one of my all-time favorite movie moments, from Ed Wood, when the minister asks during a baptism, "Will you reject Satan and all his evils?" and Bill Murray languidly murmurs, "Sure."

One thing about this movie though: it provides an explanation for why cars in movies are always crashing and then blowing up! When the leader discovers that a reporter has infiltrated the group, he puts a pin through the man's voodoo doll, causing a heart attack that crashes his car. Then the cultist throws the doll onto the fire, and the car bursts into flames.

MythBusters be damned!

"Well, that explains it," I said.

The next night, when a car went off a cliff and then exploded in the course of The Crater Lake Monster, I was like, wow, someone had a voodoo doll for that guy, too!

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