Monday, November 15, 2010

The Tour Part V - LA Day 2 (Mme Faust Takes Control)

Mes Amis

The thing with international travel is that it screws your body clock. So it seemed that no matter how tired I was the night before, this whole trip I was waking up early. And so it was that I awoke, more or less refreshed, in time for Madame Christa's "Ze Trains Vill Run On Time!" tour of LA. By now she was aware of my ludicrous penchant for getting lost and had determined that this would not happen in LA.

She was going to show me the town, and I was not going to get lost.

It was a challenge I was willing to accept.

Of course, to start easy, we headed into the hills where Christa immediately popped off a shot designed to mimic that great old B-Movie, Attack of the Fifty Foor Russel - yes this was taken mere feet from the Hollywood sign. Honest.

After this, we headed down to a bridge that look vaguely familiar. "A Bridge?" wondered your Scotsman until his host roared, "They're here already, you're next!" - -

Oh yes, we were on the bridge from the end of the original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS which showed that Christa had your Beardy Hero's B-Movie number stored. This was LA, all right. We were on the B-Movie trail this morning, and I was right on for that ride.

Here's me on that bridge:

And here's Christa, deciding not to warn people that they're already here, but instead pose for the camera...

After this, it was a pit stop at the Ed Wood Arms

Followed by a few shots outside the wonderful Alto Nido appartments from Sunset Blvd, and also one of the places where Elizabeth Short (The Black Dahlia) allegedly hung her hat for a short while.

But the next location blew my socks off:

Yes, it may look like a cave to you. But, my friends, in the 1960's Adam West used to drive a very cool car from the this very spot. Yes, we are looking at the batcave.

Which, on the other side, once housed a radish. Honestly. It Conquered The World, you know.

Except here's something more terrifying emerging from the cave - yes, Faust Conquered The World! Run for your lives!

Speaking of run for your lives, someone had created a creepy smiley face of rocks just outside the caves. And so, keeping an out for cannibals and such like, we beat a retreat back to civilisation.

An abortive attempt for lunch at Musso and Franks (its closed on Sundays, apparently) led to the world's biggest club sandwich just down to the road. Scarfing down said sandwich re-energised us for a Chandler tour of Hollywood.

We're not sure these are Marlowe's appartments, but the less-than-detailed map seemed to occasionally just say "sod it, we'll guess the location's here).

However, it was on the money for other locations including Marlowe's offices. So here's me pretending to be a real LA investigator.

The later afternoon found us up at Griffith Observatory where you can admire James Dean's head:

Or look out across the city. Provided its a smog-lite day, which it luckily was.

And here's a pic taken by some passing chap of me and Christa at the observatory. As you can see, by this point in the tour I've learned to hide my fear.

Following the observatory, we returned to HQ for "Bad Movie Night." Yes, Christa had revenge in store for the Krankies. And what revenge it was.

The evening started, without warning, with your beardy hero watching a public information film. Nothing wrong with that you might think, except it was the creepiest public information film ever made. And I was forced to sit through it in a clockwork orange style headpiece, with the eyes wide open. If you want to experience the horror, you can go here. But its not for the faint hearted and makes you wonder about just what the hell was going through their minds when they made this.

After this didn't kill me, I was rewarded with food. Chops, sausages, meat of all varieties and deep fried tater-tots in bacon fat.

But the piece-de-resistance came about after a few jokes about deep-drying and scotsmen from the previous evening.

Deep. Fried. Twinkies.

And (thanks to Christa's pal, Lili), Bacon. Ice. Cream.

Suffice to say, the Scotsman was made of hardy eating stock and proceeded to devour everything in sight. Heart attack be damned.

The evening continued with true bad movies. Including SHIP OF MONSTERS (which featured a mexican singing cowboy) STING OF DEATH (with special singing guest star Neil Sedaka - why can't I find a clip of the Jibba-Jabba Jellyfish?)

HERCULES IN NEW YORK, (Yup, Arnie dubbed as Hercules) and many more incuding MUTANT VAMPIRE ZOMBIES FROM THE HOOD which featured one of the evening's guests as a talking zombie pimp (don't even ask, just revel in the awesomness of that title...)

But the crowning glory of awfulness was... SUBURBAN SASQUATCH. A film clearly made from less than a buck. With the titular Sasquatch being a guy in a halloween gorilla suit with added breasts and (for no apparent reason) a large bit of fur swinging between his legs. Words cannot describe the absolute and terrible amateur natue of this production. The CGI (and I use the word in its loosest sense) blood and gunfire. The mumbling "acting". The man knocked out by a severed hand (thrown on camera by someone who clearly was last picked when it came to baseball teams in High School). Oh, this film would have broken lesser mortals. But your beardy hero has a love of truly awful movies, and this one came close to the worst he's ever seen.

And so, following this last and most terrible screening, your beardy hero retired for the evening. After all, it was an early start the next day for his last Official Tour stop before Bouchercon. Yes, he was off to the desert.... surely he couldn't get lost there?

Au revoir


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