AUGUST’S DEADBEAT OF THE MONTH: SGT. DRAKE SAVAGE.

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A year-long chronicle of deadbeats wouldn’t be legitimate without Gary Busey joining the ranks. The hardest part about this is of course choosing which Gary Busey character would be best. From loudmouth alcoholics to corrupt military officers dressing in drag, Busey has conquered it all. One could even argue that the real Gary Busey be nominated. With all due respect to the man, his off-screen antics coupled with his massive horse teeth could justify.

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This month we venture into seldom-discussed territory and awarded the one and only Sergeant Drake Savage for August’s DEADBEAT-OF-THE-MONTH.

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*Just want to remind readers that choosing Deadbeats isn’t as easy as pointing at the “bad guy” or villain of a movie. Deadbeats fall into a completely separate category. These aren’t the guys you find going against cops or seeking world domination. Sometimes they fly under the radar from being rejected so often in life. Others are loud and obnoxious. But make no mistake, they all ooze with sleaze. You wouldn’t want them coming over for your Labor Day BBQ and certainly wouldn’t want them going anywhere near your teenage daughter. They have no filter and refuse to commit to society’s ways. They have low I.Q.’s and are drunk most of the time.   

OK, just wanted to clear that up. Back to the matter at hand…

The correct spelling of his last name is Sabitch but whenever I watch Black Sheep I hear SAVAGE, so that’s what I’ll keep calling him. Anyways this psychotic Vietnam vet lives off the grid in a school bus parked in the middle of the woods. He’s a loner. A paranoid hermit that doesn’t believe the war is over. Surrounding his school bus is a survival compound with trip-wires, land mines and other booby traps set up to keep “enemies” away. One of those enemies Savage makes early in the film is the wormy Steve Dodds. When he finds Dodds slithering around his perimeter trying to get his rental car back, he scares him and sends a spray of bullets to his Buick. While Dodds remains scared shitless of Savage, his campaign partner Mike Donnelly ends up befriending him and asks him if he likes Bruce Lee movies to which Savage replies “I got every one of em’ on laserdisc.”

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Savage becomes a somewhat of a hero at the end of the movie when he jumps on stage at a public campaign event to help with the Donnelly vote and threatens the audience with a bazooka. He calls a few people some names, delivers a gruesome war-story about his grandad and then hoists Mike Donnelly up on his shoulders. Maybe Sgt. Drake Savage wasn’t the best choice for DEADBEAT-OF-THE-MONTH. He redeemed himself in the end and helped the right candidate win as governor of Washington. In any event, I had to include him somewhere in The Land of TNUC, so here he will remain.

Other quotable Deadbeat-isms:

“I could go over to your Mama’s and start a small fire in her panties.”

“I can splatter your cortex or I can explode your heart. Which sounds quicker to you?”

“Hold your tongue, wench.”

[NOTE: DEADBEAT-OF-THE-MONTH is an ongoing saga giving thanks and praise to a chosen deadbeat character each month. To see the rest of em', go here]

JUST ANOTHER WET-HOT-TNUC-SUMMER.

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It looks to me like some people are jumping the gun and already talking about Halloween. Without a doubt it’s the most wonderful time of the year…but as far as I can see, it’s only AUGUST. That balmy offshore breeze coming through the window of my Buick Grand National is clear evidence that summer is still here. Also that sun-kissed longbutt twinkling in the summer sun in my backyard is an even clearer indication to throw the harness on and enjoy the season while we can. In an effort to keep summer alive and not burst my Fall-time cherry too soon, here are TNUC’s current top (5) WET-HOT-TNUC-SUMMER jams:

 #1 Michael McDonald – No Lookin’ Back

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For many of us the dreaded three words ‘Back to School’ are inescapable during this time of year. Growing up all I ever wanted to do was tear down or light fire to every BTS slogan I saw in sight. It’s such a kick to the crotch to anyone who’s avoiding the thought of a classroom and trying to enjoy their final days of summer break. Just look at the expression on Mikey’s face for a moment. Is that the look of a kid that wants to sit at a musty desk all day? Shit no. Grab your shades, toss your headgear in the trash and crank up this overlooked gem from Michael McDonald. [Free download on the player]

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#2 Goldroom – Till Sunrise

Couldn’t afford a cabin on TNUC’s 6th annual ‘Boob Cruise’ this year? Don’t fret, just let Goldroom be your guide to the ultimate relaxation-vacation of your mind. His newest dreamy slice of wonder is called ‘Till Sunrise’ and features vocals by Mammals. Josh (Goldroom) never stops providing music that makes me want to lay under the artificial UVs in my sunbed and drift somewhere far, far away. Buy it for a buck here.

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#3 Late Nite Tuff Guy – Bless the Rains 

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I always thought Toto’s ‘Africa’ was an OK song at best until Late Night Tuff Guy edited the track into this 10-minute, swirling journey. He uses the best parts of the song to create a build-up that will have you aching to hear that famous line in the chorus like you never imagined. The end result is very satisfying and proves that once in a while edits/remixes really do breathe life into some of these old, dusty classics. Buy the 12″ here / Digital here.

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#4 Max Essa – Peninsular
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These soothings sounds remind me of summer mornings in 1987 when I trained at a temple high up in the Himalayas. One of the vigorous exercises was hiking up to the peak of Mt. Shishapangma, which translates to “Crest above the grassy plains”. At the very top of the mountain sat a massive glowing stone that I’d meditate on and search for inner wisdom in preparation for starting this Land of TNUC. All that’s missing in the song are shrieking hawk and soaring eagle sounds. Buy the 12″ here.

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#5 Benjamin Orr – Skyline

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This is a really special one. Uncle T saved it for the #5 slot not because it lacks something that the others have, but because it should be listened to last and with a different appreciation. I can’t help but go into an immediate state of euphoria when I hear the ultra-polished bells & whistles in this song. It’s as easy on the ears just as gazing out at the summer skyline from your red T-Top convertible is easy on the eyes. The track is also ridiculously fit for a day cruise on the harbour (thanks Room 8!) [Free Download on the player]

We lost a massively talented individual when Benjamin Orr passed away in 2000. I can only imagine what other incredible music the guy would have continued to deliver on his own and with The Cars.

UNSOLVED MYSTERIES [VOL 2]: JULIUS BENEDICT’S MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

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Lasting less than 2 minutes in 1988’s comedic masterpiece Twins, we’re given an introduction to the island where Julius Benedict was raised, trained and schooled before he would leave to Los Angeles to locate his long-lost twin brother, Vincent. During this brief encounter we get a look at the island’s pristine, scenic beauty and everyone cloaked in all-white clothing. Then Julius rushes away in an inflatable dinghy for a 25 mile trek and we never hear about the island again. For the most part Twins is a feel-good flick with positive intentions…except during these moments. There’s a feeling of uneasiness that sets in after the scene and sometimes I have a hard time concentrating on the remainder of the movie. Something dark and twisted surrounds this island that the storytellers are keeping from us. Something shrouded in mystery that forces me to hit the pause button and stare blankly at my TV like this:

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Julius Benedict came into this world already very strangely. He was the product of a top-secret scientific experiment designed to create a physically, mentally and spiritually advanced human being. He also had six fathers. In addition to all of that, there’s a forgotten twin brother living in California that he’s never met (who measures 4 foot 2 inches or something). Still, these oddities are explained during the course of the movie. The unknown, “cult” paradise is not.

He grew up with the parental guidance of a Professor Werner, who apparently brought Julius to the island to help him with “research”. So he waits until Julius is 35 years old and then tells him about the existence of his brother. The Professor also narrates during these scenes, talking about Julian and saying creepy things like “he wasn’t equipped to deal with the outside world” and how Julius “was pure in body and spirit”. He also makes him wear tiny white shorts while walking around in his bio-dome.

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Aside from a few other various views of the island and a 1-second scene of Julius doing some karate with a wise old sensei, that’s all the information we get. Oh, and this extreme-close-up of a room in the Professor’s home featuring some finely polished weight equipment, a book on HEALTH and several stacks of literature:

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Maybe I’m reading into this just a bit much, but the place just feels uncomfortably cultish. From the Professor’s overall demeanor to the perfection of everything in sight, it rubs me the wrong way. But we’ll probably never uncover the truth.

The flip-side to this coin is that maybe the island was a genetic breeding ground for muscled-up, explosive action dudes that look like Julius Benedict. Perhaps in some cut storyline there was a secret plan about a team of scientists generating the perfect specimen for a blockbuster action flick on this very island . An ideal, undisclosed region of the South Pacific serving as a emergency plan in the event that in the “future” we experience a drought of action heroes. Oh wait…that’s today! An island like this would be totally useful during today’s severe lack of new and up & coming bad ass dudes of cinema.

This 2nd edition of TNUC’s Unsolved Mysteries has no leads. No further information. No update music. Once Julius lands in Los Angeles he meets his dwarf brother, beats some people up, has implied sex with Marnie on the motel room floor and never looks back!

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                                     [Be sure to read Vol. 1 of our Unsolved Mysteries feature here!]

PIZZA HUT’S BIGFOOT BLIMP ACCIDENT.

All summer long I’ve harboured these mysterious feelings of neglect but I finally figured out why. In the midst of our Independence Day celebrations we forgot that July 4th was also the 21st anniversary of Pizza Hut’s BIGFOOT blimp accident. Shame on us as a society for not remembering this fateful day in history that the massive pressured airship promoting Pizza Hut’s behemoth-sized pizza deflated and crash-landed on an upscale apartment in Manhattan.

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If you weren’t paying attention, on July 4th, 1993 the buzz around New York City wasn’t surrounding fireworks, bbq’s and the pride of our nation. Instead people were running for their lives as a 160-foot deflated blimp reading BIGFOOT PIZZA with a dog-boy looking illustration on it’s side smothered down on their homes like an extraterrestrial spaceship coming to feast on mankind.

My condolences will forever go out to the shocked and horrified tenants and onlookers involved in this disaster. Luckily only the crew sustained minor injuries, but the mental trauma must have shaken plenty of people. An article in the NY Times stated that some sunbathers on the roof were scrambling to get to a lower level and that apartments were darkened from the blimp hanging limply over the side of the building. I’m still curious to know if people would have been as shaken up had it been a Dominos blimp or Papa John’s blimp. Let’s face it, a large majority of us loathe Pizza Hut. If eating their pizza sounds like a nightmare, imagine what laying out in the sun and looking up in the sky to see a gargantuan-sized Pizza Hut flying-logo-beast coming to crush you feels like? THAT is a Pizza Hut nightmare. But still not as bad as the after effects of eating their pizza? Maybe not.

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The only thing that would have made this story better was if the blimp had been filled with 200,000 cubic feet of oozy, liquid cheese (with all their toppings swimming around inside, including the hot dog stuffed crust). It would have exploded on impact and turned Manhattan’s yuppie community into a Pizza Hut toxic wasteland.

The actual event did end up being the talk of the town for about a month and it’s amusing story resulted in higher-than-expected sales for the BIGFOOT pizza itself. In case no one remembers the pizza, it measured 2 feet long by 1 foot wide…certainly big and fat enough to give an adult cardiac arrest but crucial for birthday parties, treehouse hangouts and Friday night movie junk-fests.

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“Makin’ It Great!”

CAMP CONTEST!

Always the giving camp counselor, today Uncle TNUC is offering a chance to win one of his Summer Survival Kits (as seen here)!

Here are the rules:

1. Name all 12 films from the camp signs pictured below. 
2. Your submissions must be the ENTIRE title of the movie.
3. List them in order in the comment section of this post.

The first person to name each movie correctly, and in order, wins their very own Summer Survival Kit courtesy of the lunch ladies in our Food Court.

OK…Go!

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