Now Playing: THUNDER ALLEY
Working on the weekend, actually. I love that I occasionally get paid to watch Crappy Movies. Not a lot of dough, but some. Tonight I watched MGM's double feature DVD of FIREBALL 500 and THUNDER ALLEY to review for The Hub. In case you're just tuning in, I write a weekly column for a local alternative weekly newspaper called The Hub, which you can find free of charge at businesses all over Champaign-Urbana. The column is called "Marty's Cult Movie Classic"--a little dry, but I didn't come up with it--and runs in just about every issue. The current issue is running my piece on the SABATA trilogy--three Italian westerns starring Lee Van Cleef and Yul Brynner as a gunfighter named Sabata. Next week will be my piece on TERROR BENEATH THE SEA, a fun 1966 Japanese monster movie starring a young Sonny Chiba.
I won't write much now on FIREBALL 500 and THUNDER ALLEY, but I'll let you know when my review runs. Both films were produced by American International Pictures, the most successful independent Hollywood studio of the 1960's, and revolve around the world of stock car racing. Annette Funicello, at the end of her AIP contract, and Fabian star in both, with Frankie Avalon taking top billing in the former. They were shot in widescreen 2.35:1 and look fantastic on the MGM DVD.
Those of you who don't live in the area can read my weekly column online at The Hub's Web site.
Friday night we said goodbye to Stiner, who's leaving Horizon for a new gig in Chi-town, with happy hour at Jupiter's. Saturday I went out to dinner with her, Grady and Chicken, and then we all came back to my apartment for Crappy Movie Night: CREATURE, a gory '80s ALIEN ripoff with exploding heads and torn-off faces; THE BEASTMASTER, the oft-broadcast sword-and-sorcery adventure with Marc Singer and his merry band of animals; and, since Chicken said, "How about something with a car chase?", LAST MAN STANDING, a direct-to-video action movie from PM Entertainment, masters at wild chases with cars jumping and flipping in the air through exploding fireballs. Plus, all three movies have boob shots, so how could we go wrong?
Today I took a little trip around town idly looking at used cars. I'm leaning towards taking my insurance settlement and plopping all of it down on a purchase, so I won't have to deal with any monthly payments. That would give me around $3000-$3500 to spend. I actually saw a 1992 Mercury today with only 54,000 miles on it for about $3500. I don't know--it's such a huge decision for me. I'm not used to buying cars, and I resent being forced into buying one now. I have avoided making monthly car payments for most of my life, and I would really like to avoid the hassle of making any now. On the other hand, what's most important to me in making this purchase is that the car last me a long time. I don't want to be buying another car 2 or 3 (or more) years down the road, so I want something that is going to be dependable and resiliant. I don't know that a $3000 car is going to be that.
I've thought about leasing a vehicle. Of course, that means I'd be making payments, but I could probably get something decent to drive that way. What happens if it breaks down? Do I have to pay for repairs if it isn't really my car? Or I could get an $8-9000 vehicle to own and make payments. Or I could just pay cash for a cheaper one. Anyone have any advice?
Posted by Marty at 10:47 PM CST