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Joe Corey’s PARTY FAVORS - 9/2005

Posted by Ken in Party Favors (September 1, 2005 at 9:56 pm)

HOLMBY HILLS – Hugh Hefner is the saddest man on TV since Ozzy Osbourne retired from the reality world.

“The Girls Next Door” on E! should be a tribute to the life of the party. Here’s a guy who created his own Playboy Philosophy. This man should have one foot in the grave, but instead he’s climbing into bed with barely legal girlfriends. We should be all jealous that this man who is days away from having Willard Scott wishing him a happy 100 as he bangs his 100th Playmate. But instead, I feel pity for a man trapped in a life that he must maintain in order to pay the bills. Remember that the board of Playboy was in the process of evicting Hef before he turned his Harem of gals into a publicity machine. Long as he can show that his life promotes Playboy enterprises, he validates the millions the company spends to subsidize his lifestyle. If he doesn’t keep up his harem, he’s moving to the Sunshine Assisted Living Community in Arizona.

Maybe Hef is the life of the party, but he doesn’t really expose it on the show. Instead he seems like a feeble gangster that shuffles into court in bathrobe and slippers in an attempt to make things seem out of his control. Each episode, he seems like Ozzy except he gets to molest his troublesome youths. And like the Ozzy, he’s trapped himself in a house filled with shitting yappy dogs owned by his women. If I ever get rich, little yappy dogs will only be in my house so I can feed them to my Siberian Tiger.

We see Hef go out with a bevy of 9 women – girlfriends and Playmates inside the limo. They go out to a fancy restaurant. Instead of taking home a doggy bag, Hef brings his own food to the chef. They even have the instructions sealed in a baggie so the chef won’t smug it. He’s having lampchops in a Japanese joint. And then he gets upset cause his food doesn’t arrive with the gal’s menu items. The whole night seems to be Hef and his harem sealed away from the world. The girls talk of inane crap and Hef bobs his head as if modeling for his spring neck giveaway. There are no other males at the table. And Hef seems trapped in this world carved out by a plastic surgeon’s knife.

Of course we learn that Hef has rules for his women – including a curfew. They must be in the Mansion gates by 9 p.m. – even if it’s not their night to spend in Hef’s bedroom. Hef is a greedy man. Instead of grooming other men to continue his life, he has bodyguards to keep the next Hef in his place. He’d rather tease us with his women than share the love. I think that Dennis, the owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch is a better hedonistic role model because he doesn’t flaunt his life and women on “Cathouse.” Dennis lets us know that if we have the cash and manners, we can drop on by his place of business and hook up with his girlfriends – especially the twins. Hef just wants you to buy videos and magazines – don’t touch the flesh! Hef comes off as a sad, yet greedy man. He’s like a miserly antiques collector.

Even the Playboy Mansion seems sad. It’s like a frat house covered in so much crap. Hef’s bedroom is overflowing with piles of books, videotapes and paper on the floor and bed. It looks like my old bedroom. What good is it to have everything and not a decent shelving system? The girlfriends’ rooms look like dorm rooms. And let’s not forget the constant poop from all those yappy dogs. Where’s the fantasy in living in a hellhole?

When I was working at a film archive, I had a fantasy about running movie nights at the Playboy Mansion for Hef. That was a dream job – hanging around the screening room with the ladies hanging off of me. They’d be overwhelmed by my cinematic genius. I’d make them laugh, cry and think with my programming choices. And they’d have to drag me into the grotto to thank me for running “Ponette.” What a wonderful sweet dream of youth that was. Of course the nightmare was that I accidentally run “Star 80” and found myself buried beneath the grotto.

But now I see that the screening room has been taken over by his bleached puppets that want to see Jim Carrey movies that they can’t quite remember the title – not even “Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind.” What’s the point of having a massive collection of videos if your harem can be kept happy with TBS cable programming? Lately when I have my harem watching “movie night,” it’s Warner’s Film Noir collection.
Of course my fantasy doesn’t compare to the three girlfriends with their dream of being the next Mrs. Hefner. Or are they mainly fighting to see who will get the seat next to the casket? He’s an old man. Shouldn’t these women really be making moves on Hef’s sons that live next door with the last Mrs. Hefner?

If “The Girls Next Door” teaches us one lesson, it’s this: Give us back our fantasies, Mr. Hefner. Don’t show us what really goes on in the Playboy Mansion because it’s a sad house. It’s one door down from the House of Usher.


I’ve watched way too many cable show that talk about the fabulous places that hot and beautiful celebrities frequent. How many bars in NY & LA brag about having Scarlett and Ms Lohan and Ashton paying big bucks for their booze? Sure Butter is the hot spot – but what about those who prefer margarine? Where do the ugly celebrities party in the big cities?

Where can I see Abe Vigoda sipping Ripple out of Bea Arthur’s pumps? How about Steve Buscemi dancing on a table with Phyllis Diller and Cloris Leachman stuffing his Speedo with C-notes? Where can yesterday’s sitcom stars mingle with today’s nobodies? How about Aunt Ester shaking her groove thing to Prince’s “Erotic City?”
I plan on opening up a Casino-Hotel in Vegas called “Club Khaki” – home of the bland. We’re going to attract a crowd that just doesn’t want to waste their time looking beautiful. This is a casino where Gene Hackman is the height of fashion. There’s a two shrimp cocktail minimum at our main stage room featuring a Tiny Tim impersonator. And our big suite is named after Robert Davi. Cause he knows ugly stardom.

Ugly is gonna be hot next year. Just look at the pimply and bloated face of Britney Spears. She’s goin’ ugly before it gets too cool and Oprah does a week on it.


“Trailer Fabulous” is the second best show this summer – right behind HBO’s “Cathouse: The Series.”
When I first received word of this MTV production, I imagined the worst. And why not – since we are talking MTV – home of the fake reality show called Laguna Beach? But someone in charge of this show decided to make something that’s more entertaining that irritating.

Host Brooks Buford has an out of control Southern charm. Supposedly MTV wanted Kid Rock, but I doubt that the son of a car dealer would give the 110% that Brooks puts out every minute on camera. The man is a showboat powered by Jolt cola. He’s perky and pesky.

Of course Johnny Hardesty is the real star of the show. His long blond hair and Fu Manchu mustache makes him look hillbilly gay instead of Metrosexual. The kinda guy who’d get liquored up on schnapps while listening to Rush and pining for Burt Reynolds of old – not the guy from “Stroker Ace” mind you, but the Burt from “Fuzz.” Johnny’s designs do add speed to the mobile homes. It’s like “Monster House” creations on wheels. His company bio reads: Since moving to New York City from California the last 10 years have been quite an adventure for Johnny Hardesty. He has provided set and production design for several feature films including Super Troopers and Perfume; and his work has appeared in Vogue, Harpers in Queens, Jane, and the Neiman Marcus catalogue. Working for the fashion production company Bureau Betak, he has contributed to several “special events” such as the 50th Anniversary Playboy Party, the Victoria Secret Fashion Show After Party, and Christian Dior at the Frick. 2005 marks the launch of Johnny’s third commercial interior design project: Alexis Bittar’s new up town jewelry store.

The man worked on Super Troopers – that means he might have met Lynda Carter. The man must have melted. After watching a few of the transformations, I wish I lived in a trailer park. But then again, it’s tornado season and you know God loves seeing things on wheels go airborne.


Is MTV’s “My Sweet Sixteen” a good reason why need to revoke all those laws that prevent parents from beating their kids? I can’t help it, but want to smack half of the stuck up teen bitches that get featured on the show. They are spoiled. They are disgusting. They are brats. And they know it and refuse to change. They truly need to receive a beatdown to learn that no matter how much stuff you have in the world, you need to have manners and courtesy. If you can’t treat people properly, you deserve to have your ass tenderized.

If any of these Sweet Sixteen girls were ever knocked over the head with a stray ladder, everyone at home would think, “That bitch had it coming!” It’s kinda like when the jerk owner of the Washington Redskins disclosed he had cancer and the sports world collectively said, “So what?” Do you know how big of a jerk you have to be to get cancer and receive so little sympathy?

I want to create a show where parents take their kids to K-Mart and beat the brats until one million people watching the show call in to the “she’s learned her lesson” hotline number. Or they can text message – there’s more cash in that action.


For the fifth year, the Association of Internet Critics rated the six major studios’ DVD divisions when it comes to their vault releases. Who knows if anyone in Hollywood takes these rankings seriously, but certain people better learn to please their customers or they’ll find themselves looking for work outside Wicked Pictures. So without further ado, let’s make like a VH1 special and countdown.

6. Sony – This has been the fifth straight year that Sony has been ranked at the bottom. This was a label notorious for overcharging on Three Stooges short collections and its love of pan and scan on Cinemascope films. After buying MGM, we expected them to rise up. But instead Sony’s release schedule has been a source of frustration for DVD fans. MGM’s “Midnite Movies Double Features” was the first victim of Sony’s screw ups. The DVDs were supposed to come out as Best Buy exclusives. But they didn’t come out anywhere in America. Fans had to import them from Canada. They finally trickled out in America, but the serious received less than enthusiastic promotion and many fans of these American International Pictures fear the series is at the end of the line. There was going to be a major push of Pink Panthers moves that were tied in with the new Steve Martin movie that MGM produced. Included in the batch was a boxset featuring all the Pink Panther cartoons. The summer was looking pink for collectors. But the folks at Sony took one look at the feature film and delayed its release until February. And they pushed back all the DVDs. Their “Soap” DVDs look like they were transferred off of EP speed VHS tapes from the 80s. Their latest folly is Dean Martin’s “Matt Helm Lounge” boxset. It contained all four of Dino’s spy spoof classics and was due out the first week in August. Then without an explanation, Sony pushed it back until December. This is a company that is clueless when it comes to treating the customer right and is so far behind the pack that fifth place isn’t on the horizon.

5. Paramount – This is a studio that still hasn’t found it’s bearings when it comes to how to work its vault outside of The Godfather and Indiana Jones. There’s a workmanlike attitude on their DVDs. “It’s just a job” seems to be attached to their recent vault releases. The release of Jerry Lewis DVDs could have been a big event if they’d offered some sort of boxset. But instead they sold them all individually so you never knew what to get. It was easier to just put them on the netflix queue than purchase them.

4. Universal – These guys used to rule the roast when it came to quality packaging of their titles. But since the studio was bought by NBC, they’re spending too much time repackaging their major titles. It is nice as a collector to get the complete Classic Monsters collection at a major discount. Their recent Marx Brothers collection was a disappointment since they refused to dig through their vaults to find shorts and newsreels involving the Marx Brothers (something Warners had no problem doing). Lately their focus is putting out TV shows.

3. Fox – While they still have a problem putting together a decent boxset outside of the Aliens collection, they top Paramount because of their willingness to dig up unique extras for titles. Their work on “Laura” was great since they put on the A&E Biographies for Vincent Price and Gene Tierney. It would be nice to see them

2. Disney – Between their Platinum Editions and the Disney Treasures collection, Disney has done an amazing job at giving collectors a reason to enjoy their releases. Plus in the last few years they’ve been aggressively releasing their prime live action titles.

1. Warners – There was once a discussion about Criterion DVDs and how great they were. But I announced that a studio could do without Criterion if they gave a crap about quality. And Warners has accepted the challenge. Since the release of Warners Legends Collection two years ago, the studio has thrilled collectors with themed boxsets that are chocked full of extras and priced low enough that you can’t pass them up. Every month they put out a boxset that is a must buy – Classic Comedies, Marx Brothers, James Dean, Alfred Hitchcock, Controversial Classics, Gangsters, Film Noir and The Thin Man. The folks at Warners understand Packaging, Presentation and Pricing –the essential elements when it comes to appealing to DVD consumers.


There are so many good boxsets coming up in the next few months that I might have to pawn my collection of Franklin Mint plates that celebrate great porn stars of the 70s. Do you know how much Seka’s First Silk Scarf is worth on ebay? Maybe just enough to cover these desired collections that are begging for shelf space at my Twilinger Estate.

Greta Garbo Signature Collection - Sept 6
This is pretty much all her best sound features (Anna Christie, Mata Hari, Grand Hotel, Queen Christina, Ana Karenina, Camille and Ninotchka), a collection of her silent films (Flesh and the Devil, The Temptress and The Mysterious Lady) and a documentary about her. This is to celebrate the quiet Swede’s 100th birthday, but you get the gift.

Hammer Horror Collection - Sept 6
Universal lumps together all 8 of their Hammer Horror films (Brides of Dracula / Curse of the Werewolf / Phantom of the Opera (1962) / Paranoiac / Kiss of the Vampire / Nightmare / Night Creatures / Evil of Frankenstein) on a 2 DVD set with an amazingly low price. Damn shame other studios won’t package their horror collections this way. I’ve been waiting to see “Werewolf” for a while. Warners is putting out “Dracula AD 1972″ for nearly the same price as this collection. That shall go on my Netflix queue.

Bela Lugosi Collection - Sept 6
This contains five of his non-Dracula roles where he shares the screen with Boris Karloff. The collection is sad in a way since it shows Bela going from a horror superstar to losing his stature to Boris as the films go on. Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, The Raven, The Invisible Ray and Black Friday are the spine tingling titles. Hopefully the folks at Universal will start putting out their various horror and sci-fi titles in bulk sets.

Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends Season 3 - Sept 6
Even more episodes of the moose and squirrel. It is amazing to finally get to see the adventures in the proper order. They price these sets to move. Plus they’ve dropped the price on the first two seasons in case you haven’t caught on. The adventures should include Three Moosekateers, Lazy Jay Ranch, Missouri Mish Mash and Topsy Turvy World.

Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection - Oct. 4
This boxset contains all 14 of his films that are controlled by Universal plus a bonus DVD. Supposedly they’ve remastered the various titles so they look better than the original releases. Now the price has dropped so that the 15 discs will cost $85. When the DVDs first came out they were $35. Now I can grab “Torn Curtain” without worrying if it’s really worth the money. Also on the same date they’re putting out the first season of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”

Val Lewton Horror Collection - Oct 4
This is what makes Warners the kings of vault DVD at this moment: a tribute given to a guy that the casual AMC viewer is probably clueless about. Who was Val Lewton? The man is a $2,000 answer on “Jeopardy.” For those of you who don’t know, Val was a producer at RKO who oversaw their frightening flicks. He also came up with the scene in Gone With the Wind where the camera rises and we see miles of wounded and dead soldiers. The spooky films included here are Cat People, The Curse of the Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, The Body Snatcher, Isle of the Dead, Bedlam, The Leopard Man, The Ghost Ship and The Seventh Victim. They also have created a documentary on Val called “Shadows in the Dark.” After this boxset, you’ll never forget Val.

Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 3 - Oct. 25
Sixty more shorts and a bunch of bonus features including the Chuck Jones documentary “Chuck Amuck.” This is essential purchasing for a Classic Cartoon fanatic.

Tom and Jerry Vol 2 - Oct 25
This collection will contain a lot of the 1940s adventures of the cat and mouse. There is an intro from Whoopie Goldberg in order for Warners to explain Mammy Two Shoes. Hopefully these won’t be slightly clipped like three of the cartoons on Vol. 1.

Hanna-Barbera Sets - Nov. 15
The First season of Huckleberry Hound, the complete Yogi Bear Series and the 4th season of The Flintstones. This means that you’ll be able to own the complete Snagglepuss. They really should shut down schools to celebrate this moment. You will have so many Yogi Bear episodes that you’ll be tempted to steal your neighbor’s picnic baskets. Plus the Flintstones episodes cover the arrival of Bambam.

King Kong Collection - Nov 22
If you grew up with New York City’s WOR on your cable box, you have fine memories about their Thanksgiving Day marathon of King Kong, Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young. It was Big Apes that kept us on the sofa along with too much turkey in our bellies (cause the Lions stunk). I so missed not being able to share that experience with my own family. But now I can thanks to this wonderful DVD set - that comes out just before Thanksgiving.

I had a chance to see King Kong on the big screen a few times and it’s still an amazing film. I don’t care what they can do with CGI, Kong still comes alive on the screen.

If only Universal would put out King Kong Vs. Godzilla, the experience would be complete.

Now for the big specs that you are wondering about on this set:

The King Kong: Two-Disc Special Edition will include the 104-minute restored and remastered B&W film on video in its original full frame, with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio and English, French and Spanish subtitles. Extras will include audio commentary (by Ray Harryhausen and Ken Ralston, with Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack, Ruth Rose, Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong), the 2005 I’m Kong: The Exploits of Merian C. Cooper documentary, a gallery of trailers for other films by director Merian C. Cooper, the new RKO Production 601: The Making of Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World documentary by Peter Jackson (featuring the following featurettes: The Origins of King Kong, Willis O’Brien and Creation, Cameras Roll on Kong, The Eighth Wonder, A Milestone in Visual Effects, Passion, Sound and Fury, The Mystery of the Lost Spider Pit Sequence and King Kong’s Legacy) and Creation test footage (with commentary by Ray Harryhausen).

The Son of Kong will include the 70-minute restored B&W film on video in the original full frame, with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio and English, French and Spanish subtitles. Extras will include the theatrical trailer.

Mighty Joe Young will include the 94-minute restored B&W film on video in its original full frame, with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio and English, French and Spanish subtitles. Extras will include audio commentary (by Ray Harryhausen, Ken Ralston and Terry Moore), 2 new featurettes (Ray Harryhausen and The Chioda Brothers and Ray Harryhausen and Mighty Joe Young) and the film’s theatrical trailer.

Did anyone else around here enjoy King Kong vs. Godzilla Thanksgiving on WOR? Can I have a witness?

Matt Helm Lounge – Dec. 6
This was supposed to be in my collection by now. But those goofs at Sony have pushed it back so now it’s a Christmas gift. These four films (The Silencers, Murderers Row, The Ambushers and The Wrecking Crew) feature Dean Martin as secret agent Matt Helm. His cover is as a cheesecake photographer and he seems to hate having to do his primary job. What he loves even more is his booze. There is so much drinking in these films that you’re banned from trying to match him bottle for bottle. Dino actually drinks and drives in his spy station wagon that has a built in wet bar. This boxset should come with a Surgeon General’s warning.

Walt Disney Treasures – Dec 6
This year’s wave features Disney Rarieties: Celebrated Shorts, 1920s – 1960s, The Chronological Donald Duck, Volume 2 (1942 – 1946), The Adventures of Spin and Marty and Legendary Heroes Elfego Baca and The Swamp Fox. The exciting one for me is Elfego Baca since it features movie tough guy Robert Loggia as a Disney hero. What? The old guy who beat the crap out of the lawn guy in the Sopranos once palled around with Walt? Now this makes the whole Orange Juice ad he starred in kinda strange because anyone who hadn’t followed his career would think he was still a nice guy. And the Swamp Fox is Leslie Nielsen in a serious hero role. I guess this means no fart jokes from our favorite Canuck.


Tune in next month to read about my work as a producer on America’s Most Wanted.


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