Vanity Fear

A Pretentious A**hole's Guide to B-Movie Bullsh*t

I Hated Pieces to Pieces

Yesterday I realized all of my videos no longer could be viewed on the blog, so I've begun the process of re-uploading them to Vimeo, which I thought would serve as a good way to reintroduce them to those of you who have not witnessed their glory and majesty. 

First up is my vid for Pieces , a popular Euro-slasher that I happen to think is the rare horror film that is every bit as terrible and unjustifiable as critics of the genre claim all such films are. In the vid I make reference to "the people have spoken," which was my nod to the fact that I had a poll about what movie to review next on the blog at the time and Pieces  won with 3 votes.

I never ever claimed to be popular. 

Anyway, here's me trashing a movie a lot of people inexplicably love. Probably NSFW, unless you're feeling brave.

More Old Lacey

An Excerpt from 1957s Lacey Frill and the Quiz Show Scandal by Stoney M. Badess (as Drake A. Hardman)

 

The camera closed in on Lacey’s face as beads of sweat began to form on her furrowed brow.

“Augustus Klieman Von Rowendreich?” she finally guessed just before the timeout buzzer went off.

“That’s right!” the show’s enthusiastic host announced to the applause of the studio audience—none of whom knew that the stakes for this particular contestant were so much higher than just losing a significant amount of cash.

As focused as she was on each question, she still could not forget what the show's diabolical producers had told her once she had stepped into the soundbooth.

 "This booth is airtight you nosy little girl and all it would take to replace the oxygen we're pumping into it with cyanide gas is one simple flip of the switch.. To save yourself a gruesome death, all you have to do is correctly answer every single question Howard asks you in the 30 seconds allotted. And if you even attempt to say a single word about your predicament to the television viewing public who are watching live right this very moment, an armed thug named Roosevelt has orders to kill your photographer friend, Cedric, in the most painful way he can image."

“That puts you just one question away from our grand prize of $76,500!” Howard informed her and everyone watching. “As you know, the $76,500 question is always chosen randomly from our barrel of postcards sent in by our viewers. Your fate, Miss Frill, now depends on the kindness of a stranger. Will your question be impossibly obscure or childishly simple?” he paused as he let the audience ponder this question. “Well, let’s find out! Judy, it’s time to roll out the barrel!”

A voluptuous blond in a very tight evening gown appeared on the stage, rolling an actual barrel towards the booth. When she reached Howard, he lifted up a small door on its side and pulled out a postcard of the Empire State Building.

“Mr. Eugene Wolper from New York, New York,” Howard read from the back of the card, “wants you to answer this question for your $76,500 grand prize: Can you recite pi up to the 20th decimal?”

The crowd simultaneously gasped and laughed at this nearly impossible question. There was no way the pretty redhead in the booth—as lucky as she had been before—was smart enough to get this one right.

“3.14—” Lacey began, knowing that she only had 30 seconds to provide the correct answer. But despite the presence of a figurative Sword of Damocles hovering above her head, she allowed herself the indulgence of a brief remembrance of her time spent with Oliver Fry, the brilliant and handsome dean of mathematics at Oxford University. It had been a lazy Sunday morning and the two of them had found it impossible to leave his large comfortable bed and start the day.

“Shall we attempt to go for the record?” she had suggested seductively as he held her in his arms.

“The spirit,” he smiled at her, “is oh-so-very-willing, but alas the flesh is equally weak. I’m afraid I shall have to spend the next week reviving myself with various tonics to provide you with this kind of entertainment again. In the meantime, why don’t I teach you something useful?”

“Like what?”

“How about the first 100 digits of pi?”

“How would that be useful?” 

“You never know,” he shrugged. “Someday it might just save your life....”

“—159…5…..89793…238..4…6,” she finished just before the timeout buzzer sounded. 

“That’s correct!” Howard exclaimed as the audience cheered with shock and approval for what she had just done.

“Can I get out of here now?” she asked Howard. 

“Certainly, Miss Frill,” he smiled at her—the artificial shape of his grin proving to her that he had been fully aware of the danger she had been in the entire time.

Old Prose for the New Site

Here is another not-so-brief excerpt from the recently discovered pseudonymous Badess series, Lacey Frill, Lady Adventurer.

 

A Brief Excerpt from 1966’s Lacey Frill Dances With Danger by Stoney M. Badess (as Drake A. Hardman)

 

Lacey could feel the blisters as they began to develop on her feet. That sadistic bastard had deliberately given her a pair of Go-Go boots two sizes too small, but her only option was to ignore the pain and keep on dancing.

Cedric’s life depended on it!

As she fought against the pain, she thought back to the time she spent with Dr. Heinrich Zeifly, the world-famous professor of engineering. During a visit to his private laboratory, he had shown her a machine he had built that—if her guess was correct—operated on the exact same principal as the death trap on which she was currently doing the Frug.

If Agogos’ design was the same as the good doctor’s, then that meant it suffered from the same fatal flaw—the two intersecting duo-flange hyper-relays could only rotate at maximum capacity for three minutes and 23 seconds before the cryoleen gel used to lubricate them would become too hot and cause a spontaneous combustion.

This meant that the only way she could save her favorite photographer was to dance so fast that the trap’s mechanics reached maximum capacity and then keep up that pace for a grueling 203 seconds.

Below her the club’s dancing patrons cheered as they watched her groove faster than anyone ever had before—all of them unaware that a man’s life depended on each blistering step. The band, awed by her movement, sped up their music to match her insanely rapid rhythm and soon everyone was attempting to dance as fast as the beautiful redheaded Go-Go dancer in the cage above their heads. Many of them lasted only a few seconds, but Lacey could not afford to give up so soon. Her lungs began to ache and she found it harder and harder to breathe, while her heart started pounding so fiercely it felt as though it was going to burst out of her chest.

With each step Lacey now took the risk of ending her life along with her sidekick’s—the human body only being capable of so much exertion before it expires. 

The seconds passed like eons.

From his hidden window above the stage, Agogos watched with amusement, believing that his captive had been overcome by a desperate madness—unaware of his trap’s mechanical flaw. 

“She’s going to dance herself to death!” he laughed with delight.

“That’ll teach her to interfere in our business,” smirked Miss Twist. 

But their amusement was cut short when a sudden, seemingly inexplicable blast of fire caused the entire bottom of Lacey’s cage to explode, propelling her down to the club’s dance floor, where she was caught by the head quarterback of the LA Rustlers.

“You sure are one wild chick,” the football player complimented the exhausted beauty in his arms.

“Thanks,” said Lacey. “Now, would you mind carrying me to the office of the jerk who owns this dump? I’m not too happy with him right now.”