Vanity Fear

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

Filtering by Category: satire

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.”



Rejected By Rod(!): Part Fifteen - Pandemonium

Not everything I've written for FLICK ATTACK has made it to the show. Mr. Lott insists that these rapidly aging reviews will be posted eventually, but until then I'm just going to assume that they have been:

Exciting news! This latest Rejected By Rod post features the series' first actual honest-to-goodness rejection! This past weekend I got this message from Rod through the electronic mail:

"The Rapture" will be running this week on FA. However, I did run across one of your reviews from the pool I actually do hafta reject, and that's "Pandemonium." Not because it's badly written (it ain't, of course), but because it's more about referring to a previous review you wrote rather than the movie. I tried to work around it, but couldn't figure out how without it being maybe 1/4 of its length. Sorry!

Why does Rod hate meta-reviews? I don't know! Go to Flick Attack and ask him! It doesn't matter to me, since all it means is switching the usual (?) to a (!)!

Rejected By Rod(!)



As many perks as there are to being a big fat know-it-all, there is also at least one major drawback. Sometimes—albeit rarely—evidence is produced that at some point you said or wrote something that was actually *gulp* wrong. I say this because back in January of 2011 I wrote the following in my review of a terrible film called National Lampoon’s Class Reunion: “…there is nothing worse than a bad slasher movie parody and…no such thing as a good slasher movie parody.”

It’s a statement I made with some confidence, thinking at the time of such terrible films as Student Bodies, Slaughter High and Pandemonium, all of which I had seen before reviewing Class Reunion. Thing is, though, it had been a looooong time since I last saw Pandemonium and I was judging it on the basis of the retarded opinion of a pretentious 16 year-old asshole.

For that reason I decided to take another look at it 19 years later, as a much older, wiser and more relaxed 35 year-old asshole. Turns out I really liked it. Quite a lot, actually. Which means the statement I quoted up above simply isn’t true—there is at least one good slasher movie parody (two if you count Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, which you probably should).

So, mea culpa.

The last film of Alice Sweet Alice helmer Alfred Sole (he went on to become a production designer), Pandemonium possesses the same anarchic sweetness as Rock and Roll High School, which isn’t a coincidence since both films share Richard Whitley in their screenwriting credits.

Set at a summer cheerleader camp (six years before Cheerleader Camp) held on a college campus where every cheerleader has been murdered for the past 20 years, the film largely eschews character and plot for a series of sometimes sophisticated, sometimes scatological, but mostly funny jokes.

The cast includes a blond Judge Reinhold, a Sissy Spacek-imitating Carol Kane, Jimmy Olson from Superman, Tom Smothers as a Mountie(!), Tab Hunter (once again mocking his 60s All-American image), pretty much everyone who appeared in the original stage version of The Pee Wee Herman Show (even Phil Hartman), and a genuinely adorable actress named Teri Landrum, whose appeal is much bigger than her six meager credits on IMDb would suggest.

So, yeah, I was wrong that one time. Don’t get used to it.

Rejected By Rod(?): Part Fourteen - Head of the Family

Not everything I've written for FLICK ATTACK has made it to the show. Mr. Lott insists that these rapidly aging reviews will be posted eventually, but until then I'm just going to assume that they have been:

Rejected By Rod(?)

Head of the Family


There are two kinds of low-budget movie fans: Those who are ambivalent about Charles Band’s Full Moon films and those who HATE them. Count me among the former, if only because in the same way a broken clock is able to tell the right time two minutes each day, Band—for all his many faults—did manage to deliver Head of the Family, a strange little film that somehow transcends the usual Full Moon limitations (see also Dark Angel, which Band didn’t direct).

The titular family in question is the Stackpools, a group of mutant misfits whose deficiencies are each offset by a significant attribute. Wheeler (James Jones) has heightened senses, Otis (Russ Meyer vet Bob Schott) is a mass of muscle, Ernestina (adult actress Alexandra Quinn, whose porn star body seems especially ridiculous in a non-porn context) is pure sexuality and Myron (J.W. Pera) is the brain of the group, so much so that his tiny body is unable to support the weight of his giant head. Up to no good, their evil schemes are uncovered by the no-account owner of the local diner (Blake Adams), who makes the mistake of trying to blackmail them.

Short, dark and often surreally funny (at one point Myron has a group of lobotomized prisoners perform an amateur production of Shaw’s Saint Joan), Head of the Family also benefits from being sleazy in all the right sorts of ways, especially thanks to a stand out performance by frequent (-ly naked) Full Moon actress Jacqueline Lovell as Adam’s white trash mistress.

The Adventures of Drake Wantsum, Hollywood Stuntman

Part Sixteen


“But what the holy heck did I do to get sent to Hell, Duke? I lived a mostly good life. I went to church. I tolerated my mother. Sure I was tangentially connected to a dozen or so “accidental” deaths, but no charges were ever made.”

“Everyone’s innocent down here, pardner.”

“But I don’t want to go to Hell! There must be something I can do to stay away from here if that ambulance makes it to the hospital in time.”

“There is, Drake. You’d have to give up being a stuntman.”


“And sleeping with teenage girls.”

“Fuck you!”

The Adventures of Drake Wantsum, Hollywood Stuntman

Part Fifteen


“If I die, Duke, does that mean I have to spend the rest of eternity in this beautiful fiery Heaven?”

“This is Hell, Drake.”

“Yeah, right. Good one, Duke.”

“Do you see that guy with that moustache over there?”

“You mean, the one who looks like Hitler?”

“That’s Hitler, Drake.”

“Why would Hitler get to go to Heaven? That‘s messed up.”

“This is Hell, Drake.”

“You’re hilarious, Duke. Don’t ever change.”

“Do you see that woman talking to Hitler?”

“The one who looks like Joan Crawford?”

“That is Joan Crawford, Drake.”

“Oh my god! This is Hell! What the fuck?!?!?”

The Adventures of Drake Wantsum, Hollywood Stuntman

Part Fourteen

"Race Against Time"

“What’s going on, Duke. Am I dead?”

“That depends, Drake.”

“On what?”

“How fast the ambulance you’re in gets to the damn hospital. Every second counts.”

“Wait, so my life is in the hands of some random ambulance hack?”

“That’s just it, Drake. The people in charge of these things are real cocksuckers when it comes to irony.”

“Don’t tell me. I slept with the driver’s daughter.”


“What then?”

“Do you remember working on Moonshine County Express?”

“Wait! You don’t mean—“


“I really should have said something when I noticed she had an Adam’s apple.”


The Adventures of Drake Wantsum, Hollywood Stuntman

Part Thirteen


“Howdy, Slick.”

“Who are you? Where am I?”

“Don’t you recognize me, Drake? You doubled for me on McQ in seventy-four.”

“Duke? Is that you? But you died 2 years ago. I know ‘cause I got thrown out of your memorial service for hitting on Tatum O’Neal. I mean, how was I supposed to know she was only 15?”

“It’s me, Drake.”

“Then does that mean what I think it means?”

“That depends on what you think it means.”

“Am I in Heaven?”

“Turn around and you tell me, pardner. What do you see?”

“Fire. Lots and lots of fire.”

The Adventures of Drake Wantsum, Hollywood Stuntman

Part Twelve

"Going Apeshit"

“Hey Jerry, have you seen Drake?”

“Hi Eddie. He’s up there with Bill and Bill on the scaffold waiting for the go ahead.”

“You put him with Bill? Is that a good idea?”

“Probably not.”

“You don’t look too concerned.”

“You may not know this, but I have a daughter too.”

“Gotcha. But, still, couldn’t you have waited? This production already has one death on the books.”

“And whose fault is that?”

“Guilty, but it’s not going to make promoting this flick any easier.”

“People love those monkeys. They don’t care about dead stuntmen.”

“From your lips to God’s ears.”

The Adventures of Drake Wantsum, Hollywood Stuntman

Part Eleven

"Not What You Thought It Was"


“Yes, Drake?”

“I feel like you’re angry with me.”

“You could say that, Drake.”

“I didn’t know she was your daughter. I thought she was Bill’s daughter, and I knew he wouldn’t have a problem with it. Would you have, Bill?”

“I’m sorry, Drake, I wasn’t paying attention. What were you two talking about?”

“The time I took Bill’s daughter to that church service.”

“Are you still pissed about that, Bill?”

“She joined that cult!”

“The Catholic church is many things, Bill, but it isn’t a cult.”

“Shut up, Bill! This is between me and Drake! Goddamn pope-lover.”

The Adventures of Drake Wantsum, Hollywood Stuntman

Part Ten

“Bill Problems”

“So what’s the gag this morning, Jerry?”

“You, Bill and Bill are going to drop off that dangling scaffold.”

“Which Bills? Couch and Madden?”

“No, Madden and McIntosh.”

“And what are we doing this afternoon?”

“The shot where you guys land in the pool, but Bill has a prior commitment, so Bill will be filling in for him.”

 “Gotcha. I think Bill has it in for me.”

“Can you blame him?”

“I didn’t know she was his daughter.”

“Yes you did. I specifically told you, ‘That’s Bill’s daughter.’”

 “I thought you meant the other Bill.”

“Oh, that would explain it.”

The Adventures of Drake Wantsum, Hollywood Stuntman

Part Nine

"Arrested Development"

“Hello Drake.”

“Jessica! Well, aren’t you a sight for sore eyes. I haven’t seen you since that TV movie in ’74.”

“It has been a long time.”

“Are you just here for a day part?”

“No, I’m playing Stacey’s mom.”

“Bullshit! You’re too young to play her mom! What are you, forty-five?”


“And you could easily pass for thirty-nine!”

“Thanks….I think. So, were you here when the accident happened?”


“What went wrong?”

“Oh, you know, same-old, same-old.”

“Eddie sabotaged it because you fucked one of his girlfriends?”


“Just like Mannix and Ironsides all over again.”


The Adventures of Drake Wantsum, Hollywood Stuntman

Part Eight

"Inspring Woody"

“Who’s that, Vic?”

“Are you kidding me, Drake? That’s Stacey. She’s playing the girlfriend. You were hitting on her when Stevie’s stunt went wrong.”

“I must have blocked it out. She has a killer rack.”

“You’re not her type.”

“Bullshit, I’m every woman’s type.”

“Ever see Manhatten?”

“Can you ever truly see Manhatten?”

“I’m talking about the Woody Allen movie.”


“The Mariel Hemingway part? The 17 year-old his character was sleeping with? That was based on her.”

“You’re kidding!”


“Did he ever cast her in anything?”


“And now she’s starring in an orangutan movie?”

The orangutan movie.”

The Adventures of Drake Wantsum, Hollywood Stuntman

Part Seven

"Back On the Set"

“This is ridiculous, Drake. I can’t believe they only gave us half a day off to bury Stevie.”

“The artistic process is bigger than any one man, Vic. That’s just the way it is.”

“We’re making a movie about an asshole who inherits three orangutans.”

“No, we’re making the movie about an asshole who inherits three orangutans.”

“I thought you’d be the one really pissed off about this. You and Stevie seemed so close.”

“Objects in the mirror are closer than they might appear.”

“What does that mean?”

“I don’t know. I smoked something Eddie gave me at the wake.”

The Adventures of Drake Wantsum, Hollywood Stuntman

Part Six

"The Era is Established1"

“I don’t think you have anything to be worried about, Drake. This isn’t the first time a woman’s threatened you. Remember that Playmate of the Year who was after you?”

“Claudia. How could I forget?”

“Nothing ever came of that, right?”

“She died in a car crash.”

“Oh, yeah, right. You…uh…didn’t have anything to do with that, did you?”

“No. I figured you did it.”

“Huh. I don’t think so, but then I was doing a lot of drugs back then.”

“It happened six months ago.”

“Wait? Did you say ‘Claudia’?”


“Oh, yeah, that was totally me.”

1. Google the clues and you'll be able to figure out--down to the month--when this story is taking place.