Friday, October 26, 2007

A Tremendous Life, Chapter One

By Schu.

Hitler, FDR, Stalin, Mother Theresa, Ronald Reagan, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Lorenzo Lamas.

When history looks back at the 20th century, those names will be but footnotes when compared to the accomplishments of El Tremendo. In the annals of world events, perhaps no man has done more, and received less credit, than El Tremendo. He is not just another Zelig or Forrest Gump. Oh no. El Tremendo wasn’t simply a happenstance coincidence at hot-button locations. He controlled their very outcomes.

It was El Tremendo who guided the Chinese through the Great Singapore Cane Rebellion that impacted billions. How do you think the term “Red China” really came to be? Just gaze upon countless Pacific Theater buttocks and you will have your answer. Unfortunately for El Tremendo, the GSCR, or GerSCeR as it’s known in the Book of the Unknown, occurred on Dec. 6, 1941. As a result, it was overshadowed by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

It was El Tremendo who single-handedly delivered lollipops to the children of Rhodesia as part of the Great Mandela Pacification of 1968, but since it occurred at the height of the Tet Offensive, that little public service was lost on the eyes of the masses. Remarkably, El Tremendo persevered. As a tribute to his human rights brethren, the benevolent masked one spent many a night in dingy Mexican jails. It was the sort of kinship only a unique few: Mandela, Gandhi, the Dali Lama, Sonny and Cher, could ever understand and really appreciate. Sadly, his many stays spawned the oft-repeated urban legend that El Tremendo was just out whoring.

El Tremendo was the impetus for the Holy Calcutta Cow Stampede—not to be confused with the High and Mighty Texas Lumberjack Invitational from the Cow Palace in San Francisco, where El Tremendo won his unprecedented 38th championship belt—but the single greatest collection of walking bovine progression in the history of such endeavors. Never mind that there was only one such endeavor in history. More importantly, since it took place on March 29, 1987, it was little more than a passing mention on a day where the world instead decided to focus its attention on Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania III. To add to the myth of Tremendo, mockipedia.com has documented the eyewitness testimony of many in attendance at the Silver Dome in Detroit who claim to have seen someone who bore a striking resemblance to Tremendo, sans mask, observing in the last row.

How could Tremendo be in India and Detroit? And if he was spotted in the Motor City, where was his mask? And why did he have such crappy seats? And why was he 13 years old? The legend grew.

El T with Robert Evans, mere moments before their simultaneous relapse.

He is a cinematic marvel with Gable-esque versatility. He has starred in more films than Elvis, the Beatles, Slim Whitman, Godzilla and James Bond combined. He has battled demons, hornets, corrupt waiters and gregarious zombies. He has done the deed with some of the world’s most gorgeous starlets. His love scene with Ingrid Bergman is considered the inspiration for Last Tango in Paris. And El Tremendo’s sexual-stallion finishing move, where he piledrives his love interest and lights a Parliament cigarette, is the stuff of celluloid legend, and the real reason they banned smoking in public places in California and Arizona.

But all legends have a dark side, and El Tremendo is no exception. Amazingly, the masked wonder embraces his inner tormentors. It’s almost as if he welcomes their presence, and basks in the glory of thumbing his unexposed deviated septum at the mores of the masses. Is it his blatant womanizing? In his autobiography: El Tremendo: Conduit to the Devil; Messenger to the Messiah; Monument to All, he brags of a conquest list that more than triples the output of the late Wilt Chamberlain.

Is it his unapologetic approach to world affairs? Politically, he is a brash supporter of Michael Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, Michael Savage and Newt Gingrich, although he claims not to have had sexual relations with any of them. A Moore/O’Donnell tag team match with a piledriver/Parliament cigarette finish has been discussed as the stuff of pay-per-view dreams.

He is the target of throes of paparazzi that follow him on a full-time basis. A photo of El Tremendo without the mask would be like finding the Library of Alexandria, except that El Tremendo’s book will not be catalogued, at least in a language we can readily translate.

For you see, some have suggested that Tremendo is supernatural, a being that transcends time and space. Scholars of Tremendology believe he is the impetus for the Greek symbols of comedy and tragedy; others suggest his influence was felt in centuries-old Japanese Kabuki performances, and across continents in the flamboyant ritualistic sacrificial traditions of the ancient Aztecs. Tremendo conspiracists claim he gave smallpox to Pizarro.

As a result, his exact age is unknown. But his influence is universal, his religious sway undeniable, his power supreme, and his impact like that of a Big Bang, which not coincidentally is how he refers to his thrice-daily constitutional.


John Schuster is the author of “The Collapsing Universe According to El Tremendo, an unsanctioned, tell-all look into the all-telling world of the teller of all things worldly.” Yes, he gets paid by the word. He is writing this biography with a gun to his head, and the metal is very cold. Ouch, there goes the Big Bang!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The B.O. of EL TREMENDO

My dear listeners and only friends,

Tomorrow, October 26th, marks the anniversary of the first appearance of EL TREMENDO in the modern world. Previously, I was restricted to appearing during the Golden Age of Ballooning and in random tortillas around Nogales, Arizona.

So in celebration of the birth of EL TREMENDO, the amazing sagely chronicler and fellow film geek Schu has allowed LDT to bring you this exclusive:

The Biography of EL TREMENDO: Chapter One!

I expect it to be brilliant. I expect it to be glorious. I expect it to be in English.

So be sure to come by the old EL T website and catch a glimpse of the mystery that is Me.


Oh, and it's also the birthday of one of my worthless personal assistants, Personal Assistant X, who apparently thinks my blog will win him a date. Useless, Target-shirt-buying, non-mask wearing pukehead.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

EL T's Top Ten III

Top Ten Signs You're in Love with EL TREMENDO

10. You are a vivacious, buxom, funny woman in her 30s who enjoys movies, comics, baby oil, chubby beaners, and wrestling masks. (CALL ME!!!)

9. You're in federal prison for painting giant wrestling masks on Mount Rushmore.

8. Your El Tremendo Thong.

7. You are rescued after a devastating earthquake buries you under rubble for five days and the first thing you say is, "Nevermind me, how's El Tremendo?!"

6. You decorate your Christmas tree with origami El Tremendos made from restraining orders.

5. On driver's license application under "Organ Donor", you write "For El Tremendo Only".

4. Your 'Dear John' letter to Jamie Farr.

3. The Film Geek Primer tatoo on your ass.

2. You let your Dub and Santo ice scuptures go to shit.

And the number one Sign You're in Love with EL TREMENDO...

1. You ARE El Tremendo.


(Apologies to Dave.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Puppet Show and Film Geek Primer

I can't believe that people actually take time to email me complaining about the irregularity of our FGP output lately, let alone actually read this blog. So let me take this opportunity to clarify our current situation and address the flurry of questions that have bombarded the LDT inbox:

  • Yes, FGP still exists.

  • Yes, there will be more episodes soon.

  • No, Santo is straight.

And now, reader mail...

Mary in Tucson, AZ writes:

"Dear El Tremendo,

I am strangely aroused by your mask. Tell me, why do you wear it? And tell me further, what lies beneath that colorful facade, obviously purchased at some low-rent taco stand?"

Ha-ha. Thanks for the question, but mostly thanks for the arousal. My mask symbolizes the border between absurdity and reality, a fully conscious statement on the nature of film and art meant to suggest connections between sometimes contradictory domains: Hollywood and independent, tradition and modernity, ritual and parody. Further, Mary, by donning the mask I intend to invoke the phenomenon of "social wrestlers," men and women who dress as masked wrestlers to advocate for political causes, in this case the calling out of bad movies, the punishment of terrible food, and the eradication of doucheness.

Ahh. Who am I kidding? I just love them Masked Wrassler Moovies. Kuh-hyuk!

Mary even included a pic that I'm a little hesitant to post. FOUR carrots? Eww.

Next e-mail...from VoteQuimby in Victorville, CA:

"El Tremendo,

You had some amazing broads in that Russ Meyer episode of Film Geek Primer. Will we see more babes guest-star in your silly little Podcast?"

I dunno. Does your Mom count?

And lastly, from my X-box Live Arena comes this missive from SlutBanger001:

"EL T -

I SMOKED YOU WIT DA SNIPA! SB001 4 evah, BITCHES!"

Um, yes.

Keep the letters coming. Email me at el.tremendo3000@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Diary of the Dead

Directed by: George A. Romero
Written by: Romero


I begin this review of George Romero’s latest effort with the following statement: the legendary director has seen better days and judging from the latest entry in the Dead series, it’s time to hang up the ol’ zombie hat and call it a career.


Before anyone starts to give me crap about my snobby, picky, purist horror movie attitude, let me provide some clarification.

I am a huge horror film fan and Romero is without question a master of the genre. He gave birth to zombie movies as we know them today and thrust images of the undead into popular imagination with the original classic Night of the Living Dead, the masterpiece Dawn of the Dead, the underrated Day of the Dead, and the flawed but entertaining Land of the Dead. I consider him a true marvel of the film industry, as do millions of others, but Hollywood hasn’t really given him a fair shake through the years. In his non-Dead f
ilmmaking time he has offered achingly bad indie efforts (Bruiser), failed experiments (Monkey Shines), and mixed commercial success (The Dark Half), with the occasional triumph (Creepshow). Despite his inconsistent track record, Romero has influenced dozens of horror filmmakers, writers, actors, and make-up artists all over the world.

Movie Poster of the Living Dead

Given that, I still stick to my original statement.

Last Friday I attended the west coast premiere of his latest film Diary of the Dead, a radical departure in style and tone than his previous Dead films. The pic debuted in Hollywood as part of LA’s Screamfest, for which I was able to secure a ticket through various wheelings, dealings, and headlocks.

Diary’s story begins with a group of students filming a horror movie in the early days of the living dead phenomenon. As society starts to break down, the students embark on a journey through the zombie-infested landscape of mid-Pennsylvania to reach safety. Conflict arises when the director of the student film decides to chronicle the unfolding events with his intrusive camera to document zombie attacks, unprecedented levels of horror and devastation, and whiney bickering.

Romero uses a variety of techniques to shoot this documentary-style, much to an extent that the comparisons to Blair Witch Project will be inescapable, if not ridiculous. He employs digital cameras, cell phones, and even the irritating MySpace to tell the story. Maybe it should have been called Vlog of the Dead? The result is an admirable attempt to bring something different to the table of the living dead, and his radical visual style is impressive, however the message overwhelms the action and slows down the pacing to a zombie-like crawl. Unfortunately, Romero’s moralizing approach about the dissemination of information and new media doesn’t work most of time, and the constant conflict between the characters doesn’t center on the will to survive, but rather on the superfluous (given the circumstances - zombies are eating people!) argument on the ethics of the cameraman’s intent and motivation to document the events and tragedies that are unfolding.

Romero’s visual and thematic departure in this film (echoed by DePalma’s forthcoming Redacted) doesn’t really do much for the zombie genre. Rather, the film serves a vehicle to express Romero’s thoughts about mass media, new digital technology, and the alternatives to traditional media available to the people. However, the nail is hit over the head over and over throughout the film. Obviously, Romero has aspirations that extend beyond what is typically expected of him, and in technical terms he succeeds. But the script is hackneyed, the performances screechingly annoying, and the character development almost non-existent. Much of the joy of Romero’s Dead films is the ability to hate, love, and relate to his characters, and all this film does is generate apathy for what essentially are clich├ęd Dawson’s Creek cardboard cutouts. Diary is not a gory film, nor does it really aspire to be one and Romero pokes fun at horror expectations with obvious references to himself and the genre as a whole. In this respect, the film succeeds but not at all frequently.

Ultimately, the film will suffer commercially from fans’ expectation of the Romero Dead films, which it delivers in short segments including the screen time of Samuel, one of the greatest characters to ever appear in a zombie movie. On an artistic level, Romero is no longer interested in making movies that follow marketed formulas and trends. He’s reached a point in his career where he finds the need to express himself and the things that concern him. Unfortunately, the ‘war movie’ by George Romero or the ‘serious drama’ by George Romero won’t exactly ignite the imagination of the Hollywood studios and their deep pockets. But after 40 years of undead filmmaking, Romero still knows how to kill his zombies in gritty, low-budget fashion with witty ideas sprinkled here and there.

So until George calls me back on my zombie screenplay I gave him (Galaxy of the Dead, aka ZombiVerse), I have to say that I hope he considers entering retirement, perhaps in an anti-zombie fortified Pittsburgh homestead.

We’re coming to get you, George.

Friday, October 12, 2007

An Era of Unfurled Doucheness


I weep for you, world.


Something must be done.


We need ... a hero.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Dish on FGP: Geek Ambush!

Posted Oct 5th 2007 2:02PM by LDT STAFF
Filed Under: Santo Snaps

After weeks of litigation and Criterion DVD bribes, LDT is finally able to release this video of Film Geek Primer's guru Santo ambushed at his luxurious Hollywood condo, which I easily broke into. After camping out in a spare room, I caught him coming out of the can to ask some crucial questions about the issues of the day. Instead of greeting me with open arms and a Ding Dong, Santo unleashed the vicious geek that seethes beneath his brainy nerd God facade. Who does this Z-list Podcast celebrity he think he is? Cisco Jenner? Brody Whozits? The Homina-Homina twins?

You'll only catch this exclusive video right here*, courtesy of Yours Truly, EL TREMENDO.




*Rejected by TMZ

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sushi Gada Madre

The first mention of sushi was discovered in a Chinese dictionary published at the end of the 2nd century. As a preserved food, salted fish was an important source of protein. The book described a process to clean and gut fish which was kept in rice so that the natural fermentation of the rice helped preserve the fish. This type of sushi is called nare-zushi, and was taken out of storage after a couple of months of fermentation. The fish was consumed while the rice was discarded. Sushi made its debut in China than in Japan, and at a far earlier date than previously thought. It is believed that sushi was introduced to Japan about five hundred years later, in the 7th century A.D., though the exact date is disputed.

Since Japanese prefer to eat rice together with fish, the sushi, called seisei-zushi, became popular at the end of Muromachi period. It is interesting to note that many kinds of sushi have been developed in Japan but that in foreign countries sushi no longer exists or it exists in its original form at best. In China, sushi gradually came to be associated less with rice until rice was hardly used, and at the same time, sushi as a common dish declined. By contrast, sushi came to be more and more closely related to rice in Japan until it developed into today's sushi which is eaten together with sushi rice. This type of sushi was consumed while the fish was still partly raw and the rice has not lost its flavor. The rise of the popularity the dish has helped evolve sushi into cuisine rather than a way to preserve food.

Later in Edo era, Japanese began making haya-zushi, which was created as a way to eat both rice and fish, and this dish was unique to Japanese culture. Rice was mixed with vinegar and combined not only with fish but also with various vegetables and dried preserved foods. Today, each region of Japan still preserves its own unique taste by utilizing local products in making different kinds of sushi that have been passed on for generations.

MMM...Sushi.


At the beginning of the 19th century in Tokyo (Edo), the food service industry was mostly dominated by mobile food stalls, from which nigiri-zushi originated. This type of sushi is the actual raw fish sitting atop of bed of rice wrapped in a ribbon of seaweed. Edomae, which translates to "in front of Tokyo bay," was where the fresh fish and tasty seaweed for the nigiri-zushi were obtained. As a result, it was also called edomae-zushi, and it became popular among the people in Edo after Yohei Hanaya, the legendary sushi chief, improved it to a simple but delicious food. Then, after the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923, nigiri sushi spread throughout Japan as the skilled edomae-zushi chefs from Edo, who had lost their jobs, were diffused all over Japan.

In the wake of increased health consciousness in the post-war era, sushi became one of the more popular and healthy meals around. Today, American sushi bars are unbelievably popular. With the introduction of sushi machines, which combines the mass production of sushi with the delicate skills used by sushi chefs, making and selling sushi has become more accessible to countries all over the world.