[Note: This post is reprinted from my Livejournal to hold my place while I get this whole WordPress thing figured out.]

Netflix is a thing of beauty and a joy for ever–especially if you’re like me, and saw ten times as many B-movies as blockbusters last year. Here’s the latest trio. Theme: Predecessors.

Sparkle (1976) is the proto-Dreamgirls, a fact cheerfully acknowledged by that movie’s writer. Three sisters in Harlem form a singing group; drugs, corruption, pride, and various passions destroy them; things work out for some of them through courage and love. It’s not as slick or far-reaching as Dreamgirls, but I almost enjoyed the musical numbers more. The down side to watching old movies: getting really attached to actors who haven’t worked in decades.

Little Shop of Horrors (1960). Holy cow, I didn’t know this existed! I thought it started as a play. Anyway, it does, and the names are the same and the sets look about right, but it has a very different take on Seymour than the 1986 musical I love so much: where New Seymour is driven to murder by increasing external pressures, Old Seymour’s dastardly deeds are always accidental, even when under mind control. It gives his last line a real kick: “I didn’t mean it!” New Seymour, who I prefer, does.

I always wondered about the purpose of Bill Murray’s masochistic dental patient; okay, the scene is kind of fun, but it comes out of nowhere and then never comes back. Now I know: the character was originated by Jack Nicholson. It’s one of the most memorable parts of the movie. Something to think about, regarding adaptations: do the shout-outs you include stand on their own? This one doesn’t quite. I can never say no to Bill Murray, though.

ABBA: The Movie (1977). Don’t judge me.

THEN. As I was cooking chicken adobo for the second time in a week I noticed that Delgo was streaming and, hazily recalling a faint desire to watch it, I flipped it on.

Holee cow. Let my Twitter stream tell the story.

  • If it looks like sci-fi / I’ll give it a try. And almost certainly regret it by the time I find out why Delgo only got two stars.
  • Your entire army has wings and your enemy does not. Do you a) drop rocks on them b) fire arrows down at them c) USE SWORDS? #delgo
  • Your sister has started a war despite your orders! You a) lock her up b) execute her c) JUST LET HER HANG FREELY AROUND THE CASTLE. #delgo
  • No offense to the hard-working flunkies at #Delgo but I’ve seen better mouth movement on The Muppet Show.
  • How did that winged person put on that hoodie?? #thingsithinkaboutduring #delgo
  • @TheVickers IT’S AGONY in reply to TheVickers
  • Now the lizard and the fairy are falling in love! No, now they’re fighting! AUGH #delgo
  • aaaaaaaaaaaaaah that flashback was really a DREAM SEQUENCE #nomore #uncle #delgo
  • Klutzy, cowardly sidekick has just knocked himself out cold. Well, it’s a start. #delgo
  • It baffles my mind that a movie entirely about racial harmony includes two races that are Always Chaotic Evil. http://bit.ly/7Qylgu #delgo
  • The movie is over. In its defense, the ending credits are beautiful. #delgo

I was alone when I watched it, which allowed me the freedom to groan desperate curse words after every line and action in this misbegotten monster. The thing is–I realized during the ending credits, which feature concept art–I probably would have enjoyed it as a comic book, or at least not lost years of my life while partaking of it. But as a motion picture? Whew. I feel like I’ve really accomplished something by making it to the end.

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