Was “Empire Strikes Back” The Worst Star Wars Film?

I have no idea if George Lucas really said that “The Empire Strikes Back” was the worst Star Wars film. If he really believes that, clearly he hasn’t seen the last three films (which wouldn’t be surprising since they border on unwatchable).

What continues to fascinate me is how many people believe that Darth Vader says “Luke, I’m your father” in “Empire.” Of course, Vader never utters that line anywhere in the movie. Google Luke, I’m your father, however, and the line appears to be approaching Humphrey Bogart’s non-existent “Play it again, Sam” line as the most misquoted movie line.

The thing is, that “Play it again, Sam” is a clever line but “Casablanca” is filled with wonderful dialogue. “Luke, I’m your father” is easily the most memorable line from any Star Wars film other than “Use the force”, and, of course, neither Lucas nor anyone else associated with the films could actually be bothered to write such a memorable line. Its sort of a foreshadowing of the suckiness that is Episodes 1-3.

Personally, I’ve always thought “Empire” was the best of the three Star Wars films.

Call of Cthulhu Movie

I finally got around to watching the Howard Philip Lovecraft Society’s filmed version of Call of Cthulhu and I was blown away — I immediately watched it again just for good measure.

On its website for the film, the HPLHS says,

Using the “Mythoscope” process — a mix of modern and vintage techniques, the HPLHS has worked to create the most authentic and faithful screen adaptation of a Lovecraft story yet attempted.

I’d say they succeeded far beyond what I had imagined was possible with HPL’s stories. They did a stellar job of capturing the general weirdness of HPL (which is quite a compliment given that must attempts to adapt HPL are pretty much unwatchable).

The HPLHS web site notes their in pre-production on The Whisperer In Darkness. Hopefully there will be a long string of similar adaptations.

Phantom of the Paradise

Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise has to be one of the 5 or 6 strangest films I have ever seen.

The film is a rock n’ roll sendup of “The Phantom of the Opera” along with plenty of satire and critiques of the music industry and its attendant cultural contributions. And it’s just plain f—ing weird. Weird as in it is one of those films you can’t tell whether its pure dreck or genius — or maybe both.

BrianDepalma.Net has a long article about the film.

Gary Busey Anti-Semite?

Gary Busey’s pretty washed up as an actor so it is understandable that he’s appearing in low-budget foreign fare of late, but there’s no excuse for appearing in blatantly anti-Semitic films such as the just-released Turkish film, Valley of the Wolves Iraq.

According to the Associated Press the film is very loosely based on an actual event at the start of the Iraq war. American soldiers came across a group of Turkish soldiers and mistook them for insurgents. The Americans detained the Turks for a couple days before the mistaken identity was cleared up and they were released.

In the movie, a group of rogue American soldiers led by Billy Zane are committing atrocities and a group of Turkish special forces intervene to stop Zane and his crew.

In one of the atrocity scenes, the American soldiers are depicted as bursting into an Iraqi wedding, killing dozens of attendees, and then dragging the rest back to Abu Ghraib.

At which point Gary Busey’s character enters the picture. Busey’s character, according to The Washington Post, is “a Jewish doctor [who] cuts out their [the captured civilians] organs, which he sells to rich people in New York, London and Tel Aviv.”

WTF? Was Busey forced to do this because the lead in the film version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was already cast? Is he going to follow this up by playing a rapist in black face?


In Turkish Movie, Americans Kill Innocents. Benjamin Harvey, Associated Press, February 3, 2006.