…Cuz Alan Spencer’s cult classic cable series is now available for all sorts of legal home viewing uses thanks to those Masters of Taste, the good folks at Shout! Video.
We’re talking about the series that was so out that, so cutting edge, so dystopian, ultra-noir, violent, dangerous, threating, and just plain funny that the very network it was made for tried to suppress it. (No, we wont mention the names of those cowards. Screw ’em.)
TVWriter™ buddy Alan Spencer, the creator of another classic series, SLEDGE HAMMER, went all out with this one, gathering a cast that included Max Williams (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD), Neil Napier (RIDDICK), Jessica Steen (NCIS, old-timers, so watch this), Kate Kelton (HAVEN), Eddie Izzard (OCEAN’S THIRTEEN among others), Eric Roberts (THE DARK KNIGHT and police blotters in some very interesting places), and multitudes of other great talents. And Alan himself gets to sit in the big arm chair and do the kind of audio commentary that rips our culture a new one.
What? You still need to know more about this masterpiece? Jeeze, what the hell’s the matter with you? Oh well, you can get the info you need and pre-order at the same time right HERE. Happy now?
Alan Spencer is a genuinely cool guy. He’s the creator of the cult classic late ’80s TV comedy SLEDGE HAMMER! and the all-too-obscure IFC series BULLET IN THE FACE, and those are just for starters.
In other words, not only is he a cool guy, he’s a funny one too. Occasionally, though, he gets a bit serious. Like here:
This Business We Call the Biz
by Alan Spencer
I just finished having breakfast with an old school executive, a former mogul that in his mind still lives in the days of yore. I thoroughly enjoyed it… because his extravagance was more engaging than the conservative demeanor of today’s cloistered suits.
And as a former wunderkind with over thirty years under his expanded belt, it got me thinking…
I miss going to a movie theater and being excited when the lights go down and the curtains part… not being bludgeoned by non-stop commercials for things that have no business being projected on a screen larger than twelve inches.
I miss wondering what a movie is about, as opposed to already knowing because only recognizable titles are marketable.
I miss stunts that posed danger, as opposed to wire work from the Cirque du Soleil or animated bullets traveling from the same trajectory as shot by Tex Avery.
I miss stars that were larger than life, not cut down to size by TMZ on their way to Starbucks.
I miss walking onto a studio lot and feeling the need to pinch myself, not bite my tongue.
I miss the average person not talking about per screen averages, as well as TV shows that were hits because everybody watched them… not because a press release claimed one hundred thousand people in a key demo makes it so.
I miss executives that backed talented people instead of competing with them… or worse.
I miss rooting for my friends and having them root for me… with a little more than 3% sincerity.
I miss comedians that honed their craft and worked hard to earn every laugh, as opposed to casually making references and leaving the audience to do the heavy lifting.
I miss ideas borne of inspiration and passion, not a location’s tax break.
I miss people realizing failure can be noble as long as you believe in what you’re doing and not apologizing for aiming at a different target than the easier shot.
I miss a film with a sad ending within the story, not the DVD’s deleted scenes.
I miss writers illuminating the lives of Willy Loman instead of turning into one just to survive.
Life is change and the entertainment industry has always been capitalistic, but there does seem to be more industry on display than entertainment. I have to work today. What I miss most… was the tinge of guilt for ever calling it that
…Which we love because the series is created/produced by Alan Spencer, whom we would swear is the reincarnation of Mel Brooks except that Mel Brooks is still incarnate. (Actually, Alan is cooler than Mel Brooks, but let’s get back to Eddie:)
Eddie Izzard Talks Snow Globes, Sex with Trees and Finding the Truth in His Outlandish Villain in IFC’s New Miniseries “Bullet in the Face” – by Danny Bowes
Known for his unique, hyper-erudite, stream-of-consciousness stand-up comedy (best showcased in the 2000 concert film “Dress to Kill”), Eddie Izzard has also spent the better part of the last two decades building a very interesting career as a character actor on both stage and screen. With the exception of his leading role on the acclaimed (though short-lived) FX series “The Riches,” Izzard’s main strength as an actor has been in the kind of indelible supporting roles that he plays in IFC’s upcoming miniseries “Bullet In The Face.”
“Bullet in the Face,” which is being spread out over two nights on August 16th and 17th at 10pm, shares with creator Alan Spencer’s previous cult classic “Sledge Hammer!” a cracked, satirical bent. It’s also met with some minor controversy for its violent content — the show’s set in a comic-book-style alternate universe full of warring gangsters, tough cops, jet-black humor and Germans. Izzard plays crime kingpin Johann Tannhauser, who spends his days engrossed by snow globes and plotting the bloody deaths of his enemies, confined to his secret lair by acute agoraphobia. It was on that note that Indiewire caught up with him on the phone after some shared excitement over Great Britain’s success in the Olympics.
So you’re an agoraphobic German crime boss in this hyper-violent comic book universe. I imagine you didn’t just look at that and just go, “This same old thing again.” I’ve never seen anything quite like this show.
Well… it has violence going through it. And there’s a question of violence in America, or last year if you went to Norway, or going back to the Second World War, how we deal with that is a weird old thing. But [“Bullet in the Face”] is comedic, and bizarro, and in thinking how to play it — trying to control the world — I felt it was an intriguing place to go.
Hmm, Eddie just might be cooler than Alan. Intriguing…especially if you know Alan. Don’t forget to watch the damn show on IFC TONIGHT. (We can’t see it because, thanks to %#@!ing DISH, we no longer get IFC!)
For those not quite in the know: Alan Spencer, TVWriter™ and LB buddy, created/wrote/produced both series. You’ve missed your chance at first-run SLEDGEHAMMER, but BULLET IN THE FACE debuts on IFC next month.
And, speaking of BULLET IN THE FACE, Dish Network has dropped IFC and all the AMC networks. Which could be a problem for viewers, humor aficionados like us, BULLET IN THE FACE as a series, and even the godawful rich and successful Alan Spencer.
Big guns and helicopters and bombs and the pretty actors and actresses that support them cost money. Help Alan indulge his expensive habits. Dish subscribers don’t have to take this lying down. Find out what you can do.
And while we’re at it, Dish customers have also just been screwed out of:
Okay, so KENDRA and BRAXTON are no big deal, but the others – c’mon.