Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/tankedma/public_html/libraries/rokcommon/RokCommon/Service/ContainerImpl.php on line 454

Deprecated: iconv_set_encoding(): Use of iconv.internal_encoding is deprecated in /home/tankedma/public_html/libraries/joomla/string/string.php on line 28

Deprecated: iconv_set_encoding(): Use of iconv.input_encoding is deprecated in /home/tankedma/public_html/libraries/joomla/string/string.php on line 29

Deprecated: iconv_set_encoding(): Use of iconv.output_encoding is deprecated in /home/tankedma/public_html/libraries/joomla/string/string.php on line 30

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/tankedma/public_html/libraries/rokcommon/RokCommon/Service/ContainerImpl.php on line 454

Deprecated: Non-static method RokCandyHelper::getMacros() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/plugins/system/rokcandy/rokcandy.php on line 28

Deprecated: Non-static method RokCandyHelper::getTemplateOverrides() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/administrator/components/com_rokcandy/helpers/rokcandy.php on line 18

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/tankedma/public_html/libraries/joomla/filter/input.php on line 652

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/tankedma/public_html/libraries/joomla/filter/input.php on line 652
THE GHASTLY LOVE OF JOHNNY X (2012)

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/tankedma/public_html/libraries/joomla/filter/input.php on line 652

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperUtilities::getParams() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/views/item/view.html.php on line 21

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperPermissions::canAddItem() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/views/item/view.html.php on line 34

Deprecated: Non-static method K2Permissions::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/permissions.php on line 185

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperUtilities::getParams() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/models/item.php on line 64

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperRoute::getCategoryRoute() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/models/item.php on line 73

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperRoute::_findItem() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/route.php on line 35

Deprecated: Non-static method JApplication::getMenu() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/route.php on line 116

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperRoute::getItemRoute() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/models/item.php on line 76

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperRoute::_findItem() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/route.php on line 24

Deprecated: Non-static method JApplication::getMenu() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/route.php on line 116

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperPermissions::canEditItem() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/models/item.php on line 97

Deprecated: Non-static method K2Permissions::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/permissions.php on line 218

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperUtilities::getParams() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/models/item.php on line 1121

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperRoute::getUserRoute() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/models/item.php on line 234

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperUtilities::getParams() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/route.php on line 72

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperRoute::_findItem() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/route.php on line 91

Deprecated: Non-static method JApplication::getMenu() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/route.php on line 116

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperUtilities::getAvatar() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/models/item.php on line 236

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperUtilities::getParams() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/utilities.php on line 21

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperUtilities::getParams() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/models/item.php on line 472

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperUtilities::setDefaultImage() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/views/item/view.html.php on line 97

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperRoute::getItemRoute() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/views/item/view.html.php on line 221

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperRoute::_findItem() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/route.php on line 24

Deprecated: Non-static method JApplication::getMenu() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/route.php on line 116

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperRoute::getItemRoute() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/views/item/view.html.php on line 227

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperRoute::_findItem() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/route.php on line 24

Deprecated: Non-static method JApplication::getMenu() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/helpers/route.php on line 116

Deprecated: Non-static method JSite::getMenu() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/views/item/view.html.php on line 260

Deprecated: Non-static method JApplication::getMenu() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/includes/application.php on line 539

Deprecated: Non-static method JSite::getMenu() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/views/item/view.html.php on line 284

Deprecated: Non-static method JApplication::getMenu() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/includes/application.php on line 539

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperUtilities::characterLimit() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/components/com_k2/views/item/view.html.php on line 301

THE GHASTLY LOVE OF JOHNNY X (2012)

Thursday, 20 March 2014 02:05

Deprecated: Non-static method K2HelperUtilities::writtenBy() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/tankedma/public_html/templates/rt_clarion/html/com_k2/inherit/item.php on line 69
Written by 

The Buzz:

     Johnathan Xavier, intergalactic juvenile delinquent and wielder of the all-powerful Resurrection Suit, is stranded on 1950s Earth with his band of hooligans, but his mission of leather-jacketed mischief may be more than it seems. Shady music promoters, runaway rock-and-roll zombies, and lots of hokey special effects collide in this beautifully-shot ode to 1950s science-fiction movies, which also happens to have some singing and dancing. Basically, it's like Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, but with musical numbers.

 

Life of the Party (Positives):

     When I started watching Ghastly Love of Johnny X, my first thought was "Oh, it's in black-and-white, that's kinda cool." Not long after, my second thought was that this was the best-looking black-and-white movie I'd ever seen. B&W is well-known for the superior "crispness" it can provide compared to color shooting, and while some movies that seek a retro or "noir" aesthetic will just shoot normally and then digitally switch to greyscale in post, Ghastly Love decided to go old-school and shoot with actual fine grain black and white film stock. The very last of it made by Kodak, in fact, a company which doesn't even make film anymore, what with the advent of digital filming. This little bit of extra effort makes a huge difference in the movie's appearance, and every aspect of the production was fully committed toward getting the best black-and-white look they could, including lighting, costuming, and makeup. One pleasant side-effect of the latter elements is that all the girls in this movie look fantabulously hot, but I admittedly have a thing for mid-century women's fashion. Overall, Ghastly Love combines modern camera angles and staging with the almost-lost art of great black-and-white production, making it a truly gorgeous film.

Honestly, if it meant the entire world looked this cool, I wouldn't really mind being color-blind.

 

     The charmingly retro sci-fi element isn't left behind either, though, as the twisty science-fiction plot, slang-filled dialogue, and schlocky special effects are definitely reminiscent of low budget American International Pictures fare. Though the majority of the movie takes place in expertly-recreated yet ordinary '50s Americana surroundings, we do get plenty of shiny space-suits, Lugosi-esque zombie makeup, and a climactic final showdown on storm-wracked mountaintops that appear to be constructed of painted garbage bags stretched over some coat hangers. Mixed into the chintzy sci-fi elements are just enough modern digital effects to serve the story but not detract from the overal aesthetic - as it turns out, CGI lightning bolts look even more badass in black-and-white, who knew?

     All the actors turn in good performances as well, with enough melodramatic delivery for the sci-fi segments and enough subtlety for the ACTUAL dramatic moments. Will Keenan, who plays the titular Johnny, switches back and forth from cocky and menacing villain to vulnerable, sympathetic hero as the demands of the plot evolve, and plays both angles well, in addition to having a good singing voice. De Anna Joy Brooks is also endearing as Johnny's girlfriend Bliss, and performs the most memorable musical number, "These Lips That Never Lie," a Jessica Rabbit-esque seduction song that's equal parts sexy and humorous. The movie doesn't focus on any one character exclusively, though, as it's really more of an ensemble film in both plot and musical numbers, relying on a variety of conflicting motivations and shocking revelations to provide twists and turns in the story, interspersed with Les Miserables-style "everybody sings at once about different topics" musical montages.

 

Potential Hangovers (Negatives):

     If you're expecting a straightforward parody of '50s sci-fi movies, complete with large chunks of professorial exposition and a rubber-suited monster, this movie won't provide that. The plot does twist around more than you'd expect, raises a lot more questions than it answers, and sometimes splits its attention too much, getting the audience interested in a certain story thread and then jerking them away to another scene to watch a song and dance segment. The musical numbers are spread somewhat inconsistently throughout the movie, and almost seem like an afterthought added for the sake of novelty. This is not to say that the singing, choreography, and general staging aren't really enjoyable, they're just not well-integrated to the progress of the story. Also, although all the songs are toe-tapping and cleverly written while you're watching them, I finished the movie having already forgotten all the melodies, and couldn't sing you any bits of music if I tried. In terms of memorability, Johnny X pales in comparison to other recent, dark musicals like Reefer Madness or Repo!, which both have classic musical hooks that stick in your head.

 

The Atmosphere:

     The Ghastly Love of Johnny X is a movie for nerds like me who love the very concept of movies and movie-making. If you and your friends are big enough hipsters that watching the last movie ever made using Kodak black-and-white stock is inherently cool, have any nostalgia for retro drive-in schlock, and enjoy the occasional song and dance number, it's a good way to spend an hour and a half. This could also make a great date movie, due some nicely romantic elements throughout, or as a cool-looking background feature or focus to a '50s or '60s drive-in theme party. It was released in theaters pretty much as an afterthought, and its big opening weekend of $86 in ticket sales made it the lowest-grossing movie of 2012 - I think the intention for it to be viewed outside the mainstream was pretty clear, so show it some ghastly love at home as a late-night feature some time.

 

+ Just plain gorgeous black-and-white production. Seriously, it looks really nice.
+ Just enough charming touches that hearken back to 1950s science fiction without being farcical
+ Surprisingly good performances in a complex, dramatic plot
+/- Musical numbers are well-staged but not very memorable
- Story seems a bit unfocused at times

 

Drinking Game Suggestions:

~Drink every time you see an X

~Drink whenever a character is called by a '50s slang term instead of their actual name

~Drink whenever someone says “suit”

~Drink for every person who gets into or out of a car

~Take a shot whenever you can see Bliss' “implants”

"I love the Power Glove... It's so bad..."

 

Read 1090 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 March 2014 02:30

About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

Creative Commons

All content on this website is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 2.5 license. Share, don't sell.