Sunday, October 18, 2015

MOVIES THAT SUCK: And some that should have SUCKED -- but didn't!

MOVIES THAT SUCK approaches the art of film criticism from a unique and highly qualified perspective – the author is an established independent filmmaker whose credits include at least one feature motion picture that Linda Lovelace could have put her lips around. has called Robert Nowotny “the most dangerous cultural commentator in captivity,” and this collection of film reviews and commentary is written with a shameless sense of humor and an unbridled disregard for political correctness. Insightful, entertaining and wickedly impertinent, this is a FUN read for anyone who loves the magic projected on a silver screen.
MOVIES THAT SUCK is now available from in both a full-color printed edition and as a Kindle e-Book.

-------- To order the full-color paperback edition click on this link:

-------- To order the Kindle eBook edition click on this link:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Another Round of Looney Tunes from Feo Y Loco!

“No Worries” — album by Feo Y Loco
Review by Robert A. Nowotny -- NeedToVent

It has been well over six years since I last reviewed a Feo Y Loco album, and while the Bilderberg Group, the Tri-Lateral Commission and the Federal Reserve System have all tried to blame the release of “POLITICALLY INCORRECT” as the cause of the global economic melt-down of 2008, I have it under good authority that there is no correlation between the two.  With the brand new release of the bands’s newest album, “NO WORRIES,” it must be noted that the stock market is considerably down and the economic outlook is gloomy once again.  But do not despair — just listen to the captivating "Merrie Melodies" comprising this release and you’re 401K worries will be relegated to the far reaches of your mind.  Honest...

As some of you know, Houston-based Feo Y Loco has always been a band that appealed to a wide variety of musical tastes.  As an example, I remember attending a Feo gig at a small burger barn one evening around ten years ago.  Nearby, Anthrax was playing to a full house at a large arena.  After the concert ended, many of the metalheads walked by and heard Feo Y Loco playing “Red Neck Necro.”  The Anthrax crowd was stunned, with many openly making comments like “Holy hell, who are these guys — their lyrics make Anthrax sound like school kids!”  School kids, indeed.

Yes, Feo Y Loco’s broad appeal has crossed many musical boundaries, bringing joy and good cheer not only to the Trash Metal Devotees mentioned above, but to Reggae Rastafarians, to C&W Shitkickers, to Woodstock-era Hippies to Lecherous Lisa Lampanelli Lovers…well, you get the idea.  Now, with the release of “NO WORRIES,” the group has expanded its repertoire to include songs that capture the crooner era of Rudy Vallee (“Big Shoes”) to the catchy bubble-gum appeal of Neil Sedaka (“Pin Up Girl”).  Such diversification is rare, extremely rare, but that’s just one of many reasons to go out and buy both of these highly entertaining, unique albums.

Feo Y Loco’s newest album represents a new level of musicality and professionalism for “The World’s Most Politically Incorrect Band.”  There are several reasons I say this — but let’s begin with the first-rate work of producer Guy Schwartz, a Houston legend, and engineer Roger Tausz, who have elevated the sound quality of “NO WORRIES” to a level far above previous Feo recordings.  I understand most of the songs were recorded at the Franklin Nava Studio and then mixed and mastered at Bong Island Sound — clearly Houston’s recording industry can now hold its own against the likes of Nashville, Memphis and Austin.  (The single exception is “Hang Up And Drive,” which was recorded live and expertly engineered by Andrew Robichaud.)

The Feo Y Loco triumvirate is not composed of Chuck Jones, Tex Avery and Mel Blanc, although the band members occasionally seem to channel the Warner Brothers animation team.  No, Feo Y Loco consists of the enormously talented Lead Vocalist, Tom Beard (I used the word “enormous" because Tom must tower 6’ 10” or more), the significantly shorter in height (but not talent) guitarist, vocalist and all-around renaissance man, David Franklin, and the mysterious guitarist, bass player and vocalist Jim Frye — the one man in Houston smart enough to keep any Jaguar running like a (zz) top.  Additional vocals are provided by Shelley Burkett, Jennifer Janek and Jennifer Jordan, whose collective contribution to the album cannot be overlooked.

But wait, there’s more!  “NO WORRIES” is by far the most ambitious album undertaken by Feo Y Loco with the addition of several drummers (Greg Babineux, Danny Lee and Michael Morris), Guy Schwartz on bass, keys and additional percussion, Roger Taus also on bass, and additional backup vocals by Logan Caelis Markey and Fionna Ariel Markey.  Collectively, all contribute to the fullness of sound that is impressive, indeed.  Oh yes, Cherry Moon (love the name) is credited with providing "French pop influences."  I have no idea what this means, but with a name like Cherry Moon who cannot help but feel a little joie de vivre!

As for the songs themselves, let me state that “Big Shoes” is an instant classic that would be right at home in Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom or Manhattan’s Heigh-Ho Club with lead singer Tom Beard’s melodious megaphone tone replicating the crooners of the 20s and 30s.

Not just a catchy tune, “BIG SHOES” is replete with wisdom --

“I don’t know at all about nothing, but I learned a few lessons in life
Like you never run with scissors and don’t be breakin’ mirrors
And never tell the truth to your wife”

Likewise, “Hang Up And Drive” provides a much-needed message --

“With your radiating cell phone nuking on your brain
You don’t even notice that you are drifting in my lane.”

In "Jerry Springer Kinda Guy” we are treated to a mysterious word that will surely stump scholars for years to come --

“Then she saw that blinding light for her afternoon TV
Looked in the eyes of Jerry and said ‘this man can save me’
So she wrote to the producers and then the tickets came
And they flew on off to Scramden and the limo met the plane”

Scramden?”  What kind of mystic reference is this?  A quick check with the local Masonic Lodge was met with bewilderment, those at the VFW Hall just responded with the thousand-yard stare, and my personal inquiry to the Paro Taktsang Monastery in Bhutan also failed to proffer any clues.  Yes, Feo always has a surprise in store for us all.

Take “Pop It Out Now” as another (surprising) example.  This very catchy, delightful ditty certainly is not what I expected based on the song’s title as there’s nothing about coitus interruptus or sleeping on the wet spot…just a song that is, apparently, about nothing.  Seinfeld, would approve, and you will, too.

The “NO WORRIES” album, along with the “POLITICALLY CORRECT,” “EARLY FEO” and “OVERNIGHT SUCCESS” albums, can be purchased at  If you are not already a Feohead, take this advice — don’t walk, run (but not with scissors!) to your trusty computer and purchase your Feo Y Loco albums today!

Th-th-th-that’s all folks!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

MOVIES THAT SUCK -- And Some That Should Have But Didn't!

MOVIES THAT SUCK approaches the art of film criticism from a unique and highly qualified perspective – the author is an established independent filmmaker whose credits include at least one feature motion picture that Linda Lovelace could have put her lips around. has called Robert Nowotny “the most dangerous cultural commentator in captivity,” and this collection of film reviews and commentary is written with a shameless sense of humor and an unbridled disregard for political correctness. Insightful, entertaining and wickedly impertinent, this is a FUN read for anyone who loves the magic projected on a silver screen.
MOVIES THAT SUCK is now available from in both a full-color printed edition and as a Kindle e-Book.

-------- To order the full-color paperback edition click on this link:

-------- To order the Kindle eBook edition click on this link:

Friday, September 27, 2013

THE SMACKDOWN -- Rush vs. Grand Prix

For my money there is nothing more viscerally exciting than Formula 1 auto racing. As you may know, F1 is defined by and regulated by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The “formula” refers to the set of specific rules to which all teams must conform. The “1” stands for the undeniable fact that this is the most prestigious, most dangerous, most exciting form of motor sports in the world – period.

Unfortunately, F1 is relatively unknown in the United States due to the fact that there have been very few American drivers, with Mario Andretti, Phil Hill and Dan Gurney being the major exceptions. In addition, all of the exotic, immensely expensive cars are made overseas. This makes the USA about the only industrialized country in the world that doesn't feverishly follow the fame and fortune of such teams as Ferrari, McLaren and Williams. Then again, what would one expect from a country with the unmitigated gall to call a major sporting event “The World Series” when the only teams eligible to play are located within its borders? Thus, it is a bit surprising that American Directors and American Studios have, on occasion, risked millions in bringing F1 racing to the screen.

Our Challenger is Ron Howard's Rush, a highly publicized, ambitious production based on the true story of the 1976 F1 season and the bitter rivalry between the handsome playboy newcomer James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and established driver Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl), a past champion whose methodical approach to driving is in stark contrast to his British counterpart.
Setting the gold standard for all previous auto racing films is our Champion, Grand Prix, directed by the visionary John Frankenheimer. Set ten years earlier, Grand Prix follows a fictional set of characters during the 1967 F1 season focusing primarily on Pete Aron (James Garner) as a hard-charging American driver desperately seeking a comeback.

In a documentary about the making of Grand Prix a voice-over announcer states, “Because of the cost and complexity, it is unlikely that a film like this will ever be made again.” That statement held true for over 45 years. Can Ron Howard's brand new, true story Rush score the victory? Or does James Garner's fictional battle for the F1 Championship still possess the winning formula?

The Challenger

The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel.” This is the tagline for Rush, and there's no denying that dying in an F1 racing car in the 1970s was an all-too-common occurrence, with twelve drivers being killed that decade alone. Two-time Academy Award winning Director Ron Howard teams with two-time Academy Award winning Screenwriter Peter Morgan to present a spectacular big-screen re-creation of the 1976 F1 season, focusing on the sport's two leading drivers at the time and the sizzling trifecta representing the women in their lives -- Gemma (Natalie Dormer), a nurse who knows how to dispense medicine as well as formalities, Suzy Miller (Olivia Wilde), Hunt's drop-dead gorgeous first wife, and Marlene (Alexandra Maria Lara), Lauda's refined and faithful wife of 15 years, a soul mate who's loyalty and devotion to a difficult husband may only be equaled by Sharon Osbourne.

The events of this historic season reach a flash point, literally, with Lauda's horrific crash in the German Grand Prix at Nurburgring, leaving him with a severely burned face and lungs and extremely close to death. Confined to an intensive care room, Lauda watches Hunt as he continues to win and slowly challenge his once insurmountable lead for the season championship. Against all odds, Lauda makes an inspirational and astonishing return to racing which climaxes at the final rain-swept event in Japan.

Bolstered by the use of high-quality, compact digital cameras, Howard and Cinematographer Anthony Dod deliver heart-pounding action sequences that not only puts the audience in the stands, but in the race cars themselves. It's a hell of a ride, and the logistics of capturing all of this on the big screen was clearly a massive undertaking apparently requiring the combined skills of 6 Producers and 5 Co-Producers. Then again, Rush may have simply raised the bar for the further dilution of what once were meaningful screen credits. Credit issues aside, Rush is a powerful, engaging and highly entertaining movie.

The Defending Champion

Oscar-winning Screenwriter (All That Jazz) Robert Alan Aurthur's fictional script focuses on the top four drivers during the 1967 F1 Season – both on and off the track. Behind the wheel we find Pete Aron (James Garner), an American who loses his ride, only to be hired for the final few races by a wealthy Japanese industrialist (Toshiro Mifune) who desperately wants his car to win its first F1 race. The reigning world champion is Jean-Pierre Sarti (Yves Montand), a Frenchman who is the leader of the legendary Scuderia Ferrari team. Providing additional competition is the Englishman Scott Stoddard (Brian Bedford) and young Nino Barlini, Sarti's teammate. Behind the bedroom door we find three beautiful, but dispassionate women – Louise Frederickson (Eva Marie Saint), a semi-frigid American journalist who gets involved with the married Sarti, Pat Stoddard (Jessica Walter), Scott's high maintenance, self-centered wife, and Lise (Francoise Hardy), Nino's latest nubile squeeze.

The tagline for Grand Prix was “Sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!” Shot in 70 mm 6-track Super Panavision and released in Cinerama, Grand Prix is one film that truly utilized all of the state-of-the-art production techniques of the day. Sitting in front of a theater screen over 100 feet wide, the audience literally felt the exhilarating speed and the ear-shattering sounds of high revving, 400+ horse power engines. Next to being at an actual F1 race, Grand Prix comes as close as anything for the average person to “experience” the inherent danger present on every lap, every turn. (Of the 32 drivers who participated or were seen in the film, five died in racing accidents within the next two years and another five in the following ten years.)

The Scorecard

There are a number of ways to assess the merit of a motion picture project. In the case of these films two criteria are paramount for a winning formula: 1) Is the off-track storyline fully developed, engaging, well-acted and powerful enough to stand alone, sans any racing footage whatsoever? And 2) Do the racing scenes capture the inherent danger, the incredible speed, the earth-shattering sound, the complexity and the beauty of F1?

Rush has the advantage of being based on a true story. Niki Lauda, whose nickname was “The Rat” because of his ungainly appearance and bucked teeth, was, by all accounts, a cold, arrogant, calculating Austrian obsessed to be the best. He was clearly the exact opposite of the flamboyant Hunt, a highly charismatic, reckless playboy whose lifestyle included lots of booze, drugs and women (he is said to have had sexual relations with an NBA-worthy 5,000 young maidens before dying of a heart attack at the age of 45). These two bigger-than-life, divergent personalities, each desperately seeking to become the premier global name in F1 racing, are captured perfectly by the complex, insightful screenplay by Peter Morgan who has a history of pitting head-to-head real-life, powerful personalities, including the Howard-directed Frost/Nixon, as well as Blair/Brown in The Deal and Idi Amin/his doctor in The Last King Of Scotland.

Lauda and Hunt are compellingly portrayed by the remarkable Daniel Bruhl (in what some are already declaring to be an Oscar-worthy performance) and his counterpart Chris Hemsworth. Lauda's story is one of unparalleled dedication, perseverance and outright will power. In a strange twist of fate, it may have been his bitter rivalry with Hunt that actually drives him, both spiritually and physically, to drive again. Audiences come to love Hunt as the dazzling, dashing dandy he is, but it is Lauda's vulnerability and bravery that will resonate deeper and longer. In fact, there are many who believe what Lauda does in the last race of the season is “among the bravest decisions in motor racing history.” Clearly there are no villains here, only two remarkable, highly talented, highly motivated adversaries who are not as black-and-white as the checkered flag found at the finish line.

While the off-track scenes provide an insightful, captivating look at the behind-the-scenes lives of two historic racers, Rush will also be remembered for its exhilarating on-track footage. One must assume that Howard screened Grand Prix prior to undertaking this project; his challenge is to at least equal, if not exceed, the cinematic spectacle brilliantly brought to the screen by our Champion. He comes close.

Cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, supplied with three dozen Arri Alera Plus digital cameras, deserves much of the credit, especially for having so many actually mounted inside the race cars which provide a staggering visual immediacy. The extreme close-up of Hunt's eyes behind the wheel captures the incredible focus needed to pilot a 180 mph F1 car as well as any camera technique previously employed. And the overhead shots of the blazing inferno engulfing Lauda's blood-red Ferrari will not easily be forgotten.

All of these amazing images are enhanced by the cello-driven score by Hans Zimmer providing a surprising and unique counterpart to the speed of the cars and the sound of their screaming F1 engines. Additional kudos must go to Editors Daniel P. Hanley and Mike Hill who manage to condense a complex, multi-faceted story into a mere 123-minute running time. Opie and friends have done well.

Howard's counterpart, John Frankenheimer, is probably best known for directing, Birdman of Alcatraz and The Manchurian Candidate, but his ability to overcome the immense challenges of shooting Grand Prix may be his most significant cinematic accomplishment. Without doubt, Frankenheimer's biggest challenge was the screenplay penned by Robert Alan Arthur, which at times is little more than a soap opera. Nonetheless, the entire cast does an admirable job with the material, with the lone exception being “newcomer” Francoise Hardy who, at the time, was a popular singer in France. While she definitely provides pleasing eye candy, her lack of acting ability can best be summed up by simply pointing out that she never again appeared in a major film anywhere.

Clearly the best parts in Grand Prix didn't go to the actors, they went to the cars, and when the action moves from off-track melodrama to on-the-track mega-drama, our Champion's fortunes take a bigger turn than the famous Grand Hotel Hairpin Curve at Monaco thanks to Director Frankenheimer's outstanding directorial, editorial and technical achievements when the pedal hits the metal. As the tagline declares, Grand Prix “Sweeps YOU into a drama of speed and spectacle!” If there ever was truth in advertising, consider the fact that many young film goers would become mesmerized by sitting in the very first row through repeated screenings while stoned. Now that, my friend, was a hell of a rush in 1967.

Using every Super Panavision camera in existence, the ultra-wide screen images benefitted from Frankenheimer's occasional use of split screen (in part to overcome the inherent distortion problems presented by Cinerama in close-ups) as well as employing the additional use of multi-image sequences. And keep in mind there's no CGI – (thank you very much) – everything you see is real. 

Just as impressive was the meticulous attention paid to capturing the ear-splitting sounds of the various race cars, garnering Grand Prix two well-deserved Academy Awards. (Each car was carefully miked and recorded so the screaming sounds made by the Ferrari engine would be 100% accurate and discernible from those made by the engine powering the McLaren – it is this attention to detail that racing aficionados cherish the most.) 

All other technical aspects of the film were top notch as well, with everything skillfully blended by Oscar-nominated film editors Henry Berman, Stu Linder and Frank Santillo and further enhanced by the moving score by Maurice Jarre, who had recently completed Laurence of Arabia. All things considered, the 176 minute running time maintains its pace remarkably well.

The Decision

Both John Frankenheimer and Ron Howard began their careers in television. Frankenheimer started out behind the camera; his experience with employing multi-camera production techniques, meeting rigid deadlines and needing to get things right on the first take amid the chaos of live TV made him an ideal choice for Grand Prix. Howard on the other hand, began his career in front of the camera. His transition to directing single-camera feature-length motion pictures is both remarkable and undeniable. Given these backgrounds, one might give Frankenheimer the edge when it comes to the challenges of capturing the turbulent and tempestuous world of F1 racing. Then again...

Decision time – which of these two highly talented filmmakers brings home the Smackdown trophy? Let's do a quick recap: Cinemascope vs. Conventional Projection. Academy Award Winning Sound Effects vs. Potential Academy Award Winning Sound Effects. 176 minutes vs. 123. Eva Marie Saint/Jessica Walter vs. Natalie Dormer/Olivia Wilde. Robert Alan Aurthur's Screenplay vs. Peter Morgan's Screenplay.

One film is Bigger, and even though it has nothing to do with Niki, it is Lauda! The other is Faster. Hotter. And Better!

Pop open the champagne Mr. Howard, taking the checkered flag is our Smackdown Winner – Rush.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Book Review

By Bryce Zabel

Alternative history fascinates me, as it fascinates all novelists, because “What if” is the big thing.
(Kate Atkinson)

Yes, life is full of “What ifs.” Some are of little consequence. Some are quite big. And some are very, very big – like the one posed by seasoned screenwriter and professional journalist Bryce Zabel in his latest book, “Surrounded by Enemies: What if Kennedy Survived Dallas?”

This is heady stuff, indeed, and to be a successful writer of alternative history one must accomplish several things: Is the book Meticulously Researched? Is the storytelling Thought-Provoking? Plausible? Provocative? And a non-stop Page-Turner? The answer in this case is yes, yes, yes, yes and hell yes.

Zabel elects to cleverly present his vision by way of a commemorative retrospective by the journalists working on the staff of a fictitious newsmagazine. After all, it will be 50 years since the tragic events in Big D snuffed out the life of one of America's most beloved Presidents. Fifty years since the hopeful, optimistic days of Camelot. And five decades for the majority of Americans who still can't help but wonder what really transpired at Dealey Plaza and then, just a day or so later, at the Dallas Police Station.

Clearly President Kennedy had enemies, powerful enemies within the Secret Service, the FBI, the Pentagon, the Mob, the Federal Reserve, as well as Pro and Anti-Castro Factions, Texas Millionaires and, of course, the Vice President himself, Lyndon Baines Johnson. All had motive and means to remove JFK from office, whether it be, initially, by bullets, or, by resorting to exposing the scandalous, emotionally-charged dark secrets of the Kennedy administration to an unsuspecting and naive nation.

By expertly balancing historical facts with plausible and insightful fiction, “Surrounded by Enemies” takes the reader on a logical, inventive, credible narrative that is clearly the work of a master storyteller. And from among all the possible conspirators, each examined separately and in detail, we do get a reasonable, albeit hypothetical answer regarding who was most likely responsible. Speculative fiction at its best -- this is a bold, highly satisfying conclusion that places "Surrounded by Enemies" among the top “Never was but might have been” books in contemporary literature.

Robert A. Nowotny

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Here's What TheMovieZombie Says About THE BEST OF NeedToVent!

"Bob Nowotny is the most dangerous cultural commentator in captivity. This collection of reviews and ravings is not for the prudish, but those with a taste for outlaw criticism will find much to enjoy here."

"America's Number One Book When You Are Doing Number Two!"

What better way to start the day than with a chorizo and egg breakfast taco, a cup of steaming hot java and "THE BEST OF NeedToVent!" beside the old porcelain throne?

"It's Metamucil for the soul!" Mark S., Colorado

Over 300 pages of pithy, cutting-edge movie reviews, sports trivia and quirky observations concerning the human condition, "THE BEST OF NeedToVent!" is a must for anyone who needs a reason to smile before going to work -- or to bed. No chapter is longer than five pages -- most are only one or two -- making this a very easy book to pick up and put down for the person always on the go.

I know what you are thinking -- "Should I purchase this book?"

Perhaps my friend Kinky Friedman says it best -- "Why the Hell not?"

To see a Preview and to Order your copy from the publisher, just click on this link:

"THE BEST OF NeedToVent!" by Robert A. Nowotny

(Available in paperback and hardcover)

SPECIAL LIMITED TIME OFFER!!! Purchase your copy of "THE BEST OF NeedToVent!" directly from the author and you will receive a signed copy. Click on this link for more details:

Monday, January 11, 2010


THE RADICALS is an expansive, historically accurate, independently-financed feature film which presents the never-before-told true story of the first church formed during the Reformation. Shot entirely on location in France, Switzerland and Germany, THE RADICALS was honored as one of the three best American motion pictures produced in the 1990s by the International Festival for the Arts. (The other two were SCHINDLER'S LIST and GETTYSBURG). In addition, it was selected as the "Best Religious Film of the Year" by The Religious Public Relations Council of America. Other awards include top honors at film festivals ranging from Tokyo to Ghent to Houston.

Now, two decades later, the immensely talented Jane Bohon has published a 20th Anniversary Tribute commemorating the making of THE RADICALS. It is perhaps the most extensive publication of its kind for a relatively low budget, independent production.

To learn more about this remarkable book go to:

Within the 98 full-color pages you will find scores of photos, testimonials, cast and crew anecdotes and behind-the-scene insights for a film one reviewer has called, "A very special movie depicting an important moment in history that changed the direction of Western civilization." (Robbie de Vries)

On behalf of everyone associated with THE RADICALS allow me to convey to Ms. Bohon our sincere appreciation for all the hard work, the incredible commitment and the undying dedication in making this 20th Anniversary something truly special.

Thanks Jane -- you're the best!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Let's start with the ridiculous --

Earl Woods, Tiger's dad, once said: "He's qualified through his ethnicity to accomplish miracles. He's the bridge between the East and the West. There is no limit because he has the guidance. I don't know yet exactly what form this will take -- but he is the Chosen One."

"The Chosen One?" -- How pretentious is that? You won't even find something this magniloquent or ostentatious in a Tim Tebow press release.

Anyway, here's some of the latest on Tiger (minus the Euphrates) in case you have been under sedation for the last week or so...

1. Nothing, it seems, can satisfy the insatiable appetite of the celebrity media to find out more about Tiger Woods, and their reports had no trouble finding an audience. Traffic to the biggest websites jumped 50 percent or more. In fact, Yahoo, Inc. CEO Carol Bartz told an investor conference that the Woods story was "better than Michael Jackson dying" for bringing people to her site and helping Yahoo sell enough extra advertising to boost profits. Jeez, we didn't know the King of Pop died in vain...

2. The Mayor of Las Vegas predicted a similar boost for the local economy. With many of Woods' alleged lovers having links to Sin City, and with Woods well known in Vegas casinos and nightclubs, Mayor Oscar Goodman said all this publicity, "would provide a boost to the local economy even if people no longer believed that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Who can argue with the Mayor? Clearly what happens in Vegas stays in Rachel, Jaimee and Kalika.

3. Even other sports were affected by the Tiger sweepstakes saga. For example, a horse at Hollywood Park named Driveliketiger finished third in a recent race. The horse apparently did not hit anything along the way -- maybe Tiger should get a Jockey as a stocking stuffer this year.

The ultimate irony, of course, is that Tiger Woods spent almost all of his entire life keeping score on the golf course. Now people everywhere are keeping score on him.

And the jokes continue...

What is Tiger's favorite Christmas Carol? "I'm dreaming of a White Mistress."

How does Tiger like his women? Just like his golf balls -- white, with dimples.

Tiger said the fault for his accident was his Escalade. That's oh-so typical of a golfer -- always blame the caddy!

Will there be more to come? As Sarah Palin would say, "You betcha!"

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


(The small image size of the above photo is in direct correlation to the reduced image Tiger now possesses worldwide)

Just minutes after posting our TIGER WOODS -- Mulligan Stew article a Reuters carrier pigeon arrived at Needtovent's office complex delivering a published statement by the grating golfing great which read, in part, "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all my heart...(but) personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions."


Seems to us that Mr. Clean could at least man-up and call a spade a spade (for lack of a better adage).

Alas, Tiger does appear to be drinking his Kool-Aid. And to think, this statement was made mere minutes after our posting which is read worldwide. A coincidence? We think not.

As a Special Bonus to Needtovent readers, here's a picture of this year's Christmas Card photo of Elin and Tiger:

Additional developments include:

Tiger Woods' wife, Elin, is reportedly being paid a hefty seven-figure amount to stay with her husband, according the Chicago Sun-Times. The money is being transferred into an account she controls.

Additionally, Elin has demanded and will get a rewrite on the couple's prenuptial agreement. Originally, the agreement said the couple needed to remain married for 10 years in order for her to collect a divorce settlement of $20 million. Under the rewritten agreement, the time frame has been shortened and the dollar amount increased "substantially."

The couple has also begun marriage counseling at their Florida home.

Two final observations:

*** I guess the PGA really stands for the Pussy Galore Association -- now I know why men work so hard to get a Tour Card.

*** Kobe Bryant got off easy.

TIGER WOODS -- Mulligan Stew

There hasn't been too much to laugh about since Dick Cheney peppered the face of his hunting buddy with a Browning 12 Gauge -- until now.

From the very moment Tiger Woods' bumbling Triple-Bogeyman bumper car excursion was first reported, the Staff at Needtovent began to cachinnate and high-five with the fervor of Nurse Ratched's loonies off their meds. Apparently the same crack (pun intended) "damage control" public relations firm that handled the Exxon Valdez disaster is calling the shots in what The Sunday Times referred to as "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Hydrant." As a result, poor Tiger's Tale will have legs, as they, say, for months to come.

"What's the difference between a car and a golf ball? Tiger can drive a golf ball 400 yards."

Several specific observations:

Boy, are we glad we don't live in the Sunshine State. Is it just us, or does Florida Highway Patrol's Major Cindy Williams, shown here at the press conference declaring that Mr. Woods will only be charged with a simple traffic citation, lack even a modicum of constabulary professionalism? Tiger has said he is embarrassed by his actions. Shouldn't law enforcement officials and Smoky Bear be embarrassed also?

"What was Tiger and his wife doing out at 2:30 in the morning?
They were clubbing."

One fascinating facet of this whole affair is that Tiger's neighbors, whose tree he hit, is the Adams Family. Needtovent is presently pursuing an exclusive interview with Gomez and his wife Morticia who were the first on the scene of the accident not carrying a 9-iron. Yes, we know what people say about the Adams family: "They're creepy and they're kooky. Mysterious and spooky. They're all together ooky." We are not sure about the ooky part, but what the Hell...

"Tiger crashed into a fire hydrant and a tree. Apparently he couldn't decide between a wood and an iron."

Finally, we couldn't help but end this posting with a photo of Rachel Uchitel, the first of what could be many prime-time concubines. We told you this story had legs, and this proves it...

Friday, November 27, 2009


Yesterday's 83rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was longer and more boring than a Southern Baptist Convention. Listed below are a half-dozen observations the Staff at Needtovent felt compelled to pass along...

1. Milton DeLugg was credited as the Musical Director for this event. Born in 1918, Mr. DeLugg is still going strong at the age of 91. We remember him best for his work on both Johnny Carson's TONIGHT SHOW and, later, Chuck Barris' THE GONG SHOW. Needtovent hereby salutes Mr. DeLugg whose musical interludes between singers and marching bands was a highlight of this year's parade.

2. The most insipid, pathetic and annoying singing performance out of literally dozens must go to Mitch Musso, the Hanna Montana co-star, whose rendition of "Shout It Out" was literally projectile-vomit inducing. We can only hope that his fate mirrors another Musso of sorts, that being Benito Mussolini, shown above with his mistress, Clara Petacci. We've already bought the rope...

3. Macy's distinctive Red Star logo was displayed on more banners and vehicles than you'll see at any May Day Parade at the Kremlin.

4. We did find one commercial to be especially enlightening. Without doubt, Needtovent is firmly convinced that any toy manufactured by Fisher-Price is beyond banal. If you want to provide your child with even a modicum of intellectual stimulation, we strongly suggest that you do not purchase anything from this company -- their entire toy line is hebetudiness-inducing for even prenatal children.

5. Among all of the big, inflatable balloons, only one got us thinking: If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? So much for intellectual stimulation...

6. And, finally, thank God for the Rockettes. Their gams were a Hell of a lot more fun to watch than any of the NFL's Thanksgiving Day games.

Until next year...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

PONTIAC SILVERDOME -- The Deal Of The Century?

Yesterday the Pontiac Silverdome was sold at auction. When completed in 1975, at a cost of $55.7 million (the equivalent of around $70 million today), it was the largest stadium in the National Football League, with seating for 80,368 loyal Detroit Lions fans. And every seat was indoor thanks to the 10-acre Teflon coated fiberglass roof supported by no less that 1,700 tons of structural steel.

The selling price: $583,000.

That's not a typo. The selling price was a mere Five Hundred Eighty Three Thousand Dollars.

This amount is virtually the same as the asking price for the luxury high-rise condominium I was recently looking at in downtown San Antonio. I was told that this was a bargain the likes of which I would never, ever see again.

When I broached my semi-trusty Century 21 agent about the purchase price of the Silverdome he found the news so shocking it turned his sports coat a hideous yellow vomit color. Oh wait, it was already that way. But, now his face was just a half-shade off to match his jacket.

Just for fun, let's make some simple comparisons -----

Square Footage:
Silverdome -- 430,000/sf
Luxury Condo -- 2,150/sf

Price Per Square Foot:
Silverdome -- $1.36/sf
Luxury Condo -- $271.00/sf

Silverdome -- 1,240 Luxury Suites
Luxury Condo -- 1 Master/1 minuscule Guest Bedroom


Silverdome -- 1 Full Service Epicurean Restaurant supplemented by 42 Concession Stands
Luxury Condo -- 1 average-sized kitchen -- with built-in disposal, trash compacter and granite counter tops. Yipeee...

Parking Places:

Silverdome -- 12,464 on-site, with another 8,700 off-site
Luxury Condo -- 2

Oh yes, the purchase of the Silverdome includes 132 acres of land. The Luxury Condo does not include any land whatsoever.

To be totally fair, my refrigerator now sports a Century 21 Refrigerator Magnet -- a gift given to me even though I have not made a purchase. I also have a Century 21 Key Chain. How can they afford such largesse?

All kidding aside, there obviously is no comparison. But is bigger really better?

Just ask any woman...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Who says academia is boring?

Needtovent is excited about a whole new branch of science which has recently captured the spotlight of America's foremost network and cable channels. Usually such scientific endeavors are relegated to smaller media outlets such as the Discovery Channel or My Weekly Reader, but Palintology is making headlines everywhere. In fact, one can now take a course in this new field thanks to it's matriarch -- one Sara Palin, who, like Darwin, lends her name to this fascinating discipline.

As defined by the editors of the Science Christian Merrimack, Palintology is the vivisection of old fossils, especially those pertaining to the brief McCain Era.

Being such a new field of study, there is currently only one practitioner, Ms. Palin herself, seen above just prior to holding class at Wasilla High.

In closing, we cannot help but wonder what the yardstick is all about. Even our most dreaded nun, Mother Superior Vader, confined herself to a 12" ruler...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

THE IRONDALE CAFE -- The Worst Meal Ever???

Over the past sixty-plus years I have visited every state in the union and thirty-seven foreign countries. As a result, I have eaten at literally thousands of eateries -- ranging from among the fanciest and most expensive to some of the smallest dives well off the beaten track. Most of the time the food is pretty good, but there have been a number of regrettable meals which remain seared in my memory.

For example, there's the Peking Duck I was served at a restaurant in Beijing that was so fatty I named the poor bird "Arbuckle." If nothing else, this culinary experience made me realize that if reincarnation is true, I absolutely, positively do not want to come back as a liposuction machine.

I also remember a pu pu platter served in Austin that was so shockingly awful, it almost killed a Needtovent staffer. It was worse than poo-poo, that's for sure.

The same holds true for any number of "mixed grill" offerings served while attending the Varna International Film Festival in Bulgaria. Even Alfred Packer wouldn't have been able to digest the various meats which comprised this ubiquitous entree during Todor Zhivkov's reign as President of that impoverished country.

And, of course, there is the Olive Garden -- but I'll discuss that topic at another time.

Which brings me to the Irondale Cafe located just outside the city limits of Birmingham, Alabama. Originally a hot dog stand, which later added hamburgers, barbecue and a variety of sandwiches to the menu, the business was purchased by Miss Bess Fotenberry in 1932, and shortly thereafter the Irondale Cafe (aka the original Whistle Stop) became well-known for its signature dish -- fried green tomatoes.

As it turns out, Bess Fotenberry's niece is Fannie Flagg and her book featuring the restaurant became a best seller. And in January, 1992, the movie version of FRIED GREEN TOMATOES premiered at the Cobb Galleria Theatre in Birmingham. The place became an over-night sensation and tourists from around the world flocked to this small eatery, with most ordering fried green tomatoes. After all, why not? Even the local newspaper ran an article with the headline: "Seen the movie? Now taste the title."

So far, so good.

Which brings me to the evening of November 7, 2010, when yours truly, accompanied by the same Needtovent staffer who barely survived the dreaded pu pu platter, decided to eat at what some consider to be an American icon. Icon my ass, what "icon" tell you is that this was among the worst meals either of us have ever experienced.

I'll be brief -- the breading on my catfish was muculent -- there's simply no other way to describe what was on the plate. As for the celebrated fried green tomatoes -- they were soggy and the only taste associated with them came from the oil used. Even the dinner rolls were terrible -- being greasier than a Puerto Rican's pillow.

To be totally fair, the service, such as it existed, was adequate.

Maybe this wasn't the single worst meal I have ever experienced. Then again, maybe it was. But what I can say for certain is that you must not be mislead by the dozens of testimonials appearing on the Irondale Cafe's website -- they constitute the largest collection of fiction this side of Oxford University.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Last night Philly Phenom Chase Utley hit two home runs to help propel the underdogs from the City of Brotherly Love to a surprising 6-1 victory over the overpaid Bronx Bombers. In doing so, Utley became the first left-handed hitter to hit two 'taters off of a left-handed pitcher in a World Series game since the mighty Bambino did so over eighty years ago.

I repeat -- this was the first time a lefty batter homered twice against left-handed pitching in the Fall Classic since October 9, 1928, when Babe Ruth accomplished the same feat off of Cardinals' pitcher Bill Sherdel.

Talk about an obscure statistic. Who keeps track of such things?

The fact remains that this is an extremely rare accomplishment which led the Staff at Needtovent to research Mr. Utley a little more, given his current celebrity status.

We like what we found...

For example, his minor league career included playing for such storied organizations as the Cotuit Kettleers and the Batavia Muckdogs. Seems like this fella thrives on obscurity. And prior to each of his plate appearances at Citizens Bank Park the public address systems plays "Kashmir" by Led Zepplin. A nice choice.

Another nice choice is his very attractive wife, Jennifer. Lookin' good...

A first game victory over the Damn Yankees is lookin' good, also, which makes me really, really crave a Philly Cheesesteak and an ice-cold Rolling Rock...

Go Phillies!