Friday, July 29, 2011

Vintage Tuneage :: Everybody Better Be on Guard When the Flying Saucers Land.

Video courtesy of .

Yeah, good luck getting that out of
your head for the rest of the day.

The Rezillos:

Jo Callis (guitar), Hi-Fi Harris (guitar), Will Mysterious (sax),
Angel Patterson (drums), Dr D.K. Smythe (bass),
Fay Fife (vocals) Eugene Reynolds (vocals)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

YouTube Finds :: Painting a Beautiful Picture in Your Mind's Ear!

If you have to fall down one of them YouTube holes I highly recommend you aim for Pat's Drive-In of the Damned Channel, where the spotlight shines bright on the lost art of radio adverts for whatever was heading to the big screen near you. Here's just a few examples of what you'll find lurking within:

Fan-damn-tastic. And there's a whole lot more ploits to ex waiting -- interviews, trailers and TV spots -- that are just one simple click away.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Recommendations :: Captain America: Turn on the Lights.

Back in the mid-1980's, when this ad first appeared, I thought this was, perhaps, the stupidest idea in the history of stupid ideas, and thus, was not really all that surprised when the production never went any further, really, than that ad. And with all the horror stories, runaway hubris, and mounting stupidity of The Thing that Would Not Die Before it Actually Kills Someone (a/k/a Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) only reinforced that notion that super-heroes and musicals do not and should not mix -- until I caught Joe Johnston's Captain America last night.

I never in a million years would have predicted that this movie, post-transformation, would spend a ten to fifteen minute interval focusing on a hilarious barnstorming musical revue/bond drive where Cap spent the day punching Hitler in the face in front of a chorus line of high-kicking Busby Berkeley beauties to a hideously infectious diddy about the Star-Spangled Man with the Plan (written by Alan Menken) that has me shaking my head, and smiling like a blissed-out idiot, to head back to the chalkboard to rethink things for awhile on this whole super-hero musical thing. Just one of the many reasons that make Captain America a total blast and the most fun I've had at the movies in a long, long time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Update :: The Humongous and Other '80s Gonzoidal Classics Coming to DVD.

Ask and ye shall receive, apparently.

Thank you, Scorpion Releasing! I see a few Uncut and Remastered tags on several of the DVDs so here's hoping for some decent prints. (And I look forward to finally getting my hands on a copy of the non-Shatner Incubus.) Looks like they'll be getting the Elvira treatment with introductions from host Katarina (-- honestly no clue who that is but I look forward to getting acquainted), yet I'm fairly certain they'll be no added effects or pop-ups during the film. (I hope.) Also of note, Humongous will contain a commentary track by director Paul Lynch and screenwriter William Gray. (Better and better.) Looks like the first wave of releases will be hitting sometime in September, with The Devil Within Her and Final Exam. No official word yet when Humongous will hit the streets, but I've waited this long so I can wait a little while longer (as long as this line doesn't dry-up and disappear like so many titles for Code Red did.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trailer Park :: I Been Canuxploitated :: The Humongous is Among Us!

On Labor Day weekend back in 1946, while her father entertains several guests at their isolated island retreat, young Ida Parsons is culled from the reverie and then assaulted and raped by some drunken reprobate. But justice comes swiftly as the Parsons' prized German Shepherds answer their lady's distress calls and tear the rapist to shreds. Now, some forty years later, legend has it that the traumatized Ida never left the island after that, and, to keep her privacy, allowed her dogs to roam free as way of saying "Keep the hell off." And this legend is verified as fact when a boating accident leaves a group of teenagers marooned on the Parsons' Island. But is it the feral dogs that keep picking them off, one by one, or is it something far more sinister lurking in the dark...

Video courtesy of .

Now that is one damned fine trailer. Okay, so, Humongous was (director ) Paul Lynch and (screenwriter) William Gray's follow up to the Canuxploitation classic, Prom Night (1980). And I know Humongous is often categorized as a slasher movie, too, but, even though it does carry a lot of the familiar earmarks of that genre, I'm here to tell you it isn't. Nope. What we have, here, is a bona fide monster movie on our hands, folks; and the killer is no more a slasher than the Frankenstein Monster or the Midwich Cuckoos. In fact, the film probably owes more to Scooby-Doo than Sean S. Cunningham as there is a fairly decent mystery presented as our shipwreck survivors explore the island and discover clues as to what is really out there, in the woods, baying at the moon. That, and the fact that there is no sexual or moral element to the killings is pretty unique, too, despite the Spam in a Cabin-Cruiser origins of the victims. I mean ... Even a monster's gotta eat, right?

At this point I'll also make a confession. I haven't seen all of Humongous. I watched all of it, sure; but I've only actually seen part of it. Unavailable on DVD and way, way too expensive on OOP'd VHS, I did manage to find and download two different gray-market versions but both were nth generation dubs that were so washed out all the night scenes left you staring at a black screen with a few amorphous shapes floating around.

And, sadly, about 60% of the movie takes place at night. But! Some of the scenes in the trailer are so much clearer and brighter I still hold out hope to find a better copy someday. Or, better yet, consider this a cry in the dark for an official DVD release. C'mon, folks, there's a pretty good movie lurking in there that I, and many others, are just dying to see.

Humongous (1982) Humongous Productions-Avco Embassy / EP: Michael Stevenson / P: Anthony Kramreither / D: Paul Lynch / W: William Gray / C: Brian R.R. Hebb / E: Nick Rotundo / S: Janet Julian, David Wallace, John Wildman, Joy Boushel, Layne Coleman

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Positively Lewdicrous :: A 15 Vid-Cap Look at Harry Novak's Monster-Nudie, Kiss Me Quick (1964)

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

"Kiss your what?!?"
___ ___ ___
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Bored with their asexual lifestyle, the elders of the all male planet Buttless decide to send an emissary to the planet Earth so he can investigate the indigenous creatures known as the female. And so, the emissary in question, a hapless boob by the name of Sterilox (Coe -- doing a passable Stan Laurel impersonation), is teleported into the secret lair of Dr. Breedlove (Gardens -- doing a bizarre mash-up of Bela Lugosi, Peter Lorre and Peter Sellers' errant right hand), a man of maniacal mad science, who majored in aphrodisiacs, apparently. Anyways, Breedlove does his best to educate his dense alien friend on the fine art of the female form by giving him a tour of his mansion, each room filled to overflowing with the target in question. Zingers fly, and brassieres disappear. Followed by more stripping, dancing, and a lotta ogling, punctuated by visits from Dracula, the Mummy, and an extended cameo by Frankenstein's Monster; thus proving once again, some movies can actually be as insane as they sound.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

"In an era when almost anything sexual could be considered obscene it was the logical outgrowth of both the burlesque film and the nudist camp movies of the 1950's. The result was a sex film without any sex. They were called Nudie-Cuties and they were undoubtedly the stupidest films on the face of the earth."

-- Frank Henenlotterxxxx
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Here it is, the film on which sexploitation pioneer Harry Novak's Box Office International empire was built. And while I do agree with Mr. Henenlotter that most Nudie-Cuties are pretty dumb and awfully tedious to sit through that is so not the case with Kiss Me Quick. This thing is so weird and so demented and so ... boggling of mind that I kept cracking up through the whole thing. Of course, all that beautiful eye-candy to gawk at doesn't hurt this slapdash production; and it doesn't hurt to have Lazlo Kovacs (who was also shooting for Ray Dennis Steckler at the time) behind the camera, whose set-ups and angles aren't shy at all and gets you up close and personal with all the curves and contours of Breedlove's beauties. And how in the hell did Novak get that Monster past Universal's rabid trademark lawyers is one of cinema's greatest mysteries. Also, good luck in getting those rocking Nudie Watusi riffs out of your head once the film ends (provided by The Gallstones -- most likely the house-band of the Gayety, co-producer Gardens' very own L.A. burlesque theater). Add it all up and you've got something that is a lot more silly than sleazy but most folks will probably just find it irredeemably stupid. Not me, though. And if you have to see one Nudie-Cutie to make your life complete, then Kiss Me Quick is just what the doctor ordered.

Kiss Me Quick (1964) Fantasy Films-Box Office International / P: Harry Novak, Max Gardens / D: Peter Perry Jr. / W: Peter Perry Jr. / C: Laszlo Kovacs / S: Max Gardens, Frank A. Coe, Natasha, Jackie De Witt, Claudia Banks

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Attack of the 50ft. Blogathon!

Well, since I had so much fun the last time, I am once more answering the call and will participate in Nathanael Hood's latest blogathon over at The Forgotten Classics of Yesteryear. This time, participants will be going all Bobby "Boris" Pickett on some gonzoidal monster movie gold nuggets from the 1950's. Some well known, others not so much. As for my choice of fantastic fright flicks, I'm gonna go off the beaten path a bit to tackle Richard E. Cunha's nefariously wonky piece of cheezecake cum proto-Nazisploitation insanity better known as...

It's totally Cunhalogical, folks. And that is freakin' terrifying.

Stay tuned!

I'm participating. Are you?

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Hunt is On.

See! This is what happens when you fall down one of them there Google image holes. And now that I've found it, even though there is no way it could ever live up to that poster, I. must. see. this. movie. And after a little more digging I found an alternative title, Massacre in Dinosaur Valley, meaning, dammit, to scratch this irritable irresistible itch, I've got one more Italiano Cannibal Atrocity flick to sit through. *sigh*

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Netflix'd :: Clearing Out the Instant Que :: American International Blows a Gasket and Throws a Rod with Lew Landers' Hot Rod Gang (1958)

When the rent comes due on their clubhouse, Johnny (Ashley), the leader of our Hot Rod Gang, has a plan to get the scratch to get the landlord off their backs. Now, this plan entails him winning the next big drag race. Of course, to do that, he must first raise some cash to finish fine-tuning his jalopy first. (In fact, I don't even think the thing is built yet. Anyhoo...) 

Luckily, his new girl, Jody (Fair), has a back-up plan to raise the cash and fix the car so they can win the race to make the rent and save their clubhouse. Seems she knows Gene Vincent, and the girl is convinced she can sway the Be-Bop-a-Lula'n rockabilly wild-man to put on a show so they can raise the cash and fix the car to win the race and make the rent to save their clubhouse.

Alas, Vincent is booked solid, but the singer is acutely aware of Johnny's own singing prowess and convinces him that he should be the one to put on a show so they can raise the cash and fix the car to win the race and make the rent to save their clubhouse. 

But! Johnny refuses, citing that if his kooky old aunts (-- not to mention they're his sole meal ticket --) will disown him if they ever found out about his double-life as a Grease-Ball Hot-Roddin' Rock 'n' Roller.

Ah! But Vincent and Jody brainstorm a way around that and cook up a bop'n beatnik disguise for Johnny.

Thus, our bearded and pompadour'd heartthrob can jive and wail, like, incognito, man, so he can put on the show to raise the cash and fix the car to win the race and make the rent to save their clubhouse...

Wow. Just another heaping helping of crock-n-bull provided by veteran American International stock screenwriter, Lou Rusoff, with Lew Landers just walking everyone through it as fast as he possibly can. And did I mention that Johnny is also being framed for series of car thefts by his rival racers? 

No, well, then lets just forget I brought this moral clause up. I'm having a hard enough time dealing with those Spinster Aunts and their wild attempts to be hip to the hep. Yeesh.

Okay, I didn't think it was possible, but John Ashely is actually worse at the onscreen Rock 'n' Roll thing than Arch Hall Jr -- The Choppers (1961), Wild Guitar (1962). All of his performances are canned and dubbed in, and I wouldn't even venture a guess as to if that's really him singing or not. 

Now I've always liked Ashley as a supporting beachnik for Frankie and Annette -- Bikini Beach (1964), Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), and I loved his later producing work in the Philippines -- The Woman Hunt (1972) Black Mama, White Mama (1973), but his early starring vehicles for AIP were pretty odious and this thing does little to blow that particular cinematic Bell Curve.

Luckily, we do have Gene Vincent anchoring the movie, and, along with the Blue Caps, he performs "Dance in the Street", "Dance to the Bop", "Lovely Loretta" and "Baby Blue." I know Eddie Cochran's back-up band shows up, too, but why Cochran himself doesn't make an appearance is anyone's guess. 

And one can only laugh at Ashley's beatnik as, once more, the brass at AIP understood the beat culture about as well as they did the hippie and biker scene, losing almost everything in their translation.

I swear, I normally have a high tolerance for this kind of venture, but even I have my limits. Add it all up and this whole can of stoopidity known as Hot Rod Gang is, more or less, just plain stupid. 

Other Points of Interest:

Hot Rod Gang (1958) Indio Productions :: American International Pictures / EP: Charles Rogers / P: Lou Rusoff / AP: Lou Kimzey / D: Lew Landers / W: Lou Rusoff / C: Floyd Crosby / E: Robert S. Eisen / M: Ronald Stein / S: John Ashley, Jody Fair, Steve Drexel, Doodles Weaver, Dub Taylor, Dorothy Neumann, Helen Spring, Gene Vincent

Monday, July 4, 2011

Why We Fight...

Video courtesy of .

There a more days than less where I fear we, as a country, have lost something that we will never, ever get back. But sometimes ... sometimes something as a simple as a piece of music can rekindle your faith in the potential of what was and what could be again.

Thank you, Mr. Copland.

Happy Independence Day, all.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

We Aim to Please, You Aim, too, Please :: Or John Wayne and the Fine Art of Bathroom Etiquette.

Just so we're clear, sporting one of John Wayne's finest performances, with Bruce Dern at his most vilest, a haunting score by John Williams, and some stunning cinematography courtesy of Robert Surtees, all combining for a rousing good time, owning the DVD of Mark Rydell's The Cowboys is worth it for the movie all by itself and all the bonus features are just gravy. Still, the bonus materials provided on Warner Bros.' Deluxe Edition are pretty damned cool. Included is a vintage featurette shot during the filming back in 1971 that focuses on breaking in the young cast members.

For his cowboys -- stress on the boys, the savvy Rydell split them down the middle, with half having an acting background, the other already firm in the fine art of ranching and rodeos. They gelled perfectly.

The second major bonus feature is a cast reunion with Dern, A. Martinez (Cimarron), Stephen Hudis (Charlie), and Norman Howell (Weedy) joining Rydell for a roundtable discussion on the movie and its major players, Wayne, Dern, and Roscoe Lee Browne. (Browne and Robert Carradine contribute via taped interviews.) And here, I encountered the biggest laugh I've had in a long time when the director related a story about having dinner with the Duke:

"Walk into a restaurant with John Wayne in Santa Fe was like walking in with Lincoln or something. He signed everybody's autograph; he went over and met everyone's grandmothers; he was the sweetest guy. And then he walked to the bathroom ... He comes back and the side of his pants is soaking wet. And I said What happened?And he says, It always happens to me all the time. Some guy is standing next to me [at the adjoining urinal, sees me, turns, startled, and still firing, and excitedly says] You're John Wayne!"

That happened to him all the time? Seriously?! Meaning there are untold numbers of people out there who can proudly claim to have [accidentally] peed on John Wayne. Again: Seriously? And that, my friends, is just too hilarious to contemplate any further.

The Cowboys (1972) Sanford Productions-Warner Bros. / P: Mark Rydell / AP: Tim Zinnemann / D: Mark Rydell / W: Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank Jr., William Dale Jennings (Novel) / C: Robert Surtees / E: Neil Travis / S: John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern, Robert Carradine, A. Martinez

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In Lieu of Actual Content :: Another Link!

Well, ever since my Flickr account went tits up about a month ago I've been slowly moving my digital poster archive over to a new home on Wordpress. The purpose of which? Well, for one, my OCD movie mania knows no bounds; and two, as a public service, providing a (complete as I can get it) archive of promotional materials that haven't been tagged, obscured or altered in anyway (aside from cleaning them up a bit). About dozen flicks already posted, with lots more to come.

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