Sunday, July 22, 2018

Movie Ad of the Week: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK (1984/1985)



Sergio Martino's 2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK was scheduled for U.S. distribution by Almi Pictures in the fall of 1984, not long after the company had released Lucio Fulci's HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY sans an MPAA rating (It carried the warning "Due to the graphic nature of this film, no one under 17 will be admitted"). When the film was submitted to the Code and Ratings Administration it was slapped with an X rating for violence, and Almi came close to releasing it unrated. How close? The ad above is for the November 21st, 1984 opening in Los Angeles, which was cancelled so the film could be edited and resubmitted for an R. This cancellation, however, was not brought to the attention of Los Angeles Times critic Kevin Thomas, whose positive review did appear on November 21st!


When the film finally arrived in L.A. two months later (January 25, 1985), Almi had scrapped the exciting painted artwork of the original campaign and replaced it with a black-and-white photo of star Michael Sopkiw posing like Plissken under a reprint of Thomas' review.


A few months later, in Fangoria #44 (May 1985), Almi president Frank Moreno explained to writer David Everett why the ad campaign was changed after the issues with the MPAA caused the L.A. engagements to be cancelled: "I had gotten a lot of negative feedback from the film community on the advertising approach that we had been taking. So we looked at it again and decided that they were right and that our approach was wrong. No one here feels like they wrote the book. We feel we can learn from other people. I personally take responsibility for the mistake that was made in the original approach to the marketing of AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK. I made a mistake. I don't think it's wrong to make mistakes. I think it's wrong not to improve upon things. I think that the new approach that makes use of of an excerpt from the Thomas review is much better for the film, which is a Mad Max sort of picture with some form of comedic appeal to it. That sort of look, we feel, will attract a larger audience."

Two months after this interview was published -- and eight months after the first release was cancelled -- AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK opened in New York (July 26, 1985) with much smaller newspaper ads featuring a quote from Applause writer Brett Walker.



Vestron had the videocassette in rental shops two weeks later.


August 9, 1985

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Mystery Movie Solved! LOVE TIMES THREE (1973)



Acquired for the U.S. by Serafim Karalexis' United International Films and released by Howard Mahler, LOVE TIMES THREE opened in the NYC area on December 14, 1973 with a self-applied X (It was submitted for a rating in '74 and received an R). The billing block in the promotional materials is bogus, but we recently watched the trailer for LOVE TIMES THREE on a Something Weird DVD and were able to ID the movie as WILDER SEX JUNGER MÄDCHEN/WILD SEXY YOUNG GIRL (1972) a.k.a. AUS DEM TAGEBUCH EINER FRÜHREIFEN/FROM THE DIARY OF AN EARLY BIRD a.k.a. LOVEPLAY, starring Astrid Kilian, Katharina Mayberg and Monica Marc.


Sunday, July 08, 2018

Movie Ads of the Week: TOWING (1978) a.k.a. WHO STOLE MY WHEELS (1979) and FUN GIRLS (1980)



Almost seven years ago we did an Endangered List entry for Maura Smith's action comedy TOWING (Case File #94), a film worth revisiting since it's still MIA and we've recently found some better newspaper ads for it under all three of its titles. The above ad is from its Sioux Falls, SD opening as TOWING on May 24, 1978.


On August 10, 1979 it made a pit stop in Albuquerque, NM as WHO STOLE MY WHEELS?


Sporting a fake R rating, it pulled in to Tallahassee, FL as FUN GIRLS on November 28, 1980.

Friday, July 06, 2018

TEEN LUST in 35mm on 7/12 at the Nitehawk!



Temple of Schlock founder Chris Poggiali will be at the Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn on Thursday, July 12th, to introduce a rare 35mm showing of James Hong's THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR (a.k.a. TEEN LUST)! This event, part of the “The Deuce” screening series, is expected to sell out, so get your tickets now! Written, produced and directed by busy and beloved character actor James Hong, this episodic, idiosyncratic bad-taste comedy about a group of high school newly-grads consistently surprises by giving equal time to their creepy parents, neighbors, clergymen, and local law enforcement. Filmed in 1977 under the title SO LONG, COLUMBUS HIGH but completed as THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, it failed to find an audience upon its release in 1978 as THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR and spent the next five years haunting drive-ins under yet another two titles before hitting the Deuce on September 9th, 1983 (Top-lining a triple bill at the Victory with GETTING IT ON and THE CREEPER).

“…authentically trashy….amounts to a John Waters movie made by a retarded midwesterner.” – Sleazoid Express

The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and, as always, there will be prizes afterwards. For more details, head over to the event page.


Sunday, July 01, 2018

Movie Ad of the Week: The Many Faces of THE LAST VICTIM (1976)


World Premiere - Wednesday, June 23, 1976 - Bettendorf, IA


Jim Sotos' THE LAST VICTIM -- a low-budget, PG-rated thriller starring Tanya Roberts, Ron Max, and Nancy Allen -- had its world premiere at the Spruce Hills Twin Cinema in Bettendorf, Iowa on June 23, 1976.






The film also opened at the Capri Cinema in Rock Island, IA two days later (June 25, 1976).


Above: THE LAST VICTIM in Longview, TX - September 24, 1976

Howard Mahler Films came up with a new campaign for a re-release in 1977 as MR. DEATH. Here it is in Shreveport, LA on September 16, 1977. Although it carries an R rating, the film had actually received a PG from the MPAA in January 1976.


Above: MR. DEATH in Jackson, MS - October 7, 1977


MR. DEATH visits Louisville, KY - November 18, 1977

MR. DEATH was held over in Louisville, but Howard Mahler changed the title and campaign again so it became RAPE IN THE SUBURBS for the week of November 25, 1977!


RAPE IN THE SUBURBS hits Miami - February 24, 1978


Ft. Lauderdale - February 24, 1978

When THE LAST VICTIM was re-released (again!) as FORCED ENTRY in 1983 -- by Sotos' own company, Century International -- it was edited for re-rating and got an R. Above is the ad from when it returned to Ft. Lauderdale on March 18, 1983.

It took another year for FORCED ENTRY to reach the New York area. Opening date: March 9, 1984.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mystery Movie Solved! HAN BO WARRIOR (1982)



Here's a 2-for-1 deal: one movie that solves two mysteries! Alice Hsia's Transmedia Distribution Corp. released seven martial arts movies in the early '80s, six of which starred Billy Chong (KUNG FU EXECUTIONER, A HARD WAY TO DIE, SUPER POWER, JADE CLAW, KUNG FU ZOMBIE, A FIST FULL OF TALONS). The seventh, HAN BO WARRIOR, opened in only two theaters in midtown Manhattan on August 13, 1982 before traveling to the outer boroughs, Jersey, Connecticut and action theaters elsewhere, which leads us to the conclusion that Transmedia only had two prints. It turns out HAN BO WARRIOR was 10 years old at this point; a recent investigation by the sleuths here at Temple of Schlock revealed its true identity as MENG HU XIA SHAN/THE RAGE OF WIND (1972), starring Chen Sing and Yasuaki Kurata.


The film stayed in circulation for almost two years. Here it is playing second fiddle to MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY in a Baltimore grindhouse (courtesy of Washington D.C. sub-distributor Ross Wheeler) the week of February 10, 1984.


Below is a funny article written by Baltimore Sun syndicated columnist Matt Seiden about his experience attending the MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY w/ HAN BO WARRIOR double bill.


Meanwhile, the World Northal "Black Belt Theater" television packages were earning great ratings for channels like WNEW 5 in New York, which ran martial arts movies every Saturday afternoon on their DRIVE-IN MOVIE program. One movie I always wondered about was THE NINJA WARLORD, which premiered on DRIVE-IN MOVIE on February 26, 1983. The TV listing below gets the date wrong and the plot turned around --


A Hong Kong production where the Japanese are the good guys? Yeah, anyway, when the Transmedia films were picked up by World Northal for inclusion in the "Black Belt II" package, the title of HAN BO WARRIOR was changed to THE NINJA WARLORD (Right, because in addition to always being the villains, all Japanese are ninjas!). In other words, the film was still playing the kung fu circuit as HAN BO WARRIOR while showing on TV as THE NINJA WARLORD. As an elderly Italian-American co-worker of mine used to say, "Nice in America!"

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Movie Ad of the Week: THE FLOWER WITH THE DEADLY STING (1975)



The giallo IL FIORE DAI PETALI D'ACCIAIO/THE FLOWER WITH STEEL PETALS (1973) -- directed by Gianfranco Piccioli and starring Carroll Baker, Gianni Garko and Pilar Velázquez -- opened in Boston as THE FLOWER WITH THE DEADLY STING on August 22, 1975.