Saturday, January 31, 2009

Olga!




"’Olga’ Series to Be Revived by Producer George Weiss"

NEW YORK -- The original and highly successful 'Olga' series will be revised by its originator and producer, George Weiss. Production is due to start shortly on 'Olga's Girl Gangsters,' first of a new series to again be distributed by Stan Borden's American Films.

Weiss contends that although there have been many imitations, the 'Olga' stories were classics in the exploitation field and he intends to keep the series alive and well.

American Film Distributing Corp. is located at 228 W. 47th St., New York City 10036

(Boxoffice, 5/7/1973, p.6)

This Week on 42nd Street -- 1986

Here are the double and triple features that played the Deuce twenty-three years ago this week. Theaters are listed in east-to-west order.

NORTH SIDE OF THE STREET

Rialto: KRUSH GROOVE / POLICE ACADEMY / MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME

Lyric: BLACK MOON RISING / THE STUFF

Times Square: IGOR AND THE LUNATICS / SPLATTER UNIVERSITY

Apollo: IRON EAGLE / FIRESTARTER

Selwyn: PRAY FOR DEATH / ENTER THE NINJA


SOUTH SIDE OF THE STREET

Cine 42 – Theatre I: ROCKY IV / RUNAWAY TRAIN
Theatre II: AVENGING DRAGON / UNFORGIVEN OF SHAOLIN

Harris: TROLL / GHOULIES

Liberty: THE ALCHEMIST / NIGHT SHADOWS

Empire: RAIDERS OF THE BUDDHIST KUNG FU / SHAOLIN BLOOD MISSION / PASSAGE OF THE DRAGON

Friday, January 30, 2009

MURDER ON LOCATION by "George Kennedy"


George Kennedy won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1968 for COOL HAND LUKE and was the only actor to appear in all four of the popular, star-studded AIRPORT thrillers of the 1970s, but today he’s probably best known for playing Captain Ed Hocken alongside Leslie Nielsen and O.J. Simpson in THE NAKED GUN comedies. An amiable guy in interviews, with a reputation as a hard-working and dependable actor, I’ve always found him a welcome addition to any motion picture or TV show, even when he’s taking bear-sized bites out of the scenery (FOOLS’ PARADE, anyone? How about that dual role in HOTWIRE?). An avid reader for years, Kennedy supposedly turned novelist in the early ‘80s and penned two paperback mysteries that were published by Avon, Murder on Location (1983) and Murder on High (1984). Casting himself in the lead role as amateur sleuth and setting the action against the backdrop of the movie industry, Kennedy came up with a pair of entertaining celebrity whodunits and even peppered them with well known actors in supporting roles and cameos.

Kennedy actually leaves most of the detective work in Murder on Location to his good friend Mike Corby, an ex-New York City cop whose investigation and eventual capture of the dreaded “Park Avenue Rapist” back in the ‘70s was the basis for the Al Pacino smash hit BADGE OF HONOR; like his real-life counterparts Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso, whose high-profile drug busts inspired THE FRENCH CONNECTION, the fictional Corby successfully parlayed his years in the NYPD into a second career as a technical advisor and character actor in Hollywood. Murder on Location puts Kennedy and Corby in Mexico for the filming of THE GODLESS, a $30 million Western starring newcomers Blossom Foster and Alex Keglmeyer and a slew of veterans ranging from Dean Martin, Glenn Ford and Mariette Hartley to Raquel Welch, Genevieve Bujold and special guest Yul Brynner. The production has Oscar written all over it, but when crew members start turning up dead -- either killed in mysterious "accidents" or murdered outright -- it becomes apparent that someone doesn't want THE GODLESS to ever get finished. The bodies pile up quickly, as do the suspects: the snotty TV gossip show host, the Texas oil millionaire who's signing the checks, the uncooperative local police chief, the gay matador, the mother of teen glamour girl Blossom Foster, Corby's new flame Meredy -- practically anyone who set foot on the set could be the killer, Kennedy and Corby included. When both the producer and director die and Kennedy is recruited by the studio to take over the picture, Corby tries to lure the killer out of hiding by calling a phony press conference to announce the killer's identity.

It ain't Agatha Christie but it certainly is a lot of fun, especially if you're a movie buff who grew up watching Kennedy in action during his peak years (Fans of THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT will get a charge out of Clint Eastwood's cameo appearance). And just like Crime on My Hands and Stranger at Home -- the two mysteries credited to actor George Sanders but ghost written by others (Craig Rice and Leigh Bracket, respectively) -- Kennedy's celebrity mysteries weren't written by him at all. The general consensus is that mystery novelist Walter J. Sheldon penned both of them. He did a great job, because I really believed I was inside the mind of George Kennedy for most of Murder on Location, especially during passages like this one:

When we arrived at the location area the caterers already had the breakfast fires burning in the big truck, and we lined up and gave our orders -- for me, a bacon and egg sandwich with lots of onions. The onions were an indulgence; they unsettle my stomach, but I love them and, what the hell, on location one tends to be a little reckless.

Onions so early in the morning, George? I hope you packed your Breath Asure!

NOW SHOWING -- January 30th, 1976

Here are some of the movies that were in theatrical distribution thirty-three years ago today (January 3oth, 1976) and quite possibly were playing at a theatre near you!

ADVENTURES OF THE WILDERNESS FAMILY
ALL SCREWED UP
BARRY LYNDON
THE BLACK BIRD
BLACK HOOKER
BLACKBEARD’S GHOST (re-release)
THE DIVINE OBSESSION
DOG DAY AFTERNOON
THE HINDENBURG
HUSTLE
IF YOU DON’T STOP IT, YOU’LL GO BLIND
THE IMAGE
LOVE MATCH
LUCKY LADY
THE MAGIC FLUTE
MAN & WOMAN CONNECTION
THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
MANSON
MEAN JOHNNY BARROWS
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
THE PREMONITION
RATTLERS
SCENT OF A WOMAN
SEVEN BEAUTIES
SHAMPOO
SHERLOCK HOLMES’ SMARTER BROTHER
THE SLAP
THE STORY OF ADELE H.
THE STORY OF JOANNA
THE STORY OF ‘O’
THE SUNSHINE BOYS
SWEPT AWAY
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE / TORSO (double feature)
3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR

Thursday, January 29, 2009

INTERNATIONAL STEWARDESSES (1973)



In 1968, pioneering 3-D filmmaker Chris Condon and business partner Allan Silliphant were awarded a patent for the world’s first single-camera 3-D motion picture lens, the Magnavision 3-D, which renders two anamorphized images side-by-side on each frame of 35mm film. To demonstrate the lens’ capabilities, they made a feature-length softcore sex flick in 3-D that went on to break box-office records. THE STEWARDESSES not only became the 6th highest grossing film of 1971 and one of the most successful independent movies of all time, but it revived 3-D for a while by proving the format could be a viable one for low-budget filmmakers. Condon and Silliphant then sank a million dollars into an all-commuter airline and were too busy with business matters to oversee the post-production of SUPERSONIC SUPERGIRLS, the sequel to their high-flying hit. According to an interview with Condon in Ray Zone’s 3-D Filmmakers: Conversations with Creators of Stereoscopic Motion Pictures, the cost-cutting measures of distributor Louis K. Sher -- whose Sherpix company had made a mint with THE STEWARDESSES -- rendered the finished film unwatchable:

The editing was turned over to a third party, and they did a terrible job on editing it. And what’s worse, they decided to release the film in the above-and-below 3-D format using the [Mortimer] Marks system. In order to have a format that’s 1.33:1 above-and-below you’re destroying half the light coming out of the projection lamp house because you’re not covering the full aperture. You’re only covering the center part of it with two small images with one above the other.

We had nothing to do with that. Lou Sher was just talked into that by the Marks Company. They said, “If you use this system, Mr. Sher, you won’t have to send anybody to the theaters.” That is totally false. So they made about thirty prints of SUPERSONIC SUPERGIRLS in the above-and-below process. But the worst part about it is that the images were misaligned. You couldn’t watch the movie. The spacing between the two images was off from scene to scene. You eyes cannot tolerate vertical parallax. So they had to scrap that movie.

We made another one, using some of the outtakes from the second movie, and it was called AIRLINE! That film was never finished. We did the work print, but we never finished it because we ran out of money.

I do want to finish AIRLINE! It’s got a lot of good stuff in it. It’s funny and it has beautiful girls. And it was shot in about eight different countries.
(Zone, p. 9-10)

INTERNATIONAL STEWARDESSES is not referred to at all in Zone’s book and SUPERSONIC STEWARDESSES is written off as an unreleased film when in fact the two are the same movie. SUPERSONIC SUPERGIRLS opened in 22 theaters in the New York tri-state area on October 5, 1973 with a fake R rating, but was awarded an X rating by the MPAA three weeks later. As INTERNATIONAL STEWARDESSES, it did get playdates in many parts of the U.S. beginning in May of 1974 and continuing through at least half of 1975 -- but this turned out to be only the beginning of this film's confusing history. According to R.M. Hayes' excellent book 3-D Movies: A History and Filmography of Stereoscopic Cinema, a version titled THE STEWARDESSES, PART II was announced in 1979, the title was changed to SST in 1980, and then new scenes were shot for the AIRLINE! version in 1984, but it still wasn’t “finished.” Reportedly outtakes from the original cut were mixed with the new footage to create THE STEWARDESSES, PART III in 1987. To complicate things even more, the original INTERNATIONAL STEWARDESSES surfaced again in the early ‘90s as JET SET, while recent publicity from Condon’s StereoVision International refers to a version of this thing as MR. HOWARD’S CRAZY AIRLINE (Meanwhile, the occasionally reliable IMDb -- which claimed for years that INTERNATIONAL STEWARDESSES and SUPERSONIC STEWARDESSES were alternate titles for THE STEWARDESSES -- has now wiped all traces of these titles from the database!). Condon’s treatment of INTERNATIONAL STEWARDESSES over the past 35 years has been disrespectful, to say the least, and after suffering through its 90 excruciating minutes I can understand why. It’s a dreary, depressingly awful movie with no memorable 3-D effects to speak of, making the filmmaker’s talk of “above-and-below” and “vertical parallax” thoroughly meaningless in this context.

The plot, such as it is, has twelve of the most qualified stewardesses from Global Airlines chosen for a grueling 3-week promotional trip around the world in the prototype Condor SST supersonic airplane. Global’s parent company, Hillman Industries, is financially involved with the plane’s manufacturer in England, and Henry Hillman himself -- the eccentric, reclusive Howard Hughes-type head of the company (first seen wearing sunglasses and wolfing down McDonalds takeout in his bunker-like penthouse apartment) -- has committed himself heavily to options on the Condor. In order to prevent a takeover at the next shareholder meeting, Hillman needs to pre-sell fleets of the Condor to airlines around the world.

Of course, this is all just an excuse to show pretty young women walking around Lisbon, Madrid, Rome, Athens, Bombay and Hong Kong in sub super-8 sightseeing footage or wiggling on hotel beds in poorly shot sex scenes. Every opportunity for a cool 3-D effect is squandered. When a sadistic passenger tortures a nude stewardess with a lit cigar, you’d think there would be a shot of the guy sticking the stogie in our faces. Think again! When the stewardesses attend a bullfight, you figure it has to lead up to the bull charging at us in 3-D, right? Wrong! When a young couple gets it on while hooked up to a computer at the Institute of Sexual Research, you’ll swear the boring bump-and-grind will pay off with some kind of neat 3-D gag involving fire extinguishers or springs popping out at us. Nope! Even the film’s most perverse moment -- a stewardess’ realization that the senator she’s just seduced is a creepy crossdresser -- fails to take the next logical step and give us the money shot (which in this instance would be his hands emerging from the screen as they wrap around her throat).

An extended sequence in which the Condor is forced to land in the Middle East provides one nice 3-D belly dance and little else of interest. Crown Prince Omar woos one of the stewardesses, while his father (who looks like a wizened Arthur Avenue wiseguy at a Halloween party) spies on the other Global girls undressing one-by-one as warm-up to the servicing of his 40 wives. The sight of the elderly king running from room to room with a tent pole under his robe is supposed to be funny, but Condon and director Silliphant are so bereft of imagination that they again miss a 3-D opportunity by not having him run toward the camera with his bobbing bat. Hopeless! And the payoff for this labored stupidity? A meeting between the stuffy British airline manufacturer and the king, who says -- with no trace of an accent -- “There’s a man in your country, a Mr. Hugh Hefner of Chicago, and I believe he flies a large black plane continually with an entourage of beautiful women, and this is most interesting. I would like to emulate this, in my own fashion of course. Is it not true that your machine is twice as fast and twice as big as Mr. Hefner’s?” I don’t know about you, but my sides are splitting.

Let’s not forget the wacky Hillman, who hides inside a crate that’s loaded onboard the Condor SST at the start of the trip -- and isn’t seen again until the end, when he emerges for a final joke that misfires as badly as all the others. Maybe if Alan Abel had played the part in bandages it would've been amusing. Hell, you're better off reading any chapter of the Clifford Irving book than sitting through INTERNATIONAL STEWARDESSES, which to these eyes is just as big a hoax.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Endangered List (Case File #19)

"Peter Traynor of Centaur Films showed me a cut of his ‘God Bless Dr. Shagetz.’ This is the horror film to end all horror films. It could conceivably cause more fainting spells than ‘The Exorcist.’ Personally, I didn’t think ‘The Exorcist’ was that scary and neither did the guy who was under the seat with me." -- James Bacon, National Syndicated Columnist

DR. SHAGETZ (1974)

Filmed in Mendocino, California in late 1973 as GOD BLESS GRANDMA AND GRANDPA, this horror film -- started by director Curtis Hanson -- was at one time set to star Zalman King. Somewhere along the way King dropped out, two additional directors stepped in, Hanson took the pseudonym "Edward Collins" and the title went from GOD BLESS GRANDMA AND GRANDPA to GOD BLESS DR. SHAGETZ, then GOD DAMN DR. SHAGETZ, and finally just plain DR. SHAGETZ. It received a brief theatrical release and then faded into obscurity until producer Mardi Rustam (EVILS OF THE NIGHT, EATEN ALIVE) filmed new scenes for it a decade later and released it on video as EVIL TOWN (1987). VHS tapes of Rustam's re-cut can still be found, but the original DR. SHAGETZ hasn't been seen in years.


CREW

Directors
Edward Collins (Curtis Hanson), Peter S. Traynor and Larry Spiegel

Screenplay
Robert Bassing, Larry Spiegel and Richard Benson

Story
Royce D. Applegate

Producers
Peter S. Traynor and William D. Sklar

Assistant Producers
Mel Frohman and Al Wasserman

Production Manager
Ted Parvin

Assistant Director
Ronald C. Smith

Casting
Jack G. Roberts

Director of Photography
Bill Mann

Assistant Camera
Randall Robinson and Thomas Neuwirth

Key Grip
Russ Manarello

Set Decorator
Mike Parvin

Wardrobe
Monika Henreid

Make-Up
Dee Manges

Music
Charles Bernstein

Sound Mixer
Lee Alexander


CAST

James Keach (Christopher Fuller)
Michele Marsh (Julie)
Robert Walker, Jr. (Mike Segal)
Doria Cook (Linda)
Dean Jagger (Doctor Shagetz)
E.J. Andre (Earl)
Dabbs Greer (Lyle Phelps)
Lurene Tuttle (Mildred Phelps)
Regis Toomey (Doc Hooper)
Margo Farrar (Woman)
Hope Summers (Alice Wylie)
Richard Hale (Lester Wylie)

Released by L-T Films
MPAA rating: R

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

GETTING EVEN (1976) -- A love story

Reviewed by The Flying Maciste Brothers (Kevin Marr & Howard S. Berger)

A standard rape and revenge exploitation template is hurled like a Frisbee into the stratosphere by director Harry Kerwin and there ain't no dog big enough to jump up and grab it. Florida-lensed thriller was released to theaters as TOMCATS in 1977 and on video in the U.S. as AVENGED. Version reviewed here is from a U.K. video source, titled GETTING EVEN.

At the film's opening we are introduced to four loser degenerates led by co-writer/co-producer Wayne Crawford under his "Scott Lawrence" alias -- a pack of moronic, cackling hyenas (the ones who will be "gotten even" with eventually) as they begin their reign of terror on the young women of a small Florida town. It becomes immediately apparent that their real interest is in each other -- their feminine victims merely the football in a game that amounts to a kind of adolescent, homoerotic, group masturbation. The women, whether it be the victims they assault or their "girlfriends" or hookers for hire, are are never "dealt with" one-on-one in a private, separate location but are either raped or made to perform sexual acts to a public chorus of giggling, backslapping male camaraderie which inevitably turns to fisticuffs as part of the sexual payoff. Almost immediately, the gang rapes and kills our protagonist's sister thus setting into motion a perverse, romantic waltz between avenging brother and come-hither hoodlums looking to lose their onastic, self contained "virginity" and graduate to a rougher, more "mature" sexual encounter at the tip of an outsider's gun.

Finally apprehended by local police (after enjoying some foreplay in the form of squirming and giggling when frisked by the arresting patrolmen) the gang is hauled into a courtroom as the grieving, outraged father and brother look on from the gallery. It is at this moment that the second half of this psycho-sexual dance is exposed. The brother, Cullen Garrett (Chris Mulkey), begins to see flashes of his sister's attack in his imagination -- interestingly, they are not images of the attackers or of his sister being killed but of the clothes being ripped from her nude, wriggling torso. Like the rapists, Cullen has concocted a disembodied image of femininity for the purpose of erecting a mental bridge that will ultimately enmesh him in a perverse, romantic union with his psychotic, "virginal" paramours . This mental bridge is traversed at a gun range when the sexualized images of his sister are here replaced by the flash-cut faces of the rapists who smile back invitingly from the paper targets down range.

Having acknowledged their mutual attraction, Cullen begins systematically "busting their cherries" -- dramatized here with literal exploding hearts (gun shots to the chest) and, like any attentive lover, satisfies both himself and his figurative partners who lay limp and bleeding at his feet. In this film's context one can safely say, "They were asking for it."

Monday, January 26, 2009

42ND STREET FOREVER VOL. 4 -- in stores tomorrow!

Just a heads-up to let you know that the fourth volume of Synapse Films' bestselling trailer compilation DVD series arrives in stores tomorrow, containing 48 trailers as well as a lively audio commentary by Fangoria managing editor Michael Gingold, AVManiacs.com founder Edwin Samuelson, and yours truly, Chris Poggiali. We'll also be guests on Fangoria Radio this Friday night on Sirius XM Stars satellite radio, Sirius channel 102/XM channel 155, from 10 p.m.-1 a.m., with a repeat immediately after. Other guests include Lance Henriksen and Elizabeth Banks. Check it out!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

One-Sheet of the Week: HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE (1973)


EL JOROBADO DE LA MORGUE / THE RUE MORGUE MASSACRE (1973)

U.S. release as HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE (regional roll-out began November 1973)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

You like us, you really like us!

The great Richard Harland Smith from TCM's Movie Morlocks blog has honored the Temple of Schlock with a Premio Dardo Award, which acknowledges "excellence in blogging" and is "offered in recognition of cultural, ethical, literary and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing." Hot damn! Thanks, Richard! We even have a nice space reserved for it on the mantel in the Temple library, between our "Hall of Shame" award from Factsheet Five and the "Zine of the Year" nomination we got from Fanex years ago. And we even read the fine print this time, just to make sure that in accepting this thing we wouldn't have to buy a timeshare in Utica or sit through THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF BENJAMIN BUNNY IN THE NIGHT or whatever it's called -- although we do have a couple of rules we have to adhere to:

1) Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and a link to his/her blog.

2) Pass the award to another 5 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award."

So without further ado, Temple of Schlock proudly passes the Premio Dardo Award on to the following 4 blogs "as a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web," to quote Signor Dardo himself.

BADAZZ MOFO -- I've always enjoyed David Walker's sense of humor, from the very first issue of his blaxploitation-oriented BadAzz MoFo magazine to his DVD reviews at DVDTalk.com, but in the past year or so I've grown to love the heartfelt, incisive writing that appears on his blog, including the posts from Christmas '07 that chronicle his short, painful gig with the U.S. Postal Service.

FULLUNDIE -- We like all types of music here in the Temple but most of the time it's classic R&B/funk/disco pumping through the speakers, with a special emphasis on anything from Detroit. The best place to find rare, long out-of-print Motown lp's -- at least until legitimate copies become available on CD or through digital download -- is this cool blog, which has filled in a hell of a lot of cracks in our collection. From the Marvelettes' In Full Bloom and Jermaine Jackson's Let's Get Serious to Junior Walker's Blow the House Down and Norman Whitfield's slammin' Rare Earth album Midnight Lady, there's no longer a need to fight our way through the crowds at the annual WFMU Record Fair!

THE GROOVY AGE OF HORROR -- What started in January of 2005 as a fascinating examination of -- well, I'll quote the site directly -- "'60s-'70s horror in paperbacks, fumetti, Groschenromane, comics, and movies, this blog is now devoted to all that and more!" Groovy indeed.

BOOKSTEVE'S LIBRARY -- This blast of pop culture fun has been around since August 2005, and to be honest, it's another blog (like The Groovy Age of Horror) that we had our eyes on when we decided to move the Temple online. Lots of great stuff here, from old toys and comic book splash pages to the "Movies That Fell Through the Cracks" series and pulp paperbacks.

This Week on 42nd Street -- 1985

Here are the double and triple features that played the Deuce twenty-four years ago this week. Theaters are listed in east-to-west order.

NORTH SIDE OF THE STREET

Rialto: EMANUELLE IV / CAGED WOMEN

Lyric: AVENGING ANGEL / CRIMES OF PASSION

Times Square: BEVERLY HILLS COP / TRADING PLACES

Apollo: BREAKIN’ II / BREAKIN’ / THE INITIATION

Selwyn: BRUCE LEE: THE LITTLE DRAGON / FISTS OF FURY II


SOUTH SIDE OF THE STREET

Cine 42 – Theatre I: EXTERMINATORS OF THE YEAR 3000 / ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX
Theatre II: FEARLESS HYENA / DREADNAUGHT RIVALS / ULTIMATE WEAPONS

Harris: THE MUTILATOR / PIECES / THE EVIL DEAD

Liberty: RETRIEVER: LICENSE TO KILL / BLIND RAGE

Empire: 4 BAD DUDES / BOLO THE BRUTE / LADY LEE’S REVENGE

Friday, January 23, 2009

NOW SHOWING -- January 23rd, 1978

(a.k.a. LES PETITS DESSOUS DES GRANDS ENSEMBLES)

Here are some of the movies that were in theatrical distribution thirty-one years ago today (January 23rd, 1978) and quite possibly were playing at a theatre near you!

ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE
ANNIE HALL
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FLEA
BOBBY DEERFIELD
THE CHOIRBOYS
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND
THE CONDOMINIUM
DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE (re-release)
DARK SUNDAY
DEATH RAGE
DEMONIACS / STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN AT NIGHT (double bill)
DERSU UZALA
THE DUELLISTS
EQUUS
FELICIA
FEMALE FEVER
THE GAUNTLET
THE GOODBYE GIRL

GRAYEAGLE
THE HAZING
HEROES
HIGH ANXIETY
HUGHES & HARLOW: ANGELS IN HELL
THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN
JOINT VENTURES
JULIA
THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH
THE LEGEND OF THE SEA WOLF
LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR
LIZ
MADO
THE MOUSE AND HIS CHILD
MR. KLEIN
OH, GOD!
OPERATION THUNDERBOLT
ORIENTAL BABYSITTER
OUTRAGEOUS!
PETE'S DRAGON
THE PRIVATE FILES OF J. EDGAR HOOVER

RENALDO & CLARA
RETURN TO BOGGY CREEK
ROSELAND
SASQUATCH
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
SEMI-TOUGH
THE SERPENT'S EGG
A SPECIAL DAY
STAR WARS
SYLVIA
TELEFON
THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE
TIGER FROM HONG KONG
THE TURNING POINT
WHICH WAY IS UP?
WISHBONE CUTTER
THE WORLD'S GREATEST LOVER

THE GREAT HOLLYWOOD RAPE-SLAUGHTER (1977)

("Featuring Linda Ronstadt" -- where?)

Another porn-related exploitation movie from the early 1970s, THE GREAT HOLLYWOOD RAPE-SLAUGHTER isn’t as well made or compelling as HOLLYWOOD 90028 but I’m willing to bet its production history is even more intriguing. Bulk of the film appears to have been shot around 1971 but a finished version wasn't submitted to the MPAA until 1974 (receiving an incredible R rating), with a sneak preview in Burlington, Vermont in September of that year under the moniker HARD CORE BLUES. By 1976 it was touring some territories with a self-imposed X as SUPER BALL. The RAPE-SLAUGHTER rebirth apparently took place the next year.

Stuffy film school graduate Steve Ford (associate producer and co-writer Michael Plamondon) searches for work as a director in Hollywood, and after one of those two-minute montages in which crash-and-burn Variety headlines are intercut with shots of the protagonist dejectedly leaving every studio lot in town, he gets called in for an interview with porn mini-mogul Mr. Burns (John Dennis). Steve has an aversion to porn -- even though his pretentious senior project includes footage from a Rene Bond-Rick Lutze stag reel! -- but he agrees to slum through a quickie hardcore flick, much to the dismay of his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend. Reeling from the sleaze around him, and horrified to learn that he doesn’t even have the talent to make a halfway decent smoker, Steve-o suffers a nervous breakdown and… wellllll, what happens after that is open for debate, but we'll get to that in a couple of paragraphs.

Questions abound, beginning with the running time of the print reviewed here (61 minutes). The actual rape-slaughter is present and sex scenes appear to be intact -- to the point where I question the MPAA rating of R that some other version may have earned but surely not this one (with a Serena/Alice Fredlund lesbian scene that also looks like it's from another movie) -- no, it’s story and exposition that must’ve hit the cutting room floor, judging from the mind-shattering incoherency of the third act that had me convinced I lost 15 minutes of consciousness to a laudanum-spiked mug of Swiss Miss or one of those flashguns from LOOKER.

So I stagger over to the computer, turn it on, get the Commodores spinning, start to write a review…and all I can type is “What. The. Hell. Did. I. Just. Watch.” I go back to the couch. Press play. Watch again. Warning bells go off right from the opening as the first three credits appear onscreen in three different typefaces: title card in one (see also HARD CORE BLUES, TEENAGE STARLETS and SUPER BALL), followed by executive producer Frank Scheraldi in a second, then the rest of the credits consistent to the end in a third. Scheraldi’s name is nowhere else on the film and absent entirely from the IMDb, raising more suspicion. Scheraldi. Scheraldi. I trip over stacks of books and fanzines and videotapes -- “I haven’t cleaned this place in years” I think as a cassette of Robert Klein’s Child of the Fifties cracks under my bare feet and I let out a yelp, limping over to my files, half-crazed, feverishly flipping through folders from two decades earlier, thinking “Christ, I live like an animal” -- Scheraldi, Scheraldi, Scheraldi -- the Commodores commanding me to squeeze the fruit, give up the juice, squeeze the fruit, give up the juice -- Scheraldi, Scheraldi, Scheraldi -- "Give up the juice, goddammit!!"

Ah-ha! I pull out a photocopied ad from a 1977 issue of Boxoffice -- THE MODEL KILLER -- "Starring super rock star Linda Ronstadt in her film debut.”

Linda Ronstadt! Where is she? Not in THE GREAT HOLLYWOOD RAPE-SLAUGHTER, despite what the trailer and the newspaper ad would lead you to believe (she's not billed in the opening credits and is nowhere to be seen in the actual movie). THE MODEL KILLER was “soon to be released” in April ’77, a few months before THE GREAT HOLLYWOOD RAPE-SLAUGHTER’s first known theatrical bookings. Sniff sniff -- what's that smell? -- could it be another SNUFF job? Titular assault is confined to the last five minutes, something that could’ve easily been tacked on at the end as the prints went out the door. Dunno, folks -- looks to me like footage from another movie with a completely different cast. Some guy doing a Tom-Laughlin-as-Billy-Jack impersonation rides up on a motorcycle, loads a shotgun, and calmly blows away a bunch of zonked-out hippies who are hanging out in a motel room. He then confronts his girlfriend Suzy, who’s apparently cheating on him with one of the burnouts he just shot, and accuses her of aborting their child. At gunpoint he forces the bloody burnout to rape Suzy, then shoots them both in the head and rides off on his motorcycle with Suzy's corpse strapped behind him. Final shot is of the cinematographer who's filming it all from the back of a camera truck smiling and giving Billy an a-ok.


What I find more disturbing than this stupid left-field ending is the fact that so many people online are claiming it’s a mentally deranged Steve who dresses up as Billy Jack and commits the great Hollywood rape-slaughter at the end! I cleaned my glasses, I freeze-framed Billy’s close-ups, I rewound the scene a dozen times, went back and looked at Steve again -- it’s not the same actor. Not even close. And I'm pretty sure the cameraman at the end isn't Steve's film school buddy Charlie (Jay Neale) either, as one website asserts. I'm convinced none of the performers shown during the actual rape-slaughter have anything to do with HARD CORE BLUES or whatever this thing was originally called before it was rape-slaughtered itself SNUFF-style, possibly by the mysterious Mr. Scheraldi.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Endangered List (Case File #18)


SILENT DEATH
(1983)


Director: Vaughn Christion
Producers: Joe Sollazzo and Chuck Geiger
Exective producers: Doyle Taylor, Chris Christion

CAST
Freddy James, Doyle Taylor, David Arts, Natalie Carter

A Reina production
Filmed in "T.C." - Total Color
Shot in May and June of 1982 in Elizabeth, Union and Freehold, NJ

Rick Sullivan erroneously credited the director of SILENT DEATH as "Jor Chirichella" in the Gore Gazette, but as far as I know he was the only person to review the movie when it opened at the Paramount Theater in Newark, NJ on February 18th, 1983 (I think even Richard Green of Confessions of a Trash Fiend sat this one out). "An almost unwatchable slasher/black exploitation/police drama about a masked assailant who is carving up members of an organized crime ring with a straight razor," Sullivan wrote. "Two inept detectives are assigned to the case, and what follows is the most inept film I have ever seen. That is a strong statement, but SILENT truly makes other hack directors like Andy Milligan and Larry Buchanan look like Stanley Kubrick and Werner Herzog with its static, constantly out of focus camera, inaudible sound and cheesy looking orange blood." Sullivan also described it as "a 69-minute sub-Z abomination" and "the ROBOT MONSTER of the 1980's!"

Vaughn Christion and Doyle Taylor collaborated on two other films, THE WRONG DISCIPLE (1991) and HEAVEN (1997), before pursuing separate projects. Christion's original web series WILDFLOWER will make it’s debut on Amazon.com’s premiere “Video on Demand” website this month.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This Week on 42nd Street -- 1979

(The Grand Luncheonette, under the Selwyn Theater marquee)

Here are the double and triple features that played the Deuce thirty years ago this week. Theatres are listed in east-to-west order.

NORTH SIDE OF THE STREET

Rialto: V: THE HOT ONE / SOFT PLACES

Victory: SWEDISH MINX / MY SEX-RATED WIFE / LES NYMPHO TEENS

Lyric: SLITHIS / THE SCAVENGERS

Times Square: WANDA THE WICKED WARDEN / ILSA, HAREM KEEPER OF THE OIL SHEIKS

Selwyn: EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE / TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA


SOUTH SIDE OF THE STREET


New Amsterdam: "Sonny Chiba Film Festival"

Cine 42 - Theater I: THE WIZ
Theater II: CIRCLE OF IRON / PSYCHIC KILLER

Harris: POINT THE FINGER OF DEATH / SHAOLIN DEATH SQUAD

Liberty: SECRETS / HOT SPUR

Empire: STEEL EDGE OF REVENGE / KUNG FU GOLD / CHARLEY VARRICK

Anco: MAGIC / TAKE A HARD RIDE

THE GIRL FROM STARSHIP VENUS (1975)

THE SEXPLORER, Derek Ford’s softcore try at sci-fi, is not all that sexy despite an abundance of nudity from gorgeous German leading lady Monika Ringwald, but it’s brisk and amusing enough to warrant a look (Ford’s next was the hardcore DIVERSIONS). After touring the stateside drive-in circuit as THE GIRL FROM STARSHIP VENUS in 1976 and ‘77, a VHS release from Private Screenings followed in the 1980s, but with no official DVD release in sight it’s an elusive title today. Film opens with shots of planets and stars, with a voiceover that boldly goes exactly where you expect it to: “Space…the infinite frontier. This is the log of the Starship Venus.” Said starship looks like a flying pinball and probably is one. Arriving in London to conduct research on Earth’s inhabitants, it touches down in a puddle in Piccadilly Circus (“We’ve landed in unchartered waters!” proclaims the commander) and releases an alien explorer who transforms into a full-size, fully nude blonde female. Quickly clothed by a couple of saucy sauna workers who think she's a mugging victim, the Venusian proceeds to wander London’s porn shops, massage parlors and 24-hour laundries asking questions mostly about death, food and “refueling,” but no one seems to know what she’s talking about. That never stopped most men I know from trying to score anyway, and one guy who attempts the old in-out gets zapped across the room when the starship commander puts a protective shield in the Sexplorer’s vagina. A porno shop owner tries unsuccessfully to hire her on as one of his erotic models. In a strip joint someone buys her a drink, which turns her green after she consumes it and causes her to grow a big green Afro. She eventually befriends Allan (Andrew Grant), a handsome male dressmaker who mistakenly feeds her whenever she asks to be “refueled.” He doesn’t find out what she really means until they go to bed together. Low comedy for sure, but at least it hits its mark.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

HOLLYWOOD 90028 (1973)

Every picture tells a story, and someday we’ll find out the one behind Christine Hornisher’s smartly made and fascinating HOLLYWOOD 90028. A rare example of a ‘70s exploitation movie directed by a woman, some will mistakenly label this an anti-pornography feminist tract but Hornisher and screenwriter Craig Hansen subvert the nudie-thriller framework to tackle other subjects such as loneliness and existentialism. Artfully done and strangely paced, the film haunted drive-ins and action theaters under several titles (HOLLYWOOD HILLSIDE STRANGLER, TWISTED THROATS) for nearly a decade without finding an audience.

Pic opens with a pre-credit strangulation murder that I suspect was cut from the middle and stuck at the front by one of the distributors trying to sell the film as a horror thriller. The strangler, we soon find out, is a photographer/filmmaker named Mark (Christopher Augustine) who shoots and edits kink loops for slimy skid row producer Jobal (Dick Glass) while pursuing legitimate jobs in the movie industry. On the set of a one-day wonder Mark becomes friendly with porno girl Michelle (Jeannette Dilger), who first shoots down his sexual advances because of “another man” (the wealthy older kind that picks up all the bills), then later rejects his friendship when she senses -- accurately -- that he’s deeply disturbed.

Opening credits reveal Mark’s backstory through still photographs: a childhood spent with an overbearing mother, three bossy older sisters and no father in sight (we find out later that Dad was present the whole time, just henpecked beyond all usefulness). There’s also the quick appearance of a baby brother, who the young Mark accidentally (?) killed by pushing the boy’s stroller in front of a speeding car. “I always liked seeing people as they really are,” Mark tells Michelle, explaining his lifelong fascination with photography as they hang out behind and at the foot of the famous Hollywood sign. “A camera does that. It doesn’t hide anything. It makes you see what’s underneath.” The same close-up still photograph of Mark’s eyes flashes onscreen whenever he’s strangling a woman or about to go nuts. When Mark escorts his first victim to her home, the camera zooms in on a blaring arc light. Glimpsed on one of the grindhouse marquees lining Broadway in downtown L.A. is KILL THEM ALL AND COME BACK ALONE. In a terrific sequence that eerily plays out like a still photograph montage -- but isn’t -- Michelle charts her sad existence for Mark, from her arrival in Hollywood as a starry-eyed Midwestern gal to the gradual and almost complete decimation of her soul through increasingly degrading experiences in porn (“…and you have no friends, no values, and you’re alone with that obscene image of yourself on the screen”). When Michelle refuses to sleep with Mark, he settles for her obscene image by seeking out her loops in an adult bookstore; the clerk behind the counter is watching religious programming on TV, lending a confessional-like quality to the peepshow booth Mark enters.

The big difference between Mark and Michelle in the seedy world they inhabit is that Mark sees his porno work as hands-on experience and a launching pad for a real film career -- never mind that he can’t use stag loops as sample reels (“Jobal Pictures? I’ve never heard of them” says one frowning producer) -- while Michelle more accurately views it as the end of the line. The first time we see Mark on a film shoot, he’s taking his job very seriously, busily setting up the lights and the camera for a solo masturbation loop. The rotund, repellent Jobal is introduced by the flushing of an off-screen toilet, and enters the frame zipping up his fly. At the same time an echoing, childlike female voice sings innocently in the background but abruptly stops to call out "I'm ready now, Jobal.” Carol, a pretty young starlet, steps out onto a platform above Mark and Jobal and slowly descends to their level, innocent no more, already caught in the downward spiraling career path of Michelle and countless others. As she sprawls out on a bed and begins her auto-erotic performance before Mark’s rolling camera, Jobal emerges on the platform above them and watches through binoculars while “directing” the action: “That’s right, honey, that’s right! Move around! Not too fast. Keep it going – GOING! Take off your blouse – SLOWLY! Now your bra. That’s good. Flat on the bed again. There, that’s it, sweetheart. Yeah. Yeah. TAKE THE SKIRT OFF! Slow. Slow. Yeah, that’s right, Carol! Rub your thighs. Rub. Move in a little closer, Mark. Now slowly, honey, slowly open your legs. That’s good. Good.”

Mark initially relocated to L.A. not to be closer to the motion picture business but to get the hell away from his family. A phone call from one of his sisters provides the aural evidence of what the opening credits handled so well visually: Mark’s screwed-up head no longer hears just one female voice chastising him for something -- it hears four talking simultaneously, all saying different things. Maybe he would’ve connected better in a more social city like New York rather than L.A., where people spend large portions of their day alone in their cars, but I doubt it. He’s alone in his mind yet always ready with a stock answer to convince himself he’s still a part of the world around him, from his first exchange with Jobal…

Jobal: “Did you get tied up in traffic?”
Mark: “Doesn’t everybody?”

…to a casual conversation with one of the porno girls on an S&M film shoot…

Porno girl: “He’ll do anything for money.”
Mark: “Well, won’t we all?”

…to a revealing moment with Michelle…

Michelle: “Do you live alone?”
Mark: “Everyone lives alone.”

When Mark picks up Gretchen, a cute beach-bound hitchhiker, one of the first things he asks is “Do you always go so early in the morning?” She responds with “I like it when there aren’t so many people,” then proceeds to babble like a Woodstock attendee until we’re ready to strangle her, but Mark manages to hold out for the magic words: “You remind me of my brother.” She dies on a sailboat where there aren’t so many people, and like the title on that marquee downtown, Mark comes back alone. His own jaw-dropping demise turns out to be the ultimate Hollywood ending. It’s too bad so few have seen it.

One-Sheet of the Week: ABAR (1977)



ABAR (1975)

Released in 1977

Saturday, January 17, 2009

This Week on 42nd Street -- 1984

Here are the double and triple features that played the Deuce twenty-five years ago this week. Theaters are listed in east-to-west order.

NORTH SIDE OF THE STREET

Rialto: DEADLY FANGS OF THE SNAKE / DRAGON’S FATAL FIST

Lyric: SCARFACE

Times Square: THE JACKIE CHAN CONNECTION / 10 TIGERS OF KWANGTUNG / INSTRUCTORS OF DEATH

Apollo: D.C. CAB / PRIVATE SCHOOL

Selwyn: WARRIORS OF THE WASTELAND / SWORD OF THE BARBARIAN


SOUTH SIDE OF THE STREET

Cine 42 – Theatre I: SUDDEN IMPACT / THE EXECUTIONER
Theatre II: INVINCIBLE KUNG FU DRAGON / 14 STRIKES OF THE
DRUNKEN CAT / CRAZY HORSE VS. INTELLIGENT MONKEY

Harris: MORTUARY / BLOOD BEACH

Liberty: SCALPS / THE DEADLY SPAWN

Empire: DIRTY HO / THE KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM / DUEL OF THE IRON FIST

Anco: SNAKE FIST VS. THE DRAGON / RETURN OF THE DRAGON / CATHY’S CURSE

'Femur Thighs Bonely' - OR - 'Mike Hammers Terrorists! Much Blood Spill Layin' Around!'


Femur Thighs Bonely


OR


Mike Hammers Terrorists! Much Blood Spill Layin’ Around!


THE GOLIATH BONE

by Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins


Regrued by The Keeper of the Pit

If it were 1951, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, best selling private dick and man a gunbutt New York City, would be sitting minding his own business on a bar stool and some bed hot mama would walk over to him, her hips waving hello. And thigh naughty? By then he'd slam banged his unstoppable slay through four tough guy trendsetters, so he and the babes had been aROWLnd, and some of them had even survived to kiss and tell about it. And bedsides, Hammer never let the gals, hips waving any twitch lay, get him, um, behind in his work. Plus he wasn't the kinda guy ever hadda assk.

Butt no it's 2008, start of Goliath. Mike has a grandslambang 13 novels behind him now, his creator and enactor dead and gone to hard dick heaven, and he's sitting on yet another bar stool bemoaning the wicked weather without. For once it's snowing, although it does happen to Hammer in print or film time to time.. It ain't ev'ry day, say, that Stacey Keach gets to intone lines like "It was just another day in New York...cloudy with a chance of scattered hookers." Now maybe the line as I reekmember it ain't quite exact, but usually Mike's got a problem with rain like there's Noah tomorrow. And speaking of udder things double dehuge... in '51's The Big Kill Mike waves the gal off, watches a bundle-bearing guy walk in fright before his murder. Bundle turns out to be a baby of the burp and urp kind and so begins an adventure which brought new meaning to the term "babe and arms." Does too, I have it here on my crib shoot! Our times, there's no gal he gets to tell "Blow, sister," which modern readers might take for an oral exam. No, Hammer's not up for that, he leaves the joint for the street, double zeroes in on a guy acting suspicious in the back of a cab, a guy waiting for, looking for trouble. Odd, because, like Hammer sez, "Nothing was happening." Still, he's got a feeling something's gonna transpire soon, the feeling that readers know usually means scum one’s gonna expire soon. It's bonely, I SAID only page three, and Mike thinks his old cop buddy Pat Chambers would laugh, because "Guys like me weren't supposed to have those weird feelings, like having little people crawling up along your spine and making funny noises in your ears." Now, this little people thing could be why Hammer's still elf employed. But as anyone, such as myself who has read Spillane for like .45 years now, it could just mean streets mean Hammer ain't simply walking abutt with his gun half-cochlea'ed.

A young couple, college-aged, come out of a bar, the lad clutching a long package, maybe an instrument of some kind. He and his blond female companion scurry off toward the subway stairs, and the creep in the taxi gets out, takes after them. Hammer shadows the shifty sneak. By page 5 the kids have run back up to the street, their stalker behind them, armed and dangerous. Hammer aims for the bad guy's gunhand, nails it, and the guy takes a dive on the ice-beslimed subway steps. Sez Hammer, "His head smashed against the stairs," making "squishy sounds" on its way down, "the head pounding out drum notes until it split." After that, he's too far dead and gone for Hammer to "hear the blood dripping." Good thing Hammer always speaks hardboiled Egglish steada Latin, or here's the place where, subway train roaring by underneath him, Hammer coulda blown cold smoke from his piece maker and said "Slick transit gorier."

Ah, but maybe dead languages do in this Hammer have a scroll for him, sea? Turns out the young couple are the son and daughter of two university experts on matters as ancient as Hammer's own bones should be. As in, the son to the father is involved with his dad's second wife's daughter an old Biblical way naughty entirely brother and sisterly, all behind the parents' backs of course. Legal love matters notwithstanding, things soon get so Bibli-kill it isn't just Hammer doing a whole lotta beGATting.

The daughter's mother makes fur much torment of Hammer's old brain matter, as her lovely blonditude keeps shagging at his mam, I mean, memories. Who does this Charlene character remind him of? And true to Spillane form, why do such important to the puzzle thoughts always wind up, in true Hammer fashion, in italics? Old time readers, who no doubt read The Big Kill their first time and could see through the lil kid reaching for Hammer's rod, make that gun, all the time saw the big bang coming, should get quite a kick outta, how to say, Charlene’s denudement. Still, even wayback when Spillane was too much the master to leave plot holsters. And with her over shoulder boulders Charlene promises to be one big bad mama and a barrel of gun...

The on holy matter here? That instrument-sized package the kids unearthed Kongtained a reekscently discovered artifact, found in the very Valley of Elah. And I do mean Kongtained. Hammer herein makes various references to an old movie about a giant ape climbing the Empire State building, and it's not just Hammer having his Wray with words. There's this other piece of prime real estate in town that's no longer there, which was according to Spillane's collaborator, Max Allan Collins, what inspired the Mickster to put down one Hammer novel and start this one, around the day of infamous villainy called 9/11. And like Kong, who's a bigger New Yorker than Mike Hammer, another guy who'd rather the other fell low take the big fall? As for Kong, later on he gets his props, does his own bit fur the fall of the terrorist type of gorilla warfare.

And take the fall the fanatics do. Hard. As well they should, after 9/11 and their heinous act of plane murder. One takes the plunge from a roof rather than face Hammer, willingly plummets to his death unto a parked Thunderbird. Hammer looks down, his accomplice runs up, asks what happened. Hammer sez it's something terrible. Like what, the bud asks. Hammer sez, "Perfectly good ride got ruined." This despite the fact the feds and Chambers would rather have taken the perp down to their station for a good grille-ing. Sure Al Queda's put the hit on him, but when Hammer puts its agents down, it ain't like the next day will find that with guilt Hammer's been laden...

Hammer does make points on not being against ANY religion, just the fanatikillers who took out a good chunka the town he’s spent his professional life protecting. While warning scum one whom Hammer would prob'ly call an effendi offender, Mike threatens that when the terror thug's dead he'll hang a hunka meat around his neck so he doesn't get to heaven with all those virgins. Gee, and harem, I SAID here I thought Hammer was a WWII vet, not Korea. Doesn't matter, he sure knows how to deliver pure Porkchop Hell.

Collins, Spillane's biographer and friend, finisher of The Goliath Bone, pulls no pulsestopping punches here. Once Hammer, Chambers and the cops plus the feds defending our Homeland get in on it, there's no let up. Even if the danged high to the sky thigh didn't belong to the boy-to-be-King David knocked stone cold dead, what's to stop any side to warring factions in the Middle East wanting to either have it or destroy it, if not even start WW3 over it? When it comes to peoples who have been fighting since time immemorial, since before they invented friggin' rocks or maybe even human slinguage, does it even matter if the big bone in question is fake, or Israel? And trust Collins and Spillane to provide Hammer fisticuffly scrapes, not to mention all kindsa marrow.

Even though he’s the new man at the Hammer helm, it's not like Collins, movie maker, topnotch natterer of novelizations, creator of his own oldtime p.i. Nate Heller AND old-fashioned Quarry master, hasn't worked the Hammer beat before, as in his run with Spillane's comic book character, Mike Danger. Danger, in fact, being the original prototype for Hammer, even had his own succulent secretary in the far-flung future, a light on her features gal named Holly Graham. As to why she looked like Bettie Page, well, that's anudder Ms. Tree.

Which brings us to Velda, Hammer's, as Lenny Bruce would say, old lady butt firm secretary. Seems once again a Hammer book opens with Mike and his main triggerfinger squeezette are about to tie the knot, this time in three days in Vegas.By now, since say the end of The Snake in 1964, old Hammer fans can decide for themselves as to whether they wanna lay any beds. And how old ARE Hammer and Velda, any lay? At one point Hammer sez the young folks he rescued are about the age he and Velda first met. Yikes. Hammer, let's say, was in his gun oily '20's during WW2. Meaning Velda's about the same, quiver shake. Unless they were child sweethearts back in the old neighbor Me, Hood... Or maybe they diddle go to college together, and Mike joined up with Felta Velda Pi.

Like AARP-card carrying Hammer here, in incredible fine fighting and .45-firing form, Velda herself is lick thighs, I SAID likewise even more so. When young guys look at her and years of leers back Hammer woulda nailed 'em like a Commie rat to the floor, now he feels proud as, ahem, punch. And okay, so near the end she does manage to play damsel in distress, it's Velda who saves the day when Hammer is about done in by a character as tall and tough as the original Goliath AND toweringly deadly with killer giantics.

Bedsides, she still packs her .38. One can bonely letch, I SAID only guess if she's Keeps it in a P.I. vet place. I demean, ya gotta love her devotion to Mike, who has laid down his law at lust a few climbs, that’s just a few times with a willing wench tight before his supposed wedding. Doesn't matter. Doesn't matter maybe he served in Korea, either, he's still Velda’s straight shootin' Seoul mate. Velda's proven time and again, ‘specially after Mike turns down Charlene and hasta drag away with a big bone of his own, it's WW2 privates she's fondle. And here's where I won't go off The Deep end, letch it up to you, leer reader, to loin for yerself if Mike and Velda make the big mattress moanies, or haveta make the date for anudder Erection Set.

The bonely, dang it, only things I haveta say in Kongclusion? One, this is the first book I’ve read and immediately rebeGAT since Paul Malmont’s The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, another book wherein as soon as I started it I felt like a young pulp! Two, same death-dealin' deal here. I put this Hammer down and simply picked him up again, ready for a second round of gun fun and gore. Now I want more, and I’ve started Kongsidering all those left behind Hammers Collins promises to come. Hmm. Way before the end of his life Spillane mentioned a book called The Organ Grinders, and I fur one would love if it survives in some form fur Mr. Collins to monkey with. Kongsarn it, just thinking about it makes me wonder if I could wait should it come out this very fall. (Heck, I’d even spring for it this Ape-thrill!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Documentary on THE NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL in production

One of the unsung gems of late '60s low-budget filmmaking is Gunnar Hellstrom's psychothriller THE NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL. Based on a bizarre screenplay by Gary Crutcher that passed through many hands -- including Rock Hudson's and Roman Polanski's -- before director Hellstrom and producer Joe Solomon brought it to fruition, THE NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL failed to catch on with moviegoers in 1968 and for many years could only be seen on late-night television under the title THE FEMALE TRAP. Never available legally in any home video/digital format, the film is ripe for rediscovery (an excellent review by Tim Lucas recently appeared on his Video WatchBlog) and deserving of a special edition DVD release. Last week busy filmmaker Daniel Griffith, who produced all the extras for BCI's special edition disc of STANLEY and is finishing up documentaries on K. Gordon Murray and William Grefé, revealed to Temple of Schlock that he also has a documentary on the making of THE NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL in the works. Below are a few photographs Daniel sent us of the locations used in the film, as they exist today in Jerome and Clarkdale, Arizona. "I revisited these locations with Gary Crutcher and shot the footage in high-def," Daniel said. "The Terry family gas station is still there! We also shot footage of the offices where they assembled and edited the film in Los Angeles. This footage, combined with the interviews I've done and over 200 behind-the-scenes photographs, will make a very interesting documentary." If a DVD ever materializes, let's hope Daniel's making-of is included as an extra. In the meantime, be sure to check out the trailers for THE WONDER WORLD OF K. GORDON MURRAY and keep your eyes peeled for horror festival and convention screenings of the complete, uncut DARK SIDE OF EDEN: THE MAKING OF STANLEY later this year.



NOW SHOWING -- January 16th, 1985

Here are some of the movies that were in theatrical distribution twenty-four years ago today (January 16th, 1985) and quite possibly were playing at a theatre near you!

AMADEUS
AVENGING ANGEL
BEVERLY HILLS COP
BIRDY
BLOOD SIMPLE
BREAKIN' 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO
THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET
CHOOSE ME
CITY HEAT
THE COTTON CLUB
DIRTY BOOK STORE (re-release of THE BOOBY HATCH)
DUNE
EMMANUELLE IV
THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN
THE FLAMINGO KID
GHOULIES
THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY
THE INHERITORS
JOHNNY DANGEROUSLY
THE KILLING FIELDS
MAN OF FLOWERS
MARIA'S LOVERS
MASS APPEAL
MICKI & MAUDE
MRS. SOFFEL
THE MUTILATOR
THE NERDS STRIKE BACK (a.k.a. SURF II)
NIGHT PATROL
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
1984
PARIS, TEXAS
A PASSAGE TO INDIA
PINOCCHIO (re-release)
PLACES IN THE HEART
PROTOCOL
THE RIVER
A SOLDIER'S STORY
STARMAN
STOP MAKING SENSE
STRANGER THAN PARADISE
A SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY
THAT'S DANCING!
2010
WALKING THE EDGE

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Endangered List (Case File #17)



VIOLATED! (1974)
a.k.a. THE RAPIST

Directed by Albert Zugsmith
Written by Albert Zugsmith and William Maron
Original story by William Maron
Produced by Roger Gentry
Executive Producer: Alfredo Talarewitz
Associate Producer: Susanne Suzan

Starring
Susanne Suzan, Rene Bond, Rick Lutze, Britt Mari

Released by The Fanfare Corporation
Running time: 90 minutes
MPAA rating: R

Re-released as THE HOLLYWOOD RIPPER


PLOT

Hollywood is under siege by a masked maniac who is terrorizing the city by raping and cutting young girls.

The police have been unable to catch this mad genius of rape and sadism because his method of entrapping or catching the girls is so varied and resourceful.

No girl in Hollywood is safe on the streets or even in their own home from this fiendish monster who chloroforms girls on the street, drags them into his curtained van, manacles them spreadeagled to the sides of the van, rapes them, cuts a bloody swastika into their quivering flesh and dumps their bruised and battered bodies unceremoniously into the gutters.

When the home of AMBER LYTE, beautiful young classified ad taker for the Los Angeles Free Press, is invaded by the masked marauder and AMBER is raped, beaten and cut in her own shower, she decides that she is going to do what the police haven't done -- catch the rapist!

Enlisting the aid of a lovely young girl, SUZANNE SUZAN, the celebrated Swedish beauty, to use psychological means to capture the sadistic fiend, the two young girls set a horrendous trap for the rapist.

Then using a home made electric chair and a blow torch, the girls attempt to torture a confession from the rapist. The action filled, unique true-to-life film is based on a composite of seventeen sadistic rapists from the files of the leading police departments in the United States, where rape is on the continuing increase.