Sunday, February 13, 2011

Movie Ad of the Week: THE ADVENTURES OF TAKLA MAKAN + co-features (1975)

Most urban theaters that ran action programming in the 1970s and '80s were decades-old movie palaces that had seen better days, but the Star Twin Cinemas in Miami -- opened May 1973 in a shopping mall anchored by Woolco, Food Fair and Eckerd Drugs -- was an action house by design. The guy who handled the bookings for this theater must've had a blast, judging from the anything-goes lineup in the ad above. Can you imagine any theater operating like this today?

THE ADVENTURES OF TAKLA MAKAN is the Toshiro Mifune/Toho Studios co-production KIGANJÔ NO BÔKEN (1966), also known as ADVENTURES IN KIGAN CASTLE, a rousing adventure-fantasy similar to the same production team's 1963 hit SAMURAI PIRATE (U.S. title: THE LOST WORLD OF SINBAD). Stuart Galbraith IV doesn't think too highly of either film in his book The Emperor and the Wolf: The Lives and Films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, but they're both a lot of fun.

The second feature, BLACK BELT JONES, was from the makers of ENTER THE DRAGON and starred Jim Kelly, one of the stars of that film. It began its theatrical rollout through Warner Brothers beginning in January of 1974. Dennis Coffey's awesome "Theme from Black Belt Jones" b/w "Love Theme from Black Belt Jones" was issued as a single by Warner Brothers/Sussex.

TNT JACKSON was a New World Pictures release that first showed up in theaters in January '75. The titular character was played by Playboy Playmate Jeanne Bell (Miss October 1969) and the script, co-written by character actor Dick Miller, was later remade as FIRECRACKER (1981) by the same director, Cirio H. Santiago.

On the second screen are two hardcore interracial sex films. BLACK GIRL is most likely BLACK GIRLS (ca. 1974), starring Sara Brown, Lucy Jones, Gem Black and Peter Stone. It was advertised with the following warning: "If you would be offended by adults of both the black and white races mixed...the management respectfully requests that you do not attend this motion picture." BLACK NEIGHBORS (ca. 1975) featured "New York screen star Farrow Jones" and the ads touted it as a "black and white delight in sensuous color."


rivamarsh said...

I am honored to say that I actually own a complete 16mm print of "Black Girls" (1974) :), though I've yet to view it because my projector is currently broken. I would love to see "Black Neighbors" I've come across a buch of ads for the film and Bill Landis did an interesting write up on it, I hope one of these days it surfaces.

Anonymous said...

I have a mexican lobby card for it, but I had no idea that TAKLAMAKAN was even released in the US. Do you know who distributed it?

Temple of Schlock said...

Anonymous: This is the only evidence we've found of this ever being released in the States, and have no idea who was responsible!

Rivamarsh: If you're in the N.Y. area, please invite us over when you finally screen it. We promise to keep our pants on.

rivamarsh said...

I would love to have you guys over to screen it but unfortuantly I live in Illinois. I would also love to see the film get transfered and released (just so others could view it) if anyone out there is interested in releasing it please send me an e-mail. The film is on one reel and runs just under an hour.

Anonymous said...

Loving these ads! I have some you may like that I clipped and still have from The Lux Theater and San Francisco's The St. Francis Theater. Bruceleeclones@twitter

August Ragone said...

I saw TALKA MAKAN at the UC Berkeley Theater (in Berkeley, CA) around 1980/81 on a double feature with Hiroshi Inagaki's THE THREE TREASURES (1959)!