Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Endangered List (Case File #153)



SLICK SILVER (1975)
a.k.a. SLICK SILVER & Co.

Starring
R. Terrell Reagan
Hal Fletcher
Bond Gideon
Bill McGhee
Ken Miller

Directed by
Perry W. Tong

Written by
R. Terrell Reagan

Produced by
Perry W. Tong

Executive Producers
R. Terrell Reagan
George Tregre

Cinematography by
M.L. Nelson

Edited by
M.L. Nelson

Music by
Bill Bauer

Costumes by
June Tregre

Makeup Artist
Pat Tong

A Crescendo Cinema III production

Released by
Centro Distributing

MPAA rating: PG


(Above) Perry Tong double feature - Longview, TX - August 22, 1975


STEPSISTERS (below) was re-released by Sam Sherman as THE TEXAS HILL KILLING and HANDS OF BLOOD, but SLICK SILVER & CO. has never resurfaced.



(Below) Before making STEPSISTERS and SLICK SILVER, Tong tried unsuccessfully to adapt his novel The Brutus Incident for the big screen.

Boxoffice - November 6, 1972




Perry Tong: sub-distributor


Variety - June 5, 1974


Boxoffice - February 10, 1975


Boxoffice - April 7, 1975


Boxoffice - June 9, 1975




Boxoffice - October 27, 1975


Boxoffice - November 10, 1975


Boxoffice - October 25, 1976


Boxoffice - November 10, 1976


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Movie Ads of the Week: The Many Faces of Alfred Sole's COMMUNION



COMMUNION - Corpus Christi, TX - July 22, 1977



THE MASK MURDERS - La Crosse, WI - August 12, 1977



ALICE, SWEET ALICE - Decatur, IL - May 12, 1978



HOLY TERROR - Philadelphia, PA - June 4, 1981

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Endangered List (Case File #152 )



THE PRESIDENT MUST DIE (1981)

Directed by
James L. Conway

Produced by
Charles E. Sellier, Jr.

Written by
James L. Conway
and
Cliff Osmond

Photography
by
Paul Hipp

Edited by
Trevor Jolly

Music by
Don Perry

Assistant Director
Leon Dudevoir

Costumes
Julie Staheli

Design
Paul Staheli
Chip Radaelli

A
Sunn Classic Pictures
production

Released by
Jensen Farley Pictures

MPAA rating: G

***

Excerpts from
“Making Movies the Computer Way”
by Patricia Morrisroe
Parade magazine
(February 2-3, 1980, p.16)

Welcome to the age of computerized entertainment, where movies are conceived, created and marketed like boxes of breakfast cereal. The idea was not the brainchild of IBM, however, but of a Mormon organization in Park City, Utah, called Sunn Classic Pictures.

Since 1974, thanks to its new testing system, Sunn has produced an unbroken chain of “hits” – 17 movies that have each grossed an average of $14 million. Its most successful picture, IN SEARCH OF NOAH’S ARK, made for only $360,000, has returned $28 million at the box-office. By using cost-cutting devices, such as small casts of little-known actors and non-union crews, Sunn can spend huge amounts on expensive but well-timed television advertisements. As a result, audiences flock to see their “limited run” movies. In a business where six out of seven films lose money, Sunn’s pictures regularly gross 30 times their production costs, a ration enjoyed by only a handful of films in history.

The inspiration behind Sunn’s approach is its president, Charles E. Sellier Jr., 36, a Mormon convert who attributes his good fortune to two important factors: God and the computer.

In 1971, Sellier was hired by American National Enterprises, the originators of a scheme known as “four-walling,” whereby a movie company rents selected theaters for a flat fee and gets all the box-office dollars instead of giving theaters a percentage of the gross in exchange for paying their own overhead. This technique, combined with hefty amounts of TV advertisements, benefits smaller film companies like Sunn which otherwise might never get their movies shown. “Because we pay for the use of the theater,” Sellier says, “we have to make sure our product is completely attuned to the audience. If nobody comes, we lose a lot of money.”

Sellier’s first major step in assuring the profitability of his pictures was selecting his audience and determining their tastes. Through a computerized test-marketing system, Sellier identified his main target group: working-class families who attend films only once or twice a year. In pinpointing this market, Sellier had found an unexplored resource. “Only 23 percent of the U.S. population sees movies with any sort of regularity,” he says. “Hollywood is just not making the kind of films that turn on the other 77 percent. All we did was find an angle that other people weren’t pursuing.”

Under Sellier’s system, the audience practically designs every aspect of the film themselves. Each month researchers are dispatched across the country to question potential moviegoers on unusual ideas, newspaper articles, current books, or anything else that might get them out of the house and into the theater.

Once the most popular ideas are collated, Sunn’s research teams are sent out again. This time the man-on-street is asked to help flesh out the concepts. Take, for example, the research conducted for THE PRESIDENT MUST DIE, a docu-drama on the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

“After feeding our data into the computer,” explains screenwriter Brian Russell, “we went with the conspiracy theory – the premise that was closest to what the majority believed.” What if the computer had pinned the blame solely on Oswald? “We would have gone with that angle instead,” Russell says. “We’re interested in drama, not politics.”

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Movie Ads of the Week: MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL (1983) a.k.a. HORRORS AT MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL (1984) and MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE (1986)



Jim McCullough's low-budget regional horror film MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL -- rated R by the MPAA -- opened in one theater in Opelousas, LA on July 15, 1983.


Under the title HORRORS AT MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL, it opened at the Meadowbrook 6 in Jackson, MS on December 14, 1984.

New World Pictures gave it a wider release in 1986 as MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE.