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.


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

Robert Bassing, Larry Spiegel and Richard Benson

Royce D. Applegate

Peter S. Traynor and William D. Sklar

Assistant Producers
Mel Frohman and Al Wasserman

Production Manager
Ted Parvin

Assistant Director
Ronald C. Smith

Jack G. Roberts

Director of Photography
Bill Mann

Assistant Camera
Randall Robinson and Thomas Neuwirth

Key Grip
Russ Manarello

Set Decorator
Mike Parvin

Monika Henreid

Dee Manges

Charles Bernstein

Sound Mixer
Lee Alexander


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


Booksteve said...

Quite frankly, Dean Jagger always creeped me out anyway!

The Flying Maciste Brothers said...


Robert Plante said...

Strange that late actor Royce D. Applegate did the story. I remember him from Twin Peaks.

AEC said...

When I was an 8 or 9 year old kid I took an clay art class at Barnsdall Art Center in L.A. One day these guys show up at the classroom and we kids are asked to do a whole bunch of crying and moaning as part of sound effects for a film they told us would be called "God Bless Grandma and Grandpa." I hadn't thought about the experience in years until it popped into my head the other day and I did a search and found this page. I wonder if my child voice is somewhere in the background.