Saturday, May 08, 2010

State of the Temple Address 3

We’ve been busy with other projects as well as a lot of personal crap for the past few months, and have been somewhat remiss in our posting here at the Temple, but we’re hoping to remedy that soon with a handful of new pieces that have been on the backburner for a while now. Call it the intrusion of reality; lately it seems every time we sit down to bang out a quick post, scan a few ads, or simply watch a friggin’ movie, someone drops a quarter into the jukebox and selects the number about taxes, death and trouble, and before we know it another week has come and gone. But hey, instead of wasting time writing about how there’s never enough time, let’s get down to business, shall we?

(Above) The line outside the Silent Movie Theatre on March 30th

First off, we would like to extend a great big “thank you” to everyone who showed up for the screening of THE NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL on March 30th at the Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, a beyond-sold-out affair with folding chairs quickly set up in the aisles to accommodate late arrivals. It was a great time, and we’re extremely happy that so many of you came out to support this event. Big thanks to our special guests -– cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, screenwriter Gary Crutcher, and composer Stu Phillips -- and filmmaker Joe Dante, who moderated the Q&A after the film.

(Above) Stu Phillips, Gary Crutcher, Vilmos Zsigmond, and Joe Dante

More big thanks to Hadrian Belove of the Cinefamily, who did the heavy lifting once Daniel Griffith and I located a 35mm print of the film, and thanks also to everyone at the George Eastman House who cut corners to make sure their print got to us by March 30th. Thanks also to Brian Quinn and Eric Caidin of the Grindhouse series at the New Beverly, who co-sponsored this special event with the Cinefamily, Ballyhoo Motion Pictures and Temple of Schlock, and Harry Guerro of Exhumed Films for providing the beautiful print of THE REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD, the second feature of the evening (I'm very happy to report that more than half of the audience stuck around to watch it, too). Let’s also have a big round of applause for our friend Jim Healy at the George Eastman House, and also to Paul Rapp, who would’ve been another “special guest” if we had been able to secure a print of his film THE CURIOUS FEMALE as originally planned. Finally, my warmest thanks go to Daniel Griffith, Gary Crutcher and Bill Grefe, for allowing me to play D’Artagnon to their Three Musketeers for the past year and a half.

Never underestimate the power of ballyhoo. Daniel put together a sweet prize pack that consisted of a button (pictured above), a one-sheet reproduction and the “Pledge” card that was part of the film’s original ad campaign, and this went a long way in making what already was a really cool evening seem more like a special event. I stood at the entrance with Daniel and Brian Quinn and each of us handed out a different piece of the prize pack to the first 100 patrons who came through the door: Daniel distributed the one-sheets, I gave out the pledges -- instructing each ticketholder to sign it and swear not give away the film’s shock ending -- and Brian was on button duty. It’s always nice to feel like you’ve gotten an immediate return on your investment, and judging by the smiles I saw coming in that evening, these goodies really helped take the sting out of the $12 admission price. Daniel and I are planning to co-host another screening of the film in October or November at the George Eastman House, possibly on a double bill with PSYCH-OUT, and the prize pack will again be an integral part of the program. Stay tuned for more details.

Back in February we co-hosted (with Cultra DVD) a Friday night series of triple features on 35mm at the Cinefamily under the banner "The Art of Exploitation." We couldn't make it out to California for any of these shows unfortunately, but we're told they were a lot of fun. Below is a list of what was shown when.


Our friend Jake Perlin, film curator at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, deserves a huge round of applause for organizing the recent Bill Gunn retrospective at BAM, which included the first public screening in 20 years (and only the second one in 40 years) of Gunn's ill-fated major studio production STOP (1970). Sadly, Warner Brothers couldn't (or wouldn't) provide BAM with a 35mm print, but co-star John Hoffmeister saved the day with his personal VHS copy, which was shown to a large, appreciative audience on Easter Sunday. Leading man Edward Bell was there and got up afterwards for an impromptu Q&A that went from informative to funny to downright weird, and Jake made sure everyone knew that the concession stand was fully stocked with copies of Gunn's long out-of-print novel Rhinestone Sharecropping, which loosely chronicles the making of this X-rated major studio head flick. Coming less than a week after our NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL screening at the Cinefamily, we thought this would pale in comparison, but instead it played out like the east coast equivalent in terms of excitement and overall enjoyment. Bravo, Jake!

(Above) Bill Gunn directs Linda Marsh and Edward Bell in STOP

Now we're gonna set the WABAC Machine to wayyyyyyy back in November '09 for our next long-awaited nod. Simply put, if you were within 10 miles of lower Manhattan on November 20th and you missed "A Night of 1,000 Dummy Deaths" at 92Y Tribeca, then you, my friend, are a dummy.

That's right, we called you a "dummy."

Plunging double dummy!

A great big dum-dum.

Nope, we're not finished with you yet, dummy!

A special presentation of Kevin Maher's monthly Kevin Geeks Out program, "A Night of 1,000 Dummy Deaths" was co-hosted by The Flying Maciste Brothers from Destructible Man, who for 2 solid hours came at us with film clips, special guests, cupcakes and fun, and I think the sharp, open-minded crowd actually learned a thing or two before it was done, hey hey hey.

Above: Kevin (not Marr) Maher of Kevin Geeks Out as Richard France in DAWN OF THE DEAD ("Dummies!")

Below: Kevin (not Maher) Marr and Howard S. Berger, a.k.a. The Flying Maciste Brothers

The program was such a big success and a kickass good time that I'm eager to see the Macistes take their show on the road -- so if you know of a venue near you that would be interested in doing a "Night of 1,000 Dummy Deaths," contact the Flying Maciste Brothers at destructibleman[at] The Dummyship may be landing in your town very soon, so don't miss the Connection!

Course, we've known the Macistes for nearly 20 years, so don't just take our word for it. Check out these other rave reviews:

Kevin Geeks Out

Love Train for the Tenebrous Empire

We have almost zero interest in reviewing new DVDs, but every so often a company will send us a screener to plug. We'll either forward it to Kris Gilpin to review or we'll try our hardest to string together a few of our own sentences of support for the product. About 8 months ago a very friendly young lady named Christy from Liberation Entertainment sent us a couple of DVDs that we were supposed to review, and instead we misplaced them somewhere in the Temple and never wrote a word about either one. Matter of fact, we got THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW before Fangoria received their screener of it, and we very nicely invited Mike Gingold over to the Temple for a showing so he could bang out a quick review for Fango (See, Christy? Sending us these discs wasn't a total loss!). Better late than never, we recommend both the special edition of THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW (without giving the time of day to the remake) and the double feature DVD of Greydon Clark's hilarious UNINVITED w/ Bud Cardos' very entertaining MUTANT.

As many of you have noticed, sometime back in January our long-running "Lost and Still Not Found" series underwent a quick overnight facelift and emerged from the blood-soaked bandages as "The Endangered List."

We did this because, frankly, we were getting fed up with all the e-mails that were coming in questioning our definition of "lost." Instead of packing up our pressbooks and ad mats and going home in a snit, we asked a handful of trustworthy and respected colleagues to come up with a more accurate label for this otherwise very popular Temple feature, and our friend Lars Nilsen of the Alamo Drafthouse hit the nail on the head with "The Endangered List." So thank you, Lars, and when we finally make it to Austin, the first couple of beers are on us!

Unfortunately, nature abhors a vacuum, and not five minutes after we rid our inbox of one headache, another began to appear. A half dozen people have written to us asking if we can burn them copies of Tom Hanson's THE BIG SCORE. We've talked to Mr. Hanson several times since the review was posted and he's told us he never saw a dime for this movie. Because he still has the uncut version (A TON OF GRASS GOES TO POT), we wouldn't want to undermine a potential DVD deal by disseminating the truncated Australian VHS transfer. Besides, I know at least one of you will upload it to Cinemageddon within five seconds of receiving it. So the answer is no.

Oh, and before we go, one last thing: scratch seven more films from our list of 100+ No-Shows on Region 1 DVD:

CHANDLER (Warner Archives)



SANDS OF THE KALAHARI (Paramount/Olive Films)

SLITHER (Warner Archives)

THE TERMINAL MAN (Warner Archives)

TROPIC OF CANCER (Paramount/Olive Films)

The Olive titles should be out by September, the others are already available. Phew! We need a drink now. Peace out. 5/8/10


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of the great stuff! Now, I sincerely hope that THE NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL can show up on DVD someday. The attendance at the screening demonstrates that the film is still in demand.


Thank you, Chris! I would not have moved three steps forward without you help. Believe me! And yes, the turnout is ample proof that THE NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL is in demand! Hopefully the DVD will surface soon. Thanks again to all the attendees who came out to support the screening... and the guests. All for one... and one for all!

Kris Gilpin said...

finally saw Dealing, it actually holds up well today, Barb Hershey was sexy as hell (natch) & a young Lithgow was a trip to see.
& I'm so glad they finally released Slither, always loved that 70's road comedy! The book Terminal Man was much better than the film, but Segal was very good. & now I wanna finally see Tropic next!...

Mike Mac said...

Wow- I was very surprised to hear that Tom Hanson has a print of A TON OF GRASS GOES TO POT- that is GREAT news! Even though money's tight right now, I would spring for a DVD of that one in a heartbeat, especially now that I finally got around to watching THE ZODIAC KILLER.

And I'd get THE NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL on DVD as well- I've been intrigued by that one since I first read about it (in the first Psychotronic book, maybe?) years and years ago.