Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Part One

I have tried to make New Year's resolutions year after year only to have them, like many people, fall by the wayside. I'm getting too old for that nonsense.
I did, however, find the perfect thing to face the next year.
This;

The brick walls are not there to keep us out.
The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.
The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough.
They're there to stop the other people.
- Randy Pausch


I like this.
I will be doing this.
Everyone have an excellent New Year.
Tomorrow I will release my list of best DVDs released in 2014.
You'll like my list.
It only has one entry.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

THE BROTHERS DIM/WHO STOLE SHRUNKEN ED? DOUBLE FEATURE

Being an unofficial biographer of Michael Legge has its moments. I always look forward to anything he does. In this case the new release gives us two movies for the price of one.
First up is The Brothers Dim who, if I'm correct had their debut in a short film The Lemon Man A pair of idiots who are 37 months behind in their rent and if they don't pay the landlord, will get evicted from their garage. Lucky for them, the landlord has lost his lucky penny he has had since birth. If they can locate that then they can live in the landlord's garage for the rest of their lives.
Taking the story telling aspect of a bizarre fairy tale, right down to the narrator being a physical person who they are constantly trying to get rid of and a fairy godmother who can grant wishes as long as they say it before her sparkler wand dies out, THE BROTHERS DIM has that absurdist quality of many of Legge's short films. Short and to the point this might not have worked as a feature, but is perfect at this length and makes for a great half of a double feature.


WHO STOLE SHRUNKEN ED? is for those of us who truly love Legge's horror host persona, Dr. Dreck. Over the years he has developed a repertory company of players that make us laugh between the B movies that he usually shows on his program. It also links in the plot from the Dr. Dreck feature film from a few years back for us truly fanatic fiends of THE DUNGEON OF DRECK. He could give us one of these every year in addition to the regular program to keep us in touch with the characters outside of their TV show setting. That would be awesome!
In addition to the two mini features we get a blooper reel that shows how much fun they are having on the set of both features and a short film from the far flung past that shows us that Michael Legge has always been a different kind of film maker. It's called HUMAN INTEREST and is one of the true highlights of the entire DVD. Kind of like unearthing a archaeological, cinematic find.
At this point I will be looking at dissecting this as well as MONOCHROMIA, his last film and the fascinating short film, HUMAN INTEREST for a revised edition of his biography.
Or I might wait. By the time I get that done, he might spring another movie on me.
Who knows?

And if this sounds like your kind of thing go HERE to order your copy today. I warn you though, Michael Legge movies are VERY addictive

Friday, December 5, 2014

THE NEW ISSUE IS DONE!!!

Divine Exploitation #3

I'm at work so this is a pretty tiny image, it will not be this fuzzy on the actual product.
Now here's the scoop;

For some reason, even though I have changed nothing format wise from the previous two issues, the price went up. It is not five bucks it is five-fifty. I am of the opinion that this sucks so here is my solution;

You can PayPal me (Use the gift setting please or your money will be returned to you.) five bucks and where to send it and I will send it to you personally. Because of the inconvenience I will also be glad to sign the issue if you want, let me know in the paypal instructions. I am also famous for sending other things in the envelope like mini comics and the like so it will be a bonus. The five bucks will include shipping.
If you want it for Christmas order early.
Also, this is just for the US. I will be unable to ship overseas. 

Thanks for understanding.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Order HERE

Stay Twisted!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

CHRISTMAS SALE!!!

Howdy folks! I have reduced the prices of a few of the fine publications here at 3/4 Time Productions. Just in time to help you with that hard to buy for individual.





Divine Exploitation #1
BUY HERE!!!
4 BUCKS! Was 5 Bucks!!





Divine Exploitation #2

BUY HERE!!!
4.50!!! was 5 Bucks!!

Sasquatch VS El Chupacabra

BUY HERE!!!

5 BUCKS!!! was 6.99!!!

And don't forget about the rest!


A Democrazy of Braindrained Loons: The Films of Michael Legge

BUY HERE!!!
Only 9.99!!!

 

BUY HERE!!!
Only 10 Bucks!!!

Have an excellent Christmas. Buy now! Buy often! Tell your friends!!

A Realization

Wow! I really haven't been here since October 24th?? That's a long time. Sorry about that folks. Been busy on the Christmas issue of Divine Exploitation. More on that as it gets closer to finished. Anyway, I have always been a non fan when it comes to remakes of popular movies of the past. I allow it from time to time with some stringent arbitrary rules, but for the most part...not a fan.
Let's just pick a recent one for no apparent reason.
Evil Dead.
No reason to remake this. What are you going to do? Add shitty CGI effects? Yes you are! You know you are!
But, now it no longer bothers me thanks to my daughter, Dandelion. See, she knows a lot about one particular thing;
Fan fiction.
You know, when someone takes a popular TV show or movie or video game and writes their own little spin on it? Yeah, that's fan fiction.
So, from this point forward I have abolished the term 'remake' from now on it will be replaced with 'fan fiction'.
This new spate of 'fan fiction' seems like an awfully expensive endeavor. Maybe Hollywood should take a page from the legion of fan fiction writers. They do it on the internet...for free.

Friday, October 24, 2014

MOVIE OUTLAW BY MIKE WATT



I have known Mike Watt for many years. I have read most everything he has done and consider his film, The Resurrection Game to be one of my all time favorite films. Movie Outlaw feels like a follow up to his recent volume, Fervid Filmmaking, which does a fine job of taking a string of films from off the beaten path and exposing them to the light of day. Movie Outlaw does the same.
The first thing I do with any book like this is see how many of the movies I've seen.
In this case 17 out of 75.
Not too, bad. Not great, but a fair amount.
And here is the interesting thing;
The one's I haven't seen, with a couple of exceptions, I really have no desire to watch. Maybe I'm just getting too old for this kind of thing, but I watch little TV and film now as it is. Between a forty hour a week job and two new grand babies, time is a premium that I find my self becoming increasingly stingy with.
That and sometimes I'm just too damned tired.
That being said, the book was enjoyable. I learned a lot about films I had little, if any information about. Mike is a great writer about film, you can feel his passion about what he watches. Seeps right off the page.
Now, if I am able to give just a little criticism, one of which, Mike already pointed out.
The spacing between lines made this a beast of a book. My old eyes appreciated all the white space for reading purposes, but he might want to consider changing that.
Finally, I have never seen so many damned footnotes in my whole life.
I read history books for fun and Mike Watt could show those stuffy bastards a thing or three about footnotes.
So. Many. Footnotes.
So, in the end, great book. Great reference guide for a lot of films that don't make it into reference guides.
Can not wait for Volume 2    

Monday, October 20, 2014

GUNFIGHTERS OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER



Twice a year, for many years now, I have attended an event called Cinema Wasteland. You could call it a convention, but I see it more as a reunion of my extended family. People I have met there and see exactly twice a year. Sure, there is Facebook, but it's not the same.
One of the first years I attended I went to a Grindhouse panel led by a man known only as 42nd Street Pete. Being familiar with the output of Alternative Cinema I knew who Pete was. Pete survived 42nd Street and lived to tell the tale.
Now, with those decades of film experience, 42nd Street Pete a.k.a. Pete Chiarella has thrown his fabled fedora in the ring of fiction.
And, oh what a piece of work this is.
See, while I remember when Mad Max first hit the theater, it was the sequel, The Road Warrior that did the most cinematic damage. There were so many post apocalyptic films after that you could fill a warehouse with them.
Now, years later, Pete Chiarella gives us GUNFIGHTERS OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER.
In a future where solar flares have dried up any liquid not stored in plastic or glass, people tend to drink...a lot. The ruler of this little patch of dried earth is the fabled Drunken Master, who is eventually ruined by the notorious El Roacho Rio. El Roacho manages to shoot The Drunken Master's gun hand completely off of his wrist.
Now, The Drunken Master is offering the ultimate bounty to bring El Roacho Rio to frontier justice.
One hundred cases of water.
Now The Blindman and his faithful companion. Dog, trek across the wasteland, meeting friends and foes as they shoot their way across the desert in the hopes of retrieving the ultimate treasure in a world gone dry.
This reminds me so much of the Road Warrior knock offs that showed up in every theater and vdieo store across these United States of ours. Half of  them predicting the end of the world over a decade ago. Psychos on motorcycles and death machines. In this sordid tale a group of bikers refuse to give up their machines in a petrol less world and retool their bikes to run on liquor. They run like Hell, but they still manage to get you where you need to go.
At a quick 128 pages, Pete Chiarella manages to tell an intricate, two fisted, blood soaked adventure tale that screams out to be made as a feature and leaves us wanting more.
GUNFIGHTERS OF THE DRUNKEN MASTER makes me no longer wanting for a hooker story from 42nd Street Pete at Cinema Wasteland.
It makes me want to read more adventures of The Blindman.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Cinema Wasteland Report: October 2014

Another chilly October morning greeted us as my lovely wife and youngest daughter loaded up the car and made our way South to the best convention on the planet; Cinema Wasteland. I was especially excited because I had a new issue of the print zine to give to people there.


Get yours here; DIVINE EXPLOITATION
This was the second issue of the new format and there was some pretty cool stuff in there. When we arrived we made our way to the convention hall and greeted all of our friends; Ken Kish, Mike and Amy Watt, Pete Chiarella, Bill Zebub, Tom Sullivan and the one and only Henrique Couto. I made sure that they got the issue and some mini comics as well.

ME and the one and only BILL ZEBUB

This time around was more about visiting our extended family than any single event. I was excited to meet director Greydon Clark, but he was a no show because of a back injury, but in true Wasteland fashion, Ken Kish managed to get a panel of effects men led by Tom Sullivan. Along with another pair of effects men, Dean Gates who has done everything from Day of the Dead to Deep Space Nine and Jerami Cruise of Toetag Pictures fame. It was a great panel and I got it on video so it will be up soon.
Other panels I enjoyed was Geretta Geretta of DEMONS fame. She gave a great talk, but cameras being what they are, I didn't get it. My buddy Matthew Skelly might have so we will have to wait and see. 
Mink Stole introduced a great 16mm print of Pink Flamingos and did an amazing Q&A afterwards. It was my youngest daughter's first time seeing the film. She liked it.
We watched a film, Revenge of the Spacemen that was a low budget fun fest. Very family friendly for a change and some of the most hilarious lines of dialogue. A full review will follow soon.
The my favorite thing of the weekend. The A. Ghastlee Ghoul's Night At The Movies. There are no movies, just fun and games. Also, another Wasteland Wedding. It was an elaborate affair and a great time. The couple was very sweet, Brandy and Mark. They even had cake! It was very good.
I was invited back to play 42 questions with 42nd Street Pete. Yeah, I won again. Two free passes to next years April show!
I find that the time leading up to the show seems to feel like forever and then, when it's over, it goes by in a flash.
Be sure to catch the April show as it is a Day of the Dead reunion show with the most guests ever from that movie and Jim Wynorski to boot!
I know I won't miss it!

She seems like a nice doll.




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #34

http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140519214724/shazam/images/5/55/Justice_League_Dark_Vol_1-34_Cover-1_Teaser.jpg

I remember when they started this title. I bought the first one and said, meh and went on with my life. But then I remembered how much I really like the way that J.M. Dematteis writes and went back to picking it up.
Good choice.
I have always been a Deadman fan and in this issue he is back to life and in the mystical city of Nanda Parbat fighting a monster named Pantheon. Add in an unwanted John Constantine, Zatanna, Night Nurse and Swamp Thing and it is an epic conclusion to an epic storyline.
I know I said I was done with the new DC 52, but this has been good. I have been introduced to Night Nurse who is pretty cool and with her origin explained, even cooler. I like that the JLD hangs out in The House of Mystery. It's like they didn't get the memo that the DC Universe had been changed and they just do what they want.  
Now I have to go back and get the trade paperbacks and get caught up.
I thought this epic cover of the supernatural team of the DC Universe would be a great way to kick off October.

Monday, September 29, 2014

ONE AND DONE

http://investcomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/One-Done-Cover1.jpg
This looks good. No epic story line to see here folks!


Does that phrase up there look familiar at all? I hear it used more in the realm of comic books, but it applies to lots of things; movies, TV, books, lots of things. I find, as I get older that more and more fictional things have this habit of running secondary story lines throughout their run. Some good examples would be the newest incarnation of Doctor Who. And being an old fart, I mean what started with Christopher Eccelston. I remember the old days when Tom Baker would show up, the monster would slaughter everyone except for him and his companion and they would be on their merry way. Good times.
Comic books were even better at having a single issue where the hero would have an adventure and that was it. No foreshadowing, nothing full of portents of things to come. Just a straightforward, well told story. Well, most of the time.
Now, with the Marvel Universe telling epics tales that require you to basically read everything they print and DC following in their footsteps by re imagining their entire mythology a few years back, it has gotten out of hand.
And do you know why they do it?
Collections.
If they have a string of stories they can put them all in one book and sell it for a huge profits. In hardcover no less. When did the fad for hardcover comic books start? Even the times I have bought a collection like Watchmen (Yes it was a series of individual issues back in the day) Or Moonshadow (Which was also a series of issues before it was collected) they were still softcover. We know they are comic books. It's fine that come out every month on newsprint. Although, I do like to see that printing and paper have come a long way and look great.
The newest incarnation of Doctor Who with Peter Capaldi showed great promise. An older actor bringing a little of the old school back to the character. Good stuff. Yeah, except for that undercurrent of something going on with this woman and a place called The Promised Land. Hey, Stephen Moffat! That idea that people want this sort of thing every season is so far off base it isn't funny anymore. Knock it off!
Sometimes you want to go to the news stand, or your kindle or that comic book store you haven't been to in forever and pick up a comic book to check in with the hero of your choice. They swing/fly/swoop in, fight a villain, have an adventure and, at the end of the issue live to fight the good fight another day.
Yeah, good luck with that.
Even some of the smaller publishers have this problem; Dark Horse, IDW, Image just to name a few. Now, being a huge fan of Godzilla, Rulers of the Earth I do like that it is the continuing series. Even they stopped the storyline and then went on with another one.
See, it's a tricky thing. Some things warrant the epic story line. Some don't. It just all doesn't need to be that way. Sometimes we just want the little moment with our beloved characters.
Understand?

Friday, September 26, 2014

ATTACK OF THE KILLER OCTOBER POSTS!!!

I haven't done a daily post in a while and what better month to do so than October. So, starting October 1st until All Hallows Eve I will be doing a review every day of something. What? Not sure. It could be a movie, a comic book, a book, a breakfast cereal. I do whatever I want anyway, this should be no surprise to any regular reader. I encourage lots of comments and questions during the month to get a Halloween vibe going on the site.

And to my regular readers in the Ukraine; Stay warm and Stay Safe.

And finally, to put you in the mood:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-77fea99bwrM/U1Mqrb1jhsI/AAAAAAAAA90/ewLGnJp-krs/s1600/wallr.gif

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. : Shadows



Being a big fan of the first season, I was pretty excited about the new season starting up. Thanks to the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier, things have taken a turn for the worse in this little corner of the Marvel Universe.
Also, last season left us with an agent turned bad guy, an agent robbed of his brilliance and the entire team forced into the shadows.
It starts with a flash back to 1945 and the Nazis finding an artifact of alien intelligence called The Obelisk. It isn't long before our cameo of Peggy Carter and The Howling Commandos starts up and they destroy the base and confiscate all of the artifacts.
Flash forward to now and our agents are trying to get their hands on whatever weapons and intel they can find. Things go wrong on a buy when a newcomer, impervious to bullets, takes the information and runs off.
We discover that it's a man named Carl Creel, more well known to us fans of Marvel as Crusher Creel, The Absorbing Man. And, yes, I was excited when this was revealed although I figured it out before they told us.
Later, we were rewarded with Creel grabbing a length of chain that had a huge ball at the end and then it was ultimate fan reward for those of us who care.
This was a good start to a new season. I do hope that they really don't try to redeem Ward. He doesn't deserve it. The end with a reveal that deals with Fitz and his brain injury from last season;s finale is heartbreaking.
This was a great episode.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

BLAST FROM THE PRINTED PAGE!: JAY LIND INTERVIEW



Back when Divine Exploitation was a xeroxed zine I did quite a few issues. This particular issue had Linnea on the cover. Articles by Christopher Jarmick, Mark Engle and the late great Larry Stanley. It also had an interview with the one and only Jay Lind. Jay has relocated to the Philippines and is waist deep in a vampire thriller THE BRIDE WORE RED.
This is years before that and I present it electronically for the first time.
Enjoy!


Divine Exploitation - Okay, first question; How do you go from counterintelligence work to making cool, low budget films?
Jay Lind - I majored in film and theater in college, Salisbury State University with an eye to acting and directing. Mostly on stage, actually. I had some really great teachers, Leland Starnes who was my faculty adviser taught me a lot about acting and theatrical direction. Jim Welsh was a big influence on my film work and my ideas and philosophy as far as what makes a film work and why I should make certain projects. He instilled in me the idea that I had to do more than just entertain that, if I wanted to be an artist, I had to ask questions and do movies that were about something, not just a way to kill two hours. And Leland Starnes gave me the confidence to try. To takes chances as an actor, a writer and director. Because that's what it is about. Taking chances, asking questions and telling stories. If you fail, well then it's better to fail at something noble than to succeed in adding more shit to the big pile of it that passes for entertainment these days. (Backstreet Boys, NSync, I'm looking in your direction. Martin Lawrence, you know who you are.

DE - If you were given a huge sum of money but weren't allowed to have final cut, would you still make the film?
JL - Only is I walked off with at least a million of it and it was a porno AND I didn't have to put my name on it. I'm an artist, but I'm not an idiot.

DE - What was your first film?
JL - As a professional, my first film was Sangre Songes (Dreams of Blood). It was my first attempt to make my script, Valerie, and starred my future wife, Maria Pechukas, Debbie Rochon and Amy Lynn Baxter. It was about forty minutes, n dialogue and really sexy and beautiful. My first amateur or student film was Library: Banned in Latvia. I did that with my best friend, John Wright, for a high school film contest, which we won.

DE - Which do you consider to be your best film?
JL - I hope it hasn't been made yet. So far, To Dance With Death. The new one, Shadow Of The Demon might be when I finish editing. We'll see...

DE - Who would you say your heroes/influences are?
JL - How many pages do I have? Kate Bush, James Whale, Francis Ford Coppola, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ray Davies, William DeKonig, Joe Heller, Austin Pendleton, Peter Jackson, Bobby Kennedy, Bobby Seals, Huey Newton, Lee Starnes, Jim welsh, Val Lewton, MST#K, Cameron Crowe, Terrence Fisher, Terrence Young, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Barry Levenson and, of course, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

DE - For the film, To Dance With Death; where was that filmed?
JL - Salisbury and Ocean City Maryland and Millsboro, Delaware.

DE - Were the locals good about the shoot or were they big pains in the you know what?
JL - For the most part they were fantastic.

DE - Brinke Stevens does a full nude outdoor shot in the film. Did you just wait until the neighborhood was asleep for the night, or did you have a crowd like when George Romero did his 'nude zombie shot' for Night of the Living Dead?
JL - Well, Brinke's pretty cool about her body and there were times when there were people close enough to see if they wanted to, but that scene, no. we didn't get to it until about 3AM, but I don't think we would have had any problems with Brinke shooting it earlier if we had gotten that far along on the schedule.

DE - Besides money, what is the hardest part of making a film?
JL - editing. It's just sooooo dull. No, maybe preproduction. That's pretty dull, too. Okay, a tie. editing and preproduction. Or waiting for the release...

DE - What's the easiest?
JL - Definitely working with the actors. I love directing actors, creating the characters, coaching them, falling in love with them, fighting with them.

DE -What's your opinion of Linnea Quigley?
JL - I love Linnea. she's one of my favorite people in the world along with Brinke Stevens and Debbie Rochon. And my best buds Austin Pendleton and Al Ryan, A very talented writer, cameraman and director from New Jersey.
Linnea is extremely hot. A very beautiful girl, a wonderfully talented actress and a natural comedienne with a great sense of timing and mischief. And she sings and plays the guitar! What more can a man ask for in a  woman. Plus, she looks great naked and that's the only true test of beauty.

DE - Did anything odd come out of shooting To Dance With Death?
JL - Well, there was the night that spiders decided to crawl down the backs of Brinke and Victoria when we were shooting a scene under this incredibly old tree. That was pretty odd. The weird part is that they stayed in character and that's the take we ended up using. Brinke, well all then girls were so incredibly professional. It was wonderful to be on that shoot. I loved every one of them. They made me look so smart and talented the way they did their roles. They, Brinke, Victoria, Kim and Kirsten make the movie what it is.

DE - What is your dream project?
JL - There are a couple. There's a movie I've tried to shoot a couple of times that I'm actually going to get to make next year. Valerie. I tried to make it years ago with Maria Pechukas in the lead and Debbie Rochon as her best friend. Financing fell through so many times it was ridiculous. But now I've got this great producer, Robin Rothschild and she's putting the money together so we can shoot it in the Spring with Debbie in the lead and maybe Brinke and Linnea in the cast as well.  We thinkwe owe it to Maria's gost to get it made. My other dream project would be a stage version of MacBeth with Frank Langella as MacBeth and Austin Pendleton as Banquo. I'd like to use stage magic to make the Banquo's Ghost scene work so Banquo is projected translucently on the stage. Of course my other dream gig is to be the night manager of a chocolate factory staffed by naked ballerinas.

DE - Finally, have you made a film you really wish no one had seen?
JL - Oh yes. Well, sometimes I wish no one had seen any of my movies. There are times when I hate each and every one of them. There are also times when I love all of them. Since I answered that question though, the movie I was going to name has once again wormed its way back into my good graces so, today there are no movies that I wish no one had seen.

Monday, April 21, 2014

THE DISCO EXORCIST (2010)



Rex Romanski (Michael Reed) is the king of the disco dance floor. He loves to dance. He loves the ladies...all the ladies and he loves the drugs. Then he meets Rita (Ruth Sullivan) and he thinks he has found true love. Rex in unaware that Rita is a voodoo priestess with ties to the dark side. When Rex meets porn star extraordinaire Amoreena Jones (Sarah Nicklin) he realizes that it's time for Rita to hit the streets.
Rita has other ideas and curses Amoreena. Pulling out a lock of her hair helps with the whole demonic possession thing and it isn't long before Amoreena's eyes turn black and she goes on a murderous rampage.
THE DISCO EXORCIST shows us that Richard Griffin is a master of what he does.
You want a disco/horror blood and guts exploitation film? You got it. He uses the tattered film look to maximum effectiveness and you believe that it was made forty years ago. This is what Tarantino and Rodriguez' GRINDHOUSE was supposed to be.
While I am a huge fan of Griffin's ATOMIC BRAIN INVASION, I think this has nudged NUN OF THAT and BEYOND THE DUNWICH TERROR out of second place. This is what low budget film making should be; original and embracing it's exploitation roots at the same time.
I caught this on the ROKU channel Midnight Pulp. It's free and this amazing film is there for your viewing pleasure. Be sure to watch this incredibly gory, sexy, funny film today.
You won't be sorry.
Now, if I could just figure out why I think Sarah Nicklin is so freaking hot when she has the all black contacts in during her possession scenes. She did this in BEYOND THE DUNWICH HORROR as well and I thought it was hot there as well.
I think there is something wrong with me.
Oh well.

Friday, April 18, 2014

HIDDEN HORROR : A CELEBRATION OF 101 UNDERRATED AND OVERLOOKED FRIGHT FLICKS



Review books can be a tricky beast to review. How do you read it? Do you just cherry pick the reviews of films you want to read? Do you check on the films to see if you agree with their reviews? Do you just start at the beginning and plow though to the end?
This is doubly hard when you are a film reviewer as well. It becomes a game of how many have you seen.
Let's start with the good.
The book itself is beautiful. I assume it's made through CreateSpace and it shows what can be done with that particular Print On Demand process. Editor Aaron Christensen has done a fine job assembling so many reviews. At 313 pages this makes for nothing more than brief overviews, but it does give you an idea of what these movies are about. An appetizer of a review, if you will.
The logistics of getting all these reviewers in one place must have been a logistical nightmare and I applaud Christensen for getting that accomplished.
Now, my problems.
The title, the entire title immediately puts me into a mindset of  'Okay, lets see all these amazing pieces of cinema that I have never heard of.' It becomes a challenge as a film watcher to see how many of them I have seen.
The answer?
All of the ones I cared to see. Yes, there is a slim minority of films in this book that I have not seen. Why? Didn't want to. The older I get the less time I am willing to invest in films that I have no desire to watch. But, I have seen a lot of these.
The title shoots the book in the foot. Well, if book had feet. That might make it easier to read them. Just call for the book you want and it comes scurrying over to you. Convenient. And, a little weird. The title tells you these are overlooked and underrated films.
I want to give you a short list of films;
THE BLOB
CARNIVAL OF SOULS
THE HILLS HAVE EYES
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE
THE SEVENTH VICTIM
In what alternate universe are any of these films underrated or overlooked. The editor, in his introduction, tries to waffle out of this with a throwaway comment that if the reviewer felt that way it was okay to include it in the book. No, I think it might have just been better to change the title of the book. As I mentioned before, the title creates a mindset in the reader and with every movie that goes against that mindset the book becomes more and more irritating.
Add to that there are reviews that I feel miss the mark entirely. BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE, for instance, just doesn't seem to grasp what is going on. Martin is not the devil. Martin is an answer to a mother's prayer for her catatonic daughter. No devil would remove that torment.
The review for POSSESSION is too brief for such a bizarre, layered film.
I could continue, but you get the idea.
In the end I wonder who this book is intended for. True horror fans will have seen so many of these films that the title is going to annoy them again and again. Newcomers to the field might find it a useful book, but I can't speak for them. I've been in this game for far too long to know what that mindset would even look like.
HIDDEN HORRORS? NO, not really.
Also, I am not a fan of the cover.
Sorry.

GODZILLA!!!



Look at these!!! How cool are they??? I do loves me some Godzilla so you know they will have to be added to my collection. And the coolest part is that you can get them, maybe even for free!!! Just follow  this LINK and it will get you to all the details. Have fun and enter today!

Monday, April 7, 2014

CINEMA WASTELAND APRIL 2014 REPORT

So, since the place we are buying our new vehicle from couldn't manage to have it ready for the trip we were lucky that our delightful daughter in law, Tabbie, lent us her car. We also took her husband, my oldest, and my grand daughter, Coyanna with us. So, along with me, my lovely wife, Martha and my daughters, Delia and Dandelion, we hit the road, ready for adventure.
We fueled up at the nearest  Taco Bell for their new breakfast, which was amazing, and hit the open road.
We arrived without incident and got checked into our room. And then were off to get our weekend passes. We went into the dealer room and saw everyone before going out for dinner. I did make sure to get copies of A BULLDOG FOR CHRISTMAS and HAUNTED HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW from our good friend and film maker, Henrique Couto.
Dinner was at a little place on Pearl Road called Katherine's. It was amazing. I got the fried ocean perch with piergoies and cabbage soup. Very good. We then stopped at Ground Zero Comics which was cool, but nothing like our good old Fanfare back home.
The first real event we were going to was the burlesque show by a group called The Rustbelt Honeys. Yeah, they had sound issues and took forever and they broke the cardinal rule. Don't bad mouth someone who tried to help you with your sound issues for three hours. They did, I left and we will leave it at that.
After that the charismatic, Charles Band took the stage with his Full Moon Roadshow and he showed us lots of cool things and convinced many women to show us their boobies onstage. It was magnificent and we signed up for Full Moon Streaming on the spot.



After that we made out way to the little room to watch an independent feature that was called BUNNI. I called the ending, but it was still good and the lead villain was pretty cool visually.
Then came Bill Zebub's newest feature, Scienceless Fiction, a tirade about the over abundance of political correctedness that we currently live in. Expect a review in the near future.
That put us at a little over 3 in the morning so we went back to the room and passed out.
My oldest son that came with us, staggered in about five and proceeded to throw up in the bathroom, flushing his pass and glasses in the process.
Saturday morning was spent watching 42nd Street Pete's Hardcore Wrestling Hour. Always a great way to start your day. We bought many souvenirs, including movies from Bill Zebub and Tom Sullivan's amazing documentary INVALUABLE. He sighed it and drew a little deadite on it for me. So cool. The one and only Gerrit Graham signed my VHS copy of his movie THE ANNIHILATORS. He also gave me the following, amazing story;
It seems that when they were filming the Vietnam scenes there is the scene where his character trips a trap that sends a log with a spike in the end, swinging through the air and spikes the canteen on his head. Yeah, while the spike didn't touch him. the log itself whacked him in the head. A crew member came rushing up and said, "Man, I just saw your skull!" Luckily, there was a great plastic surgeon in Atlanta where they were filming and he showed us you couldn't see the scar. I could have talked to him all day, but so could many fans so I left him to be the awesome gentleman he is.

The one in the stocking cap is my youngest daughter. Yes, that's a giant, inflatable penis.


Then we went to listen to director, Kevin Tenney talk about his movies before they showed NIGHT OF THE DEMONS. We didn't stay for the movie having seen it so many times before.



After that we met up with my buddy, Stew Miller and we drove out to Parma for our obligatory White Castle run. Delicious as always.  
Then Rhonda Baughman and Nick Peron interviewed me for their Micro Shock website. That was pretty cool.
Then 42nd Street Pete introduced his Grindhouse panel with porn star, Serena. I have never been a fan or hers, but she seemed very nice. I just wished she knew what a microphone was for. She was impossible to hear.



At 8 that night was the reason to come to Wasteland. I am, of course, speaking of GHASTLEE'S NIGHT AT THE MOVIES. A. Ghastlee Ghoul, his amazing band, Splattertude, and a plethora of people made music, did games, had fun and had a wild time.



After that it was time to hang loose in the lobby and talk with people and absorb the vibes of Wasteland. We met Calavera and he/she seemed very nice. Someone screamed at us that Vagrancy Films sucked. It was fun.



Then, Martha and I saw THE PHANTOM OF PARADISE before turning in for the night.



Sunday morning we killed time at the nearby mall before going back to say goodbye to everyone before heading home. It was a great time and I managed to not let the unprofessional behavior of The Rustbelt Honeys not bother me...too much.
Thank you Cinema Wasteland for an other excellent weekend!






Sunday, March 9, 2014

THE DAY THE SKY EXPLODED (1958)



So, this basically deals with a manned space flight to the moon. Unfortunately, the rocket experiences some difficulties and the pilot is forced to eject the manned capsule. He believes that the atomic engines were turned off by ground control. They thought he did it, but with the malfunction he was unable to make that happen. So, in effect, we sent a nuclear bomb hurtling into the void.
It makes contact with an asteroid belt and sends huge meteors right towards us dooming mankind for all time.
This was a pretty slow B&W sci fi pic. There is a ton of stock footage and when they do a animal stampedes it reminded me of that line in ED WOOD about the explosions upsetting all the buffalo. I thought the solution to the problem was both genius and a nod to anti war propaganda at the same time. If all the nuclear countries fired their missiles up into space at the same time they could take out all the meteors and save the day.
In the end it was a little long, a little dull and they spelled Mario Bava's name wrong. Mario Baja? Sounds like an Italian dune buggy.

Monday, March 3, 2014

DEATH RIDERS (1976)




For the Cult Cinema Drive in 200 Movie Box set I am currently working through I just pick a disc at random and go from there. Sure, it comes with a little booklet that gives a brief synopsis, but what would be the fun in that. I saw the title, DEATH RIDERS, and thought it would be pretty cool.
I was right, but not in the way I thought.
DEATH RIDERS is a documentary that chronicles the 1974 tour of The Death Riders Thrillseeking Motorcycle Show. You have a group of youngsters  no more than 20 going across the country from state to state doing what they do best.
Crazy ass stunts.
What makes a motorcycle jump or car crash even better?
Setting things on fire, that's what.
I would have been twelve when they came through Van Buren County. Yes, they show the fairgrounds sign in the movie. I probably saw something like this if not that show.
Very cool.
I did think it was funny that they manages to capture the true exploitative feel of the times with some nudity. How, you may ask? They did a show at a nudist colony. Sure, some of these people needed to put their clothes back on, but it was all in good fun.
Now, with stunts involving fire and motorcycles and cars you expect something tragic to occur.
Never happens.
The movie does open with a list of former members who lost their lives and in what stunt it was. That kind of makes you a little nervous when one of the new members does the stunt.
But, with all of this there is the one stunt that I can't believe they do at every show and there are a ton of volunteers for.
They do a motorcycle jump from a two foot ramp over people from the audience!
Sure, I know what you're thinking. That wouldn't be that bad. You can jump a few people pretty safely, right? But what if the ramp broke and you plowed right through those people on your bike? Plus, a few people would have been a comfort. The end of the film had one of the guys jump forty-five people.
Yeah, you read that right.
Forty-Five People.
Yeesh!
In the end you get a documentary that feels so honest and pure. It is a perfect time capsule of 1974 through the eyes of master camerman Vilmos Zsigmond. Yeah, you read that right, too. The guy that gave us things like Sugarland Express and Close Encounters of the Third Kind spent a summer following a group of kids doing crazy stuff and got some great shots of it all.
This is a sweet film of a time that is lost forever and it shows how much fun people were having being crazy way before something over polished like Nitro Circus ever even thought of it.
This is my favorite film in the box set so far.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

HOUSECLEANING

So, been kind of busy. Yeah, I have sort of watched three more movies in the Drive in box set, let's do that first.



SEXTETTE (1978)

I realize the cultural significance of Mae West. I also realize that this was done at the very tail end of her career. when Timothy Dalton walks up to her and breaks into song I realized that I was in for a unique viewing experience. When Dom Deluise did a song AND dance number that confirmed it. This is one of those movies that must be experienced once. I would be surprised if you ever needed to return to it.

Nothing like this happens in the movie. Well, the car is there, but the ladies...nope.

BURN OUT (1979)

This is fifteen minutes of drama wrapped around a huge amount of funny car drag racing. I'm from Kalamazoo. We don;t do funny cars here. We like stock car racing and demolition derby. Nothing here for me and it was terrible.



BLUE MONEY (1972)

A look at the making of porno flicks. It's treated in an artsy kind of way which is cool. Some of the photography of the outside stuff is breathtaking. Also, anytime you get Gary Kent as a police detective in a super sweet white turtle neck putting the porno makers down, it is always a good time. This was good. It deserves more people to be aware of it.

So, getting through the box set is taking a bit longer than expected, but I will watch all of them, I just can't make them the only thing I watch. Thanks for reading these and more will follow.

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

Divine Exploitation is going back to print! With friends of mine returning to print and the convenience of Create Space I see no reason why I can't do the same. I'm looking at a 50 to 60 page quarterly to start and bumping that up depending on submissions.

So, you want to submit to Divine Exploitation? And who doesn't, right? Just contact me here or, if you're one of my Facebook buddies you can get me there. Also dwaltzwriter@yahoo.com is good.
What am I looking for?

Art
Reviews
Exploration of Exploitation films
Fiction (I have one rule about fiction. Short and sweet. Make it weird.

All of these submissions have one steadfast rule. Do your homework. Check for spelling, make sure you know what you're talking about. It will always be black and white so no color art. Got it? Good.

And now, I leave you with Ron Merchant art. Be amazed!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

VALERIE (2002)


VALERIE (2002) 



83 Minutes/Widescreen 
Directed by Jay Lind

Editor's Note: This is not part of the box set that I am currently covering. Still, an excellent film.


Valerie (Maggi Horseman) has been the victim of a violent rape in her own home. To deal with this, Valerie has become submerged in a fantasy reality where she is a vampire. To reinforce this there are a number of people being murdered in the small town she lives in. The police are baffled and the body count rises. To complicate matters Valerie is slowly blossoming into womanhood and all the anguish that can bring. Her best friend Lori (Mellanie Love) is dealing with her own sexuality and adding to the confusion with her overtly sexual advances towards Valerie. Along comes Jack Sickert (Jay Lind) whom Valerie feels a true connection with regardless of the huge age difference. Unfortunately, the vampire fantasy is bleeding over into her reality more and more until it becomes impossible to tell which is which. The key to the problem is the identity of her attacker. Whatever happened Valerie has blocked the face of her attacker. The fantasy world has put the face of a malevolent vampire on the rapist. Valerie must go past the fantasy, force herself back into the situation which caused the trauma. She has to unveil her attacker and deal with it to resolve her conflict before the fantasy envelops reality completely. 
VALERIE is the newest film by underground sensation Jay Lind. A Jay Lind film is a personal thing. There are many themes that he explores over and over again in his cinema. Suicide, fantasy vs. reality, death, art. All of these things are what makes a Jay Lind film rise above the norm. VALERIE is no exception. A huge assistance in the telling of this tale is his newest discovery, Maggi Horseman. She manages to bring a mercurial quality to the lead. At one point she comes across as a sweet, innocent girl with a terrible burden. Then she shifts to temptress and then back again to innocence. She handles this effortlessly making the film an enjoyable experience. 
Director Lind brings a haunting quality to the look of his film. From stark reality footage to color washed scenes of fantasy. When the two worlds begin to collide you can see certain aspects of the film begin to shimmer uncontrollably. We are along for the ride when the lines between vampire and teenager begin to blur. 
The film even manages to rise above it's basic horror storyline. We get a pair of girls that are out of high school, but unsure of where to go next. Just yesterday they were little girls and now the world expects them to be women. Lori's sudden urges of lesbianism throw Valerie deeper into her vampire mode. Perhaps the most haunting images is at the dance studio they both frequent. One minute they are doing their stretches. The next they are in a deep blue world of undead dancers. It emphasis the fact that whatever secret Valerie has locked up in her subconscious is slowly driving her mad. 
As is common with any Jay Lind film he has filled it with gorgeous women, especially Ms. Horseman who is unclothed for a better part of the film. The music varies between a techno funk during bar sequences to a haunting melody reminiscent of the old Universal monster movies. As a whole the movie reminded me of George Romero's MARTIN which was probably a direct influence on VALERIE. This doesn't make it derivative of the older film. Just a different, very interesting take on a familiar theme. Director Lind once again gives us an engrossing, haunting, personal film that gives us a glimpse into his personal world. VALERIE is how a vampire movie should be. Character driven, fascinating and unforgettable. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

CLICK:THE CALENDAR GIRL KILLER (1990)




Directed by Ross Hagen & John Stewart
Written by David Chute, Ross Hagen, John Stewart, Hoke Howell, Carol Lynn & David Reskin
Starring Ross Hagen, Troy Donahue, Hoke Howell, Gregory Scott Cummins, Donna Spier, Keely Sims & Susan Jennifer Sullivan

Okay, we get to start off with a small boy being chastised by a huge nurse. She tells him his mommy is dead and now she is forced to take care of him.
Flash forward to the decade like no other, the 90s, and we have women posing for the manic camera work of one Jack (Ross Hagen) and his assistant, Alan (Troy Donahue). It's a wrap and the party starts soon after. Professional model Nancy (Donna Spier) shows up at the party, is unceremoniously dumped in the hot tub and goes from being a serious model to stripping down to nothing for Jack's camera.
But this is all just build up to the huge project Jack has planned at his ranch. He is doing a photo spread that  glorifies sex and violence. And he will get the expressions he wants...no matter what.
CLICK gives us what must have been a Ross Hagen moment. He helps write it, direct it and, no surprise I promise, is the killer dressed like a nurse. Yes, a female nurse, otherwise who would care?
The movie takes forever to get off the ground and my famous actress spotting skills revealed Susan Jennifer Sullivan who plays the blonde, bitchy girl in FRIDAY THE 13TH 7:THE NEW BLOOD. In this movie she plays, well the same thing. She looks the same, acts the same, leaves her clothes on the same. Pretty dull.
Donna Spier was nice enough to give us opening nudity and then another girl gets naked for the bathtub before being stabbed to death in it.
Hagen does his normal chewing up the scenery that is always expected from him and you have to wonder if it was just a slasher flick cash grab for him. Makes sense. If you watch the end credits it was actually made in 1989 so, the time frame is right.
I wonder how many people are looking for the Adam Sandler movie and get this instead. I also wonder if they finish watching it or make a quick exit. For slasher movies it is a little slow, but for complete madman acting skills, Hagen is the master of this flick. Just watching him makes the movie worthwhile.

Friday, January 31, 2014

I WONDER WHO’S KILLING HER NOW (1975)





Directed by Steven Hillard Stern
Written by Mickey Rose
Starring Bob Dishy, Joanna Barnes, Bill Dana, Harvey Jason, Severn Darden, Vito Scotti

I actually watched this one a while back, but have not bothered with a review. At first I think I was overwhelmed, but now I think I might have been underwhelmed.
Basic plot is that Jordan Oliver (Bob Dishy) has embezzled money from his father’s company. His wife Clarice (Joanna Barnes) is leaving him because he is worthless so he takes out an insurance policy and has a contract to have her killed.
Then he realizes he can’t go through with it and tracks down the hired gun. Unfortunately, the hitman hired another guy because he didn’t need all the money.
This happens several times and eventually, Jordan is on his way to Las Vegas with an entourage of bizarre and weird characters to stop the murder.
I don’t know. This should have been funny. The director has done good work like ROLLING VENGEANCE, a personal favorite, but this is just lifeless. The writer is a veteran of some pretty good television from the Golden Age and everything just falls flat. The whole thing has a poverty row version of IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD and seems grimy and worthless.

It was fun to spot all the people I have seen in television and movies over the decades, I just wish it had been in a better movie.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

THE VIRGIN QUEEN OF ST. FRANCIS HIGH (1987)




Directed by Francesco Lucente
Written by Francesco Lucente
Starring Joseph R. Straface, Stacy Christensen, J.T. Wotton, Anna Lisa Iapaolo, Lee Barringer

I saw the title of this and said, ‘Cool! I loves me some teen comedy.’ Yeah, I really do. Too bad there was none of that evident in this movie.
We start in some club where we determine that it is where teen agers hang out to socialize, dance and, apparently, drink. There is a lot of drinking here. I understand that it is shot in Canada. Is there a lot of underage drinking in Canada?
So, Mike (Joseph R. Straface) bets his buddy Randy (Lee Barringer) that he can bed beauty queen Diane (Stacy Christensen) before the summer is over. With the help of his buddy Charlie (J.T. Wotton), Mike is determined to win that bet.
He dreams about saving her as a spy fighting against Lee who is an evil spy. He lies to Diane’s mother about looking like the Elephant Man and eventually wears Diane down enough that she agrees to go to some place up in the woods where there are cabins and bears who try to kill them in the middle of the night.
They discover love, but Mike doesn’t want Diane to find out about the bet and Randy is just interested in trashing her virtuous reputation.
Oh no, what will happen?
I admit to having watched movies with less of a plot, but they have a lot more things that this movie does not. Funny dialogue, acting, nudity, fart jokes. Any of this would have been just fine. I mean the video box is trying to pass itself off as some FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH clone.
The end credits list that the movie had an original title that escapes me and I’m too lazy to go back and check. They do thank God first in the end credits which is always nice, but it sort of explains how the film is so chaste.
It makes me wonder if Crown International Pictures knew what they had before they bought it. Can you imagine being at the drive in for this thing back in the day. I’m pretty sure it would have pissed me off. As it is now it just bored me.
Lead actress Christiansen is very pretty to look at and lead actor Straface is probably the worst actor on the planet. If his dialogue was any more wooden you could have carved Pinocchio out of it.    

This makes WEEKEND PASS look good.


SAVAGE WEEKEND (1979)

I like how the back of the box practically gives away the end of the movie.

Directed by David Paulsen
Written by David Paulsen
Starring Christopher Allport, Jim Doeer, David Gale, Devin Goldenberg, Marilyn Hamlin, Caitlin O’Heaney, William Sanderson, Yancy Butler

Let’s do the plot first before we get into the meat an potatoes here, because I really, really remember the first time I saw this thing.
The movie starts with a scene from the end out of context. It makes you think one thing, but it’s something else altogether. You’ll see.
Marie (Marilyn Hamlin) is going to the country with her new boyfriend, Greg (Jeff Pomerantz) He has someone working on a boat for him, but Otis (William Sanderson) is a slacker so Greg is bringing his buddy Jay (Devin Goldberg) out to help on the boat. Marie is bringing her sister, Shirley (Caitlin O’Heaney) along and, for no other reason I can think of than they needed a flamboyant gay man along for the ride, they bring Nicky (Christopher Allport).
Once they get out there it is obvious that Otis is insane. Shirley lets Jay have his way with her and Greg and Marie rut around when time permits. Handyman/Lumberjack Mac (David Gale) makes eyes at Marie and she wants to let him, but stops herself.
Then the killer shows up. Wearing work gloves and a crummy rubber mask he cuts a bloody swath through the city folk. One of the more imaginative deaths is Nicky who gets a hat pin through the ear into the brain. Another one involving a table saw with faulty wiring is actually a little funny when we get to the payoff.
In the end, the killer is revealed. It’s no big surprise and the remaining survivor is left with a giant plate of mental scarring.
I remember watching one of my favorite slasher flicks, HE KNOWS YOU’RE ALONE (1980) My brother and I went to see it at the theater and there’s the scene in the beginning where the girl gets stabbed in the movie theater. Yeah, we looked behind us. Yes, there was a guy sitting behind us and, yes, we changed seats. Go ahead, laugh. I do everytime I remember this.
Anyway, I really liked the lead in the flick, Caitlin O’Heaney so, when I saw this movie at the mom and pop rental store I knew I had to try it. Imagine my surprise when we get a lot of her naked in this film. The ladies in the film are pretty sparse so we get as much naked as they can give us. Sure there is the flashback scene where Otis brands his woman’s chest with an H because she’s a whore, Otis can’t spell, but that scene is a little gruesome. There are a few gore scenes that work pretty well in here. Besides the branding there is a chainsaw ripping through flesh that looks pretty good.
And we get to see David Gale as a lumberjack, compete with handlebar mustache. How cool is that. And for all you sharp eyed folk that spotted Yancy Butler of Witchblade fame up there in the credits. Yeah, she’s Mac’s little girl and has one scene. She’s six.
This is a movie of it’s time. Slasher flicks were just starting and the video store movement helped get this thing out there. The more I think about it the more I might have actually seen this in a theater first. I haven’t watched it since the 80s and it has remained etched into my brain better than much more important things.
Weird how that works, isn’t it?
Final thing. Christopher Allport played Nicky like the perfect gay caricature of a man and he was fun to see in the movie. His career spanned decades from things like TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA to those God Awful Jack Frost movies. Not the Michael Keaton one, the psycho killer snowman ones. Anyway, I saw that he died and I was a little sad. Then IMDb was kind enough to list cause of death.
Avalanche.
Really???
Avalanche???
That is a unique way to check out and he was always good in whatever I saw him in. He will be missed.

SAVAGE WEEKEND is something for all slasher fans to make sure they don’t miss. Go see it for Nicky. You’ll be glad you did.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

JIVE TURKEY (1974)




Directed by Bill Braeme
Written by Fredricka DeCosta
Starring Frank DeKova, Paul Harris, Frances E. Williams, Reginald Farmer, Don Edmonson & Larry Greene.

Also known as BABY NEEDS A NEW PAIR OF SHOES, A terrible title if there ever was one, deals with the Italian Mob wanting to cut in on Pasha’s (Paul Harris) number running. The head of the family Big Tony (Frank DeKova) warns Pasha that he has  a man on the inside and knows everything. Pasha tells him to get stuffed and lets his assassin Serene (Don Edmonson) kill one of Big Tony’s flunkies.
Sweetman (Reginald Farmer) is Pasha’s number one number runner and soon it becomes obvious that LA is going to become a blood bath if something isn’t done. And, to make matters worse, it’s an election year and the mayor has decided that number running will be his crusade to win the election. Forget about the drugs and prostitution. People gambling must be stopped.
JIVE TURKEY is a slice of blaxploitation from the 70s. Loud suits, jive talking and some of the bloodier murders I’ve seen in this kind of picture. Serene kills two hitmen by drugging them and bashing their faces in with her high heels. Pasha destroys a thugs face with the butt of his gun and blood spurts covering everything. At the end when the stool pigeon gets gunned down in a phone booth the red is literally everywhere.
In the beginning it does say it is based on fact and things have been changed to protect the innocent, but there aren’t really any innocents in this movie. Every character is bad and sort of get what’s coming to them in the end.

If you think you’ve seen all te blaxploitation out there and have never heard of this low budget semi classic, you should definitely give it a watch.   

Monday, January 20, 2014

BLACK HOOKER (1974)

Great Poster. Most of the images never happen in the movie.


Directed by Arthur Roberson
Written by Arthur Roberson
Starring Durey Mason, Sandra Alexandra, Jeff Burton & Kathryn Jackson

Also known as STREET SISTERS, this is the only film made by the writer/director and it's based on a play that he wrote. The basic concept is that The Painted Woman (Sandra Alexandra) leaves her all white bastard child (Teddy Quinn) with Grandma (Kathryn Jackson) and Grandpa (Jeff Burton). Grandpa is the local preacher for all the colored folks and they live on a farm in the middle of nowhere. I would guess by certain clothing styles and the cars that we are firmly in the 1920s. So, having a blonde haired, blue eyed little boy running around was a bit of a shock.
To make sure we know what the title of the movie is, we get The Painted Woman doing her job with a white john. Afterwards, her pimp beats the Hell out of him and we aren't really sure why.
Years pass and The Boy (Durey Mason) has grown into a man, but they still refer to him as the boy. No one in this movie has a name. The Boys' child hood companion the Girl (Mary Reed, played by Gioya Roberson as a youngster. Related perhaps?) seem to be in love, but one day The Boy comes home and finds his Grandpa in the barn with The Girl having sex.
He has had enough, he leaves the farm and goes to the city to find his mother, but she wants nothing to do with him. He gets a job at a local store but the owner's wife(Stevie Freeman) puts the moves on him and the owner(Donald Blades) catches them.
Apparently, after that the Boy goes to school and he tells his Grandma he is coming to get her to take her to his graduation. The Painted Lady arrives first and the fight between her and Grandpa is too much for her old heart to take and she dies. We then get a weird, sepia tone funeral in the desert with a bizarre coffin. The Boy grieves for the only person in the world who loved him and in the end his mother snaps him back to reality and tells her she is sick and needs his mercy and help in her time of trouble.
This is too much for The Boy and he snaps, killing his mother.
When he sees what he has done he cries out for help.
The screen goes black.
The end.

Seems a little odd doesn't it? It makes me wonder what the exploitation crowd must have thought when they saw it. Sure, we do get two scenes of obligatory nudity in the film, but it comes with this weird vibe throughout the film. I can guess that since the playwright also wrote the screenplay and directed the film that he might have been too close to the project. Some of the cinematography by Foley Artist Joseph Holsen in breathtaking. It looks as good as it might ever get. I do wish that it had been presented widescreen. It is obvious that we are losing acres of information on both sides of the screen.

I also wonder if a longer print exists. After the Owner of the store confronts The Boy with his wife we get nothing else. No resolution. We never get a reason why the pimp beats up The Painted Lady's first john in the film. Usually that is done to roll the sucker and take all of his cash, but they just pound the guy and throw him down some stairs. Why?

Grandpa, Grandma and the child actor who played The Boy in the beginning have all gone on to make other films, but that was it. The rest of this cast is a single movie listing and that is it.

Just an odd, creepy, weird flick. Not at all what I expected when I saw the title BLACK HOOKER.

That might have been a good thing.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

WEEKEND PASS (1984)




Directed by Lawrence Bassoff
Written by Lawrence Bassoff
Starring D.W. Brown, Peter Ellenstein, Patrick Houser, Chip McAllister, Phil Hartman & Hillary Sheperd

In case you aren't sure what the movie is about, the opening, annoying repetitive song tells you that four guys from basic training in the Navy are about to experience the LA of the 80's with a WEEKEND PASS. Paul, the comedian (D.W. Brown), Lester, the nerd (Peter Ellenstein), Webster, the blonde stud (Patrick Houser) and the brother from the other side of the tracks, Bunker Hill (Chip McAllister).
Like any good weekend pass we start at a strip club. This is a good thing since it is practically all the nudity we get in the film with an exception later in the picture. You expect partying and carousing and drinking and incredible antics? Yeah, so did I. This movie is pretty tame for a Crown International feature.
Like all good Crown International features we get a few montage musical numbers, the obligatory nudity I mentioned earlier and there is even a dance number.
Sort of.
Now, that I think of it there are like three dance numbers in the flick. This is a lot of dancing for a movie that is not about dancing or a musical. Weird.
In the end the boys all meet good girls, promise they will call them and then back on the boat when the movie is over.
Kind of dull.
The one shining spot is the comedy club scene. Paul is going to get his big shot onstage.
One problem.
He kinda sucks.
But, that's okay. The MC for the night, one Joe Chicago, is played by none other than Phil Hartman. He is funny as he always was, but it made me a little sad seeing him now that he's gone.
Overall, as a T&A comedy of the 80's I would have to give WEEKEND PASS...well, a pass.
Sorry, I knew that was bad before I wrote it. Couldn't help myself.
Maybe I'll go watch TOMBOY again.

MINI COMICS

New post over at the 3/4 Tie Productions site. I'm hawking my wares folks!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

TOMBOY (1985)




Directed by Herb Freed
Written by Ben Zelig
Starring Betsy Russell, Gerard Christopher, Kristi Somers, Richard Erdman, Philip Sterling, Eric Douglas & Paul Gunning

TOMBOY lets us know where we are from the beginning. A flashback to our lead Tommy (Betsy Russell) winning at a baseball game with her proud, astronaut father in attendance.
Then a long crawl of credits as we pan over everything in her bedroom. The alarm goes off, her dog wakes her up and we see she has grown into a woman. She is also the best mechanic in the city, maybe even the world.
She also has a secret crush for professional race car driver Randy Starr (Gerard Christopher) who is being sponsored by local rich kid, Ernie Leeds Jr., or Junior for short (Eric Douglas).
Thanks to her outgoing friend Seville (Kristi Somers) Tommy is dragged up to Juniors’ mansion where she falls hard for Randy. But, Randy treats her like a girl and she knows she can beat him with her hand built race car so, the gauntlet if thrown!
This is a classic 80’s teen comedy that Crown International is known for. Sprinkled with ample nudity, long, drawn out sex scenes of the R variety and musical numbers and montages throughout the film. In fact, this one had so many songs in it I made an attempt to track down any of the bands that contributed to the film.
Yeah, I couldn’t find one of them. Anyone else interested in trying their hand at this, here is the list of performers;

SOUVENIR (Not the 1999 band. They wouldn’t have been around for this.)
P.F. SOLO
BRITTANY
MOSES
LINDA STEVENS-FOOTE
LONNIE ALAN
SNUFF

Good luck and if you do find something substantial I will include it in the book and give you credit as well.

Now, back to the movie. Tommy’s friend, Seville while energetic just comes across as a dumb blonde. When I first saw Eric Douglas I thought he was the lead singer of Wang Chung, not the dead son of Kirk Douglas. Who knew? Yeah, I know everyone except for me.
In the credits on IMDB and other places they say that Tommy’s actual name is Tomasina. It’s like they don’t read the credits in a movie. It just says Tomboy so Tommy would be a natural progression.
With the exception of the awful hairdo, Betsy Russell is gorgeous in the film and I like that she has renewed interest as Jill Tuck, the ex wife of Jigsaw from the SAW film franchise.
The film JUST ONE OF THE GUYS was released the same year so it may have been an influence on this film while sharing nothing in common plot wise, but seems like something Crown International would do to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the higher budget flick.
TOMBOY is a classic formula flick for 80’s teen comedies. This being the third one I’ve watched in the last few days I can see that there is a specific formula for the ones coming from Crown International. They all have a slow motion love making scene that goes longer than anyone wants. They all have a minimum of two music montage scenes, probably because nothing pads out that 90 minutes running time like a montage.
While I prefer MY CHAUFFEUR over this primarily for the presence of Deborah Foreman, this is still a great flick of its time.
And all the cars are cool. Tommy’s car has this weird control panel that is reminiscent of Knight Rider and has a weird intake scoop in the back.
A fun flick with an overdose of 80’s pop music that no one 

Friday, January 17, 2014

MALIBU BEACH (1978)



Directed by Robert J.Rosenthal
Written by Celia Susan Cotelo & Robert J. Rosenthal
Starring Kim Lankford, James Daughton, Susan Player, Michael Luther & Steve Oliver

MALIBU BEACH starts with school getting out for the year. Kids running everywhere and three cheerleaders give a little cheer before someone asks our lead Dina (Kim Lankford) where she’s going.
Malibu Beach, of course!
Bobby (James Daughton) and Paul (Michael Luther) are cruising around in Bobby’s customized Jeep. Dina is a lifeguard for the summer. Muscle man Dugan (Steve Oliver) is putting the movies on teacher Ms. Plickett (Flora Plumb) to no avail.
It’s just another summer on Malibu Beach.
And that might be why this movie is just so damned dull.
There is no plot of any kind in this movie. Bobby and Dugan don’t get along and we have no idea why. There is no huge drag race at the end or no plot to get even with another group of kids or fight the cops or anything. The only one with an agenda is a dog that steals bikini tops on the beach so we get plenty of nudity to go along with, well nothing.
Sure, Bobby and Dugan have a swim off at the end and Bobby is almost eaten by a really fake looking shark at the end, but that’s about it.
And you have to realize that I love this genre of movie. I am a huge fan of the classic 70’s teen comedy and this one is so flat and thin and just kind of rolls along for it’s 96 minute running time until one of the kids tells a bad joke, they all laugh and then freeze frame, the end.
?????
The one interesting thing about the film is that the character of Dugan also appears in the movie THE VAN (1977) that was pretty good and written by the duo that put pen to paper for this epic. Dugan is even played by the same actor so that means this boring dud takes place in the same continuity of THE VAN so, there’s that, but that isn’t enough.
I’m pretty sure that the girl who runs the snack shack was also in SATAN’S CHEERLEADERS, but I would have to watch the end credits again to really make sure and I’m not quite ready to delve back into this mind numbing land of dull again so soon. Kind of like waiting after you’ve eaten to take the plunge. Yeah, that’s it.
We’ll see.
Maybe.
Probably not.
Still not as bad as ETERNAL EVIL, but still pretty impossible to recommend.

   

Thursday, January 16, 2014

MY CHAUFFEUR (1986)



Directed by David Beaird
Written by David Beaird
Starring Deborah Foreman, Sam Jones, Howard Hessman, Sean McClory, E.G. Marshall & Penn and Teller

Brentwood limousine service is about to get a serious upset to their status quo. Casey Meadows (Deborah Foreman) has been sent a letter from a very powerful man, Witherspoon (E.G. Marshall) to report for work. Casey finds herself in a classic fish out of water scenario when she is introduced into a man’s world of chauffeuring the rich and powerful around. 
Her first gig is hauling around a punk rocker named Cat Fight (Leland Crooke) who makes her stop the limousine so he can liberate a woman in a blue dress with blue hair with a blue dog of her panties.
Yeah, it’s kinda weird.
Then we are introduced to workaholic, Battle (Sam Jones). His girlfriend is breaking up with him in the back of Casey’s limo. Note the girl is the same actress who cut the blonde girls hair free from the door in the party scene from SIXTEEN CANDLES. I didn’t feel like looking up her name. There are a lot of actors like that in this movie. People that relate to a lot of other movies. That old, ‘Hey! I know that guy! He was in…’ kind of thing.
Casey advises Battle to have a drink. Battle has a lot of drinks and it isn’t long before we see more of Sam Jones than we ever wanted to. This leads to her taking him home with her since she has no idea who he is. Nothing happens, but he is not happy waking up with the help.
We discover that Battle is the son of Witherspoon and the elder Witherspoon says that Battle works too much and sends him off to check their vineyards holdings in Sonoma. He takes a limo and guess who his driver is?
Well, the limo breaks down in the middle of nowhere and the pair is forced to walk. They wind up at a house in the middle of nowhere with a couple who invite them in. He is the chubby evil guy from PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE. (Again, not looking it up.) The two of them share a bed and more and in the morning he wants to marry her. She is not interested so he continues to try and try and try.
Eventually they come to his father and he has a big secret for them, but he doesn’t. It seems that he thought he was Casey’s father, but one of the limo drivers comes forth and says he is the actual father. This goes a long way in avoiding an extremely awkward situation. And in the end they get married.
I was happy to see MY CHAUFFEUR in the mega set as it might be the one Deborah Foreman movie I have never seen. I had it bad for her back in the day. I can remember repeated viewings of LOBSTER MAN FROM MARS for no other reason than she was in it. She is extremely cute and gives off this bizarre vibe in the film. Kind of a Cyndi Lauper look and this weird staccato reply to any questions people ask her in the movie. Sometimes, she gets this mischievous smile on her face and you aren’t sure if it’s part of the act or she’s just having this much fun. 
And I have to discuss the end. See, my wife and I saw this coming. It was going to end up with them being brother and sister and that made it creepy. Of course they aren’t related, but when E.G. Marshall does the reveal; Sam and Deborah look at each other, smirk and say Uh-Oh.
Really?
Incest makes for an uh-oh? Man, that played really weird. I mean in the end it turned out that her mom was a cleaning lady and slept with a lot of limo drivers. It was the 80’s so being a slut is better than banging your sister.
And, yes, Penn and Teller are in it. It’s weird though in that the only cast member they interact with is Foreman. It seems forced and a little long. It’s sweet in the end, but it seemed totally unnecessary.

In the end MY CHAUFFEUR is definitely a product of it’s time and Foreman is cute and manages to keep her clothes on when everyone else around her is losing theirs. Even Flash Gordon.

EVIL BRAIN FROM OUTER SPACE (1956)



Directed by Koreyoshi & Akira Mitsuwa
Written by Akira Mitsuwa & Ichiro Miyagawa
Starring Ken Utsui, Junko Ikeuchi & Minoru Takada

The evil genius Balazar, from the planet Zemar has become a living brain bent on the conquest of the universe. His first stop is Earth and the only one who can stop him is Starman (Ken Utsui).  Created by the Emerald Planet, Starman is made of unbreakable metal and with his Globe-Meter he can fly through space, detect radiation and speak and understand any language. Add to the fact that he is invulnerable to any damage and Balazar has his hands pretty full.
EVIL BRAIN FROM OUTER SPACE began life as the final three SUPER GIANT films from Japan; THE SPACE MUTANT APPEARS, THE DEVIL’S INCARNATION & THE POISON MOTH KINGDOM. The total running time of the three films was 159 minutes and they are edited down into one, incomprehensible mess of 78 minutes for this feature.
Reflecting the attitude of American serials of the 40’s there is a lot of fight scenes and men in tights. Even the bad guys wear spandex. Black, of course, to offset Starman’s white costume. It is odd that when he’s not Starman he wears a black suit and the bad guys wear white trench coats. Kind of a Yin Yang thing I guess.
There are some odd monsters that are veiny and weird looking from the waist up and then spandex from the waist down. Spandex, I might add, that could have benefited from the actor wearing some sort of undergarment. These pants are too tight and show more than we should have to endure in a superhero flick. Starman also seems to have this particular wardrobe malfunction, but, if you believe the hype, they did this on purpose to make him more attractive to the ladies.
Whatever. Yeesh!
A hat’s off to whomever the insane editor was who could make this into a feature at all. Characters show up and disappear at the drop of a hat. And, after a while, you think the bad guys would just stop wasting the bullets. They know he’s bulletproof, but they continue to blast Starman at every opportunity.
I did think it was funny that when the movie was over, it was just over. Starman bid farewell and headed back to The Emerald Planet to get away from us. The evil brain is melted and he is out of there.

Of the three Starman movies, I think this one for its pure insanity remains my favorite. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

RETURN OF THE KUNG FU DRAGON (1976)



Directed by Chick Lim Yu
Written by Lee Gee-Sun
Starring Sun Kuan, Rin Feng, Chang Li, Sing Chen, Lee Chung-Gian, Yu-chiao Szema and Tsai Hon

RETURN OF THE KUNG FU DRAGON is a classic tale of revenge. There is an evil man who goes to The Golden City on Phoenix Island to wrest control of the kingdom from the good emperor and rule The Golden City. The three generals that protect the island are defeated, but not before the princess is whisked away to the old man on the mountain who places an impenetrable fog around the base of the island for nineteen years.
Flash forward nineteen years and all the children of the generals have grown and are ready for the appearance of the princess to lead them to victory against the evil emperor.
This is a standard Kung-Fu epic. There is lots of posed fighting and it always sounds like someone is hitting a plastic couch with a broom handle. While there is nothing special about the film there were a few things I really did enjoy.
One of the daughters of the generals always stamped her feet when fighting. Some bizarre kind of Horse style of Kung-Fu.
The evil emperor has a magician with a long flowing white beard that he can actually use in a fight. The beard has a mind of its own and can punch people. I wish my beard knew how to fight. That would be cool.
Finally, the evil emperor. He had his go to move. whenever someone told him some important news he would give a hearty laugh and then slap the taste out of someone's mouth.
These things made it more of a fun flick, but still pretty standard fare after sitting through about a hundred of these things.
Now, for the weird part. The original name of the movie is Ju Ma Pao, it is a Taiwanese film and if you do a standard IMDB search you come up with the film as far as director and stars and all, but the synopsis is for Sonny Chiba's RETURN OF THE STREET FIGHTER. Weird
One last thing. I have always found people of Eastern descent in films to be quite attractive. Probably the whole exotic thing, but this movie has just some of the homeliest people to every grace a film frame. There is the good wizard's tiny henchman who looks like a troll and is wearing no makeup. A couple of the women are alright, but so many of them just have this horse face that makes you wince when they do the classic zoom in shot with the dramatic music that fills this genre of film. Just not attractive.
Blech.

Finally, if you're bored, go ahead and watch for yourself;

  

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