Where Danger Lives (and a Degree of Stoogeration…)

It’s been quite a while since I’ve added anything to what was supposed to be a movie review blog about films that had a connection to the Three Stooges (and I couldn’t help but notice that my Flesh Feast review was supposed to go live FIVE YEARS AGO!!!! Hey, I guess if patience is a virtue, I’ve got it in spades!)

Anyhoo–this entry is about one of the oddest degrees of Stoogeration I’ve ever run across. I first noticed it when I was reading the excellent One Fine Stooge many moons ago. It seems that one of Larry’s grandkids were waiting to visit him at the Motion Picture Home and the nurses told them that they couldn’t enter just yet because Larry already had a visitor. One of the granddaughters finally got it out of the nurse just who this secret visitor was…one Edward G. Robinson! It turns out Robinson never went through the regular entrance–he just showed up at the patio door, knocked, and Larry let him in. The granddaughter was obviously fascinated that the G man himself didn’t have to go through regular channels (I must admit, this fascinated me too–in fact, I need to search to see if there’s any photos of them together.)

Note: after a cursory search, I could find no pictures of them together. Plenty of photos of him with the likes of Ted Knight, Clint Eastwood, Phyllis Diller, Frankie Avalon, Joan Crawford, Harry Cohn, and police officers from the many, many, many police functions they performed at during the mid-to-late 1960s.) How and where did they meet? Did they strike up a friendship when Robinson was at Columbia?

I know, I know–you’re asking what the f*** does this have to do with “Six Degrees of Stoogeration?” Welp, Impatient Reader, I’m going to tell you right now: Burnett Guffey.

Now, whom is Burnett Guffey, you may ask? Well, let’s get to the reason why he’s a degree of Stoogeration.

The beginning of a wonderful career in film noir, though you wouldn’t think it!
Who knew that there was an Academy Award winning cinematographer filming a guy in a beat-up monkey suit?
Just LOOK at these credits!
Of course, this needs no introduction…
Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross announcing Guffey’s win for Bonnie and Clyde
(Original Caption) Katherine Ross and Dustin Hoffman are shown with Burnett Guffey, after they presented him with an Oscar for “Best Achievement in Cinematography” at the Academy Awards presentations.
Just LOOK at the shadows here–for some reason, this reminds me of the latter-era Shemp shorts (Gypped in the Penthouse comes to mind), with more elaborate use of shadows, better sets (of course they were from other movies, but still!)
And this last one…JUST LOOK AT IT! It’s glorious!

So, this is how Six Degrees of Stoogeration is played. You can link Edward G. Robinson to Warren Beatty to Faye Dunaway to James Earl Jones (The Great White Hope), to Frank Sinatra (both for From Here to Eternity and The Frank Sinatra Show (1950).

And lest you think I’d forgotten my opening paragraph, here’s a link between Larry Fine, Edward G. Robinson, and Burnett Guffey:

I love this one in particular–you get the whole Hitchockian look (okay, let’s call it what it is…an imitation) but I’d love this even more if Ginger Rogers could be even larger, with Edward G’s head looking less like an afterthought. Brian Keith’s image could be “snazzed up” as well (I’m not a graphics person, so forgive me for my lack of graphics terminology.)

I also like these–I could still do without the obvious headshot of EGR…poster artists could be sooooo creative (just take a look at some of these examples–yet they loved to go back to that floating headshot well…)

Day 1 of 31 Days of Terror! Dancing Away to the “Point of Terror”

Point of Terror 1Point of Terror 2

Point of Terror Year: 1971 Genre: Horror, Thriller Director: Alex Nicol Stars: Peter Carpenter, Dyanne Thorne, Lory Hansen A nightclub singer has nightmares about being involved in adultery and mur…

Source: Dancing Away to the “Point of Terror”

Sorry, but “Plan 9 From Outer Space” is NOT “The World’s Worst Movie.”

via 10 Out-of-This-World Facts About ‘Plan 9 From Outer Space’ | Mental Floss

Plan 9 poster

Just in time for the long holiday weekend, let’s have a look at the movies that may populate your Memorial Day Movie Marathon! And no, Ed Wood is NOT the world’s worst director, unless you’ve conveniently forgotten Al Adamson, Ulli Lommel, Coleman Francis, Neil Breen, and Larry Buchanan.

Drive-In Movie Madness: Vintage Ads & Marquees via Flashbak

via Drive-In Theater Memories: Vintage Ads & Marquees – Flashbak

Remember the “good old days” at the drive-in? Yeah, me neither. Apparently, I’ve BEEN to one, but was too young to remember. That would’ve been 1976, so the tail end of the blaxploitation era and the time before home video would make drive-ins moot. Enjoy the memories (or not!) from Flashbak!

March Madness & Movie Mayhem, Day 29 (or, How to Catch a Killer for $13,000…)

via TEMPLE OF SCHLOCK: Zodiac Hunter: An Interview with Tom Hanson

An interesting interview with a fascinating man–you’ll get the ins and outs of making truly shoestring budgeted movies ($13,000 in 1971 still didn’t add up to much! To compare: The Three Stooges beat-em-to-the-punch short You Nazty Spy! cost 2-3 times as much in 1939 dollars!) You’ll also learn that they may have had the killer in their hands, but he slipped away. You’ll also get the ins and outs of running a pizza franchise! Enjoy, and also read the rest of the stuff at the Temple of Schlock.

March Madness & Movie Mayhem, Day 27 (or, How Ed Wood Isn’t the World’s Worst Director)

 

via Ed Wood: Not Actually The Worst Director in History | Den of Geek

How did Ed Wood get the title of “World’s Worst Director?”  (Then again, we’d also have to ask how William “One Shot” Beaudine was at least the runner-up, even though he was once a highly regarded director.) Of course, we can put most of the blame on the doorstep of the Medveds, who deemed Ed “the worst” with their Golden Turkey tome. I can only imagine that they hadn’t seen very many movies from the period they were in, because NONE of the Dolomite movies made the cut, but Trouble Man did?! Why not just throw Super Fly and Shaft in there too, since we’re complaining about blaxploitation films with kick-ass soundtracks…

Anyhoo, where was I going with this? Oh, that Ed Wood wasn’t the world’s worst director–far from it. I can name at least THREE worse directors off the top of my head: Bill Rebane/Herschell Gordon Lewis (Monster-A-Go-Go/Terror at Half Day); Larry Buchanan (Zontar: The Thing From Venus); Coleman Francis (all three of his films); Doris Wishman (Double Agent 73, Let Me Die a Woman); Ted V. Mikels (The Girl in Gold Boots, The Doll Squad)…the list is literally endless!

I think the problem lies with Ed Wood’s films being better than “so bad they’re good.” There’s something about Wood’s films, even the cringetastic Orgy of the Dead and The Revenge of Dr. X that makes them watchable. You’re not yelling at the screen at the stupidity of the writing. (The CLUNKINESS, maybe, but not the stupidity!)

Anyhoo, take a look around the site and enjoy the Den of Geek!

 

 

March Movie Madness & Mayhem, Day 24: Hagsploitation!

Hagsploitation: a term that I possibly just thought up or I stole it from someone else (but can’t remember who it was). Either way, it’s a term that usually brings to mind actresses “of a certain age,” like Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Shelley Winters or even Debbie Reynolds (when she and Winters starred in What’s the Matter With Helen, she was all of 38 years old!)

However, hagsploitation wasn’t just for women—any time you saw an old vaudevillian like George Jessel in Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood, it was hagsploitation. Sure, it was said to be a cameo, but come on, we know what it was, and it was hagsploitation, pure and simple.

Now this may sound like I’m knocking older actors for appearing in films long past their “prime.” Come on—I’m a Stooge fan that wanted to see Howard, Sitka and DeRita in Blazing Stewardesses—I can hardly be called anti-hag! Interestingly, it was director Al Adamson’s leitmotif—giving older actors a chance to get in front of new audiences. Whether or not the vehicles used for that chance were any good or not…well, work is work!

Enjoy these sites and their reviews of hagsploitation films!

What’s the Matter With Helen? (1971) from Dreams Are What Le Cinema Is For… it’s got repressed lesbianism, murderous sons, and religious fundamentalism.

What's the Matter With Helen

Blazing Stewardesses (1975) from DVD Drive-In…

Blazing Stewardesses

Last but not least, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976), from The Aisle Seat…

Won Ton Ton

March Movie Madness & Mayhem (Day 19?)

DVF71-poster4

via AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A SCIENTIST! – Dracula Vs Frankenstein (1971)

We return to the wonderful And You Call Yourself A Scientist! to take a look at yet ANOTHER Frankenstein’s Monster…Al Adamson’s Dracula vs. Frankenstein. I’d bet $3 (half of the movie’s budget once they finished paying the actors) that this was patched together from even more movies than Adamson admitted. Of course, it began as a biker film, just as the gloriously theme songed “The Fakers.” That film had a theme song by Nelson “I worked with Sinatra” Riddle, but there was something a bit “off” about the lyrics. A little digging, and it turns out that my instinct was right–the music was Riddle’s, but the oddly off lyrics were pure Adamson (he may have had some help). My point–and I do have one–is that I’m fairly certain that this type of movie (the patched together remnants of at least 3 other films) couldn’t have gotten any play except in the 1970s (and earlier). Jules White did it with the Three Stooges, turning out “new” shorts in a matter of HOURS. Who’d notice that Creeps was almost exactly the same as The Ghost Talks? No one, that’s who. Little attention was being paid to short subjects, and the same goes for these types of movies for the drive-in circuit. Who was really paying much attention to what was going on? You were either necking, getting high, drinking, or getting high while necking and drinking.

Anyhoo, enjoy another fine review from And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

March Movie Madness & Mayhem (Day 18!)–Queen of Outer Space (1958)

via Queen of Outer Space – 1958 – 80 Minutes

Ah, Queen of Outer Space! Not only does it have a degree of Stoogeration (director Edward Bernds), it also has the late, great Zsa Zsa Gabor as said Queen! I’ve seen this movie many moons ago (about the same time as that other great Gabor film Picture Mommy Dead). This one involves the usual “Women Iz Useless Unless Men Around” trope that seemed to be so popular back in the day. Of course, you wonder how there are women of varying ages (but not TOO old, of course!)

Anyhoo, take a look around the B-Movie Graveyard…it’s quite a site!