I know, I know…yet another day without the Flesh Feast review. But I have a good excuse! I’ve been bingeing on this new blog I found, and I think I’ve found another (yes, ANOTHER!) influence on how/where/what I want Six Degrees of Stoogeration to be. Ironically, the subject is Joan Crawford, who the Stooges (then known as Ted Healy and His Stooges) shared the screen with in Dancing Lady (1933). The subject is the camp classic Mommie Dearest (1981), which I vaguely remember being in the theatres. At least I remember all the jokes comedians made.
Years later, I saw the film on TV and I didn’t get what the deal was. I knew OF Joan Crawford, and what I knew, didn’t seem that much different than what was on the screen. Faye Dunaway’s performance didn’t seem to warrant the brickbats the Razzie folks were raining upon her. I mean, look at the damn woman in any film past 1950. You can’t NOT imagine that that’s a drag queen. Go ahead, I dare you! I’ve seen Dancing Lady multiple times, and I cannot reconcile the Joan Crawford I see there with the Joan Crawford of 1967’s Berserk! It’s not just age–in fact, age doesn’t even enter into it. Bette Davis aged in Stooge Years ™, yet didn’t quite seem to be the garish whirlwind of WTF?! that Crawford was. Everything seemed so EXAGGERATED. The eyebrows. The hair, oh sweet Jesus THE HAIR! If Elizabeth Taylor could keep her hair dark most of her life, why in the world did Joan, er, Miss Crawford, scald our eyeballs with such monstrosities as that “Old Lady Red” deal she had in Trog (1970)? WHO THOUGHT THAT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA?!
Now, what was I talking about? Oh, Mommie Dearest and the fact that it seems more true than not…at least with Miss Crawford’s larger than life personality. Maybe it’s just me, but there was a lot in the film that rang true. Joan did seem like she would say “Don’t fuck with me fellas!”
Let me get back to the subject of this blog–it’s more than your snarky run down of Z movies…it’s that, but it’s more–it’s a personal insight on what makes movies tick for him, it’s essays that “spoil” the movie (which I love), and the comments! Oh, the comments! Such comments I’ve not seen since the olden days of the internet/sitting around with my piano teacher! Knowledgeable folks who’ve often rubbed shoulders with the subject/stars of the film, it’s hard not to get lost in reading the comments and fall down the YouTube/Google hole of finding out more.
I’ve rambled long enough (when I could’ve been writing about Veronica Lake and FloridaNazispoitation!)
Ken Anderson’s http://lecinemadreams.blogspot.com! You won’t regret it!
Instead of drowning my unemployment anniversary sorrows with Diet Coke (or Diet Mountain Dew), I’ve decided to laugh in the face of continued in-between-engagement-ism (that’s a perfectly cromulent word!) and get started on my annual Hallowe’en B-movie thon a day early.
The first short on the list Three Pests in a Mess (1945), isn’t technically a “scare” short, but there’s a bit where the fellows run around the Ever-Rest Pet Cemetary with a “body” (actually a dummy that Curly “shot”). It’s funny and fast paced and interestingly, is one of the final shorts Curly would film before his stroke later in 1945. It’s amazing to see how much he aged in a matter of months. Funnily enough, the “old age” of 42 seemed ancient for the Stooges, but 42 now? A mere baby! Maybe people just lived harder back then.
The rest of the list includes the usual “spook” themed shorts, as well as the last short filmed–Flying Saucer Daffy (1957). It’s a Besser-era short, which is “Niagara Falls!” for some Stooge fans, but you have to admit, Joe Besser was a talented comic, and he could hold his own with Moe and Larry…even though he didn’t really fit. Sometimes that worked (like this short), sometimes it didn’t (the reincarnation shorts). Then again, after 20+ years, I’m not sure what would’ve worked after the deaths of Curly and Shemp.
Anyhoo, that’s the first half of the Halloween-a-Rama, the second begins tomorrow night!