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!
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.
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!
If you have lots of free time on your hands, take a look at the wonderful time-wasting site The Worst Movies Ever Made. Now, “worst” is in the eye of the beholder, but holy gee whiz…this one’s bad. Not even the ever-present John Agar or Richard Jaeckel can help this turkey. And when you finally get to see the title character, look out!
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.
Blazing Stewardesses (1975) from DVD Drive-In…
Last but not least, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976), from The Aisle Seat…
Hoo, boy! Is this a stinker, or is this a stinker? In fact, it stinks so badly, the star of the film didn’t live long enough to see it completed! Pier Angeli committed suicide before filming was completed. Now, I can’t say whether or not this terrible film assisted her decision in any way. In fact, it’s impossible to say–however, if I were already pre-disposed to depression, and I was working on a film like this, or working ANY job that is just gut-bustingly horrible, I might be more inclined to take a few more Nembutals with my champagne dinner.
Now that I’ve gotten you thoroughly depressed, cheer yourself up with a visit to the good folks at the Monster Shack Reviews site. Not only do they have oldy-moldy-goldies like Octaman, they’ve also got modern movies, from the 2010s!
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!
Apparently, I’ve lost ANOTHER day somewhere (Day 15 is missing, just like Bunny Lake!) So, without further ado, here’s what SHOULD’VE been featured…Angel, Angel Down We Go (aka Cult of the Damned). You’ve got Jennifer Jones, Roddy McDowall, Lou Rawls, Holly Near, and most importantly, Joe Besser in a cameo as a tour bus driver.
As you all know (all 10 of you), Flesh Feast will be the eventual first film of my b-movie blogging career…only about 2 years after I mentioned it the first time. Anywho, who better than that scandal sheet extraordinaire, the National Enquirer, to fill in the blanks about who Miss Lake was. (But for a better version, read her autobiography, Veronica. She’s surprisingly candid, especially for the early 1970s!)
I guess this is Day 12–did I post anything for yesterday (or Saturday? Better check that out…)
Anyhoo, here’s a look at the main reason why I’m even DOING this type of thing, one Doris Wishman. Her movies aren’t just movies…they’re experiences. Take a good look at Deadly Weapons or Double Agent 73, her double feature starring actress Chesty Morgan. They have to be seen to be believed, and you WILL NOT get the soundtracks out of your head. Seriously, I can run through the soundtracks of both films in my head, beat for beat!
How does this relate to Six Degrees of Stoogeration? Come on–there’s got to be a link somewhere! Anyhoo redux, take a look around the site, it’s got plenty of great info, not just about Ms. Wishman, but much, much more!