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…
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!