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…
You knew it was coming–there was no way I could talk about Flesh Feast, Hitler, and anti-aging maggots without bringing up #Nazisploitation!
I’d love to think that Flesh Feast (1967, released in 1970) was the first film to explore Nazisploitation, but that would make me forget this…
They Saved Hitler’s Brain (1962)
The Great Dictator
The Nazty Nuisance
And of course, You Nazty Spy!
Of course, it goes without saying…Stooges did it first! But seriously, Nazisploitation was going on even before the world knew of most of the atrocities Hitler (and the allies, but we’re focusing on Hitler/Nazisploitation now) were committing. The “Throw him in a concentrative camp!” joke Moe makes is odd–people were using black humor as the war was going on to stay sane? Granted, that joke was better than the Stooges’ other war efforts, in particular 1944’s No Dough, Boys and The Yoke’s On Me. (That one is particularly ugggggggggggg….)
So, IS there a “true” beginning of Nazisploitation, or is it a case of many people having the same idea at roughly the same time? I’m thinking a little of both, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t a Poverty Poverty Poverty Row studio out there that somehow managed to beat Columbia to the punch and released a short in 1938!
This isn’t TECHNICALLY about movie mayhem, but it IS about musical madness, and since said subject was also in the 2nd Columbia Studio swan song of the Stooges, it’s fitting that the late, great Mr. West would show up here.
Speaking of great, the gentleman who runs this site is the guy who wrote David Bowie Made Me Gay! I’d heard about this book, but didn’t put 2 and 2 together until now! Darryl Bullock is his name, and World’s Worst Records is the site. If you thought I was obsessed over terrible movies, it turns out that there’s a MUSICAL EQUIVALENT!!!! Think of that–every time I cringe about terrible singers that sing PROFESSIONALLY, there’s a Doris Wishman (or worse!) equivalent in the musical world!
Enjoy the site, listen to the music, but make sure you leave any sort of musicianship at the door! (Trust me, you’ll go insane trying to figure out how wrong the arrangements, pitches, tonal qualities, etc. are!)
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!
For some strange reason, I had an urge to watch You Nazty Spy! last night. Who knows what could’ve drawn me to that particular short (in which an incompetent boob is chosen to run a country) last night of all nights. Call it intuition, if you will.
That’s all I have to say. Oh, there’s this wonderful quote:
(Moe) Hailstone: “What does a dictator do?”
Ixnay: “A dictator? Why, he makes love to beautiful women, drinks champagne, enjoys life and never works. He makes speeches to the people, promising them plenty, gives them nothing, then takes everything! That‘s a dictator!”
(Curly) Pebble: “Hmmm! A parasite! That’s for me!”
As usual here at Balladeer’s Blog I like to cover those things that tend to fly under the radar to a large degree. On this page I’ll be looking at bad/weird movies that don’t seem…
Source: BAD MOVIES | Balladeer’s Blog
For the terminally lazy (ME!), I LOVE sites like this that have ready-made bad movie lists! Sure, I know that The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals isn’t worth the film it’s filmed on, and that star Anthony Eisley talked his stunt double into doing most of the walking about in the terrible “jackal head,” and that the director, Oliver Drake was supposedly senile. (I say “supposedly,” because looking at this film, who can tell?)
And if you were wondering, yes, I CAN tie this in to the Three Stooges. Anthony Eisley starred in a couple of Al Adamson films. Al Adamson and Sam Sherman wanted the Three Stooges to star in The Jet Set (which became Blazing Stewardesses). Everything was set until Moe was too ill to go on with the filming (which would’ve begun in March).
Remember, almost everything can be connected to the Three Stooges and/or John Carradine!