Monday, November 26, 2007

All is never enough

Take an oversized heaping of Russ Meyer (is that Charles Napier or just a remarkable look/soundalike?) and add a stale dash or two of post-Easy Rider bikesploitation and this seems like THE genre that needs to be revived and enjoyed right this instant while it's hot. Looks delicious!

for your bloodcurdling listening pleasure

Finally, some music to sink your teeth into!

I found this collection for download over at Keith Allison's TeleportCity along with reviews of the espionage potboiler SO DARLING, SO DEADLY (great title!), the outrageous sounding and looking KATILON KE KAATIL featuring a Bruce Lee impersonator and a baddie who looks like General Ursus from PLANET OF THE APES, Jean Rollin's GRAPES OF DEATH, SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA, DRACULA A.D., KILINK, the Turkish answer to the Italian fumetti hero KRIMINAL, and to help swallow these films, some reviews of highly potent cocktails.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

late night picture show & a wild party

Stumbled across this at the fascinating, which features galleries of found photos:
"What Was On (1957)- 48 Photos of women on TV taken late at night by a lonely photographer in 1957. Encrusted with 50 year old dust and emulsion the photos of women from melodramas and late-night talk shows are not only a record of one person's peculiar obsession but also a virtual catalog of the kind of roles women played in the popular entertainment of the era."
Here are are a few of the pics . Click here for the full gallery. Wonder what the story was behind the photographer...

Also check out this party that looks like it might have been held by Radley Metzger... come to think of it... wow... just imagine what his parties would have been like!?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Boris!

Least we forget, yesterday (Nov 23rd) was Boris Karloff's birthday, so as a lazy visual salute, here are some snaps of the man. And first up, one for those ladies to keep the balances of the sexes even - a little Boris beefcake...

Friday, November 23, 2007

terror in the midnight sun

I added this listing on the blog roll at the side of our page, but never had the chance to let our patrons truly know about Lars Erik Holmquist's recent contribution to the world of twisted cinema blogging. Lars and I met via the early days of the internet when he managed the Hong Kong Cinema Homepage around 1994, the first on-line resource for fans of Asian action. We got the chance to meet here in Toronto when he visited from Sweden and Lars was even able to attend one of my Kung Fu Fridays film screenings (The Bride With White Hair I believe). Even though an ocean separates us, I felt that I had found my Swedish counterpart when we swapped stories of organizing screenings of HK goodness and poster collecting. Right now as I post this, Lars is on his way back from Tokyo and I am looking forward to seeing on his blog what stuff he collected while there.

Meanwhile, read about his collection of posters, particularly this fascinating look at restoration and linen backing.

PS - Rumor has it that he even knows a certain Swedish actress known for her role as a one-eyed avenger...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

fill your eyes with the screen

Been meaning to give props to Steven Hill for his movie title website where he posts shots of the titlecards of various flicks. Here is just a small smapling of the fun stuff you can find there:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Montreal - Italian Style!

Kick-ass car chase from the 1976 Italo-actioner Blazing Magnum, starring Stuart Whitman, Martin Landau and Carole Laure! Spot the Montreal streets and neighbourhoods getting pummeled by muscle cars in this grimy but punchy if only I could find the karate-chopping transvestite gang rooftop fight scene this picture also contains! I feel so patriotic right now.

(thanks for the find, Reitzel!)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer's Greatest Hits

Norman Mailer died this morning...I'm less familiar with his novels and more familiar with his exploits as a Renaissance Wild Man.

Mailer directed four films through his life and actually received a career retrospective at Lincoln Center earlier this year - I was actually considering flying down to New York just to see the legendary Maidstone - a macho, alcohol-fueled improv-fest about politics and paranoia, filmed with friends in the Hamptons starring himself, Rip Torn, Ultra Violet and Lane Smith. Here's a description of the moment co-star Herve Villechaize (sic) almost drowned on the set, from the biography "Mailer: His Life And Times" by Peter Manso - the incident as remembered by Barney Rosset, at whose home the filming took place.

I was terrified of the violence, which was so thick you could feel it. After the first or second day these people had finished shooting, it was still light, and they'd gone back to where they were staying, in Bridgehampton, five miles away. My mother in law went outside, then came back into the house screaming, "There's a midget in the swimming pool!"

My wife and I go outside, and sure enough, there he is, floating. Someone had thrown Villechaize into the pool, and he was drowning. I was able to reach over the side and pull him out. My reaction was sheer rage, sort of "what right do they have to put this thing in our pool and then go home, just split?" Here we were in our house, this Quonset hut sunk in the ground, with the swimming pool and a lot of trees; this place had been vibrant with maniacs one minute, and suddenly they're all gone. My poor mother in law hasn't been out all day, she's been barricaded inside, then she comes back in screaming. What I said to my wife was, "Goddamn it, we're gonna get Norman!" I wasn't worried whether the midget was dead or alive. I didn't even call the rescue squad.

I got in my car and raced the five miles to the Bull's Head Inn, where they were all staying. I went up to Norman's room and pounded on the door. "Norman, you've gotta come back and get your midget!" And Norman? He and Jose went back with us and scooped up the guy, and I was told later that they took him to the hospital, where his stomach was pumped. Whether he was suffering from booze or drowning, I don't know, probably a mixture of both. The next day, though, to my utter amazement, he was back playing the piano in the Lane Smith scene.

Maidstone is notorious for being the movie where Rip Torn actually assaulted Mailer with a hammer, leading to Mailer biting Torn's ear in the ensuing wrestling match - all caught on film by D.A. Pennebaker.

Of course Mailer's ongoing feud with Gore Vidal is one for the ages - Vidal's quote that "there has been from Henry Miller to Norman Mailer to Charles Manson a logical progression" enraged Mailer so much that they had it out on the Dick Cavett Show, excerpted here in this documentary on Gore.

Mailer's best-known film as a director was 1987's 100% fucked-up Tough Guys Don't Dance, based on his novel. Sample dialogue: Lawrence Tierney describes his son Ryan O'Neal's ex-wife as the kind of dame "who should wear a sign around her neck that says 'Hang around, I'll make a cocksucker out of you.'" On the half-hour interview with Mailer on the DVD, he considers the film to be a success EXCEPT for this scene:

O'Neal felt Mailer left this incredible part in the final cut in order to destroy his acting career and never spoke to him again. In retrospect, Mailer said he would have taken this part out if he could do it over.

There was a bizarre episode of 'Gilmore Girls' a few years back where Mailer played himself being interviewed in the dining room of the Dragonfly Inn, for no reason except perhaps to pad out the episode. Maybe he thought Lorelai and Rory were distant relatives of Gary...

Friday, November 09, 2007

bad guys in tards

Had a DV cam in my studio this week and was looking through stuff I filled the ends of VHS tapes I with and transfered this. You can read more about the Italian fumetti comic book hero KRIMINAL aka SATANIK here and here, at Jay Stephens' blog. I'd like to say that this will be my 2008 Halloween costume, but worried about a pot belly. Got to hit the super criminal diet!

Don't Die For Me, Argentina

Looks like Radley Metzger had a hate-on for Eva Perón. Sure, he transplanted the story to Europe for the movie but this is obviously modeled on the life and rule of the First Lady of Argentina. Behold the sleazy, too-brief trailer for Little Mother (aka Blood Queen), based on the anti-Peronist biography 'The Woman With A Whip', starring Christiane Kruger, daughter of Hardy.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I wish I'd written that...

Here's a nice and quick, snack-sized bite into the fascinatingly tasty history of those types of movies that one talks about in hushed tones or sometimes never at all and especially not in the presence of those possessing a delicate disposition. No sir. You know the type I'm getting at because you've been around a bit, right? The ribald kind. Are you blushing?

George Segal: Secretly Canadian

We need to get our hands on a Canadian thriller called Russian Roulette (1975) - directed by veteran editor Lou Lombardo who, judging from his work on The Wild Bunch, must know his way around an action scene. Set in Vancouver, this one stars the underrated George Segal as a burned-out undercover Mountie (sic) who stumbles across a plot to assassinate the visiting Soviet Premier.

When I was a kid I was a bit obsessed with two 1977 George Segal movies - his Sensurround™ enhanced, quasi-disaster film Rollercoaster (a worn-out cop playing cat-and-mouse with an amusement park bomber played by future George W. Bush look-alike Timothy Bottoms) and Fun With Dick And Jane, the broad satire of the middle-class seventies American dream (written by Mordecai Richler) with Jane Fonda and Ed McMahon (sic). Segal was as much of a ubiquitous male lead in seventies American cinema as Donald Sutherland or Elliott Gould (Segal was even in Altman's California Split), but his skill with both comedy and drama may have led to his eventual marginalization as a leading man as the seventies wound down; that and some bad career decisions (turning down the lead in Blake Edwards' 10, for example) led to a future plucking the banjo on Johnny Carson's couch while promoting TV movies like The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood co-starring Morgan Fairchild (sic). Yes, it had come to this.

Roulette is an British-Canadian co-production apparently loaded with quirks and stuffed with weird casting, including Denholm Elliott as a 'greasy informant' as one review has it, and Louise Fletcher, just off her Oscar-winning role in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, in a bit part as a telephone operator. Plus a rooftop climax involving high-powered sniper rifles, helicopters and a seventies Vancouver skyline - damn, this thing has got to pay off!

This might wet your whistle for international intrigue involving George Segal - the stylish trailer for the trippy 1966 cold war thriller The Quiller Memorandum - directed by Michael (Logan's Run) Anderson!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

life changing last minute decision

Jesse and I put the "Gone Fishing" sign up in the ticket booth and ran off to see Nic Ray's PARTY GIRL. Wowza! Show girls and gangsters!
NEW SCOPE PRINT! A smashing Scope print of a true cult film, beloved by nouvelle vague directors and French critics who saw it as the supreme statement of Nicholas Ray's belief in the redemptive power of love. (Fereydoun Hoveyda's essay on PARTY GIRL is a classic of Fifties Cahiers du cinéma rapture: “A brilliant film . . . There are torrents of inventiveness. Every sequence is a cascade of ideas. . . . It should be clear that I think PARTY GIRL is Ray's most interesting film to date.”) Set in Chicago during Prohibition, PARTY GIRL employs a gaudy mise en scène keyed to the colour red to capture the violence of the time and the torment of the relationship between syndicate lawyer Robert Taylor and showgirl Cyd Charisse, an Oklahoma chorine who wants to be a big city model but ends up a gangland moll. (Charisse's celebrated gams provide crazy tension with the horizontals of the Scope image, and contrast symbolically with Taylor's hobbled leg.) Contorted with contempt, Lee J. Cobb rages as mob boss Rico Angelo, shooting up a photo of Jean Harlow in his baroquely upholstered office, but his power ultimately proves impotent against the force of love. The film's atmosphere of bitter self-recognition (Charisse comments that both she and the lawyer are prostitutes), spangled spectacle, and acid-splashed violence is powerful, but Ray ensures the possibility of regeneration, most markedly in the Sirk-like healing of Taylor's affliction. “Ray's most beautiful film” (Joel Magny).