Monday, December 29, 2008

HBO's Grey Gardens with Lange and Barrymore

The sets, costumes and make-up looks pretty darn impressive, I must say. I so hope Drew mastered the Beale accent.

It airs April 2009

Friday, December 26, 2008

tagline: The Future Lies in Kinky People

This fantastic 1987 film by Terry Jones is one of my absolute favorites. Starring UK national treasure Julie Walters (Educating Rita, Harry Potter, Billy Elliot) and Shirley Stelfox (Keeping Up Appearances) the film tells a titallating tale based on the wild life of Cynthia Payne - London's most notorious brothel owner who was arrested on morals charges and acquitted in 1987.

Julie Walters gives a wonderful layered performance as the working class, sexually repressed "Christine Painter" who has kept her sexuality under lock and key ever since she became a single-mother as a teenager.

After going into business with her fetish-savvy prostitute pal Shirley and the cardigan-knitting, cash-handler Dolly (who we discover is a transexual during a wedding reception) - Christine soon becomes well-versed in the world of kink. She also discovers just how profitable the BDSM sex trade can be with a clientele of horny, affluent British gents, and finds her independence and inner strength in the process.

Christine explains her brothel to a police captain this way:

"It's just like a Tupperware party, really. But I sell sex instead of plastic containers. If the wives were willing, I'd be out of a job, wouldn't I? But they go off sex - they'd rather sell Tupperware, ha-bloody-ha. Sex soon goes out of a marriage. I'm a bit old-fashioned, really - I believe in marriage. Men are animals, sexually. They don't talk a *bit* of sense till you've got them de-spunked. Women are more affectionate. They like a bit of affection. Though I've met a few horny buggers in my time. The wife wants a three-piece-suite. If she gave the man sex, he might be more inclined to come across with the three-piece-suite. It may not be a fashionable thing to say, but once you've got him de-spunked, and he's sitting there thinking he's all wonderful - done you a good turn, given you a pair of soggy knickers - in the afterglow of his glory he's more inclined to come across with the Draylon three-piece, don't you think? "

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rest in Peace, Eartha Kitt

She passed away with her daughter Kitt by her side.

She came up from extreme poverty, neglect and abuse at the hands of a foster family and CLAWED her way to a happier life on the stage where audiences adored her.

She possessed her own special magic and became an American icon. Her song stylings will live on.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Jesús, el niño Dios

Not quite as good as Santa Claus, this little Mexican gem from 1971 has its moments of hilarity.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Elvis: Mama liked the Roses

This song "Mama Liked the Roses" was on Elvis Presley's Christmas LP that my own MOM played every year from 60s to 80s.
She loved her Elvis -- he was her KING of KINGS - and since mom graduated highschool in 1955 - he meant a lot to her generation.

This song doesn't have much to do with Christmas - but Elvis sure can sell a melancholy melody to his beloved mama Gladys aka "Sat'nin" .

enjoy this fan-made video courtesy of You Tube

Lost Horizon - from disaster to delightful

Lost Horizon (1973)

A lavish musical remake of Frank Capra's film about the discovery of Shangri La - where people never grow old, starring Peter Finch, George Kennedy, Bobby Van, Olivia Hussey, Michael York and Sally Kellerman -- with peppy tunes by Burt Bacharach and Hal David seemed like a sure fire hit, right? ummm not so much.

In 1973, this film was post CABARET. It was no longer fashionable for modern day characters to break into song in a musical, much less to be dubbed by other singers. LOST HORIZON was an easy target. The expectations for it were high, almost unreasonable.

Film critic Pauline Kael also questioned why the film's Shangri-La population had no black people?!

There were two targets to be hit, the producer, ROSS HUNTER and BURT BACHARACH and the critics were out to get them.
Ross Hunter had enjoyed decades of success as a producer and LOST HORIZON was his follow up film to his 1970 blockbuster AIRPORT which was Universal's biggest moneymaker up to that time and triggered a decade of disaster films.

Lost Horizon tanked in the USA horribly, and proved to be a different kind of DISASTER FILM. It was nicknamed "Lost Investment."

The entire film can be found lovingly downloaded here :

production notes:

The plane crash survivors actually walk through Griffith Park's Bronson Cave (tunnel) when they leave snowy Tibet and arrive in lush Shangri-La at the other end.

The Shangri-La buildings on WB Burbank lot were refurbished left-over "Camelot" castle sets. After Lost Horizon, they were often used on TV's "Kung Fu".

The screenplay was written by gay civil rights legend, author/playwright Larry Kramer. He called it "the only thing in my life I'm ashamed of ".

Here is the complete library scene from Lost Horizon (1973) in which Sally Kellerman and Olivia Hussey perform "The things i will not miss".

Here is the same song performed delightfully by 2 guys named Moshe and Joost in Amsterdam. Now THIS is what YOU TUBE is for !! bravo!

Santa vs Satan!

Now of course, I have always believed them to be one and the same. I first saw this on MST3K and Tony tells me that JX Williams also used it in "Satan Claus." With such priceless dubbed dialogue like,

Yes, I promise, oh Priceless Prince of Hades, that by my many wiles I will finish Santa off forever, and see that the children commit terrible deeds, and make Santa Claus angry!

Lucifer: You shall be punished, and instead of red-hot coals, you will eat chocolate ice cream.
Precio: No! No, Lucifer, King of all Evil Spirits! Not that! By the horns of everything satanic, I beg you! To live I must have heat. Frozen meals are bad for me, especially chocolate! It's very bad for my digestion, which is so delicate.

Pedro: What food do they eat on Earth, Santa Claus?
Santa Claus: Oh, everything in sight! They eat most of the animals, the plants, the flowers, the roots, birds, even smoke and alcohol!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Elvis Presley Sings Blue Christmas

That's one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time. It just doesn't feel quite like the holidays until I hear Elvis Presley sing Blue Christmas. I love that video. It's really cool. I hope you enjoyed it as well. Merry Christmas to you all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Cheer

If you head over to Classic Television Showbiz, you can get your fill of Holiday special clips, like the Bob Hope Xmas Special with Mark Hamill, or Bing Crosby's with the Hogan's Heroes cast. For big screen fun, check out one of my favorite Holiday movies, 1974's Black Christmas (sadly, not a blaxploitation holiday flick, but still, John Saxon's in it!):

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Peace, Love and everything else!

This is a cute one from the pre-fab four--The Monkees! Here they are singing a Spanish carol, Riu Chiu for their crew. When you're working on a TV show or movie, the big lugs and little punks that you see everyday for hours on end, in all kinds of weird and wacky situations, become your family. You can tell these guys had a lot of fun working together!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bing Crosby & David Bowie - Little Drummer Boy

I hope you enjoyed it. That's been one of my favorite Christmas videos since I can remember. I've always loved seeing it every holiday season on MTV. I'm a big fan of both Bing and Bowie. It's so cool to see these two singing a Christmas classic together.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

?Que? aka What? aka Quoi? aka Che?

Has anyone out there seen this film and if so, where can we get it? Netflix doesn't have though it is finally on DVD. Check out these descriptions:

A young American woman (Sydne Rome) traveling through Italy finds herself in a strange Mediterranean villa where nothing seems right. Her visit becomes an absurd, decadent, oversexed version of "Alice in Wonderland", with Marcello Mastroianni as the maddest of mad hatters and Roman Polanski a kinky March hare.
In this erotic comedy from famed director Roman Polanski, Sydne Rome stars as a very sexy and quite bewildered young hitchhiker. As the film opens, she has just escaped the clutches of three would be rapists only to find her way to a seaside villa. Things are, as she discovers, very strange at the villa. She is given a room and, within moments of undressing she is under the peeping eye of a hedonistic pervert, played with bravado by Marcello Mastroianni. She soon encounters the rest of the occupants of the mansion, all are completely anomalous and each tries to persuade into a sexual encounter. Throughout her entire erotic adventure, she carries a diary under her arm and writes curiously impersonal and un-erotic entries. This is the least discussed of Polanski's films, but on some levels it may be his most revealing.

Amazon UK: Product Description
More than three decades after its controversial release, it remains the most butchered, debated and least-seen film of the Oscar winning and controversial director Roman Polanski's entire career. Special features include; 'Sydne in Wonderand' a film about star Sydne Rome; 'Memories of a Young Pianist' a featurette with composer Claudio Gizzi and 'A Surreal Pop Movie' a featurette with cinematographer Marcello Gatti.

Based loosely on the story of ALICE IN WONDERLAND, WHAT? is a dark comedy from Roman Polanski and writing partner Gerard Brach. A young American, Nancy (Sydney Rome), hitchhikes through Europe and finds herself in a remote Mediterranean villa. Wherein she meets some strange inhabitants who lead her deeper into the weird and wonderful rabbit hole. A cult classic, not to be missed!

Ooh, I just spotted it for sale on Amazon (1 new, 1 used) and on TCM's site. Can't wait.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Have Yourself a Sammy, Jr. Xmas

I've had a stomachache lately, so a pal sent me this:

A Divine Christmas !

We all know and love this one! I don't see it here, so I think I'll slam it up:

John Waters said this house was shot in "as is"---the American Colonial decor was au natural! This is my all-time favorite Christmas clip. I still don't have any cha-cha heels though! Maybe I am a nice girl after all. HAHAHA!

Ma Na Me Na

When I was a little kid my favorite show was Sesame Street and my favorite bit was the Ma Na Me Na song. I would go around the house singing that song repeatedly, which probably led to my Mother's nervous condition. I loved the Ma Na Me Na song, so you can imagine my surprise when I found out that it was based on a song from a Swedish softcore porn movie called Inferno E Paradiso (Heaven and Hell). My childhood memories are based on porn! This explains so much about me.

Here is the Sesame Street version.

Here is the Ma Na Me Na scene from Inferno E Paradiso.

Here is the American trailer for Heaven and Hell. I really like the "prudish American" hard sell of this one.

And, lastly, here is Dio performing Heaven And Hell, because it rocks hard.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Vanishing Point

Jesus, Mary and Joseph! I have never seen this until last night. What a fucking thing of beauty. I am nonplussed at the zen-like direction, and zeitgeisty anecdotal side occurrences that round out Kowalski's flashback laden journey from Denver to San Francisco. Nonplussed because it was unknown to me. I would have never watched it, probably, until Tony Franciosa made me a believer that TV detective/lawyer studs could actually ACT, via his performance in Across 110th Street. Y'see, Barry Newman in my mind was a real turnoff - I mean, Petrocelli- really. But he's able to capture the vibe one might get from an individual who has been betrayed by every institution he's ever embraced with any degree of loyalty. The camerawork takes the time to build atmosphere, and it's nihilistic antimotivator of a plot supports that need for atmosphere. A story told in sentence fragments. Antihero. Leaving only footprints. Yipe.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dean Martin Christmas Special 1977

That clip was from the Dean Martin Christmas Special in 1977. I hope you enjoyed it. I decided to post it since all my posts at the Dino Lounge will be Christmas related starting Monday, Dec. 8th until Christmas Eve. I hope you enjoyed that video, plus please check out my other blog. Thanks. Have a wonderful holiday season. Cheers!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Help Me (find) Rhonda

Note: I'm posting this on behalf of Pantheon Zeus, who deleted his gmail account and swears he can't post.

Rhonda Bates, a tall actress from Indiana, usually played geeky, man-hungry, hillbilly tomboy roles. With her gangly 6’2” frame, wide toothy smile, curly hair and unmistakable down-home drawl – she was a far cry from the buxom, feathered-haired, petite starlets of 1970s “jiggle TV” programming.

In 1975, Rhonda began her career, at age 26, as a featured player on the short-lived variety sketch show Keep on Truckin' alongside co-stars Didi Conn, Fred Travalena, and Wayland Flowers.

Rhonda Bates then had her showbiz heyday from 1977 thru 1980 as a regular on Blansky’s Beauties (a spin-off of Happy Days) where she played “Arkansas” a gawky Vegas showgirl; on the short-lived sitcom The Roller Girls as roller derby queen “Mongo Sue Lampert”; and in one memorable Love Boat episode where she played an ugly stepsister in a ‘Cinderella’ vignette.

She next appeared in the films Fast Break (1979) with Gabe “Kotter” Kaplan, and Roadie (1980) with rocker Meat Loaf and comedy legend Art Carney.

She followed her various film & TV, game show, and Battle of the Network Stars appearances with a co-hosting role on 1980’s

Speak Up, America (a Real People -type “hot topic” reality show). Among her co-hosts was former child-evangelist-turned-actor Marjoe Gortner.

Her show with Marjoe didn’t last long, and after popping up in so many projects for years, Rhonda Bates seemed to suddenly vanish from the showbiz radar.

Come Back to the Five & Dime, Rhonda Bates, Rhonda Bates !

After some research, I found that she left acting around age 40 and is now living in Texas. As of this posting, a fan letter is on its way to Rhonda’s home. To Be Continued … I hope.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat

In our continuing "I know what girls like" series, here's another of Mavis and my favorites: Robert Conrad! A hot-tempered, ill-humored bully, Conrad's performance on "Battle of the Network Stars" makes his work in "Wild, Wild West" pale in comparison. But you should really read this article first.

Too Moorevelous for Words!

Happy Birthday to Sassy Sag, Julianne Moore! What a gorgeous goddess and she's my favorite contemporary actress! I loved her as Cathy Whitaker in Todd Haynes' "Far From Heaven"--a Douglas Sirk-ian technicolor stew of repressed desire:

And who can forget our lady as Amber Waves, tragic porn diva, in "Boogie Nights"?

I think Cathy and Amber have a lot in common...but then the 1950s sure weren't the 1970s! Some days I could be either of them-sigh!

Julianne remains an inspiration: beauty and brains! Bellissima!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Slip Me a Mickey!

-- Hargitay, that is. Time for the girls to have a little fun. Wowsa!

It sounds better in Italian: "Il Boia Scarlatto"

Only Two Can Play (again)

Most of this was filmed in my town - Swansea! Peter is my all time favorite non-Welsh Welshman.

Do you still need to be hooked up with this one, Lex?

Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? (again)


Long clip from crazy/fantastic Japanese horror movie - Hausu - the one in which a girl is eaten by a piano.