Monday, June 29, 2009

More from 'The Oscar'

Agent Uncle Milty

Peter Lawford as disgusted friend "Steve Marks"

Girlfriend/botched abortion victim Jill St JohnStudio head Joseph Cotten

Since Mavis' AC is broken and it's over 100 here, we're cooling off by watching "The Oscar." Or rather, she is, and I was inspired by her post to put up these screengrabs I took the last time I watched my own DVD copy. These are from Stephen Boyd's bad dream. Everyone should have one! A copy of "The Oscar," that is. Then again, this dream sequence is pretty hilarious.

Robert Altman's Groovy Scopitone!

From the Scopitone site:

"I've heard this is directed by Robert Altman but can't seem to find any info on that on the internets...can anyone confirm?

UPDATE: Bob Orlowsky of the Scopitone Archive has the scoop (of course): "Hey Spike, I saw your question about Altman and Bittersweet Samba. If you do a Google search for Altman Color-Sonics Fortier, you'll find a PDF file from a college film seminar on Altman, which has an interview with Altman that includes a brief reference to a film that is clearly Bittersweet Samba:

"Q: While you were waiting for your break into features, you made some comic short films, three of which you’ve occasionally allowed people to see: The Kathryn Reed Story, a birthday present for your wife; The Party, with Robert Fortier as a hapless guest at a very 1960s party, one of a projected series of juke-box movies called ColorSonics; and Pot au feu, a parody of a TV cookery programme explaining the recipe for a perfect marijuana joint.

A: I did those just for myself. They were unfinanced, just bringing together a few friends, borrowing a camera, and so on. But because of one of those films I got hired to do M*A*S*H: Ingo Preminger looked at Pot au feu and loved it, so it served its purpose."

This is not your average cheesy Scopitone! I'm trying to work out which came first, "The Party" directed by Blake Edwards and starring my favorite actor, Peter Sellers, or this!? Clearly there's some mutual admiration between the two!

I might even prefer Altman's party...but then I'm a big fan of Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass!

It's HOT in here...

My AC is on the fritz and even the lemon co-colas with lots of chipped ice aren't cooling me off. They say you should have something hot and spicy if you want to cool down, so here's a little Jill St. WOW from "The Oscar":

Another VHS discovery in my video vault! This was part of TNT's "Bad Movies We Love" series, hosted by Ed Marguiles and Steve Rebello who wrote for "Movieline" magazine before it went bland and boring.

More about "The Oscar" another day, but it's a good thing Tony Bennett didn't give up his day job.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Uncle George for Mastercard

I have a neighbor that dresses like Uncle George. He's not African and I doubt has ever been to Africa. He probably has never set foot out of the US. I loathe to blog about him because I'm sure he googles himself incessantly. Only in LA. The Mister and I have taken to yelling out the windows, Kramden-style, because his stinky incense floats up into our window - and we don't even live directly above him. He says pervy things, too. He walks around barefoot and heads out every day, conveniently when school gets out, so he can charm the local high school girls with his words of wisdom. I've found websites where LA idiots actually blog about meeting an "real African tribesman!" ... if they only knew they were meeting a cheap con man. Then again, if they were that dumb, they deserve it. Ugh.

"Curiouser and Curiouser!" cried Alice

Jacko chose former Oliver! pretty boy Mark Lester to be his kids' Godfather. WTF?

I suppose Ricky Shroeder had his hands full with his own brood.

So do ya fink Mark will tell Blanket to "consider yerself at home?"

In this interview from 1987, Lester was still a cute dude -- but the late Jack Wild , 'after some consideration we can state' - not so much.

A Seed Sown

Sky Saxon of the Seeds departed the garage yesterday:

"The Seeds sprang up in California, and their garage-band sound with Saxon's distinctive vocals became a favorite of the flower power generation. Another hit single of 1967 was "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" and their song "Mr. Farmer" was included in the soundtrack for the movie "Almost Famous."
The Mick Jagger-influenced vocals by Saxon (born Richard Marsh) dominated the sound and in turn influenced later punk rockers.
"All the bikers around San Diego thought the Seeds were apocalypse, then," famed rock critic Lester Bangs wrote in "The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll." "I recall one hog-ridin' couple ... who didn't take the Seeds' first album off their turntable for three solid months."
Saxon had recently moved to Austin, where he played with his new band, Shapes Have Fangs.
He had been planning to perform this summer with the California '66 Revue, a tour featuring a lineup of California bands from the 1960s. "

“Well, I think you could retire when you die. I don't, however, believe in death, so I guess I will retire when I leave my body. But I plan to continue writing and performing in heaven” Sky Sunlight Saxon March 2009

Didn't want him to be forgotten amongst the hoopla for Farrah, Michael, and Ed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Drive-In Memories: Crazy Mama/Eat My Dust

In the summer of 1975, my hairdresser aunt took me and my brother to a Corman/Demme directed double feature: "Eat My Dust" was first, capitalizing on Ron Howard's "Happy Days" fame:

followed by Cloris Leachman in "Crazy Mama." I loved it from the get go: take a look at the credits! In addition to Leachman, there's Stuart Whitman, Jim Backus, Tisha Sterling, Ann Sothern, Linda Purl (Howard's "Happy Days" costar Donny "Ralph Malph" Most was billed as "Donn Most" - an attempt to be taken seriously, I wonder?) and Corman faves Sally Kirkland, Dick Miller, Bryan England, and Clint Kimbrough.

No wonder it had such a big effect on me:

Cloris Leachman stars as Melba, a woman with whom violence is a way of life, in Jonathan Demme's high-pitched "B"-movie Crazy Mama. The film spans three decades in the violent life of Melba, beginning in Jerusalem, Arkansas in 1932, when law enforcers kill her father (Clint Kimbrough), turning her mother Sheba (Ann Sothern) into a bitter widow. Mother and daughter take off to Long Beach, California, and the time jumps to 1958, when the two are thrown out of their beauty salon for non-payment of back rent. Melba now has an attractive (and pregnant) teenage daughter Cheryl (Linda Purl). The three generations take to the road, stealing cars and creating general mayhem across the United States, robbing a motorcycle racetrack box office and a bank. But in 1959, Melba and Cheryl are picked up again, running a Miami Beach snack bar, their lives wasted in free-living terror.

"I aint got nothin' else planned."

I was 13 when my parents brought me along to the Tyngsboro Drive-In to see Coal Miner's Daughter. I knew nothing about country music other than the pop crossover stars like Lynn Anderson and Dolly Parton. I knew Minnie Pearl was on Hee Haw and I'd heard of the Grand Ole Opry - but had no idea it started at the Ryman Auditorium and moved to a mega concert hall in Opryland circa 1975. I was in for a great education with that fantastic film - which I have enjoyed dozens of times since then.

Oscar-winner Sissy Spacek was so brilliant as Loretta Lynn - aging from 13 to 35 - and going from shy Appalachian waif to granny-gowned Country Diva on the verge of a nervous collapse. The casting was terrific. Levon Helm as Loretta's father whom she adored, Tommy Lee Jones as her husband Doolittle who learned the music biz as they went along - and ofcourse the dynamic Beverly D'Angelo as Patsy Cline at her plateau of stardom and about to be lost forever. Sissy and Beverly did their own singing and they were wonderful in their scenes together showing the mentoring loving friendship between veteran Patsy and newbie Loretta. Patsy's on-stage wink to Loretta while she watches from the Opry wings is a MAGIC film moment.

Without the lovely (unrushed) first act of the film exploring the crushing poverty and insularity of the region - it would have been impossible to understand Loretta's inner and outer journey and then feel the payoff at the end when she reminisces in her song's lyric that - before she fell in love with her husband - she "never thought of ever leaving Butcher Holler."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Debut of Our Miss Welch

To be fair, who would want to make their Hollywood Palace "singing and dancing debut" on the same episode as Sammy Davis Jr and The Supremes? Luckily, no one cared if Raquel could sing, but oh! how she dances -- and since she's our resident sex goddess, when I saw this episode posted in its entirety over at Classic Television Showbiz, I had to post immediately. She's around the 4:15 mark - I'm not going to spoil it!

You can catch the rest of the clips here.

Ed McMahon has died

He will always be the voice of "Daughter of Horror" for me.. even if it's contested that he really did it or not.
Also called "Dementia" in a non narrated version

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"They shall not shave off the corner of their beard." - Leviticus

Lex11 (Steve) has done it again, first my Dad farting and now:
Producer of Life Behind Beards. A half hour documentary detailing one man's journey, along with a coterie of colorful (and hairy) companions in his quest to have the best beard competition NYC's money can buy. Humorous, but also insightful as to the attachment and emotion that serious beard growers develop. Available soon at the site, you can view the first trailer below: (More trailers soon.)

Life Behind Beards Trailer from Steve Hanulec on Vimeo.

Help Me

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Virgins From Hell!

I just watched this film. Mind numb. Eyes unfocused. I feel faint.


The trailer and amazing opening sequence for "Blast Of Silence", an incredible late period noir recently given the high-falutin' Criterion treatment. Supposedly one of Martin Scorcese's favorite "NYC movies", it's a wonderful wallow in low budget squalor. Written, produced, and directed by Allen Baron, who also tackles the lead role, it's an existential bum trip no self respecting film junkie should be without. This minor masterpiece must have come screaming from Baron's Id because he never directed anything else of any import unless you count various episodes of almost every TV show from the 70's & 80's from Charlie's Angels to Dukes Of Hazzard.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The local movie house

Many here in the slammer are old enough to have had the pleasure of going to the local movie house when they were kids. I am not talking about second run art houses... just local movie houses, converted from old stage theatres usually that seemed to be in every city and town when I was young.

I grew up just outside of Boston in a horrible little town called Everett. Want to know what Everett was like? Just watch «Blue Velvet» and add 1000 Frank Booths and a few more girls dancing with snakes on cars and there you have it. We did, however, have a local movie house.

In the 60’s growing up, this place was a haven from all the horrors of this little «mid-burb» as another Everett film maker, Zack Stratis, called it.

For 50 cents, every weekend there was a double or triple feature that included short films and even old serials. I actually first saw the Flash Gordon serials starring super hottie Buster Crabbe there. I went to every Godzilla double feature. I particularly loved "Godzilla versus the Smog Monster", which I have to mention because I can then show a clip of the go-go number it started with. Buster Crabbe and go-go dancing in a Godzilla movie, no wonder I ended up the way I am!

In any case, these small locally owned movie palaces were like drugs to young kids like me. It was our introduction to film in many ways and we got to see them in a real theatre, with a real audience. Sadly, kids today won’t have anyhting close to to the same experience. They have the ability to carry these films around on their phones to watch whenever they want, something we would have killed for back in the day, but that ability would never have stopped us from going to the movies every weekend anyway. Discovering new films, good and bad and sharing the experience.

The Everett Park Theatre was destroyed.. torn down to make some of the ugliest (even by Everett standards) condos ever seen. I am sure the city gained some tax revenue, but it lost a lot more.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Raquel Welch Is Venus

Everybody knows that I have such a huge crush on Raquel Welch. She is definitely a goddess in my eyes. Here's a tribute video I came across dedicated to Raquel. The clip features the song Venus. Raquel certainly is the modern embodiment of Venus.

Buster Crabbe

Long before Robert Conrad was tied up and tortured shirtless in "Wild, Wild West" there was Buster Crabbe getting electrocuted by a man in a dress (Ming the Merciless). I actually saw these in a real movie theatre... something I think I'll write about soon as many of us are old enough to remember the "local movie house" growing up. In the meantime... Some revealing photos of the man that made me want to dye my hair blonde and wear short shorts while holding a ray gun when I was a young boy. To this day... there are few guys hotter than Buster back in the day!

Cheers To You!

When you're as fabulous as we are, you grow accustomed to the constant admiration of others. Unfortunately, when you are as busy as we are you don't always have the ability to schedule people's sycophantic ramblings at a time when you can most enjoy them. Well worry no more, with the CHEERS TO YOU! CD you can hear all the praise and encouragement you need when you need it, not when those ignorant sniveling toadies decide to give it to you.


Mise en scène heaven from The Ladies Man.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gimme that Old Time Religion

Anthony Perkins as Rev. Peter Shayne-style

with lines like "You wear your anger like a breakaway chastity belt."
-- I knew we had an instant classic in 1984's CRIMES OF PASSION.

Hey Kid, Rock'n'Roll

Read the rest at I'm Learning To Share!

Hootenanny Hootin' Johnny

Spoken of possibly in other places/times

I have tried to upload several scenes from Hootenanny Hoot! (including Judy Henske's - the real-life Annie Hall - unfortunate jiggling leg fat scene - write to me for more detail) but all the new copyright bots have gotten me each time at each video service so I have been unable to thus far.

While driving to work today (that's right - I WORK) I heard on the SD chip in my car stereo (ooh!) the album (Johnny Cash - 1958 - The Fabulous) which featured the song performed below, . Johnny: tangentially bringin' his darkness to this otherwise treacle-y gentrification of the radical folk music scene. So I looked it up and etc., etc.

Lotsa no pants dancin' in this movie.... I'm talkin' to YOU Arthur & Chimp!
And for Donna, c-list sitcom clown Joby fuckin' Baker and perennial game show celeb Ruta (rrrrrrr! Sexy!) Lee fer chrissakes! (lemme guess - you know them.....I knew it! Make with the ancedote already!)

Trailer, which doesn't come close to providing anywhere near the sense of chilling squirm-worthiness this film provides:

Anybody for a Drew Barrymore remake?

AND NOW as a super good extra treat- the film Five Minutes to Live aka Door To Door Maniac starring Johnny as deranged psychopath alongside Ronny Howard & Hugh Marlowe (my band useta do an instrumental called Hugh Marlowe) and Vic Tayback - in it's entirety! Yahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa..........................

Lovely but unfortunate

Welcome, Test chimp.

Title:"Fun Away From the Lab"
I love that poster. I expect 6 headers by July 1!


Hey hard-timers! Just a quick post to let you know that the Titanic of dreamboats, Ms. Lethal has graciously allowed me to join you here on Death Row. I expect lots of sloppy prison sex, some serious shower shanking, and maybe a few tasteful riots while I await my appeal. As the new fish around here I'm figuring I'll have to take on the toughest of you eggs so's to prove my mettle. So bring it you mugs..I ain't afraid of no two bit hoods like Knuckles Ignatowski or small potato gunzels like Lex10- I figure I gave Lexes 1 through 9 what they had coming so 10 will be easy pickings. As long as I can get outta this joint in one piece and bust a little slice of heaven goes by the name of Mavis outta the cellblock where they keep the frails, it'll all be swell. I ain't takin' a powder for nobody, see? So stay outta my skivvies and everything will be jake, understand? See ya on the yard, birds.

I made this one for you DL! Click to enlarge.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Guess which one ?

Jones or Hamilton ????

One was a super-villian in a James Bond film and played an amazon in Conan the Destroyer, and the other commanded a winged monkey army on film and sold coffee on TV commercials. One was burned by a fiery stage exit and the other burned lots of cigarettes - even at the dinner table. One made a baby and cutting edge music videos with Jean-Paul Goude, and the other made a Halloween Special with Paul Lynde. One appeared on Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special and the other appeared on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. One rode her bicycle into a cyclone and the other rode on Dolph Lundgren. One was painted in the nude by Keith Haring and the other painted green by MGM. One once publicly claimed to be "Queen Bitch Jungle Mother of New York" and the other publicly claimed to be "almost lame from the bite on my leg."

Summarizing the Philadephia Experience via the Short Interview

Consummate artistry. (seriously)
The only thing missing is an actual fatal shooting of a cheesesteak.

Fred 'Snowflake' Toones

Take a look at these credits. I don't know how on earth he managed it, but he also ran the shoeshine stand at Republic Studios, the former location of which is not far from my home. Here's a link about Toones at b-westerns and a meager wiki. Damn.

Fred 'Snowflake' Toones as "George, Club Car Bartender" in The Palm Beach Story. That's William Demarest on the right. Charles R. Moore also has a featured comedic turn, sadly listed only as "Porter." Wanna get really depressed? Read his credits. Both Toones and Moore were Sturges favorites.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Night of the Tight Pants, Part I

I'm sick of Carradine and need me some Bob Conrad! With all the elements of a typical Wild, Wild West episode (tight pants, a whipping, bondage), what's not to love? It helps when you're a short guy to be hung upside down, or to have your fights staged on stairs. Look at this youtuber's description:

Muscular hunk James West (Robert Conrad) gets captured, chained, and caged by a crazed blind admiral, all the while showing off his muscled hairy chest and abs.

We featured that clip here.

We'll show this one, because I just watched it the other night, although I don't agree with the "also kinda hunky" part: James West (played by hunk Robert Conrad) gets knocked out by invisible scientist (also kinda hunky), tied upside-down and electro-tortured.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Last Night's Film

Whoa. Hand any of us a fifth of Bourbon and a camera and the outcome would surpass this......

Also how bogus is Video Detective with the commercials?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mental, and I mean it

It just gets weirder: Carradine as a psychiatrist struck by lightning on Fox's "Mental," Tuesday night. I'm a sucker for anything set in a loony bin, and the lead's a dead ringer for a young Harvey Keitel, but when I saw the ad for this during tonite's Simpsons I almost choked (oops.) "Mental"? Thailand (think about it)? "Stretch"?
I know his father played Count Alucard, but this is just ridiculous.

Let me untie you!

Glorifying The American Girl

Cosmic Ray

I'm going to live in the Slammer, because it's so groovy.


Toothbrushing with "Baby" Jane Holzer. If you dig this, check out the 13 most beautiful Songs for Andy Warhol

"You stop thinking about these movie picture actors and you go right to sleep"

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sonny: KING of Men!

Plastic letters make you think of Blondie, you say?

When I first came across this unbelievable piece of Celluloid, I had to know more. I looked up Sonny in the Vegas phone book (this was in the days before google, around 1996) and we became phone pals. I sent it to him, and he cried (not over me, but tears of joy.) He had never seen it. The blonde was his late wife. "She was Miss France," he told me. "Frank was the godfather," of their daughter. An old friend of Martin and Lewis from Atlantic City's 500 Club, he appeared in "Robin and the Seven Hoods." Sonny continued to perform at the Bootlegger in Vegas up until his death a few years ago - and our own Mavis Martini has the pix!

Land of the Lost teen idols

Wesley Eure is gay. He just came out in the press. No surprise for those of us who have seen him in West Hollywood bars or at big gay barbecues. He is a good guy.

He is such a genuinely nice fellow that I am pissed at the thought of those Viacom twerps treating him like crap at this year's TV Land Awards. They invited Butch Patrick, Johnny Whitaker and Wesley Eure and Kathy "Holly" Coleman to the TV Land Awards for the Krofft tribute -- then hid them from red carpet and sat them in the nosebleed seats. WTF ?!! TV Land is a celebration of stars/shows from the past, correct? Such shitheels. A 3rd Krofft brother Harry Krofft and his wife were also stuck up there in the rafters. Shameful.

Wesley tells all about the TV Land debacle and how he and "Holly" were cut out of the final version of the new Will Ferrell film vehicle. Good news: He and Chaka (Phillip Paley) were invited to the film premiere and party. Bad news: but not Holly (Kathy Coleman). Execs apparently thought she was too much of a wild child to attend. Assholes.

Loved this quote:

AE: Do you still have the gold chain?
WE: It was stolen from my house. I used to throw a lot of big parties. Everyone would be there. I had a ranch and stuff and the Pointer Sisters, Travolta, everybody would be out at the house. We'd have huge barbeques. But anyway, somebody walked into my bedroom one day and stole it.

read the entire interview here:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

1, 2, 3, What Are We Grooving For?

Get up and Wiggle


From Monty Python's "The Great Birds Eye Peas Relaunch of 1971".

Wartusi with Joey

Stranger Than Fiction

Gordon Gale
Gale Gordon

Repressed Magic

Disney jumped onto the 1963 'folk music is hip now' bandwagon with the casting of song stylist Burl Ives in the Hayley Mills vehicle (set in the less turbulent turn of the century) Summer Magic. Also in the mix is The Beaver's younger lookalike brother Jimmy Mathers (who says that stage mom baby factories are a new phenom?). Poor Jimmy spends the entire film emulating the scrunched face of his TV star older brother Beaver and acting like he is mildly retarded. Plus, it wouldn't be a Disney Studios Film without the cheap solution of using insect stock footage to illustrate the song and a cute sheepdog barking to keep the kiddies awake.

Later on, Deborah 'Gidget Goes Hawaiian' Walley and the family are serenaded by good ol' fashioned folksy Burl.

You can almost hear Hayley praying for The Beatles' British Invasion and the end of her Disney contract -- sending her off to do contemporary roles in The Trouble With Angels and The Family Way.

Deborah Walley would marry John Ashley and hang around doing Beach Party B-films into the late 60s.

Way-out Peter!

Some things are just NOT groovy, no matter what!