Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies 11/30/13!

Who cares what picture we see?

Bernard Gorcey would - as long as we pay off our tab - so let's go with this one!

The Bowery Boys are not remembered as much as movie comedy teams like Abbott and Costello and The Three Stooges.

But these guys - led by Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall - kept their shtick going for something like 25 years - starting out as kids in Warner Bros crime pictures; proceeding through scads of 40's cheapie flicks mixing comedy with sappy melodrama, and finally settling in around the late 40's for another dozen years of cranking out four lowbrow comedy flicks a year. I love the Bowery Boys - and since their movies are usually pretty short anyway - let's make this a...

Saturday Night at the Movies Double Feature!

And here comes feature two:

This entry - already the 16th (!) Bowery Boys movie - gives you Alfred from the 1960's Batman series as the mad scientist and Glenn Strange as Atlas the Monster! Lost the trailer, so it was Spook Busters, but couldn't find its poster - so let's keep it as a mismatch - seems fitting for the Bowery Boys...

To give a little more on the series, here's a short clip from Turner Classic Movies:

I have about a quarter of the nearly 50 movies they did in a box set - the second volume is out which will take me to half when I add it to the video vault - and we could be watching any number of them whenever you felt like coming over - even tonight!

Until the next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this day of gratitude and food, let's throw another ingredient in that ever simmering pot of Random Stew I keep on the stove...

Here's George Lazenby shilling for Kronenbourg Beer - and looking like a guy who has just finished a heck of a Thanksgiving meal. Do you suppose he likes to watch American football?

On this day I am thankful for all my readers and followers - you guys make this more fun

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #143!

Dracula vs Frankenstein  (Independent-International Pictures Corp, 1971)

One of the wildest paste-up jobs from Al Adamson - combining two or three partial movies into one incoherent but entertaining flick - with tiny amounts of linking material sprinkled in. Look fast for a cameo from Famous Monster of Filmland editor Forry J. Ackerman!

Double Exposure  (Crown International Pictures, 1983)

I just saw this recently on one of the now-ubiquitous Crown International DVD box sets. It's a credible cast stuck in a pretty dreary murder mystery. Kind of a cool poster though!

Breakout  (Columbia Pictures Corporation, 1975)

I've only seen parts of this flick - but it seemed to have something of a tongue in cheek air about it - a rarity for old Stone Face!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies 11/23/13!

Who cares what picture we see?

Well, as today marks the 50th anniversary of the television premiere of Doctor Who - I wonder if Doctor #3 Jon Pertwee would? While I ponder on it, let's pick this one...

I first saw this one on the CBS Late Movie when I was a wee lad. I like anthology movies, and this is a fun one, with the linking factor the house - a house that proves fairly fatal to all of its owners through horrors both human and supernatural. It's a great cast, though each one is a solo act, with Pertwee the luckiest of them as he shares the screen with Ingrid Pitt.

The poster is cool too - but they do misspell screenwriter Robert (Psycho) Bloch's name....tsk, tsk, tsk.

I have this one on DVD - and we could be trying to help the domicile staunch the flow any time - even tonight - if you wanted to bring some bandaids over!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Celebrity Endorsement: R.A. Mihailoff!

The Saw is Family!

- something R.A. Mihailoff knows well - since he was Leatherface in the third Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie...

And you know what else R.A. knows? He knows good blogging when he sees it...

Thanks R.A.!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #142!

Fear No Evil  (Avco Embassy, 1981)

After a big article in Fangoria Magazine about this movie - I finally caught up to it on Showtime some months later. I thought it was a corker horror flick then. Catching up to it on DVD a few years ago? Not so much. Still, it's the kid from Land of the Giants (and older brother to Nellie from Little House on the Prairie) and lots of low budget practical effects - so I'm still giving a recommendation to watch it.

The Amazing Dobermans  (Golden Films, 1976)

I haven't seen this G rated family style adventure movie - but with it being a heist movie with that cast - I'd sure love to!

Trunk to Cairo  (American International Pictures, 1966)

Other than yet another Bond knockoff - starring real life American war hero Audie Murphy no less - I don't know anything else about it. With a no doubt bored George Sanders as the villain - it's bound to be worth a look! And it was directed by Menahem Golan before he teamed up with Yoram Globus for that ultimate 80's action flick factory - Cannon Pictures!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies 11/16/13!

Who cares what picture we see?

D.D. Winters probably has enough Vanity to care...so that means we can pick this one:

I didn't get to see this one in the theater - but my lucky cousin and at least one friend from school did - and they regaled me with stories about it so I was champing at the bit to see it. When it finally premiered on Showtime however many months later - you know I was glued to the screen!

The next to last of Jamie Lee Curtis's horror run - with her next picture - Halloween II - bringing her full circle and sending her off in other career directions - this old school slasher has some real positives. Our leading lady is the first - and her co-stars Ben Johnson (The Last Picture Show) and Hart Bochner (Die Hard) add to the positives. The train setting and the masquerade party plot - giving the killer several outfits to wear instead of just one - also all good. The cinematography from the amazing John Alcott raises this movie's profile and quality for sure. These help the flick past the problem points - they go way too low key with the gore and kills, and once you know the movie (and where/how the killer hides out between kills) there are lots of lapses in logic that cannot be easily explained away. At the very least the killer must have downed a couple of pots of coffee to keep the energy up for moving around the train at full speed for most of the movie's running time.

All that said - and that was way more review-y than normal for this department - I do rank this flick among my faves, and was thrilled to receive it as a present on Blu-Ray a few months back. I would enjoy checking it out with you any time - even tonight - if you wanted to come by!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Seven Heaven!

Seven  (Melvin Simon Productions, 1979)

Directed by Andy Sidaris

Produced by Andy Sidaris and Melvin Simon

Written by Robert Baird and William Driskill
Story by Andy Sidaris

My folks got cable and Showtime for us in late 1979. Wow! What an incredible thing this new cable thing was! Crystal clear picture (as long as not a drop of rain was falling between you and the cable company) with 15 or 20 channels – and then Showtime, with its recent theatrical movies and some older catalog titles filling out their schedule, which I think ran 24 hours a day – a rarity for a television channel in those days. And all of this for the princely sum of $15 (!) a month.

Showtime had a regular “department” called Showtime After Dark on Friday nights at 9pm (Central time) that showed what I now call genre movies – in this case exploitation action and horror movies. So my Friday night usually consisted of The Dukes of Hazzard at 7pm (Central time) then whatever 8-9, then the Showtime After Dark movie at 9. One night they showed a movie called Seven – and what a time I had with that movie!

In Hawaii, crime and corruption have run rampant, and an organization (aka mob; syndicate) run by seven top crimelords is about to put the final squeeze on law enforcement in the 50th state – and when they finish, Hawaii will be theirs to ransack at will. They start off by assassinating the Hawaiian state senator (Terry Kiser - Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood) who has been planning a taskforce to combat the criminal empire – and right off the bat your well-honed movie expectations get knocked into a cocked hat – because in every other movie ever made – when Terry Kiser shows up playing a state senator or other official – he’s going to be around for the whole movie and turn out to be a weaselly traitor in the final reels.

Look at Terry Kiser playing a good guy! Who'da thunk?

Then another law enforcement official is killed – and the US government decides it’s time to retaliate. Using one of those newfangled “computers” to find the agent best suited to the job – the agency honcho is less than thrilled when the machine spits out the name Sevano (William Smith - Any Which Way You Can) – feeling he’s only a smidgen better than the criminals they want stopped. But he gives in, and he meets with Sevano and lays out the job: all seven crimelords are to be terminated with extreme prejudice – using whatever means, equipment, or personnel Sevano deems necessary.

Much like Dan Briggs and Jim Phelps on Mission: Impossible, Sevano concocts a daring and outrageous plan – first he recruits six agents.

Alexa (Barbara Leigh - Terminal Island) – beautiful to look at, deadly to know.

Kinsella (Art Metrano - Police Academy 3: Back in Training) – a stand up comic whose jokes can kill you.

TK (Christopher Joy - Darktown Strutters) – a race car driver who is “super fly” at giving people the “shaft.”

The Cowboy (Guich Koock - TV's Carter Country) – would-be land developer and crack pistol shot.

Ed Parker – the world famous kenpo legend plays himself – and he’s ready to kill on command.

The Professor (Richard LePore - In Harm's Way) – a genius whose sense of humor is as wicked as his methods of dealing death from afar.

Susan Kiger...*sigh*

Sevano also recruits some assistants from the agency – like Jackie (Susan Kiger - H.O.T.S.) a luscious blonde vixen ready to provide a distraction at the precise moment needed.

BAM! Distracted!

Next, he assigns each of the agents (and himself) one of the crimelords to kill. But it’s not going to be as easy as just pulling a trigger – these are seven of the most dangerous men alive – and each is surrounded by a small army of guards. And to top it off – they can’t spread the kills out, waiting for convenient moments. If they kill one and the other six mob bosses hear about it – they’ll circle the wagons, go to ground, and be impossible to set up as a target. So, all of the assassinations have to occur within the same half hour on the same day – so no one has time to spread the word to any of the others. Can even Sevano’s Seven pull it off?

If I die and go to heaven - I hope it's an Andy Sidaris movie.

I love this movie. Some people complain because the setup and recruitment take up what they feel is too much of the screen time – but I think it’s all part of the fun. For his third movie (after his documentary The Racing Scene and Stacey) Andy Sidaris here provides the story and directs for other producers – and continues to perfect the blueprint for the Sidaris style of T+A action flick. This film and Stacey are orphans, not part of the Big Twelve or owned by Malibu Bay.

I’m not sure if the producers interfered in Andy’s process – because the end results have a very Sidaris feel to them. On the other hand, this was also the last time Andy did his thing for other producers – after this everything was done “in-house” with Arlene jumping in to the producer’s seat with Andy.

It's fun to look up old friends.

But this is just a cool movie. It’s all played with tongue in cheek – a little over the top, with a wink at the audience – perfection for this kind of movie, which can be deadly if it takes itself too seriously. The bulk of the movie takes place in Hawaii – and the islands are presented as an exotic and mysterious world unto themselves – which they kind of were back then. The characters are all fun and played well by the actors, some of whom are obviously a little more polished than others. On the good guy side Smith is his usual quiet cool; Koock is funny as his stock good ol’ boy; and LePore steals every scene he’s in. On the bad guy side you’ve got standouts like Martin Kove; Reggie Nalder; and Lennie Montana – the infamous Luca Brazi from The Godfather. The action is plentiful, and beautifully handled by a stunt team up to the game. You also get several eyefuls of nudity, all most welcome, especially so when it’s Susan Kiger, a sun drenched goddess in or out of her clothes.

All in all, this is and always shall be one of my favorite down and dirty old school action flicks. Sadly, it’s nearly impossible to find, as the rights owners have left it in oblivion other than a VHS release in the 80’s as a part of the Sybil Danning Adventure Video line. I would kill for a fully stocked remastered Blu-Ray edition, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards. If you can track this one down, but all means do. If you can’t, you are always welcome to come by my place and check out my copy – I’ll watch this one with anyone anytime!

Let's Get Out of Here ?

At roughly 1:10:07 one of the bad guys is tired of sitting in a car taking a gasoline shower.

Eye Candy ?

Considering every picture in this post features her - was there any doubt in your mind that Susan Kiger was in?

Welcome to the list, Ms. Kiger!

Buddha Man Sez:

"Seven is a ten!"

Thank you sir! Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #141!

The Last Woman on Earth  (American International Pictures, 1960)

This Roger Corman flick came about after he'd flown to Puerto Rico to shoot Creature from the Haunted Sea - as per usual, he got so far ahead he called home to Los Angeles and got screenwriter Robert Towne - later famous for writing Chinatown - to start a script for another movie - a post apocalyptic thriller -  and to fly to Puerto Rico too so they could knock the second movie out in the time scheduled for the first movie but left over! And Towne was being drafted not only to write the script for The Last Woman on Earth while travelling down - Corman was also saving money bringing in the writer and an actor - by having Towne play the second lead - under the name Edward Wain. Roger Corman rules the world!

Before I Hang  (Columbia Pictures, 1940)

I haven't seen this one - but I'd watch Boris Karloff hand washing dishes, so you know I want to!

Murphy's Law  (The Cannon Group Inc, 1986)

From the glory days of Cannon - when they were turning out a movie with Bronson, Chuck Norris, or Michael Dudikoff nearly every week - and I saw every damn one of them in the theater! This is a good one, with Bronson after the psycho destroying his life - with comic relief sidekick Kathleen Wilhoite handcuffed to him for a big chunk of the movie! Awesome!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies 11/9/13!

Who cares what picture we see?

Teresa Graves very well might - and while we wait for her answer, we will make it this one...

Now this is some meat and potatoes filmmaking right here! Blaxploitation and a little Bonds-ploitation too - with Fred Williamson - before "The Hammer" was added in the middle - as an early 70's version of Jason Statham's Transporter character. Add in Teresa Graves between her TV jobs on Laugh In and Get Christie Love - and you are looking at an evening's entertainment!

I recently added this fun flick to the video vault, and we could be watching it anytime - even tonight - if you wanted to come check it out with me!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #140!

Blue Hawaii  (Paramount, 1961)

I've only ever seen parts of a couple of Elvis movies - and as a legend and icon he's certainly been absent from this blog - but here we'll rectify with a Presley poster. I really do mean to sit down with one or two of these one of these days - his movies were hugely popular, and I need to see what all the fuss was about!

The Lady in Red  (New World Pictures, 1979)

This is an unsung gem from the New World days - with Julie Corman producing a John Sayles script with director Lewis Teague. It's also got a score from later Oscar winner James Horner! That right there makes this one worth a watch - and then that triples when I mention that the cast also includes an unbilled Robert Forster (Jackie Brown)! I wish I was watching it again right now! If I lay eyes on it in the video vault anytime soon - I will be!

Fury on Wheels  (aka Jump)  (Cannon Releasing Corp., 1971)

I haven't seen this one - but I worked with Collin Wilcox-Horne twice - and she was a wonderful woman - so this movie gets a recommendation for that alone!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies 11/2/13!

Who cares what picture we see?

Ward Bond might if you asked him right - and while we figure out how to do that - we'll cleanse the palate from a month of horror posts with this one:

This is a true classic - a great old Western with the Duke leading a fantastic cast for director Howard Hawks. Sheriff Wayne is forced to work with drunken Dean Martin and green kid Ricky Nelson when bad guys head their way to break their little brother out of jail.

If that sounds a little like the plot of another Western - you're right. This whole movie was made in response to High Noon - a movie John Wayne hated even more than I do (after all, I've never geared up an entire other movie production to thumb my nose at it.)

I do hate High Noon just as the Duke and Hawks did though. It's an insipid movie with an asinine "hero" who spends nearly the entire running time of the movie crying and whining that no one will help him against the bad guy coming to town to kill him in an hour and a half. Man up, you baby!

So, I have the good version of the story on DVD - ready to roll anytime - even tonight - if you feel like coming over to watch it with me!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!