Category: 1970


Devil Rider (1970)

“Carnival of Blood” (1970)

Mark of the Witch

Starring Anitra Walsh who died suddenly in 1980 at the tender age of 32.

2015 Wrap-Up: My Top Five List

Couple things on the wrap-up this year: first I can say that in 2015 I watched an even 70 films. By no means am I a “power-watcher” of movies, quality over quantity, or said another way: I have a day job. And kids. And I’m usually tired by the time I get a chance.

Before I get into my lists of films I enjoyed most this year, a quick note on podcasts I’m listening to. I’ve tried a number of B-movie and/or horror film podcasts, and most are, sadly, unlistenable. We need far fewer podcasts that are film reviews–as if we could not survive another day without your review of whether a 30-year-old film is “good”–and more that are film analysis of film history, IMHO. As we head into 2016, I’m still listening to Linoleum Knife; Monster Kid Radio; You Must Remember This; No-Budget Nightmares; 1951 Down Place; The Projection Booth; and Outside the Cinema. We’ll see what continues to make the cut next year. Welcome any suggestions.

And now, the films I loved this year–all first time watches. Spoiler: No Star Wars to be found here!

I can’t say anything than has already been said; my first thought was they don’t make movies like this anymore. Too bad, but makes one appreciate the older films all the more. I loved how some scenes moved like molasses, but were so full of meaning and innuendo. Such a pleasure to savor a film’s unfolding, instead of gulping it down whole.

About three-quarters of the way through the year I think I started burning out on my usual fare of schlocky horror movies and started craving cinema and not just movies. No doubt, this is the influence of starting to listen to Linoleum Knife–“a podcast of the cinema.” My next few choices reflect this change in my viewing habits, and are in no particular order.

This is just a beautiful film about the grief ensuing from the death of one-half of a gay couple in the John F. Kennedy era. It also is great at showing some of the realities that same-sex couples had to go through in those dark pre-Stonewall days to closet themselves in plain sight, which could be hard to watch at times. One of the tenderest films I’ve seen in a long time.

This was a hard film to watch about a topic I know little about–child soldiers. Set in an unspecified sub-Saharan African country that could have been anywhere from Liberia to South Sudan it follows one boy from capture through becoming a hardened soldier at the tender age of 11ish. Idris Elba is the standout here, and I’m now on an Elba kick which I’m satiating by binging on Luther, which I can’t take my eyes off of:

Horses of God is a French-Moroccan film speculating on the events leading up to the May 2003 attacks in Casablanca that killed 45 in 5 semi-coordinated attacks on the same day.  This is a straight dramatization of the fictionalized account of how two brothers go from living in a shantytown next to the city to becoming suicide bombers, and seeing the events through the eyes of the bombers is very revealing.

Back to my usual gig, a Hammer horror film with an early-1970s exploitation sensibility? Yes, please!

Now, some honorable mentions–films I also enjoyed very much on a first viewing:

What film is this from? Tune in next week...

What film is this from? Tune in next week…

A roundup of what I’ve watched, read or listened to lately:

  • Projection Booth #144 on “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” (1962). I loved the part of the episode that one commenter dismissed as “psychobabble” about this film being a reflection of the male Id of that era, how the legacy of Nazi physician Joseph Mengele is portrayed on film, the subgenre of “disembodied head/brain/brain-in-a-pan” films, etc.

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  • Also from the episode we learn that both Brain and Debbie Does Dallas both have musical theater adaptations!

  • Lastly, here are the trailers for the best films I saw in September, in no particular order:

Covered on episode 6 of 1951 Down Place.

Will be covered on a future episode of Badasses, Boobs, and Body Counts–I suggested it as part of “listener appreciation month,” and Mike and Iris took the suggestion. However, Mike says its the one film for the BB&BC listener appreciation month he’s not looking forward to… I suspect we’ll be agreeing to disagree about this classic.

If you’ve not seen these, drop what you’re doing and find them RIGHT NOW.

Anti-Film School

drive-in-theater-30

Today, a little over three hundred drive-in movie theaters remain sprinkled throughout the United States. This means that many Americans are not lucky enough to have a drive-in movie theater close by their home. In the drive-in’s heyday, small production companies would release B-movies tailor-made for the drive-in audience. There was everything from angry extraterrestrials to hip-shaking teenage beach parties, all of which are now enjoyed for their campy special effects and corny performances. Today, many of these films are available on DVD, Blu-ray, or Netflix, and can be enjoyed from the comfort of your couch. If you’re someone without the luxury of a drive-in theater nearby, you can create your own drive-in movie night right at home. Just grab any one of these out-of-this-world flicks, pop some pop corn, cook up a few hot dogs on the grill, grab a date or the kids, throw open the living room…

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Richard Bowler gets disposed of in IDYB.

Richard Bowler gets disposed of in IDYB.

Today (June 21) would have been Richard Bowler’s 116th birthday!

By far the oldest in the cast of I Drink Your Blood, he played “Grandpa,” whose beating by Bhaskar (“Horace Bones”) and his hippie gang led to Riley Mills (“Pete”) poisoning their food and turning the hippies into zombies. He only had four film roles, the most major of which may well have been his portrayal of Neville Chamberlain on Robert Montgomery Presents nearly six decades ago.

How and why Bowler came to be involved in this film, like several other cast members, is still a bit of a mystery to me.  I suppose actors need work, but I suspect several in this rather eclectic band (Bhaskar, Wong, and maybe Bowler) all had connections to director David Durston‘s social circle, since these folks all had well established mainstream careers before going Grindhouse.  Curious and curiouser.

We’ve arrived, after a fashion, at our final five films, as chosen mainly by you. I say “mainly,” because one match-up that had originally ended up in a tie was re-competed, and ended up in a tie once again. To keep things moving along, I’ve made an executive decision in favor of one film.  Somehow, I doubt you’ll mind.  Because this match-up has lingered a bit, it’s thrown off our nice even numbers, so we have a final five, not final four.  Again, I doubt you mind terribly.

At any rate, here are your Final Five:

1. Black Sunday (1960), after tying with The Day the Earth Stood Still, twice.

2. The Thing (1982), after beating Witchfinder General (1968) 3 votes to 2.

3. I Drink Your Blood (1970) beat The Exorcist (1973) in a 4-0 shutout, the second shutout for IDYB in as many rounds!

4. Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965) finally put an end to the reign of terror wreaked by She-Devil on Wheels (1968).

5. Carnival of Souls (1962) is still patiently waiting after beating Grizzly (1976) a couple rounds ago.

So here are this week’s match-ups, awaiting your consideration:

1960s Horror!

Go ahead, watch the whole thing!

The winner of this match takes on The Thing!

Exploitation Championship!

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmmnfs_i-drink-your-blood_shortfilms

Do yourself a favor while you make up your mind, and give the Badasses, Boobs, and Bodycounts podcast a listen–it’s most recent episode covers this one.

The winner of the round will be our “right side” conference champ, fwiw.

I’m loving, loving, the fact that as our little contest winds down, that the most recent movie still in contention, The Thing, is 32 years old.  Also, how is it the The Thing is 32 years old already?!