Category: 1983


400px-SS-CC-M1911-01I’ll just come out and say it: I keep a candle lit for Ms. Caffaro. If you do too–and you know who you are–why don’t you spend the next eight hours watching all the Cheri Caffaro films I was able to find on YouTube. You’ll know where to find me:

Let’s start with 1971’s Ginger. I’ve written about this one before, but may find the need to revisit this later this year.

79425-up-your-alley-0-230-0-341-cropHer next outing was with the late Haji in Up Your Alley also from 1971, but sadly this gem is not uploaded just yet. If you can find it, look for Uschi Digard (scroll down to #8, yes this is a side project of mine) and Luanne Roberts of Trader Hornee fame.

In 1972, Cheri returns to her roots with the second installment of the Ginger trilogy, The Abductors. Raunchier, and down-n-dirtier than Ginger:

download (2)Girls Are For Loving, from 1973, the last Ginger flick is also not (yet) available online. Sounding like porn in both title and dialogue–and acted to about the same quality–we get these choice bits of dialogue:

I want that dame spread – not dead.

and:

I don’t mind giving my bod to him, in the name of the flag of course . . . Let’s just say I like to fuck a lot.

It does not get better than this, folks!

This brings us to the last of Cheri’s (available online) on camera roles, in Savage Sisters from 1974, co-starring blaxploitation actress (and Bond Girl from the year before in Live and Let Die) Gloria Hendry, and the ubiquitous Sid Haig:

download (3)Cheri’s last on-camera film was a reprise–in all but name–of her earlier Ginger films, Too Hot to Handle from 1977. This was one of a plethora of exploitation films shot on location in the Philippines, and if you weren’t already crushing on Cheri, she did her own stunts!

From here, Cheri moved behind the camera and helped produce a couple silly flicks: H.O.T.S. in 1979 and The Demons of Ludlow  from 1983.

H.O.T.S. starred no less than three Playboy centerfolds, a Miss USA, and a couple veteran B-movie/sexploitation actresses . . . and Danny Bonaduce.  Sign me the fuck up.

Sadly, Cheri does not bow out of her film career on a high note. Demons of Ludow  is a boring mess of a horror film–a bit of a departure from her earlier oeuvre, featuring a haunted upright piano. Maybe it would have been better if the haunted piano was a grand piano.

Nowadays, and for most of the past twenty years or so, Cheri has been out of the public eye. She reportedly didn’t care for being type-cast as an exploitation babe, and the producing gig didn’t come to much, and apparently she removed herself from the film industry.  This coming April, she’ll turn 70. Would love to see her give some interviews on the occasion . . .

My Top Five First-Time Watches of 2014

ep114_5A bit ago over at the Badasses, Boobs, and Bodycounts podcast, the inestimable hosts Mike and Iris asked listeners to submit their top and bottom five first-time watches from 2014. I jumped on that action quickly, and got my email read on the podcast–mine was first up in fact.  Here it is again, slightly edited:

These Are Tops

1. Ginger (1971)–classic sleaze. Whenever I post on this movie here, these posts are always among the most popular ones of the year. Notable for starring gay porn star Casey Donovan and for having an early full frontal male nude scene.

2. Films of Fury (2011)–great intro documentary to the world of Kung Fu cinema. This is not a genre I am very familiar with, but I’ve been Kung Fu-curious for a long time. This doc is the perfect intro–I counted clips from at least 107 different films shown at some point in this.

In this trailer you’ll see some footage from Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976), though I do not recall seeing discussion or footage of this popular film in the documentary itself.

3. Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013)–nothing to add to what’s already been said to this great film doc, except that it’s being snubbed for a Best Documentary Oscar was highway-fucking-robbery. A great intro to Jodorowsky’s filmography for folks unfamiliar with the master film surrealist.

4. Bong of the Dead (2011)–And now for something completely different: I actually discovered this film from Badasses, Boobs, and Bodycounts, and watching this earnest little film especially knowing something of its backstory from the interview just cemented my love for ultra-low budget horror. This film and the faire discussed over at the No-Budget Nightmares podcast have been my gateway drugs to other shlocky films like Antfarm Dickhole, Rock n’ Roll Space Patrol Action is Go!, Treevenge, and one of my all time faves from this end of the pool, Thankskilling.

Extra credit for a film subtitled into Arabic!

5. The Day After (1983)–I finally got around to watching this some 30 years after my parents wouldn’t let me watch it in prime time (I was in the 6th grade in ’83). Impressed that this imperfect but unflinching film, considering its vintage and medium, got on the air at all. Remembering the class discussion that followed the original broadcast–this was the most-watched made-for-TV movies in US history–all I can say is that we were freaked the fuck out.

All for now–next time, my bottom five from 2014.

Raiders of Atlantis (1983)

The Raiders of Atlantis Polish Video Rondo VHS

At this point, we’ve eliminated half of the films we started with, and have arrived at our Sweet 16! But before we get to that story, I have to go over this story–how Match-Up 4 shook out.

This Story 

Match-up 4 had about half the votes of 3, which is fine, and here’s how it all went down:

Hi-Brow vs. Low-Brow Horror

The Birds (1963)–3 votes (60%)
Night of the Lepus (1972)–2 votes (40%)

Come All Ye Witchfinders!

Witchfinder General (1968)–3 votes (60%)
Mark of the Devil (1970)–2 votes (40%)

Possessions ‘R Us

The Exorcist (1973)–3 votes (60%)
The Devil Rides Out (1968)–2 votes (40%)

Exploitations’ Best Leading Ladies

Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! (1965)–3 votes (60%)
Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS (1975)–2 votes (40%)

That Story

So, with these we have our Sweet 16.  This week we’ll work through these eight matches, so we can get at a Final Four next time out:

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951):

vs.

Black Sunday (1960)

Grizzly (1976)

vs.

Carnival of Souls (1962)

The Thing (1982)

vs.

The Birds (1963)

Them! (1954)

vs.

Witchfinder General (1968)

Christine (1983)

vs.

I Drink Your Blood (1970)

ThanksKilling (2009)

vs.

The Exorcist (1973)

Blacula (1972)

vs.

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

Toxic Avenger (1984)

vs.

She-Devils on Wheels (1968)

Happy Voting, see you at the Elite Eight next week!

Here are the first four contests in my better-late-than-never Grindhouse Brackets.  “Submitted for your approval,” in the words of the late great Rod Serling, are the trailers for these fine flicks below. You’ll also find a poll embedded under each match-up to record your votes, which will remain open only for the next 168 hours (or, one week from today)! I’ll close these polls then, and move on to the next four matches at that point. Without further ado, today’s lineup:

Classic 1950s Horror/Sci-Fi
First up, we pit the never-should-have-been-remade science fiction classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) against the equally classic The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954):

Horror From the 1980s, or Close Enough
Next, let’s put Christine (1983) against The Amityville Horror (1979), for more current match-up featuring inanimate objects. Amityville is not technically from the 80s, but it might as well be:

Shlock on Wheels!
Thirdly, how about a motorcycle-themed Troma vs. Herschell Gordon Lewis slugfest, with Chopper Chicks in Zombietown (1989) vs. She-Devil On Wheels (1968):

Animals On the Loose!
Lastly for this time, we have a couple wild animal faves, both from The Year of Our Lord, 1976:

The Deadly Spawn (1983)

Crimson Quill’s Appraisal #173

the_deadly_spawn_crimson_quill (6)

Number of Views: Multiple
Release Date: 22 April 1983 (USA)
Also known as Return of the Aliens: The Deadly Spawn
Sub-Genre: Alien Invasion
Country of Origin: United States
Budget: $25,000
Running Time: 81 minutes
Director: Douglas McKeown
Producer: Ted A. Bohus, John Dods, Tim Hildebrandt
Screenplay: Douglas McKeown
Special Effects: John Dods, Gregory Ramoundos
Cinematography: Harvey M. Birnbaum
Score: Paul Cornell, Michael Perilstein, Kenneth Walker
Editing: Marc Harwood
Studio: Filmline
Distributor: 21st Century Film Corporation,
Stars: Charles George Hildebrandt, Tom DeFranco, Richard Lee Porter, Jean Tafler, Karen Tighe, James Brewster, Elissa Neil, Ethel Michelson, John Schmerling, Judith Mayes

the_deadly_spawn_crimson_quill (4)

Suggested Audio Candy:

Michael PerilsteinSoundtrack Suite

the_deadly_spawn_crimson_quill (14)

Six degrees of separation. If legend has it correctly that is all that separates pieces of majestic art such as David Lynch’sMulholland Drive and Douglas McKeown’s sole foray into film-making, Z-movie masterpiece The Deadly Spawn. It helps Keeper sleep at…

View original post 1,081 more words

Here, Mrs. I Love Terrible Movies and I put together a fun little 32-team bracket featuring bad guys/monsters/villains of horror and exploitation films I’ve seen in the past year or so.  In case you forgot who’s who, I’ve embedded the film trailers below.

Tweet me or comment on this post by a week from today (1 April) for your faves to advance to the Sweet 16.

Yeah, yeah, I know this is going to finish up well after “March Madness” will–sue me.

Klaatu vs. Gill-Man

From Outer Space … A Warning and an Ultimatum

Clawing Monster From A Lost Age strikes from the Amazon’s forbidden depths!

Asa Vajda vs. Dr. Phibes

The Undead Demons of Hell Terrorize the World in an Orgy of Stark Horror!

There are two sides to Dr. Phibes…..both of them EVIL!

Jaws Ripoff-a-Thon!

They’re waiting to slither you!

18 Feet of Man-Eating Terror!

The Man vs. Fuad Ramses

She Escaped Death. Now It Wants Her Back!

A Weird, Grisly Ancient Rite Horrendously Brought To Life In Blood Color!

 John Carpenter Face Off!

Man is The Warmest Place to Hide

It is night. It is cold. It is coming.

Birds vs. Lepuses

…And remember, the next scream you hear could be your own!

How many eyes does horror have? How many times will terror strike?

Mothra vs. Them!

SEE the armies of the world destroyed! SEE the BIRTH of the world’s most terrifying monster! SEE the war of the GIANTS!

A horror horde of crawl-and-crush giants clawing out of the earth from mile-deep catacombs!

Jeff Morrow Slapfest!

PLANET ROBBER TRAMPLES EARTH…STEALING ENERGY FOR OTHER WORLDS!

Flying beast out of prehistoric skies!

Cars vs. Houses!

Body by Plymouth. Soul by Satan.

Houses Don’t Have Memories

Battle of the Nihlistic Cult Leaders!

Let it be known, sons and daughters, that Satan was an acid head.

You’re Invited To Orville’s “Coming-Out” Party…It’ll Be A Scream…YOURS!!!

Recent Zero-Budgets!

Why did the eagles and vultures attack?

Gobble, Gobble, Motherfucker!

The Devil You Say?

The beauty of woman, the demon of darkness, the unholy union of “The Devil’s Bride”

Somewhere between science and superstition, there is another world. The world of darkness.

Vampire Madness!

His bite was outta sight!

It will cost you sweat and tears, and perhaps… a little blood.

Badass Bitches!

The most dreaded Nazi of them all!

Russ Meyer’s ode to the violence in women

Treevenge vs. Troma

The first Super-Hero… from New Jersey!

Badass Biker Babes!

They’re Looking for a Few Good Men.

See! Female Hellcats Ruling Their Men With Tire-Irons As Their Instruments Of Passion!

It’s time for another good-sized roundup of good movie reviews from the tweeps.  Love how you folks are keeping exploitation and B-movies in circulation.

With a good-sized H/T to Cultural Gutter, I saw this interesting post on TV criticism vs. TV recapping, among other things.  I liked it because it gives voice to what I’m trying to give birth to on this blog, in the context of exploitation and B-Movies, instead of scripted television dramas:

. . .  carving out a niche for long-form pieces that look beyond the pluses and minuses of a single episode to examine its greater potential and its place in the culture . . .

I’ve been trying to figure ways to take my movie blog that you’re reading now beyond recapping and reviewing individual films, which does seem to me to be the dominant mode of the cinema blogosphere.  Giving as much as I can about the backstory of a film’s making, information sometimes captured in book-length pieces, or trapped in the academic community seems one good way to get there.  Another seems to be the looking into period press, much of which is is not online, to give some idea of how these films I cover were received as they came out seems like a fruitful avenue.  I’ve some other ideas too, which are not ready for prime time yet, but suffice it to say I was glad to see the idea of moving beyond single-film perspectives in the above post.

This last one reminds me of a side-project I just might get going, doing a “movie-of-the-day” about Jaws-rip-offs of various kinds of animals attacking people. If this furlough keeps going, you never know what can happen!

  • Over at Forgotten Films we get some good posts on a variety of fun flicks, a couple of which should be seen annually, I think: Blackenstein (1973) was part of the early-to-mid 1970s blaxploitation series remaking classic horror icons, other examples being the William Marshall vehicles Blacula and Abby (remaking The Exorcist). FF also talks Grizzly (1976), another of the aforementioned Jaws rips; The Awakening (1980) a snoozer in which yet another ancient Egyptian queen comes back to life, this time with no thanks to Charlton Heston’s and Stephanie Zimbalist’s overwrought acting.  Lastly, we get one of two takes this week of my own guilty pleasure, Zombie Lake (1981), about zombie Nazis.  Or Nazis, who happen to be zombies.  Or whatever.  Also, check out Midnight Triple Feature’s separate review of Zombie Lake.

Starring Barbara Steele, who I recently saw in Piranha 18 years after this one, still messing shit up, this time, and yet again, with the wildlife eating people!

Car

Co-starring Sandor Elès, whose death anniversary was a month or so ago.

  • Lost Highway was three fun ones this time: Pieces (1983), a self-explanatory classic slasher ripoff of the irreplaceable Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974); Night Tide (1961) in which young Dennis Hopper falls in love with a woman who may or may not be a mermaid; and Journey to the Seventh Planet (1961), classic B-sci-fi about visiting Uranus.  My tweeps are pretty monster/slasher horror-focused, so seeing some good old fashioned sci-fi/horror here in the bunch is nice and refreshing.
  • The positively essential Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954) gets a new review, courtesy of Church of Splatter-Day Saints, not only did this flick introduce the facehugging monster that Alien gets all the credit foe later, but this film helped revive Universal Studios’ flagging fortunes by introducing new possibilities for monster movies when the genre had all but run its course in the mid-1950s.

Lastly, I’ll conclude this post with a fun link over to The Hollywood Reporter and their interviews with all concerned with the making of Evil Dead 2.  “We were like ‘Jackass’ with a plot”!  Enjoy!

Films I’ve Seen Lately #2

This time around, I thought I’d just keep track of everything I’m watching over the past month or so.  No rhyme or reason, as usual–just stuff I run across on YouTube, Netflix, my cable on-demand service, and stuff I see refs to in Twitter and elsewhere.

Christine (1983)

Fun flick from John Carpenter adapting a classic Stephen King tale about a murderous car.  It was one of three of King’s yarns to be put on film that year, the other two being Cujo and The Dead Zone, making this period his heyday, more-or-less.  We don’t get to see in this film how the car came to be possessed or haunted or whatever, which was my biggest disappointment.  But well acted; note a young Kelly Preston as “Roseanne,” and the nerd Keith Gordon (“Arnie”) went on to become a decent film director, if Dexter is any measure.

They Call Me Trinity (1970)

I came across this one from the premier episode of A Gentlemen’s Guide to Midnite Cinema podcast.  I’m not as familiar with Spaghetti Westerns as I’d like to be, but this seems like a pitch perfect way to meld them with comedy.  That opener with Terence Hill coming into town on that horse carriage doohickey seems clearly inspired by the 1937 Laurel & Hardy classic Way Out West.

Shaft (1971)

If you haven’t seen this one, you really owe it to yourself to do so . . . now.  This is one of the most developed and successful blaxpoiltation films. According to Melvin Van Peebles, director of the original blaxploitation film, Sweet  Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, also from 1971, Shaft  was originally written as a white character, and “they threw in a couple ‘motherfuckers’ and it became a black film.” There are also some great vintage shots of New York’s 42nd Street grindhouses throughout, so do look for those.  Richard Roundtree only made $13,000 starring as Shaft.

She Gods of Shark Reef (1958)

This baffling film is an early Roger Corman cheapy, shot in ’56, along with Naked Paradise (also known as Thunder Over Hawaii), about lost criminals washing ashore on a reef in the Pacific and then one falling for the beautiful natives who forsakes her cruel native ways to run off with the white savior, or somesuch.  The leading lady was played by Lisa Montell, who ended her film career in the early 60s, and became a large name in the California Bahai community, even authoring a book on the faith, under her married name, Lisa Janti.

Rattlers (1976)

A clear Jaws knockoff, like a Piranha below, in which every sort of animal that is harmful to humans is going to feature in their own horror movie, in this case, rattlesnakes.  A fun B-horror film, and what was most jarring in this one was the unexpected presence of gender in the first half of the film.  Our scientist-snake investigator (played by Shark Week narrator Sam Chew, Jr.) turns out to be a real misogynist, thinking the job too dangerous for his “liberated” war correspondent female partner (played by Elisabeth Chauvet).  They end up agreeing to disagree–and end up in the sack, of course–and this contrived way of developing conflict among the characters to keep the film interesting is mainly forgotten as the body count starts to rise.  Also, the bathtub scene is just classic.

American Grindhouse (2010)

A nice overview documentary of exploitation cinema.  I was glad to see the interviews with Eric Schaefer (author of Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959) and Eddie Muller (author, with Daniel Faris, of Grindhouse: The Forbidden World of “Adults Only” Cinema).  I was not so taken with the photogenic Kim Morgan, who seemed more fluff than informative.  Also, this film seemed to not give David Friedman enough attention, but these points aside, this is an excellent primer on exploitation film, and should be a starting point for those new to the subject.

Piranha (1978)

Blatant Joe Dante ripoff of Jaws, starring Heather Menzies (“Louisa” from The Sound of Music) in the completely unbelievable role as a bounty hunter, who finds a secret military experiment to breed piranhas as an apparently failed weapon system that was to be deployed against. . .  North Vietnam.  That much-out-of-place reference deserves its own unpacking, but I was too busy having my childhood warped (further) by seeing Louisa flash her boobs at a soldier.  The late, great Kevin McCarthy was much underutilized in this epic, but no worries.

Dinosaur Island (1994)

Fred Olen Ray (writer of such fun faire as Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and who has more than a dozen aliases in the industry) romp that rips off Jurassic Park in a silly way.  io9 a few years back called this one “the closest thing to mainstream dinosaur porn in the universe” while profiling some truly disturbing shit.   I think my favorite part was how the Dinosaur Islander vixens, who’d never seen modern civilization, not only spoke English, but sometimes English with a soft Texas twang.