Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rehashed Reviews Volume IX :: ATOMIC Wedgies, and Other Nightmare Shorts!

Meanwhile, our reclamation project continues with another batch of rehashed reviews. Now, you maybe wondering what that odious smell is. Well, all I can say is check out these soiled short-film showcases for any tell-tale racing stripes or skidmarks ... We've got hygiene horrors, both mental and physical, a Driver's Ed atrocity film, a How-to guide on how to get high, then everyone gets naked, followed by a couple of curdled Cold-War leftovers in dire need of some re-heating.

Don't Be Afraid :: When young Billy doesn't want to go to sleep, is it because he's simply not tired, or is there another, more sinister reason for not wanting to go to bed?

Keeping Clean & Neat :: Since personal hygiene is the beginning and the end of all things social, two young children are driven to obsessive compulsiveness to appease a fastidiously facist narrator.

Signal 30 :: Feh. You can keep your August Undergrounds and Faces of Death! I survived Driver's Ed.

Red Nightmare :: See how those lying, dirty, shrewd, godless, murderous, determined, and internationally conspiring Communists really live -- before it's too late!

Narcotics: Pit of Despair :: Anybody else find it disturbing that these old anti-drug shorts, while trying to warn us off, basically do everything but light a match for us as a How-To guide on How-To get high?

Brad Grinter: Nudist :: Old school titillating porn is a world of visible boom mikes, lost delivery boys, skanky soundtracks, and lots-n-lots of earth tones. They were populated by tan-lines, fish-white beer guts, and drooping *ahem* equipment. And I miss them dearly as one of the few who actually likes a little plot in their porn -- and the wonkier the plot the better, like, say, trying to save your marriage by taking your nudie-phobic wife to a nudist colony.

A Day of Thanksgiving :: It's that time of year, folks, when families get together, gorge on some chemical enhanced turkey, thirteen different kinds of pie, and then settle in for some football until, inevitably, something triggers that same family argument you had last year. But before things turn too ugly, grandma makes a temporary peace by gonging everyone on the head with a gravy ladle. And after the dust settles, you realize you have approximately one month to cool off and start speaking to each other -- because you get to do it all over again at Christmas. Turns out things weren't all that different back in the 1950's...

And we'll wrap this update up by announcing that as a run-up to B-Fest 2010, A&O Film's Annual 24-Hour B-Movie Marathon, we're gonna dole out the recaps and recounting of B-Fests past, starting with the recap for 2002 and the debriefing on 2003. And with that, I bid you all a very Happy Turkey Day. I'm outta here and in to some pecan pie, but updates will resume in December. Adios, my noble amigos.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Go, Big Daddy, GO! :: A Beer-Gut Reaction to Tales of the Rat Fink (2006)

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"Ed Roth was a giant as an artist as well as a behemoth of a man. He and his fellow Kar Kustomizers worked in the only uniquely American art medium, the automobile. He never thought of his creations simply as shells of molded sheet metal or fiberglass. He always wanted you to see the engine, too, because the only American Art Form is not an object. It's a kinieticism. Its materials are speed, momentum, excitement, and freedom, which is to say, the American Zeitgeist, except that we don't say Zeitgeist. We say, the spirit of the American Age."

-- Tom Wolfexxxxxxxx
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While he was assigned to a UFO tracking station in the Sahara desert, one has to wonder if perhaps Ed Roth actually saw something not of this earth that permanently blew his mind. For when he got out of the service, where he honed his talents as a painter by stenciling bizarre designs on his fellow airmen's duffle-bags, Roth became a leading trail-blazer in the custom car culture that absolutely exploded in the 1950's. With his outlandish, out of the box designs and pioneering use of fiberglass, Roth was soon a legend among the motorheads with the completion of The Beatnik Bandit and [my favorite] The Orbitron. And when Revell called, looking to miniaturize his creations into molded plastic, "Big Daddy" Roth soon became a household name.

It wasn't just about building or pin-striping the hot-rods, either. A true Renaissance man, Roth's silk-screening and T-Shirt designs, a mash-up of souped-up engines and ghastly critters with a need for speed going hellbent for the horizon, also caught on. Personified by his signature character, the Rat Fink -- basically his middle-finger salute at the homogenizing effect of the House of Mouse, Roth was all about flying your freak flag high and leaving the squares of Squaresville in the dust.

Ron Mann's documentary, Tales of the Rat Fink, like its subject matter, is also slightly off-kilter. Punctuated by some Roth-fueled animated critter bumpers, each segment tracing Roth's rise to prominence is told from the perspective of different car, voiced by the likes of Paul LeMat, Ann-Margaret and Jay Leno, while the big man himself is voiced by John Goodman, who links it all together. It's an amazing and eye-popping journey of one man's influence weeding and winding its way into permanent pop-culture. And as icing on the cake, we get a stellar soundtrack from The Sadies, whose blend of lo-fi reverb and honky-tonk fits the subject matter perfectly:

Seriously. Check this one out, kids. A testament to a true and one of a kind American artist.

Tales of the Rat Fink (2006) Sphinx Productions :: Abramorama :: Shout! Factory / EP: Martin Harbury / P: Bill Imperial, Ron Mann / AP: Michael Boyuk / D: Ron Mann / W: Adam Cawley, Solomon Vesta / C: Arthur E. Cooper / E: Terrance Odette / M: The Sadies / S: John Goodman, Ted Rosnick, Alex Xydias, Paul Le Mat, Ann-Margret, Tom Smothers, Dick Smothers, Robert Williams, Brian Wilson

Saturday, November 21, 2009

T-Shirts Wanted :: Volume I

We've all seen stuff we'd love to get on a T-Shirt, right? And in that spirit, gonna introduce a new feature, T-Shirts Wanted, to showcase some of the images I'd kill to turn into an iron-on.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Movie Poster Spotlight :: Getting Under Your Skin : Squirm (1976)

I don't know who the artist or designer was for the eye-popping layout and poster campaign for George Manasse's Squirm, an eco-terror tale of super-charged worms that develop a taste for human flesh, but he or she didn't get paid nearly enough. Actually, despite it's wonky premise, I kinda dig Squirm, a lot, and writer/director Jeff Lieberman shows enough gumption and flashes of brilliance in this, Just Before Dawn and Blue Sunshine, that one has to wonder why his phone didn't ring more often than it did.

One Sheet ::


Half Sheet ::

Lobby Cards ::

(Holy crap! They got Nixon!)

Italian Locandina ::

Japanese One Sheet ::

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rehashed Reviews Part VIII :: The Surf and Slurp Edition!

And our reclamation project continues with another batch of rehashed reviews. This time, they're a little pruned and soggy, and you might find some sand in cracks where you didn't know you had one, as we head to the beach for a rash of surf-n-stomp romps, mixed with a few ghosts, ancient curses, blood-sucking monsters, homicidal aliens, malignant volleyballs and killer mermaids. I'm telling ya: Frankie and Annette don't stand a chance! Now cue up your favorite Dick Dale tune, and commence to reading, my fellow beachniks!

Destination Inner Space :: Fueled by F/X culled from the bottom of a Captain Crunch cereal box, we have a ton of non-action and un-adventure under the sea as the Earth is invaded by a horde of frozen cocktail-wieners. I wish that was as entertaining as it sounds...

Night Tide :: Dennis Hopper plays a lonely sailor on leave who meets his soul mate in a lonely girl who may or may not be a mermaid. And if she is, she is predestined to kill the one she loves. Nowhere near as moronic as all that sounds. Trust me...

Bikini Beach :: In this third go round with our favorite beachniks, Frankie and Annette, the action moves to the dragstrip, where the terminally off again/on again couple must deal with an invading British hipster, a very talented monkey, and the always dastardly Eric Von Zipper. Heaven help me, but I do love this series so...

The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini :: The last, but certainly not the least, in American International's Beach Party series, sends things out with a bang as a whole can of surf-corn runs smack into some haunted house hi-jinx. High hilarity ensues...

Bimini Code :: Picture, if you will, an Andy Sidaris movie but then remove all the sex, nudity and violence and replace it with extended scuba-diving sequences. Only then will you realize what a soul-crushing experience this movie really is...

Alien Beach Party Massacre :: Updated for the slacker and stoner generation, this mash-up of Beach Party tropes, low-rent Sci-Fi, and Slasher stupidity is a lot more miss than hit. But! It still managed to make me laugh out loud in a couple of spots...

And we'll conclude this update with a spotlight review on one of my favorite movies of all time: The Horror of Party Beach -- the greatest Knock-Kneed, Google-Eyed, Pigeon-Toed and Bratwurst-Bogarting Monster Movie Musical ever made! And as a bonus feature, we have a Tribute to The Dynamic Del-Aires, who taught u
s all who to do the old Zombie Stomp!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Centennial Birthday Tribute to One of My Favorite Actors of All Time!

Good guy. Bad guy.
Bandit, Boxer or Brass.

It Didn't Matter.
A True Class Act.

Robert Ryan
(November 11, 1909 -- July 11, 1973)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creeping, Leaking and Gliding :: A 10-Vid-Cap Review or Less of The Blob (1958)

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"Dad, it wasn't vandalism! Doc Hallen is dead x
and he was killed by some kind of a monster!"
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One of the coolest things about The Criterion Collection's release of The Blob is when you realize, finally seeing it cleaned up and in the proper aspect ratio, how many damn'd money-shots we'd been missing on those old, washed-out and cropped VHS tapes ... Doc Hallen disintegrating before our eyes, the Blob slowly creeping toward the unsuspecting auto-mechanic, or the projectionist getting slimed, to name but a few. And, my gawd, do the restored colors just pop off this thing.

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boils and
Ghouls ... Burt Bacharach and the 5 Blobs:

Video courtesy of Bubbazametti.

Other Points of Interest:

Poster campaign for The Blob at the Archive.

Newspaper ads for The Blob at the Morgue.

The Blob (1958) Fairview Productions :: Tonylyn Productions Inc. :: Paramount Pictures / P: Jack H. Harris / AP: Russell S. Doughten / D: Irvin S. Yeaworth / W: Theodore Simonson, Kate Phillips / C: Thomas Spalding / E: Alfred Hillmann / S: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Earl Rowe, John Benson

Favorites :: Fractured Flickers : Doc Hallen Gets Devoured : The Blob (1958).

Returning to Doc Hallen's place to see if the old man he brought in earlier is OK, whose hand was being consumed by a mysterious mass of intergalactic snot, upon finding the house dark and locked-up, confused and concerned, young Steve Andrews gets the shock of his life when he decides to double-check the garage to see if Hallen's car is still there -- and then hears something scratching at the window, desperately trying to get out...

Making the Score
Intergalactic Snot-Ball: 3
Digestible Earthlings: 0

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