Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Evictors (1979)

American film maker Charles B. Pierce is quite the auteur, with his involvement including credits for acting, cinematography, set decoration, producing, screenwriting, and directing. All this was done outside of the Hollywood studio system and many credit him as being one of the first modern independent filmmakers. His career spanned just over twenty five years, during which he directed thirteen films with The Legend of Boggy Creek (1973) and The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) being two of his most widely viewed titles.

Highlighted here is an often over looked film from Pierce, 1979s The Evictors. Much like his earlier film The Town That Dreaded Sundown, The Evictors tells a horror/crime tale in an almost documentary, "matter-of-fact" style and also pays great attention to period details from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.

In The Evictors, a rural house with a violent, but initially hidden past is purchased during World War II by a couple (Michael Parks and Jessica Harper) from the possibly shadier then he seems realtor (Vic Morrow). Things take a decidedly sinister turn as a creepy note is left in the newcomers mailbox and soon after an intruder begins menacing them.

the trailer

the feature

Friday, March 25, 2016

Adiós Amigo (1976)

Released in 1976, Adiós Amigo was created following Richard Pryor's negative experience on the film Blazing Saddles. He had collaborated with Mel Brooks on the Blazing Saddles script and had planned on being cast as the town's new sheriff but his on screen involvement was snubbed. Pryor expressed this frustration to Fred Williamson, who disliked Brook's film for being too silly. Williamson wanted to provide Pryor a vehicle that would spotlight his comedic talents while also being an action packed western.

Proving very committed to the project, Williamson served as the screen writer, producer, director (this being the second feature he directed), as well as taking on a lead acting role. Allegedly the initial script was very brief, only a few pages in length, with Williamson hoping that Pryor could fill in the blanks with ad-libbed, improv comedy. Unfortunately, neither of the two principals were very enthusiastic about the completed film with Pryor even apologizing for it in a 1976 Ebony interview.

the feature

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Infra-Man (1975)

Watching this colorful, wild, and action packed science fiction/monster movie takes me back to my misspent youth. Produced by the Shaw Brothers Hong Kong Studio and released in 1975, Infra-Man is the story of how Demon Princess Elzebub and her brood of monsters try to take over the world but are thwarted due to the heroic actions of the "bionic kung fu superhero" Infra-man. 

the trailer

the feature

Friday, March 11, 2016

Space Is the Place (1974)

Avant-jazz maestro Sun Ra brings his otherworldly sounds to the realm of cinema in this feature length version of Space Is the Place. A shorter version known as "Sun Ra's edit" also exists. Filmed in 1972 but not released until 1974, the film's highlight is an extended performance from Sun Ra and his Arkestra.

the trailer

the feature

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Day My Kid Went Punk (1987)

First shown in October 1987, this ABC Afterschool Special stars Bernie Kopell (Doc from The Love Boat) and Christine Belford (also known for playing a Mom in the movie Christine and on Beverly Hills 90210) as the puzzled parents of a teen who goes "punk" in a way that only the folks behind ABC's Afterschool Specials would imagine. 
Unintentional yucks abound.