Friday, September 8, 2017

Beyond and Back (1978) Re-post

Re-post with updated feature 
plus the addition of a trailer + lobby cards.

Beyond and Back (1978) 

This Sunn Classic Pictures documentary made the rounds of cinemas, drive-ins, and early cable television for some time before fading from wide viewings.

Sunn Classic Pictures was an independent production company based out of Utah; where this was filmed. They put out a number of movies, including In Search of Historic Jesus (1979), In Search of Noah's Ark (1976), The Lincoln Conspiracy (1977), The Bermuda Triangle (1979), and Hangar 18 (1980).  

James L. Conway directed this and some earlier titles for Sunn before trying R-rated horror with 1981's The Boogens, then moving to an ongoing and successful career in television work. In spite of Sunn Classics heavy Christian editorial stance; this was shot by cinematographer Henning Schellerup, who had also filmed pornography in the late '60s/early '70s and continued to work on many exploitation/horror films.


the trailer

the feature

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Hardly Working (1980)

To commemorate the recent passing of 
Jerry Lewis, presented here is Hardly Working
Filmed in 1979, it was released to Europe 
and South America in 1980 
and then throughout the U.S. in 1981.

the trailer

the feature

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Cramps - 1978 - Napa State Mental Hospital

The Cramps
live at 
Napa State Mental Hospital 

Mystery Plane 
Way I Walk 
What's Behind The Mask 
Human Fly 
Love Me 
Twist & Shout 
TV Set 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

Death Rides a Horse (1967)

Directed by Giulio Petroni, Death Rides a Horse (aka Da uomo a uomo) begins with a pummeling rain storm replete with copious thunder and lightning. A young boy watches as a gang rides in and murders his father and brutally assault his mother and sister. Most gang members have distinct characteristics, such as a specific tattoo, and he even sees the face of one. As fifteen years pass, the boy grows into a sharp shooter (John Phillip Law), now hell bent on avenging his slain family. In pursuit of the gang, he meets up with a crusty gunsman (Lee Van Cleef) who just served fifteen years in jail after being framed by the same gang of outlaws. Ennio Morricone supplies standout music to the proceedings. A recommended Euro-Western!

the trailer

the feature

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Heavy Traffic (1973)

Ralph Bakshi initially developed the storyline concerning a tale of gritty, inner city life in the late sixties and approached producers with the idea of it as an animated feature film. With his experience primarily in industrial short subjects and commercials, producers balked. It was only after some success as the director of the X-rated animated feature Fritz the Cat in 1972 that Bakshi was given a green light on this more personal project which would also go on to receive an initial X rating. Samuel Z. Arkoff produced and distributed this for American International Pictures, as he earlier had for Fritz the Cat.

Heavy Traffic centers on Michael, a troubled underground cartoonist, living at home with his Mob connected Italian father and Jewish mother as they verbally argue and physically fight constantly. His outside world is equally chaotic and filled with odd and interesting characters, many prone to violence and profane outbursts. Live action gives way to animated scenes while photographic or filmed backgrounds often have animation overlayed.

the trailer

the feature

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

House (1986)

After directing Friday the 13th Part II and Part III  but just before Soul Man, Steve Miner directed the curious film House.

William Katt (forever known as the Greatest American Hero to some folks) stars as a troubled horror writer who moves into his Aunt's home after her death. Things rapidly go downhill as chronic nightmares give way to hallucinations culminating in attacks from other-worldly creatures.

As he did on the Friday the 13th films, Harry Manfredini provides the musical score.

House did good business at the box office, ensuring sequels. It's opening weekend it made $5,923,972 and came in a very close second to Pretty in Pink.

the trailer

the feature

Monday, July 31, 2017

Swashbuckler (1976)

Directed by James Goldstone (The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, Rollercoaster, When Time Ran Out...)1976s Swashbuckler was unfortunately a flop at the box office when originally released. It's not a perfect film, but by my estimation the first 15 minutes (not to mention the film in it's entirety) of the movie better captures the spirit and excitement of The Pirates of the Caribbean ride than what's found in the recent big budget, cgi bloat-fests bearing the rides name.

Filmed in Mexico, the set pieces are incredible and the action keeps coming at a fairly steady pace. The cast is loaded with great actors. Fresh from Jaws, Robert Shaw looks to be having a blast as the pirates leader, James Earl Jones is his often shirtless right hand man, and a bewigged Peter Boyle is the corrupt and evil governor. Also on hand are: Geneviève Bujold, Beau Bridges, Geoffrey Holder, Avery Schreiber, Anjelica Huston, Tom Clancy, and a favorite character actor of mine, Sid Haig.

the trailer

the feature

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wizards (1977)

Ralph Bakshi
wrote the screenplay,
directed, and
produced this 1977
animated feature

the trailer 

the feature

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

Black Flag - 1984 - Hoboken, New Jersey

Black Flag
19 October 1984 
Hoboken, New Jersey

Nervous Breakdown
Can't Decide
Forever Time
Swinging Man
Wound Up
Slip It In
My Ghetto
Black Coffee
Beat My Head Against The Wall
Your Last Affront
Rat's Eyes
The Bars
Police Story
Rise Above (cuts in)
My War (incomplete)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Meat Puppets - 1985 - Phoenix, Arizona

Meat Puppets

14 February 1985 
The Mason Jar 
Phoenix, Arizona

03:07 Magic Toy Missing
04:40 Enchanted Pork Fist
07:00 The Whistling Song
08:58 Maiden's Milk
12:17 Away
15:58 Oh, Me
18:30 Too Real
20:35 Buckethead
23:00 Up On The Sun
26:45 Lake Of Fire
28:28 Creator
30:42 Swimming Ground
33:47 Hot Pink
37:20 Plateau
39:46 Seal Whales
42:16 Animal Kingdom
44:44 Good Golly Miss Molly
48:44 Lost
52:00 Two Rivers

Sonic Youth - 1983 - Milan, Italy

8 November 1983
Odissea 2001
Milan, Italy 

The World Looks Red
She's in a Bad Mood
Early American
Burning Spear
Confusion is Next
Brother James 
Kill Yr Idols
Making the Nature Scene
Shaking Hell
The Good and the Bad

Monday, January 30, 2017

B.J. Lang Presents (1971) aka The Manipulator

The truly bizarre film B.J. Lang Presents (aka The Manipulator) was directed by Yabo Yablonsky and first came to my attention via a review in the outstanding publication Shock Cinema.

The film plays out with only three characters and for the most part tight and limited staging. As a counterpoint tons of camera effects, hyper editing, even strobe lights are used to add a crazed rush to the entire movie.

Mickey Rooney stars as a completely non compos mentis thespian who is operating under the false assumption that adoring folks are pestering him to perform the leading role in a staging of Cyrano de Bergerac. As he stumbles and growls through a set comprised of a warehouse of aging props and assorted debris we soon discover he is holding a woman he refers to as Carlotta (played by Easy Rider's Luana Anders) captive. Rooney chews the scenery with hardcore zeal as he forces her to act in his mini-productions while growing increasingly troubled. The only other character is a homeless man who wanders into the building looking for shelter and is played by Keenan Wynn.

The Christian Licorice Store (1971)

Director James Frawley gained my attention and interest for his involvement with two outstanding films: The Muppet Movie as well as the oddball U.S. filmed Western Kid Blue, starring Dennis Hopper, Warren Oates, and Peter Boyle. Prior to Kid Blue, Frawley directed this feature following a rising tennis star navigating life and games both on and off the court. The film's title The Christian Licorice Store is never mentioned or referenced in the film.

Beau Bridges stars as Los Angeles based budding tennis ace Franklin Cane with Maud Adams as his steady girlfriend. Allan Arbus and director Jean Renoir also appear as do many familiar faces in smaller roles. Lalo Schifrin delivers a soundtrack worthy of his storied reputation and Tim Buckley provides some songs too.