An illustrated poster for 1971’s ‘The Erotic Adventures of Pinocchio.’
I’ve seen my fair share of what your Mom refers to as “dirty movies” in my lifetime and I’m sure most of our Dangerous Minds readers have too. As I also know that many of you have a thing for movie posters it is with particular amusement and pride that I bring to you a collection of illustrated movie posters advertising various ‘X-Rated’ films from the 1960s and 1970s. Pretty much no topic was off limits back then apparently. There was even an erotic flick based on the sexploits of Pinocchio. Which I suppose makes perfect sense when you think about it (ahem) long enough.
One of the more amusing aspects of these film posters is the cheesy tongue-in-cheek copywriting that accompanies the posters that’s supposed to help sell you on the idea that the Erotic Adventures of Pinocchio would be a good time because “his nose isn’t the only thing that grows!” A few others are also are based on stories originally conceived for kids such as Cinderella (“the sexiest comedy of 1977 Cinderella 2000”), Alice in Wonderland or 1969’s The New Adventures of Snow White which I believe I’m safe in assuming involves sexytime with at least seven dwarves. At least I hope it does.
If you’re digging them like I do most of the posters featured in this post can be purchased over at Heritage Auctions and other online auction sites. It should go without saying I wouldn’t be doing my job right if I didn’t say that many of the images in this post are NSFW. You already knew that, right?
An X-Rated musical version of ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ 1976.
Late last week PlayingLynch.com unlocked all their videos of John Malkovich recreating some of David Lynch’s most iconic characters. The Log Lady, Special Agent Dale Cooper, Mystery Man from Lost Highway, the Lady in the Radiator, Frank Booth, Henry Spencer and even Lynch himself.
Directed by Sandro Miller, the series of vingettes are excellent and I suggest you go to PlayingLynch.com to watch them all. I added the Eraserhead video, below, to give you a taste of what’s in store for you.
Cult movies aren’t made, they just happen. At least that’s the way it usually works. Films like Tommy Wiseau’s The Room or anything by Ed Wood weren’t intended to be so bad they’re good. They’re just the perfect shitstorm of ambition, imagination and zero talent. Their gratuitous shittiness made them great and they became cult hits after the fact. Movies that ended up on the midnight circuit were generally accidents of a demented and sublime nature– when artistic failure meets huge entertainment value.
The Greasy Strangler is ripe with cult film bonafides. Low-budget, transgressive, tasteless, hermetic, cheesy and nauseating, it’s a one-of-a-kind, jaw-dropping hilariously over-the-top mindfuck with a terrific soundtrack by Fuck Button’s Andrew Hung. The rare “cult” film that manages to conceal its self-consciousness under a barrage of laughter and inspired hideousness.
The poster art (see above) for the The Greasy Strangler pays homage to the Velvet Underground’s debut album - substituting a slimy hot dog for a banana - and the movie definitely has a punk rock vibe and a Warholian appreciation of pop culture trash.
In the guise of a slasher film, The Greasy Strangler is really a warped domestic comedy that deals with lots of issues–issues in the big “psychological” sense. Daddy issues, mommy issues, sex issues and explosive gastric issues. But whatever the subtext it’s all marinading in pools of vomit, jism, grease and blood. The Greasy Strangler belongs in the same bizarre world of John Waters, David Lynch, The Kuchar Brothers, and Ted V. Mikels. Movie-making that comes directly from the id to you. The meaning is in the mayhem.
Directed by British filmmaker Jim Hosking and starring Sky Elobar, Michael St. Michaels, and Elizabeth De Razzo, The Greasy Strangler is an unapologetic puke fest with a spastic lower intestinal tract and a heart of gold. Imagine a family sitcom shot deep in the bowels of Hell and you (kind of) get the picture. The Greasy Strangler puts the cleaver into Leave It To Beaver. It’s the feel bad feel good film of 2016. Murder means never having to say you’re sorry.
The Greasy Strangler opens today in theaters and is available to stream here. Please do check it out. “Grease” is the word. And I’m no bullshit artist.
The Mondo/Middle of Beyond folks are the kings of this shit, and they’ve delivered the goods yet again with these killer slasher movie sweaters.
On offer are sweaters depicting Michael Meyers from Halloween, Jason Voohees from Friday the 13th, and three different variants on Freddy Krueger’s iconic green and red striped sweater from A Nightmare of Elm Street. One of the Freddy sweaters is actually a spiffy cardigan. The same company also offers a Gremlins sweater (which we’ve profiled here before) that also comes in a cardigan version.
At $49 each, they aren’t exactly cheap, but I’ve purchased from these dudes before and will personally vouch for their quality.
Bad girl rule-breaker Tura Satana’s name is pretty much synonymous with the film that propelled her to fame as the ass-kicking, man eating “Varla,” Russ Meyer’s 1965 Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. And if you know anything about Satana’s background you already know that she lived up to one of her famous lines (which I’m riffing on here) in the flick by never trying anything. She just did it.
Born Tura Luna Pascual Yamaguchi in Hokkaido, Japan in 1938 (or 1935 according to some sources) both of Satana’s parents were performers. Her father (who was part Japanese and part Filipino) was an actor who appeared in silent films. Satana’s mother performed in circuses as a contortionist and was of a mix of Native American and Scottish descent which further contributed to Satana’s exotic and unique look.
After moving to the U.S. in 1942 when Tura was only four, she and her father were sent to an internment camp in California for Japanese-Americans where they lived for two years until they reunited with her mother in Chicago. As the feelings of resentment toward the Japanese were still high following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 Tura (as well as other U.S. residents of Japanese descent) was the object of harassment and routinely subjected to bullying at school. At the age of ten Tura was brutally gang-raped by a group of teenagers. Despite her age and the horrific magnitude of the crime the five assailants were never prosecuted for the despicable assault. As a response to help protect his child, Tura’s father apparently tutored her in various martial arts such as Aikido and Karate so that she would always be able to protect herself. According to Satana herself for her portrayal of Varla she drew from the internalized rage from her rape which would further immortalize her face-smashing character in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!.
Tura Satana as ‘Varla’ in Russ Meyer’s ‘Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!’
At thirteen, her parents entered her into an “arranged” marriage with a family friend John Satana that would end only nine months later while Tura was starting her career as an exotic dancer. Not long after her marriage ended Satana found her way to the city of broken dreams, Los Angeles and was quickly discovered while performing her special blend of burlesque dancing mixed with martial arts moves. She got her first acting role in the 1959 ABC television series Hawaiian Eye. This led to many other acting roles one of which was with one of Satana’s rumored love interests, director Billy Wilder in 1963’s Irma La Douce and a role that same year opposite Dean Martin (where she played a stripper) in Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed. And if super-groupie Pamela Des Barres is to be believed (detailed in her 2008 book Let’s Spend the Night Together: Backstage Secrets of Rock Muses and Supergroupies), it was Tura herself who taught The King, Elvis Presley (another of Satana’s boy toys) his signature dance moves.
Satana ditched her dance routines when California changed the laws governing exotic dancing which allowed clubs to require dancers appear topless and instead turned to straight jobs such as nursing, and in her later years even working as security detail for a Hilton casino in Reno, Nevada under the name “Tura Jurman” after marrying former police officer Endel Jurman in 1981. I’ve posted a variety of incredible photos of Satana from when she was known as “Miss Japan Beautiful” (a nickname that would follow her throughout her career) that were taken during her days as a burlesque dancer for you to oogle below. I’ve also included footage from Tura showing off her dance moves in the 1973 film The Doll Squad. Naturally since this is Tura Satana we are talking about, please assume that many of the images that follow are NSFW. Much like the woman herself.
Tura Satana in ‘Burlesque Magazine’ when she was only nineteen, 1957.
Fashion photographer Steven Sebring exhaustively documented Patti Smith’s wanderings for 11 years after her return to public life in 1995. Of his movie Dream of Life, which came out in 2008, Sebring says, “I want to turn people on to Patti Smith.”
Dream of Life is mostly black-and-white, quite impressionistic in style, and (unfortunately) stints on live performances of Smith on stage. Nevertheless, it’s a fascinating portrait of one of the most important figures of the NYC downtown scene that blossomed in the 1970s.
Camille Dodero wrote an amusing stanza (in Smith’s voice) about this movie in the Village Voice. It goes like this:
As long as I can remember I sought to be free
Bob Dylan once tuned this guitar for me
My mission is to give people my energy
Fred, Jesse, and Jackson are my family tree
New generations, rise up, rise up, take to the streets
Me and Flea talking about pee.
In Dream of Life Patti jams and reminisces backstage with her old lover Sam Shepard, visits her parents in New Jersey and has some burgers with them, and has an amusing conversation with the bassist Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Her admiration for Allen Ginsberg, Rimbaud, and Dylan is a constant. And I’m pretty sure she invented the Salvation Army look that has been fashionable for some time.
That grand guy, satirist, novelist and screenwriter Terry Southern (who wrote, among other things Dr. Strangelove, Barbarella, The Magic Christian, Candy and Easy Rider) reflected on a two-month assignment working as a fiction editor at Esquire magazine:
“...before my tenure was done I had so refined my critical faculties that I could reject a story after reading the first paragraph. Then it got to be the first sentence. Finally, I felt I could safely reject on the basis of title, and at last on the basis of the author’s name—if it had a middle initial or a junior in it. Under this system I lost a few things by Vonnegut and Selby… but I never claimed it was perfect.”
I feel the same way about movie trailers: If they don’t grab me by the first 30 seconds, I mean, why should I bother to watch 90 minutes if this is all they got?
Something tells me that even Terry Southern—perhaps especially Terry Southern—would wholeheartedly approve of this outrageous new trailer for Jordan Peele’s upcoming horror comedy Get Out. The film will drop—like an atom bomb if this hilariously tweaked trailer is any indication—in February of 2017.
Just watch it.
Watch it now.
Despite legitimately heartening developments like the legalization of same-sex marriage, it gets easier every day to arrive at the cynical conclusion that social progress in the United States just might be impossible because the troglodytes have at last reached critical mass. Look at something as fundamental to democracy as the vote: since the Supreme Court’s shocking 2013 evisceration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, new onerous and racially-applied voter suppression laws are being trail-ballooned to take the place of long-outlawed tactics like poll taxes and literacy tests, all to ensure that African Americans can’t vote in significant enough numbers to topple white hegemony. And if people of color are excluded from the voter rolls, they can’t serve as jurors, ensuring not just the continuation but the strengthening of our nation’s enduring tradition of judicial outcomes that are skewed dramatically against non-whites.
(Before some “Party of Lincoln” troll points it out: yes, the Republicans used to be the somewhat less racist major party. That changed in 1964 and it’s been the party of white bigotry ever since. You’ve had 52 years to figure that out, and if you haven’t yet, you need to permanently shut your wronghole.)
The long and the short of all this is that if things continue going south (seewhatididthere) America might experience another Selma.
There’s a good reason that Selma, AL became a significant locus in the Civil Rights Movement, especially as regards voting rights. Selma in the early ‘60s was half black, but only 1% of black citizens were registered to vote. It’s not that they were disinterested. Besides the literacy test, Klan violence and other extra-legal disincentives to registration were widespread, and the registration office was only open two days a month, at difficult hours. By 1964, when serious voter drives were happening in black communities, a judge actually enjoined against organizing. The official nationwide desegregation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did little for voting rights, so activists organized a march from Selma to Alabama’s capital city of Montgomery. That march took place on Sunday, March 7th, 1965, and due to the unhinged brutality of the attacks on demonstrators by state troopers and county deputies, all basically acting under the aegis of the notorious segregationist Governor George Wallace, that day is forever known as Bloody Sunday.
Two weeks later, on Sunday the 21st, the march was attempted again. This time, the National Guard protected the marchers from violence by county and state authorities (and enthusiastic amateurs). About 3,000 people started the march in Selma—many of whom had traveled from around the country, shocked by the images of Bloody Sunday they’d seen in the news. By the time the marchers arrived safely in Montgomery, the demonstration’s population approached 25,000. The Voting Rights Act passed and was signed by President Lyndon Johnson later that year. And every hero who shed blood in the name of equality on Bloody Sunday was spat on by the SCOTUS in 2013 when they rendered that law utterly toothless.
To tie that history to contemporary perspectives on voting rights in America, documentary filmmaker Brian Jenkins, previously known for the vinyl-freak ode Records Collecting Dust (which you’ve perhaps read about on this very blog), has made Answering the Call. Jenkins’ uncle John Witeck was among those who heeded Dr. King’s plea for support in March of 1965; he marched on the so-called “Turnaround Tuesday” march on the 9th, and remained in Selma for other protests leading up to the final march to Montgomery, an experience which wound up catalyzing a lifetime’s work for social progress. For Answering the Call, he returned to Alabama with his nephew and a camera crew.
The doc doesn’t just trace the history of black disenfranchisement, it’s engaged in the now. With a racially-charged (to say the LEAST) presidential election fast approaching, the issue has reached new heights of urgency, and it’s amazing to hear the Secretary of State of Alabama letting NASTY racist dog-whistles fly so freely while discussing the franchise. I’m perpetually, existentially disheartened that we still have to be struggling over the exact same shit after half a century—Alabama’s Constitution remains loaded with segregationist provisions. They’re currently unenforceable thanks to federal laws that supersede them, but given the right SCOTUS, that could change shockingly quickly.
Asked for a statement on the film, director Jenkins responded to Dangerous Minds in an email exchange:
Only 60% of eligible voters in the United States will turn out on election day for a presidential election (even less for midterm and primary elections). I’m sympathetic to the 40% who choose not to participate but I’d like to pose the question, “If voting doesn’t matter, then why is the Republican Party working so hard to keep us from the polls?” Whether it’s gerrymandering, voter ID laws, eliminating early voting and same day registration, or switching up polling locations at the last minute, the GOP has made access to the polls a primary target and priority since the election of Barack Obama.
I had the chance to sit down with Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and discuss the controversy surrounding the state’s voter ID law and it’s recent decision to close 31 DMV locations across the state—which made it even more difficult to register and vote in Alabama. Voting is a right guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. So to hear a Secretary of State refer to this right as a “privilege” is deeply troubling and wrong.
An action shot of Rainman’s sculpt of ‘Norman Bates’ (famously played by actor Anthony Perkins) from the 1960 film by Alfred Hitchcock, ‘Psycho.’
As today marks the third day of October a month that brings out everyone’s inner ghoul, I thought it was high time I shared the latest collection of work from the talented sculptor known as “Rainman” called “Murderer” which features one of cinema’s best-known cross-dressing slashers, Norman Bates and of course Norman’s attic-dwelling mother.
Whatever character Rainman takes on he does with excruciating detail and his “Murderer” collection is almost perfect as the talented artist has once again created custom-sculpted action figures that look so much like the real thing it’s hard to comprehend that they are not. Rainman has even perfected Bate’s famously maniacal half-scowl/homicidal grin from the last scene in Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho that looks so genuine it will send chills down your spine. The only thing missing from Rainman’s spendy “Murderer” collection is a figure based on Janet Leigh’s portrayal of Bate’s object of desire, runaway thief Marion Crane clad in her bullet bra and sensible slip, clutching her stash of cash. To make up for that there are a few choice extras in this collection, such as a fantastic bust of Alfred Hitchcock and some rather disturbing sculpts of Norman’s mother in various advanced states of decay.
I’ve blogged on DM about Rainman’s figures in the past and as usual due to the small quantity of sets the artist produces and his extensive fan base that pretty much follows Rainman’s every move, they sell out practically overnight after they are released. Which is sadly the case with all three of Rainman’s sets based on Psycho (despite their hefty price tags that run from $720-$1500 each). So if this is your kind of thing I’d keep up with Rainman because it is a safe bet that the incredibly talented Korean artist will once again come up with a figure collection that will blow minds (as well as a hole in your wallet). Images follow (some are NSFW).
“This is where all my dreams become realities, and some of my realities become dreams.” American artist and banjo player Harper Goff (1911-1993) was a man of many talents with an extraordinary imagination. He set the standard for camouflage colors during WWII, laid the foundation for the Steampunk revolution, conceptualized Disneyland alongside Walt Disney, and created the unforgettable set for Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. However, due to issues with his union card Harper remains uncredited for nearly his entire life’s work.
Living in New York City, Harper Goff worked as a magazine illustrator for Collier’s, Esquire, and National Geographic. Harper’s techniques as well his imagination were groundbreaking even early on. In his paintings, he often refused to use modeling talent but instead incorporated real life village citizens into the details of his colorful works. Friends, family, and neighbors traveled to exotic beachfront estates and vacation spots around the world courtesy of Harper Goff, half of them never even realizing it. During his service in WWII while Harper was working on a do-it-yourself painters kit he was approached by the U.S. Army to develop a set of paint colors that would become the new standard for camouflage. Near the end of the war, he was transferred to the U.S. Navy where his razzle dazzle technique helped confuse the silhouettes of ships taking the idea of camouflage to a whole new level.
When Harper moved to California to work for Warner Brothers Studios he became a set designer on films such as Casablanca, Sergeant York, Charge of the Light Brigade, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Errol Flynn classic Captain Blood. It was while working as an Art Director on Kirk Douglas’ The Vikings that director William Wyler saw in Goff a “character type” and began casting him as an actor. “I showed up wearing a beard, they figured I’d make a good Nordic,” said Harper, who would end up heaving a battle axe at his blonde viking wife in the film. Harper made dozens of appearances in film and television as an actor much to the amusement of his real life blonde wife Flossie. In 1951, while shopping in a London model railroad shoppe Harper had a chance encounter with Walt Disney when they both expressed a mutual interest in purchasing the same model train.
“He turned to me and said, ‘I’m Walt Disney. Are you the man that wanted to buy this engine?’ Well, I almost fell over. He asked me what I do for a living, and I told him that I was an artist. Walt said, ‘I’ve heard of you, but I can’t recall where.’” It turned out Walt Disney had seen some of Harper’s illustrations in Esquire magazine and had always admired them. Disney said, “Give me a call me when you get back to the States.” Ultimately Walt bought the locomotive and hired Harper to illustrate the earliest concept artwork and renderings for his proposed “Mickey Mouse Park” (originally intended to be constructed in Burbank). “I liked the idea of working with Walt Disney, and when I called him he began to explain his idea for a kiddie-land near the Studio — perhaps with a steam train connected to Traveland across the L.A. River. He wanted to build something adults could enjoy along with their children.”
Walt sent Harper on a three-month “information gathering” journey to amusement parks all across the United States. “They were dirty places and it was hard to imagine what Walt had in mind creating. I said to him when I got back, ‘Walt, I don’t think this type of environment is what you want,’ and he replied, ‘Mine will be immaculate and the staff will be young and polite,’ then I realized he could do it.” Orange County was eventually chosen as the site for Disneyland and Harper, who was dubbed the “Second Imagineer” envisioned the look and feel of the theme park. Harper used his hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado as the main influence for Disneyland’s City Hall, and his Art Director experience on the film Calamity Jane to design the Golden Horseshoe Saloon.
Harper Goff’s influence on the Adventureland portion of the theme park cannot be overstated, particularly on the ride the Jungle Cruise. In Harper’s own words: “We began to think of hippos and other animals which could be operated without wires and still have animated elements. We brought in Bob Matte, who later created the shark for Jaws to engineer the original animals. I also worked with Bill and Jack Evans on buying expeditions for the landscaping. We would call cities to see if they were tearing out trees for improvements and go and buy them — we got many that way.” While making trips back and forth between Burbank and the Evans and Reeves Nursery in West L.A. they’d pass a house in Beverly Hills that had spectacular tree in the front yard. Harper and Jack believed it’d be the perfect finishing touch to the Jungle Cruise ride. “Finally, I thought what have we got to lose, and I had Jack Evans stop while I went in to ask the people if they would consider selling it. I told the owner we would replace it with a flowerbed or anything they wanted and surprisingly enough the owner told me yes — it was blocking the sunlight and view coming through his windows and we could just come and take it away… it was the tree that went around the original Burmese Temple, and we got it for nothing.”