follow us in feedly
Particularly lurid exploitation film posters of the 50s, 60s and 70s
01.30.2016
12:44 pm

Topics:
Art
Movies

Tags:


The Black Klansman

Forty years before Chappelle’s Show made the joke, a black man spends his nights in a most curious manner…

This is a sampling from a private collection of rare, massive 40” x 60” posters that were printed on cardstock for drive-In movie theaters.  More posters and related merchandise are online at hautecampe.com (“Archeaologists of the Strange”).  All are for sale at auction until February 8, when the bidding closes.

Haute Campe offers a collection of original rare, vintage film posters from the 1940s-1970s originating mostly from drive-ins and grindhouse theaters. Most of the posters went through a single distributor called National Screen Service, hence the “property of N.S.S.” at the bottom of 99% of the movie posters printed in the 20th century!  While many posters were destroyed by the elements and others were pulled off the wall by collectors, a great many returned to the distributor’s archives and piled up for many many years. 

We were fortunate enough to be able to acquire a large part of the archives and the treasures were fantastic, including rarely-seen posters that were for small run promotions and exceedingly impossible to find sizes like the gorgeous and massive 40” x 60” silkscreens created for drive-in movie theaters.

This is just a selection from the first part of the alphabet…
 

Blood and Black Lace

Mario Bava directed this 1964 film that created the template for the “body count” slasher films of the 1980s.
 

Blood Bath

A 1966 stinker that started out in Yugoslavia as a spy film and—being judged unreleasable—had extra sequences filmed in Venice, California and was re-edited as a horror movie.
 
Many, many more movie posters, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The sound effects madman behind the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons
01.28.2016
09:24 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:


 
Tregoweth Edmond “Treg” Brown was the genius sound-effects wizard responsible for sound editing the Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons starting in 1936.

His musique concrète artistry worked directly in conjuction with Carl Stalling‘s hyper-active left-field orchestral scores to create the soundtrack to generations of kids lives. So many of these sounds are completely ingrained into our collective pop-cultured (un)consciousness. So much so, that reviewing some of the old Looney Tunes cartoons as an adult, you tend to ignore how utterly ridiculous the doinks and twangs are, for they sound totally natural in context—a testament to Brown’s flawless editing of sounds demanded by the images.
 

Treg Brown, editing in the studio
 
In addition to his incredible sound design which won him a Sound Effects Oscar in 1965 for The Great Race, Brown is also credited with giving legendary Warner Brothers’ voice actor Mel Blanc his big break.
 

The cartoon One Froggy Evening (1955), pays homage to Treg Brown. The skyscraper in which Michigan J. Frog is entombed is named the “Tregoweth Brown Building.”
 
After the jump, a loving a documentary tribute to Brown’s unforgettable work…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
The terrifying rejected ‘Exorcist’ soundtrack the director literally threw out a window
01.26.2016
07:59 am

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:


 
William Friedkin’s 1973 masterpiece, The Exorcist, was a landmark in horror cinema, a cultural phenomenon, and (if adjusting for inflation) the ninth highest-grossing film of all time.

The film makes minimal use of music—a stylistic choice which gives the film an air of stark realism despite the supernatural events depicted onscreen. Of the minimal music used in the film, most famous is Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells,” which went on to become a smash so huge that it essentially birthed the Virgin empire
 

Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells,” used as the main theme for ‘The Exorcist.’
 
Before Friedkin settled on Oldfield’s prog masterpiece, he had originally commissioned a score from Lalo Schifrin, who had famously done soundtrack work for Cool Hand Luke, Dirty Harry, and the instantly recognizable Mission Impossible TV show theme.
 

Composer/conductor, Lalo Schifrin
 
Schifrin’s atonal Exorcist score was very much in the vein of Krzysztof Penderecki (whose “Cello Concerto No. 1” of Polymorphia was used in the film’s final edit) with the addition of Bernard Herrmann-esque “fright stabs.”

This score was used in an advanced trailer which some have called the “banned trailer.” As the stories go, this trailer literally made audiences sick when it was shown. It’s unclear if the sounds and images were simply upsetting or if the flashing images actually caused seizures in some viewers.

Schifrin, speaking to Score Magazine revealed some of the history of his work and Friedkin’s reaction:

The truth is that it was one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life, but I have recently read that in order to triumph in your life, you may previously have some fails. What happened is that the director, William Friedkin, hired me to write the music for the trailer, six minutes were recorded for the Warner’s edition of the trailer. The people who saw the trailer reacted against the film, because the scenes were heavy and frightening, so most of them went to the toilet to vomit. The trailer was terrific, but the mix of those frightening scenes and my music, which was also a very difficult and heavy score, scared the audiences away. So, the Warner Brothers executives said Friedkin to tell me that I must write less dramatic and softer score. I could easily and perfectly do what they wanted because it was way too simple in relevance to what I have previously written, but Friedkin didn’t tell me what they said. I´m sure he did it deliberately. In the past we had an incident, caused by other reasons, and I think he wanted vengeance. This is my theory. This is the first time I speak of this matter, my attorney recommended me not to talk about it, but I think this is a good time to reveal the truth.


*snip*

Finally, I wrote the music for the film in the same vein as that of the trailer. In fact, when I wrote the trailer I was in the studio with Friedkin and he congratulated me for it. So, I thought i was in the right way… but the truth was very different.

According to Neil Lerner’s Music in the Horror Film: Listening to Fear, Friedkin had asked Schifrin for a score that “did not sound like music” and which was “tonal and moody.”

Reportedly, Friedkin was so displeased with the partial score that Schifrin had submitted that he literally threw it out of the studio window—mirroring the second story window ejections of Burke Dennings and Father Karras in the film. It’s no wonder Schifrin called it one of the “most unpleasant experiences” of his life. 

After the jump, hear the full terrifying (and rejected) Lalo Schifrin score for ‘The Exorcist’...

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘The Legend of Bruce Lee’: The little-known syndicated comic strip
01.25.2016
11:46 am

Topics:
Art
Media
Movies

Tags:


 
The world premiere of Enter the Dragon, the kung fu crossover hit, happened in Hong Kong on July 26, 1973, six days after Bruce Lee’s shocking death at the age of 32. Less than a month later the movie hit America, sparking a global sensation into that most charming of martial arts heroes.

The absence of Lee from his own worldwide phenomenon made it an inviting prospect for others to cash in. This led to the advent of “Bruceploitation,” analogous to the dozens of Beatles imitation LPs that were released in 1964 and 1965, in which “Lee-alikes” were cast in obvious imitations of signature Bruce Lee classics like Fists of Fury or Game of Death.

The kinetic skill of Bruce Lee doesn’t seem like the greatest starting point for a syndicated comic strip, but then again, that bizarre Amazing Spider-Man daily strip has been around for decades and is still going strong. At any rate, there were several attempts to do a Bruce Lee strip in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Actually, one of the widely acknowledged legends of cartooning, Milton Caniff, known for his work on Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon, almost got involved with a daily Bruce Lee strip. In 1977 he and Noel Sickles (of Scorchy Smith renown) produced at least one strip for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate before Caniff lost interest, which you can see below (click for a larger view):
 

 
According to Allan Holtz, author of American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide, “Caniff grew disgusted with what he considered nitpicky suggestions from the syndicate and dropped the project.”

However, five years later, in 1982, the Los Angeles Times Syndicate did run a Bruce Lee strip for approximately a year in “a vanishingly small number of newspapers,” as Holtz puts it. So don’t be too surprised if you missed it in your halcyon youth, it didn’t last very long and it wasn’t in too many papers.

The strip was called “The Legend of Bruce Lee.” It was written by Sharman DiVono, who was also penning the Star Trek strip at the time, and drawn by Fran Matera, who just a couple years later would commence on a 20-year run putting out Steve Roper and Mike Nomad. Later on the strip was taken over by Dick Kulpa.

Holtz is insightful on the reasons the Bruce Lee strip didn’t get wider distribution:
 

The small client list might seem odd given the devoted fandom for Bruce Lee. However, we must consider a few factors. First of all, newspaper editors were pretty much convinced that continuity strips were dead, so the strip had a lot of resistance to overcome. Secondly, the market was awash in media tie-in strips at that time—Spider-Man, Hulk, Dallas, Star Trek, Star Wars and others were all jockeying for newspaper space. Bruce Lee may have just seemed like the low man on that totem pole—popular with teens, certainly, but did he have the mass appeal to sell newspapers? Strips featuring much higher-profile media stars were just limping along as it was—why take a chance on a cult figure that many older readers had never heard of?

 
There aren’t too many images of “The Legend of Bruce Lee” out there, but I was able to score a few. First up is this gorgeous, full-color Sunday edition (in all cases, click for a larger view):
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Smoking pot leads straight to the whorehouse in ‘Seduction of the Innocent,’ 1960
01.22.2016
10:02 am

Topics:
Drugs
Movies

Tags:


 
I have in my possession a list of anti-drug instructional films prepared by the New Jersey Urban Schools Development Council in 1970. Along with such classics of the genre as Sonny Bono’s Marijuana, Paul Newman’s Bennies and Goofballs and the U.S. Navy’s LSD (in which Lt. Cmdr. Walt Miner asks: “Are you thinking something, or is the bulkhead thinking something?”), there are hidden gems like Scent of Danger, the Hobby Industry Association’s 1962 film about the perils of sniffing glue. The titles are just beautiful, and the copy of the plot summaries is better than a pulp novel, full of “fallen” women and “boys with weak personalities.” Even in this company, though, the lurid title and description of 1960’s Seduction of the Innocent jump off the page:

As the denouement approaches, [the protagonist] has lost her looks and can no longer command a call-girl’s fees. She takes to streetwalking. She is arrested and begins to experience withdrawal. The future holds little hope. Drug abuse, the narrator promises, “will lead to a life of hopelessness and degradation, until she escapes in death.”

 

Jeanette writhes in agony on the floor of her jail cell
 
In case any of our readers are considering smoking a marijuana cigarette, I have transcribed the film’s description of the narcotic’s effects below. However, reading the transcription is no substitute for watching the scene, which uses the zoom lens to illustrate the nightmarish loss of depth perception dope fiends regularly experience.

The smell and the taste are anything but pleasing. It makes you cough, and your throat becomes dry and hot. You feel like you’re floating. You concentrate on one object, a tree in the distance—it’s called “fixing.” As you concentrate, time slows down. You hallucinate, that is, you dream. This is called “tripping.” Your depth perception is affected. If you had to step off a curb or get out of a car, you would probably need help, because the distance might be exaggerated. On the other hand, distance might seem to diminish.

As with alcohol, the problems don’t disappear. They only temporarily seem to vanish, and return with jarring force when the effects of the drugs wear off. But when you get on narcotics, it’s like starting a never-ending downward tailspin from 30,000 feet. You become less sure of yourself, your surroundings, your friends. Quarrels are more frequent with your parents and loved ones. You try to convince yourself you’re right, but deep inside you know you’re not. You lose your sense of values. You think of little else but another “blow-up”—your newfound language for smoking marijuana.

Watch ‘Seduction of the Innocent’ after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘Pages of Death’: Long lost ‘Reefer Madness of porn’ smut scare-film has been found!
01.21.2016
11:35 am

Topics:
Hysteria
Movies
Sex

Tags:


 
Long considered a “lost film” (defined as a known work with no surviving copy), 1962’s Pages of Death was ranked number fourteen in Gambit magazine’s list of fifteen “lost” films.

A 16mm print of the film was recently discovered in the collection of the Portland, Oregon based Oregon Historical Society.

Writing in Vintage Sleaze, Jim Linderman describes Pages of Death as the story of a teenage boy who “hung out reading pornography at Baker’s Variety Store until he couldn’t stand it any longer and murdered a girl in a whipped up frenzy of smut inspired rage.”
 

 
Two self-righteous, anti-smut-crusading, Dragnet-esque police detectives investigate the “sex fiend” murder of an eleven-year-old girl. The trail leads them to the rec-room of a teenage boy and his extensive porn stash. BUSTED.
 

 
The cops pay a visit to the shop owner to let him know he’s culpable in the young girl’s murder for peddling smut. Wrap-around segments narrated by Heisman Trophy winner, Tom Harmon deliver the Citizens for Decent Literature‘s over-the-top message that nudie magazines turn young men into raging sex maniacs. The exact same stock music Ed Wood used for Plan 9 From Outer Space plays over the soundtrack during the investigation.

Pages of Death is a hilariously dated exercise in nostalgic sex-paranoia that has been described as the “Reefer Madness of porn.” The Oregon Historical Society should be commended for making this lost classic available to the public.

You can watch it here:

H/T: Reddit

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Charlie Chaplin on the set of ‘The Great Dictator’
01.19.2016
10:18 am

Topics:
Amusing
Heroes
Movies
Politics

Tags:

00Bgrtdchap00B.jpg
 
Even in these so-called enlightened times it’s not so unthinkable that some slobbering buffoon could be elected the leader of a great country to the detriment of its people, and indeed the entire world. In politics the unthinkable is always possible—and unfortunately such dangerous men often stand for election. You can recognize them by their speeches that play on fears and grievances and creates division thru trumped up accusations against anyone who disagrees with them—I’m sure you know the Trump type.

Charlie Chaplin was all too aware of the dangers of some twit being elected on a racist, xenophobic and downright nasty manifesto when he poked fun at Adolf Hitler in The Great Dictator. Though Chaplin was criticized by various countries (Germany, Britain) for being irresponsible while making his fascist satire, he was soon vindicated by the actions of Herr Hitler and the Second World War—though the great comedian and director later said he felt some regret about making the movie:

Had I known of the actual horrors of the German concentration camps, I could not have made The Great Dictator; I could not have made fun of the homicidal insanity of the Nazis.

On its release in 1940 The Great Dictator was an enormous success in the Allied countries—though not at all in Nazi Germany… The film was a rallying point for those who wanted to defeat the evils of Nazism. It helped people to laugh at the Nazis while at same time being made aware of the insidious dangers of voting a madman into power—a point still highly relevant today.

In the film, a Jewish barber is mistaken for the dictator Adenoid Hynkel and by chance ends up taking his place. At the end of the film, the barber addresses Hynkel’s army of followers with a speech about hope and humanity:

I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor – that’s not my business – I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that.

We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls – has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed….

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let’s use that power – let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfill their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Now that’s the kind of manifesto I’d vote for.
 
011grtdchap.jpg
 
003grtdchap.jpg
 
002grtdchap.jpg
 
014grtdchap.jpg
 
More photos of Chaplin as ‘The Great Dictator’ plus color footage, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The bathroom from ‘Room 237’ in ‘The Shining’ becomes the creepiest shower curtain of all time
01.18.2016
09:26 am

Topics:
Amusing
Movies

Tags:

The bathroom from
The bathroom from “Room 237” in The Shining is shower curtain
 
If you read Dangerous Minds on a regular basis, you know that myself and DM’s headmistress, Tara McGinley have a thing for shower curtains. But holy hell, if this isn’t the pinnacle of mind-fucking home decor, I don’t know what is because a shower curtain with the creepy green bathroom from Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1977 book, The Shining exists. Yikes!
 
The bathroom from
The actual bathroom from “Room 237” in The Shining
 
If you’ve seen The Shining, I’m guessing that this might be the LAST shower curtain you’d be inclined to hang in your bathroom given the scene that unfolded in that very room with Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) and the specter of a nude woman that quickly goes south. Of course, if you’re more like me, you probably think this is pretty much the coolest shower curtain that you’ve ever seen, and will be purchasing it immediately. “Room 237” the shower curtain will run you $79.99, and can be purchased here.

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Falkor from ‘The NeverEnding Story’ plush toy
01.18.2016
08:50 am

Topics:
Art
Movies

Tags:


 
How did I not know about this amazing handmade Falkor plush by Etsy shop GameGuardians? The Falkor plush toy made the Internet rounds last Spring and apparently the demand was so huge for the Luck Dragon, GameGaurdians simply couldn’t fill the orders (they can only make about 15 per month). According to a short statement on their page, they’re going to offer a Falkor pattern for sale in the near future.

I’m going to start also offering my pattern for sale with detailed instructions and pictures. That way people are encouraged to make their own adding their own creative touches or make as many as they can and sell them. Thanks everyone!

So there you have it. We’re going to have to wait for the pattern. I highly doubt I’d be able to make this on my own. I’d probably have to hire someone to do it for me.


 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Bruce Lee: Intimate photos of the martial arts legend and his young family
01.15.2016
10:44 am

Topics:
Heroes
Movies

Tags:

001bleefam1.jpg
 
Maybe it’s because I’ve become so used to seeing images of Bruce Lee from his movies—ripped, sweating and flashing his martial arts skills at some no good bad guy—that I find these photographs of Mr. Lee with his wife Linda and children Brandon and Shannon utterly charming.

Having grown-up with a wall covered in Bruce Lee posters and spent far too much time trying out nifty martial arts moves on anyone fool enough to let me, these pictures show Mr. Lee as just an ordinary Dad—doing what every doting parent does: playing with his kids, posing for that holiday portrait, showing off the newborn, or celebrating birthdays.

Of course, he would never dance like anyone else’s old man—as the mighty master of Jeet Kune Do was also an exquisitely graceful dancer who—in between waiting tables during his youth—gave dance classes. Which makes me think someone out there’s got a damn fine story to tell the grandkids about how Bruce Lee once taught them to dance the Cha-Cha-Cha.
 
002blee2.jpg
 
More of Bruce Lee and family, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Page 2 of 246  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›