A young Tim Burton was employed straight out of CalArts by Walt Disney Productions studios, but his idiosyncratic talents did not easily mesh with the Disney house style of that era.
Burton chafed at the staid work he was expected to turn out as an animator and storyboard artist on films like The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron and Tron. To blow off steam, he made some short films, including the little known Doctor of Doom, a purposefully bad homage to Mexican horror movies (the title refers to René Cardona’s mad scientist/wrestling film of the same name).
Burton plays the title character. The deliberately bad voice-over was performed by Oscar-winning animator Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille). Doctor of Doom was co-directed by Jerry Rees, who later produced Space Jam and designed more Disney theme park attractions than anyone else.
More epic brilliance from the geniuses at the Alamo Drafthouse.
If you live in the Austin area or if you’re planning on being here Friday, May 18, this a must-see event.
Alamo Drafthouse and Film School Rejects will be screening a brand new 35mm print of The Road Warrior preceded by a Thermonuclear Death Race - four cars in a demolition derby! The shit hits the fan at the Thunderhill Raceway. Only the strong and the weird survive.
Here’s some vintage demolition derby film footage to get you in the mood. It ain’t thermonuclear, but it’s pretty damn hot.
This really happened today: Somewhere “in the middle of Ohio,” the aptly named New York-based indie rock band Here We Go Magic picked up film director John Waters who had stuck out his thumb on an interstate highway ramp. Via DCist:
Update 2:45 p.m.: Band member Michael Bloch tells us, “There’s a hydro-fracking boom in western Pennsylvania. You can’t get a motel room. We had to drive til 4AM, and finally found a Days Inn in eastern Ohio. Getting back on the highway this morning, there was a man at the side of the on-ramp with a sign that read ‘to the end of Rte 70.’ Jen wanted to pick him up, but we drove past him. As we passed by, our sound guy said ‘John Waters.’ Luke said, ‘Yep, definitely John Waters.’ We got off at the next exit and circled back. He was still there. We pulled up, opened the door and asked where he was coming from. ‘Baltimore,’ he said. And we said ‘Get in, sir.’ “
Your favorite James Bond tends to be the one you saw first. I saw Sean Connery first in a double bill of Thunderball and You Only Live Twice, at the Astoria Cinema, Edinburgh. This was soon followed by Diamonds are Forever at the Playhouse. Of course, Connery being Scots means I am probably biased, but his Bond had what made the series work best - sophistication, humor and thrills.
If it came to a second choice? Well, Moore never seemed sure if he was playing Simon Templar or Lord Brett Sinclair, and by Octopussy, he was cast as a sub-Flashman character in a dismal script by Flashman author, George MacDonald Fraser. Timothy Dalton was too dull and way too serious, perhaps he should have played it more like Simon Skinner, a slightly unhinged secret service man with a license to kill. Pierce Brosnan was good but deserved far better scripts - his Bond should have eliminated the scriptwriters. And as for Daniel Craig - started well, but he looks like he’s in a different film franchise.
For me George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the only possible second choice. He tried to make his Bond more humane, and kept much what was best in Connery’s interpretation. He was also assisted by a cracking script by Richard Maibaum (additional dialog by Simon “the mind of a cad and the pen of an angel” Raven); an excellent supporting of Diana Rigg as Countess Tracy di Vicenzo, and Telly Savalas as Ernst Stavro Blofeld; and one of the best opening theme tunes (and a glorious song sung by Louis Armstrong) of the series by John Barry.
Yet no matter what Lazenby did, or how good the film, he faced the momentous task of filling a role made by Sean Connery, and he was damned by a lot of critics for it. In this rarely seen interview, George Lazenby talks about the difficulties faced in making On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the rumors, the on-set niggles and why he was banned for growing a beard. First broadcast on the BBC, February 4th, 1970.
A behind-the-scenes report on the making of The Horror of Frankenstein, Hammer Film’s seventh Frankenstein movie, and their first without Peter Cushing playing the eponymous Baron. This time the role was taken-up by Ralph Bates, who added a certain amount of loucheness to Victor. The film also marked, what has lately been described (see The Ultimate Hammer Collection) as a “bold departure into comedy horror”, which it is, and therefore slightly misfires, undermining the films more horrific elements. But still, there is much to enjoy in The Horror of Frankenstein - Bates’ performance, the always watchable Dennis Price, and great supporting roles portrayed by Kate O’Mara, Jon Finch (soon to be Polanski’s MacBeth), Veronica Carlson, and Dave (Darth Vader) Prowse, who looks as if his make-up as the monster inspired the Kirgan’s in Highlander. Even Cushing makes a cameo on the doctor’s slab.
I am great fan of Cushing, who could be both polite and menacing, a rare talent, and he was never less than convincing in any role he played. Here in an interview Cushing discusses his thoughts about Baron Victor Frankenstein, while Bates discusses his approach to the role. First broadcast on the BBC April 28th, 1970.
Faye Dunaway is one hot mess in Frank Perry’s cinematic turd in the punchbowl. Happy Mother’s Day.
No… wire… hangers. What’s wire hangers doing in this closet when I told you: no wire hangers EVER? I work and work ‘till I’m half-dead, and I hear people saying, “She’s getting old.” And what do I get? A daughter… who cares as much about the beautiful dresses I give her… as she cares about me. What’s wire hangers doing in this closet? Answer me. I buy you beautiful dresses, and you treat them like they were some dishrag. You do. Three hundred dollar dress on a wire hanger. We’ll see how many you’ve got if they’re hidden somewhere. We’ll see… we’ll see. Get out of that bed. All of this is coming out. Out. Out. Out. Out. Out. Out. You’ve got any more? We’re gonna see how many wire hangers you’ve got in your closet. Wire hangers, why? Why? Christina, get out of that bed. Get out of that bed. You live in the most beautiful house in Brentwood and you don’t care if your clothes are stretched out from wire hangers. And your room looks like some two-dollar-a-week furnished room in some two-bit back street town in Okalahoma. Get up. Get up. Clean up this mess.
Zilla Minx of Rubella Ballet has put together a wonderful documentary that tells the story of the women who pioneered the British punk rock scene. This is a vital film that brings some balance to the lopsided male-centric history of punk.
Featuring women punk rockers from bands of the era including Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex, Vi Subversa of Poison Girls, Eve Libertine & Gee of Crass, Gaye Black of The Adverts, Michelle of Brigandage,Ruth & Janet of Hagar The Womb and journalists, authors and photographers Julie Burchill and Caroline Comb and more. This film includes interviews with the following women & rare footage of their 1980 s live punk gigs. Poly Styrene: Lead vocalist, X-Ray Spex. Gee Vaucher: Art Work, Crass. Eve Libertine: Vocals, Crass. Gay Black: Bass Player, The Adverts. Vi Subversa: Lead Vocalist & guitarist, Poison Girls. Julie Burchill. Author, Journalist. Lou Moon: Lead Vocalist, Evil I. Caroline Coon: Manager, Slits & The Clash, Journalist/Artist Zillah Minx: Lead Vocalist, Rubella Ballet Michelle: Lead Vocalist, Brigandage Helen Of Troy: Actress and Vocalist, FU2 Justine: Violinist, Grechen Hoffner Olga Orbit: Keyboards, Youth in Asia Nettie Baker: Author. Ruth & Janet: Vocalist & Guitarist, Hagar The Womb Rachel Minx: Bass player, Rubella Ballet Kara Minx: Child ballet dancer, Rubella ballet Mary: Bodyguard to Poly-Styrene.”
Watch it on Dangerous Minds and then buy it here. Support D.I.Y. films.
The story behind the 1977 Topps Star Wars # 207 C-3PO trading card (known as the “boner” card) is that a pissed-off Topps graphics designer decided to give C-3P0 a hard-on and a couple thousand copies of the card were produced and released to the public before the prank was discovered. Of course, the card is a collectible and you can buy one now on eBay for a mere 19 bucks.
Might make a nice gift for that Star Wars fan in your life.