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That time Bill Murray interviewed William S. Burroughs on Ken Kesey’s farm


Bill Murray, Ken Kesey, and the video crew at the First Perennial Poetic Hoo-Haw, 1976 (photo by Clyde Keller)
 
“Everybody with his fucking hand out,” William S. Burroughs slurs, deep in his cups. He and Bill Murray are discussing the custom of bribing officials when traveling south of the border.

Murray calculates how much it will cost to keep things friendly in TJ. “We figure we’d buy off everybody in Tijuana, just give ‘em two dollars every time they came by.”

Burroughs shakes his head. “No, listen—as soon as you give ‘em two dollars, the next time they come back, they want four dollars. It’s geometric!” He pulls another smoke from his pack of Senior Service. “See, you do not get rid of people by giving them money.”

The occasion, I learn from RealityStudio, was Ken Kesey’s First Perennial Poetic Hoo Haw, held on Kesey’s farm and the University of Oregon campus in June 1976. Photographer Clyde Keller says Murray was there as part of the crew from Eugene’s KVAL-TV, and the gig may also have been related to Murray’s work with the TVTV video collective. Too bad the clip of this historic meeting, with Murray in between The National Lampoon Radio Hour and Saturday Night Live, is only a minute long.

But wait—there’s more! Keep scrolling down for the full, hour long documentary Murray and crew shot at the Hoo Haw, which turned up on YouTube about a week ago. The video includes the moment Burroughs and Murray met in Kesey’s blueberry patch, Burroughs’ reading of “When Did I Stop Wanting to Be President,” and performances by Anne Waldman, Allen Ginsberg, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Watch it all, after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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01.19.2018
10:46 am
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‘The Vampire Happening’: Probably the weirdest blood-sucking fest you’ll see all day

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During these cold dark winter nights, I’ve been catching up on some those still-to-be-read literary classics like Biggles Flies Undone, Where’s Dildo? and improving my vocabulary by watching reruns of Deadwood. In between such high-brow pursuits, my time has been thinly spread like Jell-o enjoying way too many bad European horror movies. My current favorite (and by favorite I mean: “Film so bad I have to share it with people I don’t know”) is The Vampire Happening or Gebissen wird nur nachts, to give its proper title in German which translates as Bitten at Night.

This (weak) comedy-horror from 1971 was directed by the legendary director/cameraman Freddie Francis, who helmed quite a few classic horror films like The Skull, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, Tales from the Crypt, The Creeping Flesh, and Legend of the Werewolf. He also won an Oscar for his cinematography on Jack Cardiff’s Sons and Lovers and worked as a cinematographer with the likes of David Lynch (The Elephant Man, Dune) and Martin Scorsese (Cape Fear). Francis had the credentials but he didn’t always make the right choices especially if he had to make a buck. Like The Vampire Happening which Francis signed-up to direct after a deal to make a big-budget American movie fell through. It was perhaps an odd choice, as the movie was a kind of vanity project by producer Pier A. Caminnecci for his then-wife actress Pia Degermark to star in.

Degermark also had some good credentials. She was best known for her critically-acclaimed and award-winning performance in Elvira Madigan in 1967, but not much interesting work had followed, other than say, The Looking Glass War sourced from John Le Carre’s novel. In 1971, Francis was given the task of directing Degermark in a hybrid comedy-horror featuring considerable nudity, lewd innuendo, and vague allusions to classical literature—the scriptwriters freely “adapted” some plot lines from Théophile Gautier‘s short story “La Morte Amoureuse.” Yet, such lofty ambitions were quickly leveled by the quality of the script which reaches a height of wit with the following repartee:

“Human sex,” enquires Count Dracula (Ferdy Mayne), “what do you say about that?” “Well,” comes the reply from Betty Williams (Pia Degermark), “It’s a helluva lot better than blood-sucking…”

One of the reviews for The Vampire Happening described the film as something Francis produced while channeling Ken Russell—which is unfair on Russell—though it does capture some of the more wacky and surreal imagery contained in the film. The story concerns a young actress Betty Williams (Pia Degermark) who inherits an old family castle in Transylvania unaware the place is still home to her vampire ancestor Baroness Catali (also played by Degermark). It sounds like a good idea. But add in a horny monk (who makes a few some nods to Jenny Agutter eroticizing trees in Nic Roeg’s Walkabout), an incompetent beau, a confused faithful retainer, a kind of swinging sixties “happening” and some truly atrocious dubbing, then all intentions towards making something smart are left way behind.

That said, it’s still a diverting 100 minutes with a groovy soundtrack by Jerry van Rooyen. So, if you’re in the mood for eating a lot of popcorn then you can watch the whole movie (after a selection of lobby cards and the trailer to whet your appetite…).
 
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Watch ‘The Vampire Happening,’ after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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01.17.2018
11:53 am
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Bleeding hearts and lovesick slashers: Horror-themed ‘Vile Valentines’


A Valentine’s Day card designed by Dr. Jose of Camera Viscera based on the 1990 flick, ‘Frankenhooker.’
 
Though I hate to admit it, I am, in fact, a grownup. I also happen to know most adults are not in the habit of sending out Valentine’s Day cards, though you would be hard-pressed to believe this was the case after a quick trip down the greeting-card aisle of any local drugstore this time of year. I, however, like to throw a monkey wrench of sorts into events such as Valentine’s Day by breaking the rules and doing something different—and I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. Like the “Vile Valentines” I recently came across while in search of amusing anti-Valentine’s Day inspiration.

Dr. Jose, the curator and owner of website Camera Viscera started making the “Vile Valentines” featured in this post in 2015, and they were quite the hit with horror fans. Dr. Jose’s Valentines feature brightly colored images from classic horror slashers like My Bloody Valentine (1981), and campy horror flicks such as Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988), and 1990’s Frankenhooker. The best thing about Dr. Jose’s cards is they have been provided to all us sick freaks for FREE. All you have to do is click here, or here, select the card you want to print and voilà! You now have your very own Vile Valentine to give to the one you love (or like just a little). I’ve posted images of Dr. Jose’s horrifying messages of love below—some are slightly NSFW.
 

A Valentine based on the 1986 film starring Jeff Goldblum, ‘The Fly.’
 

A Valentine featuring a creepy image of actor Donald Sutherland from the 1978 film ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers.’
 

Actress Mia Farrow on a Valentine homaging the 1968 film ‘Rosemary’s Baby.’
 
More Vile Valentines, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.17.2018
10:59 am
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Photoplay Editions: A forgotten generation of movie tie-ins and novelizations


 
Everyone loves paperback movie tie-in novels. If you don’t, you really should. From their accessible prices and lurid covers to their not-always-screen-accurate content, this literary genre has provided joy for its fans for many decades. Reaching its peak in the 1970s as mass-market paperbacks along with genre novels of the romance, horror and sci-fi variety, the popular conception of media tie-in literature has been that it belongs to the more contemporary era of film and television work. Pop culture fandoms and collector advocacy have accelerated the idea that film novelizations are a recent phenomenon. Due to the observable vividness of their covers and the familiarity (or fucked-up bizarreness) of many of their titles,  the movie tie-in paperbacks published from the 1950s onwards have become the standard by which we define the “movie novelization” or “movie tie-in” paperback.

A few useful definitions: a novelization is a book based on a cinematic property. The writer uses an early version of the script or screenplay and, like movie tie-ins, these works are active parts of the film’s marketing. Tie-in novels are re-publications of previously written literary properties that films have adapted but with a “tie-in” feature to the upcoming movie. This could be a new title, a star on the book cover, etc. If a studio has changed the name of said book, the tie-in will carry the new name, not the original literary title (although the original name might be there as a “formerly known as”). A tie-in will also refer to books written after a film’s release in order to continue making money off the film property but have no connection to previously written literature. Both novelizations and tie-ins are pretty interesting. Obviously, some are more faithful to the, uh, original material than others. 

Novelizations and tie-in paperbacks are still some of the most widely available of such items due to their large publication runs. You could buy them anywhere, put them in your back pocket, and they were cheap (in quality and in price). These titles, from the most cultish to the most famous, are the most talked about, well-known and collected movie-related books. Some of the older titles have even been reprinted. But these works were not the first in movie tie-in history. For that, you’ll have to start in the silent film era.

From the 1910s into the 1940s, Grosset & Dunlap and A.L. Burt were two of the main publishers of what are known as Photoplay Editions. This title came, of course, from the fact that they were designed to be released in tandem with the photoplays (aka films) that they were connected with. Yes, these were the first novelizations and movie tie-ins. These hardcover volumes had a similarity to their paperback brethren: they were rather plain on the inside. There was no gilding, no special binding, no ribbon bookmarks or dignified artwork, unlike many books of the time. On the other hand, they did include pictures from the film!!! Cool, right? These books were a brilliant marketing concept and the money the publishers saved on the fancy binding and silk endpapers? That got spent on the MIND BLOWING book jacket art.
 

 

 
The most incredible part of these Photoplay Editions is that many still exist whereas the actual films they were promoting are considered lost. As a film archivist, I get the same tired jokes about finding Tod Browning’s London After Midnight (1927) all the time. Look, if it happens? You’ll be the first to know. But it won’t. The closest we may get is the beautiful Photoplay Edition that was released in conjunction with the film. And London isn’t the only lost film that we still have the book for. Murnau’s Four Devils (1928) also exists. And many more. Photoplay Editions are a virtual treasure trove- for movie tie-in fans, for film nerds, for art lovers. Enjoy these images!
 

 

 
More movie tie-ins and novelizations, after the jump…

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Posted by Ariel Schudson
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01.16.2018
04:29 pm
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Bond girls are forever: Seductive trading cards featuring 007’s femme fatales


A trading card featuring Swiss actress Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder in 1962’s ‘Dr. No.’
 

“James? Take me ’round the world one more time.”

—Holly Goodhead (played by actress Lois Chiles) in Moonraker, 1979

The cultural phenomenon surrounding fictional British Secret Service agent James Bond started in 1953 when author Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel Casino Royale was published. Over the course of the next 65 years, Fleming’s books and short stories featuring the exploits of James Bond would become blockbuster films which made actors like Sean Connery and Daniel Craig into international stars. As legendary as Bond is, the women 007 found himself entangled with (in more ways than one) are just as legendary.

In 2003 trading card maker Rittenhouse put out a set of Bond trading cards called Bond Girls are Forever. Each pack contained twenty different black and white images of Bond girls along with their character name and another photo on the back. This collection was a companion set to the super groovy lenticular card set Women of James Bond in Motion. Additional cards related to the series saw the light of day in other Bond-themed card sets such as The Quotable James Bond, Dangerous Liaisons, and The Complete James Bond.

Here’s the thing—if you’re into collecting trading cards some of the ones I’ve mentioned in this post can be elusive and expensive once/if you track them down. This is especially true when it comes to the Bond Girls Are Forever set which I’ve seen going for nearly 500 bucks on eBay. In the case of Ursula Andress and her famous white bikini from Dr. No, Andress’ single card can run you more than 70 dollars—or roughly the price of an actual bikini.

A selection of Bond girl trading cards below—some are slightly NSFW.
 

The iconic Grace Jones as May Day from 1985’s ‘A View to a Kill.’
 

Bonita the belly dancer at the El Scorpio night club played by actress Nadja Regin in the pre-title sequence of the 1964 James Bond film ‘Goldfinger.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.15.2018
10:49 am
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‘The Defector’: The disappearance of an Australian Prime Minister
01.12.2018
11:12 am
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In December 1967, during the height of the Cold War, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared while swimming off Cheviot Beach, near Point Nepean, Victoria. Holt was a strong swimmer, enjoyed scuba-diving and spear-fishing and was in robust health. His disappearance led to one of “the largest search operations in Australian history.” Holt visited the beach with four friends, but only one of the group, Alan Stewart, went into the water with the Prime Minister. While Stewart kept close to the shoreline, Holt swam out into deeper waters. Eyewitnesses recalled seeing Holt swim then drift like “a leaf being taken out” as he was caught by the riptide and pulled towards the dangerous waters of the Heads. Despite the police search, Holt’s body has never been found.

In 1968, the police released a report which made no definitive findings on Holt’s “disappearance.” This led to various conspiracy theories filling the column inches like the suggestion Holt had committed suicide or that he had been assassinated by the CIA as dirty commie-sympathizer or that he was collected by a commie submarine and had defected to China. This last one led to the book The Prime Minister Was A Spy which claimed Holt had been a “sleeper” working for the Chinese since 1929. When Australian Intelligence Services discovered the (alleged) truth about Holt, the Chinese quickly arranged to have the PM taken out of the country.

Eventually, 2005, a coroner’s court returned a verdict of accidental death—but the rumors and theories about Holt’s disappearance did not stop.
 
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So now comes filmmaker Scott Mannion‘s fictional take The Defector which owes a small bit to some of the theories already mentioned and a big bit of imagination. It’s a well-conceived and beautifully crafted short film which is most likely a calling card to a larger feature. According to Mannion, The Defcetor has already caused quite a storm and has apparently been “banned” in China—read into that what you will.
 
Watch after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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01.12.2018
11:12 am
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Cult Movies and Big Screen Idols: Covers to ‘Films and Filming’ magazine
01.11.2018
12:35 pm
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Joe Dallesandro, April 1971.
 
Films and Filming was a middle-brow, high-quality monthly movie magazine published in the UK between October 1953 to March 1990. It was a special interest magazine for film-lovers who thought “Picturegoer unsatisfying and Sight and Sound unintelligible.” Set up by publisher Philip Dosse Films and Filming was a stablemate to his other mags like Books and Bookmen, Dance and Dancers, Plays and Players, Art and Artists, and so on. It was, in many respects, one of the best and most subversive film magazines around as Dosse had an agenda of promoting difficult and controversial subject matter, in particular, homosexuality which was then a criminal offense in Britain punishable by imprisonment or chemical castration.

Films and Filming or rather F&F’s first editor was Peter Brinson, a smart young man who made no attempt to disguise his sexuality. He successfully edited the magazine to woo the gay market by including pictures of beefcake actors and personal ads for lonely bachelors to hook-up. It was the magazine’s second editor, Peter Baker, that moved F&F away from a coded gay film zine to a thoughtful, glossy, and well-written magazine that became the must-read of every serious cinephile.

I knew fuck all about any of this fascinating backstory when I picked secondhand copies of F&F up in the seventies and eighties from Bobbies Bookshop. I bought the magazine because it featured the movies, writers, and directors I liked: Ken Russell, Lindsay Anderson, Stanley Kubrick, Fellini, Derek Jarman, and Martin Scorsese. It also boasted several great photospreads per issue usually lifted from some of the strangest movies on release that month and some very good writing by the likes of Raymond Durgnat—though there were some reviewers who always seemed to focus on every movie having a homosexual subtext whether it was valid or not. F&F’s covers eschewed the usual box office fodder—though occasional they did feature the odd one like Star Wars—and instead focused on gay/cult films like Myra Breckinridge, The Night Porter, Lisztomania, Loot, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Last Detail, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Salo: 120 days of Sodom.

I have a stack of old F&F’s stored away, and have previously shared some of the magazine’s photospreads of my favorite films/directors, but the following largely comes from the Twitter feed of Films and Filming, which I suggest you follow if you have an interest cult and classic films, big screen stars and memorabilia from a golden age of movies.
 
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Monica Vitti, April 1966.
 
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Donald Sutherland, May 1975.
 
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Bridget Bardot and Jeanne Moreau, March 1966.
 
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Batman and Robin, October 1966.
 
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Sophia Loren, September 1966.
 
More classy covers, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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01.11.2018
12:35 pm
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‘Undercover,’ John Ford’s instructional film gives tips for WWII spies behind enemy lines
01.11.2018
09:39 am
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During World War II, John Ford worked as chief of the Field Photographic Branch of the OSS, the intelligence agency that preceded the CIA. When he went on active duty, Ford had already directed 1941’s Sex Hygiene, an Army training film with tips for avoiding the clap and the syph on R&R leave (“I looked at it and threw up,” was the review Ford later gave Peter Bogdanovich). To this, Lt. Commander John Ford added the Oscar-winning documentaries The Battle of Midway and December 7th. Bogdanovich writes that, after the war, Ford’s group began work on a seven- or eight-hour film that was to have been used as evidence at the Nuremberg Trials; in the end, the task fell to Budd Schulberg, also a member of the Field Photographic Branch, whose The Nazi Plan was entered into evidence at Nuremberg.

Some of Ford’s wartime movies were exclusively for OSS consumption, such as 1943’s How to Operate Behind Enemy Lines, a/k/a Undercover, an instructional film about how to be a spy. Like most movies of its kind, it teaches by illustrating dos and don’ts—Ford appears in the only speaking role of his career as the pipe-smoking case officer assigned to the “don’t” agent—and lays heavy emphasis on a single lesson, here the supreme importance of maintaining a believable cover story. Agonizing sequences depict spies blowing their cover through inattention to detail: anything from paying the bar tab with bills no longer in circulation to using “hair grease” they can’t get in Enemytown since hostilities began.
 

John Ford in ‘Undercover’ (via National Archives)
 
Undercover is available on Netflix, but the dialogue sounds like it was recorded with a Kleenex stretched over one end of an empty cookie dough tube, as if all the Allies’ microphones had been melted down for the war effort. The YouTube version embedded below is much easier to follow. If I owned a movie house, I’d program this with the short Don’t Kill Your Friends, a contemporary U.S. Navy training film starring my own grandfather as an inept pilot who offs civilians during aerial gunnery practice.
 
Watch it, after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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01.11.2018
09:39 am
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‘The Concrete Jungle’: The long-awaited return of the ‘women in prison’ cult classic
01.10.2018
09:39 pm
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The Concrete Jungle,’ (1982) 22x31” Original Thai poster. Artist: Larry Salk
 
Like so many 1970s tots with a taste for lurid, inappropriate, forbidden thrills, in print and onscreen, I count as a key corruptive influence the most notorious Charlie’s Angels episode from its tawdry 10 pm-time-slot Farrah Fawcett first season, “Angels In Chains.” With its sweaty redneck county work-farm setting, menacing guest villain corrections officers—Anthony James, the terrifying hearse-drive from Burnt Offerings, and Mary Woronov as butch sadist Maxine, forcing the undercover Angels to openly shower before applying delousing spray to their naked bodies — and shocking sexual slavery twist, this sordid summer ’77 rerun minted legions of instant Women-In-Prison devotees.  But since tween access to grindhouse gold like Barbed Wire Dolls, SS Experiment Love Camp, Escape From Hell & Wanda the Wicked Warden was sadly impossible, I had to wait over five long years to experience the dawn of the 1980s surprise American exploitation WIP resurgence with The Concrete Jungle.  And it was so, so worth it.

Produced by Billy Fine, who followed up with the star-packed, much more infamous (and slapdash) Chained Heat in 1983, Concrete Jungle benefits hugely from the assured direction of underrated trash-film expert Tom DeSimone, whose resume not only comprised the zero-budget 3-D 1972 softcore bait & switcher Prison Girls, R-rated drive-in/cable megabits like Chatterbox (the talking-vagina comedy with adorable Candice Rialson), Linda Blair’s slasher Hell Night, and later, the rollicking Wendy O Williams/Pat Ast/Sybil Danning parody Reform School Girls, but a slew of all-male XXX movies, including Heavy Equipment, the first gay porn feature in 3-D.   

In DeSimone’s professional hands, Jungle starts off like a slick network TV movie but quickly plunges into hard-bitten, gritty sleaze enacted by a glorious, well-cast, thoroughly committed ensemble led by Happy Birthday To Me and soon-to-be Young and the Restless star Tracey Bregman as “Cherry,” the new fish, a fresh-faced innocent ski-bunny turned unwitting cocaine smuggler; Jill St John, the imperious, glamorous, oh-so-crooked warden; classy dame TV-staple Nita Talbot as the crusading reformer who thinks Jill and her tactics stink to high heaven; and the deliciously diabolical Barbara Luna, another daytime diva, oozing silky malevolence as Cat, the evil queen bee of the cellblock who sashays around in designer jeans, pulling the other gals’ puppet-strings by supplying (and withholding) narcotics, pimping the hot ones (“You’ll fuck who I tell ya to fuck!”) to rapey muscle-daddy Officer Stone, and unleashing her twitchy, wild-eyed blonde henchwoman Icy whenever a wayward prisoner needs bashing or killing, which is often.

As played by the amazing June Barrett with such gleeful, star-quality, damaged ferocity, Icy manages to steal scenes from a memorable gallery of supporting skanks, including thuggish matron Kendal Kaldwell (best known as the ample bikinied lesbo producer coaxing hapless brilliant screenwriter Pia Zadora into a hot tub at the end of Lonely Lady); foul-mouthed shit-starter Aimee Eccles (as Spider), and even raunchy redhead Carole Ita White—who got fired from Laverne & Shirley when all the laughs she was getting as nemesis-nasty Rosie Greenbaum sent Penny Marshall whining to her showrunner brother Garry— but went on to become a grindhouse Bette Midler with other cherished appearances in Chained Heat, Hellhole, The Naked Cage and Savage Streets

DeSimone keeps tension simmering right at the boiling point, always keeping us fearful for cutie-pie Cherry, while choosing inspired moments to whip things into a filthy froth, like when he intercuts between sexual assault and childbirth, the mother’s shrieks, the rapist’s groans and the wails of the victim (Camille Keaton, who got plenty of practice as the epically poked lead of I Spit On Your Grave) blending into an unforgettable aria of tastelessness.  And when Cherry’s pushed too far — beaten, tormented, molested (off-camera) by Muscle Daddy, friends whacked — and, innocence broken forever, likewise snaps the teeth from her rattail comb, then squeezes her jagged new Clairol-shiv in one hand until blood starts to flow, it’s such s rapturous WIP movie-moment, the ensuing exercise yard riot, a rousing spectacle of mud-wrestling and electrocution, is but icing on a cine-slime cupcake discriminating trash fans may never tire of scarfing.

Not available on US home video since RCA/Columbia’s cruddy-looking VHS tape hit the streets 35 years ago, this essential bitches-behind-bars classic has now received a 2K restoration from the original interpositive with Code Red’s brand-new, sparkling all-region Blu-ray, exclusively available at RoninFlix.com. Aside from the enhanced resolution revealing some shockingly shoddy stunt-double wigging, the only thing wrong with this release (which includes great new interviews with Bregman, DeSimone and co-star Sondra Currie) is the intro with the label’s inexplicably ubiquitous “Banana Man” — an unfunny fixture in desperate need of recasting… or retirement.

Below, a selection of “women-in-prison” movie posters, now on sale for 30% off at Westgate Gallery. Use the code “BF30” at checkout.
 

The Concrete Jungle,’  (1982)  27x39” Original Spanish poster. Artist: Larry Salk
 

Barbed Wire Dolls,’  (1976)  39x55” Original Italian poster. Director: Jess Franco
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Christian McLaughlin
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01.10.2018
09:39 pm
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Filmmakers and felines: Jean Cocteau had a club for cat lovers!
01.10.2018
10:38 am
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If you like movies, then you probably have at least a passing familiarity with French director/artist Jean Cocteau. Maybe you picked up La Belle et la bête (1946) or Orphée (1950) during a half-price Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble. Maybe someone in film school made you watch Le Sang d’un Poète (1930) in some experimental film class and you thought: “What is this? This is some weird ass shit but…I like it! It’s definitely different than those other experimental guys. I might be able to get down with…what’s this dude’s name? Cocteau?”

Most cinephiles and culture vultures know the basics: Cocteau was French. He was gay. His social set was expansive, attracting everyone from Proust, Man Ray, and Pablo Picasso to queer artists like Gertrude Stein, Jean Genet, and Marlene Dietrich. Basic knowledge is fine if that’s all you want, but Jean Cocteau is SO much more interesting. His art was hot, his writing was beautiful, he was controversial…but let’s get real: What makes this Frenchman unique?

He loved the hell out of cats and he was not afraid to let the world know it!

Cocteau was romantically involved with his lead actor, Jean Marais for over two decades. It’s unclear whether Marais also enjoyed cats so that part of their affair is still a mystery. We do know that Cocteau firmly supported his lover’s close relationship with the dog he saved during WWII, Muluk. 

Clearly, bringing Muluk on-set was no problem. Wonder if it was in his contract?
 

 
What is it they say—opposites attract? If that’s the case and if we place cats and dogs on the spectrum as polar opposites, then these two men probably had a banging sex life! While Marais, son of a veterinarian, was fond enough of his dog to take glamour shots with him and signed autographs on pictures that featured himself and Muluk together, Jean Cocteau was much more than your average cat guy. More than your average cat lady, even. Cocteau believed in felines.
 

Jean Cocteau illustrated this lovely book of poetry in 1962, ‘La dame aux Chats’ (The Lady with Cats).
 

 
One of the illustrations: the lady with the cats!
 

These days Jean Cocteau might even be more notable on the internet for his heavily meme-d quotes about cats than for his elegant film work.

1) “I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”

2) “I prefer cats over dogs because police cats don’t exist.”

 

 
Cocteau made a great deal of art, but he made a lot of cat-related art. Not only is it vast and multi-faceted, spanning from sculpture to murals to sketch, it’s also extremely joyful. The Cocteau cats are a real treasure. 
 
Cocteau painted this in the local chapel near where he lived in Milly-la-Forêt, in 1959, where he wished to be buried (and was). It is still there.
 

As a cat lover, Cocteau shared his home with multiple feline companions. While not able to divine every furry friend’s name, two of his marvelous cats went by Madeline and Karoun. Cocteau was quite close with Karoun and nicknamed his furry buddy “King of Cats,” even dedicating a whole book to him! Lucky cat!
 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Ariel Schudson
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01.10.2018
10:38 am
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