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Witchy women and leggy ladies: Halloween in Hollywood
10.29.2018
09:45 am
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Audrey Totter

While most folks around Halloween want to revel in horror films and gore, I find myself acknowledging the fact that, well, I kinda like those films all year long and take this period of time to look at how the holiday was done in years gone by. But I will admit, like many of the other people that you will find on the Internetz right now who are playing their “30 Horror Films in 30 Days” or what have you, my interests are also centered in the cinema world. They are just, like me, a little…uh…different.

As a classic film fan, I have an extreme love for the PR materials that US film studios produced year-round from the 1940s-60s.  Specifically, I have a very deep engagement for the very quirky photographic materials that were distributed around the holidays. Photo shoots centered on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July and (duh) Halloween are totally my bag, baby.  Because really…turkeys HAD to be hard to wrangle, right??

These PR photos are primarily made-up of working Hollywood actresses and (on occasion) pin-up models. Commissioned by studios like Paramount, MGM, Columbia and so on, these professional pictures were distributed to magazines and newspapers for publication, designed and intended to promote each studio’s “stable of starlets” and to increase public support/fan culture. Some of the more fun pix are of well-known ladies whose media work dealt with supernatural or fantastic subjects. The amount of Halloween-themed photos taken with the actresses of Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie, the cast from The Munsters, and especially the photos done by The Wizard of Oz cast members over the years are endless and delightful! I could have filled this piece just with those pictures.

So these are all gynocentric photos, and they’re pretty sexy and fun. Mainly predicated on classic pin-up girl designs, many feature women who have been working together in the film industry for years and seem to be having a good time dressing up. If there happen to be any men or male-stand-in-figures, their “characters” in the photo narrative were actually a little bit rapey (if you are familiar with pin-up girl narratives, then, like, no big shocker right?). These photos are specifically not included in this article because…well, why the fuck would I do that?

Fact: Hollywood was (and is) misogynistic. Male creepiness is certainly not a modern invention within film culture. But I can certainly curate what is seen and appreciated. I think we are responsible for doing a better job of that at this point. For those who are curious (and let’s face it, I know y’all are) I chose not to include photos that depicted things such as a sleeping woman being leered at rapily by a “scarecrow” figure who was a famous actor in costume who I happen to like very much! Another photo showed the “male-stand-in-figure” I referred to earlier—a pumpkin with painted on eyes—it was posed as looking up the starlet’s skirt as she looked down, suitably irritated. I don’t think these pictures or what they say about the way that women/women-identifying people should be treated need extra viewing.

So let’s go to what I DO love about the Halloween work in particular. The photos range from the early days of silent film, with women like Clara Bow and Joan Crawford to rock ‘n’ roll era Sandra Dee and beyond. Their biggest flaw in my eyes is that there are no women of color even though women like Fredi Washington, Carmen Miranda, Anna May Wong and more were working actresses at the time. But let’s face it: we’re STILL working on the fact that Hollywood is racist AF.

Somehow, I manage to spend time with these photos every year. It’s therapeutic to just click through them, babbling to my cats about how cool the outfits are, how sassy Paulette Goddard and Gloria DeHaven look instead of cursing modern Halloween fuckery with its tired racist costumes and the sexification of The Handmaid’s Tale uniforms or whatever. I revel in these photos as a viable alternative or reprieve from what the system is currently providing en masse for a holiday I kinda dig. I wanna be one of these badass Halloween heroines, dammit!

As posed as they are, as cardboard as the sets appear, they are valuable as they also allow me to center my focus on and engage in representations of women and women’s sexuality. These pictures enrich my Halloween far more than the toxic masculinity that begins as a hum and ends up as a roar by the end of October via the film nerd internetz. So many dudes I hear arguing about which Halloween or Friday the 13th movie is the best or what their top ten films from x filmmaker are, etc. What’s the point? In my lifetime, women have been part of those discussions, joined those discussions but we have never been the center of those discussions. And that bugs the fuck out of me. I wish those dudes would be better.

I choose to go back in history and look at pictures of starlets dressed as witchy women and leggy ladies grinning at jack-o’-lanterns. None of this is to say that I won’t turn on Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974), The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982) or maybe have a Nightmare on Elm Street marathon later…but I probably would’ve done that anyway! Please enjoy these pictures and the wonderful women who are scaring their way into your hearts through your eyes.


Vera-Ellen
 

Paulette Goddard
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Ariel Schudson
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10.29.2018
09:45 am
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Paul Blaisdell: The forgotten B-movie monster maker of Hollywood
10.29.2018
09:16 am
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A color photo of Saucer Man. A costume made by Paul Blaisdell for the 1957 film, ‘Invasion of the Saucer Men.’
 

The cheaper they are, the better they are.”

—Frank Zappa in 1973 referencing his love of horror movies, especially Roger Corman’s 1956 film It Conquered The World.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a huge Roger Cormanfan, the name Paul Blaisdell may be lost on you. This is a very sad thing given the many famous monsters Blaisdell created for Corman’s nutty cinematic flicks and other popular sci-fi/horror low-budget B-movies of the 50s and 60s.

Very early in his career, Blaisdell caught the attention of Forest J. Ackerman. Ackerman, the editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine suggested to his friend Roger Corman that he hire the young illustrator, who he was representing to work on The Beast with a Million Eyes (1955), as the services of Ray Harryhausen were far too expensive for Corman’s production wallet. Corman took Ackerman’s advice, and the film would be the first time Blaisdell would have the title of “monster creator” as a part of his soon-to-be extensive resume. With a total budget of only $200 to build the monsters for the film, Blaisdell created a hand puppet, something he had never done before. He and his wife and collaborator Jackie named the eighteen-inch creation Little Hercules and Corman was apparently happy “enough” with the results to hire Blaisdell again for his next film, Day The World Ended. And let’s face it, Blaisdell talent came cheap and this directly aligned with Corman’s movie studio budgets.

Day The World Ended challenged Blaisdell once again as he was tasked with making a life-sized rubber monster suit for the 1956 film. Blaisdell had never made a monster suit before, and for the movie, he would also be the man inside the monster suit marking his first “appearance” in a Hollywood film. Dubbed by Blaisdell as Marty the Mutant, the costume, which Blaisdell and Jackie glued together one piece at a time was actually quite terrifying. Here’s a little blow-by-blow from Blaisdell’s cohort Bob Burns on how Marty was made:

“The headpiece was pretty interesting. That was built up over an army helmet liner and the top part of the head, the sort of pointed shape up at the top, was actually made out of plaster over a wire framework that he’d built up over the helmet. The ears he made out of a form of resin— or possibly fiberglass at that time —I don’t know if they even had resin in the ’50s. The head was built up, so he had to look out through the mouth, so he wore a pair of sunglasses behind it. And the teeth he sculpted up himself, and I think those were out of clay. The horn things were flexible; it was a kind of early vinyl that he used. He sculpted up Marty’s face out of this resin-like material. There wasn’t much rubber on the head at all…He used to get his supplies from a place called Frye Plastic’s, they had the little plastic spheres that he’d use for eyeballs and all that stuff.”

Remember, Burns is talking about a man who had never done this kind of special effects before and was operating on sheer talent, ingenuity and being inspired to create outside of his usual wheelhouse. For their next film, Corman would finally have a legitimate hit on his hands thanks to a few key things falling into place. The first, Lee Van Cleef (a regular in sci-fi film during his early career) and Peter Graves signed on to appear in the leading roles in It Conquered The World (1956). Actress Beverly Garland also agreed to appear in the film, and her performance gave the movie credibility teeth as did the script. Though he would have a next-to-nothing budget, Blaisdell created an unforgettable monster, which historically, is as easily recognizable as Godzilla. Here, let me refresh your memory: This is Beulah—the fire red, nearly impossible to describe alien from Venus:
 

 
To help promote the film, Beulah and Marty the Mutant toured around the country during which Marty was mysteriously torn to shreds (pictured above). For Corman’s 1957 film, The She-Creature, Blaisdell made a plaster cast of his entire body, then used it as the foundation so-to-speak for the She-Creature. He and Jackie spent a month inside their garage making Cuddles, and Corman and fans of his films loved it. In 1957 alone, Blaisdell played a crucial role in eight movies, creating effects and monsters, making it even more difficult to understand how his contributions to horror and sci-fi cinema and FX could be so overlooked. Of course, not everyone forgot about Blaisdell’s work as he has a cult following, much like Corman. It’s also important to remember Blaisdell’s competition in the monster department was pretty fierce as they were pitched up against real movie monsters like Christopher Lee, rubber monster suit category killer Godzilla, and the giant spider from 1955’s Tarantula, which still scares the shit out of me to this day.

Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.29.2018
09:16 am
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Audiences at the original run of ‘The Exorcist’ losing their shit
10.25.2018
10:48 am
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Toronto
 
While I love The Exorcist and watch it at least once a year—wherever Penderecki is booming from big speakers, I’ll be there—I’m unable to see it without thinking about hype, suggestibility and mass hysteria. Most promotional campaigns for horror movies are more or less artful variations on the tagline Dudley Moore’s ad man comes up with in Crazy People: “It will fuck you up for life!” Rumors of a cursed set, damned celluloid and occult frames were for The Exorcist what $1,000 life insurance policies were to William Castle’s Macabre. Since its release, the movie has benefited from the outsize expectations first-time viewers bring to it.

When I was growing up, I regularly heard The Exorcist cited not only as the scariest movie ever made, but as the legitimate exemplar of subliminal techniques in filmmaking. The first time I saw the movie (on VHS), I remember noticing that at least some of these subliminal images I had heard so much about, the ones that had supposedly been engineered to make you puke and cry from abject terror, were plainly visible to the naked eye when the tape played at normal speed; seemed pretty superliminal to me. If you’re aware that you just saw a flash cut of a ghoulish face, is it your unconscious mind that’s being manipulated, or your fear of subliminal editing?
 

Westwood
 
The widespread belief that the movie used modern techniques of mind control probably had more to do with the reaction it provoked in audiences than anything William “Fuck them where they breathe” Friedkin did in the editing room. As with The Blair Witch Project, an inferior movie similarly hyped, audiences were primed for terror by hyperbolic news reports and hours standing in line, anticipating the most traumatizing experience modern media could deliver.

Below, in local news footage, audiences at the original theatrical run of The Exorcist wait for hours to buy tickets. There is much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth among those exiting the theaters. An usher describes the crackups he’s seen, and some moviegoers step into the lobby to get some air mid-screening. Smelling salts are requested.

In other words, it’s a pop sensation! What’s more reminiscent of The Exorcist than the shrieks, sobs and streams of urine that greeted matinee performances by Frank Sinatra and the Beatles?
 

 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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10.25.2018
10:48 am
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Morbid melodies: Tune in and terror out
10.25.2018
10:29 am
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Every October I try to challenge myself to find a few new spooky songs to add to what I lovingly call my “morbid melodies” collection. The great thing is, I usually can but it’s only my cats that end up appreciating my efforts. So this year I thought, “To hell with it, lemme share some my favorites with you folks!”

In classic Ariel-fashion, of course, I also have to share a few of the music videos that I watch repeatedly because OF COURSE.

The first music video that I had wanted to share was DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince’s “Nightmare on My Street.” I usually just listen to the song but thought it’d be cool to put the video on here too. However, try as I might, I could not find the video I remembered from when I was a kid. I kept thinking “did I make this up? Is this one of those Mandela Effect things?” I looked into it and while I was aware that New Line Cinema had not wanted to have the song associated with the Nightmare On Elm Street films, I didn’t know that they had essentially made the video disappear.

Looking for it on the Internet doesn’t yield much. There are tons of fan videos, images put to the song, etc., but the official DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince music video apparently does not exist. On the other hand, it’s easy as pie to locate the music video for the Fat Boys’ “Are You Ready For Freddy?” released around the same time in 1988 since New Line had selected the Fat Boys as the rap group to rep Freddy Krueger in an official music video-context.  Here’s the thing: “Nightmare on My Street” is a waaaay better song, was far more popular and regardless of “official film connection” a music video was actually made.

New Line wasn’t having any of it. A lawsuit followed. New Line pulled “Nightmare” from MTV after just a few weeks of it being in rotation, and the video hasn’t been seen since. There are calls out all over the Internet asking people who might have been recording MTV at home during that period of time in 1988 to scour their VHS collections just in case they might possibly maybe perhaps have any tapes of music videos that might not have been taped over…? Even Jeff Townes (DJ Jazzy Jeff) and Will Smith (Fresh Prince) have admitted that they either don’t have copies or believe it to be lost forever. But many people on these Nightmare on Elm Street and Old School Rap forums are like me: they remember how this amazing music video was and wish they could see it again. For now, here is the audio.
 

 
The two music videos I can give you are cheesy but glorious. One is a metal band (Dokken) participating in the Nightmare on Elm Street universe for what is probably the best out of all of the NOES films Nightmare on Elm St 3: Dream Warriors (Chuck Russell, 1987). Accompanying that is one of my favorite songs to do at karaoke (try it! It’s super fun!).)  The video for the Mary Lambert adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary (1989) is a total win and let’s be honest, who can turn down the Ramones in a graveyard?
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Ariel Schudson
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10.25.2018
10:29 am
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Shocking shower scenes shot before ‘Psycho’
10.18.2018
08:30 am
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Janet Leigh in Psycho
 
They are perhaps the most iconic few minutes of film in cinematic history—the “shower scene” in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic, Psycho. The segment continues to shock audiences, and film scholars have written about the brilliance of its construction and effectiveness for decades. It’s an astonishing, groundbreaking moment in cinema, yet this shower scene wasn’t the first of its kind. 

The 7th Victim is a 1943 cult film about a young woman named Mary, who, while looking for her missing sister, stumbles upon a satanic cult. The picture was produced by the legendary Val Lewton, remembered for the mysterious horror pictures he supervised in the 1940s.
 
The 7th Victim
 
Mary is portrayed by Kim Hunter, in her first film role. In one scene, as Mary is taking a shower, another figure walks in the bathroom. In a suspicious, not so vaguely threatening tone, this person encourages Mary to leave town. The scene is largely shot from behind Mary, as she faces the person through the shower curtain. The moment is made even more tense, as all we ever see is a strange shadow of the intruder.
 
The 7th Victim shower scene
 
It brings to mind the shadowy shots in the Psycho shower scene, in which the killer’s face is never seen clearly.
 
Psycho 1
 
Psycho 2
 
The 1958 film noir/exploitation movie, Screaming Mimi, concerns an exotic dancer, Virginia, who is severely traumatized after she is attacked while taking a shower.
 
Screaming Mimi
 
During the opening minutes of Screaming Mimi, Virginia, played by Swedish model/actress Anita Ekberg, is bathing in an outdoor shower, when a man brandishing a large knife approaches her. Though the scene is clumsily staged, as viewers we recognize that, like Marion (Janet Leigh) in Psycho, Virginia is largely defenseless in the shower setting, which adds to the terror.
 
Screaming Mimi shower scene
 
Of course, these previous shower scenes take nothing away from what Hitch accomplished in Psycho, though I can’t help but wonder if they influenced his most famous movie moment. Either way, the scene still makes us wary, from time to time, of taking a shower when home alone….
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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10.18.2018
08:30 am
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The must-see documentary on the extraordinary, one-of-a-kind cult film classic, ‘Beaver Trilogy’
10.12.2018
08:19 am
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Poster
 
In 2011, we told you all about Beaver Trilogy, a one-of-a-kind collection of three short films. Ostensibly, director Trent Harris’s Beaver Trilogy is about a chance meeting with a charming teenage kid from Beaver, Utah, who also happens to be an Olivia Newton-John impersonator, but the picture is so much more than that. A 2015 documentary examines the trilogy, the director who couldn’t let the story go, and the alluring, mysterious teen known simply as “Groovin’ Gary.”

Beaver Trilogy touches on a range of topics, including serendipity, celebrity, reality vs. fiction, small town life, exploitation, manipulation, obsession, regret, guilt, and fate. Part of the cult surrounding the film has to do with the fact that when Harris made fictionalized versions of the “Groovin’ Gary” story (parts two and three of the trilogy), he cast two future stars in the lead role: Sean Penn and Crispin Glover.
 
Gary
The original “Groovin’ Gary” (the documentary tells us his real name is Richard “Dick” Griffiths).
 
The 2015 documentary, Beaver Trilogy: Part IV, is a must-see, even if you’ve never had the pleasure of viewing Harris’s movie. I’m hesitant to go deeper into the Beaver Trilogy, as we’ve covered the film, but I also think anyone who’s intrigued will really enjoy it and the doc, so why go any further? I will say that the documentary reveals there is redemption for both Harris and the kid from Beaver he’s forever connected to.
 
Part IV
 
Trent Harris has uploaded a few clips from Beaver Trilogy to YouTube, but the full film isn’t currently streaming anywhere. A DVD can be purchased directly from the director. It’s how I acquired the disc, and it’s always fun to spring on friends who are totally unaware of its existence.
 
DVD
 

 
Beaver Trilogy: Part IV is free to watch if you have Amazon Prime. You can also rent or buy a digital copy here.
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear
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10.12.2018
08:19 am
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Indie rock and new wave hits reimagined as pulpy 1950s ephemera
10.10.2018
08:57 am
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There’s a fellow out there named Todd Alcott who has put together an enchanting series of prints reimagining popular songs by some of the most vital musical artists of the 1970s through the 1990s as various graphical items mostly dating from before the rock era—e.g., pulpy paperbacks, “men’s life” mags, lurid sci-fi posters, and so on. They’re quite wonderful and you can procure them for yourself in his Etsy store. Each print will run you £19.78 (about $26) for the smallest size and prices escalate from there.

One endearing thing about Alcott’s images is that they are so clearly driven by the most beloved albums in his own collection—and his taste is excellent! So he transforms multiple songs by King Crimson, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, the Stones, David Bowie while also hitting a bunch of other faves (NIN, Nirvana, Fiona Apple) just the one time.

Alcott told Ayun Halliday of Open Culture that “these are the artists I love, I connect to their work on a deep level, and I try to make things that they would see and think ‘Yeah, this guy gets me.’”

My favorite thing about these pop culture mashups is Alcott’s insistence (usually) on working in as many of the song’s lyrics into the art as possible. That does admittedly make for busy compositions but usually in a way that is very true to the pulp novel conventions or whatnot.

According to his Etsy site, Alcott is also available for custom jobs should inspiration strike you! Here
 
More of these marvelous images after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.10.2018
08:57 am
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Fangoria editor’s amazing collection of classic trash horror film ads
10.04.2018
11:37 am
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The ongoing triumph of digital is pushing into the grave many art forms once so ubiquitous (and tethered to low commerce) we hardly think of them as arts. Packaging art dives into decline as physical media formats become obsolete; screen printed concert posters become a pricey commodity-fetish item as Facebook becomes every promoter’s kiosk. Somehow, and encouragingly, event postcards continue to thrive, but really think about this—when was the last time you decided to see a movie or buy recorded music based on a newspaper ad?

Longtime Fangoria editor Michael Gingold remembers when the local daily was THE way to keep up on movies, and in fact, it was the lurid daily print ads for trash horror films—rendered all the seedier by the way cheap black ink used to block up on cheap pulpy newsprint—that sparked his lifelong interest in the horror genre. Gingold even kept a scrapbook of them, and eventually published them in a xeroxed ‘zine called Scareaphenalia.

Arranged on a desk in the back of my junior high homeroom was the communal stack of Daily News for teachers to pick up. There were always a couple of ’em left over, and the first Friday of that month I grabbed one and flipped through to the movie section. There they were: boldly arresting ads for Richard Franklin’s Patrick and David Cronenberg’s The Brood, both opening that day. I was vaguely aware of Cronenberg’s name, but otherwise, these films were a mystery to me. All I knew for sure was that I wanted to see them both.

Although I didn’t get to, at least not at the time, I was so enthralled by those ads that I cut them out of the paper and saved them. And every Friday thereafter, I’d grab a leftover Daily News edition and scour it for whatever lurid gems might be advertised in its pages. Any that I found, I clipped and added to my growing collection, and soon I was doing the same with the occasional bigger genre movie announced in The Times. By the end of the year, assembling those ads had become an ongoing passion project.

The foregoing quotation is from Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares from the 1980s, a new book that reproduces Gingold’s collection, with his annotations, and excerpts from contemporary reviews. His annotations are insightful, naturally, but the inclusion of reviews was a wonderful choice—it’s interesting to be reminded that while gore-operas like The Driller Killer, The Evil Dead, and Friday the 13th are regarded as classics which boast undying (sorry) cult followings, such films were excoriated in their day by critics who practically tripped over each other in their rush to condemn the films’ violence and lord their self-presupposed moral superiority over the genre’s fans. Even A Nightmare on Elm Street received mixed reviews that grudgingly praised its creative premise, wit, and atmospherics, as they went ahead and condemned it anyway, because a slasher film simply couldn’t be offered unqualified praise. (By the time its sequel came out, critics seem to have figured out the point.) Interestingly though, of all the reviews reproduced in Ad Nauseam, astonishingly few take the genre to task for its notorious misogyny—this was the era, after all, in which the murder-as-punishment-for-female-sexuality and “final girl” tropes were codified, and while young women’s suffering was typically dwelt-on in mortifying detail, the psychotic killers themselves sometimes went on to become the “heroes” in long-running and profitable franchises.

Ad Nauseam’s publisher, 1984, were extremely cool about letting us reproduce a generous sampling of Gingold’s collection. We’ve eschewed the bigger-name films in favor of the book’s more endearingly trashy offerings—you’ve seen the poster for Halloween a million times by now anyway, right?
 

 

 

 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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10.04.2018
11:37 am
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‘Urban Struggle’: Classic documentary on Black Flag and the Orange County punk scene
10.03.2018
11:04 am
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The first show Henry Rollins ever played in the Los Angeles area as a member of Black Flag took place at the Cuckoo’s Nest in Costa Mesa, on Friday, August 21, 1981. It was a 3 p.m. show, as the flier above indicates. Black Flag were the headliners, with Wasted Youth and Circle One, two hardcore bands from the O.C., serving as openers.

Purportedly the location of the first-ever slam pit, the Cuckoo’s Nest was open from 1976 through 1981, and even that run was only possible because owner Jerry Roach was constantly in court trying to keep the joint open. Every L.A. punk band of note played there, as well as a large number of notable acts passing through (The Ramones, Bad Brains, Violent Femmes, et al.).

In 1981 Paul Young released a short documentary about the club called Urban Struggle: The Battle of the Cuckoo’s Nest. Much like the club, the movie has also had its share of turmoil in the legal system. In 2010 Young sued Jonathan W.C. Mills’s documentary We Were Feared, which is also about the Orange County punk scene.
 

 
An important aspect of the Cuckoo’s Nest was its hatred-fueled relationship with the bar next door, named Zubie’s, which catered to suburban cowboy-wannabes. The place actually had an electric bull! The intense fights between the Zubie’s shitkicker crowd and the punks at the Cuckoo’s Nest became the stuff of legend. The Vandals immortalized that conflict in a song called—not coincidentally—”Urban Struggle.”

According to Stevie Chick’s Spray Paint the Walls: The Story of Black Flag, Dave Markey filmed the show when Rollins made his SoCal debut and took some footage with his 8mm camera: “Everyone was like, ‘Black Flag’s coming, they got a new singer, some kid from D.C.’ Henry had gotten the Black Flag bar tattoos done the day of that show, and when you looked at his arm, you could see how fresh the ink was.” Unsurprisingly, the great photographer Glen E. Friedman was also at the show—any sweet b/w pics you find of Black Flag at the Cuckoo’s Nest come directly from him.

Urban Struggle: The Battle of the Cuckoo’s Nest is a terrific document of one of the country’s most important punk scenes. It features killer footage of Black Flag playing “Six Pack” (you can even see Henry’s new tattoo) as well as performances by Circle Jerks and T.S.O.L.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.03.2018
11:04 am
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Program your own grindhouse film festival with these sleazy cult favorites!
10.02.2018
08:52 am
Topics:
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‘Pets’ poster for sale 40% off at Westgate Gallery

There’s never been a better time to add a multi-region Blu Ray player to a 65” flat-panel TV and program your own private repertory theater/grindhouse. Along with medical marijuana, the avalanche of uncut, HD-remastered transfers of formerly obscure cult titles available to subject your friends and houseguests to, or obsessively watch and rewatch alone in total silence, almost makes up for nothing else today being as good as it was in the 1970s and 80s.

The selection of posters here are for sale at Westgate Gallery which has a 40% sale going on right now!
 

‘Last House on the Left,’ Italian 1-sheet poster for sale at Westgate Gallery

The last word on Wes Craven’s 1972 debut The Last House On the Left is the massively loaded 2-disc/3-cut Arrow box-set of the first post-Manson/Vietnam War horror classic, which cribbed the basic plotline of Bergman’s Virgin Spring for an amalgam of Nixon-era parents’ worst nightmares — hippies, rock concerts, reefer, slutty bad-influence BFF’s, NYC — personified by the shockingly well-acted trio of villains (David Hess, Jeramie Rain, Fred Lincoln) whose blood-soaked antics still pack a queasy punch.
 

‘The Killing Kind’ Italian 4F poster for sale at Westgate Gallery

B-movie cult director Curtis Harrington is at his overheated, dysfunctional, fagnificent best in The Killing Kind, a 1973 psycho-biddy treat in which cuddly paroled sex-offender John Savage moves back into overbearing mom Ann Sothern’s L.A. boarding house and runs afoul of ballsy judge Ruth Roman and ingenue trio Cindy Williams, Luana Anders and Faster Pussycat Kill Kill’s Sue Bernard… Vinegar Syndrome has a limited edition out for Halloween
 

Rare Japanese ‘Sisters’ poster for sale at Westgate Gallery

The two best conjoined-twin horror films make a great BD double-feature (we suggest as a warm-up an episode of the bizarro reality show about that poor precious two-headed girl in Minnesota):  Brian DePalma’s witty, twisted Sisters (1973, Criterion) with underrated Margot Kidder as separated sibs Danielle and Dominique and American Horror Story/Nip Tuck writer Jennifer Salt as the spunky columnist from the Staten Island Panorama out to solve a murder mystery and Frank Henenlotter’s 1982 Basket Case, a valentine to the Deuce at its scuzziest, this outrageously endearing Skid Row sickie is that rare gem from childhood that’s even better than you remember in a great stacked Arrow release… 
 

‘City of the Living Dead,’ Italian 2F poster for sale at Westgate Gallery

Arrow’s also about to unleash majorly upgraded special editions of two beloved Italian frightfests, Lucio Fulci’s splatter-classic dress rehearsal for The Beyond, City of the Living Dead aka Gates of Hell (1980) — don’t go in looking for logic, narrative sense or competent dubbing, just immerse yourself in 90 minutes of visually ravishing wacked-out waking nightmare, crammed with unforgettable macabre imagery and still-eye-popping makeup effects…
 
More grindhouse sleaze after the jump…

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Posted by Christian McLaughlin
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10.02.2018
08:52 am
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