‘Pages of Death’: Long lost ‘Reefer Madness of porn’ smut scare-film has been found!
11:35 am

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
11:35 am
Lost Peter Sellers films found!
10:25 am

The first clips from two Peter Sellers films which had been thought lost have been released ahead of their premiere at the Southend-on-Sea Film Festival on 1st May.

The lost shorts Dearth of a Salesman and Insomnia is Good for You both made in 1957, are amongst two of the earliest examples of Sellers’ film work, and have been described as “the movie equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

In Dearth of a Salesman, Sellers play Hector Dimwittie, a man who tries to become the most successful salesman in the UK. The same character features in Insomnia Is Good for You, in which he suffers from an anxious, sleepless night before an important meeting with his boss.

On a literary note, both short films were co-written by noted Canadian author and screenwriter, Mordecai Richler.

The films were salvaged from a garbage skip in 1996 by Robert Farrow, who rather than making a quick buck on the films, spent time, money and care on having them restored, as he explained to the Buckingham Advertiser & Review:

“I suppose I could have put them on eBay, which people kept telling me to do, but I really wanted to find the right home for them,” he said.

“I tried talking to various people over the years but unfortunately I cannot have been talking to the right people. I didn’t bother too much after that and just left them in a cupboard under the stairs and pretty much forgot about them.

“Eventually I thought I had better do something with them so I rang the local film festival. I’m ecstatic that they’re finally going to get the showing they deserve.”

Tonight Mr. Farrow will be giving a preview screening of the 30-minute films in Southend to critics and journalists, before the films’ official premiere in May.


Previously on Dangerous Minds
The Paranormal Peter Sellers
Via Buckingham Today

Posted by Paul Gallagher
10:25 am
Beyond ‘Blood Feast’ and ‘2000 Maniacs’: The Lost Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis

Lost Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis
This is a wondrous age we live in. Films that have languished in obscurity, rotting away in assorted attics and storage units are starting to resurface, all after being tossed off as lost. It’s a weird film lover’s dream and adding to the growing list are not one but three titles, all connected to the Godfather of Gore and cardinal in the holy church of exploitation cinema himself, Herschell Gordon Lewis. Thanks to the hardworking folks at Vinegar Syndrome, not only do we have access to the Ecstasies of Women, Linda & Abilene and Black Love, but we have access to them restored and looking more gorgeous then they have a right to on both DVD and glorious Blu Ray as The Lost Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis.

The high definition sleaze proceedings begin with The Ecstasies of Women, a 1969 light-as-a-feather but stiff-as-a-bourbon-on-the-rocks confection that just oozes late 60’s swank. A bachelor party for Harry (Walter Camp) is in full swing at a topless revue club, complete with a snarky but flirty waitress who greets the groom-to-be and his companions with, “How’s the doomsmen and his executioner?” Instant awesome.

Harry & his Doomsmen
Even better is some of the commentary towards the two pulchritudinous lovelies gyrating on stage. “They must have ball bearings for ball joints!” Turns out ole Harry makes his bread by selling lingerie, presumably door-to-door, to ladies across the land. In a gin stooped, horny daze, our hero starts daydreaming about all of the sweet memories that have unfolded in his bachelor pad/houseboat. The first dreamy flashback, complete with little charming and ethereal sound effects accompanying it, involves a semi-downtrodden but lovely brunette Annette (Jeanette Mills). Annette, a permanent tourist, ends up falling for Harry’s come-ons, which are on the Tillamook side of cheese.

After some heavy petting in Harry’s golden gas guzzler of the gods, they head back to the houseboat, where Annette models some of his bread and butter. Ignoring the uncleanliness of it all, the two hit it off biblically, complete with lots of leg and semi-chaste haunch shots, with a soundtrack of lounge music and dubbed over moaning.

It’s not long after that we get Harry’s next flashback, this time napping on the beach, only to be interrupted by a beach bunny, Sandy (Vincene Wallace), whose love of wheat germ & clean living is matched only by her abrasive nymphomania. Such a combo can be scary if we’re talking about the winsome physical charms of Taft but luckily for Harry, Sandy’s blonde, busty and willing. Cue in, you guessed it, more groovy music and dubbed in moaning.

Beach Bunny Assertion
Harry’s houseboat, which features such nice decorations as a big sign that proclaims “This is not the Mayflower but many broads have come across in it!” Nothing says class like referring to women as broads. Quick lesson, unless you’re the living reincarnation of James Cagney circa Public Enemy, just say no. His next dreamy flashback starts with him picking up a comely hitchhiker, Philomena (Sharon Matt). Jail bait on a stick, Phil all but tells him that she is fifteen but quickly backtracks when he starts to (understandably) freak out. Fellas, here’s another tip, if you pick up a young looking girl who is dressed in a schoolgirl uniform and you’re NOT in an Aerosmith video, just assume she’s jail bait and get out of dodge.

But Larry’s the kind of guy who likes to live it up Jimmy Page style and brings young Phil to his boat of wood-paneled lust. Before the film turns into a sheer 60’s negligee version of All the Girls I’ve Loved Before, Harry’s loins and heart are soon sorely tempted by one of the girls at the Revue and with a name like Summer Frenzy (Bonnie Clark), who could blame him?

Out of the three films, The Ecstasies of Women is the most fun with the best zingers, lots of great colors, gorgeous ladies and warped, horny logic that lies only in that special realm known as sexploitation. The trailer that accompanies is it equally fun, with Harry being described as a “professional lovemaker.” I hear the pay is bad, but the benefits are quite cherry.

After that, is 1969’s Linda & Abilene, one of the very few hybrids of the western genre with sexploitation. While the titular Linda (Roxanne Jones) romps with a macho cowboy during the opening credits, the film itself begins with a funeral. Young Abilene (Sharon Matt, again) and her brother Todd (Kip Marsh), are left orphaned as they bury their parents. Dealing with their grief, they both press on, as the young adults take care of their family’s land and humble home.

Linda & Todd meet
Their healing path soon takes a weird turn after Todd catches his sister skinny dipping, unraveling a whole slew of hormones and urges towards her. Fate would have it that Abilene is also having some similar feelings. Faster than you can say “Jesus, no,” the twain do meet and meet again, making one wonder if anyone sitting in the grindhouse audience was actually aroused or too busy being squicked out by the family love gone way the hell too far.

Todd starts to feel guilty, conveniently after canoodling with her around eleventy times, and runs off to town to get a breather at the local bar. (He should have ran to a local church to thank god that she wasn’t pregnant with their two headed love-spawn.) An hour later after her brief appearance in the opening credits, Linda shows up and is instantly smitten with handsome and confused Todd. When she inquires about Abilene, Todd lets it slip that she is all alone on the farm, all within ear shot of the superbly greasy Rawhide (Tom Thorn). Linda gets to know Todd better, giving Rawhide the chance to travel to the family farm. Pretending to be a hungry wanderer, he presses a very scared Abilene into cooking for him, which she does. Praising her cooking skills, he then proceeds to rape her.

Finally coming home, Todd finds out what happened and goes on a rampage. (Though never providing us the desired bon mot of “Nobody gets to have sex with my sister except me!”) While he is out searching for Rawhide, Linda makes her way to their home. Initially looking for Todd, she ends up comforting the traumatized Abilene. In a bizarro world move, Linda ends up seducing Abilene, which is a tactic I don’t think most would recommend when trying to help victims of rape. Todd finally finds Rawhide and the inevitable showdown begins.

Linda & Abilene is more of a fascinating curio than a film. As a movie, the pacing is way too slow with a whole lot of drag. For a film that should have been 70-75 minutes max, the running time is 92 minutes. History wise, it is more interesting. In addition to the genre hybrid, Linda & Abilene was filmed on location at the infamous Spahn Ranch. Even more so, Lewis recalled some of the seemingly harmless hippie kids hanging around, watching and giggling while some of the saucier scenes were filmed. It’s not often one can have a nice Manson family tie-in with their exploitation westerns.

Last but not least is Black Love. To give you an idea of the proceedings, here’s a sample of the opening voice over; “Black Love is not an erotic sex film. It’s rather a study of an important aspect of the black experience-the act of making love.” Never mind the fact that lovemaking is a pretty important experience for all races, there is one very important nugget of truth in that opening statement. Namely, that it is most definitely not an erotic sex film. It’s a sex film alright, sans any glue shots, but it is about as erotic as a mule kicking you in the head.

Couple in Black Love
Presented in the loose, faux-documentarian spirit of the old white coaters from the late 60’s/early 70’s, the first example of “black love” is how children first learn about it. The narrator mentions it is often through stories they hear, experimenting when they are older and watching adults…..what??? A bored teenager catches two adults in the backseat of a car in the middle of the day in some industrial looking parking lot. It just gets worse as a little girl walks in on her parents. (Thank god that it is obvious that the kids were not in the same room as the in flagrante delicto action.) Instead of vomiting, running and screaming, which is what 99% of kids of all races would do, she stays looking surprised and giggling. I instantly need therapy.

It goes on from there, examining the ideal black couple and people dancing at a predominantly African-American club. Black Love toes this strange line of trying to sound progressive, yet is interspersed with assorted commentary about the assorted physical differences that skirts up to the county of racist. It would actually be racist except a lot of the traits noted about “black love” (save for the aforementioned creepy watching bit) could be said about all races. At one point, the narrator notes the physical differences of each club goer. Turns out black people can be short, tall, thin, large, some darker skinned and others lighter skinned and some even wear varying fashions…just like every other race.

On one hand, Black Love is kind of horrible, but on the other hand, it’s horrible-ness is something so strong that it could unite all races closer together. It is amazing that this film was even found, since out of the three formerly-lost HG Lewis titles, this is the one that drummed up the most curiosity. Lewis’ own back and forth about even being associated with it has given it, inadvertently, added mystery. It is a relic of a time when both sexual and racial prejudices were being actively challenged. Kind of sad that thirty plus years later, we are still having these same prejudices. It makes anyone with a soul and an IQ over toast frustrated and angry.

The Vinegar Syndrome have done an absolutely luscious job releasing and restoring The Lost Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis. The first two films especially look so gorgeous, with the use of color really popping. Then there’s the great cover art, well researched liner notes courtesy of Casey Scott and a trailer for each title. They might not be the best examples of Lewis’ work, but they are part of a fascinating director’s filmography. This release is another A+ mark in the often underlooked field of film preservation.

Posted by Heather Drain
01:39 pm
Hot-to-Trot Vampires in Canada: The Formerly Long Lost ‘Sexcula’
11:20 pm

Sexcula Cover Art
If I threw the words “sexy vampire comedy” at you, what are the first images that come to mind? A Catskills Lothario, fanging luscious and lonely housewives all across the East Coast? We should be so lucky! (Yes, I would watch the living end of that.) Instead, those key words do not have the best pedigree. There’s belly dancing/actress Nai Bonet’s star vehicle to nowhere, Nocturna and the straight out of Germany, 1982’s Dracula Blows His Cool. The latter best known for giving the world the song, “Rock Me Dracula (Suck Me Suck Me)” and not a whole lot else. But there is one film in this highly iffy arena that has been building a slow simmer of a cult status since 1974..

The film in question, one that was thought to be lost for years until it was recently unearthed, cleaned up and released by Impulse Pictures earlier this year, is Sexcula. (That’s pronounced sex-kula.) Made in Canada, complete with Federal funding from an undoubtedly unknowing Canadian Film Development Corporation, Sexcula was only screened once and then disappeared. That one private screening gave birth to years’ worth of gossip and word-of-mouth. Few could have expected that this mega-obscure skin flick with fangs, complete with a cast that have dropped off the face of the Earth, would someday be easily available. Even fewer could even begin to know what to truly expect from this ridiculous but overall fun hybrid of a film.

You’re given the false sense of safety, at first, with the dark castle in the thrall of night, while the phrase, “Those Evil deeds of the Countess” appears. (And yes, “Evil” is capitalized like that.) The title credits begin to roll, with character credits including “Benchtest and Hooker,” which is the first sign that we’re not in Kansas anymore. After this, a young couple drive around the countryside until they arrive at a large house, which looks more like urban ruins than the former glamorous glory of the girl’s (Debbie Collins) familial castle. Her family’s unusual history is summed up with the phrase,“the stories about this place would curl your pubes.” Not to state the obvious, but pubic hair generally is curly, but this is really beside the point. I gave up all rights to complain about logic the moment I entered a universe called Sexcula.

The girl goes on a hunt for her grandmother, Dr. Fallatingstein’s (Jamie Orlando) diary. As the young lovers go on a picnic, where curiously the woman is full on starkers while her date keeps his polyester finery on., he begins to read the diary. Turns out, her grandmother delved into Frankenstein-esque activities, with her piece-de-resistance being the perfect man, aptly named Frank (John Alexander). He’s a smashing success except for one minor detail. Frank’s got the sex drive of a dead dog doped up on salt peter,  a source of tremendous frustration for his creator. The Dr. is left with only one solution—to call her niece, Countess Sexcula (Debbie Collins, again) for help. Turns out Sexcula is one busy lady, combining one glamorous and DNA-riddled lifestyle of vampirism and hooking, with a twist of nymphomania. In fact, take two guesses what our heroine is up to as her Aunt gives her a ring? That would be a firm yes, with the ultimate romantic gesture of getting it on flanked by the ultimate swanky notes of a Herb Alpert-esque tune. The sex scene ends with her smiling and flashing the peace sign at the lens, hinting at a time when women and men were more likely to get naked and friendly in front of the camera as an act of cultural rebellion and good times.

The Countess makes her way to Castle Fallatingstein immediately, leading to the introduction of the rest of the Dr’s motley lurid crew. There’s Benchtest (Marie McLeod), an emotionless love-bot, Orgie (Tim Lowery), the mongoloid hunchback with ants in his pants and even a Gorilla (Bud Coal, which is a fab name), who seems to get more action than poor Orgie.

The girls try numerous techniques on hapless Frank, including a romantic carriage ride, hypnotism, sex cell blood transplants or, my personal favorite, a dramatic striptease. The latter may sound harmless enough, but throw on some pink lights, a sweet turned savage gorilla and guns (!) into the mix, and than you have the way into my fetid little heart.

Unfortunately, things start to wane pretty quickly, with the latter half of the film inexplicably focusing on a mock wedding on a porno shoot that turns into one sterlingly retarded swing party. My best guess is that the filmmakers needed to pad things out with an unrelated loop or footage from an abandoned project, since it shares none of the actors and lacks the goony, gothic glow that permeates the rest of the film.

Sexcula is a fascinating, if not wholly successful curiosity. It’s not really a horror film, though it has some of the superficial trappings of one. It’s not really lough-out-loud funny either, though in its best moments it is earnestly ridiculous and cute. The cast obviously had some fun and not just in the body-love sort of way. Collins, touted as a Canadian Marilyn Chambers, actually gives off more of a sunny Melanie Griffith, circa the early 80’s vibe than anything else.

With films like Sexcula, the whole “whatever happened to” thought is bound to cross into your noggin, but perhaps it is for the best that the cast is mired in fringe film obscurity. While you and I are probably cool enough to be impressed that say, our lawyer or teacher was in a weird Canadian vampire-sex spoof film from the 70’s, society is still in devolve mode.

Past, present and future, Sexcula is one of the reasons why the information age can be a great tool. Films that have been thought to been lost for decades are starting to turn up, which is a beautiful thing for any film lover worth his/her salt. As for Sexcula itself, while it’s almost more of a saucy experiment than anything else, it is also lovably daffy in moments and bless Impulse Pictures for releasing it.

Posted by Heather Drain
11:20 pm