Cleansing the lens of cinematic perception... until all the layers are scrubbed off and the screen is a white glaring rectangle

Monday, February 11, 2019

New World Rebel Girls on Prime: 7 Must-Sees from the 70s

On my recent New World kick (thanks to so much of it being on Prime), I went too far, and saw the savage self-parodying weirdness of Dante's and Arkush's Hollywood Boulevard, (not on Prime but I have an old copy) which, though funny, is a harbinger of the grungier wave to come, and in its crassness, implies New World films are just rapey packages of breasts and blood farmed artlessly out to drive-ins for bottom of the billings. Well, I don't think that's necessarily fair, boys! Or it wasn't, not always, until drive-ins died away and Jim Wynorski and Fred Olen Ray took over in time for the VHS era, like the runaways Phillip Baker Hall brings to Burt Reynold's 1980 New Year's party in Boogie Nights. Those silicone breasts that pair ador look so fake that--even as a 14 year-old hormonal boy-- you'd wish they'd put them away. Suddenly ashamed that somehow your own hormones wreaked such sad gaudy damage on a generation of hopeful B-starlets, you felt deep despair over sex as a whole. Switching to videotape made it all so cheap, so artless... and then Porky's ushered in a whole new level of puerile we're still detoxing from even today.

I love sex and violence as much as anyone, but I hate the word 'tits' and much prefer the early-70s era when New World put more care into their product. The films then are more feminist, subtler, folded in with wry wit, deadpan nonchalance, crazy stunts, social urgency, cool, compassion and something either I or someone else coined 'libsploitation'. New World capo Roger Corman's habit of hiring young, unproven talent fresh from film school paid off with kids who knew these cheap fast and out-of-control films could either be calling cards to major studios (and Corman made a point of giving chances to women directors) or cement shoes bound to sink your career before it started. Or, like some of us, you could just do cartwheels in the parking lot forever and ever until you were little more than a  footnote on imdb, until you got rediscovered on Prime by weird trash sifters like myself.

And either way, a lot of New World's product is now Prime (even things like the dull Barbara Peeters-directed Starhops), so we can all judge for ourselves. Well, I have. And here are seven films I recommend from the best of all exploitation eras (the 70s) by the best of all companies (New World), all but two of them looking great in remastered HD prints streaming free on Prime. They may not be Gone with the Wind, but they're way shorter, and still better than a lot of major studio big budgeted balderdash out there. They come to you with good pedigrees (John Sayles, Lewis Teague, Angie Dickinson, George Armitage, Jack Hill), are over in under 90 minutes and--most importantly-- they don't take themselves too seriously nor too lightly. Funny, sure, but not in a hokey, campy way, these films are (mostly) from the pre-Jaws / Star Wars era, the time when the drive-in was aimed at adults. They might be driving around in shag carpeted vans, but they were still (relatively) mature.

See, the kids today equate maturity with being boring and responsible, which is the opposite of what it was in that greatest of all decades. To be an adult in the 70s was to understand the superiority of actual car crashes, and actual, natural curves. When they hear the satisfying crunch of metal, or finally get a grasp on where the nipple naturally occurs on a human breast, even the CGI generation will have to agree: there's value to be had in the old ways. In the 70s a man could be laid enough to not wind up a skeevy troll sending dick pics. In the 70s a woman could be the aggressor in sex without it indicating repressed childhood trauma. And even so, if she got a dick pic she'd deep-six the guy, never speak to him again. At the same time, in the 70s sex wasn't 'problematic' and yes, maybe it turned out to be problematic, but no one knew there would be repercussions, so you can't blame them. There's more than bliss in ignorance sometimes, there's virility.  At least here, on Drive-in on Prime, and in the past, there can be machine guns, stunts, and natural beauty. On Prime, the drive-in still lives! And now you don't even have to hide in the trunk to escape paying your bloody and just-dessert dues. The screen has widened once more. All the shit shot on video for square screens can hit the curb! The widescreen HD New World 70s seven... begin now!

(1971) Dir. Jack Hill
*** / Amazon Image - A+

One of the first films made by Corman's new label, New World, and a home run right out of the gate courtesy the great Jack Hill. Filmed it in the Filipino jungles with a brigade of hot American starlets, and Sid Haig as a fruit vendor/smuggler, it's the quintessential Women in Prison movie. Pam Grier in her feature debut sings the title song ("99 Years"), her signature swirl of raw toughness and empathic vulnerability is already in full effect; Brook Mills is her junky squeeze; Pat Woodell is a political prisoner, teaching her cellmates how to shoot machine guns; Roberta Collins is the tough blonde who's only looking out for herself, and advises the newbie (Judy Brown) to do the same. It's Collins who gets the movie's best line ("you'll either get it up or I'll cut it off!") as she's so sexually frustrated she even tries to rape Sid Haig's nervous assistant Fred (Jerry Franks).

Naturally warden Dietrich (Christiane Schmitmer) and her sadistic head guard Kathryn Loder won't tolerate such flagrant breaking of house rules. So while the mysterious figure in a black hood watches from behind some black netting, Loder lets her hair down and goes to work. The new (male) doctor protests all the bruises on the patients but Dietrich dismisses the inmate's complaints as a lot of gossip and imagination. Who's the doctor going to report these abuses to in a country so corrupt? There's no choice but to revolt!

Even if you despise WIP genre, Big Doll House earns its freedom from condemnation. It's filmed largely on cool sets (or at any rate indoors) with great lighting and camerawork and far fewer tedious slogs in showers, mud and torture rooms than the films that came after.  Calling it a WIP film is like calling Corman's Wild Angels (1966) a biker film. There was no such thing as a 'biker film' before Wild Angels. Everything that came after Corman's huge surprise hit was an imitation, i.e. part of the biker movie cycle, including--if you'll forgive me for saying so--Easy Rider.  They poured them into the drive-ins so fast we're still trying to figure out which one is which even today.

It's the same with Doll House, it's not following any markers. The girls are looking at classic Warner Bros. movies like Each Dawn I Die and 20,000 Years in Sing-Sing for their cues, and shrugging off their welts like Cagney or Bogart, see? These chicks are tough!

Highlight include the Collins 'seduction' of Fred; with great pinkish lighting Collins' really sells it-- (below) and in general makes the best use of her full-throated, nearly Meyer-esque lines. I also like Mill's crazy dance around the cell after Grier gets her high (and her anguished derangement when the flow of powder stops); there's a great long tracking shot following the girls as they leave the yard and go into the cane rushes so Grier and Collins can have their big mud fight that's an epitome of tough cool; and I love Woodall's tough performance under torture and later with machine guns in both arms - she underplays so tough you get chills. The girls are all lovingly filmed in their fully brushed long hair, their luxuriant limbs (it's the tropics so they're always in shorts) splayed around their cell in sexy but not prurient medium shots; Loder is genuinely spooky as the torturer head of the guards, with just enough Nurse Ratchet surface warmth to chill the blood all the more when she takes off her cap and lets down her wild long hair (underlit with a green eerie horror movie glow).

On the down side: Sid Haig delivers a hammy southern accent. He's playing it way too jokey rather than following the deadpan approach of all his comely co-stars.

The new HD transfer on Prime makes the Philippines, finally, look livable. Color grading has been done with such loving care (take close notes of the rose hues in Collins' skin hues vs. the pink prison uniform above -poetry) that it seems like a cool, breezy paradise rather than the sweaty, waxy humid hell it always looked like on VHS.

(1973) Dir. Steve Carver
*** / Amazon Image - A-

A big rollicking hit for New World, this stars Angie Dickinson stars as a good-hearted, sexually voracious backwater woman who takes her two nubile daughters into crime during the Depression, hooking up with various outlaw lovers and sexy hostages. The sisters are played by Switchblade SistersRobbie Lee and Candy Snatchers' Susan Sennett (she was buried alive in that film, made the year before this, so it's nice to see her up and breathing freely). Dick Miller (RIP you game OG hipster) is the increasingly frustrated FBI man in dogged pursuit. but this is still the era before interstate highways so it's not easy to catch up with Mama, especially when the girls hook up with machine gun-waving desperado Tom Skerritt, who falls for Angie, but winds up bedding both the sisters instead when gentlemanly sharpie William Shatner (with an unconvincing antebellum accent) joins up, and helps Angie move into high society, i.e crashing tony social events and robbing everyone at machine gun point.

A big hit, Corman followed this up with a slew of imitations, none of which measure up (with one exception, Lady in Red -below). Unlike Demme's dated Crazy Mama, this doesn't confuse 'rollicking' with goofy - there's no sped-up car chases with cartoon sound effects and ragtime music--something AIP for example relied on all too often. Here the characters may be having a blast but the movie never forgets they're playing for keeps --people die- in fact nearly everyone. The cars might be old Model-Ts, but that just means they flip over easier- they just don't explode as fast as the ones in the 70s. But it's still cool!

Good as that all sounds, what made this huge hit for New World was Angie Dickinson doing nude scenes --in an R-rated movie! Shhh! This was back when things like that were big news: Playboy used to offer celebrities a million dollars. Angie was neither a prude nor a fool; she worked for a percentage, smart enough to get rich on her assets, and everyone made out like interstate bandits. This was when girls could be sexy into their forties and all their body parts were real and therefore all the sexier. In fact her sex scenes here but most to shame. We totally get why both Shat and Skerritt would be gaga over her, and surly if she beds the other.

Most sex on TV and movies now is either rapey (HBO) or this kind of joyless 'smash cut rut' (my term for this habit of cutting from some innocuous greeting right to the middle of some joyless mutually demeaning rutting). But what made sex under Corman's watch so fun is its naturalism, there's goofy laughter and awkward jumping around. Lee and Sennett jump around on the bed and leap ontop of Skerritt like he's a big bean bag chair; they're innocents following their bliss without phony bourgeois limitations. I think a lot of patriarchal studio heads would be threatened by that. kind of uninhibited female enjoyment. there's no violence or tired soft focus close-up shots of random body parts - we always know who's in the bed, and who's sulking outside it. Not only are they tasteful they're important to the narrative. Sex is how Mama keeps both men under her spell, and these things have consequences, as when Robbie Lee gets pregnant the first time out losing her virginity.

I'd never really heard of Steve Carver before watching this recently for this post, and then I noticed he also did the The Arena (below) and that Cannon-lover's fave Lone Wolf McQuade! In other words, he's the type of journeyman that somehow never stuck out for notice the way, say, Arthur Marks and John Flynn have recently during our post-Tarantino crime revivalist age. Shall his time too, not come? Ask anyone and they'll agree, Big Bad Mama is one of the quintessential New World pictures-- it has all its good parts and none of its bad, and the same goes for the lovely Amazon Streaming Image quality (the colors seem a little faded but it's possible it was intended that way to lend an old timey sepia tinge).
On the downside, Shatner's southern gentleman accent is awful. And PS - Jim Wynorski's sequel BIG BAD MAMA 2 is also on Prime, albeit in full frame VHS dupe style, which is clearly all it deserves. Angie is in that one too, and--ever the trouper--she still gives it a good god-damn go, even though the care and love that went into the original is replaced by a kind of bachelor party costume theme tawdriness (the boys have that terrible mousse-sculpted hair of 80s porn stars). AVOID AVOID

(1973) - Dir Jack Hill
**** / Amazon Image - A+

Grier rocketed to deserved exploitation stardom as the queen of blaxploitation films with this big cult hit-- capably stepping out from her ensemble work in the Philippine prisons and into the starring roles at AIP, which had then gone full blaxploitation (I thought this was New World which is why it made this list, but I wouldn't dare disrespect her by taking it out). Here she stars as a hardworking nurse out to avenge her smack-addicted 11-year-old sister by waging a one-woman war on LA's drug/prostitution racket. First she poses as a strung-out junky willing to do "anything" to get a fix (then blows the dealer away with a shotgun); she threatens to carve up the face of a strung-out call girl ( Carol Locatell: watch the subtle ways she comes slowly alive after taking some sniffs from her stash) finally setting up upscale pimp King George (Robert Doqui) for a great fall. Then shit gets pretty hairy, but she works it out and... well. In between all this, keeps her job as a nurse at the night shift of a downtown hospital.

What makes Grier's performance here so indelible is the unique mixture of raw anger, sensitivity, cool, towering strength and the obvious emotional toll her double life is taking on her as she screws and shoots her way up the pusher food chain. Her towering strength always coming with back-end weariness, the kind that needs no man's aid, just maybe a cup of coffee or a Sunday drive. Her "why not?" when Carter tells her she can't just run around killing people, is priceless. It's clear Tarantino was trying to capture that mellow openness, the weary but kittenish honesty, during her early scenes with Robert Forster in Jackie Brown. 

I know I've written on this before (see Jills of Jack Hill) but that viewing was over Xmas in AZ, when I was in bad shape, hallucinating, junk sick, twitchy, and seeing triple (so it looked like Pam had seven heads) Now, on Prime's excellent HD transfer (nicer than the waxy Blue-ray from Olive), it looks totally different; it breathes and glows and you can feel the slight chill in the salty Pacific coast air. Instead of looking like a moldy set slowly collapsing on its sweaty inhabitants, the opening bar setting now glows and breathes and evokes clubs in earlier AIP freak-out films like Psych-Out and The Trip. In this new air it's clear this is the best of all the Hill-Grier collaborations, and maybe the best blaxploitation film, maybe the best Hill film too. The writing and acting are superb in their innocuous subtlety: consider scenes like the post-coital vacation plan-making by Coffy and politician boyfriend (Booker Bradshaw) up at his swanky pad by the fireplace. Their discussion is filmed with her leaning back on him as they both stare into the fire, both are naked, comfortable around each other, the colors of the apartment and the flames of the fire all perfectly complimenting their black skin; they both look into the fire as they talk, in low real person voices - it's such a simple little scene. Hill Grier and Bradshaw have made a real moment that enchants in its simplicity. We all remember the catfight at King George's loft party, but there's so much more to savor, so many little bits, the great use Sid Haig makes of an ordinary thug/henchman role, his chilling sadistic laugh as he drags King George around a junkyard tied to the back of his own car, and his warm regret --he wants her to know it's nothing personal--while driving Coffy to her death.

But the main takeaway is the power a woman might yield when she uses her sex appeal rather than letting it use her. The men Coffy messes with may be bad in think they're 'in charge' they're all constantly in danger of losing themselves to desire for her; her body gives her power over them. It's mind control. And yet, the kind of sex we see in Coffy is practically foreplay compared to the demeaning rutting on TV these days. Maybe in a way that's why Coffy is almost more adult. For Hill's film postulates that maybe casual sex can be mutually rewarding, even on an emotional level, even between mortal enemies.

On the downside Pam's Jamaican accent is awful, mon.

(1974) Dir. Steve Carver
**1/2 / Amazon Image - A+

Beautifully shot at Cinecittà Studios Studios in Rome, there's enough vivid tactile detail in this saga of female slaves forced to fight each other as gladiators that you can practically feel the roughness of the catacomb floor underneath your sandals. The fantastic cinematography is, believe it or not, by Joe D'Amato (under the alias Aristide Massaccesi) and it's produced, clearly with great care, by Mark Damon (the hero in Corman's Fall of the House of Usher). Though the mood is ultimately downbeat, one can't argue with the fury of Pam Grier and her cool chemistry with dynamic Margaret Markov as the two best fighters, and partners in an ultimate revolt. Markov and Grier were by now a proven fighting team, having been in The Hot Box and Black Mama White Mama before this. It must have seemed they were forever enduring abuse in Filipino prisons and gladiator pens before wreaking cathartic vengeance in their violent dashes to freedom. (This would be Markov's last, as she married Damon and went over to the business side). Though the whole thing is a bit rote in its round the 'debauched ancient Roman bend' (a mincing gay character, a gluttonous arena owner, the innocence of their pre-abduction/genocide ritual ceremonies, slave auctions, light shaft-lit steam room, food fight, etc) we get what pleasures we may such as Grier getting to do her funky dance, twice! Familiar faces like Marie Louise and Rosalba Neri help us feel like we're in familiar country.

I don't want to go into detail of plot but will tell you that their climactic catacomb escape is tense, violent (the ladies know how to fight), and riveting with the final outcome always questionable; there are dogs, there are jumps, there are deaths. The survivors could easily both die or get sent back. Besides, where does one go when the whole civilized world is run by Rome? The answer may be nowhere, but at least the survivors if any are still free at the moment of 'The End,' heading towards a boat and maybe freedom in the New World. And before then, though they may be slaves, at least the girls are still eating well, have access to wine (Lucretia Love plays a slave who develops into quite a lush - now that's an escape I'd totally try!), and no one goes to sleep sexually frustrated or forced to tame their wild lovely 70s hair -- this ain't goddamned Handmaid's Tale. The Roman audiences may be too close in their violence cheering viewing habits to modern TV watchers for comfort--but hey, deal with it.

The main reason I include it this in this list however is what it doesn't have: the terrible bangs and the stilted 'Roman' speech patterns that equate pontification and leather sandals with importance. What it does have: action! thrills! Pre-Christian morality! Grier and Markov together again and sticking it to the patriarchy! Brevity! And with Prime's HD upgrade, the blackness of those catacombs is so deep it's like the screen becomes 3D (at least on my groovy Sony Bravia, the best TV ever made!)

On the downside: is Markov dubbed by a different actress? 

(1974) Dir. Cirio H. Santiago
**1/2 / Amazon Image - A

Filipino actor/director/producer Cirio Santiago was a great find for Corman's New World: he could be both producer and director when needed and he knew the New World secret like only a handful of others: if you can't make it good, make it fast. That's certainly true with TNT Jackson - it may not be much good but damned if it doesn't lag. If you can get past the first few 'missed-him-by-a-mile but still pulled your punch and he fell anyway' fights, this gets pretty slam-bang, and the quality of the image on Prime is terrific. If you've tried to watch this on past VHS versions and given up after five minutes (guilty, your honor), you'll swear it's not even the same movie!

Fresh off the plane, American girl TNT (Jamie Bell) cabs it over to Manilla's drug section to find her fiancee (or brother? I forget) who sent her a strange letter. Within minutes of crossing into this bad area, Jackson gets into about 80 fights.  Her lack of karate skills are forgotten due to her cute nose and clear love of wild kung fu hand gestures. We know she's enjoying herself with these crazy, fluid, Bruce Lee-ish hand movements because, frankly, she's not a good enough actor to hide it. Luckily she doesn't enjoy herself to the point she cracks an actual smile, instead rarely departubg from her one-note little frown, refusing all help or to even be cordial to the big drug kingpin of the neighborhood, even though there's no immediate evidence he killed her brother, or fiancee. There's also a mysterious white lady (sultry Pat Anderson) who also seems to have an agenda concerning all the recently hijacked heroin shipments; it almost becomes her film as much as Jackson's as they fight each other and fight with each other as the shit goes down, which is awesome.

The real scene stealer though is Stan Shaw (left) as the sartorially splendid kung fu heavy, who Jackson beds, bothers, and then beats to a pulp. Stan is simply put, terrific. Even if he refuses to believe Jackson will be causing any trouble since she's such a fine sister in a place where there are almost no other black people. But why is she in Manila anyway, really? His thinking is cloudy, but who can blame him? Jackson uses his desire against him as smoothly as Coffy did the year before (above).

Little clues let you know Enter the Dragon had come out the year before, too, and was probably still in theaters. But Bruce Lee has nothing on Bell once she does her famous topless kung fu fight. Zipping around her bedroom, flipping off the light to run to and fro around her hotel rooms and the outer hallway, her assailants ever-dwindling in number and fighting stamina as she slowly gets dressed, this tiny little lady earns our loving respect for being both sexy and playful (with all the 'around and on beds' battling it reminds me of my brother and friends and I chasing each other around the upstairs beds as kids - our kung fu almost as gloriously bad).

As it does with Big Doll House, Amazon's recently upgraded streaming print makes the Philippines look far less clammy and claustrophobic than in its countless past editions. So if you've been waiting, now's the time. And what about that badass super intense final fade out? One in a million.

(1979) Dir. Lewis Teague
*** / Amazon Image - C

I wanted to post some stills from this one which is damned crime it's not the HD anamorphic version Shout put out awhile ago, but the old full frame that Corman's own shitty DVD label put out years before that. But I love Sayle's episode-packed script and Pamela Sue Martin (I was a devotee as a kid back when she was Nancy Drew). Hence, I include this quartet of screenshots, to let you know the full extent of why the other titles on this list are so good. Sugar, everything used to look like that - all cropped and blurry. Lady in Red is good enough to see even in this version, maybe it will inspire you to get the Shout DVD, or petition the manager for better streaming. (full review)

(1975) Dir William Witney
*** / Amazon Image - C-

Produced for New World by Roger Corman's cool brother Gene, directed by old Republic serial journeyman William Witney and written by the great George Armitage (Gas-s-s-s, Miami Blues), here's a real find for the lovers of the weird. If you mesh something like Beach Blanket Bingo with Duck Soup and Shelly Duvall's Mother Goose's Rockin Rhymes, and a Bugs Bunny cartoon if Elmer was a cop (played by Dick Miller, of course, but then made it all uniquely and totally black fantabulous (ala The Wiz, then the rage on Broadway), you'd get--exactly--this urban satire fairy tale set in what I think is supposed to Watts (actually Tennessee, according to imdb) or just of a surreal Monkees-meet-Parliament on Electric Company alterna-reality. Ether way, it's dynamite stuff. The loose plot has Syreena (Trina Parks), member of a superhero-like gang of decked-out 'trikers', trying to find her abortionist mom, Cinderella, who has disappeared, possibly the result of a dastardly white man plot (lots of upstanding young black men are missing too).

Pursued along the way by KKK members on dirt bikes and inept cops with a giant siren on their car (that makes UFO noises), Syreena encounters bizarre characters like the 'Pot-Sicle' man, who sells drug-infused ice cream (I really wanted the 50/50 LSD peyote bar, but couldn't get my money through the screen), and tries to recruit a super cool detective who's feeling left out since no one has abducted him yet. ("Maybe it's like rape," Syreena says with a gyrating movement, "you have to ask for it.") Armitage's script (probably heavily improvised with the cast, knowing his style) is full of wild lines that fly fast you can't even cognize their greatness. And though Roger wasn't involved you know this is from the Corman school of moviemaking: constant movement during dialogue scenes keeps the eye busy. This is a movie where no one ever sits still. If they do, a strolling band of sweet harmony singing brothers materializes out of the park and the whole thing hits another level.

Darktown's far-out vibe, hipster madcap pace and DIY school play-style props takes some adjusting to, but if you can lock onto its goofy kinetic pace, its mix of surreal WTF-ing around and jet black social satire becomes a truly sublime trip. A climactic dirt bike chase between Syreena and the Klan can rivet us, for example, but then we don't get irritated if Syreena stops her foe's evil plantation dungeon escape in order to groove with the soulful band the Dramatics, who serenade her from behind bars with their big number, "Whatcha See is Watcha Get." Musicians are supplied by Stax Records. Uncredited soulful serenaders sing film-specific soul groove greek chorus-style commentary, adding to the homespun but so-sweet madness. 

Commander Cross, aka Sky Hog
(any resemblance to a white devil purely...)
It's more than a single viewing can take in, and it would maybe not be worth it if not for the great comedic timing of Trina Parks. Whether disguising herself as a traffic cop, or a nun to get a inside the evil Colonel Cross's (Norman Bartold) southern-fried plantation mansion, she surfs the madness with a wry shrug and deadpan groove that sets a mighty fine tempo and mood. If she played it too straight it would be as much of a drag as if she did it too campy, instead she finds the exact right tenor and rides it all the way. The rest of the cast jive on her energy and each other and the whole thing seems like a wild, fun party that, by the strength of her performance, never devolves into an incoherent fracas.

Of course one could think to oneself--in today's enlightened times--that hey, it's written by a white dude, produced by a white dude and directed by a white dude, with a big dash of Green Pastures-style hokus in its cardboard iconography, how can it really lampoon racist tropes without being racist? (Armitage notes Richard Pryor crawled out of the test screening). Maybe it can't, but that's no reason not to enjoy it. If you can't laugh in horror as the local police chief---dressed up in drag and blackface to catch a 'white female rapist who targets only "black male queers"--is shot trying to leave the precinct by his skittish officers (who don't recognize him), then man, you'll never survive the decade to come.

Remember when everything looked this bad (i.e. VHS)?
As you might guess, Tarantino is also a fan of Darktown Strutters. I'd never heard of it before last week (or if I did I got it confused with the song "Darktown Strutter's Ball," and then imagined boring biker movie / hustler convention-style documentaries so stayed away) but now I've already seen it twice and can't wait until I see it again. I only hope Shout or Olive release a remastered Blu-ray soon (I'm dubious about the Cohen disc) Meanwhile, who knows what weirdness might bubble up from Prime's fathomless basement next!!

Currently Suffering in No-DVD limbo!
Most of Darktown's crazier sisters and brothers--the ones that cross over any genre they want without losing their deadpan cool or getting too campy- aren't on even DVD. Is this because they're too weird for the powers that be to categorize? Something like the gonzo adventure of the 1984 Sandahl Bergman-starring She for example, is ostensibly based on the H Rider Haggard novel but throws in every trick in the book, including a hilarious guard who looks like a blonde Paul Thomas and runs through a head-spinning gamut of obscure old radio show impressions; then there's 1978's Get Crazy and Shelly Duvall's Mother Goose's Rockin' Rhymes (1990). None are available. So weird and so wondrous. What are they so scared of, Mary Joe? Rockin' Rhymes was a cable kids' movie. Surely it's safe for modern consumption? 

Luckily we can still find these gems on youtube, albeit in worse quality even than the Prime print of Strutters. (There is a DVD-R Strutters version though I'm afraid the quality is the same - anyone seen it?). 

(1982) Dir Avi Nesher

(1983) Dir. Allan Arkush

(1990) Dir. Shelly Duvall


See also on avail on Prime in good condition
(but not New World... or even AIP):


Other Recommended 70s New World Hits avail on DVD (but not Prime):

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to assume you're a big Martine Stedil fan. You should do a post on her films, especially Die nackten Puppen der Unterwelt (1975) aka Downtown, and Barbed Wire Dolls (1976). One of the most beautiful actresses of the 70s, imho.


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