Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Revolt of the Living Ad Mats

A very cool double feature.

The Strange Vengeance of Rosalie
('72) is an offbeat thriller in the Misery tradition, a real gem that I remember seeing on TV many decades ago. It starred the excellent actress Bonnie Bedelia, who was so good in Jonathan Kaplan's Heart Like A Wheel ('83)

What Became Of (the British) Jack And Jill? is a very good question. It's great youth thriller from Amicus.

Both these films are MIA on DVD.

More to explore from '72.

When I was ten, this poster captured my imagination, and I consulted it on a nightly basis.

Whenever I was driving with my parents, I would always encourage them to pick up female hitchhikers because of this poster.

In retrospect, I wonder what possible "action" a ten year old boy was going to get from hitchhikers like this... with his mum and dad in the car? I was seriously deluded.

I caught the film years later and enjoyed its unrepentant mean spirit. It was kinda slow, though.

Outside the US, Duel ('71) was released theatrically, and at drive-ins.

I saw it with my dad at the Clayton 1 drive-in and loved it.

It's still my favorite Spielberg film and is the one I can watch over and over again.

My dad wanted to stay for Winning ('69), the Paul Newman racing car film, so I suffered through it.

After Duel, though, it was for pussies.

L'Initiation was a '71 Canadian skinflick from Denis Heroux, who went on to direct Barbara Bach in The Uncanny ('77) and produce Atlantic City ('80) with Burt Lancaster, Black Robe ('91), and the excellent The Bay Boy ('84).

One on Top of the Other is Lucio Fulci's very decent Perversion Story ('69)

This is truly great, dirty Western with a dynamite lead performance by Michael J. Pollard, who was terrific in Badlands, and who scared the crap out of me as The Boy in "The Magic Mirror" episode of Lost in Space. Pollard has such an odd, disarming presence. He was the 60's/70's version of Crispin Glover (though he got much better roles). Today he looks like a pasty Malcolm McDowell.

The film, with its thick wash of grain and hand-held cinematogrpahy, is a minor masterpiece.

Also known as Beyond The Fog and Horror of Snape Island, this '72 British thriller has atmosphere and brutal menace. It's a little sloppy at times, but I like it.

Castle of the Living Dead ('64) compliments Tower perfectly. It also has the same problems. It is slow.

Still, it has a dwarf, (making it a must-see), Donald Sutherland as an old hag, the first AD was Michael Reeves, who would march onwards to direct the wonderful Witchfinder General, and it has fantastic Euro-Goth atmosphere.


  1. The prospect of an old-school Crispin Glover is intriguing to me. Was he a spastic geek who made people uncomfortable while churning out horrid Barnes & Barnes style music videos and exploitive movies with retards?

    Tower of Evil is a must see. A bit slow as you stated but it's more bloodthirsty than what I've come to expect of previous generations of British horror and for that I like it.

  2. Pollard did the retard bit, but not the videos.

    Tower of Evil is very worthwhile.