California the Golden (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #158 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Hollywood]This straightforward 30s travelogue about California is historically interesting for the view it gives us of California in the 30s. Perhaps the most dated aspect of it is that it was made by a steamship line, and it assumes we've taken a cruise through the Panama Canal in order to get there. Not very campy, but pleasant and watchable all the same.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
The Barber Shop (film #7 on The Movies Begin, Volume One: The Great Train Robbery and Other Primary Works (Kino Video, 1994). Also, film #7 on The Art of Cinema Begins (Video Yesteryear, 1997)). [Category: Early Film & TV]A man gets a nice shave and a haircut while two other patrons enjoy a joke in a men's magazine. Another early slice-of-life film. I want the sign that says, "THE LATEST WONDER: SHAVE AND A HAIRCUT FOR A NICKEL." An 1894 Edison film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Drive-In Movie Double Feature #58 (Sinister Cinema). [Category: Commercial]Rip-Off!! This double feature's intermission is only seven minutes long, instead of the required ten minutes. It does have the Rico's Nachos promo, though, which is essential.
- BUCKY BEAVER WARNING!! Well, not exactly. But the bizarre animated characters in the Rico's Nachos promo did cause my husband to exclaim, "They're relatives of Bucky Beaver!", which means they require a warning of some sort.
- Now we want everybody to support their local P.T.A., and to make sure, we're going to give the announcement a psychedelic, amoebae-like background.
- Other items for the Film Ephemera Museum of Quirky Devices: the bizarre coffee machine from the coffee snack bar promo, and a really cool neon Coca-Cola clock from the Coca-Cola promo.
- Try our one-line snack bar promos.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: **** (gets docked a star for being only seven minutes long).
Red Hot Riding Hood (film #4 on Cartoons for Big Kids (Turner Home Entertainment, 1989)). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]This cartoon has one of the all-time great beginnings: the characters from "Little Red Riding Hood" complain about having to do that hoary old tale one more time, so the animators change it to reflect modern sensibilities. This time, the wolf is of the Hollywood-and-Vine type, Grandma is a Mae-West-type proprietor of "Granny's Joint", and Red is a sexy nightclub singer. Add lots of great Tex Avery gags, and you've got one of the all-time classic cartoons. And I want for my museum the wolf's clapping and whistling machine and the sign that says, "Imagine that! No door!"
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
Godzilla and Other Movie Monsters (Passport Video, 1998).This is a two-tape history of Godzilla, but obviously there's only so much you can say about Godzilla, so it ends up broadening its focus to include movie dinosaurs and giant monsters of all types, making it a lot like the Dinosaurs! set. Most of the clips are from feature films, though it does have the usual array of movie trailers and clips from early dinosaur films. So this is really only marginally ephemera, but it's pretty fun anyway. There are a lot of really creatively-edited montages of all kinds of footage, with lots of fun juxtapositions, such as when the narrator tells us that eventually the dinosaurs died out and we see a clip of a cartoon dinosaur floating up to heaven from "Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur." And it does have the complete Bambi vs. Godzilla near the end of tape two (not that that's particularly hard to find). Giant monster fans should enjoy this quite a bit, non-giant monster fans less so.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
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