Opportunity USA (film #7 on Lifestyles USA, Vol. 2 (Something Weird, 2000)). [Category: Industrial]

This film starts by telling us that everything good in this country is the result of capital investments. Apparently, they're not aware that everything good in this country is actually a result of the railroads. Then they turn the film over to an investment banker and it gets boring, boring, boring, as he attempts to explain such things as stocks, bonds, and underwriting to the masses. Yawn! At least Mainline USA has trains!

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: *. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.

Cupid Always Gets His Man (track #7 on Cartoon Crazys: Sci-Fi (WinStar Home Entertainment, 1999)). [Category: Hollywood]

The Cupids (there seems to be a whole nation of them) wage all-out war on W. C. Fields, trying to make him fall in love with his homely neighbor, and vice-versa. It's not easy, but since the Cupids are portrayed as mini-Mounties, they finally get their man. The ending is unbelievable, culminating with the stork blessing W. C. Fields and his bride with quintuplets (now that's a scary thought)! Not quite as bizarre as it sounds, but still pretty bizarre.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

Bicycle Today, Automobile Tomorrow (film #211 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Educational]

This Sid Davis film manages to take all the fun out of bike riding by giving out rules, rules, and more rules. Especially tedious are all the rules of bike maintenance shown, none of which I ever followed as a kid, except for stopping by the gas station to fill my tires at the air pump, which was fun. There aren't even any bad examples or gruesome accidents, so Sid Davis must have been sleeping through this one. It might bring back some bike-riding memories if you were a kid during the 60s, though.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.

California State Fair Highlights (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #1158 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Early Film & TV]

This 1913 film shows us scenes of the California State Fair. Mostly it involves parades and races along a very muddy track. The highlight of the film is a 90 mph crash of two trains. It's fairly spectacular footage, but the point of all of it is not given. Still, I guess it tells you how folks in 1913 amused themselves. The print of this is in very nice condition. A 1913 Vistamount film.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

Monsters Crash the Pajama Party Extras (on Monsters Crash the Pajama Party (Sinister Cinema)). [Category: Commerical]

Since Monsters Crash the Pajama Party is such a short film, Sinister Cinema threw some extra goodies on the tape. Before the film are three trailers from exploitation movies which may have been shown in the same theaters as Monsters. After the film is the trailer for Monsters and three live spook show promos, which are always great. These extras are a lot of fun and round out the tape well.


  • Great Moment in Bad Acting: Watch Timothy Farrell (always a sign of high quality cinema!) deliver the line, "You'll never get away with this!" in the trailer for Gun Girls.
  • Gimmick Alert! The trailer for Monsters informs us that it was filmed in "Fantastic HorrorVision"! This refers to the gimmick scene in the film where the mad scientist sends his assistants out into the audience to get a new victim for his experiments. During showings of the movie, ushers dressed as monsters actually went out into the audience and grabbed girls out of their seats. Eventually, the assistants reappear with a girl supposedly grabbed from the audience. To see how this actually came off, see the review of Monsters under "Hollywood" (still to come to this blog).
  • Great claims from the spook show promos: "See Dracula Change Into a Vampire Bat and Fly Out Into the Audience!" "Don't Be a Sissy! Come Even If Your Heart Is Weak!" "See the Girl Without a Middle and the Weird and Unusual Burning of a She-Devil!" "Can You TAKE IT?? Can You STAND IT??" "It's the Most Weird, Shocking, Amazing, Fascinating, Petrifying Horror Show Ever Produced on ANY Stage!"

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

Chime Bells (film #1330 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Military & Propaganda]

Just how do you say goodbye to your sweetie in the navy before he goes off to fight World War II? Answer: Why, with yodeling, of course! This film is what it is––no comment I could make would be sufficient or desired. Though I don’t know what she sees in that sailor––he can’t yodel worth a darn. And what’s with the ominous music behind the card that says “The End”?

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.

Better Reading

Better Reading . Teenager Harold Wilson has a problem—he can’t read for (expletive deleted). So he has to spend all his free time studying ...