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Showing posts from September 25, 2005
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La Cloche (film #5 in the Ephemera section of Bedazzled. Also, film #6 in the Juke Box Movies section of Bedazzled. Also, film #6 in the Music section of Bedazzled. Also, film #6 in the Music Video section of Bedazzled. Also, film #6 in the Scopitones section of Bedazzled. Also, film #1 in the Video section of Bedazzled). [Category: Hollywood]French Scopitone featuring a pretty female pop singer who sings a pop ditty in a babyish voice while rattling a percussion instrument and going horseback riding with a couple of male companions. This is mild, perky 60s fun.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
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Buffalo Dance (film #37 on Edison Film Archive. Also, film #2 on Feature Films). [Category: Early Film & TV]Some Native Americans perform a buffalo dance. This is pretty strange-looking, but it was probably authentic, given its time period, so I’m not going to comment. It does have a lot of historical value, though. An 1894 Edison film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Another Remaining Season for Lost in Space (film #2 in the Irwin Allen’s Lost Sci-Fi Pilot section of TVParty). [Category: Commercial]Dr. Zachary Smith from “Lost in Space” tells us all about the new fall CBS lineup. Since he’s over the top, and he has to talk about the likes of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” this is great. In fact, it’s just him talking, making this better than most fall season promos.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
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Cleopatra Jones Trailer (film #5 in the Blaxploitation section of Bedazzled. Also, film #5 in the Film section of Bedazzled. Also, film #5 in the Movie Trailers section of Bedazzled. Also, film #5 in the Video section of Bedazzled). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]Four words: Shelly Winters as “Mommy.” That’s right, not only does this trailer provide soul brothers, violence, hip ghetto lingo, huge Afros, and a feminist answer to Shaft, but it has an over-the-top performance from the queen of tv movies as the feminist answer to the Godfather. I’d say it has just about everything, sugah! Better protect the family jewels, fellas!
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Soul Quotient: *****. Tough Babe Quotient: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
The Cord of Life (film #7 on The Origins of Cinema, Volume 4: The Arrival of D. W. Griffith (Video Yesteryear, 1995)). [Category: Early Film & TV]A dastardly villain harasses a nice imigrant fellow––why is not made clear. At one point, the cad hangs the imigrant's baby out of a high window, arranging it so when the window is opened, the baby will plunge to his death. Will our hero make it back home in time to save the baby before his unknowing wife thoughtlessly opens the window? We get faked out in a number of ways as she almost opens it to dry laundry, clear out smoke, etc., but is always interrupted at the last minute. A fun melodramatic cliffhanger of a film. A 1909 D. W. Griffith film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: ***.
Last Commercials He Filmed (film #9 in the Cigarette Advertising on TV section of TVParty). [Category: Public Service]PSA John Wayne made for the American Cancer Society during the late 60s. Although TVParty bills this as an anti-smoking PSA, Wayne actually doesn’t mention smoking at all, but instead urges the folks at home to go get medical checkups, attributing his life to early detection of his lung cancer. He’s actually pretty convincing, since he tells us his story in a way that pulls no punches. An interesting John Wayne relic.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Alternate Endings (extra on Freaks DVD (Warner Bros.)). [Category: Outtakes & Obscurities]A narrator presents us with several alternate endings for the movie Freaks, created as a response to censorship efforts in various states. This is mildly interesting, though it would have been more interesting had they been able to get the original highly lurid ending that is described at the beginning of this segment. Still, this provides some interesting background information for the film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: **.
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Chimp Into Space (film #123 on Universal Newsreels). [Category: News]Newsreel story about one of several US spaceflights where a chimp was launched into orbit to see if it would be safe for a man to do it. This is fairly interesting, though the chimp looks none too happy during his post-flight medical examination. A historically interesting newsreel from the early days of the space program. Next up: John Glenn!
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Combat Bulletin No. 37 (film #1 on tape #7 of This Film Is Restricted Boxed Set (Marathon Music & Video, 1997)). [Category: Military & Propaganda]In "Additional Films of the Landing of Mindoro," we see more gritty and violent combat footage, including corpses, stuff blowing up, and stuff burning. In "North American Air Ferry Route to Siberia," war materials are flown to Russia from Montana by way of Canada and Alaska. In "Advance in Burma," engineers build roads and bridges in Burma to ease the way for troops and war materials to be shipped in. In "Nazi Version of Action in the East," we see captured German footage of the bombing of Warsaw, intercut with other aerial footage the Germans shot years ago, the narrator tells us. In "Factories in Paris Subway," we see Frenchmen in newly-liberated Paris taking apart a German aircraft factory that was built in a subway tunnel, so the tunnel can be used again for the subway. In "A…
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Allies Seize German Loot and Criminals (film #54 on Universal Newsreels). [Category: Military & Propaganda]Interesting newsreel from late WWII on German loot, especially artworks, stolen from conquered nations being discovered Allied troops after Germany’s surrender. Hermann Goering’s vast collection of stolen art is especially featured, and we get to see pieces from that collection. Also shown are various Nazi bigwigs who decided not to kill themselves being taken into custody for war crimes. Also included are stories about a British undersea gasoline pipeline and a victory garden at sea (this story is missing its soundtrack). Plus there’s a cool “Buy Bonds” ending, making this one of my favorite of the WWII-era newsreels.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Felix Goes West (film #3 on Felix the Cat DVD (Delta Entertainment, 2004)). [Category: Hollywood]Felix strikes out in getting a meal in his home town, so he decides to go west to the Land of Opportunity. There he has run-ins with a bear, a cowboy, and some Indians, who end up sending him back where he came from. This is a pretty ordinary Felix, though it does have a few amusing moments, such as how he takes care of the bear.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
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Consuming Women (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #374 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]This looks like an excerpt from a longer 60s film aimed at marketing professionals which attempts to profile the “average woman.” A pretty but generic-looking model poses in various female roles, such as single women, wife, mother, secretary or little old lady, while the narrator tells us that “she” is all of those things, but mostly, “she’s a real person.” However, the female depictions shown are incredibly stereotyped and fake, leaving you with the impression that though the marketers of the time were trying to understand the needs and desires of women, they were horribly failing. The film ends with a bizarre sequence of the woman spending a lot of money for a gold-wrapped package, then looking horribly sad, which is an ironic image for a film supposedly showing women as consumers. I wish the whole film was available––it looks priceless.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Va…
Caught in a Rip-Off (film #2 on Sound of Centron DVD). [Category: Educational]This 70s Centron film is narrated by a teenage shoplifter, telling the story of how he was caught trying to shoplift a can of spraypaint from a hardware store and felt intense shame as a result. The narration of his story starts out cool, hip, and self-justifying, and gradually gets more and more overwrought as he discovers there is no way out from getting caught and having the police called. If you were a teen during the 70s, this film will probably bring back memories, and probably not pleasant ones. Memories of shame and humiliation. Still, these feelings were more likely to result from peer rejection rather than being confronted by a police officer. Even though it’s no fun to be arrested, the anguish shown by the main character of this film seems out of proportion to the situation. It’s not particularly campy, though, because the anguish seems all too real nonetheless. I doubt, though, that this had much…
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C’est Fou Mais C’est Tout (film #5 in the Film section of Bedazzled. Also, film #5 in the Juke Box Movies section of Bedazzled. Also, film #5 in the Music section of Bedazzled. Also, film #5 in the Music Video section of Bedazzled. Also, film #5 in the Scopitones section of Bedazzled. Also, film #5 in the Video section of Bedazzled). [Category: Hollywood]EEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK!!!!!! French Beatles impersonators!!! They’re so dreamy!! But where’s Faux Ringo? He’s my fave! More early 60s weirdness dredged up for our pleasure, courtesy of Bedazzled.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
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Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Parade (film #20 on America at Work, America at Leisure. Also, film #7 on The Life of a City. Also in the Historical section of Open Video Project). [Category: Early Film & TV]This is basically just a very ordinary turn-of-the-century parade, with lots of people walking along side, folks. Bit of a disappointment considering that Buffalo Bill’s shows were have supposed to have been so exotic. A 1902 Biograph film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: *. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.
Atom Age Vampire Trailer (extra on Bloodlust/Atom Age Vampire DVD (Madacy Entertainment)). [Category: Commercial]Campy, over-the-top trailer for what looks like an incredibly cheap dubbed 50s sci-fi film, Atom Age Vampire. Lots of bad special effects and bad dubbing in this one.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
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Black Belt Jones Trailer (film #3 in the Blaxploitation section of Bedazzled. Also, film #3 in the Film section of Bedazzled. Also, film #3 in the Movie Trailers section of Bedazzled. Also, film #3 in the Video section of Bedazzled). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]Incredibly campy trailer for that stalwart of afternoon tv advertising, the blaxploitation flick Black Belt Jones. Highlights include the female lead giving new meaning to the term “doing the dishes” and Jones himself fighting a bunch of baddies in a pile of suds. This has enough silly sequences in it that you wonder of they were starting to parody the genre. At any rate, if you want a fun blaxploitation trailer, this is it.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Soul Quotient: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
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Labor of Thy Hands (film #812 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Public Service]This 50s film, made by Hadassa, the women’s Zionist organization, tells us about the various vocational training programs the organization funds in Israel, and how they are bringing new hope to young people who previously had none. The Holocaust casts a long shadow on this film, though it is never explicitly mentioned. But there are all kinds of hints that the young people we see learning various job skills are mostly concentration camp survivors who not long ago had no reason to believe they would have any future at all. This lends the film a hopeful quality, as we see them given help to rebuild their lives. Unfortunately, viewed from today’s perspective, an even bigger shadow is cast by the long history of war, violence, and terrorism that we now know was just around the corner for Israel. Still, you can’t blame the makers of this film for not being psychic, and viewed in the context of this time, it is o…
Copper Beaches (film #1 on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes DVD (Grapevine Video). Also, film #2 on Video Scrapbook #54: Sherlock Holmes - The Early Years (Hollywood's Attic, 1996)). [Category: Early Film & TV]An abusive father locks his daughter in a stable to prevent her from eloping, then hires a look-alike governess to act as bait in a booby trap for his daughter's fiance. But the governess gets suspicious and goes to Sherlock Holmes for help and the two of them plan a little booby trap of their own. Lots of hammy acting makes this a lot of fun. There is actually a scene where Sherlock Holmes literally looks for clues with a magnifying glass! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself supervised this production. A Warner's film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.