All things Cult Cinema

Started by wilder, March 27, 2017, 06:00:36 PM

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July 16, 2019

Satanis - The Devil's Mass (1970) and Satan's Children (1975) on blu-ray from American Genre Film Archive, from 2K restorations

The Devil's Mass is the unseen and unbelievable exposé on Anton LaVey, America's favorite leader of the Church of Satan. Feeling like a bedtime story as told by Kenneth Anger and Russ Meyer, this is a wild glimpse into the witches, black masses, and sex lives that built San Francisco's most infamous cult. From LaVey's daughter ("I think they're nuts!") to a nude woman who performs a satanic rite with a Boa constrictor, you'll meet numerous proto-goths, midnight maniacs, and daytime Draculas -- and even a pet tiger named Togare! In the words of LaVey, "There is a beast in man that should be exercised, not exorcised!"

Made by one-and-done filmmakers in the gutters of Tampa, Satan's Children is an Afterschool Special from depths of hell... literally. Bobby is a troubled teen with problems. After deflecting his father's insults and his stepsister's come-ons, Bobby unknowingly ends up at a gay bar. Before long, he's sexually assaulted by four guys in the back seat of a car. With nowhere else to turn, Bobby joins a cult of Satanists to enact his murderous revenge. A truly deranged gut-punch, this is a gritty and baffling "experience" that could have only happened in Florida.


only today did i learn about this, since it's her birthday. she's perhaps most known for working with Hal Hartley

from wiki


Shelly was found dead at approximately 5:45 p.m on November 1, 2006. Her husband, Andy Ostroy, discovered the body in the Abingdon Square apartment in Manhattan's West Village that she used as an office. Ostroy had dropped her off at 9:30 a.m. He had become concerned because Shelly had not been in contact that day and went to the building, asking the doorman to accompany him to the apartment. They found her body hanging from a shower rod in the bathtub with a bed sheet around her neck.

Despite the door not having been locked and money reportedly missing from her wallet, New York City Police Department apparently believed Shelly had taken her own life. An autopsy found she had died as a result of neck compression. Ostroy insisted that his wife was happy in her personal and professional life, and in any case would never have committed suicide leaving her two and a half year old daughter motherless. His protests over the following days caused a more careful re-examination of the bathroom, which revealed there was a sneaker print in gypsum dust on the toilet beside where her body had been found. The suspect print was matched to a set of other shoe prints in the building, where construction work had been done the day of Shelly's death.

On November 6, 2006, the press reported the arrest of a 19-year-old construction worker, Diego Pillco, who according to police had confessed on tape to attacking Shelly, and then staging the fake suicide by hanging her. Pillco's original version of what happened was that when Shelly asked if the noise could be kept down, he threw a hammer at her and, afraid she would make a complaint that might result in his deportation, followed her back to her apartment, where the petite 40-year-old hit him, and was killed by a fall during a struggle. Subsequently, Pillco gave a completely different account in which he said while on a break he had noticed Shelly returning to her apartment and followed her. After assaulting her and rendering her unconscious, he killed her by staging the fake suicide. The second version was consistent with the lack of dust on Shelly's shoes (which she was not wearing when found) and seemed to be a confession to murder, but prosecutors reportedly thought if charged with murder Pillco might return to his original account and a jury trial could find him guilty of a lesser charge. The medical examiner determined that Shelly was still alive when hanged. Pillco pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole.

At Pillco's sentencing on March 13, 2008, Shelly's husband, along with family members, said that they would never forgive him. Andy Ostroy said of Pillco " are nothing more than a coldblooded killer" and that he hoped he would "rot in jail".

In remembering Shelly, Ostroy said that "Adrienne was the kindest, warmest, most loving, generous person I knew. She was incredibly smart, funny and talented, a bright light with an infectious laugh and huge smile that radiated inner and outer beauty... she was my best friend, and the person with whom I was supposed to grow old".


September 17, 2019

Andy Sidaris' Guns (1990) on blu-ray from Mill Creek, from a 4K restoration

South American criminal Juan Degas has been using the Hawaiian Islands as his base for smuggling weapons from China to Latin America. Tracking their target from Hawaii to Las Vegas, our agents must watch their backs while attempting to take down their prey.

September 17, 2019

Andy Sidaris' Do or Die (1991) on blu-ray from Mill Creek, from a 4K restoration

A pair of female agents is targeted for elimination by an Asian criminal kingpin out for revenge. The evil mastermind sends out an army of assassins with the same mission, to kill agents Donna and Nicole!


i have this feeling that Venom 2 is going to be really special. it's just a thrilling hunch


i'm a supporter but there's no good reason to think this will reach beyond cult


there's one line on the lips of trash culture this october:

"When you bring me out, can you introduce me as Gemini Man?"


We rented Andy Sidaris' films, Wilder. They were fun and full of het-drag, but oddly not as ridiculous as i had imagined they'd be. Essentially, Sidaris made the Triple B series out of the espionage/action tropes but truly only cares about the comic-bits of these films and leans into them -- looney-tunes via Malibu Bay. Goofy, no-frills, no-tension crime and outlaw skin slicks. I think this is

Also, the DVD menus are kinda cooler than the Blu Ray menus, but they're both packed with trailers and Sidaris links.


Quote from: jenkins on October 07, 2019, 09:27:38 PM
there's one line on the lips of trash culture this october:

"When you bring me out, can you introduce me as Gemini Man?"

article about the original writer

QuoteIn the mid-1990s, Lemke was working at a grocery store, pushing carts and pushing 27, writing murder-mystery theater in North Jersey. A graduate of New York City's School of Visual Arts, he had seen his classmates enthusiastically rush to Los Angeles after graduation, then slowly return like soldiers from the warfront. He stayed behind, tapping away at the keyboard on spec scripts, all action and thriller.

In a weird only-in-Hollywood confluence, only in this case it was only-in-Jersey, he went out to the movies one night, giving a script to a friend of a friend's brother, who gave it to an assistant to a movie producer, who then gave it to said movie producer.

he's written/directed one movie, ive seen it, i rented it from blockbuster back when we did things like that, it's awful, the movie, is awful


i was reading trivia for The Black Cat and first learned this

QuoteWhile working on this film, director Edgar G. Ulmer began an affair with Shirley Castle, who would eventually become his wife, known as Shirley Ulmer. At the time, however, Castle was married to Max Alexander, a producer at Universal Pictures and a nephew of powerful Universal chief Carl Laemmle, who did not look kindly on "outsiders" upsetting his family. Castle left her husband for Ulmer, and the ensuing scandal resulted in Ulmer being blackballed from all of the major Hollywood studios for the rest of his career. After a short period of directing micro-budgeted independent films, Ulmer went to work for the low-budget studio Producers Releasing Corp. (PRC), where he stayed for most of the rest of his career.


i can't find the full story online, but it seems to be that Ben Hecht won the first screenwriting academy award for von Sternberg's Underworld, and sent the trophy back. a figurehead in screenwriting during the golden age of hollywood, Hecht didn't consider film an artform, he wanted to be a novelist. the trophy was sent back to him and he used it as a doorstop

i heard Adina Hoffman speak about this in reference to her book Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures, so that's a legitimate source


last night at the new bev i saw Medium Cool and The Don Is Dead as part of the Robert Forster tribute series

but idgaf about those movies and i wish that rather than 60s/70s stuff qt was more into 20s/30s stuff but to each his own

our interests overlap in cartoons, however. seeing this in the theater was a tremendous experience

QuoteHare-um Scare-um is a 1939 Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton.

The title is a homonym with an old nonsense expression ("harum-scarum", meaning reckless or irresponsible) that has nothing to do with rabbits as such. This was the first use of a hare-based pun title in the Warner Bros. cartoons; it would be a device used to name the vast majority of Bugs Bunny cartoons in the years to come.

This cartoon marks the third appearance of the Bugs Bunny prototype and the first time he, thanks to a redesign by Charlie Thorson, appears as a grey rabbit instead of a white one.

Happy Rabbit's voice and laugh were identical to those of Woody Woodpecker in his very first appearance (the Andy Panda cartoon "Knock Knock", released the following year). In fact, Mel Blanc voiced Woody Woodpecker for the first year before entering a contract with Warner Bros.

it's fucking insane to me to see Bugs Bunny developing, especially feeling this experience in a theater. i've seen some good movies at new bev since it reopened but all my favorite experiences have been cartoon related


Quote from: WorldForgot on October 08, 2019, 11:40:13 AM
We rented Andy Sidaris' films, Wilder. They were fun and full of het-drag, but oddly not as ridiculous as i had imagined they'd be. Essentially, Sidaris made the Triple B series out of the espionage/action tropes but truly only cares about the comic-bits of these films and leans into them -- looney-tunes via Malibu Bay. Goofy, no-frills, no-tension crime and outlaw skin slicks.

Happy you checked them out. The spy shit is fun but you're right: what attracted me initially was their humor, everything laced with the absurdity found in the narrative setups of porn, interactions pointing that direction, but without the fully x-rated payoffs.

Quote from: WorldForgot on October 08, 2019, 11:40:13 AM
and full of het-drag

Would be interested to hear you elaborate on this...

February 18, 2020

José Ramón Larraz's Deadly Manor (1990) on blu-ray from Arrow US & Arrow UK, from a 2K restoration from the original film elements

An old, dark house... A maniac on the loose... An orgy of bloodlust! All the hallmarks of late master of Spanish macabre José Ramón Larraz (Edge of the Axe, Vampyres) are present and correct in 1990's Deadly Manor - the final horror movie from one of the genre's most unheralded filmmakers.

Whilst en route to a lake, a group of youngsters make an unscheduled stop-off at a remote, seemingly abandoned mansion where they plan to spend the night. But the property is full of foreboding signs - a blood-stained car wreck in the garden, coffins in the basement, scalps in the closet, and photographs of a beautiful but mysterious woman adorning every corner of the house. Before daybreak, the group will unwittingly uncover the strange and terrifying truth that lurks behind the walls of this dreadful place.

The last in a trio of transcontinental slice-and-dice co-productions helmed by Larraz towards the end of the 80s (all of which which he directed under the anglicized moniker of Joseph Braunstein), Deadly Manor - released on VHS in the US under the title Savage Lust - is a fitting capper to the director's prolific career in fear, now finally unearthed for the first time on Blu-ray

January 28, 2020

José Ramón Larraz's Edge of the Axe (1988) on blu-ray from Arrow US & Arrow UK

From cult Spanish filmmaker José Ramón Larraz (Vampyres, Symptoms) comes this long-neglected late 80s slasher classic, finally unleashed on Blu-ray for the first time ever!

The rural community of Paddock County is being rocked by the crazed exploits of an axe-wielding psychopath, who stalks the night in a black trenchcoat and mask. As the victims pile up, the authorities attempt to keep a lid on the situation, whilst computer whizz-kid Gerald and girlfriend Lillian seek to unmask the killer before the town population reaches zero. Nominally set in Northern California but shot primarily in Madrid, giving the film an off-kilter, American/European atmosphere akin to the likes of Pieces, Edge of the Axe is a late entry hack-and-slash masterpiece from one of the titans of Spanish terror.

March 17, 2020

Andy Sidaris' Hard Hunted (1992) on blu-ray from Mill Creek, from a 4K restoration

After smuggling a nuclear trigger from China, underworld arms dealer Martin Kane offers it to a violent Mideastern leader. Before the sale is final, however, a special U.S. agent goes under-covers to steal it. But when she's murdered, it's up to secret agents Donna Hamilton (Speir), Nicole Justin (Vasquez) and Edy Stark (Brimhall) to save the day. Hunted by high-tech warriors, these straight-shooting heroines never back down. Between battles, they find time for some erotic R&R that gives new meaning to the word "action"! Suspenseful and sexy, Hard Hunted is hard to beat!

March 17, 2020

Andy Sidaris' Fit to Kill (1993) on blu-ray from Mill Creek, from a 4K restoration

Chinese businessman Chang owns the fabulous Alexa diamond, stolen from Russia during WWII. He intends to return it to Russia during a gala dinner, but the diamond is stolen by Kane, assisted by his lethal and seductive partner Blu Steele. The Agency, in charge of security at the event, go into high gear to try and recover the diamond. Gunplay, explosions, seductions, lethal remote control helicopters, and general mayhem ensue.

March 24, 2020

Ovidio G. Assonitis & Robert Barrett's Beyond the Door (1974) on blu-ray from Arrow, from a 2K restoration

Legendary filmmaker Ovidio G. Assonitis, whose Tentacles and Piranha II sought to cash in on the killer fish craze spawned by Jaws, first hit pay dirt in 1974 with Beyond the Door - a gloriously bonkers riff on The Exorcist featuring Emmy Award-winning actress Juliet Mills and distinguished British actor Richard Johnson.

Set against the backdrop of San Francisco, Beyond the Door stars Mills as Jessica Barrett, a young mother who starts to develop strange behaviors whilst pregnant with her third child. Before you can say "split pea soup", Jessica is displaying signs of full-blown demonic possession - complete with projectile vomiting and fully-rotating head! Could it be that she's carrying the child of the Antichrist himself?

Described as "disgusting", "scary trash" and "maddeningly inappropriate" by film critic Robert Ebert and subject to a lawsuit by Warner Bros. (who claimed copyright infringement against a certain William Friedkin film), the devilish denizens at Arrow Video have summoned up this wickedly entertaining popcorn spiller in a brand new, extras-packed edition fit for Satan himself!

March 2020

FAB Press is republishing the long-OOP book 'The Ghastly One: The 42nd Street Netherworld of Director Andy Milligan', with newly added material.

Pre-orders will include a one-off printing of a 300-page book of previously unpublished Andy Milligan scripts.

There's an interesting interview with the author, Jimmy McDonough, up at Diabolique Magazine


now that i'm a part of hollywood cinema lore i'll try to behave like a normal person still

um, a 35mm print of Variety played for me alone, front row (where the guy in the movie sits, whom Luis Guzmán calls funny and the protagonist chases), on the second-ever night of Fairfax Cinema, the controversial reopening of the Cinefamily organization

only i was there for this occurrence, in this movie city with a metropolitan population of sixteen million. Lurie made the score i'd forgotten that. it's NYC around 1983, director Bette Gordon. the protagonist is a cashier at a neon porno theater. Guzmán is the ticket taker. cinematographer Tom DiCillo. it's neon and sex and the bright lights of a city especially at night, coca-cola signage and a baseball game too

given that 35mm prints have to be ordered, it can be presumed that the opening movies were programmed by the Safdies, who had to dip, and whose lack of support bottomed the screening down to just me

i have been to weirder la screenings (live commentary by tobe hooper with mick garris at the Aero for TCM) and sadder la screenings (a small population for  L.Q. Jones with A Boy and His Dog at the Nuart, a small population for Stuart Gordon opening night for Stuck at the Nuart, a small population for a live Roger Corman event i arrived early for at the New Bev), but it's never been just me until tonight, given that i was almost alone during the Charlie Brown anniversary screening at the Grove but then that family arrived


Quote from: jenkins on December 27, 2019, 03:03:16 AM
a 35mm print of Variety played for me alone

only i was there for this occurrence, in this movie city with a metropolitan population of sixteen million

At the NYFF screening of Transit,  I looked around at the nearly packed house and went 'this is the difference between NY & LA'. Had the same thought when I saw Margarethe von Trotta's Marianne & Julianne, off of polka's recommendation, at the Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn (a converted former-bodega, so minuscule, but there was only standing room after the 30 or so card table chairs had filled).

My own memory of LA jives with your experience. Screenings at The Egyptian, for stuff like The Night of the Hunter or Sweet Smell of Success, movies clearly within the classic Hollywood lane, beget a smattering of people, but non-genre, off-the-beaten-path-repertory has so much harder a time. I don't remember much even showing, tbh, outside of The Silent Movie Theater (Cinefamily / now Fairfax). NY has its own gross problems, but less this one. Very curious how eward will fare.

fwiw, I kind of doubt you'd like it even on this end - the state of being alone in a crowded room seems like an integral part of the jenkins worldview.