Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984)

It’s 100 degrees outside, and I’m compelled to revisit a musical I discovered around this time last Summer, during a similar heat wave. I watched it at least three times during my daytime activity hours, which means I had it on while I was doing my work. It’s a perfect Summer companion movie, not deserving of too much attention, yet too fun to ignore.

Screenwriter James Guidotti regarded the film as a sendup of various exploitation genres: "It's a little like sitting home and watching TV late on a Saturday night, all the while switching channels… on channel 5 they're airing an old Beach Party movie; on 9 one about alien invaders; on 11 a film about a mad, homicidal maniac on the loose; and on 13 a rock 'n roll program."
Synth-Pop band Rhema was recruited after the producers, and the film’s star Pia Zadora, flew to Arizona to see them perform live. They seem to get at least as much screen time as anyone else in the movie, and that’s a good thing. They’re exactly the sort of band I wanted to be in when I was like 12 years old.

After wrapping the shoot, Pia flew on her private jet to Italy (she was married to a rich dude) and produced a music video with Jermaine Jackson, using a totally different crew. It was decided that they would tack the video onto the beginning of the movie. So you’re free to skip that part. Otherwise this is a cool frosty Summer confection, and you get to see it on Youtube for free. For now.


The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

edited from wikipedia:
The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an American television series that originally aired on NBC from September 15, 1968, through February 23, 1969. After the show's original run, the series continued to air in reruns as part of The Banana Splits and Friends Show syndication package. During development, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera stated the show was to be the most expensive half hour ever put on television.

I assume it was the excessive cost that led to this only lasting 20 episodes, because it was popular in its time. Even when I saw it regularly as a five-year old on UHF in the 70's, I recognized a unique show. I'm unaware of anything like it that had been done before or since, at least not as a regular series.

All of the episodes are currently available for watching on dailymotion.  But they aren't nearly the same quality as this youtube clip. And yes, that voice is Ted Cassidy (Lurch).


Early 70's Brit-Horror Double Feature: Vampire Circus (1972) and The Mutations (1974)

I just found Vampire Circus for the first time, and it's my favorite Hammer film I've yet seen. I already have a soft spot for any movie with bad things happening in a circus/carnival setting. So you get that dark carny element, as well as the vampirism (synonymous with plague in this context). It's also surprisingly violent, transgressive, and sexy. Free on youtube for a potentially limited time. This print is a little dark, so I encourage you to find a better version for money elsewhere. The copy I just saw looked great.

 I've sung the praises of The Mutations here in this blog before. But back then I could only offer a short clip. The whole movie is available now. I've owned the DVD for the last decade and have re-watched it twice. You need to see this.

And dig this connection... Shortly after Tom Baker starred in The Mutations, he began his stint as Doctor Who in 1974. One of his companions was played by Lalla Ward. They were co-stars for two years on the show, then ended up getting real-life married. She plays the female twin in Vampire Circus. Also, the circus strongman is David Prowse, who a year earlier was the old man's bodyguard in A Clockwork Orange, and would go on to play Darth Vader.

I haven't blogged in a while. Just tried putting a couple images of movie posters, but Google won't allow any pictures unless I own them. Whatever happened to "fair use?" Not fair at all.


Movie of the Week: The Curse (1987)

I recently discovered this and was very impressed and amused by it. Starring the young Will Wheaton, who would have been in between the two roles he's most famous for (Stand By Me and Star Trek: The Next Generation), with additional footage shot by the great Lucio Fulci. I don't believe you'll have trouble determining which specific footage that is, if you're familiar with his work.

This Italian production set in Tennessee is a loose adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's The Colour out of Space, and it achieves a nice Lovecraftian sense of existential horror as well as Southern deep-fried white trash vibe. This youtube rip, which is linked if you click the above poster image (Blogger has made embedding videos more difficult since the last time I posted) isn't the best, so I recommend you seek it elsewhere via DVD or streaming.


Family Classics: Alice in Wonderland (1976)

A benevolent Youtuber has edited and uploaded the 1976 porno classic Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy.

This being Family Classics, all of the objectional parts have been removed with 128 edits, cutting the runtime in half. But that still leaves us with 41 minutes of whimsical adventure. Moms and dads, boys and girls, gather round and enjoy this special presentation.


Animal Revolutionary Theater: Be Human

No real animals were harmed during the making of this motion picture.


Movie of the Week, Herschell Gordon Lewis Memorial Edition: She-Devils on Wheels

Herschell Gordon Lewis has passed away at the age of 87. Here's one of his relatively tame features to remember him by. The soundtrack is muted to start, but returns in a minute or two.