Saturday, April 08, 2006

Pervert: The Movie

Now those of you who know me know that I like women, movies, and great music. I'm also a HUGE fan of Russ Meyer, and trash films in general. Well, I came across a little ditty last week that I'm dying to see on DVD. The just released "Pervert: The Movie" appears different from other shit that has porn chicks in it. In fact, this isn't even a porn. It's a good ol, show me your titties and blow away a zombie kind of fun. But what it APPEARS to be is good ol throwback titty-infested good times of un-politically correct entertainment that this world needs more of.

Everyone that matters praises it for what it is: great midnite viewing that would make Russ proud.

Anyone remember Mary Carey? She rose to infamy when she ran for governor of California alongside Schwarzenegger. She didnt win, but sales of her shit skyrocketed. So, good move there.

At any rate, just wanted to put this DVD on your radar. I haven't seen it. I want to see it. and when i gonna be right here.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Aussie's B Movie Heaven

Now it's been a while since I've posted. In fact, it's been close to a damn year. But's funny that way.

Stumbled across a lil site that you all will be digging at least til the 4th of July. It's called AussieScribbler's B-Movie Heaven. damn if that ain't a mouthful....

this guy is prolly the first I've come across online who lives for the exploitation, loves it so much it drips off his pen. I figure he's prolly not an Aussie at all...he prolly runs a moonshine still over across the north 40. But hey, that's them internets for ya.

Check his site out and too, check out his rag he's got going called Cult Clash. He ain't no bullshit I tell you what.

So hey...I'm back....if the South would have one we'd ALL have it made...and I've got some Dixie Dynamite to watch.


Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Re-release Russ Meyer's SuperVixens

Super Vixens Recently re-released on DVD Region 2 PAL with a whole host of features, I recently bought this DVD from a buyer on Ebay (yes I live in the US but have a region-free, code-free JVC DVD player). "Supervixens" has long been my favorite Meyer movie, due to its 1970s, rural sensibilities. And after listening to Meyer's commentary on this DVD (repurposed from the early 90s laser disc edition of same movie), my love for this movie is renewed.

I have finally figured out why I love this movie as much as I do. For the longest time I thought it was just due to the crush/lust I had for Shari Eubank, the female lead. While that hasn't diminished, I've realized more than anything that Meyer was his generation's Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, El Mariachi, Sin City). On the commentary accompanying this DVD, Meyer tells of how his approach to most of his films was to get his band of crew members together (totalling 5 men), head off to the Arizona desert, and shoot the story du jour. They shot with found locations, props lying on the side of the road, and used whatever wardrobe was lying around. Most of his money was spent on cast and feeding and lodging them for the 2 week shoots. Even then, Meyer wasn't one to spend liberally. He produced, directed, shot, and edited his films. He personally bankrolled all his films. This DVD re-release is worth every penny just for the commentary alone.

Too, I was reminded of the powerful, screen presence of Charles Napier. When Charles was cast as Sheriff Harry Sledge in this movie, he was literally living out of his car. But this movie of Meyer's changed all of that. Meyer mentions on his commentary that once Napier began to get movie offers due to his newfound "agent", Napier would invite Meyer to shindig parties and yet avoid him, diss him in front of the "socially acceptable" elitists. It's a shame that Napier, for whatever reason, chose not to glorify in his Meyer heritage. If you ever wonder about the capability of Charles Napier's screen presence, or about his abilities as an actor, simply watch the final act of this movie. As Sheriff Harry Sledge, Napier's star-caliber performance atop the phallic rock structures in the desert is a performance of the ages. It speaks volumes as it was really just Charles competing against himself on screen. The heroine is tied up, the hero is bloddy and frail, and Napier just....well...he just performs marvellously. You have to see it.

I was hoping to find out more about my lust poodle Shari Eubank. Aside from her having a degree in Drama, very little information was offered on her.

Trailers - There are nine on this DVD: Faster Pussycat. Kill! Kill!, Blacksnake, Vixen, Common Law Cabin, Naked Girls of the Wild West, Mudhoney, Supervixens, and Beneath The Valley of the Ultravixens.

It was bittersweet watching this and listening to Meyer's commentary. Having passed in October 2004, Meyer holds strong memories for this movie. For the most part, "Supervixens" was his swan song. Back in the day when ticket prices for movies were only $1.50, Meyer's "Supervixens" grossed over $18 million. After this movie was released, 1975, theaters moved to the malls. Meyer was shut out due to the fact that while his films were never sexually explicit, they still received an "X" rating during the 1970s. That said, mall operators prohibited adult movies, and those classified as adult, to play in their megaplexes. Unable to continue to innovate, for what ever reason, Meyer simply nodded his hat, and rode off into the sunset. It's his feelings of this that come through in his voice and in the memories he decides to tell.

Overall, Arrow Films kept their costs down by not retransferring the negative (scratches are visible and the transfer appears unsupervised). By what the fuck do I care? I'm listening to Russ Meyer's recollections regarding the production of this movie.

Extra bonus for me: I finally learned how to pronounce Uschi Digart.

Get this DVD and learn for yourself.

Monday, April 18, 2005

New Movie In The Works

So Mysterion and I have been writing a feature since about mid-March. Well, the first draft is near completion and the second draft will begin in earnest this week. Tomorrow (tuesday) to be exact. This script started as an exercise to see if a feature could be written, in the style of the old, sexploitation films of the 70s, and shot in a weekend (like the same movies were shot). What started as a tribute to these films immediately blew up into something richer, more sinister, and more toxic. It has become a script that we would kill to see at a theater.

It's an incredibly, tight, little story.

So stay tuned. Maybe I'll post an excerpt of it or talk about it more in detail.

It's a white-trash, road movie, revenge story. Too, it's submerged in the authentically, cool and real South (an area that Mysterion and myself both love).

It's old school and it's for real. Filled with characters that we've known from time to time.

It's gonna be greeeeeeeaaaaaaattttt!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Happy Birthday To The Hedgehog

Ron Jeremy born this day in 1953 in Long Island, New York.

(learns to suck his own dick a mere 16 years later)

Friday, March 11, 2005

Much Reading To Do

Guess what I got today via UPS?

I just unpacked 'em and am getting ready to dive into them.

Expect some rumblings about them soon.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

My Hat's Off To Chips Moman...

...for having the vision and fortitude to record Elvis on "From Elvis In Memphis" the way Elvis should have been recorded.

(yeah I'm gonna veer off of "Dirty Movies" a minute to talk about sheer geniousness)

Chips Moman was the legendary producer at American Studios in Memphis, Tennessee who was turning out hits in the late 1960s for artists such as Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, Dusty Springfield and Herbie Mann. From 1969 to 1971, he was responsible for 120 hits. Originally he was the "board man" at Stax Records in Memphis during the early 1960s but after he recorded "Green Onions" for Booker T and the MGs, a falling out ensued between he and one of the Stax owners about royalties to that song. Chips successfully sued Stax, received three grand in doing so, and had enough money to set up his own studio across town.

American Studios was born and Chips Moman had complete control. What he'd always wanted. At one point in the late 1960s, Moman's success was such that during one particular week, over a quarter of Billboard's Hot 100 hits were generated at American.

Let's go back in time a bit from there. Elvis Presley rose to fame through the simple production approach that Sam Phillips had pioneered for Presley. Sam Phillips' approach to recording Presley was to provide him with scant, music accompaniment (granted Scotty and Bill were smoking in their guitar and bass chores) and let Elvis' talents be captured raw and unfettered. No other approach would have sent Elvis skyrocketing such as this.

So when Presley, tired and worn from the 33 B-movie career of his 60s phase, met success head on with his "1968 Comeback Special", somebody, SOMEBODY (maybe Elvis himself) in Presley's camp had the wherewithall to put him in touch with Chips Moman in Memphis. Maybe Presley looked around the musical landscape of the late 1960s and realized that so much of the great, Soul music being created was coming from American Studios and a one, Chips Moman. I have to speculate that the connection wasn't made by Colonel Parker, as he could care less about the artistic merits of his boys recordings, he just wanted the dollars to flow.

So here we are 1968. Elvis has just single-handedly resurrected his career through the televised "Comback Special" and he's looking to continue that live performance success with a homerun of an album (his first serious attempt at studio recording in over 10 years).

So Presley walked into American Studios just one month after his "Comeback Special" was televised in 1969 and he was looking for artistic value, an incredible team of session musicians, and a producer who could see the bigger picture.

Keep in mind that Chips Moman had complete artistic control in his own studio. That was the deal breaker for any artist that recorded there. And with Col. Tom Parker's heavy-handedness approach to "his boy the King", the stage was set for legendary battles, arguments, and debates.

In his book, "Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley", Peter Guralnick tells of the Col. Parker norm of having the producers who recorded his King and the writers who wrote the songs that Presley recorded, split their royalties 50-50 with Elvis (of which Col. Tom would then take 50% of Elvis' take).

The point of my entry here isn't to describe the battles. Rather, after driving home tonight listening to "Elvis From Memphis" on my iPod, I just had to record my thoughts about what I feel is sheer, recording studio brilliance.

See, Elvis Presley is a man who requires no fluff and no fold. His talent is such that it melted the vinyl that he was recorded on. The late 60s were the time of Phil Spector and his "wall of sound"; production values that dripped of glossy, over-produced vocals and instrumentation. Spector's approach was a sure fire way of removing any personality and originality from studio recordings. In fact, I would suggest that it was Spector who begat today's labels and their need for "radio mixdowns".

So with gloss value at an alltime high in the late 1960s because of Spector, how insightful and visionary it was for Chips Moman to record Presley's "Memphis" album, the one that gave us "Suspicious Minds", "Any Day Now", and "Kentucky Rain" with such scant musical arrangement? Chips Moman's geniousness was that he knew that at the end of the day, you don't have to fuck with Elvis' tracks much. And that they shouldn't be fucked with. Go back and listen to those tracks and recognize what you're hearing.

You're hearing a thrumping, active bass line (ala Bill Black), female backing vocals (a fresh replacement for the do-wop Jordanaires), and very little else. There wasn't a guitar style that was in vogue like the rockabilly stirrings of Scotty Moore (save Steve Cropper but even then...)and I would suggest that Chips recognized this and countered it with rich, full and yet simple accompaniment of a cello and light strings.

What Chips Moman recognized and executed were sessions that threw Presley into the forefront of the tracks with simple, and yet soulful, tracking arrangements.

To me, that's sheer brilliance. To recognize Presley's recording heritage of Sun Records, continue it at American and update it for a 1969 listening audience, was the right approach fit for a King.

Presley only recorded one more album with Chips, (that begat Jerry Reed's "Guitar Man" among other stellar tracks) before Col Tom was pushing for Chips to share Producer royalties while requiring Chips' songwriters to just "give" Presley half of their writing royalties. Like he should have done, Chips delivered to Col Tom a big, fuck you, and bid adieu to one of the greatest studio recording tenures in all of album recording history.

But that's allright. Chips gave us two albums of brilliance.

And it was from those sessions, that Elvis experienced his last Top 10 hits. Never again was he to record with such brilliance, artistic fervor, and domination that Chips Moman allowed him to do.

Presley's career in the 1970s would be a retread of old and a nostalgia act, created for the masses who longed for something from long ago; masses who longed for brilliance, artistic fervor, and domination from a true King of Rock and Roll.

Chips Moman gave Elvis the ultimate studio session Swan Song. And it couldn't have been created by any other producer.

So my hat's definitely off to Chips Moman. Some people in this world never seem to get the credit that they are due.

Cheers Chips.