Screen 13 has Returned (again!)

•May 3, 2019 • Leave a Comment

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5-22-70, NYC – I seriously wish I had the “Frustrations” that were going on at the Capri in 3D, but the last few days have been crazy upon crazy at Screen 13 Headquarters. A change in computers, moving files (thankfully I have everything Screen 13 related!!!), and getting things together all over again. Thanks for hanging around while this is going on. Hopefully, things will run smoothly “Without a Stitch” (42nd Street showing at the Victory).

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“In” in Minneapolis – “High” in San Francisco – Another Film for Further Research for The Scene

•April 29, 2019 • Leave a Comment

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5-27-70, Minneapolis – The Suburban World is “IN” with a showing of the infamous Canadian Underground film by Larry Kent previously known as High. After an opening in San Francisco in 1967 which hinted at the growing darkness in the Underground scene, it was unleashed in Toronto in Early 1968 with an intense story about it’s censorship troubles surrounding it’s showing before finally getting an opening in it’s shorter cut in Montreal in October.

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5-29-70 – Starring Astri Thorvick as Vicky and Lanny Beckman as Tom, and made in Montreal with music by a band called The Side Tracks of which I seriously know nothing about (The AFI lists them in it’s Catalog at least), High tells the story of a librarian and a Pot dealer who roam around the the 1967 model Montreal Underground and get themselves into more dark sides of life when the money is low including Prostitution and theft while finally get involved with a murder of one of Vicki’s customers in the Laurentian Mountains. In a way, this looks like it’s the Canadian Garage Punk Cousin to the younger European Hippie Junkie of Barbet Schroeder’s More (1969) – in other words, despite the Sexploitation promotion Joseph Brenner gave it in it’s US release, which appears to have been the full version that looks like it was was a self-imposed X – and possibly for good reason – this is clearly a more serious happening.

I wonder how the audiences in 1970 expecting a sexual psych-out reacted…

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2-14-69, San Francisco at the Presidio Theatre. More…no pun intended…later!

For a writer’s memories from back in the day, Michael Walsh offers up a stunning story of what happened back in the day in Toronto.
https://reelingback.com/articles/in_search_of_fulfillment

For a closer look, A Bitter High is found on You Tube that tells it’s tale – Part One is here.

Rare Ad Madness from the Screen 13 Files

•April 28, 2019 • Leave a Comment

4-11-69, Paramus, NJ – Hywel Bennett has really got a hold on Hayley Mills in this still from Twisted Nerve which was used for this ad during it’s showing at the Paramus Theater at the Garden State Shopping Center.

During the time away from this Blog, I have been gathering and organizing many of the ads in my collection while reserving a special rare section which collects the most unique and interesting of them. Time obviously does not allow me to put them all in one shot, but here’s a start of the fun that might bring back memories or just simply drop your jaws. In this day and age of movie ads that all look the same, this should make younger readers interested in a time when promotion was more spicy and sometimes dangerous.

12-22-78, Edmonton – Just hear those “Slay” bells ring out for the appearance of Halloween at the Rialto 2. While this is one of the most iconic Horror movies of all time, it has a hardly used ad mat which has made some readers surprised.

9-8-67, San Fransisco – Although the one-sheet for this version of the Psychedelic Sex Kicks ad is very common in collector’s circles, it was only used in the papers a few times. To be honest, the likeness to George Harrison based on the legendary photo of his visit in Frisco area in ’67 is seriously close so a little change had to happen. “It’s a stone’s groove”!
7-2-26, Anniston – It’s troubling when I come across a title like so Long, Blue Boy – here re-titled as College Affair – and still know nothing about the details other than that it stars Anne Seymour, featured Richard Gates (Kentucky Fried Movie) and it deal with a young gay artist. The B, The Goddess of Death is best known as Sexcapade in Mexico which was recently re-released by Something Weird Video and Directed by William De Diego (Dead End Girls).
8-22-75, Boston – Unless one is a dedicated giallo fan, The Flower with the Deadly Sting is a title hardly mentioned not because of the quality, but the fact that this has had few showings outside of Europe. Showings of this Carroll Baker film were very rare in The US where she was returning to after a career in Italy starring in a number of noted films that have achieved cult status including Umberto Lenzi’s Orgasmo (Paranoia). Baker’s next appearance was in Andy Warhol’s Bad which did very well, but her next chapter was in the rare as rare can get The Sky is Falling with Dennis Hopper which was seen in very few places, not least in St. Petersburg on a start-up Cable station, although she continued like the true legend she is.

5-5-76, Boston -The final rare ad for the evening focuses on the final theatrical showings of Johnny Firecloud as just Firecloud with a an ad that featured nothing connected to the plot and an image that made it look like a violent Sexploitation flick of the day. One thing is right besides the credits, the “if you like” style hype is actually pretty accurate although kind of desperate following an OK showing on it’s first run which showed the troubles with more mainstream-aimed (in this case non-Sexploitation) Independent productions of the Mid 70’s and beyond which had here-and-there showings that did better on TV (I first saw it on WXON, for example). David F. Friedman knew how to sell his films, but sadly the market for where he was trying to go into with releases like this was starting to fade away enough for him to return to where he worked best for a few more years before taking a rest.

Sin and Sleaze – April 25, 1969

•April 25, 2019 • Leave a Comment

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4-25-69, New York – Succubus, Jess Franco’s trail-blazing and slightly surreal work of erotica, makes it’s way into the New Penthouse and Pacific East theaters. With Janine Raynaud the focus of attention, the film’s touches of BDSM and Gothic for it’s time imagery were lost on the critics and possibly most of the public that was expecting a more in-you-face experience, but I’m convinced that there were a few viewers who were drawn into it’s trip despite never knowing until later that it was a 1967 European release which helped explain it’s level of erotica that seemed quint for an X-Rated film.

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4-25-69, Sioux City – the “Hammer” falls down on the 75 Drive In with The Devil Rides Out starring Christopher Lee and promoted in The US as The Devil’s Bride and The Vengeance of She with Olinka Berova plus two other shockers for a good night out at the Drive In with The Power and the Roman Polanski’s Fearless Vampire Killers.

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4-25-69, LA area – The Walls Have Eyes is a straight forward made in Florida story of a hotel with a peeping tom running around starring Jody Baby and Blood Freak’s Steve Hawkes. Although it’s ad was a cool freak out, the film itself was a standard B&W sleaze story that worked in that ultra low-budget kind of way although the “warping” of the soundtrack to The Trip did get a bit irritating. One for the lower-level of adult sin-emas including the chain that comprised the Downtown Rialto, the Hollywood Apollo (once known as the Apollo Arts), the Long Beach Star (hardly known about), and the Santa Ana Guild.

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5-2-69, LA – the Walls Have Eyes would later move to the Mayan 21 mentioned in one of the many wonderfully sleazy blocks of small ads.

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4-25-69 – Hardly anything is known about Ragina’s Secrets except that it was one of the many films that toured the American Adult theaters at the hub of the 60’s and 70’s. That it was Distributed by Fine Products marks it as a West Coast production. Still, the ad is great, and that’s Sexplotiation, although it will not be as great as how Franco did it.

Bite It! – Son of Dracula in Atlanta on This Day in 1974

•April 24, 2019 • Leave a Comment

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4-24-74, Atlanta – With a big promotion from Cinemation, a Soundtrack with a lavish presentation that included a T-Shirt Iron On, and a brilliant cast including Beatle Ringo Starr and hit singer Harry Nilsson, nothing could go wrong with Son of Dracula, right? Er… maybe the K-Tel approach to TV advertising was not the best way to sell it.

 

Although Son of Dracula’s reputation has been very low through the years, I sometimes think that it all had to do with the timing of it’s creation and release which is the very definition of “held back”. The production was wrapped in Late 1972, right at the height of the wave of Early 70’s indulgent Rock Cinema which offered films like 200 Motels, and is a madcap product of it’s time with Freddie Francis in the Director’s position hinting at his brief Vampire Comedy direction that also included a stab at Sexplotiation with The Vampire Happening which got a small pre-VHS US release that made this look like a hit. By 1974, most Beatles fans outside of those Midnight Movie fanatics who caught any of their films on a regular basis were already well into a mainstream state of mind enough to pass up on this while Nilsson’s career was sadly headed on a downward turn after the release of 1972’s mad Son of Schmilsson which featured the classic cover with Harry in the Dracula cape and the no BS breakup song “You’re Breaking My Heart” even if “Daybreak” was a small Top 40 hit (the infamous, and in  my opinion great, Pussy Cats recorded with John Lennon was about four months later).

 

 

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6-7-74, Detroit  – To show that it actually played a few cities before the second-run/one-horse-towns, Son of Dracula hit a few theaters in the bigger cities which were usually those smaller suburban places usually found in strip malls or operated by chains that were in a B-level of business (It’s Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper was another film of that kind which would find it’s way through those screens in ’74). In the Detroit area, the Northgate, an Exploitation-Friendly triple screen Strip Mall theater next to the Time Zone arcade, and the Showboat, a Downriver tri-screen theater which had a sign that stood over a gas station long after it’s closing, were among the quartet that played it.

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7-23-74, Phoenix – At least two showings were held over! The Valley West Mall Theater and the Camelview Twin in Scottsdale saw an audience with Son of Dracula! For some reason, may it be suburban kids with nothing to do but to see legendary musicians act like fools on the screen or those wondering how the mighty fell, it was a hit in those two screens.

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9-4-74, St. Louis area – At four screens including one at the Village Shopping Center  in Hazelwood – wonder if it had a Musicland that stocked the Soundtrack.

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9-27-74, Boston – With an ad which pre-dated Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke and altered things a bit to highlight the Starr’s presence (at least Goodnight Vienna was a small hit album), Cinemation gave the promotion another try. Messages like “Don’t see this film straight” and the desperate-sounding “It’s like a Beatles Movie” tried to tame the “Bite” of the ad, but three Drive Ins and the reportedly soon-to-close Essex did not equal success. I sense a feeling of “look, we’re dying here!!!”

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10-23-74, Kansas City

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11-1-74, Chicago area – A few Plitt Cinemas had Midnight showings on Halloween at least!

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11-24-74, LA – With the Hollywood Vampires already living the life, there was really no need to see Son of Dracula, but the Beverly Canon Theatre had a few midnight showings. You knew that it was over.

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5-25-75, Reno – When in doubt, change the title! There was Young Frankenstein, so how about Young Dracula! Sadly, Nilsson was seriously not really that young anymore…

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6-18-75, Honolulu (Waikiki?) – The short-lived Theater at King’s Alley also carried the Young Dracula version.

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7-5-75, Piqua – At least someone knew how to program the original title. Before it went onto the occasional Midnight show and VHS, the Piqua 36 sneaked in Son of Dracula as a B to Young Frankenstein. The mix of Comedy, Rock, and Horror was going to get a new life with a new breed and new blood with The Rocky Horror Picture Show a couple of months later…

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9-26-75, LA – You already know the rest of the story…

More Son of Dracula ads, with a focus on the smaller cities, planned in the future.

In Another State – Legendary Documentary Another State of Mind Plays in Los Angeles on This Day in 1984

•April 24, 2019 • Leave a Comment

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4-24-84, LA – Another State of Mind appears at one of it’s few theatrical showings at the Gordon just East of the West Hollywood area in LA, which is now a church or just closed. A critical favorite and a must-see for anyone interested in Early 80’s American Punk and Hardcore which was seriously pre-Internet grass roots to the point where one had to be seriously in the know about it’s existence, the film about the DIY tour of Youth Brigade and Social Distortion in 1982 which went through many miles (including Montreal) and  much hardship finally appeared in 1984 after two years of putting it together, making it look like a final chapter in the original scene before the American Alternative music scene moved into College Rock, Indie, and other worlds with quite a few keeping the spirit alive (if you had a friend who was reading the legendary Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll religiously,  you knew). Nobody would have guessed that by this showing and other occasional plays at specialty cinemas and I think an art festival in An Arbor in 1985 that Social Distortion would turn into a long-running band with many well-received albums with Mike Ness becoming a seriously credible and influential musician (his DIY style was mainstreamed by The 90’s) , Youth Brigade (Who’s Better Youth Organization helped set up the production) would have faltered in changing their sound with The Dividing Line in 1986 and return to what they did best after some time away with several of their songs in movies and video games, and special guests Minor Threat would no longer exist as Ian MacKaye  would go on a great adventure not least as part of Fugazi and other members would move onto other interesting chapters in their lives.

By 1986, The USA Network’s Night Flight’s occasional showing would always be a must-see show for everyone into Alternative music – not least Young Screen hanging out in the Toledo scene – and even if the DVD shows what went wrong and was pre-fabricated (the Punk Church scene…you must hear the commentary!!!), Another State of Mind has turned into a classic that proved that not everything from The 80’s was covered in Neon and performed with synthesizers. Producer/Director Adam Small would go onto work as a successful TV Writer/Developer while Peter Stuart (a child actor in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Winkelmann) would go onto make little known Indie Documentaries including The Dark Side of Porn and short-lived TV series like Baadasss TV with Ice T for England on Channel 4. Through all of the changes the music world has seen through the decades, this seriously has a power as it reminds the viewer of a time when one really had to look around to see what the alternatives were without the aid of a Smart Phone with the music and rawness that lived up to the word of mouth.

The Devil Told Me to Post This (and to Return to This Blog) – Lisa and the Devil at the Tivoli, Calgary, 1976

•April 24, 2019 • Leave a Comment

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8-6-76, Calgary – Lisa and The Devil hits the Tivoli in Calgary

One of the rare sightings of Mario Bava’s Lisa and the Devil that The Scene has come across recently is an example of possibly a theater trying something different than it’s usual shows or booking a film out of desperation – or maybe both (it was the Twilight Time for Indie Exploitation for many areas). While it’s great to catch any showing of the classic Elke Sommer/Telly Savalas film before it was re-edited into the Exploitation hit The House of Exorcism (a guilty pleasure), playing the Tivoli in Calgary was a bit of an odd fit for a very serious work considering the theater’s focus on Sexplotiation when it should have had a more mainstream theater try it. The odd fit is all about what I think was the regular audience for the theater which played this after a showing of Love Girls Report (possibly one of the “Report” films) and Naked Lovers (The Girl in the Fur Coat – a Sci Fi Erotica flick) and before the double feature of Love Clinic and Sugar Daddy (Both I think dated as far back as 1968-9!) – all of which I might have saw given the chance, but you know what I mean although they might have liked it.

The House of Exorcism and the sight of a possessed Elke Sommer was already showing up in some theaters as early as Late 1975, but the Peppercorn/Wormser release was not as widely played until the Summer of 1976 when it hit more cities including The Scene’s close-to-home area of Detroit.

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8-13-76 – Knowing that many of these theaters were plowing through the past for anything to play, I would not be surprised that Sugar Daddy was the Larry Crane film with Janet Banzet. This was the time when some theaters were taking second-third run films for possibly one last time on the screens. The theater would run films from China by 1980 to continue the theater’s business – I have to look into this.

This showing of Lisa and the Devil followed a few plays in The States including those in Louisville and Minneapolis at more mainstream-themed theaters. It still showed up very rarely up until around 1977 before it found it’s place on TV where it would attract a few Late Show fans.

More on this at the Temple of Schlock..

https://templeofschlock.blogspot.com/search/label/HOUSE%20OF%20EXORCISM

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12-19-75, Louisville at the Raceland 4 and Westland 4

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4-20-76, Minneapolis at the UA Movies at Eden Prairie

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7-2-76, The second week of House of Exorcism in Detroit at the Adams with the ever reliable go-to EuroHorror The Devil’s Nightmare just before the Calgary showing of the original mix.

Hello once again, and to quote a favorite Beatles song “It’s been a long, long, long time”.  The Facebook page is still going to be jumping with goodies, but I have to “Get Back” to this Blog as I see that the stats are still doing well and that I have learned a lot from the communication with fellow readers and travelers on the FB page who are interested in the world of rare and wild cinema. I want to thank all who have been waiting for a new post here on the Blog that started it all  (more developments are happening…stay tuned!).