The Vampire Happening

•November 26, 2015 • Leave a Comment


Corpus Christi – 7-25-75

Time for a quickie at The Scene! The very cute and kind of charming Vampire Happening was one of many films that floated around the small company movie scene through the Mid 70’s which had the luck to wind up on VHS by the 80’s. With Pia Degermark in a duel role as the actress inherits a castle and the vampire who causes sexy havoc, this is seriously one for the fans of Euro Horror with a love of cheesy humor and some playful T&A to go along with it. Directed by the legendary Freddie Francis, who was on a Bad Dracula Comedy Movie spree along with the infamous Son of Dracula with Ringo Starr and Harry Nilsson, this was clearly the better of the two as it focuses on the starlet’s looks (and looking very well in some Gothic get-ups!) and makes room for all kinds of silly laughs at everything you want to see, including Catholic Schoolgirls, groovy Swingers music, kinky bits, kinky boots, a campy Vampire spoofing Christopher Lee’s characterization who arrives by helicopter, and Priests going bad. Producer Pier A. Caminnecci was best known for Producing and Writing Jess Franco’s classic Succubus, although he was involved in a few lighter films from the Late 60’s and Early 70’s including Franco’s own Red Lips films and Adrian Hoven’s Castle of Creeping Flesh (the title I rented it under back in the VHS days).


9-28-75, San Antonio, with a Something Weird Video favorite that also had a ghostly life before winding up on video.

As you can tell, this one hardly had many plays on it’s first run, and I still need to see an ad for a double billing with Swinging Monster, which may or may not be the Loreley’s Grasp which is best known in The US as When The Screaming Stops with a flashing red light ad barf bag gimmick. The Vampire Happening was one of the mountain of Late 70’s presentations released through Cougar, the recipient of many films released by Horizon (“Zaat!” is the company!), Libert, and International Cine Film by 1977 (the company also got some family films from Doty-Dayton after it shut it’s doors as well!), but even then it went nowhere possibly expect for  a few out of the way Drive Ins. By The 80’s, it found a home with United Home Video (also home to releases of films like The Body Shop/Dr. Gore back then), and this is where I come in renting every clam shell and big box tape at the Video Connection!


The King of All Turkeys…BLOOD FREAK!!!

•November 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment


8-7-73, Clovis, New Mexico – The ultimate Regional Horror Double Bill of all time!

Ever since renting the Regal Video of Blood Freak at the Video Connection through The 90’s, I knew that my Exploitation interests were going on paths that were beyond the norm. From all of the latest titles to choose from, a low-budget film made in Florida about a Turkey Monster feeding on the blood of addicts hosted by some aging smoker  put onto VHS and put into a cheaply produced Clam Shell box was the tape I picked about 5 times, maybe more (I’m sure someone might just say “Once every two months for five years alternating with She Devils on Wheels!”).Watching Blood Freak, and stone cold sober may I add, was like the like hearing the words “This is the way, step inside”  – and, yes, Joy Division’s Closer was the album that brought my music habits into a darker scene back in my early High School years when things were turning Day-Glo in The 80’s.

Blood Freak was THE TEST after years of catching Ed Wood movies on Channel 7, renting HG Lewis films, viewing films like Reform School Girls in some aging double screen cheap seat in a strip mall (that’s the Greenwood Cine if anyone’s interested – one week after playing the Franklin Park Cinemas!). The ultimate mark of passing it would be liking it and wondering where in the hell would it play!




Here’s the skim of the story – Herschell, a strong Nam Vet biker trying to lead a clean life after a time with drugs, gets a gig at the local Turkey Farm thanks to befriending a hot Bible Chick on the freeway who’s father owns it. Along the way, Bible Chick’s hotter sister, hosting a drug party, gets him going on the Pot once more,; her dealer “friend” is called out for getting him hooked once again through the sneaky way (The classic poolside chat with the sister with a “Box of Band Aids”); and the workers at the farm are into experiments with drugged food of which Herschell becomes a willing test subject right away. This leads to the gory dream that composes most of the second half of our story with our hero turning into the legendary Turkey Monster that feeds on the blood of addicts – all of this interrupted by some chain-smoking narrator going on and on about catalysts and fate. The whole ugliness of the thing sucks you into a world that can be only created on the cheap in the Early 70’s in Florida and the use of paper-mache for the Turkey Head certainly deserves an award of some sort while the buzzsaw through an amputee’s wooden leg is a moment in WTF Movie history.

Steve Hawkes, still recovering from a fire that hit the set of a rip-off Tarzan film (and you can see the scars on the left arm more clear in the restored version), proved that he can actually act decent enough, especially for a film co-directed by Brad Gritner, and I wonder if his throwing the dealer onto the floor was a mix of showing off his muscle and knowing that this is going to be some cheap flick that will be seen by hardly anyone in it’s original run (I can just imagine him thinking “I traded in being Zan of the Jungle for THIS?!!!!”). Gritner, our story-teller in this film, was infamous in the Florida film scene for a few of his Nudie Cuties, a genre that he was still making well into the 70’s with films like Never the Twain, legendary crap like Devil Rider, appearing in Musical Mutiny and The Love Pirate, and creating Flesh Feast – the jaw-dropping film where Veronica Lake came out of retirement to play a crackpot doctor with some anti-aging formula and deals with Hitler at the end and plays with rice doubling as maggots. Hawkes should have known better, but thinking that a successful Horror film could help him was a reason why this exists, and a history reportedly with one of the original financiers backing out leaving Hawkes and Gritner to count the pennies on their own only adds onto the cheapness this film exceeds in.







With most of the cast right from the Brad Gritner players, including Heather Hughes as Angel, this seriously throws the viewer into a mess of bad acting that’s the most unbelievable…in everything, except for the hacking cough Gritner has near the end of the film. This is movie making at it’s the lowest cost (I’m sure including film stock), the music by Gil Ward sounds perfectly like a jam tape of some stoned out basement band up-chucking the same riffs over and over, and the mix of preaching with gore is something to see. One more thought: I wonder if Dana Cullivan, the bad sister, ever changed her name and appeared in other films.

Receiving an official X rating in Dec. 1972 when the Preacherman Corp. brought it over to the MPAA, things were going to get a little tricky for it’s life on the cinema circuit. Sadly, the first run hardly played in a manner not unlike that of the legendary El Paso-made Manos: The Hands of Fate – a few plays then goodbye. However, in 1976, a second run company called Clamil decided to give it another attempt in a time when a lot of Exploitation companies were buying up distribution rights to films from dead companies although there was certainly a big difference between something like Independent International giving two Inga films another round of success and some lower-level company playing a film for a second time that not many people wanted to see in the first place. It was re-rated R in 1976, but that seriously did not help matters at all.

One second run play was in, of all places, Fairbanks, Alaska. The future Something Weird Video class-sick Psyched by the 4D Witch was also another Clamil Pick-Up (this time from Emerson, who also handled Manos!)


1-26-76, Fairbanks, Alaska







By the way, meet Brad Gritner!


The oh-so swinging Drug Party on the cheap!

Then, something weird happened before Something Weird happened…it was slotted in with the HG Lewis Gore Trilogy at this showing! What comes around!


1-16-76 – Palatine, Illinois – In a return engagement of The HG Lewis/David F. Friedman Gore Trilogy, someone at the 53 had the clever idea to also play Blood Freak as well! Hawkes’ character was named Herschell, it was filled with some of the craziest cheap effects around,  and I’m sure some wicked Horror fiend somewhere actually heard of it and already knew that this was a perfect fit.

It also played with a showing a couple of weeks later.


2-13-76, Brighton Drive In, Illinois!



By the Early 80’s, it wound up as a video that was released by Regal Video, home to quite a few crackpot Horror flicks, some of them ready to be rented by people like me at the Video Connection. Something Weird Video’s classic DVD is a class act which rocks!

Celebrate Turkey Day with a real “Turkey” of a film!


Rent-A-Girl, aka Rented, and rare AKAs Escort Girl and Hire-a-Model

•November 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment


11-1-67. San Bernardino – the classic double feature!


William/Werner Rose’s smut classic Rent-a-Girl was reported to have been played in Omaha on 10-15-65, and is now  favorite with classic Sexploitation fans. The scene where Darlene Bennett gets hosed down is a classic and the whole film seriously works as a Nudie-Roughie Case History movie, one where some woman takes her case to the criminal justice system about a modelling service ran by a brother and sister team is actually a front for hookers which unfolds into a cool film. The fact that Barbara Wood is a very presentable actress is a major plus and the presence of other New York faces on the scene like June Robers give it more to look at while the jealousy and anger between members turns into a punishment feast at the end.

The ad was a classic featuring an eye catching model and the film seriously lived up to it’s sleaze quotient with the addition of some good dramatic Bondage initiation and punishment scenes, especially near the end.  Although it was Distributed through a leading company, Cambist, there was one slight hurdle – the title. Today, one can see why the name was certainly one to alter when used in a Sexploitation film, and it did lend itself to a few revisions through the years it played. The AFI listed Rented, but these ads also uncover a couple of more, I think used in one-off situations (any more, please let us know!).


Fresno, 11-12-65 – Here, the title is seriously changed to Escort Girl, the name of another classic Exploitation film that’s a part of David F. Friedman’s roadshow Rarities collection. Of course, being the Paris, there’s the News and Cartoon, too!


2-25-66, Denton, TX – Using the title in a classic sleaze fashion with a “High School Girl” film that was originally called The Yellow Teddybears, a dramatic British film which also turned into Gutter Girls in The US…more on that later!!!


8-19-66, Kansas City – Playing with the Unsatisfied, this was at the Strand as Hire-a-Model. Make sure to catch Patty Gee!


9-3-66, Daytona Beach at the Capri – “A model for every mood” is a rare find for these ads.


6-28-67, Amarillo, TX – classic add-on line!!!


10-13-67, AKA Rented!


4-29-68, Lubbock – Call Theater for Details! This was a leading double bill thanks to the quality of both films and Isabel Sarli in The Female.


1-24-68, San Antonio at the Joy.

There were several plays later on, thanks to Cambist being very business smart in letting the films be available to play for a long time, and although Rent a Girl was over-shadowed by some of the films it was paired off with, it was still one to seriously remember. It’s release through Something Weird Video should be checked out…although once again, Aroused will be the A-Slot to Rent a Girls beloved B.

Don’t Rent it, KEEP IT!

In the lack of You Tube footage, here’s the trailer to the Thrill Seekers!

The Smut Peddler (1965)

•November 23, 2015 • 5 Comments


11-13-65, Terrace Drive In, Summit, MO…you read right, Drive In!

Ever since I saw the trailer to The Smut Peddler, an epic sell of sleaze and grime featuring one of the ugliest guys to ever be in these films which wound up on the first edition of Sleazemania (and now in it’s DVD home on the Defilers/Scum of the Earth disc), I always wanted to know where a film like that would be playing. Knowing of it’s Nov. 26, 1965 Champagne, Illinois showing through the AFI books, and guessing that it played well in New York City, I had a good idea that it was right around the time that the Adult movie scene was already moving towards the Rough and raw or at least the sleazy and kinky after years of Volleyball Games in Nudist Camps. True, what can be seen of this partially lost film is for those who want to see everything unleashed through the New York scene advertised with the words Adults Only and almost up there with the class-sicks by those like Michael Findlay or Doris Wishman, but the advertising for this seriously ranks as one of the most out-there and it’s a part of it’s time, although it must be mentioned that Director William/Werner Rose did make a must-see sleaze flick in Rent-a-Girl while Mondo Macabro fans will know him through the film Girl in Room 2A.


5-20-66, Amarillo, TX – At the Trail Drive In, a sleaze center of the time. In April,, 1966, it was showing the classic Kiss Me Quick! (RIP, 1977)

The simple story revolves the oyster-loving publisher of Dream Girl magazine, DG Rawlings (DG as in DeGenerate!) – yes that creepy guy you saw guzzling down that seafood delicacy in the trailer – while a lesbian editor keeps the models in line while lavish Nudie publications are released. A Broadway columnist (WB  Parker) attempts to uncover what’s happening and closes the operation. The End…of course after seeing a lot of ends (Drum Roll!).


9-16-66, Amarillo, this time at the Tex-Art, AKA the Victory – and I dig Go Go club ads, too!!!


1-28-66, Fresno, CA – The Three Sees in this ad that was censored by the paper are the clues to what you will get in the film. I have never seen it, but have read the plot in the AFI and know that these were titles of DG’s publications.


9-13-68, at the Strand in Kansas City with Olga’s Dance Hall Girls, the very un-official Olga film that still has a bit of slime that worth a peep.

Maybe it faced too much competition that was further out, (to be fair, it was the age of Olga, the Findlays, Doris Wishman’s smut classics,  Joe Sarno’s sophisticated Adult epics, and even Mitam’s lowest-level creep feasts as well as other top level films like The Defilers), but The Smut Peddler went the way of one of Rose’s other films for American Films Distribution, Professor Lust (pronounced Loost), in that it went out of the way very quietly, but that trailer is certainly worth watching! As of late, a part of the film wound up on the Weird World of Weird compilation from Something Weird Video, offering what has been talked about but not seen for years and possibly over-shadowed by more exploitable and news-making flicks – Professor Lust, however, is still with us and on video through Something Weird Video.

HG Lewis’ Alley Tramp as Phillip and Marie – Rare AKA Found!

•November 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment


Albuquerque, NM, 7-11-69

Although Alley Tramp was playing here and there after it’s release in 1968, it was obvious that some places were having a little trouble putting ads in the newspapers papers as the word Tramp was one of “those” words that could send us straight to that place down below with the fire and that horned deity with the pitchfork. To those who don’t believe me, and I’m sure some of those of the last couple of generations reading this are among those wondering if this happened then, I offer you this…


11-9-73, High Point, NC – No Photoshop Kidding, this was the actual ad with ***** covered up for our virgin eyes. Thankfully things would loosen up some time after this, but I just wanted to give you what it was like in some areas.


3-29-74, Chicago – even in the Windy City, that word even had it’s problem, although…


…at least one small ad got away with it!

Getting back to HG Lewis’ ultra low budget work of sleaze shot mainly in the rooms above the Capri Theater in Chicago, released with every name under a fake French pseudonym with Lewis being Armand Parys and Producer Tom Dowd (owner of the Capri) as Leon Thirard, Alley Tramp was at the time just a simple piece of wonderful slime to fill up the screens that co-starred Julie Ames and Steve White – I wonder if they were an item at the time, both were also in Lewis’ Blast Off Girls and Just for the Hell of It. The original ads were pretty cool looking had that iconic sight of Jean Lamee, and It did fine in the way that your normal Nudie/Roughie flick of the day would do, if not in the gangbuster style of Blood Feast or She Devils on Wheels.


11-15-68. Miami


12-19-68, Pelham, NC, just south of Danville, Virginia, and a hotbed of sleaze. Sadly the ads turned word only by 1971 I think.


3-7-69, San Antonio

I guess that by Mid-1969, it was possibly felt that this needed a new title to compete with something like the follow-up to Helga, Micheal and Helga which was a rage of the day. Although we still need the official word as to why “Phillip and Marie” happened, this just might explain things more…


6-2-69, Chicago

Of course, Lewis was well versed in Roadshow hype and Exploitation enough to know that this was a no-brainer plan of advertising. Phillip and Marie actually played an Art Cinema (Don Pancho’s in Albuquerque) with a great ad campaign, although this title was not used as much. For many years, this went undetected and even the AFI did not list it in it’s legendary Catalog (although it did mention Alley Tramps in it’s AKA listing). After some time, it was reviled as the work of Lewis and remains one of his cult class-sicks and maybe he should have done more like this as Scum of the Earth was also proof that his style was right for the world of the Roughie, but it was over to California in 1969.

A Taste of Milligan – a few ads from 1967-1969

•November 22, 2015 • Leave a Comment


8-2-67 – In the “Summer of Love” there was the August of Milligan at the World! Also, a Week of Mahon’s Fanny Hill at the Tivoli, too.

During the last few days, I was seriously trying to fill in that very important gap in my Blogging adventures which was bugging me marked “The Lack of Anything From the New York City area” and thankfully I came across a number of issues of the legendary Village Voice which had what I was looking for, especially when it’s about part of Late 60’s to Early 70’s. My local Library only has New York Times Microfilms from 1974 on which I should be digging through very soon, but as you can tell, what I have been getting is certainly very important for this blog. This series of posts will certainly not be a thorough investigation of the Sleazoid World made famous by writers like Bill Landis, but at least captures of a time and place that is part of the important centrals to understanding Exploitation, Sexploitation, and Indie/Art movie history in The US that broke barriers.


8-10-67 Issue – The Promiscuous Sex enjoys a successful run at the World.

The main focus of this post is on Andy Milligan. Many Exploitation film watchers know about his Low-Budget Horrors like The Ghastly Ones, Blood, and Guru the Mad Monk, but as Fleshpot on 42’nd Street shows, but his most important films are based in the seediness around him which featured actors mainly from the Staten Island area where he lived in and were pretty successful in the New York City area (and to a lesser extent in the then-small circle of Adult movie theaters across America). Sadly, many of us (me included) will only know about a number of them through word of mouth as most of them are considered lost, destroyed (the story of Lew Mishkin is well known among fans), and never to return again, but it should be noted that they were somewhat regular fixtures of the Adult Movie scene in the New York City area, and to a lesser extent in the circle of sleaze centers across the country. What was important was that in Milligan’s territory, these looked like that they were worth more than the micro-budget shock flicks that played regularly that cemented his reputation to those who only knew about that side of his filmography.


9-14-67 – Of interest to fans of Something Weird Video, Milligan’s 1965’s film Vapors had a return engagement at the Cameo after it’s December, 1965 debut, and in this Starting Monday ad, the Mighty Monarch had to take the B position this time. It is one of the landmarks of Gay Cinema and the debut of Milligan as a movie Director after years of staging plays on Off-Broadway stages like the Cafe Cino and La MaMa and running his Ad lib clothing boutique.


Looking at this 9-21-67 capture, you had your choice of two Milligan films in the area!


4-15-67, Lubbock – To give an idea of other places that had his films,the infamous Fine Arts Drive In had The Degenerates that weekend. As you should expect, the ad was censored…and the film is lost. It’s working title was Sin Sisters 2000 AD and unlike a number of his films from that era, this was Distributed through J.E.R., the company who also unleashed The Ghastly Ones.


8-23-68, Long Beach at the Roxy. At that time, their triple plays were like this with the third was not “Adult” but still on the cutting edge.


10-29-68 – This San Antonio showing of The Filthy Five at the Art was with the most famous of Olympic International’s Mondo flicks. Sadly. the lack of 1968 Voices that could document it’s New York showings leave another gap to be filled later.


3-7-69, Long Beach – The Degenerates plays the Star, one of the smaller Adult Theaters in the area that still was trying to bring in the audience with the then-trendy Underground Film Midnight Shows (although as you can tell they were less Art than what Underground Cinema 12 was showing).


8-22-69. Odessa, TX.


Danville, Virginia, 9-26-69 – Using the iconic image of HG Lewis’ Alley Tramp ads, too.


7-3-69. Getting back to NYC and The World, Gutter Trash was showing.


8-7-69 – Over at the Rialto, a film with a title familiar to fans of The Cure was showing.

More Milligan is in the plans for this Blog…stay tuned!

The Wild World of Batwoman and Blood Waters of Dr. Z – One for the MST-ies.

•November 14, 2015 • 1 Comment


Albuquerque, 12-10-71 – The Wild Wild World of Batwoman as She Was a Hippy Vampire actually played a few screens in 1971 with House of Black Death! Jerry Warren’s upchuck of a film would later turn into one of the favorite episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I have seen She Was a Hippy Vampire, the full Deep Hurting version a number of times, and still think to this day it’s good for watching at 3AM. The jaw-dropping spectacle of the No-Budget wonder of this film should seriously be seen in full as soon as possible. I’m not a Jerry Warren fan, but there was something so WTF about it that still is so wrong it’s right – now on to catching Frankenstein Island.

Reportedly, Warren was sued for riding on the Batman craze, but it was a case he won and actually used the angle in the trailers even after changing the name.  It even got an official G rating that was certainly not used in the newspaper ads.

I wonder how they reacted to this in 1971…


11-5-71, Corpus Christi – The Liver Eaters is actually the legendary Spider Baby!

Through my journeys of getting ads of films I have loved and wondered about, some of the titles featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 were of interest mainly for their rarity and the fact that they stood out in that Drive In kind of way. Two of those, besides Manos: The Hands of Fate which faded away from view after a few plays in the Texas/New Mexico area and maybe a few more elsewhere, seriously struck me as films I really wanted to find out about. Yes, Batwoman was one of them!

Another flick which was made popular through Mystery Science Theater 3000 was this…


4-22-73, Burlington, South Carolina


4-18-73, Kingsport, Tenn.




5-4-73, WIlmington, NC


5-25-73, Statesville, North Carolina



10-19-73, Panama City, Florida

With Clark releasing handling Southern Distribution (yes, the company who handled a East Coast Distribution of a couple of Jean Rollin classics The Scene looked at a few articles back!), Zaat had a number of plays in the South and Carolinas after it’s 1972 premiere in Jacksonville, Florida before quietly fading away until Capital bought up the rights to the Distribution and called it…


12-20-74, El Dorado, Arkansas

Capital was one of the many small companies in the Mid 70’s that battled it out for screens time with films like Super-Man-Chu (arguably their most successful), the US release of The Fear Maker, the release of the Italian flick Luana, the Girl Tarzan with a very misleading ad campaign with a Frank Frazetta painting used in the first run (There were a lot of matinees for this with a more honest campaign – Mei Chen also appeared in Jean Rollin’s Rape of the Vampire), and their contribution to 70’s sleaze, Beautiful People which later turned into The Sexorcists.

Later on, it was released for a third time by Cougar, who got a huge number of films in 1976-7 by companies that closed up, a chapter in Exploitation film history that deserves a serious full look into. Paired off with The Fear Maker, it played a few more Drive Ins and second/third run houses before moving on into the world of VHS.


Daytona Beach, Florida, 10-12-72


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