HG Lewis’ Scum of the Earth at the Indianapolis Fox – Shameless Sin on the Screen, 1963 Style with a 1964 (Close to the) Deuce

•October 25, 2020 • Leave a Comment

10-25-63, Indianapolis – HG Lewis and David F. Friedman’s Scum of the Earth plays the Fox, the “Home of the Unusual Art Film”. Over the last decade, the Godfather of Gore’s Roughie flick has gained a new audience who has appreciated the other sides of his film making legacy, especially the very low budget B&W flicks that went down and dirty…for Mid 60’s standards, at least. The basic story of a good girl who gets trapped in the “dirty photograph” industry was very spicy for the time although it’s 1963 approach could get it a PG-13 today.

Lawrence J. Aberwood and Mal “Fuad Ramses” Arnold are excellent as the owner and left-hand man in the operation, especially Aberwood thanks to his immortal speech that could just apply to many situations today, but it’s Louise Downe (sometimes known as Bunny Downe) and William Kerwin who steal the show as the good girl gone bad and photographer who develops a conscience. Throw in Carl Maudslay’s rough tough Ajax to provide the few rough moments, and you have a serious sleaze classic.

8-9-63, Chicago area – One of it’s first showings was with Lewis’ Gore classic Blood Feast at four Drive Ins including the Starlite and the 53, both documented well here at The Scene. This show had double the Mal – one as an elderly shop owner who had a taste for Egyptian Feasts and the other as a very unconvincing JD who still rocked. Young, Willing, and Eager was the third feature on that show.

8-16-63, Philadelphia – The Abbe’s word-only promotion for Scum of the Earth was “depraved” and “demented” enough to be a classic on it’s own. Daughter of the Sun with Rusty Allen was one of the Lewis/Friedman Nudies that started their career.

8-16-63, Lansing – At the Downtown Art Theater with Lovers on a Tightrope.

8-28-64, New York City – The Tivoli plays Scum of the Earth for the New York Grindhouse audiences with Nature’s Playmates while the Cameo offered Red Lights of Tokyo, Ecstasy on Lover’s Island, a stripping flick with Tempest Storm, lili St. Cyr, and Blaze Starr, and the classic torrid tale of The Flesh Merchant.

12-12-64, San Antonio – At the Prince with Hollywood Nudes Report.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre “Saws” it’s Way into Detroit and Toledo (10-23-74) – Plus Time Machine Music News!

•October 23, 2020 • Leave a Comment

10-23-74, Detroit – Tobe Hooper’s legendary Texas Chainsaw Massacre gets play dates in the Motor City including the Downtown Grand Circus, where it would have been a serious experience. The La Parisien West of Detroit in Garden City, the just-north-of-the city Royal Oak, and the 8-Mile based Warren (Near Eastpointe) sees the film in the suburbs although sadly not Downriver. The Mercury (with the astrological theme in the lobby) and Universal City round up the Detroit screens. The Warren had a very ill-fated distinction of being demoed being located in an area of a shopping center that looks like it’s pretty barren today.

It took only a matter of days and a few showings after it’s premiere in Austin to get the word out that Horror seriously changed with this film. The Exorcist might have upped the ante, but TCM took things to a whole new level for good.

10-25-74, Toledo – As it would happen, TCM played the Colony on Central near the Westgate Shopping Center as well as a strip mall on Secor which had the Las Vegas Cinema located next to a Best. Those were the days!

10-23-74, Detroit – Also in the Detroit area was Ewa “Candy ” Aulin in the Legend of Blood Castle playing the Ramona on Gratiot as well as the expected run of Drive Ins including the Downriver Fort George in Southgate (RIP 1990 – demoed the next year) with some of them showing Blood Orgy of the She Devils and The Blob as the co-features. Those in the Wayne area had plenty of Horror to check out

Time for Screen 13 Mu-Sick News! It’s only a occasional happening for now, but let me know if you’d like to see and hear more.

Looking through the Record World Bubbling Under charts of 10-26-74, which were always better than Billboard’s paltry 101-110, Detroit legend Suzi Quatro was in there during this time with the classic “Devil Gate Drive” (at #133)

Also around that chart was Lulu’s great version of David Bowie’s The Man who Sold the World. The British hit was #136 from 122 in The US according to Record World. The main man writer was unleashing his David Live! album at this time as well.

Also at #127 is The Rhodes Kids singing about Voo-Doo Magic on a single released by Michael Thevis’ GRC. Those who know their Exploitation history already know the owner’s connection to the the movie Poor Pretty Eddie, his history in Adult movies, and putting up monies for Oliver Stone’s Seizure. the group is better known for their religious music, but only in The 70’s can a group like this go over to the Devil for a brief while.

The Bobby Hart on the label is the great Pop songwriter as in his days writing with Tommy Boyce…and I’m not Monkee-ing around! 

Over in England, David Bowie’s version of Knock on Wood was in the British charts getting the fans ready for David Live.

ADD ON – Lou Reed’s hit album Sally Can’t Dance was speeding up the album chart, but the single sadly Bubbled Under. Might not have been the greatest of Reed’s 70’s work, but it still works quite well – even better live.

Screen 13 Update – Plus the “Nightmare” that Turned into the Start of it All (New York City, 10-23-81/Detroit 11-24-81)

•October 23, 2020 • Leave a Comment

To be honest, I never really went away although I seriously needed to tighten up my approach. The Scene of Screen 13 Facebook page has been doing well and it’s been developing a serious confidence in my writing as of late. The great thing is that the connection with regular readers and those who helped me out with the occasional mistake has shown that it is a project that should continue for as long as it can.

I was seriously lucky to have saved my files and notebooks filled with all kinds of information that has helped me along the way, but the most important thing is that I needed to really get back to a time when all of this started before going on with this blog – getting back the “Soul” I thought I lost some time back but which only had to leave for a while to “teach me a lesson” so to speak. Being a kid in a fly-over area who was interested in the wild, strange, and unique during The 80’s when you really had to search for it all was very tough and difficult although it was rewarding when something connected and taught something once I started to go deeper into a past that can only be researched on if you were not there. For a real reason, memories of the theaters in the Downriver Detroit and the North Toledo areas were bringing it all back to me – the shows I wished I saw and even the few I did before the letter V, H, and S were very important to me.

The great thing is that it’s connecting with you, and that’s what seriously counts

So, when did this interest REALLY start…imagine watching Saturday Night Live on a small B&W TV in a bedroom way away from either Detroit or Toledo and seeing the ad to Nightmare that caused me a kind of sleepless night in ’81. I seriously wanted to see it, but…

10-23-81, New York area – Oh, to have been in New York at that time! With a 24-7 showing at the Embassy 2, Nightmare was the talk of the city. I wonder just how many places really followed the “Under 17 not admitted” rule…not many I would like to think!

11-24-81, Detroit area – Nightmare played a number of theaters in the Metro Detroit area including the Fox when it was in it’s final days of being a movie theater that was trying to escape it’s Exploitation center (which it finally did when it turned into a full time concert center in ’82 after the success of a WHND-AM sponsored oldies show on 10-24-81 – it’s first concert in about 12 years). 21’st Century was aiming big in a Horror loving city with showings at the UA Movies At… chain, a Showcase, and a couple of northern suburb theaters – you know you’re from the area when Telex means Telegraph and 10 Mile in Southfield and the Woods means Grosse Pointe Woods.

While Out of the Darkness was the second feature at the Fox, the Drive Ins including the Downriver Ft. George had a visit from Screen 13’s favorite professional, Dr. Butcher MD.

12-25-82, Detroit – Dr. Butcher may have loved NYC, but he also loved the Motor City. A return visit later in ’82 had his special treatments play the Adams Downtown as well as other theaters like the Northgate, a place in the Hazel Park area remembered for it’s three screens of madness that lasted until ’84 with an ill-fated try at mainstreaming it’s programs that ended in ’86. The Downriver Drive In showing was at the Ecorse in Taylor – about 10 miles north of one of my rental centers, Flat Rock and it’s wonderful Midnite Video (OK, you too, Mammoth!).

Going back to ’81, the most important part of the story is told a couple of days after the Detroit start date…excuse the bad capture, but it’s an old one and a very important piece of the puzzle!

11-26-81, Toledo – Although I only captured the Nightmare portion of the Showcase Cinemas ad, trust me when I say that it’s what I described as it’s almost like a lucky charm to me. When the family was in line to see Raiders of the Lost Ark, itself a great film to see as a kid, two ladies stormed out from one of the four screens of the Secor Road theater shouting out “THIS IS THE SICKEST FILM I HAVE EVER SEEN!” which really caused amusement in a very nice and organized atmosphere. While the R-Rated version of Caligula also played that week, I’m still in serious belief that it was the one and only Nightmare they were no longer watching and that it was possibly scheduled to play the Colony which was closed in the Summer of ’81 after years of playing films reportedly turned down and brought over from the Franklin Park Showcase Cinema – where I think it had a one-day showing before the fateful move to the Secor Rd. theaters.

It was very fitting that the Halloween ’81 SNL featured one of the most extreme moments of it’s entire history (and one that could never be re-created in the sterile surrounds of the recent years). While I might have caught the Nightmare ad on it’s Dec. 5’th show when it was still playing the Fox and the music guests were The Go Go’s, let’s just capture the moment when late night TV got the “Fear!”

One PS…the third feature at the Fox during Nightmare’s second week was The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula…to have been there!

“Teas” Time – A Screen History of The Immoral Mr. Teas, Part One

•July 24, 2020 • Leave a Comment

7-1-59, San Francisco – Russ Meyer’s The Immoral Mr. Teas plays the Centre Theater in San Francisco, a business that changed into an Adult Theater due to reportedly not being able to play the major trend of Cinemascope wider screen films although one can also say due to the big business Adults Only films were back in the day before Cable, VHS, and everything else after that.

Taking influence from Jimmy McDonough’s book Big Bosoms and Square Jaws that mentioned it’s 20 Minute Opening Day showing at the Balboa Theater in Can Diego on 5-27-59 that was thrown off the screen and kept quiet about, The Scene decided to go into Sin-ema’s past and see where it played up to it’s showing at the legendary Monica in LA in 1960. This is part of this blog’s Thank You to the historian for asking me to contribute images to The Ghastly One about Staten Island Exploitation legend Andy Milligan that will continue in another post focusing on the book. More later, although I’m sure this will be a good way to start this series.

6-30-59, Miami – “The Escapades of Mr. Teas” plays at the Variety, later to be the Paris in 1961 and in business through the Porn era. This led a successful run for weeks.

8-8-59, Ft. Lauderdale – The Immoral Mr. Teas plays the State in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale, a theater possibly demoed to make way for the Las Olas Riverfront Entertainment, Dining, and Shopping Center including the Las Olas Cinemas (RIP 2013).

8-25-59, Ft. Lauderdale – Showing with Lady Takes a Flyer with Lana Turner at the State. A very funny ad.

9-30-59, Oakland – Teas plays the Moulin Rouge, screen to many a cult classic.

1-22-60, Los Angeles – It’s showing at the Monica International was a hit that proved that this movie will not leave any time soon. More research is happening on this title, but it’s best to stop this post now before I get too in depth and lose sight of the real world. The theater is better known as either just the Monica, Pussycat, or Studs at the Pussycat and is a legend in Adults Only movie history.

Ft. Lauderdale’s Thunderbird Drive In shows some Wild Love, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, with The Naked Kiss – 7-23-65

•July 24, 2020 • Leave a Comment

7-23-65, Ft. Lauderdale – The Thunderbird Drive In was already getting the reputation for showing the spicy flicks…to critics and snobs that meant “passion pit”…and there was no better way to prove it than to dive into the imports. This show was “4 Adult Hits” that was more on the sophisticated side – that meant more passion in the park.

The A-Title Wild Love Co-starred Catherine Spaak, who’s appearance in Eighteen in the Sun was a small art house hit back in the day, Horst Buchholz (Teenage Wolf Pack), and Bette Davis (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?). Originally called The Empty Canvas, it was released in The US by Embassy Pictures under the more eye-catching title and gained a little success for a short time in it’s 1964 release. The story of a failed painter (Buchholz) and his lover (Spaak) had some spicy scenes for the day, and it was the attraction of it’s leading actress which caught the most attention of the viewers while some were wondering how they got Bette Davis to wear that wig in the film as the painter’s mother.

The Naked Kiss, written by Samuel Fuller, Yesterday Today and Tomorrow with Sophia Loren, and the Italian Comedy The Easy Life fill out the program that was more of an International-style show than what the Drive In usually specialized in by 1966-7 when more Stateside Adults Only films were being released. Although many of the films shown in the Late 60’s-Early 70’s were excellent, there must have been a unique feeling to have seen what was usually played at the Art House theaters in the outdoor theaters in between the times when it was usually some third-play Hollywood film, Elvis flick, or some Beach Blanket Bingo that was usually the name of the game back in the day.

The Lycuem in Clovis Accepts “Any (Adults Only) Body…Any Way” – 7-23-71

•July 23, 2020 • Leave a Comment

7-23-71, Clovis, NM – Charles Romaine’s 1968 Any Body Any Way was the original title of what is better known as Behind Locked Doors and first Distributed by Distribpix up until the Early 70’s with this showing possibly one of it’s last showings under the first title. Stanley Brasloff, later known for the very torrid Drama Toys are Not for Children, was the Producer of this little known creepy flick that at least had some success on the Drive In circuit after Boxoffice International took over it’s release in the Mid 70’s. Starring Eve Reeves and Joyce Danner, this film fitted very well with the climate of the 70’s Ozoner scene although viewing it in soon-to-close theaters that specialized in Adults Only movies gave an extra added eerie feeling – the Lyceum (a screen that also showed Sweet Saviour in ’72) was to close in Oct. ’74 with Convicts’ Woman it’s final headlining show.

The B to this show is HG Lewis’ 1967 flick Suburban Roulette.

I think that Brasloff was behind a New York-based Pop Dance show, and if so his experience payed off very well with the the dance party sequences. A party in the middle of nowhere may look enticing at first, but you always have to be careful.

This is a bit of a “Take Care” moment in my posts – these also happen on Facebook too because I seriously worry about the readers in this crazy time- Take care and stay safe with your friends as The Scene wants to see you live well and strong.

The Strand Art, 7-23-65 – The Smut Peddler on the Screen Plus Second Feature

•July 23, 2020 • Leave a Comment

7-23-65, Kansas City – Something Weird Video fans might like to check out this ad for The Smut Peddler playing at the Strand, a noted Adults Only theater that is reportedly still in business – I wonder if it’s an Art/Indie screen now. The iconic drawing for this film was thankfully replaced with something more enticing to the potential viewer.

Welcome to Liane’s Jungle – The State Line Drive In plays Marion Michael as Liane, Jungle Goddess, 7-23-58

•July 23, 2020 • Leave a Comment

7-23-58, Greencastle, PA – Near the PA-MD State Line with ads placed in the Hagerstown, MD papers, the State Line Drive In was already on it’s way to playing the more spicy films it would be known for from the Late 60’s onto it’s final days. Here, it’s Marion Michael as Liane, Jungle Goddess in a film Distributed in The US by DCA who usually paired it up with Ed Wood’s legendary Plan 9 from Outer Space, proven with this and many other showings presented at The Scene. Unlike the legendary cult classic by the Director of Glen or Glenda, I don’t think this could even get made today despite it’s strong female lead but it should be also known that Michael sadly never followed in the footsteps of Brigitte Bardot after Nature Girl and The Slaver – such was the troubles of having an iconic character right on your first film – and moved to East Germany in the Mid 60’s after reported depression although thankfully at least she lived until 2007.

The Ozoner was demolished sometime in The 80’s and the land is now the location of Martin’s Farm Trucks.

* – Apologies to Vampira/Ed Wood fans for Plan 9’s placement being word only in this ad. I seriously know how you feel! Also included is a You Tube clip of her scenes. The Marion Michael clip is from the second Liane movie – the first one is still on the “Got Your Back” post that’s in the Screen 13 links below for more Marion.

Sioux City Gets Ready to Take “The Trip” – 7-23-67 Teaser Ad

•July 23, 2020 • Leave a Comment

7-23-67 for 7-25-67, Sioux City – The Orpheum gets ready for the World Premiere of The Trip, Directed by Roger Corman back in March-April, 1967 with a long series of editing after due to the innovative psychedelic special effects seen throughout. AIP followed it’s usual practice of releasing their movies outside of the coasts and major cities possibly to see if it was going to work in the heartland with it’s strong Drive In circuits that kept their films playing for years. With great appearances by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, excellent cinematography, the brilliant special effects, Susan Strausberg, plenty of ’67 body paint eye candy, and a cult classic soundtrack, it was a hit out of the gate and would be seen on the coasts in a couple of weeks.

8-25-67. LA and 8-18-67, Kansas City – Two months after the Monterey International Pop Music Festival gained news, there was possibly a stronger audience for The Trip with it’s classic Psychedelic soundtrack having a major selling point. At the Los Angeles showing, at the Four Star Theater – later a Mitchell Brothers-owned Adult Theater from Sept. ’73-Early 80’s and then a last run/Indian Movie business until shut off time – copies of the Electric Flag’s “Peter’s Trip” on Sidewalk were handed out to the first 300 viewers (* Trivia note – Sidewalk Records number spotters will notice that two singles before #929 – Single #927 – was “I See a Change Coming” by The 13’th Power who would appear on the soundtrack to AIP’s Wild in the Streets). Many showings through the heartland were mainly marketed to the Drive Ins and theaters that were open to B pictures such as the Granada in Kansas City which was soon to close as a major screen in the area before a restoration and an incarnation as an art house in The 80’s.

Passion Pit Perfection at the Hiway 40 with Maid in Sweden and The Young Playmates – Kansas City, MO – 7-20-74

•July 21, 2020 • Leave a Comment

7-20-74, Kansas City – The Hiway 40 has been in focus at The Scene for many years, and this is a perfect example why. Although Maid in Sweden may seem very quaint today, one has to remember the time and place where these films were the norm for the Adults Only scene although the only real reason the watch it is Christina Lindberg, the future “One Eye” of Exploitation legend. A teasing and torrid coming of age drama that was of it time, the film has turned into a cult classic for those who seen it then as well as those who wished to have been there.

The Young Playmates is actually The Au Pair Girls, a film by Val Guest that showed up on many screens through The 70’s. The perfect audience for this was those who wished but never could hope to meet the worldwide variety on the screen which put them in a perfect dreamland in the safety of their own cars – although the reality of things was no to be seen here. Still, in ’74, the couples who brought the “Passion” to the lot who could not find any other place to go used it as a backdrop of some kind while there were those who were just comfortable enough just looking and spending a few hours watching movies outside.

Watch for Me Me Lai and Astrid Frank in this one.

The show was put together by Cannon, long before Golan and Golbus took the company onto the next level through the Early 80’s. The third film on this bill is Sexy Susan Wins Again. The Drive In reportedly closed in 1986, which seems reasonable considering the Detroit Drive In Shut-a-Rama of that year. Just seeing Christina Lindberg on a giant outside screen is a meaning of perfect.