Ghetto Freaks in Toledo, 9-22-78, Part Two – On the Road to Getting Freaky

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Ghetto Freaks’ 1978 plays in Toledo as well as in Detroit – at the soon-to-stop-showing-movies Grand Circus Theater – was the edit some people have seen since 1972, but the road to that destination was very interesting after it’s 1970 release.

The film was a serious Cleveland Happening, complete with great Downtown scenery with the dancing in the club scene choreographed by someone from the local 60’s Pop Upbeat! show (Jeff Kutash)! Throw in the Hoolihan part of the Big Chuck and Hoolihan (Bob Wells – who later went to a Christian Broadcasting career) and various people of the area aiming to be actors and musicians, and you have the perfect approximation of a College Drama club throwing together a pretty good Drama of the time. Still, maybe due to it’s downer ending and timing with the downfall of the Hippie Lifestyle as a trend (of course, we also have to throw in the Manson Family Trails as another buzz-kill), it’s possible that it under-performed enough for the Producers to have a re-think session and go with another title after some more plays under it’s original name.

Like a few Low-budget flicks of the day, this made it’s way to Canada in Early 1971 along with another Cinar flick, Dare the Devil.

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2-23-71, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

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2-12-71, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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11-5-71, Chicago. The Monroe was one of the Low Price cinemas of the Loop area which specialized in Exploitation and was a screen where a few of HG Lewis’ 1960’s films played on (Just for the Hell of It, Something Weird, and How to Make a Doll included). To fellow Cult Movie fans, it’s a theater that seriously makes us wish for a time machine as a lot of Something Weird Video titles have played there.

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This also played under the title of Love Commune once the Hair rage slipped into memory.

This 5-6-72 showing advertised in an Cumberland, MD paper was a kind of an omen with the classic Gimme Shelter in this triple bill.

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1-22-73, Greenville, TX – This ad hyped up the Dramatic plot strand of a runaway joining the Hippie club. Even if the scene was fading away, the topic was still timely by then…of course, it was more of a possibility that things would turn out more like this…

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…but that’s for another movie!

Getting back to being Freaky in the Aquarius Style, Cinar finally unleashed it’s Ghetto Freaks cut, complete with a cut of the song about avoiding the Draft and the addition of one of Exploitation’s most mis-matched WTF moments ever, The Urban Blood Cult complete with a ludicrous Afro Wig parade.

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This 3-24-72 appearance in Chicago just months after the Monroe showing was both deliciously tasteless (in an Exploitation kid of way) and very sharp. Aiming at the Urban crowd in a time when films like Shaft were just starting to being in the era of the Urban Action films, Ghetto Freaks found a third and it’s most popular life. There were showings that even had fake “auditions” like the one Michael Weldon wrote about in his review for Psychotronic )seen under the title of Love Commune). According to the informative look-in, this is a serious Cleveland Happening

Looking at this in a more historical way, the added footage that padded out the film was really not needed as history has proven that most Hippie centers were already in the Downtown districts and they were already called Freaks, but then again it would not be the film we talk about without that cult sequence that still is a head-turner.

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1-22-73, Kansas City, with the serious message film The Bus is Coming.

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6-21-75, Panama City, Florida

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It’s appearance in Detroit around 9-8-78 was a surprise, but it made it a perfect ending to it’s cinema life in the Midwest as a third-run flick that still had a drop of gas left. In Toledo, the film originally played the Sepia back round 1972, a cinema that was a short-lived competitor to the Pantheon which was turning into the Downtown’s Urban theater by the time of Shaft, and it played the Franklin Park Drive In on it’s slight return in 1978. It would have been interesting to see it then – I can imagine a small audience wondering if they took the Time Machine back to the days of the Grande…OK. taking off the rose colored glasses, it was possibly more like “What the Hell is THIS?!!!”, but you know what I mean.

I hope that this was a Time Machine in itself!

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~ by screen13 on September 22, 2015.

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