Getting “Weird” at the Malletts Bay Drive In! – Part One

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11-7-69, Malletts Bay, Vermont (with a Coldchester address) – a variation of the famed Gruesome Twosome/Something Weird ad that featured the added  “Unholy Terror” line and the “Human Hair” bit replacing the Take the Test hype that says that “you are sick” is kind of a rare find. Its less effective than the original version of the mat, but least the wicked image and “The God Awful Something Weird” is left untouched. This show would appear through The US mainly in 1968 – ’70, and would hit my home area of Detroit two times in 1969.

Something Weird Video VHS-wise, these were numbers 5159 and 5155, unleashed around the Early 90’s (hope I’m correct). Fans of this sin-ema scene should have them on DVD.

Getting “Weird” on you once again in order to provide some relief of what has been happening through the last couple of weeks, it’s time to focus on one of the many Drive Ins with the good stuff from the classic Exploitation world that later wound up with Something Weird Video. This time, it’s focusing on a Drive In based just near the Canadian border enough for it to reportedly have ads placed in a Montreal paper!

The Malletts Bay Drive In started off as a regular ozoner from it’s opening in 1949, but by 1968 it starting to play all kinds of sick flicks and Sexploitation delights for most of the rest of it’s life, with a period when other DIs in the area were going right along with the trend as well. Maybe it was in competition with the growing Indoor Suburban Screen scene and that many outdoor screens were the perfect places to watch these kinds of films (among other activities, wink, wink!), but what happened at the cusp of The 60’s to The 70’s fitted in perfectly with the changing times and the fact that it was easier to play a wide assortment of madness. It moved into the Adult-X area by 1973, turned into a regular Porno place by 1974-5, and would close up shop some time around 1986.

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5-8-70 – HG Lewis’ 1967 Horror A Taste of Blood played as the B to the classic Corruption, once again promoted with an ad that is not as well known. Back then, it played alright as an agreeable programmer which aimed to have less gore and more playdates, usually in a show with Teenage Strangler, while it has it’s fans today mainly through Bill Rogers’ good performance and Lewis’ attempt to whip up a Horror film that aimed to be more traditional in style than the flicks filled with the red stuff (maybe like a Hammer film on a shoestring budget).

SWV-VHS history points Taste released as #4624 in a group of three Lewis movies unleashed by the company in it’s 4000 series of it’s influential first years in the collector’s market including The Blast Off Girls (4625) and The Girl, The Body, and the Pill (4626), all produced under the Creative Film Enterprises banner (Miss Nymphet’s Zap In was also connected with the company,was later found in the video company’s days of entering the DVD-r market).

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5-15-70 – The Blast Off Girls, HG Lewis’ attempt to whip up a Rock and Roll film that wound up being something that looked like it was against the business, was the B to Death is a Woman, here promoted as Love as a Woman. By this time, the Faded Blue, the actual band from Chicago who starred in Lewis’ film, were “faded” away from the music scene although Steve White of “charlie” which highlighted the film’s opening moments was in a band on the West Coast called Food who had an album on Capitol in 1969 and possibly were thinking of moving on by the time of this performance, The Blast Off Girls fitted in with the Garage Punk era that used to be what was happening (baby!), but Food was more of the softer scene in 1969 – Steve is on the right on the cover.

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7-23-71 – Moving to the world of Doris Wishman, Love Toy was a small success in what was called the twilight years of Sexploitation before Porno took hold of it all. A gritty and sadistic film that carried the Director’s Roughie style into the Color era, it was possibly a little too far-out for one area that claimed it to be a Swedish film!

Turn On To Love was an early film of John G. Avildsen, later to be successful with Rocky, the Karate Kid, and Lean on Me who would have his first hit that year with Joe. It’s star, Sharon Kent, was a familiar face in films made in NYC who’s reported final cinematic appearance in Carny Girl was unleashed in 1970 – after years of films by people like Barry Mahon and Doris Wishman, she left the business maybe finding  out how tough it was to break out.

VHS-wise, Love Toy was part of the 4000 series – #4245 – and was listed as Nudie Sick on it’s website back at the turn of the century. In today’s PC climate, I think that it’s still a good description.

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8-27-71 – Speaking of Doris Wishman, The Amazing Transplant was another small hit film that toured the Adult movie circuit for a few years – I think I spotted a play in Florida around 1977! Here, Doctors are invited to watch”…HA! HA! HA!!!! in this showing, it’s paired off with Lee Frost’s Zero in and Scream, one of the Director’s films made with “Short Ends” as a way to make something on the cheap and play the Adult film circuit while today it can be seen as a film that caught the violence of the time as well as a scene in the Classic Cat that might bring back a memory or two within those that went to those places back in the day.

Transplant was #4019, making it among the really early releases of Something Weird Video (later presented on DVD) while Zero In… was #4486.

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10-23-70 – The Sex Perils of Paulette was a Roughie from 1965 that still had a little screen filling value in the days when things were turning technicolor. Setting the change in the times aside, it’s one of Doris Wishman’s best films that entered the Cult VHS market through a group of releases surrounding her work that also brought Chesty Morgan’s movies to the audience. #5123 was released next to #5126 (Deadly Weapons) and #5127 (Double Agent 73).

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10-30-70 – The Head Mistress was filmed at what was known by those in the hip as The Castle, located in the Las Feliz district of Los Angeles which was a place visited by many touring musicians and the place rented out by the legendary band Love from 1966-67 mainly during it’s Da Capo (second album) era. Starring Marsha Jordan, it was a sexy costume cutie with the checklist of must-haves completed including the whipping scene with a felt tip whip. Released in 1968, it was still playing at the Drive Ins through the Early 70’s while it’s attractiveness was brought to the Drive Ins that still played almost decade old cuties through the Late 1970’s.

I still wonder if the studio musicians on the soundtrack were those who knew of Love’s tenure at the mansion as it seriously sounds a bit Da Capo influenced. It’s something to think about.
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#4199, Whipping Scene and all, The Head Mistress was released on the cult video circuit through Something Weird Video in a time when Producer David F. Friedman was losing hope that his films would be released on tape – “You can’t sell 3.2 beer when you can sell 100 Proof Bourbon” was the much-repeated phrase. Thanks to the fandom surrounding Michael Weldon’s Psychotronic book and magazine and other publications, it was a hit showing thanks to catching a cute Late 60’s Cutie style that included touches of weirdness…including “necrophilia” done in a light fashion.

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~ by screen13 on November 18, 2016.

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