Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Short Film: Quest (Germany, 1996)


Here's an interesting möbius-like stop-motion puppet animation short from Germany; produced and animated by short-film maker ThomasStellmach and directed and photographed by Tyron Montgomery at the Art Department of the University of Kassel, Quest took four years to make and upon its release raked in the awards, including the 1996 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. The short tells the tale of a sandman in search of water who, often more by accident than by plan, travels from one world to another to find a way to quench his thirst, each world being more dangerous and nightmarish than the one before...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Return of Superfly (USA, 1990)

Crappy video of the title track to The Return of Superfly (Curtis Mayfield + Ice T):
 
Well, we really should have known better...
Director Sid Shore (13 May 1919 – 17 Aug 2006) was on hand way back in 1972 to produce the first Superfly which, according to his obit at The New York Times, "cost less than $100,000 and grossed more than $30 million". Superfly, as everyone knows, was an early Blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks Jr — the son of Gordon Parks Sr, who had directed another early Blaxploitation classic, Shaft (trailer), the year previously — starring the inimitable Ron O'Neal as Youngblood Priest, a smooth African American cocaine dealer out to retire from the biz. (Even if you don't know the film, you surely know the title tune from Curtis Mayfield [hear it here], which is just as much of a classic as Isaac Hayes' title tune to Shaft [here it here].) Superfly was followed in 1973 by Superfly T.N.T. (opening credits), this time around with O'Neal as the star, co-scriptwriter and director; it is not quite the classic that the first film is and, in fact, still hasn't had a DVD release. This flick here, made a good 18 years later, is the second sequel, and it is not without reason that it more or less is a completely forgotten film, despite being available of DVD: it sucks.

Trailer to the original Superfly (1972):
 
O'Neal was still alive when this film was made — he died ten years later from pancreatic cancer in 2000 — but the 18 years that had passed since the first film probably made him too old for the film, or maybe he just had the good judgement of not taking part in this listless milking of a dead cow that screams "no budget" much more loudly than it does "low budget". Instead, some unknown dude named Nathan Purdee — a future soap opera actor — slipped into the role of Superfly/Priest and, while not slipping and landing flat on his face, he sure the hell doesn't manage to convey any magnetism or anything memorable. Sure, he's good-looking with nicely broad shoulders and his threads are fashionably 80s synthetic, but he never manages to stand out in a film that is as flat and dull as it is narratively unexceptional, if not simple-minded and often illogical.
In all truth, the first minutes of the film do manage to convey the promise of cheap, enjoyable, violent sleaze, but of that promise only "cheap" is followed through to the end. A group of dealers rubout a bunch of other dealers and then go on to rubout the head honcho Eddie (Rony Clanton [Def by Temptation (1990 / trailer)], replacing Carl Lee [Werewolves on Wheels (1971 / trailer)] of the first film), who is too busy bonking his babe (Lisa Andoh) to pay attention to a warning. Yep, the opening scene has it all: drugs, cools cats with gats, escape and chase, blood, sex and a naked babe — but once Eddie lands on the floor and Priest sees the need to return from Europe to avenge his friend, the movie becomes a meandering and aggravating snoozathon with way too many laughable and "what-the-fuck?" moments to be any good, but not enough laughable and "what-the-fuck?" moments to truly be an enjoyable as a bad film.
Of course The Return of Superfly has the obligatory sexy ladies, one of whom (Patrice Ablack) is dispatched quickly enough after showing her perkies and the other, Francine (Margaret Avery of  The Psychopath [1973 / first ten minutes]* and Terror House [1972 / trailer]); Francine keeps her perkies covered but (seriously) simply disappears midway in the film only to reappear to tiptoe through the tulips in Paris with Priest as the final credits roll — a more than unexpected sight, as the events leading up to her highly noticable disappearance definitely infer an off-screen death.

* The Psychopath is another unsung craptastic masterpiece by director Lawrence Brown, aka Larry G. Brown, who began his very short directorial career with an undeniable psychotronic movie, Pink Angels (1972):

Aside from the dearth of blood and violence and sleaze, the movie also lacks any narrative tension or any evidence of cinematic know-how, the visuals being as lifeless as the progression of events is slow, illogical and dull. A tighter script with less characters, less talk and more action might have lifted The Return of Superfly to the quality of a TV movie, but the film as Sid Shore made it is, at best, little more than a prime example of how not to make a crime thriller. Dull chase scenes, excessive dialogue, diffuse characters that do little and offer nothing, poorly staged and poorly shot action sequences, bad acting across the board (with the possible exception of the now top-billed but less than tertiary present Samuel L. Jackson looking and acting as if he ain't acting that he is on drugs), inept editing and a less-than-gripping story ensure that The Return of Superfly never becomes anything more than an easy to forget and 100% non-essential viewing displeasure...
The sound track is groovy, though; we'd totally forgotten what great music Ton Loc once made.
Ton Loc — Cheeba Cheeba:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hardgore (USA, 1974)

We came to this triple-X film by way of our research for our blog entry They Died in September 2012, Part X: Addendum: while gathering info on the segment on Hal David (25 May 1921–1 Sept. 2012), we came across the grimy porno film 1976 Linda & Cheri — director unknown — which, among the various working slabs of sausage, featured the reliable rod of 1993 XRCO Hall of Fame inductee (as a "Film Pioneer") and 2007 AVN Hall of Fame inductee John Seeman. Seeman — aka Jeff Box, Jon Seeman, Rolf De Vrees, Robert Koll, Nag Analf, Jay Seemon, Roy Stells, John Simon, John Semen, John Reynolds, John Seemen, John Siman, Bob Stern, John Semany, John A. Seeman, John Seaman, John Toland, John Ocean, John Shipley and Jethro Brunel — was one of the numerous perennially active circumcised penises of the Golden Age of Porn, but like most reliable hard workers of the time he never achieved the legendary status of, say, other hard-working stiffs such as Harry Reems (whom Seeman directed in Ten Little Maidens [1985]), John Leslie (with whom Seeman appears in at least 24 films, including Ultra Flesh [1980 / opening credits]), Jamie Gillis (with whom he worked in at least 14 projects, including the previously mentioned Ultra Flesh and Ten Little Maidens as well as For the Love of Pleasure (1979 / 8 NSFW minutes), or the massively unattractive John C. Holmes* (with whom he worked in at least 17 projects, including Spirit of Seventy Sex [1976 / 1 hairy NSFW minute] and several Johnny Wadd flicks).
Seeman, a 1965 B.S.B.A. graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, probably entered the film business in the Uschi Digard flick Heads or Tails in 1973, a good three years after the then-creditless** Mona the Virgin Nymph ala Mona (1970 / full film) — the first straight, hardcore "feature-length"*** porno film with a plot — hit the screen and helped make the floor of hundreds of cinemas across the US dangerously slippery.
By the time swordsman Seeman retired his seven inches in 1985, he had splattered loads in over 100 films, including this one, Hardgore, which is undoubtedly one of the most bizarre no-budget porno films of the era. Aka Horror Whore and Sadoasylum, the film is the only known film project of the most likely pseudonymous director "Michael Hugo." Along with Shaun Costello's Forced Entry (1973 / trailer), the only film Harry Reems has gone on the record as having regretted taking part in, Hardgore is one the earliest porn films to merge violence and triple-X sex, but whereas the overtly misogynistic Forced Entry takes its inspiration from psycho-on-the-loose films, Hardgore mines the lower depths of cheap, grindhouse horror and gore. Needless to say, it is also one crazy, messed-up and unforgettable film.
Originally released by Tarot Productions, a fly-by-night and long-gone production and distribution company, Hardgore is generally available for free viewing on any number of websites on the internet, all of which use the same scratchy, messed-up copy. The film clocks in at a quick 63 minutes, with all credits savagely edited out of the opening but for the title Hardgore, which jumps around as much as the music and the background it is superimposed upon. Like all porno films and all gore-for-the-sake-of-gore films, Hardgore follows the classic pattern of alternating between a little plot development and a sex or gore scene, with the emphasis being only naturally more on the latter two aspects.
The situation is quickly established: an unidentified and typically overweight (for the USA) man brings Maria (Dianne Galke, whom we here at A Wasted Life recognized from a couple of cards in our 1979 deck of Color Climax Delux Playing Cards — considering the hair of the guy doing her on the 8 of Diamonds, the penis in both cards she's on might actually be that of Seeman) to Fox Hollows Sanitarium to have her masochistic and nymphomaniac tendencies treated. (The plot of course, but for the maso-nympho part, is straight from "Basic Horror Plots 101", almost as equally overused as the broken down car and house on a hill set-up used in the earlier, far less bloody adults-only "horror" flick, Dark Dreams [1971 / SFW trailer] — which features Harry Reems as the lead saber — or that great underground masterpiece, Thundercrack! [1975 / 37 seconds].)
The director of the sanatorium, Dr. George (John Seeman, among whose other cult-worthy porn films aside from those previously mentioned are the porn western Sweet Savage [1979 / full NSFW film] and — ever see a KFC chicken leg used as a dildo? — the grubby House of Kinky Pleasures [1975 / NSFW trailer]), says Fox Hollows is the place for her, and soon she is shown to her room by the relatively hot, brunette nurse (Bunny Savage — who was even given headlining credit on the poster of her only other known film, Lollipop Palace [1976]). Following few sexy shots for the panties-and-garters crowd as the nurse makes the bed, the two babes first play scissor-sisters and moan and groan to the sounds of some sax-and-drum free jazz going batty in the background, and then they take a shower together and the nurse goes heartily for Maria's tuna taco. Could it be the start of a wonderful relationship? Hardly: not long after Maria takes advantage of a dildo she happens to find in her room, the sexy nurse shows up at her door as a dead nurse with a slit throat...
The effects here — the first "gore" scene — are hardly all that gory, the blood neither plentiful nor the slit even half as graphic as the sex scenes earlier, but the next sex/gore highlight that follows is a true jaw-dropper, a true masterpiece of "What the fuck were they ever thinking?" freakishness: when Maria goes running down the hall in terror, she promptly gets pulled into a room and a nightmarish orgy (in which masked women stroke Maria's legs as she blows the rods of two masked men) that is edited less to make you hot than to leave you disoriented. As Maria gives her full oral attention to the more admirably-sized of the two shafts, a hand comes in from the dark recesses and chops the lengthy rod off at its root with a knife; in a perverse travesty of a money shot, blood spurts all over Maria's face as the masked man screams in pain instead of pleasure — and then, suddenly, the room empty. A dream? A nightmare? Was it all even real?
Dr. George and his new nurse Lucy (Justina Lynne of the similarly odd XXX Femmes de Sade [1976 / full NSFW film]) seem concerned, stating as the boom mike hangs well into the frame: "Maria, you were running and dashing about wildly down the halls, screaming at the nurses, insulting the other patients, disrupting the hospital. Just relax, everything's gonna be alright." Maria believes him about as much as we do, but is promptly distracted by the new nurse Lucy, who is more than happy to give Maria her treatment — which seems to consist of getting her off with sex toys and more lesbian sex... but damn! In the midst of all that fun, the new nurse ends up burning her beaver box with an electrified dildo**** — screaming "Help me. It's ruined! Call my mother! Hurry! Call the doctor! Call the fire department!" — when a mysterious hand ups the amps. Talk about coitus interruptus...
But then, most scenes in the entire film end in a form of interruptus, simply cutting to the next scene as if the preceding one never even happened. This is also the case with the electro-dildo scene, which promptly segues into a nighttime scene of Maria being awoken by a deep, distant demonic voice which, as all people are apt to do, she promptly follows — and ends up in yet another sex orgy cum demonic mass overseen by a man dressed in red and wearing a plastic Satan mask. And if you think the tastelessness of the first orgy would be hard to be trumped, well, it isn't: Lucy, theoretically already dead, is put in a guillotine and gets a big boner from behind — from Turk Lyon (1947-1990), aka Bob Angelo | Todd Grinder | Bob Lash | Milton Lewis | Turk Lynn | Robert Lyon | Turk Lyons | Robert Magatoney | Bob Migliano | Bob Migliette | Heinz Russo | Willy Weber, of 7 Into Snowy (1978 / 1 NSFW minute) — which spews its never-ending load all over her rump as she is beheaded...
 
And thus the film continues, with every rare two minutes of narration or plot development followed by a longer sex sequence that either ends in gore or is set in gore, finally ending after 63 minutes not with a boner but a downer. But then, the only erections involved with this film are all in the film, for there is no way this depraved slab of sleaze is going to make any male viewer's willy even twitch slightly — except, perhaps, for one single sex scene that is so arty, so cinematically superior in comparison to the rest of the movie, that its almost seems to be beamed in from another film: a midnight wander reveals the truth to Maria, that she is intended to be sacrificed and that the men there kill those they screw and then pile the dead bodies up in "the room." Neither the news of her impending death nor the bloody sight of "the room" seems to damper her nymphomania any, however, for she promptly screws Dr. George while his well-hung colleague bonks a corpse (!), a scene intercut with close-ups of blood and gore that suddenly edits into an 8-minute-long hardcore and totally vanilla body-tango scene in a clean white room done in a long, single uncut circular shot similar to that used by Brian DePalma in Carrie (1976 / trailer) when Carrie (Sissy Spacek) and her date (William Katt) are dancing. Though hardly the most graphic of shared-body-fluids scenes, other than for the opening oral activity, the two go at it with such gusto and the circular pan is so lulling that for a moment one almost forgets just how grotesque the rest of Hardgore is — at least, that is, until the scene cuts back to the gore-filled sex scene in "the room" and the money shot of the guy having his way with the corpse. Talk about incongruity...
The corpses, by the way, don't really stay corpses, but whether this is due to the budget or an artistic decision is hard to say: all of the dead nurses are suddenly alive and active again for the big final orgy. Their sudden liveliness is a bit strange, of course, but half as strange as, well, the talking cock that suddenly tells Maria "You were a bad girl Maria," or the little rocket-ship dicks flying through the air spewing cum by the bucketload, or the scene in which Maria's face is literally lathered by a massive, non-stop and creamy cum shot. Whoever wrote this flick must have had some pretty nifty drugs at hand, that's for sure... or at least a bizarre sense of humor. They also seemed to have had problems coming up with an ending, for the downbeat finale may be bonkers but it is also so abrupt it almost seems tacked on, as if after all the weirdness that preceded it they couldn't figure out how to tie things into a neat bow, so why bother?
 
In regards to the cast, though none would probably ever be given the lead in a college play, they fair well enough as sex-film performers. Seeman's balding Jew-fro and glasses don't really make him good looking, but he is agreeably zit-free and slim and fit and like most of the men in the film pleasantly hung. The girls, in turn, are all surprising naturally attractive, if somewhat unexceptional, and more clean than skanky. The nurses do appear a bit more hardened than "Maria" (Dianne Galke — aka Diane Glanke, Dy Anne, Darla Phillips, Dianne Galke, Diane Galke, Diane de Leigh), who looks as if she could easily be the collage-age daughter of your (circa-74) next-door neighbor. Of course, as to be expected of the times, body hair is rampant and the boobs are all pleasantly silicone free.
To what extent the version of Hardgore we saw is uncut we are unsure, for the editing is both primitive and savage, but then the general quality of the film itself indicates that probably none of those involved ever thought that the movie might be deserving posterity. Sex scenes are often way too dark, but whether due to age or bad lighting cannot be told. The look / body language / music (mostly) / everything about the film screams American-made, but the irrational feel of the film is closer to Jess Franco's much, much, much better-made arty films like Succubus (1968 / trailer) or Virgin among the Living Dead (1973 / German trailer) than the average hardcore porn movie, despite all the close ups of lollipop licking and taco munching and the corresponding cream geysers. The background music, by the way, is as all-over-the-place as the film, moving back and forth from annoying free jazz noise to music that might well have been swiped from some Italo western to generic TV music.
Sleazy and incoherent, un-erotic and bloody, hairy and downright weird, Hardgore actually sounds better in description than it really is. Still, though the film fails on the whole both as a porn film and a gore film, it is such an incongruent and grotesque amalgamation of no-budget triple-X porn and grindhouse gore that, in the end, it nevertheless achieves a bizarre, surreal otherworldliness that makes it inexplicably fascinating. It would seem that in the case of Hardgore, the lunatics didn't just take over the asylum, they decided to write and shoot a film as well... 

* A sad note to a sad life: Though he made a number of gay loops, Holmes only made one triple-X gay feature film, the oddly repulsive Private Pleasures of John C. Holmes (1983 / 6.5 unappetizing, NSFW minutes). According to (straight) porn director Bill Amerson, all the male stars of the film, including Holmes, eventually died of AIDS or AIDS-related complications. (Answer.com is more reserved and says that only the "four principal actors ultimately died of AIDS.") Holmes, although aware he had HIV, continued his swordsman career for another five years after testing positive without letting anyone know he had the virus. He was obviously a man of high morals.
** At the time of its original release, Mona was released without credits due to legal concerns — making porn was illegal in California — but today it is common knowledge that film was produced by Bill Osco and directed by Michael Benveniste & Howard Ziehm, the same trio that brought out the classic soft-core comedy, Flesh Gordon (1974).
The Uncensored Trailer to Flesh Gordon (1974):
*** It should be perhaps noted that many of the early "feature-length" porno films, like Hardgore, were actually closer in length to a second-feature film — i.e., hardly more than an hour — than a feature production. Perhaps the first porno film to truly have the length of a feature film — 118 minutes in this case — is also the first one to feature on-screen (mostly pseudonymous) credits for its cast and crew, the first one to parody the title of a mainstream movie, the only X-rated gay porn film to be reviewed by The New York Times, and one of the first theatrically released gay porn films ever (if not actually the first): Wakefield Poole's The Boys in the Band (1971), starring the ever-popular Casey Donovan aka Calvin Culver (of L.A. Tool & Die [1982 / original NSFW trailer], "Henry Paris's" The Opening of Misty Beethoven [1976 / SFW trailer], Radley Metzger's Score [1974 / trailer], the lost Andy Milligan project Dragula [1973], Some of My Best Friends Are [1971 / trailer] and Ginger [1971 / trailer]). Poole went on to make one of the great semi-lost mondo films high on our "Must-See List," the 1974 art film Bible! (scene). (The name "Henry Paris" above is put in quotation marks because, as any mildly informed film fan knows, it is the pseudonym Radley Metzger used for his triple-X outings.) 
**** This deadly weapon, and a similar death, later occurs in Seeman's 1985 directorial effort Ten Little Maidens.

Monday, August 12, 2013

R.I.P.: Haji


Haji
 (January 24, 1946 – August 10, 2013)

Haji, the Canadian-born actress who most famously starred (with Tura Satana and Lori Williams) in the classic cult movie Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! passed on August 10, 2013, at the age of 67 from an unexpected heart attack. 
The LA Weekly gives her "real" name as "Barbarella Catton", but popular consensus says that she was born Cerlet Catton, either of Quebec or Halifax. Her stage name, Haji, was supposedly a term of endearment originally from her brother. Going by this interview here, Haji seems to have been born a Breatherian of sorts. By the time she was 14 she was an exotic dancer, but at the age 21 she decided to give a stab at acting and moved to California where Russ Meyer discovered her talents in a topless club and put her in one of his less-respected roughies, Motor Psycho (1965). She went on to appear in a total of five of his films, thus appearing in more of Meyer's films than any other woman, including his third wife Eve Meyer and his longtime main squeeze, Kitten Natividad. 
Haji had long since removed herself from the limelight, even the limited amount that cult stardom offers, but even as she retreated to the trees and ocean of Malibu, CA., where she last resided, she remained a fond memory of many a person, including us here at A Wasted Life. 
A career review will follow, eventually, but in the meantime enjoy this video that we discovered thanks to Video Watchdog:
 Brian Hyland singing Gypsy Woman
(visual source Russ Meyer's Good Morning & Goodbye!): 



Motor Psycho
(1965, dir. Russ Meyer)
OK, we will admit that Motor Psycho was the first Russ Meyer's film that we ever saw that left us oddly disappointed, but then we saw it at the end a triple feature in which it was preceded by two of his early roughie masterpieces — Lorna (1964 / opening sequence) and Mudhoney (1965 / trailer) — so it did face rough competition that night. Still, although Motor Psycho has both its fans and its plus points, it is not the best of his B&W movies... though Haji, in her film debut, definitely leaves a lasting impression — she almost always did. Others who made their feature-film debut in Motor Psycho include Steve Oliver (29 Nov. 1941 – 5 March 2008), of Werewolves on Wheels (1971 / trailer / full film), and the successful character actor Alex Rocco, of Return to Horror High (1987 / trailer), The Entity (1982 / trailer), and Blood Mania (1970 / trailer). According to TV Guide, which calls Motor Psycho "competent, inventive basement-budget filmmaking for the drive-in crowds," the movie was originally double-billed with Faster Pussycat — Kill! Kill!
 
Over at All Movie, Robert Firsching gives the following synopsis: "This exploitation film delivers the typically sadistic and fast-paced action expected from cult director Russ Meyer. Alex Rocco stars as veterinarian Corey Maddox, whose wife is raped by a motorcycle gang. The three hoods are led by Brahmin (Stephen Oliver), who was a Section 8 in Vietnam. They kill an old man and terrorize his wife Ruby (Haji) until she gets away and joins up with Maddox. Together, the two of them hunt down the gang. [...] The rape scenes are brutal, though not explicit, and Meyer (who appears briefly as the local sheriff) leavens the film with enough campy humor to make it inoffensive. It would have been odious in other hands, but Meyer is somehow able to present scenes in the worst possible taste and still leave viewers smiling. He made better films than this one, but it is still superior to most similar efforts of the time."
 
Opening scene & credits to Motor Psycho:




Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
(1965, dir. Russ Meyer)


Title track by The Bostweeds & credits:

What we say about this movie at our RIP for Tura Satana could easily apply to Haji: "The film that is she and that she was. (If you have not yet seen this film, you are reading the wrong blog.) Russ Meyer's masterpiece needs no introduction [...]."
Trailer:

But just in case you are indeed one of the tragically uniformed, here's the plot as explained at Wikipedia: "Three thrill-seeking go-go dancers — Billie (Lori Williams), Rosie (Haji), and their leader, Varla (Tura Satana) — encounter a young couple in the desert while racing their sports cars. After killing the boyfriend (Ray Barlow) with her bare hands, Varla drugs, binds, gags and kidnaps his girlfriend, Linda (Susan Bernard). On a desolate highway, the four stop at a gas station, where they see a wheelchair-bound old man (Stuart Lancaster) and his muscular, dimwitted son, Vegetable (Dennis Busch). The gas station attendant (Mickey Foxx) tells the women that the old man and his two sons live on a decrepit ranch with a hidden cache of money. Intrigued, Varla hatches a scheme to rob the lecherous old man." According to rumor, an unnecessary remake is underway... the muscle mag below features the unknown weightlifter Dennis Busch on its cover; the GIF is from Novocain Lipstick.
 
The Bostweeds only other known song, Little Bad News:





Good Morning... and Goodbye!
(1967, dir. Russ Meyer)

"You're the worst lover in town. It's a good thing I know someone in the country."
        Angel (Alaina Capri)

 
The first NSFW minute:

Good Morning ... and Goodbye! von uhnyuftz

As Boris Lugosi says at Girls, Guns and Ghouls "I can't think of a single Russ Meyer film that isn't worth owning and viewing numerous times. Good Morning and Goodbye! unreservedly comes with this recommendation, not just for the bountiful bodies and well-choreographed fisticuffs, but for the ability to stay in your mind and make you think about relationships. It's truly a work of art, and you've still got those scenes with Haji in the flower-petal bikini!" In her interview at Shock Cinema, Haji says this is her favorite film. TCM offers the following plot synopsis: "Because of his age, Burt (Stuart Lancaster), a wealthy farmer, is unable to satisfy the prodigious sexual needs of his wife, Angel (Alaina "42-24-36" Capri). The flamboyant affair Angel is having with Stone (Pat Wright [28 Nov 1939 - 9 Dec 2004], the director of Hollywood High [1976 / scene], producer of Frightmare [1983 / trailer / full film] and an actor in an untold amount of drive-in flotsam), a young construction worker — not to mention her wanton behavior with other men — embitters Burt and humiliates Lana (Karen Ciral [23 March 1945 - 27 July 1979] of Love, Swedish Style [1972 / NSFW trailer] and The Cycle Savages [1969 / theme]), his 17-year-old daughter by a previous marriage. Lana resolves to gain revenge on her easily-cowed father by flinging herself on the good-looking Ray (Don Johnson). But, because Ray is also intrigued by the voluptuous Angel, Lana ends up in the arms of the sex-hungry Stone. Then Burt meets a strange forest sorceress (Haji), who revives his long-dormant sexual drive. After he demonstrates his rejuvenated state to Angel, she promptly agrees to end her extramarital activities. Lana, who has been humiliated by Stone's brutal assault, comes home a reformed girl and again takes up with Ray. Stone, however, pays for his monomaniacal sexuality by being brutally beaten by the cuckolded husband of one of his earlier conquests."
 



Don't Make Waves
(1967, dir. Alexander Mackendrick)

 
Trailer:

In her interview at Shock Cinema, Haji, when talking about Russ Meyer's ability to make films with a super-small crew, says "So when I got a job at MGM on a Tony Curtis movie, Don't Make Waves (1967), I looked around and said to myself, 'Look at all these people to do one film! How did Russ do it?'" She never mentions the film again, and it is not listed on any of the on-line list of her credits that we could find, so who knows what she actually did on the film, but since she was obviously part of it in some way we'll include this forgotten Tony Curtis swinging sixties comedy here as well.
The movie, based on a 1959 Ira Wallach novel entitled Muscle Beach, was originally touted as Sharon Tate's film debut, but she had actually already appeared (credited & uncredited) in other films, including the 1966 British horror film Eye of the Devil (trailer).
 
The plot, according to TCM: "When impulsive and reckless Laura Califatti (Claudia Cardinale) totally wrecks a sports car belonging to tourist Carlo Cofield (Tony Curtis of BrainWaves [1983]), she invites the distraught young man to spend the night on the couch of her Malibu Beach apartment. But he is thrown out by Laura's 'patron,' Rod Prescott (Robert Webber), a pompous businessman who runs a swimming pool company owned by his wife. After sleeping on the beach, Carlo goes for a swim, nearly drowns, and is saved by a seductive surfer-skydiver, Malibu (Tate), who gives him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Captivated by the girl, Carlo decides to settle down in the area. Since he has failed to get any compensation for his sports car, he uses his knowledge of Rod's indiscreet affair with Laura to get a lucrative job as a pool salesman. Then, to further his romance with Malibu, Carlo bribes an astrologist, Madame Lavinia (Edgar Bergen), into telling Malibu's body-builder boyfriend, Harry (Dave Draper), that sex is bad for his physique. The romantic entanglements become even more involved when Rod's wife, Diane (Joanna Barnes), announces that she is suing for divorce, naming Laura as correspondent. Eventually, all six participants become trapped in Carlo's cliff-side house during a rainstorm. As it tips over and slides down the incline to the muddy beach below, Malibu is reunited with the muscle-bound Harry, Diane agrees to drop her divorce proceedings, and Laura and Carlo discover they are made for each other." Muscular Dave Draper, by the way, was the 1965 IFBB Mr. America and the 1966 IFBB Mr. Universe.
 
The title track, sung by The Byrds:




Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
(1970, dir. Russ Meyer)

 

"Prepare to taste the black sperm of my vengeance"
Z-Man (John LaZar)

 
Trailer:

One of our favorite films! Haji's appearance is just one of the many pleasures of this masterpiece overflowing with eye-candy and kitsch and frantic soap-opera melodrama... She is not a lead character, but is seen often enough and is also far more noticeable than the great Pam Grier (of Black Mama, White Mama [1975], Coffy [1975] and Bones [2001], among many noteworthy films), who supposedly made her film debut in this masterpiece but is impossible to find/see anywhere in the entire movie. For years misunderstood as simply "a dirty, violent movie" (as the Pulitzer Prize winner Mike Royko once described it), Beyond the Valley of the Dolls now finds its way onto many a Top Films list, and rightfully so.
The Sandpipers — title track to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls:

Originally intended as a sequel to the 1967 movie version of Jacqueline Susann's novel Valley of the Dolls (trailer), Meyer and co-screenwriter Roger Ebert instead made a Pop Art exploitation satire of the conventions of the modern Hollywood melodrama, written in sarcasm but played straight, complete with a "moralistic" ending that owes its inspiration to the Manson-inspired murder of Sharon Tate and her guests on August 9, 1969. Aside from the movie's absolutely insane plot, the cinematography is also noteworthy — as are the figures of the pneumatic babes that populate the entire movie. For legal reasons, the film starts with the following disclaimer: "The film you are about to see in not a sequel to Valley of the Dolls. It is wholly original and bears no relationship to real persons, living or dead. It does, like Valley of the Dolls, deal with the oft-times nightmare world of show business but in a different time and context." Dolly Read, seen below, is one of the many babes that lives, loves and suffers before being one of the lucky ones to find happiness...
 
 Trailer 2:
BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS TRAILER with ERICA GAVIN from Erica Gavin on Vimeo.
The full plot, as explained in detail by B-Movie Catechism: "Determined to find success by any means necessary, the all girl psychedelic soul trio The Kelly Affair heads off to Hollywood to make it big. Things go remarkably well at first as the group is taken under the wings of record producer extraordinaire Z-Man (John Lazar), who changes the band’s name to The Carrie Nations and helps them make a string of hit singles. However, it all begins to go sour as the friends become entangled in a drug, alcohol, and sex fueled soap opera of labyrinthine proportions. Kelly ([May 1966 Playboy centerfold Dolly Read; see above] lead vocals and guitar) develops an infatuation with Lance Rocke (Michael Blodgett [1 Jan 1940 - 14 Nov 2007]), a local gigolo whose real interest lies in Kelly's forthcoming inheritance. This so disturbs Harris ([David Gurian] band manager and Kelly’s ex-boyfriend) that he first takes up with predatory porn star Ashley St. Ives (Edy Williams), with whom he ultimately can't 'perform', and then has a one night stand with the emotionally fragile Casey ([December 1968 Playboy centerfold Cynthia Myers (12 Sept  1950 – 4 Nov 2011)] bass). Now pregnant with Harris' child and determined never to be used by a man again, Casey falsely accuses Harris of rape, reluctantly agrees to get an abortion, and becomes a lesbian. No longer able to bear it all, Harris attempts to kill himself by jumping from the rafters during the taping of a television appearance by The Carrie Nations, but he fails and only manages to turn himself into a paraplegic. Distraught by all the misfortunes which have befallen her bandmates, Petronella ([Marcia McBroom, also seen somewhere in Come Back, Charleston Blue (1972)] drums) seeks solace in the arms of heavyweight champion Randy Black (James Iglehart). Unfortunately, Pet's real boyfriend Emerson (Harrison Page) catches the two in bed and, in a foolhardy attempt to defend his manhood, is run over by a car driven by the half-insane pugilist. Whew. At this point, the movie is only two-thirds of the way through, and we haven’t even covered the sub-plots involving Kelly's fashion designing aunt Susan (Phyllis Davis) and her slimy accountant Porter (Duncan McLeod). Let's just say it all comes to a head at a private costume party thrown by Z-Man where hearts are broken, lives are lost, and seriously WTF secrets are revealed."
 
Strawberry Alarm Clock — Incense and Peppermints:

As an added attraction, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls also featured the appearance of the perhaps now mostly forgotten but still around bubblegum psychedelic band the Strawberry Alarm Clock performing their hit (it reached #1 on the 1967 pop charts) Incense and Peppermints and two other songs... all the songs of the Kelly Affair cum Carrie Nations were lip-synched and actually performed by Lynn Carey (December 1972 Penthouse Pet of the Month)... Aspects of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls were reused in the 1984 no-budget punk movie Desperate Teenage Lovedolls (trailer) and its 1986 sequel, Lovedolls Superstar (trailer).
  
The Carrie Nations — Come with the Gentle People:




Bigfoot
(1970, dir. Robert F. Slatzer) 
 
 The groovy theme to Bigfoot:

Haji supposedly appears as "Haji" somewhere in this cinematic Z-film featuring all sorts of Hollywood has-beens, sons and daughters and hanger-ons, the biggest of latter of which is perhaps the director himself, Robert F. Slatzer (4 April 1927 - 28 March 2005). The author numerous Hollywood bios, Slatzer's best remembered books are probably The Life and Curious Death of Marilyn Monroe (1974) and The Marilyn Files (1992). Slatzer originated the conspiracy that Monroe was killed for having an affair with JFK, and he also liked to claim that he was actually even married to the famous sexpot for three days in 1952... in regard to the latter claim, he was eventually proven a liar by fellow biographer Donald Spoto, who discovered proof that Monroe was in Bev Hills the day Slatzer claimed they got married in Mexico.
Bigfoot is the third and last film Slatzer ever made; his other films include the inane explioter The Hellcats (1968) and the pseudo-documentary and pro-Vietnam War travesty No Substitute for Victory (1970). Bigfoot, by the way, was co-written with James Gordon White, who has since retrired to Texas to write westerns but once specialized in writing cheap exploitation films featuring motorcyclists, including: The Glory Stompers (1967 / trailer), The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968 / trailer), Hell's Belles (1969 / trailer), The Tormentors (1971 / trailer), The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (1971 / trailer), The Thing with Two Heads (1972 / trailer) and Ten Violent Women (1982 / trailer).
Scene:

The plot of Bigfoot, as explained by one of our favorite blogs, Kindertrauma: "In this movie we find a whole clan of Bigfoot monsters running about, terrorizing a small town. Much like the fish monsters from Humanoids from the Deep (1980 / trailer), these dudes only have one thing on their primitive minds, interbreeding with human ladies to populate their dwindling race. (We know that this type of inter-species whoopee has been successful in the past because there is a little Bigfoot / human hybrid helping them out). One day the monsters kidnap a chick who happens to be the girlfriend of a member of a motorcycle gang that's passing through town and all types of hell breaks loose. Unbeknownst to the Sasquatch tribe, they have started a gang war! In order to preserve the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to, which consists of raping ladies by day and wrestling bears and mountain lions at night, the Bigfoot clan must defend their turf from the not-threatening-in-the-least motorcycle gang." The few, the select, the brave, the idiotic that have seen this film seem to be divided: many simply hate it for being bad, while many enjoy it as a craptastic film with an incredible cast...
A year earlier, oddly enough, the basic idea of horny sasquatch was used in an actual (and totally ridiculous) Z-budget porn movie entitled The Geek 1969 / trailer).
 Trailer:





Up Your Alley
(1971, dir. Art Lieberman)

Director Art Lieberman only other known credit seems to be as producer of the 1967 "documentary" Something's Happening aka The Hippie Revolt. This film here is aka Bang, Bang, the Mafia Gang, The Melon Affair, Heads 'n' Tails and Sex or Bust
 
As is the case with Good Morning and Goodbye!, in her interview in Shock Cinema Haji calls this movie the favorite of all films she made. She also goes on to explain: "I was supposed to be Sophia Loren. I played Sophie, an Italian movie star who comes to America because some mobsters kidnapped her father. If Woody Allen had directed it and played the leading man, it would've been a superb film. It was a cheap film, and the director had never made a film before in his life. When I broke down the script, I found out I had something like six different parts in flashback that I had to play, from different parts of the world and different eras. I went to the wardrobe department, and they were yawning and saying, 'Yeah, well, we got this and that.' I wasn't happy with what I saw, so I said, 'Never mind, I'm gonna do my own clothes.' They never could've made my character as strong as she was, not with what they had. I really had to bring a lot to it. And then the title was changed to Up Your Alley and it was sold as a sex film. [...] Lowlife men who have no taste — they get hold of a film like that and they don't know what to do with it. These are the men who have their brains in their penises. That film went from one lowlife man to another, instead of going to someone with a little class and taste. It's a cute, funny little film."
Temple of Schlock adds the details: "Rated X by the MPAA in 1970, Art Lieberman's wacky sex comedy Bang Bang, the Mafia Gang — starring funny guy Frank Corsentino in full Woody Allen mode and exotic Russ Meyer starlet Haji in sexy-as-ever mode — was released by Headliner and had its world premiere in Tucson with the stars in attendance. A year later the movie was picked up by Group 1, cut for an MPAA-approved R rating and re-released as Up Your Alley. It toured drive-ins and neighborhood theaters for 5 years under this handle before being sold off to producer/showman M.A. Ripps (of Poor White Trash [1961 / opening credits] infamy), who re-titled it Heads 'n' Tails ('Their tails are up, their heads are down, they're the most popular girls in town!') and finally The Melon Affair for a 1978/1979 roll-out through his EMC Film Corporation. The movie is currently available on DVD-R and for download from Something Weird under its original title."
BFI sort of offers a plot: "Wanting to sell stolen jewels to an American crime syndicate, Sicilian mafia boss, Don Marco (Charles Knapp of The Dark Backwards [1991 / trailer]) flies to the States in disguise. He dies before the deal is completed and Maria (Haji) persuades Seymour (Frank Corsentino) to pose as Marco in order to save her step-father who is held hostage by Marco's contacts." The movie also features an appearance of the legendary Uschi Digard as the nurse in a fantasy of Seymour. A non-embeddable trailer to the film can be found here at Something Weird... Haji never looked better.
The Hippie Revolt, produced by Art Lieberman:





Wham! Bam! Thank You, Spaceman!
(1975, dir. William A. Levey)

 
NSFW Trailer:
WHAM! BAM! THANK YOU SPACEMAN! (William A. Levey, 1975) (NSFW) from Spectacle Theater on Vimeo.
Haji appears somewhere in an un-credited role as a harem girl in this movie, which was originally made as a soft-core flick but later re-released with hardcore inserts. Director William A. Levey is the same man behind the infamous non-classics as, among others, Hellgate (1990 / trailer), The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (1977 / trailer) and Blackenstein (1973).
Blackenstein trailer:

DVD Drive-in explains this Harry Novak produced cinematic oddity: "Two very blue, giant-headed aliens named Sergeant Jackoff and Private Asshole land on earth in search of females to procreate their species. Our visitors beam up naked ladies aboard their ship and mate with them via a snake-like tongue (penis?) that protrudes from their mouths. They also have blue balloons for ears, and they blow up when they get aroused. Jackoff and Asshole roam around Hollywood looking for eligible babes. This shifts the film into different scenarios such as an oversexed hooker, two lesbians on a porno movie set, a husband who suddenly finds his wife more enticing than a game of golf, and some mate swapping involving a rich couple and a duo of French servants. Loaded with four-letter words and crude toilet humor, the aliens constantly scrutinize the female anatomy ('Look at that pimple on her ass!') and the inadequate size of the male human unit in comparison with their own ('Look at that funny cock'). [...] Wham! Bam! Thank You, Spaceman! is a silly but stimulating softcore offering, made several years before the space movie craze [...]. "Ilsa" herself, Dyanne Thorne (using the pseudonym Rosalee Stein) plays the hooker (yes, she does nudity!) and appears on screen with husband Norman [sic] Maurer. Porn queen Sandy Carey is a sexy maid, and bleach-blond Valda Hansen (star of Ed Wood's Night of the Ghouls [1959 / full film]) is a horny housewife. Valda also does nudity, but looks about 15 years past her prime."
Mania points out that "As directed by the 70s' version of Jean Cocteau, William A. Levey [...], Wham! Bam! Thank You, Spaceman! is a visual masterpiece. One might be fooled into thinking that the film is comprised of nothing more than a series of static shots, edited together choppily, visually engaging only via the color-saturated print. Yet to think that is to be oblivious to the social commentary by the master satirist that Levey is! Don't you see that this is just a subtle way to show the plight of the domesticated American woman, whose life at that time consisted of a series of boring routines, randomly strung together, engaging only via the massive quantities of booze they ingested and the hard-core lesbian trysts they had with other bored housewives?! It's this undercurrent of thought that makes Wham! Bam! Thank You, Spaceman! one of the greatest films of our time and of all time."
The title track is sung by Kay Dennis... we couldn't find it anywhere, but we did find her cover version of Sunny...
Cover of Bobby Hebb's Sunny by Kay Dennis:




Supervixens
(1975, dir. Russ Meyer)

 
Trailer:

Digital Retribution says: "Supervixens is an extremely unusual film. What may at first come across as soft core porn, actually has a pretty good story, and is a hilarious, sexy and is a vicious satire of the times in which it was made. Meyer took the similar themes of his earlier film Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and took everything to a more excessive level. The women are bustier, and regularly topless, the violence more horrific and shocking, the chases faster, the set pieces more rural and the obscure, well, more obscure. With many deliberately scandalous moments in this film, Supervixens is in a genre all of its own…"
We here at A Wasted Life find it a fabulous film, though not all who took part seemed to have enjoyed making it: when asked about the movie in an interview at Rock!Shock!Pop!, the Golden Age porn star Colleen Brennan, who plays Super Cherry in the movie and whose last known credit (as far as we can tell) is Colleen Brennan: Porn's 1st Grandma (2007), tritely said: "I sincerely believe that Russ Meyer likes breasts but not their complex life support systems. I didn't like him the first day I met him or the last. [...] And I'm not saying that Meyer was any fonder of me, but I would never have signed up for another one of his misogynistic tit-floggers."
Haji appears as SuperHaji in this multi-violent cartoon of a soft-core sexploitation film almost that literally gives meaning to the word cleavage. Among all the cartoon babes that populate this film, SuperHaji does stand out a bit as the overly sparkly hippy waitress that could but refuses (out of spite) to confirm the hero's alibi. While her unique appearance fits the overall lack of reality of the movie, as she explains in her interview in Shock Cinema, her look was due to a misunderstanding: "Russ said, 'We're gonna be shooting in a nightclub.' At that point, a lot of young people were wearing stones on their faces. Gluing stones everywhere. It took me hours to glue those stones all over me, and when I showed up, it was this little cheap roadhouse! It's like putting an emerald on a fake gold necklace! I said to Russ, 'Why didn't you tell me it was going to be this kind of place? Look at me!' But we went with the scene anyway. It was pretty, but I was just a little out of place. [laughs] There I was, serving beer with stones all over me!"
The lead female of the movie, the intensely beautiful Shari Eubank, plays two roles and left the film business after her next movie, the less-memorable Chesty Anderson, USN (1976 / excerpt), to return to Illinois to teach; she currently works at Blue Ridge High, and her great smile seems to be very much intact. Over at Bright Lights Russ Meyer once claimed the film, the first that he wrote alone ("together with the actors"), is his version of an Horatio Alger tale: "They were always about a young man who was totally good, and he would always set out to gain his fortune and he would always come up against terrible people. They did everything they could to do him in, but he fought fair, you know, and he always survived and succeeded in the end."
And, finally: the plot — as explained by All Movie: "[...] Clint (Charles Pitts) is working at a gas station (run by none other than Martin Bormann (Henry Rowland), who was working as a bartender in Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) when his wife (Eubank) is brutally murdered by Harry Sledge (Charles Napier), a cop with a deeply sadistic streak. Clint tries to bring Harry to justice while Harry attempts to frame Clint for the crime. In the meantime, Clint is constantly pursued by a variety of women with improbable names, voracious sexual appetites and bodies that make Pamela Anderson look like Kate Moss. [...] Supervixens features a villainous performance by Charles Napier, another from Meyer stalwart Stuart Lancaster and several typically cantilevered beauties, including Haji, Shari Eubank and Uschi Digard." Not to mention Christy Hartburg as SuperLorna, the poster girl, in her only film role ever, and the Afro American babe Deborah McGuire as SuperEula... 
Trailer — in French:




The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
(1976, dir. John Cassavetes)

Haji plays Haji in this art house crime film directed by auteur John Cassavetes, "a pioneer of American independent film by writing and directing over a dozen movies, some of which he partially self-financed, and which pioneered the use of improvisation and a realistic cinéma vérité style." Haji can even be seen in the trailer. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie was both a critical and commercial flop when it came out; Cassavetes later re-edited the film down to 108 minutes from 135, but the new edit was no better received. Typical of the reaction the movie got is that found at TV Guide, which says "Cassavetes' films can be annoying and enigmatic, but they are usually creative and interesting. Not so with this one."
 
Trailer:

The full plot description from Wikipedia: "The film, set in California, opens with Cosmo Vittelli (Ben Gazzara) making the final payment on a long-standing gambling debt to a sleazy loan shark (played by the film's producer Al Ruban). To celebrate his long-anticipated freedom, strip club owner Vittelli has an expensive night out with his three favorite dancers ('Margo' [Donna Gordon, the "body model for the animated dancer" of the video to Tom Waits for No One], 'Rachael' [Azizi Johari, below, Playboy Playmate of the Month, June 1975] and 'Sherry' [Alice Friedland, naked here from Please Don't Eat My Mother [1973 / trailer]). The evening culminates in a poker game in which Vittelli loses $23,000, returning him to the debtor's position he had just left. Using the debt as leverage, his mob creditors coerce him into agreeing to perform a 'hit' on a rival. Vittelli is led to believe that his target is a small-time criminal of minor consequence, the Chinese bookie of the film's title; but in fact, he is the boss of the Chinese mafia, 'the heaviest cat on the West Coast'. Vittelli manages to kill the man and several of his bodyguards, but is severely wounded before escaping. In addition to the potentially fatal gunshot wound he sustains, Vittelli comes to realize that his assignment was a set-up: that his mob employers double-crossed him and had no expectation he would survive his debut as a hitman. Forced into a corner again, Vittelli manages to kill or elude his assailants, but the film ends with no indication of whether Vittelli will survive his ordeal, as the show at his club goes on."
Of this famously overly long movie, in the interview at Shock Cinema Haji says: "Yes, he [John Cassavetes] shot so much film of me because he liked the stuff I was doing. He just kept the film rolling. When I went to the dailies, I was so happy with my work. He could've released a whole other film of just those seven beautiful girls. Everybody I know who saw that film said, 'How come there wasn't more about the girls? We wanted more of the girls!' If he had left more scenes of us in there, we would've gotten a lot more work from it. His son [Nick Cassavetes] is a director now, and I'd love it if he gave me that film and all the outtakes so I could reedit it. I guarantee you I could make it one hell of a film. Better than it turned out, certainly."
The photo above of Haji in the movie comes from Haji's homepage, which probably won't be up all that much longer...
Tom Waits for No One:




Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks
(1976, dir. Don Edmonds)

Haji, credited as "Haji Cat", plays "Alina Cordova" in this, the first sequel to Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1974 / trailer) — you see her getting tortured in this film's NSFW trailer below and on the Japanese poster above. In the Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, she is a spying belly dancer who first gets her beautiful love pillows crushed when she is tortured for information about her unknown contractor and is then later killed by an exploding diaphragm... As Dr Gore astutely says: "Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks promises nasty sleaze and does not disappoint. Every other scene had either blood or breasts or both. It's a great exploitation movie. I recommend it."
The NSFW trailer:

We, in turn, actually saw this movie a decade or two ago in a double feature with Ilsa the Tigress of Siberia [1977 / trailer], but to tell the truth we really don't remember anything about either movie...
Over at imdb, MG basically describes the intricacies of the movie's plot: "Finding a new employer, and looking not a day older since the end of World War II, Ilsa (Dyanne Thorne) works for an Arab sheik (Jerry Delony of The Horny Vampire [1971]) who enjoys importing females to use as sex slaves. An American millionaire's daughter (Colleen Brennan), a movie star (Uschi Digard), and an attractive equestrian are among his latest victims." Ms. Brennan, when asked in an interview at Rock!Shock!Pop! about her appearance in this Ilsa movie and the first one, both films she regrets having been in, disingenuously states, "Okay, here's the rule of thumb I developed too late: Never be in a movie that strives to attract an audience with whom you would not choose to share a theater." Haji is also relatively circumspect about the movie when talking to Shock Cinema, saying: "I will limit myself as far as doing certain things, and some of the stuff they did in that film was a little too funky for me. I liked my part, but I don't think I did a very good job with it."
The infamous and popular Dyanne "Ilsa" Thorne, by the way, is now a minster named Dyanne Maurer who, with her current husband Howard Maurer — the couple appeared in five films together: this Ilsa film here, Ilsa the Tigress, Wanda, the Wicked Warden (1977 / trailer), Wham! Bam! Thank You, Spaceman! (1975) and all of two seconds in Franc Roddam's Liebestod segment of Aria (1987 / trailer) — now conducts wedding ceremonies in Vegas.
 
Franc Roddam's Liebestod segment of Aria:


 

The Amorous Adventures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
(1976, dir. Raphael Nussbaum [7 Dec 1931 - 23 Feb 1993])

 
Aka When Sex Was a Knightly Affair. Director Raphael Nussbaum made his first cheap film, Blazing Sand (1960 / trailer), in Israel, but eventually ended up in the US producing, writing and/or directing trash like Al Adamson's The Female Bunch (1971 / trailer). Today, he is about as forgotten as he is dead.
 Daliah Lavi, the female lead of Blazing Sand, sings Willst du mit mir gehn:

Haji plays "Cybel" in this soft-core musical version of the classic tale, about which she had little good to say to Shock Cinema: "I saw the film once when it first came out, and I was disgusted with it. When I got on the set, it was totally different from the way they had described it. They showed me one script, and started filming another one. It turned out to be a really sleazy, horrible film." 
 
Over at imdb, lazarillo of Denver, Colorado, and Santiago, Chile, is less derisive of the movie, saying: "Of course, this is not exactly a faithful re-telling of the great 17th century Spanish novel (I've read the book twice and I don't recall either Don Quixote or his sidekick Sancho Panza getting anywhere near this much action). But this is also not just some cheap porno parody either. They actually spent some real time and money on this, especially on the famous windmill-fighting scene. This movie also continues the bizarre 70s' trend of combining softcore (or sometimes hardcore) porn with half-ass musical numbers [...]. Of course, the musical numbers are very low-rent and often pretty stupid [...]. The actor playing Don Quixote (Corey John Fisher) is pretty miscast. He is much too young for the elderly, senile would-be knight. But at least he is half-way believable as the beneficiary of all this hot sex, unlike Hy Pike as Sancho Panza, who gets even more women than Quixote, despite looking like a cross between Ron Jeremy and Danny Devito without being nearly as attractive as either of them. [...] Still, Pike is at least a little more talented acting-wise than your usual male porno stiff."
Corey John Fisher seems never to have made another film, but Hy Pike is seen in Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural (1973 / trailer), The First Nudie Musical (1976 / fan-made trailer), Nightmare in Blood (1977 / trailer) and Spawn of the Slithis (1978 / trailer).
A song, not from The Amorous Adventures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, but from The First Nudie Musical:




Hughes and Harlow: Angels in Hell
(1978, dir. Larry Buchanan)

 
Trailer:

 
Haji, billed as Hadji, "had a very small part" as Laura in this bio-pic, supposedly financed as a tax shelter, from the self-titled "schlockmeister" Larry Buchanan nee Marcus Larry Seale Jr. (31 Jan  1923 − 2 Dec 2004).
The NY Times uses the same text about the film as everyone else, written by Hal Erickson (Rovi): "Everybody knows that Howard Hughes ordered most of his 1930 aviation epic Hell's Angels re-filmed to accommodate his latest discovery, platinum blonde Jean Harlow. Everybody also knows that Hughes and Harlow had an affair. These 'givens' are used as springboard for exploitation filmmaker Larry Buchanan's Hughes and Harlow: Angels in Hell. Neither Lindsay Bloom nor Victor Holchak are half as fascinating as the real-life characters they portray, and this coupled with a stretched-to-the-limit budget results in a film that never quite reaches its potential. Still, we can't resist that supporting cast: Royal Dano, Adam Roarke and Linda Cristal." Like most Buchanan films, it did little for the careers of its headlining stars — Victor Holchak was history within two years. The photo below, by the way, is of the real Jean Harlow, not her screen incarnation.
 
 An early Larry Buchanan "classic" in full: The Naked Witch (1961):




Demonoid: Messenger of Death
(1981, dir. Alfredo Zacarías)



"You either cut off my hand, or I'll kill you!"
Sergeant Leo Matson (Lew Saunders)

Trailer:

Trailer till Demonoid: Messenger of Death från rstvideos trailerarkiv.


Aka Devil's Hand and Macabre, both titles used before by other horror films — the Devil's Hand in 1962 (see below) and Macabre by William Castle in 1958.
William Castle's Macabre (1958):

Haji is "Angela, the moll", who meets her demise in the desert outside of Las Vegas. Video Graveyard explains the plot: "Opening with a topless woman being tied-up and getting her hand cut-off, this bearable if not overly thrilling tale has Samantha Eggar (of The Brood [1979 / trailer]) and her scientist husband (Roy Jenson of Soylent Green [1973]) in Mexico unearthing an ancient cursed 'hand' container which promptly starts to possess people's left hands and make them go on killing sprees." Help comes in the form of Father Cunningham (Stuart Whitman, of Night of the Lepus [1972 / trailer], Eaten Alive / Death Trap [1977 / trailer] and Guyana: Cult of the Damned [1979 / trailer]), an Irish priest whose faith is as shaky as his Irish accent.
Most find the film fun in a bad way, as does the blogspot Talk of Horror: "Demoniod is about as goofy as they get. The plot really doesn't hold up to scrutiny, most of the performances are lackluster, and the film is loaded with moments that are unintentionally hilarious. [...] In spite of its problems, I found myself kind of enjoying this movie. It's not really good, but the whole concept is so daffy that you can't help but go along with it. It's like Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977 / full film) or I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990 / trailer), only played straight and without evil inanimate objects. Apart from that, Eggar and Whitman aren't great, but do their best carrying the material, and there's something perversely amusing about seeing people finding different ways of getting their hands severed, providing some fun bloody moments. Add a great score by Richard Gillis, plenty of (unintentional) laughs and a downbeat (though predictable) conclusion, and you've got yourself an amusing little piece of trash cinema."
Mexican-born director Alfredo Zacarías also directed some other psychotronic flotsam of note such as The Bees (1978 / clip) and The Treasure of the Amazon (1985 / trailer)
The Devil's Hand (1962) — Full Movie:




 The Double-D Avenger
(2001, dir. William Winckler)

 
Trailer:

OK, we're not really sure we'll ever get around to seeing this direct to and on video movie, even if it does feature three Russ Meyer alumni, namely Haji, Kitten Natividad and Raven De La Croix. The concept of a breast-obsessed comedy that starts out with — shades of real life to come — Kitten Natividad getting breast cancer appeals to us, dunno, about as much as, dunno, a comedy featuring three children that starts out with a child molestation scene.
Director Winckler, the son of former child actor (usually un-credited) Robert Winkler (seen somewhere, for example, This Gun for Hire [1942 / trailer] and many more) and Betty Sturm of Timothy Carey's The World's Greatest Sinner (1962 / fan-made documentary), offers the following plot description at imdb: "Big, busty Chastity Knott must use her new amazing abilities as the super-stacked costumed crime fighter, the Double-D Avenger, to stop villainous bikini bar owner Al Purplewood and his sexy, murderous strippers." (She gets her powers, by the way, from sucking off a magical cancer-curing plant in South America.)
Horror Talk seems to have liked the film, saying: "Through the miracle of digital video, The Double-D Avenger has some pretty good production values for its meager budget. Yes the script is corny, yes every cliché for breasts is used at one time or another during the film. The bottom line is this movie is good clean fun. Winckler gives us 'Benny Hill' style adult humor and lots of eye candy to look at. With a combination of 'older' and younger endowed stars, The Double-D Avenger is sure to put a few smiles on your face. These older stars could have stayed at home collecting disability for the back problems caused by these massive mammories, yet they come back to please us in The Double-D Avenger!"
 
The ageist-minded Horror Review, in turn, says "If it were not for Joe Bob's Commentary, I would of just shut this film off. It's worth checking out for his commentary, but as a film it's like a big stupid porno with old has-been stars in it, doing stupid things and so. This is not going to be a big review at all folks I got nothing great to say about this film and I'll leave it at that." B-Independent, in turn, shares our beef with the film: "Right away you see the first problem. What on God's green Earth is funny about breast cancer? Nothing! It's meant to add to the entire boobies-are-everything atmosphere, but after having spent the past 5 years of my life helping a family member deal with the disease, I couldn't find it within myself to so much as crack a smile."
In any event, The Double-D Avenger did well enough: Winckler earned back the money he invested in his home-grown project and even could finance his follow-up direct-to-video movie, Frankenstein vs. the Creature from Blood Cove (2005 / trailer).



Killer Drag Queens on Dope
(2003, dir. Lazar Saric)


Trailer:


Haji makes a very short cameo as Moonji, a psychic, in this home movie about life in LA. In Thomas Lisanti's book Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies: The First Wave, 1959-1969, the late, great Don Edmonds (1 Sept 1937 - 30 May 2009) — director of Tomcat Angels (1991 / trailer), Terror on Tour (1980 / trailer), Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks (1976), Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975), Bare Knuckles (1977 / trailer) and other fun stuff — says of his part in the movie (as "Uncle A"): "I'm brilliant in this, by the way. I played the head of a family of mobsters. I can't put two thoughts together. The character is confined to a wheelchair and I wear a patch over one eye. This is a silly, dumb movie that will probably never see the light of day." He's wrong about the last: the film is easy to find everywhere. Over at the NY Times, Jason Buchanan (of Rovi) says: "Two murderous drag queens whose lives are a blood-spattered blur of drugs and death embark on a violent rampage of stoned-out destruction in this tripped-out homage to the sleazy exploitations flicks of the 1970s. Ginger (the formerly nicely hung Alexis Arquette of Bride of Chucky [1998]) and Coco (Omar Alexis) are two psychotic transvestites who kill for money and pleasure. When their obsession with murder and insatiable appetite for drugs clash in a psychedelic frenzy of bullets and blades, Ginger and Coco begin a harrowing descent into madness from which death is the only escape." 
Shocking Images bitches: "Killer Drag Queens on Dope amounts to nothing more than an uninspired waste of eighty minutes. Why, most drag queens would have more fun sifting through the bargain shoe bin at Payless than watching this dreadful exercise. As a drag performer, Alexis Arquette commands some serious attention. Too bad this movie is so boring. Her features look great on film, and makes for a better gay man in make-up than Sarah Jessica Parker. Sorry SJ, my cat claws are just getting sharpened. As Coco, Omar Alexis is dull, dull, dull. Somebody splash some cold Fresca in that girl's face — PLEASE! And that ending? Oh, for all things holy. This movie plays like two teenage gay boys locked in Linda Evan's wardrobe closet playing Pretty, Pretty Princess. Wait, I meant that as in insult. In any case, if you’re absolutely dying for low budget pinksploitation, I suggest Vegas in Space (1991 / long, long trailer) first. But if you must see this film — bring your sleeping mask."
A scene, maybe?:

Haji — may she R.I.P. on whatever planet she's on now.
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