Sunday, March 29, 2020

Short Film: Darling, Get Me A Crocodile (Bulgaria?, 1960s?)

OK, here we have a truly obscure short animated film about which absolutely nothing seems to be known. We're presenting it because we find its style of animation intriguing and the events portrayed quaintly funny — and because it the short is such a mystery production. Indeed, our extended online research came away virtually empty handed...
Darling, Get Me a Crocodile was rediscovered by Something Weird and added as an extra on their DVD double feature of When Men Carried Clubs and Women Played Ding Dong (1971 / a trailer) and the Gigi Darlene nudie-cutie 50,000 BC (Before Clothing) (1963).
The short is listed on the 2010 inventory list* of Movielab but, unluckily, probably due to a conflict in the program that made the PDF, the date of the film is illegible. As many fans of "bad film" know, Frank Henenlotter and Mike Vraney (29 Dec 1957 – 2 Jan 2014) of Something Weird once "ventured to the remains of the New York-based, subterranean Movielab vaults. These two fearless trash-movie advocates and enthusiasts pulled off the exploitation flick equivalent to a daring 'proof of life' mission, hustling their way into the Movielab lair and effectively raiding and rescuing dozens upon dozens of vintage, wildly obscure horror, sex, fantasy and action junk movies, getting their grips on crisp prints and, in many cases, original 35mm negatives. [Coming Soon]" We would assume that it was on that "raid" that this uncopyrighted, dateless, and in all likelihood public-domain animated short was found and saved.
On the Movielab inventory list, as in the film itself, the short is given as a Fleetwood Films production, and while there were and are dozens of Fleetwood Films out there, we would vote (without solid proof) that the Fleetwood Films in question is the firm founded by Myron Bresnick (2 April 1919 – 4 Sept 2011) in 1951, which began with his acquiring the 1948 Russian animated film Little Grey Neck (full film) and a variety of Hal Roach features. He sold the firm to the educational materials provider Macmillan in 1968.
Bresnick had a thing for foreign films, and assuming that Darling, Get Me a Crocodile is a foreign short, it fits in with the kind of stuff he would acquire. And why do we assume the short might be foreign? Well, in 1972, Darling, Get Me A Crocodile made its way to Florida for a while, where it was screened at the University of South Florida (see: page 66 of the 29 Oct 1972 issue of Sarasota Herald Tribune), where it was listed a Bulgarian film — although the name of its maker hardly sounds Bulgarian.
As of Florida, the trail goes cold and nothing more can currently be found about Darling, Get Me A Crocodile or its credited maker, E. Husiatowicz. "Husiatowicz" is far more a Polish name than Bulgarian one, but spelt as it is in the film's meager opening credits, it gets no hits online other than the few that mention this film, which infers that the name is either misspelt or made-up.
In any event, enjoy Darling, Get Me A Crocodile, a wasted life's Short Film of the Month for March 2020… and if you know anything about the short, please, share your info with us!

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