Monday, October 29, 2012

Short Film: The Little Girl Who Was Forgotten... (USA, 2008)

For our Short Film of the Month for October 2012 we present this sad and scary but oddly moving tale of childhood misery that ends in tragedy for everyone involved. As revealed by the film's title, the tale involves a little girl forgotten by everyone, and the disastrous outcome of a midnight wish for a friend...
The story and art is from Katy Towell, seen here to the left drinking tea, a Kansas-born lass now living in La La Land and earning her curds and whey as a graphic designer, writer and illustrator – you can buy her art online over her website, or her graphic novel Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow at fine bookstores of exquisite taste. Ms Towell is also a maker of truly unique films that reflect a terrifying world cruel and unjust as seen through the eyes of scary children; go to her other website Childrin r scary for more oddly enticing if bleak and tragic stories of lost innocence and childhoods from hell.
The film is narrated by Tim Jones, and music is by Kevin MacLeod.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

They Died in September 2012, Part IV

Follow this  link for They Died in September 2012, Part I

One day you, too, are going to die... but the following people, both known and unknown, have beaten you to it. (Darn.) Will you leave half as much behind, or have you a wasted life? 
In any event, the list is hardly 100% complete, but may they all rest in peace. 
And in their honor, yet another version of a poem we learned as a child and presented in Part I – we have since been informed that the "poem" is known as Worms Crawl In (The Hearse Song) – this version here is the one known by "Lance": 
You shouldn't laugh when you tell a lie 
'cause then you know you're the next to die 
They bury you down about six feet deep 
And then your liver begins to creak 
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out 
The worms play pinochle on your snout 
Your stomach turns to a slimy green 
And pus pours out like thick whipped cream 
You take some bread and you wipe it up... 
and that's what you eat when your dead! 

Radoslav Brzobohatý
13 September 1932 – 12 September 2012
Born in Vrútky, Slovakia, Radoslav Brzobohatý was a successful Czechoslovakian actor who remained in the Czech Republic and continued making appearances in films and on TV up until the time of his death at the age of 79, a day before his 80th birthday. In regard to his position in the Czech film industry, Czech film critic Darina Krivánková said, "In Czech cinematography, there were few really manly types of actors. And Radoslav Brzobohatý was unique because he was able to play these strong, manly roles very convincingly. It just came naturally to him. It was part of his character." His heyday was probably his earlier roles in the Czech New Wave films, some of which became unavailable after the Prague Spring – as did any further meaty roles, at least until the 80s. Nevertheless, he was able to maintain a career on stage, TV and the silver screen until the end.

(1964, dir. Petr Schulhoff)
Groovy Soviet poster to the Czechoslovakian crime film Strach – "Fear" – about which we know nothing and in which Radoslav Brzobohatý plays "Nadporucik Varga." But Andy of the former Czech Rep says: "Detective Kalas (Hrusinsky) with his colleague are investigating death of young student. The more they are informed, the more they're sure, that it couldn't be just the car accident. And more deaths are on the way. Brilliant dialogues, well acted (no doubt – Hrusinsky as well as Brzobohaty is one of the greatest Czech actors of previous century), goes to detail (everything fits in), dark feel (thanks to instrumental music and black-and-white color). Could give the creeps mixed with special feeling of memories to someone who have experienced the period."

Vrah skryvá tvár
(1966, dir. Petr Schulhoff)
Aka The Killer Is Hiding His Face. Hrusinsky as well as Brzobohaty return (playing the same characters as in Strach) in another crime film directed by Petr Schulhoff.
Opening credit sequence:

 Penicka a Paraplícko
(1970, dir. Jirí Sequens)
The sequel to The Sinful People of Prague (1968). At imdb, Karel K. ( of the Czech Republic calls the film "A Romance from the Half-World of Prague," explaining: "[...] This movie is not only an investigation of the murder but it's also a portrait of the 'femme fatale' from the periphery (Paraplícko, Little Brolly) and the safe-breaker Penicka who is her lover. So this is wonderful psychological movie with criminal plot. Movie has a great atmosphere of old Prague, full of bizarre people and small figures. This half-world is stylized as a world of strange poetics: the criminals sing and dance in dirty pub Poison Chanty, live along their own rules, and have their specific fashion and language. It's one of the most interesting Czech mysteries!"

Zabil jsem Einsteina, panove
(1970, dir. Oldrich Lipský)
Aka I Killed Einstein, Gentleman. Radoslav Brzobohatý is "Robert" in this cult Czech sci-fi flick. Over at imdb, Ørnås writes that "This futuristic science fiction comedy features an atomic bomb blast that causes women to grow beards and lose the ability to have children. A summit meeting is held at the United Nations, with the proposed solution of building a time machine. The decision is made to travel back in time and murder Einstein, with the hopeful result being that without the noted mathematician's research there will be no atomic bombs." Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings says: "The movie opens with a scene which looks for all the world like two men kissing, but you'll quickly find that that's not what you're really seeing. However, it is a great way to catch your attention and it drew me into a movie that, at least for the first half, is one of the funniest comedies I've seen in a long time; I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times during this part. It loses a bit of steam in the second half, mostly due to the fact that the addition of a resistance group that is trying to prevent the assassination of Einstein complicates the plot enough that you're distracted from the humor by trying to figure out who everybody is and what is going on."
Opening scene:

Vim, ze jsi vrah
(1972, dir. Petr Schulhoff)
Nice poster – and the Polish poster ain't too bad either. Released as Ich weiß, daß du der Mörder bist ["I Know that You are the Murderer"] in East Germany; to loosely translate a German synopsis: "A young psychopath that commits a murder in the heat of the moment due to jealousy then kills two further women before the police, whose job is made more difficult by the insincerity of the witnesses, are able to catch him. A discriminating crime film with strong psychological characterization that offers a lot of suspense." Needless to say, not available in English – if it is even available at all, anymore anywhere.

Modrá planeta
(1977, dir. Jirí Svoboda)
Aka The Blue Planet; Radoslav Brzobohatý – seen on the poster – plays "Dr. Masník." As typical of the former Eastern bloc, the poster is fab... but no-one that writes in a language we understand has seemingly ever seen this film, though the BFI does offer a very succinct synopsis: "A story concerning the participation of Czechoslovak scientists in the inter-cosmos program."

Uncle Cyril
(1988, dir. Jirí Svoboda)
Radoslav Brzobohatý in another Jirí Svoboda film, aka Prokletí domu Hajnù (the original Czechoslovakian title) and The Damned House of Hajn. At imdb, Joyojeet Pal says: "Sonya (Petra Vancíková) is the heiress to the riches of a Czech noble family – the Hajns. Petr, a social climber, marries her, ignoring the shady goings-on, especially an insane uncle who prowls the mansion thinking he is invisible, a peccadillo the family seems to bear with and entertain. The mad uncle stalking every corner of the house, popping out of cupboards and curtains slowly takes its toll on the young bride. Interesting imagery and camerawork, poor script which could have been a good 20 minutes shorter." Concise Cinema seems to share the general opinion about this movie: "For such a small industry Czech cinema sure do make some interesting, but not necessarily good, films. The films are normally packed with ideas and great visuals and The Damned House of Hajn is no different. This is a Gothic chiller in the vein of Mario Bava (with a sprinkling of Andrzej Zulawski). It's not scary but it is very odd and Svoboda creates a fantastical and uneasy atmosphere. The film uses bold contrasting colors, striking imagery and some amazing camera work (the camera is very much a character in the film which links into the theme of omniscience). Unfortunately there seems to be too many ideas for it all to hang together and it seems to tread water for the first 40 minutes or so. Even after watching it I still couldn't categorically say what the director was trying to say. If it is some political allegory I certainly missed it but it is an intriguing movie about madness and those that have to live with it. For fans of European horror it is well worth trying to track down." A foreign-language, non-embeddable trailer is found here.

An Ambiguous Report About the End of the World
(1997, dir. Juraj Jakubisko)
Czech title: Nejasná zpráva o konci sveta. Radoslav Brzobohatý plays "Simon, Goran's father." Cinecasulofilia says: "For over 30 years Juraj Jakubisko has plundered Slovak folklore, song and dance to conjure a series of baroque, often absurd fables of love and death. [...] Jakubisko, widely regarded as the greatest Slovak film-maker, braved accusations of defection when he moved his production operation to Prague during the mid-90s. However, any notion that the director had sold out was spectacularly quashed in 1996 when Jakubisko unveiled his most ambitious and most expensive project to date, An Ambiguous Report About the End of the World. Whereas most of the New Wave's brightest talents buckled under the 'freedom' of the commercial market place, Jakubisko's vision remains as focused as it was under the old regime." The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre, which rates this film as "Of Some Interest," goes intellectual and says: "Jakubisko ambitiously attacks the subject of the development and future of civilization and humanity in this epic movie and strange allegory. Although the events take place over 2-3 decades, the mixture of a timeless, mythical village, traditional and parochial living with sudden bursts of ultra-modern technology gives the impression of archetypes of civilization, portraying a large picture inside a small picture with archetypical elements of development, tradition, racism, crime, outcasts, family, drugs, death, law-enforcement, business, as well as pride, madness, love and envy. The epic and dense story involves everything from a doomed triangle of lovers, wolves massacring humans, humans turning into animals, earthquakes, growing hemp as a livelihood, outbreaks of diseases, crime and police, heroic children, alcoholism leading to confused reality and hallucinations, gypsy drama, and a seemingly gratuitous bunch of circus people that live with the villagers including a giant woman, a midget and a monkey. [...]"

Edgar Metcalfe
18 September 1933 – 13 September 2012
English actor and director Edgar Metcalfe died from liver cancer in Menora, Western Australia, on Sept. 13th, just a week short of his 79th birthday. Born in 1933, both his parents were dead by the time he turned one. Adopted by his aunt and uncle, he was raised on a farm until the age of ten, when the family moved to the town of Blackpool. Upon leaving school, Metcalfe went straight into the British provincial repertory theatre system; in 1963, at the age of 29, he moved to Perth, Western Australia to take up the position of Artistic Director of the National Theatre Company; other positions followed over the years of his successful career. On rare occasion he would get involved in a film project; of those listed at imdb, we found the following of interest.

(1975, dir. Terry Bourke)
A forgotten Ozploitation sex comedy written and directed by the man who brought you the Ozploitation horror flicks Lady Stay Dead (1981 / trailer), Inn of the Damned (1975 / trailer), and Night of Fear (1972 / trailer) – the last of which is considered Australia's first truly modern horror film. In Plugg, Edgar Metcalfe appears to play "Claude Marshall-Enright." Plot, according to Wikipedia: "Private detective Plugg (Peter Thompson) is hired to watch a suspect escort agency. Inspector Closer (Norman Yemm) comes after Plugg." The film, which is unavailable today (there has never been a video or DVD release), features the film debut of Cheryl Rixon, Penthouse Pet of the Month in 1977 and Pet of the Year in 1979 – a time in life when bush was still common.

It's Not the Size That Counts
(1974, dir. Ralph Thomas)
Aka Percy's Progress. Ralph Thomas directs the sequel to his own film of three years previously, Percy (1971 / trailer). Whereas is the first film, "Percy" was the name of the transplanted weenie, in this film it's the name of the main character – who, theoretically, is the same main character of the first film. In any event, in Percy, the first film, the organ-recipient was played by Hywel Bennett (of Twisted Nerve [1968 / trailer] – recognize the iconic background whistle?); in the sequel, Leigh Lawson (of Ghost Story [1974 / trailer]) took over – and appears alongside Vincent Price (of The Last Man on Earth [1964]), Elke Sommer (of Flashback – Morderische Ferein [2000]), Julie Ege (of The Mutations [1973), Milo O'Shea and Madeline Smith. The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review offers the following plot description: "Percy Edwin Anthony has decided to escape from the pressure of constant pursuit by women and sets sail to sea aboard a yacht. But then a US bomber containing samples of the PX-123 toxin explodes over the ocean. The poison infects the world's water supplies, making all men impotent. Percy, having drinking only Bollinger 69 while he was away, returns to land after one year to find that he is the only potent man left on Earth. This makes his penis a highly prized asset and something that is sought by every nation, not to mention every woman, in the world." The SFHFFR also points out that the movie reuses the basic plot of "It's Great to Be Alive (1933), a bizarre musical that featured Raul Roulien as a pilot who becomes the last fertile man left alive in a woman-ruled world following a disease." A similar idea, but this time due to atomic radiation, is the starting point of Pat Frank's 1950s novel Mr Adam.

Safirullah "Lehri" Siddiqui
2 January 1929 – 13 September 2012
Unknown to the Western world, Lehri was one of Pakistan's most popular comic actors in Urdu language films. He began his film career in the mid-1950s (with Anoki [1956]) and continued acting into the 1980s (his last film appearance being in Dhanak [1986]). He died on September 13th at the age of 83 in Karachi after a prolonged illness. He was known for his deadpan delivery – in other words, he acted like a normal human being and not a bug-eyed spastic. He is said to have participated in over 250 movies during his career.
Lehri singing Deakhye Beay Biyun Whuo Haseen (from Nai laila niya majnu):

(1956, Shah Nawaz)
Lehri's first film is also considered a lost film, as it only exists in fragments. According to cineplot, whence the above image is taken, the film was either a flop or did average business and was inspired by the forgotten Hollywood low budget comedy The Fabulous Senorita (1952 / spanking scene), which was directed by R.G. Springsteen and featured no one less than Robert Clarke!
Three songs from Anokhi:

(1962, dir. Khalil Qaiser)
More song and dance from Pakistan. According to Pakistan Film Magazine, the film was a flop – which may explain why we couldn't find a definite film image to it online... so here's a picture of Lehri instead, from who knows when and who knows where. For that matter, who knows there where, what and why of the plot to this movie...
Ek Inayat Ki Nazar from Dosheeza:

Aisa Bhi Hota Hai
(1965, dir. Fazal Ahmad Karim Fazli)
OK, the image is actually the poster to the 1971 version of the tale, but it's the only one we could find! We have no idea about the where, what and why of the plot to this movie... but they sing!
Ho Tamana Aur Keya from Aisa Bhi Hota Hai:

Aag Ka Darya
(1966, Dir. Hamayun Mirza)
Another nice poster to a film we know nothing about. But here's more song and dance...
Hawa Se Moti Baras Rahay Hain from Aag Ka Darya:

(1968, dir. Al Hamid)
Like so many films, this is a remake – the poster seen here is not to this version, but to an earlier version from 1948. Nice, isn't it?
Ahmed rushdi: O Maiya O Maiya from Baalam:

(1968, dir. Luqman)
The image above may or may not be from the film – but it supposedly shares the same stars.
Great music number from the film:

You speak Urdu? Here's the full movie:

(1970, dir. Hasan Tariq)
According to Hungama Videos, the "songs of the films, esp. sung by Runa Laila, became a huge success in the country." Over at imdb, Safdar Masud explains the plot: "Anjuman is a tragic character, based on the courtesan lives of women in South Asia. It's about a 'tawaiif', or courtesan, falling in love and her tragic ending. Ajuman is a courtesan who is considered a black mark on society. One of her customers is a rich married man whose every night is spent at Anjuman's 'kotha' (dance bar). In order to save his older brother, Waheed's character strikes a bargain with Anjuman, that he will frequent her kotha if she kicks out his older brother. Anjuman eventually ends up falling in love with the younger brother not knowing that he is in love with another girl. The height of the tragedy occurs when Bhabi comes to beg Anjuman to let go of her love and leave him alone. She is forced to sing at her own lovers wedding... in retaliation she swallows poison and dies at the feet of her lover."
Bhabi! Meri Bhabi! from Anjuman:

(1980, dir. Iqbal Akhter)
We know nothing about this film, other than it stars "Mohammad Ali". According to the Pakistan Film Magazine website, the image above is the poster to the film. 
Naheed Akhter & Imran Nashad Sun Ri Pawan Sun Ri Ghata from the film Zameer: 

Stephen Dunham
14 September 1964 – 14 September 2012
Actor Stephen Dunham Bowers, husband of actress Alexondra Lee (of The Road Killers [1994 / German trailer]), died unexpectedly on his 48th birthday on Sept 14, 2012 of a heart attack in Burbank, California. Below are a few films he participated in. 

The Mummy
(1999, dir. Stephen Sommers)
Oddly enough, of all the films we present, Stephen Dunham's biggest role is probably in this, his earliest feature-film credit of note, playing the cowboy treasure hunter Mr. Henderson who, we think – it's not like that this type of film remains long in your memory – meets a grisly demise – as do all the tertiary characters of no importance other than to be mummy fodder. We here at A Wasted Life found the film entertaining if unexceptional, as can be gleamed from our write-up of the film found here.

(2000, dir. Steven Soderbergh)
Who knows if Stephen Dunham even had a line of dialogue in this flick, the critic's darling of 2000 in which he appears as a lobbyist. Traffic, much like LA Crash (2004 / trailer), is a critic's fave, a supposed message film that tells it like it is but that, in the end, is far more Hollywood mainstream and less believable or disturbing or realistic than the press would like to make you believe. (To give credit where it is due, the flick only truly completely fucks up with the entire Michael Douglas character/storyline, which is fit for a third-rate TV movie and not much more and casts a shadow of narrative spinelessness that weakens the film. Traffic is, however, a very well made and well acted film...)

Catch Me If You Can
(2002, dir. Steven Spielberg)
Credit sequence:
Stephen Dunham is seen somewhere in the film as a pilot, which means he probably even had some dialogue. We rather enjoyed this bitter-sweet comedy based on the book of the same name, originally published some 30+ years ago. The book tells the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr., who undertook his life as a con at the age of 16 and, over the years, posed as "Pan Am pilots, a pediatrician, a lawyer, a professor, and who knows what else" to cover his bad checks. The film takes liberties, like adding the Tom Hanks character and Frank's final job in the end, but it is nevertheless an entertaining Hollywood production. It also has one of the best retro-style opening credit sequences, which we include above.

(2012, dir. Oliver Stone)
Oliver Stone, remember him? He did funs stuff like Seizure (1974 / trailer), The Hand (1981 / trailer), Platoon (1986 / trailer), Natural Born Killers (1994 / trailer) and U-Turn (1997 / trailer) – but then, he also did crap like Wall Street (1987), JFK (1991) and much, much more – jury's still out on this upcoming film, but the trailer looks interesting. Stephen Dunham is seen somewhere in the flick as "Six", which sounds like a highly peripheral character.

Winston Rekert
10 July 1949 – 14 September 2012
Winston Rekert died at the age of 63 of cancer in his home town of Vancouver, British Columbia – that Canada to you and me – on Sept 14th. In career that spanned over 40 years, he was a success on stage, on TV and on the silver screen. According to, "Rekert took that taxi to stardom, soon becoming one of the country's best-known actors. Blessed with leading-man looks, Rekert became a national phenomenon" in the late 80s. Here is a selection of some of his film projects.

The Blue Man
(1985, dir. George Mihalka)
Aka Eternal Evil, this is a public domain horror film from the director of the original My Bloody Valentine (1981 / trailer). The plot, at Wikipedia: "A dissatisfied Montreal director of TV commercials is taught to astrally project himself by a mysterious woman (Karen Black). But soon he finds that he does it against his will when he sleeps, and while he does it, he commits savage acts against those in his life." Cranked on Cinema says that "Many will find fault with various aspects of the film and for sure, its pacing is slow at times but with its interesting subject matter, some chilling music, darkly lit creepy interiors and some good acting, the film is a fun and sometimes frightening diversion." 
Full film:

Savage Island
(2005, dir. Jeffery Scott Lando)
No-budget, independent hicksploitation from Canada – yep, there be white trash Canucks out there, too. Canuxploitation, which says "Savage Island makes for startlingly compelling viewing," explains the plot as follows: "With their baby Alex in tow, Julia (Kristina Copeland) and Steven Harris (Steven Man) make their way towards Savage Island, a heavily wooded isle owned by Julia's parents Beth (Beverley Breuer) and Keith (Don S. Davis). While waiting for her brother Peter (Brendan Beiser) to ferry them across the river, Julia and Steven meet Lenny (Zoran Vukelic) and Joe (Gregg Scott), two members of the Savage family, white-trash squatters who refuse to give up their claim on the island. Despite being neighbors, the Savages don't bother with Julia's parents much, unless they have a strong reason too – like, for instance, the death of one of their kin. After arriving safely on the island, Peter drives Julia and Steven back to the house, accidentally running over little Jimmy Savage along the way. Peter assumes it's just roadkill, but when he returns to the scene of the crime the next morning, he discovers a freshly dug grave. Meanwhile, Savage patriarch Eli (Winston Rekert) confronts Beth and Keith, and demands that they hand over Julia's their daughter's son Alex as retribution. When they refuse, the Savages take drastic measures, kidnapping and torturing Peter. When they finally manage to lure Julia and Alex back to their dirty cabin, mild-mannered Steven starts to formulate a plan for revenge."

Trapped Ashes
(2006, multiple directors)
Among of the six directors to do a segment of this anthology film was Ken Russell, and to simply re-use what we wrote about it in his career review in 2011: "[Ken] Russell's last directorial project was his segment for this overlooked and forgotten horror anthology film, which very much follows the structure – as well as the traditional ending – of the classic Amicus horror anthology films of yesteryear. Among the six directors involved aside from Russell are Sean S. Cunningham, Monte Hellman and Joe Dante – and among the cast are no less than Dick Miller and John Saxon. Neither appears is in Russell's segment, however, though Russell himself does as the crazed Dr. Lucy. [Winston Rekert, who appears in Russell's episode, plays the equally crazed Dr. Larry.] Entitled The Girl with Golden Breasts, the segment is properly Russellian: The blonde actress Phoebe (Rachel Veltri) is of the opinion that babes with bigger boobs get all the parts, so she decides to lift her career with an augmentation. But she chooses the wrong doctors – they all have undergone boob jobs themselves, as can be seen in image above – and ends up with a pair of breasts that give breastfeeding a new meaning. Not a segment for the more mammary-obsessed among us..."
German Trailer:

Phantom Racer
(2009, dir. Terry Ingram)
A TV horror film from director Terry Ingram, the man who has brought us... a lot of TV movies. RockShockPop sums up the plot of this SyFy TV movie as follows: "Set in the mountains of rural Oregon (or, British Columbia doubling for it), well known as a hotbed of stock car racing activity, two young men at the top of their game, JJ Sawyer (Greg Evigan) and Cutter (Adam Battrick), compete for the cup and the heart of a moderately attractive blonde woman named Tammy (Nicole Eggert). [...] The race ends not with a victory lap but with an explosion that kills Cutter and ends JJ's career. Racked with guilt over pushing his car too fast and taking Cutter's life, he calls it quits and takes a job driving a truck. When that truck breaks down outside the town his life crumbled apart in fifteen years later, the local sheriff, Tom Hodges (Winston Rekert), [refers him] to the garage run by Cutter’s brother, Cliff (Chad Willett), who has just finished rebuilding his late brother's car. When, just after JJ's arrival back in town, Cliff gets his head cut off Hodges figures JJ must be the man behind it, but soon figures out he's got a rock solid alibi. A few more bodies pile up – a kid gets sucked into the trunk of a car and ground into meat and another has his chest caved in by the seat belt – and Hodges is unsure what's going on, while JJ bonds with Tammy's daughter, Jesse (Brenna O’Brien) [... as] he tries to save everyone from the car that seems to be possessed by Cutter's pissed off rampaging ghost." Most people who have seen this film seem to share the opinion of Chud, which says: "There is not much that is original in this story, including all of the following: the characters, the love-triangle, the child paternity question, the demonically controlled car, the cinematography, the visual and sound effects, the dialogue, and the direction. [But] this movie is extremely gory. [...] The movie flows along at a steady pace, which keeps it interesting."

Pierre Mondy
10 February 1925 – 15 September 2012
Born Pierre Cuq on 10 February 1925 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Pierre Mondy was a well-known French film and theatre actor and director. Mondy first appeared on the silver screen in 1949 in Jacques Becker's Rendez-vous de juillet and, by the time of his death in Paris on 15 September 2012 from lymphoma, five days short of his 88th birthday, had well over 140 film appearances under his belt... and four marriages as well.

Rendez-vous de juillet
(1949, dir. Jacques Becker)
Aka Rendezvous in July; The film debut of Mondy – and the beautiful actress and future suicide (on 17 March 1990) Capucine. At Rotten Tomatoes, Hal Erickson says: "Jacques Becker's Rendez-vous de Juillet has been credited as the first postwar European film to accurately depict the Continental 'youth culture.' Teen-aged Lucien (Daniel Gelin) aspires to become a filmmaker, and to that end organizes his friends into a film unit. The young cineastes hope to make a journey into Africa, there to film an uncompromisingly realistic documentary. Amusingly, Lucien and his friends are shown to be rather ill-equipped for 'real life,' shuttling as they do between theatre classes, jazz bars and coffee houses. Also, Lucien will have to overcome some family problems before he can embrace the responsibilities of adulthood. The winner of a critics' award at the Cannes Film Festival, Rendez-vous de Juillet was released in the U.S. as Appointment with Life."

Méfiez-vous, fillettes!
(1957, dir. Yves Allégret)
Mondy is on the poster. Based on the scandal novel (when it came out) Miss Callaghan Comes To Grief by James Hadley Chase; the film is aka Good Girls Beware and Hinter blinden Scheiben. All Movie explains: "This complex effort from French filmmaker Yves Allégret was distributed in English-speaking countries as Young Girls Beware and Look Out Girls. The cautionary title should have been heeded by heroine Fan (Michèle Cordoue). Having had the bad luck to witness a gangland murder, Fan is promptly kidnapped by the killers' cohorts. She is then abducted by a rival gang, only to be re-kidnapped by her original captors. Held hostage to allow the murderer to escape, Fan's ordeal is compounded when the police begin closing in. Only the fact that the killer (Robert Hossein) falls in love with her saves the girl from further outrages – but she's still not out of the woods as the picture draws to a close." The basic Stockholm Syndrome plot element was reused by Chase in his book No Orchids for Miss Blandish, which was filmed in 1948 as the once-reviled, since reappraised No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948) and again in 1971 as The Grissom Gang.
Has nothing to do with the film, but it's a good song 
The Four Gents sing Young Girl Beware:

Les mystères de Paris
(1962, dir. André Hunebelle)
Aka Devil of Paris and Der Graf mit der eisernen Faust; this is the sixth version of the novel by Eugène Sue. Mondy is on the poster in small print; he plays "Le Chourineur" – and Jill Haworth is there as "Fleur de Marie." The synopsis at Film Affinity: "Paris, 1840. Whilst driving his fiancée Irène home in his horse-drawn carriage, the Marquis Rodolphe de Sombreuil accidentally knocks down a poor man in the street. Believing the man is only slightly injured, Rodolphe gives him a purse containing some money as recompense. But the man dies not long afterwards, leaving his wife and daughter Marie desolate. The widow is then arrested by the police, who believe she stole Rodolphe's purse. When Rodolphe is called to the police station to settle the matter, the distraught widow entreats him to go in search of her daughter, who has recently gone missing whilst looking for work. In fact Marie has been abducted by an old hag named La Chouette and forced to work as a prostitute. Meanwhile, Irène has grown tired of being neglected and becomes the mistress of Rodolphe's enemy, the Baron de Lansignac. The latter is a mean businessman who has also taken an interest in Marie..."
A scene from the film:

Agent spécial à Venise
(1964, dir. André Versini)
Great soundtrack! Another movie based on a James Hadley Chase novel, this time Mission to Venice (which was also the US title to the movie). Mondy appears as Paul Trégrad; the lead is played by Errol Flynn's relatively unknown actor son, Sean Flynn. At imdb, django-1 of somewhere in Texas (formerly Mexico, now USA) says: "[...] This stylish, well-paced, B&W early 60s French crime film stars the handsome, athletic, and charismatic Sean Flynn as an American in Paris whose curiosity gets him sucked into an international intrigue that is not fully explained in the course of the film, but which is exciting and mysterious as it's happening (I watch films such as these for style, not logic). [...] The effective shadowy photography and rapid pace are complemented by a fine jazz organ score by Alain Goraguer [...]. Fans of dubbed 60s euro-crime films should enjoy this stylish outing. Also, anyone who wants to understand the appeal of the late Sean Flynn should check this out [...]."
First ten minutes:

Compartiment tueurs
(1965, dir. Costa-Gavras)
Music to the film:
Mondy appears in a film that Christian Marin – he died 5 September 2012 – flits by in, and even makes it onto the poster whereas Marin did not. To re-use what was written in Part I: "Based on a novel by Sébastien Japrisot, for the English-language dub the movie was retitled The Sleeping Car Murder. It is the feature-length directorial debut of Costa-Gavras, a director better known for heavy, intelligent left-leaning political dramas and thrillers. Here, he has made a well-made and stylistically assured – if occasionally long – precursor of the Italian giallo thriller, complete with a black-leather-gloved killer. Leonard Maltin explains: "Quick-paced, atmospheric police-chasing-mad-killer movie." Too flesh out the details: Various people who shared an overnight compartment on a trail in which a woman is found dead are killed one by one. Christian Marin has a brief appearance somewhere in a film that everyone who has seen makes a point of saying how lousy the dubbing is...
First 10 minutes in French:

The Night of the Generals
(1967, dir. Anatole Litvak)
The plot, as described at eFilmCritic: "After a Polish prostitute/Nazi agent is brutally stabbed to death, an intelligence major, Omar Sharif, investigates. The three main suspects are three Nazi generals: golden boy Peter O'Toole, creepy Donald Pleasence, and family man Charles Gray. In the middle of his investigation, Sharif is transferred to Paris, and does not solve the case. Fast forward two years, and the three generals find their duties also deliver them to Paris, where promoted colonel Sharif eagerly awaits his reopening of the case. Gray's daughter, Joanna Pettet, falls for a young corporal Tom Courtenay, who is suddenly assigned to be O'Toole's driver and companion in the city." Eccentric Cinema, which calls this flick a "decidedly offbeat thriller," also says that anyone "looking for a smartly-scripted murder mystery/suspense thriller set during World War II — one stuffed to overflowing with terrific actors — will be amply rewarded. Night of the Generals is an unusual motion picture to be sure, a fascinating mélange of fact and fiction." Mondy appears as "Kopatski."

Loose Mohan
8 February 1928 – 16 September 2012
Loose Mohan, born A. Mohanasundaram in Kancheepuram, India, was a Tamil comedy actor. He died at the age of 84 following a long illness on Sunday, Sept 16th. He made his acting debut at the age of 16 in 1944, but achieved renown in 1979 with the hit movie Rosapoo Ravikaikari. It is said that by the time of his death he had appeared in over 1000 films, the last being Azhagi (2002), in which he had a small role as a politician.

Oomai Vizhigal
(1986, dir. R. Aravindraj)
Who knows what the film is about, but Loose is supposedly there, somewhere; for a full, impossible-to-shorten synopsis of the film, go here to Wikipedia.
9 minutes of Oomai Vizhigal:

Kachchi Kali
(1987, dir. K.R. Rangan)
Who knows what the film is about, but above the poster – god, how we love cleavage – and below is the trailer. Loose is there, somewhere.
Kachchi Kali trailer:

(1989, dir. Rajasekar)
Wikipedia explains the plot: "Aarumugam (Rajnikanth) makes a blazing entrance, gate-crashing a marriage to abduct the bride. Geetha (Amala), the bride's friend, gets him arrested but then learns that he had rescued the girl from a forced marriage. Further revelations about him (he is a gold medalist, has a good heart, etc.) make her fall in love with him. After some convincing, Aarumugam reciprocates too. Meanwhile, Aarumugam's sister is in love with the son (Raja) of a rich woman Rajarajeswari (Srividya). When Rajarajeswari learns of this, she foists a false case on her and puts her in jail. It is then that Aarumugam has his first encounter with Rajarajeswari. He then learns that she is none other than Geetha's mother. He also invites Geetha's mother Rajarajeswari to his marriage. At that time he calls Kanaal (Chiranjeevi) and tells him that during his marriage there are rowdies to stop this marriage, he requests him to look after the rowdies and Kanaal comes and fights off the goons and he goes. He marries Geetha against her mother's wishes. Rajarajeswari vows to separate Geetha from him while he vows to prevent that and make Rajarajeswari understand that love and affection are more important than money." Loose is there, somewhere.
Singing interlude:


Roman Kroitor
12 December 1926 – 16 September 2012
Canadian producer and director, co-founder of IMAX, and creator of the Sandde hand-drawn stereoscopic animation system; George Lucas has said that he was also the original inspiration for the concept of the Force as presented in the Star Wars films.

Lonely Boy
Kroitor co-directed this short documentary film with Wolf Koenig. This cinema-vérité-style documentary about Paul Anka, titled after his popular song that was a hit three years before the film was made, used portable film and sound gear and no voice-over commentary and is considered highly influential on later, better-known documentaries such as D.A. Pennebaker's 1967 full-length documentary on Bob Dylan, feature Dont Look Back (1967) and the previously forgotten but now reappraised satire Privilege (1967 / trailer). At 27 minutes in length, when Lonely Boy came out it won a Canadian Film Award as top film of the year and was nominated at the BAFTA Awards for its best short film prize. That's Paul Anka above, packing a mean bulge...
The full short

John Ingle
7 May 1928 – 16 September 2012
John Ingle was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but grew up in Los Angeles, California. From 1954 to 1985 he was a public school teacher, lastly at Beverly Hills High School where he taught acting. After retiring from teaching, he entered the business himself and was soon a regular actor on soap operas and evening programs. Ingle died at the age of 84, seven months after the death of his wife of 58 years, Grace-Lynne Martin. Most of Ingle's film appearances were confined to smaller parts that required the presence of an aged figure of trust such as "the Doctor" or "the Reverend" or "the Principal." Below is a selection of a few films in which he appeared. 

(1985, dir. Alan Smithee)
This time around, "Alan Smithee" is really TV director Rod Holcomb, and the film is one of his two "feature film" excursions (his other is the equally unknown Travolta vehicle Chains of Gold [1991 / trailer], made during the Scientologist's first career slump). Ingle plays Dr. Clayton Fowler in a "comedy" of such high quality that even the trailer has a visible boom mike at one point. This film makes Young Doctors in Love (1982 / trailer) look like a masterpiece of sublime humor.

True Stories
(1986, dir. David Byrne)

David Byrne's project at the height of his "Renaissance Man" period – which even got him landed on the cover of Time magazine. Ingle plays the Preacher – you see him in the trailer. Byrne strung supermarket tabloid stories together for a meandering plot which possibly exemplifies a road to nowhere. We find True Stories to be a cute film that overstays its welcome; Video Vacuum says the following: "Talking Heads' frontman David Byrne stars as a nameless narrator who wanders through a Texas town introducing the audience to assorted oddballs and eccentrics. This one broad (Swoosie Kurtz) never leaves her bed, another dude (Spalding Gray) hasn't talked to his wife in over a decade (despite having dinner with her every night), and this big lug (John Goodman) will do just about anything to get married. The narrator eventually strikes up a friendship with the latter and even tries to find him a woman. True Stories is at its best when David Byrne is front and center spouting folksy wisdom in his low key 'aw shucks' demeanor. Most of the funniest scenes happen while Byrne is driving in his car and talking directly to the camera. Since the town weirdoes range from annoying to forgettable (with the exception of maybe John Goodman), it's almost enough to make you wish Byrne kept his car on the road and never stopped in the damned town to begin with."
Not from the filmTalking Heads sing Road to Nowhere:

Amazon Women on the Moon
(1987, multiple directors)
Another one of those segmental comedies with multiple directors and a huge ensemble cast of the kind that was once so popular; this time around, the directors include Joe Dante, Carl Gottlieb, Peter Horton, John Landis and Robert K. Weiss. Ingle plays Felix Van Dam in the segment Art Sale, which was directed by Carl Gottlieb, the director of the Ringo Starr / Barbara Bach vehicle, Caveman (1981 / trailer).

(1988, dir. Michael Lehmann)
Ingle plays Principal Gowan in a film that would probably no longer get green-lighted were it suggested today. Hard to believe that director Lehmann went from this and Meet the Applegates (1990 / first 10 minutes) to The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996 / trailer) and – even worse – 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002 / trailer). Mr Cranky explains the film: "Heathers is the Jack Kevorkian of teenage angst movies. Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) is part of a powerful high school clique consisting of herself and three girls named Heather: Chandler (Kim Walker), McNamara (Lisanne Falk) and Duke (Shannen Doherty). When she meets J.D. (Jack Nicholson [Christian Slater]), they begin killing off popular members of their high school, beginning with Heather Chandler, only to find they've inspired a teenage suicide cult."

RoboCop 2
(1990, dir. Irvin Kershner)
The final feature film ever directed by Kershner, the man who brought us Eyes of Laura Mars (1978 / trailer). Ingle shows up as the Surgeon General in the mildly entertaining sequel to Paul Verhoeven's fabulous first film of the franchise; let's put the blame on Frank Miller's flat, less-than-spectacular script. The always excellent Foster on Film says: "Since the events in the first film, the situation in Detroit has gotten even worse. The police are on strike, crime is everywhere, half the city is addicted to a new drug called nuke, Detroit is in default and will be taken over by OCP Corporation, children beat up storeowners, and RoboCop is a scab. In this setting, OCP attempts to make another RoboCop, this one from a psychotic killer. Less a story than a series of vignettes, RoboCop 2 suffers from all the normal flaws of a sequel. It repeats, in different forms, two of RoboCop's opening scenes: the mutilation of Murphy and the malfunctioning 'robot' shooting someone at OCP (but the second is a pretty good gag). The social commentary is gone, replaced by additional bullets (a sequel always has more). The violence is notched up, with two scenes of torture that are unsettling even for people like me who are generally immune. The humor still exists, but humor and savagery are tricky to blend. Paul Verhoeven, director of the first film, had the knack; Irvin Kershner does not. "

(1990, dir. Bob Logan)
Ingle shows up as Father Crosby in this less-than-funny Leslie Nielsen vehicle featuring a repossessed Linda Blair. The only thing we liked about this comedy was that the younger priest, Father Brophy (Anthony Starke), drove one of our favorite cars, a Nash Metropolitan – hardly grounds to recommend the film, though. As Dread Central explains: "In Repossessed Nielsen plays Father Jebedaiah Mayii, a retired priest who is no stranger to doing battle with the dark one. His last fight over the soul of little Nancy Aglet damn near killed him. Hence his holy sabbatical. Years have passed since that incident, and Nancy (Blair) is now all grown up with a family of her own. There's just one hitch – the demon comes back, and before you know it Aglet is once again spitting pea soup and spinning her head like a top. Will Mayii return to save her once again, or will he leave her in the hands of an inexperienced young priest and some goofball televangelists who think this is all a stunt? Sound good? No? Well then, consider yourself one of the few people on this planet with a brain because it is not. In fact it is garbage."


Death Becomes Her
(1992, dir. Robert Zemeckis)
Ingle shows up as the Eulogist in a film that has actually improved with age, though even now one is hard pressed to say that Bruce Willis does a good job. This film was made during that strange period in Meryl Streep's career during which she tried to move away from being an Actress (with a capital "A") to become an actress (with a small "a"); this has proven to be one of her better choices of that time. As Classic Horror states, "[...] If you have a taste for black/horror comedies – that is, anything from American Werewolf in London (1981 / trailer) to The Frighteners (1996 / trailer) [...] – you'll probably enjoy Death Becomes Her." The plot, as explained by froufrou at imdb: "Helen (Goldie Hawn), a writer, and Madeline (Streep), an actress, have hated each other for years. Madeline is married to Ernest (Willis), who was once Helen's fiance. After she recovers from a mental breakdown, Helen vows revenge by stealing back Ernest and plotting to kill Madeline. Both rivals have secretly drunk a miracle cure for aging; they accidentally discover, when each tries to eliminate the other, that they have become immortal and that 'life' will never be the same again."

Stepfather III
(1992, dir. Guy Magar)
Ingle shows up as Father Brennan; you see him in the trailer of this, the third and final film of the original franchise (which failed to re-launch with the 2009 remake [trailer] of Joseph Ruben's much better original 1987 flick [trailer]). Part III is better than to be expected, despite being a TV film; oddly enough, director Guy Magar seems to have left the business after his last credit, 2001's Children of the Corn: Revelation (trailer). The plot, as supplied by the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review: "The Stepfather (Robert Wightman) has escaped from custody again. This time he uses a backstreet plastic surgeon to alter his appearance. He then moves to Deer View, California, which has been called the safest town in America. There he sets up a new identity as Keith Grant and obtains a job at a garden centre. He meets and is attracted to divorced schoolteacher Christine Davis (Priscilla Barnes). They duly marry but her son Andy (David Tom), who has been psychosomatically wheelchair ridden since an accident, is suspicious of Keith. Andy is an amateur crime sleuth and starts to pry into the claims that Keith makes about his past. But when Andy makes the decision to go and stay with his father, Keith starts to fall apart. He then meets Jennifer Ashley (Season Hubley), a solo mother who takes over the lease of his old house, and starts making plans to kill off Christine and marry her."

(1993, dir. Scott McGehee & David Siegel)
Ingle shows up as Sidney Callahan in this B&W art film that did little but annoy us when we saw it – our review is found here – but most people seem to find this flick the bee's knees. Typical of the praise this flick gets is the following, taken from Screen Fanatic: "This clever, deceptively complex film raises many fascinating questions about the intangible nature of identity and whether self-understanding ultimately excludes any notion of our physical appearance. Suture does a wonderful job of not only creating an artful, entertaining mystery but of blurring the lines that bind us to a true sense of self." Whatever – we here at A Wasted Life thought the flick sucked whale willies.

(1993, dir. Clark Brandon)
Ingle shows up as the Preacher in a bad film described by Obscure Horror as "the slowest and most boring mutated creature movies, ever"; they summarize the plot as follows: "Roy is a cop who does things his way…even when he and his boss do not see eye to eye. So after some weird deaths start popping up and his high-school sweetheart is having a bad time, he runs to find out what's up. Turns out these mutant mosquitoes are killing everyone and only Deputy Roy can save them!" Over at our career review of Charles Napier, we wrote: "One of three films directed by Clark Brandon, a former Teen Beat pin-up boy and former actor (and, seeing that he hasn't directed a film since 1997, former director). Napier gets star billing on the cover of this straight-to-video horror film; he plays the bad guy, Ernie Buckle. We here at A Wasted Life saw this film once, somewhere, but damned if we remember anything about it – or could it be we're confusing this film with Bug Buster (1998 / trailer), a lousy film in which Star Trek's James Doohan plays Napier's traitorous sheriff role. Like that film, Skeeter is not a masterpiece, but hell, we're sure that everyone involved figured that a day's work sure beats unemployment."

Batman & Robin
(1997, dir. Joel Schumacher)
Joel Schumacher hammered the final nail into the coffin that was the Batman franchise that Tim Burton gave birth to way back in 1989 with his Batman (trailer) – though we do admit to being one of the few that like the nipples. Not without due cause, this film is rated #5 in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 25 Worst Sequels Ever Made". Too many characters, too many stars, too little substance, too little fun... the plot, as given by B-Movie Detective: "Gotham City superhero Batman (George Clooney) and his faithful boy-wonder Robin (Chris O’Donnell) attempt to thwart the evil doings of super-villains Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) with the help of the newly-arrived Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone). Additionally, our super duo must contend with internal tension and jealousy between the two of them that threatens to destroy their partnership." Ingle shows up as a doctor, somewhere. Not worth watching, at all, though Uma Thurman sorta does OK as Poison Ivy...

(1999, dir. Harris Done)
Aka Storm Tracker. Ingle shows up as a televangelist in this direct-to-video flick typical of the waning careers of its "name" stars Luke Perry and Martin Sheen. The plot, taken from "Mother Nature is about to unleash a deadly fury of raw, merciless power in Los Angeles! Meteorologist Ron Young (Luke Perry) has been recruited to assist renegade Air Force General Roberts (Martin Sheen) in a top secret government operation to manipulate the weather. On board a specially rigged plane, they launch their device into the eye of a massive weather front off California, which quickly accelerates to hurricane winds over 400 mph. But when an on-board struggle for control ensues, the race is on to secure the storm device and stop the unbridled rampage about to wreak havoc in L.A. This time, the City of Angels doesn't have a prayer!"

John Coates
1927 – 16 September 2012
British animator and animated film producer John Coates died of cancer at the age of 84 on 16 September in his home in Kent, England. A former British army officer who served in WWII and was later a film distributor in Asia, Coates co-founded the production firm TVC London with George Dunning (1920–1979) in 1957 and thus had his hand in the creation of many a contemporary English animation film. Below are a few we find of special note.

Yellow Submarine
(1968, dir. George Dunning)
Coates was the production supervisor of the Beatles' oddly ignored animation film, a Pop Art piece of fluff that has some great visuals – not to mention classic tunes. His partner at TVC, George Dunning, is credited as the director. Oddly enough, the Fab Four didn't do the voices of their own animated versions, though they do appear briefly as themselves at the end. Film Fanatic says: "The Beatles' only animated film [...] remains as enjoyable and mind-blowing today as it was 30+ years ago. [...] The film's visuals are 'consistently imaginative, innovative, colorful, and startling,' and a recent renovation has restored the film's eye-popping panorama of colors to full capacity. The sheer variety of animation techniques in Yellow Submarine is blissfully overwhelming. If you pause randomly on any given frame, you'll undoubtedly be inspired to hang the image on your wall as a legitimate piece of groovy pop art. At the same time, watching the imagery in motion — as colors bleed and entire worlds are literally created and destroyed — is an indispensable treat all its own." Plot, from imdb: "The Beatles agree to accompany Captain Fred in his Yellow Submarine and go to Pepperland to free it from the music hating Blue Meanies."

Heavy Metal
(1981, dir. Gerald Potterton)
Coates had relatively little to do with this film: he was the sequence producer of a single segment, "Soft Landing." As you surely know, Heavy Metal is an animated anthology film combining various stories that originally appeared in Heavy Metal magazine and set to crappy Heavy Metal music. The film's got a lot of nudity, sexuality and violence, so it makes for great viewing with the kids. A non-anthology sequel entitled Heavy Metal 2000 was released nineteen years later in 2000 (trailer); our opinion of that film can be found here.

When the Wind Blows
(1986, dir. Jimmy T. Murakami)
Coates was the producer of this quiet, sad, consequent and unjustly forgotten animated movie credited to the director of trash favorite Battle Beyond the Stars (1980 / trailer) – and who supposedly also did un-credited directorial work on the grindhouse classic Humanoids from the Deep (1980 / trailer). Based on a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, When the Wind Blows tells the tale of an extremely unexceptional old couple in the English countryside faced with the after-effects of a nuclear war. Life is no longer just tea and telly – it's slow death. The plot, as explained by the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review "Middle-aged Jim Bloggs becomes troubled at the mounting possibility of nuclear war. His wife Hilda is too busy with housework to be concerned. Jim returns home with some civil defence pamphlets and attempts to build a fallout shelter in his living room. The nuclear strike comes. Jim and Hilda make it to the shelter in time but when they emerge they have to cope with a drastically changed world. At first, they discover that this means wondering when milk and newspaper deliveries will resume and finding that there is no power to boil a cup of tea. Soon they come to realize that the devastation is much wider than that."
The nuclear attack:

Follow the link to Part V of They Died in September 2012.
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