Monday, November 30, 2020

Scared to Death (USA, 1947)

"She was a very beautiful girl. One hates to perform an autopsy on a beautiful girl."
Autopsy Surgeon (Stanley Andrews)

(Spoilers) Filmed as Accent on Horror. Five years prior to being reduced to such fare as Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952) and six to the trash classic Glen or Glenda (1953 / trailer / film), the possibly already opiate-addicted Bela Lugosi appeared in this movie here, yet another Poverty Row project, this time around a production of the little-known firm, Golden Gate Pictures. It was directed by William Christy Cabanne (16 April 1888 – 15 Oct 1950), a man with over 100 feature-film credits alone to his name and nary even a semi-classic amongst them. (He did, however, do second unit direction on a few D.W. Griffith classics.)
Scared to Death enjoys mildly more film historical importance than many of Lugosi's late-career B- and C-film productions in that it is the lone color film in which he ever had a starring role; in the only other color feature film that he appeared in, Viennese Nights (1930 / a song), he isn't even listed in the film credits. Equally interesting, historically, is that Scared to Death is perhaps the first film to be narrated by a corpse, if incompetently; the most famous film to utilize this device, Billy Wilder's classic, Sunset Blvd (trailer), didn't hit the screens until three years later in 1950.
Written by "Walter Abbott", this semi-Lugosi vehicle is based on a play by "Bill Heedle" entitled Murder on the Operating Table, which was inspired in parts by a 1933 murder case involving Dr. Alice Wynekoop.* (Both Walter Abbott and Bill Heedle, by the way, are known pseudonyms for forgotten playwright Frank Orsino.) Lugosi is the headlining star of the movie, and he obviously enjoys both his part and his humorous dialogue, but despite his star status the amount of time he's on screen is possibly equaled or exceeded by other key players, including a surprisingly competent and playing-it-straight George Zucco (of House of Frankenstein [1944]); Zucco, who plays the elder Dr. Joseph Van Ee, supposedly replaced the originally cast Lionel Atwill (of The Vampire Bat [1933] and so much more) in the role as Atwill was too ill to work — indeed, Atwill died while Scared to Death was still being shot. 
* "On the evening of November 21 [1933], Dr. Wynekoop said she found the naked body of her daughter-in-law, Rheta, on the antique operating table in her basement office. She had been chloroformed and shot. Wynekoop's gun lay beside her. The doctor told the police that she had been robbed several times, and that it was probably the work of some thief looking for drugs. Then it came to light that Dr. Wynekoop, who was in debt, had recently insured Rheta for $5,000 with the New York Life Insurance company. The policy had a double indemnity clause in case of death by violence. Wynekoop was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison, though there were many people who believed that Rheta's husband may have actually killed his wife. He did, in fact, confess to the murder. [Frank] Orsino's play, written under the pseudonym Bill Heedle, opened the same day that Wynekoop went on trial. [Mark Thomas McGee in Talk's Cheap, Action's Expensive]" In the original play that became Scared to Death, the lead doctor character was a woman; other changes in the film include a final body count that got reduced from four in the play to one in the film, and two detectives that were changed into a brain-dead house detective and a fast-talking reporter. 
Scared to Death:
If you bother to listen to Joe Dante's Trailer from Hell commentary above, it must be said that the talented director makes the movie sound a lot better than it is, though he does freely admit that Scared to Death is, at best, to be considered a guilty pleasure ("It's a terrible film, but I love it"). The flaws of the film are multifarious, to say the least, and the movie is hardly a pleasure to watch. At the same time, however, it is one of those oddly terrible movies that might bore while running but keep popping up in your mind after the fact to instigate a smile or a snigger.
Nevertheless, at least in our case, the trivia and tidbits one discovers when researching the film are actually far more interesting and entertaining than the movie itself, despite its occasionally entertaining dialogue, an obliquely threatening George Zucco, an "I'm having fun" Lugosi, the oddly huggable character of Bill Raymond (former Olympic wrestler Nat Pendleton, pictured below not from the film, of The Mad Doctor of Market Street [1942 / trailer] and The Thin Man [1934 / trailer] and many of its sequels, here in his last film), and the appearance of everyone's favorite vertically challenged actor of yesteryear, Angelo Rossitto (of the infamous flicks Child Bride [1938 / trailer] and Freaks [1932 / trailer], The Big House [1930], Paul Hunt's The Clones [1973], Galaxina [1980, with Marilyn Joi], From a Whisper to a Scream [1987, with Susan Tyrrell], Dracula vs. Frankenstein [1971], the low-budget art horror short Dementia [1955] and so much more) as the relatively unnecessary and mute character Indigo.
Although the events that transpire in Scared to Death span several days and occur at all times of the day and seldom in the dark, at its core the movie is a studio-bound comedy thriller along the lines of that classic chestnut known as an Old Dark House film. Indeed, but for the opening and closing scenes at the morgue — and the regularly interspersed and poorly executed two-to-three-second scenes of the dead Laura Van Ee (Molly Lamont of Devil Bat's Daughter [1946 / full film]) lying on the morgue table and making unneeded V.O. commentary — almost all the action transpires within the almost drug-like Cinecolor-colored* Van Ee house.
Unluckily, when it comes to how the "action" is filmed, director William Christy Cabanne (The Mummy's Hand [1940 / trailer]), behind Sam Newfield (see: The Monster Maker [1944]) and William "One-Shot" Beaudine (see: Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla [1952]) one of the most prolific directors in the history of American films, lives up to his reputation of being one of the most boring directors in film history: his extremely sleep-inducing non-style is basically block, point and shoot, which does nothing in any way to enliven the proceedings. Assuming he also made the decision of how to film the unneeded interjections of Laura Van Ee on the slab in the morgue, Scared to Death reveals him to be a spectacularly untalented filmmaker incapable of infusing the film with anything that might indicate a creative eye or artistic intention.**
* "Cinecolor was an early subtractive color-model two-color motion-picture process, based upon the Prizma system of the 1910s and 1920s and the Multicolor system of the late 1920s and 1930s. It was developed by William T. Crispinel and Alan M. Gundelfinger, and its various formats were in use from 1932 to 1955. [Wikipedia]" William T. Crispinel, who retired from the firm in 1948, was the father of the extremely minor background actor Lee Bennett (born William Arthur Louvain Crespinel), who appears briefly in Scared to Death as Rene, the first husband of Laura, whom we learn along the way she sold out to the Nazis during her European days and who, in the film's present day, has returned for revenge. 
** Untalented as he was, Cabanne, a D.W. Griffith "discovery", supposedly did assistant director work on Griffith's extremely racist but historically important Birth of a Nation [1915 / full extremely racist film] and indulgent Intolerance [1916 / full film]. More notable, perhaps, is his hair-brained B-movie drama, The Red-Haired Alibi (1932 / full film), forgotten as being the first feature film to have a not-yet-famous Shirley Temple in a credited role. Scared to Death and The Mummy's Hand were his only "horror" projects.
That the lead female, Laura, dies is a given from the start of the movie, but over the course of the narrative she reveals herself as such an unsympathetic character that her death is hardly tragic. But where she and the movie start off on a truly bad foot is the early and thoroughly inane revelation that although she is in a loveless marriage with Ward Van Ee (Roland Varno nee Jacob Frederick Vuerhrd*), she refuses to divorce him because she's convinced he and his father, Dr. Joseph Van Ee, are trying to drive her insane. (Talk about an invitation to being murdered.) The rest of the movie is about as illogical as her reason for remaining married, and ends with her being Scared to Death. Prior to that, however, new characters enter and exit the house and filmic proceedings, including Dr. Van Ee's cousin Prof. Leonide (Bela Lugosi), a former stage magician once active in Europe; a fast-talking reporter named Terry Lee (Douglas Fowley** of Flaxy Martin [1949]); and his ditzy dame Jane (Joyce Compton, seen below not from the film).
* Utrecht-born character actor Roland Varno nee Jacob Frederik Vuerhard began his career in Berlin with tiny parts on films like The Blue Angel (1930 / trailer) before fleeing Europe to play (often uncredited) Nazis in films like Hitler's Children (1943 / trailer) or tertiary characters in fare like The Mad Magician (1954 / trailer) and The Return of the Vampire (1943 / trailer). His son, Martin Varno, is the author of the rather dull 1958 Roger Corman film, Night of the Blood Beast (trailer), one of the unsung granddaddy films of Ridley Scott's classic, Alien (1979 / trailer), which recycled Blood Beast's idea of alien fetuses being hosted within the human body. A highpoint of Martin Varno's rather lackluster career was his position as makeup supervisor (as Martin Varnaud) on Bud Townsend's Nightmare in Wax (1969). 
** Douglas Fowley, father of record producer and band manager Kim Fowley — anyone remember The Runaways? — was a character actor with a long shelf life whose films span from flicks like this one and Cat-Women of the Moon (1953 / trailer) to The White Buffalo (1977 / trailer). He did a once-off directorial job in 1960, the shot-in-Brazil psychotronic fave Macumba Love (trailer), which stars the pulchritude of Ziva Rodann (below, not from the film) and the legendary June "44-20-36" Wilkinson.
While some of the dialogue is witty, and the art direction definitely on the colorful side, there is little more about Scared to Death that is in any way commendable. Indeed, considering all it has to offer — primarily: a mostly good cast and its unique corpse-on-a-table narrator — the movie fumbles the ball in a big way. The narrative is a structural, illogical mess that at times makes it seem as if scenes were lost or left unshot, the direction is the quintessence of somnambulation, there is nary a scare to be found anywhere, and the entire proceedings simply aren't all that much fun. It might be a guilty pleasure for some, but for most Scared to Death will probably be a waste of time.

As an extra —
Bauhaus's Bela Lugosi's Dead:

Monday, November 23, 2020

Short Film: Tom & Jerry in Magic Mummy (USA, 1933)

Let's hear it for Tom & Jerry!
Obviously enough, we're not talking about everyone's favorite cat & mouse couple, the S&M friendenemies created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera that entered the public consciousness in 1940 with the theatrical one-reel cartoon Puss Gets the Boot (full short) and has since become a permanent part of pop culture over the course of 161 animated shorts and diverse comic books, TV shows, direct-to-video or DVD releases and feature films. (They are due for yet another commercial revival in 2021 with the release of their new, feature-length live-action and cartoon mix film [trailer].) The Tom and Jerry we have in mind you have probably never heard of: we're talking about the long-forgotten cartoon bromancers Tom and Jerry, who were around almost a decade before the cat "Jasper" and the mouse "Jinx" (seen below from their debut short) stole their names.
Between 1931 and 1933, the Van Beuren Studies released some 26 or 27 cartoon shorts of the vertically mismatched man couple — one (Tom) is tall, the other (Jerry) short — but the duo never achieved the popularity of such contemporaries as Mickey Mouse or Betty Boop and was eventually cancelled, some three years before the studio itself closed its doors for good. (The firm's namesake and owner, Amedee J. Van Beuren [10 July 1879 – 12 Nov 1938], died soon afterwards.) In the later 40s, after the Van Beuren film library was purchased by Leslie Winik's Official Films*, Tom and Jerry were renamed Dick and Larry so as to not be confused with the more-successful cat and mouse that stole their names. By now, November 2020, the entire Tom & Jerry / Dick & Larry library has long entered the public domain, so the shorts that still exist can generally to be found somewhere online.
* At the time, Official also purchased diverse Flip the Frog shorts, possibly including the one we present as our Short Film of the Month for February 2020, Room Runners (1932). The difference in the artistic level of the animation between Flip and Tom and Jerry is notable and noticeable, although Tom and Jerry are arguable a bit more surreal.
Cartoon Research points out that Tom & Jerry were originally a "Mutt and Jeff-like cat and dog pair" created by John Foster (27 Nov 1886 – 16 Feb 1959) and named Waffles and Don (see: The Haunted Ship [full short], released 4/27/1930, directed by Foster and Mannie Davis [23 Oct 1894 – Oct 1975]). After the artists George Stallings (9 Sept 1891 – 9 April 1963) and George Rufle (15 Feb 1901 – July 1974) joined the studios, they convinced Foster and Van Beuren Studios to change the duo into humans.
The first short to feature the two as humans is Wot a Night (1931 / full short), which we almost presented as a Short Film of the Month but decided not to because of an extended scene that just doesn't sit right anymore. (The title card below, to the Tom & Jerry concept that ended up being their Amos & Andy persiflage, 1932's Plane Dumb [full short], "arguably one of the most racist cartoons ever released", indicates what doesn't sit right in Wot a Night. In fact, the bit we dislike in Wot a Night is even revisited in Plane Dumb.) In Wot a Night, the duo are cab drivers, but their professions, when relevant, changes film to film — in this month's short film, for example, they are cops.

In any event, Magic Mummy is also the first Tom & Jerry cartoon we ever stumbled upon, which is another reason we chose it as the one to present as our Short Film of the Month this month.
In their article on Tom and Jerry, Cartoon Research also points out what makes the duo's cartoons, as primitive as they might be today, so appealing: "As the series progressed […] the films became increasingly bawdy, boozy and bizarre. Van Beuren was second only to Fleischer in depicting surreal, impossible feats on screen; Tom, Jerry, and their surroundings did it all. Inanimate objects came to life; two singers could share a single mouth. Old houses hid evil dancing skeletons; seas concealed fish rabbis dressed in spy-drag black. In Piano Tooners (1932 / full short]), Jerry flushes a humanized 'sour note' down the toilet. In A Swiss Trick (1931 / full short]), eating too much Swiss cheese causes our heroes to grow holes in their bodies." Other titles worth checking out include Pots and Pans (1932 / full short), Jolly Fish (1932 / full short), Tuba Tooter (1932 / full short) and Pencil Mania (1932 / full short). For a list and plot description of diverse Tom & Jerry cartoons, we suggest going to Dr Grob's Animation Review.
In 1933, Van Beuren, who seems to have been a bit of a hard-nosed dickhead of a businessman, "fired Foster and promoted Stallings to his position. Under Stallings, the Tom and Jerry series seemed to lose much of its earlier charm." Magic Mummy, originally released on 3 February 1933, is the last Tom & Jerry cartoon in which John Foster was involved. Enjoy. 
Tom & Jerry in
Magic Mummy (USA, 1933):
Addendum: As indicated by the advertisement below, Cartoon Research made an interesting discovery: "Before the cat and mouse, before the humans and even before the cat and dog there seem to have been a man and a mule! While we know very, very little about these silent shorts from Arrow Films, the ad suggests that the heroes were animated puppets. It also suggests that a full series was released […]." Go here @ Cartoon Research for more info on that lost team.
Addendum II: The voice of the female mummy when she sings her song, Sing! Sing!, is generally accepted as being that of no one less than Mae Questel (13 Sept 1908 – 4 Jan 1998), the definitive voice of both Betty Boop and Olive Oil. The song The Cop on the Beat, the Man in the Moon and Me (words and music by J. P. Murray, Al Goodhart and Al Hoffman), sung oh-so-effeminately by two plump cops seen further above on this page, had been released the year previously by Phil Harris Orchestra, where it was sung by Leah Ray (16 Feb 1915 – 27 May 1999).
Original version of 
The Cop on the Beat, the Man in the Moon and Me:
Lastly, if you would like to view more animated oddities from the early age of animation, let us suggest you also check out the following Short Films of the Month: 
March 2010: The Skeleton Dance (USA, 1929)
Jan 2013: Bimbo's Initiation (USA, 1931)
Oct 2013: Swing You Sinners! (USA, 1930)
Aug 2014: Balloon Land (USA, 1935)
Oct 2014: Hell's Bells (USA, 1929)
Feb 2017: Der Fuehrer's Face (USA, 1942)
Jan 2019: The Snow Man (USA, 1940)
Feb 2020: Room Runners (USA, 1932)

Monday, November 16, 2020

Cooties (USA, 2014)

(Spoilers.) Kill-the-kids time… laughing all the way. Perfect for the Coronavirus season, an independent "zomcom" about a pandemic of cooties that turns kids into (intelligent), adult-eating killers. Something similar was done in the British horror movie The Children back in 2008 (trailer), minus the cannibalistic aspect and on a more-local scale, but whereas that film was depressingly full-on serious horror, Cooties goes for the laughs even as it ladles out the gore and guts and kiddie violence. And while it is a far from perfect film, it is a movie that keeps you laughing and that hardly deserved its fate of flopping and falling off the face of the earth. But then, killing kids has always been a dicey topic, on screen or off, and laughing about it probably more so. 
Trailer to

Cooties is one of the early films produced by Elijah Wood's Spectrevision production company, a company that has to date released a diverse selection of art-house or genre-bending horror like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014 / trailer), The Greasy Strangler (2016 / trailer) and Color Out of Space (2019 / trailer) — films one and all that reveal a production company that aims to do stuff differently. Or at least a little bit outside the box — though we would argue films like The Greasy Strangler never even ever saw a box.
Cooties has seen a box; many boxes, probably, and takes a lot of the familiar to come up with its funny little narrative, but it speaks loudly that little if anything (until the grand final) feels old or overused or forced. In part, it is the literalness and dryness with which everything is handled that saves the film: no matter how stupid the event, how ridiculous the verbal exchange, how sitcom-like things develop, everything is delivered with a straight face. This, in turn, makes everything twice as funny, even when in theory it probably shouldn't be.
Cooties opens by revealing the source of the virus, which later is christened "cooties", after that invisible imaginary childhood disease all American kids dread catching or having. Modified bird flu, you might say: we watch the detailed, laughably grotesque creation of chicken nuggets from the harvest to delivery, and then the little girl, Shelley (Sunny May Allison of Ouija [2014 / trailer]), that eats an infected one. (The timeline of the film is a bit dodgy, to say the least, as she eats her nuggets in the school lunchroom before the actual day has even begun… it is doubtful, after all, that she ate them the day before because the virus is later shown to spread, infect and turn virtually on contact.)
And thus cooties reach Fort Chicken Elementary, where Frodo, now a wannabe horror writer named Clint Hadson (Elijah Wood of Sin City [2005 / trailer], The Faculty [1998 / trailer], Maniac [2012 / trailer], The Good Son [1993 / trailer]), has his first day as a substitute teacher. A school filled with brats, going by his walk from his car to classroom, and neurotically normal teachers, one of which is his former high-school crush, Lucy McCormick (Alison Pill of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World [2010 / trailer]), and another her current boyfriend, the dicky PE teacher Wade (Rainn Wilson of The Meg [2018 / trailer], House of 1000 Corpses [2002]). Social distancing, in any event, wouldn't have helped anyway: before the end of playtime, the motley crew of bickering teachers has to face off with a school full of murderous whippersnappers.
Most of the events that follow are hardly new for fans of zombie films or shows, but instead of being played out with dank and dull seriousness or for pure visceral gore, Cooties goes for the laughs even as the tension and danger (usually) remain real. Not very realistic, on the other hand*: how many schools have a socially stunted but scientifically minded (and dryly funny) teacher like Doug Davis (co-scripter Leigh Whannell, of Dying Breed [2008] and Saw [2004 / trailer]) at hand to explain everything as it develops? In the shortest of order, he realizes that puberty brings immunity to the virus and that the kids are brain-dead — thus, obliquely, making it okay to kill the kids, should one have to. The real goal of the teachers, however, is simply to survive and escape — something impossible without a little hand-to-hand combat with improvised weapons. 
* Although, in all truth: when you're talking zombie horror (if not most "creature" horror in general), can one really complain about something not being "realistic"?
Cooties is not light on laughs, many of which are not even horror-related. The quirks of the pre-cootie kids and teachers and even Frodo's Clint's home life offers some good chuckles, as do numerous lines said in passing, some of which you hardly even catch. (Just as the defensive attack begins —Tracy [Jack McBrayer]: "I'm gay!" Rebekkah [Nasim Pedrad]: "I knew it!") But even for all its laughs, Cooties also serves up a scene or two of true tension, particularly when Clint and Lucy enter the air vents to get some candy when the uninfected kid Calvin (Armani Jackson of The Last Witch Hunter [2015 / trailer], also with Frodo) goes into diabetic shock. And when it comes to gore, most of it is practical and not for the squeamish; for that, it's almost always used in a way that gets at least a nervous laugh, if not a group-wide "Eeeeeeee" (assuming you watch the film, as we did, with a group of people). The film, in other words, is a lot of bloody fun!
Which isn't to say that Cooties doesn't have some glaring narrative and structural flaws. Aside for the previously mentioned indistinct timeline of the occurrences, for example, the movie is extremely recalcitrant about losing its teachers once the cootie kids kill the minor characters like the vice principle (co-scriptwriter Ian Brennan), his secretary, the nurse, Sheriff Dave (Matt Jones of Red State [2011 / trailer]) and a teacher so negligible in presence that when she gets killed, if we remember correctly, the other teachers ask "Who was that?" And for being brain-dead, the cootie kids are often amazingly designing in their actions — runners, not shufflers, they know how to open doors, hide in wait and, early on, consciously spread the virus.
As for the uninfected kids Calvin and Tamra (Morgan Lily of X-Men: First Class [2011 / trailer]), once they have served their singular purpose — Calvin, to give reason to danger; Tamra, as proof that the virus infects only the pre-pubescent — they pretty much get completely forgotten and shoved in the background to the point of invisibility. And the final big set piece is oddly bombastic for the film that preceded it, as if tacked on to help the film go out with a bang. Indeed, we learned later that the ending is a re-shoot, the original ending as described online probably being found way too much of a downer for the powers-that-be. (In that sense, the ending is the polar opposite of the much older but equally unknown and funny horror comedy, Idle Hands [1999], where the bombast got junked for something a bit less pyrokinetic.) But one is hard pressed to say that the open ending, perhaps up there with The Birds (1963 / trailer) as one totally lacking resolution, is really all that satisfying — although, had the film been the hit that it should've been but was not, it would've easily allowed a sequel, if not a TV series.
Complaints aside, however: Cooties is bloody and funny zomcom that should appeal both to fans of both genres. It really should've been a lot more successful than it was, and truly deserves rediscovery. It is a perfect pandemic movie for a lockdown night of blood and laughter.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Film Fun: Music from Movies – The Green Slime (USA/Japan, 1968)

One of those films that more people have heard of than seen, this MGM production was directed in Japan by Kinji Fukasaku (3 July 1930 – 12 January 2003), a productive and for the most part respected director who ended his career with the cult fav Battle Royal (2000 / trailer), "a cultural phenomenon […] considered one of the most influential films in recent decades". A far cry from The Green Slime, in any event, which was one of four films Fukasaku directed in 1968, the best of which is arguably the wonderfully campy Black Lizard (1968 / full film), famous for featuring "Everyone’s Favorite Homofascist", the hunky Japanese nationalist novelist Yukio Mishima (below), as a human statute.
The Green Slime is a tender tale of man-eating, one-eyed, electricity-shooting, rapidly reproducing tentacled monster who hitches a ride from an asteroid to a space station where it reproduces and kills (6 people in total) and the end of mankind in nigh…. The love triangle involves the three leads (below), Commander Jack Rankin (TV hunk Robert Horton, 29 July 1924 – 9 Mar 2016), Commander Vince Elliott (Richard Jaeckel, 10 Oct 1926 – 14 June 1997, of William Girdler's trash anti-classics Grizzly [1976 / trailer] and Day of the Animal [1977], not to mention Mr. No Legs [1978 / trailer], Blood Song [1982 / full movie] and so much more) and Dr. Lisa Benson (Luciana Paluzzi of Jess Franco's 99 Women [1969 / trailer], with Maria Rohm & Herbert Lom, Umberto Lenzi's Manhunt in the City [1975] and so much more).
The functional, by-the-numbers script was written by, among others, Bill Finger (8 Feb 1914 – 18 Jan 1974), a man now considered co-creator of Batman (see the documentary Batman & Bill [2017 / trailer]), and also the man who wrote the turkey Track of the Moon Beast (1976 / full movie / Frank Larrabee's California Lady).
But we are here for the music. And here it is –
The Green Slime Theme Song: 
Great song, it was used only for the 90-minute cut of the film, the one used outside of Asia. The Japanese cut, a tight 70-odd-minute affair that jettisons the love triangle subplot, uses a military march.
Charles Fox and Toshiaki Tsushima (22 May 1936 – 25 Nov 2013) are generally credited as behind the film's score, but it is also generally accepted that they had nothing to do with the song at hand. The promo single released by MGM has the song credited to Sherry Gaden and arranged by Richard Delvy (20 Apr 1942 – 6 Feb 2010). Delvy might be remembered by some as one of the founding forces of Surfer music: as a drummer, he began his career in music with The Bel-Airs (listen to 1961's Mr. Moto) and The Challengers (listen to 1962's Surfbeat). "Sherry Gaden", however, is a pseudonym for a musician named Ed Fournier, who also worked with The Challengers and later did songs and music for Saturday morning cartoons. The most recent activity of his that we could locate is/was the group Eddie and the All-Star Band, which included former members of The Challengers, like Randy Nauert (1 Jan 1945 – 7 Feb 2019), who plays the sitar on The Green Slime Theme Song. Nauert, in his widely circulated statement online about the song, says that Rick Lancelot a.k.a Ricky Lancelloti (25 Aug 1944 – 7 Apr 1980), who sang leads for the Banana Splits as well as for Zappa, did the vocals. The theremin is played by former Glen Miller Orchestra bandmate Paul Tanner (15 Oct 1917 – 5 Feb 2013).
So after that history lesson, let us here at a wasted life share a discovery we made while researching the theme song to The Green Slime (trailer). Over at YouTube, Ed Fournier uploaded an album he made years ago as the music group Unkldrt (a name, we assume, derived from the nonexistent German word "unkleidert", in past tense, which would probably mean something like stripped or unclothed). Entitled NC-17, the LP features such fine titles as Long as I Got a Face You Have a Place to Sit, Shave the Bush, I'm a Lesbian Trapped in a Man's Body and U Get the Ugly One. It will surely appeal to the pubescent humor in all of us, and is just waiting for discovery. ("Rediscovery" doesn't apply here as no one ever knew about it in the first place.) 
Complete album –
Unkldrt – NC-17:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...