BOOK REVIEW – Robert Wise: The Motion Pictures

Robert Wise is one of my favorite American directors but (as I've noted in the past) he rarely receives the kind of critical attention that's heaped on his peers. Wise was a proud product of the Hollywood studio system and a very private man. Throughout his career, he purposefully avoided the spotlight and regularly praised … Continue reading BOOK REVIEW – Robert Wise: The Motion Pictures

Ralph Nelson’s Duel at Diablo (1966)

As soon as the credits start to roll in Ralph Nelson’s DUEL AT DIABLO (1966) you know you’re in for something very different. A knife suddenly appears to cut through the screen and immediately starts slashing apart the United Artists logo. This stunning gesture told audiences at the time that they were about to watch a … Continue reading Ralph Nelson’s Duel at Diablo (1966)

TALKING WITH TRINA: AN INTERVIEW WITH TRINA PARKS

Tomorrow night TCM Underground will be airing the surprisingly surreal and smart blaxploitation comedy, DARKTOWN STRUTTERS (1975). I hesitate to tag DARKTOWN STRUTTERS with a simplistic label like “blaxploitation” because it’s really a cult movie that deserves a category of its own. The film manages to combine just about every popular movie genre imaginable including classic westerns and musicals, … Continue reading TALKING WITH TRINA: AN INTERVIEW WITH TRINA PARKS

MELVIN VAN PEEBLES: THE STORY OF A THREE-DAY PASS (1967)

In the late 1950s, Melvin Van Peebles went to Hollywood after completing a number of short films. He had aspirations of becoming a director’s assistant but an agent quickly squelched his ambition after telling him, “If you can tap dance, I might find you some work. But that is about all.” When he couldn’t find … Continue reading MELVIN VAN PEEBLES: THE STORY OF A THREE-DAY PASS (1967)

WILLIAM MORTENSEN IN HOLLYWOOD

William Mortensen in his studio with a photo of Jean Harlow. Last month I was gifted with a copy of American Grotesque: The Life and Art of William Mortensen. This beautiful coffee table worthy book contains a compilation of work by William Mortensen (1897–1965), a brilliant, innovative and visionary photographer who once worked in Hollywood … Continue reading WILLIAM MORTENSEN IN HOLLYWOOD

GOING UNDER: REVISITING COMA (1978)

I spent Labor Day sick in bed. I was feverish, sore and incredibly cranky due to having my weekend plans derailed by a bad cold. On Monday night I began to feel slightly better after binging on Nyquil and homemade chicken soup so I curled up on the couch and turned on the TV. While … Continue reading GOING UNDER: REVISITING COMA (1978)

Book Review: Sticking it to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950-1980

Movies and pulp fiction share a long, rich, and complicated history that deserves more consideration and thoughtful examination. A new book recently released by PM Press and edited by Andrew Nette and Iain McIntyre does just that. Sticking it to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950-1980 is dedicated to examining … Continue reading Book Review: Sticking it to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950-1980

MISTRESS OF MENACE: BARBARA STEELE IN THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961)

  “There was a depth to her. On the surface she was a beautiful brunette woman. Beneath that–and you could almost get poetic here looking into her eyes–you could see layer, upon layer, upon layer. I could probably best, and inadequately, describe it as a kind of exotic mystery.” – Roger Corman on Barbara Steele … Continue reading MISTRESS OF MENACE: BARBARA STEELE IN THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961)

10 Fun Facts About THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1952)

THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (’52) is available to stream on FilmStruck until October and if you haven’t seen this science fiction classic it’s a terrific opportunity to get caught up with one of the most acclaimed genre films released during the 1950s. If you have already seen it, you’ll find that it’s a great … Continue reading 10 Fun Facts About THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1952)

NEW ON BLU-RAY: ROGER CORMAN’S THE TRIP (1967)

Republishing this in honor of the late Peter Fonda who passed away on August 16, 2019 In 1966, Roger Corman was enjoying the surprising success of The Wild Angels (1966), a trailblazing biker film that he directed and produced for American International Pictures. The studio had made the film for a mere $360,000 and it netted more … Continue reading NEW ON BLU-RAY: ROGER CORMAN’S THE TRIP (1967)

OUT OF THE CLOSET: TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (2015)

On September 19 TCM is airing a Tab Hunter double feature. More info about programming can be found at the end of my post. Everyone loves a Hollywood tragedy. The violent murders of Sharon Tate and Sal Mineo generate more press and web articles than the body of work they left behind while the estates … Continue reading OUT OF THE CLOSET: TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (2015)

REMEMBERING BRUCE LEE ON HIS 75TH BIRTHDAY

“Here we are . . . still talking about him. And for good reason. He tried to live what he believed. When you see him on screen you’re not just seeing a performance, you’re seeing the real human being.” – Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter. Tomorrow, November 27, marks what would have been Bruce Lee’s … Continue reading REMEMBERING BRUCE LEE ON HIS 75TH BIRTHDAY

STRANGER THAN FICTION: THE BARON OF ARIZONA (1949)

“In the movie business, a good ending must sometimes hold sway over the truth.” – Samuel Fuller, A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking Before Samuel Fuller wrote and directed his own films he was a gutsy go-getting newspaperman. Fuller first worked at the New York Journal as a copyboy and eventually graduated to the … Continue reading STRANGER THAN FICTION: THE BARON OF ARIZONA (1949)

IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM

For decades screaming was often the weapon of choice for women in action, science fiction, and horror films. We were expected to shriek, shout, yelp, whimper, squeal and squawk in the face of serious danger and (hopefully) a man would eventually come to our aide. So you can imagine how frightened I was when I … Continue reading IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM