Wednesday, February 28, 2007

OPEN FORUM: GRINDHOUSE 101


UPDATE 3/9/07: First, I want to apologize for the lack of new material on SLIFR over the last week. As I suspected it might eventually, life finally caught up with me after I posted this last Wednesday and gave me a severe whuppin'. (More on that later.) But I've been very happy to see the comments thread on this post extend as far as it has and would love to keep it going for a little while longer anyway. But that's not to say that there won't, in the next few days, finally be some more new stuff posted. There will. But that whuppin' life doled out to me has made me realize that the posts might not be coming as fast or as furious (or as meekly, depending on my mood) as they have in the past. That said, I got out to see two movies that made me feel like writing this past week-- Craig Brewer's Black Snake Moan and David Fincher's Zodiac-- and write on them I shall for this weekend. (I have to say, it was quite a chore NOT reading the reviews that looked to be raves for Zodiac coming from Jim Emerson, Manhola Dargis, David Edelstein and others, but now that I've seen the movie I look forward to swimming in their thoughts about it a bit too.) Also up for this weekend, some general thoughts wrapped around one of my favorite relatively unsung stars of the '30s and '40s, as well as a write-up on my first pass through the New Beverly grindhouse coming up this Sunday night-- Rolling Thunder and The Town That Dreaded Sundown. Thanks, everybody, for staying tuned even when the lights have been dimmed just a bit this week. Marquee on full power very soon!

P.S. Here's Chris Oliver's report from the first week of the Los Angeles Grindhouse Fest 2007.

P.P.S. Here's a new theatrical trailer for Grindhouse that I saw before Zodiac last night. Oh, boy!

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I have been known to express my weariness with life in Los Angeles on occasion, and I would still characterize my mindset as a whole lot more small-town these days than my immediate environment would suggest. But let me, at the risk of annoying everyone who doesn’t live in the Los Angeles area, say that sometimes it is good to live this close to Hollywood. The American Cinematheque and its monthly wonders are one reason. The cathedral that sits at the edge of downtown in a place called Chavez Ravine is another. And this month, in preparation for his upcoming project with Robert Rodriguez entitled Grindhouse, professional geek, ex-video store employee, scenester, politically incorrect raconteur and occasional movie director Quentin Tarantino is providing local cinephiles with another exceptional benefit to calling Los Angeles home. It seems that the New Beverly Cinema, the city’s only remaining seven-day-a-week operating revival house, has turned over programming duties to Tarantino for the months of March and April. (As film fans in Austin will tell you, Tarantino has done this sort of thing before.)

The director has responded to the New Beverly's generosity by lining up a gut-bucket cornucopia of authentic grindhouse trash cinema to celebrate not only his upcoming movie, but the whole experience of seeing sleazy cinema classics in the only movie house left in L.A. (outside of the Vine on Hollywood Boulevard) that feels physically, spatially and, yes, spiritually related to the downtown second-run trash palaces that fed Tarantino’s (and everyone else’s) desire for this kind of rotgut, low-rent fun to begin with.

Officially titled The Los Angeles Grindhouse Festival 2007, this two-month calendar of delights is exactly the kind of thing that revival houses should be doing to keep the atmosphere fresh and their own scheduling sensibilities from ossifying into an endlessly repeated series of favorites. (One of the New Beverly’s most reliable, and undoubtedly profitable, double features is Blade Runner and Chinatown, and it seems to come around once every five or six months.) Tarantino's treasure chest is crammed with plenty of familiar names and places, sure-to-be new faves and even some titles you may never even heard of. Some of us like to think we’re pretty well travelled on the rails that make up the route of the Sleazoid Express, and some of us most definitely are much more so than others. But Tarantino is seizing this opportunity to claim a sort of geek supremacy over this catalog of cinematic crumbs and crimes, all the name of spreading the gospel of grindhouse (and, of course, Grindhouse), and it's hard to deny him his enthusiastic moment when one gets a glance at the treats he’s got lined up.

The New Beverly has the entire Tarantino Los Angeles Grindhouse Festival 2007 Calendar online. This link will serve you well with theater information, prices and showtimes, plus IMDb links to every movie, just in case some might be unfamiliar. So rather than duplicate the New Beverly’s valuable service here, I thought I’d take the opportunity to highlight each of the double features by taking a look at the original poster art of some of these masterworks. In the event that I could not find the actual one-sheet for a film (there may not be actual one-sheets for some of these films!) I substituted representative DVD art or art from some other source in the hopes of giving an adequate visual representation of the movie. (The images vary in size and quality and are presented here as well as I could render them.) Back in the mid ‘70s when those of us who frequented movies like this were looking for information, very often all we had to go on were the ads on the movie page or, if we were really lucky, the one-sheet posted in the “Coming Attractions” window of the theater. And after we'd seen enough of these programmers we knew that often the posters were far better than the actual movies. So, in the spirit of letting the exploitation art speak for itself, as it had to then, let’s take a look at Tarantino’s double (and triple) features night by night. (I’ve provided links to other pertinent info about the film when available that you can access by clicking the film’s title.)

March 4-6 Max Julien and Richard Pryor in the blaxploitation classic The Mack (1973), plus The Chinese Mack (1974)!





















March 7-8 AARON GRAHAM ALERT! How fast can you make it to L.A. for this screening of John Cassavettes and Britt Eklund in Guiliani Montaldo's Machine Gun McCain (1968), plus Henry Silva and Richard Conte in Wipeout (1973)?



























March 9-10 Crown International's masterpiece The Van (1977) starring Stuart Getz and, yes, Danny De Vito, heads up a triple feature that really gets filled out by Pick-up Summer 1980) and Summer Camp (1979).
























March 11-13 The movie which inspired the name of Tarantino's short-lived Miramax offshoot Rolling Thunder Pictures gets a rare screening. It's Rolling Thunder (1977), directed by John Flynn, written by Paul Schrader and Heywood Gould, and starring William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones. The co-feature is a rarity that was a personal favorite of mine in the mid-'70s-- director Charles B. Pierce, who also brought you the indelible frights of The Legend of Boggy Creek, returned in 1977 with the southern-fried Friday the 13th pre-cursor The Town That Dreaded Sundown.





















March 14-15 Chinese Hercules (1973) and Black Dragon (1974) come to town, and they're pissed!















March 16-17 Sex! Sex! Sex! Sex with a Smile (1976), Sex on the Run (1977) and Raquel Welch et al in The Oldest Profession (1967).




















March 18-20 More blaxploitation thrills from The Brotherhood of Death (1976) and Johnny Tough (1974).













March 21-22 Giallo fans, rejoice! Autopsy (1975) and Eyeball (1975) together at last!































March 23-24 Ralph Bakshi's rarely screened and controversial Coonskin (1975) screens on a triple with French cartoonist Pichu's Shame of the Jungle (1975) and Neal Israel's Tunnelvision (1976).



































March 25-27 One of my must-see double features of the festival. Rock Hudson, Telly Savalas and, yes, Angie Dickinson, in Roger Vadim's Pretty Maids All In a Row (1971), presented with co-hit Revenge of the Cheerleaders (1976).

















March 28-29 More kung fu! Cue overcaffienated foley artists! Fearless Fighters (1971) and Supermanchu (1973)!




















March 30-31 Another excellent triple feature sports lots of bright red grue courtesy of The Blood Spattered Bride (1972), Asylum of Blood (1971) and (attention, K!) Juan Carlos Moctezuma's Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary (1975) starring Christina Ferrare(!)





















April 1-3 Lewis Teague and John Sayles spin the story of Dillinger's Lady in Red (1979) starring Pamela Sue Martin, plus a taste of Bare Knuckles (1977).



















April 4 only A feminist response to Sam Peckinpah? We'll see. The Female Bunch (1969) plus co-hit Wonder Women (1973) starring, among others, Nancy Kwan.
















On April 5 the New Beverly Cinema is given over to a sneak preview of a 2007 release (could it be this?). Details forthcoming. Keep an eye on the New Beverly Web site.

April 6-7 Another fave from my hgh school days sees the glory of the silver screen again! It's Jonathan Kaplan's rough-and-ready White Line Fever (1975) with Jan-Michael Vincent and the unforgettable Slim Pickens, plus Nick Nolte in the grim sequel to director Max Baer's 1975 exploitation hit Macon County Line-- it's Return to Macon County (1975), of course.




















April 8-10 Ground control to Majorette Tom. Go back to space with The Girl from Starship Venus (1975) and then down to earth again with The Legend of the Wolf Woman (1976).
















April 11-12 Slithis (1979) and Screams of a Winter Night (1979), which looks a little Boggy Creek-ish to me, even as its title makes reference to a Bergman movie I bet none of its makers have ever seen!






April 13-14 Troma in the house with Hot Summer in Barefoot County (1974) and the unknown quantity Redneck Miller (1977).


















April 15-17 Another unknown quantity, The Muthers (1976), heads up a double bill which is anchored by the very odd thriller Fight for Your Life (1977).














April 18-19 Mas martial arts! Mas overcaffienated foley artists! Dragon's Vengeance (1972) and Kung Fu: The Punch of Death (1973)!














April 20-21 Aren't any of these in 3-D?! The Swinging Barmaids (1975), The Swingin' Pussycats (1969) and The Swinging Cheerleaders (1974).




















April 22-24 It's back to the cemetery with Grave of the Vampire (1974) and then to the living room couch with Jailbait Babysitter (1977).



















April 25-26 Two more from the kung fu vaults! Return of the Tiger (1979) ("One of Bruce Li's best!") and Stoner (1974), a very cool thriller with George Lazenby and Angela Mao.













April 27-28 Yul Brynner, a bunch of Italian guys (and look real quick-- Martin Balsam) light up the screen in Death Rage (1976), teamed with even more delightful hijinks in Cry of a Prostitute (1974)... Oh, my God, that's Henry Silva...




















And the festival ends on another bone-cracking note as Quentin Tarantino presents The Real Bruce Lee (1973) along with another unknown quantity, Lee Lives Within.

Now, there ought to be something in there to pique your curiosity! If there is, and you're in Los Angeles and planning to head out to any of these shows, drop me a line and maybe we can say hi in the New Beverly's quaintly crowded lobby, or perhaps even spill out onto the street during intermission and gab furiously about the outrages we've just seen perpetrated on the screen, before rushing back in for more, of course! Looking at these posters has got me praying for more free time than I know I'll ever have, and enjoying the process of dreaming about seeing these movies just ike I did when I saw many of these ads in the movie pages of newspapers n cities where I just knew I'd never get to go. Well, eventually I did, and thanks to Tarantino perverse efforts here, some of these golden titles just might be destined no longer for the anticipatory shadows of my imagination, but instead to be splashed onto the screen with brilliant light just so's my eyes can finally see 'em! Thanks, Mr. Tarantino. This looks to be a lot of fun!

(And thanks, Terry, for the hot tip! Which ones are you going to see?)

62 comments:

JOSHUA S BLACK said...

My views on sex

Steve said...

OH MY GOD.

I've never wanted to be in L.A. badly as I do now. Don't suppose there's a chance of a roadshow...

Benaiah said...

Josh, what the hell? Do you go from blog to blog posting links like that? My view on sex is: if more people were having good sex and not feeling so guilty about it then I bet the world would be a better place. So don't go fuck yourself, but go fuck someone and have a nice day.

PS I am tempted to drive home from work, throw my junk in the trunk and move to LA. Chi-town is nice, but damn the perks aren't the same.

Chris Oliver said...

Isn't this a great town? Where else can you watch a double feature of kung fu or blaxploitation flicks, then drive a few miles down the street and see a Douglas Sirk double feature at The Egyptian--and stop along the way to get the kind of taco that New Yorkers can only dream about! I'm looking forward to catching Wipeout, Brotherhood of Death and The Muthers (all of which I've been praying to be able to see some day since reading about QT showing them in Austin on AICN. Do a search for those reviews, and I'm sure you'll be in agreement with me).

Babamoto said...

YEAH!
"Gut-bucket cornucopia," indeed.
Tarantino/Whitaker and their subliminal Angie Dickinson glandular throb response provide accidental evidence of the shadow government's mindwave experimentation on L.A. Southbay youths in the late-60s-mid-70s.
Many of us got on those buses parked near the lunch pavilions at Narbonne and Carson high schools.
Whadda ya know about that, Oliver Stone? Impacted wisdom teeth, my ass. It was implantation. Don't drink the grape soda at the New Beverly!!!

Chris Oliver said...

I remember seeing ads for The Town That Dreaded Sunset when I was a kid. I always figured it was about the Klan or something. For some reason, it's connected with In A Small Town In Texas in my brain.

CINEBEATS said...

Yowza! This looks as good as that British Horror fest that was in LA last year which I wanted to attend SO BADLY.

I really REALLY really wish Tarantino would have become a film critic/historian instead of a filmmaker. I hate his movies (they’ve always been much too derivative for my tastes) and his ego is much to large, but I truly appreciate his enthusiasm for the movies he likes. (I realize this comment will probaly get me hate mail but what they hell... I'm throwing caution to the wind.)

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Hi, K, everybody. That thought about Tarantino channeling his energies into a film historian role is one I've had myself, especially now that he's staring down the barrel of what amounts to three straight movies that have to be considered homage first, narrative second-- Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2 and now Death Proof-- whereas Reservoir Dogs, Pulp FIction and, most richly, Jackie Brown took investments in the grindhouse tradition as a starting point for narratives that wound their own peculiar path through the thorny bramble of trash cinema. It's a perinent question to me not only because Tarantino seems at a crossroads in his career-- will he now, as glorious as Grindhouse promises to be, be content to just continue making elaborate A-budget valentines to all of his boyhood treasures? Or does he have a compelling Act Two to surprise us with? He seems better suited to the role of historian in my eye, because it almost seems, with his voracious appetite for just about any burger on a bun, that QT likes everything-- he doesn't seem to process it as much as warehouse it in that prodigious brain of his. I'm not sure what a Tarantino movie that was in any way critical of its source material would look like, but I bet it's a far cry from Grindhouse.

Babamoto-- You made my head spin, and as Piper Laurie said in Carrie, I liked it, I liked it!

Chris: Both The Town That Dreaded Sundown and A Small Town in Texas were mid '70s releases from American International Pictures and as such probably ended up on a lot of drive-in double features during the summer of 1977. The pairing sounds very familiar to me too. That one really is worth checking out! And I'm really looking forward to finding out more about The Muthers and Wipeout.

Steve, Benaiah, let's go! It's only a plane ticket! It's only money!

Joshua: Duly noted. Thanks for the link.

That Little Round-Headed Boy said...

Must try to stay calm. Must try to stay calm. The idea that I am once again across the country from a screening of Pretty Maids All In A Row is driving me nuts!

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I thought of you, good sir, when I posted that one-sheet last night. It's still a month away. No chance you could contrive a respectable decoy reason to touch down in Los Angeles somewhere beween March 25-27? That's one I cannot miss. And unfortunately, unlike some festivals, there's no hope that the screenings here indicate some imminent DVD release, as these are all prints from Tarantino's personal collection.

aaron said...

Damn, if only I could move up my trip to LA from summer to now! Dennis, if you check out the double bill featuring MACHINE GUN MCCAIN, I'll consider myself there in spirit!

I'm excited about almost all of the double bills, but if I had to pick and choose...I'd have to go with the night of GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE, an oddity for those David Chase admirers (hey, switch matriarch fixation to patriarch and let the comparisons to "The Sopranos" run wild!)

Benaiah said...

The Swinging Barmaids tagline: "The service is fast and their customers always come fist." What I wouldn't give to hang out for a month in QT's personal film library. I have to agree with Dennis though, QT seems to like movies of all shapes and sizes (though I would love to see an artsy QT movie. Does he watch Bergman, Tarkovsky and Antonini, or does he stick with genre pictures?). I can see him getting completely caught up and excited in the moment, rather than bothering with tons of analysis.

By the way, I watched Hour of the Wolf last week and found it impenetrable. I completely missed that the guy was insane and I just became really frightened. It was gorgeous, but I wouldn't want to watch it again.

Piper said...

This is fantastic. I don't imagine that any tickets are left. I'll check it out. Would be worth a trip to see a movie just so that I could say that I did.

Chris Oliver said...

I expect that, after the publicity phase of Grindhouse finishes, there will be announcements regarding Quentin's WWII epic, which should be sort of a step toward maturity for him. Personally, I'm just as happy whether he goes further in the Jackie Brown direction or spends the rest of his life making Kill Bill/Deathproof-style knockoffs. I do wish he'd be more active in trying to release these films on Rolling Thunder DVD's, or publish the book of kung fu film reviews he's talked about.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Yes, the Rolling Thunder label is something I wish he would concentrate on again. I just saw Lucio Fulci's The Beyond, which had the Rolling Thunder/Grindhouse imprimatur at the beginning of the DVD (though I never noticed it on the box itself) and it made me remember the high hopes I had for that label that were never fully realized. And like you, I look forward to seeing The Inglorious Bastards, mainly because the guy is a born entertainer, but also because I hope that he will find a way to make another movie that moved me like Jackie Brown did.

And Piper brings up a good point on the side for L.A. folks like you and I and others-- I've got an e-mail in to the New Beverly and as soon as I find out whether there are advance ticket purchasing opportunties or not, I will pass along the information. And if anyone already knows for certain one way or the other, I would really appreciate it if you'd drop a note here in the comments column and share the news.

Murray said...

"White Line Fever" caught my eye. I still remember seeing this movie in 1975 in a downtown San Francisco theater that while I was attending a training seminar at the University of SF. The movie theater sounds very similar to the the one like the New Beverly. I have never seen this movie captioned, but I still remember I loved this movie because I loved trucks and action movies. If I had the money and time I would come to LA and go to this movie with you in April.

Nobody said...

Minutes before seeing this post I was already wishing I was visiting home just so I could visit the Nuart for Tears of the Black Tiger. Jim Emerson's description made me soak my shirt with drool:

"Bloody and syrupy, tragic and silly, this retro pastiche stands with its right foot in melodrama and its left in camp, shifting its weight woozily from one side to the other like a drunken Sergio Leone gunslinger straddling the camera. ... Western viewers will respond to the stylistic quotations from Leone's spaghetti Westerns (including the drip on the brim of a 10-gallon hat from the opening of "Once Upon a Time in the West"), the slow-mo geysers of blood from Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch," and the splatter and gore from George Romero's zombie pictures, filtered through a sensibility that parodies not only these films but the postmodern comic book violence and cartoon characterizations of filmmakers like Sam Raimi, John Woo, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez."

As it is I'll have to settle for the DVD.

Chris Stangl said...

There is no way in holy hell I can miss a screening of PICK-UP SUMMER. All of these films are very exciting, but PICK-UP SUMMER is a crown-jewel.

There's a talking pinball machine in it.

Marty said...

Damn.. Wish I still lived in SoCal. Tarantino has always been one of my favorites, not only as a director, but as cinebeats mentioned, for his love of past films that have long been forgotten by corporate Hollywood and giving them another round of exposure.

Hope to see some reviews of this Grindhouse Fest online.

Brian said...

Wow. Here in the highbrow Bay Area we do have a few venues that deign to screen disreputable films on occasion, (last night's activity was a Jodie Foster triple-bill of Freaky Friday, Foxes and best of all Bugsy Malone, though these are a different kind of disreputable) but I've never noticed a series nearly as jaw-droppingly large as this. I'd be tempted to take a road trip myself, but smack in the middle of festival season, what with SFIAAFF this month and the SFIFF next, I don't think it's possible. I hope you can report back on your favorite discoveries of the series, Dennis!

Are you going to be able to catch Tears of the Black Tiger now that it's at the Nuart, Dennis?

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Brian: I think I might try to see it tonight! (Fingers crossed!) Jim's review really did it for me too. We've had a copy of it in the office for a while now, but sans titles and in a decolorized version (to discourage piracy), so I've not been very tempted to take a peek. Seems my patience my finally be paying off.

And yes, I will try to file a couple of reports from the festival. There's no way I'll be able to see 'em all, but I'm zeroing in on The Town That Dreaded Sundown, Pretty Maids All ina Row and now, perhaps, after Chris comments, Pick-up Summer. And White Line Fever on the big screen may be just too much to resist, Murray!

jayfader said...

I never even SAW the term "grindhouse" until I read a review of "Snake House Moan" yesterday then read about this post on Laobserved.com...thanks for sharing this!

Christine said...

The tickets are not being sold in advance; they're all going on sale at the box office before the show. Lines, anyone? That restaurant next door is going to get a lot of business.

Peter Nellhaus said...

I never would have thought that I would look at film posters with such nostalgia, especially the one that were created from original paintings. I saw some of the films listed theatrically - The Mack, White Line Fever and Rolling Thunder. I think I saw The Van too. The film I really liked was Return to Macon County. I thought Robin Mattson was hot. Director Richard Compton also did a pretty good bike film titled Angels Die Hard.

CINEBEATS said...

Dennis wrote:

there's no hope that the screenings here indicate some imminent DVD release, as these are all prints from Tarantino's personal collection.

I just wanted to mention that many of the movies being played at the festival our available on DVD & VHS. I noticed that many of the the them are listed under titles not even mentioned at imdb such as Asylum of Blood which is a great Kinski film and can be found as Slaughter Hotel or Asylum Erotica on DVD.

I hope you attend the festival and report back Dennis! I would love to see the Autopsy/Eyeball double feature myself and The Blood Spattered Bride/Asylum of Blood/Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary triple bill since I love eurohorror.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Jayfader: I just saw Black Snake Moan last night, and it was pretty terrific-- it's lineage traces straight back to steamy sex-and-violence pics like Gator Bait and other grade-Z drive-in fare from the likes of husband and wife directing team Ferd and Beverly Sebastian.

Christine-- Thanks for disseminating that info about the tickets. I'd just received an e-mail from the New Beverly saying as much. Hey, they didn't have no fancy advance tickets available when these babies were originally screening, so why should they start now??!!

Peter: Glad to hear you check in on Return to Macon County. I never saw it and always wondered how it might stack up against Macon County Line. Somehow Robyn Mattson-- one of the original Candy Stripe Nurses along with the beloved, late Candice Rialson-- missed a big career in these kinds of movies. She had a a slightly cherubic face that managed to register devil and angel
at the same time, kind of a more robust Rainbeaux Smith. And yes, she was hot!

And thanks, Cinebeats, for the info on the availability of some of these beauties on DVD already. I didn't check about current availability, true; mainly I was thinking that, oftentimes when a rarity of one kind of another shows up in a festival or special screening (especially if a new print is struck), it often follows that a DVD release is forthcoming, and how that probably wouldn't be the case here. But I'd love to know more about Asylum of Blood-- I couldn't find any art on it, and it's probably because I didn't know any of the other titles under which it has traveled.

Here are the double features I'm sincerely going to try to see:

March 11-13 Rolling Thunder and The Town That Dreaded Sundown

March 21-22 Autopsy and Eyeball

March 25-27 Pretty Maids All in a Row and Revenge of the Cheerleaders

March 30-31 The Blood Spattered Bride, Asylum of Blood and Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary

April 6-7 White Line Fever and Return to Macon County

April 25-26 Return of the Tiger and Stoner

Of course, give that I haven't been able to make it over to the New Beverly for anything in something like 10 years, making such a schedule has to be considered utter fantasy. But a guy can dream, can't he?

Sal Gomez said...

Dennis, you have got to check out CHINESE HURCULES. I haven't seen this film since I was a kid. When my parents were divorced way back in the early 70's, one of the things I did religiously with my father every weekend was hit the theaters in downtown L.A..

The old movie palaces played all the current run films of the time but a bunch also had double and triple bills of these wonderfully cheesy Hong Kong martial arts masterpieces. The One Armed Boxer, Five-Fingers of Death, The Master of the Flying Guillotine, The Chinese Boxer.... etc.

I'm still waiting for someone to show Jim Kelley's BLACK BELT JONES & 3 THE HARD WAY.

Maybe someday the Southern California Drive-In Movie Society can convince Mr. Tarantino to do a Grindhouse Drive-In Edition. Sounds like a match made in movie heaven

Anonymous said...

Did anyone attend the Sunday showings at the New Beverly? How crowded was it? Was Tarantino there?

Anonymous said...

Dennis, you're in Glendale and haven't been to the New Beverly in ten years?!?! It's only a 20 minute drive away. You've missed a lot of great exploitation films at the once-a-month Grindhouse Film Festival we've been doing there for 4 years or so. Not programmed by Tarantino, but we borrow some of our prints from him. We also tend to get guests for many of the screenings, had Rudy Ray Moore down last month for THE HUMAN TORNADO, Jack Hill and some of his female stars for SWITCHBLADE SISTERS/THE SWINGING CHEERLEADERS in January, and Bob Clark, John Saxon and Olivia Hussey for BLACK CHRISTMAS in December. We've even shown some of the titles in the Tarantino fest already, stuff like THE BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE, ROLLING THUNDER (with director John Flynn introducing), BROTHERHOOD OF DEATH, LEGEND OF THE WOLF WOMAN, and WHITE LINE FEVER (this one shown at the Egyptian Theatre with the original MACON COUNTY LINE, which had a full cast reunion). Where have you been?

More info on our MySpace page at:
www.myspace.com/grindhouse

As for tickets, as stated above all ticket sales at the New Beverly are at the box office only, cash only, and available right before the show. The theater also has an 8 admission discount card you should consider buying if you're going to attend a bunch of these (or, hopefully, continue visiting the theater after this fest). Pay up front and it drops the price for a double-feature down from $7 to about $4.50. Can't beat a bargain like that.

The people who run the New Beverly are nice folks and real film fans, so come on down and show some support for the little guy, one of the last independently owned and operated theaters in LA.

BTW, great write-up on the festival, and nice to see all the artwork.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Anonymous-- I cop completely to my general lameness when it comes to attending the New Beverly. A friend of mine, Haruka (you may know her) is a fierce supporter of the New Beverly and an enthusiastic member of the monthly Grindhouse gang, and she's been entreating me for years to get my ass on over. I really have no excuse other than I've had pretty limited opportunity to see theatrical stuff ever since my daughters were born (how dare those kids impinge on my viewing habits!) and starting this week I will be officially drawn and quartered by my schedule (I'm going back to school).

But I promise to make it over to the Grindhouse Fest, and who knows-- maybe I'll be further inspired to join Haruka and everyone else on a monthly basis. The lineup of good stuff you mentioned sounds way too good to continue to miss-- the last three months sound like you booked them with me in mind.

The eight-show ticket sounds just right too (further inspiration!), and you're absolutely right-- all film fans, especialy one like myself, should be doing more than reading and writing about the New Beverly-- we should be supporting it during festivals like this and during the regular calendar days as well. Anyone who remembers the Fox Venice or the Loyola or even the way the Nuart used to be programmed (something new every other day) ought to be especially appreciative of what the New Beverly has been able to do in surviving through the age of Betamax vs. VHS and well into the DVD boom, when revival theaters are even more scarce than traveling tent revivals on the cultural landscape.

Thanks, Anonymous, for the friendly boot in the ass. Drop your name in an e-mail next time, and maybe we'll see each other at the New Beverly this month!

theo said...

How exactly does this admission discount card work? Do I have to pay for it in addition to my admission fee? Or does it come free with any admission ticket? Do you also get a discount on all movies with that card?

p.saga said...

As Napoleon Dynamite once huffed and said, Lucky!

Dennis, thanks for sharing this great event and all those posters... after my own heart you are. I have fine memories of the New Beverly. Good times, good times. And I've always fantasized about getting dear Haruka together with my friend Tamao.

Have a rotguttingly, geeky good time!

Anonymous said...

Theo,

The New Beverly Cinema discount card offers 8 admissions for $36. You pay $36 for the card, and the card will then entitle you to visit the theatre 8 times. You pay nothing else, so it brings the per admission cost down to just $4.50.

The card has no expiration date, so you can use any unused admissions at the theater beyond the QT Grindhouse Fest. The card's only limitation is that it's limited to 2 admissions per visit (e.g., two people can share one card and come to the theatre 4 times instead of eight).

Thanks.

- Michael from the New Beverly

jim emerson said...

If you have an opportunity to see REVENGE OF THE CHEERLEADERS, you must see it. I showed it in college and it's great. The posters show cheerleaders climbing all over the phallic brontosaurus near Palm Springs (yes, the same one later used in "Pee-wee's Big Adventure). It's the kind of movie where a cheerleader will just be walking along, explain that she's hot, and get nekkid. Not subtle.

I used to live just down the street from the New Beverly (Oakwood and Sierra Bonita) and used to WALK there all the time (yes, in LA!). I miss it. One night, after "Reservoir Dogs" but before "Pulp Fiction," my friend Julia & I met QT at a nearby coffee shop (Insomnia, I think) and then walked down Beverly Blvd. to a screening of "RD" with Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Laurence Bender and I don't recall who else (Chris Penn?) for a Q&A they were doing after a screening of the movie. I realized as we were all walking down the street that we were re-enacting the opening of "RD"...

jim emerson said...

D'oh! Not Lawrence Bender -- the late Lawrence Tierney!

jim emerson said...

P.P.S. I'm not sure whether this will attract or repel potential viewers, but REVENGE OF THE CHEERLEADERS also features David Hasselhoff. Naked.

Expect lots of Germans.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Okay, Jim, that was one comment too many! :)

But this one I found to be very informative and encouraging indeed: "It's the kind of movie where a cheerleader will just be walking along, explain that she's hot, and get nekkid." As the kids like to say these days, I am so there!

The co-feature Pretty Maids All in a Row has its own enticements, to be sure (please refer to the still provided if any refreshing of memory is necessary), including one that I'd forgotten completely about-- it was written by Gene Rodenberry!

I like the story of you walking down the streets with all these newly christened crime movie ne'er-do-wells too. Wow, what a group. But with all respect to the rest of the cast, if I could say I once walked down the street with Lawrence Tierney to a screening of a movie he was in, well, let's just say there wouldn't have to be too many more stories in my repertoire.

Does anybody have any more good stories about seeing movies at the New Beverly? The first two movies I ever saw there, back in 1982 during a brief visit to the city, really set the stage and tone for years of repertory pleasure to come-- Eraserhead plus Night of the Living Dead. While my wife and I were a-courtin' back in the early '90s, it was a hot spot for us, most definitely. One of our big date movies was, believe it or not, Pretty Poison, which showed there and was so popular that it turned around and came back on the next calendar. We saw it during both runs. I also have fond memories of seeing Nicholas Roeg's genuinely demented Eureka there, and somewhat less than fond memories of a screening of Salo: The 120 Days of Sodom, which was horrifying (and fascinating) enough without the added attraction of two very vociferous, borderline violent walkouts during the film.

March 11 and The Town That Dreaded Sundown is just a few days away. Suddenly I really can't wait.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Psaga: Tamao, she of the
nunsploitation
fascination? Oh, man, you'd never get her and Haruka apart, were they to ever meet!

I sure wish you could be here sometime during this two-month stretch. And I owe you an e-mail, which you should see before Friday.

Confess: Which double feature will you most regret missing? Tell me, and I will be sure to see it and provide a detailed report! (For your edification, of course, not to further any anguish about being unable to attend.)

Brian said...

So, did you make it to Tears of the Black Tiger after all, Dennis?

Theo said...

You watched 120 Days of Sodom with your girlfriend??
You're worse than Travis taking Betsy to the porn movie in Taxi Driver.
hahahaha
Unless I misread it.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Brian: My one opportunity to see Tears came Saturday night, right after I dropped my comment. The show started at 9:50, and by the time we got the girls bathed and in bed I wouldn't have been able to get there in time to line up, and I didn't want to take a chance on driving all the way over to the Westside only to find the show either sold out (unlikely?), or to discover the only seats available were front-row neck-breakers. So I took a deep breath, believed with my heart and soul that Magnolia Pictures will do a better job than the Weinsteins would have of getting this baby out on DVD soon, and decided to do a little writing instead. Then, when I finished, I snuck out for the late show of Black Snake Moan at a theater here in Glendale within walking distance of my house. (I liked Black Snake Moan a lot.) Lame, I know, but it's all I got! In truth, there still is tomorrow and Thursday, and maybe Laemmle, the local art-house chain, will wring one more week out of it in Pasadena. But the looming reality looks to be me and the Tears on DVD, accompanied by my company's spiffy new subtitles.

By the way, everybody (especially those of you who might be in the San Francisco area), check out who's number two on a recent list of the five best film blogs! Everyone give it up for your friend and mine, Brian Darr!

Theo: No, no, no, Pretty Poison was the date movie-- that's perverse enough! For Salo, it was just me, all Travis Bickle-like sans Betsy, slumped in the theater seat, wishing I could figure out some way of taking my eyes off the screen. But then there would always be the sounds... Thankfully, my wife has never Salo, and while I don't regret having seen it myself, there are certain images within it that I wish to God I could forget.

Matthew said...

Has anyone attended any of the screenings so far? I'm curious how crowded they were, how the print was, and if Tarantino was there? Any need to get there early?
Thanks in advance, Matt

Brian said...

Oh, Dennis, now you've got me blushing. I'm lucky that sf360 is a San Francisco=centric site, which I'm sure is a major factor in the selection.

I'm excited to see the Magnolia Tears of the Black Tiger DVD too. I'm certain it will be a major upgrade from my current Hong Kong VCD copy. Unfortunately, my television is small enough not to even come close to doing the film justice. The two times I was able to watch the film in a theatre with a (small, but appreciative) audience, were by far the most enjoyable viewings I've had of the film.

Btw, Do you know if the DVD subtitles tend to use different translations from those on a film print? In this case I don't remember noticing any weird translations (not that I'm fluent in Thai, but I do have a little still in my brain), but I'm curious all the same.

Chris Stangl said...

Well, I made it to THE MACK & THE CHINESE MACK. Though it was the third night for the double feature, the audience was substantially larger than the average New Bev screening. Tarantino sent along some film notes, including the assertation that the films rank in the "top three pimp movies of all time" (I'll agree on THE MACK, but I'd fill out the top three with WILLIE DYNAMITE and, topping them all, the truly awesome CANDY TANGERINE MAN). The CHINESE MACK print was, er, fine; better than the '80s VHS anyway. THE MACK is a dark movie anyway, in a dark print, and looks better on DVD; it was a 1983 rerelease cut with some missing dialogue scenes and the Willie Hutch score replaced with the Alan Silvestri score that can be found on the VHS (which truth be told, kind of sucks).

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Chris: I'm with on you on Willie Dynamite, for sure-- I always liked Diana Sands. But what the hell is this about Willie Hutch being replaced on The Mack by an Alan Silvestri score? I'm surprised Tarantino would allow such a bastardized version in his collection. I've never seen the movie sans Willie, so I can't imagine how it would play-- a little more standard Hollywood thriller, I would think. Nice to hear that there was a good crowd for a Monday night. I'm thinking that my first adventure in the festival might be Sunday, or perhaps Tuesday.

Brian-- Usually when we do a foreign language DVD, the translation is given another go to accompany the freshly spruced-up subtitles. But sometimes we just recreate the subtitles from the existing translation, non sequiturs and all. I'm not sure what the situation was with Tears, but it's entirely possible that it was translated anew.

Hey, all, has anybody ever seen Rolling Thunder? It's one that escaped me in my misspent youth, but I'm wondering how it'll go with The Town That Dreaded Sundown. Also, I've heard good things from Sal about Chinese Hercules, and of course Jim was quite convincing in his endorsement of Revenge of the Cheerleaders. But what about Autopsy and/or Eyeball? Any giallo fans out there who have seen them and would like to offer a few observations? Cinebeats, did you say you'd seen them, or no?

aaron said...

Where's all the pimpin' love for Bogdanovich's SAINT JACK?

Bill Landis on AUTOPSY and EYEBALL, from his book "Sleazoid Express":

"AUTOPSY strikes an off-kilter balance between its grotesque necrophiliac subtext, well-executed straightforward sex scenes, surprisingly effective mystery melodrama plot, and occasional overamped frustrated sexual hilarity."

"EYEBALL is remarkable for its blunt, shocking violence, which predates the slasher format and is much more obsessive and realistic. Most jarring is the scene where a farm girl falls victim to the murderer while feeding pigs in a sty. When she falls, the pigs begin eating her corpse."

Needless to say, I haven't seen either though I have a (chopped-up, no doubt) vhs of EYEBALL that i've never bothered to run.

Both are from producer Joseph Brenner, who had quite the run with giallos at the time, and apparently ran exteremely lurid ad campaigns for films that didn't deliver; according to Landis' book, these are two that defied the odds and managed to be worthwhile.

As for ROLLING THUNDER, it's probably the one true, genuinely great film of the festival, integral to Schrader's career as a screenwriter, and wonderfully executed by the now forgotten John Flynn. Since you haven't seen it before, there'd be no better way to check it out!

Brian said...

Such a highbrow sentiment doesn't really belong in this thread, but how about Pasolini's ACCATONE? I guess I reveal my lack of grindhouse commitment by saying I think it's a lot better film than THE MACK, even if the latter has Richard Pryor, Juanita Moore, and a fascinating subtext about the fundamental difference between pimping and drug dealing: a dealer will never be more than a distributor for "the Man" because unlike whores, cocaine doesn't grow in Oakland.

Steve said...

I actively disliked Autopsy when I saw it several years ago -- if memory serves, it starts out pretty well and then slows to a crawl, ending up a generic giallo with one or two odd touches.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I remember a movie John Flynn directed called The Outfit, a nicely hard-boiled mafia thriller with Robert Duvall, Joe Don Baker, Robert Ryan and my beloved Sheree North. I saw it when I was a kid and remember being excited for Rolling Thunder more for him than anything else (I had no idea who Paul Schrader was before 1976!). Alas, RT never showed in my little corner of the world. But it sounds like that's going to be quite a treat. Flynn never really did fulfill his promise, did he? Though the James Woods-Brian Dennehy thriller Best Seller that he directed has its pulpy attractions, the Stallone and Seagal movies on his card (Lock-Up, Out for Justice) definitely seemed to signal hard times, and according to IMDb he hsn't made a movie since 2001.

And, Brian, I love mixing up the highbrow and the sleazy! That's part of the fun, at least around here. Besides, we already name-checked Pasolini (Salo)! Got another one?

aaron said...

There was an interview with Flynn a couple issues back inside "Shock Cinema", in which he discussed his return to the fold with a crime film he planned to shoot in France as a Jean-Pierre Melville hommage, but I have no idea the status of it, and there's no listing on the imdb. Perhaps financing fell through.

bill said...

So "Il Boss" stars Chevy Chase and Jimmy Carter? That should be interesting.

Sal Gomez said...

Rolling Thunder was a film my buddy John and I were GAGA over when it was first released. Way back when BETA was king Rolling Thunder was released to the NEW home video market. My buddy and I literally broke the tape on that BETA copy thru shear torturous rewinding of this film. Coincidentally it's been playing on Stars for the last couple of months. I've watched every chance I get.

Brian said...

A third Pasolini to mention? OK, how about the Arabian Nights, which to some may be highbrow, to others may be sleazy, but to me is the greatest film he ever made (well, of those I've seen; I still have a number of severe blind spots). And it's playing the Castro in April on a double-bill with Days of Heaven as part of a six-day Ennio Morricone tribute.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Re Pasolini, if I may add yet another chapter to "How Dumb Was Dennis When He Was A Kid" (a sample chapter details how I once turned up my nose at seeing Frank Zappa performing live on my college campus), back in the day when this kind of thing showed up with some regularity, I had a chance to see Pasolini's Arabian Nights plus sizzling co-hit The Canterbury Tales... and I did not go. Sometimes I feel like my whole adult life is spent trying to make up for things I didn't do when I had the chance 30 years ago! I just finished your post on Morricone. That sounds wonderful! I recently bought 1900 and, since I've never had a chance to dive into the five-hour version, hope to see it soon.

And I have to add a plug for your upcoming blog-a-thon soon too. I love the idea of getting back to everyone writing on one film, especially one I've never seen.

Anonymous said...

Wow, quite a few impressions of the fest at all ...

Bill Cunningham said...

PRETTY MAIDS ALL IN A ROW has something else going for it besides Angie Dickinson, it showcases the talents of Joanna Cameron who later went on to become THE MIGHTY ISIS!

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Bill, I would add to your assessment one Aimee Eccles, a familiar face from drive-in fare in the '70s (she starred in a movie for which we saw the trailer last night-- Group Marriage-- too bad she wasn't there in person). There were actually two of the PRETTY MAIDS in attendance at last night's show-- Julia Fairchild and Margaret Markov (and spotted in the audience, just to see the pictures, character actor Clu Gulager!). More on this in a couple of days.

troublemaker said...

Aw, I was at the matinee of Pretty Maids, and I could tell someone neat was going to show up for the evening show. Oh well. Looking forward to your recap!

W Hong said...

I first saw "Rolling Thunder" when it was shown on L.A.'s KTLA ch. 5 during the late '70's-early '80's. Based on what I kindof remember, RT was a really good movie that seems to have been hardly shown anywhere.

Also, about "PrettyMaids All in a row". Does Joanna Cameron(TV's Isis) show nudity in PMAiaR, and is the movie on DVD? And does anybody have any info about "Lee Lives Within"(Rated R?), which is shown at the end of Quentin's FilmFest?

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