Friday, July 12, 2024

freakboy on film: THE BABYSITTER (1969)

I took a pic of my Vinegar Syndrome Halfway-To-Black Friday sale haul and I almost didn’t share it on Facebook.  My hesitation stemmed from people, either directly or indirectly, attempting to shame me for buying stuff.  Instead of hiding away my love of collecting weird cinema, I proudly shined a spotlight on my purchase and was rewarded for my bravery to be my freaky self! πŸ€“
A stack of blu-rays include, invasion  u.s.a.  Criminally insane.  Satan’s black wedding.  3 box sets of Doris Wishman films.  She freak.  The violent years.  Madman and Malibu high.
A friend’s father saw my eclectic cinematic collection and suggested I should look for THE BABYSITTER (1969).  For context, my friend’s father loves movies and was the only one I knew who had seen THREE IN THE ATTIC (1968) when I blogged about it a couple of years ago.  I was compelled to immediately search for THE BABYSITTER and found a tantalizing trailer that both shocked and amused me. 
In other words, I knew I had to see this film!  Then I found a DVD from Code Red on eBay and I didn’t give it a second thought as I ordered it that very night.  Never mind the Vinegar Syndrome stack that had just arrived.  πŸ˜ 
The code red double feature dvd of the babysitter and the topless story.  With text that reads, she came to sit with baby… and ended up with daddy.
directed by Don Henderson / screenplay by James E. McLarty/ original story by George E. Carey & Don Henderson
George and Edith Maxwell are a middle-aged married couple with an accidental baby daughter after a frisky drunken night.  They also have an adult daughter, Joan, who is off at college or somewhere, which is why they need a babysitter for yet another riveting night of bridge. 
George E. Carey as George Maxwell looks tempted
Liquor is quicker…
Candy Wilson is the perky blond babysitter who just wants to have fun, laugh and feel things.  Maybe that’s why she throws a little party in the Maxwell’s basement while they are away.  She confesses this to George, but he gives her a ride home anyway.  This ride includes a stop at a burger drive-in and a side of heavy flirting from the babysitter.  George tries to resist the sweet charm of Candy, but things get very sticky very quickly, in more ways than one. 
Patricia Wymer as Candy Wilson looks deceptively wide-eyed innocent
…but Candy is dandy!
Julie Freeman is a young biker chick desperately in love with her biker boyfriend Laurence Mackey.  The problem is Laurence is in the slammer waiting trial for murdering a young woman, but Julie has a plan.  She will blackmail the prosecuting attorney, who happens to be George, with photos of his daughter in a compromising lesbian position.  Julie believes, since it’s 1969, this scandal will force George to get her murderous boyfriend’s charges dropped.  
Kathy Williams as Julie Freeman looks angry in the swimming pool
If all else fails, Julie will just pee in the pool.
Well, Julie’s plan backfires when Joan has the nerve to make out with her girlfriend behind frosted glass.  However, a middle-aged man and a teen girl/young woman (how old is Candy anyway?) aren’t quite so cautious.  Julie takes a slew of pics as the attorney and the babysitter splish-splash in the pool.  She then threatens to send incriminating copies to George’s wife and his boss at the law firm.  
Patricia Wymer as Candy Wilson and George E. Carey as George Maxwell goof around in the swimming pool.
There’s not enough bleach to clean this pool!
Will George further compromise his compromised morals?  Will Candy simply want to listen to music and dance her cares away?  Will Edith just want to play another round of bridge?  Will Joan have more screen time after her titillating sapphic steam room scene?  I seriously considered revealing the twists and turns of the ending, but my lips are sealed this time.  
Sheri Jackson as Joan Maxwell gazes at a young woman’s ear
Joan wants to tell…
George E. Carey (who also had a hand in the story…say what you will about that) & Anne Bellamy as George & Edith Maxwell are believable as a middle-aged couple who have lost their spark.  Sheri Jackson as Joan Maxwell doesn’t have much to do other than to be a lesbian, but she doesn’t hesitate in her role.  Kathy Williams as Julie Freeman is the weak link in this well-acted exploitation film.  She just lacks that punch her character called for. 

I must give special attention to Patricia Wymer as babysitter Candy Wilson.  She has an almost hypnotic screen presence, with such expressive eyes.  Wymer can convey so much with just a glance that sometimes it’s easy for the audience to know exactly what her character is thinking.  Sometimes though, and I think deliberately, we are left questioning Candy’s motives.  According to IMDb, Patricia Wymer only acted in three films and tragically died in a housefire in 1993 at the age of 46.  Her bio also states that she was a cat lover who worked as a hospice worker, so I feel she must have been a very kind person who died way too young. 
Patricia Wymer as Candy Wilson stands at the front door with a bemused, scrutinizing look on her face
R.I.P. πŸ˜” 
In conclusion…
I will definitely accept film suggestions from my friend’s father in the future!  THE BABYSITTER was exactly my cup of cinematic tea.  Funny, offbeat, crazy, surprising, and surprisingly thoughtful, I seriously recommend this to anyone who loves low budget drive-in exploitation!  

SIDE NOTEFor the record, THE TOPLESS STORY (1965), the other feature on the Code Red DVD, is a ridiculous and somewhat entertaining film from Switzerland about a female magazine reporter following a male fashion designer around the world.  The film is dubbed in English, but the two voice actors narrate the story like it’s a travelogue.  In a way, it sort of is, just with scantily clad women…and men.  Guess 1960’s Switzerland was all about #equality.  

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S. click the pic for a recent post concerning my halfway to Black Friday Vinegar Syndrome purchase… 
The pink blu-ray cover of the films of Doris Wishman, the twilight years shows a facial close-up of actress chesty Morgan.
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STURGEONS is the place to be this summer
A photo of Sturgeons, the complete serials, by john L. Harmon shows the book on fire

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Fear of Past Tomorrows (a poem)

Shadows of yesteryear 
reverberate through time  
pounding on the door 
official act demands 
lay your undesirables 
on the unclean floor 
round them up 
rejected  
for the alleged safety 
and greatness of all 
once friends 
and neighbors 
loved ones you chose  
to sanctimoniously vilify 
turn against 
dragged away 
disappeared  
from your 
hateful 
homogenized 
nevermore 
A photo drenched in red barely shows a person in the lower left corner and part of a bed frame in the right corner.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
2024, John L. Harmon 

Freak Out, 
JLH 

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Other poems from this author
A photo of a book split in two.  The top half of the book is at the bottom, showing the title, vision bent.  The bottom half of the book is at the top and shows the author, John L. Harmon.  He is wearing a purple shirt and is peering through one lense of his mad scientist glasses, with the second title, half-blind poems, at a slant under his eye.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

freakboy on film: The Films of Doris Wishman: THE TWILIGHT YEARS (1970-1977)

I went a bit mad during Vinegar Syndrome’s Halfway-To-Black Friday sale.  Along with low budget horror and an Ed Wood film or two, I purchased three box sets collecting a large chunk of Doris Wishman films.  Technically, I became sort of aware of this exploitation writer/director thanks to John Waters’ SERIAL MOM (1994).  In a memorable scene, a sexually amped up character seriously enjoys scenes of the extremely busty actress Chesty Morgan in DEADLY WEAPONS and DOUBLE AGENT 73, but I never researched those films at the time.

Fast forward to my Andy Milligan obsession over the last few years.  The name Doris Wishman kept popping up in the books I was reading about Milligan, but, for some reason, I let her name slip by like a whisper.  Maybe I wasn’t ready for Wishman or I needed a trigger.  Well, when the Bill Landis biography briefly described the plots of THE AMAZING TRANSPLANT and LET ME DIE A WOMAN, I was more than ready to pull that trigger and blow myself into the cinematic bizarro world of Doris Wishmam, starting with the third box set first because that’s how i roll, baby…
The pink cover of the AGFA/Something Weird blu-ray of The films of Doris Wishman,the twilight years shows a facial close up of actress Chesty Morgan.
All films directed by Doris Wishman
DEADLY WEAPONS (1974) 
written by Judy J. Kushner, Wishman’s niece
In a scene from Deadly Weapons, blond haired Crystal sits on a bed wearing a red and white blouse and black miniskirt.
All Crystal (Chesty Morgan) wants is to be a good daughter to her father and to marry her mobster lover Larry.  After Larry double-crosses his boss and gets whacked, Crystal is out for revenge.  The weapons of choice are her two massive mammaries, which she will use to suffocate the men who killed Larry.  With low-budget violence, unusual nudity, great music and what often sounds like dubbed dialogue (a Doris Wishman staple), this is the crime drama/revenge picture Quentin Tarantino wishes he had made!  Harry Reems, as a mobster, gives one of the better performances, but maybe that’s because his real voice is heard.  Let’s face it though, the real star is obviously Chesty Morgan’s 73-inch bust! 

DOUBLE AGENT 73 (1974) 
written by Judy J. Kushner & Doris Wishman
In a scene from double agent 73, blond haired Agent 73, wearing a poke-a-dot dress, stands in front of a phallic vase.
Secret Agent 73, aka Jane Genet (Chesty Morgan) just wants to settle down with fellow agent Atlantis 7, aka Tim, but first she must track down and eliminate members of a drug ring.  She must also photograph their faces using a camera implanted in her left breast, but, unbeknownst to her, the camera is also a bomb!  This is a delirious film with a similar vibe to DEADLY WEAPONS.  The sound of the camera clicking followed by a flash of light whenever she lifts her left breast is a continuously funny gimmick, but I much more enjoyed the shock of seeing Chesty suffocating men with her “deadly weapons” in the previous film.  What does that say about me? 

THE AMAZING TRANSPLANT(1970) 
written by Doris Wishman 
In a scene from the amazing transplant, the view shows a patient’s feet hanging over an operation table as a doctor performs surgery.
Mary Thorne just wants to lounge around naked while playing her harpsichord  (not a metaphor) but Arthur Barlen wants to get back together.  Just when a compromise seems to be reached, Arthur kills Mary during sex.  What happened to drive this boy next door to commit such a ghastly crime?  It’s up to his detective uncle to discover the lurid reason for Arthur’s criminal behavior, leading to a mysterious doctor and an unethical surgical procedure.  This detective story of rape and murder is less gritty and more Ed Wood, but I couldn’t look away as the truth of gold earrings and a penis transplant is revealed.  With some of the backstory details, I think Arthur can be seen as a repressed queer man who believes a different penis will make him hetero-centric.  That’s just my opinion though. 

LET ME DIE A WOMAN (1977) 
written by Doris Wishman 
In a scene from let me die a woman, a dark haired trans woman faces the camera with a smile as a city landscape dissolves in the background
This quasi-documentary examines transsexualism in a scientific and often sympathetic light.  However, at its core, this is an exploitation film.  The scientific jargon is overlayed with scenes of sex and violence meant to shock and titillate.  Personally, the subject matter did not shock me, but how it was presented was often uncomfortable and bizarre.  Much like Ed Wood’s GLEN OR GLENDA (1953), LET ME DIE A WOMAN feels simultaneously progressive and backwards in its attitudes.  In the end, this is an ultimately fascinating film that must be seen to be believed!

THE IMMORAL THREE  (1975) 
written by Judy J. Kushner & Robert Jahn 
In a scene from the immoral three, three women, wearing low-cut dresses, sit in an office.
Agent 73, who is either a different agent or she got a breast reduction surgery, has been murdered!  Now it’s up to her three surprise daughters, who never even met their mother, to find the murderer and inherit One Million dollars each.  The catch is the inheritance will be divided between the surviving sisters if any should die, but the attorney gets the money if all of them die.  Trippy, funny and absolutely bonkers, THE IMMORAL THREE answers one of the great cinematic questions of all time…What if Russ Meyer and Ed Wood had a baby daughter and nursed her on Andy Milligan’s THE GHASTLY ONES (1968)?  Ok, maybe I’m the only one who asked. 

KEYHOLES ARE FOR PEEPING (1972) 
written by Doris Wishman & Louis Burdi 
In a scene from keyholes are for peeping, Stanley‘s blonde haired mother faces the camera with a bemused look
Stanley Bebbles (Sammy Petrillo, sort of a low-rent Jerry Lewis), is a schmuck who lives in an apartment with his mother.  Against all odds, he has somehow become a marriage counselor.  As Stanley is slipping his cards under the neighbors’ doors, Manuel (the super, not the janitor) is peeping through keyholes at randy couples.  Yup, that’s pretty much the plot and it drags between some amusing moments.  Speaking of drag, one highlight is Petrillo doing double duty as Stanley’s nagging mother.  This is easily the least effective film in the bunch, but has its charms, in a way. 

LOVE TOY (1971) 
written by Judy J. Kushner & Lawrence Perrin
In a scene from love toy, a blonde haired woman in a groovy green dress dances for a man sitting in a chair
Marcus has just lost his home, his factory and his money to Alex in a game of cards.  Instead of bankrupting the man, Alex makes an indecent proposal.  He will give everything back if he can spend one night with Marcus’ daughter.  Yeah, talk about a skeevy premise, but just when you think you know what’s going to happen, things get weird and then even weirder.  Nothing can quite prepare you for this psychosexual therapy session from Hell!  I mean that in the best way possible. 
Doris Wishman looking amused during  an interview
The one, the only…Doris Wishman!
What have I learned about Doris Wishman (1912-2002) from her films and the various audio commentaries?  She got into filmmaking after her husband, a film distributor, died.  She was a savvy businesswoman.  She had a sharp sense of humor and was a shameless flirt.  She was very short in stature but was the center of every room she entered.  She was a contradiction in being a proper, classy lady who made these wildly crazy films.  In other words, Doris Wishman was a 4th of July firecracker disguised as a grandmotherly figure.  She even supposedly didn’t agree with the feminist movement of the ‘70’s, but she sure as hell embraced the revolution by being a female exploitation filmmaker at a tine when women of authority were nearly as scarce in the film industry as a print of Tod Browning’s LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT (1927).  

In conclusion…This AGFA/Something Weird box set proved to be a seriously memorable introduction to Doris Wishman!  Her hypnotically colorful idea of filmmaking held me riveted in place.  In other words, I laughed, I screamed and I wondered what the hell I was watching!  The mind-bending experience has left me wanting more because she is definitely my brand of crazy!  If you’d care to join me, dress in your 1970’s Sunday best and mentally prepare yourself for the wondrously weird world of Doris Wishman! 

BTW, even though this collection is called THE TWILIGHT YEARS, Doris Wishman was a combustion of creativity and would continue making films into the 21st Century!  However, before I can go forward, I must take a step back to THE MOONLIGHT YEARS… 
Blue background with text that reads, the films of  Doris Wishman, the moonlight years
Freak Out, 
JLH 

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The hot month of July is the best time to visit the town of STURGEONS
A photo of the book, Sturgeons, the complete serials, by john L. Harmon, appears to be on fire.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

freakboy on film: DESPERATE LIVING (1977)

Happy Pride Month! 🏳️‍🌈

I was planning to write film reviews for at least the first four letters in LGBTQ+ but life had other plans.  However, I wasn’t about to miss the chance to blog about one of my favorite films from one of my favorite underground queer filmmakers, which includes lots of L and maybe a few other letters.
The dvd of john waters desperate living shows Susan Lowe as Mole McHenry and Liz Renay as Muffy St. Jacques, with text that reads, a work of true trash art, Boston phoenix.  Other text reads, beware, this film contains nudity and outrageous sexual situations.   The world may never be the same again.
“If it’s good enough for Gertrude Stein…”
Peggy Gravel is having a bad day after getting home from the mental hospital.  The neighborhood kids tried to assassinate her with a baseball!  Her children are having sex!  She has just killed her husband with the help of her 300-pound maid Grizelda!  To top it all off, Peggy received a phone call from the wrong number!  What are Peggy and Grizelda, two sisters-in-crime, supposed to do now?  Flee to the city of Mortville, where criminals can live free, at least according to a kinky cop who enjoys kissing women while wearing their panties. 
Mink Stole as Peggy Gravel wearing a gold dress and has jet black hair pulled back  and Jean Hill as Grizelda Brown wearing a blue outfit with stars and hearts and has orange hair.
Fashion goals!
Mole McHenry is having a bad day after her  last tenant shot himself the night before.  She is a man trapped in a woman’s body!  Her girlfriend, Muffy St. Jacques, is having dirty thoughts about dirty men!  To top it all off, Mole’s cupboards are bare!  What are Mole and Muffy, the ultimate opposites attract couple, supposed to do now?  Rent the spare room to Peggy and Grizelda and pin their hope on winning the Maryland state lottery so they can escape the big nothing of Mortville, obviously.
Susan Lowe as butch Mole McHenry and Liz Renay as feminine Muffy St. Jacques.
This could be us but you playin’!
Queen Carlotta is having a bad day after her daughter, Princess Coo-Coo, ran off with a nudist garbageman!  She is busy exerting her royal powers on the new arrivals to her kingdom! Then someone dared to throw a mudball at her on Backwards Day!  To top it all off, one of her guards has an odor emanating from somewhere on his body!  What is Queen Carlotta supposed to do now?  Find a new heir to the thrown and spread rabies throughout the population, starting with her delinquent daughter, of corse.
Edith Massey as Queen Carlotta gives a royal proclamation from her throne while wearing a frilly white gown.
Royal Proclamation: Readers of this blog must watch Desperate Living! 
These women’s stories converge in an eruption of sex, violence and maybe a little cannibalism, for good measure.  Yes, it’s revolution day in Mortville, and things may never be the same again!  I could say more, but you’ll have to watch to find out what happens in this very different film. 
Mary Vivian Pearce as curly blonde haired Princess Coo-Coo yells at her mother while surrounded by guards.
Never provoke a pissed off princess!
How much do I love DESPERATE LIVING I call it my favorite pre-Hairspray John Waters film.  The plot is dark, the characters are crazy and the humor exists in its own plane of existence.  My first experience with this hysterically angry film was on VHS back in the 1990’s.  I was sick and had to go out for medicine, so I figured I’d spread my disease by stopping at Hollywood Video.  At the time, I had only seen HAIRSPRAY, CRY-BABY, SERIAL MOM and POLYESTER, so nothing really prepared me for DESPERATE LIVING!  It shocked and initially revolted me, but I laughed way too much and way too hard at the visceral situations and inspired dialogue.  I even have a Peggy Gravel sound bite on my phone’s voice mail greeting because I want to show people how important they are to me…

PEGGY GRAVEL:  Hello? (pause) What number are you calling? (pause)You’ve dialed the wrong number! (pause) Sorry?  What good is that?  How can you ever repay the 30 seconds you have stolen from my life?” 
Mink Stole as Peggy Gravel answers the phone
Me answering the phone! 
For some reason, callers rarely leave a message after the beep, but I can’t imagine why.  πŸ˜ 

Writer/director John Waters has created a gangbusters film.  It helps he surrounded himself with a spectacular cast!  Mink Stole as Peggy Gravel (I don’t want some renegade necrophile princess as my roommate.) is perfectly cast as she throws vicious verbal daggers with perfect precision.  Jean Hill as Grizelda Brown (I don’t want no white man looking at my Tampax!) is so brazenly wild that you’ll forget Divine is absent in this Waters film.  Susan Lowe as Mole McHenry (So much for science, Muffy!) is the emotional and physical embodiment of aggressively angry punk.  Liz Renay as Muffy St. Jacques (I was having an erotic dream.) is radiantly fun and funny as the most beautiful woman in Mortville.  Edith Massey as Queen Carlotta (You are interrupting my flow of power!) adds another maniacally memorable character to her John Waters rΓ©sumΓ©.  Mary Vivian Pearce as Princess Coo-Coo (Herbert doesn’t care if I have ears.  He only cares about my mind.) presents a naΓ―ve innocence and is possibly the one truly sympathetic character in this bonkers film.
Director John waters surrounded by the cast of desperate living
John Waters & the cast
In conclusion, 
Even though no one is eating dog poo, DESPERATE LIVING is nearly as shocking as PINK FLAMINGOS The plot and dialogue often take some truly out there twists and turns.  One early scene (Is that what you learned in private school?) must surely skirt a fine line of what can legally be shown in a film.  So, if you are in the mood for an in your face story that pushes the envelope of bad taste, then wear your clothes backwards and enjoy DESPERATE LIVING!  I have probably watched it more than any of John Waters other films, which is why I am impatiently waiting for Criterion to release an extras-packed blu-ray edition!  

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S. Click the pic ⤵️ for a Totally Rocking Super Star Extraordinaire review of FIRST PERIOD from Dave of My Gay Opinion! 🏳️‍🌈
You’re Welcome! 
Screenshot of the First Period review on the blog My gay opinion.
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My queer little books are available from an Amazon near you…
3 books by john L. Harmon include, Dark Excursions the complete set, vision bent half blind poems, and sturgeons the complete serials.

Friday, May 31, 2024

freakboy on film: DEEP JAWS / THE DICKTATOR (a Walt Davis double feature)

As you remember, or maybe you’ve blocked the disturbing incident out of your mind, I stumbled upon a Walt Davis triple feature earlier this year.  The three early 1970’s films left my mind reeling and saddled me with a morbid interest to see more.  Walt’s IMDb page is filled with eyebrow-raising titles, but two caught my half-blind eyes.  So the search was afoot! 
Something Weird DVD of DEEP JAWS and THE DICKTATOR shows a woman staring happily into the distance while a blue cartoon fish with big lips says, the film you’ll love to see.  There is also a fist giving the middle finger which is shaped like a screw.  Text reads, Manuel Conde double feature. The  screwiest sex comedies you’ll ever see.
Something Weird Video had released DEEP JAWS and THE DICKTATOR as a double feature DVD in 2005, but it was out of print and out of my willing price range.  The film gods must have been watching over me because an eBay auction suddenly popped up.  It was a reasonable starting price, so I placed a bid for one dollar more.  For the third time in my eBay history, I won an auction by being the only bidder.  This may or may not have something to do with the sort of films I enjoy.  Anyhoo…as for this Walt Davis double feature…

DEEP JAWS (1976) 
screenplay by Walt Davis / directed by Perry Dell
Title sequence  from Deep jaws shows the title in bold  yellow text highlighted in red, with a 1976 copyright year.
Uranus Studios is on the brink of bankruptcy, even with the government financing a film about the U.S.-Soviet space race.  Realizing two of the biggest blockbusters in the last ten years was JAWS and DEEP THROAT, the studio decides to use some of the government money to simultaneously make a quick flick combining a disaster film with a porno.  Will Uranus Studios turn a profit or will both projects collapse under the craziness of demanding actors, an inebriated crew and oversexed studio heads?  Unlike the mermaids in the film, my lips are sealed.  
Scene from deep jaws shows Two women and three men sit in a screening room looking bored.  One man  is holding a teddy bear and another man is sucking a lollipop.
watched DEEP JAWS in a state of bewilderment.  Even knowing the general plot, it took me a bit to figure out what the hell was going on.  The acting is over-the-top, which makes sense since the script is ridiculously absurd.  Overall, I think I enjoyed DEEP JAWS.  Well, at least there were inappropriate moments that made me laugh. 

THE DICKTATOR (1974, according to IMDb)  
screenplay by Walt Davis / directed by Perry Dell
Title sequence from  The Dicktator shows the title  in bold white letters on a black  background and a fist giving the middle finger which is shaped like a screw.  1977 is listed as the copyright year.
To solve the problem of overpopulation, the United States government develops a temporary male birth control pill, but it ends up being a permanent solution.  Now the world leaders are demanding the U.S. President do something, but first he needs to play with his wind-up toys and take a dump in the Executive Bathroom.  Eventually five men, including a drag queen, who did not take the pill are located around the globe and are each christened The Dicktator.  Their mission is to impregnate fertile women…at any cost. 
Scene from The Dicktator  shows The president of the United States sits at the head of a table full of rulers from around the world as the reporters  look on.
This sociopolitical satire begins as a jarringly loud mess, far removed from political correctness, and doesn’t let up.  Unlike DEEP JAWS, THE DICKTATOR feels like it’s trying to say something about a lot of things Much like the script, the acting is all over the place, ranging from over-the-top to lackluster.  There are moments of absurd amusement, especially the spot-on jabs at the U.S. President, but some of the humor falls flat or is extremely uncomfortable.  I feel this is because the plot is more focused on sex and shocking the audience, but perhaps that was the whole point.   

I believe there are two reasons why DEEP JAWS and THE DICKTATOR are not as entertaining as the Walt Davis triple feature I reviewed in March.  First, this double feature lacks female lead characters, which made his other films far more interesting.  Second, Walt Davis did not direct DEEP JAWS and THE DICKTATOR, which is maybe why they still have their moments but aren’t quite as good.  Sort of like an Ed Wood script directed by someone else.  It’s still very much Ed Wood, but it lacks that magical spark.

In conclusion…
Neither DEEP JAWS nor THE DICKTATOR are an ideal introduction to Walt Davis.  Yet, if you’re in the mood for a couple of low-budget 1970’s softcore sexploitation flicks, they are strangely watchable in a different sort of way.  Just be sure to remove the stick before sitting down! πŸ˜‰ 

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words. 

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S. click the pics ⤵️ to learn more about my other 1-bid eBay auction wins… 

A scene from let my puppets come shows a human Pinocchio dancing on a glam-rock stage.

A scene from Weirdo the beginning shows a young man and a young woman standing in nature.
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Visit the town of STURGEONS today! πŸ“— 
The book Sturgeons, the complete serials by john L. Harmon is displayed on a library shelf.
Available from an Amazon near you!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

freakboy on film: ANNIE (1982)

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This post is part of the IT'S IN THE NAME OF THE TITLE BLOGATHON, hosted by Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews & Rebecca from Taking Up Room.
Poster for  the IT'S IN THE NAME OF THE TITLE BLOGATHON, hosted by Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews & Rebecca from Taking Up Room shows the poster for Rebecca
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🎡Annie…Annie’s her name, if you please.  If you don’t believe me, ask any one of the fleas…🎡 Oh wait, this song is about Sandy the dog.  We’re here to talk about Annie. 
The DVD of Annie shows curly red-haired Annie hugging the dog sandy.
Yes, I own this!
What do you think when you hear the name Annie?  Curly ginger haired orphan?  Freaky pupil-less comic strip eyes?  Fashion icon?  Ovaltine?  Depression era feminist?  A secret decoder ring?  A somewhat bloated big-screen adaption of a Broadway hit?  All of the above? 
Little Orphan Social Climber!
Annie is a sweet, rough and tumble orphan living under the inebriated reign of Miss Hannigan.  All she dreams of is her parents returning with the other half of a locket she was left with.  After escaping the tyranny of Miss Hannigan, saving a dog from street urchins and then being returned to  the orphanage, Annie’s life is about to change.  Grace Farrell is there to temporarily bring an orphan to her employer’s mansion for the sake of his public image.  Annie jumps at the opportunity and is soon singing and dancing into the heart of business-minded Daddy Warbucks.  
Bald daddy Warbucks bellows as his assistant Grace looks on worriedly
Fire my hairstylist!
Adoption seems immanent, but Annie wants to find her parents, so Daddy Warbucks offers up big bucks to find them.  Meanwhile, back at the orphanage, Miss Hannigan, her brother Rooster and his girlfriend Lily are plotting to get Daddy’s big bucks.  Rooster and Lily are going to pretend to be Annie’s parents by using the other half of her locket that Miss Hannigan had the whole time.  What happen’s next?  You’re gonna have to watch to find out! 
Miss Hannigan stands in a doorway, wearing a purple dress.
Miss Hannigan knows how to make an entrance!
How in the name of John Waters and Andy Milligan can I love ANNIE?!?!  Is it the endearingly charming performance  of Aileen Quinn in the title role?  Is it Albert Finney as he transforms Daddy Warbucks from a hard-nosed businessman to a hard-nosed businessman with a heart?  Could it be Carol Burnett’s scene-stealing turn as the drunkenly hilarious Miss Hannigan?  What about the dynamic singing duo of Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters as Rooster and Lily?  Maybe it’s all of the above, and the other orphans, along with some seriously catchy tunes! 
Rooster and lily pose like a musical version of Bonnie and Clyde
Villain fashionistas!
I watched ANNIE a lot as a kid.  I think I enjoyed the idea of being swept away from the monotony of day to day life into a very different world.  I probably also enjoyed the adult humor sprinkled throughout.  My love of this film continues to baffle me, but perhaps i should be proud.  ANNIE stands as a testament to my eclectic cinematic taste.  Whether this taste is good or bad, I’ll leave it for you to decide. 
Bald Daddy Warbucks glances suspiciously to his right
Daddy Warbucks is judging me!
SIDE NOTE: As a kid, I didn’t know who John Huston was, but I now appreciate his direction of ANNIE and I believe he would’ve made a great Daddy Warbucks. 

In conclusion…
What’s in the name Annie?  A little song…a little dance…a little drama…a little comedy…a little suspense…and a whole lot of heart!  If that didn’t make you throw up a little in your mouth, then grab a glass of Ovaltine and enjoy ANNIE
The cast of Annie
You know you want to!
Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words. 

Freak Out, 
JLH 

P.S.  In S1E5 of HATERS BACK OFF, Miranda is excited to play “Annie” in a disturbingly funny backyard production!  Don’t know about HATERS BACK OFF Click the pic ⬇️ to learn more about my favorite Netflix series…
Miranda wearing an Annie wig prepares to kiss Patrick in Haters back off
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My books… viewAuthor.at/JohnLHarmon