Saturday, July 24, 2010

HELLZAPOPPIN' - Don Raye & Gene de Paul, Frank Skinner, Slim & Slam, Martha Raye, Jane Frazee, The Six Hits - "Il Cabaret Dell' Inferno" (1941)

Hellzapoppin' was an uncanny New York stage show brought to the big screen, and the enthusiastically wild music was composed by a couple of cool dudes, lyricist Don(Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy) Raye and compser Gene(Cow Cow Boogie) de Paul! The basic soundtrack is attributed to Mr. Frank (Abbott and Costello) Skinner!

Maybe I've said this before about some other movie, but "HELLZAPOPPIN'" just might be THE best movie ever made, period, paragraph, end of story, would the prosecution like to rest their case? Real quick, just let me say that tonight's special feature is brought to you courtesy of the honourable Professor Grewbeard! Can we have a hardy clap for the Prof? One, two, three.....!

Just to get it started, a Pre-Stooges SHEMP HOWARD IS WORKIN' THE PROJECTOR!! Give me a break!!

Excuse my French, but just what in the name of Hades is goin' on here??

The action is HOT and Heavy!! No CGI, just a whole lot of Devil-Freaks moving around together in synch, like some kind of insane comedic tornado from where else, that's right, HELL!!

You've got your "Satanic Choir!"

You've got your Bar-B-Qued Teriyarki "Chix-On-A-Stick!"

The ever so popular, "Canned Guy" assembly line!

And last but not least, you've got Chic Johnson and Ole Olsen!!

And what are Olsen and Johnson staring at, still more freakin' devils!!!!

I like how Ole and Chic have their hats cocked the opposite direction of each other!

Shemp's character Cousin Louie, only got the job as projectionist because he was related to Chic and Ole, but he is totally distacted by his main squeeze, Jodi Gilbert, who had a big career in TV and movies. She would be Mrs. Putney in 2 TV episodes of "Batman," a fat lady in a "Night Gallery" episode, and she was Mrs. Martha Barton in the 1948 feature, "Bungalow 13," just to mention a couple!

It's 1941 and they came up with the concept of talking from the screen to the projection booth! These people were thinking overtime because..........

........It's.... H E L L Z A P O P P I N'!!!

And all that non-stop music and mayhem happened in about the first 7 or 8 minutes of Hellzapoppin', before they clue the audience into the fact that they are just on the set of a movie!

Time to take a breather, I'm out of breath after that whole sequence!!

There's a sub-plot about the making of the movie, but essentially, Hellzapoppin' is a jive jumpin' musical comedy that is literally beyond description, unless you want me to write a book!

Then the amazing musicians Slim (Flat Foot Floogie) Gaillard and Slam Stewart along with the "Six Hits" display their awesome talents as Slim and Slam, when all the service employees take a break to fire up the boogie!!

At this point Hellzapoppin' is totally out of control again with the wildest bop party you've ever seen going on, as the dance crew known as the Harlem Congeroos tear up the joint!!!

The neverending and crazed jitterbug frenzy, never stops for even a second!!

The amazing Martha Raye has a good part as nutjob songstress Betty Johnson, and performs "Watch The Birdie" and "Waiting For The Robert E. Lee." Martha had her own TV show back in the 50's and was also a regular on The Steve Allen Show, and was always hilarious! Lastly, for you younger readers, Martha Raye was also Benita Bizarre in 17 episodes of "The Bugaloos!" Martha Raye's awesome career ended in 1994, but what a trail she left!

What a production!!

Elisha Cook Jr had the part of Harry Selby, the writer of the script for the movie within a movie! Elisha ended up working on over 200 movies during his career, including titles near and dear to us all like, "Voodoo Island," "Panic," "House On Haunted Hill," "Black Zoo," "The Haunted Palace," and "Dead People!"


Prof. Grewbeard said...

it WOULD take a book to completely review this movie! a Medal of Bravery to you guys for even tackling it(and i do mean tackle!)!

Christopher said...

..truely a movie that has to be seen to be believed.No way to describe it.."Thats the first Cab driver that went straight to where I told him to go!"

Greg Goodsell said...

A minor quibble -- Martha Raye was not "the voice" of Benita Bzarre in THE BUGALOOS. That was her in live action! I will always remember her as the broad who got away in Charles Chaplin's MONSIEUR VERDOUX!

RODAN! said...

Elisha looks like a genuine Egghead!

TABONGA! said...

We be featuring an episode of THE BUGALOOS with Martha Raye at The Dungeon in the next few months!!

Eegah!! said...

What the Hell was I thinkin'? I meant mouth, not voice!!

Mr. On said...

Wasn't the cafeteria waitress in The Monkees' "HEAD" trading verbal barbs with Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork based somewhat on the Jodi Gilbert character,who also worked for tips in W. C. Fields' last "NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK"?; how ironic a 'shot' that later film noir Elisha Cook would appear in Kubrick's "THE KILLING" (along with AIP 'BEACH PARTY', "Sgt. Pepper's", and Monkees fave Timothy Carey), as well as reportedly knowing who actually shot George "\S/" Reeves, who as Jack Larsen once said, "ain't telling"...

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Mondo Exactamundo!!


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