Wednesday, February 29, 2012

KDO CHCE ZABÍT JESSII? - Svatopluk Havelka - "This Is Impossible" (1966)

I think we've had a month of great titles, and since we've got an extra day, nothing's going to cap it off better than this film straight outta Czechoslovakia, "Who Wants To Kill Jessie?" This film is insipidly absurd, and I liked it a lot!!

The original insane cartoon circus pizza parlour music was composed by Svatopluk Havelka, who has 63, mostly Czech credits to his name including, are you listening, "The Ear!"

60's Pop Culture gone totally mad, thrown into a blender with some vodka and almost any other ingredient you can imagine, and this is the end result! I proclaim this movie to be the Long Island Ice Tea of 60's Science Fiction! Yeah, it's that mind numbing!

"Who Wants To Kill Jessie" is a story about dreams that come to life, and Dana Medrická as Doctor Ruzenka Beránková has invented a machine that is destined for the Nobel Prize, that can see what people are dreaming. She has hooked it up to her husband, and she sees that he is dreaming about a cartoon character he recently discovered, who resides in a comic strip called "Everybody Wants To Kill Jessie!"

Dr.Beránková and her husband sleep in separate rooms and have a very scheduled and sterile lovelife on every Thursday, so this is a little too intense and graphic for her, so she wakes him up.

Jirí Sovák has the role of the husband, Doctor Jindrich Beránek, and when he awakens, he finds a hand in his bed that isn't his!

The hand belongs to Jessie, the character in the comic, and the star of the Doctor's erotic dreams, and she has suddenly materialized as a living, breathing thing!

Jessie was played by the smokin' hot Olga Schoberová! Olga was also in "Voyage To The End Of The Universe," "Kommissar X," and "The Vengeance of She!"

Truer words have probably never been translated!

So, as it turns out "Jessie" is an action comic, and she spends all of her time being pursued by a cowboy and a super hero, and they too have materialized into three dimensional beings! The Cowboy is played by Karel (Music From Mars, Hamster In A Nightshirt) Effa, and the Super Guy weirdo is Juraj Visny, who was only in one other film, "The Detour." Great title!

From there on, it's pretty much one big chase scene! In this scene, the Doctor gives Jessie a helping hand or two!

Normal stuff, after a while they catch Jessie, and the Super Dude whips her!

After all kinds of different scenarios, the cartoons are all captured, and the authorities headed by Doctor Beránková, decide that the best way to get rid of these cartoon characters is to burn them, so they send Super Guy off to a certain doom! WTF?! Are they just stupid? How do you burn a cartoon?

Only the shackles burn off, therefore, all that happens is that Super Muž is still ready to rock! By the way, the cartoons never actually talk, their speech balloons just appear prefaced by a raucous squawk something akin to industrial steam being discharged!

Since burning didn't achieve the proper result, what better way is there to dispose of a cartoon than by attempted drawing and quartering? You never do get to know why Jessie is being pursued so vociferously, or why she is treated so bad, but the good thing is that it doesn't make any difference!

What could be better? The Doctor's dream comes true.......

.....and his wife is happier than she has ever been too! Super Muž kind of gets a raw deal, but as Mick would say, "You don't always get what you want!"

Just in case you'd like to see "Kdo Chce Zabít Jessii?" for yourself, it IS available on Netflix! For everybody else, "May all your dreams come true!"

R.I.P. Davey Jones! We'll see you on the other side!

Monday, February 27, 2012

SANTO & BLUE DEMON vs DRACULA & THE WOLFMAN / Cinematográfica Calderón S.A. - 1973

It's Monster Monday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. Did you know there are 80 films starring Santo and Blue Demon?! I have about 30 titles in my collection, hey, only 50 more to go!!

Mexican lobby cards definitely have their own look, I ended up collecting about 150 of them a few years back from a seller in Mexico.

We have a soundclip for this flick, so, push the big red 'GO' button there next to the whip cream machine, now, Ralphie The Tarantula!.. Here's some audiolicious sounds from... SANTO & BLUE DEMON vs DRACULA & THE WOLFMAN!

El Santo puts the last nail in this look-alike's coffin!

Check out this lip lock (get it?) he puts on his girl friend!

Back at the ranch, Dracula's minion, Eric, prepares to bring his master back to the land of the undead.

Eric's kind of a hack, but, he gets the job done.

The blood of the victim drips into the eye sockets of Dracula's skeleton, and, his putrid flesh and sharp duds start materializing onto his demonic bones.

Italian born Aldo Monti is Dracula, he also played Drac in SANTO AND THE TREASURE OF DRACULA four years earlier. Agustín Martínez Solares is the Wolfman, love it... Rufus Rex!

Here's a nice double portrait of our mighty hero!

Even these tough guys with guns are no match for Santo and Blue Demon!

Then, our guys kill some time by playing a game of chess...

Daaamn, those are the ugh-liest vampire girls I've ever seen!


Erik gasses Santo, then, cannot go through with killing him. He ends up stabbing the dagger into his own heart, in order to get rid of the curse he has on him.

One of Santo and Blue Demon's friends that has been turned into a Lobo is forced to walk the plank of death. Rufus Rex causes the poor guy to fall into the pit of spikes.

But, our heroes always come through in the end!

So, Drac and Rufus get to sample a bit of their own Hell!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

PROJECT X - Van Cleave - "Organ By Lowrey" (1968)

So here's the final installment of our quasi-tribute to Bill Castle, and would you be able to guess? Yes, it's an odd one, and just to prove, that just like William Castle, we can never be trusted, here's just a touch of what you will find inside this box of eye candy! I had this already done, and it was too cool to leave behind, here's "PROJECT X"!

Here's some information I find particularly interesting, The first film made with the title "Project X" was in 1949, and it was about a guy getting blackmailed into stealing a secret atomic energy plan, then there is William Castle's title in 1968, a film about the future, and keeping secrets from The Chinese, next, there was a film called "Project X" that was released in 1987 about Matthew Broderick and some monkeys, and finally there was a "Project X" released this year that is about an out of control high school party! My how things degrade over time!

The year is 2018, but I swear I heard them say it was 150 years in the future! The guy in the tube is THE Hagen Arnold, the rest of them are a bunch of military men and scientists that don't know how to dress worth a crap! Throw away your sun glasses, the future ain't looking that bright for fashion! The small cast is fleshed out by Sheila (The Busy Body) Bartold, Phillip (Lost Missile, Phantom From 10,000 Leagues) Pine, Harold (Freaky Friday) Gould, Ivan (General Hospital) Bonar, Henry (Vertigo) Jones, and Charles (3 Nuts In Search Of A Bolt) Irving!

Talk about a horror show, Governor Jerry Brown even makes an appearance in Linda Ronstadt's gold record vault! Speaking of gold records, the very special music for "Project X" was created by Nathan Van Cleave! Van Cleave was a pioneer in the use of the theremin, and besides "The Colossus Of New York," and "Robinson Crusoe On Mars," he worked on many episodes of "The Twilight Zone!" The Lowrey Organ also got credits!

The first twenty minutes or so drag on forever, but it's a complicated story to set up. A spy comes back from China with secrets and artificially induced amnesia, is cryogenically frozen, and revived, and given a new simpler identity, so they can get inside his head and get the suppressed secrets that hold the fate of the whole world out of him. Since the spy was also a historian and an expert on the 1960's, they choose this headline and character from the past to make him think he is now a bank robber!

Christopher George puts in a fine performance as Hagen Arnold! George had a real familiar face to the people of the time because he had just come off a two year, 58 episode run as Sergeant Sam Troy, the star of TV's "Rat Patrol!" When he wakes up, he finds himself on the lam, and they proceed to a fake farmhouse the government has set up to hide out!

Once everything settles down, the scientists drug Hagen Arnold, hook him up, and start digging around inside his psyche!

The gates to the portals of Hagen's mind open wide to let the government in....

....and they can watch and listen to the whole thing in psychedelic wide screen HD!

To make the facade look authentic 60's, they had to toss around some men's magazines!

Hagen doesn't like being cooped up, so after a couple of days, they let him escape, and he accidently meets with one of the future locals absent from her job at either the kinnery, or the cannery.

The perky Greta Baldwin is Karen Summers! She gets second billing in the credits even though her part has essentially no reason to even exist, except they needed to get a good looking woman into the cast somehow! Greta was in one other movie in the same year titled "Rogue's Gallery," and that was it for her! Other than that, it's very difficult to find any other info about her!

Somebody had some solid ideas about the future. Here Karen is given what appears to be an electronic cigarette to wile away her time!

There are some great animated sequences from the Hanna-Barbera Studios, and the combined comics genius minds of Alex (Space Ghost) Toth and Carl (Scooby-Doo) Urbano!

Give William Castle some credit, he actually used a Chinese guy named Keye Luke to play the role of the Asian leader Sen Chiu! Sen Chiu proclaims several times in this long drawn out speech, that just like Lucky of last week, he too, is indeed, Inscrutable!!!

The future of Asia! That tube is taking Hagen Arnold into a futuristic underwater prison! They don't take up space topside, and they are also used to raise food! Pretty elaborate for what looked like a prison for only one person!

Hagen Arnold is rescued from the prison by his scuba diving partner, co-pilot and buddy, Monte Markham as the unpredictable Gregory Gallea! Monte has been on countless TV shows over the years, and is still gainfully employed with films set to come out this and next year!

Can this dynamic duo possibly break on through the doors of perception to the other side?

Later, something akin to "Forbidden Planet's" Id has escaped from Hagen Arnold's mind because they peered into his brain longer than they were supposed to, and it's reeking terror and destruction on Karen Summers and Gregory Gallea!!

The super familiar face of a man with a similarly common name Henry Jones, as Dr. Crowther peers in on what is now left of Gregory Gallea. They squeezed all the answers out of Gallea's brain like a giant zit, and the world continues to be a safe place to live!

They wipe Hagen Arnold's brain clean once more, give him another new identiy, and him and Karen get to live together happily ever after, William Castle style!!

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??