Trekking through the Dungeon sometimes seems like some kind of crazed scavenger hunt, or a nutty version of 'Six Degrees Of Separation!' Tonight's movie is the personification of what I'm talkin' about, and the blame for it all lands squarely on the shoulders of Brian Horrorwitz over at "The Trash Palace," and here's the reason why!
Brian turned me on to the wild and wacky movie, "Lucky, The Inscrutable" that starred an interesting cat that I had kind of forgotten about, Ray Danton, and while digging up info on that flick, I found out that among his many accomplishments, in 1972 Ray Danton directed a film that is available on Netflix called "Deathmaster!"
Well, guess who was in "Deathmaster?" The writer and performer of the ultimate horror novelty song "Monster Mash," Robert George Pickett, or as he was better known, Bobby "Boris" Pickett!!
In 1962 the BBC banned the "Monster Mash" as "offensive and unhealthy," but by 1965, the song was so popular, Boris Karloff himself performed it on the musical TV show "Shindig" with Jim Doval and the Gauchos! On the very same show, Lurch from "The Addams Family" performed "The Lurch!" Bobby actually had 20 acting credits!
Now all that doesn't make "Deathmaster" any better of a movie, but it sure makes it more interesting, and a lot more fun! This biker dude Monk was played by a fellow named William Jordan, who has one of THE most interesting portfolio's around. After "Deathmaster," William went on to be in "Blue Demon y Zovek En La Invasión De Los Muertos," played JFK in the TV mini-series "King," and was in two interesting TV shows that never went too far, "Project U.F.O." and "Beyond Westworld!" Still kickin', William was working til just a few years ago! Monk's Girlfriend Esslin was played by Betty (THE UNHOLY ROLLERS) Anne (SUGAR HILL) Rees!!
The adopted son of Harpo Marx and Susan Fleming, Bill Marx, was the wild cat who gets the credit for the funky music! Bill contributed to some of the best 70's horror sleaze, besides "Deathmaster" there was the two "Count Yorga" flicks, "Terror House," "Scream Blacula Scream," and "The Astral Factor!" His last film in 1993 was "The Unknown Marx Brothers!" Now I'll bet that's a guy with some stories to tell!!
Monk was hasslin' one of the local Topanga Canyon vendors, when young L.A. hippie Pico played by Bill Ewing stepped in and threw some Kung-Fu shit on him, somebody called the cops, and everybody ran away! Thus a new friendship was formed, all for one against the man, and Monk and Esslin are invited up to The Ranch to hang out and party with some of The Canyon's finest!
That's SO deep!!!"
"Who's the chick?" "WOW, I don't know!?"
Time to introduce the leader of the band, Mr. Robert Quarry as the intellectually intimidating Khorda! Not only is Khorda the "Deathmaster, he is also a Vampire!! Robert was so damn smart in real life that he graduated high skool at age 14! He was said to have an IQ of 165!!! He was Count Yorga in two flicks, he was hit walking by a drunk driver, and was robbed and beaten in real life, but he never gave up! For all these things, you have to pay extra attention to Robert, because besides all that, he was also one of the producers of "Deathmaster," so you know there's something smart about it!
Like most things, it all started off innocent enough, but before you know it, things just got out of hand! Like Pico's girlfriend there Rona! That's Brenda Dickson who ended up having herself an extra nice run on the soap "The Young and the Restless" for 156 episodes as Jill Foster Abbott, but if you really want to trip out, just click on her link, the rest is up to you! The wild lookin' cat named Barbado was the guy at the beginning who fished the coffin out of the sea! Everybody is so freakin' stoned, they haven't really had a chance to notice that Barbado is totally spaced, and doesn't talk much anymore! Here's a shocker, the guy who played Barbado was named LaSesne Hilton, and this was his only film! Makes you wonder if he was really acting or not!
Just like how Rap has it's East Coast and West Coast factions, it was just like that with Hippies! As stoned as they may be, these Southern California Hippies were a whole different breed than their Northern California brethren!
If "Deathmaster" had ended here, it would have been the perfect happy ending!
Here's the reason the original name of this blog was 13, and it revolves around the ancient tale of the Finnish Death Metal fisherman, known as "The Deathmaster Baiter!"
Aw, Shit!! Esslin got bit!!
And Bobby got it too! Before we say goodbye to Bobby Pickett, let it be known that he was also doing the little acoustic folk bit in the sound clip! One more little bit of trivia, the members of Bobby's original band went on to be some guys named "The Beach Boys!"
So that means it's up to Pico, and the olde bald Hippie Pop to get things all sorted out! Pop was played by John Fiedler, whose career started off in the 50's on "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" as Alfie Higgins, and who was the ultimate face of 60's and 70's TV, having appeared on almost any show you can think of, and if that's not enough, John is also the voice of Winnie the Pooh's "Piglet!"
I couldn't find out where the location for this shoot was, but it kind of looks like the La Jolla Caves, but it's probably just a set!
Robert Quarry was born in Santa Rosa, Calif. in 1925. I used to live in Santa Rosa, it explains a lot about this film! Speaking of Santa Rosa, one of these days we'll get around to "Cult Of The Damned," aka, "Angel, Angel, Down We Go" that had the great Woman's Musician Holly Near in it! So, that gives you something to look forward to! Oh, Yeah, Khorda's going down!
Why is it that when I look at the word "Deathmaster" I see "Deathamster?"
Bill (KORG:70,000 B.C.) Ewing went on to be a senior Vice President at Sony before forming his own companies, 'Every Tribe Entertainment' and the not for profit 'Bearing Fruit Entertainment!!' Maybe he was really serious about that headband!!
The title card says "Deathmaster, the poster says "The Deathmaster! Jeez, I spent a lot of time on a movie that wasn't that great!! I watched this movie twice, the second time, I didn't pay attention to the story, but just watched the characters, because like a lot of movies we watch, that's where the real story was, and for that, it was worth it!