Wednesday, December 31, 2014

GUNS GIRLS AND GANGSTERS - Mamie Van Doren - "Meet Me Halfway" (1959)

Can you think of a better way to end 2014 and start 2015 than with some Guns Girls and Gangsters?

One of these days we're going to run out of monster and sci-fi movies to watch! Thank God there's plenty of cool Crime, Detective and Noir movies to keep us going for quite a while, and tonight's New Year's Eve Special Feature "Guns Girls And Gangsters" made in 1959 is certainly no exception!! It's an action packed thriller with an all-star cast?

1959 was an amazing year, especially in Las Vegas! 1959 was the year that Fidel Castro took power in Cuba! Alaska and Hawaii both became states in 1959, and the very first episode of "The Twilight Zone" aired in October of that year, and it was also the year "The Music Died," when Buddy Holley, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper died in that horrific plane crash! It was the year that "Etch-A-Sketch" and the computer modem were invented! In Vegas, business was literally booming!

Even back in 1959, 1.4 million people were unemployed, and if you did have a job, you were lucky to be making five thousand dollars a year, so the thought of pulling off a 2 million dollar heist was pretty enticing!

The Trans-Oceanic 600 series was the final incarnation of Zenith shortwave tube radios! It was produced from 1959-1962, and it  was the last portable vacuum tube radio made in the USA!

Gerald Mohr is two bit hustler ex-con Charles (Chuck) Wheeler, a man with a plan! Here's two good reasons why Gerald is in The Dungeon Hall Of Fame, "Terror In The Haunted House," and "The Angry Red Planet!!"

Welcome to the big time!!

Vi Victor is played by blonde bombshell, the magnificent Mamie Van Doren! In 1959, The San Francisco Giants had a roster of talent that included Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, and Felipe Alou! In 1959, the film world had a quartet of blonde beauty home run hitters, that would never be duplicated again, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Mamie Van Doren, and Diana Dors!!!!

This was pretty darn racy for 1959! Chuck's here to tell Vi that he used to be her boyfriend's cellmate, and that he has this great plan for robbing an armored truck carrying a bunch of cash from Las Vegas to a bank in L.A., and he needs her help!

The plan consists of Chuck shooting out the tire of the armored truck so that it has to stop right here at the Stagecoach Inn and garage, and then they can take it over, and him and his buddies can drive off with the money! Chuck is a crack shot, and he's already practiced on a couple of cars, and it works perfectly! Vi needs to hang out for a few days to notate the times that cops drop by etc. It's right in between Christmas and New Years!

Everything would probably have been fine, but Vi's no good loser ex-boyfriend, and Chuckie's ex best friend Mike Bennett, busts out of jail two months before his planned release, and is somehow magically hightailing it from San Quentin Prison in California all the way to Las Vegas!

They never quite explain how Mike managed to sneak all the way from San Quentin to Vegas, but if it was one tree at a time like this, I think it would have taken more than a couple of days! Mike is played by one of Hollywood's finest, Mr. Lee Van Cleef!

Here's a colourized version of this shot from the New Year's party at the Stage Coach Inn for you!

Just like Karkoff, Vi is totally misrepresented by the outlandish poster! She has been dragged unwillingly into this whole sordid affair! Her big problem is she falls in love with really bad guys! So they're having the big New Years party at the Stage Coach, and Vi gets talked into singing a song!

Here's the stunning Vi Victor with a swingin' little number called "Meet Me Halfway!" Somebody put a dime in the jukebox!

The cops show up just when Chuck and Mike Bennett are having their big face off over the money and VI, so they decide to ditch the place, and go ahead with the robbery and deal with their relationship later, but it's pretty clear that only one is going to come out alive after it's over!

I couldn't figure out what brand of radio this was, but I like the design!

Here she comes, Big Bertha, for the final standoff! I'll let you figure out what happens! I was surprised to find "Guns Girls And Gangsters" streaming for free on Amazon Prime! If you've got an account, it's worth the effort! It was a fun year, I hope you enjoyed these movies as much as we did! 
 Happy Freakin' New Year!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

THE KARATE KILLERS / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer - 1967

We're closing in on the end of 2014, so, here's my last post of the year... It stars the Men From U.N.C.L.E. in one of their movie offshoots from their popular TV series. It also features a slew of actors in cameo roles and the sixties pop group, Every Mother's Son, doing their hit tune "Come On Down To My Boat" as heard in the sound clip.

Eegah!! sent over a little sound clip from this flick for our earjoyment, sooooo, you can push the big red 'GO' button located there by our killer karate chopping robot, NOW, Ralphie The Tarantula!.. Here's a taste of... THE KARATE KILLERS!

Our boys are down in the lab preparing fruit smoothies before they hit the old spy trail...

Here they are with their boss, Alexander Waverly, played Leo (TARANTULA and TOPPER) G. Carroll, they're going over the latest data on world events.

Herbert Lom is the bad guy, he wants something Joan Crawford has. Joan probably worked for half a day on this one, she turns up dead rather quickly at the beginning.

Jeez, what can you say about this guy here?! Can you believe that Telly's holding a cigarette instead a Tootsie Pop?.. Well, I can't!

You see, movies gave the guys a chance to hang out with a near nude chick while they race around, something they definitely couldn't do on the TV series!

Then, there's the club scene where Every Mother's Son is playing their hit song for the crowd.

Here's a goofy fun pic showing Illya after he gets knocked into the fountain!

Part of the Bad Guy Crew is this dressed-in-all-black motorcycle gang of maniacs.

Illya is always getting himself into some harrowing situation! Will Napoleon be able to save him before he gets one on those spikes stuck in his skull?!!.. Gee, I wonder.

I've included this still because when I was stationed at Fort Lewis in 1968 I drove one of these Ford Econoline vans around.

The dial, simple, yet efficient!.. EVERYBODY RUN!!

The plot's all about creating gold through a chemical equation, but, we all know gold can only be created by a Super Nova explosion. Besides, if we could all make gold, it'd be worthless!

Oops!!.. You know, something always goes wrong with those damn gold making machines!

Dustin Rhodes makes a cameo appearance as Gold Dust as we draw the curtain on this production...

Be back on Wednesday when Eegah!! will present our last post o' the year!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

TERROR IN THE WAX MUSEUM - Shani Wallis - "Happy Family" (1973)

"Terror In The Wax Museum" is one of the more obscure movies that have been made over the years about wax museums, and fits in perfect between X-Mas and New Years!

The lineage of wax museum movies that culminated in 1973 with "Terror In The Wax Museum,"  includes all these great titles! From 1933, "Mystery Of The Wax Museum," 1936, "Midnight At The Wax Museum," 1940, "Charlie Chan At The Wax Museum," 1953, "House Of Wax," and in 1969, "Nightmare In Wax!" Let's face it, wax museums are just freaky!!

This particular wax museum is not just your ordinary run of the mill wax museum, Hell No, this place is also a chamber of horrors featuring famous murderers!

Next door to the chamber of horrors is the "Clock and Horn" pub, and their main attraction, singer and actress Shani Wallis as dance hall queen Laurie Mell! Laurie is singing a unique and dark little ditty about a happy family of undertakers that not all the patrons are comfortable with!

Not all the guys get rattled by the dark and dreary tunes!

These wax characters are a little more animated than most! Lizzie Borden, Bluebeard, Jack The Ripper, and Marie Antoinette!

Somebody or something murders Claude Dupree, the owner of the wax museum as played by the always astounding John Carradine, and all the evidence points to the Jack The Ripper wax figure!!

Nicole (Torture Garden) Shelby has the role of Claude Dupree's niece Margaret Collins who is set to inherit the whole place after Claude's death!

Steven (Zabo) Marlo is Karkoff, Claude Dupree's deformed but harmless assistant!  He is also the ticket taker at the door for that extra added special effect!

What a roomful of amazing talent! Broderick (Highway Patrol, The Vulture) Crawford, Elsa (Bride Of Frankenstein, Mary Poppins) Lanchester, and Ray (X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes, Panic In The Year Zero) Milland!

Broderick Crawford puts in a fine performance as Amos Burns, a guy who wants to buy the wax museum and move the whole thing to America! He also plays a very good Shish Kabob!

I just like this shot in the Chinese restaurant!

The always great Lisa Lu as Madam Yang reads Margaret's fortune! Lisa was on a ton of TV shows whenever the script called for a beautiful gal named Su Wo Toi, Mei Ling, Quong Lia, or Hsieh-Lin etc.

Ray Milland as Harry Flexner, and Steven Marlo as Karkoff should have been the rightful heirs to the Dupree Chamber Of Horrors! From the poster etc, you are totally mislead that Karkoff is some kind of monster, but in reality, he's just this poor misfigured gentle soul!

Imagine that!! Margaret is being plagued by bad dreams! How very odd!

Then dead Uncle Claude pays Margaret a visit in the middle of the night! At this point, she's ready to get the Hell out of Dodge!

It gets even worse for Margaret when Jack The Ripper comes back to life! At least some nails to the face prove that it's some human imposter wearing a lifelike mask!

I actually fell asleep watching this movie three separate times, but the good news is that when I put all the pieces back together, I liked it quite a bit!

Margaret is completely fried by this point, but by the time it's all over, she'll be all right!

After Dupree's murder is solved, the wax museum gets a new exhibit!

I had to include this Mexican lobby card because of the blatant error they made! Lizzie Borden's picture is labeled Lucretia Borgia, and Lucretia Borgia's pic is labeled Lizzie Borden, and that pretty much sums up this krazy mixed-up movie, and this krazy mixed-up year!!

Monster Music

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