Saturday, April 4, 2015

CARNIVAL ROCK - Roger Corman Rocks (1957)

I've been holding onto this one for a long time, and I thought coupled with "Carnival Of Crime," "Carnival Rock" would make for a nice carnival week during this festive time of the year, but then "Carnival Of Crime" turned out to be such a piece of crap! So it goes, Welcome to the Saturday Night Special in The Dungeon, and a special tribute to the man that, well, this blog wouldn't exist without, Mr. Roger Corman!

 Roger Corman has produced over 400 movies, and has two titles in post production right now, if you can believe that, and has the man mellowed out at all? Not with titles like "Cobragator" and "Sharktopus vs. Mermantula" coming out sometime in the not too distant future, but let's get back to tonight's feature! I love "Carnival Rock" and I hate "Carnival Rock!" How's that for confusing? I love this movie because it features a bunch of the Roger Corman regulars of the time, and like Roger, it rocks! Roger Corman was and obviously still is, ahead of his time!

 Welcome to The Carnival kids! Probably the closest thing you'll find to having this much fun today is Fremont Street in Las Vegas! Fun, Tricks, Shows, and Rides, what the Hell more could you possibly want? Here's the theme performed by the dynamic Blockbusters who also contributed to Corman's "Rock All Night!" Hell Yeah!

 They don't have a huge crowd, but the joint is jumpin' down at Christy's Club!

Christopher 'Christy' Cristakos as portrayed by David J. Stewart is the big problem with this film! It's very difficult to identify with a character this stupid and weak-minded, but that's what Roger decided for some reason, so I'm able to pass it by, even though he's pretty much the main focus of the film! The problem is that Christy is way gone in love with a girl that basically doesn't love him at all, but she's been leading him on for years! He wants to propose, she wants to split! Christy's best buddy and business associate is Dick Miller as Benny! Dick is a major Dungeon hero, and probably one of our top five favourite actors! Maybe even number one, for "Bucket Of Blood" if nothing else!

Susan (THE Wasp Woman) Cabot is Natalie Cook, the woman that Christy is madly in love with! Natalie is performing a song called "There's No Place Without You," and how about a big round of applause for those sharply dressed cats in the band? Damn, life was good back in 1957!

This shot is a grade Z film lover's dream! A trio of Roger Corman starpower unsurpassed to this day! On the left is Ed (ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS, INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN, TEENAGE DOLL, TEENAGE CAVE MAN, NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST, THE BRAIN EATERS, A BUCKET OF BLOOD, DEVIL'S PARTNER) Nelson, in the middle is Bruno (THE WILD ONE, DEMENTIA, THE UNDEAD, ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES, A BUCKET OF BLOOD, THE WASP WOMAN) VeSota, and Dick Miller too!  And if just having the three of them on screen together isn't enough, the background is a side show belly dancer and a barker in a carnival! That's just about as good as it can possibly get!

Here's a good closeup of Ed and Bruno, as a guy who Christy owes money to, and his shifty lawyer!

Christy is as dense as 36 inches of frozen tundra, and even when Natalie comes right out and tells him that she doesn't love him, he just won't fuckin' give it up! He's in debt past his ears, but he wants to still spend money on a ring for her! He's an idiot of the highest caliber!

Did I not tell you this movie has the greatest Corman cast of all time? Yep, that's Jonathan (Little Shop Of Horrors) Haze on the left as little rat Max!  The fellow on the right is Stanley, the cheap hustler guy that Natalie is really in love with! Stanley was played by Brian (King Creole) Hutton in what might have been his only Corman appearance! In the pretty freakin' werid department: Both Ed Nelson and Brian Hutton passed away in August of last year, 10 days apart!

Bob Luman and his guys known as The Shadows are the house band at Christy's club! These guys are pretty damn dynamic and would pack any house these days! Bob Luman had a pretty good career, and his biggest hit made it to number four in 1972, called "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers!" I put "Sue" in the sidebar on the jukebox so you can enjoy Bob's manic style! Check it out!

"Carnival Rock" isn't really a monster movie, but Christy is really turning into a demented Jekyll and Hyde Character!

Christy gets all mouthy with Stanley when he finds out that Natalie loves him, so they start gambling in one of the most simplest forms imaginable, pick a card, high card wins! 

Five or six cards later, and Christy has lost everything, including his club that he was over his head in debt for anyway!  Loser dude still can't face reality! It's a good thing the rest of the cast and the music is so damn good!

The new owner Stanley brings in one of the top vocal groups of the time, The Platters, and just like that, the joint is jumpin' again! That's like Fleetwood Mac performing down at your local 7-11!

Instead of just kicking Christy to the curb, Stanley shows his tender side, and gives Christy a job as a clown at the carnival! Mr. Hyde is becoming even more visible!

Natalie and Stanley are truly in love, and are about to get married when Christy crashes the party before it even gets started, and decides to set the whole place on fire! He really IS a monster!

Christy is saved, but he is still one of the biggest losers on the planet while the rest of the cast watches the place burn down! What a dumbass!

Bob Luman's band plays a song called "The Creep," the same title as the movie we made that if anything, was influenced by "Bucket Of Blood!" Coincidence or just another moment of time in The Twilight Zone? I've had my "Carnival Rock" disc so long that I don't even remember where I got it! I thought it was available on The Internet Archive, but that's "Carnival Story" so your guess is as good as mine, but if you can find it, do it, and you won't be disappointed, and that's a guarantee I'm willing to stand behind! If nothing else, somebody really needs to release a soundtrack of "Carnival Rock," the music is THAT good!


Grant said...

That looks like the exact same suit Dick Miller wears as the door to door salesman in NOT OF THIS EARTH. And it probably is.

Eegah!! said...

I'm sure it is Grant, probably along with a whole bunch of other stuff!

TABONGA! said...

I just checked my copy of NOT OF THIS EARTH and that has to be the same jacket and it also looks like the same tie! And, the picture of the dude holding the guitar in the poster is also on the VHS box art for WILD GUITAR instead of Arch! I love Dick Miller, his speech to the UN in WAR OF THE SATELLITES is also another amazing piece of work! Eegah!! and I both saw A BUCKET OF BLOOD when it came out, what a wild ride...

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