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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Steve's Church-Less Movie Of The Week, Part 2 ...

Arch Hall Jr. gets his due in today's second part. It's two movies of his that no one asked for ...

Yoinked from aintitcool and wikipedia ...

"The Sadist (US release date April 1963) is a 1963 black and white exploitation film written and directed by James Landis. It stars Arch Hall, Jr., son of exploitation impressario, writer, producer, and director Arch Hall, Sr. It’s said The Sadist is “an early progenitor of The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.[1] This 95 minute horror/thriller contains excellent cinematography, despite being low budget film. The film was distributed by Fairway International Pictures of the United States and Prima Film of Canada.[2] The film is also known as Profile of Terror and Sweet Baby Charlie.

The character of Charlie is loosely based on the life of Charles Raymond Starkweather (November 24, 1938 – June 25, 1959) who murdered eleven people in Nebraska and Wyoming during a two-month road trip in 1958 with his teenage girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate. Thusly, The Sadist may very well be the very first 'Folks break down en route to something and run afoul of a psychotic killer' movie ever made.

Arch Hall, Jr. does a pretty effective job here as the title sadist. He sure isn’t underplaying the lead role of Charlie Tibbs, a psychotic murderer, but this isn't your run of the mill exploitation flick. In fact, the film is quite brutal and shockingly modern in its approach to storytelling. Three high school teachers, Ed, Doris, and Carl (the protagonists) are driving through rural Southern California on their way to a Dodgers game in Los Angeles. The group’s Chevrolet Belair has some trouble and they are forced to pull off to a gas station/junkyard on the side of the road. Doris and Carl search the junkyard looking for the owner, but they cannot find him. Right about now is when our antagonists Charlie Tibbs and his girlfriend Judy show up.

Not only is it one of the few film to take place in real time but it’s also shot by William Zsigmond, a pseudonym for Vilmos Zsigmond, the legendary cinematographer who has gone on to film such movies as Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and Deliverance.

The film star Arch Hall, Jr., an American actor, musician, aviator and author who began his career as a teen actor and musician, appearing in a number of 1960s films that were all produced by his father, Arch Hall, Sr. The senior Arch even got in front of the camera, playing author Robert I. Miller in Eegah. Most of Hall Jr.'s films featured his particular musical abilities, a teenager's tenor voice and guitar riffs played with swamp blues inflection. Hall was also the frontman for the rock n' roll combo Arch Hall, Jr. and the Archers.

For the most part, the films produced by the Halls and their associates, which at one point included cult director Ray Dennis Steckler, are considered B-movies. Hall's roles ranged from dunebuggy-driving teenager to a rock n' roll singing spy in a white dinner jacket. It is perhaps Hall's second movie, Eegah (1962), which has won him the most recognition, due in part to the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000 featuring the movie in a 1993 episode."

Eegah! (also known as Eegah! The Name Written in Blood) is a 1962 horror film starring Arch Hall, Jr., Arch Hall, Sr., Marilyn Manning and Richard Kiel in the titular role. The film's notoriety was enhanced as a result of being featured on episodes of Canned Film Festival and Mystery Science Theater 3000, and was one of the films listed in Michael Medved's book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.

Following the financial success of his first venture into the drive-in/juvenile delinquency genre, The Choppers, Arch Hall Sr. was able to fund Eegah!, a starring vehicle for his son, Arch Hall Jr., who had some success with songwriter Alan O'Day on the rock and roll/blues scene in Los Angeles. Hall, Sr. both co-wrote the film with Bob Wehling, directed the picture under the pseudonym Nicholas Merriweather, and co-starred opposite his son under the name William Watters. Looking to Sr. looked to create an Elvis Presley-style screen persona for his son, and made sure that Eegah! was peppered with various rock and roll songs, most notably the numbers 'Vicky' and 'Valerie'. The film attempts elements of traditional schlock-horror and youth-comedy genres. It also contains echoes of the 1960s 'beach party' genre.

One of the film's more inept moments became a running joke on the show: Hall, Sr.'s line 'Watch out for snakes!' is blurted out randomly in a deep baratone, despite any visual source for the dialog. The line became a running gag, both on other episodes of the show and in a limited fashion as a pop-culture meme, appearing on The Office and as the closing line of The Rick Emerson Show. In the published episode guide to the series, The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, the cast considers the shaving scene in which Eegah lolls his tongue around and laps up shaving cream to be one of the most disgusting things they've witnessed during their time on the show. The writers also speculate that some kind of romantic relationship existed between Arch Hall, Sr. and his on-screen daughter Marilyn Manning, due to the uncomfortably non-familial chemistry in their scenes together."

That brings us to today's cinematic fork in the road, ladies and gentlemen ...

Today, in part two, a first for this blog. YOU the viewer gets a choice in what you get to view! Yes, YOU are the boss today in our second feature.

See, I WAS going to watch The Sadist today as part 2. But my kids aren't going to church today so they're going to be around jackin' my style, so perhaps Arch Hall as a sadistic torture killer shouldn't be playing around them, right?

So then I was going to watch Eegah, but I wanted to do something different, something other than the same MST3K episode I've watched a bajillion times. I mean, don't get me wrong, I LO-O-O-OVE that episode. I really do. One of my favorites. But with this Church-less MOTW thingy I want to do something different.

So that brings us full circle to your choice today ...

You either click here and can watch The Sadist now ...

OR you can stick around and watch this episode of Cinema Insomnia that I boosted off my main man Mr. Lobo's awesome ass webpage.

But BE WARNED ... this episode of C.I. comes RIFF-FREE, meaning that despite a few commercial break jabs at the movie, when the feature rolls there will be nothing around to distract you from the hideousness that is Eegah.

Enjoy ...

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