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Kit Le Fever
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I too was fortunate enough to view the screening of this film the other night in Hollywood at the monthly Grindhouse screening. Lots of hippies, bikers and shootings in slo-mo with blood packs spurting a la Peckinpah. Apparently this movie is quite a rare little number. Shot in Detroit in 1974 and 75, released to drive-ins in 1976, and as such I believe we can state definitively that this film marks the very end of the classic "biker film" cycle (no pun intended) started 10 years earlier with "The Wild Angels" starring Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra and Bruce Dern.
One very important fact not mentioned by any of the other commenter's, and confirmed by Mr. Dear, was the fact that the music for this was scored by the great Michael Nesmith. I am a fan of his time in the Monkees as well as his great "solo" records released throughout the 1970's. If you've heard Nez's work from this period, you will certainly recognize his distinctive sound in the music here. I believe most (but not all) of this music was recorded especially for this film, and as such would be a treat to hear for any Nesmith admirers.
How to describe his style? Cole Porter on the Prairie could be one shorthand meme, but that does a disservice to his elegant yet down home music. He combines western cowboy songs, country-rock, blues, Caribbean Pop and lilting, wistful melodies in a unique fashion. Some of the musical themes are what you would expect in a picture like this: some hammering blues-rock and some country truckin' songs. One of the songs was sung by Garland Frady. Nesmith released some LP's by him on his Pacific Arts record label which he operated at that time.
Director William Dear worked further with Nesmith after this. He directed Time Rider, produced by Nesmith, and directed several of Michael's music videos in the 1980's. Dear had a funny line: he looked up Nesmith during an appearance at McCabe's Guitar Shop (local music store and live music venue in Santa Monica) He showed the movie to Nesmith, who said, "This movie is terrible!" "I know, you wanna score it?" "Okay."
Some wise company like Blue Underround or Synapse should contact Mr. Dear and arrange a DVD release of this toot suite! And plenty of bonus materials and a commentary track? Yes please!
UPDATE 10/18/2006: THEY HEARD ME!
Northville Cemetery Massacre is now out on DVD, with THREE commentary tracks and other bonus material! Thank you VCI Entertainment! I'm ordering one right now!
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