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I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles Ca. for a very rare screening of The Movie Orgy on April 22nd 2008. It was shown on the last night of the Joe Dante festival, Dante's Inferno, two weeks of films programmed by the famed director. In 1968 Joe Dante and producer Jon Davison, then college students, spliced this massive collection of film and television bits together and toured college campuses with The Movie Orgy. It was a four and a half hour bombardment of imagery from television, movies, old serials, news programs, musical performances, etc., to form a pop culture explosion of pre-1968 baby boomer nostalgia. It was a lot of fun, truly the most entertaining cinematic experience I ever had. For someone like me that was born around the time this film was playing the college circuit, it was a chance to watch the influences and yearnings of an entire generation before me splayed out in a bouillabaisse of cinematic insanity. I loved it.
Though I never saw the original "Movie Orgy" I, also, remember seeing
"Son of Movie Orgy" in 1972.
It was 3 1/2 hours long, and sponsored by Schlitz Beer. I know because I still have the mini-poster advertising it. (I'll have to see if I can upload a scan of this)
2 years later they came out with "Movie Orgy Rides Again" and it, also, was 3 1/2 hours long. I have the mini-poster for it as well.
I'd love to see these again.
I have to believe they were the inspiration for part of what later became the "Night Flight" weekend shows on the USA TV network?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having experienced The Movie Orgy on July 1 2017 at San Francisco's Roxie Theater, I can report that it is every bit the special experience I anticipated. Filled to the brim with movie clips, commercials, excerpts from TV shows, educational films, and much more audiovisual ephemera, it is a near perfect summation of mid-20th century American cultural mores. Amongst the highlights: the completely bizarre segments from 'Andy's Gang', the wacko kids show hosted by actor Andy Devine; the shockingly insensitive Bufferin commercials that no longer exist except as part of this film; and the hilarious and carefully selected scenes from 1959's JD epic Speed Crazy. Any complaints are minor: the film leans a little too heavily on Albert Zugsmith's College Confidential (though its integration with Nixon's Checkers Speech is brilliant), and at only 4 1/2 hours in length I yearned to see the original 7 hours plus version. Regardless, if you ever have an opportunity to see The Movie Orgy, you simply must take advantage of it. Shockingly, the Roxie was no more than half full for what will probably be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Don't make the same mistake hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents made!
I saw the "SCHLITZ MOVIE ORGY" at the University of Wisconsin when I
was a TV & Film major around 1977. It was projected outdoors and the
students brought blankets to spread on the lawn. The film consisted of
commercials and cult TV series and B movies. The editing was done as to
unite unrelated shots to create humor. Sound was also done this way as
well. I found most of the humor in the dialog spoken by the actors. A
typical line of dialog would be like: "Yes Billy...You too can get the
froppy top through a Barters department store".Billy: Wow We Captain
Jimmy" The dated perfect - press clothes and the simplistic set design
added to the corny-ness.
The film was a bit too long once the corny-ness eventually wore off on the audience. ...but the outdoor presentation on a warm and humid summer night made it truly an experience I'll never ever forget !
As the Committee Chairman of the Sunday Night Student Film Committee at BSU, part of Student Program Board, I was approached by Schlitz to screen both the original Movie Orgy and Son of Movie Orgy the next year. Along with the movie, which was a compilation of B-movies, Army training films, commercials and other various stuff, Schlitz offered a dozen kegs of beer. Boise State University had a strict policy of no alcohol on campus in 1972 but I was not going to let 12 free kegs of beer pass on a technicality. Across the street, off state property, sat the American Legion Hall. They would not allow us to have just a kegger so I invented the Schlitz Movie Orgy Talent Show. You had to have a legitimate "act" to enter and there were no prizes as such... but there was free beer. It was a most awesome occasion but the next year when Son of Movie Orgy was offered, I was informed that no such repeat of the previous year would be allowed under threat of expulsion... both movie compilations were worth the watch but the kegger... now that was memorable...
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