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Posse from Heaven (1975)
Wow... where do I begin???
Curiosity caused me to seek this one out; believe it or not, it's available on DVD from Code Red. I've seen many bad movies from the 70s, but this one is in a league all by itself. The source of this "curio" was an incomplete (unfinished? abandoned? whatever it was) western called APPLETIME, and it was shoehorned into an absolutely crazy vehicle starring burlesque performer Fanne Foxe. Apparently this was made to cash in on her notoriety after the infamous Tidal Basin incident with Wilbur Mills, then-chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives. The poster went so far as to having "She had the WAYS, he had the MEANS" as a tag line, but I digress. Anyway this was an attempt to create a "complete" movie by taking APPLETIME and incorporating a "guardian angel" plot. In this case the Angel Gabriel plays a french horn (?) and comes to Earth as former cavalryman Appletime's guardian angel (in the form of Appletime's wisecracking horse!). Fanne (credited as herself) is an apprentice angel, who provides a bit of slapstick, singing (!) and tries to impart her wisdom on Appletime, while she's not doing the bump and grind for "Deity" Rod Roddy (yes, THAT Rod Roddy from The Price is Right... you won't be able to unsee him in a red toga). "Heaven" in this case is a plain blue backdrop with an occasional billow of dry ice... they really spared no expense with this production! Add the lamest "special effects" imaginable and it's no wonder this turkey barely hit the theaters (according to some sources it closed almost immediately when it premiered in DC). Pick up the Code Red DVD and amaze your friends... hopefully you'll still be friends after watching!
Daddy's Girl (1973)
Thought this disappeared off the face of the earth!
After years of searching I can't believe I finally found something online regarding this show! If I remember correctly it aired on NBC one time only (New Years Eve, 1973/74) as part of an evening featuring various pilot episodes. Eddie Albert plays a widowed father of an 8 year old girl (Dawn Lyn, better known as Dodie from MY THREE SONS). He has help from his sister and also a housekeeper (called "Momsy" by the daughter). I was only nine years old when it aired, but I distinctly remember this was pretty risqué for 1973, with scenes including the daughter at the breakfast table asking "why can't I wear a bra?", and I also recall some neighbors or acquaintances who cause problems for the father when they leave a brochure for a nudist colony behind. Wouldn't mind seeing this one again!
Gonks Go Beat (1965)
Well, the opening credits were entertaining anyway!
This is a totally weird 60s rock-n-roll musical send-up of Romeo and Juliet centering on two squabbling islands: Beatland and Ballad Isle. Intergalactic ambassador Wilco Roger is summoned to resolve the differences between the communities, employing the tactic of uniting a Beatland boy and a Ballad Isle girl; if he is unsuccessful he faces exile to Planet Gonk (inhabited by some strange doll-like creatures that apparently were based on a popular toy of the time). Despite the presence of Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, Graham Bond and Lulu, the music here is nothing special. The music by the Beatlanders is typical of mid 60s rock rave-ups (watch for the lead singer/guitarist for The Long and the Short doing his best "Enzyte Bob" impression during their number "Love is a Funny Thing"!) , while the music favored by Ballad Isle consists of some of the sappiest ballads imaginable (the best way I could describe them would be to imagine the late 50s light pop group The Fleetwoods on Prozac). We're also treated to musical sequences featuring a band playing instrumental rock while driving down a deserted airstrip and a nine drummer prison jam session (neither of which serve much purpose other than padding the movie's run time) and a wacky "battle" sequence between both factions with musical instruments used as weapons. All this leads to the Golden Guitar contest pitting both islands against each other (which usually ends in a draw). Lulu's song "I'm the Only One" is pleasant but not exactly memorable, and The Nashville Teens' "Poor Boy" comes nowhere close to matching their hit "Tobacco Road". The bargain basement budget is readily apparent in the cheap set designs and the minimal special effects (watch for Wilco Roger ducking into the cloud of smoke as he makes his first entrance). If there was anything resembling a highlight here it would be the opening credits sequence featuring the Gonks grooving among construction paper/contact paper animation (to the song "Choc Ice", sung by Lulu with her voice altered almost to the point where she starts sounding like Cartman); it's pretty much all downhill after that.
Fly Me (1973)
Your seat bottom cushion isn't the ONLY thing that can be used as a flotation device
This is a totally wacky 70s flick with "stewardesses battling kung-fu killers". The story follows the misadventures of three flight attendants as they travel to the far east. Toby (Pat Anderson) is a newbie going on her first overseas trip (her prior flight experience was the Des Moines-Omaha route... crop dusters have been known to travel greater distances!). She tries dating a doctor she met on the flight, however her overprotective mother (Naomi Stevens) tags along and runs interference every chance she gets. Andrea (Lenore Kasdorf, a lovely Jaclyn Smith prototype) searches Hong Kong, Tokyo and Manila for her boyfriend and is constantly tailed by kung-fu thugs. Sherry (Lyllah Torena) is kidnapped after a yacht party and held captive for a prostitution ring. Everything (bizarrely) comes together in a quick 71 minutes, with numerous fun moments sprinkled throughout. These include Toby going straight from the beach to the airport and stripping to change into her uniform in the back seat of a taxi, providing a pleasant "distraction" to the cab driver (GREAT way to start a flick, by the way!); Andrea fighting off several attackers, including a blind man firing a deadly poison dart from his cane; Toby's numerous attempts to sneak away with her love interest, and a hysterical sequence where Toby's mother goes to great lengths trying to get themselves booked onto a "charter flight tour", not realizing the company is really a front for the prostitution ring at the center of everything. One other note... some of the music might sound familiar to anyone who has seen THE STUDENT NURSES, PRIVATE DUTY NURSES or NIGHT CALL NURSES (three earlier New World Pictures releases). Totally goofy fun that any 70s exploitation/cheesy drive-in movie fan will enjoy.
Make a Wish (1971)
Making A Wish... for a DVD release!!!
Glad to see a lot of people remember this show! I remember it being on ABC on Sunday mornings at 10 or 10:30am (like a previous poster said, right after Bullwinkle). The way they explored words and phrases with free association definitely was imaginative and captivating, and the accompanying picture/image collages got a bit "out there" at times, but all in all it was a fun way to spend Sunday mornings. Tom Chapin was also a very likable host, and he was truly gifted with his ability to communicate with folks of all ages. The show is definitely the epitome of the 70s, and I concur with previous comments regarding the shaggy, bell-bottom feel of the program. And now here they are... the theme lyrics as I remember them: "Make a wish... Have a ball... Dream a dream... Be it all! If you want it, you can get it, But to get it, you've got to want it; Anything you want to try, just let go, fly high... and Make a Wish!"
The Van (1977)
"I want to take out ALL of you in my van, not just your nose!"
OK, our hero doesn't REALLY say that line in this movie, but if you haven't figured it out already, Stuart Getz is mostly known to millions as Charley in that legendary Brady Bunch episode where Marcia gets hit in the nose with the football (he was the dorky one with the wallpaper samples).
Anyway THAT'S where you've seen our "star" before... now on to the movie.
This was a big drive-in hit in the summer of 1977 and is a pretty good time capsule for that era. Guy hopes to impress chicks with tricked-out van, gets challenged to drag-race by rival. Lotsa partying and late-teen hijinks ensue. Feather-light script would probably take at least 24 hours to hit the floor if it were dropped from the ceiling, but it's still a fun (albeit hokey) remnant from the "drive-in swill" days of the '70s. The Rhino DVD is probably the best version (it's not heavily edited like other versions out there); the only drawbacks are it's full-frame, there are a few imperfections in the print and some of the color didn't age very well, but that doesn't really detract from overall enjoyment of the movie (if anything it enhances the "70s feeling"). Fans of "Joe Bob Briggs-type" movies will enjoy!
The Roommates (1973)
They sure don't make 'em like this anymore!
This super-obscure movie was recently shown at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, TX as part of its "Weird Wednesday" feature, and it was well worth doing a little traveling to catch it (if I remember correctly, the last time this movie played in theatres was as part of a double-bill with THE SWINGING CHEERLEADERS, so you KNOW it's been a long, long time!). I enjoy grindhouse/drive-in ("Joe Bob Briggs-type") movies from the '70s, and THE ROOMMATES certainly fits the bill. The movie starts off as a cheesecake romp with four lovely college coeds finishing the school year and getting ready for some fun in the sun during their summer break. They have the requisite wild party (described by some as an "orgy" but consisting mainly of binge drinking, heavy petting, a strip chess game and the aforementioned sit-up contest) then go off on their summer adventures (more or less separately, but all at or near Lake Arrowhead). Heather (Pat Woodell, the original Bobbie Jo Bradley from PETTICOAT JUNCTION) takes it easy at the family summer home along with her visiting younger cousin Paula (Christina Hart). They discover a young man camping out on the property and allow him to stay in a shed in exchange for chopping and gathering firewood. Carla (Marki Bey) works at a local library and catches the fancy of the deputy sheriff (not to mention some leering library patrons), Beth (Roberta Collins) works alongside a waterskiing instructor and pursues a relationship with a married man, and Brea (Laurie Rose) is a nurse at a summer camp and takes a somewhat sheltered teenage boy under her wing. As mentioned in other reviews, giving each girl her own separate story line was pretty much standard formula at the time for these movies, then once the summer adventures were well underway the film veers sharply and introduces a crazed killer who starts bumping off beautiful women at the lake. The individual stories continue as the summer goes on, leading to a frenzied climax at a country club gathering. Fans of '70s movies will love the wild clothes and hairstyles, and while the music is rather simplistic and minimal (reminiscent of background music from an early 70s diet cola commercial) it's still fun. Throw in some super-cheesy dialogue, a rather dysfunctional family who run a resort hotel, some biker thugs and several lecherous middle-aged men with a preference for jailbait and you've got one far-out, funky flick! THE ROOMMATES drew a pretty decent crowd at the Alamo Drafthouse (mainly college-age and mid-to-late 20s) and although the print was quite scratchy and the color didn't age well at all it got a pretty favorable response from everyone. It was great seeing everyone enjoying and really getting into a freewheeling movie from a bygone era, and they certainly don't make 'em like THE ROOMMATES anymore! Looking forward to the DVD release in 2009 from Dark Sky Films!
Light pop music plus Sci-fi equals one great guilty pleasure!
Like many Olivia Newton-John fans, I sought out TOOMORROW to catch an early film performance by Olivia (and also because I enjoy seeking out "lost movies"), and while the film is certainly lightweight and contrived I'll admit I enjoyed watching it. The concept here was to take a prefabricated rock group (sort of a British take on The Monkees), inject a sci-fi story line and tie everything together with a groovy pop music soundtrack (with the requisite soundtrack LP and singles). History has told the story: the "aliens desperately looking for new musical vibes" plot was way out there, the tunes were too lightweight and the resulting film opened and closed quickly then promptly disappeared. Despite all that TOOMORROW is still worth viewing for those fortunate enough to come across it. Olivia is absolutely charming here as a college student/band member, and while she later admitted in interviews that she literally resorted to shouting in order to project her voice it really doesn't detract from her performance or the film. Her interaction with her bandmates is lighthearted and carefree. The music is pretty much by-the-numbers pop bordering on bubblegum (perhaps Don Kirshner leaned a little too close to his musical creation The Archies here) and it's a bit of a stretch imagining an alien race finding just the thing they're looking for in these tunes. Hugo Montenegro's musical interludes are definitely dated but they're in context with the time and setting, and the special effects are also decent considering the age of the film. There's also an amusing bit of light farce when a female Alphoid named "Johnson" is summoned "to seduce Vic Cooper"; problem is, Johnson apparently wasn't informed as to which one was Vic Cooper and her crash course in the art of seduction came from viewing a couple of nudie flicks. I'll concur that while TOOMORROW isn't exactly top-rate, it's worthy entertainment (if approached with the mindset of a "midnight movie") and it certainly deserves to be rescued from obscurity. I'm not holding my breath, but if by some miracle "the powers that be" who are keeping TOOMORROW from being officially rereleased have a change of heart, I'd love to see a genuine DVD issue with some cool bonuses to do the film justice (especially if Anchor Bay is given that chance).
Early syndicated music show from Dolly
Not to be confused with her 1987 variety show on ABC; this was actually a half-hour syndicated music series starring Dolly Parton and featuring guest appearances by many pop and country artists of the day (1976-77). I remember watching this in Chicago on WFLD-TV (channel 32) weeknights at 10 or 10:30pm and had often wondered if any of the tapes from these episodes were still in existence. Fortunately for many of Dolly's fans, a DVD offering of six episodes will be available on February 27th. In addition to seeing Dolly perform several of her most memorable songs (including "I Will Always Love You), you'll also get long-unseen performances from Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Milsap and Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. among others. I'm really looking forward to enjoying these performances again (and hopefully more DVDs yet to come)!
'It's Alive!' (1969)
Bizarre to say the least!
I don't think I'm too far off in my guess that the creators of this movie had seen 'MANOS' THE HANDS OF FATE and thought to themselves, "Hey, I could do better than that!" The very basic plot is similar (tourists take a wrong turn and are trapped in an isolated house where very strange things are happening), and other elements are almost lifted directly from 'MANOS' (the opening drive through meandering back roads and the quizzical "THE END?" at the film's conclusion immediately come to mind). However instead of Torgo (who watches the house while The Master is away), we have Mr. Greely, proprietor of a small roadside reptile zoo and caverns. His pride and joy is a prehistoric monster he apparently discovered (and befriended) in the caverns. He apparently becomes unhinged when a brand new main highway diverts tourists away from his roadside attraction. From there he kidnaps unsuspecting tourists and traps them in his cave, with the goal of ultimately feeding them to his prehistoric creature. Also on hand is a meek, subservient woman named Bella, a vacationing schoolteacher who fell into Greely's trap two years earlier (although in a flashback we see her driving the current year's model Chevy Impala... continuity alert!!!!!). She then succumbs to Greely by helping him lure tourists into his trap. The "prehistoric monster" is a sight to behold (green rubbery skin and ping-pong ball eyes), and mercifully its screen time is relatively brief. Although said monster is quite laughable, the movie does have its genuinely creepy moments, mainly coming from Greely terrorizing Bella shortly after her arrival; the extremely low budget feel of the movie actually provides a pretty good chill effect to Greely's deranged actions towards Bella. Aside from that though, this is one of those cheesy, corny and hokey flicks that is perfect for a late-night bad movie festival.