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5/10
Not Really A Sequel
1 January 2017
Oh God! Book II is not really a sequel to the first film, as you might think. While George Burns returns as God, the events of the first film are not referenced at all. This is more of a remake of the first film....only three years later.....the plot is nearly identical, right down to the climax, but with a little girl taking over John Denver's old role.

While not a turkey, this film is disappointing, compared to the first one which was excellent. There are no new ideas that weren't used the first time, and for a "light-hearted" film, it is difficult to watch the persecution the child endures for standing up for God. Some of the supporting roles are interestingly cast, but these talented actors are given precious little to do.

I can understand George Burns wanting to return to the role of God, since the first one was so successful for him, but he should have held out for a better script.
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Jolene (2008)
Ugly Garbage
4 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I have not read the E.L. Doctorow novel this is based on, but I'm guessing the film takes a lot of liberties, as Doctorow is usually more sophisticated than this. Jolene (Jessica Chastain) is a Southern-fried child bride who starts a torrid affair with her husband's uncle. She lands in a juvenile detention facility where a butch lesbian guard has designs on her. She escapes, drifts across the country having sex with a variety of sleazy creeps, and becomes a tattoo artist and a Vegas stripper. She finally marries a born-again Christian who (of course) turns out to be a fanatical, wife-beating lout (it has been light-years since we've seen a positive depiction of a Christian in a movie). The plot sounds like an homage to a dumb, 1970s drive-in flick, but JOLENE takes itself too seriously for that, which is its downfall. This is not fun or entertaining---it is ugly garbage loaded with nudity, graphic (and unerotic) sex scenes, and scenes of violence against women. I am astonished by the positive reviews here at IMDb that claim the film is "sweet" and "charming"---I saw none of those qualities. But since others did, judge for yourself.

On a trivia note, a couple of scenes were shot in my old stomping grounds of Prescott, Arizona. At the time, local news reported that Donald Sutherland was in the film. Since he is nowhere to be seen in the finished product, I must conclude this report was in error, or else he had a cameo that ended up on the cutting room floor, which was probably all the better for him.
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The End (I) (1978)
We're Riding For The Final Round-Up
28 May 2009
I first saw THE END on the NBC network around 1980, and thought it was a very funny and yet very touching black comedy about dealing with the end of life. It became one of my favorites. But back in those days, movies were still being heavily edited for television, something I wasn't aware of.

A couple of years after that, I got to see the original theatrical version on cable, and I was shocked! It seemed like a completely different film; the original film was filled with foul language, crude sexual jokes about orgasms and other functions, and other unnecessary excesses. I was very disappointed.

This is the textbook example of just how much difference TV editing can make for a film. It is also an example of how editing can sometimes IMPROVE a movie. Unfortunately, since video, DVD and cable are king now, it is only the unedited theatrical release that is available to viewers. That is a shame, but I still have fond memories of the hilarious and touching comedy I saw on TV so many years ago.

On an unrelated trivia note, when Burt Reynolds published his memoirs a few years ago, he contended that veteran character actor Sam Jaffe had a small role. Apparently this scene ended up on the cutting room floor. Too bad.
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Tired Of Defenders
26 May 2009
Let's get real here. The film, like was novel, was created to attack the religious beliefs of a certain group of people. Why deny it? I continually shake my head over people who claim that it depicts a reverent, three-dimensional Jesus, and that Christians who are offended by the film are simply intolerant. That's a lot of rubbish. The Bible teaches that Jesus was a "perfect" man, one without sin. Yet, this movie depicts Him as lustful, indecisive, confused, and yes, sinful. As a carpenter, he builds crosses for the Romans to execute people? Come on! Judas is depicted as a heroic strongman? Oh brother! And you can still sit there and say the film is not an attack on Christian beliefs? The fact is, Christianity is the only religious faith on the planet that it is considered "okay" to attack. Would a film like this have ever been made about Mohammed or Buddha? And if those films were made, would there be legions of defenders? I think not. Atheists have a right to make their own movies, but they do not have the right to misrepresent these movies and condemn those who do not embrace the films. Shame on Martin Scorsese, Willem Dafoe, and everyone else for their deception---but not Nehemiah Persoff, who was probably just grabbing a quick paycheck.
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AM Arizona (2002– )
A Local Talk Show
26 May 2009
I am starting to think that IMDb is getting a bit too inclusive! AM-Arizona is a morning talk show broadcast live from the Prescott, Arizona studio of AZ-TV, which is headquartered in Phoenix. The show interviews locals who are promoting upcoming Yavapai County (AZ) events and public service announcements. I have been a guest on the show many times. It serves a good purpose, as there are not many such shows left in America that are not relegated to community access channels. The show actually began around 1990 under the name NORTHERN ARIZONA SCENE, and hosted by Cathy Nowlin. Around 1992, Tonya Mock took over as host. Around the mid-90s, the name changed to THE TONYA MOCK SHOW. Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce head Lew Rees joined as co-host about 2002, and it became AM Arizona. Only locals would care about the content, but it serves a good purpose, but owing to changing times, the show probably will not last forever.
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A Little Game (1971 TV Movie)
A Little Different View
23 March 2009
Ugly, nasty, repellent film about sick kid who plots the murder of mom's new boyfriend. Even though the kid skulks around acting creepy all the time, mom (of course) refuses to believe there is anything wrong with her baby, which he uses to his advantage. Not as sleazy as SAILOR WHO FELL FROM GRACE WITH THE SEA which utilized some of the same ideas, but why would anyone want to watch garbage like this, except to see what poor Katy Jurado (HIGH NOON) had sunk to in her waning years, playing a servant? Only good thing is the brief running time; some reviews here claim they haven't seen it in years---if you really MUST see it (which I do not understand), there are bootlegs kicking around on the Net.
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It Could Have Been A Lot Better
26 November 2008
I agree with the other posters here who say they were disappointed by this pointless sequel. I can't add anything to there comments, except to say that a much better sequel was right under the Disney Corporation's nose and they didn't see it or had forgotten about it after all these years.

Back around 1970, while the original film was still very popular, Disney issued an audio sequel on LP record called MORE JUNGLE BOOK, with some of the original cast voices including Phil Harris and Louis Prima! This LP record had a much better story than this 2003 movie, and no, the movie is not a version of the record. For a kiddie record, it had some heart, something this pointless film sequel does not.

On the LP, Louis Prima performs a song called "Strange Behavior", which he probably never recorded anywhere else, and Prima fans today have probably never heard it!
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Seems To Have Sat On A Shelf A Long Time
29 September 2008
IMDb lists the release year for this film as 1978, but this is clearly not when it was filmed. The cinematography, outfits, hairstyles, and film grain all look like the 1960s, and the final clue is that Denver Pyle (the only familiar face in the film) visibly looks much younger than he did in any of his other 1978 credits. If 1978 was indeed when the film first saw the light of day, it had sat on a shelf for many years.

The plot is about a large dog in the Old West who witnesses his owner murdered by bandits. He becomes a stray, but has a string of bad luck. He keeps finding himself in situations where the local townspeople mistake him for a vicious dog, and they drive him out of town. The film goes out of its way to fault the townspeople for not examining the situations more closely, but this is not fair---if you or I witnessed the events as the characters see them, we would likely arrive at the same conclusion.

Overall, the film is a bore that I doubt any of today's children would find interesting.
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Silent Fury (1994)
Lost In Legal Limbo
16 June 2008
SILENT FURY was filmed in my old stomping grounds of Prescott, Arizona. Later, after the crew left town, we received word that Eric Louzil had fallen into a legal dispute with his financial backers that was preventing the film's release. Now, many years later, the problems must still be unresolved, as the film has never been released theatrically, nor has it ever had a VHS or DVD release that I know of, nor has it ever been shown on cable or any other kind of TV, that I am aware of.

This is too bad. Prescott residents were interested in seeing it, the others in America probably would as well. All I know about the plot is that it is some kind of action film.
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Freud (1962)
Hollywood Legends
15 June 2008
I agree with most of the positive reviews here at IMDb, so I will concentrate on another aspect of the film.

Hollywood legend contends that during the shooting of FREUD, John Huston gleefully and sadistically brutalized poor, trusting Montgomery Clift, both physically and emotionally. The story took hold and has been repeated countless times by Clift biographers down to this day, despite the lack of any corroborating witnesses, plus no other actors ever came forward to say that Huston was so cruel to them on other shoots.

For the most part, John Huston didn't care what people said about him, but this story actually did damage to his reputation. It is the only negative story about Huston that he felt the need to respond to. In his 1979 memoirs, AN OPEN BOOK, Huston gives a detailed account of the shooting of FREUD, and addresses the specific allegations against him. We may never know the whole truth, but Huston does quite a credible job of defending himself. Naturally, his side of the story never got as much attention as the original charges. You should find the book and read it.

More trivia: After Jean-Paul Sartre's death, his admirers published much of his original, unused screen treatment, and predictably condemned John Huston for not filming Sartre's eight-hour screenplay (as if anyone would have tolerated an eight-hour movie).

Because of Sigmund Freud's theories, FREUD was arguably the first motion picture to deal, even briefly, with the subject of incest. In real life, Freud contended that many adolescents go through a phase where they have sexual feelings for their parents of the opposite sex, and then go into denial that they ever felt such things after they get older. If Freud was correct, the denial is very strong, for he is reviled for this theory to this day. But readers, can you HONESTLY say that, as a young teen, that you never once cast a glance at mom's legs or her cleavage?

FREUD is a good biographical film, and it is a shame that it has never been pleased on VHS or DVD. One has to wonder why---maybe Freud's theories still hit that raw of a nerve?
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Why The Revulsion?
15 June 2008
This was considered one of the biggest cinematic disasters of its era---a film that virtually destroyed the careers of the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton, and recording mogul Robert Stigwood (a giant at the time) likewise disappeared from view. Thirty years later, there are no less than 13 pages (so far) of blistering denunciations of this movie here at IMDb.

I have never understood any of this. I had a good time with the film when I was young, and in later years, it still held up for me. It certainly is no classic, but if you are willing to relax and meet it halfway, you might find yourself having a good time. It is fun watching people like Steve Martin, Frankie Howerd, and Donald Pleasence hamming it up, and George Burns is always enjoyable.

Once, I said all of this to an acquaintance in person, and his response was: "Why would I want to hear Beatles songs if the Beatles aren't doing them?" Herein lies the film's problem, I think. Fans of the Beatles consider their music to be untouchable---very few artists have tried to do covers of Beatles songs, and the few who have met with hostility. Fans of the "fab four" carry a lot of weight, and they consider covers of the music to be nothing less than blasphemy. Consequently, when this innocuous film came out, they went on the attack and never let up.

Come on, lighten up! It is a fun, innocent little film.
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I'm A Non-Conformist Here
11 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The subject of consensual incest has been examined in only a few films, almost all negatively, which is understandable. Malle's film was controversial because it allegedly depicts a mother-son incestuous encounter in a positive light, but I'm wondering what film people have seen! Neither the film nor the sequence is sympathetic at all. The boy is intensely dis-likable, his brothers are sleazy, and mom is an undeveloped character. The controversial scene of incest occurs only near the end, and does not hang over the whole film, contrary to reputation. In the scene, mother and son snuggle and accidentally have sex. Only in the movies can people "accidentally" have sex! I remain puzzled by the film's glowing reputation all these years, and wonder if it is just because Louis Malle is one of those artists that people feel obligated to praise. You cannot make a beautiful, sympathetic movie with a story full of unsympathetic characters. Therefore, when people use words like "beautiful" and "moving" to describe the film. I am perplexed. Sorry, folks.
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Where Did It Go?
11 May 2008
DEADHEAD MILES, never released theatrically, showed up a few times on cable in the 1980s, then vanished again. One has to wonder why? The fact is, despite being virtually plot less, this is a very entertaining film, and the fact that it is so scarce seems to add to its mystique. It is just a series of vignettes with Alan Arkin traveling across country in his semi-truck, but it works.

Not mentioned in most of the IMDb write-ups is Bruce Bennett, who scores in a bit as a truck-driving ghost, a literalization of an old truck-driving legend. The fact that it is Bennett (of all people) adds to the film's eccentricities. By all means, see DEADHEAD MILES if you can find it. I would love to see it get more exposure again.
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Very Politically Incorrect By Today's Standards
11 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Anne Heywood plays a schoolteacher who is slowly going insane (literally) because she has never had sex (!). A doctor tells her, "Nature intended us to use our bodies---if we don't, they dry up!" Shortly afterwards, she is brutally raped by a "grinning black thug", a character who seems to have walked right out of a racist Ku Klux Klan brochure. Instead of calling the cops, she starts a lurid sexual affair with her attacker, and in the end, she is run out of town by the local rednecks.

The film is "politically incorrect", borderline racist, and morally reprehensible, BUT having said that, the film actually is somewhat engrossing and compelling on that level, just as long as you know what you are getting into before you watch it. Okay? "Name" actors appear in cameos, and they probably didn't know the details of the film. Supposedly based on a story by William Inge---I wonder how faithful it is?
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Americathon (1979)
It Was Something Different For One Great Actor
10 May 2008
AMERICATHON is not a great movie, but it is not as bad as many have said. I really can add nothing to existing reviews, but I wish to point out a couple of things you may not have realized.

The always fine Canadian Indian actor Chief Dan George plays a wealthy businessman in the film. This was the ONLY film he ever made that did not trade on his typecasting as an elderly Indian. He actually got to do something different---pity it was not in a better film.

The great actor John Carradine filmed a brief scene as a drunken Uncle Sam, which ended up on the cutting room floor, sadly for Carradine fans.
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Much Underrated
10 May 2008
I am very pleased to see all of the positive responses here at IMDb to a film that was not considered to be much in its day. Very well done, and a lot more frank then you would expect from the era.

Not really a sequel to KNOCK ON ANY DOOR---the relationship is minor at best, non-existent at worst. You don't have to see the first movie to understand this one.

A very positive thing is the relationship between the lead (James Darren) and his alcoholic mother (Shelley Winters). He knows all about her past but loves her anyway, and the dialogue is good. Far too many movies perpetuate the stereotype that parents and children of the opposite sex cannot, or should not, discuss serious "adult" issues intelligently.

Strongly recommended bit of film noir.
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Firstborn (1984)
Weak Stereotypes
9 May 2008
Probably the most maligned character in the history of fiction-writing is the step-parent or prospective step-parent. From fairy tales of old to major motion pictures, step-parents are almost always depicted as uncaring, violence-prone, inheritance-stealing interlopers. With this constantly shoved down our throats, is it any wonder that real life step-parents have such a hard time of it? There are many films that I could have made that comment about, but I chose FIRST BORN because it takes its offensive premise even further! In this one, mom (Teri Garr) is depicted as a weak-willed imbecile, so desperate for a man she will even start taking drugs for one. The film also once again gives us the old stereotype that parents and children of the opposite sex cannot, or should not, have intelligent discussions about important "adult" things. The dialogue between Teri Garr and her son is beyond banal.

FIRST BORN is an ugly, unpleasant misfire. Virtually the exact same plot was handled much better in LET NO MAN WRITE MY EPITAPH (1960).
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The Return of the King (1980 TV Movie)
It's So Easy Not To Try
6 January 2008
Having recently seen this version for the first time in a number of years, I can see its faults, but many of the reviewers here are way too hard on it. Tolkien's masterful trilogy was unfilmable in live action before the advent of CGI, but fans were clamoring for film versions anyway, and then hated them when they arrived. Oy veh! While this Rankin/Bass version was not as good as their THE HOBBIT, I still found it to be quite entertaining on its own level, as long as you don't compare it to Peter Jackson's impeccable epics. The voice cast was great, and it was quite ambitious for Rankin/Bass, known chiefly for their animated Christmas specials.

This film's haters should listen to the lyrics of one of Glenn Yarbrough's---It Is So Easy Not To Try. Rankin/Bass tried, and Tolkien fans who have expressed outrage over this would have been angrier if no one had tried back then. Everyone here needs to take a chill pill.
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Jack Frost (1979 TV Movie)
There's The Rub
6 January 2008
I wish to add my voice to the chorus of approval for JACK FROST. I have watched it many times, and love it each time.

Not commented on much here is the villain, Kubla Kraus. A strange, mercurial villain for a children's show--a Russian cossack with a split personality (he talks to himself via a ventriloquist dummy) while being genuinely sinister. He is voiced by the inimitable Paul Frees.

The show's finale, ending on a note of sadness, was also unusual for a children's holiday special. Rankin/Bass gave children credit for more intelligence than producers (and even some parents) do today. The only weakness is Buddy Hackett's Groundhog character; the rest is wonderfully entertaining.
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Lost Long Ago
15 December 2007
I saw this film theatrically, but it seems to never have had a video or DVD release, nor has it been on television. It is easy to see why. The film was a final effort to wring money out of Dan Haggerty's Grizzly Adams TV series, and believe it or not, the film is a patchwork job. Virtually the entire film is made up of clips from the TV show, as well as footage from the theatrical film ADVENTURES OF FRONTIER FREMONT, all edited together in a failed attempt to make a coherent plot out of it. Jack Kruschen's scenes also were bodily lifted from the 1977 Grizzly Adams Christmas special, ONCE UPON A STARRY NIGHT. The producers hired Denver Pyle to narrate the "story", but it makes no sense, needless to say. I'm sure the children of the era who liked the series were terribly disappointed when they went to the theater, expecting to see a new Grizzly Adams adventure. I don't wish any film to be "lost", but trust me, this is no buried treasure.
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Sapho (1913)
Has This Film Survived?
7 July 2007
I am wondering if any print of this film has survived? Probably not, as the vast majority of all silent movies are lost. But if anyone knows the answer, please contact me.

If SAPHO is a lost film, it is doubly tragic, as this seems to be the only film appearance of Florence Roberts, who was one of the nation's most prominent touring stage actresses in the nation, and arguably the first woman to actually head a live theater troupe.

Florence Roberts was born in New York, but spent most of her life in San Francisco, where she was the toast of the theater world, performing in such shows as GIOCONDA, MARTA OF THE LOWLANDS, MARIA ROSA, SAPHO, and the show that would earn her a nickname, ZAZA. Often, she would be referred to Florence "Zaza" Roberts. She also appeared on Broadway in STRENGTH OF THE WEAK, JIM THE PENMAN, DIPLOMACY, and THE CLAIM. She missed being caught in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake because she was on Broadway at the time.

She was married to famed San Francisco stage actor Lewis Morrison, who was old enough to be her father, and years after his death,married much younger actor Frederick Vogeding. Florence Roberts was step-grandmother to actresses Constance and Joan Bennett, although they never met her (they were descended from Morrison by his first wife).

The story of Florence Roberts is a fascinating one, and if SAPHO is indeed a lost film, it is sad but not surprising. Florence Roberts should not be confused with the actress of the same name who played character roles in films in the 1930s.
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Joanie Loves Chachi (1982–1983)
It Wasn't All That Bad
26 May 2007
The spin-off from HAPPY DAYS wasn't really all that bad, and in fact, had some better scripting than HAPPY DAYS did during that show's lurching final period.

The problem was, with viewers having long deserted the mother show, the world did not want a new spin-off of HAPPY DAYS---if they did, they would still have been watching the original show. It is too bad that the episodes of JOANIE LOVES CHACHI weren't included in the HAPPY DAYS syndication package. Someone on this board said this has been rerun on TVLand, or some such cable station, but I've not seen it listed.

But maybe I'm just biased; as a child and then a teenager so long ago, I had a little bit of a crush on Erin Moran, and would have watched anything she did. She had a nice TV presence, and I'm sorry she didn't get to do much after HAPPY DAYS ended, and doubly sorry this led to her widely publicized "problems" in her adult years. Supposedly she is doing better on that level now, and if somehow she ever reads this, I would like to say that watching her brought some happy moments to my childhood.
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A Work Of Anger
26 May 2007
The reviews here at IMDb are all over the landscape, indicating many people do not know what to make of this movie. Maybe they are puzzled because, for some unknown reason, people seem to think it is meant as a tribute to John Huston.

It is not. Peter Viertel, in recounting his work on THE African QUEEN, depicts Huston as a despicable drunk whose irresponsibility nearly destroys the classic film. Then, Viertel depicts himself as the hero who saves the film, directing most of it while Huston is drunkenly hunting, and never getting credit or recognition for his efforts.

Writer Viertel clearly hated Huston with a passion, and WHITE HUNTER, BLACK HEART is a work of profound bitterness, and bitterness rarely is synonymous with accuracy. No film buff should believe this biased account reflects what really happened on THE African QUEEN. Even the title is an attack on Huston.

Since Huston's death, many have debated his place in film history, with some saying he is overrated (and indeed, he had as many misses as hits). But Viertel's biased memoirs should not be part of the debate, only the quality of Huston's films should be judged.

As a movie, WHITE HUNTER, BLACK HEART is kind of fun as long as you realize the motives behind it.
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Out of the Blue (1979– )
Way Out Of The Blue
26 May 2007
As a teenager, I watched the show for the 9 weeks it lasted. It wasn't really a spin-off of HAPPY DAYS, but the producers wanted TV viewers to think it was, so about a week before the first episode of OUT OF THE BLUE aired, Random the Angel did a cameo on HAPPY DAYS. Then, for good measure, they had Robin Williams guest-star on the first episode as Mork, from the then-popular series MORK AND MINDY. This might be interesting today for Williams' fans, but most have not seen it. As far as I know, none of the 9 episodes has been seen since they first aired.

Most people clearly were not taken in by the phony attempts to tie the series in to HAPPY DAYS and MORK AND MINDY, but since I was an ignorant teenager who loved both shows, I was gullible enough to swallow it, and I watched. The short-lived show was pretty forgettable, but the main problem for me was that only the children on the show knew who Random really was. Over the years, I have grown tired of the overused plot situation wherein the children know something is magical, but the adults don't believe them. That's a pretty poor message Hollywood has sent to kids for decades---that adults won't believe you when you tell them the truth.

I am surprised as many people remember this failed series as there are, judging by the posts on this board. Actually, a DVD set might actually sell today to nostalgia buffs, but don't expect it anytime soon. It is rare for TV flops to go on to a new life in video-land.
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A "Lost" Film Returns
19 May 2007
In his book, JOHN CARRADINE:THE FILMS, Carradine biographer Tom Weaver lists this as a lost film, as he was unable to locate any copy of it while writing his book. Since then, this long-unseen cheapie has been slowly reappearing in the offerings of some obscure Internet video distributors, so if you are dying to see it, start surfing! The film's original title, IS THIS TRIP REALLY NECESSARY?, was far less misleading. There is no Iron Maiden in evidence until late in the film, and the current title is derived from the last 30 seconds of screen time (I kid you not!). Contrary to word-of-mouth, this is NOT a horror film! The current title must have been thought up to con grind-house patrons into thinking this is a horror film.

The plot involves a Russ Meyer-type nudie filmmaker (played by an outrageously hammy Marvin Miller) who drugs his actresses with Speed so they will lose their inhibitions and strip on cue. Meanwhile, the boyfriend of one searches all of Los Angeles to try and rescue her from the porn king's clutches. Despite the plot, viewers will undoubtedly be disappointed to learn there is no actual sex or nudity on screen.

Since the film had been unseen until recently, many people wondered if co-star Carole Kane is actually famous actress Carol Kane before she was "discovered". The answer is no; Carole Kane does not look at all like Carol Kane. Sorry, folks! John Carradine has a cameo as a crazy doctor, and he has a string of genuinely funny one-liners. The sequence looks like it belongs in some other movie, and is the highlight of the film. Aside from Carradine's hilarious cameo, there isn't much to recommend this movie. It is virtually plot less, with Marvin Miller ranting and raving to his girls about how great he is, which comprises much screen time. This gets old very quickly. Bottom line, it should be seen perhaps by Carradine fans, and by people who have wondered about the film all these years, but they will be disappointed. Others are better off avoiding it.
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