Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
More Jack Davis: ‘One More Time’
^ Click to enlarge
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Movie poster art by Jack Davis
Self portrait copyright © by Jack Davis
poster art by Saul Bass, which was fitting since he also designed the film’s opening credits. As the film continued to play theatrically well into the next year, United Artists launched a new ad campaign with Jack Davis art — which he’d lampoon in his cover for the Mad paperback, It’s a World, World, World, World Mad. When the picture was re-released in the early ‘70s, Davis modified the design, as seen here.
Little Annie Fanny strip from Playboy, a series that fit hand in glove with Edwards’s wild parties in films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Great Race and S.O.B. The Party, of course, is a 99-minute extension of that, a catalog of hit-and-miss gags, pratfalls, double entendres, birdie num num, all of it culminating in a huge bubble bath and Henry Mancini’s hip, rockin’ theme.
To be continued…
Flickhead on stage
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Hammer and Niall
Best known for their Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee horror movies, Britain’s Hammer Films dabbled in sundry mysteries and thrillers, many of them done on modest budgets with b-level stars. Without Dracula or Frankenstein or some crazed monster lumbering about, these smaller pictures afforded their makers a degree of creative indulgence. In reworking Gaslight down to the toxic air itself, The Snorkel transforms a farfetched murder story into a cat-and-mouse dance between van Eyck’s icy dad and his suspicious stepdaughter (Mandy Miller). What they lack in depth as human characters is rectified by a screenplay (co-written by Peter Myers and Jimmy Sangster) which breezes through a series of outrageous situations. We may not care much about the girl’s dodgy mental state or deep personal losses, but her pursuit of the killer is handled with blind conviction by director Guy Green, a hired gun who made one of my guilty pleasures, Once Is Not Enough (1975), late-period Jacqueline Susann swill featuring Alexis Smith and Melina Mercouri as a pair of lesbian lovers.
Although a viewer’s interest (or tolerance) for the collection could depend on their sex and date of birth (male Baby Boomers may have an advantage), there are a couple of nuggets here of historic and aesthetic significance. A film I doubt either Leonard Maltin or Steven Scheuer ever reviewed in their books, Never Take Candy From a Stranger (1960) stands as a potent exploration of child molestation, mob mentality, capitalist corruption, the flawed legal system (complete with cult favorite Niall MacGinnis as an unscrupulous barrister), psychological trauma and the loss of innocence. How this ever got made or released fifty years ago is anyone’s guess. Felix Aylmer plays the queer duck patriarch with a hankering for pubescent girls, fumbling around like a post-breakdown vision of Michael Powell’s dad from those creepy home movie scenes Karl Boehm groans over in Peeping Tom.
The crown jewel of the set, however, is These Are the Damned (1963), also new to DVD. Joseph Losey directed this loosely structured parable of post-Hiroshima, pre-Armageddon Britain faced with growing apathy and violence, under a government eager to send the human race into a radioactive future. (Watch it back-to-back with Kiss Me, Deadly and blow your mind.) Bearing no relation to the popular SF movie, Village of the Damned (1960), the script by Evan Jones, from H.L. Lawrence’s novel Children of Light, is a tossed salad of metaphors, bookended by Macdonald Carey’s drifting American hedonist and Viveca Lindfors’ East European abstract sculptor, with punchy asides to teddy boys (fronted by a suitably dour Oliver Reed), incest (Oliver’s a tad too fussy over sis Shirley Anne Field), impotence and living dead children under the watchful eye of Big Brother Alexander Knox and a song extolling the virtues of black leather. Whew! You gotta see this one.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Happy birthday Angelina (b. 6.4.75)
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Sun music: “Naturale”
“Naturale” by Debi Nova from Americano