By 1981, I’d seen The Brain That Wouldn’t Die on TV maybe a half dozen times and had started going to sci-fi conventions the previous year, my first being the old Creation Conventions here in NYC. I bring this up because it was at one in 1981 where I met a rather quirky gentleman named Jack Tiger(J.G. to his friends) and ended up working with him on a project that could have been popular at the time, but wasn’t able to get fully off the ground.
Now, I should be reviewing either one of his two low-budget films here or at the very least the film that gained me some temporary employment with the man, Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror, a film that had neither a Frankenstein and thanks to the censors here, nor much Bloody Terror in it. Now, I’ll admit that I haven’t seen it in decades and really need to do so again, but in its original uncut Spanish version. Also, I’ve only ever seen one of Jack’s films by very happy accident a few years back on TCM when I came home very early in the morning from a lousy party I stayed too long at, and it was on TV unexpectedly. So, Brain it is because it’s a fun flick and there’s also a small personal connection there you’ll read on and find out about. So, read on, please.
Jan thought the Doc was kidding when he said she could lose about 100 pounds in a crash diet…
You know all those easily forgettable modern quasi-romantic melodramas that try so hard to pull at the emotions at every turn and only fool the easily manipulated thanks to the usual tired plot points repeated over and over again? Well, Jean-Luc Godard’s 1962 masterpiece Vivre Sa Vie: film en douze tableaux STILL spits all over their graves thanks to the director’s remarkable technique and the simple, powerful performance given by Anna Karina as a young woman trying and failing to achieve anything resembling a happy life.
Presented in twelve scenes, each one chock full of what looks like first take genius, this look at one woman’s life and fate isn’t at all your run of the mill tearjerker at all and in fact may almost seems like a documentary at times. Karina’s naturalistic acting is flawless as she plays a character who uproots her own life in the pursuit of some kind of evolving dream that devolves as the film progresses to its abrupt finale. This is one you’re not going to walk away smiling about, but it sure as heck makes for a greatly depressing conversation piece… Continue reading →
I had an English teacher in high school who was obsessed with Edie Adams to the point that he actually stopped a fight in class by singing part of a Muriel Cigars commercial that made the two girls fighting stop and stare at him as if he were completely insane. Of course, by then I’d seen some reruns of The Ernie Kovacs Show on PBS and had a whisper of an idea of what he was going on about. However, I also recall bumping into him during a lunch break (he was outside smoking a Muriel Air Tip, of course) and hearing tales of a TV series starring Edie that no one else I asked seemed to have a clue about.
It turns out what I thought was one man’s fantasy life getting a wee bit too real was actually a real TV variety show. MVD Visual is about to unleash Here’s Edie, a 4-disc set of her 21 half-hour specials unseen anywhere since they first aired. After spending some quality time this past weekend with this incredible lady and her talented friends, I can very safely say that fans of classic variety TV will absolutely want this one in their collections… Continue reading →