Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2013 - George J G White ""

Monday, March 3, 2014

Favorite Film Discoveries of 2013 - George J G White

George White writes a blog called 'A Teenager's Guide to Trash'. 
He can be found on twitter here:
And Facebook here:


Candidate Kid (1996) Only a ten minute excerpt, but a ridiculously bad and seemingly unreleased kids movie made in Arizona starring the stupidly-named Jack Brosseit and Megan Woodmansee (Woodmando).

The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) I'd long thought I had seen this,so when I sat down to watch the PP collection, I realized that I was actually thinking of The Return of the Pink Panther. This  film may be the most bonkers film ever made. It  has no place in canon. Its events are completely ignored in the sequels, as SPOILER - Herbert Lom's Dreyfus basically becomes Lom's Phantom of the Opera/the Bond villain Lom should have played. It has a fine cast. As well as Sellers, there's such British acting greats as Leonard Rossiter, Colin Blakely and Graham Stark. There's a bizarre turn from Michael Robbins, best known as "Arthur" the boring brother-in-law in the British sitcom On the Buses and its Hammer-made film spinoffs as Ainsley Jarvis, the butler/female impressionist (whom in female mode is dubbed by a badly-singing Julie Andrews). There's the lovely Lesley Anne Down as the late-appearing assassin love interest, and a out of place cameo from Omar Sharif, similar to his later role in Top Secret! The film is full of bizarre moments, that can be seen as "jump the shark" moments, i.e. Dreyfus building a laser from an Austrian castle, using it to hold the world to ransom if Clouseau is not killed, but they're so brilliant it may be the best of the Panther films. The UN building is destroyed by laser. Clouseau becomes an inflatable balloon-backed Quasimodo, chased by Cato across the Paris rooftops. It has in my opinion the best depiction of Oktoberfest on film, where various badly-disguised assassins (and Omar Sharif) hunt down Clouseau, including a burly man in blonde wig and dirndl barmaid drag with razors hidden in his breasts and a teenage Deep Roy as a midget assassin dressed as a "motherless child" (Clouseau's words) in a buttock-length Robin Hood outfit. There's a Tom Jones theme, a great Richard Williams-animated title sequence and even a sequence filmed in Ireland, the railway sequence in which well-known Irish soap actors Jim Bartley and Bob  Carrickford escort a prisoner on what is actually the Navan-Drogheda railway, only to have their prisoner carted away via Dreyfus'  helicopter. Ridiculous but fun.

The Boys From Brazil (1978) For years, i imagined this to be a kind of strict, serious thriller, when in fact it is an ultra-loopy, ridiculous glorified Nazisploitation Omen knockoff funded by Lew Grade's British TV company ATV_ITC. All three venerable leads camp it up with ridiculous Germanic accents, particularly the bewigged, powdered James Mason as the Nazi sidekick to Greg Peck's Mengele and the huffing-puffing, OTT Laurence Olivier as the heroic . It also has a bizarre and wonderful cast - LIli Palmer, Bruno Ganz Rosemary Harris, Anne Meara and Prunella Scales as the mothers of three identical boys, Uta Hagen, a teenage and not-irritating Steve(n) Guttenberg as an ill-fated boy Nazi hunter, the likes of Gunther "Slugworth" Meisner and Walter Gotell as snivelling Nazis, John Dehner and Michael Gough, the latter in a bizarre scene with Scales and Hammer/UK sex comedy starlet Linda Hayden that seems cut from another British horror film of the time and many others. There's great deaths, a cheesy Elaine Paige theme, a great waltz-influenced Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack and although the twist is now obvious and mad, it works in the bizarre world of the film.

Lifeforce (1985) Tobe Hooper remakes The Quatermass Experiment as a soft-core porno Doctor Who episode with Frank Finlay and Peter Firth as alternating Doctor-equivalents.  

Exorcist II - The Heretic (1977)
I prefer this to the original. There, I said it. It has Richard Burton as a loopy priest, Louise Fletcher looking like Barbara Bain as a mad scientist, evil locusts, a lovely Linda Blair, James Earl Jones in a giant bug costume, Paul Henreid as the Cardinal and a marvellous Ennio Morricone soundtrack. It is filmed on cheap interior sets that really give it a kind of wonderful artifice. It's like a demonic Phase IV meets the Medusa Touch but with Burton as Lino Ventura.


Rituals (1977) Thanks to the Dublin Horrorthon, I saw this little Canuxploitation gem. Hal Holbrook, Lawrence Dane and others get involved with a woodland slasher in this Deliverance variant. Chilling, surprising and with for once, a sympathetic gay character in an exploitation film whose sexuality isn't a big deal.

The Swarm (1978) Finally saw this. Like the biggest B-movie (no pun intended) made and incredibly badly written that makes it hilarious. Literally, the only way to solve any problem in this film is to die. Everyone gets killed, from comic relief children (a great image of a blond-mopped tot on the floor, seen from the back, bees sucking his lollipop) to  a love triangle of sweet old people played by Olivia de Havilland as a Southern belle schoolmarm, Ben Johnson and mayor Fred MacMurray  who all die together (maybe it's a threesome!). Only Caine as a preposterously named British entomologist named Bradford Crane (perhaps named after the Yorkshire town or co-star and nature-runs-amok regular Bradford Dillman) and fawning Katharine Ross live. Has Henry Fonda as a supposedly but not very Germanic scientist.

Special mention - The Bees (1978)  Roger Corman's Mexican-made mockbuster, made on about a 40th of the budget of the latter, but with equally ridiculous special effects. John Saxon and Angel Tompkins warn a pocket-sized UN while in a nice and possibly unintentional casting symmetry by director Jack Hill, In the role of the OTT Germanic scientist is John Carradine, the Coward Bob Ford to Henry Fonda's Frank James.

Deadly Discovery (1992) A badly-made airplane-chase thriller with a villain in a baby blue Fruit of the Loom shirt called Stetson Avery and the not-bad-to-look-at Kerol Rae and the awful Walter Baziak as the one-shot leads, apart from a probably-unmade film called Good Cop, Bad Cop. 

Unfair Game (1996) An awful SOV paintball film from Tapeworm video.


Kev D. said...

I wish I could go back and see PP Strikes Again for the first time again.

So delightfully magical and insane.

George White said...

Yes, just seen your comment.
As an aside.
William Bolander was in CandidateKid, a Peter Strauss pilot, miniseries Invasion, doubled Greg Kinnear and stunts in a Burt Reynolds film.
It was made in Arizona and star Bill Andres was actually in Raising Arizona, and another site favourite, the Vagrant. And fellow Candidate Kid actor Jim Coates Was in Byline, Candidate Kid, a film called Dog Wedding with WWE'S Prince Albert and worked with Lindsay Shonteff, after Shonteff left England and stopped making films with the likes of Jon Pertwee and Nicholas Parsons and settled in Arizona.
Byline is awful, and stars Steve Olenski who wrote a film ,9th and Bay that was distributed by the same company as the Red Baron starring Lena Headey, who stars in Game of Thrones with Donald Sumpter, who appeared in the 1969 film He Kills Night After Night After Night - directed by Lindsay Shonteff!!!

George White said...

Plus Unfair Game's David Akin appeared in a film with Bradley Gregg of A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3 - Dream Warriors and Indiana Jones and his Dad, as did Bolander and the weirdly-named Sean Michael "extra in 3 Kings" Boozer.

George White said...

Brosseit now makes crap matttress-themed youtube videos.

George White said...

Just realised that Jayson Schaal in Unfair Game was in the Debut with Hook's Dante Basco and Filipino legend Eddie Garcia, the FIlmthreat-reviewed Wasted, and the series Normal, Ohio with John Goodman, and Stomping Grounds (not the 2010 film with The Stepford Wives 75's Simon Deckard, or the 2016 film or the horror film, but the 1998 film) with Walking Dead's JD Evermore and Ireland's very own Shane Brolly, so there's an Irish link there.

I know I am a bit picky, but there's always more to find about the films you talk about, isn't there?

George White said...

Another tidbit - Unfair Game's James Keenley wrote SUe Thomas FB Eye, was in several US soaps, Jerome with Wendie Malick, Southern Hospitality with the Lords of Salem's Dustin Quick, and a film with Heather Bergdahl and Riley Weston, who was notoriously fired from a contract with Disney for lying with her age.

Unfair Game featured X Files' Chris Fogleman, the cinematographer also worked on Darkfury, Freaks and Geeks and Lizzie McGuire.

George White said...

I hate to add more info, but I keep coming across more and more related info.
It seems Susan K Brigham has produced Candidate Kid uncredited, her credits include films with Sons of Anarchy's Mark Boone Jr, Ernest Borgnine, Elm Street's Bradley Gregg and Blackthorn Rose, with Lindsay Shonteff star Mark Gluckman, and what IMDB says, country singer Bill Philips and the only other film of Travis Engler, bar a Tiffany Shepis joint. It also featured Heat's Emily Graves and Christy Lynn, mostly a voice actress now in Nine Dog Christmas with James Earl Jones, Red Herring with the Emanuelle series' Steven Man and Pirates of the Caribbean's Yuki Matsuzaki, and the Road to Empire with Cowboy Bebop's Michael Desante, and Freaky Faron with Courtney Halverson - star of the terrible Leprechaun's Revenge
The director of Blackthorn Rose, Ross Corsair has worked on the such Arizona-shot flicks as the 1994 Getaway, three Kings, Unfair Game, David C Hayes' horrors, the Medusa video softcore flick Mischievous, Green (from York Entertainment), Jesus the Driver with Star Trek's Roxanne Dawson and Astronomy of Errors with Glenn Fleshier of Hannibal fame and Maia Guest, who stars in the Christian teleseries Granite Flats co-starring Cary Elwes and Christopher Lloyd and was in the BBC TV movie Over Here.

Green was directed by Karl T Hirsch, who worked as editor on Blackthorn Rose and now edits promos for various big films. He was assisted on Blackthorn Rose by Chris Rogers whose worked on various low-rent local Arizona productions including Hands of a Madman (by director of Eric Roberts' Rumors of Wars), Spartan Video's Hoop Soldiers, films with Joe Estevez and David Suchet (there's a duo!), fraudster Michael Paloma's Blue Lake Massacre with Burt Young and films with Shane Dean and Adam Cardon, regulars in the films of Brain Damage films and Dread Central.

This is not spam. IT's just additional info I find interesting and hope others do too. The Arizona film scene is weird, it seems.

George White said...

I forgot to mention that Chis Rogers has recently directed a film with Miguel A Nunez Jr from Return of the Living Dead and worked with Jag Mundhra erotic thriller staple Lee Ann Beaman, ANnabaeth Gish, True Blood's Ashley Hinshaw and on 8 Legged Freaks.

Some of the same crew on Blackthorn Rose worked on Forever Midnight, a student film made by the team later behind popular webseries Voyage Trekkers.

George White said...

I forgot to mention that Chis Rogers has recently directed a film with Miguel A Nunez Jr from Return of the Living Dead and worked with Jag Mundhra erotic thriller staple Lee Ann Beaman, Annabeth Gish (had to resend this, as I mislabelled and misspelt Annabeth as AnnBaeth or something similar), True Blood's Ashley Hinshaw and also on 8 Legged Freaks.

Some of the same crew on Blackthorn Rose worked on Forever Midnight, a student film made by the team later behind popular webseries Voyage Trekkers.

George White said...

A final addendum - Christy Lynn's last work was a documentary - about Dali with Grimm's Glen Baggerley, Eddie Eagle, voice of the Neverwinter and Champions Online videogames and star of Hank, Aaron and the Alien from Outer Space by Daniel Yost, writer of Drugstore Cowboy. How the mighty fall.
Eagle was also in a 2005 film with Clare Higgins, who was in an episode of Boon with Mark Benton - starring in the film biopic of the unrelated Eddie THE Eagle. What a coincidence!

Red Herring features Elena Beloff of the William Baldwin film Feel, and the director went on to Mr. Jinx, an unreleased film with ABCS of Death's Ben Maccabee, Robyn Paris of Tommy Wiseau's The Room, and Tyler OLson of the Bruce Willis film Vice. It's weird how it all connects.

George White said...

One final addendum - David Akin is in the share fb filmmaking group as I> He now makes EPKs and is ofllowed by Ace Williamson whose only credit was in a film they worked on - Where the Red Fern Grows 2.

There are three Michael Kirchoffs.
Michael Kirchoff - director of 90s paintballsploiter Unfair Game and Michael Kirchoff of the short Tiempo featuring Jeremy Andofer-Lopez (Bridesman, a friend of my friend Jerry Ziler), Kimber Leigh (like me a friend of Pearry Teo) and Michael Harrelson (Bloody Disgusting's Sinister Visions), and Michael Kirchoff - director of the short A Lovely Afternoon with Anna Harr of Pearry Teo's mockbuster the Curse of Sleeping Beauty.
It does seem the three Kirchoffs, despite IMdb's statement are the same, as KImber Leigh worked for the third Kirchoff in a short filmmaking documentary opposite Andres Galindo (a friend of my friend Jessica Felice), the only credit of Andrea Reyna, and they're all based in Arizona. Kirchoff's assistant director Chhoun Chan Rasmey has been making a film, ZBurbs with Asylum star BIll Oberst, Marieh Delfino and Greg Zekowski.

George White said...

Discovered that Canidate KId and UNfair game and Hack feature RIchard Meek, aka Outlaw's Joshua Severance, FBI Pilot in the Vanishing Point remake and played characters in an episode of Bbc's Horizon