Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '65 - Steve Q ""

Monday, June 29, 2015

Underrated '65 - Steve Q

Steve Q blogs about terrible movies at and can be found on Twitter at @Amy_Surplice.
He also recently did list for both the Underrated '85 and Underrated '75 series:
Steve is a new Letterboxd member and can be followed here:

Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (Norman Taurog, 1965)
I have to include this because it was the first film I ever saw; "Paint Your Wagon" was the first I saw in a theater, so my taste in film has always been questionable. This is a spy film spoof, following the James Bond/Derek Flint/Matt Helm craze, but it's also a continuation of the William Asher "Beach Party" series - "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" and "Beach Blanket Bingo," both also from 1965, share some cast members - and a Vincent Price mad scientist self-parody (which he would perfect soon in "The Abominable Dr. Phibes"). As loosely constructed as that sounds, when the comedy works it's quite enjoyable. The theme song is sung by The Supremes! I met Marianne Gaba, one of the robots and a former Playboy Playmate, in 1980; she told me (unasked) that she had a son my age.

Harlow (Alex Segal, 1965)
There were two films with this title and plot released in 1965.The other one starred Carroll Baker, who was miscast; this one had Carol Lynley, who gave one of her better performances. The film was shot in 8 days on high-res video and then transferred to kinescope, giving it an odd look.The film fails as historical biography, but it works as a drama, with a good performance by Ginger Rogers who was a last-minute substitute. This showed on television through the 1970's, but is almost impossible to find today.

Vinyl (Andy Warhol, 1965)
1965 was a big year in experimental, underground and art films. Andy Warhol directed 19 films that year, half starring Edie Sedgwick, including this one. I've seen all of them and this is the easiest to find. It's a barely recognizable take on "A Clockwork Orange," shot on one set with an immobile camera, unrehearsed, with Edie silent, flicking cigarette ashes on Gerard Malanga as he has candle wax dripped on him, after he dances to "Nowhere to Run" (twice). It's polarizing, like all Warhol.

The Defilers (R. Lee Frost, 1965)
1965 was a banner year in exploitation films, with Barry Mahon directing 15 titles, Doris Wishman directing one of her only two watchable films ("Bad Girls Go to Hell"), Russ Meyer directing three films ("Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!" and "Mudhoney" are great, "Motor Psycho" is not) and David Friedman working with H.G. Lewis on "Color Me Blood Red" and with Lee Frost on this one. Based on the John Fowles novel "The Collector," which was also made into a much better film by William Wyler in 1965, this follows two men who kidnap a woman and make her a sex slave in the basement of a warehouse. It's misogynistic, dated, and offensive, but it's also one of the best "roughies" from that brief period of grindhouse films.

Film (Alan Scneider, 1965)
Samuel Beckett's only work intended to be filmed, this 20 minute short stars Buster Keaton trying not to be seen.Keaton was also in the aforementioned "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini." Now that's what I call range!

No comments: