Millie De Chirico is Manager of Programming at Turner Classic Movies. She is responsible for TCM Underground, the network’s late-night cult movie block. She’s on Twitter at @milliedechirico and you can follow the TCM Underground schedule here: @TCMUnderground
Dir: Robert Hendrickson, Laurence Merrick
Like a lot of folks I was obsessed with Karina Longworth's “You Must Remember This” podcast series on Charles Manson's Hollywood this year. Admittedly I was pretty uneducated on the history and lore of Manson but quickly got sucked into the information rabbit hole. Luckily my local video store (Videodrome in Atlanta, GA) had a copy of this. It’s very much a product of its time, stylistically and otherwise: lots of diptychs and trippy music (made by actual Manson family members), interviews with the Manson girls holding giant guns, lots of “ripped from the headline” footage. I think my favorite scenes were the ones with Ronnie Howard (w/ all the aliases) and Sharon Rossberg, the women who shared the jail cell with Susan Atkins.
Dir: Joe Sarno
I went to see this at Fantastic Fest in Austin this year based on the title alone, which honestly, is almost too great of a title for the quality of this film. To me it was almost like an 80’s erotic thriller that was made in the 1960’s (including the bad acting, which actually grew on me after a while). But I loved whatever stark, depressing gentlemen’s night club the lead character went to work in.
Dir: Shirley Clarke
I feel so ashamed for having slept on this until this year. What a classic. I’m hoping a programmer somewhere will pair this movie with PARIS IS BURNING one day (maybe even as part of a bigger festival called People Recalling Tales with Lit Cigarettes in Their Hands).
Dir: Vincente Minnelli
I went to Big Sur for the first time this year and watched this immediately after I came home. I love Elizabeth Taylor’s look in this movie; she still manages to look so glamorous despite her character being a bohemian artist. At one point she wears an entire outfit of bright purple (top and pants) and I thought, “Only Liz could pull this shit off.”
Dir: Edmund Goulding
Is there a subgenre of “carny noir”? Feels like there should be.There’s kind of a lot going on in this movie but the costumes and general carnival magic are really great. Also, I think I’m the last woman on Earth that figured out how smoking hot Tyrone Power was. Shame on me!
Dir: Patrick G. Donahue
Thanks to Matt Lynch from Scarecrow Video for bringing this film (and the term “video cop”) to our attention.
Dir: Alan Parker
This had been on my watch list for a long time. I worshipped Lisa Bonet when I was younger and remember how shocked everyone was when she did this film (and I have to say, the sex scene with her and Mickey Rourke is completely out of control).But the scene with De Niro eating the egg with his long fingernails gave me nightmares for weeks.
Dir: John S. Rad
Brian, I know you said we had to choose titles made before 2000, but as we know - lots of time travel associated with this movie. I still have so, so, so many questions. And I think I actually screamed when the movie finally ended.