Monday, April 23, 2007

Jason watches the final Sleazy Sunday--"Gone to the Grindhouse"

Sigh, I wish every day could be a Sleazy Sunday!

Okay, first up was the original grindhouse exploitation trash classic, 1934's "Maniac" by Dwain Esper. And as an extra bonus, it was introduced by Dwain Esper's grandson Damin Esper. Here's a pic to prove it:
Okay, the movie itself borrows liberally (i.e., steals) from Frankenstein and from Edgar Allan Poe. Couched (barely) as an educational film about various stages of psychosis/dementia, it's the story of a mad scientist who has developed a way to bring the dead back to life by transplanting a beating heart he keeps in a jar. However, his assistant Buckley (who's really only good at impersonations) fails to find him an acceptable specimen. So the scientist comes up with a brilliant plan--order Buckley to shoot himself and then he'll bring him back to life. Unfortunately, Buckley doesn't like the plan, so instead he shoots the doctor and starts impersonating him (see, his skills come in handy). Then things get weird, with a cat-eyeball eating scene and some pre-Hays code boobies (sort of, apparently this was after the code went into effect, but before it was really enforced).

Next up was the utterly hilarious "Preacherman". Albert Viola plays (and is credited as) the titular lecherous preacherman Amos Huxley. After being caught with the sheriff's daughter, he's run out of town and beaten unconscious. He wakes up after being rescued by moonshiner Clyde and his beautiful and horny daughter Mary Lou. Wacky freakin' hijinx (often musical hijinx) ensue as the the preacherman spends time "ministering" to Mary Lou (in the guise of the angel Leroy) and running the moonshine operation with the stated aim to raise money to build a church. Freakin' hilarious! And I just hope someday to be able to use the line, "I'm going to close every hole you've got, and open up some new ones!"

And finally, it just got crazier with "The Black Gestapo". Watts. Mid-70's. The neighborhood is run by the mob (the least convincing mob ever, as the white muscle looks more like undercover cops than gangsters, but they are pretty freakin' cruel). The People's Army, under command of General Ahmed tries to defend the people and ease suffering by running a food store and detox clinic. But Colonel Kojah has more militant plans to defend their turf by confronting and killing the mobsters. He's successful, but then moves in on their gambling and prostitution business, being an even worse boss than the mob was. So General Ahmed has to take his army back. A ridiculously cheesy morality play about power corrupting, bursting into a cinematic orgy of black-on-black crime. Wow.

And that's Sleazy Sundays.

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