By Mat Weir
It’s a rainy day here in Santa Cruz and the only thing better than cozying up with some coffee at the buy counter in the store would be to cozy up under the blankets with some hot cocoa and a fresh bowl of Cali’s finest. Regardless of which way the day takes us, nothing beats a great soundtrack to compliment the gray skies and we have just the one for you.
Once again our friends at WaxWork Records have reissued a previously hard-to-find horror soundtrack, this time choosing 1979’s Tourist Trap. Stephen King once called the film an obscure classic because it “wields an eerie spooky power.” No doubt partly thanks to it’s eerie soundtrack written by Pino Dinnaggio.
Utilizing woodblocks, slide whistles and shrieking violins, Dinaggio summons the spirit of Hitchcock’s films with a timeless creep. From the almost kooky beginning to the crescendoing orchestra, Tourist Trap sets a bizarre and supernatural tone for the dreariest of days.
As with all Wax Work issues, this one features beautiful artwork, 180 gram vinyl, limited gatefold design and a gorgeous, fold-out poster perfect for any record or horror nerd to frame.
by Mari Stauffer
“How’s Annie?,” a Bob-possessed Agent Dale Cooper mockingly asks as he maniacally laughs with blood streaming down his face. This is the famous final scene of the last season of the cult-status and legendary TV show Twin Peaks. I became an instant fan, as I remember being in high school when the show first aired on television (PRIME TIME, mind you….yeah, along with mainstream, glossed-over sitcoms like Who’s The Boss).
I still don’t know how David Lynch and Mark Frost managed to do it…my friends and I were floored at the brazen, twisted and disturbing themes, mixed with a fascinating surreal and paranormal undercurrent, along with, of course, that silly and innocent sense of humor that runs throughout. This, I thought, was unlike anything before, and anything since.
Since that last scene of Season 2 (yes, there were only two), hordes of fans have been speculating and pleading for more….it seemed like there would be, judging by that cliffhanger! The only release since then has been the epic, more blatant and less mysterious (spoiler alerts galore for those who haven’t watched the entire series), movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Since then….crickets.
Until July 29th, that is! On this date, a 10-disc Blu-ray set will be released, called Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery. Hmmm…guess I’m shopping for a Blu-ray player now. This long awaited collection features every single episode from the entire TV show, the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and around 90 minutes of never-before-seen, deleted and alternate scenes from both the movie and TV show, and much, much more.
I can barely contain myself as I type these words, drinking my, excuse me, damn fine cup of coffee. That TV show I like seems to have come back in style.
There are too many blogs and websites on the subject at this point to count, but here’s a Tumblr with more info about the release. Also, check out the teaser with some of the “missing pieces!”
Female Trouble – John Waters, 1974
“Nice girls don’t wear cha cha heels”
Female Trouble is one of my favorite John Waters movies and it didn’t take me as long to watch as Pink Flamingos did.
Female Trouble shows the life of a headline-seeking criminal, Dawn Davenport (Divine), all the way from her hair-hopper teenage delinquent years to mugger, unwed mother, nightclub entertainer, murderess and jailbird to her death in the electric chair. She runs away from her home on Christmas day after her parents get her the wrong Christmas present. All she wanted was a pair of cha cha heels.
Dawn then heads to the big city in search of the fast life and soon becomes pregnant by a man named Earl, who is also played by (Divine). Mink Stole plays her semi-demented daughter Taffy who plays a game where she reenacts fatal car crashes.
When Dawn has the baby in the movie they use one of John Waters’ dreamlanders, Susan Lowes’ newborn baby and prophylactics filled with liver to make it look like there was a real umbilical cord. After Dawn goes from career girl to thief she soon marries Gator (Michael Potter), a macho hairdresser who works at the Lipstick Beauty Salon. Dawn soon meets the owners of the salon, Donald and Donna Dasher (David Lochary and Mary Vivian Pearce), two fascists beauticians. [Sidenote: Female Trouble is the last movie that David Lochary is in as he passed away before John Waters made another film.]
Dawn is immediately flattered by the elitist attention. She becomes brainwashed and soon falls for their promises of stardom and becomes their guinea pig for their ‘Crime is Beauty’ program. Dawn’s neurotic belief is that the death penalty is the equivalent to the Academy Award in her chosen profession of crime.
The final prison scenes were actually shot in the women’s section of the Baltimore City Jail. The other female prisoner is the now post-operation actress that was in Pink Flamingos. The warden allowed John Waters to film under one circumstance: Divine had to be there too. The warden watched the filming and even his wife came down to watch too.
John Waters got the idea for the “Crime is Beauty” theme, on his way home from visiting Charles ‘Tex’ Watson, a central member of the Manson family, who he had been visiting since the Manson trials. Even though Charles didn’t agree with the theme he sent John a wooden helicopter he made to use in the credits. John Waters was the first visitor that Charles had after he was transferred to the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo.
The original title for the film was Rotten Face, Rotten Mind but John Waters changed it after he thought critics would use it to make fun of the movie in negative reviews. He got the name from visiting dreamlander Cookie Mueller after she was rushed to the hospital. When he went to see her he asked what had happened and she said, “Oh just female trouble, hon’.” He loved the sound of it. He even wrote the lyrics to the title song which was recently covered by The Melvins on their album Everybody Loves Sausages. Female Trouble is not only an amazing movie but the song is really good too.
The make up in Female Trouble is outrageous and the costumes are even more revealing than Waters’ usual, thanks to Van Smith. Variety magazine said, “The costumes made Fredericks of Hollywood look like Sears Roebuck.”
In Female Trouble we get more of Edith Massey who plays Aunt Ida. She is one of my favorite people I’ll never get to meet. All she wants is for her nephew to be happy and she worries that he’ll work in an office, have children, celebrate wedding anniversaries.
Divine sings the theme song for Female Trouble, plays two characters, and has a trampoline act. She even walked through a freezing river in full drag and made it across and hit her mark. The scene was cut from the 35-mm version but is still in the 16-mm version.
If you’re looking for crime personified, or if you’re a thief or shitkicker or just want to be famous go check out Female Trouble by John Waters, located in our cult section.
Pink Flamingos – 1972, by John Waters
“If someone vomits while watching one of my films, it’s like getting a standing ovation”
Pink Flamingos is #4 on a list of 50 of the most disturbing films ever made and is also #29 on a list of 50 films you should see before you die. It was banned in Australia and in some parts of Canada and Norway and there is a Japanese laserdisc version that blurs over all pubic hair. It’s the third film by the “Pope of Trash,” John Waters, and it’s his first movie in color. It’s remembered for many things: cars, the soundtrack, the dialogue and, of course, The “filthiest person alive,” Babs Johnson a.k.a the “most beautiful person alive,” Divine.
Pink Flamingos is known as one of the most notorious films ever made and was described as “the poop film” to Traci Lords. After a Florida family watched Hairspray they decided like it so much when they went back to their local video rental store looked for other John Waters movies and picked up Pink Flamingos. They got through half of the movie before they called the police and later on after the jurors deliberated, a $5,000 dollar fine was charged to Waters and awarded to the family.
Pink Flamingos was filmed in 1972 and it all took place in Baltimore, Maryland on a decaying mansion property inhabited by a commune of draft dodgers and drug dealers after “Bob, the Psychedelic Pig” gave them permission to build the trailer on the back of the property in the woods. It was made on a budget of $10,000.
Pink Flamingos is still one of the craziest movies I’ve ever seen in my life, so far. The first time I watched this movie it took me over 3 hours to finish the whole thing, even though the movie is only an hour and a half long.
The filthiest person alive is hiding out in a trailer in the woods under the name Babs Johnson (Divine) with her family. Her mother, a 250 pound senior citizen named Edie (Edith Massey), who sits in a playpen all day dressed in a girdle and bra, Crackers (Danny Mills), her demented hillbilly-hippie son, and Cotton (Mary Vivian Pierce), her bleach blond voyeuristic traveling companion are all trying to live quietly knowing the title of ‘The Filthiest People Alive’ belongs to them.
Connie and Raymond Marble (Mink Stole & David Lochary), a red- and blue-haired couple who sell heroin to elementary school children and kidnap hitchhiking girls to feed their ‘adoption clinic’ are trying to seize the title of filthiest people alive. After being provoked, Divine puts the Marble’s on trial and murders them at a press conference in front of all the sleaziest newspapers in the country. At the end of the movie Divine does one of the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life to reclaim her title of ‘Filthiest Person Alive’ after having to follow a dog around. After she reclaims her title, Divine and her family move to another location to try and live a peaceful life of filth in Boise, Idaho.
In order to get the scene where Divine reclaims her title just right, the dog owners fed the dog for three days and didn’t take it out just to make sure everything would come out just right. Van Smith is the mastermind behind the make-up and helped with the clothing of Divine and helped create one of the most beloved and influential drag icons. Van Smith is the usual costume designer make-up artist on most of John Waters films.
If you’re not very familiar with John Waters and you’ve only seen Hairspray or Cry-Baby, Pink Flamingos is very different. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all because Hairspray and Cry-Baby are amazing movies. Hairspray helped bring John Waters and Divine to a wider audience and allowed people to see Harris Glen Milstead as more than just the character Divine.
All of our John Waters films are going to be in our Cult dvd section. We usually have all of the available John Waters titles but if you’re looking for something and don’t see it, just ask and we can order it for you.
Brace yourself before watching this movie and I hope you’re dressed up and ready to fall in love with the Most Beautiful Woman in the World.
The documentary Vampira And Me tells the story of tv’s “Original Scream Queen.” To be completely honest I didn’t know very much about Vampira other than there is an Ed Wood Jr. film titled Plan 9 From Outer Space and there is a Misfits song called “Vampira”—anything more than that was news to me.
Vampira was a character created by Maila Nurmi. Her family moved to the U.S. from Finland in 1922 when she was 2 years old. She grew up in Ohio then her family moved to Oregon in 1939. She moved to Los Angeles after she graduated high school and started as a cheesecake model (“cheesecake” is another name for a pinup model that doesn’t fit the Irving Klaw whips and leather type; more the girl next door, bikini, beach-goer type.)
I also didn’t know that while she was modeling she was a line dancer alongside one of the greatest Burlesque dancers known to man, Lili St. Cyr. I did not know she was a hostess for a local midnight horror themed television show. She was also very close to James Dean before his death. There are also rumors that she was the model for Maleficent, the evil witch from Sleeping Beauty and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
This documentary has footage from her original television show which aired in 1954 and it hasn’t been seen since, until now. Maila tells how the Vampira character she created was inspired by Morticia Addams, a cartoon character created by Charles Addams that was in The New Yorker. It also has interviews from the band Satan’s Cheerleaders that recorded a couple of songs with Vampira when she was 64 years old. It tells all about how Maila, a.k.a Vampira, shook an entire generation, started a national craze, became an instant icon, and her rise to cult stardom.
This documentary even goes into the not-so-subtle similarities there are between Vampira and Elvira, including the fact she was talking to producers about reviving the old Vampira tv show and left the project due to creative differences. Soon after there was Elvira’s Movie Macabre. That was pretty upsetting to watch her explain.
I’m glad I have seen and now own this documentary although it is very sad to know what happened to her after all the cameras were gone. When the spotlight faded, she went into reclusion and dealt with crazed and sometimes violent fans.
Vampira and Me is a must-see for anyone who is a fan of The Misfits, Horror punk, goth, or anyone who likes anything cult.
I saw the cover of this movie and bought it without knowing anything about it at all, and I was not let down! Bitch Slap is totally over the top, a B-movie bomb in a good way. It’s even on Bombshell Pictures. It’s full of stunts, guns, hot ladies and chick fights. These aren’t some wimpy, fake-looking fights either. The stunt choreographer is non other than the amazing Zoe Bell.
If you don’t know who Zoe Bell is, that’s sucky!! She is one of the most awesome New Zealanders ever. She was a stunt woman for Lucy Lawless in Xena Warrior Princess, she was also in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. She was the chick on top of the car during the car chase with the maniac played by Kurt Russell. Zoe Bell is truly talented and like most stunt performers, she is underrated and deserves more recognition than she receives.
This movie is also full of unbelieveable cameos. Here are some of them:
– Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor who were both in Xena Warrior Princess, play nuns (Lucy was also filming Bedtime Stories while she appeared in this movie.)
– Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst from Hercules the T.V show are also in Bitch Slap (All four of these actors and Zoe Bell know the director and producer from working on Xena and Hercules together.)
– William Gregory Lee from Baywatch Hawaii plays a complete lunatic and is funny as hell.
– Ron Melendez and Minae Noji who were both on General Hospital are in the movie.
– Mark Lutz who starred in Victor, a hit Canadian film about a swim hero, plays Dieter Von Vondervon.
– One of the main characters, Hel, is played by Erin Cummings who was in some episodes of Charmed, Bold & the Beautiful, Nip/Tuck, Mad Men and the first season of Spartacus. She is also the founder of Mittens for Detroit.
– Camero is played by America Olivo. She was in the pop group Soluna and is in the remake of Maniac with Elijah Wood. She was also on on the cover of Motley Crue’s Saints of Los Angeles and made the cover of Playboy in 2009. She’s married to Christian Campbell (yeah, Neve Campbell’s brother).
– The Trixie character is played by Julia Voth who modeled for Calvin Klein and Shiseido. Her likeness was used in the Resident Evil video game franchise.
Now, to the movie. It starts off with what looks like the ending: in the desert, panning over a smoke-filled sky with fire everywhere and then to a beaten and bloody girl looking around hopelessly at the destruction around her. A car on fire, a burning trailer and lifeless bodies scattered, she looks to the sky and cries out. Then the screen is consumed by black smoke.
It then cuts to stills of other movies as the credits roll. The second set of stills are of Haji from the beginning of Faster Pussycat ‘sKill Kill. Then come stills from Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Bettie Page, Lori Williams from Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, the switchblade of Varla from Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, Pam Grier, Bonnie & Clyde and some women wrestling; the kind of films put out by Something Weird Video.
By this point, I’m already down for this movie. It’s obvious the director loves Russ Meyer and exploitation films, and I’m ready to see what this movie is all about. After the credits stop, it cuts to a 1963 Thunderbird blazing down a desert road. You then see three passengers as they pull up near a trailer which is out in the middle of nowhere. The driver exits the car first, in slow motion. Next you see highheels, stockings, business power suit and crazy-huge chest-icles on one of the hottest redheads ever.
The slow motion unveiling doesn’t stop there. The front seat passenger opens the door and you see a handgun, boots, tight jeans, white tank top, huge boobs then up to the redhead, who looks like the tough, badass of the group.
Rightly named Hel, she obviously in charge. She tells the tough, gun-wielding chick named Camero to go check out the trailer. She searches it, finding no one inside, but seems unsatisfied. Camero then busts out some small container from her pocket to ingest some little red capsule. Her immediate reaction from it is nothing short of crazy.
Last but not least, the slow motion exiting of the car reveals huge platform shoes, legs, a short, almost skin-tight, gold dress and the huge Chest-icles of the stripper named Trixie. They all meet up at the trunk of the car, opening it to reveal a man, alive, and wearing a thong, slippers and a silk robe. This is Gage, the underworld kingpin. They are at his hideaway in the desert to steal a stash of diamonds. As this movie progresses, truths and motives are revealed, characters’ true identities are revealed and nothing is how it seems. After watching this I thought I had it figured out, but I was way off.
Oh, and if none of that makes you want to watch it then maybe I should mention all of these chicks are lesbians and there is a pretty crazy girl-on-girl scene about halfway through the movie. It’s crazy and I’m going to leave it at that. So what are you waiting for? Go watch this movie and prepare to get slapped!
I will start this blog with some sad news: On December 27th, the Bridge Theater in San Francisco closed it’s doors. Located on 3010 Geary Blvd, the theater was first opened in 1939 and showed independent and foreign language films.
The theater got its name from the Golden Gate Bridge which opened two years earlier. For the past 12 years Joshua Grannell ran this theater while his alter ego, Peaches Christ, started “Midnight Mass.” In case you have no idea what Midnight Mass is, I will fill you in. Peaches Christ, one of the most amazing Drag Queens I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, has been showing cult and B-movies and whatever else she wants at midnight. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. Not only do you get to watch some amazing movie, but you get a pre-show with William Castle gimmicks, audience participation and a vaudeville-style show throughout the showing. If you’re lucky enough she usually has the director or some star from the movie to do a Q&A after the movie. In
1988 1998 the first event was Faster Pussycat Kill, Kill with a Tura Satana look alike contest. Ten years later she was celebrating the anniversary with John Waters, Tura Satana and Mink Stole any underground, cult or B-movie lovers’ dream. When I was lucky enough to go a Midnight Mass I saw Mommie Dearest.
I’ve never laughed so loud or clapped so hard at anything before in my entire life so far. Peaches Christ had intermission breaks throughout the movie and in those breaks there were dance numbers about the part of the movie you were about to watch…which was hilarious. Not only did I get to see a great movie with a drink called “The Blood of Christ” in my hand, but I got to meet Peaches Christ. She was sooo nice and told me she liked my shirt. I had an ear to ear grin the whole drive home. So this is a sad goodbye to The Bridge Theater the place where Midnight Mass got it’s start, where Peaches Christ became a cult legend and personal hero of mine.
All About Evil
Written and directed by Grannell, All About Evil is destined to be a cult classic, a B-movie bomb in the best way ever it is completely over the top and is the best black comedy ever. The cast of this movie is simply divine. The star of this film is Natasha Lyonne, from The Slums of Beverly Hills and American Pie. Her co-stars include, Thomas Dekker from the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street, Noah Segan from Kablam!(YAY!! NICKELODEON IN THE HOUSE!) and Jack Donner who plays the projectionist who has played mostly small parts in many t.v. shows from Dr. Kildar in 1962 to Fraiser, Malcom in the Middle to newer shows like Bones. If those actors did not catch your attention, maybe these will Casandra Peterson plays Thomas Dekker’s mom. That name didn’t ring a bell? Then maybe you know her best as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark! BOOM! Oh, and she still looks hot! One more name to top off this list of amazing people is Mink Stole. She is in every John Waters movie he has ever made, even the early ones that no one has ever heard of.
Okay, now that I’ve told you who is in this movie let me tell you about the movie. It opens showing Deborah (Lyonne) as a child, with her father. He’s giving her a pep talk before she performs on stage at his theater to introduce the start of “Kiddie Matinee.” She is dressed like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and her stepmother is dressed as the Wicked Witch of the East, which is totally fitting as you see her character interact with Deborah later in the film. Deborah gets on stage and starts singing in front of a group of kids and parents and she gets so nervous she wets the stage. TERRIBLE. She ignores it even though everyone saw her and is now laughing. Just as I thought it couldn’t be more embarrassing her puddle hits her microphone cord and electrocutes her in front of everyone. Kids and parents start screaming and running for the exits and all the while her stepmother is cackling away. As her father runs to her you see she isn’t dead but she looks different. The shock even gave her a white skunk stripe in her hair.
The film then cuts to her in the present day, closing up the San Francisco Public Library with her co-worker Evelyn (Stole). Evelyn is trying to talk Deborah out of inheriting her late fathers failing theater, but Deborah is determined to keep it running and leaves in tears. Deborah heads to the theater and is startled by an older man who turns to be Mr. Twigs, the projectionist. He sees how stressed out she is and tells, sorta creepily, that her he’ll help in anyway possible.
When the theater opens, Deborah is at the concession stand and in walks the wicked witch of the east, Deborah’s stepmother, Tammy. Her step mother Tammy is a huge B-word and is so mean to Deborah she tries to bully her into selling the theater. She even starts calling her bad names and bad mouthing her father. After Deborah says no to signing the papers that will allow Bed Bath and Beyond to tear down the theater, Tammy grabs Deborah’s hand and puts it against the popcorn kettle until she agrees. This is where poor, shy weak little Deborah becomes something else, “De-Boor-Ah.” She starts stabbing wildly at her stepmother’s neck and chest with a pen. You see all of this happen through the security camera and then you see the 18 people in the theater chanting for the movie to start. Deborah hears this and runs to the projection room but Mr. Twigs is nowhere to be found. She starts frantically hitting buttons and switches until something starts and the chants turn into applause. But to Deborah’s surprise, it’s the security camera showing everything that just happened in the lobby with her stepmother.
Of course, she starts freaking out, but does nothing. After she sees herself on the big screen she becomes entranced with her performance. As it plays, Mr. Twigs walks through the lobby. He sees Tammy’s body, walks into the theater and watches the whole “movie” and doesn’t mind what he’s seeing; he even enjoys it. He gets on stage as it ends and announces to the crowd that they just saw a brand new short film introducing Deborah and that the Victoria Theater is there to stay. Mr. Twigs starts the real movie and heads to the lobby with the newly changed Deborah to help her hide her stepmother’s body in the theatre attic. He insists that no one will miss her or even smell the body. He tells Deborah that she has nothing to worry about and she needs to go meet her new fans waiting for her in the lobby.
Deborah begins to catch the attention of local movie goers and even Peaches Christ begins going to her theater to watch the gorey short film. She soon finds a film crew to help her make these short films. As the theater becomes popular she starts making more, but none of her fans know that the gore-gore films they’re watching are real.
All About Evil is hilarious, filled with blood and gore and is one of my favorite movies. The DVD has special features that include a documentary of the film’s World Premier, a short film that inspired All About Evil, director’s commentary, the making of the film and the short film, Children Of The Popcorn.