Something Weird Chapter One Special
“I may be a bitch, but I’ll never be a Butch” Taste of Honey
In my twenties, probably as a hangover of my John Waters fandom, I liked trashy drive in movies. The Psychotronic Video Guide and Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film would have been my castaway books (I know you’re only meant to have one, but I’d have snuck one extra one in by chaining it to my body at all times). Something Weird, named after Herschell Gordon Lewis’s LSD maniac film, was my video label of choice. This label would collect the very best of the worst drive in double bills. More than that, once DVD arrived it would have all manner of fabulous extras such as short films about how to kill rats and how to avoid being abused while babysitting. Space has run out, time has moved on, now I kust make shelf space for something less frivolous. So here are there Chapter ones.
DVD ONE – The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield plus Labyrinth of Sex
Cheap black and white footage of Jayne Mansfield smelling flowers in Rome and her excitement of her seeing the Trevi fountain -“this kind man gave me three coins”
Mixed in is some stock colour footage of Italian men chewing gum on steps and apparently thinking of Jayne Mansfield’s bottom. A man pinches her bottom – “then I remember it is the Italian national pastime; pinching girls”. Jayne realizes this is why Italian men may not get too much done. Jayne finds peace looking at Rome from the hills and holding a Chihuahua. A clothed body double (perhaps played by Ed Wood’s chiropodist or was it chiropractor) apparently listens to an Italian man talk of Brutus.
Labyrinth of Sex
This is one of those sixties films which pretends it is a very important documentary about the nature of sex. This was an alibi to allow it to sneak some breasts and naturist camps in without experiencing the wrath of the censor.
It opens with a bloodied child fresh out of the womb and a brief mention of Sigmund Freud to clearly demonstrate it is a very important contribution to the science of sex.
Puberty is mentioned as the camera scrutinizes the spotty chins of youth.
Professor Emilio Servadio is our dubbed sex expert, looking more like a Jess Franco actor than a man with a phd (which perhaps he is)
“This woman is sick – in clinical terms she would be described as a nymphomaniac”
After the lone men in the auditorium have waited seven minutes, they become hopeful that the action is about to occur.
“a nymphomaniac’s skin responds to stimulation in a much stronger way than a normal person’s”
A woman looks unhappy in her nightdress. She looks unhappy for a while. She showers in her nightdress. Eventually she goes to a cinema where she asks a man to put his hand up her skirt. “Hurray” think the men, ”hurray”
The film cuts back to our Doctor. “boo’ think the men.
Herschell Gordon Lewis’s Wizard of Gore
A ham in a top hat conjures with water. Hmm, all may not be as it seems. A woman in a pretty summer dress goes to the stage to assist in a trick. She is chainsawed in two and the camera lovingly ogles the offal. She is repaired. All seems fine and she goes off to a restaurant. While waiting for service she dies with her guts out. Then the bad acting begins.
Blood Suckers plus Blood Thirst
Blood Suckers is an odd early seventies British film which has gone under any titles. Even the print on this DVD , described as Blood Suckers on the case, is called Freedom Seeker. It stars Patrick Macnee and Patrick Mower plus guest appearances from Peter Cushing and Edward Woodward. Cushing is such a coup that his name in the credits is surrounded by a yellow box. A red almost sports car speeds through Oxford almost running over students. The direction is diabolical. It appears each actor had little time so we cut from head to head even when everyone is meant to be in a room together. Then it’s time for a crazy baby crazy psychedelic sequence of drugs and orgies. Oh man, this is permissive. The jazz score gets free, really free. Some people are in masks, maybe someone is sacrificed. Mower is dazed. An old Greek lady finds her daughter naked and dead. Keep off the grass.
Manila – some men have been helping the manager of Club Barrio with the inventory (no idea why). The manager bids Maria goodnight suggesting she gets a taxi home even though it is a wonderful night. Maria thinks it is a wonderful night so she’ll walk alone through the deserted streets. The title – Blood Thirst – comes on screen, this doesn’t bode well. Something jumps out at her with a head that, in the half-light, appears to be part pine cone. Maria is found hanging upside down from a tree.
“do you know the name of Adam Rourke?”
“Every detective in the world has read his book on sex crime motivation and investigation” (I have never seen a line delivered with a s little as this one – no cating at all)
Adam will visit Manila, this is good, as it means they can have an American actor in as the nominal star to aid world sales. In this case it is Robert Winston (another Robert Winston) who had previously played ‘army corporal’ in Dr Kildare. Filmed in black and white , it looks as if it might have been made in 1953, actually it was 1971.