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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Was James Dean's Final Scene In "Giant" (1955) Voiced By Another Actor? (video)

Days after completing his final scene as aging, drunken oil tycoon Jett Rink in "Giant"...

...James Dean was tragically killed in an auto accident.

Some of his slurred speech in that scene was later deemed difficult to understand.

Sadly, however, Dean was no longer available to re-record it.

So some of his lines in this last scene were dubbed by his actor friend, Nick Adams.

Therefore, we hear both Adams and Dean speaking during Dean's final filmed performance.

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Saturday, December 15, 2018

William Smith's Bit Part In "Ghost Of Frankenstein" (Lon Chaney, 1942) (video)

William Smith is one of the most familiar actors in the business.

But most people are unaware of just how far back his career goes.

In 1942, he appeared in the Universal monster classic "Ghost of Frankenstein."

He's sometimes mistaken for the boy who kicks the ball...

...but he's actually one of the background kids.

Even at such a young age, he had that familiar "William Smith" face.

I neither own nor claim the rights to any of this material. Just having some fun with it. Thanks for watching!


Friday, December 14, 2018

THE COMEDIANS -- DVD Review by Porfle

As a bad-movie fan, I've seen some obscure stuff. But THE COMEDIANS (Indiepix Films, 1984) is such an obscure, oddball oddity that it not only isn't on IMDb, but I couldn't even find it on the website of the company that released it on DVD.

It's one of the South African apartheid-era films made for black audiences who weren't allowed access to mainstream cinema.  Once on the verge of being lost (many already are), these films are being preserved and restored for posterity and released through Indiepix Films' "Retro Afrika" series.

Like the rest of the ones I've seen, THE COMEDIANS is a no-budget affair assembled from the most meager resources. But while the filmmakers' talents often transcend low budgets and sparse conditions on other titles, this one is about as crude as it gets, making even MANOS: HANDS OF FATE look almost lavish in comparison.

It stars Hector Mathanda, the most familiar face I've yet encounted in these South African films (he was also in FISHY STONES, UMBANGO, and GONE CRAZY) and by far the most talented actor. The gap-toothed comic is a natural performer and seems entirely at ease in front of the camera, delivering his lines with a loose improvisational style that's often quite funny. (He even refers to himself as "Hector" in one scene.)

He stars here as Mr. Bono, a con man who convinces his straight-arrow friend Mr. Slu to lend him his magic ring (we never find out where it came from or how Mr. Slu gained possession of it) in order to heal his sick wife, Pretty.

Bono, of course, wants the ring in order to amass ill-gotten wealth, a big house, and fancy cars, and even tries to use it to make his wife even prettier (which backfires with amusing results).

His entire plan ends up backfiring after he hires a gang of young toughs to break into Mr. Slu's house and rob him blind, including, presumably, his magic ring.  What happens after Mr. Slu gets wise to the scheme forms the satisfying conclusion to the story.

Till then, though, we get to watch Hector Mathanda perform the most comically craven, greedy, and egotistical character imaginable to his heart's content, dominating the film entirely and apparently having a wonderful time doing so.

Even the amateur-level supporting cast get into their roles and act as adequate straight men for Hector.  Once the big plan goes awry and all of his hired minions end up destitute and in rags (literally), they launch into a surprising acapella song lamenting their fate as they skulk through the ruins of their crumbling shacks.  It's a wonderfully unusual moment.

Technically, THE COMEDIANS is rock-bottom stuff that would get a D-minus if submitted as a student film.  At times you may find yourself wondering if the cameraman even bothered to look through his viewfinder--it's only through sheer luck that he manages to keep the actors in frame, and he often gets lost looking for them.

While many of director-photographer Japie Van Der Merwe's takes are amazingly long, mostly extended master shots without a cut, the actors seem to have the script memorized enough to at least ad-lib their way through it all without a pause.

Hector Mathanda, of course, is in his element here, reveling in his character's bald-faced deceit as he brags to his hired lackeys about such American friends as Michael Jackson, Dionne Warwicke, George Foreman, and even President Ronald Reagan, and pretending to chat with them over the phone.

The film gives us an interesting look at everyday surburban life in South Africa and what was considered upper and lower class among its residents. But mainly it's a fascinating example of utterly artless, basic, primitive-level filmmaking.

Some will have no desire to watch a single frame, while others (including myself) will wish it could go on for another hour or more.  THE COMEDIANS is a cinematic artifact like few others you'll ever see.

Format: Color, NTSC, 3:2, Stereo
Language: Zulu
Subtitles: English
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR
Studio: Indiepix Films
Run Time: 87 minutes
Extras: Trailer


Astral Comedy "MANDAO OF THE DEAD" Haunts Amazon Instant Video -- Watch the Trailer HERE


Premieres on VOD
Available Now Exclusively on Amazon Instant Video
Sci-Fi Horror Comedy to Haunt iTunes February 2019

"Dunn beats the odds and delivers an impressive horror comedy that hurls the classic duo dynamic into '90s slacker culture" -- Film Threat

Los Angeles, CA - Mandao Films has announced a resurrection of Halloween spirits with the Digital HD debut of writer/director Scott Dunn's Mandao of tAhe Dead.  The spectral sci-fi comedy is now available exclusively on Amazon Instant Video, ahead of an iTunes release in February 2019.

The second feature from filmmaker Scott Dunn and producer Gina Gomez, Mandao of the Dead combines temporal hijinks with chills from beyond the grave in a film Horror Fuel calls "a charming winner of a flick."

The unambitious Jay Mandao lives frugally off his late father's cereal royalties. He wants nothing more than to live in solitude, but is duped into taking in his adult nephew-in-law, Jackson.
As Halloween approaches, Jay begins having odd dreams, and comes to find that he has the ability of astral projection. Jay and Jackson are approached by a ghost who has a small window of opportunity to reverse his death at the hands of Jackson's murderous ex-girlfriend.

Mandao of the Dead: USA / 74 min  / English



Something Not Quite Right About "STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE" (1979) (video)

A standing joke in "Star Trek" has always been Dr. McCoy's fear...

...of getting his "molecules scrambled" in the transporter.

The gag is revisited in "The Motion Picture"...

...even though, mere hours before...

...two people got their molecules scrambled permanently.

All things considered, we're with Bones on this one.

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Thursday, December 13, 2018

BLACK PANTHER Featurette "Welcome to Wakanda" -- Watch it HERE!

In "Welcome To Wakanda," the cast and crew of Black Panther discuss creating the world of Wakanda, and what making the film meant to them. 

Black Panther is director Ryan Coogler's take on a modern African hero and a utopian vision of what an uncolonized Africa might look like. The film explores the conflict between two powerful men, one African and one African-American, who are mirror images of each other, each grappling with his own history, home, and very identity.

When Prince T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) becomes king of the hidden, technologically advanced kingdom Wakanda, he is forced to defend his throne against rogue mercenary Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).

Wakanda is also alive with strong, intelligent women--from Wakanda's elite all-female security force, led by Okoye (Danai Gurira), to the international spy Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o), to T'Challa's tech-savvy sister (Letitia Wright) and mother (Angela Bassett)--who are portrayed as equals to the men they protect and advise.


Shocking Effects Of Marijuana On Users: "REEFER MADNESS" (1936) (video)

More vicious...more deadly...

...even than the soul-destroying drugs opium, morphine, and heroin... the menace of marijuana!

The next tragedy may be that of your daughter...or your son...

...or yours...or yours...OR YOURS!

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

CHARLIE STEEL -- DVD Review by Porfle

If you've been searching for a bland, ultra-low-budget imitation of '70s blaxploitation flicks that comes off like somebody's student film, the 1984 South African thriller CHARLIE STEEL (Indiepix Films) is the pot of bad-film fun at the end of your rainbow.

Charlie (Sol Rachilo), a poor man's poor man's Shaft, is a private dick who's called into action by a rich friend whose daughter Dudu (Sonto Mazibuko) has just been kidnapped by a gang of bad guys led by the Boss (Thapelo Mofokeng) and is being held for ransom in their secluded hideout. 

As a super-cool action hero, Steel leaves much to be desired, but part of his charm is the way this lanky, hangdog dude in a baggy suit and tiny Fedora, who looks like he's been around the block a few too many times, schleps around town looking for leads before stumbling into trouble and getting himself captured two or three times. 

Meanwhile, as the incompetent bad guys endlessly play poker around the kitchen table and take turns guarding Dudu, we find that one of them, Tony (Charles Joloza), has a crush on her and may turn out to be an ally, while another, Jimmy (Davis Diphoko), is a former military compadre of Charlie's whose seething animosity toward him will ruin the private eye's attempt to infiltrate the gang.

This is one of many low-budget films made in South Africa for black audiences during apartheid, when their access to mainstream films was prohibited, and subsequently rediscovered and restored as part of Indiepix Films' "Retro Afrika" series.  As such, it's a fascinating example of really indy filmmaking that tries to make something entertaining with severely limited resources and manages to succeed in spite of itself. 

In this case, the fun is in watching writer-director Bevis Parsons and his cast of earnest but unpolished actors put together a semi-watchable detective thriller that is endearing in its badness, filling it with tough-guy dialogue, limp action scenes, and a simple, repetitive plot that plays like a feature version of a grade Z serial.

After playing private eye for awhile, Charlie gets serious and goes into military attack mode, trading his rumpled suit for black cat-burglar attire and launching a one-man seige on the bad guys' backwoods HQ. 

Naturally he gets captured again, but that merely sets up the mildly exciting finale in which he and the Boss face off against each other one on one.  Along the way super-suave Charlie even finds time to meet a comely lass and give her his address so that they can meet for dinner the next evening. 

Technically, the film is a bit more competent that some of these apartheid-era films I've seen, but that's not saying a whole lot.  Still, for bad film fans, that's exactly what gives movies like CHARLIE STEEL their irresistible charm, something this one is steeped in.  And with expectations thus adjusted, one almost can't help having a good time watching it.

Tech Specs
Format: Color, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR 
Studio: Indiepix Films
3:2, Color, Stereo
DVD Release Date: December 18, 2018
Run Time: 87 minutes
Extras: Trailer


John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #19: Poker Game, "Tall In The Saddle" (1944) (video)

Just a friendly poker game...

...until some tinhorn pulls a gun on Duke and accuses him of cheating.

What happens next? Let's find out!

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!