Monday, June 13, 2011

Weird Wednesday July & August 2011 Titles and Writeups are here!

Robert Duvall shooting Timothy Carey in the fucking hand, from THE OUTFIT.

Beginning this July, Weird Wednesday will no longer be at midnight. It is moving to the 10pm round of shows. It’s still at the Ritz and it’s still only $1, but it will be earlier so more of you can enjoy the peerless selection of classic exploitation films on 35mm film. Showtimes will vary based on the other movies playing so check for actual times. Special thanks to I Luv Video for making Weird Wednesday possible.

July 6, Dir. J. Robert Wagoner, 1979, 93 min, R, 35mm, $1
"Put your weight on it!" This is the legendary hardcore anti-PCP movie from Dolemite himself. The late Rudy Ray Moore created a stage persona straight out of the gaudy style of the Chitlin' Circuit entertainers of his youth and combined it with the folk poetry of the black south. It served him well as a stage comic and when he took it to the screen in the film DOLEMITE he became an underground hero. After the admittedly rough first movie with its hilariously poor kung fu sequences, his subsequent films had slightly better production values. They also got really, really weird. In AVENGING DISCO GODFATHER, Moore plays a ex-cop disco impresario who changes out of his gold lame jumpsuit hit the streets and get revenge on the drug dealers who trashed his nephew Bucky's brain with PCP. There's less overt comedy and more of what appears to be an attempt at gritty realism. Thankfully, it's unbelievably hysterical. The scenes of drug-induced hallucinations and the tour of the PCP ward at the local hospital send this movie into the stratosphere of strangeness. Bring your own angel dust! (Lars)

July 13, Dir. Arthur Dreifus, 1967, 87 min, NR, 35mm, $1
“The most shocking film of our generation! Meet the teenyboppers with their too-tight capris... And the pot-partygoers - out for a new thrill - a new kick! ” Hilariously misguided and fun “expose” of the youth problem. This is definitely a bad movie but as bad movies go it’s sublime. Gorgeous Mimsy Farmer (THE ROAD TO SALINA), a walking tornado of virginal innocence and sex appeal if there ever was one, plays the estranged daughter of police captain Aldo Ray. When she falls in with the wrong crowd of hot-rodding, pot smoking kids, there’s going to be trouble on the Sunset Strip. This movie is ludicrously old fashioned (producer Sam Katzman had been in the business since 1914) but it’s also strangely vital and exciting. A lot of the credit goes to Mimsy, whose LSD freakout dance sequence is a highlight of human history. If there was a drug that could make life exactly like this movie I would smoke it every day. Featuring The Chocolate Watchband, The Standells and The Enemies. Plus King Of Fuzz Davie Allan brings his guitar to the party. Miss this and you’re just stupid! (Lars)

July 20, Dir. George Mihalka, 1980, 88 min, R, 35mm, $1
You know this type of movie. In the early to mid '80s they were all over the pay-cable networks - teen comedies that featured no actual teenagers and very little that would be recognized as comedy outside a kindergarten or head trauma ward. A few of these T&A comedies were better than expected and a some were even worse. PINBALL SUMMER may actually be the worst of this sad lot. It makes HOLLYWOOD HIGH look like BRINGING UP BABY. But even a three-legged dog has its own eccentric charm. Like the earlier WW favorite SUPERVAN it attempts to capitalize on a marginal fad, in this case the short-lived pinball craze that swept the world for about three months in 1979. It's all there: the nerds, the threatening biker gang, the two cool dudes who just want to have fun and of course the gum-smacking girls who rip their tops off for no reason at all. (Lars)

July 27, Dir. Fernando Di Leo, 1976, 85 min, R, 35mm, $1
Casual brutality alternates with vulgar comedy in one of the most entertaining Italian crime movies ever made, as should be expected from Fernando Di Leo, the grand master of the form. Jack Palance plays a bad, bad man who runs a neighborhood crime syndicate in Rome. But when a series of small outrages escalates to an all-out war he proves no match for a couple of slacker kids (Harry Baer and Al Cliver) with a dune buggy and an over-the-hill consigliere (the great Vittorio Caprioli) who still remembers the old days and the old ways. While not a comedy as such, this film contains more laugh out loud scenes than all but the very best comedies. But it also delivers shocking, intense violence and a pungent ambience redolent of sleazy pool halls and greasy hair tonic. I can’t recommend this movie highly enough. This is pulp art at its very best. (Lars)

Aug 3, Dir. Jonathan Kaplan, 1974, 91 min, R, 35mm, $1
If there’s a better blaxploitation movie than TRUCK TURNER we haven’t found it - and we’ve looked! Isaac Hayes turns on the charm as a legendary bounty hunter with a short temper. When he takes down a psychopathic pimp named Gator, he inadvertantly creates a power vacuum in the Los Angeles prostitution scene. Then Gator’s bottom woman Nichelle (“Lt. Uhura”) Nichols (who should have gotten the Oscar, seriously) offers Gator’s orphaned whores to any mack who can take down Truck Turner. Soon there’s an open war in the streets between the wisecracking, beer-guzzling Turner and a coalition of over the top pimps, the most dangerous being Yaphet Kotto’s intense Harvard Blue. Every line of dialogue in this movie is suitable for framing. With over 75,000 instances of the N-word, and the most creative use of profanity in movie history. To top it off, there’s an Isaac Hayes score and Scatman Crothers as an elderly, but still active, pimp. It just can’t get better than this. It can’t! (Lars)

Aug 10, Dir. Piero Schivazappa 1969, 108 min, R, 35mm, $1
It's movies like this that make me want to pack up my belongings, grow a little bitty mustache, put on a white linen suit and move to Europe. I can pretty much guarantee that you'll never see an S&M soap opera like this rolling out of Hollywood anytime between now and the first extreme snowboarding championship in Hell. Bodacious Dagmar Lassander stars as an ingenue learning the ropes (literally) from satanic Phillipe Leroy, whose whole crib is like Six Flags for perverts. The door into and out of the sex gym is in the shape of a giant vulva between two giant sculpted legs! Now that our whole country seems to be slipping into some kind of Puritan Dark Age, those of us with sex drives need to pick up the slack for the rest of America. Won't you join us in our crusade? (Lars)

Aug 17, Dir. John Flynn, 1973, 103 min, R, 35mm, $1
One of the greatest crime films ever made, THE OUTFIT has lingered in a sort of semi-obscure twilight for far too long. Like John Flynn's other great movie ROLLING THUNDER, THE OUTFIT is built on great performances. Robert Duvall shows why he's an actor's actor as he plays a man avenging his brother's death at the hands of the mob. He teams up with his former partner Joe Don Baker to rob the mob at their card games and collection points until he collects an amount of money he deems sufficient for his loss, or until they pay him off. It may sound like a simple enough plot, and it is, but Duvall's character study of a tough con detached from his moorings and doing what he has to do is masterful. He's like a walking suit of armor with no man inside it. The supporting cast includes many noir stalwarts such as Robert Ryan, Elisha Cook, Marie Windsor, and in fact most of the cast of Stanley Kubrick's THE KILLING. The great cinematic madman Timothy Carey is memorable as a low-level mob enforcer who gets dealt with by Duvall in a very personal way. (Lars)

Special thanks to Warner Archive for making this screening possible. Check out their selection of this and other classic films now on DVD at

Aug 24, Dir. Paul Nicolas, 1981, 35MM, 100 Min, R, 35mm, $1
“She’ll blow you - then she’ll blow you away!” I’ve never had kids and I never will. I’ve watched enough movies to know they’re bad news. Even if they aren’t possessed by the devil, they still learn to hate you and all you stand for - even as they eat all your food and wreck your sex life! If I ever waver in my determination to remain child-free, I’ll just thread this movie up and feel my testes retract. An otherwise unknown actress named Isabelle Mejias gives a performance to remember as a daughter with a serious daddy hang up. There’s not a huge volume of physical violence in the film but the spriritual violence wrought by the cunning and manipulative teenager is hellishly intense. Starring Anthony Franciosa as the lucky dad and Teutonic Amazon Sybil Danning as the girl’s unfortunate new step-mom. It’s only appropriate to warn you that the wrong-meter goes into the red here several times, which is just where we like it! (Lars)

Aug 31, 35mm, $1
YOU MUST CHOOSE! Since its inception, the Weird Wednesday Choose Your Own Adventure Night has been a virtual guarantor of cinematic strangeness far beyond even our own Wildest Dreams. Here's how it works: we pull three movies from the vaults, I'll fill you in a bit on the details, then you, the audience, will choose the movie by applauding. As always, we have some awesome movies set aside for just such an occasion. Choose Your Own Weird Wednesday is one of the great, though irregularly scheduled, traditions of this series. Some of the best, wrongest and just plain awkward moments in my life (Anybody remember the chugging magenta meat of COUNTRY HOOKER?) have been at Choose Your Own Weird Wednesday nights. This year make your voice heard! And don't come sniffing around looking for hints about which movies will be in the mix 'cause I'll just make some shit up. (Lars)