In 1990, I was hired to write a column on movies appearing on cable television for Antenna, a South Beach alternative tabloid. Six pieces were published before the rag suffocated. A trio of weeklies (Antenna, The Wire, and Miami New Times) were competing for the same turf; today, only the latter remains. (Apologies for the Emergency Hospital blurb... Cabinet made it to DVD in 2005.)
After a rough night of mot-slinging with SoBe's least and dimmest there's nothing quite like worming one's way into a woefully mottled narrative. Waste Management will sub for the gentle, Karaoke-weary reader in slogging through toxic broadcast effluvia. Only those films deemed sufficiently capable of reversing life-affirming patterns will be suggested to the public by Waste Management's editorial board. We will only critique titles not yet legally available on home video.
October 11 (Friday)
(year of release: 1949/network: TNT/air time: 2:20 pm/allocated time slot: 100m./actual running time: 79m.)
Fassbinder sub-muse Doug Sirk directed the inconsolable Cornel Wilde in this Sam Fuller-scripted noir of a parole officer's destructive affair with hot box parolee Patricia Knight. Tumescent gloss, a perfect morning-after complement to an evening spent baiting Washington Avenue's proto-dork valet pools.
When the Clock Strikes
Hyper-prolific exploitation auteur Edward L. Cahn directed eleven (!) marvelously routine timesnuffers in '61, among them The Boy Who Caught a Crook, You Have to Run Fast, and The Police Dog Story. This obscure n*ir-tinged anomaly features James Brown (neither Mr. Super Dynamite Soul nor the Cleveland Brown-cum-blaxploit icon, but the stolid Texan b-vet) and Cahn regular Merry Anders as seedy feebs squabbling over hidden swag. Guaranteed to stultify, so in its way at least on a diegetic par with the typical Le Loft power confab.
October 12 (Saturday)
Hercules Against the Sons of the Sun
Peplum at its superannuated azimuth, with Mark Forest toplining as the mutton-toting Ercole
(transplanted to a pre-Columbian milieu). Many Incas tossed; soulless Hombre theme nights beckon!
In 1950 the majestic Caged staked out the iconography, but this roupy girdle cruncher delivered hot stock characters in menses-daubed halfslips. Subtextual corn chopping aside, Lewis Seiler's "jug"-posited long pig verity beggars delectation. Banji extends to Jan Sterling; house lection of her recidivist paperhanger "Brenda"'s self-mutilation should spur peroxide stocks.
October 13 (Sunday)
Second feature machinist Lee Sholem injects just enough tedium into this hardly inenarrable plasma-fest to render it compulsively smot-worthy. Sholem also directed the bleak Crime Against Joe and the tolerably low-fi, Christian robot-vs.-Commie technothug blare of Tobor the Great. For every offal-smothered shitwaffle like Dances with Wolves there are hundreds of Emergency Hospitals waiting to piss on your wheel rims. With vulpine b-stalwart Margaret Lindsay.
October 14 (Monday)
Portrait of a Mobster
Dutch Schultz-jinx, with brown-shod moon calf Vic Morrow limning all over the noetic srawlchart. Appropriately half-vile, with the great Ray Danton (see The George Raft Story for verification) reprising an earlier flesh peel of a certain Schultz comtemporary (see also auteurist fave Budd Boetticher's 1960 babe-intensive bio spool The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond). There are no snakes in Ireland.
October 15 (Tuesday)
Kraut-tainted safari palaver, notable primarily as '40's icon-by-proxy Sabu Dastagir's next-to-last feature. His Sabu and the Magic Ring alone is worth ten thousand latex-swathed nights of 40-weight-suckled, fist-boit-addled felicity. Directed by noir savant Phil Karlson. Bob Mitchum stars, farts, walks off the set.
October 17 (Thursday)
Cabinet of Caligari
Heretical remake of Robert Wiene's 1919 piceous, somnambulant masterwork, abandoning the original's monorhinous Teut-bludgeon for Bloch-writ post-Psycho volk-shocks. Continuously aired on AMC; although not without detractors, one should nonetheless pay heed to this irritating gut-pummeller.
October 19 (Saturday)
Robert Vaughn, lumpen monolith, decades away from infomersh stewardship, sulks through post-apoc hormonal shudders in a rumen-girdled peignoir. Many bearskins jimmied in this zero-budget sop-fiesta from vestal atrocity-meister Roger Corman. Fuck Ken Brannagh.
- Tom Smith