Monday, January 30, 2017

The Endangered List (Case File #157)


Rated X, for excellence in violence


BOGARD (1975)

Starring
Richard Lawson
Dabney Coleman
Robert Burr
Annazette Chase
Joseph Ruskin
Sherry Boucher

Directed by
Timothy Galfas

Story by
Tim Kelly

Screenplay
By
Tim Kelly
and
Melvyn Frohman

Music by
Ed Townsend

Produced by
Peter S. Traynor
and
William D. Sklar

Released by
L-T Films

MPAA rating: X



Above: BOGARD sneak preview - New York - January 17, 1975




The Independent Film Journal says...

Heavily violent saga of a black streetfighter who finds himself locked into a Mafia stable and finally breaks loose to return in an already completed sequel, BOGARD II. Not badly constructed as these things go and the X-rated savagery and steamy sex should prompt healthy business from the black action crowd.

Even though the tide of blaxploitation product has ebbed somewhat over the past year or so, audiences are always receptive to a soft-spoken black hero who can let loose with the dynamite fists and whip into the white Mafia establishment when the chips are down. The latest incarnation of this tough, mythic dude is Leroy Fiske (Richard Lawson), a trim black streetfighter who gets wangled into risking his life by the mob, finally wants out and has to kill his way to the top to get it. Marked by an unusually vicious racist angle, BOGARD features lots of graphic fighting (earning it its X-rating), a couple of long and steamy sex encounters, and a strong enough sympathetic identification with the hero to guarantee strong audience support in black urban strongholds.

BOGARD has an added edge on the competition by being the first exploitation feature to introduce a new plot hinge – stables of fighters paid by the mob to rip each other apart in deserted warehouse areas for a crowd of paying and betting customers. Since the winner gets a hefty purse, the story takes on the proportions of a latter-day boxing flic, though thoroughly updated with the trappings of savage kicking, ample bloodletting and white-hot racial conflict. Storyline follows Leroy into the stable of a shifty mobster kingpin, and on to champion status, whereupon he learns that his boss has enlisted a crooked cop (Dabney Coleman) to take back most of his money as “protection.” After Leroy’s friend and trainer is sold to a rival stable and the two of them fight to the death like unwilling gladiators, he wants out, fights one last fight against a bald, superhumanly ugly ogre named Moose, and finally breaks away from the mob.

The last five minutes or so of the film are actually a quickly edited sequence of coming attractions from BOGARD II in which Leroy becomes a gang kingpin in his own right and inspires a lot more crowd-pleasing bloodletting. By the time the coming attractions come on screen, the initial storyline – which includes a brief encounter with a white heiress who uses Leroy for his body and then tosses him away – has completely dissipated, leaving only the fights to maintain audience pleasure. Which, judging from the vocal cheers at a recent New York unspooling, BOGARD succeeds at with flying, blood-red colors.

The Independent Film Journal (March 19, 1975, p. 26, 29)




BOGARD and its sequel, GET FISK (a.k.a. BOGARD II), were filmed back-to-back. Despite the fact that BOGARD was originally released with the trailer for BOGARD II attached at the end, the sequel never came out. According to some sources, it was never even completed.

***

GET FISK
a.k.a. BOGARD II

Starring
Richard Lawson
Stephanie Faulkner
John Dewey-Carter
Nicholas Worth

Assistant Director
Wes McAfee

Associated Producers
Mel Frohman
Charles Mulvehill

***


Beginning in September 1976, BOGARD was reissued as BLACK STREET FIGHTER by New Line Cinema, a company that had found recent success with the Sonny Chiba movies THE STREET FIGHTER, RETURN OF THE STREET FIGHTER and SISTER STREET FIGHTER. The most extreme violence in BOGARD was cut to secure an R rating for BLACK STREET FIGHTER, which is also missing the BOGARD II trailer.


Meanwhile, footage from the (unfinished?) sequel was combined with scenes from BOGARD to make BLACK FIST. This version -- which credits two directors, additional producers and editors, and features a new soundtrack -- was submitted to the MPAA as a wholly different film independent of BOGARD and BLACK STREET FIGHTER. Released beginning in July 1977, this is the version that has been readily available on home video since the start of the 1980s. The X-rated BOGARD disappeared in 1975 and the R-rated BLACK STREET FIGHTER hasn't been seen since New Line pulled it from the action track in the mid '80s. Neither cut has ever been released on a home video format.


BLACK FIST (1977)

Starring
Richard Lawson
Annazette Chase
Philip Michael Thomas
Robert Burr
Dabney Coleman
Charles L. Hamilton
Denise Gordy
Richard Kaye
Ed Rue
John Wesley Rodgers
Ron Carson
Al Checco
Joseph Ruskin
Carolyn Calcote
Morris Buchannan
Eddie Crawford
Nicholas Worth
H.B. Haggerty
Larry Rice
Stephanie Faulkner
Troas Hayes
Casey Jones
Nick Dallas
William Peele, Jr.
Lionel Davis
Pak San
Earl
Bishop F.C. Mounger
Martin the Wonderdog
Edward James Olmos

Directed by
Timothy Galfas

Additional Sequences
Directed by
Richard Kaye

Written by
Tim Kelly

Additional Sequences
Directed by
Andrew Maisner
&
Richard Kaye

Produced by
Richard Kaye
William Larrabure

Executive Producer
Charles L. Hamilton

Director of Photography
William Larrabure

Edited by
Andrew Maisner

Music Scored by
Ron Carson
Art Freeman
Richard Kaye

A
Worldwide Films
release

MPAA rating: R


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Movie Ads of the Week: The Many Faces of SOLANGE (1974-1977)



Massimo Dallamano's COSA AVETE FATTO A SOLANGE?, featuring Fabio Testi and Camille Keaton, was picked up for U.S. distribution by Hallmark Releasing Corporation in 1973 and apparently screened as both WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? and then SOLANGE before arriving in Pittsfield, MA as BLOOD RELATIONS on April 5, 1974. Like other Hallmark horror releases of the period, the ads recycle the "It's only a movie" tag line from the company's most notorious hit, Wes Craven's LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. Craven later borrowed the BLOOD RELATIONS title for a screenplay that eventually became his second film, THE HILLS HAVE EYES.


At the same time this beloved giallo was playing some areas as BLOOD RELATIONS, American International was sub-distributing it as TERROR IN THE WOODS. The ad above is from Louisville, KY on April 17, 1974.


If you've watched Garagehouse Pictures' Blu-ray TRAILER TRAUMA, then you already know that THE RAH RAH GIRLS is yet another title for Dallamano's '72 thriller (That trailer came from the Temple of Schlock Archives, by the way). The ad above is from Bloomington, IL on July 17, 1977. SEX ON THE GROOVE TUBE (1976), another Hallmark release, is a downright fraudulent re-titling of THE CASE OF THE FULL MOON MURDERS (1973) a.k.a. THE CASE OF THE SMILING STIFFS, with voiceovers added to trick viewers into thinking it’s a sequel to THE GROOVE TUBE. It's also heavily edited from a self-applied X rating to an MPAA-approved R.


Yet another title for the film is THE SCHOOL THAT COULDN'T SCREAM, seen above playing in Chicago on October 21, 1977 co-billed with LAST HOUSE PART II, a reissue of Mario Bava's BAY OF BLOOD, which Hallmark had already released as CARNAGE and TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE.


Since Hallmark sometimes used the same title for more than one movie (DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT and HORROR HOSPITAL were both released as DEATH WARD #13, for example), we'll assume in the ad above that THE RAH RAH GIRLS is another Hallmark release and not the Massimo Dallamano film mistakenly booked with itself as THE SCHOOL THAT COULDN'T SCREAM in Limerick, PA on June 3, 1977. Our guess is that it was PRIVATE SCHOOL GIRLS (GEFÄHRLICHER SEX FRÜHREIFER MÄDCHEN).

Friday, January 27, 2017

Mystery Movie: TEENAGE RUNAWAYS (1974)



In June 1974, Hallmark Releasing put out something called TEENAGE RUNAWAYS, an obvious cash-in on a then-topical subject, with a tag line that rips from a well-known television PSA ("It's 10 P.M. Do you know where your children are?"). In the ads above (Louisville, KY) and below (Pittsfield, MA) -- both dated June 21, 1974 -- the second feature is ASYLUM EROTICA, a.k.a. Fernando Di Leo's LA BESTIA UCCIDE A SANGUE FREDDO/THE BEAST KILLS IN COLD BLOOD, which Hallmark had previously released as SLAUGHTER HOTEL.


Earlier in June of '74, the film played in York, PA on a triple bill with DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT and TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE.


Since it appears to have been booked only with horror movies, we're guessing this is another title for either HORROR HOSPITAL or WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? It could also be LAS AMANTES DEL DIABLO/THE LOVERS OF THE DEVIL, which Hallmark submitted to the MPAA for re-rating (PG) in 1973 as NIGHT OF THE DEVILS. Both that film and another Hallmark release, FOURSOME a.k.a. SWEET AND SEXY, are about people searching for their missing sisters, so we now have four possibilities. Does anyone recognize the actress in the ad?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Garagehouse Pictures unleashes THE SATANIST and TRAILER TRAUMA 3 on Blu-ray!


Holy crap! Chris worked on two awesome Blu-rays from Garagehouse Pictures recently - one of which came out three months ago - and he hasn't done much to promote either of them. Well, it's definitely time to remedy that!


THE SATANIST is the lost film from Zoltan G. Spencer (a.k.a. Spencer Crilly), never before available on home video in ANY format and UNSEEN for 46 years. Now Garagehouse Pictures brings this obscure Satanic sexploitation horror film to Blu-ray in a 4K restoration for the first time anywhere!

A writer recovering from a nervous breakdown moves to the country with his wife for a rest cure that turns into a nightmare when the two become unwilling participants in an ancient Satanic ritual and a wild bacchanal of the flesh. Weird forbidden rites, erotic succubi, obscene devil dances: THE SATANIST will take you to the edge of madness!

1968 / 62 mins. / B&W / Mono / Not Rated

Feature Specifications and Extras:
• 4K Restoration from the only known 35mm film print
• Sound digitally remastered from the original optical tracks
• Presented in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio
• Audio Commentary by Temple of Schlock's Chris Poggiali &
Ashley West of The Rialto Report
• Liner notes by Chris Poggiali
• Garagehouse Pictures Trailers
• New artwork by Stephen Romano

Plus added bonus feature: SISTERS IN LEATHER (1969)
• 4K scan from the Original Camera Negative
• Sound digitally remastered from the original optical tracks 1969

************************************************************************


Relive the awesome age of sadistic slashers and brain-gobbling mutants with TRAILER TRAUMA 3: ‘80s HORROR-THON!

The third compilation of movie previews from Garagehouse Pictures is an unprecedented, chronological exploration of the history of horror from the 1980s, featuring the scariest, goriest, and craziest trailers from the era! With over 250 trailers (including many red band favorites) and a running time of nearly 7.5 hours, this epic 2-disc set is by far the most ambitious and comprehensive trailer package ever assembled! Including enlightening commentary from fans, filmmakers, journalists, authors, and cult cinema experts, this collection serves as a means of critiquing and educating about the most apocryphal and mind-blowing era of horror movie madness.

TRAILER TRAUMA 3: ‘80s HORROR-THON is a serious, must-have addition to every horror fan’s collection!

Special Features:
• Transferred & digitally mastered in 4K
• Sound digitally remastered from the original optical tracks
• 2-disc limited edition (of 1500) set
•Audio commentary by Chris Poggiali, Ted Geoghegan, Michael Gingold, Tim Ferrante, Grady Hendrix, Stephen Romano, Dan Buskirk, James (Doc Terror) Harris and Exhumed Films’ Dan Fraga, Harry Guerro and Jesse Nelson
•Trailers for Garagehouse Pictures releases
• Art by Stephen Romano
• Original music by Ian Zapczynski
• All regions

2016 / 439 mins. / Color / Mono & Stereo / Not Rated


Order these and other Garagehouse Pictures titles from Diabolik DVD!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Endangered List (Case File #156)



WHITE SALT AND SUNSHINE (1974)


Featuring
Craig Breedlove
Gary Gabelich
Art Arfons
Mickey Thompson
Ab Jenkins
Athol Graham
Sir Malcolm Campbell
Glen Leasher
Dr. Nathan Ostich
Captain George Eyston
Tom Green
Donald Campbell
Sir John Cobb
Bob Tatroe

Produced by
Filmmakers Studio, Inc.

Music by
Charles Bernstein

Director of Sound
Fred Badiyan

A Unidyne Entertainment production

Distributed by
Monte Vista Corporation

MPAA rating: G

Indianapolis, IN - February 27, 1974


Rushville, IN - March 1, 1974


Columbus, IN - March 2, 1974


Ogden, UT - April 14, 1974


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Movie Ads of the Week: The Many Faces of HORROR HOSPITAL (1974-1978)



Richard Gordon's comic-horror production HORROR HOSPITAL (1973) -- directed by Antony Balch and starring Michael Gough, Robin Askwith, Vanessa Shaw and Dennis Price -- was acquired for the U.S. by Hallmark Releasing in late '73 and retitled EASTWORLD to capitalize on the success of Michael Crichton's WESTWORLD. The ad above is from Kokomo, IN where American International was handling Hallmark's releases, while the ad below is from Poughkeepsie, NY (Both are dated January 25, 1974).


Simultaneous with the film's release as EASTWORLD, Hallmark was also circulating prints under the title COMPUTER KILLERS, using the same ad campaign.


Middletown, RI - February 8, 1974



Two months later (April 19, 1974) the film surfaced in Louisville, KY as DEATH WARD #13, a title Hallmark had used the previous year for S.F. Brownrigg's DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT.


HORROR HOSPITAL was re-released in 1978, despite being sold to television two years earlier, this time under its original title and with a tag line that took aim at another Michael Crichton film, COMA (also 1978). The ad above is from St. Louis, MO on December 1, 1978.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Endangered List (Case File #155)



WELCOME TO OBLIVION (1990)

Starring
Dack Rambo (Kenner)
Clare Beresford (Grace)
Meshach Taylor (Elijah)
Mark Bringelson (Big)
Charles Dougherty (Zig)
Diana Quijano (Radio)
Emily Kreimer (Shiela)
Orlando Sacha (Bishop)
Ramsay Ross (Lazarus)

Directed by
Augusto Tamayo

Produced by
Luis Llosa

Co-Producer
Sally Mattison

Screenplay by
Len Jenkin
and
Dan Kleinman

Associate Producer
Margarita Morales Macedo

Camera
Cusi Barrio

Edited by
Augusto Tamayo
and
Dan Schalk

Music by
Kevin Klingler

Sound by
Edgar Lostaunau

Assistant Director
Pili Flores Guerra

Stunt Coordinator
Jose Luy

Special Makeup Effects
Thom Schouse

A
Concorde Pictures
release

Running time: 80 minutes

MPAA rating: R


WELCOME TO OBLIVION, a cheap but straightforward futuristic action movie that Luis Llosa produced in Peru for Roger Corman's Concorde Pictures, received a theatrical release in Cincinnati, San Diego, and other cities beginning in February of 1990. A screener cassette from Concorde was sent to Variety critic Lawrence Cohn at the end of that year and his negative review (below) appeared in the January 28th, 1991 issue of Daily Variety.


For whatever reason, WELCOME TO OBLIVION never made it to home video. Instead, an alternate version was constructed by editor Robert L. Goodman consisting of sequences from the original film, new scenes produced by Mike Elliott and directed by Kevin Tent -- including an appearance by Corman as the President of the United States -- and footage pulled from BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, WARLORDS OF THE 21ST CENTURY, THE WARRIOR AND THE SORCERESS, WHEELS OF FIRE, CRIME ZONE, LORDS OF THE DEEP, and DUNE WARRIORS. Music by Terry Plumeri and Ed Tomney was also added, and the title was changed to ULTRA WARRIOR.

Daily Variety - November 16, 1992

Nearly three years after its release as WELCOME TO OBLIVION, the Frankenmovie known as ULTRA WARRIOR emerged from the bandages as a videocassette sporting new Boris Vallejo box art on December 17, 1992 from New Horizons Home Video. This version, also a no-show on DVD and Blu-ray, currently has an IMDb user rating of 1.6 out of 10.


We find it impossible to believe that WELCOME TO OBLIVION is worse than ULTRA WARRIOR. It's time for some company to put out a special edition Blu-ray with both versions and a featurette that explains why this happened.