Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MOONFIRE - Marty Robbins - "The Wheel Of Life" (1970)

 Welcome to the newly ordained WTF?! Wednesday down in The Dungeon! Tonight's feature film, dear friends, was a movie we've had on our want list for over 5 years without a clue as to where to obtain a copy! Finally in the last few months I tracked one down, and then, lo and behold, when I started writing this tonight, I went to IMDB to check a couple of facts, and found out that "Moonfire" streams on Amazon for $2.99 or free if you have one of them fancy 'Prime' accounts, so now it's just up to you whether you're ready for something like this or not! I know I sure wasn't!! On the WTF?! Meter, "Moonfire" gets a 10 for sure!! It's got it all! When I first read about "Moonfire" they said something about truckers vs nazis, so I envisioned something like a cross between "Surf Nazis Must Die," and "Mad Max," but I was wrong, way wrong!!! Not even close!!

Here's what I think! Somebody had the big idea that if they had a star with some kind of name recognition (Richard (GOG) Egan), a bigger than life former major sports figure (Sonny Liston), and a theme song by a former #1 hit maker (Marty Robbins and his 1959 hit song "El Paso"), that there was no possible way that they could go wrong! I'm pretty sure that they lost their ass on that bet!! A curious note, just for the record, when most songs in 1959 were clocking in at 2 or 3 minutes, "El Paso" was 4 minutes and 38 seconds long, an AM radio breakthrough later taken to the max on FM by "The End" and "In A Gadda Da Vida!"

Remember!! This is THE "Most Authentic Trucking Movie" ever made, and that claim just might still hold true to this day! Here's a tasty morsel of the music to get you in the mood! Arriba, Arriba, Honk, Honk!!!!

Richard Eagan's got that kind of a face where you know you've seen him many times before, but you just don't know exactly where! Multiple western roles and two TV shows in 1962 and 63 with different titles, but where Richard played the same character, Jim Redigo were "Empire," and "Redigo!" Richard won a Golden Globe award in 1954 for "Most Promising Newcomer - Male," but in "Moonfire," he's just collecting a paycheck!

Two T's just wasn't enough, so here ya go kids, the authentic Triple T Truck Stop! (Or is it four?)

 So what the Hell is going on here anyway? I watched the movie and I still don't know, so it's going to be difficult for you! A space capsule drops down in the middle of the Mexican desert, followed by a parachuteer to retrieve something! Guy seems lost, I don't know!

 The dude on the left is a Nazi named Fuentes played by Dayton (Jack The Giant Killer) Lummis, and the guy on the right is his bandito accomplice Jesus as played by Jose (KRONOS) Gonzales-Gonzales! Jose is also responsible for the little ditty you'll hear in the soundclip that isn't Marty Robbins! They've got some completely different shit going on, but this space capsule deal just kind of literally dropped into their lap!

You would have thought that he would have had a better plan!

Believe it or don't, but this is a picture of me taken in the same exact year!

Jeez, nobody said anything about Percy Dovetonsils being in this movie!

Pickle Shot Charles Napier on the left is trucker Robert W. Morgan! Charles is a story all unto himself, with almost 200 credits to his name including a bunch of Russ Meyer films where he earned the nickname Pickle Shot for being in one of the first movies ever that included male frontal nudity! To further the legitimacy of this film, Charles actually worked for a trucker magazine called "Overdrive" in the 70's! True to form, Charles passed away in Bakersfield, Calif. just a couple of years ago!

Robert W. Morgan's partner and driving buddy is known as The Farmer and was played by former World Heavyweight Championship boxer and all around mysterious guy, Sonny Liston! I'm assuming that I'm not the only person who finds it odd that these guys all choose to work with no shirts on, but then this IS an authentic trucker movie!

The Sonny Liston story is, and will always be, the kind of life that history is made of!

With a record of 50 wins and 4 losses, Sonny destroyed Champion Floyd Patterson in their first meeting to claim the title of being the first person to ever knock out the reigning Champion in the first round! In a dismal rematch the following year, Patterson lasted a mere 4 seconds longer than in their first fight! It was after that when it started getting weird! In a championship defense against Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), Sonny was winning when something got in Clay's eye! Then suddenly, Liston quit, claiming a shoulder injury! In their rematch, Liston went down by a phantom punch that nobody saw in the first round, and lost his championship forever! Five months after this movie was made, Sonny Liston was found dead in Las Vegas at the age of 38! The truth will probably never be known!

Stupid racist biker didn't know who he was dealing with and got taken out in the first second of the first round!

You never see 'Standard' any more, it's all 'Chevron' these days! Now this is an authentic truck stop picture fer shure!

Next stop! MEXICO!!

Nothing says Truckin' like a couple of 16 wheelers side by side barreling down a dusty road together!!

 Stoopid freakin' Nazi guy who I thought was calling all the shots follows the truckers out into the boondocks and gets his car stuck in sand! Luckily for him, the guys carry a forklift around with them to unload their cargo, and are able to help him out!

 After he graciously thanks them, he then tries to shoot them, and in an unprecedented move I've never seen before, they ram his car with the forks, and then lift it up and over the edge of a cliff and gone!  Auf Wiedersehen Idiot!!

Acting or not, you really get the vibe that Sonny is thinking, "Amigo, this might be a movie, but you better get that gun out of my face before I kick your fucking ass!"

Now this is a shot that I truly believe is worthy of a caption contest! I just dare you! WTF!?

Monday, August 18, 2014

ALICE IN WONDERLAND / Paramount Pictures - 1933

It's time for a movie called "The Entertainment Miracle Of All Times!" here at The Dungeon!.. Here's Lewis Carroll's classic story with a stellar cast of stars that includes Gary Cooper, W.C. Fields, Cary Grant, Sterling Holloway, Edward Everett Horton, Baby Leroy, May Robson, Charles Ruggles, Ned Sparks, Billy Barty and Billy Bevan. I got this copy on TCM.

Eegah!! sent over a nice little sound clip of Humpty Dumpty and at Aiice's party for our earjoyment, sooooo, you can push the big red 'GO' button located next to our mutant Cheshire Cat, NOW, Rufus The Gnat!.. Here's a taste of... ALICE IN WONDERLAND!

Charlotte Henry plays Alice, she has just gone through the mirror and is now in the alternate universe called Wonderland. Charlotte was also in HUCKELBERRY FINN, MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE, BABES IN TOYLAND, JUNGLE MENACE and BOWERY BLITZKREIG, starting her acting career at age five.

Alice follows The Mouse into a pond as he shows her the way to the other side...

Great looking costume!! Alice, small now, tries to get some information out of the Gryphon.

Mr. droll, Ned Sparks, plays the very confusing, contrary, hookah smoking Caterpillar.

Alice is even smaller now as she walks through Wonderland, looking for her way back home.

Richard Arlen play the sly old Cheshire Cat, he has the power to disappear and reappear.

Here are Tweedledee and Tweedledum showing Alice a cartoon, in order to enhance their tale. The cartoon is totally unnecessary and seems oddly placed into the movie, it's just weird!

W. C. Fields plays Humpty Dumpty and you'll easily notice his voice in the sound clip.

Alice has been named queen, so, she goes through the door for a...

Big freakin' surprise party! All the characters are there to celebrate the big event.

Even the food talks!! There's great fun to be had for all, no matter where you look.

Humpty Dumpty and the others grab some sparklers as the party goes off the tracks!

Then, Alice wakes up in her chair, just in time to go to drug rehab! Tune in Wednesday when Eegah!! will present a real WTF flick!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

THE DAY MARS INVADED EARTH - Richard Lasalle - " Strange Invisible Astro-Energy Unleashed Leaves Mankind A Human Shell As It Destroys His Body And Brain!" (1963)

Tonight's Saturday Night Special is one of those hard to find kinds of movies that's just been swept under the rug for some reason, but in our world, just like a lot of cars, it's a real classic!

So let's set the Wayback Machine to 1963, and let's get this over with before it's the end of the world! The future is now, and as far as you know, today just might be "The Day Mars Invaded Earth!"

The opening scenes of "The Day Mars Invaded Earth" show a Mars Rover Robot cruising the surface of Mars in an effort to obtain more knowledge about the red planet!

It doesn't take more than about 40 seconds for the exploratory craft to suddenly and mysteriously go up in flames! I guess they learned one thing, there's atmosphere on Mars, other than that, the project is a pretty dismal failure!

Meanwhile, back on good old Terra Firma, it's time to get back to the drawing board, and start all over again! The music in "The Day Mars Invaded Earth" was a product of the genius mind of the composer Richard LaSalle who was also responsible for the music in a wild array of films  ranging from "Hands Of A Stranger" and "Diary Of A Madman," to "Superbeast" "Daughter's Of Satan," and "Pirahna!!!"  Here's just a taste of the spooky and eerie Richard had up his sleeve!

The entire cast of "The Day Mars Invaded Earth" consisted of exactly 10 people, but what an amazing and pretty much all-star cast it is, starting with Kent Taylor as hard-working government worker Doctor David Fielding!!  Dr. Fielding was in charge of the whole Mars project, and he's feeling pretty dejected!

Next up is wild William Mims as Dr. Fielding's partner, Dr. Web Spencer! William was in almost all of the classic TV westerns of the day like "Cheyenne," and "Have Gun - Will Travel," and directly after this movie he was in the "Twilight Zone" episode titled "The New Exhibit" as Dave! He was on five "Wagon Train" shows as characters as colourful and varied as Esteban Perez, and  Gurn Meeker! Other roles include a strip bar patron on "The Fugitive," a one-armed miner on "Bonanza," and he was General Grant on three episodes of "The Beverly Hillbillies!"

Marvelous Marie Windsor has the role of Clair Fielding, Dr. Fielding's lonely wife! Marie was in "Cat-Women Of The Moon," "Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy," "Swamp Women" "Chamber Of Horrors," and "Freaky Friday" just to name a few, and she was Nellie Majors on two episodes of the "Batman" TV series!

These are the Fielding kids, Gregg Shank as Rocky Fielding, and Betty Beall as Judi Fielding! As active as the adult actors all were, that's how inactive these kids were! Between the two of them, Gregg and Betty only have a total of five credits, unless you want to count this picture twice, then it would be six!

Dr. Fielding is dedicated to his work, so he's a pretty crappy Father and husband! Their big project just failed, so it's time to go back home and patch things up a bit! Dr. Spencer agrees!


And then this 1962 Plymouth Fury station wagon enters the scene! What an awesome ride!

This is how cool you could be in 1962 if you wanted to be! I'm not sure if those rims would have been available in '62, but this black Plymouth Valiant is pretty damn sharp nonetheless!

It was at this point in the film that I realized that somebody involved with this movie, and I don't know if it was the Director Maury Dexter, or the Cinematographer John M. Nickolaus Jr., or both, but somebody had a penchant for shots that were shot from behind! At first I thought it was a fluke, but I'll let you be the judge! The strange thing is that it starts and ends with that Plymouth Fury! Weirdsville! BTW, this series of photos basically tells the rest of the story!

Some of the footage that wasn't shot from behind includes this shot that looks like Marie Windsor is standing on the end of the diving board of an empty swimming pool! If the estate looks at all familiar to you, it's because it's the Greystone Park and Mansion in Beverly Hills that has been used in scores of movies like "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte!"

The Martians can infiltrate and duplicate the bodies of their unsuspecting victims at any given time, and the Fielding family is ripe for the picking! Those Martians are devious little fuckers! They couldn't do it with every character, but in the case of Judi Fielding, they solicited the help of Betty Beall's twin sister Barbara!! Barbara only had 5 credits too, including this movie! I'm sure the Beall sister's would have some interesting stories to tell!

This blog wouldn't exist without characters like Kent Taylor! I would venture to say, that sadly, Kent Taylor is virtually unknown today, but without guys like him the cinematic 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's wouldn't have been the same! Why? THE NIGHT OF JUNE 13 (1932), IF I HAD A MILLION (1932), DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY (1934), GIRL IN 313 (1940), 58 episodes as BOSTON BLACKIE on TV from 1951 to 1953, THE PHANTOM FROM 10,000 LEAGUES (1955),  and THE CRAWLING HAND (1963) just to name a few! After that, Kent and his pencil-thin mustache went off into Krazy Town Al Adamson Land, and he ended his amazing career with an epic run of the best of the worst ever, like BLOOD OF GHASTLY HORROR, BRIDES OF BLOOD, SATAN'S SADISTS, THE MIGHTY GORGA, HELL'S BLOODY DEVILS, BRAIN OF BLOOD, ANGEL'S WILD WOMEN, and GIRLS FOR RENT! The man deserves some kind of posthumous award! He did it all, and this is a great closing shot of him!

"The Day Mars Invaded Earth" starts off on a sour note, the Fielding's marriage is a shambles, and Judi's boyfriend Frank gets murdered before it's over, so there's really no reason to expect a happy ending, and if you don't, then you won't be disappointed!

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??