One of the most bizarre pieces of Mondo exploitation, “The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield” is archival footage of the model traveling the world that was intended to be cute for the sake of a weird travel documentary focusing on Manfield. Sadly though when Mansfield died she was further exploited by the trio of directors Charles W. Broun, Jr., Joel Holt, Arthur Knight all of whom used stand ins (the movie shifts awkwardly from black and white to a color shot of her stand in), old footage of her frolicking, and a voice over actress who came on board to narrate as Ms. Mansfield.
After the end of the seventies series “WKRP In Cincinnati,” star Howard Hesseman went on to more downbeat fare that, while formula, was at least a different direction. “Head of the Class” is a childhood favorite, a series I fondly remember watching as it came to a close, and then re-watching in reruns. I loved the show then, and years later it’s perfectly fine. As an eighties multi-camera prime time sitcom, it’s a serviceable and occasionally funny series about a substitute teacher who manages to take charge of a group of mismatched students with high IQ’s.
It’s the middle of the summer and quarantine is still under way, sadly. We hope you and yours are doing well during these bizarre, frightening times. “Shorts Round Up of the Week” once again goes back to Quarantine, visiting a list of short films of varying genres that were created during quarantine. This scenario allowed a lot of great filmmakers to build genuinely beautiful, fun, and sometimes horrifying cinema, and it’s managed to be a great twist in such unusual circumstances.
For this edition we have some great short films including a documentary, a horror comedy or two, and yes, a zombie flick.
If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.
Scott Douglas Brown’s “Stadium Anthems” is a movie that is just fine when all is said and done. The direction and production values are very good, and most of the cast keeps the film afloat with their charisma. It’s an okay movie that ultimately feels like with a bit of alterations it could have been great. I am always a fan of mock documentaries about rock bands, and varying shades of egos, et al. It’s just that “Stadium Anthems” suffers from feeling like there are just too many ideas struggling to rise to the surface, and it drags it down big time.
Director Ryan Nicholson’s slasher throwback is thankfully a horror film that, while imperfect, has managed to appreciate in value since its release in 2008. While we may be well past the age of the eighties revival in horror cinema, “Gutterballs” is a nice look at the fad done well and with some semblance of substance over style. It’s still not a masterpiece, but it’s definitely midnight movie fodder that should be appreciated with its cinematic contemporaries. Frankly I’m surprised slasher BBK’s signature look never caught on with the horror community, but I digress.
How do you deliver an action comedy filled with gun fights and car chases on a 30K budget? You be as clever as humanly possible, and add in a bit of suspension of disbelief. “In Action” is a shockingly clever action comedy that takes a unique premise and puts it on film, come hell or high water. Working simultaneously as a proof of concept, directors Eric Silvera, Sean Kenealy, and Jon Warren’s bring to life a premise with potential to be pretty damn good, and they do whatever they can to bring their concepts to life.
John Hughes was considered the master of teen oriented cinema in the 1980’s, often depicting somewhat lower middle class kids on the verge of adult hood. While the movies were raunchy and funny, they were also intent on building characters centered on self reflection and facing potentially dead end adult hoods. While “Weird Science” has mostly been lambasted as Hughes’ worst, I think I’d choose his debut “Sixteen Candles” as the weakest of his eighties outputs.
Danny Wolf’s documentary series is something of a contradiction in that it’s a series about cult movies that were or continue to be unappreciated. And yet, every movie that’s covered all has rabid fan bases. Some of them even have conventions and social gatherings celebrating them. While the “Time Warp” movie series doesn’t re-invent the wheel, if you’re in the mood to celebrate some fun cult films and just lose yourself in mainly American cult classics, then Volume 3 is right up your alley.