Shitty Movie Sundays: Chrome and Hot Leather

Chrome and Hot Leather walks and talks like drive-in outlaw biker gang flick, but it’s missing the two most important elements of true exploitation cinema: blood and nudity. It starts out promisingly enough, and, overall, it’s a quite enjoyable shitty movie watch, but it’s like a cake with no icing. It’s still good, but it wouldn’t be all that hard to make it better.

From way back in 1971, Chrome and Hot Leather was directed by Lee Frost, from a screenplay by Michael Haynes, David Neibel, and Don Tait. Whomever came up with the title isn’t listed in the credits, but that mysterious person certainly did more for this film’s longevity than anything that was captured on film. Perhaps it was producer Wes Bishop. No matter who is responsible, they did a nice job. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Chrome and Hot Leather”

Giant Monstershow: Empire of the Ants

It’s a melancholy day for the October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow, for this is the last film of the month from giant monster auteur Bert I. Gordon. His peak days as a filmmaker were in the 1950s, but while Gordon’s pace of work slowed, he never went more than a few years without directing something. In 1977, that something was Empire of the Ants, also written by Gordon, loosely adapting the H.G. Wells story of the same name. Something of a follow-up to Gordon’s Food of the Gods, Empire of the Ants tells the story of a Florida real estate pitch gone wrong. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: Empire of the Ants”

Giant Monstershow: The Food of the Gods

This is an important day for the October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow. The featured auteur of this month of reviews has returned. For the seventh time this month, a review features a film by Bert I. Gordon. Yes, a filmmaker that showed mastery at failing to master the art of filmmaking is back. Today’s film, from 1976, also shows that although more than twenty years had passed since Gordon’s first movie, he stayed true to his unique abilities as a filmmaker. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: The Food of the Gods”

Giant Monstershow: Reptilicus

The October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow carries on! After spending nineteen straight films in the 1950s, we have our first feature from after that defining decade of the monster flick, but all that’s changed is that today’s movie was filmed in color.

Reptilicus, from 1961, is a joint Danish-American monster flick that was filmed in two versions. One was shot in Danish, directed by Poul Bang, and that’s the version Danish audiences saw. The other version was directed by Sidney Pink, used most of the same performers, but was shot in English, for distribution in the United States. But, American International Pictures, which distributed the film in the US, didn’t like the English cut, and ordered substantial changes. The changes were enough for Pink, who was also the film’s producer and a credited screenwriter, to take AIP to court. It was a brief dispute, but an indication of divergence between the two versions of this film. I’m curious just how different the Danish version is from the English, but not curious enough to sit through this dog again, at least for now. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: Reptilicus”

Giant Monstershow: Attack of the Giant Leeches

What a ridiculous movie. I loved just about every shitty minute of it.

Released in 1959, Attack of the Giant Leeches comes to viewers from the Roger Corman stable. He didn’t direct, but he was the executive producer. The movie was helmed by Bernard L. Kowalski from a screenplay by Leo Gordon (who had a prolific career as a television actor). Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: Attack of the Giant Leeches”

Giant Monstershow: Earth vs. the Spider, aka The Spider

The October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow carries on! Today’s film is the sixth this month featuring b-cinema auteur extraordinaire Bert I. Gordon. The man made giant monster flicks his own cottage industry. That’s not too far off of the mark, considering Gordon would shoot effects in his own garage.

Today’s film is Earth vs. The Spider, also released as just The Spider. Released just a few months after War of the Colossal Beast, Earth vs. The Spider switches up the formula for giant monster flicks. Most of the films featured this past month have featured scientists and doctors as the main protagonists, or maybe a military man or two. This film does have those characters, but they’ve been relegated to supporting roles. In this flick, the heroes are teenagers. That’s right. By 1958, shitty filmmakers recognized that it was teenagers that were pumping large amounts of dollars into their coffers, and someone came up with the bright idea to make movies featuring teenagers in the leads. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: Earth vs. the Spider, aka The Spider”

Giant Monstershow: War of the Colossal Beast

This is the fifth review this Horrorshow featuring a film from giant monster auteur Bert I. Gordon. It’s only fitting, then, that Missile Test makes it official. Bert I. Gordon, I declare thee the unofficial official filmmaker of this year’s October Horrorshow. Keep an eye out for a certificate in the mail.

War of the Colossal Beast, released in June of 1958, is the sequel to Gordon’s The Amazing Colossal Man. Gordon not only directed this film, he produced and shared a screenwriting credit with George Worthing Yates (who penned an amazing six b-movies in 1958 alone). Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: War of the Colossal Beast”

Giant Monstershow: The Amazing Colossal Man

No sea beasts, dinosaurs, giant arachnids, or skyscraper-sized gorillas in today’s flick. The monster in today’s entry in the October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow is a gigantic man.

The Amazing Colossal Man is the fourth film of this year’s Horrorshow, and the third released in 1957, from ’50s b-monster auteur Bert I. Gordon. The man found a niche, and stayed there until the box office returns started to dry up. From a screenplay by Gordon and Mark Hanna (who would pen Attack of the 50 Foot Woman the following year), The Amazing Colossal Man tells the tale of the unfortunate Glenn Manning (Glenn Langan), an army officer who is exposed to a nuclear blast during a test in the Nevada desert. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: The Amazing Colossal Man”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Meteor

MeteorAmerican International Pictures is mostly associated with 1950’s and ’60s b-movie fare, most notably the works of Roger Corman. But the ’70s were no less of a productive decade for AIP than were the ’50s and ’60s. In that mustard yellow decade of Nixon, Ford, and Carter, AIP produced or distributed many of the notable films in the blaxploitation genre, while keeping to its horror and regular exploitation roots with such titles as The Incredible Melting Man and 1000 Convicts and a Woman. One thing all AIP flicks seem to have in common is a desire to make a quick buck while not being beholden to any higher purpose in cinema. That makes any viewer not just a customer of AIP, but something of a mark. There is a minimum expectation of quality in any random American film audience, despite what others think about our culture, and it was the rare AIP flick that managed to meet this standard, nor did they try. Meteor, distributed by AIP, is an excellent case in point. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Meteor”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Hot Rod Girl

We viewers have been cheated! A 1950s flick with the title of Hot Rod Girl brings to mind all sorts of possibilities. Fast cars! Loose women! Police chases! Crime! Mayhem! Et cetera! What it does not bring to mind is a traffic safety film, which is about all this shitty movie amounts to.

From 1956, Hot Rod Girl comes to us via American International Pictures, that paragon of b-cinema. It was directed by Leslie H. Martinson (who would later direct the Adam West Batman movie), from a screenplay by John McGreevey. Both Martinson and Greevey spent the vast majority of their careers working in television, and that helps to explain this film’s strong resemblance to an after school special. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Hot Rod Girl”