Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Had to send off to Italy to get a copy of this 1955 Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin combo on DVD, but it was worth the effort. Directed by Frank Tashlin and filmed in glorious VistaVision, Artists & Models was always my favourite of the Lewis and Martin comedies when I was a kid - its mixture of slapstick comedy and comic book industry setting made it irresistible, and having not seen it for a good 20+ years I was happy to see how well it held up. Like many of the pair's films it has some embarrassing moments, and some of the musical numbers and extended Lewis comedy skits become a bit torturous, but it has some genuinely likeable characters, beautifully lush production design, and a terrific performance from Shirley MacLaine that is as sexy as it is kooky (not to mention energetic). 56 years after it's release, it has also transformed itself into a nostalgic and endearing time capsule that reflects the moral outrage and concern that was directed towards violent crime and horror comics at the time.


Thursday, July 14, 2011


(1984 CBS/Fox)
Directed by Danny Steinman

Along with Chained Heat (1983), the trashy, violent vigilante flick was responsible for giving former child star Linda (The Exorcist) Blair a second career shot and the grindhouse cult stardom she enjoyed for a period in the mid-eighties. It’s set in Hollywood, where Linda and her high school friends cruise the streets looking like extras who were rejected from Pat Benatar’s Love is a Battlefield music video. When her innocent, deaf sister (future scream queen Linnea Quigley) is gang raped by a bunch of sorry looking street punks. Linda dons black leather and stilettos, arms herself with a crossbow and goes after the lowlifes responsible. As the school principal, John Vernon tells the female students how well their bodies are developing and has lines like "Go fuck an iceberg", while the teachers allow the kids to smoke in class and have discussions on giving head, and the girls in gym class dress like they are on their way to a part-time job in a local brothel - no wonder I used to daydream about going to school in America when I was a kid!

Savage Streets is a prime example of mid-eighties exploitation fodder, and was heavily cut on most VHS releases around the world (including the Australian release on the CBS/Fox label). Surprisingly, a pre-Whispering Jack John Farnham provides several of the songs on the soundtrack LP, which was released by MCA (and is probably the only Farnham related recording I am ever likely to own). Director Danny Steinman made Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter the same year.

(USA/Colour/89 mins)

DVD Availability:
Released uncut (93 mins) in the UK in 2011 by Arrow Video, with audio commentaries, interviews with cast members, booklet, fold-out poster and reversible sleeve.


Saturday, July 2, 2011


Publication date for Hip Pocket Sleaze grows slowly but surely nearer. Hopefully I should be seeing a pdf proof of the final layout in the coming week. Keep an eye on the Headpress website, who have added a brief bio of me to their author profiles page: