Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stuff I Burned From TCM

You call it bootlegging, I call it killing the wait until a studio releases the movie on DVD. Releasing “Black Legion” or “711 Ocean Drive” on DVD may never happen in our lifetime, so I’ll happily burn away these minor classics from TCM (Turner Classic Movies). Here are a couple I’ve enjoyed recently:

The Killing of Sister George: Sister George is a sappy Mary Poppins-type character on British TV but off camera is a flesh/scenery chewing old chicken hawk constantly yelling at her young live-in chippy named “Childee” (Susannah York at her best). The “killing” in the title refers to her character getting taken out on the series – the movie is less about lesbianism than it is about aging and the feeling of loss whether it’s an acting gig, your youth, or your young lover. Since it’s a Robert Aldrich film you know there’ll be a sick twist ending that’ll drive you insane.

The Fox: a lesbian couple (it was “Outfest” week on TCM) shack out deep in the woodlie woods in sapphic bliss until a handsome Aryan pin-up arrives at their front door (Keir Dullea of “2001” and “David and Lisa”). Sexually he shakes things up and consequently nothing is ever what it appears – the three switch sexual roles and persuasions at the drop of a hat. While none of it’s believable for a second it’s still entertaining and beautifully photographed.

The Mad Magician: Prior to this movie director John Brahm made a film called “Hangover Square” which took place in 1895 about a madman in love with a singer which ended in a blazing house fire. He followed it with this 3-D flick starring Vincent Price as a, well, mad magician and it takes place in 1895, and uh…ends with a blazing house fire. Around this time, um um um, Vincent Price made another 3-D film called “House Of Wax” which uh, takes place around 1895, and ends with a….OKAY! YOU KNOW! Another blazing house fire!!!! Sheeesh!!! And you thought movies nowadays imitated each other!

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