May 17, 2017

The HALLOWEEN Rip-Off That Wouldn't Die: THE DEMON (1981)

Like any middle-aged, red-blooded American who isn't a jaded philistine, I'm a fan of Halloween (1978). It's not my all-time favorite, but it charts fairly high—nestled snugly between Taxi Driver (1976) and Saturday Night Fever (1978). I dig everything about it: the story, the music, the atmosphere, everything. If you ask about my favorite horror movie, I'll say it's "the one with the guy in the white mask who walks around and stalks babysitters."

Rare promotional still from Percival Rubens' THE DEMON (1981)
Graham Kennard stalks Jennifer Holmes
THE DEMON (1981)
For some puzzling reason, I also harbor affection for this other, far-lesser-known flick about a guy in a white mask who walks around and stalks preschool teachers. I'm referring to the most egregious Halloween rip-off ever; a grimy, crusty, zero-budget "thriller" so shameless in its desire to be Halloween—even copying whole sequences, shot-for-shot—that, for years, I thought I'd imagined it. I'm talking about Percival Rubens' The Demon (1981): the only film that ever made me doubt my own sanity.

February 10, 2017

That Mysterious Background Extra from GREASE (1978)

Who was that dude hanging out with the Pink Ladies in Grease?

I've always been curious about a lonely background extra from Grease (1978). A haunted young man who briefly appears 2 minutes and 24 seconds into the song Summer Nights, seated behind the Pink Ladies and gazing wistfully into the middle distance. Who is he? Why is he?

April 10, 2016

Jack's Dungeon of Death: an Interview with John F. Kearney

The detective business has been slow recently. Lotta door knocking, not a lot of answering. I feel like a canvasser. So, desperate for an interview, I decided to pose questions to my reliable first cousin, once removed— "exploitation veteran" John F. Kearney.

Actor John F. Kearney playing a priest in the Gary Graver "classic" SOCIETY AFFAIRS (1982)
Actor John F. Kearney in Gary Graver's SOCIETY AFFAIRS (1982)

March 5, 2016

What the Hell Happened to LIFE ON THE EDGE (1992)?

Jeff Perry, Andrew Prine, Martine Beswick, Denny Dillon, Thalmus Rasulala, Greta Blackburn, Jennifer Holmes, Jennifer Edwards in LIFE ON THE EDGE (1992)
What the hell happened to LIFE ON THE EDGE (1992)
I've been morbidly curious about a little lost film called Life on the Edge (1992) for a while now. Supposedly, it was this low-budget, sophomoric, USA Up All Night-type satirical yuck-fest about flakey New Age Angelenos at a party who get trapped in a hillside canyon house after a major earthquake, and hilariously raunchy shenanigans ensue. Fairly typical, right? Nothing spooky here. But get this: it's a lost film because, after its brief theatrical run, it was most likely buried in someone's basement because nobody saw, or heard, from it again!

February 29, 2016

Lost Actor Found: Lolita Lorre from SCREAM FOR HELP (1984)

Lolita Lorre and David Allen Brooks in a scene from SCREAM FOR HELP (1984) - courtesy of Lorimar PIctures
Lolita Lorre and David Allen Brooks in SCREAM FOR HELP (1984)
"Whatever happened to Lolita Lorre?" I often wonder.

Well, not that often. But every couple of years, I like to revisit her classic home-invasion thriller, Scream for Help (1984). This god-awful UK/US co-production was an adolescent favorite of mine. I'm not sure why. HBO had it in constant rotation in the late-1980's, and it had lots of nudity and violence. So yeah, not sure why it appealed to me.

February 22, 2016

Lost Actor: What Happened to Peter Carpenter?

Handsome shot of Peter Carpenter from the film BLOOD MANIA (1970)
Peter Carpenter in BLOOD MANIA (1970)
Peter Carpenter was a young-ish actor who starred in two exploitation classics—Blood Mania (1970) and Point of Terror (1971)—before vanishing from the face of the earth—leaving behind very few hard facts in regard to his life and death.

"Whatever happened to Peter Carpenter?" I often wonder.

Well, not that often. But every now and then, I check in with my sources to find out if any new light has been shed on this enigmatic, obscure star of yesteryear.