BEST OF SPECTACLE MIDNIGHTS 2015

bestofs-banner

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8: LOVE ME DEADLY
SATURDAY, JANUARY 9: THE VAN

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15: DEVILHELM
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16: LOVE ME DEADLY

FRIDAY, JANUARY 22: NEON CITY
SATURDAY, JANUARY 23: DEVILHELM

FRIDAY, JANUARY 29: THE SHINING BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS



LOVE ME DEADLY
Dir. Jacque Lacerte, 1972
USA, 95 min.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8 – MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16 – MIDNIGHT

“A beautiful child woman doomed to love only the dead!”

Before Karen Greenlee’s mortuary escapades there was “Love Me Deadly,” the story of Lindsay Finch and her lust for the dead! Ms. Finch is a beautiful California blonde who cruises funerals looking for her next lover. Alas, there are only so many funeral homes in LA, a beautiful woman in provocative mourning attire is sure to be noticed. Lucky for Lindsay she catches the eye of a funeral director who just happens to be the leader of a necrophiliac sex cult! Will Lindsay give into lust or will a chance reading of an obituary lead her to true love?

LOVE ME DEADLY is a sweet and gruesome film made delightfully perverse by its usage of romantic ballads and upbeat songs as a soundtrack. Its juxaposition of soap opera style flash-backs and embalming tables is absolutely sickening in the best possible way. Watch out for the extras in the first funeral scene, they were all members of the original Church of Satan.


THE VAN
Dir. Sam Grossman, 1977
USA, 92 min.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 9 – MIDNIGHT

Later retitled CHEVY VAN to make the most of the Sammy Johns song in the soundtrack (despite the fact that the van in the film is a Dodge), THE VAN was the second of the Marimark Pictures series (the first being last year’s Superchick). Stuart Goetz (who later went on to a long career in film music; he won a daytime Emmy for his work on ALF!) plays Bobby, a red-blooded red-headed Californian who wants nothing more than to graduate high school and invest his life savings in his brand-new custom van, the (ahem) Straight Arrow. Bobby’s desperate attempts to turn himself into a van guy and find decadent imbroglios by the moonlit Pacific are not as easy as he hoped; between his increasingly complicated nature of his relationship with Tina (Deborah White — both White and Goetz would go on to be in the brain-rot epic Record City), the bad advice of his best buddy Jack (Harry Moses) and his boss Andy (Danny DeVito!), not to mention the constant bullying from local thug Dugan (Steven Oliver, who we’ll meet again later in this series) — how the hell is Bobby supposed to do any FUN TRUCKIN’? Van expos, boneheaded pranks, drunk driving, tasteful plot-required nude scenes — no, this is not a hidden gem of west coast cinema verite’, it’s a drive-in movie about vans, and that’s all right with me.


NEON CITY
Dir. Monte Markham, 1991
USA, 101 min.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 22 – MIDNIGHT

“Take a deep breath: it may be your last.”

As the dust settles from Mad Max: Fury Road, some of us here at Spectacle figured it was time to blow the dust off of Monte Markham’s high (but technically running-on-low) octane dystopian action disasterpiece NEON CITY, starring the one and only Michael Ironside. Tasked with transporting a gorgeous prisoner (Vanity – yes, that Vanity) across a frozen desert hellscape via overcrowded megabus, Ironside’s flinty-eyed and ponytailed bounty hunter Stark gets bumped into by it all: motorcycle gangs of mutants, cannibals, gearheads, a pissed-off ex-wife and a bus driver nicknamed “Bulk” – played by Oakland Raider Lyle Alzado, who died a year after reaching Neon City – who he personally sent to prison for five years. Spellbinding chase sequences as needless post-oxygen hijinks ensue long before the inevitable Wizard of Oz-xeroxing conclusion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *