Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Good ol' Bill Shute! Bless his peen-pickin' heart for sending me a buncha DVD-R burns to help brighten up my otherwise miserable existence. And he really sent a good selection too, the first of 'em to be glommed by mine eyes being this late-sixties surprise outta nowhere starring a post-STONEY BURKE/pre-HAWAII FIVE-O Jack Lord as a wanderin' Hungarian who gets picked up by a kinda/sorta sexy Susan Strasberg and taken to the run down filling station in the middle of the desert where she, her freaked-out sisters and portly mother eke out a living. And if you think that you live in a dysfunctional fambly you should see this get up...the older sister's a bitter harridan and the mother's a strange pudge of a biddy herself. Not forgetting Strasberg, who's a pillow plunger of the highest order. Of course little sis takes the cake the way she keeps getting expelled from school for setting cats on fire! Of course she has her good side...she's a big fan of the Electric Prunes!

You could say that this 'un's too much of a post-WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SWEET CHARLOTTE after-the-fact cash-in and maybe you'd be right, but it's still a hotcha thriller. Yeah, perhaps a li'l slow here and there but it made for excellent Sunday PM viewing the same way it might have for you on via your local UHF station on some hot and muggy July day. Lord plays it good enough even if that accent he affects does get in the way (at least his hair stays in place!), while Strasberg does her best as the chippie trying to get outta the dying atmosphere surrounding her and head to San Francisco, which undoubtedly another dying atmosphere by the time this movie was released! And the entire atmosphere from the rattlesnakes and tarantulas on down is enough to give you some late-night creeps, that is unless your own family makes this 'un look like the Humbards!

Once you get in through your nervous system it's a classic, and one that I'm sure popped up on more'n a few "Creature Feature" packages throughout the final days of leftover tee-vee trash gulch hitting the sanctity of your own personal cathode. If you missed it the first, second or nth go 'round it's still not too late to give it a whirl via DVD...I understand that a legit reissue has made it out and who knows, maybe this'll pop up on your local low-budget outlet soon which would be good especially if it was intermingled with the proper roll-a-sage chair and George Foreman Grill ads giving it that special suburban  doof feeling you just can't get anymore!

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