Monday, April 5, 2010

Yet another lost psychotronic movie!! ... or: DEAD WOMEN RULE MY WORLD

The latter half of the headline is a James Ellroy quotation. But, hey, you knew that didn't you. Well, at least if you know anything about hardboiled crime fiction you probably would have. Anyway, check out this cool clip, it's something you haven't watched before:

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This awesome clip is from Christa Helm's second movie LET'S GO FOR BROKE. The film premiered in 1974. It was directed by Ron Walsh and its cinema run lasted exactly four days! Then it got yanked back to obscurity and that's where it's been ever since. And it's still there. It doesn't even exist on bootleg VHS. This clip is all we've got.

The actress who played the lead was Christa Helm who was also in one other movie, LEGACY OF SATAN, which is familiar to you if you've been with me for a while. I quite like that film. It was directed by Gerard Damiano who also did DEEP THROAT and THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES. LEGACY OF SATAN is Damiano's sole non porn movie.

It's rumoured LEGACY OF SATAN was actually made as a porn flick but the film company cut out all the porn stuff and released it as an "ordinary" horror movie. Well, good for us (not that I don't like porn but just not to slow down a cool horror movie. You kinda lose the horror movie tone if you're kept being interrupted by scenes of rock & roll!). It's a very cool vampire/devil worship horror film. It's like if David Lynch dropped a lot of bad acid and directed a devil cult film while listening to loud avantgarde jazz music, or something. But that's another story another time.

But one part you do need to know about the plot is a scene towards the end of the film. Christa Helm's character is brutally murdered by someone slashing her throat with a big knife. If the story were that miss Helm quit acting and the film was never pulled out of whatever dark and dank cupboard it was hidden in it would have been sufficient enough for creating a myth about this lost psychotronic obscurity. But that's not what happened, Christa Helm didn't withdraw from acting; only three years after being killed with a knife onscreen she was brutally stabbed to death on the street. Her murder was never solved. She's almost like a Black Dahlia of the disco era.

But back to the film; it's both a lost film ... and it's not. Somebody owns a copy, the only known copy, but they're not letting go of it. I almost wish I hadn't watched that little bit there cos now I crave more. You always do. I have no idea if the rest of the movie is as cool but those two to three minutes worth of footage looks just as entertaining as any of the exploitation films from that era that we CAN enjoy today.

Nobody would thrash you for thinking it were a Jack Hill movie! I should write more about this but I'm running on overtime here, been awake for, uh, lemme count... 29 hours. Time to hit the sack. Watch the clip again and write an angry letter to whoever holds the copyrights/owns the print. Demand we get this film on DVD now!

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