Saturday, May 31, 2008


Whilst digging through the Trash Palace archives I came across this unusual magazine I had picked up many years back although I can't remember where! "Something Else" (volume 2, number 1 from March 1971) seems to be one of the many "Mad" Magazine clones that came out in the wake of that mag's success. Unlike mags such as "Crazy", "Cracked", "Sick" and the MANY others (there were LOTS!) though, this one seemed to have a particular audience in mind; all of the humor revolved around drugs, left-wing politics, rock-n-roll and hippy culture. It took an almost underground comix approach but, unlike the "head comix" of those times, was pretty much non-adult and PG-rated, which is bizarre considering the topics of the comics and stories! In fact it seemed to be aimed at teenagers and ones that wanted counter-culture satire, that is, humor poking fun at the establishment and not the underground culture itself. I can't say if every issue was like this or if just this particular one was a special theme issue because I've never seen another copy nor been able to find out anything about the magazine! Take a look at page 1 (click on the image to enlarge to full size):

You can pretty much get an idea of this thing from page one; groovy sixties-style art, mod paste-ups of old classic-style artwork ala Terry Gilliam with funny captions, hip curvy lettering and, yes, those are loose-leaf paper holes punched so the magazine can be clipped inside one's school notebook and snuck into school(which they encouraged naturally!). But what is really bizarre about this magazine is that in the middle of all the Hippy jokes is this 14 page long "serious" article called "John Lennon Is Scared"! Obviously inspired by Charles Manson and the whole "Paul Is Dead" Beatles schtick, the article tends to jump all over the place and is a bit of a mess. Who knows how much of this shit is fact based if indeed any of it is! And yet there are still are a few unsettling things about this piece particularly in light of future events. Read on if you dare!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I will watch any movie in it's entirety if it contains at least one of these things:

1. a guy (or gal) in a gorilla suit

2. a giant monster played by someone in a rubber monster suit (no cgi allowed) stepping on small models of buildings

3. a virgin sacrifice ceremony

4. Mimsy Farmer

5. a Davie Allan soundtrack

6. anything directed by Jess Franco

7. anything from Italy circa 1969 to 1972

8. anything from 1969 to 1979 with the word "Bloody" in the title

9. an acid trip squence

10. a dream or nightmare sequence that contains nudity

11. Klaus Kinski

12. anything from Germany circa 1969 to 1980 with the word "Schoolgirl" in the title

13. any movie where the lead female is named Emanuelle, Emmanuelle or O


Friday, May 16, 2008


I was just heading to bed and jumped online for a minute and was shocked to read about the death last Tuesday of actor John Phillip Law. A lot of you probably know him as the star of Mario Bava's "Danger: Diabolik!"and Pygar the blind winged angel-man in "Barbarella". Law acted in a lot of other cool films as well including "Eyes Behind the Wall", a pretty twisted Italian thriller from 1977, and "Blood Delirium" from 1982, an over-the-top Italian horror trip. He was also memorable in "Skidoo" and "Death Rides A Horse", but for me I'll always think of him as Diabolik and that unusual character Pygar. I had the pleasure of meeting Law at a horror convention in 1998. My band The Ubangis was playing there on Saturday night. Things were a bit chaotic at the show and it took awhile to set up the band equipment. When the convention was over and I was back home in Maryland the following week I viewed a videotape of the performance. Much to my surprise there was John Phillip Law sitting in front of us on the edge of the stage during our long setup, hamming things up for the crowd. He seemed slightly intoxicated (a lot of people were that night!) and was goofing around for the audience. He had taken one of my big plastic bones that I occasionally drum with and was trying to use it as a sort of baseball bat to keep a balloon up in the air with it, volleying it above his head over and over. I was so focused on getting everything set up that I was totally oblivious to this. At one point he missed the balloon and it went to the floor. He placed the bone down next to him for a second and stood up so he could bend down for the balloon. Right about that time we were getting ready to start so I grabbed the bone off the stage not realising he was using it for his little impromptu comic skit. He returned to his seat back on the stage edge and looked around to find the bone missing. Then he looked up at the crowd and made this sad little boy face. Everyone laughed it up but I was off in another world apparently! In fact I had absolutely no idea any of this happened so seeing the tape was quite a shock! He stuck around for the concert and I could see him in the videotape watching the band and just laughing and laughing, really enjoying himself. Needless to say I went from being a fan of his to a HUGE fan!

Law and I spoke for a few minutes at the convention. He talked about Marisa Mell, his co-star in "Diabolik" and what a beautiful and sweet woman she was. (Mell had died a few years earlier an untimely death at only 53 years old of cancer.) The fun thing about these conventions is that sometimes you really get to feel that you touch with a "celebrities" personal side, and Law was one of the first for me that I had met. You could tell what a personable and down-to-earth fellow he was really was despite seeming larger then life flying through the sky with Jane Fonda in "Barbarella". Law still looked great the last time I saw him and so it's hard to imagine he's gone. Having made so many fans over the years, from his cult movie roles as well as his convention appearances, he will be missed by many!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


In some of the movie reviews I've done on the Trash Palace website I mention the Groovy factor. But what exactly is the Groovy Factor? HAVE I LOST MY MIND!!?? Well, for me it represents films that contain certain elements from the time period of roughly 1966 to 1972, although there are many exceptions. Any scene in a film that has psychedelic lighting, clubs with body-painted go-go dancers, people freaking out on acid trips, mod fashion models in mini-skirts... and so on. The fact that so many movies from that era contain the "groovy" elements and that, subsequently, most movies thereafter don't (although there are still some that do) one can assume that these things are products of their time naturally. But how did they come to be that way? It didn't just change like that by itself. And why do I dig the Groovy Factor so much and go on and on about it? Look at how things changed so drastically in the 5 years spanning say 1964 to 1969. Look how long men's hair became, the drastic changes in the way popular music sounded, not to mention the attitudes of people, the expanding of people's consciousness and open-mindedness. And a big part of this social revolution came from, or at least was somewhat helped along by, LSD. In my opinion there never in the history of popular culture has been such a noticeable change in such a short amount of time. Certainly since the '60s any changes at all have been much slower, almost unnoticeable. Does 1982 really seem that different from 1987? No way, Jose! And along with the '60s new social attitudes came artistic and sexual changes as well. And commercial art, like the clothes and music, were a reflection of this new young culture. The wild colors that come from an acid trip changed the way clothes were designed. The flowers handed out by hippies that represented a good will gesture of peace and love became absorbed into popular art of the times. And once psychedelia became commercialized you had flowered wallpaper, black light posters sold in mainstream stores, etc. Remember those groovy looking flower-shaped rubber sticker things you put inside your bathtub to keep from slipping around? And remember when Snoopy was suddenly "Feelin' Groovy!"? Hmmm... why was he feeling that way? And where did those designs come from? Yes, there is no question that it can all be traced back to the influences of the times; the drugs, the big pop stars of the day (particularly the Beatles) and, subsequently, the trippy mind-expanding drugs they were using. Those things had a major effect in changing the way we looked too, and the way all commercial art was created. Movie-wise things were affected in the obvious ways; films went from exploiting youth culture in the "don't-let-this-happen-to-YOUR-kids" style to the "turn on and tune in" approach. To me it seems that you can look at a few seconds of pretty much any movie or tv show that was made in the late '60s or early '70s and tell it was from that time period. And for me, personally, I have a soft spot for films from this era, and the groovier the better! Even the flicks that aren't considered particularly "good" still have those qualities going for them by default and sometimes that's enough.

A movie like "The Touchables" (1968, above trailer taken from Something Weird Video's "Dusk To Dawn Drive-In Trailers" vol. 7) I never get tired of watching although most people seem to despise that film. I've never read anything good about it even in supposed pop-culture and counter-culture film books. But who wouldn't like to watch 4 cute mod chicks kidnap a rock star and take him to their inflatable dome for some groovy frolicking? There is a real anarchistic approach to the way the girls act and speak, a "modern" look to the film and some really cool music and colorful visuals,... things that make this movie a product of it's time for sure. And for me that is ultimately 100 times more entertaining then ANYTHING playing at the multiplex right now.

Sometimes the Groovy Factor alone can make a bad movie worth watching. And the GF was applied to all film genres of the time. Like the comedies: There was a period where mega-comedies with blockbuster casts were all the rage. Films like "Skidoo", "Candy", and "The Phynx" where the producers tried to cram as many celebrities into 1 movie as possible, sort of trying to one-up "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" from 1963.

Take "Casino Royale" for instance (the 1967 James Bond satire). It's really quite a disaster of a film. There were 5 different directors working on it and the parts don't really mesh up making for one uneven mess. But why do I love this movie so much? First, there is an amazing score by Burt Bacharach and Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, groovy pop to be sure. A mega-star cast featuring David Niven, Peter Sellers, Orson Welles and Woody Allen, plus, more importantly, uber Euro-babes including Ursula Andress, Joanna Pettet, Daliah Lavi, Barbara Bouchet and others. Plus the storyline gets wackier and wackier as it progresses, like the film is writing itself or something, becoming quite psychedelic and ending in a slapstick comic free-for-all. A real mess to be sure, but a very groovy mess! The same thing can be said about the movie "Candy" (1968). A great groovy cast (Ewa Aulin, John Astin, Elsa Martinelli, Ringo Starr, Marlon Brando, James Coburn...), but the idea of trying to do a commercial film version of the x-rated book (which itself was basically a paraody of a smut novel but still very smutty) would be impossible. What director Christian Marquand did pull off was another mega-comedy mess but with a great Groovy Factor. I know it's not considered to be a "good" movie, but I can watch it a hundred times and never get tired of it. And the Groovy Factor did not stop there. No way, baby! Pretty much all cinematic genres were affected. And thus some of my favorite horror and erotic movies are films from that era and have major doses of groovieness permeating their celluloid vibes.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

THE SPY WHO WENT POP! (and other superheroes)

A free CD for your downloading and listening pleasure! Compiled by my good friend OYOY7 with help from Agent Bender! Dare I say... the coolest spy movie and Euro-superhero soundtrack compilation ever made? I dare!

To download please find the link over at Dr. Penis's Purple Zombie DJ blog!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


And to get things rolling comes these 2 brief public safety announcements courtesy of Shabby. Don't be crackers! If you wanna live to be 10 you'll follow these rules!