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Speed-Crazed…Thrill-Hungry…On a date with danger and love!

July 17, 2014

Devil On Wheels (1947)

Wednesday, July 23rd

Film starts at 8:00pm

Lady Jay’s: 633 Grand St, between Manhattan & Leonard, Bklyn, NY 11211

Free popcorn, Juke Box Meccanica, $2 Bingo for Prizes. PRIZES!

And we are also pleased to announce that dinner will now be provided by Delilah’s Steaks…so come HUNGRY!!

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The Devil On Wheels (1947)

When he took the wheel, slammed on the throttle, and started burning rubber…HE WAS DYNOMITE!

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Speed-crazed…Thrill-hungry…On a date with danger and love!

The Devil on Wheels is a 1947 black/white movie with a playing time of 67 minutes. The film was released by Producers Releasing Company Pictures and was produced by Ben Stoloff, and the assistant producer was Jerry Briskin. It was written and directed by Crane Wilbur. It stars James B. Cardwell, Noreen Nash, Darryl Hickman, Jan Ford, Damian O’Flynn, Lenita Love, William Forrest, Sue England and Robert Arthur. The background is typical Hollywood symphonic music, which is heightened for chase scenes. The movie’s plot is about a family that is torn apart by the evils of illegal hot rod street racing. The father indulges his children and although he knows the dangers, does little to prevent the horrors that will happen to his family. In fact, the father sets a poor example by driving too fast and showing little respect for those who share the road. He buys cars for his children that are fast and encourages his sons to develop their mechanical skills. The oldest son matures and goes off to the military where he becomes a fighter pilot and is the dream of all the girls back home. The younger son falls in with a group of local hot rodders who continually break the law. Their girlfriends egg them on rather than reason with them to be more responsible. Eventually they descend into a downward spiral that leads to a death on the streets and the young boy’s mother seriously hurt in the hospital. At last the youths are confronted with the results of their actions and realize the harm they have caused, which can only be eased by serving time for their crimes.

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When are you gonna put this hop up together and burn a little rubber…hmmm

The Devil on Wheels is a very early example of illegal drag racing on the streets and the harm that it can cause. The movie was released in 1947 and the only reference to legal drag racing was a mention of “there will be legal drag racing at the dry lakes this Saturday for those whose cars have passed the safety inspections.” This would refer to El Mirage dry lake in California. The kids mention terms such as ‘hop up,’ and ‘hopping up,’ which young people used to describe how they were enhancing the performance and speeds of their cars. The father waited two years for “the car he ordered,” indicating that it was two years after the end of World War II. They used the term ‘drag races’ and gave statistics throughout the film, such as the fact that 37,000 Americans died in car accidents in 1947. We have twice the number of people and five times more automobiles today than in 1947 and the death rate today is only slightly higher than it was then. The carnage must have been terrible. Accidents that we can recover from probably meant a gruesome death back then. The film shows the absolute hatred that people felt towards young speeders in their hopped up hot rods.

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The Devil on Wheels has the feel of a documentary, mixed with the 1940’s film noir tradition of Hollywood. The acting is pretty good. The plot and script are interesting and rarely stalls. The action scenes are adequate based on the low budget of the movie, but the hot rods look fast and sleek on the screen. Only Darryl Hickman had a substantial career, but the actors hold their own in the film. Hickman did a credible job but lacked the edginess of a young man in rebellion. The role was made for James Dean, but he was four years away from beginning his acting career. The movie spent too much time in court scenes and in the morgue. It would have been better to have more action with the cars and at the illegal drags, thus showing the power and influence that speed and cars hold over young people. The movie struggled a little bit when the young people were separated from their cars. Overall, this is a good movie from the 1940’s that definitely rose above its limitations. From a rating of 1 to a maximum of 8 spark plugs, I give this move a 5 1/2 spark plug rating.

Film review courtesy of HOTROD Hotline

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CM JULY 2014

They jet you where the Fun and Action are…every time they grab a wheel…OR A GIRL!

July 13, 2014

The Lively Set (1964)

Wednesday, July 16th

Film starts at 8:00pm

Lady Jay’s: 633 Grand St, between Manhattan & Leonard, Bklyn, NY 11211

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Free popcorn, Juke Box Meccanica, $2 Bingo for Prizes. PRIZES!

And we are also pleased to announce that dinner will now be provided by Delilah’s Steaks…so come HUNGRY!!

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the-lively-set

The Plot

Casey Owens (James Darren), a young mechanic, has developed a design for a turbine car engine, paving the way for a jet-powered auto certain to set a new land speed record. Wealthy playboy Stanford Rogers (Peter Mann) hires Casey to build the car for him to race in the Tri-State Endurance Run. Chuck Manning (Doug McClure), an engineering student Casey met in a drag race, discovers potential flaws in the car’s design. After an unsuccessful test run, Rogers abandons the turbine-powered car for a traditional racing model, but Casey and Chuck rework the turbine vehicle to compete with Rogers in the endurance run. Pamela Tiffin plays Eadie, Chuck’s sister who becomes Casey’s love interest.

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The Turbine Car

The turbine car used in the film is the famous 1963 Chrysler Ghia Turbine Car developed by George Huebner and his team. The car’s engine is realistically described in the film, particularly Chrysler’s use of heat regenerators which cooled the turbine car’s exhaust to a temperature even lower than that of a traditional piston engine.

The Chrysler Turbine car is mentioned in the opening credit of the film. Chrysler had to participate in the film’s developement, since the car was the exclusive property of the corporation and its patented engine design was extenseively advertised as the “engine of the future.” – Wikipedia

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Trailer

 

Watch the whole film

 

CM JULY 2014

 

Crazy kids…living to a wild rock ‘n’ roll beat!

July 7, 2014

Hot Rod Gang (1958)

Wednesday, July 9th

Film starts at 8:00pm

Lady Jay’s: 633 Grand St, between Manhattan & Leonard, Bklyn, NY 11211

Free popcorn, Juke Box Meccanica, $2 Bingo for Prizes. PRIZES!

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We are also pleased to announce that dinner will now be provided by Delilah’s Steaks…so come HUNGRY!!

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`Hot Rod Gang’: A Weird, Offbeat, Unusual and Disturbing Comedy of 1958

by Timothy Sexton

“Hot Rod Gang” is the kind of movie they are talking about when they say they don’t make them like that anymore. In fact, I’m not sure they ever made them like “Hot Rod Gang.” You would expect from the title that this movie is just another entry in the genre of juvenile delinquents with cool cars movies, but in fact it is a comedy, I think, unlike any comedy you have ever seen.

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Of course, it may not be quite right to call it a comedy. “Hot Rod Gang” is also a rock and roll musical. The plot is about a rich kid who hides his wild life from his aunts in order to gain his inheritance. That plot is just an idea upon which to hang singing, dancing and some of the oddest comedy elements of all time. And then, just to make sure everything is as offbeat as possible, the movie also does, in fact, contain some juvenile delinquency aspects in dramatic form.

 

One of the weirdest parts of the comedy that is derived from “Hot Rod Gang” has to do with those two aunts. This movie was likely seen, if not entirely remembered, by the creator of “Pushing Daisies.” The sisters seem very much in line with the two synchronized swimming sisters there. But even funnier is the maid who has a mind of her own. Remember Benson back when he was funny on “Soap” and before he got his own series? The maid in “Hot Rod Gang” will remind you of that…except that Benson never took to the suspended rings in a gym. Her gymnastic ability leaves something to be desire, but the comedy will leave your jaw agape.

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The leading female character, played by Jody Fair, sometimes almost appears to be making another movie entirely. Her facial reactions and asides lend “Hot Rod Gang” an estimable amount of postmodernist credibility. Except that you just mainly wonder if she was doing it on purpose or was she just a bad actress?

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As if that weren’t enough, some unintentional comedy-I think it was not by intention-arrives courtesy of two singing numbers by Gene Vincent. Gene Vincent was a sort of cut rate Elvis Presley. If you have ever watched movies of this type, you are doubtlessly familiar with the presence of two females who accompany the Elvis singer type character by getting up closer to either side of the singer’s face, snapping fingers, clapping hands and generally enjoying their role as eye candy. “Hot Rod Gang” features this common trope…except that the accompanying singers are both male. Homophobia is not a problem I have, but there is something singularly disquieting about watching these scenes play out in a 1950s movie. It just is not what you expect and it leads you down a road that starts out with cautious laughter before it just becomes disturbing.

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Check out “Hot Rod Gang.” I guarantee you have never seen a comedy quite like this one before.

For more from Timothy Sexton, check out: The Unbearable Lightness of Realism

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Proud young rebels!

Car Facts

Hot Rod Gang…The ’32 Ford roadster that Steve Drexel drives is actually the famous Pete Hendersen roadster which is the car that had the famous race with a quarter horse that set the blueprint for quarter mile drag racing. The other ’32 Ford in this movie is Tony LaMasa’s chopped and channeled green roadster that was the same car that was featured in an episode of Ozzie and Harriet where Ozzie raced it in a Model T.

 

Hot Rod Gang was filmed in Hollywood. The opening scene is them racing down Santa Monica Blvd. The curb race scene was shot on 2 different streets and then edited together but the last shot of them on the curb is on Highland.

 

The other ’32 in Hot Rod Gang is the Bob McGee/Dick Scritchfield rod. Dick owned it at the time Hot Rod Gang was filmed in ’58.

See all the cars of the film HERE ON IMCDB

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WATCH THE FULL FILM HERE

 

CM JULY 2014

The best part of The Death Rider’s Thrill Show…is to stay alive!

June 27, 2014

Death Riders (1976)

Wednesday, July 2nd

Film starts at 8:00pm

Lady Jay’s: 633 Grand St, between Manhattan & Leonard, Bklyn, NY 11211

Free popcorn, Juke Box Meccanica, $2 Bingo for Prizes. PRIZES!

Meet the Death Riders … As They Attempt the Most Dangerous and Terrifying Stunts Ever Seen on Film!

This documentary follows a group of fearless young men as they criss-cross the country with a motorcycle rodeo clown named Squeeks, performing their “Death Riders Motorcycle Thrill Show” at local fairs. The film is absolutely wonderful and brings to mind On Any Sunday (1971) meets Jackass, in the best possible of ways.

It’s nothing but a burning mass…He’s headed right for it now!

Flaming walls, long jumps over anything and everything, including fair going fans and even the inhabitants of a nudist colony.

What is the Flaming Dive Bomber you might ask…

The suspense is surprisingly nerve wracking as these riders take their lives in their hands to pull off death defying, hilariously named stunts.

Salt Lake City girls are pretty neat

The Death Riders work hard and play even harder. Downtime is spent, taking cowboys up on challenges to ride the bull, carnival rides with pretty local girls and taking the bikes out in the dirt of the vast American deserts.

The film even documents Larry Man, making a new world record jumping 45 people off a 2 foot ramp.

The director of photography for Death Riders, Vilmos Zsigmond also shot Sugarland Express and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It’s the photography that really makes this film great. Long wistful shots of American landscape, close up shot of adoring fans on the edge of their seats in the bleachers, and pensive silent moments of the boys before they put their necks on the line.

Check out this great site dedicated to the original Death Riders

The soundtrack is also wonderful. If anyone compiles it before me, please let me know!

Soundtrack

Sunshine Baby – Terry Stafford

Broken Bones – Tommy Cash

The Glory Train – Pat Boone

Live for Now – T.D Sheppard

Death Rider – Dorsey Burnette

Junkyard Serenade – Porter Jordan

The Love of My man – Diane Jordan

Highway Country Blues – Kenny Seratt

I Hate to Drink Alone – Jerry Naylor

Sunny Side Up – Terry Stafford

Death Riders can be purchased as part of the Savage Cinema box set.

Watch it online HERE

This film is respectfully dedicated to all whose daring feats cost them their lives

See all the images from the film here: Flickr Photos

Do yourself a favor and scoot on over to Lady Jay’s!

- Corinna

CM JULY 2014

 

There are a few moments in life you feel greatness.

June 23, 2014

Dust To Glory (2005)

Wednesday, June 25th

Film starts at 8:00pm

Lady Jay’s: 633 Grand St, between Manhattan & Leonard, Bklyn, NY 11211

Free popcorn, Juke Box Meccanica, $2 Bingo for Prizes. PRIZES!

HELLBOUND FUNDRAISER

 Join us this Wednesday for a special fundraiser screening of Dust To Glory to help support team Hellbound And Down as they (and I) prepare to race the Norra Vintage Mexican Baja 500 in October!

Can’t attend the fundraiser but would like to support the underdog effort of team Hellbound And Down? Well, you can DONATE here. All proceeds go to getting this rag tag duo to Mexico!

– Corinna
The Baja Peninsula: a place between the Old West and the Twilight Zone

An action-adventure documentary chronicling the most notorious and dangerous race in the world–the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

Rivaling the Indy 500 and 25 Hours of Daytona, the race across Baja’s peninsula is unpredictable, grueling and raw–just like the uncharted American West of yesteryear.

To capture the vast desert panoramas and intense action of the race, the film team utilized, fifty-five cameras, four helicopters, a four-passenger buggy camera car and a crew of over eighty people.

Thousands of participants, generations of families and racing icons such as Robby Gordon, Mario Andretti, Jimmy Vasser and Motorcycle Supercross legend Mike Mouse McCoy joined together to experience the thrill and glory of the infamous race–an event of sheer human determination. – IMDB

 

Trailer

CM JUNE 2014

 

 

Wild Women, Wild Wheels!

June 12, 2014

 

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

Wednesday, June 18th

Film starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s633 Grand St, between Manhattan & Leonard, Brooklyn, NY 11211

“Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to violence”

Gogo dancers by trade, these buxom girls (to say the least…it IS a Russ Meyer film after all) get their kicks racing sports cars and seeking thrills. They race hard, play hard and destroy everything and everyone in their path. They ARE their cars, and they have every curve to match.

Varla, the leader (played by famous burlesque dancer Tura Satana), sports devilish black skin tight clothes and bangs and drives a black 1965 Porsche 356 C “bomber”. Second in command, Rosie (Haji) drives a 1958 Triumph TR3A with cutaway doors. She’s a hard talking, no nonsense Italian, who loves only Varla. The blonde party girl, Billie (Lori Williams) drives a 1959 MG A 1600 Roadster MkI. Her “motor never stops running”, and though she’s no softie, she’s not the seasoned criminal that the other two are.

Billy: “She (Rosie) wears the pants alright, but somehow she always strips her gears”

Rosie: “go ahead sponge, soak it up, I’m a gonna love squeezing you out”

Having headed out to the desert to drag (after a brief stop to skinny dip of course) they encounter Tommy, “a Safety First Clyde” and his beach bunny girlfriend Linda in the desert where the bikini clad Linda is helping Tommy with timing trials for his auto club. The couple tries to befriend the trio. Little do they know what they’re getting into….They bat the couple around like cats with a mouse for a bit, until poor Tommy’s neck gets snapped, they kidnap Linda, and head out.

Linda: Would you like a soft drink?

Rosie: Honey, are you kidding? We don’t like anything soft!

Gas Station Attendant: [staring at Varla's chest as he pumps gas] Just passing through, huh? Boy, that motor’s sure hot! You gals really must have been moving on these little machines. Yessir, the thrill of the open road. New places, new people, new sights of interest. Now that’s what I believe in, seeing America first!
Varla: You won’t find it down there, Columbus!

While gassing up, they overhear that an old cripple and his two sons have a fortune stashed on their ranch. They hatch a plan to separate the old man from his money and crash the ranch.

The Old Man: You girls a bunch of nudists, or are you just short on clothes?

The old man happily invites them in, disregarding their lame story about being sent by Linda’s family to bring her home after a terrible car accident killed her boyfriend. It soon becomes apparent that the spotty story is dismissed only because the old man has a sinister agenda of his own.

Hating trains and being a “bit funny” about women, he plots to kill the girls. Meanwhile Billie tries to make the dimwitted son “The vegetable” for kicks. Varla tries to make the other son, Kirk. Rosie gets more and more infuriated that Varla’s making anyone, and poor Linda just wants to get away.

“I’ll see you in hell, and we’re both even money to make it!” (old man, to Varla)

They go around and around like this for a bit, sides are changed, blood is shed. All in all no one’s conscious is clean, and they all get what’s coming to them, except Linda and Kirk. In the final scene, Linda finally runs Varla down, and ends the madness…

Linda: I killed her. Like an animal. A nothing.

Kirk: She was nothing. Nothing Human. A real Jekyll & Hyde

- Corinna

Trailer, with an awesome 60′s soundtrack by the Bostweeds.

Check out the little-known companion film (the male motorcycle version) Motor Psycho (1965), which screened last week at Cine Meccancia.

 

CM JUNE 2014

They ride hard…no matter what they’re mounted on!

May 29, 2014

The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968)

Wednesday, June 11th

Film starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s633 Grand St, between Manhattan & Leonard, Brooklyn, NY 11211

The June 4th screening of Mini-Skirt Mob had to be cancelled, so we’re screening it this week. See you at the flicks!

The film, featuring Harry Dean Stanton as “Spook” (read about Cine Meccanica favorite, H.D Stanton HERE), opens with a weird intro of horse parades and rodeos to explain the roots of the gang.

Jeff Logan, Rodeo star, is honeymooning with his new bride in a camper when his old gang shows up . Miffed that Jeff has decided to quite, and fueled by the Mob leader’s jealousy of the new wife, the gang picks a fight and ends up beating up the happy couple. Jeff runs them off with a shotgun. All seems settled, and the bride and groom plan to continue on to the ranch…Unfortunately for them, the gang has other plans. In classic horror film style, the gang begins a tyrade of attacks and after the death of LG (as a result of trying to run the camper off the road with the bikes) sabotage the car, and end up with the couple trapped like sitting ducks in the camper, while they keep watch from a hilltop…

“What is this any how? We was going on a party, now two of us is dead.” -Spook (Harry Dean Stanton)

There are some unexplained bits, like a Cub Scout troop that witnesses the murder, and illusions to the cops being hot on the trail, but really these never pan out, and it all culminates in the propane tank exploding on the camper from beer bottle molotov cocktails, and a pretty fun motorcycle chase down of the couple on foot at the end, where Spook (stanton) gets taken down, and the mild mannered bride chooses to let Shane (Mini-Skirt Mob leader) fall to her death, rather than saving her.

Brown socks with black pants, that was it, the magic spell was broken. Are you like that Jeff? -wife

-Corinna Mantlo

Trailer

CM JUNE 2014
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