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This bike runs on…BLOOD!

October 24, 2014

I bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1991)

Wednesday, October 29th

Films starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s

633 Grand St (bet Leonard & Manhattan), Bklyn, NY 11211

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

Made of steel, forged in hell

In the opening scene, a devil worshiping biker gang is rudely interrupted in their sacrificing of chickens by a rival gang. The satanic gang is wiped out and the bikes destroyed, but not before the summoned spirit has a chance to scurry up the tailpipe of a damaged Norton Commando. Smoldering on the ground, shot with an arrow, a newly made zombie biker comes to it’s rescue ripping open his own throat to fill the Norton’s gas tank with yes, you guessed it….BLOOD
The bike is eventually bought by a local chap, Noddy, and proceeds to terrorize the sleepy town of Birmingham.

Right, let’s go kick some bottom
Dry British humor, coffins in side cars, priests on trikes, and The Young Ones style special effects (including an animated turd, zombie gore, severed everything, and a melting engine) this video horrible pokes fun at classic 60’s horror and biker films like Psychomania, and makes for a hysterical homage to an already fantastically silly genre.

Clearly the best Birmingham-based vampire motorcycle movie ever made
This film was the moonlight (literally…it’s a vampire flick after all) project of the production team of the British hit show Boon. Lying to the TV studio backers about necessary re-shoots, The crew borrowed the show’s sets, props, actors and everything else that wasn’t nailed down, and shot this low budget, cult classic, comedic horror romp.
(Read more behind the scenes info at Eat My Brains)

Inspector Cleaver: What kind of a bike was it?
Noddy: Norton Commando
Priest: Funny, they’re usually so reliable….

- Corinna Mantlo

 

Trailer

The Birmingham premier (and the most adorable extras ever!)

 

CM October 2014

The Endsville from Sendsville

October 19, 2014

The Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow (1959)

Wednesday, October 22nd

Films starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s

633 Grand St (bet Leonard & Manhattan), Bklyn, NY 11211

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

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He’s the goingest ghost you’ve ever met

This week’s film review courtesy of Beach Party Movie Music. Enjoy:

Synopsis: a cute, cheerful teen hot-rodder battles punks, her parents, the authorities and ghosts in the Los Angeles of the late 1950s.  After being evicted from their clubhouse, she and her gang attempt to employ a “haunted mansion” as a substitute.  This leads to the inevitable spooky happenings, intermixed with reckless street racing and lots of late 50s rock n’ roll.

Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow Race

This AIP produced sequel to Hot Rod Gang is comparatively unknown; in fact, most of the references I’ve ever found to it simply label the film as “obscure.”  That’s unfortunate, for this B-movie classic is not only a highly entertaining snapshot of the late 50s, but also a seminal antecedant of the formula the studio would refine and distill a few years later, in the form of Beach Party.  While Hot Rod Gang vaguely hints at some elements of the Beach Party format, The Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow clearly bridges the stylistic gap between the “juvenile delinquent/hot-rod” movies of the 1950s and the “Frankie/ Dee-Dee surfing hijinks” of the 1960s drive-in attractions.

Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow Racer 02

How so?  Well, while they aren’t tied together in particularly polished form, one can readily find almost all the core elements of a Beach Party film in The Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow: attractive, energetic and somewhat rebellious kids whose lives revolve around a trendy activity, lots of pretty girls in provocative attire, adult “opponents,” a script focused on comedy and — most importantly — musical interludes and dancing continually woven into the storyline.  However, the film also simultaneously retains the classic characteristics of a 1950s teen B movie: hipster, “daddy-O” type vernacular, guys with slicked down hair and girls with “rocket” bras, some juvenile delinquent types and even a few paranoid references to the cold war.

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He’s got the hot rodders vavoomin’

The girls race in an early scene

All this is packaged in the textbook early “grind ‘em out cheap and fast” AIP format: black and white photography, no-name cast, low production values and rather forced acting.  But don’t let that give you the sense this is another candidate for the “so-bad-it-must-be-good” school of cinema.  Everybody in this show appears to be having a blast, the garage and racing scenes are a dream for auto fanatics and the storyline — while rather thin — zips along quickly enough to hold ongoing interest.

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And the hep cats zazoomin’

The Score of The Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow

The title sequence tells the viewer right away that we’re back in the early, every-single-penny-counts era at AIP, for they are rather plain vanilla: double exposure produced “ghosts” float up and down as the titles scroll by. Ghost Train, a bouncy, sax-focused instrumental that just screams “juke joint” pounds away in the background, and its dancy feel lets us know right away this is anything but a horror film.

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We then tear off into action as the story opens with the sight of Lois Cavendish (Jody Fair, right, reprising her role from Hot Rod Gang, who is much cuter this time around, primarily due to a seriously improved hairdo) roaring down a residential street in L.A. in her low slung, supercharged “rail.”  Out of nowhere, another hot rod, also driven by a woman (who turns out to be from the rival “bad” gang) appears, which leads Lois and her oppponent into a wild race through one of those massive drainage canals that have been the setting for inumerable Hollywood car chases (the one in Grease may jog the memory of many readers).  A motorcycle cop intervenes, which leads the opponent to crash and Lois to escape (temporarily, it turns out).

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- she prefers hot rods to hot romances

- that’s because it’s easier to handle cars

Back at a garage, the home of the Zeniths, Lois’ hot rod club, her gang is explaining the nuances of their hobby/fixation with a sympathetic adult reporter, also a “retread” from Hot Rod Gang  (played by vintage character actorRuss Bender, shown in brown trousers in scene to the left; who is presumably this time doing some sort of serial on the hot rodders, for he tags along with them for the rest of the film).  The primary attraction here (which will only be noticed by gearheads) is the appearance of “TV” Tommy Ivo

GODH Why use Paul

(in shot to  right. he’s the guy in the striped shirt).  Ivo was an actual (now legendary) drag racer of the late 50s/early 60s, who shows off his real record holding Buick-engined dragster.  Ivo gives us an education on hot rodding as he lectures the reporter (in classic gearhead vernacular) on all the finer details of his car, which really aren’t that complicated: they basically boil down to cramming a ridiculous amount of horsepower and torque into as light a vehicle as possible.   After Lois returns from her race (followed by a cop who tickets her for it), things switch to the local “hangout”, which appears to be a combination roadside diner, juke joint and malt shop (complete with a chef with a shotgun named “Frenchy.”)   And this is where the first hint at a “Beach Party” element appears.

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hep cats and hot rodders. They’re all alive to the jive

That happens in the form of music, specifically, the scene opening with kids wildly dancing to a band blasting away at a twangy, guitar-based dance instrumental named Geronimo.  This is medium-tempo, four chord number with clear rock-a-billy roots, which features…the band shooting off guns during the refrain.   The group here is unnamed, presumably a bunch of locals AIP brought in, but they do a reasonably good job of hamming things up during their brief and silly performance.

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The music immediately improves when three of the girls from the hot rod club subsequently jump up to perform a number.  They go right into He’s My Guy, a short but absolutely wonderful uptempo doo-wop piece with a floating three way vocal harmony (and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t particularly care for doo wop!).  The number is even more enjoyable due to the perky, flirty presentation by the singers and some nice close up photography.  All that adds up to this little sequence being not only one of the two musical highlights of the film, but also a landmark of sorts, as it is one of the first carefully executed musical numbers ever produced by AIP.  What the viewer experiences here is a clear predecessor to what would subsequently become a core element in the Beach Party series.

Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow 4

The Endsville from Sendsville

The B movie soap opera element of  the show then proceeds, as the viewer is forced to endure an unnecessarily long (and somewhat dull) set of sequences featuring Lois being grounded by her parents (for being caught drag racing), as well as Anastasia Abernathy, a quirky old aunt character (also recycled from Hot Rod Gang) and her wisecracking parrot.  Just when you feel the VCR should stopped, however, redemption appears in the form of an extended party sequence, followed by a cheescakey pajama party described by Lois as what happens “when the she-kats nap after the he-kats leave.”  Both feature some instrumental pop (a reprise of Ghost Train as well an unamed number).

dragstriphollow

Now almost two thirds of the way through this thing, we finally get to the haunted element.  The flimsy excuse for the introduction of the ghost theme is the hot rodders being evicted from their clubhouse, which leads Lois’ quirky aunt to offer them an old home she received as part of an estate settlement.  It’s of course run down and spooky looking, and we have to endure some rather silly looking ghosts      Suits, ties and poufy dresses: 1959 it is       and monsters as the kids explore the place.

girls

Of course, the gang has to celebrate their acquisition with a party, which leads to the final and best musical sequences of the film.  A big costume party becomes the setting for some great dancing during Charge, a fast-tempoed rocker authored by then AIP music director Jimmie Madden.  The camerawork here is noteworthy, lots of extended close ups of wildly dancing kids where the emphasis is on the dancing (instrumental music and no character dialogue), which is yet another clear stylistic forerunner of the Beach Party genre.  The show continues with Tounge Tied, an uptempo (and somewhat dated sounding)  vocal by none other than Madden himself, whose comparatively anemic singing style doesn’t help things (it seems more appropriate for the Lawrence Welk Show than a drive-in attraction).

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And as a reminder that this is the 50’s, while Charge blasts again in the backgound as the kids dance, the film closes not with “the end” but “the endest, man.” – Beach Party Movie Music.

The Endest, Man!

 

 

CM October 2014

 

 

Ride With The Living Dead!

October 7, 2014

Psychomania (1972)

Aka The Death Wheelers

Wednesday, October 8th

Films starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s

633 Grand St (bet Leonard & Manhattan), Bklyn, NY 11211

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

Tom… you’re not human! Sometimes you scare me!

This classic, pre punk British video nasty tells the tail of “The Living Dead”. A motorcycle gang who tear about on their Triumphs and adorably terrorize a small town. The gang leader Tom, Latham (Nicky Henson, of Witchfinder General “fame”) is a sinister sort with a dark family legacy.

Everybody dies don’t they…but some come back

Tom learns the secret to immortality from his Mum and her creepy butler Shadwell (George Sanders of Village of the Damned) who made a pact with the devil back when Tom was still in swaddling clothes. It seems that as long as you truly believe that you’ll come back, then you will.

Tom: What’s the fastest anyone ever did on the motorway. 95…Today we do The Ton

Abby: What, that’s suicide

Tom: Well, hell you gotta go sometime

Armed with a cemetery toad and a pair of his Da’s glasses, Tom takes the plunge (literally). He takes his bike on the motorway, and does “The Ton” right off of a bridge.

Abby Holman (Mary Larkin), his girl and fellow Living Dead member is crushed and goes to see Tom’s mum, who agrees to let the gang bury Tom in their own way, buried upright on his bike, in the center of the “7 Witches”, a clearing outside of town where legend has it that 7 witches who reneged on their pact with the devil were turned long ago into stone as punishment.

Well, I’m dead mother, but other than that I’m splendid

Shortly after the burial, with much revving of the Bonne’s engine, an undead Tom and his bike fly from their grave and he begins a teenage antic filled murder spree across town.

You know why the fuzz called Mummy? Because we blew his mind

After stopping by to tea with mother, Tom returns to the 7 Witches and after convincing the gang that he is truly himself and immortal, they all eagerly begin to plot their own, dramatic and entertaining suicides.

Jane Pettibone (Ann Michelle) the new leader is the first to join, throwing herself into an oncoming truck on her bike. Hinky doesn’t make it since he hesitated at the last minute…he didn’t want it bad enough. The rest throw themselves out of windows, drown themselves in rivers tied to weights, and go skydiving without parachutes.

The only one hesitant is Abby. She tries her best to do herself in with pills, but wakes to find herself in a hospital. She’s been rescued before succumbing, and now no longer wants to die, even to obtain immortality.

I want to take your body to the morgue and see what will happen

Chief Inspector Hesseltine (Robert Hardy) recruits Abby to be bait to lure in the gang. They fake her death and she rejoins the undead gang. Not until she fails to ride through a brick wall do Tom and the gang catch on. Back at the 7 Witches, The gang gives her a ghoulish ultimatum to commit suicide and join the ranks, or be killed by them, with no hope of return. Abby takes the gun to kill herself, but unloads it in Tom’s chest instead. Tom unfazed goes to strangle her…

At home, becoming clear that Tom is out of control, Mother and Shadwell begin a ritual to end the devil’s pact once and for all…

The sky blackens, lightning strikes, thunder claps and mother is turned into a toad. Instantaneously, the (now truly) Living Dead are turned to stone themselves right before Abby’s eyes. Leaving only her and her bike behind.

-Corinna Mantlo

The only teenage zombie biker frog voodoo hippy musical that Beryl Reed ever made

During a BBC interview star Nicky Henson said that he has always thought the film was terrible and only decided to be in it because he thought no one would ever see the film. He was surprised to find himself being interviewed about Psychomania forty years later. - IMDB

Trailer

 

CM October 2014

 

CAR-TOONS!

October 1, 2014

CAR-Toons: A look at Vehicular animation

Wednesday, October 1st

Films starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s

633 Grand St (bet Leonard & Manhattan), Bklyn, NY 11211

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

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I really regret that Cine Meccanica has been horribly slacking these last 2 weeks (i haven’t even done an october calender…yeash) due to the unreal time it took us to put on the 2nd annual Motorcycle Film Festival that we just wrapped in NYC.

MOT_1102EK ProcessMe and My BSA. Photo By Eric Kun

Thank you so much to everyone who came from every corner of the earth and everywhere in between to attend. As many of you know, vehicular films IS my life, and i have LOVED my life this week!

MOT_1242EK ProcessPacked house. Photo By Eric Kun

So, because my brain is still mush, it seemed like it’s a perfect night to screen the wonderful, wacky world of vehicular “CAR-Toons”. As a child raised at Marvel comics, cartoons shaped my life for better or worse. This is in no way a history of the genre, I’ve pontificated on that here before, and will again…but today just ‘aint that day. This post and the film lineup for tonight is simple a wide sweeping, swiss cheese holed look at the less known examples of 2 and 4 wheeled animation.

JUST SOME OF TONIGHTS LINEUP:

cdn21.atwikiimgOn Cab’s Family (1952)

Read all about the lineage of this cartoon in A Chip Off The ‘Ol Motor Block. Watch it HERE.

Speed Racer: The Great Plan Part 1 (1967)

Read all about Spedd Racer in Mahha GoGoGo

Cadillacs & Dinosaurs: Episode 1 (1993)

Read all about Cadillacs & Dinosaurs HERE

Biker Mice From Mars: Episode 1 (1993)

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Me as a Car-Toon, by talented artist Takashi for project Hellbound And Down (which was sadly just cancelled by Norra). Follow him on Instagram @ein883

Enjoy, and I’ll see you at the flicks!

Corinna Mantlo

He who knows he knows, doesn’t know. But he who knows he doesn’t know…knows.

September 16, 2014

The Best Bar In America (2013)

Wednesday, September 17th

Film starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s

633 Grand St (bet Leonard & Manhattan), Bklyn, NY 11211

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

Best_Bar_DVD_cover_Amazon__41485.1405368494.1280.1280He who knows he knows, doesn’t know. But he who knows he doesn’t know…knows.  

The Best Bar In America, A Feature Film by Eric and Damon Ristau took home the Feature Narrative and Best Of Festival awards at the 1st Annual Motorcycle Film Festival.

In 2014, Eric Ristau joins the panel of judges for the 2nd annual MFF which will take place on September 24-27th in NY. It’s the connection to the films and community which makes the MFF so extraordinary, and we’re proud a hell of it. So, as the last film this month before the MFF takes over for a week, I am thrilled to present a screening of this fantastic and award winning film, and be sure to keep your eyes on these brothers as they continue to make vehicular films.

See you at the flicks!

- Corinna Mantlo

The-best-bar-in-America-film-movie-usa-spring-2013-LONG-JOHN-motorcycle-whisky-jeans-denim-4

It’s important to be careful what you ask for 

A whiskey-fueled writing assignment takes one man on an epic motorcycle road trip through the bars and taverns across the American West. Riding a 1960 BMW R60/2 motorcycle with a sidecar, Sanders (Andrew Rizzo) is a down-on-his-luck writer on a mission to chronicle every watering hole along the way. With help of fellow traveler and dharma bum, Northway (David Ackroyd) and a variety of other colorful characters along the way, Sanders learns the way of the road and the zen of the bar.

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Read an interview with the filmmaker HERE

 

Watch the trailer:

CM September 2014

 

 

Somethin’s comin’ loose.

September 4, 2014

White Knuckle: The Story of the Motorcycle Cannonball (2012)

Wednesday, September 10th

Film starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s

633 Grand St (bet Leonard & Manhattan), Bklyn, NY 11211

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

‘9 out of 10 people haven’t seen a pre 1916 motorcycle’

In 2012 Cine Meccanica hosted the NYC Premier of White Knuckle, and in 2013 White Knuckle took home the People’s Choice award at the 1st Annual Motorcycle Film Festival. Since then, NY based Filmmaker and traditional hot rod builder Brian Darwas has completed and released his 5th documentary ‘This Is Long Beach‘, a look at the Cavaliers Car Club, and is currently working on his 6th film. If you’re a fan of hot rods, motorcycles, and custom culture, do yourself a favor and keep an eye on Brian and Atomic Hot Rods!

Read an interview with Brian Darwas HERE.

Think you’ve got what it takes to participate in the next Motorcycle Cannonball? Find out HERE. it starts TODAY!!

- Corinna Mantlo

‘basically…we’re gonna race pre ’16 motorcycles…across the country’

Ride along with Hot Rod Builder and Award Winning Filmmaker Brian Darwas as he travels coast to coast on the ultimate antique motorcycle endurance run, “The Motorcycle Cannonball”.

‘i was constantly tinkering to find the sweet spot’

Witness as these bikes are pushed past their limits!  Get an upfront look at parking lot engine rebuilds!  and watch as the top guys in the motorcycle industry machine parts in the back of their vans to keep their bikes on the  road, and in the race! 

‘The hardest thing was to realize that everything moved forward at 40mph…all day long’

I followed some friends as they rode on the first Motorcycle Cannonball.  The run was all pre-1916 motorcycles. Some were single cylinder engines, some had no transmissions (just a belt and a tensioner). They started in Kitty Hawk, NC and rode clear across the country to Santa Monica, CA.  Literally “Coast to Coast”, on all secondary roads, no highways! . . and since I like to witness pain and suffering I tagged along and made a movie about the trip.  -  Brian Darwas

Check out, and purchase the films of Brian Darwas on the website, or swing by the screening to pick up your very own copy in person. Support Independent filmmakers!

White Knuckle: The Story Of The Motorcycle Cannonball 

A sweet Sickness

The Devil At Your Feet

The Road To Bonneville

This Is Long Beach

 

Trailer

 

CM September 2014

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

September 1, 2014

The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968)

Wednesday, September 3rd

Film starts at 8pm

Lady Jay’s

633 Grand St (between Leonard St & Manhattan Ave)

Brooklyn, NY 11211

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

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 tirade 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

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