The Incredibly Strange Film  Show and Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show are must-see viewing for any fan of bad and weird movies. They were originally produced in England and weren’t shown here in the U.S. until the early 1990’s when the Discovery Channel aired them.

This program’s fun, witty approach to the subject matter made a  huge impact on me back then and nurtured my nascent interest in off-beat cinema. A large part of the charm of this show came from its wonderful host, Jonathan Ross, back in the days before he was in constant need of a haircut and a thorough shampooing. Even Ross’s lisp added somehow to the cultish atmosphere as he would welcome viewers to “this week’s instawwment of The Incwedibwy Stwange Fiwm Show”.

Rather than do a scattershot look at some of the staples of the bad movie subculture this program did an oeuvre by oeuvre examination of many of the legendary directors of cult movies. Ross’s off-kilter sense of humor (think early David Letterman with a British accent) and infectious playfulness were especially effective in the interview segments, which were anything but dry.

Clowning with Evil Dead director Sam Raimi produced this “vaudeville irony” exchange – JONATHAN: So tell me, Sam, do they have a blood bank here in England?   SAM: No, but they do have a Liver Pool. (followed by flawless “da dat DA” voguing from the duo)  

Rat Pfink A Boo Boo’s Ray Dennis Steckler (who also acted in his own films under the name Cash Flagg) was interviewed by a straight-faced Ross about the privilege of directing a talented actor like Cash Flagg, followed by Ross dead-panning his way through an interview with “Cash Flagg” about the joys of working with a director of Steckler’s magnitude.

The only way to do justice to the “can’t miss” joys of this series is to do a quick look at the directors and some of the movies covered over the course of the twelve episodes: (By the way, ignore  Psychotronic’s breakdown of the episodes. They have many listed in the wrong seasons)   

THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE FILM SHOW (1988) – Directors: RAY DENNIS STECKLER (The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, Rat Pfink A Boo Boo, Hollywood Strangler Meets The SkidRow Slasher, etc)   …

TED V MIKELS and his live-in “castle ladies” (The Corpse Grinders, Astro-Zombies, The Black Klansman, Blood Orgy of the She-Devils, etc) …

RUSS MEYER ( Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!, Motor-Psycho, Beneath the Valley of the UltraVixens and of course, Vixen, the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling ) …

H.G. LEWIS (Blood Feast, She-Devils On Wheels, The Wizard of Gore and of course the ORIGINAL 2,000 Maniacs ) … 

JOHN WATERS (Mondo Trasho, Female Trouble, Pink Flamingos, and the H.G. Lewis tribute Multiple Maniacs ) …

and SAM RAIMI (The Evil Dead, Crime Wave, Thou Shalt Not Kill Except … , Evil Dead II)   

SON OF THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE FILM SHOW (1989) – Directors: ED WOOD (Glen or Glenda?, Jail Bait, Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 From Outer Space, etc) …

JACKIE CHAN (Project A, Police Story, Operation Condor, Supercop, The Armour of God, etc ) …

GEORGE ROMERO (Night of the Living Dead and its sequels, The Crazies, Martin, etc ) …

DORIS WISHMAN (Nude on the Moon, The Amazing Transplant, Bad Girls Go To Hell, A Night To Dismember, etc) …

FRED OLEN RAY ( Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Beverly Hills Vamp, Scalps, The Alien Dead, etc ) …

TSUI HARK ( We Are Going To Eat You, Warriors of Xul Mountain, Mr Vampire, etc) …

STUART GORDON (Reanimator, From Beyond, Dolls, etc ) …

and a whole episode devoted to horror films featuring Mexican wrestling heroes and heroines battling monsters, long before Mexican wrestlers had the cultural cache they now have (Samson vs the Vampire Women, Wrestling Women vs the Aztec Mummy, The Mummies of Guanajatro, etc)  

Yep, whether it’s the entrepreneurial spirit of Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert “Mr Lucy Lawless” Tapert or Jackie Chan’s fascination with American silent films, there’s always something in each episode that stays with you and pops into your head the next time you watch a film by that director.

John Waters even gives Jonathan Ross the full poop (as it were) on the most notorious scene from his films. I honestly cannot recommend this show highly enough.



Filed under Bad and weird movies, Forgotten Television


  1. midaevalmaiden

    I thought for sure this one would be on Netflix. no go. Ill have you tube it.

  2. Woman

    L’grande sigho… another forgotten TV show that I must admit that I am still an addict to is “Freakazoid”. Ahhh darling Balladeer! You made me all nostalgic this morning!!!!!

  3. Oh I like the sound of this – my you are such a find my dear man. 🙂

  4. This sounds whacked. I really like these titles – “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies”, “She-Devils On Wheels”, and ” Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers”. On a side note, every Sam Raimi movie I’ve ever seen I really liked regardless of the movie’s popularity.

    • Yeah, Steckler’s title has made that movie much more famous than it deserves to be. She Devils on Wheels is one of Herschell’s underappreciated films. Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers features Gunnar Hansen (the original Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) as the leader of the chainsaw-worshipping cult.

      I agaree about Sam Raimi and company. The odd thing is how mainstream Raimi ( and to a lesser degree John Waters) became after their early weirdass stuff.

  5. Luv the titles of sum of those films!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s