Here at Balladeer’s Blog I review a lot of very obscure movies. This is a look at some of the films I have thus far not been able to find. Any help anyone could offer would be appreciated.
MICHEL AUDER’S CLEOPATRA (1970) – It’s weirdness squared in this overlooked flick which Michel Auders directed utilizing assorted Andy Warhol menagerie figures in the cast. Auder himself played Caesar, with modern-day Rome as the seat of his empire. Viva portrayed Cleopatra with her domain of Egypt being set in the modern-day state of New York with snowmobiles as horses. Yes, it’s one of THOSE kinds of films.
The cast members improvised their way through the storyline, so I will say again “Yes, it’s one of THOSE kinds of films”. Among the cast were Nico, Ultra Violet, Ondine, Louis Waldon and Taylor Mead. Keep your eyes peeled for the one and only Christopher Walken.
CALYPSO JOE (1957) – Another film from one of my favorite weird-ass subgenres, the many calypso movies that came along in the late fifties when calypso music was being built up as the inheritor of rock and roll’s popularity with the youngsters. (Remember my review of Bop Girl Goes Calypso?)
Angie Dickinson was the female lead with Herb Jeffries as Calypso Joe and Ed Kemmer among the male players. Lord Flea himself appears in this movie, which also features Lady T, the Easy Riders, the Duke of Iron and the Lester Horton Dancers.
A YANK IN VIETNAM (1964) – This movie was directed by Marshall Thompson, who also starred as Major Benson, a Marine Corps pilot who gets shot down and, in his bid to reach safety joins forces with Kieu Chinh, portraying a Vietnamese woman.
A Yank in Vietnam went through multiple title changes on its way to the big screen and was filmed entirely on location in Vietnam. The location filming and tone – supposedly pro-South Vietnamese but not as ham-fisted as John Wayne’s Green Berets – make it much sought-after.
ELEPHANT’S CHILD (1987) – Jack Nicholson narrating a CHILDREN’S STORY? Yep! The story is also known as How the Elephant Got Its Long Trunk and was part of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories.
This animated tale runs just 27 minutes and I’m very curious to see it.
DR. SCORPION (1978) – Before Nick Mancuso starred in Stingray he starred in Dr. Scorpion! In this telefilm Mancuso played John Shackelford, a former superspy called out of retirement when an old friend dies at the hands of Dr. Scorpion (Roscoe Lee Browne).
The eccentric Shackelford is a big fan of old Abbot and Costello movies and sports the usual world-weary air of specialists being called out of retirement for “one last job.” Christine Lahti, Sandra Kerns and Granville Van Dusen also star.