Exhumed Films presents The Forgotten Film Festival!
Exhumed Films has spent the last seventeen years
scouring the globe to unearth the rarest, most obscure genre films in
existence. On Sunday, July 20, we will present five “forgotten” film exclusives:
these are movies which have fallen off of the cinematic radar—most have
never been officially released on video or DVD in any form, and in some
cases, the movies have never even received a theatrical release! All
will be projected from original 35mm prints. If you’re a fan of obscure
cinema, you CANNOT miss this extremely rare, once in a lifetime event!
You can literally become the first person to ever review some of these
movies on IMDB! Here’s the lineup:
1979 / 35mm / Dir. William A. Levey / 98 min.
From the director of BLACKENSTEIN and writer Nick Castle (HALLOWEEN II, THE LAST STARFIGHTER) comes this stunning slice of ‘70s cheese. Words cannot express the awesomeness of SKATETOWN, U.S.A., which tells an epic tale of good vs. evil set in the sexually charged and drug-fueled fervor (in a totally PG-rated sense of the terms) of the most popular roller disco in town. You will marvel at the assemblage of 1970s star power, which includes Scott Baio, Flip Wilson, Billy Barty, Maureen (“Marsha Brady”) McCormick, Ron (“Arnold Horshack”) Palillo, Murray (“The Unknown Comic”) Langston, Ruth Buzzi, and—in his first ever film appearance—a charismatic young newcomer named Patrick Swayze, who is completely captivating as the film’s skate-thug antagonist. SKATETOWN was never released on VHS or DVD due to rights issues with its stellar soundtrack, which features top hits from artists like Dave Mason (who also appears in the film), Earth, Wind and Fire, and The Jacksons. While our synopsis may sound sarcastic or cynical, it isn’t: SKATETOWN, U.S.A. is a truly enjoyable time capsule of a movie that deserves broader recognition.
SON OF DRACULA
1974 / 35mm / Dir. Freddie Francis / 90 min.
Beatles fans take note: here is a real obscurity that has finally been unearthed by Exhumed Films! In 1974, Apple Films released this truly odd horror/musical/comedy/drama amalgam, directed by Amicus and Hammer stalwart Freddie Francis (TALES FROM THE CRYPT, DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE, DR. TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS). SON OF DRACULA stars singer-songwriter (and Apple recording artist/Beatles crony) Harry Nilsson as a melancholy vampire, and Ringo Starr himself as the immortal wizard, Merlin. The film features several of Nilsson’s songs, performed by the artist and his “backing band” of popular rock musicians such as Peter Frampton, John Bonham, and Keith Moon. Like SKATETOWN, soundtrack rights issues prevented the film from ever receiving an official video or DVD release, but SON OF DRACULA is now back on the big screen for the first time in 40 years!
1974 / 35mm / Dir. Andy Milligan / 60 min.
Once upon a time, infamous “no-budget” horror/exploitation filmmaker Andy Milligan (THE GHASTLY ONES, THE RATS ARE COMING! THE WEREWOLVES ARE HERE!) decided to make an homage to the Universal Studios “Monster Rally” movies of the 1940s. The result was BLOOD, which—questionable acting, editing, and special effects aside—stands as one of Milligan’s better works, and has a certain charm of its own that makes it worth a watch. BLOOD focuses on the mad scientist Doctor Orlovsky and his bride as they try to cope with Mrs. Orlovsky’s bloodthirsty cravings. Turns out Orlovsky is actually the alias of Lawrence (The Wolfman) Talbot, Jr. (!), who has married Dracula's daughter and has come home to the family estate only to find he's been swindled by his father's lawyer. Things go quickly downhill from there. Full of colorful characters and gruesome set pieces, BLOOD is a goofy, gory throwback to the monster mash-ups of yesteryear.
MURDER ON THE EMERALD SEAS
1973 / 35mm / Dir. Alan Ormsby / 85 min.
Now this is a true rarity: the directorial debut of horror favorite Alan Ormsby (CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, DERANGED, POPCORN), MURDER ON THE EMERALD SEAS was not only never released on DVD or video, but never actually received a theatrical release outside of a few regional markets. It has zero reviews on IMDB. It is truly a lost film in every sense of the word! This unconventional comedy-thriller concerns a police detective who goes undercover in drag to catch a masked maniac brutally dispatching the winners of an annual beauty queen contest run by drug smugglers aboard a cruise ship. We couldn’t make up a plot synopsis that absurd if we tried. Featuring the stars of CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS (Paul Cronin, Anya Ormsby and Jeff Gillen) and Roberts Blossom from DERANGED, as well as cameos from Johnny Weismuller and Henny Youngman!
1968 / 35mm / Dir. Zoltan G. Spencer / 64 min.
Our final feature is another truly lost film—not on video or DVD, the horror/sexploitation flick THE SATANIST has not been seen by an audience for nearly fifty years. Recovering from a mental breakdown, a writer and his young wife move into a new home and are soon met by a female occultist and a sultry succubus intent on welcoming the newcomers to the neighborhood by making them the guests of honor at a black mass and ushering them into a world of orgiastic sex and Satanism! If Russ Meyer and Anton LaVey were to have ever collaborated on a film, it probably would have looked a lot like this.