Saturday, July 9, 2016

Psychotronic Movie of the Week: PARANOIA (aka ORGASMO) (1969)

Fanfare, Italy

Produced by Salvatore Alabiso

Directed by Umberto Lenzi

Michael J. Weldon wrote in Psychotronic Video #2:

"Caroll Baker was nominated for an Oscar (BABY DOLL, '56), studied with Strasberg, co-stared in GIANT (also '56), and was on the cover of Life Magazine three times, but says she was blacklisted by her studio, Paramount, after '66. From '68 and until the early 80's, she worked only in Europe, starring in some pretty sick movies, which she ignored in her autobiography. She starred in two back to back Italian features directed by Lenzi, now known for MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY and other controversial cannibal movies. This one was also known as ORGASMO, and received an X in America when released by Fanfare. The other, A QUIET PLACE TO KILL, was also called PARANOIA, causing a lot of filmography confusion.

This PARANOIA has Baker as Mrs. Katherine West, an alcoholic rich ex-New York artist, arriving at her late Italian husband's villa. A sarcastic hustler (Lou Castel, who later showed up in Wender's AMERICAN FRIEND) worms his way into her life and home. They have sex in the shower, on the lawn, by the pool,... He brings his sexy short haired "sister" (Colette Descombs) along. They both have sex with the confused widow and each other, drive away the servants, drug her, tie her up, blackmail her with photos, and torture her by playing the same bad rock and roll song over and over.  At that point she's suicidal. "When I think of myself, I want to vomit!" Like most 60's Italian exploitation movies, this one has jerky camera work, with lots of fast zooms, and funny music with female voices merrily going "da da dee dee....". Lenzi throws in thunder and lightning, some psychedelic sequences, a discotheque scene, and Baker being served a toad by her captors.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I Can't Tell The Boys From The Girls (MP3)

The generation gap was a truly colossal chasm in 1969, as evidenced by this snippet of a Dear Abby column, which is guaranteed authentic!

Lester Flatt  -  I Can't Tell The Boys From The Girls

Thursday, May 31, 2012

James Brown Month - Last Minute Entry


     I've been swamped with various nonsense this month, to the extent that I've been unable to participate in our celebration of James Brown. But I'm not going to let the month end without bringing you something...  but you may wish that I hadn't after hearing this rare gem!
     There's not a lot of information to be had about Ms. Farmer, but she lived with JB for a time in 1966-67 (one source suggests that she lived with him later, after he and his second wife Deirdre split up), and she only ever made one record, which debatably is one too many. This page on a seemingly-defunct message board has some anecdotes about her, and a batch of cool photos of James, from which I've stolen the photo below. Go check it out!

(L to R: "Jeannie" (last name unknown), Florence Farmer, JB, Terry Brown, Teddy Brown

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ray Price Tells It Like It Is

The interview below, published in the October 1969 issue of Country Song Roundup magazine, features Ray Price taking stock within the context of an in-depth discussion of his life and career up to that point. One of the central topics is the firestorm of controversy that arose in the late 60s when Price's records began to shift stylistically and more prominently feature backing vocals and string sections, flourishes that caused great consternation among some of his long-time fans, well-known for their passionate appreciation for Price's signature honky-tonk sound.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Fun...or Christmas Misery. Choose Wisely!

(This post was supposed to go up around lunchtime, but I didn't press "post".)

WARNING: If you're having a bad Christmas, or are alone right now, I strongly urge you not to click on this one. Seriously. Proceed at your own risk!