A Richard Mansfield Double Feature : “The Mothman Curse”


Trash Film Guru

The name Richard Mansfield is not, I would assume, one known to very many, but I’d been hearing a little bit here and there over the past few years about this UK-based “micro-budget” writer/director and his production outfit, Mansfield Dark Productions, from fellow aficionados of cash-strapped filmmaking,  so when I noticed that a number of his flicks were available for streaming on Amazon Prime, I thought I’d give at least one of ’em a go and see what the less-than-buzz was all about. As it turns out, I ended up watching two, but we’ll get to the other one in our next review. First up : 2014’s The Mothman Curse.

Looking every bit like the one-thousand-pound (reportedly) production it is, this “supernatural thriller” certainly bases its entire shtick on the tropes one is used to from the “found footage” sub-genre, but can’t be fairly said to fit into said…

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A Movie A Day #131: Rich Girl (1991, directed by Joel Bender)


Courtney Wells (Jill Schoelen) is a rich girl (hence, the title).  Realizing that she is 21 years old and has yet to really experience life, Courtney declares her independence.  She breaks up with her cheating fiancée and tells her industrialist father (Paul Gleason, of course) that she no longer wants to go into the family business.  When her father responds by cutting her off, the rich girl becomes a poor girl.  Though she struggles at first, Courtney eventually trades her Ferrari for a reasonable car, finds a cheap apartment, and gets a job working as a waitress at a trendy Los Angeles nightclub, which is owned by Rocco (Ron Karabastos, of course).  She falls in love with aspiring musician Rick (Don Michael Paul) but he is already involved with his cokehead lead singer (Cherie Currie) and Courtney’s father will do anything to keep her and Rick apart.

In the early 1990s, Rich Girl was a late night HBO mainstay.  There is nothing surprising about the movie and Rick’s band has a sound that was already dated by 1991.  (While the rest of America is learning to love grunge, Rick and his band are still playing Bon Jovi cover tunes in the garage.)  However, Rich Girl does star the always gorgeous Jill Schoelen, which makes it a hundred times better than every other low-budget film that showed up on HBO in the early 90s.  Whatever happened to her?

Look familiar?

Here’s why.

One Hit Wonders #2: “One Tin Solder (Theme from BILLY JACK)” by Coven (1973)


cracked rear viewer

The theme song from Tom Laughlin’s BILLY JACK has quite a history behind it. First recorded by Canadian band The Original Caste in 1969, it became a #1 hit… in Canada! When Laughlin was making his picture, the song was re-recorded in 1971 by singer Jinx Dawson of the psychedelic occult-themed proto-metal group Coven. The Dennis Lambert/Brian Potter penned tune made it to #26 on the U.S. charts, but the film itself was poorly  distributed. Warner Bothers picked it up two years later, then Jinx and the band re-re-recorded the song, reaching #79 in 1973:

Coven made their debut with the 1969 LP “Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls”, featuring songs like “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”, “Dignitaries of Hell”, and the 13-minute opus “Satanic Mass”, which consists of ominous chanting and prayers to Satan in Latin! Coven is credited with introducing the “devil’s horns” sign to rock, later appropriated by virtually every heavy metal musician ever…

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