Music Video Of the Day: Memo From Turner (1970, dir by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg)


In the 1970 film Performance, a sadistic gangster named Chas (James Fox) goes on the run and ends up hiding out in a mansion that’s currently occupied by a burned-out rock star named Turner (Mick Jagger).  Turner, we’re told, used to be great but then he “lost his demon.”  Could Chas be his new demon?

Well, before the answer to that question can be revealed, Chas ends up under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms and that’s when he sees Turner transformed into a London mob boss and performing Memo From Turner, a song about his exploits.

Though this is a scene from a movie, it’s still most definitely a music video.  In fact, it’s frequently cited as the first “true” music video.  (I imagine that John’s Children, Procol Harum, and Nancy Sinatra would disagree.)  Still, even if it’s not the first, it’s influence on subsequent videos is undeniable.

Enjoy!

6 Trailers For A Long-Needed Saturday


I love Saturday and not just because it’s the weekend!   Nor is it just because Saturday is the day that I traditionally go down to either Northpark Mall or the Galleria and spend way too much money on DVDs, book, lingerie, and handbags.  I love Saturday because Saturday is the day that I get to bring you another edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Trailers.

1) Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (1976)

This trailer rhymes!

2) Raw Meat (1973)

It might not be obvious from the trailer but this is actually a really good, surprisingly somber film.  Director Gary Sherman later went on to make the infamous Vice Squad.

3) The Touchables (1968)

The writer of this film, Donald Cammell, later went on to co-direct Mick Jagger in 1970’s Performance.  As far as I can tell, The Touchables is not available on DVD.  (There is an earlier film called The Touchables that’s available from Something Weird Video but it’s a different movie.)  If anyone knows that this film is available, please let me know as I’ve just recently read a book on Cammell and right now, his films are something of an obsession of mine.

4) Stanley (1972)

“Stanley — a snake that learned that only man kills his own kind…”  All film trailers use to feature pompous narration but the best exploitation trailers managed to take the standards of pompous narration to such an extent that it became a work of postmodern art.  As for Stanley, I actually own this film.  It was on one of those 8-movie compilation DVDs that were all the rage a few years ago.  The copy I saw looked like it had just been transferred off of a beaten-up VHS tape (and it probably was) but the movie still gave me nightmares because I’ve got a thing about snakes.  (By the way, clicking on the above link will lead you not to the copy I watched but to a “special edition” Stanley DVD.  To my best knowledge, the special edition looks a lot better than the copy I own.)

5) Johnny Firecloud (1975)

Johnny Firecloud — a hate story!”  This appears to be one of those films that just asks, ‘What else can go wrong?”  I mean, not only is Johnny Fireclould having to deal with prejudice but the whole thing apparently involves a nuclear war as well.

6) Goldengirl (1979)

Admittedly, I probably wouldn’t have given this trailer a second thought if not for the fact that I’ve gotten into running lately.  Still, this trailer does feature the priceless “You can kiss my feet” scene, a scene that is memorable for a lot of reasons, the least being the look on James Coburn’s face.  And remember, you’ll love Goldengirl “even after you know her secret.”  

 (Interesting sidenote: On Amazon, Goldengirl is only available in VHS form.  You can either spend $126 to get a “never before watched” copy or you can spend $4.90 to get a used copy.)

6 Trailers To Strip Down For


It’s time for another edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Trailers.  This week’s edition has no set theme beyond the fact that, in-between typing up the six trailers featured here, I was also trying on different outfits.  Multi-tasking!

1) Performance

From 1970, it’s the debut film of Nicolas Roeg (though technically, he co-directed by Donald Cammell).  Reportedly, acting in this film led to costar James Fox having a nervous breakdown.

2) Twitch of the Death Nerve

This is the trailer for Mario Bava’s infamous, trend-setting giallo.  Bava’s preferred title for this film was Bay of Blood though it was released under several titles, including Carnage and my personal favorite, Twitch of the Death Nerve.

3) The Comeback

This 1978 film is from the criminally underrated director Pete Walker.  The trailer has a similar feel to Lamerto Bava’s A Blade in the Dark.  Who is Jack Jones and was he actually an international singing sensation?  So many questions.

4) The Class Reunion Massacre (a.k.a. The Redeemer)

What an odd little trailer.  It starts out all slasher-like and then suddenly, it decides to go all Omen.

5) The Corpse Grinders

Yup, that’s what it is alright.  From directed Ted V. Mikels.

6) Candy

This trailer is from 1968, which — if you’ve seen the trailer — is kind of one of those “well, duh” facts.  Based on a book by my fellow Texan Terry Southern (hence, the tag line), the film features Walter Matthau, Richard Burton, Ringo Starr, Marlon Brando, and James Coburn all taking advantage of Ewa Aulin (who, much like James Fox in Performance, reportedly had a nervous breakdown as a result of making this film).  The film was directed by Christian Marquand who, years later, would play the main French Plantation Guy in Apocalypse Now Redux.