Eat To The Beat(nik): Peter Falk in THE BLOODY BROOD (Kay Films 1959)

cracked rear viewer

I suppose you could categorize THE BLOODY BROOD as Canadian Beatnik Noir – and it would definitely be a category of one! But this low-budget entry from The Great White North tells its tale at a fairly swift pace (or aboot as swift as those Canucks can get, eh?), features an oddball cast of characters, and offers viewers the unquestionably non-Canadian Peter Falk in his second film as a dope-peddling psychopath who gets his kicks from “death… the last great challenge of the collective mind”.

Falk, warming up for his breakthrough role as Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles in MURDER INC. a year later, plays Nico, who  pushes his junk to the Beat Generation rejects that hang around the local cafe (“He’s a salesman, baby… he sells dreams”). When an old man dies of a heart attack before their eyes, psycho Nico thinks it’d be far-out to deliberately off a square…

View original post 322 more words

6 Trailers For Mother’s Day

Hi there!  If you’re a mom, Happy Mother’s Day.  And if you’re not, you better go do something nice for your mom or else run the risk of being given back to the gypsies that she got you from.  (Incidentally, there’s no shame in being a gypsy adoptee.  According to my sisters, I was left in the backyard by a wandering gypsy band and just look at me now…) 

Here’s the latest edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers for you to watch and maybe (or maybe not) enjoy on this temperate Sunday….

1) Teenage Mother (1967)

I’ve featured this trailer before but I figured that since it’s Mother’s Day…

2) The Bloody Brood (1959)

Yes, this is the same Bloody Brood that I reviewed on this website a few days ago.

3) Operation Kid Brother (1967)

Come October, we’re going to be reviewing every single James Bond film ever made here at the Shattered Lens.  Until then, why not enjoy this trailer featuring Sean Connery’s kid brother Neil?

4) Lightning Bolt (1966)

Much like Operation Kid Brother, this appears to be another Italian attempt to make a Bond-style film.  Apparently, Neil Connery is not featured in this one.

5) Avenging Angel (1985)

Awwww…this movie was released the year I was born. 🙂

And finally, let’s close things out with a film that’s become such a classic and is so influential that film snobs tend to forget that it’s essentially a very well-made grindhouse film…

6) Psycho (1960)

A Canadian Quickie With Lisa Marie: The Bloody Brood (dir. by Julian Roffman)

As part of my ongoing mission to see all of the film’s featured in Mill Creek’s 50 Chilling Classics box set, I watched a 65-minute Canadian film called The Bloody Brood last night.

First released in 1959 and filmed in moody, noir-ish black-and-white, The Bloody Brood tells the story of a low-level drug dealer and aspiring beatnik named Nico (Peter Falk).  One night, while hanging out at the local coffeehouse and listening to decadent jazz, Nico witnesses a man drop dead of a heart attack.  Intrigued by the man’s sudden death, Nico and his nervous friend, a tv director named Francis (Ron Hartmann), decide that they want to experience what it would be like to deliberately kill someone.  Before you can say “Leopold and Loeb,” Nico and Francis are feeding a random stranger a hamburger laced with ground glass.  That stranger, a hard-working telegram delivery man named Ricky (George Sperdakous), later dies of an intestinal hemorrhage.

Unknown to Nico and Francis, Ricky has an older brother named Cliff (Jack Betts) and Cliff doesn’t believe that his brother’s death was an accident.  With the covert help of Detective McLeod (Robert Christie), Cliff starts to investigate his brother’s death.  Cliff eventually meets Ellie (Barbara Lord), a disillusioned woman who has fallen in with Nico and his murderous crowd.

The Bloody Brood is an unexpected surprise, a genuinely entertaining B-movie that more than overcomes the confines of its low-budget and limited running time.  While Peter Falk is the obvious center of the picture and steals every scene that he’s in with his coldly charismatic style of evil, the entire film is well cast and well acted with Hartmann and Betts both bringing unexpected nuance to their roles.  However, the real star of the film is director Julian Roffman who gives the film a shadowy and threatening noir-look. 

In many ways, The Bloody Brood represents everything I love about the low-budget, often sordid B-movies of the 50s and 60s.  Working with limited resources and a small cast, director Julian Roffman managed to create a genuinely memorable movie.  Films like The Bloody Brood continue to serve as proof that you don’t need millions of dollars to make a good film.  You just need a strong creative vision and the imagination to make that vision a reality.