December 31st, 2005


Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting...

When I was in Oklahoma last month, I visited a local "$1 Store" in Lawton OK and picked up a couple of Martial Arts movies made by "Saturn Productions Inc.". (anyone know more about this company?) Although they use regular DVD boxes, their paper inserts looked like a blurry bootleg DVD insert made with a color Xerox machine with cheap thin paper.

I have watched a few of these and they are pretty much standard genre fare. A lot of fun if you remember the old USA Network's "Kung Fu Theatre". Some of the fight scenes (especally on Dragon Force Operation) make the stunts on WWE wrestling look slick.

Street Fighters - Part 2 (didnt see part 1)
Dragon Force Operation
Rivals of the Dragon
Dragon Master

Saturn Productions also sells "The Smallest Show On Earth" (1958) - though Peter Sellers is top billed on the box, he only has a small role as a ageing projectionist. Still an interesting British film.

I also picked up "The Beatniks/Wild Guitar", a 2-fer-1 gem from Digiview at Wal-Mart. The Beatniks ( ) is your standard teenage rebel flick with some fun moments and bad acting, but the gem is "Wild Guitar" which stars the infamous Arch Hall Jr of "Eegha!" fame. (has this popped up on a cheap DVD? - I have only found the MST3K version)
This guy wanted to be a early 60's Teen Idol, but had ZERO acting, singing, or (maybe the worst) songwriting ability! But that didnt stop him or his wealthy father from bankrolling and making a series of drive-in stinkbombs.

And if you're a fan of Brian Wilson & The Beach Boys, you might want to pick up "Jack Benny - Volume 2" from "Television Classics" (Its been out for a year or two - pretty common). I found my copy at Fred's, which is a larger and a little more upscale discount store chain than Dollar General/Family Dollar. Fred's is really starting to invade East Texas now, moving into several old K&B drug store locations in my area. The Jack Benny Hour from 11-3-65 features the Beach Boys as one of his guests performing "California Girls" and a rockin live (no lip synch) version of "Barbara Ann" with Brian on lead. Only the "California Girls" footage wound up on the "The Beach Boys.. An American Band" VHS from the mid 80's - but this is the unedited show, though from a Black & White kinescope.

A few recent purchases

Thought I'd post and tell you about a few things I've gotten hold of recently. I've been looking for a fairly substantial set of episodes of "One Step Beyond." There's a lot of that floating around on cheap DVDs, but what I found was a 20-episode set put out by Diamond and found at my local Sun Coast Motion Picture Company. Cost me all of $7.95, which beats the 50-plus bucks I could have spent on a 33-episode set on 8 discs by Laserlight. This might be a place for those of you specifically wanting to find materials put out on Diamond, as there's the option on the website to browse by studio, and Diamond seems to have over 200 releases listed there. I will have to look and see if this package can be had from the Sun Coast website. Most of the time I shop on-line and not in actual stores just because I find it a bit more convenient. I only went today because I got a gift card from the place plus some Christmas cash.
Not only did i get hold of that set, but I wanted to try one of the "Toxie's Triple Terror" volumes put out on Brentwood. At the store it cost me $14.95 for a three-DVD set in slim cases slid into a box. They had only volumes 5 and 6 of this seven-volume series, so I opted to just be random and grab 6. Didn't even ask what movies were in the thing, as I figured I could look all that up on-line once I got home. I've only seen one of the three movies in the set; "Space Zombie Bingo" and it's what you'd expect from Troma, which is very campy and silly and stupid and over-the-top. Even though Troma's thing, at least to my newness to their material seems to be they're being campy and stupid on purpose, instead of just being restricted by a low budget or just not being a very competent filmmaker, I still like these things. I may decide to get all of these movies if it turns out I like the other two movies. I picked up two other things, which were not cheapies, namely the MST3k Essentials set and a couple of Chuck Jones animated specials from my childhood days.
Now, outside of what I just got today, a few weeks ago, I found an Ebay seller who was offering a lot of stuff which I assume is put out by Digiview, as there's no Walmart anywhere near me and it's not practical for me to travel so much distance to just get dollar DVDs. Yeah, I paid $1.95 for each DVD, but I'd say that's better than paying ten bucks a pop which would be way overpriced. So I decided to get two DVDs featuring a total of 9 Flash Gordon TV episodes, which I think are the only ones floating around in PD circles. And, on the strength of them being mentioned in this here community, I decided to try the three Korean animated things Digiview put out. Haven't seen these yet, and I expect there's a lot of visual stuff I'll miss out on, but I find horrible dubbing and cheesy Seventies scores and things like that amusing and interesting so it should be fun anyhow.
And finally, I didn't purchase this, but for Christmas I got Treeline's 12-DVD megapack of 100 cartoons. Quite a variety of things here, although I'm sure it isn't comprehensive for most of the featured characters that I recognize, although you get two discs full of Popeye stuff. Unlike most Treeline DVDs, these are single-sided and not double-sided. Luckily, the default option once the menu comes up is a play all option, so no having to arrow down once and hit enter to play the next item like I would with some of those dollar Genius discs.