WTFW: Clearing Out The Stubs

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

WTFW: Clearing Out The Stubs

Sometimes when researching the films to discuss I come across some that although were major releases, the information available about them is lacking.  I usually file them into a folder to use for padding when talking about a different movie but has a tenuous connection to these “stubs”.  Tonight I’ll be clearing out two of these movies that have no connection what so ever to each other or any other film ever made.  Sometimes being especially weird makes you unique…still really weird but in a category of weird all by yourself.

Blue Sunshine (1978)

  • Genre: Horror – Thriller
  • Directed: Jeff Lieberman
  • Produced:
    • Joseph Beruh 
    • Edgar Lansbury 
    • George Manasse 
    • Nan Pearlman
  • Written: Jeff Lieberman
  • Starring: Zalman King, Deborah Winters, Mark Goddard, Robert Walden, Charles Siebert, Ann Cooper, Ray Young, Alice Ghostley, Stefan Gierasch, Richard Crystal, Bill Adler, Barbara Quinn, Adriana Shaw, Bill Sorrells
  • Music: Charles Gross
  • Cinematography: Don Knight
  • Editing: Brian Smedley-Aston
  • Studio: Ellanby Films
  • Distributed:
    • Cinema Shares International Distribution
    • Filmways Australasian Distributors  
    • Columbia Broadcasting System 
    • Shout! Factory  
    • Siren Visual Entertainment  
    • Synapse Films  
    • Vestron Video
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 12 May 1978 (USA)
  • Running Time: 94 minutes
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English

Blue Sunshine is a 1978 horror film directed and written by Jeff Lieberman and starring Zalman King and Deborah Winters.  The film has become a cult item among horror fans, remembered mainly for its creatively weird atmosphere and offbeat plot not to mention that Zalman King would go on to more adult projects.  The film was released on special edition DVD by Synapse Entertainment in 2003.

Zalman King was an American film director, writer, actor and producer.  His films are known for incorporating sexuality, and are often categorized as erotica.  King directed several films, including Two Moon Junction (1988), Wild Orchid (1990), and Red Shoe Diaries (1992), which became a long-running television series for Showtime network.  It spawned many sequels.  He directed and co-wrote the movie In Gods Hands (1998).

He collaborated with director Adrian Lyne on the film 9½ Weeks which starred Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke.  He produced (and usually directed) the television series and film and Showtime series Body Language.  He directed the 1995 film Delta of Venus based on the book by Anaïs Nin.  His last film before his death on February 3, 2012 was Pleasure or Pain which starred Asun Ortega.

In the midst of a party a reveler croons to the rest of the room and has his hair suddenly pulled off by a curious friend.  The bald crooner then has a psychotic break and starts killing everyone.  Jerry Zipkin, is wrongly accused of the murders, and tries to gather evidence to prove his innocence with the help of Alicia Sweeney.  He discovers that 10 years prior, a group of college kids had taken a new form of LSD called "Blue Sunshine," which causes its users to lose their hair and become homicidal maniacs many years after their trip is over.  Zipkin manages to defeat the crazed bodyguard of a local politician, and save the shopping mall discothèque by carefully remembering the advice of the gun shop employee.  No, I didn’t accidentally delete important sentences from that paragraph, that is the entirety of the plot.

Just Say NO To Drugs Kids! Or end up in a movie like this–Your Choice.

Brain Dead (1990)

  • Genre: Horror – Mystery – Sci-Fi
  • Directed: Adam Simon
  • Produced:
    • Julie Corman  
    • Lynn Whitney
  • Written:
    • Charles Beaumont  
    • Adam Simon
  • Starring: Bill Pullman, Bill Paxton, Bud Cort, Nicholas Pryor, Patricia Charbonneau, George Kennedy, Brian Brophy, David Sinaiko, Lee Arenberg, Andy Wood, Maud Winchester
  • Music: Peter Rotter
  • Cinematography: Rohn Schmidt
  • Editing: Carol Oblath
  • Studio:
    • Concorde Pictures 
    • New Horizons
  • Distributed:
    • Concorde Pictures  
    • MGM/UA Home Entertainment  
    • New Concorde Home Entertainment  
    • Buena Vista Home Entertainment  
    • Umbrella Entertainment  
    • New Horizons Home Video
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 19 January 1990 (USA)
  • Running Time: 85 minutes
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English

Brain Dead was based on a script by Charles Beaumont, leading some obtuse fans to hail the "return" of that frequent Twilight Zone contributor.  Actually Beaumont has been dead since 1967, so this cookie spent a long time in the oven.  Stalwart supporting actor Bill Pullman is given star billing as a brilliant brain surgeon who agrees to perform an operation on a psychotic mathematician.  Bill Paxton also stars in this Roger Corman-style thriller, produced by Corman's daughter Julie.

Dr. Rex Martin is a top neurosurgeon, who is active in studying brain malfunctions that cause mental illnesses.  High school friend Jim Reston, a successful businessman at Eunice, requires Martin's aid in reaching the mind of John Halsey, a former genius mathematician who once worked for the company and is now a paranoid psychotic at a nearby asylum.  Dr. Martin's surgery is intended to successfully alter the patient's mental attitude, either unlocking the corporate secrets within Halsey's brain or else leaving Halsey unable to accidentally share them with anyone else.  As Martin begins the surgical procedure, he starts to experience the same paranoid dreams as Halsey.  The episodes grow in intensity until it becomes unclear whether Martin is a doctor imagining he's the patient, or a mental patient who succumbed to the delusion that he was a brain surgeon.  Martin floats further and further from reality, caught between his loyalty to his business colleagues and his own humanity.

Shot in twenty days.  Dr. Martin mentions that he went to "Miskatonic University", the college where Re-Animator (1985) took place.  Miskatonic University is supposedly located in Arkham, MA, a fictional town created by H.P. Lovecraft.  H.P. Lovecraft created a fictional M.D. character "Dr. Halsey".  Late in the movie Bud Cord's character "Halsey" turns out to be a M.D.  If there was more information available for this film it would have been an article for Cthulhu Cthursday.

Insert Doctor Who / Face of Boe reference right here!



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