Spawn Of Counter Talk

  • videoarchives
  • November 29, 2022

It’s a new After Show day, as The Video Archives Podcast returns to discussing Lipstick, The One And Only and (Spawn Of The) Slithis! This breezy episode includes discussions of what makes a “classic” film, Chris Sarandon’s career, the groovy monster suit and many side characters of Slithis, and women named Jeff. I’ve got alternative art, music facts and a VR experience on today’s Counter Talk, so let’s dive right into it…

This episode includes a breakdown of Chris Sarandon’s best roles, so I need to admit something slightly alarming; I thought the music Sarandon’s predatory teacher created in Lipstick was…pretty cool! I hear a little Stockhausen, a little Jean-Michel Jarre, lots of expressive synth textures – if I didn’t know the full story of Sarandon’s dark side, I’d probably be groovin’ to his laser light show. Lamont Johnson’s film paints a horrific picture of musique-concrete composers, but I have to tip my hat to Michel Polnareff, the French rock star behind the music of Lipstick.

Polnareff might be best known for his 1966 debut single “La Poupée qui fait non,” an acoustic rocker which has been covered by artists from Jimi Hendrix to Saint Etienne, and wouldn’t feel out of place on an early Wes Anderson soundtrack. As his fame grew, he became known for increasingly ‘pornographic’ lyrics, and scandalous posters that showed his bare buttocks. He recorded the soundtrack for Lipstick during a 70s low point for his career, while he was living in anonymity in America; the titular single, a disco instrumental, found some club success, but the bizarre electronic improvisations elsewhere in the score are wholly unique in his discography. There are plenty of gems throughout Polnareff’s career, like 1971’s funky “Voyages.”

Lipstick got some pretty excellent alternative posters in Polnareff’s native Europe. This Belgian piece really communicates the psychological terror of the film:

In the opposite direction, the Polish Lipstick poster goes abstract, showing a stark, stretched-out pair of lips:

Once again, however, the Japanese poster design outdoes all other contenders. The smeared, disintegrating woman pictured here is seemingly menaced as much by a swarm of lips as by the terrifying, shadowy hand in the foreground:

Slithis has some terrific foreign poster designs as well: this German poster almost makes Slithis look like a precursor to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

I’m also really taken with this comic-style Blu-Ray cover design from Ronin Flix (which is sadly out of print):

As an LA native, Slithis is such a wonderful time-capsule and essential SoCal document to revisit. On the After Show, Gala called out Slithis star Judy Walker (née Motulsky) and her artisanal party favor business Tops Malibu – be sure to give it a look as you do your holiday shopping this year. It’s great seeing the stars of this Venice cult classic thriving!

Speaking of time capsules, this is the maddest Video Archives fan creation I’ve seen so far – Adelaide, Australia VR creator Michael Petros did a full 3D scan of his local video store, Galactic Video. In this interactive tour, you can browse the shelves, zoom in and out and find 11 Video Archives canon classics. Incredibly cool work, and makes me want to go rent some videos right this second.

This week’s Merch Spotlight comes courtesy of Ben Mohr, pairing his heather gray Video Archives hoodie with a Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood shirt (and a Hocus Pocus 2 hat!).

That wraps up today’s Counter Talk! Next week, we have an amazing guest talking about an underappreciated film from her favorite director, plus two more VHS classics. Don’t miss it – until then, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, rate and review the show on Apple and Spotify, and get even more movie facts and Counter Talk at