You can cut off our hand in a 300 year old Satanic ritual, but you can’t keep The Video Archives Podcast down!
Quentin, Roger & Gala gaze into the mysterious futures of The Illustrated Man, then stick with star Rod Steiger as he gets cuckolded in Claude Chabrol’s Dirty Hands. Finally, you’re not ready for “the greatest crawling hand movie ever,” Demonoid: Messenger Of Death! I’ve got tons of VHS covers and bonus material this week on Counter Talk, so let’s get right into it…
I’ll be straight with you, dear reader: I had not heard of The Illustrated Man until it was teased on KHJ Radio in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. A Ray Bradbury anthology adaptation that not even Ray Bradbury liked very much, Jack Smight’s film handles chewy sci-fi stories in a Twilight Zone vein with a lot of pomp and portentousness. Of course, the film is worth watching for Rod Steiger’s wild-eyed opening performance alone (and today’s episode is worth listening to for Quentin’s performance as Rod Steiger alone).
The Illustrated Man’s awkward execution is matched by this awkward VHS cover from the Archives collection, where three different shots of Carl’s tattooed back (really, the same shot in varying degrees of close-up) look faded and unclear, the title treatment is small and cramped, and everything resists catching the eye: