We’ve Got Mail

  • videoarchives
  • September 20, 2022

It’s the 10th week of the Video Archives Podcast - for this milestone episode, what better time to crack open the mailbag and answer your questions?

On today’s After Show, Quentin & Roger talk about their favorite drive-in experiences, weigh in on a long-simmering debate between Pauline Kael and Peter Bogdonavich, and wax nostalgic about the Video Archives popcorn wagon. I’ve got my own grab bag of film facts and movie posters on today’s Counter Talk – let’s see what’s inside…

First of all, I’ve seen some surprising online chatter asking if Bill Margold, the inspiration for “Franklin Brauner” and the writer of today’s Scanners review, is a real person. He sure is! Like another enigmatic Video Archives personality, Hollywood Press critic Jim Sheldon, Margold was best known for his association with LA’s adult film industry. Nicknamed “Papa Bear,” Margold was a broadcaster, producer, director, screenwriter, critic and adult performer, an advocate for XXX stars and a beloved figure in adult film for decades. And yes, he reviewed non-pornographic films as well, in his own inimitable style.

A real person!

The first question we got today asked which VHS company had the worst packaging – Quentin guessed it was probably Continental Home Video. We haven’t covered a Continental video on the show yet – curious what one looked like (how bad could it be?), I picked a random Continental title to look up on eBay, 1974’s Donald Pleasence-featuring Spanish horror film House Of The Damned (also known as “La Loba Y La Paloma,” or “The Wolf And The Dove.”) This presentation is, uh, definitely a little on the sloppy side:

Quentin told us about his favorite night at the drive-in in response to our next listener question, starting with George Hamilton’s heavily fictionalized biopic of Evel Knievel. After its release near the peak of Knievel’s fame, Knievel leaned into Hamilton’s larger-than-life depiction, adopting lines from the film into his act. You can hear a bit of co-writer John Milius in the poster copy, calling him “the last of the daredevils” and predicting his glorious death:

Following that up with more motorcycle mayhem was Chrome and Hot Leather, a revenge-o-matic that features one of Marvin Gaye’s very rare acting turns. The poster understands exactly why you’re going to see this film, but gravely warns “Don’t muck around with a Green Beret’s mama!” Otherwise he’s going to do something unspeakable with his chopper:

Meanwhile, was the nudity in “I Am Curious (Yellow)” really memorable enough for a young Roger and his buddies to recall seeing at the drive-in? The handful of black and white full-frontal moments in Vilgot Sjöman’s slow, sincere erotic drama would be tame to any modern teenager with a PornHub account - but the film became the 12th most popular movie of 1969 by riding a wave of national controversy. I Am Curious (Yellow) was banned in cities across the US, with one screening in Houston becoming the target of an arson attack, and the film’s obscenity eventually became a question for the Supreme Court. With all the chatter, I’m sure any teenager could convince themselves they were glimpsing something forbidden and titillating.

The film’s original poster is stark and memorable, but I really love the moire effect of the 1971 poster used for the Japanese release:

I have no posters for the Video Archives crew’s dreamcasted films, inspired by another listener question: Quentin’s remake of Bad Lieutenant with Ralph Meeker and Rainbeaux Smith, Roger’s Patrick McGoohan/ Nastassja Kinski two hander, and Gala’s Western chase film starring Katharine Hepburn and Tom Cruise. Maybe some artistically gifted fan can help create these for us? Until then, I’ll have to picture these would-be masterpieces in my mind’s eye.

Here’s something I wish I could unsee, however - the specific color of the “orange” Video Archives popcorn butter, according to Roger. (Hex code #FF3300 - so orange it’s practically red!)

Finally, one more shout out to our final question writer Austin Trunick, who also wrote The Cannon Film Guide! Thanks for your question Austin – and everyone else, go check out Austin’s exceptional, comprehensive guide to the Golan-Globus catalog. For a still-young show, we have some extremely cool and talented fans. I also need to call out this VHS-inspired illustration by listener James Skaff, which I instantly fell in love with:

It was incredible to meet so many Video Archives fans this weekend at the New Bev, as Quentin, Roger & Gala introduced One Armed Executioner and Blind Rage! (You should have heard everyone cheer when we got to ”It’s all going down at the International House Of Pancakes.”) Thanks @stelli3000 on Instagram for the pic!

I loved seeing all those sweet Video Archives T-shirts – just like I love seeing our international listeners rocking the tees, like Russell (@russell.treloar on Instagram), pictured here at his local video store (Pic-A-Flic Video in Victoria, BC Canada) tracking down titles discussed on the show.

Thanks for reading, everybody – follow us on Twitter and Instagram, rate us on Apple and Spotify, and see you next week for three brand new films!