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Camp Classics


CaveGirl
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No, not the ones from Camp Winimaka. The films which you can't live without, as they provide endorphin levels which could kick the venom of a Black Mamba to the ground.

 

One of my personal favorites is, "Zontar, the Thing from Venus". Now any film with an almost comatose John Agar starring is a gem, as one can leave the room to get snacks, or write a term paper, and never miss much. This bizarre patched together remake of ostensibly, "It Conquered the World" has more laughs per minute than a Marx Brothers' festival, being that it does NOT have Kitty Carlisle singing anywhere in it.

 

I also dig "The Wasp Woman" which became even more intriguing after the Susan Cabot personal life revelations. In the same vein, "The Leech Woman" mines similar territory but has the great Colleen Gray in jungle gear, kicking poor Gloria Talbot to the ground for the affections of Grant Williams.

Any Ed Wood film is worth viewing, but my personal fave is "Glen or Glenda" just to hear Bela intone inane profundities. "The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant" takes the theme of black-market body part grafting to new levels of lunacy. And any film with wacko surgery themes is always on my watch list, even if it is a good movie like "Eyes Without a Face". Even a horrid tv movie like [i think it was called "Black Market Babies] with Desi Arnaz, Junior impregnating innocent girls just to dump them so they have to go to the girls' halfway house, is noteworthy.

 

Of course films by Ray Dennis Steckler, Arch Hall [that would be both senior and junior], teenage werewolves [on wheels], devil dolls or ventriloquist's dummies, or even tiki themes are not to be missed. And a yearly obligatory watching of "Mommy Dearest" is necessary, or at least some other Joan film, like where she is a circus owner or supposed axe murderess. And if Barbara Payton is in a film, all the better particularly if a gorilla is hitting on her.

 

Though I've wasted a good portion of valuable time watching mondo trash like the above, and feel I may have seen it all, I'm open to new suggestions. Please no movies made after 1982, since I feel "Basket Case" closed the book on this kind of supersonic kitsch.

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Sextette (1978) where 85 year-old Mae West plays the most beautiful, sought after woman in the world.

She has a host of suitors that include Timothy Dalton, George Hamilton, Tony Curtis, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon and Alice Cooper.  George Raft, Walter Pidgeon and Regis Philbin co-star.

Has to be seen to be believed.

Dalton's serenading West with 'Love Can Keep Us Together' is a camp highlight.

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Oh yes!

 

Thanks Bogie as I'd forgotten about Mae, even though I actually have an album of hers, in which she sings "Ticket to Ride" or some other Beatle classic, and always is in bad taste. I like to watch for scenes with her platform shoes showing, as they are even higher than Carmen Miranda's occasionally. I think Mae looked like she was about 4'10" with 8" heels. And the hair, like a mermaid's or Botticelli's Venus unfurled.

 

Poor, poor dear sweet old William Claude Dukenfield, having to cope with her on the set of "My Little Chickadee". I really need to rewatch "Sextette" as currently the only dvds I have with her in them are a boxed Fields' set and an episode of "Mister Ed". 

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John, I'm so embarrassed to say I own it.

 

Total trash and yet very colorful and the costumes are amazing.

 

I'd probably rather watch "Candy" though, since BTVOTD doesn't have Marlon Brando in it.

 

Thanks for your input!

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"Myra Breckinridge" (1970)

 

"She" (1935)--Avoid the 1965 version--Hammer Films were trying to look classy, so piled on the money & took out the fun.  1935 version takes about half an hour to get rolling, but when it does--is very un PC.

 

"The Navy vs. the Night Monsters" (1966)--Mamie Van Doren vs. Killer Trees. :D

 

"Where Love Has Gone" (1964)--Susan Hayward & Bette Davis vs. dreadful dialogue--dialogue wins, but a awful portrait of Bette loses. :P

 

"The Kissing Bandit" (1948)--Super skinny Frank Sinatra mumbles his dialogue in the title role.  One number, "Dance of Fury" (with Ricardo Montalban, Cyd Charisse, & Ann Miller) is at the level of a good musical--then film sinks back down to the barely alive level.  Kathryn Grayson is a very apple-cheeked, North Carolina looking Spanish senorita, no matter how much Vaseline is smeared on the lens to obscure her closeups ( Literally!). :D

 

"Lost Horizon" (1973)--Liv Ullman & Peter Finch musical that is Not fondly known as "Lost Investment". :)  Film is hard to find. :(

 

"The Toast of New Orleans" (1950)--How many reprises of "Be My Love" can You stand?  Admittedly a good song, but film features Mario Lanza & Kathryn Grayson, two good singers, at their bellowingest & shriekiest & scene stealingest.  David Niven stands by, waiting for his nose/ears to start bleeding. :)

The Horror of Party Beach (1964)--the worst of beach party & horror movies, combined.

 

"The Green Slime"--supposed to be a camp classic, :)

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2 More:

 

"The Conqueror"--(1956)--John Wayne as Genghis Khan, & Susan Hayward as Bortai, his murderous bride. :D  :D

 

"The Sandpiper"--(1965)--Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton as a reverend fall in love--filmed less than 2 years after they fell in love on the set of Cleopatra (1963) & broke up their marriages--this one is guaranteed to send people who remember "Le scandale" (what it was called at the time) into hysterical laughter--Best line is Burtons' "I've lost all my sense of sin". :D  :D  :D

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2 More:

 

"The Conqueror"--(1956)--John Wayne as Genghis Khan, & Susan Hayward as Bortai, his murderous bride. :D  :D

 

"The Sandpiper"--(1965)--Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton as a reverend fall in love--filmed less than 2 years after they fell in love on the set of Cleopatra (1963) & broke up their marriages--this one is guaranteed to send people who remember "Le scandale" (what it was called at the time) into hysterical laughter--Best line is Burtons' "I've lost all my sense of sin". :D  :D  :D

the sandpiper does have that nice semi-topless shot of elizabeth taylor while Charles Bronson chips away. :D

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I've seen some of the 'Camp Classics' listed so far.  (I bought a few of them on video so you know I have good taste in movies.  Or something).  

 

     Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)  FOX Video

     Candy (1968)  Anchor Bay

     Navy vs. the Night Monsters, The (1966)  Paragon Video Productions 

 

     I used to own "Myra Breckinridge" but sold the Magnetic Video Corp. tape just before the movie was released on DVD.  That was good fortune smiling down upon me!  What a dreadful movie.  My biggest problem with "Myra B." was the incessant old movie clips being tossed in at all times.  Irritating as all get-out. 

 

     I've read that LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM (1988) and KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988) are campy flicks, but I've not seen either of them yet.

 

     I have seen WINDOWS (1980) three times.  It's plenty campy.  Especially at the end with the 'showdown' between Talia Shire and Elizabeth Ashley.  That part is hilarious.  I can't keep a straight face. 

 

      INVASION OF THE GIRL SNATCHERS (1973)  Bad with a capital "B". 

      GIANT SPIDER INVASION, The (1975)

      MILPITAS MONSTER, The (1975)  Filmed in Milpitas, California.  

      STREAK CAR COMPANY, The (1974)  Filmed in Salt Lake City, UT.  I don't know of any other movies shot in Utah in 1974 . . . 

      PSYCHO FROM TEXAS - Don't miss this fun-fest!  Join Wheeler and Slick for some low-grade adventures on the Texas/Arkansas border.  

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Mr. Gorman & CaveGirl--"Lair of the White Worm"-- (1988) is borderline camp, IMHO.  It can be watched seriously or with giggles, an occasional laugh, & snacks.  For director Ken Russell, the film's downright decorous--which is a bit of a shock.

 

More camp:

 

"Valley of the Dolls"--(1967)--matchless camp masterpiece. :P

 

"Barbarella"--(1968)--Jane Fonda  in her "sex kitten" days--Also has John Philip Law so eye candy for   everyone.  :D

 

"Entertaining Mr. Sloane"--(1970)--Peter McEnery tries to figure out if seducing Beryl Reid or her brother is most advantageous to him--a corpse also figures into the plot.  Superb black comedy--not for all tastes. :P

 

"Another Man's Poison"--(1951)--Bette Davis film made right after "All About Eve"--Davis went ahead w/o a finished script--Big mistake--The murderer is obvious after 10 minutes, & Davis over-emphasizes Every gesture & line reading--finale is a classic, of sorts. :P

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More camp:

 

"Valley of the Dolls"--(1967)--matchless camp masterpiece. :P

 

 I believe VALLEY OF THE DOLLS to be the most watchable motion picture, ever made.  There's just so much to love about it.

 

"I'm not the butler, Neely."

"You're not the breadwinner - either."

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Thanks, Film Lover I shall look for the Mamie Van Doren epic!

 

Agree, Vautrin which is why I abhor intended camp like Killer Tomato films.

 

John, is that film starring Trans Gender...I mean, Trans Genner? Just a little pun to add some levity to the subject. I actually think Caitlyn is much more attractive than her adopted progeny.

 

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Missed your excellent suggestion, Film Lover about:

"Entertaining Mr. Sloane"--(1970)--Peter McEnery tries to figure out if seducing Beryl Reid or her brother is most advantageous to him--a corpse also figures into the plot.  Superb black comedy--not for all tastes.

Haven't seen Peter McEnery since I saw him in "The Moon Spinners" with Hayley Mills. I shall look for it!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Judging from its' 1st half hour, "The Fountainhead" (1949) is a howlingly funny piece of camp; from director King Vidor having Gary Cooper & Patricia Neal exchange meaningful glances 6 times in a row to signal attraction when 1 would have done the job, to having Neal's fiancee having to give her up as a requirement for a job, & the boss who required that proposing to Neal 2(!) sentences later, this one is a wild one & a must--see.

 

Edit #1--a bit player--"I sell in the stock market of the spirit."

 

Edit #2--characters stand & make speeches at each other--Cooper & Neal had an affair during filming, according to Stephen Michael Shearer, Neal's biographer--C&N's chemistry is obvious.

 

Edit #3--Max Steiner's score is very good.

 

Edit #4--Another architect offers to give Howard Roark all his fee--because his plans were changed by his customers.

 

Edit #5--He commits a felony, admits it in court, & is found innocent??!!???  Plus the judge forgets to tell him not to leave town, as a civil suit is undoubtedly in the works.  This film seems to delight in phallic imagery.

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Yeah when i first saw that one, it was over the top. but great fun if you love bette davis- it's almost like a role margo channing would take

 


 

 

"Another Man's Poison"--(1951)--Bette Davis film made right after "All About Eve"--Davis went ahead w/o a finished script--Big mistake--The murderer is obvious after 10 minutes, & Davis over-emphasizes Every gesture & line reading--finale is a classic, of sorts. :P

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I disagreed with Maltin once too often--"Mohawk" (1956) is absolutely dreadful--& funny to boot--the plot of the 1700's, the actors, attitudes & fashions of the 1950's (one starlet tries to unobstrusively lower her bodice), & the watching experience of another century makes for a howlingly funny viewing experience.  The script & actors are a hoot--Mae Clarke alone keeps her dignity.

 

Edit one--film somewhat rights itself in the last half hour.  Too little, too late.

 

Edit #2--one of the supporting actresses wears a blatant ripoff of a gown Paulette Goddard wore in Unconquered (1947).

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I disagreed with Maltin once too often--"Mohawk" (1956) is absolutely dreadful--& funny to boot--the plot of the 1700's, the actors, attitudes & fashions of the 1950's (one starlet tries to unobstrusively lower her bodice), & the watching experience of another century makes for a howlingly funny viewing experience.  The script & actors are a hoot--Mae Clarke alone keeps her dignity.

 

Edit one--film somewhat rights itself in the last half hour.

 

Edit #2--one of the supporting actresses wears a blatant ripoff of a gown Paulette Goddard wore in Unconquered (1947).

I didn't read Maltin's review but yeah what you said. The Scott Brady character, to rip off another reviewer, is more Hefner than Fonda, who starred in Drums Along the Mohawk, where some of the battle scenes where originally shown. I also just read it took about 3 days to film this. Well at least the women look pretty and that's all you'd need to get the 12-13 year old boys to watch this dreck. At least they looked like they were having a good time.

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Sorry Filmlover---

 

John Phillip Law does nothing for ME!

 

I'm still not sure what the OP is looking for.  INTENDED CAMP, or films that took themselves too seriously but come off as camp to film viewers.  Like XANADU.

 

Of course, the OP did mention--"those films you can't live without" and I could EASILY live without that movie!

 

As for intended camp. it's hard to top The Monkee's HEAD.  Anytime you can get Annette Funicello, Frank Zappa and Victor Mature in the same film(with a quick view of a young Jack Nicholson) that says something!

 

For UNintended camp, I'd go with WAR OF THE GARGANTUANS.  When it was over and I got around to changing my soaking trousers, I discovered the producers actually thought the WERE making a film MASTERPIECE! 

 

Everybody else already mentioned many of my other choices.  :)

 

(side note):  My daughter didn't see XANADU until a few years ago, and HER assesment----"Xanadu" must be Italian or something for "XANAX"!  :D

 

 

 

Sepiatone

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Sorry Filmlover---

 

John Phillip Law does nothing for ME!

 

I'm still not sure what the OP is looking for.  INTENDED CAMP, or films that took themselves too seriously but come off as camp to film viewers.  Like XANADU.

 

Of course, the OP did mention--"those films you can't live without" and I could EASILY live without that movie!

 

As for intended camp. it's hard to top The Monkee's HEAD.  Anytime you can get Annette Funicello, Frank Zappa and Victor Mature in the same film(with a quick view of a young Jack Nicholson) that says something!

 

For UNintended camp, I'd go with WAR OF THE GARGANTUANS.  When it was over and I got around to changing my soaking trousers, I discovered the producers actually thought the WERE making a film MASTERPIECE! 

 

Everybody else already mentioned many of my other choices.  :)

 

 

 

Sepiatone

Nicholson co-wrote HEAD.

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Sepiatone--in Post #12,(or further down, depending on # of responses to this thread), CaveGirl says she "abhors" intended camp, which is a fairly clear sign that she wants movies that were intended to be taken seriously & for whatever reason, didn't work.  So I've Tried to keep my listings to unintentional camp.

 

BTW--Is "War of the Gargantuans" the 1966 monster movie with Russ Tamblyn & a Japanese cast?  If so, I'll have to see that one. :)  

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Sepiatone--in Post #12,(or further down, depending on # of responses to this thread), CaveGirl says she "abhors" intended camp, which is a fairly clear sign that she wants movies that were intended to be taken seriously & for whatever reason, didn't work.  So I've Tried to keep my listings to unintentional camp.

 

BTW--Is "War of the Gargantuans" the 1966 monster movie with Russ Tamblyn & a Japanese cast?  If so, I'll have to see that one. :)  

TCM ought to have camp movies in the wee hours. They could call it "overnight camp".

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