Category Archives: 1972

Blu-Ray News #141: Twilight People (1972).

Directed by Eddie Romero
Starring John Ashley, Pat Woodell, Jan Merlin, Pam Grier

VCI has announced a Blu-Ray release of Twilight People (1972) for later this year.  Eddie Romero directed this Filipino-American take on H.G. Wells’ The Island Of Dr. Moreau — with a little of Romero’s previous Terror Is A Man (1959) thrown in for good measure.

Star John Ashley was one of the producers. He and Eddie Romero became quite successful with their cheap horror movies, stuff like Brides Of Blood (1968), Beast Of Blood (1970) and The Woman Hunt (1972, yet another version of The Most Dangerous Game). Their films were often done for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, with budgets of around $125,000.

In Lumberton, NC, Gone With The Wind got bumped by Twilight People!

John Ashley had a fascinating career, going from AIP to TV shows like The Beverly Hillbillies to the wonderfully awful AIP TV movie The Eye Creatures (1965) to these Filipino movies to consulting on Apocalypse Now (1979, shot in the Philippines) to producing The A-Team and Walker, Texas Ranger. Wish he’d written his memoirs before passing away in 1997.

VCI put Twilight People out on VHS back in the day, and their eventual DVD was pretty good. I’m really looking forward to seeing this crazy movie again.

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Filed under 1972, AIP, DVD/Blu-ray News, Eddie Romero, John Ashley, New World, Pam Grier, Roger Corman, VCI

Making Movies: The Poseidon Adventure (1972).

Here are some behind-the -scenes shots of the terrific model work for The Poseidon Adventure (1972).

Getting ready for the wave to tip over the model ship.

What it looks like in the finished film.

A diver works on the model, post-wave.

It’d been years since I’d seen it, and my entire family watched it the other night. It holds up well — the movie, not the ship. One of the things that really makes the movie work, aside from performances that help us get past the soap-opera first couple reels, are the incredible upside-down sets. They sent me looking for some making-of images immediately, but about all I found were these model images.

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Filed under 1972, 20th Century-Fox, Ernest Borgnine, Gene Hackman, Making Movies, Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens

Blu-Ray News #118: Junior Bonner (1972).

Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Starring Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, Joe Don Baker, Barbara Leigh, Ben Johnson, Dub Taylor

Sam Peckinpah’s Junior Bonner (1972) is a wonderful movie, plain and simple. And Kino Lorber’s bringing it to Blu-Ray this summer. Its previous DVD releases weren’t anamorphic, so this will be a huge leap forward.

If you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a real treat. I can’t recommend this one highly enough. Thanks to Paula for the photo of McQueen and Ben Johnson.

More Peckinpah Blu-Ray news — Criterion has announced Straw Dogs (1971) for June.

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Filed under 1972, Ben Johnson, DVD/Blu-ray News, Ida Lupino, Joe Don Baker, Kino Lorber, Sam Peckinpah, Steve McQueen, The Criterion Collection

DVD/Blu-Ray News #106: Willard (1971) And Ben (1972).

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Scream Factory has announced the upcoming releases of Daniel Mann’s Willard (1971) and Phil Karlson’s Ben (1972) this May. Willard, a story of a young man and the rats that have infested his rundown home, was a big creepy hit. The sequel, Ben,  has the benefit of Phil Karlson in the director’s chair (and a song by Michael Jackson that I hate). Both films are effective.

I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get these pictures out there, and I’m sure Scream Factory will do a terrific job with them.

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Filed under 1971, 1972, DVD/Blu-ray News, Ernest Borgnine, Phil Karlson, Shout/Scream Factory

Blu-Ray News #82: The New Centurions (1972).

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Directed by Richard Fleischer
Starring George C. Scott, Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson, Rosalind Cash, Erik Estrada, Clifton James

Richard Fleischer’s The New Centurions (1972) is a tough look at the lives of three rookie cops in L.A. — Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson and Erik Estrada — and what the job does to their personal lives. We also get to know the veteran cops who show these rookies the ropes — and try to help them stay alive.

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What has always struck me about The New Centurions is how solid the acting is. Given the cast, what would you expect?

This is certainly not Feel Good Hit Of The Year material, folks. But it’s very good and it’s coming to Blu-Ray from Carlotta FIlms out of France.

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Filed under 1972, George C. Scott, Richard Fleischer

DVD News #44: Tales From The Prison Yard 6-Film Collection.

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Mill Creek Entertainment and Columbia have done us another big favor, this time assembling a big collection from the big house (for a February 2016 release): Tales From The Prison Yard. It gives us six prison movies, ranging from a Sam Katzman quickie to Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail (1973). For me, the attraction is two more Fred F. Sears pictures to add to my collection.

Convicted (1950)
Directed by Henry Levin
Starring Glenn Ford, Broderick Crawford, Millard Mitchell, Dorothy Malone, Will Geer

Cell 2455 Death Row (1955)
Directed by Fred F. Sears
Starring William Campbell, Marian Carr, Kathryn Grant, Harvey Stephens, Vince Edwards

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Escape From San Quentin (1957)
Directed by Fred F. Sears
Starring Johnny Desmond, Merry Anders, Richard Devon, Roy Engel

City Of Fear (1959)
Directed by Irving Lerner
Starring Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer, Patricia Blair, Steven Ritch

The Valachi Papers (1972)
Directed by Terence Young
Starring Charles Bronson, Lino Ventura, Jill Ireland, Joseph Wiseman

The Last Detail (1973)
Directed by Hal Ashby
Starring Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid, Clifton James, Carol Kane

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Filed under 1950, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1972, 1973, Charles Bronson, DVD/Blu-ray News, Fred F. Sears, Mill Creek, Sam Katzman

RIP, Alex Rocco.

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Alex Rocco
February 29, 1936 – July 18, 2015

Alex Rocco is one of my favorite 70s character actors, appearing in a couple pictures I really love: Slither (1973) and Freebie And The Bean (1974). Of course, he was also Moe Green in The Godfather (1972). He passed away on Saturday.

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Rocco only has one scene in Freebie (both images here), as a DA who tells James Caan and Alan Arkin they don’t have enough evidence (and that they’re idiots), but he’s hysterical — and Caan and Arkin have to work hard to keep up. I love those goofy 70s comedies.

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Filed under 1972, 1973, 1974, Alan Arkin, James Caan