Tuesday, August 3, 2010


My new weekly read is the blog section of something called, irritatingly enough, MUBI -- and more particularly, a column by Glenn Kenney called "Tuesday Morning Foreign Region DVD".

This week: "Thundercrack!" , recently discussed here in the comments section of a posting that was not about "Thundercrack!"

Kenney demonstrates more than a superficial knowledge of seventies exploitation films, including the work of Radley Metzger and a movie called "Singapore Sling", which he describes as "Grey Gardens" meets "Eraserhead" meets (Children, avert your eyes.) "Tug Jobs". Kenney says he saw the last named by accident on TV while in Cannes. Don't believe him myself. (I tried to Google the phrase to confirm my guess as to its meaning, but can't pass on the information, because my employers won't allow access to tugjobs. com...)

Says Kenney:

As the screen caps above testify, the Region 2 PAL disc of the film, from the Netherlands-based Shock/Studio 2602 label, looks like crap, and that's even allowing for the fact that that the film was originally "treated" with scratches and such to give it an authentic "old movie" feel. I am compelled, even as I ponder the mystery of the film itself, to implore you not to waste your money on this disc. Instead, wait until 2011, when Synapse films is due to release a restored version of the picture—the most extensive restoration job the company has done, according to its honcho, Don May—at an expanded length and with many extras. It's all being approved of by one of the film's stars, Melinda McDowell, brother of director Curt, who died in 1987. Maybe in the extras she'll reveal what it's like to be directed by one's brother in what is largely a pornographic film.

The above photo is of George Kuchar, in a tutu, preparing to have sex with a man in an ape suit. .


Generic said...

I'll pay for the Synapse disc if you agree to watch it all the way through and write about it.

Tulkinghorn said...

I'll agree to do anything a year from now....

Muffy St. Bernard said...

My VHS copy of "Thundercrack!" is muddy and the nth-generation quality is terrible, but the sheer joy of the movie comes through. I can almost convince friends to watch fifteen minutes of it before they get frustrated.

Melinda McDowell was working on the restoration of her brother's work as far back as 2000, but the only sources of official copies of "Thundercrack!" and "Sparkles' Tavern" were from an archival company that charged $100 a pop. Every few years I check back to see how the restoration is going, and every few years it's the same: "Almost done!"

So I'll believe in a "Thundercrack!" release when I hold it in my happy hands. Dare I hope it contains even the long-lost Chiquita Banana commercial?