I have always been madly in love with b-movies. Especially, 1950s b-movies. I’m extra in love with bad b-movies. The badder the better and especially in times like this. We need something fun to distract ourselves.
Prior to pandemic jail my husband and I ran a monthly b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. We were trying to figure out how to keep it going on YouTube, but they make it incredibly hard for you to do that. So, we are on hiatus until we figure something else out. We are praying that our venue (See-Scape in the Junction) continues to be ok, so when we get out of jail we can continue on. In the meantime, we are working on another way to show our movies.
The movies themselves are a lot of fun, however, for me anyway, there is something about the determination and passion of the people behind the movies that truly inspires me. Makers, writers, directors and producers such Ed Wood Jr., Roger Corman, William Castle, and Herman Cohen are tops for me with extra fondness for Ed Wood.
Why Ed Wood Jr.? Why not Ed Wood Jr.! To me, he was a genius. Not only was he a genius, he has a determination and passion that is beyond inspiring. Ed Wood Jr., would do anything and everything it took to get his movies completed and to the big screen. Many considered his films laughable, and critics panned him, but he never, ever stopped. Every once in a while, when I’m feeling discouraged and on the cusp of quitting, I remind myself, that Ed Wood Jr., never gave up. If he has no money, he would find ways to build his sets. Couldn’t afford actors, he’d cast friends, heck most of the actors who worked for him, were in several of his movies and continued to work with him knowing they may never get paid. They wanted his movies to succeed just as much as he did. Those same actors often helped to build sets, do make-up, wore their own clothing and even helped finance when they could.
Roger Corman is another film maker who got his movies done the same way. The 1960 version of Little Shop of Horrors, has many of the actors doing lighting, sets, make-up and wardrobe. Actress Jackie Joseph, who played Audrey (the human) wore her own clothing for the movie.
On a rainy or snowy day, it’s comforting to have a marathon of these kinds of movies, it has also inspired my husband and I to start making our own b-movie. If we follow the lead of those who inspire us, if we have a camera, the world is ours! If you remember your own passion, the world can be yours too!
Below are a few of their movies for you to watch (YouTube). Enjoy!
Killer B Cinema presents Cocaine Fiends & Ed Wood’s Jail Bait! Two killer B-movies to kick off your New Year right and for the low, low price of $5. That’s right FIVE DOLLARS! And there will be trivia with prizes!
Doors (back performance space) open at 8 pm and the movies begin at 8:30 pm.
Cocaine Fiends (also known as Cocaine Madness and The Pace That Kills) is a 1935 American exploitation film directed by William O’Connor. The film, starring Lois January, told the story of a woman called Jane Bradford, who gets involved with a drug dealer and becomes addicted to cocaine. Similar to other movies of the genre, the final film was a reissued work with additional scenes, mostly using footage from the earlier silent The Pace That Kills (1928).
Jail Bait (also known as Hidden Face) is a 1954 American film noir and crime film directed by Ed Wood, with a screenplay by Wood and Alex Gordon. The film stars Clancy Malone as the delinquent son of a famous doctor and his involvement with a dangerous criminal. Famed bodybuilder Steve Reeves made his first major screen appearance in the film. The film belongs to the film noir genre and contains themes typical of it such as plastic surgery and identity theft.
Each month join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a double bill of B-moves from the 1930s to 1970s!
Thank you to the Imperial Pub and their staff! They make our monthly event extra amazing!
“There are people who have seen The Room and those who haven’t seen The Room.” Neil Traynor
*** There will be spoilers.***
I love terrible movies. They are my happy place. The schlockier the movie the happier I am. I show no prejudice for genres and have watched them all from horror to sci-fi to romantic; silent; film noir; b-movies; romance; expressionist; westerns and comedy. If it’s considered a badly made movie, I want to see it. My current two favourites are Plan 9 From Outer Space and The Screaming Skull. In my heart of hearts I never thought any movie could knock either of those off the top of my list. Who could possibly beat Ed Woods and take his title? Always up for a bad movie challenge, I was ready, willing and open to seeing if this could take the reigns.
For MONTHS now, our good friend Neil Traynor (1) has been telling us about The Room, insistent that once we watch it, we would never be the same again. Finally we were able to arrange a viewing and as Neil said, it was life changing. It might actually be the best movie of all time. How could this be, you ask? The Room has it all. Love, sex, romance, action, violence, blood, family values, long drawn out sex scenes, drug intervention, x-files style disappearance of actors, belly button fucking, more long, drawn out sex scenes and best of all, no plot.
I’m serious. There is no plot. None. Nada. Zilch. Zero! Not only is there no plot, I personally feel that one of the reasons this movie has become such a cult hit, is you cannot, in anyway, describe to someone what the storyline is. There is an amazing Wikipedia page that has a very thorough breakdown of the movie, the characters, many of the issues with the movie and the production of The Room. However, even after reading the page, you still have no idea what exactly this movie is about. You just need to watch it.
The Room is Tommy Wiseau’s directorial debut and what a debut it is. Oh… did I mention that he also produced it, wrote it and stars in it. Mr. Wiseau is a bit of a mystery man himself. He is famous for keeping his past and personal life secret. Even the Wikipedia page about Tommy Wiseau, doesn’t reveal very much. Who is this mystery man? Is he even real? A figment of our imagination? Only way to find out, is to attend one of the many Love is Blind events happening across North America. If it comes to Toronto or even a city near here, I will be first in line to get tickets. After all, I need to know why Tommy Wiseau wears two belts. Although… he does have his own YouTube channel, called Tommy Explains It All (https://www.youtube.com/user/TommyExplainsItAll), yet… he explains nothing.
Social Media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook have helped The Room’s infamy grow.
There are many memes.
and videos of critique.
All of this is helping to keep The Room alive. You could literally spend hours, hell, even days watching the many videos being created to celebrate this cult hit. Oh, and I can’t forget there is a Star Wars Mashup!
The Room has a huge cult following and fan-base. It also has a play, a book , a video game, a Facebook page dedicated to it, a-soon-to-be-released mocumentary, a documentary called Room Full Of Spoons and there is a movie being made about it, that James Franco is producing, directing, writing and starring in. Sound familiar! How did this movie become such a huge hit? It rivals movies such as Plan 9 and it’s huge fan base is dedicated and steadily growing. It is a phenomena with many, many unanswered questions. Like the ones I have, such as:
What happened to Peter the psychologist? Where can I rent that green screen? Where can I find that 1880’s industrial shot? How can it be sunny and smoggy at the same time? Where did that new guy come from? Will Denny survive without Johnny? Will Lisa ever find love again? Did Claudette survive the breast cancer?
Sooooooo many questions!
Back to my opening statement about this movie possibly being the best movie of all time. Let’s take a moment to think about this. When I say best movie of all time, what I mean is best terrible movie of all time. When I watched it, I laughed till I was laugh crying. I was laugh crying till my stomach hurt so bad, that I thought I was going to throw up. We discussed this movie indepth, for hours afterwards, my love and I talked about it as we were going to sleep and woke up talking about it. All of our conversations for the next several hours have been dominated by it AND we have been quoting the movie. I have spend all of my time researching the movie, Tommy Wiseau and am agonizing over what happened to the actors, needing answers to my questions and searching to find out if a “Love is Blind” event is coming to a place near us. I have been feeling all of the emotions you would after seeing a movie that blows your mind.
How does this movie compare to my current top favourites Plan 9 From Outer Space and Screaming Skull? The Room is definitely comparable in cult status to both these movies and over the top in terrible. Does it knock either of them off the top. No, but it definitely ties for top spot.
You have to see this movie. It was even shot so you can watch it 2D or 3D. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V10Px9xbrbU Apparently it wasn’t shot to be a 3D movie, Tommy Wiseau just decided to shoot with two cameras, because he could. When you watch the movie, don’t forget to say hi to Mark.
(1) Neil Traynor is a Toronto born singer/songwriter guitarist/multi-instrumentalist.