Saturday, November 11, 2017

Episode 114 - Cavey Van

Back in the 70's the van became an important way for people to express themselves.  They would modify their "shaggin' wagon" with elaborate murals, shag carpeting, wide wheels and big V8 engines. We look at two less-than-stellar examples of a genre known simply as vansploitation. First off, we look at 1977's Supervan, which basically stars an incredible creation from the wizard George Barris, a "solar powered" van, called Vandora.  This is not a good film, but does feature the notorious writer George Bukowski as a wet t-shirt water boy. The music is bad, the acting is sub-par, and the pacing is glacial, but that van is really, really awesome.  We follow that up with a slightly better movie from 1979 called Van Nuys Blvd. The lead character also drives a van and decides to leave his home and girlfriend to pursue the wild night-life of cruising up and down the titular Van Nuys Blvd in California. You've likely seen this story a thousand times, and chances are that every time was better than it is in this film.  We didn't love either of these movies, but Van Nuys Blvd is, at least, entertaining on a certain basic level.  Let us know about your van experiences or send us film suggestions to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com. You can also leave a message on our Facebook page or tweet us @cavewalls.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Episode 113 - Pink Strutters

On this episode of the podcast, things get so weird that we had to bring in our friend Julie to comment on it all. During the 50's, 60's and 70's, cinemas ( and more often drive-ins ) were full of movies about bikers and biker gangs.  Usually these were stories about disaffected men who had turned their backs on society to pursue a life with a different set of morals and rules. This era gave us such landmark films as The Wild One and Easy Rider. In 1972, a VERY different biker movie was released called Pink Angels. This gang of cyclists is unique because they are all gay and are traveling the highways to get to Los Angeles for a big drag ball.  It is mostly funny, with some great performances and an undercurrent of subversion that is still very potent now. If you read about the movie online, you will hear a lot about the ending, and it is a real shocker, but don't avoid the film because of that...this one needs to be seen to be believed.  We follow that up 1975's Darktown Strutters, which combines 1000 different elements into a really trippy stew.  We start with 4 gorgeous African-American women on  big, badass 3-Wheeled choppers, hauling ass around Los Angeles and putting all the men in their places. Then we add Roger E. Mosley as "Mellow" who has his own oddball gang, some KKK members in shiny satin robes, disco, funk, an evil Colonel Sanders, and tons of slapstick wackiness that somehow, strangely, works ( mostly ). The music in this movie is fantastic, the girls are gorgeous, and  the racial politics are right up front and writ large across the screen.  This is another one that you really do need to see.  Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just post a message on our Facebook page.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Episode 112 - Flickers from the Swamp

There was once a time in American cinema when every movie that starred Burt Reynolds was a guaranteed box-office blockbuster.  On this episode we look at two of the films from the early part of his reign. We start off with 1973's White Lightning, which tells the story of a bootlegger named Gator McKlusky.  The movie starts with Ned Beatty murdering Gator's younger brother in extremely brutal fashion. This sets in motion an elaborate revenge story that is full of car chases, and sweaty, dirty people.  It is a winner from beginning to end. White Lightning was such a hit that 3 years later a sequel was released titled Gator.  The second film is essentially a reworking of the original story, but this time the bad-guy is a moonshiner named Bama McCall, played with extreme charm and menace by the great Jerry Reed.  Gator is a much slicker  movie,  but is also probably much more accessible. They are both extremely entertaining and get our highest recommendation.  Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or post a message to our Facebook page.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Episode 111 - Kukla, Snakes and Ollie

More Oliver Reed? Yes, Please!  We turn positively reptilian this episode with two films that combine the slithery goodness of a dangerous snakes, with the sweaty power of Mr. Oliver Reed. We start off with 1981's Venom, which also includes Sarah Miles, Sterling Hayden, Nicol Williamson and the always interesting Klaus Kinski. Combining a police procedural with home invasion, and then plopping the world's most dangerous snake into the air ducts, this is a real stew of great elements.  It works,  and we recommend it.  We follow that up with 1983's Spasms, which adds Peter Fonda as a psychiatrist who is asked to study an ESP link between Oliver Reed and a huge, demonic snake. With a few brief moments of Dick Smith makeup effects and a handful of vicious snake attacks, it mostly sucks. We cannot, in good conscious, recommend Spasms, but the similarities to Venom forced us to include it in the show. Please let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave us a message on our Facebook page.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Episode 110 - Flickers Von Caviken

There is a popular belief that mankind was guided in the past by visitors from another world. This core idea is  behind masterpieces like 2001: A Space Odyssey and also the hit History Channel show Ancient Aliens.  We look at two films on the podcast that also explore this idea. We start off with a TV movie from 1975 called "Search for the Gods". It stars the young Kurt Russell and the also-young Stephen McHattie.  It is a very sober story of a child of privilege who is on a search for truth. He is guided by the universe to Taos, New Mexico where he comes into possession of strange artifact that powerful forces want to obtain. This starts him on a journey that was meant to launch a TV series, but unfortunately, this did not happen.  We follow that up with the 1980 theatrical release Hangar 18, which stars Gary Collins and Darren McGavin in the story of a captured UFO being held in a top-secret military base where a team of scientists are trying to study the mysterious craft, while the government is trying to hide the truth...no matter what is required.  It is pure cheese and an absolute blast.  Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave us a message on our Facebook page.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Episode 109 - Noir Where Else to Go

We both love the classic noir films of the 40s and many filmmakers have tried to revisit that style and tone since those originals were released. We turn to two remakes of classic crime stories, starting with 1978's The Big Sleep, with an amazing cast led by Robert Mitchum and directed by the infamous Michael Winner.  It succeeds on almost every level especially with Mitchum's portrayal of Phillip Marlowe.  We follow that up with 1982's I, The Jury, starring Armand Assante...but it's just...not good. With a script by Larry Cohen, who is one of our favorite filmmakers, we had high expectations but at the end of the film our hopes were just as broken as the english language after Armand Assante struggled through his lines. Only the copious nudity in the film is left to recommend it.
Please let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave us a message on our Facebook page.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Episode 108 - The A is for Awesome

The cave is flickering at half-mast as we mourn the passing of one of our heroes. We lost the legendary George A. Romero recently and we felt it was important to feature his work on the next show. It also gave us an excuse to talk about the effect he and his films had on our lives. We are sure that we aren't the only ones out there who felt his loss deeply.  We start our tribute with a film that Romero considered his best, 1978's Martin. A tiny production, the film is a gritty reworking of the vampire mythos, set in a bleak inner city world where the old ways and the new ways are locked in an ongoing struggle. It stars John Amplas in a  remarkable performance but also features Romero himself in a small but important role as the local priest.  This is a challenging, impressive piece of cinema and still packs both a visceral and emotional punch. We follow that up with a real passion-project for Romero, 1981's Knightriders, which stars Ed Harris as "King Billy". He leads a motley group of people that have banded together around Billy's personal philosophy as they travel the countryside to put on shows for the locals.  The shows are a combination of a Renaissance Fair and a stuntshow, with motorcycles taking the place of the horses that knights would ride as they jousted and fought in the medieval era.  It is a real mishmash but, in large part, it works, and gives you a very interesting glimpse into the ways that Romero sees  the world. By all accounts, Romero was a great man, and one thing is for sure...he produced some great films which will stand the test of time.  We will miss you George, but we will never forget you.