Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Our survival hinges on one thing - finding someone who not only can fly this plane, but didn't have fish for dinner."

Warner Home Video deserves credit for putting out some of the titles in their Cult Camp Classics Collection. Some of these movies are important for reasons other than their camp value: Zero Hour! of course was basically remade (with intentional humor added) as Airplane!; Land of the Pharaohs is Howard Hawks' only CinemaScope movie and his only attempt at an ancient-history epic (writer William Faulkner basically admitted that he and Hawks were just ripping off Red River and setting it in ancient Egypt); and Hot Rods to Hell is, well, it's a movie called Hot Rods to Hell and Dana Andrews and Jeanne Crain are in it. And it inspired a Freakazoid! episode called "Hot Rods From Heck!"

My one objection is including Caged in this collection, though I'm very glad to see it getting released -- it's never even been on VHS. But while it's an early women-in-prison movie, it's really not campy; it's a serious Warner Brothers social-problem picture, with excellent acting, and doesn't belong in a collection of movies with not-so-great acting.

Oh, well. Still a good collection, even if the commentary on Land of the Pharaohs is by Peter frickin' Bogdanovich. Here's a brief clip from Hot Rods to Hell:


wcdixon said...

"But did you see that nutty girl sitting up on top?"


Luke said...

I think that Caged got an entry in the book Bad Movies We Love by Edward Margulies. I always wanted to see it.

Thanks for the funny video. "Did you see that nutty girl sittin' up on top?" Ha ha ha.

Beef said...

This a great selection of films, and I've been waiting a long time for some of these titles to be released on DVD. Like you, though, I'm a little irked that "Caged," a superb, Oscar-nominated film, is being lumped in with the likes of "The Giant Behemoth"! Although some of the dialogue and situations in "Caged" are dated, it is NOT, as you pointed out, a campy movie; in fact, it's no more campy than "White Heat" or any other Warner Bros. crime drama from the era. I suspect that it's assumed that *any* "women-in-prison" movie HAS to be campy. Although some of the movies of that genre ("Women's Prison," "Girls in Prison")definitely definitely do fall into that category, "Caged" is WAY better than books like "Bad Movies We Love" would have you believe. My hope is that people will at least get to fianlly see "Caged" and appreciate its merits.