By John Seal
April 16, 2012
From the obscure to the obscurest to the merely overlooked or underappreciated; they all have a home in the TiVoPlex! All times Pacific.
1:15 AM Showtime
Dino Wolf (2009 USA): Bullshit...or not? Hard as it may be to believe, Dino Wolf is not the product of the master minds at the Science Fiction - er, Sci Fi - er, ScyFy - er, whatever it’s called today - Channel. Oh, no, my friend, Dino Wolf is something much better: it’s a product of the Fred Olen Ray Z-movie factory, originally released with the far more appropriate and deliciously ironic title Dire Wolf. The film stars one-time teen heartthrob Max Caulfield (Grease 2) as a small-town sheriff forced to confront the titular creature, a man in a monster suit running amok after being created in, and subsequently escaping from, the local military genetics experimentation lab. Soon the G-Men and G-Ladies of the FBI are on the case, offering assistance to our hunky hero as he tries to rein in the deadly creature and bring the body count to a halt. Dino Wolf is totally ridiculous, extremely bloody, and good fun if you’re in the right mood. Also airs at 4:15 AM.
6:00 AM Fox Movie Channel
Street Angel (1928 USA): Fox muscles into TCM territory with a rare screening of this Frank Borzage silent classic. Never released on Region 1 DVD, Street Angel stars Janet Gaynor as Angela, a Neapolitan miss arrested for stealing food needed to fill the bellies of her starving family. Fleeing the fuzz, she joins a circus, where she meets and falls for painter Gino (Charles Farrell). Hearts and flowers ensue until Gino learns her dark secret and must come to terms with his lady love’s sketchy criminal past. Reflecting the heavy influence of German Expressionism, Street Angel was the second of an eventual dozen Gaynor-Farrell collaborations, and helped Gaynor corral the Best Actress Oscar at the very first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929.
1:10 AM Starz
Winter in Wartime (2008 HOL): A 13-year-old boy gets involved with the Dutch Resistance in this old-fashioned war drama from director Martin Koolhoven. The lad is Michiel (Martijn Lakemeier), who gets into considerable difficulties after lending a helping hand to downed RAF pilot Jack (Jamie Campbell Bower) during the frigid winter of 1944-45. Forced not only to question who amongst the locals he can trust with his secret, Michiel is also compelled to put aside his childish misconceptions of the nature and reality of war. Beautifully shot by DoP Guido van Gennep in suitably snowy conditions, Winter in Wartime is well worth a look. Also airs at 4:10 AM.
5:00 PM Turner Classic Movies
The Girls on the Beach (1965 USA): Ready for summer yet? TCM hits the beach tonight with The Girls on the Beach, Paramount’s attempt to take advantage of the Beach Party craze set off by American International Pictures. Directed by aging serial specialist William Witney, the film relates the misadventures of a group of college gals fund-raising to save their sorority house. And what better way to do so than holding a concert...with The Beatles as the headliners! Of course, that doesn’t happen - the Fabs only get name-checked - but we do get The Beach Boys, The Crickets, and Lesley Gore instead, as well as Dick Miller and Bruno VeSota. It’s followed at 6:30 PM by Beach Ball (1965), in which Edd "Kookie" Byrnes stars as a character cut from cloth similar to Bob Cummings’ in 1963’s Beach Party; at 8:00 PM by Bruce Brown’s smash hit surf doc The Endless Summer (1966); at 9:45 PM by Brown’s earlier but less well known Barefoot Adventure (1962); and at 11:00 PM by Spring Break (1983), Sean Cunningham’s attempt to update the style for "big ‘80s" teens more keen on wet tee-shirt competitions than surfside weenie roasts.