By John Seal
May 20, 2013
From the obscure to the obscurest to the merely overlooked or underappreciated; they all have a home in the TiVoPlex! All times Pacific.
12:30 AM Turner Classic Movies
Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965 USA): I’d love to know how Berry Gordy got talked into letting The Supremes record the theme song for this AIP feature. A jaunty highlight of Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine - one of the campiest features the youth-oriented studio ever produced - The Bikini Machine (for that is the title of the song) remained unavailable to music lovers until it finally earned an official release on a Motown boxed set in 2000. As for the film, things don’t get much campier than Vincent Price’s portrayal of the title character, a fey mad scientist who’s built an army of scantily clad nubiles (and boy are they built! Yuck yuck!) with which he plans to drain the bank accounts of the world’s richest men. A parody of sorts of Goldfinger (and surely an influence upon the Austin Powers series), Dr. Goldfoot is the most ridiculous (and hence most enjoyable) of AIP’s beach-themed features, and yes, I’m taking The Ghost In the Invisible Bikini into consideration. Airing this morning in widescreen, it’s followed at 2:00 AM by 1966’s Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, a sequel shot in Italy by gothic horror maestro Mario Bava and starring Price, Fabian, and the beloved comedy team Franco and Ciccio.
12:40 AM HBO Signature
El Ultimo Elvis (2012 ARG): I have my doubts that this will truly be the last Elvis, but I guess you can call your movie whatever you want. This Argentinian drama stars real life Elvis impersonator John McInerny as Carlos Gutierrez, a factory hand who not only imitates The King...he really believes he is The King. Like most Elvis clones, this one has been grown from the DNA of Fat Elvis, and though McInerny otherwise bears little physical resemblance to his idol, he sure sings like him. As for the story, it’s surprisingly moving, with Carlos/Elvis sent into a tailspin after an accident leaves estranged wife Priscilla (Griselda Siciliani) in hospital and daughter Lisa Marie (Margarita Lopez) in need of parental care. Can Carlos/Elvis take time out from his next tour and Take Care of Business on the home front? Though it sounds like a goofy comedy on par with Elvis Meets Nixon or Bubba-Ho-Tep, The Last Elvis is actually a serious look at a working man’s mid-life crisis. Unless you’ve got a Wooden Heart, check this one out. Thank you very much.
9:20 AM Encore Action
The Fight Before Christmas (1994 ITA-GER-USA): This desperately bad title conceals a film all fans of Eurocult cinema or spaghetti westerns will be interested in seeing: a (relatively recent) Terence Hill-Bud Spencer feature! Terence and Bud (known to friends and family as Mario Girotti and Carlo Pedersoli) have appeared together in almost two dozen features since first teaming up in 1959. Most of their films have been westerns, including this one, which stars our heroes as estranged, quarrelsome brothers reunited by their mother during one Old West Yuletide season. Naturally, beans are involved. A tribute of sorts to the wildly popular Trinity films the team made in the 1970s, The Fight Before Christmas (also released as Troublemakers) will warm the hearts of Terence and Bud fans, but will probably leave others totally befuddled.