Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2018 by Bill Courtney
I am not a great traveler. I often get sick and exhausted and don’t get much sleep from sleeping in strange places on hard beds. That being said I have traveled a lot and one of the big upsides to me living in China is that I have had the chance to visit most all of the neighboring nations, including Vietnam, Laos, a short visit to Burma, India, Thailand, Malaysia and, as to to the topic of this post, Cambodia. These neighboring counties and cultures all seems to hang on to old traditions and customs in a way that China seems not too interested in doing. It is refreshing to see all of that even if the trips themselves have often pushed to to my physical limits. Almost all of the trips my wife and I travelled alone and while of course we will see some of the well known tourist sites we also shy away from them after a few days and then wander around old temples and alley ways and markets. We also typically stay in one or two places for a long time, as opposed to hitting a place every day like many travelers do. Such was the case when we stayed in Siem Reap in Cambodia for about ten days. We hit Angkor Wat and all those places but soon we were drifting around eating at different places and checking out Buddhist monasteries.
While there I visited a few music stores and even bought some CDs and music related postcards and it made me aware of the forgotten if not actually never known of in the first place music culture that came out of Cambodia between the late fifties and the coming of Pol Pot in 1975. I had stumbled upon the music of Dengue Fever from the Matt Dillion film City of Ghosts, sat in Cambodia. They did a cover of the Joni Mitchell song Both Sides Now that played over the end credits. Singer Chhom Nimol sang in “Cambodian” (or Khmer or I believe it is called) and it just hit me as so wonderful. I shared with a couple people I knew and they hated it, saying her voice was too strange and high pitched and that the language was sounded odd. I knew then I was on to something. I think the underground but also commercial success of Dengue Fever (a San Francisco band actually that were blessed with finding Chhom singing in a KTV/Karaoke club while searching for a singer in Phnohm Penh) maybe helped to spark a interest in the lost world of Cambodian pop/rock music of the 60″s and 70’s.
Cambodian music was defined prior by singer Sin Sisamouth, sort of Frank Sinatra of Cambodian music, but as times changed the kids wanted something like that cool rock and roll stuff they hearing over the shared radios or communal loud speakers. While most of the rock music they heard was from French rockers like Johnny Hallyday and Sylvie Vartan it was still, in essence, American rock and roll. The music had a twangy/surfy go-go feel at times and yet still incorporated the spirit of traditional Cambodian folk and royal music. Even Sin Sisamouth decided to jump on the hip new sound bandwagon and did songs like A Go Go. Maybe not to everybody’s liking but it is to mine. While exploring this music I also stumbled across other styles such as the rock music of the 70’s from Turkey and Iran as well as the psychedelic rock music scene from Nigeria from the s me time period. Not a grammy winner in the bunch. Thank God.
Lot of info can be found in the documentary Don’t Think I Have Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock ‘n’ Roll. The excellent film features the music and some biographical information on many of the singers and musicians of the period, including Sins Sisamouth, Ros Serey Sothea, Pen Ran, Huoy Meas and Yol Aularong. Sadly all these singers suffered and eventually perished under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge.

A couple album covers here are from newer retro type psychedelic rock/funk bands, like Cambodian Space Project and Dengue Fever and not the older bands and singers. However singers Chhom Nimol (Dengue Fever) and the late Kak Channthy (Cambodia Space Project) often cover songs by many of the old singers, in particular thos of Pen Ran.



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Posted in Bettie Page, Bunny Yeager, Cheesecake and Femme Fatales, Irvin Klaw on November 1, 2011 by Bill Courtney

I got hooked on Bettie Page back when everybody still thought her name was spelled Betty. I am pretty sure it was due to the Betty character in Dave Steven’s Rocketeer comic book that I begin investigating who this person was. I was soon snagging up any and everything my limited budget allowed me to appropriate. The fascination waned a bit over time of course but I still find myself from time to time looking to see if there are any new images online. I have seen most of these in this first selection of Bettie images -there will be more in the future- but there are some new ones here and the quality is pretty good. Most of these, I am assuming, are from sessions either with Irvin Klaw or Bunny Yeager. The pair were responsible for taking the most memorable images of the Queen of Curves in my humble and usually ill-informed opinion. The focus on this first collection -and more to come- is on what many Bettiephiles may call the “Bad Bettie”. There are two Betties as we know. The good Bettie, the cute cheesecake girl who looks like she hasn’t been kissed yet, and the bad Bettie who looks like she has dabbled in things a bit darker and freaky than just kissing. Some good Bettie fans have made the claim that Bettie just did these images as part of her job but she herself never would have engaged in such sordid proclivities. Lets hope that that is not true. There is simply something about seeing the sweet little Queen of Curves all trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey or spanking another naughty model that guys and gals just seem to love. If it were just for the camera then it seems that something essential has been cruelly subtracted from the world. Look, she later had to deal with mental illness, being a Born Again Christian and kicking the crap out her landlords, so why think it unreasonable to entertain the idea that little Ms. Page actually enjoyed paddling her friends. For some reason I can sleep better at night knowing that.

Some slick drawings by Olivia Berardinis at Golden Age Comic Book Stories here



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Posted in Comic Books-Magazines-Fanzines, Rapidshare Link, Robert Crumb on October 26, 2011 by Bill Courtney
 I don’t really follow what is up with comic books now that I am in China and the whole comic book culture here does not exist really except for a few small shops that carry some of the Manga type stuff from Japan, which I really never have cared too much for despite my efforts. I do follow a few people still and read on comic book history more now that there is so much information available online. Like my movies most of my comic book taste is old school and you can’t get much more old school than Robert Crumb. In 2009 he finished up perhaps his most daunting single project of his prolific career with his cartoon retelling of one of the most famous books of all time, the Book of Genesis from The Bible. He spent more than four years on the project and kept to the original text for inspiration. Not sure if any particular translation was preferred but all fifty books are there and has all the great stories that even non-Christians should know and have some regard for. The drawings are the things of course and they never wane or weaken as the book goes on. This guy can still draw circles in his sleep (if he ever sleeps) around the formula fan boy stuff that permeates the comic book world these days. Just plain old fashioned, painstakingly good artwork. Included here are a few samples and a Rapidshare link to my RS site for those with no guilt or shame about getting stuff for free even if is stuff form The Bible. It is a massive work and so I had to break it up into three files. 




Posted in Camp-Cheese, Science Fiction-Fantasy, Zsa Zsa Gabor on October 24, 2011 by Bill Courtney

1958/Director: Edward Bernds/Writers: Charles Beaumont, Ben Hecht

Cast: Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eric Fleming, Dave Willock, Laurie Mitchell, Lisa Davis, Paul Birch, Patrick Waltz

Producer of many cheesy sci-fi yarns Walter Wanger had just finished serving a four month prison sentence for shooting his wife’s (Joan Bennet) suspected lover in the leg and crotch – only four months since he successfully pleaded temporary insanity -when he began to put together this project based on a story by Ben Hecht. Hecht’s original story was more of a farce but Wanger wanted it the story to be more serious and turned the production over to Ben Schwalb for some reason. Schwalb had worked for Sam Katzman on some Bowry boy episodes and director Edward Bernds had done some Three Stooges films. I guess that is way Queen of Outer Space is sort of an odd little story at best. Many of the props and costumes seem to be left-overs from other sci-fi films – Forbidden Planet, World Without End, Flight to Mars – and the actors are playing it pretty straight but it is a cheese fest from the get go.

The film follows a story line that had already become familiar in previous sci-fi films and that is an adventure built around a group of male astronauts stranded on a planet of beautiful Amazon type women. The women are usually sexually frustrated and really seem to like Earthmen from the USA the best. Crew includes Eric Fleming and Paul Birch and the queen is Laurie Mitchell and her rival is prima donna Zsa Zsa Gabor. Story has it that Gabor was so difficult to work with that Ben Schwa wound in the hospital from stress and ulcers. Action takes place on Venus and there is a great spider in the cave sequence that usually accompanies these space maiden films. The color is nice and while the story drags for the most part it is worth the moments when the dialog gets really strange and to see the maidens drooling over the earth guys. The scene at the end where a flock of vivacious Venusian girls are pawing over an ecstatic Paul Birch sums it all. Fans of  super cheezy sci-fi will love it.


Posted in Barbara Eden, Fabian, Music and MP3s, Soundtrack Samples, Surfboards and Hotrods on October 24, 2011 by Bill Courtney

1964/Director: Don Taylor/Writers: Jo Napoleon, Art Napoleon

Cast: , Fabian, Shelley Fabares, Peter Brown, Barbara Eden, Tab Hunter, Susan Hart, James Mitchum

Columbia Pictures’ Ride the Wild Surf is considered one of the better surf/beach party movies of the mid-sixties because it tried to veer away from the campy zaniness of the AIP Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello features and attempted to make as lightly more ‘serious’ surf movie. There are still those campy little moments of course and sometimes they are intentional and other times they are not. The unintentional laughs and embarrassing moments stem from occasional over acting and the cliché situations the characters find themselves in one scene after another, but even given those expected shortcomings the movie is pretty good. There are no crooning surfer boys, silly bikers or people in gorilla suits and the catchy theme song sang by Jan and Dean is saved until the closing credits. But there are lots of blue screen shots of Fabian and Tab Hunter on their boards that cut away to shots of professional surfers riding the waves and silly beach party antics. The film is shot in Hawaii rather than the usual locales of Santa Monica and Malibu. Hardly the first surfer/beach film shot in Hawaii (Gidget goes Hawaiian, Blue Hawaii, Paradise, Hawaiian Style) but one of the better ones that focuses on the powerful and intimidating waves, sometimes 30 foot, the islands get at certain times of the year. And of course there are a trio of romances with our male and female leads that can be summed up as the formulaic boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back routine (and what other formula would you really want here) but it is all pretty bearable nonetheless.

Three basically All-American boys meet three All-American girls while they are in Oahu Hawaii to surf the big waves at Waimea Bay. The guys must face their own mortal shortcomings, of course, while wooing the gals and competing the seasoned local surfers. Jody (Fabian) is the college drop-out with a chip on his shoulder who falls for sensible and down to earth Brie Matthews (Shelley Fabares) and tries to gain her attention initially by shooting a pineapple on a dork’s head with a spear gun. She acts all repelled by his hokey machismo but of course she can’t enough of him and his edgy bad boy attitude. And like every good girl she makes it her mission to turn the bad boy around by the film’s end. Jody is intent on proving to everyone, and to himself, that he is not a “chicken”. The big waves intimidate him the way Apollo Creed intimidated Roxy and the way Steve Vai intimidated Ralph Macchio in Crossroads, but he has to conquer them to conquer himself and make Brie really respect him and know he is not just another “bum from the neighborhood”. Jody is more concerned with Jody going back and finishing college and after a heated discussion of about ten seconds he totally changes his views on college and his future and decided to go back and give it try, but it will have to wait until he has conquered the surf and competition, including his pals and local legend Eskimo (played by Jim Mitchum, another  of Robert Micthum’s boys, along with Chris, whose acting career never really went anywhere).

Chase (Peter Brown) is a pretty common sense sort of surfer and even wear nice sports jackets to beach. While he wants to shoot the tubes of Waimea he is basically a fairly conservative guy who prefers to color inside the lines. Well that all changes when flips –literally- for perky Augie Poole (the always gorgeous Barbara Eden) who happens to a black belt in judo. Augie takes delight at first in simply shaking Chase’s tree any chance she gets but soon enough, natch, she is falling in love with him and he learns to loosen up and gt a little crazy once in awhile himself, such as when he jumps drunk off a dangerous cliff into a pond known for bringing the waves to Waimea, if the diver does not crack his head open on the rocks beneath the surface. Rounding off the romance angle of the film is Steamer (Tab Hunter) and local girl Lily Kilua (Susan Hart) who have problem’s convincing Lily’s mom that Steamer is not just another beach bum like her ex-husband was. The old gal is pretty hard to convince but eventually ol’ Steamer pulls out his wallet and shows her his bank account of about $1800 and some paid off bills and that puts the old bird’s fears to rest and she all but starts calling him son after that. Susan Hart does one wild Hawaiian dance at a beach party that is not to be missed. She would later marry AIP co-founder and co-producer James H. Nicholson.

Surf movies are not for everybody. They are usually pretty contrived and typically downright silly. I guess some guys may even feel a bit uncomfortable watching bronze surfer boys run around, much the way they may feel watching queasy with most sword and sandal/peplum films. Ah, never bothered me. I only recently realized that these movies are called “homo-erotic”, or whatever, by lots of my fellow straight guys. Who the hell cares if it is, this is fun stuff. If you must know I own the Arnold Schwarzenegger documentary Pumping Iron and that is great too, homoerotic or not! And for fear of seeing guys in swim trucks these types will miss the best part of these surf flicks and that is those full figured 60’s chicks in bikinis. No tasteless things, just old school bikinis, and Barbara Eden can certainly fill her’s out. Ride the Wild Surf is not heavy in the pop tune department and the score by Stu Philips works just fine. But there is the catchy surf tune sung by Jan and Dean –and co-written by Beach Boy Brian Wilson- that is saved until the end of the film. I lifted the song form the film and I think it is a bit shorter here than the full 45 rpm version, but here is the film version of Ride the Wild Surf by Jan and Dean.


Posted in Adventure-Action, Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O'Sullivan, Tarzan, Video Captures on October 14, 2011 by Bill Courtney
A new category here. I have thousands of screen captures I have made and figure I will share a few of them once in a while in a post that focuses on captures only. Minimal writing involved. many of the captures were made to accompany video files I have uploaded to bittorrent sites like Cinemageddon or The Horror Charnel. I make dozens and dozens of captures and may only use eight or ten for the file presentation. Meaning I have more left over than I know what to do with. Many posts here feature original screen captures, though not all. So I want to go back and supply some images to posts that did not get original video captures the first time around or just for a movie that needs one. the first film for this new category will be Tarzan and His Mate, given a less than hearty review here a few posts back. Expect a better review one day, but for now please enjoy some of these video captures from one of the best Tarzan films of all time.


Posted in Eddie Romero, Filipino Films, John Ashley, Matinee on October 12, 2011 by Bill Courtney

No Waiting. No Appointment. No Escape! 

See Human Heads Transplanted!

See natives eaten alive by giant vultures!