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MEYER MONTH – ‘TURA! TURA! TURA!’ Art Show, October 2008

6 Sep

As a huge Russ Meyer fan and an art lover, I was both gutted and excited to read about the Tura! Tura! Tura! exhibition that was held back in October 2008. I’ve always wanted a Meyer-related piece of original art to sit alongside my posters and this collection of prints and paintings, curated by Mitch O’Connell, was amazing and inspiring. Held at the Tattoo Factory Gallery, the charity group show displayed art inspired by the legendary B-movie actress Tura Satana, star of Meyer’s famous Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, and her career. I’ve included as many pictures as I could find of the art that was featured below and tried to credit everything to the correct person, but as always please get in touch if I’ve left a credit out or credited wrong. There are many other pieces of work that I was unable to find a clear picture of so if anyone has any images of any of the art that isn’t featured, please contact me so I can add them in. Otherwise, scroll down and enjoy some killer art…

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Exhibition flyer by Mitch O’Connell

My beautiful picture

By Dave Dorman

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‘The World of Suzette Wong’ by Alex Wald

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‘The Key To The Carrera’ by Shag

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Artist Aron Gagliardo and his painting (photo courtest of Gagliardo)

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By Thorsten Hasenkamm

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‘Tura: Black and White and Red All Over’ by Terry Beatty

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By Lance

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Artist Alex Wald with Tura Satana (photo by Mitch O’Connell)

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By Mitch O’Connell

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‘Violent Planet’ by Alex Wald

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By Dr. Alderete

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Artist Marc Nischan with his piece of art

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‘Nice Kitty, Tura!’ by Lou Brooks

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By Mark Atomos Pilon

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‘Tura Satana‘ by Molly Crabapple

WWE Top 25 Rivalries in Wrestling History

12 Jul

My review of the latest WWE documentary/countdown Top 25 Greatest Rivalries in Wrestling History is now up over at Screenjabber. This is one of the best discs the company have released recently and is both enjoyable and informative. A must for wrestling fans, and I don’t say that lightly!

‘Confine’ review

10 Jul

My review for Brit thriller Confine is now up at Screenjabber.

‘Primitive London’ (1965) BFI Flipside Release

4 Jul

Made in the model of famous and influential 60s release Mondo Cane, Primitive London is the British equivalent, exploring the various facades of our capital. Using the very loose narrative of the cycle of life as a basic spine for the film (opening with lovely graphic footage of childbirth, which as we all know scares the hell outta me), we get glimpses of various contrasting and ‘shocking’ (remember context folks, this was 1965) looks into female judo, busking, turkish baths, stripping schools, fencing, swingers parties and stand up comedy routines. Personally interesting to watch were women jean shrinking in their bathtub (which you don’t really need to do these days, thank you skinny jeans!), people getting tattoos done and footage of old British Wrestling promotions including Brit legend Mick McManus working a fight. Watching an operation on a goldfish, however, was just a little weird and, well, less said about the scene at the factory killing battery chickens…

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As mediocre as it is to watch, it is fascinating to see footage of London from over fifty years ago and seeing just how much it’s landscape has changed. Women being tattooed and learning judo are here played with a hint of shocked ignorance which has since given way to nothing but normality. Interesting to watch are also the streets of Soho, full of clubs and advertising strippers left, right and centre. You’d be hard pushed to find much of that London history in Soho as it stands now, with its past feeling very nearly wiped out than celebrated for what it was. Shot by future director Stanley Long (Adventures of a Plumbers Mate, Adventures of a Taxi Driver) and produced, written and directed by Arnold L. Miller (Nudes of the WorldUnder The Table You Must Go), some of the film has efforts of surrealism, with cows intercut against topless models wearing the latest fashions and the task of food shopping contrasted against strip club routines. Whenever the moralising voice of the narrator feels like its starting to wane (one feels somewhat sorry for the young beatniks who are interviewed at the start of the film who get spoken to sometimes as if they were very young children), we always cut back to a stripper. Interesting and yet mundane.

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Released in 1965, it was originally given an ‘A’ certificate. So, at the last-minute some footage of a Jack The Ripper murder re-enactment was added in which ensured it got an ‘X’ certificate for release (something the producers specifically wanted). It first screened at the Windmill Theatre, and in true 60s advertising, a group of exotic dancers were hired for the night. Soho dancer Vicki Grey donned a fur-coat and leopard print bikini in homage to the famous ‘Leopard The Wild One’ dance, the imagery of which made most of the posters and front of house stills. Grey toured the West End with a cheetah on a leash (loaned by Colchester Zoo, sadly a leopard wasn’t available), before relaxing with it in the foyer. It received fairly negative reviews upon release and wasn’t as successful as its predecessor London In The Raw, however it still provides a watchable slice of Brit history.

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Also included  on the BFI Flipside release is a short film from 1965 called Carousella. A short documentary on the lives of a few Soho strippers, Carousella is probably more interesting to watch than Primitive London itself, aware of its short running time and making a narrative with material that still interests and has relevance today. Whilst it was made without much fuss in the 60s, it was immediately banned by John Trevelyan after he watched it, exclaiming that it was nothing more than a recruitment film. It was given a ‘X’ certificate by a few local authorities, but numbers didn’t make for an eventual cinematic release. It’s a shame because the film is beautifully shot and feels really rather human. Nothing is scandalised and the narrative and comments given by the girls featured are delivered well and romanticized but far from the point of being patronising or condescending. A short worth seeking out.

‘Django, Prepare A Coffin’ (1968) review

25 Jun

My review for the latest Arrow Blu-ray release, Django, Prepare A Coffin, is now up over at Cigarette Burns!

WWE Elimination Chamber 2013 review

22 Jun

My review for WWE‘s 2013 Elimination Chamber PPV DVD release is now up over at Screenjabber.

Top 5 Scott Pilgrim Comic Nods In ‘Scott Pilgrim VS The World’

9 Jun

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HONOURABLE MENTION – THE CLASH AT DEMONHEAD NOW MAGAZINE COVER
This is one of my personal favourites. A copy of Now magazine that has The Clash At Demonhead on its cover is glimpsed during the film. The cover (top left corner in the picture above) is a posed copy of the back cover to book two, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. The only difference? Envy’s hair colour (red in the book, blonde in the film)!

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5) SANDRA, MONIQUE, HOLLY & LISA MILLER
When you’re adapting a book into a film, there will always be aspects of it missing because you simply can’t fit everything on the screen. The same goes for a book series, but director Edgar Wright still managed to keep a few minor characters in his film that otherwise would have probably been left on the cutting room floor. The most significant are Sandra and Monique (above), friends and housemates of Julie Powers who appear in the book most of the time at parties, gigs and, well, with Julie. Wright kept them in, including them in the party at the beginning of the film and kept their look very similar to their design in the book. Two other female characters that get the name drop treatment are Hollie and Lisa. In the film their names are thrown back in Scott’s face by Julie as girls he’s messed around with in the past. In the book, Hollie is Kim Pine’s co-worker and housemate and Lisa is an old school friend and band member of Scott’s and Kim’s who makes a significant appearance in the second half of the book series.

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4) SCOTT & ENVY’S PHOTOBOOTH PHOTOS
In book two, Scott receives a phone call from Envy, his ex-girlfriend who he hadn’t quite gotten over yet. Interspaced between panels showing them talking ‘now’ were photobooth photographs of them taken when they were a happy couple. These were recreated (above) and glimpsed in the film.

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3) LUCAS LEE FILM POSTERS
Ramona’s second evil-ex Lucas Lee is a pro-skateboarder turned actor, whose films Scott and his roommate Wallace rent from the video store so they can learn how Scott can defeat him. Wright made up some fake film posters and bus adverts for the film using some of the titles of Lee’s films that are mentioned in the book. Chris Evans was the perfect choice to play Lee and played him brilliantly, which makes part of me really want to see these films get made for real in some Scott Pilgrim universe spin-off.

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2) T-SHIRTS
There are a lot of cool t-shirts worn in the entire Scott Pilgrim book series, some of which were the real deal. Some of these came back for the film (the Smashing Pumpkins heart tee, the Plumtree one) and those that were designed by author O’Malley were re-created for the film. Seems like the fans like them so much that copies of lots of them are now available from various sites. If you’re after one, this website lists every t-shirt worn in the film…

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1) GIDEON THE CAT
Personally, the one thing missing from Scott Pilgrim Vs The World was Ramona’s cat Gideon. Yes, it’s just a cat, but it’s Ramona’s cat and at one point in the book series his existence provides Scott with the closet tangible thing he has to her. But he does make an appearance! In one of the books, Scott wears a t-shirt with the above picture on it, which makes its way onto a mug that Michael Cera drinks out of at the start of the feature.