Warning, this post is mildly NSFW
Tonight I met up with my friend Tiah for a drink and then a movie. After getting a round of Laurelwood Red Ales (appropriate, as we are both redheads….ok she is really a redhead, I am more of a reddish head) we went to the Hollywood Theater to catch tonight’s installment of the Grindhouse Festival, “Wipeout!” aka The Boss (1973).
The Hollywood Theater is gorgeous. All of the amazing (and cheap) historical movie theaters here definitely top my list of favorite things about living in Portland (among about a 1000 other things!!!). This theater was built in the 1920’s as a vaudeville theater during the golden age of Hollywood. The neighborhood it resides in is also named Hollywood. (BTW Stephen Malkmus totally shops at the Hollywood Trader Joe’s, I saw him there once). I was surprised to find out that the theater started falling into disrepair for decades before the Oregon Film and Video Foundation bought it in 1997. They now run it as a non-profit and show really awesome, obscure and critically acclaimed films in a way that is accessible and unpretentious.
Anyway, they have Grindhouse Festivals there semi-frequently. This time, they are showing Italian Crime Grindhouse. I guess the early 70’s were a good time for this genre, as the spaghetti westerns had fallen out of favor, and there were a lot of crime movies doing well in Hollywood around then, making this sort of film a natural choice for Italian cinema.
Sooooo, we saw Wipeout! tonight. The copy they used is actually from Quentin Tarintino’s personal collection. When Tiah asked me if I wanted to see it she mentioned that it involved a nymphomaniac and a grenade launcher. I mean, how do you say no to that??? Unfortunately, it was too looooong for me. I got pretty bored. There were some entertainingly cheezy moments, but I wouldn’t really recommend it.
The main character looked like a “demented Chevy Chase” as Tiah pointed out. After we left the theater, I was trying to pinpoint where I saw that actor before. I told Tiah that I would IMDB that shit when I got home. Turns out, I totally saw him at a double feature at the Clinton Street Theater last fall. The first film was Alligator, about a mutant maneating alligator living in the sewers of Chicago. The second was Chained Heat, starring Linda Blair which was a women’s prison movie (quite sapphic in nature, I think she was trying to insure she wouldn’t be typecast in the future or something). I love that this guy is like a cheezy movie career actor. He is still alive (in his eighties) and still acting.