Keep the lights off.
Hollywood After Dark (Walk the Angry Beach) (The Unholy Choice) (1968): 1 out of 10: Hollywood after Dark is a depressing movie that just sits there making one feel both dirty, sad and bored.
Hollywood After Dark is best known of course as a horrible grainy grindhouse film featuring Golden Girl Rue McClanahan as a stripper who wants to be an actress. Rue is a sad stripper. She is in love with a guy who works at the junkyard. Her actress ambitions comprise one date rape with a producer. We also get to see her stripper performance, which is about as titillating and cheerful as a dance interpretation of Revolutionary Road.
Rue’s junkyard boyfriend is involved in a robbery ring, which culminates in a bizarre daylight bank robbery with no dialog. Just a jazzy soundtrack while a couple of guys in masks appear to rob a pier.
A large portion of the movie is taken up with endless stripteases. (And I do mean endless. This is a Starfighters airplane refueling level of tedium). There are four strippers featured. One is so ghastly I refused to take any screenshots (You can see her in the YouTube video below if you are so inclined. I warn you though.) Another is best viewed from the back row of the theater.
Rue McClanahan’s hairstyle makes her look ten years older than she is. She looks like a stripper at least. Though a stripper who works the Monday lunch buffet while her kids are in school.
There is a nice skinny African American girl who actually looks like a stripper and also looks under forty. She is a bit of a butterface and will not be mistaken for Dolly Parton anytime soon, but she wins best stripper in a walk.
Unfortunately, the nice African American girl’s striptease clocks in somewhere around good lord is this still going on? I have no issue with strippers in a movie per se. But a little goes a long way. This is like when a band starts playing at the bar in a movie and then does a thirty-minute set.
In fairness to Rue McClanahan and her costar Tony Vorno, they try. I mean, it is in vain. Director John Haynes shoots the California beaches in such a way it drips a depressing ennui. Hollywood After Dark is a movie that requires a shower after viewing.
The Film Crew: Hollywood After Dark (2007)
The Film Crew: Hollywood After Dark (2007): 7 out of 10: Since the cancellation of the beloved Mystery Science Theater 3000 (greatest show ever), fans have been waiting for a comeback.
The short-lived Film Crew is just that. Staring Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy (former voice of Tom Servo), and Bill Corbett (former voice of Crow) the Film Crew promises to deliver the old magic back.
In some ways, it does. The riffing is certainly up to the old standards. The boys riff in vain, but honestly, the movie was so slow and talky that there are places where riffing simply does not help the cinematic pain. For example, the endless stripper scenes provide very few laughs. There are only so many jokes you can make about cottage cheese thighs.
Since The Film Crew is a DVD exclusive creature, they were not restricted in content (unlike the television counterpart). I wish they had experimented on a more adult exploitation film, such as one of the Ginger masterpieces. I have made though claims that their riffing is more adult in nature, I really did not notice any change despite Hollywood After Dark’s stripper theme.
Had this been a MST3K episode, it would have likely been a middle of the road one. Moreover, truth be told, I miss the robots and the silly sci-fi set-up. The film crew contains a “lunch break” where the boys engage in some of the most painful comedy I have ever seen. (Admittedly, some of MST3K’s “commercial breaks” were just as painful) The Film Crew is better than nothing, but alas it is a somewhat faded copy of the original’s magic.
You were warned above. Heed the warning..
Honestly, a movie featuring four stripteases would usually garner more screenshots. I am surprised I have this many.