Thursday, October 11, 2012

Poor Pretty Eddie

   There are over three hundred titles in the Deep Red catalog, most of them are in different sub-genres like Naziploitation, Italian Jungle Cannibal Films, and B rate garbage but one over looked genre is Hixploitation (a few titles are present in the catalog like I Hate Your Guts (Fight For Your Life), God's Bloody Acre,Savage Weekend, Scum of The Earth (S.F. Brownrigg), Ain't no way back), but most of them suck! They have bad lighting, horrid acting and bad hillbilly music (2000 Maniacs theme song being a shrill example). But they are so much fun, that is, if you are in the mood to suspend your political correctness and settle in for some slack jawed hijinks! One unforgivable omission in my mind is a film like this, with star power, redneck atrocities and the first of its kind adding on another subgenre: Elvisploitation! It should've been in the catalog and deserves to be! I plan on adding titles that belong in the catalog but for some weird reason didn't make it, these are what I call honorable mentions (more to come later on). I saw this late one night on TCM underground.

Poor Pretty Eddie (or Redneck Country Rape,Black Vengeance, Heartbreak Motel) Directed by Richard Robinson. Starring Leslie Uggams (1975).
Leslie Uggams (Hullaballoo, Family Guy) plays a famous singer who takes a break from civilization to vacation in the sticks and get away from it all, why she picks the deep South is beyond my comprehension! And yet she does, her car breaks down and she is forced to deal with a fear driven set of laws: fear of outsiders, fear of books, city folk and the media skewing their deep rooted sense of kinship and family values (does any of this sound oddly familiar)?
   She finds herself in a dilly of a pickle surrounded by racist corn pone characters like Shelly Winters (this is her best role) as a girlfriend/mother figure to Eddie Collins. Eddie with his flesh covered skull features, looks as if a teenage Julian Beck decided to dress up like Elvis.
   The film is entrenched with references to The King: hound dogs (them having sex, and being eaten),Elvis' unhealthy attachment to his mother,Cornel Parker type characters (like Slim Pickens and Dub Taylor). This time, another different shady degenerate character is involved in the production (like in Nightmares in a Damaged Brain) his name is Michael Thevis (click link).

                      Burp! I taste Kibble

   You also get one of the best roles ever for Lurch( Ted Cassidy), completely decked out in denim with a huge scar on the side of his face, he resembles Frankenstein in a Marlboro Man costume. Some of the local extras in the town look more frightening then Deliverance, giving the film an Italian Neorealism flavor.Whether this is intentional or not I'm not sure, but there are beautifully orchestrated surrealistic type scenes (murder fantasies, a gruesome rape/onlookers fixated on two dogs humping). Many film school art house touches are present, making this a sleazy highbrow forgotten cult gem.
  There is some hilarious shit too with Slim Pickens pretending to report Leslie Uggams repulsive rape by offering her a "Tomato to suck on" (while he doodles naked body parts). He asks her if "Eddie bit on her titties", while his retarded nephew looks on. There's a terrifying bar littered with dead animals on the walls and cheap beer available at every turn (BUD on tap is proudly endorsed). Dub Taylor plays "Floyd justice of the peace" and right there in the middle of the bar, a kangaroo court is set up next to the hillbilly bandstand (the creepy country music is great too). A nice Peckinpah slo-mo type massacre closes out the finally. Very highly recommended and a good place to start and end with the Hixploitation genre. Available for rent on Netflix.
Also on The ADC Roku channel.

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