As I noted last time, I’m experimenting. So this is keeping with that. Complete randomness. These are ads I find interesting. No more. No less. I’m throwing in a classic or two this time because why not?
What an oddity I start with. An attempt at Fantasia for the Rock era using Ovid’s Metamophoses as the source from Japanese animators. At least that was the idea. After it bombed in its initial run, it was heavily recut with disco put on instead. It’s not one that has lasted in any way but the trailer looks great.
Killer clowns aren’t anything new, This one combines the trope with a nice level of anger at misogyny. John Kenneth Muir wrote this up in full in his book on the 80s. It doesn’t sound dull! It’s just…that tagline is hilarious. I’m not scared in the least. If anything I’m howling. Bless the 80s terror at not knowing what to do next in horror so they chased the iconic killer still.
Spoiler: This is a lying title. It is about an experiment using a drug but it’s not Valium as you would know if you know Valium is a depressant that is designed to knock you out. God bless lying ads. Though this one in a rare move lists the ex-title. True exploitation here.
I’m sharing this ad for context. Day of the Animals isn’t an unknown film. It’s easy to mock which keeps it known. It’s got a silly plot with animals going crazy due to the ozone layer thinning. The context I want is this. This movie came out May 13, 1977. It was the then standard idea of a studio b-movie. Two weeks later, it would be eradicated by Star Wars. Star Wars truly was to the pulp movie what grunge was in 1991.
As I’ve done this project, I’ve developed a fascination with the dreckstorm that is Concorde. You study a market long enough, you realize they basically four walled theaters to make their films look good because they played the same theaters over and over. This one? Well it’s a great premise. Genetically engineered cockroaches invade a town, roaches that can turn into hybrids of whatever they kill. Great hook. And what a tagline! Good old fashioned B here.
Let’s go with a weird case of false advertising. This movie sells itself as being based on the Newbery Award winning bestseller. That was enough of a selling point for the ad to note it. Funnily enough, they don’t name the book this was based on except in a tiny font in the credits. Because this is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. It’s a staple of english classes and a just killer read. I asked my Twitter feed if they’d read it and got a wave not only of confirmation they had but that it was beloved. I’m baffled as to why this was sold under a different name. A friend suggested Hatchet sounded like a horror movie (and a series exists by that title. Still, bizarre you don’t make it clear you have a beloved book on film.
You know it’s coming “One day, the guy on a buffalo, went to the big screen…” Yes, the movie that inspired the wonderful videos played theaters. It’s a mess as you’d expect of a film shot on and off over years. It also gave us a rifftrax and the lovely video of the guys behind the video meeting the film’s star Rick Guinn which will improve your mood. But…just watch the guy on a buffalo videos.
Movies didn’t happen for Dean Koontz. Despite a career of best selling books and even one beloved series with Odd Thomas, his run at the big screen has been limited. There’s been a few such as Phantoms and Demon Seed but his run pales next to Stephen King’s prolific film run without a single even good film. Here’s a prime example. So bad Universal didn’t distribute at home (though the 50 production companies might have had an effect.) It actually barely saw theaters. And no, this is not an accurate ad. Of course not. It’s a genetically altered dog movie. Oh and it’s wildly unfaithful too. An oddity on nearly every front.
Next time: Hicks, Star Wars exploitation, and porn