CineSavant Column

Saturday November 13, 2021



After reading my review of The Window Alan K. Rode wrote to say that it tempted him to buy the disc.  He also offered the information that RKO’s mogul- nutcase Howard Hughes held up the completed film back for more than a year before allowing its release, which is shocking considering how any sane studio would have leaped upon The Window as a sure box office winner. But there was no premiere, it just slipped out. I assume that its good reputation had to come from word of mouth.

Star Barbara Hale never got to see it. In fact, she finally saw it for the first time in 2014 when Alan screened it in Palm Springs, and talked with her onstage. She was in her nineties — it was her last public appearance.

The WAC didn’t ask to use the video coverage of Barbara Hale’s talk for the disc so Alan steered me to a link to a YouTube encoding: Alan K. Rode interviews Barbara Hale, part One. She’s delightful. I want to be that sharp and vivid when I’m in my eighties.



Two quick disc announcement that CineSavant knows you can’t live without. Severin’s Bloody Pit of Horror is prime Euro-horror sleaze starring Mickey Hargitay as Il boia scarlatto; Severin Films says it has prime elements of an original cut, which ought to be a slice above the old DVD I couldn’t make myself review twenty years ago — gee, I had principles then!

Also just announced from The Film Detective is another beloved grade- Z 1950s sci-fi monster romp, as Jim Davis and Barbara Turner undertake a stock footage safari in search of the Monster from Green Hell. We all know that that the giant wasps had to be given a state of the art 4K scan! The special edition promises fan-special extras as well. This disc has a street date: March 8, 2022.



And don’t miss your opportunity to admire the crazy trailer for Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point over at Trailers from Hell.  Larry Karazewski serves as the TFH guru of note for one of the strangest trailers ever, for what’s essentially a stinkbomb thrown at America and Hollywood, a “thanks for the money and by the way screw you” gesture of artistic contempt.

The audiences I saw it with in 1970 just shook their heads; I think they felt they were being conned. MGM’s promotion treated it like Great Art From Heaven. I have to say that I’ve grown to like the movie but still enjoy the soundtrack more — you know, ‘Heartbeat Pig Meat dum ba dum ba dum.’ The final voiceover for the film’s key advertising tagline always strikes me as hilarious, a parody of faux-hippie ‘right on!’ drivel. TFH must feel the same way, because they billboards the tagline in the clear, even in the trailer version with Karazewski’s commentary.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson