CineSavant Column

Tuesday August 9, 2022



You might, heh, heh, notice that I have no reviews up today … as I sort of implied might happen at the last CineSavant post. So we took a break, which was so relaxing that, after this gets posted, I’ll need to have a serious think about what’s in the review hopper for Saturday.

 Meanwhile, there’s nothing that gets my disc radar in a twist faster than an announcement of a new horror or sci-fi disc of some obscure semi-classic. We took on a fairly poor foreign DVD of this one a few years ago, but now a restored Blu-ray (presumed Region B) appears to an imminent reality.

Anolis has let us know about their upcoming release of Die Nackte und Der Satan, a West German medical horror / sci-fi item from 1959 with a well-deserved positive reputation. It’s pretty twisted, it stars Horst Frank and Michel Simon, and it has one of the slickest-designed Mad Labs in all Mad Lab-dom.

It was known as The Head in its American release. I remember seeing a TV spot for it when I was ten, and boy, did it look like Adult Stuff. Even the still above reminds us of awful photos of medical ‘experiments.’

Anolis says August 20, but is listing it as ‘Temporarily Out of Stock.’ However, I’m told that will change very soon, so I’m watching that page closely . . . and a couple of U.S. importers, too.


But took a detour from explaining what got in the way of doing reviews for today’s CineSavant post. This image of a different city than where CineSavant resides was taken on Sunday; It ought to tell the tale. It involves a 5-hour drive, in which I was astonished at the number of electric Tesla cars on the I-5. I guess they really do have a 400 mile range now . . . ?

The city by the sea is doing fine. I rested up, and I feel recharged. That’s just what I needed.



♫  How Much is That Doggy Implacable Federation Enforcer in the Window? / The One With the Laser Beam Eye? ♬

We’ve enjoyed seeing Space Federation Robot Gort on La Brea Avenue for many years. It was displayed in the storefront window of a fancy framing company, The Grey Goose. It could be a copy of Gort used in scenes where he’s just standing still, frozen in place outside Klaatu’s space ship. Years ago, my kids loved it when the Grey Goose people posed Gort with a Santa hat and the motto: “Peace on Earth — Or Else.”  My daughter fashioned a large-scale banner version of the quote which we put up every year for the holidays.

I took my favorite photos of friend & consultant Wayne Schmidt posing with his best pal Gort.

Well, I haven’t seen Gort for a while. The framing shop moved across the street, and often the shades were drawn; at the moment I don’t know if it’s still in operation. So my daughter, who can solve almost any problem of this kind, accessed Google Maps and tracked the big metallic lug, which we reproduce here. Not sure how long ago this was.

We know they made several of these dummy Gorts for the movie, and there are likely a number of reproductions out there. Is it possible that this particular Gort is an original, or is he one sold to collectors, like reproduction Robby the Robots?  Perhaps a reader knows.



 And finally, CineSavant’s trusted and appreciated contributor Edward Sullivan posted a great comment on last week’s CineSavant review for The Long Ships. Ed is one of those people who can find anything on the internet. He found the original LIFE Magazine Photo of Russ Tamblyn upside-down in the middle of a complete body-flip on a sidewalk in Beverly Hills. It’s astonishing.  The photo enlarges substantially.

It would seem obvious that a performer with Tamblyn’s talents just wasn’t used to its best potential. He’s good in everything from Gun Crazy to Twin Peaks. In his musicals he showed a terrific ability to stretch himself, as in West Side Story.

A special treat in the LIFE layout is Tamblyn’s ‘date’ for the photo shoot: actress Venetia Stevenson. They married a year later. She’s the daughter of director Robert Stevenson and actress Anna Lee, and later the star of Day of the Outlaw and The City of the Dead (Horror Hotel).

I hereby nominate Russ Tamblyn and Venetia Stevenson for The Coolest Couple of 1955.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson