Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Johnny Legend's Deadly Doubles Vol 3 Prehistoric Women / Spies-A-Go-Go|
Actors: Laurette Luez, Allan Nixon, Joan Shawlee, Judy Landon, Mara Lynn
Directors: Gregg C. Tallas, James Landis
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Wea-des Moines Video Release Date: 05/29/2007
Somewhat disappointing two-fer recommended for Arch Hall com
Surfink | Racine, WI | 03/18/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Don't get me wrong, I love the movie Prehistoric Women and I was really excited to find out that the original 1951 version was finally getting a semi-legitimate DVD release (I don't count Alpha video or those "50 movies for 10 bucks" public-domain compilations). Diehard fans of this movie probably already have a placeholder copy and are hoping to ditch those in favor of this double-feature release (as I was), but alas the Johnny Legend Deadly Doubles edition is a letdown in several respects.
The movie itself it a camp classic chronicling the goofy misadventures and romantic entanglements of a female cave clan (led by pulchritudinous Laurette Luez and Joan Shawlee, The Dick Van Dyke Show's Pickles Sorrell) and male cave clan, led by Allan Nixon (hero of both Untamed Mistress and Mesa of Lost Women), both of which are periodically menaced by a monster called the Guati (basically a really tall guy with a big beard). Along the way you get to witness the invention of both fire and cooked meat, revel in the rampant 1950s sexism and corny narration, and have some educational fun learning their simple prehistoric language (my wife and I had it pretty well mastered by the end of the movie). Just don't expect to see any dinosaurs, blown-up lizard type or otherwise.
As far as the quality of the Legend House DVD transfer goes, the Prehistoric Women print shows deep blacks and decently saturated color but that's all I can say for it. Appearing to be transferred from a mediocre videotape source, either a VHS or poor quality broadcast master, it's contrasty, very soft, lacking sharpness and detail, too red, and very murky in the night (day for night?) scenes, so dark in fact that much of the action in these scenes is almost completely obscured. In contrast, Sinister Cinema's DVD-R edition (which I own), transferred from an actual 35mm print, is much brighter, sharper, less contrasty, and with greatly improved detail and better color balance. In fairness, the Sinister print is noticeably faded, with watery blacks, and contains a handful of jump cuts throughout, the missing footage ranging from a few seconds to about 25 seconds or so, but for all-around watchability I prefer the Sinister print's faded, 1950s tinted postcard appearance to Legend House's dark, smeary/bleary 1980s videotape look. And as mediocre as the transfer is, what really marginalizes the Legend House edition is the fact that the the 5-minute or so "provocative" dance number and the introductions of the individual prehistoric women that open the film are missing in their entirety! There are also a few other jump cuts scattered throughout but they are all minor. I'm sorry to say this as I've been a fan of Johnny Legend's video output since the early `80s Sleazemania comps, but Prehistoric Women fans would do better to spend their bucks on Sinister Cinema's DVD-R edition; it's more complete and much more watchable for my money. I cued up both copies and, switching back and forth between them, the difference in quality was extremely noticeable, especially during the night scenes.
I wish I had more nice things to say about this DVD's second feature to compensate for my pan of the Prehistoric Women transfer (I have to admit that Spies A Go-Go is a better title than The Nasty Rabbit) but it's my least favorite Arch Hall Jr. movie, though I haven't seen Deadwood `76 yet. Ostensibly a spy spoof, Spies A Go-Go is a dreary, slow-moving, unfunny "comedy" (the kind where characters speaking in exaggerated Russian accents is supposed to be hilarious) involving a rabbit infected with deadly bacteria and various international spies that are after it. I had trouble getting through this movie the one and only time I attempted to watch it and I am a dedicated bad film fan. There are a few OK musical numbers but lots of dead stretches in between. Even the presence of Liz Renay can't breathe any life into this mess. Anyone unfamiliar with the Arch Hall Jr. oeuvre would be well advised to skip this disaster and instead check out Something Weird's excellent Wild Guitar/The Choppers double-bill DVD, the MST3K DVD edition of Eegah, which also contains the uncut, un-Mystied version, or Allday Entertainment's sensational (out of print) The Sadist special edition DVD. Hard to believe James Landis directed both the awful Spies A Go-Go and terrific The Sadist. Of course Arch Hall fanatics will probably want to pick this up just so they can get rid of those old Nasty Rabbit VHS copies, and for that purpose this DVD will suffice. The source print is in 1.66:1 letterboxed widescreen and appears to be mastered from an actual film print or very high quality video master, showing minor scratches and lining, but acceptable color balance, saturation, brightness, contrast, sharpness, and detail. Quite serviceable and as good as you really need considering the movie you're watching.
Bottom line: If you're looking for a "keeper" copy of Prehistoric Women, this isn't it. Give Sinister Cinema a try instead. If you're an Arch Hall Jr. completist, go for it. All others, consider yourself warned."
CD & VIDEO RESEARCHER | il | 05/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Johnny Legend's Deadly Doubles Vol. 3: Prehistoric Women / Spies-A-Go-Go
Johnny Legend's Deadly Doubles Vol. 3: Prehistoric Women / Spies-A-Go-Go
Johnny Legend presents a brand new Double Bill of Mondo masterpieces. One extremely rare cult classic from the early 50s and one insane hodgepodge from the mid-60s. Both in brain-snapping color! In Prehistoric Women, Tigri and her stone-age girl friends hate all men, but realizing they are a necessary evil, capture some for potential husbands. Engor escapes and in his travels, discovers fire. This comes in handy later, after he has been recaptured by the women, when he drives off a giant (who looks a lot like Johnny Legend!)
Spies A-GoGo, filmed by Vilmos Zsigmond AND Laszlo Kovacs and directed by James (THE SADIST) Landis AND featuring Richard "JAWS" Kiel, is an insane musical spy spoof in a world of its own. A Russian spy bearing a rabbit with a vial of deadly bacteria arrives at a dude ranch with the intent of destroying America by releasing the rabbit on the continental divide. He must contend with a cadre of intercontinental counter-espionage agents and a rock-and-roll singer who is really a secret agent! Thirty years ahead of AUSTIN POWERS!