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We all have our favorite types of pictures, we here at Brains On Film, sometimes don't cover enough straight horror for some, others want more sex, still more think we ignore the foreigners too diligently, bottom line, you can't please everyone all the time. Big shit, is what I usually say, it's our little place on the big ol' Interweb, so we do what we want and "fuck you if you don't like it," is the usual response I give. But for grins and giggles, here's a little feature meant to please almost any hardened cult film elitist. It's got, crazy rednecks, interracial rape, a moody locale, Lurch, for Christsakes, and a bloated, drunken Shelley Winters...If you are like me and I know I am, then POOR PRETTY EDDIE, is nothing short of a "something for everybody" masterwork in the world of Southern drive-in exploitation. Believe me, disappoint, it does not.

Richard Robinson, who produced and directed this whallop of Southern sickness (the best fucking kind) got his start 3 years prior with the boner inducing ADULTERY FOR FUN AND PROFIT, highly regarded as one of the few true missing links between 60's sexploitation and all out hardcore porn, ADULTERY FOR FUN AND PROFIT is one a great look at an effective film with hardcore sex thrown in. Richard plays a Dick for hire who porks soon to be divorcees, all the while taking snapshots for their husbands who want to beat the alimony wrap, it's all well in good until Richard takes a gig from a future divorcee for a change. She hires him to bone the hubby! Man, they sure don't make 'em like that anymore. Robinson also made the the wacked out Western BLOODY TRAIL before getting to POOR PRETTY EDDIE. BLOODY TRAIL is guaranteed full on BOF treatment, it involves post Civil War cannibalism amongst other shit, (thank you Ebay, I just grabbed this sucker for $1.77) CooCooKaChoo Mr. Robinson, you are just the twisted fuck this Professor likes. But 1973 was to be Robinson's year. POOR PRETTY EDDIE sported Robinson's first real cast, and it actually had a well-written screenplay, courtesy of B.W. Sandefur and experienced TV writer who was breaking into the bigs. The time was right. A little magic was to be made. Let's have a look-see.

The gorgeous and extremely popular slice of hot chocolate Leslie Uggams (she actually had her own TV series in 1969) plays Liz Weatherly, a very popular R&B songstress who is just looking to get away form the bright lights, roll her Bentley down South, shoot a couple photos of the countryside and relax. Of course, the 3 tons of Bentley automobile overheats and she is driven to a off-the-beaten-path speakeasy and motel by Ted Cassidy, TV's ADDAMS FAMILY's Lurch. Cassidy plays Keno, the handyman, strong arm for Bertha the owner of the place. Cassidy, throughout the early 70s was featured in quite a bit of Mason-Dixon sleaze, including the ultra-obscure THE LIMIT, which was the only film ever directed by the near-Simian Yaphet Kotto. Cassidy's character Keno delivers Liz to the bar which is manned by Bertha's boy toy Eddie, it should be noted that sometimes the film is listed as POOR PRETTY EDDIE, others have the spelling EDDY, my copy says EDDIE, so that's what I'm sticking with. Eddie, is a Junior Varsity version of a throwback to a greasier time. Part hood (he still ports the semi-ducktail), part-pretty boy. Eddie turns on the huckleberry charm the minute he lays eyes on the mocha-skinned Liz. Right away we pick up on a vibe from Keno, he doesn't like this little shit-eater (Eddie), and Eddie, likewise, I'm sure.

Eddie offers up some light conversation, some beer ("Hey, we got Bud on draft!") and a warm bed to spend the night if by the off chance, her car can't be easily repaired. When Eddie asks Liz her name, he instantly recognizes her as the gal he's seen on TV and of course, asks for an autograph. Liz seems a little less than enamored with the Eddie the lovable redneck, but nonetheless, agrees to go look at the room. The room, is Eddie's room, complete with thumbtacked jerk-fodder on the walls and Eddie's music. Eddie has aspirations of being a big country music star, he needs this place to get away to work on his tunes. Liz, I know can understand, they are just alike.

Unfortunately for Eddie, Bertha has awoke from her beauty slumber and spied Eddie walking to the room with what she has dubbed a "juicy pick-a-ninny." Eddie explains that she is not a "pick-a-ninny" but a celebrity. Bertha ain't buying, "I don't care if she farts Chanel Pronounced "Channel") Number 5, I want her out." Lucky for us Eddie takes matters into his hands and begins to love up Bertha, reassuring her that she's the gal for him, by licking one of her many necks, kissing her puffy cheeks and of course, making her a Bloody Mary. Tis love if I done ever saw it.

So the stage is set, Liz is there, Bertha is jealous of any feamle which her Eddie comes in contact with, Eddie is a two-bit hustler musician wannabe who is living off Bertha hoping to get out and Keno is the all-knowing butler type for this dysfunctional little business Betha is running, when she is sober.

Eddie is brought to life by Michael Christian, Christian was a buddy of Robinson's and even helped produce POOR PRETTY EDDIE, the two also teamed up for a rarity I'm search for titled TO HELL YOU PREACH. Christian has faded from the scene last noticed in the abissmal Lee Frost 90s sleazer PRIVATE OBSESSION, a film which somehow managed to make Sahannon Whirry's magniicent lung sacks seem boring. Christian also snatched a producer's credit for that one. His Eddie is right on though. For the country music afficionado he is a dead-ringer for a young Billy "Crash" Craddock. Christian handles the duties of oversexeded houseboy turned psycho hillbilly rapist with an almost comic subtlety. Defintely a nice touch that seems almost a little too natural. When he does come umpolled, he does it whole-heaartedly but I don't want to give too much away.

As for Bertha, well the incredibly, nimble twatted Shelley Winters at her Shelley Winterist. Winters had been doing up to 4 pictures a year since the mid-40s. But the early 70s weren't wha tthe 50s had been for her. She was Marilyn Monroe's roommate when they were starlets in the heyday of Hollywood. She was gorgeous then. Shelly claims to have taught Marilyn that mouth open pucker thing that sent many a flaccid pecker skyward. Shelly slept with Brando, Lancaster, Flynn, Connery (Shelly claims she'd begin the wokouts today if she thought she'd get another crack at ol' Sean). Was very close friends with Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Charles Laughton and Farley Granger. Always a card carrying Democrat, she campaigned for Adely Stevenson and Jack Kennedy. She befriended Martin Luther King, and met Eleanor Roosevelt. She won two Academy Awards: A PATCH OF BLUE and THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK and was nominated for A PLACE IN THE SUN. She was incredible in one of my favorite films of all-time NIGHT OF THE HUNTER not so shabby in LOLITA either. Then of course there is The POSEIDON ADVENTURE, where she became everyone's most annoying potential shipmate, flailing, fainting and screeching like an overweight Blue Jay. . More recently she appears in HEAVY where she plays a bartender with a crack addicted son. Her catalog is long, and oftentimes masterful. She has also written (by herself as opposed to an 'as told to') two of a three part biography which is a hot read and filled with tons of tell-all details and embarrasing andecdotes. She wrote a play that was performed off Broadway and starred Robert DeNiro . A student of "The Method," she continues to teach acting at the Actors Studio in Manhattan. Shelley has a few shining moments as Bertha, especially when confronted by Liz about Eddie's shenanigans. She plays the role of overweirght, drunken has-been as if she might have been there, or possibly living it right then. Shelley had become to be thought of as kind of wacky, with her numerous appearances on The Tonight Show painting her as a fuck-anything dingbat. Here she manages to bring quite a bit of sadness to Bertha, drawing briefly a bit of empathy for her. But her love of Eddie and her willingness to make sure no women comes between the two of them squelches any true sympathies you may have.

POOR PRETTY EDDIE really gets going when stalwart Southern gentleman Slim Pickens gets involved as the small town Sheriff and crazy as a loon Dub Taylor takes on the role as the Justice of the Peace. The two begin to investigate Miss Liz's complaints in a less than conventional manner. Oh, her complaint, well I mentioned it earlier very briefly, Eddie picks up a vibe that Liz is intersted in him, well, Slim plants the seed after Liz (and we, the audience, as well) is subjected to Eddie's song, he has aspirations of country music stardom. Eddie tells Liz that the Sheriff caught her eyeballing him and that he is ready to fulfill her fantasies, but Liz rebuffs this idiotic notion, only for the offended Eddie to brutally rape her. Brutally, for sure, but what adds a downright unforgetable element to this rape is that fact that through the power of editing we watch Keno breed his bird dog. Yep, Eddie hits a stroke and the dogs hit a stroke, during the rape scene 2 dogs fucking is inter-spliced, now that is damned-right CLASSY, right there, if 2 dogs fucking isn't something on the big screen anyhoo, how about the scene taking place right in the middle of the rape? A noticible guffaw had to have been resonating though the drive-ins during that particular scene.

Slim and Dub hold a kangaroo court at the local VFW hall after Liz comes to complain to the Sheriff, the strip down in front of the whole crowd that was there enjoying a little dancing to a local gal. The sheriff interogates her with some memorable copspeak like "Did he bite you on the titty?" and other real professional detective type questions.

The plot gets a little screwy for a few minutes then land back on track when Eddie invites the whole town for a wedding at Bertha's. I don't want to give it away but don't miss any of Slim and Dub's dialogue during the climatic ending where Dub copares Yankees to hemorroids..."if they come down and go back, they're okay, if they come down and stay, well then they're a pain in the ass." No truer words could be spoken from the typical Southerner, Dub. No truer words.

POOR PRETTY EDDIE, I believe, can be classified as a true rural drive-in genre standout, great performances, twisted characters, violence and a no-sell-out ending that pays you a nice little dividend for your time invested. Did I mention it's Southern flavor? I think I might have but I know you Yanks are a bit slow...POOR PRETTY EDDIE, please do yourself a favor and wallow in it.

Slim let's loose a gun blast for someone.

How this guy hasn't gotten more work?

This doesn't look good for Eddie or Porter Wagner's shirt.

Man, that Eddie sure has star quality!

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An understated credit sequence give you no clue of the twisted crud that follows.

Chris Wayne
Eddie gets his stardom on for the 5 dinner guests.

Aww, the lovely and talented Miss Shelley Winters.

The gorgeous slice of mocha mint lovely, Leslie Uggams

There's only one of him, Slim Pickins...

And his pal Dub Taylor, the man who was born 63 years old.

You rang? Ted "Lurch" Cassidy as Keno, doing his best John Holmes lookalike act.

Poor Pretty Eddie is loose as a goose waiting for Liz to come spoon.

Hey, that's not spooning kids, that's, that's RRAAAAAPPPPEEEE!

Whew, how about I break that up with a canine coitus.

Shit, thaere's that ugly rape scene again....

There we go, you like that don't ya bitch?!

Terth nuffin funniah than two dogth fuckim mmmph! Dif Chicken sure if goodt. Rapeing if not funnymph.

Eddie and Liz face off in ...eh ,court. Let's take a moment to praise our Veterans and their great VFW halls all arounn this country.

Slim Pickins cannot believe his frickin' eyes!

Leslie shows her Uggams to the crowd at the VFW.

He is stunned down to his open E.

Pretty Eddie, Bloody Knife.

Dub, Leslie and Slim take a swipe at the craft services table. Dub is loosing his belly over those little weiners in biscuit dough.
Brains On Film 2003