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,
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!
Gestapo Black Exploitation?
From Tobacco Row It's Good!
Squad Join Today!
Meateater Do Not Touch!
Stranger Run Run Opie!
House On Hwy 5 Sheesh!
Locked Doors It's Dirty!
Massacre Some Like It.
Pussy It had to be done
Alley It is Rock.
Woman Truck. Woman.
Freak A Classic for You!
Geek Bigfoot Porn
School Ghosthustlers Wow!
Island You Must See!
Not that kinda Cock!
Alienator Feeling Alienated?
Island Vanity and the Beast
Spree Tim Ritter's $0 budget wonder
Prof. Tread still can't sleep.
Tramp She is sumpin' else.
Footmen Tire You...? Heavy religiosity!
Knievel Evel of Course!
Killing Of A Chinese Bookie! Smart Guy.
Pink Angels Gayness, and Bikes
Burning The 80's, ahhh the 80's.
- The Winged Serpant! Larry Cohen rules!
For Your Life! WARNING Racist content
Tall Buford Pusser in the Hizouse!
Camp Internet Geeks Unite!
Losers Ya Loser!
of the Mutilated Bro. George gets busy.
Me An Angel Gal Biker and more.
Grim Reaper Reap on.
One of William Girdler's triumphs.
At Dawn A Modern Classic.
Boy Carradine, Dress, Dourif!
Hollywood Rape-Slaughter Rare expose'.
Savage Weekend. Take
Dead and Buried.
A Should-be Classic.
Summer In Barefoot County. PeeUww!
Night Train To
Terror Choo Choo!
Drink Your Blood Glug, glug!
Russ Meyer and breasts!
Stop Women Honnnk HonnnnK!
Deadly Darling! Pigs!
the Germ Fighter! Clean up!
Doesn't Cathy Eat Breakfast? Why?!
County Express! Glug, Glug!
The Night God Screamed!
White Dog Racists
City Slickers get offed!
Times Five Sean MacGregor's Titantic!
at the Red Wolf Inn Burp!
Eyes See It
Greatest Sinner One of the best!
Baby! Goo Goo!
Camp Nightmare Viva the Revolution!
of the Beast Creatures Booga!
Play Dead Incest craziness!
of Death Vacation madness!
Come, Evil Go! Bye, Bye Sinners!
Strutters Get Black Sucker!
Pretty Eddie Deep South Craziness!
Golem Jewish Folklore or what?
NYC Apartment Blues
To Kill A Clown
Alan Alda Vietnam Vet!
Spook Who Sat Next To The Door Booya!
Woke Up Early The Day I Died Mr. Ed Wood.
Mutilation Man Andy Copp goes arty on us!
People Across The Lake Good TV!
Woman Hunt Load Up Gents.
Devil At You Heels Daring Devil.
Are The Damned Dammit!
Farm TV movie Classic!