Cinema #20: Killer Lobby Cards (Part 5)

Friday Foster actually began as a comic strip and ended up one badass movie. "Wham! Blam! Here Comes Pam!" In addition to the mighty Grier, this movie had Scatman "Hong Kong Phooey" Crothers, Ted "Isaac the Bartender" Lang.  Can you say Hell Yes.

I like the song "To Sir, with Love" and Poitier is a brilliant actor, but the students that were supposed to be such juvenile delinquents didn't really ring true. In fact, they seemed downright delightful compared to today's kids. A new teacher should be so lucky as to have these charming, albeit annoying, students.  Remake this today in Detroit, and Poitier is wearing a flak jacket and hating life. New title: "To Sir with Hollow Point Bullets."

Mel Brooks movies are hit or miss for me.  I love Blazing Saddles, but Spaceballs is a godawful mess. Young Frankenstein is a classic, but Robin Hood: Men in Tights is just plain stupid.  Brooks is in rare form with this one - the laughs are non-stop if you have a Y chromosome; if not, it's probably a tad annoying (so women tell me).

Little known fact: In 1975, there was actually a Blazing Saddles TV pilot.  It starred Louis Gossett, Jr. as Sheriff Bart and Steve Landesberg (the guy who played Dietrich on Barney Miller) in the Gene Wilder role. Needless to say, it never got off the ground.

This gem from 1983 has basically everything a film of this type requires: a wet t-shirt contest, beer guzzling, nerds, studs, and gratuitous nudity. There's a plot in there somewhere if you look hard enough. A Merchant-Ivory film this is not.

Clambake (1967) is about as cheesy and lame as it gets - even for an Elvis movie.  In fact, it's what purportedly drove Elvis to overeating, he was so tired of these ridiculous films.  Of course, the studio supplied him with diet pills to trim him back down (and add to his personal pharmacy of "medications").

Clambake has Bill Bixby and a young Corbin Bernsen in it, but even The Hulk and Arnie Becker can't save this dud.  And BTW the title song has got to be the worst Elvis song of his entire catalog. Horrible.

This is easily my favorite "so bad it's good" film.  In fact, I'd say it's so bad it's f***ing awesome.  Like Manos: The Hands of Fate, it's so poorly made that it reaches uncharted planes of awfulness. The difference between a film like this and your average Vin Deisel film is that the Vin Deisel film is contrived, whereas this has heart.


  1. I surely knew about the Blazing Saddles pilot, Black Bart. But are you going to tell me you didn't know about the 1996 tv-movie To Sir With Love II featuring Poitier fighting inner city gun violence in Chicago plus a cameo appearance by Lulu?

  2. I sure love the lobby cards, but your insightful commentary just adds so much to my enjoyment!

  3. That's Carl "Kung Fu Fighting" Douglas, and Carl "Apollo Creed" Weathers (Or Action Jackson, if you prefer).

  4. Nice post to say hell yeah to !! thanx for sharing

  5. Embarrassing. thanks for the correction Mark G.

  6. Um, I've seen Clambake and its bad but in my opinion, not the worst Elvis film, that would be "Easy Come Easy Go" which was released the same year...it features one of the worst songs by Elvis I've ever heard... "Yoga is as yoga does"....even the title is awful! Watching him sing this I'm not sure whether to laugh or cringe!

  7. Heh Heh...I can imagine the conversation in that Friday Foster poster between Yaphet Kotto & Pam Grier:
    (Yaphet) "I think it's time we discuss the bonus situation..."
    (Pam) "You said your policy was to never give me a bonus, no matter how many tricks I turn, Sugar Daddy...otherwise your policy would bleed out molecular acid on my face..."
    (Yaphet) "Yeah, molecular acid...it has a wonderful defense mechanism..you don't dare kill it...."
    (Pam) "Best watch out, baby, before I team up with Max Cherry and turn on you..."
    (Yaphet) "I think people would rather watch me explode from a pressurized-gas bullet than see a you team up with Max Cherry.."
    (Pam) "Or maybe I'll hire Pedro to kill you..."
    (Yaphet) "That illegal Mexican gardner? Ain't no WAY no ALIEN's gonna kill ME!!".