Sunday, August 21, 2005

Blazing Stooges

Now this is one of those movies where the poster, by legendary comics and sci-fi artist Gray Morrow, was the best part of the movie. This nifty color reproduction is from an eighties video release. The film itself was made in 1975 by Al Adamson, the man who brought you DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN (with the unforgettable Zandor Vorkov!) and various other no budget home movies starring his top-heavy wife Regina Carrol. What passes for a plot features sexy stewardesses getting caught up in a cowboy story leftover from B Western days. Speaking of leftovers, Adamson always found roles for wonderful old stars who, for whatever reason (health, alcohol, age...) just couldn't seem to find a paying gig. In this outing, we have Yvonne (THE MUNSTERS) De Carlo, and real B cowboys Bob Livingston and Don "Red" Barry. This was Livingston's final film but Barry would go on to work fairly regularly in television before shooting himself in 1980. The real treat here is the brief appearances of The Ritz Brothers (Well, two of them at any rate), the zany second tier comedy troupe from forties Fox musicals. They're silly and...well, stupid actually but they make you laugh. Originally, this film would have had even more of a place in cult movie history if Adamson had had his way. Instead of the Ritz Brothers, the Three Stooges were meant to appear! Well, the "New" Three Stooges anyway. It seems that after Larry's debilitating stroke, Moe decided to re-form the act as he had done so many times before, this time teaming he and Curly Joe De Rita with Emil Sitka who had played the hapless straight man in much of their work since the fifties. Press releases were sent out when the team formed that included pictures like this one. An initial venture reportedly fell through leaving Moe anxious to get the new group exposure so Adamson's offer to appear in BLAZING STEWARDESSES must have looked pretty good. Emil, according to his account, was literally packed to head to the set when Moe fell ill and eventually died. The Stooges could trade Curly for Shemp, Shemp for Joe, Joe for Curly Joe and even Larry for Emil but everyone knew it just wouldn't work without Moe. Thus, the Stooges moved into legend, the Ritz Boys had their last minor big screen hurrah and none of it really mattered because probably only a few thousand people ever saw this picture...and even THEY were probably disappointed because it doesn't have nearly the T&A content that the title, and Gray's detailed poster, promised. As for Adamson, he was later murdered in bizarre circumstances that would probably make a much better movie than any he ever made.

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