Sunday, January 3, 2010

We're Moving...Follow us here...

Hi everyone.

Because of the incoming volume of news, not just New York Grindhouse, but from all of our home entertainment labels, we're moving here:

http://alternativecinema.blogspot.com/

Happy New Year
- Michael Raso

ps
Into Film Photography?
Check out my personal blog too!
http://michaelraso.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 18, 2009

That deacon of decadent entertainment, 42nd Street Pete, in association with Alternative Cinema, Wild Eye Releasing and Chainsaw Kiss presented a very special holiday event, a Toys For Tots evening of OLD SCHOOL GRINDHOUSE TRAILERS. The Event was held at THE CLASH BAR: Rock N Roll/ Punk Rock Bar & Lounge in Clifton, N.J.

Toys For Tots Grindhouse Trailer Night 2009

The best exploitation and grindhouse coming attractions of the 70s and 80s were screened. Those that attended brought an unwrapped toy for the US Marine’s Toys for Tots program.

tft_logo

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Alternative Cinema was proud to participate. Special DVD and prize giveaways went on all night long for all attendees (hosted by Santa “42nd Street Pete”)

Toys For Tots Grindhouse Trailer Night 2009

To donate to Toys For Tots, visit: http://www.toysfortots.org/

Clash Bar on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clifton-NJ/Clash-Bar/204796288056

Alternative Cinema
http://www.alternativecinema.com/

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pirates Attack!

I have read numerous threads over the last few months praising our DVD releases. “Story of Prunella,” the Joe Sarno releases, the Carter Stevens releases, the 42nd Street Pete line and more. Each of these DVDs took over 12 months of research, 70-hour work weeks and tens of thousands of US dollars to make each one a reality.

Story of Prunella - Directed by Phil Prince

Future After Hours Cinema / New York Grindhouse projects are already delayed (and some shelved) due to the hyper-increased activity of illegal download sites like Cinemageddon.org and bootleggers who are burning our DVDs at fan conventions across the country and abroad.

If you are a fan and happy with what we are releasing, please help in the fight against Internet piracy and DVD bootlegging.

Please report sites to me that are illegally uploading our copyrighted DVD content. Report sites that are selling DVD-Rs of our released DVDs.

You matter. If you want more releases from us and other indie studios, get involved.

Unlike the rogue Cinemageddon.org, almost ALL pirate sites will comply and remove content with a simple request.

In a world of YouTube and countless other sites, some fans simply do not understand that uploading is wrong and illegal. We need to educate by letting these fans know that what they are doing is wrong.

Have a friend that is uploading or burning? Tell them to stop.

Have info on a site or DVD bootlegger? Drop me a confidential e-mail.

Can we stop piracy all together? No, but you supporting Indie companies in this matter will certainly help.

Thank you for your support of our releases. I truly hope every fan will seriously consider my request. The dedicated Indie Labels are making unique entertainment for you. Lets keep them (and us!) in business.

Michael Raso
Self - Endless Archiving
After Hours Cinema / Pop Cinema / Camp Motion Pictures
e-mail: popcinema@aol.com

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nekromistress, Adam Trash and the Teenage Mother screening

Los Angeles - November 13, 2009

Those of you who know me are already are aware of my passion for film photography and recent return to shooting stills. I shoot mostly 35mm with a fetish for Canon SLR film cameras from the 1960s through the early 1980s.

Teenage Mother - New Beverly screening

When I found out that Adam Trash was screening the 1967 exploitation film “Teenage Mother” at the New Beverly Theater in Los Angeles on November 13th, I packed my Canon FTb, AE-1, Kodachrome film and headed for the airport.

Who is Adam Trash and how did I come to shoot Allison Grace (a.k.a. Nekromistress)? Read on!

Allison Grace - Tiki Theater, Los Angeles

I met Adam Trash (real name – Adam Tamberg) when my film restoration duties at After Hours Cinema had me delving more deeply into 1970s sexploitation cinema. A totally devoted film preservationist and adult film fanatic, Adam was amazingly helpful to me in locating rare and lost film prints.

Soon after meeting, Adam was visiting my New Jersey studio three or four times a year, spending days assisting me in the endless task of inspecting obscure 1970s feature film prints.

35mm Film Archiving - March 2009

After many a day handling film, it was not uncommon for Adam and I to wind up at a local New Jersey diner, chatting over burgers with plenty of coffee. It was over one of these unhealthy meals when I first heard Adam speak about his friend “Nekromistress.”

“I was at an all-night screening and Nekromistress…,” Adam would say.

“I was at this wild party, Nekromistress showed up and ….” Adam continued.

It was only natural for me to interrupt….”Who the hell is this Nekromistress.” The name is notorious, right… conjuring up visions of leather and dominance.

Amoeba Music, Hollywood, USA

I’ve never known a woman to be totally devoted to “classic 1970s XXX cinema” and cult horror as this Nekromistress (real name Allison Grace)

Allison, a girl from “The Valley” can never be accused of being a “Valley Girl.” Not a “Valley Girl” but certainly not a Nekromistress either. Regardless, the name stuck.

My first introduction to Allison in-person (so to speak) was via Facebook. She was already a virtual friend to many, many people I work with. Carter Stevens, 42nd Street Pete, William Hellfire are just three of many.

Allison Grace - Hollywood Blvd

Although not a professional model, Allison has been professionally photographed many times. When I flew in Los Angeles this November for the screening, it was only natural for me to shoot her as part of my year-long Kodachrome film project.

So, who is the real Nekromistress? See my brief Q & A posted below.

All photos © Michael Raso

Special thanks to Adam Tamberg.

Brian J. Quinn, it was nice to finally meet in person.

“Teenage Mother” is available on DVD from Retro-Seduction Cinema
www.RetroSeductionCinema.com

Dark Force on Hollywood Blvd

Questions for Allison

Please describe yourself.

“I'm a flirt. I'm also a bit of an exhibitionist. I sometimes can be shy so I'll be quiet and people take this as me being moody or sad. I love animals more than most people. I have strange taste in men and keep getting myself into trouble - but hey, you only live once.”

What attracted you to the gritty side of 1970s cinema?

”I am attracted to sleaze and exploitation - in my movies and in men. As a kid I grew up on horror movies. My mom said The Shining and Terror Train were my favorites.”

Name your favorite horror films.

”Dawn Of The Dead, Day Of The Dead, Last House On The Left, Zombie, The Beyond and any movie with DON’T in the title.”

Allison - Kitschy in Burbank

How did you discover 1970s XXX cinema?

I was feeling down one night and drove to the New Beverly Theater in LA. I met a guy working there who goes by Adam Trash. He was my teacher when it comes to XXX 1970s cinema.”

Favorite?

”Defiance, Water Power, Unwilling Lovers, Forced Entry, Hot Summer In The City and many more, of course.”

Defiance of Good

How did you get the name Nekromistress?

”I used to do the AOL thing and needed a screen name. I happened to be into Nekromantik at the time. Sometimes I go by Nekro Kitten since I'm not really a mistress. In actuality, I'm more the submissive. All just silly names.”

Look for Los Angeles' own "Nekromistress" on any Grindhouse Night at the New Beverly Theater, Los Angeles.

She's hosting the BRUTAL CINEMA this month in Los Angeles with Jim Van Bebber. Info here:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=171262452402&ref=mf

http://www.myspace.com/brutalcinema

New York Grindhouse FLICKR Page (make sure you sign in to see the "naughty bits!")
http://www.flickr.com/photos/newyorkgrindhouse/

Teenage Mother

PS
Almost forgot to mention!...the "Teenage Mother" screening was terrific. Glad to see folks show up and get their FREE Retro-Seduction Female Animal/Teenage Mother DVD with price of admission. Adult film hero Ron Jeremy showed up to see the flick. What a surprise!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

British Film Institute Honors NYC Director Joseph Sarno

British Film Institute Honors NYC Director Joseph Sarno
September / October 2009 Screenings
Come Ride the Wild Pink Horse, The Bed and How to Make It,
Scarf of Mist Thigh of Satin and Swedish Wildcats

“…in the films of Joe Sarno, sex is never simply sex”.
BFI.com

The British Film Institute will screen four films directed by New York Sexploitation pioneer Joseph Sarno this fall in London: Come Ride the Wild Pink Horse, and The Bed and How to Make It will screen at their London theater in September, followed by October screenings of Scarf of Mist Thigh of Satin and Swedish Wildcats.

The director and wife Peggy Sarno will be on hand to introduce the October screenings. The presentation of Swedish Wildcats as well as the Sarno’s trip to the UK is sponsored by American Sexploitation film company Retro Seduction Cinema.

Come Ride the Wild Pink Horse (1967)
Bored and sexually frustrated, two housewives become pawns of the mercenary leader of a bohemian commune.
Sat 5 Sep 18:40 NFT2
Wed 16 Sep 18:30 NFT2

The Bed and How To Make It (1966)
Sexual curiosity leads to cynicism and corruption as a young woman seduces first her uncle, then others at the local motel and bar.
Thu 17 Sep 20:30 NFT3
Sun 27 Sep 18:20 NFT2

Scarf of Mist Thigh of Satin (1966)
New York’s bustling garment center is the setting for this tale of ruthless ambition, deceit and scandalous orgies.
Thu 1 Oct 21:00 NFT1
Wed 7 Oct 18:00 NFT2

Swedish Wildcats (1972)
Diana Dors stars as the madame of an unusually inventive and upscale brothel in this rather romantic tale, shot in Sweden and Demark.
Thu 1 October 18.15, NFT1
Thu 8 Oct 20:50 NFT1

About Joseph Sarno – A pioneer of Sexploitation Cinema, American film director and screenwriter Joseph Sarno’s prolific career spans the evolution of the genre, beginning with Nude in Charcoal in 1961 and culminating in his 2004 feature Suburban Secrets. His early black and white films are praised for their chiaroscuro lighting and their complex psycho-sexual plots; but it was his daring art-house film, Inga, shot in Sweden in 1968, that brought him international attention and catapulted its young star, Marie Liljedahl, to fame.

Never a fan of explicit XXX filmmaking, Joe nonetheless continued to write and direct adult films through the 1970s and 80s, often working under a pseudonym or offering his director’s credit to the film’s female lead. Among his most noted films are Sin in the Suburbs, Inga, Abigail Leslie is Back in Town, Confessions of a Young American Housewife and Butterflies.

About the BFI (British Film Institute) - Founded in 1933, the BFI promotes understanding and appreciation of Britain's rich film and television heritage and culture via its publishing company, film festivals, theaters and home entertainment label. The BFI owns the largest archive of moving image material in the world.

About RSC (Retro Seduction Cinema) – Founded by Michael Raso in 1995, RSC is a home entertainment company devoted to the preservation of classic Sexploitation Cinema, with an emphasis on the films of Joseph Sarno. To facilitate the awareness and viewing of these preserved films, RSC works regularly with film festivals and associations; recent partners include the Lake Placid Film Festival, The Vienna Filmmuseum, The Cinemateque Francais, The Turin Film Festival, and The Alamo Draft House. Upcoming events include fall 2009 screenings at the British Film Institute and the Warhol Museum.

For additional information on the British Film Institute, visit http://www.bfi.org.uk/

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Retro-Seduction Road Trip!

Producing Collector Edition DVDs for Retro Seduction and After Hours Cinema is satisfying work and lots of fun…but not as fun as hitting the road to record interviews. Which is why I’m turning over this month’s New York Grindhouse blog to Jim Hollenbaugh. Read on!

Confessions of a Young American Cameraman
by Jim Hollenbaugh

Freelancing for New Jersey based Independent Film Company, Pop Cinema, is never a boring task. Throughout the past six years I have enjoyed traveling around the United States, lensing many of the special features often included on their Collector's Edition DVDs. I’m fresh back from our latest trip (along with my buddy, film historian Michael
Bowen), to that hillbilly-infested swampland known as Florida.

The purpose of our expedition was to meet up with the legendary Mary Mendum, a.k.a. Rebecca Brooke, for an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime interview that’s going to be included on an upcoming Retro-Seduction Cinema DVD release of Joe Sarno’s Abigail Lesley’s Back in Town / Laura’s Toys Sexploitation Double Feature. Fans probably know Mary best from her starring roles in Joe’s epics Laura's Toys, Confessions of a Young American Housewife, Abigail and others (all available from www.RetroSeductionCinema.com ).

Our trip began as we rendezvoused north of Orlando at the home of cult cinematographer C. Davis “Chuck” Smith. Chuck is known for his extraordinary camerawork on a plethora of Doris Wishman films, not to mention shooting countless adult features under the name “Charles Lamont” (many for notorious NYC smut producer Leonard Kirtman, as well as nearly all of the films directed by my personal favorite, actor-director Zebedy Colt). Chuck and his son, filmmaker Chris Smith, treated us to a fantastic homemade Italian dinner and lent us some lights and other essentials (easier than shlepping it down from Pennsylvania!).

After driving all night down to southern Florida and sleeping in a less-than-prestigious $30 motel room, we loaded our bladders with hot coffee and braved the nearly hundred-degree heat to hook up with Mary Mendum. After swearing for what seemed like an hour at Chuck Smith's GPS, we found our way to her residence and were treated like royalty. Mary is as lovely and pleasant and intelligent as we’d hoped for! We shot about an hour’s worth of interview footage in her living room and she was kind enough to give us many rare insights into her working relationship with the great Joe Sarno. A memorable interview. Afterwards, she insisted on making us lunch! Wow!

Rebecca Brook Interview 7/2009

With our belly's stuffed full of Middle Eastern delicacies, we said our goodbyes and headed on to our next stop. You guessed it! We wouldn't dare enter the State of Florida without visiting our good friend and film auteur Eduardo Cemano! Maestro Cemano and his wife Amy greeted us at the door along with their two white Maltese dogs and invited us in to record a special commentary track for Eduardo’s cult classic Fongaluli. Ed and Michael had a detailed conversation about the film’s production, which will be included on the soon-to-be-released Eduardo Cemano Collection Volume Two (containing The Healers, Madame Zenobia and Fongaluli). We learned everything we ever needed to know about Ed's filmmaking techniques, his theories on sexuality, and even learned a little about the strange powers of the rare fongaluli leaf.

Eduardo Cemano

Big Bird outside the slowest McDonalds in the USA

After a long afternoon with Eduardo, we took it easy that evening, hanging out with a six-pack at another cheap motel. The next day, we waited at least 20 minutes for Egg McMuffins and java at the world’s slowest McDonald’s, and then made a special trip down to Miami to visit the site of our memorable days working with Doris Wishman. Michael and I met working on Doris’s final film and we try to visit our old stomping grounds anytime we’re down there. It seems strange that seven years have past since that time (and, of course, since Doris’s death).

Linnea Quigley and Jim Hollenbaugh

That night, we made a plan to hook up with another old friend who had worked on Doris’s last film – Scream Queen Linnea Quigley. We met at a Broward County Chinese restaurant for an evening of gossip, Szechuan Eggplant and Kung Pao Chicken (Linnea didn’t eat the chicken – she’s all veg). Linnea looked great and is always full of great stories about her career in low-budget horror films. (Be on the lookout, by the way, for the release of an amazing interview with Linnea conducted at the New Jersey Pop Cinema Studios this past July.)

After dinner, we had a rather unexpected adventure. We’d booked a room at a local motel – part of a well-known motel chain – but discovered after we arrived (around midnight) that the place was basically a crack house! After being given the keys to a room that had never even been cleaned, and after watching the police come flying into the parking lot and approach a nearby room with guns drawn, we decided that we should ask for our money back. The funniest part was how nonchalant the woman at the desk was about giving us a refund: also, while we were standing there, some dude came into the lobby and started talking about all the people who had been shot at the motel recently, etc. It took us a while to find another place to stay, but we didn’t regret getting the hell out of there.

The next day we had a long drive back up to Orlando. We had hoped to visit Vernon Becker, the producer of Joe Sarno’s Swedish Wildcats and The Seduction of Inga, whom Michael and I had interviewed on camera a few years earlier. Vernon had been living in a senior’s assisted-living apartment and we got a little worried when we found his phone was disconnected. Fearing the worst, we drove to his building and asked the receptionist if Mr. Becker still lived there. You can imagine how surprised (and relieved) we were when she told us that good old Vernon had gotten married and moved to California! Well, congratulations Vernon! Hope to see you next time we’re on the West Coast.

Michael Bowen and Chuck Smith

A little tired from all our driving – and all the detective work – we made our way back up to Ocala to return equipment and spend some quality time with Chuck Smith. While we were down there, we’d also been planning to shoot a little interview with Chuck, whose great comments have graced many a DVD in the past. We should have known things would not go as planned, however, when we arrived at Chuck’s and he met us at the door with the biggest Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever seen. Chuck’s son Chris and up-and-coming actor Bjorn Jiskoot were there too and, before you know it, we were feeling no pain. After taking Chuck out to Red Lobster, we wound up at the funkiest, raunchiest backwoods roadhouse in the world. Between the $1.25 drafts, the tattooed barmaid, and the ass-kicking jukebox (Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kiss, you name it!), I’m afraid we pissed the night away (literally) getting bombed with the locals. I never saw Mike Bowen so loaded (he paid for it the next morning, I promise you). I don't think any of us are exactly sure how we got back to Chuck's that night (in a rented SUV!), but, as my photos prove, we made it back and pigged out on Chuck’s homemade potato salad at 2 AM. I can't believe we made it to the airport in one piece the next morning, but we managed to get there. All in all, a great adventure. One thing’s for certain – that Chuck Smith sure knows how to party! Not bad for 80 years old.

I hope you enjoy the snapshots I took during our trip. In the spirit of Pop Cinema President Michael Raso's continued support of real 35mm photography, I left the digital camera at home and took these with my Minolta Maxxum STsi. Enjoy!


Jim Hollenbaugh is a Director of Photographer based in Central Pennsylvania. He programs films for the Harrisburg Film Cooperative, “MOVIATE”. Check them out at www.moviate.org or contact Jim at: JimH@sr-pro.com

Click on photos above for additional info.

Michael Raso's film photography can be seen at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelraso/

Visit Alternative Cinema (the home of Retro-Seduction Cinema)
www.AlternativeCinema.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Saturday With Sarno

Since producing his 2005 “comeback” film, Suburban Secrets, I’ve spoken regularly and enthusiastically with writer/director Joe Sarno (Inga, Butterflies) about producing a follow-up feature. Despite our intentions, the business of preserving, releasing and providing context for many of Joe’s previous films has taken precedence. Consequently, since 2005 Joe, Peggy and Sarno biographer / film historian Michael Bowen and I have been busy with producing interview segments for the Retro-Seduction Cinema DVD releases of Daddy Darling (1970), All the Sins of Sodom (1968), and Deep Throat Part II (1974), to name a few.

Deep Throat Part II (1974)

With these tasks accomplished, Joe can get back to writing. The goal is to finish the script this summer while in Sweden, and begin production sometime in late 2009. Joe and Peggy flew out of New York City this past Sunday. I spent the Saturday before their trip with Joe.

Anthology Film Archives, NYC

I invited Joe out for some Italian food and then to the Anthology Film Archives for an evening of short films present by the Montclair, NJ film collective called “Chainsaw Kiss.” Presented as “A Night of Dangerous Films,” the Chainsaw Kiss filmmakers showcased a number of shorts (one of which was recently accepted into Fantasia, the premiere North American Genre Film Festival) with live acoustic performances. The event was hosted by legendary “Scream Queen” Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Demons).

Joe Sarno attends Chainsaw Kiss Screening

Joe Sarno attends Chainsaw Kiss Screening

Linnea Quigley hosts Chainsaw Kiss Screening

Joe and I had a blast at the show, and Victor Bonacore, Ruby LaRocca, Joe Miller and the rest of the Chainsaw Kiss group seemed especially thrilled to see him. I look forward to more films from this talented group.

Thanks to Michael Bowen and independent filmmaker Scooter McCrae (Shatter Dead, 16 Tongues) for hangin’.

Please following the links below for more info on Joe Sarno and Chainsaw Kiss

Joe Sarno
www.imdb.com/name/nm0765430/

Chainsaw Kiss
www.fangoriaonline.com/blogs/short-cuts/1389-short-cuts-1.html

Sarno talk and Chainsaw Kiss on Alternative Cinema Pod Cast
www.AlternativeCinemaPodcast.com