Charles Band Plays On
Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, we celebrate producer/director Charles Band.
Charles Band started making movies in the 1970s and has created a number of films through the decades, many of them in the horror/comedy vein. He followed in his father’s footsteps as a film producer and director. The arts seem to play a big role in his family: his brother is a composer, a son is a rock singer, even grandpa was an artist. This week’s selections are a trio of Band’s early works.
Last Foxtrot in Burbank was Band’s directorial debut in 1973. The movie pokes fun at Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris, a movie which seemingly was created to have fun poked at it. The ads of the day promised that Foxtrot would have you possessed with laughter by sex devils, which doesn’t sound all that bad. Personally, I would prefer to be possessed by either laughter or sex devils, but that’s because I am not a good multitasker. Band went under an alias for this X-rated film. Carlo Bokino didn’t stick. However, he used several other AKAs throughout his career – something I have also done a few times and was usually glad I did.
For a wine pairing with Last Foxtrot in Burbank, dance over to Foxtrot Vineyards in British Columbia. They specialize in Okanagen Valley Pinot Noir but they also make a Chardonnay, if your sex devils prefer a white wine.
1977’s Crash! starred Jose Ferrer and Sue Lyon as a husband and wife who try to kill each other. Helping the matter along is an objet d’occult which causes a car to crash over and over again. At some point, you have to wonder if taking the bus ever came to mind. The movie was reportedly called The Transfusion before getting the shorter name. Perhaps Crash! left a little more to the imagination while offering the opportunity to use the all-important exclamation point.
There is a Spanish Tempranillo/Shiraz/Grenache blend called, appropriately enough, CRASH. It has no urgent punctuation, but the name in all caps looks like shouting. The cartoonish label art looks as if it might have been lifted directly from the Batman TV show.
1976’s Mansion of the Doomed was produced by Band and directed by Michael Pataki, who also starred in Last Foxtrot. There are a host of aliases for this film – The Terror of Dr. Chaney, Massacre Mansion, Eyes, Eyes of Dr. Chaney and House of Blood. Richard Basehart played a mad doctor who harvested eyes for his blind daughter. He wasn’t a stickler for paperwork, so there were no organ donor documents. In fact, the organ donors never knew that’s what they were until their eyeballs were plucked from their skulls. Some of the title changes may have resulted from a scrape in the U.K. when lawmakers tried to clamp down on gratuitous gore in videos. Gratuitous? “You’ll never pin that rap on me, bobby!”
Is vodka eyeballing really a thing? Supposedly, people pour vodka into their eye sockets in hopes of getting a quick buzz. Only, it doesn’t work and will likely ruin your eyes, making them of no use at all to Dr. Chaney. File under “Tide Pod Idiots.”
Eagle Eye Wine is a Napa Valley outfit which produces expensive, small-lot Cabs and Petit Verdot. To get a little more on topic, let’s look into Spain’s Evil Eye wine. It is a blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo grapes which promise to give you a quality mal de ojo. Dave Phinney’s Locations line also has an E series – E is for España. In this case, E could be for eyeball.