Monday June 15th, 2009

Two Bad Movies to See

fabulous_stainsAt the end of his essay about Cult Movies by Danny Peary (posted today on the Backlist; follow the stormtroopers), Andy Miller lists 61 movies to give Peary a start on a possible new volume. I’d heard of all the movie he lists but two, each with a doozy of a title — Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe And Find True Happiness? and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains.

I did some research: Hieronymus Merkin (1969) was the bawdy brainchild (emphasis on child, it seems) of British singer and actor Anthony Newley. He plays a self-centered artist who reenacts his life — on a beach. With musical numbers. It features, among others, Milton Berle and Newley’s then-wife Joan Collins. Vincent Canby wrote that Newley “so over extends and overexposes himself that the movie comes to look like an act of professional suicide.” Another reviewer called the movie “a laughably bizarre bomb,” and wrote, “Newley leaves no psychedelic/art film cliché unturned, and circus sets, Sgt. Pepper costumes, obtrusive symbols, gratuitous nudity, and, of course, stock footage, all make their requisite appearances. He also treats his audience to multiple metafictional interruptions, which increase in frequency as the film progresses.” The original trailer can be seen here, and a clip here. I think I need to see this movie.

Fabulous Stains was an early ’80s production about an all-girl punk band, starring a teenage Diane Lane. Here’s the trailer, and this one’s going on my list, too.