The Maltese Bippy (1969)

This post not only contains spoilers, but due to the subject matter of the film, may contain items you don’t want to read at work, at school, around kids, or for any reason at all, actually. You have been warned. “The Maltese Bippy” is a stupid film. It is offensive, vapid, incoherent, and the absolute antithesis of funny. But I get ahead of myself. “The Maltese Bippy” is a Rowan and Martin vehicle designed to cash in on the intense popularity of their show “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In”. I will confess right now that I don’t get “Laugh-In”. Perhaps it’s my age — “Laugh-In” was long out of production yet still tiredly plugging along in reruns by the time I was old enough to watch television. Most of the performers had gone on to be perpetual game show contestants in the mid and late 1970s, and I much preferred seeing Jo Anne Worley spazz out on “$10,000 Pyramid” than on “Laugh-In”, where the audience howled at her flinging of a boa as though it was comedy gold. I admit to having some political qualms as well. When I was a teen in the 80s, I first saw the clip of Nixon asking the audience to “sock it to me”, and I was appalled. Surely this supposed counterculture comedy knew it was validating Nixon and giving him positive publicity during his re-election campaign by allowing him to participate in the very thing that opposed him? I was somewhat reassured about my … Continue reading

Sh! The Octopus (1937)

Like most of my film entries, this post on “Sh! The Octopus” contains spoilers. Since this film has a twist ending, you may not want to read on unless you’ve already seen the film For the entire 54-minute run of this film, I kept asking myself, “Self, just why did you ever want to watch this movie?” And the only answer I could come up with was because it’s a longstanding alt.movies.silent in-joke. That’s not a half bad excuse, and I know I’ve seen plenty of other films for lesser reasons. “Sh! The Octopus” is based on two plays: “The Gorilla” by Ralph Spence, and the later play “Sh, the Octopus” which was a send-up of “The Gorilla”. This gets a bit confusing, as “The Gorilla” was already a spoof of the murder mystery genre, so a send-up of a spoof is, well, overkill. “The Gorilla” was made into a silent film in 1927, and I should warn you that the review of the film by F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre on the IMDb is likely incorrect – that reviewer is a prankster who writes reviews of lost films he claims to have seen, but clearly could not have viewed. (Whether his Wikipedia entry, home page, or any other information out there is legitimate is under question as well. For a while I was convinced he was the product of several cinephiles’ spare time, much like the Andrea Chen troll on Usenet, but he allegedly was involved in a Theda Bara documentary, … Continue reading