Exhumed Films’ first (annual?) eX-Fest has come and gone and man was it sleazy. For the uninitiated/uninterested, eX-Fest was twelve hours of 70’s exploitation madness held at the International House yesterday from 11 AM to 11 PM. As is the case with their annual 24 hour Halloween marathon, the titles of the festival’s films were not announced ahead of time, which led me to wonder if they would have attained a sold out event had the audience known what they were in store for (I would have certainly been there regardless, but what about the guy that sat there holding out hope for Shaft or Rolling Thunder or one of a hundred other major exploitation titles?). It’s not that the films were bad, they were simply unknown. The Exhumed gang obviously went for rarity over quality, which is fine since it’s really the crowd that makes the film at these events. Here’s the screening rundown:
1. Cut-throats Nine: 1972 Spanish film styled like a spaghetti western. Well-made, but forgettable. The founder of Rue Morgue magazine is apparently in the process of remaking it with Harvey Keitel in the lead.
2. No Way Out: 1973 Italian revenge film starring the great Alain Delon. Amazing car chases. Definitely the classiest film screened at the festival.
3. The Face with Two Left Feet: The rarest film of the day (not even Google has heard of it*) was this 70’s disco comedy from Italy starring a young man who looked exactly like John Travolta. His six friends, all of which work at the same luxury hotel, convince him to pose as the Saturday Night Fever star so that he can get a girl or get them into discotheques or something. Terrible humor, laughter guaranteed.
4. Savage!: 1973 blaxploitation film from the Philippines. A bit of a bore.
5. Redneck Miller: 1977 “hicksploitation” film starring authentic southern rednecks. A sample scene: Our hero, misogynist disc jockey DJ Miller, explains to the married woman that he’s sleeping with (one of three women he beds/cars in the film) that he didn’t attempt to stop a group of thugs from raping her because “You can take a lot of loving, I can only get killed one time.” Fun stuff, read what Tarantino had to say about it here.
6. Five Fingers of Death: Run Run Shaw’s kung-fu classic from 1972 that wasn’t nearly as fun as I remembered, but still worth a revisit.
7. [The Other] Cinderella: X-rated musical comedy with the humor of a Russ Meyer film and the pageantry of an Adam Ant video. Definitely felt some awkwardness in the theater, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as when I saw a 3-D John Holmes film at the Roxy six or seven years ago.
Throw in a few compilations of thematically-grouped trailers, a nice-looking eX-Fest poster, and a t-shirt for the gang’s upcoming Planet of the Apes marathon and it was quite the day to remember. God bless Exhumed Films.
Now excuse me, I have to go wash the filth out of my brain.
* UPDATE: Phil Nobile (@PhilfromPHL) has located The Face… online under an even better title: The Lonely Destiny of John Travolto.
Author: Eric Bresler
Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of Cinedelphia.com whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He’s served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.