St John Karp

Ramblings of an Ornamental Hermit

Platillos Voladores!

Man, I love crap. And let’s be clear about this, I’m not talking about any old crap. I’m talking about genuine, unadulterated, grade-A crap — B-movies, mystical flummery, and, as it turns out, Mexican hoodoo. I was at the Vintage Paper Fair in San Francisco this past weekend and managed to pick up a few lobby cards for some neglected gems of Mexican cinema.

Los Misteriosos Platillos Voladores De Extraños Mundos
Los Misteriosos Platillos Voladores De Extraños Mundos (The Mysterious Flying Saucers From Strange Worlds)

Is it just me, or does this movie about “platillos voladores” (flying saucers) appear to feature three Mexican farmers in a barn? I mean sure there’s an illustration of what may be the best alien in a space station ever, but I get the feeling that if they could have taken a still then they wouldn’t have had to draw it.

La Conquista Del Centro De La Tierra
La Conquista Del Centro De La Tierra (The Conquest of the Center of the Earth)

Again, it’s hard to buy into the action illustrations and mole-tunneling machine when the still frame pretty much just looks like two people and a pet rock. One gets the impression its googly-eyes are just out of shot.

Aníbal (Hannibal)

What? Did Hannibal have an eye patch?1 Why is the camera strategically positioned to look up his skirt? Is that where we can expect to find all this “accion… accion… y mas accion!”? However, to give the filmmakers full credit this time, the still does actually contain an elephant that does appear to be doing a fierce lot of stomping. Elephants, eye patches and up-skirt action are a pretty unbeatable combo. You win, Aníbal, well played.

While we’re on the topic of B-grade crap, I have to mention another find at the paper fair: a little flick called Son of Kong on super 8 film. I believe this is the 1933 sequel to King Kong, but I can’t be sure yet. Why not? Because I don’t actually own a fucking super 8 projector. Great thinking, me. Way to go. Of course the only real solution to this problem is to buy one, and I’m very glad to report that one is on its way. The film appears to be a silent print of the movie with subtitles to make up for the missing sound, but again I can’t be sure until the projector arrives. I’m putting together a mix of 20s and 30s music to accompany the movie — because what’s King Kong without a little toe-tapping Charleston?

Son of Kong
Son of Kong

  1. He did, in fact, lose his right eye while crossing the Alps — to conjunctivitis, of all things. Didn’t even have the guts to get gored by one of his bloody elephants.