This week, we have something that isn’t too common a thing around these parts – a movie loosely based on a real life event. The Candy Snatchers is a 1973 exploitation cult classic about a trio of kidnappers who snag a girl and ultimately bury her alive while waiting for their ransom to be paid. We’ll go into more about the actual movie in just a moment. First, I want to talk about the real world connection this movie has.
In 1968, college student Barbara Mackle was sick during the 1968 flu pandemic at a motel in Georgia waiting for her mother to pick her up so she could care for her at the family home in Florida. Someone knocked on the door of the motel wearing a policeman’s cap. This man claimed her boyfriend (and later husband), was in a terrible car accident and was injured. Mackle let the “officer” in, but it was actually Gary Krist and accomplice Ruth Eisemann-Schier (posing as a man). The couple kidnapped Mackle and buried her in a ventilated box outside Duluth, Georgia while they attempted to collect ransom. After three days of being buried alive, Mackle was recovered after Krist left a tip with vague directions on how to find her. Aside from pretty bad dehydration, Mackle was alive and went on to show no other ill effects of being kidnapped. Krist and Eisemann-Shier were both arrested later, Esimann-Schier was deported to her native Honduras after spending 4 years in prison and Krist spent the next 40+ years in and out of prison.
While there is much more to learn about the Barbara Mackle kidnapping, one more item of note, Ruth Eisemann-Schier was the first woman to ever appear on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list.
You’ve seen movies with people taking drugs. You’ve seen movies with hippies. Have you ever seen a movie where drugs turns a guy’s head into a turkey? That’s what this week’s B-Movie Enema: The Series is all about in Blood Freak!
In for one classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie, in for another am I right?
This week, I’m taking B-Movie Enema to The Blood Waters of Dr. Z and check out this substance called Zaat that is used to make, I dunno… like fish monsters or something? I think it’s fish monsters. Anyway, Zaat has a bit of a reputation in certain corners of the bad movie loving world. Not only has it been riffed on MST3K but it was discussed by Red Letter Media’s Mike Stoklasa and Jay Baumann on an early episode of Half in the Bag. There’s something almost adorable in how silly it is.
But while it is kind of adorable in its silliness, it’s also oddly sterile. The story goes it was one of those regional movies made in Florida. It was produced by Barton Films out of Jacksonville, Florida. It’s the only film this company that mostly made commercials and industrial films ever made. It’s got that sterile look to it. It’s a lot of static shots, a lot of stock footage, methodical, etc. However, it starts to get a little kooky later on in the movie. In some ways, I’d even argue it has some atmosphere and look of one of my favorite early 70s horror movies, Messiah of Evil.
Wurr-wilf? That’s what B-Movie Enema Industries has on tap this week? You better believe it. It’s “absolutely fascinating”. Werewolf from 1995 is historically known as one of the funniest episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Think about that… One of the funniest episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. That’s really saying something. That’s a series that week after week after week for a solid ten years between two networks, two hosts, different sets of mads was hitting the ball out of the park. There aren’t many episodes aren’t just funny throughout the 100 or so minutes you spend with Mike or Joel and the bots.
When the show returned for the two seasons on Netflix, it still proved to be quite funny with a new host and yet another set of mads.
Anyway, Werewolf was one of the occasional recent movies that show covered. It’s a truly bizarre direct-to-video movie that takes place in Arizona, but is mostly full of foreign actors pretending to be American. Okay, maybe that last part isn’t entirely provable, but it sure seems like they are pretending to be normal ol’ mid 90s Americans. Yes, there are American actors. There’s Richard Lynch who did lots of “my kind” of movies in his career with a bunch of Cannon Films movies on his filmography. There’s that one guy who is basically a proto-Duck Dynasty guy, you know, Joe Estevez. Then there’s that bearded fella that appears in the movie.
We’re goin’ to a land down under where John Jarrat and crocs rumble. Can’t you hear Arch Nicholson tell Nikki Coghill cut? You better run, I better get started.
Oh yes, it’s time to return to Australia for one of the most well liked Ozploitation horror adventures! This week, I’m talking about Arch Nicholson’s 1987 giant crocodile flick Dark Age. Now, check it out, this was part of a two-picture deal with the recently resurrected RKO Pictures. RKO was a golden age of cinema studio. Their biggest claim to fame? Motherfuckin’ King Kong, of course. RKO dissolved at the very end of the 50s and returned in 1981 and collaborated with some of the major studios.
I’m gonna guess this and the partner movie in the deal with RKO, The Lighthorseman, were products of the post-Crocodile Dundee Australia hysteria that not only gave us a bunch of Paul Hogan stuff and Yahoo Serious. I think we know who won in that deal. Also, we had lots of Mel Gibson stuff in the late 80s, as he was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood at that time too. So, yeah, I can see RKO wanting in on that action.