£12.00Current stock: 2
Director: Anthony M. Lanza
Label: Something Weird Video
Film archeology is fascinating in and of itself, but when one is unearthing unknown exploitation films, there are constant surprises. Such as The Weird Ones. Something Weird had originally thought it was on the trail of the lost 1962 nudie-cutie of the same name. Instead, it found The Irv Carlson Show — with a title card proclaiming The Weird Ones crudely cut in. And what, pray tell, is The Irv Carlson Show? It is, heaven help us, a parody of a Johnny Carson-Tonight Show-style talk show. With goofy guests. And wacky commercials. And a band leader conducting an orchestra we never see. And even a laugh track. All shot in what looks more like someone’s living room than a television studio.
Irv’s guests include Lewie Blewitt, "author of over a million dirty jokes"; actress and "superstar" Tempy Topless ("Tempy, have I ever told you that you’re the sexiest broad I ever laid my eyes on?"); gay fashion designer Cecil St. Clair (GERALD STRICKLAND, last seen in Sinderella and the Golden Bra); Miss Julie OTruly, author of "The Sensuous Alligator"; and a militant young woman advocating Women’s Lib. All of whom are escorted to their seats by lovely LESLIE McRAE (of Blood-Orgy of the She Devils) who speaks in a dubbed-in Walter Brennan voice.
The commercials include some obvious targets — "Arm Pit" deodorant. "Manure" cigarettes, and a bar hooker extolling the virtues of "Henry’s Contraceptives" — and some that are just inexplicably surreal. For instance, a housewife uses the wrong detergent and her hands disappear: look at her stumps. Never again can she play handsy-wandsy!" Another woman uses the right detergent which leaves her hands fleshless and skeletal: "Mrs. Hathaway can still play handsy-wandsy!" And then there’s a "living, breathing, palpitating brassiere" that gets stabbed to death.
The best bit however — "best" being a relative term here — is Mr. Morrison Whales, "the biggest producer of pornographic movies," who brings a clip from his new film, "Alice’s Restroom," which shows people from the legs down using a toilet. Mr. Whales is played by none other than ARCH HALL, who also wrote and produced this. No, no, not the teen who starred in Wild Guitar and The Sadist — his dad, Arch Hall Senior, who produced those movies for his son and distributed them via his company Fairway International. Hall started in the film business playing in 8-westerns for Republic and PRC. A stint in the service resulted in a best-selling book about him which was turned into the film The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961) starring Robert Mitchum as Hall. He also starred with his son in Eegah and even cameoed as himself in Ray Dennis Steckler’s The Thrill Killers. This bizarre oddity is, apparently, not only Hall Senior’s swan song but, prior to Something Weird finding it, a film no one knew he made.
But here it is nonetheless. The Weird Ones, aka The Irv Carlson Show. A comedy so awful that it’s actually morbidly mesmerizing, proving, once again, that truly bad comedy is like watching organic material decompose. From 35mm.
— Watson Pritchard