Hollywood After Dark/The Rotten Apple [Special Edition] [DVD]

Rue McClanahan is best known for her performances as the saucy, man-hungry Blanche on the long-running sitcom The Golden Girls, and it's somehow appropriate that McClanahan has a few exploitation films hiding in her past. While none of them qualify as blackmail material -- her level of exposure and behavior barely qualifies for a PG rating today -- her co-stars on The Golden Girls weren't playing hookers or strippers in their early days onscreen, and two of these minor skeletons in Rue's closet are paired up on this double-feature DVD from Something Weird Video. The Rotten Apple (aka Five Minutes to Love, and the film in which McClanahan was memorably billed as "Poochie, the Girl from the Shack!") and Hollywood After Dark (aka Walk the Angry Beach and The Unholy Choice) have both been transferred to disc in their original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The transfers are handsome and well-detailed, and the source materials look very good, especially The Rotten Apple, which has popped up on several public domain labels in less attractive form. The audio for both films has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, with the original monophonic soundtracks doubled in the right and left channels. The mastering was apparently done from the optical prints of the source tracks, and sound quite good for the period. The dialogue for both features is in English, with no subtitles or multiple language options. As a bonus, this release includes the original trailer for Hollywood After Dark, as well as seven other pictures dealing with starlets trying their luck in the movie business. The disc also features four short subjects -- a visit to a school for pinup models, a cheesecake reel featuring Dorothy Van Nuys modeling swimwear, a grimy-looking peep-show loop, and a burlesque short featuring a handful of high-class peelers. (It's worth noting that the bonus shorts and the trailer for Starlet feature significantly more nudity than appears in either of the main features!) Finally, a gallery of stills and ad material for The Rotten Apple (under its reissue title Five Minutes to Love) rounds out the package. Some of McClanahan's fans might be a bit taken aback by these two movies (more for their pretentious "significant" dialogue and oddball characters than anything else), but exploitation fans are sure to eat 'em up, and this DVD has been put together with Something Weird's usual degree of care; this is fun stuff and worth checking out.
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Overview

Special Features

  • Digitally remastered
  • Original theatrical trailer for Hollywood After Dark
  • Bonus Tinseltown trailers for: Calling Homicide, Female Jungle, Hollywood Burlesque, Scandal Incorporated, Starlet, A Sweet Sickness, and A Virgin in Hollywood
  • Hollywood glamour girls learn how to be perfect pinups in vintage short #1: Model School
  • A Hollywood hopeful offers some cheesecake in vintage short #2: The Screen Test of Dorothy Van Nuys
  • A Hollywood starlet shows us her film collection in vintage peepland short #3: Reel Facts
  • Diane de Layne, Dimples Morgan, and other Hollywood strippers strut their stuff in burlesque short #4: Hollywood Peep Show
  • Special Rotten Apple gallery of promotional publicity stills

Synopsis

Five Minutes to Love
Harry (Paul Leder) is a junkyard owner who runs a profitable car theft operation on the side. His two flunkies do the dirty work in exchange for the marijuana Harry provides for them, as well as regular romps in the sheets with the Pooch (Rue McClanahan), an addled prostitute who lives in a shack behind the main office. A young couple traveling with their baby has car trouble nearby, so Ben (Will Gregory) goes to the junkyard for a new starter. Harry is evasive with Ben, talking in circles to the frustrated motorist, until finally suggesting that he wait in the shack with the Pooch while he checks the yard for the proper part. Harry has plans for Ben, however, turning him over to a pair of crooked cops when they demand a scapegoat for all the stolen cars in the area. While they try to beat a confession out of him, his wife Edna (Gail Gordon) is chased through the junkyard by Harry's stoned henchman Blowhard (King Moody), who tries to rape her on a pile of tires. By the end, most of the cast is eager for revenge against the manipulative, arrogant Harry, who believes his power, money, and brains entitle him to belittle and abuse everyone in his path. This unique exploitation feature was also released as Five Minutes to Love. ~ Fred Beldin, Rovi

Hollywood After Dark
Two outcasts find one another as their lives go into a tailspin in this moody grade-B drama. Tony (Sebastian Gregory, aka Anthony Vorno) is a Navy veteran who was a top man in underwater demolition during his time in the service; now he's trying to put his life back together after a messy divorce and he runs a junkyard that's seen better days. Gangster Nick (Paul Bruce) gets wind of Tony's experiences in the Navy and offers him 10,000 dollars to put his skills to work as part of an armored-car robbery. Tony grudgingly agrees, and arrives at a grimy strip club to seal the deal with Nick. There, Tony meets Sandy (Rue McClanahan), a would-be actress working at the club as a dancer who has been taking heat from the management for her reluctance to bare all on-stage. Tony and Sandy soon fall in love, but good luck doesn't follow them; Sandy falls for the empty casting-couch promises of a shifty screenwriter, and the carefully planned robbery fails to go like clockwork. An early credit for Golden Girls star Rue McClanahan, Hollywood After Dark was also screened under the titles Walk the Angry Beach and The Unholy Choice; it was filmed in 1965, but wasn't released until 1968, with some brief nude inserts added so the film could be sold as a sexploitation item. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Paul Leder - Harry
  • Rue McClanahan
    Rue McClanahan - Sally "Poochie"
  • Image coming soon
    King Moody - Blowhard
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