Monday, September 24, 2018

Back to the Schlock

I felt a bit as if I was living in some weird parallel universe today: everyone seemed to be talking about the recently concluded BBC serial The Bodyguard.  As I've never watched it, I was left bemused, wondering why new programmes and newspapers, for instance, couldn't just give me the news, rather than keep on about what, to me, was an obscure TV series.  OK, I know that I'm very much in the minority here, as, according to the overnight figures at least, over ten million people did watch it.  But this is an increasingly frequent occurrence for me, as I find myself more and more detached from mainstream TV these days.  As I've mentioned here before, I don't watch reality TV, I don't subscribe to streaming services and regular TV's idea of what constitutes drama these days just doesn't appeal to me.  I really do get more of a kick out of watching old schlock.  Even Confessions From the David Galaxy Affair, which I gave a bit of a mauling to last week.  I have to say that, whilst it really isn't a good film, even by the standards of seventies British sex films, I still found it preferable viewing to most of what's on offer on TV right now.  Also, while I was somewhat harsh with regard to Alan Lake's performance, I should point out that I normally have a higher tolerance threshold for him than most people.  It's just that in David Galaxy Affair he's left exposed by being given so much screen time and a weak script: a little of Alan Lake goes a long way.

Having brought Confessions From the David Galaxy Affair up again, I have to say that it was good to get back to writing up some schlocky movies in the latter half of last week.  It's an aspect of this blog I've been neglecting of late.  It isn't that that I haven't been watching such movies, just that I haven't seen any that moved me to write about them.  Contrary to what some might think, I don't write about every B-movie, sex comedy, giallo, mondo or generally obscure movie I see.  Many of them just don't move me to write about them, some have been more than adequately covered elsewhere by other hands and some are just so bad that deserve obscurity.  Generally, it is those films which evoke some kind of reaction from me, for better or worse, which I write about.  So, David Galaxy Affair got a write up because it promised much and involved so many British schlock movie personalities, yet as a whole fell short, while Secrets of a Windmill Girl (last week's other review), got a write up because of its historical significance, its connections to the other Arnold Miller-Stanley Long collaborations and the fact that I could find very little about it online.  Oh yes - and I enjoyed it.  London Live have some more seventies British sex movies lined up for late night showings over the next few weeks, so you might get a few more reviews yet.  For some strange reason, these movies hold an allure for me - I think, in part, it is because of the juxtoposition of the technical skill with which they are often made, with the tawdriness of their scenarios and subject matter.  They are also, in contrast to contemporary British mainstream movies of the era, anything but bland or pretentious.  So, if only The Bodyguard had been made in 1976 and starred Alan Lake in the title role and Mary Millington as the Home Secretary, I might have watched it...



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