1/8/07

Season Six: Violent Video Vixens*, or, Curly Howard Possessed By Demons**

601 Girl's Town

602 Invasion USA

with A Date with Your Family

603 The Dead Talk Back

with The Selling Wizard

604 Zombie Nightmare


605 Colossus and the Headhunters


606 The Creeping Terror


607 Bloodlust
with Uncle Jim's Dairy Farm

608 Code Name: Diamondhead
with A Day at the Fair

609 The Skydivers
with Why Study Industrial Arts?

610 The Violent Years
with A Young Man's Fancy

611 Last of the Wild Horses


612 The Starfighters


613 The Sinister Urge
with Keeping Clean and Neat

614 San Francisco International


615 Kitten with a Whip


616 Racket Girls

with Are You Ready For Marriage?

617 The Sword and the Dragon


618 High School Big Shot
with Out of This World

619 Red Zone Cuba
with Speech: Platform Posture and Appearance

620 Danger!! Death Ray

621 The Beast of Yucca Flats
with Money Talks
and Progress Island

622 Angel's Revenge


623 The Amazing Transparent Man

with The Days of Our Years

624 Samson vs. the Vampire Women

Welcome to Season Six, a.k.a. Frank Conniff’s Last Season. Look for him spend his final episodes singing swing choir, promoting his own radio station, turning to the side of good (briefly, and in an alternate dimension), turning even more to the side of evil, impersonating Tug McGraw, and dressing like Aunt Jemima. Though the ably evil Mary Jo Pehl will replace him at the beginning of Season Seven, we won’t see loveable incompetence like this again until Kevin Murphy steps up as Professor Bobo in Season Eight.

Unfortunately, this could also be called Season Six: The Long Painful Slog. To be fair, the Best Brains crew is as sharp and professional as they’ve always been, acting in host segments and throwing out commentary with the same wit and panache they’ve had for the last three seasons. The fact that they managed to make the utterly horrible Creeping Terror into a funny, watchable episode shows they’ve still got it.

The problem here is with the movies themselves. This season contains many of the bleakest, dreariest, most depressing movies ever committed to celluloid. Nearly half of them had me looking at my watch to see how quickly they would be over. The works of Coleman Francis (The Skydivers, Red Zone Cuba, and The Beast of Yucca Flats) exemplify this kind of film, though Invasion U.S.A., The Dead Talk Back, Code Name: Diamondhead, The Starfighters, Racket Girls, and High School Big Shot all manage to bore, cringe, and/or depress their way to the bottom of the barrel as well. The Violent Years and The Sinister Urge hover in the middle ratings by virtue of Ed Wood’s sheer bizarre audacity. My favorite episodes include the beautiful but incomprehensible Sword and the Dragon, the bat-wielding nuns of Girls Town, the chesty, brain-dead vigilantes of Angel’s Revenge, and the flamboyantly bare-chested Samson vs. The Vampire Women.

*Includes seven films depicting hot young women as violent criminals, including one who forcibly rapes a helpless young man. It’s not as titillating as it sounds.

** Kevin Murphy’s description of Coleman Francis: The Dreariest Auteur Of Them All. Among the assorted detritus of Season Six, his three films eat their way through the bottom of the barrel and continue downwards past hell, coming to rest near the center of the earth.