Saturday, April 24, 2010

Superheroines and other Damsels in Distress and Railway Tracks

Superheroines and other Damsels in Distress and Railway Tracks

Maybe you remember the wonderful old cliffhanger serials starring Linda Stirling and Kay Aldrige, captured by evil viallains and placed in deadly perils.
Or Diana Rigg, the british Super-Woman, who did beat up evil guys by the dozen and in return had been bound and gagged by the bad ones, sometimes more than once in one single episode. In "The Gravediggers" episode, Mrs. Peel gets tied up two times and especially the sequence when she is tied to the railway tracks is sensational...

There must be something special about beautiful women getting captured, gagged and tied up to railway tracks as these lovely kind of scenes have become a standard in thriller and horror movies over the years since the old days of silent movie cliffhanger serials.
Especially in the USA and England this kind of entertainment is an improtant part of thriller movies and tv series. Or even comic books.
It´s not that common known that even Wonder Woman, created by William Moulton Marston, involved lots of bondage scenes. Wonder Woman had been held captive by the bad guys almost the whole story, bound, gagged, tortured and only towards the ends always managed to break free and to beat up the evil villains. And of couse, Wonder Woman looked always great in her Damsel in Distress scenes.

There is obviously something quite interesting in the Damsels in Distress scenes. The producers of The Avengers were obviously pretty aware of this kind of strange attraction of having her beautiful heroine tied to the railway tracks and invited reporters and photograpers on the set to take some pictures of the helpless bound and gagged superheroine. This was in the 1960´s.
Today as I write this in 2010 there are all new Harper´s Bazar photos showing beautiful supermodel Claudia Schiffer bound and gagged in a dark basement, menaced by a sinister skeleton. Heidi Klum is handcuffed - just for fun - in a bizarre shooting for her model tv show and British newspapers go crazy because in the
Royal Court Theater in Liverpool former soap star Suzanne Collins in bound and gagged in her underwear in a comedy entitled "A Fistfull of Collars".
This obviously is so important that photos of Ms Collins bound and gagged are all over the net and frontpages. It seems we are on the right track with Unhappy End! and The 7 Nightmares Girl.

So let´s face the fact: this kind of thrill is beloved all over the world. I think there is some kind of attraction involved for everyone, that´s why those shows are so popular all over the world since such a long time. There are those guys who love to see themselves as kind of White Knight in shining armor who - like the debonair and elegant John Steed - come along just in time to save the beautiful Ms Peel. Then there are the other guys - like myself and our Grandmasters John Willie and Marston -who for some strange reason think the villain part is not that bad at all because the villain actually has the pleasure to capture all those beautiful super heroines and keep them bound and gagged. Then there are sure women who see themselves in this kind of role just loving the idea of playing Jeanne D´Arc or Mrs. Peel or Wonder Woman. A German writer, Sina Aline Geissler, some years ago wrote some books and mentioned she loves the idea of being bound and gagged, the idea of being the helpless victim while the villains discuss in which manner to torture their beautiful prisonder.
And not to forget, there are also many women who obviouly also love the idea of being a villainess and seeing anoter woman, more beautiful, at their mercy, helpless bound and gagged. It´s alos interesting to see that some actresses play this kind of scenes over and over again. Like Cameron Diaz who is bound and gagged surprisingly often in her movies. Maureen O´Hara had many such scenes in many differnt movies. Terri Hatcher of course, Lynda Carter, Linda Evans. And many of these actresses have one thing in common: they play these scenes very cool instead of scared what makes them look even more powerful. They certainly realize how beautiful they look in those scenes.
So let´s face the horrible facts: That´s Entertainment!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Moonlight Orchids (2010)

The Moonlight Orchids (2010)
A ruthless producer, Melvin K. Lee, (Lloyd Kaufman) meets with young, attractive actresses who audition for a part in his new horror movie. They soon learn that Mr. Lee is an honorable man who has no casting couch - but a casting Rolls Royce! Learn the awful truth about producers, Hollywood and making movies.
Lloyd Kaufman, Kim Baldwin, Juliane Wallesteig and the one and only Rolf Eden as Mr. Lee´s driver.

Coming in Summer 2010.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Unhappy End! Remastered

Unhappy End!
This is one of the new A New Kind of Terror PR sheets for the Remastered Unhappy End! series.

Friday, April 2, 2010

How To Shoot Low Budget

Shooting around the World with very little Money
Gator is now around for many years and over the years we shot projects all around the world inlcuding Germany, Austria, USA, Canada, Italy, France, Spain and Brazil, maybe I forgot some places. How do we manage to shoot with the most beautiful actresses and models in strange places like Honolulu, Hollywood, Vancouver, Vienna, Lecce doing all this low budget horror and thriller projects.
First I had some wonderful talent and crews, many of the actresses lik Katja, Barbara, Debby and Anja who are able not only to act but also to produce.

To know how to set up a production is very important. When I first worked for Disney they asked me if I had been in the army, as working for Disney is similar to be in the army. I do not know the US army but compared to German army Disney was really more fun. Anyway there is some truth in it. Big media conglomerates are usually very well organized and have all resources you need to do a proper job. So you have no trouble if you work for a company like Disney.
If you shoot low budget without being part of a multimillion dollar conglomerate things are different. You then have to operate like Robert E. Lee or Rommel with only small cast and crew. You can learn a lot from great army leaders like Hannibal, Ludendorff & Hindenburg, Rommel & Monty and the hilarious Robert E. Lee. And even better: It´s NOT a matter of life and Death (unless you shoot with Lydie Denier or Bette Davis). Movie Making is fun. Keep this always in mind.

I found out several things make my life easier while shooting low budget:

1. like Lloyd Kaufman I prefer to shoot scene after scene like a theater play.
It´s easier for the actors and everyone else and if something happens (an actor
gets sick or has an accident) you are able to re-act

2. I try to be a nice guy on the set. I do not scream or yell. Lubitsch always
treated his cast and crew nice and with respect. Otto Preminger (whom I adore as
as director and producer) acted on the set like an idiot. Cast and crew were
afraid of him. (thinking of Lydie Denier I am not quite sure, if this is really
so clever, what I am witing here)

3. Be always prepared and have only cast and crew on the set you really need.
If you need an actor at 2 pm don´t ask him to be on theset at 6 am

4. I found out you achieve more working 6-8 hours a day than starting at 6am and
shoot till midnight. We usually come to the set at 9.30 am and usually work
till 7 pm or 8 pm. The actreses / actors have their make-up done at 10.00 am
and we start shooting at 11.00 am. Around 2 pm we have lunch. Feed your cast.
It´s not expensive especially if you work with beautiful models and actresses,
I´ve rarely seen them ordering anything else than salad!
I prefer to go to a restaurant what was easy when we were shooting in the Hedler
studios in Berlin Tempelhof. There were plenty of Italian, Chinese and other
restaurants around. However if you are shooting somewhere with no restaurants
close, order at leat some pizza or pasta.
The worst thing you can do is shoot 14 hours a day with no lunch break.

To set up production there are also some books and dvds showing many important things how to do: I can strongly recommend the books and DVDs of Troma´s LLoyd Kaufman:

- Make Your Own Damn Movie and - Direct Your Own Damn Movie

Lloud Kaufman is not only a dedicated filmmaker, boss of one of the most independentproduction comaonies ever, he is also the chairman of the Board of the IFTA (Independent Film & Television Alliance)
The IFTA is a trade association of independent porducers and distributors of motion pictures and televison programming. The organisation, formerly known as the American Film Market Association was established in 1980 to create the now famous and most important trade show, the AFM (American Film Market).

The Perils of it All

A Touch of Gwendoline
I have recently been asked in several interviews why there are so many scenes in my movies and series with the beautiful heroines bound and gagged. I actually think bondage scenes are a very important point creating SUSPENSE in thriller and horror movies. I always loved Hitchcock and his fantastic dark tv series and also those faboulous Republic serials with Linda Stirling and Kay Aldrige always beeing caputres by the evil henchmen and left bound and gagged in countless deadly perils. Later many tv shows, ie The Avengers used this kind of suspense very effective with the very beautiful Diana Rigg tied to railway tracks and things like that.

We should also not forget how important those DID scenes are in comic books especially in the 40s and 50s, Lois Lane and Wonderwoman, like Emma Peel another two feminist icons who happen to be bound and gagged so often.
The ultimate comic however concerning DID is certainly John Willie´s "The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline". Willie just concentrated on the important DID scenes in his classic comic and I admit frankly that I prefer to do the same in my projects.

John Willie, this charming, nice man who not only did all those terrific drawings of Gwen, U89 and the evil Countess, he also pioneered this special kind of DID photos. I can only wonder what John Willie would have done, if he had our modern HDV camcorders, while living in the Hollywood of the 40s and 50s with all those uneblievable beautiful Californian girls.

Copyright of John Willie´s works are with Belier Press. There you can also learn more about the works of John Willie.