The Concession Stand

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Movie Quote Weekends

"Nah, Bubba. Jenny here tells me he likes that old worthless piece of ground. As far as I'm concerned, he can have this island, for as long as he wants to stay. If I ever saw one man win a war by himself, he sure did."

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Movie Quote Weekends

"Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else's dreams?"

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Carl Laemmle's Chicken Ranch

Carl Laemmle was the founder of Universal Pictures who started his business in New York. After famed inventor Thomas Edison began clamping down on unauthorized use of his patents in the motion picture industry, Mr. Laemmle and other early film pioneers moved their businesses out west. Mr. Laemmle bought a huge parcel of land in Northern Los Angeles to build his studio on.

Years before the current theme park and Universal Studios Tour, Mr. Laemmle pioneered the idea of inviting the public onto the studio lot to experience the magic of filmmaking. This was the silent movie era, so having guests on the sidelines watching and cheering the action caused no problems for the productions. 

The land that Mr. Laemmle had purchased used to be a chicken ranch. Since money was tight, Carl chose to keep the chicken ranch operational to generate extra cash. In fact, the chicken ranch played a big part in Mr. Laemmle's early operations- the cost to enter the lot and watch the action was to buy a dozen eggs

When the sound era burst onto the scene, outside crowds were banned from the property. The company wouldn't re-open its gates to the public until 1965 when it decided to take advantage of the tourists drawn by DISNEYLAND to offer a studio tour and themed attraction.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wonka's Folly

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is now a beloved classic, eagerly viewed by generations of children. Who can resist a magical world of chocolate and fantasy?

The motives behind the production of this film, however, were as impure as the chocolate river after Augustus Gloop contaminated it. Quaker Oats was eager to produce a new line of candy. Producer Mel Stuart convinced them that the best way to do this was to make a film featuring the chocolate and he had the best property to do it- Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

The film would heavily feature Quaker's newest candy treat- the Wonka Bar, a confection that would be introduced alongside the film. To Roald Dahl's chagrin, the title was changed in order to highlight Willy Wonka instead of Charlie. (Quaker needed to move those bars.) It would be the perfect promotion.

The promotion backfired, however, when the chocolate was found to be inedible. Quaker had to pull the chocolate from store shelves. To add insult to injury, the film underperformed at the box office. Quaker would eventually sell the film to Warner Brothers and the candy line to Nestle.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ma and Pa Kettle Save Universal

Ma and Pa Kettle were one of the first major film franchises. Starring as the bizarre neighbors of Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert in The Egg and I, they quickly captured the attention of America. Played by Marjorie Main (who earned a best supporting actress nomination) and Percy Kilbride, the lovable hillbillies stood out from everyone else in the film.

Universal Studios thought it might have a franchise in the making. Would America love this funny hillbilly couple on their own? The studio put a new film into production- The Further Adventures of Ma and Pa Kettle. It was an instant smash.

Universal Studios eventually released 9 Kettle films in all. Had it not been for this super franchise, Universal Studios would have gone bankrupt in the early 1950's.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Movie Quote Weekends

"You big crybaby. Go bury him in the yard before he stinks up the place."

Friday, May 22, 2015

Freaky Fridays: "The Phynx"

By the 1970's, Hollywood was still trying to figure out what the youth of the day wanted to see on the big screen. When Easy Rider made a huge splash, the studios chose to try their luck at these so-called 'today' pictures. The kids seemed to like the rock music and they also seemed to like that James Bond fellow, so wouldn't they love a rock band who were also secret agents?

Enter The Phynx, a superstar band of heroes! How could they make a bizarre setup even stranger? By hiring every ancient actor whose agent called them back.

Yes, a cavalcade of "stars" like Martha Raye, Patty Andrews, Busby Berkeley, Joe Louis, Ed Sullivan, Butterfly McQueen, Edgar Bergen and so much more!

This has to be a randomly created list of people, right?

In the film, a group of washed up celebrities are kidnapped and only The Phynx can save them!

So nice of the kidnap victims to behave so politely for their captors!

It looked like the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, but it was actually a room full of celebrities who had seen better days, inexplicably rounded up and patiently waiting to be rescued.

The band saves the day, the old celebrities get a nice craft services meal and the young people flock to a 'today' picture. Well, two out of three at least. The film was a disaster at the box office, barely making enough to pay the ancient stars union scale.

So who was the most out of place celebrity in a film full of them? It was Colonel Sanders, who was trying yet another promotional appearance for his chicken franchises. He may have been great at cooking chicken, but he certainly wasn't good at choosing movie roles.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Unbelievably Bad: "Monster-A-Go-Go"

What happens when a filmmaker starts making a movie, runs out of money, then sells the film to another director who "completes" it five years later? Monster-A-Go-Go happens!

"I'll give you a topic- Monster-A-Go-Go has no monster and features no go go dancing, discuss."

Famed Schlockmeister Bill Rebane started filming this movie in the early sixties, expecting to take advantage of the horror film craze, but quickly ran out of funds. Another director of lowbrow horror and nudie pics Herschell Gordon Lewis, desperate to find a film to pair with another movie of his, bought the footage and finished the film, despite only getting half of the cast to reprise their roles.

The result is a terrible mess; it's obvious that the film was slapped together. Characters mysteriously disappear, the narrator abruptly changes and the separate parts don't come close to fitting together. The worst part of the film has to be seen and heard to be believed; too cheap to have a sound effects crew, an actor is forced to make the sound of a ringing phone. And it doesn't come close to sounding realistic.

The "surprise" ending is even worse. SPOILER ALERT- there was no monster. No monster, no go go dancing, no dignity.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Strange Oscar Tales: Alice Brady

In 1937, Alice Brady won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She was unable to attend the ceremonies, 
so the Academy allowed her representative to accept on her 
behalf- except, the man was not her representative. He and her Oscar were never seen again. 

Everyone thought it was just a publicity stunt and few believed that her award had been stolen in front of hundreds of celebrities. Sadly, the Academy didn’t replace her stolen Oscar until after she had passed away. The rules were eventually changed- Oscar nominees who can't attend the ceremony are now required to identify who is authorized to pick up the Oscar on their behalf. If they do not choose someone, the Academy presenter is to accept the award on the winner's behalf.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Minion Facts

The lovable Minions in Despicable Me speak their very own language called "minion-ese" which is made up of words from various languages mixed in with gibberish. Look closely and you'll see that there are only five different hairstyles in the minion world. Guests at Universal Studios Hollywood are turned into minions by Gru with his laser gun, however, the origin of the minions in the film are unknown. The minions are huge fans of "bee-na-nas".

Monday, May 18, 2015



Every single woman living in NYC has a gay friend who makes Liberace look like Rambo.

If you hear a noise and think it’s just your cat- you will be murdered in a few minutes.

Irresponsible singles are frequently put in charge of caring for babies, unruly children and/or dogs.

All women have a crazy friend, a slutty friend, a boozy friend & an “ethnic” friend.

A plucky young white teacher is the only thing needed to turn around a struggling inner city school.

It is possible to stop any plane by running in front of it and waving your hands at the pilot.

Every swinging single guy is really just looking for the right woman to step in and take over his life.

Any guy who says his life is perfect while looking at a picture of his family will die within 15 minutes.

When you start singing & dancing everyone around you will join in and know all the lyrics & dance moves.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Movie Quote Weekends

"Isn't that the most wonderful chicken you ever ate?"

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Movie Quote Weekends

"But I don't really know anything about birds. My hobby is stuffing things. You know - taxidermy."

Friday, May 15, 2015

Freaky Fridays: "Hell's Bloody Devils"

Hell's Bloody Devils was one of those gritty motorcycle movies that was so popular with the kids of the late 1960's, right?

"Crimes, man! They commit crimes!"

Not exactly. This was actually a secret agent film where a detective goes undercover to defeat a Neo-Fascist group that was operating in California. In fact, the film was originally entitled Operation M and was partially backed by Harland Sanders in exchange for some bizarre screen time in which all action stops while Mr. Sanders shills for his Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants.

"When in Kentucky, guests of Hell's Bloody Devils eat at KFC."

However, by the time this film hit theaters, the young people weren't interested in films about secret agents and fried chicken. The filmmakers found it difficult to get someone to distribute the film, so they decided to shoot gratuitous motorcycle scenes and tack them onto the picture.

"Let's commit some crimes, man!"

They then changed the name to Hell's Bloody Devils. Mr. Sanders probably wouldn't have committed funds and food to the project if he knew all of this would happen. Promoting a family chicken restaurant in a film with filthy bikers and a 
sketchy title wasn't something he had intended. Things would get a bit worse, however. 

Some scenes were filmed at the notorious Spahn Ranch, which had previously been a successful old west shooting location for countless westerns. By 1969, it had become a filthy, derelict shanty town, populated by filthy, degenerate cult members who were followers of Charlie Manson.

Yeah, certainly nothing shady happening here...

Charlie Manson and his "family" were present during filming, but this was well before their eventual murderous crime spree. Mr. Manson allegedly tried to get involved with the production, but other than mooching fried chicken from the KFC catered craft services table or being a pest to the crew, he had little involvement with the production. Rumors of Charlie Manson rubbing elbows with Colonel Sanders were preposterous; a busy businessman like Sanders would have only been on set during his own scene. He would not have been involved in the rest of the shoot other than to arrange for KFC staff members to take the agreed upon chicken and fixings to the set each day.

Hell's Bloody Devils didn't set the box office on fire. Its effect on Kentucky Fried Chicken's sales figures was probably not very big either. Colonel Sanders wouldn't find much success in film, with his other appearance in the movie The Phynx only garnering slightly more attention. He would pass away in 1980.

Last week, we featured Joan Crawford, so it only seemed appropriate to show this random picture of her chatting with Colonel Harland Sanders:

"Wire hangers? To threaten the chickens with? That's just crazy."

It's unclear what they're discussing here, but in a strange twist of fate their companies would merge years after they had both passed away; PepsiCo would eventually buy Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Samuel Goldwyn was the G in MGM. His contributions to Hollywood and film are immeasurable but around town he was best known for his notorious "Goldwynisms". Today we present a few of the funnier ones:

"He's living beyond his means, but he can afford it."

"Anybody who goes to see a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined."

"Our comedies are not to be laughed at."

"It's absolutely impossible, but it has possibilities."

"I can't make it but I hope you'll give me a raincoat."

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dreamworks Animation Announces 2016 Slate

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Fake News)- Jeffrey Katzenberg announced a stunning slate of animated films that Dreamworks Animation will proudly release next year. “I’m an animation genius,” stated Mr. Katzenberg, “and this slate of low brow cartoons will cement my place in animation history.” Coming next year will be the long awaited Shrek sequel: Shrek 10: More Fartin’. “The hilarious Mike Myers will reprise his role as the totally original Shrek,” noted Mr. Katzenberg, “And we’ve also inexplicably brought back Cameron Diaz as well. Would moviegoers even notice if we changed Princess Whatshername’s voice? Hopefully they would, since we threw away $20 Million dollars to bring back Cameron.”

Mike Myers also stated that he was proud of his work on the film. “The Shrek is a fun character, especially since they pay me $25 million dollars each time I make one of these films,” noted Mr. Myers, “He’s also totally unique, especially to those who never saw my ‘If it isn’t Scottish, it’s crap’ character on SNL, my scottish father character on So I Married an Axe Murderer or Fat Bastard in Austin Powers 2 and 3. I was proud to work with Dreamworks again. By the way, Jeffrey, where’s my check?”

Mr. Katzenberg quickly moved on to discuss Madagascar 4: We Made Three of These Already?!? which again reunites its stellar voice cast. “I frankly don’t remember who did the voices for this one, as they were completely unrecognizable, but they were well known stars at the time they were first cast,” noted Mr. Katzenberg, “I do know that we threw away more money for celebrities to do the voices even though nobody would have noticed or cared if we used nobodies.”

Jason Lee was especially excited about the movie, though he didn’t remember if he was actually in it. “I just watched the movie again and even I don’t remember if that was my voice as that lion. Wait, maybe that was Ben Stiller?”

Dreamworks Animation also announced a new project that wasn’t tied to an existing Dreamworks franchise. “We do occasionally make non-sequel films with completely new ideas,” noted Mr. Katzenberg, “Like our latest film that is sure to be a new hit franchise- Farting Cow Farters! Featuring the voices of Dane Cook, Katherine Heigl and that guy who played McLovin’ in that film where those guys want to get drunk.” The film will apparently feature a group of CGI cows who will rap, dance to Smashmouth songs and fart a lot.

“I loved the opportunity to join the ranks of Larry King, Justin Timberlake and Avril Lavigne in getting paid to do a voice for one of these crappy Dreamworks Films,” noted Ms. Heigl, “My accountant is especially fond of my voice work in the film. I think I’m playing a horse or something?”

Jeffrey Katzenberg closed the gala press conference by cryptically talking about a future possible Dreamworks project. “I just want to leave you with this statement- we’ve never done a movie about a ferret, much less a belching ferret voiced by Meryl Streep!”

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ten Rejected Christmas Movies

10. Ho, Ho, Ho’s
9. Santa Claus Conquers the Hookers
8. Rudolph the Coke-Nosed Junkie
7. Mel Gibson’s The Birth of Christ
6. It’s Wonderful To Share Your Wife
5. Massacre on 34th Street
4. Stripping on the North Pole
3. A Very Manson Christmas
2. Whites Only Christmas
1. Christmas in Carol

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ten Bad Ideas For Movie Sequels

10. “You’ve Got More Mail”
9. “After After Earth”
8. “The Seventh Sense”
7. “Another Room”
6. “Skidoo Too!”
5. “Pumaman Returns”
4. “2 Helter 2 Skelter”
3. “Schindler’s Second List”
2. “New Years Eve 2: Columbus Day”
1. “Sharknado 2: Sharknageddon”

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Movie Quote Weekends

"Ever seen a better pair of attitudes? Fine ain't they?"

Friday, May 8, 2015

Freaky Fridays: Strait-Jacket

No, that's not a still from one of Joan Crawford's home movies, it's the legendary actress starring in a William Castle cheapie- Strait-Jacket. Her career faltering due to her demanding attitude, Ms. Crawford was pretty much taking whatever she could get by the early 1960's. When stunt-producer Castle (best known for his gimmicky horror films) approached her for the role of a paroled axe murderess, she jumped at the chance. Strangely enough, because of her seat on the Pepsi-Cola Board of Directors, she didn't even need to work anymore. It was only her ego that led her to continue hunting for roles.

In Strait-Jacket, Joan plays a woman who gets committed to an insane asylum after killing her husband and his mistress. After 20 years she is released to the custody of her daughter and appears to be on the mend, but mysterious axe murders start taking place. Who could be responsible? The answer might surprise you.

"No axes! No axes EVER!"

Don't worry, we won't spoil the surprise. In any case, Joan is in classic form here; chewing the scenery, hacking offscreen victims to bits and shamelessly promoting Pepsi every way she can.

"2 out of 3 axe murderesses prefer the taste of Pepsi."

The most insane part of this movie comes at the end, however, and doesn't involve Ms. Crawford at all. Tying into last week's Freaky Friday, we again encounter Columbia's famed Torch Lady, only something seems different about her...

Yes, folks that's no photoshop. Columbia actually permitted William Castle to depict its company logo as being decapitated, possibly by Joan's character herself. In Ms. Crawford's defense, however, she did warn Torch Lady about using wire hangers...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Final Credit: Groucho & Skidoo

The legendary Groucho Marx was practically retired from showbiz by the late 1960's. That's why he was skeptical when renowned director Otto Preminger approached him to play a mob leader named "God" in Skidoo. Skidoo was to be Paramount Pictures' attempt to connect with the young people of the day. Groucho was resistant at first, but Mr. Preminger was convincing.

Skidoo was an effort to embrace the flower power LSD generation with a 'today' picture they'd flock to. Oddly enough, Groucho allegedly dropped acid to prepare for this role. Easily the classiest thing in a tawdry, misguided film, Groucho barely escapes with his dignity intact. The film was a colossal disaster that was universally panned by just about everyone. Otto Preminger and his estate kept the movie locked up for decades. Thought the film was released in 1968, it didn't get a home video release until 2011.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bye, Bye Judy

One of the biggest books of the 1960's was the trashy novel Valley of the Dolls written by Jacqueline Susann. Every major studio, newly released from the oppressive rules of the defunct Hayes Code, was eager to turn the melodramatic book into a melodramatic feature film. This was the sort of literature that Hollywood craved- something tailor made for film with no pretensions. The winning studio was Twentieth Century Fox, which had recently had to sell off most of its storied backlot after the huge box office disaster Cleopatra had nearly bankrupted it. A modern day film based on a breezy beachside read was just the sort of thing they needed.

Since the book was the star in this film, Fox could even skimp on the actresses, hiring up and comers Barbara Parkins and Sharon Tate. The familiar Patty Duke would round out the main trio, herself a relative bargain since she was trying to be taken seriously. In the role of the catty older "star" who would throw her weight around to get Ms. Duke's character fired was the legendary Judy Garland.

This was to be the legendary actress' return to form. Starring as a washed up old star was hardly a stretch for Judy, but she hoped to dazzle America again, reminding the world of why it fell in love with her. Unfortunately, Ms. Garland was becoming an on-set tyrant, according to Fox. Try as they might, they simply couldn't make things work with the boozy pill-popping Garland. She was fired and replaced by the much older and more reliable Susan Hayward.

The controversy was leaked by Fox, who had determined that the ensuing attention would be good at selling tickets. It was. The film didn't win any support from critics, but it was a solid moneymaker. Years later, Patty Duke  recalled that the official line of "Judy Garland = Bitch" wasn't entirely true. The film's director Mark Robson was the real tyrant who made life hell for all of the actors on the set. He mocked Sharon Tate to her face, declared the entire cast to be too fat and constantly made Judy Garland wait around for her scenes. Ms. Garland, who battled substance abuse problems was forced to sit around doing nothing. The temptation of booze and pills was too much for her and she was often incapable of even standing still during her scenes. Some have accused Mr. Robson of purposely sabotaging Judy because she had been forced on him by Fox. The damage done, Judy's life went on a downward spiral and she passed away just a few years later.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Rest in Peace, Ellen Albertini Dow

Ellen Albertini Dow, best known as the "rapping granny" from the film The Wedding Singer has passed away at age 101.

Ms. Dow got her start on the stage, performing in The Catskills and teaching others how to act. She didn't begin her own career in film and television until relatively late in life. One of her first roles was in the Kirk Douglas/Burt Lancaster film Tough Guys where she played the unnamed character "Old Lady". Her next big role was as a choir nun in Sister Act, where she stood out from most of the other nuns.

Her biggest break, however came when she starred in The Wedding Singer as a sweet old lady who took voice lessons from Adam Sandler's character so that she could sing to her husband at their anniversary party. Having completed her sweet tribute to her husband, she then began a hilarious version of the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" which completely stole the show.

The attention she received brought her a seemingly endless amount of work. She quickly became the go-to actress for feisty old grandmother roles. Ms. Dow relished her late in life fame and adoring fans. Her smiling face and willingness to do just about anything for a laugh made her a legend and she will be sorely missed.



“The Mailman of Alcatraz” 

“The Happiest Thousandaire”

“Plan Nine From Outer Poughkeepsie”

“Brewster’s Hundreds”

“The Fry Cook Who Loved Me”

“Casino Normal”

“Throw Momma a Party”

“The Best Little Outhouse in Texas”

“The Sneezeguard”

“Willy Wonka and the Cardboard Box Factory”

“The Coke Bottle Redemption”

“Captain Antarctica”

“(500) Days of After-school Detention”

“Die Hard- Of Natural Causes”

Monday, May 4, 2015

What is Blind Kiyomi?

It's the question everyone always asks- where did the name of this website come from? As we re-introduce the site, it is only right to revisit the question.

There once was a movie called Curse of the Screaming Skull or maybe Curse of the Cannibal Confederates depending on where you've seen it. It's a true independent film; the director seemingly took his friends and a small budget out on a camping trip, made his film, then released it to the world. Long before independent films became pretentious, this is how they were made, for better or worse. (In this case mostly worse.)

This website's title comes from the title sequence of the film where we see this little gem:

Why does this character get a descriptor? Nobody calls her Blind Kiyomi in the film. Amazingly she gets this name because the actress playing her isn't good at portraying a blind person and the director needed a way to point out to the audience that she is supposed to be blind. That's not even the worst thing about the film. It's a total mess; a fun mess, however.

Since nobody had registered the domain name, it seemed like a good idea to use it for a website about all types of movies, good and bad. And that's what the relaunched is all about. Enjoy us, won't you?

If "Monsters University" were made by Dreamworks

If Monsters University Were Made by Dreamworks….

* Sully would constantly fart and belch

* Mike Wazowski would be voiced by David Spade

* There would be a song from Smashmouth on the soundtrack and a song from Demi Lovato called I’m Not Boo (But I’m the Bomb)

* Sully would be voiced by Jack Black

* The film would turn out crummy. Kinda really crummy!