EPISODE ONE: MY TOP 20 HARD-TO-FIND FILMS or THE SCORE I COULDN’T SPY
CANDY TANGERINE MAN (1975)
The above clip perfectly showcases why this movie isn’t available on DVD. There isn’t a known print in existence that isn’t at least this shitty.
END OF THE ROAD (1970)
This is a counter-culture gem with Stacey Keach as a man who takes some bad advice from a wacked-out guru played by James Earl Jones.
This is one insane ass film that just fell through the cracks and I’m dying to see it. You have to love the sound effect at the end of the trailer.
FORTY DEUCE (1982)
Set in a neon-lit flophouse, the action surrounds the schemings of a group of hustlers after a 12-year-old runaway ODs in their communal bed. The rent-boys (who include then-unknowns Kevin Bacon and Esai Morales) try to sell the dead kid to a reliable john, played flamboyantly by Orson Bean.
I actually saw this one many moons ago on a grey market bootleg tape. The transfer was shitty and I’d dare say it’s only gotten worse since then. This only had a few showings in NYC and was then buried so deep that it probably won’t ever be found. It was called “anti-New York” as well, and considered too authentic to the Port Authority experience by the politicians who refused to let it play.
THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED (1972)
I have no pretensions that this movie will be anything but crap, but it’s so damn rare that it’s been on my movie fan radar for like ever. Hell, if you’re going to tell fanatics that there’s a movie they can’t watch, then you’d better be ready to jump back and witness the goddamned frenzy as they step over one another trying to be the first to reach the top of that mountain.
THE LEGEND OF NIGGER CHARLIE (1972) and THE SOUL OF NIGGER CHARLIE (1973)
Two of the most boneheaded ideas that Fred “The Hammer” Williamson ever had. These movies haven’t been seen for years, not because of their offensive titles, but for the fact that the first one only exists as a barely watchable print and the second one wishes it had it so good. Come on people, if we can get Boss Nigger on DVD (as simply Boss), surely there are serviceable prints of these films out there as well.
THE NINTH CONFIGURATION (THE ORIGINAL CUT) (1979)
William Peter Blatty made about five different cuts of this damn flick, each one taking out and/or adding something different. I was horrified by how bad the DVD version was. For fuck’s sake William, you did it perfect the first time! What’s really sad is that he claims to have another edit left in him. NOOO!!!
Bonus trivia: To what movies is this a sequel and what other film utilized its opening song?
What the Hell, man? That’s the trailer for Exorcist 3! Yes, you’re right, but Blatty’s original cut was called Legion and it’s legendary. Not only because of how good it is, but also because Warner Brothers decided to fix it. In the original cut there was no exorcist and no exorcism. It was all about the Gemini Killer and his ongoing mission to “embarrass daddy” as he puts it (daddy was played by Ned Beatty). I could go into more detail about the edits and how you could piece together a pure version of Legion from the scraps they left behind, but this isn’t the time or the place.
EXORCIST 2: ALL 3 CUTS (1977)
Okay, there were three cuts of this mess and I’ve seen two of them; the one on DVD, and the rare Pay-Per-View showing of the re-edit (which really isn’t all that bad). Still, there needs to be an edition with all three of the versions.
The VHS is out of print and the DVD is non-existent.
Note: There -is- an HD print that’s not commercially available, however. -Ed
PENITENTIARY 3 (1987)
Held hostage by Warner Brothers.
THE EDUCATION OF SONNY CARSON (1974)
Held hostage by Paramount.
This movie only lasted five days in theaters before it was pulled due to riots by black audiences. Ralph Bakshi’s most in-your-face and confrontational film, there’s never going to be a time when this bad boy is safe!
This might still be considered shocking today, but *damn* does Scatman Crothers kill this!
I have loved this movie since I first saw it and I will continue to love it with a passion until the day that I die. Until it hits DVD, I refuse to let the flag for this one hit the ground. Hell, this movie is why I’m writing this today! So find it, watch it, and love it!
THE SIEGE OF FIREBASE GLORIA (1989)
One of the best Vietnam movies out there. This one is really sad because an amazing print exists on MGM HD, but there’s just still no DVD.
THE PSYCHOPATH (1975)
This is just one of those little gems which has never gotten a wide release. I wish it would because it’s a badass little flick about a children’s television host who deals with bad mommies and daddies.
SOMETIMES AUNT MARTHA DOES DREADFUL THINGS (1971)
Here’s a jaw-dropingly insane movie that needs more of us cult film weirdos to watch it.
SONNY BOY (1987)
This film is the victim of two issues: first, no one knows who owns it and, second, most of the prints are damaged. Even when TCM showed it two years ago it was obviously the cut VHS version. Maybe one day we will finally be graced with a decent release for this piece of insanity.
Steven M. Ronquillo once thought he had seen it all, but then discovered that he had only scratched the surface and this made him happy.