Crown International Pictures 80’s….Into the 90’s

CROWN IN THE 1980’s

In November of 1980, Crown would lose its founder when Jacobs died at the age of 78. Tenser had been the president of Crown since 1973, when Jacobs stepped into the role of chairman, but the two men had long been the figureheads of the company. At the same time. Crown was starting to face new business challenges. Companies such as AlP were being bought out or went out of business in the early ’80s, and drive-ins were being bulldozed by real estate developers. When Baughn joined the company in 1984, it was doing wide releases, instead of taking the films around regionally. “By this point, they were spending money on national breaks, full TV and newspaper advertising,” he says.

The Kidnapping of the President (1980) During a diplomatic visit to Toronto, President Adam Scott (Hal Holbrook) was warned by Secret Service Agent Jerry O’Connor (Shatner) about a potential life threat. Ignoring his warning, the President is abducted by South American terrorist, Roberto Assanti (Miguel Fernandes), along with his female accomplice, for political pursuits and personal profits.

The Kidnapping of the President (1980)

While held captive in an armored truck booby-trap with high explosives, ineffective bribes occurred due to the Secret Service unable to meet the terrorists’ high demands – $100 million worth in diamonds along with two airplanes by the midnight deadline. With the explosives timed to detonate at midnight, Agent Shatner has to find a way into the truck to rescue the President, Vice President Ethan Richards (Van Johnson), and the Vice President’s wife Beth (Ava Gardner) before it detonates. Agent Shatner eventually gets one of Assanti’s terrorist group members to turn on Assanti, which caused Assanti’s sister to die. Agent Shatner learns Assanti’s plan for the President and develops a plan for his own to help save the President – go through the engine and firewall with a cutting torch. Aubert Pallascio plays the Canadian Prime Minister, who is unnamed but bears a resemblance to real Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

The Kidnapping of the President was based on Charles Templeton’s 1977 bestseller novel, of the same name. The film differs from the novel since the novel set the kidnapping in New York City’s Herald Square, and the subsequent siege in nearby Times Square. Meanwhile, the film placed the kidnapping scene in Templeton’s home city, Toronto, and the mob, chase, and explosion scenes in Nathan Phillips Square. Cast members found Toronto to be a nice and interesting city with an admirable lack of condescension. Although the novel and the film have its differences, senior feature writer at The Globe and Mail, Stephen Godfrey found “the film is as easy to ‘read’ as the book apparently was. The inevitable cross-cutting – from fanatical terrorists to the presidential cavalcade, and later from a nearly unflappable security man (William Shatner) in Toronto – is well handed.”

McVicar (1980) The film is set in two halves, the first in Durham prison and the second half while McVicar is on the run in London. The first half of the film focuses on relations between the prison officers and inmates and also McVicar’s plotting and eventual prison escape. Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the British rock group the Who, and 1960s pop star and actor Adam Faith play the two lead roles of John McVicar and Walter Probyn respectively. The supporting cast includes Billy Murray, Brian Hall, Steven Berkoff, Georgina Hale, and Cheryl Campbell as Sheila McVicar.

McVicar (1980)

The latter half of the film is set in London after McVicar has escaped from Durham. Here he re-establishes relationships with his wife and young son and he eventually decides to try to escape from his life of crime by trying to fund a new life in Canada. Eventually, however, McVicar is forced to fund his family’s relocation plan by returning to crime. Soon the Metropolitan Police are hard on his heels and he is eventually recaptured when one of his colleagues in the crime world informs the police officer in charge of McVicar’s recapture of his whereabouts. McVicar is returned to prison and his sentence is increased, but during this time he studies for a BSc in sociology and he is eventually released.

  

FILM SPOTLIGHT  Don’t Answer the Phone! (1980)

 SUMMARY

Former Vietnam vet, amateur bodybuilder, and talented porno-photographer Kirk Smith is a crazed killer who stalks the streets of Los Angeles, picking up young women, strangling them in lurid fashion, and sexually abusing their dead bodies. The opening shot of the film splits the frame into two images: Kirk flexing his muscles in a pose, and a large crucifix. Between murders, he carries out twisted religious ceremonies, has imaginary conversations with his dead father, and weeps like a baby. He repeatedly contacts Dr. Lindsay Gale, a psychologist with a radio show as well as a private therapy practice. He calls her show, speaking with an assumed Spanish accent and complaining of chronic headaches and blackouts. He follows one of Dr. Gale’s female patients home from her therapy session, and tortures the patient to death. He also murders a prostitute while on the phone to Dr. Gale’s show, forcing Dr. Gale to listen to the victim’s cries.

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Two goofy detectives named Hatcher and McCabe are charged with the task of tracking him down. When McCabe first questions Dr. Gale, his manner is brusque and unsympathetic. She develops a strong dislike for him. However, he later prevents one of her patients from committing suicide, after which Dr. Gale becomes fond of McCabe and they have a brief love affair.

Hatcher and McCabe visit a whore-and-drug-house in search of a witness who has seen the strangler leaving the scene of one of his murders, but the witness (who is a pimp and a drug dealer) attacks them and they shoot him to death without being able to question him.

Kirk Smith is interrupted at the scene of his next murder by the victim’s landlady, and he leaves a portfolio of photographs behind as he flees the scene. Hatcher and McCabe show the photographs to the local pornography dealer (played by Chuck Mitchell, who would later star in Porky’s); he identifies them as the work of Kirk Smith, who has provided him with high-quality pornographic pictures in the past. When the detectives search Smith’s apartment, they find his pictures of Dr. Gale and realize that he has selected her to be his next victim. During this time, Smith invades Dr. Gale’s home, ties her up, and terrorizes her for hours, ranting about his childhood, grabbing her breast and shouting “Shut up or I’ll tear your tit off!”

McCabe goes to Dr. Gale’s home just in time to rescue her. At the end of a protracted struggle, McCabe shoots Smith many times, including several times in the back. Kirk stumbles towards a shimmering pool of water the color of the clear blue sky, and expires as he plunges in. The film ends with a shot of Smith’s bullet-ridden floating body as McCabe snarls: “Adios, creep!”

 

Nicholas Worth Interview

When slasher films started booming, thanks to Halloween and Friday the 13th, and Crown had its own entry with Don’t Answer the Phone! (1980). Perhaps the title was a take-off on 1979’s When a Stranger Calls, because Don’t Answer the Phone! is a typical greasy psycho stalk-‘n’-kill story, but there’s not that much phone-stalking in the movie. Crown also released The Hearse (1980) that year, featuring a deadly death cab and a co-starring role for former Hollywood great Joseph Cotten (Citizen Kane, Shadow of a Doubt, Soylent Green).

FILM SPOTLIGHT The Hearse (1980)

SUMMARY

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Jane Hardy (Trish Van Devere) arrives in the town of Blackford to stay in an old house left to her by a late aunt. As time passes, Jane learns secrets her aunt kept from her in life, but that were well known by the townspeople. In life, Jane’s aunt had been a devil worshipper, and upon her death, the hearse carrying her body crashed, but no sign of the driver or of the coffin were ever found. Since then, the house inherited by Jane has been haunted by evil spirits and the rural road out of Blackford has been haunted by the hearse that crashed. As these stories come to light, Jane attempts to leave Blackford to avoid being drawn in by her aunt’s spirit, but finds herself pursued by the ghostly hearse and held prisoner inside Blackford by spirits.

 George Bowers has been with Crown International for nearly five years. His first project was to edit a movie called The Pom Pom Girls, which did very well at’ the box office. In 1976. Bowers wrote and directed a film entitled Helen, dealing with a Jewish girl trying to survive in Paris during the Nazi occupation. After a showing of the film at a festival, he was hired as the director of Vegetable Soup for TV . After his association with the show. Bowers moved permanently to Hollywood to work on feature films, which eventually lead to a treatment for The Hearse. Bowers worked with writer Bill Bleigh. and together on a rainy night The Hearse was born.

 

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 “Trish was fun to work with, she’s so totally. She told us she just had to play Jane Hardy in our film. The role offers her an. opportunity to show a wide range of the human psyche. Heaven knows she certainly is in a position to pick and choose her material; I think that pays tribute to the quality of her script. I was very fortunate to work with such professional people. Joseph Cotten was very helpful, very easy to direct. He put on such a performance! He’s 74 years old now. and just a wonderful storyteller. Sometimes we would sit and just listen to him tell stories. We would have to be careful at lunch breaks; people would want to listen to him for hours.” In turn, of director Bowers. Joseph Cotten had this to say: “George is a very sensitive director, and very cooperative. I think you’ll see his sensitivity come through on the screen.” 

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 FILM SPOTLIGHT  Galaxina (1980)

SUMMARY

In 3008, the crew of the Intergalactic Space Police cruiser Infinity is on patrol duty in deep space. The ship is captained by the incompetent Cornelius Butt (Avery Schreiber) and his crewmen: his first officer, Sgt. Thor (Stephen Macht); pilot “space-cowboy” Pvt. Robert “Buzz” McHenry (J.D. Hinton); Maurice (Lionel Mark Smith), a black humanoid alien with pointy ears and bat wings; and Sam (Tad Horino), an Asian man who quotes Confucius. Also aboard is Galaxina (Dorothy Stratten), a voluptuous blonde android servant, and Rock-Eater, a rock-eating alien prisoner confined to the brig.

While the Infinity hides behind an asteroid, a suspicious-looking, bird-like ship flies by, and Buzz decides to pursue it. They try to question the ship’s pilot, a mysterious masked figure who rudely terminates communications. The two ships exchange laser fire, but the bird-ship gets away. After the encounter, Galaxina serves a dinner of chicken-flavored food pills to Captain Butt, Thor, and Buzz. The three men are stunned by her beauty, and Thor receives an electric shock when he touches her buttocks. Tired of the pill-food, Captain Butt decides to eat an alien egg confiscated from a prisoner. The egg sickens him, and he coughs up a baby alien creature that quickly scurries away.

Later, the crew receive orders to proceed to the prison planet Altair One to recover a priceless stolen gemstone called the Blue Star; every time the stone is mentioned, an invisible heavenly chorus is heard by the characters. The trip will take the Infinity 27 years to complete, requiring that the crew enter cryogenic sleep. Before doing so, they make a quick stop at an asteroid brothel.

Galaxina remains in charge of the ship while the crew is in stasis. While alone, she reprograms herself to become more human. She learns to talk and disables her electrical defense mechanism. She visits Thor’s sleep chamber periodically, embracing it and telling the sleeping Thor that she loves him. Later, the baby alien visits Butt’s chamber and tampers with the controls. When the crew awakens at their destination, Butt emerges from his pod an old man with shaggy gray hair.

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Thor is seduced by Galaxina and he falls in love with her. Although she lacks the proper hardware to have sex, she assures Thor that these components can be ordered from the android catalog. Thor can only fantasize about Galaxina until they return home and get her modifications.

The ship reaches Altair One and lands. Knowing that the local aliens are hostile to humans, Galaxina volunteers to go look for the Blue Star while the others stay on the ship. She walks into town and enters a “human restaurant”, and discovers that this means the restaurant serves humans as food to alien creatures. There, she finds Ordric, the masked figure the crew encountered earlier. Ordric possesses the Blue Star, and Galaxina attacks him. Galaxina discovers Ordric is a robot when she smashes his head open. Ordric is deactivated and Galaxina takes the Star.

As she flees the town, she is captured by a gang of bikers, descendants of the first settlers of Altair One. Their leader announces that he will sacrifice Galaxina to their deity “Harley-David-Son” and with the power of the Blue Star, he will take control of the universe.

 

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Thor and Buzz, who have been looking for Galaxina, rescue her from the bikers and return to the ship. Ordric attacks and boards the Infinity as soon as they reach space. He takes back the Blue Star and confines everyone in the brig. The baby alien, now fully grown, sneaks onto the bridge and attacks Ordric. The creature, believing Butt to be its mother, goes to the brig and gives Butt the keys to the cell door.

The crew escapes the brig and rushes the bridge, finding that Ordric has been torn to pieces. While contemplating the reward they will receive for returning the Blue Star, they notice that Rock-Eater has eaten it.

The distributors. Crown International, decided to proceed with their release pattern, but cancelled all press screenings in order to maintain a low profile. Producer Marilyn J. Tenser (wife of Mark Tenser, producer of The Hearse) clearly did not wish to be seen cashing in on the Stratten tragedy.  Dorothy Stratten’s short lived glory (she was only 20) was the latest in the eldest rags to riches success stories that Hollywood can still bring off. As a teenager, she sold ice cream from a stand in Vancouver. At 18, she was invited to LA during Playboy’s big talent for its 25th anniversary Playmate. She made the August 1 979 spot instead, at 19, made her movie debut she played a Bunny in Americanthon and a recurring comedy) it in Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979). Back home in (Canada, she starred for the first time in Autumn Born, returning to LA for guest roles in Fantasy Island and Buck Rogers she played Miss Cosmos, “the most beautiful woman in the universe”. She looked it, too  which aroused the interest of Marilyn Tenser.

Having done well with what she calls her “teenage fantasy movies” The Pom Pom Girls, The Van, etc Ms Tenser wanted to try something bigger. William Sachs, the director of her other teenage hit. Van Nuys Boulevard, had written something called Galaxina which she loved and she set about finding the right girl to play the title role, a robot.

“I met and personally interviewed 300 girls,” says Marilyn Tenser. “Then, one day Dorothy Stratten walked in, a couple of hours she had the part It isn’t just that she looked right, but she was also a good actress and had an exciting quality on screen.

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“We were sitting in the back room of Crown’s office when she came through. Everybody stopped working and looked up at her. They didn’t do that for any of the others so we knew we had something in Dorothy.”

Playboy found something in Stratten, too, when they featured her as their first “Playmate of the Year” for the 80s. However, Crown’s choice, insists Sachs, had nothing to do with that. “It was incidental,” he notes. “The film’s going to be rated PG, anyway. There’s no nudity in it, so it didn’t make any difference. They picked her for the same reason we picked her. She’s incredible

THE HIGH COUNTRY (1981)

The High Country (1981) Jim is a convicted marijuana dealer, who is being pressured by the system to turn State’s Evidence. He is accidentally freed from custody by a car crash, is shot & on the run. Kathy is running as well. Her severe learning disability is leaving her discouraged, constantly being under pressure because of inability to learn to read. The unlikely pair meet up. Cathy feels a sympathy for him, but Jim’s bad attitude seems to spell doom for her hopes to befriend him. But Jim is cornered by inevitability of his recapture and takes Cathy up on her offer to guide him thru the wilderness of the high country, a place she feels more at home, due to her father’s tutelage. The roles are now reversed. Jim, the independent self-centered city boy is now at the mercy of the wilderness and is forced to trust Cathy to keep him safe. Meanwhile, Cathy is putting to use all that she has learned in a real-life test of survival. Cathy finds her confidence & courage, and thru her innocent view of life & unconditional caring, Jim discovers a part of himself he never knew existed. Just as the two find each other as a couple and fall in love, both Cathy’s father and the law close in. Will Jim overcome his past and make the commitment and sacrifice for her love?

 

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Improper Channels (1981) Alan Arkin plays a hapless architect named Jeffrey Martley, separated from his sprightly writer wife Diana (Mariette Hartley) and his wise-beyond-her-years five-year-old daughter Nancy (Sarah Stevens). When Nancy is injured in Jeffrey’s camper, she is taken to the hospital where a misunderstanding leads doctors to believe she is the victim of child abuse. An imperious social worker, Gloria Washburn (Monica Parker), compiles a computer dossier on Jeffrey, and Nancy is taken away from him and put in an orphanage. When Diana finds out the situation, she gets back together with Jeffrey in order to try to get their daughter out of the orphanage.

Americana (1981) A down on his luck, former Green Beret captain, freshly discharged from the Vietnam War, drifts into Drury, Kansas. There he finds a derelict merry-go-round that he decides to restore. The people of the town have mixed reactions: some support his efforts while others hinder them. Among his supporters are two local business men: a hardware store owner and Mike, a gas station proprietor. Both men supply employment to the veteran as well as parts and tools for his endeavor.

Americana (1981)

Another helpful character is a young local girl, who watches the reconstruction efforts from afar, and scampers off when she is seen. The girl provides a tool box and some food. Detractors of the veteran’s efforts include a band of local teenagers. The protagonist is also harassed by the town’s sheriff.

When the town’s ruffians vandalize the half-restored carousel, the soldier redoubles his efforts. By this time he has found, to his displeasure, that Mike’s favorite pastime is to officiate the weekly cock fights, and the two have a falling-out. Mike refuses to make good on a promise of a much needed part for the carousel, unless the soldier agrees to fight a dog. The soldier reluctantly agrees to the fight during which he kills the dog. After installing the last piece that completes the carousel’s restoration, he lays the dog’s body inside it, starts it up and walks away, while the townspeople look on.

 

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Separate Ways (1981) A wife unhappy in her marriage begins an affair with an art student, unaware that her husband, a race driver, is also having an affair.

The Last Chase (1981)  In the year 2011, the United States is a police state. A substantial percentage of the population was wiped out by a devastating viral pandemic twenty years previously. Amidst the resulting chaos and general panic, democracy collapsed and a totalitarian cabal seized power. After moving the seat of government to Boston, the new dictatorship outlawed ownership and use of all automobiles, boats, and aircraft, on the pretext (later proven false) that an even bigger crisis, the exhaustion of fossil fuel supplies, was imminent. The loss of other personal freedoms followed, and surveillance cameras now monitor private citizens’ every move. In Boston, Franklyn Hart, a former race car driver who lost his family to the plague, is a spokesman for the mass transit system. Publicly, he deplores the selfishness of private vehicle ownership and exalts the virtues of public transportation; privately, he is barely able to contain his contempt for the oppressive, autocratic bureaucracy and the dismal party line that he is compelled to promote.

The Last Chase (1981)

Years before, as private vehicles were being confiscated, Hart sequestered his race car – an orange Porsche 917 CAN-AM roadster – in a secret compartment beneath his basement. Over the ensuing years he has gradually restored it to drivable condition, raiding long-abandoned junkyards in the dead of night for parts. His goal is to drive across the country to “Free California”, an independent territory that has broken away from the rest of totalitarian America. Young electronics whiz Ring McCarthy deduces Hart’s plan, and Hart reluctantly agrees to bring him along on his perilous journey. The ubiquitous surveillance system catches Hart vaulting a junkyard fence; Hart and McCarthy flee Boston in the roadster as police close in. Although gasoline has not been sold for twenty years, Hart has access to a virtually inexhaustible supply, the few inches of residual fuel remaining at the bottom of subterranean storage tanks in every abandoned gas station in the country. He uses a portable hand pump to refuel from these tanks as necessary.

News of the duo’s daring adventure spreads across the country. The government – represented by a Gestapo-like figure named Hawkins – watches with growing concern as the public takes notice and cheers Hart’s defiance of authority. Calls for a return to personal autonomy and democracy are heard, for the first time in two decades. Hart must be stopped; but ground pursuit is impossible, as the electric golf carts used by the police are incapable of chasing down a race car. Hawkins orders J.G. Williams, a retired Air Force pilot, to track down and destroy Hart and his car in a Korean War-vintage F-86 Sabre jet. He locates and strafes the car, wounding Hart. A community of armed rebels takes Hart and McCarthy in, hides the car, and treats Hart’s wounds; but a team of mercenaries soon locates and attacks the enclave. Hart and McCarthy escape during the firefight.

Back on the open road, Williams once again has the roadster in his crosshairs; but now he is having second thoughts. As an old rebel himself, he is starting to identify with Hart’s situation. Prodded by Hawkins, Williams initiates several more confrontations, but each time he backs off, to Hart’s and McCarthy’s bewilderment. McCarthy rigs a radio receiver and listens in on Williams’s cockpit radio communications, then establishes a dialog with him using Morse code via a hand-held spotlight. Eventually Williams confides that he is sympathetic to their cause.

The Last Chase (1981)2

But Hawkins is also monitoring Williams’s radio communications, and after learning of his change of heart, orders the activation of a Cold War-era laser cannon at a position ahead of Hart’s route. Williams attempts to warn Hart, but his radio communications have been jammed. Williams releases his external fuel tanks ahead of the car, hoping the inferno will stop the car short of the cannon’s range; but Hart, assuming Williams has changed allegiances yet again, drives on. Williams strafes the laser, but cannot pierce its heavy armor; so he sacrifices himself in a kamikaze-style attack, destroying his jet and the laser installation, and allowing Hart and McCarthy to drive on toward California where they are welcomed as heroes.

Budo: The Art of Killing (1982) is a compilation of various gendai budō each demonstrated by famous Japanese martial artists from the late 1970s. The film treats its subject matter with deep respect and demonstrates a great reverence for both Budō and Japanese culture in general. The film begins with Kunishirō Hayashi, reenacting seppuku, the ritualistic form of suicide practiced by Japanese samurai during Feudal Japan. This is followed by a demonstration of yabusame and footage of a samurai cavalry battle. The narrator then explains the connection between Budō and its universal symbol—the nihonto. After a demonstration of the effectiveness of the Japanese sword, the audience is shown the techniques developed by Okinawan farmers to combat the sword. Karate-do master Teruo Hayashi then demonstrates Okinawan weapon techniques. The film moves along with further footage of karate-do including makiwara training by Fujimoto (including the infamous shot of him striking a locomotive and chopping a beer bottle) and a demonstration of the nunchaku by Satoru Suzuki, a weapon made famous by Bruce Lee. The film moves to footage of traditional Judo training such as mat rolls, pole-hopping, bunny-hops, and practice of hip throws using rubber bands tied around trees. The film moves on to discuss naginata-do, a budō popular with female martial art practitioners in Japan.Budo The Art of Killing (1982)

Aikido is then demonstrated by Gozo Shioda, the founder of Yoshinkan aikido interspersed with shots of leaves falling into a brook. To emphasize the film’s theme of “mind and body are one in Budo” the viewer is shown Shinto practitioners fire walking. The film then shows training in a sumo stable with rikishi Takamiyama, where the training shown is both tough and cruel. Scenes of young people practicing kobudo on the beach follow the sumo demonstration as the narrator discusses the succession of Budō to younger generations. The film explains the importance of kata with Teruo Hayashi demonstrating more karate-do kumite. The narrator explains, “… karate training can be both severe and cruel, yet a sword can take away a life with one swing.” The film shifts its focus to sword arts with demonstrations of iaido, tameshigiri and kendo by Shuji Matsushita and Tomoo Koide as the narrator discusses the fear instilled by the Japanese sword. The “limitless” connection between Zen Buddhism and Budō is discussed with Shuji Matsushita on the receiving end of a strike from an abbot’s kyosaku while in zazen. This is followed by a highlight of the film in which Taizaburo Nakamura demonstrating various sword cuts including a shot filmed in slo-motion showing the shocking speed in which a Japanese sword can behead a man (1/100 of a second). Continuing with a focus on the sword, the film shows the art of traditional nihonto forging by swordsmith Amada Akitsugu, considered a national living treasure in Japan. Budo: The Art of Killing concludes with scenes of Noh as the narrator explains, “As long as the universal truths of heaven, the earth and man remain, the spirit of Budo shall endure.”

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The Beach Girls (1982) Two college girls, Ducky and Ginger, meet their naive friend, Sarah, at a Southern California beach house. The house belongs to Sarah’s uncle and to their luck has allowed them to use his house for the summer while he is gone. Soon after Ducky and Ginger arrive, the two plan the first of many wild parties, but not without some resistance from Sarah. The two continue the plans for more partying including inviting assorted misfits, delivery persons, and people just passing by. Eventually, Sarah’s resistance fades and she joins in on the wild parties.

Double Exposure (1982) A photographer for a men’s magazine is disturbed by a recurring dream he has that he is killing his models by various gruesome means. Then he discovers that his city is being terrorized by a slasher who is stalking and murdering women on the streets. He begins to suspect that he may actually be the killer.

Liar’s Moon (1982) It is the story of two starcrossed lovers in 1940s Texas: a working boy and the banker’s daughter, who elope to much strife. Texas band Asleep At The Wheel provided the soundtrack.

In East Texas, the summer after high school, Jack falls in love with Ginny, the daughter of the town’s banker (Jack’s mom’s high school sweetheart). Ginny’s been at boarding school; she’s headed for Vassar. Over her father’s strenuous objections, she spends time with Jack. At summer’s end, Jack and Ginny elope to Louisiana (where 17-year-olds can marry without their parents’ permission), and he gets a job in the oil fields. Her dad hires a menacing private eye to find them, Ginny’s pregnant, her town doctor gives her horrible news, and Jack’s mom has her own agenda. It seems that Jack and Ginny have grown up under a liar’s moon. What will these sweethearts do?

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Stacy’s Knights (1983) Stacy (Andra Millian), a timid woman, is learning how to play blackjack and meets Will (Kevin Costner) who coaches her in card counting. When she is successful at a casino in Reno, Nevada, the corrupt casino management assigns a cheating dealer to stop her and eventually they have Will killed. In retaliation, Stacy recruits a team of players and trains them to win at the game. The team returns to the casino, with Stacy in disguise, to avenge Will’s murder by winning a large amount of money.

Crown scored good marks from critics with MY TUTOR (1983), which had a surprisingly tender romance between teacher Caren Kaye and student Matt Lattanzi, for being more tasteful than the raunch-o-rama comedies that followed in the wake of ANIMAL HOUSE (1978) and PORKY’S (1982).  “Mark Tenser didn’t like dirty, smutty movies,” says David Baughn, the former executive vice president of distribution at Crown. “He liked a very clean image, and light T&A comedy.”  As with all of Crown’s previous teen flicks, the leading male character in MY TUTOR is named Bobby, apparently something that Marilyn Tenser insisted upon for reasons that were never explained to any of the writers or directors.

FILM SPOTLIGHT My Tutor (1983) 

SUMMARY

The movie opens with scenes of an aerobics class juxtaposed with a classroom of students taking an examination. The movie’s two protagonists are featured in these scenes, with Terry Green (Kaye) participating in the aerobics and Bobby Chrystal (Lattanzi) taking, not very well it turns out, his last high school final, in French.

At first, Bobby’s main goal for the summer before college appears to be losing his virginity, if not with his unrequited high school crush, Bonnie (Amber Denyse Austin), who dates a college student, then with any takers. Soon, though, the poor results of the French final are in, and Bobby must take a make-up examination and score at least 85% to retain his acceptance at his wealthy lawyer father’s alma mater, Yale University. Mr. Chrystal (Kevin McCarthy) hires Terry, a skilled French tutor, to live in the Chrystal home during the summer and work with Bobby on passing his exam. In addition to her normal compensation, Mr. Chrystal offers to give Terry a bonus payment of $10,000 should Bobby pass.

My Tutor (1983) 

Terry and Bobby begin working together, but Bobby’s lack of interest in both French and Yale soon becomes apparent. His real goal is to attend UCLA and study astronomy. Terry is sympathetic, but reminds Bobby that wherever he ends up going to college, he will need to pass his French final. With Terry’s help, Bobby begins to make some progress.

At night, after she thinks everyone in the Chrystal home is asleep, Terry uses the family’s pool to skinny dip. However, Bobby sees her one night and begins watching her regularly (especially as his group of friends fail several attempts to lose their virginity). After one such evening, Bobby follows Terry back to her room, only to have her sneak up behind him and surprise him. Terry gently admonishes Bobby for spying on her, but clearly they have a mutual attraction. After yet another evening out with his friends, Bobby returns home to find an upset Terry, who had earlier discovered her on-and-off-again boyfriend cheating on her. Terry later heads to the pool for her regular swim. She finds Bobby waiting for her and she pulls him into the pool with her and the two begin a love affair.

 

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The summer’s end approaches and Bobby has to take his French examination. Despite Terry’s attempts to keep their relationship casual, Bobby has developed serious feelings for Terry and resists her insistence that the affair end once he takes his exam. Matters worsen when Mr. Chrystal, who himself lusts for Terry, sees his son and Terry kissing one night. After Bobby successfully passes the test with a score of 91%, Mr. Chrystal reveals to Bobby his promise to pay Terry the $10,000 bonus, implying that Terry’s affection for Bobby was driven by greed. Bobby reacts by angrily confronting his father in regards to his overbearing ways and tells him that he will be attending UCLA to study astronomy, and now that he is an adult, he will no longer allow him to dominate every aspect of his life. He proceeds to storm out to find Terry. He confronts her with the information, calling her a hooker and flees after Terry angrily denies the accusation.

Later, Bobby seeks out Bonnie, his old crush, and, using his newfound confidence with women, is able to persuade her to begin dating him. Terry prepares to leave the Chrystal home and Bobby approaches her to say good-bye. He begins by apologizing to her for his rash accusations and then telling her that he will never forget her. Terry tells him matter-of-factually that she will never forget him. The two share one last kiss, and Terry drives off. Bobby leaps into the air, looking forward to the future.

Mission Thunderbolt (1983)

Mission Thunderbolt (1983) Two sisters are caught in a triad war.

Fleshburn (1984)

A soldier who deserted because of spiritual beliefs was tried and evaluated by four psychiatrists, and they all concluded that he was unable to distinguish right from wrong, so he was sentenced to a mental hospital. One day, he escapes and kidnaps them and leaves them all in the middle of the desert.

Weekend Pass (1984) 

Weekend Pass (1984) Three rookie sailors who have just completed basic training are out on their first weekend pass. As they hit one bar after another, they soon forget everything the Navy ever taught them.

Killpoint (1984)

A psychopathic illegal arms dealer, Joe Marks (Mitchell), and his gang headed by Nighthawk (Pierce), rob a National Guard armory with the intent of selling arms to gangs and criminals in Los Angeles. Lt. James Long (Fong), and FBI agent Bill Bryant (Roundtree), go after Marks.

The music for the film was provided by Herman Jeffreys and Darryl Stevenett. Stevenett performed four songs for the film which were I’m Getting Old”, “Truck Drivin’ Man”, “Cheatin’ On Yer Daddy”, and “Good Men Die Young”. Ramona Gibbons sang the Herman Jeffreys composition “Livin’ On The Inside”.

Two characters in the film were played by genuine law enforcement officers. Captain Michael Farrell who played Lieutenant James Longs boss was Captain Skidmore, a real life police captain. Captain Farrell was played by real life Special Agent Larry Lunsford.

Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold (1984)

Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold (1984) Fiery blonde half-breed Yellow Hair and her easygoing sidekick the Pecos Kid are after a fortune in Mayan gold. The courageous duo have run-ins with an army of Mexican soldiers, a gang of dastardly bandits, and a lethal tribe of Aztec warriors while searching the countryside for said gold fortune.

Daniel Roebuck & Cynthia Thompson Behind the scenes on
Daniel Roebuck & Cynthia Thompson Behind the scenes on “Cavegirl (1985)”

Cavegirl (1985) was written and directed by David Oliver. The film tells the story of a clumsy high school boy named Rex (Daniel Roebuck) who gets lost in a cave while on a class excursion. A crystal opens a time portal and sends him back in time to caveman times. There he meets “smokin’ hot” Eba (Cynthia Thompson). The antics follow as Rex tries to get Eba to sleep with him.

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Tomboy (1985) In this light-weight adolescent adventure, busty Tommy Boyd (Betsy Russell), a tough-gal mechanic who runs a garage in East L.A., would rather spend time riding her motorcycle and playing B-ball with the street kids than fussing with fashions and other feminine cliches. She does find time to make love with her handsome boyfriend Randy Starr (model Jerry Dinome), a race car driver who is prettier than she is. Unfortunately for her, he gets tired of her masculine ways, and they begin to fight. Eventually, they decide to solve their differences on the racetrack of the Daytona 500.

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Actress Betsy Russell
Most actresses known for stronger female roles would not be described as a “prissy” child. How do you think the strong female roles came about despite your “prissy” childhood.
Betsy Russell: Tomboy is the only role I would consider to be the opposite. I am a really strong personality. I’ve always been told I’m a leader, and I think I always have been. I don’t think I’d be very convincing if I played the sweet, shy girl. I guess I could do it, but I haven’t been offered those type of roles yet. Maybe when I’m older.

Tomboy had your character as a mechanic. How did this occupation change your character from a typical character?
Russell: It defined her. I was playing a girl who loves auto mechanics. My oldest sister was a mechanic growing up. She did all the lube jobs on the car – she was that type of person. It wasn’t far out for me to imagine myself as that type of character. That’s what she did. She was a tomboy who liked riding motorcycles and playing basketball.

What are your thoughts on the trailer for Tomboy showing you as a strong female, but then cutting to you in the shower?
Russell: I’ve never really paid attention to that. I don’t know that I’ve seen it. I guess strong females still have to take showers. They still like to feel sexy, so I don’t think there’s one thing that should stop someone from feeling sexy and showing their body if that’s what they choose to do. I don’t think it makes any difference in the world.

Tomboy is arguably feminist. Was this a draw for you?
Russell: Yes, I like playing strong characters. I thought it would be fun. I was probably twenty-one years old, so the idea of playing this type of character was great. I didn’t think that hard about it. I said, “Ok, this is another role, this is what she does, and I’m going to get into it.” I started working with the assistant basketball coach at UCLA, trying to learn a little bit of basketball. At that point in my life I wasn’t thinking that long or hard about which role to take. I did have a couple of offers with Tomboy; I had another offer for another movie. I picked this one. I’m sure that was a draw for me.

What do you think makes it a feminist role?
Russell: She has a career that isn’t the norm for women. Usually women rely on men to do all the mechanical things. It’s kind of unusual for a woman to be a mechanic. I think it’s silly to be unusual, but I guess it is.

Hot Target (1985) .jpg

 

Hot Target (1985) In this tale of sleazy romance that turns deadly, novice Kiwi director Denis Lewiston has created an unevenly paced story with several gripping (and groping) scenes. Christine (Simone Griffeth) is an American married to a rich but crass businessman, and unknown to them both, Greg Sandford (Steve Marchuk) is planning to break into their opulent digs and rob them blind. Right in the middle of carrying out his preparations, he arranges for an “accidental” meeting between himself and Christine — and the sparks of sexual attraction ignite a blaze that not only lands them in bed, but burns up whatever morals Christine may have left.

Nine Deaths of the Ninja (1985)  Two anti-terrorist agents are assigned to free a busload of American schoolchildren in the Philippines who are taken hostage by terrorists.

The Patriot (1986)The Patriot (1986) A gang lead by a man called Atkins (played by Stack Pierce) steal nuclear weapons from a storage facility in the desert. A burnt out former Navy SEAL and Vietnam vet who was previously dishonorably discharged is contacted by his former commanding officer to help retrieve the weapons

Scorpion (1986)

Scorpion (1986) Secret agent Steve Woods, code name “Scorpion”, makes a group of hijackers harmless. He is given the task of protecting one of the hijackers who has made a deal with the prosecutor to betray the rest of the terrorists. An attack on him kills Woods’ colleague. They want to get Woods off the case, but he is determined to avenge his colleague

My Chauffeur (1986)

My Chauffeur (1986)

 SUMMARY

Casey Meadows is a free-spirited young woman working as a dishwasher in an upscale restaurant. One day she receives a hand-delivered job offer as a driver for Brentwood Limousine Service. The company manager, McBride is appalled at Casey’s young, brash presence… and the fact that she’s a woman in an all-male establishment. McBride soon learns that Mr. Witherspoon, the company owner, personally handpicked her and offered the letter of employment. McBride reluctantly agrees to hire her, but warns her that she will be fired if she steps out of line.

Casey experiences sexism and chauvinism from her fellow, (mostly older) limo drivers. While frustrated at her lack of acceptance and tolerance amongst her new co-workers, she does manage to find some kindness and support in Jeremy O’Brien, an older Irish driver. Jeremy convinces her to tough it out and give the change-hating men time to adjust to her presence. She agrees to stay.

Casey is routinely given bad assignments that are engineered to get her fired. Her first job is driving a high, oversexed and hung-over British punk rock singer named “Cat Fight” (Leland Crooke) to his concert. Casey finds Cat Fight in a motel bed with his three women backup dancers in a drug-induced stupor. Realizing she’ll be fired if she doesn’t deliver him to the concert, she takes a cooler full of ice water and dumps it on Cat Fight’s bed and manages to get Cat Fight and the three women into the car. Casey manages to bring him into the arena just in time for the concert.

Casey is then assigned to transport Battle Witherspoon (Sam J. Jones) an arrogant, heartless, workaholic executive who is stalking his ex-girlfriend. The angry ex tells him she can no longer stand to be with him and says she is pregnant with another man’s child. Casey, sympathetic, offers visibly devastated Battle some liquor from the onboard bar. After consuming an excessive amount, Battle runs out of the car and strips his clothes off, running through a park, making a huge nuisance of himself. He finally returns to the limo and passes out. Not knowing where Battle’s residence is, Casey takes him to her home so he can recover from the day’s events. The following morning, he awakens and is back to his old hateful self, hurtfully insulting Casey before leaving.

Unbeknownst to Casey, Battle Witherspoon is actually the son of Mr. Witherspoon (E. G. Marshall), the owner of the limo company. Mr. Witherspoon orders Battle to check out another of his companies upstate in Sonoma. Casey is assigned to drive Battle up north, much to their mutual displeasure. Halfway through the trip, the car overheats and breaks down in a remote location on the highway. Battle and Casey walk off in search of a phone. After walking and bickering for several hours, night falls and they get caught in a rainstorm. Casey sprains her ankle and is unable to walk. Battle continues his walk while carrying Casey in his arms. They finally find a rustic cabin occupied by a hillbilly couple, who invite them to spend the night. Both are put in a bedroom with a single bed and after another one of their arguments, Battle kisses her. The following morning, Battle proposes marriage but Casey refuses, fearing he will return to his emotionally distant ways.

Casey is next assigned to transport a Middle Eastern sheik to a meeting. The sheik (Teller) is approached by a con artist (Penn Jillette) out for a wild night on the town. After Casey returns, she is fired by McBride after learning that police and government agents have been searching for the missing sheik.

Realizing that he’s fallen for Casey, Battle starts making some positive changes in his life and continues his efforts to court Casey. He slowly wins Casey over and takes her home to meet his father. When she arrives at the estate, she experiences Deja Vu, recalling the times she played in the Witherspoon mansion as a child. It turns out that Casey’s mother was formerly employed by Witherspoon. But shockingly, Witherspoon reveals that he is Casey’s biological father, making Battle and Casey siblings. Jeremy then comes into the room with Giles, another limo driver, ordering Giles to confess what he knows about Casey’s paternity. He reveals Witherspoon is not Casey’s biological father, Giles is. Giles was in a relationship with Casey’s mother before she and Witherspoon spent their “little weekend together”. Giles (who was especially hostile to Casey) reveals that he denied paternity in order that Casey would receive stable financial support as an heiress to the Witherspoon fortune.

The movie ends with Battle and Casey’s wedding. As they climb into the back of a Brentwood Limousine. The driver is McBride, who has finally received his comeuppance for his misogynistic treatment of Casey.

Low Blow (1986)

Low Blow (1986) A young heiress is in the clutches or a weird religious sect which is based in a rural compound. The cult leader (played by Cameron Mitchell). At his side is a lady called Karma (played by Akosua Busia) who has a vocal prowess. She is also the lover of the leader. Joe Wong (played by Leo Fong) is former policeman, who has been hired by her businessman father to bring her back to him safely. He teams up with a group to help him which includes a Vietnam vet and a pro-boxing champ

The Virgin Queen of St. Francis High (1987) Mike is always losing to Randy, at everything. Randy goads him into a bet that he can’t get Diane to “Paradise Cabins” and score with her. Mike gets as far as the cabins, where they are attacked by a bear. When Mike doesn’t have the money for Randy, they end up playing chicken to even the score.

 

Jocks (1987) Coach Williams (Richard Roundtree) must get his tennis players into shape for the big play-offs in Las Vegas. The Kid (Scott Strader) and his buddies run wild in Vegas on and off the court as the coach tries to keep the players out of trouble before the match. Christopher Lee and R. G. Armstrong appear in character roles and Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay plays the role of the heroine, Nicole. The film was originally known as Road Trip. It was an early appearance by Mariska Hargitay who said the producer wanted her to do a nude sequence but she refused. “They compromised a little and I compromised a little,” she said. “Originally my part had a little bit of nudity but I don’t do nudity.”

Hunk1987

Hunk (1987) After his girlfriend elopes with her aerobics instructor, Bradley Brinkman (Steve Levitt) spends so much time daydreaming of being a confident, sexy and powerful man that he is about to lose his job. While desperately trying to meet a deadline he types, “I’d sell my soul for a money making program,” into the computer. The computer prints “The Yuppie Program”, which becomes hugely popular and gains him a large bonus and a paid summer off to write anything he wants.

Bradley spends his entire bonus renting a run-down beach house in a very high-end part of California coastline. He first sees O’Brien (Deborah Shelton), the devil’s agent, while taking a walk on the beach with his new neighbor Chachka (Cynthia Szigeti), who introduces him to his highly stuck-up yuppie neighbors who verbally and physically abuse him. His further attempts to socialize with his neighbors and live a rich yuppie lifestyle are mocked and when he throws a house party that no one else comes to, O’Brien appears again and explains that she occupied his computer and wrote the Yuppie Program for him.

She offers to make him a “hunk”, the kind of man women want and men want to be, in exchange for his soul. This includes a “sell your soul for the summer” trial, where he can get his previous body and his soul refunded if he is not satisfied with the deal. Without really taking it seriously, he signs the contract. He wakes up the next day as Hunk Golden (John Allen Nelson), in a transformed body and beach house. After a day, O’Brien steps in and actively helps him become his new persona. As Hunk Golden he is a natural martial arts master, can eat anything and not gain weight, drink without getting drunk, has self-cleaning teeth and unbreakable bones. Women flock to have sex with him. He sets fashion trends. As the deadline to finalize the deal (Labor Day) approaches, Hunk seeks help from a psychiatrist, Dr. Sunny Graves, (Rebeccah Bush), to try and save his old soul and body. She tells him to embrace being the hunk that he is, while she helps him with his apparent delusion of being Bradley Brinkman.

After another night of sex with a random woman, O’Brien introduces Hunk to the chairman of the board of the Devil Himself Incorporated, Dr. D (James Coco), currently in the form of Atilla the Hun. Hunk notices that he also looks like Captain Kravitz, the former owner of the beach house. He tells Hunk there is a vast demon shortage and Dr. D plans to have him working with some of the worst killers in history, like Ivan the Terrible, Jack the Ripper and Benito Mussolini. After Dr. D leaves, O’Brien romanticizes the two of them bombing Pearl Harbor together as a pair of time-traveling Satanic salespeople.

Marilyn J. Tenser, and her husband, Mark Tenser Hunk (1987)
Marilyn J. Tenser, and her husband, Mark Tenser Hunk (1987)

While at the beachfront with Sunny, a drunk television host Garrison Gaylord (Robert Morse) is about to hit them and drive his Jeep off the pier when Hunk turns and stops it with his bare hands. Gaylord’s television director (J. Jay Saunders) catches the entire incident on film and Hunk becomes an instant celebrity. Sunny and Hunk kiss, but after he leaves Dr. D appears in Sunny’s office, dressed as Adolf Hitler. Sunny is revealed to be O’Brien. Dr. D chastises her for falling in love with another client. He warns her that her own deal is coming due, and if she does not deliver Bradley’s soul, she will be reverted to who she formerly was.

Hunk struggles with changes in his personality, leading him to turn a garden hose on his fans in rage. Hunk dreams about Bradley escaping from hell and warning him not to take the deal, and later of helping Dr. D start World War III. Finally, Bradley and Sunny meeting with Dr. D, and Bradley chooses to give up being Hunk and not take the deal. Dr. D reveals the truth about Sunny, and offers them both a 6-months extension on their contracts. Bradley refuses and finally convinces O’Brien to do the same. She is reverted into her original self, a 10th Century princess who sold her soul to avoid a Viking marriage her father sold her into, which inspires Bradley to create the Princess Program.

DEATHROW GAMESHOW and MY MOM’S A WEREWOLF

Mark Pirro
Mark Pirro

“I had made a Super 8 film for a couple thousand dollars called A POLISH VAMPIRE IN BURBANK,” says filmmaker Mark Pirro.  “I was showcasing it around to different places, and a guy named Dave Bond who worked at Crown at the time saw it and I guess he was impressed enough with my filmmaking that he brought me in to see Mark Tenser.  We were actually making another Super 8 film at that point called CURSE OF THE QUEERWOLF.  I was shooting the film and Crown said they might be interested in releasing or making CURSE OF THE QUEERWOLF one of their movies.  They were going to put up the money for it and we were going to make it their film, but they decided against it at the last minute.  I went ahead and continued making the movie on my own, and then about a year later they contacted me again, asked how we were doing, what was going on, and we had already finished the movie.  I guess they were impressed with our tenacity so they ended up saying ‘Well, do you have any other scripts that you might want to make?’  DEATHROW GAMESHOW (1987) happened to be one of them.  I pitched that to them and that was pretty much it.”

Deathrow Gameshow (1987) is a black comedy about a TV game show, Live or Die, that affords death row inmates a chance at a reprieve if they survive life-or-death challenges in front of a studio audience.  The budget for was under $200,000 but the experience was valuable in that it gave Pirro his first shot at making a feature in 35mm.  “I had been warned by other filmmakers before I went (to Crown), so I kind of knew what I was getting into,” Pirro explains.  “At the same time, it was a good opportunity to get a 35mm budget and to be able to go ahead and make a movie with real cameras and real trucks.  I don’t think we spent more than 4 weeks on the whole film.  It was made under the umbrella of our company, so we had pretty much complete control over the making of it, but then once it was finished I was out of it entirely.” Pirro was dissatisfied with the theatrical release Crown gave the film.  “It didn’t even play in L.A.  The closest it played was San Diego.  A bunch of us actually got into a car and went to see it in San Diego.  It was practically an empty house.  They made a video deal, and I think part of that deal was a requirement that the movie play in either 20 or 40 theaters across the country.  I know it played New York and a few other cities here and there, but they didn’t put any promotion behind it.  They didn’t do any advertising, apart from some newspaper ads.  The theatrical release was really sort of an obligation.”

The video deal was so lucrative that Crown ended up doing very well with DEATHROW GAMESHOW, and approached Pirro and his crew about making a second movie.  “They wanted to do the same thing for MY MOM’S A WEREWOLF (1989), only in this case they wanted to use actors with a little bit of name value.  They got John Saxon, Ruth Buzzi, Susan Blakely — they pulled in a bunch of names to give it a little credibility, so the budget mainly went to the actors, yet they still wanted to shoot the movie barebones like we did DEATHROW GAMESHOW.  They had hired me to write the script, which I did, and I was going to direct it, but I think they were offering me something like $300 a week to direct it.  The actors were getting a minimum of $400 a day to be in it.  I thought, ‘Oh, come on, we gave you a free movie with the first one!  Let’s be a little nicer to our crew.’  They didn’t budge on that.  No qualified director’s going to do a movie for $300 a week unless he’s right out of film school.  So I pretty much left the project at that point, but they did use a lot of my crew, the people who had worked for me on DEATHROW GAMESHOW.  They approached them individually and asked if each one would be interested in being involved.  Some were and some weren’t.  They brought in another director, and I think they were paying him $600 a week.” Incredibly, Pirro got involved with one more project at Crown.  “I had written a script for them called SIDE SADDLE, which was supposed to be a western comedy with a female lead.  I got paid for it, but then Sharon Stone’s movie THE QUICK AND THE DEAD (1995) came out and didn’t make any money, and Crown decided a female western was probably not the way to go so they ended up not doing it.  And that was the end of my tenure at Crown.”

VHS 80’s ….Into the 90’s

Lucidly, a booming home video market was able to compensate for some of the drive-in losses. Baughn recalls, “When the VHS business was taking off, all the VHS buyers were looking for movies that played 25 markets in a TV orbit. Even if it was a crummy little film, and we had our crummy little films that were made for very little money, we would make a million dollars on a VHS sale. People thought a movie that played in 25 markets was worth paying for because they were in a boom market where people were grabbing VHS like crazy.’’  Among the last horror pictures that the company distributed were the occult sacrifice pic Prime Evil (1988),   and the mind control-themed Brain Twisters (1991). By the ’90s, the newer wave of independents such as Miramax were under major studio umbrellas and had greater resources to compete with the majors than the original indies.

 

Prime Evil (1988) A coven of devil-worshiping monks living in New York City search for victims for their sacrificial ceremonies.

 

Lurkers (1988) Cathy (Christine Moore) is a young woman who tries to overcome her history of childhood abuse at the hands of her demented mother. Engaged to marry the colorless Bob (Gary Warner), she is tormented by her mother’s ghost and the spirits who haunted the brownstone home where she lived as a child.

Mark Tenser, Marilyn Tanser
Mark Tenser, Marilyn Tanser

While some B-companies. including AlP. faltered because they tried to compete with the majors, Crown ultimately died off because it didn’t want to grow bigger. Baughn remembers that the comply had the opportunity to buy the Coen Brothers’ first  film. Blood Simple, but turned it down.

“The only thing we had to do was come up with an advance of $150,000. [Tenser] pretty much had a T&A drive-in mentality, and his attitude was that he wasn’t going to pay for anything that wasn’t something he made, and he never wanted other investors involved. Mark was at the age where I think he felt he already made a pile of money, and I don’t think he wanted to gamble, He just couldn’t grow, and I think in his own heart he felt smart about that.”

 

Night Club (1989)

Night Club (1989) A young married couple try to convert an old warehouse into a nightclub, but face opposition from both the council and local mobsters.

Top Cop (1990)

Top Cop (1990) Malone is an undercover detective whose job is to sort out the low-lifes in the city but when his partner is shot dead he turns into a one-man army with a score to settle – but has he gone too close to the edge this time?

Lena’s Holiday (1991) A woman gets caught up in a smuggling case when her luggage is accidentally switched with an identical case.

Brain Twisters (1991)

Brain Twisters (1991) Employees of a software company discover a conspiracy to use the games made by the company to control the thoughts of its customers.

The Silencer (1992) Lynette Walden and Chris Mulkey star in this action-packed ride through the sexy and dangerous world of flesh for sale and murder for hire. Harley-riding Angel (Lynette Walden) plays to win in her fight against a slavery and prostitution ring that abuses young runaways — It’s a life-and-death game in which video-games hold the clues, and the only way to win is to kill without conscience. The chill of each killing drives Angel into the arms of anonymous lovers — a desperate attempt for affection — but her ex-boyfriend George (Chris Mulkey) is watching … In a demented rage he stalks her through her steamy video-arcade reality. But when the game is over and the high score is counted, will Angel be able to walk away?

Housewife from Hell (1993)

Housewife from Hell (1993) An unhappy husband murders his miserable wife for insurance purposes. Unfortunately, he just can’t get rid of his wife as she comes back from the dead.

Almost Hollywood (1994)

Almost Hollywood (1994) A slice of life of the movie business, this satire blends drama, comedy, sensuality and suspense as it illustrates the ups and downs of showbiz through the lives of a few “wanna-be” movers and shakers of the Hollywood film industry.

Crown International Pictures 80’s
The Kidnapping of the President (1980)
Galaxina (1980)
The Hearse (1980)
McVicar (1980)
Don’t Answer the Phone! (1980)
Separate Ways (1981)
The High Country (1981)
Improper Channels (1981)
Americana (1981)
The Last Chase (1981)
Double Exposure (1982)
Budo: The Art of Killing (1982)
The Beach Girls (1982)
Liar’s Moon (1982)
Stacy’s Knights (1983)
My Tutor (1983)
Fleshburn (1984)
Weekend Pass (1984)
Killpoint (1984)
Weekend Pass (1984)
Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold (1984)
Hot Target (1985)
Nine Deaths of the Ninja (1985)
Cavegirl (1985)
Tomboy (1985)
The Patriot (1986)
Scorpion (1986)
My Chauffeur (1986)
Low Blow (1986)
Deathrow Gameshow (1987)
The Virgin Queen of St. Francis High (1987)
Jocks (1987)
Hunk (1987)
Prime Evil (1988)
Lurkers (1988)
Night Club (1989)
My Mom’s a Werewolf (1989)

Crown International Pictures 90’s
Top Cop (1990)
Lena’s Holiday (1991)
Brain Twisters (1991)
The Silencer (1992)
Housewife from Hell (1993)
Almost Hollywood (1994)

 

CREDITS/REFERENCES/SOURCES/BIBLIOGRAPHY
Rue Morgue 121
Scary Monsters Magazine 081
http://streamline.filmstruck.com/
Cinefantastique 06 02
Coolasscinema.com
Psychotronic Video 19
Psychotronic Video 24
Screem 012
Femme Fatales v08 n15
Fangoria 008
http://www.terrortrap.com/
STARLOG 43
Cinefantastique v10n02

Bad Ass Women of Cinema: A Collection of Interviews Chris Watson

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