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es, and I think for the fans who like Al’s movies, that’s part of their charm. And all the people he had with him is another facet of what makes these films so exciting. He managed to gather a team, like a lot of low-budget, independent peo- ple do, who came in and made the films what they are. Al had a knack for finding people who were genuinely good at what they were doing, and had a passion to be involved in making mov- ies, not just for the money. A lot of them went on to award-winning careers; there are a lot of Em- my-winners in the documentary! And the movies definitely had a certain style; you can tell an Al Adamson film when you see one.”


Capone agrees, and points out that after spending so much time going through Adam- son’s oeuvre, he discovered commonalities that he initially expressed during Blood & Flesh’s end credits.


“Those used to be longer, without outgoing sound bites, and they made an argument for his…”


“Auteur theory,” Gregory chimes in. “Michael put together a bunch of clips of, like, cars going down hills, stabbings with pitchforks…” “People being stabbed in the back with pitch- forks was a recurring motif – it was very specific and odd,” Capone continues. “And his views on romance are quite clear in the movies, and quite strange [laughs]. It’s kind of in there at the end, but it doesn’t really come out. And I don’t know who it was, but somebody on the films had a real talent for writing phrases that are truly bizarre, the way sentence structures are put together in the dialogue that sort of repeat over and over again.”


Another repeating factor in Adamson’s cine- matic output: the multiple identities under which his work often existed. Sometimes the movies would be built off existing features acquired from overseas; other times, an Adamson/Sherman production would start as one thing and emerge as another. Dracula vs. Frankenstein, for exam- ple, began life as a fright flick featuring neither of those classic characters. And sometimes it was simply a matter of alternate titles, both in theat- rical release and in video formats: Girls For Rent hit VHS as I Spit on Your Corpse, Nurse Sherri became Beyond the Living on TV, etc. Gregory had about half a dozen interviews in the can for Blood & Flesh when he contacted producer Heather Buckley, who has produced numerous Blu-ray featurettes for films ranging from Army of Darkness to Candyman to The Puppet Masters, as well as Jenn Wexler’s The Ranger.


“He gave me a huge list of interviewees,” Buckley recalls, “and for the first section of the documentary, I said, ‘When do you want me to stop tracking these people down?’ Because I would have just kept finding them.” The impressive roster of talking heads they landed to share their memories of Adamson for Blood & Flesh includes Sherman, Clark, Cardos,


R M 22


Drive-In Schlock: The son of silent film stars, Adamson first appeared on film in 1935 and directed 33 movies before his untimely death, including (from top) Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) and Black Samurai (1976).


IT’S ROUGH FOR A GUY WHO DID ALL OF THESE MOVIES, A LOT OF WHICH ARE REALLY FUN, TO ONLY


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BE REMEMBERED AS THIS KIND OF GRIM PUNCHLINE. – DAVID GREGORY, DIRECTOR


Zsigmond, Dix, actors Gary Kent, Russ Tamblyn, Marilyn Joi, Zandor Vorkov (a.k.a. Roger Engel), and others, along with the man himself in footage from one of his final on-camera interviews. (Carrol passed away in 1992, and the one important individual from Adamson’s personal and professional lives that they couldn’t track down was Vicki Volante. “Al’s early crush and the star of several of his mov- ies,” Gregory says.) While the prevailing tone is one of affec- tion, some of the director’s old


cohorts aren’t shy about shar- ing their thoughts on his, shall we say, frugal manner. “Not everybody was happy with Al,” Gregory admits. “It wasn’t like they all looked back on him so fondly. I would say the majority of them did, even if it was some- times, ‘Wow, he was cheeky to get us to work for nothing.’ But then there were other people like Jon Osborne, who was like, ‘Why the fuck are you making a movie about this guy?’ He’s the one who’s kind of rude about Al in the


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