Thursday, November 20, 2014

Peopletoys (1974)

Actress Gail Smale, whose only movie was Peopletoys. Yes, she is albino.
Peopletoys is a 1974 movie that is impressive to me as an example of sure-handed professionalism triumphing over half-ass irresponsibilty. The half-ass irresponsibility in this case came from original director Sean MacGregor, who gets full credit for directing Peopletoys despite doing little else except fucking everything up, sleeping with an underage actress, and fighting with the writer and producer for setting flame to their hard work. MacGregor was so bad that he was fired and veteran tv producer David Sheldon was brought in to help salvage the production. Which he did. Despite having to reshoot a lot of the footage in another location, and bring back actors whose physical appearance had changed, including a nubile Leif Garrett, who had to don a wig because he had already dyed his hair for another production, Sheldon finished Peopletoys, also known as Devil Times Five, and Tantrums.  

Hell ya, that's Boss Hogg. Sorrelle Booke. "Goodnight, Harvey Beckman."
A lot of good scholarship has been done on Peopletoys. I've only ever seen one negative review, and that person seemed like kind of an idiot. The most amazing part of this movie to me is that it got finished at all. Most movies Sean MacGregor started never did, including the one with Vanna White, the one with the only known footage of her breastesses, or at least one breast, that is still credited to director Alan Smithee to this day, although it was the infamous MacGregor that raised a couple mildo of investor money, including the wife of a famous actor, and a future California gubernatorial candidate, then melted down, and ended up getting sued by everyone but Hupy and Abraham for misrepresenting himself. The legal battle went on so long that by the time it came to a head Vanna White and the rich governor-type had become all proper Conservatives and just wanted the piece of trash buried in a landfill. 

I watched Peopletoys again last night from my 50 Chilling Classics video that I've had a long time. The continuity errors, inexplicable scene changes, and feeling of disjointment are apparent if you're looking for them, or even if you're not. Knowing the troubled history of this movie only makes me like it more. I'm actually going to put it in tonight in the background and watch. I love the ski lodge location. The fact that at the beginning of the movie you see guests who are leaving for the season as the characters arrive to take over during the off season. Sound familiar? This movie is whack, and over the top with boobs, catfights, a cross-dressing adolescent, an albino actress fucking the director, who melts down, checks into a mental institution, and ends up 40 years later working as a stage hand in Hollywood. Whatever happened to Gail Smale? Pin It

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