Feb. 7th, 2017

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Self-portrait from the Hercules library:

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A.k.a.: The Tale of the $160 Sleeping Bag...

Went to a get-together at a food-court hoard in San Francisco this Saturday. When I got back to my car, I found the rear passenger-side window smashed. The good news, really the only good news, was that the only thing that was taken was a $5 sleeping bag I was using while I was out at China Camp. Insurance won’t pay for something as trivial as a broken window, so I’m forced to fend for myself. I get it replaced Wednesday afternoon. In the meantime, I’ve taped a trash bag and cardboard boxes over the gaping hole in my door, and still incurred water damage from the rain. So much for that new-car smell!

Watched Savage Intruder from 1970. I guess you could say this was another one of those “hag-sploitation” cash-in films, starring Miriam Hopkins as a faded Hollywood star desperately clinging to the last tendrils of her fame. Enter David Garfield as a drug-addicted psycho who turns her household inside out. This is the kind of guy who thinks it’s a good idea to romance caretaker Virginia Wing with a bunch of racist jokes, so we immediately know something’s up even before he’s knocked her up. I anticipated campy entertainment when I started this and got...something that was more thoughtful and well-made than I anticipated. There’s some effectively creepy shots here, in particular the opening credits showing close-ups of the dilapidated Hollywood sign to the desolate sound of wind blowing. And there’s lots of eerie shots of Hopkins’ wardrobe mannequins. The acting is also very good, in particular Hopkins, who really nails the pathos in her character. Also fine is another old pro, Gale Sondergaard as Hopkins’ waspish, suspicious secretary. It’s from 1970, so expect some psychedelic freak-out scenes (mostly Garfield’s flashbacks to his sluttish, alcoholic mother, but also a scene where he nabs Wing, drags her to a bar and turns her on to drugs). More worth watching than I had anticipated.

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