An All-new "What Was That Movie?"....

Question: When I was a kid, there was a movie I used to stay up to watch on "Creature Features"; I think it was from the early 1970s. All I remember is it had the word "queen" in the title, I think John Saxon was in it. The monster was some kind of vampire with green skin. I suppose the movie woul be really lame by today's standards, but I used to love it when I was a kid. Can you tell me the name? I've been told Queen from Outer Space starring Zsa Zsa Gabor by mistake. - Alberto

The "queen" you want is Queen of Blood (1966), starring John Saxon, Basil Rathbone and a young Dennis Hopper. Queen of Blood was produced by the legendary Roger Corman, who conceived it as a way to make a good-looking sci-fi movie on the cheap by pilfering high-quality outer-space footage from a Russian film whose American rights he owned, and then marrying them to a new, inexpensively shot monster story.

Writer-director Curtis Harrington, an avant garde filmmaker who subsequently forged a career in genre movies, came up with the story, in which a space crew answers a distress signal from Mars and rescues the lone survivor of a crashed alien ship. The green-skinned alien woman (Florence Marley) turns out to be a kind of vampire who hypnotizes her rescuers and drinks their blood.

Not exactly a good movie, but for a cut-and-paste job it's pretty watchable, especially if you're a small child who should be asleep.

Question: I recall a black-and-white movie where a man and a woman were staying in a dirty basement apartment and I believe they were both drunks. She may have been kept against her will and at some point she broke free by putting the heel of her high-heeled shoe in his eye. I feel like it was on a lot as a child, yet nobody seems to know what I am talking about. I would guess the time to be around 1966 or '67. I'm also looking for the name of a horror movie where they gave out barf bags as a gimmick with the purchase of a movie ticket probably from the early '70s. Thanks so much. - Charles

FlickChick: You're describing the mind-boggling Something Wild (1961) - not to be confused with the 1986 Jonathan Demme movie of the same title - starring Carroll Baker as a sheltered college girl who nearly loses her mind after she's raped on her way home from school. Kiss Me Deadly (1955) star Ralph Meeker is the peculiar garage mechanic who offers her refuge in his basement apartment and then keeps her prisoner while professing his love and begging her to marry him.

Deeply, deeply weird in so many ways, and worth seeing if only to catch a glimpse of future All in the Family star Jean Stapleton as a drunken slut (yes, saintly Edith Bunker!) and future Everybody Loves Raymond costar Doris Roberts as a mean, sharp-tongued shopgirl (not as hard to believe). I understand that Something Wild used to be on TV all the time and then vanished; I didn't see it until it was shown in a repertory theater here in New York last year.

The barf-bag gimmick was used with more than one film, but I'm betting you became aware of it in connection with original torture-porn classic Mark of the Devil (1970), a pretty nasty picture about 18th-century witch hunts.

Question: I'm trying to find an older (black-and-white, I think) movie about a wealthy businessman who has a beautiful, somewhat ditzy blonde girlfriend or wife. The woman talks funny, kind of a New York accent... a somewhat childlike vocabulary. The businessman boyfriend hires a tutor to help her become more educated and refined, and the girlfriend and tutor fall for each other. The businessman beats her up at one point, and she either leaves or threatens to leave him. That's about all I can remember. - Corey

That was the classic Born Yesterday (1950), starring Broderick Crawford as a crass self-made millionaire - his money comes from junkyards - and Judy Holliday as his mistress, former showgirl Billie Dawn. William Holden is the tutor who falls in love with diamond-in-the-rough Billie while smoothing out her rough edges. Born Yesterday was remade in 1993 with Melanie Griffith as Billie, John Goodman as her loutish boyfriend and Don Johnson as the tutor in the middle.

Question: I ran across a movie early Monday morning that had Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson in it. It was similar to the Mel Gibson movie Payback. Can you tell me the title? - Doyle

Point Blank (1967) doesn't just resemble the Mel Gibson vehicle Payback (1999) - it's the first adaptation of Donald Westlake's brutal crime novel, which he penned under the name Richard Stark. For my money, it's a much better version of the story: Mel Gibson can play a tough guy, but you always knew that Lee Marvin was a tough guy.

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