CANNON MONTH 2: Midnight Ride (1990)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This originally ran on the site on October 27, 2021.

I mean, how could I not watch this movie? It’s got Michael Dudikoff, Mark Hamill and Robert Mitchum improbably together in a riff on The Hitcher or The Vanishing or any other number of hitchhiking maniacs on the road movies.

Dudikoff is a cop who is more married to his job than to his Russian wife Lara, who finally decides to drive off and then make the decision to pick up Justin Mckay (Hamill), who grew up with a mother who parted her sister’s hair with a butcher knife and has passed on the willingness to kill to her son.

Over one brutal evening, Lara must ride with the killer as he destroys everyone he can, ending with him trying to convince Mitchum, playing a doctor, to give her electroshock therapy against her will.

If you’re used to seeing Dudikoff be a ninja — an American Ninja — he barely fights in this. But hey — it’s a Cannon Film, which means that it has some level of strangeness, maybe because it was shot in Italy* instead of America, but has stuntman Bob Bralver directing it, who only made one other full-length movie, Rush Week, which isn’t all that bad. He’s joined by writer Russell V. Manzatt, who also wrote that aforementioned college stalk and slash.

You can watch this on Tubi.

*That’s the claim I keep reading, even if IMDB says that it was made in California. I mean, with all the neons and blue color, this could have been a late Italian direct to video movie.

CANNON MONTH 2: The Fourth War

Colonel Jack Knowles (Roy Scheider) is a tough soldier awarded for his bravery in Vietnam.

Colonel Valachev (Jürgen Prochnow) is the same way, but on the other side of the West German-Czechoslovakia border.

These two men are an asset at war but a liability in peacetime.

They may just drag everyone into World War 3.

Based on the Einstein quote, “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones,” this movie finds Knowles butting heads with his superiors Lieutenant Colonel Clark (Tim Reid) and General Hackworth (Harry Dean Stanton) when he isn’t getting blind drunk — on J&B no less and no, this is not a giallo — when he isn’t crossing the border and sabotaging Russian bases.

By the end, the two men battle in hand-to-hand combat on a frozen lake with their countries’ armies on both sides ready to unleash mutually assured destruction. The fight was so realistic that Scheider cracked one of his ribs and Prochnow popped out his knee.

The Fourth War was directed by John Frankenheimer from a script by Kenneth Ross, both of whom were anti-war, and hated the name, as well as other titles like Game of Honor and Face Off.

You can watch this on Tubi.

CANNON MONTH 2: Lambada vs. The Forbidden Dance (1990)

A dance from Brazil would become the battleground between the two Israeli film impressarios who were once the Go-Go Boys, the men who made Cannon the studio of the future for a very short present, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus.

The so-called forbidden dance was originally called Carimbó and was a loose and sensual dance where female dancers wore rounded skirts that enabled them to make big spins. A radio station from Belém started to call this new type of music “the strong-beated rhythm” and “the rhythms of lambada” and that’s the name that took off. It means strong slap, which makes sense, as the drums that were used to create the songs were often made out of tree trunks.

That brings us to 1988, as French entrepreneur Olivier Lamotte d’Incamps watched Brazilians dancing the lambada, bought the musical rights to over 400 lambada songs and created a studio band he named Kaoma, whose cover of the Los Kjarkas song “Llorando se fue” sold five million records and even peaked at #46 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Which brings us back to Golan and Globus who had once worked together to bring another dance craze to the screen — back in better days — and made the magnificent double blast of Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2 : Electric Boogaloo.

Globus had planned to made Lambada for some time and was in pre-production when Golan announced that he would make his own movie, The Forbidden Dance.

It was war.

The Forbidden Dance was written in ten days and fast-tracked all for one reason, which you would think would be to cash in on a craze, but may have just as well been to one-up a former brother in film. Golan revealed an April 6 release for his film — beating Globus by a month — who responded by rushing his movie to be first.

Then Golan used one of Cannon’s biggest weapons against Menahem: he placed an ad in Variety and said that his movie was “the one and only original lambada film.”

Greydon Clark, the director of The Forbidden Dance as well as Without WarningJoysticks and Uninvited, spoke about the sheer insanity of these films to Vanity Fair, saying “I had no idea how quickly he wanted the picture completed. He had no script, just the idea to do a lambada picture and beat his cousin.”

The battle for first at the box office was a tie. Both movies premiere on March 16, 1990.

The Forbidden DanceMade by Menahem Golan’s 21st Century Film Corporation — Menahem wasted no time as this was his tenth film at his new studio in a little more than a year — and released by Columbia Pictures, this would be my favorite of the two films, but the race is very close. That’s because this feels pure Cannon in its astounding weirdness, placing Miss USA Laura Harring as Nisa, a Brazilian tribal princess — who speaks Spanish and not Portuguese the actual language most people speak in Brazil — who comes to America with tribal shaman Joa (Sid Haig!) to stop the rainforest from being cut down.

Let’s review that last sentence and just wash in the joy of all that is Menahem Golan making movies.

Aftr Joa goes to jail for using black magic to break into the headquarters of an evil corporation, Nisa ends up becoming a maid for rich people Katherine and Bradley Anderson (she’s played by Shannon Farnon, the voice of Wonder Woman on Super Friends) and their son Jason (Jeff James) just wants to dance. He’s got jerk friends and worse parents, so Nisa runs away and becomes a private dancer, a dancer for money at a dance club/brother named Xtasy.

After one of Jason’s crappy friends tries to get with her — and she knees him in the dick — he tells Jason’s real girlfriend Ashley (Barbra Brighton) all about it and she’s as gross as everyone else in his life, so he mopes around and tries to Taxi Driver save her and nearly gets killed by a bouncer who then plans to assault Nisa before Joa appears and uses magic to save them both.

Now the movie moves into a dance contest story, as Nisa and Jason decide to do lambada and win a chance to appear on TV to discuss the rainforest before Richard Lynch — this movie just went up five stars — kidnaps her and busts Jason’s ankle just before they’re going to get on stage with Kid Creole.

Of course, black magic saves the day again, Nisa’s father shows up and everybody decides to save the rainforest. And do the lambada.

The Forbidden Dance was not allowed to have the world lambada in its title, while it got the rights to use the actual song “Lambada.” Sadly, the sequel Naked Lambada! The Forbidden Dance Continues was never made, despite the ad in Variety saying that it would be.

Best of all, the movie ends with this on screen: This movie is dedicated to the preservation of the rainforest.

You can watch this on Tubi.

LambadaSet the night on fire! Go all the way!

Kevin Laird (J. Eddie Peck) is a teacher by day and a lambada dancer by night and before all that, he was in a street gang. And when he isn’t dancing by night, he’s also teaching other dancers by night how to earn their GED.

One of his students, Sandy (Melora Hardin) and yes, they took the name Sandy despite Grease seeming to own it forever for all dance craze movies, is in love with him and when she discovers his secret life, she plans to out him.

Meanwhile, Shabba Doo from the aforementioned Breakin’ films plays Kevin’s dance rival Ramone who just needs to learn math and hey — did you know you can use geometry on the pool table?

Anyways, Sandy’s antics end up getting Kevin fired except if he can get his barrio mathletes to defeat the smart kids — the snob subtractors vs. the slob square rooters? — he gets his job back in a contest which makes no sense.

Let me spell this out for you: I came here for a movie about a dance that looks like people are fucking and ended up watching a movie about math. That’s worse than realizing I’m watching a religious movie halfway through something. I don’t watch movies for math! Menahem got that and delivered Richard Lynch, Sid Haig and lots of dry humping.

Joel Silberg also made Breakin’ and Rappin’ for Cannon, so he knew what they were looking for, even if it was a film about angles and fractions. Amazingly, the script came from Sheldon Renan, who made one of the darkest movies I’ve ever seen, The Killing of America. He was also one of the people behind Treasure: In Search of the Golden Horse, which took the idea of Kit Williams’ book Masquerade and had a book and movie — which Renan directed and had Richard Lynch narrate — all about a hidden horse and $500,000 in treasure that was hidden somewhere in the U.S. Paul Hoffman, who designed the actual puzzle under the name Dr. Crypton, also made the treasure map for Romancing the Stone.

Strangely, Gene Siskel loved this movie.

Lambada made $4.2 million at the box office and The Forbidden Dance only made $1.8 million. The real losers were all of us, as think of what a united Cannon could have made out of one film.

There’s also another lambada movie from 1990. The Turkish film Lambada was directed by Samim Deger. This clip is all that I can find of it.

You can listen to The Cannon Canon for more. Check out their The Forbidden Dance and Lambada episodes.

CANNON MONTH 2: Keaton’s Cop (1990)

EDITOR’S NOTE: For another take on this one, check this out.

Directed by Robert Burge (he also made Vasectomy: A Delicate Matter) and written by Michael B. Druxman (who was an uncredited writer on She-Freak), this film creates a buddy cop dynamic — for a time — between Lee Majors as Mike Gable and Don Rickles as Jake Barber.

Ex-mobster Louis Keaton (Abe Vigoda) was living a quiet life in a retirement home before he was nearly killed by a hit. Someone is trying to kill seniors for some reason and when Barber gets killed, Gable must team with Keaton — ah, Keaton’s Cop — and find the real killer.

Somehow, Art LaFleur is playing Captain Sears from Cobra in this, but he’s called Detective Ed Hayes. Tracy Brooks Swope plays the love interest while the big bad — BIg Mama, actually — is played by June Wilkinson, whose second Playboy centerfold was shot by Russ Meyer. While never a Playmate, she appeared in the magazine seven times. She’s also in Macumba Love and Florida Connection, a movie that she made with her husband at the time, Dan Pastorini, who was an NFL quarterback for the Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders. If you ever see Burge’s Vasectomy: A Delicate Matter, she’s in that as well. Oh yeah — she’s also in Sno-Line, so maybe she was just staying in Texas and taking whatever movies got made there, which makes me wonder how she never wandered into an Andy Sidaris film.

There’s an actor on IMDB who claims that this movie has an “orange tint to it. You see, the film used to shoot the movie was apparently old and developed improperly in spots throughout the film…that’s the inside word anyway.”

CANNON MONTH 2: Rockula (1990)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was on the site originally on September 7, 2020.

Luca Bercovici was behind The Ghoulies and The Granny as well as this movie, where a 400-year-old vampire named Ralph Lavie (Dean Cameron). He lives alone with his mother Phoebe (Toni Basil!) and is suffering from a curse. It turns out that every time he falls for Mona, she’s killed on Halloween by a pirate with a giant hambone. Now, he plans to stay locked up in his room so that his heart doesn’t get broken again.

Our hero is somehow friends with Bo Diddley and survives getting hit by a car driven by Mona (Tawny Fere), who in this lifetime is a singer managed by her ex-boyfriend Stanley (Thomas Dolby!). Ralph starts a band, called Rockula, falls in love again and has to save his love.

Susan Tyrell shows up as a bartender, which should really be all the reason you need to see this movie. Well, that and the end, where an Elvis-dressed Ralph busts out of a mirror and performs. The song are pretty silly, the story is kind of dumb, but I still found myself enjoying this.

You can listen to The Cannon Canon episode about Rockula right here.

VINEGAR SYNDROME BLU RAY RELEASE: Forgotten Gialli: Volume Five

Vinegar Syndrome has a few Forgotten Gialli set out and each of these keeps adding some great movies to my collection in the best possible format with so many extras. Here’s what’s in the new one, which is now available for order.

A White Dress for Marialé (1972): Going by the names Un bianco vestito per MarialéSpirits of Death and Exorcisme Tragique (Tragic Exorcism), this giallo was directed by Romano Scavolini, who would one day make Nightmares in a Damaged Brain.

When she was quite young, Marialè (Ida Galli) watched as her father killed her mother, her lover and himself. She’s grown up a depressive recluse married to the controlling Paolo (Luigi Pistilli) who keeps her sedated. But she still has enough friends to invite over to her mansion for a costume party orgy, which goes well until this film remembers that it’s not an art film but instead a giallo and people start dying.

Let’s take a look at the guest list.

There’s her ex-lover Massimo (Ivan Rassimov) and when we see Rassimov in a giallo, he is never up to any good.

If you’re having a wild 70s sex party, always invite a love triangle. That’s how Mercedes (Pilar Velasquez), Joe (Giancarlo Bonuglia) and Sebastiano (Ezio Marano) all got to the party.

There’s also Semy (Shawn Robinson, who sang the theme for Two Males for Alexa; this is her only acting role) and her husband Gustavo (Edilio Kim).

Just about every one of them are horrible people given to attacking — for good or bad — one another, while Marialè stays in her bedroom and wears the same dress that her mother was in when she died, bullet holes over the heart, covered in blood.

A gothic and stylish film, this made me reconsider Scavolini and see him as much better than a hack who was making a slasher when that was how people made money. I wish that he’d stayed more experimental like this movie. Then again, in the book Spaghetti Nightmares, he said that was a movie “which only deserves to be forgotten.”

Tropic of Cancer (1972): Anita Strindberg is in Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the KeyA Lizard in a Woman’s SkinThe Case of the Scorpion’s TailWho Saw Her Die?, The Two Faces of Fear, L’uomo Senza Memoria and Murder Obsession, but is never mentioned with the same devotion as Edwige Fenech or Barbara Bouchet. Well, she’s great in this and in nearly everything else I’ve seen her in.

In this film, she plays Grace, the wife of Fred (Gabriele Tinti, Endgame) and their vacation has led them to Haiti and Dr. Williams (Anthony Steffen, who mostly is known for Italian westerns, but also appeared in The Night Evelyn Came Out of Her GraveEvil Eye and An Angel for Satan), who has invented a new drug that can change the world. It’s so astounding that everyone from drug cartels to drug companies — which are really close to one another, when you really think about it — will kill for its formula.

There’s also a scene where the doctor takes our heroes to watch a voodoo ritual, all so this movie can have a bit of mondo* within it. Because it’s an Italian film, that means we’re about to watch a real bull really get killed and then lose its scrotum in gorgeous living color. The film then tops this with actual cows being slaughtered, so if you’re upset by the side of Italian cinema that doesn’t shy away from putting animal butchery right in your face, make a mark to avoid.

This movie leaves me with so many questions. What kind of doctor is Williams? He says he’s a veterinarian, then he makes a magical anti-venom drug and oh yeah, he’s also a meat packing inspector. And just what kind of wonder drug has he made? And did the filmmakers realize that the Tropic of Cancer is nowhere near Haiti?**

So yeah — most of the movie is spent wondering whether or not Grace is going to succumb to the lure of the native men***. And the best character in it is Peacock (Alfio Nicolosi, who was also in Goodbye Uncle Tom), who pretty much runs the island. Also, the murders in this go from high tech to voodoo-based death and faces getting melted right off, which is different for a giallo****.

And hey — that Piero Umiliani (Orgasmo, Baba Yaga) score is perfect!

It’s not a great giallo, but it certainly is weird, and sometimes, that’s good enough.

*One of the directors of this film, Giampaolo Lomi, was the production manager for perhaps one of the most notorious mondo films, Goodbye Uncle Tom. The other, Edoardo Mulargia, directed Escape from Hell, which was edited into the Linda Blair movie Savage Island. So with backgrounds like those, the scummy mondo nature of this film makes a bit more sense.

*Of course, we can assume that with the Henry Miller novel being such a big deal getting banned and causing controversy that the title itself seemed like a good idea to get curious folks into the theater. Better than Death In HaitiPeacock’s Place or Inferno Under the Hot Sun.

***The flower that poisons her takes her on an insane erotic fever dream that we all get to watch and the movie is better for this scene.

****There’s just as much — if not more — male than female nudity, too.

Nine Deaths for a Crime (1977): I get it — 1977 is late for the category and Ferdinando Baldi is better known for making weird westerns — like Get Mean and Blindman with Tony Anthony, not to mention two 3D movies with the very same actor, Comin’ At Ya! and Treasure of the Four Crowns — than giallo. But hey. when you’re trying to watch every one of them made, you watch them all.

Known in Italy as A Scream in the Night, in Spain as Death Comes From the Pastand Nine Guests for a Crime in other markets, this movie follows the Agatha Christie model of nine people — wow the title actually is logical — showing up on an island that has a killer stalking about.

Well, get this. There are thirteen murders in a movie with nine guests, so how about that?

A wealthy family has departed for a two-week break at their private island estate, which primarily involves plenty of balling, as The Pink Angels trailer would say. Ubaldo (Arthur Kennedy, who won a Best Supporting Actor Tony for Death of a Salesman and was nominated for five Oscars before making movies like The HumanoidThe SentinelCyclone and being one of the worst cops ever in The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue) has taken his new wife Giulia (Caroline Laurente, who played three different roles in Emmanuelle 2, 3 and 7) along with his sister Elizabeth (Dania Ghia, Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye), his sons Michele (Massimo Foschi, Holocaust 2000) and his wife Carla (Sofia Dionisio, Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man), Walter (Venantino Venantini, Beast in Space) and his bride Patrizia (Loretta Persichetti) and Lorenzo (John Richardson, Black Sunday) and Greta (Rita Silva, Gunan, King of the Barbarians).

Michele has been doing two-person pushups with his stepmother. Walter has been threading the needle with Greta. But then Baldi goes from ripping off Bava’s Five Dolls for an August Moon — which yes, is also a Christie pastiche — into full A Bay of Blood and even the supernatural theory that Elizabeth’s dead lover Carlo is back from the dead (and the Tarot reading sequence, which gets stolen even better in Antropophagus).

This movie has reminded me that I want nothing to do with rich people or island vacations. Nothing ever works out and I’d rather stay alive and undramatic for the short period I do have left in this dimension.

This set features all three movies, newly scanned & restored in 4K from their 35mm original camera negative. You get so much more — interviews with directors Romano Scavolini, writer/director Giampaolo Lomi, actress Ida Galli and actor Massimo Foschi; audio essays by Rachael Nisbet, deleted scenes, trailers, image galleries and so much more. Order it now from Vinegar Syndrome.

NORTH BEND FILM FEST: Sirens (2022)

Shery Bechara and Lilas Mayassi are the lead guitarists and co-founders of the Middle East’s first all-female thrash metal band, Slave to Sirens. The Lebanese society they were born into is perhaps not the most open-minded one, especially for women who want to play as hard as the guys. And Lebanon may not have much of a metal scene, but certainly no other female-led bands.

Director, writer and cinematographer Rita Baghdadi has created a documentary that takes you into their lives, a place where they’re still learning and exploring their lives, all while making what they do seem as vital and needed as if you were playing alongside them.

According to Revolver, “In the 1990s, Christian religious institutions turned against metal culture, linking it to the suicide of a teenage boy and calling for a ban on all metal music.” The Christian and Muslim communities that live side by side can easily damn metal musicians and fans as outright Satanists — no different than American, but perhaps more dangerous, despite Lebanon being more culturally inclusive than other countries surrounding it.

Bechara and Mayassi met at an anti-government protest in 2015, so they certainly don’t shy about confronting the world around them in their music. Along with drummer Tatyana Boughab, bassist Alma Doumani and singer Maya Khairallah, Sirens follows the band as they struggle to exist and create art.

Behind all of this, Bechara and Mayassi once shared a secret romance before Mayassi met a Syrian woman and broke off the relationship. In the tradition of bands keeping going in the face of heartbreak and unresolved relationships, they remain friends and bandmates, even if things aren’t the same. Over the three years the movie covers, we see everything from them playing a sparsely attended Glastonbury gig to recording a new album, working their day jobs and even the Port of Beirut explosion, which leads to Mayassi pondering afterward, “Home doesn’t feel safe. Friendship doesn’t feel safe. Love doesn’t feel safe.”

As the band blasts riffs into the night, defying rolling blackouts and suburban bombs, perhaps the strife between the women who formed the band can be forgotten. If you’ve been in a band, you’ll recognize the times when the bad times are all worth it, the quick seconds that occur when a harmony is perfect, when a riff is discovered or the crowd — no matter how small — is with you ever beat, every word.

Sirens is playing North Bend Film Fest right now. You can learn more about the movie on the festival homepage or on the movie’s official Facebook page.

CANNON MONTH 2: A Man Called Sarge (1989)

During the World War II North African Western Desert Campaign, an army made up of French Foreign Legion deserters is led by the charismatic Sarge Duke Roscoe (Gary Kroeger) as they go into the Sahara desert to attempt to take back the city of Tobruk from Generalmajor Klaus Von Kraut (Gary Singer).

A Man Called Sarge was produced by Gene Corman, brother and production partner of Roger Corman, and also the producer of Tobruk, a dramatic version of the same story, with executive producers being Yoram Globus and Christopher Pearce, as Menahem Golan was gone.

Seeing as how this is a Cannon Israel-shot comedy, these two things occur: a music teacher gets involved and Yehuda Efroni is in the movie.

For years, this was hard to find, only airing on cable, but MGM finally made it available on DVD. It’s not great — hey you can find it on Tubi — but it’s kind of funny to see Singer play a bad guy and you can spot a very young Natasha Leone as a young girl who the Beastmaster punches right in the face.

You can watch this on Tubi.

CANNON MONTH 2: The Rose Garden (1989)

Based on Günther Schwarberg’s Der SS-Arzt und die Kinder vom Bullenhuser Damm, this is the last film from director Fons Rademakers (The Assault, Because of the CatsLifespan) and tells the story of holocaust survivor Aaron Reichenbach (Maximilian Schell), who finally comes back to Germany and attacks an ex-Nazi officer Arnold Krenn (Kurt Hübner) in a Frankfurt airport.

His public defender Gabriele Schlüter-Freund (Liv Ullmann) soon learns that Aaron is but one of many Jewish men and women who were experimented on by Krenn. It turns out that he’s lost track of his family and this case will not only give him some closure, but also bring to light exactly what happened on the operating tables of the camps.

Written by Paul Hengge (Seven Blood-Stained Orchids) and Artur Brauner (Death Occurred Last NightThe Vengeance of Doctor Mabuse), this also has Peter Fonda showing up as Gabriele’s ex-husband. As this was late in the life of Cannon, it was produced by Brauner, who was a prominent member of the Jewish community of Berlin and a recipient of the Bundesverdienstkreuz, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

You can watch this on Tubi.

CANNON MONTH 2: Ten Little Indians (1989)

The fourth English-language screen adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1939 novel And Then There Were None — it’s actually based directly on Christie’s 1943 stage adaptation and the ending is taking directly from the play — it was the third movie made from the book to be produced by Harry Alan Towers, following his 1965 and 1974 — which also has Herbert Lom in its cast — adaptations.

A group of ten strangers have been summoned by their mysterious host Mr. Owen to an African safari. They are:

Mr. Justice Lawrence Wargrave (Donald Pleasence), who has been accused of having sentenced an innocent man to the gallows.

Captain Philip Lombard (you guessed it, Frank Stallone), responsible for the deaths of 21 East Indian tribesmen.

Vera Claythorne (Sarah Maur Thorp) who has been accused of the drowing death of teh chld she has been watchng, Cyril Ogilvie Hamilton.

Marion Marshall (Brenda Vaccaro), the potential murderer of her lover, Miss Beatrice Taylor.

General Brancko Romensky (Herbert Lom), who sent his wife’s lover on a suicide mission furing the war.

William Henry Blore (Warren Berlinger), who let an innocent man go to prison.

Dr. Hans Joachim Werner (Yehuda Efroni), who operator on a woman while drunk, leading to her demise.

Elmo Rodger (Paul Smith) and Ethel Mae Rodgers (Moira Lister), who may have murdered his wealthy employer.

Anthony James Marston (Neil McCarthy) who ran over a couple while intoxicated.

As they arrive, their guides abandon them, isolate them, then a recording with a mechanical voice lists their crimes and passes judgement on all of them.

Their deaths follow the poem “Ten Little Indians:”

Ten little Injuns standin’ in a line,
One toddled home and then there were nine.

Nine little Injuns swingin’ on a gate,
One tumbled off and then there were eight.

Eight little Injuns gayest under heaven.
One went to sleep and then there were seven.

Seven little Injuns cuttin’ up their tricks,
One broke his neck and then there were six.

Six little Injuns all alive,
One kicked the bucket and then there were five.

Five little Injuns on a cellar door,
One tumbled in and then there were four.

Four little Injuns up on a spree,
One got fuddled and then there were three.

Three little Injuns out on a canoe,
One tumbled overboard and then there were two.

Two little Injuns foolin’ with a gun,
One shot the other and then there was one.

One little Injun livin’ all alone,
He got married and then there were none.

Directed by Alan Birkinshaw, who would use much of the same cast for a later post-Cannon effort, Masque of the Red Death — several cast members also are in Cannon’s River of Death — this has a script by Gerry O’Hara (who directed and wrote the Joan Collins movie The Bitch) and Jackson Hunsicker (who directed and wrote Cannon’s The Frog Prince).