VIDEO ARCHIVES WEEK: The Young Nurses (1973)

VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the January 31, 2023 episode of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here.

The fourth of the five movie New World Pictures nurse cycle — preceded by The Student NursesPrivate Duty Nurses and Night Call Nurses and followed by Candy Stripe Nurses — this was directed by Clint Kimbrough, who played Dr. Bramlett in Night Call Nurses, and written by Howard R. Cohen, whose awesome output includes Unholy RollersCover Girl ModelsVampire HookersFighting MadSaturday the 14thSpace RaidersStrykerDeathstalkerBarbarian Queen, Deathstalker and the Warriors from HellBarbarian Queen 2Deathstalker IV and Lords of the Deep. He also directed Saturday the 14th, Space RaidersSaturday the 14th Strikes BackTime TrackersDeathstalker IV and Space Case.

As usual, there are three nurses: Kitty (Jeane Manson, Terror Circus10 to Midnight), Joanne (Ashley Porter, who other than an uncredited role in The Student Nurses was never in another movie) and Michelle (Angela Elayne Gibbs, Cleopatra JonesParty Line).

They all have their own storylines. Kitty falls in love with a boat racer named Donahue (Zach Taylor), even though there’s never a moment where he seems charming or even likable. Plus, his father who pushes him to be a sailing man seems like too much to deal with. Joanne is sick of the doctors failing at their jobs and hurting patients, so she starts to do their work for them. And Michelle discovers that patients are overdosing on bad drugs and investigates for herself.

Beyond these dramatic moments, this film is filled with cameos, with Sally Kirkland, Dick Miller, Mantan Moreland and Samuel Fuller all showing up.

My favorite part of this entire movie is when Joanne is dealing with probably losing her job as a nurse by tearing her clothes off on a beach and diving into the ocean. It’s just so out of nowhere and an excuse to get a gorgeous young actress nude, which you know, is kind of everything Roger Corman was about.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally on the site on December 27, 2022. It’s back because Cauldron has re-released — this is the mass market version without slipcase — an absolutely stunning version of it on blu ray featuring a 2K restoration from the negative, both English and Italian audio options, CD soundtrack with music from Bruno Nicolai, and brand new extras including an interview with Master Katsutoshi Mikuriya, a visual essay by film historian Eric Zaldivar, commentary with film historian Mike Hauss from The Spaghetti Western Digest, a trailer, poster and high-quality slipcase. You get buy it from MVD.

According to the Spaghetti Western Database, lead actor Chen Lee may have been a Japanese karate instructor, but according to director Mario Caiano (Eye In the Labyrinth), he worked in a laundry, not in a dojo, and was picked because he looked like a young Dustin Hoffman. Some think his real name was Mioshini Hayakawa, which is Japanese, not Chinese. That said, if that being racist — not knowing the difference between two countries nearly 1,900 miles away from one another — then this movie is not for you.

Seriously, nearly every race gets denigrated in this movie audibly and physically. Luckily, Shanghai Joe ends up killing every single offender.

Also — the Bruno Nicolai music — recycled from Have a Good Funeral, My Friend… Sartana Will Pay — is so good you’ll want to stick around for the whole movie.

Shanghai — or Chin Hao — has come to this country and instead of finding whatever it is he’s looking for — he has tattoos much like Kwai Chang Caine — he’s found that aforementioned racism and a love interest in Cristina (Carla Romanelli, Fenomenal and the Treasure of TutankamenThe Lonely Lady).

Our hero’s skills as a fighting man make their way to cattle rancher Stanley Spencer (Piero Lulli, Kill, Baby…Kill!), who is really enslaving Mexicans to do his work. That means that the bad guys decide to kill him, but none of them can get it done.

Spencer ends up hiring four different killers, much like video game bosses, to do his work for him. There’s Tricky the Gambler (Giacomo Rossi Stuart, The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave), Pedro the Cannibal (Robert Hundar, Sabata), Buryin’ Sam (Gordon Mitchell, who improvised and sang the song “Chin-Chin Chinaman” while carrying a shovel to try to kill Shanghai) and Scalper Jack (an astonishing Klaus Kinski, who is obsessed with hair and you genuinely fear for the life of Romanelli in their scene).

Finally, Mikuja, the only person who has the same martial arts technique and tattoo as our hero, is hired to kill him. Their battle may not be a fight on the order of a Shaw Brothers technical battle, but it’s still fun.

This movie is incredibly strange, because every time I thought it was going to be normal, it would go from slapstick to our hero plucking out a bad guy’s eye and blood spraying all over the place. It’s closer to a horror film set in the West with martial arts than a straight-up Italian Western, but it’s better for that difference.

Totally recommended.

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: So Sad About Gloria (1973)

April 23: Regional Horror — A regional horror movie. Here’s a list if you need an idea.

Back before he and his wife Linda made Designing Women and were a major part of the Clinton political machine, Harry Thomason was just a high school science teacher and football coach who started making movies.

His first movie that got noticed was Encounter with the Unknown, an uneven — and I like the movie, so keep that in mind — anthology film that combines horror with urban legend before people really discussed what urban legend was. He also made The Great Lester BoggsRevenge of Bigfoot and The Day It Cane to Earth. And oh yeah — this movie.

It starts with Frederick (Dean Jagger, whose career started in 1929 with The Woman from Hell and ended in 1987 with Evil Town) picking up his niece Gloria (Lori Saunders, Bobbie Jo Bradley from Petticoat Junction; she also made Frasier, the Sensuous Lion the same year) from a sanitarium. She’s been there since watching her father die. Now, she’s ready to assume his estate and become a pampered rich girl just in time to quickly meet, marry and move into a mansion with Chris (Robert Ginnaven, White Lightning), a writer who doesn’t seem to care that this place once housed a series of axe murders nor that his young wife has tripped out reveries where she is haunted by something. You know, the rich.

Written by Marshall Riggen (who was also the writer of the bizarre Six Hundred and Sixty-Six and Cry for Poor Wally) from a story by Thomson, producer Joe Glass and Mike Varner, this was shot at the same time as Encounter with the Unknown with much of the same crew and was originally called Visions of Evil and Visions of Doom. It was this vibe that fits into a lot of early 70s exploitation cinema, movies in which young women come of sexual age while also experiencing trauma or believing they that they are a murderer. Like, well, Axe, a film this feels so much like, but that has to be an accident, because Axe is one of many pieces and parts edited into a film, a miracle that barely happened. And, well, this. came out a year before and that was made in California and this in the Ozark Mountain region of Arkansas, so the collective unconsciousness connected two disparate film productions in the wilds of regional exploitation.

This was sold with the tagline of “The romance of Love Story — the terror of Psycho!” and you know how much I simply am obsessed with movies referencing other movies in their ads. When it played around Little Rock, it had a local phone number you could call on the ads and when the phone picked up, all you heard was Gloria screaming and then the line went dead. Again, I am all for that.

A killer in a Tor Johnson mask, strange repressed memories and not just one but two twist endings — along with long stretches of nothing happening and extended cute dating montages (oh yeah, that Love Story reference) — make this a movie that may test those that don’t partake of the deep well of regional filmmaking. But for those that get high off this supply, drink deep.

You can watch this on YouTube.

10TH ANNUAL OLD SCHOOL KUNG FU FEST: The Fate of Lee Khan (1973)

Break this movie in half with one part being the set-up, as rebels, spies and government officials in disguise all meet at the Spring Inn searching for a battle map. Then, tear it all to pieces, as secret identities are uncovered and all hell breaks loose. All of this filtered through the genius of director King Hu with action put together by Sammo Hung, then brought to life by five actresses who are as strong — or perhaps stronger — than any man, Hu Chin, Helen Ma, Angela Mao, Hsu Feng and Li Li-hua

On one side, Mongo general Lee Khan (Tien Feng) and his sister Lee Wan-erh (Hsu Feng). On the opposite, inn keeper Madam Wan (Li-hua) and several undercover fighters for the resistance who are acting as her waitresses: Hai Mu-tan (Angela Mao, who also made the astounding Hapkido and Lady Whirlwind), Shui Mi-tao (Hu Chin Hu) and Yeh Li-hsiang (Helea Ma).

All made in the time before A Touch of Zen was seen as pure genius and King Hu would work with Golden Harvest, the rivals to Shaw Brothers, making almost another version of his movie Dragon Inn. But that’s too simple, as this movie subverts expectation and gives every woman a strong role. Shot at the same time as The Valiant Ones, this has hand to hand combat that fits into the direction of martial arts cinema at the time while presenting tension as the two groups get closer to their inevitable conclusion, like The Hateful Eight but in another time and place, all with the gorgeous look that you expect from the films of Hu.

Want to see it for yourself?

You can watch The Fate of Lee Khan on Saturday, April 29 at 4:30 PM in Theater 1 and Sunday, April 30 at 4:30 PM in Theater 1 at Metrograph and Subway Cinema in New York City. It’s part of the 10th Old School Kung Fu Fest: Sword Fighting Heroes Edition from April 21-30, 2023!

Tickets are on sale right here!

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Beyond Atlantis (1973)

April 19: Weird Wednesday — Write about a movie that played on a Weird Wednesday, as collected in the book Warped & Faded: Weird Wednesday and the Birth of the American Genre Film Archive. Here’s a list.

I was loud while watching this movie that my wife had to come to check on me. The sheer delight had overtaken me when East Eddie (Sid Haig) appeared in a movie where gigantic-eyed Atlantean people attempted to keep their undersea world alive thanks to a new queen named Syrene (Leigh Christian), who must constantly sire new children, as decreed by her adopted father Nereus (George Nader).

Eddie is part of a group trying to farm pearls for money which includes what could be the exploitation movies made in the Philippines version of The Avengers: Manuel the Barracuda (Vic Díaz), Logan (John Ashley) and Vic Mathias (Patrick Wayne).

Producer Ashley had the idea that this would be a science fiction version of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which is a big idea, while Wayne would only be in the film if it was a family-friendly movie, but it’s also about rebuilding the DNA of a dying world of interbred bug-eyed merpeople, which is a fun juxtaposition.

The underwater scenes are gorgeous and this has way better production values than many movies made in the Philippines. Yet if it had more exploitation — a fact that Ashley believed — I think it would be a more exciting movie.

You can watch this on Tubi.

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Scorpio (1973)

April 15: King Yourself! — Pick a movie released by Crown International Pictures. Here’s a list!

CIA killing machine Cross (Burt Lancaster) is retiring, but not before he trains his replacement, Jean Laurier (Alain Delon), alias Scorpio, to replace him. The CIA wants Scorpio to kill Cross for suspected treason and working with the enemy, but Cross pays him off and takes him back to America.

Cross’ Soviet counterpart Sergei Zharkov (Paul Scofield) helps him to get away from a trap and into Vienna, but Cross wants to rescue his wife Sarah *Joanne Linville) too. Unfortunately, the CIA gets to her first, which means that he decides to get revenge on the man who ordered the hit, McLeod (John Colicos). That makes the CIA throw even more money at Cross to pull off the job on his teacher.

It turns out that Cross has really been making money by playing every side against one another and even has Scorpio’s girlfriend on the payroll. The young agent kills her with no remorse and tracks down Cross, who tells him that he needs to always watch his back, because after he’s killed, they’ll be looking to clear up any loose ends. Spoiler warning. He’s right.

Scorpio was written by David W. Rintels and produced by Walter Mirisch, at least until director Michael Winner wanted to change the script and United Artists picked him over Rintels and Mirisch. What ended up on screen is a lot like another Winter movie, The Mechanic.

Even though the CIA are the bad guys in this movie, Winner was permitted to shoot in their headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It was the first movie ever shot there, even after Winter showed them the script. Even odder, Cross’ home is really CIA Director Richard Helms’s house. Perhaps they were allowed to do so because Lancaster asked Senator John V. Tunney if he could get them into the building.

You can watch this on Tubi.

APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Arnold (1973)

April 10: Nightmare USA — Celebrate Stephen Thrower’s book by picking a movie from it. Here’s all of them in a list.

Lord Arnold Dwellyn (Norman Stuart) has just married Karen (Stella Stevens), which would not be all that strange except that, well, he’s dead. He’s not buried, as per his will, if Karen wants to inherit all that he owns, she must never leave his mansion and leave him in state. That doesn’t mean that she’s taking it easy, as she’s been having an affair with Arnold’s brother Robert (Roddy McDowall). And umm, how did Arnold get married when he has a widow, Lady Jocelyn (Shani Wallis)? I guess it really is until death do you part, right?

There’s money hidden in the walls, though, but whenever anyone gets close to it, Arnold has already planned for it, knowing how each person will react and coming up with a death trap created just for them, like some kind of Dr. Phibes without the years of medical school. Only Arnold’s sister Hester (Elsa Lanchester, once a Bride) seems to benefit from all of this, but her luck can’t last.

Shot at the same time as Terror in the Wax Museum with most of the same cast — Lanchester, Wallis, Steven Marlo, Patric Knowles, Shani Ben Wright and Leslie Thompson — this didn’t hit right with me at first. It felt like a long black out sketch from Night Gallery. Yet the more I think about it, well, I keep thinking about this movie. I mean, what other movie finds roles for Victor Buono, Bernard Fox, Farley Granger and Jamie Farr? How many fog machines did it take to make this? And wow, it was produced by Bing Crosby Productions?

Directed by Georg Fenady, who other than this and the aforementioned Terror in the Wax Museum mainly worked in TV and written by Jameson Brewer (who did write The Incredible Mr. Limpet) and John Fenton Murray (whose credits include Sid and Marty Krofft shows and Partridge Family 2200 AD), this feels like something made in between episodes of other shows. Yet it has some weird charm that keeps bringing me back to it. Maybe it’s the Shani Walls theme at the end?


In Italian, a m’arcord means I remember and this is what Federico Fellini does in this film which recounts his childhood and the life of his childhood best friend, Luigi Titta Benzi, who is the inspiration for Titta, the main character. Fellini took efforts to say that this was not an autobiographical film, but thoughts of his past.

What’s amazing to me is this Oscar-winning film — Best Foreign Language Film and nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay — was brought to the U.S. by Roger Corman.

Titta (Bruno Zanin) and his friends would rather be involved with pranks and attempt to lose their virginity than studying under fascism. This film has a scene where four of them masturbate in a car while discussing women like Bardot that may shock U.S. audiences, not because there’s any nudity, but the frankness and idea of boys exploring their sexuality in the same confined space is something that Americans would deny ever doing.

Many of Titta’s fantasies revolve around Gradisca (Magali Noël), the most beautiful woman in town who is due to be married to a fascist officer, as well as an encounter with a well-endowed tobacconist (Maria Antonietta Beluzzi) who nearly overwhelms him with her bosom.

This is an episodic film, filled with moments like Titta’s institutionalized uncle climbing a tree and screaming, “I want a woman!” as well as his father’s past as an anarchist, a winter family tragedy, the town coming together for a festival and an ocean liner passing by and everyone meeting it by boat. It’s charming and perhaps the most accessible of Fellini’s films, even if the Italian sexuality of it all may be too much for American puritanical eyes.

How important of a movie is this? It was the first film released in the letterboxed format when it came out on a RCA SelectaVision CED videodisc.

NEW WORLD PICTURES MONTH: The Final Programme (1973)

I have no idea what American audiences thought when confronted by the Robert Fuest directed and written The Final Programme, released here as The Last Days of Man on Earth.

Based on the novel of the same name by Michael Moorcock, this is the story of physicist, secret agent and dandy Jerry Cornelius (Jon Finch, Frenzy, who replaced Timothy Dalton at the last minute), who first attends the funeral burning of his father, a man who created the titular Final Programme, which will create the ultimate self-replicating immortal human. The world is ending, but a series of scientists and government types want this to come to pass while all Jerry wants to do is rescue his sister — and quite possibly lover — Catharine (Sarah Douglas) from his drugged-out brother Frank (Derrick O’Connor), all the while avoiding the man devouring secret agent Miss Brunner (Jenny Runacre, Jubilee).

Let me put this out there: this is a film that is all about its look more than caring if you understand the story. Either you’re going to love the ideas and Cornelius or you’re going to quit before its over. If you stick around, you’ll get a gigantic arcade filled with nuns playing slot machines for fruit (look for Moorcock and Hawkwind hanging out), needlegun battles, a hero addicted to drinking and biscuits, and an ending that really defies a conclusion, something that had to infuriate anyone not familiar with the source novel, which would be less than a handful, I believe.

Plus, you get Sterling Hayden as military man Major Wrongway Lindberg; Graham Crowden, Basil Henson and George Coulouris as the doctors; a Patrick Magee cameo; Fuest going wild creating sets and scenes that don’t always work (but who cares) and a strange feel that really makes this unlike any other movie I’ve seen.

It would be two years until Fuest got to make another movie — The Devil’s Rain! — and that didn’t work out so well either, sending him back to where he began, directing episodes of The New Avengers. He’d spend the rest of his career in TV, making ABC Afterschool Specials (Make-Believe MarriageA Movie Star’s DaughterA Family of Stranges and My Mother Was Never a Kid), The Big Stuffed DogRevenge of the Stepford Wives and episodes of Worlds BeyondC.A.T.S. Eyes and The Optimist. He also made Aphrodite, a film that had both softcore and hardcore cuts.

In a perfect world, Fuest would have had great success, but who knows? Maybe he was happy that after two Dr. Phibes movies he wasn’t typecast as a horror director. Perhaps he was even happier than the failure of The Devil’s Rain! put a nail in that coffin. His movies are challenges, with sets her decorated himself, films that never tell the audience all — or often any — of what’s happening, that are anything but wallpaper to have in the background.


Dr. Gerald Appleby (Michael Greene) starts to believe that he’s been cloned. That’s because he barely escaped his lab’s explosion and everyone in his life thinks that they’ve seen him in places that he knows that he hasn’t been. He goes on the run, not only chased by mad scientist Carl Swafford (Stanley Adams, Cyrano Jones from the original Star Trek), but also violent thugs Sawyer (Otis Young, Blood Beach) and Nemo (Gregory Sierra, which is disconcerting, because I am used to seeing him as the face of goodness from his role as Det. Sgt. Chano Amenguale on Barney Miller).

Directed by Paul Hunt (he also directed Twisted Nightmare and produced Demon Wind) and Lamar Card (who directed Supervan and Jukebox AKA Disco Fever, as well as the producer of Nashville GirlSavage Harvest and Project: Metalbeast), who co-wrote the film with Steve Fisher, who started writing movies back in 1938 with Nurse from Brooklyn. He also wrote the novel and screenplay for I Wake Up ScreamingHell’s Half AcreJohnny Angel and episodes of Peter GunnMcMillan & WifeCannon and Fantasy Island.

Most people will watch this movie and see a slow moving film that goes nowhere, filled with fish-eye lens addled drug scenes and an overwhelming sense of conspiracy doom. As for me, I read that sentence and only see the positives. Young and Sierra seem to be having a blast, the ending is as cynical as it gets and a lot of the ending takes place inside an amusement park that seems to run itself. It’s a movie that came out on VHS, has had no major DVD release and has never come out on blu ray. It’s almost as lost as a movie gets these days.

You can watch this on Tubi.