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Daktari, Peanuts, and Doctor Blood

With the holidays almost here, it's a perfect time to cuddle up in front of the TV and watch your favorite movies and TV series. But how do you catch those hard-to-find cult favorites that never seem to air on television anymore? Easy-go to The M.O.D. Squad and check out all the latest reviews of manufactured on demand discs, straight from the studio vaults! Right here, right now, at The M.O.D. Squad!

Edited and compiled by Paul Mavis

No jokes or spoofs this holiday edition. Just a wish from all of us here at The M.O.D. Squad that wherever you are, that whatever you believe, and that whatever you celebrate, that you have friends and loved ones with you, and that your days ahead are joyous. Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays, M.O.D. lovers!

We have quite a few M.O.D. reviews to help bring the curtain down on 2011, so when you're counting your Christmas cash, running around in a dazed frenzy trying to figure out what to spend it on, calm down, read The M.O.D. Squad, bring up your illegal internet, and order your M.O.D.s for instant gratification. Let's dig in! First up is a spotlight review from Paul Mavis for the classic CBS family adventure series, Daktari

M.O.D. Squad Spotlight


Irresistible for kids and families. Warner Bros.' indispensable Archive Collection, their M.O.D. (manufactured on demand) library of little-seen TV and movie favorites, has released Daktari: The Complete First Season, a four-disc, 18-episode collection of the smash-hit CBS mid-season replacement from 1966, based on producer Ivan Tors' 1965 feature film success, Clarence, The Cross-Eyed Lion. Starring Marshall Thompson, Cheryl Miller, Yale Summers, Hedley Mattingly, Hari Rhodes, Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion himself, and Judy the Chimpanzee, Daktari is typical second-phase fare from producer Ivan Tors: family-friendly, (largely) non-violent, animal-centric, and simplistic perhaps in storytelling...but entertaining, nonetheless. No extras for this nice-looking transfer.

East Africa, 1965. In the Wameru province, still under the nominal control of the British Empire, veterinarian Dr. Marsh Tracy (Marshall Thompson) has secured permission from the area governor to set aside not only many square miles for a game preserve, but also to operate the Wameru Study Center for Animal Behavior and hospital. There, with the aid of his pretty young daughter Paula (Cheryl Miller), "Daktari" (Swahili for "doctor") is experimenting with his "affection training" method of dealing with animals: no guns, no prods, no whips--just love and affection and respect when handling a wild, savage animal that could easily rip out your throat. Aiding him in his research is handsome American Jack Dane (Yale Summers), and handsome African local Mike (Hari Rhodes), both aspiring zoologists working on their field studies. Of course, Daktari's new methods of respecting these brutes rubs the various poachers, thieves, and local tribesmen that seem to crawl all over Africa the wrong way, so Daktari's preserve is under constant assault from small-minded men who can't see that if you only talk slowly and clearly to a fang-dripping leopard, letting him know you want to be friends, the leopard will automatically release your throat and begin purring like a tabby kitten. Helping keep those persistent poachers away are District Officer Hedley (Hedley Mattingly), a "veddy" British military officer, Clarence, a cross-eyed lion who's as gentle as a lamb, and Judy, the mischievous chimp who apparently is the smartest one of the bunch, such are her powers not only in understanding human speech and cognitive thought, but also her ability to positively slay any foe with a deadly show of overwhelming cuteness.

I have very vague memories of Daktari from my childhood, most probably from syndication rather than during its original run. Certainly producer Ivan Tors' Flipper played more frequently in re-runs, attaining a level of pop culture awareness that far exceeded Daktari?an ironic development considering Daktari's strong showing in the Nielsen ratings, compared to Flipper's lower profile. With producer Tors in full animal/kid/family-friendly mode by 1965, it probably wasn't hard for CBS to bet on another Tors animal series. Flipper, over on NBC, was coming to the end of its successful run, so Tors certainly didn't want his presence on network television to wane. The feature film that was the basis for Daktari, Clarence The Cross-Eyed Lion (starring Daktari's Marshall Thompson and Cheryl Miller in the same roles) had been a drive-in and matinee hit for M-G-M in the summer of 1965. A few years before, Howard Hawk's Hatari (which Daktari resembles in structure), had been a solid hit for John Wayne, while Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom was cleaning up in syndication. And as always, all those Hollywood Tarzan epics were delivering consistent ratings on local TV stations with a whole new generation of kids whose parents grew up on those jungle adventures (with ABC soon putting Tarzan on the small screen in the fall of 1966, no doubt buoyed by the success of Daktari). Couple all that with a killer time slot on the CBS sked (right behind The Red Skelton Hour, the fourth most-watched series for the year), and all Tors had to do was get an hour's worth of serviceable jungle adventure together every week, and watch the money roll right in.

As for those "serviceable" adventures, let's face it: Daktari isn't high drama. Nor does it have to be, frankly. Daktari is designed as family entertainment, with heavy doses of it aimed squarely at young children, so simplistic storylines about Daktari and his crew patching up sick and wounded animals, with evil, one-note poachers prowling around the peripheries (it's remarkable how many poachers show up this season) work well enough (like the Tarzan movies, interlopers always equal trouble). As produced, these episodes mesh perfectly into kids' short attention spans, with dialogue scenes kept short and uncomplicated, punctuated more than frequently with cutaways to a cute animal like Judy, or stock footage from Africa. The deepest discussions you're going to get from the rather stock characters here are whether or not man should kill animal; in Return of the Killer, Part 1, Mike asks Daktari several times who created all of this (nature), to which Daktari grimaces sheepishly and says nothing. Clearly, Daktari at this point is more interested in the animals than the humans. And again, that's just fine. What 8-year-old needs a discussion in existential angst over man's place among the beasts?

Those kids wanted to see Judy the chimp in action, and executive producer Tors makes sure she gets more screen time than all the other actors combined. If Daktari was intended to capitalize on the popularity of big-screen Clarence The Cross-Eyed Lion, clearly a decision was made early to focus instead on Judy, who is leaps and bounds more appealing (all sleepy Clarence can do is look confused or annoyed as the double-vision special effect is slapped on for diminishing-returns laughs). Like Tors' Flipper, she's a star who knows it. As an adult, it's easy to laugh at the frequently ridiculous things we're shown that Judy supposedly can understand and do without prompting, just by merely telling her. But kids believe it (and love it, as evidenced by a couple of my little kids who squealed every time Judy came on). Like Lassie or Flipper, Judy apparently can follow quite complicated instructions from her human counterparts, along with deciphering subtle interpersonal intimations that would confuse a 10-year-old...that is, when she isn't just cognitively acting out on her own (I love when she takes it upon herself to take out a poacher by setting up a trap to block his car). It's hilarious when Paula or Daktari make her look right at them and rattle off a long explanation as to why she needs to stay and nurse a sick fellow animal (which she does immediately and with alacrity), but no one is denying it's also enormously entertaining to see this charismatic little actor go through her paces. In Judy and the Hyena, she has to fake an arm injury, and the way she holds her little arm, it's remarkable how believable it looks (unless....). In that same episode, this little chimp is actually able to express, with the help of editing, of course, something as complex as ennui, for god's sake--a level of subtle emotion her human counterparts aren't exactly called on to execute here, considering their cardboard construction.

The other animals get in on the act, too; I thought I'd die laughing when Paula is supposedly giving Clarence complicated instructions...over a walkie talkie (I wouldn't have even been able to follow them), but Judy is clearly the star here (monkeys acting silly are money in the bank for kids. There's a terrific sequence that goes on quite long where a family of monkeys destroys the hospital--complete with a shot of the handler sneaking into the frame--that's about as close to "monkey porn for kids" as you're ever going to get). As for all that "affection training" mumbo-jumbo that Daktari is always touting, it sure sounds nice (if you ignore the accusations that trainer Ralph Helfer was merely doping up all those critters). But you'd have to be mental to go out into the African bush with a dart gun-toting Daktari who claims very few animals have natural enemies, or that most animals in the bush are "friendly and intelligent, and we treat them with respect and fondness (remind me of that when a vicious, screaming baboon is squatting on my chest). There's no question some of the actors feel differently, though; Hari Rhodes, in the first episode, looks like he's ready to bolt for the honey wagon when that "friendly, intelligent" cheetah flips out and gets ready to pounce on him, while Hedley Mattingly looks decidedly nervous, locked up in a cage with a big black bear (in Africa?) that starts gnawing on his arm.

If anyone back in 1965 cared about tigers and bears showing up in a show about Africa, Tors and his team of scripters simply toss it off as Daktari's experiments in "interspecies relationships," and the problem is solved. Clearly, the locale of the hospital isn't Africa, but Africa, U.S.A., animal trainer Ralph Helfer's wildlife park in Soledad Canyon, 40 miles outside of Los Angeles (is that snow on the ground in one scene?), and supposedly, the interiors were shot at Tors' Florida studios (that must have been a fun commute for the actors--perhaps it was cheaper for Tors that way, rather than shooting at M-G-M and getting charged for the studio overhead?). But again, what kid knew that back in 1965? The production design is skillful enough to make anyone but the most curmudgeonly accept it all as a smack at bush reality; if the editing is a little rough, and some of the stock footage is overused, who cares? Certainly not the target audience, then or now. After watching a few episodes before they peeled off to do other things, I asked my littler kids if they thought Africa looked like fun, and they said, "Sure. The monkeys there know just what you're saying." Case closed for Daktari.

It's hard to say if CBS thought they had as big a winner on their hands as they got with Daktari, but clearly someone placed it with care on the CBS sked. Coming in at mid-season in January, 1966, occupying once-mighty Rawhide that had since crashed and burned out, Daktari decimated its competition in its Tuesday 7:30pm timeslot. Over on ABC, Combat, which had been the 10th most watched series in the country the year before, dropped out of the Nielsen Top Thirty altogether against Clarence and Judy, while over on NBC, Daktari faced one of the all-time most popular butt-of-the-joke series in television history: the legendary My Mother the Car with Jerry Van Dyke (it's really not that bad...) and the innocuous non-starter, Please Don't Eat the Daisies. With 4th most popular show in the country The Red Skelton Hour as lead-out, Daktari in just half a season scored as the 14th most show of the entire 1965-1966 season, a remarkable feat that it would best in its sophomore session, when it would enter the vaunted Nielsen Top Ten.

The DVD:

The Video:
The full-screen, 1.33:1 transfer for Daktari: The Complete First Season looks fairly good, with okay-to-good color (perhaps a bit muddy at times, but that could be the original look), a sharpish picture, and minimal grain.

The Audio:
The Dolby Digital English mono audio track is okay, with a bit more hiss than expected, but a strong re-recording level. No subtitles or close-captions available.

The Extras:
No extras for Daktari: The Complete First Season.

Final Thoughts:
Recommended family fare. Producer Ivan Tors may not have been John Houseman, but he delivered a quality product that was entertaining, time and again, and Daktari was no exception. A natural for little kids who like to watch animals do funny tricks and stunts, Daktari keeps it simple, keeps it light, and keeps it fun. I'm recommending Daktari: The Complete First Season.

Recent M.O.D. Reviews

Matt Hinrichs looked Lost Horizon, the notorious 1973 musical adaptation of James Hilton's novel, starring the eclectic cast of Peter Finch, Liv Ullmann, Sally Kellerman, George Kennedy, Olivia Hussey, Michael York, Charles Boyer, and John Gielgud:

Lost Horizon is a bloated, bizarre, miscast mess of a movie, but there are a lot of good things going for it, as well. Like a lot of films with awful reputations, the end product is not nearly as terrible as one would think. Lost Horizon is a good example of a terrible film given a great presentation on DVD. Although it will never be a masterpiece, the thoughtful extras and nicely done picture/soundtrack turn the film into a highly misunderstood, sometimes even enjoyable fiasco that is worth a second look.

Rohit Rao reviewed 1986's cult comedy, Detective School Dropouts, starring Steve Landsberg and Lorin Dreyfuss:

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. That must have been what David Landsberg and Lorin Dreyfuss were thinking when they sat down to write Detective School Dropouts, which would turn into a starring vehicle for themselves. The fact that the 1986 film turned out to be a commercial failure doesn't take away from the fact that Landsberg and Dreyfuss created an entertaining bit of silliness that makes me want to smack my head with one hand and clutch my gut with the other. Slapstick is a tough business to get right. Underplay it and the effect is missed altogether. Overplay it and the proceedings just feel childish and unfunny. Credit goes to Landsberg and Dreyfuss for presenting their particular brand of humor in a manner that consistently yields big laughs. Audiences didn't flock to the film on its initial release but this release from M-G-M's manufactured-on-demand program gives us a chance to correct their oversight. It comes highly recommended.

Stuart Galbraith IV looked at Monogram cheapie The Living Ghost from 1942, the Forrest Tucker actioner, Counterplot, director Sidney J. Furie's Doctor Blood's Coffin, Morey Amsterdam's long sought-after cult classic, Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title, 1950's Death of a Scoundrel, starring (who else), George Sanders, Western Gunfighters of Abilene, starring Buster Crabbe, and Top Banana, starring the incomparable Phil Silvers:

Despite its title, the obscure, Poverty Row mystery-comedy, The Living Ghost, isn't a horror movie and has no ghosts in it, living or otherwise. A pristine new transfer of this Monogram Studios production might trump other available versions, at least for hard-core fans of super-cheap movies, but this video transfer here is only fair with weak blacks that give it a washed-out appearance. Add to that, the film is a very typical example of Monogram's movies from that period: cheap, claustrophobic, and uneventful. However, star Dunn is breezy and agreeable, as is ingénue Joan Woodbury, and despite its extremely low budget (well under $50,000, probably in the $15,000-$20,000 range), by Poverty Row Horrors standards it has a couple of halfway-good points.

Not much needs to be said of this very minor B-movie notable only for its two leads, Forrest Tucker and gorgeous Allison Hayes, plus the fact that Counterplot seems to have been made entirely on location in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a very different place when this was made. Despite veteran talent behind the camera as well, the picture abounds in genre clichés and its second-half is dominated by a terrible performance by Gerald Milton, a Fred Clark type unsuccessfully channeling Sydney Greenstreet. This M-G-M's Limited Edition Collection disc is presented in the wrong aspect ratio, 1.33:1 full frame instead of its proper 1.85:1, but the transfer is decent and zoomed-in reformats to 1.78:1 reasonably well. Karl Struss's compositions are infinitely better framed at this ratio.

"Hello? Doctor Blood's office." Most British horror films from the late 1950s through the early '60s fall into one of two categories: Hammer films and imitation Hammer films. Others were throwbacks to Hollywood mad scientist movies of the 1940s, which is the case here. The story and screenplay is credited to Jerry Juran, who under the name Nathan Juran began as an esteemed art director in the 1940s before switching to directing in the early 1950s. Either his taste-meter was broken or he liked to keep busy, because as a director he alternated between good and rotten movies. It's not clear how Doctor Blood's Coffin ended up as a British film directed not by Juran but rather by Sidney J. Furie, a London-based Canadian at the beginning of his long career, but the poor script certainly bears Juran's stamp. The movie is unusual in a number of ways, and at 92 minutes, overlong, boring, and generally uneventful. It works from a scary, even disturbing premise, but that's lost in a misguided approach and a ludicrous approach to medical matters and science generally. Despite the nonsensical if provocative title--there's a coffin in the movie, but it's not Doctor Blood's, nor does it have any significance in the story--it's not a neo-Gothic in the Hammer mode. I'm glad M-G-M chose to release it; personally, I've wanted to see it for many years. Their Limited Edition Collection disc offers a nice 16:9 enhanced widescreen presentation with no extra features.

In case you had any lingering suspicions, and thought that maybe, just maybe, Morey Amsterdam might have been the real brains behind The Dick Van Dyke Show, look no further than Amsterdam's magnum opus, the feature film in which he not only stars, but also produced and co-wrote: 1966's Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title. Alarmingly bad yet fascinating, it may be a car wreck of a movie, but for various reasons it's absolutely a must-see along the lines of other cinematic atrocities such as Skidoo (1968) and Myra Breckenridge (1970). And especially if you're a fan of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title is exactly the kind of movie Amsterdam's Buddy Sorrell would have made without Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) and Sally Rogers (Rose Marie) to rein him in. Partly because of the film's many unbilled star cameos, this has long been sought after by a small but determined group of collectors. M-G-M's Limited Edition Collection disc is worth the wait, featuring as it does a sparkling 16:9 enhanced widescreen transfer. And remember, as Morey says at the end: "Many of your friends will be coming to see this thrilling and absorbing picture. Don't spoil it for them by divulging the thrilling and shocking ending!"

Neither good/unusual enough to sustain its two-hour running time, nor so-bad-it's-good. Instead, Death of a Scoundrel is mostly long and dull, though certainly a curiosity. Part of the problem is that the picture isn't anything like audiences might have imagined. Given the title and its star, George Sanders, one might reasonably have expected some kind of riff on his Academy Award-winning signature role, as coldly calculating, acerbically witty theater critic Addison DeWitt, in All About Eve (1950). Instead, Sanders gives an embarrassingly bad performance, one of the worst of his career. In this he plays a part that at times is almost the opposite of his usual screen persona and, unexpectedly, it seems to have been too much for him to handle; in certain scenes he's like an amateur. An all-region Warner Archive Collection, manufactured-on-demand (MOD) DVD, Death of a Scoundrel gets a decent 1.85:1 enhanced widescreen transfer. No extras.

For what it is, namely a low-budget B-Western probably shot in 10 days or less, this is actually pretty decent. Nothing about it is remotely groundbreaking, nor is it particularly notable in any way. However, the script by Orville H. Hampton and the direction by Edward L. Cahn are reasonably intelligent, creative, and workmanlike, and the cast of mostly aging genre veterans is enjoyable, particularly Buster Crabbe and Barton MacLane. Also helping things enormously is the fact that Gunfighters of Abilene boasts a sparkling anamorphic widescreen transfer and this Limited Edition Collection disc even includes a trailer.

An intriguing oddity unique to all of cinema, this began life as a 1951 Broadway musical-comedy, about an egomaniacal, joke-stealing television comedian, Jerry Biffle, and his frenetic adventures while preparing for the new season of his top-rated variety series. It was clear to Broadway audiences that Biffle was patterned after egomaniacal, joke-stealing Milton Berle even though comedian Phil Silvers (who won a Tony) played Jerry, Silvers still several years away from his signature role as Sgt. Bilko. The show was a very modest success, and apparently it did reasonably well when the mostly-intact company took it on the road. To save money, it was decided that, rather than adapt Top Banana like other movie musicals, the film version would essentially document a complete performance of the stage show. Reusing the stage version's sets, costumes, and props, Top Banana unfolds entirely onstage, supposedly (but not really) in front of an occasionally seen, rarely heard from theater audience. Further, the whole thing was filmed in 3-D, the idea being that moviegoers would vicariously experience a Broadway-style performance, from the vantage point of top dollar theater "seats." Long unavailable, now at last there's M-G-M's Limited Edition Collection disc. It's missing about 15 minutes of footage and the print has several awkward splices, but the color is good and the image is sharp, despite some reports that all M-G-M currently has in its vault are 16mm elements. And, of course, it's not in 3-D.

Jamie S. Rich looks at director Robert E. Kent's indie, Incident in an Alley, and director Phil Karlson's Behind the Mask:

Incident in an Alley is a tightly made independent film from the start of the 1960s that, despite its adherence to fairly straightforward genre construction (or perhaps because of it), is entirely forgettable. Directed by B-movie stalwart Robert E. Kent (It! The Terror from Beyond Space) and based on a short story by The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling, the movie details a fairly standard police story, following one cop's crises after a bad night on the beat. It's fast and it's efficient, and the story about a cop shooting a young boy explores the questions surrounding the killing with a minimum of fuss. The performances and the direction are all okay enough, and everything fits in place nicely--which ultimately makes Incident in an Alley a mildly entertaining but insubstantial viewing experience. It's of some interest to fans of Rod Serling, who wrote the story that the film is adapted from, but casual viewers need not work too hard to get their hands on the disc.

Behind the Mask is a dismal misfire. Walter Gibson's pulp avenger, the Shadow, has survived the decades and adapted well to a variety of media, leaping from prose to radio and even starring in some pretty fantastic comics through the 1980s and 1990s. The Shadow is a masked crimefighter who is secretly rich do-gooder Lamont Cranston. He has mystical powers of hypnotism at his disposal and is known for his insidious laugh. It's his trademark. All the more weird, then, that the Shadow never laughs in Phil Karlson's 1946 movie Behind the Mask. You won't laugh either, even though for all intents and purposes it appears you're supposed to. Behind the Mask is a light comedy adaptation of the Shadow story. George Callahan's script leans heavily toward social comedy, all but forgetting that its source material is gritty crime fiction. This would be fine if the film was actually funny, but Callahan's dull-witted dialogue is done no added favors by Karlson's plodding direction. As a comedy director, Phil Karlson (Kansas City Confidential) totally fizzles. Most of the physical gags end up being poorly staged pantomime, which the director then tries to rescue with idiotic cartoon sound effects. The actors appear bemused by the sitcom scenarios they find themselves in, but none of them are convincing as erudite socialites, much less effective amateur detectives.

And Paul Mavis looks at AIP's biker flick, Devil's Angels, starring John Cassavetes, Jack Palance's wild Hong Kong actioner, Kill a Dragon, Burt Reynolds's campy Malone, Peanuts Motion Comics Collection, the funny Christmas romance, Bachelor Mother with Ginger Rogers and David Niven, and the insane chop socky epic, Golden Needles, with Joe Don Baker and Elizabeth Ashley:

And a good time was had by all. Thoughtful trash. M-G-M's own M.O.D. (manufactured on demand) service of hard-to-find library and cult titles has released Devil's Angels, the 1967 American International Pictures biker flick from producer Roger Corman starring John Cassavetes, Beverly Adams, Mimsy Farmer, Leo Gordon, and Buck Taylor. Written by AIP master-in-residence, Charles Griffith, Devil's Angels doesn't blow its cool until its nasty, brief ending, building up a good head of steam through solid scripting and performances. Necessary viewing for anyone interested in the evolution of the 60s biker movies.

Hong Kong phooey. M-G-M's own M-G-M Limited Edition Collection has released Kill a Dragon, the 1967 United Artists cheapie Hong Kong actioner starring huffers and puffers Jack Palance, Fernando Lamas, Aldo Ray, and Don Knight. Some great location work in Hong Kong, along with the fun of seeing Palance shooting for James Bond (and not even hitting Dino's Matt Helm)...but a lot more action would have sure helped this combo Casablanca/Seven Samurai pastiche. Kill a Dragon isn't at all good...but that's what makes it good (I got that out of a fortune cookie). Jack Palance is hopelessly funny as a Bondian Bogey. A mess, but undeniably amusing. An original trailer is included in this just-okay transfer.

Perfectly acceptable maloney. Malone, the 1987 actioner from Orion Pictures starring Burt Reynolds, Cliff Robertson, Lauren Hutton, Cynthia Gibb, Scott Wilson, and Kenneth McMillan, is a rather straightforward exploiter, with a somber, low-key Reynolds. Malone plays more like TV than the big screen, with various 80s action film cliches intact, but not too overly-done. Agreeable time waster if you're an 80s action/Burt Reynolds completist. Nothing too terribly originally here...but adequate, nonetheless. No extras for this okay transfer.

Warner Premiere Digital has released the Peanuts Motion Comics Collection, a 20 mini-episode gathering of "motion comic" digital shorts that Warner Bros. produced and released (first on iTunes) in 2008. Based on the original cartoon strips by Charles Schulz, these "motion comics" aren't any more "limited" in their animation than the average Cartoon Network offering, so don't let the "motion comic" tag fool you with these simple but sharply-rendered widescreen offerings. They're quite fun, too, with Charles Schulz's original strip ideas intact, executed simply and with bounce.

Fast, fun Christmas romance of mistaken identity, with a decidedly subversive undertone. Warner Bros.' indispensable Archive Collection of M.O.D. (manufactured on demand) library and cult tiles has released Bachelor Mother, the 1939 mistaken motherhood farce from RKO starring dollface Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn, Frank Albertson, and E.E. Clive. A cleverly designed comedy that gets away with a lot more than you'd expect from a 1939 studio release, Bachelor Mother keeps surprising us with its cheeky, fresh attitude about motherhood and Depression-era economics in a way that may not have been seen on screens since the Production Code went into effect...but one that was surely understood by a lot of women out in the audiences lining up for this major Rogers hit. A so-so transfer with no extras, this time around.

Completely, deliciously, crazy. M-G-M's Limited Edition Collection of M.O.D. (manufactured on demand) cult and little-seen titles has released Golden Needles, the 1974 chop socky opus released by American International, directed by none other than Enter the Dragon's Robert Clouse, and starring human cement mixer Joe Don Baker, Elizabeth Ashley, Ann Southern, Jim Kelly, and Burgess Meredith. That particular cast, starring in that particular genre of movie, should be enough right there to get your fingers flying over the keyboard to order this...this bizarre film. A genuine curiosity, in a fairly good transfer...but no extras.

See you next time, in the New Year, right here at The M.O.D. Squad!

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