This week’s mystery movie has been the 1973 film “Bad Charleston Charlie,” released by International Cinema Corporation, presented by Reno Carell, in association with Bad Charleston Charlie Associates. It was produced by Ross Hagen, directed by Ivan Nagy, with Ross Hagen, Kelly Thordsen, Hoke Howell, Dal Jenkins, Carmen Zapata, Mel Berger, John Carradine, Ken Lynch, Jon Dalk, Tony Lorea, Claire Hagen and Paul Gregory White. It was photographed by Michael Neyman, written by Ross Hagen, Ivan Nagy and Stan Kamber from an original story by Ross Hagen and Ivan Nagy.
“Bad Charleston Charlie” is not available on DVD or Blu-ray. The VHS copies are quite rare and usually go for a lot of money on EBay.
So obscure that it isn’t even rated on “Rotten Tomatoes,” “Bad Charleston Charlie,” is in the genre of Le Bad Filme, but it lacks the auteur self-importance of anything from Ed Wood Jr. (it seems to have been improvised on the spot) so it will never attain the cult status of “Plan 9 From Outer Space.” I wrote about the film years ago and someone commented in shock that it had ever been released on cassette, which piqued my interest. It took years, but I recently found a copy at a reasonable price. I dubbed it to DVD for my personal use and if anyone is interested in the cassette, I am entertaining offers.
A word about the photography by Michael Neyman. It’s awful. Fortunately, “Bad Charleston Charlie” seems to have been Neyman’s last film as a director of photography.
Twenty years after the release of “Bad Charleston Charlie,” director Ivan Nagy had some inconveniences with the law over allegations that he was recruiting young women for a call girl ring.
“Bad Charleston Charlie” was premiered May 8, 1973, as a benefit for the Reiss-Davis Clinic and Oak Hill School at the Avco Center Theater in Westwood with Angie Dickinson as host.
May 10, 1973: Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times calls “Bad Charleston Charlie” “not merely bad, but terrible.”
For Monday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Ken Lynch.
For Tuesday, we have this mystery gent.
Update: This is Mel Berger.
Brain Trust roll call: Anne Papineau (Monday’s mystery gent) and Tucson Barbara (Monday’s mystery gent/wrong movie).
For Wednesday, we have a mystery two-fer. Our mystery gent….
Update: This is Hoke Howell.
And a mystery lady….
Update: This is Carmen Zapata.
For Thursday ….
… we have this not terribly mysterious chap. I have cropped out the leading man. You get to see him tomorrow.
Update: This is John Carradine, who was either staggering drunk while filming and improvised his lines or did a masterful performance of being staggering drunk and improvising his lines.
Brain Trust roll call: Tucson Barbara (mystery movie, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests), Dewey Webb (Wednesday’s mystery guest) and L.C. (mystery movie and Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests).
And for Friday…..
… these are our two mystery leading men. No, seriously. These are the two leads in the film. Really.
Update: This is writer/producer Ross Hagen and Kelly Thordsen.
Brain Trust roll call for Friday: Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mystery gent), Tucson Barbara (Thursday’s mystery gent), Don Danard (Thursday’s mystery gent), Anne Papineau (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery gent), Victory H. Brown (Thursday’s mystery gent), Howard Decker (Thursday’s mystery gent), Patricia van Hartesveldt (Thursday’s mystery gent), Dewey Webb (mystery movie) and Mandie Marie (Thursday’s mystery gent).