Thursday, November 1, 2018

FROM the CINEMA SLAGHEAP: MUSICAL MUTINY



Today on the slagheap is a real stinker from Barry Mahon. 

The movie Musical Mutiny is one of two "lost" rock n roll movies from this producer/director. Although the poster above is apparently for a double bill of Musical Mutiny and for a movie called Weekend Rebellion, the movie we're discussing for your edification is Musical Mutiny.

Barry Mahon produced and /or directed many films and many of them in the "Youth culture exploitation" style. He was a fighter pilot in WWII. He joined the Royal Air Force and flew in the no.121 squadron, which was composed of American volunteers. His tally as a fighter pilot was 5 confirmed, 2 probable, and 3 damaged. He was shot down and captured. He escaped twice but was recaptured and finally freed by Patton's 3rd Army in 1945. He actually worked on escape tunnels at Stalag Luft III made famous by the movie The Great Escape, Hilts "The Cooler King" was loosely based on him.

After the war Mahon became the personal pilot for Errol Flynn, and then his personal manager. Mahon then went on to produce some movies for Flynn. Mahon's film making journey was quite a trip, and it's kinda weird that it led to this kind of thing. 

What you get with this film is a kinda weird flick that goes best at a 3a.m. veiwing. The movie is kind of bad even by bad movie standards. Meaning that there are movies that are bad, yet they are very entertaining in various ways, often times it is the bad variables that make the films entertaining. And then there are some movies that are just bad, as in not very entertaining to watch. If you have the inclination, watching this celluliod atrocity is not a complete waste of time, but it's pretty close.


Not exactly Black Beard is he?

The premise is that a pirate ghost appears at Florida's Pirate World amusement park. He starts to spread the word about a mutiny happening at Pirate World. The word gets spread and all the hip youth are game to show up and check it out. The ghost pirate convinces the guys working the gate to let the kids in free. So the masses of hip youth culture show up. 

The so called "mutiny" is Iron Butterfly playing live. Yet they do not play live in this movie but instead pretend to play and sing to the tracks. The dubbing is rather crappy  and I wonder why since they had the band and the stage set up, they just didn't have them play live. (I think the band actually was playing a concert there any way so there was probably some budgetary reason for this). The band play two songs and then the owner pulls the plug because he can't pay the band if the kids don't pay up. Kids start playing their own music in various incarnations around the park then. Bands like The New Society Band, The Fantasy, and some others.

A hippie comes up with the money so Iron Butterfly can come back. They do and pantomime a performance to their biggest hit In-a-Godda-da-Vida, along with some less than stellar psychedelic effects. There are a few subplots and not all of them really get resolved, but that's the kind of thing you sometimes get with low budget film making.

Unless you are an Iron Butterfly completest, it may be hard to see the point in watching this film. But rest easy kids, there are a few things that make this at least mildly entertaining. 

First off, the film isn't that long, so it's not like your wasting much of your life seeing this.Next thing is the acting. Thespian excellence is nowhere to be seen in this thing, but often bad acting is satisfyingly entertaining. I find this to be the case here. The guy who plays the pirate ghost is surely in need of a few lessons at the local acting school. Although the guy throws around a few pirate terms (i.e. matey,etc) he does not use anything that comes within light years of a believable delivery. I  guess he comes from the school of "less is more." 

This guy is not only not mailing it in, he left it on the table when he left for work in the morning. 

It is that bad... and that good.

The film also exudes that weird, low budget je ne sais quoi that goofs like me really find life affirming in some strange way. But, let me tell you the best part of this thing in my humble opinion: There are a number of bands playing songs in this movie. There is a part where a guy is playing an organ and a girl is singing. It is absolutely BAD ASS!!! The organ sounds tough as the guy lays out a kind of delta blue riff and the girl delivers the lyrics with one heck'uva powerful voice. This tune destroys anything I ever heard from Iron Butterfly period. I have no idea who they were (I think they were part of a band that get together at another point in the film) but I wish just those two would have cut a record. I would buy it right now!

So if you get a chance to see this thing and you don't have to spend much, or better yet, any money, to check it out then go ahead if you got some time and brain cells to kill. You could do worse. 

Well maybe.


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