Oh, dear. As my long-time readers know, I have a Netflix queue that defies both imagination and logic. You know how Netflix pops up with suggestions for you to watch? I think I’ve managed to break that function. I get both Sailor Moon titles as well as Friday the 13th. As the good Hubster says, I’m one hot mess. So both of these flicks showed up at my house at the same time, so I felt compelled to watch them back-to-back, as dissimilar as they are.
Anyway. The Glass House was a made-for-TV movie from 1972, based on a Truman Capote story, starring Alan Alda in all his sideswept hair – hang dog expression glory. Alan has the bad luck of accidentally killing a guy who mowed down a lady with a stroller with his car. Vigilante justice never pays, dude. So he gets sent down for 1 year (!) at a maximum-security prison (!!). Seriously. The same day he shows up as the new fish, Clu Gulager (it’s a 1970’s TV Movie after all!) starts his new career as a prison guard. Rounding out the cast is the great Vic Morrow and a magnificent porn mustache, along with Billy Dee Williams and his silky silky voice. Like all prison flicks, there’s the story of the established prison HMFIC prisoner (Morrow) who sets his sights on the new guy (Alda), and new guy feels the need to buck the established system because hey, he’s better than everyone else in prison because he doesn’t really belong here. Clu’s story is essentially the same — he’s a guy who wants to do the right thing and he’s set against the jaded old-timer guard and warden. To further drag along the “prison movie” milieu, there’s the obligatory rape scene, prison yard shiv scene, bad food in the cafeteria scene, and riot scene. The only real surprise was a moment with Billy Dee and his acolytes where you distinctly hear him say “motherf*cking”. Damn, did that go out on the airwaves to Little Rock? Wow. Be prepared for the nihilistic ending. It was the 70’s after all.
Butterfly is based on the James Cain novel The Butterfly, although you probably know his other stories better: The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, and Double Indemnity. Butterfly is another potboiler in the same mold as his other stories — there’s murder, intrigue, and people jumping in and out of bed, although Butterfly has the added spice of possible incest! The movie was made to follow up on the success of Postman — the one with Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson — so director Matt Cimber thought he’d be able to top that with none other than Stacey Keach and Pia Zadora. Yep, Pia Zadora.
I’ve read this book, and I’ll tell you, Jerry Springer has nothing on this family. And this movie has such a star studded cast beyond the two main characters — good god, Orson Welles is in this thing. Also, Edward Albert (son of Green Acres Eddie Albert), Stuart Whitman, June Lockhart, and even Ed McMahon. Yikes. It’s like Battle of the Network Stars in this thing, and honestly, it’s not that bad of a movie. Even with Pia Zadora, because really, we just love to hate her for some reason. I think it’s the goofy Charo haircut.
So what was the KC knitting while watching these?
The hippy-dippy Jerry Garcia spiral grows!