Saturday, June 11, 2011

Simon King of the Witches

Back in the late 80’s I had this crappy job as the night manager for a fast food restaurant. I would go into work about 4:00 in the afternoon and get off a little after 1:00, just in time to pick up my girlfriend from her job dancing at the nasty little strip club where she worked.

Even though it was 3:00AM, the two of us treated the time like most people would the evening. We’d eat dinner, watch the tube and quietly live our lives in the middle of the night, like vampires, only poor and with better diets.

Of course being the 80’s there wasn’t much to watch on cable and sometimes we would get stuck with the most amazingly bad B-Movies.

Bad drama, bad action, bad romance and bad comedy were what was waiting on the tv that late at night.

But sometimes, the Gods of cheesy wonder would smile down upon us and then we would get films like Simon King of the Witches.

Directed by Bruce Kessler and starring Andrew Prine as Simon, the film is a true C-Level classic. Not so much a horror film or even a fantasy, Simon is actually something of a social satire with bits of the supernatural thrown in for fun.

As the movie begins, Simon is living inside of a LA sewer practicing his spells and magiks when a storm wipes his home out forcing the wizard to the surface where he is immediately busted by the police as a vagrant.

In jail Simon befriends a young street hustler named Turk and soon the two of them are off searching for the needed energies so that Simon can make himself immortal.

Along the way they bust up a fake “Wiccian” ceremony and send the followers scurrying into the night, put a death curse on a man who hires Simon for a party and the skips out on the payment, uses the District Attorneys daughter for a bit of tantric spell casting, and finally enters into his final battle where they then leave it up to the viewer to decide if Simon succeeded in gaining Godhood or not.

With a low budget and limited shooting time, Simon does have a really well done script in its favor, that is full of references to the real California magic scene of the time, while a the same time never taking itself too seriously, and having some truly witty dialogue.

Along with the video of the classic Z-Film, Simon, King of the Witches I also want to share the joy of the paperback adaptation too.

Here’s the cover…..

While the Simon movie, doesn’t really have very much sex in it, and goes for a sly sense of humor, the paperback on the other hand goes for straight out parody.
“His instrument is magic”, indeed.

The book follows the same basic story as the film but goes off into its own little weird world and tells a very different story.

Here are a few selected quotes to show you why you need to go to Amazon and find a copy of the book and the movie the first chance you get.

Simon and Turk strolled arm and arm through the freaky crowd, pausing now and then to inspect a tit that was covered only with a loose overall strap, and now and then to munch a canapé – and sometimes getting the two mixed up.

Here’s another good one…..

By now the girls had begun to remove their paper collars and bow ties and starched dickies and were tossing them to the three goats, who began to eat them with loud snorts and baaa’s, and which sounded exactly like “Take it off, take it off!”

And that’s exactly what they did. The girls threw away their canes and top hats and tails and peeled off their opera length hose, and the dance now rose into an obscene frenzy, with the dancers riding each other’s shoulders and wrestling and using their canes to beat each other, and now, out of the wings came a group of gnomes and dwarfs riding unicycles and passing through the girls outstretched legs.

This stuff is just exploitation gold.

1 comment:

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