Texas Lightning


To see the poster art and read the tag lines for Texas Lightning is to prepare for a good ol' boy romp in the best Hal Needham tradition of fast pick-up trucks, easy women, brawling, beer drinking, hound dogs, dumb-ass lawmen and firearms. The cover of the DVD shows a young guy in blue jeans sitting on a giant cowboy hat, raising a Budweiser and surrounded by girls in cowboy boots, halters, and short shorts. The promo reads, "they're stormin' on the taverns, thunderin' over the roads, and just plain havin' a good ol' time."

Now try to reconcile that with this plot summary:

A burly, manly bully of a country dad (Cameron Mitchell) wants his son (Cameron's real-life son, Channing Mitchell) to stop bein' such a pussy and momma's boy and start actin' like a real man, so he forces the kid to go rabbit hunting with him and his two pudgy, ign'rant redneck friends. It will be the boy's rite of passage into manhood, a chance for the older generation to teach him to shoot and drink and chase poontang. The boy tries to be a good sport as the three assholes rag mercilessly on his ass, so the first day of hunting goes fairly well, but that night turns into a disaster. At the local honky-tonk, the young man scores with a pretty barmaid (Maureen McCormick of the Brady Bunch), probably because she's never seen anyone act all shy and polite in a shitkicker bar. The kid gets Marcia Brady back to his room and is making love to her when dad and his dentally-challenged cronies show up and decide to throw the kids a proper shivoree. Their idea of a good time is to knock the kid unconscious and rape the living daylights out of Marcia.

The next day, the older guys act as if nothing improper had happened, but the kid goes ballistic during the hunting expedition. Instead of shooting at rabbits and lizards, he stars blasting away at the older men. Finally he takes their truck, strands them in the desert, drives back to the honky-tonk, listens to Marcia Brady sing a sad-ass country lament (slash) love song, and apologizes to her. They kiss and make up. While the closing music plays, the film shows a couple of minutes of ... er ... "highlights" from scenes we have watched throughout the film, presumably to fill out a contractually obligated running time.

Yup, just a good ol' Burt Reynolds, Jerry Reed, Dukes of Hazzard kind of premise - "just plain havin' a good ol' time," like a dad participating in the rape of his son's first love, and the son in turn attempting patricide, then stranding his dad in the desert.

WTF happened here?

Well, it seems that the film was not originally designed to be a "good ol' boy" movie. Writer/director Gary Graver originally created a serious drama called "The Boys," which would have been a sensationalistic shocker in the manner of I Spit on Your Grave. Producer Edward L. Montoro said that was not what he was paying for, and forced the director to re-cut what he had and to shoot additional comedic footage to turn the film into a proper Needhamesque drive-in flick. The final cut includes a zany wet t-shirt contest which occupies substantial running time, for example, and most of the action is accompanied by hard-drivin', feel-good bluegrass guitar and banjo music in the general toe-tappin' style of the Foggy Mountain Boys.

According to IMDb, "The new version was released to the theaters as Texas Lightning, while the original cut of The Boys remains officially unreleased to this day. An illegitimate video was released in Finland in the early 90's. There might also be other European bootleg editions."

The net result of the re-cut was what you have probably already deduced, a film with an inappropriately casual attitude toward very serious and tragic matters which would be better suited for a drama, as originally planned. One thinks that the ultimate fate of dad and his rapist cronies, unresolved in the theatrical cut, must have been far more gruesome in the director's original cut. Ultimately, one concludes that the film's bottom-dwelling IMDb rating of 2.9 is well deserved because of its cavalier attitude toward rape as well as its almost complete lack of any other merit, even on the guilty pleasure level, save for some rare breast exposure from Marcia Brady. Even that savory flesh is ruined by a DVD transfer which is approximately VHS quality: dark and grainy and washed-out, with poorly synched mono sound. (Marcia Brady's song is post-dubbed, and very poorly at that, although it really is her voice.)



The film's auteur had a career just as schizophrenic as the movie itself. As Gary Graver, he was the personal cinematographer to an aging Orson Welles on such projects as The Orson Welles Show, The Orson Welles Magic Show and Moby Dick. As Rob McCallum, he directed about a hundred XXX movies with titles like

  1. Maverdick (1995) (V) (as Robert McCallum)
  2. Wet & Slippery (1995) (V) (as Robert McCallum)
  3. Hard-on Copy (1994) (V) (as Robert McCallum)
  4. Tail Taggers 101 (1994) (V) (as Robert McCallum)
  5. Flesh and Boner (1993) (V) (as Robert McCallum)
  6. Heads or Tails? (1993) (V) (as Robert McCallum)
  7. The Joi Fuck Club (1993) (V) (as Robert McCallum)
  8. One Million Heels B.C. (1993) (as Akdov Telmig)
  9. Victoria's Secret Life (1991) (V) (as Robert McCallum)

(If you hadn't noticed, Akdov Telmig is Vodka Gimlet spelled backwards.)

The list could go on and on, but I think you have the idea. In between his PG career and his XXX career, he managed to sandwich an R-rated compromise career under his real name, as the cinematographer for many workmanlike Corman-style films like Bikini Hoe-Down, Deathsport, Chatanooga Choo-Choo, and Grand Theft Auto. Although the strange and inappropriate mixture of comedy and drama in Texas Lightning is not Graver's fault, it seems somehow fitting, since it reflects the diverse range of projects he worked on in his career.

Serious film historians will probably not devote many chapters to Gary Graver's contribution to films, but one cannot claim he was ever unemployable. He obviously had enough talent and professionalism that he was always in demand. He directed more than 100 films, and worked as the cinematographer on nearly 200. His career, which began in the mid sixties as a director and cinematographer of drive-in movies, continued to flourish until 2006, when he passed away from cancer in November, aged 68. He had been the cinematographer on 29 more films in this new millennium!

Maureen McCormick

 (film clip)

Lisa De Leeuw

 (film clip)

Danone Camden

The impressive endowments of Lisa De Leeuw adorned many a porno flick in the eighties. She achieved a measure of unwanted fame as the only female porn star to die an AIDS-related death. Ironically, the disease was not transmitted to her by sexual contact, but by her rather casual attitude toward intravenous drug use.


We Own the Night


Now playing. In theaters less than a week. Crime drama starring Joaquin Phoenix and Marky Mark.

Since this is a major release starring Oscar-nominated actors on the A-minus list, I had planned to write a comprehensive article about it. I just couldn't get into the movie at all, so I abandoned that plan. Here is the brief exposure from Eva Mendes. (Crappy, cam-style bootleg quality.)



* Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

* White asterisk: expanded format.

* Blue asterisk: not mine.

No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.










1900 (1976) is a historical drama by Bernardo Bertolucci that traces the class struggle in Italy from WW I to the end of WW II. It is shown through the lives of two children born on the same day at approximately the same time on the same plantation. One is the son of the patrone, played as an adult by Robert De Niro, and the other the son of a farm worker, played as an adult by Gerard Depardieu. Despite the class difference, they become boyhood friends, and after their stints in the military during WW I, it looks like they will remain so, but then De Niro inherits the estate, and becomes a Facist, at least by association, while Depardieu becomes the local leader of the socialists.

The film opens at the end of WW II, where a young man holds De Niro at gunpoint, the women of the village capture the worst of the blackshirts and his wife, and Depardieu returns from hiding. The rest of the film is flashback, explaining how this all came to be.

At just over 5 hours, it requires a serious commitment in terms of time, and evidently the critics have shorter attention spans, as it was not well received. To be fair, they were viewing a shorter version, which some say was not as smooth a narrative. This film is loaded with top talent, from the director and cast through the composer, Ennio Morricone, and no matter how you feel feel about the outcome, it is at least a C-. I personally rather enjoyed it, despite having to watch Gerard Depardieu yet again. In fact, we saw much more of him and De Niro than usually when Stefania Casini masturbates both of them on screen at the same time. It likes the social history aspects, and enjoyed many of the characters. This is available at in English and several other languages, in case it appeals to you.

1900 DVD 5 HR Version Widescreen Bernardo Bertolucci (1976)

IMDb readers say 7.6.

Stefania Casini, as a girl both men go to bed with until she has an epileptic fit, shows brief bush and breasts. Dominique Sanda, as De Niro's wife, shows full frontal. An unknown shows breasts.

Dominique Sanda


Stefania Casini










One Man Army


Today is a "B-Movie Babe" day as we look at "One Man Army." Melissa Moore shows off lots of breasts as she does the obligatory shower scene, a lovemaking scene, and then a topless swim. She got shot while swimming and then kept her clothes on for the rest of this forgettable kickboxing movie.






Notes and collages


Boti Bliss and Shannen Doherty, Season 3, Episodes 8-10

Episode 8


Episode 9

Episode 10








Anna Friel seems to be engaged in a contest with Sienna Miller to see which can appear naked in public more often.


Natasha Henstridge
Nikki Grahame
Asia Argento
Penelope Ann Miller in Dead Bang. While the quality of this clip is not spectacular, it is possible to get a good look at her great breasts, and even a bit o' nipple. That's a good thing because she was not so generous with her flesh except in Carlito's Way. There is a DVD and it is available from Amazon marketplace for sixty one cents (!!), so I ordered it, Don Johnson notwithstanding. I'll do caps and (maybe) a better clip when it arrives.

Julie McNiven in Mad Men, episode 12






Uomini senza donne

Another Italian comedy, but this time with more serious aspirations. The movie is about two friends and their problem with relationships. I saw Veronika Logan for the first time in The Indiana Jones Chronicles and been a fan of hers since, she is very beautiful.



Veronica Logan


Ela Weber


Manuela Arcuri









The Comedy Wire

Comments in yellow...

According to, Internet users in Egypt, India and Turkey are the most frequent searchers for the keyword "sex."  Germans do the most searching for the word "Hitler," and Italians ran the most searches for "Viagra."  Americans are the top searchers for "Iraq" and "Burrito;"  Canadians are #1 at hunting for "Tom Cruise" and "marijuana;" Chileans did the most searches for the term "gay;" and Mexicans search the most for "Britney Spears."  The Irish lead the world in searching for "hangover" and "Kate Moss."

*  This could be because "Kate Moss" and "hangover" usually turn up on the same page. 

Astronomers at San Diego University have spotted a black hole with a mass 15.65 times that of our Sun, setting a new record for the biggest black hole ever found in the universe.

* It broke the old record set by Toledo, Ohio.


California tax authorities released a list of the state's 250 worst tax cheats, and it includes some celebrities: Dionne Warwick, Sinbad and O.J. Simpson are all listed as owing at least $1.4 million each.

* Of course, that's the average tax bill in California.