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The Hidan of Maukbeiangjow
(1985: Invasion of the Girl Snatchers)

VHS cover for 1985 re-release
Directed by Lee Jones
Produced by Don Elkins
Lee Jones
Jeffrey C. Hogue (1985 re-release)
Written by Don Elkins
Carla Rueckert
Music by James DeWitt
Cinematography Lee Jones
Editing by Bub Asman
Lee Jones
Studio Atlantis Films
L & L Company
Distributed by Atlantis Films
1985 re-release:
Majestic International Pictures
VCI Home Video (VHS)
Release date(s) 1973 (1973)
Running time 93 minutes
Country  United States
Language English

The Hidan of Maukbeiangjow is a 1973 exploitation film written by Don Elkins and Carla Rueckert and directed and filmed by Lee Jones.[1] As a sci-fi/comedy/action film. It was re-released as Invasion of the Girl Snatchers.[2][3] in the mid-1980s under the 'Le Bad Cinema' line,[4] and then again on VHS in 1999.[5]

Contents

Background

The film was shot in Arkansas in Autumn of 1973, and edited by future Academy Award-winner Bub Asman, however the exact 1973 release date is uncertain. Carla Rueckert painted the interiors with her brother. The designs on Aph's walls all have positive connotations, but some viewed them as satanic markings. After the film's shooting was finished, the house was burned to the ground by locals who thought the filmmakers were satanists. David Roster and Charles Rubin were Shakespeare in the Park actors. Rubin thought of his dialogue as "mumbo jumbo" and only his level of professionalism kept him from saying his lines with a straight face, although he does get numerous cynical close-ups that work in context.

Writer Don Elkins was known by the nickname 'Phineas T. Pinkham', and this is the name he used on the credits of the film. His use of the nickname significantly pre-dates the use in the film. Carla Rueckert did a lot of things on the film without billing, and used the Ellen Tripp pseudonym only for her acting role because it included nudity at the demand of the investors, and Pepper Thurston declined after she was hired to do the role.

Lee Jones told WilliamGirdler.com that he was unhappy with the script and thought that it would be better if he had written it, though he never expressed such feelings to Elkins and Rueckert.[6]

Synopsis

Kaspar (Ele Grigsby) is apprentice to Detective Sam Trowel (Hugh Smith), and finds the compound hideout of a kidnapping and drug ring that Trowel is looking for, but is too focused on procedure to listen to. Trowel has hired safecracker Frederick Fenzer (David Roster) and his bodyguard, Noname (Harlo Cayse), as phoney suppliers to set up Ruthie (Carla Rueckert, billed as Ellen Tripp) with the kidnapping ring with a tracking device hidden in a bra. She is abducted before she can put it on, but Kaspar knows where the compound is.

At the compound, known as the 'Hidan of Maukbeiangjow', Ruthie is killed via asphyxiation and replaced with a confused alien from another world, supervised by the sorcerer Aph (Charles Rubin), working as a slave for an evil alien named Utaya (McCain Jeeves) that he has accidentally brought into this world. Another alien in human form (Pepper Thurston), helps the former Ruthie to function inside her human body and kidnaps Trowel to be used as a new body for Utaya. Freddie's brother, also the namesake of their father and thus known as "Junior" (Paul Lenzi) arrives just to bring his brother's stash of marijuana, and quickly causes trouble for Prudence (Elizabeth Rush), Aph's apprentice, who made the mistake of coming for a visit. Prudence and Kaspar end up bound and guarded by Ruthie, and Prudence informs him that the aliens are a race like ours, some good, some evil, which she states is not the normal way of a world.

The new Utaya wants the help of Fenzer in stealing a billion dollars for an unspecified purpose, and he wants Kaspar's body for another vessel, since many of the dead become vapid and confused like Rosebush (Ruth Horn) or become zombies (James Rueckert). Junior attempts to rape Prudence, but she ends up shooting him after a lengthy chase with her arms still tied behind her back. Freddie complains that Utaya is simply Trowel high on junk, and puffing his joint complains, "I don't work with nobody (puff puff) who ain't straight!" After a battle, Trowel/Utaya is killed, as are most of the kidnapping ring. Romance has blossomed between Prudence and Kaspar, and Aph gets into his convertible and gives the couple a ride.

Partial cast

  • Elizabeth Rush as Prudence
  • Ele Grigsby as Kaspar
  • David Roster as Frederick 'Freddie Fingers' Fenzer, Jr.
  • Paul Lenzi as Frederick 'Junior' Fenzer, Jr.
  • Charles Rubin as Aph
  • Hugh Smith as Sam Trowel / Utaya II
  • McCain Jeeves as Utaya I
  • Harlo Cayse as Noname
  • Carla Rueckert as Ruthie (as Ellen Tripp)
  • Ruth Horn as Bunny / Rosebush
  • James Rueckert as Zombie
  • Lee Boylan as ... Higgie

Afterwards

The film is seen as an unique artistic voice, particularly among exploitation films. But Elkins and Rueckert decided that filmmaking was not what they were good at, and gave it up, although they have subsequently appeared in documentaries. Except for Hugh Smith, most of the actors have not appeared on film since. Rubin currently runs a camera store in Louisville.

Releases

The film's original trailer was jokingly titled Kaspar and Prudence Laugh Till It Hurts at the Killers of the Zombie Plot: A Musical, but ends with a different voice, and a hand-drawn title card announcing "The Hidan of Maukbeiangjow" as the proper title. The characters proposing the longer title (played by David Roster and Paul Lenzi) then amdit that theirs won't fit on the marquee. [2][3] The film itself began with limited release in 1973, with screenings mostly in Louisiana[7] until 1985, when VCI Home Video, under the 'United Home Video' imprint, released it re-titled Invasion of the Girl Snatchers as part of their 'Le Bad Cinema' line in two different versions: one with the print as originally released (with no onscreen title and full end credits), and the second with new opening and closing (deleting the end credits) cards proclaiming the film to have been presented by Jeffrey C. Hogue's Majestic International Pictures (all boxes acknowledge Hogue).

VCI no longer has rights to the film, and Hogue has declined Rueckert's requests to sell the film to her. The film has become something of a collector's item, interest in it having spread through word of mouth at the film's originality, unique acting, and beautiful sets and locations, not to mention its soundtrack, featuring original folk "hard rock country ballads" by DeWitt, who had divorced Rueckert in 1968, all surprisingly audacious for a film rather crudely directed. Actor Hugh Smith told WilliamGirdler.com that he found the film pretty stupid and confusing at the time, but upon seeing it more recently, thought it was similar in tone to work by the Coen Brothers and David Lynch.[8]

Several websites have embraced the film, and have created more demand to see a film now difficult to find. The trailer has been included as a supplement on some DVDs from Something Weird Video, but Hogue has not licensed them use of the film, which Rueckert would like to see color-corrected and made to look as best as it can (VCI's color correction left some shots overexposed, and others with green sky), even though she speaks of the film with a little embarrassment.

References

  1. ^ Young, R. G. (2000). The encyclopedia of fantastic film (illustrated ed.). Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 1557832692. OCLC 9781557832696. http://books.google.com/books?id=QoJ4jTghUPYC&pg=PT318&lpg=PT318&dq=%22Invasion+of+the+Girl+Snatchers%22&source=bl&ots=EDv0iDTHNz&sig=_2W4gk_r8kQqXvn6Bg1TnCycsLY&hl=en&ei=kn-ZSuaLJ4HCsQOd1uCZAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6#v=onepage&q=%22Invasion%20of%20the%20Girl%20Snatchers%22&f=false.  
  2. ^ a b "review: Invasion of the Girl Snatchers" (in German). badmovies.de. Bad Movies. http://badmovies.de/soap/client.php/Invasion_of_the_Girl_Snatchers. Retrieved 2009-08-30.  
  3. ^ a b "review: Invasion of the Girl Snatchers" (in Dutch). cinema.nl. http://www.cinema.vpro.nl/films/539213/invasion-of-the-girl-snatchers. Retrieved 2009-08-30.  
  4. ^ "review: Invasion of the Girl Snatchers". williamgirdler.com. The William Girdler Conservation Society. 2002. http://www.williamgirdler.com/snatchers.html. Retrieved 2009-08-30.  
  5. ^ "Invasion of the Girl Snatchers (1973)". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/invasion_of_the_girl_snatchers/. Retrieved 2009-08-29.  
  6. ^ "interview: Lee Jones". williamgirdler.com. The William Girdler Conservation Society. 2000. http://www.williamgirdler.com/lee3.html. Retrieved 2009-08-30.  
  7. ^ "interview: Carla Rueckert McCarty". williamgirdler.com. The William Girdler Conservation Society. 2002. http://www.williamgirdler.com/carlar.html. Retrieved 2009-08-30.  
  8. ^ "interview: Hugh Smith". williamgirdler.com. The William Girdler Conservation Society. 2000. http://www.williamgirdler.com/hugh2b.html. Retrieved 2009-08-30.  

External links

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