Tag Archives: exploitation film

RIP Sid Haig (1939 – 2019)

Sid Haig was an American actor known for his parts in Jack Hill’s exploitation fare (Spider Baby (1968), Coffy (1973), Foxy Brown (1974)). He also had a part in THX 1138 (1971), the science fiction film directed by George Lucas in which in a dystopian future the populace is controlled through mandatory use of drugs that suppress emotions.

Spider Baby (1968)

Cult Movie Stars (1991) describes Haig as:

“Ugly, ruddy faced, usually bald, and occasionally bearded — he looks like an original member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention — Haig has been a seedy presence in low-budget, sex- and action-packed drive-in movies since the mid-sixties.”

Above is Spider Baby (1968) in which Haig is Ralph, one of three inbred, demented, and dangerous siblings. Ralph is a sexually advanced, but mentally deficient simpleton who moves through the house via the dumb-waiter. Unable to speak, Ralph communicates with only grunts and leers.

The siblings are introduced by their guardian as:

“Well, no. It’s more than a retardation. It’s sort of a regression, a progressive deterioration of the mental faculties, a rotting of the brain, so to speak. It begins in late childhood and progresses rapidly, ultimately resulting in physical deformity, rather like the last stages of paresis […] The unfortunate result of … inbreeding.”

The full film is on YouTube.

RIP Artur Brauner (1918 − 2019)

After the death of Ben Barenholtz, another film producer expires.

Artur Brauner was a German film producer and entrepreneur of Polish origin.

I came upon him by way of Jess Franco (Brauner produced Vampyros Lesbos) and also via the film adaptations of Edgar Wallace (The Devil Came from Akasava, also directed by Franco).

Hollywood Reporter summarizes my sympathy for this man in this soundbite: “while his dramas won awards, it was sex and sensationalism that often paid the bills”[1]. This also explains why Brauner too is a bit of a cinematic Losfeld who typically financed high art with exploitation.

The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960, full film)

The Good Soldier Schweik (1960, excerpt)

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970, full film)

Vampyros Lesbos (1971, Soledad Miranda dance)