What a grab bag of drive-in cinema we have here. GROTESQUE and TIME WALKER are pretty bad. GROTESQUE has Linda Blair and a familiar blonde from JAWS 2 but the story is pretty disjointed and I got the feeling that the film got made because it was written around the collection of rubber monster masks somebody owned. TIME WALKER...I've to be honest, I haven't made it all the way through that one yet. If it gets better, I'll be shocked (and will amend this review).
LADY FRANKENSTEIN is fun because it clearly follows the Corman philosophy: blood and nudity sell the picture. It's a little jarring to see a monster movie with naked chicks in it, but Corman knew what he was doing. The funnest part? Watching the completely over-the-top trailer for LADY FRANKENSTEIN first, noting all the leering hints that Lady Frankenstein is creating a monster (in every sense of the word) for her own fiendish and perverted pleasures...then watch the movie. Technically, the trailer is correct in what its delivering. But just not the ghoulish orgy hinted at in the trailer. (Plus, I've always loved that 70's schlock narrator featured in the trailer. I think John Landis used him as well for KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE).
But the real reason to get this collection is for THE VELVET VAMPIRE. Produced by Corman and probably on a very thin budget, THE VELVET VAMPIRE actually ascends to the level of an art film. If I sound surprised, it's because I am: you usually didn't think "art film" and Roger Corman in the same sentence. Directed by Stephanie Rothman, this may be, I believe, the first genuinely erotic vampire tale. Many would came later, from Hammer's THE VAMPIRE LOVERS and COUNTESS DRACULA to the bloody orgy of 1975's VAMPYRES, but I think THE VELVET VAMPIRE is the first vampire film that brazenly uses seduction and nudity in the storyline.
Celeste Yarnall, the 60's babe who also appeared on the original "Star Trek" and with Elvis (he sings "A Little Less Conversation" to her in LIVE A LITTLE, LOVE A LITTLE), provides a commentary that sheds light on the film's production and insight into the Corman moving-making machine.
I have another DVD of THE VELVET VAMPIRE but I think this is the only one with Celeste's commentary on it. That is reason enough to get this collection.