Who’s Ready To Be “Halloween Hustled”?
I’m looking at the good old days of exploitation cinema like what you see above.
See the ad? I saved that from my Seattle newspaper when I was growing up, and my friends and I eagerly went to this midnight movie experience, ready to be scared out of our wits!
As you can see from this ad, a savvy Producer had a great marketing campaign for this film, which promised to “scare us stiff!
Oh, you’re not familiar with the horror classic “The Maniacs Are Loose?” Well, thanks to star Liz Renay, we were hooked!
First, check out this wild trailer!
The plot is simple: three psychotic murderers escape from a mental institution and stalk women in Los Angeles. Sounds good, right?
Oh, and it’s black and white…in 1973? Well, guess what?
This is actually a 1964 film!
Directed and starring schlock horror master Ray Dennis Steckler, this film was originally known as “The Thrill Killers” from 1964, so imagine how we felt seeing an old b-movie just retitled to take out money!
This is Dennis with the film’s star Liz Renay – who also was known for being one of the more popular burlesque performers at that time! Here’s proof!
Celebrating Liz Renay!
I didn’t know much about this exotic Cult Actress, but I needed to find out more.
Apparently, Liz liked whips.
Oh, she also loved to appear nude:
Anyway, this “midnight movie” offering is such a classic “bait and switch” – take old exploitation films gathering dust, give them a new title and a bit of carnival-style publicity, and put them back out there to fleece a few more people!
This early 60’s “rough” was popular at the time because they promised deviant acts that had never been seen on a motion picture screen before! As I said, the original ad highlights Actress Liz Renay, who I doubt posed this way in the movie:
Oh, and when film was re-released under the title “The Maniacs Are Loose!” the Director added a color prologue with famed hypnotist Ormond McGill (billed as “The Amazing Ormond”), as well as extended color sequences of a “hypnodisc” during the moments where Steckler and company would burst out into the audience!
And suckers like me paid to see it! Well, at least it was only a buck and a quarter!
This was the kind of 60’s exploitation that “stars” like Liz Renay appeared in, showcasing their unique talents.
It was part of my movie-going education, which also included desperate attempts to sneak into drive-ins for double bills like this one:
At least these films had some nudity and sex – which was all we were after at that age!
See more about this unique double bill by clicking on my story here:
I saved a lot of movie ads growing up, but I seemed to be drawn to these in particular:
Yes, an “X-rated” Cinderella was certainly going to land on my radar, especially as it starred the adorable Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith:
Sadly, she had a tragic life and died way too young..you can see more by clicking on my story here:
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Let me know if you ever went to a wild midnight movie like this!