Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Fakers / Smashing the Crime Syndicate (1968)

Poster forn The Fakers (1968)The Fakers / Smashing the Crime Syndicate (1968) by #AlAdamson
w/#BroderickCrawford #ScottBrady #KentTaylor

A syndicate dealing in counterfeit bills is unaware that a man they are in business with is a double agent for the FBI. Or…

Two agents tracking down Nazi war criminals unite to stop the syndicate from distributing counterfeit U.S. currency.

#Crime #Action
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The Fakers (1968) is not a movie that I’d ever heard of before – and I’m an Al Adamson completist. It doesn’t even get it’s own page on the IMDb. It’s simply referred to as an alternate title for Hell’s Bloody Devils (1970). This can’t be true. Al Adamson shot a bunch of footage involving bikers and added it to The Fakers (1968) in order to cash in on the popular biker genre – or so I’ve heard. There isn’t a single biker to be found in The Fakers (1968), so how can it be the same movie?

I suppose I will find out when I watch Hell’s Bloody Devils (1970) on an upcoming #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn. I’m sure I saw it years ago, but I can’t remember it at all. Watching The Fakers last week, it seemed like a whole new movie to me, so it will be interesting to compare the two. Perhaps I will decide that it IS in fact the same movie…

As such, I don’t think I will discuss The Fakers at length tonight. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. I would compare it to Al Adamson’s first feature, Psycho a Go Go (1965). Both are pretty straight up crime films (both later had footage added to them and became “new” movies), and both are oddly effective. Almost too good to be Al Adamson films (and I say that as a true fan of Al Adamson). They lack the truly insane, campy qualities that we’ve come to expect in Adamson’s films.

Don’t get me wrong. There is still some campy humour, to be sure. But the films are almost mainstream – almost. This might sound like a criticism, but it’s not. I like both of these movies. And although each subsequent version of Psycho a Go Go gets a little more insane, I still feel that the original version is my favourite. I predict that the same will be true for The Fakers – but I guess we’ll find out soon…

Until then, go ahead and screen The Fakers (1968) at your next #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn. It’s #NotQuiteClassicCinema that seems to have fallen through the cracks, but deserves to be seen.

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Five Bloody Graves (1969)

Poster for Five Bloody Graves (1969)Five Bloody Graves (1969) by #AlAdamson

w/ #RobertDix #ScottBrady #JimDavis #JohnCarradine #PaulaRaymond

“Lust-Mad Men and Lawless Women in a Vicious and Sensuous Orgy of Slaughter!”

“SEE: MEN FIENDISHLY TORTURED!”

“Inhuman” “Brutal” “Shocking”

#Western
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

While discussing Half Way to Hell (1960) a while back, I was already thinking about checking out this movie, Five Bloody Graves (1969). I’ve been a fan of Al Adamson for a long time, and I have quite a few of his movies in my collection – well, now I have almost everything, thanks to The Masterpiece Collection put out by Severin. But prior to that, I had collected quite a few VHS tapes and DVDs. Five Bloody Graves was not one of them. In fact, I had never seen it. 

I first heard of Five Bloody Graves when I read an article about Al Adamson’s murder in my local newspaper. I was shocked – first of all, that Al Adamson was murdered, but more so by the fact that they were talking about him in my local mainstream newspaper. I never would have seen that coming.

In that, admittedly brief, article about Al Adamson, they referred to him as a movie director who had made movies with titles like –

And then they listed a few particularly nasty sounding horror titles. I think they were trying to draw a connection between his brutal murder, and the types of movies he made. I knew all of the titles, except one: Five Bloody Graves.

I was instantly intrigued. Five Bloody Graves sounded like my kind of movie. I had no idea what it was about, but I assumed that it must be a kick-ass horror film, done only as Al Adamson could do it. I was a little surprised when I found out that it was actually a Western. I don’t want to say I was disappointed, because I had also been a fan of Westerns since I was a kid. But I couldn’t quite imagine Al Adamson making Westerns. On the other hand, I would watch anything with Al Adamson’s name on it, so this was a definite must see.

As the years passed by, I never managed to get my hands on a copy of Five Bloody Graves. I’m not sure if it was hard to come by, or if I just wasn’t looking in the right places. Needless to say, I was very pleased when I realized that I would finally be acquiring it as part of the The Masterpiece Collection

I now know that Al Adamson kind of got his start in Westerns – the first film he directed (or at least co-directed) being Half Way to Hell (1960), which I quite enjoyed. And this is what made me all the more excited to FINALLY get to see Five Bloody Graves. So, last #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn I decided to do it.

Let me just say that within the first five minutes I knew that I was having a good time. I suppose a part of me had been worried that it was going to be just another forgettable B-Western (and I’ve watched far too many of those in my life). As I may have mentioned in the other post, a lot of B Westerns can be quite tedious. I don’t know why. I find them harder to take than, say, really cheap slasher films. Or really cheap horror films of any kind. So, I tend to get a bit apprehensive whenever I’m about to watch a really cheap B Western. But Five Bloody Graves put me at ease within minutes (or maybe even seconds). It may be a cheap ass B Western – but it’s an Al Adamson movie! I should have realized he could never let me down.

I won’t bother describing the plot – or really anything about Five Bloody Graves. If you’re a fan of Al Adamson, you’ll know what to expect. If you’re not, you may want to steer clear. I say “may”, because maybe you’re just a fan who hasn’t happened yet. Maybe Five Bloody Graves is the movie that could turn you into a dedicated Al Adamson admirer. In all honesty, I would say you’re probably more likely to be recruited by something like Satan’s Sadists (1969) or maybe Girls For Rent (1974), but who knows?

Five Bloody Graves (1969), like all Al Adamson movies, is undeniably #NotQuiteClassicCinema of a a very special kind (at least to me). It may not be my favourite of his movies (at least not yet), but I’m glad to have finally seen it – and I will definitely be watching it again (assuming that I don’t suddenly first meet an unexpected end like Al Adamson did) on some future #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn.