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The Lens: Double feature

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: May 30, 2008 - Almost immediately after dropping a completely irrelevant and pointless reference to the deservedly obscure film "Wicked, Wicked"  in an earlier post, I learned that the dear archivists at Turner Classic Movies  have actually programmed this disaster for a rare screening.

By way of explanation, "Wicked, Wicked" is one of the most gimmicky films ever made. It's the story of a serial killer running loose at San Diego's Hotel de Coronado, better know as a location for "Some Like It Hot" and "The Stunt Man." And as the trailer hinted, it's all shown in glorious "Duovision," which is simply a split screen in which one half contains a sleazy story about people being killed off throughout the hotel while the other provides the point of view of the killer.

That's not enough? Fine. In addition, the musical score is an all-organ extravaganza originally used in 1925 for "The Phantom of the Opera."

The cast features Edd "Kookie" Byrnes and, as the lady-in-distress, Tiffany Bolling, a young actress who screamed her way through a number of drive-in favorites in the 1970s yet never really became a cult object. (Really! What does a girl have to do to get cult recognition? She starred opposite William Shatner in "Kingdom of the Spiders" !)

Saturday, June 7. 1 a.m. Use your TiVo responsibly.

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