CInemondo Podcast Mystery Date episodes are loads of fun for me because I get to push a film I personally like to Kathy and Burk. And they get to do the same to us. We all know the unbridled joy of recommending a movie to friends and then sitting down in front of the TV and hitting the Play button. The anticipation is palpable. Then the movie starts - and the part you thought was SO funny suddenly isn’t as funny as it was earlier. The scene that got your heart racing now is causing your friend’s to yawn. Oh crap. That’s why I don’t do that anymore. Oh, I’ll recommend a movie to anyone, but I won’t then go sit down and watch that movie with them. Way too stressful.
But talking about a mystery date movie on the podcast is loads of fun because I get to expose Kathy and Burk, two of the most knowledgable film people I know, to a movie they might not know about. My latest offering is 1977’s The White Buffalo, starring Charles Bronson, Clint Walker, Jack Warden, Will Sampson, Kim Novak, Slim Pickens, Stuart Whitman and John Carradine. Some cast, right? Anyway, it also stars one of the goofiest, yet oddly compelling, “monsters” ever. Of course, it’s not a monster. It’s just an albino buffalo. But, trust me, it’s something you have to see. This is a true cult film, because unlike Forbidden Zone and Donnie Darko, two films that were made as cult films, everyone involved with this production was not setting out to make a cult movie. It just turned out that way. J. Lee Thompson, who directed the original Cape Fear and The Guns of Navarone, then went on to direct tons of B-movie stuff, was shooting a western. Dino de Laurentiis, the producer, was trying to capitalize on Jaws by producing “monsters on a rampage” films (King Kong, Orca). This was his third, and it was an abysmal failure at the box office. It was laughed out of the theaters. But I suggest you give it a view. The dialogue is crazy "frontier slang pulp” stuff - really fun to listen to. The acting is way better than it should be — and the climactic confrontation with the white buffalo is dreamlike — very David Lynch. And, of course, it wasn’t meant to be like that - I mean, you can see the track the mechanical buffalo is on in the snow. Plain as day. Come on, that’s awesome. What mystery date wouldn’t be happy with that?? Oh, and I still have to see Kathy and Burk’s picks - I will, but I’ll watch them alone - just in case I yawn during one of the “exciting” parts. -Mark