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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Five Films: Jim VanBebber


Welcome to Five Films, a self-descriptive feature here at Cinema Arcana where I invite guests to contribute lists of movies they feel are underrated. No rules, no limits -- just a quintet of motion pictures they'd love more people to know about. Hopefully in doing so we can turn you, the fearless reader, onto a gem you've previously skipped or remind you to rewatch a past favorite you've forgotten about.

Tonight's '70s-centric line-up comes from Jim VanBebber, the charismatic and controversial director of the gritty gang warfare revenge piece Deadbeat at Dawn (1988) and the haunting, harrowing docudrama The Manson Family (2003), along with a slew of acclaimed shorts including the rural cannibal nasty Roadkill: The Last Days of John Martin (1988), the Chas. Balun-scripted salvage yard slaughterthon Chunkblower: The Movie (1990) and the Ricky Kasso cult killing-inspired My Sweet Satan (1993). His latest effort, the 'Nam-vets-go-berserk-on-the-Bayou promo reel Gator Green (2013), recently supported The Manson Family on its Tenth Anniversary theatrical tour and can be found on the new Severin Films Blu Ray release. So, without further ado...
End of the Road (Aram Avakian, 1970)

The Photographer (William Byron Hillman, 1974)

Twisted Throats a.k.a. Hollywood 90028
(Christine Hornisher, 1973)

Death Game (Peter Traynor, 1977)

Challenge to Be Free (Tay Garnett, 1975)

Thanks for the list, Jim!
For a look at our other Five Films rosters, click here!

(End of the Road trailer uploaded by "Our Man in Havana." The Photographer and Death Game trailers courtesy of Grindhouse Releasing. Challenge to Be Free clip courtesy of Lionsgate. Twisted Throats ad courtesy of Temple of Schlock.)

© 2013 -- Bruce Holecheck / James VanBebber. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Death Game really needs a decent release!

  2. Grindhouse Releasing are working on a restoration of DEATH GAME from its original negatives. It'll be great to finally see a nice version!

  3. That's great!!! I just hope It doesn't take 5 years for it to finally get released. I really love every release from Grindhouse. But they, like Code Red, have really been inconsistent with certain releases. I understand it's hard for independent companies to put out product that appeals to a niche market and make their initial investment back. But it hurts my heart not to get something that is promised to me! :) Thanks for the update Bruce!