Of course, there is no better kind of comedy than the unintentional kind. If there was one filmmaker that could pull it off, it was Texas Z-Grade auteur, Larry Buchanan. In the mid-to-late ‘60s, Buchanan was hired by American International Pictures TV to produce several films that would serve as late-night TV fodder. Most of Buchanan’s films from this period were nothing more than uncredited remakes of Roger Corman films from the ‘50s — only without the low budgets Corman worked with. One such result was Zontar: The Thing From Venus (1966), a hilariously bad sci-fi film based off of Corman’s It Conquered The World. Starring the great John Agar, Zontar has achieved an impressive cult following over the years — and has had a magazine named in its honor, as well as receiving a wonderful send-up on SCTV. But, since a single Larry Buchanan film is only enough to drive you mad, Alpha goes one step further by adding a second 16mm Texas-made thriller to drive you flat-out insane. In The Year 2889 (1967) — another uncredited remake of a Corman flick (The Day The World Ended) is also on-hand for more schlock sci-fi fun.
Vintage TV releases from Alpha for September include The Adventures Of Robin Hood: Volume 20, The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet: Volume 15, and a bundle pack of Ozzie & Harriet including Volumes 6 thru 11.
One of these days, Alpha Video is going to run out of forgotten B-Western films to distribute. I can’t say I see the day coming any time soon, however — since there literally thousands upon thousands made during the ‘20s and ‘30s alone. And so, for now, we can all rest easy, knowing full well that each month will bring us more treasures from the land of the B-Western quickies. This month’s roster includes Bob Steele’s Feud Of The Range (1939), Buster Crabbe in Sam Newfield’s Thundering Gun Slingers (1944), the “Range Busters” feature Land Of Hunted Men (1943), and the early color classic, The Phantom Of Santa Fe (1936).