Movie sign with the Mads!

Since my last post was about the MST3K tour, it's only right to include a post on The Mads, aka Trace Beaulieu and Frank "TV's Frank" Conniff, who were in town Friday night doing a double feature of riffing films.

First up was the William Castle classic The Tingler, featuring Vincent Price in a rather thankless role as a scientist interested in finding a parasite that lives in the human spinal column. Or something like that. As the Mads point out, a lot of the film has to do with cars pulling up in front of houses, which was apparently all the rage back in 1959.

The second film was Glen or Glenda, which Frank claimed was his favorite Ed Wood film. I wasn't too sure about that claim, but then during the celebrated "Wedding with the Devil" dream sequence there's about a 5 minute long bit that I had never seen previously: a series of burlesque dancers and strippers tying each other up, providing a good facsimile of an Irving Klaw film. (If you're familiar with the Abert Zugsmith film Sex Kittens Go To College this is a rather similar sequence, except there's no actual nudity, and no robot or monkey.) The version they showed (and the one on the Internet Archive) it the 25th anniversary edition, presumably released in 1978, right when interest in Ed Wood films was starting up.

And in between the two shows there was a surprise appearance by none other than legendary SCTY member Joe Flaherty! Apparently he lives nearby, and just came down to the show to say hi to the guys. Trace had worked with Joe on "Freaks and Geeks" but almost never together. Trace recalled the one time they actually met on the set, and Joe asked "Was I polite?"

The shows were held at a venue in Chicago's Wicker Park area, and it held about 150 people for the shows. Compare that to the MST3K shows, which filled up The Vic both times. The Mads are not pulling bigger crowds, but they do a quality show, which is fine by me.

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