Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shatneresque! IMPULSE at the Alamo Drafthouse

Impulse (1974)
Miami, Florida

For those of you lucky enough to live near Austin, Texas, the fabled Alamo Drafthouse is presenting the William Shatner film Impulse, with a live appearance by director William Grefe, tonight at Midnight.

In the film, Shatner portrays a whimpering, mother-obsessed, polyester-clad killer gigolo who murders his wealthy girlfriends for their money. Written by Tony Crechales (who penned the excellent The Killing Kind), Impulse also features Ruth Roman, Jenifer Bishop (an Al Adamson regular who was engaged to producer Socrates Ballis at the time), Shatner's wife Marcy Lafferty, Blood Feast veteran William Kerwin (in a flashback), and wrestler/actor Harold "Odd Job" Sakata, who nearly perished during his on-screen death scene when a rigging failed and he was left hanging by the neck until Shatner and several crew members came to his rescue. (The photo below shows Sakata and Shatner with Bloodstalkers director Robert W. Morgan in the aftermath of this incident.)

From the Oxnard Press-Courier, March 28, 1972:

Note that this article indicates the film was made some time in 1972 under the original title of Want a Ride, Little Girl?

A few choice quotes:

William Shatner: "I've forgotten why I was in it. I probably needed the money. It was a very bad time for me. I hope they burn it."

Tony Crechales: "[Socrates Ballis] was at an airport. I don't know if it was here or in Florida, and Shatner was coming by. And he handed him the script, and said I would love for you to read it and star in it. Shatner took it! I went to his house not too far from where I live. By the time I re-wrote the script with his suggestions, I had one page of the original. It was all William Shatner."

Jenifer Bishop: "The one that I fell madly in love with was Harold Sakata. We became very good friends. He took me dancing at the Roosevelt when he came out to California. Sweet man, dear man. Wonderful dancer."

Robert Morgan: "If you look at that one shot, you take a look at Harold Sakata's tongue coming out of his mouth. We're all down below and we suddenly realize that that harness had slipped. He was literally strangling. Shatner grabbed him down below and tried to pick him up a little bit. A couple of us scrambled to the top and cut him down. He was in serious trouble."

William Grefe: "Shatner came down that rope and broke his finger, and to this day his finger is still crooked. He never got it set properly."

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