COOLEY HIGH
1975, Park Circus/MGM, 107 min, USA, Dir: Michael Schultz

Like AMERICAN GRAFFITI, this deeply felt recollection of adolescent life on Chicago’s near North Side in 1964 deals with girls, school and police troubles as a group of high-school seniors prepare for life after graduation. The chums are Preach (Glynn Turman), who loves to read poetry and history and wants to become a Hollywood screenwriter, but who has the worst grades in the school; and Cochise (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), the high school basketball star and suave lady-killer. Preach has to contend with love problems in the form of Brenda (Cynthia Davis), school problems with emphatic teacher Mr. Mason (Garrett Morris) and law problems with street toughs Stone (Shermann Smith) and Robert (Norman Gibson).


CIRCUS OF HORRORS
1960, 88 min, UK, Dir: Sidney Hayers

In this lurid British shocker, plastic surgeon Anton Diffring botches a job and flees for France, where he operates successfully on circus owner Donald Pleasence’s daughter. The doctor transforms several disfigured women into beauties to work as circus performers – but when any of them want to leave him, they suffer fatal accidents.


PIT AND THE PENDULUM
1961, Park Circus/MGM, 80 min, USA, Dir: Roger Corman

One of Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest tales of terror gets the AIP treatment in this atmospheric chiller starring Vincent Price as Nicholas Medina, whose father was part of the Spanish Inquisition. When news spreads that Medina’s wife (Barbara Steele) is dead, her brother (John Kerr) investigates, only to discover that torture runs in the Medina family. Among the best of the Price-Corman collaborations, with a deliciously diabolical screenplay by Richard Matheson.


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