Yellow Sign Theatre launches laughably bad big-budget film series

(John Wayne stars in the ridiculous big-budget epic ~ The Conqueror)

Valentine’s Day is this week and what better way to say, “I Love You” than to take that special someone to see an octogenarian Mae West whoop it up with several stars of the 1970s, like Keith Moon and Alice Cooper.  Add a 30 year-old Timothy Dalton as Mae’s love interest singing a duet of “Love Will Keep Us Together”, and you may find yourselves wondering aloud, “What the #^$% were they thinking?”


Beginning this Thursday, February 13, Yellow Sign Theatre proudly presents their new film series: WHAT THE #^$# WERE THEY THINKING?!? (WT#WTT)

Lovebirds Timothy Dalton and Mae West.
Lovebirds Timothy Dalton and Mae West.

This five-part series showcases the “best” in big-name, big-budget cinematic absurdities.  Consider:

> Groucho Marx as God in an LSD musical.

> John Wayne playing Genghis Khan amidst the sands of an atomic bomb testing ground.

> Sean Connery in an orange diaper and bandolier proclaiming, “The gun is good, the penis is evil.”

You get the idea.

Craig Coletta of the Yellow Sign Theatre told the Baltimore Post-Examiner he is excited to be curating this retrospective of the ridiculous.  “Where else would I get to talk about a film that became famous for killing 75% of the cast and crew who worked on it?”

Coletta said that screenings will be held the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Thursdays of each month at 9PM.  (On the FIRST Thursday of each month, the Yellow Sign features the very popular Artichoke Haircut literary readings).

The scheduled films for WT#WTT are:

February 13: Sextette (1978) – When an 85 year-old Mae West wants to do one more film as a sex symbol, who could say no? Well, someone should have! Co-stars Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, Alice Cooper and Timothy Dalton as Mae’s love interest.

Sean Connery as Zardoz.
Sean Connery as Zardoz.

February 20: The Conqueror (1956) – When multi-millionaire producer Howard Hughes wanted to make a bio-pic about Genghis Khan, he could have gotten any star he wanted. Unfortunately, he wanted John Wayne. As Genghis Khan. Also stars Susan Hayward, Agnes Moorehead, William Conrad and Pedro Armendáriz.  Dick Powell directed this epic, long after he was young and healthy.

February 27: Skidoo (1968) – Otto Preminger decided to do a film for “the kids”.  What emerged may be the quintessential LSD musical!  The film features Carol Channing, Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney, Frankie Avalon, and Cesar Romero.  Who needs LSD with a cast like that?  Also stars Groucho Marx (in his last role) as God, who gets stoned a lot.

March 13: Zardoz (1974) – In writer/director John Boorman’s far future tale, a savage trained only to kill finds a way into the community of bored immortals that alone preserves humanity’s achievements (IMDB).  Sean Connery leads a cast which includes the director and several members of the Boorman family.  Be prepared to leave the Yellow Sign Theatre shaken – not stirred.

March 20: Southland Tales (2006) – “Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted.”  And that is one of the more coherent lines in the film.  Stars Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott, Jon Lovitz and Justin Timberlake.  Not exactly Rock solid.

Joan Blondell ~ pre-Hays Office.
Joan Blondell ~ pre-Hays Code.

After completing WT#WTT, the Yellow Sign will offer other curated series, ranging from the films of Andy Milligan (Coletta’s favorites) to the many etnicities of Peter Lorre, to the titillation offered in pre-Hays Code Hollywood films, just to name a few.

Here’s hoping we get a chance to see the beautiful curves of a lovely young Joan Blondell.

The Yellow Sign Theatre is located at 1726 North Charles Street in the Station North neighborhood, across from the Charles Theater.  Parking is available both on street and in a nearby well lit garage.  More information about the Yellow Sign Theatre may be found on Facebook and now on tumblr.