The Astrologer had a theatrical run from at least 1976 through part of 1977, but was considered lost for many years. It eventually resurfaced in 2021 on YouTube. Paramount appears to have a copyright claim on the picture (amazing that they’d even want it), but that doesn’t mean it can’t be seen if you know where to look.
The story of auteur Craig Denney is as mysterious as it is surprising. Jim Vorel has a good rundown at Paste Magazine. Long story short, Denney made a bold play for notoriety, only to disappear sometime in the 80s. No one knows when he died, if he’s actually dead, or even his real birthdate! And that’s just the start of the confusion! From the article:
Denney’s friend and associate Arthyr Chadbourne (who plays business manager Arthyr in the film) has disputed these figures, suggesting instead at L.A. screenings/Q&As that Denney was notorious for exaggeration and self-aggrandizing. As Chadbourne reportedly said then, “Craig was wonderful with hype. Everything was millions … you should read some of the things we used to send out to investors.”
Screenwriter Josh Olson returns to share the Russ Meyer phantasmagoria Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and to make it clear that he did NOT write Gigli. The film was a hit when it arrived in 1970, but it was too strong for the studio and effectively ended Meyer’s career as a mainstream filmmaker. Meyer followed BTVOTD with the leaden legal drama Seven Minutes before going back to making titty flicks, thank god. In the episode Josh holds forth on Roger Ebert’s wonderful script, and we all weigh in on “fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke” filmmaking (we all think it’s good).
Jen and Tim talk about everything BUT Astro-Zombies, including the vexed question of Ron Howard! Give it a listen over at our Patreon page, where you can access that and ALL our other bonus content for as low as $2/month!
Thank you to all the listeners for supporting us for one hundred episodes and here’s to ONE THOUSAND MORE. If you want to see where it all began, you can check out our very first episode, about Elaine May’s little-loved Ishtar!
Jen and Tim note the peculiar similarities between an episode of an obscure British horror anthology and Darren Aronofsky’s debut (NOT Life of Pi!!!!!). Also, Jen seizes an opportunity to talk about Rowdy Roddy Piper.