One thing that is sadly missing from the music scene today is a sense of humour; everyone takes it all so seriously, there no longer seems to be room for fun. Is there any act now to compare with Devo?
Who? Fair enough – they are perhaps one of the most neglected and misunderstood bands to have managed to fill venues as large as Newcastle City Hall. They’ve met with critical incomprehension and public ridicule due to their mode of dress (‘flowerpot’ hats & yellow jumpsuits) as well as their bizarre philosophy.
The Devo story began in the early 70’s in Akron, Ohio. Two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs ( Mark, Bob & Jim ) and the Casales (Gerard and Bob) were the initial members, though Jim soon left to be replaced by Alan Myers. They produced a complete mixed-media and lifestyle package; music, videos and the theory of ‘De-Evolution’, based on the idea that mankind was actually reversing the process of evolution through increasing reliance upon consumer culture (Devo followed this theory by releasing increasingly commercial/sanitised LP’s, culminating in the ‘E-Z Listening’ discs; Devo songs done in Musak/supermarket music style). Their latest release, ‘Now It can be Told’, marks something of a return to basics and is perhaps the better for it.
Helped by David Bowie, they record their first LP with Brian Eno at the controls, and ‘Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are Devo!” was released in 1978, when punk had taken root in the psyche of both Britain and the US; indeed, Devo described themselves as “the fluid in punk’s enema bag”. An extraordinary achievement, unlike anything recorded before, the highlight (and near hit, reaching no. 41 in the charts here) was a robotic version of the Stones’ “Satisfaction”, which bore little or no resemblance to the original. This catapulted them into the spotlight, especially in California and New York, where they appeared on the infamous ‘Saturday Night Live’.
Since then, they’ve released seven studio LP’s, plus three live ones (though since one of these only had one side, and another comes in at under 18 minutes long, it’s probably nearer two!), gradually, as mentioned above, becoming more synthetic. Commercial success here has always eluded them, though ‘Whip It’ sold over a million in America.
The best way to appreciate the Devo ideology is to see their videos; “We’re All Devo!”, out on Virgin for 9.99 or occasionally available for rent, contains many of their best songs from the first five records and also stars some of the weird personalities that inhabit the Devo world; Rod Rooter, the sleazy record exec brought to it’s obvious extreme, Dr Byrthfood, their ‘creator’ (played by acid guru Dr Timothy Leary), General Boy, commander of the Devo army (in reality, the Mothersbaugh boys’ father!) and Booji Boy, a mutant doll-faced peculiarity who acts as Devo’s mascot.
Their sense of humour is rather odd. They got into Major Trouble with their record company for ‘forgetting’ to mention that the lyrics to one of their songs were taken from a poem by presidential assassin (failed) and one time president of the Jodie Foster fan club, John Hinckley Jr. “I desire / Your attention / I desire / Your perfect love / I desire / Nothing more or less” it went, and Warner Bros had to pay royalties to a crazed gunman. The Devo contract was not renewed.
Basically, there are so many aspects of Devo that it’s impossible to cover them all. Their habit of covering famous songs in their own style ( not only ‘Satisfaction’, also ‘Are You Experienced?’, ‘Working in a Coal Mine’ and “Don’t Be Cruel’, to name just a few ), their ill-fated church which fell through due to death threats (it was another example of their sense of humour – they’re all atheists), an LP of Devo imitators, film soundtracks (they had a track on the ‘9 1/2 Weeks’ album, though oddly enough not on the UK release of the film, due to copyright problems I think) – all combine to make up one of the most amusing, interesting and, quite frankly, astonishing bands to have come out of the United States.
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Duty Now for the Future
Freedom of Choice
Oh No! It’s Devo
Now It Can Be Told (Live 3-sided LP)
The Men Who Make The Music [crappy sub-VHS quality embedded above!]
We’re All Devo
Rock & Roll High School
9 1/2 Weeks
Many of their LP’s are now available for 3.99. As a special Trash City offer, and to encourage you to try them, if you want to send me a blank cassette ( C60 or C90 ) and an SAE, I’ll put together a sample tape. What have you got to lose?
In a deliberate move, this article does not contain any pictures of the lady in question. If you want that sort of thing, buy ‘Slaughterhouse’ – Trash City is a clean, morally uplifting publication, and will do nothing likely to encourage readers to practice self-abuse. Can we get into W.H.Smith’s now, please? [2020 update: fuck that shit. Bring on the pics!]
“I like her in tight-fitting clothes that are real revealing. But I’d rather have her out of her clothes. And so would the crew.”
—- Dave DeCoteau, director.
Over the years, there have been several contenders for the title “Queen of the B’s”; Caroline Munro, from the Hammer stable, Sybil Danning and Linda Blair have all been claimants to the throne. However, if you were to carry out an opinion poll, the probable winner would be Iowa’s finest, Linnea Quigley. Born in Davenport an indeterminate number of years ago – though she doesn’t discuss her age we do know she graduated from high school in 1976 (her yearbook pic is above); I’ll leave it up to you to do the arithmetic. Her family moved out to sunny California where Linnea, after a brief spell as a model (following her graduation from the John Robert Powers Modelling School), entered the acting profession courtesy of Charles Band, who selected her to appear in ‘Fairy Tales’ (though there seems to be some discussion as to whether this was her first film, or whether ‘Summer Camp’ or “Don’t Go Near the Park” came first).
Since then, her career has consisted of appearing in a long series of otherwise instantly forgettable films with her contribution usually being little more than to take her clothes off at the slightest excuse (having had to watch these, I can testify to the mind-numbing awfulness of some of them!). The budget of these pictures is very low by Hollywood standards, usually less than a million dollars and sometimes sinking to figures like $175,000 (“Creepozoids”) or even lower. How has she managed to become such a cult figure given these factors?
Charisma has certainly got something to do with it. Having had the privilege of meeting her briefly, I can tell you she does have a certain ‘presence’ (the other thing that struck me was her size [height, perverts!] – I’m not tall, and she barely came up to my chin, even in high heels). Her continuing devotion to the genre has won her fans too; unlike certain actresses we could mention, she hasn’t moved onto ‘better things’ and tried to disparage her early efforts.
She doesn’t make a fortune out of her film-making. As bimbos come, she’s pretty cheap, being only paid union rates, and the low end of the scale at that. This is about $1300/week, worth bearing in mind if you’re making that low-budget picture, though I’m not sure whether that includes food and transport.
You’ll also have to be aware of Linnea’s taboos. Oddly, and perhaps contrary to what you might have thought, she doesn’t do full nude scenes. In “Return of the Living Dead”, she wore a flesh coloured ‘prosthetic device’, which left her looking even more like a Barbie doll than usual. Nor does she do anything involving cruelty to animals, which means she might not be the best person for “Debbie Does Dobermans”… Space prevents a full description of all of her films, as we managed for Nastassja – Linnea is a busy little bee and churns pictures out at an impressive rate. There is also a SEVERE problem with titles; many of her films have appeared under a couple of names or more and there are also occasional projects announced which never manage to see the light of day, for whatever reason. Thus, the list has been divided into two parts: the first section is ‘confirmed sightings’ while the other half is a collection of ‘maybes’ to keep an eye out for.
1978 FAIRY TALES
1979 GRADUATION DAY – ‘Friday 13th’ style clunker also starring Christopher George which involves members of a high-school track team being bumped off (pic, above) SUMMER CAMP DON’T GO NEAR THE PARK (aka Nightstalker) – this one made it onto the DPP list of video nasties. A potential future Incredibly Bad Film, it resembles a school production – “There is not one single aspect… that could possibly be rendered any worse” — Greg Goodsell. STONE COLD DEAD
1980 STILL SMOKIN’
1981 CHEECH & CHONG’S NICE DREAMS – this and the previous one are both ‘comedies’ starring Cheech and Chong, two Americans who spend all their time stoned. Might be funny if you’re in the same state.
1982 THE YOUNG WARRIORS – Bizarre teenage vigilante thriller also starring Ernest Borgnine, Richard Roundtree and Lynda Day George.
1983 THE BLACK ROOM
1985 SAVAGE STREETS – Shock! Horror! A surprisingly decent pic, with Linnea playing Linda Blair’s deaf-mute sister, who is raped, causing Linda to go after the attackers. The British version has a lot of nudity and violence cut, yet still has a low-life nastiness that bites. Probably her best bit of acting to date. SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT – Mundane slasher pic that achieved a certain amount of notoriety after being withdrawn from circulation, chiefly because of it’s use of Santa as a psycho. Linnea is one of his victims, impaled ( topless, natch! ) on a set of antlers. RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD – Possibly the movie she’s most known for, this remains one of the few films to successfully combine horror and comedy. Linnea plays a punkette with some odd ideas about death – her idea of fun is doing a strip-tease on a tombstone, prompting the immortal line “Trash’s taking her clothes off again!” (pic, below).
1987 NIGHTMARE SISTERS – written in six days, filmed in four. Enough said. TREASURE OF THE MOON GODDESS – shot in two chunks. It started off in Mexico, and was so bad (having a director who spoke only Spanish didn’t help) it was shelved for two years before eventually being finished in the Philippines.
1988 CREEPOZOIDS – Made in fifteen days, this post-holocaust remake of ‘Alien’ without the frightening bits lacks the humour that’d justify the bad FX. A group of survivors are picked off by a genetic experiment; Linnea is the second last to get killed. tho’ she takes a shower first. If a nuclear war would stop films like this being made, I’m for pressing the button now. THE IMP – (aka “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama”) HOLLYWOOD HOOKERS – (aka “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers”) this was made over two weekends on a budget rumoured to be as low as $80,000, by schlock-meister Fred Olen Ray. Blood and nudity in equal (large) measure, courtesy of some chainsaws and Linnea respectively; the latter is a chainsaw-worshipper, wearing little apart from a snake tattoo, which took six hours to apply. Ah, how the artist must suffer. NIGHT OF THE DEMONS – (aka “Halloween Party”) DOCTOR ALIEN – (aka “I was a Teenage Sex Mutant”) High bimbo quotient, a decent script (by Ken ‘Metamorphosis’ Hall) and good performances, especially from Judy Landers in the title role lifts this ‘aliens-turn-nerd-into-sex-machine’ movie above the average, even if the end sucks. LQ’s role is fortunately negligible; she barely says a word and just takes her top off instead. VICE ACADEMY AMERICAN RAMPAGE
1989 ASSAULT OF THE PARTY NERDS
A SELECTION OF UNCONFIRMED SIGHTINGS, ALTERNATE TITLES, PROJECTS IN PRODUCTION AND OTHER POSSIBILITIES.
Psycho in Texas
Space Sluts in the Slammer
Sorority Succubus Sisters
Nightmare on Elm Street IV
I don’t REMEMBER seeing her in the last one, tho’ I wasn’t really looking!
Linnea Quigley’s Knockers
[Sorry, couldn’t resist that one!] Let’s be honest and admit there are certainly people who don’t like her and will have read the previous pages through gritted teeth. The case for the prosecution:
10 THINGS WRONG WITH LINNEA QUIGLEY
She’s too short.
Her ribs stick out too much.
She looks generally grotty.
She works more than Barbara Crampton.
She believes her hype.
Her husband worked on a film in South Africa.
The films she appears in.
She never pulled that lipstick back out from inside her breast.
A sense of chivalry forces me to Linnea’s defence. The first five, dealing with her appearance, probably come down to personal taste; she IS small – I don’t regard that as a problem. Never really noticed her ribs much – normally when they’re visible, so are more, er, interesting things. Her lips don’t seem at all abnormal, though I must admit her hair does resemble an explosion in an asbestos factory. The second five are a little more objective; a few more Barbara Crampton films would certainly be good to see and it is probably true that there are millions of better looking bimbos who CAN act out there.
Eight may well be irrelevant and isn’t her fault anyway. Nine, well, alright – unlike Sybil Danning, who can drag an otherwise appaling film up to acceptable (“The Howling II”) by sheer power & charisma, the best movies LQ is in are good for reasons other than her presence. And can I have an explanation of number 10, please? It’s clearly connected with ‘Night of the Demons’, where she did screw a lipstick into her nipple – beyond that, I’m at a loss…
I could certainly have reviewed more of her films, but after having watched the ones I did, I ran out of interesting ways to say ‘this is a total waste of time and those responsible should be fried in batter’. Space is TC is short enough without wasting it on low-budget movies with no originality just because an average-looking bimbo is in them. I MIGHT, I stress MIGHT, review some more next issue. Oh, sod it, I’m off to watch ‘Passion Flower Hotel’ again…
Thanks to Just, Richard Owen, Steve, Mark Stevens & Glyn Williams for their help in writing the preceding pages. All incoherencies & inaccuracies are mine…
Trash City very nearly followed in the finest traditions of fanzines everywhere this issue, by Being Late. The main reason for this was the holiday I took in September, though actually I had allowed for it – what I hadn’t allowed for was that when I came back I realised that most of the stuff I’d written beforehand was unusable…
Another problem was the Linnea article, mostly because I was faced with the task of watching eight or so of her films over the course of a weekend, which left me with a rather jaundiced view of her. I nearly junked the whole idea but decided to leave it, so you can see how my opinion of her deteriorates through the article…
Then there was the week spent sitting in the Scala, when they had one of those weeks where I HAD to go six nights out of seven… Not to mention the new toy I bought – an Atari ST computer, theoretically to help with TC, but there are more fun things to do than read through desk-top publishing manuals… I’m still trying to get the balance right between time spent writing and time spent putting it all together – yet again, it was out with the axe as I end up with too much text.
On the plus side, Steve came up with the long-awaited comics piece. The cynics among you might say it was more than mere coincidence that after waiting six months for it, I got the first draft less than a week after an ‘interesting’ photograph of him was taken…
A few words on the debacle of last issue, when two pages from a draft copy slithered into the finished version, leaving a lot of people wondering why I thoght Dario Argento directed ‘Demons’. Fortunately, that one was caught before the second edition was sent out, though if there’s one thing worse than stapling ‘zines, it’s unstapling them to change a page… Some people wondered about my sanity, saying they wouldn’t have noticed the minor error; the crux isn’t whether YOU knew or not – I knew, and that was enough to make the hassle worthwhile. Plus, I couldn’t have stood getting twenty letters pointing out the error…
‘Bad Taste’ opened in the cinema, with much gloating in the genre about how stupid the BBFC had been to let it through uncut. A little counter-productive – I feel we ought to applaud them for realising the nature of the film and encourage them to do so more often. Better to have the people with the scissors on our side!
TC4 will be our first anniversary. I’ll have to put my thinking cap on and see what I can come up with to commemorate the occasion; a competition of some sort perhaps? A colour cover? Depends what the TC piggy-bank holds – don’t expect TOO much…
We regret to announce that, due to a shortage of train crews, the page numbers for Trash City 3 have been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. [Well, if British Rail can get away with it…]
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9. 11. 13. 15 17.
The Cover The Info The Contents The Editorial Linnea Quigley – The Ultimate Bimbo? Trash Pop Borderline Cinema The Mail The New Avengers Film Blitz
At long last, the bit about Comics! Incredibly Bad Film Show Trash Literature The Lists Nightmares in a Damaged Brain Politics The Section with No Name Trash for Beginners It Must Be True… The Back Cover
25. 29. 32. 33. 41. 43. 46. 47. 49. 52.
The editor does his penance
“Demons was directed by Lamberto Bava, Demons was directed by Lamberto Bava…”
‘Trash City’ is an irregular publication (which attempts to be quarterly) produced as a form of therapy for it’s editor, whose obsessions include Nastassja Kinski, exploitation in entertainment, beauty, death, splatter movies, computer games, travel, UFO’s, general weirdness and anything else he gets talked into printing. The style is best described as ‘conversational’ and ‘informal’ – the emphasis is very much on the words – whether or not we can produce semi-decent pictures depends a lot on whether or not we can find another nice copier to play with, sob!
It is currently only available by subscription; I made a vague attempt to get it into Psychotronic Videos, but Bal never got back to me after I left him a copy for perusal – no matter! Send 40p/issue in cheques/p.o./cash (made payable to Jim McLennan where appropriate, 60p/$1 EEC, $2.50 elsewhere) to the address below; your name and address might be a good idea too. This offer expires and goes to heaven whenever the Post Office put their prices up. If you’re already a subscriber, the number next to your name on the envelope tells you how much of your sub is left – if it’s less than one issue’s worth, time to renew it; if it’s negative, we’ll be round for your intestines shortly. Articles, artwork, etc are also extremely welcome so get in touch for more details.
Issue 0 is out of print, but will be redone in the same format as last/this issue if enough people are interested. 50p, though don’t hold your breath! Issue 1 (Black Sunday, Kinski, Half Way to Heaven, Salo & DIY flame-throwers) and Issue 2 (Shock, Kinski, Reform School Girls, Sherlock Holmes & A Road Accident) still available – 50p including p&p.
Thought, comments, insults, ideas and suggestions to:
Editor: Jim McLennan Artwork: The Plagiarist’s Republic + Phil Mielewczyk .
Jim McLennan 247 Underhill Road East Dulwich, LONDON SE22 0PB.
Texts: in alphabetical order; David Beynon, Just, Jim McLennan, Martin Murray, our correspondent of the fairer sex, Richard Owen, Per Porter, Mark Stevens, Phil Taylor, Steve Welburn and Simon Wood.
Back Cover: The sleeve for ‘Revenge of the Teenage Vixens from Outer Space’, a classic of minimalist cinema; minimal acting, minimal special effects…
The views expressed in this ‘zine are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher, and may well merely be an excuse to publish an otherwise gratuitous picture of Nastassja Kinski, Patsy Kensit or Wendy James.