Quote of the Week

Truly one of the greats, actor Timothy Carey was unparalleled in his career in his portrayals of creepy, scary, dirty, slimy swarthy bastards. No one did it better — no one ever will.

In addition to a very eclectic filmography as an actor,  he also directed at least one bonafide classic. (ITEM: I just spell-checked “Bonafide, and got “Bonaire!” Hahaha!)

Sadly, Timothy Carey died on May 11, 1994 as a result of his fourth stroke in less than six years, right before THE INSECT TRAINER went on stage.

IMO, he was both “The World’s Greatest Sinner,” and “The World’s Greatest Actor.” Certainly the former for his brilliant film of the same name, and certainly the latter in the categories of “Cult Actor” and “Villain!”

First about his being typecast as a “villain.” If you’re not familiar with the man’s work, just take a look at that mug of his. He was born to play the no good, the swarthy nasty who always gets the girl (although frequently, she doesn’t want him) and the downright evil — and he loved every minute of it. And it wouldn’t be too surprising if you were not familiar with his work. That’s part of what makes him a “Cult Actor” – you’ve got to work to find him. But the funny part is, you’ve probably seen him before because he was one of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite actors (but even Stanley probably couldn’t find roles for him in 2001 or Barry Lyndon).

NOTE: Sorry, but I need a break here. Eventually, I’ll probably write many pages on this unique actor. In the meantime, don’t miss his performance as the sleazy, racist “Horse Sniper” in Kubrick’s early classic, The Killing. Also, check-out Kubrick’s following film, the one even most all critics agree is a classic, Paths of Glory, where Carey is one of three soldiers sentenced to die (along with another fave, Ralph Meeker, who can be seen in just about the best example of film noir, Kiss Me Deadly), and his slow, measured breakdown into a whiny weasel begging for his life. And, you get Kirk Douglas, too. Finally, don’t miss his wild, uninhibited dance in Poor White Trash (aka Bayou), where Cajun-Carey out-Ziggys Bowie! I’m not kiddin’. In fact, the filmmakers liked it so much, they edited in/repeated the dance about four or five times in the film.

– Punchinello Beat/Scott Morrow, “Timothy Carey: Greatest Cult Actor”; 2005 (accessed 02/01/2015. Angelfire site; sorry about that!)

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

 

Quote of the Week

That long face, those droopy eyes – Timothy Carey is unmistakable, unpredictable, and electrifying with those lizard features that became both a blessing and a curse. […]

A true maverick known for improvising and getting fired, he’s worked with Roger Corman, Coppola, and Cassavetes, including a memorable turn as a mafia heavy in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (we know just from the look in Carey’s eyes that Ben Gazzara is in deep, deep shit).

Carey is an actor to get excited about; like Bruce Dern, there’s a manic energy inside him, a screw loose combined with a fearless realism. He often didn’t seem like an actor at all, more like a wonderfully intuitive amateur dragged out of a skid row bar and slid in front of the camera.

Nic Cage wishes he was Timothy Carey, but Carey didn’t have things easy…

“I can’t even take a stroll through a park. As soon as women see my face they start gathering up their children and running for home.” – Timothy Carey

Rob Munday, “A Face in the Crowd: Timothy Carey”; Video City London (12.13.13)

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Pic of the Day: “Unwed Mother” revisited

Today’s pic is another from Unwed Mother (1958), directed by Walter Doniger. Timothy’s sweaty, disheveled abortionist looks here like he just wandered in from a German Expressionist film of the 1920’s.

Unwed Mother

Tim’s brief appearance is definitely the highlight of this moralistic melodrama. Check it out on DVD and also on Fandor.

Quote of the Week

‘Dernsie’ is, as we’ll shortly see, the character who eventually became known as ‘Lord High ‘n’ Low’ and played in Head by Timothy Carey. Carey was not, however the first choice for the role…

The Criterion subtitles transcribe ‘I’ll choke from excitement’ as ‘I’m too old for excitement’. While this may well have been true as far as Timothy Carey was concerned [Ed. note: HA HA HA!!!], it’s still incorrect. […]

Since these pages are additional it’s probably safe to assume that this initial scene with ‘Dernsie’/’Lord High ‘n’ Low’ didn’t form part of earlier drafts. The character’s later appearance in the story (in the infamous scene where his ‘cripple’ act at Mike’s birthday becomes a laughing matter) was present however – and the script descriptions for that scene provide a proper introduction, if not for the character then at least for the actor they had in mind for the role – Bruce Dern (see ‘Changes’ – Page 68, Shot 228). The character name ‘Dernsie’ being no more than a matey moniker for one of the film-makers’ friends. A year earlier, Dern had appeared alongside Peter Fonda in The Trip (1967), a film also scripted by Jack Nicholson, and would later play opposite Nicholson himself in The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), directed by Bob Rafelson.

Quite why Bruce Dern didn’t take the role written specifically for him in Head is unknown, but Timothy Carey handles it affably. To describe Carey’s contributions to the world of film-making as ‘underground’ probably doesn’t do him justice. His most notorious contribution to the genre being the self-written, self-financed and self-starring The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962), a low-budget (but some maintain genius) satire on religion – which also provided Head guest star Frank Zappa with one of his earliest music-scoring commissions. Carey’s twisted cinematic visions ensured that he never trod the path of Hollywood respectability, yet he was often spoken of in hushed tones as a pioneer by the likes of Jack Nicholson, Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino. Indeed, Carey was purportedly originally offered the role of the gang boss in Reservoir Dogs until Harvey Keitel, as executive producer, intervened (the film is dedicated to him all the same).

SOTCAA (Some of the corpses are amusing): EDIT NEWS: The Monkees – Head – ‘Changes’ – Page 10

HEAD production shot

head_prodshot_lordhigh02

head_prodshot_lordhigh03

HEAD production shot

 

Quote of the Week

Carey’s first and only follow-up to his directorial debut The World’s Greatest Sinner was every bit as weird and offbeat a project. It was funded in large part by his friend John Cassavetes. The proposed 70 minute TV pilot entitled Tweet’s Ladies of Pasadena focused on a gardener named Tweet Twig (Carey) who dreams of clothing all the naked animals in the world. Not strange enough for you? Get this: he’s married to a lady wrestler and is the only male member in a knitting club run by old ladies. Sadly, the truly bizarre show was never greenlit. I guess Hollywood just wasn’t ready for a Tim Carey-style TV series.

Peter (just Peter), “Mad As Hell Heroes: TIMOTHY CAREY… What a Character!”; Furious Cinema, November 11, 2013

Tweet's

Pics of the Day: “Crime Wave”

Every now and then I peruse Tumblr for pics tagged with Timothy’s name, especially animated .gifs. That’s where I found these (!), and today I found a few more. If I knew how to make these things I would, but for now I’ll leave it to the professionals. These were posted by an individual known only as phb256, and they’re from Andre’ De Toth‘s Crime Wave (1954).

Crime Wave

Crime Wave

Crime Wave

Non-animated are Charles Bronson, Ted de Corsia, Gene Nelson and Jim Hayward. Many thanks to whoever was clever enough to make these. I salute you! You may also want to check out my own Tumblr, run by my burlesque persona Loxie Arcane (guess where that name came from?).

Pic of the Day: “The Velvet Jungle” revisited

Super pancakes, anyone? Today we take another look at Danny, the comical but racist diner proprietor from the Starsky and Hutch episode “The Velvet Jungle,” first airing on March 5, 1977. Here we see him growling “El close-o!” to the frantic Latina woman who has just witnessed a murder and is pounding on his door trying to get some help, if that’s not too much to ask.

The Velvet Jungle - 1977

Here’s another one you can view over at Amazon Instant Video. Timothy’s few minutes are absolutely priceless.