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Your December 2005 RMC II Results Are In!

Tagline: MANDINGO lit the fuse... DRUM is the explosion!

The Preshow Entertainment was Disney's SCARY TALES, which are "scary" cartoons from their Golden Age.

But first, a Pre-Preshow Entertainment! In late '84, to promote STOP MAKING SENSE, David Byrne did Letterman. Dave and Dave (both looking like children), fumbled innocently through strange questions and stranger answers. This was back in the day when TV was more relaxed (read: pre-MTV). In fact, along with a charming yet snail-paced interview, they ran an entire song ("Girlfriend is Better") from the movie.

Then came the Scary Tales. We only got to watch a few, but I'm here to tell you they had dancing skeletons! And you know what that means? Yessir! Playing a skeleton like an xylophone! Oh, and Donald's nephews dressed as an ape! But fear not, a real ape escaped from the zoo and we got to see him as well! We couldn't really follow the plot; something about Donald buying a mystery book from a door to door mystery book salesman who works nights. Then he gets lost in the book, or the book comes alive. Not sure. It was really deep.

Okay, time for the movie, which was yet another unavailable on DVD. Here's the alternate logline: It scalds. It shocks. It whips. It bleeds. It lusts. It out- Mandingo's "Mandingo"!

I suppose you have to know about MANDINGO before you learn about its sequel DRUM.

MANDINGO (no, not half man/half dingo) was directed by Richard (son of Max) Fleischer and tells the story of a slave named Mede (boxer Ken Norton) who is involved in pugilistic activities at the hands of his master (James Mason?). But the slave is sleeping with the master's wife (Susan George!). There's a fair amount of "shocking" imagery (slaves used as footstools, Mede thrown in a cauldron of boiling water, etc.). I've seen MANDINGO before, back in the 1970s, when HBO was in the cradle. But I've never seen DRUM. Until now.

It's a year later (in real life) and it's second verse same as the first. And if MANDINGO is a trashploitation train wreck, then DRUM sets the trains back on the tracks just to wreck it again...and let us watch. This time round, Ken Norton plays Mede's son. You heard me, he plays his own son, Drum. Here's the plot, as best as I could remember:

Drum is employed by a whorehouse and is selected by an evil gay man to fight another slave named Blaise (Yaphet Kotto), and he wins and he and Blaise become best friends, but they have to leave the whorehouse and are sold, along with Regina (Pam Grier) who Drum fancies, but Regina is meant to be her new master's (Warren Oates) bed wench, but the master's daughter Sophie is hot for slaves, and although Drum knows better, Blaise succumbs to her advances, which prompts Drum to protect Blaise, but he can only do so for so long before things get out of hand, which happens when the master throws a party for all of his friends, which is also the night that a slave capturer decides to leave his slaves in the master's barn for the evening, only to have all of them escape and burn down the plantation, and if you want to know what happened to Drum, well, you'll have to watch the damn thing yourself.

We had a lot of fun watching this junk. And speaking of junk, Sophie was played by Rainbeaux Smith from The Runaways, who died three years ago from hepatitis she contracted due to her junk usage. A fun holiday movie. If only it were a trilogy, life would be grand.

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