January 16, 2023

Announcing the 'Favorite Stars in B Movies' Blogathon

Somewhere on this blog I’ve mentioned it before: Roger Corman, the man many call the “King of the B’s,” claims he never made a B movie in his life. To his way of thinking, the B movie is specific to a certain time and place, an artifact of the Golden Age of Hollywood’s studio system, when low-budget quickies were made to fill out double-bills with bigger “A” pictures.

Corman preferred the term “exploitation picture” for his body of work, as he was spectacularly successful over the decades exploiting the latest pop culture trends and tabloid news to lure audiences to films that were high in trashy appeal and low in cost.

Here at Films From Beyond we’re not nearly as scrupulous as the King of Exploitation Flicks about the B label, preferring Wikipedia’s more expansive definition of a B movie as “a low-budget commercial motion picture that is not an arthouse film.”

So with that out of the way, it’s time to announce Films From Beyond’s first ever blogathon, "Favorite Stars in B Movies" (selected by popular demand via a Twitter poll I ran back in early December!)

Whatever else you choose to call them -- exploitation flicks, drive-in fodder, low-budget quickies -- B movies have nurtured many major stars’ careers, either on the upswing, where they provided a way to perfect the craft and gain recognition, or on the downswing, where they were a harbor for actors who wanted (or needed) to keep working, but whose A-list marketability was past its expiration date.

If you’re still reading this (or better yet, thinking of joining the blogathon!), you can probably come up with lots of examples, from pre-superstar Jack Nicholson as a masochistic dental patient in Roger Corman’s 3-day quickie The Little Shop of Horrors, to Barbara Stanwyck perfecting her screaming skills for William Castle in The Night Walker, to Dana Andrews, star of ‘40s classics such as Laura and The Best Years of Our Lives, thawing out cryogenically frozen Nazis in The Frozen Dead twenty years later.

Composite - William Shatner, Ida Lupino, Ernest Borgnine and John Travolta in The Devil's Rain (1975)
The Devil's Rain (1975) featured a coven of stars on the upswing, on the downswing & treading water: From left: William Shatner, Ida Lupino, Ernest Borgnine, and John Travolta

Discerning film fans all have their favorite examples (you know who you are). So here’s an opportunity to celebrate your favorite instance (or instances) of a big star in a small film.

What’s it called again? Favorite Stars in B Movies
Where is it? Right here at filmsfrombeyond.com
When? Friday, March 31 - Sunday, April 2, 2023
How do I get in on the fun? Send your proposed blog post (or podcast, video, etc.) to me at brschuck66@yahoo.com, or via Twitter, @brschuck66, or use the comments on this page.

The Guidelines:

  1. Submissions can be about individual low-budget or B movies featuring former or future stars, or about an actor’s/actress’ career arc from Bs to stardom (or vice versa). Heck, if you want to talk about an actor who never really made it out of B’s, but had an interesting career in smaller films, you know what -- I’ll accept it!
  2. For the sake of variety, let’s avoid duplicate posts of individual films. So, if someone’s already called dibs on Ray Milland in The Thing with Two Heads, you could still cover X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes or Frogs or Panic in the Year Zero! However, if you’re doing a career arc, you can certainly mention a film in context even if someone else is doing it as their main focus. Another caveat: let’s also try to avoid duplicate posts on a particular actor’s/actress’ career.
  3. For me, the heyday of the B movie, exploitation picture and/or drive-in flick was roughly from the 1930s through the 1980s (which coincidentally, is the timeframe most favored on this blog). That’s a good focus for this blogathon, but then again, I’m open-minded -- if a different era appeals to you and fits more or less into the theme, go for it!
  4. Also, to keep things simple, let’s focus on commercial theatrical movies, and save TV movies and episodes for another day.
  5. To save your place in the blogathon, send me your name, blog/vlog/podcast name, and actor/actress and film (or just actor name in the case of a career arc post) via the contact methods listed above. (Also include your Twitter handle, if you have one, for promotional purposes.)
  6. This announcement page will be updated regularly with participants. I will publish a separate page with all the contributions and links and keep it updated through the blogathon’s three-day run, March 31- April 2. Send me the link(s) to your finished contribution(s) on or around the dates. Please, new, original posts only.
  7. That’s it! I hope you’re inspired to participate!

And now, who’s doing what:

Films From Beyond the Time Barrier: Jack Nicholson in The Cry Baby Killer (1958)

Cinematic Catharsis: The career of Michael Ripper 

Realweegiemidget Reviews: Ian Ogilvy in The Sorcerers (1967)

Make Mine Film Noir: Gene Kelly in Black Hand (1950) and/or Christmas Holiday (1944)

The Stop Button: Michael Landon in I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)

A Shroud of Thoughts: Rory Calhoun in Motel Hell (1980)

Whimsically Classic: Lucille Ball as "Queen of the Bs"

The Last Drive In: The career of John Carradine

By Rich Watson: Sylvester Stallone in Death Race 2000 (1975)

Poppity Talks Classic Film: Rock Hudson in Pretty Maids all in a Row (1971)

Krell Laboratories: Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor in The Narrow Margin (1952)

Taking Up Room: Courteney Cox in Masters of the Universe (1987)

Grand Old Movies: Joan Crawford in Trog (1970)

Silver Screenings: John Garfield in They Made Me a Criminal (1939)

tales from the freakboy zone: Rock Hudson in Embryo (1976)

Mike's Movie Room: Alan Ladd in 13 West Street (1962)

If you plan to join or simply want to help promote the blogathon, grab one of these banners for your site:





19 comments:

  1. Thanks for the invite.. Can you add me with Ian Ohlivyvin The Sorcerers (1967)? Thanks Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews x

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  2. The Blob will, once again, have to wait... I've got a date with Michael Landon in I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF! (For the Stop Button!)

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  3. Can I write about Lucille Ball's career as "Queen of the Bs" ?

    Whimsically Classic- Kayla

    whimsicallyclassic.wordpress.com

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  4. Sylvester Stallone in DEATH RACE 2000.

    http://byrichwatson.blogspot.com

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  5. Hi -definitely in! with Queen of Hollywood JOAN CRAWFORD in her final masterpiece, TROG - https://grandoldmovies.wordpress.com/ @GrandOldMovies - please confirm!

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  6. I'd love to do "They Made Me a Criminal" (1939) starring John Garfield in one of his first films. I'm Ruth at silverscreenings.org

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  7. I would love to join by reviewing Embryo (1976) starring Rock Hudson and a few other familiar faces, if someone hasn't already taken it by the time you read this.

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  8. Brian, I'd like to give this a shot: Alan Ladd in 13 WEST STREET
    My Twitter handle is: @MichaelGreygoth. Thanks again for inviting me!

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    1. Thanks Mike! I've never heard of this one -- looking forward to it!

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