Slinking through the 70s: Marlene Clark
May 16, 2011 5:42 AM   Subscribe

If you watched TV in the 1970s, you might know Marlene Clark as Janet Lawson on Sanford and Son. If Bruce Lee is more your bag, she might look familiar due to her role as John Saxon's secretary in Enter the Dragon, while Hammer Horror fans would recognize her from her appearance in The Beast Must Die. However, her portrayal of Ganja Meda in the Bunuel-meets-blaxploitation classic Ganja & Hess made her an enigmatic figure in 1970s cinema. Temple of Schlock recently tracked her down to find out what became of her.
posted by pxe2000 (19 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
There will be a 30 second break partway through this thread in which you can guess which user is the werewolf.
posted by Artw at 6:09 AM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I enjoyed reading her story, and especially her words because she's very warm and still funny.

That said, I can't believe there was a horror movie about a cairn terrier.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:50 AM on May 16, 2011


I don't think there's a film made that wouldn't benefit from a werewolf break
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:58 AM on May 16, 2011


Hammer Horror fans - ahem, technically it's an Amicus film
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:59 AM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also it turns out this is the afterlife, and we're all stuck here swapping annecdotes FOREVER!

I enjoyed reading her story, and especially her words because she's very warm and still funny.

Yeah, she's lovely.
posted by Artw at 7:03 AM on May 16, 2011


Strangely, at least according to the commercials during The Simpsons, discovering the current day whereabouts of a female blaxpoitation star was a plot point of last night's The Cleveland Show.

I'm relieved Clark isn't living in Stoolbend, West Virginia with a new stepfather for her two kids.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:15 AM on May 16, 2011


Oh my God. You just solved one of the great mysteries of my childhood. On Saturday afternoons at my grandmother's in Pittsburgh they always used to show Hammer Horror films on one of the local stations, and I've always remembered The Beast Must Die, but could never remember the name. I think part of that was that it was broadcast under a different name, but I watched the trailer and that's definitely the film. Off to update my Netflix queue.
posted by dortmunder at 7:20 AM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe Quentin Tarantino could give her a cameo?
posted by acb at 8:00 AM on May 16, 2011


Man, the Hollywood life is so glamorous!
"There’s a scene where I get raped by two dozen midgets," Clark recalls, "and when they jumped on me, half of them didn’t know they were supposed to be acting. They were all pulling their pants down. I said, Oh no! Whoa! It’s time for me to leave, 'cause these midgets are really trying to rape me!' The director said 'Marlene, wait…' and started yelling at them, 'No, this is play! This is pretend!' ..."
posted by dersins at 8:13 AM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Beware! The Blob" has one of the most woozy, inexplicable trailers of 1972 (which is saying something.)
posted by ryanshepard at 8:20 AM on May 16, 2011


Sorry that should be "titles".
posted by ryanshepard at 8:22 AM on May 16, 2011


Hmm, "Ganja & Hess" has always been on my "I wonder if I should watch that" list. Just upgraded it to must watch.

Thanks!
posted by lumpenprole at 9:42 AM on May 16, 2011


How the hell have I not heard about Ganja & Hess before. That movie looks amazing.
posted by Kattullus at 12:49 PM on May 16, 2011


That seems to be the takeaway one to put on the "to watch" list.
posted by Artw at 1:04 PM on May 16, 2011


On Saturday afternoons at my grandmother's in Pittsburgh they always used to show Hammer Horror films on one of the local stations, and I've always remembered The Beast Must Die, but could never remember the name.

They changed it to "Black Werewolf". She seems to have had a career that's 80% films that get their name changed to something that sounds like a racially incesitive Marvel hero name.
posted by Artw at 1:06 PM on May 16, 2011


They changed it to "Black Werewolf".

SPOILER
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:07 PM on May 16, 2011


Well, yeah, I guess that's a bit of a giveaway. Lacks the class of a Blacula too.
posted by Artw at 4:22 PM on May 16, 2011


Br'er Wolf...

I'm right here Hollywood! Right here!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:29 PM on May 16, 2011


I love Ganja & Hess, but after foisting it on a few friends who I thought would get it, I learned the hard way that it's not for everyone. Also, my favorite blaxploitation movie is The Blunch-Black of Blotre Blame.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:36 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


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