Happy New Year from Karos!
"Karos - the obscure Greek isle that became an instant international happening... Over the rocky slopes the goatherds wander. On the beaches the Beautiful People swing. Like a psychedelic cloud the Big Beat from transitors - and far more intimate sounds from pleasure-hungry lips - fill the air, while a trembling handful of secret squares from the States go hunting for a box that contains... that contains... Well, let's just call it the living end."
Join me as we indulge in the unexpected opportunity for reflection presented by 2005-2006's leap-second and journey back to the bow shock of the international counterculture in 1967 to savor an cinematic obscurity, The Day The Fish Came Out (Michael Cacoyannis). How do you follow an Oscar-winning international box office hit like Zorba the Greek? How about writing, producing and directing (as well as designing the costumes) a somewhat obvious futuristic satire based on a recent event (a US B-52's accidental H-bombing of Spain AKA the January 1966 Palomares "broken arrow" incident where 4 unarmed H-bombs went on holiday before being retrieved at great expense). Except for its inclusion in the CONELRAD 100 list of Atomic Films The Day The Fish Came Out has been generally regarded as "conspicuously and even offensively campy" (Bosley Crowther, New York Times).
That's too bad. ERRguitar doggedly celebrates this swinging "agit-pop" ("BeyONd THE BEACH") with all its flash and flaws. Zorba composer Mikis Theodorakis' score, playfully alternating between traditonal and electric instrumentation has to be credited with a memorable telegraphic dance theme in "The Jet" (and he's not afraid of some good analog feedback!).
Despite banking on the fleeting satirical potential of the Palomares incident ("Support Our Oops"?) Cacoyannis showed excellent taste in casting a vibrant young Candace Bergen as the sexually-liberated archaeologist Electra Brown ("shall I get my whips?"). While her screen time is limited she does her best to illuminate Cacoyannis' vision of a professional jet set fashionista.
Unfortunately the film remains unexploited for now in any format. The Fox Movie cable channel recently broadcast a respectable print but its otherwise unavailable except in unauthorized VHS and DVD copies. The sole source for the soundtrack remains the reliable Studio 52.
Please enjoy the following tracks that combine bouzouki, trombone and electric organ in a throbbing trance beat worthy of island hopping hedonists of any era.
Let's Dance the Jet: What hooks you is the electric organ playing the bouzouki part!
The Jet Rock: The trombone really drives this slinky version of The Jet.
The Jet: A wrapped up, rolled up version of The Jet.
Sex on the Rocks: Traditional intruments giving way to a recap of the pounding Jet beat.
The Sonic Boom: Crash of analog reverb starts the closing theme as the promise of the title is delivered up.
UPDATE 10/21/2007: I've decided to pick things up again and have these Day The Fish Came Out tracks to share below (via a Box widget). Please enjoy and use sensibly.